Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Newport Folk Festival 2012

The lineup was announced last night and I couldn't be more excited. I predict massive scheduling conflicts that will be cause for painful decision making, but whatever you choose at newport, you can't go wrong. That's part of the beauty of the festival. Have a look for yourself. (mixtape/spotify list coming soon)

Leap Day 2012

I know of one Leap Year song and it's by Maria Taylor. You can find it on spotify. But, it's not really what I feel like posting. Instead treat yourself to this handful of random tunes.
Tigercats - Full Moon Reggae [soundcloud]
Jonquil - Mexico [Bandcamp]

  Jonquil - It's My Part
Charli XCX - I'll Never Know
Andrew Bird - Give it Away
Peasant - The Flask

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tyler Heath - It Will Not Always Be Raining

Tyler Heath is part of The Oh Hello's and recorded this song on a whim when he picked up a tenor guitar recently. It's simple and uplifting and it might just be the words you want to hear.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Great American Canyon Band - Tumbleweed

The Great American Canyon Band has appeared here before with their folksy, heartwarming, Edward Sharpe - esque song "Song For The Rest". It was one of those tracks that became a go-to song on mixes for friends. Now, almost a year later they have two more tracks to share and you can get it on wax (in April). They may not put very much out, nor do they do it as often as I'd like, but I can say with certainty that I love everything I've heard from them thus far. Stream everything via soundcloud.

But first, immerse yourself in their newest song, "Tumbleweed", full of a sparkling and distant beauty. It's going to be a perfect addition to any summer haze mix. It's a total dreamboat of a song.

"Tumbleweed, stay with me, from the desert to the shining sea."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gold & Youth - Time to Kill

Gold & Youth are sharing this track which you can download for the price of an email address if you go to their website. Maybe it's the male/female vocals, or perhaps it's the hypnotizing beat, but this is a track that really gets under your skin. See for yourself.

Patrick Watson - Into Giants

Patrick Watson's fourth album will be out on Secret City/Domino records on May 1st in the US. Here's the first single from the album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. This album brings the band back to a more personal space. "Into Giants" is a lush and layered soundscape for their voices to glide across. You'll find something new to like in this song with every listen. See for yourself.

Patrick Watson - Into Giants

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jenny Gillespie ft. Sam Amidon - Creature of Our Make

Sam Amidon has long been the source of my pick-me-up music. Just one listen to his album All is Well can turn my entire day around. So when I saw that he collaborated on three songs with the talented Jenny Gillespie, I was positive I was going to like it.

Jenny Gillespie is releasing her EP Belita on April 10th but you can stream it on soundcloud. Here’s the wonderful opening track from the EP, “Creature Of Our Make”, featuring Sam Amidon on backing vocals and violin, and Jim White on drums.

Sam Amidon and Jenny Gillespie formed a correspondence when Amidon was sent this video of Jenny Gillespie covering his song "Saro", the rest is history.

Chic Gamine - Closer

Chic Gamine at La Tulipe // Credit: Tete
Sometimes, in all this noise, I miss hearing a simple voice, especially female voices. Looking at my personal list of 2011's top 10 records, none of them were female fronted. So to show some love for those that sometimes get overlooked, here are four great female fronted songs to listen to right now. If I wanted to be honest I'd admit that I looked for these songs to keep me from listening to old Tori Amos records. All from the (legal) SXSW torrent too.

Chic Gamine - Closer [site]
"Don't forget your heart here" 
2009 Juno Award Winners

Doe Paoro - Can't Leave You [Bandcamp]

Elle King - Good To Be A Man
Love sarcasm in songs. And in general.
She only has myspace and twitter so here's a youtube video

Amy Bezunartea - Restaurants & Bars [site]
Can't find love in a restaurant or a bar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bad Weather California - You're My Friend

Bad Weather California released their second LP last week, appropriately named Sunkissed. It has that California sunshine vibe dripped over it like sweet honey but with a bit of a punk/garagey essence to it. In some instances, it just sounds like a bunch of friends jamming on the beach. It's a nice picture to have painted in your mind as we head out of this winter that's been dreary even despite the mild weather. It's a sweet album that has warmed my heart with just the right mix of pop and garage rock. Obviously I'm struggling to describe what this sounds like, but at least you should know there's a random sax that pops up in a few tunes and it makes everything feel just right. It's a joyous listen start to finish and a welcomed respite from the usual folk and indie rock that rules my headphones. I'm ready for the warm weather and summer jams now. Stream on Bandcamp.

Bad Weather California - You're My Friend
"Just remember what I've always told you, you're not a fuck up, you're my friend."
Bad Weather California - I'll Reach Out My Hand

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BOY - Drive Darling

So the wonderful and ever amazing Josh Ritter has a video out today, but somehow I found myself watching this other video, recorded for Mahogany Sessions at an out of the way studio, for the 10th time. It's unbearably pretty, it's beautifully simple, and it reminded me of all the drives I've taken with the people I love(d). Their debut album Mutual Friends is dropping later this Spring.

Niklas von Arnold - City Lights

This isn't something I'd normally post but I let soundcloud play some tracks for me this morning and this is what I took away from it. At first, I thought it was a James Blake type trying to pull off R. Kelly. But then it became it's own R&B jam with a good beat that I played on repeat a few times. All I know about the guy is he is Swedish and you can listen to more on the RecRecRecords soundcloud page. You can watch the video for City Lights here.

Here he is covering Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" too.

Niklas von Arnold "Crazy Love" Van Morrison cover from Rec Rec Records on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rhye - Open

Shut up and listen. Please.

(via Listen Before You Buy)

Do you have chills? Is your jaw still on the floor? Are you already pressing repeat? Are you looking for your Sade CDs? That might have been my reaction, but I hope it's yours too. This gorgeous Rhye song is what I'm calling the sexiest song since this one or this one.

You can download the song and find more info on Rhye's facebook page. The clear 12" vinyl is available for purchase here. The debut EP from duo, Rhye, this vinyl contains the single "Open" along with 2 other songs, "Hunger" and "Three Days" from the upcoming LP. It's backed with lush instrumentals on the B side.

Damien Jurado Covers

Photo via Sarah Jurado, from The Seattle Times' press room concert
The Seattle Times has been posting these sessions all week long where various Seattle musicians cover Damien Jurado's songs from the past. I'm loving these two and looking forward to what the rest of the week holds in store. Damien Jurado's 12th(!) album Maraqopa comes out Feb 21 on Secretly Canadian Records.

Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate) - Last Rights from Caught in the Trees

Pickwick - I am the greatest of all liars from Holding His Breath Ep

Jon Russel (Head & The Heart) - Beacon Hill from Saint Bartlett

(All via Seattle Times)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Suitable lyrics for Valentine's Day cards

I first saw this Death Cab For Cutie inspired card and started thinking of all the other lyrics that would be appropriate for cards for the indie music lover in your life. There are an infinite number of options and these were what came first. I hit a wall while browsing the more extensive discographies of bands like Wilco, Elliot Smith, and Ryan Adams. In some cases the lyrics are grossly out of context and may be found in a heartbreak kind of song. Sometimes that one sweet line has a way of standing out above the real meaning of the song. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite romantic lyrics.

Make 'em smile
I've been looking for some time, in a room full of pennies for my dime. It ain't easy to find a girl like you to be mine. -Middle Brother

I want you to make the days move easy -Dawes
Dawes - If I Wanted Someone

If I could bring a light to shine upon the dark
and disobey the night so young
But I still say we're too old For cliches - Wilco

Everybody I know wants to be your friend
but I just want to hold you when the music ends,
that's all, all I ask.
Is that too crass? - Allo Darlin'


Love doesn't care... if you prance around in your underwear. -The Shivers

The Shivers - Love Is In The Air

Declare your love

I traced my finger along your trails
Your body was the map
I was lost in there
Floating over your rocky spine
The glaciers made you and now you're mine - Great Lake Swimmers

I'm in love with the world through the eyes of a girl who's still around the morning after. -Elliot Smith

Home is wherever I'm with you -Edward Sharpe (via Etsy)

I am a moth who just wants to share your light, I'm just an insect trying to get out of night. I only stick with you because there are no others. You are all I need. - Radiohead

Win them back
Just three words my dear. You meant everything. - Ryan Adams

The sentiment I'd like to leave you with the most can be nicely summed up with the following. 

Happy Valentine's Day from NMC.

Hey Marseilles - True Love Will Find You In The End (Daniel Johnston Cover)

I've heard this Daniel Johnston song covered plenty of times, but none have stuck with me like this cover does. The instrumentation couldn't be more perfect and will send you waltzing into oblivion. It's been out there for a while, but this is the first time that you can get it for free on Hey Marseilles' Bandcamp page. Happy Valentines Day.

True love will find you in the end 
You'll find out just who was your friend 
Don’t be sad, I know you will, 
But don’t give up until 
True love finds you in the end. 

This is a promise with a catch 
Only if you're looking will it find you 
‘Cause true love is searching too 
But how can it recognize you 
Unless you step out into the light? 
But don’t give up until 
True love finds you in the end.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

I've never written about a celebrity/singer's death here but Whitney Houston's songs soundtracked so much of my childhood and life that it's impossible not to say anything.
Back in the days when I was about 7 years old my parents would ask me to "dj" while they made dinner. I loved my designated job and took it very seriously. I'd sit on the hardwood floor for hours pouring over their cd collection, lining up the perfect matches. Whitney was always a large part of those mixes. The Bodyguard soundtrack had just been acquired at that time and I was obsessed, even though I was too young to see the movie. My little sister, at the age of five, specialized in singing "I Will Always Love You", hitting all the high notes. We used to dress her up and have her perform for my friends. If we had youtube back then she would have gone viral.

 Later, in high school "I want to dance with somebody" became my ultimate sing into a hairbrush song and I often got all my friends to do it too. We still joke about those sing-a-long sessions today. In some cases, my love for that song is the only thing I still have in common with those people and it comes up whenever we run into each other. I played that song on the jukebox at our college bar every time I had a spare dollar, just to see the bar sing along. It was the most sung along to song right next to Madonna's "like a prayer" that played when the bar was closing.

Most recently, I dated someone who had a cd collection next to his bed. When I woke up in the mornings the Whitney album always seemed to be staring me in the face begging to be played. I almost always left his place with her songs playing on my ipod, I couldn't help myself. I found her vinyl record at a sidewalk sale while on a run this summer. I canceled the rest of my run so I could walk back with her 25 cent album in hand, happy as could be. I heard the sad news last night as friends were coming over and forced them to listen to that album on repeat. I woke up with "How Will I Know" stuck in my head. I'm singing it as I write this.

I could tell you about the rumors circulating now and the sad terms of her death, but what I just told you seems to me to be the most important. I grew up with Whitney soundtracking some of my fondest memories. I know she had her issues, but it still feels shocking that she's gone when I thought she'd be around for so much longer, hopefully a few more hit songs in her, to soundtrack more moments to come. I'm going to miss Whitney. Read this here if you want the finer details and a nice tribute.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Shakey Graves - Halloween

I've never had a more inexplicable love for a songwriter (except maybe my crush on Justin Townes Earle and the really nice shoes he wears). But this is different than my JTE crush, this is more about the music. When I get a new Shakey song, I can't stop playing it for months. A year after I first heard his songs from Roll the Bones he has released an EP available on bandcamp (3 days only). It's just as sparse and gravely as his Roll the Bones album and now I need to excuse myself so I can play this on repeat for the next 72...err 200 hours.

Ravens & Chimes - Night

It was just two weeks ago that I rediscovered Ravens & Chimes lurking in the corners of my digital library. I didn't realize that they were about to release a new LP, Holiday Life, that has been a long time coming. According to MTV Hive, it took almost three years of in-band fighting, lack of funds, and working around day jobs to finish the album. Holiday Life will be released on April 3rd via Better Looking Records.

Holiday Life Tracklist:
1. Division Street
2. The Parting Glass
3. Past Lives
4. Clarissa Explains It All
5. Night
6. In Rooms
7. Hearts of Palm
8. Fox Gloves
9. Arrow
10. Carousel

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Rosebuds - Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads Cover)

The Rosebuds released a stellar, albeit depressing, album in 2011 titled Loud Planes Fly Low. I live near enough to the airport that when the routes change no alarm clock is needed. I literally wake up to loud planes flying low. I think it's because of this that I always have one of their songs stuck in my head. Now maybe I can have this cover song stuck in my head instead, it works just as well and is an interesting take on the Talking Heads' classic. Download for free on bandcamp.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Islands - Hallways

"Hallways" is the most upbeat song on Islands' new album A Sleep & A Forgetting. The jaunty piano and tambourine somehow make this song irresistible and worthy of repeating. It's a fun track on an otherwise lugubrious album. Not that it's a bad thing to put out an album like this, but it requires the listener to be in the right mood to be able to listen from start to finish. However, there is good reason for the album to be so moody as Nick Thorburn explains:

“This album is far more personal than any I’ve made before. I left New York after the end of a relationship and came to Los Angeles. There was a piano where I was staying and that’s where I wrote these songs. This record deals with loss, with memory and forgetting and with dreaming. I started writing it on Valentine’s Day and it’s coming out on Valentine’s Day.”

You can stream the album on soundcloud. It's out next week, Feb.14 on Anti Records. You can preorder it here.

Oldboy Memory - All Day With You

Something about all of these sunshiny days has left me craving twee-ish pop songs. It's a phase that takes hold and is hard to shake. I follow SEA Indie a south east asia label and they put out some interesting stuff. One song they posted was the following, and although it gets repetitive it's nice to have floating around in the background.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brewery Sessions #2 TONIGHT!

If you follow me or my other blog, Brewery Sessions, on twitter you've surely heard enough of this by now. But we're so excited to be putting this show and tap takeover tonight. Mike and I are learning fast about what it takes to get a brewery's beers and a band in a venue on the same date. But now here I am, watching the clock and counting down the hours until this actually happens. It's only been 3 months since we launched our site and we're feeling incredibly lucky to be doing what we originally set out to do -- combine music and craft beer in ways that a wide range of people can enjoy. 

If you're in the Boston area we'd love for you to come tonight. One of my absolute favorite local bands, Larcenist, is playing 2 whole sets tonight and debuting some new songs. Here's some from their last album to preview. You can stream and download more on bandcamp.

As for beer, in addition to the other taps at Atwoods Tavern, Jack's Abby will be pouring a selection of their beers including something on cask as well as their brand new Framinghammer Baltic Porter at a sneaky 10%abv.  

All the details are on the flyer above but here is the official facebook event page as well. Hope to see you there.

Francois & The Atlas Mountains - Gold Mountain (Slow Club Cover)

Francois & The Atlas Mountains have been putting out some easy going tunes that are akin to floating on clouds even though there is this subtle melancholia that drifts through. Nothing is more calming than a cup of tea and some of the following tunes. You should all know by now that I love Slow Club so this cover really got my attention.
Francois & The Atlas Mountains - Gold Mountain - Slow Club Cover

However, you need to hear more than just a cover by this band. Frànçois Marry moved from the French west coast to Bristol and played trumpet for bands like Movietone and Camera Obscura. He recently signed to Domino Records with his fourth album E Volo Love (which is a palindrome meaning "And Love Flies"). Here are two tracks from his recent album one in french and one in english.

Francois & The Atlas Mountains - Les Plus Beaux

Download: City Kiss

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Favorites

January and myself didn't get along very well. Things that had potential to go wrong, made sure they did. This probably had a large influence on my listening habits, as I spent a lot of time listening to songs that I can take comfort in. Here's what says about that...

Of course my top two, Sharon Van Etten and Damien Jurado, had new albums that weren't available to me until late this month but I fell hard for both of them when I finally did get to hear them. You can pre-order both albums and get the tracks now. SVE's Tramp is due out February 7th and Damien Jurado's Maraqopa will be released on February 21st and both are heartbreaking and stunning to say the least.

Sharon Van Etten - Serpents
Damien Jurado - Museum of Flight

As for albums that were actually released this month, First Aid Kit's Lion's Roar was my favorite. They just learned today that the first week of US sales of the new album surpassed their total sales of their debut album. I'm so happy to hear that their fan base has grown that much and that they are receiving the sale numbers and attention they deserve. You can listen to it in it's entirety here.

Other notable releases this month include the following:

Bro. Stephen - Baptist Girls
The rate at which blogs picked up on this album was astounding. The first place I read about it was the trusty folk blog, Common Folk Music, and you can read April's interview with him here. You can stream the album on bandcamp.

Laura Gibson - La Grande (buy)
Laura Gibson - La Grande

Kingsley Flood - Colder Still EP (buy)

Cheyenne Marie Mize - We Don't Need (buy)
Cheyenne Marie Mize - Wishing Well

The Maccabees - Given to the Wild

Chairlift - Something

Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur

John K. Samson - Provincial
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