The return of Arcade Fire

Rejoice, people, for Arcade Fire have announced the release of their fifth album, to be released on July 28.

It’s entitled Everything Now and the video for the first single, the title track, can be watched below. It’s a glorious piece of uplifting anthemic work, that suggests the signs are good for the parent album.

Their collaboration with the legendary Mavis Staples , ‘I Give You Power’, which came out earlier this year, may or may not be on the album, but if you’ve missed it, you should check it out:

Finally, another new song ‘Creature Comfort’ appeared on YouTube of a performance at last month’s Primavera festival.







A quick blast…


Inspired covers are always good.

Tonight was blown away – yet again! – by Ex Lion tamer’s fantastic take on ‘Tugboat’ by Galaxie 500.

Hopefully one day that will be available to buy, in the meantime…

J Mascis and his merry men take on The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven.’

Dinosaur Jr -‘Just Like Heaven (Cure cover).’ mp3

…and yes, it does end that abruptly!

More from Aidan Moffat


Yup, the modern day answer to Robert Burns – and I mean that most sincerely, folks, Aidan Moffat returns with a new album, entitled How To Get To Heaven From Scotland. First up is this free single download ‘Big Blonde’ which mentions sitting in a garage on woodlands Road, something I’ve done in Glasgow before now. Oh well, there you go…

According to the press bumpf : ‘[the best-ofs] not really a band, so much as “an open-door club where anyone with a talent for something I like the sound of is welcome.” There’s no line-up in any traditional sense and members will come and go according to their availability, but for this album, the band includes Stevie Jones (Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan’s band) and Alun Woodward (ex-Delgados / Lord Cut-Glass). How To Get To Heaven From Scotland was recorded simultaneously with I Can Hear Your Heart, but, says Aidan, “the Best-Ofs one needed longer on the hob.”

Aidan Moffat and the Best-Ofs -‘Big Blonde.’ mp3

Oh, and the video is here:

As always, let me know what you think!

Aidan Moffat website

Interview: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

I fell in love with a band on Monday, emailed them on Tuesday and they emailed me on Wednesday. Hell yes!

Interview with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart


17 Seconds: You’ve earned comparisons to the likes of My Bloody Valentine and
the Pastels. Do you consider yourself part of a c86/twee/indiepop
scene at all? Is there one in New York?

Kip: Well, we certainly like those bands a lot– The Pastels are one
of my favorite bands of all time, and early My Bloody Valentine is
also super good (and underrated). And maybe it was just Kurt Cobain
telling me so, but The Vaselines have always seemed like the coolest
band ever. But I think it would be inauthentic for any band in 2009 to
pretend they understood that world or why people made the music that they did two decades ago.

Focusing on mid-80s British bands sort of misses the fact that we’re
from America and grew up with totally different music– Teenage
Fanclub was obscure here. I mean, Sonic Youth and Nirvana, K Records and Yo La Tengo– even a lot of punk and hardcore bands gave us an idea of what it meant to be indie and what DIY was really about. And even now, we’re huge fans of the contemporary New York/Brooklyn scene— bands like Crystal Stilts, caUSE co-Motion, Vivian Girls, Knight School, My Teenage Stride– or A Sunny Day in Glasgow (Philadelphia), Pants Yell! (Boston) and Ringo Deathstarr (Austin).

As for the bands in New York, i feel like they have a lot of similarities in their inspiration, if not their sound. If you went
over to their house, you’d find a lot of the same records (The Clean, TVP’s, Teenage Fanclub, The Ramones, Black Tambourine, etc.). But
what’s so interesting is that they all take the sound in different directions– there’s no two bands that sound all that similar. Knight
School is different than caUSE co-MOTION is different than Crystal Stilts is different than Vivian Girls. They all have their own
distinct style, which i think keeps the community really vibrant and interesting– plus no one feels all that jealous…

Alex: Yeah, I think in terms of New York, or a scene, it’s a pretty natural thing. It’s not like people got together and decided ahead of
time “now we’re gonna start a scenel!” All those bands Kip named are just genuinely making music they liked based on inspirations from
bands they genuinely like made with people they genuinely like… so  naturally everyone got pretty excited to see others doing the same.
It’s a fun place to be right now.

Peggy: Everyone knows each other because there aren’t that many people out there who listen to this kind of music. We all see each other at the same shows, and all the bands have played together at least once. I never had friends who liked the same music when I was growing up, so it’s pretty thrilling to finally know people with similar tastes. It’s nice to not feel alienated for once.

17 Seconds: Looking at many of your influences, do you consider Glasgow a
musical spiritual home?

Alex: It’s definitely incredible how perfectly once city has nailed a sound (and still managed to spawn so many ORIGINAL bands). Hanging out there felt like being part of the cool kids club, for sure. It’s not often you go to a city and the hot-spot club is playing Belle &
Sebastian side-by-side with Madonna.

Kip: Definitely– i feel like Glasgow is probably the coolest city in the world. The Pastels, Vaselines, Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura,
Belle and Sebastian, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Strawberry Switchblade– If we moved to Glasgow, we’d be like the 27th best band
there… and that would be pretty good.

Peggy: Yeah, I immediately took to glasgow. It has a big scene for a city that is small and tangible. It was rainy and dreamy while we were
there. I kept telling everyone that I wanted to move there throughout the rest of the tour. I think Kip got annoyed.

17 Seconds: Who are those two girls on the front of your album?

kip: they are best friends! our label, fortuna pop, said it looked a little like a strawberry switchblade album cover, which isn’t a bad

Peggy: yeah i wish we could meet those two girls.

17 Seconds: How long have the band been together and how did you meet?

Kip: we formed two years ago in March to play at Peggy’s birthday party in a big warehouse in brooklyn. The Manhattan Love Suicides were coming to america and i think we tricked them into playing at Peggy’s party (along with Titus Andronicus) and we were like, “well, we’re throwing the party so if we learn some songs we can play too.” so we played 5 songs (two of which were “this love is fucking right” and “doing all the things that wouldn’t make your parents proud”).

All i remember from that night is that Titus Andronicus blew up the bass amp while covering “bulls on parade” which seemed really awesome at the time… then i realized it was my bass amp, but whatever– it was a fun party and definitely the perfect beginning.

peggy: it feels sooooo long ago! it’s crazy to think of everything that’s happened in the past year and a half. i wish i’d kept a

17 Seconds: Do you think the word ‘indie’ still has any currency in 2009?

Yes, absolutely. Regardless if you’re playing hardcore or rainbow pop, the idea that the artist controls their music is 100% important. I
feel like, sure, the term has been bandied about to describe an aesthetic or fashion sense– but at it’s core, it’s about economics and the bands being in control.

Alex: I think it’s tricky, because “indie” has become such a loaded term. Largely, I think, people now associate it with kinda shaggy dudes playing not-too-shiny guitar rock — “mainstream indie” like Death Cab, etc. It’s not about “independence” so much. Which is fine. But as an ethos, I totally agree with Kip — it’s more present and more valuable than ever. It’s totally possible to get lots and lots of people to hear and love your music through new and untraditional channels and to do it yourself. It’s very exciting.

17 Seconds: CD or vinyl?
Vinyl w/ digital download, pleez.

Alex: Vinyl and digital for me too! CD has quickly become just a
space-sucking middle man. R.I.P.

Peggy: I only listen to music on my computer these days. That sounds
lame, but I just don’t have space for records and whatnot. I like
walking around and spacing out with my ipod on. Maybe ideally I would
say that I prefer cassette tapes because you can make them and record
them yourself.

17 Seconds: What are your favourite books/albums/films?

Books: Anything by Jane Austen lol… I also like Babar a lot and The Little Prince.

Albums: This question is nearly impossible…
Red House Painters “Red House Painters” (the one with the Roller
Coaster on the cover)
Teenage Fanclub “Bandwagonesque”
Suede “Dog Man Star”
Belle and Sebastian “If You’re Feeling Sinister”/”The Boy With the
Arab Strap”/”The EP’s/Tigermilk”
David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust/Hunky Dory/Diamond Dogs… ok, basically
everything through Scary Monsters.
Yo La Tengo – Painful
Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire de Melody Nelson
Leonard Cohen – Either of the first couple records…
Sonic Youth – Dirty
Helium – Pirate Prude
Pavement – Wowee Zowee
… this is too hard a question– i have to move on!!!!!!!!

