Bill Corgan, Trent Reznor, and Radiohead got pawned quite a while ago. In the MP3 department, that is. Saxophonist and purveyor of M-Base funk-jazz Steve Coleman has had a great number of his out-of-print recordings sitting in his own corner of the internet, available for download, for quite some time now (the website looks a bit old, doesn’t it?). Coleman defends his generosity in an essay where he rhetorically asks “Why should everything always cost something?”
Not everything is for the taking, but there is literally hours of exceptional stuff here that won’t cost you a dime. Of particular interest is The Ascension of Light, an organic, intense, out-there album previously unreleased in the States. I’ve always wondered why American artists occasionally have certain releases only available as imports…
When Light Pollution’s Jim Cicero locked himself inside his hangar one winter, he began building for himself a sonic universe that was untouched from the outside world. When the ice and snow of the Midwestern plains subsided, the ethereal debut album Appiritions.
Joining forces with Cicero is Matth Evert, Jed Robertson, and Nick Sharman and together they combine layer after layer of lush sounds to evoke that exhilarating yet frightening experience of being surrounded by pure darkness, like floating on top of the deepest, darkest ocean and looking down into its unfathomable abyss. It’s claustrophobic, it’s desolate, it’s overwhelming, and it’s pretty damn good.
The U.S. summer tour kicked off last week (dates below the jump) and check out the haunting song “Good Feelings”.
For months now I’ve been lusting after a new song by Hot Hot Heat. Never a big fan of the Vancouver group, I didn’t even know what band was playing when I first heard it on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. “[email protected]” instantly caught my attention as I reached over to crank the volume and bask in the redemptive quality of discovering a really good tune. When I checked the playlist online I was disappointed to find out it was an advance copy, privy only to DJs to play on demand. I went on to request the song on other new music radio shows and searched the web for an MP3 just to be able to hear it again.
“[email protected]” opens by sounding an alarm of synths before the band kicks in with a roller coaster of pop rock. The blistering vocals provoke and cajole, espousing the virtues of not being virtuous late into the night. Then the musicians drop out to catch a breath during a descending swirl, before the drums kick things back in for the catchy hook in every chorus.
KCRW has the entire CD Future Breeds available as part of their Album Preview program through June 29th. The write up says this latest release is a “return to roots” for the band after venturing into indie rock, back to the noisy synths during the genesis of the group in 1999. Not sure how these opportunities for a free listen are affecting sales but I welcome every one, digging into the whole thing like a kid with candy. Although this time, the preview just reinforced my assumption that “[email protected]” is a hit destined as a solo pick for my next playlist.
When Future Breeds finally came out June 8th, I happily purchased “[email protected]” online and look forward to many a listen – until the next new favorite tune catches my ear.
Regardless of how brilliant or cop-out-esque the Lost series finale was, it seems like every network is trying to grab a piece of the island’s market. NBC is working the airplane angle with its mysterious fall series, The Event, while FOX is hoping the fans who are still trying to figure out the deal with that polar bear will tune in for the dinosaurs on the Steven Spielberg-produced Terra Nova.
Now enters AMC’s Rubicon, a show that has been shrouded in mystery up until now. The series stars James Badge Dale (The Pacific, 24) as an analyst working for a New York think tank. He soon finds himself caught up in a tangled web of conspiracy theories, national intelligence, and four-leaf clovers. The show seems to be in the right hands, with Henry Bromell (Homicide, Chicago Hope, Brotherhood) as showrunner and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie, Damages) set to direct the pilot. Although Rubicon will not officially premiere until August 1, AMC is showed the first episode in its entirety June 13.
S&M getups - check. Homoerotic dancing routines - check. A more than slight Madonna homage midway though - check. Outrageous outfits - actually, this one actually has Lady Gaga exercising some subtlety in the costume department. Lady Gaga may have detractors, but it’s doubtful anyone would argue she may be the only artist out right now where the release of a video is treated as a media event.
Editor Note: Most likely, this video is not suited for work, unless you work at a truly awesome place.