Archive for the ‘Upcoming’ Category

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Logan Lynn, From Pillar to Post

September 16, 2009

I blogged about Portland, OR electronica artist Logan Lynn waaaay back in April, when I got a pre-release copy of his new album, From Pillar to Post:

I’ve been listening to an early copy of Logan Lynn’s new album, From Pillar to Post, for a few weeks now, and it’s been gradually infiltrating itself into my brain. The Portland-based Lynn describes his music as ‘electro-pop’, but that carries connotations that are a little too saccharine.  The gentle tenor vocals over a background of electronica are like the smooth, reflective surfaces of mirror shards, belying the razor-sharp edges of the complex song structures, syncopation, and bleak lyrics—as his bio puts it, putting the ‘disco’ back into ‘discomfort.’

It’s finally out for the general public. Well, kind of. You can download a digital version now, but the physical CD won’t be out until November (?!). If you decide to go for atoms instead of bits, you can buy one of the packages – I’m partial to the sterling silver knuckles in the shape of a row of hearts – or you can always drop $5000 on a Logan Lynn dance party.

MP3: Logan Lynn – Alone Together (Boy in Static remix)

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New Mission of Burma single, whoo!

July 13, 2009

MoB SSL

Matador Records just posted a single from the upcoming album by Boston musical heroes Mission of Burma. The Sound the Speed the Light, is scheduled for release on October 6th. If this single, “1, 2, 3, Partyy!!” is any indication, it’ll be a worthy successor to The Obliterati (which came out in 2006). Check it out yourself.

In case you missed it, Mission of Burma blogged the making of this album in March 2009 and you can read the posts at their site.

More info and album preorder.

MoB at z=z.

MP3: Mission of Burma – 1, 2, 3, Partyy!

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Seattle: Rane/Serato Scratch Live demo

June 23, 2009

not checking e-mail

Ever wondered what DJs are doing at their laptops? (protip: don’t ask them the question implied above). Mukilteo, WA’s Rane, who makes the audio interface hardware for the Serato Scratch Live DJ software, is hosting a demo this Friday, June 26th at the War Room in Seattle. There’ll be music and giveaways, and you can finally learn what’s happening on the other side of the screen.

(via Line Out)

Image: Buy this t-shirt and loads of other geek and electronic musician gear at Fractalspin.

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Upcoming: SanFran MusicTech Summit

May 11, 2009

hotel kabuki

Next Monday, May 18th is the SanFran MusicTech Summit, and it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting. Speakers include Dave Allen (of Pampelmoose), Terry McBride of Nettwerk (who gets around), and Fred Von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, with panels on social networking, digital delivery, monetization (with the description, ‘idealism in practice,’ which sounds promising), and more. It’s at the Hotel Kabuki in Japantown, and full conference and registration details are here. I’ll be heading down to SF for the weekend, and there’ll be a report-out on z=z. If there’s something you are particularly interested in hearing about, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best.

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Decibel Fest no more?

May 7, 2009

decibel-poster

The Stranger reports that the fate of Seattle’s electronic music festival, Decibel, hangs in the balance. Says founder Sean Horton (also known as Nordic Soul):

So far 2009 hasn’t been a very good year for Decibel in terms of attendance at our one-off events, which isn’t a good sign for the 2009 festival. Not sure what to make of it, but if we can’t raise the necessary money by the middle of June, the 2009 festival program will be cancelled.

Like many promoters, Horton and fellow organizers have been fronting the money for the festival on their own credit cards. The credit crunch has reduced their ability to fund it this way, including foiling Horton’s attempt to take out a loan against his house. On top of that, attendance at yesterday’s gala fundraiser was far lower than expectations.

It’s an incredible pity, since Decibel 2008 was fantastic (I bought a pass before I even moved to Seattle and went out every night, to what seemed like pretty crowded venues). One issue is that Decibel, unlike other festivals such as Mutek, only recently registered as a non-profit, thereby becoming eligible for local arts funding. Advanced sales for Mutek and Movement are pointing towards increased attendance from last year (as was the case for Coachella), so it’s quite possible that Decibel would also do fine this year, but that’s a hell of a risk to take when it’s your personal financial wherewithal at stake. Here’s hoping they get the funding sorted out. If you want to help, you can make a tax-deductible contribution via their funding partner, Shunpike.

MP3: Claude von Stroke – Who’s Afraid of Detroit? (Audion remix) [beatport]

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Muppet Rawk art show

May 6, 2009

muppettrock

This Saturday, May 9th, is the opening of the Muppet Rawk II group show at Ouch My Eye Gallery, just south of downtown Seattle. The mandate was to take an existing rock album cover, and re-imagine it using Muppets, in a 12″x12″ format. You can see a preview of one of the paintings at Boing Boing.

Needless to say, this is what I will be doing on Saturday night.

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Pansy Division’s multimedia extravaganza

April 14, 2009

pansy-division

Seminal* queer pop-punk band Pansy Division is back with a vengeance, debuting a new album, a film, and a memoir.

The album is That’s So Gay, out on Alternative Tentacles. Pansy Division sounds tight, which I imagine is a consequence of their stable lineup, but musically and lyrically, it’s not a departure from their previous work, which is just fine – they’ve never been a band that had pretensions to being anything else. Songs like “Pat Me on the Ass” and “20 Years of Cock” combine catchy songwriting with Pansy Division’s trademark sexual exuberance and fit comfortably with other PD faves. The one exception is “Average Men,” with guest Jello Biafra – its sound is harder (and its humour  considerably more biting) than the rest of the tracks.

The film is Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band, a documentary that started life as a graduation requirement for bassist Chris Freeman’s film degree.  It’s currently out on DVD and is being screened around the country. You can find out more about it or order a copy here.

The memoir is Jon Ginoli’s Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division, a history of Pansy Division from its inception in 1990 to the present. It draws heavily from tour diaries, including the one kept by Ginoli in 1994 when they were tapped by Green Day to open for their arena tour. The memoir is an inside look at how an indie band deals with the challenges of life on the road, dealing with the record label, trying to get albums out, and trying to keep a drummer (Pansy Division could envy Spinal Tap; over the course of the lifetime of the band, they’ve gone through a dozen drummers, albeit none fatally). Of course, they faced the added challenge of dealing with marginalization and homophobia, on the road and off; Ginoli speaks matter-of-factly of women in the audience forming a human chain to protect the band while they were loading out their gear. Ginoli’s writing voice is frank and sincere, and it’s an engaging read.

Pansy Division has a special place in the heart of z=z, since their last Cambridge show featured in its very first post. And that show seems to have a warm place in Ginoli’s heart too, as he writes, “…we played the larger downstairs room of the Middle East…Combine great stage sound with a slew of crazed, screaming fans up front who knew all the words, and the result was probably the best show of the tour.”

Ginoli’s currently on a book tour, promoting the book and the documentary, with readings at a Boston Barnes and Noble on Tuesday, April 14th and  at the Brookline Booksmith on Wednesday, April 15th, and a screening of  the documentary at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, also on the 15th. As well, a concert tour is lined up for June and July. Dates and details for the readings, screenings and concerts can all be found here.

MP3: Pansy Division – Average Men [buy]

*I couldn’t resist. Sorry.

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zed equals zee happy hour!

March 27, 2009

miracleofscience

Live in the Boston area and interested in indie music and how the music industry is evolving as a result of technology? Come to the zed equals zee Happy Hour this Monday, March 30th, from 6 to 8 pm, at the Miracle of Science in Cambridge. Join me and a slew of Boston-based musicians and bloggers, including some of the people behind Boston Band Crush and our special guest, Paul Lamere of Music Machinery, as we discuss the future of music over snacks and beverages. We’ll even be taking over the Miracle’s soundsystem with a playlist of z=z faves for the duration. Please join us!

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Upcoming: music and tech conferences

March 25, 2009

sfmt0208

Two upcoming conferences that might be of interest to z=z readers, one on each coast.

This weekend (March 27th, and 28th), Berklee College of Music is hosting the Music and Entertainment Educators Association conference. Unsurprisingly, given its audience, the schedule is a mixture of industry panels—keynotes on “The New Entertainment Economy” and on “Marketing and Distribution in the Digital World,” for example—as well as academic talks (such as “Audio Mashups and Fair Use: The Nature of the Genre, Recontextualization, and the Degree of Transformation”). The speakers include executives from Sonicbids, Topspin and Electronic Arts. You can see a full schedule here [PDF], and you can register at the conference website.

On the other coast, the San Francisco Music Tech Summit is scheduled for May 18th at the Hotel Kabuki in Japantown. Scheduled speakers include Dave Allen (of Pampelmoose and Gang of Four), the founder of Pandora, the director of technology of Sub Pop, and more.  Again, you can register at the conference site, here.

If you can’t make either, never fear – keep an eye out for z=z reports from both conferences.

MP3: Girl Talk – Bounce That [buy]

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New Röyksopp track, remixed by Holy Fuck

March 3, 2009

royksopp

The new Röyksopp track, “Happy Up Here” (from the upcoming album Junior), and a remix by z=z faves Holy Fuck were leaked. I normally wouldn’t post leaked tracks, but I did hear about it in a tweet by Holy Fuck’s manager, so it carries a certain imprimatur. Enjoy!

MP3: Röyksopp – Happy Up Here (more Röyksopp)

MP3: Röyksopp – Happy Up Here (Holy Fuck remix) (more Holy Fuck)

[via Discopunk]

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Neophile: The Rest, Everyone All At Once

March 3, 2009

restpromo2

Hamilton, Ontario’s The Rest are set to release their sophomore album, Everyone All At Once, in April. It’s an appropriate title for an intensely-collaborative effort from the seven-member group (large groups seem to in the zeitgeist these days). Nearly two years in the making, the album was a two-stage process. First, they left the distractions of the city behind and holed up in a pair of cabins on a lake to write and arrange all the songs, and then followed it up with a return to the city and an intense period of rehearsals and recording.

And boy, does it show. The arrangements are gorgeous, and the production is clear and atmospheric without sounding overproduced. The music cross-pollinates intense, bombastic Arcade Fire-like sounds with melancholy and heart-tugging vocals, reminiscent of The Awkward Stage. The combination is both immediately engaging and rewarding of multiple listens. “Apples and Allergies” is the official single, but I found myself humming the B-side, “Walk On Water” to myself at odd times, so I’m going to share that here instead.

Hear more of The Rest at their Myspace page, where you can also buy their first album and the new single. So far all their tour dates are in Southern Ontario, but I’m hoping for a wider-ranging summer tour in support of the new album.

MP3: The Rest – Walk on Water

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Band Metrics: track your band online

February 23, 2009

bandmetrics1

Band Metrics is a semantic web start-up that lets  you track your band across social media. Modeled after Google Analytics, it’s being designed to let you monitor where your music is being listened to, shared, or talked about; the image above, for example, is a graphic of plays at different sites. While tracking online statistics is not quite as glamorous as, say,  hanging out in the green room drinking with groupies, Band Metrics is intended to give you the tools to track the dissemination of, and sentiments towards, your music online (since, if you have a band in 2009, you probably don’t have a manager excitedly calling you with the latest SoundScan figures).

It’s currently in private beta, but is scheduled to open to the public in a few weeks, once they sort out some kinks. You can register at their site.

Band Metrics

Via ReadWriteWeb. Thanks to David for the heads-up!

MP3: Bon Iver – Skinny Love [buy; Bon Iver's Rise in Popularity]

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The Bloodsugars at All-Asia on Feb 7

February 5, 2009

bloodsugars-bqep

Brooklyn-based The Bloodsugars are doing a show at the All-Asia in Cambridge on Saturday night (February 7). Man, there’s all these great East Coast bands that aren’t making it out to the West Coast. If you’re on the right side of the country, go check out The Bloodsugars  sweet indie pop. While they are presumably supporting their recent release, BQEP, they have do two songs on the 1980s cover album Guilt By Association 2; I know I’d have my fingers crossed for their version of Chris De Burgh’s “Lady in Red.”

More The Bloodsugars: myspace website

MP3: The Bloodsugars – Purpose Was Again [buy]

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Coverage: The Motion Sick at Influenza

January 28, 2009

influenza

Tomorrow night (Thursday, January 29) is the premiere of “Influenza,” a new Boston-based monthly show that features local artists playing a mix of their original material and covers of songs that influenced them (hence the title). I think this is a great idea – one of the things that makes it a little tough to see a new band for the first time is the absence of the familiar. You don’t really know what they sound like, or what to expect, and unless you are a dedicated neophile, that’s a little off-putting. “Influenza” makes it a little easier to go out and try some new music, because you know you’ll hear something you’ll recognize, even if it’s from a band you’ve never heard before. Conversely, however, you’ll get to hear original music too – it’s a far cry from cheesy cover bands.

So go check out the show tomorrow night at Great Scott. If you need some additional motivation, this show includes z=z faves (and fellow bloggers) The Motion Sick.

Boston Globe article on Influenza

MP3: The Motion Sick – 30 Lives [buy]

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Emerging models for new music: Illius Rock

January 26, 2009

illius-rock

We’ve spent a bunch of time here at z=z discussing different models for the future of music. Here’s an interesting one. Boston-based Illius Rock runs ‘campaigns’ for artists. Emerging artists ask their fans to make contributions, typically for studio expenses, to shoot videos, touring and the like. In exchange, fans get treats, like exclusive songs, parties, cameos in music videos and the like. Interested in learning more? They’re throwing a launch party tonight (Monday, January 26th) at the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, featuring z=z faves The Main Drag.

MP3: The Main Drag – A Jagged Gorgeous Winter

[via Bradley's Almanac]

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Listen local: The Crocodile Cafe returns!

January 20, 2009

071217_crocodile_cafe

Word on the street (well, actually, in the coffee shop) is that the Seattle’s famed Crocodile Cafe, which closed abruptly nearly a year ago, is on track to re-open. While the Croc is still pretty mum and the website is still under construction, The Ting Tings are scheduled to play on April 12th. zed equals zee didn’t relocate to Seattle until after it closed, so I am really looking forward to checking it out.

(thanks to Peter for the tip!)

MP3: The Ting Tings – Great DJ

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Upcoming: Dark Was the Night

January 7, 2009

the-national

So looking forward to this. Bryce and Aaron Dessner, of The National, curated a 2-CD release called Dark Was the Night. It’s being released by the “Red Hot” organization, who’ve put out about a dozen or so albums to benefit AIDS research and related causes. The lineup looks amazing – as well as an unreleased National track, it includes a collaboration between Feist and Ben Gibbard, Spoon, the New Pornographers, the Kronos Quartet, and more. The release date is set for February 17th on Beggar’s Banquet.

MP3: Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues – Miss Otis Regrets [from Red, Hot and Blue]

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Upcoming: Anarchy Evolution

December 29, 2008


[embedded YouTube video; if you can't watch it, click here]

Bad Religion frontman and UCLA biology professor Greg Graffin is working on a book, Anarchy Evolution, that’s scheduled for release on Harper Books in 2010. It’s supposed to be about naturalism and atheism as well as (one presumes) anarchy and evolution. Graffin (looking extremely professorial in the video) describes it as a personal narrative about ‘how to be a more interesting atheist than has been [cough] advertised by popular books of the last three years, by calling yourself a naturalist instead.’ [my links, of course]

No Amazon pre-order link yet – stay tuned.

MP3: Bad Religion – Sorrow [amazon]

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Upcoming: AC Newman, Get Guilty

December 10, 2008

acnewman_getguilty

Speaking of the New Pornographers, their head honcho A.C. Newman‘s second solo album, Get Guilty, now has a release date – January 20th – and a tour schedule. He’ll be hitting Neumo’s in Seattle on February 21st and the Paradise in Boston on the March 14th (full tour schedule here). Nicole Atkins and Jon Wurster – better known as the drummer for the Mountain Goats – do guest stints on the album, so I am extra-psyched about hearing the whole thing. Here’s a taste to keep you going until then.

MP3: AC Newman – Submarines of Stockholm [preorder]

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Upcoming: Decibel Festival, Sept 25-28

September 22, 2008

The fifth edition of Seattle’s Decibel Festival begins on Thursday, September 25 and ends on Sunday, September 28. And when they say ‘begins’ and ‘ends,’ they really mean it. With a full line-up of afternoon activities (like dB in the Park) and after-hours parties, it’ll be going pretty much non-stop. Multiple evening shows reward springing for a pass to facilitate dashing from venue to venue in Capitol Hill – for example, my Thursday night schedule has Stewart Walker at Sole Repair, followed by Barbara Morgenstern at Neumos, and wrapping up with Attentat at the Baltic Room. Other highlights include Audion and Carl Craig on Saturday night, and The Bug and Supermayer on Sunday night – you might want to clear your schedule for Monday morning.

MP3: Claude VonStroke – Who’s Afraid of Detroit (Audion remix)

Previously: xkcd on techno, The zen garden theory of minimal techno, Techno and impressionable young minds

Image: Robert Babicz @ Neumos, Decibel Festival, 9/22/2007 by Flickr user donte, reposted here under its Creative Commons license.

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