Thursday, July 29, 2010

These United States - Will it Ever

Official | Myspace | Buy Their Music | Free Downloads of their songs
 I have to say that I am glad to finally have a gray day with some light drizzle so that I can stop playing chillwave songs that all sound the same after some time. As much fun as enjoyable poppy beats can be, I was happy to dive into my ipod this morning. I put it on shuffle and started the morning with Filligar's song "Gray Area" which you can get for free at their website.
       The song that I enjoyed the most this morning was "Will it Ever" by These United States, a band I listened to a lot a few years ago and then kind of forgot about for a while. Now they are back touring in support of their newest album, What Lasts. While this song isn't from their new album, I have to take a second to highly recommend What Lasts. It is worth checking out and one of those lucky finds where every song is good. These United States are a band that will be around for a while. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beat Connection - In the Water

Myspace | Free DL at Bandcamp
Complete with handclappping, steel drums, and other excellence this song is just golden and a great alternative to that wave of 60s surfer songs with fuzzy reverb of which there are a few too many this year. If Best Coast or Surfer Blood just aren't your thing, give this band a try. Their EP is free on bandcamp and worth downloading. Even though I didn't know that I liked this music until recently, I find it to be some of the best summer music out there. Click the link below to play/download my favorite song or use the bandcamp player below.
<a href="">Sunburn by Beat Connection</a>

Monday, July 26, 2010

Backyard Tire Fire - Brady

Official | Download "Brady" for free | Buy album for $5
This is my college radio find of the day. While driving to work this came on and I was instantly hooked, I even started singing along to the chorus. Part of the instant attraction is that this story of "boy meets Amsterdam prostitute" sounds very similar to a story I heard once from some friends, so I couldn't help but laugh as the plot unfolded. It is one of those great silly stories that sounds best told in song. Paste Magazine said this about the band's sound: "Bloomington, IL’s Backyard Tire Fire sound like a drunkenly angry Tom Petty crawling out of a Florida swamp.” and it is fairly spot on. I really like their sound and reminds me of a bit of Spouse. I am also enjoying their other songs, "Good to Be" and "Ready or Not" which are great roots-rock songs. Check out their Sun Studios session where they play "Brady" in the video below. If you leave some simple information for the band you can have "Brady" delivered to your inbox for free using the link above. This is definitely a band worth delving into. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Silver Seas - What's the drawback?

In other news, my life has been filled with non-stop absurdities, last night was no exception. Bar hopping from Boston to Cambridge and back again with high school and college friends and the illogical belief that I can go drink for drink with a group of guys was a lot more fun when I was immune to hangovers. That immunity ended the day I was finished with school in 2008 yet I still gallivant around like a I'm some sort of drunken super hero. I don't know where this story is going other than this song was incredibly soothing as I drove out of the city this morning laughing about bits and pieces from last night.

"She's stopped in traffic and moving through time. She's like a 45 record stuck in the back of my mind."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Those Dancing Days - Space Hero Suits

If you happen to be stuck on a constantly infuriating public transportation system where they kick you off the train and tell you to take a shuttle, which turns into a bus, which turns into another slow moving train. Or you are on the other end waiting for friends to get here and you need to dance your feelings out (that quote will never get old, get used to it) or you need a musical pick me up, this song is for you. It has trumpets, a dancey beat, is heavy on the drums, and has fantastic lyrics. Those Dancing Days is a Swedish indie-pop girl group that broke on to the scene in 2007/2008. Absolutely loving this right this second.

Frontier Ruckus - Deadmalls & Nightfalls album

Official | Read a real review | Buy for $6

This band is easily one of my new favorites. Last week they released their highly anticipated new album, Deadmalls & Nightfalls. I had been listening to their first song off the album, "Nerves of the Nightmind", for weeks so I was really excited to hear the rest. I am not big on album reviews so I'll just make it simple, go buy it. You can buy it for $6 here, an incredible deal for such a wonderful album. They are americana/folk/indie-ish and happen to play some of my favorite instruments like the banjo, saw, dobro, horns, and trumpets. Their album has the gravity of nostalgic longing with inflections of hope sprinkled throughout. It is an absolute pleasure to listen to, and I mean really listen. It is the kind of album where you should put it on and really hear the lyrics and listen to the instrumentation, it is beautiful and heartfelt. Unfortunately, their current tour neglects the north east but if you live elsewhere you can probably go see them. For the most part, tickets to their shows are under $10. That's like two cups of starbucks, so you should probably make it happen. If you are from Michigan you will really like it, as many of their songs, past and present, are about the state. I've never been, I flew over it recently, and it looked pretty, but after listening to this album I would like to go. Enjoy. (This is my third post about them, so they are kind of a big deal).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Roman Candle - Oh Tall Tree in The Ear (album)

Official Site | Bandcamp
I love random finds on bandcamp, and after searching the "indie pop" tag I found this band. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was my type of band with quotable lyrics, a sense of humor as evident in their why modern radio, and that alt-folk/americana sound. A further investigation (i.e. scanning their website) of the band showed that they are a heavily reviewed and widely liked band by paste magazine, my old kentucky blog, billboard underground, they even have a daytrotter session under their belts. They are a band on the rise and I look forward to hearing more from this band, I don't know how I ever missed them when they started getting attention in 2009. Part of their sound makes me think of 90s music and that sound that I miss so much on the radio these days. I am so happy that people continue to make music like this/ Below is their bandcamp link because I really couldn't choose just one song. Heartbeat is a fun upbeat one, the previously mentioned modern radio is fun, Eden was a garden is a great one to start with. I just like it all. Find your own favorite.
<a href="">EDEN WAS A GARDEN by Roman Candle</a>

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oli&Stomp - Sunshines

The beginning of this summer was a tad slow with catchy summer tunes but ever since July it has been nearly impossible to keep up. Part of the charm of summer hits is that they are allowed to be cheesy as long as they are fun and beach/warm weather applicable. This one does not disappoint.
<a href="">Sunshines by Oli&amp;Stomp</a>

Larsen B - Marilyn

I really like this British band and just stumbled upon when they were Spinner's Band of the Week. They have a catchy sound, well suited for a broad audience. Some random facts: They named themselves after an ice shift and their postman sings back up vocals on this track. Check out their myspace for more information. Enjoy the video below, they will be a fun band to follow in the coming months.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beach Traffic Playlist to Make People Stare and Want to Be Your Friend

You know how when you are stuck on that small two lane highway driving somewhere awesome like the beach on a friday afternoon and you start noticing and checking out all the other people inching right along with you? Well, let's talk about that.

Sometimes you get caught staring, sometimes you play games like "I will inch forward more than you so that I can sneakily use my peripheral vision to check you out", or my favorite "I am going to pick my nose because my car magically prevents anyone from seeing me do it" which is so not true. The game I play best is "Yeah our windows are both down and now I'm going to force you to listen to my loud music and you are going to like it!!!" To play this awesome stuck in traffic game and to provide endless amounts of fun, I suggest you upload this playlist to your ipod immediately so you can impress people with your stellar taste in music and make friends in traffic. (However, if you are stuck next to some creep that keeps trying to get your attention and you have to pretend you don't notice, there are songs on this list for that too.) So here it goes....(Zip file for the playlist will be available in the features tab in the near future)

1. DJ Antoine - Figaro
Nothing like blasting famous opera music to get people's attention and all of a sudden it becomes the best techno song you EVER heard.

2. Tomac - In Your Head
This song is for in case you just got the attention of the wrong person. It is super good for when you pretend your car can shoot laser beams at other cars to magically vaporize traffic. If you act that one out on the road the weirdo next to you will surely find a way to not be next to you any longer. Just remember this: "I want this creeper to shoo play track two!"

3. Kid Cudi - All Summer
So you got rid of the creeper next to you making room for that hottie to pull up. Play this track and they will think you are pretty swell for knowing a newly released Kid Cudi song, plus it has the word summer and sunshine in it. Bonus: Impress them with with knowledge that it also features a band member from Vampire Weekend (girls love vampire weekend especially if you are driving to the cape, kwassa kwassa y'all) and Best Coast.

4. Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill
Sleigh Bells are so hot right now, hansel. Even if people haven't heard this jam, they will be sure to like it. It's a fact of life.

5. Breakbot - Baby I'm Yours ft. Irfane
This is in case you pull up next to me and you want to see me sing along and do a car dance sans inhibitions. Or you can do that on your own too.

6. Matt Pond PA - Specks
That was a lot of work getting all those people to notice you, now you want to chill out. Or, if your significant other is in the car, dedicate this song to them. Trust me, you want to do this. "I believe in you and me and everything we'll ever see and do"

7. DJ Moule - Marleymania (bob marley vs. phoenix mash-up)
Who doesn't like a little reggae on the way to the beach, but with a twist.

8. Free Energy - Dream City
Ready for a sing a long? This one is great and oh so easy. Works best if two or more people in your own car know the song. If not they can just join in for the nah nah nah part.

9. Cults - Go Outside
Well we all want to be outside, not stuck in our cars!

10. Leona Naess - Leave Your Boyfriends Behind (unavailable buy on itunes)
If you pull up next to a guy and you want him to know that you left your boyfriend you can sing selective lines from this song. He'll get the idea. 

11. The Morning Benders - Cold War
This summer there is a rule, this song has to be on every single one of my summer playlists. Also if you pull up next to a hipster they will dig your music choice. Even if you don't dig people who think it is ok to wear wool hats in the middle of summer.

12. Yeasayer - Ambling Alp (unavailable buy on itunes)
Great song to play loud full of noise and awesomeness.

13. Foster the People - Pumped up kicks
Just an awesome summer song declared by bloggers everywhere. Also a great one to play loud

14. Jamaica - I think I like U 2
An awesome jam that you can do the shoulder dance to while driving. Make sure you practice your shoulder dance moves in the mirror beforehand so people don't think you are having a seizure.

15. Niva - The Boy From the Sun
Best song ever to zone out in traffic to.

16. Shugo Tokumaru - Rum Hee
Happy music to make that grumpy person next to you smile.

17. Stars - We Don't Want Your Body
Someone not so attractive next to you? Play this, they'll be able to take the hint

18. Discobitch/Kylian Mash? - Discobitch
Did you just offend the person next to you by letting them know that you don't want their body? Play this so they know that it's not them you're just a bitch who likes to bois du champagne and piles of money. The song will explain this very clearly.

19. DOM - Living in America
Just to counteract the french let everyone around you know that it's sexy to be living in America. Because it is.

20. CEO - Come With Me
Finally you found the perfect traffic partner who totally digs your music and is dancing right along with you. This one will seal the deal and make you a new friend.

21. Fred Falke - 909 PM At the Beach
Hooorayyyy you made it to the beach!

Thank God for the Weekend

Yesterday I let TheSixtyOne (a funkier Pandora of sorts) play all day long and I came across some interesting artists. Some of these songs are a little older circa 2008ish but it was still new to me.

MP3: AudioDax - All the Koalas
They happen to agree with me, thank god for the weekend. This is a Sam Adams, Asher Roth type of song, but who cares, it's almost the freakin weekend, imma bout to have me some fun! AudioDax Website

MP3: Horatio Lee Jenkins - Drunker Than Satan
This is a country tune about being able to drink the devil under the table. "So now I'm drunker than Satan/with all of his violence and hatin'/you'd think he could out drink a good old boy like me" Don't knock it before you try it. It's rather funny. Horatio Lee Jenkins Website.

MP3: SoKo - I'll Kill Her
This song is like a Kate Nash with a french accent making this song totally irresistible. Especially since she is bitter and frank. Definitely check out her website, I am liking her a lot. SoKo Website.

MP3: Geographer - Can't You Wait
This song kind of reminds me of the Shout Out Louds and the guy is making waves in San Franscisco and should be an interesting one to keep your eye on. Geographer Website.

