Welsh trio – The Joy Formidable have become a uniquely home-grown affair with the band driving every creative aspect, visually and musically. The bandâ€™s bedroom is a chrysalis that mutates daily from sleeping quarters, to studio, to workshop. It was here they recorded the singles “Austere”, “Cradle” and “Whirring” from their 8 track CD A Balloon called Moaning – a defiant release of optimism against their own heavy hearts.
In the Summer of 2009 the band sold out their debut UK tour and released new track, “Greyhounds in the Slips” (which features friend, Paul Draper), Autumn tours with Editors and Passion Pit followed, shows in Japan and a jaunt throughout Winter in Europe with The Temper Trap ended the year on a high.
2010 started out in New York supporting Passion Pit, with a continuation on their European tour with the Temper Trap and a UK tour to coincide with a single release in March. The Joy Formidableâ€™s debut album will be released in June.
The band has a new video for the track “Popinjay”. Check it out below but first, we want to give ONE lucky reader a chance to win the band’s latest offering A Balloon Called Moaning EP. If you wanna win, email us at email@example.com (with the subject: GIMME ME SOME JOY!) with your name and we’ll email you back if you win!(US residents only)
Codeine Velvet Club, the new musical project composed of The Fratellis’ Jon Lawler and singer/songwriter Lou Hickey, will play their first-ever US shows this March. They are slated for five performances at this year’s upcoming South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX. Dates are below.
Directly following their appearances at SXSW, the band will embark on a west coast tour in support of Canadian indie-pop band Metric. The tour kicks off March 21st in Seattle, WA and continues through March 26th in Los Angeles, CA.
The collaboration began when Lawler, taking a break from whirlwind touring and recording with The Fratellis, teamed up with Hickey to work on a track – the jazzy, big-band duet titled “Vanity Kills” – for her record. The song inspired the duo to embark on a full-fledged project together. The resulting album features an elegant orchestral score written by Mick Cooke of Belle & Sebastian, backing vocals by the Gospel Truth Choir and strings parts recorded by renowned classical musicians, including legendary trumpeter Derek Watkins.
The group celebrates Lawler and Hickey’s shared love of ’60s boy-girl duets, dramatic orchestral pop and dark postwar Hollywood and Las Vegas romanticism. Lawler drew inspiration for the album’s dark energy and vampish edge from his time spent in Hollywood. He described his vision for Codeine Velvet Club’s album as sounding like ’60s soundtrack composer (and James Bond theme-tune creator) John Barry “playing with a rock ‘n roll band.”
Codeine Velvet Club at SXSW 2010:
March 17 – The Parish – Scottish Arts Council Showcase
March 18 – Convention Center – KCMP Showcase
March 19 – Rusty Spurs – MuseBox Show
March 20 – Cedar Street – Filter Party
March 20 -Mellow Johnny’s – Dangerbird/PABLOVE Benefit Showcase
Codeine Velvet Club with METRIC:
March 21 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
March 22 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
March 24 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre
March 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Crash Kings is packing venues all across the country on their tour with JET. We want to give ONE lucky fan a chance to win two tickets to see the band at a show of their choice! Wanna win? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject: GIMME ME MY CRASH KINGS TICKETS!) with your name, the date and city of the show you want to go to (the list is below) and we’ll email you back if you win! (US residents only. 21 YEARS OF AGE AND UP).
Fri 03/05/10 Toronto, ON Opera House Concert Venue
Sat 03/06/10 Clifton Park, NY Northern Lights
Sun 03/07/10 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
Thu 03/11/10 Richmond, VA Hat Factory
Mon 03/15/10 Little Rock, AR The Village
Tue 03/16/10 Baton Rouge, LA Varsity Theatre
Tue 03/23/10 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market
Wed 03/24/10 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Mon 03/29/10 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen
Tue 03/30/10 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the emerging Vermont-based bandâ€™s third album for Hollywood Records, will be released on June 8. Produced by Mark Batson (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band), this captivating new recording showcases the Vermont-based bandâ€™s new five-piece configuration, in which singer and Hammond B3 player Potter, lead guitarist Scott Tournet and drummer Matt Burr are joined by bassist Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Hem) and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco, â€œThis record is the first time itâ€™s really been us â€” the first time weâ€™ve all found each other and ourselves,â€ says Potter. Adds Burr, â€œEvery record you make, you always say, â€˜This is the one.â€™ But with this lineup weâ€™ve cracked the code.â€ The track listing for the 13-track disc is as follows:
Track listing for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals:
4. â€œGoodbye Kissâ€
5. â€œTiny Lightâ€
7. â€œOnly Loveâ€
9. â€œOne Short Nightâ€
10. â€œLow Roadâ€
11. â€œThat Phoneâ€
12. â€œHot Summer Nightâ€
13. â€œThings I Never Neededâ€
The first single off the album is the musically powerful and thematically resonant â€œTiny Light,â€ one of six Potter-Batson co-writes. During its course, the track builds from a simmer to a boil and then somehow hits an even more scorching level of intensity during an extended instrumental outro.
â€œItâ€™s a song about hope during the hard times weâ€™ve been going through,â€ Grace explains. â€œOne line is â€˜What will come of all our pride / This house of stone has crumbled from the inside.â€™ It has a dramatic minor-key melody, but it opens up into a chorus that takes you to this really soaring place. As much as I loved it when we wrote it, I resisted recording it at first. But in the end I couldnâ€™t pass it up. The chorus goes, â€˜I see a tiny light / Like a flashbulb sparkle in the night / I see a tiny light / Telling everyone to hold on tight.â€™ It makes you wonder; it makes you look in the mirror â€” and I love songs like that.â€
According to Potter, the producer employed one of his signature radical moves to get the optimum take: â€œNormally, a band and producer would fuss and poke and prod for days on a song like this, but once we got the arrangement right, Batson just brought in a belly dancer with a 15-foot python snake to perform in the studio. That seemed to light a fire under everyone’s asses and we nailed it on the spot.â€
The video for â€œTiny Lightâ€ is being shot in L.A. this month, with Paul Minor (Muse, The Editors, Queens of The Stone Age) directing.
Additionally, GPNâ€™s electrifying take of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” appears on the Buena Vista Records release Almost Alice, a companion release to Tim Burtonâ€™s Alice in Wonderland, hitting March 2, three days before the filmâ€™s release.
The band will showcase its new lineup and songs at SXSW, where theyâ€™ll play Antoneâ€™s March 18 as part of the Americana Music Association showcase. Potter will also perform on a string of Lilith Fair dates this summer. More details as they emerge.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals marks a quantum leap for the band, as Batson vividly captures a group of exceptional young players in the very act of becoming themselves. From the languorous â€œOasisâ€ to the deep-grooved, serrated rockers like â€œMedicine,â€ â€œParisâ€ and â€œOnly Love,â€ the new model Grace Potter and the Nocturnals positively swagger. Not only that, but the hooks are humongous, from Potterâ€™s voice as she belts, teases and soars to Tournetâ€™s uncoiling guitar riffs, positively lethal in their aggressiveness. Potter and her cohorts are equally captivating at the other end of the dynamic and thematic spectrum, on songs like the zeitgeist-capturing widescreen ballad â€œColors.â€
Tour Dates for GPN are as follows:
March 11 North Adams, MA Mass MoCa
March 12 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
March 13 Sugarloaf, ME Sugarloaf Ski Resort
March 18 Austin, TX Antoneâ€™s â€“ SXSW
March 21 Aspen, CO Snowmass Mountain
March 27 Jackson Hole, WY Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
April 25 Phoenix, AZ McDowell Mountain Music Festival
May 14 Richmond, VA Browns Island
More dates to be announced.
Paul Weller was honored with the NMEâ€™s highest creative honor, The â€˜Godlike Genius Awardâ€™ at last nightâ€™s Shockwaves NME 2010 Awards event. Past recipients of the award include The Clash, The Cure, New Order, Joy Division and Massive Attack, among others.
During his acceptance speech, with vintage Weller sarcasm, he quipped, “I’m embarrassed because people said so many nice things about me… but they’re all true! God bless you, have a good night!” Later Weller took the stage backed by My Bloody Valentine / Primal Scream guitar alchemist Kevin Shield and ex-Oasis guitarist Gem Archer for a blistering set of tunes from his new album Wake Up the Nation (May 4th, Yep Roc), as well as classic solo and Jam material.
Wake Up the Nation also features Shields, Archer, ELOâ€™s Bev Bevan and former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton who joins Paul for the first time since the break-up of The Jam in 1982.
To check out a chat with Paul backstage visit NME.com here: http://bit.ly/aiZTuo
Legendary Massive Attack will tour North America for the first time since 2006 in support of their newly released 5th studio album â€˜Heligoland.â€™ The North American trek will start May 7th at Sound Academy in Toronto, ON and wrap May 30th at the Sasquatch Festival in George, WA. They will play 2 shows in NYC, Los Angeles and San Francisco with general on sale beginning March 5th (full schedule below).
Massive Attackâ€™s latest album â€˜Heligolandâ€™ was released on Feb 9th on EMIâ€™s Virgin Records and debuted at #46 on the Billboard 200, marking the highest U.S. chart position of the duoâ€™s career. An all star cast join founding members Robert Del Naja (3D) and Grand Marshall (Daddy G) on their first studio album in 7 years which includes Damon Albarn, Mazzy Starâ€™s Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Elbowâ€™s Guy Garvey and TV on the Radioâ€™s Tunde Adebimpe. USA Today praises the collaboratorâ€™s contributions on â€˜Heligolandâ€™ by saying, â€œThey give the gloomy grooves and chilled beats a heartbeat but also step into Massive Attackâ€™s otherworldly sonics with enticingly haunted performances.â€ Albarn also plays bass on â€œFlat Of The Bladeâ€ and Keyboards on â€œSplitting The Atomâ€ while Portisheadâ€™s Adrian Utley plays guitar on â€˜Saturday Come Slowâ€™. The band also collaborated with DFAâ€™s Tim Goldsworthy on selected tracks. The cover artwork features an original image by Robert Del Naja.
Over the last three years Robert Del Naja has written and produced soundtracks for a number of films and documentaries, including â€˜Trouble In The Waterâ€™, â€™44 Inch Chestâ€™, â€˜In Prison My Whole Lifeâ€™ and â€˜Gomorraâ€™, the latter for which he won the David Di Donatello Award for Best Song. Last year Massive Attack won the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award at the Ivor Novello Awards. In September, Massive Attack headlined this yearâ€™s Bestival ahead of their first full UK tour in three years.
Massive Attack North American Tour Dates:
Date City Venue On-sale
5/7 Toronto, ON Sound Academy 3/5
5/9 Toronto, ON Sound Academy 3/5
5/11 NYC, NY Terminal 5 3/5
5/12 NYC, NY Terminal 5 3/5
5/18 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theater 3/5
5/19 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theater 3/5
5/25 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theater 3/7
5/27 San Francisco, CA Warfiled Theater 3/7
5/30 George, WA Sasquatch Festival on sale now
Here’s a really cool video of ?uestlove discussing the importance and influence of Fela Kuti – on both the personal level as well as Fela’s impact on music and culture.
Over the next several months, Knitting Factory Records will be re-releasing Fela’s entire catalogue. The “Chop ‘N Quench” batch, containing 6 CDs (9 albums total) from 1964-1974, is available digitally and physically now. Buy them from Fela.net to get a deal better than you’ll find anywhere else!
Purchase the “Chop ‘N Quench” batch HERE
If you’ve never been to Boston, you should stop on by.. only to visit though, not to live there. Nestled in that whole New England area is a city that sleeps at 12:30am and loves the Red Sox and rock music. We recently had a chance to visit the new House Of Blues on Lansdowne Street (replacing music clubs Avalon and Axis awww). Walking in, you notice something. Boston is only filled with white people, and not the prettiest ones either. This is a blue collar town who was here to see “SHINEDOWN!” This would not bode well for openers from New Zealand, Like A Storm. Dressed like understudies for 30 Seconds To Mars, the band sounds a lot better than it looks. The 90s alternative rock side of me digs the hooks but the 2010 me remembers that the 90s are now two decades old. Though the show was at a quarter capacity for these guys, it was merely 600 people waiting in line to buy a beer. There might’ve been a better turn out for Like A Storm had the venue not been telling people that the show started 20 minutes after the band’s set (we’re not kidding). Also, Like A Storm didn’t seem like a good fit for this somewhat cock rock lineup. They’d be better off with 30STM and Seether than these bands. Anyways, before the band wrapped up their mini six song set, they covered Alice in Chain’s “Man In The Box.” Listen up, Like A Storm. If you can’t sing it, you should leave it alone. I tell my friends the same thing when we’re playing the song on Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
Next up was Skillet. I even ran into some Skillet fans that drove three hours to see the band. That’s dedication (or stupidity?) holmes. I have to be honest here. I only took some photos, stared at the female guitarist, and took a beer and bathroom break. Thank you Skillet. For what they do (and I’m not sure what it is), Skillet was.. tolerable yet forgettable.
Then, the return of Puddle of Mudd. Puddle of Mudd’s one of those alternative rock bands that became popular during nu-metal about a decade ago. Hailed as Fred Durst’s proteges, POM really haven’t released a solid album since their debut Come Clean in 2001. Fortunately for the band, they have created a few hit singles about love and hate (oh, isn’t their new album called Volume 4: Songs In The Key Of Love And Hate) that had everyone at the House Of Blues going nuts. Frontman Wes Scantlin recognizes that his band isn’t as popular as it used to be but he still enjoys performing live and playing what people want to hear. Opening with the “smack your ass” song Control, Puddle of Mudd’s set was a nice retro singalong that included hits like “Blurry”, “Drift And Die”, the underappreciated “Psycho” and “She Hates Me” which included a segue into “Summer Lovin’” from the movie Grease and Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”. Did everyone come here to see Puddle of Mudd tonight? No, but they did love the band’s set.
And finally, one of the top three rock bands in America, Shinedown took the stage. When you’re in Boston aka “the east coast representation of Middle America”, you’ll notice that Bud Light is a premium beer, and that Shinedown is the best band in the world. The preacher of the evening was Shinedown frontman Brent Smith (whose clothes were way too tight btw). It’s hard to avoid liking Shinedown. They have some songs that rock out pretty hard like “Sound Of Madness” and “Devour”, they have ballads like “If You Only Knew” and they cover Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Simple Man”). There’s a certain cheese factor to Shinedown like Nickelback (who they’ll be on tour with in April). They’re a hard rock band that makes melodic music and isn’t crappy metal and too religious. You’ll never admit to anyone you know that you like them.. unless you’re in Shinedown’s church.. at the House of Blues in Boston.
After touring touring and MORE touring, Nico Vega is back with their brand new single and video for “Gravity”. Shot by Marcus Dunstan who directed such horror favorites as Saw IV, V and VI, and The Collector, the video is an eerie masterpiece that shows the band being chased every which way…with a few surprises in between! Check out the video here. The band is still currently on tour with The Soundtrack Of Our Lives as well…don’t miss them if they are still coming to your city!
Here are the remainder of the dates:
Feb 24 2010 The Casbah w/ TSOOL San Diego, California
Feb 25 2010 The Glass House w/ TSOOL Pomona, California
Feb 26 2010 The El Rey Theatre w/ TSOOL Los Angeles, California
Feb 27 2010 The Independent – Noise Pop Festival San Francisco, California