Friday, March 30, 2012

Menomena - "Forgive Yourself"

This morning, while walking down the street jamming to Menomena's "TAOS", we realized we hadn't checked in on the band in a while, and so we decided to do some digging. Turns out they finished recording their new record at the end of February, and celebrated the occasion by dropping a massive mp3 of a track from the session, "Forgive Yourself".

Not that Menomena is a band to be bound to any one style or structure, but for any band, this one is a doozy.  Clocking in at 30+ minutes, the track is an epic soundscape with variety of White Album-ian proportions. In short, despite the departure of one of their members, the band is clearly not short on ideas or inspiration. Listening is a bit of a roller coaster ride, but if you're a fan of the band, it's a welcome one. What's more, it has us super excited for the new record. Happy Friday!

mp3: Menomena - Forgive Yourself

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crocodiles Unveil Album Promo and New Track - April Dates in NYC

Crocodiles in 2009, from the HAD Archive

Crocodiles have dropped the promo for their new record Endless Flowers, and they've done it in style. The under-two-minute video clip (below) takes on the form of satire as a badly composed infomercial. More importantly, it features clips of various tracks on the disc, and utterly reassures us that the band (while slightly cleaned up for their infomercial appearance) is staying true to form. Loaded with bombastic drums, fuzzy guitars, and oozing synths, the disc promises to be another solid dose of what makes this duo a repeat-play around these parts.

The lead track from the disc, entitled "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)" is a fair example of the band's craft: it manages to feel dancey and rocking, while at the same time barraging you with a wall of sound that soothes and immerses at the same time. Obviously, the band is to some degree indebted to some of their English forefathers who pioneered much of this sound. Increasingly, however, Crocodiles are developing their own sonic fingerprint that is both distinctive and engaging.

In live news, the band just wrapped a spring tour that sidestepped New York. However, it appears that they were kind enough to tag us with a few bonus shows at the end, as the band is playing a double header on April 11th and 12th. One show will be at Glasslands and the other at Mercury Lounge. If you have a deep love of dancing to riotous noise, we highly recommend you show your face - you won't be sorry.

Crocodiles Remaining Spring 2012 Dates
April 11 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands
April 12 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

mp3: Crocodiles - Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

White Hills - Frying On This Rock

Are you scared of rock and roll?  If so, you're probably pretty spooked by White Hills.  Their latest, "Pads Of Light", is the lead track from their forthcoming record Frying On This Rock, and it has just the right amount of rock and roll aggression needed to really get the blood going. And it's not alone. The other forty minutes of the record is droney, noisy, deliciousness on par with the best damned sugar cereal your mother ever told you you couldn't have.

Not that you have to take our word for it. To begin with, you can snag the mp3 below. What's more, you can grab the whole record, which dropped last week. If it grabs you like it grabbed us (and if it doesn't, you're probably emotionally dead anyway), then you can see the band on their US tour, which starts the second week in April.  Dates are below. Don't be stupid - show up.

White Hills Spring 2012 US Dates
Apr 9 Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
Apr 10 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
Apr 11 Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
Apr 12 Boston, MA - Church of Boston
Apr 13 Winooski, VT - The Monkey House
Apr 14 Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo
Apr 15 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
Apr 16 Buffalo, NY - The Mohawk
Apr 17 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
Apr 18 Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub
Apr 19 Detroit, MI - Majestic Garden Bowl
Apr 20 Chicago, IL - Subterranean
Apr 21 St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway Night Club
Apr 22 Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory
Apr 24 Austin, TX - The Mohawk
Apr 25 Houston, TX - Orange Show Center
Apr 26 New Orleans, LA - Siberia
Apr 27 Atlanta, GA - Club 529
Apr 28 Raleigh, NC - Kings Barcade
Apr 29 Washington, DC - DC 9

mp3: White Hills - Pads Of Light

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kendall Elijah - "The Wild"

Given that we tend to be late to the game with hip hop records, we were a bit surprised to see that this jam from Kendall Elijah hasn't got more recognition. We stumbled across it while browsing, and we were immediately taken with its expert sampling of string sections, and a flow that is some of the smoothest we've heard in a long time.

