Friday, August 26, 2005

Magnolia Summer


It's that time of year when summer will intersect with fall to create those crisp, temperate days. This time of year requires some good, country-tinged soul music that would accompany a picture-picture sunset. Maybe a little Wilco, a bit of the Jayhawks, or the St. Louis band Magnolia Summer.

Magnolia Summer released their Levers and Pulleys record in 2003. Led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Grabau, what was once a recording project has evolved into a band that plays sweet Americana music. The St. Louis paper The Riverfront Times wrote that Levers and Pulleys "is a record worth of late nights, faded photographs and wistful recollections."

Summer Moon (mp3)
You can also stream songs at the band's My Space page. Follow, follow, follow...

As always, Levers and Pulleys is available at Insound.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Amazing Pilots


Ireland's The Amazing Pilots are brothers Phil and Paul Wilkinson. Althouth their first EP was released in the UK in 2001, their US debut Hello My Captor wasn't until this year. The Amazing Pilots are melodic and hum-worthy, and definitely deserve a listen.

From the band's bio: When music is truly special, it shakes out old memories and make the worst days feel like stepping stones. You’ll wanna have a little bit of happiness with your sadness and maybe even the other way ‘round.

I couldn't have said it better myself.



The Price of Winter (mp3)
I've Got Wings Irene (mp3)






And to all my people in Europe: The Amazing Pilots are currently on tour with Pedro the Lion.

Sept 7 - Bologna (It) - Estragon
Sept 8 - Milano (It) - Transilvania
Sept 9 - Bassano Del Grappa (It) - La Gabbia
Sept 10 - Luzern (CH) - BOA
Sept 11 - Geneve (CH) - L'usine
Sept 13 - Madrid (ES) - El Sol
Sept 14 - Valencia (ES)- University
Sept 15 - Barcelona (ES) - Pocket
Sept 17 - Paris (FR) - Point Epehemere 350
Sept 18 - London (UK) - Underworld
Sept 19 - Rotterdam (NL) - Rotown
Sept 20 - Utrecht (NL) - Ekko
Sept 21 - Hamburg (DE) - Molotow
Sept 22 - Muenster (DE) - Gleis

The Promise Ring

I liked The Promise Ring. I know that is probably not hip to admit, but I'm just being honest.

The Promise Ring were bouncy, and although they erred towards being lyrically lacking, delievered what they did have with passion. Fronted by former Cap'n'Jazz guitarist Davey von Bohlen, Jason Gnewikow (guitar, vocals), Scott Schoenbeck (bass, vocals), and Dan Didier (drums) rounded out the group. In their five years with the label Jade Tree, the Promise Ring released eight EPs and LPs, and received rave reviews from the likes of Pitchfork. In the review of Nothing Feels Good (1997), Pitchfork gave their readers a heads up: "Keep an eye on these guys; they have an almost frightening amount of potential." However, as fans of the movie Purple Rain know, all good things must come to an end. A move to another label, Davey's unexpected brain surgery, and the release of the lackluster LP Wood/Water spelled the end to the Promise Ring.

The Promise Ring's albums Nothing Feels Good and Very Emergency (1999) are still highlights in my CD collection, and pop up occassionally on my IPod. Who knows? Maybe The OC will "rediscover" the Promise Ring and make it cool for me to dust off my CDs.










Davey. Oh, Davey...

Very Emergency: The Deep South (mp3)
Nothing Feels Good: Why Did We Ever Meet? (mp3)
30 Degrees Everywhere: Red Paint (mp3)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Good readers write good songs about good books.

I'm an elementary school teacher, so I've been on a long and much needed summer vacation. August is coming to a close, which means school is starting up again soon. In order to keep my job, I have to refocus my efforts on organzing book bins instead of chatting about music. However, I thought I would post my current obsession: The Decemberists covering Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights." My friend's mom was a huge Kate Bush fan, so I remember her playing this song on rainy Saturdays. When I heard Petra Haden sing this song live at Irving Plaza, it honestly took my breath away. Kate Bush is great, but Petra really does this song justice. I think I even like it more than the original.

The Decemberists: Wuthering Heights (mp3)

Also, You Ain't No Picasso has The Decemberists and Death Cab for Cutie covering "You Can Go Your Own Way."

