Monday, December 29, 2008

Walking Bicycles Release Two New Songs for Download

Download: Walking Bicycles - "Solitude"
Download: Walking Bicycles - "Whirlin Dervish"

Chicago indie-new-wavers Walking Bicycles have released two new songs from their upcoming release Go? on the Highwheel Records webpage. The downloads come in advance of their new album's official release through Highwheel (the record release party was earlier this month) on Jan. 30th. Download both songs and pre-order the album here.

Walking Bicycles MySpace Page

Russian Circles' Brian Cook Profiled in Alternative Press

Download: Russian Circles - "Death Rides a Horse"

Recently, Brian Cook, of local post-metal trio Russian Circles was the subject of a profile in Alternative Press magazine. The feature is a recurring one titled "Musician of the Month". Amongst the questions asked were whether or not Cook had any formal training before he started playing, who influenced his style, and if he practices his instrument at home. Read the feature here.

In other Circles news, the trio is putting together a more exclusive email list so that they can best deliver new songs and pertinent news to those who might actually care (as opposed to some of the "friends" on MySpace). To sign up, check out their MySpace blog here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alla announce new covers EP

Chicago psych-pop trio have finished recording their new EP, and have given it a title: Digs. They say that, because of legal issues relating to copyright, Digs may not get released until late winter or early spring (the latter is more likely considering its December already). Here's the tracklisting for Digs:

Original artist / song title

1. Allá - Si Se Puede!

2. The Residents - The New Hymn

3. Terry Riley & John Cale - Church of Anthrax

4. Los Dug Dugs - Smog

5. Faust - It's A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl

6. Kanye West - Love Lock Down

You can listen to the Faust cover over at their MySpace page. Additionally, check out the band's page for tour dates.

Tonight: Obey Your Brain @ Sonotheque

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tours: Titus Andronicus

Download: Titus Andronicus - "Titus Andronicus"

Finding common anthemic ground between Bruce Springsteen's optimistic desperation, The Clash's revolutionary pub-rock, and Bright Eyes' quarter-life crisis reflections, New Jersey Titus Andronicus play insanely compelling rock music to which you can dance and live (though the lo-fi gimmicks tend to be a bit much). Their debut album, The Airing of Grievances, which was released this year, will see re-release early next year on XL Recordings. To celebrate, the band's going on tour with Los Campesinos! Tour dates are below:

Jan 15 Ottobar w/Los Campesinos! Baltimore, Maryland
Jan 16 Cat’s Cradle w/Los Campesinos! Carrboro, North Carolina
Jan 17 The Earl w/Los Campesinos! Atlanta, Georgia
Jan 19 Jack Rabbits w/Los Campesinos! Jacksonville, Florida
Jan 21 Club Downunder w/Los Campesinos! Tallahassee, Florida
Jan 24 Exit-In w/Los Campesinos! Nashville, Tennessee
Jan 25 Hi Tone w/Los Campesinos! Memphis, Tennessee
Jan 27 One Eyed Jack’s w/Los Campesinos! New Orleans, Louisiana
Jan 29 Walter’s on Washington w/Los Campesinos! Houston, Texas
Jan 30 The Parish w/Los Campesinos! Austin, Texas
Jan 31 Club Dada w/Los Campesinos! Dallas, Texas
Feb 3 The Bottleneck w/Los Campesinos! Lawrence, Kansas
Feb 3 The Bottleneck w/Los Campesinos! Lawrence, Kansas
Feb 4 The Gargoyle w/Los Campesinos! St. Louis, Missouri
Feb 6 Der Rathskeller w/Los Campesinos! Madison, Wisconsin
Feb 7 Logan Square Auditorium w/Los Campesinos! Chicago, Illinois
Feb 10 Calvin College Ladies Literary Club w/Los Campesinos! Grand Rapids, Michigan
Feb 11 Wexner Center for the Arts w/Los Campesinos! Columbus, Ohio
Feb 12 Swarthmore College Olde Club w/Los Campesinos! Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Feb 13 Paradise Rock Club w/Los Campesinos! Boston, Massachusetts
Feb 14 Bowery Ballroom w/Los Campesinos! New York, New York
Feb 15 Bowery Ballroom w/Los Campesinos! New York, New York

Titus Andronicus MySpace Page

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Live Video: Tom Schraeder - "Back To You"

Tom and his band of merry alt-country men shot this in an elevator in New York City. It is a new song, and one that continues the pleasures of his past work. Enjoy!

Thrill Jockey Gives Away An MP3 For Every Day in Advent

This is pretty cool, and a unique way to get into the holiday spirit:

To celebrate the impending holidays, Thrill Jockey and FINA-Music are giving away an MP3 a day for 24 days in our very own Advent Calendar! The first MP3 was launched last week and will be available for download until the 24th of December. Each day a new track will be revealed so be sure to check back frequently!

So far, the venerable Chicago-based indie label has given away tracks from the likes of High Places, Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, and The Coctails. For more go here.

Download: High Places - "From Stardust To Sentience"
Download: Occidental Brothers Dance Band International - "From Stardust To Sentience"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Top Ten Songs On Elbo.Ws Reviewed In 50 Words or Less: 11/16/08--11/30/08

Again, a couple of days late, so what you see here may not entirely reflect what's on right now. Apologies all around.

1. The Raveonettes - "Come On Santa"

Download: The Raveonettes - "Come On Santa"

The special holiday treat from the Danish duo has many trademarks of their other work (including the drug-induced harmonies), but is also much more stripped-down, insofar as "Come on Santa" does not have the avalanche of fuzz that marked Lust Lust Lust. As such, "Santa" is reasonably fun, but comparatively chaste, in comparison.

Grade: B-

2. Buffertlibre DJs - "Hit"

Download: Buffertlibre DJs - "Hit"

The Buffertlibre DJs continue to churn out solid mixtape after solid mixtape. This one is certainly no exception.

Grade: B

3. Twiggy Frostbite - "Heroes"

Download: Twiggy Frostbite - "Heroes"

Like the band name suggests, Twiggy Frostbite's music hits somewhere between the cold and the glamorous, with lonely xylophones, sad keyboard lines, and an overall atmosphere of production cool (reverb always helps) resulting in a winter pop confection. A little more sunshine might have made this better listening though.

Grade: B

4. The Prodigy - "Invaders Must Die"

Download: The Prodigy - "Invaders Must Die"

The title track from The Prodigy's upcoming fifth album of the same name, "Die" sees the group musical striving for a decidedly big beat vibe, one that hearkens back to their early releases. Naturally, the sound is huge, and the beats large, which should get the adrenaline pumping. But there's not much else for non-dance fans to latch unto.

Grade: B-

5. Vampire Weekend - "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance" (Chromeo Remix)

Download: Vampire Weekend - "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance" (Chromeo Remix)

The closing track from one of the year's most discussed debuts gets the remix treatment. Dub minimalism and Wes Anderson-style classical whimsy have been replaced by Factory Records-esque keyboards and French House beats, which allow the playfulness of the melody to fully emerge. If this remix details how great Vampire Weekend has been all along, the skeptics perhaps have some re-thinking to do.

Grade: A-

6. Freezepop - "Frontload" (Designer Drugs Remix)

Download: Freezepop - "Frontload" (Designer Drugs Remix)

Another remix that owes some to Daft Punk, but this remix of nu-new wave group Freezpop's song "Frontload" is much more straightforward, with the remixers doing little other than replacing the original music with something more dance oriented. Not bad, but not as interesting as what came before.

Grade: B-

7. Little Boots - "Meddle" (Baron von Luxxury Technicolor Remix)

Download: Little Boots - "Meddle" (Baron von Luxxury Technicolor Remix)

The third (!) remix to appear on this chart (ya'll really like these, don't you?), this re-imagining of Little Boots' "Meddle" slowly draws out its beats and rhythms while steadily incorporating other artistic elements over the course of its six minutes. Ideal listening for walking in the city, but nothing revelatory.

Grade: B

8. Matt Pond PA - "Hearts and Minds"

Download: Matt Pond PA - "Hearts and Minds"

One of the six new songs from a recently released free online EP, "Hearts and Minds" rides romantic synth overtures and chiming guitar lines over a soft wave of insistent, dependable drumbeats. Dually harmonized guitar lines add texture while the vocals would help convince any wallflower girl to seize the day with Matt Pond PA. For once, a song whose brevity suits it.

Grade: B+

9. Franz Ferdinand - "Ulysses"

Download: Franz Ferdinand - "Ulysses" (via)

Uh, oh, looks like someone's going for the adventurous third album route! That said, despite the spare, swing-like verses and the techno touches, this is still the same Franz Ferdinand, with playful innuendo, danceable rock beats, and jabbing guitar lines providing the foundations for a solid pop song.

Grade: B

10. Hot Chip - "Touch Too Much" (Fake Blood Remix)

Download: Hot Chip - "Touch Too Much" (Fake Blood Remix)

Dear God, enough with the remixes! Let's just say that this gets you dancing and be done with it.

Grade: B

Video: Common on "The Tonight Show"


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tonight: Windy City Winter Ball

Disappears Do Radio K Session

While on the tour supporting both Times New Viking and Deerhunter, Disappears, the minimalist nu-gazers, stopped by Minneapolis college radio station Radio K to lay down a session which you can here here. Songs performed include: "Gone Completely," "Hearing Things,"
"Early Gates" and "Marigold".

Disappears MySpace Page

Tonight: The Moves CD Release Party

Video: Novakane - "Shawty Said"

Novakane MySpace Page

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New The 1900s - "Age of Metals" (Plus: New Digital EP, Medium High, Drops Totally Out-Of-The-Blue)

Download: The 1900s - "Age of Metals"

Normally, when a band works hard at putting out a fantastic record, and tours in order to support said record, one can only assume that the period writing and recording the follow-up will be a quiet, productive period in which no news emerges until the album does (holy run-on sentence, Batman). We'd assume that this was the case for The 1900s, who, last year, put out Cold and Kind. Not only was that album a MFR favorite, but it's probably the only conversation piece that Pitchfork and Perez Hilton will ever have should those titans of media meet in person.

Needless to say, when I saw that the psych-pop septet dropped a brand new digital EP titled Medium High totally out-of-the-blue earlier this week, I did a Sheila Broflovski: "Wha, wha, What?". Medium High contains re-worked songs from Cold and Kind, including a Deerhunter-esque re-working of "Supernatural", and the Daytrotter version of "When I Say Go". New songs include the twee-pop "Collections" and the flower-power-pop of "Making Love in the Summertime". The EP won't be physically released until January, but those of you who want to hear can head over to iTunes, or the dread pirate eMusic. In the meantime, check out the officially released MP3 of the EP, "Age of Metals", at the top of the post. Along with the re-working of "Supernatural", "Age of Metals" points the way forward for a more experimental, though still highly melodic, direction for the group.

Medium High is out Jan. 20th.

Video: Smashing Pumpkins - "G.L.O.W."


Monday, December 1, 2008

Tonight: Walking Bicycles @ Empty Bottle

Walking Bicycles

Empty Bottle (CD Release Party!) FREE w/ Plastic Crimewave Sound and My Gold Mask
1035 N Western Ave
Cost: Free
Time: 9 p.m.