Letting Up Despite Great Faults Premieres First Track ‘Visions’ off New Untogether LP, Out Oct. 9

“Artist to watch” – NPR

“this is a band that should no longer go ignored.” -Consequence of Sound

“Letting Up Despite Great Faults makes music that’s light as a feather and ephemeral as a
dream.” – Interview Magazine

Download ‘Visions’

Letting Up Despite Great Faults has released the first single “Visions” with Paste off their new album, Untogether, due out Oct. 9. The new track “sums up the sentiment of the the whole release,” says frontman Mike Lee. “Confident, with a sense of being lost,” Untogether is an album that radiates infectious melodies, heartbreaking sentiments, and danceable dreampop.

“Untogether marks a very specific time in my life where things began falling apart,” explains Lee. “Writing it was my first step to recover from bad wounds I was never comfortable discussing with anybody. One of my last steps was moving from my home in Los Angeles to start fresh in Austin, TX where our bassist Kent was already living.”

The new album sees the band continuing to refine and expand their sound, picking up where last year’s Paper Crush EP left off. The EP’s lead single ‘Teenage Tide’ was featured on the television show 90210, with Rolling Stone calling it “a blissful, shimmery track” and USA Today raving, “it captures the essence of teen dreams.” In 2009 the band released its self-titled full-length, which was met with unanimous critical acclaim.

Untogether Tracklisting

1. Visions
2. Scratch
3. Take My Jacket, Pauline
4. Postcard
5. Bulletproof Girl
6. Details Of My World
7. Breaking
8. The Best Part
9. Numbered Days
10. On Your Mark

Sophia Knapp Releases Video For “The Right Place”

Earlier this year, Sophia Knapp (Lights/Cliffie Swan) released her debut solo album, Into The Waves, on Drag City. Into The Waves is a pop vocal record of our time, reminiscent of melodic psych pop of the 60’s, Tropicalia ballads, chilly ’80s New York dance records, and the seduction of Stevie Nicks or Françoise Hardy. After releasing the video for “In Paper,” Sophia now shares “The Right Place” video. The video, which premiered yesterday via PAPER, was
co-directed by Dave Bryant and Ryan Hennesse.

WATCH/SHARE/POST SOPHIA KNAPP’S “THE RIGHT PLACE” VIDEO:

Sophia says “The Right Place” is about feeling alienated by external and internal sources – either from moving and feeling like a stranger in a new location, or physical changes that bring about feeling of disorientation. Sophia actually wrote the song while in recovery from eye surgery. Her outside world was distorted – one eye crystal clear and one fuzzy. As told to PAPER, “the song also references a time when I lived in Central America when I was 13, in the jungle, and enduring the horrors of puberty. I retreated to my fantasies, listening obsessively to cassette tapes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, etc., in fact constructing my own psychic reality very different from my physical circumstances. The goth makeup draws a reference to this fantasy.”

Reyka Vodka To Send Two US Bands To Iceland – Last Year’s Winner YACHT Comments

Dirty Projectors, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Rós and 70+ others are each confirmed to play the acclaimed Iceland Airwaves music festival, running October 31 – November 4, 2012. “The hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar,” according to Rolling Stone; since 1999, Iceland Airwaves has quickly become one of the world’s most revered and celebrated cutting edge music festivals.

For the second year in a row Reyka Vodka, the first vodka ever distilled in Iceland, is giving up-and-coming American bands their chance to take a spot onstage through their “Breakthrough at Airwaves” contest. Bands have until August 1st to submit their tracks to www.reyka.com. Two bands, selected by the festival will win a weeklong trip to Reykjavik including travel and lodging, and get to perform alongside some of the most exciting and inspired names in music.

In 2011, YACHT, Caged Animals and Young Magic each were selected for the program and, in addition to sharing their music with an international audience, were taken on a hometown tour of Iceland courtesy of Reyka; Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon, and the Golden Circle were just some of the natural wonders the group experienced firsthand providing a glimpse inside this unique island that has spawned a truly distinct creative culture.

“We were blown away,” commented the members of YACHT. “It’s a completely surreal, abstract concept to arrive in a country where two tectonic plates meet senselessly in the middle of a frigid ocean and the landscape bears the gnarled volcanic scars of their perpetual conflicts–and then realize that not only are there people there, but people who love music and are ready to lose their minds with you. It felt like visiting another planet.”

By simply uploading one original track, photos and a biography/website link to the official Reyka Vodka website (www.reyka.com), any U.S.-based artist or band can formally enter the competition. Iceland Airwaves will review and judge all eligible entries submitted.

The contest will close August 1st, 2012, with the winning bands to be announced August 14th, 2012.

