Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A couple from the latest Grizzly Bear album

Here's a band I am sure most of the indie kids are lapping up right now. I got a chance to catch Grizzly Bear before Radiohead last August, and while they were good technically speaking, they were....well....rigid. Staying in one spot for the most part, and sans any real energy. Then again, it's sort of who they are. They don't make songs - for the most part - that really make someone energized and jumpy. Their music is often atmospheric and chill. Hell, when Adult Swim starts using your music for their now almost legendary Bumps? You've made it. Here's a clip of the Bump using their cut "Easier".

Well, these two songs here are from their latest album, Veckatimest. The tracks are somewhat of a departure from Yellow House, and this is a pretty good thing. They offer a more full composition in regards to songwriting and melodies, and tend to be less rough around the edges. So here are the tracks "Two Weeks" and "Cheerleader". Now go buy their album!

[Download Grizzly Bear - Cheerleader]

[Download Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks]

Now, get your ass in gear and go buy this. Or I tell your mom. After I've slept with her, of course.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Electro Pop and Indie Rock

I am a sucker for these kinds of bands. They just get me on both sides of what I dig. The indie rock sound with its DIY ethos, and the DJ friendly-ish electronic pop sensibility.

The thing is, my love for them is shallow and fleeting. As soon as the next indie-rock/electronic-pop band/song/release/remix comes out...I just move on to that. Leaving a veritable graveyard of bands in this genre, in my wake.

Passion Pit is a band like this for me. Soon to be thrown in the trash like a paper plate. It's hard to say that now, because I am totally digging it.

The more I listen to it, the more it reminds me of everything I liked about Prince.

Is it possible that this particular band with this particular album could remain in my heart?

[Download Passion Pit - To Kingdom Come]

The lead singer and songwriter, Michael Angelakos, says he wants to be the next Randy Newman. Whenever I listen to the song "To Kingdom Come", I think I hear the influences of Newman. Maybe.

The best part of this album? The remixes that people have done off its release! I share one below from Wallpaper:

[Download Passion Pit - Reeling (Wallpaper Remix)]

Passion Pit even gets in on the remixing, taking on Dan Black of the now defunct The Servant.

[Download Dan Black - Symphonies (Passion Pit Remix)]

You may not have heard of Dan Black or The Servant. Dan Black has an album coming out, so keep an eye out for that. The song Symphonies was once called HYPNTZ and was a funky cover of Biggie Smalls track. Sadly, Big's estate red-lighted that, and Dan had to write new lyrics. I am sure you are never gonna hear the old version on the radio, even though it's super hot. So...we do it for you.


[Download Dan Black - Symphonies (Passion Pit Remix)]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not easily offended

Friends since childhood in Paris.

Come 1996, one group becomes Daft Punk, and the other becomes Phoenix.

Come 2009, no one has not heard of Daft Punk, but have you ever heard of Phoenix? They both have a handful of studio albums under their belt. Only one got the Grammies and the headlining gigs though. Phoenix is currently on tour to support the upcoming album, and It looks like the London, Holland, Paris, and Berlin shows are sold out. So there is that. And someone in the US has obviously heard of them: Chicago, NYC and DC have sold out as well. You can check them out if you're planning to hit Bonnaroo.

If you were planning to skip all summer festivals because you assume that we your loyal music servants will report on them fully, you need to start contributing to our event fund. Because I don't know if you've looked out the window lately, but there's a recession out there. We do what we can. So, with that said... You'll be at Bonnaroo right? Let us know how it is. They will also be at Austin City Limits in October, so if you've been a good little boy or girl and you've made your contribs, then we will go to that and tell you all about it. Hell, technically it seems to me like they are free during Outside Lands, so maybe we'll see their name added to the lineup.

The new album hits US shelves on Tuesday. They previewed a few tracks from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix when they appeared on SNL back in April. Check out Track 1, Lisztomania, here:

[Download Phoenix - Lisztomania]

Another new song they shared is called 1901. How about a remixed version? In this Ivan Beck Redub, this track is stretched out a bit and transformed into the island version. Check it out:

[Download Phoenix - 1901 (Ivan Beck Dub Remix)]

The tracks on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix do sound more full, more developed and mature, than earlier work that I've been able to sample. 2004's Alphabetical reminds me of Just Jack, whom I just love all the same. In fact, if you challenged me, I might guess that just about any of the tracks off the earlier album belonged to Mr. Jack. Check out "Everything is Everything" from Alphabetical.

