Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Stars, Animal Collective, the Avett Brothers, & More

Podcast Party is back from its coastal vacation, and not a moment too soon: there's a boatload of great albums available for streaming this week. Stars, Animal Collective, the Avett Brothers, Deerhoof, Minus the Bear, Alanis Morissette, and Cat Power all have new CDs streaming this week.

After overdosing on most of the above during vacation, we're back to music.

And there are new discs from some veteran artists who haven't been heard from for some time: Art Garfunkel and Triumph. Though these albums are new, the music isn't: the latter is a live album, while the former is a 34-track "compilation of songs personally selected by Art Garfunkel from his life's work," and includes two new songs. (One-quarter of them are Simon & Garfunkel numbers, while the rest are Art Garfunkel.)

What else is streaming? A sampler of the complete studio recordings by Roxy Music, and the soundtrack to the new movie "Lawless," about gangsters in Prohibition-era Virginia, starring Shia Labeouf and featuring music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. (Cave also wrote the movie's screenplay.)

Let's hope that this week's streaming albums means the summer doldrums are over and lots of blockbuster Fall releases are on the way.

Video for "Today's Supernatural," from the new Animal Collective album.

NPR First Listen:
"The North" by Stars (also streaming at CBC)
"The Carpenter" by the Avett Brothers
"Centipede Hz" by Animal Collective
"Sun" by Cat Power
"Breakup Song" by Deerhoof's Listening Party:
"Infinity Overhead" by Minus the Bear
"The Singer" by Art Garfunkel
"Lawless: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
"Poor Moon" by Poor Moon
"The Complete Studio Recordings (Sampler)" by Roxy Music
"Havoc and Bright Lights" by Alanis Morissette
"Sublime Currency" by Abandoned Pools
"feathers & fishHooks" by Rayland Baxter
"Montage" EP by City Rain
"The Circle in the Square" EP by Flobots
"All I Did Was Tell Them The Truth And They Thought It Was Hell" by King of Spain
"Volume One" by Paul Cook & The Chronicles

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"My Bonneville" by Annie and the Beekeepers
"Live at Sweden Rock Festival" by Triumph
"Apologies" by David Ramirez
"Ingram Hill" by Ingram Hill
"Noble Stranger" by Nuala Kennedy
"New Day Dawning" by The Roys
"The Rain Is A Handsome Animal" by Tin Hat
"Shout It Loud And Clear" by Una Jensen
"And You Are Me" by Uncle Lucius

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Bloc Party, Los Lobos, & More

Bloc Party's fourth album, cleverly titled "Four," headlines the slate of new albums streaming online this week. Also available this week are new releases from Los Lobos (a live version of their classic 1992 album, "Kiko"), Wojcik, Dan Deacon, and even those old southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd (I had no idea they were even working on a new album).

If you missed Yeasayer streaming online last week, you've got another shot to hear them this week, on

This is an abbreviated post, and it may well be the only one I post for the next week or so, since I am out of town vacationing at a spot with limited Internet access. (This post is being typed at the local public library, which thankfully has free wi-fi.) Apologies for the minimal amount of posting, enjoy this week's streaming albums, and go out and see some live music with what's left of the summer.

"Octopus" from Bloc Party's new album "Four," which is streaming this week.

KCRW Album Preview: 
"Easy Star's Thrillah" by Easy Star All-Stars

NPR First Listen:
"America" by Dan Deacon
"The Seer" by Swans
"Postales" by Gabby Moreno
"The Salesman and The Shark" by Sean Rowe's Listening Party:
"Fragrant World" by Yeasayer
"Four" by Bloc Party
"Selah Sue" by Selah Sue
"Cast The Same Old Shadow" by Dylan LeBlanc
"Vexations" by I Was Totally Destroying It
"The Glorious Dead" by The Heavy
"Sof' Sike" by Slim Twig
"Wake" by Jr. Juggernaut
"Escape From Crystal Skull Mountain" by Gregory Pepper and His Problems
"Happy New Year" by Happy New Year
"Wise Blood" by Wojcik

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Kiko Live" by Los Lobos
"Last of a Dyin' Breed" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
"I'm a Stranger and I Love the Night" by Scrapomatic

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Photos: Tokyo Police Club Closes Out 2012 Lackawanna Festival

The second annual hMag Lackawanna Music Festival featured a full day of up-and-coming bands performing on Hoboken's Pier A, capped with an international headliner: Ontario, Canada's Tokyo Police Club. The rain cleared up early in the morning, leaving sunny skies and dry weather for the festival, which started around Noon.

