Alela Diane’s follow-up to her 2006 debut The Pirate’s Gospel, To Be Still, releases February 17th on Rough Trade Records. The resolutely folky “Dry Grass & Shadows” gets a lovely, spare acoustic treatment in this “Dumbo West” session with affecting vocals and harmonies alongside minimalist guitar and mandolin plucking. I miss the pedal steel from the recorded version, but a strong tune proves less can still be more. (via Gorilla vs. Bear) Check out the utterly beautiful “White As Diamonds” on MP3 as well.
Zeth Lundy thought pretty highly of Living Things’ 2005 effort, Ahead of the Lions, giving it an 8 and called it “a punishing, accessible hard rock record, a marriage of the rock ‘n’ roll fetish of the MC5’s Back in the U.S.A. with Nirvana’s wicked decibel annihilation”. The band’s newest album, Habeas Corpus, releases February 17th on Jive. “Let It Rain” is the first single, with the video directed by Floria Sigismondi (White Stripes, David Bowie, The Cure). Tour dates below.
2/3 Belly Up Tavern—Solana Beach, CA
2/4 Henry Fonda Theatre—Los Angeles, CA
2/5 The Fillmore—San Francisco, CA
2/6 The New Oasis—Reno, NV
2/7 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—Las Vegas, NV
2/9 Martini Ranch—Scottsdale, AZ
2/10 The Rialto Theater—Tucson, AZ
2/12 Diamond Ballroom—Oklahoma City, OK
2/13 Midland Theater—Kansas City, MO (KRBZ-FM show; not EoDM)
2/14 The Blue Note—Columbia, MO
2/15 The Eagles Club—Milwaukee, WI
2/16 venue TBA—Columbus, OH (WWCD-FM show; not EoDM)
2/17 20th Century Theatre—Cincinnati, OH
2/18 Agora Ballroom—Cleveland, OH
2/19 Mr. Smalls Theatre—Pittsburgh, PA
2/20 Phoenix Concert Theatre—Toronto, ON
Of Morgan Geist’s Double Night Time, PopMatters’ Timothy Gabriele wrote that it is “an album that sounds best set against the iridescent scrim of city lights. It’s filled with Geist’s signature cosmic disco, which expectedly pits icy techno against warm synths. But the album also has a pulsating pop heart to it. He is teamed this time around with Jeremy Greenspan of the Junior Boys, one of the most affecting voices in pop today. The combination of Greenspan’s constrained white boy soul elocution and Geist’s slick compositional physique makes Double Night Time easily Geist’s best work since Metro Area.” Here’s the latest video from that release, “Ruthless City” directed by Noah Conopask.
Burma VJ was one of the standout documentaries at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Recipient of the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award, Anders Ostergaard’s film deftly mixes footage shot by the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) with recreated vignettes to tell the story of the 2007 Buddhist monk-led rebellion in Burma. The film makes an interesting screening companion to excellent Grand Jury Prize winner We Live in Public, because both films illustrate the democratization and expanding potential of video and Internet technologies. In the case of Burma VJ, we see how these technologies formed a counter-strike against a repressive government regime intent on suppressing the truth.
Veteran mashups artists the Bran Flakes are releasing their first album in six years on Illegal Art, which has put out the past few Girl Talk efforts. They are back to their wacky pop culture tricks on I Have Hands with a mashup of Dolly Parton on “Stumble Out of Bed” from her song “9 to 5” blended with bits from Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and the Osmonds.