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Classic Rock Magazine

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    According to a recent tweet from the BBC, that once heavily buzzed Freddie Mercury biopic is probably getting nixed.

    The film (which was being produced in part by one Robert DeNiro) once featured Sacha Baron Cohen attached to the Mercury role, but the comic actor pulled out from the project, citing creative differences with the living members of Queen (who maintain partial control over the script and directorial choices). With Cohen officially removed from the film, screenwriter Peter Morgan told the BBC that the film is “probably not going to happen.”

    Bummer. HUGE bummer. But since the project hasn’t been officially axed, we can still hold out hope.

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    posted in Movies by HT Staff

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    MGMT will release their self-titled third LP on September 17th via Columbia. But in the meantime, fans can check out a new short film which functions as a trailer for the album. Directed by Jordan Fish and produced by Mercedes-Benz (Huh?), the hilarious clip — in which the band is hounded by the NSA (and, um, deadly possums) — features snippets of five new MGMT songs.

    A lot of fans and critics hated the band’s sophomore album, 2010′s Congratulations. (Personally, I loved it.) What do you think of the new direction teased in the film? Are you buying this album? (If so, you can pre-order it on Amazon.)

    Check out the film below:

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    The Dodos

    Photo Credit: Chloe Aftel

    The Dodos stopped by The Late Show with David Letterman last night to play their blistering, psychedelic new single, “Confidence.” The track is one of many, many arresting moments on the band’s new album, Carrier, which was released August 27th.

    Check out the performance below. The band may have a minimal line-up, but their sound is anything but. Killer stuff.

    If you like what you hear, support the band and buy Carrier over at Amazon.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Bill Murray

    Bill Murray is a bad-ass. Everybody knows that. (How many other actors can boast this amount of face-plastered T-shirts?) And his newest role sounds like it could be one of his greatest: According to The Hollywood Reporter, the famously droll all-star is set to star as “burned-out music manager” in Rock the Kasbah, a new Barry Levinson-directed project.

    The film (written by Mitch Glazer, who penned the 1988 Murray vehicle Scrooged) will feature Murray’s character on a USO tour in Afghanistan supporting his only remaining rock star client. According to the production company QED, “When he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice, who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”

    Levinson (a veteran filmmaker who’s directed such classics as Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam) and Murray are described as “the perfect team to capture the lunacy, heartbreak and hope of this story.” The film will be introduced to potential buyers at the Toronto Film Festival, which starts on September 5th.

    Sounds…phenomenal. More specifics on the film are scarce, but we’ll be sure to update you further on Kasbah details as they emerge.

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    posted in Movies by Ryan Reed

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    Twin Peaks Cover

    David Lynch is one of the most iconic filmmakers of his generation. But his creepy, hypnotic visuals would be much less iconic without the moody atmospheres of composer Angelo Badalamenti. The duo have worked together on almost all of Lynch’s projects, but their most notable collaboration was Twin Peaks, the horror-comedy-drama-soap-opera series from the early ’90s. Badalamenti’s scores blended coffee-house jazz, ambient synth washes, and primal tremolo-bar blues. Spectacular stuff.

    Lynch released the Season Two soundtrack over five years ago, but finding a copy has never exactly been easy. Now Sacred Bones has unearthed a select number of copies, which are currently available to purchase.

    The label is also releasing the CD soundtrack to Lynch’s 1977 film debut, Eraserhead. The score — released last year on a limited-edition vinyl — is filled with industrial drones and creepy textures (as well as an extended David Lynch dance mix). This one’s also available as we speak.

    I now present to you my favorite scene in TV history:

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    The Doors

    On May 6th, Rhino Entertainment released THE DOORS, an innovative application that bundles the legendary rock band’s music with interactive content, rare band images and artwork, videos, and more.

    The app includes the following albums: The Doors, Strange Days, Waiting for the Sun, The Soft Parade, Morrison Hotel, Absolutely Live, LA Woman, Other Voices, Full Circle, and American Prayer. According to a press release, “The story behind each record is revealed through text, photos, videos, music clips, as well as homages from influencers like Patti Smith, Hunter S. Thompson, Francis Ford Coppola and The Doors themselves. It’s like getting a mini-app for each album.”

    Two of you will have the chance to win a free download of the app (along with a three-CD pack including the albums Live at the Matrix, Live in Pittsburgh 1970, and When You’re Strange).

    To win, you need to share your coolest Doors-related story — the more interesting and creative, the better. Were you lucky enough to see the band live? If so, what happened? Did you ever camp out in front of a venue? Did you name your first-born child Lizard King? Did you once share a cab with Jim Morrison? The two of you who dazzle us the most will win some sweet goodies.

    The deadline for the contest is next Friday, September 13th, at 5:00 p.m. EST.


    * 227 Band Photos featuring rare publicity photos and candid shots of all four.
    * 112 images of album and single artwork from around the world
    * 196 images of memorabilia
    * 75 photos of the notes handwritten on the original recording masters tracksheet. (It’s like holding Doors history in your hands.)
    * 6 full length original short films for Break On Through, Strange Days, Unknown Soldier, Wild Child, Roadhouse Blues (Live), and the Changeling.

    Check out the official app trailer below:

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    posted in Giveaways by Ryan Reed

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    Prog Collective

    Prog Collective is a prog-rock supergroup — almost to the point of absurdity. The “band,” directed by former Yes member Billy Sherwood, released their debut album last year, and now they’re back with another new album, Epilogue, which is out September 10th.

    The line-up is so impressive, there’s no way the music can possibly match up to that standard. Nonetheless, it’s pretty damn exciting. Some of the featured players are Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Steve Morse, Larry Fast, Alan Parsons, Jordan Rudess, Steve Hillage, Geoff Downes, Gary Green, Tony Kaye, Mel Collins, John Wetton, and Patrick Moraz.

    Oh, and, umm…William Shatner? The press release doesn’t shed much light on the Captain Kirk actor’s appearance, but my excitement level just quadrupled. (Who knew Shatty Boy was into prog? Is this gonna be a spoken-word thing, or does Shatner secretly slap a mean bass?)

    Sherwood had this to say of the project: “It’s an honor to have so many great artists involved with this record, each bringing their creativity and musicianship to the table and lifting the project to a higher place. As a long time fan of progressive rock music, making a record like this is indeed a dream come true! I’m always looking to expand the musical horizon, with so many gifted artists doing what they do best, I do believe we’ve pushed the envelope of creativity.”

    In the meantime, check out a radio edit of “Shining Diamonds,” which features Parsons on vocals and Squire on bass.

    To buy Epilogue, follow the link to the album’s Amazon page.


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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Cover of the "Mercy" 7"

    Cover of the “Mercy” 7″

    TV on the Radio dropped by Late Show with David Letterman last night, playing their explosive new single, “Mercy.”

    While this performance isn’t exactly their tightest (Frontman Tunde Adebimpe struggles with some of the high notes), it’s still a captivating, energetic take on the track. What do you think?

    While the band hasn’t made any formal announcement about a new album, they’ve been active this year, releasing both “Mercy” and another new song, the spacey “Million Miles.” In the meantime, they’ve also released a new video for “Mercy,” which premiered over at MySpace.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Moon Taxi 1

    Last night, Moon Taxi brought their funky, high-energy brand of alt-prog to Rhythm & Brews in Chattanooga. The Nashville-based quintet played a reliably eclectic set, while Brooklyn quartet Black Taxi warmed up the crowd with their danceable indie-pop.

    (Two Taxi-related bands at one show! Who knew?)

    Hidden Track photographer Amy Fletcher was in attendance, and she captured both bands on-stage. Check out the full gallery below.

    Moon Taxi’s third LP, Mountains Beaches Cities, will be released September 10th. You can pre-order the album on Amazon. (–Ryan Reed)

    Black Taxi 1 Black Taxi 2 Black Taxi 3 Black Taxi 4 Black Taxi 5 Black Taxi 6 Black Taxi 7 Black Taxi 8 Black Taxi 9 Moon Taxi 1 Moon Taxi 2 Moon Taxi 3 Moon Taxi 4 Moon Taxi 5 Moon Taxi 6 Moon Taxi 7 Moon Taxi 8 Moon Taxi 9 Moon Taxi 10 Moon Taxi 11 Moon Taxi 12 Moon Taxi 13 Moon Taxi 14 Moon Taxi 15 Moon Taxi 16 Moon Taxi 17 Moon Taxi 18 Moon Taxi 19 Moon Taxi 20

    Check out a new Moon Taxi track, “Running Wild,” below:

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    posted in Into the Lens by Amy Fletcher

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    Kings of Leon have released a new trailer for their upcoming LP, Mechanical Bull.

