Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 Of My Favorite Music Videos Of 2012

It's almost impossible for me to pick favorites, but here goes, in random order:  12 of my favorite music videos posted on The Nightfly  music blog in 2012.  Fortunately the songs are as sublime as the videos.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tracey Thorn: Joy + The Making of 'Tinsel and Light'

Recently turned 50, North London resident Tracey Thorn, formerly of Everything but the Girl has been busy raising three children with EBTG partner Ben Watt whom she married in 2009.  The duo has not released a studio album since 1999, but both Thorn and Watt have done numerous solo projects and collaborations in the years since then.

Thorn's fourth solo recording 'Tinsel and Light' is a Christmas album that has her deftly avoiding the usual holiday schmaltz by offering interpretations of personal favorites by Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, The White Stripes, Ron Sexsmith, Scritti Politti, Sufjan Stevens, and more.  The 12-song collection also offers two original compositions: the title track and "Joy".

The music video for "Joy" was shot in Lille, France and was directed by Edward Bishop and Ben Watt.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Presets: Ghosts

The Presets released their third studio album 'Pacifica' in September, toured the U.S. in October, and have six shows coming up in their native Australia between late December (Rhythms and Vine Festival) and mid-February.

'Ghosts' is the second of three singles off the album so far.  The superbly edited video was shot by 23-year-old Los Angeles based writer/director Abteen Bagheri.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mø: Pilgrim + Maiden

Copenhagen based recording and visual artist Karen Marie Ørsted aka  was signed to Sony on the basis of "Maiden" and "Pilgrim".  Both of these outstanding tracks will be part of her full-length debut to be released next year.  The album will be produced by No Wav., i.e. Ronni Vindahl of Boom Clap Bachelors, Robin Hannibal of Quadron, and Bjørn Nielsen.

The videos were created by Anne Sofie Skaaring.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rihanna: Stay (Live on SNL)

Far too many recording artists fail to deliver the goods when singing live; Rihanna is not one of them, as evidenced when she performed "Stay" on Saturday Night Live hosted by Anne Hathaway November 10.

The gorgeous ballad is from her November 19 full-length release 'Unapologetic', but this excellent live arrangement beats the album version: stripped down, slowed down, with Rihanna's vocals up front, not buried in the mix, it allows her to truly showcase her stunning voice.

The 'Diamonds' North America/UK/continental Europe tour kicks off March 8 in Buffalo, NY and wraps July 26 in Bergen, Norway.

Now if only she would permanently sever all ties with her abusive on-off boyfriend and focus on what she does best: singing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

R.I.P. Jonas Thomsen Sekyere Dec. 11, 1990 - Nov. 17, 2012

It's been ten days since the murder of 21-year-old Jonas Thomsen Sekyere inside a Copenhagen, Denmark nightclub. His alleged killer is a fugitive at this point. [Note: August 2016 update at the end of this post.]

The funeral service will be held Wednesday November 28 at noon local time at Copenhagen's cathedral 'Vor Frue Kirke' in the city's historic Latin Quarter where Jonas spent much of his time:  he was in law school at the University at the time of his death and a resident at the prestigious dormitory 'Regensen.'   The public has been invited by the family to accompany the hearse to Jonas' final resting place a mile away at the 'Assistens' cemetery where world famous Danes Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard are buried. (Andersen's and Kierkegaard's funeral services were also held at 'Vor Frue Kirke', in 1875 and 1855, respectively.)

At age seven Jonas became a member of the renowned Copenhagen Boys Choir which often performs at the church where his funeral will be.  The first video is a performance by the CBC, performing at 'Vor Frue Kirke' alongside a male choir; the piece is by Rachmaninoff.

The second video is the popular South London boys choir Libera performing "Time".

NOTE: Be sure to also read my previous post from November 17:

A personal note, July 2013:
 On my annual summer visit to my original hometown of Copenhagen I visited Jonas' grave and left a single black velvet like flower from my parents' garden. My cousin who lives a stone's throw from the Assistens cemetery in the borough of Nørrebro accompanied me, and we spoke of Jonas and spent some time looking at the photos, poems, flowers and other gifts left by family, friends and people like myself who did not personally know this remarkable young man, but wish to pay tribute to him.

Below is a link to an article in the (Copenhagen) University Post:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trentemøller: Miss You + marstal:lidell: I Mit Hjerte Er En Rytme (Posted in Honor of Jonas Thomsen Sekyere)

I've been a Southern California resident for a long time, but being a native Dane I naturally like to keep up with Danish news on a daily basis via the Internet.

Today, I was deeply affected when I learned that 21-year-old Jonas Thomsen Sekyere had died at the trauma center at Rigshospitalet [Copenhagen´s main hospital] on Saturday morning at 6:13 am local time [Friday 9:13 pm California time], less than two hours after he was stabbed in the chest inside a popular Vesterbro city borough nightclub.  His killer is still at large. [see August 2016 update at the end of this post.]

I did not know Jonas personally, but upon seeing his photo online I immediately recalled his moving article published last year in Denmark's largest daily paper Politiken, a piece which earned him much praise and respect.  It was a humble thank-you to the system that took him under its wing, and gave him a chance that he might otherwise not have had.

The son of a Ghanaian father and a Danish mother, Jonas was born in Denmark, was raised first by his mother in Copenhagen, then by foster parents in the city of Vordingborg [60 miles south of Copenhagen] from the age of ten through eighteen. He excelled in school, was in law school at the University of Copenhagen at the time of his death, spent summers volunteering at an orphanage in Ghana, wrote freelance articles and opinion pieces, and founded several Danish info websites for students.

Clearly a highly accomplished and intelligent young man, he was also blessed with extraordinary physical beauty. However, what ultimately struck me more than anything as I watched him speak was his passion for life, excitement about the future, and his utter lack of arrogance or cynicism. 

I am posting this blog entry to honor Jonas who will be remembered long after the coward who snuffed out his brief but extraordinary life.

Non-Danish speakers who wish to read Jonas' opinion piece published in Politiken July 2, 2011 will find Google Translate useful. (computer generated translations unfortunately often contain numerous errors, but are better than nothing.)

Video 1:
Danish multi-instrumentalist/producer/DJ Anders Trentemøller's 'Miss You' never fails to move me; it seems a fitting track to post, and goes out to everyone, but especially to Jonas' family and friends in Denmark as well as outside Denmark.

Video 2:
A tribute song to Jonas by Danish duo marstal:lidell: Henrik Marstal and Anne Liddell; the latter was a friend of Jonas; they lived at the same Copenhagen dormitory, Regensen. The title translates to "In My Heart Is a Rhythm/Beat."

A personal note, July 2013:
on my annual summer visit to my original hometown of Copenhagen in July of 2013 I visited Jonas' grave and left a single black velvet like flower from my parents' garden. My cousin who lives a stone's throw from the Assistens cemetery accompanied me and we spoke of Jonas and spent some time looking at the photos, poems, flowers and other gifts left by family, friends and people like myself who did not personally know this remarkable young man, but wanted to pay tribute to him.

Below is the link to an article in the (Copenhagen) University Post:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Alcoholic Faith Mission: Throw Us To The Wolves + Ask Me This

Alcoholic Faith Mission released their fourth album 'Ask Me This' almost a year ago and have just finished a long string of gigs in Europe and the U.S.

This year the Danish band released five very different videos to accompany tracks off the album.  My two favorites:

'Throw Us to the Wolves' from October is the most recent one; it was directed by Mads Find and features contemporary Danish circus duo Tin Can Company.

'Ask Me This' from April was directed by Matthew Thompson & Oliver Hartman aka NYC based creative production company GuyManly and stars former Broadway and concert stage dancer Sharry Underwood.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mumford & Sons: Lover Of The Light

Mumford & Sons' new video 'Lover of the Light' stars the very gifted British actor Idris Elba as a blind man; the rest is open to interpretation in this mesmerizing clip directed and co-written by Elba.

The London quartet has two shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Saturday November 10 and Monday November 12.  They'll be touring the UK, Ireland, and continental Europe between November 21 and April 11, but will squeeze in four U.S. East Coast gigs in February.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jessie Ware: Wildest Moments + 110 % + Running + Night Light + Valentine (with Sampha)

London singer-songwriter Jessie Ware has recorded with SBTRKT, Sampha,  D.J. Joker, and others, but in August she released her outstanding debut album 'Devotion', and has numerous European and U.S. shows between early November and mid-March.

