Rock and roll trio The Figgs have released their 12th (!) studio album, On The Slide. Coming just a year after their acclaimed Other Planes Of Here LP, the new album continues the band’s evolution from their origins as amped-up guitar-driven rockers to perfecters of concise cosmic pop. As ever, the band is tight as hell, adorning On The Slide‘s 10 tracks with minimal overdubs – some guitar textures, harmonies, and/or a subtle synthesizer or traditional keyboard part (including some nice solos by recent auxiliary member Ted Collins). “Just The Facts” finds the band at their funkiest, while “Open G Capo Position 3” bears some ’70s prog rock influence (and I mean that in the best possible way). “Connecting Brains” is based on a jagged guitar riff, but still remains mellow; a wholly phased-out jam that sets the tone for the album. The Figgs will tour sporadically through the summer and into fall, so check out dates here. On The Slide is available on CD, limited edition vinyl, and digital download.
Every month, the OurStage community (that’s you) listens and ranks the songs competing on OurStage.com. Once those songs get to the Finals stage, five grand prize winners are selected. Those winners get featured on the ‘OurStage on Amazing Radio’ show, broadcast from the UK to hundreds of thousands of music fans, both on terrestrial radio in the UK and online around the world. Last month’s show is streaming now. Below are the top five that you’ll hear on this month’s show, but you can preview them now by clicking here for a playlist.
“Remember Your Strategies” by Silent Party
“Wide Open” by Brooks Maguire
“Angel” by Rezzonator
“Bet It All” By TAP TAP
“Driven You To Ground” by Phaedrum
Hello Monday. Here’s some new music for you, courtesy of Mean Creek, the Boston rock and roll band that is slowly and surely approaching critical mass. With the release of album number four, Local Losers, Mean Creek is revealed as one of the most confident and thrilling guitar-based bands working it today. Sure, the hallmarks of their influences are evident, with nods to some of the very best of ’80s-’90s underground rock, but here those elements are subsumed to a pure and unique voice. At a mere 2:40 running time, you’ll want to go ahead and roll this video for “Anxiety Girl” a couple two-three times.
In today’s ADD, minute-to-minute music world, there are not many bands that can withstand the test of time. But Harrisburg, PA rock ‘n rollers, The Jellybricks are just getting started. Making reliable and delicious power pop since 1996, the band is now celebrating their sixth release, Youngstown Tune-Up. The album brings out that old time rock ‘n roll feel you love, with just a hint of indie edge, making for yet another stand out release in their catalog. You can grab a copy on iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play, and keep an eye out on streaming services like Spotify and Last.fm. For now, check out “About The Weekend,” off the new album below. (more…)
2013 was definitely a year of reunions, and 2014 is shaping up to be pretty similar, with many a hiatus being ended. And when it’s a band like The Decemberists coming back from a multi-year silence, it’s welcome news. Reuniting in Portland, Oregon on May 30th for the V is for Victory benefit concert, the band hopes to raise money for the Victory Academy, a public school that caters to children with Autism. They’ll perform Castaways and Cutouts in full, along with a few other tracks, and possibly even newer material. Check out the show poster with more details below, and grab tickets beginning March 7th at 12:00 p.m. PST here. (more…)
OurStage winners Twin Berlin‘s latest album may not have been produced by the iconic Travis Barker like their EP There Goes My Virtue was, but that doesn’t keep these New England natives from rocking hard on their brand new debut full-length, Sleazebrain. Starting things off strong with “You’re A Problem,” these self-proclaimed grunge rockers mix the perfect amount of aggression and passion into their music to create that raw and unaffected punk vibe that I love so much, yet find so rarely. And while the band has been teasing fans with clips and teasers of tracks such as the aforementioned opener and “Buzzkill,” I have to admit that my personal favorites lie in the deeper cuts, “Don’t Talk To Me” and “Kill This Low.” Still, the tracks they’ve chosen to lead with are strong, and are a pretty accurate snapshot of the album as a whole.
Grunge as a major influence is not easy to keep fresh two decades after its height, but Twin Berlin pull it off very well. The longer I let the album run the more I appreciated what a grower it is, and the more I wish I was able to immediately head out to one of their live shows. Because if this is the energy I’m getting from a recording, I can’t even imagine what kind of vibe they give off live.
Catch up with Twin Berlin on their Facebook, and be sure to grab a copy of Sleazebrain when it drops Feb. 18. In the meantime, check out a few tracks below to hold you over.
Happy New Year’s Eve, music lovers! As a special treat for fans, Artist Vs Poet have released a new single called “Close To You,” which you can take a listen to below. The band will be touring Japan this February with William Beckett for shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, in support of their latest release, Keep Your Secrets.
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Tim Kinsella, the Chicago-based musician who accidentally helped invent what we know as emo while cutting his teeth in bands like Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc, just released one of the more interesting collaborations he’s done since the ’90s. Tim Kinsella Sings The Songs Of Marvin Tate By LeRoy Bach Featuring Angel Olsen finds Kinsella and ex-Wilco member LeRoy Bach setting the poems of fellow Chicago native Marvin Tate to music. And fear not, emo kids, they’re all pretty damn sad.
Kinsella and Bach aren’t the first musicians to lend their talents to preexisting poems. In fact, we could have compiled a list featuring hundreds of singers who have quoted writers, but we tried to reel it in. For time’s sake, you can check out four of our favorite music and poetry connections after the jump. And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of TKSTSOMTBLBFAO. Its title may be a mouthful, but its tracks are beautifully short, simple, and sparse, perfectly complimenting Tate’s stark and sometimes abrasive words.
1. Vladimir Nabokov and The Menzingers
Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov may be most famous for penning Lolita, but it’s Pale Fire, his 1962 novel/999-line poem, that featured what is likely Nabokov’s most well-known couplet:
I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the window pane
Definitely the most beautiful thing that anyone has ever written about birds flying into windows. Anyway, Scranton, PA’s The Menzingers quoted those lines almost verbatim during the bridge of “The Obituaries,” and while the rest of the song’s lyrical content has little to do with Pale Fire, the emotional impact of Nabokov’s words aren’t lessened at all. In fact, they compliment the track so well, it seems that the writer may have missed out on his calling as a punk lyricist.
After remaining largely quiet in 2013, Korean pop star Psy has revealed that he recently completed work on a new single with Aerosmith frontman and rock icon Steven Tyler. Speaking with an Italian news publication, the YouTube sensation confessed, “When I was in middle school, I literally cried when Aerosmith were singing ‘Crazy’ or ‘Amazing’ or whatever. They were my lifetime role models, and now I am collaborating with Steven Tyler. What the fuck, man? [laughs] I love my life.”
Psy was not just interviewed for the magazine, but was actually the first Korean pop star to be given a cover story. If you’ll recall, his breakout single “Gangnam Style” was the first video in the history of YouTube to cross one billion plays.
There is currently no projected release date for the collaborative single, but given that Psy has been reportedly recording in Los Angeles for months it’s likely something will surface sooner rather than later. You can view a tweet posted by Psy featuring a photo of himself and Tyler below. Follow OurStage on Twitter to stay updated as more information becomes available. (more…)