Sunday, February 27, 2011

Francois Peglau - Sunday's Ukelele Song

This is my new "Easy Like Sunday Morning" song. The sunshiny ukelele, the fuzzy warmth of Francois Peglau's voice, and lyrics you'll want to sing along to as you prepare your standard hangover cure, make this  the perfect relaxing Sunday song.

Sundays feel like Mondays 
And these days 
We hate them too. 

And you know Sunday in the morning 
without a warning 
it comes for you 

Francois Peglau has a very interesting background being Peruvian and French and now living in London. His songs are mainly in english but bits of french and spanish are flecked throughout the songs, letting the multi-cultural influences shine through the fuzz of the 60s-esque songs. His LP, The Imminent Failure of Francois Peglau, is a free download on Bandcamp that I highly recommend. Enjoy your Sunday before it turns into Monday.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wye Oak - Holy Holy

Wye Oak's thrid album Civilian comes out in 12 days. Since the release of their first single from the album, Civilian I've been giddy with anticipation. If that song doesn't move you, you probably aren't human. Now they have released another single, Holy Holy, and it's another power packed track. Have a listen. Preorder the album from Merge. Tour dates after the jump.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cotton Jones - Sit Beside Your Vegetables

This new Cotton Jones EP, Sit Beside Your Vegetables, is a lovable umbrella for four songs. I've always really liked Cotton Jones but I think this EP just solidified a higher status, one a little closer to love and obsession. Their EP can be found and purchased here.

"Down beside em" invites you to sit in their Cumberland garden "for that moment I was no one, nowhere, just sitting in a garden" which sounds delightful and is filled with images of bending bean stalks, you can almost smell the soil as the gentle bass line plods along. The instrumental "Lune chatter" is like a modern take on the Pied Piper calling all the children to follow him and they all march out of town. It's magnetic and you'll be following right along. "Egg On a Sea" is a great duet with the married couple telling a story of girl who is trouble with a capital T, it's charming and sounds like a warm summer night. Then there is "Good In Every Word" with "Been listening to the heart, there's so much good in every word" which is a pleasing song in every sense and comes around with more talk of laying down places which seems to be the theme here. Cotton Jones' music continues to be all of your happiest summer memories encapsulated in songs that shimmer, and I can't help but love them for that. So seriously go buy it for $3.56 it will be far more pleasing than that afternoon coffee you are thinking of buying for the same price.
I did get to see them play last night when they opened for Nicole Atkins at Brighton Music Hall and it kills me when the opener is better than the headlining act. This was the fourth time I've seen them and it was just as good as ever. Their closing song is still the same jubilant version of Somehow to Keep it Going , where the whole band pitches in singing along. I highly recommend seeing them if you can, it seems like they're always touring so hopefully you can.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mixtapes of Yore #1

Long before my music blogging days, I was a mixtape maker. It started with actual mix tapes when I was young, recording the songs I liked from my parent's vinyl. I would sit on the hard floor in a tiny space for hours with my finger on the record button, intent on getting the timing just right. I would even record from the radio, waiting for my favorite songs to come on for hours.
Technology progressed, and I still have the very first C.D. I ever burned circa 1999. Friends have asked why I save them all as if mixes were just a hoodlum group of songs that you could throw out your car window when you were bored with them, and the answer is usually because mixes are my scrapbooks and more descriptive about who I was than any pictures could be. I can't imagine throwing them out. When I play an old mix, I can recall exactly what, why, or for whom I was making the mix, in a freakishly vivid way. My chronological order of things is very dependent on the songs of the time. Some of the mixes in my arsenal are funny, some are pathetically teen-angsty, and the only way I can remember that I broke up and got back together with my high school boyfriend more than a dozen times is because there is a mix for just about every time. Instead of letting the hundreds of mixes sit in their many piles and cases I thought it was high time I shared them, because thats what mixes are for.

