Friday, August 31, 2007

One Chance

OK, here's the deal. I don't have a single entry for my Jamie T contest which was scheduled to end right about now. SO, the first person to enter wins. It's that simple. If you want to see a free show at Great Scott in Boston, and a copy of an absolutely killer album, just do it.

Doing it Ethan Lipton style

Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra are not your average band. They're not even your non-average band. They are out there...I'm talking past Pluto the non-planet out there. And that's a good thing.

Ethan just sounds so damn sincere that when you take a second to listen to the lyrics, any lyrics in any of the songs, it hits you. Jazz, blues, country, tango, rock & roll, it's all here wrapped up in 19 tracks of artfully produced silliness.

Try the two tracks below to see if Ethan tickles your funny bone. The first, Hit It, it just plain catchy. The second, The Flora and The Fauna, is a romantic tune that reminds me of The Girl From Ipanema. It's got a light tropical breeze to it and a happy ending to wrap it up. Typically, I only offer up two tracks from an album, but with 19 slices of goodness, I'm feeling generous, hence the third track, Pirates of the Heart. Do not listen to this one with little ones around or at work...there are far too many swears and you'll want to listen to it several times.

Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra - Hit It
: Mr. Softy

Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra - The Flora and The Fauna
: Mr. Softy

Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra - Pirates of the Heart : Mr. Softy

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.


Arthur Lyman - The Girl From Ipanema : Cocktails For Two - Romance With A Twist

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Listen to The Narrator

Chicagoans The Narrator are packing their bags for a fall tour in support of their latest album, All That to the Wall. In case you haven't heard them yet, preview the two tracks below. The first, Son of the Son of the Kiss, is the album's opening track and starts out with some groovadelic guitar riffs that will bring back the British invasion fresh in your mind. The second, All the Tired Horses, is a cover of the opening track for Bob Dylan's mystifying double album Self Portrait. You have to give them some props for tackling such a song.

The Narrator - Son of the Son of the Kiss : All That to the Wall

The Narrator - All the Tired Horses (Bob Dylan cover) : All That to the Wall

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

Tour Dates

Sept. 10: Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL*
Sept. 11: Mojo’s, Columbia, MO
Sept. 12: Record Bar, Kansas City, MO
Sept. 14: 6th Street Live, Fort Worth, TX
Sept. 16: 3846 Government, Baton Rouge, LA
Sept. 17: Beta Bar, Tallahassee, FL
Sept. 18: The Atlantic, Gainesville, FL
Sept. 21: The Boot, Norfolk, VA
Sept. 23: DC9, Washington, DC
Sept. 25: Bowling Green University REV Fest, Bowling Green, KY
Sept. 27: Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY

* FREE show w/Maps & Atlases, Nurses, Karma With a K


Bob Dylan - All the Tired Horses : Self Portrait

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Find your way with Maps

First off, Maps is UK native James Chapman.

Second, his debut album We Can Create, which was released in June and was spliced together in his bedroom sans computer and instead recorded straight into a 16-track recorder, has been shortlisted for the 2007 Nationwide Mercury Music Prize.

Third, there's still time to see him live if you happen to be a North Americaner who lives near an ocean. Check out dates below.

Fourth, in the meantime, if you haven't experienced Maps' flavor of electronic, shoe-gazey, emotionally charging music, listen below.

Maps - So Low, So High : We Can Create

Maps - Back And Forth : We Can Create

Visit his label Mute and become his friend on MySpace.



Sat 09/22/07 Seattle, WA KEXP Benefit – Crocodile Cafe
Mon 09/24/07 San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill
Wed 09/26/07 Los Angeles, CA Spaceland (presented by KCRW)
Fri 09/28/07 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Sat 09/29/07 Brooklyn, NY Luna Lounge

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Matt Costa opening for Modest Mouse

In case you needed another reason to go out and see Modest Mouse touring for their latest album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, here's another. After touring like crazy for his last album, Songs We Sing, all over the country as well as at nearly every music fest worth its price of admission the last few years (including Coachella, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits) Matt Costa will be opening for them on a couple upcoming select dates. Check below to see if you're lucky enough to be near one of the shows he'll be an opener for. Further incentive is the fact you'll probably hear some of Matt's new material that will appear on his new album, Unfamiliar Faces, which has been pushed back to be released in January of next year.

Matt Costa - Sunshine : Songs We Sing

Visit Matt's website, his label Brushfire Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Visit Modest Mouse's website, their label Sony Music, and become their friend on MySpace.


Matt Costa Tour Dates:

Aug. 27th Edgefield Portland , OR *
Sept. 8th Virgin Festival @ Island Park Toronto , ONT
Sept. 10th McKay Events Center Salt Lake City , UT **
Sept. 14th Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara , CA *
Sept. 15th The Joint Las Vegas , NV *
Sept. 16th Boulder Theater – etown live radio show taping Boulder , CO
Sept. 22nd San Diego Street Scene @ Coors Amphitheatre Chula Vista , CA

*dates opening for Modest Mouse; ** dates with Modest Mouse and Rilo Kiley

Let's have a Grand Ole Party

I'm going to come right out and say it. Grand Ole Party had to have taken a peak into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' play-book. Both bands are trios fronted by women with extremely similar voices (Kristin Gundred in GOP's case, and of course Karen O from the YYYs) that ooze sensuality in their snarling way while at the same time demanding respect. One difference though would be the instrumentation. While serving as lead vocalist for the band, Kristin also plays the drums, which during live shows are front and center as opposed to pushed to the back in most set-ups.

Since Show Your Bones showed up on my 11 albums of 2006 list, it comes as no surprise that I'm thoroughly enjoying Humanimals, Grand Ole Party's debut album which is set to be released via iTunes on September 4th. The album was recorded live in an amazingly short five days, but you'd never know it while listening. The group enlisted Rilo Kiley guitarist Blake Sennet to help out on the album, and coincidentally, they're touring with Rilo Kiley this fall (tour dates below). And since I've been grooving to Rilo Kiley's latest lately as well (read about it here), it's a safe bet that it's going to be a killer show.

Grand Ole Party - Insane : Humanimals

Grand Ole Party - Bad Bad Man : Humanimals

Become their friend on MySpace.


Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion (Diplo Remix) : Gold Lion single

Rilo Kiley - Breakin' Up : Under The Blacklight


US Tour Dates with Rilo Kiley

6 San Francisco, CA @ Warfield
7 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom - MFNW 2007
8 Seattle, WA @ Showbox
11 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
12 Columbia, MO @ University of Missouri - Jesse Auditorium
13 Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium
14 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
15 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
17 Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
18 Toronto, ONT @ Phoenix Theatre
19 Montreal, QUE @ La Tulipe
21 Boston, MA @Avalon
22 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
23 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
25 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
26 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
27 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
28 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
29 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

1 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
2 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
4 New Orleans, LA @ Republic
5 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
6 Dallas, TX @ Palladium
7 Austin, TX @ Stubb's BBQ
9 Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
10 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
12 San Diego, CA @ SOMA
13 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
15 Los Angeles, CA @ Santa Monica Civic

Monday, August 27, 2007

Girrrrl Power: The Coathangers

There's nothing better than listening to some chicks with serious attitude (especially chicks that would kick my ass for calling them chicks) playing with reckless abandon, fast and furious, cutting to the chase without all the instrumental solos that leave you daydreaming. Atlanta band The Coathangers fits the bill perfectly.

The foursome is set to release their self-titled debut on September 4th, and its 17 tracks weighing in at 31 minutes reminds one of a Ramones album: no playing games, it's all business. In this case, playfully perverse (observe songs titled Don't Touch My Shit, Shut the Fuck Up, and one of my favorites, Nestle In My Boobies, which you can listen to below) irreverent punk is what it's all about, with estrogen powered angst fueling girl-power anthems which will remind you of The Slits and The Donnas.

The Coathangers - Wreckless Boy : The Coathangers

The Coathangers - Nestle In My Boobies
: The Coathangers

The Coathangers - Spider Hands : The Coathangers 7"

Visit their website, their label Rob's House Records, and become their friend on MySpace.


The Slits - Vindictive (live) : In the Beginning

The Donnas - You Don't Wanna Call : Get Skintight

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Les.Petits (the petites)

Imagine the quirkiness of The Fiery Furnaces quieted down a few notches with Glen Hansard (of The Frames) on vocals writing songs about nature, and you'll get some idea of where Les.Petits is coming from. Gabriel Collins, the group's lead clarinetist and pedal-steel player explains,"When we started, we felt an overriding pressure to limit our songwriting focus to mammals exclusively. We really feel like we've been able to push the envelope of that paradigm and capture a more diverse description of local wildlife through our songs." You have to give some major props to a group that can compose an entire album around flora and fauna.

The group is based in the Calgary area and has combined their freshman and sophomore EPs ( and an.ark.full.of.animals) into this, their debut full-length album titled The.Mighty.Antlers.Of.Song EPs, which was released earlier this year. Enjoy the uniqueness of Les.Petits below.

Les.Petits - Boy Before The Woods (It's A Prequel) : The.Mighty.Antlers.Of.Song EPs

Les.Petits - The Rabbit Blackberry : The.Mighty.Antlers.Of.Song EPs

Visit their website, their label Saved By Radio, and become their friend on MySpace.


The Fiery Furnaces - Single Again : EP

The Frames - Star Star : Dance the Devil

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Unsung Arthur Alexander

When your songs are covered by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan, you must have made it big, right? You would think so, but not for Arthur Alexander. Arthur first started writing and recording songs in the early 60's, a decade where black musicians were still struggling to gain an equal footing in the music industry as their white counterparts. Like many blacks trying to get into the music biz, Arthur started out performing gospel music at age 16 with a group called the Heartstrings. From there he journeyed into the pop realm writing country and R&B songs, some of which he performed and others that were used by many other musicians, including the big names above. Unfortunately, Arthur never got his due and eventually faded from the stage into obscurity.

All that changed in 1993 though when Elektra Records persuaded Arthur to take a break from driving a bus to record an album that got almost instant attention titled Lonely Just Like Me. Rolling Stone described the record as "stunning," and NPR's Fresh Air program invited Arthur in for a live-in-studio concert (which is included on the re-release via HackTone Records which is coming out September 25th). Unfortunately, within days of its initial release in 1993, Arthur passed away, and the album and his music were forgotten again. Until now that is.

HackTone records has brought the album back and has included the NPR performance (which includes some wonderful commentary by Arthur about his music and his career) as well as some previously unreleased demos he made in a Cleveland hotel room. The re-release is titled Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter and is scheduled to be out September 25th. Try the following for a taste of a musician that you've probably never heard of, but have probably heard his songs. The first track is from the originally released 1993 version; the other two are from the NPR recording added to the re-release.

Arthur Alexander - Every Day I Have To Cry : Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Arthur Alexander - "I think that's how they heard me" (intro to You Better Move On) : Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Arthur Alexander - You Better Move On (Live On Fresh Air) : Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Visit his label HackTone Records, and on MySpace.

Friday, August 24, 2007

See Jamie T live in Boston

So when an album starts with someone screaming "Fucking croissant," you know you're in for something special. Furthermore, when a musician is nominated as best solo artist at the 2006 NME awards and their record was just nominated for a Nationwide Mercury Prize AND it's their debut better believe it's something extra special.

Enter Jamie T. Jamie has been playing for a little while over in England and is ready to release his American debut of his debut album Panic Prevention next week on the 28th. His music's got a raw, hyper, edgy feel to it that's hard to classify. Part punk, part rap, part funk, and total fun. At times he reminds me of British rapper Braintax, other times he reminds me of a British version of G. Love.

Here's your chance to win a copy of the album AND a pair of tickets to see Jamie play live at the Great Scott in Boston on September 12th. Just leave a comment (or e-mail me) with your name and e-mail address and you'll be in the running. I'll notify the winner sometime next Fridayish.

Jamie T - Brand New Bass Guitar : Panic Prevention

Jamie T - If You Got The Money : Panic Prevention

Visit his website, his label Caroline Records, and become his friend on MySpace.


Saturday, September 8 - Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Festival
Sunday, September 9 - Toronto, Ontario – V Festival
Wednesday, September 12 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
Thursday, September 13 – New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Saturday, September 15 – Philadelphia, PA – North Star
Tuesday, September 18 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
Wednesday, September 19 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
Saturday, September 22 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile CafĂ©
Sunday, September 23 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
Tuesday, September 25 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
Wednesday, September 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour


Braintax with Mystro - Good or Bad : Panorama

G. Love & Special Sauce - Cold Beverage (live) : Live at Tower Records in Tokyo, Japan 10-22-06 (studio version on self titled album G. Love And Special Sauce)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Get your 12" here...

