Saturday, October 30, 2010

Songs About Ghosts [Mixtape]

Better late than never, here is the mixtape that I promised. While most of the songs fit into the "Ghost" theme rather well, some are a bit more of a stretch. Over the summer, I came across quite a few songs about ghosts which seemed strange at the time but was perfect for right now. My favorite tracks, while hard to choose, are numbers 5, 12, and 13. Make sure you check them out. However it should be a suitable playlist for your Halloween weekend as you prepare your costumes and get ready for a weekend of fun. You can download the zip file, just an hour of songs, which is located at the bottom. Enjoy. Happy Halloween.

1. Ghost Busters - Krazy Baldhead ft. Outlines Remix
2. Realize the Ghost - Silver Swans
3. Holy Ghost! - Laura Stevenson & The Cans
4. Ghost Pressure - Wolf Parade
5. Angels, Ghosts & Demons - Brett Shady (thanks to Sunset in the Rearview for this discovery)
6. Ghost Brother - Great Lakes (shout out to Dyson Sound for this one)
8. The Ghost Inside - Broken Bells
9. I Died So I Could Haunt You - Stars
10. Rebecca St. Claire - Modern Skirts
11. He Is A Ghost - St. Claire (local Boston band)
12. Ghosts - Laura Marling
13. The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elson
14. Friendly Ghost - Harlem
15. Anyone's Ghost - The National
16. Halloween - Matt Pond PA
17. Ghosts - Mark Geary
18. My Body's A Zombie For You - Dead Man's Bones

[Download ZIP] expired

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Travel, Tapas, and Techno...

I've finally returned to a certain place and state of mind that I have been lonely without for almost a year now. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated as my days revolve around some very important "T" words: Travel, Tapas, and Techno. I stay out until 5am, dance all night, and get up early to experience another country and another language. I am falling in love again with the life I used to live and I don't know how I've ever left it. I am clueless as to why I am so drawn to Europe, but when I am here and exploring and stumbling over words and meeting new people I am alive again and incredibly happy.

So music has been taking the backseat, at least in terms of blogging. I am sorry for that but when I get some pictures uploaded, I hope to share with you some of the amazing buskers I've seen along with a few Spanish bands and the current most popular dance song that seems to be playing everywhere. So for now here are two songs I like to play when all the techno and Spanish guitar gets to be redundant. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and I hope to have a playlist to keep you busy coming soon. "I got songs in the night for you."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Aid Kit - When I Grow Up (Fever Ray Cover)

There is so much to say about this song. I will start with telling you that it is one of my most listened to tracks EVER. No exaggerations and no joke. I just saw them perform on Sunday night and was blown away. There is a review coming soon, but for now just listen to this song. The lyrics are below but they are just as capable, if not more, of writing their own meaningful and beautiful lyrics and songs.
when i grow up
i want to be a forester
run through the moss on high heels
that's what i'll do
throwing out boomerang
waiting for it to come back to me

when i grow up
i want to live near the sea
crab claws and bottles of rum
that's what i'll have
staring at the seashell
waiting for it to embrace me

i put my soul in what i do
last night i drew a funny man
with dark eyes and a hanging tongue
it goes way bad
i never liked a sad look
from someone who wants to be loved by you

i'm very good with plants
when my friends are away
they let me keep the soil moist
on the seventh day i rest
for a minute or two
then back on my feet and cry for you

you've got cucumbers on your eyes
too much time spent on nothing
waiting for a moment to arise
the face in the ceiling
and arms too long
i wait for him to catch me

waiting for you to embrace me

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cotton Jones play at T.T. the Bear's Place [Review]

100Bands Reviews: Review #18

What’s Left: 322 Days. 83 Bands.

Band #18: Cotton Jones

When/Where: October 7th, T.T. The Bear’s Place, Cambridge, MA

Expectations: I just want to hear “Gone the Bells”, a song I am deeply infatuated with. I’ve read some rave reviews from people who have seen them at festivals, so I expect something special.

Concert: Cotton Jones was playing to a fairly full venue on Thursday night when they took the stage looking like vagabonds coming from a freight train they just hitched cross country, almost like they had time traveled from some simpler time many years ago. Maybe it was the amount of jeans and certain hats that were worn, but all six band members had that “I’m a hardened traveler just playing my music” kind of look to them. Their look was fitting with their timeless music that plays like a hazy daydream with a timeline that spans generations. Their music has a lot of blues, americana, and folk aspects to it but I think it is far better to describe it as warming music steeped in tradition.

I thought they started off rather slow, but lead singer, Michael Nau’s cheeks turned ruby red as he was singing and his voice came on more forcefully than it does on their albums, instantly giving all their songs a new life. By the third song, the audience was spontaneously dancing along. Any band that can get the usually static Boston crowd to dance must be doing something very very right. Each song they played took me a while to recognize because it was like they took the song out of that hazy daydream, eliminating the lo-fi qualities that ensconces their recorded songs, and made those songs exist in a real life. It was a really cool but subtle change that made all the difference. Whitney McGraw’s accompanying vocals were just as soft and dreamy as one could hope, and I watched some of the younger males in the crowd take out their cameras just to capture a few pictures of her.
The highlight was easily the closing song “Somehow To Keep It Going” which starts of slow with a simple kick drum beat, a tambourine, and a guitar and then surprisingly erupted into a full on sing your heart out chorus of “Come on baby let the river roll on” that the whole band sang and carried on for some time with such energy that I never wanted it to end. The band turned into a circle facing one another as they all carried on together letting that final river of sound wash over us all.

Concert Afterglow: Completely impressed. Their music was nothing short of beautiful and that energy they brought to the live show won me over.

Recommendation: This is a band that you must know, I highly suggest digging into their music and if you like it see them live.

Song: “Somehow To Keep It Going” - Cotton Jones

The Delano Orchestra - Seawater

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this video. Being mesmerized by the ocean is not a hard thing, much like how people can watch a burning fire for hours. This video uses the crashing waves over and over again so that it becomes almost impossible to turn away from. I like the camera angle they use and that disoriented feeling when the camera is just below the surface, just like how if you were knocked down by a wave. It's simple but very cool. Chillwave songs should have made videos more like this instead of those washed out vintage colored lo-fi videos. I think this imagery works way better. Anyways, maybe you'd be interested in knowing that I also really enjoy the song too. The Delano Orchestra makes very cinematic music so it is no surprise that this video is also directed and created by one of the band members.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jeremy Messersmith - The Reluctant Graveyard [album review]

I can not stop listening to this album. From the opening track, "Lazy Bones", through the powerful middle of the album with some standout songs, all the way to the end with the short and sweet "Tomorrow" it is truly fantastic. I feel like all of these songs could be used in a Tim Burton movie. Just watching the "Organ Donor" video would make anyone think that.
The best part is you can name your own price for this album over at bandcamp, but it is absolutely worth paying for. His song "A Girl, A Boy, And A Graveyard" is beautiful in it's simplicity that features a small violin arrangement paired with his voice and an acoustic guitar. The lyrics in all of his songs tell stories of life and death and after-life without being morbid or overly depressing. Mainly, I find every song to be poignant in some manner. There is always something to relate to, whether it is the lyrics that tug at my heartstrings or a perfectly composed interlude, the album is consistently beautiful. Go get it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Da Silva - Le Carnaval

Something I haven't written about in forever is my deep infatuation with french pop. A lot of it sounds the same if you listen to enough of it. The songs were how I learned french and how I improved my comprehension skills and now, living state side, I really miss hearing songs like this being overplayed on the radio. This is just one of many. But on youtube I have a french pop playlist that you can check out.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pepper Rabbit - Older Brother

Just to add to the collection of "rabbit" named bands this year, we now have Pepper Rabbit, an LA based band. Their debut album is due out October 26th on Kanine Records. Their musical influences span the globe from places like India and New Orleans and the usage of multiple instruments and samples add depth to this duo. In a few weeks I'm sure you'll be hearing more about them when their CD is released, so be prepared. I am seeing them live tonight at T.T. the Bear's Place in Cambridge, opening for Cotton Jones. They are on a fairly big tour so try and catch them if you can. Should be a good one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Forest City Lovers - Tell Me, Cancer

Forest City Lovers dwell in Toronto but have been on the road for some time and those experiences are what shape their songs. They are a pop group I suppose, but the brand of canadian pop that can be lumped in with other polaris prize nominees like Dan Mangan. So it is more along the lines of good music you can sing along to. This is the music I am drawn to the most and what I mainly listened to before I got into music blogging, so when I come across bands like this my heart swells and I get a little over excited. Take a listen, this one goes best with pumpkin beer and an autumn mixtape.

This is probably one of my new favorite bands, I just came across them on CBC radio, so that aren't new per se, just new to me. However, this is a brand new video for their song Tell Me, Cancer. It is worth waiting through the end when the music picks up.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just a song, sometimes all you need.

I had no idea what to present you with today so better late than never, right? I don't know this band but any song talking about picking me up sounds pretty good right now. Here you go.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Neon Indian Free Show @ South End Power Station

Sunday afternoon after the open market in the South End, I wandered over to the free show thrown by Urban Outfitters and Levis held in an old warehouse. This was one of their"Secret Generator Shows" that I started explaining to people as a "not so secret show powered by a generator because it sounds cool".  Urban Outfitters spends three days showing you pictures or hints of the venue making you think you have to guess where the concert is. But on Friday they straight up tell you the location making the previous three days seem like the most pointless thing. Because it was. Knowing two days in advance didn't make a big difference. Read the rest of the review after the jump...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sleepier Times Mixtape

This is my sleepy time mix, I was making it last night and even though I drank a large iced coffee at 6pm I had fallen alseep on the couch by 10. Like I tell the kids I made this for, "I have songs that magically put you to sleep." Guess I was right. Keep in mind that I made this mix for little kids under the age of five and is partially based on what songs they fall asleep to when driving around in my car. So the beginning of the cd is a little bit more fun/kid friendly (but still indie and totally suited for adults) and then I figure at the halfway point kids should be asleep so a few darker songs get added to the mix. I tried to keep the overall theme quiet and peaceful, yet positive, to induce sleep with the magical power of songs. Download is only available through the weekend. Click the link at the end to download the zip file.
See the playlist after the jump
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