So I got some pretty bad timing. A few days after my Zion I post, their upcoming album (that I and many others were completely unaware of) leaked. Technically Break A Dawn will be first released in Japan and then in the U.S. around June, and according to their website 10 of the 14 tracks are new. Call it whatever you want, but this “album” is amazing. Zion has somehow become stronger lyrically, and the beats are much harder than those in True & Livin.’ Here’s a sample called Live 4 Today:

[MP3] Zion ILive 4 Today

I think True & Livin’ is a classic, but I’m betting this new album is gonna get plenty of respect. That is, unless swashbuckling pirates invade Japan and steal every single copy in order to satisfy their never-ending contempt for rap music. But that usually only happens with stuff by 50 Cent, so I think we’re in the clear…

Bonus MP3:

[MP3] Zion IYes Yes (feat. Gift of Gab & Lyrics Born) (IGIF Pick)

For those that have had friends and relatives lost while serving the USA – Memorial Day may have more of a meaning than grilling out and drinking beer after beer after beer. For others, it may be a day off work where everything is inconveniently closed or just a 3-day weekend to travel somewhere. Regardless of the meaning it holds to you, I am here to put a twist on our national day of “remembering.” By no means is this twist to be taken as an apathetic shrug of the shoulders to war veterans or lost soldiers, but one of musical entertainment.

For the last 95 years we’ve been remembering fallen soldiers but for a brief post we’re remembering fallen bands.

A few notes before we get to our dearly departed bands’ MP3s. These are by no means the only bands that have broken up/been dissolved in the complicated history of music. I never planned/had time to cover all of them, at all, but with your help in the comments everyone can get a taste of the bands I didn’t choose to cover. Some of the bands tried to replace irreplaceable members and others are going out on (recent) reunion tours. Either way, let’s get over our bitterness for Yoko and heroin overdoses in order to praise some great bands that aren’t gracing our ears with new music anymore.

[MP3] NirvanaFrances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
Cause: Lead singer Kurt Cobain’s heroin overdose and alleged suicide.

[MP3] Blind MelonNo Rain
Cause: Lead singer Shannon Hoon’s cocaine overdose in New Orleans.

[MP3] The BeatlesHappiness Is A Warm Gun
Cause: Yoko? Death of manager? All extremely talented musicians interested in trying new things?

[MP3] QueenGood Company
Cause: Losing a singer like Freddie Mercury can be pretty detrimental to any band. They continued with some new music and tours, but Mercury is an irreplaceable.

[MP3] The WhoBaba O’Riley
Cause: The death of drummer Keith Moon seemed to set a chain reaction of events that slowed the band down. With Daltrey and Townshend working on a new album I can only pray to see them live sometime.

[MP3] Jackson 5ABC
Cause: Jacko goes solo.

[MP3] Neutral Milk HotelThe King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One
Cause: Can’t make music without Jeff Mangum! Whether he didn’t like the fame, wanted to pursue other projects, or was tired of making music has yet to be fully determined.

[MP3] The Juliana TheoryIf I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?
Cause: Trouble with record labels, record sales, and a dwindling fan base.

[MP3] SublimeSanteria
Cause: Lead singer Brad Nowell’s heroin overdose. Since he was the driving force of the band, much like Cobain, it’s hard to continue without him.

[MP3] Rage Against The MachineGuerilla Radio
Cause: de la Rocha left the group citing their decision making process and ambitions were completely lost.

[MP3] GenesisThat’s All
Cause: After Collins left the band they never really recovered.

[MP3] GrandaddyA.M. 180
Cause: They went out in style. After not dealing with major labes, playing Ticketmaster/Clear Channel venues, and whatnot the band finally had to take a break from sticking it to the man.

[MP3] Jump, Little ChildrenRains In Asia
Cause: They’ve been on hiatus for a year, but haven’t made plans (or ruled them out for that that matter) to return yet.

[MP3] Get Up KidsCampfire Kansas
Cause: They’re all in side projects, but decided to call it quits after 10 years of music.

[MP3] Ben Folds FiveBrick
Cause: Mr. Folds decided to drop the trio five and go solo. Good move.

[MP3] Alice In ChainsWould
Cause: Heroin strikes again.. Lead singer/founder Layne Staley was fighting depression for a good amount of time and overdosed in 2002.

[MP3] Blink 182Stay Together For The Kids
Cause: Screw the kids! Tom DeLonge has the “best music in decades” to make. Phht!

[MP3] Buffalo SpringfieldFor What Its Worth
Cause: A catapult that led to CSN&Y but not without a break-up only 25 months after their conception.

[MP3] Creedence Clearwater RevivalProud Mary
Cause: Instead of lead singer John Fogerty going solo, other band members got jealous of him being a frontman and tried to go solo first, eventually ending the band.

[MP3] CreedWith Arms Wide Open
Cause: God – proving to humanity that he does exist.

[MP3] The ClashLost In The Supermarket
Cause: Creative differences, a controlling manager, and subsequent disillusionment all lead to the band’s eventual demise.

[MP3] Talking HeadsPsycho Killer
Cause: After Eno, after the Eighties, Byrne called the band together one final time in 1991, citing fatigue, frustration, and creative differences as the cause of their disbanding.

[MP3] The PixiesGouge Away
Cause: After announcing the band’s temporary hiatus, Francis announced the band’s breakup during a radio interview in 1993, unbeknownst to the rest of the band.

[MP3] PavementRange Life
Cause: After an extensive world tour in 1999, the band announced their hiatus, which would later become their obvious breakup, apparently due simply to exhaustion. It was a mutual decision.

[MP3] N.E.R.D.She Wants To Move
Cause: Frontman/superstar Pharrel announced in 2005 on BBC’s Radio One that he was unhappy with the group’s direction/management under Virgin records, and that the band had “expired.”

[MP3] No DoubtDon’t Speak
Cause: Gwen just wanted it all, and on her first class flight to stardom, she forgot to pack the band.

[MP3] Q And Not USoft Pyramids
Cause: They believed they had taken the band as far as they had wished, after the release of their final album, 2004’s Power.

[MP3] The SmithsFrankly Mr Shankly
Cause: Rourke was gone, Marr and Morrissey were at eachother’s creative throats, and in 1987, the band called it quits.

[MP3] PulpMis-Shapes
Cause: After almost 25 years in the business, Pulp went on hiatus in 2002 while the members pursued other projects. Their fate, while unknown, does not look good.

[MP3] At The Drive-InCatacombs
Cause: The band generally chalks it up to creative differences, while Cedric takes full blame himself, believing ATDI was holding him back from expanding musically.

[MP3] Led ZeppelinFool In The Rain
Cause: The death of drummer John Bonham proved too devastating to continue making music.

[MP3] The Velvet UndergroundOh! Sweet Nuthin’
Cause: After numerous breakups and reunions, the band’s definitive end came when cancer finally clamed the life of Sterling Morrison in 1995.

[MP3] The PoliceEvery Breath You Take
Cause: Sting’s name is a verb. End of story.

[MP3] SoundgardenBlack Hole Sun
Cause: Too much tension between members led to a predicted break-up.

[MP3] The UnicornsJellybones
Cause: Extensive and exaustive touring and recording stress lead to the infamous “THE UNICORNS ARE DEAD (R.I.P.)” message posted to their website…rumors flared, but the truth was inevitable.

[MP3] Stone Temple PilotsPlush
Cause: Between solo albums and rehab, the band decided to go their separate ways.

I worked way too much this weekend, but hey! I have a good chunk of money that I made in tips which equals more concerts, trips, and a good hotel for Lollapalooza. Woo.

Remember how it was cool to be from Canada and completely rock at making music (i.e. Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, The New Pornographers, etc). Well, I am starting to think that Sweden is slowly trying to take the International musical throne. Maybe those Canucks are in between albums and aren’t touring? The Swedes have been pulling a carpe diem ever since! I’ve only heard good band after good band come out of Sweden – one of them being Suburban Kids With Biblical Names.

The Kids have been around for only three years, but sound like they’ve been making music much longer. The two-man act of Johan and Peter was (more than likely) an ongoing process of music-making since their early teens. Their catchy songs and humorous videos are a tribute to their unique style and nifty lyrics. With lines like, “I wanna turn all the dance floors into a burning inferno of Ba-ba-ba,” Kids are on pace for doing just that with their, well, danceable music. Hopefully, they’ll be trekking over to the States sometime soon.

[MP3] Suburban Kids With Biblical NamesRent A Wreck (Ba-ba-ba!)
[MP3] Suburban Kids With Biblical NamesLoop Duplicate My Heart

Be their friends on MySpace and hear some more tunes!
Check out their Swede-Indie Label and buy the album!

PS. I still love those crazy Canadians!

James Figurine

Coolest album artwork thus far in my book:

James Figurine (aka DNTEL aka Figurine aka Jimmy Tamborello also of The Postal Service) has been getting a lot of attention recently surrounding the upcoming release of his debut (at least under this name), Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake. All the hubbub is fervently justified, and expectations are consequently high due to Tamborello’s success with his past projects, most notably TPS (not the reports). What I’ve heard so far sounds a lot like DNTEL, despite the notable absense of Tamborello’s trademark glitch style electronica, something his other projects are riddled with.

[MP3] James FigurineAll The Way To China
Here’s my favorite track, and also the one with the most apt title. I can’t help imagining that I’m riding on one of those express trains in Asia, everything passing by at lightspeed, unable to absorb anything but an amalgam of light and blurred repitition…the train nursing every turn and chugging along as pistons fire and the earth rumbles below.

Preorder Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake
Listen to more from James Figurine

Bonus MP3:

[MP3] Ben GibbardThis Is The Dream Of Evan And Chan (DNTEL Cover)