[Download Phoenix - Everything is Everything]

This year's album manages to remain upbeat without chewing too much bubble gum, but don't get me wrong... You could still catch me prancing home from the pool as if leading my own parade if I had this playing in the earbuds. (Never mind that I've got to get that remix loaded into the Pod too!) Oh, you didn't hear about my parade? Yeah. You need to listen to the podcast, my friend. You can click that icon on the right of this blog page, or you can follow this link.

And the easiest way to start making your contributions to the bloggers you love the most is by compriando algo aqui:

Or you can just buy me something. I take a Small.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thin White Duke post

So this week it's finally nice outside, so I've been doing nothing but fucking around. Boston weather is messed up, so a nice day of mid 70's can't be wasted. So I thought of an old remix that Jacques Lu Cont - otherwise known as The Thin White Duke - had done for Felix Da Housecat a few years back, so it made me curious about other stuff he had done. So here are three of his remixes. Two of which I do like, the other I find horrid, but eh, you all can choose if you like it or not. Hint: It's the Killers song I hate. Then again, I hate the Killers to begin with. Terrible band, IMO.

[Download Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene (Thin White Duke mix)]

[Download Depeche Mode - Wrong (Thin White Duke mix)]

[Download The Killers - Mr. Brightside (Thin White Duke mix)]

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let me clear my throat...


It's Monday and I have no real plan for a post today. I guess it's gonna be quick and dirty. How about a quick rundown of some highlights of music from the weekend?

I'm so glad you are all so easy to please!

here goes...

Well, we recorded a new podcast over the weekend. One of the tracks we played on the podcast is amusing enough to share here too! Ween's track Buenas Tardes Amigo. You should check out the podcast to hear us banter about it. It's a silly song...but after discovering it with TLO during the show, I kept playing it for the rest of the weekend! I don't know anything about Ween, but I plan on delving into them a little more, just to see what I have been missing. Before you ask, I didn't miss the Push Th' Little Daisies song, although I wish I had.

[Download Ween - Buenas Tardes Amigo]

I keep seeing Eric Church's name. He's supposedly country music's next big thing. I really don't know a lot about country, but after finally succumbing to the hype I decided to give Eric's latest, Carolina, a spin. If anything, the songwriting is good, and the music is a little more on the rock side of country. I've given the album a few spins this weekend, and I would recommend it to others. I'm just not sure if I am ready to join the "choir".

[Download Eric Church - Smoke A Little Smoke]

THE MOUNTAIN GOATSI have been learning to play guitar. I discovered the open G tuning method, and I can nearly play Commandante by The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle is not the greatest singer, but his song writing resonates with me. I am not entirely sure why, but his simple lyrics hit home. This song is no exception.

[Download The Mountain Goats -

i got a great big secret written down somewhere.
i got a rosary to protect us both from harm.
i got a storage locker full of cow figurines
and a laundry list of grievances longer than my arm.

I have mentioned TMG a few times on this blog, so I will leave it at that. Buy one Goats album and tell me what YOU think.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The gods must be laughing down at me

Ha, ha, ha.

I spent the best years of my life
Waiting on the best years of my life,
So what's there to write about?

I've never heard of them before, so good for you if you're cooler than I. The band Cursive has been around since 1995. They even scored a perfect 5 out of 5 rating from AltPress for one of their albums, back in 2003. Mama, I'm Swollen, which is their seventh full-length album, dropped in March of this year, followed soon after by their first television appearance - on the David Letterman Show. Go Dave!

I am all over this music. I especially love the lyrics and music from Track 2, "From The Hips." Check out the video:

From The Hips from Cursive on Vimeo.

I wanna scream it from my foamin' mouth

I lovetty love it. How about if I take a break from breaking it down and just tell you this is exactly what it would sound like if you decided to pack up and take a weekend trip inside my cranium. That's right, that's what I said. Welcome to crazyville. Enjoy your stay.

[Download Cursive - I Couldn't Love You]

That's me. That's what was in this brain when I emerged onto this planet, and that's what has rattled around inside every day since. That whole song.

Check out their tour schedule and hop on over to see them live. It's so ironic that they are going to be at a teeny little venue near me, because I haven't been to that venue in a few years. Yet, I'm gonna go see Paper Route there soon and then be back to check out Cursive. Stay tuned to our podcast and we'll tell you all about the Paper Route show.

Stay classy and buy some decent indie tunes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I like antiphony

Taking Back Sunday
I was chatting with TLO on my way home from the office Wednesday. She was talking about how she had recently gotten a few CDs from a friend that was returning the favor after she turned him on to Four Year Strong, Bayside, and Meg and Dia. Apparently he fell head over heels about those bands, and that's the payoff my friends. This is why we even put in the blood sweat and tears into this very blog. We love that feeling when someone falls in love with a band that we told them about.