A newcomer out of Maryland, Elijah dropped his Eli Dynamite EP last year, and recently released the video (below) for "The Wild". However, the track is by no means an anomaly. The entire EP is full of killer material. Reminiscent of the best of mid-90's rap, the entire disc is downloadable for free at Bandcamp.  Snag it today - you won't regret it.

mp3: Kendall Elijah - The Wild

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paul McCartney Set To Reissue Ram

News of a bunch of reissues came down yesterday, including those from My Bloody Valentine and Van Dyke Parks, but the reissue that had us most excited by far was the latest in Paul McCartney's reissue collection: Ram. The disc is probably the most underrated (by the general public) of McCartney's post-Beatles career, and also the only disc to be attributed to Paul and his late wife Linda.

So, then, why the excitement for the reissue?  Well, for anyone who seriously digs on this disc (like we do), a treasure trove of extras related to the record is being added to the deluxe editions of the disc. On top of a brand new documentary from Macca himself, the collection will also feature the mono mixes of the record, and an instrumental version created under the McCartney pseudonym "Thrillington".

Granted, if you don't already love this disc, then this reissue is probably a bit of overkill for you. But for those of us who have lovingly cherished it as a highlight of Paul's career, it's super exciting to have these rarities and alternate interpretations come to light.  What better way to spend your summer than with what Paul describes as a record that "reminds me of my hippie days and the free attitude with which was created"? Indeed.

The Ram reissue drops May 22nd.

mp3: Paul and Linda McCartney - Too Many People

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Watch The Nada Surf Webster Hall Show

If you happened to miss Nada Surf's Bowery Ballroom show back in January, have no fear. Unlike most of the internet, which has the attention span of a child whose parent is panicking over an imminent Ritalin shortage, we here at HAD believe good music is still good music, even if it's been around more than a month.

As such, we've embedded a lovely YouTube archive of the show above, which you can watch in its entirety and enjoy a seriously killer set from this seriously awesome band, who seem to grow more and more with each new record. And, while you're at it, you may as well check out the band's video for "When I Was Young", below. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Elton John Returns To His Roots With 3-Piece Band

We'll admit: it's rare these days that we get excited for any kind of Elton John news at all.  While ol' four eyes is one of our all time favorites, we love his 70's gems and even have a soft spot for the 80's and early 90's, it's hard to swallow much of his output post-1995. However, based on a new report from Rolling Stone, we're hoping that's all about to change. 

According to the article, John has headed back into the studio and wrote a 12 track record in two days with producer T-Bone Burnett overseeing the efforts. Burnett convinced John to return to the setup that dominated his first two records and his 1970 tour: piano, bass, and drums. What's more, Taupin delivered a "stack of lyrics" to John from which to cull material. In short, this is a literal return-to-form from the early days of John's writing and performing.

Now, of course, there are no guarantees. John claimed a few years back to be creating the "follow-up" to the classic Captain Fantastic, and it was anything but.  However, given his recent work with Leon Russell, and the fact that Burnett was on hand, well, we definitely have our hopes up. If nothing else, we're certainly waiting with bated breath for the release of The Diving Board this fall, and in the meantime, we can always flash back to the early 70's...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Damon Albarn To Deliver Dr. Dee

We're happy to admit that we tend to go apeshit for anything Damon Albarn produces.  After a quick listen to the video preview (above), his latest project Dr. Dee has us particularly excited.  Based on the life of John Dee, an advisor to Elizabeth the First, Dr. Dee is a stage production that will see its debut in London come June.  In the meantime, the record will drop May 8th, and supposedly features "Albarn's voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds".  Make of that what you will, but if it sounds as good as "The Marvelous Dream", which is featured in the preview, then it's sure to be one of our favorites of the year.  So. Stoked.