Brand spankin new single from my friend and PUMP favorite, Eytan & The Embassy.
"Everything Changes" drops today and the band plays Rockwood Music Hall tonight at 8.
Eytan and his band melt pop and rock together so perfectly and put on an amazing show.
Get out there and see some live music. Details HERE. x
This band is so unbelievably rad.
Head over to NPR for the official premiere.
Brand new video from Brooklyn's White Rabbits... and it's, um, interesting.
I still owe my buddy James for making me go see them at the old Knitting Factory in '08.
"Heavy Metal" is playing on repeat at my desk today. x
PUMP Sessions Interviews: The Happy Problem
I’d like to welcome Sam Shaber and The HappyProblem to The PUMP Sessions Interview Series. I'm going to start off by saying their album Head Case is really fun. I’ve listened to it at least a dozen times this week, front to back. I am quite sure you’re going to dig this killer NYC indie punk band just as I have. Their next gig is February 24th at The Delancey on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Sam, you come from a very creative family. Your mother, Alice, was an artist, and your father was legendary screenwriter, DavidShaber. Did they encourage your musical expression from an early age?
Well actually they were very academic and more about theater than music, certainly rock music. In fact, the family joke was always that my dad wished I'd gone into something more stable, like acting.
But yes, overall they are definitely creative types who certainly saw the possibility of having a career in any of the arts, as long as you work hard enough. I was never told to be a doctor or lawyer – it wouldn't have occurred to them really.
After an impressive run as a solo artist, what attracted you to the idea of fronting a band?
Boredom. No, seriously. I just got tired of playing shows alone all the time, and writing everything by myself on just acoustic guitar. I love the layering and cooperation of playing with a band, several people contributing to the sound as a whole – that's just more exciting to me right now.
With folk music, I was in a world based at its roots on artists like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, whereas I had always wanted to be Prince or Duran Duran. So I was a bit of a fish out of water! I'd be playing church basements and coffeehouses with my gold glitter jeans and streaky hair. Audiences were always wonderfully receptive, but I was more interested in following Billie Joe Armstrong than Lucinda Williams. It was scary to drop everything cold turkey and start over, but it's made songwriting and performing so exciting and fresh to me, the work has been worth it.
Maybe it just comes down to change. Artists get bored and want to try something new. That's why Robert Plant went from the greatest heavy rock band of all time to his acoustic thing with Alison Krauss and "Raising Sand." I just went in the other direction.
How and when did The Happy Problem come to fruition? And how did you meet your drummer, Tony, and bassist, Joe?
I played my very last "folk" gig in March 2008, (at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO), and from that moment on, started working on the happy problem full steam. I was living in LA at the time, and recruited some great players to record the debut EP, guys from Gnarls Barkley and The Fray, and then searched for the "permanent" live band to start playing out. But in six months of this live band, I had four drummers and two bass players, and right about that time I decided I wanted to be back in NYC where I grew up, so I packed it in and started over one more time.
The current version of the happy problem dates from about April 2010. I found Tony and our next bass player, Sean, on Craigslist. Sean played most of the bass on Head Case, but left to pursue his own band towards the end of recording. So we hunted Craigslist again and found Joe. And now we have a new member, Anthony, on drums, with Tony switching to lead guitar. It's never a dull moment!
The band is slowly changing to a much more collaborative, mutual situation. I wrote almost all of the songs on the debut EP and the new album, Head Case, but I'm not such a dictator anymore. After the LA experience, it was hard to trust people to stick around, but these guys have really proven themselves and gotten involved not just in the playing, but in the writing and business stuff as well. Feels like a real band now!
For those of you that haven't heard of Colorado's own Pretty Lights, peep this.
And in case the ones that have are wondering what it's like to see this kid live, here you go...
Holyfuckingshit those are the sickest lights I have ever seen.
Brought to you by Lightwave International. Damn, son. x
This is so ridiculously awesome that I'm still in shock after watching it ten times in a row...
David and Billy Werth, race down a runway in Indiana to perform their favorite stunt, the "inverted tail grab"
So so so sick... x
The latest video from Arctic Monkeys contains just about everything I love in this world: Vintage cars, motorcycles, and rock n roll.
"You And I" features UK rocker, Richard Hawley, whose baritone vox bring a much welcomed darkness to the otherwise upbeat, radio-friendly Brits.
The ripping guitar solo is a killer throwback to rock days of yore. I can't stop listening to this fucking song. It's been on repeat for the last hour...
This is their best song in years. Turn up those speakers, kids. x
I know I've said it before, but I have to keep saying it if it's true.
Butch Walker has topped himself once again with "Synthesizers"
Sorry, but the dude just keeps bringing it to the next level with every song and every video.
And for serious, is there anyone in this great nation cooler than McConaughey?
It's ok, I can answer that for you... No. x
I can't even begin to express how proud I am of my boy Bergles and his band of misfits.
Van Ghost has absolutely exploded onto the Chicago jam rock scene, seemingly overnight.
"Domino Effect" is a killer tune, and Jennifer Hartswick's vocals melt into his perfectly.
And I am in love with this video. I know, I know, this is some fanboy shit.
Damn straight, motherfucker. GO VAN GHOST GO GO GO! x
PUMP Sessions Interview Series Presents: SIIINES
SIIINES is a dynamic electro-rock trio making waves in Los Angeles and on the verge of packing dance floors across the country. I recently stumbled onto their video for "Oh Yeah!" and could not stop listening. I must have replayed the clip a dozen times. I immediately reached out to their management and requested an interview. These guys are not only rad, they're absolute pros. So turn up your speakers, click play on the accompanying videos, and kick back for a minute. Hell, it's Friday. You deserve it. x
P: First off, welcome and thank you the interview.
Where did you come up with the name SIIINES? Please explain, because it’s what caught my eye while trolling the industry blogs…
S: A “sine wave” is a mathematical representation of a continuous frequency - the basis of sound. We thought SIIINES looked and sounded cool.
How did the three of you end up in Los Angeles? What part of LA do you live in? And where is everyone from originally?
Morgan and I are Canadian but we moved to Hollywood last year to work on music. A friend of ours was dancing at Crazy Girls one night and suggested we meet her friend Gina (DJ GENE (born in Vegas)). It’s been true love ever since!
And how long have you been playing music together? From your tight hooks, strong vocals, and hot beats, I’m assuming this isn’t your first rodeo…
Morgan and I have been working as songwriters/producers and in bands for about 7 years, haha and yeah we’ve rodeo-ed a few times.
January 19, 2012. At the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC.
He joined the singers Al Green, India.Arie, and more than 1,400 supporters who doled out between $100 and $5,000 per ticket to the fundraiser.
A number of $25,000 VIP tickets were also available for what organizers reported is a sold-out event.
How can you not love this guy? Obama 2012. x
These Cincinnati rockers have been blowing my mind for a couple of years now.
And there is absolutely no letting up with these guys. None. Zero. They're hit machines.
Foxy Shazam is one of the best high-energy rock bands in the U-S-of-A.
And the only reason why they have not exploded is that corporate rock radio fucking sucks.
"Holy Touch" is the latest gem from their never-ending arsenal.
Turn em up, kids. x
Here's the second single from Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi's collaboration, Rome.
"Season's Trees" featuring the beautiful and timeless Norah Jones, is an absolutely breathtaking, both musically and poetically. Norah's whisper follows Luppi's guiding organ with a light acoustic strumming by Burton that fills the void of eeriness and creates the perfect soundtrack.
This is the song I want to play as the credits roll at the end of an indie romance... x
Toronto's own Art of Fresh bring me right back to the days of US3 and Digable Planets, but with a Jamiroquai dance-funk vibe thrown in the mix.
The duo is comprised of D.O. - aka Defy the Odds - and Slakah the Beatchild.
"Good Shoes" features the lovely and talented Melanie Durrant.
Turn up them speakaz kidz. x
One of my favorite custom motorcycle blogs posted these photos and videos from the upcoming blockbuster film. To say this trilogy was my favorite read of 2011 would be an understatement, so when the Swedish film came out, I immediately watched all three (I was late to the party, so they were all already out on Netflix). They were incredible. When I read that Hollywood was re-doing them, American style, I was a bit remiss. But then Daniel Craig signed on and I've been waited with bated breath ever since. Of course, now it's been out for weeks and I still haven't seen it. That ends this week, thanks to this photo and the videos below...
From Return of the Cafe Racer:
"For the upcoming US release of David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, actress Rooney Mara has done away with the MX style motorcycle ridden by her character in the original 2009 release of the film. Instead her character Lisbeth Sanders the "goth detective" will be seen riding an all black, Cafe Racer styled, Honda CL350."
Scarlett Johansson directed the new video from Jessie Baylin.
"Hurry Hurry" is a beautiful day dream of a pop song. Her breathy lyrics don't necessarily make me sleepy, but distract me into a mist of heavy eyelids and smiling meditation. The steady drums and string arrangements drift along beautifully like you're being carried away on a cloud.
Needless to say, I am a fan... x
I first watched this documentary about intellectual copyright back in February of 2010. With all of the posts and Tweets today about SOPA and PIPA, I thought it deserved an encore.
RiP: A Remix Manifesto is one of the greatest films I have ever seen and it truly changed my mind about copyright protection and internet independence.
After the jump, you can see my initial post and my thoughts after seeing it for the first time.
PUMP Sessions Interviews: THE SHAKE
In our first interview of 2012, we are stoked to have New York City's very own The Shake. Enjoy, and get out to catch them live real soon.
"They have been called 'the American Arctic Monkeys, with a little bit of Muse thrown in for good measure;' (Hollie Jones, Secret Sound Shop) were named one of the 28 Best Bands of CMJ 2010 by BlackBook Magazine and; headlined the magazine’s CMJ showcase last year. The Shake are proof that forward-thinking Rock n Roll is alive and well, even in the nucleus of the revivalist-centric scene that is New York City in 2012."
Welcome to the PUMP Sessions Interview Series. Where are all of you from?
We’re each from the Northeast, but only in the past year or two have we all lived in New York City. Hailing from Rochester, Dan finds himself farthest from home. Jeremy is from Long Island, Mike the Upper East Side, and I’m from Northern NJ.
How did you all end up in New York and what hood do you guys call home now?
Dan moved to the city after college, and I’ve been living here since college. Now we’re scattered throughout Manhattan, and our central hub is Chelsea. That’s where we rehearse, and our studio there is like our Batcave.
When, where, and how did the band form?
The current iteration of the band only shares two members with the original lineup, me and Jeremy. We met during a gap year before college, attending nearby schools, and were introduced by a mutual friend who thought we’d get along musically. Within weeks we were playing shows, and when we returned to New York, we connected and started writing for The Shake. We found Dan through another mutual friend, who knew we were in search of a drummer.
Dan had just moved to the city from Rochester, and was looking to jam. We had one trial session with him, and it was love at first note. The last piece of the puzzle was Mike. He played in a local band called Haakon's Fault, and we were big fans of his. We'd go to their shows and talk to him afterwards. We asked if he'd be cool playing in two groups, and once he agreed, we knew we'd found our missing piece. We’ve all played in other groups before, but only Mike was in a serious rock group before The Shake.
I find it fascinating to learn how bands decide on a name. Please tell our readers how you came up with The Shake.
The Shake was actually my band in 12th grade, and it was basically a Grateful Dead cover band. In the early 2000s, 'The' band names were quite popular, with The Strokes, Hives, Vines, etc. Anyway, The Shake had a good ring to it; simple and indicative of enjoyable music. When the current band got together in college, there wasn't even a discussion about the name, we just went with The Shake.
Locals Only Copenhagen from LEVI'S® on Vimeo.
Levi's presents, my favorite custom motorcycle shop on the planet...
"Asked about the essence of motorcycling, Copenhagen local Per Nielsen will keep his answer fittingly short and clean; in fact, he will say no more than a single word at first: “Presence.”
His crew The Wrenchmonkees has long established itself as a commanding force and seminal presence in the world of stainless steel and powerful engines. Internationally known for their matchless custom motorcycle creations, Per explains his search for the ultimate road beast and presents his very own thoughts and feelings about “Motorcycle Maintenance”.
Linking their shared love for skateboarding, DIY culture, rock & roll, the sound of engines going, and clean shapes, the Copenhagen-based crew never cared so much about extreme performance, loud colors or the latest designs; instead, they are interested in “the basic expression of life on a motorbike”.
In short: these guys focus on unique machines, a clean, raw and no-frills aesthetic, and ultimately a timeless experience on two wheels."
The Gallery has a Wallflowers / Jakob Dylan sound that I'm really vibing on right now.
From what little is available online, it seems they hail from MA and FL, but that's as far as I got.
"Ballroom of Broken Hearts" has a vintage style with a modern twang inside her.
Tight vocals, great hooks, strong riffs bring a really full sound from this trio.
Hopefully they'll be back through New York City real soon... x
On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. LCD frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top with the biggest and most ambitious concert of its career. The instantly sold out, near four-hour extravaganza did just that, moving the thousands in attendance to tears of joy and grief, with NEW YORK magazine calling the event "a marvel of pure craft" and TIME magazine lamenting "we may never dance again." SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS is both a narrative film documenting this once in a life time performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.
Directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace
Pulse Films © 2012
Caged Animals : 'All the Beautiful Things In The World' (NSFW) from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.
PUMP Sessions Video of the Day:
Caged Animals just released this very awesome video that is very NSFW.
This is dream pop at it's absolute finest, and it's coming out of Brooklyn?
Soothing vocals with a melody that seems to hover above the ground like a fog.
Enjoy "All the Beautiful Things" with a bunch of beautiful women. x
Amazing new video from New York City rockers and PUMP favorites, Black Taxi.
"Hand" has a dreamy melody mixed with that jazzy rock n roll they're famous for.
I love everything about this band and they are smokin hot live, so get your ass to a gig.
They're playing Bowery Ballroom this Saturday night.
See you there. Tix HERE. x
So Jay and Bey had a baby. I'm sure you've read about it. Everyone has.
Jay's tribute to the newborn is "Glory" featuring one-day-old Blue Ivy Carter.
Blue, which stems from The Blueprint. And Ivy, from Beyonce's favorite number 4, aka IV.
There you have it, kids. Parenthood from hip hop royalty. x
A friend posted this spontaneous, impromptu NYC subway performance.
And then another friend posted it. And another and another. And then it was viral.
Jessica Latshaw is a sweetly voiced songstress with an impressive hip hop side.
Besides a seemingly random act of communal talent, the girl has some talent. x
okay- what you are about to watch is a true new york experience. what originally started out as a typical nyc subway ride turned into an awesome performance by two people who have never met before. i captured the whole thing on video.
the singer continued with another great song after the entire subway car demanded an encore. her name is jessica latshaw- make sure to check out her music.
props to the conga player as well. check out his stuff- Quoom1.
filmed and uploaded by Matt Schwartz
This is nothing shy of amazing...
Wilco, Nick Lowe, & Mavis Staples rehearsing their performance of "The Weight" by The Band.
What a collaboration and such a gift to be able to witness an intimate rehearsal of legends.
Backstage at the Civic Opera House in Chicago in December 2011.
That just made my day. x