Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Your Friends Have Shown A Kink In The Single Life. You've Had Too Much To Think Now You Need A Wife.

Yes, I am aware that I'm not the first blogger to gush about The Raconteurs. Yes, I'm also aware that I'm not the only blogger to post tracks from their upcoming album. Wanna know a secret? I don't fucking care. And here's why: it's been some time since I've been this giddy over a group, let alone one with such stellar pedigree as this. I dug Jack White's collabo with Lorretta Lynne; it was cool hearing him play with a full band. Beefy is sometimes better. And Brendan Benson? Next to A.C. Newman I'd say he's the heir apparent to Neil Finn's pop crown. And these guys rock, in a straight no chaser kind of way, something that's been missing in music as of late. So, mucho thanks to YANP for the links. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

The Raconteurs: Steady As She Goes

The Raconteurs: Store Bought Bones

Monday, January 30, 2006

Shaking Her Legs Out In My Heart

I've been missing California lately. Don't get me wrong, I love Dallas but there's just something special about the place you spent a lot of time growing up in. So imagine my joy upon receiving an email from NorCal's own Division Day. Would I mind listening to some of their tracks? Would I like a copy of their upcoming release? Ok Ok! Twist my arm! Blending a healthy dose of ethereal vibes with a dense sonic wall of sound, DD expertly capture a sound that reminds me vaguely of The Church. Or Doves. If they originated out of Cali, natch. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Division Day: Tigers

Division Day: Beartrap Island

Division Day: Colorguard (highly rec'd!!!!!)

Friday, January 27, 2006

I Almost Woke Up In Your Arms

Perfectly matching the dreamy, hazy mood I'm in today are NYC mainstays Asobi Seksu. Coming across like an Asian version of My Bloody Valentine, main songwriters Yuki and James Hanna "meld together lush yet wonderfully crushing waves of white noise in variation with synth-driven pop delicacies and melting-pot aesthetics including narratives sung in combinations of English and Japanese." The track Sooner was put on a mix for me several years ago and quickly became a favorite track. For your listening (dis)pleasure, songs off of their Self Titled debut album:

Asobi Seksu: Sooner

Asobi Seksu: I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me

Asobi Seksu: Walking On The Moon

Asobi Seksu: Let Them Wait

::EDIT:: If you're a Placebo fan, head on over to Skatterbrain right now to grab 2 tracks off the upcoming new album Meds.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

She Told Me She'd Love Me Like Fireworks. And That's The Way I Like It.

Ben Lee is one of those artists I'm just not sure about. Is he really all that talented? Are any of his albums even that good? Well, the answer is yes. And no. See, I really feel that as an artist Mr. Lee has the talent and potential to make some great records. He just hasn't accomplished this yet. He's made partially decent albums with some great singles on them, but nothing that one could call "cohesive" or "balanced." This however, is just my opinion. For your listening pleasure two of my favorite tracks off of his last release Awake Is The New Sleep, plus a bonus cover of Modest Mouse's Float On:

Ben Lee: Catch My Disease

Ben Lee: Into The Dark

Ben Lee: Float On (Modest Mouse Cover)

Friday, January 20, 2006

I Wrote This Novel Just For You. It Sounds Pretentious But It's True. I Wrote This Novel Just For You. That's Why It's Vulgar. That's Why It's Blue.

Band: Placebo
File Under: Strangely divine

Well, it's official. I've fallen under the spell of Brian Molko & Placebo. In my defense, I did put up quite a fight. I spent years conciously avoiding any of their music. Refusing to even listen to one note. But then, without any warning, they snuck up on me. Damn you Music Choice live concerts! Damn you! Enthralled with their bruised and used style of music, I purchased Black Market Music. At times an exhausting album, Brian Molko and co. nonetheless deftly weave together hypnotic melodies and pummeling choruses. This is music to fuck and fight to. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Placebo: Blue American

Placebo: Commercial For Levi

Placebo: Taste In Men

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'm the Monster Under The Bed You Ain't Afraid Of Yet.

So, around our house a lot of different music gets played. The variety is plentiful and on most days everyone is happy with the selections. Until recently. See, I've been on a Ryan Adams kick lately. First was the requesite spinning of Heartbreaker and Love Is Hell, which just happen to be my fave RA joints. Then came the fantastic Jacksonville City Nights; recorded with his new band The Cardinals. But now, it's pretty much 29 twenty-four hours a day. Over. And Over. It's been intimated to me that it needs to STOP. NOW. So imagine my joy after stumbling on the lost sessions for Destroyer; the album Ryan recorded with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings but abandoned hours before going in to record what would ultimately make up Heartbreaker. Listening to these tracks, you can hear rough sketches of a musician/singer/songwriter struggling to find his voice, reaching pretty high sometimes and also stumbling over the lows as well. It's a compelling listen at the very least and a window into RA's burgeoning talent at the very most. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Ryan Adams: The Poison & The Pain

Ryan Adams: Statuettes With Wounds

Ryan Adams: Hey There Mrs. Lovely

Ryan Adams: Time (The Revelator)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nothing Is Ever As Good As It Was. And What's Good For Your Soul Will Be Bad On Your Nerves If You Reverse It.

You know, hype is a funny thing. It can kill anticipation. Back in December, you couldn't blog 5 feet without tripping over leaked tracks from Jenny Lewis' solo debut Rabbit Furcoat. And now that January's winter grip has finally taken hold what are we left with? Nothing. Even though her album won't be released until next week it already feels old. And that, my friends, sucks. It sucks because Ms. Watson et. al have created a beautifully majestic album about love, failed relationships, cherished friends, and well, rabbit furcoats. Do yourself a favor and pick this album up when it's released on the 24th. It's well worth it. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins: Melt Your Heart

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins: Rise Up With Fists

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins: You Are What You Love

Also, good news on the dvd front: you can finally bring the Bloc Party live show to your living room. Out today is the God Bless Bloc Party DVD, with a tour documentary and live performances. Wanna see a clip? Of course you do. Vice Recordings has plenty to gander at. Dig it: Bloc Party DVD Trailer

God Bless Bloc Party consists of a one-hour documentary filmed around Bloc Party's June 2005 shows at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, and a July 2005 festival performance in Belfort, France. Featuring interviews, backstage footage, and blistering live performances, the documentary also shows the band taking in Los Angeles, discussing the meaning of their music, and navigating their newfound celebrity. Includes live performances of 13 songs, including Banquet, Helicopter, Like Eating Glass, She's Hearing Voices, This Modern Love, So Here We Are, Positive Tension, Price Of Gasoline, The Marshals Are Dead, Pioneers, Blue Light. Luno, and Little Thoughts.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I'm Feeling Like A Bad Movie. Nothing Adds Up To Me.

I'm not gonna lie to you. I love getting cd's in the mail. Whether it's from an unsigned artist or not nothing beats the goosebumps you get when you reach into the mailbox and feel that small package waiting for you. Laying there. Begging to be played. And I especially love it when the cd actually turns out to be pretty fucking good; which is the case with Finian McKean's new album Shades Are Drawn. Possessing a knack for composing emotional yet powder keg packing tunes in the same vein as Michael Penn, McKean slowly draws the listener into his world which can be an alternately intense and sometimes desolate place. However it's exactly these same qualities that makes McKean such an interesting artist. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Finian McKean: Black Hole

Finian McKean: Shades Are Drawn

Friday, January 06, 2006

Showing Up To Press The Flesh.

You know those times when one feels like they've been missing out on something? I kinda feel that way about We Are Scientists. Maybe I was turned off by all the blogger hype. Maybe I was too busy listening to Wolf Parade. Maybe I was just being an idiot. Yeah, that's probably it. Whatever the case I'm now hooked on this quirky trio from NYC. Their e.p. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt is an interesting pastiche of jittery guitar lines, frantic drumming, and tight-ass grooves. Cribbing heavily from the UK pop-punk indie scene, WAS nonetheless manage to transfer that sound into something entirely all their own. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

We Are Scientists: Mucho Mas

We Are Scientists: Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Something Tells Me You're Too Scared To Go So The Stairs That You Climb Are The Ones You've Left Behind.

When I heard the first strains of music I just knew it. I knew the band I was listening to was from Arizona. I don't know exactly what "it" is, but the majority of artists that I like from the Phoenix/Tempe area have that sound. I like to call it desert pop. Jimmy Eat World has it. So did The Refreshments and Dead Hot Workshop. And The Format are no exception. Originally releasing an e.p. on Jim Adkins' (J.E.W.) Western Tread label, these indie popsters made the leap to Elektra records for their 2003 release Lullabies & Interventions. Blending sugary harmonies and choruses with chiming guitars, Nate Ruess and Sam Means have crafted an album that, upon first listen grabs you by the lapels and never lets you go. Much thanks goes out to Jamie & Jackie for the heads up. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

The Format: Give It Up

The Format: The First Single

The Format: Tune Out