Author Archive

Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. Passed Away Saturday

“Hold On Magnolia” December 3, 2006 at Acme Comics in Columbia, South Carolina

We are deeply saddened to announce that Jason Andrew Molina passed away in his home in Indianapolis this past Saturday, March 16th of natural causes at age 39. Jason was a world class musician, songwriter & recording artist. He was also a beloved friend. He first caught international attention in 1996 when he began releasing albums under the name Songs: Ohia. In 2003 he started the band Magnolia Electric Co. Between those two bands he released over a dozen critically-acclaimed albums and, starting in 1997, he toured the world every year until he had to stop in 2009 to deal with severe alcoholism. Jason was incredibly humbled by his fans’ support through the years and said that the two most important words he could ever say are “Thank you.”

This is especially hard for us to share. Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian. Without him there would be no us – plain and simple. His singular, stirring body of work is the foundation upon which all else has been constructed. After hearing and falling in love with the mysterious voice on his debut single “Soul” in early 1996, we approached him about releasing a single on our newly formed label. For some reason he said yes. We drove from Indiana to New York to meet him in person, and he handed us what would become the first of many JMo master tapes. And with the Songs: Ohia One Pronunciation of Glory 7″ we were given a voice as a label. The subsequent self-titled debut was often referred to by fans as The Black Album. Each Songs: Ohia album to follow proved a new, haunting thesis statement from a prodigal songwriter whose voice and soul burned far beyond that of the average twenty-something. There was organ-laced, sepia-toned econimica (1998′s Impala) and charred-hearted, free form balladry (1999′s Axxess and Ace). There were the dark glacial make-out epics of 2000′s The Lioness and the jungle incantations of 2000′s Ghost Tropic. There was the career-defining agnostic’s gospel of 2002′s Didn’t It Rain, an album about setting roots that also seemed to offer solace to a world that had recently seen its bar on terror raised. It was followed in 2003 by a thrilling about-face, the instant classic Magnolia Electric Co., which took Jason’s songwriting to ’70s classic rock heights. The move was such a powerful moment for Molina that Magnolia Electric Co. became the new moniker under which he would perform until 2009. With Magnolia Electric Co., Jason found a brotherhood in his bandmates, with whom he built an incredible live experience and made a truly classic album in Josephine (2009).

We’re going to miss Jason. He was generous. He was a one of a kind. And he had a voice unlike any other.

Fans can contribute to Jason’s medical fund as a memorial gift by sending money via PayPal.

Hold on, Magnolia, to that great highway moon
No one has to be that strong
But if you’re stubborn like me
I know what you’re trying to be

Hold on, Magnolia, I hear that station bell ring
You might be holding the last light I see
Before the dark finally gets a hold of me

Hold on, Magnolia, I know what a true friend you’ve been
In my life I have had my doubts
But tonight I think I’ve worked it out with all of them

Hold on, Magnolia, to the thunder and the rain
To the lightning that has just signed my name to the bottom line

Hold on, Magnolia, I hear that lonesome whistle whine
Hold on, Magnolia, I think its almost time

Stream Damien Jurado’s Beautiful “Maraqopa”

Maraqopa, the new full-length album by Damien Jurado, will be released on February 21st. Today we debuted the stream over at The AV Club.

Maraqopa is now available for pre-order, and all pre-orders receive instant mp3 downloads of the record. Enjoy!

Download Damien Jurado’s “Museum of Flight” – Maraqopa Pre-Order With Bonuses Now Available

This morning RCRD LBL premiered the mp3 for the great “Museum of Flight” – the second single from Damien Jurado’s upcoming record, Maraqopa. “The track turns desperation into something quite beautiful with patient strumming, elegant piano stabs, strong melody and a wash of expert guitar lead.”

Damien Jurado “Museum of Flight” by DOJAGSC

Today Marqopa is available for purchase at SC Distribution. We have three bundles described in detail below, and all come with an instant download with your order.

Several great songs from the Maraqopa sessions did not fit on to the album, so Secretly Canadian is releasing six of them via special 7″s that will come with pre-orders of the record. 7″s will be randomly inserted into the regular edition bundles, but the deluxe edition will include all three 7″s. What songs you receive will be a surprise, unless you decide to buy them all!

Blue 7″ “Wyoming Songbirds” / “Ghost of David (The Return)”
Red 7″ “Clouds Beyond” / “Let Us All In”
Yellow 7″ “Diamond Sea” / “Pentagrams”

Click here to pre-order Maraqopa and receive it via instant mp3 download!

 

Watch Making-of “Christmas Time Is Here” Video

Merry Christmas, everybody! Santa will be here in t-minus 5 days, and to get you all in the mood, here is a making-of video for Damien Jurado’s “Christmas Time Is Here” cover. By the time you get to the children’s choir, you’ll feel festive and weepy.

Download Damien Jurado’s “Christmas Time Is Here”

Damien Jurado loves Christmas. He’s been waking up since October with a specific number in his head that corresponds to the days left until December 25th. It’s with that spirit and devotion that Damien recorded his own version of Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmas Time Is Here,” the beloved holiday classic from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

“Christmas Time Is Here” was recorded in Seattle by Steven Aguilar at Red House and Bearhead Studio, produced by Kyle Zantos and performed by Damien Jurado, the Aki Kurose Middle School Academy Glee Club, Joe Ruppert, Cole Mauro, Kyle Zantos and Dave Hall.

Click here to go to HitFix.com and download “Christmas Time Is Here”

 

New Damien Jurado Album, Maraqopa, February 21st! Download “Nothing is the News” MP3

We are so, so excited to tell you that a new Damien Jurado record is going to be released on February 21st! It’s called Maraqopa, and we are sharing the first song with you, “Nothing is the News,” today.

“Nothing is the News” by Damien Jurado by DOJAGSC

More info on the record and the release show in Seattle after the jump! More

Download New Song from Richard Swift!

Today Spin.com debuted a new song from Richard Swift’s Walt Wolfman, the new record out this week on Secretly Canadian. The new record is available on digital and vinyl formats wherever fine music is sold.

Click here to download “MG 333″ from Walt Wolfman and SPIN.com to see more exclusive pictures that Richard Swift has been taking at the current recording sessions for The Shins.

Damien Jurado Performs New Song at Doe Bay

Doe Bay, this magical-seeming place in California that has an annual music festival looks so wholesome and inviting that I had to put down my laptop because the tweets coming out from there made me so jealous I had to wrap myself in a quilt and watch old Oprah dvds.

Damien Jurado, one of the festival’s acts, performed a brand new song for Sound on the Sound’s Doe Bay Sessions. I’m not sure what this is called yet, but it’s so great that I’m sure it’ll be christened with one soon. Watch and enjoy!

Little Scream Performs for La Blogotheque

Back in June Little Scream recorded the songs “Cannons” and “Boatman” in a Toronto park for the original La Blogotheque series. Turns out that the bpm in “Boatman” is fast enough to really get your heart rate up! Add it to your workout mix right now!!!

Richard Swift to Release Walt Wolfman 12″ EP in October Download Free MP3 for “Whitman”

 

About a year ago, Richard Swift horrifically fractured his left ring finger. For a moment his nimble guitar and piano work flashed before his eyes. Doctors were saying things like “movement and feeling could eventually return,” etc, etc. Certainly, not even a little blip on the sadness radar of humanity, but a massive bummer for a fellow who has carved out a niche as one of independent music’s sought after session players and producers – and especially in relation to the astounding Richard Swift solo output we all know and love.

So, it’s with a great, collective sigh of relief that he’s back to churning out new material like “Whitman.” It’s chugging, chiming and triumphant, featuring Swift’s always-endearing falsetto and casual call-and-response lyricism. “I’ve got my own Whitman…Farewell, farewell/I hope it did you good/To say the things/My father never could,” Swift pines. The song is a cryptic salute to Walt Whitman, whose American lineage of primal, urgent art can be traced to include Kerouac and Dylan, Bo Diddley and Beefheart – right on through to modern outsider-pop wunderkinds like Swift. And according to Swift, “Whitman” is a nice taste of what we can expect from his next longform recording.

 

The same can be said for the remainder of the Walt Wolfman EP. Conceived in the same spirit that gave us 2008′s cult favorite Ground Trouble Jaw EP, these blown-out, basement R&B rippers are not for the faint of heart. They require movement and sweat, dancing with a cocktail glass in your grip until your shoes are soaked in booze. Highlight of the set, “MG 333,” is a raw and ghostly trance, a blast of kinetic energy and jazz cigarette smoke. Meanwhile, the neu-vintage jive of “Drakula (Hey Man)” and “Zombie Boogie” pack a timelessness that transcends their seasonal titles. And yeah, that’s Swift himself on rapid-fire drums across the whole damn set. Shit, he might have been fine without that measly finger after all.

Richard Swift is performing as a touring member of The Shins this fall.

Walt Wolfman EP will be released by Secretly Canadian on October 18th, 2011 in digital and vinyl formats.

Tracklisting:
1. Whitmanbr>2. MG 333
3. Laugh It Up
4. Zombie Boogie
5. Out & About
6. Drakula (Hey Man!)
7. St. Michael

 

Little Scream Performs on MTV Hive

 

MTV’s great new music site MTVHive just posted a great recent session with Little Scream in which she performs “The Lamb.”

 

 

Little Scream Helps Sharon Van Etten Cover “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals at the Onion AV Club

Sharon Van Etten covers Fine Young Cannibals

The Onion AV Club in Chicago has this tiny, round, Starbucks-sponsored room in which they have bands come through and do covers of songs chosen by their wacky, comment-happy readers. Sharon Van Etten, extremely cool dudette after my own heart, brought Secretly Canadian artist and tour-mate Little Scream to the booth to record Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy.” Laurel and two of her bandmates from Little Scream kicked it up on the second verse. Watch above, and you won’t be subjected to clever, manipulative frappuccino advertisements. God I love frozen blended beverages!!!

Little Scream is currently on tour with The Antlers!

Watch New Little Scream Video for “Red Hunting Jacket” On Tour with The Antlers Now!

Watch Damien Jurado Play Live at WBEZ

 

 

 

Last year when Damien Jurado was on tour with his temporary personal orchestra, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, they stopped by WBEZ Chicago to record a few songs. The recordings are great! Damien is currently supporting Saint Bartlett on tour with John Vanderslice.

Damien Jurado + John Vanderslice = Best Tour

Notes From Home recorded a Damien Jurado / John Vanderslice house show in Tacoma, WA back in February for fifty lucky people. If you’re lucky (and we here in Bloomington are), DJ and JV are heading out together on tour this spring. Do yourself a favor and check out the dates here.

 

Little Scream’s “The Golden Record” is Out Today! We Have New Video, New Tour Dates and a Free Stream!

Lots of Little Scream news to share. I’m going to number this so I don’t lose track!

1. Happy Release Day! The Golden Record is finally out in all fine music retailers. We are so proud to be a part of it.

2. Check out the video for “The Lamb” above. It was done by Parabola Films and debuted today at Gorilla Vs. Bear.

3. The Golden Record is streaming in its entirety, free of charge, at Spinner.com here.

4. At participating retail stores and for one lucky mail order customer, 70 Golden Tickets will be hidden inside copies of The Golden Record. Each customer who receives a Golden Ticket is entitled to a hand-painted pendant made by Little Scream’s Laurel Sprengelmeyer.

“Over the last year I have had less and less time to spend in my painting studio. To compensate, I created a miniature studio out of a cigar box that I can take with me on the road. From this miniature studio, I have begun to create miniature paintings. Miniature paintings have a long and diverse history, encompassing the sacred and the sappy. I like to think of these small works as embodying both.

The pendants that golden ticket winners will receive are all hand crafted by me, containing signed and numbered copies of original paintings. I like to think of them as part of an ‘illuminated manuscript’ of the record, tiny portraits of some of the characters I tried to bring to life in these songs.”

5. Little Scream just wrapped up a successful run of US dates with Sharon Van Etten. Following a performance at The National’s Music Now Festival in Cincinnati Little Scream will hit the road again, this time with The Antlers. Tour dates are all here.

New MP3 from Little Scream – “Cannons”

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First things first – listen to this beautiful song.

“Cannons” by Little Scream by DOJAGSC

Incredible, right? I’ve listened to it about fifty times, and each time is no less great. “Cannons” is the second song on Little Scream’s new LP The Golden Record.

Today The Golden Record became available digitally exclusively at iTunes. You can buy the whole album here. If cds and vinyl are still your preferred listening methods, you can pre-order from SC Distribution here and still receive an instant digital download of The Golden Record.

Little Scream is about to go on a huge US tour with Sharon Van Etten with some dates in Europe after with Jose Gonzales. They are also playing FIVE shows at SXSW. Come see us at Red 7 on Wednesday night.

Damien Jurado Visits NPR’s Tiny Desk

 

 

NPR’s Mike Katzif recently recorded Damien Jurado playing one of their Tiny Desk Concerts. National Public Radio generously gives artists the chance to interrupt the work-flow of anyone near Bob Boilen’s desk, and Damien bowled them over. You can watch or download the session here at NPR.

Please visit 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting to show your support of public media.

Little Scream SXSW Show Update

Hey friendos – very excited to share this info. If you are headed to SXSW, Rawkblog and TwentyFourBit are throwing a very nice gathering at The Liberty on Thursday, March 17th. Little Scream plays at 2pm! It’s also sponsored by one of our favorite record shops, Origami. Punch this into your icals, dudes. You can also click “attending” here on the Facebook event page. Party!

