Sunday, December 20

Thursday, December 3

News: The Stella Link Return From Hiatus

After three years of doing myriad other things, Kansas City's sensational spacerockers The Stella Link are active again. Check out this article from The Kansas City Star detailing plans for Catch Lightning, a six-track EP, in addition to a live show on December 4, 2009 at The Riot Room. Thanks to Mac for the tip.

Thursday, November 19

Recommended Release: The Mercury Program - Chez Viking

The Mercury Program are a four-piece instrumental "post-rock" group from Florida, showcasing a shimmering, intricate, precise and expansive sound. After seven years since their last LP, they are ready to release their follow up, Chez Viking.

The band's new label, Lovitt Records, describes Chez Viking as "a twinkling, shimmer album whose strengths of interplay between guitar and vibraphone or Rhodes are anchored by a propulsive and driving rhythm section. It's a fantastic combination that succinctly captures the band's bright intensity."

Release Date: November 24, 2009

Here is an interview with drummer Dave LeBleu, who was drummer #49 of 77 Boadrum:

Thursday, November 12

Links: XLR8R Producer Profiles

Last year, XLR8R profiled four "indie" producers and engineers and asked them about their production techniques, studio equipment, and recording philosophies. The following profiles are a great read for anyone interested in the people and processes responsible for translating musical ideas into a final piece of work.

John Vanderslice - Spoon, Deerhoof, Cex

Efrim Menuck - Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Land of Kush

Chris Coady - Blonde Redhead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On the Radio

Brett Allen - Dan Deacon, Matmos, Death Cab For Cutie

Thursday, November 5

Live Review: Broadcast [with Vincent Gallo] @ The Troubadour - 11/4/09

Experimental throwback pop duo Broadcast performed to a sold out crowd at The Troubadour last night. After a solid set by Bradford Cox's Atlas Sound (backed by The Selmanaires), Trish Keenan and James Cargill took the opposite ends of the stage, each manning a table spread with synths, samplers, ring modulators, analog delays and microphones, set between a large projection screen. The set commenced with about fifteen minutes of relatively free-form droning, interlaced with Keenan's echoed vocals and autumnal black and white visuals. Neither Keenan nor Cargill were lit at this point--instead, the focus was on the incredible projections, which Cargill watched intently as he tweaked his synth and samples.

Eventually, Broadcast performed several tracks in a more "traditional" manner with Cargill on bass or guitar and Keenan working center stage, backed by excellent sample-based beats. For as odd and haunting as some of Broadcast's music is, it was obvious they were enjoying themselves and the über-attentive crowd.

Warp Records labelmate Vincent Gallo joined on electric guitar for the main set closer, in addition to helming an acoustic duet encore with Keenan, during which she sang the lyrics from a set of handwritten notes.

This performance was certainly to be appreciated by true Broadcast fans. Here's hoping the act returns to the U.S. before another four years go by.

Sunday, October 18

Show Alert: Mos Def @ The Independent - 10/19/09

Mos Def announced today that he will be performing Black On Both Sides in its entirety at The Independent in San Francisco on October 19, 2009. Although the show is sold out, you may be able to wrangle up a ticket tomorrow. Good luck, because this is not a show to miss.

Thanks to Nor Cal Correspondent DJ KRC for the tip.

Watch this video in its entirety to see some of Mos Def's "homecoming" in Japan:

Mos Def “Auditorium”: LIVE Exclusive from Embedded on Current TV

current.... | MySpace Video

Wednesday, October 7

Tuesday, October 6

New Music: LCD Soundsystem - "Bye Bye Bayou"

On November 9, 2009, SSM faves LCD Soundsystem will release their first music since 2007's excellent Sound of Silver. "Bye Bye Bayou" is a cover of a song from Suicide's Alan Vega's 1981 debut album. The track is purportedly "8+ minutes of classic LCD Soundsystem, deep soulful grooves that will appeal to fans and non-fans alike and will whet the appetite for fans dying for LCD's upcoming third album to be released in March 2010." Look for the track to be released via DFA Records on 12", complete with an a capella cut. Source.

Live Review: ?????? @ The Orpheum - 10/4/09

The Lady Doc and I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Thom Yorke perform on Sunday with his unnamed new band, billed by The Orpheum as "??????". Consisting of Nigel Godrich (keys, computers, guitar, backup vox), Flea (bass), Joey Waronker (drums) and Mauro Refosco (percussion), the band played to a sold-out crowd of 2,000 eager concertgoers.

Touted by Ticketmaster as a "ticketless" concert, we gained entrance after an employee swiped the original purchase card, and a tiny, waist-mounted printer spat out two non-tickets with our seat assignments. We entered the ornate lobby, passed the merch table (stocked only with copies of "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses"), picked up a bottle of water, rubbed elbows with Cillian Murphy and Anne Hathaway, and made our way to our seats.

After a brief set from L.A.'s veteran experimentalists the Lucky Dragons, Yorke & Co. took the stage to a preemptive standing ovation. Yorke motioned for the crowd to sit, and the band launched into The Eraser in its entirety. For example:

The band blasted through rich, impassioned performances of every track from The Eraser. Yorke stated that they had been rehearsing for three weeks, and it really showed. Their chops were tight and polished, particularly the live percussive elements which easily surpassed the programmed beats on the album. Flea knew his place and precisely when to rock out, and when to exercise restraint. And, as always, Yorke's vocals were second to none. During main set closer "Cymbal Rush", I felt like he was channeling a fractured message from the future, by way of an alien satellite.

Yorke then performed three tracks solo, which felt like he was letting us in on demo versions of future Radiohead songs. The band returned for four more songs. And then, just like that, this truly special performance was over.

Friday, October 2

Show Alert: Thom Yorke & Friends @ The Echoplex - 10/2/09

Hot off the announcement of two nights at The Orpheum Theater, Thom Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich and others have added another show for TONIGHT, this time at the much smaller Echoplex. Per Dead Air Space:

"so yes that band thats doesnt really have a name that im working with at the moment??????
have decided to do a warm-up show on Friday Oct 2nd around 9pm at the Echoplex in Los Angeles
Its not that big, it'll be total chaos and its kind of a rehearsal but .. if you are near by..
below is a link to get tickets.
hope you get lucky with it.

so ain't no point hanging around if u dont im afraid

all the best"

Tickets available at NOON. Now go!

Thanks to alert SSM reader Kfuture for the tip.

Friday, August 28

Show Alert: Friendly Fires @ The Henry Fonda Theater - 11/21/09

After a triumphant performance at the El Rey (review here), neo dream-funk dance machine Friendly Fires will return to L.A. for a November 21, 2009 concert at the Henry Fonda Theater. Tickets available to the general public starting August 29, 2009 here.

In the meantime, their self-titled debut will be re-released on August 31, 2009, chock full of B-sides, remixes and videos, including live tracks from a May 2009 show at The London Forum. Check out the video for forthcoming single "Kiss of Life" below:

Monday, August 10

New Music: Assembly Line

Assembly Line is a semi-instrumental hip-hop duo from Perth, Australia. Nathan-J and Luke Pierre have been crafting beats together for a few years now but have only recently delivered their first official release, The Assembly Line EP. The disc contains four tracks of instrumental hiphop "with two tracks being laced with live keys." Self-described as "Polish psych jumpoff" or "a downbeat cosmic carpet ride", this is a solid headnodder that showcases sampled hip-hop at its best. Available now on Cardboard City Records and at selected brick and mortar outlets.

Friday, July 31

Show Alert: Broadcast/Atlas Sound @ The Troubadour - 11/4/09

Embarking on their first North American tour in four years, electro fuzz throwbacks Broadcast will be joined by Deerhunter main man Bradford Cox's "solo" project Atlas Sound for a killer night of experimental atmospheric pop. Send your fax ticket order directly to The Troubadour to avoid $10 in Ticketmaster's evil fees. Full tour dates below:

10-15 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
10-16 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
10-17 Washington, D.C. - Black Cat
10-18 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
10-20 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
10-21 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
10-22 Boston, MA - The Paradise
10-23 Montreal, Quebec - Le National
10-24 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
10-25 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center
10-26 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
10-27 Northfield, MN - The Cave
10-30 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richards On Richards
10-31 Seattle, WA - Nuemos
11-01 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
11-03 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11-04 Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
11-05 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
11-07 Denton, TX - Hailey's

Tuesday, July 14

News: iTunes Now Offering "Digital 45s"

We here at SSM are big fans of 7" records and 45s. There's just something so satisfying about the physical embodiment of one or two brilliant tracks, memorialized in wax and color and often spun in the context of a spontaneous dance party. New and old releases contribute to a huge selection of unique artifacts, rarely more than $1 or $2 a disc.

So, it is with a tinge of nostalgia that we can report (via TUAW) that the iTunes Store is now offering "Digital 45s". The Digital 45s cost from $1.49 to $1.99 and include the original B-Sides. The first batch contains some heavy-hitters: The Human League's "Don't You Want Me Baby", Boston's "More Than A Feeling", Billy Idol's "White Wedding" and David Bowie's "Let's Dance", among others.

The concept is good for instant gratification and digital players, and it's definitely cheaper than buying two tracks separately. And kudos to iTunes for reaching back into the archives and not limiting the Digital 45s to The Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift. But wouldn't you rather own the real thing?

Friday, June 26

Video: The Republic Tigers - "Made Concrete"

the Republic Tigers - Made Concrete

Music video by The Republic Tigers performing Made Concrete with Alicia Solombrino [Video Director], Brian Hicks [Editor] Outpost Worldwide [Production] (C) 2009 Chop Shop Records.

Thursday, June 11

News: Dark Night of the Soul Streaming In Its Entirety From NPR

The release of Dark Night of the Soul, the intriguing collaboration between Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse, has been hung up by an unknown legal dispute with EMI. While the project is being self-released by Danger Mouse as a book-and-CD package featuring photos by David Lynch, the included CD is blank and recordable, ostensibly intended to hold Dark Night of the Soul tracks as found on torrent sites or other non-official sources.

Short of downloading something that may never actually see an official release, you can now head over to NPR for a stream of the entire album. The project features a variety of vocalists, with artists as diverse as Gruff Rhys, Suzanne Vega, Iggy Pop, Julian Casablancas, Frank Black and Nina Persson.

Thanks to alert SSM follower Ross for the tip.

UPDATE: Some kind soul (ha ha) has reverse-engineered the mp3s out of the NPR stream.

Monday, May 18


Bahrain-based MP3 blog, mostly remixes and new material. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12

News: Super Furry Animals Announce Prototype "Festyval Wynd" Effects Pedal

In celebration of the release of their latest LP Dark Days, Light Years, prolific Welsh psych-pop-rockers Super Furry Animals have released a film documenting the making of their ninth studio album. The documentary touches on inspirations, the recording process, and the challenges attendant to capturing the "enormity" of the band's sound. The solution? A new technology in the form of an effects pedal dubbed "Festyval Wynd" that turns "your crystal clear studio sound into a shit muddy festival experience."

The pedal is intended to replicate the effect of various blends of wind, festival location and drugs. Frontman Gruff Rhys discusses some of the best and worst settings, which include "Natural Disaster", "Coachella", and "MDMA". Apparently the band plans on using it inside clubs to create a drug-induced doppler effect without actually being high at a festival in Brazil. Available soon for $90.

The fun starts at the 12'00" mark. Listen for the great message about how taking drugs and making music do not a good pair make ("Elton John churning out middle of the road crap").

Thursday, May 7

Show Alert: The Little Ones @ Revel With A Cause - 5/9/09

Catch LA's own purveyors of dancing cartoon animal indie pop this Saturday at Santa Monica's Revel With A Cause Festival. The festival takes place from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm in Clover Park, with The Little Ones taking the stage at 5:00 pm. And it's free!

Wednesday, April 15

News: Deltron 3030 To Release New Album In May???

In May 2000, hip hop supergroup Deltron 3030--the trio of Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Kid Koala, and Dan the Automator--released their eponymous rap opera concept album to near-critical acclaim. Now, nine years later, the group is poised to release its follow-up.

The beats and turntable work for Deltron Event II have reportedly been finished since 2007, leaving Del to lay down the lyrics. On April 12, 2009, at the Tuscon date of his "Funkman Tour", tha Funkee Homosapien himself announced that Deltron Event II is set to be released on May 24, 2009.

No word on what label will be releasing this much-awaited disc, although Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings is a usual suspect. And take this tip with a grain of salt--there has been no official confirmation yet. But wouldn't a new Deltron record make summer great?

Monday, April 6

Show Alert: Phoenix @ The Wiltern - 6/28/09

At the risk of making this a Phoenix blog, SSM is proud to announce that the slick French pop rockers will be performing at The Wiltern on June 28, 2009. This is the sole U.S. date as of the moment. Amazing Baby opens.

There are a few other dates announced as of now (all across the pond), so here's hoping that the band will take America by storm with a coast-to-coast trek in support of their forthcoming fourth LP Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, out in the U.S. on May 26, 2009.

Tix for The Wiltern show here. Current tour itinerary below. And don't forget about those SNL vids below.

Apr 23 2009 9:00P
HOXTON BAR & KITCHEN - SOLD OUT London, London and South East
May 20 2009 8:00P
May 23 2009 8:00P
May 28 2009 8:00P
May 30 2009 8:00P
Jun 1 2009 9:00P
KOKO LONDON - SOLD OUT London, London and South East
Jun 6 2009 8:00P
Jun 7 2009 8:00P
Jun 28 2009 8:00P
THE WILTERN Los Angeles, California
Jul 24 2009 8:00P
CAMP BESTIVAL - UK Lulworth Castle, Dorset, Southwest

Thursday, April 2

News: Reactable Now Available

Alert reader and regular SSM correspondent Kfuture has recently learned that the amazing Reactable is now available for retail consumption. Kfuture, DJ KRC and I first encountered this mindblowing modular synth at Björk's 2007 Coachella performance.

We were unsure if what we were seeing was real, and research confirmed that the Reactable is in fact a project from the Music Technology Group at Spain's Pompeu Fabra University. The Reactable Experience is now available and is aimed at museums and public entities. Now if only an eccentric, rich musician like Trent Reznor could get his hands on this puppy...

Wednesday, March 18

News: SSM's Recommended Spring Releases

There are a slew of new albums from reliable bands set to be released this Spring. Here are SSM's recommended picks:

Pete Doherty - Grace/Wastelands - March 24
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz - March 31
Peter Bjorn & John - Living Thing - March 31
Doves - Kingdom of Rust - April 7
Tortoise - TBA - April 21
Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years - April 21
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - May 26
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest - May 26
Sonic Youth - The Eternal - June 9
Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship - June 23

Tuesday, March 10

Craigslist: Antique Toolbox With Organ Built-In

Someone in Hollywood owns a Le Guide Chant Kasriel organ and is willing to part with it for $450.00. It is supposed to sound like the organ played during the introduction to "Strawberry Fields Forever". The seller recommends:

"Have fun- you can tell your family that you're going to do home repairs, in the garageand when they look out the window, they'll see you in your toolbox, working away!"*

Other Kasriel organs are out there.

*All errors in quotation are sic.

Saturday, March 7

News: HD Music Channel Palladia Less Hit-Or-Miss

High definition music channel Palladia (formerly MHD) has beefed up its schedule recently. Although there still is a lot of crap--hilarious Nickelback videos, for example--recent schedules have included live performances from The Verve and The Cure, a Memphis club show with Elvis Costello and the Impostors, The Who/David Bowie at The Isle of Wight Festival, and regular showings of the 1967 Bob Dylan U.K. tour documentary Don't Look Back. Tonight, Palladia will feature the Kanye West edition of VH1's Storytellers. Check local listings.

Friday, February 13

WTF: Aguilera To Record With Ladytron and Goldfrapp?

Courtesy of Perez Hilton:

"Christina Aguilera is apparently hard at work on her 4th album, and she's working with some super fucking awesome people!

2006's Back to Basics was a very retro-sounding affair. And it seems like she has a killer strategy for the follow-up!

Aguilera has confirmed that she has been working with Australian singer (and Perez fave) Sia since January. It has also been confirmed that Christina has been speaking with electropop group Ladytron regarding a collaboration.

Another collab rumor floating around has been one with Goldfrapp, although nothing has been confirmed yet.

If it's true, this sounds like it's going to be an amazing album! And, of course, she is once again collaborating with Beautiful co-writer Linda Perry.

We can't wait!"

Monday, February 2

Show Alert: The Republic Tigers @ The Henry Fonda - 4/10/09, 4/11/09

After a successful U.K. tour, The Republic Tigers will again join Travis on the road. This time the bands are doing a U.S. tour including two nights at The Henry Fonda. The April 10, 2009 show is already sold out, but there are still tickets available for the April 11, 2009 show. Tickets here.

Tuesday, January 27

Show Alert: M83 w/ the Los Angeles Philharmonic @ Walt Disney Concert Hall - 3/7/09

UPDATE: Presale password is "digital shades".

The special events at the Walt Disney Concert Hall just keeping getting better. After hosting performances from the likes of Neko Case and Grizzly Bear, it has just been announced that the majestic and synthetic sounds of French dreamrockers M83 will be joined by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a very special evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This is the first time M83 has ever played with an orchestra, and you can bet it will be much better than the time Metallica tried it. The show happens on March 7, with tickets on sale Friday here.

Saturday, January 24

Show Alert: Franz Ferdinand @ Amoeba Records - 1/30/09

Franz Ferdinand will be celebrating the 1/27 release of their third album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand with an in-store performance at Amoeba Records in Hollywood. These guys are true showmen, so if you can't make it to the performance itself, do catch the live stream on the Amoeba Records website.

Monday, January 19

Show Alert: The Walkmen/Beach House, Animal Collective, The Raveonettes, Tapes 'n Tapes

The Walkmen/Beach House - January 20, 2009 - The Henry Fonda Theater

Animal Collective - January 23, 2009 February 26, 2009 - The Henry Fonda Theater
Animal Collective - January 24, 2009 February 27, 2009 - The Troubadour

The Raveonettes - January 24, 2009 - The Henry Fonda Theater

Tapes 'n Tapes - January 24, 2009 - The El Rey Theater

Thursday, January 15

Obituary: Indie 103.1 FM KDLD, et al.

Photo By Robert Gauthier.

When I first moved to Southern California, my only source of music in the home was my FM radio. On my first night I ran the dial and immediately came across a track from Bloc Party's Silent Alarm, who were just getting established in the United States. "Banquet" was followed by some Ramones and Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)", and I was hooked on the station.

Over the next four years, 103.1 was my 24 hour go-to music source. Tons of new stuff, great old stuff ("God! Show Me Magic"), new old stuff, and great shows and programs. Although some found it to be the "Diet Coke" of independent radio, Indie was hands down a consistent source of choice quality music. That's all I really ask for in a radio station.

Now KDLD's terrestrial broadcast is no more, and the station is transitioning to some sort of web-based format. It sounds like the shows are gone, and there's no word if Big Sonic Heaven, Passport Approved, Head Trip or any of the other awesome programs will show up on other stations. KCRW? Perhaps. Raise KXLU's HATT by 80 meters? I don't know. I just pray that the online Indie will have a moblie app like Soma FM so I can at least pretend it's a real radio station.


Tuesday, January 6

Show Alert: The Little Ones @ Natural History Museum - 1/9/09

Catch The Little Ones this Friday at the Natural History Museum's first First Friday lecture/concert/discussion series. The theme of this year's series is evolution, and this week's tour is an ornithological introduction to animals Darwin would have studied. The concert portion is from 7:00 to 10:00, with The Little Ones and DJs too. Tix only $9 here or maybe at the door.