Monday, August 31, 2009

So put another dime in the jukebox, baby...

Regardless of what you’re drinking, The Griffin has quickly become one of the coolest spots in town to see and be seen, but not in a pretentious sort of way. It’s the kind of bar where if you’re local, you run into somebody you know, and if you’re not a local, trust us, you’ll run into somebody you want to know – you’ll be able to tell that you want to know them when they pick out a few eyebrow-arch worthy selections on the bar’s jukebox.

-- Review by Jamie Helmick

I tell you what. I didn't even want to go to the Griffin. I told The Little One she tricked me. But I quickly noticed that I could totally get into this vibe: One of the few places in Las Vegas where you can see someone wearing a Bravery T-shirt, or a dude in a tie, or a guy with a 8 inch Mohawk all drinking a beer in a cool, dimly lit atmosphere.

They even have a DJ in back after midnight. The best thing about The Griffin is that it has, what is widely known by cool kids in Las Vegas, the greatest jukebox of all time.

Yes. A jukebox, but not filled with the music you might expect from a jukebox in your local bar or tavern.

So by the time I had heard the following selections from this juke box, I was ready to wish a Happy Birthday to our ultra-cool friend Sarah...

Made In The Dark
Hot Chip

It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry

Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night
The Fratellis

When The Whip Comes Down
The Rolling Stones

Black Lips

Ike & Tina
Jamie T

[Download Jamie T - Ike & Tina]

Black And Gold
Sam Sparro


Fancy Footwork

Reason Is Treason

I captured the music from this magic box of jukes with the handy iPhone app I have talked about before. Shazam. This whole list is as best as I could capture with my phone. When the drunk girls that are TLO's friends finally showed up, it was tough to let Shazam do its thing over the drunk screaming and yelling.

Sound Of Silver
LCD Soundsystem

[Download LCD SoundSystem - Sound Of Silver]

Time Has Come Today
The Chambers Brothers

Smiling Faces Sometimes
The Undisputed Truth

Clap Your Hands!
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Ride, Ride, Ride

Be My Lover
Alice Cooper

I Love Rock N' Roll
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Slow Ride

[Listen To Digitalism - Pogo]

And the list goes on...

The Pulse

Fox On The Run

Telegram Sam

Love Is The Drug
Roxy Music

Art School
The Jam

No You Girls
Franz Ferdinand

Jerk It Out

Do You Wanna
The Kooks

Poison Arrow

Sugar On My Tongue
Talking Heads

Awesome isn't it! That range and indie-cool level is rarely reached in a dive bar, much less a Jukebox in a dive bar!

After midnight a DJ shows up in the back room to play even more great music. Granted, his technical ability was a little on the "I-don't-give-a-fuck" level, but his track selection was epic. Here is a sample of that courtesy of Shazam:

Paid In Full (Coldcut Remix)
Eric B & Rakim

Listen Up! (Mstrkft Mix)

[Download Gossip - Listen Up! (MSTRKRFT Remix)]

Over And Over (Mock And Toof Dub Mix)
Hot Chip

Great DJ (Calvin Harris Remix)
The Ting Tings

Saturdays (Kingroc Remix)
Cut Copy

[Download Cut Copy - Saturdays (Kingroc Remix)]

10 Dollar (Diplo's China Girl Mix)

As you can see, Shazam has revloutionized the concept of trainspotting your favorite DJ!

If you live or visit Las Vegas make sure to check out The Griffin. I hear there is a Griffin in California as well...that serves food!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And we have more Batman!

So yesterday saw the release of a new Batman game. I have to admit, I'm nerdy enough that I had it pre-ordered, and played it for a good portion of the day yesterday. It's been getting rave reviews, so if you're a gamer? I'd suggest going to get it. The amount of stuff to do and find in the game borders on ridiculous. Finding all the Riddler's statues, then having to solve riddles? Not to mention unlocking upgrades, etc.?

If you get it for the Playstation 3? Well, you have the opportunity to get a challenge map where you can even play as the Joker! I mean, who wouldn't want to do that? It's a great game, and you can easily lose yourself in it even if you're just a casual gamer. Below is a trailer for it.

So anyhow, how does this relate to music? Well, that's easy! Don't any of you remember the original Batman movie? The one with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson? No? Well, that just means you're young. Well, way back when, Prince did the soundtrack to that first Batman film, and there are actually some decent cuts on that one. Here I've tossed up the first track that was released from that album, pretty simply titled "Batdance", as well as the track "The Future". Luke Solomon actually did a damn good bootleg of "The Future" a few years back, but I can't seem to locate it at the moment. Enjoy these two cuts, though!

Download Prince - Batdance

Download Prince - The Future

I've even been nice enough to include the music video for "Batdance". It shows you how far we've come with music videos.

And yes, go buy something. Do yourself a favor!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love at 128 Beats Per Minute

Your kisses still stop time
The disaster's beautiful
Remember the phases those unhappy spaces
That tore my heart
You healed everything
I know how I'm feeling, I know I'm not dreaming
I smile
Waiting here all along

Bad Boy Bill destroys clubs. With his scratch-heavy mixes of house music he will make it rain with sweat from excessive dancing. I have seen him live two times, and both times were amazing. I was either trainspotting (watching over the DJs shoulder to try to find out what he is playing) or dancing my ass off. He's not an ordinary DJ. Widely considered a "superstar" DJ, he really should get even more respect than that. Nearly winning the DMC World DJ Championship a few times, he's known to play sets with up to 6 turntables.

Let's pause to really soak that in.

A legend in Chicago for practically creating the DJ mixtape phenomenon, literally selling them out of his car and giving them away at gigs.

That was 1987.

In 2009 Bad Boy Bill released his latest CD. An artist album called, "The Album".

It's a great CD with some fantastic remixes to follow.

My favorite track is one called Falling Anthem. A love song you can dance to and still feel cool.

[Download Bad Boy Bill - Falling Anthem]

This is our falling anthem
And it feels right
Can't stop our hearts from pounding

On vocals is a beautiful girl with a wonderfully melodic, smoky voice, Alyssa Palmer (yes...that's her at the top of the post). If you like this song, you can hear her on three more songs on Bad Boy Bill's new album, which of course I suggest you purchase. I hear she has a solo project in the works, which we can look for late 2009.

I'm a huge fan of Harry "Choo Choo" Romero, who brings us a dope remix of Falling Anthem. Enjoy!

[Download Bad Boy Bill - Falling Anthem (Harry Choo Choo Romero Remix)]

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't Want to Have to Call You up From a Pay Phone

This is supposed to be a post about Set Your Goals, the sixpiece "post-hardcore" or "hardcore infused with pop" band from San Francisco. The band formed in 2004 and was fortunate enough to go on tour with The Warriors based off an EP they had recorded. They ended up signing with The Warriors' label, Eulogy, and followed up the re-release of their EP with their first studio album, Mutiny! in 2006.

I thought Mutiny! was a decent freshman effort. Someone else must have thought so, too, because they went on tour with Anti-Flag and Alexisonfire the following year. Then in 2008, Set Your Goals played the entire summer on Warped Tour and got a contract on Epitaph Records in early 2009.

Influences such as this should make a dent on a punk band.

But This Will Be The Death of Us, released in July of this year, seems to take a step backwards. There is so much life and energy in Mutiny! that you would think could have been harnessed into excellent, mind-melting guitar riffs and stronger-than-ever lyrics, but it didn't. I don't know what happened. Instead, this album is full of lay-it-on-too-thick double bass and lay-it-on-too-cheesy rebellious rants you might hear from a fledgling teenage punk band, but not a bunch of guys in their late 20's who have been around absolute legends in the punk industry.

[Download Set Your Goals - Summer Jam]

These sugary, anthem-y chants in This Will Be The Death of Us reminded me of another band: Hawk Nelson. This is an energetic punk band from Canada which has been around since 2004. They also happen to be a Christian band, which obviously precludes them from ever being invited to tour along with Alexisonfire or most of the other punk godfathers.

Somehow, though, the boys in Hawk Nelson have managed to polish their craft with every album they put out. They don't get played on mainstream radio, although they did appear on a major motion picture and did get nominated for a Grammy. They don't get invited to go on tour with anyone but other Christian bands or Christian festivals.

[Download Hawk Nelson - Long and Lonely Road]

But put almost any of Hawk Nelson's singles up against any track on This Will Be The Death of Us and the only difference you will hear is a better execution by the Canadian boys. I ask what is the point of putting Set Your Goals on Epitaph at all. Compare "Let's Dance" from Hawk Nelson and "Look Closer" from Set Your Goals.

[Download Hawk Nelson - Let's Dance]

[Download Set Your Goals - Look Closer]

That's how this post which was supposed to be about Set Your Goals becomes a post about Hawk Nelson. Would you like to hear some music that actually makes you get up and jump? Are you really going to overlook a decent band because they are Christian?

Check out some Hawk Nelson. They have a fourth studio album on its way next month, but below you can get the mp3 off the new release.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gone swimming in a stream.

So it's hot as hell up here in Boston. When living in Las Vegas? At least every home had central air. Not up here in Boston. It seems every way of living, they need to drive home the point of, "Suck it up! We're gonna build character in you!" Honestly, it does nothing but give Bostonians the attitude they're so known for. Seriously. Sit in an apartment with no AC when it's 95 outside and 80% humidity and try not to get angry.

So what the hell does that have to do with music? Well, I recently heard the cover of "Islands In The Stream" that the Constantines did with Feist. Mmmmm....streams.....cold water.....shriveled junk. So I figured today, I would post this lovely little cover. The Constantines are part of the great lineup that Toronto label Arts and Crafts has put together. They also include other indie darlings such as Apostle of Hustle, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. The Arts and Crafts website even has a page devoted to this cover. That's how much they love it, also.

Download the Constantines and Feist - Islands in the Stream

So, the song is a cover of a song written by the Bee Gees. Yes. The Bee Gees. Had the Bee Gees sung it? The world may have blown up. But instead, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton did the honors, and as odd as it sounds, I thank them for helping all of us escape a very close call. So here's the original version from 1983. Believe it or not, I'm able to remember when this came out. Kind of sad, but true. It became a number one hit for the duo, and helped lead them to more collaborations, but none quite as successful as this classic song.

Download Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers - Islands in the Stream

And just for the hell of it, I am posting a video from Mad TV. Why? Well, the show was awful. I mean, it just WASN'T funny. But they used to poke fun at Kenny Rogers after he became more of a showboating salesman than a singer. In this skit, it's Kenny Rogers performing with the crew from Jackass.

Now, if you don't buy this music, I swear to christ I will post more Mad TV clips. And trust me. Most of them are just a new kind of awful.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is that what I am about to hear with this Portugal dude?

"What a lovely day, yeah, we won the war.
May have lost a million men, but we've got a million more."

In my quest to figure out the gut wrenching that is the San Francisco Outside Lands schedule, I discovered a band that I like and want to share with you.

The band is Portugal. The Man. According to Wiki, Portugal. The Man is an American rock band from Wasilla, Alaska and based in Portland, Oregon.

It's an odd name for a band, but wiki explains that as well:

"A country is a group of people," guitar player and vocalist John Gourley explains. "With Portugal, it just ended up being the first country that came to mind. The band's name is 'Portugal'. The period is stating that, and 'The Man' states that it's just one person." The name has more personal meaning as well: Portugal. The Man was going to be the name of a book that Gourley had planned to write about his father and his many adventures.

The opening track on their latest album, The Satanic Satanist, reminds me a lot of a band called Dispatch. The music and the lyrics are fantastic. Fantastic and timely. In a time when people are up in arms over health care but not giving two shits about our sons and daughters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The song is called "People Say".

[Download Portugal. The Man - People Say]

This new album is filled with great songs. Check out The Sun and Work All Day for some other gems.

Just in case you are going to Outside Lands, then we will see you at Panhandle Solar Stage Saturday at 3:10PM to catch Portugal. The Man. If I can convince TLO that is. In fact, you can listen to us hash out our Outside Lands schedule on our upcoming podcast. Look for it here!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I will always be better than before

"You look like a loved kid," the movie version of Jan Burres tells Alex McCandless in the movie Into The Wild, as she continues to try to get him to send some word to his family about his whereabouts and howabouts.

But Alex left that behind when he set out on his journey. Alex was an extremely intelligent kid whose headstrong ways often got him what others would consider negative results, however, he had his sights set on a goal that couldn't be measured in a way the rest of society would understand.

Crazy indeed
Hope you're not lonely
Without me

Despite being hand-picked by Sean Penn to write the entire soundtrack for the movie because of their work on previous feature films, I would guess this story was still inspirational to Eddie Vedder. I imagine he felt a personal connection to such a soul who could walk away from the ivory towers worshiped by those around him, and possibly he has known characters who followed the call of the wild just like the young vagabond, which may have helped fuel the passion behind this album. Track 8, a Jerry Hannan cover, tries to capture part of the revulsion that turns people away from living with the mainstream.

