Friday, July 2, 2010

New month, new band pt. XIII

The Black Angels

I think we may have discovered time travel. If The Black Angels didn't come directly out of the late 60's - early 70's then I'll eat my shoes. I've been a fan for quite a while now, I just never got around to sharing their music in this forum. I haven't yet figured out what sort of 'mood' you have to be in to listen to The Black Angels. Depressed immediately springs to mind, but just as quickly I have to dismiss it because it wouldn't work. Angry doesn't work either...happy? I'm going to go with you having to be in an 'on drugs' sort of mood. This band almost makes me want to dabble in mind-altering substances just to fully understand what's going on in most of their songs (...almost...). Regardless of mood, I think most people will find something they like about these guys. They have a 'drone machine' for crying out loud! I don't even know what a drone machine is, but I can hear it in every song. If you want to be droned at (and 'drone' is the perfect single word to describe this band) then sit back, relax, grab some hallucinogens and enjoy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New month, new band pt. XII

Joanna Newsom

Now, I'll be honest here, I've known about Joanna Newsom for a long time. When I first heard her I was far from impressed. To me she was just some girl with a really weird voice that played silly little songs on a harp. While that is true to a certain extent, her new album has shown me that she's much more than that. She is just some girl with a really weird voice that plays silly little songs on a harp and does those things very well. She is an amazing harpist and, oddly enough, she can really really sing. I find myself having to stop what I'm doing to just listen whenever she shows up on my iTunes shuffle. I'm basing all of what I'm saying on my experience with her newest album, but I think its a prime example of what she can do. You may have to 'get past' her voice (I had to and I'm glad I did) but when you do you'll find something fantastic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Under Great White Northern Lights

I've done it. Ive watched one of the best documentaries about one of the best bands to come out of the 00's. While The White Stripes may sit in a very unfortunate second place in my list of favorite bands, it is certainly a close second. Everyone may not be a fan and everyone might not agree with my saying that they're among the best ever but no one can deny that they created music that certainly wasn't like anything I'd ever heard before. The drums aren't always in sync. The guitar isn't always in tune. Jacks voice isn't always perfect. The good news: none of those things matter. If anything, all of that adds that little bit of nastiness that the band uses to melt faces.

I think my favorite thing about the movie is the exchanges between Jack and Meg (or lack thereof). They are the definition of 'polar opposite'. Jack is outgoing, charismatic and just plain loud. Meg is shy, reserved and just plain quiet. Its easy to see how one of the rumors is that they are brother and sister because that's exactly how they act.

The live performances should be (and are) reason enough for you to watch this movie. I would argue that they are some of the best versions of the songs. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The White Stripes are better live. I'm not saying their albums aren't good but, compared to their live performances, their albums aren't good. :)

Basically, what I'm getting at here is this: if you're a White Stripes fan you need to see this movie. If you aren't a White Stripes fan you need to see this movie. If you're breathing right now you need to see this movie.

"...but when it comes to the music, thats not pre-meditated at all. The music is really completely in charge of us."

Friday, April 2, 2010

I have a confession to make...

I read that they're going to re-air the World Cafe that featured St. Vincent. In that article there was a picture of Annie Clark.

...I have a gigantic crush on Annie Clark...

A good cover is a terrible thing to waste, pt. V

This is like the red-headed step child of the series' when it comes to my blog. I've done a few more in the way of new bands I'm listening to and not so much bands that I currently listen to that cover bands that I've never listened to.

This time we have my friend Colin Meloy covering a Morrissey song: Jack the Ripper. While the original version is good, I find that I like the acoustic treatment Mr. Meloy gives it. So lend me your ear and enjoy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New month, new band pt. XI

The Temper Trap

Greetings, children, all the way from April!

I always seem to apologize for not updating my blog more so I shan't bother doing it here. I will simply bestow upon your eager ears a new musical obsession of mine. This month it comes in the form of The Temper Trap. These gentleman hail from down under which is a first, as far as I know, for my little series here. We've been places like France and Scotland but have yet to venture west. These guys are kind of all over the place. You'll get some very acoustic-y songs followed by some very electronic-y songs. I'll try to choose two songs when it comes to be song-posting time that illustrates this. For those of you lucky enough to have seen '500 Days of Summer' you know who this band is. You might not realize it, but you do. I'll now shut up yap and let you simply listen and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New month, new band pt. X

Mumford and Sons

I honestly cant get my head around the fact that we're at number 10 on our journey. I have yet to find out where this journey will have us end up, probably nowhere, but its not about the destination is it? (At least thats what I learned in school...on the cafeteria...)

I would bet that several people could guess what this month's band was going to be. Yes, ladies and gentleman, its non other than Mumford and Sons. These guys were recommended to me by a friend of mine (Tabitha (also not Joel or Richard)). As soon as I listened to the song I was referred to I was hooked. They hail from England and, at least in my opinion, take the American bluegrass sound and give it a British twist. You can definitely here the British influences in their music, but you can equally as well hear the American. Im having a hard time deciding which songs to post so I think I'll go with some of the lesser known ones...or maybe not.

Listen and enjoy, children.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A year?

Its funny. Until looking at a friend's blog, I didn't realize that my own blog celebrated its one year anniversary about a week ago. It really doesn't seem like its been that long...