On Friday Ware announced on Facebook that she is postponing Monday's and Tuesday's shows in Copenhagen and Oslo. The rescheduled dates are:
February 26: Lille Vega, Copenhagen
February 27 : Blaa, Oslo

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mozez: Wings + Signs of Happiness

The eagerly awaited second solo album 'The Absolute' from Mozez, formerly of Zero 7, became digitally available October 8.  All leading download sites will have the album on October 28.  Physical CD's will be distributed to the regions to coincide with a 2013 world tour.

The striking black/white video for the single "Wings" was released in July.  The first album teaser track "Signs of Happiness" was released in 2009 and also deserves a great music video.

Be sure to read my interview with Mozez from October of 2009:

Listen to and download the 12-track album at Bandcamp:

Free download of an acoustic version of "Wings":  

Frequently updated FB page:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chic Gamine: Days And Days + Motions + Closer

Canadian group Chic Gamine came together in 2007 when Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne and Annick Bremault recruited fellow Winnipegger Alexa Dirks as well as Montreal drummer/percussionist Sacha Daoud who has Brazilian roots. 

Two albums came out in 2008 and 2010 in Canada; their eagerly awaited first official U.S. release will drop before the end of the year.

Chic Gamine "Closer" from Chic Gamine on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Interview with Blake Runyon of New Mountain

L.A. based band New Mountain has released several EPs since 2010 and a stellar debut full-length entitled 'Under New Skies' dropped on September 13.

Frontman Blake Runyon's gorgeous vocals call to mind Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, and Thom Yorke, yet very much manage to stand out from these giants; no small accomplishment.

Q & A with Blake Runyon

The Nightfly:  You have a remarkable voice. How long have you been singing?
Blake:   Thank you!   I'm 25 and have been singing since I was kid in a church choir; it was then that I noticed I could stay on a certain pitch.  My first time up at the mic would be when I was 13 playing with my ska band The Scuba Kids who are still playing.

The Nightfly:   Who/what inspires you as a songwriter?
Blake:   Other musicians I feel musically in-tune with and the world around me.  What's not to write about in this crazy world of ours?

The Nightfly:   The categories listed on the New Mountain Bandcamp page are “alternative/city and color/ indie/acoustic/percussive/rock/singer-songwriter/strings/tribal."  Is it frustrating having to label your own music or is “checking boxes” simply a necessary aspect of marketing?
Blake:  From an artistic viewpoint it is a little annoying to label my music, but on the other hand Bandcamp rocks so hard that I just couldn't not do something they told me to do.

The Nightfly:   How did you meet your New Mountain bandmates keyboardist Matt Luker and percussionists Matt Fonda and Candice Harris?
Blake:   I met Matt Luker on Craigslist when my previous band 100ftSnowman needed a new keyboard player.   After 100ftSnowman I met Candice and Fonda through his new project Me and My Giant.  I loved their connection, and felt the need to invite them in on New Mountain.

The Nightfly:   New Mountain’s sound is distinct in part due to the absence of drums and the prominent role of the two percussionists.   Was this happenstance or decided on from day one?
Blake:   Percussion seemed like the easiest way to record the demos considering we had one good condenser mic.   The sound pretty much Instantly grew on me, and I decided to stay with the vibe.

The Nightfly: Scott Heath doesn't play in New Mountain, but he wrote the lyrics for “Carry” and "Judge Velocity.”   Is he a regular co-writer of yours?
Blake:   Scott is a close friend of mine who is a Drum and Bass DJ;  he goes under the name Selva Massive.   We write songs for fun, and it just so happened that the current lyrics he was working on at the time perfectly fit the vibe of my song ideas.

The Nightfly:   You play in several L.A. bands plus do solo gigs around town, and your New Mountain bandmates are members of other bands.  Is there a desire at this point to focus exclusively on New Mountain?
Blake: Yes, there is a desire on my part, but timing will have to come into play with everyone's schedules.   We play together when we can, and will probably start incorporating all of our projects into our current paths soon.

