The Shivers, who are one of the best kept secrets in today’s indie scene, just released a new album called In The Morning. It’s a fantastic follow-up to their 2008 album, Beaks to The Moon (which made my Top 10 list last year). The entire album was recorded on a 4-track cassette deck in their rehearsal space under Queensboro Bridge, giving their music a pure, lo-fi sound.
Like other Shivers albums, In the Morning jumps around a lot from track to track, but the band is able to pull off their diverse sound in a way most bands could only dream. My favorite track on the album is the opening song “Just Didn’t Need To Know,” which brings to mind the Velvet Underground (in particular Lou Reed’s “Heroine”). Other favorites include “Only in It For The $$$,” “Insane,” “Sad Excuse,” and, of course, “Inside Job” (a silent track that lasts for 9 minutes and 11 seconds; Keith is a supporter of 9/11 Truth).
Keith Zarriello has been the only consistent member of the band since forming in Brooklyn back in 2001, but the band has now evolved into a duo, with the talented Jo Schornikow on piano, organ, and occasional vocals. You can look for The Shiver’s song “Feather” in the new Noah Baumbach produced movie Alexander the Last. Jo also scored acted in the film alongside Justin Rice from Bishop Allen.
In The Morning (2009)
The Shivers – Just Didn’t Need To Know
The Shivers – Insane
Other highly recommended listening:
The Shivers – Beauty
The Shivers – Lonely Road
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You know that catchy Passion Pit song “Sleepyhead” that we all know and love so much? Well, if not, it’s below. But here is a pretty awesome video cover of the song by the band Run Toto Run. I love weird shit like this.
Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
Passion Pit – Little Secrets
Passion Pit’s debut, Manners, just released on Frenchkiss records. Feature coming soon! (hint: it’s good, buy it).
I first heard Sky Larkin in New York late last summer. They just signed to Witchita and their lead singer Katie Harkin, nervous that she’d break a string at her first New York show, asked us if she could borrow a guitar as backup. Since then, they’ve toured the UK with Conor Oberst, released their stellar debut The Golden Spike and toured the US with friends Los Campesinos! Somehow, they’ve still managed to escape major notice stateside.
The Golden Spike opens in triumph: Harkin’s melody is propelled skyward by a choir of disembodied harmonies, laced with piercing guitar work and a pounding rhythm section reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr‘s Barlow and Murph. To further the Dino Jr comparison (and sustaining my rabid Dino Jr. obsession), Harkin plays in the vein of J. Mascis, channeling his sparkle/sludge dynamic but with more emphasis on chords rather than ear-shattering guitar solos. Not that she can’t have those; the lead in “Antibodies” is graceful in it’s calculated dissonance and the hook in “Molten” is a reach-for-the-sky’s piece of guitar work (which would have fit quite nicely on You’re Living All Over Me).
Like the Walkmen, Sky Larkin make me want to believe in things. Not so much in fantastical creatures (although I do have great faith in their eventual emergence/hidden existence) but more so in ideals, or just ideas. Love, life, hope, honor. You know, all that romantic bullshit. Listen to Sky Larkin and go sprinting through the streets. Clothing optional.
I did an interview with Katie last fall. Read it here.
Sky Larkin – Molten
Sky Larkin – Antibodies
Sky Larkin have three videos out right now, here’s my favorite:
As of today, Wilco’s new album, Wilco (The Album), is available for stream on the band’s official website. I already listened through the album once, but think we all need to listen a few more times before passing any real judgment. As we already knew from the songs that Wilco has performed live, the album drifts towards Sky Blue Sky as opposed to their older more experimental works like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. All that I’ll say about the album right now is that I absolutely adore the song “You And I,” featuring none other than Feist on shared vocals with Jeff Tweedy.
I’m also incredibly impressed by the band’s email that they just sent out. Streaming an album before it has released has become a norm these days, but promoting the fact that the album has leaked is far from standard practice. It shows a certain understanding and maturity you just don’t see in the music industry yet. Hats off to you, Wilco.
Well, we made it nearly a month with copies of Wilco (the album) floating around out there before it leaked. Pretty impressive restraint in this day and age. But the inevitable happened last night. Since we know you’re curious and probably have better things to do than scour the internet for a download (though we do understand the attraction of the illicit), we’ve posted a stream of the full album at http://wilcoworld.net/records/thealbum/ . Feel free to refer to it as “wilco (the stream)” if you must.
We also have our usual guilt abatement plan for downloaders. If you have downloaded the record, we suggest you make a donation to one of the band’s favorite charities, the Inspiration Corporation — an organization we’ve supported in the past & who are doing great work in the city of Chicago. Information and donation button here: http://inspirationcorp.org/.
That’s all. Enjoy the stream. Tickets for summer shows, etc. http://wilcoworld.net/tours/ Note that we’ll be holding a free online midnight screening of the “Ashes of American Flags” film this Friday night (at both midnight US Central time and again at midnight Pacific). So get the popcorn or whatever together and be sure to log on and tune in on Friday.
Wilco (The Album) (2009):
Wilco & Feist – You and I
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