Disc a Day: Week 4

January 21st

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Built to Spill – Keep It Like a Secret

MP3: Built to Spill – Carry the Zero

MP3: Built to Spill – Temporarily Blind

January 22nd


m̼m РGo Go Smear the Poison Ivy

MP3: m̼m РMarmalade Fires

MP3: m̼m РGuilty Rocks

January 23rd

http://cdbaby.name/b/u/builttospill.jpg (<— coolest album art)

Built to Spill – Ultimate Alternative Wavers

MP3: Built to Spill – Nowhere Nothin’ Fuck Up

MP3: Built to Spill – Built to Spill
January 24th


Animal Collective – People EP

MP3: Animal Collective – People

MP3: Animal Collective – My Favorite Colors
January 25th


The Flaming Lips – Hit to Death in the Future Head

MP3: The Flaming Lips – Talkin’ Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever)

MP3: The Flaming Lips – Halloween on the Barbary Coast

January 26th


Kings of Convenience – Riot on an Empty Street

MP3: Kings of Convenience – Cayman Islands

MP3: Kings of Convenience – Live Long

January 27th


Amiina – Kurr

MP3: Amiina – Glámur

MP3: Amiina – Hilli

The Fiery Furnaces/Holy Fuck/Super Furry Animals at The 9:30 Club, 01/27/08


Upon arriving at the bland, warehouse looking 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. last night, I could already make out the muffled sounds of openers Holy Fuck. Hailing from Toronto, Holy Fuck play a strange mix of electronica that jumps from fast paced, toe tapping techno to experimental noise (although they never lose track of a steady beat that had everyone in the crowd throwing their head back and forth). As we walked in I could hear the familiar jumpy bass of “The Pulse” off of their debut album simply titled LP. At the front of the stage, Brian Borcherdt stood facing across stage Graham Walsh, both armed with a table full of electronic devices, keyboards, wires, you name it. Behind them, Brad Kilpatrick pounded away on the drum set, keeping a steady rhythm and following along with the array electronic noises coming from the front. Next to him, bassist Matt McQuaid followed suit, providing the booming bass lines so crucial for their music. As Borcherdt yelped away on dancey tracks like “Royal Gregory” or the speedy, pounding “Super Inuit,” Walsh answered with bouncy keyboard lines and zainy loops. Other highlights were the epic, crushing “Lovely Allen” and the spastic “Safari.” Overall great set that got everyone in attendance to bob their head and move around.


Next up, The Fiery Furnaces. Just some background for those not familiar, The Fiery Furnaces are a Brooklyn based outfit consisting of brother and sister Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger. While Matthew handles all instrumental duties on record (guitar, piano, drums, bass, lyrics, backing vocals), Eleanor offers the voice of the Fiery Furnaces. They’re known for their long songs, concept albums and playful mix of classical piano, intensely heavy korg sections and guitar based indie pop. Another trademark of their music is Eleanor’s unique vocal delivery. The mix of Cat Power/Patti Smith low vocals and Matthew’s strange, verbose lyrics makes for a most interesting combination. I can also say that Eleanor’s schizophrenic, almost Karen O like stage presence lives up perfectly to her unique vocals, sporting a checkered button down shirt and fiercely pounding her hand on her hip along to the mind boggling tempo and time signature changes of the music behind her. Joining her and Matthew on stage (Matthew played about three or four different Korgs and Keyboards) were Bob D’Amico on drums and Jason Loewenstein on bass, who were both incredible at their instruments and kept up perfectly with Matthew’s speedy piano bursts. Though most of the songs that they played were from their 2007 effort Widow City, the songs were at times unrecognizable. All of them were full of incredibly intense bursts of distorted keyboard and crunchy, overdriven bass, which would abruptly switch back to poppy piano lines without notice.  The overdrive on Loewenstein’s bass made it sound just like a guitar as he soloed wildly, reminiscent of Death From Above 1979’s Jesse Keeler. “Clear Signal From Cairo,” “Duplexes Of The Dead,” “Japanese Slippers,” “The Philadelphia Grand Jury,” “Blueberry Boat,” “Tropical Ice-Land,” “Single Again,” “Right By Conquest,” “Don’t Dance Her Down,” were all among the songs played, though I’m sure there were a few new ones in there. Fantastic set overall, highly recommended live.


As for the Super Furry Animals, I had never heard a song by them and after watching about four songs of their alternative rock antics, I had decided that I could have probably left it that way and lived my life without missing anything. Apparently they have a pretty big following though, as it was apparent by crowd reaction that most were there to see them but I just didn’t find them very appealing. Their second song “Golden Retriever” was fun though.


Despite the disappointing headliner, still a great show, well worth my 15 dollars. Definitely check this tour out if it’s coming near you. I believe Super Furry Animals are being replaced by A Place To Bury Strangers somewhere along the tour.


