Brooklyn based indie rock quartet Yellow Ostrich return with their new album, Cosmos, on February 25th via Barsuk. The follow-up to last year’s Strange Land takes its title from astronomer Carl Sagan’s 1980 PBS series and “embodies a sense of wonder and isolation”, according to a press release. It was partially inspired by Sagan and Frank Drake’s work, as well as Yellow Ostrich drummer Michael Tapper’s time spent sailing from Mexico to Hawaii.
“Shades”, Cosmos‘ lead single, continues to stretch the limits of Yellow Ostrich’s “signature” sound. Gone are the days of the purely poppy days of The Mistress and on “Shades” in particular, the feeling is far heavier – a sort of prog-rock update with tumble down guitar riffs and sauntering bass grooves while Alex Schaaf’s vocals are firmer, leaner, and even deeper than the boyishness of releases past. The four-minute cut is engrossing at every turn, one moment a bold and unyielding thrasher, other times an ambient piano-rocker.
Song taken from the second studio album, Mask, by English post-punk band Bauhaus. It was released in October 1981, on record label Beggars Banquet.
A return to the early frenzy of Bauhaus’ first post-punk movements, but shot through with the supremely funky David J bass line that established “Kick in the Eye” as one of 1981′s biggest underground dance hits, Bauhaus’ fifth single was also its first significant U.K. hit. In terms of actual musical intent and atmosphere, “Kick in the Eye” ranks among Bauhaus’ slightest efforts, the lyric little more than the repetition of the title, and even Daniel Ash’s firestorm guitar doing little more than tracing the danceable rhythms of the bass and drums. Such observations cannot disguise the song’s inherent qualities, however — catchy and cataclysmic in equal doses, it proved that Bauhaus was capable of touching the stars without ever letting its feet leave the earthiness that was its strongest quality.
NEW SONG: THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART - "Simple And Sure".
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will follow up 2011′s excellent Belong with Days of Abandon, out April 22, 2014 through Yebo. They’ve shared the first taste of that record. It’s called “Simple and Sure”.
“Sex Beat” was probably Gun Club’s most straightforward punk rock song; most of their 1981 debut record, Fire of Love, was rooted firmly in Delta and country-blues traditions, revved up with hardcore punk energy to something like psychobilly. But the boys always sound as if they are loose cannons. It is just that on “Sex Beat,” the record’s opening number, they sound like a fiery urban punk band as opposed to the loose-cannon, voodoo-possessed country boys of their other Fire of Love songs. But while that blues/country-punk sound helped to distinguish them, the single “Sex Beat” established Gun Club as significant players from the early-’80s Los Angeles underground.
The Gun Club was a punk blues band from Los Angeles, California that existed from 1979 to 1996. Led by flamboyant singer and guitarist Jeffrey Lee Pierce, The Gun Club merged the contemporary genre of punk rock with the more traditional genres of blues, rockabilly and country music.
Song taken from Soul Mining (US release), the debut album by British post-punk/synthpop band The The. On The The’s first album, Matt Johnson crafted a pleasant but unengaging set of dance-pop just barely hinting at the experimentalism he would develop on later records like Infected and Mind Bomb. The The are an English musical and multimedia group that have been active in various forms since 1979, with singer/songwriter Matt Johnson being the only constant band member.
UNDER THE RADAR: DAMON ALBARN – “Lonely Press Play”.
Damon Albarn is gearing up to release his next solo album, Everyday Robots, (out April 28, 2014), and he’s released a video for the song he recently played on BBC Radio 2 and at Sundance, “Lonely Press Play”. The jet-lagged, Lost in Translation-esque video is comprised of scenes Albarn shot on a tablet while traveling all over the world: Toyko, London, Dallas, Utah, Colchester, North Korea, Iceland and Devon.
THIS IS OUR MUSIC: SCRITTI POLITTI – “The Sweetest Girl”.
“The Sweetest Girl” can be seen either as a complete cop-out or a canny piece of subversion. In reality, the song is a little of both. Too odd to be a huge hit but undeniably catchy and seductive, the song sounds like a more experimental version of the pop-R&B-reggae hybrid and Gartside’s soulful voice is a perfect fit to the slick but not over-processed production. The song was released in 1981 as a single. The piano is played by Robert Wyatt.
Scritti Politti are a British pop band, originally formed in 1977 in Leeds, by Cardiff-born singer-songwriter Green Gartside. Initially a left-wing-inspired post-punk British rock group, Scritti Politti developed into a more mainstream pop music project in the early to mid-1980s. Scritti Politti’s music was characterised by sophisticated studio production, Gartside’s sly, punning wordplay and the tension between the polished pop-funk stylings of their music and the subtle radicalism of the political and social messages embedded in their lyrics.
LIVE SESSION: THE GUN CLUB – “Sex Beat” @ Hacienda, Manchester, 1984.
The Gun Club performing “Sex Beat” at Hacienda Club, Manchester, 1984. The line-up of the band was Jeffrey Lee Pierce (guitar and lead vocals), Kid Congo Powers (lead guitar), Patricia Morrison (bass guitar) and Terry Graham (drums).
Song taken from the excellent new album Burn Your Fire For No Witness.
“Angel Olsen sits down next to someone and asks, “Are you lonely too? Hi-five!” The best part is she doesn’t sing the word “Hi-five” like some hangdog act of commiseration—she sings it loud and proud, like it slipped out on some gawky but truthful impulse. Or maybe it’s a relief when she gets the answer she was looking for. Whatever the case, now that Olsen’s songs are in these dynamic and electric spaces, there’s so much more room play with and interpret the sheer geometry of her voice."
Angel Olsen is an American folk and indie rock singer and guitarist, who was raised in St. Louis, and is now based in Chicago. She first toured as a backing singer and guitarist with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and The Cairo Gang.