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Location: Lafayette, Indiana, United States

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I jumped the neighbors fence at dawn...

Is it somehow pretentious to deem an album possibly worthy of the best of the year only two months on? I hope not- as this one will almost certainly be in my top five. I know, I know- it was only two weeks ago that I was raving about it and posting a few tracks. But this is for real, kids. Pitchfork seems to have gone all gaga over it now, with a somewhat fervent review of Drum's Not Dead and an interview that followed shortly after. There's even word that the guys had an early version of the album that they scrapped to create the finished version that's to be released. Fingers crossed that they do end up releasing those tracks as well, because I'm guessing they're worthy of being made public.

Amazon says:

DRUM'S NOT DEAD was partly inspired by the LIARS' relocation to Berlin from NYC after their 2004 album They Were Wrong, So We Drowned. From clanging guitars, martial beats, dense drones and pulverizing rhythms to high dreamy harmonies, off-kilter guitar lines and soothing samples of waves lapping, this is LIARS' finest, fullest and most unexpected album to date. Shredding all past reference points, DRUM'S NOT DEAD sees LIARS taking another seismic step forward, switching continents, seizing new musical territory and expanding their audio-visual ambitions.

I don't have any idea what's in the water over there in Berlin, but I know I could go for some sippins. Take in the album in its full-length glory, and then buy the crap out of it so that they can make another one.

Liars- Drums Not Dead

Password: "theindieconnection"

Preorder at Insound

Friday, February 24, 2006

A heartfelt seduction lasts a lifetime.


Luke Haines of the Auteurs has already been posted here on KYCW so why not go ahead and give some attention to one of his other projects, Black Box Recorder? Haines collaborated with one-time Jesus & Mary Chain member John Moore and Sarah Nixey on vocals to release their stunning debut album England Made Me in 1998. Sarah Nixey's sweet and seemingly angelic vocals provide a great contrast to the dark and sometimes ominous lyrics, including subjects like British domesticity, troubled childhood, and of course the old favourites of murder and sex.

Nixey's vocals at times sound jaded and weary, at other times knowing and secretive. Their first single "Child Psychology" was banned from radio play in the UK because of the repeated lyric in the chorus "life is unfair- kill yourself or get over it" and only aired on MTV after the band agreed to scramble the offending words. Luke Haines' dark humour and songwriting craftmanship shine throughout all three of Black Box Recorder's first three albums- England Made Me, The Facts Of Life, and Passionoia. And of course, it goes without saying that Ms. Nixey is quite easy on more than just the ears.

Black Box Recorder- Girl Singing In The Wreckage

Black Box Recorder- Child Psychology

Black Box Recorder- New Baby Boom

Black Box Recorder- Start As You Mean To Go

Black Box Recorder- The Art Of Driving

Everything’s going jackanory...

OK- video time for a Friday. I still remember watching this one for the first time on 120 Minutes. Does it get any better than this? The lads of Blur acting their most goofy Brit-poppish, still keeping with the underlying Great Escape theme of commercialism and the posh life of society's upperclass, not to mention the lovely ladies added in for good measure. And don't forget the seeming spoof of the Bohemian Rhapsody video with the kaleidoscope effect. Along with the clips for Parklife and Girls & Boys, this has to be at the top of my favourite Blur videos- even if it does seem it was done more as a lark at the bidding or the record company and in turn, the video's director (Damien Hirst.)

Watch it here

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Spoon in the sugar, knife in the butter- I want you.



I must admit that most of my knowledge of Gavin Friday's work up until recently involved only his collaborations with U2, Depeche Mode, and Sinead O'Connor. I'd always been curious and interested in his solo work and that with the group Virgin Prunes, mind you- I'd just never gone to the trouble of actually looking him up.

