Saturday, October 17, 2009

From Pixels To Paper

Since June, BONA FIDE has been developing a collection of exclusive content. Featuring concert reviews, playlists, up and coming musicians, a sit down interview with Matt & Kim, and more, BONA FIDE WITH HEADPHONES magazine is now available! Click here to purchase the magazine containing information and content you won't find on the website. Also, after paying for publishing costs, my profit for the magazine is a dollar per issue, and I am donating 25% of that to the Kiva Foundation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hypnotic Embryonic

For a band that seems to have done everything, The Flaming Lips somehow manage to keep innovating. Known for their experimental tendencies when constructing their music, The Flaming Lips have been merging and warping the signature sounds of nearly every music genre since 1983 when lead singer, Wayne Coyne formed the band. Creating messy, musical pandemonium is the Lips’ expertise. Listening to Embryonic, the band’s twelfth studio album that was released on October 13, can prove this.

Embryonic came about in a way that is unusual, even for The Flaming Lips. Once inspiration struck, the band of mavericks decided it was time to record some new material, only without the studio setting or the standard track-by-track construction of songs. Instead, The Flaming Lips crowded into guitarist and drummer, Steven Drozd’s house and began a seemingly infinite succession of improvised jam sessions. The time spent noodling on guitar, improvising melodies, and playing by ear led to the creation of the demo recordings for the tripped-out double album Embryonic. The majority of these tracks, neither edited nor changed, became final songs that can be heard on the album.

This musical approach is normally unappealing, but listeners will be pleasantly surprised when they hear the euphonic sound of Embryonic. Heavy bass punctuates Coyne’s dreamlike voice as it almost drowns in the music, while trembling high hats and electronic beats provide the melody for tracks like “The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine,” a track fairly reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Guitarist Drozd supplies each strange song with a dynamic range of sounds, his guitar reverberating from echoing chords to blunt twangs to guitar solos sometimes akin to those of Led Zeppelin. And with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and MGMT contributing to the songs “I Can Be A Frog” and “Worm Mountain” respectively, the album is truly a collection of some of the most distinctive and daring musicians and sounds in rock music today.

The Flaming Lips have successfully encapsulated the sound and style of various musicians, genres, and improvisations, and transformed them into Embryonic, an album that can only be described as a wild ride.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Passion In The Pit... With Passion Pit And Phoenix

Brilliant lights, deafening music, and the rowdy roar of a crowd stirred Central Park, usually a tranquil place for New Yorkers to relax, on September 25. The raucous electro pop group, Passion Pit and French alt rock sensation, Phoenix played a sold out show there that night and awakened the mass that had come to see them perform. With twinkling stars and skyscrapers in the distance, this indie dream team entranced their fans with their unique sounds and made them move all night long.

Passion Pit took the stage first, just as the sky had begun to grow dark, and the crowd restless. Using tinkling keyboards, addictive drumbeats, and the simple plucks of bass strings, Passion Pit induced, at the very least, instant foot tapping in every person in the crowd. As the set progressed, they seemed to have the entire crowd jumping and shouting along with lead singer, Michael Angelakos, whose passionate cries and high-pitched croons stole the show. That is, until the microphones cut and his voice disappeared. Then, laughing, Angelakos threw his hands in the air and led the crowd in steady handclapping that synchronized with the keyboard’s pulse. “This is what happens,” he chuckled, “when you get a little rough.“

Once the mikes came back on, Passion Pit continued to play favorites such as “Make Light,” “Sleepyhead,” and “Little Secrets,” which they dedicated to Phoenix, among other soaring tracks from their latest album, Manners. Meanwhile, Angelakos continued to twirl his mike and strut around the stage while he sang, his curly hair bobbing along with his steps. He only faltered once, when he stopped to marvel at a glow stick that had been thrown onstage. “Glow sticks in Central Park? I like it!” he exclaimed as he waved it around, and as the group of teenagers behind me, who I learned had bought them and thrown them into the massive throng, screamed.

By the time Phoenix stepped onstage, the crowd was giddy, their relentless dancing offsetting the slight autumn chill. Deafening cheers and shouts greeted the four quiet Frenchmen that make up Phoenix, and the clamor only got louder when they launched into “Lisztomania,” the song that established their success in the United States. They played the majority of the tracks from their most recent album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and some older tracks, such as “Napoleon Says,” and “Run Run Run” from 2006’s It’s Never Been Like That and 2004’s Alphabetical, respectively. Every song enthralled the audience, and those who weren’t veteran Phoenix fans were still delighted when lead singer, Thomas Mars began to casually croon an older tune.

Mars only addressed the crowd to share truly heartfelt thank yous and encourage clapping along with the music. The loud whirring of the drums and throbbing guitar riffs, that would stomp around the stage if they could, were truly reactive with each other, combining to make a throbbing sound that was both quick and rhythmic in “Consolation Prizes,” and thunderously ethereal, during seven-minute trance-inducers like “Love Like a Sunset.” The show was also littered with instrumental interludes, which showcased Phoenix’s guitarists, Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai’s talent and reverberating guitar riffs.

The moment Mars and his band mates began to walk offstage at the end of their set, the massive crowd began screaming for an encore. Phoenix, of course, obliged, whipping the multitude into a frenzy one last time and ending with “1901” which generated the loudest and most ecstatic shouts that the night. Mars had the largest smile on his face during that song, and he emphasized his enthusiasm when he clambered on top of a massive speaker overlooking the audience and dove into the crowd.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Slip Into The Autumn Shade

School is back in session, the air is cool and crisp, and the leaves are turning brown and gold. Autumn is here, Music Lovers, which means another season of upcoming album releases, emerging musical talent, and captivating live shows. BONA FIDE will be churning out even more information and reviews and quite a few unique and intriguing articles, so expect to be elated when you stop by BONA FIDE WITH HEADPHONES.

Monday, July 6, 2009

UPDATE - Arctic Monkeys//The Dead Weather

New music and videos from Arctic Monkeys and The Dead Weather today. The sad thing is, I didn't enjoy them as much as I hoped to. The Dead Weather's new music contains nonsensical lyrics (You know I look like a woman but I... Cut like a buffalo) and the music is starting to sound stale. I imagined that Jack White had another fantastic band up his sleeves, but the bluesy, stomping sound of The Dead Weather.... sounds like the bluesy, stomping sound of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs in many instances. I guess they all can't be winners. Watch "I Cut Like A Buffalo" below and find the video for "Will There Be Enough Water?" here.


Now, Arctic Monkeys surprised me. The dark and stormy track, "Crying Lightening," is the first song to be released from Humbug and it's extremely different. It lacks the catchiness of past Arctic Monkeys tracks, but "Crying Lightening" is definitely heavy and powerful. Hopefully this new sound will work for the rest of the songs off of Humbug and will keep us all entertained when the album drops and we can hear the rest. For now I am pretty impartial, but you can be the judge once you listen to the new single. While you wait for tomorrow's official release of "Crying Lightening," you can hear the track below.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tuesday Night Lacked Explosions

You know how I said that was going to the Explosions In The Sky concert in Central Park? Well, that didn't happen. Education intervened and I was required to attend the "Russian Fest" performance of Philharmonic Summer Classics that night instead. I took an "NY Music Scene" course this past week at Barnard College's PCP, or Pre-College Program (Don't ask me why that was the abbreviation chosen for the program. When people ask me, "What did you do this summer?" I guess I have to say, "I did PCP for a week.") that entailed me to write three concert reviews and attend the Philharmonic and then Minton's Playhouse to see Patience Higgins and the Sugar Hill Quartet perform at the infamous jazz club in Harlem. Of course these requirements were entertaining and I plan to post my reviews later this week, but I am still disappointed that I missed Explosions. That being said, I googled the show this morning and found a review of the show along with the setlist and MP3s of the songs performed. So click here to download the songs and learn more about Explosions 10th anniversary gig.

UPDATE - Arctic Monkeys//Bombay Bicycle Club

The cover art for Arctic Monkeys' impending album, Humbug has been released and can be seen above. Looking pretty grungy aren't they? I guess with the apparent Black Sabbath influence in their music this time around, the faded photograph look of the cover is just right. We'll find out on August 25th when Humbug is released.

Finally, after following the band's progress for a little over a year, I can get my hands on Bombay Bicycle Club's debut album, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose. You should get a copy too. It is being released this Monday, and if you really can't wait two days you should purchase the single, "Dust On the Ground" and watch the sun-soaked music video here. NME describes I Had the Blues as "lilting, majestic stuff that worms its way into your head and refuses to leave" so get excited for this talented British band's debut and look for a BONA FIDE review of the album after its release.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer In The City

All BONA FIDE fans in the tri-state area know that New York City is the place to be. You can find me there constantly, relaxing in Union Square, milling around St. Marks, shopping in SoHo and Brooklyn, or going to a show at one of the many venues, but some days the city doesn't have much to offer. Then all there is to do is aimlessly wander around NYC as I am baked by the heat from the concrete and eventually forced me to hide in an air conditioned store (Preferably an Urban Outfitters). What is my solution during these hot summer days? I attend a free show in Central Park, hosted by Central Park Summerstage.