[Download Eddie Vedder - Society]

"It was startling how easy it was for me to get into his head. I found it to be uncomfortable how easy it was, because I thought I'd grown up," Vedder said in an interview promoting the movie.

It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation.

--Anthony Storr, in "Solitude: A Return to the Self"

Acknowledging that my point of view on the life of Eddie Vedder will be no less than ignorant, I will still observe that it seems to me he has found the barely tolerable level of isolation and rebellion against what the rest of us expect as well. Pearl Jam has sought after only the ability to make music, and has done as much as possible to boycott all else that is expected of a famous musician in our culture: the promotion, the music videos, and at one point any reasonable amount of touring due to the Ticketmaster boycott.

Don't come closer or I'll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you...

Everyone I come across in cages they bought
they think of me and my wandering
but I'm never what they thought
got my indignation but I'm pure in all my thoughts
I'm alive...

"Guaranteed" won several awards after the release of the movie.

[Download Eddie Vedder - Guaranteed]

But don't label Vedder or McCandless as complete outcasts. The young adventurer left his mark on every single person he came across as he drove, hiked, canoed, hitchhiked, and jumped rails all over North America. Alex inspired an 80 year old man to leave his regimented life and follow the road. He found companionship and substitute families wherever he went. Once his death was reported, many of his fellow vagabonds came forward to create the story that first appeared as an article in "Outside" magazine, leading to the "Into The Wild" book, both written by Jon Krakauer, and finally to the widely-acclaimed screenplay, written and then directed by Sean Penn.

"I look around the audience, and there's so many faces, and I've looked into the eyes of at least the ones I could see—there's at least 1,000 faces—and I've communicated directly to them and seen where they're coming from...One thing I don't feel is separation from the crowd. I don't feel like we're speaking from a platform, I feel like we are communicating on the same level," Eddie Vedder told The Rolling Stone in 2006.

No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles. If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal, -that is your success.

--Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Alex McCandless found his joy and his freedom, and he found peace as well. But to leave his family in a wake of excruciating pain and loss is a cruelty that Vedder declined to explore on this album. For someone who loves the earth and seeks peace, surely it is incongruous to then so savagely cause anguish to those who love you.

Be it no concern
Point of no return

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Phoenix

Yes. It's more of this French band. We've posted a handful of their tracks so far, with TLO tossing up two cuts from their latest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Well, I am posting the tracks "1901" and "Girlfriend", today. Not to mention, a pretty sweet remix of "1901", to boot. So while this post may be short, it has plenty in it. This is stuff that should make you all a bunch of happy campers. Enjoy!

Download Phoenix - 1901

Download Phoenix - 1901 (COMA Remix)

Download Phoenix - Girlfriend

And if you don't go buy this stuff, I will impregnate a woman. That's how serious I am about this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summertime, And the livin' is easy...

It's hot, and whenever the weather warms up I think about parties and dropping records. In the comments, share with me your memories and thoughts of summer.

This one is for you!

A little mix tape for the fans. All the music I used was found on music blogs across the interwebs.

Some of my favorite dance music blogs:

Support your music blogs! Hope you enjoy!

To download some of the music in DJ friendly form, Right click and Save As to download!

Release Me (Tv Rock Edit) - Zoe Badwi

Spraycan (Sharkslayer's Respect to Nassau mix) - Renaissance Man

Get Down - Original Mix Jack Beats

I Want Your Soul (2007 Wizard's Breaks mix) - Armand Van Helden

Lady (Harry Choo Choo Romero's Titanium Dub) - Modjo

1979 (GlowTape!'s 2009 Remix) - Smashing Pumpkins

Subway (Left/Right Remix) - Kilowatts

Junk (Flashover Remix) - Ferry Corsten

Break On Through To The Other Side (BT Vs. The Doors Remix) - The Doors

Get The Party Started (Tyas & Lawrence Partycrasher Mix) - Pink

Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough (White Label Mix) - Michael Jackson

Friday, August 7, 2009

Form in an orderly queue outside your house

We just found out that Tenacious D has replaced The Beastie Boys at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival.

A lot of attendees are pissed.

Does Tenacious D belong at a music festival?

WHY THE HELL NOT? Can you imagine another way you could have THAT MUCH FUN? I caught a video of their live performance at Reading, and areyoukiddingmerightnow it's super very awesome.

Not that they are to be compared in any way to Tenacious D, but I think of this example because as I heard Track 9 of We Were Promised Jetpacks' These Four Walls this morning at 4 AM, I thought,

This is the type of song you want performed when you're at a music festival.

