August 2, 2007

Today's Hotness: Bad Brains, Meneguar, TGTB&TQ

>> The heaviest thing you are going to see today is this single video for newly rejuvenated hardcore progenitors Bad Brains' two tunes "Give Thanks And Praises" and "Jah Love." The clip was directed by one of the cats in System Of A Down. It's an exciting jumble of quick cuts. The dynamic editing seems like a good idea, because it is apparent from the live footage that comprises the video that HR, Dr. No and the gang don't get around the stage like they used to. Still, there is plenty of enigma there, driven home by the tight shots of H.R. in insect shades murmuring his prayer into the mic. Do check it out. We reviewed Bad Brains' most recent comeback record Build A Nation here last month. [via BrooklynVegan].

>> Yesterday's big Mobius Band news (scroll down) and a couple tech support/music trivia-related phone calls from Clicky Clicky Dad meant that we had to push off until today reportage about the two new Meneguar tracks the Brooklyn quartet posted to its MySpace cabin recently. Through the magic of a certain sort of dubious but very handy web site we were able to snatch the tracks for copious unfettered home listening. What we can tell you is that the cuts "Freshman Thoughts" and "Hurry Up" sound great. Well, actually, the songs are encoded at an unfortunate 96 Kbps, so they sound a little washy and flat -- but we're willing o suffer with lo-fi MP3s until we can get our hands on the real thing. And the songs, man, the songs... A touch more restrained than the bare-knuckled rockers found on I Was Born At Night [review here], the cuts take the Meneguar you know and love and give it a hint -- just a hint -- of a folksy feel. Maybe it's the hollered choruses that sound like they were recorded en masse in a class room. Maybe it is the less distorted guitars. But fear not, there is still plenty of edge, found in places including the derisive-sounding lyric "you single cell, you little know-it-all..." We'll have to hear all of Strangers In Our House to determine whether these tunes are pieces of the masterpiece we feel like Meneguar has in it. Stream the tracks for yourself here. Strangers In Our House will be released domestically in early October on Troubleman Unlimited. We reviewed a recent Meneguar show here.

>> We've told anyone who will listen that the strongest cut on The Good, The Bad & The Queen's self-titled debut is the throbbing, inexorable title track. This places Damon Albarn's quartet in fine company along with acts including Talk Talk and, well, we think there is a thread at ILM about others. Point being, "The Good, The Bad & The Queen" is really phenomenal. And now there is a mesmerizing video to go with it. We must admit the repurposing of footage of Sufis celebrating some aspect of their religion for the purpose of having interesting pictures for your rock video makes us a little uncomfortable. Some sort of odd colonial voyeurism at work or something. That said, the film maker's shtick of timing fits of religious ecstasy to the pounding surf of the song carries a spark of brilliance. Check out the video over at Pitchfork here.

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