Review: Interpol's "Our Love to Admire"

Interpol does what they do best on their newest effort, Our Love To Admire, due to drop July 10 via Capitol records. The band's first two Matador albums sold more than 1 million copies combined. The album's first single, "The Heinrich Maneuver" is an up tempo slam for an ex-love now living on the opposite coast and hits radio on May 7.

With tracks like the tense and driving "No I in Threesome" and the unrelenting "Mammoth," both are brimming with Daniel Kessler's straight ahead, driving guitar and Carlos D's formidable bass underpinning provides the album with a verifiable sonic avalanche.

There are also some delightful new experiments on the album which begin with the sprawling and funereal, "Pioneer to the Falls" nearly six minutes long, which features Morrison-esque voicing from Banks, and wraps with another uncharacteristically ambient, "The Lighthouse." Finally, the band offers up hints of soul that seep into the "Rest My Chemistry" ("I've slept for two days / I've bathed in nothing but sweat," Banks sings) and "Pace Is the Trick."

With an adherence to a winning formula and the bravery to take creative risks, Our Love to Admire is Interpol's finest offering to date.

mp3: Interpol - "The Heinrich Maneuver"


Spinal Tap reunites for Live Earth concert at Wembley

Spinal Tap is back. The fictional heavy metal group, immortalized in 1984's groundbreaking "mockumentary", This Is Spinal Tap, reunites July 7 for a performance at London's Wembley Stadium as part of the Live Earth concerts. Guitarist Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest), singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) are all scheduled to appear in an effort to raise awareness about global warming.

Additionally, a new 15-minute film directed by original Spinal Tap will play at the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The festival will open with a screening of several global warming-themed short films produced by the SOS (Save Our Selves) campaign. SOS is also responsible for organizing the Live Earth concerts, which will be held across seven continents.

Spinal Tap has reunited several times since the film, most recently in 1992 for Break like the Wind. St Hubbins and company believe that the Live Earth concerts warranted a new single: "Warmer Than Hell." Reiner provides a sneak peek at the lyrics. "'The devil went to Devon, it felt like the fourth degree / He said, 'Is it hot in here, or is it only me?'"

Reiner said the new short film explains what the band has been doing with their lives since the last tour. Nigel has been raising miniature horses to race, but has so far been unable to find jockeys small enough to ride them. David is a hip-hop producer who also runs a colonic clinic. Derek is in rehab for addiction to the Internet.

WATCH NOW - Spinal Tap "Stonehenge"


Decemberists play The Pageant Theatre

Oregon’s Indie darlings The Decemberists played the Pageant Theatre in Saint Louis, MO with guests My Brightest Diamond on Saturday April 14, 2007 as they continued their Dangerous Forest tour.

My Brightest Diamond kicked off the night with a full on rock set complete with an onstage wipeout by lead (and trained opera singer) Shara Worden. Decked out in matching white leisure suits, MBD channeled their inner Jeff Buckleys and destroyed a short but raucous set which left many in the house noticeably impressed. Worden matches the vocal theatrics of Kate Bush the soulful seductiveness of Nina Simone, and the gothic pop of Portishead, for an altogether unique sound. While her vocal lines may mimic Puccini, her guitar style parallels PJ Harvey.

The Decemberists delved into their back catalogue and worked their way forward throughout the evening playing tunes from both Picaresque as well as The Crane Wife. From Colin Meloy's quavery voice and hyper-literate lyrics to the band's musical and stylistic eclectisim, which includes among others baroque, celtic, pop, prog rock, and dozens of other instrumental variations and styles, there was something for everyone in the house.

The Oregonian octet presented an impressively eclectic effort that was seamless and cohesive. Meloy and company engaged in some traditional and albeit somewhat expected theatrics including a sing along during an expansive rendition of “Sixteen Military Wives” (which included some pointed political punditry), a blistering version of “O Valencia!”, and a delicate, haunting rendition of “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)” with Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond. The show’s highlight however was the sprawling encore “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” with solos aplenty, audience participation (wails and moans on cue), and a low-to-no budget “stage whale” which ate the band. The evening’s only disappointment of was the lack of period dress which the stage whale more than made up for. Be sure to check out photos from the concert in our photo gallery.

Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer teams with Ben Folds for solo album

Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer is in Nashville recording her debut solo album with ubiquitous performer, producer, pianist, and rocker Ben Folds.

In a recent Billboard interview Palmer said, "The songs range from intimate ballads to faster and harder Amanda-assaults-the-piano thrillers." No release date for the untitled solo effort. "We've been adding everything from organs and Leslie cabinets to strings, horns, and tympani. The final result should be Biblical," says Palmer.

The Dolls have a busy upcoming schedule. They will hit the road in June 2007 for their True Colors tour, which will feature Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, and former Blondie star Debbie Harry. Dresden Dolls are also working on a video to be shot next month for "Shores of California," the third single from the Dolls' 2006 album Yes, Virginia.

mp3: Dresden Dolls - "Coin Operated Boy"


Saul Williams speaks out with Oprah letter

Hip hop spokesman and poet Saul Williams responded to this from Oprah Winfrey by posting an open letter to both Oprah and her viewers among others here.

The letter provides, among other things, a definition of the real emcee, an explanation for the current state of hip hop, and an examination of the sacred and feminine iconography in modern culture.

No response from Oprah as of this time.


Baby Metallica allowed to keep name

Metallica Tomaro, a seven-month-old girl from western Sweden, can keep her unusual name after Swedish authorities withdrew their objections.

The dispute began when the Swedish Tax Board ruled that "Metallica" was not an appropriate name for a person. Officials objected on the grounds that Metallica is the name of a heavy metal band and that it is also too closely related to the word "metal".

The girl's mother, Karolina Tomaro, took her case to the County Court where she received a favorable ruling over the tax authority. Officials then vowed to appeal the decision, but reversed its position on Thursday saying it would drop its appeal allowing young Metallica to keep her name. Metallica's mother told local news sources on Thursday, "It feels good,"


Bono, Edge to pen Spider-Man musical

U2 frontman and activist Bono is looking to add playwright to the list. According to Superhero Hype, a new musical based on Marvel superhero Spider-Man may soon be slinging its way to The Great White Way.

According to a casting notice, Tony winner and acclaimed director Julie Taymor is slated to direct with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin on July 2nd in New York City.

Taymor may be best known for her Tony winning direction of Disney's The Lion King is also known for imaginative film work including Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Frida with Salma Hayek. Most recently Taymor has been the creative force behind The Magic Flute, The Tempest and Oedipus Rex.

The show's producers are looking for the title role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, his lady love Mary Jane Watson, arch nemesis Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin, and Daily Bugle editor in chief J. Jonah Jameson, and a "Geek Chorus", consisting of three boys and a girl who spin tales of Spider-Man's greatest exploits. See Spider-Man 3 on film May 4, 2007 in theatres.

mp3: "Peter Stays and Spider-Man Goes" (from Rock Reflections of a Superhero)


KCRW to broadcast first Yusuf Performance in 30 years

It has been over thirty years since legendary singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) performed in the United States. All that will change next Saturday when Santa Monica's KCRW airs an episode of Morning Becomes Eclectic featuring the legendary folk icon.

Originally, the live session was recorded on December 19, 2006 at an invitation-only event in New York City. The performance then aired two days later on KCRW. Additionally, the version set to broadcast on April 21 was remixed by Yusuf himself.

To tune in next weekend, head on over to KCRW.com and click "Live" for full streaming capabilities.

mp3: The Temeloes - Here Comes My Baby (Cat Stevens cover)

New Feist video for 1234

Canadian darlings Feist have released the video for 1234. Feist's latest, The Reminder dropped earlier this year.

Watch It


Ryan Adams' Stonehenge show canceled

It didn't work for Spinal Tap either. Ryan Adams' monumental appearance at Stonehenge has been officially canceled.

Adams was set to play the site as part of the Salisbury International Arts Festival on June 5, but organizers have now scrubbed the show.

Organizers for the festival feared that non-ticket holders might attempt to watch the show from a nearby road, forcing English Heritage to change the venue for public safety reasons.

Unfortunately, neither parties could agree on a suitable alternative site, so Adams has decided not to take part in the festival. "We are very sorry that Ryan Adams will not be able to perform at Stonehenge, but the demand for tickets was both unprecedented and unforeseen, and we have to put public safety first," explained Stonehenge director Peter Carson in a recent NME interview adding, "We have worked with Salisbury International Arts Festival to try and identify a suitable alternative, and have offered to make available another English Heritage site, but we appreciate that it would be hard to find an appropriate substitute for such a unique venue."

Adams is due to release his new album, Easy Tiger on June 25.

Photos: Decemberists rock Pageant Theatre, Saint Louis

The Decemberists and My Brightest Diamond rocked The Pageant Theatre in Saint Louis, MO on April 14, 2007. Review of the show is forthcoming.


Radiohead snippets available on web

Fans anxious to hear any and everything from the Brit rocker's work in the studio can rest easy. Yorke and company have posted a short "behind-the-scenes-at-the-studio" spot on their website via VapourBrothers. “This is what happens when you spend too long listening to the same thing over and over again until you just cant tell anymore and you have to do something else instead,” says Yorke. The short film contains a collection of sounds, some of which might be snippets from a new Radiohead album.

MP3 - Radiohead: "No Suprises" (live @ KROQ)

Video - Radiohead short


Review: Bright Eyes' Cassadaga

On their sixth, and arguably best album, Bright Eyes once again integrates an astounding cast of players, including the incomparable singer-songwriter M. Ward and alt-country empress Gillian Welch for the most straightforward and accessible album of the band's blossoming career.

The band remains under the watchful eye of child prodigy Conor Oberst, who lends his unmistakable warble to each track with uncanny ease and simplicity. Simply put, Cassadaga is a proficient and accessible ensemble of unrestrained rock arrangements and lavish and elaborate folk that chronicle the band’s trek across the American landscape.

Oberst's voice wanders through the countryside always the perfect vehicle for his spare but sprawling lyrics. He cautions in “Cleanse Song” to "Take the fruit from the tree/Break the skin with your teeth/Is it bitter or sweet/All depends on your timing," The band finally shows its willingness to take musical and sonic risks as evidences in the Scottish-tinged "Soul Singer in a Session Band" and its readiness to mature as in the take-no-prisoners single "Four Winds" which may still be Cassadaga's finest track. This record is certain to provide the band with a completely new audience thanks to its more simple and uncomplicated style while still pleasing longtime fans with its dedication to inventive instrumentation and thoughtful lyric. Cassadaga may serve as a seminal album for a band whose recognition has only grown as the band matures.

MP3: Bright Eyes - "Soul Singer in the Session Band" (live @ Bonnaroo '06)


Michael Jackson robot to be 50 feet tall, equipped with lasers

According to Yahoo music, "King of Pop" Michael Jackson is currently in discussions regarding the creation of a, "50-foot robotic replica of himself to wander the Las Vegas desert."

The robot is the center of an elaborate Jackson-inspired Vegas show, according to Andre Van Pier, the robot's designer. The show would feature the giant metal pop star striding around the desert. If built, the robotic Jacko would be visible to guests as they land in the casino capital. Luckman Van Pier, Andre's business partner said, "It [the robot] would be in the desert sands. Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying in would see."

Luckman Van Pier claims blueprints have been drawn up for the show and seen by the star. "Michael's looked at the sketches and likes them," he told the New York Daily News.


New Kings of Leon available via MySpace

Kings of Leon's new album Because of the Times
is available at the band's MySpace page. Made available on March 30 five of the band's 12 new tracks are streaming via the site's mp3 player. A review of the album will be forthcoming.

British rockers to cover Sgt. Peppers for tribute album

Some may call it sacrilege while others may call it a fitting tribute but Britpop is covering the Beatles. According to a recent NME article Oasis, The Killers, Travis, and the Kaiser Chiefs are among the British rock groups to cover songs from The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the album's 40th anniversary. The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's on June 1, 1967 and to mark the event, many of Britian's most popular acts will cover tracks from the record for a BBC2 special on June 2.

The BBC reports that Geoff Emerick, the engineer in charge of the original sessions will use the same equipment from the original to record the new versions. When asked about the cover session, Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas said, "This will be not only a unique radio event, but a very special musical moment. The range and quality of artists involved ensure that this will be a fitting tribute to one of the great albums of all time."

Listen Now: The Beatles - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Take our poll: Travesty or Tribute (in the sidebar)


Update: Year Zero available online

In a follow up to our previous story regarding Nine Inch Nails' dust up with the RIAA, it appears as though Trent Reznor and company have stayed one step ahead, releasing the entirety of Year Zero online.

Listen Now: Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero

Better late than never: Police hint at new album

Good news for Police fans old and new alike. According to a recent NME interview, Police guitarist Andy Summers hinted that the band may get to work on a new album after their upcoming global tour.

Summers said in an April 4 interview that the legendary trio would consider pressing a new album after their tour. "If we do well with these concerts we may well make a sixth album. I can't see why not."

Summers also said that the trio will debut some new tunes during the tour, which start in Vancouver on May 28 before heading to Europe in August. "We've been jamming acoustically lately and we've been really enjoying it; we'll be playing a couple of new songs at the shows in the summer." said Summers.


RIAA targets Nine Inch Nails fans for downloading intentionally leaked material

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), notorious for its zealous campaign against "copyright infringement" which includes suing high school and college students, retirees, and file sharing websites for downloading and sharing music on the Internet, has targeted even more web sites such as Idolator that have posted leaked songs from the upcoming NINE INCH NAILS album, Year Zero. According to Launch Radio Networks, these tracks were leaked intentionally.

The band left several new songs from the "YZ" album on computer hard drives at venues on their current European tour. Fans found the "leaked" tracks and began posting them on the web for others to download and swap.

According to Billboard.com, the RIAA sent cease-and-desist emails to any web sites that posted the tracks, leading one industry source to say, "These f---ing idiots are going after a [publicity] campaign that the label signed off on." Though many songs have been leaked intentionally, the entirety of Year Zero has not. The album drops on April 17.

Tired of the RIAA? Try these links...


Alanis Morissette covers Black Eyed Peas...sort of

Rocker/Actress/Activist Alanis Morissette released her first foray into parody this month via YouTube. Morissette, known for soulful covers during her live performances including The Police's "King of Pain" set chatrooms and blogs ablaze with her direct parody of the Black Eyed Peas' club smash "My Humps".
Watch it Now


New Releases for April: Bright Eyes, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon

The following is a list of new releases for this month. These dates are for U.S. releases unless otherwise noted. Release dates are subject to change, and sometimes do. This is by no means an exhaustive list of releases, but is chronological.

April Releases
[4.3] Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
[4.10] Bright Eyes - Cassadaga*
[4.24] Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
*Sound Advice Selection