Saturday, November 30, 2013

Death Has No Dominion: Harvest

Bjarke Niemann,  lead vocalist in Danish band Spleen United has teamed up with Rasmus Bak of Copenhagen design company Libertine - Libertine for the project Death Has No Dominion.

An album will drop next year and the outstanding teaser single "Harvest' has been released along with a video that was shot in various Southern California locations, including Joshua Tree.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lucy Love: Take Me Back + Prison

Lucy Love was born Lucy Siame in 1985 in Zambia to an English mother and a Zambian father who moved to Copenhagen when she was two years old.  In 2009 she released her debut album 'Superbillion' and followed it up with 'Kilo' in 2010.

Despite battling depression and anxiety for the past three years Love managed to record material for a new album: 'Desperate Days of Dynamite' dropped in September and two visually arresting videos have been released so far for the excellent tracks 'Prison' and 'Take Me Back'. Both clips were directed and edited by the artist herself.

Love has three shows coming up in Denmark next month and will be at the big Danish NorthSide Festival held in Århus, Jutland in June (not to be confused with the Northside Festival held in Brooklyn every year, also in June.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lana Del Rey: National Anthem

The haunting video accompanying Lana Del Rey's stellar song "National Anthem" from her 2012 album 'Born To Die" captures both the glamour and the tragedy far better than the countless books and articles published to mark the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

The 7:49 minute long clip, directed by Anthony Mandler with a concept and treatment by Del Rey, has her playing both Marilyn Monroe and Jaqueline Kennedy, with the charismatic ASAP Rocky standing in for JFK.

NOTE: Del Rey's 30-minute film 'Tropico' will debut on Vevo December 5.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Street Light: Drowning + I'm On One

Born Christian Grace in Detroit almost 22 years ago, Street Light has been recording since the age of twelve, and has so far released two albums, four mixtapes and a staggering amount of videos.

Now based in Los Angeles, he is currently working on a full-length entitled 'Dark Summer'.  Close to $3000 for recording, mixing, mastering, videos and publicity were raised through crowdfunding; the rest is coming out of the artist's own pocket.  His effortless flow and clever word play are generating a buzz that will no doubt result in big things happening in the new year.

Video 1: "Drowning", from the upcoming album 'Dark Summer.'
Video 2:  "I'm On One", from the 2011 'Blackout' mixtape.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Erasure: Gaudete

The very prolific British duo Erasure - legendary Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo aka Yaz, The Assembly) and Andy Bell - have been together for almost three decades: not a bad run.

This time around they decided to release a holiday collection of standards, traditionals as well as a few original tunes with such sunny titles as "Blood on the Snow" and "There'll Be No Tomorrow"; the album entitled 'Snow Globe' dropped this week. The first single "Gaudete" is a medieval Latin carol; the video, complete with creepy hooded monk puppets, was produced by the animation teams behind Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Midlake: Antiphon

After frontman Tim Smith's decision to leave a year ago, Texas band Midlake didn't have a nervous breakdown that included drunk dialing the ex. Instead they wisely started over by adding two members, writing brand new material, having guitarist Eric Pulido take over as lead vocalist, and changing their sound.

Their new album 'Autophon' dropped worldwide November 5: the title track is a delicious Pink Floyd-meets-Crosby Stills & Nash concoction with a great hot mess of a video to go with it.

Their tour schedule is a busy one. November and December: North America, February: UK and Ireland, March: continental Europe. First show is tonight in Philadelphia.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Joni Mitchell: Song For Sharon (Live)

With David Crosby at Cass Elliots's house in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, Feb. 1968

Joni Mitchell turns 70 today.  I've chosen a stellar live version of "Song for Sharon" from her 1976 album 'Hejira' to celebrate the Canadian singer-songwriter whose music, lyrics, persona and life story continue to inspire people.

The performance was taped at the Warner Brothers Lot in Burbank, California in May of 1998 for the 'Painting with Words and Music' pay-per-view TV special.  Musicians around Joni, left to right: Greg Liesz, Larry Klein, Brian Blade.

Highly recommended: the outstanding 2003 documentary 'A Woman of Heart and Mind' which includes interviews with Joni herself:  (with Spanish subtitles)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jenny Wilson: The Future

38-year-old Stockholm based dynamo Jenny Wilson drops her new album 'Demand The Impossible!' on November 6.  The title is taken from the graffiti "Be realistic - Demand the impossible!" which originated during the 1968 student protests in Paris. Seeing a parallel to her own fight against breast cancer, the slogan greatly inspired and energized the singer to write her latest collection of songs.

Wilson co-founded her first band First Floor Power with her sister and a couple of friends in 1997. Following a collaboration with Swedish band The Knife in 2003, she released her first solo album 'Love And Youth' in 2005. A second solo full-length 'Hardships!' came out in 2009. After her 2010 cancer diagnosis and first round of treatments, she released the 2011 double album 'BLAZING'.  Over the years she has also found the time and energy to write a score for a play, collaborate with a film maker as well as a gospel choir, raise two sons and take in the stray dog Maja.

The powerful clip that accompanies the single "The Future" was put together by Wilson and her frequent filmmaker partner Daniel Wirtberg.

Four shows for November and December were announced on her Facebook page last month:

Nov. 11  Østre Gasværk, Copenhagen (part of the CPH: DOX international documentary festival)
Nov. 22  Popup Festival,Vaasa
Nov. 30  Berns, Stockholm
Dec.   6  Babel, Malmö  (director Daniel Wirtberg)