Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Can't Deny It Any More

As much as I have denied it to others and to myself, I have something I have to admit. I like female vocalists. I've been hiding from it for ages but I've come to realize that all the musicians I listen to again and again are female. Björk Guðmundsdóttir, 萨顶顶, Beth Orton, Sevara Nazarkhan, 王菲, Sarah McLachlan and now Camille (cam - EEE). Why have I been fighting this? I don't know, but it's out there and now I can move on.

Camille's new website has one of the most annoying interfaces I have ever encountered - flash developers need realize that an HTML version should always be offered, for bandwidth considerations and for sanity considerations as well. You basically navigate by clicking deeper and deeper into a "hole." Well, if you want to go back, flash sucks for that so you'll have to deal or figure the site out better than I could.

Anyway, I heard the song "Ta Douleur" off of one of her older albums, "Le fil," and to paraphrase Neo, "Whoa." Think a spunky Autour de Lucie/Natalie Imbruglia hybrid, add Björk circa Medúlla (one of the most underrated AND overrated Björk albums - Homogenic is still my favorite though I know she will come out with one better eventually - because critics praised it and panned it for all the wrong and right reasons, kind of like Radiohead's recent "In Rainbows" which everyone fawned on like it was the Second Coming or something) and add a pinch of Christmas advertising fashion jingle and you begin to approach Camille.

I haven't listened to her complete discography - though I have assembled as much of her stuff as I can handle monetarily at the moment - so bear that in mind. I may change my opinion as I listen to more of her work. But from what I have heard, I likes.

Here is the first Camille song that graced my ears. Maybe you will like it too.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable

So today I had the chance to check out a little of the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Wexner Center for the Arts. As I was walking by some of Warhol's time capsules I stepped into a small viewing alcove and heard Lou Reed.

A number of years ago my best friend introduced me to The Velvet Underground. One of the best bands to be introduced to ever. Anyway, I happened to find myself in the middle of "Exploding Plastic Inevitable" as "Heroin" started up. It one of my favorite Velvet songs and I thought seeing the "music video" just intensified my like for the song. So I'll share it with you all below.

Heroin starts about 4our minutes into this video.

Here is the start of the E.P.I.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Hasselhoff Experiment - Two Clever Videos

Hey guys, the following is taken straight from Amplifier (since I had never heard of The Hasselhoff Experiment before). I can't say I think I completely dig their sound - think a cross between Butthole Surfers and well, since they only have the drums and the guitar, the White Stripes (though that's a stretch since I haven't heard any blues-y tracks yet) - but I love these two videos!

It was only six months after forming in 1997 that Brendan Moran and Andrew Tolley released their self titled debut album 'The Hasselhoff Experiment' on vinyl as a limited 200 copy run, on the guitarist's label KATO MUSIC.

The album sold out within weeks, they toured both here and in Australia leaving a trail of hung-over, cigarette-stained swooning music nerds desperate to be experiencing such an impact. Then they got going.

The band won "Best New Act" at the b Net NZ music awards in 1998 and were quickly signed to Flying Nun, who have released the debut on CD and later the follow up 'Always Outnumbered, Alwaya Outgunned' a year later.

Along with their numerous b-Net awards and nominations, including 'Best Song', 'Most Outstanding Musician' (Brendan Moran) and 'Best Album', the band have also landed supports for internationals such as The Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk, The Melvins, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The 5678's, The Bangs and Magic Dirt.

Check 'em out:

What's The Deal With The Man In Red?

I love it when about 30 Seconds in a certain jolly fellow heeds the call o' nature on the hood of a car.

Drag Racer

Think Ronin on the cheap.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This is the gayest song I've ever heard

The new Killers song, Human, may be the gayest song I have ever heard. I could not stop laughing when I heard it. Seriously, this song is fucking terrible. The chorus (and I'm not kidding) is, "Are we human?/ Or are we dancer? / My sign is vital / My hands are cold." So hilariously bad. I love it at the end when he queries "You've got to let me know / Are we human? / Or are we dancer?" Neither, you're one of the worst song-writers ever.

Good Song

I've been debating whether this song was blog worthy or not. I guess it is. The song is called Secret and it is by The Pierces who have an interesting story as sisters starting out in the country music scene when they were younger. They're now an indie band out of NYC. I think the song is just OK. Just haven't been exposed to much new and worthy music. I figure some people may like this song.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I like this song

Its called Northwestern Girls by Say Hi (F/K/A Say Hi to Your Mom). This guy is a good guitarist. Bonus points because the kids that did this video on youtube filmed it in orlando.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another New Band to check out

CORRECTION--This band is from Delaware and not the UK. Not sure why I thought they were from the UK. This is why I am not a journalist!

This is Spinto Band. They're out of the UK. The first song is called Summer Grof. A really funny video. I like the song too. The second song is called Oh Mandy. I like both of them.

This is Oh Mandy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Melty Melty

Melty Melty at Skully's by Joel Treadway

I've been looking for some local music in Columbus and ran across Melty Melty and think they are worth a listen. They have a new album coming out titled "Rise of the Birdmen" and you can hear some of the songs off of it at their myspace page.

The above video is pretty crappy but your should check out their song "Same Situation" which reminds me of Scott Weiland's solo stuff. You should also check out "Walls" as it has a nice melodic thing going on. It's on their myspace and on their upcoming album.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Band Alert II -- The Crash That Took Me

This song is called Julianne. Its dreamy, lush, and vibrant. Reminds me a little bit of Smashing Pumpkins. They're out of Dallas, which produced fellow indie rockers The Hourly Radio (their second EP was very disappointing). I really like this song. Its definitely missing some sort of sweeping chorus that could really make it a huge hit, but there is some good musicianship in this song. I definitely have to check out the album called Orchestrated Kaleidoscope.

New Band Alert -- Anthem In

I really like this song called Down. I'll be buying their self-titled album. They're out of Brooklyn. Its got a groove. The vocalist reminds me of the singer from Soft another band out of Brooklyn.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sacrilegious to some

My buddy Morgan would hate me for saying this, but I think Jaymay is way better than Cat Power. This is a great song by Jaymay. Honest lyrics, focused sound. Autumn Fallin' is an overlooked album. Check it out. You won't be disappointed. This is a song called Gray or Blue.

This song is cool

The band is Chairlifts and the song is called Bruises. Sounds tailored made for a commercial.

An Insane Concept Band -- Neon Neon

OK, the idea behind this album is not a joke. Its a collaboration between the lead singer of Super Furry Animals (love them) and a hip-hop producer in LA called Gruff Rhys (don't know him or her) that is a tribute to the 80s based on the designer of the Delorean car (the car featured in back to the future). Insane, right? This song is so fucking good though. Its called I Lust U. Totally brings back the 80s. Haven't bought the album yet because its such an insane concept it could be totally awesome.

Capitol K is the Real Deal!!

So I posted a song from Capitol K the other day. See the post from a few days ago for the lead single (called Libertania) off their new album. Today I bought all the Capitol K CDs, and I'm blown away. They do dancey rock without being overly trite and poppy (I'm talking about you Crystal Castle and Black Kids). Its original and fucking awesome. Here a couple of more cuts. The first one below is from an album that came out 6 years ago that I had no idea about. They sound like a cross between Pulp and Fourtet, which is a dynamite combination!

This is called Pillow.

This is Go Go Go which is from their new album which came out this week. I recommend buying both albums! The new is one called Notes from: Life on the Wire With a Wrecking Ball, and the first album is called Island Row. Both records are fucking awesome.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Genius Song

This song is totally fucking genius. Its definitely my favorite song on The Walkmen's You & Me album. Its called Seven Years of Holiday. The drumming/percussions on this song is really amazing. Combine that with the off key vocal harmonizing (My old friend/ MYYYY OOOOOLLLLDDD FRIEND), and I can get this song out of my head. Can't wait for the show at the social.

New Streets song

The Streets, aka Mike Skinner, the UK rapper has a new single out called Everything is Borrowed. Original Pirate Material, his debut album, was one of the best albums of 2003 (shout out to my buddy D--we used to pump that album coming back from South Beach back in the day). His albums have gotten steadily worse. A Grand Don't Come From Free was a good concept album about losing a thousand dollars over the course of a day, and his third album The Hardest Way to Make an Honest Living only contained the standout tracks Pranging Out, Momento Mori, Never Went to Church, and Two Nations. The rest of the album kind of blew.

Here is the new single. Its OK. I'm not blown away, but I'll buy the album because he's earned me seriously considering anything he puts out.

Bonus Song--The Streets, We Never Went to Church off of The Hardest Way to Make an Honest Living

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This song is pretty cool

The band is called Capitol K and the song is called Libertania. Has a kind of Pulp feel crossed with an instrumentation styled after some of Grandaddy's weirder stuff. I like the song. I think I'll check out the album. Here's the song. It really grows on you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Walkmen -- You and Me

There was a time I thought the Walkmen would be the best band in America. That they'd release an album that I would love as much as Boxer. 2002's Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone had an such an immense amount of potential that I thought they'd surely become my favorite band. In 2004 they released 2004's Bows + Arrows which was so spectacularly uneven--The Rat, Little House of Savages, My Old Man, The North Pole, and Thinking of a Dream I had were simply incredible. The rest of the album was a disappointment. I had high hopes for 2006's A Hundred Miles Off--it turned out to be a meandering disaster. Seriously, I rarely listen to it. So it was with a little reservation that I purchased their new album You and Me, which has been a very pleasant surprise. While the Walkmen are prone to meandering songs that sound like their half-finished, this album is more Bows + Arrows than a Hundred Miles Off and thats a good thing. I love On the Water, In the New Year, Seven Years of Holiday, Red Moon, and Long Time Ahead of Us. The rest of the songs are hit or miss, and some are just average. All in all, I'd recommend the album.

Confession -- I love singing this next song at the top of my lungs. I can't wait to annoy people at their concert here in October when I belt this out at the top of my lungs. This is their lead single, In the New Year.



BONUS SONG--On the Water

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Deerhunter Microcastles album

The new Deerhunter album is fucking awesome. Its out on iTunes, but won't be on CD until October. Here is a song called Never Stops off the album. This is the best version I can find. Check this album out, you won't be disappointed.

New National Song -- A Thousand Black Cities

So I saw an interview with the national recently. They'll be working on a new album this fall. A couple of weeks ago, they debuted a new song called "A Thousand Black Cities" in Denmark. Below is the link. Its not bad quality. My first impression of the song is that it is still unformed. If you've seen the documentary "A Skin, A Night" on the making of boxer, then you know how different the working versions of the boxer songs were compared to their final versions. At one point, Slow Show incorporated different parts of the final version of Slow Show, Brainy, and Blank Slate (which incorporated elements of Keep It Upstairs), so consider this song just a rough demo of what will probably be a final version. Regardless, its still pretty fucking awesome.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Old Song, Relatively

This is the "big" song The La's had. I was thinking of it the other day and thought I'd share. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Low vs Diamond

This record is awesome. Its a debut from a band out of L.A. The album is self-titled. I know I said they were like the strokes and U2. I'd revise that to say they remind me of the strokes crossed with Remy Zero circa Villa Eliane with a little bit of the killers in there. This is a contender for album of the year. Here are two more songs from the album. The first is called Don't Forget Sister. The second is called This is Your Life, which has an almost Oasis feel to it. My favorite track on the album is Actions are Actions. Give this album a chance, you won't regret it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Check This Out: 48 May - The End

OK. The video starts out with a "Huh?" But close your eyes and give it a chance. I promise you won't want your four minutes back.

This kind of sound usually isn't my cup of tea but for some reason when 48 May bring on the the power pop about a minute into this track I got hooked. This album isn't available in the US yet so I'll have to wait on posting a full album review but these guys sound like they would really take off over here.

What do they put in the water in New Zealand. That country has some serious musical talent. What is it about islands?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Buy These Albums

London based artist The Bug has released an incredible album blending dancehall reggae with hard-edged almost industrial electronica. Its fucking dynamite. This is a track called Poison Dart. Its a really good album.