So, I will sort out my library while Catherine pines for Heathcliff. And who knows: maybe one of my students will be inspired to write a song about Wilbur's love for Charlotte.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Labrador Records in the Neighborhood

A comment on a recent indie don't dance post:

we'll have the sambassadeur full-length back up on monday and will eventually offer the bulk of the Labrador Records catalog as well. we can't help it, their bands are just too good.

heart,
danny
neighborhoodies
Labrador Records is a great Swedish label that hosts some very solid bands. It is definitely worth the time to visit their website and discover new bands. Let's celebrate with some Labrador Records tunes, shall we?

Edson was formed by Pelle Carlberg in the summer of 1998, and he named the band after the great soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, i.e. Pelé. When the Mind Suffers, the Body Cries Out (mp3)

The Legends are nine persons who play drums, guitars, tambourine, organ, bass and sings. Many of the members have never played their instruments before which just adds excitement to the short and intensive gigs. Their new LP Public Radio will be released on September 14. He Knows the Sun (mp3)

Suburban Kids with Biblical Names wants to ”turn all the dance floors into a burnings inferno of Ba-ba-ba” to quote the Kids themselves. And mark their words, with songs like “Rent a wreck”, they are destined to do so. Their untitled LP will be released on October 12. Rent a Wreck (mp3)

The band of Sambassadeur began one night at Joachim’s small apartment where Daniel and Joachim had got together for recording a song. Despite the fact that they where too shy to even look at each other when first playing their songs, the short session resulted in the recording of the song “There you go." New Moon (mp3)

And naturally, you will buy some Labrador Records music when it becomes available at Neighborhoodies.

Post Geek Synth Rock from Brooklyn


The Brooklyn trio Puppetbox is composed of John Payne (guitar, vocals), Mark Annotto (drums), and Chris Tempas (synth, vocals). They have categorized their music as "post geek synth rock," which, I guess, means something to those in the know.

From their website: Puppetbox was formed out of the necessity to play all those songs we wrote in high school but just never fit into a genre. We love dirty vintage synth sounds, distorted guitars and punk rock drumming. Not a complex formula but any style sounds good if the songs don’t suck. And really that is all we try to do; play songs that we would like to listen to. Except our drummer hates all our music.

This track is pure fun.

Kimberley (mp3)

Teen Choice Awards 2005 or the reason why our nation's youth are not allowed to vote for elected officials


The Teen Choice Awards 2005 are Tuesday night on Fox. I forgot to vote; however, it looks like America's youth learned from the mistakes of their elders and made their voices heard. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? You be the judge. What I find interesting about the Teen Choice Awards are the various categories. There are your everyday ones: favorite female artist, favorite comedy, etc. However, there are awards for categories that I never knew existed: favorite make-out song, favorite movie blush scene. What's that? I guess everyone is good at something. Apparently, Hilary Duff is an expert blusher, so let's give her a prize!

You can check out the entire list of this year's winners, but I listed a few of my favorites below:

Choice Music Make-Out Song: "Oh," Ciara featuring Ludacris
Choice Music Female Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Choice Music Party Starter: "Don't Phunk With My Heart," The Black Eyed Peas
Choice Summer Song: "Behind These Hazel Eyes," Kelly Clarkson
Choice Movie Blush Scene: Hilary Duff, A Cinderella Story
Choice Hottie Female: Rachel Bilson
Choice Hottie Male: Chad Michael Murray
Choice Rap Artist in a Movie: Nelly, The Longest Yard
Choice Movie Rockstar Moment: Ashton Kutcher, A Lot Like Love

Congratulations to Kelly Clarkson. She won three awards. You go, girl!

Kelly Clarkson vs. American Analog Set: Since U Been Hard 2 Find (mp3)

If I am being honest here, the Kelly Clarkson vs. AAS mash-up is awesome. I actually found myself singing along.

::Thanks to Stereogum for the link::

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cure for the Common Cold

Check out the Swedish band The Flu. They like harmonies, guitars, pianos, and all-around prettiness. I haven't formulated an opinion about them yet, but maybe you can help me. It will take a little navigating, but visit their website and stream some of their songs. I recommend "The Fire."

For instant gratification: Breakup! (mp3)
This song is poppy and catchy. Try not to dance to it. Very difficult...

I am Indie Girl. Hear me roar.

