In 2010, Soundgarden headlined Lollapalooza, Courtney Love covered Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”, and Alice in Chains continued to tour. Time will tell whether there is anything left to gain from the present grunge cash in, but there is an exciting under-the-radar development happening at the same time as this mainstream resurgence. Death By Audio is offering Coin Under Tongue’s new album Reception as a free download. Coin Under Tongue strips the luster off of modern rock and explores a schizophrenic sound that falls somewhere between Black Sabbath, Fear, Jawbox, Pavement and Deep Six. Reception masters the sounds that led to “grunge” and its kindred strands of rock, without falling victim to the declawing production tendencies that always lurk close by guitar rock movements that show commercial potential. Read Julian Cope’s comments on the album at Head Heritage. In addition to the free digital download, the album is also available as a CD from Insound and other outlets.
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Whenever new artists are added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there is controversy. Last year saw the admission of the Hollies, the Stooges, Jimmy Cliff, and Genesis, but the inclusion of disco group ABBA infuriated some rock ‘n’ roll purists.
This year’s list of nominees will be released on Tuesday, September 28th, with over 500 selected industry insiders choosing which five acts will be honored. With artists or groups ineligible for induction until it has been 25 years since the release of their debut album, here are some possible candidates for the 2011 honors.
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.
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.