Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quarter 1 Round Up - January

Artwork by Exploding Dog



After making a favorite of 2010 list, I was more aware than ever of how hard it is for one person to gather and absorb all the music out there. For this reason I will never make a "Best Of" list, I don't feel like I have the ability to make such judgements, but I can share favorites. Here's what I enjoyed the most (I apologize in advance for botching some release dates). I listened to more music than I ever have, winter was good for that. If you don't see something on the list that you think should be, feel free to leave a comment. If you think this is a lot come back tomorrow to see my February and March picks.





January 
This was a great first month. Right off the bat people were claiming that James Blake's and Destroyer's albums are going to be on end of year lists. Those people are probably right.

Brew Tunes...a story of a beginning

I almost started a travel blog in 2006, I even bought the domain name jessicasadventures.com, I just let it expire last year. In 2007 when I was cooking up big meals for friends in my college apartment, and reading food blogs religiously, I almost started my own food blog but the lighting in my apartment was old and cheap, and thus my photography was bad, and I was a full time student so it didn't seem like I could dedicate myself to the blog like my favorite food bloggess did. In 2008, I was traveling again and told my Awkward Traveler stories to my friends via a blog. In 2009, and still traveling, I wanted to share music I was hearing with my friends who lived a whole continent away and this little blog came into existence. 

Of all the blogs I tried to start, I never thought one of them would stick or grow in the way NMC has. It has been 16 months of writing (although the first 6 months don't count because I was posting videos and didn't know MP3 blogs or Hype Machine existed back then). I find myself itching to expand and start another blog, because besides my failed attempts at writing about travel, cooking, and awkward stories there has always been one other topic I've wanted to write about since it holds a place in my heart, in the passionate hobby section right next to music. I love craft beer. I volunteer at every craft beer festival in a 100 mile radius, I love talking beer, I love keeping up with the beer trends (sour beers are delicious), I've dabbled in home brewing, and I find myself perusing beer blogs almost as much as I read music blogs. And now I want to write about it. 

John Legend - Rolling in the Deep (Kenton Dunson Remix)

"When I heard John released this acappella of an awesome song by a great artist, I took that acappella and went to my piano, kick drum and bottle of whiskey...this happened." - Kenton Dunson
Obviously there are a zillion remixes of Adele's widely popular song "Rolling in the Deep" but now it's reaching all new heights after crooner John Legend released his cover of "Rolling in the Deep". It's only natural that after exhausting the remix possibilities of Adele's original, that the remix makers would jump on Legend's cover like hungry wolves. This is the third one I've come across but I'm sure there are hundreds being spawned at this very moment. Luckily for you, this one is very much worth posting. Keep your eye out for Kenton Dunson too, I expect we'll be seeing much more from him.
 John Legend - Rolling In The Deep Feat. Kenton Dunson (Kenton Dunson Remix) by Kenton Dunson

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mixtapes of Yore #4

This week's Mixtape of Yore was selected over the weekend by my best friend from high school who remembers the songs that showed up on multiple mixtapes almost as well as I do. She picked from the gigantic case and selected "Hmmm..." from January 6th, 2003. It is one of those I was happy to post at first seeing Wilco and Belle & Sebastian on the mix because I thought I would finally be able to prove I listened to cool music in high school...but then there are some head scratchers in there.

Fernando Viciconte - Beautiful

Fernando Viciconte recently released his 7th full album in February. I think he's awesome and I don't know why this is the first I'm hearing of him. His song "Beautiful" is really wonderful and simple with a lot of getting drunk going on. The lyrics "Oh god damn, you're beautiful / I'll never never let you go/ Yeah, you mean so much to me" come across as genuine and heartfelt. "Word from the Inside" is more rough and tumble featuring an electric guitar and some serious banging on a piano. As I've been writing this, and listening to his songs, I've decided to buy the album. He's good and provides a nice (and much needed) alt-country break from the world of indie music. Buy the new album, True Instigator, here.
Fernando Viciconte - Beautiful
Fernando Viciconte - Word from the inside



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Spoken Word...

I love the spoken word over some beautiful background music. However, this seems to be the kind of thing that many people dislike or dismiss very easily. Maybe it's because I've always enjoyed poetry, but I think it's a nice change of pace from singing. Of course I could create a huge list of bands that have done this in the past but for now I'll focus on the recent ones.
EMA - The Grey Ship A little more sing-songy than spoken, this is still a really dark and impressive track. However her video below for "California" is more spoken and just as much an open wound. Check out her website for more and expect a full length later this year. She's bound to be much talked and buzzed about. She has that "different je ne sais quoi" quality working for her.

