December 21, 2008

RE: Favorite covers

Dinosaur JR - Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)

Broken Social Scene - Feel The Pain (Dinosaur JR cover)

No Age - It's Oh So Quiet (Bjørk cover)

I know I'm a bit late, but I'm finally following up Jack and Girl Scout's cover song sharing. First up is one of the 90s best bands covering one of the 80s best. The in-your-face guitar solos, heavy soundscape and raw vocals of Dinosaur JR combined with the excellent lyrics and ingenious melody of The Cure makes for a cover song that truly takes the best from two worlds. The only downside is the very odd ending. Don't start worrying that there's something wrong with you mp3 file - it's the same on the physical album.

Next is Broken Social Scene, a 00s band covering their heroes from when they grew up: Dinosaur JR. I love this cover because the band's just strutting with positive attitude and genuine love for music - it's not hard to imagine how good the atmosphere in the crowd must have been as well during the recording. Also, this song is great because Broken Social Scene here give a rare explicit reference to their "heavier rock" influences. Influences that have only been hinted on in a very few songs, such as Cause = Time, which is quite different from the band's usual post rock and ambient influenced music.

Finally, one of my favorite new discoveries this year doing a cover of one of my absolute favorite female artists. I saw Björk live in Japan in February, and saw No Age at a festival in Norway in August. Both shows were stunning experiences that I'll remember when thinking back on the music year of 2008. Imagine my excitement when I found this song a few months back - No Age doing a spectacular rework of a Björk classic. I became a No Age fan at their concert, and this song made me even more confident about the great potential the young duo has.

I hope everyone survived their final exams, and wish you all happy holidays!
December 12, 2008

Kate Nash


Even though Kate Nash is kind of old news, everyone can appreciate a bad-mouthed girl who sings with a thick cockney accent and is the absolute queen of piano pop. Her songs are catchy as hell and, at times, absolutely inappropriately hilarious. I was introduced to Nash by a lady friend of mine who found her while perusing through Paste. She asked if I'd ever heard of her, and then started belting out her songs a cappella with a perfect english accent, and I was hooked.

When Nash was younger, she fell down the stairs and broke her foot and was subsequently bed-ridden for several weeks. During that time, her mom bought her an electric guitar and she taught herself how to play and began songwriting. I'd like to think that if I was ever bed-ridden for a long period of time, I'd be as productive, but I doubt I'd ever be able to write something as clever as Foundations or as catchy as Mouthwash. Check her out, she's sexy as hell.

Eels - dog'slife - sleE

Eels - Dog's Life

Eels - Efil's God

Eels is the brainchild of American multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett. In fact, the Virginia-born musician residing in Los Angeles is practically the whole band (being the only consistent member through the years), although it is marketed as a proper band, not a solo effort.

What really makes Eels special are the soothing melodies combined with the bittersweet lyrics, that touch upon the tragic and the sad, but never in a sulky, self-pitying way. It seems that no matter what kind of hardship Everett faces, he will be able to describe it in an ironic and somewhat optimistic way, and he often combines the sad content of his lyrics with happy, upbeat melodies.

Eels' 1996 debut album, Beautiful Freak, gave them attention around the world thanks to the international alternative rock hits Susan's House and Novocaine for the Soul. But after this success, Everett found himself struck by tragedy as the death of his mother caused him to be the last living member of the four-piece family he grew up with in Viriginia. E found his father dead when he was 19, his elder sister committed suicide in 1996, and shortly after his mother was dying of lung cancer. The second album, 1998's Electro-Shock Blues, deals with all these deaths, but in an astoundingly optimistic way.

In 1997, Everett recorded the song Dog's Life: A beautiful, happy little song depicting how difficult it can be being a human, and he comments how nice it must be being a dog. Everett sings he doesn't "care for" his human life, and would prefer the untroubled life of a dog. The song never made it to the following year's album. Being dissatisfied with the song, Everett instead turned the whole song around and made its literal antithesis: The song "Efil's God".

Besides turning the title "Dog's Life" backwards, and taking a sample from the song and loop it backwards (with the consequence of creating a haunting, bizarre melody), it's also lyrically the exact opposite: "Efil's God" is all about accepting the life and fate we've been given. The song takes the viewpoint of his dying mother in her hospital bed, who instead of panicking and fearing death just calmly proclaims: "efil's good and the time is right / I'll bundle up and slip away".

Personally, I love both songs. Songwriting at its finest, from one of America's greatest living musicians.

Fiona has a beautiful name and a beautiful voice. It's the same somber, spinning style of the original sung by John Lennon on Let It Be. I've always been a sucker for a woman's voice, and the utter reassurance of the song and its power and history hit me every time. It's a very good cover of a classic while still retaining her vocal style and of course the feminine touch.
December 11, 2008

Favorite Covers...Nada Surf/Pixies

Where is My Mind?

I just recently rediscovered my absolute favorite cover of all time: Nada Surf does the Pixies. I may even venture to say that I like the cover more than the original; it's brilliantly produced and more sophisticated than the original, but then again, the Pixies were never going for sophistication, so I guess that's a little unfair. Anyway, if you've never heard it, give it a listen, it's a really interesting take on the original song.

re: non serviam

What I first thought of when I saw the image to the video for brokeNYCDE.

re: jack

M83's Teen Angst (Montag Remix) from the Teen Angst EP

Montag remixes M83 in one of my favorite songs by the Frenchie, Teen Angst.

The simple, repetitive lyrics set against the pulsing and dissected duet vocals lamenting the downward spiral of humanity in our teenage angst of existence.

How fast we burn!
How fast we cry!

The more we learn,
The more we die!
The more we learn,
The more we cry!

How fast we burn!
How fast we die!

I hear the planet crying now.
I hear the planet crying now.

Also, to add to jack, here are tracks 2, 3, and 4 from the Don't Save Us From the Flames EP. Combined with the track he already posted, you would now have the complete EP.
Until The Night Is Over
Don't Save Us From The Flames (Superpitcher remix)
Don't Save Us From The Flames(Boom Bip Remix)



Ulrich Firelord: Breaker of Mountains

That's I Wrestled A Bear Once. The songs on their debut E.P. is absolutely unclassifiable. Indeed, one of their web banners says it all: "Fuck genres." Going from from absolute chaos grind metal, to smooth progressive jazz sections, to danceable synth-driven electronica, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE possesses one of the most schizophrenic sounds I believe I have ever heard. Their lead vocalist is a woman, which is also something unique in the metal world.

This band is not for the faint of heart. But if you have an open mind and a willingness to hear a band so unique you'll never, ever, ever hear anything like them, then they come highly recommended. Their E.P. very quickly entered into a more-than-regular rotation on my iPod and a very special place in my heart <3333.



If Lil' Jon and (insert favorite ___-core band here) made sweet, sweet love to one another and had a baby, this would be it. Quite possibly the best awful band you've never heard of (unless of course you actually still watch TRL), Brokencyde is my new favorite obsession.

Of course, only one of their songs is really even worth a listen. In terms of consistency, their 'albums' leave a little to be desired. I'd go so far as to say that Brokencyde has captured lightning in a bottle with "Get Crunk." It's a great song, if a tad bit long and repetitive, and if you can forget that the kids who made it really are the equivalent of four monkeys sitting at synthesizers who manage to come up with a Crunkcore masterpiece.

Don't watch the following (or listen to other Brokencyde songs) if you want to have any respect for them. Also, if anyone out there knows of any Crunkcore artists with actual talent, I would LOVE to hear about it, kthx.

Ryan and Randy, this post is for you.

Brokencyde on Myspace

On recommendation of a certain lady friend of mine, I made my way to the Georgia Theatre this past Monday, December the 8th, to see Ivan Neville's New Orleans funk band, Dumpstaphunk. I've been a sucker for funk music ever since Funkadelic's "Hit It And Quit It" showed up on a friend's late-night cruising playlist, so I figured I'd give these guys a try.

Jacksonville natives Inca Maya opened up the show and were an extremely pleasant surprise. Playing a hard-hitting instrumental fusion of rock and funk that displayed an excellent understanding of how to keep people on their feet, these relatively young guys are definitely worth a listen if you're into picking up on some kick-ass funk.

Of course, Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk were the high point of the funkstravaganza. These guys jammed through an awesome setlist that had the crowd moving for the entire performance. Some interesting and welcome song choices peppered the already awesome evening; a few choice P-Funk covers, and an inspired funk take on The Sopranos theme song.

I highly recommend that you go out of your way to see either band if they come to your town. Unfortunately, I have songs by neither, but both have material posted on their respective websites, links to which shall be posted below.

Dumpstaphunk Official Website
Dumpstaphunk on Myspace

Inca Maya on Myspace


Don't Save Us From the Flames

I figured I'd follow up girl scout's post with an M83 post so you can juxtapose the two -- you definitely get more of a cold feel with M83. This track is my favorite cut off Before The Dawn Heals Us, M83's third major release. M83 is a French electronica/rock duet (maybe it's just one guy now...I always get confused about it) who specialize in heavily layered sounds and tons of reverb. For me, they're hit or miss: I think they're either genius or they fall flat.
December 9, 2008

Montag's Alone, Not Alone

I would call Antoine Bédard (aka Montag) Canada's Justin Tamborello, with a French twist. Young, distant, collaborative and branched, while mixing electronic and dream-pop with classic renditions of duets to create a wonderful dreamscape. He has a sound that is obviously a descendent of a band like Air, and is quite similar sounding to one of his friends and fellow collaborators, Anthony Gonzalez (M83).

Unlike M83, however, I'm not left with a cold, distanced, mechanical taste in my mouth. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I love the taste of iron, but Montag's effect is warm, inviting, and just poppy enough to catch your attention so he can lull you with songs like "Exit Mélodie".

Here are three songs from Alone, Not alone:

Grand Luxe

Perfect Vision

Angles, Country + Terrain Connu

Enjoy the mellow sounds of our northern friend during your Finals week.
December 5, 2008

Satch sues Coldplay!

Satch claims that Coldplay nabbed arrangements from his song "If I Could Fly" off his 2004 release Is There Love in Space? and is demanding "any and all profits" related to this infringement. Check out the video above between 00:50 and 01:50 and see if you can tell the similarities between If I Could Fly and Viva la Vida. I hope Satch wins.

Being a new writer on this blog, I thought I could start out by writing about one of my all-time favorite albums.

Mew - Coffee Break

Mew - Panda

Mew - Web

Above, you can find my three favorite tracks from Danish indie rock / dream pop band Mew's 1997 debut album, A Triumph for Man. Today, Mew are arguably the most famous for the pompous and bombastic prog-rock influenced soundscape of their fourth studio album, And the Glass Handed Kites (which was also their definite international breakthrough). It is hard to imagine that this "indie stadium band" (jokingly dubbed so by guitarist Bo), who after their latest release opened for REM on their Europe tour, and Bloc Party on their US tour, started out with the mellow-sounding and introverted A Triumph For Man - a record release that saw no more than a mere 2000 CDs produced.

In this early album, the influences that shaped Mew to the band they are today, are much more easily recognizable. It is quite evident that the four Danes grew up listening to the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Swirlies. The distorted walls of guitars and the high-pitched vocals of these shoegaze bands were combined with smart pop songwriting to create the easily accessible, but still deep little masterpiece A Triumph for Man. The strutting confidence of the guitars combined with shy, eccentric frontman Jonas Bjerre's soft and modest voice and melancholic lyrics make for a true beauty of an album, by many Danish music journalists considered one of the 90s best records.

The influence from Swirlies is at times painfully obvious, but the similarity was by all means blessed from Swirlies themselves. Damon Tujian, guitarist and vocalist of the Boston shoegazer band, personally crossed the atlantic and endured many long and cold Danish winter weeks to co-produce this debut album of the four 20-year old boys. I personally prefer this classic to Mew's newest effort, and warmly recommend this best example of what Scandiavian rock music has to offer.
December 4, 2008

Badly Drawn Boy

Once Around The Block

I felt like doing multiple posts today. Badly Drawn Boy is the stage name of Damon Gough, a well-known Mercury Prize winning singer/songwriter from England. He did the soundtrack for the mediocre movie, About a Boy, and has released four other albums since 2000. This cut is off his debut album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast. It's a badass upbeat jazz inspired song, pretty catchy, and my favorite song off the album. The rest of the album is decent too, check it out.

Land of Talk

Some Are Lakes

Land of Talk is a Canadian indie rock three piece from Montreal. They're the opening act for this BSS tour and they absolutely blew me away; singer/guitarist Elizabeth Powell covered a lot of the female roles for the BSS songs during their set. Even though this track isn't indicative of it, I felt like Land of Talk was a less raw version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they have tons of power for being just a three piece, I was really blown away. Check them out, they're pretty sweet.
December 3, 2008

Erik Mongrain

Erik Mongrain is a Canadian guitarist who specializes in a unique two-hand tapping style of guitar playing. I think everybody can appreciate this level of skill and his ear for improvisation. The song is called AirTap! and I think the video speaks for itself.
December 1, 2008


From Figurine's Transportation + Communication = Love:
I Wait for You (By the Telephone)
My First UFO
Our Song

A weird electronic band with the members David Figurine, Justin Figurine, and Meredith Figurine.

You've probably heard of Justin Figurine for his work in Dntel under his other name.

