Friday, March 31, 2006

Matzah!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Can't you see the camera loves me

Going to see Hard-Fi on Saturday at Warsaw.
Very excited.

Hard-Fi mp3s:
Stars of CCTV
Stronger

New Sense

"New Sense spread their wings and sting with a midwestern charm." -- Band bio

The Milwaukee-based band New Sense is playing a handful of shows in New York starting next week. One of the shows includes Rachael's (hopefully still on...) Underrated event. New Sense is made up of seasonsed veterans: Kristian Riley, DJ Brooks (Citizen Kings), and Nolan Treolo (Paris, Texas), along with ex-Camden and ex-Promise Ring (touring) members Will Seidel and Ryan Weber. From what I've heard so far, their music is synth heavy, poppy, and dancey. Think Postal Service on happy pills. Hopefully, I will have the chance to check out New Sense while they are in New York.

Mp3s from New Sense:
Chase the NightReady to Leave
Rollerskate

Stream more songs at the band's MySpace page.

New York show dates:

April 7

Crash Mansion

April 9 :: Sold Out ::
Mercury Lounge
with Voxtrot

April 12
Pianos

April 13
Rothko

We can crash the party on New Year's Eve

Pela is quietly sharing mp3s from their upcoming release Exit Columbia Street. Their first musical offering is "Lost to the Lonesome." I'm not sure how to describe this song other than it has this cool end-of-bad-boy-gets-good-girl-movie-ish quality to it. This track features a nice driving beat and some dreamy synth chords. Plus, I really like Billy McCarthy's vocals on this; they're lovely in a punchy-breathy way. I've filled my hyphen quota for this post, so I'm going to stop now.









Mp3 from Exit Columbia Street:
Lost to the Lonesome

There's no release date for the LP, but you can stream the track "Tenement Teeth" from Exit Columbia Street at the band's MySpace page.

Listen up New Yorkers: Monday nights belong to Pela. The band has a residency beginning in April at the Delancy.

April 3, 10, 17, & 24
The Delancy
168 Delancy Street
New York, New York

And...
If you've ever dreamt about shaking your thang in a music video, Dirty on Purpose is looking for ladies:
We're doing another video in a about a week.
We need extras. Who are willing to wear
their finest 80's jazzercise outfits and
shake it to 'No Radio.' There's no pay, but we'll
feed you and it'll probably be pretty fun.

Who's in?
You'll have to count me out on this one. I don't do leg warmers.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Enough to Choke a Cold Air

I am really loving these two tracks from the Florida three-piece Candy Bars. Their songs are fantastically dark pop gems, and I was instantly hooked to "Enough to Choke a Cold Air." There's lots of hushed, layered whispering and dreamy guitar chords on this track. When I listen to this song, I feel like I'm eavesdropping on a well-kept secret.












Mp3s from their album On Cutting Ti-Gers in Half and Understanding Narravation:

Enough to Choke a Cold Air
Violets

Buy the album On Cutting Ti-Gers in Half and Understanding Narravation.

Stream more songs by Candy Bars at their MySpace page. Listen to "Landscape." You won't be disappointed.

Mercy, Me

Katie and I saw What Made Milwaukee Famous last night at Pianos. After the show, Katie said dreamily, "I could never buy their CD; I could only see this band live. Or else I would have to kick everyone out of my apartment, and play my stereo really loud so I could dance by myself." That's Katie's roundabout way of saying, "Sorry, Colin, but I want WMMF to be my new collective boyfriend."

WMMF not only charmed the pants off Katie, but also the small audience in attendance. I think what makes WMMF so good is their eclectic sound and the energy they bring to each song. Last night wasn't as, let's say, polished as their Saturday show at Southpaw; however, the mix-ups brought out a lot of the band's personality. There was a mid-song mic change, a restart to a song, and shoddy sound plauged the set througout the night. The boys from Austin joked through the awkwardness and still put on a good show. Michael's and Drew's vocals were lovely (although muffled), Jeremy craked jokes, and Jon bounced around stage, swinging his bass. All in all, the show was good. Plus, Drew sports a sweatband like no other.

Tonight, WMMF plays their last New York show at Mercury Lounge. Try to catch them before they go!

Where was I when this happened?

'"Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston,' believed Pro-Life’s first monument to the ‘act of giving birth,’ is purportedly an idealized depiction of Britney in delivery. Natural aspects of Spears’ pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, compliment a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean’s head." -Sawf News

Wait, there's more: "The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva’s pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear’s ears with ‘water-retentive’ hands."

Lactiferous breasts, water-retentive hands, and bearskin rugs?