Back to the story...

I asked her, "Well...what are you gonna hook him on next?" She replied, "I tried a few other bands, but they fell short for him. No one else sounds like FYS and Bayside." Well... I HAD to agree.

Even after what I am about to share this week, the statement is still true. No band sounds like Bayside. There will never be another band like Four Year Strong.


You could find "Band B" that happens to have all the same things you like about "Band A".

I am of course talking about iTunes Genius and Pandora. We have mentioned iTunes Genius in one of our podcasts, but I'd like to talk specifically about Pandora. Both the iTunes Genius and Pandora use a formula for determining recommendations of new songs based on songs/bands you already like.

Pandora, specifically, uses the technology provided by the Music Genome Project. In a nutshell, it takes characteristics of a band/song and matches it with bands/songs that have similar characteristics within a certain range of difference. Like if a band has a male singer that writes emo-type lyrics usually in a minor key, it will recommend other songs that have male singers that also have emo-ish lyrics in minor keys. The characteristics that make up a song are known as its genome. Musicians analyze songs to put together these characteristics, which make it a little more scientific than some punk kid saying simply: "They sound just like the Foo Fighters."

To best describe all that Pandora is, I created two stations. One based on Bayside and one based on Four Year Strong.

The first one is Bayside.

Bayside Station
Pandora selected many great bands and songs for my Bayside station, most notably Taking Back Sunday and the song My Blue Heaven. Why TBS? Well, its genome similarities to Bayside are:

basic rock song structures
mild rhythmic syncopation
a clear focus on recording studio production
mixed minor & major key tonality
string section beds
a vocal-centric aesthetic
mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
electric guitar riffs
vocal harmonies

[Download Taking Back Sunday - My Blue Heaven]

I like Taking Back Sunday, but in my opinion, Bayside is far better, deeper, and more profound than TBS. I definitely don't mind it showing up in my Bayside Radio playlist though!

Now, let's see how Pandora does with Four Year Strong.

Four Year Strong Station

One of the first recommendations was a band called Set Your Goals and their song Mutiny.

[Download Set Your Goals - Mutiny]
Here are the characteristics that make this a good recommendation based on Four Year Strong:
punk roots
great lyrics
heavy use of vocal harmonies
call and answer vocal harmony (Antiphony)
major key tonality
paired vocal harmony
dirty electric guitar riffs
an aggressive male vocalist
prominent drums

I love this band on first listen! Enough to go to Amazon and buy it! The best part was that I had never heard of Set Your Goals before Pandora suggested them! [edit by TLO: I did. They are actually touring with Bayside right now. But they were also on the lineup for a Big D And The Kids Table show that we ended up skipping quite a long time ago. LOL] Mission accomplished! Maybe Pandora will help you find some new music? The one thing is that you might miss more cutting-edge indie bands by just relying on Pandora and the Music Genome Project, so you better bookmark just to make sure you don't miss something amazing!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I talk in between when you're looking away

I heard a song on the radio and for a moment I thought it was Saves The Day's "Do You Know What I Love The Most?" But alas, it seems like none of Saves The Day's songs have ever been played on corporate airwaves. Wouldn't life be so much better if we could switch the dial and hear something like this?

[Download Saves The Day - Do You Know What I Love The Most?]

Saves The Day, headed by Chris Conley, has spent more than a decade inspiring other alternative acts and entertaining the youth of America with their pre-mathcore (you like that one?!)punk ballads and sorrowful self-loathing diatribes. But my favorite StD song is another love song, "Always Ten Feet Tall."

[Download Saves The Day - Always Ten Feet Tall]

One of the bands that formed in the shadow of, and grew to become contemporaries of StD is Say Anything. Max Bemis fronts this band and is backed by four friends.

Max and Chris grabbed a former Saves the Day member and a current Say Anything member to form a collaboration record called Two Tongues. There's no better way to describe the band than as Max says on their MySpace page:

"The Two Tongues record is really an expression of the yin and yang; how two "opposite" souls stimulate and battle each other in any truly loving relationship. Chris inspired me as a mentor, hero and friend, and I inspired him as someone who truly cherishes his work that he can respect in his own right. Chris sometimes looks down on himself but is inside a very strong, almost Buddha-like centered soul; I have that whole Steven Tyler/Jerry Lewis extrovert personality onstage but I'm a totally neurotic, restless soul inside. We as two people, therefore, express two sides of a coin."

If you followed the Say Anything link to the blog post I wrote about them back in August, you would know I love the two bands almost equally.

