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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Your pretty pretty petticoat.



No matter how hard I tried to resist, I couldn't help but getting a bit stuck on the tunes of the Kooks. It's almost like they were written just to get stuck in one's head- that's determined catchiness. The voice still brings to mind Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits (but without the cloying nature, don't worry.) Maybe it's in the boyish longing in the singing and the lyrics themselves, but songs like "She Moves In Her Own Way" and "Ooh La" both have the same kind of innocent desire in them that at first turned me off but then ended up working their way onto repeat on i-Tunes.

The Kooks- Ooh La

The Kooks on Myspace




I must admit I'm a sucker for just about anything the Cardigans do, whether it's because of the actual great tunes or the sly coo of Nina's vocals. And they do have a wicked way with a cover, whether it's famously with the tunes of Black Sabbath or REM or in this case, Thin Lizzy. I've heard Belle and Sebastian cover this one live when they were playing Chicago but this version tops even that, giving it a just perfect loungey groove.

The Cardigans- The Boys Are Back In Town




What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a... Christmas tune from Fiona Apple? OK, it makes no sense but I've been enraptured by this short little ditty for a week or two. Just Fiona's delivery is enough for me to love it- normally she's serious and for the large part angry in her tunes but here she's seriously and boisterously full of holiday spirit. How could you resist such a bouncy Christmas tune?

Fiona Apple- Frosty The Snowman




And while we're on the matter of songs that have snuck their way into my brain and stayed there like a catchy musical worm, let's move on to Kamikaze Saucers. I'll admit that I'm a bit partial first because I know the singer, but damn if that riff isn't catchy every time it kicks in. I still don't think I can understand more than about three words of the whole song (of course the intro to the chorus) but no matter. They call themselves "somewhat like a cross between The Pixies, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads." Hmmm... I'm not sure about that, but it's awfully addictive either way.

Kamikaze Saucers- Michael Flannery Is A Sexual Tyrannosaurus

Kamikaze Saucers on Myspace

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How to make Creep disappear completely...



While the fans seem to side with Radiohead's "Just" as their favorite track of the band's, Thom Yorke chose "How To Disappear Completely." Describing it simply as "the most beautiful thing we ever did, I think," I might just have to agree with him if it weren't for the existance of a certain work called "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" Read a bit more in the NME story, including details on Thom's next single- "Analyse."

Radiohead- How To Disappear Completely (live soundboard recording)

Radiohead- Street Spirit (Fade Out) (live soundboard recording)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Suffocating without a word.



I always loved the way Lou Reed's voice gets all choked up when he gets emotional in a song- I put on The Blue Mask (and more specifically "Waves Of Fear") this morning and got goosebumps listening to it... the rasping tone of his vocals make the subject matter in the lyrics all the more poignant. It doesn't get any better than Lou Reed at his best. If you've not already been exposed to the man, and are any kind of fan of rock music- go directly to albums like The Blue Mask, New York, or Magic and Loss.

Lou Reed- Waves of Fear




I've long considered Bowie's Outside to be fairly underrated- if not as an entire piece then certainly for some of the individual tracks on it. There's a concept line running throughout- something about a strange demented future-world- but I've never really understood it. There are a handful of connecting segue tracks that are for the most part Bowie himself with voice pitched up to sound like a young girl's or crazed man. Eno lent his hand in the production of the album, complete with bizarre and macabre artwork. Tales of murder and cyberspace are told with elements of industrial music woven in places throughout...

David Bowie- We Prick You


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And while we're speaking of Mr. Brian Eno, why not give a bit of attention to his own work? Certainly one of my favorite producers of all time (along with the likes of Sir George Martin and Nigel Godrich), Eno has had a number of different phases musically. One of the founding members of Roxy Music, Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (whew) has been one of the most important (if not THE most important) figures in ambient music. He's also worked notably with bands including Talking Heads and U2 (producing such classics as the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby.) His solo debut Here Come The Warm Jets is nothing less than a classic- sounding on the verge of maniacal madness in both lyrics and distorted layers of keyboard and guitars. Insane genius.

Brian Eno- Baby's On Fire

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm gonna lay back down again...


The Saddle Creek crew

The ever-so-prolific (except when it comes to a second Desaparecidos LP) Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes will be releasing a collection of rarities titled Noise Floor on October 24th. Bright Eyes is one of those few acts that records and releases b-sides and one-off tracks as good as their proper album cuts so it's definitely a worthwhile collection. From Saddle Creek:

Bright Eyes to release rarities collection Noise Floor CD/LP on October 24; CD pre-orders shipping from the online store later this week.

