“A collection of songs that articulates that fury and despair with such authority, it deserves to become the soundtrack for whatever future documentary montage captures the mess of 2017. It’s galvanizing, uncompromising, and uplifting, and it should speak to everyone who still has some fight left in them.” – Sean O’Neal, The A/V Club
Today marks the long-awaited release date for Algiers’ incendiary 2nd album, the critically-acclaimed ‘The Underside Of Power’, available on digital, CD and LP formats at the url below. The first song from the Adrian Utley and Ali Chant-produced masterpiece, “Walk Like A Panther” (featuring a sample culled from a speech by Chicago Black Panther Fred Hampton), can be heard above in lyric video form.
In addition to the previously announced European stadium dates supporting Depeche Mode and this summer’s headlining club shows in North America, Algiers have more US dates happening in September supporting !!! (see below).
“The title Villains isn’t a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened… Everyone needs someone or something to rail against—their villain—same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go.”—Joshua Homme
Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, ‘Villains’, out August 25 on Matador Records. Now available for preorder on deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl, CD and digital, ‘Villains’ consists of the following songs:
1. Feet Don’t Fail Me
2. The Way You Used To Do
3. Domesticated Animals
5. Head Like A Haunted House
6. Un-Reborn Again
8. The Evil Has Landed
9. Villains Of Circumstance
Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, ‘Villains’ is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s ‘…Like Clockwork’ gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. (and #1s in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, #2s in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Finland… but really, who’s counting?). Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took ‘…Like Clockwork’ around the world and back—Founder/guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, keys), Michael Shuman (bass), Dean Fertita (keys, guitar), Jon Theodore (drums)—are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question ‘what do we sound like now?’ If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop—but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.”
Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, “Queens are and have always been my favorite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought ‘Rated R’ in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan—or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. I also knew that my super fandom alone would not keep me in the jacuzzi. There were moments during the making of the album in which i was aware i was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my favorite moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream–a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.”
Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, “After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear… What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.”
Queens Of The Stone Age have also confirmed a slew of North American dates filling in the space between and beyond their previously announced appearances at Outside Lands and Riot Fest. The new shows, which include Queens’ first ever Madison Square Garden headline, are detailed below. For further information, keep an eye on Queens Of The Stone Age sites and socials and just let go.
TOUR DATES (new dates in bold, Tickets On Sale To The Public June 22)
Thursday, June 22 – Rapids Theater — Niagara Falls, NY SOLD OUT
Saturday, June 24 – Amnesia Rockfest 2017 — Montebello, QC
Thursday, July 13 – Logan Campbell, Auckland, New Zealand SOLD OUT
Sunday, July 16 – Convention Centre, Darwin, Australia
Wednesday, July 19 – Hodern Pavilion, Sydney NSW, Australia SOLD OUT
Thursday, July 20 – Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia SOLD OUT
Saturday, July 22, Splendour In The Grass, Tenindewa, Australia SOLD OUT
Friday, July 28 – Fuji Rock Festival, Kinsasa, Japan Thursday, August 10 – Ventura Theatre, Ventura CA
Saturday, August 12 – Outside Lands, San Francisco, CA Wednesday, September 6 – Capitol Theatre, Port Chester NY Thursday, September 7 – Festival Pier, Philadelphia PA Saturday, September 9 – Moison Amphitheatre (Budweiser Stage), Toronto ON Sunday, September 10 – 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids MI Tuesday, September 12 – Express Live! Outdoor Pavilion, Columbus OH Wednesday, September 13 – Stage AE (Outdoors), Pittsburgh PA Friday, September 15 – Agora Theatre, Cleveland OH
Saturday, September 16 – Riot Fest, Chicago IL Monday, October 9 – The Complex, Salt Lake City UT Tuesday, October 10 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO Thursday, October 12 – Peabody, St. Louis MO Friday, October 13 – Crossroads KC, Kansas City MO Saturday, October 14 – Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul MN Sunday, October 15 – Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee WI Tuesday, October 17 – Fox Theatre, Detroit MI Wednesday, October 18 – Old Theatre Centre – Murat Theatre, Indianapolis IN Saturday, October 21 – Agganis Arena, Boston MA Sunday, October 22 – State Theatre, Portland ME Tuesday, October 24, Madison Square Garden, New York NY Saturday, November 4th – Unipol Arena, Bologna, Italy Sunday, November 5th – Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria Monday, November 6th – Samsung Hall, Zurich, Switzerland Tuesday, November 7th – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France Thursday, November 9th – König-Pilsener-Arena, Oberhausen, Germany Friday, November 10th – Zenith, Munich, Germany Saturday November 11th – Velodrom, Berlin, Germany Sunday, November 12th – Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands Tuesday, November 14th – TAP1, Copenhagen, Denmark Wednesday, November 15th – Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany Thursday, November 16th – Sportspaleis, Antwerp, Belgium Sunday, November 19th – Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK Tuesday, November 21st – The 02, London, UK Thursday, November 23rd – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK Friday, November 24th – 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
Customers ordering any format off the Matador store are entitled to Jump The Q when ordering tickets for the upcoming tour, visit http://presale.qotsa.com for info and access (by participating in this promotion, entrants hereby agree to the collection and usage of their personal information to enable Matador and Ticketmaster to fulfill this promotion)
All Matador Store customers will receive an exclusive sticker sheet, featuring artwork designed by Boneface.