We'll start with one of the first ones from the year 2000, because what better way to start a new feature than with a 10 year old Bad Ass Mix?
Most of this was a copy of a mix my friend Kerri made. I wanted very badly to be bad ass and carefree like she was, but I was a freshman in high school so I just listened to this mix and thought I was awesome instead. In case you can't tell from the song choices, Kerri might have been so carefree because she smoked a lot of pot. But who else could mix classic rock, 90s hip hop, and stoner/hippie classics? It's like a teenage sex mix meets potheads. Bad ass indeed!
1. Steve Miller Band - The Joker
2. G. Love & Special Sauce - Kick Drum
3. Blackstreet - No Diggity
4. The Gourds - Gin & Juice (Snoop dogg cover)
5. Montell Jordan - This is how we do it
6. Warren G. - Time in the LBC
7. G. Love & Special Sauce - Gimme' some lovin'
8. Greatful Dead - Casey Jones
9. Dr. Dre - Xxplosive
10. G. Love & Special Sauce - Coming home
11. Lauryn Hill - Too Good to be True
12.  Sublime - What I Got
13. Salt-n-Pepa - Shoop
14. Sublime - Caress Me Down
15. G. Love & Special Sauce - When We Meet Again
16. Lauryn Hill - Killing Me Softly
17. G. Love & Special Sauce - Baby got sauce
18. Pearl Jam - Throw Your Arms Around Me

Can I get some fries with that shake shake baby?

Nicole Atkins - Vultures

Nicole Atkins will be gracing Boston with her presence tonight at Brighton Music Hall with opener Cotton Jones. Trust me you want to be there for the opening set. Doors at 8 PM; Show at 9 PM; 18+ $12.

Nicole Atkins' latest, Mondo Amore, was released a few weeks ago and has been on heavy rotation around here. Her outstanding voice does acrobatics through each track going from one style to the next. Her versatile voice seems perfectly in place in the catchy toe tapping tune "Cry Cry Cry" just as much as in her more rock-heavy songs. It'd be hard to get bored during this album when it feels like Nicole Atkins could do anything and do it impeccably well. Due to her proven abilities on Neptune and now Mondo Amore, she'll be someone to watch since she clearly has enough talent for the long run.  You can purchase Mondo Amore here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stream Lykke Li's New Album

Over the weekend Lykke Li's upcoming album leaked so in response to that she is offering up the streamable version. Her album is officially out March 1st. You can pre-order it here. Until then give it a listen and see what you think.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Beat Connection - Silver Screen

It always baffled me that this Seattle band made such solid summer jams that were warm and beachy all over. It was on heavy rotation during the warmer months and last week when it was warm for all of two days, theirs was the album I turned to. Now Beat Connection finally has this killer video out for their song "Silver Screen" so you need to stop what you are doing, pull up the video in full screen mode and watch. Do it.

The Low Anthem - Ghost Woman Blues

Here's a new track from The Low Anthem that doesn't sound all that different from their 2009 debut release Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. Their latest album, Smart Flesh, is out today on Bella Union. What intrigues me about this record is that they recorded it in a vacant pasta sauce factory in Rhode Island. From what I've read it sounds like they got to play around with the different sounds this type of space could produce. That's really all it takes to get me to listen. Also check out this video which shows off the space they used, it's really well done, and really cool if you have a thing for abandoned buildings.

Little Majorette - Overflow

While you probably haven't yet heard of Little Majorette, you have definitely heard of the bands the respective parts of Little Majorette are a part of. From Havana Guns, Miike Snow, and Lykke Li, these three aren't new comers to the music scene. This Stockholm based band made up of Zoe Durrant, Petter Winnberg and Nils Tornqvist somehow managed to find the time to record in a Stockholm studio between their travels. When they first started they had no intention of releasing these songs, but now there is news that an album will be out April 20th.
This first track they are sharing reminds me of Oh Land with an upbeat infusion of that irresistible Brit Soul/Pop sound like Paloma Faith or The Noisettes. It's a fun catchy track driven by the piano and Zoe's light but persuasive voice. They also have a bunch of videos on youtube including a song called "Let's Get Drunk" with clips from the Audrey Hepburn movie Sabrina. If you've ever read my twitter feed you'd know that I fully support this title, it also happens to be a splendid song with a lovely string arrangement "Let's pretend we are in love again/ Let's get drunk/To settle our nerves again/ let's get drunk." I have good feelings about this album. Look out for it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Songs for the Weekend

