The Line Of Best Fit Radio

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bright Eyes Returns

With the once revolving line-up of musicians settled on the three constants of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, Bright Eyes spent much of 2006 in the studio working on their follow-up to the acclaimed simultaneous releases Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. "Four Winds" is the first single from these sessions that took place in New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, and Lincoln, NE featuring Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, M. Ward, and Janet Weiss of Sleater Kinney. "Four Winds", is backed along with 5 exclusive B-sides not included on the forthcoming album Cassadega which is expected to be released on April 10th.

Bright Eyes - Four Winds (EP)
Released 06/03/07
1. Four Winds
2. Reinvent The Wheel
3. Smoke Without Fire
4. Stray Dog Freedom
5. Cartoon Blues
6. Tourist Trap [DOWNLOAD]

Monday, January 22, 2007

Arcade Fire Rock School Cafeteria

See the full article and pictures here.

Further proof that Canada is cooler than America: While our high schools get motivational speakers and pep rallies for special events, Canada's kids get concerts by the Arcade Fire in their cafeteria. Okay, so it's not that common an occurrence, and Canterbury isn't just any Ottawa high school; it's the alma mater of Arcade Fire charter member Richard Reed Parry. On Friday night, Parry brought his colleagues to the lunchroom of his youth for a special, top-secret performance, open only to Canterbury students and their guests, with all proceeds going to Canterbury Arts Centre Development Association, the organization that helps fund the school's highly-regarded arts programs. Thanks to a tip from the Pitchfork Intelligence Agency's Ottawa bureau (local student Matt Bostelaar) and the good graces of the band's management, we were given the privilege of being the creepy old guy at the show, the lone media witness to the proceedings.

Of course, this wasn't just a special-venue one-off for the band-- it was also the premiere performance of material from their forthcoming album Neon Bible, and the first show on a tour that promises to rival the marathon jaunt to promote the band's breakthrough debut, Funeral. Having already sold out three five-night runs each in New York, Montreal, and London, this show (and an equally hush-hush appearance in their hometown the next night) served as an open rehearsal for the Neon Bible songs, a chance to test out the new equipment in a humble space. And it doesn't get much more humble than one end of a small school cafeteria, where the crew had to cover overhead fluorescent lights that couldn't be turned off, the security staff was a dozen grandparents in matching t-shirts, and the Green Room was hastily set up in the teacher's lounge.

With such a hospitable audience, the obligatory technical issues and fumbling associated with the new songs from Neon Bible were no big deal. All but three songs in the set were from the upcoming record, and these performances largely lacked the Arcade Fire's characteristic stage frenzy, as if the group still has to concentrate hard on playing each song correctly before they can resume attacking each other with percussion instruments. But the statelier sound of the new album was still given a more unhinged flavor on stage-- the shoutalong choral parts of the newly recorded "No Cars Go" and "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" were every bit as heart-skipping as those from "Rebellion (Lies)" or "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)". New toys were in abundance: Win Butler strummed a mandolin for "Keep the Car Running", Régine Chassagne cranked a hurdy-gurdy, and a laptop was used to replicate the massive church organ from "Intervention" (although it seemed to have some unfortunate triggering problems).

But such hiccups couldn't dent the show's feel-good armor, as the band shyly fed off the energy of the young crowd. Parry, repeatedly referred to as "Richie" by the school organizers, obviously seemed to be the most bemused of all, lecturing the kids on how lucky they are to attend Canterbury and smiling at the girls with homemade "CHS Lit Program Loves Richard!" shirts in the front row. Raw and unpracticed as it was, the setting was ultimately perfect for the Arcade Fire, whose undiluted melodrama and emotional sweep is the perfect soundtrack for the struggles of high school students, or the high school feelings that linger deep within us older fans. For a band on the brink of storming the globe for a second time, it was a chance to reconnect with the world they're so good at portraying, a reminder as valuable as any rehearsal.

Worth The Wait

At last! 10th February sees The Crane Wife, the fourth full length from Portland, Oregons favourite literate indie-pop troupe get a UK release. God knows why its taken so long, it was released in October in the States! Rough Trade are putting it out over here. Pre-order it here.

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
1. Crane Wife 3 [DOWNLOAD]
2. The Island
Come and See / The Landlord's Daughter / You'll Not Feel the Drowning
3. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then) [DOWNLOAD]
4. O Valencia
5. The Perfect Crime 2
6. When The War Came
7. Shankhill Butchers
8. Summersong
9. Crane Wife 1 And 2
10. Sons And Daughters

The Decemberists - O Valencia [Live on The David Letterman Show] review
Colin Meloy and his brave Decemberists made the unlikely jump to a major label after 2005's excellent Picaresque, a move that surprised both longtime fans and detractors of the band. While it is difficult to imagine the suits at Capitol seeing dollar signs in the eyes of an accordion- and bouzouki-wielding, British folk-inspired collective from Portland, OR, that dresses in period Civil War outfits and has been known to cover Morrissey, it's hard to argue with what the Decemberists have wrought from their bounty. The Crane Wife is loosely based on a Japanese folk tale that concerns a crane, an arrow, a beautiful woman, and a whole lot of clandestine weaving. The record's spirited opener and namesake picks off almost exactly where Picaresque left off, building slowly off a simple folk melody before exploding into some serious Who power chords. This is the first indication that the band itself was ready to take the loosely ornate, reverb-heavy Decemberists sound to a new sonic level, or rather that producers Tucker Martine and Chris Walla were. On first listen, the tight, dry, and compressed production style sounds more like Queens of the Stone Age than Fairport Convention, but as The Crane Wife develops over its 60-plus minutes, a bigger picture appears. Meloy, who along with Destroyer's Dan Bejar has mastered the art of the North American English accent, has given himself over to early-'70s progressive rock with gleeful abandon, and while many of the tracks pale in comparison to those on Picaresque, the ones that succeed do so in the grandest of fashions. Fans of the group's Tain EP will find themselves drawn to "Island: Come and See/The Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel the Drowning" and "The Crane Wife, Pts. 1 & 2," both of which are well over ten minutes long and feature some truly inspired moments that echo everyone from the Waterboys and R.E.M. to Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, while those who embrace the band's poppier side will flock around the winsome "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)," which relies heavily on the breathy delivery of Seattle singer/songwriter and part-time Decemberist Laura Veirs. Some cuts, like the English murder ballad "Shankill Butchers" and "Summersong" (the latter eerily reminiscent of Edie Brickell's "What I Am"), sound like outtakes from previous records, but by the time the listener arrives at the Donovan-esque (in a good way) closer, "Sons & Daughters," the less tasty bits of The Crane Wife seem a wee bit sweeter.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Death Cab For Cutie - Bonnaroo Festival June 2006

I stumbled across this and thought i'd share the wealth. Its an audience recording but the quality is pretty damn good. If anyone reading this has a copy of the bands gig from Brixton Academy last year i'd love to hear it - just get in touch with me via myspace.

Death Cab For Cutie - Live Bonnaroo Festival 16/06/06
01. Passenger Seat
02. Different Names for the Same Thing
03. The New Year
04. We Laugh Indoors
05. Title And Registration
06. Soul Meets Body
07. Lowell, Ma
08. Crooked Teeth
09. Your Heart Is an Empty Room
10. A Movie Script Ending
11. Company Calls
12. What Sarah Said
13. I Will Follow You Into the Dark
14. We Looked Like Giants
15. The Sound of Settling
16. Transatlanticism


Download The Good, The Bad & The Queen Live Track

Nature Springs (Live At The Tabernacle) - The Good, The Bad & The Queen [Download]

Watch a live set from Wilton's Music Hall in London.

Dylan Gets Deluxe Treatment

The classic Bob Dylan rockumentary, Don't Look Back, will be reissued on DVD with a bunch of extras in the 65 Tour Deluxe Edition.

D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop, Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars) directed the original film, which followed Dylan on a 1965 British tour, and it was critically acclaimed for its inside look at the young singer/songwriter when it hit theatres in 1967. The new version has been digitally transferred from the original film, which also features Joan Baez, The Animals' Alan Price, Marianne Faithfull, Donovan and Dylan's manager, Alan Grossman. Pennebaker and Dylan tour manager Bob Neuwirth provide audio commentary.

The two-DVD package also includes Bob Dylan 65 Revisited, an hour-long film featuring previously unseen archival material, with commentary from Pennebaker and Neuwirth. The original 168-page 1968 companion book to the film, the theatrical trailer, a Pennebaker filmography, a Dylan discography, and cast and crew member biographies are also included along with collectible packaging.

A "Subterranean Homesick Blues" flip book, which provides a frame-by-frame look at what many people consider to be the first music video, is included along with an alternate version of the song's infamous cue-card sequence.

Docurama will release both the deluxe two-DVD set and the single-disc remastered version of the film on Feb. 27.

Pitch your questions to The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit are going to be making a short film in the coming weeks and one of the elements they'll be incorporating is a Question & Answer if there's anything you'd like to find out about The Duke Spirit then send your question to or enter it as a comment on this blog or here.

For other Duke Spirit gubbins click here

New Shins Streaming via Myspace

The Shins excellent and long overdue new album Wincing The Night Away is now streaming via the bands myspace page here. The album will be officially released through Sub Pop on 29th January and is expected to send the band into the mainstream once and for all. Its been getting mixed reviews on the internets since its leak a few months ago but ill stand by it and say its their finest album to date. Its certainly not as instant as Chutes Too Narrow or Oh, Inverted World but worth sticking with for sure.

1. Sleeping Lessons
2. Australia
3. Pam Barry
4. Phantom Limb
5. Sea Legs
6. Red Rabbits
7. Turn On Me
8. Black Wave
9. Split Needles
10. Girl Sailor
11. Comet Appears

Heres the video for the leading single "Phantom Limb"

Heres the band performing "New Slang" on Saturday Night Live

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Death Cab For Download

Released on March 1st is Endless Highway, a tribute album dedicated to the music of The Band. Normally these things are pretty poor, and there is some crap on there - the Jack Johnson track is as drab as can be, but hey whats new. There are definately a few decent tracks worth checking out though, especially Death Cab For Cutie's take on "Rocking Chair" and "It Makes No Difference" performed by My Morning Jacket.

The full tracklisting is:

1. Wheel's on Fire - Guster
2. King Harvest - Bruce Hornsby,
3. It Makes No Difference - My Morning Jacket
4. I Shall Be Released - Jack Johnson
5. Weight - Lee Ann Womack
6. Chest Fever - Widespread Panic
7. Up on Cripple Creek - Gomez
8. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Allman Brothers Band
9. Stage Fright - Steve Reynolds
10. Rag Mama Rag - Blues Traveler
11. Whispering Pines - Jakob Dylan, Lizz Wright
12. Acadian Driftwood - The Roches
13. Unfaithful Servant - Rosanne Cash
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece - Josh Turner
15. Life Is a Carnival - Trevor Hall
16. Look out Cleveland - Jackie Greene
17. Rockin' Chair - Death Cab for Cutie

Download the Death Cab For Cutie track here

Bob Dylan & The Band - Like A Rolling Stone (1966)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Covered In Love

I meant to post this before Christmas but never got round to it...

The mighty Duke Spirit are back. Well, sort of. Until the new album surfaces at some point this year we can make do with a four track EP of cover versions of recently departed good spirits. The band recorded the tracks in Somerset during October of last year. The tracks are: Desmond Dekker's '007 (Shanty Town)'; Jessie Mae Hemphill’s ‘I’m So Glad’ and two Tracks by Love 'A House Is Not A Motel' & 'A Message To A Pretty'.

Its available as an exclusive download on Rough Trades website priced at £2.99. You can stream the tracks via the bands myspace page

So far no details have been revealed about the new album, though back in September 2005 Leila told me the demos had a definite Stax feel to them. The bands website is currently under reconstruction so hopefully when its back up some news will also be posted. After checking the website of Loog records I notice that The Duke Spirit have been taken off their artists roster. I'm speculating here but I have a feeling that the new album may come out on Bella Union, the label run by the bands close friend and producer of the debut album, Simon Raymonde (ex-Cocteau Twins bass player ). Wishful thinking maybe but Bella Unions list of bands is amazing (Midlake, The Howling Bells, My Latest Novel, Fionn Regan, Explosions In The Sky to name just a few) and the Spirit would fit nicely in there dont you think?

Download a live session from The Duke Spirit from Seattle radio station KEXP - Recorded last year whilst the group were in America.

The version of Win Your Love is stunning.

Songs played:
Love Is An Unfamiliar Name
Hello To The Floor
Win Your Game
Love Is An Unfamiliar Name

Right click and choose save-as. [DOWNLOAD]

The Duke Spirit - Love Is An Unfamiliar Name

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir

Sub Pop have struck gold in their recent signing. Loney, Dear or Emil Svanängen as he's known to his friends will release his fourth album Loney, Noir through the label on February 6th.

His music has been described as soulful indie folk with a powerful mini orchestra. Layer upon layer, adding instrumentation and vocals, these songs seem to bloom like time-lapse photography, depicting glimpsed scenes of modern disaffection and timeless yearning. Loney, Noir is at once effervescent and resigned, exhilarating and melancholy, joyous and confessional.

Preview tracks from the album below. Plus, as an extra treat watch a live performance of The City, The Airport from last years equally brilliant Sologne.

Loney, Dear - I Am John
Loney, Dear - Hard Days
Loney, Dear - I Will Call You Lover Again
Loney, Dear - I Am The Odd One

"The City, The Airport"
I'd just like to add that after watching the below video I now have a king size crush on the cute Backing Vocalist...

The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America

Currently on extreme heavy rotation on my ipod is The Hold Steady's third album Boys And Girls In America. It took a while to sink in (6 months to be precise) but my god it was worth it. Friend of Line Of Best Fit Richard Hughes reviewed it over here.

The band are jetting over to the UK for a brief tour in February.

Feb 13th Manchester Night & Day (Club Fandango)
Feb 14th Glasgow Cathouse
Feb 15th Hoxton Bar And Grill SOLD OUT
Feb 16th Club NME @ Camden Koko
Feb 17th London Borderline
Feb 18th London Borderline

These guys have a fabulous live reputation so seeing them in such an intimate venue as the Borderline should be a real treat.

Stream the album here.

Welcome Back

Hi and a happy 2007 to all of you. Admittedly a slight delay in getting this thing back up and running after christmas. This is mainly due to my Mac breaking down thus losing EVERYTHING, having a stomach bug, but mainly just enjoying being a Dad. Anyhoo, there are a couple of things worthy of a post so here goes.

First off, Wilco have finally given a release date for their new album. According to frontman Jeff Tweedy the title is "Sky Blue Sky" and will be released on May 15th. I'll post more news on this as I get it but so far track titles include; "On and On and On," " The Thanks I Get" "Walkin'," "Impossible Germany," "What Light," "Let's Fight," "Either Way" "Let's Not Get Carried Away," "You are my face," "Patient with Me", "Sky blue Sky," "Shake it Off," and "Side With the Seeds." The bands drummer, Glenn Kotche has said that some of the new songs were written on the spot in the studio by the band as a whole, as opposed to Tweedy fleshing out the song and bringing it to the rest of the band.

In other Wilco related news, the side project of members John Stiratt and Pat Sansone"The Autumn Defense" released their third self titled album on January 9th. Its certainly more of the same laid back indie rock and could be accused of simply being background music but its well worth checking out. Its certainly their strongest set of songs to date with the stand out tracks being "Where You Are" and "We Would Never Die" which features a stunning guest guitar solo from Nels Cline.

The tragically underated Portland, Oregon band Richmond Fontaine return with their new album "Thirteen Cities" released on 5th February on Decor records. This could well be the album that betters the classic 2004 release "Post To Wire". Its a perfect blend of Pedal Steel driven country rock mixed with the stark acoustic led story telling of the bands previous effort "The Fitzgerald". This could be one of the front runners for album of 2007 for me. The band are set to tour the UK in February. The venues are all tiny, especially Leicesters The Musician which only holds around 150 people. If you're at a loose end you wont want to miss out on seeing these guys.

Click here for the tour dates in full.

Download Barely Losing from Post To Wire here.

Brand New - The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
Sometimes the only excuse for listening to an album is because it has a great cover, the bonus with this was that it had a great title too. If loud guitars float your boat and you feel a little bit emo (and lets face it, we all have a bit of emo inside us) then this is for you. It was released in November of last year and completely past me by...
Heres what have to say about them:
"When Brand New released Deja Entendu in mid-2003, it caught a lot of their fans off guard. It found the band taking a stylistic leap forward from the clever pop-punk of their 2001 debut, exploring expanded sonic textures and indie rock overtones, their urgent choruses tempered by acoustic musings and softer introspections. It all seemed very deliberate, yet completely natural all the same, and the record was an underground smash. Something even more substantial was definitely brewing beneath the band's emo façade, and as a result, Brand New's follow-up was hotly anticipated for the three years it took the band to release it. The resulting The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is the completion of their pop-punk molting process and one of the best surprises -- that isn't really a surprise at all -- to come out of 2006" - All Music Guide

You can preview tracks from the album over on the bands myspace page.

The band are currently on tour and hit the UK on the following dates:

2/5/07 - Guildhall, Southampton, UK
2/6/07 - Apollo, Manchester, UK
2/8/07 - Academy, Newcastle, UK
2/9/07 - Academy, Glasgow, UK
2/11/07 - Academy, Birmingham, UK
2/12/07 - Uni, Cardiff, UK
2/13/07 - Hammersmith, London, UK
2/15/07 - Tripod, Dublin, Ireland

In case you havent already noticed there are now RSS feed links on the right hand side of the site. Which basically means you can check out the latest headlines from and Pitchfork. Plus a whole load of reviews from the excellent CD Times.

Finally here are just a few albums released in the imminent future that are well worth checking out. Some ive heard the entire album, others just a select few tracks.

23/01/07 Broken West - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
23/01/07 David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band
23/01/07 Earlies - The Enemy Chorus
23/01/07 Field Music - Tones of Town
23/01/07 The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
30/01/07 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder

06/02/07 Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
06/02/07 Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - Like, Love, Lust, and the Open Halls of the Soul
06/02/07 Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir
20/02/07 Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone

06/03/07 Air - Pocket Symphony
06/03/07 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
06/03/07 Bright Eyes - Four Winds EP
06/03/07 Gruff Rhys - Candylion
06/03/07 Jesse Malin - Glitter in the Gutter
20/03/07 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
20/03/07 Willy Mason - If The Ocean Gets Rough