Sunday, April 30, 2006

Maybe if I lay real still, it will go away, maybe it will...


This weekend has been really rough with 5:00 am mornings and super long days. I'm tired and drained, but wanted to point out a few things.

Cold War Kids are playing at Pianos on Monday and Tuesday. New York is still buzzing about their show at Bowery Ballroom with Two Gallants. I will probably be there on Tuesday. When are you going?

Cold War Kids: Hospital Beds

And I keep listening to this:

Brendan Benson: Alternative to Love

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is that your man right there?

I'm pretending that Saturday, May 13 is my birthday. My actual birthday falls during the work week, so I think it is totally appropriate to adopt an entire weekend for birthday festivities. Until today, I thought I had a dilemma: See Ghostland Observatory and Hockey Night at Mercury Lounge, or Saturday Looks Good to Me and Danielson at Northsix. But then I was reminded of the awesomeness that is Ghostland Observatory's frontman Aaron Behren, and I have decided that I will be at Mercury Lounge front and center. He wears pink pants. That's hot.

Ghostland Observatory: Rich Man
Ghostland Observatory: Shoot 'Em Down

Buy Ghostland Observatory's album Delete. Delete. I. Eat. Meat. at Insound.

Plus, Hockey Night. Fantastic.

Hockey Night: Renegades

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

From the school yard: The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs

It finally sunk in today that this is my last year of teaching. In a way, I'm excited about taking on the challenge of graduate school. Despite the excitement that lies ahead, the leavetaking will be bittersweet. Teachers often refer to their students as "their kids" because in many ways they become an integral part of your life. So integral in fact that over the course of a year, you do become a temporary family. Some families are dysfunctional while others seem to work together effortlessly. However, in all cases, there is a magic that is built within the classroom that I think I will truly miss.

The Be Good Tanyas: The Littlest Birds

I've decided to dedicate a post a week to the kids who make my life brighter around the edges.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh, my sheet is so thin

I'm a sucker for two things when it comes to music: 1) handclaps and 2) love songs. So, when "Lie in Sound" came on my iPod, I knew my morning was off to a wonderful start. I adore this song for its simplicity and dreamy earnestness. There are moments when I swear Anna-Lynne Williams reads my thoughts: "Oh the timing is cruel/ I need and don't want to need/ More than I should." Goodness.

Trespassers William: Lie in the Sound

Buy more goodies from Trespassers William at Insound.

Listen to Trespassers Williams' live set on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

I'll have to post more of my favorite love songs later...

*****
I hope you have checked out that Shifted Sound podcast. There's lots going on including a few great giveaways. Shifted Sound is offering up a copy of Bishop Allen's February EP and Wintergreen's latest extended play full-length. All you have to do to win is submit a review to iTunes of Shifted Sound. It's simple and easy, but you better get on it quick. The winners will be announced on Episode 7.

Episode 6 features the band Halloween, Alaska and Indie Don't Dance favorite Division Day.

Download the Shifted Sound podcast from iTunes.

Here's a track featured in Episode 6 to get you started:
Halloween, Alaska: Call It Clear

EDIT: The link to the Shifted Sound podcast wasn't working earlier. Hopefully, the link works now. However, if it doesn't, you can download the podcast by going straight to the iTunes Music Store.

*****
The Streets' Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living is out today. Here's the scoop from Vice:
We made this movie where Mike Skinner listens to his new record and explains it track by track. It's loaded with confessions, anecdotes and inside jokes... We broke the movie into 11 downloadable, iPod ready video tracks and handed them over to our friends at Music for Robots and Lemon Red. They're each unveiling a new track every day this week and they're giving away passes to see The Streets (and everyone else) at Intonation.
Definitely head over to Music for Robots and Lemon Red to check it out.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tell me in the morning


I was supposed to go to Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night to see the Two Gallants, Sam Champion, and Cold War Kids. The show sounds like it will be a lovely and amazing. I've played the crap out of the Two Gallants' What the Toll Tells and I always enjoy seeing Sam Champion. Plus, the buzz about Cold War Kids has stretched east from the west coast, and I am eager to check them out. But alas, I am not going anymore. My show partner-in-crime can't make it, so I think I will have to bow out. I realize that the last statement is a complete old lady comment, but what can I say? The idea of standing for hours alone at the Bowery Ballroom just isn't appealing right now. I know; I'm getting old.