So I should love Two Tongues. I've tried so many times. It's been out for three months, and I am just now writing this. (Well, that's mostly because of the whole false excitement over the radio thing this morning.) [edit][update]By the way, it's the intro to Blink 182's My Girlfriend. I like that song, but I hate that the local "eggstreeeeeme" station thinks that is has to be played every single morning.

The album starts out with Max's powerful voice, a lead guitar and percussion with the strength of an angry Say Anything album, and the haunting background keys reminiscent of a Saves the Day song. Then Chris joins in on vocals, and it sounds like the perfect blend of two soulful sounds. But then Track 2, with the two trading off lines as if they are singing to each other, causes sufficient creepiness as you wonder just what the hell is going on? Listeners are just plain confused. Is Conley playing the part of some girl who dumped Bemis? Is Bemis consoling Conley over the demise of Saves the Day? Or is this just an internal dialog and a wildly experimental song?

The album doesn't lose the creepiness factor as it moves along, unfortunately. Believe me. I said it before; I want to love it so much. It's moving to imagine two artists, whom I respect so much, getting the opportunity to be creative in this way. But I really could live without hearing Chris Conley singing "Hey there boy, you're beautiful." In case I haven't already protested ad nauseum, I love the sensitivity these two have been able to convey on all their previous music. But this just went too far for me; maybe I just need my men to err on the side of The Beast With Impenetrable Feelings.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Well, here. Listen for yourself. This is one of the tracks that those who enjoyed the album claim "saves it" from the rest of the weak second half. Listen to Wowee Zowee:

[Download Two Tongues - Wowee Zowee]

I can't say anymore. I've said enough. You know how I feel. Tell me what you think. I've seen both bands live. I love them. I've got all the old stuff and rare stuff and unreleased stuff. I'm just not smellin' this record.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Modest Mouse? I'm mad at you.

For one, their last album was just not that great. The fanboys a couple years back were SO FUCKING ANNOYING.

"Oh my god! They got Johnny Marr! YES! HE WILL MAKE THEM THE GREATEST BAND EVAR!"

Umm. No. He won't. Even more annoying was the group of dipshits after the last show I saw them play talking about how they "weren't very good" because they played too much "old stuff." WTF? Are you fucking kidding me? Go back to finding whatever band is hot on top 40 next, you weak-minded piece of garbage. Yeah, I hear Kelly Clarkson is going indie. Why don't you jump on her? You're not jumping any other girl right now, anyhow. Here's a tip. Spend more time on social skills and less time nitpicking music you don't fucking know.

Anyways, they were great live. Have been the three times I've seen them. Isaac Brock is a weird, weird dude, btw. First couple of times I saw them was before Good News.... made them over the top huge. So seeing them play older stuff, like "Doin' The Cockroach" made me quite happy. I've included a pic I took at the show here in Boston a couple years back, also. Which brings me to why I'm pissed with them. They didn't come here on their last tour. How the fuck do you NOT come to Boston?

Anyways, here's "Doin' The Cockroach" as well as a live version. As you were.

[Download Modest Mouse - Doin' The Cockroach]

[Download Modest Mouse - Doin' The Cockroach (Live)]

So stop being pretentious and go buy this stuff. No one cares if you're a brooding emo kid. You have money. Now spend it, you tightwad!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Glorified version of a...


I am taking The Little One to the San Francisco Outside Lands music and art festival.

I've been thinking about this festival a lot, and decided to throw a post together about it. Share some info about the festival, share a story about each of the three main headliners, and a song from each!

It's been a long time since I went to a music festival like this. It was getting depressing to read about Coachella, burning man, Bonaroo, SXSW year after year and what I had missed.

The main headliners are Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, and the Beastie Boys.

I have previously seen PJ and the Beastie Boys...but it must be a good ten years since I have seen either. In fact, it's quite possible that it's closer to 15. (/frown)

You can imagine how stoked I am to go, just based on the line up alone! Then I read more about the festival, and I just get giddy! I just read about Winehaven! "If music is not enough for you mookie, we will throw in your next favorite love: EATING!"

From the Outside Lands website:

Music isn't the only thing that rocks in San Francisco. Local wine and food artisans make the Bay Area a delicious place to live. Outside Lands celebrates this tradition with its Winehaven tent in the Speedway Meadow. Winehaven features dozens of California's top winemakers and great local chefs serving up their freshest stuff. In the courtyard, cheese and charcuterie makers join Hog Island Oyster Company to ensure that no appetite get's left behind. With over 50 wines to taste and an unbelievable selection of local bites, Winehaven is the best picnic spot in Golden Gate Park.

Jealous? You can still buy tickets!

Ok. On to the music and the stories!

Pearl Jam

[Download Pearl Jam - Go]

I remember waiting at midnight outside my local record store for this album to be sold! It was the first time I had ever stood in line in the middle of the night for a CD. Man, was it worth it. When I got that bad boy playing and the first song, "Go" came through the speakers, it was all worth the wait.

I had sorta given up on Pearl Jam somewhere after No Code. I think I had become jaded with Pearl Jam's attempts to do things differently in a traditional sense. Less with the sounds on the album, although there was a significant change, but the way they boycotted ticketmaster and refused to make anymore music videos. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having "spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame."

Sometime later, after seeing the fall out of the record industry and its demise, I began to understand the moves Pearl Jam was making. Now that I am older, I can understand the weight and turmoil the band was experiencing in a brighter light by weighing my own life and issues.

Now, coming full circle, I am just as giddy to see PJ in San Francisco as I was at 11:59PM outside that Warehouse Music store.

Dave Matthews Band

[Download Dave Matthews Band - Go]

Never seen DMB live before. First times are always exciting. Dave Matthews Band was one of the staples on the jukebox at my buddies bar. Let me paint a picture. My buddy was the new bartender working graveyard shifts at a slow dive bar. He would ask me and my roommate to come down and hang out, just so there would be a few people in the bar looking like they were having a good time.

My roommate and I would come in at 1AM after work, or sometimes just wander in from home in our pajama pants and t-shirts to play cards and drink beers for 3 or 4 hours just about every night he was working. During these heated card games where various amounts of wagers were placed, we would throw $10 or $20 dollars into the jukebox, and Dave Matthews was always in the list. I think my roommate, a dude who loved chick flicks and crazy women, was the big DMB fan. As you can imagine, I ended up singing along, and becoming a fan of the band. I really don't like any album except Under the Table and Dreaming though, but that album will always hold a place in my mind that is associated with shuffling cards and the stink of stale beers and cigarette smoke.

The Beastie Boys

[Download The Beastie Boys - High Plains Drifter ]

Click on the photo of the Beastie Boys and take a moment of silence for these badly aging hip hop geniuses.

I remember floating in the Lazy River of our local water park with my friend, trying to sing Paul Revere from beginning to end with out messing up!

My favorite Beastie song is High Plains Drifter. I love the cocking of the shotgun, and the vocal layering in the song. I love all the weird samples weaved in also.

I have seen the Beastie Boys before. It was another festival, and there were thousands of people and I was squished in the pit. Ass to elbows; you could not move if you wanted to. I saw people bloodied and beaten trying desperately to get out of the pit to get medical attention. It must have been like being lost at sea for those poor souls. Well...They soon figured out that the way out was on top. There were dozens of wounded exiting the pit on the hands and heads of the crowd. It was one of these wounded souls who hurt me. I saw him coming. I saw that giant steel toe shoe headed my way. No where to go though, so I braced for impact. By the end of the night my head looked like I had road burn. It was not pretty.

Buy some music from these artists, there must be a CD you are missing from their broad discography.

Friday, May 1, 2009

So What Are You Waitin' For?

Nature is a curse we fight

You're awake, and it's the middle of the night. Awake isn't even the right term. Wired. Alert. Restless. Sleepless. It's time to start messing around with GarageBand, Reason, Anvil, FlexiMusic, or whatever your program du jour may be. Perhaps you can get your song on a teen heartthrob television show and tour with Paramore, like the folks at Paper Route.

It's true: In essence, this is how the Nashville, Tennessee band got its start. By messing around on the laptop, and creating music. It doesn't hurt to have the talent for crafting intelligent lyrics to support your synth beats and grooves.
They've toured with Paramore, have just barely finished their tour with Copeland, and will head out with Bright Eyes next week. Not bad for such humble beginnings!

Nothing could ever feed your appetite for reasons
You're always wanting more
You've trashed my intentions
And I can almost hear you
You're right outside the door

Go ahead and take a listen to both Tracks 5 and 6 from their first album released by a major label, Absence, which just dropped this week. Check out Tiger Teeth and Be Healed:

[Download Paper Route - Tiger Teeth]

[Download Paper Route - Be Healed]

I can easily say I'm impressed with the boys in Paper Route. Electronica definitely has a soul, and they daftly expose it, especially with these middle tracks in the album. What they do with it is make it translatable and relatable... It's not necessary to be heartsick, heartbroken, apathetic, or angry to feel like the songs are made for you.

Check below and buy an album. Maybe it will inspire you to invite the neighbors over for an iMac hoedown and start a band of your own!