Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hey Hey My My

I meant to do a post on Hey Hey My My a long while ago, but you know how things get and I guess I just forgot about doing it. Anyway, today I got this gig poster [see above] in an email, and I was just so in love witht he poster itself that it made me check these guys out again. Hey Hey My My is Julien Garnier and Julien Gaulier, two guitarists with a desire to craft charming folk songs in the same vien as Nick Drake, Frank Black, Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash or Brian Wilson. I recommend giving them a listen.

[MP3]: Hey Hey My My :: Too Much Space

I got A Silver Mt. Zion's He has Left us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of our Rooms [the last of their albums I hadn't heard yet] and I've gotta say, I haven't been this blown away by an album in a very very long time. If you've haven't heard this album, or anything by A Silver Mt. Zion for that matter, it's about time you did.
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Monday, February 27, 2006


Continuing with their amazing "one EP for every month of 2006" campaign, Bishop Allen now brings you the amazing, the beautiful, the February EP. I really really love the cover art for this one, but its not all about the cover art now is it? Nope, it's about he music, and I'm immediately much more in love with this one than the January EP. It sounds a lot more Charm Schooly than the January EP, and by that i mean, much more jangly, bouncy and poppy. Just take a listen to this track, from the February EP.

[MP3]: Bishop Allen :: Vain
Compared to "Corazon" from the January EP, this song is much more true to the Bishop Allen form that I love. That fun, bouncy, rollicking rock sound. I have a difficult time calling them indie rock sometimes though, because they always seem so poppy to me, but then there's songs like this where the indie rock label isn't in question. This song really grabs me in the chorus right when the tabourine starts in and the guitar puts on the slightest bit of distortion, it's just perfect.

Buy the February EP here.
Bishop Allen on Myspace.
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Surface & New Sigur Ros Dates

Blending together both Sigur Ros-like ambience and aggresive indie rock songwriting, Surface is one of my favorite finds as of late. Formed in Montreal in 2003, Surface was conceived as an outlet for musical experimentation. When listening, you hear the piano and you hear the glistening guitars and for a minute you'd be convinced that they're just biting Sigur Ros, but the bottom falls out and fast rocking drums come in and turns the song into to something completely different. The band recently finished up their Fairmount Avenue EP and expect to have a full length out by spring. Recommended for fans of: Sigur Ros, The Velvet Teen and anything else of the like.

[MP3]: Surface :: A Long Way Down The Landslide (Highly Rec'd)

You can download all three songs from the Fairmount Avenue EP here.

Moz interrogated by the FBI?! Wha wha wha what?! Well, according to the article Pitchofork ran, the FBI feel that Stephen Patrick Morrissey is a potential threat to national security.

Speaking of Sigur Ros, they have decided to stick around for a little bit after Coachella and play a few more U.S. dates before leaving us for a while. Head here for more details and ticket purchase info.

The new dates:
april 29 • coachella festival, indio california
may 01 • marin center, san rafael, california
may 03 • benaroya hall, seattle, washington
may 04 • arlene schnitzer, portland, oregon
may 05 • big easy concert house, boise, idaho
may 08 • orpheum rheatre, minneapolis, minnesota
may 09 • civic opera house, chicago, illinois
may 10 • the riverside, milwaukee, wisconsin
may 11 • state theatre, detroit, michigan
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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Catastrophe Keeps Us Together

First of all, sorry for the lack of posting this weekend, I was out pretty much all day every day, anyways, here's something lovely for your Sunday night. As I've already mentioned before, April 4th will see the release of Rainer Maria first proper album in three years. The album, which will be titled Catastrophe Keeps Us Together will be the debut release for newly created label, Grunion Records.

For the first time in many years, the band was able to write and record without any pressure being put on them by outside sources such as a record label. Drummer William Kuehn says, "we reached and challenged ourselves and wrote the best songs we could for no one but ourselves." The new album shows a more matured band experimenting more with there songwriting than ever before. Aiming this time around for a larger batch of slower paced songs than their normal fare and even trying their hand at a cover of Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It With Mine." However, my favorite song so far and my bet for first single is "Life Of Leisure."

[MP3]: Rainer Maria :: Life Of Leisure
As I mentioned above, Catastrophe Keeps Us Together is a bit less rocking than their previous album. There are however, exceptions to that, one being this song. As soon as I heard the intro, I thought of "Ears Ring" which happens to be my favorite RM track of all time, even though it spread like a virus to every teen girl with cd player. Nonetheless, you can see a definate improvement in guitarist Kyle Fischer's playing and Caithlin's vocals are still some of the best in indie rock. What do you guy's think?

Matt's got a brand new Bishop Allen track!
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Friday, February 24, 2006

Oh Baby, Mother Me Before You Eat Me

After realeasing an EP and a full length last year from his other band Wolf Parade and already releasing an EP this year under the moniker Sunset Rubdown, you'd think Spencer Krug would've settled down for a little bit. But no, he has still found time to put together a whole bunch of home recordings, infact, enough for a proper full length.

Spencer has brought together Jordan Robson Cramer, Mike Doerksen, and Camilla Wynn Ingr to make music that, though in the past has sounded more like lo-fi experimentation, feels very much more matured and realized now. Being hailed as "a force of nature" and "enormous," the album which is to be titled Shut Up I Am Dreaming will be released on May 2nd on Absolutely Kosher Records.

[MP3]: Sunset Rubdown :: Us Ones In Between
This song combines everything I love about Spencer Krug, the ridiculously genious lyrics, piano, drone, and of course that awesome piccolo. It starts out as just sparse piano and Spencer's vocals, but then it turns into something pretty unexpected, a Sunset Rubdowny version of Joy Division. Now, it doesn't actually turn into a Joy Division song, but man if that reverb-laden drum dirge doesn't make me wanna sing "She Lost Control." This comparison is not a downfall though, bacause paired with lyrics like "so when you eat me /Mother and baby / oh baby, mother me before you eat me" it ultimately makes the song much more affecting than any Sunset Rubdown track I've heard thus far.

Matt did an interview with Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide and I highly suggest reading it if you haven't, it's a very interesting read.

You MUST listen to the Research track that StG posted, as he said, it's really marvelous.
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Don't You Worry, You'll Be Fine

Brooklyn's Man In Gray are a little dancey, a little trashy, yet somehow always classy. With a host of obvious influences ranging from Sleater-Kinney, Pretty Girls make Graves, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Man In Gray still manage to harness their own infectious sound.

The Village Voice says, "Tina DaCosta's tart and commanding vocals give these (mostly) Brooklynites a rare everyday believability. Four boys behind her do an intricate post-punk forward-motion-with-spaces blur."

[MP3]: Man In Gray :: Incommunicado
I'll lay it out real simple for you, there's more energy within these 4 minutes of anti-war rhetoric than I've heard all year. Think Karen O fronting Sonic Youth and you've pretty much got it, those dirty ringing guitars paired with the very fast paced and pissed off vocals are impossible to deny. The thing I really love about this song though is that everytime you think it's reached it's climax, it just keeps fighting higher and higher until you almost get the feeling than front woman Tina DaCosta has completely run out of breath, which may or may not actually be the case.

Be their Myspace friend!

So for those of you keeping count, this would mark, what, the 600th Radiohead compilation?

Dreams of Horses has a new Rogers Sisters track. I have a feeling I'm going to love the new album.
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New Fiery Furnaces - "Borneo"

Okay Fiery Furnaces, I didn't really fall in love with Rehearsing My Choir like I thought I would, but I loved Blueberry Boat and the EP, so my expectations for their for your forthcoming Bitter Tea were still set fairly high. Bitter Tea isn't as bizarre as Rehearsing My Choir, but it's also not nearly as accessible as, say, the EP. So, basically, I liken it to Blueberry Boat, which is great because as you all [better] know, Blueberry Boat is unbelievably fantastic. Bitter Tea is set for release April 18th on Fat Possum Records and you're going to luv it.

[MP3]: The Fiery Furnaces :: Borneo
This is, in my opinion the "second(almost first) best" track off of Bitter Tea. It also happens to be one of the shorter songs on the album, which seems to consist mostly of songs of the "five minutes or more" species. This may just become my favorite song off of Bitter Tea as it has been growing on me like mold on bread, my current fav would be "Police Sweater Blood Vow" (which you can go grab from Fluxblog). While "Police Sweater Blood Vow" may be more immediately accessible, "Borneo" is more like the Fiery Furnaces that I fell in love with on Blueberry Boat. The laser beam keyboards and hyperidiculous drums in the choruses really seal the deal, I'll take wacky bizarre Fiery Furnaces over EP-style Furnaces any day of the week. Hyperidiculous, yeah, I made that word up.

Stereogum has another new Fiery Furnaces track called "Teach Me Sweetheart." It's quite good, too.

For those of you that still haven't heard it, Matt has the "new" Mogwai track. Silly other Matt, post-rock is for other Matt.

Explosions in the Sky finally has their new site up. I can finally get a shirt!
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New Irving Track - "Jen, Nothing Matters To Me"

Los Angeles indie poppers Irving are releasing their new album Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers April 4th on Eenie Meenie Records. The album was produced by the wonderful Mr. Phil Ek(The Shins, Modest Mouse) among a handful of other great producers. But, it's not all about production, and this new song proves that Irving have got the talent to back up such great production.

[MP3]: Irving :: Jen, Nothing Matters To Me
This song has got a definite 80's pop feel to it, and I think it's got something to do with those synths in the chorus. As soon as the first fifteen seconds pass I already feel like I'm lost in some timewarp where The Cure has decided to adopt recent indie pop tactics. The sharp ringing guitars and synths paired with crooning of "Jen, nothing matters to me" in the chorus is where Irving shine. It's that chorus that's going to make this song stick around for a while.

Irving will be performing at SXSW on March 13th @ the Eenie Meenie SXSW showcase w/ Lookout! Records and after that they hit the road with Voxtrot for the better part of April in support of the new album. More dates and info here.
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Well EzArchive is still down and as you may have noticed, none of the MP3 links are working and I haven't posting diddly today. Sorry for the lack of something that typically would be listenable and glorious. Really, it's not my fault, but feel free to send hate mail to the guilty parties. Since I gave you nothing today, how about a little late night speculation eh?

be on

Here is Thom and a really beautiful guitar.

I also love Bitter Tea.

Gosh, what a totally cryptic post. Ooooooooh.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - "Cora"

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's debut album Broom was one of my favorites of last year and I recently found out they did a split album with with Michael Holt which was titled Someone Still Loves You Michael Holt, I think. "Cora" appears on that split and is the last track on SSLBY's half of the album. You can't order it here, because it is sold out. Bummer huh?

[MP3]: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin :: Cora
A bit of a ballad in a sense, it run's half of the course of the song on a simple acoustic riff until about 2:25 after a build up of "ooohs" a whining guitar with some serious reverb comes in and seals the deal. But, it doesn't steal the show, it comes, does it's job and leaves the acoustic riff to come back and finish out the song, it's the essential last track strategy.

Garrison over IndieInterviews has a new podcast up featuring the blog darlings Tapes 'n Tapes.

Speaking of podcasts, GvB's also got a new IndieBear podcast up, featuring tracks from Man Man, Band of Horses, Oh No! Oh My!

Bound Stems and They Shoot Horses Don't They? are coming to DC! Together! Omg!
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Monday, February 20, 2006

Comfort of Strangers

I haven't been as completely mesmerized in a long while as I was when I first listened to Beth Orton's new album Comfort of Strangers. The production is something you just have to sit back and listen to in awe, as it is basically flawless, but of course it is, it was produced by Jim O'Rourke. Jim O'Rourke is the genious responsible for Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which is essentially a template for how an album should sound. But this is all not to say that Beth Orton isn't responsible for this album's greatness, it's definitely a shared contribution. Not only is this her most well produced album to date, but it is also her most vocally as well as lyrically accomplished. On Comfort of Strangers Orton pulls off songs that we didn't even know she was capable of: "Rectify" "Shopping Trolley" and "Concieved" just to name a few. Other than the single "Concieved," this is my favorite track from the album.

[MP3]: Beth Orton :: Rectify
I really like this song because I find it to be equally interesting both vocally and musically. While a lot of the songs on Comfort of Strangers rely on Orton's rich soulful vocals, this one's got an interesting melody that's sure to get stuck in your head too. The song moves through a minute of it's total two and half minutes with a bouncy bassline and high hat with lightly plucked acoustic guitar, but then when it hits that minute mark it enters the chorus and changes into a completely different time signature, a much slower one. My favorite part however, comes when it moves out of the chorus and back into the verse and the drums and bass pick up again, its perfect.

Buy Comfort of Strangers by Beth Orton from Amazon.com

CLICK HERE to enter The Comfort Contest. Win a special trip for two to see Beth Live and be pampered in NYC or San Francisco! Other prizes include a video iPod, an autographed acoustic guitar and 20 runners up will recieve autographed copies of Comfort of Strangers.


For those of you that are interested(which by the way, should be everyone) there are two new tracks streaming on Final Fantasy's Myspace. The two tracks are both from the forthcoming album He Poos Clouds which is to be released by Tomlab later this year. Again, for the uneducated, Final Fantasy is what happens when Owen Pallet of the Arcade Fire plugs his violin into a looping pedal and plays by himself. It's quite a gorgeous thing to say the least and "Many Lives 49 MP" is nothing short of brilliant.
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New Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Track

This track is live from the band's recent Black Sessions and it's called "Me and You Watson" and other than that, all I can tell you is that this song is awesome.

[MP3]: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah :: Me and You Watson
I haven't listened to a lick of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for at least four months or so now, because I had finally gotten tired of the album. I mean, I saw it coming but, if this track is any indication, it looks like I might not get tired of their next album quite as quickly. This song, in my opinion blows away every track from their self-titled album. One thing you'll immediately notice about this song is that it's much darker than anything you've probably heard from them. The entire song is drenched in feedback and reverb, while sharp bouncing drums and the ridiculous lyrics provide for the song's stability.

Chris has done a wonderful job of disecting the flourishing Austin music scene.

Pitchfork loves Rubies, but how could they not?

Pitchfork also reported on the abyss that is the SXSW schedule and check this out: "Apparently, Andy Dick (yes, Andy Dick) is performing at the Molotov Lounge at midnight on March 15. We're not sure exactly what he's going to do, but he's listed under 'Avant/Experimental', so drones and found sound, maybe? "  Wild.  Read the rest of the article here.
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Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Rainer Maria Album Drops April 4th

After about three years since their last proper release, 2003's Long Knives Drawn, veteran indie rockers Rainer Maria are back with their fifth studio album Catastrophe Keeps Us Together. The new album was recorded with Malcolm Burn (Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Emmy Lou Harris) and Peter Katis (Interpol) throughout 2004 and 2005, features ten original tracks, and for the first time in the group's history, a cover song: "I'll Keep It with Mine", from Nico's Chelsea Girls, written by Bob Dylan. Catastrophe Keeps Us Together drops April 4th as the debut release from newly formed label Grunion Records.

Tracklist for Catastrophe Keeps Us Together:
01. Catastrophe
02. Life of Leisure
03. Burn
04. Bottle
05. Terrified
06. Track 06
07. Already Lost
08. Ghost
09. Make You Mine
10. Southpaw
11. I'll Keep It With Mine

"Life of Leisure" and "Burn" are up streaming on Rainer Maria's Myspace right as I speak. I highly recommend you go listen to both, but if you've only got time for one you better make it "Life of Leisure." But for those of you who have never listened to them ever before, and would like a better introduction, have a listen to this jem of a song.

[MP3]: Rainer Maria :: Ears Ring

The band will also be touring the U.S. through most of March and making a stop at SXSW March 15th through 18th. For more info on dates and such go here.
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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Paper Airplanes - "Curious Phantasm"

Paper Airplanes are exactly what I've been looking for in indie rock for the past several months. They're not trying to be anything that they're not, which is what I love, they play indie rock that is stripped down to what indie rock used to be. It's nothing too challenging to listen to, just immediately catchy melodies and fairly profound lyrics for a not-very-old band.

Their debut full length album Boyhood, released last year on Mayhaps Recordings reminds me why I love albums like Built to Spill's Keep It Like A Secret, because sometimes I just want to hear something that doesn't challenge my ears, something that is immediately rewarding. And that's what Boyhood is, from the opener "The Fences" aka "the template for what indie rock should sound like" to the very last track, it never lets up. Aside from "The Fences" my favorite track would have to be "Curious Phantasm."

[MP3]: Paper Airplanes :: Curious Phantasm
Opening with an irresistable guitar line and ditches it just as soon as you've fallen in love and replaces it with an even catchier hook following on of the most intriguing chorus I've heard in a good while. This song also includes one of my favorite lyrics I've heard in a while as well, "Oh I wish we would have known / not to grow up so soon / not to grow up so soon / oh we're so typical." I'm really not even sure why I love it so much, it might be the guitar line riding under it that's doing it, there's so many good parts to this song I can't just love one. In other words, download this right now.

Download "The Fences" in this post.

Buy Boyhood here.

Also, it was a long time coming, but Matt finally broke and posted on my loves, the Bound Stems.

I ordered a few old Silver Mt. Zion albums from Constellation today that I have been putting off buying forever, so I'll probably be in "that" mode for quite a while after I get them. Speaking of Constellation, they've got quite a few awesome releases already scheduled for the coming year, if you've never held a Constellation Records album in your hands before, you just don't know what you're missing, you won't find better packaging(or music) anywhere else.
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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wasteland Lullaby

I found Bess Rogers through Jenny Owen Youngs, who I posted on the other day. Bess Rogers is a singer/songwriter from NYC with a sultry folk tinged voice and influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to Radiohead. She is currently recording a full length album and playing shows all over NYC. I expect to hear a lot more of Bess Rogers in 2006.

[MP3]: Bess Rogers :: Wasteland Lullaby

Listen to three more songs on Bess' Myspace.

Sorry about the short post today, I've had a pretty full day. Perhaps I'll do something better later tonight.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mogwai Live on BBC Radio 1

This show is from January 31st on the OneMusic with Huw Stephens 1st Birthday Show. Mogwai have performed on BBC Radio countless times and were very close to John Peel, and eventually were asked to perform on his tribute show. With the release of Mogwai's new album Mr. Beast right around the corner they have been unvieling new songs songs all over the place and this set is no exception. This nine song(eight tracks) set features six new songs! The highlight of this show, for me at least, is the last two songs. Listen to how seamlessly "Hunted By A Freak" flows right into "Mogwai Fear Satan," it's like they were written as one song!

[RAR]: Mogwai :: OneMusic with Huw Stephens 1st Bithday Show (43 mb)

1. Friend of the Night
2. Glassgow Mega-Snake
3. Summer
4. Acid Food
5. Folk Death 95
6. Travel Is Dangerous
7. We're No Here
8. Hunted By A Freak/Mogwai Fear Satan

Incase you haven't noticed lately, I have been putting things up and taking them down much quicker than I used to, as I've been posting more often. Until I get more webspace I apologize, but hey, that just means you should read the blog daily and you won't miss anything.

Speaking of Radio1 sessions, Matt has a Two Gallants session with Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 1 that includes a brand new track that's not on the album! Matt was also on TV! Give him a pat on the back.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jenny Owen Youngs

The facts: 1.) I found Jenny Owen Youngs on Myspace 2.) You are going to be very surprised by the voice that comes from the girl in that picture 3.) Her initials are JOY and thats what her music brings me.

As cheesy as that was, it's very much the truth. She basically sounds like Erin McKeown meets Nick Drake meets Cat Power, and maybe throw a little Joanna Newsom in there too.

Her Myspace says, "Jenny Owen Youngs is a feisty, hyper-sensitive, disease-free singer/songwriter/former girl scout who wants to be your friend. Her songs straddle the heart-wrenching and the tongue-in-cheek and say giddyup."

This girl's got a lot of balls(for lack of a better word) and you can see that in her image, as well as her music; i.e. the "single" from her self-released album is called "F*** Was I." I don't think I was the only one who totally didn't see that coming. "F*** Was I" is not only a bold statement, but it's also a really great song, kinda like a lighter voiced Chan Marshall singing Joanna Newsom. She's also quite the talented lyricist, spinning lines like "love tears up me a demon / opens the wounds / and then fills them with lead / and I'm having some trouble just breathing." Definitely watch out for this girl!

[MP3]: Jenny Owen Youngs :: F*** Was I

Be her bestest friend on Myspace!

Go ahead and grab this while you're at it, I mean, it's pretty approriate. Very sultry voice she's got.

[MP3]: Bess Rogers :: Valentine
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Valentine's Day Post That's Not As Good As YANP's But Oh Well

It's Valentine's Day. Awesome. Let's just say I've never been fond of Valentine's Day. It would make sense to make a post ranting against Valentine's Day, but I'm not going to, for a few reasons:
1. B is a really great letter.
2. Matt's already made an unbeatable "Anti-love song" post.
3. I want to post "Loopy Loopy Love"
4. No one else is going to make a "Band's that start with B and write songs concerning love" Valentine's Day post. Except me of course, because I'm some kind of genious.

Okay so in the spirit of the flower and greeting card companies' biggest selling day all year, here are some of my personal favorite songs for this most special occasion.

[MP3]: The Brunettes :: Loopy Loopy Love
I'm quite sure this might be the cutest song ever written. The male and female vocal harmonies are enough to make even the manliest of men want to cuddle with a puppy. Plus, you'd be lying if you say you've never wanted to go and kill yourself a cupid.

[MP3]: Belle and Sebastian :: I'm Waking Up to Us
My second favorite Belle and Sebastian song of their entire catalog also happens to be a very fitting song for those of you Valentine's Day haters. This song is for everyone, because there is no one that hasn't been in this situation before, and boy does it suck.

[MP3]: Beulah :: Landslide Baby
This song take a different point of view and is actually incredibly well written, switching from husband and wife points of view thought out the song. In the chorus Miles sings as if he were the wife(his) and yelling at the husband(himself) for being a bad partner and that she cant wait around any longer. An oddly optimistic sounding song, until of course, you pay attention to the lyrics. My favorite song on Yoko, by the way.

Only three, I think you'll live though. Especially since most of you have these songs anyway.

Chris has a got a lovely Valentine's Day song for you.

Aquarium Drunkard has some songs by one of my favorite bands ever, Low.

Joggers are hitting the road for a spring tour.
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And In Between The Other Thoughts We Dream

Spastic buzzing electronic music and breathy beautiful vocals is nothing new, there's a good deal of bands doing it. However, there's only a few of those bands that really get it right. Half of the time the vocals overcome the music and it's no longer the bumping fuzzed out electronic jam that it could've been. Then there's the cases where the vocals aren't strong enough and it turns into the bumping fuzzed out electronic jam that it shouldn't be. Sometimes though, it's just right.

Ms. John Soda's forthcoming album Notes and the Like is a full of distorted keyboards, fuzzed out bass, sleepy vocals, and some of the finest melodies to grace my ears so far this year. The last half of this album is flawless in my opinion. "Outlined View" sounds like blend of organic and electronic instrumentation that lies somewhere between The Postal Service and Mum, culling Gibbard's electro-pop catchiness and Mum's lush electronic soundscapes all into something amazing. If you download one song this week, make it this one.

[MP3]: Ms. John Soda :: Outlined View (Highly, Highly Rec'd!!!)

Notes and the Like will be released by Berlin label Morr Music in early March. The album is the follow-up to Ms. John Soda's last album, While Talking.

Notes And The Like Tracklisting :
1. A Nod On Hold
2. Hands
3. Scan The Ways
4. A Million Times
5. No. One
6. Outlined View
7. Line By Line
8. Sometimes Stop, Sometimes Go
9. Plenty Of
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Monday, February 13, 2006

The Walkmen - New Album Details

My "most anticipated list" just keeps getting bigger and bigger as the days go by. However, some releases are obviously much higher up on the list than other and the new Walkmen album is definitely one of those.

The new album by The Walkmen will be titled A Hundred Miles Off will be released in the U.S. on May 23rd. The band is also scheduled to be playing with The Pogues in Boston on March 15th and on St. Patricks Day in Times Square. As most of you also know, they'll be making an appearance at Coachella this year along with the rest of the incredible line up.

This album just better be really good or the press is going to have a field day with that album title. I can see it now, "After the critical success of Bows and Arrows it seems The Walkmen have fallen a hundred miles off target on their latest release." I better get paid if anyone uses that. Here's one of the best songs of 2004.

[MP3]: The Walkmen :: The Rat
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Brian Michael Roff & The Deer

Brian Michael Roff & The Deer is basically a revolving door act of various amounts of musicians all contributing at different times and places to create music that one would call Americana. It's mostly folky indie rock, but with just enough rock to keep it from slipping over into the country genre. Their new album, Inventory, will come housed in a letterpress packaging which is hand-numbered(out of 1,000) and includes a mini-Inventory tag that's signed by Brian Michael Roff. Keep Recordings is known for their commitment to fine one-of-a-kind packaging for each album they release. These songs have a sort of Nick Drake sound to them that I'm finding to be very nice right at this very moment as I'm looking out my window at the 12 inches of snow in my front yard.

[MP3]: From Inventory
This Thick World
Drank the Lake

Buy Inventory from www.brianmichaelroff.com
P.S. Be the band's Myspace friend and recieve a special gift when you order the album.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

For The Widows In Paradise

I came across this video today and it made me fall in love with Sufjan all over again. Not to say there was ever a point where I didn't love Sufjan, but let's just say it's been a while since Illinois went for a spin. I don't know how many of you have see this, if any, but I'd never heard of it before and this was my first time seeing it. There isn't much to it, but that's the beauty of it. It's just just him on a farm sitting on a fence playing "For The Widows In Paradise" on a banjo. His voice sounds perfect though and the video is pretty high quality, making me think it might be "official," but who knows.

[AVI]: Sufjan Stevens :: For The Widows In Paradise

Note: Due to the fact that this is a pretty large file I won't be keeping it up THAT long, so get it soon.

Also: Paper Airplanes

I heard about these guys quite a while ago and I had read some good things about them so I tracked down their Myspace, but when I got to it, it was "temporarily down" so I after that I sorta forgot about them. However, for some reason last night they popped into my head, so I tracked down their Myspace again and this time it was functional and man am I glad I remembered these guys. They're like Built to Spill meets The Arcade Fire with a little awesome mixed in.

Cokemachineglow says...
This is the way indie-rock is supposed to sound: a jumbled-up rollercoaster of sonic arguments that manage to agree just long enough to remember the chorus. The beginning of “The Fences” evokes a more fantastical Built To Spill before the rough edge of singer Marcus Stoesz’s voice begins to reveal itself; while not quite rough enough to compete with any wolf bands, the music of Paper Airplanes is not lacking in weight or heft. What it is, is the work of a band with too many good ideas to let them go to waste.

[MP3]: Paper Airplanes :: Fences

Also: New MONO Track

Japanese instrumental post-rock band MONO will be releasing their new album You Are There on Temporary Residence on April 11th. This song has gotten me even more excited for an album that has already been on my overpopulated "most anticipated in 2006" list for a while now. The song is called "The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain" and it's the first track from the new album and it's amazing.

[MP3]: MONO :: The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sigur Ros Is On Conan Tonight!

It's on pretty soon, so stop reading this right now and go watch NBC (it's totally not Conan's fault, nothing is Conan's fault) cut off Sigur Ros, we all know it's innevitable although I really hope it doesn't happen. I'll be back later to edit this post and give my two cents on the performance. Go! Watch! Now!

So they didn't get cut off! Yay! But, although they did a flawless performance and I loved it, I still would've rather heard a different song. The ended up playing "Heysátan" and while it's a very good song and a perfect close to the album, I was hoping for something more along the lines of their more louder fare. Can't win em all though, and I guess playing "Heysátan" made sense because they didnt have to worry about transporting as many instruments and pieces of equipment with them. The vocals were spot on and sounded really great and they even had a four piece horn section playing with them too. All in all, it was totally worth staying up for.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 13 & 14

Well, this is the last post of the Sleepytime Mixtape Project and I really had a fun time doing it. Thanks to everyone who gave lots of positive feedback on the project, I'll likely do something like it again again in the future. I hope you liked yesterday's songs, I saved some of the best for last. Today I bring you songs 13 and 14, as well as a BONUS song to stick on the end!

13. [MP3]: Low :: Sunflowers
This song was actually the inspiration for the Sleepytime Mixtape Project. At one point, before I actually bought the whole album, I burned just this song onto a cd and just let it play on repeat in my stereo. Looking back, that was a horrible waste of resources, but still it just proves how awesome that song is, and considering how simple a song it is, it's quite amazing how beautiful and dense it is.

14. [MP3]: Spiritualized :: Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating In Space
Most of you might recognize this song from the movie Vanilla Sky, but I didn't feel like the movie did it justice. I mean, this song illustrates its title PERFECTLY, and really, what could be better when you're laying in bed at night than to feel like you're out floating in space? Exactly. It's amazing how just the one line in this song can become so powerful by the end, this song can be a tearjerker if you're in the right mood.

BONUS! [MP3]: Circulatory System :: Forever
Campfire sounds, tape hiss, acoustic guitar, that's all it takes. I love how you can just feel the love oozing out of this song from all ends, it always makes me happy and it's a great way to end the day. "We will live forever and you know it's true." You know it's true.

Buy Things We Lost in the Fire by Low at Amazon.com
Buy Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space by Spiritualized at Amazon.com
Buy Circulatory System by Circulatory System at Amazon.com

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 1 & 2 (links down)
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 3 & 4 (links down)
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 5 & 6 (links down)
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 7 & 8 (links down)
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 9 & 10
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 11 & 12
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Pretty Girls Make Graves "Make Our Video" Contest

YouTube.com and Matador Records have teamed up for a Pretty Girls Make Graves for a music video contest. The rules are simple: Download Pretty Girls Make Graves' new single "The Nocturnal House," listen to it, then make a music video for it and upload it to YouTube.com in the Pretty Girls Make Graves group.

The prizes are plenty of reason enough to go get out your camera right now and get started. The winner will be given $1,000 in cold, hard cash and be flown out to New York all expenses paid to hang with the band and see them live in concert courtesy of Matador records. You'll receive spending cash and your flight, your hotel, even your food will be paid for in this exclusive contest. How's that for a prize!

For the 20 runner-ups, you'll get a Matador Records prize pack, including signed CDs, posters and a bunch music from artists like Mogwai, Cat Power, Mission of Burma, Belle & Sebastian, Early Man, Pavement, Interpol, and The New Pornographers. So even if your video sucks you still get tons of stuff, what a deal!

[MP3]: Pretty Girls Make Graves :: The Nocturnal House

Official Rules and etc and etc.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 11 & 12

This is going to be the second to last installment of the Sleepytime Mixtape Project and I've got some real good ones today, one of which is BRAND SPANKIN NEW and already sleepytime material. Hope you liked yesterday's songs and someone mention Joanna Newsom in the comments which is funny because I was THIS close to including her in this. Maybe next mixtape.

11. [MP3]: Mates of State :: Nature and the Wreck
This song is from the new album Bring it Back and is nothing like your typical Mates of State fare, which is why I love it so much. On this song Kori opts for piano instead of her typical organ playing and boy does she succeed. The lyrics are about about relationship troubles as far as I can tell and I can really feel what she's saying, as I'm sure most of you can. Not only is this a great sleepytime song, but it's one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums of the year so far.

12. [MP3]: Rachel's :: Water From the Same Source
For those of you unfamiliar with Rachel's, they make gorgeous flowing instrumental music. They've been thrown under the post-rock genre, but they're more beauty than rock. That's not to say this song doesn't have a chreshendo, because it does, it's just that it's piano and violin dueling as opposed to squeeling distorted guitar. This song couldn't be a more perfect sleepytime song than it already is, the melody is just infectious.

Preorder Bring it Back by Mates of State on Amazon.com
Buy Systems/Layers by Rachel's on Amazon.com

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 1 & 2
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 3 & 4
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 5 & 6
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 7 & 8
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 9 & 10
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The Mean Way In

Chris posted on Division Day a little while back and I got their EP, The Mean Way In, in the mail yesterday and it does not disappoint. The only slight complaint I had at first was that the singer sounds a little bit like Brandon Boyd from Incubus, but I've gotten over it, the music outweighs it. They have a bit of a Dismemberment Plan sound to them as well, vocally and lyrically, I can see some Travis Morrison in these songs. They have their debut full length Beartrap Island scheduled for release in March and from the couple songs on their website, it's sounds like it's gonna be a winner.

[MP3]: From The Mean Way In
Bad Black Moon
There Is No Telling

[MP3]: From Beartrap Island
Beartrap Island


I am deeply deeply in love with this album! Here's one of my favorite tracks from Danielson's "Ships" which is set to be released by Secretly Canadian in May.

"[For 'Ships'] Daniel made a long list of artists who have worked with Danielson over the years and other folks who planned to work together at some point. This list led to working with family, making new friends, and keeping the old. All joined together - both the well-known (Deerhoof, Sufjan Stevens, Why?) and not as well-known artists (Sereena Maneesh, Leopulde, Half-handed Cloud) - each bringing his or her own skills and ideas to Daniel's songs and voice, resulting in this crowning achievement."

[MP3]: Danielson :: Cast It At The Setting Sail (HIGHLY REC'D!)

Danielson Headquarters on Myspace!

Badminton Stamps has the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs single "Gold Lion" (not the remix) and it's AWESOME! (via GvB)
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Monday, February 06, 2006

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 9 & 10

I've gotten a lot of positive comments on the Sleepytime Mixtape Project so far and I'm really glad you guys are digging it, it's been pretty fun so far picking and choosing. Hope you liked songs 7 and 8 from this past weekend, I went through A LOT of trouble to finally get that post up. Also, if you guys have any favorite "sleepytime" songs, go ahead and post them in the comments, I'd love to see what songs you guys pick. Here are today's songs.

9. [MP3]: Azure Ray :: Rise
My play count on iTunes for this song is 56 for a reason. This song puts you in a sort of in limbo state where you're sort of awake, but kind of alseep at the same time. The guitar in the background is what does it, I think. The way it doesn't over power anything else but just sort of stays back strumming back and forth failry fast, but low enough that it feels just like a warm buzzing. This one WILL put you to sleep, but in a good way.

10. [MP3]: At The Drive-In :: 198d
This is another one of the "sleepytime" songs that i prefer, the one that won't exacty put you to sleep, but is pefect for laying in bed and closing your eyes and listening. To say this song is emotionally affecting would be an understatement. Cedric's vocals are crushing and they never fail to tear me up inside, even to this day. When he wails "walk away / burning hearts etched in coal / at the first showing" I die a little, and that keyboard lead-in is still haunting. Sure, you could say "ew, they're emo aren't they," but that would make you ignorant, because everything they ever wrote was brilliant, regardless of what labels people threw at them.

Buy Azure Ray by Azure Ray at Amazon.com
Buy Vaya by At The Drive-In at Amazon.com

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 1 & 2
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 3 & 4
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 5 & 6
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 7 & 8
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Constellation's New Website Is Finally Up

After months and months of promises, Constellation Records have finally unveiled their new revamped website. I really like it a lot, it's quite different, but still very Constellation. Along with the unveiling, they also have tons of news to report. Biggest change of all is that they now have an online shop where you can now purchase anything from their entire catalogue, as opposed their simple old mailorder system. They've also noted a few upcoming releases and tour information. Expect new records this spring from new signees Glissandro 70, Black Ox Orkestar, and Feu Therese. Do Make Say Think has also been doing a lot of recording and The Silver Mt. Zion planned to extensively tour the UK and the US this year. Good Heavens!
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Pretty Girls Make Graves Tour Dates

Following a short stint in Australia with The Gossip, Pretty Girls Make Graves will be heading out this Spring for a full U.S. tour in support of one of my most anticipated albums of the year, Élan Vital. This album is sure to be amazing, and if you still haven't heard the new single yet, you NEED to.

[MP3]: Pretty Girls Make Graves :: The Nocturnal House (Highly Rec'd)

Pretty Girls Make Tour Dates:

26th Portland @ Wonder Ballroom
27th SLC @Avalon Theater
28th Denver @ Marquis Theatre

1st Lawrence @ The Bottleneck
2nd Omaha @ Sokol
3rd Minneapolis @ Triple Rock
4th Milwaukee @ Mad Planet
5th Chicago @ Metro
8th Cleveland @ Grog shop
9th Buffalo @ The Buffalo Icon
13th NY @ Irving Plaza
15th DC @ Black Cat
17th Nashville @ Exit In
18th Atlanta @ The Earl
19th Tallahassee @ The Beta Bar
20th Ft. Lauderdale @ Culture Room
27th Austin @ Emos

1st San Diego @ Casbah
2nd Pomona @ The Glasshouse
3rd LA @ El Ray
4th SF @ Great American Music hall
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Unreleased Sunset Rubdown Track!

I'm still quite immersed in the recently released Sunset Rubdown EP and finding this was just icing on the cake. Quick refresher for those of you that have been living under a rock, Sunset Rubdown is one of Spencer Krug's other bands aside from Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes.

[MP3]: Sunset Rubdown :: We Got Broken Eyes
This track is made up of only keyboard and later on, keyboard and drums. The keyboards are highly distorted and it almost sounds like it could be a guitar riff while a lighter melodic keyboard plays overtop of it. Spencer's vocals in this song are really strong and are ther highlight for me. About halfway through, some kick and crash comes in and Spencer's voice rises up over them creating a sort of climax.

If you still don't own the EP, buy it from Global Symphonic now!

Head over to So... Where is Helsinki? right now and grab a new Mates of State song that I'm currently in love with!
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I'd Walk 1,000 Miles For You

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You Ain't No Picasso's Kentucky favs Parlour Boys recently got in contact with me and I'm very glad they did, this stuff is great. They're a blend of dance punk and straight up indie rock, and I'm very in love with the singer's voice. These songs are very accesible and could probably land them a big deal if they ended up in the right hands.

"Lovers" is a dance punk song with a heart, instead of the typical fair of ridiculous lyrics paired with a dance punk melody. The chorus sticks and the outro is amazing, I can't get it out of my head. "Sick Friends" is equally awesome, although it might not be as immediately affecting. The Joy Division-esque bassline intro gives you an early impression of the urgency in which the song moves along. And man these guys have got choruses down, I guarantee "tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight" will be stuck in your head for a while after this one.

[MP3]: From the s/t EP
Sick Friends

Matt's got some tasty Shelly Short tracks.

Dreams of Horses finally got me to listen to Jana Hunter, and boy am I glad I did!

Some Velvet Blog has got tracks from Disney's upcoming Kids Bop-inspired release, Devo 2.0. Why Disney? Why do you do these things to us?

Music For Robots posted on a band I covered before, Venice Is Sinking. They're quite good, I recommend checking them out.

Stereogum has a "new" unreleased Sufjan track as well as a new Built To Spill track.

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Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 7 & 8

First of all, I'm sorry about yesterday's lack of posting, I(along with almost every other blogger) was having some serious issues with blogger, that I THINK are now resolved. Second of all, I'd like to thank Matt for linking to my esteemed endeavor I like to call the Sleepytime Mixtape Project. Third of all of all, I hope you guys and gals enjoyed yesterday's songs, they're two of my favorites. Finally, today's songs are late, but I hope you like them.

7. [MP3]: Múm :: There Is A Number Of Small Things
This song is a trip through Candyland, a peek into the innocence of a young child's mind. The song begins with what sounds like either bells or xylophone placed over some keyboard tones, to create a soothing melody like no one else can. And then at the end the beat picks up and more and more instruments come in all seemlessly meshed together while a woman's voice hums over top. Absolutely Brilliant.

8. [MP3]: Radiohead :: Motion Picture Soundtrack (Acoustic)
The studio version of this song is beautiful, but this unplugged version takes it to a whole other level that I didn't even know it could reach. Some have speculated that this version may just be the greatest sleepytime song ever to exist. I will have to agree, since I have slept like a baby many a night after listening to this one on repeat. Thom's voice and lyrics are the standout on this song and in this version he stretches his voice almost to the point of breaking and whether or not the emotion is real, it's deeply affecting.

Buy Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK by Múm at Amazon.com

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 1 & 2
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 3 & 4
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 5 & 6
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Friday, February 03, 2006

Heartbeats And Other Things Of Interest

I must admit, I never got around to listening to The Knife's "Heartbeats." I fell in love with Jose Gonzalez's cover of the song, but just always forgot to to check out the original. Well, I still haven't heard the "original" original, but today Said The Gramaphone posted the BBC One Music Session version of the song and good God is it BRILLIANT!

Matt's a cheater.

Brooklyn Vegan's got the PLUG Awards wrap-up. It appears he stayed for The National.

Sixeyes has a veritable cornucopia of good things, as per usual.

My friend Leza started a music blog called Sings Like Lightening. I was gonna give her a shout out earlier, but I thought I would wait until she got it up and running all well and good. Check it out.

Aquarium Drunkard's posted all of the tracks from the Colin Meloy Sings Shirley Collins Ep, so head over there if you still don't have them all yet.

Skatterbrain has put up tracks 5 and 6 from his amazing Sleepytime Mixtape Project. Man I love that guy!
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 5 & 6

Hopefully you guys liked yesterdays tracks, but really, how could you not? Today's songs both happen to be of the softer, dreamier type. I'm working right now on some super sweet art for the end, I'm pretty pleased with it so far. Here are the songs, Enjoy.

5. [MP3]: The Very Hush Hush :: That Look
This song was sent to me quite a while ago by a friend and it's one of those songs that just grabs you and won't let you go. As soon as the vocals come in you're hooked and you just get lost in a blind stare, at least that's always been the case with me. The only escape from this song, is falling asleep, because you can't turn it off, it won't let you. I'm also pretty convinced that this song would be very fitting in a movie where a guy or girl gets their heart broken. And after the "heartbreaking" they're driving home and it's dark out and the road is wet from rain and twinkly and this song is playing in the car. I demand all credit if that ever happens.

6. [MP3]: Ugly Casanova :: Hotcha Girls
This song isn'y near as etheral as the song just above it, but what it lacks in surreal dreamscape points, it makes up in melody. Isaac Brock's beatiful and flawless guitar picked arpeggios always remind seem to remind me of "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" by Radiohead and I almost put this song on the same level of that song. Everything seems to fall into place over the course of the song, between the double tracked vocals in the chorus and when the snare drum falls in at the end, it's all just perfect.

Buy Sharpen Your Teeth by Ugly Casanova at Amazon.com

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 1 & 2
Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 3 & 4
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Such A Magical Mind

Montreal just seems to be churning out great new bands everyday, the newset one to grab my attention is Harvee. Harvee has been getting a lot of buzz around Montreal lately and they've also been getting a lot of comparisons to The Arcade Fire. I don't exactly see the Arcade Fire comparisons, but I can totally understand why they're getting a lot of buzz, they're really good. This song is from their recent sessions at Montreal's famous recording studio Hotel2Tango.

It might be this song that's getting them the Arcade Fire comparisons, as the guitar has a a bit of a "Wake Up" feel to it. But that's not what makes the song succeed, it's the chorus, the glorious Talking Heads-esque chorus. I don't know it it's the guitar or the bassline or the female back-up vocals but Everything just clicks when the chorus comes around. I've actually skipped back throught the song to listen to the chorus again. Keep an eye on these guys!

[MP3]: Harvee :: Magical Mind

Head over to I Guess I'm Floating and grab up some of the goodies he's just put up. Said goodies consist of Jack Johnson covering the White Stripes(it's actually good!) and The Decemberists covering Elliott Smith, among other wonderfulous covers.
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Video Of Thom Yorke Singing "Arpeggi"

HERE is a newly surfaced video of Thom Yorke at last year's Ether Festival singing "Arpeggi." Arpeggi may or may not be on the forthcoming album, but I really hope it is, it's so very chilling. Thom also looks pretty funny in this video before he starts singing, he's just kind of standing there and then starts to stare straight at the camera and shake his head. Quite odd.
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 3 & 4

Today comes the second installment of the Sleepytime Mixtape Project. Hopefully you guys are liking it and enjoyed yesterday's songs. If you guys and gals wouldn't mind letting me know if you're digging this or not I would appreciate it. And now, here are today's two songs. Enjoy.

3. [MP3]: The Smiths :: I Know It's Over
What do you say about The Smiths other than what's already been said? They're incredible and they do ballads just as good as every other kind of style they ever dipped their feet into. This song is immensely emotional and it's even been known to bring tears to even the strongest of men.

4. [MP3]: Mogwai :: Tracy
Not only is this an absolutely perfect song to lay in bed and listen to, but it also exemplifies Mogwai's relentless talent. They can make songs of such bombast that you're left speechless or they can make an entire song of just distorted glitches and beeps or then they could turn around make a lyrically self-depricating guitar ballad. The key is that they're all infectious, no matter what they sound like, and that's because Mogwai is one of the few bands out there that really truly have an uncanny understanding of melody. Sorry, that ran on a little long, I just love them too much.

Buy The Queen is Dead by The Smiths at Amazon.com
Buy Young Team by Mogwai at Amazon.com

Sleepytime Mixtape Project: 1 & 2
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When You Were Mine

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The single for Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's "Young Shields" came out on January 30th. But guess what? I don't like CTFTPA. I do however, love Caralee McElroy of Xiu Xiu and she sings on the B-Side, a Prince cover called "When You Were Mine." This song isn't much musically but I like it a lot, basically because of the cutesy boy/girl vocal interplay. We(I) here at Skatterbrain have a wild obsession with Xiu Xiu and aim to bring you anything and everything involving them, so here's the song.

[MP3]: CTFTPA (Featuring Caralee McElroy) :: When You Were Mine

*EDIT* MP3 fixed. Sorry about that :)

Matt's got a Page France show for your downloading pleasure. Hot Diggity Dog!

Chris over at GvB has got a new Voxtrot song from their brand new EP.

Check out Cat power's new video for "Living Proof" on MTV's Overdrive. (via Stereogum)
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Isaac Brock Collaborating With Johnny Marr?

Rumors that had been circulating for quite a bit were finally (somewhat) confirmed last night on The Onion's AV CLUB Blog. Brock said that he's really happy with the songs he's got so far for the new album, but noted that he doen't have nearly enough yet. He then went on to say that Johnny Marr would be flying out to Portland from Manchester to write songs with him. Wow. Finally brock also mentioned that the new Modest Mouse album would be out sometime this year. So, one of the most important guitarists of the 80's collaborating with one my favorite songwriters of all time, I couldn't be more excited.

Read the rest of the post on The AV CLUB.
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