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This Week in Sound: App albums and treasure hunting

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OCTOBER 10, 2011

Bjork’s new album, Biophilia, comes out this week, the Icelandic singer’s first studio album in four years. Bjork, never afraid to delve into the realm of innovative or obscure, has been working with Apple to make this the “first app album.” According to Consequence of Sound, Bjork describes the project as a “multi-media project encompassing music, apps, internet, installations and live shows.” It’s always intriguing to see an artist merge their work with technology in a creative way. How do you feel about an app album?

Image credit: Mute Records

English synthpop duo Erasure also have an album coming out this week. Like Bjork, this will be the duo’s first studio album release (of new, non-remixed songs, anyway) since 2007. This year must be the year to break four-year gaps in album releases. Why this year, is a good question.

Image credit: Heavy.com 

Although there may not be any treasure in the literal sense involved, the Treasure Island Music Festival will be taking place this upcoming weekend. Unlike the vast diversity of Outside Lands, Treasure Island has a fairly focused lineup, consisting of mainly electronica acts on Saturday, and more alternative/indie bands on Sunday. Cut Copy, Battles, Chromeo, The Naked & Famous, Death From Above 1979 and headliner Empire of the Sun are some of the big-name acts to play on Saturday, which will hopefully be enough to satisfy most electro-heads attending the festival.

On Sunday,  Explosions in the Sky, The Hold Steady and headliner Death Cab for Cutie will be leading the way for the alt rock bands to play on Sunday. It’s cool that Treasure Island has this set formula for what types of bands play the festival, but not too long ago (2008 to be exact), bands such as TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend, The Kills, Aesop Rock and The Raconteurs played alongside the typical electronica/indie rock acts like Justice and Tegan And Sara respectively. There was more variety then, which could bring in more people and create a more diverse concert experience. However, keeping the focus of the concert streamlined to specific genres can be nice as well, since it gives those artists a chance to truly shine without fear of competeing with acts from other genres. What are your thoughts on this, as well as the festival in general?

Contact Ian Birnam at 


OCTOBER 10, 2011