Portland, Ore., outfit Nurses are releasing debut album Apple’s Acre (Dead Oceans) on August 4. Here’s album track “Lita” in its acoustic guise, giving the psych/pop tune a woodsy folk feel.
Twenty-three-year-old Londoner Esser may look like a roadie for the Smiths circa The Queen Is Dead, but he’s got more electro/hip-hop moves than an entire club full of Salford lads. Esser has already opened for the Kaiser Chiefs, and he’s slated to produce Cee-Lo’s next album. Here’s the video for “Headlock”; full-length Braveface is out August 11 on Chocolate Industries in the U.S.
We were just thinking about Jay Bennett, who passed away last weekend. Below is a 1999 clip of Bennett and Tweedy performing on alt.rock, a program on the now-defunct Austin Music Network. It’s a cover of 1927 song called “James Alley Blues,” and it’s particularly bittersweet. For all the real and staged drama between the two men, Bennett and Tweedy created the most beautiful music together.
Yesterday, those on Bennett’s email list received a missive that read, in part:
As many of you may be aware, Jay had finally found the courage to put his Wilco issues out into the public forum. After a long, four-year process (and therefore very much unrelated to his impending hip surgery), formal filings against Wilco were finally initiated. This task was very emotional for Jay. He was a lover, and this confrontation was not easy for him. With the exception of his final period in Wilco, Jay looked back on his time in the band with great fondness and pride. While he was dismayed that some people may have formed a narrow perception of him via the “documentary,” all who truly knew him understood that with most entertainment media, editing is usually constructed for dramatic effect and presents only a small part of a larger, more complex reality.
So, please spend some time this week engaging in Jay’s favorite passions: listen to a Nick Lowe album, watch some Mythbusters on Discovery, play Warren Zevon’s “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner,” rent Pay It Forward (one of his favorite movies), write a song with the TV on and the sound off, and focus on how Jay always concluded his communications: “Love, Jay.”
Cass McCombs—as cranky-talented a red-blooded American male singer/songwriter as Bill Callahan or M. Ward—will issue his fifth album, Catacombs (Domino), July 7. Here’s the first video for “Dreams-Come-True-Girl,” featuring performance artist/actress Karen Black. Why Karen Black? Might as well ask why McCombs’ website only features photos of spray-tanned guidos.
The National recently performed a new song (tentatively titled “The Runaway”) live on CBC Radio’s Studio Q program. The band is finishing up an East Coast tour this week.
British Sea Power was asked to write a new score for 1934 film Man Of Aran, a quasi-documentary made by Robert J. Flaherty (who also did Nanook Of The North) about the rigors of life on the islands off Ireland’s western coast. The film has a truly Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou appearance of the monstrous (and real-life) basking shark, which the natives of Aran harpoon and use for lamp oil. A clip of BSP’s post-rock soundtrack to pre-industrial life is below; Man Of Aran is due June 9 on Rough Trade.
U.K. duo the Big Pink sounds like a post-rock Reid brothers (you know, from the Jesus And Mary Chain), emitting a completely vibrant-yet-dark noise. Sometimes you hear Massive Attack, sometimes you hear Clan Of Xymox (actually, if you hear Clan Of Xymox in 2009, please seek help), and it all seems to take place in a Vaughan Oliver album cover. Appropriately, the Big Pink will debut on 4AD in the U.S. in September. Here’s the video for single “Too Young To Love”:
Here’s the video for “Red Camera,” a track from the Warlocks‘ just-released The Mirror Explodes (Tee Pee). It’s kind of like being in a private booth in Twin Peaks‘ Black Lodge with a Velvet Underground-only jukebox.
Lots of nerds (like us) appreciate Del The Funky Homosapien for his sci-fi Deltron 3030 project with Dan “The Automator” Nakamura or his early, funny material like “If You Must.” We’re not sure “Get It Right Now”—a typical boast about his rhyming supremacy—is the apex of his creativity, but it’s decent, and it’s on the Funk Man (The Stimulus Package) album, which you can download here for free.
If you listened to David Lowery—and you should always listen to David Lowery, because he had a dream last night but forgot what it was—you took his advice about Alabama roots-rock band Dexateens, who recently released Singlewide (Skybucket). It’s a double feature tonight; here’s a promo video for the album and the clip for leadoff track “Down Low.”
Promo video for Singlewide: