Saturday, June 30, 2007

Frolicking with LadybiRdS

Sometimes one of the best parts of a band's website is where they talk about who (or what) they sound like. Sometimes it's something like "A Moluccan Cockatoo's feather falling to the Earth on a cloudless December night in Istanbul while Nitzer Ebb plays in the background." Right. In LadybiRdS' case, it's "Pop tunery inspired by an 8 bit Nintendo or Atari 2600 or Cyndi Lauper superfan meets a (cupcake pop version of) The Postal Service on diet pills (before Ephedra was banned by the FDA.)." The fact of the matter is that in this case, I couldn't put it any better myself.

LadybiRdS is composed of Tyler Pursel (of Gym Class Heroes) and Teeter Sperber (formerly of Ley Royal Scam), as well as a whole slew of guest vocalists. The pair works magic with one another, making music that's just plain sugary sweet fun. It's very low-fi electronica (hence the Atari 2600 reference) with quirky vocals loud and clear on top. In many ways, it reminds me of Au Revoir Simone's album The Bird Of Music from earlier this year, but a little more playful.

The following two tracks will give you a good feel of what the album is about. I've included the opening lyrics from Andy Lex because I enjoy them so much (and to give you can idea of what I mean by sugary sweet music).
i never saw a face so sweet
as the one that frames your eyes
i never cared about wyoming
but could tell that you were wise
i wonder now if i missed out by not agreeing to stay the night
after i held you while we watched the princess bride
The album doesn't drop until September 18th, but in the meantime, enjoy the following tracks:

LadybiRdS - The Brown And Red Divide : Regional Community Theater
LadybiRdS - Andy Lex : Regional Community Theater

Visit their label Creep Records, and become their friend on MySpace.


Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun : She's So Unusual

Au Revoir Simone - Dark Halls : The Bird Of Music

Friday, June 29, 2007

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers-ville

I'm going to come right out and say it and consequences be damned. Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers remind me of an updated version of a cross between Neil Diamond and Jimmy Buffet. There, I said it. Strike this blog from your list of blogs to visit while killing time at work if you will.

Now that I've got that out in the open, I'll continue in my confessional manner. Growing up, my favorite musician was Neil Diamond. That's right. Going through my father's record collection, I would often choose Diamond's albums to look at and play. I don't know if it was his name or his music, but he was the first musician that I can remember liking.

So what does all this have to do with the matter at hand? Good question. Simple answer: Roger Clyne's voice instantly sparked memories of listening to Neil. Where does the Jimmy Buffet part come in? Close your eyes while listening and the general feel of the music will put you on a beach somewhere in Baja California holding a mixed drink with an umbrella sticking out of it . It's that simple.

If Roger's name sounds familiar to you, it might be from his involvement with The Refreshments (and their composing the theme song for King of the Hill). When the band split up, Roger and P.H. Naffah went on to form the Peacemakers. Since then they've put out five albums, with the fifth, No More Beautiful World, released this last March. It's got a definite earthy southwestern feel to it which prominantly runs throughout the album which means you either like it, or you don't. The whole affair has got an air of fiesta time in a mexican cantina, regardless of the seriousness of the lyrics (try Wake Up Call below to see what I mean).

If you like what you hear below, for those of you who still believe in having the CD in your grimy little hands, you'll get a second disc with 80+ minutes of bonus video content if you buy it. Regardless, give the following a try:

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - Maybe We Should Fall In Love : No More Beautiful World

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - Wake Up Call
: No More Beautiful World

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.


Neil Diamond - Thank The Lord For The Night Time [Live] : Glory Road 1968 To 1972 [Disc 2]

Jimmy Buffet - Margaritaville : Songs You Know By Heart

The Refreshments - King of the Hill theme song : King of the Hill

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hangin' with Gallows

Take a good look at the man above (he's Frank Carter, lead vocalist). Listening to Gallow's debut album Orchestra Of Wolves will have the same effect on you. This is not an idle threat.

Time to put aside all those Sex Pistols albums you've been listening to, and make room for the UK's latest hardcore punk offering, Gallows. They've been working on their Johnny Rotten snarls and their Henry Rollins' ear rupturing sweet nothings, and are ready to wreak havoc in the US this summer playing the main stage on the Warped Tour. Their album was originally released in the UK in 2006, and is scheduled to be out in the US on July 10th. As recompense for having to wait, US listeners will get three additional tracks, including the band's version of Black Flag's song Nervous Breakdown.

I will again refer to the picture above. This music is not glammed up punk of the type you might see on MTV or hear on the radio. This is the real deal, full of ferocious energy and amped out anger. Do not listen to this to relax. Do not include any of these songs on a mix tape of love songs for your significant other. Do not play this music while asking your parents if you can go to the Warped Tour. Want to get some aggression out and break things? Then spin the following at the maximum volume your music producing device can go.

Gallows - Kill The Rhythm : Orchestra of Wolves

Gallows - Orchestra Of Wolves : Orchestra of Wolves

Visit their label Epitaph and become their friend on MySpace.


Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown : Nervous Breakdown

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Hourly Radio - Live

Last Saturday (the 23rd), I got a chance to see The Hourly Radio open, along with Stars of Track and Field, for Shiny Toy Guns at the Webster Theatre in Hartford. Their debut album, History Will Never Hold Me, was released last year, and since then the band has been touring like banshees, crisscrossing the country over and over again, steadily building up their fan base and playing larger shows.

The night I saw them, they were first up, and played to an audience that was slowly growing primarily to see Shiny Toy Guns. If you didn't read my review of the album from February (here it is if you care), it really sounds to me like an homage to new wave / Brit-pop. I could be completely off with that assessment, but that's what my ears enjoy most about the band. It could have been the sound system (or the person manning the sound board), but that sound failed to completely come across in their live show. The album has been out for a while now, so maybe the band is shifting directions and growing in ways that differ from where they were in 2006. I'll have to wait until the next album to see, but in the meantime, I will continue to enjoy their debut.

Before going to the show, I was able to ask Ryan Short, guitarist for the group, some questions:
You guys have crisscrossed the country on tour in a little over one month. Any plans you have to relax once you're done?

RS: Not really... we are looking to be on the road most of the summer and the rest of the year. We'll get a couple weeks at home, but we'll be working on new material, etc...

'06 was a fairly big year for you with your debut album placing high on a lot of people's lists (Billboard, Music Slut, Torr, etc...). How has this year been to you and what do you hope to accomplish in the last 6 months of it?

RS: 2006 was great and we were glad the album was received so well by the press, but 2007 has been more about getting the music and our live show out there to people. There are still a ton of people who have no idea who we are so the fact that our record was on a best of list doesn't mean much. With the last 6 months we just hope to keep playing to bigger and bigger audiences. So far so good, our largest shows have all been our last few dates.

Do you already have some songs that you've been playing which will show up on the next album?

RS: On this tour we have been playing 2 new songs... some of form of those will probably show up on the next record.

Your tour plane crashes on a desert island. You can only one album to pick to listen to until you are rescued. What would it be?

RS: Wow we have a tour plane!?! Mine would be "Come Down" by Dandy Warhols. It has everything... 8 minute epic songs, slow burning shoegaze songs and pure pop songs.

What kind of music do you picture yourself playing in ten years?

RS: If I am still playing music in 10 years, at least as a career, then I imagine that means we had been fairly successful in our earlier years and we'd now be a little out of touch and doing some reunion tour and putting out a garbage record and trying to reclaim our youth and cash in.

The Hourly Radio - Crime Does Pay : History Will Never Hold Me

The Hourly Radio - He Said / She Said : History Will Never Hold Me

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


Stars of Track and Field - Centuries : Centuries Before Love And War

Shiny Toy Guns - You Are The One
: We Are Pilots

Roosting with Bowerbirds

Lately, I seem to be listening to A LOT of good music that is coming from the neighborhood of North Carolina, and the Bowerbirds are no exception. The group is a trio based out of Raleigh, NC that is set to release their debut effort, Hymns for a Dark Horse, on July 10th.

Yesterday I wrote about the soundtrack to Once, and the whole singer meets waitress, they write some songs together, and then fall in love thing. Coincidentally, something very similar happened to stimulate the formation of the Bowerbirds. Originally, Phil Moore and Mark Paulson had moved to Raleigh from Iowa to form a band, Ticonderoga. When they arrived, Phil met Beth Tacular (what a cool name - it sounds like spectacular!), Ticonderoga fell apart, and Phil and Beth moved in together to paint pictures and write songs about them. From these ashes, the Bowerbirds arose. You can't get much more romantic movie ending then that!

On the surface, the album sounds relatively straight-forward. The three members use fairly basic instrumentation (including some lovely strings and an accordion here and there) to create a light palette to paint the lyrics onto. Phil Moore sings the majority of the vocals and his style reminds me very much of Elvis Perkins (whose debut release earlier this year I still love and will easily make my best of 2007 in December). Try In Our Talons below to enjoy Beth's accordion playing and The Marbled Godwit to hear those lovely strings amongst an otherwise sparse arrangement.

Bowerbirds - In Our Talons : Hymns for a Dark Horse

Bowerbirds - The Marbled Godwit : Hymns for a Dark Horse

Visit their webpage, their label Burly Time Records, and become their friend on MySpace.


Elvis Perkins - While You Were Sleeping : Ash Wednesday

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Once - Worth many listens

I've not seen the movie Once yet as I don't think it ever played anywhere near me, but I've heard bits and pieces of the plot line. Glen Hansard (of The Frames) is "the guy." Markéta Irglová is "the girl." Their paths cross on the streets of Dublin, and fate steps in to make their paths cross. He's a street musician and she's as struggling single mom, and the music they make brings them together.

The movie was produced by John Carney, who played bass for The Frames from 1991 to 1993 (hence the Hansard connection). The soundtrack is simply dynamite original music, and from what I hear, plays a major part in the plot development. Frames fans will recognize Hansard's vocalistic stylings on these moving pieces. Along with music newcomer Markéta Irglová, the duo released The Swell Season last year, from which four tracks appear on this soundtrack, along with nine additional tracks (one of which is from the band Interference - anyone know anything about them?).

Give the pair a listen, if you haven't already. Below is a track from Glen and Marketa (in which you get a wonderful listen of her hauntingly beautiful voice) as well as a rather cheeky one from just Glen. And of course, how could I not include one from the Frames?

Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová - If You Want Me : Once Soundtrack

Glen Hansard - Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy
: Once Soundtrack

The Frames - Star Star/Pure Imagination (live Medley) : Set List

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles - Undiscovered Diamonds

Probably about a month ago, I was talking with Rich over at Modern Acoustic (figuratively speaking that is via e-mail) about Grace Potter and he recommended that I check out another female singer/songwriter by the name of Sarah Borges. So here I am, one month later, with lots of kudos to share with you about Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles' second album Diamonds in the Dark.

The album opens up with The Day We Met, a track that you have to listen to repeatedly while dancing around (unless you don't have a pulse). There are no two ways about it; the song features some catchy gutiar hooks and an equally catchy chorus. The album could end here and it would be worth the price. But luckily, it doesn't. The album is an eclectic feeling mix of some plain out twangy Nashville feeling tunes (even though Sarah is from Boston) as well as more straight out upbeat indie rock, and everthing inbetween. What's amazing is that Sarah's voice sounds equally at home regardless of what is playing behind her. Try out the following two tracks to see for yourself. Sarah jams on Open Up Your Back Door, a bluesy number that reminds me of The Blues Brothers singing Sweet Home Chicago.

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles - The Day We Met : Diamonds in the Dark

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles - Open Up Your Back Door : Diamonds in the Dark

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


The Blues Brothers - Sweet Home Chicago : The Blues Brothers Soundtrack

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bountiful Booty!

Although nothing as exciting as a free trip to Iceland, I do have a few other freebies to share with you today. The first is an entire album of music absolutely free. That's right, no strings attached. Twelve tracks of light electro-pop poetry titled Eclectric (not a spelling mistake...eclectic + electric), which is the debut album from native Russian, now New Yorker Svoy.

Svoy first studied at the Russian Academy of Music and then later at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, through the influence of an eclectic range of music including electronica, R&B and rock, Svoy decided to defect from classical music to the writing and production of his own confluence of genres. If need be, try the following two tracks to convince you to download the entire album for yourself.

Svoy - Driving Away : Eclectric
(watch the video - Windows / Real)

Svoy - One Night Stand (Moon Kisses Day) : Eclectric

Visit his website, his label Rendezvous Entertainment, and become his friend on MySpace.


The other offer in this post of bountiful booty is a contest, so unfortunately it's not free for ALL of you...just the lucky winner. You might remember me posting on the Aussie band Augie March last month. Well here's your chance to score a copy of Moo, You Bloody Choir (before it is released on August 7th) and a lovely Augie March t-shirt.

All you have to do is leave a comment (or e-mail me) with your name and e-mail, and your favorite Aussie slang term. I'll pick a tinny winner (that's lucky winner for those of you not from down-under) next Sundayish and notify them faster than a dingo's breakfast (a yawn, a leak and a good look other words, no breakfast). Want to brush up on your Australian slang while waiting to see if you're the winner? Head over to Koala Net.

Augie March - One Crowded Hour : Moo, You Bloody Choir

Augie March - There Is No Such Place : Moo, You Bloody Choir

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

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Magical Patrick Wolf

Despite his boyish face, Patrick Wolf has a set of lungs on him that would do a broadway performer proud. His third and latest release, The Magic Position, does an amazing job of showcasing Wolf's range and incredibly expressive voice. It extends from an almost guttural growl to soaring crescendos of happiness, and every note in between.

I know he's practically been around since the Ming Dynasty (by today's standards at least), but I only stumbled across him recently. I simply love his album for its dramatic overtones and excitement. It feels like a breath of fresh air compared to all that subtle, pensive, and depressing music that's all the rage now-a-days. With it's orchestral eccentricites and it's electronic flourishes, The Magic Position grabs you and takes you for what feels like a musical roller-coaster ride. The following two tracks will prove its worth the price of admission.

Patrick Wolf - Augustine : The Magic Position

Patrick Wolf - The Stars : The Magic Position

Visit his website, his label Universal Music UK, and become his friend on MySpace.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Joan sings for herself

Although the name Joan Wasser may or may not ring any bells for you, I'm sure your ears have reveled in her musical artfulness. Her resume includes performing as a member of the Dambuilders, Black Beetle, Antony and the Johnsons, and Rufus Wainwright's band. And now finally, she performs for herself as Joan As Police Woman.

From Joan's bio on her website...

Influences: "Life" Sounds Like: "The wind rushing through the forest."

How that translates into your ear...

Joan's music simmers with a soulful feel that begs you to listen over and over again. You probably won't pick up on what is tantalizingly there on the first few listens, but give her some time and your ears will start to tease out the heart of it. The album starts with the slow and steady, piano driven title track Real Life where Joan invites the listener "...take the chance, be reckless with me." From there, things pick up with Eternal Flame, but the music never loses its languid heat which emanates from Joan's voice. Think Amy Winehouse, but more mature, more depth, more meaning.

The album is out now, and if you take the time to visit your favorite music store or order a physical copy of it you'll not only get the 10 tracks on Real Life, but a second CD with 6 additional tracks appropriately titled Real Life (B Sides). They've got a VERY different feel to them compared to the 10 on the album and I would really recommend you getting them both instead of digitally purchasing Joan. Try the following:

Joan As Police Woman - The Ride : Real Life

Joan As Police Woman - Save Me : Real Life

Joan As Police Woman - Endless Supply Of Poison : Real Life (B Sides)

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

Catch her live:

Jun 26 2007 Paradiso Amsterdam
Jun 28 2007 Peace And Love Festival Borlange
Jun 29 2007 Rock Werchter Werchter
Jun 30 2007 Les Nuits de Fourviere Lyon
Jul 1 2007 Radar Live (solar beach) Istanbul
Jul 3 2007 Opera of Rennes - Theatre du Vieux St Etienne Rennes
Jul 6 2007 Wye Fayre - Ashford UK Ashford
Jul 8 2007 Vera Groningen Groningen Netherlands
Jul 11 2007 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK with Loney Dear + Andrew Bird
Jul 14 2007 Latitude Festival - UK ipswich
Jul 15 2007 Letterkenney - Earagail Arts Centre - Donegal Donegal
Jul 17 2007 Mercati Generali - Catania catania
Jul 18 2007 Pico Castle Courtyard - Mirandola Modena
Jul 19 2007 Nuvolari Festival - Cueno Cueno
Jul 20 2007 Sesto Fiorentino- Area Osmannoro
Jul 31 2007 Schubas Chicago, Illinois
Aug 9 2007 IOTA Club & Cafe Arlington, Virginia
Aug 10 2007 Tin Angel Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sep 3 2007 Bumbershoot Festival Seattle, Washington
Sep 4 2007 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon
Sep 5 2007 Sam Bond's Garage Eugene, OR
Sep 6 2007 Cafe du Nord San Francisco, California
Sep 7 2007 Spaceland Los Angeles, CA
Sep 8 2007 Casbah San Diego, California
Sep 15 2007 End Of The Road Festival - UK Salsbury

Thursday, June 21, 2007

No Fixed Abode

If you celebrate St. Patrick's day by breaking out all the Irish drinking songs you can find, playing them for the week before, and then promptly packing them up the day after, then No Fixed Abode might not be for you. If, on the other hand, you find yourself enjoying listening to Nanci Griffith singing with The Chieftains year round, come rain, sun, or snow, you just might enjoy Clearwater, the latest release by No Fixed Abode.

The band is composed of Una Walsh and Tony Dean, from Ireland and England respectively, and sings a mix of original and traditional celtic tinged flavor of folk. At points, the songs feel like they're coming to you straight from the Emerald Isle. At others (Sunne Day for example) the duo rollicks through a piano number that could be playing in a saloon. Either way, the pair complements each other nicely. Try the following:

No Fixed Abode - Kebab Crazed Nuter : Clearwater

No Fixed Abode - The Salty Sea Dog : Clearwater

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.

The Chieftains with Nanci Griffith - Red Is the Rose : An Irish Evening (live)

Drinking Songs for the rest of you

Big Bad Bollocks - Guinness : Night On The Tiles

The Clancy Brothers - Whiskey, You're The Devil : Best Of The Vanguard Years

The Dubliners - Seven Drunken Nights : Spirit of the Irish

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Puffins are friendly

OK folks, here's your chance to win a trip to Iceland to see the Iceland Airwaves Festival courtesy of Reyka Vodka. That's right, you and 9 of your friends will be flown to fly to Iceland for three days and 2 nights of partying, soaking in the Blue Lagoon, sight seeing and to attend the world renowned Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. All you have to do is HEAD HERE to enter (and if you win, consider one of your nine spots already taken by ME!). While at the festival, you'll get to see the following bands perform:

Bloc Party * Of Montreal * !!! * Best Fwends * Mum * GusGus * Buck 65

Bonde de Role* Annuals & Others to be announced soon

Here are some fun facts to amuse your friends with about Iceland while you're telling them about the contest:

- 10% of the population of Iceland believes that elves “definitely” exist

- Bjork’s mother fasted for 3 weeks in 2002 to protest the building of a dam

- In 2006 Iceland was ranked as the 4th happiest nation in the world by an independent scientific study

- Traditional Icelandic dishes include: pickled ram’s testicles, putrefied shark, singed sheep heads, sheep head jam, and blood pudding

- Astronauts practiced for their moonwalk in Iceland

- There are only 300,000 people in Iceland , 137 of them are in jail

- All of Reykjavik is heated by underground hot springs

And while you're tricking your friends into thinking you're a brainiac, listen to the following to prepare yourself for the festival:

Bloc Party - Helicopter (Weird Science Remix feat. Peaches) : Helicopter single

Of Montreal - Voltaic Crusher/Undrum To Muted Da : Suicide Squeeze: Slaying Since 1996

Annuals - Nice Day : This Is Indie Rock - Volume 3

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Suzanne Vega

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about David Bowie and how long he's been on the scene making music. While listening to Suzanne Vega's latest, Beauty & Crime (due out July 17th), it's very hard to believe that she's also been around for over 20 years. It seems like just yesterday that I was listening to Tom's Diner and Luka for the first time. Anyone remember the Lilith Festival? Suzanne was the first artist to play at the very first one back in 1997. But here it is, 20 years after her debut album, and she is poised to release her 7th album.

The eleven tracks on Beauty & Crime all revolve around Suzanne's experiences in New York City, where she was born and now lives. From the opening track, Zephyr & I, where she recounts a conversation with a grafitti artist, to strolling through the Lower East Side in Ludlow Street. Also on the album are several personal songs: a love song dedicated to her husband, Bound, as well as one for her daughter, As You Are Now (which I especially enjoy, especially as I write this after Father's day thinking about my daughter).

Suzanne Vega - Zephyr & I : Beauty & Crime

Suzanne Vega - As You Are Now
: Beauty & Crime

Suzanne Vega - Luka (acoustic) : studio version on Solitude Standing

Suzanne Vega - Stockings : WXRV Presents Live From The River Music Hall Vol. 1

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

Catch her on tour this fall:

7/12/2007 New York, NY Highline Ballroom
7/22/2007 Camden, NJ Wiggins Waterfront Park
9/15/2007 Poughkeepsie, NY Waryas Park
9/16/2007 Great Barrington, MA Mahaiwe Theatre
9/18/2007 Alexandria, VA Birchmere
9/19/2007 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
9/20/2007 Sommerville, MA Somerville Theatre
9/22/2007 Lebanon, NH Lebanon Opera House
9/23/2007 Brattleboro, VT The Latchis Hotel and Theatre
9/25/2007 Montreal, QUE LaTulipe
9/26/2007 Toronto, ONT Mod Club
9/29/2007 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
9/30/2007 Chicago, IL Park West
10/3/2007 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
10/4/2007 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
10/5/2007 Iowa City, IA Englert Civic Theater
11/29/2007 New York, NY Town Hall

Monday, June 18, 2007

Got a light?

Check out this article connecting candy cigarettes to smoking. According to the study refered to, "22 percent of current or former smokers had also regularly consumed candy cigarettes." Now don't get me wrong, I've never touched a cigarette in my life, and I think it's a dirty habit, but I could probably find 22 percent of any group of people who have also gone to work without wearing any underwear. Does that cause people to start smoking too?

Arctic Monkeys - Cigarette Smoker Fiona : Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys

Brownsville Station - Smokin' In The Boys Room : Hit Singles 1958-1977

Ben Lee - Cigarettes Will Kill You
: Breathing Tornados

Dilly-Dally with The Dilettantes

The Dilettantes were founded by former Brian Jonestown Massacre tambourine player Joel Gion and are set to release their first record, aptly titled 101 Tambourines, on June 26th digitally, and on August 7th physically.

Starting up the album are a pair of tracks that feel like they could be right out of an Austin Powers movie (one of them is Ready to Go, offered below). We're talking about groovy baby, grooooooovy...Yea baby, YEAH! They're right on the cusp of being campy, but manage to stay just this side of the border. They set you up for expectations for the rest of the album, but as you go deeper, the songs lose this ultra-60's-Brit-pop feel. That's not to say the vibes fast forward to the 21st century; you still get that psychedelic summer of love groove going on, it's just not as in your face as the first two tracks. Also thrown into the mix is the fact that the voice of Joel Gion, the lead vocalist, very much reminds me of Lou Reed (listen to Marzipan below).

For those of you who are fans of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Joel is planning on reuniting with them this summer for a string of shows in Europe during the month of July. In the meantime though, enjoy the following tracks and look forward to his album hitting shelves at the beginning of August.

The Dilettantes - Ready To Go
: 101 Tambourines

The Dilettantes - Marzipan : 101 Tambourines

Visit their label Happy Parts Recordings and become their friend on MySpace.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Your old friends, The Archibalds

I can't say that I know a whole heck of lot about Austin band The Archibalds other than they prefer to drink red wine when dining out in the street, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy listening to their debut album O Camellia.

I have to admit to you that's there's something about the album that I can't quite place my finger on. It just feels familiarly comfortable. Right. When you listen to most albums you can say that the lead singer's voice sounds like so-and-so. Or the guitar work reminds you of this other song. Or track 8 reminds you of the song you lost your virginity to. Those sorts of things. But with O Camellia, I just can't do that. And yet somehow, that doesn't matter. It just feels right.

I've been listening to the album over and over again and it's become like an old friend. One that you don't have to share any words to share thoughts or feelings. It's like we've got history; I just don't know where that history came from! Give the following tracks a listen to see if you have the same experience. Sinking Ships has a New Orleans sort of feel to it, while O Camellia (the title track) does a superb job of closing the album.

The Archibalds - Sinking Ships : O Camellia

The Archibalds - O Camellia : O Camellia

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

Saturday, June 16, 2007

More Abra Moore please

You're watching your favorite romantic comedy. Here's the scene. It's three quarters of the way through the movie and the main characters (who we as the audience know belong together) have split up. He's done something bone-headed like got drunk and accidentally kissed her best friend thinking it was her and she walked in exactly at the right second to see it before he realized his mistake. She's too head strong and proud to give in and listen to her best friend and the man she wants to spend her life with. For whatever reason they've decided to go their separate ways. One of them is wandering around all the places that they visited. The other is on a bus or plane or train staring out the window. Both are thinking about the memories they share. In the background, tearful, emotionally charged music; in the background, one of Abra Moore's songs (or at least in a perfect world it would be).

Listening to her latest album, On the Way (which came out earlier this week), makes you feel like you are in one of those scenes. It's delicate, yet emotionally powerful. Abra's voice reminds me very much of Tanya Donelly as well as Leigh Bingham Nash, the lead singer for Sixpence None the Richer, yet I find a greater depth in Abra's lyrics.

At this point, I could talk about all of the labels Abra has gone through to get to this point. I could talk about her past involvement with the band Poi Dog Pondering. I could even tell you the story about how I use to live in the apartment next to her and she once asked me for a cup of sugar to bake a cake (although that wouldn't be true at all). Instead, I'll point you in the direction of Jefitoblog, who has an incredibly well written, informative, and complete post about her history and discography. While you're reading, enjoy the following:

Abra Moore - Sorry
: On the Way

Abra Moore - Take Care of Me
: On the Way

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


Tanya Donelly - Pretty Deep : Lovesongs For Underdogs

Sixpence None the Richer - Kiss Me
: Sixpence None The Richer

Friday, June 15, 2007

House of the Rising Sun

This last week I was working on poetry with my students and one day we focused on writing a blues poem (poems that follow the traditional pattern of early blues music). To help them understand blues as a genre, we talked about how blues music developed into rhythm and blues which eventually influenced both hip-hop and early rock and roll. As inspiration, I was playing some blues music in the background for the class and Leadbelly's version of New Orleans (The Rising Sun Blues) came on. This got me to thinking about rock songs that were borrowed from the blues (and which probably many listeners never realize) and specifically The Animals' version of the song The House of the Rising Sun.

A little research over at Wikipedia revealed a wealth of knowledge about the song that I had not known. I did know that it was a traditional song with an unknown creator. One thing I didn't know was that House of the Rising Sun is a euphemism for a brothel (hence the above picture). Another fact I did not know was that besides being a hit for The Animals (which is the one most people are familiar with), it hit the U.S. pop chart again for the band Frijid Pink.

So anyway, without further ado, below are all of the versions that I could gather together. If you have one not listed here and are willing to share, feel free to send it my way and I'll add it (and only take 60% of the credit).

