Holy shit, we’re tired of ticket giveaways. I mean, let’s face it—if you’re into a band or artist, you’re not sitting around waiting for us to give some tickets away, your ass is right there when they go on sale or shortly thereafter. So, ticket giveaways? They award the lazy, if you ask me.
Which is why for a change, we’re delighted to turn the whole giveaway thing on its head and reward the converted. Enter our friend Nicole Atkins who plays the Rock and Roll Hotel this Friday night, 12/19.
We get it—you’re big fans (as are we) and you’ve purchased your tickets already. So, for you—we have something a bit special.
Nicole’s put aside 3 copies of one of our favorite releases of 2014—her latest, Slow Phaser—on lovely 180 gram vinyl, don’tcha know—that she’s going to sign and personally put in the hands of 3 of you on Friday night. One thing we’ve learned about Nicole over the years is she’s a great hang (as we say in the Hills) so we’re thinking this is a cool way to simply say thank you for coming out.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary remastered re-issue of Plasmodium’s Clairaudience album from 2004, the band made a video for the song. “Saw What You Did” with the Washington, DC-based massurrealist, Trémotion Pictures. Visually and literally it’s got all the paranoia, paranormal, and anguished guilt you’d ever want as global societies traverse and reckon with a modern landscape of ubiquitous surveillance in a digital age where human lives are watched more than ever. And if there’s not someone watching you all the time, there’s certainly another set of eyes in your head that “saw what you did.”
Plasmodium formed in 2000. It’s members were, and remain, veterans of the Virginia music scene centered around Richmond and Charlottesville. The members of Plasmodium had an interesting provenance: Bob Miller played with the salsa orchestra Bio Ritmo, while Jim Thomson drummed in the ’80s for the Mad Max-ian, nuclear mutant hardcore outfit GWAR and spaz-psych instrumental rockers, The Alter Natives, who released several records on SST Records. The group played a handful of shows in art galleries and performance spaces in Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia during their brief career between 2000-2004, with one sound installation at the Rencontres Internationales in Berlin in 2004.
The group recorded one record, Clairaudience, that was released on the Richmond-based label Dry County in 2004. Clairaudience spins a range of musical fictions, from “Tristay” and its reverbed rockabilly lament to the paranoid psychedelic dirge rock of “Space Eye.” The daily indignities of hapless convenience store clerk “Clive Buckledown,” recited in a deadpan, detective-story monotone over sensuous electric piano loops, recall the psycho jazz rap of MC 900 Ft. Jesus or Ken Nordine’s word-jazz monologues.
As we noted last month in our conversation with Simple Minds’ frontman Jim Kerr, the ‘80s nostalgia circuit is the stuff of his nightmares. The co-founder and frontman of Simple Minds has been on a creative tear, breathing new life into his band with a brand new album that’s already being hailed as one of the best of their nearly forty-year existence. Big Music, out digitally on November 4 in the US (and November 24 on vinyl), is the band’s sixteenth album and is already garnering heaps of praise and comparisons to their experimental, moody, synth rock roots.
The Glaswegian band has undergone many personnel changes over the years, reinventing themselves out of necessity, evolving creatively as all good bands should, and doing their best to escape from the orbit of their “breakthrough” hit, the iconic ‘80s anthem “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”
While that song may have cemented Simple Minds’ place in popular culture, the band’s storied career spans sixteen albums—six of which were recorded before a single scene of The Breakfast Club was filmed.
Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll return live on December 1.
While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record shops? Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Monday.
If you’re to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page you’re reading at present, to the left you’ll note an homage to two people who inspired TVD. You’ll recognize too then why Carolina Hoyos’ Kickstarter campaign struck a chord with us here at the HQ. The upside? There’s still time to extend the good karma to this warm, talented performer. As she told us via email this week:
“Right before I took 2 years off to care for my Father through his cancer treatment, I quietly (unofficially) released an EP and named it “A-Siders,” because it’s the first side of my intended full length release on vinyl, called The Lost Tapes.
The Lost Tapes as a collection has always felt like we’d discovered old, abandoned tapes and then added a modern sound to them. Now that my Dad is healthy and I’ve found my way back to releasing this record, I named my Kickstarter campaign “My Lost Tapes” because when you care for someone with cancer, you can get real lost with the process of your own life, trying to save someone else’s.”
The unreleased B side feels like a relaxing sunny Sunday afternoon of dreamy listening, while the more rocking A side is your Friday night out partying. The “A-Siders” is available right here.
The Kickstarter campaign for “The Lost Tapes” extends until Saturday, December 6, 2014, and there’s some nifty incentives for those of you interested in the vinyl aspect of this project. Probably because you’re reading this now.
A Girl I Know Kickstarter | Facebook | Twitter
Neil McLaren has embarked upon a strange journey in musical terms. Having been born completely blind, Neil became the first person in the UK to receive pioneering surgery that enabled him to partially see when using special glasses.
If this wasn’t difficult enough, Neil isn’t a trained guitarist. Instead he has preferred to experiment with instruments rather than learn guitar chords—which has created a rather unorthodox playing style. Nevertheless, this has propelled him to produce the kind of acoustic music synonymous with current artists such as Ben Howard and Damien Rice.
McLaren’s vocals are the most intriguing part of his single “Middle Of It All,” with his character shining through like a beacon, taking centre stage aided by choral harmonies. There is a perfect imperfection to his vocals—a gruffness that is eminently appealing—whilst McLaren is able to maintain a link to his hometown of Dundee in Scotland with a twang of Scottish accent seeping through.
“Middle Of It All” is a strong single but it will be interesting to see where McLaren’s sound progresses from here—in order that he doesn’t get lost in a very crowded market of artists who offer a similar experience.