Friday, July 01, 2005

July 2005 Archive


this week's live track comes from one of my favorite bands to see play out, namely Crooked Fingers. this one was recorded on february twenty-ninth at the middle east in boston. i had actually attained a copy of the show from jason parker, who played trumpet on this recent tour. the highlight of that tour for fellow Archers of Loaf fans was likely matt gentling joining former bandmate eric bachmann. the first night of the tour was here in denver, however, bachmann and crew ended up playing opening act to locals Devotchka in a abbreviated set that didn't stray from the new album. as much as i feel inclined to post "sleep all summer" as it's one of my favorite songs this year, i'm going to opt for "don't say a word," which got as many spins from me when Red Devil Dawn came out.

Crooked Fingers - Don't Say A Word (live)

Posted: Mon - July 4, 2005 at 11:54 PM


1. "I Got Stripes" by Johnny Cash
2. "I'm Afraid of Americans" by David Bowie
3. "Ashes of American Flags" by Wilco
4. "Let Men Burn the Stars" by M83
5. "Indoor Fireworks" by Elvis Costello

Posted: Mon - July 4, 2005 at 01:17 AM


Today is Independence Day....go do something American like wasting your money on a movie.

Galaxie 500: "Fourth of July "

Posted: Mon - July 4, 2005 at 12:32 AM


Art Brut is a term that refers to outsider art. it is also the name of a band that nme recently dubbed a second coming of Pulp due to their lower middle class geek chic and sly song-writing. that's a claim i won't take too lightly given Pulp is one of my all time favorite groups, but i am willing to say i've taken a liking to them. combining art and pop and drawing upon an older uk punk aesthetic, the group is arguably adopting a formula thats helped several bands get recognized at the moment (Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party), but they stand out because the art aspect seems to suit them better and their panache for subversiveness fuels the fire. lead singer Eddie Argos, intentionally or not, recalls successful musicians of the past who really could not sing and got by rather brilliantly on style and a gritty hyper-smartness to what they were singing.

that wit came to surface last year on the single "Formed A Band" and it's cheeky take on top of the pops success and impending celebrity status. now with the release of a new album and another amazing single (the you decide if it's obsession or adoration "Emily Kane"), Art Brut have shown they're more than a passing, easy write-up for music critics.

prior to the release of Bang Bang Rock & Roll on rough trade last month, the group released a series of what it dubbed "brutlegs." the following track would be an earlier mix of what would become the title track for the debut album and was a brutleg feature last spring. personally i love the sneering of "i can't stand the sound of the Velvet Underground" because i see it as a subtle hint that Art Brut knows precisely what they're doing. they continue to post interesting mp3s on their website, including some out-there mash-ups, so be sure to check it out.

Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll (remix)

Posted: Tue - July 5, 2005 at 12:08 AM


as far as i can recall, the very first mp3 i downloaded off of a music blog would have been "In My Arms" by scottish dj Mylo (aka Myles MacInnes). i found this gem on what i think many would agree is the flagship of music blogs, FluxBlog ( curated by matthew perputua, who always seems a few months ahead of everyone else in identifying what great music is on the horizon, he seemingly shares my adoration of international pop music and especially dancey tunes like this one. Mylo's album, Destroy Rock and Roll, went on to be one of my top five last year. i've been fortunate enough to track down all the subsequent singles on Mylo's self-run Breastfed label as well a few interesting remixes he's down up for people ranging from Annie to the Scissor Sisters to the Killers, the Kim Carnes-riff driven In Your Arms single was recently released and i thought to tie things in nicely, i'd treat you to one of the remixes or in this instance, re-edit.

Mylo - In My Arms (King Unique Re-edit)

Posted: Wed - July 6, 2005 at 08:32 PM


Hi there. Josh here, your other host at I'll be chiming in from time-to-time with some Top 5 lists. Why? Perhaps I read High Fidelity too many times or maybe I have a short attention span. Anyhow, enjoy and feel free to add your own comments!

1. Animal Collective
2. Devandra Banhart
3. Lightning Bolt
4. Hold Steady
5. Xiu Xiu

Posted: Thu - July 7, 2005 at 11:53 PM


i went to a baseball game today and it left me really wanting a summery titled song for the site. it seems like lately i've been talking a bit about music from my high schools years and i had really marved how last year's solo release by Charlotte Hatherley (from Ash) sounded remarkedly a lot like the alterna-girl pop of the nineties (think Letters to Cleo, Velocity Girl, Veruca Salt). Charlotte was actually in the grungy Nightnurse before joining Ash in 1997, so the poppiness of this may be a bit surprising.

Charlotte Hatherley - "Summer "

Posted: Thu - July 7, 2005 at 11:07 PM


Blusom are a duo from denver, colorado. (*represent*). during my first tour of duty here the group was still a bedroom-recorded "side-project" of Jme White from Acrobat Down and Mike Behrenhausen from Maraca Five-O. a lo-fi-ish tape was passed around then and now the pair have two full-lengths available. perhaps timing had a hand in their emergence as the popularity of bands like the Postal Service and Junior Boys suits Blusom's own bringing together of delicate guitar strumming, layers of synth pop and the occasional analog explosion of heavier beats. the Metropolitan is the latest release.

Blusom - "The Ticks: Tick Tick "

Posted: Sun - July 10, 2005 at 11:54 AM


pretty soon i'm gonna need a whole shelf for just my Mountain Goats live bootlegs. John Darnielle has a tendacy to occasionally switch up and play with his own lyrics and for that i think you can never have too many recordings. his on-stage banter is always priceless on top of that. today's track was recording in october of last year in mt. pleasant , sc. i choose a song that would weeks later be recorded for the new album, The Sunset Tree, because i've always enjoyed shows where the group is touring around songs they're about to record. (one of the most interesting being a jonathan richman show were he played several songs multiple times). anyway, i also choose this song because John says "beeotch" when addressing the crowd at the end.

the Mountain Goats - "Dilaudid" (live @ Mr. Pleasant, SC)

Posted: Mon - July 11, 2005 at 07:53 PM


i guess it depends on who you ask: some people will tell you that mash-ups are so three years ago and yet in some places they're continued to gain ground on the remix when it comes to freshening up select radio stations. some people find them fun and others seem to think it's a pointless concept. more often with that opinion you'll find the same critics who refuse to believe anything done with a computer is "really" music and yet they seem to ignore the amount of emerging bands making original music in that manner. i enjoy them as i try and indulge in as many guilty pleasures as i can find. they really do require an ear for beats and melody. today i'll share two from my sizable collection with you. Party Ben is from san francisco and is a radio DJ who has brought his eclectic mixes to the airwaves. DJ Zebra hails from france and made it through the music blog circuit a year or so ago with a NiN vs. Beatles mix that befuddled and astonished.

Party Ben - "Walking With A Ghost in Paris" (Tegan & Sara vs. Mylo)

DJ Zebra - "Are You Gonna Be My Motherfucker" (Jet vs. Prince)

Posted: Tue - July 12, 2005 at 09:15 PM


so this new video from Ok Go has been making the rounds and i can't help but cynically mock the people who are validating the coolness of the video, but still insitantly slamming the group's debut record. yeah, the video's great, but you know what, that first album was too. marketing be damned, i openly admit i first heard them while playing Madden football with my brother and friends and became addicted to the overtly used for commercial purposes "Get Over It." one of the last favors i called in from my music industry days was to get an advance copy of the album and i loved it in a 'i adore pop and watched a lot 120 Minutes in the late nineties' sorta way. their new album, Oh No, comes out in late august.

Ok Go - A Million Ways (video)

p.s. feel free to comment on other dubious songs used for marketing that won you over. certainly everyone remembers the car commercial that sold many a Nick Drake albums. also, i know when i bought my saturn, i was disappointed Brendan Benson's "Tiny Sparks" didn't play everywhere i drove.

Posted: Thu - July 14, 2005 at 12:31 AM


1. Leonard Cohen
2. Eeyore
3. Wolverine
4. pre Dr. Moreau Marlon Brando
5. Edward Gorey

Leonard Cohen- "I'm Your Man "

Posted: Thu - July 14, 2005 at 12:37 AM


one of the nicer people i met back in my new york days would have been Eric Elbogen, a kind bearded twenty-something who happened to have a band curiously named Say Hi To Your Mom. i had quickly became a fan and worked at making the people around me fans. most of those people were quick to get it. by it, i mean clever lyrics that are at times strange and other times funny, but always with a sense of coming from close to a creative heart. geek-chic and mid-fi pop music will always be a winning combination in my book. Ferocious Mopes is the new album that plays home to this selection. I'd also recommend this Brooklynites second album, Discosadness, as it is one of my favorite pop soundtracks to those big apple days.

Say Hi To Your Mom - "Yeah, I'm In Love With an Android "

Tour Dates Here

Posted: Fri - July 15, 2005 at 11:24 PM


Disenchanted Hearts Unite is the new album from northwesterners Tullycraft and their second released on portland-based label Magic Marker. i spent a moment today questioning the possible death of indiepop. first off, i rarely hear the words 'twee pop' anymore unless pitchfork is really stretching in trying to make fun of a band by self-servingly defining it in yet another review. secondly, i had no idea that there was a new Tullycraft album until i stumbled upon it at the record store and yet there was a time that this was one of my and many friends favorite band. we drove out to california to see them and knew whenever a new song was due, even it was to be on an obscure compilation. the new album is consistant with their previous work, chock full of catchy "oh-ah" choruses, silly band name drops and references and catchy nods to the simplistic, yet enduring pop sounds of the past. they're the kind of group that never cracks my end of year top ten, but usually gets listened to twice as much as any of those. it's kind of like going back and watchinf a cartoon you liked as a kid and realizing it's not very deep, but it's still very enjoyable and fun. quite a few reviews are pegging this one as their best. enjoy this "disco bloodbath for the ages."

Tullycraft - "Our Days in Kansas "

Posted: Mon - July 18, 2005 at 08:01 AM


so when i looked at the sales chart at the local record store, the latest from Sufjan Stevens, entitled Illinois, sat at number one. yes, this would be the same album pulled from shelves due to the strong-arming of dc comics and their copyright issue of superman making a cameo on the cover art. (those comic book companies have so many copyright issues, which is ironic given that stealing ideas plays heavily into the evolution of comics). anyway, on the first day of release, the same day it was pulled, there were hundreds of ebay listings of the album for upwards of seventy-five dollars (they've since bottomed out around twenty-five). one has to laugh at fans of indie music who consider themselves to be far more discerning than the mass populous of music lovers and in many respects see themselves as better people for it. i guess a moment like this shows that we're all equally lecherous.

not to be out-shined by the pulling of the album is the album itself. it actually exceeds Michigan, which was already a favorably reviewed first entry into the "50 States" project of the michigan-based musician. there are many great tunes on it, but coincidentally enough it is the superman-themed tune that is my favorite. i always enjoyed visiting metropolis, il on road-trips given my enjoyment of all things geeky in some manner. now this is live track tuesday as has been the growing tradition and thus today i offer to you a live version of the song recorded recently on kcrw. kcrw and morning becomes eclectic host nic harcourt almost magically elicits the best in-studio performances from their visiting bands and this performance is no different.

Sufjan Stevens - "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts (live on KCRW) "

Posted: Tue - July 19, 2005 at 10:47 PM


Josh here with another Top 5. I quit my job and I'm hitting the road! I'll be sleeping on sofas and visiting ballparks across the nation. But have no fear, Jason will keep you entertained with his daily mp3s!

1. Philadelphia, PA: "Freedom of '76"- Ween
2. Washington, DC: "Washington, D.C. "- The Magnetic Fields
3. Baltimore, MD: "Streets of Baltimore"- Gram Parsons
4. Los Angeles, CA: "Los Angeles, I'm Yours "- The Decemberists
5. San Francisco, CA: "Come Back From San Francisco "- The Magnetic Fields

Posted: Wed - July 20, 2005 at 07:52 PM


i was at a dinner party this weekend where someone made the valid point that when you think of Ladytron, "Playgirl" is the only song you can think of. truth be told, as much as i enjoyed the previous two releases, that was in fact the only song title i could recall at that moment. thankfully that predicament is primed to change with this great new tune from their forthcoming album, tentatively titled the Witching Hour and due next month. it's immediately catchy and memorable. thankfully the group has not gone under with the sinking electroclash ship (well i guess it was more of a raft).

okay, i just recalled the song "Seventeen." i liked that one a lot too even if it was kinda creepy. three should turn out to be the magic number. see/listen for yourself:

Ladytron - "Destroy Everything You Touch "

Posted: Wed - July 20, 2005 at 12:21 AM


i think what has always made the Silver Jews albums appealing to me is that David Berman's songs are humorous, but sort of sad all at once. "Honk If You're Lonely Tonight" from their fourth of what will soon be six albums is probably the best example of this. Berman's song-writing is desperate and yet both easygoing and reassuring. it is perfect for those moments when you get drunk not because you want to, but because it seems like the right thing to do. Tanglewood Numbers is the forthcoming album on Drag City and here is your sneak peek...another song with a great title that lives up to that promise in song.