Central Park Summerstage is a program that has been presenting free shows throughout the summer, every summer, for the past 20 years. Held at Rumsey Playfield, these shows feature unique artists who represent every genre and each show I've attended has been incredible so far. That being said, head over to the Summerstage website and mark your calenders.

You should also check out The Pool Parties in Williamsburg this summer. Eight weeks of free shows from July to the end of August? With performances from Dirty Projectors, Dan Deacon, No Age, Simian Mobile Disco, Girl Talk, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, and more? I'm so there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Joseph Jackson

1958 - 2009

This afternoon, Michael Jackson, the 'King of Pop,' passed away. Redefining pop music, Michael Joseph Jackson brought us incredible music that will be remembered forever. From his days as a member of The Jackson 5 performing with his brothers to the later success of his many albums and 13 hit singles, including "Thriller" and "Smooth Criminal", Michael Jackson, with his revolutionary dance moves, has captivated the hearts of millions. His gift of music has transformed the music industry, and the world truly appreciates him for that. Rest in peace Michael Jackson.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why Isn't Every Day Like This?

phoenix - lisztomania *brooklyn pack mashup* from ian parker on Vimeo.

My friend, Jenny, made my day when she showed me this video. It not only combines two of my favorite things, the addictive Phoenix single, "Lisztomania" and 80's movie dance moves, but I know that I will be dancing like that and having just as much fun when I'm at the Phoenix and Passion Pit show in Central Park this September. There are a few months until then, but I'm already ridiculously excited.

Links Links Links

While I'm scouring the internet for new musicians and music news to share with you, I sometimes find some interesting sites. That being said, I've decided to list a few of these music-related websites that I have found below. Some combine music with art, while others feature the timeless union of music and dancing. Two of these sites even function using the music you play. Enjoy!

What began as a collection of video postcards, soon erupted into an international phenomenon. Well, maybe David Fishel's dance blog isn't a huge sensation, but it is definitely widespread. The globe-trotting Fishel, an editor for CollegeHumor, has been dancing in the streets of famous cities around the world since 2007. He brings music and dance, two of my favorite things, to the general public, who either join in the dance or stare at his improvised moves. I'd also like to mention that his music taste is excellent, and sometime coincides with the area where he is dancing. He shuffles alongside the Berlin Wall while listening to Cold War Kids, struts to "Immigrant Song" at Plymouth Rock, hops around to The Fratellis' song, "Chelsea Dagger" in Glasgow, and dances to other great songs in many other foreign locations. All in all, I want this man's life. 

There isn't much to say about this website. Just turn up the volume on your computer as high as it can go, go to this website, invite some friends over, and soon a dance party will commence. The buzzing techno beats and thudding bass are perfect for parties, so now you don't have to make playlists anymore.

This imaginative website uses your cursor as a paintbrush that you can zigzag across the screen to create interesting shapes and patterns. The riveting music speeds up and slows down the speed at which you draw, and the inky images that burst onto the screen are designed beautifully. Labuat is an example of art and music combining perfectly.

Blast some music to bring these applications to life. 
You'll see what I mean.

I love this blog for many reasons:

1. I discover many unique electro, hip-hop, and rap artists.
2. I get great information about each artist.
3. I get loads of tracks for free.

Key word being free here. Check it out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

UPDATE - Arctic Monkeys//Discovery//Regina Spektor

On August 25th, the third Arctic Monkeys' album will be released. We have already learned who will be producing the album. We also have seen the track list and know what the Monkeys' music will sound like this time around. All that is left to be discovered is the title of this upcoming release... And the title was revealed just recently. The new Arctic Monkeys album's title is Humbug. Humbug... Not a very attractive name, but at least it's shorter than Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

The Discovery website is now up and running. You can now listen to two new tracks by Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles, the duo that is Discovery. Enter your email address on the website if you want to receive updates concerning their impending debut, LP. Remember, the release date of this peppy electro-pop album is July 7th. Keep checking BONA FIDE and their website for updates until then.

Regina Spektor's fifth album, Far is almost available, so make sure to pick it up on June 23rd. For now, you can go here to hear the new song, "Folding Chair" and watch three music videos for the tracks "Laughing With", "Dance Anthem of the 80s", and "Eet". You can also pre-order the album or LP. I predict that Regina will not disappoint. If you want to hear some of these new songs from Far live, she will be performing at the Beacon Theatre in NYC this Wednesday. Hopefully BONA FIDE will be able to stop by.

I've Got A Lot To Say Part III

Summer is here, and while the sound of the surf is relaxing, I suggest you listen to the bands making their debut this summer while you lie on the beach instead. The Drums, a surf-pop duo from Florida, will be releasing their appropriately titled debut EP Summertime! on August 4th. Harnessing a sound that seems to be inspired by 50's surf culture and The Smiths, The Drums made me fall in love with them instantly, and hopefully you will love them too. Pre-order Summertime! from Insound now so it arrives in time for those nights of bonfires on the beach. Want to learn more about The Drums? Read Brooklyn Vegan's appraisal of the best friends' live debut here and and check out their website.

Another band making their debut this summer is Blind Man's Color. Said to be the next Animal Collective (They hate being called the next Animal Collective), their music consists of rejuvenating psychedelic beats that spark and vivify. Kyle Wyss and Orhan Chettri started the band back in 2005 and it wasn't until they remixed some Animal Collective tracks that they got the recognition they deserved. Kind of like how Phoenix didn't become extremely popular until their fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was released. Lack of recognition aside, Blind Man's Color's debut album entitled Season Dreaming will drop on August 18th. While you wait, you can explore the band's Blogspot which has mixtapes and old mp3s available to download.

Don't have anything fun to do during the summer? Are you stuck at home? Are you so broke that you can't buy tickets to see a show or even a CD? Do you have an unsightly rash that prevents you from going outdoors in a bathing suit? If any of these difficult situations are true then I have found something that will solve your problem. On July 22nd, The Indie Rock Coloring Book, a collaboration between artist Andy J. Miller and the T-shirt company Yellow Bird Project, will be released. Stemming from a passion for art, music, and philanthropy, this book is filled with mazes, coloring pages, and connect-the-dot games based on artists such as Devendra Banhart, MGMT, The Shins, The National, Broken Social Scene, and Bon Iver. There are more than 20 artists featured in this book, and the profits made by The Indie Rock Coloring Book will be split between charities chosen by these bands. I imagine this will be a great way to pass the time this summer, and to get children interested in indie rock before Hannah Montana gets them first. Whether you are concerned about the musical fate of the next generation or how you will quell your boredom this summer, remember that no one is too old to color.

Speaking of books, it looks like Kanye West is writing one, despite the fact that he does not read or respect them. Entitled Thank You And You're Welcome, this book consists of 52 pages of "Kanye-isms" that offer his philosophy on life. If I hadn't been laughing so hard that I was crying when I discovered that the self-centered "creative genius" was going to be writing a book, I would have been appalled. Since I find this hilarious though, I'll just share a few of my favorite quotes from Kanye's interview with Reuters. I have no words to describe this.

- "West said he put his thoughts in a book because "I get paraphrased and misquoted all the time."

- "Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed," West said. "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph."

- "West, a college dropout, said being a non-reader was helpful when he wrote his book because it gave him "a childlike purity."

Personally, I don't think Kanye needs to write a book. 
He already "just be so wordy and so self-absorbed."

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Up And Coming Series... Is Up And Coming

Over the past three months, I've been receiving e-mails from bands and musicians all over the world. They share their opinions about bands and articles I have written and even share some of their music. This interaction with so many people and all the different music they make has lead me to create the Up And Coming Series (Or U&C Series) for BONA FIDE. Throughout the summer, look out for articles on undiscovered and obscure bands and musicians I have had the privilege to speak to. This Up And Coming Series will give you a chance to discover music that hasn't hit the mainstream yet, so make sure to follow BONA FIDE so you can be in the know.

UPDATE - Arctic Monkeys

The released date has finally been announced. The still untitled third Arctic Monkeys' album will be available on August 25th. Produced by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, this latest album seems to be heading in a new direction, especially since Diddy is "the newest member of the Arctic Monkeys". See the tracklist for the album below:

1. My Propeller 
2. Crying Lightning 
4. Secret Door 
5. Potion Approaching 
6. Fire and the Thud 
7. Cornerstone 
8. Dance Little Liar 
9. Pretty Visitors 
10. The Jeweller's Hands

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

UPDATE - The Dead Weather//Regina Spektor//YYYs

Jack White's supergroup, The Dead Weather have released another track from their upcoming album, Horehound. On "Treat Me Like Your Mother", Alison Mosshart and White spit brash lyrics and get a little more wild, but this is nothing new. The music of White's bands possess a striking, grooving style, and it is always fantastic, except the sound of each band is similar. Consistently good, but dispiritingly similar. For example, if you omit Mosshart's voice from The Dead Weather, you will basically be hearing The White Stripes. That is just a generalization though. Listen to the track here, or download it and be the judge.

The music video for the new Regina Spektor single, "Laughing With" debuted today. It is not on the web yet, so pick it up on iTunes and pre-order Far while you're at it.

Regina performed a simpler version of the single "Blue Lips" on Jools Holland last week. Backed by a string quartet, she soulfully sang while her fingers dashed across piano keys. I have been watching this video of the performance constantly for the past few days and it has blown my mind.

