Tag: The Kinks

New Video: The Limiñanas Team Up The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe on Lysergic and Menacing “Istanbul Is Sleepy”

Comprised of Marie (drums, vocals) and Lionel (guitar, bass, keys and vocals), the Perpignan, France-based duo The Limiñanas have developed a reputation as one of France’s beloved treasures, as their sound straddles the boundaries of psych rock, shoegaze and yé-yé, paired with fuzzy, distorted and reverb-heavy hooks and effortlessly cool vocals. And while being mischievously anachronistic, the duo manage to do so in an quintessentially French fashion. 

“Istanbul Is Sleepy,” the title track of their forthcoming Istanbul Is Sleepy EP finds the renowned French psych rockers collaborating with The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s influential Anton Newcombe, who contributes guitar and his imitable vocals to the track. And as the members of The Limiñanas recall in press notes, the collaboration can trace its origins to last year, when the folks at Mojo Magazine asked them to contribute a track to a Kinks tribute compilation. “We chose ‘Two Sisters,'” Lionel explains in press notes. “Marie and I were thinking for the vocal part, it would be great to approach Anton Newcombe, having opened for The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Le Trianon in Paris. The work began like that. We had an album to record and we decided to finish it with him. During the Christmas week we took our demos, flew to Berlin and recorded at Anton’s studio. Six days later we had a finished album.” 

Sonically speaking, the French psych rock act’s latest single features an arrangement that consists of  propulsive backbeat, layers of fuzzy guitars, soaring organs and rousing hooks and while possessing a decided garage rock scuzziness, the song has the sort of underlying menace reminiscent of The Black Angels — although interestingly enough, Newcombe was reportedly inspired by Rain-era The Cult. 

Naturally, while the  Jean Luc Moly-directed video is decidedly psychedelic, it also pays subtle homage to French New Wave films thanks to its attention to split screens and bright colors — as it features a zombie-like Anton Newcombe with the members of The Limiñanas performing the song in a persistent rainy backdrop as a man in a suit struts, dances and bops his head to the music. 

Formed in 1964 by five American GIs station in Gelnhausen, Germany — Gary Burger, Larry Clark, Eddie Shaw, Dave Day and Roger Johnston — as The Torquays, before a name change to The Monks, the garage rock/avant garde rock quintet had quickly become bored of the already cemented, traditional rock format, and as a result, they were inspired to create what was considered a highly experimental sound and aesthetic comprised of hypnotic and driving rhythms, which minimalized the role of melody, innovative sound manipulation, copious feedback, shrill vocals and guitarist David Day’s frequent use of the six string banjo. They were also well known for their shocking appearance as they would frequently dress up like Catholic monks, complete with black habits, cinctures tied around their waists and their hair worn in partial tonsures.  And although they horrified and baffled audiences of their day, in the 50 years since their last known release, the members of the American-born, German-based quintet are now largely considered pioneers both of the avant garde movement and of punk rock, as their socially charged material — material, which had the band voicing objections to the Vietnam War and criticizing what they viewed as the increasing dehumanization of modern society and modern life.

As The Monks, the American-born, German-based quintet released a handful of singles during 1966-1967 — most notably “Complication,” which coincided with the release of their only full-length album Black Monk Time. Though the material released during that period achieved limited commercial success or attention, over the past few years, the band has become a cult-favorite act, thanks to a newfound interest in Black Monk Time by collectors and music obsessives looking for art rock and psych rock of the 60s and 70s, and appearances on several compilation albums, including Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 — and along with that bands like The Dead Kennedys and The Beastie Boys have publicly cited The Monks as an influence on them.

With the release of 1999’s Five Upstarts Americans, a collection of rarities, B-sides and demo’d tracks from the Black Monk Time sessions, the members of the band reunited for a reunion show and a series of sporadic tours throughout the 2000s. For the better part of five decades, it was assumed that The Monks quietly split up after a handful of releases; however in a strange bit of a serendipity, the folks at Third Man Records were sent a treasure trove of unreleased and barely released, original photos of the band, newspaper clippings, business cards, letterhead, contracts, postcards and analog tapes, which contained unreleased material recorded sometime in early 1967, sometime around the time of the recording sessions of their final single “Love Can Tame the Wild”/”He Went Down to the Sea,” and after hours in the Top Ten Club, just before the band’s breakup.

From what the folks at Third Man Records could determine, the Hamburg Recordings 1967 EP, the EP’s first single “I’m Watching You” would have most likely been recorded on February 28, 1967 during the same sessions in which they recorded their final single — and while sounding completely of it era, nodding at the blue-eyed soul of The Righteous Brothers, the mod rock of The Who and The Kinks, as well as The Beach Boys and The Doors, the song possesses a swooning urgency that feels wild and unhinged, evoking the thoughts of someone who’s madly, desperate in love; but just under the surface, there’s an obsessive menace, as though the narrator may stalking his object of affection.

 

 

 

 

 

Live Footage: Chicano Batman Perform “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” on Conan

Comprised of Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals), Carlos Arévalo (guitar), Bardo Martinez (vocals, organ, guitar) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion), the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Chicano Batman have developed a reputation for specializing in a sound that draws from Brazilian tropicalia, psychedelia and classic soul — and for a growing national profile, as they’ve opened for Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Gogol Bordello and others. Adding to that, the band has played at several of the country’s biggest music festivals, including Coachella and Bonnaroo among others.

Interestingly, the band’s latest album Freedom Is Free finds the band leaning heavily towards a classic soul and classic R&B-leaning sound. And in order to achieve that goal, the band enlisted the assistance of Leon Michels, who is best known for specializing in that classic soul sound with his work with El Michels Affair, The Arcs, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band. Additionally, Michels has had his work sampled in songs by Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah.

“Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” is the latest single off Freedom Is Free and as you’ll hear the song draws from slow-burning, classic soul and R&B while nodding at the sound of The Who Sings My Generation and A Quick One-era The Who and The Kinks — but if they added an organist and a handful of backing vocalist. And as a result, the song consists of a soulful, old-school, shuffling two step and a deceptively simple nature, as the song lyrically and thematically speaks of the complex and complicated nature of friendship. Throughout the song, the narrator openly recognizes that while human relationships are absolutely pleasurable and necessary if they forge a deep understanding and companionship; but they can also be frequently fraught with misunderstanding, bitterness, heartache and betrayal.

Recently, the members of Chicano Batman made their national television debut with an appearance on Conan, where they played a loose and fiery version of “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm) off their latest full-length effort.

New Video: Chicano Batman Covers the Strange and Conflicting Feelings that Friendship Inspires in Their Most Soul-Leaning Song to Date

Comprised of Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals), Carlos Arévalo (guitar), Bardo Martinez (vocals, organ, guitar) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion), the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Chicano Batman have developed a reputation for specializing in a sound that draws from Brazilian tropicalia, psychedelia and classic soul and for a growing national profile, as they’ve played a number of this country’s major music festivals including Coachella and Bonnaroo, as well as opening for a number of renowned acts such as Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Gogol Bordello and others. However, with the band’s forthcoming album Freedom Is Free — slated for a March 3, 2017 through ATO Records — the band reportedly decided to lean heavily towards a classic soul and R&B leaning sound. And in order to achieve that goal, the band enlisted the help of Leon Michels, best known for El Michels Affair, The Arcs, has played with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band and has had his work sampled by Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah.

Freedom Is Free’s latest single “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” clearly draws from slow-burning, classic soul and R&B but has a subtle bit of rock ‘n’ roll at its heart as it dimly nods at early The Who and The Kinks — if they had employed the use of soaring organ chords and backing vocalist. And as a result, the song possesses an old school, shuffling two step. Interestingly, the song lyrically and thematically speaks to the complex and complicated nature of friendship, with its narrator recognizing that human relationships while pleasurable and necessary, can frequently be fraught with bitterness and betrayal. As the band’s Bardo Martinez explains in press notes “This is a song of betrayal in the most mundane sense. It’s about the trials and tribulations of friendship but a personal reflection on the painful realities of human relationships.”

Directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz, the recently released music video follows a series of relationships that highlight how quickly a relationship can go from being the best thing that could ever happen to you, to quickly souring and leading to some sort of betrayal — sometimes minor but quite frequently deeply heartbreaking.

New Video: Renowned British-born Singer/Songwriter Miten’s Elegantly Simple Cover of a Beloved Beatles Tune

Miten’s recently released Temple At Midnight is his first solo English language work in over a decade and in many ways the album finds him returning to his musical roots while writing deeply personal material inspired and influenced by his own journey to renewal, faith and love. And interestingly, the album’s latest single is an elegantly simple cover of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” in which Miten’s soulful and wizened vocals are paired with a sparse arrangement that has Miten accompanying himself with guitar, a bit of piano here and there, a mournful string arrangement and some backing vocals from his partner and collaborator Deva Premal. And while radiating a quiet assuredness and tranquility, Miten’s cover also possesses the same wistfulness of the original.

Arguably best known for her Oscar nominated and Golden Globe nominated role in Martin Scorsese‘s 1991 remake of Cape Fear, and for her roles in a number of major motion pictures including What’s Eating Gilbert GrapeNatural Born KillersStrange Days, The Evening Star, KaliforniaFrom Dusk till Dawn and The Other Sister, Juliette Lewis initially launched a recording career in 2004 with her punk rock-leaning band Juliette and the Licks before going completely solo in 2009.

After an eight year hiatus from music and touring, 2016 has proven to be a very busy year as earlier this year, she released “Hello Hero,” a single cowritten and produced by Florence and the Machine‘s Isabella Summers before reuniting her backing band and embarking on successful and extensive tours of Europe and North America. Lewis’ second and latest single of this year “Any Way You Want” was co-written and produced by Cage the Elephant‘s Brad Shultz, Jared Champion and Matthan Minister, and the single according to Lewis is a “60s garage rock, hyped up, sexual banger inspired by The Animals, The Kinks and The Zombies,” complete with a larger-than-life cocksure, swaggering braggadocio and a ton of mischievous sexual innuendo and the open acknowledgement of the fact that the ladies want sex as much as the dudes and can seek it with a similar urgency. But perhaps most important it’s a fun and modern take on a beloved sound, led by a fearless, ass-kicking lady, who knows what she wants while also nodding at The Stooges‘ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” among others.

 

.

Montreal, QC-based psych rock trio Elephant Stone — comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals) — have developed a national profile across their native Canada and Stateside for a vintage psych rock sound reminiscent of The Beatles, The Kinks and severals as the Canadian trio’s earliest material paired elements of Eastern instrumentation — mainly, the sitar — with Western songwriting, arrangements and instrumentation. And rather unsurprisingly, over the past few years the Montreal-based trio have also become a JOVM mainstay artist.

With the 2014 release of Elephant Stone’s third full-length effort, The Three Poisons, the Canadian trio went through a major and rather decided change of songwriting approach and sonic direction in which sitar was pushed back to the background — and when it was employed, it was seemingly used to add additional texture and color. Since then, the Canadian trio have released a batch of singles including “The Devil’s Shelter,” which was released at the end of last year. That single, which featured a guest spot from The Black Angels‘ Alex Maas was yet another example of the trio experimenting with their sound as tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar and guitar chords and a driving motorik-like rhythm were paired with Dihr’s and Mass’ alternating vocals to create an ominous and murky sound that channeled The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”

Early last month, the trio released “Where I’m Going” a single that continued the band’s most recent sonic experimentations while suggesting that the band may have been listening to Evil Heat-era Primal Scream — in particular, I think of “Autobahn 66” and “Detroit”  as Dihr’s ethereal cooing is paired with shimmering guitar chords, a tight and propulsive, motorik groove, four-on-the-floor drumming and layers of shimmering and undulating synths in what may arguably be the most dance-floor ready songs that they’ve released to date. “Andromeda,” the band’s latest single sounds like a return to the vintage psych rock sound that first caught the blogosphere’s attention as shimmering guitar chords and a propulsive and driving rhythm are paired with Dihr’s plaintive cooing about the nature of the universe; however, swirling synths and a brief burst of tribal drumming manage to reveal a band that’s relentlessly experimenting and attempting new ways to expand upon their sound while retaining familiar elements.

The band will be on tour throughout March, and it includes an NYC date. Check out the tour dates below.

 

ELEPHANT STONE TOUR DATES
03/10 Toronto ON – Sneaky Dee’s (Tickets)
03/11  Indianapolis IN – Joyful Noise (Tickets)
03/12  Little Rock AR – Vino’s (Tickets)
03/14  Austin TX – SXSW
03/18  Memphis TN – Hi-Tone (Tickets)
03/19  Cincinnati OH – MOTR (Info)
03/20  Brooklyn NY – Baby’s All Right (Tickets)
04/14  Montreal QC – La Sala Rossa (Tickets)

Comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals), Montreal, QC-based psych rock trio Elephant Stone have developed a national profile across their native Canada, as well as a profile Stateside for a vintage psych rock sound reminiscent of  The Beatles, The Kinks and others, as it the Canadian trio’s material employed elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation — i.e., the sitar — with Western songwriting. And as a result, over the past few years, Elephant Stone has become a JOVM mainstay artist.

The 2014 release of the Canadian trio’s third full-length effort, The Three Poisons, revealed a band that was in the process of a major change in sonic direction. Unlike the band’s first two albums, the material on Three Poisons pushed sitar to the background — and when it was employed, it was mainly to add texture and color. Now, if you were frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “The Devil’s Shelter,” a song that featured a guest spot from The Black Angels‘ Alex Maas. The members of Elephant Stone pair tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar and guitar chords, and propulsive rhythm with Dihr’s vocals for the song’s verses and Maas’ vocals to craft a song that feels (and sounds) ominous and murky, while channelling The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”

The Montreal-based trio’s latest single “Where I’m Going” continues where the trio’s experimentation left off — while suggesting that the band’s newest sonic direction has been inspired by the likes of Primal Scream (in particular, I think of “Autobahn 66” and
Detroit”  as Dihr’s ethereal cooing with shimmering guitar chords, a tight and propulsive, motorik groove, four-on-the-floor drumming and layers of shimmering and undulating synths in what may arguably be the most dance-floor ready songs that they’ve released to date — all while remaining as psychedelic as ever. Interestingly, the band have been working on their fourth full-length effort, and if the last two singles they’ve released are indicative of its sound, the members of Elephant Stone are set to push their sound — and in turn, psych rock — in new directions.

The band will be on tour throughout March, and it includes an NYC date. Check out the tour dates below.

 

ELEPHANT STONE TOUR DATES
03/10 Toronto ON – Sneaky Dee’s (Tickets)
03/11  Indianapolis IN – Joyful Noise (Tickets)
03/12  Little Rock AR – Vino’s (Tickets)
03/14  Austin TX – SXSW
03/18  Memphis TN – Hi-Tone (Tickets)
03/19  Cincinnati OH – MOTR (Info)
03/20  Brooklyn NY – Baby’s All Right (Tickets)
04/14  Montreal QC – La Sala Rossa (Tickets)

Comprised of Vincent Davies (vocals, guitar and bass), Ranald MacDonald (vocals, keys, guitar and bass), Josh Lewis (guitar and bass) and Oscar Robertson (drums), the London-based quartet Hidden Charms formed last year and with the release of their double A single “Dreaming Of Another Girl”/”Long Way Down,” the London-based quartet quickly received attention nationally as the the single received extensive airplay from the likes of radio personalities Zane Lowe of Beats 1, Annie Mac and Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1 and John Kennedy of XFM (aka Radio X).  And of course, as a result of their growing national profile, the band has opened for Benjamin Booker, Hanni El Khatib and X Ambassadors and had a four-week Club NME Koko residency.

Building on their rapidly growing the British quartet’s latest single “Love You ‘Cause You’re There” consists of buzzing and bluesy guitar chords, propulsive drumming, anthemic hooks and howled vocals in a song that sounds as though it were directly influenced by The Black Keys and 60s mod rock (think of early The Who, The Kinks and The Animals) — and possesses a similar self-assuredness that belies their youth. Of course, at its core is an aching longing — the sort of longing that comes up from lonely nights drinking in shitty dive bars, reminiscing over someone who may not be right for you and yet you need.