NYC skyline from Hoboken
Beautiful day for a music festival on the Hudson.

Because the Lackawanna Festival started early and ended earlier (it seems concerts in town must end by 10 p.m.), I managed to see only TPC and the previous band, Vacationer. The latter lived up to its name, performing a bright set of catchy but mellow tunes. Their Facebook page says of their album "Gone," "The eastern seaboard’s foremost relaxation specialists have teamed up to compile this unique collection of serenity-inducing sonic arrangements."

OK, Vacationer wasn't that mellow, but they definitely are influenced by surf music and fit in well with some of the current bands making pop music with a chilled-out vibe.

Vacationer at the Lackawanna Festival.
Vacationer (with the Empire State Building seemingly growing out of the drummer's head).

Tokyo Police Club, which said it was familiar with Hoboken from playing at Maxwell's, performed at its  biggest stage yet in the Mile Square City. Although TPC didn't have anywhere near the 15,000 people who attended the Mumford & Sons concert at the same location just two weeks before, it played before an appreciative audience.

TPC performing "Your English is Good" at the Lackawanna Festival.

Fans in the front seemed quite familiar with the band and its songs (in the front part of the crowd, at least), singing along to the set of tunes that included a number of older tunes from the Tokyo Police Club catalog. Although the advertised hour-and-a-half set really was more like 75 minutes, TPC put on a great show, and they seemed to enjoy it almost as much as the crowd did.

David Monks of Tokyo Police Club
TPC frontman David Monks.

Graham Wright.

Guitarist Josh Hook and Monks.

David Monks of Tokyo Police Club

David Monks and Graham Wright of Tokyo Police Club

David Monks of Tokyo Police Club

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Concert Notes: Tickets for Grace Potter, Regina Spektor, Off!, & More Going on Sale Fri.

Friday's another big day for popular concerts going on sale, whether you're interested in the strong female voices of Grace Potter, Regina Spektor, and Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards to the rousing rock of Off! and the bluesy jams of Gov't Mule (for those who like to plan ahead for New Year's Eve). Here are the details:

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals play the Beacon on Nov. 16th & 17th.

On sale Fri., Aug. 17th:
* Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at the Beacon Theatre, Fri. & Sat., Nov. 16th & 17th. On sale: 1 p.m.
* Gov't Mule at the Beacon Theatre, Sun. & Mon., Dec. 30th & 31st. On sale: 12 p.m.
* Regina Spektor at the Beacon Theatre (with special guest Only Son), Wed., Oct. 24th. On sale: 9 a.m.
* Heartless Bastards at Irving Plaza (with Futurebirds), Sat., Oct. 27th. On sale: 10 a.m.
* Off! at Irving Plaza (with The Spits and Double Negative), Tues., Oct. 16th. On sale: 10 a.m.
* The Dirty Guv'nahs at Highline Ballroom, Tues., Nov. 15th. On sale: 12 p.m.

If you're interested in free shows this weekend, there's no shortage. On Saturday, there's an afternoon Australia Day show at Central Park SummerStage; Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (with The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow, Antibalas, and SJDK) at Williamsburg Park; and Tokyo Police Club headlining the Lackawanna Music Festival in Hoboken (see info on the festival layout and set times here).

Free shows on Sunday the 19th include an afternoon Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebration with Inner Circle, Israel Vibration, and more at Central Park SummerStage, and comedy in East River Park as the Upright Citizens Brigade presents "The All-Stars of Improv."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Songs & Videos: Japandroids, Aimee Mann, Redd Kross, Dum Dum Girls

New songs and videos are busting out all over... and you can download some of 'em free. Here's what's new:

* Watch the Japandroids' new video for "The House That Heaven Built," from their new album "Celebration Rock"

* Watch the Tom Scharpling-directed video for Aimee Mann's "Charmers," from her album of the same name (sorry, the embed code won't work for some reason, so you'll have to view it at the NPR website here.) The video, which has a cameo by John Hodgman, features Mann teaching a robot double of herself (acclaimed actress Laura Linney) to take over for her and go on tour. Download Aimee Mann's "Charmers" (right-click and choose "Save As" or "Save Link As")

* Download "Lord Knows" by the Dum Dum Girls, from their forthcoming EP "End of Daze"(via Pitchfork)


Also from Pitchfork, see DDG performing "Tunnelvision" live at the Echoplex in L.A....

* Watch video of Grimes performing "Genesis" on Jimmy Fallon last night:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Divine Fits, Steve Vai, Yeasayer, & More

There are albums from a veteran artist and a new supergroup headlining the releases that are streaming this week. The veteran is Steve Vai, who's back with his latest album, "The Story of Light." The new supergroup is Divine Fits, a band that includes Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, and Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks.

One of the album trailers for the Devine Fits' debut album.

Among the other albums streaming this week are new releases from Yeasayer, Antony and the Johnsons, Yellowcard, Black Light Burns (fronted by Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit), and Los Straitjackets, the Tennessee surf rockers who perform wearing Mexican wrestling masks.

[Update, Aug. 16th: CBC is streaming F*cked Up's "David Comes to Life" this week in honor of the album being named to the shortlist of the Polaris Prize. You can stream it here.] 

NPR First Listen:
"Fragrant World" by Yeasayer
"A Thing Called Divine Fits" by Divine Fits
"Tracer" by Teengirl Fantasy
"Mature Themes" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's Listening Party:
"Cut the World" by Antony and the Johnsons
"Cycles" by This is Cinema
"Jet Set" by Los Straitjackets
"Trying" by Spook Houses
"Raised by Wolves" by Jenee Halstead
"An Aside" by Black Swan Runners
"Southern Air" by Yellowcard
"Dark Star (Remix EP)" by Polica

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"The Story of Light" by Steve Vai
"The Moment You Realize You're Going to Fall" by Black Light Burns
"Mile Highby" by Kottonmouth Kings
"Hold Your Fire" EP by Sierra West
"Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies" by The Dirty Guvnahs

Friday, August 10, 2012

Free Concert Notes: Titus Andronicus, Tokyo Police Club, Lyle Lovett, The Jacksons, & More

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts played a great show in Coney Island last night (more on that later), but there are still some high-profile free shows coming up in the next week (including several big ones tomorrow alone). Wherever you are in the NYC area, there's a show near you: in Central Park, Prospect Park, Coney Island, Lincoln Center (the last hurrah of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival), and Hoboken's Pier A, which hosted 15,000 for Mumford and Sons on Aug. 1st.

Titus Andronicus free show poster
Titus Andronicus is part of a free concert at Van's in Brooklyn.

Below is a list of what's coming up in the next week; see the websites for more details on performers, set times, directions, etc. (Note: there are other events for Lincoln Center Out of Doors than the ones I've listed. The website has the complete schedule.)

Sat., Aug. 11th: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Abigail Washburn, Central Park SummerStage, 3 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 11th: Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Group and Aoife O'Donovan, Celebrate Brooklyn (Prospect Park), 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 11th: The Jacksons: Unity Tour 2012 at the Seaside Concerts in Coney Island (West 21st Street and Surf Avenue), 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 11th: 29th Annual Roots of American Music Festival at Lincoln Center Out of Doors:
  • Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Star Band: Sister Songwriters, 5 p.m.
  • The Triple Goddess Twilight Revue: Celebrating the Music of Laura Nyro, 6 p.m.
  • Soulful Songwriters Circle: William Bell, Teenie Hodges, and Dan Penn, 7:30 p.m.
  • Otis Clay and the Platinum Band, 8:45 p.m.
Sun, Aug. 12th: 29th Annual Roots of American Music Festival at Lincoln Center Out of Doors:
  • Tom Paxton, 2 p.m.
  • Swamp Dogg, 6 p.m.
  • Aloe Blacc, 7 p.m.
  • Pardon Our Analysis: An All-Star Gathering for Gil Scott-Heron, 8 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 16th: Van's House Party with Cursive, Titus Andronicus, Love as Laughter, and Joyce Manor at House of Van's, 25 Franklin St., Brooklyn, 7 p.m. (RSVP here)

Sat., Aug. 18th: Australia Day concert with Husky, Sheppard, High Highs, George Byrne, Maya Jupiter, DJ Ashley Feraude, and Kid Zoom, Central Park, 3 p.m.

Thurs., Aug. 16th:  Gladys Knight and The Commodores at the Seaside Concerts in Coney Island (West 21st Street and Surf Avenue), 7:30 p.m.

Sat, Aug. 18th: Lackawanna Music Festival: Tokyo Police Club, Vacationer, Shinobi Ninja, Body Language, Lights Resolve, We Barbarians, and The Nightmare River Band, Pier A Park in Hoboken, 12 Noon (RSVP here) [UPDATE: There isn't much info at the official site about set times, etc., but this web page lists them. I can't vouch for them, but they sound about right.]

Speaking of free concerts, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts put on a great show last night in extremely muggy conditions in Coney Island (at least it didn't rain). She played a solid assortment of her classic crowd-pleasers, plus a few new songs (so a new album may be in the works). She opened the show with "Bad Reputation" (as usual) and the setlist included "Cherry Bomb," "Victim of Circumstance," "The French Song," "Love is Pain," and "Crimson and Clover." The new songs were called "TMI," "Hard to Grow Up," and "Reality Mentality."

The summer is winding up with a bang; go get out there and see some live music.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Others to Play Free Central Park Concert; New Songs by Mumford & Sons & More

It's new songs galore this week, and you'll find a few of them (or links to them) below. And there's news on a blockbuster free concert in Central Park (see details on how to view the live webcast below).

Find out how to get free tickets to the latest blockbuster Central Park concert.

Neil Young, Foo Fighters, the Black Keys, & more to play FREE Central Park concert: 
Yep, those big-name acts, as well as K'Naan and Band of Horses, will play a big FREE Central Park charity concert on Sept. 29th. Called Global Festival, the show, which also features is meant to focus on ending extreme poverty. To enter the drawing for free tickets, you'll need to register at and earn a few "points" by signing petitions, tweeting, etc. You can also buy tickets outright for the concert (for about $190), which will be held on the Great Lawn. (via Village Voice)
[UPDATE: You can watch the Global Festival concert via live webcast here; just click on "View Live Stream." There will be three showings for different parts of the world.]

Listen to new songs from Stars, the xx, Mumford & Sons, and Thee Oh Sees:
 As for the new songs, one of them is from Mumford and Sons, who played to 15,000-plus fans last week on Hoboken's Pier A park. The band played a number of new tunes there, attendees said, and the one may well have been one of them. (The group also played a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer.")

* "Backlines" by Stars, from their forthcoming album "North," due Sept. 4th (via NPR Music)

* "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons, from their forthcoming album "Babel," due Sept. 24th

* "Chained" by The xx, from their new album "Coexist" (via Consequence of Sound)

* "Flood's New Light" by Thee Oh Sees, from their new album "Putrifiers II," due Sept. 11th (via Consequence of Sound)

* "Ireland" by Jess Klein (free download), part of her project to re-record some of her fans' favorite songs in new acoustic versions

Monday, August 06, 2012

Now Streaming: New CDs from Dead Can Dance, Mexican Institute of Sound, & More

There are no big blockbuster albums among those streaming this week, but you'll find some interesting new releases nonetheless. There's a new album by the reunited Dead Can Dance, which coincides with its world tour beginning this week (they'll play two shows at the Beacon Theatre August 29th and 30th). You can download a free track from the album, "Amnesia," at the Dead Can Dance website.  (Update, Aug. 10th: review of DCD's "Anastatis" at Consequence of Sound.)

There's also a new release from Mexican Institute of Sound, the Latin electronic-music group spearheaded by Camilo Lara, the producer who's also head of EMI Mexico. I'm not generally a fan of electronica but I've liked some of the catchy music the group has put out in the past, so I'll be giving "Politico" a listen.

The British group Django Django refreshes the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s for today on its self-titled album, which features some sweet harmonies as well. It's streaming on NPR Music this week. (Django Django plays the Bowery Ballroom on Oct. 2nd.)

There are other albums to check out; see the titles below. And my semi-regular notice: albums generally stream for one week, starting on Mondays. And each of the sites below usually has more albums than I've given; see the links for their complete offerings.

Also: Bob Mould's new album doesn't come out until Sept. 4th, but you can listen to a song from it, "The Descent," here at SoundCloud.


KCRW Album Preview: 
"Anastasis" by Dead Can Dance
"Politico" by Mexican Institute of Sound

NPR First Listen:
"Django Django" by Django Django's Listening Party:
"Instinct" by Niki & The Dove
"Live in London" by Birdy
"Masked Intruder" by Masked Intruder
"Dig. Sow. Love. Grow." by Buffalo Killers
"Something About The Summer" by Koko Beware
"Between the Ditches" by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
"Remember When" by The Orwells
Stray Light by Bird & Batteries
"Last Goodbye" by Nightmare River Band

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Never Trust the Dead" by The Wicked

Friday, August 03, 2012

Concert Notes: Jack White, Matt & Kim, Aimee Mann, Brandi Carlile, & More on Sale Friday

There's another big slate of concert tickets going on sale Friday, including Jack White coming back to the New York area and the return of a number of veteran bands: New Order, Public Image Ltd.,  and Primus and, going back even further, folk-rock veterans Crosby, Stills, & Nash.

Jack White's video for "Freedom at 21."

[UPDATE: The Sept. 29th Jack White show sold out quickly  (no surprise there), but a second show has been added for the next night. Tickets for that show are on sale now, and are likely to be snapped up just as quickly. Link to Sept. 30th Jack White tickets.]

Other shows of interest going on sale tomorrow: Matt & Kim, The Mountain Goats, Brandi Carlile, Aimee Mann, Yeasayer,  and more. And one band that I loved seeing live when they opened for The Baseball Project earlier this year: Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires.

On Sale Friday, August 3 at 10 a.m.:
* Sat., 9/29 - Jack White at Radio City Music Hall
* Thurs., Oct. 18 - New Order at Roseland Ballroom
* Sun., 10/28 - Brandi Carlile at Beacon Theatre
* Mon., 10/29 - Brandi Carlile at Beacon Theatre
On Sale Friday at 11 a.m.:
* Tues. and Wed., Oct. 16th & 17th - Crosby, Stills, & Nash at the Beacon Theatre
* Sat., 10/27 - Aimee Mann at Town Hall
On Sale Friday at 12 p.m.:
* Fri., 10/19 - An Evening with Primus in 3D at Hammerstein Ballroom
* Wed., 8/15 - Yeasayer at Music Hall of Williamsburg (will be streamed live on YouTube)
* Sat., 9/1 - (Early Show) The Mynabirds at Mercury Lounge
* Sun., 9/9 - Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires at Mercury Lounge
* Tues., 9/11 - Lianne La Havas at Bowery Ballroom
* Tues., 10/9 - Public Image Ltd. at Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Sat., 10/13 - Public Image Ltd. at Hammerstein Ballroom
* Sun., 10/14 - The Mountains Goats at Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Mon., 10/15 - The Mountains Goats at Bowery Ballroom
* Thurs., 11/15 - Matt & Kim at Terminal 5
* Sat., 11/17 - Matt & Kim at Wellmont Theatre

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Mumford & Sons Play Hoboken Tonight: What to Know if You Go

Hoboken's Pier A park becomes a concert venue once again tonight when Mumford & Sons kicks off its summer 2012 tour in the Mile Square City. Below is some information on the event, which is sold out.

Doors opened at 5 p.m. for the show. The concert is set to begin at 6:30 p.m., with Aaron Embry and Dawes opening for Mumford & Sons. The show will end at about 10 o'clock with three minutes of fireworks to be shot off from a barge in the Hudson River.
From the City of Hoboken website:
"Starting on Wednesday, sections of Sinatra Drive between Newark Street and 4th Street will be closed to vehicular traffic. Warrington Plaza adjacent to Hoboken Terminal will also be closed by NJ Transit.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to take public transit. Additional PATH trains will operate between 9pm and 11pm on Wednesday. NJ Transit will also be providing additional service. Municipal parking garages are expected to reach capacity.

 Doors will open at 5:00pm with two bands opening prior to Mumford & Sons. The event will take place rain or shine. Chairs, blankets, umbrellas, and outside food and drink are prohibited and will be confiscated at the door."

From the Bowery Presents event page:
 * the concert will take place rain or shine
* "Prohibited Items: Weapons of any kind * Illegal Substances * Framed or Large Backpacks * Outside Food & Beverage, including Alcohol * Glass containers of ANY kind * Bicycles, Skateboards, Scooters or personal motorized vehicles * Fireworks and Explosives * Laser Pointers * Instruments * Blankets * Chairs or Lawn Furniture of any kind * Beach/Golf Umbrellas * Coolers or Picnic Baskets * Pets (except service dogs) * Video equipment - no video recording will be allowed * Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs) * Audio recording equipment * No illegal vending is permitted - no unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed"

Yeah, that's a pretty long list of prohibited items. But it's hope that things will go smoothly. Have fun if you're going tonight, and I hope the weather holds out.