The Black Lips are releasing a new album titled Arabia Mountain with Vice Records on June 7. The new songs they have made available (below) seem a bit more polished than previous releases. Now don’t go and have a heart attack, or start calling them “sell outs” just yet, the cleaned up sound is definitely not a bad thing. They still rock, and sound like they are still having a blast doing it.
Black Lips – Modern Art
Black Lips – New Direction
Shan’s original post from 01.05.2007:
Lester Bangs’ favorite song was “96 Tears” the Mysterians. John Peel’s favorite was “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones. Both were love songs by garage bands that could barely play chords and likely couldn’t read music any better than I can. The message is clear: for the most vaunted of audiophiles, “bad” is the best kind of rock music because the whole point is that it’s supposed to sound bad to somebody, hopefully your parents and/or local law enforcement officials and church leaders. By those standards, the Atlanta group Black Lips is pretty damned good. Granted, their really-old garage sound is slightly more preening than authentic, but that seems to be purely a matter of birthdates. You don’t get the sense that they’re being anything but their goofy-ass selves when they sing about having a bad day or set off on some epic live shows of Brian-Jonestown-Massacre proportions. For that, we salute them.
I don’t think I’ve been this excited about demos before. The Raveonettes last album Lust Lust Lust engendered exactly that in my aural cavity. Their fuzzy washes of surf guitars and garage rock immediately balmed the ever-present ringing in my ears and Sharin and Sune still lull me to sleep at night with their addictively sweet melodies. They’re so good that I don’t mind when I awake in the morning wrapped in headphone chord. Dangerous? Yep. Worth it? You bet. The tentatively titled “Last Dance” perfectly captures my fascination with these Danes: from the opening line (which I wish I’d written), “Your lipstick smeared sad,” to the Beach Boys-ish woo-woos in the background, to the theme of the song itself (Sune succinctly explains it: “how drug addiction interferes with love”). My addiction to The Raveonettes hasn’t interfered with my love life, rather with Alisa’s sleep patterns, specifically when the wall of guitars rush in between verses of their track “Hallucinations” and bleed from my ears. It hurts oh so good.
Continue reading “The Raveonettes”
Four years later (look how short our posts used to be back then…) and Chromeo are still making us feel touched for the very first time with their naughty ’80s dance funk. Their latest release offers their sophomore album, Fancy Footwork, plus a bonus disc of greatest hits, videos, and remixes (though there are at least twice as many still floating out there in clubland). Get your tight white pants on for this action.
Previous post (from 6/21/04):
A faithful homage to ’80s processed funk phenomena (Jesse Johnson’s Revue, Timex Social Club, Oran “Juice” Jones, et al), “Needy Girl” could be my not-so-guilty pleasure of the summer. (This post updated on 09.16.04 with a couple of swell “Me & My Man” remixes.)
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Justice is a French DJ duo known for, among other things, a rumbling synthetic bassline that hits you like an electric shock. They released the addictive if woefully abbreviated Waters of Nazareth EP just over a year ago, and I’ve been dancing to it, especially the piece de resistance title track, ever since. Now, mind you, I was born without a stitch of rhythm or grace, so when I say I’ve been dancing to it, what I really mean is that I’ve been bobbing my head to it. But trust me, it’s been a wicked head-bob. “Waters of Nazareth,” unfortunately, has never been available in its original form as a free download (understandable for club DJs who live track to track) so you’ll have to go to MySpace and listen to it through your browser. Likewise “D.A.N.C.E.,” Justice’s latest cool-kid craze (with an awfully cool video to boot). And there’s plenty more where that came from: It may have taken over a year for the boys to get together an LP’s worth of originals, but they’ve been rather busy mashing, remixing, and getting remixed. Here’s just a samplingâ€”go to Vice’s great MP3 “Blog Up Your Jaxxy” for loads more hard-to-find Justice tracks and remixes.
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If classic French pop singers are my weakness, then Charlotte Gainsbourg is kryptonite. Sheâ€™s not only the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg, Franceâ€™s version of Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen combined, but sheâ€™s gifted with Gallic melancholyâ€”wispy melody-making that is perpetually running from the spotlight but never making it all the way outâ€”that seems to be instilled in the French, or at least those who sing, from birth. (Although, Charlotte is half-British, so perhaps thereâ€™s a bit of Anglo resignation there as well.) â€œThe Songs That We Singâ€ is one such number, which despite being in her English tongue loses none of its quiet desperation. You can hear AND see for yourself, because Michel Gondry shot the video. Oh, Charlotteâ€™s also an actress of some renown and both her acting and her appearance could be termed, if you will, â€œmagically delicious.â€ I hadnâ€™t noticed that until just now. Had you?
Continue reading “Charlotte Gainsbourg”
Lester Bangsâ€™ favorite song was â€œ96 Tearsâ€ by ? and the Mysterians. John Peelâ€™s favorite was â€œTeenage Kicksâ€ by the Undertones. Both were love songs by garage bands that could barely play chords and likely couldnâ€™t read music any better than I can. The message is clear: for the most vaunted of audiophiles, â€œbadâ€ is the best kind of rock music because the whole point is that itâ€™s supposed to sound bad to somebody, hopefully your parents and/or local law enforcement officials and church leaders. By those standards, the Atlanta group Black Lips is pretty damned good. Granted, their really-old garage sound is slightly more preening than authentic, but that seems to be purely a matter of birthdates. You donâ€™t get the sense that theyâ€™re being anything but their goofy-ass selves when they sing about having a bad day or set off on some epic live shows of Brian-Jonestown-Massacre proportions. For that, we salute them.
Continue reading “The Black Lips”
You get the idea when listening to the Favourite Sons that at least one of them owns a beat-up denim jacket and that at some point in his life he wore that spindly thing even in the dead of winter. The Sonsâ€™ rock â€˜nâ€™ roll oozes with such self-imposed discomfort. They’re the guys who, rather than pretending to have a life story actually went out and got one. Ken Griffin was tending bar and contemplating his musical future when Matthew Werth and Justin Tripp, both formerly of Aspera, ventured up from Philly to find the former Rollerskate Skinny member and talk him back into the business. Good thing for us. Griffin has the cynically assured swagger of Ian McCulloch and can curve a hook as good as a fisherman. In Werth and Tripp heâ€™s not only found a perfect rhythm section, but some people who care about his unpretentious brand of art rock as much as he does.
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Drop this one in your bunny basket—the first taste of Mike Skinner’s biting, British, bubblegum bounce.
Continue reading “The Streets”
Perhaps the name is a subliminal bit of wishful thinking, because these Montreal, uh, rockers? new wavers? Franco-popsters? never seem to stay still for too long. But the great part is that none of their many aural wardrobe changes sound contrived because they’re not mimicking styles; they’re bringing their own sound to bear on what’s out there. Their latest, “In the Beginning,” is a southern rock anthem. “Retour A Vega” is wistful even though I only understand every third word. And “Still in Love Song” is full of intelligent teen angst. So if you’re having trouble deciding what kind of mood you’re in, don’t bother with the shuffle on your iPod. Just load in the Stills and let them do the shuffling for you.
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Death From Above (with the 1979 tagged on to appease disco-clash mongers DFA) churn out thick, intelligent crotch rock from a mere drum kit and bass guitar… aaaand with that I’ll have to end my blurb, ’cause anything I could say after “thick, intelligent crotch rock” would sound just plain lewd.
Continue reading “Death From Above 1979”