Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Envy Corps Contest

As I have mentioned at least one time too many, I adore The Envy Corps' I Will Write You Love Letters if You Tell Me To. It's catchy, it's poppy, it's moody. In short, the EP is a gloriously well-crafted gem. I'm a bit addicted and decided it's time to spread the joy. Indie Don't Dance is offering up copies of the EP to 3 readers. To win, respond to the following prompt in the comment section: Write me an 11-word love letter that tells of your need for an Envy Corps EP. 11 words. No more, no less.

The contest ends on Thursday, August 3. The winners will be selected based upon their literary deftness.

The Envy Corps: Sylvia (The Beekeeper)

If you need more inspiration, visit the band's myspace page and stream more songs from the EP.

And... don't forget The Envy Corps will be making their way to New York City for two local shows at Pianos and Sin-e.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Support the ones you love.

Catch Finian McKean and Patrick Brennan on Friday, July 28th at Sunny's Bar in Brooklyn. It's sort of a trek to get there, but it's worth it for free beer and (great) music.

* * * * *
And here was the topic of conversation on the morning drive to work.

We really need to start listening to NPR.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Envy Corps Cometh...

Aah... Sometimes checking one's email inbox leads to indescribable bliss. What's the causes of my latest joy? I've edited out all the salutations and technical pleasentries, but the main point of the email is still there. Read on, my dear readers, read on:

The Envy Corps is going to be playing (currently unannounced) NYC August 15th & 16th (on Tuesday the 15th acoustic as a part of Cross-pollination at Piano's upstairs and on Wednesday the 16th at Sin-E, 9pm).
What's that? The Envy Corps? Yes, that's right. My most recent obsession is leaving the comfort of the Midwest and heading to New York City in August.

To say that I am beyond excited is an understatement. To be honest: I did a little dance across the room and probably squealed a few times on the phone. I would also like to point out that not only is the band playing two shows, but also one of those shows is a Cross-Pollination set. Hands down, I these weekly acoustic shows are a big part of what makes the music scene in New York so amazing.

So, ladies and gentlemen of NYC, where will you be on August 15th and 16th? Next to me singing along? I thought so.

The Envy Corps: Rhinemaidens

Buy their EP I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To and put it on heavy rotation.

And because everyone needs friends, check out the boys at their myspace page.

Check back for more updates regarding The Envy Corps and their upcoming shows. There may be some goodies to give away...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tobias Froberg


His story sounds eerily like that of Jose Gonzalez. An artist from Sweden that no one here has ever heard of gets his song on an electronics commercial (granted, no where near as cool as Jose's Bravia commercial) and gets a good amount of press and airplay in the States. Leaves Sweden for small US tour.

That story is the story of Tobias Froberg. A Swede with great pop sensibilities. This is wonderful little pop song that I think you will enjoy.

MP3: Tobias Froberg - When The Night Turns Cold
Watch Tobias' Panasonic video here.

He is playing all over the country in September and October:

9/6 - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
9/7 - World Famous Spigeltent, New York
9/8 - Jammin' Java, Vienna
9/9 - Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis
9/12 - Paradise Lounge, Boston
9/15 - Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire, Montreal
9/16 - The Mod Club Theater, Toronto
9/18 - Call the Office, London, Ontario
9/22 - Double Door, Chicago
9/23 - Blueberry Hill, St. Louis
9/24 - The Maintenance Shop, Ames, Iowa
9/30 - Kilby Court, Salt Lake City
10/2 - Independent, San Francisco
10/4 - Largo, Los Angeles
10/5 - The Coach House, San Juan Capristano

Monday, July 24, 2006

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man

My first exposure to Leonard Cohen was through Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah." When I first heard Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," I hated it. I didn't understand it. It was too weird for me. I didn't like his whole talking thing. But, over time, his albums stayed with me and I enjoyed them more and more. I came to love his lyrics, particularly on songs like "Suzanne" and "Chelsea Hotel No. 2." For a while, The 2 disc Essential Leonard Cohen was a fixture in my car, perfect for sitting in traffic with the windows down.