The second album is by Low vs Diamond. This and the Frightened Rabbit record are my two favorite of the year. Good stuff. Really want to see them live. They remind me of a cross between U2 and a lighter version of the strokes. Their self-titled album is awesome.

Another New Band-- Mono In VCF

I just found this cool band. They're called Mono In VCF. Their self-titled album is awesome. They remind me slightly of The National with their use of string instruments and lush orchestration. This song is called Escape City Scrapers. The video below is not the official video. Some guy just posted a video with the song playing. It was the best quality available. Check them out.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cool new song

This song and the band is really growing on me. They're called High Places and the song is called Head Spins. This is the best version I could find. Not something I usually listen to.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Footloose reimagined

I've never seen footloose. I think its the one with Kevin Bacon or something and he has a dance-off against some preacher played by John Lithgow or something. Am I close? Is that right?

Anyway, Doveman, has entirely re-recorded the footloose soundtrack. He hasn't re-recorded it as much as re-imagined it. You can stream the tracks here. I've seen Doveman a number of times as he opened up for the national a bunch of times when I saw them with the ex-girlfriend in various cities. I didn't really like him very much when he opened up for the national, but his album With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead has grown on me some.

Here's the link.

LA Music scene

I post alot about bands on the NYC scene. Its probably because I have friends there that keep me plugged in on the goings on. Los Angeles has a great music scene too. There are alot of great bands cutting their teeth on the indie rock scene over there. The two best are Mellowdrone and Autolux. I've already posted about Mellowdrone.

This is Autolux. They came out with a great album 4 years ago. Dark, propulsive, like a more poppy version of My Bloody Valentines Loveless. Then I never heard from them again. No tour, no news, no nothing. They have a new single called Audience No. 2. Here it is. I cannot wait for their new album. I love the off beat drumming syncopation on this.

This is Viva K. They do dark dancey-rock. I'm not a huge fan of dancey rock, but at least its more creative than most of the stuff being hyped right now. The song is called Does it Matter?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New band alert......Ra Ra Riot

Another new band from NYC. What can I say? I'm plugged into the scene there. Its the American version of London. The band is called Ra Ra Riot and the song is called Dying is Fine.

I lost my phone last night. Anybody have any leads?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Smoke City - Underwater Love

"One of the catchiest tunes ever used in a jeans commercial, by an English group with an Anglo-Brazilian singer who sings this particular song in English with a slight French accent, and Portuguese."

Check it out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One of the best tv shows ever

These two skits are from Mr. Show. Me, Jems, and Levison used to gather around the television every Sunday to watch this show in college. Its still fucking hilarious. The first video is called "I'll marry your stupid ass." The second is called "Nostradamus." The third one is called "Monster Parties - Fact or Fiction." SO FUCKING FUNNY even to this day. "OH MY LIFE...."

"Buckle the fuckup," this is the Nostradamus skit. Don't mind the gnashing of teeth.

Dr. Retarded in this skit is awesome. I think I may have found my halloween costume.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another great band--The Notwist

I had forgotten about them. They came out with a great album in 2003 called Neon Golden. That and Turn on the Bright Lights was a soundtrack for part of the portion I lived in NYC. I saw they came out with a new album when I was at Park Ave. CDs this past weekend. Good to see they're still making great music. This album is called The Devil, You + Me. The first song is called Boneless. The second song is called Where in this World. Where in this World is particularly good because they seem to have incorporated the weird sounds that Telefon TelAviv are famous for in a more traditional format. My initial impression of this album is that its everything the Portishead album should have been, but wasn't.

Another new band--Miracle Fortress

I have been playing their CD called Five Roses for a solid two weeks now. Really, really good. They're called Miracle Fortress. This song is called Maybe Lately.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cool Song - Ampop "Youth" recommended this song to me and I have to say, I really like it. I found this live version of Youth from a show at NASA. Cool thing is that I've been to NASA. It's a nice venue. I am definitely going to check out Ampop's other stuff.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Radiohead's Interactive "House of Cards" Video

Radiohead does some cool shit. For instance, their new video. Here is the making of.

You can check out the interactive video here. Its pretty cool eye candy.

Source: Geekologie

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Band Alert III - The Age of Rockets

They're out of NYC. They have a really unique way of incorporating electronics into their music, and their music consistently takes surprising turns. This song is called Avada Kedavra and the band is called The Age of Rockets. I really like it alot.

New Band Alert II -- The Library is on Fire

I found these guys too. They're called The Library is on Fire and the song is called Pink Rock. This song is awesome too. Not as fresh as Victorian Halls, but still very good. This is the complete song. Looking forward to an album by these guys too.

New Band Alert -- Victorian Halls

I just found this band. They're called Victorian Halls, and the song is called Tsk Tsk. I love it. This is only the promo. Takes a little for the song to kick in, but its badass.


The new Beck album is really good. I recommend it. In honor of Beck, below is my favorite song by him. Its called Steal My Body Home and is off of Mellow Gold. Enjoy.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My favorite song of all time

Its Don't Stop by The Stone Roses. Bet you thought I would say Radiohead, or The National, or the Libertines. Nope, gotta go with the dudes from Madchester. Their self-titled album is, I think, the greatest album of all time. It was released nearly 20 years ago and still doesn't sound dated. How many albums can claim that. Its not my favorite album of all time. There's a distinction between what I think is best and what is best from a more objective standpoint. Dave Clarke, the famous UK DJ, to this day, still ends every set with Fool's Gold. I never get sick of hearing Don't Stop.

Here's elephant stone off the same album. Freaking unbelievable. Doesn't top Don't Stop, but its still an unbelievable song.

Elephant Stone is such a great song, here is what it sounds like backwards. The track is called Full Fathom Five and is off the Complete Stone Roses CD--no collection is complete without it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Steadily becoming one of my favorite Radiohead track

Morning Bell is steadily becoming one of my favorite radiohead tracks. Here's a great live version of the track. I also have to say that Kid A has probably become my 2nd favorite album by them, supplanting The Bends. The album has just continually grown on me and it sounds absolutely amazing on a great stereo system. Kid A is right there behind OK Computer.

