Friday, December 22, 2006

Obligatory Christmas post

Sunday I succumbed to the dreaded "list of 2006" disease...today it's the feared Christmas post. Instead of posting loads of songs that every other blog in the Milky Way Galaxy has, I'm simply putting up one. AND, it's not even a happy one! So take that. Call me Scrooge if you'd like, but while you're doing it, enjoy this anti-happiness track:




Trainwreck Riders - Christmas Time Blues : Lonely Road Revival

If you want to take some more time off from shopping or gift wrapping, check out the video for the song on YouTube in which Pete and the band hit their old stomping grounds in San Francisco while sporting a Santa suit.

Visit their website, their label Alive Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

11 Albums of 2006

I'm making a list...checking it twice...

Notice the title? Although I've been fighting it for the last couple of weeks, I'm finally caving to blog pressure to post some sort of 2006 list. That being said, I'm not willing to completely bow to meet the norm. Therefor, 11 albums, not 10, and notice no adjectives such as "best," "most artistic," "creatively unique," or even "with the catchiest cover art" (although the last one sounds promising...maybe I'll work on that one next). In fact, I'm not even going to number these albums, I'm going to list them alphabetically!

That being said, here are 11 albums from 2006 that I find myself listening to long after giving them a spin for the first time.


Lily Allen - Alright, Still

This girl just has got a lot of spunk to her. Couple that with the British accent, and you wouldn't mind this girl rejecting you in a bar. Sure there might not be a lot of substance here, but it sure is a lot of fun!



Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

What a huge year for the Monkeys. Maybe it's no longer cool to admit liking these blokes due to their sudden ascent, but I'm willing to place my reputation on the line.



Bitter:Sweet - The Mating Game

This has got to be the wild card out of the bunch. Shana Halligan's sultry voice seduces you into this music taken straight from the lounge.



Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country

I can't wait to check out this group next month when they start their new tour. This album, their third, just cuts right to the heart with some truly tender and emotional songs.



Johnny Cash - American V - A Hundred Highways

Thank goodness for Rick Rubin, that's all I've got to say. If not for Rick, Johnny's American series probably would have never been imagined, nerver mind recorded. And this, the 5th in the series, an unexpected treasure after such a great loss. Stripped, bare, sometimes haunting recordings that are the last will and testament of musical icon.



The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

With the haunting specter of sell-out status hanging in the background, these guys proved that you could artistically stick to your guns with Big Brother marketing your album.



The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea

Although disappointed with their live performance, I'm still enjoying their latest album. Compared to their previous release, Rehearsing the Choir, this album could have been the number one pick on TRL. Not to say they've lost any of their quirky charm...just reigned it in a bit so the rest of us could connect with it.



Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

This is the year that I fell in love with Neko's voice. I couldn't help it. She's convinced me that a little country isn't all that bad.



Page France - Hello, Dear Wind

Not since Stryper have I enjoyed a band that makes so many biblical allusions in their music. There's just something so light about them; it feels like weight (and your sins) is lifting off your shoulders as you listen.



Josh Ritter - The Animal Years

The only thing better than listening to this album over and over again is seeing him perform these songs live. In a world of acoustic folk singers, Josh shines out about the rest with his sincere and introspective lyrics.



Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

This group screams raw emotional intensity and urgency, there's no two ways about it.



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That wraps it up folks. My "11 Albums from 2006" list...hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

An Oasis in the Snow

I just got a copy of Oasis' latest release: the 2 CD "best of" collection titled Stop the Clocks. Although any Oasis fan will have complaints about ommisions, a good number of their obvious crowd-pleasers are here: Rock 'N' Roll Star, Wonderwall, Live Forever, Champagne Supernova, etc... Sprinkled in with the hits are a few b-sides (also found on their previous album, The Masterplan).

I don't think I need to make any comments on brotherly love (Noel chose the songs and order for this affair) or Beatles comparisons. I don't think anything I can say will convince you to like Oasis if you don't already. Since there is nothing really new here, I don't think I can get you to buy this album if you already have all of their previous releases. I would suggest this 2 CD album if you don't have all of their super-hits, or if you are looking for a special non-denominational holiday gift for someone special. Nothing says "I Love You" like an Oasis CD!


While you're waiting for Amazon to ship it to you, here's a live show at the Whiskey A GoGo in Hollywood, CA from September 29th, 1994.

Oasis - Rock 'N' Roll Star (live)

Oasis - Columbia (live)

Oasis - Fade Away (live)

Oasis - Digsy's Dinner (live)

Oasis - Shakermaker (live)

Oasis - Live Forever (live)

Oasis - Bring It On Down (live)

Oasis - Up In The Sky (live)

Oasis - Slide Away (live)

Oasis - Cigarettes & Alcohol (live)

Oasis - Married With Children (live)

Oasis - Supersonic (live)

Oasis - I Am The Walrus (live Beatles cover)

OR,
download the entire show in one tidy zip file by
pointing your mouse here.


Visit their website or become their friends on MySpace.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

100

It's hard to believe. 100 posts. I certainly didn't break any speed records, but I made it to the one double zero. Here's to a hundred more.

Snow Patrol - One Hundred Things You Should Have Done In Bed : Songs For Polar Bears

Belle & Sebastian - A Century of Fakers (live) : Live on KEXP 3-25-06 (Studio version on 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light)

Five for Fighting - 100 Years : The Battle For Everything

David Gray - A Century Ends (live) : Live 3/25/00 at the Tractor Tavern (Studio version on A Century Ends)


For those of you who live in the Western Massachusetts area, don't forget to check out my SLIP ticket contest.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The SLIP Contest - See them LIVE!

Do you live anywhere near the Northampton, Massachusetts area? Have you been itching to get you hands on The SLIP's new album Eisenhower? Have you been yearning to get out for a night of music at the Pearl Street Night Club? If so, here's a joyous prize pack that will make your holiday special. Thanks to the nice folks over at Filter Magazine, you have a chance to win the following:
  • Two tickets to The SLIP's show at Pearl Street in Northampton, MA on December 30th
  • An autographed copy of their latest release, Eisenhower
  • An authentic SLIP T-shirt
All you have to do is leave your name and e-mail address in the comments (or e-mail me) and you'll be in the running for all of these goodies. The entry deadline is 11:59 PM on Saturday, December 16th. I'll throw all entries into a hat and randomly pick a winner.



PLEASE only enter if you, or someone you know, are interested and able to actually attend the show.
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Page France (and friends) - Live


Thanks to Bekah over at Suicide Squeeze Records, I was able to check out a band that I've been digging A LOT lately, Page France, in concert with some friends, Denison Witmer and Anathallo. The three were playing at the Webster Underground, in Hartford, CT, on Tuesday night (December 5th).

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The night opened with Denison Witmer, supported by his guitar, taking the stage. I had only heard a smidgen of Denison's music but was eager to hear more. His set was short, about a half hour, and rather subdued, even more than most of his music since he had no instrumentation to add oomph behind him. Quiet, pensive, and reflective would sum up the 8 or so songs he played for a rather paltry crowd of about 25 people.

For those fans out there, you've probably heard his birthday had passed by recently (November 4th) and that in celebration of said event, Denison has put together a website full of gifts: "30 new recordings of songs from my entire catalog, a few covers, a few unreleased songs, and a some podcasts of stories from my touring and my life in general." How much does said collection cost? Well, that all depends on how generous a soul you are. Technically speaking, they are absolutely, completely free, however Denison asks that you donate however much you feel comfortable giving to a couple of very worthwhile charities. Even if you've already spent a boatload of cash on Christmas gifts, visit Happy Birthday Denison Witmer to download some fantastic songs and donate to some worthy causes.

Denison Witmer - California Brown And Blue : Are You A Dreamer?

Denison Witmer - The '80s
: Happy Birthday Denison

Visit his website, his label The Militia Group, and become his friend on MySpace.

