Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Door Cinema Club - Sleep Alone

I was turned onto Northern Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club this summer by my much younger (and she'd probably say much cooler) cousin. While I haven't picked up their latest record Beacon, I certainly will at some point as I kind of dig their indie dance rock sound. Here's the video for the first single off of Beacon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Catatonic

Yikes. Talk about a bad Best of 2012 snub. I'm really regretting not picking up ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead's latest record -- Lost Songs. I finally heard a track from it (today's video) and was completely blown away. It's definitely a return to the Source Tags & Codes or Madonna days. Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to buy this record very soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tegan and Sara - Closer

Tegan and Sara have a brand new record out today called Heartthrob (it's already in my Amazon Cloud and ready for me to check out later this afternoon). I just watched the video for the first single and I have to say that I was a little surprised. It's a bombastic Katy Perryish type song. Now mind you, I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing (y'all know I loves me some Katy Perry), but it's just certainly a departure from older songs like Walking With Your Ghost or Back In Your Head. Regardless it's a fun pop song that I probably should have saved for a Wicked Guilty Pleasures post. Or not.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hatebreed - Put It To The Torch

It seems like it's been forever since the last Hatebreed record. But it's only been a little more than three years. Not that long I suppose. Anyway, Hatebreed will unleash it's seventh album, The Divinity of Purpose, tomorrow and I for one will be ready to pick it up for old mosh-time's sake.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dierks Bentley - Am I The Only One & Tip It On Back

Last night's Miranda Lambert concert was awesome. What a way to kick-off my birthday weekend. While I've been mostly talking about her these last few days, I was also psyched to see Dierks Bentley for the first time. The dude brought it. So much fun.

So let's get my birthday party started with a couple of videos from his latest record Home.



Here's his latest single. This was definitely one of the highlights last night.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Miranda Lambert - Fastest Girl in Town and Heart Like Mine

Tonight's the "Second Annual Miranda Lambert Concert for My Birthday." Well, at least that's how I see it (I'm not self-centered at all, am I?). So yeah, for the second year in a row I get the pleasure of seeing Miranda perform for my birthday (last year she played Baltimore the day after my birthday, this year it's the day before).

Needless to say, I'm excited. This will be the third time I've seen her in the past two years. Looking back, I've written quite a few posts about her. For example, she was my No. 1 artist of 2011. I also posted some Miranda videos here last year before the show. And I also posted this video at Wicked Guilty Pleasures on Election Day. Well, here's a couple more. The first is her most recent video from the Four the Record album.



And here's one of my favorite tunes off her Revolution record.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Joy Formidable - This Ladder is Ours & Cholla

I think I've found my new favorite indie rock band. I really liked The Joy Formidable's 2011 debut The Big Roar, but after hearing a few songs off their latest record -- Wolf's Law (released yesterday) -- I'm freaking hooked. The guitars have that great crunchy sound and Ritzy Bryan may have one of the coolest voices in rock right now. You gotta check this band out.



Here's the video for Cholla. My gawd this band is awesome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gary Allan - Ever Storm (Runs Out of Rain)

The new Gary Allan record was released today. I sure hope the rest of Set You Free is as good as the record's first single as it's one of the finest songs on country radio at the moment.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight - Derek Bishop

Photo by Wanda Winn
Welcome to the fifth Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight. Today, we're featuring eclectic NYC singer/songwriter Derek Bishop. Derek's songwriting spans a myriad of styles and eras, which he coolly pulls off behind his trusty keyboard. Your New Favorite Song readers, get to know Derek Bishop.

THE BIO (ripped off from his website)

Derek Bishop's music is a time-capsule of pop stylings, evoking sounds and memories from 50s doo-wop to 80s synth pop -- while still sounding fresh and contemporary. His off-beat, often dark lyrics are paired with piano-driven melodies and sprinkled with quirky electronics and horns, creating a dynamic and colorful soundscape, all while getting your toes tapping and your ears delighting to his instantly-catchy tunes.

Derek's debut full-length debut CD, "Resistance is Beautiful," melds vintage keyboards, the occasional big band, marching band, Broadway orchestra pit, a suitcase-full of percussion, and of course a rock band into a rich tapestry that eclipses the description of a "singer/songwriter's piano album," though it's that too. The record's 12 songs draw from the past six decades of music for inspiration, calling to mind The Beach Boys' airy harmonies, Fleetwood Mac's musical anger management, Phil Spector's wall of wonders, and the Muppet Show -- as if hosted by Fiona Apple.

THE INTERVIEW

Your New Favorite Song: It’s time to get the party started, what are you asking the bartender to make for you?

Derek Bishop: Vodka and Soda with Pomegranate seeds floating in the bubbles.

YNFS: Describe your music in a single Haiku.

DB: I play piano
and sing ├╝ber-catchy tunes
and happy sad odes

YNFS: What are five bands/performers that you simply cannot stop listening to?

DB: The Feeling, The Kin, Fleetwood Mac, Butch Walker and The Killers

YNFS: OK. We’re all friends here. There’s no judging. We all have them. Why don’t you tell me your five “guilty pleasure” bands/artists that you cannot stop listening to?

Cover art by Ken Moore
DB: Olivia Newton-John, Abba, The Motels, Captain and Tennille and ELO

YNFS: It’s the 1800s, whose novel do you wait in line for to get it at midnight on its release date?

DB: In a past life I was book designer. So regardless of if its 1990 or 1890, you would most likely find me at the printing press. So I wouldn't be waiting in line, I would have already seen the galleys. I’d probably be busy at the bindery or the foundry trying to get the elements of the next big release looking perfect.

YNFS: Cats or Dogs?

DB: Eh...Neither. I do like them both -- but only if they live outside.

YNFS: Who’s the most famous musician/artist/actor you’ve ever had the pleasure to meet? Paint the picture. What happened?

DB: By “meet” do you mean stalk? I don’t meet famous people, I hunt them. Well, Stevie Nicks in particular. But only when she’s in and around New York. Pretty much wherever she’ll be popping up in the city -- I’ll be there. I have my spies! Stevie and I sing the same songs together -- sometimes we just happen to be walking down the street together. When she’s in town, we have such fun together. Though I don’t think she’s noticed me just yet.

YNFS: Every performer has had “those moments” on stage. So, you choose (but feel free to answer both): What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on stage? AND/OR What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?

DB: Well, I am ALWAYS forgetting the lyrics to certain songs. Often on stage I’ll just go blank without a clue as to what comes next. Luckily someone either on stage or in the audience knows the lyrics better than me -- and they will help me out. But the worst time it happened was when I was on Lance Bass’s radio show. It was probably my biggest audience ever and a chance to really grab some new fans. But instead, my brain not only opted to forget the song I was playing LIVE on the radio, it also sent mumble-jumble non-words out of my mouth in place of the lyrics. One second I’m singing along and playing piano...the next I’m going, “kurdenblomblem blupe bloa peedinkong.” It was a train wreck and I couldn’t stop the debris of syllables spilling from my mouth. Luckily it only lasted for one line of lyrics -- but I was so horrified of what just happened, that I just started to sweat profusely. All I can say is thank goodness it wasn’t a TV show! I didn’t look pretty afterward.

YNFS: Seeing that we’re entering 2013 what are your musical goals for the year?

DB: First off is an east coast tour in February. I’ll be bringing my toe-tapping tunes to cities all the way from New York and down to Georgia. You can check out the dates thus far here. Right after that I’ll be jumping into the studio to record my second album. This one will be a little 80s/dancey, but you can expect the same playful lyric and melody mix up that I usually bring to the table. I hope (HOPE!) to release the album on vinyl (and 8-track if I can find a way to do it!). I’ll also be shooting new bizarre videos, so be on the look out for those here. And of course the usual blast of fun shows here in NYC.

YNFS: Finally, If you could say one more thing to potential and current fans about your music what would it be? Sell us on your awesomeness!

DB: My music has references and origins that span the history of music in the last century. You’ll hear one song that harkens back to the 1970s, the next is a Old-West saloon style shuffle, then I’ll break into a 50s do-wop. Sometimes this musical-time-travel happens during the course of one song. My music is fun to listen to. It doesn’t pander -- lyrically or melodically. Thought goes into every phrase and chord. If you like thinking, you’ll like my music. Also, it’s really catchy, funny, biting, and heart-wrenching. If you have emotions, you’ll like my music. Lastly, I sing it and I mean it. These songs are from my heart, my experiences, my losses and my gains. There’s nothing saccharine or false in it. I wouldn’t waste my time or yours presenting you with anything I didn’t find worthy. Take a listen. You’ll like what you hear, see and feel.

THE VIDEO

Here's an older video from Derek's "Resistance is Beautiful" record instead. His most recent video for the song Jackpot can be seen here.



Derek's available online at all of the usual haunts such as Facebook and Twitter as well as his own website
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EDITOR'S CLOSING NOTE: I'm happy and a bit surprised to say that the Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlights have been pretty darn successful. So, I'd just like to thank y'all for checking them out. Of course I'd also like to thank the artists for getting in touch with me about being profiled. If you're in a band or a singer/songwriter and want to be profiled, get in touch with me through twitter @sneezeguard and we can talk.
 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shout Out Louds - Walking in your Footsteps

Here's the new video by Sweden's Shout out Louds. Looks like they have a new record out in February. May have to check it out as I kind dig this classic alternative sound. Reminds me of the old days of 120 Minutes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bat for Lashes - All Your Gold

I'm kind of surprised that I neglected to pick up the third Bat for Lashes album last fall when it came out. Trust me, it wasn't intentional as I was a pretty big fan of Natasha Khan's first two records (Bat for Lashes is her stage name). I can't buy them all I suppose. Anyway, I've checked out some tracks from The Haunted Man and it's definitely on my "wishlist" for when the right opportunity presents itself (which of course means if Amazon puts it on one of there daily/weekly/monthly deals I'll pick it up).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dropkick Murphys - Rose Tattoo

Yeesh, I must be slipping. How did I not know that the Dropkick Murphys released a new album last week (SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD)? Oh well, looks like I've already fallen behind in 2013 when it comes to new releases. Here's the first video from the Dropkick's 8th record.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yo La Tengo - Ohm

Indie legends Yo La Tengo have a brand spanking new album out today which I'll definitely be picking up sometime this week. Here's a not-so-exciting video for Fade's killer lead track.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight - Yuzima

Welcome to the fourth Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight. Today, let's meet NYC singer/songwriter Yuzima. 

In my interview with Yuzima I asked him to describe his music in a certain Japanese poetry style (I know me and my ridiculously dumb questions). He kindly declined. I can see why. His music is hard to pin down. What I hear is a unique blend of alternative rock, folk, industrial, soul and hip hop. The cool thing is, it works. He says big ideas have always populated and driven his music and his most recent EP "Powerful" is no exception. On "Powerful," Yuzima channels his experiences growing up in the crack infested Gun Hill Projects in the Bronx. He considers the EP a modern riff on "What’s Going On," the seminal 1971 Marvin Gaye LP that examined and channeled the turbulent issues of that time. In contrast, he uses his latest mix of alternative rock and soul to criticize current cultural obsessions and to empower the listener beyond social networking sites and self-defeatist politics.

THE INTERVIEW

Your New Favorite Song: It’s time to get the party started, what are you asking the bartender to make for you?

Yuzima: Whiskey on the rocks

YNFS: What are five bands/performers that you simply cannot stop listening to?

Y: U2, Joan Armatrading, Bonnie Raitt, Genesis and Early Pearl Jam

YNFS: OK. We’re all friends here. There’s no judging. We all have them. Why don’t you tell me your five “guilty pleasure” bands/artists that you cannot stop listening to?

Y: Yeah, there are no guilty pleasures. I'll own up to It; If it's good I'll give it props!

YNFS: It’s the 1800s, whose novel do you wait in line for to get it at midnight on its release date?

Y: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Just finished reading The House of the Dead and the Gambler. Reading Devils now.

YNFS: Cats or Dogs?

Y: Cats. Just becuase I have one.

YNFS: Who’s the most famous musician/artist/actor you’ve ever had the pleasure to meet? Paint the picture. What happened?

Y: Yep, I live in the Village so I run into folks all of the time. I've run into Julian Casablancas, Elvis Costello, Malcolm Gladwell, Sarah Jessica Parker... Julian Casablancas shouted me out on my look, so that's cool.

YNFS: Every performer has had “those moments” on stage. So, you choose (but feel free to answer both): What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on stage? AND/OR What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?
Y: I've played venues with horrible lighting. I've come off the stage and checked out the pictures and I'm like oops they probably should turn the lights on or fix 'em. It's just part of what you deal with as an artist. It's all good though!

YNFS: Seeing that we’re just entering 2013 what are your musical goals for the year?

Y: I just finished my latest music video for my new EP "Powerful." It's me going bigger and better. That's the plan for 2013, mo bigger and mo better.

YNFS: Finally, If you could say one more thing to potential and current fans about your music what would it be? Sell us on your awesomeness!

Y: I'm a post-pop artist. That's what you have now; that's the Kurt Cobain, Michael Jacksons and Princes of today. Folks who create on their own terms and go bigger and better. I highly encourage folks to go out and pick up all of my releases but specifically the last two, "Powerful" and "Sound Opera Project One." They're the must-have releases of 2013.



You can check out Yuzima at Twitter his website and at Facebook. You can also pick up his music on iTunes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Best Coast - The Only Place

More Top 20 Artists/Bands of 2012 (+30 more) snubs...

I know I shouldn't take these things too seriously (because it's all just for fun), but I'm totally kicking myself for not including Best Coast in my list this year. The Only Place is the perfect summer soundtrack. Check out the video for the title track and see for yourself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mumford and Sons - I Will Wait

Well, that was a nice little break huh? Hard to believe that January 10th is my first Your New Favorite Song post of the year. I could make an excuse like I wanted to let my Top 20 (plus 30 other) Artists of the Year list simmer a bit, but that'd be a lie. I was just lazy (well that and a Key West vacation happened). Excuses, excuses.

Anyway, not much new music out right now (OK, I'm sure there is, I just haven't been paying attention), so let's go with some of my Best of 2012 snubs. Let's start with Mumford and Sons. Reaction seems kind of mixed with these guys. Country fans are unsure, while the "alt" types seem to dig them (and let's not get started on the alt country types). I'm somewhere in the middle. I like the music but was kind of turned off when I saw them live (the over the top "rocking out" act was annoying...I had the same reaction to Arcade Fire and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as well). Their second album Babel isn't as good as their debut record Sign No More, but it's still pretty decent. The first single is definitely the most memorable. Here's the video. And yes, I do recognize that I just bitched about their annoying stage presence while posting a live video by them.