What with the NYC Popfest still fresh in my ears (I think it's called tinitus), I've had indie-pop on the brain lately — something that's not that likely to change thanks to these two (three, really) free Summer compilations from originating in Scandinavia.
The fine folks at Swedish label Labrador have just released a 30-track Summer Sampler, containing new songs from upcoming releases as well as some choice cuts from their extensive catalog. Artists include pretty much everybody you'd expect: Pelle Carlberg, The Radio Dept., The Legends, Acid House Kings, The Mary Onettes, Sambassadeur, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, and my favorite band to contain brackets in thier name, [ingenting].
It's a free (if very slow) download… get it here. (Downloads broke Labrador's server, now up on Pirate Bay).
Meanwhile over in Norway, Knut of the great blog Eardrums (who was on Blog Fresh earlier this year) has put together a two volume Summer's Here compilation, complete with artwork and a downloadable booklet with bios, etc. Some of the tracks are exclusive to this compilation — itt's a really nice package. I'll be honest: of the 48 bands on it, I've only heard maybe four bands (The LK, Northern Portrait, Club 8, Cold Mailman), but Knut has great taste and I can't wait to check it all out.
And while not exactly fitting with the other two, Bradford Cox has just posted a new Micromix on the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound blog, inspired by the Norwegian leg of the Deerhunter tour. Here's what he says about it: "It's mid-summer here so there is only like an hour of actual darkness. this mix is for the burdened youths of the nordic tribes who spit on americans outside kebab shops (credit card receipts flying through the air) like weird weather (fragments) a bottle of still water cost 6 american dollars long live loss." It's got everything from The Bats and Electrelane to My Bloody Valentine and Chrome. Worth a download. And don't forget Atlas Sound plays River to River's Seaport Music on July 25
If the weather’s as bad where you live as it is in New York, you might consider staying home and watching all three episodes so far of AMC’s awesome new series, Breaking Bad which I wrote a little about last week. The mini-marathon starts at 8PM. [AMC]
Ida Maria played Later with Jools Holland last week, along with British Sea Power and Morrissey. Watch the whole thing here. Ida was good, but rather subdued compared to the show I saw at Galapagos back in October. [BBC]
Yay, the writers strike is over! Find out when your favorite shows are coming back and how many new episodes will be made before the end of the season. Sorry, Bionic Woman fans… all three of you. [TV Guide]
I usually consider myself as being on top of the UK scene, but Obscure Sound has three tracks from a band I’d never heard before, Hidden Messages, and they are quite good. [Obscure Sound]
Over at the AV Club, Comedian of Comedy Brian Pohsen interviews fictional, animated metal band Dethklok who tell him about the craziest thing that ever happened at one of their shows: "There were two guys who ran at
each other full force in a mosh pit and exploded their brains and guts
and donkey cum onto a bride who had just gotten out of a limousine at
that exact moment."; Jason Schwartzman offers up his iPod for an exceptionally interesting Random Rules. My esteem for him went up by 24% after reading this; And Nathan Rabin finally tackles the inexplicable, horrendous, yet un-turn-off-able mess that is Dreamcatcher for his awesome My Year of Flops project. [AV Club]
I saw both of Pelle Carlberg‘s NYC shows in May (one of which I reviewed) and in addition to his
own songs, he covered Elton John’s "Rocket Man" and Mika’s "Grace
Kelly" which were both great. I’ve been looking for MP3s ever since.
(There’s an EP that has them, somewhere, but you had to order the album
online to get it. I already owned it at that point.) Quick Before it
Melts comes through with the Mika one. [QBiM]
Speaking of… in today’s NY Times Dining section, restaurant critic Frank Bruni gives two stars to high-end tapas joint Pamplona. I’ll have to take his word on the food, but Pelle Carlberg’s song of the same name is at least a three-and-a-half, if not four:
MP3: Pelle Carlberg – Pamplona
David Chang, fresh off his being named Rising Star Chef of the Year at the 2007 James Beard awards, dishes to Eater about the new Momofuku. The original Noodle Bar moves into much-needed new digs up the block, while the old space is becoming Momofuku Ko. What is that? Chang: "At Momofuku Ko, we’ll showcase everybody’s cooking, to make it work as a collaborative kitchen. I’d like to be cooking more than I am right now, but I’m the asshole who runs around and answers the phone and poses for photographs with Martha Stewart now." He was so worried people would find out too early, Chang made fake menus for the windows of the new space that promised "24 Flat-Screen TVs" and such edibles as Tuna Tartare w/Avacado and Warm Flourless Chocolate cake. [EATER]
Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger is keeping a tour diary on The Onion AV Club. The lengthy first entry is pretty great: "Coachella is a magnet for music-biz luminaries such as Tara Reid, Paris
Hilton, and Cameron Diaz. For some reason, these and other celebrities
spent little time in our trailer, despite our open-door policy and our ‘Free Hummus’ sign." [AV CLUB]
I must admit I’m relieved that The CW is putting Gilmore Girls out of our misery. I fully expect that TV Guide‘s Michael Ausielo will have an interview with the show’s estranged creator, Amy Sherman Palladino, any day now, but you can now check out this interview with star Lauren Graham: "So I always worried that there would be some pressure to… (Laughs) My extreme example was always, ‘Double wedding!’ I just didn’t want there to be a big event. But there’s definitely a direction [with Luke/Lorelai] that I think will be satisfying." [TV GUIDE]
Toby at The Finest Kiss is awed by Japan’s Cornelius ‘ Seattle stop on their Sensuous US tour. I haven’t seen them play since the Flaming Lips’ Music Against Brain Degradation tour in 1999 (Rolling Stone’s review of the show I saw at now-defunct Tramps) where Cornelius blew everyone away. It isn’t just a concert… it’s an experience. Check out this clip from YouTube. Tickets are amazingly still available for the May 11 show at Webster Hall, which for once may actually be the right venue.
Klaxons’ guitarist admits to Pitchfork that his favorite song ever is Chris Deburgh’s "Lady in Red." At least he’s honest. "This is pretty much the soundtrack to every moment of my childhood." He also likes Top Chef.
Anton Corbjin‘s highly-anticipated Ian Curtis biopic, Control, will premiere May 17 at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as part of the Director’s Fortnight Series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Eddie Argos is blogging for The Guardian: "Whenever bands are in airports, they inevitably get asked, ‘what’s the name of your band?’ by airport staff. When I say Art Brut they never know who we are and there’s often an awkward silence…Mikey, our drummer, has started saying he’s Coldplay’s drummer, even signing autographs on occasion.
My friend Toby who lives in Seattle has a fine blog, The Finest Kiss. He’s got the new single from tall Swedish group Shout Out Louds, "Tonight I Will Leave It." Sounds like the Cure’s "In Between Days" to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
He may have been sidelined for nearly a year, but Roger Ebert‘s annual Overlooked Film Festival rolls on. He checks in on how he’s doing: "To paraphrase Raging Bull, ‘I aint a pretty boy no more.‘" We’re all rooting for you, Rog.
Headphone Sex has a nice post and an MP3 from one of my favorite British nu-gaze bands, Maps.
It’s (NBC) Sidekicks Week at the AV Club, where they offer nice, if short (for them), interviews with 30 Rock‘s secret weapon, Jack "Kenneth" McBrayer ("NBC pays me in pickles and rubber bands!"), and resident Heroes telepath Greg Grunberg ("Senior citizens compare me to a guy named Jack Carson.’). By the way, how awesome was this week’s Heroes? It’s putting Lost to utter shame. And tonight’s 30 Rock sounds like a classic: Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordan go to the Source Awards. Also: have you had Alec Baldwin call a friend yet?
Did you know LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy is now writing, twice-weekly, for the Guardian’s music blog? He is, but he’s not writing about music. Instead we learn about his new love of martial arts, attaining "executive platinum" status with American Airlines, and his thoughts on blogging in general.
Videology (the blog, not the video store in Williamsburg) interviews director Dougal Wilson, who made the brilliant clip for Jarvis‘ "Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time." Quote: "The
original idea was to have him sing the whole thing over his shoulder,
which is what cab drivers often do, but I realized one of the iconic
things about Jarvis Cocker is the way he moves his body…so it seemed a shame for
him not to move at all, and that gave me the idea to split the taxi
open illogically and have the disco ball drop from a string."
After eviscerating Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee, Anthony Bourdain weighs in on the rediculousness that is the Bruni/Chodorow feud: "One might ask if it’s ever a good idea anyway to spend 40,000 bucks
reminding the public that the New York Times think you suck." And if you haven’t read it yet, this week’s one-star review of Roberts’ Steakhouse in the Penthouse Executive Club is Bruni at his most fabulous. Meanwhile, nutty Chodorow has yet to update his Bruni-bustin’ blog.
• The Onion AV Club interviews Ricky Gervais, just in time for Sunday’s Season 2 premiere of Extras on HBO. As always, the AV Club does a better job than you’ll read anywhere else: "I just don’t think there’s any pleasure in getting an easy laugh. There
can be no reward. You stand at the back of a chain comedy club, and
those guys come out and they’re going, ‘Ha! What’s going on with
Scooby-Doo? A talking dog!’ And I want to shout, ‘It’s a kids’
program!’ What vein of comedy gold have they really hit upon there?"
UPDATE: Extras co-creator Stephen Merchant will be on BBC 6Music’s jukebox jury show, Roundtable, today at 1pm EST. Along with presenter Steve Lemacq and two other (yet-unnamed) guests, they’ll be listening to and discussing new music from Towers of London, Willy Mason, The Gossip, Xerox Teens and the new, blatantly commercial single from Kaiser Chiefs. If you can’t listen live, they offer an archive stream of the show till next Friday.
Elsewhere in the AV Club world writers Noel Murray and Scott Tobias discuss (well, it’s a faux discussion, this was obviously written) the Best TV of 2006. Best show: The Wire. Best new comedy: 30 Rock. Best new drama: Friday Night Lights. I couldn’t agree more. (Jeff at Central Village does too, at least about FNL.)
Former Williamsburg resident Barry Manilow has no time for overly snarky Time Out NY writers, hanging up on Christina Black after three questions. (In her defense, he does kinda seem like a prick.)
Step 1: Cut a hole in the box.
Step 2: Write an article in the NY Times about it.
Step 3: Collaborate with Duran Duran on their new album. Timberlake, that is. Timbaland, too, actually.
Step 4: There are only three steps, but can I interest you in Gruff Rhys’ lovely new single, "Candylion"?
Step 5: Colbert Vs. The Decemberists – Rock and Awe