Friday, 27 May 2011

Mélanie Laurent - En T’Attendant

Following her breakthrough success in Quentin Tarantino's mega hit Inglourious Basterds, prominent French actress Mélanie Laurent made her singing debut with En T’Attendant, released on May 2 through Atmospheriques.

Her debut record was co-written and co-produced along with Damien Rice, who he also contributed vocals on several tracks including Uncomfortable and Everything You're Not Supposed To Be.

"It’s a crazy story. I went to Woodstock [over two years ago] to record the album and I was unhappy with what happened there. I called my manager and asked him to call Damien Rice’s manager and organise something. I didn’t expect him to come, but he did, and we started to work together. I fired everyone and followed him to Ireland. He taught me everything about being a musician. I was a huge, huge fan, so it was weird for me to just speak with him like it’s natural…" a comment by Laurent from a notable source.

Tidelands - If...

Tidelands is the duo of San Francisco’s Gabriel Montana Leis and Mie Araki. Sharp, poignant, poetic lyrics are uniquely arranged with looped guitars, Moog bass and beautiful harmonies on the duo’s debut album, If..., to be released July 26. Taking cues from their combined multi-cultural backgrounds, Leis and Araki have created a texturally rich record that speaks to their collectively deep and unique life experiences.

Born in New Delhi, India, Leis grew up around open mic nights and he later formed the band The Love X Nowhere, releasing three EPs and an album, a success that led to Leis being hired as a touring musician with Dan The Automator.

Originally from Osaka, Japan, Araki moved to New York in 1992 to further her study of classical percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. Attracted by the challenges and beauty of improvisation, Araki soon switched her major to Jazz & Commercial Percussion.

“I found myself writing melodies that I knew were meant for a horn,” Leis says of the material that took shape in 2009 out of the ashes of The Love X Nowhere. “I had fantasies of recruiting an accomplished trumpet player for the band that eventually became Tidelands.” Instead, Leis decided to learn the horn from scratch on his own. “Never having played a horn before, I purchased a beautiful vintage Benge flugelhorn and began at the beginning, not able to form a single note.”

Since he passed on recruiting a trumpet player, Leis decided to recruit former band mate Araki, who added a Moog to the ensemble of instruments, essentially beginning her own new musical education in learning to play the drums and synth at the same time. Further exploring his earlier experiences writing for cello, violin and trumpet, Leis began using a looping device to write guitar parts that he could later pair with orchestral instruments.

Araki began to transcribe these ideas to standard musical notation and via a connection with musician John Vanderslice, Tidelands was introduced to Minna Choi, conductor of the Magik*Magik Orchestra. “We gave her the framework of the songs and the charts and the freedom to create around what we had already written,” Leis explains.

Recording engineer Ian Pellicci was the final co-conspirator added to the project, and less than six short but studious months into becoming a flugelhorn player, Leis, Araki, Choi and Pellicci convened at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Studios to create If...

Musically, the songs on If... are defined by the creative and precise drumming of Araki and her ability to explore her creative voice through the framework of these songs. Further enriched by the incredible players in the Magik*Magik Orchestra, the album also features standout local players such as bassist Nils Erickson, cello player Sam Bass, and Leis’ foremost inspiration as a horn player, trumpeter Ara Anderson.

Martine Rose x CAT Colorado Boot

CAT churns out a special edition of their Colorado Boot with London-based designer Martine Rose. Applying the mixture of different types of materials and features on this, it's definitely awesome. Coming soon.

Crooks & Castles Summer 2011 New Era Fitteds

Available now at Crooks & Castles online store.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Timber Timbre 'Black Water'

Following the worldwide release of acclaimed fourth album Creep On Creepin' On, Canadian folk musical team Timber Timbre is pleased to unveil its new video for lead single "Black Water" ahead of a run of North American dates.

The video was directed by Exploding Motor Car - aka Brett Long and Winston Hacking - and was premiered across North America by FILTER and AUX. The duo took a very DIY approach to production, forgoing stock footage and utilizing a Japanese consumer camera and some random objects in order to create the underwater effect.

SOUL by Ludacris

Audio masters Signeo USA announced the SOUL by Ludacris line of personal audio products earlier this year, is coming close to a release date, very soon it seems.

The SOUL brand kicks off with an initial 5-model line-up of high definition headphones that offer the elite sound caliber of a professional headphone with a distinct flair for self expression and style. Driven by his famously artistic vision, and supported by an award-winning design team with resume credits spanning from luxury automotive to world-class electronics, the line dons a sleek form factor and presents an array of eye-catching colors and uniquely designed styles.

