Welcome to a new weekly column on Biff Bam Pop, “Pump Up The Jam,” where I take you through some of my musical highlights for the week, including music news, new releases, and other things you might have missed.
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now; it’s just the sound of the members of Led Zeppelin sighing in collective relief. Yes, they have reigned victorious in the lawsuit filed against them by the members of the band Spirit for copyright infringement of “Stairway To Heaven.” If you, like me wondered why on earth this was an issue 45 years after the song was released, this article from Business Insider gives the low down. Having never (knowingly) heard Spirit’s “Taurus” until now, I admit that there is a bit of a similarity between that introductory guitar part of both tunes.
Led Zeppelin have been but one of the bands accused of being Satan worshippers over the years (“There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer/Sad Satan”), but what about bands who wear their Satanic allegiances loud and proud, with emphasis on the “loud” part? Metal blog Loudwire has put together a video of ten bands who are actual Satanists along with actual quotes from band members. It’s quite entertaining and now I know that most Satanic metal bands look like Orcs (also check the spiked wrist cuffs on the dude from Gorgoroth!).
The “Cookie Monster” vocals (© Tim Murr, Popshifter) of many black metal bands might sound like they’re belching up hellfire but there has been much made of the fart jokes in soon-to-be-released black comedy Swiss Army Man. OK, so they’re actual farts, but the guy is dead, so cut him some slack. Here’s a featurette on the score for Swiss Army Man, which comes out today in limited release and nationwide on July 1.
Speaking of Cookie Monster vocals (or the lack thereof), Toronto power metal band Black Absinthe’s album Early Signs of Denial was released in May but their lyric video for the track “Now” is out… well, now.
Also out now are two albums from two very talented women.
Hope Is Never from Ziemba (née René Kladzyk) showcases the performance-artist-and-dancer-turned singer’s fragile, lovely voice and is out today from Lo & Behold. Here’s a video for “With The Fire,” shot in Kladzyk’s abandoned Forestville, Michigan home.
The debut from Toronto’s Vallens, Consent, is being released via Hand Drawn Dracula. I interviewed singer/songwriter/guitarist Robyn Phillips over at Popshifter. Check out the video for “Karen,” which was inspired by Karen Carpenter.
More glorious female vocals can be found on Puro Instinct’s Autodrama, out today from Manifesto. Sisters Skylar and Piper Kaplan look like mid-1980s Madonna but sound a bit like early ’80s Berlin. Enjoy this video for “Tell Me”! Tour dates for the duo after the video.
Puro Instinct Tour Dates (w/Fear of Men):
07/1/16-Philadelphia, Johnny Brenda’s
07/2/16-New York, The Bowery Ballroom
07/3/16-Allston, Great Scott
07/5/16-Montreal, Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B.
07/6/16-Toronto, The Garrison
07/8/16-Chicago, Schubas Tavern
07/9/16-Minneapolis, 7th Street Entry
07/12/16-Seattle, Sunset Tavern
07/13/16-Portland, Mississippi Studios
07/15/16-San Francisco, Swedish American Hall
07/17/16-Los Angeles, The Echo
07/19/16-San Diego, The Hideout
07/20/16-Phoenix, Valley Bar
07/22/16-Dallas, Club Dada
07/25/16-Atlanta, The Masquerade
07/26/16-Carrboro, Cat’s Cradle
Another band with a pair of siblings is Body Of Light, featuring Alex and Andrew Jarson. Their music is a veritable waterfall of synthesizers with piercing harmonies overlaid on top. Let Me Go will be released on July 22 from Dais Records, but you can hear “Tremble” right now.