I was incredibly excited to see the Lian Lunson documentary, "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man." Partially because it was about the great LC and partially because the guest stars read like my ipod: Antony, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, and U2. I saw the movie last night and loved it. It is a great mix of documentary and concert film. The performances of the artists covering Leonard Cohen are great. Antony's "If It Be Your Will" was particularly moving as was Rufus Wainwright's "Hallelujah" (although secretly I was hoping they would dig up some old footage of Jeff Buckley performing it live). But the best performance of the movie was an incredible version of "Tower of Song" with Leonard Cohen backed by U2.

The soundtrack comes out tomorrow (July 25th) and should be incredible. It includes all the songs played in the movie plus some extras. I am looking forward to this one.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Turn your radio off.

Hi. How have you been? It's been a long time since we last chatted about music and other assorted topics. I've been "away" at my summer job teaching those, who some like to refer to as suckers, but I like to call beginning teachers.

So, what have you been up to? I'm sure Siren Music Festival was fantastic. And how about those Birdmonster shows and Dirty on Purpose's record release gig at Mercury Lounge? Mind blowing, that's what I heard. What's that? Oh, you're going to see Robbers on High Street on Wednesday. No, you're right. They are my favorite summertime band. No, no. I won't be there. Will I be at the Cat Power show instead? No, I'll still be here in Queens listening to Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous Girl" for the upteenth time. Or "Hips Don't Lie." Can't forget that one.

I've realized that I am the snobbiest of the music snobs. I've decided to embrace my snobbery after spending the last month feeling completely cut off from music that provides any aural pleasure. Don't get me wrong; Nelly and Justin are fine in small doses, but I've definitely exceeded my intake of Incubus. I'm feeling the need to reconnect to music that I actually enjoy. I've had Pearl Jam's "Alive" running through my head lately. Maybe the song has become a subconscious anthem as I relive dorm life and look ahead until August when I'll be able to rejoin the music scene. That was a funny comment, huh?

So, yes. I'm looking forward to August. Or at least near August because I might have to leave Queens to follow Sound Team and Cold War Kids around New York. Three shows in three days. I should at least make it to one, don't you think?

Sound Team: Your Eyes Are Liars
Cold War Kids: Pregnant

Thanks to Dan for keeping Indie Don't Dance up and running while I bounce between Queens and the Bronx this summer.

I'll check in again later.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Sense

I have really been enjoying 5 songs from New Sense, a new band from Milwaukee. They have played sets with Phoenix and Voxtrot and are coming to LA to open up for The Little Ones. They sound great on record and use just the perfect amount of synthesizers and handclaps. This is great music for summer. Catchy and poppy, full of great hooks and bobbing your head. Check out the two tracks below:

MP3: New Sense - Chase the Night
MP3: New Sense - What If I Get Sick

And if you want to see them live:
August 7 - Los Angeles @ Spaceland w/ The Little Ones
August 11 - Milwaukee @ Miramar Theater w/ Maritime

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Rakes, Every Move A Picture @ The Troubadour


I have been a bad music nerd this year. I have missed the boat on many artists mainly because I didn't have the time to research and download and listen like I have in the past. Sometimes, this is a big regret. Other times, not so much. Adam was in town and he got tickets to see The Rakes and Every Move A Picture last night at the Troubadour.

I had heard a total of one song by both bands combined. I did know that both were involved in the British post-punk scene and The Rakes wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. I just thought they weren't good. All of the songs sound exactly the same. The lead singer of the Rakes doesn't so much sing, but rather talk over great bassline and guitar riffs. I couldn't hear anything they were singing and I don't know if that was because of his thick accent or because the sound at the Troubadour sucks.

The lead singer also tries to be a really great frontman. I love a great frontman, but there is a fineline between entertaining and just looking stupid and he was flirting with the latter.

Don't get me wrong. Many people there left saying it was an amazing show. I was just not one of them. I have heard that the album is more reflective of their brilliance. I am not that pumped to check it out.

The true highlight of the show for me was seeing Average Joe 2 star David Daskal in the audience rocking out to both bands. Now that guy knows how to have a good time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bob Log III

About a year ago, I went to Tucson to visit my friend Adam. Coincinidentally, it was the 20th anniversary of Club Congress, a great music venue in the area. There were concerts all weekend, but the highlight was a Tucson music documentary called High and Dry. It was during this film that I was first exposed to Bob Log III.

From wikipedia:

Bob Log III is a lo-fi blues one-man band based in Tucson, Arizona. He is well known for performing in a flight helmet and singing through a telephone headset attached to the helmet. He plays slide guitar and a bass drum at the same time as well as using a drum machine and various effects.

When Bob Log III was a child, he lost his left hand in a boating accident. It was soon replaced with a monkey paw, and a new guitar style was born.

- "It's my own personal style, see," Log says, "the paw moves much quicker than a normal hand, so my real hand has to flop around a lot to compensate."

- And what about the helmet?

- "What helmet?" he asks, his voice muffled by a helmet.

Bob Log III is doing a short west coast stint opening up for Blowfly.

MP3: Bob Log III - Boob Scotch
MP3: Bob Log III - Wag Your Tail Like a Dog in the Back of a Truck

Tue 9/5/06, Las Cruces, NM, El Patio
Wed 9/6/06, Tucson, AZ, Club Congress
Thu 9/7/06, San Diego, CA, Brick By Brick
Fri 9/8/06, Hollywood, CA, Knitting Factory
Sat 9/9/06, San Francisco, CA, 12 Galaxies
Sun 9/10/06, McKinnleyville, CA, Six Rivers Brewery
Tue 9/12/06, Bellingham, WA, The Nightlight
Wed 9/13/06, Vancouver, BC, Richards on Richards
Thu 9/14/06, Seattle, WA, El Corazon
Fri 9/15/06, Portland, OR,, Sabala’s
Sat 9/16/06, Oakland, CA, Stork Club
Sun 9/17/06, Santa Cruz, CA, The Attic
Tue 9/19/06, Las Vegas, NV, Celebrity Room
Wed 9/20/06, Tempe, Az, Clubhouse

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The First Half of 2006

There has been some great releases so far this year. Here are several that I can't get enough of:

Upinragscover Cold War Kids - Up in Rags EP [BUY]
Quote that sums them up best: "Overall, The Cold War Kids could be the Southern equivalent of a chemically-sedated, early Modest Mouse fronted by Jack White." [I'm Just Sayin is All]
Best lyric about alcoholism: I promised to my wife and children / I'd never touch another drink as long as I live / But even then it sounds so soothing / This will blow over in time / This will all blow over in time.
MP3: Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds

Ins29539 Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope [BUY]
Quote that sums her up best: "
Drawing lyrical inspiration from cereal boxes, orca whales, crappy Guns and Roses ballads and the pain/joy of everyday life, Spektor has found a niche in a world with too many Fiona Apple clones." [Kingblind]
Best lyric about Axl Rose solos: “On the radio / you’ll here ‘November Rain’ / that solo’s awful long / but it’s a good refrain, you’ll listen to it twice / because the DJ is asleep” [On The Radio]
MP3: Regina Spektor - Fidelity

Ins28428 The Metal Hearts - Socialize [BUY]
Quote that sums them up best: "The wonder duo reminds me a lot of a slo-core Pinback. Downbeat melodies, slow tempo and minimal acoustics get this track grooving at just the right amount." [The Test Pilot]
Best lyric about infatuation: "I've been infatuated with you though we've never met / I've got a picture of you I can't forget / It's been like this for me since day one / I feel alone / I feel like midnight's sun" [Midnight's Sun]
MP3: The Metal Hearts - Disappeared

Ins28832 Islands - Return to the Sea [BUY]
Quote that sums them up best: "This album is about all life on earth, evolution, disaster, freedom, love. "Humans" and "Volcanoes" in particular come from that rare breed of song whose imagery is able to be immersed in both the present and the classically universal." [The Mass Is Secretely Obsessed . . . ]
Best lyric about climbing into a whale: "I climbed into the blowhole / In the ribs I found you / With a wick we lit a flame / Now look at the smoke that it blew" [Swans]
MP3: Islands - Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby

Ins28693 Figurines - Skeleton [BUY]
Quote that sums them up best: "They make that patented Built To Spill quirky tunefulness their own on Skeleton, then throw in some slanted Pavement enchantedness and a couple of forlorn Neil Young slow dance moments to keep people guessing." [RegnYouth]
Best lyric about trying to win back a girl: "I parked a bike down the aisle / Had conversation for a while / I long for the ghost towns and July / Your heart still belongs to the new guy" [Ghost Towns]
MP3: Figurines - Rivalry

Other releases I have enjoyed this year:
Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives EP
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Guillemots - From the Cliffs EP
Division Day - Beartrap Island
Band of Horses - Everything All The Time

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!