The SOUL by Ludacris line debuts with the High Definition Professional SL300 Powered Noise Cancelling headphone, High Definition On-Ear models SL150 and SL100, and the SE99 and SE49 High Definition In-Ear headphones. The entire line contains professionally voiced sound technology with advanced circuitry and drivers designed by a team of engineers who have developed some of the most notable acoustic breakthroughs in the audio industry. Elements such as world-class noise cancellation technology and ultra precise audio mix balancing deliver deep bass without sacrificing clarity of mids and highs to provide a listening experience fit for a wide audience that reaches the business traveler or casual music lover to the pro musician or audiophile.

The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales Video Medley

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

John Wetton To Release New Solo Album on Frontier Records

Frontiers Records is proud to announce the release of the sixth solo album by esteemed British singer/songwriter John Wetton; Raised in Captivity is due out on July 12 in North America.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles during a brief break between touring commitments and is produced and mixed by multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood. The new offering finds Wetton teaming up with current and former musical partners, including some of the biggest names from the British music scene over the past four decades: Genesis' Steve Hackett, King Crimson's Robert Fripp, Deep Purple's Steve Morse and many more.

Raised in Captivity celebrates yet another milestone in an extraordinary life, a stunning collection of songs reinforcing a career of over 40 years during which John Wetton has created a legacy as one of the greatest singers, musicians and songwriters ever. Respected worldwide by fans and musical peers alike, Wetton's career included a significant period of time in the early eighties when he was the biggest selling singer in the world. Once again characterized by the emotional impact of the material, a necessary component in all Wetton's creativity, Raised in Captivity continues an unrivalled career which has brought inspiration to millions worldwide.

Of the new album and choice of producer, Wetton commented, "The decision to record in Los Angeles with Billy Sherwood was entirely mine. I wanted the chaotic urban inspiration, edge and energy to juxtapose the natural beauty that California provides. I also knew that Billy Sherwood would provide the musical and technical ability to record quickly, with ultra high energy and superb production quality." The material was written in a variety of ways, such as "Goodbye Elsinore" was written on the Denmark-Sweden sea ferry en route to a Vilde Frang concert and "The Devil and the Opera House" is co-written with King Crimson collaborator Richard Palmer-James. The album's finale is "Mighty Rivers", featuring the enigmatic Dutch soprano Anneke Van Giersbergen and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Nat Geo Music Signs THE R’s

Italian indie pop trio The R’s was formed in 2002 and have released a series of self-produced recordings that helped build a cult following. In 2007 they won a music contest sponsored by Italy’s most widely read newspaper and released their first official EP, Joyful Celebration. The record contained the single “Move Your Little Fingers,” picked up by the most prominent national radio stations.

In 2008 The R’s released the album Money’s On Fire with the collaboration of the venerated musician producer Giovanni Ferrario. With one of the tracks from the album featured on a major national advertising campaign and prominent exposure on MTV Italy the band began reaching a wide audience. By the end of the year they were on best-of lists of the most important newspapers and music publications in Italy.

The R’s music crosses genres and eras with hints of the early days of rock - from the 1950’s to garage rock – alongside indie pop and psychedelic folk.

In 2011 The R’s signed with Nat Geo Music, the record label of the National Geographic Society that specializes in contemporary intern The R’s are preparing to make their U.S. debut in the late spring, along with the release of their latest album De Flora Et Fauna.

They are Pierluigi Ballarin (vocals, guitar), Gaetano Polignano (drums), and Pietro Paletti (bass, vocals).

Paul Dempsey Releases US Solo Debut

Paul Dempsey will officially release his solo debut Everything Is True in the US through Missing Piece on June 28. The US release includes a new bonus track “We’ll Never Work In This Town Again,” which provides the capstone to a fantastic solo debut of songs that have been favorably compared to those of Bruce Springsteen and Elliott Smith.

Dempsey is best known for his work as principal songwriter, lead singer and guitarist in Something For Kate, one of the most respected and successful Australian bands to emerge over the past decade. Having released five platinum and gold albums to date with Something for Kate, amassing a staggering 16 Australian Record Industry Award nominations, multiple Rolling Stone gongs for best band, best album and best male vocalist along with countless sold out tours with everyone from David Bowie to Death Cab for Cutie, Dempsey decided to step out on his own to release his first solo album.

Playing every instrument himself, Everything Is True was co-produced by Dempsey and Wayne Connolly, mixed by Doug Bohem and released to an overwhelming response, garnering Dempsey multiple awards and nominations from ARIA, Rolling Stone, Triple J, The Age, while debuting in the Top 5 and having since achieved gold status.

A departure from his work with Something for Kate, Everything is True is an intimate and beautiful collection of evocative and cerebral folk-rock showcasing Dempsey’s unique and multi-layered storytelling skills. From the delicate falsetto peaks of album opener “Bats” to the Dylanesque barroom proclamations of “Safety in Numbness,” this is a deeply intelligent record with a big heart.

Bats from Paul Dempsey on Vimeo.

Do check out more of Dempsey's videos on his website.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

City Reign - Daybreak

Hailing from Manchester, English rock band City Reign released a new single titled Daybreak, a follow up to their debut single Making Plans.

Lead singer and lyricist Chris Bull notes that “it’s probably the song we’ve been most proud of. We always enjoy playing it live, as it has that typically youthful conflict between despair and restless hopefulness. The harmonies in the outro really capture that feeling that there’s always something else to reach for, even when you don’t know exactly what it is.”

The band comprise Chris Bull on vocals/guitar, Michael Grice on guitar, Sam Jones on drums and Michael Glaze on bass.

Energetic, strong dose of rhythm and addictive beats, the combination of these three elements are the key to City Reign's uprising success in Manchester music scene.

Warpaint Performs on Jools Holland

LA-based experimental rock band Warpaint performing their hit tracks Undertow and Elephants on the Jools Holland Show.

Their debut album titled The Fool was released early October through Rough Trade. The formation of Emily Kokal (vocals, guitar), Theresa Wayman (guitar, vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocals), and Stella Mozgawa (drums, keyboards).

Warpaint weave intricate guitar lines, hypnotic vocals and driving post punk rhythms into gorgeous, sprawling songs that skirt the line between psychedelia and intimacy. Both live and on record, Warpaint sound like they’re channeling something truly otherworldly, and mystical. The all-girl quartet from Los Angeles has toured incessantly over the last couple of years; with standout performances at CMJ and SxSW. They have also shared the stage with The xx, Band of Horses, Yeasayer, Akron Family, Javelin, and The Walkmen.

The Strokes 'Taken For A Fool'

More of The Strokes experience as they performed Taken For A Fool from their latest album Angles, on Jools Holland Show.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Matt the Electrician - Accidental Thief

Once upon a time, there was a young man named Matt Sever. He lived in Austin, TX, and worked as a journeyman electrician.

Every morning, when it was still dark outside, he would go to work and wire houses all day long in the blistering Texas heat. When he would head home again, it was dark outside. And then, sometimes, with no time to shower or change his clothes, he would go straight to the bars and nightclubs of Austin to play his songs for whomever would listen.

He would apologize for his appearance, and explain to the audience that he was an electrician, and he found a certain nobility in this, even if no one wanted to sit too close to the stage. So they called him Matt The Electrician, and he did not mind this, for he was proud of himself, for there is no shame in a hard days work. But eventually, he quit his job as an electrician, to spend more time writing and playing songs, and the name stuck with him, because everyone needs an electrician sometimes.

Matt the Electrician is an independent singer songwriter from Austin, TX, who, since 1998, has self-released 6 studio records, 2 live records and 1 EP. On June 14 he will release his 7th studio record, Accidental Thief.

Okkervil River 'I Am Very Far' Out Now, Live on The Letterman Show

Okkervil River's latest album I Am Very Far was released last week and the band celebrated the release with a live performance on the Letterman Show on May 13. I Am Very Far was released on Jagjaguwar.

"The goal was to push my brain to places it didn't want to go. The idea was to not have any idea to keep myself confused about what I was doing," frontman Will Sheff says about Okkervil River's newest album. "I produced it myself so that I could extend the songwriting process all the way through to the very last second of recording, so the songs would never really stop changing." The resulting record, 'I am Very Far,' is a startling break from anything this band has done before. By turns terrifying and joyous, violent and serene, grotesque and romantic, it's a celebration of forces beyond our control.

Le Butcherettes Unveiled Debut Sin Sin Sin

The rampantly raved-about garage-punk trio Le Butcherettes released their debut full-length, Sin Sin Sin. Led by charismatic 21-year-old vocalist/guitarist/pianist Teri Gender Bender, the band's songs and wildly cathartic live shows often draw comparisons to Karen O, Patti Smith Bikini Kill and other female-fronted rock groups. But, there's a theatricality to Le Butcherettes that brings a further reaching sense of mystery and imagery to the band.

Upon relocating to Los Angeles in late 2010, Teri recruited renowned drummer Gabe Serbian (The Locust) and bassist Jonathan Hischke (Hella, Broken Bells) to round out the lineup.

Le Butcherettes' full length debut, Sin Sin Sin was produced by Omar Rodriguez Lopez, who also plays bass on all of the album's tracks, and issued the album May 10th, 2011 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions via Sargent House.

Supreme x Vans Era & Chukka

The collaboration between Supreme and Vans extended for another session. This round they used Era and Chukka as template. The Era feature canvas upper with tiger stripe, leather lining and leather detailed heel. The Chukka feature a canvas upper, leather lining and in-sole with leather detailed heel.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Moonlight Towers - Day Is The New Night

Austin, Texas band Moonlight Towers is a genuine band that does what comes naturally: writing, recording and playing real rock n’ roll.

On Day Is The New Night, the band’s third album, the foursome delivers its finest and richest offering yet. Such superlatives become viscerally tangible the moment the band steamrolls into “Heat Lightning,” the disc’s aptly named lead track. The timeless potency of two mighty guitars and muscular bass and drums bring the urgency, buoying vocals that alternately sear and soar.

Augmented by a panorama of keyboards as well as punchy horns here and swirling strings there, Day Is The New Night is melodic, energizing, and boasts unshakable hooks galore. And in the end, it all boils down to simply rock’n’roll at its finest and most fun.

“We just want to make people dance,” is how lead singer, main songwriter and guitarist James Stevens summarizes their musical mission. “I’m just as excited about this album as I was when I went to Memphis at 16-years-old to record my first demo,” he adds. “I still feel the same way about it.” And after all, what else can a poor boy do but play in a rock n’roll band? “I have no choice. I can’t hide from it,” Stevens concludes.

Razor & Tie Signs Madina Lake, New Album Due Out Fall 2011

Madina Lake is the latest addition to independent label Razor & Tie's expanding music roster that includes such artists as All That Remains, Norma Jean, Chelsea Grin, Saves The Day, Vanessa Carlton, Nicole Atkins, The Summer Set and many more.

The band has completed work on its new studio album, World War III set to be released in Fall 2011. Prior to the release of the new record, Madina Lake will join the likes of Linkin Park, Disturbed, Bullet For My Valentine, The Gaslight Anthem and others on June 12, 2011 on the main-stage of U.K.'s Download Festival at Donington Park. Also beginning June 29th, the band will join this summer's the Vans Warped Tour.

Madina Lake's new album will be the third and final installment of their concept trilogy, World War III which continues the Leone brothers' tales of a metaphorical universe. Pouring their life experiences into their songs, Madina Lake set out to release three albums which would congruently tell the story of Madina Lake, a small town of their own creation, which would also serve as the canvas for a much larger message.

Find out more about Madina Lake over here.

Wild Beasts - Smother

Domino Records is proud to announce the all new Wild Beasts album titled Smother, now available in your local record stores.

Get your Smother copies at Domino, iTunes, Amazon and HMV.

An album of intense atmosphere, space and beguiling rhythm, Smother is formed of ten songs which linger in the memory, each track pulsing with sensuality. Bold, textured and romantic, Smother is a deeply personal and immensely affecting record, which maintains the delicate and evocative form of beauty Wild Beasts have made their own. A truly impactful record from a unique and special band, Smother sees Wild Beasts continuing to brave their own way, outside the vicissitudes of fashion.

HUF Footwear, The Quality Footwear

Visit HUF for more information.

FUCT 'Dusted Dave' Canvas Tote Bag by Erik Brunetti

FUCT presented the Dusted Dave canvas tote bag featuring an all-over graphic sketch by Erik Brunetti early February. It's now available at stockists worldwide, including Krudmart.

Another Enemy Bombed Tee

One of the dope pieces by Cleveland-based label Another Enemy, the Bombed t-shirt spot inspiration by Mario getting high on mushrooms holding a bomb.

Another Enemy is mainly inspired and driven by a “sense of different,” simply done to be seen as the exact opposite of what others choose to produce, yet somehow seemingly to fit within the same genre as them. Another Enemy’s main goal is to be subliminal in their message yet over the top at the exact time. Another Enemy draws major influences from the 1980’s Skate and Punk rock dominated times, in addition to their roots in hip-hop culture.

Available now at Krudmart.

Benny Gold Spring/Summer 2011 Headgear

Benny Gold presented new headgear for the season - Air Force trucker cap, plaid 5 panel cap, Plane Crest snapback cap, Script B snapback cap and fold beanie.

Available now at Flatspot.