The Walkmen “In the New Year”
The Walkmen have prepped their fourth official full-length album, You & Me, due August 19th on Gigantic Records. Written and recorded over the past two years between studios in Mississippi and New York City, You & Me is 14 tracks spanning over 60 minutes and bears the marks of engineer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr.) and Chris Zane (Les Savy Fav, The White Rabbits, Asobi Seksu). Pitchfork got first dibs on the album, releasing “In the New Year” yesterday and describing the new single as “more giving and direct than most Walkmen songs, sending familiar themes– romance, the new year– billowing out to grander proportions through the force of the performance.” Listen to it here or on their Myspace page here and mark your calendar for what are sure to be sold out shows at the dates below.
PAS/CAL Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura
Summer is in full swing, and we’re all being rewarded with the release of Pas/Cal‘s highly-anticipated, full-length debut! Set to drop on July 22nd, I Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura , fits in well with the sunny season we’ve been waiting for all year long. Thus far, the band’s six-year career has awarded listeners with three EPs — The Handbag Memoirs (2002), Oh Honey, We’re Ridiculous (2004 ), and Dear Sir (2006 ). But the fourth time would seem to be the charm for this uniquely happy Detroit-based group, currently being praised by Stereogum, Pitchfork, and a host of others. It’s deserved adoration. Indeed, MMLL is such a bewitching concoction of breezy pop, krautrock, Stereolab references, and genre-flaying that it left Detour Mag grasping for a description. “Spectorian-kraut-baroque-weird-pop” might be a mouthful. But we’ll agree. Throughout, there’s masterful use of organ effects, cooing “oohs” and “aahs” to enhance, and everything in between. For a slower but still catchy tune, check out the percussively-focused little ditty “You Were Too Old For Me.” For driving with the windows open or top down, you’ll want to blast “Little Red Radio” and its catchy organ lick and head-bobbing goodness.
MP3: PAS/CAL – “You Were Too Old For Me”
Amy Ray Preps Solo Album For Summer Release
Atlanta-based songwriter, and perennial Indigo Girl, Amy Ray is set to release her third solo album on August 5th. Didn’t It Feel Kinder , the surprisingly brawny follow-up to 2004’s Prom, once again trades in Ray’s acoustic guitar for an electric, and reaffirms her position as one of the most striking voices in contemporary music. But what might come as a surprise this time out is that, for the very first time, Kinder finds Ray enlisting the aid of a producer for her solo work. It’s a choice that most certainly pays off. Fearless listener and multi-talented musician, Greg Griffith (The Butchies, Le Tigre), worked with Ray to incorporate a variety of sounds and influences to bring to life her most engaging, dynamic work yet.
From the clattering riot grrl bounce of “Blame Is A Killer,” to the reserved beauty of album-opener “Birds of A Feather,” Kinder is a record to which any listener can relate. And, and it wouldn’t be a Ray album if she didn’t bring along a few of her friends: former Butchies Kaia Wilson, Melissa York and Griffith, Madonna-collaborator Tomi Martin, Brandi Carlile and the indie-fried alt.country boys of Arizona.
MP3: Amy Ray – “Blame Is A Killer”
(image from Pitchfork‘s photo stream )
This past Friday, nearly three decades after playing their last show as a “group,” seminal No Wave provocateurs Teenage Jesus & The Jerks played 2 packed-to-the-rafters sets at New York’s Knitting Factory. This unlikely “one-night only reunion” occurred in conjunction with the release of the book No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York 1976-1980, a visual chronicle of the short-lived but highly influential movement by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and veteran critical gadfly Byron Coley [Forced Exposure, Spin, The Wire, and many many others]. A “definitive anthology” of the band titled Shut And Bleed is also scheduled to be released later this year via Atavistic Records. In addition to Teenage Jesus’ studio output, which was previously issued by Atavistic as a 12-track, 19-minute collection titled Everything in 1995, it will include previously unissued live recordings, as well as recordings by frontwoman Lydia Lunch’s concurrent project Beirut Slump.
As might be expected, the event drew a fairly impressive assemblage of personalities, from older folk who had seen Teenage Jesus the first time around, to sixteen year old kids who would have been in short pants when the group’s recordings first became somewhat readily available via reissues. The festivities kicked off at the opening of the accompanying gallery exhibit across the street at 73 Leonard St., where original flyers, photographs, magazines, and records were on display, and visitors could bump elbows with various members of bands like The Contortions and The Gynecologists while they perused the photographs. The two authors held court for a while before the oppressive heat and need for nicotine drove most in attendance out into the street prior to the doors being opened.
More after the jump.