On Saturday, the world finally got their hands on the highly anticipated, MP3-only album, The King of Limbs, from rock gods Radiohead. The King of Limbs is the long awaited follow-up LP to the band’s brilliant 2008 release, In Rainbows. With the release of the latter, Radiohead snuffed the corporate record label EMI by offering In Rainbows to fans for whatever fans wanted to pay. It was the shot heard around the recording industry. And fans reinforced Radiohead’s anti-corporate stance by purchasing hundreds of thousands of copies of In Rainbows in the first couple of months of its release.
This time around, Radiohead has made The King of Limbs available only from their own website, and no where else, yet without the name-your-price option, instead setting the price of the MP3 album at $9. What In Rainbows did in as as far empowering bands and their fans to connect directly with one another, we think The King of Limbs will do for elevating and building on that dynamic relationship. Just from a musical perspective, The King of Limbs is already receiving high praise from critics and fans alike.
The lead up to the release of The King of Limbs was insignificant compared to the massive million-dollar marketing campaigns that surround artists who have a fraction of the talent that the four members of Radiohead possess. It was apparent the band did not want a big fuss to be made around the release of the album. To that point, the release date for The King of Limbs was only announced on Valentine’s Day, five days before it’s official release. There was no advance single or NPR album stream. As with millions of other fans, we had been eagerly awaiting the web-only release of The King of Limbs all week, almost like little kids counting down the days to Christmas morning. But in fact, some savvy Radiohead heads discovered the band actually made the album available sometime on Friday.
And there they were – all eight fresh tracks from Radiohead sitting in our iTunes, waiting to be played. For whatever reason, Radiohead’s albums have the distinction of sounding better over time – like a fine, fruity wine. That said, it took only a few seconds of the first song to recognize the quintessential and intricate sound of one of the most beloved modern rock bands on earth. And, in a rush to put words to what we were hearing, we pretty much messed up our first hurried attempt to present an off-the-cuff, and somewhat intelligent, review of the album. We should have known better – Radiohead’s albums are way to layered and complex to summarize after just a couple of hours of listening.
It takes many, many spins over a number of months, even years, to begin to formulate a sensible review, but, not because their music is necessarily cryptic, but in fact because it is so magnificently arranged and recorded by each member of the band. Radiohead is so ahead of the rest of the music paradigm – and has been for years – that fans, writers and musicians are still studying (and copying) the band’s previous album when a new one drops. Just who do you expect to be at the top of the best albums of 2011 lists in nine or so months from now?
The first track here is Thom Yorke performing “Lotus Flower” during a solo acoustic show in Los Angeles in January of 2010.
“Lotus Flower” (Live 1/24/10) – Radiohead from The King of Limbs
The Strokes Build Anticipation for New LP with a Killer Single
Last week, New York‘s quintessential garage rock band, The Strokes, released the first track from their much anticipated new LP, Angles, due out March 22nd. The track, “Under The Cover of Darkness,” does not disappoint; it’s electrifying guitar rock just as we expect (and hope for) from The Strokes, backed by a catchy, shuffling rhythm, and a superbly addicting chorus. We realize that many of you have either heard the track or purchased it; but, we’re including it anyways for those who have yet to hear this awesome track.
Above is the official cover for Angles. We are seriously jonesing to hear the rest of the album. Hopefully, it will be released in a couple of weeks as an album stream on Spinner, NPR or even The Strokes’ website. Pre-order Angles from Amazon for only $11.94.
You may also want to check out the The S-25 Songs Mix in which The Strokes were the featured band.
Also, here’s behind-the-scenes footage of the band (minus Julian Casablancas for some reason) during recording of Angles. Why is the director whispering?
The New York rock band have also announced that a new, non-album single, “You’re So Right,” will be released as an exclusive Record Store Day vinyl edition on April 16th. The track will also be featured as the official B-Side to “Under Cover of Darkness,” which drops officially as a 7-inch single on March 1st.
Opus Orange Gives IRC Exclusive New Track
If you’ve been a regular reader of IRC for the past year or so, you may be familiar with the music of successful Los Angeles music composer Paul Bessenbacher, aka Opus Orange. In 2009, we were the first indie website to premiere the music of Opus Orange after hearing one of his songs on a Johnsonville Sausage commercial. Since then, our love for Opus Orange has only grown with each new release, and all seven OO songs we’ve published during the past 18 months have been big hits with our readers and visitors.
So, it’s with great excitement that we premiere a brand new, unreleased single from Opus Orange titled “Crystal Clear.” Let us know what you think. We call it ‘deliciously upbeat indie pop,’ perhaps OO’s best single yet.
IRC Exclusive– Opus Orange, single 2011 –
Check out Opus Orange’s Bandcamp page
Raving About The Raveonettes
We’ve been digging this spanking new track from The Raveonettes, complete with a percussion heavy, lo-fi indie rock romp that makes the track as exciting as the anticipation of the duo’s upcoming fifth album, Raven in the Grave, set to drop on April 5th. Pre-order here.
Okkervil River’s Rondevu With “Mermaid”
Pitchfork premiered the new Okkervil River single, “Mermaid” last week, the first single from the popular indie band’s upcoming album, I Am Very Far. We have yet to hear any news of an Okkervil River tour to the support the May 10th release of the band’s newest album. One show is scheduled for June 7th at New York’s Terminal 5.
– Okkervil River from I Am Very Far – out May 10th
The Submarines Come to the Surface with New Track
Every since one of their songs was included on a popular and frequently viewed commercial touting the new iPhone in 2008, The Submarines have built a fan following across the States and Europe. The Submarines are currently putting the final touches on their latest album, Love Notes/Letter Bombs. We’d love to know what you guys think of this advanced track, “Birds.” Pre-order the album on Amazon.
Popular Indie Film You Won’t Miss Me with Indie Soundtrack
On May 17th, the critically praised indie film, You Won’t Miss Me, will be available on DVD via Factory 25. The film, an official selection at Sundance and SXSW, and a Gotham Award Winner, is a kaleidoscopic film portrait of Shelly Brown, a 23- year-old alienated urban misfit recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Starring Stella Schnabel, featuring Rene Ricard, and introducing other notable New York personalities, the film gives pathos to the frenzy of the youthful desire for acceptance.
Ronnie Scheib of Variety wrote about the film: ” This powerful, iconoclastic pic could gain a cult following,” and Nick Pinkerton of Village Voice, said the film “has a pure, 180-proof burn.”
The film’s theatrical run began in New York City in December 2010, followed by a substantial national tour. The soundtrack contains original songs by Stylofone, a band featuring members of Amazing Baby, MGMT and Standing Nudes. The following song is one of the tracks from the soundtrack.
“Loose Boots” – Stylofone from You Won’t Miss Me
Julian Lynch Releases Title Track of New LP
Julian Lynch, the respected and rising one-man band from Ridgewood, New Jersey, has completed recording for his third album, Terra, slated to drop on April 24th. Growing up in Ridgewood, Lynch learned to play clarinet and guitar, and in high school, he performed in bands alongside future members of Real Estate, Titus Andronicus, and Family Portrait. He moved to Madison, Wisconsin in the fall of 2008 to begin a master’s program in Ethnomusicology.
– Julian Lynch from Terra – out April 24th
Lovett Releases New Single from 2011 Release
Lovett has composed and scored a variety of independent films including The Signal which premiered at Sundance in 2007 and received the award for Best Score at the 2009 Brooklyn International Film Festival for the song, “The Last Lullaby.”
With an extensive background in film music, Lovett’s own original songs naturally possess the same kind of lush, visual translation as his previous artistry. “Eye Of The Storm” is the first of a thunderous series of nine cinematic music videos – one for each track on Lovett’s debut album Highway Collection, set for release on March 15th.
Directed by Chris Alender of Soapbox Films, the video is more accurately described as a short film, one transporting viewers into a richly detailed steam punk world where a lone skycaptain pilots an airship through the celestial heart of a raging storm.
– Ben Lovett from Highway Collection
Edward Sharpe Member Alexander Ebert Sets Solo Debut
Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros will release his self-titled solo debut LP on March 1st. Also check out a fresh track from singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow‘s widely praised debut album, Early in the Morning.
“Truth” – Alexander Ebert from Alexander Ebert – out March 1st
– James Vincent Mcmorrow
Nodzzz Return with Their Sophomore LP
The San Francisco garage rock, poppy post punk band Nodzzz spent much of 2010 writing and recording the songs for their upcoming release, Innings. The band will tour the West Coast of the U.S. in late February, and during March in the U.K. The album is expected to be released early this coming summer.
“Time (What’s It Going to Do?)” – Nodzzz from Innings