A collection of Bright Eyes rarities recorded 1998-2005 will be released as Noise Floor CD/LP on October 24. The double LP version of this release will include 5 tracks not available on the CD. Orders for the Noise Floor CD will begin shipping on October 13 from the online store, where you can also listen to a stream of the full CD. The LP is a bit delayed and will begin shipping from here as soon as possible, most likely sometime around October 19.

Bright Eyes - Noise Floor
Noise Floor collects selected Bright Eyes singles, one-offs, unreleased tracks, collaborations and covers recorded between 1998 and 2005. Variously recorded to cassette four-track, minidisc, reel-to-reel tape machine, ADAT and computer, these songs trace Bright Eyes' evolution from basement project to band of international repute. Many of these gems previously lost to out-of-print obscurity are hereby resurrected.

Noise Floor Track Listing and Song Origination
01. Mirrors and Fevers (Don't Be Frightened of Turning The Page EP - 2000)
02. I Will Be Grateful for This Day (Sub Pop Singles Club 7" - 2001)
03. Trees Get Wheeled Away (Lost & Found, Volume 1 compilation - 2003)
04. Drunk Kid Catholic (3 Hit Songs From Bright Eyes - UK single - 2003)
05. Spent on Rainy Days (Home Series on Post Parlo Records - 2002)
06. The Vanishing Act (Too Much of a Good Thing 7" - 1999)
07. Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man (Motion Sickness 7" - 2000)
08. Blue Angels Air Show (DIW Magazine 7" - 2002)
09. Weather Reports (Unreleased 7" with M. Ward)
10. Seashell Tale (Unreleased 7" with M. Ward)
11. Bad Blood (Album Leaf split 7" - 2001)
12. Amy in the White Coat (Vinyl-only B-side on the No Beginning to the Story EP - 2002)
13. Devil Town (The Late Great Daniel Johnston compilation - 2004)
14. I've Been Eating (For You) (3 New Hit Songs From Bright Eyes - UK single - 2001)
15. Happy Birthday to Me (Feb. 15) (3 New Hit Songs From Bright Eyes - UK single - 2001)
16. Motion Sickness (Motion Sickness 7" - 2000)
17. Act of Contrition (Second Thoughts compilation - 2000) *
18. Hungry for a Holiday (Album Leaf split 7" - 2001) *
19. When the Curious Girl Realizes She Is Under Glass Again (Sub Pop singles club 7" - 2001) *
20. Entry Way Song (Amos House Vol. 2 compilation 2002) *
21. It's Cool, We Can Still Be Friends (Transmission One: Tea At The Palaz of Hoon compilation - 2000) *
* included only on vinyl 2xLP


And a couple of tracks to whet appetites:

Bright Eyes- Drunk Kid Catholic

Bright Eyes- Spent On Rainy Days


Also- check out a performance from the always fantastic Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins tonight (October 13) on Late Night with Conan O'Brien...

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins and Jonathon Rice

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the zzzzzz...



You know what? If you're the singer of a band as famed and great as Blur is/was, your projects really can't be taken too lightly. White label releases and anonymous turns are all well and good, but don't just throw off the cuff tunes out to the public willy-nilly. Sorry, you've got a reputation to uphold if you want to keep your credibility.

It's with this thinking that I listen to the first release and exposure of Damon Albarn's new band The Good, the Bad, and the Queen (along with Paul Simonon, Peter Tong, and Tony Allen- hardly lightweights.) "Herculean" is anything but its namesake. Sounding like it easily could've been a deep album cut from Blur's Think Tank or the either of the Gorillaz LPs, it just stumbles and mosies for four minutes with a meager melody and little progression from start to finish. It'll be released and in turn deleted as a single October 30th. A first glimpse at a new side project for Damon? Lets hope it's not entirely indicative of the album proper...

The Good, the Bad, and the Queen- Herculean

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's Johnny's birthday...











Sufjan Stevens- What Goes On

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I cannot just give in...



If you dig shimmery shoegaze guitars and soaring vocals- check out Fell City Girl's "Swim." I can't quite place the similar band that they remind me of, but it's good stuff...

Fell City Girl- Swim (video)


The horns and the voice together both give the Rumble Strips a very retro 80's feel, and who doesn't like a road movie theme done on bumper cars?

The Rumble Strips- Oh Creole! (video)


Here's a zip file of the new Jim Reid (Jesus and Mary Chain) single "Dead End Kids" which I'm digging at the moment...

Jim Reid- Dead End Kids


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