Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Constantines

This Tuesday past marked the release of the first single from the Constantines camp. The still untitled follow-up to Tournament of Hearts will come out mid-April on their new label (Toronto-based heavy) Arts & Crafts.

Hard Feelings backed with Easy Money is, as well as being the first A+C Cons release, the first 7" the band has ever released.

Hard Feelings, will appear on the new album, while b-side, Easy Money owes an amount of debt to Neil Young, which the Cons have never been afraid to do.

You can order the 7" via the A+C online store. It was available at Insound too, but mysteriously seems to have disappeared in the past few days. Natch.

Both tracks are also available and streaming over on the band's Myspace. Ch-Ch-Ch-Check it out.

The Constantines - Hard Feelings mp3
The Constantines - Easy Money mp3

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Magnetic Fields

I gotta get too pissed to miss you/Or I'll never get to sleep
I got to drink not to pine for you/ And God knows that ain't cheap

I won't profess to be incredibly familiar with the Stephen Merritt canon of Magnetic Fields work. I have listened to their high-water mark triple album 69 Love Songs several times, although I'm still unsure if I ever got the whole way through it. Suffice to say it was one of those albums I put on the shelf and haven't paid much notice to in a while. But that doesn't mean we can't get excited about the new Magnetic Fields album. Called Distortion, it's out next Tuesday on Nonesuch.

The excitement stems from the fantastic tune Too Drunk To Dream. The lyrics, a cross-section above for example, are a touch on the downcast side. The music though is rather poppy and upbeat, which lends to an interesting contrast that actually complements each element.

The album's title should be telling of what is in store for those planning on picking up a copy. Distortion, lots of it.

The Magnetic Fields - Too Drunk To Dream mp3 (sendspace link)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

She & Him

A couple months back I heard a duet that M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel did for a still unreleased movie named The Go-Getter. Matt was soundtracking the film, and at the behest of director Martin Hynes teamed up with Zooey to take on the classic Richard & Linda Thompson tune, When I Get to the Border.

Zooey and Matt then began collaborating on a set of demos and songs she had been working on for a while. Repeat, this is not some haphazardly thrown together actress turned singer gig. Anyone who's seen Zooey on the silver screen can attest the girl is talented. For many years she used to perform in a jazz cabaret act, then there's that bit in Elf when Zooey gave us a glimpse at her voice. M. Ward isn't exactly a slouch either, 2006's Post-War is still one of my favourite records.

Word comes out that a full album of this collaboration will be coming out in March. Going under the moniker of She & Him, the album will simply be called Volume 1.

Today I'll leave you with the previously mentioned When I Get To The Border. Also, presumably to be featured off the new album, Change Is Hard. And because I'm irresistibly falling in love with this, I'll include a shortened version of Magic Trick off the aforementioned M. Ward album, Post War.

Once again, all files are sendspace links, so just click the link to get 'er.

M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel - When I Get To The Border
M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel - Change Is Hard mp3
M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel - Magic Trick mp3

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

I'm a sucker for a good Dylan cover. Ditto that for a good Van Morrison one. Sucker for a good love story and a good underdog one too.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova starred as "Guy" and "Girl" in this year's little indie film that could, Once. Shot for around $160,000, the film, about two musicians falling in love, has gone on to earn its money back many times over. It has been showing up on almost every year end best of list I have come across. Not bad at all.

The movies two stars were both relative new comers to acting. Irglova was a true rookie, never having acted in her 19 years. For Hansard, this was only his second role ever, although it had been some time since he first appeared as Outspan Foster in 1991's The Committments. Glen's regular dayjob, as it has been since 1990, is the main man in Irish band, The Frames. Marketa, barely out of high school, met Glen through friends, leading the duo to record '06's The Swell Season. The album contains songs previously seen on some Frames records and that would later appear on the Once soundtrack.

I've really been falling in love with Glen and Marketa's covers as of late. A collector's edition of the Once OST, released in December features their take on Van Morrison's Into The Mystic. They also contributed their version of Dylan's You Ain't Going Nowhere on the I'm Not There soundtrack/compilation from earlier in the year. Both are fantastically compelling.

Both files are sendspace files. Follow the link.

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - Into The Mystic
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - You Ain't Going Nowhere mp3