Happy 236th birthday, United States!
So, here are my faves of the first half of 2012… and outside of the Top 5, it’s all kind of random order on how I feel today… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end (click album art for sound samples):
Artist – Album (style)
- OSI – Fire Make Thunder (glitch prog)
- Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (jazzy pop)
- Peter Mulvey – The Good Stuff (indie songwriter playing standards with a band)
- Damien Jurado – Maraqopa (indie rock)
- Celldweller – Wish Upon A Blackstar (electronica)
- Sigur Rós – Valtari (ambient icelandic)
- Emily Wells – Mama (chamber hip-pop)
- Floratone – Floratone II (jazz)
- s/s/s (Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, Serengeti) – Beak & Claw -EP- (interesting)
- Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson & Mikael Akerfeldt) – Storm Corrosion (ethereal proggy departure)
- John Zorn – The Gnostic Preludes (jazzy experimental)
- John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & Joey Baron) with John Medeski – Templars (noise rock)
- Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2 (drone)
- The Chance Brothers – Growing Concern (indie rock)
- Regina Spektor – What We Saw From the Cheap Seats (pop)
- Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On? (folk pop songwriter)
- Buckethead – Electric Sea (gentler instrumental guitar)
- Bad Veins – The Mess We’ve Made (indie rock)
- Cosa Brava (Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, etc) – The Letter (rootsy jazz adventure)
- David Krakauer plays Masada Book Two – Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas) (klezmer jazz)
I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet) and whatever “et cetera” that the cool kids are listening to these days; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.
The 2nd half of 2012 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Mike Patton & Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II, Ben Folds Five’s reunion studio album, Ric Hordinski’s Arthurs Garden (physical CD, though the download came out a bit ago), the Dusted debut from Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt, Erin McKeown’s kickstarter, and I’ve heard rumors of a new Nellie McKay disc for the Fall.
Favorite concerts of 2012 (so far):
- Penn & Teller and Cirque’s Zumanity in Las Vegas, Jan 18th & 20th
- Secret Chiefs 3 in Eugene & Portland, Feb 6th & 7th
- Nellie McKay’s I Want To Live! in Eugene & Portland, Mar 2nd & 4th
- Puscifer in Portland, Mar 14th
- Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 in Eugene, Mar 18th
- Radiohead in Seattle, April 9th
- Roger Waters presents Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Portland, May 22nd
- Beck in Bend, May 27th
(click pictures below for review links)
Perhaps the new music video for “High Low Middle” from My Brightest Diamond is an unofficial theme song for the Occupy Wall Street movement (albiet unintentional – as it was in the can long before #OWS)… directed by Murat Eyuboglu, filmed in Detroit and featuring dancers from RunJitRun and Jitting Jesus:
When you’re privileged you don’t even know you’re privileged
When you’re not, you know
When you’re happy you don’t even know you’re happy
When you’re not, you know
full lyrics (link)
Fellow Detroit musician Blue Stahli makes an appearance in the video. If he or (*gasp*) labelmate Celldweller remixed some MBD tunes, that would be RAD as HELL! Afternoon Update: Blue Stahli responded with a “Funny you should say that…” twitter reply. Nice!
- There’s a 9-10 minute session with Shara/MBD on NPR’s All Things Considered right HERE.
- Check out my 11/5 review of the MBD show at Mississippi Studios in Portland Oregon right HERE.
- I’d also highly recommend you pick up her latest album, All Things Will Unwind… it’s right HERE (and amazing).
Groupees, an “innovative new flash sale platform featuring digital media content from exciting independent artists,” announced yesterday that it will be launching its next promotion featuring Detroit’s electronic rock mastermind Celldweller…
Known worldwide for pioneering new sounds and methods for creating his tracks, Klayton (Celldweller) continues to generate music that resonates and relates to both fans and the entertainment industry worldwide.
The Celldweller 4-EP Bundle Groupee is slated to start Wednesday, May 4th at 9:00 am PST at http://bit.ly/celldwellr.
20% of all proceeds from the sale go directly to Red Cross to support US/Alabama Tornado Relief.
The campaign will run for 72 hours and is priced using Pay What You Want which allows fans to name their price with a minimum of $3 (products retail five times that). The Bundle packages together 4 EP’s, one of which has 4 never before released tracks:
- Wish Upon A Blackstar Chapter 03 of 05 is the latest installment of the Celldweller sophomore album, featuring the tracks “The Lucky One” & “Tainted”
- Cellout EP 01 featuring re-imagined versions of Celldweller songs as heard in the Celldweller live show. This EP debuted in iTunes as the #1 Electronic Album in 5 Countries, including the US as well as top #10 Electronic album in 12 countries.
- Soundtrack For The Voices In My Head Vol. 02 (Chapter 01) featuring instrumental tracks used in Film/Tv/Video Games
- Exclusive EP will feature a brand new, unreleased track from Soundtrack For The Voices In My Head Vol. 02 (Chapter 02), 3 unreleased Remixes as well as a rare/limited release of Klayton’s remix of the track “Shapeshifter.”
The Celldweller 4-EP Bundle also includes a special bonus collection if the promotion’s goal of $10,000 raised is met:
All participants will receive an unreleased ‘Beta Cessions’ B-Side Demo along with the unreleased Remix of the track “The Lucky One”. At the close of the campaign, the #1 top donor will receive an additional bonus Unreleased Demo that will be exclusively theirs until we officially release the track at a later date.
Who is Groupees? Groupees, from Portland, Oregon, is a social media technology company. Their parent company, YAWMA, also operates a digital store and app for discovery and sharing of indie music and games through Facebook.
From Wednesday, May 4th, through Saturday, May 7th (9am PST/noon EST), dig in at:
New music from Celldweller hits iTunes exclusively today…
Cellout EP 01 features 3 studio versions of songs taken from the Celldweller live show.
- Own Little World (Klayton’s We Will Never Die Remix)
- Frozen (Celldweller vs. Blue Stahli)
- The Best It’s Gonna Get vs. Tainted
Go here for Celldweller on iTunes!
So, the year end recaps are in process (instrumental list maybe later today or Friday) … I needed something to fill the gap… here are some artists who are expecting to release new material in 2011 (some are carryovers from 2010’s anticipation), all of which I’m looking forward to…
Kevin Moore‘s Shine (digital out now, CDs en route), dredg has one due at the end of March, Over the Rhine‘s The Long Surrender, Earth‘s Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1 (in February), Iron & Wine‘s Kiss Each Other Clean, Mogwai‘s Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will, Reptet‘s At the Cabin, My Brightest Diamond‘s as of yet untitled (she’s in the studio), a bunch of new stuff from John Zorn, Derek Webb‘s Democracy Vol 2 (10 cover songs for 2011), maybe the Secret Chiefs 3 will finally release Book of Souls (it’s their “Chinese Democracy”), Eisley‘s The Valley, Jelly Jam with Ty Tabor of King’s X/John Myung of Dream Theater/Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dregs, Goddamn Electric Bill‘s Jazz, A.N.M. featuring Doug Pinnick of King’s X and Jimi Hazel of 24-7 Spyz, Ken Andrew and Co’s Digital Noise Academy (maybe), Silverchair are working on one (didn’t hit in 2010), Radiohead have put in studio time in 2010 (maybe something out by year’s end), Glen Phillips likely has a few in the hopper (RemoteTreeChildren #2? new Toad? new WPA? new solo?), Opeth is in the studio, Steven Wilson with Mike Portnoy & Mikael Akerfeldt (of Opeth) too, Sufjan Stevens tribute album (due out in March), more chapters from Celldweller‘s Wish Upon a Blackstar, new tracks from Billy & Maynard’s A Perfect Circle, Mike Patton‘s electronic Fantômas or Peeping Tom #2, and… Ani DiFranco – I mean, it’s inevitable… right? Well, not always, she totally missed 2010 (as of now, no studio albums out in 821 days / 257 since a live EP on Record Store Day 2010).
Plus many more great albums due out in 2011, I’m sure.
The pre-order for Celldweller‘s Wish Upon a Blackstar: Chapter 3 went live yesterday. The third chapter (of five total) will feature the songs “The Lucky One” and “Tainted.”
Chapter 3 will be available for download in several bundles (including a deluxe edition for $4.99) on July 27th from Celldweller’s FiXT store. The deluxe edition features instrumentals, demos, and commentaries.
After all five chapters are released, I expect there will be a full-length album (and hopefully CD) issue.