Soundway releases first album of modern jams by amazing Angolan dance artist Batida

Soundway releases first album of modern jams by amazing Angolan dance artist Batida

God, you guys, sometimes I just feel bad for the poor creepy junk-showing elf king played by David Bowie in Labyrinth, ya know? All he really wanted to do was, “dance, magic dance/jump, magic jump,” but apparently in the goblin-infested underworld circa 1986, feel-good party jams just weren’t in abundance. Imagine: tiny LMFAO-lovin’ gremlins and shit, all running around, making fun of your too-skinny jeans (I’m trying to update this for 2012, so you YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY can all understand) and stifling your desire to boogie down. That was creepy junk-showing elf king David Bowie’s everyday life. Stuck having to sing his own jams because no one was making innovative, Angolan-influenced electronic dance music. Stuck with an inappropriate obsession with a teenage Jennifer Connelly. That could be all of our lives if not for the magic of new Soundway Records recording artist Batida!

If you haven’t yet jumped aboard the Batida train, well get out your suitcase and throw in some dancin’ shoes. In fact, pack two pairs, because these tracks are hot. Batida has been named one of Gilles Peterson’s “Hot for 2012” picks, and has appeared on Buraka Som Sistema’s FabricLive 49 comp. A project by Angolan/Portugese DJ Mpula a.k.a. Pedro Coquenão, Batida blends 1970s Angolan kudoro and semba sounds with contemporary dance beats. The self-titled debut drops March 27, and is the first contemporary release for Soundway, a label known for its obscure, vintage releases like Ghana Special and The Sound of Siam. Batida, whose “Algeria” video makes nice use of archival footage of a 70s-era Carnival of Luanda in Angola, and whose live performances feature dancers, DJs, MCs, Angolan visuals, and drummers, is a fella with one foot in the past and one hand on the turntables of today. Just like Soundway. Just like that immortal, toe-tappin’ elf king.

• Batida:
• Soundway:

Alan Lomax Archive uploads and streams 17,000 field recordings (your move, Bradford Cox)

Oh good. Just when Spotify was starting to get boring! The Alan Lomax Archive and the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) have officially launched the ACE Online Archive, which they’re calling “the fulfillment of over a decade of the restoration, digitization, and cataloging of Alan Lomax’s life’s work” and I’m calling a major getting-shit-done distraction. In case you’re not from around this solar system, Lomax is like the Colonel Sanders of American folklore (yes, I’m assuming KFC exists in other star clusters): he roamed the globe for 70 years in a time-traveling DeLorean, documenting, researching, and advocating for the original recipe chicken, steaming-hot buttermilk biscuits, and convincingly-brown gravy that is true folk tradition; while all-the-while trying to quantum-leap back home to his hometown of San Dimas, California to prevent flunking high school History class. I mean, I assume that’s what Colonel Sanders did too, don’t you?

Anyway, The ACE Online Archive has basically stuck an 80GB iPod’s worth of tunes up on the internet that’s browse-able, searchable, and stream-able from pretty much any computer. And in addition to those 17,000 full-streaming audio field-recordings collected by Lomax between 1946 and 1991, there’s also “5,000 photographic prints and negatives; sixteen hours of vintage radio transcriptions; and ninety hours of interviews, discussions, and lectures by Alan Lomax and his colleagues.” The ridiculous convenience is kinda insulting to Lomax in a way, when you think about it… but I can’t do that right now because I gotta go order my groceries online.

Oh, but before I go, The Archive says that additional sessions will be added when restoration and cataloging is complete, including Lomax’s 1954–55 Italian and 1985 Louisiana expeditions, several of his collections made under that pesky “Library of Congress” title, and some really loop-heavy solo shit he’d been working on with the dude from WHY?.

Commence to digging:

• ACE Online Archive:
• Sound Collection Guide:
• Photograph Collection Guide:
• Alan Lomax Archive and the Association for Cultural Equity:

De Stijl to digitally reissue massive 10LP set Poetry Out Loud in less-heavy mp3 form

As of today, De Stijl Records is making available their new digital reissue of the classic 10-LP set Poetry Out Loud, originally released between 1969 and 1977 as a sort of “magazine of oral poetry.” The originators of Poetry Out Loud were two couples: Peter and Patricia B McGarry (Harleman), from Topeka, Kansas, and Klyd and Linda Watkins, from Nashville. Together they achieved a common goal of “taking poetry off the page,” seeking a return to the oral tradition of poetry. As Peter McGarry said it then, “The poem on the page has no relationship to the poet. There has to be an integral relationship between poet, performer and audience.”

