Archive for NPR

Album Review: Dark Night of the Soul

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, May 15, 2009 by Erik Burg

      No no, not Dark Was The Night, I’m talking Dark Night of the Soul. The beyond mysterious, beyond ambitious, beyond believably good album from Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and David Lynch. Yes the highly-acclaimed Director, David Lynch. If those three names weren’t enough to get you to listen, almost every track features a different artist in conjunction to the three main artists and producers. Everyone from the likes of The Flaming Lips and The Shins to Iggy Pop and Suzanne Vega make an appearance on the album.

      The mystery that stems from the album is the way it all started. A mere month and a half ago, as posters began popping up at South By Soutwest with the name of the project and the the names of all the contributing artists, there was still very little known about any of it. Nothing leaked (surprisingly), no quotes from any of the producers surfaced, there was only that poster.

dark night of the soul      So rumors swirled, anticipation bubbled for a week or two, and then it all sort of disappeared. Dark Night of the Soul went the same as it came. It was an apparition, along with the face on the poster. So for those who still had theirs hope high that this album was actually going to happen and wasn’t going to tailspin into obscurity, I’m happy to report that it is happening, and it is as awesome as promised.

      The slightly official release, indefinitely stopped by EMI because of licensing issues, will never be released with a real CD. You are more than welcome to order the album from DNOTS website, but you’ll get the over 100 page photo package that David Lynch put together with only a CD-R.

“For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.” – Danger Mouse Spokesperson

      It’s worth damn near every $50 dollars though. You can stream the album over at NPR right now, as I’ve done three times already in the past two days. Although all the talk about album might eventually overshadow the music, it’s a sterling achievement of what contributing artists on an album can truly create. Though each track has it’s own individual touch thanks to the different bands, Dark Night of the Soul feels completely like one entire album, focused. 

      The Flaming Lips lead the first track on the album “Revenge”. A perfect example of what this album accomplishes, the vocals sound exactly like you would expect them to, and any fan of the Lips will recognize it instantaneously. But it’s the music, the production, the vision and scope of the project that takes Wayne Coyne’s voice and transform it into an echoing and eerie tale of desperation and revenge, of course.

Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (Feat. The Flaming Lips) – “Revenge”

      And that’s how most of the album plays out musically. A sound that’s probably been perfected already, but a sound that is extremely powerful. It’s easy to listen all the way through Dark Night of the Soul, a sentiment I rarely reserve for albums, but here lies one of the best albums this year. The album weaves and bends in and out of different genres at points, sometimes acoustic in the case of “Jaykub” and Jason Lytle, and other times a little blippy and bloppy on the track “Just War” by Super Furry Animals. 

      It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to hear David Lynch’s “Dark Night of the Soul” as the closing track. It’s slow, droning, hypnotic, and yet perfect. All you year is an echoing voice over top of a piano track that sounds like a crackling vinyl recording from many years gone by. A track that matches the spookiness and absurdity of his films, and track that matches the spookines and absurdity of this album. 

Stream: Dark Night of the Soul

      Dark Night of the Soul can not go without being heard. Many times I read that an album, “simply needs to be heard by everyone.” Dark Night of the Soul simply can be heard by everyone. It doesn’t ever feel tied to specific genre, and yet the album plays like a focused piece of art. It’s a romp through rock history and modern masters. It’ll most likely be forgotten. But the advertising, the intrigue, the collaborations of all the artists make Dark Night of the Soul a must own.


Animal Collective Tour Kick Off This Week, New Release and MP3 Follow

Posted in Audio, Concert Dates, Downloads, Music News, News with tags , , , , , , on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 by Erik Burg

DT AC cover      As I sit in my new favorite cafe here in La Crosse, The Root Note, I day dream about May the 20th. It’s the day Animal Collective, along with opening act Grouper hit the main room at First Ave. It’s a concert that sold out like country music shows do at the Xcel Center. So yes, anticipation is brewing.

May 18 @ Royal Oak Music Hall, Royal Oak Michigan: SOLD OUT

May 19 @ Riverside Theater, Milwaukee Wisconsin: Tickets (!)

May 20 @ First Avenue, Minneapolis Minnesota: SOLD OUT

      So the fact that Animal Collective and NPR teamed up last night to stream the band’s set form the 9:30 Club in Washington DC was all the more reason for me to get excited. It was essentially a look inside the band’s tour, a two hour romp through the Baltimore trio’s best work. And you’re more than welcome to stream the entire thing for yourself at their archives, or even just check out the set list. 

Stream Animal Collective live @ the 9:30 Room, Wash. D.C.

      You would think that selling out nearly every venue on their tour was enough, but Animal Collective have now officially released andanimal-crack officially sold out of The Animal Crack Box vinyl set that everyone and their mother have been salivating over. The triple-vinyl box set collects various live tracks and unreleased material from the bands tribal years from 2000-2003 period. If you happened to have $92 laying around and happened to be on the internet and happened to stumble upon the first blog that wrote about it (Pitchfork) you might have been lucky enough to load the page fast enough to get a copy. Oh well I guess, The rest of us poor souls will just have to wait for the MP3s to come leaking out of some dude’s basement. 

      Until that time though, you can check out the new track that Panda Bear, Avey, and Geologist have been playing live. It’s working title is “Bleed” and can be had in a handy MP3 form already thanks to Collected Animals. “Bleed” seems extremely unpolished still, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the track still evolve even over the length of this tour. The track sounds a little too mythical, a little too slow, but the Avey and Panda melodies are a nice treat none-the-less.  It’s not as good as the other new live track, “What Would I Want Sky”, but it shows once again the talent that these three men have at crafting music seemingly on the fly. Grab it below:

Animal Collective – “Bleed”