Sound it Out # 46: Alpine - “Gasoline” (MP3)
Here’s a lovely, dreamy little pop gem to make any spring day even brighter. The band is called Alpine, and formerly called themselves Swiss, even though they are from Australia. Go figure.
Their excellent debut album A is for Alpine comes out in the US (and most other territories from what I can gather) on May 21.
Free download below!
Sound it Out # 45: Charles Bradley - “Strictly Reserved for You” (MP3)
Soul singer Charles Bradley has a lot of feelings, and it's not hard to see why: he's lived on the street, discovered his brother’s murdered body, and spent most of his 64 years as a James Brown impersonator, all while dreaming of recording his own music. His songs teem with the incredible anguish of his life, and his gratitude for its turnaround. Bradley has only seen success in the last few years, and his deep love for his life and fans is apparent. I’ve never seen someone give so much of himself on stage; he will actually burst into tears while wailing “I love you” and thanking the audience when he performs. It's irresistible.
Victim of Love is Charles Bradley’s excellent new album (out today!), and it sounds like a classic soul record with some sneaky psychedelic overtones. Charles has agreed to share this free download of the first single “Strictly Reserved for You” with us. Take a listen, know that Charles loves you, and head over to a record retailer to show your love right back.
We featured Django Django's first single over a year ago. The record came out in the U.S. in October and is still going strong. "WOR" is their 7th video from their self-titled debut, and is a mesmerizing peek into the lives of daredevils drivers at a fair in Allahabad.
Go see the band live - they're fun, charming,extremely talented and have the biggest tambourine you've ever seen. I highly recommend it - tour dates here.
I start the New York Times Crossword every day (I can't always finish) and have often fantasized about throwing down with the real puzzle masters at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Photographer Rufus Mangrove was there last weekend, and his artful shots of the event make it look like a blast.
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Clam Lynch is a wildly-creative artist and actor...and therefore terminally broke. He’s also a dad who is trying to raise enough cash to move from San Francisco to Utah to help his daughter Eloise get set up for college. He’s selling custom-printed and numbered tote bags to help finance their journey. Bids start at $20 for these fine-looking bags.
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The new Beach House video for "Wishes" was directed by Eric Wareheim (Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) and features Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Reaper, classic 70's TV), horses & fireworks. It takes place during a sort of demented halftime show. It's fantastic.
Sound it Out # 43: Junip - “Line of Fire” (MP3)
Junip is a band from Gothenburg, Sweden, comprising members Elias Araya, Tobias Winterkorn, and José González. Though their first EP came out way back in 2005, they are only now releasing their second full-length album, Junip, which arrives on April 23rd. Singer/guitarist González’ much-lauded solo career has kept him away from the band for big chunks of time. It's been worth the wait.
Junip's new single “Line of Fire” is an atmospheric gem. Whispery vocals, exotic percussion and an overall ominous tone make for a highly addictive song. Download/listen below.
I'm going to be cooking a dinner featuring locally-produced honey at canelé restaurant in LA next Tuesday, February 19. The restaurant has a program called "Friends Cook", where they invite neighborhood pals to cook a special menu at the restaurant. Here's how they describe it:
Every so often on a Tuesday night we share our kitchen with some special folks for our popular "friends cook at canelé." These pals, ranging from experienced chefs to absolute newbies, conceive, prep, and cook to order a 3 course prix-fixe menu with the advice and assistance of our chef, cooks, and servers.
Here's the menu:
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD
with dates, toasted walnuts & Stilton, and a honey vinaigrette
SMOKY HONEY-CURED SALMON*
slow roasted and served with white beans & cavolo nero
SPICY GINGER/HONEY CAKE WITH HONEY GELATO
Feral Honey gelato from Pazzo Gelato in Silver Lake
* Vegetarian option: pasta with white beans & cavolo nero
I'll be curing the salmon next Sunday morning, then cold-smoking it with alder wood that night. We'll slow roast it to order at Canelé on Tuesday. It's a long process, but with a super-delicious result.
It'll be really fun and a great opportunity to watch me burn myself. I'd love to see you there if you happen to be in LA!
Sound it Out # 42: Helado Negro - “Dance Ghost”(MP3)
Helado Negro is the musician alter ego of the visual/experimental artist Roberto Carlos Lange.He’s the son of Ecuadorian immigrants who grew up in South Florida and now lives in Savannah, Georgia. The music of Helado Negro (translation: Black Ice Cream) is a moody mish-mash of samples and rhythms that evokes the haunted mood of a David Lynch movie. Helado Negro’s fourth album is called Invisible Life and will be out March 5.
Meanwhile, Lange has a commissioned live performance coming up on February 23 at the Savannah College of Art & Design. It’s called Brain Finger Composition and includes sounds that members of the Savannah arts community uploaded to Google Voice. He will also conduct a 10-piece orchestra by connecting each musician to one of his fingers with a piece of yarn.
“Dance Ghost” is one of the first songs that Helado Negro has sung in English. It has a haunting, languid tone that you can imagine being an ideal soundtrack for a sticky Georgia/Florida/Ecuador summer night. Download it below.