Friday, June 29, 2007

Contest: The White Stripes Icky Thump Gear

It's RC's first contest of the summer, and fittingly we get to give away swag from one of the summer's best albums, Icky Thump.

The White Stripes new LP is basically awesome, innovative and fun from start to finish.

The Prize Pack
-Icky Thump poster
-Icky Thump sticker
-Icky Thump pin

Leave your name and email in the comment box below or send to and we'll pick a winner at the end of next week.

Good luck!

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Concert Pirates: Beirut @ Koko 6/26/07

We fine travelers here at the Content have lifted wings and sailed seas to bring you the latest installment of Concert Pirates with our beloved banshee blowers, Beirut. It was at London’s historic Koko Theater that Beirut followed up its Glastonbury appearance with a set peppered with tracks from their two releases as well as highlights ("The Penalty", "Nantes") from their forthcoming long player, the Flying Club Cup, due October 9th.

Zach Condon’s usual wizardry of voice and presence played out in customary Beirut style with songs filled out and overturned with heavy-footed drums and quadruple fisted horn blowing. Being in such foreign vicinity, surrounded with accents ranging from marked eastern European gutturals, high nosed French patois, and burly oh-d Irish dialect, Koko seemed more a cross section of some world that Condon describes than a hipster chic venue for the indie affectioneers. His descriptions are more Paris than Moscow. His dance step contortions more child than man. In this live setting, his voice drifted even more between cabaret and street corner busker than our in ear perceptions of his recordings would make us believe, and we really did believe. It is almost as if Beirut was soundtracking some fictional tragedy typified by an Edith Piaf-like history. Condon sang the story and the night was ours along the Rhine, in that buried brick bar beneath British walkabouts, and hoping that somehow our transport would never fail to arrive and take us from this scenic world.

The Show is back up! Come grab it...

[mp3] BeirutThe Penalty (Live)
[mp3] BeirutBrandenburg (Live)
[mp3] BeirutNantes (Live)
[mp3] BeirutElephant Gun (Live)
[mp3] BeirutCarousels (Live)
[mp3] BeirutThe Canals Of Our City (Live)
[mp3] BeirutPostcards In Italy (Live)
[mp3] BeirutMount Wroclai (Live)
BeirutScenic World (Live)
[mp3] BeirutClosing Song (Live)
[mp3] BeirutAfter The Curtain (Live)
[mp3] BeirutCocek (Live)
[mp3] BeirutThe Gulag Orkestar (Live)
[mp3] BeirutSiki Siki Baba (Live)
I Guess I'm Floating
has new info and the tracklisting for Beirut's forthcoming album, the Flying Club Cup, as well as summer tour dates.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Film: Screaming Masterpiece

The sociodemographic characteristics of a community are often most transparent when experiencing art created in that environment. Art exposes the emotional core of a place and/or time., and Screaming Masterpiece takes on one of the most fascinating and mysterious artist communities on the planet - Iceland.

Over the last few decades Icelandic music has broken into the popular music world, starting most notably with Bjork and continuing with Sigur Ros, Amina, Mum, Johann Johannsson etc... The dark, beautiful melodies, bursting at the seam of Bjork's music, feels familiar in its anxiety but foreign in production and delivery. It's the often glacial pace and haunting tone that inform an audience of the barren, frigid and spectacularly beautiful landscape surrounding these Icelandic musicians.

Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon (dir) poses the question of why Icelandic music has always remained unique during it's 1000 year existence. In the words of real estate broker - location, location, location. What I gained from the film is that out of Iceland's isolated geographic location, (prior) lack of identity in the world and harsh climate, musicians in Iceland feel the need, and more importantly the freedom, to cross uncharted paths in the creation of sound. The swirling soun
ds of car horns, crowd noise and metal that helped create the New York noise scene, becomes the sounds of cold wind, running water and silence that informs Iceland's minimalist composers.

Screaming Masterpiece is full of beautiful imagery, great and often surprising music (not all Icelanders are introspective artists), and a great overall picture of the country's artistic culture.

[mp3] Bjork - Human Behaviour
[mp3] Sigur Ros - Untitled 1
[mp3] Mum - Dancing Behind My Eyelids

Buy Screaming Masterpiece

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Great Lake Swimmers @ The Hotel Cafe

Getting to the Hotel Cafe by doors open at 7 o’clock is a transit impossibility. I loaded This American Life's - 24 Hours at the Golden Apple for the ride, which made the hour long/11 mile trek not only bearable but quite a nice start to the evening.

For those not yet aquatinted with the Hotel Cafe, the place is a treat. You enter in through an alley, it's small. The stage is a low riser wrapped in red curtains, and everything is dimly lit by round lanterns hanging from the ceiling. I wish more people played here. It's a beautiful warm sounding room, and I don’t know if it's the norm or just the bands that were playing but I was among the most respectful, quiet audience I’ve encountered in L.A. Kudos to the grandmother that shushed noisy table 4. We'd all wanted to.

Ferraby Lionheart was on stage when we arrived. Where have I been with this guy? What’s not to love? Great lyrics, great 60s swing, and he looks like he’s taking ill when he sings. I wanted to buy this guy a bowl of tomato soup and make him a grilled cheese he was such a pleasant surprise.

[mp3] Ferraby Lionheart - A Bell And Tumble
[mp3] Ferraby Lionheart - Vermont Avenue

(Ferraby’s new album out Sept.4)

Great Lake Swimmers have a casual wisdom to their presence that is fitting. They are very calm, and gracious, and without announcement quietly took stage and started into songs from their new album.

It’s Log Cabin music. Tony Dekker's
waivering round voice haunts the room beautifully, and Erik Arnesen’s oft strummed (as opposed to plucked) banjo is understated and blends into the whole of songs, complete and serene. They brought a harmonium with them underlying one song with its comforting drones, and the bass and drums, not ever particularly slow are deliberate and paced. It’s music that feels like winters outside.

[mp3] Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine
[mp3] Great Lake Swimmers - I Will Never See The Sun

(GLS’s new album “Ongiara” out now)


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Monday, June 25, 2007

Amiina’s Kurr for London’s aches

Amiina’s new full length, Kurr, is a great recovery album; the type of sound that you need to mend your broken body after three days of pretending to have overcome your jetlag in a foreign city and then crashing in a humiliating day ache of bones and muscles. I could blame the fall out of routine and stability on the late night dance off that occurred in some Panjshiri-type lounge. Or maybe it was the half-city walk-a-thon along the entire South Bank of London. Or it quite possibly may be due to the three and a half hour stand off that occurred during an incredible reenactment of Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. But I know it’s really just because of my decision to finally…

Kurr’s beauty comes from its subtleties; the band has a keen ability to intersperse their many instruments throughout their arrangements with soundscape engineering rather than highlighting technique or a single sound. It’s that perfect blend of less-is-more that causes Kurr, and Aniima’s music in general, to be the soothing cure to our aches and pains caused by the acute angles of the trafficking within our daily life and times. I could take the easy road and tell you that they really just sound like the softer side of Sigur Ros, a band that they are continually collaborating with, but I think that I am just finally realizing that all Icelandic music contains this similar aesthetic of soft beauty and charm. Maybe I need to break out a little more.

[mp3] AmiinaHilli
[mp3] Amiina - Skakka (from the Aminamina EP)


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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mp3 Shakedown: 6/21

Here are some songs that were floating around in our inbox:

Kevin Drew's Spirit If is the first in a series of "Broken Social Scene Presents" releases that should be surfacing soon. This solo effort deconstructs Broken Social Scene's elaborate, musical web back to one of it's key sources (side note: co-founder Brendan Canning is next on the list for a solo album). "Tbtf" gives us the first taste of the LP, and it's hard not to love the hushed melodies and cascade of instruments. The title is quickly explained in the chorus, and left me with an ironic smirk.

[mp3] Kevin Drew - Tbtf

The Canadian love continues with They Shoot Horses Don't They?, an 8-piece from Vancouver with humor, heart and h-awesomeness. Taken from a page of the Frog Eyes bible, ...Horses yelp and wail through a pulsing keyboard and drum assault.

[mp3] They Shoot Horses Don't They? - A Place Called LA

Panda Bear debuted a new tune called "Daily Routine" at his New York show on Monday. Noah keeps the sampling alive, bookending the song with a frantic, high frequency synth loop, and leaving the tasty center for some beautiful vocal wanderings. Grab the rest of the show here.

[mp3] Panda Bear - Daily Routine

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some New Radiohead Clips!

Ummmm... these are excited times my friends. My ears just witnessed the first notes of Radiohead's 7th LP, and suprise surprise it's lovely. Here's a little note Nigel left on the Dead Air Space wall:

a bit of tape from the studio
I keep bits of tape which have been chopped out of the mixes
when they were edited .. stick em on a reel.. when you play it
back it sounds like.. this


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IHeartComix Pull Out All the Stops

When Franki and Travis of IHeartComix host Check Yo Ponytail, what would otherwise be a mere concert, becomes an all night event.

Instead of showing up to a club, watching the band you came to see and going home,
IHeartComix creates an environment of ongoing activity. My trip to the ExPlx on Saturday night became an all night experience, absorbing multiple DJ sets and three amazing artists.

As you may know, there is something great happening right now in the Baltimore music scene, and after a session of dance music from DJ Franki Chan and DJ Paparazzi, the night was commenced by Wham City's own - Video Hippos. Earlier in the month RC brought you some new tracks from Video Hippos - here. Live, the duo didn't waste much time, cranking through their album UnBeast the Leash, while a series of home made films played on the foreground of the stage. Despite
the band's somewhat primitive stage setup, they were able to conjure up enough sound to recreate the dense layering found on the LP.

Juiceboxxx is almost impossible to describe. While the mid-west, skinny, white rapper angle is somewhat played out these days, Juiceboxxx had some crazy heart. He didn't stop high jumping, fist waving or "Fuck" screaming until every person in the place was floored. If you ask me it was a great example of the 10% talent 90% heart rule for success. Do I love the raps - no, do I love Juiceboxxx - yes!

...and then it was time for the main event - Mr. Dan Deacon himself. With a quick count of twenty-five,"25's," the crazy, black bonfire of blips and beats began. RC is no stranger to Spiderman of the Rings, and couldn't wait to see the magic happen in real life.

The night included:

- a green skull strobe light, hoisted on a mic stand
-dance circle
-group sing-a-long with lyric sheets
-weird cult robes
-a creepy red light
-amazing music

Sound like a pretty rad night? It was - so don't miss Check Yo Ponytail every other Saturday at the ExPlx.

[mp3] Video Hippos - The List
[mp3] Dan Deacon - Trippy Green Skull

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Monday, June 18, 2007

White Stripes Bring the Rock Back to Tower!

Just when Tower Records was dead, Jack and Meag White bring the old giant back to life.

Here's the press release:

"The White Stripes will be performing a very special show in West Hollywood, CA on June 20th. The band will play a live show for fans at a specially constructed "Icky Thump Records" store on Sunset Boulevard. The location of Icky Thump Records is the site of the former Tower Records flagship store at 8801 W. Sunset Blvd. Tickets for this unique performance will be made available to the first 200 fans who purchase the album at this store, which opens at midnight on Monday, June 18th. Tickets are limited and will be given on a first come, first served basis. A handful of tickets will also be available to listeners of KROQ radio from Friday, June 15 - Sunday, June 17th. The Icky Thump Records performance will be the band's first Los Angeles show since December 2005."

God I love viral marketing campaigns.

[www] White Stripes - Icky Thump album stream

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Menomena and All Smiles @ The Troubadour

A night at the Troubadour is always an enjoyable experience. While it may never carry the scenester aura that coats the walls of the ExPlx, it's consistently filled with an appreciative crowd - there for the music. Of course all the historic music which has graced the club's stage is a plus as well.

Plagued by a band wide cold, All Smiles mustered up some lung power and played a decent rendition of their debut LP, Ten Readings of a Warning. Jim's vocals were most effected by the sickness (as you might expect); however, his warm tones remained intact throughout the show - best suited when woven into a piano melody.

Ten Readings of a Warning review with mp3

I am both an old and new fan of Menomena. Thanks to Pitchfork, I immediately became aware of the band's first album, I Blame the Fun Monster, but somehow the songs were never lodged in my ear canals. The LP sat untouched for over a year in my ever expanding itunes directory, until I heard "Wet and Rusting," off Friend and Foe. Quickly realizing my dire mistake, I plowed through Fun Monster again and discovered the true masterpiece inside. Neurons that once sat idle were now firing. Despite this epiphany, I was without Friend and Foe until after the show last night.

I think - startling - is the best one word description of Menomena's live experience. Their musical precision gives the illusion of nearing collapse, but in truth they are masters of negative space and modularization. Instruments were taken in and out of the song at will, and all three vocalists crosshatched various melodies across the songs canvas. When played for a friend he mentioned The Flaming Lips, and it's a great way to describe Menomena's freedom and spirit. While the music is deeply rooted in musical theory and structure, it remains clearly outside the realm of its musical peers. In my opinion Menomena just won best album, live show and cover art for the year 2007. Bam!

[mp3] Menomena - Wet and Rusting

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Van Dyke Parks and the baroque

Baroque pop is such a pretentious sounding way to describe interesting music. It sounds as if the artist crafting his work actually has a destination for his piece, a travel plan for the hands and fingers that chisel out the textures and details that turn atypical compositions into larger than life song structures. I had heard about Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle for some time before actually getting my hands on a copy. Van Dyke’s persona became somewhat legendary as a forerunner in the baroque pop aesthetic when he joined forces with Beach Boys’ maestro Brian Wilson to co write the lauded experimental pop masterpiece, Smile, the Versailles of baroque pop. It was on Smile that Wilson furthered his design of his modular production technique, an approach that made its way into the rotation of sounds on Van Dyke’s Song Cycle. It’s the acute attention to detail that crafts the baroque and Van Dyke proves his ability by applying his colorful wordsmithing, multi-instrumental arrangements to define each nook, cranny, and blemish on Song Cycle as well as Smile.

[mp3] Van Dyke ParksPalm Desert
[mp3] The Beach BoysSurf’s Up (Brian Wilson Solo)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Tiny Taste of Our Love to Admire

Interpol offers us up a tiny nibble of Our Love to Admire, with a clip from "Pioneer to the Falls" - when I say "clip" I mean opening guitar riff. Oh well, I guess it's better than nothing. Of course we do have "The Heinrich Maneuver" to keep us warm before July 10th. Follow this link to the official Interpol site, and click clips to get your taster.

[stream] Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver

Here are some US dates:

7/19 Rochester, NY - Harro East Ballroom
7/20 Atlantic City, NJ - Music Box @ Borgata
7/21 Norfolk, VA - Norva
7/23 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
7/24 Pittsburgh, PA - Byham
7/25 Columbus, OH - The LC Amphitheatre
7/27 Grand Rapids, Michigan - Orbit Room
7/28 Detroit, MI - MI State
7/30 Milwaukee, WI - Rave
7/31 Indianapolis, IN - Egyptain Room
8/01 St. Louis, MO - Pageant
8/03 Covington, KY - Madison Theatre
8/04 Chicago, IL - Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
8/05 Baltimore, MD - Pimlico Race Course (V Festival)
9/08 Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

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Monday, June 11, 2007

The Latest and Greatest in Framed Sound

The one man wonder YACHT has been documenting life on the road for all us info junkies. You can find his clips on Youtube here. Also, Jona just dropped off a summer treat:

[mp3] YACHT - The Summer Song

Dungen has a new video for "Familj" in support of their new album, Tio Bitar. The video was directed by experimental filmmaker Jon Leone. Prepare to be submerged into a sea of mind bending collage.