In their latest music video, Yeah Yeah Yeahs perform their second single, "Heads Will Roll" for an apathetic audience and an uninvited guest. Craving human flesh and YYYs synth-pop single, a wolfman crashes the party and proceeds to dance like Michael Jackson until he decides to go on a bloodthirsty rampage. At least he is dressed for the occasion. It is a party after all. Watch it here.

There Is No Better Title For This Album

As a girl who only listens to The Eminem Show and Encore, it is obvious I was never an enthusiastic Eminem fan. I have not avidly followed the prominent white rapper throughout his music career but I have listened to enough of his music to confidently say that his latest album, Relapse, is the musical relapse and downfall of Marshall Mathers. I can't say I'm surprised and I can't say I'm disappointed, but the Eminem I enjoy can do much better than this. 

I am bold enough to say that every track on the album seems uncoordinated. Eminem raps slowly and awkwardly about the same topics we have been listening to for years, such as his mom, drugs, the media, celebrities, and more. The beats and sound effects that thump behind his words are generic and boring as well. Overall, the music just falls flat. This album was supposedly his comeback after years of fighting his drug addiction, but while he has recovered his music has suffered. Just listen to the obnoxious chorus of the hit single, "We Made You" and the irritating, drawling rap on "Must Be the Ganja." You will see what I mean.

Yet maybe I am being a little harsh. He is better than Asher Roth... But then again, that's a given.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Shins' Return

On Sunday, May 17, the Wellmont Theatre was filled to capacity. The balcony was full, and by the time the opening band stepped onstage, there was barely floor space to stand. Packed like sardines, people young and old anxiously waited for the show to begin. They were there to see The Shins, the band that is sometimes described as the template for indie rock perfection, so it was understandable that the venue was overcrowded. This was also the first time The Shins have been on tour since promoting their third album Wincing the Night Away in 2007, so both fans who had seen The Shins a few years before and those who had never seen them live were excitedly anticipating that night. Once the lights dimmed, the dull murmur of voices exploded into whistles and cheers, generating a clearly joyous atmosphere in the Wellmont Theatre.

Before The Shins took the stage, Delta Spirit entertained the crowd. The soulful indie rock quartet combined their alt-country style with the banging of a trashcan lid and lead singer Matthew Vasquez’s screams to create a distinctive sound. Usually, the opening band barely satisfies the audience, but Delta Spirit succeeded in capturing the crowd's attention. Twenty minutes later, after Delta Spirit ended their set with the wild beating of multiple drums and a bluesy, piano-laced song, The Shins walked onstage. Barely waiting for the crowd to cease their thunderous yells, lead singer James Mercer signaled the band to begin.

Nearly everyone was able to sing along to each song The Shins performed. The second song of the night, “Phantom Limb” was known as the single off of Wincing the Night Away and “Saint Simon” from the band’s mainly acoustic album Chutes Too Narrow was greeted by another explosion from the audience. After every couple of songs, Mercer and the band took the time to talk to the crowd, declaring, “It’s movie night!” after he warned them not to see the movie Anvil unless they wanted to sob uncontrollably. Later, he asked if anyone had seen any good movies recently, while he sipped what looked like champagne from a wine glass. The Shins made sure to chat and interact with their adoring fans, bringing smiles and laughs, and of course fantastic music.

Later, the mood of the venue mellowed, partially because of the flashing, color-changing lights behind the band that changed to calming blues and greens.  It was then that Mercer flashed a grin and chuckled, “Let’s get melancholy,” before beginning the relaxing tune, “Those to Come,” which prompted the crowd to sway and sing along softly. The Shins then faded into “Sleeping Lessons,” a song that slowly builds to a crescendo that led to Mercer shouting and the crowd beginning to dance. The mass of people also cheered on The Shins’ guitarist, Dave Hernandez, during his solos and danced even more during “Australia.”

After The Shins left the stage that night, they returned to perform an encore for screaming fans. The Shins played their hit song, “New Slang” and a few new catchy and upbeat songs that the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. During their last song, the guitarist beckoned two girls onstage and gave his guitar to one of the girls, who simply strummed along with Mercer’s voice. Afterward, The Shins thanked the crowd and walked off stage, signaling the end to an incredible night.

