I think "Living in America" could blow up this summer with a little refinement. By "refinement" I mean this: while lots of indie fans adore the distortion in songs like this one, it doesn't get songs the popularity it deserves outside of the indie community, take out some distortion and you have a hit. If by chance a noteworthy DJ gets their hands on this and kicks it up a notch it is the soundtrack to our summer. This is also how I feel about Foster the People's "Pumped up Kicks" song. It has a great beat, a catchy chorus, and lots of lo-fi hipster loving potential. Who doesn't want to sing along with "It's so sexy to be living in America?"....ok lots of people, I know, but still it's a fun song. DOM is a Worchester, Massachusetts band but the funny thing is that I found it on a Danish music blog under the title "Sexy to be livin' in Massachusetts". Their album, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, was surprisingly enjoyable with songs like "I wonder", "Burn Bridges", and "Jesus". Listen to more on their ridiculously hard to find myspace, luckily for you I did the hard work. You're welcome. Download by right + click save linked file or for mac ctrl + click download linked file. For two more songs from them go to this site to download.
This song is straight up sexy. It is served best with a drink in hand, getting ready for a night on the dance floor, while debating if you should text that new crush of yours. It will ultimately lead to you texting that crush of yours after the catchy chorus gets stuck in your head. You have been warned. It can easily be followed up by my other favorite Lykke Li song, Tonight. Both of these songs grab my attention with her almost distant yet penetrating voice and simple background noises, whatever instrument/computer combo they may be. We have mentioned her before and if you didn't pay attention then, I am asking you to pay attention now. These two songs, Tonight and Little Bit are some of my favorites, they should be yours too. Since I like to mention where artists are from she is from Sweden. Why is it that these Scandinavian songstresses have some of the most hypnotic voices? I would really like to know. Lykkeli Myspace
Not to over-post today, but I needed to get this last little bit in there. Voxtrot, really fantastic band, is no more. They will be playing a small seven show goodbye tour in May - June. You can read the really genuine and heartfelt letter on the Voxtrot website. I especially liked this: For me, the most important thing in life is leaving behind something beautiful, something that finds its way into the lives of strangers, and forever alters them in a positive manner. Sometimes, being able to do this means that you have to work the shitty job and serve bread to rich idiots, but whatever, it's better than just cashing in your chips and spending the rest of your life wondering, "what if…?" Thanks for some great songs over the years and lots of listening pleasure. Here's to the start of something new and wonderful for you. "Is this the end or just the start of something really really beautiful?"
I just wanted to mention this song because it was an NPR song of the day and they wrote a really nice article about their newest album, Thistled Spring, which you can read here. I am also going to see them live on Friday at Berklee's Cafe 939 and I am very excited about it. They are one of my (not so new) favorite bands from Portland. I will try and get a review with pictures of their show out sometime this weekend. Belly of June is a new video just released today, and one of my favorite songs of theirs. For some reason whenever I listen to their songs all I ever picture is a full band in the middle of a field with tall grass, thats just the type of music it is. While their lyrical themes tend to be dark their music can be calming and great for a chilly, drizzly, afternoon. Enjoy. Listen on Myspace and their homepage, where you can download their song "curs in the weeds" and "Belly of june".
The love is in the lyrics in this song from another new Danish band, The Rumour Said Fire. It is a simple song, backed with good vocals and a charming melody. Their lyrics are wonderfully poetic. I can't find much information on The Rumour Said Fire, other than they recently won a Danish talent show of sorts. Listen to more on their myspace. "And your mouth tastes like sunshine, baby, but your eyes are all cool buried in my arms."
This is easily the most appropriate monday morning song ever. I am sorry that it is kind of depressing, but I just had to post it on a Monday. Listen to it, and you will understand why this is the perfect Monday song.