    But this ain’t your standard EPK stuff: The clip features the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as Dennis (Glenn Howerton) interrupts his hoagie lunch with Frank (Danny DeVito) in order to make his own promo for the hard-hitting alt-rockers. It’s a pretty epic (and hilarious) journey.

    Dennis’ script features God delivering the line, “BUY THE NEW KINGS OF LEON,” along with the climactic description, “And then the entire world exploded. And thus began Hoagie Time once again.”

    Mechanical Bull is out September 24th. You can pre-order it on Amazon.

    Check out a new KoL track, the soulful power-ballad “Wait for Me,” below:

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    posted in News by HT Staff

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    Jeff Tweedy

    Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has announced a mini solo tour for December. Pre-seales for all of the shows (besides those in L.A.) will begin on Wednesday, September 11th, and on-sales will begin that Friday. More show info is available at the Wilco website.

    Dates are below:

    December 3: Uptown Theater, Kansas City, MO
    December 5: Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
    December 6: Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City, UT
    December 8: Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
    December 10: Mondavi Center, Davis, CA
    December 11 & 12: The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
    December 13: The Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA
    December 15, 16, 18 & 19: Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, CA

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Breaking Bad To'hajiilee

    (SPOILERS AHEAD, so “tread lightly,” ye Breaking Bad fanatics!)

    Season Five, Episode 13: “To’hajiilee”

    Written by: George Mastras, Directed by: Michelle MacLaren

    A good story suspends time. It assaults the senses, and it wipes away logic. Breaking Bad is one of those stories, and “To’hajiilee” is — just maybe — the most transportive piece of that story.

    Quick Breakdown

    The episode begins with Todd finishing up a meth cook, as Lydia, Uncle Jack, and his creepy associates wait nearby for the purity results. While Todd racks up a slightly improved 76% rate, Lydia isn’t impressed, demanding to know where the blue color is. “Blue is our brand all over Europe,” she notes, though Todd’s Aryan kin have a way of convincing her to cool it.

    Todd receives the phone call from Walt — the one we ended with in the previous episode. It’s crazy how this exchange is painted in such a different light: Todd’s calm, collected demeanor contrasted with the tension of Walt’s face in “Rabid Dog.” These are the subtle nuances that elevate Breaking Bad above other TV dramas. It’s clear that Gilligan and the writers knew ahead of time that they would be shooting that scene from two perspectives — or even if they didn’t know in advance, they certainly knew how to frame it for maximum impact.

    While Todd and his crew seem to be calmly plotting their next move, the awkward and unlikely Three Amigos (Hank, Gomie, and Jesse “Timmy Dipshit” Pinkman) are left bumbling in place. After botching their near-victory of trapping Walt in broad daylight, Jesse promises he has a plan to “get (Walt) where he really lives.” There’s a lot of mumbling between Hank and Gomie as the exposition plays out, but they eventually track down Huell at a safe house, where Hank manipulates him (via a fake photo of a dead Jesse using bloody meat as fake brains) to believing Saul ratted him out to a bloodthirsty Walt. It’s sad to watch Huell squirm under Hank’s cold gaze, but this scene offers a bit of levity in a VERY dark episode, giving Huell approximately 500 times the amount of dialogue he’d been previously offered on the show.

    Hank gets some preciously needed details about Huell’s hand in helping Walt dispose of his money (Regarding the barrels: “Got ‘em at Home Depot; filled up every last damn one of ‘em too”). By this point, the episode had been very, very talky — this is probably an instance where time constraints led to an overly quick exposition, but given how well acted and scripted these scenes were, it only adds urgency. Why cruise when you can floor it?

    Meeting up with Todd’s crew, Walt talks shop about the Jesse hit, insisting to Jack and company that Jesse is “not a rat,” and that he’s “like family.” Talking about his murder puts Walt in obvious agony, and Bryan Cranston plays this scene (as he does every other in this marvelous episode) with unbelievable physicality, letting us pore over every eyebrow twitch and defeated sigh. Instead of money, the Nazis want Walt to help them with their meth problem and teach Todd through his blue-blundering. Walt agrees to one cook — once the deal is done.