Lastly, you can download the "Sweet Summer Cudder" with Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino for free by clicking here (via the Converse site) and watch this silly yet amusing video here. A great song to put on your summer playlist! Happy weekend wishes to all! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NYC Musical Saw Festival

If I can manage to look past my obsession with the banjo, the fiddle, or the accordian, I will eventually remember that I am obsessed with the magic of the musical saw. I really want to try and play one someday and with awesome youtube instructional videos like this, why not? 
Phillip, who is obviously The Man, says you just have to remember three things: bend, stroke, and tremble. Oh Phillip, I think I can manage to remember that you dirty rascal. Who knew the saw was so laden with sexual innuendoes? While Phillip's rendition of the grandfather song is striking,  I prefer the saw to be layered into a song like MP3:Frontier Ruckus's "Nerves of the Nightmind" or Horse Feather's "Heathen's Kiss". But if you are as curious as I am about the musical saw or if you are a die hard fan of the saw and you happen to be in the New York City area, I have just the event for you.

The 8th Annual NYC Musical Saw Festival will be held in Astoria on Saturday August 7th at 2p.m. You can learn more about it on their website here. You should also know that last year the festival got into the Guinness Book of Records for the "Largest Musical Saw Ensemble" with 53 saw players playing together. Imagine all of that stroking and trembling in one room! Luckily, there is a youtube video for that too. If you are in the mood for something wildly different, why don't you check it out. It's a great way to escape the heat for an afternoon and only costs $10.

Dawes - How Far We've Come

I posted about them a while back with my favorite "Love is all I am" but I just listened to their Daytrotter session from last week and just had to share something from their acoustic set with you. They are a talented band who manages to be consistently good.

(picture from

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Johnny Flynn, Love Language, and The Cults

Hooray for no hungover post-concert haze blog post today. Sorry if yesterday was a little ridiculous, that happens sometimes. Tonight, I will be going to see Mean Creek and The Love Language at T.T. the Bears in Cambridge, it should be a good show and something entirely different from the Mystery Roar and Delorean concert I went to.  But for today here are a few great songs I have been enjoying.

I came across this via one of my favorite music blogs Tsururadio on one of their playlist. (Actually I got it in may from The Blue Walrus but somehow it got lost in the shuffle). This is a fantastic summer tune on the folkier side but with trumpets. This is probably my favorite song of the week plus it mentions a "cow tipping expedition" in the first verse. 

This band has a 60s ish vibe similar to She & Him but with lots of hand claps. 

This new New York band who hides in obscurity came out with "Go Outside" in January sometime and I have been playing it ever since. This new one is just as good.  

And just for kicks here is a crazy electronic song, that I thought was really stupid at first but it kept popping up on shuffle and I started to like it. It's catchy, and based on what gets played on the radio these days, I think it could be perfect for any of the kiss fm stations out there. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tony Lucca - Rendezvous with the Angels

If you are in the mood for some poppy, folky stuff check out the new album from Tony Lucca. His voice is the highlight and I find it very relaxing. So far I have not heard any standout songs that are as good as "Pretty Things" (which you can download for FREE on his website, yay!) but I still have a few more songs to listen to. The album is rather low key but the poppy fun songs are "Long Love Letter" and "Make You Mine". His cover of Billy Joel's "Vienna" is good,  I like hearing an updated folky version of the song. You can stream the album in it's entirety here.

Editor's note: Thank you Vanessa for suggesting I listen to "Anchored", I love it. I think you will too. 