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After Denison left the stage, and a short change-over, Page France took the stage. Having originally come to the show to see them, I was understandably excited. Michael Nau and company opened with an energetic presentation of Junkyard, and then proceded to play mostly songs from their new (and very enjoyable) album Hello, Dear Wind. Other notable songs played included Windy, Antarctica, and Elephant, with a stirring Chariot wrapping it all up. Hearing the band live is a little different than their studio recordings. Tracks that have a carefree, light, airy feel on the album tend to rock out more in person. The set was wonderful, albeit a little short (only about 35 minutes!). I asked Whitney about it while she was manning the "goodies for sale" table and her reply was something close to "we don't want to overstay our welcome." Oh Whitney, I would have been in nirvana with a whole night of Page France. Also according to Whitney, they'll be touring again early next year...I'll be looking forward to it and dreaming of a longer set.

While shopping at the goodies table, I was hoping to pick up a Page France tour shirt, but to my chagrin, they were completely sold out: not a single one in any size left! Instead, I picked up their latest recording, the 4 song Tomoto Morning Tour EP. If you don't get a chance to see them on the last few days of the tour, don't despair...you can order it from the Suicide Squeeze website.

Page France - Junkyard : Live on WDET (studio version on Hello, Dear Wind)

Page France - Give Him A Blanket : Tomato Morning Tour E.P.

Visit their website, their label Suicide Squeeze Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

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The night ended with Anathallo squeezing onto the stage, and I do mean squeezing. For those of you who have never been to the Webster Underground before, the stage is just about big enough for a band of 4 to semi-comfortably play. With 7 members assembled into this tight space, the band almost had to rotate all at once when someone wanted to move to a different spot on the stage.

Anathallo was the band I had heard and knew least about before seeing them. On one hand, I have to be honest and admit I didn't really get into them. On the other hand, I have to admit that they are a talented group of musicians who clearly immersed themselves in their music. Matt Joynt, the lead singer, has a voice that seems made for a broadway musical: powerful, clear yet loud, and space filling. The rest of the band plays a wide range of instruments, with plenty of percussion and even a horn section in some of the arrangements. Anyway, don't let my jaded view influence your musical tastes (except when I'm right, of course). Check them out yourself and make up your own mind.

Anathallo - Hoodwink : Floating World

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Memphis - Canadian, not country!

I know that i'm way behind the 8 ball on this album. I've been meaning to post on it...REALLY! I've been listening to it off and on for weeks now, but whenever I make up my mind to sit down and write, something else comes up, and off it goes, back into the queue of works in progress floating around in my mind.

Canadian readers probably are more familiar with Memphis than I am (or most of you yanks reading this post). Not so recently they released their second album, A Little Place In the Wilderness, in Canada, slated to be released here in the states in early '07. Memphis is headed up by Torquil Campbell, lead singer also for another Canadian band, Stars. As a side project, Torquil teamed up with Chris Dumont, an American, to form Memphis back in 2003.

What can you expect from this import from up north? Lush, melodic songs that sweep you up and through the album. Mellow sounds that sooth instead of rock. Melancholy lyrics that make you wish someone was holding you tight.


Memphis - I Dreamed We Fell Apart : A Little Place In the Wilderness


Memphis - Incredibly Drunk On Whiskey : A Little Place In the Wilderness


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Kristoffer Ragnstam - Swedish Style

In this day and age, 5 song EPs are fairly common. What is rather UNcommon is a 5 song EP that doesn't have 5 songs that mostly sound alike. Kristoffer Ragnstam's EP, Do You Want A Piece Of Me, although employing much electronic sounding instrumentation, offers such a wide range of sounds for such a tight little package that you truly get your money's worth. This musical nugget is the teaser for his upcoming full-length release, Sweet Bills.

Hailing from Sweden, the land of fellow countryman Jens Lekman, Kristoffer got his break into the industry by cutting his demo flying solo. Since then, he's added some back-up, a band named the Electric -4-.

The first song I offer up to you here, Fashion, starts out with a driving drum beat that just doesn't let up. It insists that you somehow move your body with the beat, whether it's just bopping your head or getting your whole body into it. Coupled with some electronic instrumentation backing it up, it reminds me somewhat of a lighter version of the opening drum line of Nine Inch Nails' March of the Pigs and its incessant beat that won't let you go.