Just remembered this red wine fueled post I wrote on Friday. Enjoy.
I hit one of those walls this week, kind of like that guy unfortunately pinned to the wall there. I didn't mean to hit it, I didn't even see it coming. I came home and just collapsed on the couch feeling defeated by life. It's a crappy way to start a weekend. But then it wasn't the bottle of red wine, the surprise release from Radiohead, the nice weather, or the long weekend ahead that snapped me out of this funk. It was the right notes from the right music. I scrolled through some stuff and little by little I was revived. It started with a toe tapping and head bopping and eventually evolved into a full fledged dance session, just me and my bottle of wine. Then I curled up on the couch to watch the thunderstorm and passed out. Exciting life I lead, I know.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Middle Brother - Middle Brother

This is the second song that is being promoted off of the the yet to be released album from this indie supergroup--John McCauley III of Deer Tick, Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes--Middle Brother. I think this is the best one I've heard. "Me Me Me" was the first one, but this one has a lot more spunk to it and there is never a dull moment. Their debut record will be released March 1st on Partisan Records. Happy Friday. 

Music Related Experiences

I knew I wasn't going to rush to my computer to review the Radiohead album for you when you could very well go listen to it yourself and form your own opinions. However, I did write a story for you about what this early surprise Radiohead release made me think of today. My college Prog Rock class. The album art alone makes it worth skimming.

Radiohead - The King of Limbs and new video

I just finished listening to The King of Limbs for the first time. Going back for seconds. In case you missed the news, they released the digital downloads a day early, as in you can go get it right this instant! Always full of surprises. Go get your digital copy here:

Check out the brand new (this morning new) official video for Lotus Flower off of The King of Limbs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alela Diane & Wild Divine - Age Old Blue

"Pretty like First Aid Kit, male and female vocal stylings, simple perfection" That's me quoting me. Sometimes I write 20 draft posts a day and write things like that to remind me what I want to mention about songs. The thing is this time I don't feel the need to elaborate on those 12 words. Just go listen.

This is her third studio album that will be released on April 4th, via Rough Trade Records whom she recently signed with. Alela Diane will be touring Europe in May but no North America dates are set yet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Old Man Luedecke

I have fallen into obsession with this banjo player, Old Man Luedecke. I heard him for the first time a few weeks ago on CBC Radio 3 and promptly got his latest album that came out last March. I know I'm way too late to this party but I can't let that stop me from writing a post about his music. He is old news for Canadians and probably lots of other people as he won the 2009 Juno Award for Best Roots album. The song I first heard, "Proof of Love", was off of that album. I can understand how for most the banjo is outdated and honky tonk, but Old Man Luedecke puts a modern spin on it, writing refreshing and relatable lyrics that can put a smile on anyone's face. The goofy song "Foreign Tongue" about trying to get a girl to like him is classic with lines like  "I want first base, I want home runs /I've never held you but I don't mind trying." Give it a listen, if you are into the banjo you need to add this album to your collection, it doesn't get much better. Buy his latest My Hands are on Fire and Other Love Songs here.

Churchill - The Only One

I posted my album review of Churchill last week, citing "The Only One" as my favorite on the album. So I am very excited to be able to give you the song today. What strikes me most about this song is that even though both sides profess their love-- "And I told you I loved you, and you said you loved me."--there is a twinge of sadness lingering below the surface.

Of course the entire album is great, it is one of those that is still growing on me. A song might come up on shuffle and halfway through I'm wondering who it is. Churchill is that band right now. Buy the album here or on itunes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CocknBull Kid - Hold on to your Misery Remixes

I have no idea what is going on but I woke up in an insanely good mood and can't stop listening to dance tracks and remixes. I am literally dancing around with my computer in one hand, headphones plugged in, and coffee in the other hand. Sunday mornings don't always feel this good. I'm sure I'll get back to my folky ways soon but for now I'm just going to enjoy dancing around like a fool.

The CocknBull Kid sample is really fun and sunshiny singing "Hold on to your misery I need it and it needs me." The Lissvik Remix makes me feel like I'm in Florida. The Dreamtrak Diamond Sound remix has more bass but also feels like it's the 90s--think TLC era--but in a fun cheesy way. Give them both a spin and enjoy your day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

WIN WIN - Interleave [Friday Fun Song]

Here's your weekend fun song. It's a little later than usual and a little harder than the usual picks. In the first thirty seconds I was already having extreme flashbacks to european club nights that lasted at least until 5am. Dirty, sweating, dancing, lights, bodies, scent of alcohol and cigarettes, lights, broken glass, foreign accents, dancing, drinking, dancing, bass, lights, drinking...and then poof! the night was over just like that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be Mine, You Sad Bastard Mixtape

Looks like a good mixtape huh? Well you can only get it if you become a follower of the facebook page.  You'll find the .zip file on facebook. Go get it. 

This isn't your Elliot Smith kind of sad bastard mixtape. No, it's more of an angry mix that makes you want to shout along until it tapers off into a dismal spiral of the many types of failed relationships until it gets topped off with a smidgen of compassion and optimism at the end. It seems to be a real representation of the way things tend to go. The mixtape takes you from the raw emotion of track 2's lyrics "So I'll take true love, and I'll cut it up with scissors, and I'll throw it in the fireplace" to the sad realization on track 8 that "only one thing's certain, that's everybody, everybody's hurting" and then to Dr. Dog's uplifting song, "We're all in it together now, cause we all fall apart, we're swapping little pieces of our broken little hearts." I hope you enjoy it from the little pieces of my heart to yours.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

James Blake - Wilhelm Scream is a cover too

Wilhem Scream is a cover of James Litherland's "Where to Turn" from the album 4th Estate. I first read this on Nailer9 and although I'm sure other blogs posted about it, I want to give credit to where I first saw it. James Blake's dad just so happens to be the James Litherland. On BBC radio 1 last night this was all part of his interview which you can listen to here. Read Abeano's review on the interview here. I haven't even listened to the highly hyped album yet because I've been worried that nothing would be as great as "Wilhelm scream". But maybe James Blake's real strong suit lays in his ability to twist and bend and distort a song with such grace that it essentially becomes his own. If you take a listen to the original song below, you'll see that James Blake borrows a large chunk of the chorus but also adds some of his own lyrics. You can watch James Blake's video for The Wilhelm Scream here. What an interesting way to start the morning.

 James Litherland - Where To Turn

On the same show, James Blake also sang a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You", just him and his piano. It's gorgeous. James Blake - A Case of You (Joni Mitchell Cover) (right click to download)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Young Galaxy - Shapeshifting [Album Review]

Young Galaxy's third LP, Shapeshifting, was released yesterday and it has it's spellbinding moments and others where the spell is broken. Certain aspects and beats become redundant at times making for a few bland songs. But the parts that do captivate like the entirety of "Cover Your Tracks" are like huge arching daydreams, except someone else is writing them for you and sticking it in your head. I keep going back and forth on this album because it seems to only be fitted for a certain mood. When my ipod gets the timing just right and surprises me with a Young Galaxy track that moment suddenly becomes golden, vibrant, and clean. It's up for you to decide on this one, because I clearly can't. Buy here. Make sure to watch the cartoon video for We Have Everything after the jump, it's rather crazy and going viral.

Sarah Jaffe - Daytrotter session

I was just listening to Sarah Jaffe this morning and thinking about how wonderful her album Suburban Nature is. Then I saw she had this Daytrotter session that just went up today. I didn't think it would be possible, but she sounds sadder than ever, in a heartbreaking way. "Clementine" has been stripped down making it painfully vulnerable. These songs differ quite a bit from her album versions and are well worth your time. Download the session for free at daytrotter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Laura Stevenson and The Cans - Master of Art

Laura Stevenson & The Cans are currently on tour and I've been waiting for them to come back since they blew me away in August when they opened for Maps & Atlases. In that concert they had this energy and sound that didn't come through in the recorded versions of the songs I heard. But this new song, "Master of Art" seems to hint that maybe this album will be a big step forward, and deliver a closer resemblance to their live sets. Laura Stevenson's voice is a distinctly large part of what makes this band stand out from the rest of the female fronted indie rockers of today. If you don't believe me watch this video for Holy Ghost, it is absolutely stunning. Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 9th they will be headlining at Great Scott in Allston. This could be one of the best $8 concerts of the year. Their debut single from their upcoming release came out just this week, making it hard to wait until April 26th for the album.
Master of Art from Sit Resist
Nervous Rex from A Record

David Vertesi

David Vertesi is yet another Canadian I've been fawning over. The lyrics are his strong point, with hundreds of quotable lines sung by his deep rough around the edges voice that is prone to melting hearts. This is a simple and organic album but it is completely wonderful and timeless. You can listen to it for hours and never tire of it and it is the type of album you will be able to pick up in 20 years and still enjoy.

"Some say love is all it takes. Some say love is just one big mistake, 
Some say love means nothing more...than how alone you were before." 

Spirit Animal - Makin it work [Video]

I put this song on my ipod last night, all set for an early morning run, because that's what this song makes me want to do. A song hasn't inspired me to go running for a long time, but for whatever reason this psych/rock one does the trick. But then I woke up and there was snow, again. So I'll post the video instead. You can download the song for free here. In case you missed it last week there was the Spirit Animal remix of Jenny O.'s song, which you have to listen to here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Harlan Pepper - Great Lakes

I'm quite certain I'm going to love Harlan Pepper's album, Yound and Old, officially due out February 22nd. It's made by a bunch of youngsters, barely out of high school, but they have something about them that sounds much older. Maybe it's that it sounds like something a man in jean overalls should be playing amongst the haystacks, but then those playful lyrics are something that Steve Poltz would write. "Great Lakes" is a banjo driven song with clever lyrics to put a grin on your face. You can stream the entire album on bandcamp. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

White Winter Hymnal covered by Oh Land

This is a perfect sunday treat of a song and I've been saving it all week for you. This Fleet Foxes' song is one of my favorites of theirs, but I like how Oh Land's voice seems more cheerful and then there are the spastic drums that change the song too. The video is a good one as well, be sure to check it out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Scott Dunbar One Man Band

 Scott Dunbar rocks an accordion like no other, in case you couldn't tell from the album artwork. He also hand sews all his own album covers. How I would love to get one of those in the mail but I'd have to move to Canada for that. I heard him months ago on CBC radio and was enthralled, but forgot until now to buy his album which is available on bandcamp for $5. Anyways he's the shit, as anyone who plays the accordion usually is. You can catch him busking on the streets of Montreal playing his own music or hits like Billie Jean, Wagon Wheel, Bad Moon Rising and a slew of others I'm sure. Gotta love a musician who so clearly just plays for the love of music. Make sure to check out the Wagon Wheel video and see his inventive percussion skills. 

Ellie Goulding - Lights (Bassnectar Remix)

It's time for a fun friday song and this is an excellent one to start your weekend off with, hell even start your morning with it. I love the sound of techno in the morning. Bassnectar works his magic with Ellie Goulding's voice floating over all the beepy boopy parts. Until it drops with some nice deep bass. If you don't already know Ellie Goulding, you should I'm hoping her voice starts dominating the radio waves instead of Britney's latest. But for now I'm extremely content with what we have here. Happy Friday! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hold Your Horses - 70 Million [Video]

How did I miss this video? How did anyone miss it? I think it is flipping fantastic. The band recreates 25 famous paintings (see if you can name them all) while performing their song 70 million. It is a bit like an OK Go video but sloppier, funnier, and I actually really like the music. Yay french bands singing in english.

néGar - Off The Ground

néGar sent me an email that piqued my interest "I grew up splitting my time between Abu Dhabi and Canada. This obvious divide between cultural traditions, and most importantly, the wide spread repression I witnessed throughout the Middle East sparked a desire to explore myself creatively, which led me to music.I think you'll be glad that she found music as her creative outlet when you listen to this song. She has a smokey deep voice that's hard to get out of your head, not unlike Cher and I mean that as a compliment.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Big Snow Big Thaw - Damn Allegheny

Here's a song you can't listen to just once. It is magnetic in its ability to pull you in to the heart of the song where you'll inexplicably find yourself stomping or clapping along with a vigor and zeal you probably didn't know you had. Frankly, I've listened to this song so many times I've lost my ability to articulate my thoughts, all I'm really dying to say is that I love this song.
Big Snow Big Thaw is a two person band out of Pittsburgh and they just released their first EP titled Winter. You can grab it at Bandcamp for free. You can also watch their live radio studio performance of "Brackish Water" here. Jim Sabol, the banjo player and Big Snow half of the band just so happens to be a music blogger himself. Fancy that.

Jenny O. - Won't Let You Leave (Spirit Animal Remix)

If ever a song was mean to be played through headphones it was this one, well a few others come to mind too, but right now it's all about this song. Grab your best noise canceling pair, put them on, press play. Every single noise that emanates is perfect and exactly where it belongs. The original version of this song always left me wanting more, but this version amplifies that feeling by the power of infinity. I'm not the biggest fan of remixes but Spirit Animal does it right. The remix leaves the spirit of the indie-pop song intact but adds a handful of new elements and rearranges parts that do nothing but enhance this already wonderful song. I first saw this on Their Bated Breath, so thanks to David for that. I've been playing this one non-stop.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lia Ices - Grown Unknown [Album Review]

Lia Ices' debut LP, Grown Unknown, could lead to her being classified as a singer/songwriter (itunes did) but there is a little something extra floating around in all of her songs that clearly set her apart from the rest, or what one might assume a singer/songwriter to sound like. Her songs are crafted around her high voice that seemingly floats above the instruments no matter if she is using strings, piano, guitar, or tambourines. Even with the variety of instruments, her songs come across as minimalist and her voice is what leaves an impression song after song. The standout track is clearly "Daphne" in which her label mate, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), contributes his distinct vocals.

Frankly, "Daphne", "Grown Unknown" and "Love is Won" are the most enticing and complex on her entire album and the rest pale in comparison and unfortunately blend together in a boring way. It's like getting two wonderfully perfect bites of a chocolate souffle only to eat the rest and find out that what's remaining is drier and lacking the consistency of those first delicate bites. But then again, it's still chocolate souffle so it's not a total let down. Buy on amazon. Suggested tracks: Daphne, Grown Unknown, Love is Won, and Ice Wine.

Lotte Mullan - Wicked Ways (Ben Taylor cover)

Lotte Mullan a singer/songwriter whose debut album, Plain Jane,  isn't due out until May 2nd, has a few tracks floating around. Including this cover of one of my favorite Ben Taylor songs. I like hearing this song about using someone for sex from a female perspective, but I do still prefer the wicked sexiness of Ben Taylor's voice. However, some of the other tracks of Lotte Mulan that I have heard are good and you can stream the first five tracks here.
 02 Wicked Way by partisanpr
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