Silver Jews - "How Can I Love You (If You Won't Lie Down) "

Posted: Thu - July 21, 2005 at 01:01 AM


i'm not even sure where to begin with the randomness of today's mp3 entry. i was and remain a huge fan of early nineties hip hop. one of my favorite albums that has seemingly become long-lost in the genres history would be A Future Without A Past by the Leaders of the New School. looking back, this uniondale, ny based group is notable because it featured a young Busta Rhymes, however, the label elected to release novelty-ish singles that may have led to the albums eventual disappearing act. the group, like many from that era, presented Afrocentric messages and creative nonsense rhymes with youthful exuberance and an attitude that sought to address the plight of the urban youth in a more positive, optimistic manner than todays acts that tend to revel in the thuggish reputation of a hardened life. maybe it's easy for me to prefer this because i'm just another indie kid who listens to hip hop, but i contend that eighty-eight to ninety-two may have been the best five years for hip hop. check it for yourself and knowing me they'll be more to come.

Leaders of the New School - "Case of the P.T.A. "

Posted: Thu - July 21, 2005 at 01:04 AM


there's very little i can say about this track i'm kicking off the week with. i first heard ESP All-Stars when we received an EP of theirs when i worked in college radio. that would also be the last i heard of them. it's kinda of surprising because it was quite good...good enough that i haven't completely forgotten about it. if you could imagine the nasally pop of Tullycraft and the fuzzed out trip produced by the Flaming Lips, you'd had this bands sound. and that's all i got. a mystery to me to this day, but perhaps they were from your hometown and you can uncover what became of this apparently short-live, but enjoyable group.

ESP All-Stars - "Magic Bees "

Posted: Mon - July 25, 2005 at 02:26 PM


at first i wasn't completely taken with the Magnolia Electric Co. direction Jason Molina took when he decided to retire the Songs:Ohia moniker and embrace life in a country-rock band. S:O in my eyes was one of the better bands to cross my stereo in the last few years with songwriting that still resonates with me every time i listen. i hadn't even made my way to the record store with a sense of urgency when What Comes After the Blues was released earlier this year. in fact i didn't purchase it until after i heard a bootleg of their performance in denver this past april. i was even at that show, but spent the majority of the night at the bar having a hohum day and that evening now seems foreign to me by way of this stellar live recording.

Electric Magnolia Co. - "Hammer Down" (live)

Posted: Tue - July 26, 2005 at 09:52 PM


every music geek who reserves a spot in the back of their mind throughout the year to keep track of the top records of the year is probably familiar with the idea of the one or two records that got away. that is to say the album you put aside or missed entirely and then a year later you put it on and you just damn yourself for catching it too late. that record for me this year has been Kimya Dawson's two-thousand four effort on K records entitled Hidden Vagenda. i really liked the Moldy Peaches record when that come out like four years ago, but for some unknown reason i never picked up any of Kimya's solo records (or Adam Green's for that matter). anyway, someone recently floated me a copy of this last album and i've been listening to it a whole lot. if you're in the northwest, Kimya is playing ladyfest in olympia this weekend.

Kimya Dawson - "It's Been Raining "

Posted: Wed - July 27, 2005 at 09:54 PM


1. Kah-lee-FOHR'-nee-ah
2. Oregoner
3. Massholes
4. Little Roadie
5. Rawkansas

Posted: Thu - July 28, 2005 at 12:36 PM


the Robbers on High Street created a bit of music blog buzz earlier this year amidst an in-joke that the album might have been the new Spoon record that was expected later in the year. it is true that at times the vocal delivery offered by this new york quartet may be mildly reminiscent of a certain Britt Daniels at times. this is also a band that was signed away from the post-punk revival scene blossoming in the aforementioned city and who have seen reviews likening them to revered classic rock groups. while i think that critics are figuratively playing darts when trying to pin down what a band sounds like, i also believe it only goes to show the group should appeal to a number of people. in fact i already have Tree City pegged as one of my favorite records this year. stripped of its influences, what you have is a rock album with memorable choruses that would make a pop song jealous. the Robbers will be playing at the Larimer Lounge in denver this saturday sharing a bill with Brendan Benson.

Robbers on High Street - "The Price & Style "

Posted: Fri - July 29, 2005 at 12:38 PM


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