Thom Yorke Names New Band, Announces Shows, Continues Being Awesome Thursday, Feb 25 2010 

According to Radiohead’s blog, which I always have open in a browser tab, Thom Yorke has decided to name his new band Atoms for Peace. The band, who played a few kick ass shows awhile back, was put together to play material from Thom’s 2006 electro-rock album The Eraser. The band includes such awesome folks as Radiohead/Beck producer Nigel Godrich and slap-bass icon Flea. The band also announced some new shows, including a performance at Coachella, which is shaping up to be one of the best festivals in recent memory. Still, I know a lot of people are going to clutch their chest, their breath caught up in their lungs, at the idea of Thom Yorke continuing his involvement with a band that is not named Radiohead. Before you start calling “breakup,” keep in mind that Radiohead have been working diligently on their new album, and have semi-guaranteed a release date sometime this year. If we only get one more album out of the band, I certainly won’t be depressed. We’re talking about the most important band of the 21st century. I think they’ve earned the right to call it quits whenever they want, if that’s what they’re planning.

New Poema Song Online, New Album Out March 23 Wednesday, Feb 17 2010 

Elle and Shealeen Puckett

“2 AM,” the first new song from indie pop group Poema, is now up on their MySpace page. The single will be released through iTunes on February 23, and their Tooth & Nail debut, Sing It Now, hits stores March 23.

Poema consists of two sisters, Shealeen and Elle Puckett, ages 19 and 17. Their angelic voices sing infectious melodies over cutesy-but-elegant piano and acoustic guitar. The end result falls somewhere around Sixpence None the Richer, Eisley, and Taylor Swift. The band has a self-released album available for purchase here, which comes completely personalized by the sisters. These CDs will surely be worth a lot when these girls hit it big someday (maybe even a whole $10), so it’s highly recommended that you pick it up while you can. You can follow them on Twitter here.

Perhaps I’m biased, as I’ve been a big fan of this kind of cute chick pop since I first saw the video for Avril Lavigne’s single “Complicated” while channel surfing years ago, but I absolutely love the fun jams these young ladies have crafted. Maybe I’m a sucker for anything acoustic, but these playful songs are simply delightful. If you’re down for some good summer bonfire songs, mark March 23 on your calendars.

-Tim

Kevin Max’s Cotes d’ Armor to be released this April Wednesday, Feb 3 2010 

Kevin Max will release his next musical project, Cotes d’ Armor, on April 27 through dPulse Recordings. This project will consist of remixes of songs from his 2009 EP Crashing Gates, as well as some new material harkening back to the 80s bands that inspired him to pick up music. The playful lyrics to new track “On Yer Bike” can be read here, and the nine-minute remix of “Traveler” can be streamed here.

Cotes d' Armor final cover

What can I say about this man? I’ve been a fan of his musical output for years, ever since his former band, dc Talk, inspired my love of music with their 1995 album, Jesus Freak. Last year’s Crashing Gates EP was a very raw collection of apocalyptic rock ‘n’ roll jams, so I’m definitely looking forward to hearing those songs re-envisioned as danceable tracks. Although it will be a rather significant change sonically, this project seems only natural, as those songs had a notable swagger to them anyways. More than anything, I’m always excited to hear Kevin’s amazing voice again.

-Tim

Patrick Stump Announces Solo Album Thursday, Jan 28 2010 

On the day Fall Out Boy announced their indefinite hiatus, I was the saddest camper around. Thankfully, I got to see them three times on their last tour and was at their very last headlining show.

And while Pete, Joe, and Andy have been keeping themselves busy (Andy especially so), FOB’s singer/songwriter has yet to announce any future plans… until now.

After drastically changing his website last week, (and apparently losing a lot of weight) he updated PatrickStump.com today with a new logo and a video (which can also be viewed below) that features him playing every instrument from the cowbell to the trumpet (and the drums he originally joined FOB to play). The incredibly funky new track is accompanied by a message from Patrick:

I’m working on an album.
I’ll be writing/producing/performing everything myself.

Stay tuned.

Color me incredibly stoked. Call me a fanboy if you must, but Stump has been a major inspiration for me since middle school, and I love everything Fall Out Boy have ever done. This is going to be my most anticipated release for a while.

-Evan

The National’s 5th Studio Album Out This May Monday, Jan 25 2010 

Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National

Brooklyn-based indie rock group The National will be releasing their as yet untitled fifth studio album this May. A handful of European shows and a US tour will follow. This followup to 2007’s Boxer is said to have “one song you can dance to,” but the album “can’t be described as happy.”

Boxer was given Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” tag in 2007, and it was also declared the third best album of the decade by Sun on the Sand, behind only Radiohead and Arcade Fire. It was also my personal favorite album of the decade, making this easily my most anticipated album of 2010. Matt Berninger has claimed that this is going to be their best album; here’s hoping he’s right.

-Tim

Mr. West is (back) in the Building Wednesday, Jan 13 2010 

Firstly, I’m pretty sure I read something about Kanye West being back in the studio on his official blog, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what the hell he’s trying to say when he types on that thing. According to the NY Times, he was talking about going back into the studio. Complain all you want about Kanye’s ego, but he was, undeniably, the most important solo artist of the past decade. Not only did he remind us what a rock star is supposed to be like (what with the stage crashes, political comments, and all that shit), but he also reinvented his genre, both musically and lyrically. Kanye West successfully killed gangsta rap, paving the way for the increased success of Mos Def, Common, Drake, Kid CuDi, and one of my favorite up-and-comers, J. Cole. There’s simply no way to argue against this dynamo of an artist; the entirety of the music world should be anxiously awaiting his return. Plus, have you heard his guest verses lately? The dude is on fire, so don’t expect another sappy record about Robocops and Pinocchio.

In other Kanye news, West’s new live CD/DVD from his VH1 Storytellers special can now be purchased here, among other places.

New M.I.A. Album To Be Released This Year, New Track Released Tuesday, Jan 12 2010 

M.I.A. will be releasing her third studio album this summer, or possibly as soon as early spring. A new track, called “THERES SPACE FOR OL DAT I SEE,” was released today through a video posted on her Twitter account.

The 34-year-old artist described the upcoming album to NME as “really odd” and “more musical” than her last two albums. According to a Rolling Stone article, she collaborated with producer Blaqstarr, who “simply makes music that sounds good, and I needed that. I definitely needed to come to music on this album, to make music. I don’t want it to be gimmicky or silly or hipstery.” She promised a mix of singing and rapping: “I just stopped singing on the last one because I put more emphasis into production, so I was more about making beats and sang less on my last album.”

I really enjoy Kala, but the songs feel a bit too repetitive when I’m not in the right mood, so the focus on songs over beats sound really promising. One of the songs apparently features a hook sung by Filipino Verizon workers… Huh. Neat. This album promises to be a really rad summer soundtrack.

-Tim

Taylor Swift is the top-selling digital artist of all time! Tuesday, Jan 12 2010 

"I don't know how it gets better than this. You take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless."

Yes, 20-year-old pop star Taylor Swift is the top-selling digital artist in history with over 24.3 million tracks sold thus far, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Fearless is also the top-selling album of 2009 (the second year in a row), and her self-titled debut album has remained on the Billboard charts for longer than any other album this century.

Congratulations, Taylor! Fearless was one of my favorite albums of 2008. I found the songs to be wonderful snapshots of a young girl’s growth into womanhood, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. That, or she’s just really marketable. Well, either way, I’m really happy with her and anxiously await her next album (hopefully within the next year).

-Tim

New Motion City Soundtrack song up for stream at Spin.com Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

You can listen to the new song “A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help)” by Motion City Soundtrack off their upcoming My Dinosaur Life here. This is the third song they’ve released off the new album so far, and it is far and away the most enticing. “Disappear” was a grower, certainly, but it lacked some of Justin Pierre’s characteristic lyrical and vocal charm, instead opting for a rougher, more edgy sound. The next track, which also premiered at Spin.com (and can be heard here), was entitled “Her Words Destroyed My Planet.” It was…bad, to say the least. Thankfully, this new track finds MCS doing what they do best instead of trying to be edgy and cursing a lot, and though it doesn’t blow my mind, it at least means the new album will be worth a listen. My Dinosaur Life hits stores January 19th.

-David

Kanye West Feeds The Homeless Monday, Jan 4 2010 

This is the human side of Kanye West that the media will never acknowledge. According to Kanye’s blog, the day before Christmas, he, his fiance, and his cousin volunteered with L.A. Mission to feed the homeless at a local shelter. Kanye didn’t bother bringing a bunch of cameras with him or trying to publicize the trip, and he didn’t even blog about it until almost two weeks later. It’s really great to see him doing something this helpful and selfless, even as the media constantly demonizes him as an arrogant asshole. The sad part is that most music news sites won’t cover this, because it doesn’t fit nice and tidy with the character they (yes, the media) has created for the Grammy winner.

A local homeless man was quoted as saying, “It was really thrilling to see Kanye West here serving us. I went right up to him and asked for an autograph and he gave it to me with a smile. He really is one of the most genuinely nice people I’ve ever met, except for when I asked for turkey and he told me that ham is the greatest Christmas meat of ALL TIME!”

… I couldn’t help myself. Pictures can be seen below.

-Dion

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