“Reyka is an important proponent and advocate of Icelandic culture, and a supporter of the independent music scene,” said Grimur Atlason, Festival Manager of Iceland Airwaves. “It’s this investment and commitment that makes them ideal partners for Iceland Airwaves. We’re so pleased to have them involved for a second year, and excited to see the talent that will join our incredible line up!”

Black Lips – Noc-A-Homa video

VICE and Ray-Ban Announce New Music Video for the Black Lips
‘Noc-A-Homa’ Video Latest Project From Ray-Ban’s Never Hide Noise

A down-in-the-dumps Native American chief regains his pride and goes tribal punk.

Today VICE & Ray-Ban premiered the video for the Black Lips’ raucous two-minute homage to Chief Nock-A-Homa, the famed former mascot of the Atlanta Braves from the 1950s until 1986. Chief Nock-A-Homa is one of baseball’s most beloved mascots who was best know for emerging from a tepee in the bleachers to rally the hometown crowd into a frenzy.

In their song, “Noc-A-Homa,” the Black Lips, Atlanta natives and diehard Braves fans, tell the story from Chief Noc-A-Homa’s point of view, a proud Native American who has been humiliated and made into a caricature of his ancestors for the amusement of drunken fans who pelt him with boiled peanuts.

In the new music video, the Black Lips partner up with director Sandy Kim to produce an electrifying telling of this tragic story. In the Black Lips’ version, Chief Noc-A-Homa enacts revenge on all those who humiliated him, donning his old costume and handing out sweet justice.

This time it’s the Chief who comes out on top.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

“Noc-A-Homa,” is from the Black Lips latest release, Arabia Mountain.

BLACK LIPS CANADIAN SHOWS:
8/04/12 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga (4:00PM Scène des Arbres stage)
10/16-20/12 – Halifax, NS – Halifax Pop Explosion

About Never Hide Noise:
Taking a queue from its 75-year love affair with music, Ray-Ban has just launched Never Hide Noise, the official music arm of the brand.

Deathspell Omega – Drought EP review

They’ve never released an official band roster; they don’t tour; and their website is perpetually “under construction.” If there was ever a band that didn’t want to be seen as a band per say or allow anything to distract from the messages in their music, Deathspell Omega is the prime example.

A black metal band from France, Deathspell Omega focuses their music and lyrics around the theoretical nature of man’s relationship with God and Satan, as well as the Almighty’s connection to His first fallen angel. Over the last few years they’ve released three LP’s comprising a trilogy based on, among other things, Satanism, existentialism, Christian Theology, and their belief that they comprehend the mysteries held within. If this seems all too much to absorb at once, consider the only text adorning their homepage:

“Ere thou enter farther in such mysteries, comprehend:

The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him and He will make them know His covenant.

Cursed is he that removeth awaye the marke of hys master to please men and not to serve in secrecy.

Amen.”

Apparent in their approach to language is the aptitude for combing Old English with Latin and of course, French.

How then does all this relate to the music itself?

This is prog rock at its uttermost experimental.

On 2012’s EP, Drought, Deathspell Omega pickup where they left off on their previous albums. The majority of the record is filled with righteous, stomach churning riffs; drums played with the power of Thor’s hammer; and a man singing so hoarse he appears to be releasing the world’s longest burp. The band thumps and rages its way from one song to the next with hardly a pause. It’s either the world’s most brutal mosh pit soundtrack or an exhausting lobotomy via the ear canal.

Drought literally sounds like it was born from the mouth of hell.

There are some redeeming qualities to Drought however. It’s mercifully only twenty minutes long and, honestly, some of the music isn’t atrocious. Deathspell Omega certainly creates an imposing mood and get their message of fire and brimstone across.

Now if only we could understand what they’re saying.

Mission of Burma – Unsound album review

Indie rock icons Mission of Burma are back in 2012 with their fourth post-reunion album, Unsound.

Context matters in music. The relationship between the facts of album (who made it, where, when, etc.) and its sound will always affect the experience of listening to it. This makes Unsound a strange case, because (given the W5 of its creation) its sound seems both counterintuitive and out-of-time. What I mean by this is: The album sounds far more like it was recorded by young guys in 1993 than by fifty-four year-olds in 2012.

As a result of the band’s unusual career trajectory — a five year initial run, followed by a near-twenty year layoff, followed by a reunion now in year eight — MoB can sound sometimes, bizarrely, as though they are borrowing tricks from the very alternative bands their original albums helped inspire. The album’s ramshackle lo-fi vibe feels like a page out of Slanted and Enchanted’s book. The eerie background oohs on Clinton Conley’s “Semi-Psuedo-Sort-of-Plan” and “7’s” seem cribbed from Sonic Youth (as does the guitar on Peter Prescott’s “Part the Sea”). The dirty abrasiveness of the production is reminiscent of Jesus Lizard and others. And Conley’s “Second Television” — what I guess can charitably be called the album’s “single” — is such a Guided by Voices song it even sounds like Robert Pollard is singing sometimes.

