2012 March | The Audio Perv - Part 4
Archive for March, 2012
26 Mar

Besides bringing together a group of some of the most successful actors today, the new Avengers movie seems like it might be delivering a kickass soundtrack. Check out a very small clip of a NEW Soundgarden song, “Live To Rise,” from Avengers Assemble: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture.

26 Mar

Sigur Rós will return with their sixth studio album, Valtari, on XL Recordings on May 29th, 2012. The first track from Valtari, entitled “Ekki Múkk,” is now streaming on the band’s website – www.sigurros.com. Valtari will be released on double LP, CD and digital download. Valtari is Sigur Rós’s first studio album since 2008’s acclaimed Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, marking the end of their indefinite hiatus. It is either the album they always wanted to make, or the album they almost didn’t make, depending on how you look at it.

Taken together, the eight songs on this 54-minute album feel like an alternative musical path the band didn’t take after 2002’s untitled ( ) album. Frequently bereft of formal structures, and for large stretches of time more atmospheres than songs, the work – which the band has described as sounding “like an avalanche in slow motion” – offers a counterpoint to Sigur Rós’s steady yet unconscious migration towards public acceptance.

In English, Valtari translates as “steamroller,” and there is something right about the title in terms of the process of its creation. In 2011, the band, alongside mixer Alex Somers, started the painstaking forensic task of piecing together a cohesive and magical work from disparate constituent parts. If this sounds unromantic, the results are anything but. Something alchemical occurs when the four members of Sigur Rós are in the room together, and while Valtari is a more “studio based” album than any of its predecessors (which usually start life as rehearsal room jams), the long hours of experimentation and unsentimental editing have yielded incredible results.

Certain songs on the album have roots in earlier times. “Dauðalogn” and “Varðeldur” emerged out of sessions on the back of Takk… but the choral ideas behind them stem from as far back as 2002 and an orchestral collaboration with the 16 Choir; 2009 sessions in the wake of the last album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, threw up some individually beautiful moments – of which three, “Rembihnútur,” “Fjögur piano,” and “Valtari” live here – but it was hard to draw a line between them, and the band found focusing on such elusive music hard to do for any sustained period.

And so, they essentially put the record on hold. In 2010, singer Jónsi went off to make, and then tour, his expansive, critically-acclaimed solo album Go, while keyboardist Kjartan spent time on his classically-inclined, unreleased work, ‘Credo’. Time slipped by. But then a film scoring opportunity led to the creation of the towering and majestic “Varúð,” arguably the record’s centerpiece; and shortly thereafter, scouting around for a closing credit song for last year’s live film, Inni, the band unearthed “Lúppulagið,” which in its reworked choral form is here titled “Varðeldur,” one of the album’s most understated and elegant songs. And slowly, what had seemed like a collection of isolated-but-interesting recordings, for the first time felt like the viable way towards a strangely cohesive body of work.

But the process of making Valtari, and the powerfully pleasing end results, are perhaps best described by bassist Georg Holm: “I really can’t remember why we started this record, I no longer know what we were trying to do back then. I do know session after session went pear-shaped, we lost focus and almost gave up…did give up for a while. But then something happened and form started to emerge, and now I can honestly say that it’s the only Sigur Rós record I have listened to for pleasure in my own house after we’ve finished it.”

Sigur Rós are: Jón Þór Birgisson (vocals, guitar), Georg Holm (bass), Kjartan Sveinsson (keyboards/piano), Orri Páll Dýrason (drums). Valtari was recorded by the band at Sundlaugin Studio, Mosfellbaer, Iceland.

Valtari track listing:

1. Ég anda.

2. Ekki múkk.

3. Varúð.

4. Rembihnútur.

5. Dauðalogn.

6. Varðeldur.

7. Valtari.

8. Fjögur píanó.



26 Mar

By Emilia D’Albero

In a world where the quality of indie rock ebbs and flows constantly, it’s comforting to know that there are bands out there that are consistently being awesome. White Rabbits, hailing from Brooklyn, is one such group. And if there’s one thing that White Rabbits knows how to do well, it is definitely writing strong, catchy bass lines and pulsing percussion. In fact, their newest release, Milk Famous, is positively brimming with both of those things. From the very start of the title track and first single, “Heavy Metal,” to the last few seconds of the closing track, “I Had It Coming,” the band’s musical dexterity and confidence is evident. “Heavy Metal” itself is an eerie blend of memorable bass and a sort of mechanical percussion (including short bursts of what sounds like banging on trash cans); this track is simple enough to follow, but is also beautifully complex. The otherworldly sensation that comes with listening to “Heavy Metal” all the way through is not out of place on Milk Famous, however.

