You & Me & Everyone We Know Should Own This Album

The Walkmen
You & Me / Gigantic Music / BUY

New York City darlings The Walkmen are back with one of their most ambitious releases yet, and we here at Rind HQ have already added You & Me to our “Best of 2008” list. Seems we’re not the only ones, with Pitchfork having just bestowed upon the album its coveted Best New Music tag.

You & Me doesn’t so much break new ground for the quintet as it fully realizes the ideas that they’ve been exploring on their previous three albums to date. It feels laid back upon first listen (and when you have a maniacal beauty like “The Rat” in your catalog, what doesn’t?), but You & Me still possesses that vein-popping intensity we’ve come to know and love from Leithauser and co. The tracklist loosely tells a story of beaches and Canada, as diametrically opposed as those two concepts might seem, but something about this album evokes both the south and the past, causing you to imagine yourself generations ago on the bayou, reading Faulkner at sunset.

“Canadian Girl” and “The Blue Route” are easily some of the best songs the band has written, with “In The New Year” as another standout that thematically could have easily fit with the Christmas/winter world of Bows + Arrows. And while not a single track on You & Me disappoints, we’re of the mind that like a good book, it should be enjoyed whole.

MP3: The Walkmen – In The New Year

Tracklist and tour dates after the jump. (more…)

Sam Champion Goes Video Gung-Ho

The Brooklyn boys in Sam Champion are getting ready for the September 2nd release of their sophomore full-length, Heavenly Bender, but they’re taking a less traditional route for promotion – they’ve created a batch of hilarious videos, starting with one that’s a great way to mess with your friends. Head on over to Music For Robots to see the first of the four, and keep an eye out for the other three set to be unveiled t throughout August and September. Teaser grabs from the full series are here in case you just can’t wait (and we won’t blame you; Sam Champion are quite the jokesters). Can’t wait for the music either? Check out the video for “You Can’t Stop ,” which was premiered on Stereogum last month . The buzz generating around the foursome is already cause for excitement. Witness: Stereogum refers to them as “an absolute force of nature,” and our old pal Aziz Ansari of Human Giant says “it’s already becoming really cool to hate this album.” Call us squares then, because we’re ready to love it! Just be careful whose hands you look in to…

MP3: Sam Champion – “Be Mine Everyone”

Amy Ray ‘Feeling Kinder’ on Amy Ray TV

Amy Ray (who you may know as the spirited, punky half of the Indigo Girls) recently released her third solo album, Didn’t It Feel Kinder , and it’s already bringing in praise from big guns like . Amy recently brought down the house with an intimate performance celebrating the release at Housing Works in NYC, with Arizona as the opening act. Didn’t make it to the show? Don’t worry! Her recently-launched online TV station, Amy Ray TV, has some clips from the show currently streaming , as well as Amy’s ambitious one-song-a-day performance series of every track on Didn’t It Feel Kinder . For more on the album, head over to After Ellen for their fan-question interview , or check out a great feature at Queerty , where Ray discusses her music, The L Word , and identity politics. And lest we forget, the music:

MP3 : Amy Ray – Birds of a Feather

A Closer Look at the Como Mamas

Daptone Records takes a closer look at Como, Mississippi’s Como Mamas, one of several gospel groups featured on the new compilation Como Now: The Voices of Panola County, MS, out today. Buy it here. View more videos here. New Yorkers, prepare to shake your booty tonight here. And true soul lovers should plan on making the trek to Memphis for a Como Now concert on September 26th.

Attention Aspiring Music Video Directors!

Do you like Nada Surf? Think you have a good eye for the making of a great music video? Want $3,000? If you answered yes to any of the above, then listen up!

Nada Surf wants you to direct their next music video, and Barsuk Records will award the winning contest entry $3,000.00! The band is looking for a video for “Weightless”, the third single off their current release Lucky. Anyone can enter and give music video directing a shot, whether you’re an aspiring or already established auteur. All you need to do is check out the song via Nada Surf’s MySpace , shoot and edit a video, and upload it to the band’s YouTube group. Hurry, the entry deadline is September 19th, 2008!

More rules and tour dates after the jump. (more…)