With super-group Atoms for Peace dropping its debut album yesterday, it’s fitting to stop and take a look at the LP’s excellent artwork.
Designed by longtime Radiohead collaborator Stanley Donwood, it shows Los Angeles suffering meteoric doom. And as part of the promotion for the record, XL Recordings commissioned one crazy GIF-iti piece by artist INSA over its Los Angeles office.
You know the story by now: A few years ago, Radiohead front-man Thom Yorke started a band to help him perform songs from his 2006 solo effort, The Eraser, live. One thing led to another, and now he’s made the band into a full-fledged project that includes longtime producer/visionary Nigel Godrich and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, as well as Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding this one.
Things haven’t looked good for Icelandic “post-rock” act Sigur Rós in recent years. In light of the front-man Jónsi’s well-received solo album Go and massive world tour, an “indefinite hiatus” looked more like an end. The band even scrapped an entire album that it recorded in 2009. Speculation about the band’s future has been intense: when it announced its sixth studio album, Valtari, rumors ranged from the overly optimistic (that it was one of two new albums) to the dire (that the quartet was splitting up for good).
The truth turned out to be a bit muddier. The band wasn’t breaking up, but multi-instrumentalist string arranger Kjartan Sveinsson was sitting out the forthcoming tour. In other news, the band is releasing a “mystery film” for each song — videos made by directors working independently of one another. As for Valtari, the band’s new album, it makes a statement of its own.
Tomorrow is the third Saturday in April, which means that independent record stores across the world will face an influx of limited-edition vinyl, avid fans, and rabid audiophiles. With myriad releases hitting shelves, we’ve provided you with some of our most anticipated picks to make Saturday’s shopping (relatively) quick and painless.
Electronic rock duo Ratatat‘s extravagant live performances — complete with holograms, neon lights, and fog — reinvent stadium rock without the stadium, planting it firmly within its own “visual / visual / visual” genre.
Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.
Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi has been touring tirelessly for the past year, playing songs from his first solo album, Go (XL). The live show has been acclaimed by critics far and wide, and with good reason: with design help from Fifty Nine Productions, it is an absolute spectacle. For those hoping to go behind the scenes and perhaps relive the magic, the forthcoming ALARM book Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music details the tour from its inception to its first performance.
ALARM contributing photographer Samantha Hunter attended Jónsi’s recent show at the Vic in Chicago and captured the action — from costume changes to dramatic visual projections — in vivid color.