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The Postal Service’s “Give Up” to be reissued in 2013

22 Jan

Yesterday, The Postal Service quietly announced that a deluxe version of their debut album, Give Up, will be reissued April 8.

That being said, it’s been a long ten years since The Postal Service first debuted, so the news seems to be both exciting and underwhelming at the same time.

The Postal Service, which consists of Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, Pinwheel) and Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), came around when today’s 20 and 30-somethings were busy soundtracking the best days of their lives.

For me, The Postal Service came during high school – a time when the lack of the band’s immediate presence left some making homemade t-shirts and swapping burned copies of CDs between the busses after school. But for everyone who loved them, The Postal Service came before The O.C. shot Death Cab For Cutie to fame and before rock-turned-electronic was an experiment rather than a cheap way to shake things up.

Singles like “Such Great Heights” and “We Will Become Silhouettes” have been famously covered by artists such as Iron & Wine, The Shins and Amanda Palmer. The songs have also been featured in movies and television shows such as Garden State and Grey’s Anatomy.

As of now, The Postal Service have not announced another album, and it’s likely they won’t. As for tour dates, Billboard is claiming that they’ve “confirmed” a Coachella appearance with other dates in the works. Unfortunately there’s no other hard evidence from the band to back that claim. My advice? Don’t hold your breath too long – the rumors are still just that. Instead, take a moment to appreciate Gibbard’s latest solo album, Former Lives, or Tamborello/Dntel’s Aimlessness – both of which dropped last year.

The deluxe edition of Give Up, which features guest vocals from indie queens Jenny Lewis and Jen Wood, will come in a 2xCD, 3xLP and digital download and will include two new songs, along with a few other bonus features. For more information and updates, visit their website.

For now, here’s a walk down memory lane with their video for “Such Great Heights.”

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Barely Blind hits MTV

21 Aug

As a native Texan, I know and follow many bands based in my home state. But when Barely Blind, one of my favorite up-and-coming acts, announced that they would be relocating to Los Angeles to start the next chapter of their journey, it was a bittersweet moment.

Now, with nearly ten years, three albums and countless live shows under their belt, the group has been featured on MTV’s “Fresh New Music” list for August. To be more exact, Barely Blind have landed the #7 spot behind the likes of Beyoncé, Norah Jones, and Brandy.

MTV is currently shining the spotlight on their most recently recorded music video for “Inner Child,” which was directed by Tyler Gorrell. The song is the first single off of their third album, Wilder Child of a Thousand Suns.

It’s always nice to see bands grow up and get a hold on the dream they’ve been chasing. It’s even better when you see it happen with a talented band you believe in, that’s been working their ass off since day one.

For more information on Barely Blind, including tour dates and (free!) music, visit their website, Facebook or Twitter. They even have one of those videos that will make you want to be in a band on their YouTube channel.

RIP: Rilo Kiley (1998-2011)

14 Jul

The indie world, as a collective entity, would be undeniably foolish if we said that we didn’t see this coming. Still, Paste Magazine reported earlier today that Rilo Kiley’s looming break-up is finally official, and that’s what hurts.

After being signed to a major label and releasing their fourth album, Under The Blacklight, fans of the infamously dysfunctional band were left with a brilliant rock record that just missed it’s mark.

What it stood for to the band showed. Mirroring lead singer Jenny Lewis and guitarist Blake Sennett’s real life relationship, it was much like the trial separation of a marriage. What resulted was the brilliantly messy Blacklight – an album that has you gritting your teeth, dancing, and cutting tension with a knife all at once. Sadly, each song had it’s own shining moment of glory, but the album as a whole felt sloppy, as though it were being held together with string and duct tape. At times, it’s hard to understand cohesively, and others you’re scratching your head wondering how some of the songs made the cut. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the hell out of the album, but at times it felt as though someone gave me a puzzle where the pieces are all of different images and I can’t get the full picture on the front of the box.

Long story short, Blacklight proved that they still had the chemistry, but underneath it all, the heart of the band was gone and it left everyone wondering – were they in it for fear of change, or had they seen it as their chance to redeem and solve the band’s issues? I’m willing to bet it was both, and I’d like to think they were also ‘in it for the kids’.

An exclusive interview with Spinner, also released earlier today, Sennett was quoted giving the best explanation possible for the band’s final curtain call.

“I just felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things I don’t really want to submit myself to,” said Sennett. “I had related that frustration to music but I just thought, ’I’m not going to put myself in that position again,’ so I said, ‘Fuck that, I can’t do this anymore.’”

For now, it’s hard to stomach the loss. What better way to mourn the death of one of indie’s unarguably most prominent and influential bands than making a list of their ten best songs? I can’t think of one. Don’t worry, I didn’t put ‘Does He Love You?’ on it, but if I had, it’d be at the top of the list.

10. Teenage Love Song (Initial Friend, 2nd Pressing)
9. It’s A Hit (More Adventurous)
8. Rest of My Life (Take-Offs and Landings)
7. I Never (More Adventurous)
6. My Slumbering Heart (The Execution of All Things)
5. Always (Take-Offs and Landings)
4. The Angels Hung Around (Under The Blacklight)
3. Portions for Foxes (More Adventurous)
2. Pictures of Success (Take-Offs and Landings)
1. More Adventurous (More Adventurous)

Even with this list, it’s hard to deny that their entire discography is worth acquiring and listening to. I recommend their highly successful (and probably most popular) third album, More Adventurous, as a starting point.

For now, I’m saving up for the plane ticket and entry fee it’ll cost for the reunion show. It’s unlikely, but damn if it isn’t something worth waiting for.

Brand New writing new, “happier” album

26 Apr

According to PupFresh, emo-kings Brand New are working on writing a new album.

The Long Island-based band gained popularity after their successful sophomore album, Deja Entendu, was released in 2003.

Now, following the highly successful The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me and latest effort, Daisy, the band have confirmed they will be writing something new.

Although many fans were speculating that the band had run its course, lead singer/guitarist Jesse Lacey confirmed they would continue making music at tonight’s Baltimore show, according to AbsolutePunk.

“We’re writing, it’s just hard to figure out what to write about.” said Lacey. “We don’t wanna keep bumming you guys out. We’re trying to write something happy.”

The band have not released any more details yet, but have scheduled shows the next four days.

April 27 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
April 28 – Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock Cafe
April 29 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Zoo
April 30 – Grantham, PA @ Brubaker Auditorium, Messiah College

Stay tuned for more updates. Additional information can be found on Brand New’s Official Website.

RIP: Gerard Smith, TV On The Radio (1977-2011)

20 Apr

Last month, TV On The Radio announced days before their scheduled SXSW dates that bassist Gerard Smith was battling lung cancer and would not be playing with them.

Now, little over a month later, the band have announced that Smith, 33, has lost his battle to cancer.

We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly.

This terrible news comes only a week after their latest effort, Nine Types of Light, was released. It was the third album Smith recorded with the band.

The band has announced that the following shows will be cancelled:

4/20 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew Halls
4/22 – Chicago IL @ Metro
4/23 – Minneapolis MN @ First Ave
4/24 – Minneapolis MN @ First Ave
4/26 – Denver CO @ Ogden

More information will be available as it becomes available on the official TV On The Radio website.

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