Crozet, a multi-instrumental duo from Philly, PA has crafted a thing of beauty, entitled “We’ll Be Gone By Then”. An epic wall of sound built out of huge drums, creamy layered synths, reverb-drenched vocals, hints of guitar and pure love. Every track builds into something bigger, dreamier and pulls you in. Imagine, becoming one with your favorite John Hughes film. Pure 80s bliss. Perfect for fans of M83, Washed Out, and Teen Daze.
Darin Rajabian and Caroline Myrick met at a Michigan house show in early 2010. They soon discovered a mutual infatuation with dream-life, dancing, and pop music, and began work on a new project to incorporate Caroline’s soft vocals with Darin’s classic euro-disco inspired tracks. The music evolved, and after months of work, they formed the sound of Nightlife.
Nightlife – Radio
Nightlife gives you this synthpop gem entitled “Radio” Playful synths, rigid drums, and delicate vocals come together in the 6-track EP. Buy online or CD
Synthemesc [pronounced SINTH•A•MESK] is a new indie label on a mission to provide the world with unique and exciting electronically-made music. Their first release is the sophomore album from Silver Sea: Procella Perfecta. Echoing the calm soundscapes of their self titled debut, Procella Perfecta adds a much heavier and mature sound, incorporating the bands unique live instrumentation with vintage MOOG synths, distorted guitars smothered with effects and lush strings to create a soundtrack-esqe retro sound. The album is now available on iTUNES or you can buy a CD on the Synthemesc website.
In Toronto, Canada’s Aboriginals are less than 3% of its population but 25% of its homeless, a discrepancy connected to systematic racism and prejudice. Homeless in the Homeland explores how discrimination affects the Aboriginal community through the experiences of James Peters, a young man living in Toronto who struggles daily, to survive.
Born in New York, The Bicycle Film Festival has evolved hand in hand with the unprecedented boom in urban cycling internationally. From its roots in New York City, The BFF has grown into a multi-faceted, global event that will travel to over 25 cities this year, from Milan to Tokyo, Minneapolis to Sydney. In 2001 Brendt Barbur, Founding Director, was compelled to start the Bicycle Film Festival after being hit by a bus while riding his bike in New York City. He was inspired to turn this negative experience into a positive one, and created a festival that celebrates the bicycle through music, art, and film. The festival merges many creative communities, including fashion, music and art, as well as various bicycling communities – road cycling, mountainbiking, fixed gear, BMX, cyclocross – over a shared passion for bike riding. Watch above as Discosalt goes inside The Bicycle Film Festival’s headquarters in New York with its creator Brendt Barbur.
School of Seven Bells just released a second track, and first official single, titled “Lafaye”. “Lafaye” is also the tormented character in their upcoming album GHOSTORY, which will be released on February 28 in the US on Vagrant/Ghostly International. The song is available as a single through all digital retailers today, with an exclusive b-side “Love From A Stone”.
The track is now up streaming on Soundcloud here: http://soundcloud.com/vagrantrecords/sviib-lafaye
“The Night” on Soundcloud (free download enabled): http://soundcloud.com/vagrantrecords/sviib-thenight
The Widest Smiling Faces is Brooklyn singer-songwriter Aviv Cohn. On his second full length LP, Me and My Ribcage (available for free on The Widest Smiling Faces Bandcamp page), Aviv channels his subconscious mind, by creating an equally fragile and uplifting sophomore album sounding as if from within a lucid dream. I had the pleasure of talking to Aviv about the release of Me and My Ribcage, the Brooklyn “visual” music scene, and spending 2012 in an underground bunker.
DISCOSALT: I know you live in Brooklyn now but where are you from? Where did you grow up?
THE WIDEST SMILING FACES: I grew up in Long Beach out on Long Island, about 45 minutes away from the city. It’s a really interesting community, that basically doubles in size every summer.
TWSF: It was originally part of a short story I wrote in college, the story wasn’t all that great but the syntax and imagery of the phrase really stuck with me. The overt attractiveness but latent sinisterness of a disingenuous smile is fascinating.
DS: Who or what was responsible for The Widest Smiling Faces coming to be?
TWSF:Art has been a major part of my life as long as I can remember. Growing up I had wanted to be a filmmaker, then for much of my early adolescence I was interested in being a video game designer. But when I started playing Guitar and appreciating the ability of music to convey elaborate, beautiful imagery through melody and timbre, I realized there was nothing in the world as compelling, and that it was how I wanted to spend my time. I began writing music even before I knew what I was playing, and have continued since then.
DS: I listen to Me and My Ribcage and I hear someone who grew up listening to Smashing Pumpkins and Sparklehorse – is that accurate?
TWSF:I did grow up listening to a lot of Smashing Pumpkins. I discovered Sparklehorse much later. I wish I had been listening to Mark Linkous when I was younger. Definitely a lot of Radiohead, Sigur Ros…I guess what you’d expect. As a young kid my musical taste was pretty bland, as I started writing more I began to gravitate to new things and looking at music a bit more deeply, and my taste changed accordingly.
DS: Who or what influences you the most?
TWSF:I’m not sure. Sometimes, I just feel weighed down and need to let something out, and then music comes. Sometimes it comes on it’s own when I don’t expect it – I don’t know where it ever comes from.
Who or what influences that unique sound?
TWSF:I’m really turned on by polyphony, and the feeling of multiple notes and melodies affecting one another. I was always drawn to playing guitar with my fingers as it allowed me to play multiple notes and melodies at once. It also feels really good to have the guitar strings in your hand, directly on your skin, where you can affect them more closely, it’s more visceral for me, and I feel closer to the instrument that way.
DS: When we listen to music, we have a tendency to tie it to our own lives: our own experiences, our hopes, dreams and desires. Throughout Me and My Ribcage, there is a definite melancholy vibe, but somehow, this record sounds more vibrant, more spiritual and optimistic than Rituals. Is that safe to say?
TWSF:I definitely would say it’s more spiritual, or at least attempts to be, and I suppose more vibrant as well. I had been thinking a lot about conceptions of God and reading esoteric religious texts during the recording of the album. I put a narrative together around those ideas and the way they affected my personal feelings.
DS: As the title might imply, Me and My Ribcage has numerous lyrics about the human body (eyes, fingers, hands) Lyrically, how important was that idea of basic human sensation?
TWSF:I’m one of those people who can’t take a blood test without looking away, because if I see those tubes full of blood I get pale. The idea of being alive, and basically being composed of all manner of liquids, with them moving around inside me has always been something that’s deeply affected me.
DS: The Widest Smiling Faces has always been a band heavy on visuals. Me and My Ribcage looks very different from Rituals; It’s oils instead of acrylics or mixed media instead of “other” mixed media. In your opinion, what other musicians or bands would you consider visual?
TWSF: I think all music can inspire feelings of synthetic color and visual imagery if one listens to it with the right mentality (or is predisposed to experiencing music in that way). Certainly though, some musicians clearly seem to have it in their minds more than others. I think of Boards of Canada as one example of a band that puts a great amount of attention towards the imagery their music inspires. Of course that’s just how it strikes me personally.
DS: Did you have it in your head that this was going to be a more stripped down acoustic record or did that evolve naturally?
TWSF: Well, I like the acoustic guitar/piano’s ability to be a “spine” for a recording – it has a percussiveness to it that can give music a certain “stability.” But I’ve also always found the electric guitar to be a more evocative instrument, tonally, and we used electrics a lot on the album. So we were going for both, the “weight” of the acoustic instruments, with the “color” of electric ones. We didn’t have a set plan in terms of making the album’s sound, Chris Wojdak (producer) and myself just tried to do every song as compellingly and honestly as possible.
DS: What are your plans for 2012? Any possibility of a tour or will you be counting down the days on your Mayan calendar?
TWSF: Well, I plan to keep writing, and keep performing, touring is definitely something I really really want to do as well.
Now under the direction of producer Steve Albini, Cloud Nothing’s sophomore album Attack on Memory is a crunchier, punchier sounding album than their first release and one of the first must hear albums of 2012. This album separates Cleveland front man Dylan Baldi from comparisons to bands like Waaaves and showcases Baldi’s Kurt Cobain like growl as a young singer- songwriter finding his voice.
The band is set to release Attack on Memory, January 24th via Carpark. In celebration of the upcoming release, the band has allowed the blog Headnoz (from Cleveland) to stream the album in its entirety, just weeks prior to it decorating the shelves of record stores.
PRE-ORDER vinyl LP here: http://www.insound.com/Attack-on-Memory-Vinyl-LP-Cloud-Nothings/P/INS101709/
Shut Up And Play The Hits, a new documentary from Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern, follows LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy over a 48-hour period, from the day of their massive “farewell” show at Madison Square Garden on April 2nd, 2011, to the morning after the show. The film is screening at the Sundance Festival later this month. Watch the trailer above.
Watch the first trailer of upcoming Wes Anderson ensemble film Moonrise Kingdom, starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDorman, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton. Set in the sixties, Moonrise Kingdom was filmed in New England and co-written with Darjeeling co-writer Roman Coppola.
“Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, MOONRISE KINGDOM tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl.” [Apple Trailers]
ArtBattles returns to New York after a tour through France and Spain with the ArtBattles Pop Up Gallery NYC. The gallery is open for free to the public for a limited time from Thursday, January 12th through Saturday, January 14th and located at 159 Bleeker St. in the West Village.
This exhibition of one of a kind originals will feature a live and silent auction starting at exclusive pricing that can only be found at the ArtBattles Popup Gallery. ArtBattles will not only showcase large-scale works created by rising stars and painters from the US, France, and Spain, but also Live Art and a video installation. Art enthusiasts will be able to learn about the artists’ process, history and style. This unique collection of work represents a range of painting from fine art to street art that will be showcased in a floor to ceiling exhibition of epic scale.
“We are excited to bring back a collection of work that accurately reflects the unique artistic cultures found all over Europe and the US. These pieces, which were made in a series of battles over a course of 6 months, show the dynamism of live art today. It’s fresh, it’s frenetic, it’s liberating,” said Sean Bono, founder of ArtBattles.
ArtBattles Pop Up Gallery brings famed European artists to the New York stage. All featured works were painted live, on stage, in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of viewers. ArtBattles curated all 300 pieces from the most innovative artists who participated in these international, competitive, creative presentations in 2010 & 2011.
All pieces are available for sale on site and can also be found in the ArtBattles Gallery.
US: Andre Trenier, Max (Mega 330) Bode, Zito, Don Rimx, Max Neutra, Michael Pukac, Beast, Ben Angotti, Sean Bono, Lexi Bella, Marthalicia Mattarita, Dirty Duke, Yatika Starr Fields, Kevin Ragnott, Gia Gutierrez, Erin Cadigan, Gregory Siff.
Spain: El Niño de Las Pinturas, Kram, Japon, 3TTMan, Paria,Daniel Thomas, Pichi & Avo, Sakristan.
France: Deuz, MattB, Kouka, Shane, Skio, Titi from Paris, Michael Beerens, Monsta, Move.
Artist canvas will be supplied by Fredrix for Live Art each day of the Art Battles Pop Up Gallery.
Exhibition space has been provided by PopUpSpaceNY.
Check out the latest video directed by Max Goldblatt for Keepaway‘s ‘Cake’, off their debut album Black Flute coming 1/10/12 on Greedhead. “Cake” is overly bright, intensely catchy and it sounds like everything. If you ever wondered “what would happen if Timbaland in his prime shared iTunes space with The Strokes and Gang Gang Dance and, liked Ethiopiques compilations? “, click play.
No one is able to share spot-on observations about indie/punk/rock show culture and speak-sing about it, in as interesting a way as Craig Finn.
The voice of Lifter Puller, The Hold Steady, and most recently, Craig Finn and Some Guns – the 41 year-old Brooklyn-ite, by way of the the Twin Cities and Beantown, is by far one of the most entertaining, interesting and smartest songwriters of the last 10 years. A former punk club-poet/bar-band bard from Minnesota, Craig Finn moved to New York, formed The Hold Steady, and spun a musical career waxing philosophical about life, death, drugs, girls, God and personal survival – flawlessly enunciating every word over timeless classic rock-inspired bar band riffs, rhythms, and melodies.
Craig Finn’s lyrics and sound are ideally crafted for long, lazy, summer road-trips, hopping in and out of no-name corner bars and sun-drenched music-festivals, gunning down late-night vices and secret lovers. Sounding less like a washed-out, lo-fi, indie-popster drifting towards the beach, Finn is Kerouac’s Sal Paradise embodied – watching the American landscape zoom, and blur past, in a drunken montage of brilliant color.
On Clear Heart Full Eyes – the solo album recorded during a five-month break from The Hold Steady, Craig Finn delivers THE definitive Winter record. A collection of distinctively American tales of woe, broken promises, shattered dreams and heartache, accompanied by eerie, twangy, lap-steel guitar and alt. country swirls, that come together to conjure a barren, winter sky…but stay Positive! Finn sure is. In fact, Finn can’t help himself from staying positive. Even when it sounds like his heart has been broken, he’s lost a friend or his faith, Finn’s clever wordplay gleams light into these gloomy tales, which, in the end shine with possibility – as does the album.
– Casey Bowers
Album – Craig Finn : Clear Heart Full Eyes
Label – Full Time Hobby
Release date: January 24, 2012
Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage…
Director Rick Meriki spent last summer making this compelling one-minute video called “Move” with two of his pals as they traveled to 11 countries over 44 days, walking through a dazzling variety of cultures, locations and images. The film was part of a three-film series of short subjects commissioned by STA Travel Australia, based on the concepts of movement, learning and food. Jealous? You have to watch this a few times just to absorb it all.
In 2005, music producer Hal Wilner staged an all-star tribute concert in Australia in which a handful of major artists offered their interpretations of Cohen’s songs, including Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, Rufus Wainwright, Beth Orton, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and many more. This documentary offers an intimate look at the songs, poetry and life of the influential troubadour, Leonard Cohen.
Watch full film HERE
IFC is bringing back the 90’s…with another season of Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag) and Fred Armisen’s “Portlandia”. Watch the first season of the IFC original short-based comedy series on Netflix instant play or catch the second season premiere this Friday, January 6 on IFC. Then, celebrate with a nap, or put a bird on something.
Watch a full episode online right now, featuring Eddie Vedder and Jeff Goldblum and music from Washed Out.
Kurt & Courtney is a 1998 documentary film by Nick Broomfield investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain, and allegations of Courtney Love’s involvement in it. The film concludes that there is enough evidence to prove that Cobain was murdered with Courtney’s approval.
Watch the full film HERE
B.I.K.E is a film that explores the Black Label Bicycle Club and the wider tallbike subculture that has grown up around it. Comprised mainly of artists driven by anti-materialism and a belief that the impending apocalypse will render cars useless and bicycles in power, BLBC battles mainstream consumer culture and rival gangs for its vision of a better tomorrow. The film chronicles the trials of co-director Anthony Howard as he tries to become a member of the club.
Watch the full movie HERE