Cold War Kids: Hospital Beds
Cold War Kids: Tell Me in the Morning
Cold War Kids: Heavy Boots

Buy Cold War Kids EPs and support their music their music making.

I will have to take a no-more-lameness oath, and promise not to miss Cold War Kids when they're back in New York in May.

May 1
Pianos
9:00 PM

May 2
Pianos
9:00 PM

*****
Shane Madej asked if I could post some more classic French chansons.
Mai, oui, Shane. C'est pour toi!

Yves Montand: Les Feuilles Mortes (this is a big hit in second grade)
Edith Piaf: Adieu Mon Coeur
Jacques Brel: Dulcinea Jacques Brel: Ne Me Quitte Pas
Serge Gainsbourg: Cha Cha Cha du Loup

Friday, April 21, 2006

State of the Union

Join every Tom, Dick, and Blogger at Arlene's Grocery tonight for Cloud Cult and The Undisputed Heavyweights. Cloud Cult put New York City in a tizzy this week, so I'm sure there will be a huge (and much deserved) turn out tonight. Plus, hometown heroes the Heavyweights have a magical way of leaving a smile on each and every face in the audience.

*****

As always, Craig has some awesomeness posted on songs:illinois and swedesplease today:
  1. At songs:illinois, check out the sampling of tunes from undertow records
  2. At swedesplease, there's a great new track from I'm From Barcelona's upcoming album
Rock Insider has featured some great new bands in her Quarry New Music series. Go check out some stuff that will definitely tickle your ears.

Muzzle of Bees is giving away a limited edition double vinyl 10" of the Guillemot's From the Cliffs.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A hundred miles off is closer than you think


A Hundred Miles Off, the third release from The Walkmen, is set to be released on May 23. During my subway ride today, I read the write up on The Walkmen in the Spring issue of FILTER. The article reminded me of how wonderful Bows + Arrows sounds, and how uniquely expressive Hamilton Leithauser's voice is.

The Walkmen: Louisiana (yousendit link)

There are some great mariachi horns on this song that give it a laid back, beachy vibe; you can almost smell the suntan lotion. And as we learned from "Ring of Fire," a mariachi band makes everything better.

*****


Don't forget to check out the latest darlings rocking my iPod: The Envy Corps. After listening to "Rhinemaidens," I ordered their EP I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To. I have to say it was one of the best $8 investment I have made in a while.

The Envy Corps: Rhinemaidens
Download some tracks, stream more songs at their myspace page, be their friends, and buy the album. Then I promise I will stop harassing you.

******


Have you heard of the Brooklyn band Tigercity? This four-piece has a bass-y pop sound that will get your feet moving. And I have to admit that I brushed my teeth while bouncing around to "Timecard." Minty fresh and booty inspired.

Tigercity: Timecard
Tigercity: Are You Sensation
Tigercity: Cloakrooms

Sunset...

Sunrise...

Devin Davis: When the Angels Lift Our Eyelids in the Morning (read more about it)
Polyphonic Spree: It's the Sun (buy)
Tegan and Sara: Wake Up Exhausted (buy)
Belle & Sebastian: Another Sunny Day (buy)
Jason Collett: I'll Bring the Sun (buy)

Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Remember: Evil Knievel and the legacy of John Wayne Gacy

My iBook is still broken. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

One positive result of the broken iBook is digging up the Grant Lee Buffalo album Mighty Joe Moon. This was an album that I played ad nauseum in high school, but is now tucked away in one of those monstrous CD books. The songs are stripped down and raw, so that the intensity of each song rings through. Grant Lee Phillips sings about devastation, minotaurs, and Manifest Destiny. Maybe Phillips was just prepping me for my AP U.S. History exam or to play for Team Meloy, but Mighty Joe Moon conjures a dusty past with poignancy. Twelve years later, Mighty Joe Moon has yet to lose its charm and I still feel the urge to lie on the floor and sing about John Wayne Gacy. Below are some songs so we can sing along together.