This is too much for me to handle this early in the morning.

But you know I totally want to go and see this.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tonight = Indie Dances

I'm using my prep time to update my blog instead of working on classroom stuff. I think I need a break from the monotony of teaching. My brain is feeling a little fried and I've been a sour puss of a teacher lately. However, I think I will be able to set things right with some fun later today.

So, tonight. There are many things on the agenda...

First, I'm off to Sin-e to see Justin King and his band. I don't know much about him, but he is a friend of a friend, and I like to see friends of friends play in bands. All I know is that Justin King is a guitar virtuoso and can do ungodly things with a doubleneck guitar. Check out what I mean here.

After Sin-e, it's a quick walk to Pianos where What Made Milwaukee Famous is playing. I'm being a Stalkerette this week, and I really want to see these guys play again. Their Southpaw show was fun, and I'm always in the mood to dance.

Then, I'll pop upstairs to Piano's lounge to check out Rachael's DJing skills. She's kicking off Underrated's weekly party at Pianos Upstairs Lounge. She's starting off tonight's set with new tracks from Birdmonster and Voxtrot. Oh, and did I mention that the event is free? I'll definitely have my dancing shoes on.

Needless to say, I will be useless tomorrow. Luckily, the children have the day off from school, so they'll be none the wiser.

Justin King: Stream songs at his MySpace page
What Made Milwaukee Famous: Almost Always Never
Voxtrot: Long Haul

Jose Gonzalez at Other Music

Last night Katie and I went to see Jose Gonzalez give an in-store performance at Other Music. We were silly dorks who showed up way late and had to stand in the back, so we saw a lot of backs of heads. However, what we heard was mesmerizing. Like Dan pointed out in an earlier post, it's amazing that so many beautiful sounds are produced by one man with a guitar. Jose Gonzalez's voice is so crisp and clear, and each song is delivered with such purpose. He played a lot of my favorite songs including a lovely cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop."















Mp3's from Veneer:
Lovestain
Crosses

His show at Joe's Pub is sold out, but you can catch Jose Gonzalez on The Conan O'Brian Show tonight.

He doesn't talk much, but you can be Jose Gonzalez's friend.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What Made Milwaukee Famous: Listen Up

Last night I fell in love with a band.

It happens occasionally, but this time I fell fast and hard. I went to Southpaw last night with the sole purpose to see What Made Milwaukee Famous kick off the night. The band was meant to take the stage at 9:00, but Southpaw was still fairly deserted at 8:45. The start time was stretched a bit and What Made Milwaukee Famous took the stage with a handful of people in the crowd. Despite the empty room, the boys from Austin did not disappoint. They started their set with "idecide" and quickly had people in the back inching towards the stage. By the time they played "Hellodrama," barflys had moved to the front. And were dancing in their slightly-nonmoving New York way. It is apparent that What Made Milwaukee Famous cares about the audience and making their shows memorable. The songs are not only dancey indie fare, but they have great melodies and lyrics, which make for great songs.

The set was short, sweet, and fun, and left me wanting more. Thankfully, What Made Milwaukee Famous is playing two, possibly, three more shows this week. It would be a crime to miss What Made Milwaukee Famous at one of their many shows this week in New York. I have a feeling that each show will be better than the last.










Check out mp3s from Trying to Never Catch Up:
idecide
Hellodrama
Mercy, Me

New York shows:
03/28/2006
@ Pianos
New York City, NY
with Thank You Goodnight, Apes and Androids, & the Subjects

03/29/2006
@ Mercury Lounge
New York City, NY
with the Faith Healers

03/31/2006
@ Rockwood Music Hall
New York City, NY
with the Undisputed Heavyweights

Saturday, March 25, 2006

We are powerful despite our injuries

"Electric guitar chords as sharp and tightly coiled as razor wire. Bouncy but insistent percussion that calls for dancing but not attention to itself. Adventurous bass lines. Lilting melodies. A vocalist with just enough weariness and age to muddy otherwise forthright vocals. I almost wish I was talking about the new Strokes record, but the honor belongs solely to Maritime." -Cokemachineglow

Dave has a great review on Cokemachineglow of We, the Vehicles, the second release from Maritime. Maritime is a melding of Davey von Bohlen, Dan Didier (both formerly of The Promise Ring) and Eric Axelson (formerly of Dismemberment Plan). I have fully explained my college-era love for The Promise Ring, and am interested to hear how these three musicians have grown since the break ups of their respective bands. The supposed emo-ness of The Promise Ring has been cast aside for something new, and I like what I have heard so far. The sound is still indie pop perfection, but with a more mature take on life.










Mp3s from We, the Vehicles:
Calm
Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts

Stream more songs from the upcoming album at the band's MySpace page.

Mark your calendars: We, the Vehicles has a release date for April 18th from Flameshovel Records.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What Made Milwaukee Famous

"What Made Milwaukee Famous are mixing up elements of all different genres and creating their own sonic smoothie. They go from loud to soft to sensitive to detached quite quickly-and, it must be said, quite effortlessly. It's melodic, it's smart, it's intelligent, and it sounds like everything you probably like and nothing you've probably heard." - Mundane Sounds

Gorilla vs Bear got me hooked to What Made Milwaukee Famous with the song "Hellodrama." Their songs are perfectly crafted pop songs that sparkle as brightly as your favorite song by The Shins. WMMF is playing four shows in New York this week, but I'm going to check out at Southpaw tomorrow night. Wes also let me know that The Undisputed Heavyweights are playing a show with WMMF on March 31st. This sounds equally delicious, so it looks like I will get my fill of the Milwaukee boys from Austin.

Hellodrama (the song that started it all)
iDecide

Be friends with What Made Milwaukee Famous.

More tour dates.

03/24/2006
@ Fletcher's
Baltimore, MD
with Dr. Dog and The M's

03/25/2006
@ Southpaw
Brooklyn, NY
with Dr. Dog and The M's

03/26/2006
@ The Middle East (upstairs)
Cambridge, MA
with Dr. Dog

03/28/2006
@ Pianos
New York City, NY
with Thank You Goodnight, Apes and Androids, & the Subjects

03/29/2006
@ Mercury Lounge
New York City, NY
with the Faith Healers

03/31/2006
@ Rockwood Music Hall
New York City, NY
with the Undisputed Heavyweights

04/01/2006
@ World Cafe
Philadelphia, PA
with Slo Mo and Steve Reynolds

04/09/2006
@ Wall of Sound Festival - Ridglea Theater
Ft. Worth, TX

04/22/2006
@ Tambaleo
Austin
RARE Magazine Party

Band of Horses











Band of Horses debut album Everything All the Time received an 8.8 on the Pitchfork scale. Pitchfork reviewer Stephen M. Deusner referred to the band's sound as "quietly innovative and genuinely refreshing" and highlighted Band of Horses' ability to turn "despondency into indie majesty." Everything All the Time has a gentle epic quality to it in which each song swells with palpable emotion yet feels neither overwhelming nor contrived. I have a feeling that this album will become a staple in my music collection.

The free tracks on the Band of Horses band site have made the blogger rounds, so check out the goodies below:

San Diego Serenade has some great live tracks from a Band of Horses show in Seattle.

And Bows + Arrows has tracks from Carissa's Wierd, Mat Brooke and Ben Bridwell's band before Band of Horses.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Matt Pond PA


Kiss the ground, I'm back in New York. My homecoming is somewhat bittersweet because I'm missing the Matt Pond PA show at Northsix tonight. I heart Matt Pond a little too much. Call it a lo-fi indie love affair.

Matt Pond PA: Other Countries
Matt Pond PA: Measure 3
Matt Pond PA: Brooklyn Stars

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I love free hotel Internet

Free Internet at my hotel means I get to post today.



















io Perry's bio describes her latest album Greybay as "seductively cold and sweetly sad with liberating bursts of infatuation and bitterness." I call it beautifully lazy and perfect for a Sunday afternoon of do-nothingness. Read the paper, kick your legs over the side of a comfy chair, and bounce your shoulders in time with the music.

I'll Pick You Up (mp3)
Saturday (mp3)

Buy io Perry's full-length Greybay here and be her MySpace friend. Because everyone likes making friends.

TV Excitement...
It has been way too long, but Prison Break returns to FOX on Monday at 8/7 central time. Sweetness. I want nothing more than to curl up on the couch and watch the Prison Break marathon on FX tomorrow, but I am tied up with UW responsibilities. However, this shouldn't stop you from making a date with your TV.

Oh, and Adam Brody is Nylon Guys Magazine cover boy of the month. Seth is all grow'd up in his suit and red shoes.

The High Violets: Cool Green (Thanks to Dan at Underqualified)
The High Violets: Sunbaby
Band of Horses: I Lost My Dingle on the Red Line
Soft: Higher
Sing-Sing: Come, Sing Me a Song
Parks & Recreation:
I Tried to Date the Singer in the Band (Thanks to Dave for this one)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Leaving for the Weekend















I'm off to Madison , Wisconsin tomorrow. I'm sure that doesn't generate the buzz of excitment as "I'm off to SXSW tomorrow," but nobody's perfect. I'm not sure if I will have time to post while I'm away, so I wanted to leave you with some of what I'm listening to now:

The Lovely Feathers: In the Valley
This Montreal band is receiving much blogger love, and I understand completely. I just received The Lovely Feathers' album Hind Hind Legs, and I had some time to check it out today. I'm becoming addicted to the track "Wrong Choice" and the track "Pope John Paul" receives equal adoration. I think "Pope John Paul" an instant show classic with it's catchy chorus. I'm ready to yell "Krakow, Poland" with the best of them.

Irving: Situation
Irving's new album Blood on the Flowers, Death in the Garden has provided the soundtrack for my hour-plus ride to work. The album is amazingly good.

The Fiery Furnaces: I'm in No Mood
This song just hits close to home. That's all.

The Undisputed Heavyweights: Bitches Be Trippin' (Live)
I saw the Heavyweights play at Piano's a few weeks ago. The show was this wonderful folk-jazz-loungey religious rival. I haven't seen such pure joy on people's faces as I did the night the Heavyweights played. After the show, Wes explained: "You might have only seen four people on stage, but there were really five. Jesus. He was there, too."

Matisyahu: King Without a Crown
This week, my second graders reminded me that Matisyahu is one sweet Haisidic Jewish raggae artist. To summarize the conversation in my classroom: He's got a beard and can spit out cool beats.

Sorry for the spotty descriptions. My flight leaves at 6:00 am tomorrow and I haven't packed yet. I have to get on that!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Finian McKean and the Wild Palms

I post on Finian McKean tons and tons, but I can't help it. It's this habit that I can't kick, but at least it's a good one, right?

This Friday, Finian McKean and the Wild Palms are celebrating St. Patrick's Day at Maxwell's in New Jersey. Showtime is at 9:00 pm.

And in other Finian McKean news, he has launched the label And For Each Only in honor of his official releasing and deluxe packaging of his album Shades Are Drawn. The website And For Each Only has a some good mp3 goodies including a few tracks from his days with the Push Kings. [EDIT: I have the name of Finian's label all jumbled. It's And Each For Only. The links are all fixed, so you can check out the label site now. Sorry for the mix up.]

Finian McKean: Shades Are Drawn (mp3)
Push Kings: Mrs. McKean (mp3)

On Tour: Rademacher


Malcolm Sosa, the hardest working man in indie rock, wants you all to know that he and the rest of the mates from Rademacher are going on a Spring tour. They'll be trekking around the west coast in support of their latest EP Ice Age.

To get a feel for Rademacher's unique sound, The San Francisco Guardian suggests that you "conjure up Karen O, Julian Casablancas, and Tom Waits all happily coexisting, swinging on a porch swing in the sun or sliding down a slide, whatever. Got 'em all floating around in your head? 'Kay, you can open your eyes now. Open your ears too, and go out and hear Rademacher."

To get you started, here's a sparkling new track:

Never Hear From Me (mp3)


Buy their EP Ice Age. See Rademacher live. Live healthy, wealthy, and wise.

April 12
Arcata, California: Sacred Grounds

April 13
Portland, Oregon: Towne Lounge

April 14
Olympia, Washington: Yes Yes Alliance

April 15
Seatle Washington: SS Marie Antoinette

April 21
Visalia, California: Howie's Pizza

April 22
Fresno, California: Earth Day (Federal Courthouse Park)

April 23
San Francisco, California: Make Out Room

Although Rademacher's Spring tour won't lead them to the east coast, keep your fingers crossed. I think the way to Malcolm's heart is through his stomach, so start scoping out some good brunch places, New York.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Amy Millan :: Skinny Boy




















Photograph from Evan Sung Photography

Amy Millan --the Broken Social Scene's and Stars' belting chanteuse-- is releasing her solo album Honey from the Tombs on May 30th. I thought the release date was this month, but I guess it's no longer. Arts & Crafts Records is offering a teaser of a single from the upcoming full-length. It's nice mushy, gushy stuff that will make you sigh and swoon, and a number of other silly things.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mushaboom. Again. Mushaboom.























Saturday night I drank too much. It was completely unintentional and probably unnecessary, but that's what happens when I meet a $3 Yeungling. Simon and I spent a drunken evening playing every version of Feist's song "Mushaboom" that we could find on the jukebox. Naturally, we played our selections more than once... twice... three times... a lady. I couldn't help it. Sorry.

Feist: Mushaboom
I adore this song. You adore this song. Conor and Ben adore this song.

Postal Service:
Mushaboom
I like the addition of Ben Gibbard's vocals to this gem of a song. It makes perfect that much better.

Bright Eyes:
Mushaboom
No Fiest, but a nice reworking of the original. Rachael wonders what a duet between Feist and Conor Oberst would sound like, and I agree.

This wasn't on the jukebox, but it could have been.

Feist: Mushaboom (VV Remix)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Apollo Sunshine and Bonnaroo

From the Apollo Sunshine boys:























Hey everybody!

We were recently contact by a fan who is very discouraged about the fact that we were passed over this year for the Bonnaroo Music festival... He want's to start a campaign to get them to change their mind...

Dear Apollo Sunshine fans,

Like many of you, I saw the lineup for Bonnaroo this year, shouted "Beck AND Radiohead!!' and just like that two hundred bucks popped out of my pocket and started packing up my camping equipment.

But then I looked a little closer at the lineup, and you know what? Something is missing. They need the smaller, hipper acts who have something to prove, the sorts of bands everyone will be listening to next year, but right now only the real music fans know about. The folks in Tennessee have booked some of the biggest musicians in the world, but they've forgotten who we all know is the best live act in the country.

Bonnaroo needs Apollo Sunshine.

I'm in contact with Ashley Capps, head of the festival, about this matter but I'm hping to get the help of the rank and file AS fans. What you can do now is email the Bonnaroo site info@bonnaroo.com and let them know how much you love Apollo Sunshine, what a great live show the guys put on, and that you think the band could really add to the lineup.

Thanks everybody! I'll keep you apprised of developments, and let you know if there is anything else you can do.

JB

Dirty on Purpose















Dirty on Purpose is gearing up for their forthcoming full-length Hallelujah Sirens. You can stream the new tracks "No Radio" and "Light Pollution" at their MySpace page.

And all you lucky ones who are heading off to SXSW have three chances to check out DoP in their full, live loveliness.

Thursday, March 16
SXSW Day Stage
@ Austin Convention Center
4:30 pm Set Time

Friday, March 17
Official SXSW Showcase
@ Spiro's (611 Red River St)
8:00 pm Set Time

Friday, March 17
Loose Record Party
@ Big Orange
10 pm Set Time
W/ Voxtrot, Dr. Dog, Sound Team

Friday, March 10, 2006

Never Letting Up

Letting Up Despite Great Faults is gearing up to release their EP through Judah Records this month. You can sample some demo tracks on Letting Up's band site.


Meanwhile, lucky Los Angeliners (nudge-nudge, Dan) can catch Letting Up during the month of March.

Friday, March 10
No Future
with The Soft Lightes, Stratageme, El Ten Eleven (Love them, too.)

Wednesday, March 29
Good Hurt

What do they call you guys who live in LA, anyway? I have a feeling it isn't "Angeliners."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

No Midnight























Finian McKean and Patrick Brennan are now the Wild Palms. New Yorkers can experience the fruits of their collaborative effort this Friday at 10 pm at Pete's Candy Store. The show is a cheap beats special because it's F-R-E-E.

Be Finian McKean's MySpace friend and stream some good music.

Other stuff...























Division Day: Hurricane
You can pre-order Division Day's upcoming full-length Beartrap Island here. If you haven't scooped up the free mp3 goodies at their band site yet, you really should. I have a feeling that Beartrap Island will not disappoint.

Birdmonster: The Resurrection Song
Birdmonster has posted new songs that you can stream on their MySpace page. They're nice unmastered teasers from their upcoming LP. Birdmonster's full-length is also pre-order-able here.

Bad blogger.























I've been a bad blogger of late. I blame my sickness that went away and came back with a vengence. I also blame the weird daily business of being a teacher. Not to give too much away, but the last two weeks of work have involved the following: teachers resigning, un-resigning, and re-resigning; power outages; news cameras; too many meetings; disgruntled families showing up unexpectedly; and children who are still playing with their snot. Finally, due to a family curse, I broke my glasses while cleaning them. I went one day wearing my old glasses from college, but that didn't go very well and I ended up squinting a lot.

Today, I wore my contacts, which made me very popular at school for about 15 minutes. One of my students, remarked, "You look new!" Hmmm.... "Compared to old?" I asked. "No," she said. "Just new. You know, new. Like, new."

I was also chastised by another student, who I am always nagging to wear his glasses every day. "You can't really talk," he said. I tried to explain what contacts were and how they work, but I just started some rumour about how I have round pieces of plastic stuck in my eyes. Instead of being "new," I'm now "robotic."

My in box is overspilling with emails from bands with new mp3s to check out. When I listen, I will share with you all.