Wednesday, August 30, 2006

March Into Flames

In high school, I had a drawing of a militant Ramona Quimby. She was holding a school book in her left hand while her right hand was poised solidly over her head in a fist. Above her were the words: "Riot Equals Not Quiet." Naturally, the letter Q was drawn with the necessary cat whiskers and ears.

Finest Dearest is definitely not quiet. They are now the louder, more defiant Romona. Finest Dearest is still the girl in her neat plaid skirt, buttoned-up cardigan, but with dirty knees and untied shoes. She's been digging in the dirt and has emerged more confident, raw, and ready to go toe-to-toe with the best of them.

I don't know if these songs are in their "final production" phase (i.e., mastered and what-not). However, I like these tracks as is. I think the unfinished quality adds a rougher edge to these gems.

Finest Dearest: March Into Flames
Finest Dearest: We're Making a Sound 1

From the band's Pacemaker EP:
Finest Dearest: Sleep Until the Weekend

Buy the Pacemaker EP from InSound (only $4.80).


Befriend Finest Dearest and stay up to date when their 7" is released this fall and their full-length hits shelves next spring.

* * * * *

Rachael was kind enough to feature me in her column "Meet the Bloggers" at Breakthru Radio. Check out what some of her favorite bloggers are listening to.

Madison Show Calendar

Rachael asked me if I have discovered any good local bands in Madison yet. The answer to that question is no. Sadly, in the last 48 hours, I've spent more time running around the enormous UW campus trying to find where to get my ID photo taken than scouting new music. However, I have had time to poke around the internet and local newspapers to put together a not-so-shabby show calendar for myself.

09/15: Tally Hall @ The Annex
09/22: Mates of State @ Orpheum
10/15: Gomez, Matt Pond PA @ The Annex
10/16: Cold War Kids @ The Annex
10/17: Regina Spektor @ The Majestic

Considering my bedroom is the size of a cracker box, it looks like The Annex will become my second home.

What Goes Around... Comes Around

Like everyone else, I'm awaiting Justin Timberlake's takeover of the world's ears on September 12. As much as "SexyBack" has been a guilty pleasure, I'm really digging "What Goes Around...Comes Around Interlude." Right now, I want you to mute your internal diatribe about the factory feel of pop music and the pointless nature of the media machine. This song? It's a keeper.

You can satisfy your FutureSex/LoveSounds needs with this amateur video of a live performance of "What Goes Around..." in Los Angeles.



Watch more of your favorite Justin Timberlake videos.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mattresses Underwater


I'm a big fan of cheesiness, so I want to point out three things about today: 1) I am waiting for my mattress to be delivered. 2) It's pouring. 3) I'm listening to the track "Mattresses Underwater." Funny coincidence? I think so.

I do not know much about the Oxford, Mississippi band Colour Revolt, but I do know that I'm hooked. Their self-titled EP is set to be re-released by Tiny Evil on September 12th; however, the making of the original EP is an interesting story:

"But it was outside any proper studio that the songs on the Colour Revolt EP took form. Scheduled to record in a friends basement in Jackson, Mississippi in late August 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the same weekend, pushing storm evacuees into the recording space. With nowhere to record in a city lacking electricity, the band set up shop with a ProTools rig in the living room of the owner of Esperanza Plantation, a small local record label, also home to the band. Forced into a DIY approach, the band used a pair of pantyhose as a windscreen and built a vocal booth out of spare cardboard boxes and leftover brooms."
-- From the band's myspace page

I'm sure the extreme conditions, both physical and emotional, play a role in the intensity exhibited by frontman Jesse Coppenbarger on the track "Mattresses Underwater." The vocals move from whispery to unstrung while guitars talk softly back and forth before ending into swirling reverb. It's pretty, loud, epic and will satisfy your need to rock out.

Colour Revolt: Mattresses Underwater

Buy the first release edition from Esperanza Plantation from our friends at Amp Camp.

Befriend these Southern boys, download more songs, and check out their tour dates.

* * * * *

Cassettes Won't Listen is in the studio working on the follow up to the Nobody's Moving EP. You can follow the production process at CWL's website. Their are already some posts up about the new track "Jukebox Crew."

On Tour: The Submarines

The indie cuteness that are The Submarines will tour this fall with French new wavers Nouvelle Vague. Since the release of their album Declare a New State!, The Submarines (Blake Hazard and Jack Dragonetti) have been very busy. So far, they have recorded an iTunes sessions with CYHSY producer Adam Lassus, completed a remix project of their debut album, and produced a "The Life Aquatic-esque" music video for their song "Peace and Hate." The albums are slated for an autumn release, but the you can watch the video now.

When you're done watching "Peace and Hate," check out the tour dates below...


Get this video and more at MySpace.com

09/05 
Plaza Club, Vancouver, BC
09/06 Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
09/07 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
09/08 
Music Box @ Fonda, Los Angeles, CA
09/11 Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO
09/13 Metro/Smart Bar, Chicago, IL
09/15 Club Soda, Montreal, QB
09/16 Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
09/17 World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
09/19 Webster Hall, New York, NY
09/21 
Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
09/22 TBA, Orlando, FL
09/23 Studio A, Miami, FL

Monday, August 28, 2006

Who We Are

Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin.

Here's my first post of many from the lake-filled city in the North. New York is no longer home; however, Indie Don't Dance will continue.

Hopefully.

I'm setting up my new room in my new apartment. I didn't think it was possible to have a bedroom smaller than the closet-sized ones that are notorious in New York, but I've been proven wrong. However, a deck off of one's bedroom, a full-sized kitchen, and a livingroom with bay windows is nothing to sniff at.

Hockey Night is providing the soundtrack to my evening as I unpack my things. The folks at Daytrotter have three live tracks up, including "Who We Are." If you haven't heard this song yet, you must download it now. It's (hands down) Hockey Night's best song. Honest. Plus, if you've had the opportunity to hear this song live, it's a real treat. The boys played this song during their show at Mercury Lounge in May and proved that they are setting a more mature course for their musical future. Great things are in the works.

Hockey Night: Who We Are

Download more tracks from Hockey Night at Daytrotter.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Grrr...

If my posts had tags, one of the most popular ones would be "Mac Problems." I bought a new MacBook and in the last 48 hours, I have had two appointments at the Genius Bar. I'm starting to lose faith in the old Apple. Following the advice of Cindy Hotpoint, I took The Boy Least Likely To's personality test. Life is looking a little brighter now that it's been confirmed that I'm a fierce little kitten. Grrr. I could have come up as a purple sludge, and that's is definitely a) not cute, and b) would not have brought any sunshine to my day.


To add to my day--that brightened considerably--this ditty from The Poems showed up in my inbox. I don't normally find songs about eventual heartbreak to be particularly inspiring; however, this Scottish band did something for me today. Maybe it's the strings or the soft vocals.

The Poems: So Soon

And the excitement from my yesterday was the release of full-length Anti-Anti from Snowden. Pitchfork 7.2-ed it, which is lower than I would score the album. But will let that rest. I do, however, agree that the title track teases you with its sexiness while mocking you the entire time. "We keep it simple but make it more complex/We are anti-movements/We are anti-anti/One time we believed, but now it's passe and cliche."

Snowden: Anti-Anti

"She'll say anything to make you move again..."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Little Sounds

The worst thing about packing is that everything gets placed neatly into boxes. Those boxes are then sealed and stacked into a corner waiting for their time to be carried to the post office. Topping my list of "Saddest Things Ever" is packing up an air condition-less apartment in complete and total silence.
Fortunately, Flameshovel is streaming upcoming releases from some of their bands. The streams include the upcoming full-length Be Where I Be from my latest iPod favorites Judah Johnson. I had forgotten that I had tucked this CD in my bag, but found it this summer while I was shuffling around Queens. I like the clever lyrical play on the track "Little Sounds." The Spinners sang about a light at the end of the tunnel; however, Judah Johnson sings "Ooh, child, it won't get easier/it won't get brighter." The album is electronic, poppy, and atmospheric. And other adjectives that you are more than welcome to add to my list.

Judah Johnson: Little Sounds

Stream all of Be Where I Be.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Interview with The Envy Corps

Oh, New York. The Envy Corps is here. And they have brought grand music along with them. Who are they? Well, sit down for this little tale.

This indie quartet created a small sensation in the Midwest even before the release of their debut EP I Will Write You Letters If You Tell Me To. As show attendance grew from a few on-lookers to sing-a-long crowds, The Envy Corps established themselves as a band to be known. At least in their neck of the woods. In an effort to expand upon their homegrown success, Iowa's finest found a working van and made their way to New York City. With them, the band has brought along a desire to make their mark outside of their home state, a witty way with lyrics and chords, and an insatiable appetite for glossy magazines and canolis.

Before the band's arrival in the city, I had the chance to conduct a phone interview the Luke and Brandon of The Envy Corps. They let me give alternative (i.e., faulty) interpretations of song lyrics, ask nonsensical questions, and pry into the daily life of musicians. Basically, they humored me. The following interview is between Luke, Brandon, and me. Since I'm an interivew novice, it was much too difficult to note who was responding to specific questions. So, consider Luke and Brandon to be an uber-entity. It works. Trust me.

You guys are making the big trip to New York. Have you been here before?
We were there a while ago, but that was only once. In some ways this is the first time, but in other ways it's not.

Are you nervous about playing for a New York audience. We can be a little tough. We stand and stare a lot.
(Laughs) I've heard about that. I guess maybe a little. I guess we're more nervous about how we'll be received. In New York, there's a lot to chose from, so people can be picky. Bands have to prove themselves. We're also not that glamorous. We don't have a "thing" that we do, you know? We're not, like, all decked out like The Strokes. Hopefully, New York will be fine with that.

Not all bands in New York wear catchy outfits. Some bands are pretty dirty.
Oh yeah, we're sure! (Laughs) We like The Strokes, and dirty bands, too! We just don't have a thing that we do, other than play really good music. Hopefully, people will realize how we are able to play different types of music. That not all of our songs sound the same. I think that's boring. When you listen to a band, but every song they play could potentially be the same song.

That's what I like about your EP. The songs change in tone, but it shows how versatile you are.
Yeah, we're versatile. People really like songs like "Rhinemaidens" or "Story Problem." But the songs that I'm most proud of are probably the songs that are not the dancey songs that most people like. We can do fun, poppy dance songs, but we can also do some other substantive stuff.

I've read some reviews of your EPs, and you get compared to British bands a lot. Bands like Coldplay and...
New Coldplay or old Coldplay? We like old Coldplay. New Coldplay is pretty awful. (Laughs)

True. Very true. But it's not so bad to be compared to old Coldplay, even if you don't really sound like them.
Yeah. We like Coldplay and other British bands, too. But I think we do our own thing, we don't sound like them. But that's what people do. They compare you to other bands so that people can get some sort of idea of what you sound like... Even if they are wrong! (Laughs) Did I mention that we like Coldplay?

You like Coldplay, and I read on your myspace page that you also like baked goods. What's that about?
(Laughs) I don't know! Yes, I do. People just started bringing them. I don't know...

What should the people of New York bring to your show?
Well, since we're in New York, we really should get some canolis. Like, real homemade canolis. Or carrot cake.

Would you like the carrot cake to have the fancy cream cheese frosting carrots on top?
They do that? Oh, yeah they do! That would be great. I like the cream cheese frosting.

Anything with cream cheese frosting?
No, definitely carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. And canolis. We usually end up sharing these baked goods with people after a while. You know what would be great? If one day we just started a big food fight at one of our shows. Then people would be like, "Hey, remember that Envy Corps show we went to and there was that big food fight? That was great..." (Laughs)

You don't need fancy costumes like The Strokes if you have food fights.
That's very true.

I'm not the only person who asks you strange questions, am I?
No, people ask us some funny stuff. (Laughs) People like to ask about the Chinese twins in the band. I'm like, Chinese twins? What Chinese twins? Oh, you mean Scott and David? They're not twins, and they're definitely not Chinese! Don't ask us about the Chinese twins. We don't have any.

They are not Chinese. They are not twins.
Exacutly. Discuss.

So, when you're not "being a band," what are you up to?
(Lots of laughter)

Am I allowed to ask that question?
Oh, yes. You're allowed to ask. Well, we do lots of things. One of us works at a video rental store. Like a Blockbuster. Another... well, I own a janitorial business. (Laughs) It's very glamourous.

Do you get to tour a lot since you have "day jobs?"
We definitely do not tour as much as we want to. Touring is what makes all of this very real to us. But it's hard because we all have jobs and you can't just take off for a few weeks to play some shows. Plus, we do everything by ourselves.

You record and distribute your EPs on your own?
Yeah. We're not signed to a label, so we have to do everything on our own. That takes a lot of time.

How did the recording of Love Letters come about?
It took a long time. We were recording whenver we had time. It would be, like, "Hey, you want to come over and lay down the guitar track?" There was no deadline, so we just kept reworking songs and doing things over and over. But then, more and more people started coming to our shows, and people really wanted an album from us. That was good because it really pushed us to finish the EP and get something out. After people starting asking for music, the EP came together pretty quickly.

Well, I'm glad the EP came out because, honestly, it's one of the best EPs I've heard. You really deserve any and all attention you receive.
Thanks. Thanks a lot.

* * * * *
If you're lucky enough to be around New York, take some time to check out The Envy Corps during one of their two remaining shows.

Tuesday, August 15: Cross-Pollination @ Pianos
Wednesday, August 16: Sin-e

The Envy Corps: Rhinemaidens
Visit the band's myspace page to stream more music and befriend them. You can become BFF without bribing them with baked goods.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Robot Motivation

This track from The Polish Ambassador is really making my morning. I spilled coffee on my counter trying to dance and pour to this one. From the Ambassador's website:

It really sucks ass when your robot learns laziness and starts sleeping in
until like 11 A.M. You might be up and at ‘em, ready to go for a walk, but he or
she’s just laying there, mouth open, hand on battery pack. Like dangling a
carrot in front of a donkey, it’s important to keep your robot motivated for
optimum performance. Sure, the robot can still be your friend, but he must learn
his place in the pecking order. Insolent sleeping habits will not be tolerated.
Insert this mp3 into the robot’s sensory control panel and watch him
fly.


Download this mp3. Bop around your house to it. Wake up. I'll see you at the pool.

The Polish Ambassador: Robot Motivation

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pool Party @ McCarren Park

Don't miss JELLYNYC's Pool Party at McCarren Park Pool. Deerhoof, Apollo Sunshine, Beirut, and Harlem Shakes will play. DJ Questlove will spin. Swimmers will frolick. Drinkers will guzzle. And I will dance. Plus, it's all free.

Doors open at 2 pm. Entry is first come-first served, so don't dawdle.

* * * * *
Random, but...
Today I found out that I live in the same apartment building as the drummer from Puppetbox. Such a little big world.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Talk to La Bomb

Here's a new track from the Brazilian Girls' upcoming album Talk to La Bomb. Entertainment Weekly praised the group's first album as "unceasingly irresistible,” and I think you'll say the same about the song "Jique." The ever stylish frontwoman Sabina Sciubba deftly moves between a multitude of languages on this one track. Sciubba muses about the new album:
the future of this planet as we know it, the human and animal kingdom, and the plants, depends solely on this record. You’re welcome.
It's like Alias set to a beat.

Brazilian Girls: Jique

* * * * *
Here's your daily reminder that The Envy Corps is coming to New York City to play, not two, but three shows! The madness, I tell you.

August 14: Pianos @ 6:30 pm
August 15: Cross-Pollination (at Pianos) @ 7:30 pm
August 16: Sin-e @ 9:00 pm

Nikki's Back . . .

. . . and this is the thanks I get?

But seriously. It was a pleasure to help out while you were away. As a parting gift, some music for you:

MP3: Middle Distance Runner - Sea Wolf
MP3: Waxing / Waning - Great Northern
MP3: Tonight Will Be Fine - Teddy Thompson
MP3: Tickets to Crickets - Ferraby Lionheart
MP3: Words - Kelly Stoltz
MP3: Clouds - The Long Winters
MP3: Music Maker - The Chosen Few

It's great to have Nikki back. Thanks for the memories.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another painful reminder that I'm leaving NYC...

Tickets go on sale on Friday at 11 am. [Link]

I'm sure The Decemberists play in Madison, right? Right.

Bound to Brooklyn

I have returned to my wonderful home called Brooklyn after six long weeks in Queens. Queens was lovely, but I missed my neighborhood. I returned to my apartment building on Monday to find my entire block under construction. The locks had been changed and the mailboxes are now blocked off by those hideous blue construction walls made of flimsy plywood. After "breaking in" to the construction site (which consisted of sliding back a gate), I collected my pile of mail and flopped down on my couch. It is good to be home.

Let me tell you about my mail: There's tons of it. I wish I could say that I am excited to tear through the piles of cushy envelopes and rip out the albums that are waiting for me to give them a listen. But... I'm tired, you guys. Really tired. But here's one thing in my inbox that cuts through the fatigue and motivates me to post. Here's what I've got:

Bound Stems: Refuse the Refuse
Bound Stems: Western Biographic

Bound Stems will release their full length Appreciation Night on September 19 on Flameshovel Records. The Bound Stems' EP The Logic of Building the Body Plan received some love and featured one of my favorite songs of last year "Wake Up, Ma and Pa Are Gone." If you haven't heard it yet, download it now. It's gorgeous with its floaty sing-songiness. Really. "Refuse the Refuse" and "Western Biographic" are the latest offerings from the new LP. If I weren't feeling at such a loss for words, I would say something very clever about the band's musical specialness. You're just going to have to trust me and listen to the songs on your own. Fill in any positive adjectives that I failed to provide.

Bound Stems: Wake Up, Ma and Pa Are Gone (live)

Buy The Logic of Building the Body Plan here.

Mark your calendars for their NYC show at Mercury Lounge on August 30.

And when you're done tripping over how excited you are about the upcoming release of the Bound Stems LP, go be their friends. The Bound Stems will be added to your cute friend list... but that has nothing to do with their music, so I'm going to stop now.

* * * * * *
Congratulations to the Envy Corps EP contest winners nerdybirdy, j.p., and madithar! I have to say that this was my favorite poem: i need their love letters/for my love won't write.

As soon as you guys email me your mailing addresses, the sooner your EP will arrive in your hands.