Bill + Ted’s Excellent Adventure
I just saw this movie “Teenwitch” that i really liked.
I basically can’t deal with horror, except maybe vampire movies.

Alex: Always a tough one.

“White Noise” Delillo
“Lolita” Nabovok
“Where I’m Calling From” Raymond Carver
“The Relief of Unbearable Urges” Nathan Englander
“Please Kill Me” Legs McNeil
Any George Saunders
“The Long Goodbye” Raymond Chandler
“Big Bad Love” Larry Brown
Any Lester Bangs

And right now I’m reading a collection by Richard Brautigan which I am SUPER loving.

The Exploding Hearts, “Guitar Romantic”
T. Rex, “Electric Warrior”
Nas “Illmatic”
The Figgs “Sucking in Stereo”
Jesus & Mary Chain “Psychocandy”
The Buzzcocks “Singles Going Steady”

Wild at Heart
The Seventh Seal
The Sandlot
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Wayne’s World (I & II)

Peggy: I love “Holiday” by the Magnetic Fields, “Blind” by the Sundays, “Incesticide” by Nirvana, “Candy Girl” by New Edition, “it’s
a Shame about Ray” by the Lemonheads, “Realistes” by Comet Gain, “Multiple Orgasm” by the Pooh Sticks, and The Rosehips self-titled
album. As for books, I’ve lately been into Penguin classics by British authors from the 60s, which sounds pretentious, but they seem to all be written in this ideal style (dry and witty) and about topics like teen angst and love. Murakami and Nabokov are favorites as well. As
for films, my favorite movie of all time is “Clueless.” Other favorites are Harold and Maude, Dig!, Drive Me Crazy, Chungking Express. I like romcoms if they can make me believe Love Is Real (a rare feat) and any movies about young girls. Although Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was kind of disappointing. I actually don’t really like movies and prefer addictive television.

17 Seconds: How optimistic are you about Obama as President of the US?

Kip: I hope people realize that he’s just a person. I’m sure he’ll do all he can to make things better, but it’s so hard to accompish that
much change– his power is limited by the congress, the courts and the generally conservative nature of most americans. Still, we’re all
obviously so thrilled by his election and hope for the best.

Alex: He’s got a tough road. Mostly I’m just optimistic that he’ll bring some transparency, thoughtfulness and dignity as the face of the
nation. I have no delusions that he’ll step in and solve world hunger or anything, but I am confident in his character. As confident as one
can be when assessing someone wholly through television, haha.

Peggy: I just love that he is a cool person and seems really down-to-earth. The fact that we elected him makes me love America more. It’s not really about whether he’s going to fix everything, but more about the representation of our country, and also the general air of contentment that is abound.

17 Seconds: What are your plans for 2009?

We have some tour dates in February and March up to SXSW after the release of our album. We also have a new single coming out in March– “Young Adult Friction”

Alex: Have as much fun as possible with my friends.

Peggy: Yeah, before I get too old. I think I rediscovered fun this past year though. Hopefully there’s more of that to come.

17 Seconds: What’s the weirdest gig you’ve ever played?

I think playing at Titus Andronicus’ practice space (“The Hate Shack” – a pool shed behind Ian’s parents’ house) in Glenn Rock, NJ at a High School party. It was super weird, but also 100% awesome. i can’t think of a more wonderfully weird show we’ve gotten to play– people were so enthusiastic. And Titus Andronicus (and VCR) was amazing (as always).

Alex: Yeah, Hate Shack was pretty amazing. We also played in what was basically a metal shed in the parking lot NEXT to a venue in
Tallahassee in 100+ degree heat. Weird would quite be the word I use for it, but it was certainly… something.

Peggy: The Hate Shack, that ruled. I can’t believe I didn’t break a limb in that mosh pit.