From Holy Fuck’s LP:


“Royal Gregory”


“Lovely Allen”


From The Fiery Furnaces’ Blueberry Boat:


“Straight Street”


“Blueberry Boat”


“My Dog Was Lost But Now He’s Found”


From Widow City:


“The Philadelphia Grand Jury”


“Clear Signal From Cairo”

Lip Syncing 101: Learn From The Best

You may have already seen this video somewhere, but it’s too good to pass up for those who haven’t had the privilege yet. For some reason, I don’t see think this led to a big outrage. The funniest parts of the video in countdown order:


10.The stage

9. The way the guitarist in the black shirt swayed back and forth. And the drummer. And the whole band.

8. The level of awfulness of their music.

7. The fact that such an awful band would lip sync. Sorry to break it to you, it won’t help.

6. The fall.

5. The confusion on the band member’s faces not knowing what to do after the fall.

4. His redeeming hop back on stage.

3. His hand motion before the fall.

2. “Maybe no one saw” attitude he had after falling. His amazing failure to lip sync his own song. The way he sits on his knees in the corner. the grandma still clapping in the audience. The way that the audience has no expression. Everything in the last 10 seconds.

1. The disappearance of his sunglasses after the fall.

Jens Lekman


Jens Lekman


Jens Lekman is a Swedish singer-songwriter who mixes mighty orchestral arrangements with a witty sense of humor and a powerful vocal delivery. His newest effort, Night Falls Over Kortedala (2007), is a departure from Lekman’s usual intimate piano/guitar pieces found on earlier albums Oh You’re So Silent Jens (2005) and When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog (2004) but was nevertheless met with praise by fans and critics alike. I first found about Lekman around Thanksgiving when my friend raved to me about his show. My friend spoke of Lekman’s humble stage presence, humorous stories and brilliantly costumed backing musicians.


So without hearing anything by the man, I picked up Night Falls Over Kortedala and it is by far one of my favorite releases of 2007. Instead of quiet piano ballads, Night Falls Over Kortedala expands on Lekman’s love for grandiose orchestral arrangement. Songs like “Sipping On The Sweet Nectar,” which features flute and brass sections reminiscent of a theme song to a 1970s game show, and “The Opposite Of Hallelujah,” with it’s melancholy yet oh-so-poppy violin sections and bouncy piano line, reflect Lekman’s best work to date. Lekman also proves that his humor is just a fresh and witty as always with songs like “Shirin,” about Lekman’s Iraqi hairdresser who runs a salon out of her garage so as to avoid getting business taxes from the government, “Your Arms Around Me,” in which Lekman croons in his Sinatra-esque voice about his girlfriend sneaking up on him while he is cutting up an avocado and incidentally cutting off the tip of his finger, and “A Postcard To Nina,” where Lekman hilariously talks about posing as a boyfriend for one of his friends who is a lesbian and does not want her strict Catholic father to know. The whole album is a delightful collection of pop masterpieces and although Lekman does use samples, most of the orchestral string/guitar/brass interplay is arranged by Lekman. So pick up Night Falls Over Kortedala if you have a chance and make sure to see if Lekman is stopping by your city on his upcoming March/April tour.


From Night Falls Over Kortedala

Jens Lekman- “The Opposite Of Hallelujah”

Jens Lekman- “A Postcard To Nina”


From Oh You’re So Silent Jens

Jens Lekman- “Pocketful Of Money”

Jens Lekman- “Black Cab”


Official Site | Amazon | iTunes

Where’s The Justice?

Justice has been served. Not until I read that Justice’s show at Madison Square Garden was moved to a smaller venue did I learn that Justice was planning on performing at Madison Square Garden. My response is similar to many; puzzled, confused, irritated. I have to agree with others that Justice comes off as really arrogant for attempting to play MSG; at $70 a ticket no less. Justice has some good music, but are not veterans as of just yet. Lesson to learn: Don’t fly too close to the sun. For more information and an enjoyable read, check out Brooklyn Vegan. Court adjourned.

Song of the Day – 1/24/08

It actually started out as one of those jam things I was talking about, where I just had a few friends who wanted to play more and we talked about getting together once a week and just jamming. We did that once or twice and I was like, “This is boring, I’m tired of jamming.” I want to actually play some songs. It comes and goes, the moods of what kind of music I feel like making. Sometimes jamming is just dull and boring, so I started learning some songs. I want to do this forever. I’d love to have this going on always, just to keep in practice of playing and recording but you don’t have to write the songs. We’re still interpreting music. I feel very much super involved in it. I feel as excited about doing this stuff as I have about any Built to Spill things, and I feel its every bit as valid as a Built to Spill record. (via Pop Matters)

Words from the mouth of Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch. Click below for more of the interview.

In 2006, Martsch sold 7-song discs of the Boise Cover Band album Unoriginal Artists on the Built to Spill tour that year. Why I hadn’t heard about it, I have no idea. But what I am certain of is this: This is a treasue.

