...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

Legal disclaimer: This blog is my personal, independent website. It is not affiliated with Bell Media, nor does it represents the thoughts, opinions, or desires of Bell Media

...hang the dj

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Contact info

Send music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns to: cristina [at] 89xradio.com or: hangthedjmag [at] gmail.com

Or just hit me up on Twitter @cristinarocks

...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

Legal disclaimer: This blog is my personal, independent website. It is not affiliated with Bell Media, nor does it represents the thoughts, opinions, desires, etc of Bell Media

For music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns:

hangthedjmag (at) gmail.com

Or hit me up on Twitter: @CristinaRocks

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

East Berlin post-punks Diät released their highly anticipated debut album Positive Energy in September. The album is a stellar, yet intense and pummeling assault sure to impress fans of darkwave/coldwave/post-punk. This is by far the finest post-punk album of 2015, but sadly it's the most overlooked album of the year. Prepare yourself for awesomeness...

Full disclosure: New Order is one of my favorite bands of all time. Maybe even my most favorite.

In no way was expecting much from the New Order release, particularly considering their last few releases, and most of all, the departure of Peter Hook. But shocker of shockers -- Music Complete is a fantastic record! It grooves, blips, and booty-shakes in all the right ways, thanks in part to collaborators Tom Rowlands (of Chemical Brothers), La Roux (who provides backup vocals on several tracks), and Iggy Pop who adds a certain coolness to "Stray Dog." Yes, had Hooky been a part of the record it would have been EVEN better, but as it is, Music Complete is a surprisingly worthy and welcome addition to the New Order catalog.

Intense shoegaze/noise-rockers Swervedriver returned with their first full length album since the 90's. I Wasn't Born To Lose You rocks, sways, and swirls in all the right ways. Indeed the album is a magnificent return and certainly a major musical highlight of 2015.

Protomartyr assaulted fans with yet another post-punk masterpiece in 2015. The Agent Intellect finds the four piece in impeccable form both musically and lyrically. In 2015 Protomartyr became somewhat of a media-darling band -- glowing writeups appeared in mainstream mags like Rolling Stone and Spin; profiles also appeared in hipster mags like Pitchfork and Noisey, and they even got some ink in the New York Times. The glow still hasn't been enough to allow them to quit their dayjobs, but 2016 promises to be an even bigger year for Protomartyr. Stay tuned.

In October, just weeks after the release of Depression Cherry, Beach House stunned fans with the surprise release of another brand new album. Thank Your Lucky Stars is a stand alone record -- it's not a companion record, nor is it a b-sides/rarities album; it's yet another full length epic from the dreampop duo and another of 2015's best works.

Beach House graced the world with not just one, but two (!!) blissful and smooth albums in 2015. Depression Cherry was released in August, then in October Beach House stunned fans with the surprise release of Thank Your Lucky Stars. Each record is a stand-alone release -- these aren't companion records. Both are gorgeous and stand out as two of the strongest releases of the year.  Additionally, Depression Cherry's "Space Song" is unquestionably one of the best songs of the year.

Delve in and swoon...

Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio (yes, he's related to 70's/80's heartthrob Scott Baio!) has been making sweet electro-dance tracks for several years. In 2015 he got around to releasing his debut full-length under the moniker Baio. The resulting effort is a majestic synth-groove-tastic solo album which will easily get you in the mood to go out for a night of partying or whatever. Enjoy below:

With Chasing Yesterday, Noel Gallagher's second solo record, the ex-Oasis chief picked up right where his debut solo record left off. The release also finds Gallagher exploring new sounds and rising to a new level of greatness with tracks like "The Right Stuff" and the Johnny Marr collaboration "The Ballad Of The Mighty I." Viva Noel!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

John 'Brad' Bradbury, drummer of the Specials has died at the age of 62. Bradbury joined the Specials in 1979 and had been a member of the band throughout their various incarnations (including Special AKA and Special Beat) and Specials' reunion in 2008. The news of his death was announced via the band's official website:

"It is with deepest regret that we have to announce the very sad news that our much loved husband and father John "Brad" Bradbury passed away on Monday the 28th of December. Brad's drumming was the powerhouse behind the Specials & it was seen as a key part to the Two Tone sound.

He was much respected in the world of drumming and his style of reggae and ska was seen as genuinely ground breaking when The Specials first hit the charts in 1979. He was an integral part of The Specials reforming in 2008 and toured with them extensively up to the present day.

His contribution to the world of music can not be understated and he will much missed by family, friends and fans alike. It is the families sincerest wish that they are allowed the time to remember him privately."

This is the second member of the Specials that died in 2015 -- longtime trombone player Rico Rodriguez died in September at the age of 80.

Published December 29th, 2015 @ 8:35 PM

Rock legend Lemmy (Ian Lemmy Kilmister) died yesterday at the age of 70. According to Motorhead's official site, Kilmister died after a short battle with an extremely aggressive form of cancer. He had just turned 70 years old on December 24th.

R.I.P. Lemmy, rock & roll will never be the same!

In 1991 Lemmy recorded a brilliant tribute to the Ramones -- the Ramones loved it so much, they in turn covered Lemmy's tribute.

Published December 29th, 2015 @ 5:39 AM

Friday, December 25, 2015

Radiohead revealed today that they were asked to compose a theme for Spectre. Though the Bond producers rejected the lush and haunting track, opting instead for the more commercial and cheesy Sam Smith theme,  Radiohead decided to share the track with fans worldwide. If "Spectre" is any indication as to where Radiohead is at musically these days, fans are sure to be in for quite a treat when the band's new album finally gets released (rumored in 2016). Stream "Spectre" in all its elegance and beauty below and grab a free download here.

"Last year we were asked to write a theme tune for the Bond movie Spectre.
Yes we were. It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much.
As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it.
Merry Christmas. May the force be with you."

Published December 25th, 2015 @ 7:44 PM

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Robert Smith re-recorded the Cure's 1985 track "A Few Hours After This" for the UK crime drama series Luther. Turns out the show's creator/screenwriter Neil Cross is a huge Cure fan and thought the obscure b-side would work as the perfect backdrop for an episode. When contacted by the show's producers, Smith agreed to record a new version, which was featured in an episode airing on the BBC this week. The re-recorded version will eventually be released on the Luther Season 4 soundtrack.

The original version "A Few Hours After This" was released as the b-side to "In Between Days" and was included on the Cure rarities compilation Join The Dots.

Stream both versions below:


Published December 23rd, 2015 @ 5:33 PM

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Helio Sequence have been creating alluring indie pop/rock somewhat reminiscent of James and Radiohead since 1999.  The duo returned with another solid release in 2015 -- their engaging and irresistible self-titled album was released in May via Sub Pop records and is one of the finest of the season.

Stream the mesmerizing video for "Upward Mobility" and a full stream of Helio Sequence below:

Wire is still going strong after all these years! The year saw the band return with a triumphant new studio album, its 13th studio album overall, and a successful North American tour, which included a stop in Detroit. Wire, released in April, is full of swooning post-punk, guitars, melodies, and hooks and is indeed one of the best of 2015. Stream Wire in full below:

Telekinesis (aka Michael Lerner) released the addictive Ad Infinitum in September. The record is a departure from the band's three previous albums -- Lerner ditched power-pop guitars and replaced them with vintage synthesizers and production techniques.  The result is an entrancing and dazzling electro-based album. Highly recommended listening for fans of classic New Order and OMD, or fans of newer based electro like Holy Ghost.

Stream Ad Infinitum in full below:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

As the story goes, Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks met Franz Ferdinand years ago in Los Angeles when they (FF) were touring behind their debut album. Soon after the sextet recorded a few demos together, but nothing ever came of the sessions due to schedules, etc. Years later Sparks and Franz revisited the idea of recording together, and not long afterward they booked studio time and recorded a full album over the span of two weeks. The album, FFS, finally came out in June and it's everything you'd expect -- it's an lively, quirky, and incredibly fun listen. If you enjoy either Sparks or Franz Ferdinand, you owe it to yourself to take a listen to FFS.

Stream FFS in full below:

Mark Gardener (Ride) and Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) returned with a brilliant collaborative album Universal Road in 2015. The two shoegaze titans previously teamed up for their single, "The Places We Go" in 2012 and not long after the pair recorded a full 10 track album. Though the release was delayed due to several other projects Guthrie was working on, the album was finally released in March and was unquestionably worth the wait. Universal Road is indeed a masterpiece; the songs are alluring, elegant and breathtaking. Gardener's rich and soothing voice pairs perfectly with Guthrie's flowing, graceful guitars, resulting in one fantastic album.

Universal Road is available to purchase through iTunes, Amazon, and Robin Guthrie's website.

Stream Universal Road below along with footage of Gardener and Guthrie performing "Dice" captured live at their February 2013 show in London.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In June Kitchens of Distinction vocalist/bassist Patrick Fitzgerald released an EP using his solo moniker Stephen Hero. The crown jewel of the release is the title track, features a gorgeous and ravishing collaboration with golden-voiced Tanya Donelly (Belly, Breeders), which Fitzgerald describes as "a sonic stratosphere of lovesong." If the Golden EP bypassed your radar this year, take a moment to enjoy the heavenly release. Stream "Golden" below and purchase The Golden EP through Bandcamp; the songs are available as individual downloads, but those who purchase the full EP receive two additional bonus songs. Go here to purchase.

