Jason Simon is best known as the voice behind D.C.-based psychedelic/stoner rock trio Dead Meadow, a group that has earned accolades from Rolling Stone, Metal Hammer, and numerous other sources from all over the music spectrum. The singer’s beautiful tenor vocals are at once distinctive and captivating, with the range and delivery to slowly draw listeners in and keep them engaged. On his solo project, Simon retains the spacey atmosphere of Dead Meadow, but uses acoustic guitar to affect a much quieter, more relaxed theme on the music. It is neither folk nor blues, but rather a style that lies somewhere in the middle; soft and calm, but still highly expressive, intelligent, and meaningful. Lead single “Let’s Begin” captures this tone wonderfully in both the music and the well-executed video, shot from two angles simultaneously in one long take. Fans of folk musicians like Imaad Wasif and Harper Simon will fall in love with this album. Make no mistake—Jason Simon now has two musical avenues for creativity beyond the imaginations of mere mortals.
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Electro pioneer John Foxx has joined forces with animator Ian Emes to create the video for “Flightpath Tegel,” one of the tracks from his new release, D.N.A. (out on October 11th). Foxx, a visual artist as well as a musician, takes his abiding fascination with film to its logical conclusion on a CD/DVD package that also includes a collaboration with director Macoto Tezka. In the wake of recent projects with Alex Proyas and designer Jonathan Barnbrook, Foxx’s exploration of the possibilities of audiovisual work continues to bear rich fruit.
Back in May, we called Univox’s self-titled debut “well-executed enough to be treasured by those who find it… in other words, a fine debut.” This is a band rooted in the ‘70s in the best possible way, displaying a love for catchy harmonies, jagged punk and post-punk guitar textures, power pop energy, and rousing choruses. The Philly group loves a strong riff and the primal spirit of rock and roll. It’s there on album opener “Pi” (stream after the jump) and also on the video we premiere today for “Conan”. Meanwhile the guys can turn all jangly on a dime too; witness the delicious acoustic strumming and harmonies on “Everybody Knows” and “Lever Master City”. This is a confident and self-assured entrance onto the rock and roll stage and we look forward to the next step from these young fellows.
Brooklyn indie foursome Via Audio released their sophomore LP Animalore this past March, following the critical success of 2007’s Say Something. Spoon’s Jim Eno is again the production mind behind the latest lo-fi pop tunes of the Berklee College of Music-trained musicians. Via Audio holed up in Eno’s Austin home last year to develop and record the tracks for Animalore. Today’s premiere of their new video of “Olga” exemplifies the currently wildly popular lo-fi aesthetic both musically and visually, an artistic approach discussed in-depth recently over on Pitchfork in “This Is Not a Photograph”.
Underworld’s performance at the club Privilege in Ibiza this Summer is chock full of goodness. Recorded as an Essential Mix for the BBC 1, Om Records makes this highly energetic session available for download. It kicks off with “Downpipe” and ends with “Born Slippy (Nuxx)”. What more could you want?
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