Arctic Monkeys Thaw Out

This summer, Arctic Monkeys are returning from their two year hiatus. While lead singer Alex Turner was promoting his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets this past year, he and the rest of the Monkeys were also writing songs and constructing Black Sabbath-influenced riffs for their third album. Supposedly there is going to also be some R&B influence and more psychedelic sounds present on the record, so the Monkeys' should sound interesting this time around. Check back for more updates on the album.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UPDATE - Bombay Bicycle Club//The Dead Weather

British quartet Bombay Bicycle Club are preparing to release their debut album, I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose later this summer. Scheduled to drop on July 6th, the album includes a handful of very old and brand new songs. Their next single is "Dust on the Ground" and it will be released on June 29th. For now, you can watch the official video of the song here. Tracklist below:

1. Emergency Contraception Blues
2. Lamplight
3. Evening/Morning
4. Dust on the Ground
5. Ghost
6. Always Like This
7. Magnet
8. Cancel On Me
9. Autumn
10. The Hill
11. What If
12. The Giantess

The Dead Weather have chosen a release date for their debut. Horehound will arrive on July 14th and tickets are on sale for the North American tour right now. Alison Mosshart will be snarling through your speakers soon enough.

I've Got A Lot To Say Part II

Kevin Barnes and Co. are not messing around. While on tour to promote their latest album, Skeletal Lamping, the indie art-rock group released new EPs and singles that are leaving me begging for more. As a devoted oM fan, I have been listening to these new tracks religiously. I definitely recommend the Gender Mutiny Tour - Single and the acoustic goodness of the Sony Connect Set - EP. More new music can be found on the Suffer For Fashion - EP, which includes a rollicking live performance of a new tune entitled "Tropical Ice-Land," and the single, "Jimmy." New songs have also been performed while the band has been on tour. Watch of Montreal perform the catchy tracks, "Coquet Coquet" and "Like a Tourist" at the Music Hall of Williamsburg below:



My favorite songstress, Regina Spektor has a new album entitled Far coming out. Set to drop on June 23rd, the album's two singles, "Laughing With" and "Blue Lips" are pretty and  intriguing. Spektor adorably discusses the production process and a few of the tracks here. Tracklist below:

1. The Calculation
2. Eet
3. Blue Lips
4. Folding Chair
5. Machine
6. Laughing With

7. Human of the Year
8. Two Birds
9. Dance Anthem of the 80s
10. Genius Next Door
11. Wallet
12. One More Time With Feeling
13. Man of a Thousand Faces

With a debut album that was pure pop perfection, but triggered insane amounts of hype and backlash, Vampire Weekend are going to have to pull out all the stops to create an equally, or maybe even more catchy sophomore album. Rumored to be released this fall, lead singer, Ezra Koenig says the album will have a recognizable Vampire Weekend sound. Also, some unique instruments will be incorporated and a few of the songs the band has been performing live, such as "White Sky," have secured their spot on the second album. All in all, this band dominated my Summer '08 playlist, altered my opinion on preppy nautical wear, and restored my faith in pop rock, so I have high hopes for Vampire Weekend and their sophomore effort.

I have been to two Vampire Weekend shows, one of them being the Central Park Summerstage performance where a torrential downpour made the experience even more enjoyable, and each time I saw him, I could tell that there was more to the silent head-bobbing keyboardist than meets the eye. Well, I was right, because Rostam Batmanglij, Vampire Weekend's keyboardist and producer, teamed up with Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot to form Discovery. Since 2007, the pair have been creating fluorescent electro-pop and it was not until this year that they received copious amounts of recognition. Now their debut album entitled LP is being released on July 7th. Containing bright and spacey synth-obsessed tunes brought to life by Miles's soft croons, the album will also feature Dirty Projectors' Angel Deradoorian and Ezra Koenig. For now, listen to two of Discovery's songs here and check out the tracklist below:

1. Orange Shirt
2. Osaka Loop Line
3. Can You Discover?
4. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (ft. Angel Deradoorian)
5. So Insane
6. Swing Tree
7. Carby (ft. Ezra Koenig)
8. I Want You Back
9. It's Not My Fault (It's My Fault)
10. Slang Tang

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Thermals Got It Right

While The Thermals's third album, The Body, the Blood, the Machine, condemned listeners to Hell with its Christian-fascist theme, Now We Can See promises them nirvana, or at least some sort of hope. The Thermals's fourth full-length, Now We Can See, was released on April 4th, introducing more rollicking sing-alongs into the band's discography. With an overall joyous sound, despite the occasionally somber subject matter, The Thermals now tackle the topics of life, death, and the acceptance of life and death. With lyrics such as "We were high! We were alive! We were sick!" being joyfully yelled on the album's second track, you can kind of get a sense of the optimistic, glass-half full message Now We Can See is moralizing. The signature sound of lead singer, Hutch Harris's distinctive shouts and the charged guitar Kathy Foster wields to assail listeners with wild riffs also contribute toward the creation of an album the band says is "totally post-power-pop." Surprisingly, this information only proved to me that The Thermals's latest is very similar to their last album, The Body, the Blood, the Machine. Without the "locust tornadoes, crosses, and Nazi halos" and other prophecies of doom that is. 

The few differences between Now We Can See and past albums are that it is less punk, more uplifting, and contains "At the Bottom of the Sea," a nearly six minute track that turns out to be the only pacifying song by The Thermals I have ever heard. This definitely does not help make their latest release the greatest or most distinctive album to date, but I am not sure whether or not I criticize or encourage that fact. Now We Can See is perfect for Thermals fans who have enjoyed the last albums, but it merely gives them thirteen brand new songs that sound strangely familiar. I enjoy this raucous band's catchy tunes but I am drawing the line after this record. No more of the same after this, Thermals...

Nevertheless, I do commend the band for proving that consistently good music will trump the competition. This is a refreshing thought, considering the fact that the latest fads in the music industry, including synthesizers and lo-fi production, are being adopted by many bands and usually are not improving their music. The Thermals, with their new album Now We Can See, taught me that bands do not always need new tricks up their sleeves to keep the music entertaining.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Such A Tease

Pixies fans were ecstatic when they opened the alt rock band's home page earlier this month. When they viewed the web site, they were greeted by what appeared to be cover art for an album entitled Minotaur. Blogs and fans were quick to speculate that Minotaur is the Boston band's brand new album. Instead, it is merely a $175 box set containing the four Pixies albums, the EP, expanded artwork, a DVD of a 1991 concert, all of the band's music videos and a book. Although this is fantastic for hard-core Pixies fans, I am more than slightly disappointed. I do not want memorabilia, I want a new album!

Bombay Bicycle Club, a catchy indie rock band from Crouch End, London, also decided to lead me on when I learned that their latest EP, Always Like This, was released on April 13th... in the UK. 

I am fed up with these Brits withholding music from me. I love them to death, but they have to stop torturing me like this. There are so many fantastic bands across the pond I cannot listen to, and even if I were able to hear them, I would have to wait at least a day to be able to because albums in the UK usually drop earlier than in the US. If I were British I could have these advantages... and Now That's What I Call Music! 72. How incredible is that?

Nonetheless, I am excited for the debut of I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose, Bombay Bicycle Club's first album scheduled to release on July 6th. I just hope that I will not have to wait long for the album to reach the East Coast.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Captain Planet Approved

Today is Earth Day, so go out into the gorgeous, green world and recycle, plant a tree, smell the flowers, take a walk, sunbathe, sing in the rain, or do anything else that will show your appreciation for the planet. And why don't you listen to these eco-friendly tunes while you celebrate?

Mother Nature's Son - The Beatles
That kid is such a hippie.

Filthy Water - Fruit Bats
This song was a collaboration with Panda Bear, Pedro the Lion and other Super Furry Animals, proving that the Animal Collective cares about the earth much more than The Human League. Hehe.

A Collection of Poems About Water - of Montreal
Or "A Collection of Rain Dance Incantations." Just listen to the lyrics.

Look into the Air - Explosions In The Sky
This song was meant to be listened to while stargazing.

Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles
Brightening your day every Earth Day.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Since I am a slave to social networking you can now follow BONA FIDE on Twitter. There will be many updates concerning BONA FIDE WITH HEADPHONES and you can now read the profound thoughts of yours truly. Well, they are not always profound but they will surely entertain.

Happy 4/20 everybody! Although I am not taking part in the festivities, I respect any day that revels in good times with friends and I am celebrating my own way with some dope tracks and stoner classics. Join me and "Hold It Now, Hit It" with Beastie Boys, get high like planes alongside M.I.A. and let Hendrix surround you in a "Purple Haze." I also recommend grabbing your favorite munchies and watching GrassPineapple Express, Dazed and ConfusedHalf Baked or Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke. Or some of this trippy goodness. No matter what you decide to do during this counterculture holiday, today is the day to turn on, tune in and drop out. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cold War Kids Heat Up Terminal 5

There was a click, and suddenly a studio light placed in the far corner of the stage switched on, momentarily blinding the crowd. The golden glow poorly lit the venue, but revealed four silhouettes walking toward the simple set-up of instruments scattered about. The crowd, once humming with the dull murmur of conversation, erupted into yells and cheers. Then one of the figures stepped toward the microphone. Lead singer Nathan Willett grabbed the mike and began to sing, signaling the beginning of the Cold War Kids show.

On April 3rd, California quartet Cold War Kids took over Terminal 5. Entertaining the throng of young adults with songs from both Robbers & Cowards, the band’s debut album preferred by the audience, and their sophomore album, Loyalty to Loyalty, Cold War Kids’s bluesy rock music kept the crowd in high spirits. After a performance from the energetic opening band, Amazing Baby, Cold War Kids took the stage and remained silhouettes in front of multiple stage lights, while they changed the atmosphere from restlessness to excitement. The combination of Willett’s unique crooning voice, drummer Matt Aveiro's solid percussion and the occasional tinkling, or battering, of piano keys had every person in the crowd singing along to every song, even if they did not know the words. People swayed and nodded their heads to the throbbing beat of songs such as “I’ve Seen Enough” and “Hospital Beds” and danced and sang even louder to the upbeat tracks, with somber lyrics, “Hang Me Up To Dry” and “Something Is Not Right With Me.”

Catchy choruses were not the only things that made Cold War Kids at Terminal 5 a great show to attend. The union of what seemed to be all of the voices in the crowd made the experience even more enjoyable. The crowd slowly became louder and louder as the night went on, with everyone’s voices forming a musical harmony that overpowered Cold War Kids themselves at least once.

The night ended quietly. There was an encore but it was not extravagant and the last song did not inspire more dancing. The band simply thanked the crowd and exited the stage, leaving their fans content with Cold War Kids’s music stuck in their heads.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've Got A Lot To Say

So it's been a while. I was distracted during March and I apologize to anyone who was anticipating announcements from BONA FIDE. Don't ask what I was doing during these past work-shy weeks, I have no idea. Nevertheless, that time off gave me a chance to find more music-related news to share with you, including new albums, upcoming shows and undiscovered musicians.

The Decemberists' latest album, The Hazards of Love, was released digitally on March 17th and hard copies of the album were made available on March 24th. The Hazards of Love is the Portland-based band's fifth album and I can only describe it as a collection of 17 epic songs, that tell the whimsical story of a woman and her shape-shifting lover in merely 58 minutes and 36 seconds. Using an array of instruments including the bouzouki and the hammered dulcimer, The Decemberists have created a decent album heavily influenced by British folk music.

Peter Bjorn and John returned on March 31st with an album that seems to be the alter ego of their last success, Writer's Block. The album, entitled Living Thing, utilizes hand claps, finger snaps, synthesizers and Hot Chip influence, abandoning the chilled out sentimental sound present on the tracks of Writer's Block. Watch the music video for "Nothing To Worry About," the first single off of Living Thing, below. Prepare yourself. You are about to witness an epic dance off.


On April 7th, The Thermals will be releasing their fourth LP, Now We Can See. The album's first single of the same name retains the solid guitar and catchy melody of past Thermals albums so I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the tracks. Keep checking back for updates and a review of the album.

RiP: A Remix Manifesto has been circulating throughout theaters located in our large neighbor to the north and will soon make its way to the United States. Canadian web activist and filmmaker, Brett Gaylor has created a documentary that challenges and questions remix culture, the media and the controversial topic of piracy. And guess what? The protagonist of this film is none other than the infamous mash-up artist, Girl Talk. The documentary focuses on Girl Talk, also known as Greg Gillis, as he struggles to fend off lawsuits brought on by his liberal sampling and successfully create unique music. Apparently, RiP debuts in the US this summer and I cannot wait to watch my favorite DJ in action, damning the man one song at a time. While I wait, I have been playing around and mixing footage from Rip: A Remix Manifesto. Make your own mash-up about mash-ups today.

Lastly, make sure to keep checking BONA FIDE for reviews of upcoming shows and information on undiscovered musicians, which will all be posted shortly. 

That is all I have to say for now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jack White Does It Again

In downtown Nashville on Wednesday, March 11th, a brand new supergroup made its debut. Formed by the pale, prominent guitarist Jack White, best known as the guitarist and lead singer of The White Stripes, the quartet that calls itself The Dead Weather consists of The Kills' Alison Mosshart, Jack White's fellow Raconteur Jack Lawrence, Queens of the Stone Age's Dean Fertita and the mastermind White himself. With sultry Alison Mosshart undertaking the vocals and Lawrence, Fertita and White on bass, guitar and drums respectively, The Dead Weather seems promising.

The band's private performance that Wednesday night was on the stage of the rehearsal/performance space in the new Third Man Records building. Also created by Jack White, the Third Man establishment is a venue, office building, photo studio and vinyl record store that friends and associates of the band members trailed into to watch The Dead Weather play five songs off of their forthcoming debut album, Horehound, which will be released this June. They played their latest single, "Hang You from the Heavens" and a song entitled "Weapon" that Mosshart wrote, as well as covers Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric?" and Bob Dylan's "New Pony." Watch the videos below or click on the links to listen to "Hang You from the Heavens" and their version of "Are Friends Electric?" (Both available on iTunes) to hear the pounding drums and Stripes-esque guitar that make up the shadowy style of The Dead Weather.

video video