June 10, 2008

Today's Hotness: Frightened Rabbit, Kompakt, The Breeders

>> Last.FM here has an exclusive on the new Frightened Rabbit video for the wonderful and romantic b-side "Set You Free." But we're embedding it above because, well, you're already here, aren't you? The song was the flip to the Selkirk, Scotland-based quartet's "Head Rolls Off," which was issued March 3. "Set You Free" is apparently a cover by a '90s club music act N-Trance, which we did not know until reading FR's MySpace bulletin. Further, the video for "Set You Free" apparently is a bit of an homage to the original video. We haven't seen the original video, but we find it hard to believe that it is any better than what is above. Frightened Rabbit's latest single, "Fast Blood" b/w "Soon Go," was issued in North America today, or so the Fat Cat label would have us believe. The band makes its return to Cambridge, Mass. July 1, when it will play at TT The Bear's Place with The Oxford Collapse. We'll be there, and we may have a ticket or two to give away when all is said and done. We'll let you know, OK?

>> Today is a day for rejoicing, for today the first wave of titles from the catalog of superlative Cologne, Germany-based electronic music label Kompakt and its many affiliates has become available at Emusic. Click this link for EMusic's editorial introduction. Read on for our take on what you should be listening to among the first 17 titles EMusic has licensed. First and foremost is the Pop Ambient series. We're pleased as punch to see that the 2008 edition (the compilation is issued annually and is a reliable source for totally blissed-out electronic Candyland dreams) is available [link] and we used our final 12 downloads of this month's subscription allotment to snag the set, which includes contributions from the usual suspects including Markus Guentner, Thomas Fehlmann and The Field's Axel Willner [remember him?]. Buying the Pop Ambient compilations -- and really any of Kompakt's wares -- is a pricey proposition, what with the exchange rate and the air mail shipping and whatnot. Which is why EMusic's offering is so awesome. Kaito's trancey gems Special Love [link] and A Hundred Million Light Years (link -- the last Kompakt CD we bought, incidentally) also warrant strong consideration. EMusic has said it will continue to add more Kompakt titles in the future, but just in case Kompakt pulls a Rolling Stones you'd best get over there and start downloading you summer beach chill-out jamasauruses. Incidentally, we reviewed Special Love for Junkmedia here a million years ago. And here is a superlative track from our copy of Pop Ambient 2005, Mr. Guentner's skittering dreamer "Innenfeld."

Markus Guentner -- "Innenfeld" -- Pop Ambient 2005
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[buy Kompakt MP3s from EMusic here]

>> Bradley's Almanac's newly posted recordings of last weeks Breeders show at The Paradise Rock Club have excellent sound quality and the performances qualify as rollicking. And of course the banter is hilarious. Do yourself a favor and make time to listen to the set, which spans the Deal sisters' careers and makes for a bracing listen. Download the MP3s at The 'Nac here or stream the whole joint at Hype Machine right here. Serious American good rock here: "Iris," "Huffer," and all your favorites. Zesty!

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