The Nightfly:   A video was made last year of New Mountain doing an excellent cover of Adele’s “Daydreamer”.   How did that come about?
Blake:   That video was made by the New Joint Collective headed by Chris Lee.   I chose the song because I kinda became obsessed with it at the time.  When Chris asked me to do a cover video I knew what song was probably going to be the choice.

The Nightfly:   Who did the very interesting art work featured on the New Mountain Bandcamp page?
Blake:  I've been searching for the artist myself, and I hope that he/she sees this interview so they know who to call for future arrangements.

The Nightfly:  What is the story behind the album title ‘Under New Skies’?
Blake:   The title of the album is a lyric from the song "New Mountain."   I thought that having a song, band name and album title revolve around themselves was a cool idea.

The Nightfly: Talk about each track on the "Under the Skies" album.

Track # 1, Siren Radio:  The song represents the intensity of living in the moment and the consequences that eventually catch up to us due to the natural dynamics of life.

Track # 2, New Mountain:  This is a story about a person deciding to take a new journey after a devastating change to their reality.   I felt this track was the perfect description for my situation at a certain time, representing the new musical journey I was about to take.
Track # 3, Carry:  The song is a plea for a family to get back together.

Track # 4, Ageless Things:  It's about my first love and the awareness I gained from moving on from such an intense experience.

Track # 5, Call on Me (The Taste of Armor):  I wrote this when a close friend of mine passed away.  I tried to tell myself in the song that no matter what happens in this life we are connected and that there is nothing to fear in death.

Track # 6,  Judge Velocity:  In life, chaos might seems to rule but its all relative, it just depends on how you perceive it.  Take that leap and don't be afraid to face the chaos called life.

Track # 7,  The Burn (In Your Eyes):  When I wrote these songs I was on the path of trying to heal myself from a previous traumatic event.  In short I wanted to go with the flow and conquer my fears.  Writing this song helped me realize the destination I was searching for.
Track # 8,  Of Space:  I took a trip to Joshua Tree one morning with a few friends, woke up earlier than everyone else, sat on top of a huge rock and experienced this overwhelming calm.  The song is an interpretation of that moment.
Track # 9,  Out of My Dreams:  This is about a girl that I've seen in my dreams come to life.  Some might experience a faceless lover in their dreams, but when that lover pops up the next day, a song has got to be written.
Track # 10,  The Origin:  It describes the seclusion I went into after losing a lover.  This track helped me take notice of my dark thoughts and turn them into an expression of myself.  To me, this song defined me as a solo artist.

Track # 11, a cover of Adele's "Daydreamer", is included in the full album download on New Mountain's Bandcamp page.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Turboweekend: Neverending

There is a very cool David Lynch vibe in the beginning of the "Neverending" video from Danish band Turboweekend that I wish had been sustained throughout.  Still, it's always great to have new work from one of the finest Danish bands around.  The clip was directed by Thomas Fryd.

Latest album is their third full-length  'Fault Lines' which dropped in June.

A fall tour around all Denmark kicked off today and wraps up November 17.  (There is also a gig in Warszawa November 5.)   Turboweekend is known for their high energy, high caliber live shows, so here's hoping the band will tour stateside sometime soon.

Don't miss my interview with lead singer Silas Bjerregaard from November 2010 when the quartet was still a trio:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

San Cisco: Golden Revolver & Rocket Ship + Bombay Bicycle Club: How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep & Beg

San Cisco

Bombay Bicycle Club

Today, for no reason at all, you get two great bands for the price of one:

Freemantle, West Australia quartet San Cisco was signed last month to U.S. label Fat Possum Records which will release the band's debut album in early 2013.  (their EP 'Awkward' drops stateside on October 23.)

The band has eight shows in the U.S. this month. (click on the Fat Possom link for details)

London band Bombay Bicycle Club's most recent album 'A Different Kind of Fix' came out in 2011. 

They are currently touring North America, and will have several shows in Australia in December and January.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Cinematic Orchestra: Arrival Of The Birds + Lilac Wine

Two stunning commercial videos, each featuring a beautiful track recorded by British group The Cinematic Orchestra, founded in 1999 by Jason Swinscoe.

"Arrival of the Birds", from the soundtrack to one of the finest wildlife documentaries ever made, 'The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingo'.  The very Pixar like Address Is Approximate clip was directed by Tom Jenkins of London based commercial production house The Theory.  (Jenkins and business partner Simon Sharp announched this week that they will be directing their feature film debut 'Giants' for Sony Pictures.)

"Lilac Wine", written by James Shelton in 1950 has been covered by many artists, including Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, Elkie Brooks, Jeff Buckley, and most recently by Miley Cyrus. The clip was directed by Vanessa Marzaroli for L.A. based digital design studio Blind which has produced music videos for The Raveonettes, Gnarls Barkley, Justin Timberlake, and more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bat For Lashes: All Your Gold + Laura

London born multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes will release her third album 'The Haunted Man' on October 15.

The haunting lead single "Laura" dropped in July; it was accompanied by a beautiful video featuring Khan's fellow Brit, renowned drag performer Lavinia Co-op aka Vincent Fox as well as American singer/violinist Marques Toliver.  The second single 'All Your Gold" was released in September along with a b/w video. 

Both videos were shot by Noel Paul, half of the director's collective That Go.

A UK and continental European tour kicks off on October 18 in Inverness and wraps up on in Brussels on November 28.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Angie Stone: Do What You Gotta Do

Her former romantic and professional partner D'Angelo's long-awaited third album has yet to be released; meanwhile, Angie Stone's sixth studio album 'Rich Girl' dropped this week.  The very funky first single 'Do What You Gotta Do' was out in June; the video premiered in July, with Angie looking fab and happy at 50.

She has a few East Coast shows scheduled between October and February, but surprisingly, no extensive tour in support of the new album has been announced.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Mountain: The Burn (In Your Eyes) + Daydreamer

Blake Runyon, Matt Luker, Candice Harris, and Matt Fonda make up L.A. based band New Mountain.  Several EPs have been released since 2010, and a stellar debut full-length entitled 'Under New Skies' dropped on September 13.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Runyon's gorgeous vocals call to mind Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, and Thom Yorke, yet very much manage to stand out from these giants; no small accomplishment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quadron: Day + Ex-Factor

Like their fellow Danes The Raveonettes, Quadron decided to relocate to the U.S. in order to further their careers. Producer/musician/songwriter Robin Hannibal took off for Los Angeles two years ago, vocalist/songwriter Coco followed last September, and the move has already paid off.  Although they have been part of L.A. based Plug Research's roster for a few years, the duo was recently signed to the label of their idol Michael Jackson: Epic Records will release the long-awaited follow up to their 2009 self-titled debut in early 2013.

Two interviews with Coco and Robin were published recently: one in English, one in Danish:

Prince, Adele, Jay-Z, Odd Future, and Kendrick Lamar are all big fans, and it's a safe bet that Michael Jackson would have become a fan after listening to Quadron's exquisite cover of  "Baby Be Mine":

The most recent videos from Quadron were uploaded to the web in February:  "Day" was shot in the Caribbean by Eddie Klint and Jenna Mangulad.  Coco's cover of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" was filmed during a tour break in Vienna; it features her regular live show bandmates August Rosenbaum on omnichord/vocals and Mads Forsby on hand percussion/vocals.

QUADRON "DAY" from Coco + Robin = Quadron on Vimeo.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lianne La Havas: Is Your Love Big Enough + Lost And Found + Forget + No Room For Doubt

23-year-old London born singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas (Greek father, Jamaican mother) started singing and playing the piano early, but didn't pick up the guitar until she was 18; today it's a distinct part of her sound.

Three EPs have been released since 2011; her debut studio album 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' dropped July 9.

She has played with Bon Iver, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Willy Mason; the track and video "No Room For Doubt" features Mason.

Prince, Stevie Wonder and Ryan Adams are among her biggest fans - maybe they'll sneak in in disguise for one of her many upcoming shows, including an in-store gig at Amoeba Records in Hollywood this evening at 6 pm.

The September 28 - October 21 UK part of her dizzying fall tour kicks off in London at the iTunes Festival where she will be opening for Alicia Keys.  She has one night in Paris October 24 before opening for John Legend in the U.S. October 29 through November 18.  (Note: one non-Legend gig in San Francisco is scheduled for November 17. )  Finally, there will be eleven shows in continental Europe November 21 through December 7.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Autolux: The Science of Imaginary Solutions + The Afghan Whigs/Frank Ocean: Lovecrimes



Autolux and The Afghan Whigs will both be part of the eclectic line up at the September 21-23 All Tomorrows Parties 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival, co-curated by The Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli.  This annual NYC event will include a performance on Friday, September 21 by headliner Frank Ocean whose "Lovecrimes", off his 2010 debut mixtape 'Nostalgia, Ultra', was recently covered by The Afghan Whigs.

A connection to my previous post on The Raveonettes:  Sharin Foo is married to guitarist/vocalist Greg Edwards of L.A. based trio Autolux; the couple's daughter Molly was born in 2008. 

Autolux' most recent album 'Transit Transit" was released in 2010; the very trippy video for "The Science of Imaginary Solutions" was not uploaded to YouTube until in February of this year. 

Prior to their Sunday, September 23 festival gig in NYC, they have a show at The Bootleg Theater in L.A. on September 19.

Recently reunited after a 13-year hiatus, The Afghan Whigs will be following their Saturday September 22 NYC gig with an extensive U.S. fall tour; several of the shows have already sold out.

Frank Ocean will be the musical guest on the September 15 season premiere of Saturday Night Live hosted by Seth MacFarlane.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Raveonettes: She Owns The Streets

Danish duo The Raveonettes will be releasing their sixth album 'Observator' on September 11.  Reuniting with producer Richard Gottehrer for the first time since 2005,  Sharin Foo and Sune Wagner recorded for seven days at legendary Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, the city Foo now calls home.

A gorgeous ode to self-expression, 'She Owns The Streets' was inspired by Loan Tran, a young woman in New York City whom Wagner had noticed dancing around the city; they were introduced and struck up a friendship.

The video was directed by London/Berlin based German photographer Peter Kaaden.

The Raveonettes kick off their big fall tour with a show in Portland, Oregon on September 21. (NOTE: two shows are scheduled in Toronto and Montreal the first week of October.)   After a show in Mexico City on October 14, the tour moves on to Europe on October 20 before wrapping up in Istanbul, Turkey on December 15.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tina Dico: Moon To Let

After a busy decade spent alternating her time between London/Copenhagen and touring the world (incl. many gigs with Zero 7 in 2004), Danish singer-songwriter Tina Dico has found a life partner in fellow musician Helgi Jonsson whom she first met in 2008 when they each opened for Teitur at a show in Canada.  This year Dico and Jonsson settled down together in Reykjavik, Iceland where Helgi was born and raised and where their son Emil was born last month.

Her fifth studio album "Where Do You Go To Disappear?" drops the first week of September; all of the 12 tracks were recorded in her new home studio in Reykjavik.  The first single "Moon To Let" was released July 16.

Dico has two gigs scheduled in Zurich and Vienna in mid-October in between numerous shows in Germany.

Helgi Jonsson:

"Moon To Let" was shot around Nuuk, Greenland by Martin Skovbjerg and Jacob Møller of SaunaCigar; the Copenhagen based team also did "Warrior/Worrier" for Outlandish.

NOTE to Dico's Danish fans: a lengthy interview was published in Politiken yesterday.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Heavy: What Makes A Good Man

'The Glorious Dead' is the third album in five years from UK band The Heavy who are currently touring the U.S.  (two gigs in Canada are scheduled for late September).

Two videos were shot for the new single "What Makes A Good Man".

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two Door Cinema Club: Sleep Alone

Two Door Cinema Club of Bangor, Northern Ireland will be very busy in the coming months with shows in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Their second album 'Beacon' was recorded in Los Angeles; it will be released the first week of September.

The video for the first single "Sleep Alone" was directed by Paris based directors' collective AB/CD/CD.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vacationer: Trip

Singer, bassist, and guitarist Kenny Vasoli has explored various genres and sounds in a multitude of rock combos and continues to do so, most recently in Philadelphia band Vacationer.

The video for the first single "Trip" off the 2011 debut album 'Gone' was uploaded to YouTube a week ago.  It's a great example of how a band/artist can reach out to the world by shooting a relatively low-budget visual companion piece to a great track that might otherwise not get the same degree of exposure due to the sheer volume of music makers offering up their goods in this day and age.

After a Hoboken, New Jersey gig on August 18 with Body Language, Vactioner takes a break before supporting Bombay Bicycle Club for several weeks around the U.S. in October, finishing with one show in Canada.  See link below for details:

The 'Trip' official music video was shot in Oahu, Hawaii by Dave Homcy on the very cool old-school-yet-very-21st century Lomography LomoKino analogue cameras.

An excellent live version of the same sunny song was shot in the studios of U. of Minnesota college station Radio K.

Listen to Radio K at 770 AM, 100.7 FM and 104.5 FM, as well as online at

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rumer: A House Is Not A Home + Sara Smile + Slow + Am I Forgiven

A goosebump inducing, heavenly mix of Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, Eva Cassidy, and Joni Mitchell, Rumer had her full-length debut 'Seasons of My Soul' released on Atlantic Records November 1, 2010; she wrote or co-wrote all except one track.  A second album entitled 'Boys Don't Cry' dropped May 28 of this year; on it she covers 12 (16 on the special edition) of her favorite songs from the 1970s.

Born Sarah Joyce in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1979 to a British mother and a Pakistani father, Rumer began writing songs at age 20. In recent years she has played with Elton John, Jools Holland, and Jamie Callum and in May she performed at the Burt Bacharach/Hal David Library of Congress Gershwin Prize concert at the White House.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Walk The Moon: Shiver Shiver + Iscariot

Cincinnati, Ohio natives Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman, and Eli Maiman formed Walk The Moon in 2008, independently released their debut album 'i want i want' in 2010, and followed up with a self-titled major label debut last month.

The band is playing their hometown tonight as part of their big U.S. summer tour which culminates with a show in Redmond, Washington on August 25.  They kick off their extensive European fall tour on September 19 in Amsterdam.  See below for details:

NOTE on the two videos:

"7in7" is a series of officially unofficial music videos, hand-made by the band without a film crew or a budget. While out on tour, with one camera, Walk The Moon filmed seven videos in seven days. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gossip: Move In The Right Direction

Still one of the finest voices around:  Beth Ditto of Gossip.

The trio's fifth studio album 'The Joyful Noise' dropped in late May, and they are busy touring this summer and fall.   Most of the shows are happening in France, Germany and the UK, but a few gigs in the US, Japan, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, and Italy are also lined up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band & The Roots: The E Street Shuffle

Audiences got a double treat at Northern Europe's largest and oldest music festival at Roskilde, west of Copenhagen, Denmark this past weekend when The Roots joined Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band on stage. Both bands are said to have delivered the hands down best concerts at this year's event: The Boss and the E Street Band did a 3 hr. set on July 7; the Roots did a 90 min. show on the same date.

The two bands performed the same song on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in March with Tom Morello sitting in. As a bonus, the host provided (more) cow bell.

Trivia: In 2000 then Saturday Night Live cast member Jimmy Fallon had a hard time keeping a straight face during the now legendary SNL skit that spawned the catch phrase "More Cowbell".

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kelis: 4th of July (Fireworks)

The perfect 4th of July video by Kelis.  (from her 2010 album 'Flesh Tone'.)

Happy Birthday America! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

When Saints Go Machine: Mannequin

Danish quartet When Saints Go Machine's album 'Konkylie' was released in May.  Their latest video was directed by Mia Fremming.

The band has a few gigs in Europe this summer:

Turboweekend: I Forgot

Turboweekend's new 11-track album 'Fault Lines' was released today.

Last week the Danish band performed one of their new songs live for Danish network radio P3's Shed Sessions at the NorthSide music festival in Århus.  Echoing Peter Gabriel both in terms of arrangement and vocals, "I Forgot" is yet another superb showcase for Silas Bjerregaard's voice.

I posted the first single/video from 'Fault Lines' earlier this month:

Read my interview with Silas Bjerregaard here from when Turboweekend was still a trio:

They have four shows in Denmark this summer, and will also be doing a gig in Poland on November 6:

Turboweekend was one of five Danish bands invited to play the first one-day NorthSide festival in 2010.  Besides TW, the line up at this year's three-day event June 15-17 included Little Dragon, James Blake, Snow Patrol, Emile Sande, When Saints Go Machine, Freja Loeb, Kashmir, and more.