• Top Albums of 2013

    Dez 19 2013, 7h39

    In less than 20 words, here are my top 10 albums of 2013.

    1. The Knife- Shaking The Habitual
    The Knife rarely lets me down. Great, mind-melting companion listening with Tropic of Cancer and DVA Damas.

    2. Darkside – Psychic
    Futuristic blues with an electronic backbone from the coolest kids on the block, Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington.

    3. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
    Breathtaking. Ahhsome. Beautiful. Lovely. Demands repeated listens in the dark, during a long drive, in the kitchen, in the living get the idea!

    4. The Asphodells - Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust
    The Asphodells is Weatherall’s collab with Timothy J. Fairplay and it’s not that far off from those heyday 80s mixes; New Order-esque, melodic funk, fuzzy guitars and dubby disco. So good.

    5. DVA Damas - Nightshade
    Dark Cramps-vibe and minimal electronic beats make-up this much-welcomed debut from this LA duo. Listen to it loud.

    6. Tropic of Cancer - Restless Idylls
    Post-punk, captivating shoegaze and gorgeous dark hymns on Camella Lobo’s first proper album.

    7. ERAAS - Initiation
    Hints of Tropic of Cancer and early Tricky. This album makes wallowing in the darkness incredibly appealing.

    8. Soft Metals - Lenses
    Like Human League? Try some Soft Metals.

    9. Espectrostatic - Espectrostatic
    Soundtracky album in the spirit of John Carpenter.

    10. Miles - Faint Hearted
    Miles Whittaker is one-half of Demdike Stare but also known for his work with Andy Stott in Millie and Andrea.

    The Special Request (aka Paul Woolford) record is fantastic for those of you who would like a nostalgic slice of jungle revivalism. The album is called "Soul Music" and it's released under the Rob-Booth curated, Fabric in-house label called HoundsTooth which made XLR8R's Label of the Year list.

    BEST SONG on the Special Request album:
  • Top Albums of 2011

    Jan 3 2012, 0h43

    But, first a few random bits

    Biggest Bummer of 2011
    Not being able to attend “Wax Trax! Records Retrospectacle: 33 1/3 Year Anniversary” with Front 242, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Revolting Cocks et al. and getting laid off :(

    Best Show of 2011

    Best Interview of 2011
    My Interview with Ozzy

    Best Music Video

    Joy Division: "Transmission" (Playmobil Version)[

    ...and my top albums of 2011 in no particular order

    Emika: Emika
    Love, love the post-punk, minimal-techno and bass influences on this record. A dizzying debut masterpiece from a truly talented artist.

    Andy Stott: Passed Me By
    Deep, dark and beautiful soundscapes with hints of minimal techno and dubby atmospherics.

    Tropic Of Cancer The End Of All Things
    Oh man, this record is fantastic and you’ll agree with me if you grew up listening to bands like Suicide, MBV, Can etc.

    Modeselektor: Monkeytown
    Another fine record from one of the best dance producers (in my opinion) on the planet. Add Thom Yorke in the mix, it’s pure electronic bliss. Lotus dance anyone?

    Washed Out: Within and Without
    To all the naysayers who claim chillwave died in ’09, ’11 was quite a strong year for the scene, with both Greene and Toro Y Moi releasing strong major-indie releases.

    Iceage: Brigade
    Just when I thought I lost hope in punk music, Iceage comes along. A mixture of post-punk that's heady, dark and in the light of Warsaw (Joy Division).

    Balam Acab - Wander/Wonder
    If ambient music were disco, Balam Acab would rule the dance floor.

    Zomby: Dedication
    Absolute fire! Jungle/DnB/Breaks have been re-embraced by the dude who brought you ‘Where Were You In ‘92?’ and the dubstep scene is better off because of it. *Lighter*

    Lykke Li : Wounded Rhymes
    Similar to musical stepsister Adele or Amy Winehouse, two female neo-soul artists who I truly heart, Lykke’s latest creates melancholic pieces of stunning artistry. It's also a perfect album for those who love a good cry.

    Barn Owl: Lost in the Glare
    Spooky, dark, sometimes abrasive, other times gentle, but always
    seductive...Love love love
  • Interview with the Ting Tings

    Set 16 2010, 17h32

    Remember The Ting Tings? The Manchester duo who quickly rose to fame back in 2008 with their sassy debut album We Started Nothing. The record had such a maddeningly unique sound that Apple snagged the song “Shut Up And Let Me Go” for one of their Apple/iPod adverts. Now the pair is back, and are getting their “Hands” dirty again with a new album amongst other “tings.”

    Comprised of Katie White (singer) and Jules De Martino (drums), San Francisco’s Live 105 caught up with the Ting Tings for a quick chat about their colorful success through Apple, the artistic direction of the new album, and the latest single called “Hands.”

    Check out the interview here!
  • Interview: We Are Scientists Share Secret Scooting Grounds!

    Set 9 2010, 23h29

    Our friends at booked the NYC indie-rockers We Are Scientists in for a session and let’s just say their studio live performance doesn’t stray from the norm. But once Keith Murray and Chris Cain sat down for the chat, it turned into the Keith & Chris show!

    As an added bonus, for those of you familiar with the homemade music video to their second single “Nice Guys” showing the two busting some brutal skateboarding accidents around town, we couldn’t help but ask the two to share with us the top 5 popular skating grounds for us to do our own clumsy tricks.

    Click here for the interview
  • Q&A: Last Call For AFI and Green Day @ The Shoreline Amphitheater

    Set 8 2010, 18h15

    If it’s hard to believe Bay Area punk vets Green Day and AFIhave now been at it for over two decades, it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re still keeping things punk especially in their hometown. On Saturday, Green Day‘s front-man Billy Joe Armstrong told a sold-out crowd at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Ca; “A lot of effin a**holes from the Bay Area, they split and go to a *hithole called Hollywood.” “Well I’m effin staying in Oakland, baby.”

    Our friends at Live 105 caught up with drummer Tre’ Cool of Green Day and lead-singer Davey Havok of AFI for a quick chat on the tour thus far, punk-rock and being back in NorCal. The Guest List, too, was able to snag a top 5 list from Davey Havok. Let’s just say this list contains no mention of fueling any mosh-pits anytime soon.

    With much regret, we were unable to get Tre’s time for a “fiver”, but Live 105′s Pete Mar managed to sneak in our ‘Top 5 List” question with lead-singer Davey Havok of AFI.

    Click here for the interview.
  • New video from Tegan and Sara, plus the inside scoop on unreleased demos!

    Jul 30 2010, 18h30

    Canadian duoTegan and Sara have released a video to "On Directing," one of our favorite cuts from their sixth studio album Sainthood, produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Christopher Walla (who also produced "The Con") as well as Howard Redekopp (who produced 2004's "So Jealous").

    The video is pretty low-fi showing the twins side by side surrounded by lots of colorful lights with Sara Quinn belting heartfelt lyrics "I know it turns you off when I get talking like a teen" that only Katy Perry wished she came up with first for her "Teenage Dream."

    Watch the video here!

    On tour with Paramore as part of the Honda Civic Tour, Tegan and Sara recently announced the release of a six-LP box set packaging their past work into one large vinyl set which will include nine demo tracks dating back to the recording of "So Jealous."

    Listen to them here!

    Tour Dates:
    July 23 Raleigh Boutique Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC
    July 24 Delaware State Fair Harrington, DE
    *July 25 The Norva Norfolk, VA (T&S deadline date)
    July 27 Oakdale Theatre Wallingford, CT
    *July 29 Higher Ground Burlington, VT (T&S headline date)
    *July 30 Comcast Center – Mansfield, MA (Lilith Fair)
    July 31 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD
    Aug 1 Glens Falls Civic Center Glens Falls, NY
    Aug 3 Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion Gilford, NH
    Aug 4 Festival Pier at Penn's Landing Philadelphia, PA
    Aug 6 Nikon Theater at Jones Beach Wantagh, NY
    Aug 7 Hershey Park Pavilion Hershey, PA
    Aug 8 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center Darien Center, NY
    Aug 10 Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre Tower City Cleveland, OH
    Aug 12 PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
    Aug 14 Miller Stage Milwaukee, WI
    Aug 15 Meadow Brook Theatre Rochester Hills, MI
    Aug 17 Hoyt Sherman Place Des Moines, IA
    Aug 18 Charter One Pavilion Chicago, IL
    Aug 19 The Lawn at White River State Park Indianapolis, IN
    Aug 21 Nashville Municipal Auditorium Nashville, TN
    *Aug 30 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC (T&S headline date)
    *Aug 31 WorkPlay Soundstage Birmingham, AL (T&S headline date)
    Sep 1 The Arena at Gwinnett Center Duluth, GA
    Sep 2 St. Augustine Ampihtheatre – St. Augustine, FL
    Sep 4 Bayfront Park Amphitheatre – Miami, FL
    Sep 5 UCF Arena – Orlando, FL
    Sep 7 Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena New Orleans, LA
    Sep 8 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – Houston, TX
    Sep 10 Nokia Theatre – Dallas, TX
    *Sep 11 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK (T&S headline date)
    Sep 13 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Denver, CO
    Sep 15 Dodge Theatre Phoenix, AZ
    Sep 17 Theatre HP Pavilion San Jose, CA
    Sep 18 Viejas Arena San Diego, CA
    Sep 19 Honda Center Anaheim, CA
  • Local Shows I'd Like To Check Out

