Thursday, May 30, 2013

Frank Ocean: Lost

Frank Ocean has several gigs lined up this summer, most of them at festivals.

NOTE:  The June 27 Copenhagen date as well as the July 9 London date are reportedly sold out.

The single "Lost" is taken from his stellar, highly acclaimed 2012 album 'Channel Orange.'  The touring/travel footage for the video was shot and edited by Francisco Soriano.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quadron: Better Off (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)

The new album 'Avalanche" from Danish duo Quadron drops June 4 on Epic.  Coco O. and Robin Hannibal, now both based in Los Angeles, unveiled the Motown-style first single "Hey Love" last month and followed it up this week with the release of the outstanding track "Better Off" which features Kendrick Lamar whom they worked with on his album 'good kid,'.  (Coco and Robin can claim membership of Copenhagen musical collective Boom Clap Bachelors whose track 'Tiden Flyver' was sampled by Lamar for his current hit "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe". )

So far, thirteen North American dates have been scheduled for the summer; there is also a show in Mexico City October 12.  First gig up is June 5 in Los Angeles at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

06-05 Los Angeles, CA - The Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
06-12 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *
06-13 New York, NY - Highline Ballroom *
06-15 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
06-16 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *
06-18 Seattle, WA - Nectar Lounge
06-19 Vancouver, British Columbia - Fortune Sound
06-21 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
06-23 San Francisco, CA - Stern Grove
07-27 New York, NY - Central Park Summer Stage #
08-03 Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga
08-24 Monterey, CA - First City Festival
09-14 Atlanta, GA - One Music Fest
10-12 Mexico City, Mexico - Corona Capital Festival

NOTE: several of the dates above are not yet listed on Quadron's Facebook page, but here is the direct ticket link to the Wednesday June 5 concert for those of you who live in the L.A. area:

Remaining dates:


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fenech-Soler: Magnetic

British band Fenech-Soler will release their second album 'Rituals' in September; the first stellar single "Magnetic' dropped this month. 

Dates are already in place for a November tour of the UK and Ireland; a few summer shows have also been scheduled.  

The excellent video for 'Magnetic' with its hyperkinetic Alice in Wonderland-meets-The Twilight Zone quality to it was directed by Luke Bellis.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Alex Isley: The Other Side + Set In Stone + Into Orbit + Mile High Blues (Kenyon Dixon)

Daughter of Isley Brothers guitarist Ernie Isley, granddaughter of an opera singer, and a UCLA Jazz Studies graduate with perfect pitch: Alex Isley's bio is impressive. Ultimately however, it is her heavenly voice as well as her immense gift for songwriting and production that are making people sit up and take notice.

Now in her mid-twenties, the Los Angeles based artist who cites J. Dilla as a primary influence, self-released her stellar seven-track EP  'The Love/Art Memoirs' exactly a year ago, and is currently at work on the project entitled 'DreamsInAnalog'.  (there is no release date yet, but check her Facebook page for updates.)

Ms. Isley regularly performs at intimate L.A. venues such as Room 5 on La Brea, but will hopefully be touring the U.S. and abroad sometime soon.

NOTES on tracks posted below:
"The Other Side":  from the upcoming project 'DreamsInAnalog'. 
"Set in Stone" and "Into Orbit":  taken off 'The Love/Art Memoirs'.
"Mile High Blues": a duet with frequent collaborator Kenyon Dixon.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Loreen: Heal

As a music blogger, I sometimes have to decide whether or not to post a clip that contains images that may come across as disturbing. Oftentimes, the video is cinematic, striking, even beautiful, yet because there are scenes that depict violence of various kinds, I am not entirely comfortable including it on The Nightfly.  

Loreen's most recent video is a good example: directed by fellow Swede Robin Kempe-Bergman, it begins with footage showing domestic violence.  However, given that the violence is non-gratuitous and also considering the track's title and the video's final scene, I find that the clip in fact makes a very eloquent argument against violence. Thus, I feel I can post "Heal" with a clean conscience.

Having won the Eurovision Song Contest last year, Loreen will be performing at this year's contest in Malmo, Sweden May 18.  She also has nine concert dates scheduled between May 25 and September 12, including one show in her parents' native country Morocco on May 31.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bruce Springsteen: I'm On Fire

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have two shows scheduled in Denmark this week.  The "Wrecking Ball" tour wraps up in Rio de Janeiro on September 21; several dates have already sold out.

"I'm on Fire" from the classic 1985 album 'Born in the USA' remains one of Springsteen's finest songs. The video was shot in March of that year in Los Angeles; it was directed by renowned filmmaker John Sayles.

His show with The Roots at last summer's Roskilde Festival is said to have been one of his finest ever, but I doubt he has ever disappointed.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lianne La Havas: Elusive + Gone

Lianne La Havas continues to impress on all fronts.  Her latest videos, as shot by Malian-French director Colin Solal Cardo, compliment the stunning tracks "Elusive" and "Gone" from her 2012 debut album 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' to seamless perfection.  Paris based dancer/artist/composer Kirikoo Des co-stars with La Havas in this powerful and moving two-part story of a relationship gone bad.

The London born 23-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist-pianist of Jamaican-Greek heritage will be busy performing at numerous festivals this summer and fall, including Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, Montreux, and Lolapalooza.  First gig up is June 7 at RockNess on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Turboweekend: Dreams

On April 29 Turboweekend released 'Shadow Sounds', a six-track EP of minimalist versions of previously recorded material, including "Trouble Is", "Into You" and the EP title track off their 2007 debut album 'Night Shift'.

In February the band covered Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" as part of Danish Radio P3's [Channel 3] year-long 50th birthday celebrations.  One of the finest songs ever written and recorded, Stevie Nicks' timeless composition from 1977 has been covered countless times and with often dismal results, but Turboweekend manage to make it 100 % their own by way of a gorgeous slowed-down, stripped-down interpretation that showcases lead singer Silas Bjerregaard´s formidable vocals.

NOTE: "Dreams" is not included on the "Shadow Sounds" EP.

The Copenhagen quartet, routinely hailed as Denmark's best live band, will be appearing at five festivals between May 19 and July 3.   The latter gig takes place at the large four-day Nibe Festival in North Jutland July 3-6 which will feature primarily Danish bands and artists including Outlandish, Kashmir, The Eclectic Moniker, The Rumour Said Fire, Nephew, Mø, Fallulah, Nabiha and Rasmus Seebach.

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

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lulu Rouge: Landscape of Love + Sign Me Out (Featuring Fanney Osk)

Torsten 'Buda' Jacobsen and Thomas 'T.O.M' Bertelsen make up Danish producer team Lulu Rouge. Known for their remixes of tracks by fellow Danes Trentemøller, Agnes Obel, and Choir of Young Believers as well as Moby, Groove Armada, Nina Simone, etc. the duo released their debut album 'Bless You' in 2008. 

A second full-length album entitled 'The Song Is in the Drum' dropped digitally April 29 and features various vocalists, including Fanney Osk of Icelandic/Danish band Kura and legendary Danish singer Annisette Koppel of Savage Rose fame.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Janelle Monae: Q.U.E.E.N. (Featuring Erykah Badu)

27-year-old singer-musician-composer-producer Janelle Monae continues to "defy every label", as proudly stated in the lyrics to the song "Q.U.E.E.N.",  the first single from 'The Electric Lady', her second full-length studio album which does not yet have a release date.

The dynamic track features Erykah Badu who also appears in the striking video, directed by Alan Ferguson.

The fab Ms. Monae has only one show scheduled at this point, a fundraising event with the San Francisco Symphony May 16, but there will be a tour later this year to coincide with the release of 'The Electric Lady.'

NOTE!  The May 16 concert is for a highly worthy cause: the proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Symphony's education and community programs, providing music education to more than 75,000 Bay Area children each year.  So if any of my readers in Northern California have some dollar dough to blow, this would be a good time to do so.