Mp3s from Mighty Joe Moon:
Grant Lee Buffalo: Mockingbirds
Grant Lee Buffalo: Lone Star Song
Grant Lee Buffalo: Sing Along

Pick up Mighty Joe Moon and other good stuff from Grant Lee Buffalo at Insound.

****
Wiki it up:
A new wiki entitled Bread for Music has been created to fill the need for a comprehensive internet-based lyrics site. There are a few hundred song lyrics posted, but the people at Bread for Music would like you to stop by and edit, add, and comment your music educated hearts out.

And:
To the lovely ones who entered the first ever Indie Don't Dance Mix--you know who you are-- please email me either a link or an mp3 of the song you want to include on the mix. The sooner I receive them, the sooner I can put the mix together.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Genius to fall asleep to your tape last night...

I finally finished that Journey-themed mix that Dan plagued me with. Such an onerous task, but now I feel light and fancy free. Yes, I realize that I take things way too seriously, but so it goes. As soon as I'm sure my mix club members have received my CD, I will post the tracks. In the meantime, I thought I would have some mixtape fun at Indie Don't Dance.


This idea is inspired by Mallie from the fantastic (but now defunct) blog South of Mainstream. Mallie had readers send in one song that they would like to include on a one-of-a-kind mix. Weeks later my SoM mix arrived in the mail, and I have to say that it is one of the best mixes someone has made for me. The mix is extremely eclectic since it combines divergent music tastes, and Mallie did an excellent job of weaving them seamlessly all together.

So, here goes the first Indie Don't Dance Mix put together by you and me.

Here are the steps:
  1. The first 10 readers to leave me comment will help make the mix
  2. Email me an mp3 of the one song you would like to include
  3. I will email you my mailing address
  4. Mail me a blank CD and a SASE
  5. I will sort the songs into a nice little tracklist
  6. My students and I will design a nifty CD cover for your mix (there are no child labor laws against this)
  7. You'll receive the first ever Indie Don't Dance Mix in the mail care of the USPS
If you can swing the above, then send me an email! And remember: the mix will only be as good as the songs you send.

Here's some inspiration to get your ideas flowing.
Bjork: Headphones

*****
Tap-Tap, Click-Click:
Division Day has something to dance about. Their first full-length Beartrap Island is out today. Throw down $10 and buy the album because it is fantastically wonderful. Plus, the guys from Division Day are sweet and we like sweet bands.

And:
I forgot to say good morning to you all.
The Good Mornings: Far Too Long (That's Fo Sho)

Monday, April 17, 2006

I will write you love letters...

"The Envy Corps have stopped simply emulating their heroes, (namely Radiohead, Coldplay etc.) and have emerged with an E.P. that solidifies their place among the top bands in the Midwest. “Love Letters” is an amazing seven-song journey where smart lyrics and superb songwriting marry to create a lush soundscape that is as comforting as a lovers grasp. “Rhinemaidens” may be the most well-known track on the record, but soon all seven tracks will be well etched into the memory of everyone lucky enough to have it grace their ears."Tony Tarbox


I am borderline obsessed with the Iowa-based band The Envy Corps. They write indie pop songs that touch perfection. Grant it, my opinion is based on two songs alone; however, what I have are highly accessible songs with catchy melodies and smart lyrics. I listened to "Rhinemaidens" a dozen times before I finally moved on, but not without declaring it one of my new favorite songs. Honestly, at the end of the day, it's songs like these that make me hope that small bands will garner the attention that their talent deserves.