This is not to suggest the album is tired or middling. It’s actually pretty goddamned awesome. The songs are tight and explosive, at times punishing. They go in unexpected directions and are filled with layers of noise that will reward re-listens. The performances are loose and dynamic, charged with passion and brattiness (this contributes to the contextual weirdness I mentioned at the top, but for real, I hope I’m this spry when I’m almost sixty). It is a testament to the deep talents of the band that they are still creating music this gripping at this stage of their career (especially considering that most bands treat reunions as little more than extended victory laps). Unsound is well worth your time — even if your brain can’t decide where to file it.

Debo Band – Debo Band album review

World Music is a tricky dick.  Occasionally good, usually more of a novelty, the label often compels reviewers to gush without reason.  I feel no duty to endorse a recording merely because it has third world provenance.  I want to be entertained, not impressed with a back story.  I say this because I want you to believe me when I go nuts over this completely awesome album by the Debo Band.

The band’s website informs me that back in the ‘60’s there was a pop Jazz scene inEthiopiacentered in the capitolAddis Ababa.  Eventually it crumbled when the usual third world plagues dragged that fine nation back toward Hobbesian unpleasantness.  Luckily, a few records and musicians got out and made their way toAmerica.  The members of the Debo Band are not these musicians.  The Band is a multi-racial collective inspired by these remnants of the Ethiopian scene.  “Inspired” is the key word.  This is not a mere replica but a progression from what was.

The album kicks into gear right away with “Akale Wube”.  A classic late 60’s horn hook evokes some movie one can’t quite remember.  I picture men in black suits and skinny ties sit in dark, smoky clubs drinking and scheming.  Various instruments get their turns at soloing, but it becomes quickly apparent that the violin is the highlight.  The Debo Band’s webpage make it clear that their instrumentation is more eclectic than classic Ethiopian Jazz..  If the Ethiopians didn’t use violins they should have.  A bowed instrument’s ability for quick, unbroken legato runs fits this perfectly, especially given the various near-eastern scales that infect the composition.

The second song “Ney Ney Weleba” marks the entrance of lead vocalist Bruck Tesfaye.  Apparently the concept of the crooner or the vocal hook never really took hold over there.  The frenzied vocals aren’t really my thing, but they are a minor chink in this amazing album.  Soon the music takes over and I am again swinging my way through exotic locales.  Of particular note is the bizarre Mohammedan tango of “Yekefer Wegagene” and the hipster lounge of “And Lay.”  Get this record.

Martha Wainwright Releases New Album Come Home To Mama October 15th

Produced by Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto, Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono), and written by Martha Wainwright, Come Home To Mama (MapleMusic Recordings) is an emotional roller coaster that dazzles throughout.

Recorded earlier this year in New York City, mostly at Sean Lennon’s home studio, Come Home To Mama has the passionate angst of her 2005 self-titled debut coupled with the twisted pop of 2008’s I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too.

In the past, Wainwright worked with husband Brad Albetta, but this time out chose Honda to add a feminine touch. Honda’s husband, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, provides the musical thread throughout this captivating disc. Guest musicians on the new album include Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), keyboards; Brad Albetta, bass and drummer Jim White (Dirty Three).

“Making this record was a totally different experience,” Wainwright says. “Yuka’s approach was very open. Sometimes I would just demo the song, singing in the closet which served as the vocal booth, then she would build the track around that. In other instances we would jam with a few musicians and try to get a live take.”

“This record is a culmination of my life experiences so far. Everything changed for me a couple years ago and this record is a representation of that and a return to the reason I started writing songs,” she adds. “I can’t wait to hit the road with my family and new band in tow.”

Tracklisting for Come Home To Mama

1.) I Am Sorry
2.) Can You Believe It?
3.) Radio Star
4.) Proserpina
5.) Leave Behind
6.) Four Black Sheep
7.) Some People
8.) I Wanna Make An Arrest
9.) All Your Clothes
10.) Everything Wrong

Wild Belle join The Temper Trap & Tennis on Tour Dates

photocredit: Victoria Stevens

NORTH AMERICAN DATES
07/29 – Crossroads – Kansas City, MO*
07/31 – Deluxe at Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN*
08/01 – Madison Theater – Covington, KY*
08/02 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH*
09/15 – Hideout Block Party – Chicago, IL
09/29 – Starry Nights Music Festival – Oakland, KY
10/01 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA**
10/02 – Maxwell’s – Hoboken, NJ**
10/03 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY**
10/04 – TT The Bear’s Place – Boston, MA**
10/08 – Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC**
10/09 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC**
10/10 – 40 Watt Club – Athens, GA**
10/12 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX**
10/13 – Trees – Dallas, TX**
* w/The Temper Trap ** w/Tennis

Wild Belle will be returning to the road this summer with Australian five-piece The Temper Trap, as well as joining critically acclaimed husband/wife duo Tennis later this fall.

