A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Robert Maisey, Terminal Gods

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It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Terminal Gods are from London, and listening to their music is much like settling into a comfortable spot in my favorite dive bar. It’s loud, a little grimy, but at the same time, instantly comforting and familiar. It takes the weight of the world off your shoulders. And for me, at least, it contains the … Continue reading

Late Night Listening: In The Valley Below, Hymnal

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Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Or, okay, late night viewing, because the song – Hymnal, by In The Valley Below – is a dreamy masterpiece, but it’s the video that both captures and expresses the exact qualities of soothing weirdness that appeal to insomniacs everywhere.

Tour Alert: Into The Sun, The March Violets

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Heads up, West Coast of America (and also Las Vegas), The March Violets are coming to visit you this June: Yes, it’s really them! They’re back! They’ve got a new record, too! It’s called Made Glorious, and you can check it out at their bandcamp page. Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite: Made Glorious by The March Violets Made Glorious by The March Violets And here is the video for Dandelion King, which features, among other things, a tremendously awesome headdress:

Video: Stromae, Papaoutai

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This is the video for Papaoutai, from by Stromae. It’s from his latest record, √ (Racine Carrée, or “square root”), and it’s about growing up without his father, who was killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 – Stromae, born in Brussels, is of mixed Belgian and Rwandan heritage – and I really don’t think I’ve seen more expressive and evocative dancing in a video this year or possibly ever. The song is awesome too. He’s playing two shows in New York this year, one in June and one in September, and they are both already sold out. Everyone else: see if he’s coming near you, and get out and see him.

Video: Terminal Gods, The Wheels of Love

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Okay, now for some actual new music that I think is super great: The Wheels of Love, by Terminal Gods, from the Machine Beat Messiah EP: And if you’d like to experience their awesomeness live and in person, here are their upcoming dates: May 2nd, Le Klub, Paris May 3rd, Le Bar’hic, Rennes May 15th, The Garage, London, supporting The Chameleons

Video: Pet Shop Boys, Axis

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This is less about the song (though it is good) or the video (though it is also good) than it is to tell all of you that the Pet Shop Boys put out a new record, called Electric, in 2013, and are in the process of touring on it. I caught the last show of the most recent leg here in New York. I didn’t take any pictures because we were on the second balcony at T5 and all I could really see was the parts of the lazer show and some bright lights amid the smoke machine fog. I could hear them just fine, though, and they sounded great. But better than just hearing them was being part of the dance parties that broke out during Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) and It’s a Sin, and sing-shouting along to West End Girls with strangers while realizing it’s one of those songs written on all of our bones. On the whole, it was a fabulous evening.

Dolly Parton, Blue Smoke

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Blue Smoke, due out May 20, 2014, is Dolly Parton‘s 42nd studio album. Sit back and let that sink in, y’all. It’s vintage Dolly Parton, in the sense that it might not break any new ground, sonically, but yet contains multitudes. No matter which Dolly Parton you like – sassy, sexy, silly, sweet, or bent on saving you – there is something here for you. My Favorites: Unlikely Angel and From Here to the Moon and Back (with Willie Nelson) On the other side of the I Will Always Love You coin is this song about a love that arrives late and unexpectedly, after all hope had been thought lost. The chorus has wormed it’s way into my brain and refused to leave. I suspect it will become the go-to wedding song for people who never expected to be able to be married either at all or ever again. From Here To the Moon and Back, which she shares with Willie Nelson (and originally appeared on To All The Girls . . . (2013), wherein he sang duets with some of the finest ladies in country music today) is probably also destined to be a popular wedding song. This is … Continue reading

Daily Video: The Used, Cry

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Cry, from Imaginary Enemy by The Used: Because Bert McCracken writes the best break-up songs and then performs them looking like he just left a pint of Haagen-Daz melting in his Blanket Nest of Pain. Also because I am seeing them tonight, along with Taking Back Sunday, Sleepwave and tonightalive., and it’s the last real pit I’ll be in for a while. If not forever.