On “Sun God (Andre Weatherall Remix)”, Aussie dance rockers Cut Copy (which are mostly dance, these days) still haven’t managed to recaptured the strut and electricity of their mighty In Ghost Colors era. But it seems like they’ve totally given up trying. They’re content putting out lazy, harmless electronica. But why shouldn’t they? People keep buying it. And to end on a positive note, they still put on a good live show, so if you have a chance to get tickets to see them, you should.
Cut Copy Archive
Cut Copy has extended their 2011 tour, adding dates across the US in September and October. (Prefix) We’re not big fans of Cut Copy’s new album, Zonoscope. But we would strongly recommend catching this tour (if you already have not). We (somewhat reluctantly) caught Cut Copy’s set at Coachella, and we were totally blown away. Why? The set pulled generously from the bands totally awesome 2008 album, In Ghost Colors.
Cut Copy 2011 Tour
07.05 Richmond, VA: The National
07.06 Baltimore, MD: Rams Head Live!
07.07 Pattersonville, NY: Camp Bisco
07.09 Detroit, MI: Royal Oak Music Hall
07.11 Pittsburgh, PA: Club Zoo
07.17 Chicago, IL: Pitchfork Music Festival
08.11 Brooklyn, NY: Celebrate Brooklyn
08.12 Tempe, AZ: The Marquee
08.13 Orange County, CA: Pacific Festival
09.13 Montclair, NJ: Wellmont Theatre # *
09.14 Portland, ME: The State Theater # *
09.15 Buffalo, NY: Town Ballroom# *
09.17 Austin, TX: Austin City Limits
09.19 Indianapolis, IN: The Vogue # *
09.22 Milwaukee, WI: Turner Hall # *
09.23 Urbana, IL: The Canopy Club, Pygmalion Music Festival # *
09.24 Cincinatti, OH: Midpoint Music Festival # *
09.26 Asheville, NC: The Orange Peel # *
09.27 Chapel Hill, NC: Cat’s Cradle # *
09.28 Athens, GA: Georgia Theater # *
09.30 Miami, FL: Grand Central # *
10.01 Orlando, FL: Firestone Live # *
10.03 Tulsa, OK: Cain’s Ballroom # *
10.04 Denver, CO: Ogden Theater # *
10.07 Vancouver B.C.: The Vogue# *
10.09 Portland, OR: Wonder # *
* with Washed Out
# with Midnight Magic
Ever wonder what would happen if Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bundick brought his washed out, watery touch to a Cut Copy song? We hadn’t either. But we were pretty curious to hear Cut Copy’s recently posted “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution (Toro y Moi Remix)”. The result? It’s pretty awesome. But be patient, the beat takes about a minute for the funk to kick in…
There’s nothing on Miracles Club’s “Light of Love” that’s particularly groundbreaking (free download at Amazon.com). And Cut Copy didn’t add much with their remix. But it’s a pretty catchy song. There’s a good risk of slipping into a trance when you’re listening to it. And you’re likely to dance a bit when it’s playing. So if you have an itch for some house music, check ‘er out…
Okay, we don’t know what a “modcast” (despite our best efforts to research it in less than 10 minutes), but it sounds like a chill-waving mix tape. It’s about an hour long. And it’s free. Here’s one that Cut Copy made [via Gorilla vs. Bear]…
So far we like this mix tape better than Cut Copy’s new album Zonoscope. Maybe the band should have taken some more time off to be DJs?
Oh, and if anyone figures out what a “modcast” is, please post it in the comments section and feel free to call us idiots, See, we can both dish criticism AND take it.
Despite the hype, which seems to be everywhere, the new Cut Copy, Zonoscope, sucks. Sorry. We wanted it to rock, but it does not. (Full review here.) But all is not lost in 2011 for Cut Copy fans. There are some cool songs near the end of Zonoscope, and this new disco makeover of “Take Me Over” is actually pretty dope…
- The White Stripes announced last week that they’re breaking up. It’s sad because they’re awesome. But the reasons they’re quitting are so rad. Basically, the band reached a creative plateau and wanted to “preserve what is beautiful and special about the band.” We recommended that five other bands (Black Keys and Arcade Fire among them) do the same thing and break up immediately.
- The Fleet Foxes are back in 2011 with their granola-fabulous brand of folk rock. We’ve got tour dates here, album details over there, and a free (very cool) download from the band right… here.
- We’re super-stoked for the new Cold Cave (high-charged goth techno) and Bibio (experimental techno pop) albums. Cold Cave discuss the sad inspiration behind their new album here, Bibio album details (including a very awesome song you can stream) here.
- The new Kills song, from Blood Pressures (due April 5) is absolutely, yeah, killer. Stream it here.
- The new Cut Copy, while it isn’t terrible, pretty much sucks. You can stream it here for a limited time.
- You must must to read this. Moby woke up to a find a kid in his house high on acid! And he was super-cool about it.
- “I Heard You Say” by Vivian Girls: This song shows Vivian Girls can do a better job at jangling 70s pop than current throwback chick rock darlings Best Coast. Get the song for free here.
- “Swate” by Das Racist: This is the latest release from one of the acts currently tearing it up in the hip-hop underground. This grimy, slow-burning number showcases the group’s strange charm and brilliant chemistry. [Song via Stereogum]
- “Borders Comfort” by Soft Kill: Joy Division lives comfortably in this dour, hustling meltdown. [Song via Stereogum]
- “Movement” by Dam Mantle: Rough-cut orchestra samples and digital textures give this song an inspiring, future-classic feel. [Song via Gorilla vs Bear]
- “Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes: The Fleet Foxes aren’t wandering too far from familiar territory here, but “Helplessness Blues” is still a very cool, super-solid folk rock effort. Listen to the song, download it here.
It’s hilarious. It’s sad. It’s cool. It’s the best tweets from the Downcast’s twitter feed.
Sufjan Stevens on his latest album: “These aren’t great songs… But I’m not interested in songwriting anymore.” (http://bit.ly/gt6gIZ)
- “I’ve flat-lined three times (that I know of).” —Slash (Among “25 things you don’t know about Slash”) (http://bit.ly/dX2bWR)
- “Really sad” —Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes guy) on Pandora (http://bit.ly/gYwniI)
- Trying for the Ghostface Killah’s new ivy league gangsta look? Here’s a buyer’s guide: http://bit.ly/e3MqHr
- White Stripes album sales surge in wake of break up, “Under Great Northern Lights” up 2,600% (http://bit.ly/fmkwFt)
- Promoters start suing each other for millions. It’s time for the Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary tour! (http://bit.ly/gYWXZZ)
- But it all sucked! The National, Interpol, Peter Bjorn and John, and The Thermals all make late night appearances. (http://bit.ly/dRalwH)
- Tent Reznor, Queen guitarist may help William Shatner with metal-themed album. (http://bit.ly/hEhQ00)
- Tom Hanks’ kid drops a mix tape. “Frat boy rapper” Chet Haze laments “hitting blunts after hitting books.” (http://bit.ly/gV1DEd)
- Snoop Dogg‘s Super Bowl 8-layer dip includes oregano. Lots and lots of oregano. (http://bit.ly/hvmjYs)
|Expectations were high for Cut Copy’s third studio release, Zonoscope. It’s the followup to 2008’s commercial and critical success, the mad killer, In Ghost Colors. The pressure was on, and unfortunately the band came up short.
On In Ghost Colors, Cut Copy masterfully combined dance pop, rock and rave-techno components, and glossed it with a bold sheen of 80s style. It was an inspired, swaggering amphetamine that wowed critics and had kids dancing their brains out. High score.
Enter Zonoscope. Once again, Cut Copy brings a familiar set of tools to the table (dance rhythms, rock beats, pop structures and psychedelic rave textures), but they’re dulled and worn on Zonoscope, creating a monochromatic, ordinary object. It’s as though Cut Copy is trying to reinvent themselves by dialing down all the settings on the television: tint, brightness, color and contrast. What they should have done is tossed out the television, bought an LCD screen and cranked all the setting up.
The first three songs are hard to get through. The laid-back vocal textures that sounded so ironic, so cool in the high-voltage setting of In Ghost Colors range from boring to bad in the drab confines of Zonoscope. And the synths range from unnoticed to annoying (especially the keyboard stabs in “Take Me Over” that recall Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”… ugh). Probably the worst song on the first half of the album is the jock jam-inspired “Where I’m Going”. (See what I mean?)
Things do warm up a bit at “Pharaohs and Pyramids” (a decent, 80s-washed new wave pop song) and the band seems to hit a gentle boil at “Blink and You’ll Miss A Revolution”. But neither of these songs would have made the cut on In Ghost Colors.
The best part of the album is the final act. “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat” is a slow-rolling, stylish slice of synthpop. On “Corner of the Sky”, a mid-tempo dance cut, the band finally shows a flash of the inspiration present on In Ghost Colors. And “Sun God”, probably the best track on the album, revolves around a swaggering, pounding beat layered with psychedelic synth textures and bold, crawling keyboard riffs. Unfortunately, “Sun God” is the last song on the album (Will anybody still be listening?) and it clocks in at 15 minutes (So if listeners haven’t already tuned out, they will by the 11 or 12-minute mark).
Zonosocpe isn’t horrible. It’s just an ordinary album with the unfortunate task of following up one of the best albums of the last ten years. Cut Copy will recover from this. They’re talented artists that have been in the game for a decade. Now that the pressure of following up In Ghost Colors is out of the way, I’m very curious to hear what they come up with next.
Standout Tracks: “Corner of the Sky”, “Hanging onto Every Heartbeat”, “Sun God”
Around the web
You’ll have to give Cut Copy access to your Twitter account, but you can stream their new album, Zonoscope, right now for free.
Sounds ominous, and they don’t tell you what exactly they want access to your Twitter account for. But best we can tell, they just want to auto-post this message…
Seems worth it to us. We’re streaming the new album now, and we’ll let you know if anything else happens to our Twitter account.
- Cut Copy has us worried. Another track from the Australian power-synthpop act’s super-anticipated Zonoscope was released last week. And it’s pretty, um, weak. Our hopes for the album have been ratcheted down a few notches. Sucks.
- Coachella sells out in a week! For Southern Californians and festival-junkies across the country, the biggest news (and for some, unfortunately, the most shocking news) was that little ol’ Coachella sold out in less than a week. How does this happen? The Downcast investigates, welcomes you to the Age of Festivals here.
- In other Coachella news, the Washington Post actually suggests that fan backlash over the inclusion of Kanye West on the bill was racism. Stupid.
- Hopes for new material from indie-awesome, beloved Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum were re-kindled last week with word that he’s scheduled another live performance. We’re also tossing some of that spark under our hopes for a new Neutral Milk Hotel album.
- Japanese all-of-the-above (metal, hard, stoner, doom, ambient, experimental) rockers Boris announced they have a bunch of new albums coming out this year. Austin epic-instrumental rock guys Explosions in the Sky also have a new LP on the way soon. And could there be a new Ladytron in November? The Downcast was the first to get wind of this.
- In one of our favorite interviews last week, the Best Coast chick (Bethany Cosentino) joined her boyfriend, the Wavves guy (Nathan Williams), for their first-ever joint-interview (the two bands are on tour together, too). This is actually the second go at their relationship. Best Coast chick dumped Wavves guy a while back because he was dancing on a table, acting like an idiot. More here.
- Is a 50s music revival on the way? By now you’re familiar with (if not, sick of) the 80s revival in the realm of indie music. But we’re seeing compelling signs that a 50s revival is now underway, with (free) new music from Sweet 17, Mister Heavenly and Hunx and His Punx. Oh, and there’s the whole thing with Jack White stirring things up with 50s rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson.
Top-5 MP3’s of the week
- “Dark Allies” by Light Asylum: Stands out from the synth-pop crowd with swaggering vocals. Read more. [Song via Pitchfork]
- “I Follow Rivers (Dave Sitek Remix)” by Lykke Li: A once sleepy track is infused with some boogie and a fresh electro-candy sheen. Read more, download/listen to the song.
- “Do You Want $$?” by Sic Apls: A catchy, trance-inducing slice of lo-fi garage rock that sounds like a 60’s rock remake of Beck’s “Asshole”. Read more. [Song via Weekly Tape Deck]
- “Ungirthed” by Purity Ring: One step over the line that separates “experimental pop” from “culttered nonsense”, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. Read more. [Song via Pitchfork]
- “Time Won’t Tell (Nocando Remix) by El-P: Originally an instrumental track, Nocando serves a a rapid, freestyle flow that sounds right on point. Read more, download/listen to the song.
Get your tickets!
Tours announced (or extended last week):
- Sleigh Bells with CS, and occasionally Neon Indian
- Black Lips with Vivian Girls
- Royksopp expands their short US Tour
It’s hilarious. It’s sad. It’s cool. It’s the best tweets from the Downcast’s Twitter feed.
- Haha. What? Lady Gaga perfume (possibly called “Monster”) to smell like “blood and semen”? I’d say that’s beyond foul. (http://bit.ly/dN1tam) (Jan 28)
- Crystal Castles‘ singer takes the stage on crutches. Hilarious writeup here: http://bit.ly/fVC64h (Jan 24)
- Is rock dead? Decemberists, Cake have #1 albums this year. I guess it depends on your definition of “rock”. (http://bit.ly/e1ciZP) (Jan 26)
- Kings of Leon drummer “homophobic” rant aimed at Glee creator? (http://huff.to/ftWcbo)(Jan 26)
- Rhianna drops the C-word in a tweet shortly after reaching 3 mil. followers. That’s pretty bad ass. (http://bit.ly/fXs0GQ) (Jan 29)
- On this day in 1984, Motley Crue drummer knocks out a fan with one punch. Clash stemmed from awkward Playboy news. (http://bit.ly/g6rAuH) (Jan 28)
- Lady earns first ever masters degree in The Beatles. The greatest, most useless degree ever! (http://bit.ly/hOEuq7) (Jan 28)
- Creed! Dave! Maroon 5. The funny/sad part is “Brochella” would actually sell out faster than the real festival (http://on.fb.me/i5oQpd) (Jan 27)
- New Kanye due in summer. “High end rap,” he calls it. Huh? A hint: “I just threw some bassoon on this mothafucka!” http://bit.ly/gZhoTX (Jan 24)
- Not as ridiculous as Gucci Mane‘s ice cream tat (http://bit.ly/h2C969), but T Pain‘s Facebook tat is pretty silly (http://bit.ly/ff2Kis (Jan 28)