La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

“This Pricey Stuff Makes Me Dizzy”

It’s been a busy year for The National since the release of their acclaimed High Violet. Touring, festival appearances, television, all the wine, world domination and, as we all know, if it’s worth releasing once the deluxe reissue won’t be far off. News that the bustling Brooklynites have announced plans for a lavish reissue of the aforementioned record. The reconfigured recording will come repackaged in a two-disc reformat with unreleased songs, live recordings and rare B-sides.

The album will make a reappearance on November 23rd via 4AD, and contains tracks omitted from the original release, including “You Were A Kindness” and “Wake Up You Saints,” plus the B-sides “Walk Off” and “Sin-Eaters,” as well as an alternate take of “Terrible Love.” The package will also include three live songs.

The reconfigured High Violet will now look like this:

Terrible Love
Anyone's Ghost
Little Faith
Afraid of Everyone
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Conversation 16
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Bonus Disc:

Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
Wake Up You Saints
You Were a Kindness
Walk Off
Bloodbuzz Ohio (Live On KCMP)
Anyone's Ghost (Live At Brooklyn Academy of Music)
England (Live At Brooklyn Academy Of Music)

Listen to the National in a fantastic live session on the Current this past summer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Karkwa, Karkwa, Karkwa

Say what you will Jan Brady the Polaris Music Prize always seems to be a surprise when it comes to the pronouncement of a winner. Last night’s finale was no different as Montreal proggy, indie rockers Karkwa took home the Polaris Music Prize for its fourth album, Les Chemins de Verre (Audiogram).  (The first francophone band to do so.)

Yesterday’s much ballyhooed ceremony at CTV's Concert Hall at Toronto’s Masonic Temple featured performances by all ten of this year’s shortlisted artists – Broken Social Scene, The Besnard Lakes, Tegan and Sara, Shad, Caribou, Owen Pallett, Dan Mangan, Radio Radio and The Sadies.

The band – singer Louis-Jean Cormier, keyboardist Francois Lafontaine, drummer Julier Sagot, drummer St├ęphane Bergeron and bassist Martin Lamontaigne – was formed in 1998 and have released three albums prior to Les Chemins De Verre, including Les Tremblements s’immobilisent, which won a trio of Felix Awards in 2006.

Previous Polaris winners are Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (2006). Voting by a 200-member jury resulted in a 10-title shortlist of Canadian albums released between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. An 11 member gala grand jury then selected a winner while the event took place. The band was presented their $20,000 cheque by the previous year’s winner (Fucked Up’s) Damian Abraham.

Sirius Satellite Radio and Radio 3 broadcast the ceremony live across North America, and around the world on the web at The gala was also webcast live on and will be broadcast Sept. 25th at 9pm ET on MuchMusic with repeat airings no doubt to follow ad infinitum.

Find more artists like Karkwa at Myspace Music

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LOLA 2010 September 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 – London Ontario

A friendly reminder that London Ontario’s own LOLA Festival (London Ontario Live Arts) is taking place this weekend.  Since its inception in 2006, LOLA has built a reputation on innovative curation, bold artistic statement and constant growth.  LOLA (London Ontario Live Arts) is a mostly free four day multi-disciplinary excursion into visual art and sound, their aim is to transform London's downtown core through subtle spectacles of the seen and heard. 
 From The LOLA website:
The curatorial theme of LOLA 2010, Conflict//Resolution — stems from an interest in working with the social history and heritage of Victoria Park. A former British Army barrack turned green space, the park is currently home to many war memorials, including decommissioned military equipment. For the past four years, Victoria Park has also served as the central location for the LOLA Festival. In response to this, the art in this year's festival ofthen simultaneously references war and peace, while when possible referencing the history and culture of the park and London.

The musical trajectory of this year’s lineup was, in a sense, borrowed from the expanded and ever evolving musical oeuvre of the late Arthur Russell.  Arthur’s limitless pallet and knowledge of musical languages was nothing short of extraordinary.  Disco, the avant-garde, folk, soul, experimental, ambient, contemporary chamber works, and rock were but a few of the genres Arthur explored.  In following Arthur and his world of echo through boundless musical landscapes, we're taught to appreciate new sounds, textures, subtle abstractions, and sonic colorings we'd yet to acknowledge or understand previously.

The stellar lineup this year is huge and includes Jamie Lidell, Land of Talk, My Brightest Diamond, the Chicago Underground Duo, Born Ruffians, Caribou and closes Sunday night with Text of Light featuring  Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and many more.

The full schedule and artist lineup below.  Please check the LOLA website for maps and additional venue information.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010 

6:30 pm UWO ArtLab Opening Party UWO ArtLab
8:30 pm Downtown Walk (led by Andrew Francis) Rogers Main Stage
10:00 pm Zeus London Music Hall
11:30 pm Jamie Lidell London Music Hall

Friday, September 17, 2010

2:00 pm Wild Domestic Rogers Main Stage
3:00 pm Transmorphous Sound Ensemble Trans/Media Stage
4:00 pm Capillary Action Rogers Main Stage
5:00 pm LOLA Happy Hour The Grand Theatre
5:00 pm Tony Conrad Trans/Media Stage
6:00 pm Trio Tarana Rogers Main Stage
7:00 pm Christopher Willits Trans/Media Stage
8:00 pm My Brightest Diamond Rogers Main Stage
9:00 pm Rhys Chatham Trumpet Trio Trans/Media Stage
10:00 pm Born Ruffians Rogers Main Stage
10:00 pm Invincible APK Live
11:30 pm Pursuit Grooves APK Live

Saturday, September 18, 2010

1:00 am James T. Cotton (Dabrye / Tadd Mullinix) APK Live
2:00 pm Ben Gunning Rogers Main Stage
3:00 pm Thesis Sahib Trans/Media Stage
4:00 pm Minotaurs Rogers Main Stage
5:00 pm Exit 2012 Trans/Media Stage
6:00 pm Fond Of Tigers Rogers Main Stage
7:00 pm White Rainbow Trans/Media Stage
8:00 pm Land Of Talk Rogers Main Stage
9:00 pm Chicago Underground Duo Trans/Media Stage
10:00 pm Bang The Party APK Live
10:00 pm Caribou Rogers Main Stage
11:00 pm The Makeover APK Live

Sunday, September 19, 2010

12:00 am Bang The Party APK Live
12:30 pm UWO Contemporary Music Ensemble Rogers Main Stage
2:15 pm Light Of East Ensemble Rogers Main Stage
3:30 pm Leaf Bird Rogers Main Stage
5:00 pm Arthur's Landing Rogers Main Stage
6:45 pm Text Of Light (feat. Lee Ranaldo) Rogers Main Stage

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Music, Noise and Narration

David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries to be Released on Audiobook

In 2009, David Byrne released Bicycle Diaries, an impressionistic memoir of his life as an avid bike rider in several major cities around the globe. A highly enjoyable read, Bicycle Diaries chronicles Byrne’s folding-bike explorations and his search for artistic expression, his thoughts on music, urban planning, fashion, architecture and much more. His unique black and white conceptual photographs are also included. (You can read a great review here.)

On September 28th, Viking will release Bicycle Diaries in a variety of new formats. Of particular note, the book will be available as an audiobook read by Byrne himself with accompanying music. According to Byrne's website, the audiobook “also features location sounds, creating an atmosphere more akin to a radio show than a simple reading of the book.*  You can download the introduction to the book for free via the handy widget below.

I can’t think of a better accompaniment for the ride into work in the morning.

* Recommended if you are a fan of the style of This American Life.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Matador to Release Deluxe Box Set Box for Twenty-First Anniversary

Remember that big Las Vegas birthday bash Matador announced earlier this year? Well, chances are, unless you were really quick on the ticket draw or you “know someone” the closest you will get to that event will be shaky camera phone videos on YouTube. (Can you tell I really wanted tickets? I’m not bitter really...)

Ever responsive to sad sack bloggers the good people at Matador Records are offering a fine alternative to a weekend of Vegas depravity with their just announced Matador at 21 boxed set. The exhaustive compendium includes five CDs chronicling the star acts from the label's different eras--"The Pre Dawn," "The Years of Milk and Honey," "Days of Whiskey and Tears," "Don't Call It A Comeback," and "Matador Today"--as well as a sixth disc of unreleased live cuts from Matador's 10th anniversary concert in 1999. Proceeds from the limited edition collection will benefit a handful of charities selected by Matador staff, and it all comes packaged in a linen box with a nifty set of thirty-six poker chips.

On September 28th, on the eve of the label’s 21st anniversary celebration in Las Vegas, the Matador at 21 box set lands in stores.

Now you can make your own Vegas event; Throw on the CD’s invite your friends over for some poker.

See, it’s not so bad after all...

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - "The Mighty Sparrow" from Jack Ferry on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Party Ain’t Over for Wanda Jackson

Third Man Records and Nonesuch Records have announced the release of the new album from the undisputed Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson. The Party Ain’t Over, produced by Jack White, will be out January 25, 2011.

With a remarkable career that began in 1955, Jackson was credited with being the first woman to ever record a rock and roll song—“Let’s Have a Party” in 1958. The fiery singer is a bona fide legend and the pairing with White is an inspired one.  You may remember a few tears back when Jack White hitched his wagon to another legend to produce Loretta Lynn’s very fine Van Lear Rose thusly revitalizing her career.  Anticipation is high that the same will happen with this effort.  White and Jackson teamed up last year to record a 45rpm single for White’s Third Man Records. The vinyl and iTunes release, a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” b/w “Shakin All Over” was a huge success and the pair set to record a full-length album.

The Party Ain’t Over was recorded in Nashville at White’s studio, where he brought together a fabulous band, including himself, Jack Lawrence (The Dead Weather/Raconteurs), Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs), Ashley Monroe, Jackson Smith, and his wife Karen Elson, to name a few, and hand picked the songs—11 tracks dating in origin from the early 1900s to 2007. The result: a retro modern collection of music that showcases Miss Jackson, now in her seventh decade and sounding as powerful as ever.

Wanda Jackson was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Americana Music Awards in Nashville last night, (September 9th). The award, in the category of Performance, was presented to her by Jack White.

The Party Ain’t Over Tracklist

1. Shakin All Over
2. Rip It Up
3. Busted
4. Rum and Coca-Cola
5. Thunder on the Mountain
6. You Know I’m No Good
7. Like a Baby
8. Nervous Breakdown
9. Dust on the Bible
10. Teach Me Tonight
11. Blue Yodle #6

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hey Thom, I !*#$ing Shot That!

A casual search of via YouTube always reveals any number of fan made concert videos. Usually shot on camera phones, (some apparently on pin-hole cameras) they are simplistic in approach and some manage to capture perfomers in their glory. Amateur Czech film-makers have now taken it one step further by releasing their own DVD featuring a little English upstart called Radiohead. The band have even thrown their support behind the live venture by providing the actual soundtrack to the East European auteurs amateur shots. The band generously provided pristine audio masters to the makers of Prague DVD, a DIY concert film shot in concert there on August 23, 2009.

Samples of the project have been uploaded to YouTube for preview. The final product featuring the work of ninety people. If you visit the Prague DVD website, you can download the entire set for free, in multiple formats. The set includes a version for the iPhone and even a promise of a future Blu-Ray verson. The site's credo- "Strictly not for sale. By the fans, for the fans. Please share and enjoy."

Wise words, this thing is really pretty amazing. Just keep the Gravol handy, the transitions can be a little rough at times.

Radiohead are currently working on their eighth studio album.

Download Here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Download Lowdown - Other People's Songs For Free

Steve Jobs did his best today to entice you into purchasing a brand new iPod and recognizing that cash flow could be an issue after purchasing said appliance this download might be of interest to you. Even more important, this one's pretty great, particularly if you love obscure cover versions.

The always great Damien Jurado and equally amazing Richard Swift spontaneously recorded an album together, featuring songs by the likes of Bill Fay, John Denver, Kraftwerk, Yes, and more… and did I mention it’s free. (Full tracklisting below).

Grab it via the handy widget below.

OTHER PEOPLE'S SONGS - Volume One - Performed by Damien Jurado & Richard Swift by Richard Swift
“Other People’s Songs Vol. 1” is a collection of covers recorded on the weekend of August 21-22, 2010 (with the aid of a four-track cassette recorder and a Coles-4038 ribbon microphone).  It is available to you (the world) via the inter-webs for FREE.  These recordings came about spontaneously, and we wanted to share them in the same manner.  Look for another one around Winter time. “Thanks, Brochacho” - DJ/RS
“Be Not So Fearful” - Originally by Bill Fay
“Hello Sunshine” - Originally by Relatively Clean Rivers
“Sweetness” - Originally by Yes
“Sincere Replies” - Originally by Oh! Calcutta! Original Broadway Cast
“If The Sun Stops Shinin’” - Originally by Chubby Checker
“Follow Me” - Originally by John Denver
“Outside My Window” - Originally by The Fleetwoods
“Radioactivity” - Originally by Kraftwerk
“Crazy Like A Fox” - Originally by Link Cromwell and The Zoo

Grab this one peeps. It's worth it.