    Jul 28 2010, 21h37

    7/30 - wolf parade - fox
    8/14 - outsidelands
    8/28 - Chemical Bros - Fox
    9/6 - Panda Bear - Fox
    9/20 - Charlatans - Bimbos
    10/7 - Klaxons - GAMH
    10/16 - Treasure Island fest
    10/17 - Hot Chip - warfield
    10/18 - Interpol - Fox
    10/19 - Foals - San Jose
    10/29 - of Montreal - Warfield
    10/30 - GorillaZ - Oracle
    11/2 - Gary Numan - Fillmore
    12/3 - 12/6 - 12/8 - Roger Waters - San Jose

    (work in progress)
  • Martina Topley-Bird interview and performance

    Jun 8 2010, 16h00

    Prepare to be immediately smitten by the husky, breathy voice and confessional lyrics of Martina Topley Bird, the female vocalist who accompanied trip-hop pioneer, Trickyon his first four albums in the mid '90s. Since then, Martina has been recording under her own name mixing elements of soul, blues, dance, and rock to fashion a moody sound that's all her own . She’s worked with everyone from Danger Mouse who produced her sophomore effort, The Blue God and most recently with Damon Albarn of the Gorillazwho produced and released Martina’s latest album Some Place Simple on his label, Honest Jon. She also recorded four tracks with Massive Attack for their new album Heligoland and has been on tour with them, appearing as guest vocalist on a number of tracks including "Teardrop," originally sung byElizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins.

    Before her San Francisco gig at the Warfield with Massive Attack, Martina Topley Bird stopped by our San Francisco studio for an exclusive performance and interview. She talked about her new album Some Place Simple and working with Damon Albarn and Massive Attack. We also learned she loves Tom Waits and finds inspiration through Bollywood movies.

    Without further ado, check out the interview, plus a performance of "Blue Bird" and "Kiss Kiss Kiss" below. Enjoy!

    Interview, plus two performances available here.
  • Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video

    Mar 12 2010, 19h25

    Extreme, wild, entertaining, epic, provocative, edgy, original, zany, amazing, and the list goes on and on. These are just some of best words i can come up with to describe Lady Gaga's music video for "Telephone" featuring Beyonce. True to it's expectation, the video is nothing but "kick-ass!"

    The video clocks in at nine-and-a-half minutes long and feels like a Quentin-Tarintino mini-movie where the first three minutes are made up of Gaga in a stylized all women prison. There's some pretty risque scenes where Gaga wears barley nothing as well as a Beyonce showing a potty-mouthed side of her we've never seen before.

    Watch the video for "Telephone" below.
  • New music I'm crazy about...

    Fev 18 2010, 1h06

    Lightspeed Champion
    Hynes trades his alt-rock leanings for orchestral pop elements on "LIS!NTMY." Drawing inspiration from musical theatre, "Life is Sweet..." plays like an updated Bowie.

    Field Music (Measure)
    Psych and power pop join art rock in Field Music's musical rock tumbler. And, the resulting rock is a gem. How will you measure this 20/21-track opus?

    Peter Gabriel "Scratch My Back"
    This is Peter Gabriel's first studio release since 2002's "Up." The latest album of covers features songs from Radiohead, David Bowie, and Arcade Fire.

    Massive Attack
    After a seven-year hiatus, the legendary duo returns with “Heligoland,” featuring an all-star roster of guest vocalists including Damon Albarn and Tunde Adebimpe. So...was it worth the wait?

    Hot ChipOne life Stand
    While most dance-rock is preoccupied with making you shake, Hot Chip takes a chance with the opposite on “One Life Stand,” marrying heartfelt lullabies with laid-back rhythms.

    Sade ‘A Soldier of Love’
    Sade Adu and band re-emerge after a ten-year break with an intimate and edgier sound on “A Soldier of Love.” Is she still a “Smooth Operator”?