Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tell Me Where It All Went Wrong

After the release of 2003's Underachievers Please Try Harder Camera Obscura gained a lot of notoriety as the "female-fronted Belle and Sebastian." Kinda hard to shake the logic behind that stamp though, same city, same feel good pop, complete with jangly guitars and sugar sweet vocals. Well it's been 3 years now and the release of their new album Let's Get Out Of This Country will be sure to put a new stamp on them, a stamp with their name, no one elses. From the ridiculously catchy "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" and "If Looks Could Kill" to the exuberant orchestra finale of "Razzle Dazzle Rose" that closes the record, Camera Obscura have crafted an album of notably thoughtful pop album solidify a sound all their own and surpassing all of my previous expectations. Here's a track from Let's Get Out Of This Country, out June 6th on the wonderful Merge Records.

[MP3]: Camera Obscura :: If Looks Could Kill Sorry, link removed by request
[MP3]: Camera Obscura :: Let's Get Out Of This Country
Just after trying to explain how Camera Obscura have shaken all their "female-fronted Belle and Sebastian" labels it occurs to me thats the first four seconds of this song sound surprisingly similar to B&S' "Step Into My Office, Baby." After the bassline comes in however, any inclination of this being any sort of rip-off are thrown out the window. The swagger of the sharp guitar riff paired with Tracyanne's smooth vocals not only makes for a very captivating listen, but one that, along with "Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," will likely be stuck in your head for a very long time.

[BUY]: Preorder Camera Obscura's incredible new single "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" and the upcoming full-length Let's Get Out of This Country together for just $18! This bundle is only available for the CD version of Let's Get Out of This Country.

Camera Obscura on MySpace.
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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Let The Sunshine In!

I don't what the weather is like wherever you are tight now, but in Annapolis, Maryland it's absolutely beautiful outside. So, in addition to what I had originally planned to post, I'd also like to share this song with you as well.

[MP3]: The 5th Dimension :: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In
Not only is this song one of my favorite songs ever, but it also might just be the happiest song ever written. If you've heard it, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about. Also worth pointing out, is the awesome bassline in the second half of the song. If it's nice where you're at right now, I highly recommend downloading this and listening to it all day.


Panty Lions is mostly the work of a bearded man named Ashod with help from members of Earlimart, Irving, Let's Go Sailing, Sea Wolf and others. His music sounds, for the most part, like a fine blend of of all those bands. It's fairly mellow catchy guitar pop, with pretty male and female harmonies thrown in at all the right places. He's currently looking for a label to release his already completed second album Do Luv. This song has been dominating my listening all morning, I love this guy.

[MP3]: Panty Lions :: Go Get Em Tiger
This is one of those songs that I always find to be so deceiving. It starts out with a lightly picked guitar and slow marching drum beat and makes it's way through the first chorus with out falling out of step and then it magically rises and gains momentum and them later I find my myself trying to figure out where I missed the change. The choruses are catchy, the harmonies are beautiful, do yourself a favor and get this.

More MP3s available at

Panty Lions on MySpace.
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Friday, April 28, 2006

New! Sound Team - "No More Birthdays"

I must owe Chris from GvB my eternal gratitude for getting me into these guys back when I was just a wee blog reader. I've never posted on Sound Team before for a couple reasons: one being that by the time I had a site, they had already blogged about to death, and also I've always kind of seen them as "Chris' band." But, they've got a new album coming out and I thought it no beter time then to do a post then now. Here's an amazing track from their new album Movie Monster, due out in June on Capitol Records.

[MP3]: Sound Team :: No More Birthdays Link Removed
This song grabs you in the first two seconds with it's pulsing Wolf Parade-y synths and keyboards, and once the first chorus hits you with "we're speeding up, so we can slow back down" Sound Team has basically got you by the balls. This song, as well as the album itself are definitely gonna be huge favorites this year.

Sound Team on MySpace.
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Eagle And Talon

"LA-based indie/art girl band with encrypted tunings, furious drumming and a little casio. If you like sleater-kinney, gang of four, deerhoof, black sabbath and modest mouse these girls will break your legs."

Eagle and Talon is predominantly the music of Kim and Alice Talon. Yes, Talon, however, there's no way that that could be a last name, let alone both of their last names. But it really makes you get into the story huh? Apperently described as the founders of "leotard rock", Eagle and Talon splice Kim's angular guitars and intricate rhythms with blasts of Casio and pounding drums courtesy of Alice.This track comes from their Eagle and Talon Cares EP, released earlier this year.

[MP3]: Eagle and Talon :: Bird That Breaks
The song opens with a sloshy grinding guitar eventually getting picked up by some speedy drums and taken on a trip through a wild chorus full of yelling and squeeling call and response vocals. These girl's voices work together so well together with the sharp edges of the rhythm, but it's not all the music, they can write too, weaving social commentaries into verses like: "They hide the bird feed/They hide the bird that breaks/We keep our windows closed/We leave the vacuum on."

[BUY]: Eagle and Talon Cares EP by Eagle and Talon

Eagle and Talon on MySpace.
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Sun Awakens!

Ben Chasney is the man behind Six Organs of Admittance. His last album, School of the Flower garnered inumerable praise and was considered one of the best albums of 2005. He's a working man though, and there will be no taking a year off for him, he's set to release a new album sometime in the coming months Drag City Records. The release date is still not set as of now, but the record, titled The Sun Awakens, is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

The Sun Awakens could be the perfect sountrack to someone wandering through the desert, dying, in need of something, anything. The guitars weave in and out of each other filling every inch of space with sound. The tones are sometimes light and meandering and sometimes they speed towards you like train, squeeling and screeching towards the sky. This track, "Black Wall" is probably best described with one word. Immense. However, I'll do my best to describe it with a few more words below.

[MP3]: Six Organs of Admittance :: Black Wall
The title of this song couldn't more appropriately describe the song. For the majority of the track, it could be possibly mistaken as the work of Akron/Family, until about 2/3 through where you notice how the title comes into play. At about the 4:00 mark, the distortion is layed on heavier than asphalt, creating a dark "black wall" of sound, sounding as if the guitar is giving everything it can give in it's last dying breaths.

[BUY]: School of the Flower by Six Organs of Admittance
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The Lovely Feathers' "Frantic" Video

The Lovely Feathers' Hind Hind Legs is one of my favorite albums so far this year, it's just a really fun catchy album from beginning to end. The video for "Frantic," which also happens to be one of my favorite songs on Hind Hind legs is now finished and exemplifies the song perfectly. The old footage, cuts and color also remind me of the video for The Go! Team's "Lady Flash" which might be the greatest music video ever. Anyway, check it out and here's hoping that MySpace video embedding gets as cool and trendy as YouTube embedding.

[BUY]: Hind Hind Legs by The Lovely Feathers from

The Lovely Feathers on MySpace.

Also, Head over to Schedule Two, where they've got videos from Voxtrot's recent Minneapolis show. the video is really high quality and the sound is perfect, definitely worth checking out.
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The Ian Fays

The Ian Fays are four girls and a drummer, who oddly enough, isn't a girl. The above picture doesn't exactly portray them too well, but I like it, so there. They make sweet dramatic music, creating a mesh of lo-fi Mirah-esque vocals, paired with the dreamy acoustic/electronic juxtaposition of something much like Azure Ray. The band recently signed with Italy's Homesleep Records and released their album The Damon Lessons on April 24th.

[MP3]: The Ian Fays :: I Lifted Myself Up
This track appears on the new album, The Damon Lessons. A buzzing electronic drone opens the song to a fast drum machine beat, and for the first few seconds you're thinking, "Oh, it's The Faint," but then the drone and beat dissipate to warm acoustic guitar and a flowing keyboard that turns out to be surprisingly catchy. As you might expect, with four girls, the harmonies are pretty beautiful.

The Ian Fays on MySpace.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Lovely Sparrows Finish Up New EP

I've mentioned The Lovely Sparrows before, when I recieved a 7" promo from them a month or two back and now they've signed to Abandoned Love Records and are ready to release a brand new EP. The new EP, Pulling Up Floors, Pouring On New Paint is scheduled for release by the end of Spring, and is sure to be full of lush, catchy pop songs, like this one, from the upcoming EP.

[MP3]: The Lovely Sparrows :: Chemicals Change
This song doesn't hit quite as hard as the two power-pop gems on the previously 7", but I think that's a good thing. This song is proof that this is a band capable of maturing and playing around with more than one sound to keep things interesting . The track's built around a pretty simple acoustic guitar melody witht he aid of shakers, woodwinds, and some instantly catchy drumming. There's also a line at the beginning of the song that I really love: "My father always said, love is a nice day job, but it wont pay the rent." Ain't it the truth.

Bonus [MP3]: The Lovely Sparrows :: I Have A Need You See

If you're in Austin TX and want something to do thursday night, The Lovely Sparrows will be playing the Ashera Project benefit show at Club Deville along with the Heirs & Things That Go Pop! It's sure to be a great show, plus it's for a good cause so you have no reason to not go, right?

The Lovely Sparrows on MySpace.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Semifinalists - "Let's Kill This"

I'm extremely short on time today, but I've had the new self-titled album from London's Semifinalists sitting around for a while and I just finally got around listening to it. And I can't believe I waited so long to get around to it, because it's fantastic dreamy pop, from beginning to end. Think perhaps Metric's rocking side meets The Most Serene Republic's dreamy careening guitars, but without all those unnervingly crazy time signatures.

[MP3]: Semifinalists :: Let's Kill This
Sounding almost Sigur Ros-like right from the get go, you know these guys are all about atmosphere, and they do such a great job making their music into living, breathing entities. Vocalist Adriana has one of the sweetest voices this side of Emily Haines and Leslie Feist, and its all topped off with twinkling math-rocky guitars until, the song takes a big turn, very much like on Metric's "Empty" and explodes into a full blown rock song with.

Semifinalists on MySpace.

Hopefully with time permitting, I'll try to get another post up later today.
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Sunday, April 23, 2006

It Was All For The Money!

Think About Life have been causing panic on dance floors and concert halls alike since the word began to spread quicker than avian flu following their first couple of shows. After just a few gigs, they were personally invited by Wolf Parade to be their support act during last year’s autumn tour. The band is led by Graham Van Pelt, a multi-instrumentalist and recording studio proprietor. Matt Shane is on drums and vocal duties are led by Martin Cesar, main man behind Dishwasher and shared by Shane and Van Pelt. Think About Life’s debut recording is riddled with catchy, memorable, energy-loaded pop songs complete with keyboard freakouts, overdriven vocals, and some of the most dancable melodies I've heard this year. "Money," from their forthcoming self-titled debut, could easily be the underground dancefloor anthem of 2006.

[MP3]: Think About Life :: Money (VERY HIGHLY REC'D!!!!)
The song opens with a church organ-sounding keybard line with Matt Shane tinkering away on his cymbals and then comes my favorite part of this band, the vocals. The vocals sing along in a hush reminiscent of the vocal stylings of TV on the Radio, then once you get settled in the bottom drops out, ringing keyboards and crashes hitting your ears at every angle and then at about 3:15, something magical happens. The whole band gets in on the fun(shouting, screeching) singing "It was all for the money!" and you just start singing along like you've known this song your whole life.

The self-titled debut by Think About Life will be released May 2nd on Alien 8 Recordings and you can buy it from their store, and maybe grab a Unicorns t-shirt while you're at it.

Think About Life on MySpace.
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The Morning Benders

I've been listening to a lot of Beulah and Voxtrot and like minded pop lately and The Morning Benders fit in exactly with what I want to listen to right now. Sounding a bit like the Walkmen singing The Beatles, or Voxtrot, The Morning Benders have a perfect grasp on how to write pop music. These tracks come from their recently self released Loose Change EP which I havent stopped listening to all day. If you like Voxtrot or The Beatles or any finer guitar pop bands, then you'll fall in love with these guys! I have.

[MP3]: The Morning Benders :: Grain of Salt
[MP3]: The Morning Benders :: Heavy Hearts

[BUY]: Loose Change by The Morning Benders for $7!

The Morning Benders on MySpace.

Also, as a side note, who wants to buy me this totally awesome new Go! Team shirt? I mean, c'mon, it's so hot.
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Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Go! Team - "Huddle Flash"

Got a neat little CD in the mail this morning from The Go! Team called Audio Assault Course: The College Radio Sessions. The radio sessions are great and capture the band's live sound really well, but I've posted around multiple times before so I didn't bother with those. However, aside from the radio sessions, the disc also came with a track called "Huddle Flash."

[MP3]: The Go! Team :: Huddle Flash (Kevin Shields -v- The Go! Team)
This track a veritable mash-up of, obviously, "Huddle Formation" and "Lady Flash," remixed by Mr. Kevin Shields of the late My Bloody Valentine. Kevin uses mostly the instrumentation of "Lady Flash" and the vocal melodies seen on "Huddle Formation" along with some unforseen joyous shouting and noises. This track makes me happy to be alive.

The Go! Team on MySpace.

Check this out: Bread for Music is a website that utilizes the same technology as Wikipedia, but soley for music lyrics. It's still getting started as of yet, but head over there and check it out, and maybe add a few lyrics to their quickly growing database. The great thing about this is that it's all editable, so if one user posts the wrong lyrics, someone else can go and correct them. Neat? Neat.
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A Silver Mt. Zion U.S. Tour Dates!

Anyone who will really be going to these shows will very likely already have a good idea of what A Silver. Mt. Zion sound like. For those of you sadly uninitiated, they sound at times brooding and dark, and at other times, blarring and joyous. They also just so happen to have put out my favorite record of last year, Horses in the Sky. So pick that up if you have yet to hear it, it tastes a little something like this...

[MP3]: A Silver Mt. Zion :: God Bless Our Dead Marines
I don't even know what to say about this song other than that it's very very awesome. There's about three or four specific movements, including fiddling, rhetoric, screaming guitar, and it all closes with the greatest stecco harmony I've ever heard. If you've never listen to this band before, take some time and sit down with this track, it's incredible.

[BUY]: Horses in the Sky by A Silver Mt. Zion from Constellation Records.

The Unofficial "Best Tour of the Year":
26 JUL 2006 Boston, MA Middle East *
27 JUL 2006 Portland, ME Space *
28 JUL 2006 Brooklyn, NY Northsix *
29 JUL 2006 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom *
30 JUL 2006 Port Monmouth, NJ Middletown VFW Hall *
31 JUL 2006 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church *
01 AUG 2006 Baltimore, MD Ottobar * (Yesssssss!)
02 AUG 2006 Washington, DC Black Cat *
03 AUG 2006 Columbus, OH Wexner Center *
04 AUG 2006 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle *
05 AUG 2006 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
06 AUG 2006 Milwaukee, WI Onopa Brewing Co.
07 AUG 2006 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
09 AUG 2006 Winnipeg, MB Pyramid Cabaret +
10 AUG 2006 Saskatoon, SK Amigo's +
11 AUG 2006 Edmonton, AB Sidetrack +
12 AUG 2006 Calgary, AB Broken City +
16 AUG 2006 Vancouver, BC Richards +
17 AUG 2006 Victoria, BC Central Bar +
18 AUG 2006 Seattle, WA Neumo's +
19 AUG 2006 Portland, OR Doug Fir +
21 AUG 2006 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall +
22 AUG 2006 Los Angeles, CA Ex Plex +
24 AUG 2006 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
25 AUG 2006 Lawrence, KS Bottleneck
26 AUG 2006 Louisville, KY Headliners
27 AUG 2006 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
28 AUG 2006 Harrisburg, PA Moviate
29 AUG 2006 Buffalo, NY Soundlab

* with Black Ox Orkestar
+ with Carla Bozulich
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Brokedown - "Down In The Valley"

Los Angeles' The Brokedown have only been together for over a year now and they're currently making some of the most infectous power-pop around, right up there with greats like A.C. Newman. In fact, The Brokedown's debut EP The Dutchman's Gold has been compared on several occasions carrot-topped New Pornographer's solo album The Slow Wonder, which is a huge compliment and precisely why I checked these guys out. I'm glad to say that those comparisons are dead-on, I mean, just listen to the chorus in this song.