Pre-order the deluxe LP edition from Matador for the chance to find a golden ticket awarding you a pair of tickets to the headline show of your choice.” (Entries also accepted by mailing a letter to QOTSA Tickets c/o Matador Records, 134 Grand St. New York, NY 10013)
Deluxe LP comes pressed on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl at Pallas and includes 14 limited-edition Boneface art prints and an etching on side 4 of the vinyl and includes an MP3 and FLAC download coupon.
Standard and Indie Retail Edition LP’s (the latter sleeve above) are pressed on 140 gram vinyl with an etching on side 4 of the vinyl and includes an MP3 and FLAC download coupon. The Indie LP will feature alternate cover art from the original.
“A recurring theme in our music is the idea of injustice and the bitter understanding that obtaining justice in this world is all but impossible–particularly for black and brown people. I wanted the song to sound like the Final Judgement in the Bible, wherein the wicked are judged and condemned by the righteous with all the ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth,’ of the damned when justice is finally realized. This translates in the ‘solo’ section of the song. It consists of various recordings of people inconsolably crying and weeping while the guitar and lead vocal mirror their contortions. If you’ve ever witnessed something like that in real life, sound of a person’s sorrow is equal parts frightening and musical.” – Franklin James Fisher
We’re 10 days away from the global release of Algiers’ hotly anticipated 2nd album, the Adrian Utely-produced ‘The Underside Of Power’, and with that in mind, here’s the premiere of another track from this crucial work, “Cleveland”. Algiers’ updated tour itinerary, with headlining North American dates starting July 13 following European stadium shows supporting Depeche Mode, can be found below.
Courtesy NPR, here’s Perfume Genius performing “Valley”, “Slip Away” and “Normal Song” for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. Earlier today, 9 North American shows supporting The XX were confirmed including a September 29 appearance at Inglewood, CA’s Forum in.
(photo by Inez and Vinoodh)
WITH THE XX
Wednesday, September 27 – Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA
Friday, September 29 – The Forum, Inglewood, CA
Tuesday, October 3 – Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO
Wednesday, October 4 – Ascend Ampitheater, Nashville, TN
Monday, October 9 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
Tuesday, October 10- The Saltair, Magna, UT
Thursday, October 12 – Criterion Theater, Oklahoma City, OK
Tuesday, October 17 – Coca Cola Roxy, Atlanta, GA
Thursday, October 19 – Champions Square, New Orleans, LA
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED DATES
June 13 – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam NE
June 14 – Berghain/Kantine, Berlin DE
Friday, June 16 – Eaux Claires Festival – Eau Claire, WI
Saturday, June 17 – Eaux Claires Festival – Eau Claire, WI
Saturday, July 15 – Imperial – Vancouver, BC
Sunday, July 16 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR SOLD OUT
Tuesday, Jul 18 – The Independent – San Francisco CA SOLD OUT
Wednesday, July 19 – The Independent – San Francisco CA SOLD OUT
Thursday, July 20 – El Rey – Los Angeles CA
Sunday, July 23 – Capitol Hill Block Party – Seattle WA
Thursday August 31-Sunday, September 3 – End Of The Road Festival, South Wiltshire, United Kingdom
As Spoon’s relentless global tour in support of album-of-the-year candidate ‘Hot Thoughts’ continues next week, the band have made available a remixed version of “Can I Sit Next To You”. as conceived by Tyler Pope (LCD Soundsystem, Chk Chk Chk). Purchase or stream the remix here.
TOUR DATES (TICKETS)
Saturday, June 17 – Festaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
Sunday, June 18 – Maifeld Derby Festival, Mannheim, Germany
Monday, June 19 – Technikum, Munich, Germany
Tuesday, June 20 – Uebel & Gefärlich, Hamburg, Germany
Thursday, June 22 – Piknik i Parken, Oslo, Norway
Saturday, June 24 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tuesday, June 27 – Gorilla, Manchester, England
Wednesday, June 28 – The Arts School, Glasgow, Scotland
Friday, June 30 – O2 Forum, London, England
Monday, July 3 – Gloria Theater, Cologne, Germany
Wednesday, July 5 – La Maroquinerie, Paris, France
Friday, July 7 – Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain
Saturday, July 8 – NOS Alive, Lisbon, Portugal
Friday, July 14 – Forecastle Festival, Louisville, KY
Saturday, July 15 – Sloss Festival, Birmingham, AL
Tuesday, July 18 – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC ^
Wednesday, July 19 – Sprint Pavilion, Charlottesville, VA ^
Friday, July 21 – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
Saturday, July 22 – State Theatre, Portland, ME ^
Sunday, July 23 – Métropolis, Montreal, Quebec ^
Tuesday, 25 – Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario #
Wednesday, July 26 – Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA ^
Friday, July 28 – Panorama Festival, New York, NY
Saturday, July 29 – XPoNential Music Festival, Camden, NJ
Sunday, July 30 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD &+
Tuesday, August 1 – The Fillmore, Detroit, MI #
Wednesday, August 2 – Metro, Chicago IL
Thursday, August 3 – Lollapalooza, Chicago IL
Sunday, August 6 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA &
Tuesday, August 8 – Belly Up Aspen, Aspen, CO
Wednesday, August 9 – Mishawaka Amphitheatre, Bellvue, CO
Friday, August 19 – House of Blues, New Orleans, LA
Sunday, August 20 – Mavericks, Jacksonville, FL
Tuesday, August 22 – Lucas Theater for the Arts, Savannah, GA
Sunday, August 23 – Music Farm, Columbia, SC
Monday, August 28 – Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
Wednesday, August 30 – Windspear Centre, Edmonton, Alberta
August 31 – Macewan Hall, Calgary, Alberta
Saturday, September 2 – Malkin Bowl, Vancouver, British Columbia
Tuesday, September 5 – Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
Wednesday, September 6 – The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT
Friday, September 8 – Sokol Auditorium, Omaha, NE
Wednesday, September 13 – Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee, WI
Thursday, September 14 – Orpheum Theatre, Madison, WI
Friday, September 15 – Palace Theater, Saint Paul, MN
Saturday, September 30 – Greek Theater, Berkeley, CA $
Sunday, October 1 – Cal Coast Credit Union, San Diego, CA $
Tuesday – October 3 – Comerica Theater, Phoenix, AZ$
Thursday, October 5 – Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver, CO $
October 6 & October 13 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
Tuesday, October 17 – House of Blues, New Orleans, LA
Friday, October 20 – Music Farm, Columbia, SC
Saturday, October 21 – Maverick, Jacksonville, FL
Thursday, November 2 – Orangerie at Botanique, Brussels, BE
Monday, November 6 – Concorde 2, Brighton, UK
Tuesday, November 7 – Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, UK
Wednesday, November 9 – The Junction, Cambridge, UK
Saturday, November 11 – Kaserne, Basel, CH
Sunday, November 12, Santeria Social Club, Milano, IT
Tuesday, November 14 – Sala Apolo, Barcelona, ES
Wednesday, November 15 – La Riviera, Madrid, ES
Thursday, November 16 – Porto Coliseum, Porto, PT
Friday, November 17 – Coliseu dos Recreios, Lisbon, PT
^ with the New Pornographers
# with Cherry Glazerr
& with Belle and Sebastian
+ with Andrew Bird
$ with The Shins
We are pleased, no wait OVERJOYED to announce that Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett will be touring North America this fall with an all-star band. This announcement comes alongside the news that the two have completed a collaboration album that will be released later this year…
(photo credit: Danny Cohen)
The inter-continental duo will share the stage, performing songs off their upcoming album as well as delving into their respective back catalogues and covering a bunch of classics, all backed by their band ‘The Sea Lice,’ a revolving cast of musicians including Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade) and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts). “A cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages—minus the country,” says Vile.
Courtney recalls the seeds of the collaboration:
“In 2014 I scored a support slot opening for Kurt at the Abbotsford Convent [outside Melbourne]. We met briefly after the show but I was a bit nervous and didn’t wanna bother him, just grateful for the gig. Years later we started bumping into each other on the festival circuit all around the wide world and we became friends. He hit me up when he was coming to Melbourne next and said he thought we could work together.”
As Kurt tells it:
“I just love her voice in general… great lyrics of course… I love all her music but the song that really hit me was “Depreston”—I know it’s popular but her voice is so good in that song and it’s so pretty and sincere… i’m a sucker for that kinda song: instant classic.
It started out as, maybe we’ll do a split 7″ together but then I figured let’s make it a 12″ so it doesn’t get lost in the world, shoot for 5 songs. It wasn’t until i had another KV tour booked for the following summer in Oz that we thought we should record as much as we can, just see what happens, no major goal to make it a full length, but it came together that way ‘cause the vibe was so strong with everyone.”
For Courtney, the admiration is mutual:
I’m a huge Kurt fan. Smoke Ring was one of my first purchases on vinyl. I was getting over a big break-up, unemployed and drifting and I would just lie on my bed and listen to ‘Peepin’ Tom’ on repeat. One of the most beautiful and luscious albums I ever heard. Me and Jen fell in love to that album.”
Kurt and Courtney have partnered with Plus 1 so that $1 from every ticket goes to support the ACLU and their work defending and protecting our individual rights and liberties. Support for the Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile (and The Sea Lice) tour will be Australian songwriter Jen Cloher.
The album is the result of 8 days in the studio spread over almost 15 months when Courtney and Kurt’s respective touring schedules allowed for them to be in the same place at the same time. It will be released later this year jointly by Matador Records, Marathon Artists and Milk! Records.
Tickets for the tour go on sale on Friday, but you can grab them early using the code BLUEBERRYHILL today starting at noon in your local market.
Just a reminder for those of you in or around NYC for this weekend’s Governor’s Ball festival that Car Seat Headrest will be hitting the stage at Webster Hall tonight around 10:30pm, followed by an appearance at the Big Apple Stage at beautiful Randall’s Island, tomorrow at 2:30pm (and you have to admit that “Big Apple Stage” sounds a little more glamorous than “Piles Of Trash Blowing In Heavy Winds Stage”, though perhaps they were also pressed for space. The up-to-date Car Seat Headrest tour schedule can be found below :
Friday, June 2nd, New York NY – Webster Hall
Saturday, June 3rd – New York NY – Governor’s Ball Music Festival
Sunday, June 4th – Charlottesville VA – Jefferson Theater %
Monday, June 5th – Carrboro NC – Cat’s Cradle %
Wednesday, June 7th – Asheville NC – Orange Peel %
Thursday, June 8th – Louisville KY – Headliners %
Friday, June 9th – Manchester TN – Bonnaroo Music Festival
Sunday, June 18th – Morrison CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre $
Saturday, June 24th – Mountain View CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre #
Wednesday, June 28th – Milwaukee WI – American Family Insurance Ampitheatre
Friday, June 30th – Richmond VA – Brown’s Island +
Friday, July 28- Oro-Medonte ON – WayHome Music and Arts Festival
Tuesday, August 1st – Cleveland OH – Beachland Ballroom +
Thursday, August 3rd – South Burlington VT – Higher Ground Ballroom +
Friday, August 4th – Montreal QC – Osheaga Festival
Saturday, August 5th – Lincoln Hall, Chicago IL
Tuesday, August 8 – Tøyenparken, Oslo, Norway
Thursday, August 10 – Ypsigrock Festival, Castelbuono, Italy
Friday, August 11 – Flow Festival, Helsinki Finland
Wednesday, August 16 – Praia Fluvial Do Taboão, Paredes de Coura Portugal
Thursday, August 17 – Route du Rock, Saint-Malo France
Tuesday, August 21 – Freizeitzentrum West (FZW), Dortmund Germany
Friday, August 25 – Rock En Seine, Saint Cloud France
Saturday, August 26 – Altes Kraftwerk Rummelsburg, Berlin Germany
Tuesday, August 29 – 02 Forum, London UK
