Song of the Day – 5/30/08

Well, it’s been a ridiculous month for all of us here. I’ve been getting done with school, making that annual trip home to Wisconsin and putting together a new band for the summer. Most of all, though, I’ve been hearing totally great music. My apologies for not letting you in on my level sooner, but here we go.

Sign this band:

Just a block from my house, Great Scott is a fantastic bar for hearing new indie music in a comfortable atmosphere.  I have no qualms about running down the street on a dull night and checking out what may be my new favorite bands. That’s  just what happened with Boston’s own You Can Be A Wesley. I knew a few of these kids from classes and around campus, but had no idea that they were as original, creative and tight as found. Song after song (even a Cardigan’s cover) I was enthralled–not only by the music but the uncontrollable energy: happiness, eminating from the stage.

I managed to lock down one of their brilliant ep’s, Feed The Moon, Starve The Sun. Recorded sometime in 2007, the EP displays the usual characteristics. It is smooth, interesting and most of all, they’ve continued to improve in a serious way. Their live show surpasses their formidable ep in every way. While Feed the Moon, Starve the Sun definitely kicks a lot of ass, I can’t wait to hear its live interpretation.

As a band, the group is superbly understanding of what roles each member plays. A large part of truly original music is the understanding of placement. The bass and drumming are efficient and purposeful. On lead guitar, Winston MacDonald has foresight, to say the least. Using the right notes, and only the right notes, the solos and fills come out in triumphant fashion giving the impression that these kids in their early twenties are much much more mature. Saara, a wonderful presence, fulfills her duties as a lead singer and guitarist with admirable intensity. Her voice has a beautiful, piercing quality that can only be described as “addictive.”

They can remind me of BSS, Built to Spill and any number of bands while still maintaining their own energy. The most important thing to remember with a group like this is how young they are. In such a short time they’ve developed an organization and ambition that will continue to bear fantastic results. When I say “Sign This Band.” it’s because they’re just waiting to be found.

MP3: You Can Be A Wesley – “Feed the Moon, Starve the Sun”

MP3: You Can Be A Wesley – “Balloon Head”

MP3: You Can Be A Wesley – “Summerhomes”

Support You Can Be a Wesley: Home | MySpace

Wesley is going to be touring the east coast in August, so if you can, check em out!

Sunny Levine – Love Rhino

I came across Sunny Levine’s music a few weeks ago, and haven’t stopped listening since. He has a lot of influences, it’s hard to make an exact comparison to other musicians. Songs like “Relations” bring to mind Dave Matthews. Other songs remind me of Jack Johnson, but less acoustic based. At times, I also hear Beck a little. Even if you aren’t a fan of Matthews or Johnson, check out Levine. He has his own sound.

Levine’s recently released solo album, Rhino Love, is Californian electro/soul reggae/pop. I like most of the songs on the album, the only one I really dislike is the single for the album, “Daylight.” It sounds like a single. The rest of the songs range from decent to great. I’ve been listening to “Love Rhino” the most. I really like “Relations,” “Glass Jaw,” and the banjo in “Love On The Rocks.”

Sunny Levine is from Santa Monica, California. His family is deeply involved with the music industry, as his grandfather is Quincy Jones, his father is Stewart Levine (Simply Red, Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Dr. John, Minnie Ripperton, and Jamie Cullum), and his uncle is producer QD3 (Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube). Love Rhino is out on Quango Records. He was in the band Mata Hari for a short time a decade ago, but before releasing this solo album, has mostly been producing (The Happy Mondays, Mickey Avalon, Pete Yorn, and Hugh Masekela).

Love Rhino (2008):

Sunny Levine – Love Rhino

Sunny Levine – Relations

Site | Amazon | iTunes | Myspace | KCRW

New Maps & Atlases Song



Maps & Atlases have released a new song via Myspace titled “You And Me And The Mountain” from their upcoming EP of the same name due out June 15th on Sergent House Records. The four Chicago lads first EP Trees, Swallows, Houses was re-released last year and it’s blend of Don Caballero noodling and tapping, poppy drum beats and wacky vocals made it one of the most fun records of the year. The new song isn’t as instrumentally impressive or wild but is catchy nonetheless. If you wanna hear some of the coolest tapping guitar work, listen to “Every Place Is A House” from their first EP. Here you go.


“You And Me And The Mountain” On Myspace

“Every Place Is A House” from Trees, Swallows, Houses (2007)


Electric President – Sleep Well

I’ve always been a big fan of the electronic/pop duo Electric President. I still listen to their 2006 self-titled release all the time, and one member, Ben Cooper, has a really neat solo project called Radical Face. An obvious comparison for Electric President, for those who need it, is the Postal Service, though Electric President combines electronic with real instruments.

Electric President have a new album coming out June 24 (digitally, June 6) called Sleep Well. I’ve been previewing it over the last few weeks, and even though I don’t like it as much as their debut album, it contains some great songs.

The best songs on the album include “We Will Walk Through Walls,” “Robophobia,” “Ether,” and “It’s like a Hearbeat, Only It Isn’t.” “We Will Walk Through Walls” is by far my favorite—I can’t stop listening to it. “Ether” is a beautiful instrumental, one of the best I have heard in a while. The song adds a lot to the album and is one of the reasons I love Electric President so much. The guys are passionate about music, and it comes through in their songs. I feel great when listening to them. This is definitely going to be one of my summer albums.

Electric President is Ben Cooper and Alex Kane. They are based out of Jacksonville, Florida and signed to morr music. I know more about Ben because of his solo project, Radical Face, and I would highly recommend you check out his blog. Though he doesn’t update it all that often, it’s really enjoyable to read, and he often shares extra songs and instrumentals he creates. One of his posts from 5 months ago was about his piano:

But a couple weeks ago, something lame happened — my piano died. I’ve had this piano for about two years. It cost me nothing. There was an ad in the local paper saying “Free Piano If You Are Willing to Pick it Up and Move It Yourself.” It was an old flat top wurlitzer upright, and it sounded like a haunted house. The people just wanted it out of their living room. I was happy to oblige.


These guys are awesome. Please support them when the album drops in June.

Sleep Well (2008):

Electric President- Monsters

S/T (2006)…recorded in 2004-2005:

Electric President- Grand Machine No. 14

Electric President – Good Morning, Hypocrite

You Have The Right To Remain Awesome EP(2006):

Electric President -Wearing Influences On Our Sleeve-less T-Shirts

Radical Face – Ghost:

Radical Face- Welcome Home, Son

Radical Face – Wrapped in Piano Strings

Site| Amazon | iTunes| Myspace




Pork and Beans Music Video

[youtube][/youtube]This is probably one of the best videos I’ve seen all year. Basically, Weezer combines some of the most popular internet videos of the past couple of years. It’s like their “Buddy Holly” video, except instead of Happy Days, it’s all of teh internet. It seems like they even got some of the actual people to do some original work for the video. Instead of Weezer creating their own viral video, they create a spoof of the whole idea of viral video. How very meta of them.

See how many videos you can recognize!

We’ll post the links to all the original videos we’ve seen in this new Weezer video and if we’ve forgotten any, let us know…

Continue reading

Fleet Foxes – S/T

Sub Pop is continually discovering new talent and doesn’t waste time getting bands signed to their label. One of their most recent additions is the band, Fleet Foxes. They can be compared to My Morning Jacket and another folk/pop band that we recently featured, the Born Ruffians. There is actually a striking similarity between Fleet Foxes and Born Ruffians, so much so that, at times, a listener might think they are the same band. Their band histories are also similar, in that both chose to alter their bands’ course and focus on harmonies.

“White Winter Hymnal” is my favorite song on their upcoming self-titled June 3rd release. It contains, by far, the best harmony on the album. I’m obsessed. The album has its strengths and weaknesses, as some tracks are a bit dry and drawn out towards the end of the album, like “Meadowlark” and the harmonies can feel misplaced. I definitely enjoy the first half of the album more than the second half. Overall, though, I still really enjoy this band, and their good songs are excellent.

Fleet Foxes is based in Seattle, and band members include Robin Pecknold, Skye Skjelset, Nicholas Peterson, Casey Wescott, and Christian Wargo. They will be heading out on a large tour soon, so be sure to check out for dates near you. Also, until the new album releases you can get your fix by buying their EP Sun Giant which just came out in April. The songs are different than the ones on their upcoming debut.

Fleet Foxes -S/T( June 2008)

Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes – Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

Sun Giant EP:

Fleet Foxes – Mykonos

iTunes | Amazon | Myspace |Label| The Stranger (Seattle coverage; interview)