This song kicks major ass

Its California Dreamin' off the new Wolf Parade album At Mount Zoomer. This is only about half the song. The whole song is about 5 minutes long--5 minutes of pure awesomeness. Couldn't find the full version on You Tube. Still have to listen to At Mount Zoomer a few more times to form a full opinion, but I love this song.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An artist that slipped by me

Every once in awhile an artist slips by me. Between the blog reading, the music websites, the concerts, and magazine reviews, I don't find an artist for whatever reason. Sambassadeur is an excellent example. Another example is this guy. His name is Aarktica. Apparently he's been around for awhile. He makes haunting, slightly electronic, panoramic music. Below is a song called Drive. His best song is called Seventy Jane, but I can't find it anywhere. The bass line reminds me of a slowed down Four Ton Mantis by Amon Tobin. This song is called Drive Let me know what you guys think. I likey.

Here's another song. Its called A Wash A Sea Goodbye Its Me. Really fucking good too.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sa Dingding 琴伤 (Qin Shang) EP

If you're out and about today and are near an HMV then you might want to pick up the new EP from Sa Dingding. It's supposed to have four songs on it but this image snagged from the Chinese search engine Baidu only lists two. If you haven't searched for stuff using Baidu I highly recommend it. Since there is no concept of copyright you can find almost everything on it, though sometimes you get some pretty odd results.
Anyway, the EP is supposed to contain a Full Phatt remix of “Alive”. We'll see if it's any good. I'm still a pretty frequent listener of Sa Dingding and I am looking forward to getting my hands on this disc.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Calico Brothers - God Left Town EP

Last month I purchased the God Left Town EP and fully intended to post a review of it within a short time frame. Well, you know how things go. Time marches on, things get in the way, and here we are on June 25th and still, I don't have a proper review to give you.

And here's why:

Calico Brothers debut release, the six song 'god left town' EP, provides a blueprint for all that they hold dear in musical form.

Blueprints aren't buildings and, as much as I like the songs on this EP, an EP isn't an album. There's just not enough meat for a full on review. Three of the songs I've heard before, so really for me this is more of a three song EP.

What I can say from what I can hear is that these guys enjoy playing and are having a good time. They have a feel good sound that truly evokes that "Idyllic California" of the some imagined past.

What I am looking for is something more. I know these guys have it.

Quite possibly, I'd see it live if I were in New Zealand. I don't know about that happening any time soon, unless anyone over there wants to hire a lawyer/glassblower/wannabe blogger in New Zealand. Then I would be able to watch Outrageous Fortune AND see the Calico Brothers live. That would be pretty sweet.

Anyway, I promise to get out a right proper review as soon as those Calico Brothers get around to releasing a right proper album.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The other half of the Libertines

Carl Barat's band, Dirty Pretty Things, have a new single out called "Tired of England." The video is below. I was not a huge fan of Waterloo to Anywhere, their debut album. If anything, Barat just doesn't have the vocal range to carry an album. The sound of this song shows a nicer, less rough Dirty Pretty Things. I'm taking a wait and see approach with the album. Tired of England definitely doesn't make me want to run out and buy the album.

Monday, June 16, 2008

arctic monkeys side project

The lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys has a side project with the guitarist from the rascals. Their band is called The Last Shadow Puppets. They have a 60s vibe to them. I'm debating buying the album. Heard a few songs....Not really sold. Think I'm going to pass. Here's one of their songs called My Mistakes Were Made For You.

What Made Milwaukee Famous

I finally got around to listening to this CD. Its awesome. I'm sold on them. Here's the lead single Sultan. Review forthcoming.

The Delays New Album

Here's the new single off the Delays latest album. Its called Hooray. Their album is out in Europe. Still unreleased in the states. I'm not sure what I think of the new single. Sounds kind of trite, but their last album, Faded Seaside Glamour, showed enough talent that I'm going to have buy this album when it comes out. Let me know what you think. I think it may be growing on me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Record Review - South "You Are Here"

South's previous three albums have have followed the holy trident of european brit-pop with 2001's From Here On In sounding like The Stone Roses, 2003's With the Tides sounding like The Charlatans UK, and 2006's Adventures in the Underground, Journey to the Stars sounding like New Order. You Are Here, South's latest release, is the first album that you can't truly make any comparisons too. Combining elements of all three of their previous albums, it is the first record where you have to say they sound like nobody, but themseleves. This is never more so evident than on the album's opening track, "Wasted." A song about a couple lamenting about how they tired of getting wasted, the lyrics unfold over a gorgeous layer of sounds-- strings-check, delayed notes - check, gorgeous strumming - check, siren droning in the background - check -- its an album highlight. Wasted combines all of the elements fans have come to love about South. The rest of the album follows much of their previous career trajectory, but finds them experimenting with Oasis like perussions and is an album highlight. The album, however, not without its missteps, "She's Half Crazy" is a hot mess with South bringing a little funk to the proceedings. The song sounds like Ian Brown and Bootsy Collins had an ugly child. Balloons ends far too soon being only 30 seconds long, but those 30 seconds are pure heaven. I wish South had developed it into a full song.

Album closer Zither Song is the highlight of the album and is one of the best songs South has ever written. Over a gentle strum featuring some beautiful zither instrumentation, lead singer, Joel Cadbury laments the process of time. The track finds South operating in space with the drums and crescendo not kicking in until the 2:56 mark. The buildup is worth the wait as it features a kick-ass drumbeat and swirling guitars. At its most, You Are Here is what you expect from South, an experimental consistent affair that features great choruses and epic like instrumentation.


POST SCRIPT. I picked South's Adventures in the Undergound, Journey to the Stars as the best album in 2006. In making that selection I commented about 2006 not being a great year in music and for me, and picked the South album as the best almost apologetically. Listening to that album again in its entirety, I realize my mistake. That album is a murderer's row of tunes and rightfully deserves its place as the best album of 2006. I should probably re-write that list at my old blog.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dengue Fever - Seeing Hands

I've been listening to Dengue Fever quite a bit recently. Their sound is something that will either grow on you or it won't. Initially I was sort of turned off by the psychedelic retro stylings but during a long road trip I really started to get into their vibe and found that I was really really growing to like it. It's not too often you find a group that can transport you to another place like they can.

Dengue Fever's not for everybody but you should give them a shot if you're up to it.

I'm gonna try to see them July, 5 2008 at Summer Stage in Central Park, New York. Should be pretty cool.

Dengue Fever at MySpace

Monday, June 9, 2008

Midnight Boom Is Worth a Listen

This is a new album by The Kills but when I first listened to it I was immediately transported to the 90's. It evokes memories of the Deal sisters and Trent Reznor.

The song that really leaps out for me is Black Balloon. I like the slow, melancholic feeling and the simple instrumentation. Around a minute forty in, Black Balloon starts to bloom in complexity but it doesn't loose anything in the transition. A simple song that works for me.

Black Balloon - The Kills

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Awesome band--Plants and Animals

This song, Bye Bye Bye is awesome. Its positively beatlesesque. The only version I can find to post is a crappy live version. Listen to the album version, it will blow you away.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Brings a smile to my face

Brings me back to some very special memories at Tulane with someone really special that's far, far away now. We used to blast this in the Eagle Talon on the way back from Circle Bar and Snakes.

Ignore the idiot on the video, I'm posting it for the song playing in the background. You can find the song on Fatboy Slim's live album On The Floor At The Boutique. The song is called Because I Got It Like That by the Jungle Brothers.

Florida band makes good

Caught them at the social a long while back. They were really good. Don't remember them playing this song, which means this is probably new. This song is really good. I hope to see them again soon. They're called Summerbirds in the Cellar and the song is called Behold the Wolf. As I recall, they were a three piece outfit. From the sound of this song, i would think they would've added a member. Its refreshing to hear a band bring some dark joy division inspired dance into rock instead of all that happy, pretty dance that so many indie rock bands seem to be using today.

Update, they're actually playing Backbooth on June 27. I definitely have to go to that.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Music Retrospective

In the spirit of The Libertine's recent retrospective here are some tunes from my youth - circa 1994-95 +/- a year or so. It's sort of strange to think back to what I listened to back then. I listened to my share of G N'R and Faith No More. I also don't think my taste in music is revolutionary or refined in any way. It's a short coming but I don't have the time or inclination to take a music history course or read books on the subject so I can have esoteric music arguments with people at parties and bars. I really don't care what band spawned what other band. If the music is good I'll listen and then do some poking around.

Anyway, here are four track that I remember distinctly enjoying at around the same time the Libertine mentioned he was enjoying Portishead, Public Image Limited, Michelle Shocked, the Pogues and the Sex Pistols.

Dinosaur Jr.- "Blowing It and I Live for That Look." I always loved how the two songs just melted into each other. (This version does not do have that cool guitar bridge.) Also, I always hated J Mascis's vocals and still do.

XTC - "Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead." Just liked this song back then.

Butthole Surfers - "Who Was In My Room Last Night." This video is better than I remember and now I actually understand parts of it. (i.e. - when the "girl" puts her panties on his head. I didn't get that at all. How naive I was! I think kids today would get that instantly. I don't know what kind of commentary that is on American society now but there it is.)

Note: Around 2:23 into the video the ambulance driving skeletons clearly look at each other and mouth "fuck!" when they see they are about to run a lollipop licking girl over. MTV censors didn't catch that one back in the day.

Eric Burdon and War - "Spill the Wine." I really liked Eric Burdon and the Animals/War. I found an old tape in my basement that was my Dad's and thought it sounded really cool in a retro psychedelic way and was the only kid I knew who like or knew of the group. I used this song in a skateboard video I made. The song is cool, the skateboard video was not.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

These song brings me back

While people were pumping Guns n Roses in my high school parking lot. I was listening to things like Portishead, Public Image Limited, Michelle Shocked, the Pogues and the Sex Pistols. These songs (the first by Portishead, second by Michelle Shocked, the third by The Pogues, the fourth by public image limited) bring me back to 1995. People must have thought I was so weird. I think they still do. By the way, i still think Public Image Limited's Meta Box is one of the top 25 albums of all time.

Another great band

Throw Me The Statue's new album Moonbeams is awesome. Here are a couple of cuts--Lolita and About to Walk.

I like this band

They're called The Dodos. The song is called Fools. Check them out.

Top Artists: 11 May 2008 – 18 May 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jets Overhead - All The People

I was watching episode 11 of Regenesis the other day and towards the end of the show there was this little montage with "All The People" playing in the background. I thought, "Jets Overhead. I haven't listened to them in a while. " So I put their excellent album "Bridges" on and wouldn't you know, it's way better than I remembered it to be. I've been listening to it a lot now. They have such a great melancholic sound.

Here's a link to their song All The People. If you like it you should check out the rest of their album.

Go to Jets Overhead dot com.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

They were such a phenomenal band

Little known fact--that would be Pete Doherty doing a line of cocaine right around the 14 second mark before his vocal take.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Calico Brothers - Got A CD Out!

I just saw the comment left by Chopper on my prior Calico Brothers post (here). Thanks for letting me know about the new EP the Calico Brothers released via CD baby! I have downloaded the "God Left Town - EP" and will be posting my thoughts of it soon - think about 5 days from now. My first impression: worth the price of admission. If you are a John Lennon/peter bjorn and john fan, you'll like this.

Support your local indie music scene and go Buy It!

Until then, here is a new YouTube video of The Calico Brothers playing two songs live on Kiwi FM.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Impressions of 萨顶顶 and Her Album 万物生


You could hardly call 萨顶顶 (Sa Dingding) "indierock." She is neither indie - having recently signed with major label Universal - nor is she rock - being a fusion of electronic beats, traditional Chinese instruments and haunting vocals.

You could also point out that she is an extremely well packaged commodity. She has slick videos, her performances (those that can be seen on the web) are highly choreographed, and her photos are flawless (as she appears to be). The fact that she is described as being "telegenic" lends more credence to the notion of her packaged-ness.

That being said, I don't care. Since Saturday I have been listening to nothing but her album 万物生 (Alive). I think it is fantastic. I see no need to reinvent the wheel and invite you to read Glenn Watson's excellent and fair review of 万物生 over at Dimsum. I think he goes over the major positives and negatives of the album in what it sets out to achieve.

My own thoughts on some tracks:

I like both versions of the song 万物生 (Alive) but prefer the more sensual tones of the Mandarin Chinese version of the song. At the same time the Tibetan version is charming in its own right. I enjoy listening to each equally, I just like the Mandarin version slightly more for its tone in that I think it conveys the message and sentiment of the song more than the Tibetan does. I think for foreign ears the video helps explain the song more for the Tibetan version. In my mind 萨顶顶's voice is the only thing needed to explain the meaning of the song in the Mandarin version.

In 锡林河边的老人(自语) (Oldster by Xilin River [Self-Created Language]) 萨顶顶 delves into a space previously only inhabited by Sigur Rós and their imaginary tongue Hoplandic. 萨顶顶 claims her own language was "created based on buried memories of her grandmother talking to her as a baby and which, she claims, prompted hardened studio engineers to burst into tears when they heard it." [source] I don't know about all that but the visual of a baby and old woman is unmistakable in the song, and quite honestly, it is beautiful and one of the best tracks on the album.

One thing that annoys throughout are some of the electronic samples and such. They may not stand up and in fact remind me of some dated electronica from the early 90's (think Orbital - especially the theme to "The Saint") but I am completely enamored with 萨顶顶's voice. Even after after the umpteenth listen I find new things to like. I only wish that she had toned down on the beat box and put the focus on her voice.

This album is infinitely remixable. It would be great if William Orbit or Michael McCann (Behavior) were to work with 萨顶顶 on such a project or a future album (or maybe even Juno Reactor or Infected Mushroom). I suspect however that Universal will want her to work with some shitty American hip-hop producer so they can boost sales using name recognition by putting "featuring [insert hip-hop/rap/R&B artists' name here]" after the song name. Either way, a remix album would be great.

The Asian Björk (!/?)

Remix potential is about the only thing 萨顶顶 has in common with Björk and thus I don't think a fair comparison can be made between the two artists. For one thing before Björk was Björk she had KUKL, The Sugarcubes, and stuff in between. 萨顶顶 has exactly one album to her name (though I did find what looked like a collection of b-sides in a disc called 笑破了 (Broken Laughter) at that I would die to hear), is 25, and just beginning to make a name for herself. For the mainstream media to simply throw it out that she is the Asian (Read: Chinese) Björk simply because they have unique vocal abilities and come from countries that aren't the US or UK, and don't have English as their first language does a disservice to both artists.


I hope that 萨顶顶 isn't pushed too hard. She is too good and I hope the industry doesn't abuse her to burn out. Everything seems to be moving at break neck speed in China - the biggest buildings and cities, the biggest Olympics, the biggest economy - and I hope that 萨顶顶 isn't pushed harder than she needs to be pushed for her to be healthy AND the biggest Chinese music star. I hope she finds her own footing. It's taken Björk 31 years to get to where she is today. I have no idea what the stresses of being a signed artist are like but they must be tremendous. I would like to hear what 萨顶顶 will come out with next, see her mature as an artist, and watch grow into her voice. The media is right in that she could be one of Asia's pre-eminent talents - I just hope it doesn't come at the expense of the person herself.

Album Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sa Dingding - "Alive" and Amazing

It's been a while since I posted (Thank you to The Libertine for picking up the slack) and this post is about an amazing artist named Sa Dingding. She's 25 and her sound is nothing short of epic - in the sense of it sounding epic. Think "Lord of the Rings" visuals but with sound.

I am downloading her debut album - for the West - as I write this and will have a proper review in the next day or so. Maybe I am buying into the hype. I mean how many Chinese artists have I listened to? Answer: Besides Sa Dingding, Two. So we'll see. I don't want to get into the whole Tibet politics thing either. So don't bring it up unless you can somehow make it relevant to a discussion about her music.

Anyway, check out her myspace and webpage.

MySpace: Sa Dingding

Web Page


UPDATE: I found a good article at Shanghaiist about Sa Ding Ding.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I heart M83

Their new album is great. This song is definitely a standout track--graveyard girl.

Band to watch out of Brooklyn--Camphor

I really like this track. Play it loud on a good stereo and it has a certain cinematic feel to it. The track is called Castaway. Definitely a band to track.

Buy this band--Frightened Rabbit

These guys new album is the shit. They're called Frightened Rabbit. The album is called, The Midnight Organ Fight, and it FUCKING ROCKS. One of my favorite albums of this year so far.

Awesome new track--Yellotone, "Rye Road"

Crappy version of a great song.

YellotoneRye Road

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First Great Album of 2008-- A Weather "Cove"

Review forthcoming. Here's a youtube video of a song called The Feather Test. Its from a previous EP and its not even one of the best tracks on their new album. I placed it here because its the only thing I can find of theirs on YouTube. Their album Cove is fucking fantastic. Slow, brooding, a headphones album that is a true grower. Check out Spiders and Snakes and tell me its not haunting.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A great track

The Raveonetts "Dead Sound"

Friday, February 22, 2008

My First Favorite Band

This is the song that did it for me. I listened to the first song on Daydream Nation and I was magically hooked.

The video isn't bad either.

Your Opinion

If you haven't listened to Scott Weiland's "12 Bar Blues" you're depriving yourself. It's one of the most underrated solo albums of the past 10 years.
If you've listened to Thom Yorke's "The Eraser," chances are you're a Radiohead fan. "Throw cars in a wishing well" is a pretty cool lyric but what else have we got here?
I don't know. It's up to you. On solo efforts, between these to albums, I pose the question:
Which album is better and why?

Cool Article

Okay, its not music related so if you want to give me a hard time I completely understand and deserve whatever reprobation you throw at me.

Despite all that you should check out Summing It Up (In Six Words).

Think: Your ultimate précis.

I invite all readers to contribute to this interesting summation of personal lives.

Whom even can discover my real name (who doesn't already know it) will get an amazing prize. (I don't know what it is.)

Another Blog Recommendation

I recently came across this Italian music blog on indie music.

I like "reading" foreign information sources. Sometimes I can understand what they are talking about and sometimes I can't. But it is always good to go out and look.

In case web search engines are crawling this site here is teh exact address of The Italian Indie Blog (

- Ben

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The best unsigned band in America

They're called Bears. I really love them alot. Their stuff is available on iTunes. They had a new EP come out in 2007. The quality on this is crappy. Check out their myspace or iTunes for better versions.

I really like this song

Eugene McGuiness--Monsters Under My Bed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mining MySpace - We Were Promised Jetpacks

I swear I'm not fixated on Glasgow (Updated - Feb. 18, 2008: though that swear was a lie at the time I initially wrote this I am not ashamed to make my readers aware of that fact. I am officially over my addiction to the current happenings over in Glasgow - I am also over my coverage for the time being of Australia, New Zealand and Amsterdam - though I always tend to drift back there on occasion. A bon voyage to those readers whom I have really never met.) Though I wouldn't be embarrassed to say so if I were. My next entry will be about a different music scene. Before then I just have to bring We Were Promised Jetpacks to your attention. They're really (Update: Id. removed "effing.") good!

I think Bloodshed In The Woodshed nailed it with this entry:

Every now and again you accidentally stumble upon something quite brilliant. The open-mouthed moment of wonder when you realise you've been an idiot for not hearing something so amazingly good before has to be one of my favourite feelings on earth. Today this happened to me.

And to me today. I can't stop (Update: Id. I did.) listening to Quiet Little Voices and Moving Clocks Run Slow. You shouldn't be able to either. I would love to hear some more music by WWPJ. (Update: Id. I won't.) If anyone out there in music blog land can point me in the right direction please let me know! (Update: Id. they didn't.)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Radiohead will be releasing their North American tour dates and venues tomorrow, February 12. One has leaked. They'll be playing west palm beach may 5. Tix on sale 2/16.

Preliminarily, I've identified the following shows, I want to go to: (i) WPB; (ii) Tampa; (iii) Miami; (iv) Atlanta; (v) Boston; (vi) NYC; and (vii) Chicago. Because I work, all the dates are contingent on being weekends, so we'll see.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Soko is awesome

You rarely see women write songs like these. Soko is good. She's out there. I really like her accent. The first song is called I'll Kill Her, and, uh, its meaning is pretty obvious. The second is Shitty Day. I actually like Shitty day more. Its self-explanatory as well.

Her best song, I think, is I Will Never Love You More. The only good version can be found on her myspace page.

Check These Guys Out

They're called The Bell. I dig these two tracks. The first one is called On and On. The second is called I am History.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Another new band to check out the redux

Here's another band called the Lovekevins. The song is called Private Life of a Cat. They've definitely got a very unique sound. Will definitely check them out when their album comes out.

Another new band to check out

They're called Loveninjas. I'm digging the album I just got. Below is the lead single from that album. Its called "I wanna be like Johnny C." The song reminds me alot of Different Class era Pulp. I can't tell if this song is about Jarvis Cocker (from Pulp) or the comic book character Johnny C AKA NNY/ Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Its definitely not about Johnny Cash. I'm leaning towards Jarvis Cocker on this one.

Does anyone know the answer?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Music Software: Peel

A friend of mine recently recommended Peel to me. It's one of those pieces of software that have a singular task and performs that task smashingly. What does it do though?

Basically Peel is an MP3 blog reader and player. You subscribe to MP3 blogs and the blogs and the music pop up like you are in iTunes. What's cool is that you can stream the music from the site and if you like it downloads it and Peel will put it in iTunes for you.

What's so great about that? Well, if you have to ask you don't subscribe to many MP3 blogs. Peel takes all the hassle out of finding and listening to music from all the blogs that post it. You really won't believe how awesome this is until you try.

The developer, Hjalti Jakobsson, has made it pretty easy to try too. He gives you a 25 day trial period and if you like the software (and you will) it only costs $15 bucks.

There's only one downside to Peel. It's Mac only. If anyone is aware of a similar piece of software for the Windows world let me know and I'll give it a try too.

Try It Out

Here are some MP3 Blogs I like:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Couple of new bands

I haven't finished my list. I know, I know, criminal, as if everyone knows Boxer isn't going to be #1?

Here's Throw me the Statue. Really good. Can't wait for their record to come out, February 19.

This is Sambassadeur. They're album, Migration, is fucking awesome. They're self-titled 2005 album is fantastic also. Just hearing about this band, but, apparently they've been around for awhile. Definitely check them out.

By the way, anyone going to any of the following shows in Orlando--Dead Meadow, Band of Horses, Jose Gonzalez, The Walkmen (with Vampire Weekend), or Tokyo Police Club? If so, let me know. I'm definitely going to all of them except Dead Meadow...Not sold on them yet.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Preview of New South Album--You Are Here

Second tuesday in April, the new South album will drop. Its called You Are Here. This will be one of the best albums of the year. I can't believe this band isn't huge. You can preview two tracks here.

I really love the tracks, especially Wasted.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What ever happened to Long-View?

Does anyone remember what happened to Long-View (originally longview)? I was all about this band in 2003. The import CD of mercury had this fantastic verve like song called "This Is". Sadly, the 2004 American release of Mercury lacked this track. Does anyone know what happened to them? They were really good. Below are some tracks from Mercury. I love "When You Sleep" especially the lyrics You don't know what you do to me (only when you sleep/ You don't know what you do to me (only when you sleep)/ Couldn't stop if I made you see....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mining MySpace - El Padre

I guess I'm in a Glasgow kick lately thanks to Sons and Daughters. Anyway, I ran across El Padre, a trio of "nu raved-up teenagers playing clever indie from two guitars and a laptop."

They could use a little studio time to refine their sound - some of the laptop blips seem out of joint with the guitar and vocals - but I think they are worth a listen.