Wednesday, August 30 – Ritz, Manchester UK
Thursday, August 31 – Leeds Uni Stylus, Leeds UK
Friday, September 1 – Electric Fields Festival – Thronhill UK
Saturday, September 2 – End Of The Road, Dorset UK
October 6,7,8 – Austin City Limits, Austin, TX
October 13,14, 15 – Austin City Limits, Austin, TX
% w/ Nap Eyes
$ w/ Local Natives & Portugal, The Man
# w/ Weezer
+ w/ Gold Connections
‘Teens of Denial’ is available from the following outlets:
Took long enough right? The long-awaited reissues of Helium’s ‘The Dirt Of Luck’, ‘The Magic City’ and the double LP ‘Ends With An’ compilation are available to purchase or stream today. There’s been a mountain of recent press surrounding these albums and Mary Timony’soutsize role in shaping the music of then-and-now… and while the upcoming Mary Timony Plays Helium shows in Boston and New York City are totally sold out, some tickets in other cities still remain (see below). In addition, Mary’s been confirmed for September’s Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC.
Mary Timony Plays Helium :
Tuesday, June 6 – Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
Wednesday, June 7 – Boot and Saddle, Philadelphia, PA (early show & late show SOLD OUT) Thursday, June 8 – Northside Festival – Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY SOLD OUT Friday, June 9 – Mercury Lounge, New York, NY (early show & late show SOLD OUT)
Saturday, June 10 – The Sinclair, Boston, MA
Monday, June 12 – Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON
Tuesday, June 13 – Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
Wednesday, June 14 – Marble Bar, Detroit, MI
Thursday, June 15 – The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Sunday, September 10 – Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, NC
On the heels of last night’s amazing show at a sold out Brooklyn Steel, you can watch Perfume Genius’ Mike Haedras in conversation with host Eavvon O’Neal on Pitchform’s new Facebook Live series “Sounds Like”, tonight at 6:30pm eastern, hosted by Pandora Premium.
Tomorrow night’s Perfume Genius show at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer (May 18) is being streamed live by Pitchfork starting at 9:45pm.
Following last Friday’s appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and the release of the 4th Perfume Genius album, ‘No Shape’ to nearly universal acclaim, we’re pleased to present the album’s 2nd music video, “Die For You”, directed by Floria Sigismondi and featuring sculpture from Rosa Verloop. A massive worldwide tour itinerary (as shown below) commences tomorrow night (Wednesday) at Detroit’s Magic Stick.
Below, you can hear Mike Hadreas interviewed by NPR’s Barton Girdwood, from Tuesday’s broadcast of “Morning Edition”
For those who were unable to tune in live on Friday, Perfume Genius performed “Slip Away” for the first time on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This was the first time any song from No Shape has been performed live. You might be able to spot Blake Mills, who produced the album on stage. The album is officially out now and there’s nothing standing in your way to enjoy the album in full.
In addition to August and September’s European shows marking the 15th anniversary of their landmark 2002 debut album, ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’, Interpol have confirmed the addition of the following dates in New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City :
The U.S. shows go on sale at the following times : Los Angeles
FAN CLUB PRE-SALE: Tuesday, May 2 @ 10am PST
PUBLIC ON-SALE: Friday, May 5 @ 10am PST
FAN CLUB PRE-SALE: Tuesday, May 2 @ 10am EST
PUBLIC ON-SALE: Friday, May 5 @ noon EST
Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino are currently working on new material in New York for the 6th Interpol album, tentatively scheduled for release on Matador sometime in 2018.
(directed, produced and edited by Henry Busby and Marcus Tortorici)
Hot on the heels of NPR premiering the album’s title track earlier this morning, we’re very proud to announce the release of Algiers‘ long-awaited 2nd album, ‘The Underside Of Power’ (June 23). LP preorders (starting today) will include the limited edition “Walk Like A Panther” 7″ and 16 page ‘zine created by Algiers.
