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Tag: Things We Love (71-80 of 95)

CMJ Music Fest: Indie's 'next big thing' bands do NYC

CMJ’s Music Marathon wrapped up late this Saturday night, marking a soggy end to a thrilling week that featured hundreds of up-and-coming indie bands playing the New York City concert circuit.

Britain’s minimalist pop quartet the xx were the reigning buzz champions of the festival, and their live shows did nothing to quell the fervor surrounding them. This group of lovelorn 20-year-olds specializes in a quiet brand of pop that eschews typical indie sonics in favor of quiet storm R&B production sheen. The co-ed lead vocalists— Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim—straddle the line between lo-fi breathiness and Top-40 soul.

In spite of the softness of their music, the xx’s unexpectedly gorgeous genre-alchemy is one of the more exciting things on the scene today and audience reactions backed this up: the crowd’s whoops of approval easily exceeded the volume of anything on stage. Check out some fan footage of the xx playing the Music Hall of Williamsburg below (as well as more CMJ coverage after the jump):

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Paloma Faith: Don't cry 'Amy Winehouse rip-off!' just because she's awesome

paloma-faith_lUpon hearing smoky-voiced British import Paloma Faith, it’s a natural first reaction to want to compare her to Amy Winehouse. Much like her beehive-wearing colleague, Paloma’s got that woeful, soulful style that—unlike so many artists out there today—makes you actually feel something. But I’d urge you to ignore the whole Amy Winehouse allegory. This j’adorable chic stands on her own.

You see, thanks to a mix a friend put together (thanks again, Ru!), I recently happened upon Paloma’s haunting single “New York,” and it simply blew me away. This lady can sing, wailing through this tune that seems to chronicle a lover choosing the world’s greatest city over her. The opening and closing of the song are fairytale sweet with their childlike music-box chords. But it’s her soaring voice that made my hair stand on end. Her delivery is, in a word, intoxicating.

The first time I listened to “New York,” I was walking down bustling Seventh Avenue here in NYC, so I thought maybe the in-the-moment circumstances were altering my experience, and, thus, making me love it. But I tested the song elsewhere: “New York” stands up on the subway, in my apartment, and waiting in line at Uniqlo. Basically, everywhere.

One thing that surely sets Paloma apart from Winehouse is her delicious style, which finds her donning everything from bunny ears to the flirty get-up above. And her video for “New York,” which you can find after the jump, illustrates that even further, with her in the most gorgeous, strapless bowling-inspired dress. Her hair, too, while also an attribute comparable to Winehouse, sure is divine.

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Steve Martin wants you and your dog to make a music video

What’s up with musicians and dogs this week? Yesterday we found out Ryan Gosling is using his balloon-hungry hound to promote his indie band’s tour, and now Steve Martin enters the celebrity-canine-music marketing triangle with a contest challenging fans to make a video for one of the songs off his latest bluegrass album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.

Martin—who has been playing the banjo for over 40 years—wants you to film an amateur music video starring your pup(s) set to his song “Wally on the Run,” an instrumental hoedown he wrote in honor of his furry labrador friend Wally. Whoever he decides has the best video gets 1000 clams and the respect of the mutt-loving, banjo-pickin’ community. Check out this one-of-a-kind offer after the jump:

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Raw and rare gospel: An EW exclusive from the Mississippi Nightingales

Mississippi-Nightingales_lOctober 27 marks the release of Fire in My Bones, a three-disc box containing nearly four hours of rare post-WWII gospel music, much of it previously unreleased — with proceeds going in part to benefit the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund.

The set aims, according to its release, “to address and collect more neglected sounds from that era (and on to the present day) … Field recordings and studio tracks are all mashed together, with solo performances next to congregational recordings, hellfire sermons next to afterlife laments. This is gospel, which we must always remember translates as ‘the good news’ — as it has been sung and performed in tiny churches and large programs, from rural Georgia to urban Los Angeles.”

Listen to the Mississippi Nightingales‘ “Don’t Let Me Ride,” below:

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Melissa Etheridge on writing ‘Come to My Window’: Exclusive ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ excerpt

Brian Wilson to complete unfinished Gershwin songs

Radiohead ‘definitely’ planning new album in 2010, says guitarist
Vampire Weekend give away new song

Los Campesinos!, 'There Are Listed Buildings': New single brings twee pop thrills

A new, beautiful Los Campesinos! song and video premiered today on the Welsh indie-pop group’s blog. The band says “There Are Listed Buildings” is the first single from their “forthcoming as yet untitled (as far as you know) album,” which will put them at three albums in about two years.

This single is a far more inviting than the last song they teased fans with—the spoken-word, avant-pop tune “The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future”—and brings back the life-affirming marriage of punk energy and twee songcraft from their 2008 debut, Hold On Now, Youngster…

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Animal Collective take on Phoenix: Remix mania!

Remix fever—typically a contagion afflicting the realm of Top 40 radio—has gripped indie music. French disco-pop outfit Phoenix’s 2009 album—the acclaimed (and modestly-titled) Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix—gets the remix treatment from some of the biggest names in underground music in a digital-only album due October 20 and includes reworked versions of album tracks by Animal Collective, Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, Chairlift, Devendra Banhart and Yacht.

Yeah, you heard right: Animal Collective. The band with one of the most-acclaimed indie releases of the year have taken on the biggest breakthrough band of 2009. Be sure to have a towel ready when you tell your hipster friend.

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Bruce Springsteen to perform 'Born in the U.S.A.,' 'Born to Run,' and 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' in their entirety at last ever Giants Stadium shows

Bruce-Springsteen_lBruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform an entire album at each of their five Giants Stadium shows, according to Rolling Stone. Tomorrow Springsteen is set to play Human Touch, followed by Lucky Town on October 2 and then…

Ha! I jest, of course—though not about the Boss’ intention to run through an album on each night. In fact, Springsteen and crew will play Born to Run tomorrow, then Darkness on the Edge of Town (October 2), Born in the U.S.A. (October 3), Born to Run (October 8), and finally Born in the U.S.A. (October 9). These will be the last rock shows at Giants Stadium, which is set for the demolition at the end of the current football season.

Are you going to the shows? Or just bummed that you’ll be missing them? Is there anyone out there who actually would like to see Springsteen perform Human Touch from beginning to end? Let us know!

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Thom Yorke’s new band
Radiohead on the Music Mix
Britney Spears’ NSFW new single
Fool’s Gold: The Music Mix recommends
The Beatles’ “Lucy” dies at age 46

Photo credit: Solarpix/PR Photos

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: The Music Mix recommends

Last night, Wildbirds & Peacedrums—a married couple from Sweden who make folk music weird enough to match their band’s name—played New York’s Bowery Ballroom. Although they were the openers for Britain’s Fanfarlo, who performed a set of thumping Arcade Fire-esque anthems that justified their growing buzz, W&P were the evening’s focal point.

Like Björk or Kate Bush, it’s hard to imagine anyone else touching the strange, fantastic place these two Wildbirds tap for inspiration. And crazily enough, they relay their weird world using not much more than Mariam Wallentin’s soulful vocals and her husband Andreas Werliin’s tribal drumming. Check out one of their vids after the jump.

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Pavement reunion: It's on!

Well, isn’t this just a unicorn wrapped in the Easter bunny and rolled in a Yeti!

A breathless report from Pitchfork today (via a BrooklynVegan post last night) claims that the heretofore-impossible is finally happening: indie-rock godheads Pavement are reuniting for a benefit show at Central Park SummerStage on September 21, 2010 — nearly 11 years after their final live appearance at London’s Brixton Academy on November 20, 1999.

Both articles cite “reliable sources”;  we were justifiably skeptical at first, but now we’ve got confirmation (if not many details) from a very reliable source as well. As more information comes, we’ll keep you posted here (cuz we’re your fact-checkin’ cuz).

Even as recently as 2008, Malkmus himself told EW, “Something small in 10 years like the Zeppelin thing sounds good to me.” Apparently, his timetable has accelerated.

Now, the question is: Is the idea of seeing Stephen Malkmus and co. together again completely Wowing your Zowee, or are you underwhelmed? Me, I’m tentatively letting it Brighten the Corners of my Wednesday morning, but reserving judgment for the real thing, if and when it comes…

In the meantime, watch the band play extras in the movie adaptation of the sequel to their lives (and with that, no more fan-ball refs, we swear), below:

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Regina Spektor feat. Joshua Bell, ‘The Left Hand Song’: A Music Mix exclusive stream
Jay-Z tops the albums chart; ‘Abbey Road’ is the best-selling Beatles remaster
All Tomorrow’s Parties Rocks the Catskills

The 50 worst albums of the decade?

All Tomorrow's Parties Rocks the Catskills

The roving international event All Tomorrow’s Parties took place Sept 11-13 in the Catskill Mountains, and it was essentially a perfect weekend. Curated by The Flaming Lips and nestled within The Shining-esque Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, the event, featuring the likes of Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave and of course the Lips themselves, provided one mesmerizing set after another. Below, a few highlights:

Nick Cave made a surprise appearance Friday night by joining the Dirty Three (whose Warren Ellis is a member of his Bad Seeds) and apparently he also gave a hotel-room performance to six incredibly lucky fans the next day.

Saturday officially began with indie-pop maestro Sufjan Stevens, who went easy on audiences by playing his gentle Seven Swans album from start-to-finish, because he said it worked well as “an early-afternoon hangover special.”

Black Dice, who followed a few hours later, were markedly less considerate toward anyone with a headache. Its three members embarked upon a 45-minute electronic noise freakout, playing so loud you could actually feel the bass vibrating the tips of your eyelashes. When a sampled guitar riff made an appearance during their set, it was almost sad to be torn from their absorbing underworld and reminded that structured music exists.

Saturday found Bradford Cox pulling double duties, performing first solo as Atlas Sound and then later with his group Deerhunter. The Atlas Sound set was a disappointment—he spent as much time fussing over tech issues (he joked he was worried his guitar sounded too close to Dave Matthews) as he did playing songs.

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