Damon and Naomi, two artists who have worked collaboratively and independently since the 80’s including the band Galaxie 500 are releasing another album together, False Beats and True Hearts coming out March 17th on their own label, 20/20/20. For a single off the album, “And You Are There,” they enlisted artist and filmmaker Chris Marker to provide the visual accompaniment to the track. You can’t really call it a video because it is a single still image and a pretty literal interpretation of the song’s concept as articulated by Naomi in Wired Magazine, the host that premiered the audio/visual partnership. That idea being losing oneself in and being consumed by a memory. That notion is close to Marker’s creative mind as his film La Jatee was the inspiration and catalyst for Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys and likewise for Damon and Naomi’s new musical work of art.
Make Out is a new exciting pop collaboration consisting of former Junior Senior member Jesper Mortensen and step daughter of New York Dolls’ David Johansen: Leah Hennessey along with Portland, Oregon native/music veteran Olivia Alminiana on drums and Anders Christiansen on bass.
Make Out is a refreshing diversion from today and recent years’ music trends. Instead of experimental soundscapes or conceptual lyrics it’s just fast, sexy punk and pop rants. The new video for their first single “I Don’t Want Anybody That Wants Me” is nothing but four young, hot, colorfully clad guys and gals rocking out behind vibrant floral images, harkening an early 90’s MTV aesthetic.
Make Out just played the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan on March 16th and 17th with The New York Dolls, sure to be a raunchy, high energy rock show. Their debut EP, How To, was just released February 22.
Idiot Glee’s (AKA James Friley) tour is underway promoting his first LP, Paddywhack to be released on June 7.
“Happy Day” which can be downloaded on daytrotter.com along with other Idiot Glee songs shows us an artist who sings knowingly about about, well, not so happy days but the 60s California vocal style, the sleepy yet jaunty keyboard lines and even a “Bohemian Rhapsody” reference slipped in suggest some latent brighter sides beneath the dark in which he sings. The effective vocal looping and double tracking beefs up the somewhat minimal one man show involving just his voice and electronics, which on their own are already substantial, especially the former element.
Friley’s rendition of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” is fantastically creepy, avant-garde and respectfully soulful. Based on the few recorded treats he presently has available, Paddywhack should prove to be an interesting and pleasant surprise. Idiot Glee will be performing at SXSW March 16-18 in between upcoming shows around the South and the Gulf Coast.
It’s a curious thing to have a trailer for an album, but when Erland & The Carnival make one for their upcoming full length release, Nightingale, it really works. With images of fleeing children, death and waving scarecrows in an early 20th Century setting, the sinister and ominous music seems ever so fitting for a Hitchcock-esque horror film, adding a great visual companion to the music.
The album is set to be released on March 29th from this English band that is one part dark folk, one part Pulp like Brit-pop and the rest just pure rock. Judging from the album trailer and the music video for “Map of an Englishman” off Nightingale, we’re in for equally exciting aesthetics inspired by the music.
Oberhofer’s performance of their recently released single “Away Frm U” at the Breakthru Radio studio is a tasty little treat for fans to see them live in action, sans a noisy crowd. The single manages to be a really cute piece of music while also having some punk appeal, similar to Matt and Kim’s style. This particular performance showcases all the individual elements of the song with crystal clarity, from cheerful, high pitched xylophone to the harmonizing bass to the speedy drums and everything else in between, including the charming and angst driven vocals.
Oberhofer just wrapped up an American tour but they have a couple shows in March lined up for the South, and if their performance at the Breakthru Radio studios is any indication of what they sound like at a club then fans should be begging for another tour soon.
While Tim Cohen’s band The Few and Onlys took a much needed breather from producing albums and tours, Cohen used that time to bust out a solo LP, Magic Trick coupled with a nine song EP, Bad Blood.
“Don’t Give Up” off Magic Trick was chosen as one of Pitchfork’s best new tracks and can be heard on their web site. While still maintaining a bummed out sluggish tone, the message of the track is upbeat and encouraging: “trying to make a bad thing better/Bad things happen all the time/You have to lay it on the line/Sooner or later you’ll be fine/Don’t give up,” with minimal yet hopeful xylophone acting as kind of a bridge and soft doo wop female back up vocals. He has kind of a Magnetic Fields thing going on in that the content of the music and lyrics can be strangely positive while defeat can be found in the vocals, but in each case that quality is why the artists have all the fans they do.
One of many intriguing components of Cohen is his artwork that always accompanies his band’s or his solo work, all of which are semi gothic and haunting folk drawings that on their own are separate and distinct achievements from the music.