Check it out. A hidden gem.
November 21, 2008

Broken Social Scene

You Forgot It In People - KC Accidental

Broken Social Scene - 7/4 Shoreline
BSS Presents Kevin Drew's Spirit If... - Frightening Lives
BSS Presents Brendan Canning's Something For All of Us - Hit the Wall

One of my favorite bands of all time. BSS is a Canadian indie rock supergroup, an amalgam of nineteen musical minds from an array of different bands coming together to fuse indie rock, baroque pop, shoegazing, dream pop, and experimental rock. They played in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse two nights ago with opener Land of Talk (a post for them soon to come, they absolutely rocked). It was the second time I've seen them and I still maintain that BSS is the best live band I have ever seen. Not only are all of the members incredibly musically talented (each member rotated roles throughout the show, almost all of them playing bass, guitar, synth, piano, and percussion at least once), they are also truly a web of musicians not dependent on one single entity: at one point, pseudo-frontman Kevin Drew's voice fell out, so he took a break for one song while the rest of the line up played an Apostle of Hustle cover. I'd take every opportunity I possibly could to go see them live again.

I've been consistently impressed by every release with a BSS tag on it, be it EP, LP, B-side, whatever, they never fail to create beautiful music.
BSS has had four traditional LP releases, with Bee Hives being a collection of B-sides. Recently, Broken Social Scene has decided to do a series of "Broken Social Scene Presents..." releases, which are solo efforts by individual members of the band assisted by the rest of BSS. I've posted a small mix from some of their albums, check them out, I promise they won't disappoint.
November 20, 2008

Billy Bragg and Wilco

I remember my high school English teacher, Ms. Guha (Goo-ha), asking our class if any of us had heard of Billy Bragg, a folk singer from before our time. I was the only person in class who had, and I asked if she had heard of his work with the band Wilco. She hadn't, but you will.

Billy Bragg and Wilco worked together in 1998 and released Mermaid Avenue, which is a collection of lyrics from American folk singer Woody Guthrie, who died in 1967. The album displays the creativity from three different artist identities: Woody Guthrie, Billy Bragg, and Jeff Tweedy/Wilco. Although I wish the album was longer to give more to the listener in terms of hearing each entity develop while developing as a whole, but what I heard was still good.

Enjoy the great elements from early, to modern, to very modern American "folk" music, and the culmination of all three into one album and sound.

Here's California Stars.
November 18, 2008

A Kanye West Rant

Usually, I try not to bash artists because of their headlines in the media...but I think Kanye is a different case. I'm pretty sure it's not the media that's trying to cast him in a bad light; Kanye pulls that off well enough by himself. I know I'm not alone in this view because I've read several other Kanye complaints, my favorite of which is this article on Kanye's top ten D-bag moments.

The first encounter I ever had with Kanye's outspoken demeanor was back during hurricane Katrina with his infamously awkward speech about George Bush not caring about black people. If you haven't seen it before, it's worth watching:

The next point of interest is Kanye's absurdly late appearance at the Bonnaroo. If that isn't enough, when Kanye did finally take the stage, he harassed the fans that remained to see him. Check out this NME article for more information on it. The final Kanye-is-a-tool moment, the one that actually inspired this post, was his statement that he will be remembered as the voice of this generation. If KW is remembered by that label, I think I'll lose faith in music as a whole. Here's the whole article.

So there, that's my first rant post, have at it.

November 16, 2008

Camper Van Beethoven

New Roman Times

I had the unique opportunity of seeing CVB frontman David Lowery at the AthFest panels back in September; he works in an options and derivatives trading firm in Chicago and does CVB on the side now, which is pretty understandable and respectable for a guy pushing fifty. He's a pretty cool guy, all things considered.

CVB is an alternative rock band founded in the early 80s. Their style usually consists of repeating melodies interlaced with violin and absurdist lyrics, but kind of progressed into an experimental/psychadelic band in their later careers. New Roman Times kind of reminds me of simple post-rock Wilco song. CVB broke up in the early nineties with spinoff formations of other bands, most notably Cracker, but they reconvened at the turn of the century. Given the vibe of New Roman Times, I'd like to check them out sometime.

November 14, 2008

Chairlift (part dos)

…"a motor-driven conveyor consisting of a series of seats suspended from a cable and used for transporting skiers or sightseers up or down a long slope or mountainside"
…"a band of ghosts making chamber music for young adults"

Evident Utensil

This is the title track from the 7" above, and my favorite track on the main album.


The Reindeer Section


Quiet, introspective, folky. The band was started by the lead of Snow Patrol, and released two albums, with a combination of 47 musicians from other popular bands like Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, and Arab Strap.

