10 ‘Indie’ Albums From 10 Years Ago That Are Better Than Interpol’s ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’

Matador on December 4th will release the 10th Anniversary Double LP of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights. (“All pre-orders include exact replica Interpol pin from the era,” too, so act fast!) I don’t know about you guys, but my relationship with this album never went beyond zoning out to “Untitled”—or maybe “NYC,” if I was feeling especially moody. Here’s the stuff that came out in 2002 and was vastly better. Just sayin’.

The Notwist — Neon Golden

Boards Of Canada — Geogaddi

Lambchop — Is A Woman

The Walkmen — Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone

Imperial Teen — On

Mclusky — Mclusky Do Dallas

Luna — Romantica

Belle & Sebastian — Storytelling

Sleater-Kinney — One Beat

Broken Social Scene — You Forgot It In People

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Battle of the Stones Covers: First Aid Kit vs. The Walkmen

In which we take a break from discussing that Fleetwood Mac indie-rock tribute album to bring you dueling Rolling Stones covers. BBC’s Radio 6 is in the midst of a 50th anniversary tribute to Mick, Keith and the gang, featuring a whole lot of special programming, audio documentaries, interviews and a poll in which you can vote for the greatest Stones song of all time (although, surprisingly, the BBC’s list includes a few covers, including their version of Muddy Waters’ classic "Mannish Boy").

Anyway, for said tribute month, more contemporary artists are coming in and offering their takes on a few Stones classics. Back-to-back, we’ve had Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit strip down the plaintive B-Side "Play With Fire" (which, like many of their other songs, has been used at a poignant moment in a Wes Anderson movie, this case The Darjeeling Limited) and The Walkmen with the lovelorn "Blue Turns to Grey," a deep cut for the Stones (although a standout for the late Brian Jones) but a hit as a cover for the decidedly less rock ‘n’ roll (per canonical standards, anyway) Cliff Richard & The Shadows. 

The Walkmen’s take on "Blue" is pretty straightforward, with echoes of Jagger and Richards’ original heavy harmonies and a bit of that effortless rock feel towards the end. First Aid Kit stray a bit further from the original, opting for more spare instrumentation (no harpsichord or harmonica here)—just a guitar and occasional glockenspiel, but they stay rather true to the tone, maintaining the sneer on "she gets her kicks in Stepney" and building harmonies capable of haunting a house and then burning it down. Listen to both below. 

The Walkmen – "Blue Turns to Grey"

First Aid Kit – "Play With Fire"

Today In Music Videos: Sigur Ros, Muse, Kanye & More

Songs are great, but sometimes you don’t know you love a track until you see the video. Thanks to the Internet and our insatiable appetite for amusement, the releases these days come fast and furious—check out our own premiere of Theresa Andersson’s “Street Parade” from this morning.

On any given day there’s plenty of great stuff floating around in the cultural ether. Let’s look around shall we?

This is the latest video from Sigur Rós’ forthcoming album Valtari. Each song from the album is getting a video by a different director, this one, for "Varúð,” is from Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, who created the album’s cover art.

This one is the latest from Kanye West, for his track “Mercy,” which also features Pusha-T, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz.

It’s not exactly a video, but this is the just-released album trailer for Muse’s forthcoming The 2nd Law.

Finally, last night The Walkmen performed two tracks on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Here’s our favorite, “Heaven.”

Today In Streaming Music: The Walkmen, Sigur Ros

It’s not as good as a download, but it’s better than watching a song’s video—or worse, a single image with a soundtrack behind it—but a stream is the music industry’s preferred way of getting new tracks out in the world.

It’s not portable and any kind of pirating from a stream would require technological know-how that’s way beyond us, but there’s something to be said for being able to hear an album front to back.

Today we’re treated to two pretty excellent new albums via stream. The first is the Walkmen’s Heaven, not out until May 29, which is streaming over at NPR. The band delivers yet again with the sort of music that makes us believe that we can be grown ups and still like great music. The title track is a killer, though the entire album is fucking excellent. Even if this one was downloadable, we’d plan to buy it.

Another streamer today is Sigur Ros’ latest, Valenti, which is out May 29. In addition to the album, which is streaming here. The band has also announced a project called “Mystery Film Experiment,” in which they gave a dozen filmmakers a small budget and asked them to make a video based on a song from the new album. Directors on the project will include Alma Har’el, John Cameron Mitchell, Ryan McGinley, Arni & Kinski, Ramin Bahrani and Ragnar Kjartansson, whose short, “Ég anda,” dropped today.

Beach House And Other Bands In Car Commercials

That’s one major car accident for Beach House.

The Baltimore-based band, which just this week released a new album titled Bloom, was allegedly approached recently by an advertising agency looking to license the track “Take Care” for use in a Volkswagen commercial. The band declined, but here we are watching that commercial and the song in it – done by an outfit called Sniffy Dog – well, it sounds an awful lot like “Take Care.”

“The ad agency actively tried to license “Take Care” from us for weeks, to which we politely declined,” the band wrote in a statement on its Facebook page. “People’s comments/anger should not be directed towards VW or us. It was the ad agency that made these moves. I hope this also clarifies to fans and non-fans just how ‘Take Care’ and the VW ad song are related.”

In our review, BlackBook called the album “shimmery and upbeat,” which might be just what got the ad agency so excited. But hey, Beach House could in worse company—bands including The Walkmen, Wilco, Cat Power, Phoenix, Sleigh Bells and Grizzly Bear have had songs in car commercials and no evil has yet come of it.

You can check out some of our favorites below.