Tag Archives: Blur

Leisure Reading: Sleigh Bells, Local Natives, Blur, Interpol, M.I.A., Cults, and Bored To Death

First things first: listen to Sleigh Bells’ debut album Treats and blow your eardrums out. Pretty much all of the dirty, fuzzy sound from the demos is maintained, except now it’s a crisper sort of dirty and fuzzy. That probably doesn’t make sense in words, so you should just go hear it for yourself. The new version of “Infinity Guitars” is a particular stand-out, becoming even punchier and out-of-control.


There’s a new video for Local Natives’ “World News,” which has preemptively been on my list of favorite songs of 2010 for quite some time now. It’s directed by the same guy who did Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is The Move,” and while there are no llamas present, it’s probably nothing like what you would have expected for this song. Watch it here. You can also check out a bootleg of one of their recent sold-out Bowery Ballroom shows here.

Blur haven’t ruled out the possibility of recording new material, so that’s something to celebrate. However, it could be quite some time, considering that Damon Albarn is one of those people who tries to be in every band ever.

Interpol’s new album is done, but Carlos D. has quit the band. Considering how much he’s contributed to the Interpol brand, it’ll be interesting to see where Mssrs. Banks, Kessler, and Fogarino go from here. Will the replacement be required to wear random gun holsters and grow Colonel Sanders facial hair? I have a feeling that no one will be able to suffice in comparison to the real deal.

In other new release news, M.I.A.’s new album will be called / \ / \ / \ Y / \ and will be released on July 13 instead of June 29. Considering that her people hired a blimp to advertise the release date during Jay-Z’s set at Coachella, something serious must have caused the switch. Surely the reaction to ginger genocide wasn’t that strong?

Cults have made a three-song 7″ available for free on Bandcamp. If you like layered vocals, glockenspiel, and lazy sunny days, this is for you.

Filming for season two of Bored To Death is still going. The first set the expectations high (in more ways than one), and we all need more Schwartzman, Galifianakis, and Danson in our lives. Considering that these pictures show the Zach Galifianakis character Ray apparently involved with a dog-walking service, this next season can only get better.

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Leisure Reading: New Blur single, M.I.A. vs. Lady Gaga, MGMT, Sondre Lerche, Freelance Whales

Blur are releasing a new single for Record Store Day. Unfortunately, it’s limited to 1,000 copies in the UK, so the rest of us will have to frantically trawl the internet for vinyl-to-mp3 rips. I was too young for their 90s Britpop heyday and didn’t get into Blur until around 2005, but I am stupidly overjoyed. Get on that business, Libertines.

The M.I.A. vs. Lady Gaga feud is making me horribly conflicted. I adore both of them–I still regret missing the opportunity to see M.I.A. two years ago–but this feel vaguely reminiscent of that sort of high school drama situation when your friend starts bad-mouthing one of your other friends in front of you. Both women are extraordinarily talented, but in very different ways. Yes, maybe Gaga makes dance music for drunk people that doesn’t confront any serious political issues, but damn she can sing. As for her image, I interpreted the product placement in the Telephone video as a method of subverting the standard technique by purposely making it obvious. It also remains that huge amounts of people still automatically think of Pineapple Express when they hear M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.” There are good and bad sides to commercial success, and as much as I like M.I.A., Lady Gaga is obviously the bigger player in the game at the moment. Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig stated it via Twitter about as well as anyone’s ever going to: “M.I.A. dissing Lady Gaga is like when a dude goes to prison and immediately shivs the baddest dude in the cafeteria…works on TV, but I could imagine it backfiring pretty badly (the shivving not the dissing).” Who’s even been comparing M.I.A. to Gaga in the first place?

On that note, MGMT turned down opening for Lady Gaga. They say you can’t miss what you’ve never had, but that’s a dream-crusher right there. Sure, maybe MGMT want to stay in their underground bunker full of acid, but if they like Gaga enough to reference her in a song title, you’d think they’d be willing to play a few shows with her.

Watch a four-song acoustic set from the always-lovely Sondre Lerche here.

Nitsuh Abebe’s editorial about musical trends and Freelance Whales brings up some interesting points. Personally, I gave the Freelance Whales album a fair few listens, acknowledging that their sound contains many elements similar to various artists I enjoy, but it’s failed to make a serious impression on me.