Austra announce North American tour dates. Feel It Break out May 17th on Paper Bag Records.

Austra announce North American tour dates. Feel It Break out May 17th on Paper Bag Records.

Toronto-based trio Austra will be playing several North American shows following the May 17th release of their debut album, Feel It Break. Canadian dates include Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

On Feel it Break, co-founder and lead singer Katie Stelmanis, drummer Maya Postepski and bassist Dorian Wolf have crafted a dark, danceable masterpiece suitable for both ritual incantations and clubs; an album hearkening back to the sleazier side of New Wave but still deeply rooted in Stelmanis’ classical and operatic upbringing.

Austra’s recent SXSW appearances garnered rave reviews:

“[Stelmanis’] lush, quavering vocals are a match made in delicious hell with the band’s icy synth grooves.” – Pitchfork

“Eminently danceable, with soaring choruses, Austra have got it.” – BrooklynVegan

“It was hypnotizing to watch [Stelmanis] and the rest of Austra.” – Stereogum

NPR called Austra “one of our favorite surprises at SXSW” and recorded Katie and her touring vocalists at the Driskill Hotel. Watch the video by clicking the still:

Feel It Break will be available on CD and digital download via Paper Bag Records.

Austra Tour Dates
May 19 Toronto ON – Lee’s Palace
May 21 Chicago IL – Beauty Bar
May 23 New York NY – Mercury Lounge
May 25 Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall
May 26 Montreal QC – Il Motore
May 27 Ottawa ON – Ritual Nightclub
May 28 Waterloo ON – Starlight Room

The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar album review

The Joy Formidable The Big Roar

The Big Roar is the first full length album released by The Joy Formidable, a three-piece Welsh band. Dropped on March 15, 2011, the album features several songs that were previously released on their 2009 mini-debut entitled A Balloon Called Moaning.

The trio is made up of energetic front woman Ritzy Bryan on guitar and lead vocals, Rhydian Dafydd playing bass guitar and singing backup, and percussionist Matt Thomas. Old friends from school, Bryan and Dafydd have worked together on other projects like Tricky Nixon and Sidecar Kisses. This partnership is no doubt one of the reasons why Big Roar is such a cohesive and exciting piece.

The opening number called “The Everchanging Spectrum of a Lie” clocks in at just under eight minutes long and serves as an epic anthem kicking off the post-punk indie sound that prevails on this album. Bryan’s no-nonsense vocal delivery fits quite well with the loud garage riffs and conveys the fairly emotional lyrics in a fresh way.

Track three was the first single to be released off the album. “I Don’t Want To See You Like This” is basically just another break up song. Thankfully, not all their singles were as typical. “Austere” was a re-release from the Balloon EP which is a definite toe-tapper and perhaps one of the most catchy, pop influenced tunes on Big Roar. The other re-release, “Whirring,” begins decently with a nice hook, but a little bit later on around the two and a half minute mark the instrumentation eventually devolves to a glorified jam session.

Song lengths seem to be at odds as the referentially Japanese eighth track, “Maruyama,” is barely two minutes which does not work in its favor. There’s simply no need for it to be present on this album. The track is too short to develop into anything and fades away before its prime.

However, “Cradle,” which is yet another track taken from Balloon, is the most compelling example of how powerful the bands’ mixture of tough grungey guitar, militantly accurate percussion, and emotive storytelling can be.

Britney Spears Femme Fatale album review

Britney Spears Femme Fatale

Well, well, well. Looks like the excruciating humiliation of Britney Spears’s farce of a career is still dragging itself on like a mangled animal. Why won’t someone just put her out of her misery already? Actually, on second thought, it is this reviewer who is the miserable one, as Femme Fatale, Britney’s seventh studio album, sounds like a soup of computerized goop.

On tracks like Till the World Ends, a glicky, glitchy programmed-robotic-club-cliché-headache, Spears’ voice has been so over-produced that you can barely recognize her signature nasal whine anymore.

What happened to the days of Baby, One more time, when Britney was still a virgin straight from the Disney pop star breeding machine, the Mickey Mouse Club, and her banal and silly pop bullshit could just be shrugged off with an eye-roll?

This has just gone on for too long.

Who ALLOWED this album to happen? Someone out there is actually PAYING Spears to do this. There are people making MONEY off of this. They must be a group of musical sadists. That has to be the answer. Nothing this horrendous can be serious. It just can’t be.

Inside Out is just more of the same, the swishing computer percussion, the pathetic lyrics. What is she even trying to prove at this point? That she’s still a mule for cash and media attention?

Of course it’s catchy, of course it will be played in the clubs, of course it will make her and everyone involved in this travesty a pile of dirty money while the artistic musician continues to be dogged by conglomerate whorish music industries that are the musical equivalent of Pepsi and Kraft.

Britney Spears is a walking musical McDonalds.

According to, “the day we’ve been waiting for has finally come!” Apparently, Spears celebrated “by getting her own copy of the new record as soon as it was available.” So she has to buy her own albums now? That’s completely believable with jaw-dropping offerings like the sewage streaming through my headphones right now.

On tracks like Selfish” Britney Spears sings, “I’m a girl, and you’re a boy,” and then it goes on and on about her picking him up in her Mercedes and she’s going to lock him up in her room, something about a prisoner of love and she’s being sexually selfish….ugh. There’s a mid-song breakdown where Britney sings, “tonight I’m feeling sexual.” Good for her. It’s more dance beats and production-club-beat gluttony. The true selfishness of this song comes from the obvious money grab that this album is; some greedy bastard is sitting back, putting this shit on the frontlines of music, and for some reason it’s being accepted. It’s a baffling paradox. I am scratching my head.

Apparently, this album actually took two years to make. Two years! Wikipedia says it was WELL-RECEIVED by most music critics, and the hit-single, Hold it Against me, actually hit number one on music charts in SEVEN countries, Canada and the States among them.

That’s difficult to swallow. In fact, it’s impossible. I am throwing up in the garbage can and typing with one hand.

When Spear’s manager, Adam Leber, spoke with Entertainment Weekly, he called the album “progressive,” and said it was “a departure from what you’ve heard.”

Alright, maybe the last part of that statement is true. Spears’s vocals have never been so over-produced and she has in fact descended further into the dark, disgusting bowels of mass-produced club music, a.k.a. Sounds for brainless drunk club-goers who are indifferent when it comes to the quality and value of music to hump to.

He’s About To Lose Me might be the least shitty song on the album, with a soft start, harmonies, but then it descends into a chorus that actually makes you wince with its harsh melodies.

Every single song on here seems to be about dancing in the club, having sex, and it really sounds like Spears’s is trying to cash in on the club shit that Rihanna did better than her. The whole thing comes across as unnecessary and redundant. At best.

All in all, it was actually a trial of the SOUL to listen to this shit. Let’s just hope this proverbial bowel movement is Britney’s last gasp.

O’Death Unveil Dark New Video For “Bugs,” Continue Tour In Support of Outsdie, Out April 19th


O’Death have released a new video for their single “Bugs,” unveiled yesterday on the Village Voice’s Sound of the City blog. Filmed on the coast of Maine, the video depicts a duo of mysterious, masked individuals, in abstract journey and ritual, seemingly swallowed by darkness. Simultaneously colorful and dark, the video is the perfect companion to the evocative song.

Watch/Post the HD video for “Bugs” here

O’Death – Bugs video

Finally, don’t forget to catch O’Death on tour!

