In what seemed like a fruitless quest to wean myself off The Dodos’Visiter, (yes, I know it dropped forever ago) I finally found salvation with the long awaited full length from Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line. Despite having just been released August 19th on Barsuk, I may have already listened to the album a billion times, only to find new things I like about it every time I push play.
Including new and improved versions of previously recorded tracks from their debut EP, the album fulfills what anyone would expect in a full length from the band. Songs that encompass death and the celebration of life show how the band has continued to evolve and thrive even after the death of drummer/songwriter/friend John Pike.
Produced by Ryan Hadlock (The Gossip, Islands, Blonde Redhead) at Bear Creek Studios, The Rhumb Line includes a revamped version of “Dying is Fine,” which includes lines from E.E. Cummings’ “Dying is fine) but Death”. The band also uses violin and cello players Alexandra Lawn and Rebecca Zeller to their full potential on songs like “Winter ’05” and “Oh La”, where the strings act as the songs’ melodic backbone rather than as accessories. (more…)
Election season’s heating up, and Boston bred, New York based MC Termanology is spitting Politics as Usual – his debut album due September 30th on ST/Nature Sounds Records poised to take him from “Unsigned Hype” to hip hop heavyweight. “How We Rock” finds Term teaming up once again with DJ Premier – the producer who blessed him with the beat for 2006’s underground anthem, “Watch How It Go Down” – and MC-about-town, Bun B. for a new scorcher of a single. Hip Hop Game TV already took us backstage for the making of the video with cameos by not only Primo and Bun B, but M.O.P’s Lil Fame, Grafh, Consequence, and more. And now Term’s giving us an even further glimpse behind the scenes with a new digi-EPK taking us into the studio with Premier (“Watch How it Go Down,” “So Amazing,” “How We Rock”), Pete Rock (“We Killin’ Ourselves”), and rappers Bun B and Lil Fame to watch how it all came together.
By now you’ve probably read the release date for Sam Champion ’s sophomore bash, Heavenly Bender , a few hundred times. But the Brooklyn indie rockers threw us all a big curveball this morning. Effective immediately, the band’s North Street debut – in all of its skuzzy garage pop glory – is available for pre-release purchase exclusively at AmieStreet.com . And better yet, for the next three days, you can snag it for just three bucks(!). Yes, that’s right, three measly dollars. And then, when Friday rolls around, the price inches up to four greenbacks until (one more time with feeling!) September 2nd, the album’s wide release. So, yeah, long story short, Heavenly Bender costs sixty nickles for the next three days!
In other news, the Andrew Zuchero-helmed Sam Champion video series continued last week when RCRD LBL premiered the second installment of the four-parter. This time, bassist Jack Dolgen encounters a 4th grade demonspawn in a ridiculous feverdream, only to awaken strumming the final note of a bitchen bass solo on stage with his Sam Champ brethren. And in case you missed it, the first video was unveiled by Music For Robots earlier this month , and has its own surreal moment. Keep a look out for the old man! And lest we forget, all the humor is in celebration of a serious slab of music: Sam Champion’s Heavenly Bender , available exclusively at AmieStreet.com until September 2nd.
In celebration of the album’s release, the band recently recorded a handful of live performances in an attic in upstate New York. Over the past week, Pitchfork , Stereogum , Brooklyn Vegan and My Old Kentucky Blog have each unveiled one clip in the four-part series. The videos, directed by Taryn Gould and Emily Kowalcyzk, feature the band performing a different Rhumb Line stand out facing in a different compass direction – North, South, East, West.
In addition, Ra Ra Riot recently unveiled the official video for “Ghost Under Rocks,” the NPR fave featured on All Songs Considered this week. It’s a simple enough performance clip bolstered by a world map backdrop and the band’s characteristic bouncy energy. The video premiered this weekend on MTV2’s Subteranean. A link to the clip is below. And after the jump? The band’s complete(ly massive) touring itinerary for the remainder of the Fall.
Any regular Huffington Post readers out there may have noticed a new guest blogger on Friday by the name of Dave Stewart. The Dave Stewart, of the Eurythmics, you mean? Yup, that one. Fresh on the heels of his brilliant solo record The Dave Stewart Songbook, Vol. 1, and in conjunction with MoveOn.org, Stewart has released a video for single “American Prayer” that features stock footage of Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as appearances by many celebrities and musicians, including Forest Whitaker and Joss Stone. Check it out for yourself right here (or after the jump), buy the track at iTunes, and upload your own version via Stewart’s website, My American Prayer.