Kip: Yeah, we were old enough to buy beer so i think they really loved us…

17 Seconds: What’s the coolest record shop you’ve ever been to?

Monorail Music – i mean, STEPHEN PASTEL works there. is there anything possibly cooler than that? Plus i bought all these teenage fanclub 7″‘s that you could never find back in america.

Peggy: I second Kip’s answer.

Alex: Ameoba Records! California is so spoiled.

17 Seconds: If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?

Peggy: I’d be into collaborating with that Swedish duo that did that Kelly Clarkson song, “Since U Been Gone.”

Kip: I’ll stick with swedes and say – “Nixon”. I really love the Cloetta Paris album he did, and i’m a big OMD fan, so… it’d be fun
to work together on something like that.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart -‘Everything With You.’ mp3

Arcade Fire covers bonanza!

Hello folks.

Mrs. 17 Seconds and I are now back from our holidays, so we are now back at 17. Seconds towers (many thanks to the legendary scots indie bassist who flatsat for us while we were away). Thanks also due to friend who lent me his laptop when on holiday so I could still post.

One of the emails that I received whilst I was away was asking if I could repost some of the Arcade Fire covers I had posted in the past.

…well, why not? And a few I don’t think I have posted before.

Arcade Fire -‘Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) (Talking Heads cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Five Years (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Guns Of Brixton (The Clash cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘I’m So Bored With The USA (The Clash cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Age Of Consent (New Order cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Kiss Off (Violent Femmes cover).’ mp

Arcade Fire -‘Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son (France Gall cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘All The Umbrellas In London (Magnetic Fields cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Wave Of Mutilation (Pixies cover).’ mp3 (This is very short yet seems to sum up the essence of the song very well, IMHO).


Songs For Christmas IX

(Flaming Lips)

Here is today’s instalment. Just a quick post (though I have already had my Mum on the ‘phone worrying that I’m spending so much time blogging that I can’t be talking to mrs. 17 seconds enough). Don’t worry, I am!

Flaming Lips – ‘A Change At Christmas (Say It Ain’t So).’ mp3

Flaming Lips -‘Christmas At the Zoo.’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘The Christmas Song.’ mp3

Arcade Fire – ‘Jinglebell Rock.’ mp3

as ever, more to follow tomorrow…


Arcade Fire cover versions special!

If there is one band alone who owe much of their success to word of mouth amongst bloggers, it’s Arcade Fire, but blogs or no blogs, I like to think that they would have made it anyway, due to being pretty bloody brilliant.

Anyway, given that I love to post covers, here at 17 Seconds today, it’s an Arcade Fire Special!

Arcade Fire -‘Naive Melody (Talking Heads cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Five Years (David Bowie cover).’ mp3< Arcade Fire -‘Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover).’ mp3 Arcade Fire -‘Guns Of Brixton(Clash cover).’ mp3 Arcade Fire -‘Poupee de Cire, Poupee de son(France Gall cover).’ mp3

Found an excellent venezuelan blog that has also posted some good, different Arcade Fire cover versions, called Deaf Indie Elephants, which you should check out too.

Arcade Fire’s official site is here and a very good fan site is here

Halle -flaming-lujah

Have now finally had my bandwith renewed so will be posting more regularly. Am glad folks out there are downloading the music -and hopefully buying it!-but feedback is appreciated, yes?

Anyway, here’s seven covers for today. I may have posted some of these here before, it is quite pssible, but my brain is frazzled from having to deal with too many misbehaving teens and right now, anyone under the age of sixteen can just…(fill in blank as appropriate!)

LCD Soundsystem -‘No Love Lost (Joy Division cover).’ mp3

The Pop Singer’s Fear Of The Pollen Count -‘Vapour Trail (Ride cover).’ mp3

The Shins -‘We Will Become Silhouettes (Postal Service cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Naive Melody (Talking Heads cover).’ mp3

Astrid Swan -‘When You Were Young (Killers cover).’ mp3

Manic Street Preachers -‘We Are All Bourgeois Now (McCarthy cover).’ mp3

Sloan -‘Over You (Roxy Music cover).’ mp3

Enjoy. And feedback gratefully received, yeah?

