On March 6, Nite Jewel will follow up 2008’s magnificent Good Evening with her Secretly Canadian debut, One Second of Love. If Ramona Gonzalez’s earlier releases as Nite Jewel brought to mind the likes of Lisa Lisa or Debbie Deb on quaaludes, this new body of work may conjure up clearer images of the likes of Sade, Eurythmic-era Annie Lennox and Tracy Thorn. Produced with partner Cole M.G.N. (formerly of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti), the entire affair is pure, confident, singular-but-intricate and delightfully sophisticated. Both peeks we’ve been given at OSOL are clear indicators of this evolution. First, “She’s Always Watching You” (released this month on a 7″ via Your Truly’s Love Letters Inc. label) gave us spritely, giddy, whip-crack pop. Now, the title track, “One Second of Love” charges at us with its mutant-funk underpinnings and a maturity as yet unheard from a Nite Jewel release.
Gardens & Villa, fresh off a massive tour of Europe, will visit KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic this morning at 11:15 Pacific Time. You can tune in whether you’re in Greater Los Angeles or Kittery, Maine by visiting the KCRW site to LISTEN LIVE. The band’s Morning Becomes Eclectic session will mark the closing of a great debut year for the Santa Barbara band. 2012 is already shaping up to be a breakout year for the boys. Look for more news in the very near future.
We are so very pleased to announce that two classic, rare Magnolia Electric Co. releases are finally back in print and available for order through SC Distribution now.
MEC’s Sojourner boxset includes sessions at Memphis’ famous Sun Studios; Jason Molina’s collaboration with Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery; Molina’s infamous Shonola solo session EP; and more of MEC’s incredible work with producer Steve Albini. Also includes tour DVD as wide-open as the desert landscape, as well as postcards, a poster and special medallion. In many ways the boxset represents much of the Molina oeuvre. The opposite of The Hydra. One head, many bodies.
Trials & Errors is a European live recording dating just a few months after the formation of Magnolia Electric Co. It’s one magical night in Brussels. The tension between freewheeling and controlled never lets up. Molina’s tenor is soaring. So are the guitars. We once called this a “an existential response to Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night,” and well, that’s about as apropos as we get.
Both of these timeless releases are also available in a few bundle deals. Please do visit SC Distribution at the link below.
Well, if this just isn’t making our Friday morning. On September 27, The War on Drugs capped off their incredible European tour with a show at London’s Corsica Studios (followed the next morning with a BBC 6 radio session for Lauren Laverne). UK publication The Stool Pigeon sent illustrator David Z. Greene to the Corsica show to capture the evening with his pen. Greene’s incredible illustrated tale of the night is above for your reading pleasure.
The War on Drugs begin a second run of US dates next week, and recently announced a December tour to close out a great year in support of the excellent Slave Ambient — including a New York City show at The Beacon Theatre opening for The National. See all upcoming tour dates HERE, and keep out an eye for more exciting WoD news soon.
Also this week, WoD’s Adam Granduciel was featured on Pitchfork’s Guest List in which he pitched a collaboration with Larry David in earnest.
We have been not-so-secret admirers of LA’s Nite Jewel for some time now. Upon its release, her 2008 debut, Good Evening, became the soundtrack to our witching hour doings. In the time since, it has been thrilling to watch NJ’s Ramona Gonzalez pop-funk craft and production mature across releases on Italians Do It Better, Mexican Summer and LA’s Gloriette Records. Gonzalez’s airy but oft distant vocals found new gravitas and charisma. Meanwhile, the synth lines became more agile, and the bass popped tighter and tighter. And so it was that we could no longer in good conscience be passive observers to this exciting, inspiring music. We are endlessly pleased and proud to welcome Nite Jewel to the Secretly Canadian family.
Leading up to Nite Jewel proper follow-up full-length (early 2012), Nite Jewel will release the new “She’s Always Watching You” 7″ on Love Letters Ink, the record label run the team at Yourstru.ly. Each 7″ purchase comes with with a handwritten letter from Gonzalez, secret links to “making of” videos, and a $1 donation to the Lauren Abramson Memorial Fund to benefit Citizen Schools of California. While the 7″ isn’t due until Dec. 7, you can hear and purchase “She’s Always Watching You” right now at Yourstru.ly’s Bandcamp site. The song’s stuttered 80s synth-R&B melodies unfold and unfold into one another in ways both giddy and nonchalant — a perfect primer for next year’s record.