Preview all the songs from Golden EP below.  The footage was shot at Luxor Temple in Egypt.

Ex-Czars leader John Grant blew everyone (ok, me, anyway) away with his previous record Pale Green Ghosts, and this year he returned with an equally stellar album.  With Grey Tickles, Black Pressures Grant continues to combine lush strings and electro sounds with his signature soul-baring, dark lyrics, which makes for a captivating and addicting record. Watch the official video "Down Here" and stream the full album below:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Let's be honest, you either LOVE Deafheaven or you abhor them; you either GET them, or you don't. All music comes down to preference, and with Deafheaven the vocals will be the factor that makes it or breaks it for you. 

At any rate, this fall Deafheaven followed up the release of their sublime 2013 album Sunbather with New Bermuda. It's hard to live up to the critical acclaim of the much beloved Sunbather, but Deafheaven aimed high and delivered with New Bermuda.

Full disclosure: Upon first listen I was slightly disappointed with New Bermuda as the songs have decidedly less shimmery, shoegaze interludes than Sunbather, but after a few spins it is quite apparent New Bermuda is a remarkable, intense, and solid record. Though not entirely devoid of shoegaze, some of those moments have been replaced with balls-out, high voltage, anthemic moments.

Fun fact 1: New Bermuda was influenced by Red House Painters, Low, Wilco, and according to the band, the album's closer -- "Gifts For The Earth" -- is an homage to Oasis.

Fun fact 2: There are only 5 songs on the album -- the shortest one clocks in at around 8.5 minutes.

Fun fact 3: Deafheaven's Halloween show at the Shelter in Detroit was explosive. Literally explosive.

Get ready to rock some devil horns and stream New Bermuda below:

Dinosaur Jr have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut, Dinosaur, with a series of shows in New York. The band promised they'd perform Dinosaur in full along and invite some "special guests" to join them.  Indeed they have delivered and then some -- over the past few shows Bob Mould, Kim Gordon, Frank Black, Don Fleming, Lee Ranaldo, Jeff Tweedy, and Kurt Vile have all showed up to perform.  Last night the elusive and brilliant Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, Mike Watt, and Sharon Van Etten were all in the house!

Tonight is the final show at the Bowery...should be interesting to see who shows up tonight!

Video of Shields performing "Thorn" with Dinosaur Jr is posted below, courtesy Brooklyn Vegan.

A photo posted by wiezorek (@wiezorek) on

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Glasgow's Dead Electric dropped a sweet slice of indie rock in March with the brilliant A11 S1x Num63r5. Shoegazers and Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr fans will dig the fuzzy, propulsive guitars, plus there's even a few lovely acoustic songs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Bon Iver album.

A11 S1x Num63r5 is a phenomenal indie rock album. Stream below and grab it as a name your own price download from Bandcamp. For more on Dead Electric visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

Viet Cong, featuring ex-members of the defunct band Women, released its debut album in January. The self-titled record is essential listening for post-punk fans -- it's dark, cold and fantastically bleak. Tracks like "Continental Shelf" and "Silhouettes" summon Joy Division, Chameleons, and Bauhaus; a few tracks will evoke a 60's psychedelic vibe; and the final track, the epic 11 minute "Death," will just astound you with its intensity.

Although Viet Cong was well received by critics, the music was ultimately overshadowed by the band's controversial name. After initially shrugging off complaints, the band eventually decided the public outcry was enough and decided to change their name:

"...we’ve been listening, talking and having lots of valuable conversations with the members of the Vietnamese community about the name. Through this dialogue and hearing about what the name means to so many people, we have decided we will be changing the name of our band.

Art and music are about creative expression. However, our band name is not our cause, and we are not going to fight for it. This is not what our band is about.

We are a band who want to make music and play our music for our fans. We are not here to cause pain or remind people of atrocities of the past.

We don’t know what the new name of our band will be, and we owe it to our fans to honour the concerts we have booked. We rushed into our last band name decision, we don’t plan to rush into this one, but know that will be rolling out a new name as soon as we agree upon one."

Read the full statement from the band formerly known as Viet Cong here, and stream the album in full below:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Foals unleashed their aggressive fourth studio album What Went Down in August. In the weeks leading up to the release, leader Yannis Philipakis revealed in interviews that What Went Down was the band's most volatile, intense record yet. Fans learned Philipakis wasn't kidding about the album's intensity after Foals debuted the ferocious and dramatic video for the title track:

What Went Down is a powerful listen, yet also delivers catchy songs like "Mountain At My Gates," and the beautiful, swoony album closer "A Knife In The Ocean." Predictably the album received little coverage and tepid reviews from the usual suspects in the U.S., but don't fall victim to the media's ignorance. What Went Down is an exceptional record, chock full of beautifully harsh well-crafted songs that is easily one of the year's best.