Mp3s from I Will Write You Love Letters If You Tell Me To:

The Envy Corps: Sylvia (The Beekeeper)
The Envy Corps: Rhinemaidens

Buy The Envy Corps's EP and other assorted goodies here.
When you're done shopping, visit the band's myspace page and stream more songs. I highly recommend that you check out the song "Story Problem." The end of the song has handclapping and a live sing-a-long feel that gives the song a warm feeling.

And:
While you're out buying new music, pick up a copy of Beat Radio's Ecstatic EP. I feel the way I did about Beat Radio now as I did when I first heard a handful of their songs. The songs are simple and uncomplicated in the way that the comfortable and known should be.













Mp3s from the Ecstatic EP:
Beat Radio: Elegy
Beat Radio: A Million Miles (my favorite)

Limited editions of the Ecstatic EP are available at CDBaby.

Tangled Up in My Shoes

A reader suggested that I check out the Swedish band Penny Century (not to be confused with the other Swedish band Penny Century). Penny Century is nothing ground breaking; however, they do write happy, well-crafted pop songs that feature catchy female vocals. Plus the song "Tangled Up in My Shoes" features hand claps... which, you all know by now, make me weak in the knees.

Penny Century: Tangled Up in My ShoesPenny Century: Season of Mists

Download more songs by Penny Century at their MySpace page.
Penny Century also has a blog. I can't read it because it's in Swedish, but maybe you can. Let me know what it says.

Just in case you were itching to hear a song by the other Penny Century featured on Dreams of Horses:

Penny Century: I Water Plants

And:
I added a link on my side bar to the Shifted Sound Podcast. There have been five podcasts so far and the music featured includes many of my favorites (Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Au Revoir Simone, Stars) as well as some new finds (Wintergreen, Moonbabies). I also like that Shifted Sound features two songs by each artist, so you get a better feel for the artists.

You can download Shifted Sound's podcasts at the web site or through iTunes.

I Lost My Head

The Explorers Club is a six-piece from Charleston, South Carolina, who play harmonized psychedelic pop songs that may remind you of the Beach Boys. If you download their tunes to your iPod, you can imagine these guys are a sunny Southern a capella group seranading you on your way to class.

The Explorers Club: I Lost My Head

The Explorers Club is playing on June 7th in the Tap Bar at the Knitting Factory--New York.

Keep in touch with the band at their MySpace page.

And:
The Finian McKean "Shades Are Drawn" Contest is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!
Album or no album, New Yorkers can check out Finian McKean + Wild Palms at Mercury Lounge tonight at 8:00 pm. And remember: an early show means no fear of yawning at work tomorrow morning.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Un jour comme un autre

Since my iBook is in the shop, I no longer have my music at my digital fingertips. In a good way, this has forced me to comb through my CD collection and rediscover some music that I haven't heard in a while. Yesterday, I came across a mix that my French roommate Claire had made while we were studying abroad in Edinburgh. Claire introduced me to lounging precariously in windows while drinking red wine, the painful art of waxing, and obsessing over unrequited love. All of these life lessons were set to the soundtrack of classic French songs which Claire and I listened to endlessly. With or without red wine, many of these songs are heart string tuggers.

Mp3s from Claire's classic French mix:
Brigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg: Un Jour Comme un Autre
Serge Gainsbourg: Le Drapeau Noir
Edith Piaf: Sous le Ciel de Paris
Jacques Brel: Ne Me Quitte Pas
Yves Montand: La Vie en Rose

Friday, April 14, 2006

Make every day a Division Day


Division Day is touring with Birdmonster throughout the Northwest this month, and there are plans for Division Day to come east around late summer. But I've been thinking: Wouldn't it be great if Division Day could play in New York sooner than later?

Here's what Kevin from Division Day has to say about that:
Actually, if we were able to make it happen with gear and cheap plane tix, we'd be down to fly out there and play a handful of shows, mostly around NYC but possibly stretching to DC, Boston, and Philly. To make it work we'd probably have to do a mini-tour with another band willing to let us use their drums and amps, which would be tough to negotiate seeing as we know nobody out there, but if any band who may fit the bill's name jumps to your mind, please do let me know.
If I had amps and drums, I would kindly offer them up. Unfortunately, I do not have such things. But I do have a blog. And I do have lovely blog readers. So, readers, tell your band friends that sharing is caring, and help bring Division Day to New York.

Beartrap Island comes out on April 18th. There's a copy in the mail for me, so I've been opening my mailbox with giddy anticipation lately. The album hasn't come yet, but when it does... it will be a great day.













Until then, mp3s from Beartrap Island:
Division Day: Colorguard
Division Day: Beartrap Island

When the night tucks you in...

Last night I saw Robbers On High Street at Mercury Lounge. This was completely unexpected, but up until that point, I had spent my night watching my friend Stephanie's uberly drunk roommate attempt to walk in a straight line. As much fun as I was having watching the aforementioned roommate sidewind down Houston Street, I was much more interested in hearing new songs by the boys from Robbers On High Street.

I saw Robbers On High Street last summer, but the room seemed more crowded last night. A packed Mercury Lounge made me smile because I think the band writes some solid songs and put on a tight show. Frontman Ben Trokan was as lovely as ever singing in that wistful reminiscing way of his. There's something about the sweet rawness of his voice that reminds me of Elvis Costello. There was also a new keyboardist who I had never seen before. The fifth member is a nice addition because it allows Trokan to remain up front instead of switching between keys and guitars.

In addition to my favorites, the band played a lot of new songs for an enthusiastic audience. The new material had fantastic beats and melodies, and felt jammier than older songs. By "jammier" I am not trying imply "hippie bad." Grant it, it was my first time hearing the new stuff; however, the new songs felt longer and broke the mold of some of the songs on Tree City. The also showed off the versatillity of each band member, and for the first time, I think bassist Jeremy Phillips really stood out to me. His bass lines were simply amazing and they captured my attention right away.

Robbers On High Street closed their set with a new song that featured a saxophone solo by Trokan that only a mother could love. After the show, I asked Trokan the name of the song, but I was too tired by that point to remember anything he said. Instant memory loss is my sign to go home, so I put myself in a cab and called it a night. Needless to say, I will have to buy the new Robbers On High Street album when it comes out because I really want to know the name of that song.
Here are some mp3s from Robbers On High Street's set from WOXY.com's Lounge Act performance:
Robbers on High Street: Spanish Teeth
Robbers on High Street: Opal Ann
Robbers on High Street: The Price & Style
Robbers on High Street: Love Underground
Robbers on High Street: Menger Institute

Monday, April 10, 2006

Finian McKean Contest

I apologize for the lack of post over the last couple of days. Katie and I had our laptops die and be carted off to Tekserve on the very same day. I've been without my much loved iBook for two days now. Although it seems like my bad luck with computers if repeating; however, I will not let this keep me down. Especially when it's time for: Indie Don't Dance's First Official Contest.

Indie Don't Dance is giving away Finian McKean's solo album Shades Are Drawn.

Finian McKean released his album Shades Are Drawn and received tons of blog buzz. Besides yours truly, Gorilla vs Bear, Hello Gina, Muzzle of Bees, and Bows + Arrows are just a few blogs that support Finian's latest solo effort. Due to the increased (and much deserved) attention, this ex-Push King has repackaged and rereleased his full-length album for the masses.

Because this is my first contest (and it's way too late for creative thought), the first three readers to send me an email will receive a free copy of Shades Are Drawn.

Good luck to all, and trust me: the album is fantastic.

For those of you in New York: Finian McKean + Wild Palms are playing on Monday night at Mercury Lounge.

On the indie chart of poppiness, your child is a 10.

Family conferences are tonight and tomorrow. Not so fun. Conferences involve me doing a lot of talking, students staring guiltily at their fingers, and various family members scratching their heads and looking confused, pleased, and irritated all at once. These are days that I dread because it also means that I won't leave the Bronx until 6:00 pm. However, tonight I am making a pit stop at Mercury Lounge to check out New Sense, Irving, and Voxtrot. There's definitely a giddy buzz in the air around this show, and I'm ready to be drowned in indie-pop dance numbers.

Bag of goodies

Here's some good stuff from the folks at Team Clermont. Enjoy!

Final Fantasy: Arctic Circle
This is the latest from Final Fantasy's upcoming album He Poos Clouds. I like the simple sparness of "Arctic Circle." And according to Team Clermont, the song is about Dungeons and Dragons... something I know nothing about.

Hazard County Girls: InsectThe Hazard County Girls are ladies from New Orleans who show that the city still rocks. This track reminds me of The Breeders or other lovely rrriot girl stuff.

LYLAS: His Master's MerrimentLYLAS is drastically different than the Hazard County Girls. Team Clermont describe LYLAS' first full-length as "exceptionally well-produced and lovely chamber pop lark that recalls Donovan (in a good way) and Belle and Sebastian."

Candy Bars: Enough to Choke a Cold Air
In case you missed this mp3 from Candy Bars the first time around. "Enough to Choke a Cold Air" reminds me of classic Grant Lee Buffalo. Remember them? It must be the lead singer's scratchy voice that is forming the connection. This song is pretty close to perfect.

About: Strike You As the Enemy
About. Hand claps. Dig it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Goodbye

My love for Letting Up Despite Great Faults is one I have posted on time and time again. Letting Up Despite Great Faults has posted a reworked version of "Maybe I'll Hide with You." The lyrics on this track are few and far between, but that's exactly what I like about this song. When Mike Lee's whispery vocals break through, it's with immense heart and subtle intensity. Letting Up Despite Great Faults promises a new EP this spring. Fingers crossed it will be released soon.

Letting Up Despite Great Faults: Maybe I'll Hide with You

Ben Gibbard gave Letting Up Despite Great Faults a thumbs up. So, if you also like what you hear, download more mp3s at Letting Up's band site.

And:
Here's a new one from Cassettes Won't Listen.

Cassettes Won't Listen: Where Did Go

You can also download CWL's remix of Morcheeba's "Everybody Loves a Loser" at the band's MySpace page.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Open the Door, I Want to Be Yours


Bella is one of my latest and lovliest MySpace friendships in the past few months. The band promises to "leave you humming their infectious melodies for days afterwards." It's a claim that I find true. The track "Crystal Tears" has a nice balance of poppy synths and hand claps that I find dancing through my head at random moments throughout the day. Bella's debut full-length Pretty Mess was recorded with help from Colin Stewart, who has also worked with Hot Hot Heat, Destroyer, and Black Mountain. New Music Canada has labelled Bella "Vancouver's newest sensation." Check out the mp3s below, and see what you think.













Mp3s from Pretty Mess:
Go
Crystal Tears

Be the band's MySpace friend.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pitchfork Music Festival

I'm itching to go Chicago in July for the Pitchfork Music Festival. The line up looks awesomely solid, and I do a (somewhat) silent cheer every time bands are added to the list. I would like to see some personal favorites like Spoon, Chin Up, Chin Up, Jens Lekman, the National, and newbies Tapes 'n Tapes and Band of Horses. $30 for two days of music is super cheap, and couches to crash on are easy to find.

I think I'll have to go.

Some mp3s from the Pitchfork Music Festival line up:
Tapes 'n Tapes: Beach Girls (yousendit link)
Band of Horses: Funeral
Jens Lekman: Runaway with Me
Chin Up Chin Up: Collide the Tide
The National: Murder Me Rachael
Spoon: I Turn My Camera On

So Much Silence has its "conspiracy theory" worked out for how Pitchfork selected the bands for the festival. The conclusion is to be expected, but it's a good read.