De Stijl is sharing such sentiments by making all 10 phenomenal LPs available for download and turning poets into recording artists! Preview a bunch of tracks on the label’s SoundCloud page, then go here for the download, and if you’re quick enough you can even pick up original LP copies of some of the Poetry volumes for a reasonable price.

• De Stijl:

Best Coast to release The Only Place on May 15, with little to no input from Dave Grohl

It took all we had not to kill our super-chilled-out-beach-hair-cool vibes when we heard that the powerhouse known as Best Coast (the only band we know of managed by a cat named Snacks) aired the exciting news that their next album will arrive on May 15 through Mexican Summer. Entitled The Only Place, the sophomore effort is produced by Jon Brion and its cover art features a big ol’ bear cradling the 4:20-friendly state that is California.

The cuddly feelings you get when you see the art are sure to carry over to the album itself, as singer Bethany Cosentino describes it as “seriously emo.” Previously released tracks “How They Want Me to Be,” “Dreaming My Life Away,” and “Up All Night” are all included on the upcoming full-length. If that’s not enough Best Coast for you, well, luckily you can you spend your summer chillaxxxed the fuck out, then get off your stoned ass to make it to one of Best Coast’s tour stops. Snacks the cat would want you to.

The Only Place tracklisting:

01. The Only Place
02. Why I Cry
03. Last Year
04. My Life
05. No One Like You
06. How They Want Me to Be
07. Better Girl
08. Do You Love Me Like You Used To
09. Dreaming My Life Away
10. Let’s Go Home
11. Up All Night


03.12.12 - San Antonio, TX - The Big Spill at the Korova
03.15.12 - Austin, TX - Parking Lot at 9th + Trinity (Google Music SXSW Showcase)
03.15.12 - Austin, TX - Urban Outfitters Back Lot Performances
03.16.12 - Austin, TX - Stubbs (Spin SXSW Showcase)
03.17.12 - The Hype Hotel (Hype Machine SXSW Showcase)
05.18.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern *
05.19.12 - Oakland, CA - Fox *
05.21.12 - Portland, OR - Aladdin *
05.22.12 - Seattle, WA - Neptune *
05.23.12 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore *
05.25.12 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up *
05.26.12 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theater *
05.27.12 - Lawrence, KS - Granada *
05.29.12 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown *
05.30.12 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird *
06.01.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater *
06.02.12 - Houston, TX - Free Press Fest *
06.03.12 - Austin, TX - Chaos in Tejas *
06.16.12 - Glasgow, UK - Garage
06.17.12 - Manchester, UK - HMV Ritz
06.18.12 - Birmingham, UK - Academy
06.20.12 - London, UK - SBE
06.21.12 - Brighton, UK - Coalition
06.22.12 - Isle of Wight, UK - Isle of Wight Festival
06.24.12 - Atlantic City, NJ - Metallica’s Orion Festival ^
07.09.12 - Orlando, FL - The Social ^
07.10.12 - Miami, FL - Grand Central ^
07.12.12 - Atlanta, GA - Variety ^
07.13.12 - Chapel Hill, NC - Cat’s Cradle ^
07.14.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^
07.16.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer ^
07.17.12 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 ^
07.18.12 - Boston, MA - Royale ^
07.20.12 - Montreal, QC - Le National ^
07.21.12 - Toronto, ON - Pheonix ^
07.23.12 - Columbus, OH - Newport Theater ^
07.24.12 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom ^
07.25.12 - Madison, WI - Majestic ^
07.27.12 - Chicago, IL - Vic ^

* JEFF the Brotherhood
^ Those Darlins

• Best Coast:
• Mexican Summer:

Metric continue being Canadian and overachieving by announcing new album Synthetica

Fans of Canadian sadpop will be delighted to learn that one of the busiest bands in indie rock ‘n’ roll, Metric, are back with another LP on their own label, Metric Music International (in partnership with Mom + Pop in the US). The Toronto-based foursome’s latest, Synthetica, drops on June 12. It will be the band’s fifth studio album. Recorded at New York’s fabled Electric Lady Studios, Synthetica was produced by Metric guitarist Jimmy Shaw and mixed by John O’Mahony (The Cribs, Alberta Cross, Kaiser Chiefs, and Coldplay, yes… Coldplay).

Metric’s previous album, Fantasies, was a game changer for band members Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joules Scott Key, and Joshua Winstead. Metric became the first artists ever to score a Top 20 hit on the US commercial music charts without the backing of a big-time, big bucks traditional label. On the Fantasies tour, Metric continued to headline festivals around the globe and sell out shows — all kind of par for the course with these guys — but they also picked up a couple of Juno Awards, performed for the Queen of England, wrote the theme song for sparkly Mormon vampire love epic Twilight: Eclipse, and wrote a score for David Cronenberg. The band’s huge success with self-releasing Fantasies has given them the leeway to do pretty much whatever the f&^* they want to with Synthetica, but one thing’s for sure; like Super America, this band never stops. Watch this space for tour and tracklisting details as they’re announced.

• Metric:

Pickathon 2012 lineup announced, and it’s folktacular!

While Newport Folk Festival, the eminent gentleman of the roots music festival world, has announced a lineup so heavy on the usual-suspect indie artists that it’s starting to feel like pandering (Iron and Wine, Conor Oberst, The Head and the Heart), Portland, Oregon’s homegrown alternative, Pickathon, comes out the gate with a lineup full of folk and roots artists that most people likely won’t have heard. Don’t get me wrong, these artists kick ass, and super folk nerds like me are fuckin’ down with it, but the Paste crowd are gonna be scratching their heads over names like Los Cojolites (the Mexican son jarocho version of the Avett Brothers), Vieux Farka Touré (son of Africa’s Malian guitar king Ali Farka Touré), or Bruce Molsky (dopest old-time fiddler around).

Sure, it may not be the best financial strategy, but it is a sign that Pickathon has become a destination in and of itself. People go to Pickathon to be part of Pickathon, not to see some giant bands from the 90s that we all keep trying to forget about. And organizers are already predicting a ticket sell-out, which makes it a perfect position to be in for any really creative festival director: now they can finally concentrate on booking amazing artists rather than worrying about which artists are going to draw and which other festivals will be competing for a top act. Being at Pickathon is like being at a festival that really cares about your experience, the kind of festival that grows on its own and is beholden to no corporate sponsors and no Live Nation bullshit. That’s why you’re gonna want to go to Pickathon this year. So save August 3-5 on your calendar right now.

Oh yeah, and that part where we talked about the artists being crazy obscure? Well, I like to nerd out and talk about obscure folk artists, but the reality is that PICKATHON FUCKING KNOWS MUSIC. I mean seriously: Blitzen Trapper, Neko Case, Alela Diane, The Cave Singers, Bowerbirds, Langhorne Slim, Laura Gibson, Dr. Dog, etc., etc.?? Check out the lineup for proof:

Neko Case
Dr. Dog
Blitzen Trapper
Heartless Bastards
The Wood Brothers
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
Hot 8 Brass Band
The Cave Singers
Vieux Farka Touré
Langhorne Slim
Abigail Washburn
Lost Bayou Ramblers feat. Gordon Gano
Cass McCombs
Danny Paisley & Southern Grass
Alela Diane
Los Cojolites
Handsome Furs
CW Stoneking
Laura Gibson
Bruce Molsky
Robert Ellis
White Denim
AA Bondy
Cajun Country Revival
Sonny & The Sunsets
The Mynabirds
Petunia & The Vipers
Whitey Morgan & The 78’s
Lake Street Dive
Southeast Engine
Reverend KM Williams
The Barr Brothers
Foghorn Stringband
Doug Paisley
Captain Bogg & Salty
Two Man Gentlemen Band
Y La Bamba
Shovels & Ropes
Ted Jones and the Tarheel Boys
Lonnie Walker
Midtown Dickens

Here’s a great preview of what you can expect at Pickathon:

• Pickathon: