Tuesday, February 28, 2006

He likes it

Jesus reviews the new Grandaddy record track by track and has some mp3s. naturally it sounds great. he can turn water into wine apparently, but seemingly cannot prevent the band from breaking up. confused? just follow the link. amen.

mogwai democracy

Mr. Beast, the new album from glasgow post-rockers Mogwai is due to drop next week. with that in mind, i thought it would be fun to not only give you a sneak peek from that album, but also one of my favorite cover songs. i actually got this from my brother a few years back. why yes, it is a live Guns N' Roses cover. click thru the link to find u.s. tour dates. more gigs are forthcoming. for my local brethren, they will be playing the gothic in denver on may 3rd.

"Folk Death 95"
"Don't Cry"

Monday, February 27, 2006


Back in the day Jay and I would religiously tape 120 Minutes on MTV. We had tons of VHS tapes with the best mid-90's "alternative" you could imagine including all the early Spike Jones videos. Of course now I don't have a VHS deck and most of those tapes were worn to hell from repeated viewing. Luckily there have been several video collections released on DVD such as the very popular Directors Label series by Palm. But what about when you really need to take a walk down memory lane with a less popular video? Why not try YouTube, my newest addiction. I found lots of cool old Pavement, KLF and Jon Spencer videos there. I even found this one which Jay may remember.

Whale Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe (video)

P.S. Sadly I could not find "The Plant Man" by Gary Young. I can't even find an MP3 of that amazing song. It's on top of a list along with the soundtrack to Robert Altman's Popeye (courtesy of Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks) of things that I go crazy looking for.

it's not the rain

A4D is not even a year old and yet last night i found myself sitting in front of my record collection asking "did i already post this album?" it seems like something i would have, but maybe i'm just confusing it with some time i put it on a mix tape. the alluded to track is from a swedish trio that managed to sneak onto the radio in the mid-nineties just before their follow countrymen, the Cardigans, transitioned into their brief mainstream popularity here in the u.s. Eggstone were formed in Malmo in the mid-eighties. in 1991 they opened Tambourine Studios, taking their time (nearly seven years since their inception) before releasing their debut album, In San Diego. the buzz surrounding that albums bouncy 60's guitar pop with lounge overtures led to the domestic release here of 1994's Somersault and the catchy single "It's Not the Rain." the group released one last album before making their studio work a full time job, while playing music with less recognizable, mostly instrumental projects on the side. in fact, they produced some of the later records of the aforementioned Cardigans. meanwhile, their name pops up every now and then, mostly in review of swedish pop music, somewhat surprising given their brief blip on the american music map. i guess it's just one of those albums that stays with those who heard it.

Eggstone "It's Not the Rain"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I Can Be Centerfield

Are you a blogger? Do you like baseball? Want to play some fantasy baseball with other bloggers? Email me. I've got a 10 team 5x5 League set up at Yahoo and I can give you the League ID and password. Meanwhile, why not checkout Ben's awseome Baseball Card Blog?

Friday, February 24, 2006

nothing matters to me

even though it's a month away, i am quite excited to see Irving two days before the release of their new album Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers. i still recall the day the bands debut record, Good Morning Beautiful, was dropped on my desk and i was immediately taken by it. the album sounded more like a compilation as while it was definately pop music all around, Irving was formed by five muscians (informally pieced together when the members were asked by a mutual friend to collaborate on an art opening performance) who each were allowed to contribute their "style" resulting in a mryid of different kinds of pop songs, all flawlessly executed. given the number of influences at work here, it's always difficult to nail down a review of Irving because it would seem to make more sense to review each song one at a time. instead, i'll let them speak for themselves.

here are two tracks off their forthcoming as well as one from their amazing debut, giving you a chance to see just how varied their tunes can be. while the first track seems as if it's been culled from somewhere in britain during the eighties, the next track is more pysch-tinged and the final track is more in the vein of chamber pop.

"Turn of the Century"

here are the Irving tour dates. the group with be playing with a number of blog-favorites on this tour including Voxtrot and Tape n' Tapes.

03/12/06 San Diego, CA @ The Casba
03/13/06 Tucson, AZ @ Plush
03/15/06 Austin, TX @ The Velvet Spade Patio | Eenie Meenie SXSW showcase
03/17/06 Austin, TX @ Moonshine
04/01/06 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
04/02/06 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
04/07/06 Harrisonburg, VA @ MACRock Festival
04/09/06 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
04/10/06 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
04/11/06 Wellesley, MA @ Lulu Wang Center
04/12/06 Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rosa
04/13/06 Toronto, ONT @ Sneaky Dees
04/14/06 Detroit, MI @ Lager House
04/15/06 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
04/20/06 Norman, OK @ Opolis
04/21/06 Denton, TX @ Hailey's
04/22/06 Austin, TX @ Emo's

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Singing For My Dinner

Hey there everybody. As many of you may have noted it our interview with Muzzle of Bees, I work as a production coordinator for documentary films. It's actually been many, many months since I've had a gig but the last project I worked on is coming out on DVD soon. Amazon.com just listed it recently (click image below for link). It's about Eugene O'Neill and features some wonderful interviews as well as readings from the likes of Christopher Plummer, Liam Neeson with wife Natasha Richardson and Al Pacino. I will never forget sitting at my desk and hearing "You know what you can do with your pipe dream NOW you'd g-damn bi-TCH!," a line from The Iceman Cometh read by Pacino, coming down the hall from the editing room. The film will also appear on PBS in March as part of the series American Experience.

caroline, now

quick entry for today. i spent most of the night building furntiture (damn you dutch furniture) and boy do i regret not owning power tools.

released in fall of last year, "Where's My Love" is the first single off the forthcoming debut Caroline album entitled Murmurs that is being released by the always top-notch Temporary Residence Limited label. i just got my hands on the record and it is the first album of 06 that has stuck me as something i'll be listening to throughout the year. Caroline Lufkin has one of the most heavenly voices you'll hear this year. lyrically it approaches familiar, emotional topics with sincere rather silly or naive innocence, which suits the plethora of beautifuly arranged acoustic instruments that accompany the minimal, but hypnotic electronics. it's the siren voice of the berklee school of music grad that is the real clincher though. if you haven't downloaded this song the first blog-time around, i couldn't recommend it enough. meanwhile, for a tune you may not have heard yet, "Pink & Black" is another of my favorite tracks from Murmurs.

"Where's My Love"
"Pink & Black"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ooh La La

The iTunes music store's free single this week is "Ooh La La" from the forthcoming Goldfrapp album. If you play your cards right it could probably get you laid, which is my way of saying it's super hot n sexy™. Seriously, I feel like I walked into a bar, it picked me up, seduced me and spit me out and now it's all I think of.

Like a tax refund but better

If you own The National's 'Alligator' (and by now why wouldn't you?) you can go HERE for some free bonus tracks from the Beggars folks.

everything's alright

when engaging a fan of twee pop with a conversation about Sarah Records and the Field Mice, all will be able to point you in the direction of robert wratten's follow-up band, Trembling Blue Stars. few, however, seem to be aware that lead guitarist Harvey Williams arguably has been the most active following the bands break-up. Williams quietly is one of the bookends to the Sarah Records story. it was his solo project, Another Sunny Day, that marked the third release for the label that has fetched expanding price tags for it's records online for a steady ten years now. aside from pairing with the former Field Mice frontman for the early TBS releases, eventually joining the band full-time, he also played with Blueboy, one of the last Sarah bands. he also freed up time to serve as session musician for several acts including Saint Etienne. the first release under his given name was a mini-album released in the waning days of the label; one that several magazine refused to review on the grounds that it was under fifteen minutes long. seven years after the disbanding of the popular british band with a rapid cult following among pop enthusiaists, Shinkansen, the label that followed Sarah, released Harvey's underrated solo album entitled California in 1998, which is where today's track is culled from.

Harvey Williams "Everything's Alright"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


today i'm posting one of those records that came out and much to my surprise was overlooked by many. Park Avenue Music released the album to take with you in 2002; a synthesizer-heavy blend of down-tempo pop and jazz fuzed trip-hop, the band should have immediately appealed to the many who still think fondly back to the debut Portishead record. the sacramento-based duo, Jeannette Faith, a concert pianist, and Wes Steed, surprisingly a former garage rocker, pieced together one of the most gentle sounds to grace my ears that year. the album still hasn't been perma-filed as i'm prone to listen to it fairly often. two years later an ep followed that was noticably leaning moreso towards the bips of their glitch pop, but also went more or less unnoticed perhaps because of the girth of indie bands in the course of the two years after their debut that were now incorporating electronics into their pop and rock standards.

Park Avenue Music "Petals"

Monday, February 20, 2006

metal man man hearts

starting off the week with a look at two new releases due in stores tomorrow. first time to give credit where credits due: my brother was the one excited about Man Man and so that made me look into them and i simply love what i've heard. meanwhile, my good friend Ben, who runs Hang On to Your Ego and who made the LA blog post featured in Stereogum last week, was the one who talked me up on Metal Hearts.

Man Man are a collective of philly-based musicians, but it may make sense if you're rather call them a circus. the sound and what i've heard about their live show allows that. vintage instrumentation, freak flag eclecticism and vocals that reminisce of Tom Waits playing the part of the twisted barker are the best i can do to describe it. it's the kind of music that could easily be mistaken for ironic if it wasn't so damned sincere. it was no surprise that my brother was a fan as the macabre vaudeville reminded me of one of his favorite bands, Firewater. here on their second full-length release, Man Man has grown to take on members of phlly experimentalists Need New Body, appropriate contributors to this Beefheart meets Screaming Jay Hawkins revival that according to many stole the show just a year ago at sxsw. the group will be playing a few dates the rest of this month supporting Six Demon Bag, the cleverly titled new album (a reference to the movie Big Trouble in Little China and also a rare trinket item in warcraft).

2-24- Brooklyn, NY- North Six
2-25- NY- Bard College
2-26- New Haven, CT- BAR Nightclub
2-27- Easthampton, MA- Flywheel
2-28- Portland, ME- SPACE
3-1- Providence, RI- AS220

these two tracks, taken from the new album, are simply amazing. the first, "Black Mission Goggles" is one of the best songs i've heard this year thusfar.

Man Man "Black Mission Goggles"
"Van Helsing Boombox"

Socialize is the Suicide Squeeze debut from the baltimore-based Metal Hearts, featuring a tandem of multi-instrumentalists, Anar Badalov and Flora Wolpert-Checknoff. their self-released album of introverted bedroom blip-pop caught the attention of the tastemaker label on the other side of the country, who signed the pair of teenagers and had put them out on the road with Pedro the Lion. the electric meets organic mix of their music has driven comparisons to the Notwist while others have astutely suggested a more subdued Bishop Allen. flattering comparisons if you're a fan of those bands much as i am. you'll also enjoy this titular track if you're fond, much like myself, of things that sound melancholic. they will be touring extensively next month and you can visit their website for all the tour dates.

Metal Hearts "Socialize"

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bravo *cough* Brava *cough* Bravi

Hey all. Just got back tonight from a Thursday night at the opera. I was at the Met here in NYC to see Verdi's La Traviata and it was a total blast. La Traviata, the tragic story of a famed courtesan and the man who loves and loses her, might be recognizable to fans of the film Pretty Woman (or so it was pointed out by my date for the night). I myself know it as part of the basis for the Moulin Rouge storyline. The stage sets by the Italian director Franco Zeffirelli were absolutely astonishing. I didn't even know the man, responsible for some infamous (in my high school lit class) minor nudity in his filming of Romeo and Juliet, was still alive. The leads were also excellent. Super-hotty Angela Gheorghiu is a gorgeous and talented soprano. She is a captivating actress and singer, vividly portraying the life and eventual death of Violetta , the courtesan. [It's opera, someone always dies.] While Gheorghiu certainly has star power to spare, I was equally impressed by Jonas Kaufmann, a tenor called by some the finest tenor Germany has produced in the past half-century, as Violetta's suitor.

My one complaint of the night: the lack of opera etiquette. I had been to rock shows here in the city that were quieter (which is its own kind of problem). The coughing, sneezing, rustling in bags, cell phones and so on! It drove me nuts. And people who didn't care to dress decently! I don't mean to sound like a snob but a night at the opera is still a fairly classy occasion. There's a reason they have water and cough drops outside the doors and intermissions for snacking. Sit still, shut your damn phone off and respect/enjoy the treat of some talented people doing there thing.

Well there you have it: A4D's first and probably ONLY opera review.

P.S. By-the-way, if you'd like attend the opera and haven't before, La Traviata as well as Puccini’s La Bohème and Tosca are good for first-timers for their relatively short length (about two hours).

P.P.S Conductore Marco Armiliato was a wonderfully foppish and exuberant muppet of a man- as ALL composers should be.

don't know why (you stay)

happy to be bringing you a sneak peak of one of my most anticipated releases of this year. on march 21st the new record from the Essex Green, entitled Cannibal Sea, will be released on Merge Records. twelve new songs that mark the bands third full-length release. their first album, Everything is Green, came out on Kindercore and i got to work radio promo on that, much to my joy because at the time, i was loving all things psych-pop. it was four years later and the release of the Long Goodbye that really sunk in with me though. it saw the brooklyn-based band deviating from the elephant six-sound association and drawing influences more heavily from the era after the one they were tied to on their debut. like a number of hits from the seventies that album blended folk, a little country and and just a lazy, but more mature vibe to their pop. the songwriting really came through there and it seemed to place less emphasis on the whimsical pastiche on their earlier stuff. now you have the new record and who knows what Jeff, Sasha, and Chris have in store? if this track is any indication, it is instantly catchy and you may suspect a hint of power pop. the group will be touring through the spring including a stopover at sxsw. have a great weekend.

the Essex Green "Don't Know Why (You Stay)"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

this is not a test

Emergency Broadcast Network were a group of visual arts folks from rhode island school of design who meshed multimedia with music...well more like they made borrowed media samples into music. they were one of the first local bands i became aware of when growing up. initially featuring co-founder Josh Pearson (the other fellow being technician Gardner Post), well dressed and barking rhetoric surrounded by video image samplers, the group eventually employed a dj (Ron O'Donnell), the resulting output sounded something like cnn soundtracked by techno and on some weighty drugs. in the early ninties they took the show on the road, even stowing away on the lollapalooza tour, following it in their outfitted vehicle that is somewhat reminiscent of the ghostbusters station wagon. the following year the group gained notoriety for their Behavior Modification single, which included spliced video that presented the elder Bush, in the waning years of fighting in kuwait, breaking out a rendition of "We Will Rock you." it impressed enough for U2 to tab the video as well as some of the bands other material for the opening of their Zoo tour. in 1995 they released their only full-length album, Telecommunication Breakdown, on tvt records. these days every other cd you buy seems to have some kind of video extras on. well the E.B.N.'s album had cd-rom content and came with a floppy disc, making it quite ahead of it's time. the album brought about several notable contributers including Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Meatbeat Manifesto's Jack Dangers, who produced the affair. last i heard members where now doing video for other artists. partly it's surprising that they didn't keep at, but given all the impending copyright issues that come with their form of innovation, maybe not. their album holds up quite well ten years after it's release. the three videos on the floppy are quite interesting still as well.

E.B.N. "Electronic Behavior Control System"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

let's get together

first and foremost, one of my all-time favorite movies was released on dvd this week and as a criterion collection release even. the dialog-heavy Metropolitan is my favorite of the three Whit Stillman films. it's about the middle class tom townsend who desends into the belly of new york's young, wasp-y upperclass crowd, who apparently like to meet every night and discuss social mobility and attempt to be intellectual while actively seeking to meet the negative sterotypes of the rich. it's very much a movie directed by a writer, perhaps why it was nominated for a screenplay oscar back when it was released in 1990. also, it features chris eigeman who is good in everything or so i like to believe.

more stylish pop music for you today in the form of Modesty Blaise. i used to order alot of records from the german pop label, Apricot records. one of the finer releases came from the aforementioned band, who hail from the uk and were given a nudge by former Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins, who produced many of the singles and b-sides that made up their first full-length release in 1999, entitled A Beginners Guide to Modesty Blaise. the group rather quickly released the singles, many of which sold out, but never really got organized and took off, mostly due to purported in-fighting and repeated line-up changes. they've released a pair of singles and an ep since, but it's hard to say if they're formally still playing or recording. curiously i found them on myspace and they were signed in at the time. hmmm. anyway, lead singer Jonny Collins (unrelated) has the perfect voice for this retro, jetsetting pop music and this song is one of the finest i've ever enjoyed.

Modesty Blaise "Let's Get Together"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

that's when i knew you were gonna make me lonely

well a happy valentines day to you dear reader. while i find myself quite loveless on this quasi-holiday, i am still quite happy because i will be driving to boulder to see Stars tonight. while Stars album Set Yourself On Fire was a top ten here at A4D last year and i want to hear those songs live, i really, really hope that there will be some older songs. and when i say older songs, i mean those from their surprisingly forgotten debut Nightsongs. sometimes i think the group has undergone enough changes internally that they've distanced themselves from this release. when it was released a number of tastemakers instantly connected to the group's remake of the Smiths "This Charming Man" and some major labels began to circle around the band. the album even included vocal cameos by then unknowns Emily Haines (Metric) and Kendell Jane Meade (Mascott). alas there were whispers of ongoing label drama that kept the band from building upon that interest and like things in this industry tend to do, the fervor was all but gone when their follow-up Heart was released two years later (which was well received overseas, possibly because their influences are heavily drawn from the uk). the group was fortunate enough to find itself involved with the Arts & Craft label for that and their most recent album. with the attention the label (and montreal) has received, the band was able to start retaining the attention they have long deserved for their classy pop tunes. i love Nightsongs because it sounds so romantic and effortless. toss on this song here and you will hear what i mean. there's an Anglophilic charm that permeates from the song. this track lacks the poptronics of their latest and instead contains Torquil Campbell's silky, confident vocals dominating a subtlely contrasted drum machine and airy string arrangement that sounds as if it could have deceivingly been culled from a mix tape of obscure british pop from the eighties.

Stars "On Peak Hill"

Hallmark Holiday

Check out my my faorte V-Day mixtape at Loud Monkey Music

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Want You to Stay

While our new endeavor to bring you the non-current music that has played on our stereos over the years, I think, has been somewhat successful, it doesn't mean the two of us aren't out there looking for and finding great new tunes. Today we've got one of those wonderful new songs- a new track/remix from one of Newcastle England's finest, Maximo Park. The band has found much success with their catchy and often dancable ode to British post-punk legends like the Jam and Wire. I very carefully say "ode" as Maximo Park has been one of the recent UK bands of note, along with Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, who, while their influences are obvious, do bring something unique to their presentation that prevents them from being retreads- the new so-and-so's.

"I Want You to Stay (Field Music Remix)" is the 3rd track from the I Want You to Stay import single available February 23rd from Warp. Remixers Field Music, who hail from the same celebrated north east scene that spawned both The Futureheads and Maximo Park, bring a classic old-school pop sensibility to the track making it even better than the original. Their work here, and on their own self-titled album preach love for Beach Boys style arrangements and Beatles lazy hooks. Check it out:

Maxïmo Park: "I Want You to Stay (Field Music Remix)

"we're not a fucking festival band"

i bought a ticket this weekend for Dinosaur Jr. who will be playing the fox theatre in boulder, co in april (coincidently a month when amazing things always seem to happen in my life?). i kinda felt obligated to buy a ticket aside from really wanting to. as my brother alludes to in our Muzzle of Bees close-up, i grew up infatuated with lou barlow, Sebadoh unquestionably being one of my favorite bands. i am, however, not quite old enough to be able to claim i was ever able to see a pre-feud Lou in Dino Jr. anyway, point being, with the original line-up in place, this will be a meaningful show for me and i have several months to be excited for it. this post actually is leading into some rare Lou tracks rather some Dino. Jr. tunes. back in my radio days i used to get my hands on lots of short-lived and tested syndicated radio programs. one such package included a Sebadoh live performance that was in fact a recording of a 1996 Reading Festival performance. in lieu of Muzzle delving into the past, i thought it would be great to start off the week with the artist and songs that really resonated in the early years. like countless indie kids in southern new england when i grew up, i idolized the guy through piss-poor, sloppy shows and amazing performances. this picture was taken from a denver show last year that included many requests, a long set and definately qualified itself as one of the better shows. these bbc-recorded tracks are really good as well.

Sebadoh live at 1196 Reading Festival:
"Soul and Fire/Not A Friend/Open Ended"
"Skull/Rebound/Magnet's Coil"
"Drama Mine"
"Beauty of the Ride"

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Now We're Famous

Hey everybody. Break out the tuxes! Great news. We were interviewed by one of our personal favorite websites, Muzzle of Bees, for their ongoing feature "Get to Know Your Blogger." check it out HERE.

Snow Day

Wow, it finally snowed this winter here in NYC. Not just snowed- but the 2nd highest accumalation in NYC history- roughly 26 inches. Here's a song from a lady as lovely as the snowflakes falling outside for those of you lying on the couch enjoying your tea or hot coocoa. I'll be out sledding now that I've finsished shoveling.

Emiliana Torrini: "Snow"

Friday, February 10, 2006

she means everything to me

so one of my favorite albums the last several months has been Strange Geometry by the Clientele. many of the string and guitar arrangements on that album were put together by a name familiar to me, but sadly not many others...that is Louis Philippe. he is kinda like the international indiepop scenes answer to Burt Bacharach, which is to say he excels at heartfelt, well-produced pop tunes. born in France as Philippe Auclair, Philippe abandoned a career as a philosophy teacher and moved to London, where he got involved with the legendary pop label, el records. aside from releasing his own records, Philippe has garnered a wider reputation worldwide by working with likeminded makers of vintage and sophisticated pop music including Cornelius, Momus, Pizzacato 5, the High Llamas, April March and countless others. he's only had one album released in the states, a compilation originally arranged for Japan's Trattoria label and released here in 1999 on Le Grand Magistery. it's called A Kiss In the Funhouse and showcases twenty-three tracks from Philippes career that's spanned almost as many years. it's a great introduction that pulls together a number of his best songs including this one.

Louis Philippe "She Means Everything to Me"


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Popular Demand

Because of the overwhelming amount of emails we've received, we've reposted Jose Gonzalez's cover of Massive Attacks "Teardrop"HERE.

ummm...yeah, jason likes neko case a little bit

i'll always have a soft spot for Neko Case. okay, more of an all out crush. i admit this post will look like a shrine more than anything. but hey, here's at least a little story from me: many summers ago the Smugglers had crashed at our place after a show and lead-singer Grant talked up Neko's first album, the Virginian. Grant actually left his "lucky" Vancouver Canucks cap behind and my thank you for sending it back was a stack of cds including that one. i was quite into it, enough to put Neko on my list of artists to see at cmj that year. Neko was scheduled to be the first act on at the luna lounge. i showed, Neko and her friend Carolyn Mark showed up, but surprisingly the no one from the club had yet. rather perplexing to say the least. Neko and Carolyn took to playing on the corner of houston street instead (i apologize for the really bad scan). since then i've seen her in boulder, austin and an amazing show in new york my brother treated me to. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood is the new album and we've got a tune from it. enjoy.

Neko Case "Hold On, Hold On"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the likable rob gordon?

so tuesday night has turned into my official music meets tv night of guilty pleasure. obviously, i like millions am regularly sucked into watching American Idol. i am actually sincerely interested in it as bad as that sounds. i love to see the lines drawn between what so-called industry folks think and wha the general population will get behind. it really does show sometimes how utterly clueless people making money for hitmaking can be.

now my new fascination is the poorly named show Love Monkey where that guy who was Ed is now supposed be believable as an a&r rep at some small label in new york. it's actually based on a book, only the guy works at a newspaper there. i'd love to hear the story about how they decided to go this route instead. every attempt to be realistic as well as squeeze in cameos seems so forced, i find it highly amusing. a number of people pointed out how last weeks episode was trying to be oh so sly and mention MySpace as a viable marketing tool for labels and was only outshined by the moment that was...oh isn't it cool that he's all like aquinted buddie with Ben Folds, who obviously can't act even if its for one minute on a tv show. so like this week there was a game of hoops played over a LCD Soundsytem tune and a cameo performance by Robbers on High Street. i dig that band and so i fell for it. they're a lot like the show in that they're an enjoyable imitation of the real thing (re: Spoon) that i don't get why more people aren't into it. i've posted a song here before and i'm posting another today to keep my television reflection for the day relevent with your music download. next week it looks like Aimee Mann is gonna be on the show while our cliche a&r guy tries to get a band on Letterman. i've actually had to try and do that before so i'll be curious to see how it looks in tv-land. for all the silliness in the show's attempts to be real, i must admit they have some legitimate people behind the lenses. tamera davis, a former music video director who would go on to direct britney in Crossroads directs and one of the producers is none other than kcrw's nic hardcourt (morning becomes ecclectic). you'll see his name occasionally as a music supervisor in films that have some good tunes (though he is way more into the dandy warhols than anyone should be). probably the most realistic aspect of the show is that producer sony is using a few episodes to roll out Teddy Geiger, an artist whose record they are releasing in march. now that's the music marketing i know and love. someone pointed out to me that he was a finalist in some vh-1 contest where they were remaking the partridge family. i don't have cable, so i'm lost on that one.

Robbers on High Street "Love Underground"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


so when people start to list off some the more influential records in regards to what they now listen to, you'll often get stories about some Bob Dylan or something else equally good, but glaringly obvious. my answers aren't far flung from that mode, but i do have a few oddballs of the bunch. the one i'm picking a track off of for today is Vol. 1 of the Little Darla Has A Treat for You series. released in the summer of '95, the compilation was sitting in the college radio music office i hoped to one day take over. i was doing a fairly generic indierock show during the day and then subbing the punk show at night. i began volunteering by reviewing cds i was directed to a box of soon to be discarded cds and offered to take whatever interested me. well such was how i ended up with the aformentioned compilation. it wasn't much different from the endless ada compilations we would get...a distributor putting together a compilation in a slipcase to hawk artists from various labels that they supplied. Darla, of course, was also a label with it's own artists, but connected to many small bedroom labels. the cd was the first time i heard artists like Bunnygrunt, Cub, Heartworms, Bug Skull and Vehicle Flips. a year later i would be dj'ing an indiepop show.

my favorite song on the compilation was one called "Locket" by the band 30 AMP Fuse. probably a good transition from what i was playing to the pure pop that i would be listening to so much thereafter. the group were a trio from knoxsville, tn that released three albums chock full of power pop (and one of the albums was recorded by steve and bill of the Decendents, not too far from where i was going to school at the time). 30 AMP Fuse would go on to be half the foundation of the more familar band Superdrag. this song is just killer mix tape material with it's declaration that "what you decide i will follow by it, whether i like or not."

30 AMP Fuse "Locket"

Monday, February 06, 2006

we'd rather be watching football

so as every music blog in the know universe has already covered, there's a new Belle and Sebatian record entitled the Life Pursuit that is releasing this week. i know "another sunny day" has been available for download since leaves where still falling from the trees last year and i liked it quite a bit, enough to ride my anticipation out for a few months. it's hard to believe Belle and Sebastian have been around like ten years now. they've always been one of my favorite bands and yet i always felt guilty stating as much because compared to my other favorite bands, they didn't come off as being around long enough to prove themselves.

in 1997 i flew out to new york to catch the band's first shows in the states. i still remember it quite vividly. the first show i was right up against the stage. i was on the guest list and so no one stopped to see if i had a camera or anything. thus, i took a bunch of pics that ended up being used in magazines around the world, which was kinda neat back when i was just some dumb college kid way in love with a band. the highlight of the show, or moreso the story i recollect most, is when i followed matt from the Push Kings backstage, basically coming off as we belonged there. i found myself speechless in a conversation between B&S and members of Pavement and American Music Club...starstruck amidst down-to-earth indierockers and such. ah what a silly boy. anyway...months later i saw a B&S bootleg cd that had one of my pics that i took on the sleve. naturally i picked it up. after researching a bit, i figured out it was a recording from the groups bbc radio 1 evening session appearence, recorded in summer of '97 and eventually aired that fall a month prior to my seeing them. it's not the best recording in the world, but i thought i'd share a pair of tracks from it for everyone else who is a fan. the session actually includes an early version of "wrong love," but it has lots of interview attached to it, so i opted for two other familiar songs.

Belle and Sebastian "Seymore Stein (live)"
"Lazy Line Painter Jane (live)"

Friday, February 03, 2006

porno people

so my brother was telling me that we got a lot of referrals from a porn website's message board in the past week. that naturally led me to having to dig up this song to wrap up the week. it's just a very amusing and surprisingly not that bad song. Doktor Kosmos (aka Uje Brandelius), who also plays keyboards for Komeda, released this kitchy and at times addictive and humorous album of casio-driven, lazy sounding pop music in 1997 on Minty Fresh records. those wacky swedes. while still reportedly making music, Coktail was unfortunately the only album released here in the u.s.

Doktor Kosmos "Porno People"


Thursday, February 02, 2006

these things will slay you every time

i thought about doing an entry looking back at the Grifters, one of the great, quickly forgotten garage-psych hybrid bands of the nineties. then i sort of took a sidetrack and pulled out a Those Bastard Souls record, a group that began as a solo sideproject of the Grifter's Dave Shouse. solo that is until he was tapped as an opening act for a Seabadoh tour in 1996 and recruited members of the Dambuilders, Red Red Meat, Shudder to Think and Jeff Buckley's backing band to bring a full band out on the road. (some interesting inter-connectability there as Shouse did some musical mentoring for Buckley, who was reportedly dating Joan Wasser of the Dambuilders/TBS before his untimely death). i managed to catch that tour and while already a Grifters fan, became moreso a fan of Shouse when in an interview i once read he was asked if there were any musicians or artists that shared a simular vision and he name-dropped one of my favorite film directors, Hal Hartley. i still haven't made the correlation, but thought it was pretty cool. the debut album, 21st Century Chemical on Darla, hinted at the bluesy influences of the Memphis-based musicians other band, but the delivery was a lot cleaner. by 1999 the Grifters were put on permanent hiatus (and i should mention in lie of my abandoned original idea, as far as final albums, the Grifter's Full Blown Possession is really good) and while it seemed Shouse would switch focus to TBS, then recently signed to V2, they had infact only one last album in them, Debut & Departure. critics panned the album, noting it's mainstream ambitions. that valid observation was made even more curious when Those Bastard Soulds toured off the album alongside lo-fi legends Guided by Voices. anyway, this is my favorite tune of the first album.

Those Bastard Souls"These Things Will Slay You Every Time"

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ah, Reminiscing

So over at my other blog, Loud Monkey Music, where I catalog mix tapes that I've made throughout the years, I started writing about a personal soundtrack project I had undertaken a few years back at the beckon of my good friend Langstaff. The original version was 4 CDs long but I managed to whittle it down to an eighty minute version that touches on late high school through college. One of the songs that really stood out was Ben Folds Five's "Underground."

While Jason and I have discovered nearly hundered of bands over the years and gone on to share them with eachother and now with you, this is one of the few we found out about together. We were bored "housesitting" for my father the summer before starting college and fucking around with some combination Lego-Lincoln Log knockoffs, listening to the radio a program called "Breaking and Entering" on Providence's WBRU. "Breaking and Entering" was this great show that was on Thursday(?) nights at midnight and a DJ would play new songs by established alt-rock acts and new bands, ellicit feedback from listeners and ultimately help determine what should crack the daytime playlist.

Instantly looking up at eachother with a mutual "Wow this song is fucking awesome" look, we decided to call in. The DJ, whom I think went by Ben Kenobi or something similiar, was in full agreeance. It was certainly different, comparisons to Elton John and Todd Rundgren were exchanged, and needed to be played more! A week later I found an advance copy of the album in a used bin for 1.99 and pretty much packed and headed off to college. When we returned for winter break, myself from Syracuse and Jason from Colorado, we decided to attend a big New Year's event that WBRU was having. Lo and behold the song finished 2nd in their end-of-the-year countdown, losing the top spot to Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." Everyone I played it for at school loved it and eventually, by the time the second album came out and "Brick" became a success on MTV, well, the rest became history....("and then Ben folds was on Love Monkey last week" Jay adds.)

The moral of the story- Sometimes the little bands make it. Sometimes good songwriting and/or a unique sound can find mass appeal and make its mark in the pop culture. Some might argue that some (so-called ALT) bands couldn't and SHOULDN'T enjoy mass appeal but I beg to differ. I think we're acually at a point where the impetus exists for bands the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Bright Eyes and Cat Power and Spoon to have the potential to make the rock act the force it has rarely been since the days of what is now classic rock. Why shouldn't the underground have the upperground? And that's why I'll support the OC but I'll never watch it.

P.S. Why hasn't anyone covered this song yet?

Ben Folds Five: "Underground"