Monday, April 03, 2006

April = Residencies Galore!

New York and LA, you have some great bands with residencies. Check them out.

New York
A Brief Smile
Every Thursday in April
Fat Baby @ 8 pm

Pela
Every Monday in April
The Delancey @ 9 pm or 10 pm

Los Angeles
Biirdie
Every Tuesday in April
Tangier

Mp3's from bands in residence:
A Brief Smile: Kitchen Floor
Pela: Lost to the Lonesome
Biirdie: Estelle

Journey

I'm part of a CD mix club put together by my friend Dan. A bunch of music nerds put together mixes on a particular theme and then send them out. This round's theme: Journey. I've been putting off making my mix for months now and my procrastinating is starting to border on ridiculous. I think I'm suffering from performance anxiety. How do I approach this theme? Literally with songs about traveling near and far? Metaphorically with songs about break ups, growing up, and the like? Dan says there's no judgement, but I know better.

Today, I received Dan's mix in the mail. He promised that my head "will explode" when I listen to it. My head hasn't exploded, but Dan's mix is awesomely good. Dan went the birth-to-death route, so I guess I'll scratch that off my list.

Mp3's from Dan's journey:
Natalie Merchant/Wilco/Billy Bragg: I Was Born
The Replacements: Sixteen Blue
Dramarama: Anything, Anything
Devin Davis: When I'm 99
Yo La Tengo: Our Way to Fall

Thanks to Dan again:
I was stuck on the 5 train today, but I had this lovely Guillemots song to keep me company. It's sort of like an aural carnival. Take that to mean whatever you'd like...

Guillemots: Trains to Brazil

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Stars of CCTV

I went to see Hard-Fi at the Warsaw last night. First, I have to put out there that I have a love-hate relationship with the Warsaw. I adore the old Polish ladies who dish out steaming hot pierogies and ice cold beer. Love them. However, I don't like the sound at the Warsaw. There's lots of muffled vocals and weirdness going on. But I digress...

The show was good and not-so-good all rolled into one. The bad: I found myself squashed between some frat boys who had driven to New York from Boston. (Was this the case at Hard-Fi's show at Mercury Lounge last summer? I don't remember them there.) There was lots of fist-pumping and grown men sweating and screaming at the top of their lungs last night.

The good: Despite his awkward banter and random stage wanderings, frontman Richard Archer is a total rock star. His vocals were lovely and spot on, and each song was incredibly tight and polished. By the time Hard-Fi played "Cash Machine," the audience was eating out of the band's collective hand. Richard Archer had the crowd jumping, singing, clapping, and screaming after mundane comments.

Archer: We're in Brooklyn!
Crowd: WHOOOOOOOOOO!
Archer: It's the weekend!
Crowd: WHOOOOOOOOOO!
Archer: It's Saturday night!
Crowd: WHOOOOOOOOOO!
Archer: I'm wearing a tight black T-shirt with a tank in the bottom right-hand corner!
Crowd: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WHOOOOOOOOO WHOOOOOO HOO HOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

OK, so the last two lines are made up, but still my point is made. Throughout the set I got the feeling that Hard-Fi is itching for a stadium, and it's totally deserved. Their album hit number 1 in the UK. They have the ability to bring grown men to tears. And Archer has a roadie whose job it is to pick up his mic stand when it falls. That's big time.

Mp3 from Stars of CCTV:
Hard to Beat

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bears to Release First LP

You can pre-order Bears' upcoming full-length. The album is scheduled to ship out on April 25th. It's $10 and everyone who pre-orders will receive cute little buttons that you can proudly sport on your favorite indie kid jacket.














You can stream songs from Bears' LP at their MySpace page.

And if you like to sample things before you buy...
You can stream the Yeah Yeah Yeahs new album Show Your Bones at Radio Indie Pop.