Very enjoyable albums. They're no Broken Social Scene, but not every huge indie collaborative can be. The group has all the attractive features of the voice of Lightbody, without the pop aura that seems to taint his other work.
November 12, 2008

Benji Hughes

Tight Tee Shirt
The Mummy
I Went With Some Friends To See The Flaming Lips

Benji's promo carnival bark is "Looks like an Allman Brother, sings like Beck!" and that bark is dead on. Benji's style combines rock ballads with a subtle touch of electronic pop and his lyrics are incredibly playful and easy to get caught up in. His live show is ridiculous: he starts singing off stage with a voice that, if you'd never seen him before, you'd swear belonged to a guy of Beck's stature. When Benji takes the stage, it's a pretty big shock...he rocks a thick mane and is much larger than you'd ever guess by just hearing the sound of his voice. I even had the...experience...of seeing Benji take his shirt off and chug beer in between lyrics -- he let it all hang out for the rest of the show and I'm pretty sure no one at the 40 watt will ever forget it.

If you ever get the chance to see him, I'd definitely check it out. Benji doesn't dissappoint. Speaking of chances...he's rocking the 40 watt again tomorrow night.
November 9, 2008

Third Eye Blind's First Release in 5 Years

Non-Dairy Creamer
I can't even imagine the flack I'll get for doing a 3eb post, but I think they're a severely underrated band: Jenkins' sense for melody is impeccable and I'm a sucker for his lyrics saturated with sex and drug comments. If you don't think they're underrated, then I'll meet you half-way and call them guilty pleasure.

Non-Dairy Creamer is supposedly the first single chosen for Ursa Major, 3eb's long awaited follow-up to 2003's Out of the Vein. The album has allegedly been in the works for 5 years; most of the instrumentals were completed long ago, the delay was apparently because Jenkins' had writer's block in drafting the lyrics. There have been reports that Ursa Major's lyrics will be more political than the band's prior albums which had me worried (I feel like few bands nowadays can successfully pull off political commentary), but if Non-Dairy Creamer is any indication of how the rest of the album is lyrically, it's definitely a pleasant surprise. The song is classic 3eb pop, catchy as hell, has a ridiculous string-laden breakdown about halfway through, and is lyrically both humorous and clever. I'm excited for Ursa Major.
November 7, 2008

Blood Raw feat. Young Jeezy's Louie Bag

From Panama City, we have Blood Raw. Enjoy.
November 4, 2008

What happened to them? caP'n Jazz

Oh Messy Life

This band has more passion behind it than any other band I've ever listened to. This album is raw, unpolished, young, experimental, but still catchy and impacting. The band's comprised of Tim Kinsella (vocals/Joan of Arc, Owls), Samuel Burick (bass), Mike Kinsella (drums/Joan of Arc, American Football), Victor Villareal (guitar), and Davey von Bohlen (guitar, vocals/Promise Ring). They only released one full-length album, Schmap'n Schmazz (as it's often called), and the band broke up almost immediately after its release. What we're left with is ANALPHABETOLOGY, the anthology of Schmap'n Schmazz and some other live stuff along with other little tracks they released.

This band formed in the end of the first emo wave (Fugazi, Rites of Spring, Nation of Ulysses, etc) in 1989, released Schmap'n Schmazz in 1994, when Sunny Day Real Estate released Diary. What we're left with now is the legacy they left behind in the form of bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Dashboard Confessional, and boys dressing like girls and a lot of dark clothing, ugly hair and bad makeup. Even though the bands that spawned in the wake of Cap'n Jazz may be bad, their good features are undeniable. They are amazingly creative and confrontational, yelling, emoting, and gushing lyrics violently and often to where you can barely understand them. This album is loud, introspective and full of the passion and feeling we all feel when growing up.

If you like any modern alternative band you should give this song a listen and you can see the subsequent influence on modern bands. Give it a listen.
November 3, 2008

What happened to them? My Bloody Valentine

This week, we're going to do a series of "What happened to them" posts where we'll pick artists who used to be huge players in all facets of the music scene but haven't been seen on the main stage in a while. We'll do a little bit of history, talk about what kind of impact they made, and then we'll talk about where the members are now. If you have any requests for artists that you want us to post about, just comment or e-mail us. I'll start off with My Bloody Valentine...


MBV was one of my absolute favorite bands and, coincidentally, influenced a lot of my favorite bands ranging from the Smashing Pumpkins to Sigur Ros. The group formed in 1984 in Dublin with the two founding members being guitarist/vocalist Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig. After gigging around Europe, the band finally settled in London and solidified their lineup with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Bilinda Butcher and bassist Debbie Googe. MBV were huge pioneers of the shoegazing genre using guitars as textures and vocals as reverb-based instruments.

I have to admit, I was not very impressed with the group's first LP release, Isn't Anything; however, it was the first release by MBV that was really well-received by critics and firmly established the group as a shoegazing band. It was their second LP release that is almost unanimously considered to be the group's masterpiece: Loveless. Several rumors were spread that the album almost bankrupted the label because of Shield's perfectionist intentions which, consequently, made the price of producing the album skyrocket (it was rumored to have costed upwards of £250,000, but Shields denies this). After listening to Loveless, I can see why. Every single sound is perfectly handcrafted and beautifully placed. I'd venture to say it's one of the top 5 albums of all time in terms of production techniques. Whenever somebody asks me what shoegazing is, I tell them to go get a copy of Loveless.

Unfortunately, Loveless failed to perform well commercially; it never charted in the United States. MBV began work on an album, but halted the production in 1996. Since then, the band hasn't released any material and the group disbanded. The popular reason behind the lack of material is because Shields thought that he could never make anything as beautiful as Loveless ever again. Fortunately for all of the MBV lovers, Shields announced in 2007 that the band was reuniting and plan to finish the album they had put on hold since 1996. The group performed a series of live shows in London and New York and, with any luck, we'll see the new MBV album out by early next year.
October 29, 2008

More Muppets

Well, I guess I'm behind the curve on adding muppet here's my favorite: Weezer's "Keep Fishing" with the muppets.
October 28, 2008


Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

This song is about a decade old and can be found on space rock group Spiritualized's album of the same name. The band's line-up has changed from album to album with the only constant being Jason Pierce from Spacemen 3, who is the main composer for Spiritualized. He's also obsessed with most things space related: his alias is J. Spaceman and he wanted Spiritualized to play at the debut of the CERN supercollider. The album was named NME's album of the year back in '97. This song is a great depiction of Spiritualized's musical approach: When I listen to it, I feel like I'm drunk and listening to a noise rock attempt at shoegazing. Pretty chill song overall.

Furry Happy Monsters

I'd be insane not to continue this puppet video trend. This is my FAVORITE performance from the Muppet Show, featuring none other than R.E.M.

And here's the mp3: Furry Happy Monsters

That's not all, folks.

That's right, Feist was on Sesame Street. And it was awesome.

peacez and luvz

Oh boxstr...

For some reason, Boxstr is currently down, so I can't put up a new song. It'll come soon, I promise.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Boxstr is the free hosting service we use here. Signing up gives you like 5 gigs of hosting with decent bandwidth for free. It's pretty sweet. Anyway, more to come soon.
October 24, 2008

More Puppet Videos

I, like Thom, have an affinity for puppet music videos. They rock. Here are a few more puppet videos I remember as being really cool.

Supergrass's Pumping On Your Stereo

Blur's Coffee & TV

Interpol's Evil

Reggie and the Full Effect's Get Well Soon

Yeah this video might be kinda old at this point, but I'd forgotten about it. For those of you who never saw it, where were you? Why aren't you constantly searching the internet for anything even slightly muppet related?

October 23, 2008


Cinemechanica @ The 40 Watt - 10.17.2008

The thing you can't help but realize about Cinemechanica is that these guys are serious. They are talented musicians that care about what they do, and it shows.

Cinemechanica's album release show for their latest recording Rivals was billed as their last performance with their second drummer, Jeremy Fountain (Hi Rollers, Serka). The band has successfully employed the dual drumming not as a gimmick or strictly visual effect (I mean, there's no denying how badass it looks), but as a separate instrument bringing its own ideas to the composition table.

The band -- guitarists Andy Pruett and Bryant Williamson, bassist Matt Nelson, and drummer Mike Albanese -- took the stage after openers Bambara, Building the State, and A. Armada. They ran through a couple of numbers as low key as it is possible for Cinemechanica to play, drawing the lingering smokers in from outdoors.

One of my favorite things about live shows is when bands remember they're not just playing music (you can just listen to the album for that) -- they're performing. Cinemechanica's lighting impresses me every time. It's neither over-the-top or minimalistic; it's the perfect thrill-inducing complement to their guitar-dueling, dizzying, insane sort-of-math-rock sound.

And then Jeremy Fountain came on stage, and everyone knew what was coming. Albanese is a fantastic drummer. His energy is palpable, his drum parts intricate, and his sound powerful. And Fountain is not just along for the ride. There were times when the two were playing together, and the crowd (myself definitely included) watched in awe as they hit every single beat, down to the last cymbal grab, in perfect time with each other.

But most impressive were the separate parts. Nothing about them was simple or basic; Cinemechanica drummers are not just keeping time. Their parts are as integral to the song as every other part; they are just as carefully composed as everything else (meaning very, very carefully).

It had been awhile since I had seen Cinemechanica, but I was reminded Friday night why I've always said they are the best band in Athens -- they are superb musicians that never fail to deliver. If you missed the final double-drum attack, kick yourself a few times, but don't do it again.