[mov] Dungen - Familj

The Horrors are no strangers to the art of music videos, and “She Is The New Thing” continues the tradition with a psychotic pen and ink animation following some sort of hungry demon.

[mov] The Horrors - She Is The New Thing

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Coastal Mixtape for a California Dream

I love California. I have no intentions of leaving. I have claimed my turf and set up shop, for there really cannot be any hidden treasure of property that can equal the celestial burn that has grazed and purified this southern coastal kingdom. Go ahead and call me out on my stereotypical, Californian brag, an annoyance, quite possibly, greater than any southern drawl or eastern drone. But in many ways I buy into the whole dream of our mythical coastal landscapes and possibilities for endless summers. For I have drudged the chills of Siberia, the suffocating stench and choke of northeastern humidity, and failed to find comparable troves of feminine form elsewhere. Friends, please do forgive my ostentation and inability to compromise my stable pretense but it is only in good faith that I propose for your conversion. Please do accept the gospel of our ways. Follow me to the light of the eternal sunset. California here we come.

[mp3] AmericaVentura Highway
[mp3] LowCalifornia
[mp3] The Beach BoysCalifornia Girls
[mp3] StereophonicsHave A Nice Day
[mp3] The ClienteleFrom Brighton Beach to Santa Monica
[mp3] The ThrillsBig Sur
[mp3] Joni Mitchell California
[mp3] The DecemberistsLos Angeles, I’m Yours
[mp3] RadioheadI Will (Los Angeles Version)
And for good measure...
[mp3] Death Cab For Cutie - Why You'd Want To Live Here

Welcome summer...


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Wasp Culture

Strangle structure.
The heretic dances fast in the rubble of the city walls.
Drop like beasts, drop like beasts.
Epigones sleep in shallow graves.
I am he.

The traveling tears of Sebastian Somersault.


“The same disease often afflicts artists and writers: they sink into satiated slumber in forms once invented and twice perfected. And they lack the strength to wound themselves, to cease loving what they once loved, to leave their old, familiar apartments filled with the scent of laurel leaves and walk away into the open field, to start anew.”
- Yevgeny Zamyatin (1923)

Wasp CultureUniversity Choir (Demo)


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Suggested Viewing: Mark James - Candylion

UPDATE: Sorry for the bad link - It's all good now!

Mark James - Gruff Rhys - "Candylion"

Candylion is the second solo slash side project album of Super Furry Animals frontman, Gruff Rhys. That’s his name and the band’s name. Lots of pretty cascading choruses, and acoustic accompaniment from what little I have heard. I can promise an occasional keyboard samba beat as well. If you liked SFA you’ll enjoy this. It’s sweet and nice.

The newscast - craft show form of this video is immediately pleasing in all its deadpan nonchalance. I love the glances back and forth and the cut out cut–a–ways. Hard to beat a good teleprompter stare, and a fake mustache over a real mustache.

Today's episode instructs us in making our own construction paper lion figurine. King of the sweetart jungle. It doesn’t hurt that Miss Lisa Jën, (joining Gruff Rhys on a few tracks from the album) is a complete doll herself. You know you fall hard when she does that little shoulder shrug.


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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Passionistas - God's Boat

Remember all those reasons you have for not paying for music – it’s overpriced, the artist never sees any of the money, only a few tracks on the album are worth listening to, etc… Well those are all really valid arguments, and I hope you never buy music that falls into that laundry list; however, when an album does pass the test, it seems only right that you buy it. Funny enough, I found just the right self-funded, attitude laden LP for you to buy, which will pay you back with its bleeding passion.

The Passionistas are a three piece from San Francisco whose debut album, God's Boat, is the first release from RC's favorite blogger Will (New and Used Records). God's Boat is a perfect addition to the summer catalogue for a few reasons. One, it's feels light and airy - Two, it embraces carelessness and abandon- Three, it's like nothing else out there.

Taking cues from the yelps of Iggy Pop turn the situation on its head - giving everyone the middle finger. The and guitars of 70's punk, The Passionistas' production is stripped bare. This in turn brings the vocals up front, giving them room to lash ironic slurs at the workings of today's world. "Y2K" takes society's rehashed doomsday fears, and mocks them through tongue-in-cheek lyrics and delivery. Everyone wants to make these big powerful songs about the state of our government, and The Passionistas
turn the situation on its head - giving everyone the middle finger. They take on an absurd situation with their own brand of absurdity. "Going Gay" and "Teenage Jesus" have the shock elements that keeps punk (and all art) interesting, but I've always hoped that at a deeper level the "shock value" was actually a glimpse at someone's unique (and honest) vision of the world. This hope lives on with The Passionistas. They're young, bratty and maybe just the fresh-air perspective this world needs. Please support the new guard.

[mp3] The Passionistas - Going Gay
[mp3] The Passionistas - The Socialist

06/08/07 Cafe Du Nord - San Francisco (record release show)

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Walter Meego Require More Arms

Life’s been getting pretty good. The Ed Banger gang, MSTRKRFT, the promise of more Sabastien Grainger. Dance music doesn’t mean listening to stuff that sucks anymore.

It was a struggle at first, in the early days of Figurine. It sounded too much like techno to get comfortable, but it had lyrics and pop structure. It built and went places instead of droning from one indistinguishable beat to the next.

It was confusing. Nobody danced. No matter how badly you wanted to, it was like the first half of Footloose up in independent music. Lots of people at lots of shows doing the “Standing Still”, but people where quietly, motionlessly, eager to try some new steps. We were given Daft Punk, and The Rapture, the LCD Soundsystems... everybody started djing, and rather quickly we’ve come to live in a glorious
new age of shake that ass.

You feel it? I’m feelin’ it.

Now, I said all that to say this: Walter Meego's gonna make you slip a disc.

Justin Sconza and Colin Yarck make up Champaign, Illinois’ Walter Meego, and they aim to get your toes tapping. In their own words: “Walter Meego is like the most delicious sandwich ever made.”

Have some:

[mp3] Walter Meego - Peg
[mp3] Walter Meego - Things Are Getting Better
[mp3] Walter Meego - Through A Keyhole

That's not the only tip I’ve got for you. When feeling like you're not dancing well; more arms. People don’t use enough arms. Gonna work like a charm.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Content Addicted 1.0

New music. Old Music. Good music. Bad music. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter when you are addicted. That tune that continues to make it onto your playlists and mixtapes. That song that you don’t mind leaving on repeat or pressing ‘track back’ a few times in a row. It might be your little secret or the one that everyone keeps going on about. When it’s good to you that is all that matters.

Low rumble. Slow burning. Humble in its demand for your listen. “Tired and wired we ruin to easy.” Completely affecting.

[mp3] The NationalApartment Story

I hung out with my parents and sister for about five minutes the other night at a social gathering. It was swell until I realized that my blood had been drained and my bones powdered to fit into a condensed package, a mere extension of my parent’s success, a trophy product for the breeders to shine in front of their crowd. Oh boy. I love camera.

[mp3] The Bird & The BeeI Hate Camera

I live on the West coast. I met an actress that I could not identify. I move real fine but only when listening to monophonic notes being punched by men in slim suits. My heart swings on amphetamines. My heart swings sometimes.

[mp3] InterpolThe Heinrich Maneuver

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