Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Release: Sin Fang's Flowers

So excited that the new Sin Fang album is out!  As you already know, he's a Total Crush.  Stream the album below and download Young Boys for free.  Album review below…  


Sin Fang – Flowers

"Icelandic lo-fi folk maestro Sindri Már Sigfússon, better known by his badass solo-material moniker, Sin Fang, pouts confidence and grandeur on his new LP, Flowers. It’s his third outing flying the flag as Sin Fang (by day, he’s the lead singer of Seabear); he’s now climbed up the ziggurat and is reeling out indie-pop gems. There’s a sprawling sound to the record, a vastness that becomes abundantly apparent when you find out that Alex Somers, producer to Sigur Rós, also produced Flowers. This lion-hearted effort is imbued with the hugeness of nature, unrequited love and operatic folk-pop, which together help to express a growing confidence with Sigfússon, with moments where it feels like a coming-of-age saga.

‘Young Boys’ owns the biggest pop hook Sigfússon has written – its grandiose ‘ooooohhaaaaahhoowaaooh’-ing backing a chantable motif: ‘We were young boys smoking in the woods/I showed you how, I showed you how’. It jangles and twinkles, conjuring visions of snow-dusted pine forests and the kind of parties only Smirnoff or Rob Da Bank can pull off. It’s decisively teenage, but it’s not immature; it revels in the immediacy and the freedom of youth, an anthem in every sense of the word. ‘See Ribs’ dishes out lashings of shoegaze indie-rock, with battering-ram drums and sea-foam guitar compelling movement. It squeals, it screams and it leaves the folkier aspects of Sin Fang by the wayside, opting for a more electronic approach drenched in effects.

Flowers is home to the same kind of enriching, uplifting pop music as bands like The Polyphonic Spree or Walk The Moon. The sounds are thickly textured. It’s intense and heart-warming, and for lack of a better phrase it really is ’life-affirming’: it begs joy, it invokes hope. This is a compilation of rewarding music, that skitters through a variety of genres, never really settling down too long into any one conventionalised sound before shooting into something fresh. The overriding themes of exploration, love and freedom run through each cut of the record, providing a solid centre for the experimentation. Alex Somers’ hand has clearly had an influence, directing Sigfússon down a new – but ultimately richer – path. Praises cannot be gushed enough."

(Continued... Sin Fang – Flowers)

Video… Wednesday

This week's VT begins with a new video urging you to Get A Job by Gossip.  Next up is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine, Blackbird Blackbird (who's coming, opening up for Starfucker) with their song Pure.  Finally is pretty compelling new video for Runner by Young Prisms.


Bonus: Um…  I've been a fan of Frontier Ruckus for some time now and am just starting to get familiar with their new album.  Here's their new video - which is not what I was expecting.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Brite Winter Festival 2013

What an excellent night - and great Festival.  It was cold, it was snowy, and people were lovin' it.  Or they were just drunk.  Either way, people were having a good time in Ohio City on Saturday night.  Or at least we were.  Starting at Loren Naji Gallery, we saw Seafair, which contains members from a old fav of mine, Unsparing Sea.  omg.  These guys were even better than I was expecting, with all the richness and layers that I enjoyed with Unsparing Sea.  Can't wait for more.

Brite Winter Festival 2013

And, it was packed.  Like really packed… We could see the Festival was off to a great start.  Not even realizing there were two stages in one venue, we walked over to the next room and were surprised with another band setting up.  While still waiting for more people to join, we caught the stylings of Chicago's own Bears of Blue River, who were also quite good - and supposedly also a Metallica cover band. 

Brite Winter Festival 2013

Then there were food trucks.

Brite Winter Festival 2013

The Hostel was PACKED!

Brite Winter Festival 2013

but we snuck a GREAT view…

Brite Winter Festival 2013

Caught another band in the back alley

Brite Winter Festival 2013

Hit the main drag

Brite Winter Festival 2013

Then rocked out a little more…

Brite Winter Festival 2013

Already can't wait until next year.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Video… Thursday

Starting off this week with quite a mystery video from the venerable Roisin Murphy, the Irish pop songstress who once was one half of Moloko.  I've been drooling over her since 2007's Overpowered, and anxiously awaiting a follow up (glad I'm patient).  This is a single that as best I can tell is a couple months old, but the video is new - but I think fan-made.  Whatever.  I'll take it.  Next up is Overdose by newcomer Little Daylight.  An upbeat little number by a band who's been doing a bunch of fun remixes lately.  Lastly, a quirky video by LA's The Little Ones, with an equally mesmerizing video.


This week's bonus ends, going in a different direction with Suuns' 2020.  A fuzzed out video and song that would be aweomse on drugs… though it's still excellent without them.

Article: Apple Is Building A Social Music Network

Matt Kiser over at has a pretty neat take on what Apple's next foray will be in to "social media", in the music space.  Their "Pandroa Killer" if you will.  Seems a bit complicated, but could be pretty powerful if done right - and at the right price point (which still is not $1 per song).


Apple Is Building A Social Music Network - hypebot

"With all of this in mind, a social music product like the one I described above largely makes sense because it rewards ownership, supports artists, drives people to explore new music with their friends, and seamlessly pushes people to purchase the music they want to keep. It also insulates iTunes from the threat of labels pulling their catalogs, which is something Spotify and Rdio are constantly in danger of. This sounds like a win-win for everyone, especially the consumer."

(Read the beginning… Apple Is Building A Social Music Network - hypebot)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Video Tuesday

Some great videos - as usual, and of course.  Starting off is some new stuff from Diamond Rings (a TZA favorite), but also with PS I LOVE YOU, who I need to find more about.  Next up is a bizarre (as you'd expect) video for Gun-Shy from Grizzly Bear.  Finally is some new stuff from Frightened Rabbit.

This is quite some bonus… found this older gem when reading about some new stuff by Thee Oh Sees.  Don't know how I missed this one, but both the music and video are equally as arresting (and probably NSFW).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tomorrow: Tift Merritt & David Wax Museum @ Beachland Ballroom

I'm giving David Wax Museum equal billing on this promo post because they're really the reason I even caught on to this show.  I've been enjoying their latest release Knock Knock Get Up.  Check out the video for the excellent Harder Before it Gets Easier.

They have lots of other great videos on their website, check them out.  

I've heard of Tift Merritt, but honestly hadn't spent any time with her music.  Looks like I've been missing out… She is totally in the same camp as Patty Griffin / Emmy Lou Harris for me… swoon.  Here she is live in Studio at WFUV.

Movie Review: Sound City @ Cedar-Lee Theater

I wanted to post about going to see Sound City at the Cedar Lee theater, because it really was a GREAT film.  Even better than I was expecting.  What I also was (pleasantly) surprised about was the album he's releasing as well (out March 12th).  While it's not an artist list that would draw me to it, the making of definitely does.

Sound city cover

Movie Review - 'Sound City': Music And Memories In An L.A. Landmark : NPR

"The first hour-plus of the film sticks close to a standard rockumentary template: a chronological history combining talking-head interviews with archival photos and video, with the addition of some slightly geeky audiophile technical discussions. Both of those could easily slip into dull mediocrity, but Grohl recognizes that filmmaking isn't so different from writing a good pop song: Take a familiar structure, throw in some nice hooks to keep things interesting and add plenty of personality and attitude, and a touch of indefinable artistic magic.

Grohl's jovial presence is the hook; playing interviewer and emcee as well as director, he's the catchy bit you welcome every time it returns. The star-studded interview list provides much of the personality and attitude, as does a fantastically tense behind-the-scenes video of Petty and his band laboring long hours to craft their breakthrough record.

The magical aspect is the alchemy created by Sound City's studio and its custom Neve mixing board; it's difficult to quantify, but you can hear it on every musical clip in the movie. That magical mixing board practically becomes the star of the movie."

(Continued... Movie Review - 'Sound City': Music And Memories In An L.A. Landmark : NPR)

Big Freedia (1/30/13)

I think I would have traveled to see Big Freedia.  After discovering her through Diplo, I couldn't imagine a more interesting live show to see, particularly here in the Midwest.  Imagine my glee when I heard she'd be here at the Grog Shop, here in Cleveland Heights, here in Ohio.  A long way from New Orleans.  Could we handle "Sissy Bounce"?  Would there be anyone there?  What kind of people would be there??  So many questions.  I rounded up a couple peeps to tag along and bear witness.

I didn't even bother checking out the openers, which turned out OK because it was essentially a DJ and a couple Drag Queens (no advance music to listen to there).  I can't say I ever imagined seeing a drag show at the Grog Shop. 

Big Freedia (1/30/13)

Big Freedia (1/30/13)

It was quite good actually.  Better than the typical, profane drag that I've typically seen in the area.  But this was only a warm up to the Queen herself, Big Freedia.  She definitely commanded the stage, and her 3 dancers, who worked their asses off (practically) over the next couple hours.  I can't say that Bounce music is necessarily pleasing to the ears, but I can say it creates quite a fun, party vibe.  This was one of the more fun shows I've been to in a while (but then I didn't need to stay for the *whole* show either).  Let's roll the tape:


Big Freedia (1/30/13)

I mean, these ladies were WORKIN'.  All night.

Big Freedia (1/30/13)

And what about the crowd you ask… just look for yourself.

Alt-J on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert

Been meaning to post this video for Alt-J's Tiny Desk Concert for a little while.  I'm STILL bummed I missed these guys in Michigan last September. Thess guys are now on another nearly entirely sold out tour of bigger US venues.  Of course with titles like: "ALT-J NOMINATED FOR 3 BRIT AWARDS, INCLUDING BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT, BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR, AND BRITISH GROUP OF THE YEAR" and "BAND MAKES NUMEROUS CRITICS' AND FANS' 'BEST OF 2012' LISTS" you can't be surprised.