[MP3]: The Brokedown :: Down in the Valley
As I said above, this song is picture perfect pop, exactly how it's supposed to be done. This song will be even better if you listen to it when it's sunny out, so wait until it's sunny to listen and then let the awesomely catchy chorus just carry you for the rest of the day.

[BUY]: The Dutchman's Gold by The Brokedown for $9

The Brokedown on MySpace.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tunng - "Surprise Me 44"

Today was a slow day and I was at a loss for something great to post on, until one of my great readers saved me and sent me this song. London's Tunng play a mesmerising mix of acoustic folk and glitchy electronics. Their songs have the warm glow of Akron/Family, but with the unpredictable snaps, crackles and pops of Four Tet or Mum. Tunng recently signed to Full Time Hobby Records, who will be releasing their next album Comments of the Inner Chorus on May 22nd. I'd also like incase you didn't already come to this conclusion, the girl is really cute, so there's that.

[MP3]: Tunng :: Surprise Me 44 (Highly Rec'd!)
This song is like a snow ball. It starts out as a simple acoustic tune and as it rolls along it picks up more and more glitches, crackles, pops, beeps creating a amazingly interesting melody with really warm and welcoming vocals. The lyrics move along slow and are fun to sing along with: "We'll light the fires when the sun winds down / Coil up retreat to the red white sound / We'll scramble down as they all rush out / The burned up the sold up the fools and clowns."

Be Tunng's friend on MySpace!
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Televangelist + The Architect

Got word of The Televangelist + The Architect today and I just can't stop listening, so I decided a post was in order. So i began to look around pictures and there was nothing anywhere, so I emailed them for a picture. As it turns out, they are anti-press photos, which I can respect. How very early Belle and Sebastian of them. Instead of faces I got the above graphic which is apparently what has been the temporary artwork for their new album Diaries Of The Intelligentsia, until they complete the "official" art. Anyway, don't judge a book by it's cover, or in this case, a band by it's pixelated japapnese, because this album is really great. They say, "you'll find that in the album, we'reripping off the likes of Blonde Redhead, Cursive, Sonic Youth, etc." That's about as perfect a description as any I could give.

[MP3]: The Televangelist + The Architect :: The Unconscious Collective (A Tale From Williamsburg)
This song opens with an eerie piano followed by a dark distorted guitar switching channels back and forth. Then comes the comparisons, not necessarily musicallly, but definitely vocally and lyrically, there's definitely a Bright Eyes feel here, but it may not even be worth noting because the music is very much their own. The dark, almost surf-rocky melody of the guitar riff in the chorus is so perfectly placed and i think it's the reason this song has been stuck in my head all day.

Until they find a label home for it, the band is offering the new album Diaries Of The Intelligentsia to download in its entirety from HERE. Definitely check it out, it's exciting from beginning to end.
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Monday, April 17, 2006

Pants Yell! & The Lil' Hospital @ The Black Cat

Last night's Pants Yell! and The Lil' Hospital show was probably the smallest show I've ever been to, it's like they were playing just for us! Pants Yell! went on first and played a fairly quick, albeit great, set mostly comprised of songs from Recent Drama with a few from their debut. Save for a few false starts, they're a very tight live band, held together really well by Carly Smith's perky spot-on drumming. They don't exactly move around a lot on stage, but they definitely got the small crowd moving. Next up was Washington D.C.'s The Lil' Hospital, who should definitely be much popular than they are. They had a few small violin and monitor issues, but they move around a lot, especially the two violinists/percussionists, who were up there dancing the whole time and request everyone come to the front and dance with them. I'm a very poor dancer, but they even got me shaking (read: embarassing myself). If you've never listened to The Lil' Hospital, they come very recommended, they're new album Heavy Metal is fantastic!We met Pants Yell! afterwards and chatted about my prize winning entry, they're very nice people. Pictures onward!

Pants Yell!

Andrew looked right at the camera!

Lil' Hospital

[MP3]: Pants Yell! :: Kids Are The Same
[Buy]: Recent Drama by Pants Yell! for $8!

[MP3]: The Lil' Hospital :: Fast Learners
[Buy]: Heavy Metal by The Lil' Hospital for $10!
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Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Great Wind, More Ash

"With the unrefined meandering of Animal Collective, the enchanting orchestration of a gentler Frank Zappa, but with the widespread appeal of a Sufjan Stevens album, Floating World is an epic spree that captivates from beginning to end." - Bandoppler.
Floating World is of course the new album by Michigan's Anathallo and that quote pretty much sums up they're sound. The vocal harmonies and lush horns bring thoughts of Illinois into your head, while bouncing, sometimes tribal drumming and chanting make you think Animal Collective. And then it's all topped off with a singing voice somewhere between Elliott Smith or Sufjan Stevens. The whole album is an incredibly rewarding listen and I can't recommend it enough. This song has been dominating my listening on this very beautiful Easter Sunday. Have a great day guys!

