ANR’s new Halloween album, Tobe Hooper, is “perfect for … nights at home alone carving pumpkins in a Leatherface mask,” according to the band.
Calling it “a free gift to the all the ghouls and gals of the world,” ANR — the Miami-based trio of Michael-John Hancock, Brian Robertson, and Luke Moellman who are also known as Awesome New Republic — released a Halloween album on Friday, just in time to serve as the spook-funk soundtrack to many a costume party this weekend.
“Tobe Hooper is the band’s tribute to a man of the same name, the director behind Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” a press release explains. “It goes without saying that ANR are huge horror nerds.”
Levon Helm, drummer for The Band and singer on such all-time great songs as “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, died after a battle with throat cancer on Thursday at the age of 71. That same day, ANR members Michael-John Hancock and Brian Robertson and saxophonist Paul Roth recorded “All La Glory”, a track off of The Band’s third studio album, Stage Fright (1970). “Levon Helm was a big hero of ours,” ANR explained when they posted the track online Saturday night, “much as he was a big hero to many.”
The Miami musicians’ choice of cover makes for a fitting commemoration of a great man laid to rest. “It’s time for you to dream away,” sings Levon in the sage Southern drawl that gave so many of The Band’s songs their inimitable American authenticity. “‘Cause for a big day that you’ve been through, you’ve done all the things that you wanted to.” Helm may not have done all the things that he wanted to, but he certainly lived a big life and made some beautiful music. Thanks to ANR for the moving tribute. You can listen to the original version of “All La Glory” after the jump. Enjoy.
It’s Friday the 13th and Borscht Corp, the team behind the Borscht Film Festival, is celebrating the demonic date by hosting a FREE midnight screening of the German horror film “The Burning Moon” at O Cinema. Directed by Olaf Ittenbach and banned in many countries after its 1997 release, “The Burning Moon” is infamous for the gruesome imagery of its two central stories, one featuring a blind date with a serial rapist/killer and the other stars a murderous holy man.
On Friday, NYC-based 7” slingers Neon Gold Records released two videos featuring Miami synth-pop duo ANR — Brian Robertson and Michael-John Hancock — on NGTV. First up is a video for ANR’s cover of “Millionaire”, a single from Harlem rapper Kelis’s 2003 album, Tasty, which was produced by and features Andre 3000. Robertson and Hancock, whose chemistry is palpable during this shoot, slow the original down to a meditative stroll, a fitting interpretation of Kelis’s ruminations on the premise that money can’t buy happiness: “Mama, I’m a millionaire/but I feel like a bum.”
Last Wednesday night rocked, with an all-star roster of Miami talent drawing the masses to the Electric Pickle for the Beached Basel Bash, a night of live music (Nicky Blitz, Little Beard, PLAINS, ANR) and top-notch DJs (Eddie P, Laura of Miami, Millionyoung) co-presented by Beached Miami and 10K Islands. Created by Francisco Moraga, this video is from the lovely outside portion of the night and features Little Beard’s “Restless Days & Nights”.
Instead of photographing Critical Mass on Friday night (as we do almost every month), we decided to shoot video of the mass gearing up for the monthly bike ride at Government Center, its usual downtown starting point. The song in the video is “This Is The Timing” by ANR, which is headlining the Beached Basel Bash on Wednesday alongside Millionyoung, PLAINS, Little Beard, and other fine Miami talent. To learn more about the BBB, visit the FB event page. But first, roll tape.
It’s coming. Art Basel is going to sweep across Miami like a tsunami, and the best way to get your sea legs is with the Beached Basel Bash at Electric Pickle on Wednesday, Nov. 30, presented by Beached Miami and 10K Islands. The party will feature live music by ANR, PLAINS, Little Beard, and Nicky Blitz; DJ sets by Millionyoung, Laura of Miami, and Eddie P; and Grolsch drink specials. The BBB is $10 at the door and only $8 if you prepay. To learn more about the party, visit the Facebook event page.
Click HERE to view/download a high-res version of the BBB flyer.
In the spirit of Halloween, or plain ol’ murder, Miami synth rock duo ANR (Michael John Hancock and Brian Robertson) dropped “Bad Shit” via 10K Islands on Monday. Hancock seems to sing the pretty ditty from the perspective of a love-confounded murderer who can’t help himself: “Desperate women in my path/If you’d only done the math.” The warm arpeggio on guitar, Hancock’s soft crooning, and the precious piano touches only serve to make the chilling lyric creepier.
You’ve got a way to make me cry,
Make me call the FBI,
Say, “There’s nothing they can do.”
You got into some bad shit
And now you’re gonna pay for it
‘Cos I got into a bad mood.
It isn’t until the electronic kaleidoscope kicks in at 2:08 that the song turns overtly sinister, with Hancock singing “Getting home on a tightrope” in a wavering falsetto that suggests what this keyed-up character is capable of.
ANR is currently finishing up a tour that will end on Nov. 11 with a show at Bardot. Until then, get yourself into some “Bad Shit”.
One of the many magical moments in ANR's new "It's Around You" video.
ANR’s Brian Robertson looks more like a lacrosse player than an interpretive dancer, but dance interpretively he does in the band’s new video for “It’s Around You”, the first single off of the Miami duo’s recently re-released album, Stay Kids. (ANR originally dropped a 10-song version of the LP in March. The re-release is a “deluxe edition” with 14 songs. You can stream it in full after the jump.)
The video premiered Thursday on rollingstone.com, a deserved coup for a band that has been making really good music for a long time now. Created by artist Jillian Mayer and Borscht Film Festival director Lucas Leyva (who also directed ANR’s “Big Problem” video), the “It’s Around You” footage features Robertson doing his best Hurricane Irene impression, ANR singer-drummer Michael-John Hancock doing his best Bryan Norcross impression, and a host of Miami gals dancing like they damn well oughta when the big ‘cane comes a-barreling our way. Here’s Hancock’s explanation of the song in Rolling Stone:
“The idea of the song, and the chorus in particular, is to sonically and even lyrically connect with the traditional halftime modern R&B crowd, participation song style, but to have the actual concept of the song relating to evacuation procedures during a natural disaster. The chorus is telling people how to use their hands, feet, and voices to signal a helicopter from the roof of a house or building. What’s ‘around you’ in this case is water and debris.”
Bathed in blues and greens, the video plunges you simultaneously into the the murky world of imminent catastrophe and the comical, only-in-Miami universe of the Borscht Film Festival. Its three-and-a-half minutes are packed with memorable moments, with the three shift-clad dames dancing under the swingless swing set accounting for many of them. (2:42 is pure gold.)
ANR is currently in California on the second leg of a 21-date tour. With the wind of a Rolling Stone plug at their back, they may well show the West Coast what a hurricane feels like.
ANR's seven inch via Neon Gold Records comes out Aug. 29.
Five months after releasing their eighth album, Stay Kids, the Miami duo of Brian Robertson and Michael John Hancock — aka, ANR — have announced the release of a 7” record via NYC tastemakers Neon Gold Records. The wax will feature “It’s Around You”, a post-apocalyptic R&B party track off of Stay Kids, and “Blood on Blood”, a crescendoing epic with a fed-up Hancock on vocals (“Raise your lazy voices … these are brutal choices”) and a sped-up piano interlude that conjures the harpsichord solo in The Beatles’ “In My Life”. Exclusive to the single, “Blood on Blood” was mixed by Ben Allen, who produced Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Allen has also worked with Deerhunter, Washed Out, Cee Lo, and Givers. You can listen to “Blood on Blood” after the jump.
In December, Neon Gold signed a joint venture with Columbia Records to release more seven inches in 2011, a sign that the music industry writ large intends to capitalize on an indie trend. The ANR release is now available for pre-order. It will go on sale on Aug. 29.