Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Dodos - "Confidence"

This morning, deep in the "new releases" feed on Rdio, the new single from The Dodos popped up, and frankly, we couldn't be more stoked. "Confidence", which is from the forthcoming LP Carrier, sees the San Francisco duo at possibly the most polished we've ever heard them. And, frankly, that's a good thing: The amazing songwriting remains, and the cleaned up production allows for vocals that truly emphasize Meric Long's killer pipes, as well as an instrumental breakdown that shows off their instrumental chops in a serious way. We're guessing this is the beginning of a killer year for The Dodos, and if you check the track below, we're guessing you'll agree.

Monday, May 20, 2013

U2 - "The Wanderer"

U2's 1993 record Zooropa is an underrated gem of the band's catalog. It held the hits "Lemon", "Stay",  and "Numb", yet is oft-considered the younger sibling of the monster hit Achtung Baby from the year prior. Even the band's guitarist Edge has referred to it as nothing "more than an interlude". Recorded while the band was on the Zoo TV tour for that earlier record, Zooropa was an extension of the Achtung Baby aesthetic, but bathed it the realities of touring, and free of the sterility of the studio. Many of the songs were loaded with societal critique, and the broken-hearted romance of its predecessor was largely left behind. Those songs that did qualify as "love" songs had a more positive bent, and were more about finding love, than lamenting its loss. Case in point, the album's final track, "The Wanderer".

A bit of an anomaly on the record, the song (which was written and recorded by U2) has vocals by the late Johnny Cash. This is, depending on your perspective, a lovely close to the album by one of music's greats, or the lost chance to hear Bono's vocals on one of the record's best compositions. Here at HAD, we've always fallen between the two camps: The writing on the tune is unquestionably killer, and it's one of the albums highlights. Moreover, we had never had access to a Bono version of the track, so there was no real way to know what we were missing — until now.

Over the weekend, we stumbled upon the video above while browsing the interwebs. Filmed at a Johnny Cash tribute after his death, the clip features the band singing "The Wanderer" in full as a tribute to Mr. Cash. And, we must say: it's amazing. The tune's range is perfect for Bono's late-career vocals, and Edge adds a Dion-style backing vocal not found on the album. The two come together to flesh out the tune and allow it to come together as something it never was on Zooropa: the album's defining track, allowing the band to head out into the world to explore the next big thing, and go wandering.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Suuns - Images du Futur

While we're not exactly sure that we agree with Spinner's estimation that the band is "like Liars or Clinic", we couldn't be happier to have discovered that they're streaming the new record from Suuns, Images du Futur, over at the site. A couple of weeks back we tweeted the band's video for "2020", a killer track off the new record. Well, now in addition to that gem, we've got a whole disc of audio, and a new video for "Edie's Dream" (above).

In short, we're very, very, excited about the release. The band has taken their experimental sonics from the first record, and honed them down into arrangements that are simpler, even more engaging, and as acoustically edgy as their predecessors. At the same time, the deceptively poppy grooves from the first disc have only become more prevalent. Much like the work of many of the great visual artists of the modern era was honed after a comprehensive understanding of traditional craft, so it is clear that Suuns have the ability to deliver catchy, de rigueur rock and roll. Instead, they've chosen to cast aside easier options, and instead deliver a record that focuses on texture, groove, and hidden melodies that stick in your head for days.

We'll be honest: A new Suuns record is not a hard sell for us, as we already loved the band from the get-go. That being said, the record is even better than we had expected, and the fact that it's paired with a serious bout of touring has us seriously excited. The Montreal-based band is even better in their live incarnation, and the fact that some of the dates are with The Besnard Lakes is simply an added bonus. To miss out on this tour would be a serious mistake, and may be what we would guess is your last chance to see them in truly small rooms. But don't take our word for it: stream the disc below and see for yourself!

Suuns 2013 Tour Dates
03/02/13 Saint-Tite, QC - A la Fut w/ We Are Wolves
03/08/13 Saint-Hyacinthe, QC - Le Zaricot w/ We Are Wolves
03/12/13 Laval, QC - Studio Theatre w/ We Are Wolves
03/23/13 Toronto, ON - Lee's Place
03/29/13 Joliette, QC - Cabaret Arena w/ We Are Wolves
03/30/13 Terrebonne, QC - Moulin Neuf w/ Plants and Animals
04/04/13 Montreal, QC - Sala Rossa
04/05/13 Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle
04/09/13 London, ON - Call The Office
04/10/13 Windsor, ON - Phog Lounge
04/11/13 Hamilton, ON - Casbah
04/12/13 Kingston, ON - The Grad Club
04/13/13 Ottawa , ON - Ritual
04/15/13 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
04/16/13 Washington, DC - Black Cat
04/17/13 Pittsburgh, PA - 6119
04/18/13 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/19/13 Grand Rapids, MI - The Pyramid Scheme w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/20/13 Chicago, IL - Schuba's w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/21/13 DeKalb, IL - Otto's Nightclub w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/22/13 Bloomington, IN - Bishop Bar w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/23/13 St. Louis, MO - Firebird w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/24/13 Fayetteville, AR - J.R.'s Lightbulb Co w/ The Besnard Lakes
04/25/13 Dallas, TX - Club DaDa w/ The Besnard Lakes & Black Mountain
04/26/13 Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
04/29/13 Rome, IT - Lanificio 159
04/30/13 Modena, IT - Mattatoio
05/02/13 Zagreb, HR - Culture Factory Club
05/03/13 Krems, AT - Donau Festival
05/04/13 Munich, DE - Atomic Cafe
05/05/13 Berlin, DE - Comet
05/06/13 Cologne, DE - Studio 672
05/07/13 Metz, FR - Les Trinitaires
05/08/13 Zurich, CH - Rote Fabrik
05/09/13 Paris, FR - Trabendo
05/10/13 Lille, FR - Le Grand Mix
05/11/13 Brussels, BE - La Nuit de Botanique
05/12/13 Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg
05/13/13 Brighton, UK - The Haunt
05/14/13 London, UK - XOYO
05/15/13 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
05/16/13 Dublin, IE - The Grand Social
05/17/13 Liverpool, UK - Kazimier
05/18/13 Bristol, UK - The Exchange
05/22/13 Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar
05/23/13 Vancouver, BC - Media Club
05/25/13 George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
05/26/13 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge

Stream: Suuns - Images du Futur

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Video: David Bowie - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"

Here we go: things are kicking into overdrive for the release of David Bowie's new record The Next Day, and that includes today's release of the latest single from the record, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)". The tune, which was released as a video(above) starring Tilda Swinton and directed by Floria Sigismondi, opens with an almost-"Station To Station"-esque instrumental interlude, only to then break down into a rock jam akin to much of Bowie's last big single "New Killer Star".

As with Reality, these rockers tend to kill live, which is what makes it all the more disappointing that Bowie won't be doing more than a show or two in support of his new record. Nonetheless, the track provides a stark contrast to last month's "Where Are We Now", and leaves us with a real question about just how the new record will come together, and whether it will fulfill a hefty spot as the apex of the second half of Bowie's career. A title which currently, in our opinion, continues to be dominated by 2002's Heathen. Either way, we're stoked and ready to digest an album's worth of material.

"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" is available on iTunes and will see physical release on Record Store Day as a limited edition single.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Johnny Marr — "Upstarts"

There's no denying that Johnny Marr long ago solidified his place in the world of cool, ranging from his tenure with the Smiths, to playing guitar for Modest Mouse at the height of their most recent success. Even so, we still were unprepared for the awesomeness that Marr was set to deliver with his new solo work. Culled from the forthcoming record The Messenger, "Upstarts" is a three-and-a-half minute dose of some of the best power pop we've heard in a long time. It's an utterly delightful slice of a sound that is at the same time classic and new, absent of a specific place or era. On top of that, Marr and Co managed to create a killer vintage-feel video for the song that is spot-on. Needless to say, we are very excited about this record.

Stream: Johnny Marr - The Messenger (Full Album)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Phoenix - "Entertainment"

Well, here it is. The first single from Bankrupt!."Entertainment" is a bombastic dose of classic Phoenix, with a solid dose of synth thievery from the vibe of Siouxsie's "Hong Kong Garden". Which isn't to say it's derivative, or that it's anything less than great. It's undeniably fantastic to hear the latest from these Frenchmen.

"Entertainment" picks up stylistically right where Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix left off, and demonstrates its skill as "Girlfriend"'s able bodied cousin. In short, it is a showcase for the band's intricate riffing and rock-solid songwriting, while Thomas Mars' vocals sail about it all. 

We'll stop gushing now, and just go listen to it on repeat. You should probably do the same — check it above.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stream The New Frightened Rabbit

We'll admit it: after our heavy-duty adoration of Frightened Rabbit's second record, The Midnight Organ Fight, we were a bit let down by the band's third effort, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks. Not that there was anything "wrong" with it per se, but it just simply didn't have the passion or balls-to-the-walls aplomb that we had grown to love. Instead, it felt more like a go-through-the-motions effort that rehashed the most obvious parts of the band's sound.

As such, it was with great hesitation that we sampled the band's new single "Woodpile" (video above) when it dropped last December. We need not have been worried. The track brings the band back to their awesome, impassioned vigor of old, and creates a haunting soundscape that culminates in a screeching guitar avalanche that encourages you to sing along at full volume

Fast forward to this week, and there's even more good news: the whole album is fantastic. Whatever steps they took to ensure this, they were the right ones. Pedestrian Verse drops in February, but it's streaming now over at the Guardian UK, and you should most certainly go have a listen. Everything about the record is on-point, and we couldn't be happier to have a new musical addiction

Stream: Frightened Rabbit — Pedestrian Verse

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

John Cale Live On KEXP

Around these parts, our affection for John Cale knows no bounds. And, despite the fact that we have undying love for his classic records(like Paris 1919 which was recently so well revived at BAM), we have been equally smitten with his latest record, Shifty Aventures In Nookie Wood. The record finds Cale in a true return-to-pop-form, deviating from his more recent noisy work, and instead embracing the art-pop he has always delivered so well. It's truly a fantastic listen.

So, you can imagine our delight when we recently stumbled across the knowledge that Cale had made a mid-December stop at KEXP, and recorded a killer set. Not only does he deliver the seventies classics "GUTS" and "You Know More Than I Know", but also stripped-down takes on the new tunes "I Wanna Talk To You" and "December Rains". It's all there in glorious HD, with the 70-year-old Cale sounding fantastic. Check it out above!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Flaming Lips - "Sun Blows Up Today" (Video)

It's been a good long while since we've heard a new jam from The Flaming Lips, so we were stoked to learn that their new record The Terror is due April 2nd, and the lead single just droped on the interwebs! "Sun Blows Up Today" is a synth laden psychedelic trek that recalls a hybridization of some of their more recent fuzzy guitar work, and the subtle melodies of The Soft Bulletin in short — it's killer, and we're loving it. Stream the vid (complete with lyrics!) above...

Monday, January 28, 2013

[Gossip] Will A New My Bloody Valentine Record Drop Tomorrow?

People have been clamoring for a new record from My Bloody Valentine ever since the band reunited to overwhelming success over five years ago — and you can't really blame them. Not only is the band in top-form, but Kevin Shields has been continually dropping nuggets to the press indicating that such a record was just around the corner.

Well, last night at Brixton's Electric, apparently the news became notably more specific. Apparently, when Shields was asked by an audience member when the new record drop, the reply was "in the next two or three days". Whoa. Normally we'd think it was a joke, but in the age of streaming audio and digital releases, there's really no telling.

Apparently there was a video of the whole event, which has since received a takedown notice on youtube. Rest assured, we're keeping our ears close the ground in the hope of more news. Fingers crossed!!!