April 28, 2010

Music from Brooklyn

What do all the above songs have in common?
They were all made in Brooklyn! Although it is New York's most populous borough, it still amazes me how much good alternative music has been made within the confined space of these 70 square miles in recent years. I remember there was a lot of buzz about Brooklyn's alternative music scene around 07/08, and in the past two years several of the bands from that period have reached out to bigger and bigger masses, achieving world stardom - like the above four bands.

Animal Collective have since moved away from Brooklyn, though, appearently being tired of the whole place and its people - which they made a point of in their song 'For Reverend Green' (my favorite Animal Collective song, off 2007's Strawberry Jam), where they depicted Brooklyners as 'wasted' and 'depressed'. MGMT have stayed in Brooklyn, but recently announced that "If the fabled Brooklyn music scene does exist, we're definitely not part of it".

The Hundred In The Hands

But there are still numerous interesting new bands emerging from Brooklyn's vibrant music scene today. My most recent discovery is The Hundred In The Hands. This indie pop boy-girl duo lists accessible pop music such as the Kinks, Beatles and Michael Jackson as their main inspiration, something that was evident on the first few songs they recorded. On their debut EP This Desert, however - which is out on May 18 - they showcase a more "ethereal, gauzy side" of their tastes (to quote the band).

To me, the darker soundscape, vocal style and drum machines are slightly reminiscent of the best moments of Ladytron. Ghosts (my favorite track off the EP), with its downtempo, dark but soothing sound, should also be perfect for anyone who loved the XX's debut album and is looking for something new in the same mood. The rest of the EP wanders between different styles, but always combining guitar and coldish electronic sounds in a way that brings artists like New Order, The Cure and (the already mentioned) Ladytron to mind. Check them out for yourself, and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do!

mp3: The Hundred In The Hands - Ghosts
April 27, 2010

New video: Mew - Beach

Mew's official music video for the track 'Beach', off their 2009 album No More Stories Are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away No More Stories The World Is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away, is finally out!

mp3: Mew - Beach(alternate download link)

The members of Danish dream pop / alternative rock band Mew first met each other in the early nineties, when the four founding members worked together on a 7th grade art project. Their project consisted of an art film combining self-composed music with self-recorded video, and was a strong hint of what to come - lead singer Jonas Bjerre still loves to combine video and music in interesting and artistic ways, something Mew fans all over the world know to appreciate.

In all their live shows, bizarre and fascinating backdrop videos always run behind the band for the entirety of the show. These are actually all made by Bjerre personally, who in the meantime between directing his 7th grade art video and breaking through internationally with Mew in 2003 actually for a period also worked professionally with post-production and special effects. For an example of Bjerre's work, check out the absolutely stunning backdrop video for 'Comforting Sounds' (if you're impatient, 4:20 is when the magic begins).

Although Bjerre doesn't produce the official music videos for the band himself, the world is always in for a treat when a new Mew music video is released nonetheless. Due to the band's love for interesting and experimental imagery, they always work with really interesting young up-and-coming directors. 'Beach' was directed by 29 year old Danish director Lasse Martinussen, who also did their last video (Repeaterbeater), and it's truly bizarre and unique - in that special Mew way.

While Beach arguably is the most straigthforward, sweet and bright song on the album, almost naive-sounding compared to other tracks such as the dark New Terrain or the complex and labyrinthian Introducing Palace Players (my absolute favorite track of 2009!), the video is far from naive and sweet. The cheerful song, compared with dark, perplexing and unnerving images, makes for a fantastic music video that makes me once again reconfirm my deep love for these Danish pop geniuses. Enjoy!
April 19, 2010

LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls

The music video for LCD Soundsystem's new song Drunk Girls has been unleashed upon the internet, and it's one of the sickest music videos I have ever seen. Co-directed by Spike Jonze and James Murphy himself, it features some disturbing and extremely abusive panda bear like characters and lots of ... sick mayhem. You have to watch this one to understand.

mp3: LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls

LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening is out on May 18 in the US and the day before in Europe. You can listen to the whole album for free here. I've given it a few listens and it seems great!
Here are some unusual cover versions of two songs I love. These two videos are both really impressive and touching - Young@Heart and PS22 are such awesome choirs!

Young@Heart - Schizophrenia
cover version of Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia

Amazing old people.

PS22 Chorus - Zebra
cover version of Beach House - Zebra

Amazing young people.
April 12, 2010

Rare EPs, part 7

Keeping it simple - here's Eels' Rotten World Blues EP (2002). Eels hardly need any introduction, but if you'd still like one, here's my introduction that I wrote for Esoteric Mumblings earlier.

The four songs on this EP are from the Souljacker sessions, which was the most hard-rocking period in Eels' career so far. While Eels frontman Mr. E these days most often writes out of moods such as loneliness, nostalgia and grief, accompanied by the piano and acoustic guitars (though sometimes in combination with electric), the tracks on this EP are written more out of annoyance, anger or a desire to just 'rock out' with electric guitars, like E probably would put it himself.

Jehova's witness, leave me alone!!
Jehova's witness, I'm not at home!
April 6, 2010

Girly songs stuck in my head

So cheap and juicy!

Regina Spektor plays "That Time" at Bonnarroo, and the thousands of people in the crowd are pretty quiet- making her minimalist guitar sound that much better. Her voice is like chocolate. You take a bite at first, and it starts to melt on your tongue, and you feel hints of bitterness but an absolute rush of sweetness overlaying it all.

Download the song!

Rilo Kiley- The Frug

Pretty similar to Regina's song. She's just being cute and describing how impossible she is.

Download the song!

The Cardigans- Rise & Shine

Perfect music for the weather we've been having. Simple as that.
April 4, 2010

Three songs

For everyone who enjoyed non serviam's newest entry, here's an mp3 download of the song:
mp3: Hathbanger - Party and Bullshit In the U.S.A. (Miley vs. B.I.G.)

Oh, and here's one more hiphop mashup - I've really been into this one lately:
mp3: Emancipator - Shook (Sigur Rós vs. Mobb Deep)

Also, people have requested us to re-post the song Bridge by the New Wine. No problem, dear readers!
mp3: The New Wine - Bridge

I hope you're all enjoying your Easter holidays - or whatever else you're currently doing.


Download your hearts out. Hopefully those work?
-girl scout


I re-uploaded once more and changed the original links!
April 3, 2010

Lou Reed

  • Gorillaz - Some Kind of Nature (feat. Lou Reed)
  • The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man
  • The Velvet Underground - Heroin
  • The Velvet Underground - Here She Comes Now
  • Lou Reed - Vicious
  • Lou Reed - Street Hassle

Like practically every other person on the planet, I like Gorillaz' new album Plastic Beach. There are a lot of great tracks, but the one that stands out the most to me definitely is Some Kind of Nature featuring Lou Reed. I'm a huge Velvet Underground and Lou Reed fan, and had high expectations to the track ever since I first saw it on early Plastic Beach tracklists. Hearing one of my musical heroes rap for what must be the first time in his long career was simply awesome, and the track is overall really catchy and sweet.

My addiction to Some Kind of Nature has brought me back into one of my Velvet Underground / Lou Reed periods, and I'm constantly listening to them again. Here are some of my favorite Reed tracks of all time:

From The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting for the Man
The Velvet Underground - Heroin

In my two favorite tracks on the album, Reed does exactly what made the whole album famous - he very frankly, explicitly and nonchalantly explores themes that until them had been almost non-existant in 'pop' music, such as drug abuse.

From White Light / White Heat (1968)
The Velvet Underground - Here She Comes Now

Here She Comes now, from the Velvet Undergound's second album, is one of my favorite slower and 'nicer' tracks by the band. The beautiful little tune is drastically different from the heavier Waiting for the Man and Heroin, but showcases the same amazing songwriting talent.

From Transformer (1972)
Lou Reed - Vicious

After the Velvet Underground disbanded in the early seventies, Reed made the solo album Transformer, where he explored more accessible pop and glam sides of himself. The album is the most famous for the major hit "Perfect Day", but my personal favorite is the powerful and feisty "Vicious". So full of attitude, and apparently inspired by Andy Warhol, who once told Lou Reed that he 'should make a song about someone vicious'.

From Street Hassle (1978)
Lou Reed - Street Hassle

The title track of Reed's 1978 solo album Street Hassle is a wonderful example of his lyrical talents - essentially an epic 11-minute long poem reading of rough New York underworld social realism poetry set to guitars. The long song is split into three parts - "Waltzing Matilda," "Street Hassle," and "Slipaway", and features Bruce Springsteen on vocals for a short while on the final third part. Amazing and powerful track.