Thursday, August 28, 2014

Avi Buffalo: So What + Memories Of You

Long Beach, CA native son Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg aka Avi Buffalo can no longer be called a young whippersnapper - in case anyone ever did call him that. It's been four years since the debut self-titled full-length of the solo project-slash-band that bears his nickname and he's now a 23-year old grown ass man ready to share a new collection of songs with the world. The album with the cryptic title 'At Best Cuckold' drops on Sub Pop on September 9.

The excellent clip for "So What" was directed by L.A. based film maker Jon Jon Augustavo and features Avi in a dream like 'cherche la femme' narrative.

The stellar album track "Memories of You" unfortunately does not yet have a video to go with it.

Avi and his live performance buddies kick off their extensive fall tour September 8 in Seattle: shows are scheduled for the West Coast (incl. one in Vancouver, Canada September 9), Europe and the East Coast; last gig - following the Ireland/UK/continental Europe dates - will be in Boise, Idaho on November 18.  (full tour schedule)

In case you missed my interview with Avi from October 2009:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simian Ghost: Never Really Knew

What started as a solo project and morphed into a trio is now a quintet when performing live.  Swedish band Simian Ghost from Sandviken, 118 miles west of Stockholm, will drop their third full-length 'The Veil' on September 9. (their second album 'Youth' from 2012 was reissued in the U.S. this year on Austin, Texas based indie label Red Eye Transit with five additional tracks.)

They have several shows scheduled for the fall, including an appearance at the famed CMJ Music Marathon in New York City which will take place October 21-25.

The quirky clip for the excellent teaser single "Never Really Knew" was directed by accomplished American director Dan Huiting and requires a disclaimer due to its twist ending: no adult male dancer was harmed in the making of this video.

The downright funky acoustic version was recorded for French label Discograph; it was shot by Paris based production company Oktofilms. (Oktofilms)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shura: Touch + Just Once

Buzz has been slowly building around London-by-way-of-Manchester artist Shura and her two stellar tracks "Touch" and "Just Once".

Upcoming shows announced on her Facebook page this week:

- November 1: London Calling Festival in Amsterdam (also on the bill: Spoon, Sebadoh and more.)

- November 21: Electronic Beats Festival in Leipzig (also on the bill: Warpaint, Asbjørn, and more.)

The excellent video for "Touch" was directed by Ammr Khalifa, also London based.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bright Light Bright Light: In Your Care + I Believe

Hailing from Wales, 31-year-old Rod Thomas used to busk during his teens at various London Underground stations and went on to release several folk singles plus one folk album, yet it wasn't until he began recording and performing as Bright Light Bright Light in 2009-2010 that he found his true identity, sound and voice.

The singer-songwriter/dj/producer's debut album 'Make Me Believe' came out in 2012.  His second full-length 'Life Is Easy' dropped last month; the track "I Wish We Were Leaving" features Elton John whom Thomas will be joining on the superstar's extensive North America/Europe fall tour September 13 - December 9.

However, the album's finest moments are the stellar tracks "In Your Care" and "I Believe".  Thankfully both songs are accompanied by excellent videos: the first very poignant mother/son narrative was shot in NYC by Brooklyn based director Thomas O'Connor; the latter literally and figuratively buoyant clip was directed by Portland, Oregon born filmmaker Andrew Ellmaker in collaboration with Blake Martin.!live/c6gc

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spoon: Inside Out

When feeling burned out in 2010, Austin band Spoon wisely took a break for a few years, each member doing various musical projects. The sabbatical seemed to have worked: Tuesday they released 'They Want My Soul', produced by Joe Chicarelli and the king of alt-rock, Dave Friedman, formerly of Mercury Rev. With this album, their eighth studio full-length and their first on Loma Vista Recordings (Little Dragon, Cut Copy, Rhye, Soundgarden, etc.) they have also added Alex Fischel (keyboard/guitar) to join co-founders Britt Daniel and Jim Eno, as well as Rob Pope and Eric Harvey.

The track "Inside Out" is accompanied by a unique clip comprised of shots by acclaimed Alburquerque native/Chicago based photographer Todd Baxter which were then edited by Spanish graphic designer Mau Morgo into a delightfully weird and dreamlike video, perfectly complimenting the superb soundscape created by Spoon.

Tomorrow night Friday Spoon will be performing a sold out gig at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, but fortunately there are many more dates scheduled this summer and fall:

August 10 - September 23: the U.S. (twenty-one shows) and Canada (two shows)
October 5 & 12: Austin City Limits Music Festival
November 1 - 7:  Continental Europe (six shows) and the UK (one show)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Dandy Warhols: We Used To Be Friends

The Dandy Warhols in 2002

Veronica Mars, starring the immensely talented Kristen Bell (three seasons, 2004-2007) was one of the best American TV shows; the crowdfunded feature film premiering earlier this year wasn't so shabby either. The track used as the show's theme song sounds as good today as it did then:  "We Used To Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols, from their 2003 album 'Welcome to the Monkey House'.

The Portland, Oregon band have been together for twenty years and their fan base remains solid, as evidenced by the fact that most of the shows for the upcoming August 21 - September 3 Australia tour already have sold out.  September 12 - October 3 they'll be touring North America; the schedule includes one gig in Toronto September 25.