Thursday, August 21, 2008

Always The Bridesmaid

I've been sworn to secrecy for a few weeks but can now report that The Decemberists have a bunch of releases in the pipeline.

First up is Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series which, as the title hints, is a series of three singles coming our way on a monthly basis. The first is called "Valerie Plame" and will be released on 10/14 via Capitol in the US and Rough Trade in the UK. With a song title like that, methinks the band might be getting political again! Tracklists and release dates are:

Volume I - October 14, 2008
A. Valerie Plame
B. O New England

Volume II - November 4, 2008
A. Days Of Elaine
B1. Days Of Elaine (Long)
B2. I'm Sticking With You

Volume III - December 2, 2008
A. Record Year For Rainfall
B. Raincoat Song

The singles will be available digitally and on colored 180 gram audiophile 12" vinyl in the US and 7" vinyl and the UK and feature songs that the band felt would not fit on their forthcoming LP. I've always loved a good non-album single or three. The new album is described as "a tough bit of leather...a little mossy, a little evil." I can't wait! No release date for that just yet, but my guess is we'll see it early in 2009. While we wait, The Decemberists will perform "Valerie Plame" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on 11/3.

Watch The Decemberists first foray into politics:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dreaming Of Dreaming

I was really into Secret Machines around the time of their first album. A friend tipped me to the band before Now Here Is Nowhere while they were streaming it on their site for what seemed like months before the proper release. I ended up seeing them live three or four times in support of that album and I was a big fan.

I have to admit, I got a bit burned out though. The problem might have been that I saw them live so many times in support of their debut that I got a bit bored (hello, Interpol) but also, I thought their second album, Ten Silver Drops, was boring. At least initially. It wasn't until months later when I took a chance on a used copy of the album that I realized it was just as good as the first.

Album #3 (self-titled) is about to hit shelves on 10/14, self-released through World's Fair. Another band leaves the majors to go the indie route. I like it. There has been a line-up change (brother Benjamin left to work on his other band, which sounds pretty interesting) but based on just-released non-album track "Dreaming Of Dreaming" the sound hasn't changed all that much. And that's a good thing. I really like the new song and am looking forward to the record.

Download: The Secret Machines - Dreaming Of Dreaming

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Heard Wonders

The first proper David Holmes solo album since 2000 is called The Holy Pictures and will be released on 9/8 (UK; no word on a US release yet).

Lead single "I Heard Wonders" sounds like The Jesus And Mary Chain drenched in a '60s sunny summer haze and I like it. A lot. It's released on 9/1 (UK again) and the formats look to be a CD and 7". The track lists are:

1. I Heard Wonders (Radio Edit)
2. I Heard Wonders (Andrew Weatherall Mix)
3. The Dogs They Are Parading

A. I Heard Wonders (Radio Edit)
B. I Heard Wonders (Andrew Weatherall Mix)

I'm really looking forward to hearing that Andrew Weatherall mix. I have a feeling he could do something pretty special with this one. The album sounds like it's going to be good based on the new tracks on David's MySpace player.

Watch the video for "I Heard Wonders":

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Meltdown In A Major

well, two of them anyway...Montreal's The Dears have announced that their fourth record, called Missiles, will be released on 10/21. The album will be released by Maple Music in Canada but the band has jumped to Dangerbird for the rest of the world, saying that their "relationships with Bella Union and Arts & Crafts had run their course."

The band line-up has seen a bit of upheaval since their last record, Gang Of Losers, was released in 2006. The Dears are down to a core of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak but will tour in a new line-up as a seven-piece this fall. I haven't seen any cover art or track listings just yet, but a song called "Meltdown In A Major" (which one assumes will be on the new album) is now streaming on their website. And it is gorgeous! I cannot wait for this record.

Stream: Meltdown In A Major