Between tours, the band will also be performing in their hometown of Chicago for the Hideout Block Party (Wilco/Iron and Wine to headline), as well as Starry Nights Music and Arts Festival in Oakland, Kentucky.

Natalie and Elliot Bergman are excited to unveil new music to the masses very soon. Stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, Wild Belle fans and SIRIUS/XM subscribers can tune in to listen to Wild Belle perform live from New York City on the following dates/times:
07/25 – 3AM EST
07/26 – 11PM EST
07/27 – 4PM EST

Milo Greene’s Self-Titled Debut Lands at #1 on Billboard Heatseekers; Band To Play The Late Show With David Letterman Tonight; Unveils Additional Tour Dates

Milo Greene’s Self-Titled Debut Album Enters Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart At No. 1

Band Performs Album’s First Single, “1957,”
On “Late Show with David Letterman” Tonight

Tour Plans Include Sold Out Show At NYC’s Mercury Lounge Tomorrow, Lollapalooza Performance, Fall Headline Run, Plus Dates With The Walkmen

Band Unveils Trailer For Its Short Film, “Moddison,”

Milo Greene will make its national television debut tonight on “Late Show with David Letterman.” The Los Angeles-based quintet will perform “1957,” the lead single from its self-titled debut album. Released by Chop Shop/Atlantic Records, the album, which the group co-produced with Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers), just entered Billboard’s Heatseekers chart at No. 1.

The band is currently in the middle of their summer headline run, which includes stops at Lollapalooza and a sold out Mercury Lounge show in New York City tomorrow night. Milo Greene’s fall headline tour goes on sale this Friday, July 27th, and support dates with The Walkmen will be announced shortly. Fans who register for Milo Greene’s official e-mail list at www.milogreene.com will have access to a ticket presale for the band’s fall headline dates today at 12 PM local venue time, with early venue entry guaranteed.

After recording their full-length debut at Bear Creek Studio outside Seattle, WA,the members of Milo Greene turned their attention to writing and producing a short film to complement the album. Entitled “Moddison” – after an instrumental track on the record – it was shot in rustic Shaver Lake, CA, where the band had recorded many of its early demos. Directed by Chad Huff, “Moddison” is a series of individual music videos. While each stands on its own, when laced together in the proper sequence, the videos render a complete cinematic narrative.

You can check out the trailer

See the band discuss the making of “Moddison”

The videos are being premiered online – although not necessarily in the order that they appear in the 30-minute film. Milo Greene will put all the pieces together with a Los Angeles screening of “Moddison” in its entirety later this year. In the meantime, fans can check out the “1957” clip HERE.

“‘1957’…is at once driving and lilting, filled to the brim with jangly guitar and exquisite vocal harmonies,” observed the Los Angeles Times while Nylon hailed Milo Greene as the “feel-good band of the summer.” “Milo Greene cast a cinematic spin on the sound forged decades ago by Laurel Canyon deities Crosby, Stills and Nash and Fleetwood Mac,” noted Angeleno.

Associated Press praised the album as “a tapestry of richly reverbed guitar, inventive drum work and something sorely missing amid today’s morass of arrange-by-numbers rock music – a beautifully delivered concept. That concept is to present their music absent of the disturbances of a frenetic society that closes in from all sides.”

Milo Greene is: Robbie Arnett, Graham Fink, Andrew Heringer, Curtis Marrero and Marlana Sheetz.

Milo Greene – Upcoming Tour Dates

Summer Headline Tour
7/26 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (early show) SOLD OUT
7/28 – Boston, MA @ Middle East (upstairs)
7/29 – Montreal, QC @ Divian Orange
7/31 – Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe Tavern
8/1 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
8/3 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas w/The War On Drugs SOLD OUT
8/4 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza (PlayStation stage)
8/7 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency
8/8 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
8/10 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
8/11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
8/23 – Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
8/25 – Seattle, WA @ The End 107.7 Presents Summer Camp ’12
9/8 – Portland, OR @ MFNW
9/9 – Dana Point, CA @ Doheny Days at Doheny State Beach

Fall Headline Tour
10/5 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10/6 – Phoenix, AZ @ Sail Inn
10/10 – Dallas, TX @ La Grange
10/16 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
10/17 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
10/18 – Atlanta, GA @ The EARL
10/19 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
10/20 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
10/23 – Washington, DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel
10/25 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
10/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10/27 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
10/28 -Montreal, QC @ La Salsa Rosa
10/29 – Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe Tavern
11/1 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Blind Pig
11/2 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
11/4 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
11/7 – St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird
11/8 – Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
11/9 – Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
11/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
11/13 – Vancouver, BC @ Media Club
11/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
11/16 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent