Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Tunes Tuesday / The Big Beat 'cast 10

I planned on delivering the latest New Tunes Tuesday / Beat'cast to you last week but considering Radiohead knocked everything to the back page, maybe its delay was for the best. As a result, Yorke & Co. figure prominently this week but so do The Strokes, Raveonettes, and Arcade Fire. We'll mark the return of Electrelane, delve deeper into Yuck's debut, get to a new one from Royal Bangs and introduce you to Niki & The Dove and Halls. Just press play to listen whenever you like.

RADIOHEAD "Lotus Flower" (self-released), from The King Of Limbs - They've proven once again that there's no band on the planet today that commands the attention they do. The album's nominal first single, it strikes me as the cousin of Kid A's "Idioteque". Watch the video here.

PJ HARVEY "Let England Shake" (Vagrant), from Let England Shake - You might be surprised to learn that by debuting at #8, Let England Shake marks Harvey's first appearance in the top 10 of the UK album chart. This extremely well-reviewed disc should do more to win over fans than at any time since Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea was released over 10 years ago.  Still, ruminating on the effect of war - from WWI to the present - to her beloved homeland is not an immediate listen and will probably keep her at arms length from listeners hoping for a hooky "Good Fortune" or two. (And really, how the hell was that not a major hit?  Oh wait: Limp Bizkit). Watch the video here.

[DOWNLOAD] ARCADE FIRE "Suburban War" (Merge), from The Suburbs - I may not be much of a fan, but I was still glad to see a legitimate indie band grab a big win. Certainly mainstream America had no clue, should that be a surprise? (Austin: May 3 @ The Backyard w/ Explosions In The Sky) (via The Music Ninja)

ELECTRELANE "I Want To Be The President" (Too Pure), single - Overshadowed in the week's other news was word of their reunion to play a handful of UK festival dates. Nothing beyond that has been scheduled, but let's keep our fingers crossed. (TBB coverage)

[DOWNLOAD] J MASCIS "Not Enough" (Sub Pop), from Several Shades Of Why - The guy I share a birthday with will be releasing an acoustic album on March 15th. Head to his page on the Sub Pop site to download another track from the album. (Austin: SXSW, March 16-19)

[DOWNLOAD] YUCK "Shook Down" (Fat Possum), from Yuck - I heard the Sound Opinions guys (Kot & DeRogatis) do a show on the music of 1991 not long ago: Nirvana, MBV, Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr., etc., and the relevance and influence those bands have today. You'll find a bit of each on Yuck's debut, which is funny coming from kids that were barely alive then (singer Daniel Blumberg is only 20). I've heard the album, seen them live and I'm telling you, this oughta be a good year for 'em. Fuzzy and melodic, the album plays like a collection of singles. Stream the album in full if you're not yet convinced. (Austin: SXSW, March 16-19) (via Fluxblog)

HALLS "Kaleidoscope" (self-released), from Halls EP - Halls is Samuel Howard from New Cross, South London. He combines looped electronic samples with sparse vocals, each song submerged in dense reverb. You can pick up his 6-song debut EP for just £1 over on his Bandcamp page.

[STREAM] "Kaleidoscope" by Halls

BANJO OR FREAKOUT "Go Ahead" (Rare Book Room), from Banjo Or Freakout - Another London-based DIY artist is Italian-born Alessio Natalizia, and his debut full-length is loaded with downbeat, spacey guitar pop reminiscent of fellow sonic explorers Spiritualized. I'd say this disc represents a progression over what I heard from him live about 2 years ago. This is an enjoyable little underdog of a release. A promising starting point from an artist that bears watching. (Austin: a few unofficial SXSW shows, March 16-19)

[DOWNLOAD] Banjo or Freakout "Go Ahead" by Rare Book Room Records

NIKI & THE DOVE "DJ, Ease My Mind" (Moshi Moshi), single - With just one listen, if you say 'Sweden', congratulations! Sowing the same musical terrain as Lykke Li, Fever Ray, and Wildbirds & Peacedrums, the duo of Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf (you just knew there'd be no Niki, didn't you?) have only been a band for about a year. Beat heavy but chilly dance-pop, a bit on the grandiose side; that's their thing. Head to their site to for a free download of the equally good "Mother Project".

[STREAM] "DJ Ease My Mind" by Niki & The Dove

THE STROKES "Under Cover Of Darkness" (RCA), from Angles - After releasing 3 albums within a span of 5 years, they're putting out their first disc in 5 years on March 21st. They've timed their comeback pretty well, fans seem to be salivating in anticipation. They'll be playing a free show at SXSW, which may even be confirmed by the time you read this. (Austin: SXSW, March 16-19) (TBB coverage)

RADIOHEAD "Little By Little" (self-released), from The King Of Limbs - Perhaps the most straightforward song on the new album, this is the one that seems like it could've appeared on the warmer In Rainbows. Not an Oasis cover.

THE RAVEONETTES "Forget That You're Young" (VICE), from Raven In The Grave - Last Autumn I read an article from British music journalist Hardeep Phull, "How The Raveonettes Sparked America's Pop Renaissance", which I found interesting especially since that was one assertion I hadn't heard before. That seems too simple an answer for me, bestowing credit upon a band so plainly the result of their own influences, ranging from the Velvets to the JAMC.  Nonetheless, there's no denying their following is due in no small part to consistently releasing material, like clockwork, every two years since Chain Gang Of Love in 2003 and the Whip It On EP a year prior.  (Austin: SXSW, March 16-19; April 12 @ Emo's w/ Tamaryn) (TBB coverage

[DOWNLOAD] THE PRIMITIVES "Way Behind Me" (RCA), from Pure - March 4, 1990. One of those concerts that would leave a lasting impression on me, The Sugarcubes with The Primitives opening. It turned out both bands would be history two years later. The passing of original bassist Steve Dullaghan spurred a 2009 reunion and now comes their first new music in 20 years, a four-track EP titled Never Kill a Secret, to coincide with the band's UK tour in March. Reviews of their live show have been promising and of course, they still play the one song everyone knows. Honestly, Hardeep, I hear as much of this band in Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, et al, as I do of The Raveonettes. Just sayin'. (via Popdose)

RINGO DEATHSTARR "So High" (Sonic Unyon), from Colour Trip - Probably my favorite song of 2011 so far, their full-length is out now overseas and arrives via Sonic Unyon in North America in time for a hometown appearance at SXSW. (TBB coverage)

ROYAL BANGS "Grass Helmet" (Glassnote), from Flux Outside - Good to see a band that we championed so strongly at my old station land a first-rate deal, movin' on up to the big time by signing to uber-hot Glassnote Records (Phoenix, Mumford & Sons, The Temper Trap). Try the first track from the new disc, due on March 29th. (Austin: SXSW, March 16-19)

[DOWNLOAD] Royal Bangs - "Grass Helmet" by Glassnotemusic

New Tunes Tuesday / The Big Beat'cast 09 (Feb. 8)
New Tunes Tuesday / The Big Beat'cast 08 (Feb. 1)
New Tunes Tuesday / The Big Beat'cast 07 (Jan. 18)
The Big Beat'cast 06 (Austin) (Jan. 11)
New Tunes Tuesday / The Big Beat'cast 05 (Jan. 4)
The Big Beat'cast 04 (Dec. 13)
The Big Beat'cast 03 (Nov. 29)
New Tunes Tuesday (Nov. 23)


  1. Excellent show Mike. I've had that Banjo or Freakout song on repeat since you posted. I'm so happy I discovered your blog. Keep on doing what you're doing, it's much appreciated.

  2. Great weekly set of tunes as always. Much appreciated, and I really enjoy the option to be able to download these Big Beat 'Casts and take them with me on the road.