New music from Julian Casablancas; performing at SXSW this Friday


You gotta listen to this new mash-up preview of the forthcoming album by Julian Casablancas + The Voidz (do it now!), which may or may not be his new band.  They’re slated to play very early Saturday morning at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.  We’re hoping to hear more of the same very soon from Julian and his (maybe) new band.

Asymmetry and balance juxtapose nicely in “Monster” by Valise

Every once in a while I run into a band that appears to take two opposing designs and somehow makes it work. Valise is one of those bands. The Dallas-based indie group weaves together ethereal keyboards and with solid bass/guitar accompaniment against a backdrop of asymmetrical percussion, which is reminiscent of work by Danish indie rockers Mew.  “Monster” is available for download on iTunes.

Charli XCX covers Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible”

British indie singer Charli XCX teams up with soul singer Janelle Monáe to create a bouncy, high-energy remake of the late Robert Palmer’s 1988 rocker “Simply Irresistible.”  Even though we’ve heard the song more times than was necessary during Palmer’s salad days, Charli XCX’s rendition is just manic enough to make it fun again.

Keep an eye out for this week’s Friday 5 Across the LIps when we explore five original songs with very imaginitive cover versions.

Tei Shi’s pleasant late-night psychotropic ride

I don’t know much about Tei Shi, which I found on Gorilla vs. Bear while randomly listening to posted songs, but I know I really like what she’s doing.  There’s very little about Brooklyn singer on the Web other than her rich, trippy electonica pop songs such as “Nevermind the End,” which puts me in mind of a tranquilizing moonlight ride through the snowy woods.  Nice way to spend a Friday night…

Kim & Thurston are divorced. It’s none of your business. Get over it.

Women’s issues blog Jezebel posted a rather inflammatory article about something that’s really no one’s business: the cause of divorce between Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, both of the now-defunct iconic indie band Sonic Youth.  Since then, it has spawned many “Team Kim” and “Team Thurston” responses.

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I’m a part of “Team Get Over It.”  I love Sonic Youth’s music and am sad that my favorite band is no more, but that doesn’t mean I get a say in the private lives of the band members.  Instead, I’m going to celebrate the incredible legacy they as Sonic Youth left behind.

Foxygen’s “Shuggie” an off-balance blend of ’60s psychedelia with modern design

Foxygen, the duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado of Los Angeles, offer up a taste of ‘60s mod with ’10s modern design with “Shuggie,” from their 2013 release We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.  Barely in their 20s, it’s likely France and Rado drew their influences drew from their grandparents’ record collections than their parents’ CDs.  “Shuggie” could easily fit within the constructs of a Cowsills performance of Hair with its trippy melodies, sudden tempo changes, and carefree joy that would bring Austin Powers out of the wood paneling.

“Fall in Love” with Phantogram

I was instantly struck by “Fall in Love” by New York’s Phantogram, which I heard on Pandora tonight while ironing my shirts (the excitement never stops).  Its warm, sensuous beat seduces you from the moment it starts.  Filed with lush, dreamy vocals and a vibrating low-end, Sarah Barthel’s sultry voice flirts flawlessly with Josh Carter’s pulsating keyboard work.  They truly have a knack for ethereal psychedelia and swooning, stabbing synths.