There’s a reason why so many Little Dragon fans would call “Twice” their favorite song from the group (as it is mine), and yet I can’t recall a major artist trying to cover it. First, it’s a difficult song to sing. It isn’t necessarily the range needed — but rather the sentiment. It’s a really delicate track, tinged with fragility and hurt — and the heights are reached in nuanced, small moments that must be elegantly expressed rather than tackled or belted out. Lianne La Havas, a 2012 Mercury Prize nominee, tested her skills against it — coming as close to the beauty of the track as original singer, Yukimi Nagano. Though this isn’t Nagano and Little Dragon, it’s a cover to be savored. We have In The Woods and their 2013 Barn Sessions to thank for it. – David D. Robbins Jr.
It seems there’s a natural 60s convergence going on lately, with the recent death of Velvet Underground street poet Lou Reed, the upcoming American Experience four-hour documentary of JFK in remembrance of the 50-year anniversary of the death of the president, and tomorrow’s (Nov. 5) premiere of a two-hour PBS documentary (“Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’”) about guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Everyone’s familiar (I’d hope) with the Hendrix classics, “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze”, “Little Wing”, “Castle Made of Sand”, “Bold As Love”, “Crosstown Traffic”, Voodoo Child”, “Fire” and many others. I figured I’d talk about three of the “lesser” gems in the Hendrix catalog that I love, for a variety of reasons:
Recently, Warpaint had been playing a handful of new songs in concert during their current European tour. Fans had to scavenge around on YouTube for clips from the U.K. and other places to hear tracks like “Feeling Alright”. Well, now there’s an official streaming audio release, for a new song called “Love Is to Die”. It also comes with an announcement from the band about a new record coming out January 21 via Rough Trade. You can pre-order it now through the label and I-Tunes. – David D. Robbins Jr.
It’s always good to read an announcement about Dum Dum Girls coming out with new music. The band announced a scheduled release for a new 10-song LP (the band’s third) due out January 27 via Sub Pop in North America. It’s the follow up to last year’s wonderful EP “End of Daze”, that featured a couple of my favorite DDG tracks, which made the end of the year list. The announcement arrives in tandem with a new video for one of the songs, “Lost Boys And Girls Club” — directed by Cody Critcheloe of SSION. The video itself feels pretty old-school, reminiscent of the MTV days where imagery was less than subtle, always hyperbolic, but always entertaining. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Usually, the end of the year begins to run out of steam, especially in December, when anything but holiday releases and deluxe sets begins to slow to a crawl. I’ve come up with a shortlist of music to look forward to through the year end.
“Seasick’s better than heartsick, baby!” That’s just one memorable line from Parquet Court’s punk Velvet-y thrash out, “You Got Me Wonderin’ Now” (which also has a new video below), off the band’s latest release, “Tally All the Things That You Broke”. The band posted the entire six-song record for streaming via soundcloud. It’s a cool junkshop of weirdo stylings, including a kind of rap over arcade-game bleeps (“He’s Seeing Paths”) — on a record that comes off like a cuisinart mash of the Minutemen, The Ramones, King Tuff, and the Beasties. It’s hard not to love the band’s gift for quirky strangeness and herky-jerky fun. It wouldn’t work if the music wasn’t good enough in its own right. A song like “Fall On Yr Face” is odd but the rhythm is addictive — working much like the speed and repetition of “The More It Works” — both tracks showcasing frenetic pacing and tightly played guitar riffs. Love this record. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Simply gorgeous. Devon-born South-London artist Rosie Lowe is streaming her first original song, the stunning “Me & Your Ghost”, taken from her forthcoming debut EP “Right Thing”, a joint effort with musician/producers Kwes and Dave Okumu. I’ve been searching around for Lowe’s four-track EP, before it hits the streets on December 2nd via 37 Adventures, but I’ve only heard this single song so far. It’s tremendous. The arrangement doesn’t fit neatly into a single genre. It’s free-flowing, soulful, slow-jam undercurrent is the pretty, candy half to the more electronic, experimental side. The blend is where the magic’s at. There are off-beat skitters, scuzzed-out guitar sounds, slick loops, elegant piano touches, stop-and-start glitches, bells, and synth scratches — that gives the music an-all around sense of beautiful displacement, swirling around the repeated phrase, “You were busy going underground, when I needed you the most.” This track is inventive and clearly sets a high standard for the rest of the EP. – David D. Robbins Jr.