Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Music Videos: Radiohead

After starting the pay-what-you-want mini-revolution and a remix competition that gave them their highest-charting single in a decade, Radiohead is still getting attention. This time, it's for their new video for "All I Need", a video driven by the clever concept of a side-by-side comparison of a day in the life of children in the West and East hemispheres.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Music: Nine Inch Nails and Coldplay

New aingles by NIN and Coldplay are surfacing this week. Trent and Co's new track is called "Discipline", and it's from their next album which doesn't seem to have a title yet (if you downloaded the song from their official site, the ID3 album label reads "?"). After "Year Zero" and "Ghosts", it's a little surprising how much more accessible this track is, but the essential DNA of NIN is still all there.

Also, the first single from Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" is out. It's called "Violet Hill" and it's 10 degrees to the left of being exactly what you'd expect from them. They're trying to stretch, but not very far. The note-lacking guitar solo proves that they're outside their comfort zone, but they got a lot of potential here to work with.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Live Music: The Verve at Coachella

We're baaaaaaaaack. And first up: The Verve, on the edge of a comeback. At least in the alt rock world. But how cool would it be if they got back on the radio? Anyway, The Verve played at Coachella '08, and their latest performance of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is safe but really gets the nostalgia flowing. Here's hoping for some "Urban Hymn"-quality new material from them this year.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Because of time constraints and technical issues, we're taking the week off for the first time since the holidays. We'll be back next Monday with more A/V finds. Until then, enjoy Elbow's new album ("The Seldom Seen Kid"), released tomorrow, because it's kinda amazing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Music: Weezer

The full Weezer single is here! "Pork and Beans", the first released track from the upcoming self-titled Red Album, has been posted on Weezer's official website. The first thing we did when we saw it was turn on Audacity so we could post it here. It's what Weezer does best: loveable nerd rock juxtaposed with electric guitars that can kick your ass. Fans put off by Weezer's "Beverly Hills" era should be happy with this song, because it could have easily been on their first album.

Music Videos: Sia's New Single

"The Girl You Lost to Cocaine" (Sometimes abbreviated to "The Girl You Lost", depending on where you see it) has been my favorite post-"Breathe Me" Sia song for months, and now I finally have a crazy-ass video to enjoy as well. The video's concept as simple enough (Sia singing the song with dozens of insane costume changes), but the videos still somehow more riveting than any "High-concept" video out there right now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Music: Phantom Planet

Phantom Planet's new album "Raise the Dead" is the biggest surprise of 2008 so far. The album kicks off with a title track that takes Arcade Fire's sound and molds it into something more accessible (Not a bad thing to do at all), and every track that follows is an indie gem in some way or another. Unfortunately, these days, the mention of Phantom Planet's name leads to a lot of eyerolling among alt music fans, but hopefully this album will win them back some the respect that they deserve. Here's three standouts from the album:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Live Covers: Ted Leo performs Daft Punk

Ted Leo is one of those indie musicians that has tons of extremely loyal fans and has been around forever, but has somehow managed to be spared from getting declared "The Next Big Thing" by alt music media, a gift and curse that inevitably ends in a bitter backlash and has-been status. Thankfully, he's still loveable with no judgement, and his funny covers are always entertaining to go through. If you read a lot of blogs like this, you've probably already seen his semi-joke hybrid of "Since You Been Gone" and "Maps", so we'll skip that one and post his Daft Punk cover in Austin last year.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Music Videos: New Steve Winwood

And now for our usual 3-sentence Friday post before we rush out to start the weekend... New Steve Winwood! He's back, and his video for "Dirty City" is pretty good. He sounds as good now as he did in his Blind Faith days, and it's nice to still have him around.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Remixes: Non-blasphemous mixes of Johnny Cash's "Hurt"

In my own opinion, Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" is the most heartbreaking song ever recorded. So when I found out that there are tons of remixes of the song, I was both horrified and intrigued. What could you POSSIBLY do to that song? Apparently, a lot. There are plenty of people who will hate these before even listening to them, and you know you are, so just move along and come back tomorrow. DJ MP3 (seriously, that's the most creative name you could think of?) has done some interesting things with the song, including a fantastic instrumental overhaul of the song, and a full-scale remix that piles the instruments over the original. The latter isn't perfect, but viewed as a demo, it holds up really well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Covers: David Choi Again

We raved about David Choi's subversive cover of "Gimme More" forever ago, and now we're throwing some love towards his less groundbreaking still loveable cover of "No One". The guy's voice has a ridiculous amount of soul per square inch, and it shows through in all 40 (!) covers that he's posted on his Youtube page. Honorable mention go to his covers of "Crazy", "Mixtape", and, yes, "Hit Me Baby One More Time".

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Music: Adele's "19"

Adele's widely loved debut album, "19", was digitally released in the US today, with a physical release set to happen in another couple months. The album is impressively consistant, with even the weakest handful of songs still earning a solid "B". The best song on the album is the intensely emotional closer "Hometown Glory". She's coming to the US this summer to do a string of small acoustic shows, and you would be stupid to miss her if you have the chance to go-- she sounds just as good live as she does in the studio, if not better.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Music Videos: The New Blind Melon

The new video for Blind Melon's single "Wishing Well" is here. I sense a lot of resentment from people for the original singer's replacement, and while I agree that the remaining members of the band should have just rebooted under a new name and let the Blind Melon title rest in peace, I really don't hate this new lineup. It's almost upsetting how similar the new guy sounds to Shannon Hoon, but if you analyze these guys on their own merits instead of fixating on what they sounded like way back when, they really are a still a good band. This "Wishing Well" is an extremely likeable song, and while it doesn't have that loveable indie-style charisma of mid-90s Melon, this new incarnation will be fine.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Old Covers: Social Distortion's "Ring of Fire"

I just felt like going with some good old stuff today, mostly because the weekend officially began 23 minutes ago and I got shit to do. Social Distortion, one of my favorite bands ever, did a bold punk cover of "Ring of Fire" on their self-titled 1990 album, and the risk paid off. The song holds up well and modernizes the original, which hasn't aged well (I mean sonically, it still totally holds up creatively). Have a good weekend, and remember to Myspace us any audio/video content that you think would fit in with our archives.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Remixes: CSS takes over new B-52s

The B-52s released a new album recently, an album that I honestly more or less ignored at first because I assumed it was another sad album by a fiftysomething year old band that should have stopped decades ago. But when a friend emailed me the title track, "Funplex", and a CSS remix of the same song, I was really shocked by how good it was. The male vocals are a little hard to take during the first few listens, but the rest of the song is just wild. They've kept up with the New Wave genre and its progression pretty well in the last 20 years, and this song sounds like it could have just as easily been written and recorded by modern new wave bands like New Young Pony Club or Morningwood. The CSS remix adds a little extra bounce with some cool electro keyboard sounds, and this remix could have easily been the single itself.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Live Music: Shauna Burns

Shauna Burns is one of those artists that not many people know about even though they're so talented that it's ridiculous. Tori Amos is the most obvious comparison, but Shauna sets herself apart with almost flawlessly composed instrumentals that give her music an intensity that you don't find with most singer-songwriter types. Here's a video of her performing "Tumbleweed", the best-known song from her most recent album, where you can see for yourself what an incredible pianist she is. Below that is an MP3 of "Camelot's Waiting", a song that was born for a soundtrack to a brilliant movie.

New Music: The Black Keys

The new Black Keys album is out. It's nice. I don't really know what else to say about it. It's not a bad album at all; I actually didn't dislike any song on it. But at the same time, none of the songs sent me rushing to iTunes to put it on my iPod (except maybe "Psychotic Girl", which grows on me). I guess I just expected something more exciting with Danger Mouse producing. The album's on iMeem so you can decide for yourself.