    Simply seeing Andrea and Brock roped back into Walt’s web of deceit is excruciating. He uses Andrea as a pawn to lure in Jesse, having her leave him a voicemail and asking to meet up (where the Nazis will be waiting). Unfortunately for Walt, Hank has Jesse’s Hello Kitty-cased cell, and he intercepts the message before Jesse gets to it. “Nice try asshole,” Hank says, in a callback to the Jesse line from the previous episode.

    All of the sudden, Hank gets to play a straight-up crime-drama cop. He’s becoming more one-dimensional, but that feels like a natural extension of his character development. Weirdly enough, Hank has de-volved as the series has progressed. His goofy-uncle, racist-teaser facade is off. He’s a man with one mission only, and that mission has grown more intense with each passing episode.

    The climax in “To’hajiilee” is masterful in an epic film kinda way. In an epic poem kinda way. It’s insanely perfect, building to a crescendo, descending, then building to another. After getting a tip from Saul about Huell’s disappearance, Walt receives an ominous text from Jesse: an image of a barrel. Jesse calls and taunts Walt, telling him he has his money and is planning to burn it all, bit by bit, until Walt shows up in the desert to talk. Of course, he’s leading Walt into a DEA trap.

    The driving phone call scene between Walt and Jesse is insanely intense, suddenly turning the episode into an action film. Watching Walt get duped is both strangely satisfying and slightly heartbreaking. As he yells at Jesse and calls him stupid, he’s never looked more pathetic. As he arrives and sees traffic, he freaks out and calls the Nazis. But family loyalty once again, proves to be Walt’s Achilles’ heel: Once sees that Hank is with Jesse, he nearly starts crying. “Forget it,” he tells Todd’s crew. “Don’t come. It’s off. Do not come.”

    Possibly my favorite still image of the entire series thus far: Walt, broken and desperate in the chilling silence, hiding behind a rock in the vast desert. Ozymandias, near his buried treasures, decaying in the heat.

    There’s a terrifying silence to this scene. I don’t recall the last time I heard so little. Walt emerges, gun in hand, looking totally lifeless. “Drop it,” Hank screams. Walt surrenders, and Jesse looks unsure. “Walk towards me slowly.” The look of joy on Jesse’s face as those handcuffs emerge is unreal. Jesse reminds Walt that this is where they cooked for the first time. “Coward,” Walt says to Jesse, who promptly spits in his face.

    And so it is finished. This is the end-game moment the series has been building toward. Right?

    Hank calls Marie to tell her about getting Walt. (“Why is there what looks like brains in our garbage can?”) (Also, is this the first time we’ve heard Hank say, ‘I love you’? It’s the look of a man who just saw his wife give birth.)

    Then Todd’s gang suddenly emerges in the desert sun like a gang of Western outlaws. Guns are drawn — lots of guns, and the episode concludes with a heart-pounding shoot-off. The build-up is officially over. The end is nigh, and it ain’t pretty.



    Perhaps I’m still floating through the haze of my shell-shocked fandom, but this certainly seems like one of the greatest episodes of TV to ever air.

    Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…

    Few shows can conjure such vivid images with an episode title alone. “To’hajiilee,” a Navaoi reservation in New Mexico, is the site of two pivotal Breaking Bad scenes: the seminal cooking session between Walt and Jesse and the burying of Walt’s drug money.

    OK, so Todd is clearly in love with Lydia. With only three episodes to go, they certainly wouldn’t be introducing any plot line for the sake of filling screen time, so this is bound to pay off somehow. Any theories?

    Two funny musical notes: Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie” playing in the background in the Todd/Lydia scene; also, Todd’s ringtone is “She Blinded Me With Science?” If this isn’t somehow a meme within the next hour, I’ll be shocked. (Also, Lydia seems to know of this crush, as if she’s manipulating him for another purpose: She seems to almost flirt with him in their exchange, and she even tells him to call her by her first name.)

    Todd makes Lydia coffee, which she continues to drink by holding with two hands.

    “I don’t know where he is — but I know how to flush him out.” — Walt #FlushHimOut (Thanks for the spot-on timing, AMC. You guys are social media whizzes.)

    “Fruit Loops…good stuff.” — Walt

    “I guess you’d call it an occupational hazard.” “Don’t drink and drive; but if you do, call me!” — Saul

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    posted in Breaking Bad by Ryan Reed

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    My Bloody Valentine

    Shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine have announced a small North American tour. These dates follow the band’s previous worldwide trek in support of m b v, their surprise follow-up the 1991 masterpiece, Loveless.

    Check out the full list of dates below:

    09-14 Portmeirion, Wales – Festival No. 6
    09-30 Tokyo, Japan – International Forum Hall
    11-01 St. Paul, MN – Roy Wilkins Auditorium
    11-03 Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
    11-05 Toronto, Ontario – The Kool Haus
    11-06 Montreal, Quebec – Metropolis
    11-07 Boston, MA – House of Blues
    11-09 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
    11-11-12 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    A Perfect Circle

    Art-metal supergroup A Perfect Circle will release the rarities box set A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo on November 26th.

    The limited edition box includes a DVD of the band’s 2011 performance at Red Rocks, along with an audio CD of the concert. In addition, the package will feature Trifecta, which includes the band’s three studio albums (Mer de Noms, Thirteenth Step, and eMOTIVe) recorded live in 2010, during a group of three-night, full-album performances (which found the group reunited for the first time since their 2005 hiatus).

    Also included with the box are “five hand selected lithographs featuring the personal signatures of both Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel,” along with a “custom sculpted resin frame designed by the band” and a “custom made guitar pick desgined by Billy Howerdel.” The package is bound in a “custom-made media book” which contains artwork and credits.

    To pre-order the collection, head over to the band’s web store.

    It’s been a good year for Keenan fans: Awhile back, Tool teased that their fifth LP should be out next year.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Arcade Fire

    So…after months of endless speculation about the minute details of their upcoming fourth LP, Arcade Fire have finally dropped their new single, the seven-minute”Reflektor.”

    There’s a surreal music video directed by Anton Corbijn, and that’s totally worth checking out. But let’s get to the main point: the music. We know that LCD Soundsystem frontman/producer James Murphy had a hand in the production of the upcoming album, and his fingerprints are all over “Reflektor,” from the repetitive disco arrangement (the congas, the strings) and the in-your-face quality of the overall sonic landscape. (Also worth noting that Davie Bowie randomly pops up to sing a few stray lines.)

    At this point, the track is striking me as a bit overlong and underwhelming, but maybe I’m in still in a fog thanks to last night’s mind-blowing episode of Breaking Bad. Plus, it’s Arcade Fire we’re talking about, and I’m willing to let this one digest before I come to too snappy of a conclusion.

    Still, it’s worth asking: What do you think of the track? Check it out below.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Peter Gabriel Steam

    Peter Gabriel is the coolest person on planet Earth. As a singer, songwriter, and sonic chameleon, he boasts one of the most eclectic resumes in music history — from his early work with Genesis to his unpredictable solo material. He’s also a humanitarian and a technological pioneer. Most likely, he’s a fucking wizard.

    And nobody is more entertaining on-stage. It all started back in the early Genesis days: As the band fiddled with their weirdly tuned 12-string guitars between songs, Gabriel was left standing awkwardly out front. To kill the silence, he found himself improvising quirky, imaginative stories. The crowd loved it, so he took it to another level, dressing up in bizarre costumes (like Britannia or The Sexy Fox) and developing stage personas to match the songs’ dazzling imagery.

    Even after splitting from Genesis in the mid-’70s (and retiring his grotesque costumes), Gabriel never lost his passion for visuals. And as his music grew increasingly funky and rhythmic, he started expanding his physicality and exploring the physical confines of the stage. So he danced. And gyrated. And crowd-surfed. All of it was entertaining, and most of it was hilarious.

    So that brings us to this list. Here are Gabriel’s 10 Funniest Stage Moves.

    10. The Monkey

    Not necessarily Gabriel’s most iconic move, The Monkey is still pretty spectacular. As our hero notes in the selected clip, “Shock the Monkey” is a richly layered “song about jealousy,” but it’s also a good excuse to hop around the stage like a primate. The Monkey Move begins around 0:37.

    9. The Creepy Geezer

    Gabriel donned a grotesque old man costume for “The Musical Box,” one of Genesis’ early prog classics. Particularly hilarious: his creepy gesturing around 8:35, as he sings, “Let me get to know your…flesh.”

    8. The Bicycle Ride

    “Solsbury Hill” is Gabriel’s ode to self-empowerment and destiny, the lyrics alluding to his departure from Genesis as the music swells beneath. And on-stage during the Growing Up tour, Gabriel added some pizazz to the sentiments by riding a freaking bicycle. Who else does this kinda stuff?

    7. The Spirit Fingers

    This is probably Gabriel’s go-to move — he uses it in probably 60% of the songs he performs. He uses The Spirit Fingers numerous times throughout this performance of “Kiss That Frog” (Check out an example at 2:00 — and hold out for guitarist David Rhodes’ hilarious eye-rolling reaction.)

    He also uses the move frequently during “Sledgehammer,” like he does here.

    6. The Flower / The Twist

    When Genesis performed “Supper’s Ready,” their 25-minute prog masterpiece, Gabriel donned a flower headdress during the “Willow Farm” section. “A flower?,” he asks. Yes, yes, a flower. Watch in reverence, starting at 11:21. (And since you’re already watching this “Supper’s Ready” clip, you might as well check out Gabriel’s warped version of The Twist at 21:10.)

    5. The White Man Pseudo-Groove

    “In Your Eyes” is probably the greatest song ever written, and Gabriel transforms the song to even more majestic celebration on-stage. His faux-African dancing is as endearing as it is goofy.

    4. The Lawnmower

    “Me? I’m just a lawnmower!,” Gabriel sings on the hooky Genesis classic “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe).” But Gabriel, as we all know, isn’t content to simply tell us about his lawn-mowing skills. Check ‘em out at 0:28. (Honorable mention: his wacky dance at 2:20.)

    3. The Head Punch

    This move is reserved especially for “Sledgehammer,” Gabriel’s soulful So smash. Note his awkward hip-swivel/hump at 1:50 and the infamous head-punch at 2:05.

    2. The Rock-ettes

    “Sledgehammer” is clearly home to most of Gabriel’s signature moves. At this point, this move is as legendary as the song itself. This 1987 performance (from the Live at Athens DVD) offers a great example, with Rhodes and bass god Tony Levin joining PG for a leg-shakin’ extravaganza.

    1. The Hump

    Wow. Gabriel really seems to love air-humping. Sometimes it matches the silliness of the lyrics ( “Sledgehammer”), and other times, it’s just kinda awkward. “I feel it in my sex,” he sings on “Digging in the Dirt,” his funky and emotional psycho-therapy masterpiece. And you better believe there’s an air-hump involved (See: 2:58).

    Also…umm…he unleashes some more primal air-humping in this Secret World Live version of “Kiss That Frog” (while standing atop a kitchen chair).

    This list easily could have been a Top 100. Tell us what signature Gabriel moves we missed in the comments section.

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    posted in Checkin' 'Em Twice by Ryan Reed

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    Following the release of their latest LP, II, psych-rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra are dropping a new EP, Blue Record, which will be released by Jagjaguwar on October 29th. The EP will also be included as part of the Expanded Version of II (on sure-to-be-trippy blue vinyl).

    Frontman Ruban Nielson issued the following statement in a press release:

    “I only started playing the acoustic guitar last year. I’d always preferred the idea that the guitar converts a sound into voltage and then becomes really loud. I thought the acoustic guitar was a little bit too twee for me or something. But after being offered some opportunities to play various acoustic sessions to promote the new record, in situations where it wasn’t possible to record the whole band, I decided to treat it like a challenge to try and play acoustic and not have it be lame. After all I was really into Arthur Lee’s ability with an acoustic and started wondering if I could make it sound convincing. Anyway, after being somewhat forced to develop some skill on the acoustic through these various radio sessions and things like that I decided to record some songs acoustically and release them since people seemed to be liking the way I was doing it. Everything was recorded straight to tape in my basement with a one mic set up.”

