Wednesday, February 25, 2009

3 Songs: by Swan Lake

Swan Lake, the Canadian super band, consisting of Spencer Krug, Carey Mercer and Daniel Bejar are set to release their 2nd album, "Enemy Mine" on March 24th from Jagjaguwar Records. Right now, if you pre-order the new album you can immediately download it in advance of the release date. This week's 3 Songs feature includes one song from each contributor to Swan Lake from "Enemy Mine".


1. "Spanish Gold, 2044" (Written and sung by Carey Mercer)

Download: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/jag/spanishgold2044.mp3


2. "A Hand At Dusk" (Written and sung by Spencer Krug)

Download: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/jag/ahandatdusk.mp3


3. "Spider" (Written and sung by Dan Bejar)

Download: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/jag/spider.mp3



Pre-order "Enemy Mine" here: http://www.jagjaguwar.com/artist.php?name=swanlake

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here We Go Magic - "Self-Titled"


Under his new moniker and band, Here We Go Magic, indie folk singer/songwriter Luke Temple is free to explore new sounds and textures. And he does just that with the self-titled debut from Here We Go Magic, out now on Western Vinyl. Praised for his pretty and soulful voice, this time around, Luke has made sure his vocals do not steal the spotlight from the dense, polyrhythmic groove-laden music. Three of the nine songs are even instrumentals. The music on the album weaves World music ideals and rhythms in and out of the songs and layers of vocals, interesting percussion and song arrangements that break the standard “verse/chorus/verse/chorus” mold.

“Only Pieces”, opens the album with an African inspired Kraut-Rock trance with a layered vocal chant reminiscent of “Graceland” era Paul Simon. “Fangala” features the most catchy, high-pitched, Shins-like vocal melodies on the album along with accenting hand claps. “I Just Want To See You Under Water” ebbs and flows with a bubbly analog synth line among other ambient textures, giving you the sense that you are under water. “Nat’s Alien”, an instrumental spacey sound piece with moaning and droning synths bleeds into the last track, “Everything’s Big”, a folksy waltz, which is closer to Luke’s timeless solo work.

Here We Go Magic is a win-win situation...Luke Temple gets to experiment with his more ambient and avant-garde musical ideas and we are able to listen to and get lost in the grooves and textures he has created.

To order Here We Go Magic, click here: http://www.westernvinyl.com/.
For more info: http://www.herewegomagic.com/

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Morrissey - "Years Of Refusal"

Moz is. He is classic. He is relevant. And with “Years Of Refusal”, his ninth solo album, he is back without ever having left. It is quite amazing that at age 50, Morrissey remains as enigmatic and musically important as ever. In fact, “Years Of Refusal” is his best solo record since “Your Arsenal”. With punk inspired guitars and his iconic lyrical bite and wit, the new record brims with the most urgency since his work with The Smiths.

Album opener, “Something Is Squeezing My Skull” rants on the reliance on mind numbing anti-depression drugs, over a soundtrack that reminds me of current Morrissey lovers, Bayside. The first single, “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” is classic Morrissey pop with swooning vocals and beautiful keyboards and piano provided by Roger Joseph Manning Jr., who plays throughout the album. “When Last I Spoke To Carol” begins with an acoustic guitar riff that sounds like Moz is moving in on Justin Timberlake’s territory but transforms quickly into a Mariachi infused romp, complete with horns that surprisingly doesn’t seem out of place.

The last half of the album is reserved for more “ballad-y” type songs such as “It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore” and “You Were Good In Your Time” which both highlight his signature croon to the fullest. Lyrically, the songs deal with not dwelling in the past and death, respectively. As we have seen, age seems to deteriorate the quality of even the best of our revered musicians and artists. Morrissey, as he has always been, is self aware and has easily been able to remain vital in the music scene without relying on pastiche and novelty or by conforming to the times but by just being true to his art and remaining timeless. The last line in “All You Need Is Me” is, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.” Lucky for us, Morrissey refuses to leave.

For more info check out: www.myspace.com/morrissey and www.itsmorrisseysworld.com and
www.losthighwayrecords.com/

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat


1. Phantom Band - "The Howling"
Listen: http://www.lala.com/song/720857419680199260


2. Asobi Seksu - "Familiar Light"
Listen : http://www.lala.com/song/360569453765330605


3. Passion Pit - "I've Got Your Number"
Listen: http://www.lala.com/song/937030201852828548

Monday, February 16, 2009

Asobi Seksu - "Hush"

Addition by subtraction, could be the motto of Asobi Seksu's new album, "Hush", released 2/17 on Polyvinyl Records. They have pared down to a duo and stripped away the layers of guitars and distortion that brought comparisons to My Bloody Valentine to reveal a more lush and atmospheric sound relying on solid songwriting, shimmering keyboards and Yuki's ethereal vocals.

Unlike before Yuki's voice isn't hidden behind a wall of sound, on "Hush" it is almost like another instrument as in the song "In The Sky", her angelic coo is all that is necessary as the song's chorus. Elsewhere Yuki sounds light and beautiful like Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins and on "Sing Tomorrow's Praise" she and the music sound like a modern take on the jangly, early 90's indie-pop of Bettie Serveert.

All the while, guitarist, James Hanna creates beautifully violent and hypnotic soundscapes such as the album opener, "Layers" which sets the tone and lives up to its name. Frantic and icy guitars replace the distortion on "Glacially" and "I Can't See" but diehard fans will find the tumbling drums and roaring guitar of "Me And Mary" more to their liking.

Without alienating the fan base built from their past output, Asobi Seksu have created a more complete and melodic album that will push them forward to head of the indie rock class. For more info or to order "Hush", click here: www.polyvinylrecords.com/

Download "Familiar Light" here: http://downloads.pitchforkmedia.com/Asobi%20Seksu%20-%20Familiar%20Light.mp3

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog Love: The Age Of Consent


My friend Mike D. has a blog called The Age Of Consent. You should check it out. He writes about his favorite music and movies, pop culture, sports and life in general.

www.theageofconsent.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

3 Songs: That Remind Me Of Talking Heads



1. Love As Laughter - "All Parts Of Me"
Listen: http://www.lala.com/song/504684659309599745
2. Wolf Parade - "Bang Your Drum"
3. Bell X1 - "A Better Band" From their forthcoming album "Blue Lights on the Runway"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kid, You'll Move Mountains - "Loomings"

After their label Lookout! Records dissolved, and their band split, Nate (drums) and Andrew Lanthrum (bass) of Troubled Hubble, formed Kid, You'll Move Mountains with like-minded Midwesterners, guitarist/vocalist Jim Hanke from El Oso and guitarist Corey Willis of Inspector Owl with Nina Lanthrum adding piano and vocals.

"Loomings", their self-released debut is built around a tight rhythm section, ambient and jittery guitar lines and stunning male/female vocal interplay, reminds me of everyone from Rainer Maria and The Anniversary to the eclectic indie-rock of Dismemberment Plan and Archers Of Loaf. And as interesting as all of those names are, Kid, You'll Move Mountains have a sound all of their own and have created an album as big as the whale on the album cover. Stand out track, "Volts" highlights the lovely harmonies Jim and Nina are capable of over guitar lines both crunchy and sparkling. "I'm A Song From The Sixties" doesn't evoke "flower power" or The Beatles but it's herky-jerky rhythm, insistent guitars and passionate vocals are reminiscent of the heyday of late '90's emo. And "Wives' Tale" features a dance-punk guitar riff and some great lyrical storytelling along with an interesting keyboard part that helps make "Loomings" an incredible debut that Kid, You'll Move Mountains have released themselves.

You can purchase the cd from the band here: http://www.kidyoullmovemountains.com/ or at CD Baby here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/kymm. It is worth way more than the $7 they are charging!

Download "Make It Sing" here: http://www.dbf-music.com/kymm-makeitsing.mp3

To hear more, click here: www.myspace.com/kidyoullmovemountains

Monday, February 09, 2009

Beastie Boys - "Paul's Boutique" 20th Anniversary Remaster

The Beastie Boys are set to release a remastered version of the revolutionary "Paul's Boutique" to celebrate its 20th anniversary on February 10th. This is one of my all time favorite albums and my favorite Beastie Boys record. Although no new demo tracks or B-sides are included, a unique album commentary by the Boys is included as a free download and expanded artwork unfolds to show the rest of the street from the album cover.

Go to www.beastieboys.com to order "Paul's Boutique". Here are the details:

Deluxe Digital Download
Digital album download in choice of format (320kbps MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless), 5 Beasties music videos, video commentary, and 3D interactive digital album art.

CD + Digital Download
8 panel ecopack CD + Digital Download.

Vinyl + Digital Download
8 panel, 180g vinyl + Digital Download.

T-Shirt Combos
Limited edition Paul's Boutique t-shirt with wrap around album art. Available with Deluxe Digital, CD, or Vinyl combo.

or the ultimate:
20th Anniversary Commemorative Pack
Includes Digital Deluxe, CD, Vinyl, T-shirt, and an 8 foot wide poster of the album art (where would you put that?!) as it was originally intended to be enjoyed.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Interview - The Bird And The Bee

The Bird And The Bee just released their steller second album "Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future" and began their supporting tour yesterday in San Diego.
Greg Kurstin was nice enough to answer a few of my questions before they went on tour. Find out who Greg would replace himself in the band with and get the juicy details about The Bird And The Bee's upcoming Hall and Oates cover record that may or may not exist!

Check http://www.thebirdandthebee.com/ for tour dates in your area.


Atlas and the Anchor: Are either of you working on any side/solo projects we should know about?

Greg: I've been working on the Little Boots record. Inara and I have been working on our Hall & Oates covers record.
(Ed. note: Check out Little Boots here: http://www.littlebootsmusic.co.uk/)


AA: People compare you to other bands and make assumptions about your influences but who do you say you are influenced by?

Greg: Prince, Serge Gainsbourg, Os Mutantes, Olivia Newton John, Gal Costa, Muppets.


AA: Name one current and one older song you wish you had written.

Greg: "Jump" Van Halen, "Crazy in Love" Beyonce.


AA: What are you listening to in the tour van?

Greg: Ipod on shuffle. Try to guess the song after hearing 2 seconds of music.


AA: Who are some of your favorite bands to play with and/or who would you like to collaborate with?

Greg: Touring with Obi Best. Would love to collaborate with Prince.


AA: Though the new album has just been released, are you working on ideas for a new album?

Greg: Mostly working on Hall and Oates covers record.


AA: What inspired the cool artwork for "Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future"?

Greg: Saw some art work on a 60's or 70's Steakhouse menu.


AA: It sounds like you have complete control over your artistic vision, describe working with Blue Note Records.

Greg: They are very supportive and really let us work it out ourselves.


AA: If you could replace yourself in the band with another musician, who would it be and why?

Greg: Probably Steven Drozd from Flaming Lips. He's a great musician. Amazing drummer.


AA: What is your favorite song on "Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future" and why?

Greg: My fav is Meteor. Really enjoyed working on the chorus chords. Love Inara's melody.


Atlas and the Anchor would again like to thank Greg for taking the time to answer my questions!

Check out my review of the new album here: http://atlasandtheanchor.blogspot.com/2009/01/bird-and-bee-ray-guns-are-not-just.html

Download "My Love" here: http://www.spin.com/audio/download/41585/Bird_Bee-My-Love.mp3

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Little Ones - Daytrotter Session

I guess by now, you have figured out that Atlas and the Anchor is your one stop shop for information about The Little Ones. Well, head over to www.daytrotter.com to download a live session, featuring 4 songs from "Morning Tide".

Also, the winner of the signed vinyl copy of "Morning Tide" will be notified tomorrow by email! Thanks for reading and entering!

www.wearethelittleones.com

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Loney Dear - "Dear John"

For his fifth album, “Dear John”, Emil Svanängen has changed labels, his band name (dropping the comma) and his sound. For most artists, such changes can be detrimental but for Loney Dear, they were a welcome sight. After the wide spread critical acclaim and blog love he received for “Loney, Noir” released in 2007 on Sub Pop and the strain of touring and playing the same upbeat songs, he was ready to write and record something darker to mirror his resulting outlook and mood.

“Dear John”, released Jan. 27th on Polyvinyl Records is darker and more mature than its predecessor, featuring more textured electronic blips and beats, sounding like Postal Service more than his light, twee indie-pop past. Some of those elements remain in the whistling on “I Was Only Going Out” and the slick bounce of opener, “Airport Surroundings”. Stand out track, “Under A Silent Sea” is highlighted by a haunting vocal melody over a beat fit for the after-party. And “Violent” sounds like Brian Wilson collaborating with Hot Chip.

Although a bit patchwork, the album comes together to deliver a dark but uplifting atmosphere with gorgeous vocals and a renewed artistic vision that should set him apart from his contemporaries.

Check out http://www.polyvinylrecords.com/ for more info.