Produced by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Ali Chant, mixed by Randall Dunn (Sunn O)))), with post-production by Ben Greenberg (Uniform, Hubble), ‘The Underside Of Power’ zooms across a musical landscape including but not limited to Southern rap to British grime to horror movie soundtracks to late-70s English industrial to Northern Soul. In the wake of our current political climate, Algiers cast a withering gaze on subject matter ranging from oppression, whiteness, police brutality, dystopia, and hegemonic power structures.
Now a four-piece, with the addition of Bloc Party’s Matt Tong on drums, the Atlanta-London-NYC band will bring their intense live show to major East and West Coast markets this summer, following an previously announced arena & stadium tour with Depeche Mode in Europe.
1. Walk Like A Panther
2. Cry Of The Martyrs
3. The Underside Of Power
4. Death March
5. A Murmur. A Sign.
6. Mme Rieux
9. Plague Years
10. A Hymn For An Average Man
11. Bury Me Standing
12. The Cycle/The Spiral: Time to Go Down Slowly
This is the musical response that dark times demand, one that not only shakes its fist but deploys it. Locally-informed global citizens, Algiers refuse to sit idly by while most contemporary artists appear perfectly content to sit out the revolution. Not only do Algiers harbor a purposeful sense of obligation in what they do on their latest resistance record The Underside Of Power, but they recognize the roots and thorns of precedent in said resistance.
“This album was recorded in a political environment that collapses the late 70s economic crisis and the looming onslaught of arch-conservative neoliberalism, via Thatcher and Reagan, into the late 1930s, a world riven by fascist nationalism and white power fantasies in the US and abroad,” says bassist Ryan Mahan. Their shared experiences and collective understanding of this rising tide of sinister politics compels them to make music together, to combat the potentially crippling waves of frustration and despair to let out a soulful roar, a call-to-action set to an eclectic, positively electric beat.
The inclination to do otherwise is one worth fighting. Take Algiers frontman Franklin James Fisher, for example. Writing incendiary and even beauteous lyrics from inside a Manhattan nightclub’s coat check room, enduring the same damn songs thumping away nightly in the next room for the pleasures of a predominantly white audience, he tends to see the bigger picture as well as its pointillistic details.
“This nightclub is every nightclub in the world, basically. Whatever is being played there, whatever is happening there is happening everywhere else in the world,” he says. “It’s as if the entire history of music is boiled down to these fifteen artists–and I use the term loosely,” he says with an exasperated, dismissive sneer. With the world burning outside, a generation’s obliviously privileged dances to a carbon copied soundtrack.
It speaks volumes that a black man in America with an expensive Master’s degree–and all its overwhelming personal debt–finds himself picking up shifts at such a place that literally manifests the culture industry’s exploitation and commodification of black experience. An aptly unjust fate, Fisher is confined to an enclosed space while others move their feet freely mere steps away from him. “You have to find ways of getting through it without completely losing your mind. Luckily I’m able to escape inside my own head.”
Fortunately, the multiracial quartet Algiers provides more than mere distraction, but rather a revelatory creative release and wholesale rejection of the globally normative corporate playlist culture. Poke at the seasoned members’ bruised flesh, and out come wafting touchpoints as disparate and intriguing as Big Black, Wendy Carlos, John Carpenter, Cybotron, The Four Tops, Portishead, Public Image Limited, Steve Reich, and Nina Simone, to name but a few. Deep echoes of Black Lives Matter and its 20th century forbears gather, surge, and subside in their often soulful work, a form of principled, acute dissent more interested in learning from the past than in evoking nostalgia.
And while many artists seem uninterested or even afraid to fully engage with these potent topics in song, Algiers has zero qualms about taking a direct approach. “We’re fortunate enough now where we’re able to openly talk about racist, violent police and murderous state structures,” says Mahan. “When we were growing up in the South, these critiques of class and race oppression were largely and sometimes violently suppressed. It’s why we take inspiration from the Panthers or the Chicano movement, to name two.”
Adding to this Casbah rocking mix of ideas is the relatively recent inclusion of drummer Matt Tong, formerly of Bloc Party. Joining the group for the touring cycle following their prior album, he’d spent time gelling with the original trio as a core component of their simply ferocious live sets to understand and help shape the dynamic. For a band that seems to revel and thrive in flux, Tong’s substantial role in the making of The Underside Of Power worked out well.