Kristoffer Ragnstam - Fashion (Alternate Version)
: Do You Want A Piece of Me EP

This next song, the EP's title track, sounds like it could be right off of Van Morrison's Moondance.

Kristoffer Ragnstam - Do You Want A Piece Of Me : Do You Want A Piece Of Me EP

You can get the full EP off of iTunes, and look forward to the complete album early next year.


And this last track is a bonus freebie off of his label's website. Just in case you aren't already swimming in more Christmas music that you can shake a peppermint stick at! It's got a nice Motown feel to it...try it, you might like it.

Kristoffer Ragnstam - Merry Christmas Baby

Visit his website, his label bluhammock music, or become his friend on MySpace.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ring-A-Ding-Ding!

Dear Santa,

I've been a very good blogger this year and am hoping that you'll bring me Frank Sinatra's new box set,
Vegas.

Your truly,
Sean

Just in case Santa doesn't get this letter (or I wasn't as good as I'm pretending I was), and one of you, my loyal readers, would like to thank me for my inarticulate ramblings, here's your chance!

Rhino Records is releasing a 4 CD / 1 DVD box set of Sinatra performances in Sin City (Vegas that is), titled simply Vegas. No one epitomizes Vegas' lifestyle of high rolling nights on the town better than the Chairman of the Boards, and Rhino has captured 5 live performances that Frank gave at Caesers Palace, the Sands, and the Golden Nugget from his heyday in the 60's, the 70's, and the 80's. Frank's music is eternal, but to really experience his charisma and sense of style, you really need to enjoy him in a live setting.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Friends

Over the last month, I've gotten a few e-mails from individuals representing companies who publish social websites with a musical bent to them. Many times they describe themselves as musical "communities" that allow users to share music they love and find new artists other users recommend.

Personally, I use MySpace occasionally to look for free downloads or sometimes to find pictures or tour schedules, but not as a utility for making "friends." Notice the quotation marks.

Please, don't get me wrong...I don't want to seem critical of those folks who claim to have thousands of friends on MySpace...if that's your thing then stick with it.

I think it was last week when I saw a news article about online addictions. Any connection ya think?

MOG.com

"Employing state-of-the-art Web 2.0 technology, MOG is an online destination where music lovers can quickly and easily show the world what they're listening to, express their musical tastes, and discover people through music and music through people."

Once you sign up for MOG, according to their hype, MOG uploads a list of all the music you have and creates a homepage for you that anyone can visit to check out what you're listening to. You can do the same, presumably finding new bands that people who like the same music as you like. In addition, MOG has some big names (the spotlight now is on Ben Gibbard) that share what THEY listen to (similar to Celebrity Playlists on iTunes) as well as post entries about what's happening in their "more interesting than yours" life. I have to admit, I have no clue what they mean by their "state-of-the-art Web 2.0 technology," but it must be better than the stuff I'm using.

In addition to sharing what you are listening to, you can create a profile (similar to MySpace) where you can paint vivid, and possibly true, descriptions of yourself and your varied experiences from around the globe (or around the mall, depending on how honest you are) as well as post blog-like entries.


PhilaFunk.com

"PhilaFunk Records is a social network that allows all musicians to distribute their music online and keep 80 percent of each sale that they make. Everyone in the Philafunk community is helping support independent musicians, and everyone can make new friends and discover new music by joining the community."

Unlike MOG.com, you can actually buy music on this site. I'm not sure that you will recognize any of the musicians, unless perhaps they are local to you and you've seen them at the bar on the corner. In addition to being able to purchase music, you can create a profile (not quite as detailed as MOG) as well a new identity for yourself. If MOG is using "state-of-the-art Web 2.0 technology," PhilaFunk must have "state-of-the-art in the 90's .5 technology", and it shows. This site is much simpler, with more focus on the music that you can actually buy. To go along with this, you'll see banner ads for things like "Bid4Me Dating Auctions."

Before you think that I'm totally down on the PhilaFunk folks...in their defense, they do supposedly give the bands who sell music on the site .80 cents out of every dollar browsers spend on their music.


I'm not even going to start on MySpace...instead, here are some songs:

Demetri Martin - I Got 9000 Friends : Demetri Martin's MySpace site

Biz Markie - Just A Friend : Tribute to D12

Je Suis France - Thank You For Being A Friend : Tittania

Lily Allen - Friend Of Mine : Alright, Still

The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You (Theme From Friends) : L.P.

Whodini - Friends : Escape

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now we mean BUSINESS!

Have you seen this news article (US bans sale of iPods to North Korea) yet?
"The U.S. government's first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government."
Watch out Kim Jong Il, George means business now. No more Mr. Nice-Guy. It's time to play hardball. You want to build nukes, well no iPods for you buddy! Not only are we going to keep you from getting any iPods, but no plasma screen TVs, Segway scooters, cognac, OR jet skis!

Tahiti 80 - French Fun

I happened to first listen to Tahiti 80's newest album Fosbury while playing with my two and a half year old daughter and she LOVED it. From the first notes of the first track, she was dancing around the room non-stop. She even kept turning it up until it got to the point that I had to turn it down.

Tahiti 80 formed in France in 1993 and named themselves after a slogan on one of the band member's dad's t-shirts picked up on vacation. Since then they've been pumping out many albums and singles of pop-dance music. Singer Xavier Boyer backs up the beats using a voice that sounds like a missing Gibbs' brother, with backing melodies that feel like they'd be perfectly comfortable in an updated techno/electronica version of Saturday Night Fever.


Tahiti 80 - Big Day : Fosbury


Tahiti 80 - Alloveragain : Fosbury


And although the following song really is not representative of Tahiti 80's sound at all, it's still an enjoyable cover.

Tahiti 80 - Happy Together (Turtles Cover) : Fosbury

Monday, November 27, 2006

Buried Treasure - Josef K

To be completely honest with you, when I first received Entomology in the mail, I had never heard of Josef K. This of course intrigued me, so while putting it in for the first listen, I did some homework. Step one, liner notes:
Excerpted from the liner notes for Entomology, penned by the inimitable Paul Morley:

There needed to be a gloomy remotely intimate glam pop group named after a character created by Franz Kafka who detuned their pained, pining guitars like the Velvet Underground, who screwed up dance beats with as much nimble knowingness and/or amateurish exuberance as Devo, who faced up to long lasting reality with as much sad, mad grace as Magazine, who got stuck into logic as defiantly as Pere Ubu, who had spent a lot of time watching Television and listening to the first six or seven songs written by Buzzcocks.

They took themselves very seriously whilst circling the idea that fun was a very peculiar notion.

They were The Sound of Young Scotland, together with Orange Juice, whose guitars were also radiant and brittle, whose rhythms were also scrubbed and blunt, whose vocals were also proud and serious, but who sounded like another group completely.

A touch more rational. A little less glaring. A splinter less uptight. Lacking, perhaps, the art for art’s sake element that some of us swooned over, and which we see explicitly echoed in they way, say, the popular Franz Ferdinand express themselves.

Their own men.

In their own special time.

Who would know when it was time to quit.
Wow. Double Wow. If this disc lived up to this hype, it would be in heavy rotation for quite a long time.

Step two: visit Domino Records, the people we have to thank for re-issuing this collection of gems mined from various sources. Here I learn that Josef K was a member of the early 80's "Sound Of Young Scotland" scene. Now we're getting somewhere.

In the meantime, songs are coming out of my speakers that are giving me the vibe of Talking Heads meet The Clash. I'm liking what I'm hearing, and so far, it is in fact living up to the hype.

Step three: head over to Google for a search on Josef K. Number one on the list: a band biography from Epitonic which proves to be quite informative. Highlights include: 1.) defining Josef K as an ESSENTIAL part of the Scottish sound 2.) formed in Edinburgh in 1978 3.) ultimately released 6 singles, but only 1 official studio full length album that was released at the time (another was shelved and released in 1990) 4.) shortly after releasing their full length album The Only Fun In Town, the band broke up, feeling they had accomplished all they wanted. Talk about carpe diem, how good do you have to be to only release one album and then be credited for influencing such bands as The Smiths, The Vaselines, and The Wedding Present.

