Zulu Winter: TAS Tour Diary

Zulu Winter spent its summer like many British bands; doing the European and UK festival circuit. There's a wild diversity of festivals — from the fancy dress Bestival on the Isle of Wright to the massive joint venture of Reading and Leeds to Belgium's Pukkelpop — so it's intriguing to get a band's take on its travels. The Alternate Side asked Zulu Winter's vocalist and bassist Will Daunt if he'd keep a tour blog of the band's September stops at Bestival and the brand new Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, Wales.

California Wives: TAS Interview And Free Download Of 'Blood Red Youth'

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California Wives' synth-sweetened brand of indie pop strays, spiritually and sonically, towards the UK rather than the Chicago band's sturdy Midwestern roots. The quartet just released its debut, Art History, earlier this month and they're touring with Stars and Diamond Rings, playing New York's Webster Hall this Saturday, September 22. Read TAS' chat with California Wives' drummer Joe O'Connor about the band's many influences and, as a bonus, download a track from the album, "Blood Red Youth."

Efterklang: TAS Interview

Efterklang's fourth studio album, the intricate, haunting Piramida, is streaming now via WFUV and NPR Music prior to its release next week on 4AD, but New Yorkers who haven't seen the innovative, daring Danish band live have a unique opportunity to do so this Saturday, September 22, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Efterklang will join the Wordless Music orchestra for a concert performance of the new album, the group's only show slated in the States thus far this fall. The Alternate Side caught up with bassist/multi-instrumentalist Rasmus Stolberg to discuss Piramida — Efterklang's first as a trio — and the band's journey to the ghost town that inspired the record.

FUV Boat 80s Flashback! The TAS Staff Picks Our Decade Faves

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WFUV and The Alternate Side are going back to the future on the FUV Boat time machine on September 7 with an 80s-themed dance bash down the Hudson River, a vital fundraiser for both stations. Head to rtrcruises.com for tickets and details, but to get ourselves in the mood, the TAS Staff dug out our vinyl, parachute pants and VHS tapes to come up with a list of our faves of that decade.

 

Alt-J: TAS Tour Diary

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Prefering a lower-case identity, alt-j — or ∆ — has garnered a pretty high profile in a short span of time. The quartet of friends from Leeds University has already released a critically praised, haunting debut An Awesome Wave in the UK and the album finally comes out in the States on September 18 via Canvasback. The group is playing New York tonight, at Mercury Lounge, and tomorrow, August 7, at Brooklyn's Glasslands and in preparation for that, The Alternate Side asked the band if they'd blog about their adventures through Japan, Spain and Portugal earlier this month.

Jukebox The Ghost: TAS Tour Blog

Since Jukebox The Ghost's freewheeling, effusive new album is christened Safe Travels and the Brooklyn-based trio is tirelessly touring North America this year (they return to New York to play Irving Plaza on November 6), The Alternate Side asked Jesse Kristin, Tommy Siegel and Ben Thornewill if they'd keep a blog documenting the very start of their summer tour. The trio, slated to play Riverside Garden Park in Red Bank, NJ on August 3, supplied photos too, courtesy of their intrepid tour manager, as they navigated bowling, burritos, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, long drives and "the nicest fans in rock 'n' roll."

The TAS Staff Picks Our Top Albums And Singles Of 2012 ... So Far

The first half of 2012 has already come and gone. The Alternate Side staff, looking at the scores of WAV files, MP3s, CDs and even vinyl singles we've trundled through over the past six months, is slightly overwhelmed by the abundance of good music, so we've made some midpoint selections for our top 10 (or 11) albums and tracks of the year thus far. We have the freedom to change our minds completely by December, but in the meantime, bands and artists like Japandroids, Jack White, Hot Chip, The Walkmen, 2:54, Zeus, Public Service Broadcasting, Father John Misty, Cold Specks, Alt-J, Bobby Womack and Damon Albarn have made the cut. Read the lists after the jump.

TAS Interview: Brian Borcherdt Discusses Dusted And The Future of Holy F***

Never one to stand by idly, Brian Borcherdt has long split duties between his ambiently aggressive band Holy F*** and outside or solo projects. His latest endeavor is the lovely, lo-fi Dusted, a collaboration with producer  and drummer Leon Taheny. The duo's debut album, Total Dust, was released this week on Polyvinyl/Hand Drawn Dracula and Borcherdt and Taheny play Manhattan's Cake Shop tomorrow, July 12, and Brooklyn's Glasslands on July 15. The Alternate Side caught up with the traveling Borcherdt and he not only discussed Dusted, but the immediate — and rosy  —  future of Holy F***.

These United States: TAS Tour Blog

These United States — which actually hail originally from two states, New York and North Carolina — are currently on tour with Trampled By Turtles and both bands land at Webster Hall tonight, April 17. The geographically-minded These United States release a fifth eponymous album on June 12 and after finishing their tour with Trampled By Turtles, they'll hit the road with Heartless Bastards in May. TAS asked These United States if they'd blog about their tour journey, well, across several states leading up to their New York show. New bassist Anna Morsett kindly obliged and recruited Lindsay Giles McWilliams to take photos.

Young Magic: SXSW 2012 Blog

Although they've got Australian and Indonesian roots, Young Magic is based out of Brooklyn and have a brand new album, Melt, out now on Carpark Records. The band just kicked off their North American tour today, March 29, and will play Brooklyn's Cameo Gallery on April 6. The Alternate Side asked the three members of Young Magic if they'd keep a SXSW blog for us tracking the highs, the lows, the deflated air mattresses and the free tacos. They were a little tardy turning it in —  traveling and illness got in the way — but we forgive them.