Savage Nomads - Pineapple reminds me of The Streets, with a pretty chorus. Their debut album is expected to be released in June.
 The Savage Nomads - Pineapple (unmastered) by Alaska Sounds

Error Operator - Follow This cinematic song borrows lines from the movie "Network" dating back to 1976. Error Operator puts out an endless stream of electronic music and I highly suggest following on soundcloud. I've played this song unbelievably loud all throughout August and September, I suggest you do the same. "All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say 'I'm a human being god damn it! My life has value!." If you yell this part of the song your overall disposition will improve by 60%. Seriously. Music is better than therapy, that's my motto.

This is a rather brief list...I ran out of time. Leave your suggestions in the comments section.
Starf*cker's song "Quality Time" song from Reptilians has a decent spoken intro sounding like it's from a science video.

Wolf Gang - Back to Back

I wasn't sure about this song at first but then I got to the chorus...total game changer. It's one of those songs where you wait patiently just to hear that delicious chorus again and eventually you learn to like the song as a whole. It's a little slow and that random electronic noise bothers me, the way the bass guitar is used in this song might remind you of The XX, but the chorus is just pure gold with those guitar chords. Please submit your email to his website for a free download of "Back to Back", and if you go to his Facebook page you can get "Pyramid Song" for free as well. Stay tuned for Wolf Gang's debut album out later this year. Also check out the Active Child remix of this song where it gets a synthy makeover while keeping the somber tone of the song.

Today's Releases

March is finishing up with a really strong week of releases making it the best month yet of music in 2011. I'm most excited to own The Generationals, The Mountain Goats, and Josh T Pearson. But there are lots of other good releases today too. Here's what I recommend.

The Generationals - Actor-Caster [BUY]
Greenleaf

The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck [BUY] $5 digital dl for 13 songs!
Damn These Vampires

Josh T. Pearson - The Last of the Country Gentleman [BUY]
 Josh T. Pearson - Woman, When I've Raised Hell (Alternative Version) by Mute Artists
His songs often seem to be a stream of consciousness, often long winded and rambling, but incredibly affecting. You'll be surprised, it took a few listens to realize just how deeply beautiful this album is. If you stick with it till the end I think you'll be blown away. This is a special one.

Bibio - Mind bokeh [BUY] Just $3.99 and so very worth it. Hopefully the fame of their song "Lover's Carvings" used in the Kindle commercial will help make this album a success. It's perfect electronic music for spring.
 Bibio Take off your shirt by Makinfluence

The Pain of Being Pure At Heart - Belong [BUY]


Those Darlin's - Screws Get Loose [BUY]




Hezekiah Jones - Have You Seen Our New Fort? [BUY]
Mind Malaise

The Boxer Rebellion - The Cold Still [BUY]
No Harm is free on amazon


Erland & The Carnival - Nightingale [BUY]


Hunx & His Punx - Too Young to Be in Love [BUY]


Yelle - Safari Disco Club [BUY]

Monday, March 28, 2011

BOBBY - Groggy


BOBBY, whom I saw earlier this month in a church, has released their second track off their debut album and finally set a date for their album release on June 21st.  There isn't much more I could say about this band that I didn't already say in my review. They were really splendid live and I have high hopes for this album. Tracklist after the jump.

Mashup-Germany - The Adele Mars Legend


I follow three mashup artists and the rest I get from Ride the Tempo and Sunset in the Rearview. I don't often care for mashups but they do make great fillers on upbeat or party playlists. Mashup-Germany is definitely one of the better ones out there and the new album will be out on the 30th, called Mash Mob. Here's Adele's Rolling in the Deep with a John Legend which is supposedly only a teaser of what will be on the new album.
 Mashup-Germany - The Adele Mars Legend by MashupGermany

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quarterly Roundup - Lovely Ladies

The first three months of 2011 have been incredible. There is so much out there that I'm still getting into some bands who released music in January. In order to manage the onslaught of music, I'll be doing quarterly roundups breaking them up between a few posts to provide reminders of what has passed us by. This first post is just a taste of what is to come next week where I'll be stuffing your faces with some of the best music I've heard over the past three months.

One of the things I loved so much about these early months were the outrageously strong and wonderful albums from indie/dance/pop ladies. I would never usually segregate lists by the sexes, I am just doing this to point out some terrific albums that happen to fall into one genre, all of which are worth owning.

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes [BUY]
Perhaps the most anticipated of all the ones on this list, it was no let down. It was haunting, dark, and a solid album start to finish.

Lykke Li - Love Out of Lust


Oh Land - Oh Land [BUY]
This album is the perfect contrast to Lykke Li. If Lykke Li is dark, Oh Land is light. This album wasn't as much pop as I expected it to be, it's wavering on that line of breaking out into mainstream or being destined to be remixed hundreds of times as club songs. But it was still inviting, fun, and made me want to dance.
Oh Land - Perfection

Yelle - Safari Disco Club [BUY]
Yelle continues to put out infectious french electro-pop. I ate this one right up, loving every moment. (Out March 29th)

Yelle - Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix)




Those Dancing Days - Daydreams & Nightmares [BUY]
This one was released with much less fan fare than the previously mentioned albums and while it's not quite as good as their last album, there are still quite a few songs of theirs that I'm putting on my playlists.

Those Dancing Days - I'll Be Yours (Visions of Trees Remix)
Those Dancing Days - Keep Me In Your Pocket



Alex Winston - Sister Wife (mini LP) [BUY]
Between the 6 songs on this and the 4 covers she gave away for free, Alex Winston made an impressive start for herself with her unique voice. I love this Locomotive song.
Alex Winston - Locomotive 
Alex Winston - Locomotive (Jaybird remix)








Links have been removed due to DMCA notice, since they didn't tell me what song was a violation (I had legit permission for each song however) I had to remove them all, sorry. You can stream the post here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jennie Abrahamson - Hard to Come By

Holy moly and 1,000 other stronger expletives. This song blew me away, is currently blowing me away, I can't possibly play it loud enough, and it's worthy of obsession. Jennie Abrahamson is Swedish and makes beautiful pop songs that she releases on her own label, How Sweet the Sound. This particular song has been jumping up on charts all over Sweden and it's easy to see why between her sweet voice and the loud percussion, you won't be able to get enough of it. If you like Lykke Li, Oh Land....actually, scratch all that, if you like music, this is for you. Thank you Jennie, this is making my week.
For a slight change of pace you must watch this gorgeous stripped down version of the song featuring her friends Ane Brun and Elin Ruth Sigvardsson. It is stunning. (after jump)

Plumerai - Spinning Landscapes [Listen Local]

One of my favorite ways to discover new music is to go to a concert venue website and start clicking on the acts I don't know. That's how I landed at Plumerai who also happens to be a local band that formed in 2004.  The song "Spinning Landscapes" is a dizzying number amplified by the emotive violin that contrasts nicely with the rest of the rock band. Meanwhile, lead singer Elizabeth Ezell's sultry vocals--similar to those of Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner-- guide you through the vertigo on this track. When she sings "all I see before me are spinning landscapes" the instrumentation paints the picture for you, it's perfectly executed.
The rest of their 2011 release, Your Guilty Palbum can be streamed/downloaded at bandcamp and makes for a great dark and moody listen. I suggest "Strike", "Empty Graves", and the instrumental "When I Come Around" for starters. It was such a pleasant surprise to find this band by accident that I think I'll have to go see them play at T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge, Wednesday the 30th. If you're around you should too.

Music for Japan

I know many bands are donating money from album sales directly to Japan relief efforts. I just want to share them with you and make sure to thank the artist/band for being so generous, it's a wonderful thing they are doing to help those in need. Do your part too, which should be easy with such good music involved. I'm sure there are many more bands doing this so leave comments for more suggestions. I'll try and keep the list ongoing and will share new updates on twitter and facebook.

Amber Rubarth - singer/songwriter is giving 100% of sales from any of her albums directly to the Salvation Army Japan Relief fund. You can buy them on bandcamp. Easy Peasy.









