OnlineRock Blog

29 July 2011

The Nocturnes, Free Music Friday at OnlineRock - July 29

by Andrew McNair

This week I've found a single from LA band, The Nocturnes. "The Road," is a slow, reverb-heavy song from their upcoming release Aokigahara. It's got the close, folk harmonies of groups like Fleet Foxes, but keeps the vocals low in the mix and interweaves them with a mournful guitar counterpoint. The end result is a post-rock/folk/shoegaze situation. The single comes with two remixes that venture into more ambient territory. If you're a fan of Red Sparowes, you'll want to check this out, as it's led by guitarist Emma Ruth Rundle.

28 July 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

By Nancy Woo

When the news was released that Amy Winehouse died of a drug overdose on Saturday, alone in her home at age 27, the world mourned the too-soon passing of this iconic beehive-haired, tattooed English Grammy-winning soul princess.

After fighting a long battle with substance abuse and slurring and falling on stage recently in Serbia, forcing her agents to cancel the entire European tour so that she could take some time to recover from her addiction, the glam goddess fatefully joined the infamous "27 Club," to which other music legends like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain belong. But she is not joining this doom group without a legacy of her own. She will be known for her unique pop style, a fusion between jazz, soul and hip-hop, and her unrestrained exploration of the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll lifestyle.

Rolling Stone Magazine compiled a list of tributes going around right now honoring the bad girl pop queen. Read that here, with links at the bottom to even more nods to the late diva.

Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the all girl group The Ronnettes, who sported a similar beehive hairdo and no-shit kind of attitude in the 60s, who was influential to Winehouse, shares her thoughts and releases a tribute cover of Winehouse's soulful song "Back to Black" with Rolling Stone Magazine.

There is no shortage of memories, covers and tributes pouring onto the music scene right now, but from our humble perspective, RIP Amy Winehouse from OLR.

Amy Winehouse's official (and tearful, now) video of the Grammy-winning song "Rehab":

The Straits (The Sound of Dire Straits) Tour UK This October

By Nancy Woo

"The unique sound of classic Dire Straits from the
next best thing ... The Straits"
Daily Express

Dire Straits fans take note: a partial reformation of the legendary rock band will be touring the UK in October as The Straits, featuring three of the original band members and other high-profile session musicians. The "Sound of Dire Straits" tour this autumn will consist of 11 different dates to follow the group's May 2011 debut performance at the Royal Albert Hall, a powerful rock concert that created a high demand for more live performances of the much-loved catalogue of Dire Straits songs.

See concert dates and buy tickets at

The Straits will be playing songs from the albums Dire Straits (1978), Communiqué (1979), Making Movies (1980), Love Over Gold (1982), Brothers In Arms (1985) and On Every Street (1991), including hits like "Sultans of Swing," "Romeo and Juliet," "Tunnel of Love" and "Money for Nothing."

The original "Sultans of Swing" Alan Clark (keyboards), Phil Palmer (guitar) and Chris White (saxophone) are putting a new spin on their act and joining with four other musicians to recreate the original magic of Dire Straits for the audiences of tomorrow. They will be joined by Terence Reis on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Ferrone on drums, Mick Feat on bass and Jamie Squire on keyboards.

The Straits - Official Band Biographies

Alan Clark (Keyboards)
Alan joined Dire Straits in 1980 as their first keyboard player and played a significant part in their transformation into one of the world’s biggest bands. Acknowledged by his fellow band members as Dire Straits' unofficial musical director, he co-produced the band’s last studio album On Every Street. Alan has played and recorded with many other high profile artists including Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and the Bee Gees. Visit Alan Clark’s official website -

Phil Palmer (Guitar)
Phil joined Dire Straits for their On Every Street tour, having come to their attention after quietly and consistently building a career out of playing tasteful, intelligent and musical guitar with a long list of well known artists that includes Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Sting, Roger Daltry, Take That, Wishbone Ash and producer Trevor Horn. As a result, Phil is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost session musicians.

Chris White (Saxophone)
Chris White's first real break in the music industry came in 1981 when he was asked to play on Nick Heyward's album "North of a Miracle". Following this success, his reputation continued to build. He was asked to play and record with artists such as Paul McCartney, Aztec Camera, The The and Mark Knopfler, the latter leading to what he is best known for - the saxophone sound of Dire Straits. His work with the band included two World Tours, the "On Every Street" and "On The Night" albums, and the legendary "Live Aid" and "Mandela" concerts. More recently, Chris has performed on two of Mark Knopfler's solo albums. Outside of this association, he has recorded and toured with many artists, including Joe Cocker and Robbie Williams. He is currently also working on material for his second album of original work.