Yes, in fact, they are that good. So do yourself a favor and educate yourself by listening to the following songs, and then get yourself the full album, which while not being a complete collection, is one that draws upon a rich variety of sources to provide the listener with a vivid glimpse into the past.


Josef K - Sorry for Laughing (Postcard 7" version) : Entomology

Josef K - Forever Drone (from The Only Fun In Town) : Entomology

Josef K - Applebush (Peel session 6-22-81) : Entomology


Visit their unofficial website (last updated in 2000), or the latest label to claim them as kin; Domino Records, but unfortunately MySpace wasn't around in the 80's so you can't add them to your tally of friends.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Eastern Conference Champions

Although their name sounds a little presumptuous, their music is worth checking out. Not much is known about these enigmas...other than they cite The Who and Mozart as their influences...interesting combination to say the least. To my untrained ears Josh Ostrander, the lead vocalist, sounds fairly similar to an obscure singer by the name of Thom Yorke. That just might be me though. The first track, Nice Clean Shirt, is one to rock out to. The second, Hollywood, is more of a lush dreamy panorama to relax and immerse yourself in.


Eastern Conference Champions - Nice Clean Shirt : The Southampton Collection EP



Eastern Conference Champions - Hollywood (Featuring Maura Davis) : The Southampton Collection EP



Friday, November 24, 2006

Shopping Insanity

The day after Thanksgiving : the busiest shopping day of the year. Why do people subject themselves to the insanity? It truly reminds me of Lord of the Flies. Honest, good-hearted people who get sucked into the vortex of early morning sale prices, only to emerge as demonic scavengers ready to slit your throat for the last Tickle Me Elmo. God bless capitalism!

Ben Lee - Shoplifters of the World Unite (Smiths cover) : Live on KCRW (buy some Ben)

Franz Ferdinand - Shopping for Blood : Live in Seattle, WA 3-23-04 (studio version on Darts of Pleasure EP)

The Slits - Shoplifting : Cut

Duncan Sheik - Shopping : White Limousine

Nerio's Dubwork Meets Kathy Lee - K-Mart Shopping (Hi-Fi Mix) : Profound Sounds Vol. 1 (mixed by Josh Wink)

Benjy Ferree

Take one piece of Beatles harmonies, add some Americana instrumentation to back it up, and then some style all his own, and you end up with Benjy Ferree.

Benjy just recently re-released (November 7th) his debut album, Leaving the Nest, through Domino Records. Originally Benjy moved to L.A. with plans to make his mark in the arts through acting, but after that path didn't lead him where he was hoping he was persuaded to pursue personal expression via his music.

And what music it is. It seems that as soon as you get used to what Benjy is laying down, he switches up the pace, revealing a different side to his musicianship. It's simply impossible to label Benjy's style; It all depends on what song you're listening to at the moment. And for the next few moments, listen to the following songs:


Benjy Ferree - In the Countryside : Leaving the Nest

Benjy Ferree - Little At A Time : Leaving the Nest


Visit his website, or become his friend on MySpace.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Odds n' Ends

Amongst all the music that gets sent my way, there are inevitably single tracks here and there that are enjoyable in themselves but for which it's difficult to write an entire post about. So instead of letting them fall through the cracks into obscurity, I'm throwing them all together like a bowl of Jambalaya (one of my favorite dishes) for your enjoyment.








Siobhan Donaghy

Formerly the founding member of the Sugerbabes, Siobhan Donaghy set out on her own in 2003 and is poised to release her second solo album, Ghosts, in March of 2007.

“I wanted emotive sounds,” says Siobhan, “but sounds that were universal. I wouldn’t wanna be some obscure, poncey artist y’know? I am still pop.”

I haven't the faintest idea what "poncey" means but I'm guessing it's some British slang term for "artist who only sells 300 albums, all to pre-pubescent boys who think she looks hot." This track is just a teaser of the UNobscure, NON-poncey music that Siobhan offers.