Some Covers For Friday Part III

Hey, it’s Friday, it’s been a good week, and I’m in the mood for sharing so here are some fantastic covers for you all.

First up, I heard Camera Obscura doing this live earlier this year, and it blew me away. They really DO make this their own song.

Camera Obscura -‘Super Trooper (Abba cover).’ mp3

Electric Light Orchestra are one of those bands that seem to be considered beyond naff, and yet…there’s something quite nice about their songs in small doses. Or in this case, in the hands of the much-missed Delgados (RIP).

The Delgados -‘Mr. Blue Sky (ELO cover).’ mp3

I know very little about this cover, exvcept that The archies were a TV show before I was born, and this was no.1 back in about 1969 -but it’s kinda cool, and I’d love to know where I can hear Mary Lou Lord’s cover of the Bevis Frond’s Lights Are Changing, too.

Mary Lou Lord -‘Sugar Sugar [from the Archies].’ mp3

You get to hear a lot of music when you write a blog. You also get the chance to hear a lot of stuff that you’ve been searching for for ages. These two songs were things I had put out pleas for-and ended up in my inbox extremely quickly. Thanks. These were originally recorded for an album for Northern Ireland called ‘Peace Together’ when the province was a lot more troubled. I love the Peter Gabriel original and also really like Pop Will Eat Itself’s take on it (Gabriel’s stuff with Genesis was mince though). While I quite like a lot of the Police’s stuff (though their solo stuff leaves much to be desired in a certain case, Mr. Sumner) I was never a big fan of this song, until I heard Therapy? do it.

Pop Will Eat Itself -‘Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover).’ mp3

Therapy? -‘Invisible Sun (The Police cover).’ mp3

There are some great Arcade Fire covers dowing the rounds, I posted their version of Guns Of Brixton earlier this year. This is their take on Bowie’s Five Years.

Arcade Fire -‘Five Years (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

Morrissey was quite passionate about many bands over the years, and famously covered Suede’s early b-side ‘My Insatiable One’ (again, if you know where I can get hold of this, please get in touch) before most people had even heard of Suede. He also bigged up James years before they broke big (although it’s long been rumoured that ‘We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful’ was a dig at them). This song -the b-sde to his ‘Pregnant For The Last Time’ single -was a cover of a Bradford song.

Morrissey -‘Skin Storm (Bradford cover).’ mp3

Speaking of seeking out covers…I’d made a plea for this earlier this week and got this, plus another Tori cover into the bargain..

Tori Amos -‘Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover).’ mp3

Tori Amos -‘Happpiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles cover).’ mp3

Finally. This song (and if I really, really need to spell it out it’s ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’) is possibly my very favourite cover version ever. I’ve no idea what Morrissey -or indeed any of The Smiths think of it – but it’s fab in my eyes (or should that be ears?)

Schneider TM -‘The Light 3000.’ mp3

As always, if you like what you hear, please go and seek it out (it should go without saying that I do not hold the copyright and these are here for sampling only) by supporting the artists involved, preferably through your local record shop!

Some Covers For Friday Part II

No reason for the picture above this post, other than that I stuck ‘Friday’ in Google Image and this was the picture I liked best off the first page.

Anyway, it’s the end of another long week, but I’m still alive, and still trying to organise wedding stuff with the soon-to-be Mrs. 17 Seconds.

Here are some covers for Friday. the first one I heard live a few months ago, but was brought to my attention by Liz over at the The Roaring Machine yesterday.

Camera Obscura-‘Super Trouper.’ mp3

Astrid Swan -‘When You Were Young.’ mp3

Le Tigre-‘I’m So Excited.’ mp3

Arcade Fire-‘Maps.’ mp3

CSS-‘One Way Or Another.’ mp3

Snow Patrol-‘Crazy In Love.’ mp3

Death Cab For Cutie-‘World Shut Your Mouth.’ mp3

Editors-‘French Disko.’ mp3

As always, if you like what you hear, support the artists. These links will be removed after a week.

Have a good one,