Steve Ferrone (Drums)
Acknowledged by his peers as one of the world’s greatest drummers, Steve first came to the world’s attention with The Average White Band and has since played with a long list of high profile acts including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones, Scritti Politti, Chaka Khan and Slash. Steve endorses Gretsch drums, Sabian cymbals and Pro-Mark drumsticks.

Terence Reis (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Born in Maputo, Mozambique, Terence grew up playing the guitar in the idiosyncratic style of the local finger picking street musicians, which is remarkably similar to that of Mark Knopfler. It was his voice that made him the perfect front man for The Straits, which has elements of Knopfler, JJ Cale and Steve Earle mixed in with his own unmistakable, original sound. An honours graduate at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Dramatic Arts in Johannesburg, Reis is also an award-winning actor and has starred in several major films while continuing a parallel career as a musician.

Mick Feat (Bass)
Mick is an internationally renowned bassist who began his career as session bassist for Island Records, and has since gone on to work with many artists including Mark Knopfler, Art Garfunkel, David Gilmour, Van Morrison, Tina Turner and Justin Haywood. A master of most string bass instruments, Mick is also a respected composer and singer.

Jamie Squire (Keyboards)
As well as being a fine keyboard player, 24 year-old Jamie is a highly talented multi-instrumentalist and singer, destined to become a star in his own right, having recently signed a recording contract with I.M.Port Records. Jamie is an enthusiastic and ambitious young man who is considered a major asset to the band.

Watch a rehearsal video of "Money for Nothing" here:

For more information, visit the band's website, Facebook or Twitter. Don't miss this classic reunion!

27 July 2011

Free Download from folk harmonizers Pearl and the Beard

By Nancy Woo

If you like artists like Arcade Fire, Beirut and Fleet Foxes, you need to listen to this track "Sweetness" by sensational coal-country dance-folk trio Pearl and the Beard. The masterful composition of this song makes it a real gem, using background clapping, rolling drums, low wails and a foreboding cello to flesh out the fast-moving melodies and beautiful harmonizing. Not to mention, the hook is an urgent plea for love that avoids sappiness altogether and replaces it with the compelling, frenetic energy of drunken desire.

Download "Sweetness" by Pearl and the Beard

"Sweetness" is the second song off Pearl and the Beard's most recent album called Killing the Darlings, which I have listened to and absolutely love for the raw vocal power of all harmonizing vocalists, the building of momentum throughout every song, the modern takes on various true folk styles, and the hint of classical cello and violin in this altogether fresh take on old country-style folk music.

These three know how to pull it together with style.

Full CD review forthcoming, but until then, get your fix with that free download right there, and be sure to look forward to more.

Also, the trio is on tour right now. For more information, visit, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

26 July 2011

Free Download of M83's newest single "Midnight City"

By Nancy Woo

We tweeted it last week, but we just want to take a quick moment and make sure everyone knows that M83, French electro dreamsters, are offering a sneak peek at their new album with a free download of "Midnight City" from the soon-to-be-released CD.

With five records under the belt of main recording artist Anthony Gonzalez aka M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is the highly anticipated forthcoming continuation of cosmic masterpieces this band was born to create. Named after the galaxy, M83 will leave you starry-eyed and feeling as if you're floating through space.
Do you feel it?

"Midnight City" delivers a vast blanket of dense, spiraling electronic soundscapes that are just as all-encompassingly otherworldly as previous M83 concoctions. Go ahead and take a trip through the outer reaches of the universe.

M83 in the studio.

M83 will be embarking on a tour this fall to promote the new album, so catch their tour dates here.

23 July 2011

July Giveaway: How to Win a "Handy" Guitar Grip

Okay, guitar players, artists, craftspeople alike - you're going to love this free giveaway:

How awesome are these guys? What are they, you say? Well, check it out: they are handcrafted guitar holders in the shape of hands from Grip Studios, perfect for taking care of your favorite acoustic, electric or bass guitar. You want to make sure your baby is always in good hands, don't you?

The style we are giving away is featured above and is a GS-1 Metal Mayhem guitar grip valued at $39.99. Mounting hardware is included. Built from durable resins, they are easy to mount and they come with TAH 3 protective inserts to make sure your instrument is always comfortable.

So, how can you get yourself one of these for free?

If you haven't already signed up for our mailing list, you may enter to win at our Giveaways page. Just enter a valid e-mail address for your chance to win, and enjoy our monthly newsletter about music news as an extra bonus (wink wink). Please do not re-enter if you are already on the mailing list, and duplicate entries will be eliminated from consideration. But hey, tell your friends and maybe they'll share, who knows.

If you're interested in how these puppies are made (remember they are hands made by hand), check out a behind-the-scenes video here:

Get a grip and good luck!

22 July 2011

July Giveaway: How to Win a Sennheiser Microphone

Who doesn't love to hear themselves talk? Or sing, or scream, whatever your fancy may be?

Let the world know you're here and you're ready to let it all out with a FREE Sennheiser microphone.

Look at this baby, all shiny and new and ready for you.

"The Sennheiser e822S Dynamic Hand-Held Vocal Microphone's cardioid pickup pattern rejects rear-axis sounds. It features metal construction, internal shockmounting, hum-compensating coil, neodymium ferrous magnet with boron, and on/off switch with on-lock. 80Hz-12kHz. Precision manufactured in Germany. The Dynamic includes a 10-year warranty!"

Note: This mic is a Best Seller item valued at $79.99 from Musician's


  • Dynamic mic
  • Precision manufactured in Germany
  • Cardioid pattern
  • Metal construction
  • Internal shockmounting
  • Hum-compensating coil
  • Neodymium ferrous magnet with boron
  • On/off switch that can be locked in on position
  • 80Hz-12kHz frequency response
  • Includes 10-year warranty
Excellent for onstage or podium use.

Maybe not excellent for in-shower use. But sing those little lungs out anyway.

So you're thinking, is it too good to be true? Well, if you are a cave-dwelling anti-Facebook pre-humanoid, it just might be. But if you are like the rest of us and spend too many half-crazed moments of your life on the Book of Face, all you need to do for a chance to win this mic is post a little somethin'-somethin' on the OnlineRock Facebook wall. We will pick a winner August 1st. Check out the Giveaways page for official info.

It's that simple. Show us your love. And if you're lucky, you'll be rewarded.


Zomby, Free Music Friday at OnlineRock - July 22

by Andrew McNair

Hot on the tail of the Wiley album from last week, I've found a new free track from Zomby, another artist from the garage scene. On "A Devil Lay Here," from his second album, Dedication on 4AD, Zomby's moved away from more straightforward grime and dubstep to what can best be described music that sounds like it was taken from a really cool, really dark video game. The bass and drum line would be at home in a mellow garage-beat song, but the synth lines on top of them sound like Vangelis composing music for an NES game in the best possible way. I've been listening to this track non-stop since I began writing this piece, and will probably listen to it a few times more before the night is over. If you were driving around late at night in the fog, this would be the perfect soundtrack to accompany you.

You can download the track and find more information about the album here:

21 July 2011

The Black Lips release "New Direction" video

By Nancy Woo

Rambunctious "flower punk" band the Black Lips have recently released the third video from their new album, Arabia Mountain.

The zebra always steals the show...

In the "New Direction" video, the four high-flying members of the Black Lips somersault, fly and generally rock the green screen in a fun, amped up skirmish with the cameras. With plenty of room for mischievous antics, it's a music video to get you pumped up for your own new direction, whether that's playing guitar through the Andes or trying out a new breakfast cereal before your daily trip to the office. Let a little of this infectious spirit catch you by the britches, and enjoy:

For those who have been following the Black Lips since they released their first disc off their own label Die Slaughterhaus in 2003, and for those who may be newly smitten with these hunkalicious punks, the Black Lips' new album Arabia Mountain was released June 7, 2011 and is available for not too many nickels and dimes off

Or check out some more Black Lips goodies at Vice Records.

20 July 2011

Y Luv Brings the Love Back to LA + Free Download

By Nancy Woo

If you like Foster the People, MGMT or Superhumanoids, you will love the electronic/pop grooves of LA-based Y Luv. Listen to or download their song "All Night" below. It's catchy fun pop music that would go well with strobe lights and some absolutely carefree fun, which they will be providing on their tour this summer:

Stream or Download "All Night"

So if you dig it and you're ready to party tomorrow night in the Los Angeles area, you might think about spending a raging, sweaty Thursday evening dancing and bopping to the high-energy sounds of LA-based Y Luv at the Silverlake Lounge. They are returning to their old stomping grounds Thursday, July 21st with Oakland psych-pop band Metal Mother and Riverside's synth rock group The New Division to provide a surely wild, beat-driven dance party... all night.


A little more about Y Luv from their press release:

"Out of the heart of Los Angeles comes four USC recent alums making indie pop music with a twist. The quartet incorporates psychedelic rock, spine-chilling harmonies, explosive beats and aggressive guitar riffs. Sharing comparisons to Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, Bloc Party and The Killers, the band keeps their sound eclectic, blending in winding guitars one minute and heavy bass the next. They’ll be playing a month-long residency at Los Angeles’ 3 Clubs in July to accompany their recent release How Chill Can You Let Go.

After several years together with two records under their belt (Nothing Matters EP, Spring 2009; So I Play, Winter 2009), Y Luv spent this past year juggling college classes and restructuring their music for their newest exploit. They recently released the EP How Chill Can You Let Go, produced by Josiah Mazzaschi (Built to Spill, Rilo Kiley, The Pity Party). The EP is inspired by everything from Kings of Leon to Phish to Kid Cudi and although Y Luv has a cohesive sound, they don’t limit themselves to genre-constrictions. Vocalist Freddy Janney notes, 'So many bands fit under the ‘indie’ genre or ‘pop.’ Good songs are good songs. We're just trying to write good songs . . . maybe some great ones.'"

And love.

So if you dig the upbeat liveliness of Y Luv, get your love on somewhere on their tour:


7.21 Los Angeles, CA @ Silverlake Lounge (w/ Metal Mother, The New Division)
7.29 Thousand Oaks, CA @ Open Borders (w/ Bear Hands, Polaris At Noon)
8.13 San Francisco, CA @ The W Hotel (Outside Lands After Party)

For more info:

19 July 2011

"Newermind" Nirvana tribute album free to download

By Nancy Woo

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind album, SPIN magazine has released a free compilation of 13 Nirvana cover songs on the tribute album Newermind. Until July 25th it will be available to download exclusively from the SPIN Facebook page, and after July 26th it will be available from their website. Click that link to see the other artists, and some brief interviews with them about what it was like to cover Nirvana.

Among the 13 artists covering each song from the album are two bands who, in a weird twist of fate, had been covered by Nirvana themselves on the grunge legends' MTV Unplugged taping. These are the Meat Puppets and the Vaselines.

The Meat Puppets chose to tackle the iconic "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and the band played it with confidence.

The Meat Puppets will not be intimidated.

"It wasn't daunting," says Curt Kirkwood, head Puppet. "'Teen Spirit' is just a few chords. It's easy to play -- slap some reverb on there and it's good to go." And anyway, he continues, "This was a cool, weird opportunity -- like playing with Nirvana on MTV Unplugged -- so we're happy to take it."

Steve Kandell, SPIN's editor-in-chief, tells NPR, "The most intriguing angle was getting bands like the Meat Puppets and the Vaselines, who were famously covered by Nirvana, to finally repay the favor, and with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium," respectively, Nevermind's two best-known songs, at that."

So what are you waiting for? Let your curiosity guide you to a free download of the album, and tell us what you think of the covers on our Facebook.

In related news, the Meat Puppets are touring right now to support the release of their 13th full-length LP Lollipop, which can be bought at the Meat Puppets' website. There's a free download of "Damn Thing" available off the new release right there on that page, too.

Meat Puppets Tour Dates
July 29 - Rogers Arena - Vancouver, BC ^
July 30 - Gorge Amphitheatre - George, WA ^
Aug 19 - Pyramid Scheme - Grand Rapids, MI
Aug 20 - Crispy Music Fest @ White's Bar - Saginaw, MI
Sept 14 - Chelsea's - Baton Rouge, LA
Sept 15 - One Eyed Jack's - New Orleans, LA
Sept 16 - Club Downunder @ FSU - Tallahassee, FL
Sept 17 - Crowbar - Ybor City / Tampa, FL
Sept 18 - The Social - Orlando, FL
Sept 20 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro/Raleigh, NC
Sept 21 - Visulite - Charlotte, NC
Sept 22 - Greg Eagle - Asheville, NC
Sept 23 - Barley's Tap Room - Knoxville, TN
Sept 24 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
Sept 25 - Melting Point - Athens, GA
Sept 27 - Mercy Lounge - Nashville, TN
Sept 28 - Bottletree - Birmingham, AL
Sept 29 - Stickyz Rock'n'Roll Chicken Shack - Little Rock, AR
Sept 30 - Will Rogers Auditorium - Fort Worth, TX
Oct 1 - Scoot Inn - Austin, TX
Nov 1 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
Nov 4 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
Nov 5 - Middle East - Boston, MA
Nov 6 - Mexicali Live - Teaneck, NJ
Nov 11 - Double Door - Chicago, IL
Nov 13 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA

w/ Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age ^

Two free downloads in one blog post: check. Satisfaction from the Nirvana covers? TBD.

18 July 2011

Arcade Fire's Deluxe Suburbs Album Out Aug. 2nd

By Nancy Woo

Just in case you can't get enough Arcade Fire, you'll heat up from this one:

Arcade Fire is set to release a deluxe CD/DVD version of
The Suburbs, their third and most recently released full-length album, on August 2nd. Love the album? So did the people of the Grammys - it won Album of the Year for 2010. And this release is just in time to celebrate The Suburbs' very first birthday!

Go ahead and dunk your face in it.

You can pre-order Scenes from the Suburbs,which includes a CD with expanded tracks and a DVD with exclusive footage from music videos and a companion documentary, and more, but that's the gist of it. Plus, you'll get a booklet with lyrics and over 80 photos so you can really go crazy in your love for this phenomenal multi-instrumental Canadian indie rock band.

This is Arcade Fire, and they are really excited about this.

Arcade Fire will be at San Francisco's summer music festival, Outside Lands, on August 14th. Don't stop the love.

16 July 2011

Summer Playlist - Top 6 Surf Rock Beach Videos

By Nancy Woo

Time to Get Your Summer 'Tude On

It's smack dab in the middle of July and here in Long Beach, CA, the everlasting sun never wanes. The beach, which stretches for miles in every direction, is a rainbow of umbrellas, packed full of lotion-drenched families whose children yelp like hyenas as they jump across the hot sand (but no one yelps louder than me - that sand is seriously like 200 degrees). Even at night you can feel the sticky sweat congealing with rogue bunches of sand buried somewhere inside forgotten crevices.

Barbecues, bonfires, picnics, chicken salad and soda; early morning surfers zipping up into their seal costumes and riding the passion of the sea; cyclists, runners and strollers gliding down a long stretch of coast at sunset; loud stereos (or iPods) playing the tunes of the day; and this is summer.

Forget that it says Tourism Australia, these folks are from LA...
But if you don't quite have your summer 'tude on like these happy Australians (I mean Angelinos), I've got a little summer music mix to help you out. To celebrate the season, I've put together a playlist of some especially beach-themed, chill-inducing, fun-in-the-sun, recent indie surf rock videos, just to get that carefree mojo working if it hasn't quite kicked in yet. It's lean times these days, but that's no reason not to lay out in the sun and soak up those rays. Why? Because Sheryl Crow says so. 

So if you want to look like this, read on.
Whether you're a beach bum or not, these next 6 music videos might inspire the urge to lay out near the closest body of cool water, grill up some hot dogs or simply get outside and run around. Most of these videos are just a bunch of kids goofing off - exactly what summer is meant for.

Your goal is to jump like this by the end of this playlist.
 1. These kids, the Tijuana Panthers, are all about "Summer Fun." Not to play favorites or anything, but they are from Long Beach, and hey! There's the Queen Mary, there's the Aquarium, and whoa, there's my house, with me in front of it waving! (Ahem.) The Tijuana Panthers somehow found the time between skating, surfing and partying to record and release their first LP called Max Baker in late 2010. If you like their stuff, check out their website, and resist the urge to throw the biggest and baddest house party the world has ever known (but if you do, you know where to find me).

2. Now this band (as well as the next) takes the beach thing to the next level in their name. Nathan Williams, or Wavves, is a "noise pop" artist from San Diego, and here's his song "King of the Beach." Wavves has three albums out, the most recent by the same title as the song. This music video was created by a fan, but I thought it quite good, even better than the original, especially in terms of evoking that summer 'tude. And that's what this is all about, isn't it? If you like Wavves, they're right here at If you look hard enough, you can find me wearing my "Queen of the Beach" crown.

3. If someone were cruelly holding my poolside margarita hostage and asking for my favorite song of the set, I might just have to admit that this song by Best Coast would be it. Not only because Ronald McDonald is flipping burgers on a barbecue as the adorable Bethany Cosentino kicks back on a lawn chair, but it just all comes together so well, like a heart placidly burning. So which is the best coast? Since they're from Los Angeles, I'm going to go out on a limb and say they mean the west (although, Cosentino is from New York and spent some time traveling coast to coast...but no, it couldn't be...). Surf pop artist Best Coast debuted their first album Crazy For You just about a year ago. Get some more at

4. These videos are in no particular order, because the absolute wackiness of this next video by Shannon and the Clams could take the cake in any competition. It would probably even win in the "cutest cat" contest. This Northern California surf punk band takes their video cam to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as they embark on a "Hunk Hunt" and dance around like real happy little clams. Watch out, they're looking for you. Shannon and the Clams was featured as our Artist of the Month and they have a few albums out already, so if you dig it, click that link. You already know I do.

5. Now these guys, Japanese Motors, actually have a pro surfer in their line-up, vocalist Alex Knost. From Costa Mesa, CA, they are obviously experts on the Southern California summer, especially that bit about the 405. (Side note, much of the 405 freeway is closed this weekend because they're blowing up the bridge at Sepulveda, an undoubtedly catastrophic event that is being touted as "Carmageddon.") Anyway, forget about traffic and sing along to this song, "Single Fins and Safety Pins." Japanese Motors have been around since 2006 and can be found at their Myspace page.

6. Last but not least, The Drums are going to finish out our set here with a song appropriately titled for this theme, "Let's Go Surfing." The Beach Boys might start playing in your head right away, and by the way, if you're wondering why they're not on this list, it's because I relinquished my badge as Captain Obvious. A simple video, "Let's Go Surfing" nonetheless conjures up pleasant images of the beach at night - a totally different realm to explore. Maybe you're feeling adventurous now. Emerging in 2009 with a beach pop EP called Summertime!, the Drums can now be found at

Well, that's all for now. I hope you enjoyed the playlist and the videos, and maybe you're like a detective hot on the trail of one of your favorite new artists, or maybe you're just getting your relax back.

This list is by no means complete, so if you as readers or musicians have anything to add to this compilation, I would love for you to share, and I might even add it, transforming this into a super list. E-mail your suggestion and a name you go by to

And have a surf rockin' summer.

15 July 2011

Wiley, Song Of The Week, July 15 at OnlineRock

by Andrew McNair

This week, we've found another great free R&B album ... well, almost. Chill Out Zone, is described by UK rapper Wiley as a hybrid between R&B and grime which he calls R&G (Riddim and Grime). Garage beats meet smoothed out R&B production and Wiley spits rhymes with soulful melodies sung by guest vocalists in the choruses. This is probably the most relaxed grime has ever sounded, and it sounds great. If you like Dizzee Rascal, Lady Sovereign or The Streets, you'll like this.

While Wiley was slated to release Chill Out Zone on Elusive Entertainment, he opted to throw it online and offer it for free download via his Twitter account last week.

You can download the album here:
More information about the album, and a tracklist, is available here:

14 July 2011

Download "Hushaby" from psychedelic folk band Railbird

By Nancy Woo

If you dig the sounds of Bjork, P.J. Harvey or Regina Spektor, I'd definitely give the song "Hushaby" by the New York-based group Railbird a hearty go. In addition to our monthly free download, OnlineRock is happy to share this treat:

Listen to "Hushaby" by Railbird by clicking here (to download, right click and save).

"Hushaby" is like a soothing lullaby on acid. Its frenetic rhythm and energetic momentum combined with the surreal tendencies of Railbird make this a song really cool find, though not something you would want to try and go to sleep to, unless you're feeling like watching the colors slide down the walls in patterns.

Railbird is the haunting and mystical voice of Sarah Pedinotti (who goes by S.K.P.) and her flock of talented multi-instrumentalists. Described as lyrically-driven, surreal, a little dark and alluding to turmoil, Railbird has been categorized as psychedelic roots, which I think is a little more accurate than "indie folk rock," though you could call them that, too. In fact, they recently played with The Roots at the Roots Picnic in Philadelphia, adding a little more funk spin to their sound.

Though I haven't listened to the whole album yet, they did just recently release their first album called No One on March 1, 2011, and that's available to stream or buy from the Railbird website. So far, be prepared to be a little ticklishly creeped out by the atmospheric and chilling audial images. The song "Kiss the Wall" evokes images of psycho killers in straight jackets quietly biding their time in a dark and empty room... Freakishly unnerving, in a good way, I think.

If you like their sound and you happen to be on the East Coast, Railbird is on tour now, and this website is actually giving away two free tickets to the show tomorrow night, July 15th, at Club Helsinki Hudson in New York.

Railbird Tour Dates

7/15 - Hudson, NY @ Club Helsinki w/ Zula
7/16 - Burlington, VT @ Radio Bean, @ 8pm w/ The Rex Complex
7/20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Public Assembly w/ Zula
7/23 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's, w/ Lillian
8/6 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Putnam Den, @ w/ Matthew Carefully & Sgt. Dunbar
8/27 - Rest Fest, Albany, NY

Here's what the Brooklyn Vegan said of Railbird's live performance: "She was quite a sight to behold, and her lyrics – which covered nervous break downs, dreams, and haunted houses – were no less intriguing.”

If you happen to be overwhelmingly intrigued by Railbird, here is a good interview (despite some overlooked typos): Interview at Anti-Music.

12 July 2011

Los Lonely Boys premiere "16 Monkeys" video and tour dates

By Nancy Woo

With a unique combination of blues, rock, soul, their Latino heritage and snippets of hip hop, Los Lonely Boys have made a name for themselves since their formation in 2003. Now, the three Texan brothers continue their journey with their fourth studio album, and their first self-produced LP on their own LonelyTone/Playing In Traffic Records, Rockpango, which was released March 29, 2011.

Supporting this newest release, the band is hitting the road. Tour dates further below.

And if you haven't heard the album yet, here is a preview of what to expect with the fun animated video for "16 Monkeys." I can already see this song becoming what some may call an "anthem" or "mantra" for certain, uh, "special times" with the good green. Watch it here:

About the album, from the press release:

Rockpango is a spirit and sound coined by Los Lonely Boys that takes the next step from fandango (a beat of loving celebration) and then huapango (another infectious Latin rhythm that gets the fiesta cooking) to a full-scale Tex-Mex American roots rock party galore. Bursting out of the gate with the simmering and slinky “American Idle” that scans today’s tough economic times, and wrapping up 10 tracks later with the fierce and fiery assertion that love is the answer on “Believe,” Los Lonely Boys look at the big picture around us with the concerns and continuing faith that come with well-grounded adulthood.

Their ever-expanding musical vision fills the set with new facets that further reveal the group’s already notable artistic diversity. “16 Monkeys” is a delightfully funky slice of infectious neo-bohemian wit and wordplay, while orchestration by the Tosca String Quartet adds classic rock-pop sophistication on the achingly beautiful “Road To Nowhere” and the Beatle-esque gem “Smile.” And they fuse deep blues with a hip-hop twist on “Porn Star,” which includes a razor-sharp rap at the tail end by Kush, one of their Texas extended family relations.

They soar on “Fly Away,” rip it up to percolating Latin beats on “Love In My Veins” and “Baby Girl,” and reassert their mastery of the classic music that influences them as demonstrated on their recent 1969 EP. They deliver ‘60s style blues-rockers on the rousing title tune and powerfully loping “Change The World” — two more slices of their spot-on social commentary and consciousness.

The trademark Los Lonely Boys genetic vocal blend is deeper, richer, more fluent and confident than ever. The rhythms are utterly irresistible as well as flush with smart syncopation and muscular drive, abetted on some tracks by tour percussionist Carmelo “Melo” Torres. The brothers’ songwriting skills stamp indelibility on every winning number. And Henry Garza goes even beyond what Guitar World hails as being a “guitarist with chops out his ass who doesn't care about chops [and] just opens up and plays.” Joined by veteran Austin player Riley Osbourn on keyboards, Los Lonely Boys deliver and more on Rockpango.

“I’m super proud of it,” says JoJo Garza, bassist and middle brother in the triumvirate. “It’s just progress, maturation and growth. Growing up, being older, seeing the world we’re living in. It’s also touching base with home.”

Tour dates:

July 15 - Winstar Casino - Thakerville, OK *
July 16 - Fritz City Park Festival - Hutto, TX
July 19 - George Lopez Show July 21 - Mill Bay Casino - Manson, WA *
July 22 - Emerald Queen Casino - Tacoma, WA *
July 23 - Yakama Nation Legends Casino - Toppenish, WA *
July 24 - Oregon Zoo Amphitheater - Portland, OR *
July 26 - Mountain Winery - Saratoga, CA *
July 27 - John Ascuaga's Nugget - Sparks, NV *
July 28 - Chukchansi Gold Resort Casino - Coarsegold, CA *
July 29 - Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA *
July 30 - Fantasy Springs Casino - Indio, CA *
July 31 - Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay - San Diego, CA *
Aug 2 - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Albuquerque, NM *
Aug 4 - Colorado River State Park - Fruita, CO *
Aug 5 - Arvada Center Amphitheater - Arvada, CO *
Aug 6 - Chautauqua Auditorium - Boulder, CO *
Aug 9 - Music In The Zoo - Apple Valley/Minneapolis, MN *
Aug 10 - Ravinia Pavillion - Highland Park/Chicago, IL *
Aug 11 - Frederik Meijer Gardens - Grand Rapids, MI
Aug 12 - Meadow Brook Music Festival - Rochester Hills, MI
Aug 13 - Dutch Mason Blues Festival - Truro, NS
Aug 17 - Blues on the Green - Austin, TX KGSR event
Aug 19 - Trails West 2011 - St Joseph, MO
Aug 20 - Freeport Music & Art - Freeport, IL
Aug 27 - Texas Music Theatre - San Marcos, TX benefit for LULAC
Aug 28 - Eddy County Sheriff's Posse Arena - Carlsbad, NM
Sept 2 - Crockett Civic Center - Crockett, TX
Sept 3 - Summertime Blues Festival - Freeport, TX
Sept 9 - House of Blues - New Orleans, LA
Sept 10 - Library Theatre - Hoover, AL acoustic - 2 shows
Sept 11 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA
Sept 13 - The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
Sept 14 - The Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, TN
Sept 15 - Live on the Green - Nashville, TN WRLT event
Sept 16 - The Arts Center - Carrboro, NC
Sept 18 - Ziggy's - Winston Salem, NC
Sept 24 - Foster Communication Center - San Angelo, TX

w/ Los Lobos *

For more information:

Los Lonely Boys Website
Los Lonely Boys YouTube
Playing In Traffic Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys on Facebook

08 July 2011

The Weeknd, Song Of The Week, July 8 at OnlineRock

by Andrew McNair

This week, we've got another free album for you. With a voice crooning sweet R&B melodies on top of dark electronic beats, The Weeknd makes music unlike any you're likely to hear on the Top 40 R&B stations on your radio dial. And he's giving his album, House of Balloons, away for free. It made the long list for the Polaris Music Prize and is very worth a listen.

07 July 2011

Mates of State debut "Maracas" video off new album

By Nancy Woo

Influential Connecticut-based indie pop duo Mates of State has some infectious new material out, including a video posted below and an upcoming album full of all original songs set to be released on September 13th via Barsuk Records. They have also announced a list of tour dates, posted below.

Husband and wife make an all-star team in this group, which have been recording since 1997. Their last album was a cover album, a tribute of sorts, so fans may be quite pink in the face with excitement for a new set of original songs on their seventh studio album, Mountaintops.

Here is the official music video for the first single off Mountaintops, called "Maracas." And there are certainly maracas.

Starting on September 21, the band will tour the East Coast, kicking off at D.C.’s 9:30 Club and playing through October 12 where they will visit New York City’s Webster Hall.

Tour Dates (tickets on sale 7/6):

09/21 Washington, DC - 930 Club *$
09/22 Cincinnati, OH - Mid Point Music Festival *$
09/23 Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls *$
09/24 Philadelphia, PA - Popped Festival *$
09/26 Boston, MA - Royale *$
09/27 Montreal, QB - Il Motore *$
09/28 Toronto, ON - Phoenix *$
09/29 Detroit, MI - St. Andrews *$
09/30 Chicago, IL - Metro *$
10/01 Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall *&
10/03 Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel *&
10/04 Nashville, TN - Exit/In *&
10/05 Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre *&
10/06 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn *&
10/07 Orlando, FL - The Social *&
10/08 Sunrise, FL - Langerado Festival *&
10/10 Richmond, VA - Canal Club *&
10/11 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *&
10/12 New York, NY - Webster Hall &

* = w/ Yawn
$ = w/ Suckers
& = w/ Other Lives

track list:

1. Palomino

2. Maracas
3. Sway
4. Unless I’m Led
5. Total Serendipity
6. Basement Money
7. At Least I Have You
8. Desire
9. Change
10. Mistakes

For more information:

05 July 2011

Black Francis and Reid Paley Collaborate on Debut Album

By Nancy Woo

Black Francis, iconic frontman of the 80s alternative band Pixies, who has been recording solo material for years, announces that he will be releasing an album with Reid Paley this September. Reid Paley, former lead singer for the post-punk blues-band-from-hell The Five, has also been recording solo material in the past decade, and the union of the two will be something to look forward to. On September 13th the album entitled Paley & Francis will be released on Sonic Unyon Records in North America.

In their own words:

"This album was recorded in two relatively short days this past September 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. All first takes.

We wrote the music for the songs in Paley’s apartment in Brooklyn over three afternoons when Francis was in New York for a three day run at Joe's Pub. After which we each took half of the songs to finish off with lyrics, and Francis went off to meet what he sometimes likes to call “the old band” for another tour.

A few days later, we were recording at Jon Tiven’s studio in Nashville. We each sang lead on the songs we wrote lyrics for and sang backup on the others. We worked fast. Francis had Pixies shows each evening, so we had a curfew. Paley recalls finishing the lyrics to one tune literally a minute before cutting the vocal. The two of us on guitars, with legendary Muscle Shoals players David Hood on bass and Spooner Oldham on piano. Damn, those guys are good.

Hope you dig the vibe."

Paley & Francis

Spring 2011
Brooklyn, NY and The Pacific Northwest

Paley & Francis Track Listing
01 Curse
02 On The Corner
03 Magic Cup
04 Ugly Life
05 Seal
06 The Last Song
07 Cresent Moon
08 Deconstructed
09 Praise
10 Happy Shoes

For More Information:

01 July 2011

Dolfish, Song Of The Week, July 1 at OnlineRock

This week we're featuring the debut EP from Dolfish, Your Love Is Bummin' Me Out. Who said songs abut love had to be long? Only one of the five songs on this EP breaks the two minute mark (the entire EP is just over 8 minutes). And each one of them is a complete country-noise-pop gem. Think Daniel Johnston with a backing band made up members of The Raveonettes and Deer Tick and you'll have a good idea what to expect.

Or download the whole album for free, courtesy of Afternoon Records, and give it a listen. It's only eight minutes, but you'll probably need sixteen minutes, since you'll want to listen to it again once you're done.