Nite Jewel also has a handful of dates in Europe and New York City starting at the end of October:
10/12 London, UK — Nail the Cross Festival
10/24 Prague, CZ — 007
10/25 Graz, Austra — Elevate Festival
10/27 Dudingen, Switzerland — Bad Bonn
10/28 Basel, Switzerland — Shift Festival
10/29 Leipzip, GE — Lola Bar
10/30 Berlin, GE — Monarch
11/01 New York City, NY — Mercury Lounge
11/02 Brooklyn, NY — Glasslands
Right now at Paste Magazine you can sample the entire debut EP from New York City duo EXITMUSIC, out next week on Oct. 4 (Oct. 5 in the UK). The From Silence EP’s dark dream-pop shifts from haunting to hammering, ethereal to explosive — albeit like bombs lighting up the night sky just over the horizon. It’s a rich and confident thesis statement from a band that has been praised by Vogue, NPR’s All Songs Considered, UK’s The Guardian and New York Magazine. Head HERE to listen to Paste’s stream and hear why EXITMUSIC has received earnest comparisons to heavyweights of the form like Portishead, Sigur Ros and Bjork.
In October and November, EXITMUSIC will be on a US tour with sonic cousins Phantogram. Meanwhile, two very, very special New York shows: An Oct. 4 EP Release Show at The Mercury Lounge with Lonely Dear; and a Halloween show at The Music Hall of Williamsburg with The Black Angels and The Psychic Ills. Wowwy, right? See all upcoming EXITMUSIC dates HERE.
Much ado has been made of the flutesmanship of Gardens & Villa’s Chris Lynch. And for good reason. The instrument has quickly carved out its own nook in both the band’s synth-funk delights and its spacious cosmo-pop. Lynch’s quiver of flutes (along with Shane McKillop’s Michael Jackson-stenciled bass cabinet) is one of several eccentricities that make a Gardens & Villa show special. Now, you can have your very own official Gardens & Villa flute — laser-engraved no less!
This week, G&V embarks on a US tour with Youth Lagoon, and we’ve supplied select independent record shops all along the way with these flutes, all of which include a download card for an exclusive non-album track called “Hailey.” It’s a sock-hop, slow-dance number with a sweet little flute riff. If you buy Gardens & Villa’s debut on CD or LP at a participating stores (see the list after the jump) over the next few weeks, you’ll receive one of these flutes (while supplies last). And you can play the riff to “Hailey” or “Orange Blossom” or that jazz club scene from Anchor Man all damn day long.
The War on Drugs just completed an exhilarating first leg of their North American tour in support of Slave Ambent, the new, much-lauded longplayer. Tomorrow, they cross the Atlantic for what is sure to be another incredible run. And in October, they’ll be back in the US for yet another month of touring. However, you can catch the gang TODAY (Sept. 6) at 3 PM EST over at ESPN.com’s SportsNation for a live chat. Traveling by van with only an AM radio and each other’s company for entertainment allows the band a whole lot of time to talk music, gear and NBA basketball. Get their take on the lockout and more, and ask them anything else you want
Fishtown rise up. Today, Philly’s The War on Drugs went into their hometown’s own WPXN for a live Free at Noon session, ploughing through some cuts from Slave Ambient, the inspired sophomore record due next week. Adam Granduciel rides his guitar like a wild, bucking mare, his amp threatening explode/implode at points through the set. The band is in lock step — albeit in that shambling, charming way that makes The War on Drugs the band we love oh-so dearly. You can listen to the entire affair HERE.
Next week, the day before the US release of Slave Ambient, the band has a in-store at NYC’s venerable Other Music. It starts at 8 p.m. It’s completely free. And the store will be slinging the new record for a crazy low price. New Yorkers, mount up. Check it HERE.
LA’s Foreign Born will go on an indefinite hiatus as its members focus on projects like Fool’s Gold and Big Search. Instead of being bummed, let us be thankful FoBo at least gifted us the timeless backyard party anthems of their SC debut Person to Person. There’s still a whole lot of fawning to be done over that record. And by my watch, there’s also still plenty of summertime left for to rip it in earnest. As they ride off into the sunset, Foreign Born has also sent us an appropriately-titled new tune, “Keep It In Mind.”
Beneath the new American pop-rock of The War on Drugs’ excellent Slave Ambient are deep pools of texture; tape experimentation and deconstruction; the churning of the earth. These are cornerstones of Adam Granduciel’s creative process and The War on Drugs’ sound. But separated from the pop songs in which they lurk, these sounds are pretty amazing in their own right. We are excited to announce that Secretly Canadian is partnering with South Carolina’s Mirror Universe to release a limited-run extended edition of Slave Ambient. Side A features the entire record as we know it, while Side B is 40-minutes of Granduciel’s sound sculptures, tape manipulation and ambient experimentation.
Meanwhile, the band just announced a string of October dates with Philly brethren Purling Hiss and Carter Tanton. See all upcoming dates HERE.
This week, Exitmusic’s Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church are featured in New York Magazine. The article recounts how the two met on a Canadian train ride at the age of 18, and details Exitmusic’s first performance of their Piano’s residency (The second of which is tonight. Go already!!).
The War On Drugs’ sprawling Slave Ambient is out August 16 on Secretly Canadian. Following the release of the instant classic “Baby Missiles” we now share with you the album’s centerpiece “Come to the City” in which head honcho Adam Granduciel takes the show to the next level. It’s a modern American outsider classic; a straight-up jam. All goosebumps and fist pumps; and Granduciel howling and moaning over his epic, phased Firebird guitars.
“Come to the City” also happens to include what very well may be my favorite The War on Drugs lyric: “Drinking up all the sweet tea/It was made/Just for me.” CLAZZIG.
Slave Ambient is also now available for pre-order, the first 75 vinyl orders of which will receive the limited-run oh-so-fancy ruby red LP version of the record (see the sweet pic below). There are also several great War on Drugs catalogue bundle deals. Get it all HERE.
According to all things Twitter, Tumblr and beyonder, Santa Barbara’s Gardens & Villa has tickled the fancy of the masses — unexpectedly, in many cases — whilst on the band’s North American tour with Foster the People. We too found ourselves under the band’s heavy spell at a recent Chicago appearance. You can say it’s coastal, new wave pop, and that would be absolutely true. I mean, we’ve said that very phrase ourselves. But it’s simultaneously ceremonial and huge-feeling. It’s joyous, but it’s weighty when you least suspect. They also have a stencil of Michael Jackson on their bass amp, and they end the whole live set with a ripping, near-Krautrock version of Gary Numan’s “Cars.”
G&V’s self-titled Secretly Canadian debut is out July 5 (Pre-order HERE or HERE). But today through release day, Yours Truly is hosting a full-stream of the record. From the opening synth pulses of “Black Hills” through the closing tribal flute ceremony of “Neon Dove,” the record is front-to-back excellence. It catwalks the exciting line between stark-pop songcraft and rain forest lushness.
The War on Drugs’ forthcoming Slave Ambient (Aug. 16; UK Aug. 15) is essential summer listening. Sweeping, bittersweet and bold. The whole thing just begs you to drop all four car windows and blow out those speakers. Last week, The War on Drugs announced US and UK dates for August and September. Joining them for most US dates will be Brooklyn’s Caveman. See all dates HERE.
Also last week, FADER sat down with WoD ringleader Adam Granduciel to discuss the making of Slave Ambientand Adam’s recording process overall. See the photo above for a look at The War on Drugs’ home studio in Philly’s Fishtown. Heavy Petty. From the interview:
FADER: So War on Drugs is pretty tied to a Philadelphia-centric identity. Do you think the band could exist if you’d never lived there?
Adam G: I don’t think so, no. Because so many things set the stage for where future albums will go too. The kind of stuff I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, actually really the place I’ve lived has been a huge part of it. I’ve had my studio there. In my house, we had the freedom to experiment all the time. We didn’t have any noise issues with neighbors or anything. So we could always just learn what it sounds like to run everything through amps or just all sorts of experiments. You don’t even realize at the moment that you’re learning, you’re just kind of playing around. Playing music all the time. I think that had a huge impact on the sound.
On their debut, the life-affirming Wagonwheel Blues, and the follow-up EP, Future Weather, Philly’s The War on Drugs seemed obsessed with disparate ideas, with building uncompromised rock monuments from pieces that may have seemed like odd pairs. Folk-rock marathons come damaged by drum machines. Electronic and instrumental reprises precede songs they’ve yet to play, and Dr. Seuss becomes lyrical motivation for bold futuristic visions. Now, Granduciel has done it again, better than before: Slave Ambient (Out Aug. 16), their proper second album, is a brilliant 47-minute sprawl of rock ‘n’ roll, conceptualized with a sense of adventure and captured with seasons of bravado.
Slave Ambient features a team of Philadelphia’s finest musicians, including multi-instrumentalists Dave Hartley and Robbie Bennett, and drummer Mike Zanghi. Recorded throughout the last four years at Granduciel’s home studio in Philly, Jeff Ziegler’s Uniform Recording and Echo Mountain in Asheville, NC, the album puts the weirdest influences in just the right places. Synthesizers fall where you might expect more electric guitars (and vice versa); country-rock sidles up to the warped extravagance of ’80s pop. Instant classic “Baby Missiles” is part Spingsteen fever dream, part motorik anthem “Original Slave” might sound like a hillbilly power drone, but “City Reprise #12″ suggests Phil Collins un-retiring to back Harmonia. “I Was There” is Harvest rebuilt by some selection of psychedelic all-stars, while the shuffling, sleepy opener “Best Night” offers a band with too many ideas to be in a hurry. During the mid-album centerpiece “Come to the City,” Granduciel howls and moans, “All roads lead to me/I’ve been moving/I’ve been drifting.” Indeed, however unlikely that might seem, all these sounds arrive cohesively in one unmistakable place. Every song on Slave Ambient is instantly identifiable and infinitely intricate, a latticework of ideas and energies building into mile-high rock anthems. It’s a remarkable work for which we have an enormous pride and respect. And for which the story is only just beginning.
Montreal’s Suuns (say it with me now, “Sooons”) are disciples of Fugazi. There is no bullshit. It’s all adrenaline and mood. Suuns’ intense, blistering live presence, which has won them wide praise at SXSW and CMJ, owes a bit to the Fugazi legacy. Today, Alternative Press posted Suuns’ cover of the Fugazi classic “Long Division” — a rarity of Suuns’ live show.
Suuns are currently on the back-end of a North American tour with The Black Angels (Psych-rock tour of the year anyone?). In May, the band returns to Europe for a hefty tour that includes appearances at several coveted festivals — Spain’s Primavera Sound Festival, UK’s Great Escapes and Denmark’s Kilbi Festival. See all upcoming Suuns’ dates HERE.
Gardens & Villa are a warm spring wind up your pant leg on the first late night stoney bike ride of the year. Sent to us not so long ago by producer Richard Swift, these tunes whipped around every head in the office. Now, let thy own head be whipped around. We’ve got Gardens & Villa’s self-titled debut set to drop July 5.
In the year of the saxophone, Gardens & Villa gives us the flute. And along the way, the Santa Barbara band effectively wipes clear the vaseline from the murky bedroom funk of recent days. G&V bang out instant classics — each crystal clear and immaculate, but no less sweeping or languid. Their debut is a youthful exploration of just how opulent and pop starkness can go. It also leaves an impression of California in the way that Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series or the pool party scene from The Graduate both do, always sensed more than stated outright.
At Swift’s Oregon studio in Summer 2010, they put some sand in the silk sheets of new wave (“Black Hills”) and pop some translucent funk (“Orange Blossom”). There’s also a level of effortless class maintained across the whole set. Each and every lush little gem explores the wonderful mystery between intuition and proficiency, between tension and repose.
The G&V gang — Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop and Dusty Ineman — are right now on a tour of the US. Check out the dates HERE and then, take all your friends with you.
Hot on the heels of Nightlands‘ triumphant live debut and tour in January, we are pleased to announce that the band — the brainchild of Philly’s esteemed multi-instrumentalist David Hartley –has been asked to join the great Sondre Lerche on a full North American tour in June. Okay, so most of June is officially still Spring, but who’s counting? Hartley will also lend his talents to Lerche’s live band. This is not to be missed. Please see the dates after the jump or click HERE for a full listing.
Attention Secretly Canadian shoppers. A most radtacular deal is going down. Nightlands’ All the Way 7″, the companion piece to 2010’s inspired dream-pop debut Forget the Mantra, hits stores March 8. However, beginning today and for a limited time, you can order a Nightlands All the Way/Forget the Mantra bundle that includes an instant gratification download for both releases. Pre-order the Nightlands bundle or the All the Way 7″.
Nightlands is Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist David Hartley. His All the Way 7″ may be the strange little brother to the enourmous lunar hymns of Forget the Mantra, yet it’s no less majestic. “All the Way” is like Jeff Lynne floating down Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” on a drone raft. And it’s b-side, “Buggin’ Out,” is a seizure-inducing kraut experiment with a Hammond 144 and Casio/Korg overdubbing. Together, these pieces make for a not-to-be-missed gateway to a new, intriguing voice in cosmic-pop. Make them yours.
“Unguarded, idyllic, and often pastoral, the songs are full of earthy instruments and layers of harmony that are refracted through watery reverb to excellent effect.” — The New Yorker
Catch the video for “All the Way” (directed by Aubrey Smith) following the jump.
Tonight at Brooklyn’s The Rock Shop, Quebec’s SUUNS make their triumphant return to the city that crowned them the drone princes of CMJ 2010. A three-night New York run this week will see Suuns bringing their goth-dappled art-rock to three different venue: The Rock Shop, Shea Stadium and The Mercury. See below for details, and get thee to one of these venues and hear/see why The New York Times noted the “rigorous strategy behind every gorgeous onslaught.”
In February, the young masters will journey across the icy Atlantic for Suuns’ first-ever European tour. Both France and UK have been abuzz with love for Suuns. NME recently declared their Secretly Canadian debut, Zeroes QC, a contender for one of its albums of 2011. All Suuns upcoming dates after the jump:
Richard Swift has a Tumblr, and it’s just the best. Cryptic and soulful, it’s the perfect gateway to his unique talent and aesthetic. Swift’s amazing visual work fills much of the space. Mostly greyscale and many collage-based, the pieces have a foot firmly set in outsider art. The other foot is stomping a kick-drum. Yesterday morning, we awoke to find this piece — “Swanson” — at the top of the page. We have two Swansons in the SC office. Also, see Swift’s badass “Walt Wolfman” series.
That’s right. Just look at those dudes. Suuns will cut you. And you’ll like it. The gang just capped off a coast-to-coast tour with a stunning performance at M for Montreal. Along the way, they laid down a pretty titillating set for the good people of Daytrotter. Get the jams — including early Suuns’ song “Disappearance of the Skyscraper” — RIGHT HERE.
And it seems Suuns have Daytrotter’s own Sean Moeller freaking out man. Moeller writes from the depths of his Suuns-induced psycho-paranoia: “From The Montreal band’s latest mind-fuck of an album is a discourse is taking a known thing or a known person and riddling it with holes and leaks all over the place. It takes some of those dark fears and makes them bright accusations, lit up fears that are then worn for a while and legitimately tamed. We tend to feel –when we’re panting and spinning in the vortex of a Suuns song — as if we’re blistering from getting cooked alive. We feel as if we’re being tested and as if we really are not here any longer. This — all of this that we’re hearing and experiencing – is the day of the locusts and that silent shrieking sound, like an emergency siren spraying off red warnings all throughout our head is our temporary warm and fuzzy feeling and we do like it.”
But yeah, to Moeller’s credit, it is kinda like that.
Matt Popieluch, frontman for Secretly Canadian band Foreign Born, has been making music as Big Search since 1999. After making significant aesthetic breakthroughs in his dorm room at San Francisco State University, he embarked on a four-track recording spree that lasted the remainder of his collegiate experience, resulting in several 90-minute “albums” destined for the vacuum of obscurity.
Thank the stars Popieluch’s efforts as Big Search did not stop there. St. Ives now gives us Lay of the Land, a limited vinyl collection of Big Search songs, some of which date back to 2006, and most of which sprang from pure improvisation. Together, these recordings embody a sense of recklessness and gambling that is essential to the Big Search pallet. Lead track “That’s All (Lights On)” feels like jittery, back porch Suicide, while the rhythmic, churning guitars that crescendo with the title track create a sort of expericana krautrock. With heavy use of vocal harmony, chaotic guitar and collage-like rhythm arrangements, generalized descriptors for the record are hard to come by. Let’s just say Lay of the Land is a testament to jumping off a cliff and trusting there is water beneath.
The unique cover art uses a photo of Norwegian artist Anders Dahl Monsen’s piece “Beach Bum,” an ass sculpture on a beach in Malibu. Most agree it is a woman’s ass, but debate continues. Big search likes it either way. All 250 covers were hand-painted.
Welcome to Extra Classic, a semi-regular series on the Secretly Canadian blog that we’re kicking off today in hopes of digging deep into the SC vaults to retrieve those lost gems and stories that make up our modest, but rich, history.
And friends, it doesn’t go much deeper than Bloomington’s own The Japonize Elephants, whose 9-member tribe was fabled as being “steered by the Emperqq of Zorlock through a catacomb of musical styles at hyper speeds only a Zorlockian could function at,” So, there’s that. And then, there’s the very clear, very concise directive that begins the one sheet (penned by SC founder Eric Weddle) for The Japonize Elephant’s classic, Bob’s Bacon Barn (SC005): “String the banjo. Lick the reeds. Pack the bowl.” And with that, we’re off on a wild, Appalachia-by-way-of-the-Middle East hyper-speed gypsy caravan that’s as baffling as it is inspiring and hilarious. The Japonize Elephants truly embody what it means to lead a creative life in the midwestern oasis of Bloomington, Indiana.
As Nightlands, Philly’s Dave Hartley makes what have been called “lunar hymns,” full of space, size and more importantly, a keen attention to detail, precision, nuance and a sense of mystery. It’s fitting then that not only should the Nightlands album art be a nod to the classic science fiction covers of the 70s and 80s (though it’s actually a proposal for the Lower Manhattan Expressway by the late Paul Rudolph), but that Hartley himself is obsessed with the art form – both sci-fi writing and the cover art that accompanies it. We’ve asked Hartley to share with us some of his knowledge and theories on the genre. And well, he nailed it. (Editors note: First, check the logo at the top right of this Arthur C. Clarke joint. Strikingly similar to the logo of a certain Bloomington, Indian-based record label. Just sayin’).
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, David Hartley:
Here are two examples of what I’m going to call the “Future Monument” sci-fi cover art paradigm: Star of the Unborn by Franz Werfel (illustration by Gene Szafran) and The City and the Stars by Athur C. Clarke (illustrator for this is unknown). This form basically consists of a giant gleaming perfect peak or city or superstructure — it’s not apparent whether it’s naturally occurring or created by man, or by divine will (often a combination thereof) — and a human or two to indicate scale and give the monument perspective.
Star of the Unborn by Franz Werfel
I haven’t read Star of the Unborn, or finished it anyway. I found the writing style just way too annoying to deal with (too much British-style wit or something), but I picked it up because it was described to me as being Tolkien-esque in ambition and had a really sweet Pink Diamond Super Mountain on the cover. Also, the synopsis on the inside was just hysterically over-the-top: “ASTRO-MENTAL CIVILIZATION — IN THE ELEVENTH COSMIC CAPITAL YEAR OF VIRGO — Where men have already experience Judgement Day — Where places routinely travel to people who want to visit them — Where old age is unknown, and dying has been replaced by the opposite — Where a universal language makes it impossible to utter threats or insults — Where one giant Worker cheerfully provides all of humanity’s wants and needs — Where the crystalline mountain Djebel lights up a man’s knowledge into himself and into the farthest reaches of space.”
Do not be fooled when you hear the new 12″ from The War on Drugs referred to as an “EP.” Future Weathers, released this week, lays to waste to most all your preconceived, hodge-podge, B-side prejudices for the format. From the first sounds of a tape machine being thrown on mid-song to the final space atmospherics of closer “The History of Plastic” (and all the adventurous, outsider American pop in between) there is a true coalescence and symmetry here, one of wash and drone, of momentum and tone, but also of theme. Friendship and loyalty are both on the table here.
There are cues taken from our best American songwriters, yet The War on Drugs, piling tape upon tape and testing the limits of the studio, are wise enough to also implode those cues or send themselves into outer space when the moment calls for it. The driving organ riff that pushes “Baby Missiles” may be inspired by a fever dream of Springsteen rather than any particular Springsteen song. And the endless layers of guitar melody and atmospherics of “Comin’ Through,” rather than add weither to the vessell, only work to fill its sails with warmer and warmer winds.
Right now, we are giving two copies of Future Weather away on the SC Twitter and Facebook sites. We will choose a winner tomorrow morning. So act fast! Or, you know, go buy one from your neighborhood independent record store.
Surprise! It was quite a treat coming in to the office yesterday after a long weekend festivaling in Chicago, hanging with Adam and Mike from The War On Drugs (who were playing as members of Kurt Vile’s band), only to find this great session with The War On Drugs up on Daytrotter. Featuring a stunning, booming version of the band’s “Take Me To The Coast” from 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues, the whole session is a testament to the band’s mastery of mood and momentum. But perhaps, Daytrotter’s own Sean Moeller said it best in his blurb talking about the WOD session.
Of Wagonwheel Blues, Moeller wrote: “The spectacular Wagonwheel Blues is a mashing of sounds that one could hear at a busy train station, with three passenger trains crossing paths as if they were slicing up the yard like a pizza, missing each other by a hair – all of them with different tones and clatter. You can hear all of the anxieties of the folks riding the rails – the paying customers and the hobos. You can hear the nerves, the sobs, the farewells and the power of the shove off, along with the impressive power to keep all of that stuff rolling down the tracks. It’s a hurricane of stuff, a furnace of collisions, or near collisions.” Download mp3 from the session HERE.
The band has a few dates on the horizon, playing with Black Mountain in New York, and at Releigh, NC’s first ever Hopscotch Festival. See all the upcoming dates from The War On Drugs HERE.
David Vandervelde is on an absolute songwriting tear right now, churning out these magma nuggets of summers present like a young man possessed. It’s as if the teenagers in Footloose locked into a deep bliss-metal and glam kick, and Vandervelde threw the bomb-ass after-prom kegger at his pad. Today, FADER premiered “Checkin’ Out My Baby,” the latest digital single from Vanderland. Now available via most any digital music retailer, “Checkin’ Out My Baby” is three and half minutes stomping, fuzzy pop, full of glammy falsetto and joyous shredding. With these new gems, FADER noted that Vandervelde “has managed to make music that evokes multiple decades, multiple drugs and all the good parts of being a cocky teenager.” We’re all in.
So, it goes like this: We get word at SXSW that FADER would like very much to film David Vandervelde playing his excellent new single “Learn How To Hang” while at an interesting Austin spot. So, we offer up the rooftop of our hotel and suggest happy hour as an appropriate time for such a meeting. Vandervelde brings along his bandmates and a bunch of homies (including the mysterious, lively Mr. Jimmy) for the acoustic performance, but before we’re even two drinks deep into happy hour, the jams have begun — “Dust in the Wind” and faux-contempo Christian crossover hits of tomorrow — all to the confusion (and burried delight) of hotel staff and other happy hour patrons. Meanwhile, hotel security is right on top of FADER video guru Hanly Banks. So we ditch the rooftop idea and head to the church courtyard across the street for this earnest and lovely version of “Learn How To Hang.” Read about the day from Hanly’s POV HERE.
Now, the flip side to the Learn How To Hang digital single, “Wave Country,” is available on the Web for your listening pleasure. RCRD LBL, which recently premiered the jam, said the sunburst metal found on “Wave Country” is “giddily splashing around somewhere between Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac and T. Rex if Marc Bolan had lived to see the nineties. Summer is ON ITS WAY, y’all.” Go snatch up both “Learn How to Hang” and “Wave Country” at your digital musicretailer now.
We know the open-country Texas recording session for Jason Molina and Will Johnson’s collaboration album included some the hallmarks of male bonding, i.e. BB guns, beer and smokes. But new footage found on the internets has revealed just how intense the writing session for Molina and Johnson got from time to time. This is how art gets made, folks: throwing haymakers.
David Vandervelde’s very clothes were ablaze that day in his Nashville basement. And the only thing that was ever going to put the flames out was laying “Learn How To Hang” to tape. How else does a song so immediate come to be? The repeated mantra of its title, set to an exhilarating, tightly-wound Buckingham lick, is just as much Far East philosophy as it is the most serious of stoner advice. It’s a self-effacing moment of clarity under the heat of a blowtorch. Same goes for its brother jam, “Wave Country,” with its galloping, sunburst metal and inner-bitch-slap hook, “You ain’t any cooler in the shade.” And how could we, in good conscience, ever sit on songs so immediate for any longer than one red-hot heartbeat? Some jams can’t simply be placed on a release schedule months in advance. Songs like these must be loaded in our bow and shot out into the world.
The wonderful people of FADER are on board as well. Today, FADER’s Sam Hockley-Smith said of “Learn How To Hang”: “It’s not that it’s too different from his previous material—it sometimes gets kinda glammy and sounds a lot like Fleetwood Mac on speed—but it’s that this time around it’s so fully realized. ‘Learn How to Hang’ is the kind of song that can transform one of those shitty nights when you’re staring into the bottom of the same beer for what seems like hours into a full on party where you stare into the bottom of a whole bunch of beers for what seems like minutes before you get another one. In other words: learn how to hang!”