L.A.'s psychedelic shoegazers Darker My Love and Denver's Moccasin have teamed up to produce a limited edition (1,000 copies) 12" split release, the first for IHATEROCKNROLL, a small DIY label headed by Jon Weinberg, out of his one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles. The record includes one track from Darker My Love titled Hair Decisions, and two by Moccasin, Secret Mountain and The Rule of Queen Tsago, and you can listen to and pre-order your copy at the label's website here. In the meantime, enjoy the following tracks, from the bands' last full length albums:

Darker My Love - What's A Man's Paris : Darker My Love

Moccasin - Ezra's Ghost : Last Leaf

Ben Lee Ripens

First off, let me begin by admitting that my favorite album of all time, the one album I would choose above all others hands down to listen to on a deserted island for the rest of my life, would be Ben Lee's 1997 album Something to Remember Me By. That being said, I was rather eager to get my hands on a copy of his newest album, Ripe, which is scheduled to come out on September 18th. Coming on the heels of Awake Is the New Sleep, perhaps Ben's biggest success commercially and one which garnered a lot of publicity and new fans (much of it from Catch My Disease appearing on TV), Ripe has big shoes to fill.

Where as the last album in many ways harkened back to some of his softer acoustic albums (Something To Remember Me By and his solo debut Grandpaw Would), Ripe has a more polished and produced feel to it more akin to Hey You. Yes You and Breathing Tornadoes. Although Ben's guitar is still there, it's not at the forefront as in previous albums, rather a more prevalent percussion sound carries the tunes. Still present though is Ben's characteristic penchant for writing catchy pop tunes with a irresistible sense of humor.

Opening the album is Love Me Like The World Is Ending, an upbeat love ballad that sets the tone for the rest of the album. It's got a very positive relationshipial vibe to it which celebrates new love. Next up, American Television, which is being featured on ABC's website and is reminiscent of his older song poking fun at American TV, Household Name. (Give me sex and give me patience, I can't wait...change the station) Ben again draws attention to American culture with What Would Jay-Z do, an ode to one of Ben's personal heroes. The album closes with the title track, an acoustic ditty which is my favorite from the album, and not just because it uses the word quesadilla in the lyrics. Not only is it an intensely romantic song about finding the person you should be with and going after them, I think it does a good job of summing up what has happened with Ben's musical abilities.

I could go track by track, but suffice to say, I think Ripe is a solid follow-up to his last album. Also in the works is Ben Lee: Catch My Disease, a documentary seven years in the making by his friend Amiel Courtin-Wilson, which should be out next year and includes interviews with Liz Phair, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and many others. Enjoy the following tracks, and make sure to get the album on the 18th. If you can't wait, a three track EP is available on iTunes or you can download Ben's complete album cover of Against Me!'s New Wave on his website.

Ben Lee - Numb : Ripe

Ben Lee - Ripe : Ripe

Visit his website, his label New West Records, and become his friend on MySpace.


Ben Lee - Household Name : Something To Remember Me By

Ben Lee - My Turntable : Away With The Pixies EP

Ben Lee - Girls Talk (Elvis Costello cover) : Cigarettes Will Kill You single

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Many Sides of Jesca Hoop

Tom Waits (who she worked as a nanny for) says this about Jesca Hoop; "her music is like a four-sided coin." There's good reason for this. Her debut album Kismet only has 11 tracks, but in those tracks Jesca is able to cover a lot of ground stylistically. In fact, it's almost as if she's still learning where she fits into the spectrum of music and is trying on several different costumes to see which one she feels comfortable donning. Her voice is quite strong, and that allows her to approach songs from many different angles without apparent strain.

The album opens up with Summertime, a shimmery tune that almost feels at points like it could come from some contemporary female country singers. Then fast forward to track three, Enemy, which is a soft acoustic number where her voice floats along innocently and dreamily and then out of nowhere soars. From there move ahead a couple of tracks to Money and you'll feel like you're listening to a sultry lounge singer draped over a piano in a dark smokey bar. Then move on to Havoc In Heaven, with it's triangle tinkles, it's instrumentation with lots of space between notes, and precise lyrics, and you'll think about comparisons to Bjork. This is followed by Out The Back Door, a song that could have come from Lily Allen's corner.

