Japan’s Quiet Life Gets Another Listen

Released in 1979, Japan’s third album Quiet Life marked a stylistic turning point from the London group’s glam-rock beginnings and the electronic, experimental art-pop they’d pursue in the early ‘80s. On March 5th, BMG will release an expanded CD edition of the album, appending B-sides, non-album singles, alternate mixes and an entire live show recorded… Continue reading Japan’s Quiet Life Gets Another Listen

Wire Polishes Off a Batch of Strays

Originally intended for release on Record Store Day, now that that’s been further postponed and subdivided Wire are saying screw it and going ahead with the wide release of their new album 10:20 on June 19, via their pinkflag label. Although as is the case with several other Wire albums, “new” requires an asterisk. A… Continue reading Wire Polishes Off a Batch of Strays

Of Montreal Get Their Freak On

As far as I can tell, our review of Of Montreal’s last album triggered nearly all of the publicists from the PR company the band uses, Girlie Action, to drop S&S from their mailing lists, to the level that they barely even email us press releases anymore. Which is pretty funny, because it harms their… Continue reading Of Montreal Get Their Freak On

And Here They Are…Again…Wire Return

Post-punk legends (and Stomp and Stammer favorites) Wire will dialyze their kidney bingos once more on January 24 when the foursome releases Mind Hive on its own pinkflag label. It’s risky to draw many conclusions from a single track by this crew, but advance single “Cactused” finds Colin Newman and company in fine late ’80s… Continue reading And Here They Are…Again…Wire Return

Bat For Lashes Goes Missing on New Album

When last we heard from Bat For Lashes, Natasha Khan was a bride mourning the loss of her husband-to-be, whose death in a car accident ended their marriage before it began. Come Sept. 6, she’ll reemerge with Bat for Lashes’ fifth album, Lost Girls (AWAL Recordings). Like Two Suns before it, Lost Girls showcases Khan’s… Continue reading Bat For Lashes Goes Missing on New Album

The B-52s Experience a Cosmic Expansion

Jeffrey Lewis

The B-52s’ commercial breakthrough Cosmic Thing gets a belated birthday party on June 28, the day after the album’s 30th anniversary. That’s when Rhino Records releases a two-disc version featuring the remastered album, B-sides, rarities, and a live set from a Texas stop on 1990’s Cosmic Tour. The album reached the top three of the Billboard… Continue reading The B-52s Experience a Cosmic Expansion

Kishi Bashi: An Especially Squishy Tushy

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If we are to take the guy literally, Athens musician Kishi Bashi fears that he’s in danger of being rounded up and thrown into a concentration camp any day now. The violinist, singer and songwriter, whose voice and music tend to be distinctly buoyant and floaty – irritatingly so, like an endless barrage of balloons… Continue reading Kishi Bashi: An Especially Squishy Tushy

Pet Shop Boys – Agenda

Aging, past-their-prime, English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have digitally released a new four song EP aptly titled Agenda. Out April 12 on vinyl, it features nostalgic/retro-sounding, catchy-as-hell New Wave pop tunes with lame/snarky lyrics, chock full of cheap political rhetoric and propaganda disguised as ironic, cheeky humor. For each of the four songs released,… Continue reading Pet Shop Boys – Agenda

I Am a Rocketship Take a Night Flight

While most current bands’ nods to the ’90s involve copping the sounds of Brit pop, indie rock, or grunge, Atlanta-based duo I Am a Rocketship want to warm the cockles of our hearts with a cover of Rammstein’s angst-riddled signature tune “Du Hast.” It’s not what you might suspect, as the electronic pop duo recreate… Continue reading I Am a Rocketship Take a Night Flight

Karen O Lights Up with Danger Mouse

While The Yeah Yeah Yeahs continue doing not much of anything, at least singer Karen O isn’t slacking off. Her nine-song detour with collaboration king Danger Mouse, Lux Prima, will officially have the curtain pulled on it come March 15. The two advance singles – the atmospheric title track and the more soulful and propulsive… Continue reading Karen O Lights Up with Danger Mouse

Xiu Xiu Sends Us a Fruit Basket

Unbearably pretentious art-pop experimentalists Xiu Xiu have completed work on their latest album, Girl With Basket of Fruit, which Polyvinyl will send out into the world on Feb. 8. Produced by Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo and Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, the album is said to be imbued with “agitation, tension, sorrow and anger,” which sounds about… Continue reading Xiu Xiu Sends Us a Fruit Basket

Steven Wilson

Element of Surprise: Steven Wilson Puts the Bone In In some ways, the 2017 album To the Bone introduced a more user-friendly Steven Wilson. Certainly, Wilson’s fifth solo full-length features a good deal of the musically ambitious progressive rock styles that led to his being named Prog Rock King by the 2015 Progressive Music Awards… Continue reading Steven Wilson

November Magic for Kate Bush Fans

If you’re at a loss for what to get me for Christmas… all of Kate Bush’s studio albums are being re-released in remastered form in two separate batches on Nov. 16 and Nov. 30. Vinyl versions are being assembled in four chronologically arranged box sets, while CD versions are gathered in two box sets. One… Continue reading November Magic for Kate Bush Fans

A Certain Ratio Gathers the Strays

Post-punk/pop-funk outfit A Certain Ratio have announced the release of acr:set, a career-spanning compilation coming Oct. 12 on Mute Records. The collection includes rare 7” and 12” mixes of many of the songs. Two new songs are included: “Make It Happen” and “Dirty Boy,” the latter of which featuring vocals from Barry Adamson (ex-Magazine/Bad Seeds)… Continue reading A Certain Ratio Gathers the Strays

Bicycle Eaters Pedal Forth, Peddling Petals

Jeffrey Bützer’s Bicycle Eaters, a seven-piece (and two-wheeled?) vehicle for the multi-instrumentalist’s eclectic pop songwriting, play the rare show (apparently their last, for the foreseeable future) on Sept. 28 at Kavarna. The release party for new album Petals of Youth doubles as a homecoming for singer Cassi Costoulas, who now hangs her hat in Tennessee.… Continue reading Bicycle Eaters Pedal Forth, Peddling Petals

Simple Minds

Simple Minds: Still Alive and Kicking Casual American fans may be unfamiliar with Simple Minds beyond “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” and the handful of other stateside hits by the Scottish group. But the band led by singer-songwriter Jim Kerr has enjoyed consistent international success from the early ’80s to present day. In support of… Continue reading Simple Minds

Air-Sea Dolphin Splits Sides with Sloshy

The latest 7-inch to come from Chunklet Industries’ partnership with Indianapolis’ Third Uncle Records pairs Robert Schneider’s Air-Sea Dolphin (pictured) with another band with ties to the Homestar Runner universe. Air-Sea Dolphin’s side teams perennial sharp-dresser Schneider (The Apples in Stereo) with the Brothers Chaps (Homestar Runner creators Matt and Mike Chapman). They make a mix of catchy,… Continue reading Air-Sea Dolphin Splits Sides with Sloshy

TWINS: Dancing With Itself

Outside looking in, Matt Weiner seems like a jack-of-all-trades for the sort of electronic music he plays, produces, and promotes. Just as punk musician, distro owner, and record label boss Josh Feigert spreads the good news about his corner of Atlanta music far and wide, Weiner champions a separate yet sometimes overlapping collective of creative types. On… Continue reading TWINS: Dancing With Itself

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Music, fashion and acting highlight the Grace Jones we know on the world stage, but director Sophie Fiennes’ documentary forgoes the usual pitfalls of celebrity interviews for personal conversations with her Jamaican family and backstage chatter to reveal the androgynous, hedonic Warhol luminary and disco diva as mother, daughter and sister both public and private.… Continue reading Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Sparks and the Hippopotamus They Rode In On

The Mael Brothers (you know them as Sparks) are set to release their 23rd album entitled Hippopotamus on September 8th. That’s quite some time in the future, but for now you can get their single of the title song via however one gets those things these days and you can also catch the video on-line.… Continue reading Sparks and the Hippopotamus They Rode In On

La Femme

An Art-Pop Amalgam for the Masses: Elucidating the Enigma That is La Femme Trying to get a better understanding of La Femme is difficult, and not based on the effect of co-founder and guitarist Sacha Got’s somewhat limited grasp on English and his heavy, intermittently indecipherable French accent. No matter their native language, they’d still… Continue reading La Femme

Prince Rama

Utopia, Now and Forever: All That Glitters Is Prince Rama It wasn’t until last year that I discovered Prince Rama, when Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks label released their album Top 10 Hits of the End of the World. On its surface, it’s an intriguingly odd, crafty array of mirrorball/dancefloor/transcendental pop songs pollinated by exotic cultural… Continue reading Prince Rama

Wire

On Returning: Colin Newman Connects Wire – Past, Present and Future “Wire’s first three albums are a bit too revered.” I beg to differ, but it’s a provocative statement coming from one of those albums’ creators. From 1977 to 1979, four British art students called Wire made a trio of albums – Pink Flag, Chairs… Continue reading Wire

Grimes – Visions

For all the chatter about witch house or whichever micro-genre you choose to namedrop, Visions brings to mind for me something more relatable. Imagine a 1983 Madonna, in full-on culture carnivore mode, being dropped into the present day underground club scene on the prowl for trends to which she can apply her wiles. There are… Continue reading Grimes – Visions

Animal Collective

All Creatures Great and Small: Animal Collective Answers the Call of the Wild The human inhabitants of Oxford, Mississippi paid little mind when Animal Collective pulled into town to record Merriweather Post Pavilion. But what about the other denizens – the purple martins, the white-tailed deer and the cottonmouth moccasins?  Surely they must have wondered… Continue reading Animal Collective