Sunday, December 11, 2011

NEW || free MP3 || MISTER HEAVENLY - OUT OF LOVE


Mister Heavenly is... coming to get you. from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

"I am a hologram, a modern version of a miserable man...".

I have a bit of a feeling, this is a pretty poignant line that sums up this band's state of mind. When I met them here in Berlin for an interview there was a whiff of frustration in the air, not just during the interview but especially at the show. I have to say, I can unterstand.

Two of these guys, Nick Thorburn aka Nick Diamonds and Ryan Kattner aka Honus Honus, have put a lot of hope and aspiration into this project. Nick Thorburn first started to get some attention with his band THE UNICORNS in the beginning of the 2000s. When they split up, he formed ISLANDS with whom he has already released three albums and the next is on the way. I remember being well excited about their debut album "Return To The Sea" with it's earworms "Rough Gem" or "Swans", to name but a few. I also remember having been to what probably was their one and only live appearance in Berlin at the Bastard Club. Unfortunately, they never hit it off in Europe.
As for Ryan Kattner's other band, MAN MAN, it's kind of similar. He once said in an interview: "I think both of our bands [Islands and Man Man] don’t necessarily get the attention that we’d like to have." (www.dailyernebraskan.com)

MAN MAN went on tour with ISLANDS a couple of times and it was in 2006 that the idea of Nick and Ryan working together first cropped up, but it wasn't until 2009 that they actually put it into practice. They joined forces with Joe Plummer, drummer of Modest Mouse and The Shins, and found in him the perfect match for the rhythm section. In only 12 days MISTER HEAVENLY recorded the album, which was finally released in August 2011 via Sub Pop/Cargo Records.

The band played about a month ago at the pretty empty Privat Club in Berlin and up until then they hadn't had much luck on their European tour, as I was told. Being hailed as the next supergroup in most of the influencial US music magazines but not pulling enough people to their shows would understandably lead to some frustration. In Germany they didn't even get any media coverage until they where over on tour. The band themselve really tried to pull all the strings possible. They even brought on-and-off touring member Michael Cera to Europe to help them out on bass. Remember Michael Cera - cute young actor, who played in Juno, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playliste, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (yes, he actually played the guitar himself in all of the films!)? And even though the focus shouldn't be on him as far as MISTER HEAVENLY is concerned - the music should speak for itself - I will never understand why the European or at least the German Media hadn't picked up on that before their tour started!

OK, you might have noticed in my tone of writing that I, in fact, am a little frustrated myself about not giving an amazing band like MISTER HEAVENLY the attention they deserve.
Bottom line is, this band has released one of my favourite albums of 2011, which is called "Out Of Love", with one earworm after the other. Have a listen to this beauty here:



Alternatively, listen here:
Mister Heavenly - Mister Heavenly by subpop
... or listen to and download these gems: Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper by subpop
Mister Heavenly - Pineapple Girl by subpop

Or go to Paste Magazine if you prefer to listen to their album song by song.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

NEW || free MP3 || CAVEMAN

While I was in New York and went to several shows during the CMJ Music Marathon, a friend and I wanted to kill some time before we went to see Is Tropical and French Horn Rebellion at Brooklyn Bowl. Down the street at The Grasslands Gallery was a free show that we thought we'd check out even though we didn't know any of the bands that were on. Shortly after we got there this band started to play and they got me hooked from the beginning.
The band's name is CAVEMAN and they actually come from Brooklyn. I was trying to get their album days later but found out that it was only realeased in November in the States. And even though you can only get it as import in Europe at the moment, I'd still like you to get to know this band.
CAVEMAN is again one of those bands - just like GOTYE for example - where the rhythm section plays a very important role. That becomes quite clear in the following song and video:

Their debut album goes by the name of "CoCo Beware" and here you can listen to a three songs from that album, starting with my favourite "Old Friend.


Two of those songs can be downloaded right here: "Thankful" and "Old Friend".
thankful // caveman by sexmusic

Caveman "Old Friend" MP3 by The FADER


http://cavemantheband.com

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

GOTYE showcase at CMJ Music Marathon

Hey folks, sorry it's been a while but I guess I just needed some inspiration.

I've just come back from a New York trip where I got plenty of inspiration in terms of music. I was there for the CMJ Music Marathon, which is a music industry festival with loads of gigs spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn.
On of the showcases I went to was an afternoon event at the Thomson Hotel on the Lower East Side. The line up was brilliant, even though I hadn't had any idea about the majority of acts playing. 
Let's just say, the defintive highlight was the first band on and that was GOTYE from Australia. They were (or should I say he was) the reason I went in the first place and even though I didn't know many songs, I was curious because I heard so many good things about them. And yes, it was amazing! 
About three weeks later, I was lucky enough to catch them again at their headlining show in Berlin at the sold out Frannz Club. Not only is singer and mastermind of GOTYE, Wouter De Backer, an absolute instrumental and rhythmical genius but also every single member of his band. Just seeing him and the drummer play in exact rhythmic unison was jaw-dropping.
If you haven't already heard of them yet, please check out the catchy single of an earworm featuring New Zealand star Kimbra. And "Somebody That I Used To Know" certainly isn't the only earworm on the current album "Making Mirrors". Hear for yourself.

Gotye - Making Mirrors by Gotye
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Download// STROKED: A Tribute To Is This It


2001 was an amazing year, with The Strokes releasing their outstanding debut album "Is This It". That album carries an aura with it that most bands never get for any of their albums. The following artists and bands must have thought the same and contributed their versions of a Strokes song from that album. Since there are bands involved from all kind of different genres, the bands and artists gave each song a little twist by making it their own.

Cover designed by Seldon Hunt
  1. Peter Björn & John - "Is This It"
  2. Chelsea Wolfe - "The Modern Age"
  3. Frankei Rose - "Soma"
  4. Real Estate - "Barely Legal"
  5. Wise Blood - "Someday"
  6. Austra - "Alone, Together"
  7. The Morning Benders - "Last Night"
  8. Owen Pallett - "Hard To Explain"
  9. Heems - "New York City Cops"
  10. Deradoorian - "Trying Your Luck"
  11. Computer Magic - "Take It Or Leave It"
Stereogum has got the whole album on their site to listen and download here:  Stereogum.com: Stroked - tribute to Is This It
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Friday, July 29, 2011

NEW || DEAD BLACK HEARTS - The Southern Front EP

New music was coming my way from the Monolathe Recordings' camp, their second big release after STEREO IS A LIE's debut album in February of this year. The band I'm talking about is called dead black hearts and hail from Austin, Texas. I've been listening to their second EP "The Southern Front" constantly ever since it got into my inbox and after the third spin I already found myself singing along to them. That's a great sign and I'm well excited. It turns out that most of the songs on their new release are just as haunting as their song "Failure" from their first EP "Five Gallant Steeds". Still, a progress from the first EP to the next becomes apparent in terms of song structure, harmonies, and earworm potential.

The physical release of "The Southern Front" will be on the shelves on August 23rd in the States and will be available as import everywhere else. 
As far as I'm aware, they haven't got any deal or license for outside of the US, so if you happen to be as excited about their stuff as I am and know of a way to support them, please get in touch with their record label.

Have a listen to their EP "The Southern Front" here: 
Songs that I recommend you should listen to: Ambush! & Postcard From Somewhere Cold (I just love those time-changes).

This is their first EP they self-released and offer as free MP3 download:


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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dark Dark Dark - Bright Bright Bright

Check out this extremely interesting band I just discovered. They are called Dark Dark Dark, hail from Minneapolis, MN, and released their second album "WILD GO" in 2010 in the US and April 2011 in Germany as a double CD, respectively.
They instantly reminded me of a cross between Devotchka and Regina Spektor, only her in terms of the female vocalist Nona Marie Invie, who has got an amazingly strong vocal cord.

Have a listen to their Bright Bright Bright EP here, which you can obtain in the German WILD GO double album version:


If that little musical exploration convinced you and got you hooked as much as it did me, then we might see each other later today at the Comet Club in Berlin for their show.

Dark Dark Dark homepage

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Monday, June 27, 2011

William Fitzsimmons - Gold In The Shadow

William Fitzsimmons is on tour in Europe at the moment and will play Berlin tomorrow.

Should you haven't had a chance to listen to his new album, here it is:
William Fitzsimmons - Gold In The Shadow by nettwerkmusicgroup

It's been on my iPod for several months now and I just don't get tired of listening to it over and over again. It's bliss for your ears. Simple, stripped down, straight forward little tunes.
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

NEW || Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice

Ok, I get sent quite a few newsletters by radio pluggers and I try to give it all a listen if I can but I hardly ever get so intrigued by an unknown artist as I did with Dan Mangan. I got in touch with the plugger, organized an interview with him for next Friday and got the album sent a few days later. RESULT!

So I'm currently preparing the questions for the interview and thought I'd give you THIS IS TWEE readers out there a chance to get to know him and share my enthusiasm, if you don't already do.

Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Dan Mangan's second album, got released by Arts & Crafts, a Canadian indie label and host to the likes of Chilly Gonzales, Feist, and Ra Ra Riot. So yes, you are correct in thinking that Dan Mangan is Canadian. This singer/songwriter lives in Vancouver, has shared the stage with
Holy Fuck, Broken Social Scene, and Julian Casablancas to name but a few and - even though people in Europe might not have heard of him - he actually played Glastonbury last year and got invited again this year. In the States and Canada the album was already released in August 2009 and only in October 2010 did it get released in Germany. Dan Mangan has started working on his third album and I'm curious about the news he'll be leaking on that.

This video is so funny:


ROBOTS by Dan Mangan official music video directed by Mike Lewis from Mike Lewis on Vimeo.
And this video is simply beautiful:

The Indie Queens Are Waiting - Dan Mangan from Dan Mangan on Vimeo.

And here are some more songs from that album with 'Sold' to be downloadable:
Dan Mangan by Arts & Crafts
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

PORT O'BRIEN is no more / WATERS rocks now

:::ALL THEY COULD DO WAS SING NO MORE TOGETHER:::

This week the split of Port O'Brien was officially announced by the record label. It was said that Cambria Goodwin and Van Pierszalowski have already gone their separate ways since the beginning of last year. I believe that means both, professionally and privately.

In a way, I kind of saw it coming. I remember the last time I saw them play live at the Bar25 in Berlin. I had done an interview with them the week before and Cambria said 'hi' before the show and we had a quick chat. She seemed fine. Then, during their set she got really upset about something and started crying while she was singing a song. After that she left the stage and didn't return.
Here's a little impression of that night when all was good:
Port O`Brien Bar 25 Berlin LIVE from City Slang on Vimeo.

And this is my last interview with Port O'Brien from August 13, 2009:
Port O'Brien Interview 13.08.2009 by This Is Twee

Van is currently in the studio in Dallas with producer John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, St. Vincent, Bill Callahan) to record his debut album for his new project called WATERS quite appropriately, since we know how much that element has had an influence on his life and songs.
The songs were written within the past year in places like Norway, Alaska, California and New York. The album is yet untitled but will be released via City Slang this autumn.

In Germany/Austria you can catch him live at the following dates:
28.05. Neustrelitz, Immergut Festival
10.06. Hamburg, Molotow (mit Wye Oak)
12.06. Wien, Chelsea Club (mit Wye Oak)
13.06. Frankfurt, Sinkkasten (mit Wye Oak)

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

STEREO IS A LIE release debut album today



Today is the day for STEREO IS A LIE.
Today their debut album is out on the shelves of every good record shop. They certainly have caused much of a stir in the past few months to promote their album and not just in the Texas area but also outside and even abroad. They've been played on BBC 6music and even the Berlin independent radio station Motor FM has picked up on them. Great job guys!!!
That deserves some more exposure on my part as well.

A pretty good selection of songs from their debut album can be listened to right here:

STEREO IS A LIE by STEREO IS A LIE

Here's them on BalconyTV Austin:


For more information on the band, keep on reading here.
STEREOISALIE.COM
www.myspace.com/stereoisalie

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The White Stripes have split

It is official; The White Stripes have called it quits yesterday. Here's the statement on their website:
"The White Stripes would like to announce that today, February 2nd, 2011,  their band has officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live.

The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health.

It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve What is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.

Meg and Jack want to thank every one of their fans and admirers for the incredible support they have given throughout the 13 plus years of the White Stripes’ intense and incredible career.

Third Man Records will continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings from The White Stripes in their Vault Subscription record club, as well as through regular channels.

Both Meg and Jack hope this decision isn’t met with sorrow by their fans but that it is seen as a positive move done out of respect for the art and music that the band has created. It is also done with the utmost respect to those fans who’ve shared in those creations, with their feelings considered greatly.

