Juan Mendez is perhaps best known for his smooth, functional, and elegant techno music as Silent Servant, a member of the illustrious Sandwell District crew. Yet, Mendez was a postpunk kid before he ever got into techno. And while he occasionally does bring a postpunk sensibility to his Silent Servant work, Tropic of Cancer, a collaboration with Camella Lobo, is the place where the influence really shines. Mendez has admitted to Cabaret Voltaire’s The Voice of America as being a life-changing record, and on “Be Brave” the debt in scuzzy cold vocal effects and eerie looping minor chord guitars is so great that Richard H Kirk himself couldn’t help but repay the homage with a remix on the B-side. The single comes to us thanks to Regis’s Downwards label, the legendary Birmingham home of dark and industrial-tinged techno.
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This Saturday marks the 69th birthday of singer, songwriter, composer, musician, author, actor, artist, and humanitarian Paul McCartney. Already legendary for being one of the Beatles, he has continued on to the kind of success that today’s biggest stars can only dream about. The Guinness Book of World Records recently declared him as the most successful musician of all-time. So let’s look back at his incredible career with some great videos.
At the age of 14, Paul wrote his first song. He considered releasing “I Lost My Little Girl” with the Beatles years later, but didn’t like how he rhymed “girl” with “curl”. He still performs it solo on some occasions.
New York-based Common Prayer released their cover of Talking Heads’ “Love -> A Building on Fire” this week. The song is the band’s first new material since last year’s acclaimed full-length debut, There Is a Mountain and is part of a compilation benefiting the O+ Festival, a progressive three-day music and arts showcase where participants are paid with free health, dental and other wellness services.
Common Prayer is joined on the O+ compilation by artists like Silent League, Tracey Bonham, Monogold and Hopewell, a band which also features Common Prayer’s Jason Sebastian Russo.
The O+ compilation can be streamed at the festival’s official website (opositivefestival.org), and Common Prayer’s Talking Heads cover is available as a free download. The track, which continues the band’s heady all-in approach to pastoral psychedelia, is something of a bridge between the debut album and their forthcoming second LP.
Duran Duran have had to cancel a number of dates on their tour supporting this year’s All You Need Is Now due to Simon LeBon’s vocal problems.
As sort of a consolation, the band are offering free downloads of their entire May 12 performance in Rome. The nine-song set was performed for a small audience of radio contest winners. It’s a nice mix of classics and standout tracks from the surprisingly strong new album. (via Slicingupeyeballs)
In case you missed it earlier this year, saxophonist Chris Speed’s new band Endangered Blood released their exceptional eponymous debut. With Oscar Noriega, Trevor Dunn and Jim Black in tow as well as favorable comparisons to Alas No Axis, the Claudia Quintet and Electric Masada (wow), how could they lose? Ever since Endangered Blood hit the road in promotion for this new album, their spunkiness has been well documented on YouTube. This is an earlier live clip of two Chris Speed originals that would appear on the album, “Elvin Lisbon” and “Iris”, but there really is much more out there of equal quality.
Endangered Blood was released on March 16th on Skirl Records and can be purchased here.