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Tag: "The Shins"

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FUN. Cover Christmas Classic, “Sleigh Ride”

I know today is Halloween, but we just can’t wait for the upcoming holiday season! There are so many great things in store, one of which being the Holidays Rule compilation released yesterday by Hear Music, a joint venture between Starbucks and Concord Music Group. The release features holiday (mostly Christmas) classics covered by some of today’s most noteworthy artists such as the one and only Paul McCartney, The Shins, Andrew Bird, The Civil Wars, fun. and many more! If you’re ready for a glimpse of Christmas future, heat up some hot coco and listen to fun.’s cover of “Sleigh Ride” streaming here! If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, then you might be a Scrooge.

If you like fun. then you might also like OurStage’s own Ivory Drive.

More Like This:

Lollapalooza Line-Up Leaked

UPDATE: The lineup leaked below has been confirmed, including the previously questionable inclusion of Black Sabbath. Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell told Rolling Stone, ”They mean so much to me, and they mean so much to music in general, that I kind of feel like I’m dreaming to know that Black Sabbath is actually gonna perform at Lollapalooza.”
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The holiday weekend brought more than just Easter eggs for music festival fans. That’s because the entire 2012 Lollapalooza line-up has been leaked online, in the form of this picture:

Headliners for this year’s festival reportedly include the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Other big acts are Florence + The Machine, Sigur Ros, The Shins ans M83. And it seems that this list, unlike the other one that was released in February, is apparently legit. So what do you think of this year’s festival line-up?

The EditoriaList: Top Ten Indie Rock Side Projects

Oh, the side project. So often a bad idea, a vanity project, intended to display another side of an artist who really only has one good side. But other times, we get to see the output of great artists and performers who escape the confines of the project for which they are best-known. And if you’re a fan of that primary project, it’s always interesting to see what else the artist is driven or inspired to do, and whether you like the side project more or less. This list focuses on artists that could all be described as indie rock (depending on how strictly you define that term, I guess). The side project may or may not have evolved into a main project, but it has to have been formed secondarily to another band or ‘career’ while that career was still ongoing. This is my decree, let it be so…

10. The Gentlemen

Members of frequent tour-mates The Figgs and The Gravel Pit got together for this riff-heavy and rootsy rock band whose debut album, Ladies And Gentlemen, is a blistering good time.

 

9. She & Him

M. Ward was primarily a well-respected solo artist before hooking up with actress and singer Zooey Deschanel and launching She & Him, for which they both write the music. It’s simply delightful, classic pop.

Continue reading ‘The EditoriaList: Top Ten Indie Rock Side Projects’

The EditoriaList: Sub Pop Records, Mach II – Top Ten Releases (aka When Grunge Expired)

Sub Pop became famous as the breeding ground for the early-90s alt-rock revolution, home to the biggest bands of the grunge-era bands. Music changed fast, though, and Sub Pop struggled near the end of the decade to find their footing again, with WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic) taking a substantial minority stake and making some cross-label promotional deals that didn’t seem like a bad idea, but didn’t really help Sub Pop’s long-term creative prospects. All that changed around the turn of the millennium, with a new generation of talent forging original and somehow familiar sounds. There have been many quality releases by the label since 2000, but these are some of the very best. I’ve combined multiple releases in some cases, and left off others when they didn’t quite hit the heights.

10. Band of Horses – Everything All The Time (2006) / Cease To Begin (2007)

A slightly more grounded My Morning Jacket or more spacey Built To Spill—either way, nothing to change the world, but really nice vibe-y, hook-filled, atmospheric rock songs with restrained country influences. Now doesn’t that sound good?