The album consists of “reggae” covers of old soul tracks and even a little David Bowie. Since the release of You In Reverse Built to Spill have been touring constantly, but shy of the studio–this fills the void a little. If they are coming ANYWHERE near you, go see em. If you missed em, here’s the song of the day:

MP3: Boise Cover Band – “Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie Cover)”

This album is DEFINITELY worth the purchase: Newbury Comics | ShopIndi

More Doug Martsch related covers:

MP3: Boise Cover Band – “I Love You More (Lee Williams And The Cymbals Cover)”

MP3: Built to Spill – “Re-arrange (Gladiators Cover)”

MP3: Built to Spill – “Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd Cover) – Live”

and of course:

MP3: Built to Spill – “Cortez the Killer (Neil Young Cover) – Live”

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Disc a Day: Week 3

January 14th


Akron/Family – Love Is Simple

MP3: Akron/Family – There’s So Many Colors

MP3: Akron/Family – Phenomena

January 15th


The Books – Lost and Safe

MP3: The Books – Be Good to Them Always

MP3: The Books – It Never Changes to Stop

January 16th

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Sun City Girls – Torch of the Mystics

MP3: Sun City Girls – Esoterica of Abyssinya

MP3: Sun City Girls – Space Prophet Dogon

January 17th

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Band of Horses – Cease to Begin

MP3: Band of Horses – Is There A Ghost?

MP3: Band of Horses – The General Specific

January 18th



Library Tapes – Sketches

MP3: Library Tapes – First Day of Spring

MP3: Library Tapes – View From A Train 3

January 19th

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Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antartica

MP3: Modest Mouse – 3rd Planet

MP3: Modest Mouse – Paper Thin Walls

January 20th


Cut Chemist – The Audience’s Listening

MP3: Cut Chemist – The Garden

MP3: Cut Chemist – A Peak in Time

Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006 Vol I

Sometimes after browsing Pitchfork reviews I feel less informed than I did before I started reading. Don’t get me wrong, Pitchfork is an impressive site that has a lot to offer people. But, in my opinion, part of the problem with review sites is that they feel the need to “interpret” things when they don’t necessarily know what they are talking about. It comes across as a lot of BS, and especially with Pitchfork, after comparing their reviews with others, I find their over-criticalness a big hindrance.

There are probably better examples for making that particular point, but I felt that confusion after reading the Pitchfork review of the Eels new release, Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006 Vol I. The review somewhat makes it sound like the Eels have been unsuccessful, when in all truth, they have been successful in many ways. They have sold many albums over the years, and have had songs featured in commercials and Hollywood movies. Jason Crock, the Pitchfork reviewer, writes:

The covers just reinforce that Everett– or ‘E,’ Mr. E, MC Honky, whomever– is both more tasteful than he’s often given credit for, and often unable to take those tastes anywhere original or unexpected. That’s the frustrating duality that exists in even the Eels’ best singles, and maybe why there’s an air of undelivered potential on this, the portentously titled ‘Vol. 1’ of their hits.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t really know what that statement means. Everett is tasteful, but unoriginal? Also, the Eels have a big following. There are bands that obviously have more spotlight than them, but they still are a well-known band. I do not agree that Everett lacks originality, and while some of theirs songs may be faulty at times, find me an artist where that’s not the case.

I’m not the biggest fan of the Eels on the face of the earth, but like a lot of their songs, and loved their Live at Town Hall album. If you are new to the Eels, and would like to hear their best songs, check this album out. The songs are, in fact, the “Essential Eels.”

I really enjoy the Jon Brion remix on the album, “Climbing To The Moon.” It’s previously unreleased, and has a really nice beat, and banjo, and is just a really cool song. Some of my favorite Eels songs include: “I Need Some Sleep,” “Last Stop : This Time,” “Dirty Girl (Live At Town Hall),” “Trouble With Dreams,” “Love of the Loveless,” “Mr. E’s Beautiful Eyes,” “Fresh Feeling,” “I Like Birds.”

Meet The Eels: Essential Eels 1996 -2006 Vol I:

The Eels – Climbing To The Moon

The Eels – Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues

The Eels – Need Some Sleep

Site | iTunes | Amazon | Myspace

Rediscovering the Video – 1/19/07

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=6gLc4FVEYpY[/youtube]That’s The Flaming Lips WONDERFUL video for “Mr. Ambulance Driver”

MP3: The Flaming Lips – “Mr. Ambulance Driver”

Something I realized lately is that music videos, with the “perversion” “corruption” of MTV, the value of a music video is totally overlooked. So every once in a while I’m going to post some videos with the intent that you, the reader, look not only at the pretty moving pictures but analyze it as an entity itself. There are some amazing creators and artists that are missing the credit they deserve. It is a humble community that begs to receive credit long overdue. I’m not going to give my input out just yet, but I’d love to know how these move you. The underground of the music video business is exploding with creativity and character. Click below to read this installment of Rediscovering the Video.

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Andrew Bird – Soldier On EP

Andrew Bird is one of today’s most talented musicians. Listening to him makes me feel more intelligent. Right now, he is touring with a new EP entitled, Soldier On, that has only been released at his recent shows. It will be available to everyone soon. If you want to hear some new music from Bird, his Bob Dylan covers, and some reworks of some of the songs you already know, then check it out. I highly recommend this EP.

Soldier On EP:

Andrew Bird – Oh Sister

Andrew Bird – How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm

Armchair Apocrypha (2007):

Andrew Bird – Simple X

The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005):

Andrew Bird – Measuring Cups

Weather Systems (2003):

Andrew Bird – Don’t Be Scared

Official Web Site