Richard Ashcroft’s new band is RPA & the United Nations of Sound. (The “P” is for Paul.) We’ve admired him for his solo work and for his original band The Verve. “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is one of the greatest songs ever. (Ironically the royalties for that song belong to the Rolling Stones’ record company, ABKCO, as a sample in the song was taken from “The Last Time” by the Stones.) Richard has continued to write majestic music and “Born Again” is no exception and is the Song of the Day.
“Born Again” by Richard Ashcroft
The married duo Mates of State (Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel) from Lawrence, Kansas, have released Crushes (The Covers Mixtape), songs of an eclectic group of artists including Belle & Sebastian, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Fleetwood Mac and The Mars Volta among others. On their website Mates of State are offering a free download of “Laura” by Girls. We feature it here along with the original as the Song of the Day.
Mates of State-“Laura”
Blonde Redhead, the trio from New York, (consisting of Italian-born, Montreal-raised and Boston- musically educated twin brothers, Simone and Amedeo Pace, and Japanese musician Kazu Makino) offer a free download of their first new music since 2007. “Here Sometimes” is the Song of the Day.
Dr. Dog is a 5 member band hailing from Philadelphia and the city is embedded in their music. As guitarist/singer/songwriter Scott McMicken writes on their website:
“This one apartment I was living in, I felt like I was stuck in the insane heart of West Philly. It’s a weird, insular little community, and there’s a lot going on and a lot of crazy, flamboyant characters and a lot of porch life and coffee shops. But for me, it was kind of overwhelming, and I had overextended myself into the lives of a lot of wacky people, because those are the type of people that I gravitate towards the most. But sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and get taken advantage of. I was exhausted with my neighborhood and I let it into me a little too much. That night, I wrote “Shadow People,” which is a full-on West Philly diary. Philly has been such a big part of our lives, and I feel like on this record it finally took over and made its way into our music. There’s a line that says, ‘I stole a bike from the Second Mile and saw a band play in the basement.’ The Second Mile is this thrift around the corner from my house, and there’s so many basement shows in West Philly, like noisy, artsy bands. I wanted to write something about the people and places around me.”
From the album Shame, Shame “Shadow People” is the Song of the Day.
“Shadow People” by Dr. Dog
It just arrived in the mail today. “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan from his Troubadour album was chosen by Coca-Cola as the theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Numerous bilingual versions of this politically-charged wildly infectious joyous song have been released. This international remix version features Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am and French producer David Guetta. K’naan was born in Somalia and resides in Canada. “Wavin’ Flag” is the Song of the Day.
“Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan
Multi-talented artist, Sri Lankan provocateur, and singer/songwriter/rapper, M.I. A., released perhaps the best punk song of the year with “Born Free” with accompanying controversial video (posted on this site previously). It will be included on her new album Maya. In completely different vein we feature another track, “XXXO”, as the Song of the Day. Hear two versions, the one from the album and the remix with Jay-Z.
“XXXO” remix featuring Jay-Z
The always fascinating David Byrne theorizes that musicians create music, unconsciously or not, based on the environment where it will be heard. Posted here from his talk at TED, you can also download it for free from ITunes.
Blitzen Trapper, a Portland, Oregon folk/rock band, has been featured here in the past. We previewed “Heaven and Earth” from the new album Destroyer of the Void; and now that it has been officially released, here is another track. “Dragon’s Song” is the Song of the Day.
“Dragon’s Song” by Blitzen Trapper
In a rare interview, Thom Yorke of Radiohead warns young musicians not to tie themselves to the “sinking ship” of the music industry, suggesting it will soon collapse.
According to the BBC, Thom said: “When the corporate industry dies it will be no great loss to the world. So, I guess I would say, don’t tie yourself to the sinking ship because, believe me, it’s sinking.”
The songwriter made his comments in the Rax Active Citizenship Toolkit, to be published next month by New Internationalist magazine for students of GCSE Citizenship Studies (“Aimed at 14- to 16-year-olds, this resource is designed to accompany students through the key processes of the Citizenship Studies curriculum: critical thinking and enquiry, advocacy and representation and taking informed and responsible action.” Basically it’s to help young people to become more politically literate).
In the interview, carried out in February, Yorke said the fate of new artists was “an obsession” of bandmate Ed O’Brien, who is a leading member of lobby group the Featured Artists’ Coalition.
Yorke said: “When we discuss it, he says it’s simply a matter of time – months rather than years – before the music business establishment completely folds.
“He is involved in trying to build a world where artists would finally get paid. But we are up against the self-protecting interests of that industry.”
From In Rainbows, Radiohead‘s self-released, pay-what-you-want album, “All I Need” is the Song of the Day.
“All I Need” by Radiohead
Ariel Pink is a Los Angeles musician known for his homemade lo-fi recordings. Over the past ten years he has primarily recorded and performed as a solo artist but a couple of years ago he formed the band Haunted Graffiti, and they just released a professionally recorded album entitled Before Today. “Round and Round” from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is the Song of the Day.
“Round and Round” by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Brooklyn-based The Hold Steady have recently released their 5th album Heaven is Whenever. Songwriter Craig Finn creates complex characters and takes us on lyrical journeys through the bars and back-alleys of the heartland. Today we feature “The Weekenders” as the Song of the Day.
“The Weekenders” by The Hold Steady
The World Cup is the greatest sporting event in the world. Soccer is a game that many Americans have yet to embrace, but if you have ever lived outside of our shores, you know that this sport, known as “football”, dominates. It’s a sport where all you need is a ball a bit of space. Less violent than most sport, just about anybody can play it. And you don’t have to be a physical mutant to play it well. American resistance is in part due to the pace of the game. But if you allow yourself to flow with the game, you will appreciate its subtleties, stamina and exhilaration. Too say that it is boring is to miss its essence. Soccer was not invented here and the 45 minute halves do not allow for commercial interruption, but so much the better as this sport can unite the world, if only for a month. Bono and U2 have never said it better, and this brief video is one of the best things that they have ever done. Enjoy!
Yesterday we featured Beck along with Bat For Lashes. Today, we hear from Beck once again, this time from the soundtrack to HBO’s True Blood, Volume 2. “Bad Blood” is Beck’s take on Louisiana swamp Cajun blues and is the Song of the Day.
“Bad Blood” by Beck