Saturday, February 24, 2007

hot damn!

The Morning Benders - Heavy Hearts


These striking personages cross paths, strutting their infallible sex appeal with an unpretentious deftness and vigor. Breathing life into the melancholy and recreating all those things we've already experienced, but this time they're licked with fiery significance. It's something to cling to. Here's a bit of tongue-in-cheekiness concerning the first outfit, The Morning Benders:

"One year ago in the northern region of California among the rolling hills of Berkeley, our lord God in heaven made love to the sweet sounds of rock n roll and gave birth to The Morning Benders. Started in a moment of magical bliss, just listening to the music of these four men combined will cure any disease known to man. They blend guitars with love to create songs that sound very much like a gentle morning walk on a warm summers day, when the wind rides on your shoulders and tosses your hair about with its soft caresses. Their songs remind listeners what it feels like to be alive again, creating an emotional spiral of euphoric ejaculations that dig deep into the heart of Rock And Roll. Indeed, their music is the music of gods, and their heavy show load this past year has proven them to be quite the presence in the bay area. They are a glowing flower of rock in this little musical garden we like to call Earth." [learn]

Papercuts - John Brown
Papercuts - Pan American Blues

"Papercuts is Jason Quever's cathedral of sound, a place for the desperate worship of all things analog and devotion to the musicianship of the old world. He was raised in a commune in Humbolt County, and then Quever drifted up and down the West coast, eventually making a home for himself in San Francisco. The seeds of Papercuts were sown in 2002 when he broke into a vacationing friend's apartment, eight-track in tow, to record piano tracks for Cass Mccombs' Not The Way. Ever since, Quever has kept busy, playing with and recording other friends' bands. He's collaborated with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, The Skygreen Leopards, as well as Vetiver, and considers working intimately with such contemporary songwriters to be a significant influence." [source]

Six Organs of Admittance - Black Wall
Six Organs of Admittance - Attar

"Six Organs of Admittance is the primary musical project of guitarist Ben Chasny. Chasny's music is largely guitar-based, however it includes an obvious eastern and African influence, marked by the use of drones, chimes, and eclectic percussive elements. The band is associated with numerous current scenes, most notably the New Weird America movement. Acts ranging from folk artist Devendra Banhart to drone metal band Sunn0))) to the highly experimental Current 93 count Chasny among friends. Six Organs have always been a critical darling, and the past few years have seen their stature in the indie world substantially increase." [source]

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Goodbye to the Mother and the Cover
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Some Loud Thunder (live version)

The new album from Clap Your Hands, entitled Some Loud Thunder, is a leap in another direction. This New York group's wailing, picky guitars, moaning vocals, tight drums, have all adopted a new shade with this new release...moodier and maybe a little more self-conscious. It's exciting to see these boys grow. I've included a nice live version of the opening track, "Some Loud Thunder," which some blog browsing uncovered. Grab a few more samplings from their band site: [learn]


Things are always happening at Said the Gramophone. Sean just recently included a beautiful and stirring post concerning a collage of feelings in Iceland. Ever the principled writer, his mention of a near-death experience is nevertheless coupled with great Icelandic solo music from Skuli Sverrison.

image from: Slate feature

Monday, February 19, 2007

countryside like b-movie background reels

The Arcade Fire - Headlights Look Like Diamonds
The Arcade Fire - The Woodlands National Anthem

This post has been two weeks in coming. One thing lead to another, and I've tripped and stumbled a week before finding the time for it. It's nothing phenomenal. It's a personal account that happens to concern The Arcade Fire (as if the world could use another).

Alone and driving south towards home a few weekends back, I wasn't focusing on anything at all: a sprawling concrete snake of freeway and bleak, grayish countryside don't usually make a striking case for my attention. This Arcade Fire EP was on in my car stereo, at the time. They released it in 2005, in lieu of "Funeral"'s commercial success. I've loved it no less. And just as the song "Headlights Look Like Diamonds," came on about half way through the EP, I noticed a peculiar thing. Bleak surroundings still remained such, and cars surrounding me were no more interesting than they had been, but I noticed that I and about five other cars in my immediate vicinity had assumed almost exactly the same cadence. We five were in-pace, to the extent that in my eyes, we indeed seemed to have stopped moving. Our wheels and engines no longer turned. The countryside rolled by under and around us, instead of us through it. Like some hokey, faux background reel behind a dated movie dialog inside an automobile. The scene seemed perfect, for some reason, and it was made surreal by the uncannily well-timed background music.


The Arcade Fire have a new album coming out soon called "Neon Bible," in case you've been sleeping under a rock. [learn]

image: from National Geographic. I just read a cool article on stars and gamma rays, so bear with the impact it has on my image selection.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentines Day/Back to Basics

More often than I'd like to admit, I find myself getting into the mindset of "well this is mainstream, so it can't possibly be good." But this was not the case with Christina Aguilera's "Back to Basics". After listening to it all all the way through, I could no longer ignore how good it was.

Aguilera's concept album looks back to jazz, horns, classic blues voices, while keeping the audience at hand enthralled with catchy and modern lyrics, fused with the not so hidden- coy naughtiness of "Still Dirrty" and "Candyman".

One song in particular, "Save Me from Myself" seems particularly pertinent to the day at hand, Valentines Day. Aguilera's vulnerable ballad is about how love is not just black and white- it requires patience and listening. Sometimes you need someone to lean on to make yourself a better person. I'm not going to pretend like I know what that feeling is, at least romantically, but it seems like it might be nice. Or perhaps not. Nevertheless, "Save Me From Myself" is really beautiful and you should give it a listen.

Save Me From Myself- Christina Aguilera

Two Days!

And i'm going to New York. Now, since i'm going on a plane for 6 hours, i've decided to make a playlist to encompass all that i will likely be feeling and experiencing. As this takes a lot of anticipation on my part this playlist has taken 4 days to create. Heh.

Now, i'm not going to bore you with the details of the playlist, but i'm going to list a few highlights to express my mood of anticipation (these are from the section i like to call the overture, not intended for the flight but for the night before).

First of all, i must start off with Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry to enjoy my pent up energy and general urge to dance like a motherfucker. Then the time has come for The Town Halo by A.C. Newman to really get things cookin with some of the most badass celo playing i've ever heard.

At this point i set up something to completely alter the mood and i put in Postcards From Italy by Beirut (which Sean still has to burn me) where i think about my destination--not that PFI even comes close to epitomising New York, but that it just seems to be representitive of taking a vacation. This euphoric moment as i truly realize where i'm going and what i'm going to be doing can only be justified by Gore Veil by The Deadly Snakes.

By now i'm going to most likely be thinking about the sleep i'll be needing, plus the serene beauty of New York in winter, plus the fact that i'm going to be missing all of my friends on the one 4-day weekend between now and spring break, and there is only one song that can really fit this mood-The Commander Thinks Aloud by The Long Winters.

That's my New York Overture, hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

So, how naked are we gonna get?

On Friday night I saw Of Montreal at the Showbox here in Seattle. I'm not going to write about Of Montreal for two reasons. One, I could gush on for ages and no one wants to read that. And two, because you can read praises of their new album "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" and see Kevin Barnes' various states of nudity on stage almost everywhere on the internet.

Instead, I write praise for one of the opening bands,The Blow. Khaela Maricich has great stage presence, and her quirky pop with not-so-subtle sexual undertones reminds me a lot of Anna Oxygen. Her entire set was a seamless woven tapestry of spoken word anecdotes and synthetic pop. She opened with a capella "How Naked Are We Gonna Get" which set the stage for the rest of the set. It strikes me as funny that on iTunes her work is labeled explicit; to me it simply tells the truth. I guess I'll let you be the judge of it. That being said, no mp3 can relay the stage presence that Khaela has. She danced her heart out in a way that I do not often see on stage. But I'm pretty sure that's a good thing.

The Blow- How Naked are We Gonna Get? (A capella live in Houston)
The Blow- Parentheses
The Blow- Hey Boy

Image by FuriousGeorge81

You Learn Something New Every Day

And today i learned that at times a person must step away from their assumed point of view (in my case that simply because i am more into music than another person i must therefore also be more insightful about that music) and understand that you can be wrong. In my case i was playing The Dead Milkmen for a friend and while i listened to them and assumed they were simply a precursor to LA Punk etc. my friend heard it and immediately spouted out "James Brown" and (after laughing a little bit) I stepped back and simply listened to the music without any previous knowledge about the band i realized, yes, it without a doubt sounded one hell of a lot like Funk.

I've been in other situations like this, most notably with Sparklehorse and the Fruit Bats compared to the Beatles, and it always fascinates me and deflates my overly large head a little bit. which i undoubtably can use.

Dead Milkmen- RC's Mom
Dead Milkmen- Smokin' Bananna Peels
James Brown- Living in America

And, on a completely Unrelated Subject, This Song is my new happy song.


Monday, February 05, 2007

sway with me

The Ponys - She's Broken

By the end of this song, album, article, The Ponys will still remain their own, undefinable selves. Through "Celebration Castle," the album on LA punk label In The Red, from which "She's Broken" beckons, this band redefines itself in each. successive. track. To the lowly, consoling "We Shot The World," to the conclusive, surfy high note of "Ferocious" on which the album ends, we are successively presented with new shades of this band's ability. "She's Broken" is an upbeat, haughty stomp in yet another direction. This time, the significant female vocal talent is in the spotlight. It's a quip about packing up and walking out and away from people, ideas, obsessions, broken love. Like pulling out a barb, and some flesh along with it. The Ponys recently signed to the larger Matador label, and should have their next release, "Turn The Lights Out," out later this year.[learn]

Boris with Michio Kurihara - Você Sorriu Como Uma Marca D'água


A step back and a gear down, we're at some strum-and-hum state of mind. In this coupling of talents, Boris presents another type of sound, one that's a break from killer album "Pink," and they're helped out by the talented Kurihara, who wails and pedals and slips in and out of hues right with them. Kurihara also "played with PSF legends White Heaven, helped Damon & Naomi reach an apex, and continues shredding in Ghost" [source]. Enjoy!

images by: fuco ueda (top left) Hugo (bottom)

Friday, February 02, 2007

motifs? or reoccuring dreamz?

THE KILLS, an excellent indie post punk duo. you may love them but theyll hate it

(i still dont know how to insert proper links... so heres links to websites)

the kills official website