    Here’s the full tracklist:

    1. Swim & Sleep (Like A Shark) (Acoustic Version)

    2. Faded In The Morning (Acoustic Version)

    3. So Good at Being in Trouble (Acoustic Version)

    4. Swing Lo Magellan

    5. Puttin’ It Down

    UMO have also unveiled some new tour dates, located below:

    Sep-25 Sacramento, CA – Harlowe’s

    Sep-26 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore

    Sep-27 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour

    Sep-28 San Diego, CA – Casbah

    Sep-29 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom

    Oct-2 Austin, TX – The Mohawk

    Oct-3 Little Rock, AR – Stickyz RocknRoll Chicken Shack

    Oct-4 Nashville, TN – Exit In

    Oct-5 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West

    Oct-6 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

    Oct-8 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel

    Oct-9 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church

    Oct-11 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

    Oct-14 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall

    Oct-15 Montreal, Canada – Cabaret Mile End

    Oct-16 Toronto, Canada – Lee’s Palace

    Oct-17 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Lounge

    Oct-18 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups

    Oct-19 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar

    Oct-21 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall

    Oct-22 Madison, WI – The Frequency

    Nov-7 London, England – Electric Ballroom

    Nov-8 Manchester, England – Academy 2

    Nov-10 Poitiers, France – Le Confort Moderne

    Nov-11 Paris, France – Point Ephemere

    Nov-12 Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli Oudegracht

    Nov-13 Brussels, Belgium – AB Club

    Nov-15 Prague, Czech Republic – Chapeau Rouge

    Nov-16 Vienna, Austria – B72

    Nov-18 Budapest, Hungary – A38 Ship

    Nov-20 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik

    Nov-21 Dudingen, Switzerland – Bad Bonn

    Nov-22 Carpi, Italy – Mattatoio

    Nov-23 Rome, Italy – Blackout

    Nov-25 Montpellier, France – Rockstore

    Nov-26 Barcelona, Spain – La 2

    Nov-27 Madrid, Spain – El Sol

    Jan-15 Shanghai, China – Yuyintang

    Jan-16 Beijing, China – Mao Livehouse

    Jan-18 Seoul, South Korea – Rolling Hall

    Jan-19 Busan, South Korea – Vinyl Underground

    Jan-21 Hong Kong – Grappas Cellar

    Jan-22 Bangkok, Thailand – Sonic

    Jan-23 Taipei – The Wall

    Check out their cover of The Dirty Projectors’ “Swing Lo Magellan”:

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Volcano Choir

    Volcano Choir — Justin Vernon’s collaborative project with post-rock outfit Collections of Colonies of Bees — stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, where they played “Byegone,” an epic standout from the band’s sophomore LP, Repave.

    Check out the performance below. What do you think of the band’s more straightforward new direction?

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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    Breaking Bad Season Five

    Just when you think Breaking Bad couldn’t possibly get any more awesome…they go and do somethin’ like this.

    That’s right — the highly anticipated series box set for TV’s most beloved meth-drama will be packaged in a freaking barrel. It’s a reference to the barrels (of meth or buried money or butchered body parts) frequently used throughout the show. As Paste notes, Breaking Bad: The Complete Series will feature all five seasons of the acclaimed AMC show, along with 55 hours of special features, a two-hour documentary on the show, a “challenge coin” designed by series creator Vince Gilligan, a 16-page bookley, and — the most frivolous and exciting goodie — a Los Pollos Hermanos apron.

    You can currently pre-order the Blu-Ray package (which will be released on November 26th) through Amazon.

    Meanwhile, there are only three episodes of Breaking Bad left to air. After which point, I will crawl into a small hole and weep for a fortnight (or maybe just re-watch the series with my collectible barrel).

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    posted in Breaking Bad by Ryan Reed

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    Barclaycard Mercury Prize

    The Barclaycard Mercury Prize is arguably the most prestigious award within the British music industry. And even making it onto the “shortlist” is an accomplishment in itself. This year’s eclectic list of nominees has just been unveiled.

    Art-rockers Alt-J took home the top prize last year, while previous winners include the xx, Franz Ferdinand, and Portishead.

    The full shortlist is below:

    David Bowie: The Next Day
    Disclosure: Settle
    Arctic Monkeys: AM
    Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg
    Foals: Holy Fire
    James Blake: Overgrown
    Laura Marling: Once I Was an Eagle
    Jon Hopkins: Immunity
    Laura Mvula: Sing to the Moon
    Rudimental: Home
    Savages: Silence Yourself
    Villagers: Awayland

    Who should win? Will any of those albums make your “best-of” lists at year’s end?

    I personally love that James Blake album. Here’s “Retrograde”:

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed

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