Continue reading ‘The EditoriaList: Sub Pop Records, Mach II – Top Ten Releases (aka When Grunge Expired)’

Fantastic Voyage

Ex Norwegian

Ex Norwegian is one of those wily bands that makes categorization impossible. In the one instant you’ve decided their ethereal melodies sound like The Beatles, they leap into frenzied post-punk that has Pixies written all over it. But that protean approach to songwriting is the root of the Ex Norwegian’s appeal. The Miami-based band unfurls a magic carpet ride for each song. “Turn Left” begins in a joyful jangle that sounds like Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” meets Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose.” Bluesy rock is traded for whirls of keys in “Sky Diving,” arguably the band’s sweetest and most British melody. Then there’s the outcrop of distorted, jutting guitars in “Fujeira In My Dreams” that sounds like Black Francis fronting the Shins. Not confused enough? Put on the willfully inane “Dance Trance Pants” for wah-wah guitars and a cello. The mind melt is unavoidable, and totally fun. Roll with it, baby.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: Throwback Suburbia

Don’t be surprised if Portland, Oregon’s Throwback Suburbia instantly remind you of Death Cab for Cutie or The Shins. After all, their album was created with the help of the same legendary producers who worked with both bands, plus John Lennon, The Who and David Bowie among others.

Though this roster is certainly impressive, Throwback Suburbia are well on their way to great achievements themselves. Their 2007 single “Circles” earned regular rotation on LA’s KROQ radio station and became the most played song by an unsigned artist on several other national stations. They also landed television spots on Fox and FuelTV and were named Eastwood Guitars’ favorite new act.

It’s always nice to have a breath of fresh air in the pop-rock scene, even when the sound is, well, a throwback. This power pop quintet boast some retro ’60s charm in their clean and simple song structures, perfectly timed harmonies and complimentary keyboard parts. The sweet and sugary “Head Over Heels” will definitely get you dancing, as the piano, bells and vocals make this feel-good tune a stand-out track. Soft-rock ballad “You’ll Never Know” could easily be a Beatles song. The track is surprisingly hopeful as vocalist Jimi Evans sings, “Clear those cobwebs inside/Don’t wait for tomorrow/You’ll never know ’til you try.”

After spending 23 weeks in the Top 100 on our Best of Pop Charts and sharing the stage with Rooney and The Gin Blossoms, Throwback Suburbia are on the fast track to hitting it big. Be sure to check out their latest album, Throwback Suburbia, on their official Web site!

Harmony: Indie Rock Finds Its Voice(s)

Ask a music fan in their late 30s or 40s – preferably one stuck in their formidable years, and not an old hipster – to define “indie rock” as a sound, and you’ll unquestionably hear some semblance of these words: Loud. Abrasive. Anti-Authority. Forward-thinking. Think about indie-rock forebears, and some may even call them unlistenable: Sonic Youth reveled in noise; Lou Reed couldn’t sing to save his life; Michael Stipe’s lyrics made no sense. And yet, in the past few years, an unmistakable trend’s emerged that’s made indie rock something entirely different – in a word, beautiful.

That trend is harmony, the melding of vocals singing different notes to create a full, hopefully gorgeous chord. Admittedly, harmony has been a trait of indie rock since the early years (Kim Deal and Frank Black dabbled, as did Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl) but only recently has it become an indie-rock trademark, rather than a side note. Blame (or thank) The Shins, whose “New Slang” made Natalie Portman swoon and Zach Braff famous six years ago, opened the door to indie-rock sensitivity in a way it’d never been opened before.

Only in the last couple of years has harmony become zeitgeist-y, though. First came the Fleet Foxes, the ultra-hyped, superbly bearded Seattle band whose atmospheric, folksy “Sun Giant” was the toast of 2008, thanks to singer Robert Pecknold’s harmonizing with all of his band mates to create glorious, seemingly impossible vocal collosi that are at once overwhelming and majestic. Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear broke out last year with “Veckatimest,” which took the Fleet Foxes lushness and weirded it up, the group-sings so striking, they won the band the top spot on the Wall Street Journal’s list of the best records of 2009. And now, Angelenos Local Natives take the trend a step further, with the foursome bringing the fuzz of electric guitars (and the jumpy rhythms of bands like the Talking Heads) to the party, busting out three-and-sometimes-four part harmonies that’re both electrifying and soothing, occasionally simultaneously. Listening to them – or any of their predecessors – may not be an anti-authority statement the way, say, listening to Iggy was in 1972, but so what: who needs attitude when you can have lusciousness, instead?

-Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is the LA editor of Thrillist.com and has been writing about music professionally for over a decade for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Relix, and Esquire.com.

Discourse & Dischord

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Beam 'Em Up: The mysterious Broken Bells ad

The Good

Danger Mouse and James Mercer get “LOST” on fans

Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer are set to release their first collaboration in early 2010 under the moniker Broken Bells. If that doesn’t get your indie motor running, this will: To hype up the new record, the duo has launched a mysterious viral campaign. Here’s what’s gone down so far:

Those signed up to the Broken Bells mailing list received an email last week written entirely in binary code. Translated it reads, “The high road is hard to find,” which is an obvious reference to one of the album’s tracks, “The High Road.” This week ads started popping up on various Web sites, displaying an image of two shadowy figures. The ads link to several nonsensical Web sites — all anagrams of “Broken Bells.” There, listeners can hear brief snippets of streaming audio, presumably from the record.

I haven’t been this excited since finding out that Ethan Rom was an anagram for “Other Man”!

ABBA decks the hall

Gimme, gimme, gimme airbrushing

Gimme, gimme, gimme airbrushing

The Hall of Fame Foundation has announced that ABBA will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in March 2010. The Swedish pop group joins Brit rockers The Hollies and Genesis, Detroit rockers the Stooges and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who will all be inducted this year as well.

T-Pain and Andy Samberg: On a boat, with crabs

As we mentioned last week, comedy group The Lonely Island has been nominated for a GRAMMY for their duet with T-Pain, “I’m On A Boat.” This week Andy Samberg reunited with T-Pain for a “Funny or Die” sketch in which he uses the T-Pain Auto-Tune app on his iPhone to serenade a hermit crab. Funnies ensue.

For the video, click here.

The Bad

Courtney Love loses custody of Frances Bean

Why so serious, Frances Bean?

Why so serious, Frances Bean?

This week a judge appointed Wendy O’Connor and Kimberly Dawn Cobain — the mother and sister of the late Kurt Cobain — legal guardianship of 17-year-old Frances Bean Cobain. Proving the legal system right, Courtney Love took to the interwebs to voice her frustration, posting a long rant on Facebook which she quickly deleted but not before several Web sites picked it up. Highlights include Love calling Frances Bean “deluded” and “deceptive.” Kind of makes Alec Baldwin look like Father of the Year.

The Ugly

Chris Brown disses Walmart, quits Twitter

Tweeter no more: Chris Brown

Tweeter no more: Chris Brown

Chris Brown stopped by a Walmart in Wallingford, CT and was, um, dismayed to see that the store wasn’t carrying his new record, “Grafitti.” So, like fellow genius Courtney Love, he voiced his concerns on the Internet, tweeting “[Walmart] r blackballing my cd. Not stocking the shelves and lying to customers. What the f—k I gotta do.” [sic] Walmart responded that they were, in fact, selling his CD across the country, including the Wallingford location. Brown then deleted his Twitter account. Now if only Love would do the same …

Rihanna goes topless for GQ

More classiness for you. Begs the question, why is this a headline? A more newsworthy story would be “Rihanna keeps her shirt on for photo shoot.”

Miscellany


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FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 1

cmjdotcom_webCMJ (College Music Journal) is a publishing and events company located in NYC. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio. The New Music Report contains top-played charts compiled from college radio stations all across the US. CMJ is also well known for hosting the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival , a city wide festival in NYC  featuring the best emerging artists and film makers. The bloggers over at CMJ Relay, the CMJ Staff Blog, have been highlighting some of their favorite OurStage finds for quite some time. Here’s the first batch of CMJ music recommendations from their archives:

weatherinside

The Weather Inside

“Streets Of Jerusalem”
Electronic Channel
Typical electronic groove, light and lofty, “Streets Of Jerusalem” is a pleasant and melodic journey.
RIYL: Air, Rio En Medio, Sia
WEB: http://www.myspace.com/theweatherinside

masonproper

Mason Proper

“My My (Bad Fruit)”
Rock Channel
Mason Proper is a pop/indie rock band from Michigan that infuses their songs with experimental noise and catchy melodies.
RIYL: Modest Mouse, Rogue Wave, the Shins
WEB: http://masonproper.com/

plushgun

Plushgun

“Just Impolite”
Pop Channel
“Just Impolite” is radio-friendly romantic synth-pop.
RIYL: Albert Hammond Jr., the Shins, the Postal Service
WEB: http://www.plushgun.com/

 


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