Little Scream Live Video for “The Heron and the Fox” Pre-Order The Golden Record Now w/Instant Download

Premiering today on Gorilla vs. Bear is the revelatory live recording of Little Scream’s “The Heron and the Fox.” Those who question how the rich recording will translate live will be elated – Little Scream’s vocal performance is unreal. Little Scream will touring in the US surrounding SXSW with Sharon Van Etten (dates here).

Recorded in a Montreal station wagon in (very) sub-zero temperatures this past January, “The Heron and the Fox” features Little Scream and back-up singers Ari Swan and Marcus Paquin. The video was shot by Ian Cameron of National Parcs with sound by Cristobal Urbina.

The Golden Record is now available for pre-order at SC Distribution. All pre-orders will receive an instant digital download delivered to their inbox.

Click Here to Pre-Order The Golden Record and Receive an Instant Download

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“Anything but another female singer-songwriter. With production and adding instrumentation from Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire – and members of Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, and Silver Mt. Zion amongst the players – Sprengelmeyer’s often-quiet songs build up to cresting, crashing thunderstorms of bold, brutal noise.”
About.com

“Little Scream already sounds like a big star.”
Rawkblog

“With her delicate acoustic guitar, naturally yearning vocals, and waves of underlying echoes, Little Scream

Congratulations Secretly Canadian Baseball!

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I think I’ve said it before here on the blog, and I’ll say it again: Secretly Canadian loves sports. I don’t particularly care for them, but I’ll tell you what I do like: WINNING. I like winning, and I like trophies, and I like team spirit, and I like the fact that our little league baseball team kicked fucking ass this year.

You can see all the scores from this year here at the Babe Ruth League.

The only team who beat us were the Bloomington Anesthesiologists, and that’s okay, because we really love being unconscious during surgery. But seriously? Take that, Taylor Concrete and Liquid Waste Removal!

Secretly Canadian baseball, WE SALUTE YOU!

Transmissions from Greenpoint

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Jon resurrected Bommel’s dead carcass and made him our new Secretly Canadian intern in our Greenpoint, Brooklyn office. You might say he’s… da Bommel? … sorry.

Antony and the Johnsons to Perform at Lincoln Center on Saturday, October 30th

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Antony and the Johnsons will play their only North American live show of 2010 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, October 30.

They will be performing with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which will be conducted by Rob Moose. Chiaki Nagano’s film “Mr. O’s Book of the Dead” starring Kazuo Ohno, the final film of an Ohno-starring trilogy, will be featured during the performance.

The performance kicks off Lincoln Center’s first annual White Light Festival. The festival is “focused on music’s transcendent capacity to illuminate our larger interior universe. In this inaugural season, we explore the spiritual dimension of music as manifested in different cultural and musical traditions.”

This will be a really special opportunity to see Antony and the Johnsons not only perform with a chamber orchestra but also see a performance alongside one of Kazuo Ohno’s rare films.  There will also be a post-performance reception called the White Light Lounge for all ticketholders. Tickets will be available at the White Light website here.

Watch New Antony Video for “Thank You For Your Love”

We are so happy to share with you the beautiful and moving new video for Antony and the Johnson’s “Thank You For Your Love.” The video includes Super 8 footage that Antony shot when he first moved to New York in the early 90′s. It’s a step back in time to when we did not know Antony, where we can see where he was and contemplate where his art would go. Artistically it moves forward while simultaneously looking back.

More info on the Thank You for Your Love EP and the upcoming LP Swanlights after the jump.

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BLK JKS Featured in New Documentary from The Fader

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The talented editorial staff at The Fader was down in South Africa during the beginning of the World Cup, and they’ve been working on a terrific film series called Pitch Perfect.  The 7th episode follows BLK JKS home to SA and includes footage of their EP release show at Bassline.  Mpumi Mcata’s speech about “MZABALAZO” and their performance at the World Cup is incredibly inspiring.

“The country wrote a song; the people wrote a song.”

We Are Re-Releasing jj no 2 on August 3rd! Download New, Free MP3!

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Does the following scenario sound familiar?

You walk into a record store, looking for something new and great to listen to.  Your friend asks you, “Have you heard the jj nº 2 album? It has a giant, blood-spattered pot leaf on the cover and the singer has the voice of an angel! They are Swedish as hell.”  You haven’t heard of jj nº 2, so you ask the friendly clerk if they have it on vinyl.  They’re like, “Naw, dawg, it’s out of print.”  Your life fucking sucks so bad!!!  You were so pumped for a minute.

NEVER AGAIN!

Starting August 3rd, you can waltz into any fine music store (digital, brick and mortar, or…otherwise) and receive your very own copy (cd, lp or digital) of one of 2009′s greatest pop albums.

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There is more good news for the jj fan and the about-to-be-jj-fan: to celebrate this, we are offering a free mp3 for a song that was recorded during the jj nº 2 sessions, “Baby.”  This song is not on the re-release of the album, but only for free on the internet.  You can download it today at SPIN online here.

Please pre-order your copy of jj nº 2 here at the Secretly Canadian Mailorder.

Let us know if you have any questions about this.  These are confusing times.  We’re here all day.

Antony Hegarty Posts Short Essay on CocoRosie to Stereogum

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“I have concluded that the reception of CocoRosie in the US reflects the denial of a greater feminist issue, an ecological issue, a racial issue, a spiritual issue. If we cannot face that our collective brokenness in these areas is the rockbed of our crisis as a virulent species, then we will continue in our blindness to dismiss our American art revolutionaries who are out in the field, working through exactly these issues.” – Antony Hegarty

Yesterday a great post went up at Stereogum that included an essay by Antony about CocoRosie.  You can read the entire essay, as well as entries by Yoko Ono, Nico Muhly and Annie Clark.  A few of the comments created a productive discourse about CocoRosie’s art, and the entries are beautifully-written and thought provoking.

Check out CocoRosie’s album, Grey Oceans, at Sub Pop.

Video: BLK JKS + Alicia Keys “Too Late for Mama”

Behold!  Streaming video of the BLK JKS collaboration with Alicia Keys now exists on the internet.  The entire office was glued to my computer screen when this super surreal performance happened live last week at the World Cup Kickoff Celebration.  They performed the famous South African song by the late pop diva Brenda Fassie – “Too Late For Mama.”  When Alicia starts singing the first words of the song, you can hear the crowd in Orlando Stadium go absolutely nuts.  We are so impressed with BLK JKS and Alicia Keys for making a really memorable performance that incorporates South African musical history both past and present during an incredible moment for Johannesburg.

Watch the New Damien Jurado Video for “Arkansas”

Today the new Damien Jurado video premiered via Pitchfork.  “Arkansas” was directed by Lance Troxel and Richard Swift.  MURDER!!!

Damien Jurado is on tour right now!  He’s in Chicago tonight performing with his opening band, Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground.  Here are the rest of the dates (we’ll be at the Bishop on Sunday):

06/09/10 Chicago, IL – Schubas
06/10/10 Louisville, KY – 930 Listening Room
06/11/10 Cincinnati, OH – Northside Tavern
06/12/10 Indianapolis, IN – IMAF Festival
06/13/10 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
06/14/10 Columbus, OH – The Summit
06/15/10 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
06/16/10 Cambridge, MA – TT the Bear’s
06/17/10 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
06/18/10 Brooklyn, NY – Littlefield
06/19/10 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
06/20/10 Arlington, VA – IOTA
06/21/10 Charlottesville, VA – Tea Bazaar
06/22/10 Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
06/23/10 Nashville, TN – The End
06/24/10 Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
06/26/10 Austin, TX – Club DeVille
06/28/10 Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
06/29/10 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
06/30/10 Los Angeles, CA – CA Spaceland
07/01/10 Visalia, CA – The Cellar Door
07/02/10 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
07/03/10 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios

06/09/10 Chicago, IL – Schubas  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
06/10/10 Louisville, KY – 930 Listening Room  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground  06/11/10 Cincinnati, OH – Northside Tavern  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground  06/12/10 Indianapolis, IN – IMAF Festival  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/13/10 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/14/10 Columbus, OH – The Summit   w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/15/10 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/16/10 Cambridge, MA – TT the Bear’s  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/17/10 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/18/10 Brooklyn, NY – Littlefield  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
06/19/10 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/20/10 Arlington, VA – IOTA  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
06/21/10 Charlottesville, VA – Tea Bazaar   w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/22/10 Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground  06/23/10 Nashville, TN – The End   w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
06/24/10 Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree   w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground  06/26/10 Austin, TX – Club DeVille  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
06/28/10 Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
06/29/10 San Diego, CA – The Casbah  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 06/30/10 Los Angeles, CA – CA Spaceland  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 07/01/10 Visalia, CA – The Cellar Door  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground 07/02/10 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground07/03/10 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios  w/ Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground

BLK JKS to Perform With Alicia Keys at the World Cup! ZOL! Out Today!

Do you guys know how hard it was not to talk about this?  HINT: REALLY HARD.

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BLK JKS and Alicia Keys will be performing on stage at the FIFA World Cup Kick Off Celebration Concert.  Together they will sing “Too Late For Mama” by South African legend, the late Brenda Fassie.  Fassie was an unapologetic champion of life in the townships, and her controversial lifestyle made her a people’s champion as well. She was called “The Madonna of the Townships” by Time Magazine in 2001, 3 years before her untimely death in 2004.

1907009142_a103d869e6_oBrenda Fassie!

There are a few different ways that U.S. fans can watch the concert:
-June 10th: Live on ESPN 2 at 2pm EST/8pm South Africa Standand Time
-June 10th: Online live streaming and exclusively on demand afterwards at Vevo
-June 11th: A specially produced highlight presentation of the concert 8pm EST on ABC

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Then, of course, there is the CD release show.  I’ve already talked about that a bunch, so here is something new: You can now stream ZOL! at both Spinner and KCRW!

Or you can go to the record store and buy it because today is release day.  Happy ZOL! day, everybody.

Stream the New EP by BLK JKS – ZOL! – at KCRW

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Click here to stream ZOL! at KCRW

I’ve got great news for World Cup attendees and BLK JKS fans!  First, KCRW is streaming the new BLK JKS EP, ZOL!, for free starting today.  If you like what you hear, you can pre-order the EP from us and receive an instant digital download.

Click here to pre-order ZOL!

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Second, we have news about the EP release concert in Johannesburg!  It’s going to be on June 11th in downtown Joberg at The Bassline.  KCRW’s Garth Trinidad and The Fader will both be there to host the party.

If you are heading to South Africa for the fun, please take pictures and please send them to us!  If we don’t get a picture of Alicia Keys rubbing elbows with BLK JKS for our mantels, we’ll probably cry.  No one likes sad record label employees – just sad music.

BLK JKS in Africa – Festival Dates and More

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Lots of news in the world of BLK JKS leading up to the release of ZOL! on June 8th.

ESPN 2 and ABC in the United States will be broadcasting the FIFA World Cup Celebration Concert. ESPN 2 is going to broadcast it live, so you can see it on Thursday the 10th at 2pm EST, and then I’m going to be able to turn on ABC channel 4 and see the pre-recorded version of BLK JKS playing starting 8pm on Friday, June 11th.  We originally thought you’d only be able to see it online in the US.  Beyond exciting!

Tomorrow BLK JKS will make their first trip to Pretoria, the political capitol of South Africa, to perform at Tings an’ Times, a venue with a rich recent history of breaking bands and the mold.

Then on the 29th BLK JKS will travel to Swaziland to play in the Bush Fire Festival.  The annual festival raises money to provide critical social services to the poverty-stricken and to raise money for Young Heroes, Swaziland’s first Internet-based fund raising initiative and NGO for HIV/AIDS orphans.

In Durban on June 3rd they’ll be playing in the land of SHAKA ZULU for the first time at RAINBOW and attempting to go meet BUSI MHLONGO while they are out there.

We will have some other announcements related to the World Cup shortly, but for now I leave you with the cool remix of “Lakeside” by Fractal that The Fader posted on their site yesterday.

Damien Jurado Release Day Celebration!

Happy Saint Bartlett Day! There are two big Damien Jurado events to kick off the release today in Seattle.

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First is a live in-studio performance at KEXP at noon PST / 3pm EST during the Midday show with Cheryl Waters.  It’s easy as pie to tune in at itunes or at their site.

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Second is an in-store performance at Sonic Boom‘s Ballard location.  It starts at 6:30 pm, is free and all-ages, and you can very easily pick up your new copy of Saint Bartlett at the same time.  I bet he’ll even cover Dio if you ask reallllllll nice.

Thank you for your support, Seattle!

ZOL! by BLK JKS Now Available For Pre-Order

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Secretly Canadian is releasing the new EP by BLK JKS, ZOL! on June 8th.  Pre-order it now and you receive an instant download of the EP.  The first 50 people to pre-order it will receive a vial of volcanic ash that prevented BLK JKS from receiving their South African Music Award for Best Alternative Album.*

Click here to Pre-Order ZOL! by BLK JKS

Have you not heard the title song, “ZOL”?  It’s so good.  I know that’s not very descriptive, and I hate to use the word “anthemic,” but it’s pretty seriously anthemic and also so wonderfully South African.  This song makes me want to watch a futbol match RIGHT NOW.  Click here to download “ZOL!”

*this is a funny joke, but the instant download is not a joke.

Pre-order Saint Bartlett from Insound, get a cool drawing!

Good morning, SC Blog Readers.

I have some terrific news for anyone who hasn’t  yet pre-ordered Damien Jurado’s new record, Saint Bartlett.  The first 50 pre-orders at Insound will be packaged with an original drawing that Damien did.  I got to look through them last week, and they are all so rad!  I scanned some of my favorite ones to show the blog.

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Click here to pre-order the CD

Click here to pre-order the LP

Damien made 50 and hand-numbered/signed all of them, so this is a limited thing!  Don’t procrastinate and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.

Damien Jurado’s Tribute to Ronnie James Dio

Oh Ronnie James Dio!  Your untimely death was brutal and not in the good way.  You are in our thoughts.

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Damien Jurado recorded a tribute to Dio, a cover of “Holy Diver,” that is currently on his myspace here.  It’s proof that everything is better with a little bit of metal in it.  Rest in Peace.

Download Free Damien Jurado MP3 for “Cloudy Shoes” !

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In honor of the torrential rains that have fallen upon Bloomington, Indiana, we are offering the gorgeous Saint Bartlett album-opener, “Cloudy Shoes,” for download on our website.

Click here to download “Cloudy Shoes”

For those with ants in their pants about hearing Saint Bartlett, we have the perfect solution: pre-order it on our mail order page.  You will receive an instant download of the record, and your CD and/or LP will arrive by the release date (5/25).  Waiting is for BOZOS!

Damien is about to embark upon a massive US tour with an 8 piece orchestra that whose working title is “The Saint Bartlett Band.”  By night they sometimes go as Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, and they will be opening all the shows as such and then performing along with Damien to recreate the lush sounds of Saint Bartlett.  Sounds really lovely, right?  They’ll be here in Bloomington at the Bishop on June 13th.  Will you be as lucky?

5/29/10 Seattle, WA – Triple Door (release part-ay)
6/02/10 Boise, ID – Neurolux
6/03/10 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
6/04/10 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
6/05/10 Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theater
6/06/10 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
6/07/10 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
6/08/10 Milwaukee, WI – Mad Planet
6/09/10 Chicago, IL – Schubas
6/10/10 Louisville, KY – 930 Listening Room
6/11/10 Cincinnati, OH – Northgate Tavern
6/12/10 Indianapolis, IN – IMAF Festival
6/13/10 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
6/14/10 Columbus, OH – The Summit
6/15/10 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
6/16/10 Cambridge, MA – TT The Bears
6/17/10 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
6/18/10 Brooklyn, NY – Littlefield
6/19/10 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
6/20/10 Arlington, VA – IOTA
6/21/10 Charlottesville, VA – Random Row Books
6/22/10 Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
6/23/10 Nashville, TN – The End
6/24/10 Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
6/26/10 Austin, TX – Club DeVille
6/28/10 Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
6/29/10 San Diego, CA The Casbah
6/30/10 Los Angeles, CA Spaceland
7/01/10 Visalia, CA – The Cellar Door
7/02/10 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
7/03/10 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios

Announcing Antony and the Johnsons “Swanlights” Album and Book

Antony Hegarty’s upcoming visual art collection will soon be available  – renowned art book publisher Abrams will be releasing Swanlights on October 1st of this year.

Secretly Canadian will release the Swanlights album on vinyl, CD and digital formats on October 5th in the United States.

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The Swanlights book and album will allow readers to see the how Antony’s chosen media informs and complements one another. The Swanlights art book includes fragmentary images, drawings, paintings, photography, collage, writings and song lyrics.  Each gorgeously-produced hardbound book will also include the Secretly Canadian full-length cd release of Swanlights.

BLK JKS vs. Tiesto: Download “Dreaming”

Today, exclusively via Smirnoff, a BLK JKS and Tiesto collaboration called “Dreaming” is now available for download.

Grab some OJ, treat yourself to a refreshing screwdriver, and start dancing.

The Facebook for the Smirnoff Experience has a lot of cool info on the airplane hangar concert that BLK JKS and Tiesto are performing in Johannesburg on May 15th.  We will be there via their live video stream!

jj Tours Europe This May

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Breaking news for the Secretly Canadian Blog: new May tour dates for jj.  They’re in Europe, though, which makes sense.  If you live in any of these picturesque places below, go see jj live.  You won’t hear a sweeter voice all summer.

May 21 – Paris, France – Point Ephemere
May 22 – Clermont Ferrand, France – Europavox Festival
May 23 – Berlin, Germany – Comet
May 25 – Gent, Belgium – The Charlatan
May 26 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso

“ZOL!” by BLK JKS is here!

Today we released the title track of the upcoming EP by BLK JKS, “ZOL!”

DOWNLOAD “ZOL!” HERE

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“ZOL!” is a grassroots street anthem filtered through BLK JKS’ unmistakable and ever expanding sound. With a crazy head-bobbing kwaito beat and bassline, as lyrical guitar work takes the party higher, “ZOL!” finds BLK JKS hosting a house party for the planet. Percussionist Tshepang Ramoba takes the lead on vocals here as the guys back him up with call-and-response and polyrhythmic claps, raucously proclaiming “I can roll and shoot at the same time.”

This will get you pumped up for the World Cup, trust me.

The ZOL! EP will be released on June 8th in North America.

We know you want to riiiide out: jj’s “CEO Birthday”

Every year I “celebrate” my birthday at SXSW.  By “celebrate” I mean wear earplugs, get older, eat tacos and yell “WHAT?” so many times that I lose my voice.  It’s awesome, you should go. This year was particularly special because I met and had hangs with the very mysterious Swedish duo jj.  They are funny and cool and think America looks just like it does in the movies.  We drove around Austin in a rental car listening to Akon, as you might expect.

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On my birthday, I joked that I had “Birthday Sex” in my head, to which Elin Kastlander (pictured above) exclaimed, “We have a cover of that!” Joakim Benon put his coveted Dr. Dre headphones on my head (a Christmas gift from his girlfriend), and I was treated to a birthday serenade.  Their version is sexier, gentle, and piano-backed.

Today that song I was treated to is available for download.  Happy Birthday.

Download jj’s “CEO Birthday”

The Volcano vs. BLK JKS!

Mother Nature, dude.  She always wins.  Though it’s kind of neat to see when we arrogant humans get the royal natural SMACKDOWN, it kind of sucks?  We’ve got places to go and people to see!

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Does Mother Nature read the internet?  If she does, consider these points an open letter:

1. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull is an awesome display of your majestic powers.

2. BLK JKS totally missed their flight to South Africa to attend the South African Music Awards, where they won BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM for After Robots.  You’re a huge fan of BLK JKS, so what gives?

In this rock paper scissors of international flight and volcanic eruption, Mother Nature beats airports, BLK JKS winning the SAMA awards beats Mother Nature and airports beats BLK JKS.  It might not make sense, but it’s the truth.  Liquid hot magma.

Congratulations, BLK JKS!  We knew you were SA’s best band, but now you will have an award engraved with the facts.

Pre-Order Damien Jurado’s SAINT BARTLETT starting today!

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Saint Bartlett is coming! All pre-orders of Damien Jurado‘s upcoming record (in stores on 5/25) will receive an instant MP3 download of the whole shebang.

Click here to pre-order Saint Bartlett

Damien’s Saint Bartlett recording partner and Secretly Canadian Soul-Brother Richard Swift has provided us with a video trailer to get us amped and to also bring us into their gentle and terrifying world.

Saint Bartlett from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

See? I’m both amped, terrified, and ready to order some fucking vinyl!

Listen to the debut mp3 from the album, “Arkansas,” and listen to the incredible (and free) tunes Damien’s been cranking out weekly on his website.

BLK JKS Featured on CNN’s Inside Africa

BLK JKS had a lot of time away from home in 2009 (including a few months in snowy Bloomington), so we are stoked to see them contentedly smelling the South African air in this video by CNN. The story follows Mpumi and Tshepang chilling in Soweto and discussing the reception of their music at home.  Also, Africa’s Best New Band (BLK JKS, duh) plays a show in Cape Town at the Purple Turtle, which is my new favorite venue based on the neon sign alone.

BLK JKS Nominated for Two South African Music Awards!

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BFD Alert!

Congratulations are in order for BLK JKS!  Their hard work on last year’s release After Robots has been recognized by the South African equivalent of the Grammys – The South African Music Awards (SAMA) has nominated After Robots for two awards:

Best Album of the Year

Best Alternative Music Album: English

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The awards will be broadcast on SABC 1 on April 17th, 2010 at 8pm – so all BLK JKS fans in SA need to tune in and cheer on Tshepang, Molefi, Linda and Mpumi!  Good luck, friends!

Introducing Damien Jurado’s Saint Bartlett

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Damien Jurado will release his new album, Saint Bartlett, on Secretly Canadian May 25th.  Read more and listen to the first single after the jump!

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jj nº 3 is now available for pre-order!

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The world can fit what it knows about the Swedish duo jj in a modest, blood-spattered blunt.

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