This is a late find since their most recent album came out almost a year ago, but who cares, right? I am seriously loving this Brooklyn band, Jones Street Station, because they are just a little bit different and four of the band members share the role of "lead singer" which is pretty unusual. They harmonize quite well and it is especially evident in "Tall Buildings". Their songs range from melancholic ballads, "Tall Buildings" to country-esque jams like "front door" and even a pop-rock type song "slow lights" and don't forget to listen to their fun rock song "Neville". Because they dabble in a little bit of everything, making Jones Street Station a tricky band to describe, they have a really strong album "In Verses" that holds your attention throughout the entire fourteen songs. It's a fun one to listen to and I am currently falling in love with this album. This is the first full length album since Mumford & Sons that I have listened to on repeat for days, so that should tell you something about how good this band is.
You can listen to ALL of their songs on myspace. If you like the Avett Brothers, Stephen Kellogg & the sixers, or Mason Jennings, to name a few, you will most likely enjoy this band too. Give them a good listen, I guarantee you its worth it. Learn more about Jones Street Station on their website.
"Its goodbye to the sunshine, goodbye to the dew, goodbye to the flowers and goodbye to you. I'm off to the subway, I musn't be late, I'm going to work in tall buildings."
This Tomac song, "In Your Head" might have been more appropriate to hear on Saturday but I'm going to give it to you now anyway. I can find nothing about the artists except that Tomac is from Bloomington, Indiana and there are 4 songs on The Sixty One. (I don't believe the myspace Tomac is the same person). So there is this music scene that I have come across more and more where artists are looping their own tracks in combination with video game sound cards. I won't bother to explain it any further because I don't understand it. All I know is when I hear these songs, I say "oh, that sounds like a video game soundtrack, but way better." Listening to this song you might be skeptical in the beginning but wait it out until you get to the scatting ba - dah - dah - da vocals and piano that bring this song to a whole other level. In your head, and some of Tomac's other songs sound like Moby just sat down to play one of his songs with a video game in the background. I think it is really cool, and I love driving with this song turned up. It is also available for free download on the Sixty One website. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Stay tuned this week for some really excellent music that I am very excited to be telling you about.
Singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe is a great buzz-worthy talent to come out of Denton, Texas. Her first full length (14 song) album, Suburban Nature, came out in the beginning of this month and has more than a handful of solid tracks. "Clementine" is the big hit off the album and sounds like the catchiest Lucinda Williams song you can think of, but younger. Even though it is almost a five minute song it always leaves me craving an extra verse or two. More of these catchy hooks would be great: "50 states, 50 lines, 50 crying all the times, 50 boys, 50 lies, 50 I'm gonna change my mind's, I changed my mind, now I'm feeling different." Sarah Jaffe's other strong point is in the simplicity of her songs. She has some strings, drums, a guitar, and her voice and it all comes together elegantly without sounding over-produced, and without being boring. The culmination and variety of Jaffe's strengths shine in "Better than Nothing", making it the highlight of the album for me. The song starts with a barely-there guitar and her soft sultry voice until it crescendos into a strong chorus paired with violins while her voice takes on an entirely different character to the point where it sounds like two different people are singing the song. And then Jaffe seamlessly segues back to her minimalist approach without batting an eye. Check out more of her music on her myspace page. And even better, you can download these three songs (ever born again, clementine, two intangables can't be had) from her website. Enjoy the two songs below for your listening pleasure.
