Tuesday, April 26, 2011

[interview] Lord Huron - Progress Report

Interview with the Lord

Ben Schneider (seen above), the lead singer/creator of Lord Huron, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for Three Colours. Currently, Lord Huron is riding a wave of buzz and touring through the heart of the country. Tonight marks the start of their headlining tour - most notably is their just-announced appearance at this year's Lollapalooza (exact date still TBD). The interview proceeds the tour dates. If you get a chance to see these guys live, I highly recommend it.

Lord Huron tour dates:
04/26 - Washington, DC - DC9
04/28 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
04/30 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
05/02 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge
05/03 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's Tavern
05/07 - Norman, OK - Opolis Coffee
05/08 - Austin, TX - Emo's
05/10 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
05/11 - La Jolla, CA - The Loft at UCSD
05/14 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
08/5-7 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza!
Lord Huron Interview

(Three Colours) There seems to be a lot of lore behind the creation of Lord Huron and your two EPs Into the Sun and Mighty. If I'm not mistaken, most of what ended up on these two records was conceived on the beaches of northern Michigan. Would you care to talk a bit about what images/emotions were going on in your life that created such beautiful soundscapes?

(Ben Schneider) My life was changing a lot at that time. Good and bad, as it often goes.

(TC) Did you know from the beginning when you first started writing this music that it would eventually lead to a band?

(BS) I hoped it would, but I didn’t really have any expectations. I really enjoy performing live, so that was always in the back of my mind. Thankfully people responded very positively to the recordings, and I’ve been able to put together a great group.

(TC) Now that you're touring across the country, you've had to adapt these solitary recordings into a road band. What have been the major challenges in this process?

(BS) There’s a lot happening on the records. Ideally I’d have twelve musicians with me every night, but that’s just impossible at this point. The biggest challenge has been attempting to recreate the size and intricacy of the recordings with 5 people. Thankfully, the guys are all incredibly talented. We’re still working it out to be honest. Things change night to night. We’ve only been together for a few months and it just takes time.

(TC) And what would you say has been the most serendipitous additions to your songs that you've experienced while playing these live?

(BS) It feels really great having other musicians to interact with. Each player brings his own personality to the music, and that’s been interesting to hear and work with.

(TC) You just released an EP back in November, but are there any plans to begin crafting an full-length LP, or is one already in the works?

(BS) I’ve continued writing and recording all the while. Not sure what this new material will turn into, but I think we’ll probably release an LP within the next year.

(TC) Will you be entering the studio as a collective, or will it be a solitary recording session again?

(BS) I’d definitely like to get these guys into the studio. I’m really interested in working with a producer as well. I think the right person could do a lot for the songs.

(TC) Do you think you will go back to the beaches of the mighty Huron for more inspiration, or will the Pacific do just the trick?

(BS) I’d like to keep working up there as much as possible. We shot a video there, too, and it’s just a great place to work. I think I’ll probably move back to Michigan before too long.

(TC) I'm a really big fan of your album art. Is that done by one of you guys?

(BS) Thanks. Yes, I do the artwork. Working on the visual aspect of the project has been really enjoyable for me.

(TC) I hate to label a band's sound, so I won't, but I can't help notice an overarching element that reminds me of backpacking through some far-off land. Has travel influenced the sound of these records?

(BS) Travel has been an important part of my life, and so has home. I’ve always had this internal struggle. A strong attachment to home vs. a raging wanderlust. Turns out touring is a pretty good way to handle this.

(TC) While touring, you've probably trailblazed through unexplored territories - do these new cities/places inspire new songs?

(BS) We’re just getting going, but we’ve already had some interesting adventures and encounters. Whether or not they’ll make it into the music remains to be seen.

(TC) Do you have any memorable touring moments that you'd like to share?

(BS) It’s all pretty memorable to us, but I doubt it would be very interesting to others. We’ve met a lot of good folks. No arrests yet, thankfully.

[video] White Denim - "Drug"

New video from White Denim

As reported earlier, White Denim is primed to drop their new album D on May 24. Marking the band's US label debut, the album will be released via Downtown. In preparation for the new LP, the band has showcased an official video for the first single "Drug" (seen above). I'd like to see a "making of the music video" after watching all the humorous and drug-inspired stop motion photography. Check it out.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

[new music] Franz Ferdinand - Covers EP

Listen to Franz Ferdinand's Covers EP

On Record Store Day, Franz Ferdinand released a 5-song EP which featured covers of their songs from Tonight performed by bands that FF apparently loves. These include Debbie Harry, Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields), LCD Soundsystem, ESG, and Peaches. For those of you who didn't pick up a copy of the coloured 12" vinyl of the Covers EP as part of the Record Store Day celebrations, Domino Records announced that the EP will also be released on CD & black vinyl on May 2.

You can stream all 5 songs from the Covers EP below. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

[new music] Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

New self-titled LP from Bon Iver

There's an old adage that states how bands have roughly 18 years to write their debut and only 1-2 years for the follow-up. It's sad but very true, and as fans we tend to grow impatient with even our favorite acts. Personally, I greatly appreciate (only in hindsight) the bands that take their time to craft another masterpiece, but that doesn't mean I enjoy the years of anticipation leading up to its release.

In 2007, Justin Vernon surprised us all with his instant classic For Emma, Forever Ago. Released under the moniker Bon Iver, the album was picked up by record label Jagjaguwar and increasingly gained an indie-cult following over the next year. When sharing this album with friends, the exchange of music was usually accompanied with an anecdotal tale: "Vernon, heartbroken from both a lost love and a dissolved band, retreated to the snowy recesses of backcountry Wisconsin and catharticly recorded his emotions." The lore behind the album only helped listeners connect with the beautifully crafted songs. By 2009, The LP had gained the attention of everyone, and to our delight, the Blood Bank EP was released to give us a little more Bon Iver.

Now we've been waiting what seems like ages for the sophomore LP. We're hungry for Bon Iver, and Volcano Choir turned out to be an entirely different beast. Finally, news of this follow-up album has been released over at Jagjaguwar. According to their label, the self-titled album, whose cover art is pictured above, will drop June 21. In the press release, it states that the 10-song album took Vernon 3 years to craft. Bon Iver, Bon Iver was recorded and mixed at Vernon's April Base Studios in Fall Creek, WI. The studio, which was converted from a former veterinarian's clinic, is "only three miles from the house [he] grew up in, and just ten minutes from the bar where [his] parents met."

The album art was created by artist Gregory Euclide. It's actually a relief art and can be seen in all its three dimensions here.

A track listing of Bon Iver's Bon Iver, Bon Iver is posted below (that's a bit redundant).

Track listing: Bon Iver, Bon Iver
01 - Perth
02 - Minnesota, WI
03 - Holocene
04 - Towers
05 - Michicant
06 - Hinnom, TX
07 - Wash.
08 - Calgary
09 - Lisbon, OH
10 - Beth/Rest

Thursday, April 14, 2011

[new music] Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It's a Corporate World

Debut LP from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

The best-named band of 2010 is prepping for another US tour in support of their upcoming, highly anticipated debut album It's a Corporate World, which drops May 7 via Quite Scientific Records. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was responsible for one of 2010's best EPs, and after hearing their opening track "Morning Thought", I'm very excited for the release of this album. Also of mention, on June 7, the band will be playing the Tractor Tavern. The rest of the tour is posted below.

:: download "Morning Thought" (here)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Tour Dates:
May 10 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
May 11 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
May 12 – The Rock Shop – Brooklyn, NY
May 13 – The Red Palace – Washington, DC
May 14 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
May 17 – IOTA Club & Cafe – Arlington, VA
May 18 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
May 19 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
May 20 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
May 21 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
May 24 – Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
May 25 – Proud Larry’s -Oxford, MI
May 26 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
May 27 – Club DaDa – Dallas, TX
May 28 – Emo’s Alternative Lounge – Austin, TX
May 31 – Santa Fe Brewing Company – Santa Fe, NM
Jun 01 – Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
Jun 02 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
Jun 03 – The Echo – Echo Park, CA
Jun 04 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA
Jun 06 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
Jun 07 – The Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
Jun 09 – The Neurolux – Boise, ID
Jun 10 – Kilby Court Gallery – Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 11 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO
Jun 13 – The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
Jun 14 – The Mill – Iowa City, IA
Jun 15 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Jun 16 – University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI
Jun 17 – White Rabbit Cabaret – Indianapolis, IN

[new music] My Morning Jacket - Circuital

That Good Ol' Familiar Feel of My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket's newest album Circuital is scheduled for a May 31 release. The title track - a 7 minute slow-building jam session - can be heard below. If the rest of the album sounds anything like this, we're in for a treat. Now I'm probably in the minority here, but I was never able to acquire a taste for Evil Urges. With the exception of "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, Part II", I just could never seem to understand what all the hoopla was about. But "Circuital" is nice and familiar, yet a little stripped down. I love how we hear the song built up as it progresses, only to be torn back apart after the climax at the 6 minute-mark. Check it out, and pre-order a copy of the LP here.

You can download this track (here)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[new music] Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital

New Handsome Furs on June 28!

Handsome Furs have just announced the details of their 3rd LP Sound Kapital! The album will drop via SupPop on June 28, and you can hear the first single "What About Us" above. According to the band's press release, Sound Kapital is the first Handsome Furs album written exclusively on keyboards and drum machine. They go on to explain this decision in rational detail:
This was a conscious decision, made for a few reasons: a) it forced Dan, whose primary instrument is guitar, to find fresh avenues of expression; b) it facilitated writing on the road. The latter concern is especially important. Even with their new analog synthesizers, Handsome Furs can still fit all their gear into a subcompact car—or the saddlebags of a camel. Alexei and Dan have joked about being “closet journalists,” but this is no laughing matter. Being able to work as they travel permits visceral editorializing about their eye-opening adventures. The jittery, electro-hardcore “Damage” incorporates samples of radio broadcasts concerning a Hong Kong hostage situation that was unfolding while the Furs were in the Philippines.
The band will be playing a series of US shows before jetting off across the Atlantic (dates are posted below). Could be interesting to hear some old jams played out on the keys...

Sound Kapital Track Listing
01 When I Get Back
02 Damage
03 Bury Me Standing
04 Memories of the Future
05 Serve the People
06 What About Us
07 Repatriated
08 Cheap Music
09 No Feelings

Handsome Furs Tour Dates
04-13 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
04-14 – Brooklyn, NY – Bell House
04-15 – Richmond, VA – Gallery 5
04-16 – Clemson, SC – Clemson University
04-17 – Raleigh, NC – King's Barcade
04-18 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
04-22 – Sofia, Bulgaria – RBF Club – with No Age
04-23 – Skopje, MK – Zdravo Mladi Festival – with No Age
04-26 – Prishtina, Albania – Club 21 *
04-27 – Podgorica, Montenegro – Soul2Soul *
04-28 – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Orlando *
04-29 – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – SLOGA
05-03 – Vienna, AT – Flex
05-04 – Bratislava, SK – Dunaj
05-05 – Krakow, PL – Laznia Nowa
05-06 – Warsaw, PL – Warsaw Music Week @ Cafe Kulturalna
05-07 – Wroclaw, PL – Puzzle
05-08 – Prague, CZ – 007
05-09 – Berlin, DE – Westgermany
05-11 – Gent, BE – De Centrale
05-12 – Amsterdam, NL – Bitterzoet
05-13 – Brighton, UK – The Great Escape
05-14 – Cardiff, UK – Buffalo Bar
05-16 – London, UK – Lexington ^
05-17 – Glasgow, UK – Captains Rest
05-19 – Liverpool, UK – Sounds City Festival @ Chapel Club
05-20 – Paris, FR – Le Fl├Ęche d’or
05-21 – Bergen, NO – Landmark
05-22 – Oslo,NO – Betong

* – With support from Bernays Propaganda
^ – With support from Hundreds

Monday, April 11, 2011

[new music] Arctic Monkeys - "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair"

New Song from Arctic Monkeys

Recently, the Arctic Monkeys announced the details of their upcoming album Suck It and See, which drops June 6. We first heard "Brick by Brick", where drummer Matt Helders showed off his pipes as well as his stick play in the vintage rocker. We now have our second sample of the new LP, which is streamable below. The song, "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair," will be the band's first official single off Suck It. This Saturday for Record Store Day, "Don't Sit Down" will be sold as a 7" vinyl b/w of "Brick by Brick." Check it out.

[review] Lord Huron @ Tractor Tavern (4-10-2011)

Lord Huron Went Wild

One would think a rainy Sunday night in Seattle would bear a tepid crowd at the Tractor Tavern. Not the case. Those devoted fans who braved the weather were more than rewarded for their dedication. The Michigan natives (by-way-of Los Angeles) who play under the moniker Lord Huron performed to an eager crowd last night, and they did not disappoint.

Lord Huron began as a solo project for lead singer Ben Schneider, but to put this show on the road, he enlisted the help of a childhood buddy and three other Michiganders. The effect is quite nice - the live version of the band has a rougher, louder edge. Even by falling victim to the Tractor's poor sound quality, the beautiful soundscapes that appear on the Lord Huron's two EPs Into the Sun and Mighty were transformed into a frenetic romp through the band's small catalog. To date, Lord Huron have seven total songs to their name, yet fans heard every single one of them in all their gloriousness. A set list is posted below, and highlights included a beautiful performance of "The Stranger", as well as "We Went Wild", which closed the set with an energy-driven climax. All in all, these guys are making some exciting tunes, and may be coming to a city near you. Check out the dates below, and be sure to catch this act if you can.

Set List :: Lord Huron @ Tractor Tavern (4-10-2011)
Into the Sun
The Problem With Your Daughter
Son of a Gun
The Stranger
When Will I See You Again
We Went Wild

Tour Dates :: Lord Huron
04/09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*
04/10 - Seattle, WA - The Tractor*
04/12 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill*
04/13 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill*
04/19 - Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room*
04/20 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive*
04/21 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown*
04/22 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird*
04/23 - Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio*
04/24 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom*
04/26 - Washington, DC - DC9
04/28 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
04/30 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
05/02 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge
05/03 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's Tavern
05/07 - Norman, OK - Opolis Coffee
05/08 - Austin, TX - Emo's
05/10 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
05/11 - La Jolla, CA - The Loft at UCSD
05/14 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour

* w/ Rural Alberta Advantage

[new music] Resume Compilation for Japanese Earthquake Victims

A Compilation Album to Support the Victims
of the Japan Earthquake

In the wake of the horrendous earthquake and resulting tsunami that recently struck eastern Japan, 7 e.p. (a label that mainly licenses music from overseas) has arranged a compilation to help benefit the victims. With the hope of creating an iTunes-based benefit album, they called out to the overseas artists that they have had the pleasure of working with. The response was immediate and overwhelming.

The result: a 3-volume benefit compilation album titled Resume. It includes 45 tracks, most of them previously unreleased, from 43 artists hailing from America, Canada, Australia, the U.K., the Netherlands and even Japan.

The title, Resume, which implies recovering and persevering, was the idea of Sweet Dreams publisher Norio Fukuda. The cover artwork was provided by renowned Olympia, WA artist Nikki McClure. Additionally, Masaki Tada, who has worked on albums by moools and many other 7 e.p. albums, offered his mastering expertise. Of note, contributions from Wolf Parade (who toured with moools last year), Sunset Rubdown, and Johnny & The Moon have all contributed songs to Resume (list posted below). Looks like a good album, and it's definitely a good cause. Check it out - albums are available today for $7 each.
  • Wolf Parade – Agents Of Love (iTunes only single)
  • Wolf Parade – Semi-Precious Stone (iTunes only single)
  • Sunset Rubdown – Coming To At Dawn (Digitally unreleased)
  • Sunset Rubdown – Insane Love Is Awakening (Digitally unreleased)
  • Johnny & The Moon – From the Rooftops of Houses (Unreleased)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

[new music] Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Rome

When in Rome...

On KEXP today, I heard a strangely familiar track featuring the vocals of Jack White. It was clever and catchy, and immediately stuck to my brain. A little investigating lead me to the discovery of its origin: yet another awesome project involving the musical mastermind Danger Mouse. I remember briefly hearing about Danger Mouse's "Rome" project, but had apparently forgotten. For those who aren't aware, Rome is supposed to be Danger Mouse's interpretation of a Spaghetti Western score. And what better way to gain inspiration than by recording the album at Ennio Moriccone’s Forum Studios in Rome (You may not know Ennio by name, but his score to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is one of the most recognized western tunes around).

Rome was composed by Italian Daniele Luppi and Danger Mouse, and it also contains vocals from both Jack White and Nora Jones. Below are two tracks "Two Against One" and "Black". If these two tracks are representative of the album, this is going to be one solid release.

Rome drops May 17.

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
"Two Against One" :: ft Jack White

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
"Black" :: ft Norah Jones

For more info, watch the trailer below ::

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

[reminder] Lord Huron @ The Tractor (4-10-2011)

The Return of Lord Huron

Just a friendly reminder - Lord Huron will be playing at the Tractor Tavern this Sunday (April 10) in support of The Rural Alberta Advantage and Land of Pines. Tickets are still available (here) or at your local Sonic boom for a mere $10. Doors open at 8pm. Don't miss Lord Huron. And if you don't know who these bad asses are, watch their video of "The Stranger" above. It's awesome. Also, they earned Three Colours' Best EP honors of 2010, if that means anything to you.
Who? Lord Huron (w/ The Rural Alberta Advantage & Land of Pines)
Where? The Tractor Tavern
When? April 10, 2011 (Doors at 8pm)
How? $10 (here)