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by John Bergstrom

11 May 2011


Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan’s dealings with drug addiction have been well-documented. Last week, though, Gahan, who has been clean for over a decade, was honored for using his experiences to help others.

On May 6 at the MusiCares MAP concert, Gahan received the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his support of the charity, which helps out musicians who are recovering addicts.

Gahan performed a short set of covers, then was joined by bandmate Martin Gore for Depeche Mode’s classic “Personal Jesus”—itself a song inspired by Priscilla Presley’s support of Elvis during his substance-abusing years. 

Here, on Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, Gahan summons an eerily affecting invocation of the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Peter Hook, eat your heart out!

by PopMatters Staff

10 May 2011


Vieux Farka Touré is one of Africa’s most widely respected young musicians around the world. The son of the late Ali Farka Touré, the Malian guitarist and singer is about to release his third studio album, The Secret, on 24 May via Six Degrees Records. Soulive’s Eric Krasno produced the record, which features collaborations with Derek Trucks, Dave Matthews, John Scofield, Ivan Neville, as well as most notably and Touré final collaboration with his father. Of The Secret, Touré says, “To make this album I had to dig deep into the secrets of my own history and my country’s culture in order to move the music forward. My music is more mature now, more evolved. It digs deeper into the past and pushes harder into the future as a result.” Today, we present the online premiere of “Aigna”, which features the guitar licks of Derek Trucks. You can check out all the tunes come May 24th and at one of Touré‘s upcoming gigs (listed below).

by Jane Jansen Seymour

9 May 2011


Moby’s only scheduled performance in the U.S. will be Thursday, May 12th at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City at 7:00 p.m. The evening includes an interview hosted by John Schaefer, host of WNYC’s Soundcheck and New Sounds, as well as a preview of songs from the new release due May 17th, Destroyed. There will be a screening of Moby’s self-directed/produced Be the One EP videos and copies of his new book of photography available, also called Destroyed. Tickets, which include Museum admission, are $10 ($6 for members). Seating is limited; advance purchase recommended through BrownPaperTickets.com.

A video for one of the new songs, “The Day”, was recently posted on YouTube. Directed by Evan Bernard and eyeball, the eerie hospital scene features Heather Graham, Moby’s friend and new neighbor in Los Angeles. Graham is seen as a nurse and then an angel conquering demons in a metaphysical battle of good vs. evil. It’s one of the few tracks from Destroyed that Moby actually sings on, with a sweeping chorus inspired by David Bowie and Brian Eno’s production of Low and Heroes.

by Benjamin Aspray

9 May 2011


There seems to be no shortage of spring holidays with meanings obscured long-ago by the excuse they provide for excessive partying. For Americans, it’s Cinco de Mayo. For Europeans, it’s May Day. For just about everyone, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And for New York’s Buckwheat Groats (AKA Penis Bailey and Lil’ Dinky), it’s apparently Arbor Day, providing the excuse for a lot of things, only some of them even vaguely botanical. A sped-up new wave chorus, for example, with a blown-out, tree-sap-thick beat behind it courtesy of St. Louis producer Fatty Eisenhower. It also has hip-hop comedy that loves—and knows—its target. “Arbor Day Party” is as much an overstatement of party anthems as it is itself a great party anthem.

If it looks and sounds slightly luxurious (read: bacchanalian), it should, having been produced in part by Adam McKay/Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die after they saw the Groats making dinner and trolling for underage mallrats. Inspirational Verse: “Now it’s getting late, nitrous tank tapped out / Everybody blacked out / Looking like a crackhouse / People on the floor passed out with they ass out / DJ so high, he starts blasting Smash Mouth.”

by PopMatters Staff

9 May 2011


Battles have just released the video for “Ice Cream” from their eagerly awaited new album Gloss Drop, releasing 7 June. Following the record’s release, the band will appear at Pitchfork on 15 June and in Madison, Iowa City and Denver in the days following.

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