Siobhan Donaghy - Ghost : Ghosts

Visit her website, or become her friend on MySpace

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Robbers on High Street

These blokes just released a digital 4 track EP (THE FATALIST AND FRIENDS EP) in anticipation of their upcoming full length release in the spring of 2007. This track has a swanky sound to it that will make you feel hipper than you really are. It's got an Oasis meets The Strokes feel to it. Check it out at your leisure.


Robbers on High Street - The Fatalist : The Fatalist and Friends EP (get it on iTunes)

Visit their website, or become their friend on MySpace.

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Tiny Dancers

Not to be confused with the Elton John song, Tiny Dancers is fivesome that hails from the West Yorkshire countryside between Doncaster and Wakefield (you know the place, don't you?). Their latest release, an EP titled Lions and Tigers and Lions, was released on the 20th and is available for your consumption.



Visit their website, or become their friend on MySpace.

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BONUS TRACK

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The SLIP - Simply Catchy

A lot of intricate and layered music carries a density that sweeps over you like a solid wave, requiring you to pick at the layers one by one, revealing the pieces with many listens. Certainly music like this has its attraction, ageing like fine wine...better with time. But sometimes it's nice to hear music that you can grasp on the very first try. The SLIP's latest album Eisenhower is like that. The first listen made me bop my head with the beat and want to play air guitar.

The SLIP is a trio that hails from Boston with a story that's straight out of a movie. The band includes two brothers and a childhood friend from high school who dropped out of college to start touring the country. Their sound includes light and airy instrumentation which lets the music breath, sweeping around you allowing you to get into the music from the very beginning. This isn't to say that their music is simplistic or formulaic. It does have a very summery feel to it, also.

The first song I'm offering up to you is Children Of December, the first track on the album. I have to be honest with you, this is one of the strongest and catchiest openers that I've heard in a long time. (It also doesn't hurt that it's about people born in December, like me, or that it mentions Autobots and Decepticons...anyone able to mention the Transformers in their lyrics earns bonus points in my book) The second, If One Of Us Should Fall, is a torch burning balladesque song that was just made to be put on a mix tape for a significant other.

The SLIP - Children Of December : Eisenhower


The SLIP - If One Of Us Should Fall : Eisenhower



Visit their website, or
become their friend on MySpace.


And make sure to catch them on tour with My Morning Jacket.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Congratulations!


Congratulations to Michelle for winning the first annual Mainstream Isn't So Bad Jeremy Enigk CD Give-a-way Contest! (try saying that 10 times fast) She'll be getting a signed copy personally delivered to her by a mailman that I've never met but who I'm sure will do a wonderful job of it. Hope you enjoy the album as much as I do Michelle...and don't forget to thank the kind folks over at Filter Magazine.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pinebender - Indie metal

Considering how crucial it usually is to hook a listener from the get-go, it takes a lot of balls to start an album off with a song that is close to 14 minutes long, but Pinebender has those cahones. Their latest release, Working Nine To Wolf, only runs 8 tracks long, but the band really packs a punch in those tracks, with the album running over an hour long.

Formed in 1997, Pinebender is a trio hailing from Chicago that uses a fairly simple formula to make some pretty good music: long, loud, compelling, melodic tracks that slowly build and build until you don't think they can go any farther, and then they do. And when I saw loud, I'm talking about tracks that rock like a hair band minus the glam and hair-spray. This is not music to play while studying for a final exam or when performing soothing exercises to start your yoga routine.

Check out these two tracks and see for yourself. The first, She Destroys the Light, I include because it (and the final track) stands out as a little unique (somewhat quieter, although only when compared to the throbbing energy of the other 6 tracks). The second, Polly Gray, is a little more indicative of the overall feel of the album.


Pinebender - She Destroys the Light : Working Nine to Wolf


Pinebender - Polly Gray : Working Nine to Wolf



Visit their website or become their friend on MySpace

For a great live recording of some of their older material,
check out this live set from eMusic.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006