Take a listen to "Short Bursts" and see:

[Download We Were Promised Jetpacks - Short Bursts]

Glasgow. Yes, that's right. You're hearing a Scottish brogue. In fact, the Scottish Arts Council helped them with funding to get themselves over to SXSW this year. It seems there are no other festivals on the lineup at this time, but they will be coming back to the States for a tour this fall.

I'm loving them. These Four Walls is actually their debut album despite having formed a good six years ago. Each song is well thought-out, with all elements contributing from their proper place in the foreground or background of the track. And this is what makes up the energy that this whole album puts out.

Speaking of that energy, how about a love song that isn't slow and melancholy, but throws all those heartsick feelings into a power ballad of the indie persuasion?

That's right. Press play and enjoy "Roll Up Your Sleeves":

[Download We Were Promised Jetpacks - Roll Up Your Sleeves]

Roll Up Your Sleeves is one of two singles put out from this record. Don't wait and wonder if it's going to hit the frequencies here. Just buy the album, share this post with your friends, and spread the love. You have a new favorite band.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Two Brand New Songs!

Well, some of the indie snobs out there will go, "I heard these six months ago." Well, good for you. How are the drapes in your parents' basement? Still tacky? Most likely. This isn't about being the first to post stuff, anyways. Some readers may not know of these new gems, let alone about the artists I'm featuring. Yay innerwebs!!!

Anyways, the first is by Atlas Sound, which is a solo project by Deerhunter's Bradford James Cox. This tune features Noah Lennox, which some may know as Panda Bear from Animal Collective. Lots of names there. Names are fun! Anyhow, this is the track "Walkabout", which right now is a cut I am deeply in love with. Happy vibes spreading around!

[Download Atlas Sound feat. Noah Lennox - Walkabout]

Next up is the first track off of Modest Mouse's newest EP, entitled No One's First, and You're Next. This is supposedly cuts that didn't quite cut it for the band's last two albums. The track "Satellite Skin", I am hunkering a guess that this didn't make their last album, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. The guitars sort of give that vibe, and to be honest? I like this track more than anything off of that album. Hey, diff'rent strokes and such. Enjoy the track!

[Download Modest Mouse - Satellite Skin]

ALSO! Below is the video for Modest Mouse's "King Rat", which was conceived by the late Heath Ledger. I don't know how long this will last online, so watch it while you can!

If you don't buy this stuff, Isaac Brock is going to come to your house. That scares me. So it should terrify you. BUY! BUY! BUY!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I got a hole inside and it's ten miles wide...

I was at the House of Blues in Las Vegas to see
Thrice perform. My brother had the hook-up and I was following him around as he held court. He has a sweet gig at a local radio station and he knew a ton of people at this particular event.

One particular person he knew had just walked by. Maybe he felt the need to tell me who it was because of the look on my face. The kind of look you might have if you smell something bad.

It wasn't the was just the over-the-top rocker/douchebag persona that gave me the stink face.

He was loud and annoying and he seemed smashed before Thrice even came on stage. I ended up standing in the roped off VIP area next to this dude, and it was tough to take my eyes of him and his entourage. Shenanigans abound.

It was Ronnie Radke the lead singer of Escape the Fate.

Well...he was the lead singer. He's in jail now.

Ronnie Radke was asked to leave the band after he was sentenced to prison for multiple run-ins with the law involving narcotics and battery for a fight that led up to the death of Michael Cook. It sounds like a bunch of drama, and you can look up the whole story here, but Ronnie Radke is not what I really want to spend a lot of time on.

What I want to talk about is how great Escape the Fate is without him!

It might be a shitty thing to say, and it has nothing to do with him acting privileged at a concert where I happened to see him. I just think that the new front man, Craig Mabbitt, does a much better as the songwriter and lead vocalist. Craig has experience as a frontman since he held the duties in the band Blessthefall.

I probably will get a bunch of heat from thinking the band is better off, but maybe if you listen to a before and after from the band you can make the decision for yourself.

Here is Ronnie on the song My Apocalypse:

[Download Escape The Fate - My Apocalypse]

My Apocalypse is good, but check out Craig on the track 10 Miles Wide:

[Download Escape The Fate - 10 Miles Wide] know I am right. The band even sounds better on this album, but that's to be expected with all the touring they had done prior to them entering the studio. Either way, both albums are required listening, but I think we both know which album I will be playing more.