[mp3] Stephin Merritt: “Forever and a Day”

Given my general disappointment with the last Magnetic Fields record, a Stephin Merritt rarities album is just what I need. Our first sampling is a song that Merritt says is better than “Book of Love” for weddings.

“From The Song from Venus, my unfinished science fiction musical with Daniel Handler. When people use “The Book of Love” as a wedding song I want to scream, ‘But I have a better one!” Now I decree that everyone can get married.’

MP3: Stephin Merritt – Forever and a Day

Obscurities is out 8/23.

[stream] the Flaming Lips/Prefuse 73 collaborative EP

This is seriously a golden time to be a Flaming Lips fan. Wayne and the guys are using their time to do a lot of experimenting, including collaborations that sound like something from out of a dream. Case in point, this work done with Prefuse 73.

Stream the four songs from the Flaming Lips + Prefuse 73 collaboration

After the break, check out a live video of what I consider to be the best Wayne Coyne collaboration.

Continue reading [stream] the Flaming Lips/Prefuse 73 collaborative EP

[stream] Arcade Fire: “Speaking in Tongues” & “Culture War”

BBC radio DJ Zane Lowe premiered two new Arcade Fire songs on his program today. We got “Speaking in Tongues,” a quick interview with Win Butler and then “Culture War.” The internet being what it is, we didn’t have to wait long for them to pop up again.

Arcade Fire: “Speaking in Tongues”

Arcade Fire: “Culture War”

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[mp3/video] St. Vincent covers Big Black’s “Kerosene”

MP3: St Vincent – Kerosene (Big Black; live)

There are many reasons to live in Big Cities. One is that Sonora, Kentucky is never going to have a show like what happened last night in New York. All sorts of critically acclaimed indie/alternative bands got together to cover punk classics to honor the 10th anniversary of Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. There are some expected covers like Ted Leo covering Minor Threat, Dirty Projectors doing Black Flag and Titus Andronicus doing the Replacements… but this cover of Big Black’s “Kerosene” by St Vincent takes the cake. I could sleep for the next ten hours and have had a fantastic day just from this video. Cute little Annie screaming out “there’s kerosene around, find something to do” is just insanely great.

Watch a bunch of other videos from the night over at Cover Me.

[video] Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: “There Is No God” // charity single out in June

Maybe it’s the crazy side of me, but I just love that Will Oldham is putting out a single called “There Is No God” to benefit some charities. Sure, he’s pairing it with the b-side “God Is Love,” but it still makes me laugh inside.

“There Is No God” / “God Is Love” will be out 6/21 via Drag City.

[video] Ben Sollee plays for the Subway Sessions

Ben’s kept busy ever since he left our fair state. Here he is performing “Captivity” for the Subway Sessions. If nothing else, it’s worth watching for Ben’s ability to hold the cello off the floor for the entire song.

Ben’s also giving away a free remix. Just go like him on Facebook to snag that.

[video] Little Scream: “Red Hunting Jacket”

If only I hadn’t had a relaxing three-day trip to Atlanta, this wouldn’t be going almost back-to-back with my last Little Scream post. But hey, totally worth it. Here’s the official video for Little Scream’s “Red Hunting Jacket.” So watch the stop-motion beauty and then go pick up one of the year’s best records.

[mp3] COOLRUNNINGS: “Fool Moon” & “Rusk” (demos)

In the wake of how fantastic Dracula Is Only the Beginning was, I’d already started jonesing for my next COOLRUNNINGS fix. Luckily WTD stepped up by sharing these two new tracks.

MP3: COOLRUNNINGS – Rusk (demo)
MP3: COOLRUNNINGS – Fool Moon
Both of these tracks are a bit different from what DIOTB led me to expect. “Rusk” is a slow guitar rocker that borders on drone at times, while “Fool Moon” is a relaxing keyboard dream-pop song. Good to have both in the iTunes library; now if only I could start buying their stuff on wax…

COOLRUNNINGS on Bandcamp

[mp3] Little Scream: “Heron & the Fox”

Little Scream will probably go down in history as the most I’ve ever been impressed by an opener. Her set was incredible, start to finish. And though it’s been a long time since her show at MusicNOW, now’s the fun part: this is when I get to dive right into her album.

MP3: Little Scream – Heron & the Fox
What immediately struck me about Little Scream’s live show and record was the great dynamic range that she makes seem effortless. On “Heron & the Fox,” she shows off her softer side. In addition to perfectly capturing the delicate nature of folk music, she’s also got that roving spirit down on lock. I’d read an On the Road style book written by Little Scream if she could keep this level of writing up.

Little Scream on Bandcamp