Workaholics: SXSW 2012 Interview

Workaholics, Comedy Central's slacker sit-com telemarketers, got into the spirit of SXSW this year and hosted their own Austin house party on March 16, featuring bands like Wavves, Reptar, The Cool Kids and Trash Talk. The Alternate Side's Alisa Ali had a chance to sit down with Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, Kyle Newacheck and the hirsute Blake Anderson to talk up their music expertise and house party imprisonment. The third season of "Workaholics" begins May 29 on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

SXSW 2012: The Alternate Side Wrap

Check out The Alternate Side's coverage of SXSW 2012 featuring exclusive interviews with Built to Spill, Yukon Blonde, Django Django, Sharon Van Etten and Poliça. Plus TAS in Session with Michael Kiwanuka and Friends, who visited the TAS and WFUV studios prior to their Texas travels. We also have Austin-brewed band blogs courtesy of Spanish Prisoners, Exitmusic, AU, Jonquil, Bishop Morocco, Zeus and Sleepy Sun.  And finally, live performances from Alabama Shakes and Shearwater, thanks to our sister station WFUV.

Sleepy Sun: SXSW 2012 Blog

The visceral, stormy psychedelic rock of Sleepy Sun was very much a part of SXSW this year; the San Francisco band had five gigs in three days. Sleepy Sun is on the brink of releasing a powerful new album, Spine Hits, due out on April 10 on The End Records, and they're in the thick of a long tour which takes them in New York on April 9 (Glasslands Gallery) and April 10 (Mercury Lounge). We asked bassist Jack Allen if he'd blog about the good, bad and ugly of this year's SXSW and he turned us on to mind-and-hair blowing bands (Howlin' Rain), cool Austin bars (Blackheart) and, most tauntingly, amazing avocado tacos.

Zeus: SXSW 2012 Blog

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Toronto's Zeus seemed to have the right idea about this year's SXSW: a good soak in a hot tub after every long day hauling equipment around and racing through short sets. The prog-leaning rockers, who began as Jason Collett's backing band, release their sophomore album, Busting Visions, on March 27 on Arts & Crafts and used their time in Austin wisely, not just playing scads of shows, but checking out friends like Yukon Blonde and The Sheepdogs and loading up on a year's worth of BBQ. The Alternate Side asked Mike O'Brien if he'd keep a blog of the band's mythic musical and gastronomic travels through Austin.

Jonquil: SXSW 2012 Blog

British indie-popsters Jonquil arrived in Austin from the slightly more tranquil environs of Oxford for a dual purpose; not only has the band just released a new album, Point of Go, on Dovecote Records, but frontman Hugo Manuel also has his own excellent solo endeavor, Chad Valley. Gigs galore ensued in Austin, but Jonquil will also stick around Stateside for a while; the band kicks off a US tour tomorrow, March 19, in Atlanta,  heading to Brooklyn's Glasslands for an April 2 show. The Alternate Side asked Jonquil if they'd blog about their SXSW experience for us and bassist/trumpeter Sam Scott sent on some carb-fueled observations (and a cry for decent brioche).

Bishop Morocco: SXSW 2012 Blog

Toronto's Bishop Morocco, founded by James Sayce and and Jake Fairley, signed with Arts & Crafts this winter and last week, just in time for SXSW, released a six-track EP, Old Boys. The band has added on guitarist Ian Worang and drummer Jon McCann and had a productive week of showcases in Austin, including the Arts & Crafts gig on Friday. The Alternate Side asked James Sayce if he'd keep a blog for us ... which included a lot of beer and breakfast.

Spanish Prisoners: SXSW 2012 Blog, Day Two

The Alternate Side salutes Spanish Prisoners' frontman Leo Maymind for being so diligent with his SXSW blog, especially with their two-gig schedule today, March 16. The Bushwick band took a slight detour from their current tour to take on Austin's annual week-of-chaos to showcase their dreamily handsome debut album, Gold Fools. Spanish Prisoners, who have the BirdDog promo show earlier this afternoon, play Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie at Crowbar at 9 p.m. CT tonight and on Saturday, March 17, they play Boston in Austin at the Treehouse Pub at 7 p.m. CT.

AU: SXSW 2012 Blog

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After a somewhat lengthy hiatus, the Portland, Oregon, duo of AU — Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka — will finally release their gritty, gorgeous and heart-accelerating third album, Both Lights, via Hometapes/The Leaf Label on April 3. The pair are in the thick of the SXSW scrum at the moment, with a very busy three-gig day today, March 16, with shows at the Terroreyes Day Party (4:45 p.m. CT), STOUH By SMES Shout 2 (8:45 p.m. CT) and the Redefine Magazine Party (10:45 p.m.). The Alternate Side asked if AU could blog about their Austin walkabout and Wyland kindly obliged.

Spanish Prisoners: SXSW 2012 Blog

Brooklyn's Spanish Prisoners have taken a detour from their current tour to dip into chaos of SXSW and, thanks to frontman Leo Maymind, they'll be spilling all (well, some) of their Austin secrets via a blog for The Alternate Side. The Bushwick quartet, who recently self-released their dreamily handsome debut album, Gold Fools, are slated to play the Paper Garden Records and My Old Kentucky Blog showcase at Uncorked Tasting Room and Wine Bar in Austin, today, March 15, at 5:15 p.m. CT with three more gigs to follow Friday and Saturday.

Exitmusic: SXSW 2012 Blog

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New York's own Exitmusic, the beguiling duo of Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church, finally release their beautifully temperamental debut album, Passage, on May 22 via Secretly Canadian. The Alternate Side asked Palladino, who also stars on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," if she'd keep a blog for us detailing some of Exitmusic's Austin discoveries. Check out the blog, Palladino's photos and the track "Passage," from their soon-to-be-released album, after the jump.

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