Friday, August 31, 2007

The Murdocks on KLBJ

Here is a very cool video of local trio The Murdocks performing a cover of The Turtle's "Happy Together" on KLBJ's Local Licks Live program. I know that this song has been covered 100 million times and even though it's one of the best pop songs ever written, it's usually boring as shit to see a band cover it, but this is a positively stellar take on the song. Just listen to those harmonies. Well done gents. Also, make sure to visit their Myspace page to hear some newish recordings of a couple originals.

School of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells is a new band from Brooklyn that features some names you've probably heard of before. The group consists of Benjamin Curtis (formerly of The Secret Machines), Claudia and Alejandra Deheza (formerly of On!Air!Library!), and James Elliott. Currently, the band is on tour with Blonde Redhead and will be stopping by Emo's during ACL Fest opening for the aforementioned Blonde Redhead and The National. When I say that School of Seven Bells are a new band, I really do mean it. They have virtually no commercially available releases. As of my writing there is a 7" single for the song My Cabal, and a single they worked on with Prefuse 73 called Class of 73 Bells. According to a pitchfork interview with Ben Curtis, the band isn't sure when any more material will be released. Your best chance to hear their music is to either see them live or check out their Myspace where they have 4 tracks available. Do not expect this to sound anything like The Secret Machines, it does not. I honestly wasn't too blown away by the first few songs I heard but then I came across "For Kalaji Mari". Wow. Wow. Wow. One of the best things I've heard this year for sure. An absolutely beautiful song. This one comes highly, highly recommended.

9/15 @ Emo's w/ Blonde Redhead and The National (tickets)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Pinback Video

Thanks to Stereogum for tipping us to the new video for Autumn of the Seraphs excellent first single "From Nothing To Nowhere". The video finds Rob Crow, Armistead Burwell Smith IV (Zach Smith to his friends) and co. playing to no one in particular out in the desert under a subtly trippy sky. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's a cool visual accompaniment to the song.

Hot Freaks ACL Aftershow

This year's round of Hot Freaks! unofficial ACL fest aftershows has finally been announced. The festivities will be split between two nights and two clubs on red river. The first night (Sept. 14th) features Art Brut at the Mohawk and Grizzly Bear at Club Deville. The second night (Sept. 15th) features St. Vincent at the Mohawk and The Rosebuds at Club Deville. The shows are free, but you have to RSVP to get in. The RSVP info will be released on this coming Tuesday (Sept. 4th). The show is being curated by a bunch of fantastic music blogs including Gorilla Vs. Bear, An Aquarium Drunkard, Chromewaves, My Old Kentucky Blog, La Blogotheque, You Ain't No Picasso, and Brooklynvegan. You can find links to all of those blogs directly to your right on the side bar. Full bill and set times below.

September 14 @ The Mohawk
doors @ 8:30
Crazy Sexy Rainbow @ 10:45PM
Art Brut @ 12:30AM

September 14 @ Club DeVille
doors @ 8:30
Brazos @ 10:00PM
Grizzly Bear @ 11:30PM

September 15 @ The Mohawk
doors @ 8:30
Sparrow House @ 10:45PM
St Vincent @ 12:30AM

September 15 @ Club DeVille
doors @ 8:30
Yellow Fever @ 10:00PM
The Rosebuds @ 11:30PM

Joanna Newsom show update

Here's a quick update on the Joanna Newsom show.

1) The show is a general admission seated show. First come, first serve. So plan on getting there early if you want a good seat.

2) Doors at 7pm

3) Here is the direct link to buy tickets

That is all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Joanna Newsom with the Austin Symphony

Thanks to Austinist for tipping us off to a fantastic show happening here in town on October 27th. Joanna Newsom will be performing at The Riverbend Centre with the Austin Symphony. I've never been to the Riverbend Centre, but a quick trip to their website reveals that it's out on Capital of Texas Hwy. and it holds about 2300 people. Oh, and also it looks really beautiful. If you aren't familiar with Newsom's music (I assume most are) then it is highly, highly recommended that you check out both of her fantastic albums (The Milk Eyed Mender and Ys) immediately. Between her unique voice and the fact that she plays the Harp, Newsom's music is such a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it's nice to just listen to music that doesn't have amped up guitars and bass in it. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Aug. 30th) for $35 at Frontgate. I have no idea if this show will sell out, 2300 seats is a lot, but all of Newsom's recent shows in Austin have sold out fairly quickly, so I wouldn't wait forever.

Okkervil River on Conan

Here's the video of Okkervil River on Conan last night. I have to say, I'm more and more impressed by this album and this band day by day. When I first saw them in 2003 or so Will Sheff couldn't sing and he couldn't play guitar. He tried to and he was better at it than I would have been, but jesus this band has come so far in the past 4 years. Some surprises, it seems, are still pleasant.

The Forms - s/t

It's been 4 and a half years since we last heard from Brooklyn band The Forms. In 2003 the band released their first album Icarus and their new s/t disc which comes out 10/23 on their own label, Threespheres, is the first official release in the subsequent 4 years. Icarus generated a decent amount of buzz at the time of it's release. It got a really good review on Pitchfork and the weird sequencing of the album got a lot of mention as well (the album has 7 songs spread over ten tracks, the first 3 songs are each split into two tracks with identical titles which flow seamlessly into each other). Over the past few years the band had seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. Then in March they were suddenly and unexpectedly all over Austin for SXSW. Rumors circulated of a new album in the works, and in a strange bit of weird unexpected Internet promotion Steve Albini (who produced both albums) talked the band up quite a bit in his impromptu Q&A on, of all places, the 2+2 poker forums. All of Albini's talk of the band led to a renewed interest in their work and what they were up to. Well, this new album is what they've been up to and it's pretty cool. The Forms doesn't break any new ground, but it didn't need to. I hear in this album, many of the same things that made Icarus a personal favorite when it was released, but the sound is, to use a rock and roll cliche, more mature than before. The Forms aren't afraid to take their time with things this time through. The pace seems less frenetic and the band seems confident in their sound and direction. I see good things for them in the future. Only one tour date currently and it's in NYC but hopefully we'll get a chance to check the band out soon enough.

The Forms - Red Gun (from The Forms)

Pre-order The Forms here (eventually, I would think anyway)

New Band of Horses

Here's the first song to surface from the new Band of Horses album (out Oct. 9th on Sub Pop). The track, called "Is There A Ghost", shows the band really letting loose. It starts slow, then the pedals get stomped and the guitars rush in and Ben Bridwell asks over and over "Is there a ghost in my house?". I'm a big fan of Everything All The Time and so I've been eagerly anticipating this track and subsequent LP for quite some time. I want to listen to the whole thing ASAP.

Band of Horses - Is There A Ghost

Pre-order Cease To Begin Here

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs

Pinback's newest LP Autumn of The Seraphs is slated for release on September 11th on Touch & Go Records. This is the San Diego band's 4th full length and second for Touch & Go. The album's 11 songs find the band in much the same place as on their last album. There is no shortage of interesting and interweaving bass and guitar lines on this one. Pinback are such a consistent band. I am never disappointed by them. They stick to the music that they do well, but they aren't at all sedentary. The best way that I can describe their musical evolution throughout the years is that when you hear Pinback it is always fairly evident that you are listening to Pinback, but that's not to say that their songs all sound the same, they don't. Pinback just have a sound that is uniquely their own. I love band's that don't ever make me worry. When I put this album on for the first time I knew it was going to be good. I didn't have a "God I hope this doesn't suck" moment before it started as I do with most bands' 4th or 5th album. This one comes highly recommended from me. Here's the first track, "From Nothing To Nowhere". Listen for a really cool bass breakdown about 2:17 in.

Pinback - From Nothing To Nowhere

Pinback's upcoming Texas tour dates.

9/22 - Fort Worth - Wall of Sound Festival @ LaGrave Field (tickets)
9/23 - Austin @ Emos with Om (tickets)
9/24 - Houston @ Numbers with Om (tickets)

Feist video

Here's the video of Feist and her all star "choir" on Letterman last night. It was absolutely every bit as good as I thought it would be.

and for fun and since Feist is so awesome, i give you more Feist. This is an older video of her and the band performing "Secret Heart" on French tv.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Feist on letterman tonight

Just a quick reminder that the ever lovely Feist will be performing on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight. This would normally make my list of things to watch, but this time it should get bumped up a few notches to an absolute must see. Today it was announced that Feist will be joined on stage by a "choir" that consists of Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene), A. C. Newman (The New Pornographers), Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, and Scott Devendorf (The National), Nicole Atkins, Grizzly Bear, and Kori and Jason from Mates of State. That is such an impressive list of musicians. Should be cool, remember to set those tivos.

Good local shows next weekend

There are a ton of really great events going on in Austin next weekend involving lots of local bands. First up on Friday is a three stage show at Emos. The Black Angels bring their tripped out fuzzy psych rock to the outside stage while The Lemurs, Ume, and The Laughing (barf) are all playing the inside stage. While all of this is going on, if you walk around the corner to Emo's Lounge you'll get to see Golden Bear, The Mercers, and Mice and Rifles. That's a whole lot of local talent all in one place. The Black Angels show has advance tickets on sale at Ticketweb for $10.

After taking in all of that on Friday, the smart choice for Saturday is The Austin Sound Off Festival at the Scoot Inn. The fest starts at 3pm and cover is $5 ($3 if you RSVP with Do512 first). Here's a list of the bands playing

Outside Stage:
11:00pm-12:00am: Golden Bear
10:00-11:00pm: Peel
8:45-9:30pm: Brazos
7:30-8:15pm: Black Before Red
6:15-7:00pm: The Black
5:00-5:45pm: Sunset
4:00-4:45pm: Charles Potts Magic Windmill Band

Inside Stage:
12:00-1:00am: Leatherbag
9:30-10:15pm: Transmography
8:15-9:00pm: Benko
7:00-7:45pm: Virgin of the Birds
5:45-6:30pm: The Narrow Escapes
4:30-5:15pm: Tullie

There will be DJ sets on the outside stage between bands by various local music bloggers. It sounds like a blast. The website boasts of free food and "some" free beer.

If you have any energy left after all that live music swing by The Mohawk later that night to see I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. I've said it before and I'll gladly say it again, that's the best band name ever. Members of The Brazilian Girls will also be there spinning.

That's a packed weekend right there.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I've been having ridiculous internet problems and haven't been able to update the site. Those internet problems are now fixed so you can expect a bunch of updates soon. Thanks. Sorry for the downtime.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


that is all.

BBC Collective Caribou mini Documentary

Andorra, the latest LP from Caribou hasn't even been officially released yet (out 8/21 on Merge), but it is already becoming one of the best records that I've heard in an extremely long time. This love was increased exponentially after I watched the following documentary about the making of the album and rehearsal for their upcoming tour. Seeing the tiny little room that Dan Snaith recorded this entire masterpiece of an album in by himself will knock you back a few steps for sure. He used 670 tracks to make a 9 song album! My brain would pop out of my nose if I tried to keep all of that stuff straight. If you haven't already heard Andorra yet, watch this documentary and try to not become intrigued. Caribou's October 19th show at Emo's cannot get here soon enough.

Andorra is streaming in it's entirety at the band's Myspace page.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The Besnard Lakes are a 6 piece from Montreal. Their latest release is the LP The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse. The album came out back in February on Jagjaguar but somehow I never listened to it until just recently. Better late than never. It's one of those records that seems quiet on your stereo but I imagine is much louder in person. When I say that, what I mean is that there is a lot of contrast between the mellow quieter parts, and the more rocking, uptempo parts, but there isn't a lot of volume difference. I find a lot of bands record like this now. To me the dynamic volume shifts on an album are pretty important, but I prefer live music to recorded music in general, so maybe my views are a bit skewed. It's a minor complaint, but I think somewhat valid given how often I hear it in albums nowadays. Anyway, minor sonic quibbles aside, I've really enjoyed the album so far and I recommend checking it out. Here's the first song off of the album "Disaster"

The Besnard Lakes - Disaster

Buy Dark Horse here

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Maritime songs

Here's the first two songs to surface online from the forthcoming Maritime LP Heresy and the Hotel Choir (fantastic album title). The first new tune "For Science Fiction" has a really heavy distorted bass line that dominates the song. It wasn't what I expected when I hit play, but I dig the song and that distorted bass sounds cool. The second track "Guns of Navarone" is also a bit of a departure from the sound of their last album. This one has some twangy guitar and none of the heavy distortion of "For Science Fiction". Even though neither tune is what I would have expected, I like them both and, honestly, it's great to hear a band grow and expand their sound without abandoning what it is that made their music great to begin with. I'm excited to hear the whole album and see them live again the next time they roll through Austin.

Maritime - For Science Fiction

Maritime - Guns of Navarone

Heresy and the Hotel Choir
is out October 6th on Flameshovel.

File this under The Greatest Thing Ever

I've been compiling some stuff for a post I'm planning to do on the status of several bands that have sort of dipped below the radar lately. During the course of said research I visited the Mogwai website and came across something that I've been searching for since I was 17 years old.

Come On Die Young by Mogwai is on my list of albums that I'd sooner die than never be able to hear again. Mogwai were a revelation to me and this was the album that introduced me to, not only their music, but an entire world of music that doesn't come out of the speakers of an AM/FM radio. To say that this album was huge for me doesn't even come close to telling the whole truth. In particular, I always loved the opening track "Punk Rock". This track features vocals from an old interview with Iggy Pop. At the time I originally bought this album, I didn't know that it was Iggy Pop talking, but the words struck me deep inside. In a little over 2 minutes this haunting voice justified everything I had always felt about listening to music and the way it makes you feel. The phrase "I couldn't have said it better myself" is wholly relevant here. I later learned through judicious Internet research while sitting in my dorm room that the dialogue was from an interview with Iggy Pop by Peter Gzowski. This discovery led me to The Stooges and countless other bands and songs.

So, to get back to the point of this post, when I went to the Mogwai site, there on the first page is the original video of the Iggy interview and it's been synced up to match the song perfectly. God it's so good to have something like this go full circle. Here is the video. I'm unbelievably excited by this. Hopefully some of you will share my enthusiasm.

Mogwai - Punk Rock (from Come On Die Young)


Bradley's Almanac relays his personal history with Eugene from Gogol Bordello

An Aquarium Drunkard has some MP3s up from an exclusive performance by Blair. The third song (Wolfboy) comes highly recommended by yours truly.

Sixeyes has a great John Vanderslice interview up in two parts. Part One is here. Part Two is here.

Panda bear DVD update

I got this email from Mike at Eat Tapes this morning.


I have some unfortunate news in regards to your Panda Bear order. I am no longer able to offer this DVD for free. I explain in great detail why over at but the short version is this:

I had never anticipated this much interest in the project. I was expecting around 100-200 orders total. Its obvious I'm loosing money on this deal but I figured at such a small amount the loss would be minimal and worthy of the cause. However, at the end of 3 days I have received around 1700 orders. After a long night of number crunching I loose an average of $4 per DVD. This means after 3 days I have already lost literally thousands of dollars. As you can hopefully see, this can't continue.

For that reason: All Option 1 DVDs will now cost $5 for US orders and $7 for International orders. I sincerely apologize but this is truly the only way it can work. Any order for an Option 1 DVD in the past (this means your order) and future will be disregarded if it doesn't come with the donation. If you have already re-ordered you can disregard this message.

Now, there will be an option to download the DVD for free as a torrent. Check back on my website around August 21st or 22nd for more information on that. Also, as an apology to everyone for this error I will randomly package some Option 1 DVD orders with cash anywhere between $1-$7 so you do still have the oppertunity to recieve the DVD for free and this gives you a little something extra to hope for when you receive your package!

I can't express how sorry I am that it has come to this but I hope you can understand that I simply can't afford to loose thousands of dollars on this project. I will leave you with instrucitons on how to order the new DVD if you are interested in donating.

Please follow these instructions if you are still interested in receiving the Option 1 DVD:

Step 1: Donate
US Residence - $5 / International - $7
There are a few different ways we can go about doing this.
Paypal: Highly prefered! (go to find Paypal Donation link)
Money Order: Please send to Mike 306 W. Main St Trappe, PA 19426
Concealed Cash:
This is at your own risk and must be in USD.Send to the same address.
I will only ship the DVD once I get payment.

Step 2: Email

The reason to email me again is so I don't have to sift through all of my emails to match up people who donated with their previous order. Essentially this will be like you're ordering again however I'll make sure I ship out your DVDs before the others. Again, this is ONLY for the people who have already placed their orders when it was available for free.

Subject line: Order
*please copy and paste this format into the Body of your email.*

Option 1
Donation Method:
Amount Donated:
Confirmation Code:
*This is only if you donated through Paypal*
*detail anything extra I should know about your order here.*

I hope everyone is well.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Centro-matic, Jason Isbell, & a free White Rabbits show

A couple of good shows this week that i want to give a heads up about.

Tue. 8/14 @ The Mohawk: Jason Isbell (formerly of Drive By Truckers) and Centro-Matic

  • Doors at 8pm
  • Show is at 10pm
  • Tickets available here
Jason Isbell - Down In A Hole (from Sirens of the Ditch)

Centro-Matic - 74 Cuts, 74 Scars (from Operation Motorcide EP)

Sat. 8/18 @ Emo's (outside): White Rabbits, The Clutters, Gore Gore Girls, Architects
  • Show is 18+
  • Show is FREE
  • Doors at 8pm
  • Show at 10pm
White Rabbits - The Plot (from Fort Nightly)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup expanded

Fun Fun Fun Fest is going to be back for another run this fall at Waterloo Park and while no official announcement of a final band list has happened yet, between the fest's Myspace site and various other news outlets it looks like the festival is going to be great. The fest takes place over two days (last year was one) on either 4 or 5 stages (reports vary) at Waterloo Park. The dates set for the show are November 3rd and 4th. Amongst the latest additions is news of The Murder City Devils reuniting for a single show at the festival. That should definitely add to the show's level of exposure. Check out this partial list of bands playing.

New Pornographers
Girl Talk
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Of Montreal
Okkervil River
Murder City Devils
Cadence Weapon
Explosions in the Sky
Final Fantasy
Mates of State
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
Emma Pollock (ex-Delgados)
the Sword
the Saints
Against Me!
Youth Brigade
Sick of it All
Angry Samoans
The Fucking Champs
Channel 3
Riverboat Gamblers
Complete Control
White Denim
Poison Idea
Sun Trash

A lot for everyone to enjoy on that list. Punk, Metal, Indie, Local, National, and everything in between. Should be fun.

Fun Fun Fun Fest website
Fun Fun Fun Fest Myspace

New Film School album

The new Film School album, Hideout, comes out September 11th via Beggar's Banquet. The album continues in the tradition of their last s/t album. It's very atmospheric, the synths and keys are really prominent in the mix which gives the songs a very warm, full sound. I was a big fan of their last album, and after several listening sessions with the new one, I can say I'm an even bigger fan of this one. I also love the album art. I'm one of those few that still thinks the artwork is a sizable part of what makes an album great, and this cover definitely adds to the overall greatness of Hideout. The artwork looks like a Threadless shirt design.

Film School - Lectric (from Hideout)

Some Low Live Stuff

The Minnesota based Schedule Two has a ton of really great live videos of different bands playing at various venues in and around Minneapolis. There is a ton of great free content on their site. They have up 6 videos from Low's CD release show for Drums and Guns at First Avenue that are just phenomenal. Great quality all around on the videos, the sound is just superb.

Low videos at Schedule Two

Low - Murderer (from Drums and Guns)

Low - Dinosaur Act (from Things We Lost In The Fire)

And here is the video for Breaker where Allan Sparhawk just destroys a cake and some milk.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Link Dump

Here's some links. MMMMM links.

Patton Oswalt talks to Pitchfork about what he's into lately.

Covert Curiosity links to some Kings of Leon B-sides

You Ain't No Picasso went to Lollapalooza and took lots of pictures

The Catbirdseat maps out the tangled web Getty Images weaves

Free Panda Bear dvd

Eat Tapes does the types of things that I wish I could get my lazy ass to do. Basically, Eat Tapes is a guy named Mike, who lives in Philly and videotapes shows. I know this sounds simple, but I think it's amazing and I'm glad he does it. His website has lots of info on it and there is always a feature video available to view online. One of Eat Tapes recent projects is a Panda Bear DVD. Panda Bear is Noah Lennox of Animal Collective. The latest Panda bear album, Person Pitch, is one of my favorite releases of the last year. Eat Tapes recorded three different Panda Bear shows at the Bowery Ballroom and has cut them all together to make this concert DVD. Also, he's giving it away for free. There is a second "deluxe" version of the DVD available for a small donation ($5-$10) that includes a second disc of 2 of the unedited performances. This is a really great deal, and I'm sure the DVD will be awesome. I definitely recommend getting the deluxe 2 disc package just so you can make a donation. Mike isn't even charging postage and the donations will cover the production and licensing costs. This is a great idea and I wish more people would do it.

Order the DVD here

Buy Person Pitch here

*A Huge thanks to Gorilla Vs. Bear for posting about this!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Songs Of Green Pheasant

The story of how Songs of Green Pheasant got signed to Fat Cat should teach everyone two lessons. Firstly, it is still possible to get signed to a label by just sending them a demo, and lastly, always check your email. The long and the short of the story is this, Duncan Sumpner, an artist and teacher from Sheffield, made a demo, he burned it onto a CD-R and sent it to Fat Cat in 2002. They loved it and after repeat listens, they really loved it. They sent Duncan an email, no response. They sent ten more, no response. For two years there is no response, but they keep listening to the demo and it gets better and better. Finally, they get a hold of Sumpner and sign him in 2004, all to the complete shock of Duncan. The original demo was released in 2005 and a follow up, Aerial, was released in 2006. Both got great reviews. It's one of the better how such-and-such-a-band-gets-discovered stories that I've heard lately.

Cut to 2007, Songs of Green Pheasant are getting set to release their newest LP Gyllyng Street. Think the quieter Velvet Underground stuff, more specifically think of the Nico tracks. Think Beach House, think decaying loops. Mellow is where I'm going with this, but not boring at all. The album is very dynamic but without being too grandiose. It's phenomenal. Check out the first song from the album, entitled "Boats".

Songs of Green Pheasant - Boats

Pre-order Gyllyng Street here

Watching That Chair Painted Yellow

The Twilight Sad came from out of nowhere earlier this year and have quickly become one of my favorite bands. I saw them three times at SXSW and was very impressed by all of their performances, and subsequently have seen them again post SXSW. Their first two releases The Twilight Sad EP and their full length debut 14 Autumns and 15 Winters (what a fantastic album title) have been on repeat play for most of the year. During the myriad of times that I've seen them live this year, the band has consistently played one song that was nowhere to be found on their official releases. The song in question is "Watching That Chair Painted Yellow" and it finally got an official release as a B-side on the That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy single. I've been meaning to put this one up for a while and have just forgotten. The single is now out of print, so here it is for all of you completists out there.

The Twilight Sad - Watching That Chair Painted Yellow

Also, in a bit of strange news that I guess, in hindsight, isn't really so strange, The Twilight Sad have announced that they will join the ranks of such bands as Deerhunter, The Black Angels, Explosions In The Sky, and others by opening for The Smashing Pumpkins this year. The Twilight Sad will open the Pumpkins show in Glasgow on the 22nd.

New Caribou - Melody Day

Here's the first song off of Caribou's new album Andorra due out August 21st on Merge records. The song is called "Melody Day". This one falls right in line with the Animal Collective track i posted earlier. Swirling sounds and general psychadelia abound and are covered with a nice layer of hushed vocals. I haven't given the whole album a good listen yet, but if this first single is a good example of the quality of the entire album, I think we have a winner here.

Caribou - Melody Days

Here's the accompanying video

Buy Andorra

Up is down and Left is right

I'm really confused right now. If you had asked me three days ago to name two bands that I thought were way way overrated compared to the amount of buzz that they generate, I wouldn't have hesitated for even a second before I told you flat out "Okkervil River and Animal Collective". That's how I felt and I had no qualms about telling other people all about it. The last two days have left me reeling. Yesterday I listen to the new Okkervil album and am blown away and forced to plant my foot firmly in my mouth for all of the shit i gave them. Now today I'm writing about another song that I think is one of the best of year and it comes from Okkervil's doppelganger, Animal Collective.

They have a new album, Strawberry Jam, set to be released next month, which has the most godawful cover art I've seen recently (see it here). All of this aside, I really like the album. It's a bit more accessible than their past efforts, yet it keeps it weird, which is cool. My favorite track is also, it seems, the favorite track of half of the Internet, so you may have already heard it. The song which I am referring to is "Fireworks". It's really hard to describe Animal Collective songs. Most of the traditional lexicon used to describe music is not easily applied here. There are drums and guitars and warm swells of sound from many different directions. Headphones are recommended to get the full sound here. As I said, words only go so far, just let your ears figure it out.

Animal Collective - Fireworks

Pre-order Strawberry Jam here

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

New Okkervil River

I have never been an Okkervil River fan. Even more than that, I've been the type of person to let out an audible sigh or roll an eye when I hear their name mentioned. I disliked Okkervil River. I always had soft spots for certain songs of theirs, but I always threw them into the Ryan Adams camp of refusing to wade through their mountains of sub par songs to find the few that I thought were decent. Their new album, The Stage Names, has changed things. This is a really good album. I don't feel the need to skip to one or two of the songs on this disc, I listen to all of them all the way through. To me, that's the ultimate test of an album. If I regularly and enthusiastically listen to an album from front to back, it's a really good album. While I love the entire album, to me, there is definitely a stand out track. Track number two, "Unless It's Kicks" is, as far as I am concerned, the best work of this band's career. The song is all kick drum and a super simple yet deadly effective guitar riff and then slowly they add things, a cymbal crash here, some strings there. It all comes together to form what I'd say is one of the best songs of the year. I'm really pleasantly surprised by this album. I would not have guessed that I would enjoy it so much.

Okkervil River - Unless It's Kicks (MP3)

Buy The Stage Names

Monday, August 6, 2007

New Sunset Rubdown

Jagjaguar records is getting ready to release the new LP from Sunset Rubdown on 10/09/07. The album, called Random Spirit Lover, is the band's first release for Jagjaguar (they were previously with Absolutely Kosher.) Sunset Rubdown features Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade. The following MP3 is the first single.

Sunset Rubdown - Up on your Leopard, Upon the End of your Feral Days

Free Sound Team show at Mohawk

Sound Team is playing a free show (21+) at the Mohawk on wednesday night (8/8). The show features Loxsly and The Laughing (eww) in the opening slots. According to the Mohawk site, the show starts at 9. This will probably fill up pretty quickly, so I'd get recommend getting there early and trying to shield your ears until after The Laughing are done playing. Their whole schtick is nothing but annoying to me. Loxsly, however, are fantastic and I highly recommend you check them out.

Sound Team - You've Never Lived A Day

Buy Movie Monster LP

Friday, August 3, 2007

Some new Jose Gonzalez tracks

Jose Gonzalez recently added a few new songs to his Myspace page. The new songs, entitled "Down the Line" and "Killing For Love" will appear on Jose's new album In Our Nature, out September 25th on Mute.

Jose's version of one of the most covered songs of all time, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, is probably my personal favorite version of the song. Here is a live cut of it from a few years back.

Jose Gonzalez - Love Will Tear Us Apart (live)

Pelican @ Emo's

If you like your post rock a bit on the metal side, the show at Emo's (inside stage) on Saturday will be right up your alley. Headlining the 3 band bill is Chicago's Pelican, whose latest album City of Echoes was released on Hydra Head records in June. The middle slot is occupied by label mates Clouds, even more metal, and the openers are Fatal Flying Guilloteens from Houston. The last time I saw Pelican at Emo's they put on a fantastic show, I'd expect nothing less this time around. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 10pm.

Pelican - Lost In the Headlights (from City of Echoes)

Buy City of Echoes

Thursday, August 2, 2007

This Will Destroy You forced to cancel tour

I got the following message from This Will Destroy You on Myspace last night.

our guitar player jeremy is having serious medical issues - forcing us to cancel the rest of the tour.

wanted to say thank you to all the friends we made on the road - all the people that let us crash on their floors.

thank you to all the dudes in fear before the march of flames, 65 days of static, you in series.

if all goes to plan we should be back on tour in the fall - so keep in touch.
All the best to Jeremy and the rest of the band. Get healthy, hopefully we'll see you guys again in the fall.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Stream the new John Vanderslice album

John Vanderslice's newest album, Emerald City, came out last Tuesday and the entire thing is streaming at his myspace page for free. Since John is being so generous with the free stream, it only makes sense that if you dig the album, you should go buy a copy of it. Karma points can't hurt. In other news it appears that Britt Daniel is intent on eating Vanderslice's entire face.

Vanderslice plays The Parish on September, 11th.

Buy Emerald City here

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