With that in mind the band have this to say:

“The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”

Sincerely,
Meg and Jack White
The White Stripes"

www.whitestripes.com

I'm not quite sure what to make of it. On the one hand, it was kind of expected and it's not like I've been a fan of any of their latest stuff but on the other hand it is a bit sad, since The White Stripes played an important part of my live about ten years ago, not to mention the most rock'n'roll weekend of my life...

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Monday, January 31, 2011

New Song & free MP3: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes are busy working on their sophomore album that goes by the name of "Helplessness Blues" and will be on the shelves in Germany on April 29th and in the US on May 3rd. To not keep their fans waiting for too long, they've released the title track online today:

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues by subpop

www.fleetfoxes.com

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Head and the Heart - album teaser & free MP3

The concert season 2011 has officially started with last night's gig of The Head and the Heart. They played a showcase at Berlin's Privat Club and seemed to really enjoy themselves on stage, which put a huge smile on my face.

The Head and the Heart are from Seattle, Washington, and play some kind of American folk like Dr. Dog. In fact, Dr. Dog was the first band that came to mind last night after hearing the first few songs. Funnily enough but not surprising, they'll be supporting Dr. Dog on their Shame Shame tour in the US starting tomorrow.

They have a bit too many religious references in their lyrics for my liking but the songs as a whole are just too charming and beautiful to ignore only on that account. They self-released their self-titled debut album in June 2010 and must've caused quite a stir. Sub Pop became aware of them, signed them and re-released the album this month. They announced that it will come out around April 18th 2011 via Heavenly & Cooperative Music in Europe. Here are a few of the songs off of that album:
RootMusic BandPage by theheadandtheheart

If you like what you're hearing, download their most recent song Down In The Valley here for free:



Seattle based radio station KEXP invited The Head and the Heart for a little live session and this is the video footage:


And here's my favourite:


www.myspace.com/theheadandtheheart

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WYE OAK play free gig at the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin

For all you Berliners, City Slang is inviting everyone to come to the WYE OAK gig on Monday 17th January at the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin. They are currently on tour promoting their album "Civilian", which is due out March 4th.

WYE OKE hail from Baltimore and consist of the songwriter Jenn Wasner on vocals and guitar and Andy Stack on drums and organ.

This is a little impression from the album:
  Wye Oak - Civilian by cityslang

Date: 17.01.2011
Place: Michelberger Hotel, Warschauer Straße 39, 10243 Berlin
The show is for free!
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Bright Eyes announce new album

After almost four longs years, Bright Eyes will be releasing their highly anticipated seventh studio album "The People's Key" on February 11th, 2011 in Germany and 4 days later - on Conor Oberst's birthday - in the States. For all of you living in New York City or London, you're in for a treat at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 9th and London’s famed Royal Albert Hall on June 23rd. The tour, however, starts March 2nd. For more dates check out my Tour Dates page.

The three permanent members left in the band are Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott. They recorded the album at their own ACR studio in Omaha, Nebraska. It was produced by Mike Mogis and engineered by Mogis and Andy LeMaster. Additional Bright Eyes players on "The People’s Key" are Andy LeMaster, (Now It’s Overhead), Matt Maginn (Cursive), Carla Azar (Autolux), Clark Baechle (The Faint), Shane Aspegren (The Berg Sans Nipple), Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds) and Denny Brewer (Refried Ice Cream).

Saddle Creek has already released a free download of "Shell Games":
  Bright Eyes - Shell Games by Pretty Much Amazing


 Tracklist:
1. Firewall
2. Shell Games
3. Jejune Stars
4. Approximate Sunlight
5. Haile Selassie
6. A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)
7. Triple Spiral
8. Beginner’s Mind
9. Ladder Song
10. One For You, One For Me

www.conoroberst.com
www.myspace.com/brighteyes
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eagle*Seagull: Split, Daytrotter Session, Solo Project

The band with their bitter-sweet songs and the longest song titles ever has split!

I've only just realised that Eagle*Seagull have announced their split on September 30th of last year. They released their second studio album "The Year Of The How-To Book" in March 2010 and went on a long European Tour. Shortly after they posted a brief "R.I.P" message on Facebook to declare that they would go their separate ways.

Strangely enough, Daytrotter only just released Eagle*Seagull's latest Daytrotter session January 2nd, which you can listen to and download here.

Eli Mardock has confirmed today via FB that he is currently working on his solo album and hopes for it to be released sometime this year. This is his new FB page where you can listen to his first recorded song "The King Of The Crickets".


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