Cinemechanica / Rivals
October 22, 2008

Smashing Pumpkins with Guitar Hero


This is a poor-quality radio rip of the new Pumpkins' single, G.L.O.W. (I'll replace it with the real thing as soon as I get it). G.L.O.W. is a stand-alone single that is not related to the group's upcoming multi-year, mutli-release concept album. Also...the song, for right now, is being released exclusively as a downloadable track for Guitar Hero: World Tour. Wow. Thanks, Billy Corgan.

I think this song rocks. It has all of the bad-ass in-your-face old school Pumpkins' song qualities. Of course, I probably have a positive bias towards this song because the Smashing Pumpkins used to be my favorite band. Used to be is the key phrase here; ever since the half member "reunion" and the mediocre attempt that is Zeitgeist, my opinion of Billy Corgan and his infamous band of misfits has drastically dropped. I do still have high hopes for upcoming material, especially after the way G.L.O.W. turned out. Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.


/ Nano-Chromatic, the new iPod Nano commercial

If there's one thing I like it's ghosts and girly indie pop bands. When you first listen to it, you'll be inclined to think that the song is catchy. Catchy it is not. This song is haunting. It will pull you in, and when you hear the rest of the album you'll understand their origins. This little triplet had beginnings making music for haunted houses. I recently saw them on an iPod commercial, and just like the turn of Feist, I realized this band would be going public pretty soon. So let's spread them around.

I've always loved male/female vocal duets, and this band is a modern rendition. It's like going to an indie rock concert in the Underworld, surrounded by vampires, werewolves, spiders, and zombies.

I guarantee success. My favorite track is "Evident Utensil", and if you hear another song next, I suggest starting with that one.

Post if you want the full album.


This week has been strange for me, so here's some strange music.

Danielson (also known as Danielson Famile, Danielson Family, and Brother Danielson) is frontman Daniel Smith's music often performed with his siblings, wife, daughter, friends and sometimes other musicians, notably Sufjan Stevens. Danielson: a Family movie explores the polarizing effect the band can have on audiences, the close relationships of the family, Daniel starting his solo career, and his mentoring of Sufjan Stevens.

Like Sufjan Stevens, the music is paired with messages of a Christian nature, but don't write them off as another contemporary Jesus-freak-band before giving them a listen. Here's three songs to get you started

from Ships (2006)
Did I Step on Your Trumpet?

from Brother Is to Sun (2004)
Things Against Stuff
Animal In Every Corner *Recommended*
October 21, 2008

Vampire Weekend


Vampire Weekend is a rock four piece from New York. Their music has some pretty noticeable Baroque, Classical, and African influences which I really think sets them apart and above a lot of the "indie" bands out there today.

Unfortunately, I first heard this song during a free showing of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. In fact, I shouldn't even admit that I saw that movie...anyway, Ottoman is my latest find by Vampire Weekend. It really emphasizes the quartet's knack for non-traditional arrangements and unique instrumentation; I love the playful use of strings. It's an incredibly catchy and easily likable song overall. Enjoy!

Weird Tapes - Get Religion

I'm on a bit of a dance kick lately. But we all need some more fun in our lives. Certainly if there's any adjective that could be applied to Weird Tapes' music, it's 'fun'. Fans of Air and Daft Punk are in for a welcome addition to their musical libraries with "Get Religion," a five-song EP(?) downloadable from the Weird Tapes blog.

Weird Tapes Blog
Weird Tapes on Myspace

African Swim

Those of you who are nerds like myself and still watch cartoons (mainly those of the adultswim variety) probably already know about this, but for those of you who don't, Adult Swim is allowing everyone to download a free compilation of African rappers. Entitled African Swim, the album's 15 tracks represent a pretty wide variety of Hip-Hop, from beats and rhymes obviously influenced by Western rappers (Etc.'s "Organic Boom Rap) to much more interesting takes on this oftentimes oversaturated genre (Rusty Dusty's "The Place I'm From").

Head on over to the [adult swim] website and grab yourself a copy. Well worth it.

peacez and luvz
October 20, 2008

What the...

Trick? It would seem so.

PYLON and DEERHUNTER and HALLOWEEN... All in one night?
This is no joke, my friends. Make your way there or be square.
(The best line-up since Harvey Milk opened for the Melvins.)

Feast On My Heart
Love, Olivia

Teengirl Fantasy

There's an immediate groove with a sampled catcall. A machine drum beat pumped through distortion with waves of synthesized melodies on top filtered through a phaser. One can't help but be caught up in this infectious song while navigating through the various ethereal electronic passages. The infection is good, though. It slips through the defenses of the outer ear and settles nicely in your memory for at least the next seventy two hours or so. You'll be aching to hear this song again. It's like potato chips. You can't ever listen just once. It will probably find a nice home in every single one of your party playlists from now on.

Teengirl Fantasy, comprised of Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss, knows exactly how to craft memorable electronic dance anthems, though they aren't afraid to mellow out and hit you with a more laid back track. Then again, the latter will probably have some sort of rap sample on it. Therein lies the beauty of Teengirl Fantasy's sound. Highly textured sonic environments with plenty of experimental curveballs thrown in for an overall sound that leaves you unable to remain stationary.

peacez & luvz

Teengirl Fantasy on Myspace
Teengirl Fantasy's Angelfire page

Her Space Holiday's Ambidextrous

This is one of my favorite albums from Marc Bianchi, aka Her Space Holiday, and one of my favorite albums of all time.

Marc started out in the hardcore scene, playing guitar for bands like Indian Summer and Mohinder (not Suresh). Marc initially wanted to focus on running a record label, but soon found his calling in playing the DJ and the artist himself. Thus in 1996, Her Space Holiday was born, and in 2001 we have this lovely remix album released.

Marc remixes songs from artists such as Duster, Aspera Ad Astra, Micromars, Bright Eyes, and one of his own songs. The diverse collection of sounds combined with a personal artistry to combine different elements with a driving force developed in his hardcore days is what makes this album memorable and unique. This is Marc Bianchi at his brightest and most diverse. He is poignant, funny, playful, and yet still deeply dissatisfied with everything.

My favorite track is "Why Didn't My Parents? (Analog Alien Mix)". I'll be posting a lot more Her Space Holiday in the future, and this is a band I've never had anyone dislike. Download this album.

Electric President's Self-Titled

A Jacksonville Beach duo bent on describing the snowy world around them through distant and haunting lyrics with a glitch electronica background. A perfect 10 track album released only two years ago, Ben Cooper writes about the distance and isolation caused by technology, industry, and homogenization of culture and living conditions. It's the best thing from Florida since Limp Bizkit.

My favorite track is "Some Crap About The Future", but this is an album which can be listened to in its entirety, with each track building upon each other to paint a distinct picture of Cooper's state of mind. You'll want more.
September 22, 2008

Bloc Party

Promo Photo from Bloc Party

Bloc Party is by no means an undiscovered act. The four piece English indie rock band has been around for the better part of a decade; the group broke through by passing along a demo to the BBC and Franz Ferdinand. Over the course of their career, they've shifted from a raw rock sound to incorporating various layers and including electronic music.

"Talons" is actually my first Bloc Party experience and...sweet jesus...I think it's spectacular. The pseudo dance beat rhythm section at first kind of worried me; I thought it was going to be another The Killers "Somebody Told Me" catastrophe. Instead, I found a frantic, in-your-face with no fucking around, beautiful rock song. It's badass, I promise.
September 19, 2008

The Middle East

Image from VisitTheMiddleEast


I first found this track through OpenYourEyesToMusic and was immediately intrigued by Peter's statements surrounding this song and band: "By all logical explanations, I shouldn't know it exists. The band is based in Townsville, over 1000km away. I had neither heard or heard of them before today." Which is completely, 100% true. This band is based in Australia...on the other side of the planet from me. They have no label affiliations, no promotions here, and the only way I found them was through some light digging online. I'm so glad I did the little bit of digging it took to find this song.

Yeah, the title frightened me a bit. When I first downloaded this track I thought I was getting myself into some kind of death metal song; In the first few seconds I found out I was totally wrong. This is one of the most spectacular tracks I've found online in a long time. The use of vocal harmonies is amazing; the pacing of the song is perfect; the development of recurring melodies almost reminds me of a Sigur Ros feel. This definitely isn't a post-rock track, but the Sigur Ros influence is pretty noticeable. Solid track overall.

Jenny Lewis

Image from Minnesota Public Radio

Acid Tongue

Most of you probably know Jenny Lewis from either her contribution of vocal tracks on The Postal Service's Give Up or her indie ensemble Rilo Kiley; or, I guess if you don't know her from either of those, she was in Troop Beverly Hills. She's been in the music scene for about ten years, but didn't achieve widespread acclaim until 2004. Whatever, anyway, in my opinion, this track showcases an independent Lewis at her best.

I'm pretty sure with this Jenny Lewis title track off her new album, Acid Tongue, I've become a sucker for alt-country. Her alternative take on the genre is really amazing; not only is the track simple in terms of production and instrumentation, but it also highlights Jenny Lewis' amazing sense of musicality with her vocals; I think the gospel-like vocal harmonies are a stroke of genius. If this is any indication of what's to come on the album, I can't wait.
September 12, 2008

The Day the Ship Sank

this will be the first post of chrysanthemum music's blog: esoteric mumblings. we'll post the occasional song, give the random review of cd's released (either historically or presently), and share thoughts on the general state of the music industry. let it begin.