The Morning Benders - Donate anywhere from $5 to $100 dollars and get the 8 song EP.
Just go HERE

You can also read a full longer list of musicians donating to various Japan relief outlets and funds here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Funke & The Two Tone Baby - Darkest of Days

Here is a gravely harmonica fueled song from the UK's Funke & The Two Toned Baby, which despite the lengthy moniker, is just one man. I'd be interested to hear it without the harmonica which I think is too overpowering at times, especially when there is such a powerful and interesting voice being obscured by it. But I did enjoy listening to the rest of his music, especially considering a lot of it is produced by looping the  guitars. The sound could be classified as some twisted experimentation blending blues, alt-country, and americana, so if that's what floats your boat dig in. You can stream the rest of his EP on soundcloud, due out May 25th.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daniel Romano - Time Forgot (to change my heart)

I've only heard this one song from the forthcoming album but I'm quite certain I'll be buying this one. Daniel Romano reminds me of Justin Townes Earle in the sense that he's putting a modern spin on country but drawing directly from the old legends with just the right amount of twang. When I saw his album written up on Quick Before it Melts the name sounded familiar and a search in my itunes library revealed that I had about half of his previous album, Workin' For the Music Man. All it took was five seconds of listening to "A Losing Song" and it was like an echo from the summer, just one that took six months to travel back to me. It was a song I listened to countless times without ever knowing who sang it and now my excitement for his second album has multiplied. Sleep Beneath the Willow will be released on April 5th by You've Changed Records. A big thanks to those wonderful Canadian blogs (Quick Before it Melts and I (heart) Music)  for raving about his album.

Redbird - Oh Please My Heart

I've been looking rather hard these past few days for a song to fall in love with because it feels like it's been awhile even though I've been overwhelmed by mass amounts of music the past few weeks. In music blogger terms of time that means it's been about 12 days or since I posted that Monogrenade song I played twenty times in one day. 

I've been digging hard in the Seattle music scene but some of those bands out there are scared of the internet or something because while I saw multiple recommendations for certain bands on various forums they were absurdly hard to find on the internets. I'm talking no bandcamp page, or just a shitty myspace page with only one song, no website, tumblr, or twitter. Yet the bands had shows booked at various locales and cds for sale but no means of previewing the songs. So I moved up north to trusty Vancouver where there is always something wonderful brewing. 

That's how I came to find Redbird, a band that is recording their debut EP, yet has a totally functional and well laid out website (Seattle bands take note!). Their EP should be out soon but in the meantime they have appeased their fans with this video for their lovely acoustic version of their song "Oh Please My Heart". It's enough to keep me looking out for their debut EP. 

Cults - You Know What I Mean


It seems like it was just about this time last year when their breakout hit "Go Outside" was all the buzz and we hardly knew anything about the band. Having now signed with Columbia, they are in a completely different place this year. Here is their new song that is most likely off of their debut LP that will be out in a few weeks. Find Cults on the web: Twitter | Bandcamp | Website

 Cults - You Know What I Mean by cultscultscults

Monday, March 21, 2011

Icona Pop - Still Don't Know.

I don't have the energy to think much further than a pop song today. Luckily this Swedish duo made it easy and created a really nice one. All Icona Pop have out is an EP at the moment, hopefully we'll see more from them soon. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thomas Tantrum - Sleep (RAC Remix)

"Wakey, wakey, its time to wake up now." Ends up being a little more upbeat than what I'd like to wake up to on a Sunday, so I'm giving it to you now as a Saturday reminder to get out of bed and enjoy the day. Thomas Tantrum is a Southampton band who happens to be giving away their ep in exchange for an e-mail address over on their home page. You can watch the original more jangly version of "Sleep" here. It seems like the remix smoothed this song out a little, really polishing it up, giving it a different feel from the original.

To download use this link: Thomas Tantrum - Sleep (RAC Remix)

I'm trying out this new player so that you can skip halfway through songs if you want, that's how I prefer to evaluate songs myself, so let me know what you think. It seems like it might be slow and it's also ugly so I'll be looking for suggestions. Thanks!

The Tower of Dudes - Drink, Fuck, Drive Truck

Once upon a time I spent the best semester of my life in Prague. The city has rooted itself deep within my heart and was the gateway for my now incurable wanderlust. However, I never expected to hear about a cow-punk band coming from there. Sure, there were plenty of accordion buskers and the such, but this is folk-punk and silly stories complete with a full backing of folk instruments kind of band. This particular song has a little cajun sound thanks to the accordion, mixed with a backwoods sounding banjo. It's rightfully sloppy, a little drunken, but overall has that unusual awesome-sauce appeal. The Tower of Dudes call Prague home and are actually invading the U.S. as I post this. If you are in San Francisco, check them out! If you aren't stupidly shouting along "All I want to do is: drink, fuck, drive truck!" by the end of this, I might judge you.
Also for further, less profane, amusement an extra song...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wilderness of Manitoba - Orono Park

Wilderness of Manitoba is nearly as peaceful as listening to waves hit the shore on a calm day. It's rythmic and soothing. You barely notice the lyrics as it lulls you into a peaceful state, the banjo is never too twangy or distracting. Their four part harmonies fill in the empty spaces quite nicely. Watch the video for "Evening" to see their beautiful outdoor performance on a vast snow covered plain. If you really like them, you can watch their bio video here. When You Left the Fire, is their LP due out May 10th and one you should be on the lookout for. In the meantime, their EP, Summer Fires, will hopefully be more reminiscent of summer and will be out March 22nd. Orono Park is the A side of the Summer Fires E.P.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sugar & Gold - Bodyaches

Sugar & Gold makes feel good dance pop. Their Bodyaches EP was released on March 8th via Antenna Farm which includes five remixed songs from last year's LP Get Wet!. A release I completely missed but will surely be looking into. There really isn't much else to say because this is just one of those songs you can dive right into. Go listen!

Star & Micey - Back to the Night

Star & Micey are a rambunctious crew combining a banjo, accordion, violin, guitar, bass, and drums...oh and pirates too. Their last album is just $5 on bandcamp and was released in 2009. Hopefully there is a new one on the way. While we wait there's their single "Back to the Night" which I am loving. It's a little rowdy and just plain fun, the kind of song you want to raise your glass to while shouting along. Make sure to watch the video after the jump, it's new and full of pirates and cute kids.


The Whiskey Boys - The Wild Rover

It wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without this classic irish pub song. This version is sung by local 2 piece Boston band, The Whiskey Boys. It's not anywhere near as rowdy as the Dropkick Murphy's songs that I've already heard ten times this morning, but that's OK, it's still early.



Also just a friendly reminder that green beer is for amateurs, drink real beer please. And don't drink and drive, that would be stupid. Have a wonderful day and enjoy yourselves. 

James Blake at SXSW

NPR did a video stream of James Blake's performance last night and the quality was surprisingly good. You can watch it here. He played:

Unluck
Limit To Your Love
Klavierwerke
Lindesfarne II
The Wilhelm Scream
To Care (Like You)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Deadmau5 - HR 8938 Cephei

Joel Zimmerman, otherwise known as Deadmau5 put out this track yesterday on soundcloud and as of now already has 140,944 plays which is just insane. I don't usually go for electronic music mid-week but the dark overtones of this one made it nice for a walk through the rain. With "HR 8938 Cephei" pulsing in my ears, and my oversized black trench coat hood nearly obscuring my eyes, I felt like I was in a spy movie on some very important and mysterious mission. Now here I am delivering this oddly titled song, HR 8938 Cephei, to you. Mission complete. *Now for download via EtMusiquePourTous HR 8938 Cephei

  Deadmau5 - HR 8938 Cephei by fuckmylife

Trends in Band Names: Trees/Forest

Last year it was all about naming your band after Rabbits, the year before the Whale bands were popular. This year, and over the past few years, there have been a lot of tree names. The thing is, I really like all of these tree and forest groups. There are some seriously good ones. I tried to provide a few samples of their songs when possible. Let me know what I missed, I'm sure there are plenty more out there. 
For a bit of a stretch there are maple tree bands
And don't forget the amazing star studded music collective Pine Valley Cosmonauts

Givers - Up, Up, Up

Need a pick-me-up? This song could do it for you. This just happens to be one of the happier songs I've listened to in a while. Givers, a Louisiana band, are performing at SXSW this year and just recently signed with Glassnote Records (also home to Phoenix and Temper Trap). We can expect their first full length sometime this spring. If it's as happy as this song, I want it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Paper Crane Collective

You all may have noticed the large white crane sitting on the sidebar that links to Tsuru Radio music blog. I've been invited along with 23 other music bloggers to contribute to this Paper Crane Collective of incredible and well respected bloggers. Today was my first post about a musical adventure at the library. I'll be writing about music discoveries at the library twice a month. I highly suggest reading through some of the posts. Everyone contributes original content and all together it makes for a really interesting read with everyones personalities coming through strong, it's practically like a magazine. So please be so kind as to check it out, its a labor of love from everyone involved. Thanks. http://tsururadio.com/2011/03/at-the-library/

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Codeine

"If there's one thing I can't take, it's the sound that a woman makes 'bout five seconds after her heart begins to break." Is just one of the quotable lines from this song. The country song lists a lot of things he can't stand but his complaining is never bothersome, instead it might spur you to agree with him and sing along. The new album from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Here We Rest, will be released April 12th via Lightning Rod Records. I highly recommend it. Submit your email in the widget below for the free download.




  

    

    

    

    

    

  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kingsley Flood - Mannequin Man

It's no coincidence that I've posted about Kingsley Flood more than a handful of times, I really like them that much. It's not even like that time when I posted about Hooded Fang twice in one week without realizing it either. This is on purpose and for two reasons.

Firstly, as you are reading this the band is on it's way from Boston to Austin to play at SXSW and if you are there or know someone who is there tell them to go see one or all of these shows. I just saw them do a short set a few weeks ago and they blew me away sounding crisper and more lively than ever.



-Thursday, March 17 Midriff Records/Liberty and Union Recording Co. Day Party and the official Boston SXSW Day Party put on by DigBoston and Converse. 
-Saturday, March 19 - RSL blog is hosting the Smoke and Sand Showcase which has an incredible line up
More after the jump

The Dodos - Black Night

The Dodos released their album, No Color, last week March 8th. It's been a pleasure to listen to with highlights being "Don't Stop", the jangly "Sleep" with the addition of Neko Case's background vocals and a violin, "Going Under", and "Hunting Season". While I strongly believe all music should be played loud, this is one you want to make sure you turn way up, it sounds much better that way. No Color is really an impressive amount of noise coming from a two man band which is something that The Dodos have always impressed me with. It is definitely worth your time. However, I doubt it will be a favorite by the end of the year, but some of the individual songs will be in the running for favorites. You can buy it here.


  

    

    

    

    

    

  

The Knocks - Dancing with the DJ (campfire acoustic version)

The Knocks, a DJ duo, first won my heart last summer with their reverse sample of "When You've Got Music". A song they created just to use as a sample in "Make it Better". When people started asking what sample track they used they decided to create a song out of it. Now we get the same sort of thing with this acoustic and very campy sounding version of their dance hit. You have to appreciate DJs that are talented enough to pull off the acoustic, organic instrumentation, as well as create and remix fun dance songs. Well done boys.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back Soon.

Every blogger needs a break from time to time, they're lying if they say they don't. This is just a short one. My writing has been uninspired, rushed, and crappy and I need to change that. Why do I keep talking about the weather in every post? It's annoying. I just need a few days off to get on track and attend to this life I sometimes lead. Here are some bands I've been loving to keep you occupied: Ham Sandwich, The Seedy Seeds, Seryn, and Sea of Bees. As it has already been pointed out I am being alphabetically narrow in my recommendations but it just happened this way. See you in a few days. Stay tuned and happy listening.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Phil Cook & His Feat - Ballad of a Hungry Mother

This song showed up just in time for the grey and rainy weather. It's so much one of those days that I hardly feel like blogging but I think you need to hear this song. I've been craving a song that sounds like it comes from a sunny wooden porch and this is the one.
Phil Cook may sound familiar to you because he is one part of Megafaun and in his off time from the band has taken up playing around with folk instruments like the dobro, banjo, and acoustic guitar. On this solo album he delves into traditional American folk music and the way it used to sound. The entire eight songs were recorded in one day in his North Carolina house during an ice storm. However, I very much doubt it will sound like a rushed effort judging by this first single.


Hungry Mother Blues will be released on May 10 in Trekky Records' signature 3-part package, including a 45RPM vinyl record, a CD and an MP3 download.

Yael Naim - Go To the River

Yael Naim has released a new song off of her upcoming album, She Was a Boy, due out May 10th. You might remember her from her song "New Soul" featured in a Mac Book Air commercial a while back. Her unique sound hasn't changed much since then and I have to say this new song "Go to the River" is worth submitting your e-mail address for.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mixtapes of Yore #3

Mixtapes of Yore is a weekly feature where I pull out an old mix cd and give it a spin. It's a way to remember forgotten songs, laugh at my music choices, and usually stories and MP3s are connected to the mixes.
Yes I do also have Fun Stuff #1, #2, and #4, but this #3 caught my eye first. In the beginning of my mixtape making mania, I realized I would need to do a better job at classifying my mixes because I was making so many. So I started assigning mixes to one of three genres: Fun Stuff, The Hot Mixes, and Driving Mixes. I couldn't tell you the difference except "hot mix" was code for songs about sex, because I was 14 and that made sense at the time. They are also my oldest mixes dating from 2000-2003 before I started coming up with more creative names. This week I'll just refresh your memory on where these songs came from.

Fun Stuff #3
1. The Pimps - Sumpin' - This was from the Crazy/Beautiful movie with Kristen Dunst and I was obsessed with both the movie and playing this angry song really loud.

2. Our Lady Peace - Innocent I loved OLP, so angsty and depressing

3. Bad Astronaut - Jessica's Suicide this song was horrifying to hear again. I guess I was desperate to find a song with my name in it since all I had for Jessica was the instrumental Allman Brothers, and I wanted  a Jessica song with lyrics and ended up with this. I seriously hope your names have better songs to go with them than this one.

4. Steve Wariner - Katie Wants a Fast One I know I was looking for name songs because this is a country song and my best friend in high school (and now) is a Katie.

5. Dr. Evil - Hardknock Life Parody oh the years of quoting Austin Powers.

6. Counting Crows - Up All Night Counting Crows' songs are on most of my mixes for a six year period

7. Goo Goo Dolls - Big Machine Did anyone know they released a new album last August?

8. Ben Harper - By My Side too bad Ben Harper got cast in with the hippie pot head crowd because this song seems better than that.

9. Collective Soul - After All yeah they still make music and go on tour in April. Crazy.

10. Dashboard Confessional - Sweet Summer aww my first emo band

11. Rufus Wainwright - Instant Pleasure this song was my first introduction to Rufus Wainwright via Adam Sandler's Big Daddy movie, loved him ever since. Easily best song on the mix.

12. Nas - One Mic Yup I still know every word. I like how out of place this song is.

13. Pearl Jam - Crazy Mary

14. The Get Up Kids - I'll Catch You I forgot that I knew this band way back then.

15. The Getaway People - How She Gave Me Love they broke up in 2002

16. Goo Goo Dolls - Broadway I still kind of love this song

17. Pennywise - Every time horrible song


18. Along the Watchtower some crappy cover ripping off the Michael Hedges cover

What's scary is that I still know every word to 95% of these songs and I find it amazing how much of a connection we form with songs from our high school - college stages in life. While some of these songs are terrible based on my standards of today, they have become almost sentimental reminders of who I was ten years ago and are somehow deeply ingrained in my memory. What songs are you surprised you still remember?

Jack Littman - Got 2 Have U

Somedays loud drums and chimes are what we need to get out of bed. Luckily, this song has all that along with Jack Littman's half speaking/half singing voice. It's an interesting style that I'm not so sure about, but I can definitely get into this song, especially in the mornings. You can stream the rest of the mixtape on his bandcamp page. "Whisper once and make it sing, you say I got to have you."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monogrenade - Ce Soir

1. The stop-motion video is wicked 2. Experimental folk 3. You don't need to know french to enjoy this. 
The build in this song starting at 1:38 is really powerful and gets me every time. Halfway through my first listen with headphones on, I exclaimed "Holy Shit!" forgetting that people could actually hear me, it's that good. Montreal's Monogrenade formed in 2009 and their debut LP was released March 1st via Bonsound. If you go to their website you can also download their other amazing song "M'en Aller" for the price of an email address. I listened to two songs and promptly bought the album, totally worth it. Shoutout to Winnie Cooper for this one. Video after the jump.

Jeff Pianki - On Forgetting

This one time at bandcamp...I found Jeff Pianki. This album is a bedroom album, meaning both that it was recorded entirely in his bedroom, and that I would prefer to listen to it in my bedroom so I can feel sorry for myself in private. There's a lot of heartbreak and chasing of broken people woven through the eight songs that make up Paper Window. What makes this worth throwing a few bucks towards is the honesty that hits you over the head, the emotions in the songs feel incredibly genuine. He reminds me a bit of Joe Purdy with a less distinct voice. It's incredibly hard to pick one song for you, so I highly suggest you go and get the entire album which is name your own price. I like all the songs, but I keep coming back to this one. 
If you have a friend trying to get by in New York I highly recommend sending them "New York or Here". The lyrics say it all. "Love will surround you my dear/ In the autumn or spring/ In New York or here/ No matter how cold or distant some days may appear/ Just know love is all around you my dear." 
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