We all know mood rings are crappy gifts you got in 5th grade that you probably thought were really cool until you realized that they respond based on your body temperature, but itunes is the ultimate mood indicator, the Real Deal. Its psychic, and sometimes creepily so. I have purposefully never done any research on why itunes is so good at picking out songs when on shuffle because I don't want to know all their fancy math tricks and algorithms behind the magic. I assume it shuffles through genres and picks up on which songs you skip over and all that sort of stuff, but...I would like to pretend that it simply knows me really well, like a good friend who always knows the exact right thing to say. I am not a big fan of genius playlists because I like to make my itunes work and sort through my exorbitant out of control music library rather than just have it pick twenty songs in a matter of seconds. Bottom line here is that I just want to share with you the perfection that was my itunes shuffle this morning. I can not begin to explain how perfectly it complimented my upbeat mood on this perfect sunny spring day. Maybe you could join in the fun and share what your itunes shuffle plays for you. (All linked files are playable and downloadable if you right click or mac users ctrl click and select download linked file)
I first heard this song on sunday and it made my day complete, it was the perfect springy sunday song. It just has that something that makes you smile and tap your toes. You might be as surprised as I was to learn that 1. The Green Lives are Danish and 2. This is their debut EP! Their sound is polished, the song is very well put together, and they do a great job harmonizing. It makes you think The Green Lives have been making music like this for years. You can listen to more on their myspace. For those of you who have been missing the poppier guitars sans synths type songs, this is for you (sjb, I'm talking to you). Also, if your name is Anna and you are tired of the sad Counting Crows' song "Anna Begins" being one of the only "Anna" songs out there, then this is for you too. I hope you like it as much as I do. The downloadable link below is from my new favorite danish music blog, I can't understand a word of it but they post good songs. I enjoyed the video too, so watch it if you have time. "Would you follow our hearts to our hands?"
Over the weekend, I came across the trailers for this new song, now the official video is out. While I knew the video would undoubtedly be weird, I was not expecting this. The problem is I really like the song and I've always liked Devendra Banhart's unique voice. I am hoping that one day I will be able to listen to this song without associating it with the S&M scenes depicted in this video. So if you want to save yourself from the disturbing visions (unless of course you are into that sort of thing) click on the link below to download it, it will take you to box.net and you click the download button there. Or if you are like me, and just had to see what its all about here is the video, just remember I warned you. If none of this is for you then go listen to the Cold War Kids if you are looking for something more upbeat and less disturbing.
I don't know where I've been to have missed this song that came out on Cold War Kids new EP, Behave Yourself, in late December of 09 because it is catchy catchy catchy! It is a little bit different from their usual stuff mainly because I had no idea their lead singer could sound like this and it's a big difference from their first big hit, Hang Me Up to Dry, that came out way back when in 2006. Since then they released another album that most fans and critics alike considered to be a flop, however this new EP is shaping up to be their redemption. Take a listen and decide for yourself.
My ipod was on shuffle and this song I had not yet listened to played. I didn't pay much attention to the simple synthy beep bops. Then the beat picked up and I was hearing "we will never stop" lyrics repeat and suddenly I was blasting the song through my headphones, my pace picked up, each new step became purposeful. Just like that, this song became the perfect soundtrack to a breezy, blue skied, spring day.
I am not typically a fan of remixes nor the electro genre (at least on my ipod), but much like this song, the genre as of late has been taking me by surprise. I wouldn't normally throw an electro song on my ipod for every day listening, it would go where it belongs in the weekend party mix, but songs like this are making me change my ways. Science says that if a baby doesn't like a specific food have him/her try it ten different times and eventually the baby learns to like it, with adults it takes a much longer trial period to adjust our tastes. I like to think that this is also true for music, if you listen to something long enough you will eventually start to find the positive aspects and it will grow on you, it may just take a lot of listens. This song would be easy to overlook or to dismiss saying "I don't really like electro/techno stuff", but if you listen to it in the right mood in the right atmosphere and enough times you might just decide you like it.
El Perro Del Mar is a swedish singer, Sarah Assbring, whose latest album is titled "Love is Not Pop" which is enough by itself to make me like her. She has collaborated with a favorite of mine, Lykke Li on this song and there is this nifty little video of the two of them singing "Change of Heart". The official video for Change of Heart was voted by Pitchfork as one of the top music videos of 2009. You can get the free download of the remix here or on her website. You can listen to more of her stuff on myspace and make sure to check out "Let Me In".
Happy Marathon Monday and Happy Patriots Day. If you aren't in Massachusetts...happy monday? If you are just stuck celebrating Monday don't worry this is a fun song, with marathon related lyrics (kind of): "All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, faster than my bullet." Foster the People's song is oddly intriguing. I came across it on another blog and the author said he thought that it was a perfect summer tune and really liked it. When I first listened to it, I had no idea what that guy was talking about except that the chorus is pretty catchy. It could be perfect for a morbid shoe commercial (I have the marathon on my mind). Who wouldn't want to run faster than a bullet? They don't even have an EP yet, just this catchy little tune for free out on the world wide web. While the lo-fi verses lack any sort of pizzaz, the chorus makes up for it. It also features some fun whistling and solid beats that might make you think of Miike Snow's "Song for No One" and Peter Bjorn & John's "Young Folks". You can download it for free from their website: http://www.fosterthepeople.com/ or listen and download it here. Enjoy.
1. I haven't listened to mainstream radio in a few weeks so I don't know if this is out there already but if you haven't seen the new Hanson video, you absolutely MUST. Its Hanson, the mmm boppers grown up for crying out loud. This is one hell of a comeback, well done boys. Thinking 'Bout Somethin'
2. Devendra Banhart has "trailers" out for his new song "Foolin'". True to form, they make you scratch your head and go, huh? But its Devendra Banhart so you already knew it was going to be slightly off. See the trailers here.
3. Coachella. Coachella. Coachella. There are lots of live videos being streamed this weekend, check them out. Amazing line up.
4. Not only is this a sick video from the Nissan Winter Outdoor Games 08 (adrenaline/extreme sports teams compete in Chamonix for best videos and other prizes) but I really like the two songs featured in it. However I can not find out who sings them to save my life. Can anyone help me out here?
Amazing things happen when you cross two unsuspecting genres, a prime example being Balkan Beat Box. If you have never seen a crazy gypsy troupe or "Romanian music" as it is sometimes called than this may sound more like loud drums, trumpets, and a random accordion crossed with the Black Eyed Peas. But they really do a great job of taking true to form "Balkan" music (think Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, and Bosnia) that most people in North America are largely unaware of and crossing it with hip-hop, big bass drums, and the occasional electro-dance infusions, and putting their own signature spin on it in a way no other musicians have done before. Even though they borrow from many different styles and use traditional Balkan music as the centerpiece, their music still comes across as fresh and original, which makes it stand out in a big way. It is highly infectious music. Give it a listen and see for yourself.
This was really a concert full of interesting surprises. The first surprise was seeing Mimicking Birds, a band I know a little bit about, as the opening act. Nowhere on the Wilbur theater website or on Jakob Dylan's website did it mention an opening act, yet there they were, this cool new band from Portland whose song, Burning Stars, is seriously fantastic. Such a nice little treat. Right after The Mimicking Birds finished their set a couple of older people arrived looking very rock star-esque and they were definately turning heads. They sat a few seats down from me and I was very quickly able to figure out just who these characters were. (photos from http://www.mickeyraphael.com/news.html and http://www.mainebluessociety.com/shows.html).
Yup the Wooba Gooba with the green teeth, the one and only Peter Wolf, the lead singer of the J. Geils band, was there dressed exactly like he is in that picture. I am only 60% sure that the other person he was with was "Magic Dick", one of the best harmonica players ever. It took 35 minutes between sets so the poor guys were bombarded by fans and autograph signing (what does one do with an autograph? I would like to know) but they were incredibly gracious and very nice guys, I had a good time just listening. While listening to them I started thinking about the best EVER song intro to Musta Been Lost. I passed a good chunk of time making sure I could still remember it, saying "Reputa, Reputa the Beauta...this is a song about L-O-V-E and if you abuse it, you're gonna lose it, and if you lose it, you ain't gonna be able to choose it, cause you ain't going to be able to have it further on down the line..." under my breath until I realized I had nothing of importance to say to these guys. I thought about telling them about my twelve year old self sitting down to memorize that song intro and now I can still recite it word for word (yet I can't multiply by 12 without a calculator) but that was lame. Then I thought about telling them how I used to run around as a kid shouting "Love Stinks!" all the time (actually I still do that), but they probably hear that one a lot. So mainly I just thought it was really cool that they came out to see this concert, but there wasn't really a good, non-awkward, opportunity to lean over and say that, so I just kept thinking about Reputa the Beauta letting down her golden locks and Peter Wolf climbing up to the ladder of her love while trying not to giggle. Even though I didn't get to throw my two cents their way I was still perfectly satisfied just knowing that a few seats down Peter Wolf was doing the very same thing I was on a Thursday night. If you have no idea what I am talking about and you think I am crazy you obviously haven't heard this, go ahead, take a look so we can move on.
Ok now for the real review, actually it is not a review at all, it is a story about serious concert awkwardness that needs to be shared. I would first like to address a slight discrepancy with the way this tour was advertised. It is written as being "Jakob Dylan & Three Legs featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan" with no opening act listed. There is no other supplemental information about this tour that explains it any further (at least none that I could easily find). Therefore, it is easy to assume that Kelly Hogan and Neko Case are the opening acts and are on tour with Jakob Dylan and his full band. It was not clear what "featuring" really meant. If I had known that "featuring" meant minor back-up singers I probably wouldn't have gone. Based on some issues that arose I was certainly not the only confused person. When the concert ended the main topic in the crowd was "thats all we got to hear from Neko?", thats how confused people were. "Featuring" does not equate to sha la la back up singer in most peoples' minds. I think it would have been really cool if Jakob sang a Neko song, but that was not on the menu. A lot of the younger crowd was there to see Neko Case and they kept shouting out songs for her to sing and at one point Kelly Hogan quietly said, "you are at the wrong concert for that" and Neko and Kelly kept shaking their heads at the crowd in a "No Neko songs tonight" kind of manner. In fact, the loudest cheers heard all night were when Neko Case was introduced by Jakob Dylan, the crowd was clearly disappointed that she wasn't more prominently "featured". The show was meant to be focused on Jakob Dylan and his songs only, which is totally fine, but I think the audience needed some clarification on that because here is what happened...
The crowd at the Wilbur Theater consisted of only 20-somethings and 50-60 somethings and no other ages in between, which was just strange. It seemed like most of the younger kids were there for Neko Case, especially the loud obnoxious younger kids, while the elders were more interested in Jakob Dylan, reliving their glory days, and talking to Peter Wolf. After the first song, someone in the crowd professed his love for Neko Case and she promptly mouthed "stop" while giving the finger. I thought, "ballsy, do you do that to everyone who says I love you? Or just to your fans in the crowd?" (I wanted to high five her) , Jakob thought "calm the fuck down the show is just starting" as he made urgent calm down motions to Neko. After that song, Jakob Dylan was centimeters away from strumming the first cord of his next song when some guy yelled out "how's your dad?", to which he stared in astonishment, just like most of the audience did, and said "uhh that came so late in the game, I can't even comment on that." Then the charming Kelly Hogan chimed in with "My dad is doing just fine, thanks" and without missing a beat Neko said, "my dad's dead". Cue the crickets. Seriously? Did that really just happen? Dylan jumped right into the song after that and I couldn't help but think how Neko's song, "People got a lotta nerve" makes more sense now that I know that she vehemently hates people who lack concert manners. I can't really blame her, I have issues with those people too, but this was just getting weird. They are seasoned performers, shouldn't they be used to this type of banter from "that guy" by now?
I can't even begin to explain the serious performer to audience tension going on after that, and both sides were struggling to recover. Jakob didn't address the audience for the next few songs and during the time in between songs everyone got freakishly quiet like they were scared something worse was about to happen. It was so quiet that Jakob even commented on it later saying, "it must be because you are a really attentive crowd, I've never seen such a quiet crowd." Jakob did a good job about being light hearted and funny and the crowd loved him. But even later he had to interrupt himself mid-song to speak to the lady right in front of him who was taking non-stop flash pictures (I could even see her flash going off from the balcony) and he asked her to turn off the flash mid-song! How embarrassing is that? I have never seen that happen before. And what type of idiot tries to blind the musician? The funny thing about that is that the first two rows were made up entirely of the older generation and even they didn't have good concert manners. Surprises all around. People got a lotta nerve, am I right Neko?**
What's that? You thought this was supposed to be a place for music not rants (I link to 3 songs in this post btw)? Well, here you go...despite the "issues" the concert was good, like 3.78 out of 5 good. The band he had with him was so incredible, very talented, and a real pleasure to watch. Most of his songs were from his new cd which I really like even though it is a different direction from the Wallflower days. He channels his dad a lot in clothing, stage presence (except I bet nobody has asked Bob how his dad is doing), and especially in his voice, but I mean that in the best way possible. He doesn't necessarily try to be his dad but there are just certain parallels that are impossible to ignore. My favorite part, other than being able to taste the tension in the air, was when he played 6th Avenue Heartache, which I didn't think was going to happen. Seeing the classic 90s hit played live made my night, I forgot how good that song was, the heavy guitars and the lyrics, and the simple fact that you just can't hear songs like that played on the radio anymore. He also played 3 Marlenas which made me secretly hope he would play my favorite Wallflower song, "Closer", but I knew that was wishing for too much. Maybe when I get the pictures uploaded I will write you a proper rant-free review. But you should know that at the end of the night when Jakob Dylan said "Thank you Boston" you had to wonder if he really meant it.
**Maybe I read into the tension a little too much, maybe I do that because I pay close attention to awkward moments since they follow me around, but you should know that in all seriousness this was a bit extreme. I have never been at a concert where those things have happened. Now I will be curious to read some reviews about this tour, especially reviews on tonight's show, to see what other people say. If you hear any news, send it my way. Also, please do tell me if I am a complete idiot for not getting the meaning of "featuring". Thanks
Today is a seriously great day on the downplayer. (I swear I don't work for the site, its just a part of my daily OCD internet routine. First I check my e-mail, then my favorite blog, then downplayer.) There are songs from The Morning Benders, Bermuda, Beach House, Avi Buffalo, The Game, Mos Def, Rooney, and the Freelance Whales. Go get that music while its hot, because tomorrow it will be gone. Just because I love the Freelance Whales and because I am literally on my way to buy tickets to the Shout Out Louds concert where the Freelance Whales will be the opening act (how awesome does that concert sound?) I will post the link to my favorite song of the month so it can be here a little bit more permanently. As my wonderful friend Jeff pointed out, it is an amazing song to wake up to, and I have to agree. It really is the perfect way to start cranking the generator start your day.
This is a new band on the scene and currently this remix is spreading through the music blogosphere like wild fire. It sounds a lot like some older Phoenix songs which is more a product of the Brazilian DJs, The Twelves, remix. The Twelves have a hand in some of my favorite mixes because they pick some of the most random non-club songs and make them danceable. But as far as Two Door Cinema Club goes, they are from Ireland and just released their debut album which is a lot of light fun upbeat stuff with catchy choruses and I am sure by this summer you will be hearing a lot more of them.
I just fell in love with this cover and had to share it with all of you. I really like the Kid Cudi version of this song but I think I like this version even more by the LA fusion band. It becomes a completely different song in this cover and I love that and I think you will too. You can download from the link below and watch the Kid Cudi video for the original version.
I think it is finally safe to say that spring has arrived which means finding fun songs to blast out windows while feeling nostalgic about college spring, which is sadly oh so different from real world spring. No more impromptu slip n' slides, no see-saw-a-thon with ( awesome college jam band)Kinetix on the lawn (Boston DU grads don't fret they are playing Friday at Harper's Ferry), no trampoline parties, no more campus golf with beers in hand, no skipping class to go floating down the South Platte River on 90 degree days.....I miss Denver. But at least this surfer/reggae rock music reminds me of college. Dirty Heads are a fun new group on the scene with some decent songs and if they sound like Sublime its because Rome (from Sublime) sings on their album and is currently touring with them (playing at the House of Blues Boston May 3rd). They have toured with Toubab Krewe (who I recently saw and really liked especially because they play the cora and the kamalengoni). Dirty Heads fit well in the niche with bands like Ballyhoo!, Can't Hang, Bag of Toys, Beautiful Girls, Iration, and my favorite college band, Pepper. . . Put this song in your summer soundtrack before everyone else does, its a keeper."I could never ask for nothing better than this, It's just tequila and the beach, it's quite salty when we kiss". Happy Spring whether you're in college or wish you still were.
Matt Pond PA has been one of my favorite bands since I first came across them in 2004. A lot of it has to do with his lyrics that never cease to be relatable. There is a lot that I could write about them, but for now I just feel like giving you one of their songs from the latest EP of which has been turned into an LP that was released just today, called The Dark Leaves. Check out more stuff on their website. Click the link below to play or right click to download (I do not manage the link, if you are the artist and want it removed from this page please contact me). Watch the video to see one of my all time favorite songs by them, The Summer is Coming.
This song has been playing a lot on WERS, a college radio station, and every time I hear it I have to go check and see who it is. It is not very often that I find myself double and triple checking artists of songs, the last time this happened was when Laura Marling kept popping up on my ipod during a large downloading spree and I had to keep checking who sang that "it's not like I believe in everlasting love" song. So take it as a sign that this is a good song that will catch your attention.
Elvis Perkins is surprisingly his real name and he has a kind of Bob Dylan feel especially when you see his solo performances. I really like their unique style and they always seem to be adding more and more instruments even though there are only four of them in the band, the musical talent just doesn't stop. Once you get past the wonder of their multi-instrument arrangements you will notice that his emotional warbling voice compliments his alternative/contemporary folk songs perfectly. I recommend Doomsday (has a great trumpet), Hey, 123 Goodbye, and Chains, Chains, Chains...in fact, the entire self-titled album is worth checking out. You can listen to more on his myspace. I am excited to hear more from this quartet, they are rumored to be an amazing live show. Enjoy.
I swear the song I am posting is related to this rant I am about to go on, just bear with me.
While at the Freelance Whales concert the other night, the band stopped to actually speak to the audience, however, I was unable to hear a word they said because the crowd around me burst into their own conversations that they were apparently dying to have. For me, one of the main draws of being at the concert is to experience a band in a new setting. You have seen their live videos on youtube, listened to their songs, and read about them online or in some review, now you actually get to see them in person and hear what they have to say about their songs. For me, the combination of all that is pretty exciting especially when in an intimate up close and personal type setting. Well, the Freelance Whales were trying to tell the crowd about this song they were about to cover but I couldn't catch the name of the song or the band and I am pretty sure the guy gave up saying whatever he was saying because the crowd in front of him was clearly drowning him out. Luckily their music was loud enough that people mostly had to stop talking during their songs. Now I get wanting to talk to the people you are at a concert with, yes I do talk at concerts, but go to the bar and get a drink and chat, or step back from the crowd so that you aren't shouting into each other's ears. I was right next to the stage in a crowd of maybe 75 people and the people around me were busy shouting at each other. I am still fully aggravated with the girls next to me who were talking about the third ugly guy that Lisa slept with in one week when I was just trying to listen for the name of the song, especially because it turned out to be a really great song. Now I know all about Lisa's promiscuity which is the very last thing I wanted to hear at this concert.
At my first Tristan Prettyman concert, she brought up (in a very cute yet authoritative way) how idiotic it is to talk loudly during a concert that you paid to go see and I will always respect her for shushing her own crowd so effectively. Tristan made the lightbulb go off in people's heads, like "oh yeah, I am kinda loud and this is a concert, maybe I'll show some respect." I even felt kind of guilty because I was so excited to finally be seeing Ben Taylor and Tristan Prettyman at the same concert that A. I downed a few beers way too fast which led to B. I couldn't stop myself from telling my friends how happy each song made me (hey, at least I was talking about the music). So people, just keep your voices down when you are talking or if you really can't hold in loudly bashing your slutty friends go do it somewhere further away from where people are actually listening to the awesome music they paid money to see. Thank you.
Now here is where Netherfriends comes into play. The verdict is still out on this band, it is kind of lo-fi in a disorganized way, a little punk-ish with their vocals, and a lot of we are just getting in on the indie scene and we're seriously lacking a good producer kind of band. I think they should be close to coming out with an LP soon since their first EP was released last June, so I will hold off judgement until then. They are starting out on an ambitious tour of trying to play 50 songs in 50 states which I admire. And then on their blog they say this is why they are doing this 50/50 thing:
"I just want people to get off their computers and go do something. This is what this project is about. Sparking some college grads or drop outs to realize it takes a lot of bullshit to accomplish something. If you struggle to pay your rent... don't pay it. Stop drinking every night and save some money for once. The end result might takes year, but set a unique goal and do it." I know it just barely makes sense (i.e. don't pay your rent?) and there are serious grammatical issues, but their overall reason for doing crazy small shows and house band appearances all across America is admirable. So finally getting to my point, I really like the lyrics. And while I was busy being frustrated with the dumb cambridge girls next to me, these are the lyrics that instantly came to mind. Bam! Full Circle!
This is a great Friday song. It is electro-popish but even if you don't like that style you might like this song because it is catchy and her voice is airy and refreshing. You might recognize this song from a JC Penny commercial as well. Their other songs are really excellent too, as they say on their myspace, their music sounds like sighing, I can't disagree. Many of their other songs are less electro beat and more focused on vocals and string arrangements, and worth checking out songs like Through the looking glass, Kaleidoscope, and this song. Happy Friday!
I have no time today to write anything other than these guys make up a pretty cool band. I like that one of their band members is from an old favorite band of mine, Jump Little Children. I love the way they wrote their bio because its so true, I was getting really tired of reading boring artists bios until I came across this one, so you should probably read it too if you are one of those people who thinks learning about the band enhances your feelings about their songs (I am not one of those people in case you were wondering). This song has been a constant in my playlists for a while now, it just fits in so nicely with other songs and is a good one to sing along with. Read their bio and enjoy.
Dan Mangan is a Vancouver musician who really made a mark on the music scene in 2009 and received rave reviews after his performances at SXSW that year. His praises have been sung by many critics, many of whom say he is the next best thing to come out of Canada. The most commented upon aspect of his music is that his lyrics combined with his gravely voice are absolute perfection. His sophomore album, Nice, Nice, Very Nice, (the title is a reference to a Kurt Vonnegut poem=awesome!) came out in 2009 but is not expected to be released in the states until sometime this year. You can of course listen to songs from that album on his myspace. He is one of those rare artists where you actually want to listen to each and every one of his songs, a lot of that has to do with his subtle humor, creative hooks, and general intrigue that lives in each of his songs. Some other highly suggested songs of his are: Sold, the indie queens are waiting, road regrets, and Tina's Glorious comeback (yes, the tina in that song IS Tina Turner). He is for sure an artist to keep your eye on in the future. Listen and love.
I have been looking for this song on youtube ever since their first cd came out in February, it has been driving me crazy! Movie Loves a Screen and Colors are my favorites. Its a fun toe-tapping tune. Their songs have a sort of old-school, 1920's vintage jazz element hidden within their pop songs that I really like. If you want to hear it in better quality check out their myspace.
This song is a great example of how male/female duets can be so beautifully poignant. The voices of the two band members, Joy Williams (who has some great solo stuff) and John Paul White, harmonize like their voices were made for each other. Their chorus of "I don't love you, I always will" is entrancing. It has a way of capturing your full attention because I think everyone has felt that confusing duality of love and they express it in this song so incredibly well. Here is a response to the video because there is no way to say it any better: wild7card7 I feel this song and video are speaking to the trials and tribulations, the struggles and strengths and the intensity of love. We don't chose who we love - that pull - that draw can be so strong - so overwhelming that you feel it's beyond your control. Love can be tough. It can make your heart ache and it can make your heart sing. This song to me is a representation of the painfully beautiful elements of love. 23 days ago