I'll stop here and simply offer the above up as evidence of Jesca's versatility. The album is due out September 18th. In the meantime, enjoy the following:

Jesca Hoop - Enemy : Kismet

Jesca Hoop - Out The Back Door
: Kismet

Watch her play with the Ditty Bops at Yahoo! Music's Studio performing her song Summertime.

Visit her website and become her friend on MySpace.


Tom Waits - Blue Valentine : Blue Valentine

Monday, August 20, 2007

for your Health

Brutal. Primal. Murky. Antagonistic. All these words could be used to describe the self titled debut album of L.A. quartet HEALTH. The album was recorded in The Smell, an all ages venue in L.A. that's dark and dirty, with vintage ribbon microphones and is set to be released September 18th via Love Pump United Records concurrently with a split 7" featuring label mates Crystal Castles on the flip side (listen to a track from it below).

The album is 11 tracks long and only 29 minutes long, but don't let that fool you. Listening to it will leave you exhausted. It's drum driven bass line and thrashing guitars rush forth with an astounding urgency that will batter you from beginning to end. Most of the album is industrialesque noise made to be played loud with occasional tortured screams and chanting lyrics coming up under it all.

HEALTH - / / M \ \ : HEALTH

HEALTH - Glitter Pills : HEALTH

Visit their website, their label Love Pump United Records, and become their friend on MySpace.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Hottest State Contest

A week and a half ago I talked a little about Jesse Harris' latest project, the soundtrack for The Hottest State. Well, here's your chance to win a copy of the album along with a copy of Ethan Hawke's book that the movie is based on.

The soundtrack has a stellar line-up of musicians including the following:


1) Rocha - "Ya No Te Veria Mas (Never See You)"
2) Willie Nelson - "Always Seem to Get Things Wrong"
3) Feist - "Somewhere Down the Road"
4) Bright Eyes - "Big Old House"
5) Emmylou Harris - "The Speed of Sound"
6) Jesse Harris - "It Will Stay With Us"
7) The Black Keys - "If You Ever Slip"
8) M. Ward - "Crooked Lines"
9) Norah Jones - "World of Trouble"
10) Brad Mehldau - "Never See You"
11) Cat Power - "It's Alright to Fail"
12) Jesse Harris - "One Day the Dam Will Break"
13) Tony Scherr - "You, the Queen"
14) "Morning in a Strange City (Cafe)"
15) Rocha - "No More"
16) Jesse Harris - "Dear Dorothy"
17) Rocha - "Never See You”
18) "There Are No Second Chances"

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (or e-mail me) with your name and e-mail address and you'll be in the running for one of the two prize packs that I have to give away. I'll choose two winners next Sundayish and notify them via e-mail.

stream Bright Eyes - Big Old House : The Hottest State Soundtrack

stream Feist - Somewhere Down the Road : The Hottest State Soundtrack

Jesse Harris - Dear Dorothy : The Hottest State Soundtrack

and one from Jesse's latest album:

Jesse Harris - How Could It Take So Long : Feel

Visit Jesse's website, his label Velour Recordings, and become his friend on MySpace.

Visit the film's MySpace Page and view the trailer.

Not a winner? Buy a copy of the book here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Mighty Mighty Oreskaband

First, Quentin Tarantino introduced us to The's in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 with their infectiously upbeat rockabilly song Woo Hoo. The song later appeared in several commercials. The group was a three piece from Tokyo that played surf rock with 50's and 60's style and flavor. What the band lacked with their command of English was easily made up for by their enthusiasm.

Then we experienced Asobi Seksu with Yuki Chikudate serenading us with an enticing mixture of English and Japanese. Unlike The's, Asobi Seksu created their own melded style or indie pop that is just as much about the melody as the energy.

Now the latest craze to be shipped across the Pacific is Oreskaband. The band is a teen girl sextet from Osaka, Japan which formed in middle school and who's storming the land of the rising sun by storm. Their first offer in the US is the self-titled Oreskaband, which is actually an album composed of two EPs previously released in their homeland. Unlike The's imperfect English, and Asobi Seksu's playful mixing of the languages, Oreskaband sings completely in Japanese, but their message is clear: get off your lazy bum and dance like crazy.

The first, and most obvious, comparison which comes to mind is Boston's Mighty Mighty Bosstones, which should tell you straight away what you might have picked out of the band's name; they're all about ska. That being said, if you're not up for a third dose of ska music, you probably won't make it through one listen of the album. If, on the other hand, you're still waiting for the next coming of ska music, here it is, albeit in Japanese.

Oreskaband - Pantime : Oreskaband

Oreskaband - Knife and Folk : Oreskaband

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.


The's - Woo-Hoo
: Bomb the Twist

Asobi Seksu - Strawberries : Citrus

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Noise Brigade [Live] : Tibetan Freedom Concert [Disc 2]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Daily Fix - TV Style

Just when we thought music blogs were the wave of the future, here comes TV trying to steal our thunder. That's right, Current TV is launching a daily music blog TV show starting today that will air six times every day. Content will include MP3s from music blog aggregators, gritty user-generated video clips and cell phone camera images and is hoping to give exposure to many of the musicians that currently only get press via music blogs like this one. Slated for its first feature coverage is Dan Deacon, Dizzee Rascal, Josh Ritter, Saigon and St. Vincent. Just think, now you don't have to wait around watching MTV all day for their 2 minute MTV news segments!

Dan Deacon - Pink Batman : Spiderman of the Rings

Dizzee Rascal - Wanna Be : Maths + English

Josh Ritter - Peter Killed the Dragon (live) : Live at the Record Exchange EP

St. Vincent - Jesus Saves, I Spend : Marry Me

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jack and Jill and Mexico

You might recall me talking about Kim Richey back here. If not, take a minute to acquaint yourself with her, then check out the following video for her song Jack and Jill, from her latest album Chinese Boxes.

Now listen to a few tracks from the album:

Kim Richey - Jack And Jill : Chinese Boxes

Kim Richey - Turn Me : Chinese Boxes

And finally download and listen to her cover of Cake's song Mexico

Kim Richey - Mexico (Cake cover)

Visit her website, her label Vanguard Records, and become her friend on MySpace.


Cake - Mexico
: Prolonging the Magic

Taming Ferraby Lionheart

Listening to Ferraby Lionheart's debut full length solo album Catch the Brass Ring will make you feel like you've gone back to another era: an era where melodies were beautiful, the singer was part musician and part story-teller, and the instrumentation flowed together and just made sense. The experience is almost as if you were at a road-side inn listening to a traveling troubadour playing music next to the fireplace. Ferreby even hits up on some Dixieland jazz flavor with his song Before We're Dead. Check it out below and you'll be humming When the Saints Go Marching In before you know it.

The album is available digitally now on iTunes, and is scheduled to hit the shelves in stores September 4th. If you do buy it through iTunes you'll get Pure Imagination (a Willy Wonka cover) as a bonus track.

Visit his website, his label Nettwerk Records, and become his friend on MySpace.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Naming Number Two

On August 24th, Naming Number Two, a Sundance award winning New Zealand film, will hit theaters in the United States. Already available digitally via HackTone records is the soundtrack, which was composed, crafted, and compiled by New Zealander Don McGlashan.

The movie tells the story of a Fijian family that has lost its heart, its ability to fight, its ability to function as a family. The grandmother, played by Ruby Dee, realizing she is dieing, must name a successor so she commands the family to throw one final party for her. It's also her earnest hope that this will bring them all back together. View the trailer to get a better idea.

The soundtrack is a generous collection that features tunes both old and new from the South Pacific from a variety of genres. The opening track, The Medicine, is by Samoan rapper Tha Feelstyle, while the second Bathe In the River (listen below), perhaps the strongest track on the album, is a soulful gospelish type song that is uplifting and hopeful. There are also a handful of instrumental numbers written by McGlashan, an opera song by Kiwi Tenor Shaun Dixon, as well as a vintage track from the 50's (Chulu Chululu by Mila with Eddie Lund and his Tahitians - Eddie was the father of modern Tahitian folk music whose music was distributed worldwide).

Mt. Raskil Preservation Society feat. Hollie Smith - Bathe In the River : Naming Number Two Soundtrack

Mila with Eddie Lund and his Tahitians - Chulu Chululu : Naming Number Two Soundtrack

Visit the movie's website, it's MySpace page, and the soundtrack's label HackTone Records.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New and Improved Rilo Kiley

Three years after releasing their last album More Adventurous and having signed with Warner Bros Records, Rilo Kiley is back with their fourth album, Under the Blacklight, which is scheduled to be out August 21st. There has been a lot of questions flying about whether or not the band would come back together after doing their solo thangs and put out an album worth its weight. With the arrival of The Moneymaker (listen and / or watch below if you haven't caught it yet), there has been a mixed bag of reviews as to the group's seemingly new direction. Having listened to the entire album, I'll have to tell you, hang on to your seats and be prepared for a wild ride. It's going to be a divisive affair; you're either going to love it or hate it. I happen to fall into the love it camp.

The band has taken on a 70's sort of disco taste most evident in my favorite track on the album, Breakin' Up. It reminds me a lot of The Rosebuds' latest, Night of the Furies. That being said, you're either not going to be able to get enough of Jenny Lewis and company or you're going to wish they stayed apart focusing on their solo gigs.

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


The Rosebuds - Get Up Get Out : Night of the Furies

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Manics are back!

After having gone their separate ways to work on solo projects, the remaining members of the Manic Street Preachers have reassembled to release their eighth album, titled Send Away The Tigers. It's hard to believe that the boys have been around over 20 years making music. The new album is short, ten tracks and thirty-eight minutes, and that's not by accident. The band recorded about 30 songs and spent painstaking time trimming it down to what they felt were the essential ten tracks to give to each and every one of you out there.

The Manics haven't lost their working class values or their political interests. They're rejuvenated and are coming back with an album that displays their influences on their sleeves and celebrates what they've always enjoyed most. For evidence, listen to the following two tracks. The first is a collaboration with Nina Persson (of The Cardigans). The second is the track 10 of the album, which is one of their songs, Winterlovers, followed by some moments of silence, and then a hidden track: their interpretation of John Lennon's Working Class Hero.

Manic Street Preachers - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (Feat. Nina Persson) : Send Away The Tigers

Manic Street Preachers - Winterlovers / Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover) : Send Away The Tigers

Visit their website, their label Sony Music UK, and become their friend on MySpace.


The Cardigans - The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy cover) : Over the Edge

John Lennon - Working Class Hero : Wonsaponatime

Friday, August 10, 2007

the Dynamic Duo of Tegan & Sara

Following the success of their 2004 hit album, So Jealous, Canadian twin singer-songwriters Tegan & Sara are back with their fifth album, The Con. For production of this latest record, the sisters teamed up with Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), whose influence is evident with the captivating choruses and haunting instrumental transitions found throughout so many of the tracks. In addition, with many keyboard-leading riffs and poppy hooks, there is a definite New Wave/punk/1980's feel to this latest album reminiscent to that of The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie.

For those of you not familiar with the pair, born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada just 26 years ago, these twin songstresses found a guitar at the age of 15 and simply began to make music. After small tours throughout Canada, the impressive duo toured the US with Neil Young (whose label they're on) which led to bigger tours in Canada (and even Europe and Asia) with artists such as Rufus Wainwright and Melissa Ferrick. After more work in the studio and more gigs at small clubs in the US, Tegan & Sara recorded their hit 2004 album So Jealous and got nominated for a Juno, the Canadian-equivalent of a Grammy. The pair then toured all over the US with The Killers before meeting up with Walla to record this, their newest album, in January of this year.

With good beats and good lyrics, the tracks are catchy and memorable—I found myself still humming along after the CD finished, without yet knowing the words, just the vague outline of the melody. The words and implications are subtle remarks on love and loss, likely based upon quiet and sharp observations of life.

My favorite track on the album is Nineteen (listen to it on the girls' MySpace page), an attractive tune with intoxicating harmonies that make you turn up the volume loud enough so that you can try to blend in with the chorus. The song has just the right amount of angst and edge that every pop song needs to make you want to rock out when no one’s watching.

from the deluxe DVD version, check out the video chapter on Hop A Plane

and a couple of older ones:

Tegan & Sara - I Know I Know I Know : So Jealous

Tegan & Sara - You Went Away : If It Was You

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