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And Finally Some New Vampire Weekend

In: Music, Nic

I should have written about this last week because I’ve been boppin‘ and groovin‘ to it all week, but one of my favorite bands, Vampire Weekend has finally released a new track from their upcoming album. Even if you’ve been on this song the last few weeks, if you haven’t, and you’re a fan, you’re welcome.

Although the boys’ first self titled album put them on the map for some great rock tunes, it really was their sophomore album Contra that catapulted them into the mainstream spotlight. I was in Australia when Contra came out, and have incredibly good memories of driving to the beach listening to hits like “Horchata” or “Cousins“. And then the boys left us hanging.

Now almost five years later, Vampire Weekend is finally releasing a new album on May 6th (UK) and May 7th (US), and they’ve given us a killer track that I can’t take off repeat.

Diane Young has all the feel of an organically fuller and more mature Vampire Weekend, with still some of the same notes that make them such a unique sound. They’re touring right now promoting the hell out of themselves and I can’t wait to finally see these guys live. I’m also crossing my fingers and toes that the entire album is just killer and makes me feel better about them being such dead beat dads all these years.

listen to the track after the jump

Friends of Homorazzi, and long time supporters of LGBT rights Kimpton Hotels have announced an amazing contest that everyone and anyone in Colorado should enter. If you’re sitting at your computer in CO and thinking, “I could really go for a wedding right now”, then the Hotel Monaco Denver has the answer.

Since the recent passing of the Civil Unions Act in Colorado, I’m sure a hell of a lot of people have been bolting to the altar. The Hotel Monaco wants to make it easier for you and your partner and throw you a wedding worth upwards of $20,000 just for a hundred word essay and a picture. Cake, DJ, booze, food catered by the amazing Panzano restaurant, vintage furniture, flowers, photography, event space, you know name it, you got it.

Here’s a small brief:

In celebration of Colorado passing the Civil Unions Act into legislation, long-time supporters of the LGBT community, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Denver and Panzano Restaurant will award one lucky couple an all expenses paid “Civil Union Celebration” for up to 50 guests at Denver’s most vibrant, bold and seductive hotel and its award-winning restaurant. Everything for the perfect ceremony and reception will be included and the total package will be worth nearly $20k from the flowers, to photographer to dance floor and a honeymoon suite— ensuring that every last detail is accounted for in complete Kimpton style.

It’s actually that easy. Send your essay and picture to Robin.Ewing@hotelmonaco.com by April 26th, only a few shorts days away. A panel of judges will select five couples, and by April 30th, you can go to the Monaco’s facebook page and vote for your favourites. The couple will be announced by May 15th, and bing bang boom, you get to plan closely with the Monaco for a November 30th, 2013 date. FUN!

Just when I thought my fondness for the Monaco couldn’t get any stronger, they go and make dreams come true.

For more info, head over to Hotel Monaco Denver.

Rising Artist Spotlight: CHVRCHES

In: Music, Nic

Ladies and gentleman, Scottish electropop.

In the past couple years, Swedish pop has started a fantastic trend of smart pop, and not the cheesy snack we all love. No, you know what, I’m going to stick with that analogy, because most of it is a little cheesy! But with bands like Niki & The Dove or Little Dragon making music that seem to be an intelligent spin on a typically unintelligent genre, you can see the influence now on different countries coming into the limelight with their own twist on this little revolution.

CHVRCHES are brand spankin’ and although have had two previous singles, have just recently released their first EP comprised of three great songs and two remixes. Although their first video leaves a little something to be desired, Songza has been playing “Recover” all week for me and it catches my attention every time with it’s cute Swedishesque pop sound.

The band is currently working on their full length album, set for release late summer early fall of this year, and after opening for Passion Pit on tour in 2012, they are now set to support Depeche Mode on some of their upcoming tour dates. Not too shabby for a relatively new band. They’re obviously doing something right.

You can get the “Recover” EP from iTunes, and listen to the single below, which I’m going to have on repeat for a little bitty.

listen to the track after the jump

Roisin Murphy Releases ‘Look Around You’ Teaser

In: Music, Nic

My favorite solo female artist of all time Ms. Roisin Murphy is releasing yet another solo single not attached to any album. God bless her. I mean she did warn us years ago, after two incredibly successful studio album after leaving Moloko, and with a new family on the way, that she had no desire to release a full album any time soon, but the fans want more!

Roisin has been putting out solo tracks since 2009, when she released one of my favorite songs of hers “Orally Fixated“. From then it’s just been collaboration after collaboration and tease after tease, and “Look Around You” feat Boris Dlugosch is going to be no exception.

Boris is an original in the German house music scene, and worked with Roisin back in 1999 with a remix of Moloko’s “Sing it Back”, catapulting the single into stardom.

My gorgeous friend Czahn, equally if not more obsessed with Roisin, posted this new mega mix snippet on my wall of the upcoming releases of this song. With remixes by Chopstick, JohnjonRaik and Maxxi Soundsystem, this is going to end up being another cult following for inexplicable fans like me that never really know what she’s going to do next. After years of dangling the carrot in front of our faces, we’re still following her to see how badly she teases us next.

listen to the track after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Let’s Talk About HAIM

In: Music, Nic

I’ve been obsessed with these girls for a few months now, and get unnecessarily excited when they come out with anything new, whether it be song or video. I just realized yesterday that I haven’t posted about them at all, and now that they’re quickly nearing hipster royalty, I should really introduce you to, if you haven’t already heard, HAIM.

These three sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana, only started releasing singles last year, but being the new kids on the block haven’t stopped them from growing underground notoriety at a rapid pace. All of a sudden my Songza is playing them and I realize they’ve arrived.

After already being on tour with people like Edward Sharpe, Mumford and Sons, Florence + The Machine, and Ke$ha, these girls don’t have a full length album yet, but one is scheduled for release this year, to be vague, and the fans (me) can’t wait for the 80′s influenced pop to continue. Every single they’ve released has been absolutely epic, and below is my absolute favorite to date still “Don’t Save Me“, along with an amazing follow up that just debuted a couple months ago “Falling“.

I’m pretty sure these ladies have a sound I haven’t quite pinned down or been able to completely compare anything to with some great harmonies and haunting vocals and a whole lot of retro keyboard. I’m stoked to see their careers blossom.

check them after the jump

What is there left to do on a road trip of epic proportions, except end with how it all began. No, not a motel in Idaho (although I feel like we secretly miss Trina). No no, I’m talking about the beautiful gift of karaoke.

After these two woke up from their naps our last night in Chicago, we climbed the subway (our first public transit moment of the trip), and decided to go show the city how it was done, shimmying right through the doors of Spin. Steve killed a little Meatloaf, hell, the guy directing the karaoke did the duet version impromptu with him, I annihilated a little Shania, we chuckled, we drank, we came, we conquered, we left. Did we bounce to a couple of bars from the night before? Sure. Was it eventful? Maybe….Steve let an ex-con know that he, in fact, was the one in the bad mood. That’s all. And scene.

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I realized that tomorrow, we hit our destination. It’s been a week. A full week in various cities and trapped in Beryl with two of my best friends and we still don’t hate each other. Last night I feel like we were all going through it a little, but like Steve said to me last night, it’s just so understandable for us to be absolutely exhausted at this point. You spend all day on the road, and then end up in a new city and feel the need to make the most of every minute, to do something as much as possible every second, and then you hit a wall and wonder why you’re such a crabby pants.

We did manage to have a hell of a lot of fun last night though. First stop in the Chicago scene in Lakeview was the ever popular Roscoe’s. Fantastic sprawling bar that felt like a cross of someone’s apartment and a modern saloon, the design of the place was fantastic from room to room, including a back dance floor and countless bars. The staff was phenomenal, and as I’m finding more and more with Chicago, the people are just effortlessly friendly.

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Today we got the hell out of Omaha as soon as humanly possible. We all pretty much woke up in a foul mood, scowled at each other, and hugged it out later. But we got the car, packed up our luggage, and drove as far away from the Econolodge as we could in the shortest possible time we could.

Let me explain something about Bruce the cat. He is a lovely mild tempered angel of a feline, and his only fault is, he is a runner and a jumper. No windows are to be left open, no doors are to be left ajar. I just think Omaha really got to him, as it did with all of us, and as we drove across our first bridge out of the city, I think he must have peeked over Steve’s shoulder to see that the window locks weren’t on, and decided it a good idea to just end it all and lean his tiny paw on the back window button. Down it went. His father’s first reaction behind the wheel was to swerve to the right, in “save the cat” mode. Faye, frozen in fear of pushing a bag towards him, in turn knocking him out said window, yelled obscenities, and I gingerly, heart racing, turned around and squashed him down with my hand like a spider under a bar coaster, grabbing him by the scruff of his neck and throwing him into the front seat. I’m not gonna say we didn’t pull over, I’m not gonna say we didn’t have a good cry after the previous day we had, I’m also not going to say that we didn’t make ourselves feel better by belting Heart’s Greatest Hits at the top of our lungs until Des Moines. I will say Bruce is happy and purring on a window sill as we speak. And I am half a bottle deep.

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