Wednesday, May 31, 2006

From the Schoolhouse

The American Analog Set: Cool Kids Keep

*****
And...

Stop the presses! Indie Don't Dance was mentioned on VH1's the Best Week Ever? OK... so it's the blog. It's still cool.

Sure Juror is giving away their first album for free. The band is dishing out one song at a time, along with a description of how the song came to be. Visit Sure Juror's blog and download the first three songs that are up for grabs.

For those of you who are into Rock Kills Kid, here are some acoustic versions of songs off of their album Are You Nervous?

Rock Kills Kid: Hideaway
Rock Kills Kid: Midnight

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Letting Up Despite Great Faults: Movement EP

Does anyone love Letting Up Despite Great Faults as much as I do? If so, click over to the band's myspace page to preview some tracks from their upcoming Movement EP. If you like what you hear, pre-order the EP for $6.99. Yes, I know. It is good news.













For those of you in California, Letting Up Despite Great Faults is playing a few shows. Check out their tour dates to see if they're in your neighborhood in June.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Psapp

Enjoy these songs from Psapp. They're from their album The Only Thing I Ever Wanted. Beside providing the theme sound for Grey's Anatomy (why do i like this show?), Psapp will be on tour this summer with Jose Gonzelez (whoo-hoo!) and Juana Molina (another whoo-hoo!).

Psapp: Hi
Psapp: Wet Box
Psapp: Tricycle

If you visit Psapp's myspace page, you'll notice that they are friends with tons of cats. Yes, I said cats. I don't know what that's all about, but maybe they'll be your non-feline friend, too.

Psapp's Tour Schedule.
Did I mention it is with Jose Gonzalez and Juana Molina?

» Wednesday 14th Jun
KCRW -- Morning Becomes Eclectic 11:00 AM PST (PSAPP ONLY)
www.kcrw.org
Los Angeles, CA

» Friday 16th Jun
El Rey Theater
Los Angeles, CA

» Saturday 17th Jun
Bimbo's
San Francisco, CA

» Sunday 18th Jun
Doug Fir
Porltland, OR

» Monday 19th Jun
Neumo's
Seattle, WA

» Tuesday 20th Jun
Richard's On Richards
Vancouver, BC CANADA

» Friday 23rd Jun
Cedar Cultural Center
Minneapolis, MN

» Saturday 24th Jun
Hothouse (sans José)
Chicago, IL

» Sunday 25th Jun
Magic Stick
Detroit, MI

» Monday 26th Jun
Trinity St. Paul
Toronto, ON CANADA

» Tuesday 27th Jun
National
Montreal, PQ CANADA

» Wednesday 28th Jun
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston, MA

» Thursday 29th Jun
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

» Friday 30th Jun
Black Cat
Washington, DC

» Saturday 1st Jul
World Cafe
Philadelphia, PA

» Monday 3rd Jul
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

» Wednesday 5th Jul
Joe's Pub (HEADLINE GIG) 9:00 PM
New York, NY

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Nights in.

At first I was bummed about being sick for the umpteenth time this year. But after cruising through the blogosphere, my attitude has taken a turn for the better:

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Long Winters: Putting the Days to Bed

I am a great second grade teacher. Really, I am. But not much of an album reviewer. However, I'm going to give it a shot because the upcoming release from The Long Winters has been making me absolutely giddy.

If last year's release of the Ultimatum EP was John Roderick's idea of a light tickle in the ribs, then Putting the Days to Bed is a well-rounded album of bliss. Putting the Days to Bed opens with the melodic and crisp guitar driven track "Pushover." This song features the elements that make a track by the Long Winters stand out: witty, intimate lyrics, layered harmonies, and a smart pop hooks. Three songs in, the album hits a high moment for me on "Teaspoon." Rollicking horns push this song forward and although I'm not quite sure what the song is about, I find myself singing along. "The Sky Is Open" is a little rockier while "Honest" has the sprinkling of a country tune over jangling bells.

Yes: in a little under 40 minutes, this album put a smile on my face. Although each song doesn't break new ground, the album does neatly deliver everything that I like about The Long Winters. The harmonies, the sometimes overly shiny-happy perspective on life, and the lyrics that seem so simple but sometimes lose me in the twisted metaphors.

The Long Winters: Pushover

Putting the Days to Bed will be released on July 25, but you can pre-order it from Barsuk Records.

Spring Cleaning: Spiders, attorneys, missles, and snowglobes.

There's so much stored in my inbox right now, that it's a crime to keep it all to myself. This post is long, but full of good things.

Conner is a four-piece from Lawrence, Kansas that specializes in the sultry cockiness of the Brits and catchy melodies. Their sound is (unexpectedly) funky, and after three songs, I'm hooked and eager for more. Their new album Hello Graphic Missile is out on June 6th, but you can listen to the tracks below...

