It’s no surprise that I think Garbage is one of the best rock bands in recent music history. (No, really. We should all be bowing down to their excellence on a daily basis.) Gushing aside, it’s important that great bands be able to pull off great covers – and Garbage has accomplished this with new pals and up-and-comers Screaming Females on this recent cover of Patti Smith’s “Because the Night.”
The track was recorded for a special Record Store Day 10-inch that the band released in April. With Screaming Females opening for them at the time, the collaboration seemed to be fated. Shirley Manson’s vocals pair well with Marisa Paternoster’s signature scowl – the perfect crooning ying to Paternoster’s angsty yang. And that’s not even mentioning the mindfuckingly insane shredding that the Screaming Females frontwoman adds to the track.
Check out the official video for “Because the Night” below:
The track is available on iTunes and also on the 10-inch in record stores around the country.
Bastille is this British alternative band from London. They style their name as BΔSTILLE, which I find to be kind of weird. Mostly because I don’t know how to type a triangle and it’s just confusing. But their single “Pompeii” is tons of fun and befits my spring feverish mood lately, so I’m all sorts of thankful for it.
The track was released digitally in February and appears on the band’s March 2013 album called Bad Blood (which as of yet, has not hit the U.S. or Spotify.) It’s a semi-dancey track perfect for those still bugging out over Imagine Dragons or Atlas Genius or Walk the Moon. It’s one of those feel-good pop-rock songs that feels big, lyrically and musically. It sort of sweeps you away with its self-aware lyrics about the passing of time and the struggle to remain optimistic in a fast-paced world. It’s quite infectious and I love it. Check it out:
There are currently two female R&B/Pop vocalists who I can’t believe aren’t households names in the U.S. yet. One is Emeli Sandé (who I included in my Top 10 of 2012 list). The other? Ms. Janelle Monáe.
I first caught on to Monáe when she was listed as an opener for No Doubt’s 2009 tour. The soul singer from Kansas hit the stage like she was some kind of neo-Michael Jackson. She knew that most fans in the crowd didn’t know who she was…and she didn’t care. Her energy was contagious, moving, shaking and stage diving all over the place, never letting her stage antics affect her impeccable vocal range for even a second. It was an unapologetic performance I’ll never forget: thrilling and touching at all the right moments. Even four years ago we knew she was a queen, so it makes perfect sense that her new single be called just that.
Monáe’s new track (and video for) “Q.U.E.E.N.” (featuring Erykah Badu) showcases everything this lady is capable of: stunning vocals, groovy booty shakes (girl can dance), and attitude and style without any diva-like ego.
You should check this video out, and love it accordingly.
Late last week, Daft Punk released its debut single off its upcoming Random Access Memories (out May 21), the fourth full-length by the French electronic duo. Changing things up this time around, the duo decided to work mostly with live musicians rather than relying on machines and samplers (use of electronics was limited to drum machines that appear on only two tracks, a large modular synthesizer performed live by the duo, and vintage vocoders).
On “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk debuts their new approach and sound. The track is co-written by and features Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. It carries the spirit of the duo’s past efforts, but feels fresh, once again staying two steps ahead of the current EDM trend.
Daft Punk clearly isn’t resting on their laurels, and this powerhouse collaboration more than proves that. Williams’ vocals are spot-on – a completely consistent delivery from the N.E.R.D./Neptunes singer-songwriter. The guitars laid down by Rodgers are sexy – simple, catchy, soul-infused.
Credit where credit is due – props to Seltz for submitting this week’s Music Monday suggestion: The Killtones, a dirty rock duo who released their self-titled debut album last year.
The band consists of two homies, Josh Pilot and Clinton Vearil, who started jamming together when the two were in separate bands. Jam sessions turned into songs and songs turned into a CD. Soon, The Killtones were a four-piece live act playing shows together, but soon found themselves back to the original two who started it all (or so’s the word on the street. I can’t find much info on these guys beyond their Facebook and Twitter accounts – maybe they added a bassist since?). Instead of calling it quits, Pilot and Vearil decided to trudge on, with Pilot on guitar and Vearil on drums.
What the two have produced is straight up, rough and tumble American rock n’ roll that I can’t stop listening to. Some tracks are eccentric, messy rockers, while others infuse some groovy blues soul in between the snarls. Even their seven-minute power ballad, “Always Cryin’” boasts a killer guitar solo that breaks up the mood a bit on this short-but-sweet nine-track debut.
The Killtones didn’t have any studio stuff on YouTube, but their full-length album can be found on Spotify.
Recommended Tunes: Cut You Down, Black Moon Heartache, Been A Skeptic
Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new album Mosquito hits stores (and Spotify) next week, but you can stream it today for free! The band’s fourth full-length is mellower than expected, but it’s still kooky as hell. It’s got a gospel choir on the lead single “Sacrilege,” sounds of a subway car thundering down a track on “Subway”, and a song produced by Mr. LCD Soundsystem himself, James Murphy, that also features Dr. Octagon.
In this video, Karen O, Brian Chase and Nick Zinner provide commentary for each song off the new record. Here are the time stamps for each track so you can skip ahead to your faves (which will clearly be “Mosquito,” “Area 52″ and “Buried Alive”):
1. Sacrilege (2:06)
2. Subway (6:44)
3. Mosquito (12:44)
4. Under the Earth (16:24)
5. Slave (21:34)
6. These Paths (26:43)
7. Area 52 (32:37)
8. Buried Alive (36:20)
9. Always (42:17)
10. Despair (47:04)
11. Wedding Song (52:33)
A new YYY album. Life is good.
