Archive for March, 2007

Mar 09 2007

Jorge Drexler- High and Dry (Radiohead Cover)

Published by under MP3's

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If you don’t know Uruguayan singer/songwriter Jorge Drexler, you may actually know some of his music without realizing it–he won an Oscar for his song “Al Otro Lado Del Rio,” featured on the soundtrack Motorcycle Diaries. If you like vocals in foreign languages, specifically Spanish, you’d like his work. In this case, however, I am plugging a song Drexler did in English– a cover of Radiohead’s “High and Dry.” This is a beautiful rendition of Radiohead’s song, and I know there are people out there who can’t understand why an artist tries to touch a song that was already done so perfectly the first time, but I tend to look at it differently. I don’t think musicians cover a song because they think they can do better than the original artist. The cover wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the original artists song, and covers are merely a way that one artist can tip their cap toward another’s work, at the same time, offering a different perspective. That is, of course, unless it is “Weird Al” Yankovic covering you, or Ben Folds, as he did with Dr. Dre’s hit “Bitches Ain’t Shit.”

12 segundos de oscuridad:

Jorge Drexler – High and Dry (Radiohead Cover)

Radiohead – High and Dry

Bonus:

Motorcycle Diaries Soundtrack:

Jorge Drexler- Al Otro Lado Del Rio

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Mar 08 2007

Dolorean – You Can’t Win

Published by under MP3's

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If you like Mojave 3, Red House Painters, or Whiskeytown, the band Dolorean may appeal to you. Their recently released album, You Can’t Win, is slow-tempo, so if you are looking for a cheerer-upper, look elsewhere. Some songs on the album do not click that well for me, but there are others that are relaxing to listen to. I’ll tell you right off the bat, with a mellow album like this, you really have to be in the mood, or it could come off as boring. Al James, the leader of the quintet, states that he was in a rough place while writing and recording this album, and it’s impossible to miss that while listening. The first song on the 11- track album is also called You Can’t Win, and the song is solely a melody with James repeating the phrase ‘you can’t win.’ The album could have been an all out pity-party, and while it does express hardships, it doesn’t feel like he’s “kvetching” about how he can’t win, rather there is a sense of acceptance of that fact. The song Beachcomber Blues is one of the better tracks on the album, and reminds me a lot of Mojave 3’s work. You can hear Neil Young as an influence on the album, and in my opinion, some of the melodies remind me of those on Wilco’s yet to be released album, Sky Blue Sky. You might even compare his vocals to Ben Folds.

Dolorean formed in Silverton, OR, in 1999, after James collaborated with Jay Clarke(keyboard), playing some of James’ home recordings. Sudden Oak, the duo’s debut EP, appeared that same year, and Dolorean began performing around town. By 2001, Dolorean moved to Portland, at which time drummer Ben Nugent joined the band. Soon following came bass player James Adair. The band started recording their 2002 release Not Exotic, and were also performing poetry readings around Portland. In 2003, the band was picked up by Yep Rock Records, who they are still with.

You Can’t Win:

Dolorean- Heather Remind Me How This Ends

Dolorean – Beachcomber Blues

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Bonus: Dolorean – To:Elliott From: Portland

Dolorean- The Biggest Lie (Elliott Smith cover)

Elliott Smith- The Biggest Lie

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Mar 07 2007

Radical Face – Ghost

Published by under MP3's

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I have always been a big fan of the duo Electric President, and last week, Ben Cooper released an exciting album under his side project name Radical Face. The album is entitled Ghost, and succeeds in offering catchy pop songs interwoven with what would otherwise be considered folk melodies. The wide range of sounds often takes place in the same song, sometimes with songs going from almost complete silence to seconds later, upbeat pop. There is a focus on real instruments on this album (including unique ones such as the accordion, banjo, and of course, hand clapping), more so than on The Electric President’s 2006 self-titled album, which was much more computer oriented. Even though this album does vary in that sense, Cooper’s subtle vocals and melancholic melodies still give the album an overall similar feel.

The Electric President’s Self-Titled album had a theme revolving around the future, which could be heard in songs such as Grand Machine No.14. This album’s premise is that house’s absorb the memories and events of those living in them. To better understand, this was taken from the press release.

“What if houses had memories? What if, when we lived in them, our stories bled into the walls and became a part of the house? What if our ghosts were always going to haunt the places we’ve lived, along with everyone else who’s lived there? So some songs are from the point of view people still living their lives in one of these houses; some are from the point of view of those dead and gone, watching over the living or haunting them; some are from people visiting home, after being away for along time, and the familiar ghosts of childhood all coming back to remind you of the way things used to be.”

I don’t know about you, but that concept really intrigues me. Ben Cooper is 24 years old, and resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He recorded this album in his studio, playing most, if not all of the instruments. Be sure to check out more of his music, and also that of Electric President.

Ghosts:

Radical Face- Welcome Home, Son

Radical Face – Wrapped in Piano Strings

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Bonus: Electric President – S/T

Electric President- Grand Machine No. 14

Electric President – Good Morning, Hypocrite

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Mar 06 2007

Song of the Day: You Kept Me Waiting Too Long (E*Vax Remix)

Published by under MP3's

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Actually, the accurate name of the song of the day is “You Kept Me Waiting Too Long Long Long Long Long Long Long Long Long.” The song is a remix of The Television Personalties song by the same name, perhaps with the word “long” used a few less times. The song comes off the bands new four-track remix EP, My Dark Places Remixes. I actually like this remix by E*Vax (Evan Mast of Ratatat) more than the original.

My Dark Places Remixes (2007):

E*Vax (Ratatat) – You Kept Me Waiting Too Long

My Dark Places (2006):

The Television Personalities – You Kept Me Waiting Too Long

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this song of the day is for march 6–still have a minute left!

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Mar 05 2007

The Shivers – Phone Calls

Published by under MP3's

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The past few weeks I’ve been listening to some of The Shivers music off their new album, Phone Calls. Keith Zarriello, who seems to be the only consistent member of the Brooklyn band, has a variety of interesting music, and can also be noted for his songwriting. His music ranges from folk/country, to more lo-fi/alternative. However you want to classify his music, it is quite relaxing, and his love song “beauty” on Charades is a masterpiece (as anyone who has heard the song will confirm). Some of his songs over the years have also been pretty obscure to say the least…you’ll have to hear for yourself.

In 2004, The Shivers released Charades, an overlooked album that definitely has something going for it. I never knew that much about the band (maybe you can help me out if you know more), but from what I have read, it sounds like Zarriello has had quite a range of experiences. I read some interview hosted by his old record label, Whiskey and Apples, having something to do with being a mime and working on an organic farm in Montreal, but I try to take everything I read with a grain of salt, so I’m not really confident I know the whole story. From what appears to be another interview done with Kulterblog, Zarriello states, “A big part of our music and experience is social and political activism. We are working to help the underprivileged children of the world and we are active members in the 9/11 Truth Movement (ny911truth.org). We think we are at an imperative time on this earth when people must get involved to prevent the evil powers that be from doing any more damage…. We believe in peace, love and respect for all humans and animals!” A portion of the proceeds for Phone Calls will go to a young Indian girl whom the band sponsors.

Album- Charades (2004)

The Shivers – Beauty

The Shivers – L.I.E.

Album- Phone Calls (2007)

The Shivers – The Road

The Shivers – Half Invisible

The Shivers – New Direction

myspace|label| you can buy albums, including Phone Calls, directly from band at CD baby.

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Mar 03 2007

Wilco Sky Blue Sky Listening Party Tonight!

Published by under Muse News

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Did I call it, or did I call it. In my last Wilco post I stated, “Wilco has creative ways of releasing their material, and working with the fans, so we can probably expect some sort of album streaming, possibly even before the release.” Well, tonight is your lucky night. Wilco just announced a semi-secret (oops) listening party tonight at 10 pm Central time, for their upcoming release, Sky Blue Sky. The album’s set release date is May 15. Sudden change of plans for tonight.

You can access the stream at Wilcoworld.net. See you there! By the way, the above picture is the album cover for Sky Blue Sky.

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Mar 03 2007

Save Internet Radio

Published by under Muse News

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Every single day, I hear about a new ridiculous issue with one of the most loathed companies in the world, the RIAA. The new conflict to arise just happened yesterday after the Copyright Royalty Board, the group overseeing statutory licensing for US-based internet radio stations, announced the new royalty rates for streaming radio performance rights. To break the situation down simply, the RIAA is demanding an unfair amount of money from webcasters. With the new implemented prices, a station with 1,000 listeners will be paying over $150,000 a year to stream 24/7. This price will keep going up dramatically over the next couple of years (will be around $249,000 in 2009.)

The rates go based off the amount of songs played, and the number of listeners who hear each of those songs played. Again, the price range above is only if a station has around 1,000 listeners. The more listeners, the higher the rates. (If the station has 2,000 listeners the rates will be doubled,etc.) The RIAA, is out of control, and needs to be stopped. Please, take the time to write to your representative to try to get this issue resolved. In my opinion it is absurd to charge webcasters money to play songs in the first place–they are exposing the artists and increasing CD sales. It is silly to believe that if a listener likes an artist, they are not going to go out to get their album, because they’ll be too busy listening to the radio. The RIAA is a manipulative company, that would benefit so much more, if they stopped being so stubborn and worked with the consumer. Fortunately for the consumers, the RIAA will bring it’s own downfall, once their greed has gone too far. It already has gone to far, but soon, someone with enough power will fight the RIAA for their injustices, and dishonoring the great gift of music.

For more information, please visit
www.save-internet-radio.com

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Mar 02 2007

Matt Harding – Expectation

Published by under MP3's

I have seen a few too many times someone being told that they are “too old” to do something, such as learn a musical instrument. It is true that many of the great musicians of the world started playing during childhood, but that doesn’t mean that a person who is a bit older doesn’t have the potential to produce great music. I don’t know anyone who would dispute that a 22 year old is still young, but if that’s the age they are just starting to learn an instrument with intentions of being a recording musician, to some that is unfortunately an entirely different story.

Matt Harding, a musician hailing from London, did just that. He began recording his songs in 1997 at age 22. Harding states, “I had a guitar but couldn’t play, I started writing a few things and learned to play a reasonable enough standard to do the songs.” Harding seemed focused since the beginning. He didn’t try to be someone he wasn’t, or play something he couldn’t play–he based his talent on his own skills, instead of trying to use acclaimed musicians as his model. A huge source of inspiration for him is Bob Dylan. Much of Dylan’s music is made up of only a few chords, and Harding felt if he could learn basic chords like that, the rest would be up to him. Matt said, talking of Dylan, “You wouldn’t go, ‘Look at those chord sequences!’ – he’s just playing two chords and it’s everything he does on top of it.”

While his lo-fi music doesn’t sound like Dylan’s, which it’s not trying to, you can hear Harding experimenting over his chords, making quite intriguing, unique music. In the song ‘Disparate Thoughts,’ there is a beautiful violin. In other songs, there are sound variances and syncopated beats (such as that heard in ‘Signs.’) Harding recently released a new album entitled Expectation, and as of right now, the best way of buying the album in the U.S. is probably through Harding’s label, Moshi Moshi Records. This album feels really diverse, while still having a central focus, and I literally like every single song on the album. Please listen to all of the samples, because they do vary–his music really can’t be classified. Picking only several songs from his album to share with you was nearly impossible. As if his music wasn’t enough, I also admire Harding for his ability to have faith in himself, and not let others define his potential talent, just because he may have learned to play later guitar than the average musician.

Expectation:

Matt Harding – Close

Matt Harding – Disparate Thoughts

Matt Harding – Signs

Matt Harding – Coptic St

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