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Monday, Jan 16, 2012
Here’s to the New Year and the new music to be investigated as always. Many of the picks for this playlist were found by investigating annual lists of top songs from 2011, revisiting bands if needed.

Here’s to the New Year and the new music to be investigated as always. Many of the picks for this playlist were found by investigating annual lists of top songs from 2011, revisiting bands if needed. The end of the year brought new releases from the Black Keys and Florence + the Machine to explore along with many other diverse groups on the scene.


1. “Don’t Move”—Phantogram
2. “16 Years” – Phantogram

Phantogram hail from upstate New York, a band consisting of two friends since middle school in Saratoga Springs. Keyboardist Sarah Barthel’s vocals flow over electronic beats and guitar parts by Josh Carter. The band name, referring to psychedelic optical illusions, could also allude to the rich, multi-layered sound by this indie pop duo. These songs are off their EP, Nightlife.


Winter 2012 Playlist by JaneJS on Grooveshark

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Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012
Fair due – "Tattoo" ain’t no instant classic. It is, however, Diamond Dave, Eddie Van Halen; loud, gonzo – and about bloody time.

Heads up! Time to cup a lug around the long-awaited first hear—and single release—from the re-Roth’ed Van Halen: “Tattoo”. Up on the net today, this tease-of-a-track accompanies the obligatory news of a major tour of the United States. And while it would be easy to assume that any new material from a rock band now the best part of two-point-five decades past their prime time would be nothing more than cover for a hit & run soak up of serious dollars along the revival road…


Fair due – Tattoo is no “Jump”, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” or “Jamie’s Cryin’”. Neither is it “Yankee Rose”, “Crazy From the Heat” or “Just Like Paradise”. It is, however, Diamond Dave, Eddie Van Halen; loud, gonzo – and about bloody time. They’re in one place—and despite not being straight up instant classic VH—neither is “Tattoo” some disgrace.


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Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012
Filling a void until anticipated release in March

In anticipation of the new release, Port of Morrow, The Shins have released a track “Simple Song” featuring an expanded sonic landscape and revamped line up. Although when frontman James Mercer’s vocals enter in, there’s no mistaking the musical foundation that has been dormant since 2007’s Wincing the Night Away. Midway through, things drop out to provide a playful interlude complete with choral harmonies behind Mercer’s crooning. He sings how it’s a simple song to say what you’ve done. The poetry continues with the lyrics, You feel like an ocean made warm by the sun.


Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer and Eric Johnson of the Fruit Bats appear on the song, along with “two former bandmates” according to the KEXP blog. Port of Morrow was recorded over the past year in Los Angeles and Portland, with Mercer securely at the helm, providing songwriting, vocals and most instruments throughout. A preorder is now available on iTunes, with an instant download of “Simple Song” and a B-side bonus track part of the package. As part of the newly announced Coachella line up, the band will also tour with additional dates in 2012. The touring band includes Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls (bass), Jessica Dobson (guitar), Richard Swift (keyboards) and Joe Plummer (drums).



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Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012
Somewhere in this infinite universe there’s a club which only jumps to Prince tunes. Do yourself a favor and call back in – you’ll wonder why you ever left.

What an odd tipple “Dance 4 Me”, Prince’s new single, is. I say new, yet the track has been lurking around for a couple of years, having originally surfaced as part of the post-squiggle-Purple One’s three-album 2009 project, Lotusflow3r. Finally receiving an official global single release this past month—a slow but nevertheless worthy response to the track’s success as a club dance track, remixed by Icon—back-story, year of creation or reason for release aside, “Dance 4 Me” is one tasty peach.


Prince is – and has been for at least a decade—in that odd, altogether tricky position where everything he does is instantly cross-referenced backwards to some other phase of his supposedly bygone majesty. No doubt because once Purple Rain secured his monarchy, Prince went on to prove so relentlessly prolific, with each subsequent album seeing him (effortlessly) evolve through concentric style changes, that audiences can be forgiven for having come to accept that, at least part of his appeal – not unlike Bowie, but more in line with his then-chart rival, Madonna – was actually about change itself.


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Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011

Yesterday, the Hollywood cast of We Bought a Zoo walked the red carpet in NYC for the Cameron Crowe-directed film’s premiere while, outside the tent, some PETA-protestors made a fuss. The film, out December 23rd in the US, stars Matt Damon, Thomas Haden Church and Scarlett Johansson and is based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee.


Tonight, Crowe is leading a question and answer session with the composer of Zoo‘s score, Jonsi Birgisson, a member of Sigur Ros, in concert with the release of the soundtrack. The event begins at 7 pm EST, but if you aren’t in New York City, you’ll still be able to get a live feed of the event on the internet at either one of these links:
http://jonsi.com/news/live-qa-from-new-york-city
http://www.livestream.com/weboughtazoo.


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