Saturday, March 17, 2012

Music Notes: The Civil Wars Make Billboard Cover, Imperial Teen Contest, & More

The Civil Wars are the subject of a recent cover story in Billboard.
This edition of news from the music world includes another big accomplishment for an acclaimed duo, a unique contest to get attention for a returning indie-pop band, a new signing for an established rocker, and more concert podcast downloads from South by Southwest.

* The run of good luck just keeps on going for The Civil Wars, with the duo making the cover of last week's Billboard. The accompanying story describes their other accomplishments, including scoring a movie, having one of their songs featured on the "Hunger Games" soundtrack, and co-writing a song with megastar Taylor Swift. Oh, and that's all besides their one-minute appearance on this year's Grammys, which gave them the show's second-largest bump in sales after the telecast (trailing only Adele).

* Imperial Teen has come up with a novel way to drum up attention for its latest album, "Feel the Sound": it's encouraging fans to download and print out masks of the band members, and then create videos of themselves wearing them. The idea came from fans' requesting their own copies of the masks that appear in Imperial Teen's "Runaway" video. And that led to a full-blown contest.

"Feel the Sound"(Merge Records) is Imperial Teen's fifth album, and the first in five years for the San Francisco band that features Roddy Bottum, formerly of Faith No More. See reviews of the album in Rolling Stone and Spin.

* Speaking of Merge, the indie label added another prestigious name when it announced during South by Southwest that it had signed Bob Mould. The former member of Hüsker Dü and Sugar is working on a new album, which will be out on Merge in the Fall. According to Mould's website, the album will be "recorded with his current bandmates, Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats), and Jason Narducy (Robert Pollard, Verbow)."

As noted here before, Mould is planning a limited number of shows in the coming months at which he'll perform Sugar's album "Copper Blue"(which was released 20 years ago). He was scheduled to perform "Copper Blue" at South by Southwest last night (March 17th).

* There are more SXSW concert downloads available from NPR Music, including Sugar Tongue Slim, Lower Dens, and Poliça. The set by The Magnetic Fields will be posted sometime later, NPR says. And if you didn't hear or see Bruce Springsteen's SXSW keynote address, make sure you check it out; it's a great discussion on the history and meaning of music, and is definitely worth your time.

* WFMU has posted the archives from its March 17th live show at Beerland for SXSW, featuring performances from The Men, Jason Sigal and Brian Turner, Electric Jellyfish, and more.

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