Every song on the entire album is a bit spooky; whether it’s the slightly dissonant yet aurally pleasing vocal harmonies in the chorus of “I’m Not Me” or the urgency of the piano riff in “Everyone Can’t Be Confused,” Milk Famous maintains an eerie, spectral quality, as if White Rabbits’ music contains some secret to life that only the band knows about and are holding just beyond our reach. Fortunately, it seems plausible to assume that listening to Milk Famous just might be the boost one needs in order to reach this alleged secret. Perhaps the smooth vocals that cover the high-pitched siren sounds in “Hold It to the Fire” hold the key to unlocking the secret, or maybe it is the fast-paced urgency of “The Day You Won the War,” or it may even be the haunting harmonies coupled with the strong bass backbone of “Temporary” (both of which ensure that the song will be anything but temporary in your brain). The final track, “I Had It Coming,” integrates a bit of acoustic guitar with a bit of piano and the aforementioned percussion, and the result is a track that practically bleeds a feeling of catharsis, as if it were the happy ending to the story told by the album.

Milk Famous is an album full of catchy guitar riffs, ethereal vocals, and simple yet elegant percussion that is poignant and strong enough to drive the album from opening to close. As a whole, Milk Famous will leave you thoroughly satisfied yet somewhat confused, wondering whether you should dance along or call Ghostbusters.

Buy Milk Famous on Amazon.

26 Mar

By Michel Dussack

I’ve been waiting to see Kaiser Chiefs headline a show for a very long time. Believe it or not, there was a time when I wasn’t going to three or four concerts a week, and was lucky to go to one every few months. And so, when Kaiser Chiefs announced that they would be headlining Roseland Ballroom in the middle of September 2011, I was super pumped. Unfortunately their label went under, and the album and show were pushed back to this March (the show was also moved to the less favorable Terminal 5, but it was so good it hardly mattered.)

In the direct support slot for Kaiser Chiefs was Walk the Moon, a delightfully fun indie band from Cincinnati that put on an extremely energetic and colorful set. Before the band went on, they had a few friends walk throughout the crowd painting audience members faces, and when the band did come out on stage, they too were rocking face paint. While a large portion of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with them, it didn’t stop nearly the whole venue from dancing along with their catchy upbeat pop melodies, and by the time their set closer ‘Anna Sun’ was done, the audience seemed reluctant to let them go. Thankfully, the band will be back to headline a much smaller show in New York in April, I highly recommend checking it out. They’ll also be playing on MTVs Woodie Awards, so don’t expect them to remain an unknown indie band for much longer.

When Kaiser Chiefs finally walked on stage, it was clear that it’s been several years since they’ve been to New York for a show. Support slots for Green Day came over two years ago, and it’s been almost four years since they headlined a show at Webster Hall. The band kicked off the night with two massive hits, ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’ and ‘Never Miss a Beat’ before playing one of the best songs on the new album, ‘Little Shocks’. The set followed in this manner, a selection of material from their newest album ‘Start The Revolution Without Me’ (which was released just two days before the show), mixed perfectly with the right number of hits to kept the crowd excited.

Ricky Wilson sounded as great as he ever has, and proved himself to be an expert showman (and master microphone stand breaker – he broke two during the night). Whether it was demanding more from the typically boring back half of the crowd during hits like ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’, or dashing up into the balcony and taking a lap around it while singing ‘Take My Temperature’ he did all he needed to in order to keep up the energy of the crowd. For some songs however, the crowd needed no prodding to participate – the first of which was ‘I Predict a Riot’ during which a small mosh pit broke out and beer first started to fly during the night.

When the band disappeared for their break, it was pretty obvious that they would return given that they hadn’t played their two biggest tracks of their career. When they walked back on, they delivered both of these songs, the always fun ‘Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning)’, and the massive sing along ‘Oh My God’ both of which the crowd ate up. The band walked off stage again, this time for good, and everyone in the audience reluctantly started to make their way outside, hoping that it wouldn’t be another four years before Kaiser Chiefs came back to New York.

All photos courtesy of Michel Dussack



25 Mar

By Ace Ubas

Off the top of my head, no band has gotten so successful so fast in the past year and a half or so than Cults. Typically, for a band to reach a large amount of success and popularity, it would normally take a couple of years plus a few albums. But typical doesn’t define Cults. The Manhattan-based duo comprised of vocalist Madeline Follin and guitarist/vocalist Brian Oblivion released their self-titled debut album just last year to a great amount of critical reception that landed in many year-end lists. However, what really got them attention across the blogosphere was due to one song – “Go Outside.” From then on, it was an avalanche effect that led to their rise at the top of the indie circuit. What comes to mind when a band gets popularity because of one song is the term one-hit wonder where they make that one song that they’re known for and then they’re never heard from again because they fail to write songs that’s on par with that single. On Friday night at the Glasshouse in Pomona in front of a packed house, Cults proved that they’ll never be a one-hit wonder.

It was 10 PM sharp when the lights turned dark that encouraged the crowd a roaring cheer. As soon as the lights came back on to a dim red and blue, Follin, Oblivion, and their live band were already on stage and ready to go. Though everyone already knew they were, the band kept up with the dark, mysterious them throughout the night with a dimly-lit stage and Follin and Oblivion’s jet black hair covering their faces. Talking to some of the crowd up front, Cults seemed to be a rather appropriate band name regarding their fan base. Those that I spoke to were clearly crazed with admiration and love to the point were they themselves seemed like they were in some kind of cult. But I digress.

As if the crowd wasn’t energized enough, Cults opened with catchy single “Abducted” that got everyone to start dancing and singing along. The 50s/60s-esque pop number pretty much ensured that neither the band nor the crowd was going to slow down for any reason.

Bands, especially in a live setting, that try to pull off the whole nostalgia style usually fall flat, unoriginal, and recycled with their music. But Cults pulls it off perfectly, deriving inspiration from pop groups of those decades while adding their own modern twist to it. And what really held their set together was Follin’s voice, most notably on “Most Wanted” and the bouncy “Walk at Night.” Oblivion shined brightest on “Never Heal Myself” where his riffs were on-point with reverb especially towards the end. There were even moments during the song where he harmonized the riffs with Follin’s singing. This was definitely a fine moment to see live because on record, his riffs sound subdued.

It seemed rather pointless when Oblivion told the crowd to sing and dance along because they’ve been doing that the whole night. But it served as a perfect introduction to “Go Outside,” where as soon as the opening xylophone melody played, the crowd went haywire. Not only was every single person dancing and singing, a few people even crowd surfed.

In a show of humbleness, Oblivion addressed the crowd saying that rather than doing the whole encore routine because they’re not “rock stars,” he simply asked whether the crowd to hear one more song or not. Obviously, they did and this led to closer “Oh My God.”

There are three factors that make Cults good artists: simplicity, catchiness, and nostalgia. Their songs aren’t overtly complex or pretentious. They’re simple in structure and filled with tons of hooks. Lyrically, they’re lyrics that everyone can understand, memorize, and sing along to. And most importantly, they pull-off the vintage pop style perfectly while adding their own modern twist of melodies. All of this can be seen at their concerts and those are the reasons why they’ll continue to be successful for awhile.

23 Mar

Sleeper Agent made their television debut with “Get Burned” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Watch the video below and pick up their album Celabrasion on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

23 Mar

Neon Trees performed “Everybody Talks” and “Animal” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Watch both songs in the video below:

23 Mar

The Secret Sisters performed “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Watch the video below:

22 Mar

The album art and track listing for Marilyn Manson’s May 1 release Born Villain (Cooking Vinyl/Downtown) was revealed today via Manson’s website www.marilynmanson.com.

Check out the album cover on the right, the track listing below and pre-order Born Villain here

Track listing:
Bonus Track – You’re So Vain

22 Mar

SXSW’s most buzzed about band, Alabama Shakes, played at the Hype Hotel last Thursday and put on another great show. A quick aside about the Hype Hotel, we love it there. There’s free drinks (well 2 drink tickets), free food and free music. You don’t even need an official SXSW wristband or pass. Sure you might have to wait in line for a bit but it’s worth it. Our photographer Phil DeSimone braved through the packed crowd to get some superb shots of the band. Check them out below: