Syracuse indie pop troupe Ra Ra Riot recently played a show to tons of eager LA fans at Sunset Blvd’s The Echo. Mania TV’s At The Show was lucky enough to snag some footage of the band in action. You can take a look at all four episode’s at Mania TV’s website where you’ll find performances of “Each Year”, “A Manner To Act”, “Can You Tell”, and “Dying Is Fine”. And, of course, after their stellar performance, At the Show host Brendon got a chance to hang out with the band for a little chit chat and tomfoolery. The result? He took two Ra Ra representatives to a swealtering video store to peruse movies about Michael Moore stalkers, shy people, and sky pirates. Yes, sky pirates…
In September indie rapper Mr. Lif announced that he would be recording and releasing his newest solo album track-by-track, using current events such as the presidential election and economic crises as his inspiration, and releasing a new track every three weeks starting September 23rd and winding up just as the nation swears in our next Commander in Chief.
So far Lif’s unleashed two new singles – “I Heard it Today” and “The Sun” – and two free tracks – entitled “Presidential Report, Vol. 1” and “Vol. 2”. His third single, “Welcome to the World,” is scheduled to hit digital stores on Election Day, November 4th. And the full album, also entitled I Heard it Today, will hit stores on Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2009. Lif’s also been broadcasting the process from his own I Heard it Today News Network throughout all of this, giving fans a direct look into the recording process. The Daily Rind caught up with him to talk about the project.
Why did now seem like a good time for I Heard it Today ? Did you conceive of this album due to the current political climate, or is this something you’d been thinking about for a while?
The album came about because I feel that this incredibly unique and important era in human history should be documented. Of course there’s lots of press about the housing crisis, energy crisis, and many of the other adversities we face. I’m just doing this in my own way.
You have an online show called I Heard it Today News Network. What news outlets do you tend to follow? Have there been any that you’ve been especially following during this election?
I’ve been keep my ear to as many news circuits as I can, so I know what’s being pumped into the collective consciousness of the people. The “I Heard It Today News Network” is usually just a means for me to update my fans on the development on the album and other things that are going on with me. If I choose to address politics on there, I’ll cover some issues from time to time.
You’ve been going out of your way to be in direct contact with your fans throughout the recording process. Why do you feel it’s important to be so connected to your fans through your I Heard it Today News Network, your MySpace page, etc?
I appreciate my fans. Keeping in touch with them fuels my efforts even more. People share their stories of
hardship as well as their triumphs. They voice their opinions and we discuss things whether we agree or disagree. My fans have largely shaped the “I Heard It Today” album, and I’m hoping the work I’ve done will make them even more proud to support me.
What’s the most interesting/important thing you’ve heard today?
I’ve heard mixes of my record. It’s due in 2 days, so all my time is dedicated to fine tuning.
While their name immediately reminds me of the gruesome fate of those who have stolen bread from a Middle Eastern marketplace, “Happy As Can Be,” the title track off Cut Off Your Hands‘ like named EP, has us here at Rind HQ loving their sound.
The EP, reminiscent of the band’s earlier post–punk days under the name Shaky Hands, rocks and rolls in a slightly different direction, expressing influences from artists like Roy Orbison, Elvis and the Ronnettes. Released October 21st on Frenchkiss Records, these six tracks already have us looking forward to their debut LP.
After finding themselves working with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, the New Zealanders signed with UK label 679 Recordings (Frenchkiss in the US), and finished their soon to drop You & I.
If you missed their shows during the CMJ music marathon, unfortunately (for those of you who are stateside) you won’t be able to catch them again anytime soon – unless of course you are heading to Germany, France, or attending the Laneway Festival in Australia. Maybe now is a good time to book that trip to Australia you’ve always wanted to take!
Beauty Dies / Vice Records
Following the success of The Raveonettes‘ February release, Lust Lust Lust, the Danish dou devised a plan to release four digital-only EPs before the year’s end. Unleashing the first remix album for free and the second electronic-focused EP right here, the series’ third offering is available now. Beauty Dies brings us back to that familiar Rave sound of whispery vocals that croon over the top of fuzzed out reverb-soaked guitars and driving beats. These four noise-laden tracks will totally feed your dark side. The Raveonettes’ noir rock is the perfect soundtrack to a smoky red-lit basement venue where the music’s loud and black-clad kids sway and bob.
Below you’ll find a little present from your friends over at Vice Records. Ironically, Gap commissioned this track, “Black/White” for their “Sound of Color” project which promotes their colorful Spring and Summer collections. Either way, the dark, wintery fairy-tale video shot using shadow puppetry and animation does a great job in complementing the richly textured emotional landscape.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the last EP in the series, Wishing You A Rave Christmas, coming out later this month!
Music videos are rife with clichés and often bore the tears out of anyone with even a remotely discerning taste. Nada Surf solved this problem by opening up a YouTube contest to their fans to make the music video for their song “Weightless” from Lucky . The band and Barsuk made two very talented fans $3,000 richer in exchange for their incredible videos. Directors Richard Card and Austin Trotter walked away victorious with a video that focuses on transitions and dream-like experiences, both ordinary and surreal. Not to discredit the runners up, Sean P. Rogan and Sam Kuhn received a copy of the Nada Surf vinyl box set, Nada Surf t-shirts and CDs and some gear from the good folks at www.dakine.com. You can snag your own box set on Nov 25th. It’s packed with all five studio albums on vinyl, an exclusive repressing of the first 7″ single, full-color 24-page lyric and photo book, download codes for MP3 versions of The Proximity Effect, Let Go, The Weight Is a Gift, Lucky , and a collection of rare and out-of-print bonus tracks and b-sides…whew!
Be sure to check out those great music videos HERE !