[MP3]: Anathallo :: Hanasakajijii (four: a great wind, more ash)
First of all, contrary to what the song title may lead you to believe, this song isn't sung in japanese, nor does it sound japanese. Okay now that that's out of the way, this song is nothing but happiness. The song starts out with thundering drum solo that flys all around your head until a guitar comes in and sets the drums into an actual beat. The song than slows to crawl, gradually speeding up as vocals, keyboards, chimes, hand claps, four person harmonies and horns work their way into the mix.

Buy Floating World from the band's website for $12.

Be their MySpace friend!

Have you ever wanted to play Doug Martsch in a little one on one? Well now you can! Check out Built To Spill Jams and try to make as many baskets as you can without Mr. Martsch blocking all your shots.
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

We Had A Promise Made

"Heartbeats," what a wonderful song, and so versatile too. By this point there's enough versions and remixes of it for it to suit just about whatever genre of music you prefer. "Heartbeats" is set on a musical monopoly and no ones trying to stop it, and all these remixes keep fueling the fire. But hey, at least they don't suck. Here's a new one.

[MP3]: Jose Gonzalez :: Heartbeats (rndnmbrs remix)
Rndnmbrs clearly assumes that us, as the fine music listeners we are, have all the time in the world, as he's added an extra 3 minutes and 16 seconds to the song. He does however utilize the guitars from Jose's version quite well, giving it that organic vs. electronic feel that Mum does real well. He also goes as far as to add some of the vocals from The Knife's original version at the end for extra spiciness.

Also, this past Wednesday this website released a 7" split of "Heartbeats" greatness. One side is the original version by The Knife and the other side is Jose Gonzalez's version. The split is limited to 525 numbered copies so act fast!
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Friday, April 14, 2006

I'm A Winner!

See! I'm a winner! My winnings from Matt's Pants Yell! contest came in the mail today and it made a great Friday even greater. Click here for a full view of my totally awesome custom Pants Yell! poster. I guess to make this a somewhat reasonable post I should at least include a song.

Pants Yell! :: Your Feelings Don't Show

If you haven't yet purchased Recent Drama, you should go do it now, cause it's totally great. You can give Asaurus Records your money right here.

There probably wont be another post tonight because I'm going to the beach. Sorry?
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Invisible Clock Factory

Toronto's The Invisible Clock Factory are a duo of Matthew Ivanowich and Adam Bunch. Using everything from hand claps to xylphones and timpanies, the band creates toe tapping pop melodies in the vein of The Flaming Lips or the Elephant 6 collective. They just released their debut single – the double A-side of “Penelope Rose” and “The Quantum Particles Rock and Roll Song." Both songs will appear on their upcoming Somewhere Beyond the Blue-Cheese Moon.

[MP3]: The Invisible Clock Factory :: Penelope Rose
This song reminds me of The Boy Least Likely To, if not just for it's overwhelming innocence and happiness. Handfuls of buzzing percussion instruments squeek and pop behind a simple pleasing acoustic guitar. This is the type of song that you'd listen to in the middle of the summer walking around town. Perhaps you could try it sometime?

Be their Myspace friend!
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I could be a flower and rise up in the dirt

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives, the second EP by Austin's Voxtrot was released a little over a week ago and I can already say it's one of my favorite releases of the year. This new EP continues with the picture perfect melodies and irresistable pop hooks that was seen on their Raised By Wolves EP. I liken Voxtrot to Beulah, not because they're musically comparable, but because I see Beulah as pretty much as perfect as pop can get and since their untimely end Voxtrot is the first band I've heard that seems to be making pop music on that same kind of level. "Rise Up in the Dirt" is my favorite track from the new EP, take a listen.

[MP3]: Voxtrot :: Rise Up in the Dirt (Live on KEXP) (via Stereogum)
What amazes me and also adds to the Beulah/Voxtrot relation, is how both bands uses such fairly simple arrangements and to make some of the most perfect melodies to ever reach my ears. Not that the rollicking guiatr and piano melody throughout the song isn't great, but the chorus of this song is worth the price of the entire EP itself. Give it a listen and then try to tell this isn't one of the catchiest songs you've heard in a while.

Buy Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives for $6.99!
Buy Raised by Wolves for $6.99!

Visit Voxtrot on MySpace or check out the band's blog here.

Matt's got a new Tilly and the Wall track. I don't care what you guys say, their new album is great!
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Smoosh Sign To Barsuk, New Album On The Way

Smoosh might be the most adorable band in the world, but they're no gimmick. Sisters Chloe and Aysa, 12 and 14 years old, respectively, understand pop music better than a lot of people twice their age in the business. Chloe plays drums and Aysa plays keyboards and sings and together they have a knack for sugar sweet melodies that you can't help but hum for days and days. Barsuk Records has obviously noticed their talent and will be releasing their sophomore album Free To Stay on June 20th. This track, "Rock Song" will be on the forthcoming album, however, this is just a demo and not the final album version.

[MP3]: Smoosh :: Rock Song
The song starts off with keyboards that sound like airplane engines buzzing around, and then a sharp drums march comes in. I personally love Aysa's vocals but a lot of people have trouble liking Smoosh because of the vocals, I think they sound really honest and I love when she hits the kind of screech that she sometimes hits. This is just a really fun song.

[BONUS MP3]: Smoosh :: It's Cold

Smoosh is also going on tour with The Eels! I'd highly recommend checking these girls out if they come anywhere near you.

The Dates:
20 Apr 2006 SEATTLE, WA
[ Neumo's ] with Mates of State, Viva Voce

25 May 2006 LOS ANGELES, CA
[ Roxy ] with The Eels

26 May 2006 LOS ANGELES, CA
[ Roxy ] with The Eels

27 May 2006 SAN DIEGO, CA
[ House of Blues ] with The Eels

28 May 2006 SANTA ANA, CA
[ Galaxy Theater ] with The Eels

[ Fillmore ] with The Eels

01 Jun 2006 SACRAMENTO, CA
[ Harlow's ] with The Eels

03 Jun 2006 PORTLAND, OR
[ Roseland Theatre ] with The Eels

04 Jun 2006 SEATTLE, WA
[ Showbox ] with The Eels

06 Jun 2006 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
[ Depot ] with The Eels

07 Jun 2006 BOULDER, CO
[ Fox Theater ] with The Eels

[ Vogue ] with The Eels

11 Jun 2006 WASHINGTON, DC
[ 9:30 Club ] with The Eels

[ Theater of Living Arts ] with The Eels

13 Jun 2006 NEW YORK, NY
[ World Financial Center ] with The Eels

15 Jun 2006 SOMERVILLE, MA
[ Somerville Theater ] with The Eels

[ Le National ] with The Eels

[ Mod Theater ] with The Eels
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Xiu Xiu - "Juno"

Xiu Xiu is known by their fans to be big fans of doing covers. In the past they've covered tracy chapman, joy division, nick cave, the smiths, and countless others. Another one of their covers I recently found out about is of one of classic college/indie rock band Throwing Muses and its charismatic leader, Kristin Hersh. Xiu Xiu's cover of their song "Juno" appears on 2003's Hot Hands: A Tribute to Throwing Muses & Kristin Hersh. This song is actually becoming one of my favorite Xiu Xiu songs to date, I highly recommend checking it out.

[MP3]: Xiu Xiu :: Juno
The thing about this is that it's not just a great cover, it's actually a really great song. This could've easily been one of my favorite songs on La Foret had it been included. It has a bit of a "Pox" feel to it, with with spastic glitch drums and a muted and heavily reverbed guitar riff running underneath it all. This is the kinda of song that makes me really appreciate Xiu Xiu.

Buy Hot Hands: A Tribute to Throwing Muses & Kristin Hersh from Amazon. com for just $7!

I've been really in love with The Grates new album the past couple days and I finally got around to checking out Garrison's really great interview with them over at IndieInterviews. I think it's probably his most interesting interview yet, I thuroughly enjoyed it.
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Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Grates - "Lies Are Much More Fun"

Chris and Matt were both gushing earlier this week about the new album by Australia's The Grates, or more particularly the new song "19-20-20" which is an amazingly infectious song, by the way. The new album Gravity Won't Get You High came out in Australia yesterday and is full of super high energy pop. After just one listen through, I think this might be topping The Lovely Feathers' Hind Hind Legs as the most fun I've had listening to an album so far this year. When most people have this much energy, they have no idea what to do with it, but The Grates know exactly what to do and it's oh so rewarding. "Lies Are Much More Fun" is the first "real" song on Gravity Won't Get You High and I can say with much confidence that it's the best thing I've heard all week.

[MP3]: The Grates :: Lies Are Much More Fun
First listen through this song and I realized that a lot of the Grates' songs reminded me of early No Doubt, which, at least for me, is definitely not a bad thing. I still listen to Tragic Kingdom pretty regularly and I've always loved it. That being said though, the similarities mostly lie in the vocals and The Grates are definitely their own band. Getting back to the song, I can't say one negative thing about it. It seems to do everything I hope it will, in all the right spots and when Patience sings at the end: "I'm gonna go like this to you! / I'm gonna go like this to you! / I'm gonna like this to you! / LALALALALA!" I have a small joygasm.

Check out the album artwork. Everything about these guys is 100% awesome. I'm so madly in love.

Buy Gravity Won't Get You High from

Look at more pictures and stream "19-20-20" on their Myspace. They have some of the best press shots around, I could look at them all day.
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Love To Make Noise, Dont We!?

I said the other day that bands with shouty female vocals are my favorite in the spring and summertime yes? Well The Go! Team stands basically atop all other's as my most favorite springtime band, with The New Pornographers coming in at a close second. If you've read anything about The Go! Team you should already know how amazing their live show is and how they sound a bazillion times better live than they do on record. If you haven't had a chance to see or hear them live though you may not know this little secret. When the band plays live, lead singer/rapper Ninja fills most all of the songs with lyrics that dont appear anywhere on the record, and after listening to them live, I find myself singing lyrics to the songs on the album that actually aren't there, it's great! Here's a taste of their onstage greatness.

[MP3]: The Go! Team :: Huddle Formation (Live @ Camden Barfly)
This song is brilliant on record and it's even full of more energy live. With Ninja singing the whole song it makes it ten times more fun to listen to than the original, and now I finally know the lyrics, or at least I think I do. It's incredible how perfect they are live, they manage to replicate their studio perfectly while also sounding larger, louder, and spunkier at the same time. I missed them last time they came through my neck of the woods, there's no way I'm missing them next time.

I have the rest of this show and it's an amzing listen. I'd be glad to post it, so if you'd be interested, leave it in the comments and if enough of you want it, I'll put it up.
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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Le Tigre - "Deceptacon (DFA Remix)"

The recent DFA compilation DFA Remixes: Chapter One definitely deserves the high speaking reviews it's been recieving all over the place. To speak simply, I think just about every track on the compilation is probably ten times better than the originals, in my opinion. Here's one of my favorites, DFA's early remix of Le Tigre's "Deceptacon."

[MP3]: Le Tigre :: Deceptacon (DFA Remix)
I've always seen this song as a song that couldn't possibly be more infectious or dancable, but clearly, I've always been wrong. DFA slowed it down a bit, though the vocals appear to still be at the same pace, the time signature is pretty drastically changed. Handclaps and biting synths fill up the majority of the song, which I'm much much more dancable than the original, though you really don't want to see proof, trust me.

Buy DFA Remixes: Chapter One from

In other news Smoosh signed to Barsuk!!!

From the Barsuk website...
Barsuk Records is proud to announce the addition of Smoosh to our roster. Their new record is called Free To Stay and it comes out June 20th. They’ll be heading out on tour with The Eels to set up the release — check back for more details in the days ahead.
A new song from the upcoming album is now streaming on their MySpace, it's called "Rock Song" and it's as awesome as one would expect!
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New Grenada - "Emergency Brigade"

When springtime comes around I tend to listen to nothing but fast indie pop, preferably with famale vocals involved. As you may or may not have noticed by now, I am a really big fan of female vocals, especially spastic shouty ones and that's why I love New Grenada. Last year's Parting Shots (Asaurus, 2005) was full of pulsing keyboards, soaring guitars, freak beat drums and of course, overdriven shouty female vocals! While they may not be on Asaurus anymore, their new album Modern Problems, recorded by Steve Albini, is the culminating effort of a band fully realizing their sound and promise. Modern Problems will be released June 13th on Contraphonic Records.

[MP3]: New Grenada :: Emergency Brigade
"Emergency Brigade" is the first track off of Modern Problems and is the perfect lead off song, setting the fast pace for the rest of the album. The beeping synth line throughotut he song keeps it fun and poppy as John sings in a shrill distorted voice, until the end when the chaotic vocals are juxtaposed with Nicole's bright shouted vocals, of which are pretty much incoherant. The kids will be dancing to this song all summer, for sure.

Preorder Modern Problems from Contraphonic!
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New Human Television - "In Front of the House"

I didn't hear Human Television's debut EP, All Songs Written By: Human Television until well after it was released, which was just a shame because it was chock full of simple catchy guitar pop tunes. The interesting part of it was that it never really got old for me either. I think it was the harmonies, as most of their tracks rely on these perfect harmonies in the chorus, that you just can't help but fall in love with. Well the guys have got their debut LP Look At Who You're Talking To coming out May 2nd on Gigantic Music. Here's a song from the upcoming album.

[MP3]: Human Television :: In Front Of The House
The song is a testament to the fact that one perfect line can go a long way. Each time the chorus comes around and they sing "save yourself / s-s-save yourself/ first and last" I just fall in love over and over again. I wish the chorus just lasted the whole song and then went for another threee minutes. The harmonies combined with the completely unforgetable chorus make this song one of the best little pop songs I've heard so far this year.

Visit Human Television on Myspace!

Also Asthmatic Kitty Records has announced plans to release a new collection of songs from Sufjan Stevens, titled The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album which will hit shelves on July 25, 2006 and GvB's got the title track from The Avalance, I urge you check it out.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kickers - "Way to Go"

Kickers are essentially drummer Anne Gauthier and vocalist/guitar player Victoria Morrison who met in Montreal back in 1997. The played together a bit back then but didn't cross paths again until they met back up again in late 2004 after Anne's previous band broke up, and then Kickers was born.

Then in April of 2005, the girls recorded an untitled 5 song EP that they passed along to a few friends, including Alden Penner, who had been toying with the idea of starting a record label since before the demise of his band, The Unicorns. This label would turn out to be called Take This Hammer and would end up releasing Kickers' self-titled 5 song EP in February of this year. Here is the first track from that EP.

[MP3]: Kickers :: Way to Go
My initial take on this track is that it sounds sort of like a more raw Pretty Girls Make Graves. A lone winding guitar and kick leads the way as Victoria sings "the only way to go is down from here." The song has that dark indie rock feel to it, that we've seen in the past with bands like Rainer Maria and yes, the aformentioned PGMG. Im a sucker for dark guitar tones and female vocals, what can I say?

Buy Kickers from Take This Hammer for $5
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Vetiver - "Red Lantern Girls"

To Find Me Gone, the second album by Andy Cabic's ever-evolving band Vetiver, released two years after the debut self-titled release. Andy has since toured the world, usually as a member of Devendra Banhart's band, and sometimes even with Vetiver. In those two years, Vetiver has expanded into a full-on singer-songwriter band/project, aided and abetted by some of the best players (and usually his best friends) in the extended family of which Cabic finds himself a member. Though predominantly acoustic folk, To Find Me Gone is a hidge podge of many different styles and ideas, creating a brilliantly interesting listen. The album comes out on May 22nd and I can see this one landing a high spot on many end of the year lists.

[MP3]: Vetiver :: Red Lantern Girls
This is easily my favorite track from the album. I must admit, it's only now and then that I can sit down and really get into an album this folky and acoustic, but it's songs like this on To Find Me Gone that really hold my attention and kepp me listening. The song has two very distinct parts. The first half being a soft struming with lighty sung vocals in sort of the same vein as Circulatory System. The second half, which I suppose isn't exactly the second half as much as it is just the ending, takes the song in a completely different direction when a Godspeed You! Black Emperor-esque screaming distorted guitar comes in and tears up the rest of the song eventually dragging it off into oblivion.

Congratulations Sufjan and Rosie!
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Tiddies

I checked good ole Hype Machine and I was extremely surprised to see that there hasn't been one post made on Philadelphia's The Tiddies. The Tiddies make highly melodic power-pop in the same vein as perhaps Built to Spill or Pavement, but with something more. While they've definitely got that that power-pop sound, they also employ catchy piano lines and Beatles-like harmonies, creating a really unique and unforgetable sound.

[MP3]: The Tiddies :: Hay Un Pulpo
It's funny how a piano line can really make or break a song. For instance, I hate Coldplay and the piano in their songs drives me crazy, but here in this gem of a pop song, the piano couldn't be more perfect. A simple suitar riff and steady piano start out the song until the rest of the band comes in and sweeps it off it's feet. I could listen to the "you keep on breaking my heart" part over and over again, it's just exactly what I want to hear right now.

Buy The Tiddies for just $5!

Also for those of you who haven't yet seen, I won Matt's Pants Yell! contest! What are the odds? I'm psyched though and I can't wait to get my wonderful prize(s). Thanks Matt and thanks Pants Yell!

Also I would like to urge you to check out Friction.Fiction. My friend Sarah runs it herself and she handmakes scarves, bags, totes, pillows, iPod cases, and tons of other things. She takes special orders and everything is 100% handmade with love, lots of love. Check out the website for ordering information, photos, and also be sure to check out her writing too, while you're there!
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Bishop Allen "March" EP

Matt was already on top of this yesterday, but I thought I'd get the word around too. Bishop Allen's March EP is now the third in their ambitious EP-a-month campaign. In my opinion, and the band's opinion as well, this is their best so far. So far each EP has been better than the one before it, just think of how awesome the last one's gonna be. The March EP "comes in a beautiful fold-out case, called a digipak, specially designed to survive the iron caress of the United State Postal Service." Here's a new song from the EP.

[MP3]: Bishop Allen :: The Monitor

Buy the March EP right here for a mere $6!
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Monday, April 03, 2006

Arab Strap - "There Is No Ending"

For years now, some of the the most depressing, yet enjoyable music my ears have ever heard has been made by the scottish duo, Arab Strap, but on their newest album The New Romance the guys have cleaned up their act a bit. I said a bit. In many places throughout the record, you'll find bright blarring horns replacing the drunken sadness of earlier Arab Strap. Sadness, love and romance still take top priority in the bands lyrics however, only this time they find themselves, more often than not, letting a light in.

[MP3]: Arab Strap :: There Is No Ending
You know Arab Strap have changed up their formula a bit, when after the first minute of the song all you can say is "Wow. That sounds a lot like Beulah." To be exact, the intro of "There Is No Ending" has a very "Emma Blowgun's Last Stand" feel to it. Now, once the vocals come in, that thought may completely leave your head, but I assure you, for a minute there, you'll see it. And that's not the only indication of a more optimistic Arab Strap, the lyrics provide us with some proofas well. "If you can love my growing gut, my rotten teeth and greying hair / than I can guarantee I'll do the same as long as you can bear." There is a light at the end of the tunnel, indeed.

Buy The Last Romance from

Matt has a new track from Pretty Girls Make Graves' new album Elan Vital. Go listen to this song right now.
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Stellastarr* & Mobius Band @ Sonar

Last night's show may not have been the greatest show I've ever been to, but it was definitely the loudest and most energetic. Openers Mobius Band were a very pleasant surprise, especially because I've loved them for some time now and I had no idea they were opening. They played a fairly short , yet impecable set of songs mostly pulled from their The Loving Sounds of Static LP. The drumming was high speed and spastic while both guitarist and bassist alternated on vocals and elctronics duties, it was really impressive to watch them go back and forth, not missing a beat. Next up was Stellastarr* who I had heard give an extremely amazing performance and I definitely was not let down. Also it should be noted that they played really loud, they actually felt louder than Mogwai, who I saw just last month, now that's saying something. I was really pleased to see them play more tracks from the self-titled album than their newest album. They closed with "Jenny" and I don't think I've ever moved so much to a song in my life. They really know how to get the crowd moving and give 110% up on stage. The Editors were also playing after Stellastarr* but I had to leave early. It's alright though because I don't care too much for The Editors to be honest. Here are some pictures I took.

Mobius Band
[MP3]: Mobius Band :: The Loving Sounds Of Static

[MP3]: Stellastarr* :: In The Walls

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