Beyond the technical necessities living their respective lives both in and outside of music, Algiers’ continued deviation from a more traditional band approach created a more versatile sound, one that better incorporates a collective and respective panoply of influences and styles.
Some of this is informed by their choice of collaborators in this process, a crew that includes Adrian Utley [Portishead], Ben Greenberg [Uniform, The Men], Randall Dunn [Sunn 0)))], among others. Pick any track off The Underside of Power and the reference points expand exponentially, a dizzying and thrilling Recommended-If-You-Like list that would consume a series of afternoons.
Featuring a fully-sanctioned sample of slain Black Panther Fred Hampton, the revolutionary “Walk Like A Panther” presents an alternate reality where Adrian Sherwood produced Yeezus instead of Rick Rubin, with Fisher bellowing justifiable threats over a storm of formidable sonics. “Death March” fuses post-punk primacy to the Italo-horror tradition, in an effort to mirror a looming and perpetual sense of modern dread. Elsewhere, the raucous “Cleveland” turns into a full-on demonstration, with names of victims of institutionally sanctioned racial violence like Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice invoked over a neck-snapping electro beat.
The dangerously poppy title track finds a glorious midpoint between Suicide and The Temptations, making for the catchiest expression of outrage this side of the ‘70s. A molotov cocktail of a single, that particular song represents a potential paradox for Algiers, the maintaining of a renegade righteousness in the midst of a peppy soul tune. “It’s more important than ever in this particular time, but it’s something we’ve never shied away from,” says Tesche.
The band doesn’t concern themselves with that risk. “No matter what your messaging is, you can’t control what people will or won’t take away from it,” says Mahan. “The only thing you can do is put stuff of substance out there.” – Gary Suarez
As you might’ve read elsewhere, Car Seat Headrest debuted a new version of ‘Teens Of Denial”s “Unforgiving Girl”, the retitled, “Unforgiving Girl (She’s Not A Single Version)”, this past Tuesday night. You can stream the studio version via Spotify.
‘Teens of Denial’ is available from the following outlets:
As mentioned earlier, Spoon appeared on Tuesday’s edition of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and performed the titular track from their universally hailed new album, ‘Hot Thoughts’. Remarkably, said broadcast occurred just days after the 20th anniversary of Ellen being on the cover of Time Magazine, and if you’re lucky, there’s a patient older person in your life who can calmly explain what magazines were.
If you missed the @perfumegenius LIVE Q&A today, there is still a chance to see Mike answer all the great questions that were submitted.
“how many diet cokes have you had today?”
“I’m at the mall rn, where your favorite store to go at mall?”
“what’s your favorite song off the new album”
“Who were your first/strangest musical obsessions as a kid?”
MORE Perfume Genius news: In the middle of answering questions this afternoon a new song was released. Go Ahead… and follow this link to pick the way you’d like to hear the second track released from No Shape which will officially be out in the world on May 5th. Not too much longer!
Spoon make their first appearance on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” this afternoon at 4pm ; it might even be the band’s first domestic appearance on a major daytime show (the Elias Koteas Sports Bureau’s website is down, otherwise I’d look it up). Ellen’s other guests today are Carson Daly and Rob Delaney.
On the heels of a huge Coachella performance this past Saturday night (see above, photo by Greg Noire), Car Seat Headrest are appearing tonight on TBS’ “Conan” (11pm eastern, 10pm central). Conan’s other guests this evening are Christina Applegate and Sherri Shepherd. The TV bookings remain few and far between for David Faustino, but when and if that changes, we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
Depeche Mode sang it, Spoon are living it, they just can’t get enough of our continental shores. Announcing today – with ticket’s going on sale this Friday – are six more tour dates (in bold) to bolster an already prodigious live schedule.
June 17 – Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
June 18 – Maifeld Derby Festival, Manheim, Germany
June 19 – Technikum, Munich, Germany
June 22 – Piknik i Parken, Oslo, Norway
June 24 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen South, Denmark
June 27 – Gorilla, Manchester, United Kingdom
June 28 – The Arts School, Glasgow, United Kingdom
June 30 – O2 Forum, London, United Kingdom
July 2 – Main Square Festival, Arras, France
July 3 – Gloria Theatre, Cologne, Germany
July 5 – La Maroquinerie, Paris, France
July 7 – Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain
July 8 – NOS Alive, Lisbon, Portugal