Leadbelly - New Orleans (The Rising Sun Blues)
: The Tradition Masters

The Animals - House of the Rising Sun : House of the Rising Sun

Nina Simone - House of the Rising Sun
: Live At the Village Gate

Cat Power - Wild Is The Wind/House Of The Rising Sun : Live Volksbohne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz - 11-9-06 (thanks to now defunct rbally)

The Beastie Boys - House of the Rising Sun : Live at CBGB's Nov. 20, 1982 (thanks to Berkeley Place)

The Be Good Tanyas - House of the Rising Sun : Chinatown

Courtney Love - House of the Rising Sun : Live 2004

Dan Bern - House of the Rising Sun : Live at Cafe Zapata (Berlin) on 2007-03-08

Radiators - House of the Rising Sun : Live at Trocaderos (Minneapolis, MN) on 2006-10-28

Night Train - House of the Rising Sun : Live at Melinda's Club 52 (South Point, OH) on 2004-02-27

Addison Groove Project - House of the Rising Sun
: Live at Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA) on 2006-03-17

David Grisman, Jerry Garcia And Tony Rice - House of the Rising Sun : The Pizza Tapes

Woody Guthrie - House of the Rising Sun : The Original Folkways Recordings

Pete Seeger - House of the Rising Sun : American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Move your body to Bonde Do Role

One look at the album cover of Bonde Do Role's debut release With Lasers will clue you off that there's going to be something a little wacky about their music. Originally discovered by Diplo (yes THAT Diplo, who also produced the album), the trio hails from Curitiba, Brazil and plays their own take on what people outside of Brazil refer to as Baile Funk, which according to the all knowing wikipedia is defined as "A type of dance music from Rio de Janeiro, derived from and superficially similar to Miami Bass, with deep rapid beats and aggro vocals." (In reality, the term Baile Funk refers to the party the music is played at, not the actual music itself) That sounds nice and dandy, but what exactly is going to come out of your speakers when you press play?

First off, you'll notice that the lyrics are in Portugese. To some listeners, this might pose as a hurdle. You can get the feeling behind the music, but not the exact message that the song is putting out. Behind the lyrics is a riotous moshing of musical clippings, notes, and instruments that are pieced together DJ style into music that's without a doubt focused on one thing - getting you to shake your booty on the dance floor. You'll notice some Miami bass influences that will remind you of the 2 Live Crew and then two seconds later some seriously heavy guitar thrashing that will put Ministry into your head. Inbetween you'll hear some cheerleading chants that will remind you of The Go! Team.

Unless you understand Portugese, this may not be an album that makes it into heavy rotation for you. But if you need some body-moving music to play in the background of a summer fiesta, With Lasers just might be what you need.

Bonde Do Role - James Bonde : With Lasers

Bonde Do Role - Gasolina : With Lasers

Visit their label Domino Records and become their friend on MySpace.


2 Live Crew - Me So Horny : As Nasty As They Wanna Be

Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod : Psalm 69

The Go! Team - Ladyflash : Thunder Lightning Strike

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Audio Nuggets 6/13

For those of you who used to be down with the now defunct San Francisco band Pleasure Forever, your time to bask in the glory days is here. Conspiracy Records has put together a collection of eight unreleased songs, B-sides and rarities, titled Bodies Need Rest, which was released May 29th. Here's one track from it:

Pleasure Forever - Miles Underneath : Bodies Need Rest

Want to try before you buy? Stream the album here.

Visit their old page on Sub Pop Records and become their friend on MySpace.


Ready for a new face to listen to this summer? Try giving Frankel a spin. Michael Orendy, the man behind the moniker, plays virtually every instrument on Lullaby for the Passerby, his debut full length album which hit shelves yesterday. Try out the first two tracks of the album below. Thermostat is a peppy little number that kicks things off in a high note (which reminds me of another acoustic signer / songwriter type, Aaron Schroeder, who I wrote about last year) while Tooth Decay slows things right down with a cymbal crashing in the background like you're on your death bed. And if An Aquarium Drunkard says “Absolutely an artist to watch out for in 2007," you know you have to at least try a little bite.

Frankel - Thermostat : Lullaby for the Passerby

Frankel - Tooth Decay : Lullaby for the Passerby

Visit his webpage, his label Red Rockets Glare, and become his friend on MySpace.