Indie Girl

I am a sucker for quizzes. Online, in Cosmo or Seventeen magazine, it doesn't matter; I'll take it. My friend emailed me a link to Cooking to Hook Up. Apparently, there is a cookbook for men dedicated to teaching them the art of seduction through food. The book promises to give you the secrets behind not only what food to make, but also "girl-specific tips on which CDs to play, which flowers to buy, and which magazines to leave on the coffee table." Wow... I didn't realize I was so transparent and predictable!

But before a guy can use these tips, he has to know what type of girl he is dating. According to the quiz, I'm not: Athletic Girl, Academic Girl, Career Girl, Girl Next Door, Gourmet Girl, Granola Girl, Party Girl, Progressive Girl, nor Uptown Girl. I'm Indie Girl.

So those interested in capturing my heart, read on: "An Indie Girl's life is a Statement with a capital S, but unlike the Granola Girl, the statement is not political -- it's artistic. Indie Girls consider themselves actresses in the movie of life. Your meal needs to be constructed like an independent film. If you're bringing her over for a date, you are playing a character in her movie. If you create a setting, props, and a soundtrack that are good enough to avoid the cutting-room floor, she's yours.You can boil the Indie Girl down to two words: cultural literacy. Or how about these two: media consumption. As the Gourmet Girl loves food and all that goes with it, the Indie Girl loves media: books, movies, music, and art. The good news is you don't have to be rich, good-looking, or famous to win this girl's heart. The bad news is she will judge you based on your music choices, the books you read, and the films you watch."

Naturally, there are many things about this quiz that are offensive. One of which is that I was hoping at this point in my life I had graduated from the label "girl" and moved up to "woman," but I'll let that one pass. Plus, I was really hoping I was Gourmet Girl.

Sleater-Kinney: Entertain (mp3)

We have an entire life time to spend together...


Because we've all cursed the phone waiting for that special someone to call...

South San Gabriel: The Dark of Garage (mp3)
Page France: So Sweetly Around Me (mp3)
Doveman: Fade into You (mp3)
Denison Witmer: Are You Lonely? (mp3)
Acid House Kings: This and That (mp3)














And for the cutest kid in America.

Sambassadeur: Between the Lines (mp3)

Friday, August 19, 2005

The White Birch

Taking their name from Codeine's last album, the Norwegian band The White Birch is composed of Ola Fløttum, Hans Christian Almendingen, and Ulf Rogde. Warm, cascading arrangements push Ola's voice to the fore and the end product is nothing less than gorgeous. Ola's voice is hushed and whispering, and adds intimacy to lyrics such as "you can tell me about the useless sea/and we can dance like diamond theives at the fair." Yes, Ola. Let's dance.

The White Birch's follow-up to their LP Star Is Just a Sun is scheduled for November 2005.

From their upcoming LP Come Up for Air:
Your Spain (mp3)

Star Is Just a Sun:
Beauty King (mp3)

It's beautiful and lovely and sweet, right?

Summer Lawns

"They position intimate vocals and songwriting amid a grand backdrop of lush instrumentation, creating songs that are at once both shimmering and spare, as if Nick Drake sat down for drinks with Yo La Tengo in Low’s palatial kitchen at 3 a.m." -- Label bio


What a way for your band's bio to begin, and I think the comparisions are well deserved.

Summer Lawns has become a staple on the WOXY playlist, so my interest has been piqued for a while now. I finally shook off the lazies, and visited the Summer Lawns' website. Here's what I found.

Formed in 2003 in Brooklyn, New York, Summer Lawns is composted of Jeremy Linzee (vocals, guitar), Andrew Landry (guitar, keyboards), Laurel Birkey (cello, vocals), and Kieran Kelly (drums). Their label bio compares their music to Ingmar Bergman films, saying: "Summer Lawns’ music sets out to ask the quiet and strange questions about what it means to be human: whispering, urgent, waiting for something to happen." Which to me translates as: They play haunting music that may remind you of Travis on a good day.













You can stream their entire LP First We Waited... Then It Started, and it's also available at Insound.

Club 8

Swedesplease will probably have my head for this, but...


Swedish duo Club 8's album Spring Came, Rain Fell is one of my favorite of all time. Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård formed Club 8 in 1995 and have five albums under their belt. They are poppy, sweet, and danceable while maintaining that classic Swedish melancholy. Karolina's voice is whispery and will break your heart when you listen to the track "Spring Came, Rain Fell."

If The Cardigans, Sambassadeur, or Acid House Kings are anywhere in your CD library, make sure you clear some space for Club 8. All of Club 8's albums are available at Insound.

