The MusicNerd Potpourri – Week of October 10, 2011

I’ve been slacking. I’ll be the first to admit it. Between work and family responsibilities, I haven’t nearly had enough time to set up interviews and get some features happening on the site so here are some tidbits of news on some great artists that I hope you find interesting too:

Saint John band Penny Blacks set to release debut effort

Penny Blacks have steadily been gaining a name for themselves over the past few years with showcases at the ECMA’s, Music NB week, and through growing word of mouth.  Canadian Musician recently described the band as “one of the best live acts to come out of the region in years”, and Toronto indie blog Quick Before It Melts said last April’s Gold Standards EP “Set the standard for great Canadian EP’s of 2011.”

October 25 marks the release of the band’s long-awaited debut album, Harbour, and the band will be hitting Moncton this week to get the word out. Harbour’s eleven songs are the perfect soundtrack for your autumn, whether it’s one of walking isolated, leaf-strewn, dark streets alone in an ancient city, or one warmed by friends or a lover, a home – or something perfectly close enough to one. Buzzing acoustic guitar, churning strings and ear-catching dynamic arrangements lift desperate tales of heartbreak and regret out of darkness and into the moonlight – the serious moonlight.

Penny Blacks will be performing on Saturday October 15 at Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street in Moncton.

Though the official release is October 25, Penny Blacks are bringing the album and the show to Moncton a little early for their showcase at Music NB Week. “I guess it’s what they call a ‘soft release’,” says vocalist Jason Ogden. “We’re pretty anxious to get out and play the new album for people, so we’re hitting the road a little early and looking forward to getting some reactions. Plus the timing is great to combine the release party with Music NB week, something we’ve all been looking forward to for months.”

Big Talk release new video

Big Talk, the solo project from The Killers drummer Ronnie Vanuuci, has a new video out for the song Big Eye. The video is pretty powerful to watch and I highly recommend heading over to the NME site and seeing it for yourself. And while you’re at it, check out the whole Big Talk record – it is absolutely terrific.

New Black Keys Album

The Black Keys’ new album El Camino will be released December 6 on Nonesuch Records.  Produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys, the 11-track album was recorded at singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in the band’s new hometown of Nashville during the spring of 2011.

In advance of the release, the album’s first single, Lonely Boy, will be released on October 26.  The complete track list is below; further details will be announced shortly.  Pre-orders of El Camino begin today at The Black Keys website and will include a download of the single, which will be delivered on October 26.

El Camino follows the most successful two years in The Black Keys’ career.  In May 2010 they released their breakthrough album, Brothers, to widespread critical acclaim.  Debuting at # 2 in the US, it went on to win three Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award, and topped numerous year-end lists, including iTunes, NPR, and Rolling Stone.  Brothers, which included the hit singles ‘Tighten Up’ and ‘Howlin’ for You’, has been certified Gold in the US and UK, and Platinum in Canada.  Worldwide sales are now over one million and counting.