The Irish singer-songwriter seems to keep himself fairly busy, both with his own projects and his work with others that includes soundtracks such as In The Name Of The Father and The Boxer. In fact, it was his work with Bono on the title track from In The Name Of The Father that first got my attention. It wasn't until I listened to the album Shag Tobacco that I came to fully appreciate his voice. Friday seems to shift without the slightest trouble from a high angelic falsetto back down into a full, rich, loungey tone. One of the standout tracks from this album, "Angel" managed to find its way onto the soundtrack for Romeo & Juliet- and quite deservedly so.

First comparisons to pop into my head include Jarvis Cocker (obvious similarities considering his half-spoken half-sung delivery in some of the tunes.) Treading quite precariously between the territories of creepy and sexy, you wouldn't know whether it'd be better to slip into something comfortable or to head for the phone to dial 911. At other times, his dark and sinister understated vocal delivery almost bring to mind the voice of Leonard Cohen. Many of the songs depend as much on the rich atmosphere of synthesizers, bass, and percussion as they do on his vocals and lyrics. And wait- is that Jah Wobble on bass? The cover of the T. Rex tune "Slider" does considerable justice to the late Marc Bolan as well...

Gavin Friday and the Man Seezer- Shag Tobacco

Gavin Friday and the Man Seezer- Little Black Dress

Gavin Friday and the Man Seezer- Slider (T. Rex cover)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

No rhyme, no reason.



Just a handful of tunes that I've really been digging the last couple of days... or months. Or in the case of the GNR, songs I'm still trying to evaluate. If curiosity strikes you, feel free to download any or all of them. I promise they're all worthy. And I also promise that there's absolutely no theme whatsoever.

Mr. Bungle- Ars Moriendi

The Cure- Foxy Lady

Stone Roses- Here It Comes

Guns N' Roses- IRS

Lightning Seeds- Sugar Coated Iceberg

Spiritualized- Sway

Of Montreal- Rain (Beatles cover, live)

Fischerspooner- We Need A War

Pink Nasty- What The F*ck

Monday, February 20, 2006

Eyes betray what your words don't speak...



I actually had to search back through all the entries on here to find that I hadn't posted Mark Lanegan before. Surprising, as I've been a big fan, especially the last few months upon hearing his album with Isobel Campbell (formerly of Belle & Sebastian.) I think I've gradually come to prefer his solo work over his Screaming Trees output- and that's certainly saying a lot. One of the best bands to come out of the "grunge" era, they never quite got the same fame or success as that of Nirvana or Soundgarden. But Lanegan's songwriting talents were just as good or better than that of any other band of the time.

A good part of the reason I like Lanegan's music so much is its evocativeness. You don't need to listen to more than five seconds of a song before it sets a mood. Twangy guitars with plenty of reverb call to mind a dusty ghost town, with rival gunslingers face to face. Some of the tunes bring to mind a good number of the scenes from Twin Peaks, with a sleazy bar or a dirty deal going down. And Lanegan's voice just adds to the mix- his voice is weary and worn, making every lyric he comes up with believable, no matter how strange.

"Ballad Of Broken Seas" is his latest effort, collaborating with Isobel Campbell. I won't try to hide the fact that I've always been a huge fan of Belle & Sebastian and Isobel's as well. When I first heard that they were working together, it struck me as strange that the two would pair up. But once you hear the album, it instantly makes sense. Lanegan's raspy and eerie voice go right alongside Isobel's airy and innocent vocals to give the perfect contrast within the songs. Lanegan's lyrics and songwriting is as good as it's ever been, and I have a little hope that this isn't just a one-off project and that they'll work together again in the future...

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- Ramblin' Man

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- Deus Ibi Est

Mark Lanegan Band- Methamphetamine Blues

Mark Lanegan- Shiloh Town

Mark Lanegan- Little Sadie

Screaming Trees- Dollar Bill

Screaming Trees- Disappearing

GO BUY THAT STUFF ON AMAZON

Isobel on Myspace

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It feels just like when you wasn't famous!



