Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Since You've Been Gone...

Sorry for the break folks. I've had a hectic couple of weeks between midterms, the hiring push at work for the Summer, and trying to manage some level of personal life, but the good news is, I'm back. Instead of giving my reviews the full attention they deserve, I'm going to introduce a new feature to the blog: 1 minute reviews. Review blurbs on all the albums that I think you should now about from the last few weeks, so without further adieu...
Doom - Born Like This
The man with one too many AKAs has a new one. After MF Doom, Dangerdoom, Supervillain, Madvillain, Viktor Vaughn, Etc. Etc. he is now known only as Doom (at least for this album). Doom brings back his signature flow along with his usual cast of producers (Madlib, J Dilla, and Himself). The album is excellent. Especially worth noting is the Dilla produced "Gazillion Ear".
Doom - Gazillion Ear

Peter, Bjorn & John - Living Thing
For their proper follow up (No, Seaside Rock doesn't count) to their whistle-along break-through album Writer's Block, they try something completely different. Instead of poppy folk, they run through...poppy everything...They play with a lot of electronics, they get boisterous, they get a bit glammy...Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't. Not that it's bad, it's just not good.
PB&J - Nothing To Worry About

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - S/T
On his 2nd Full Length, Elvis Perkins (Real name, by the way) gives credit to his In Dearland touring band. It's not just a classy move, it also signifies the shift from singer/songwriter to a full band operation. This turns out to be a great move for Elvis. His debut, Ash Wednesday, was great yet inconsistent. Having the band working full time with him has focused him in and shows him as a great all around artist. Let's hope he keeps on this vein, this is a great direction for him.
Elvis Perkins In Dearland - Shampoo

Alright...Business calls, more to come later!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Those Darlins - Day Trotter (New Music from upcoming album )

Those Darlins are probably one of the groups that got a fair amount of press out of SXSW (THE DALLAS OBSERVER, NY Press, Melophobe, and of of course Paste). And this is just to name a few... the list goes on and on... not to mention that they have been on the road with Dan Auerbach and Hacienda. At any rate, they a Daytrotter session that they recorded last January just came out last week. 3 of the 4 songs are new from the upcoming album and the 4ths is an upbeat Carter Family number (nice!).

I really love the old timey feel of this group. They have an amazing ability to mold that into modern indie music.

Here they are:

Red Light Love

Who's That Knocking

Hung Up On Me

A Glass of You

Release of the Week: You, You're Awesome - You're My Superhero EP

I got an email this morning form Kevin from You, You're Awesome giving me a sneak peak at their EP that is coming out tomorrow. AND let me tell you it is a great album. Kevin gave me permission to post, "I'm Deaf and You're Boring"... so here it is... but get the whole album tomorrow on their site: here

I'm Deaf and You're Boring

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha (2009)

The Appleseed Cast never cease to amaze me with surprises each time they release an album. Once known as the "that emo band," The Appleseed Cast has matured as they experiment with different styles of music. I can't think of a specific category to place this band on my music scale anymore. To take a hazardous shot, post-rock and chillout music is as far as I can go on my musical tag (I don't want to get yelled at by fans).

The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha (2009)
Released: February 17, 2009
Vagrant Records

Whatever Sagarmatha means, I think this is one of their strongest albums to date. As I take it to bus/train rides to school, I cannot help but feel that the experience of this album gives room for humility, hope, warmth, and light as you observe the little things in life. Not to mention, that track 4 invokes the ghost of familiar things that I can relate to for living in Arizona. Excellent album with a breath of sweet summer air to it. A+.

The Summer Before

Introducing: Here we go Magic : On Tour with Grizzly Bear

Just in, one of the more popular groups that might come out of SXSW this year, Here We Go Magic, are going to be out with Grizzly Bear on their up coming tour.

These Brooklyn brothers to Grizzly Bear recently released released their self-titled debut and have been getting quiet a bit of mention on the blogosphere (gorillavsbear, Pitchfork, MOKB).


myspace, show schedule

Keep your eyes on MOKB's Laundromatinee, supposedly Here we go Magic just did a session with them.

Tour Dates

03/14 Rock Island, IL Daytrotter Session
03/14 Rock Island, IL Daytrotter Presents @ Huckleberry's Pizza Parlor*
03/17 Dallas, TX Mountain House*
03/18 Austin, TX Austinist/Gothamist SXSW party @ Mohawk--- 3 PM
03/18 Austin, TX NY Noise SXSW Party @ TODD P's FREE OUTDOOR PATIO PARTIES @ Ms. Beas-- 8:30 PM
03/19 Austin, TX Gorilla vs. Bear day party @ The Peacock-- 1:45 PM slot
03/19 Austin, TX Western Vinyl Official Showcase @ Club 115-- 1AM slot
03/20 Austin, TX Other Music show @ French Legation Museum-- 1 PM slot
03/20 Austin, TX Park The Van Records / Partisan Records / indie outlaw / The Knitting Factory Day Party @ Side Bar-- 3:00 PM slot
03/22 New Orleans, LA Marigny Theatre*
03/23 Atlanta, GA 529 Club**
03/24 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506**
03/25 Baltimore, MD Ottobar**
05/28 New York, NY Town Hall***
05/29 New York, NY Town Hall***
06/01 Washington, DC 9:30 Club***
06/02 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero Theatre***
06/03 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center***
06/04 Montreal, QC Le National***
06/05 Toronto, ON Phoenix***
06/07 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center***
06/08 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre***
06/09 Bloomington, IN Buskirk - Chumley Theater***
06/11 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle***
06/15 Dallas, TX Granada Theater***
06/16 Austin, TX The Parish***
06/19 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern***
06/21 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore***
* w/ Callers
** w/ Titus Andronicus
*** w/ Grizzly Bear

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

[new] Phoenix - Lisztomania

Phoenix's new album is still over two months from coming out but already they are getting tones of buzz on the web... Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear) said, via twitter that it was his favorite album this year; "Ok, for me...the new Phoenix is my favorite album of the year thus far...they just do everything right for me." Edward Droste

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix's follow up to 2006 It's Never Been Like That is probably up their with Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear's releases.

Lisztomania (via: We All Want Someone To Shout For)


Release of the Week: Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day

Julie Doiron -  I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day (myspace)

How do you quantify a career that started with indie for runner's Eric's Trip... involves nearly a dozen lo-fi indie LP's, EP's and cassettes, a 2008 compilation album that surprised the HELL out of EVERYONE (Lost Wisdom) and one of the sweetest female indie voices around? Well you just might with, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day. Julie Doiron has made a career out of indie and it is finally paying off. Here latest album, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day, is a perfect combo of all that she represents, from the fuzz indie or the early 90's Eric's Trip to the soft voices of echo from Lost Wisdom.

There is plenty of meat on this album, Rick White (Eric's Trip) helped produce the album, Fred Squire (Calm Down, It's Sunday) plays drums and some lead guitar... and Phil Elverum (Mt Eerie) also helped out. All together the album is a wonderful work of art and music.

Consolation Prize

MP3 - Download

You, You're Awesome : Radiohead's Reckoner Remix

I posted about these guys last week and already I have some more information on them. Here is a remix of Radiohead's Reckoner that they just put together, it is a well done job in my opinion. Fun stuff.

Reckoner remix (Radiohead)

They also have a tentative release for their next album, not sure if it's and EP or LP... but, You're my Super Hero is tentatively set to be available on March 24th. Here is the album cover:

Lot of fun stuff here.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Various Artists - War Child: Heroes

War Child has a history of great compilations. Their last effort, Help!: A Day In The Life. It was recorded and released in a record-breaking 30 hours featuring prominent acts such as Radiohead, Coldplay, and Bloc Party. Heroes is is a conceptually great album as well. Well respected, established musicians pick their favorite new act to cover their tracks. Unfortunately, this album is plagued by many of the same problems most compilations face. Far too many half-assed covers and bad B-sides.
Now, I understand the cover song is a tricky proposition. How does one pay respects to a great track without copying directly, or transversely mutating it in to something it was never meant to be?
Lily Allen was smart enough to have an original Clash member to help her out on her cover of their mournfully beautiful (and overly sampled) "Straight to Hell". It turns out to be one of the album's strongest tracks. Duffy pulls the ace out of her sleeve for her take on Paul McCartney/Wings "Live and Let Die". She turns it from amped-up Bond song to smokey, sultry barroom blues. Rufus Wainwright's take on an excerpt from Brian Wilson's master work SMiLE is fairly straightforward, but his voice fits so perfectly that he could claim the music as his own. Of course, The Hold Steady's take on Springsteen is excellent. It really cements the comparison between the two groups.
Elsewhere on the album are some epic fails. The Scissor Sistors turn Roxy Music's pop noire masterpiece "Do The Strand" into a very boring disco rave-up. The Kooks take on The Kinks' "Victoria" is wholly uneccesary, as it ports the song straight across, only adding a bit more studio shine. Peaches take on The Stooges "Search and Destroy" is probably the biggest disappointment on the album. Not that it wasn't expected to be an awful song (What Peaches song isn't?), no, what is disappointing is the fact that Iggy Pop chose Peaches in the first place.
Still, this is an album worth having, the good covers are that good, and the decent covers are worth having. Just do yourself a favor and actually buy this album. It's for a good cause. War Child sends money to children in war ravished countries.

The Hold Steady - Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen Cover)

Rufus Wainwright - SMiLE (Brian Wilson Cover)

Lily Allen Ft. Mick Jones - Straight To Hell (The Clash Cover)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

[leak]The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

Its been a bad week for groups trying to keep albums off the street or web... at least for Grizzly Bear it was. Now it might be a rough weekend for The Decemberists. It looks as though The Hazards of Love has crawled out onto the web...

I read an article a while back that quoted Colin Meloy as say that the new album would not be the production that Crane Wife was, that they would be going back to the fuzz folk days of Picaresque. I was a little disappointing because I was possible one of the few Decemberist fans that actually LOVED The Crane Wife.

So here I am listening to the new album that appears to be nothing less then a rock opera/prog rock album. Each song meshes into the next one like it was writing as one vase rock epitaph. At first glance it also seems to be a lot heavier they The Crane Wife and any of their previous work. Maybe closer to the work they did with The Tain. Each song alone doesn't quite give the credit the whole album deserves...

Anyway, happy looking. The site I got it from was concerned to might be a fake... but I am pretty sure it isn't AND it seems to be High Quality, unlike Grizzly Bears Veckatimest.

The album comes out 3/24... get it here and there and everywhere. (not leak links)

Friday, March 06, 2009

tUnE-YaRdS - BiRd-BrAiNs

tUnE-YaRdS aka Merrill Garbus from Merrillville Indiana... (that's just south of Gary) has been getting a minimal amount of buzz around the blog-o-sphere, for good reason in my opinion. She recently opened for Beirut (Music Hall of Williamsburge) and is currently on tour with Sister Suvi right now.

Tune-Yard's debut album Bird-Brains is a DIY masterpiece... comprising of a collection of recording for the last couple of years all collected and cut & pasted into one records. The nearly avante-garde drum style looped over much of this record gives it a very choppy/weird feel. Add, the spotty bass and acoustic and you'll really wonder what the hell your listening to. But give it just a few minuets and Merrill will capture you.

Merrill has two defining styles of singing on this record, one is a falsetto style that reminds me of St Vincent, but that might be because I have been listening to her a lot lately. The second is a sing-song style of yell-singing in the back. The mix of both styles gives Merrill and wide variety of musical range.

There is a wild mix of world music on this record, more prominently Jamaican; with Jamaican looped type vocals at the beginning of Hatari, and drum short choppy drum rhythms through out the record.

In short, I am really enjoying this record right now. At first appearance it seems a bit abrasive, but Merrill's voice is able to bring it all back to the experimental - world - pop that I love. Surprise is a great song, but I really like, When You Tell the Lions, and Jumping Jack. They both catch you off guard.


Little Tiger (live at the secret garden) Via - Hooves On The Turf

You can buy Bird Brains via donation on tUnE-YaRdS website... last time I check the site got a 404 failure notice, but I assume they will get it up and running again soon. Vinyl come out next week 3/10.

[new] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Statue

Sorry I am a day behind on posting this, but I got in a weird posting mood yesterday and just didn't post. But here is my review of the song.

Nothing ground breaking. might prompt a new album and tour, but probably shouldn't.

It's really to bad because there was a time or an album that prompted a sort of movement, or at least thrust a movement into the main steam.

Download the album at website for the price of an email address: CYHSY

[New] St. Vincent - Stranger

I still have my autographed vinyl of St. Vincent with a little AC in the corner of the album indicating that is was actually signed by Annie Clark. One of the best shows of 2007, at the Modified. Annie went on to tour with The National, and I'm pretty sure we will never catch her at the Modified again... well, in phoenix... yes, probably.

Anyway, Jeffrey posted about her upcoming LP, Actor. Annie, just released one of the songs via her (ilovestvincent.com) site. You can also download the wiget as I have done.

St Vincent - Stranger

MP3 - Download

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Stephen Steinbrink : Ghost to Falco : James Fella @ Trunk Space / TONIGHT

Ghost to Falco @ Trunk Space, TONIGHT
: Stephen Steinbrink
:: James Fella
::: Hell-Kite

Sorry I am so late with this one... I have been neglecting the local stuff... I promise to make amens. This is going to be a great show at Trunk Space night...

Thermals - Now We Can See : Contest on WAWSTSF

Will over at We All Want Someone To Shout For (WAWSTSF) just announced a contest that he is doing in conjunction with Insound for the Thermals new LP, Now We Can See, and an exclusive t-shirt designed by Bwana Spoons. It is a great contest and easy to register (i already did)... only takes about 10 seconds. Props to Will for doing great stuff like this, the did a similar contest for Handsome Furs a couple weeks back... great blog with a lot going for it.

Here is the shirt:

Jeffrey has posted about this album a number of times; 1/9 / 2/10. So you can say we are all exited about this album... It's released on 4/9.

I just realized there are about 20 links on this post... so here are the ones for the contest again just to be sure:


[new]Clap Your Hands Say Yeah : Late Night Jimmy Fallon

CYHSY will be playing a new song tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (march 4th). This is a bit of a surprise seeing that CYHSY announced earlier this year that they were working on their own individual projects stereogum, NME. The new song, Statues, will also be available on their website right after the show.

CYHSY's debut was one of the more influential albums this decade, if not for its innovative musicianship, its innovative DIY style of release, selling over 700k on its website alone.

It will be interesting to see how this effects the future plans of the band... last time a band debuted a song like this on a show was Grizzly Bear's Two Weeks. Obviously they had a lot of confidence in the song, and for good reason. CYHSY must have something up their sleeve worth putting out their, or maybe NBC is just trying to drum up some publicity for the new Jimmy Fallon... in either case, it will be a show work watching, or at least worth Huluing the next day.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dan Deacon : Bromst : Streaming on NPR

Dan Deacon's upcoming release, Bromst, is streaming on NPR right now.

Jeffrey Twitter; "First Listen: Dan Deacon - Bromst. Bigger, darker than Spiderman. Darker is all relative. Still tons of fun, dance-party music."

Dan definitely brought out the big boys for this one... I was blown away by his performance at the masonic temple for P4K. It is great to see musicians get a little experience under them an be able to apply it to the production of their music, rather then just the ambiguous gestation of pop music.

Blitzen Trapper : The Laundromatinee Session : MOKB

My Old Kentucky Blog's friend and affiliate The Laundromatinee just posted their Blitzen Trapper session. There are some great videos from the Portland group. I honestly could listen to Blitzen Trapper all the time... but I don't so not to ruin them to me.

They have a curious blend of indie and Americana that you don't see very often. This along with the protest blend of lyrics with modern theme makes them very alluring to me. Enjoy.

Head over The Laundromatinee, they have plenty to see and hear!

Blitzen Trapper - Furr

Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer

Blitzen Trapper - The Last Thing On My Mind (Tom Paxton cover)

Release of the Week: Say Hi - Oohs and Aahs

Say Hi - Oohs and Aahs (2009)

Say Hi, the band formally known as Say Hi To Your Mom or more exactly, Eric Ellbogen. Comes to us here with their or his 6th record, Oohs & Aahs. The 2nd under the name, Say Hi. I find this album a refreshing turn for Say Hi, I know there will be plenty who will claim that Eric is departing from his lo-fi ways... don't worry, there will be some new more lo-fi group replace them, that no one knows about.

Eric has a great ability to write nice little songs with catchy riffs... and coy lyrics that make you want to take a second look.

Merry Christmas

Monday, March 02, 2009

Franz Nicolay - Major General

Well, my fever is starting to break, school is starting to coast into Spring Break, and the end of the month recruiting push is over for work. It's time for me to get to these reviews that I have been putting off for too long. First up: Franz Nicolay's Major General.
Now, I'm sure we all know that I am a Hold Steady fanboy, They are a band of huge talents. However, I generally think solo albums are useless exercises. Generally bands are greater than the sum of there parts. I wasn't expecting to much out of Franz as a solo act. His side-project, World Inferno/Friendship Society definitely lacks a lot.
Not expecting much, it was easy to be impressed by the opening lines of "Jeff Penalty". It recounts the story of seeing a Jello Biafra-less Dead Kennedys, "the greatest karaoke show ever".
The album cycles through about 13 different musical styles in just as many songs. There are a few other standouts. "Do We Not Live In Dreams?" is a vaudevillian jazz number that slows along through perfection. "Note on a Subway Wall" is nearly showtune-esque, but it suits Franz's somewhat heavy. The Hold Steady have often got Springsteen comparisons; well if The Hold Steady sound like Springsteen, then Franz might be Bruce's twin in "This World is an Open Door". The best song on the album comes second to last with "Cease Fire, Or, Mrs. Norman Maine". It is a beautiful banjo led break-up song.
I look forward to Franz's next solo outing. Hopefully he can hold the reigns in a bit tighter and focus his sound. Right now he has a lot of potential.

"World/Inferno Vs. The End Of The Evening"

Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen (2009)

If you think Cursive is rolling downhill ever since Happy Hollow, you are not alone. If you think Cursive is better off dead after the epic 2005 release of the best Cursive album ever (read: The Ugly Organ), put on your heels and jump on the boat! Fortunately this year, Tim Kasher has stopped playing favorites in his two-timing job (Cursive/The Good Life) and has therefore taken Cursive a step forward. Note: I say step forward, not leap forward (better than Happy Hollow, way behind The Ugly Organ).

Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen
Release Date: March 10, 2009
Saddle Creek

Mama, I'm Swollen will be available on March 10 for you CD/vinyl junkies, in its physical best, to fit your record player. If you pre-order the album from Saddle Creek, you are allowed an instant access to have a sneak of the album through a broken link or a corrupted file (or both...). The album download from Saddle Creek is currently on sale for $1 and will go up a dollar a day until the official release date.

Here's some Cursive history.

Cursive in 2005.

Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand

Cursive in 2007.

Opening the Hymnal/Babies.

Cursive in 2009.

In the Now.

[Leak] Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (5/26)

Well, we all knew it wouldn't last long but I'm not sure anyone thought it would leak this early. BUT its floating around. First glance of the album, seems it be as brilliant as predicted. As to the question of if it will surpass Merriweather Post Pavilion at the top of the year end chart, I will only say this... it will take a lot to pass MPP.

The flow of the album is nice and relaxing... Southern Point has a spacey feel with structured strumming over the top. But gets more involved about a min in. Two Weeks, is a brilliant number, as great as the Letterman performance. All We Ask builds slowly, adding layer after layer as the song goes on. Fine for Now, is a great song with some impressive acoustic guitar in it. I'm not going to ruin the rest of it... but good luck finding it. I will say that this it my favorite album cover this year.

Track list:


01 Southern Point
02 Two Weeks
03 All We Ask
04 Fine for Now
05 Cheerleader
06 Dory
07 Ready, Able
08 About Face
09 Hold Still
10 While You Wait for the Others
11 I Live With You
12 Foreground

ps... you might want to check the facebook group : )

The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground : early release via itunes

I'm not sure if this is only in England or not... but + 1 Records just announced that The Boy Least Likely To's album, The Law of the Playground will be released 3/3 exclusively on itunes for the time being. The official release on + 1 records for North American is still 4/14. Check out the link to + 1 Records here.

Here is a link to The Boy Least Likely To itunes: here

Any more information on this would be appreciated... and welcome.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Other Lives - Other Lives [April 7]

I am always interested in groups that have a jazz back ground, particularly groups that have been playing advant-garde jazz... not because I like advant- garde jazz but because usually its a sign of great musicianship, and superior technical skill. It's one of the reasons I have learned to love Midlake and also one of the reason I hold a tight grip on early jazz musicians.

That being said, I have found Other Lives to be a really enjoyable group. Based out of Stillwater Oklahoma, this collection of 5 musicians have been playing for 5 years together, but just recently took on the names of Other Lives. They released a self-titled EP last October under ATO Records (My Morning Jacket, David Gray, The Whigs). And like a lot of groups recently, they are following the EP up with a self-titled LP. It will include a number of songs that are on the EP, more then likely not remastered since they were recorded around the same time.

Other Lives music is a melodic symphony of emotion pulling from brilliant musical arrangements of piano and cello. However, the album is arranged so well that it captures your mind and heart with the first few songs. Also, I can't stress enough the song writing of this album... so consciously driven and divulged in such a soft and melodic fashion.

There are some obvious associations to groups like Radiohead, Midlake and other seasoned bands. But this group still stands on their own...

Other Lives - How Could This Be - Luxury Wafers Sessions from Luxury Wafers on Vimeo.