Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps - Calliope

I'm beyond excited to finally be able to share this Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps track with you. The last track I shared was "Tanktop" which I liked, but her strongest trait, her voice, is obscured. Someone even left a comment saying they couldn't understand a word. But this one is different. "Calliope" has been a standout track, one worthy of obsession.

The slow start lets you settle into the song until unexpectedly there's a head on collision between folk and indie rock when the drums and bass explode into the song. Sure, she sings about how she's waiting for a boy, but the lyrics I adore are:
" make a song a hit, 
make it hit hard in the bone,
move your knees to the beat until you're into it.
When the bottom drops out that's when I begin 
to lose it."
Some songs absolutely hit you that way, it's a top five favorite feeling of mine, and this one achieves that. It makes me think of those concerts I've stood at swaying to the song, and then taken by surprise in an instant, the song arcs and crashes over me like a tsunami, drowning out all other thoughts until there is nothing else in the world but those sounds coming from the stage and my body involuntarily moving to the beat. I live for that moment. And here it is, expressed perfectly in a song.   

The album, Little Wings, will be released on September 20th. For a different side of the song, watch Caroline Smith and Jesse Schuster perform this stripped down version of Calliope inside a former orphanage in Duluth, MN.

Mister Heavenly & Cody Chesnutt

Thanks to Matt at You Ain't No Picasso I caught this video of Mister Heavenly performing one of the best self-esteem boosting songs; Cody Chesnutt's "Look Good in Leather". I always put this on when I'm walking around the city and no matter how hard I resist, this song makes me strut. It'd be embarrassing if I cared, but I don't because I look good in least that's what Cody is making me think. Seriously, you'll be hard pressed to come up with a song that makes you feel cooler than this one.

Also, Mister Heavenly's new album is fantastic and I suggest checking out the interviews Matt did with each half of the band. I rarely read interviews all the way through but these were too interesting to click away from: YANP Interviews Nick Thorburn and YANP Interviews Honus Honus.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Savages - Rock and Roll

"I am rock and roll" is a bold way to start a song, but by the time you get to the second chorus you'll be singing along with The Savages. This was a random bandcamp find, so I know nothing about the band other than I like this song. Their EP is available as a free download on The Savages' bandcamp page.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fenster - Oh Canyon

I will listen to anything coming from Morr Music a Berlin based record label with unparalleled taste. There is diversity in their roster but just enough so that it's still cohesive. The latest is Fenster which they posted on their soundcloud page. The vocals are bit obscured but the words you do catch are spiteful despite the happy tambourine you hear. Tambourines sole purpose is jangly happiness, right? Have a listen.

Radical Face - We're On Our Way

Radical Face  is releasing a series of EPs called The Bastards because they are the songs that didn't fit onto his full length, The Roots, album due out October 4th. Just like his song "Welcome Home" that made some trips around the blogsphere and even ended up in a commercial, these are songs that make you stop and wonder who it is. This is a song that will make any handclap enthusiast more than happy. The rest of the EP is equally as enjoyable and you can download it for free using the widget or go to the Radical Face website. And if you want more he's also a talented artist.

 We're on Our Way by Radical Face

Friday, August 26, 2011

Penguin Prison - Don't Fuck With My Money

Here's your non-hurricane jam for the weekend. Penguin Prison is a name you should know when it comes to remixes and his original dance pop songs. Good old fun with some funk thrown in. Check out the Penguin Prison website for some freebies. The new album drops September 5th for most of Europe and early October for the US.

  Don't Fuck With My Money by Penguin Prison

Wild Child - That's What She Say

When I was 14 I drew what I wanted for a tattoo. It was the outline of a whale that had "wild child" written in small cursive letters coming out the spout with an infinity sign. Thankfully I never got the tattoo, but I still have the drawing, and a soft spot for the words 'wild child'. I came across the band Wild Child when I was perusing one of Austin's venues, Emo's, and had to find out what type of music a band with that moniker would play. Turns out it's wonderfully addictive indie pop. I love the sweetness of the ukelele in some of the songs, but the best parts are their voices and heartwarming harmonies. Their debut LP is due out this October. You can get a free download when you visit their website.
Find out more: Facebook // Website // Soundcloud

 03 That's What She Say by WildChildSounds
 Whiskey Dreams by WildChildSounds

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alex Winston - Velvet Elvis

Alex Winston has been blowing up the blogosphere and everything she's put out so far has been worthy of listening to. We have yet to see a debut album, but when it's finally announced you can expect to hear a lot about it. For now, she has given us plenty of tunes over the past few months to tide us over. Of course leave it to Franky at Listen Before You Buy to get the new tracks to our ears.
  Alex Winston - Velvet Elvis by AlexWinstonOfficial
  Alex Winston - Fire Ant by ListenBeforeYouBuy

Bon Iver / James Blake Collaboration - Fall Creek Boys Choir

Since it's unofficially "Stream Music That 100 Other Bloggers Have Posted Day" here at NMC I'll just throw this up for kicks. The two met just five months ago at SXSW and have been working on this collaboration via the internet. Today they debuted the track on BBC1 and the track was up for streaming in seconds, literally. It sounds exactly how you'd expect a Bon Iver / James Blake collab to high pitch vocals, and bleeps and bloops and slow beats with a bit of that soft rock of the 80s vibe. I don't care for it, to me it's like the worst parts or the weak points of their musical styles had bad sex, the kind where nobody gets off. So I guess I can't even call this the love child of bad sex. What do you think?