Think Tokyo Police Club with a electronic brough.

MySpace Songs

1. Thinking of Your Health

2. Lucky Streak

3. Monsters In Blue

[Shout out to Kirsty whose and MySpace pointed me to El Padre.]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Libertine's Top 18 Albums of 2007

Its that time of the year again. Time for my year end top albums list. 2007 was such a great year for music that this is a supersized edition. I couldn't just pick 10 albums, so this list will be my favorite 18 albums of 2007.

A couple of groundrules. Firstly, these are my favorite 18 albums of 2007, not the best 18 albums of 2007. Although there is some overlap, the lists are not the same. For instance, Battles "Mirrored" album is one of the best 18 albums of 2007, but it is not one of my favorite 18 albums. Converesely, Travis' album "The Boy With No Name" is not one of the best 18 albums of 2007, but it is one of my favorite 18 albums of 2007. Secondly, there may or may not be albums on this last that actually came out in 2006. They will be included in my 2007 list if I did not hear about them until 2007. This is my +1 year rule. Consequently, albums released prior to 2006 will not qualify for the +1 year rule.

18. Kings of Leon: Because of the Times

An incredible live band. I was worried that the singer wouldn't sound like the album, but he was able to hit all the straining notes. Because of the Times is a vast improvement over their previous albums, pulling together all of their Jack Daniels southern rock tinged music into an indie rock gem. Fans is an anthem that I wish I had in my high school years. Other standout tracks include Ragoo, Charmer, and the dark heart of Because of the Times, Knocked Up.

17. Youth Group: Casino Twilight Dogs

Alot of critics slept on this band's latest album and preferred 2005's Skeleton Jar. I'm not really sure why, Casino Twilight Dogs shows the bands matured sound and wider platitudes of arrangements. The album is a kaleidoscope of brit pop and 90s era alternative. See Start Today Tomorrow which sounds like a cross between Radiohead's between High and Dry and David Gray's Babylon. The best track off the album was their lead single, Sorry, which carries the sarcastic refrain "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so terribly, terribly sorry" to an ex-girlfriend who still hasn't found happiness with her new lover.

16. Travis: The Boy With No Name

A return to form after their previous disappointing 12 Memories where Travis tried to do be something they're not--a rock band with a bluesy overtone. Can we all just pretend that album never happened? This is pure brit-pop heaven reminiscent of the heights they reached with their debut album with songs like Turn and Why Does it Always Rain on Me? If there's one problem with this band is that the songs tend to carry on too long. The album would be much benefited if each song ended 30 seconds earlier. Can we make a rule that Travis can't make a song longer than 3 minutes? What would be the downside to this?

15. Menomena: Friend and Foe

Not quite as good as their first album, I AM THE FUN BLAME MONSTER (an anagram for the "The First Menomena Album), Friend and Foe is alternatingly epic and frustrating. Frustrating in that some of the songs never seem to get off the ground (see Running) and epic in the sense that some songs are so fucking original that you can't even compare them to any other band (see Wet and Rusting and Weird). An unbelievable live band. I couldn't believe the band only had 3 members, each rotating instruments and vocals. People characterize the Shins as alternative music or true indie music. These people are idiots. Menomena are probably the most original band operating in the indie rock spectrum right now.

14. Forget Cassettes: Salt

An album full of contrast. On the one hand you have a female lead singer with a delicate voice reminiscent of Portishead, and on the other hand you have a thrashing, violent instrumentation in the vein of In Utero Nirvana. This is a surprising inclusion into my top 18 list because I'm not really a big fan of heavy stuff, but the album is just too beautiful in juxtaposing its beauty with its brawn. I couldn't deny this album its rightful place in my top 18.

13. Stars: In Our Bedroom After the War

Every indie rock kid I knew hyped up 2005's Set Yourself on Fire as if it were 2001's Is This It. I hate to break it to these scenesters, but Set Yourself on Fire wasn't very good. The only redeeming song was Ageless Beauty. In Our Bedroom After the War finds the band in much better regard as they experiment with trip hop-lite sounds on some songs (Personal) and 80s era loud/soft dynamic (Take Me to the Riot). Its a great album that takes you all over the place on its 13 tracks. This is what Set Yourself on Fire was supposed to be.

12. Burial: Untrue

I don't listen to many electronica artists anymore. There are very few that I follow with regularity. Burial is one of them. Part of the UK dub-step movement, Burial presents the soundtrack to coming home from a grimy club at 5 AM alone and wondering about your future. Its the ultimate comedown album as songs do little but repeat their simple loops over and over with slight twists. This is an album that brings me back to my college days when I actually would go clubbing. (FYI the other electronica artists I follow are Telefon TelAviv--FUCKING AWESOME, Four Tet, Amon Tobin, and DJ Shadow).

11. Once Soundtrack

A great love story of a movie featuring the lead singer of the Frames (their song Fake, got me through one of my worst breakups ever, so, big ups to them for that). Most of these songs are simple acoustic melodies with a bit of piano. Only a handful actually feature any sort of full instrumentation with a bass or drums. This makes the album a more intimate experience and it pays off in a big way. The highlights include, When Your Mind's Made Up, Falling Slowly, and Once. People need to see this movie and buy this soundtrack. Its unbelievable. This should probably be in my top 10, but I just can't find room in there for some reason.

10. Arcade Fire: Neon Bible

An early contender for album of the year when it first came out. On repeated listens, the album grows deficient on its own production values--its too fucking bloated. Every song aims for some sort of emotional apex that becomes so draining over 11 consecutive tracks. Funeral was such a beautiful understated album that ranks somewhere in my top 10 of all time. Consequently, I had such high hopes for Neon Bible. No Cars Go is the perfect example of its bloatedness. No Cars Go was an early demo of Arcade Fire with a brooding instrumentation that brought out the haunting vocals. On Neon Bible its an overbloated pile of shit. The album notwithstanding, there are some kick ass tracks--Antichrist Television Blues, Keep the Car Running, and Intervention. Half of the album is phenomenal. The other half is draining.

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