Conner: Silent Film Score
Conner: Cold Feelings
Conner: Up to You

Check out the band's myspace page for more information, songs, and to pre-order their album.

*****
Spider is Jane Herships. This Brooklyn native has received the Yeti stamp of approval with her whispering vocals and delicate guitar playing. Her sound is reminiscent of Edith Frost, but with an even more hushed sweetness.

Spider: The Ballad of Clementine

Visit Spider's myspace page to stream more tracks and to order her album The Way to Bitter Lake.

*****
I uploaded a few songs by The Attorneys to my iPod ages ago, and then completely forgot about them until last week. The songs have a punchiness that cannot be ignored, and they definitely woke me up during my 6:30 am train ride to work. This band plays straight up melodic, indie power pop. If you're in New York, you can catch these Brooklyn boys at their residency at Arlene's Grocery.

The Attorneys: Talk About It
The Attorneys: The Way I Want to Love

*****

Snowglobe. What do say about this band from Memphis? Well... lack of time will keep me from saying everything that I should but: the harmonies are breathtaking, the lyrics simple and crisp, and instrumentation that is layered just right. Hands down, Snowglobe deserves a better post than this. After you listen to their songs, you will feel instantly happy. I promise. So, just listen to the songs.

Snowglobe: At Times a Nightmare (my favorite. just wait until the end of the track.)
Snowglobe: Rainbow
Snowglobe: Dry

Visit Snowglobe's myspace page to stream more songs, download another, and prepare yourself for the release of their album Oxytocin on July 18th.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Diggs at Mercury Lounge

The Diggs are playing at Mercury Lounge on Saturday, May 27th. This Brooklyn trio is stirring up some buzz with their catchy pop sound. The Diggs will probably take the stage around 10:30. Until then...

The Diggs: Everyone's Starting Over

Stream more songs at the band's myspace page.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Latest Love

A commercial break from LOST is enough time to tell you about my latest music obsession: Flying. What can I say about them? They're an amazing breath of newness. They have a lovely acoustic sound that is mingle with the rawness of found objects. Flying reminds me somewhat of The Books because their music has a scratchiness that sounds like it is being recorded in front of you. Long story short: the music is fantastic and different. I'm going to stop trying to use words to describe what I think is more than good. Listen for yourself.

Flying: Falling Leaves
Flying: Minors

And if anyone can explain what is happening on LOST, I would really really really appreciate it. I've missed too much of the series finale to understand what is going on. That's what happens when you drink too many mojitos after work.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

From the Schoolhouse

Hell has no wrath like a second grader scorned.

A Brief Smile: Pretty Mess
Belly: Gepetto
Finian McKean: Black Hole
Nina Simone: I Hold No Grudge

A long time ago I wrote that I would dedicate a post a week to my students. Well... I got mad at them and didn't want to think about the fact that I spend a good part of my day with seven year olds. So, I'm done being Ms. Poopster and have decided to fulfill my promise. Natrually, I'm kicking off these weekly posts with a photograph of what happens when you piss off a second grader. Coats and bookbags go flying. It all makes sense in the end.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Foundry Field Recordings

I adore this song by Foundry Field Recordings. I like the scratchies and the squeakies that crackle through my speakers when "Spain Never Made It" comes on. It makes me feel like Foundry Field Recordings is playing to me over the telephone. Just a quick call to check in and see how things are.

Foundry Field Recordings: Spain Never Made It

Foundry Field Recordings was once Billy Schuh and the Foundry. The band has re-emerged with a new name and their new album Prompts/Miscues. Their latest full-length won't be available until June 13th; however, you can download tracks from their EP Fathers as Robots.

Foundry Field Recordings: Buy/Sell/Trade
Foundry Field Recordings: Dancing Lights, Slow Machines

Visit the band site
to download more tracks from the Fathers as Robots EP.

Visit the Emergency Umbrella site to purchase good things from Foundry Field Recordings.

Bishop Allen meets Shifted Sound

Bishop Allen is the feature guest artist on the Shifted Sound podcast this week. Shelby, the voice of Shifted Sound, interviews Christian Rudder and Justin Rice about being an unsigned band, blogs, and their EP-a-month project. Plus, if you haven't received your April EP in the mail yet, you can preview the song "Shrinking Violet." There are other songs on the podcast from Bishop Allen's EP extravaganza, including my favorite "The Monitor." It's got handclaps!

Bishop Allen: The Monitor

Buy Bishop Allen's EPs and Charm School LP here
.

Download the Shifted Sound podcast 10 (right-click, save as).

If you're in New York, mark your calendars for Bishop Allen's May EP release on May 26 and June EP release June 30th. Both shows are at Pianos.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Baby boy, birthdays are good.

Wow... Thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes. They were fabulous and I have felt extra special over the last three days. I guess blogs are more self-indulgent than I thought. Thanks again!

On to the music...

Crystal Skulls has been tour for the last two months playing shows with Minus the Bear, Helio Sequence, and my personal favorite, John Vanderslice. The band is out supporting their second album Outgoing Behavior, which according to the band's website, flirts "with the soulful sway of a post-granola Grateful Dead mixed with brisk and brittle wit."













Crystal Skulls: The Cosmic Door
Crystal Skulls: Baby Boy

Order goodies from Crystal Skulls from Suicide Squeeze Records.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Today is my birthday.

As the title of the post states: Today is my birthday. Those who know me well know that I adore my birthday. I don't just like it; I love it. I don't necessarily want presents, a party, or a night of drunken debauchery. I just want simple acknowledgement that:
  1. It's my birthday
  2. It's my birthday
  3. It's my birthday
That's all I want.

I put together a short list of songs that I like to fuel my birthday bliss. These aren't necessarily songs that are causing the current blog buzz or hot on The Hype Machine. They're just songs that I like. And it's my birthday. And just let me indulge for this one day of the year.

The Envy Corps: Story Problem
Aloha: You've Escaped
Brendan Benson & the Wellfed Boys: Metarie
Cold War Kids: We Used to VacationDivision Day: Hurracaine
I'm From Barcelona: Rec & Play
Inara George: Genius
Say Hi To Your Mom: The Death of Girl Number 2

*****
And...

Was that Au Revoir Simone on Grey's Anatomy last night?

Monday, May 15, 2006

No Shoegazing Allowed

My "real" birthday is tomorrow, but I saved this past Saturday for my birthday festivities. A hungover teacher does not make for a good teacher. I spent Saturday night holed up at Mercury Lounge to catch Hockey Night and the wonder that is Ghostland Observatory.

Hockey Night played a good, energetic set. There's an element of quicky adorableness to this band that I guess only a Midwestern girl could love. There was plenty of synchronized drumming, amazing solos, and Elvis on the bells. At times, I'm astonished that there isn't more buzz about Hockey Night. There songs are a nice balance between lo-fi indie and jam-classic rock. I really enjoyed the new songs and thought the boys really brought out all the stops. However, I could have done with out the Play-Doh and panty throwing. Panty throwing? Where am I?

Last year, Dan and I saw Ghostland play at Ace of Clubs, and there were probably 20 people in the room. Saturday night, Mercury Lounge was sweaty, pumped, and packed. Ghostland Observatory played a fantastic set. There were no pink pants, but Aaron Behren's pants were as tight and as lovely as ever. He moved his body in inhuman ways while Thomas Turner played the straight man and worked assorted electronic instruments. The crowd was eating up the energy, which definitely helped to keep the show lively. There was no panty-throwing, but the night did end with Behren's jumping into the audience, not once, but twice.

Read another review of Ghostland Observatory at the Underrated Blog.

Hockey Night: Dark Trance
Ghostland Observatory: Ghetto Magic

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Declare a New State

"Cute as cupcakes..." -- myspace comment


The debut LP from The Submarines has been sitting on my coffee table for weeks now. I finally uploaded Declare a New State to my iPod, and now I'm kicking myself for not listening to this sooner. The Submarines are Blake Hazard and John Dragonetti and this cute-couple band writes songs that break your heart and then gently mend it back together.

The Submarines: Peace & Hate
The Submarines: Vote
The Submarines: The Good Night

Declare a New State hits stores on June 20th, but you can download it now from iTunes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Good things happen when we cross pollinate

Last night, I headed over to Pianos for Wes's Cross-Pollination event. The Boston band Joy and New York's Finian McKean joined together to create some of the prettiest music I have heard in a while. I'm describing the music simply as pretty because sometimes things just are. I think the vibe of Pianos' upstairs lounge

Joy: Love Is Lonesome
Finian McKean:
Shades Are Drawn

Besides having the opportunity to listen to some great music, I learned a few new things:
  1. Finian McKean is one of the kindest people I know
  2. Wes rolls deep with his gangsta crew in Newark
  3. Cross-Pollination is the perfect event for me: shows begin at 8:00 pm and I'm in bed by 10:30 pm. Perfect.
*****
Speaking of Pianos... If your Thursday night is open, head over there to catch Baby Dayliner's release party for Critics Pass Away. The show is at 10:00 pm. It's free. There will be dancing and drinking until the wee hours of the morning.

Monday, May 08, 2006

In support of cross pollination

Finian McKean is playing a Cross-Pollination set with Joy tomorrow at Pianos. As Jerry has already reported, Finian is not only an Indie Don't Dance darling, but also an amazing singer-songwriter. I'll be at Pianos with some teacher friends in tow, so I hope to see many of you there.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Whiners Sometimes Get their Way

I usually use my blog to whine about the bands that I wish would come and play in New York. Funny considering all that New York has to offer, but I suppose I'm just greedy when it comes to good music. However, it looks like some of my complaining has paid off because Rademacher is slowly bringing its west coast tour east this June. I have often posted about this California band whose music makes me daydream about sinister pirates and lazy days on the beach. Rademacher wrapped up their west coast tour recently, and is now touring in support of their latest EP Heart Machine. Frontman Malcolm Sosa promises to rock hard for everyone in New York City, so make sure you mark your calendars for June 9th.









Mp3s from Heart Machine:
Rademacher:
Last Letter Writer
Rademacher: Never Understand Anything
Rademacher: Never Hear From Me

Buy any number of Rademacher EPs. You can buy all three or mix-and-match. Whatever.

I'm particularly excited about Rademacher's stop in New York, but check out the tour dates below to see if the band is making a stop in your town.

June 2: FLAGSTAFF, AZ - HOTEL MONTE VISTA
June 4: ALBUQUERQUE, NM - ATOMIC CANTINA
June 5: DENTON, TX - ANDY'S BAR
June 6: LITTLE ROCK, AK - WHITEWATER TAVERN
June 7: URBANA, IL - CANOPY CLUB
June 8: PITTSBURGH, PA - LAVA LOUNGE
June 9: NYC, NY - THE DELANCEY
June 10: AKRON, OH - LIME SPIDER
June 12: CINCINNATI, OH - COMET BAR
June 13: OMAHA, NE - OLEAVER'S PUB
June 15: DENVER, CO - CRICKET ON THE HILL
June 16: SALT LAKE CITY, UT - KILBY COURT
June 17: LAS VEGAS, NV - BEAUTY BAR

******
I was dancing on air when I bought tickets to the Birdmonster show at Knitting Factory on July 1. But then Rachael has booked Birdmonster for a show on June 30 at Sin-e. She's the hardest working recent college graduate that I know. Someone needs to give this woman a job.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Getting Down In the Town That Makes No Sense

I have nothing substantive to say except that I live for the first 23 seconds of this song.

Snowden: Anti Anti

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Coast Is Clear

Swedish band Sambassadeur provided the backbone to my summer song list last year, and I am happy to report that sugary sweet Swedes have released their new EP Coastal Affairs. You can download the infectious pop song "Kate" and set up a little dance party in your room tonight. Coastal Affairs is only four songs long. However, if this song gives any indication of the feel of the rest of the album, then I vote for quality over quantity any day.

Sambassadeur: Kate

And because it's still a favorite, here's another mp3 for you:

Sambassadeur: Between the Lines

You can stream more songs at Sambassadeur's myspace page.

You can order all of Sambassadeur's EPs and LPs from Labrador. Coastal Affairs is 50SK... which is 6 Euros... which is some dollar amount...

New Song from The Stills

Quickly before the kids come back from music: A new track from the upcoming album Without Feathers by The Stills is available for your listening pleasure.

The Stills: Destroyer

You can thank the band by visiting their myspace page and leaving tons of admiring comments.

Click on this link, and you can stream all of Without Feathers.
It will be a nice tease before the official album release on May 9th.

Have a wonderful afternoon!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

There are some rules you should know

I've been feeling a bit on the lazy side lately, but a few tracks from the New York band Sunspots has put an edgy bop in my step. The song "Carmen" is three minutes of lovely harmonies, sharp guitars, and syncopated hand claps. Sunspots recently finished recording their upcoming EP, which is due this summer. Until then, there is mp3 goodness below.

Sunspots: Carmen
Sunspots: Mumbles
Sunspots: All In

And as always, you can be friends with the Sunspots and stream more songs at their myspace page.

A note to New Yorkers: Sunspots are playing tomorrow at Sin-e at 9:00 pm. After their set, you can pop over to Pianos to check out Cold War Kids. That's where I'll be...

******
Quick things:

Divison Day is back from their tour with Birdmonster. Help the boys buy groceries and pay their rent by buying their album Beartrap Island. You won't be disappointed. Promise.

Dave has a nice two part photo recap of Coachella.

To everyone who is participating in the first ever Indie Don't Dance mix, I have received all your songs and a few blank CDs. I'll start burning mixes this weekend, and in classic child labor style, my kids will start designing album covers next week. Start checking your mailboxes soon for your mix.