Girls - Honey Bunny

Honey Bunny, the opening track on the new Girls album, will be out on 7″ and digital October 10 through Fantasy Trashcan / Turnstile. The B side will be brand new track Martina Martinez.

Here’s what Christopher Owens from Girls had to say about the track:

“Honey Bunny” was my 19th song to write. I wrote it on my birthday in 2008. I think the fact that it’s No. 19 gives it a little perspective. My first songs were kind of like, “Ahhhh, Help!” This one has a bit of swagger to it, and some reflection about my mother. It’s a special song to me now, not for the sassy swagger bits as much the parts about Mama. But I think for the listener, it could be the exact opposite. The energy and optimism and determination in it is quite appealing. But that’s the great thing about these things, right? The fact that all of us are hearing something entirely different. I believe that.” (via turnstile)

Ryan Adams - Lucky Now

Sometimes the reason every blog posts a song is because it's just that good, and worthy of all the attention. So yeah, I'll just be the 100th person to say I like this, it sounds like the old stuff everyone knows and loves. That is all. Enjoy.

 Lucky Now by ryanadams

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Mix

These five song should help you kick monday in the face. I've been consistently satisfied and going back for more from all of these guys and wish I had more time to wax poetic on them. But all that really matters is the music and that you have a listen. Enjoy.

Ben Howard - Old Pine
"As the old pine fell, we sang just to bless the morning." This UK singer has one of those voices that melts your heart, his debut album is due out October 3rd and I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot about him. [Website]

Alessi's Ark - Wire
Alessi is another voice that you'll find yourself gravitating towards. She'll be touring the U.S. with Laura Marling this September which is a line up that couldn't be more perfect. A huge thanks to The Waiting Room for playing her songs months ago. I now have her entire discography and I highly recommend checking it out. [Website]

Ravenna Woods - Graves
Ravenna Woods is one of those Seattle bands I'm obsessed with and I've been patiently waiting for them to tour the east coast. [Bandcamp]

Deer Tick - Miss K
This summer I became an accidental fan of Deer Tick. I half heartedly liked them before, but somehow managed to see them three times over the course of a month and their goofy we're just here to have fun stage demeanor made me like them a whole lot more. So what if they botch songs? They look like they're having a genuine blast. I love that. [Website]

 Lana Del Rey "Video Games" 
Lana Del Rey is bound for main stream radio. I imagine in a few months you'll hear her music blasting out of college dorm rooms and soundtrack clothing stores at the mall. Have a good listen now before it undoubtedly gets over played.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why Music Matters

If there is one video you watch today or this week, make it this one. Also check out the website they're good people doing wonderful things.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today: JP Music Festival

This wonderfully organized and comptelely free event, The JP Music Fest, will take place from 1-7 today on two stages at Pinebank Baseball field near Jamaica pond.  Here are some useful tips and FAQs. Jamaica Plain is such a tight knit neighbor hood with a lot of pride so it will be great to see the community and beyond coming out to support a fantastic afternoon of music in the park with their local bands, of which there are many.

I'm personally looking forward to seeing:  
Coyote Kolb on Stage 2 at  5:45 [bandcamp]

And all of this on the fist stage:
The Nickel & Dime Band with Rick Berlin at 2:50
Gordon Gano with The Nickel & Dime Band at 3:10
The Old Edison at 3:45
Needy Visions at 4:15
Tallahassee at 4:50
This is a small pick from the 20 bands that will be playing. View the whole set list here.

Here is a playlist of all the bands playing for your streaming pleaure.

 Mix tape: The first-ever JP Music Festival is Saturday, August 20, 2011 by JPMusicFestival

Enjoy the festivities. If you're in the area I highly suggest planning your afternoon around this, it'll be a blast. See you there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tea Cozies - Dead Man's Sister

There is so much goodness for an East Coaster to catch up on in reading all of Seattle, Washington's reviews of the annual Doe Bay Fest. I love smaller intimate festivals because chances are you'll fall for a band you've never heard of before. One band I came across in reading about the weekend was Tea Cozies. If you love the guitar (meaning everyone) you should listen.

Find Tea Cozies: Website // Facebook // Buy

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sóley - I'll Drown

Sóley Stefánsdóttir, one partof the Icelandic band Seabear, is now going solo and touring with Sin Fang (formerly Sin Fang Bous, and also of Seabear). Sin Fang's Summer Echoes is high on the list of favorite albums of 2011, so take note.

This is the first single off of Sóley's debut release from the young musician who released a well received EP, Theater Island, last year. The background vocals seemingly emanate from watery depths, but the loneliness comes through loud and clear. It's a fitting song for watching raindrops slide down window panes. The album will be released via the wonderful Berlin label Morr Music on September 2nd.

Asa - Dreamer Girl

I can remember exactly where I was the first time I heard French-Nigerian singer Asa, a real testament to the power of her voice. It also helped that I was at a concert in Istanbul with my best friend and our host named Nigel who drove us home, recklessly flying across streets and bridges that crossed the Bosphorus river as Asa played on the radio.  At the time Asa's hit song was from her 2007 debut album, "Jailer". Her latest album, released last year in much of Europe Beautiful Imperfection, is just being released here. If you like Corrine Bailey Rae or Erika Badu, you'll enjoy this.

Find Asa: Website // Facebook // Twitter 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Don't miss these songs

This week it was all about playing these songs on repeat. Have a listen and maybe you'll be putting them on repeat too. Sorry that's all I have to say, it's been a long weekend.

AA Bondy - The Heart Is Willing by fatpossum

  How Come You Never Go There by Feist

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feist - How Come You Never Go There

Metals, the new album from Feist, will be released on October 4th via Cherrytree/Interscope (U.S.), October 3rd in the UK via Polydor, and October 4 in Canada via Arts&Crafts. Denver's KBCO debuted the album's first single, "How Come You Never Go There" and now I've listened to it five times on repeat. Her website has a great snippet of a song and links for pre-ordering too. You can stream the song thanks to Listen Before You Buy and his speedy posting skills. It's everything you hoped a new Feist song would be and more, well worth the wait. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

International Waters - 1994

Over the past few years plenty of bands have broken up or called it quits. Of all the bands that have done so, there is only one that I can say I was legitimately sad to hear about: Voxtrot. That music soundtracked hundreds of college memories and their songs are scattered across countless mix CDs I have laying around. Luckily, when young band members move on it often means another band begins. This is the case with International Waters fronted by Mitch Calvert of Voxtrot. Their tag on bandcamp is 'jangle pop' which sounds about right. You can stream the full album on bandcamp. Just don't expect to hear any traces of Voxtrot, this is something much different, full of a matured romanticism that goes heavy on the string arrangements. "Green Lights Forever" is my favorite. Have a look-see, see what you think. Thanks to Eardrums for the heads up on this.

Pickwick - Turn the Light Out (Concours d'Elegance cover)

I hope that if I write enough about Pickwick, they'll come to Boston. Also, I love them and have neither a problem nor a hesitation when it comes to writing about songs they release. Earlier this week they released a split release with another Seattle band, electro-pop group Concours d'Elegance, where they cover each other's songs. It's fun, danceable, and I love how they interpreted each other's songs. Pickwick is a band you need to know about, so definitely check out the rest of their stuff on bandcamp. They've been playing lots of shows in Seattle, so if you're in the area I suggest you go with your dancing shoes on.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Snakes - Whole Bunch of Chicken ft. Pearl & the Beard

I only allow myself to buy one lunch meal a week and usually that means I get Friday's special buffalo chicken salad wrap from my local deli, which comes loaded with extra chicken. As I sat down to eat stuff my face with the sandwich, I got an email with a song called "Whole Bunch of Chicken" I got a little over excited, and was also wondering who was spying on me.
This song is a stomping and clapping laugh fest. It's not the kind of song you roll your eyes at, but rather the one you want to memorize the lyrics to so you can whip it out any time you're cooking chicken...unless you're a vegetarian I guess. The addition of Pearl & The Beard's harmonies really make it worthwhile. So "throw your hands up if you like chicken" and have a listen.

Name your price on bandcamp.
Visit Billy & Adam's website too.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shenandoah Davis - Proof

It's been a good while since I heard a piano song as satisfying as Shenandoah Davis's "Proof". It sounds like fat raindrops hitting the scalding hot pavement, a happy kind of rain. Her voice is like a tightrope walker wobbling on the wire just to make the audience gasp. Not that your Grandma would necessarily listen to this, there's an old timey feel to it, like you should be sitting in a rocking chair listening to the cracks and pops of the vinyl coming from a phonograph. I was excited it was one of the songs chosen for the daytrotter session that came out today. You can stream/buy the full album at bandcamp.

Shenandoah Davis - Proof (Daytrotter Session)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Video: Braids - Lammicken

This video is gorgeous. It's the type of thing you get sucked into watching and can't turn away from, like watching a fire, or a waterfall, or a lightning storm. Braids put out one of my favorite albums of the year in January and every time I had to shovel the massive amounts of snow this is what I was listening to. "Lammicken" was my favorite to shovel to, because it made it feel like the most important task was to lay in the snow and watch the flakes quietly flutter down. Why are you reading this? Watch the video.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Brightest Days / Sleepless Nights Mixtape

"All of your city lights turn your brightest days into sleepless nights" sings Other Lives in their song "Desert" which I couldn't legally include here, but there have been many days that I play the song just to hear those words. Taken out of context, I find myself relating those sleepless nights to some of the restless anxiety ridden ones, and other times it makes me think of missing the last subway home and enjoying the long walk home after a successful night out, the summer breeze flirting with the hem of my dress. Both scenarios encapsulate the meaning of this mix. It's not a summer mix, but rather one that characterizes the summer I've been having. It isn't the carefree summer I remember from my college years, as I'm slowly grappling and struggling to accept this "real world" I've landed in. There have been ups and downs, moments of absurdly goofy fun, long days at the beach with the best of friends, and moments spent screaming along to songs in my car just as a form of relief. This mix has songs to get lost in, songs that make you more aware than ever of the cracks in your heart, and more than a few to make you smile, maybe even laugh. Here are some of my favorite bits:
  • The first five songs are just insanely good and ones that have been on repeat all week. "Unconsolable" is my new favorite confusing hook up song.
  • I'm excited about a new album from Beat Radio and love when he sings "I made you a mixtape, ok it's not a tape at all, but it's full of sad songs that make summer feel like fall."
  • Then there's the TV Girl EP that you'd be crazy not to get, especially since it's free. When this song comes on, the image of a topless girl with an indian headdress laying by the pool always floats to the surface. When you listen, you'll understand.
  • Stone Darling is the latest 7" release from Analog Edition. What I love about this song is if you're writing a song about not missing someone, you probably are. But we've all been there, right?
  • If you haven't cranked The Antlers "I don't want love" at 3am on repeat for an hour straight, you're seriously missing out, and also your neighbors probably don't hate you like mine do.
  • "How'm I Gonna Get Back Home" is an absolute jam about a wild night spent over-imbibing.
  • Aunt Martha is easily my new favorite band. "And quit your job that you hate so much / We'll both get by / We'll both make love / and you're here tonight, anyway / but oh, how things have changed / Now I act my age." Get their Abandoned Bedroom Sessions for free from their website.
  • Allo Darlin' has been the soundtrack of my past two summers. I love the tweeness, how I can see the smoke coming from his cigarette, the frank lyrics, the image of a girl twisting a phone cord around her fingers. And god damn, I am so in love with that bass that kicks in at the end.
  • "American Goldwing" is the title track of Blitzen Trapper's latest album due out in September and a perfect closing track.
Download: ZIP file

1. Ambassadors - Unconsolable [bandcamp]
2. The Middle East - Jesus Came to my Birthday Party [website]
3. Girls - Vomit [facebook]
4. Real Estate - It's Real [website]
5. Dum Dum Girls - Coming Down [website]
6. Beat Radio - Teenage Anthem for the Drunken Boat [bandcamp]
7. TV Girl - Lizzy Come Back to Life [bandcamp]
8. Stone Darling - I Stopped Missing You Today [bandcamp]
9. The Antlers - I Don't Want Love [website]
10. Beirut - East Harlem [website]
11. Fruit Bats - You're Too Weird [website]
12. Cataldo - Rock of Calvary [bandcamp]
13. He's My Brother She's My Sister - How'm I Gonna Get Back Home [bandcamp]
14. The Local Strangers - For Fear of Losing [bandcamp]
15. Family of the Year - Let's Go Down [website]
16. Aunt Martha - Neighbor Song [website]
17. Other Lives - For 12 [website]
18. Neighbors - Watergun [website]
19. Portugal. The Man - Got it All (This Can't Be Living Now) [website]
20. TV Girl - Benny and the Jetts
21. Allo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer [website]
22. Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps - Tanktop [website]
23. Aunt Martha - North
24. Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing [website]

I honestly mean it when I say that each and every one of their albums/eps are highly recommended. So you better click away on those links, there's lots more wonderful songs to discover. Enjoy.

Chris Thile & Michael Daves - Rocky Road Blues at Newport Folk Festival

Thile & Daves had already played their set to a highly appreciative crowd that packed the tent and the surrounding area and an hour later they were being filmed by Paste Magazine. Chris Thile told the few people standing at the fence watching his session in the Paste Magazine ruins that if we waited he'd play a song for us. Word spread quickly and the small area was suddenly packed. To everyone's surprise The Seeger Clogging Allstars joined in for what turned out to be one of the highlights of this year's Newport Folk Festival. Being at the right place at the right time has never been so rewarding.

Audio from the video:

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