The band played Webster Hall in NYC last night. Here’s the setlist. You can check out photos over at Brooklyn Vegan.
Lately, I’ve been ODing on Indie Pop and Indie Electronic and Dub Step and other relatives in the Dance/Shit-we-need-Ecstacy family. But dammit, sometimes I just crave some loud, proud, ballsy rock, and every time I need a fix, England delivers me some new bitchin’ band that blows me away, while blowing my car speakers out at the same time. Sixty percent of the time, they deliver every time. Praise, England!
The Virginmarys are my new fave Brits. This trio of rockers come from Macclesfield, England….and I have no fucking clue where that is. What I do know is that their debut album King of Conflict recently hit the States in February and it. is. awesome. The guitar riffs are always super unique, zig-zagging about unpredictably. The vocals are raw and scream-y at all the right moments. And it’s loaded with energy. It’s the perfect recipe for the bout of Spring Fever I currently have coursing through my veins. Yes. Yes yes yes.
It was hard for me to choose just two songs from the album. I see that as a good sign, yea? On first listen, The Virginmarys reminded me of The Subways and The Vines. So you should check these guys out starting with this track, “Portrait of Red.” Below that is “Just A Ride.” Listen to it. Bathe in it. Love it. I know I do.
I know what you’re thinking. “Another indie pop duo from fucking Brooklyn?” I know, and I get it. But Ex Cops are more versatile than some of that other fare of late (Friends, Cults, etc). These guys deliver dream-like airy pop, that explodes with tight harmonies, fun singalong melodies, and chiming guitars. It’s perfected pop, sounding simultaneously modern and classic, and gift-wrapped with a psychedelic, mellow chill.
Their 2012 album True Hallucinations showcases all of this and more. Check out their jangling indie pop vibes on “James” and “Separator” below:
Music Monday was skipped this week, mostly because I was only listening to Garbage on repeat in order to prep for their live show yesterday, March 20, at the Wellmont Theater. It was my fourth Garbage outing and needless to say, it was pretty fucking amazing. So I skipped the post Monday, only to inevitably write about them mere days later. Because they are fantastic. And they’re alive and kicking. And you should love them.
Garbage has withstood the test of time. They survived the grunge period of the mid-90’s and added their own semi-electronic, hyperactive spin to it. They powered through the late 90’s/early 00’s, when music was being dominated by shitty boy bands and lip-synching Britneys. After a hiatus in 2005, the band has returned stronger than ever with their fifth full-length album, Not Your Kind of People, my #3 pick for 2012 (though it probably should’ve been 1 or 2).
The show at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J. might’ve been my favorite set of the four I’ve seen. The band is exuding a happiness and confidence lately, and it’s contagious as hell. Every time they play, you feel connected to them, rather than just their paycheck, a tiny cog in their machine. They’re dark, dismal, enraged, heavy, and filled with attitude and it makes their live show a delight to catch. And they’re sincere and gracious as fuck, and I love that about them too.
Here are a couple photos and videos from the night, including a duet jam with Marisa Paternoster, from Screaming Females. (It’s a cover of Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” that they recorded together for a Record Store Day release). At the very bottom, the full setlist from the show.
Garbage hits NYC Friday with a sold out Terminal 5 show, and then are off to Philly and Boston, which I don’t care so much about because I’m sad I can’t go to all of them. See their show if you can. You won’t regret it.
Of course, all of these photos and videos were recorded on an iPhone 4. Professional, these are not.
Supervixen Queer Blood for Poppies Push It Metal Heart Control Why Do You Love Me #1 Crush I Think I’m Paranoid Special Milk When I Grow Up
(Fan Shannon on stage) The Trick is to Keep Breathing Cherry Lips Vow You Look So fine Only Happy When It Rains ———– Because the Night (Patti Smith cover) w/Marissa Patternoster Stupid Girl Beloved Freak
If Shannon is somewhere out there – I have pics of you on stage! Leave me a comment or tweet me!
In the early 90′s, in the height of grunge’s commercial explosion, Veruca Salt hit the scene with a feisty alt-rock track named “Seether.” Fronted by singer-guitarists Louise Post and Nina Gordon, the band quickly signed with the indie Minty Fresh Records. Thanks to their hit single, they also landed a spot opening for Hole, while their debut album American Thighs went gold. Then came a killer EP (the tight Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt), a deal with Geffen, MTV exposure, and a successful sophomore romp entitled Eight Arms to Hold You.
In 1998, Nina Gordon left the band after a strange, under-rug-swept dispute between her and Post. Gordon released two solo albums, while Post carried on the Veruca Salt name with an entirely new band. Though both forays were enticing, it was never quite the same.
Twenty years later American Thighs and Eight Arms remain some of my favorite albums of all time.
Imagine my shock, surprise and sheer joy when my friend V.J. texted me one Saturday afternoon. Veruca Salt had launched an official Facebook page and have been cluttering it with photos from 1993 and on…Gordon included. Then, this happened:
New Facebook page…jam session…reunion tour!? This is probably way, way preemptive, but I have no problem starting up the rumor mill. Never in a million years did I think a reunion of the original line-up would be possible, but maybe, just maybe, Nina and Louise will finally hit the road together once again, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll achieve a 20-year-old goal of seeing the two of them perform together.