Well, I'm working on posting something today but uploading's become a bit of a pain in the patoot. So in the meantime, I'll point you along this morning to a nice suprise that greeted me over at Fluxblog- a new tune from the Streets. I like on first listen!

Fluxblog

Did you guys use to be in a band together or something?



Let's talk musical similarities, or as some people like to say- "they ripped that song off!" Pretty simple in this case tune-wise, as the chords are basic and the fact that they sound so similar is that they're both capoed to the same fret (fifth, I believe) and so the sound is the same. What struck me as funny about the whole thing is one song was co-written and probably played on guitar by Harrison and the other (the first single from the album "Off The Ground") written by McCartney. The Wilburys tune was released in 1990 on "Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3" while Paul's was released in 1992. Doh- points awarded to George. I'm sure it was all a coincidence, but George does of course have his history with being accused of plagiarism (see "My Sweet Lord.")

Traveling Wilburys- New Blue Moon

Paul McCartney- Hope Of Deliverance

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Who is this captain and where do his friends live?



This track (and this band in general) have come to rock my socks off. Pitchfork's review of "We Were Wrong So We Drowned" sums their attitude up pretty well:

Sadistic is the only way to describe it-- a conscious effort toward slapping away all the little hands clamoring for more of They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top's antagonistic punk-funk. After winning enough early praise to make most lesser bands blush and acquiesce to the demands of a fanbase craving more of the same, Liars hinted that they were not in the business of catering to expectations. You want the battery (acid)-powered post-punk that drove all the Williamsburg hipsters wild in 2001? You want the brittle aggression of their debut? Well, you'll get wind-up toy funeral dirges and oblique, numbing sound collages, and you'll like it! ...Or leave it. It seems Liars don't much care either way.


Or for their debut album "They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top..."

These guys eat ground glass. They're that nasty. You may like their music, but don't forget that they hate you. You didn't do anything; they're just sick of your bullshit. And what're you gonna say back? The singer's a towering, lanky Australian named Angus-- that's Scottish for "Bubba"-- and the music's a gray nightmare of art-punk and noisy beats. It's vicious, but you can dance to it!

Definitely for most a "difficult" band to get into, they have an element of tribal music, along with a tendency toward repetitive, often hypnotic chants. Think of a more down-home (and American) alternative to Einstürzende Neubauten (as heard previously here on KYCW.) And they beat even the Hives in lengthy and entertaining song titles like "If You're A Wizard Then Why Do Wear Glasses?" "They Don't Want Your Corn They Want Your Kids," or "Nothing Is Ever Lost Or Can Be Lost My Science Friend."

And Liars certainly haven't lost their penchant for bizarre song titles on their upcoming album "Drums Not Dead," to be released next week. And what's this? Is this some sort of a concept album with a continuing theme? Don't ask me- I've listened to the thing at least half a dozen times and still haven't quite figured it out, although the tracklisting would suggest as much.

1 Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack!
2 Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
3 A Visit from Drum
4 Drums Gets a Glimpse
5 It Fit When I Was a Kid
6 The Wrong Coat for You Mt. Heart Attack
7 Hold You, Drum
8 Its All Blooming Now Mt. Heart Attack
9 Drum and the Uncomfortable Can
10 You, Drum
11 To Hold You, Drum
12 The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack


Enough of my rambling, though- here's a small sampling of their music for the brave and so-inclined...

Liars- It Fit When I Was A Kid (video)

Liars- It Fit When I Was A Kid

Liars- Loose Nuts On The Veladrome

Liars Official Website

Buy Liars stuff on Insound

Friday, February 10, 2006

Sitting cross-legged on the floor...



Quickie for the weekend, folks. I've always liked Local H- if you haven't checked out Pack Up The Cats it's a pretty solid straight-ahead rock album from start to finish. But here's the Illinois boys covering an old Chicago classic, and quite well, I might add...

Local H- 25 Or 6 To 4




And I've been on a bit of a Roxy Music kick here lately, so I thought I'd throw in one of my favourite tracks from For Your Pleasure. There are some great solo Bryan Ferry live versions of this tune, too.

Roxy Music- In Every Dream Home A Heartache

Thursday, February 09, 2006

There's not enough hours in our day...



The quite prolific, always terrific, and often underrated Gomez are to release their new album "How We Operate" in May. This will be their fifth proper album and definitely one to look forward to. Their first album "Bring It On" is nothing less than a classic and debut albums don't get much better. Not only are their albums always a great mix of catchy, upbeat pop tunes and slower, more moody songs, but they also seem to be a bunch of totally down-to-earth guys. I'll keep this short and just let the tunes speak for themselves- if you haven't had a chance to check out Gomez before you'll definitely want to give them a listen. And from the sound of the preview track off the upcoming album, we're in for more great music from the guys...

Gomez- Whippin' Picadilly

Gomez- Make No Sound

Gomez- Get Myself Arrested

Preview "See the World"

GO OFF on Amazon

woxy.com- the future of rock and roll.



"It's like a really cool mix tape that never ends." Well, it turns out that it actually could end. In my estimation, it's the best radio station on the face of the earth. But this week it was announced by the staff (all four of them in number) that the attempt to get advertising to fund their operation wasn't working out and now they're trying to go listener-supported. How much? Ten bucks a month. If it weren't for WOXY, chances are I wouldn't have ever been introduced to bands including Mclusky, the National, Hot Hot Heat, the New Pornographers- the list could go on for days. Here's a random playlist just from the last hour...

9:03 am The W.A.N.D. The Flaming Lips
9:06 am Otherwise Morcheeba
9:11 am Our Time Is Coming Soon (WOXY) The High Dials
9:16 am Love Is Stronger... Robert Pollard
9:20 am If The Straits Of Magel.. Preston School Of Industry
9:24 am The Poor, The Fair... Silver Jews
9:29 am Whenever You're Ready Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
9:32 am Hiccup They Shoot Horses Don't They
9:37 am With Candy Lilys
9:40 am The Good In Everyone Sloan
9:42 am Never Saw It As Union The High Strung
9:45 am My Life As A Creep The Minus 5
9:47 am Raspberry Beret Hindu Love Gods
9:51 am The Funeral Band Of Horses


Great stuff, eh? You're not going to find more musical goodness and variety on one radio station- I can just about guarantee it. So if you're able to cough up ten bucks for at least the first month- please click the link below do so. They'd appreciate it- as would many, many listeners around the world. And Nick Lachey- if you're reading this, you totally need to GO OFF and hook their asses up with some bank. Especially now that you don't have that girl draining your pocket buying Chicken Of The Sea. Is that chicken or is it tuna?

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Home-spun desperation's knowing...



My enjoyment of Interpol lasted about two weeks before I felt the need to move on to something else. Not to say that I don't like them- it's just that there are many other bands that I find more exciting that I'd rather spend my time on. Nonetheless, I know a lot of people who still seemed to be enthralled with them so I thought I'd toss this one in. Recorded live in-studio (!) in France, I believe...

Interpol- The Black Sessions

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New Dresden Dolls!


You can consider me as happy as... well, someone who unexpectedly got their hands on the eagerly anticipated sophomore album from the Dresden Dolls. Due to be released in April, "Yes, Virginia" is certainly a worthy follow-up to their debut. Don't worry, no crazy full band change-up on this one- and the trademark Dresden Dolls quirkiness is still quite intact. Lyrics regarding sex changes and do-it-yourself abortions (!) make it pretty apparent that they haven't given up their slightly bizarre take on the world, and Amanda's delivery and style is still as sexy as ever. No immediate favorite along the lines of "Coin-Operated Boy" is easy to find upon first listen, but I do have a few favorite tracks already...

Dresden Dolls- Sex Changes

Dresden Dolls- Shores Of California

Dresden Dolls- Mandy Goes To Med School

News clip with the band on rootv


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