Friday, August 31, 2007
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
Arthur Lyman - The Girl From Ipanema : Cocktails For Two - Romance With A Twist
Thursday, August 30, 2007
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
Sept. 10: Empty Bottle, *
Sept. 11: Mojo’s, Columbia, MO
Sept. 12: Record Bar,
Sept. 14: 6th Street Live,
Sept. 16: 3846 Government,
Sept. 17: Beta Bar,
Sept. 18: The Atlantic,
Sept. 21: The Boot,
Sept. 23: DC9,
Sept. 25: Bowling Green University REV Fest,
* FREE show w/Maps & Atlases, Nurses, Karma With a K
Bob Dylan - All the Tired Horses : Self Portrait
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
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
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
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 - Sunshine : Songs We Sing
Visit Modest Mouse's website, their label Sony Music, and become their friend on MySpace.
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 ; ** dates with and Rilo Kiley
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
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion (Diplo Remix) : Gold Lion single
Rilo Kiley - Breakin' Up : Under The Blacklight
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
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"
The Slits - Vindictive (live) : In the Beginning
The Donnas - You Don't Wanna Call : Get Skintight
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The group is based in the Calgary area and has combined their freshman and sophomore EPs (the.mighty.antlers.of.song 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
The Fiery Furnaces - Single Again : EP
The Frames - Star Star : Dance the Devil
Saturday, August 25, 2007
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
Friday, August 24, 2007
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
FALL US TOUR DATES:
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 Café
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
Darker My Love - What's A Man's Paris : Darker My Love
Moccasin - Ezra's Ghost : Last Leaf
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
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 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.
Tom Waits - Blue Valentine : Blue Valentine
Monday, August 20, 2007
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
Sunday, August 19, 2007
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:
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 the film's MySpace Page and view the trailer.
Not a winner? Buy a copy of the book here.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Then we experienced Asobi Seksu with Yuki Chikudate serenading us with an enticing mixture of English and Japanese. Unlike The 188.8.131.52'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 184.108.40.206'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
The 220.127.116.11'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
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
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)
Cake - Mexico : Prolonging the Magic
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.
Ferraby Lionheart - Before We're Dead : Catch the Brass Ring
Monday, August 13, 2007
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
Sunday, August 12, 2007
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.
The Rosebuds - Get Up Get Out : Night of the Furies
Saturday, August 11, 2007
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
The Cardigans - The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy cover) : Over the Edge
John Lennon - Working Class Hero : Wonsaponatime
Friday, August 10, 2007
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.
and a couple of older ones: