Friday, January 30, 2009

Elbow Covers U2 : Running to Stand Still

Really, I swore to myself that I wouldn't post anything involving U2. Not that I don't like them... I just don't see the point, they don't need 300,000 blog posting about them. BUT I don't mind posting about the brits, Elbow... I'm exited about the increased notariety that they have recieved after last years, The Seldom Seen Kid, release.

So what if it happens that they are covering a U2 song... but not just any U2 songs, but one of my favorite; Running to Stand Still. Few people have successfully been able to cover U2 but this is one of the best.

The song is going to be released with the War Child Heroes Compilation... Jeffrey did a post about it earlier this month.

Elbow - Myspace

Bob Dylan/Will.I.Am - Forever Young.

Seriously though, it's a pretty cool commercial...It just seems as though they're saying that Will.I.Am is what Bob Dylan was...I'm not quite ok with that.

Release of the Week: Beirut - March of the Zapotec/Holland EP

This wasn't suppose to be out for a couple of weeks, so you can imagine I was surprised to see that itunes was selling it... but as is so common these days the album leaked and so in an effort to curb file sharing, Ba Da Bing Records released the album early.

This is labeled as a double EP but with the combination of, March of the Zapotec / and Holland is really could be considered one LP (Long Play).

March of the Zapotec/Holland is a double EP by Beirut. March of the Zapotec will contain music influenced by Zach Condon's recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. The Jimenez Band, a 19-piece band from Teotitlan del Valle, is backing Condon on this EP. March of the Zapotec also features one of Condon's favorite works, "The Shrew." Holland will contain electronic music, credited to "Realpeople", one of Condon's pre-Beirut pseudonyms. - Wikipedia

This is a wonderful album from a truly talented young musician.

You can download the new single at, upper right corner.

Coachella 2009 Line-Up Announced

You've probably already seen this, but in case you live under a rock:

So there you have it, Coachella 09. Not one headliner worth getting excited about (The Killers? Really?) But the res of the acts more than make up for it. See you there?

Spoon - Well Alright : Dark Was the Night

All those eagerly anticipating the follow up release for Spoons 2007 break though, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga... need continue to wait. BUT at least you can have a little taste via Dark Was the Night. I like this song, it reminds me a lot of the old Spoon, not as much production... don't get me wrong, I love Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and the songs and production. This song just feels more like what gave them their fan base...

Check it out! but you only have 24 hours on the Myspace... after that you'll have to search around for it.

Dark Was the Night - Myspace

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hold Steady - Best Band in the US?

We all know by know, Pitchfork is the end all be all of indie music, so when they make a declaration about great music, you listen. Today they confirmed what I have always expected: "...the Hold Steady, the single best band in these United States..." (see the article here). Of course, I am being sarcastic here, but The Hold Steady are one of the best touring acts around. If you haven't yet, take this chance to check them out NOW!
In other news, Rachel Ray is set to throw another epic bash at SXSW. No, I'm not joking, she has great taste in music. The Hold Steady are expected to play her party this year, among others.

Andrew Jackson Jihad / Cobra Skulls - Under The Influence Split

Andrew Jackson Jihad just announced a couple of compilations they are involved with. Some pretty exiting stuff if you ask me... thought it appears that only two of these three compilations they are involved in are available.


Sun, Smog, and Hate , the Phoenix/LA compilation available on Folktales. Artist on this record are: Andrew Jackson Jihad, Asleep In the Sea, Clark 8, Foot Ox, French Quarter, I.E., John Thill, Splinter Cake, Voice on Tape, & Whitman.


You can pre-order AJJ split with Cobra Skull... at Vinyl Collective. This is the 6th Volume of, Under the Influence, Vinyl Collective has done... some of the past compilations include: Fake Problems/Look Mexico, Whiskey & Co./Ninja Gun, Mustard Plug/Bomb The Music, Teenage Bottlerocket/Ergs, Drag The River/Jeff Black.

The concept of this album is the musician cover music by bands that have influenced them... AND I couldn't be more exited about Andrew Jackson Jiha's cover of one of the more influential groups in my life: Neutral Milk Hotel' Two Headed boy. Check out AJJ's myspace to listen to the song!


AJJ talks about another split they are doing with Apocalypse Meow... and some songs they worked on with Stephen Steinbrink... I'll keep an eye out for more information about this one.

Great Lake Swimmers - Pulling On a Line [new]

I posted last week about the Great Lake Swimmers new album Lost Channels. Stereogum has the first look at the new single off the album, Pulling On a Line. Still true to Tony Dekker's eerie voice, however this song offers a new up-beat twist to Tony's song writing. The song has plenty of ear candy for those looking for different sounds... the bass line is quite a bit more involved then normal Great Lake Swimmers.

Pulling On A Line - mp3

M83 - "Kim & Jessie" on Conan

M83 brought down the house (or Maison, as they are French) on Conan last night. Saturdays = Youth was one of my favorite albums of 2008, and here they play the signature track "Kim & Jessie." I don't know what it is that intrigues me about watching these folks live, but every time I do I feel like it should be the prom scene in some 80's High School movie. See the video at HULU.

Grizzly Bear / Feist - Service Bell : Dark Was the Night

Today, both Grizzly Bear and Feist, though it might seem like and unlikely combination, bring us a beautiful song from the Dark Was the Night compilation. The song has an eerie composition, but the combo of Feist and Grizzly Bear make the song a beautiful little number.

Dark Was the Night - Myspace

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Antony & The Johnsons On The Culture Show

Antony's performances have always been somewhat enigmatic to me. His image doesn't seem to suit his voice. I was playing his new album for a friend last night, and she inevitably asked if he was black. Nope...White, overweight, slightly asexual... I used to be of the opinion that his image was an odd part of who he is, it may not have detracted from his music, but it certainly didn't add to it. This morning, watching this video though, I realized his image confirms something I've always suspected about Antony: His music comes from somewhere other-worldly, somewhere in spite of him... The music is incredible, the interview is awkward. See it below:

Introducing: Tall Firs

I came across this Brooklyn group a little while ago and have meant to post about them ever since. They have a kind of barrel slowly rolling down a hill type sound... certainly their are some influences form The National there. But this group does a great job at crafting cool, chill songs that grab your attention, only to build to a quiet riot.

The two albums that they have released are a building discography...

Their self-titled debut is a nice little lo-fi album with moments of greatness and potential. Their second album, To Old To Die Young released 3/08, brought a more refined Tall Firs... the production was tighter, song writing was more precise.

With the on slot of Brooklyn bands it is hard sometimes to find what you are looking for. Though Tall Firs is not on the for front of music expression like many of their Brooklyn neighbors, they are certainly doing something great.

Tall Firs - Myspace

Hairdo - mp3
Secrets and Lies - mp3
So Messed Up - mp3
Buddy/Baby - mp3
The Woods - mp3

Iron and Wine - Stolen Houses (Die) : Dark Was the Night

It been a while since we heard much from Samuel Beam... since his 2007 album Shepard's Dog. The short little number from Dark Was the Night is a song he wrote a couple of years ago... and played for the first time at the Messiah College Feb. 10, 2007. he described the song as being written in an airport on a layover. The song is a flash back to Beams earlier stuff, and leaves you wishing, as you often due with Sam, that that he would have just kept singing a little longer!

Dark Was the Night - Myspace

Here is the video from the Messiah College...

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Decemberists - Sleepless : Dark Was the Night

I went a couple of days with out posting about the Dark Was the Night Compilation; but am kind of back at it... yesterday with the Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner collaboration and today with the New Decemberists. Check out the song at Dark Was the Night... but remember it is only available for 24 hours.

Dark Was the Night: Myspace

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bishop Allen - Oklahoma (NEW)

Thanks to  who brought us this new Bishop Allen song. This is off Grrr... weather the song is actually a final edition, I don't know. Keeping with interesting depictions of historical events, Bishop Allen gives us a unique tutorial on the establishment of Oklahoma... or at least one view of it.

Bishop Allen -Oklahoma (MP3) I'm really not sure how long this will be up... so give it a listen soon.

Bon Iver - The Park [Cover] & Creature Fear

It seems to be a Bon Iver day... which is nice for a Sunday because as many of you know, I try to avoid listening to too crazy of music on Sunday. He has a beautiful voice and a beautiful way to wrap lyrics a and melody together. Below is a radio interview with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) where he does Creature Fear off of For Emma, For Ever Ago... and also new the end of the interview he does a cover of Feist's The Park from here 2007 release, The Reminder. It is a pretty straight forward take and what is already a wonderful song... one of the hidden jewels on that record.

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) Aaron Dessner (The National) - Big Red Machine: Dark Was the Night

As if Justin Vernon could to anything wrong these days... we have all ready seen him as Bon Iver on the Dark Was the Night collaboration, no we see him as he really is: Justin Vernon. Well, him and Aaron Dessner. This is an interesting song... I find it a little bit of a departure from Bon Iver, but still nicely done.

Dark Was the Night - Myspace

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chairlift - Day Trotter Session

Everyone remember the summer of 2007... it was the summer Feist's song 1234 was in the Nano Commercial. The commercial virtually catapulted Feist into pop music fame. One year later in the summer of 2008, Apple again turns to indie music to show off their new products line... the below video is of Chairlift a Brooklyn based Synth-pop band (Whatever that means). All though Chairlift has not received the boost feist received from apple, they are certainly a noteworthy group. There release, Does You Inspire You... from last September is a nice sophomore work, first with a label. They land somewhere between Bat For Lashes and the Dirty Dancing sound track, but with out patrick swayze singing.

Just last Tuesday, Chairlift stopped off at DayTrotter and gave us a couple of wonderful little songs... including a new track inspired in some way by an italian neighbor of Caroline's.

Songs include:
Le Flying Saucer Hat
Planet Health
Somewhere Around Here
Download them here

PS... these guys are also heading out on tour with Peter Bjorn and John this spring!

Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels [March 31 2009]

Great Lake Swimmers are one of those cult following groups that for some reason gets forgotten about all the time. Their last album, Ongiara was on top of quite a few list in 2007, mine included. Tony Dekker, song writer and vocalist for GLS has a matchless power to craft beautiful folk songs around surprising lyrics.

LOST CHANNELS, their fourth album set for release on March 31st, finds them once again recording at historic locations. This time in the Thousand Islands region of Ontario and New York state, telling tales of hidden histories, still "mining for light in the dark wells," still "tuned to an instrument of greater and unknown design."

That the album was created in both rural splendour and urban Ontario makes perfect sense for a band that has always navigated the parallels between natural and urban rhythms. River imagery recurs throughout LOST CHANNELS; the title of the album is a reference to a certain passage of the St. Lawrence, close to the recording locale, where a reconnaissance boat from a British warship went mysteriously missing in 1760. There’s no specific reference to the incident in the lyrics, though there are plenty of night skies, howling winds and raging rivers in almost every song which captures an elusive sense of mystery. As the album closes, Dekker sings the final lyrics—“Like the unstoppable river… Your beauty is gentle/ but forceful, and fast”—before the band ends on a suspended note. There is no resolution there, only eternity, a continuum, an endless river. -

Track list:
9. STILL 2:50
10. NEW LIGHT 3:18
11. RIVER’S EDGE 4:17

Supporting Tour:

Jan 29 - Kalamazoo MI The State Theatre – opening for JEFF TWEEDY
Jan 30 - Indianapolis, IN @ Locals Only
Jan 31 - Urbana, IL Foellinger Auditorium (Univ. of IL) opening for JEFF TWEEDY
Feb 07 - Gueph, ON
Mar 06 - Corner Brook @ Black Thorn Stick Café
Mar 07 - St. John's @ The Ship Inn 2nd show added
Mar 08 - St. John's @ The Ship Inn SOLD OUT
Mar 11 - Halifax @ St. Matthews Church
Mar 12 - Fredericton @ The Capital
Mar 14 - Quebec City @ Le Cercle
Mar 19 - Sudbury @ The Townhouse
Mar 20 - Sault Ste Marie @ Loplops
Mar 21 - Thunder Bay @ The Study
Mar 23 - Winnipeg @ Winnipeg Folk Exchange
Mar 24 - Regina @ The Exchange
Mar 25 - Saskatoon @ Amigo's
Mar 26 - Calgary @ Grace Presbyterian Church
Mar 27 - Edmonton @ McDougall United Church
Mar 29 - Vancouver @ St. James Hall
Mar 30 - Vancouver @ Norm Theatre - UBC
Mar 31 - Seattle @ The Tractor Tavern
Apr 01 - Portland @ Doug Fir
Apr 03 - San Francisco @ The Bottom of the Hill
Apr 04 - Los Angeles @ Spaceland
Apr 05 - Tucson @ Plush
Apr 07 - Austin @ Stubbs Bar-B-Q
Apr 08 - Denton @ Hailey's
Apr 10 - Atlanta @ The Earl
Apr 13 - Charlottesville @ Gravity Lounge
Apr 14 - Washington @ Black Cat
Apr 15 - Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda's
Apr 16 - Northampton @ Iron Horse Music Hall
Apr 17 - New York City @ The Bowery Ballroom
Apr 18 - Cambridge @ The Brattle Theater
Apr 20 - Newport @ The Southgate House
Apr 21 - Chicago @ Schubas
Apr 22 - Minneapolis @ 7th Street Entry
Apr 23 - Madison @ High Noon Saloon
Apr 25 - Toronto @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stephen Steinbrink - Wedding CD-R

Thanks to Allen Ginsberg In Space I came across this CD-R that Stephen has released along with Ugly Unknowns. The CD-R has quite a few different versions of songs from Ugly Unknown. Particularly, Breath of Fire, Overpass and Ugly Unknown. There are also some rare moments on this CD-R that remind me of the early French Quarter days... much more DIY feeling in this album. It works wonderfully as a companion to Ugly Unknown... offering a bit of the forlorn Stephen that is musically missing on Ugly Unknown.

Once again Thanks Allen Geinsberg... he has a brilliant blog going over there, check it out.

The Decemberist - The Hazards of Love : Album Cover

No real surprise here, being that the art for the single, The Rake's Song, is so similar... (does that look like to many comma's?) At any rate, here is the album cover for The Hazards of Love. I learned a few more things about the album that was wasn't aware of... "My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden and Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark, as well as a few people who don't have the word "diamond" in their band names: My Morning Jacket's Jim James, the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates, and Robyn Hitchcock" helped out with the album. (via Pitchfork) So thanks pitchfork... although I will disagree with you about The Crane Wife's album cover, I thought it was beautiful. But then I'm not a satirical sarcastic blog... who feels like he has to write about things I don't want to.

I do applaud The Decemberists for taking a different look then the album with the same name by, Anne Briggs.

Foot Ox / Bri White 2 @ Trunk Space [FRIDAY JANUARY 23rd]


Foot Ox / Bri White (farewell show) @ Trunk Space 
January 23rd 8pm SHARP!!
Andrew Jackson Jihad
: Stephen Steinbrink (back from tour!)
:: Higher Love
::: Nick Eymann

There are so many reasons to go to this show. For one, this is the probably the last time in a long time you'll see all these guys together. Bri is releasing a CD... Last show before Bri and Teague (Foot Ox) move to Portland. Stephen is back from tour... blah bla blah... the list goes on and on.

Foot Ox / Bri White : West Coast Tour

I already posted the farewell show for these two fine Arizona musicians, but I wanted to put about a few other dates that they have together. I am starting to see several concert posters popping up... and though none of these shows aren't in the Phoenix area I wanted to post about them, in support of Foot Ox and Bri White.

Foot Ox / Bri White @ Portsocall Bedroom  Riverside, California
Jan 24 2009 8:00P
Human Hands
: Terrors
:: Tik /// Tik
::: My Croft Holmes


Foot Ox / Bri White / Whitman @ UC Irvine (Acrobatics Everyday)
Jan 25 2009 8:00P $5
Foot Foot
: Kevin Greenspon


Foot Ox / Whitman / Bri White @ 325 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles 
(Sun, Smog, and Hate release show!)
Jan 26 2009 9:00PM $5
Voice on Tapes
: It
:: Clark 8

Foot Ox / Bri White @ Chris Corwin’s house
Jan 27 2009 8:00P

Foot Ox / Bri White @ Da Punx Palace (1302 NE Mason, Portland OR?)
January 30th 8pm FREE
Treasure Mammal
: Total Bros
:: Splinter Cake

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Video: Animal Collective - My Girls

You've heard both Preston and I gush about Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion. They have released the official video to the first single off the album "My Girls." It was one of the albums strongest tracks. The video is well suited to the song, a basic performance video with psychedelic visuals. Follow this link to see the video, and enjoy!

Thanks to Pitchfork for the video still

The Octopus Project : New video in the works

On January 12th, The Octopus Project announced that they were finished shooting a video for the song, Wet Gold, off their Wet Gold/Moon Boil 7" release from last year. The video was shot and produced by the Zellner Bros... the same 'bros' who produced the video for "Trucks". While the video is still being produced, we do have a nice little shot of Yvonne in the gold dress, I am only assuming this is from the video shoot.

The Zellner Bros is a nifty little production company based out of Austin. They have a lot of fun little videos and project going on all the time. However, one of the more interesting recent projects is the movie Goliath, a documentary type film about a man and his cat. At any rate, these guys are a crew worth keeping your eye on. They were most recently voted one of the top 25 new faces of independent film by Filmmaker Magazine.

So in lue of the Wet Gold video release I wanted to post the Zellner Bros video for Trucks... enjoy and keep your eyes out for the new Octopus Project video.

Yeasayer - Tightrope : Dark Was the Night

I know these post are getting really redundant, but I am really enjoying everything on this compilation. And having been thirsty for more Yeasayer after their October 2007 release, All the Cymbals... it is about time we get to hear a little more for these DIY pioneers. Once again another Brooklyn group, I guess it is no wonder since the Dessner brothers (The National) produced the compilation.

Once again go to the Myspace for Dark Was the Night... but it only last one day and they you're on your own to find it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bishop Allen - Grrr... [NEW ALBUM : March 10th 2009]

For the last 4 years I have been a fan of Bishop Allen. Charm School, The infamous EP project, The Broken String, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist... I know why they never schedule shows in Phoenix, because I've been at several where there are only me and a dozen others there (its embarrassing). So obviously, I am elated to see that they have a new Long Play coming out. Grrr... will be their 3rd LP and will add to their already substantial repertoire or songs.

From Dead Ocean

Bishop Allen builds upon the extraordinary first years of their career with Grrr..., which Dead Oceans will release March 10, 2009. The band fronted by Justin Rice and Christian Rudder is best known for making and self-releasing an EP each month for an entire year, then reworking some of the best songs for a highly acclaimed label debut (The Broken String). The rigorous EP project, and the extensive touring that has followed it, have allowed Bishop Allen to hone their craft: writing, performing and recording music.

This album is already receiving a reasonable amount of buzz... had a video on The Daily Habit of BA doing a new song from the album, but apparently removed it for possible copy right issues with Dead Ocean. So as of now we don't have any little sound bits from the album... however, here is the song list: A hardy 13 songs.

Track List:
The Lion & the Teacup
South China Moon
Dirt on Your New Shoes
The Ancient Commonsense of Things
True or False
Rooftop Brawl
Don't Hide Away
Cue the Elephants
The Magpie
Tiger, Tiger

And, here is tours dates promoting the album! ONCE AGAIN, no Phoenix! : (

03/10/09 New York City, NY - Other Music (Free In-Store)
03/12/09 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
03/13/09 Washington, DC - Black Cat
03/14/09 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
03/15/09 Asheville, NC - The Rocket Club
03/16/09 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe
03/17/09 Little Rock, AR - Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack
03/23/09 West Hollywood, CA - The Troubadour
03/24/09 San Francisco, CA - The Rickshaw Shop
03/26/09 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
03/28/09 Denver, CO - Hi Dive
03/29/09 Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon
03/31/09 Chicago, IL - Subterranean
04/02/09 Northhampton, MA - Iron Horse
04/03/09 Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
04/04/09 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
04/05/09 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

War Child Heroes Compilation / Lily Allen - Straight To Hell

You've probably heard by now, but War Child has a new benefit compilation coming out. Their previous effort was a straightforward affair featuring some of your favorite artists (Check it here). The new discs concept is a great one: Classic artists choose their favorite new artists to cover one of their songs. Some of the tracks could be questionable, but how can one not be excited about The Hold Steady doing Springsteen or TVOTR doing Bowie? The album is due out in the US on February 16th via Astralwerks. See the full tracklist below:
  1. Beck: "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" (Bob Dylan cover)
  2. The Kooks: "Victoria" (Kinks cover)
  3. The Hold Steady: "Atlantic City" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
  4. Hot Chip: "Transmission" (Joy Division cover)
  5. Lily Allen ft. Mick Jones: "Straight to Hell" (Clash cover)
  6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" (Ramones cover)
  7. Franz Ferdinand: "Call Me" (Blondie cover)
  8. Duffy: "Live and Let Die" (Paul McCartney cover)
  9. Estelle: "Superstition" (Stevie Wonder cover)
  10. Rufus Wainwright: "Wonderful / Song for Children" (Brian Wilson covers)
  11. Scissor Sisters: "Do the Strand" (Roxy Music cover)
  12. Peaches: "Search and Destroy" (The Stooges cover)
  13. Adam Cohen: "Take This Waltz" (Leonard Cohen cover)
  14. Elbow: "Running to Stand Still" (U2 cover)
  15. The Like: "You Belong to Me" (Elvis Costello cover)
  16. TV on the Radio: "'Heroes'" (David Bowie cover)
Also, the first track from the album has leaked: Lily Allen (along with Mick Jones of The Clash) Doing the Clash's Straight To Hell. This song should sound vaguely familiar, as the guitar line from the original was used in one of last years biggest radio hits (M.I.A.'s Paper Planes). Lily does a straightforward, if not a little aloof version. It was one of The Clash's finest songs, and, while it's a cover, it's a good one. Check out the cover and original below:

#3 Release of the Week: Matt & Kim - Grand

Matt & Kim - Grand

Okay, Okay... so this is the third release of the week. But honestly, i couldn't decide between these three! All great bands... all great albums. I could have also put Antony and the Jonhston's, but I think Jeffrey did a great shout out to that album.

At any rate, I have not had a great chance to listen to this album yet... the only song is out on a video. Daylight, is a typical M & K sounding song. Tons of poppy synthesizer. There is a bit more production on this album then their first album... but not so much that it distracts from that makes these two great. Great sing along course, 'Cause in the daylight any where feels like home'. The album is being released buy Faderlabel. Do what you can to get your hands on it!

I have not heard much about this album, but I am sure it is going to be great. The new video for Daylight is below... I have also included one of the videos that got me exited about this band, Yea Yeah.

#2 Release of the Week: Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP

Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP

After a great year for Justin Vernon what better then to release an EP the first month as a follow up. It is independent label marketing at its best... wait, are there really any independent record labels any more? This is really a great little EP... not really a companion for; For Emma, Forever Ago. But if anyone is looking for that type of repeat... you're looking in the wrong place. For Emma, Forever Ago was one of those rare albums where the circumstances were just right. Still, there are great things to come from Justin Vernon and Bon Iver.

The National - So Far Around The Bend : Dark Was the Night

For those of you who are like me and have been dying for new National stuff, the time has come; So Far Around The Bend. Both Aaron and Brett Dessner of the National produced this compilation. So it if fitting that The National would include a song of their own on this project. It has been a while since we have seen anything new from The National, so this is a nice surprise. The biography video project that they did last year was nice, but after The Boxer it didn't quite satisfy, at least not me.

Dark Was the Night: myspace Remember this only last for 24 hours then its on to the next song.

#1 Release of the Week: Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

Andrew Bird - Noble Beast (2009)

One of my favorite memories is listening to Candy Shop off Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire - Oh! The Grandeur (circa 1999) with my little sister. It's funny to think of Andrew Bird back then in the 90's playing with the Squirle Nut Zippers and then on his own playing classic pop-jazz. I can't even imagine catching him at a little club in Chicago playing some of that classic jazz. And then to follow his transformation into Swimming Hours, Weather System and finally coming into his own with The Mysterious Production of Eggs and Armchair Apocrypha was an even further step. Noble Beast could prove to be his definant work... it is a beautiful work that is as strong as his previous.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Aaron Neber Leaving for New York Show

I've been trying to find some of Aaron's music ever since I saw him a couple of months ago. He doesn't have a myspace. And it has been hard to find little sound bits here and there. He has helped out on a lot of Foot Ox and other local stuff... sad to see him move to New York. He will be missing in Phoenix.

Here are 5 songs from his farewell show. He has a lot of Mount Eerie in him... I love it!

Andrew Jackson Jihad / Ghost Mice : Split LP

Possible on of the more unique groups to hale from the Phoenix area is a anarchy folk punk bands called Andrew Jackson Jihad . In 2007 they got together with the traveling carnival act Ghost Mice to put out a split LP, on Plant-IT-X records. I love this little split and have wanted to post about it for a while... and finally thanks to MLK I have the time to.

Both of these bands have a such a DIY feel. Ghost Mice went completely acoustic a couple of years ago and its reflected in this recording. AJJ has been creating music on a DIY level in Phoenix for a long time now. Both bands address very aggressive political, religious and sociocultural topics. From music that you might expect lyrics about fluffy little rabbits and rainbows, you have lyrics about social corruption, political oppression, war and lose... but taken from a satirical yet serious view.

One of the best moments on this slip is when each of the bands covers one of the other bands songs. AJJ covers; Lightning Bolt about a man who looses his job because of corruption with in the church system. Ghost Mice covers; Survival... only when AJJ normal samples Woody Guthrie, Ghost Mice samples The Cure. Both songs are a brilliant moment of the LP... really connecting both groups in a communal fashion.

Below are a couple of places to get this record. I highly recommend it.

12" Vinyl

1984 - No Cookies for Breakfast : Free Download

I ran across this Italian 'one man band' that I found quite alluring. The music is very diverse, as you might expect more on an international level then an American pop band. In the first four songs on the album you have; showgaze, freak folk, tropical and then a sort of euro-country. I don't know, but the sound is very good for all categories. The technique is professional. And the song writing is quality!

His second album; No Cookies for Breakfast is available for free download: Here

Fleet Foxes on SNL

It's interesting to me how Subpop records protects its musicians, coddles them in a way, until the world, or it is expectable for them to be national. I think this dates all the way back from Nirvana to The Shins and now Fleet Foxes . Just when it is seems like a complete disaster for a musician or group to perform on SNL, Subpop makes a bold move and puts Fleet Foxes in front of one of he larger TV audiences. And what do they do... hit on out of the ball park. I love this move for so many reasons: one, it shows Subpop's trust in Fleet Foxes' ability to capture the audience. Two, it show SNL's willingness to reach out to an audience that they have lost over the last couple of years. Lastly, it shows bit of a shift in what is considered popular in music.

This is the video of the show. I'm not sure how long this link will last, let me know if it stops working and I will find a new one!.... thanks.

Grizzly Bear - Deep Blue Sea : Dark Was the Night

I think this might be my favorite song on this compilation yet. Grizzly Bear - Deep Blue Sea

This is a nice little number, starting with some basic guitar and vocals, but moving into more layers of drums and guitar about half way through the song. Plenty of ear candy here. Plus it is exiting to here new Grizzly Bear... gets you pumped for March when the new album comes out!

Once again, go to the myspace to stream it for today (January 19th)

after that try: here. Jonk Music, great blog out of Madison Wisconsin.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fever Ray - Fever Ray

Anyone familiar with The Knife’s recent work will find no surprises with Karin Dreijer Andersson’s solo project, Fever Ray. Karin’s voice here is still heavily modified by vocoders and effect pedals. The music is dark and looming with plenty of beeps and blips to keep fans of The Knife happy. However, something is different here. Karin has notably slowed the tempo, making the brooding musical landscapes even more eerie. There is something undeniably Scandinavian about this music. Perhaps it’s the coldness and darkness that resides in that part of the world this time of the year, which resonates throughout this music. Whatever it is, it makes for a great winter listen, and a recommended album.

Also, check out the creepy video for the album's lead single "If I Had A Heart" below

If I Had A Heart from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light

Antony Hegarty has never been one to skimp on the melancholy. His breakthrough album I Am A Bird Now was a painfully beautiful affair. Now, nearly four years later, he follows it up with the equally astounding The Crying Light. In the past four years, Antony’s already stellar voice has matured in leaps and bound. The production is spot on, and the string arrangements by Nico Mühly are gorgeous. The album deals in the same type of sadness and pain and loneliness that have become Antony’s trademark, but he throws in a few more upbeat tracks than in his past work, and it turns out to be some of his finest. That’s not to say the sadness is bad, Antony knows how to make the listener feel what he’s feeling, and that is the sign of a great artist. It’s a deeply moving and personal album. It requires a lot of its listener, but those who pay it the attention it deserves are greatly rewarded. This is a stellar album for a dark night and a good pair of headphones.

Bon Iver - Brackett WI : Dark Was the Night

Yet another brilliant song off the Dark was the Night complication. Bo Iver - Brackett WI. Check it out at the Dark is the night MYSPACE. From the looks of it, you're not going to want to miss any aspect of this LP. This song comes at a perfect time for Bon Iver with the release of his EP Blood Bank this coming Tuesday but more about that Tuesday.
Try Here Too: Jonk Music

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Train Song : Feist & Ben Gibbard / Dark Was the Night

Day two of the Dark Was the Night daily release is up. Sorry I didn't get this up earlier... its a due we haven't seen since The Postal Service did a remix of Mushaboom. Ben Gibbard and Feist give us Train Song. A loose little number, really a nice little combo of Ben and Feist.

You can get it on the Myspace for Dark Was the Night.

Side note, the guy in the picture is not Ben... don't worry Zooey.

Anni Rossi : Whitman @ Modified Art, FEBRUARY 9th

Anni Rossi : Whitman @ Modified Art
February 9th
Stephen Steinbrink
: Stellaluna

I have found it hard to find show at the Modified that I wanted to post up here, let alone go to! Well Fizzle Promotions is now bringing Anni Rossi (Chicago) to town with Whitman. This should be a really brillant show and hopefully the begining of a wonderful relationship with Fizzle and The Modified.

And this is one beautiful poster!

Slash Anni has a new CD coming out in March!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Stinkweeds Best of 2008 PDF link

Stinkweeds put a up on their website to their Best of 2008 booklet. As I mentioned before I was lucky enough to be one of the contributors. Go check out the booklet if you haven't already picked it up down at Stinkweeds.

There is some great recommendations that you wont find at places like Pitchfork, Stereogum or MOK. Particularly check out, Jesse Srogoncik, Damon Brasch, Mike Genz... and ofcourse, Kimber Lanning and Lindsay Cates.

Stinkweeds The Best of 2008 PDF

Red Hot Organization : Dark Was the Night (Double) LP

Calling all hipsters: Dark Was the Night, a collection of music for all hipster bands, fans and regular ruffians. This is the first I have heard of the project but at first look it seems to be a fantastic aray of indie music.

The Myspace dedicated to Dark was the Night, has this to way of the project:

Dark Was The Night will be released on February 17th, 2009. Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National produced the album, and John Carlin, the founder of the Red Hot Organization was the executive producer. A total of 32 exclusive tracks have been recorded for the compilation. It will be available as a double cd/triple vinyl/download and will benefit the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Red Hot was founded on the premise that even without a cure, AIDS remains a preventable disease – and music is a great vehicle to raise money and awareness for it. This is the 20th year of Red Hot, and this is the 20th release!

At any rate you can listen to The Cello Song (Nike Drake cover) w/ help Jose Gonzales' help. HERE

Also the first song from the LP, "Knotty Pine" by David Byrne and Dirty Projectors can be downloaded HERE

For the next 31 days until it is released 4AD will be putting each song up for one day at a time on the Dark Was the Night Myspace. So make sure you keep up on that, I will be checking it everyday and if I come across anything spectacular, I will be sure to let everyone know. The blog talking about this says they will be releasing one song per day until February 1, not sure if they will let us hear the rest of the CD, but the first half should be great.

Here is the tracklist:

1 Knotty Pine - Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2 Cello Song (Nick Drake) - The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3 Train Song (Vashti Bunyan recorded, written by Alasdair Clayre) - Feist + Ben Gibbard
4 Brackett, WI - Bon Iver
5 Deep Blue Sea - Grizzly Bear
6 So Far Around the Bend - The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
7 Tightrope - Yeasayer
8 Feeling Good (popularized by Nina Simone) - My Brightest Diamond
9 Dark Was the Night (Blind Willie Johnson) - Kronos Quartet
10 I Was Young When I Left Home (Bob Dylan) - Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 Big Red Machine - Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 Sleepless - The Decemberists
13 Stolen Houses (Die) - Iron and Wine
14 Service Bell - Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 You Are The Blood - Sufjan Stevens

1 Well-Alright - Spoon
2 Lenin - Arcade Fire
3 Mimizan - Beirut
4 El Caporal - My Morning Jacket
5 Inspiration Information (Shuggie Otis) - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6 With A Girl Like You (The Troggs) - Dave Sitek
7 Blood Pt 2 (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) - Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8 Hey, Snow White (Destroyer) - The New Pornographers
9 Gentle Hour (Snapper) - Yo La Tengo
10 Another Saturday (traditional song) - Stuart Murdoch
11 Happiness - Riceboy Sleeps
12 Amazing Grace (traditional song) - Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 The Giant Of Illinois (Handsome Family) - Andrew Bird
14 Lua - Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 When the Road Runs Out - Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 Love vs. Porn - Kevin Drew

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It has been a while since I posted a Good, Bad and Ugly list, which is really just a list of groups that are worth watching, or listening too... I'm going to try to do this more often, but for some reason it is one of the more time consuming post I make, so forgive me if they only come every now and then.

San Fran, California
Why? This show was one the other top 10 I wend to this last year... there were only a couple of us there which was nice because it was at the Manor (SMALL). Anyway, Pitchfork somehow got a hold of there LP (er, not sure I can call it that with a running time of 16 min) that came out the end of November... and gave it a favorable review (7.6). Suck! I know.

Raleigh, North Carolina
Why? They just declared myspace message bankruptcy. AND they released a great album last year that was talked highly of by their fellow musicians (Bon Iver, Elbow ect...). They have another one in the works that should be as good if not better.

The Bees
Why? I love soul music... Otis Redding, Al Green... you name it, I love it. I particularly like indie soul fusion. AND The Bees are just that.

Why? This is a weird mix of High Places, Cat Power and Bat For Lashes. With a mythological twist of carnival music.

Denver, Colorado
Why? They just signed with local record company, Gilgongo. They have a very ambient sound, very electonic but their is worthy substance there. I like it, in its own weird way.

Khalid Melkchurch
Phoenix, Arizona
Why? This is the new project or side project for Julio Cesar, Guitarist and front man for My Feral Kin. The link is to My Feral Kin becuase I can't find a link to Khalid Melkchurch, but he has been playing around a little.

The Old Believers
Portland, Oregan
Why? Listen to Ganny's Song... this is the group She & Him should have been.

Montreal, Quebec
Why? I really love these guys and alot of Canadian groups just can't go wrong these days. They have a huge US tour from now to May. Get out there and catch these guys.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A little treat from the Decemberists! The Rake's Song

The Decemberist have posted a new song on their website, The Rake's Song; off their upcoming LP, The Hazards of Love. I find the song a pretty straight forward Decemberist song, more reflectant of The Crane Wife rather then any of their earlier work. Colin reportedly said that this coming album will be less of a production and more of a folky epitaph. I doubted at the time that he would be able to hold to this... and after this song I doubt it more. Download the song from HERE.

I am sure this is not the last little tickle or music will we will hear about from this album. I'd imagine they will release a couple more songs before it is out... if anything to keep the torrents and pirates at bay.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dan Deacon : Brooklyn Masonic Temple

Those of you who have speculated about Dan Deacon's Talent as an artist, musician or performer please watch these videos. P4K just put up these two video of Dan Deacon at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple... this is what they had to say about it.

Baltimore's Dan Deacon, the MacGyver of electronic blips and beeps, recently gathered members of Ponytail, So Percussion, and other local noisemakers to assist him in debuting new material from the Spiderman of the Rings follow-up Bromst. From a stage drenched in darkness, Deacon and his band of various percussionists take their time bringing the first track, "Snookered", to life. Emerging from a swirl of drums, glockenspiels, and Deacon's trademark 8-bit synths, the rhythms finally coalesce as Deacon takes his place downstage among his fans-- who by now are ready to dance. In fact they hardly allow Deacon space to develop the next track, "Surprise Stefani", goading him on with their own beats of handclaps, stomps, and shouts. - P4K

I caught Dan Deacon at the modified last June for on of the more brilliant shows I've participated in... I say participated because it felt a lot like that. 

Foot Ox and Bri White : Farewell Concert @ Trunk Space

Teague Cullum (Foot Ox) and Bri White are moving to Oregon and are having a farewell show on the 23rd of January... The Trunk Space website says that it will be a CD release but I'm not sure the who is releasing what. There is a pretty hefty local line up. Don't miss this one!

Foot Ox
: Bri White
:: Andrew Jaskson Jihad
::: Stephen Steinbrink  (French Quarter)
:::: Nick Eymann

I find myself a little depressed at the fact that these two are leaving the Valley... both are two of my favorite local acts. Teague has contributed and collaborated with so many local musicians that he will be missed. Not to mention Distant Colony... I suppose to will move to Oregon with Teague...

I will post the concert art as soon as it is available.

Ryan Adams Quits the Cardinals, Blogging and Smoking?

Straight from Stereogum:

Apparently Ryan Adams will no longer be making music... at least with the Cardinals. This will be the last tour with the group and in March, Ryan will go into seclusion until that long awaited resurfacing which is inevitable. Or is it? Ryan gets a lot of flak for his music, blog and general persona. He's even been the victem of my ranting for his wishy washy live shows.

However, at the end of the day, Ryan is a damn good song writer and producer. Heartbreaker will go down in my books as one of the all time greatest albums. AND just to prove everyone who will post that this will never last, I hope he doesn't come back. I am currently reading Travels with Charlie, John Steinbeck's personal narrative of a hiatus he took from writing in the 50's to travel the country... it is a beautiful narrative about the heart of the country and how it relates to the wondering heart of man. For some reason with this book in mind, I can't help but wish Ryan good luck on this vision quest, may you discover what you are looking for.

You can read his entire post at Stereogum, or Cardinal Cave.

Ben Kweller Goes Americana? Slash... WHAT?

I suppose I should have seen this coming for a couple of years. Maybe the natural order for all Texans is; indie rock, classis, Americana... if that is the case then Ben Kweller's next album should be a collection of lounge songs on accordion.

Honestly though, Ben Kweller's new album 'Changing Horses' has the making of being a strange collection of Patsy Cline remakes. Nothing against Patsy in her day, but for the kid who coined the phrase, 'Sha Sha' at the age of 19, I guess I was expecting something a little different from a now 27 year old. I mean, 27 is young... and should still Rock, right?

Okay okay, I'm ranting now. To be honest, I think it is quite brilliant how Ben continues to reinvent himself on every album. And some of the tunes he is putting out now are quite lovely and mature compared to his earlier stuff. Some of the songs he wrote when he was 19 and 20, but never found a place for them until now. So for HUGE Kweller fans this is a real treat.

I guess I see this as a premature aging of someone who had vaguely figured out how to right a quality indie song. But that is just my opinion... check out the album, it comes out Feb 3. But 4 of the new tunes are available on Daytrotter.

Official Site - really funny video introduction...
Myspace  - Pre Order Changing Horses

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chadwick Sound Machine : Aaron Neber :: Stellaluna @ Trunk Space, TONIGHT

Chadwick Sound Machine : Aaron Neber :: Stellaluna @ Trunk Space
TONIGHT January 13th 8PM

Sorry this is late... but I just got wind of it.
Hello Hero, while this is a cool name for a band... is a little too hardcore for most, but if that is your thing go for it. Chadwick Sound Machine is a fun local act and Aaron and Stellaluna are great too!