Stream the full album below:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Radio Dept delighted fans with a surprise three song EP titled Occupied in June. Though many fans were hoping that Occupied was the first taste of a forthcoming full length album (the band's last full length was released in 2009), a new album announcement never arrived. Still, beggars can't be choosers, and the sublime three tracks on Occupied more than deliver enchanting dreampop goodness, as did another surprise one-off track "This Repeated Sodomy" which dropped in September. Savor and treasure below.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Athens duo The Noise Figures recorded its awesomely ferocious album Aphelion over five days using a reel-to-reel machine, vintage instruments, and Pythagorean tuning (centuries-old technique). Though they certainly embraced ancient instruments and technology, the music is not a throwback; on the contrary, the Noise Figures whipped up a fresh and intense garage-rock album chock full of anthems. Stream two tracks from Aphelion below and catch up with The Noise Figures on Facebook.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Winter (not to be confused with the doom-metal band of the same name) is a four piece band out of Los Angeles serving up a swoonworthy blend of dreamy-psych-gaze pop. In the spring the band released a full length album on Lolipop Records titled Supreme Blue Dream featuring the simply outstanding and glorious lead track "Someone Like You."

Enjoy "Someone Like You" and the kitschy video for "Crazy" off Supreme Blue Dream below and stream Supreme Blue Dream by Winter in full here.

A few months after the release of the album, Winter hooked up with Burger Records to release another blissful and heavenly one-off single titled "All The Things You Do" which is available to stream below:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Suede return with the follow up to 2013's Bloodsports on January 22nd.  Night Thoughts is the band's seventh studio album and includes 12 tracks and a full string section.  Earlier this year Suede premiered the live version of "What I'm Trying To Tell You" at the NME awards, followed by the release of the single "Outsiders" in September.  Suede have now issued another new song and video for the track "Like Kids":

Night Thoughts is available to pre-order on standard CD, double heavyweight vinyl, and deluxe CD/DVD through the official Suede store. The DVD is a feature length film directed by Roger Sargent, who shared the following comments about the project:

"I was asked to pitch an idea for this film project… I really had no idea what they were wanting or expecting so I tried
 to write in the least self-conscious way possible. The record deals with a lot of familial themes — life, death, love, anguish and despair; themes that are expanded upon in its visual companion, providing a study of how those elements affect
the human psyche. It resonated with me for many reasons, not least because my mother passed away a few days after I started writing a story for the film. The film starts with a man drowning in the waters of a deserted beach at night, as he fights for life, his mind plays out the events that lead him to be there."

For more on Suede, visit the official site here

The Charlatans have consistently been putting out solid records since debuting in 1990. This year was no exception -- in 2015 the Charlatans dropped its sterling 12th studio album, Modern Nature. The album includes everything you've come to know and love from the Manchester band -- Modern Nature is a groovy, smooth, and engaging slice of indie pop. If this record wasn't on your radar (baffling how U.S. media completely ignored this release), spend some time getting to know Modern Nature, you won't regret it.

FYI: Modern Nature is the band's first album without original drummer Jon Brookes, who died in 2013 from brain cancer. The Charlatans respected Brookes' wishes and decided to keep the band going, but they elected not to replace Brookes.  Instead they enlisted notable guest drummers -- including Joy Division/New Order kingpin Stephen Morris, Pete Salisbury of The Verve, and Gabriel Gurnsey of Factory Floor -- to perform the drum parts on the album.

Enjoy the official video for "Talking In Tones" featuring British actor Nico Mirallegro rocking a Tim Burgess 'do.

The Charlatans played a short U.S. tour in November and stopped by the Late Late Show with James Cordon to perform "Let The Good Times Be Never Ending." Take a look:

Official video for the singles "So Oh" and "Come Home Baby"

Modern Nature full stream

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Django Django released its second full length studio album Born Under Saturn in May.  Born Under Saturn is easily one of the finest albums of 2015, but for some reason this talented band flies under the radar of the music media in the U.S. (too busy writing about Adele, Kayne, and Drake no doubt). Despite the lack of U.S. media love the Djangos are worthy of your attention, for the band busts out catchy melodic folky-psychedelic-electro-art-rock. Take a look at the newly released video for the Django's latest single "Shot Down" below and stream the full 13 track album here.

It's the first of December. Good time to rock out this timeless classic from Teenage Fanclub:

While you're at it, enjoy some footage of the Fannies performing at Reading 1992