Spring Came, Rain Fell:
Spring Came, Rain Fell (mp3)

Strangely Beautiful:
What Shall We Do Next? (mp3)







BTW: Danny from Neighborhoodies said that they will have Sambassadeur's LP Sambassadeur back on their site and available for purchase soon, so keep your eyes open for that.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dynasty

The electro/punk/rock duo Dynasty opened for Smoosh last night at the Knitting Factory. The eclectic Dynasty consists of saxophonist-guitarist Seth Misterka and vocalist-bassist Jennifer DeVeau. These two jazzy electro-punk musicians put on quite the show. Dynasty's music is an interesting mix of jazzy saxophone solos, synthesized beats, and rock guitar. To top it all of, Jennifer DeVeau has this amazing voice that whispers, shouts, and demands your attention. Plus, she's a diva in the tradition of Bjork: when she's not seducing the audience with her voice, she has the most radiant smile on her face as she hops around Seth Misterka and poses around the stage.

Dynasty has four mp3s available for download on their site, but my favorite track is listed below.

Turn It On (mp3) ::highly recommended::

You can also stream two-minute long samples from their LP Black Box at CD Baby.

Your Neighborhood Music Man

Have you ordered anything from Neighborhoodies Music yet? If not, get on it. Not only are all CDs $11.99 or less, but there is also free domestic shipping. Accompanying my purchase was a hand-written thank you note, plus lovely comments regarding my music taste. But wait, there's more! I also received a free Dum-Dum. Now that's what I call customer service.

PS: Neighborhoodies also has a free mp3 of the day, so it's worth popping by their website daily to see what's posted.

Uh-huh, uh-huh. Yo, yo.


I saw the sibling duo Smoosh last night, and they were fabulous. Asya (13) and Chloe (11) possess a gift that honestly defies their years. I was trying to remember what I was doing when I was in middle school. Probably spending countless hours in front of a mirror trying to make my bangs defy gravity with the help of a can of hairspray. Smoosh's songs are quirky and fun, but delivered with honesty and poise. There were moments when Asya's keyboard playing and straight forward singing had me recalling Ben Folds. I don't know; maybe it's just me. Smoosh also played new songs from their upcoming album, and the ladies are definitely growing in their sound. You'll definitely be impressed, and probably a little depressed about how you spent your middle school years.

Massive Cure (mp3)

Until the new LP comes out, you can listen to Smoosh's 2004 live set at KEXP. You can also buy their album She Like Electric at Insound.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Two-Step Tuesday

Common says dance.

Spoon: I Turn My Camera On (mp3)
Common: Corners (remix featuring Scarface and Mos Def) (mp3)
Arcade Fire: Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) (mp3)
Dirty on Purpose: Mindblindness (mp3)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Shade

When I was young, my parents used to drag my sisters and me to Pittsburgh, PA to visit family. You would have thought my sisters and I were being hauled away to our death the way we would scream and kick; we would press our faces against rear windows begging passers-by to rescue us from certain doom. Pittsburgh is no Disneyland: burnt out factories, crumbling buildings, and steel gray skies are not what most ten year olds dream about for their summer vacation. However, it sounds like something fantastic is emerging out of Pittsburgh's gloomy depths and it is named Shade.

Shade is a five-piece rock band that values screeching guitars and fuzzed out vocals. Their bio characterizes their music as at the "crossroad of Paisley Park-funk and post-shoegaze rock and roll." Comparing Shade to Primal Scream and Elvis Costello, the bio continues: "Shade's soul rhythms ultimately serve as the long-burning kindle to that immutable guitar noise, a heavy metal sound living in dancing shoes beneath colored light. On stage this relationship moves in better ways still. The hummable quality in any given tune from their debut all but vaporizes in a show of instinctive, and instinctively loud expression. They are one of the few songwriting acts of their class who take the tasks of performance as seriously as their compositions require. This is not merely the recital of a sound, its the spreading of the word."

You can stream songs from their 2002 release Forever Now, Nowhere Tomorrow and their latest release Fedra. ...follow link...

If you like what you hear, you can also check Shade out on WOXY's Live Lounge Acts series on Friday, August 26th at 1:00pm EDT.

Aaah, a perfect soundtrack to Pittsburgh.

Jim Yoshii Pile Up

I don't know who Jim Yoshii is or why he is piled up; nevertheless, I do like the California band The Jim Yoshii Pile Up. I guess it's important to be creative and stand out in this era of the "the + plural noun" bands. I wouldn't recommend listening to JYPU if you're contemplating the sad state of the world. JYPU tends to lean towards the melancholy and downright depressing; the topic of mental illness is not normally something that lights up a room. However, frontman Paul Gonzenbach sings his heart out like there's no tomorrow. The passion in his voice probably stems from the fact that Gonzenbach places his struggle with depression center stage in his lyrics. My intention is not to present JYPU as a band that sings pat songs with the theme of "my-parents-didn't- love-me-and-now-I'm-messed-up." They honestly play intensely pretty and intimate songs.

From Pick Us Apart:
Silver Sparkler (mp3)

From Homemade Drugs:
Reckless Driving (mp3)

All of The Jim Yoshii Pile Up's albums are available at Insound.





JYPU is currently on tour. Check them out if you have the chance:
August 17: Toronto. Sneaky Dee's
August 18: Montreal. Casa Del Popol
August 19: Cambridge, MA. Middle East
August 20: New York. Mercury Lounge
August 21: Philadelphia. Khyber
August 22: Washington. Warehouse Next Door
August 23: Atlanta. Drunken Unicorn
August 24: Jackson, MS. Martin's Lounge
August 25: Houston. Mary Jane's
August 26: Austin. Emo's
August 27: Denton. Hailey's
August 28: Oklahoma City. Conservatory
September 2: Berkeley. Rasputin's Records In-Store
September 3: San Francisco. Rickshaw Stop

She sends kisses.

Thanks.

That is how I want to start this morning's post.
Thank you to Mr. Craig Bonnell of songs:illinois and swedesplease fame for checking out my blog. I have to say that I definitely had a smile on my face when I realized that I actually had comments on my posts.

So, thanks. I think my day has been made.

The Wrens: She Sends Kisses ::live::
(mp3)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Virgin Rockness

I have a music-packed week ahead of me, folks. Smoosh, The Alternate Routes, The Jim Yoshii Pile Up and Hockey Night, Sufjan Stevens, Doveman and Raising the Fawn... I have to admit that I'm feeling a little stressed. Now, don't get me wrong; I'm pumped about the shows. But... I have a friend who has never (yes, never) been to a show. Never. Not even when she was young to see Duran Duran or New Edition.* So, she said that she wanted to go to a show with me this week, and I have to decide which one. This is a lot of pressure considering she's an indie rock show virgin, and this could be a defining moment in the growth of her taste in music. Sufjan Stevens would be the no-brainer, but that show is sold out.

So, any thoughts to where I should take her?

*BTW: My first show was Big Head Todd and the Monsters, but we'll discuss that later.

Cake on Cake

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Cake on Cake is 24 year-old Helena Sudin. She grew up in a small town of sixy people in northern Sweden. With not many people around, Helena had plenty of time to experiment with instruments and sound, and she has created a lovely and unique style of music. Cake on Cake has this graceful way of taking an everyday event like walking home alone at night and turning it into a memorable small moment. She has amazing layers and harmonies to her songs, and with each listen, you discover something more. Her LP will be released sometime in September and she is planning tour dates in the US. Until then, check out her website and the mp3s below.

Lonely Song (mp3)
Animals and Humans (mp3)
I See No Stars (mp3)
The Plan (mp3)

Enjoy.

I am a dreamer...

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Denison Witmer's latest album Are You a Dreamer? has me wrapped around its finger. Putting on this album is like having a very optimistic and comforting friend talk you through your most painful moments. The Philly singer-songerwriter collaborated with Karen and Don Peris from Innocence Mission and Sufjan Stevens to create this intensely beautiful album.

On his website, Witmer says that Are You a Dreamer is "about finding peace and remaining hopeful in a situation that feels completely out of control. A lot of people are feeling defeated right now. We're full of anxiety associated with our society's pressure to become something more important than what we feel we currently are. We're constantly being told that if we're not moving forward (or able to prove how we've gotten to where we are with perfect checks and balances) then we can't be trusted or taken seriously. Are You A Dreamer is giving in to life's mysteries, picking yourself back up, and continuing to go for it even in the face of a string of failures."

As much as I enjoy Are You a Dreamer, my favorite Witmer song is still "Are You Lonely?" from his EP The River Bends and Flows into the Sea. This song actually makes me yearn for the days of having a long distance boyfriend. We would definitely curl up on the couch to this one...

Are You Lonely? (mp3)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Baker's Dozen

I had breakfast at my favorite bakery today, and my tummy and I are very content. If you live in Brooklyn and haven't been to Blue Sky Bakery, you're definitely missing out. They have interesting muffin varieties (blackberry-plum, for instance), and somehow Blue Sky is able to bake their muffins so they are crispy on the outside, but warm and soft on the inside. Plus, they were listening to Neneh Cherry this morning, and you can't beat that!

In honor of the bakers at Blue Sky, here's my baker's dozen:

Rilo Kiley: Science vs Romance (mp3)
Raising the Fawn: Gwendolyn (mp3)
The Jim Yoshi Pile Up: Silver Sparkler (mp3)
The National: Wasp Nest (mp3)
Sambassadeur: Whatever Season (mp3)
John Vanderslice: Exodus Damage (mp3)
Doveman: Teacup (mp3)
The High Strung: N Over C (mp3)
Dracula Zombie USA: Thomas Window Paine (mp3)
Madison Strays: Last Train (mp3)
Cloud Cult: Outside of Your Skin (mp3)
The Long Winters: Blue Diamonds (mp3)
Maxi Geil & Playcolt: Here Comes Maxi (mp3) ...the greatest intro to a live set ever...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Doveman

My friend just bought me Doveman's new LP The Acrobat, and I am in love.

From a Time Out New York review: We're intrigued by Doveman, whose frontman, Thomas Bartlett, often sounds as if he's on the brink of passing out from heartache fumes. And you can hear every second of what he's going through as the songs' arrangements take a backseat to his voice. Fans of Belle and Sebastian should prick up their ears.

I'm a sucker for those emotional, I-wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve types, and Doveman does not disappoint. That's not to say the music is whiny. It's just beautiful melodic music that's not afraid to cry.

If you visit Doveman's website, there are many mp3's available for download. I provided direct links to some of my favorites, but you should definitely check out the other tracks. One highlight is the cover of Mazzy Star's "Fade into You." (Don't you remember listening to that wonderfully depressing song on repeat and driving your parents crazy? Was that just me?)

When you're done perusing the website, buy The Acrobat, and then go see a show:

8/22: Gothamist's Movable Hype 4.0 at the Knitting Factory (NYC)
8/30: Mercury Lounge (NYC)
9/13: Tonic (NYC)

The Acrobat:
Teacup (mp3)
Honey (mp3)

Steffani Birthday EP:
Fade into You (mp3)

Demo Tracks:
Secret (mp3)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Like The Like

Last night at The Mercury Lounge I saw the LA-based band The Like. These three ladies played an awesome set and I have to say that I am definitely in like. Drummer Tennessee Thomas played these beats that were on one hand really simple, but on another totally smart and powerful. Z Berg's vocals reminded me a lot of an edgier Harriet Wheeler from The Sundays. Her voice is playful and dreamy, but you know not to mess with her because she could kick your butt. In short, I think Z Berg has a ounce of Debbie Harry in her. Bassist Charlotte Froom's voice compliments Z Berg's nicely and she carried the songs with decent bass lines. The Like's professionalism and ease on stage belie their age. I don't think they have even met the ripe, old age of 20 yet.

And did I mention that Elvis Costello was at the show?

Their full-length album Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking comes out on September 13th. so until then you can buy their EP's from their website. In the meantime, you can download the track "What I Say and What I Mean" courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear.

What I Say and What I Mean (mp3)

For good measure, here's a track from The Sundays:
Goodbye (mp3) ...savefile link...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Two-Step Tuesday

I must admit that I like to dance... a lot. In fact, I make it a regular habit to dance around my apartment. Sometimes barefoot, and sometimes in heels. Sometimes alone, or with a friend or two. "So, what," you're wondering, "were you secretly dancing to this morning?"

Well, there's some new ear candy, but there's also some old. I was missing the soulful stylings of Mr. Greg Dulli. Although I like The Twilight Singers, I think I might prefer The Afghan Whigs. And in honor of Cuban great Ibrahim Ferrer, who passed away this weekend, I slipped one of his songs into the morning dance mix.

The Cloud Room: Hey Now Now (mp3)
The Afghan Whigs: 66 (mp3) ...savefile link...
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: In This Home on Ice (mp3)
Ibrahim Ferrer: Marieta (mp3) ...savefile link...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Swede-ness

My new obsession is Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Ternheim. Her debut album Somebody Outside is soulful and dark. She sings about those feelings that we like to avoid--loneliness, heartache, and fear-- and she does it so beautifully. Her LP was released in Europe in 2004, but it has yet to be released in the United States. However, you can order her album from the British-based website CDMegastore.com. Free shipping from the UK! What could be better?

Womensfolk has two mp3's available from Somebody Outside:

To Be Alone (mp3)
Shoreline (mp3)

It might seem like a lot to get your hands on this album (i.e., ordering from a British website, etc.); however, it is definitely worth it.

To continue the focus on Swedish music, here's some sugary goodies from The Cardigans:

Life: Tomorrow (mp3) ...savefile link...
First Band on the Moon: Step on Me (mp3) ...savefile link...
Gran Turismo: Do You Believe? (mp3) ...savefile link...
Long Gone Before Daylight: Couldn't Care Less (mp3) ...savefile link...

Dialing Lost Heros


My friend Dara and I took a roadtrip to the Cape last weekend, and she surprised me by bringing along the mix tape that we made for our first road trip together. Not only did it bring back great memories of driving through summer Texas heat, but I rediscovered 764-HERO. "Loaded Painted Red" started off the mix, and I have to admit that song still stops my heart.

Dara and I spent the first half of our roadtrip hitting stop, rewind, play.... stop, rewind, play... stop, rewind, play...

Loaded Painted Red
(mp3) ...savefile link...

stop, rewind, play...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pedro the Lion News

David Bazan, the cuddliest man in rock-and-roll, is in the studio working on a new Pedro the Lion album. You can listen to streaming audio of electric and acoustic demo versions of the track "The Devil Is Beating His Wife" at Purevolume.com.

I've been a big Pedro the Lion fan for years and am pumped for the new album. Unfortunately, Pedro's fifth LP won't be released until 2006. So until then, tide yourself over with tracks from previously released albums. Purevolume.com has plenty of great tracks to download.

More Than Your Average Spoon Cover Band


Robbers on High Street will be playing a live set on WOXY.com's Lounge Acts series on Friday, August 5th at 3 pm EDT. Personally, I am pumped for this Lounge Act. I saw Robbers on High Street perform at Mercury Lounge back in June. The boys rocked out and were digging the fact they were playing for an audience. Don't you love when a band is having so much fun on stage that it's infectious? After the show, my friend made the snarky comment that he "loves seeing Spoon cover bands." Yes... I read the reviews on Pitchfork, too.

Spanish Teeth (mp3)
Japanese Girls (mp3)
Montefiore (mp3)

And if you liked what you heard, visit NPR's website and listen to an interview of the band from NPR's Weekend Edition.

On another note...
I must confess that I put on my dancing shoes this morning and had a little party in my livingroom. Here's a track from this morning's groove goodness:

Bjork (from Debut): Big Time Sensuality
(quicktime video)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Non-NHL Hockey Madness

My younger brother is very excited about the National Hockey League games starting in September. On the phone last night, he told me that he has already started wearing his Blue Jacket's jersey in order for it to be broken in and ready for opening night of "hockey madness."

I don't know much about the NHL, but I do know that I stomp and scream for Minnesota-based Hockey Night. On first listen, Hockey Night sounds like Pavement, but when did that comparison become a bad thing? Their LP Keep Guessin' was released on July 11th, and I've been enjoying my own hockey madness ever since. My favorite song on Keep Guessin' is "Renegades," but I think you can make due with the track below:

For Guys' Eyes Only (mp3)

Monday, August 01, 2005

In the Beginning...

There's always the first post to introduce a new blog. So please be kind...

Summertime means lounging on my couch and trying my best not to melt in the heat. To while away the time, I am stationed in front of two fans on the highest setting possible and listening to The Most Serene Republic's album Underwater Cinematographer. I adore this album primarily because it takes me back to my days in college when Death Cab for Cutie was all the rage. The album is very dreamy and punchy all at the same time, which, in my opinion, is very difficult to do well. However, The Most Serene Republic does a deft job of singing sweetly and rocking out. This is probably one of the reasons I really like this band.

So, while you are sitting in front of your fan, dig this:

Content Was Always My Favorite Colour (mp3)

Enough said.