Wednesday, Mar. 30 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret w/ The Strange Boys, Natural Child
Thursday, Mar. 31 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Friday, Apr. 1 – Missoula, MT @ The Palace w/ The Strange Boys, Natural Child
Saturday, Apr. 2 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/ The Strange Boys, Natural Child
Sunday, Apr. 3 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge w/ The Strange Boys, Natural Child
Monday, Apr. 4 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive w/ The Strange Boys, Natural Child
Tuesday, Apr. 5 – Pueblo, CO @ Red Raven Gallery w/ Sasquatch, The Haunted Windchimes
Wednesday, Apr. 6 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
Thursday, Apr. 7 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
Friday, Apr. 8 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club w/ Grandchildren
Saturday, Apr. 9 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen w/ Grandchildren
Monday, Apr. 11 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop w/ The Hollows, Grandchildren
Tuesday, Apr. 12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird Cafe w/ Grandchildren
Wednesday, Apr. 13 – Grantham, PA @ Messiah College
Thursday, Apr. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Grandchildren
Friday, Apr. 15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory w/ Grandchildren
Saturday, Apr. 16 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Wednesday, Apr. 27 – Dublin, Ireland @ the Workman’s Club
Thursday, Apr. 28 – Cork, Ireland @ Crane Lane Theatre
Friday, Apr. 29 – Clonakilty, Ireland @ De Barras
Saturday, Apr. 30- Galway, Ireland @ Kelly’s Bar & Lounge
Monday, May 2 – London, UK @ Cargo
Wednesday, May 4 – Paris, France @ La Fleche d’Or
Thursday, May 5 – Luzern, Switzerland @ Vasco da Gama, Frigorex
Friday, May 6 – Schaffhausen, Switzerland @ Tap Tab
Saturday, May 7 – Zürich, Switzerland @ El Lokal
Sunday, May 8 – Schorndorf, Germany @ Manfaktur
Monday, May 9 – Munich, Germany @ Feierwerk
Wednesday, May 11 – Prague, Czech Republic @ K4
Thursday, May 12 – Dresden, Germany @ Beatpol
Friday, May 13 – Leipzig, Germany @ Conne Island
Saturday, May14 – Berlin, Germany @ Privatclub
Monday, May 16 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
Tuesday, May 17 – Nuremberg, Germany @ MuZ
Wednesday, May 18 – Cologne, Germany @ Studio 672
Saturday, May 21 – Middleburg, The Netherlands @ De Spot

The Gaslight Anthem Perform Bring It On live on Jimmy Kimmel video

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM performing “Bring It On” on Jimmy Kimmel Live below. As the new single off the band’s latest critically-acclaimed full-length album American Slang, The Gaslight Anthem made a stop in Los Angeles recently to perform one of the album’s soulful centerpieces. Check it out below!

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – “BRING IT ON” (Live on Jimmy Kimmel Live)

American Slang was released globally the week of June 15, 2010 on SideOneDummy Records. Produced by Ted Hutt (who produced the band’s acclaimed second album, The ’59 Sound), American Slang heralds a dramatic leap forward for the New Jersey-based band. Tracks such as “Bring It On,” “Orphans” and “Stay Lucky” bristle and burn with the spirit of soul and the artistic adventurousness and confidence of a band that has come into its own and truly found its own voice.



Chicago, IL rock band Empires is thrilled to be one of the top eight acts to advance to the next round of Rolling Stone Magazine’s first-ever “Do You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star?” competition. Rolling Stone Magazine searched through thousands of artists & bands and through a combination of consumer voting and editors’ picks, the list was narrowed down from 16 artists to eight.

Empires, a band praised by MTV, The Chicago Tribune, Alternative Press and more, has built a devoted fan-base by continually writing, recording and releasing a thrilling collection of rock songs for free download. Through an organic word of mouth response and a true love of these songs, the band’s debut album “Howl” is currently over 70,000 album downloads.

Empires traveled to New York City the week of March 7th to record two new songs with producer Machine (Fall Out Boy) and perform in-front of Rolling Stone editors, Atlantic Records A&R executives and other industry professionals.



American rock band Saving Abel will perform a free concert as part of their Miss America tour, on Wednesday April 6th at 7pm at the Special Events Center on Fort Carson, Colorado military base. The concert event is free and open to the general public. Tickets are not required.

Saving Abel’s latest single “Miss America” picked up the top debut on the Active Rock chart this past week at #32. Of their six charted songs, it is their best debut at the format and is the follow-up to the #2 “The Sex Is Good.” Saving Abel’s latest album, MISS AMERICA, the quintet’s follow up to their gold-certified self-titled debut entered the Billboard album chart at #24 the week of it’s release this past summer. The lead single “Stupid Girl (Only In Hollywood)” became the band’s fourth hit at rock radio with performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Lopez Tonight.

The quintet continues their current world tour which has, over the past several months, touched down in India, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq (via a USO / Armed Forces Entertainment tour of the Persian Gulf), extensively across the U.S., and in the middle of the Pacific Ocean aboard the USS Carl Vinson as the vessel returned from Haiti. They salute American troops overseas in their new “Miss America” music video here:

The band is currently on tour through the rest of the Summer, see tour dates below.

April 1 The Venue Fargo, ND
April 2 Wicked Moose Rochester, MN
April 3 The Grove Lincoln, NE
April 8 Nitetown Lafayette, LA
April 9 Fiesta Oyster Bake Festival San Antonio, TX
April 10 Hard Rock Café Houston, TX
April 12 Floyd’s Music Store Tallahassee, FL
April 13 State Theater St. Petersburg, FL
April 14 Capt. Hiram’s Resort Sebastian, FL
April 16 WRXL Chili Cook Off Richmond, VA
May 1 Tom Lee Park-Beale Street Music Festival Memphis, TN
May 4 Texas Concert Hall Baton Rouge, LA
May 6 Coyote’s Augusta, GA
May 7 Metro Lina Expo-Carolina Rebellion Charlotte, NC
May 11 The Note West Chester, PA
May 13 Granville Forum Granville, NY
May 14 Fitchburg Expo Center Fitchburg, MA
May 15 Higher Ground S. Burlington, VT
May 19 The Machine Shop Flint, MI
May 20 Ground Zero Traverse City, MI
May 22 Rock on the Range Columbus, OH
May 24 Clyde Iron Works Duluth, MN
May 25 The Vault Sioux Falls, SD
May 27 HerrinFesta Italiana Herrin, IL
May 29 Rocklahoma Pryor, OK
Jun 18 Tri State Raceway Earlvill, IA
Jun 29 Summerfest Milwaukee, WI
July 2 Victory Field Rock N Roll BBQ Indianapolis, IN
July 7 Calgary Stampede Calgary, AB
July 8 Rock on the Ridge Sawyer, ND
July 9 Clay’s Park Amphitheater North Lawrence, OH
July 14 Heart of Illinois Fair Peoria, IL
July 15 Venetian Festival St. Joseph, MI
July 23 Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT
August 6 Veterans Memorial Park Bay City, MI
August 18 UP State Fair Escanaba, MI
September 1 Central Wisconsin State Fair Marshfield, WI

Art Of Dying’s “Vices and Virtues” Debuts At #1 On Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart



Art of Dying, the Vancouver rock band signed to Disturbed’s Reprise Records imprint Intoxication Records, have entered Billboard’s Heatseekers chart at #1 and the Top 200 at #116 with their major-label debut Vices and Virtues. The lead single off the album, “Die Trying,” was last week’s featured iTunes “Single Of The Week”. The standard version of Vices and Virtues is specially priced for iTunes at the discovery price of $7.99 for another week. Fans can buy it HERE. The deluxe edition is available HERE. Vices and Virtues is also available at physical retailers including FYE and Best Buy.

Fans can check out the video for “Die Trying”

Art of Dying, which is vocalist/lyricist Jonny Hetherington, guitarist Greg Bradley, guitarist Tavis Stanley, bassist Cale Gontier, and drummer Jeff Brown, hit the road last week for the first annual Avalanche Tour with Stone Sour, Theory Of A Deadman, Skillet, and Halestorm. Please visit for details.

Fans can win win free tickets to see Art Of Dying on the Avalanche Tour here: Winners (who are selected at random) will receive two free tickets to a show.

Produced by Howard Benson (Papa Roach, Three Doors Down), Vices and Virtues expresses Art of Dying’s energy and vitality with a blend of urgent, blaring guitar rhythms, atmospheric and transcendent counter melodies, and vocal harmonies that complement the heaviness of the music. Uptempo songs like “Die Trying” and “Straight Across my Mind” reverberate with the triumphant spirit of a raised fist, while tracks such as the acoustic-based “I Will Be There,” “Best I Can,” and “Raining” (which features guest vocals by Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier) are more reflective and vulnerable, revealing the pain of imperfect relationships and the redemption that lies within their repair.

Robotanists – On/Off The Ledge video

L.A. indie-pop faves ROBOTANISTS premiere new video via Consequence of Sound

“Robotanists root around in the electro-noir explored by Mazzy Star and Portishead, with Ellquist’s sultry voice narrating the way through forays into the dark both metaphorical and literal. Their penchant for the atmospheric never becomes an overbearing aesthetic, though – you can take the title of one of their songs, ‘Subtlety Is Underrated,’ seriously.” — Kevin Bronson, Buzz Bands

“Female-fronted indie at its finest, a soulful voice cast over booming guitar and downright pretty production quality. As sincere as it is dancy, adjectives that normally take effort to pair together.” —

Los Angeles’ glamorous indie-pop group ROBOTANISTS premiere the first video from their new album today courtesy of Consequence of Sound. The clip for ” On/Off The Ledge” — culled from the band’s third album, Plans In Progress — depicts a trippy, surreal party scene directed by Tom Kenney. Watch the video HERE.

And, ROBOTANISTS recently made headlines worldwide for reinterpreting, recording and releasing their own version of Radiohead’s new album The King of Limbs in its entirety, just 24 hours after its release.

The quartet, often compared to Florence + The Machine, Jenny Lewis,The Xx, et al., quickly gained attention for its packed L.A. residency in February as well as strong Top 20 debut on alternative specialty and college radio with Plans In Progress. Comprised of songwriters Sarah Ellquist (vocals & keys) and Daniel DeBlanke (guitar, keys) and rhythm section Keith Boyarsky (bass) and Preston Scott Phillips (drums), ROBOTANISTS have spent the past couple of years spreading their big choruses and delicate prose across North America on tour and on the radio. Their breakthrough single “Wait a Minute Here” (from the band’s 2008 debut, Close Down The Woods) topped charts in Los Angeles (KCRW, KROQ) and other major cities across the US. “Subtlety is Underrated” was recently featured in a particularly provocative striptease scene on the 2011 season premiere of The Jersey Shore.

04/13 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite (w/ Duniven, Telegram)

Album: Plans In Progress
Label: Overhead Records
Release Date: February 15th, 2011

Track List:
1. Have We Met Before?
2. Terminal A
3. ON/OFF The Ledge
4. The Lack Thereof
5. Plans In Progress
6. Luggage vs. Baggage
7. The Ghost You’re Haunting

Album: The King of Limbs
Label: Overhead Records
Release Date: February 20th, 2011

Track List:
1. Bloom
2. Morning Mr. Magpie
3. Little By Little
4. Feral
5. Lotus Flower
6. Codex
7. Give Up The Ghost
8. Separator

Album: Shapes and Variations
Label: Overhead Records
Release Date: March 30th, 2010

Track List:
1. Exiled State of Mind (reworking of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”)
2. Dance, Dance, Dance (Lykke Li)
3. Are You Really Going Out With Her? (reworking of Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”)
4. All You Ever Wanted (The Black Keys)
5. Heaven (Bryan Adams)
6. Never Tear Us Apart (INXS)
7. Glass In Your Headlights (reworking of Phillip Glass’ “Glassworks, Outro”)

Panda Bear announces limited T-shirt / LP bundle for Record Store Day, plus hear his guest DJ set for NPR

Panda Bear announces limited T-shirt / LP bundle for Record Store Day, plus hear his guest DJ set for NPR

GUEST DJ SET: All Songs Considered

MP3: “Surfer’s Hymn” (Actress Primitive Pattern Remix)

MP3: “Last Night At The Jetty” (Tomboy album version)

Limited edition Panda Bear T-shirt
On March 14th, KOMPAKT is thoroughly honoured to release the final installment from ANIMAL COLLECTIVE’s Noah Lennox aka PANDA BEAR limited 7″ series following previous 7″ on his own PAW TRACKS, FATCAT and DOMINO as the build up continues to his forthcoming full length TOMBOY on PAW TRACKS due out in April.
SURFERS HYMN eases like the ocean crashing against the beach. In fact, Noah’s voice ebbs and flows in harmonious grace with a sample of that very sound while the blissful thump of a bass drum keeps the song together.

ACTRESS of Honest Jon’s fame makes a rare remix appearance with a take on the original – his signature tribal thump makes ease in what is the most straight laced dance floor stunner we’ve heard from him ever. Somewhere found between DJ KOZE and VILLALOBOS we are thoroughly floored with this remake.
As with the previous releases, Scott Mou (1/2 of Jane w/ Lennox and Other Music) does an impeccable job creating the artwork for this release.

As with the previous 7″ releases this is limited edition and is destined to sell out so act be sure to act fast!!On March 14th, KOMPAKT is thoroughly honoured to release the final installment from ANIMAL COLLECTIVE’s Noah Lennox aka PANDA BEAR limited 7″ series. This follow previous 7″ on his own PAW TRACKS, FATCAT and DOMINO as the build up continues to his forthcoming full length TOMBOY on PAW TRACKS due out in April.

Panda Bear’s Tomboy album is in stores on April 12, and on Record Store Day, April 16, an edition of 1000 limited LP / T-shirt bundles will be available at participating Record Store Day stores. This shirt design will not be available again, and is not available online anywhere! Noah Lennox recently stopped by the NPR studios in DC to guest DJ with Bob Boilen on NPR’s All Songs Considered program – listen to the 40 minute session here.

More about Tomboy:
Both as a member of Animal Collective and as the solo artist, Panda Bear, Noah Lennox spent the aughts helping redefine the aesthetics and methodology of experimental and independent music. With work ranging from splayed but lyrical noise, florid acoustic arrangements, and guitar-centric psychedelia, he and his bandmates have covered a vast musical territory that blurs the line between pop and experimentalism.

But while Panda Bear and Animal Collective have garnered acclaim with each successive sonic venture, their music really started to take hold when they began working with electronics. In 2007, Lennox released the milestone Person Pitch, a mélange of loopy samples, ethereal textures, and dubby echoes all bound together by his soulful tenor. Hailed by many as an instant classic, the album’s influence was almost immediately recognizable. He continued work with Animal Collective, releasing another landmark album Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2009.

While the interval since Person Pitch has seen plenty of work from the Animal Collective camp, Panda Bear activity has been rare. He has toured sparingly, done intermittent remix work, and appeared on a few peers’ releases while rumors circulated about his next full-length, Tomboy. The second half of 2010 saw the record’s first offerings: a string of 7″s containing tracks from the album, each released on a different label. With one more due before the album’s release on April 12th, the singles have revealed Tomboy’s palette while helping Lennox gauge his progress and focus on individual songs.

Recorded at his studio in Lisbon, Tomboy sees Lennox stepping away from the sample-based parameters of his previous record and incorporating more guitar and synthesizer. Still prevalent, though, is the interest in texture that made Person Pitch such a dense record; crashing waves and cheering crowds bounce against the gurgling arpeggios and give the tracks an immense sense of space. Soaked in reverb and punctuated with inflections of delay, the album’s drums reveal a dub influence which gives them a visceral punch that lingers after each hit. Lennox’s lofty, self-harmonizing vocals smooth out the songs, and Sonic Boom’s mixing gives the work a large dynamic range. With Tomboy, Lennox has created a more plaintive atmosphere, but in accordance with the conflicting image of its title, the highs of the album balance out its lows. The record, massive in its span of emotion, genre, and sound, is the welcome return of one of the most prolific and consistent audio pioneers in recent memory.

Panda Bear
Surfer’s Hymn
Street Date: March 28, 2011

A: Surfer’s Hymn
B: Surfer’s Hymn (Actress Primitive Pattern Remix)

Panda Bear
(Paw Tracks)
Street Date: April 12, 2011

Track list:

01 You Can Count on Me
02 Tomboy
03 Slow Motion
04 Surfer’s Hymn
05 Last Night at The Jetty
06 Drone
07 Alsatian Darn
08 Scheherazade
09 Friendship Bracelet
10 Afterburner
11 Benfica