In 2005, Death Cab for Cutie released their mainstream breakthrough Plans, which went platinum in the US. “Narrow Stairs” (2008) followed and went to number one, while this year they released Codes and Keys. With the urge to keep delivering music to their fans, DCFC is taking the Kanye West approach in dropping a new song every week for their new remix EP Keys and Codes Remix EP until it’s release date of 22 November. The first remix, which debuted Tuesday, was “Doors Unlocked and Open” by Cut Copy. The track has an electric house party pop feel. Definitely a tune worth it’s seven minutes.
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Portland-based band Portugal. The Man. recently released a video for their song “So American” off the new album, In the Mountain, In the Cloud. Directed with a slight hand by Nik Zogratos, the footage follows the band through an idyllic day off. It begins with frolicking at the beach, showcasing juggling skills with empty Coors bottles and by nightfall a backyard BBQ with friends turns into a low-key jam session while passing the Maker’s Mark. These relaxing scenes belie singer/songwriter John Gourley’s pleading lyrics, “There’s a madness in us all.” And for now, the band is busy on tour (check them out at dates here).
“I cannot imagine my life here as opposed to the United States,” says Heidi Bub. She’s traveled back to Vietnam, where she was born during the American war, the child of Mai Thi Kim and an unknown U.S. GI. Instructed by the American government in 1975 that it would be “best” for the children to send them to the States via Operation Babylift, Mai Thi Kim sent her precious baby Hiep away. Raised in Tennessee by a single mother, at 22, Heidi decides to seek out her birth mother—and bring along a film crew when she travels to meet her. The result is the Academy Award-nominated documentary Daughter From Danang (2002), one of several films showing 11 October at Stranger Than Fiction‘s “Tribute to Gail Dolgin.” The event, co-sponsored by Chicken & Egg Pictures and POV, will include a Q&A with Dolgin’s colleagues, friends and family.
At first it’s kind of hard to make out what’s going on in this Rollo Jackson-directed clip for Junior Boys’ “Banana Ripple”—it’s all well-lit ice and feverish design work—but in making a video for the full nine-minute-long original instead of some sort of single edit of the song, Jackson gets to explore his visual ideas as thoroughly as “Banana Ripple” does its sonic ones.
While gearing up for the follow-up to 2010’s And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness, Icelandic music master Ólafur Arnalds opted to offer fans a week-long writing and recording series, allowing fans to follow the process as he releases the songs the same day they were written and recorded. Arnalds has done this before. His 2009 sessions included collaborations with fans via Twitter as they submitted artwork to accompany his music. He also collected and released the tracks as Found Songs and he will do the same for this current round of compositions.
This lot, called Living Room Songs, is already available for pre-order, for those who fancy having the songs in one, high-quality package. The sessions, which spanned from October 3-9, are, of course, now over but you can still watch performances from Arnalds’ apartment and even download the songs (albeit in a format unlikely to please audiophiles) for free.
The results are, musically speaking, expectedly strong. Then again, the beauty of all this is that you can decide for yourself. Just watch and/or listen.