Well its here so we might as well put up at least a little something right? Right.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Decemberists Down Under

I was scouring Facebook earlier when I stumbled across this little gem. A little gem that turned out to be a rather huge and dazzling diamond of a find. The Decemberists are finishing (or have finished, Im not sure) their tour in Australia. On January 20-something, they played in Sydney and the show was recorded. One could argue that its unfortunate they didn't record a concert in which they played the Hazards of Love. I say "its a Decemberists concert on video...what more do you want?!"

I shall now link it one of the songs here for your viewing pleasure. If you find you have some superfluous time, I would recommend clicking the link below and watching the full concert.

Watch The Decemberists and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New month, new band pt. IX

Colin Meloy

So this isn't exactly a "new band" per say. Colin Meloy is the lead singer of a little band (my personal favorite if we're being honest) called The Decemberists. Hes played several solo tours and released a few solo albums. Only one of his albums has been widely released, the others you had to get by actually going to one of his live shows (its the only place they were sold). Recently, however, Ive been able to get a hold of the other 3 of the 4. We have Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, Shirley Collins, and Sam Cooke as well as Colin Meloy Sings Live (the album with the most wide of releases). Today I'm more focused on Colin Meloy Sings Shirley Collins. Apparently she was really big in England in the mid - late 60's playing a lot of old British folk tunes. Colin took a select few of those songs and re-did them yet again in his own unique style (and voice). Here are just a couple of the tracks off the album that I haven't been able to stop playing since it started.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New month, new band pt. VIII

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Here I am, posting our new band for the month at the end of said month. I dont mean to post these so late, but that just seems to be how things happen to work out.

This month we go across the pond yet again (see New month, new band pt. III), this time to Scotland, to meet a band called We Were Promised Jetpacks. I started hearing about this band not too long ago. Just about the time that I started to hear the name via word-of-mouth I started to hear their single (Quiet Little Voices) playing on the radio. I was a little nervous. I thought this was going to be another case of hearing a single on the radio and assuming the rest of the album is just as good only to find that it is, in fact, terrible. I took a risk, bit the bullet as it were, and decided to get the album based on a few YouTube videos and 30 second iTunes clips. I must say, the gamble paid off. These guys are fantastic. Ive found that Ive become less and less a fan of "loud" music. Im more of a Folk person, but I really dont mind that these guys play loud guitar riffs and yell at me from time to time.

So, for future reference, if you're Scottish you can yell at me any day of the week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My top 10 of '09.

At the behest of a friend Ive decided to do my top 10 songs of 2009. This is, by no means, a definitive list. It is by no means a list that a took any large amount of time to construct. It is simply a list of some of the songs that Ive enjoyed listening to that happened to be released in the past year. They are in no particular order, whatever you may think. I'm not too good at putting into words why I like a song, so Ill simply link them for your listening enjoyment. There may or may not be a few words said about some of them, that remains to be seen. So, without any further delay, I give you my list.

The Beetle King on a Coconut Estate - MeWithoutYou

MeWithoutYou is a band that you'll either love or hate. Regardless of how you feel about them, the message of this song speaks for itself.

Broken Horse - Freelance Whales

These guys aren't even well enough known to have their songs stolen and put on YouTube so you're forced to find live footage. Never the less, they still amaze me every time I listen to them.

Waitin' for a Superman - Iron and Wine

I heard this song one day at work on my Iron and Wine Pandora station. It was soon after this that I was unable to use Pandora at work anymore. While this song was playing I couldn't help but wonder what album it was on and why I hadn't heard it before. Come to find out, it was on the album that I had bought mere days before. Ive listened to it too many times to count.

60 Feet Tall - The Dead Weather

I agree with Richard that there isn't much depth to this album. If you want stripped down, dirty rock then this is the band for you. And let me tell you, sometimes I just want some stripped down, dirty rock.

Ghosts - Fanfarlo

I don't even remember where I first heard of Fanfarlo. I think it may have been from a banner ad on Stereogum. It doesn't really matter anymore how I came to find them, but the fact that I did.

Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Of course you're going to be drawn to a band with a name like that. I first heard this song on the radio and immediately knew I had to have the album. It didn't disappoint.

Your Ghost - Greg Laswell

I think Greg Laswell is what you would call a 'guilty pleasure' of mine. With songs of his being played on Grey's Anatomy it would seem he would be too mainstream for ol Kurtis (I know I know, there are plenty of bands I listen to with songs on those shows). I saw him at the Ingrid Michaelson show and almost fainted. True story.

Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise - The Avett Brothers

Ah, The Avett Brothers. I do love these guys. I'm not a fan of country music and these guys are, arguably, teetering on the edge of that. The good thing for them is they don't want to play country music. Alt-country was the genre invented to classify this band, of that I have no doubt.

The Ghosts Who Write History Books - The Low Anthem

The Low Anthem is another bunch of merry music makers that aren't quite as widely known as others. That, however, is perfectly fine with me. I like having little gems for myself from time to time. This is one of those.

Sugalumps - Flight of the Conchords

To end the list of course I have to go with a little Flight of the Conchords. If there is anyone out there who doesn't at least crack a smile during this song then there is a serious problem with the world we live in.