Awkwardness is my best friend or what happened at the Delorean concert

       Awkwardness always has been my best friend and always will be. It is synonymous with my name and all my friends know this. It's time you do too. A mild case of awkwardness occurred last night crossing the street in Allston when a guy I used to know, trapped by a traffic light, tried to pretend he didn't see me, yet somehow it was blindingly obvious, to the point where I noticed him because he looked away so dramatically. So I stared at him for a little bit too long. I have a staring problem and need to wear dark glasses most of the day to get away with it. Then I accidentally stole concert tickets from some girl (I bought them before she did because of a misunderstanding) and she gave me the death stare all night, even though I apologized. Then I tweeted absurd things about "dancing my feelings out" and my phone sent unfinished nonsensical tweets to twitter, as if anyone actually cared. My friend, Jeff, is capable of convincing me to do anything (like that coffee mixed with beer is good, that getting married in vegas would be hilarious, that annulments are a piece of cake, etc.) told me to befriend this guy reading a book between sets. I was brainwashed by my new friend to believe that the last 10 years will cause the world to come to an abrupt end. Then I danced non stop to Mystery Roar and Delorean. Yes, I probably did dance my feelings out unknowingly. Luckily I had enough drinks, thanks to Jeff for overserving me, to forget that I am a horrible dancer with a penchant for flailing my limbs. And that was just a normally awkward day, nothing really out of the ordinary there.
       Yes, this blog is getting personal because I don't really care about a bands' story unless they were born with super powers. Plus, if you care you can just look at their website and read their pr drivel which is all the same if you read enough of them. Which is part of why it is so painful to regurgitate them all the time. I don't know why I ever pretended to care or write about it in the first place. I am still trying to figure out the best way to go about this music blogging business. I love music and all I am qualified to know is how I relate to it and why I like it, I am not good at writing anything else. So that was my introduction to awkward Jessica. There is a lot more where that came from. Now to wrap it up full circle here was the catalyst for all the awkwardness that happened last night and the reason why I was in Allston, running into people that I didn't care to see, learning about the end of the world, flailing my limbs without a care and all of that. Be careful though, this summery haze of a Delorean video might make you want to dance your feelings out. 
       In case you were here just to hear about the quality of the concert and not my personal problems, Delorean was awesome and great to dance to but Mystery Roar was the better band with far more energy and a better stage presence. If I remember correctly, which is unlikely, this was the song Delorean closed with and the audience loved it. Both bands are way more fun and enjoyable for me in the live format, the energy doesn't translate into mp3 format, and it makes me sad so I don't listen to their songs often. It was worth every one of my $12 AND awkward moments for the ticket and I would recommend going if you get the chance.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Arran Arctic - The Door

Here is one of those great Monday morning kind of song from the unsigned Scottish band, Arran Arctic. You can stream the entire album HERE on their website as well as download the song for free, it won't even cost you an email address. Enjoy.

Arran Arctic - The Door from Arran Arctic on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Songs from last week...

Here is a completely random selection of what I have been listening to this past week. None of these songs have anything to do with one another so just pick and choose what tickles your fancy. More coming this week to make up for last week's absence. A side note: All of Junes song will be preview only as of tomorrow, so download what you want before it's gone.

MP3: Free Energy - Bang Pop
I have been playing Free Energy's songs all week and I have yet to tire of a single song. I recently decided this was my current favorite for its simplicity and because it makes me think of bottle rockets and those summer nights.

MP3: Chatham County Line - Out of the Running
A delightful bluegrass tune from an old favorite band of mine. If you like the banjo and a dash of harmonica check these guys out.

MP3: The Girls Can Hear Us - Let's Swim
This ridiculous dancey summer tune always makes me laugh. I am constantly on the verge of deleting it but then I hear this: "I propose a toast, to hold these moments close, till we're comatose, until we glow like ghosts, until our homes have moats, till our birthdays have floats, till our backyards have boats, come on let's swim..." It's just so craptastic that you have to wonder if it was written for Ke$ha.

MP3: The White Panda - The Next Starf*cker 
Then there is this guilty pleasure, a really good mashup involving Snoop & Dr. Dre & Starf*cker. And I am not the type of person that normally enjoys mashups so I highly suggest you listen to it. Lots of fun.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tennis - South Carolina

This is a new husband/wife group that is making the rounds on the blogosphere. I don't know what I think of them yet. I am still deciding. The video is fairly interesting if you like vintage bikinis.

Tennis - South Carolina from woodsman man on Vimeo.
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