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Location: Lafayette, Indiana, United States

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lay back in the sun...



Ah- a sunny day here in the Midwest... and I'm stuck inside working. Might as well waste my time posting some songs here with a sunny theme then, eh? Done and done. Oh, and speaking of work, I really should get some done so I'll let you sort out these solar tunes yourself... don't forget to set your clocks forward, kids.

Clem Snide- Moment In The Sun

George Harrison & Eric Clapton- Here Comes The Sun (Live In Japan)

Primal Scream- Higher Than The Sun

Doves- Catch The Sun

Powderfinger- Waiting For The Sun

Cats On Fire- Praying On A Sunny Day

Flaming Lips- Assassination Of The Sun

Beulah- Burned By The Sun

Elefant- Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid

Pretty Things- The Sun

The Zephyrs- Setting Sun

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Try to find a boy who's gonna be all the things I ain't...

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Another quickie today- I'll just drop a couple new tunes in here. Yes, I've posted both Morrissey and the Streets recently on KYCW- so sue me. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the b-sides for Morrissey's "You Have Killed Me," particularly "Human Being." It brings to mind the style of another song that I can't quite place, but it's certainly not a bad familiarity. In my eyes it could've easily been worthy of inclusion on the album.

Along with that, the Streets Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living leaked over the weekend (finally!) but I haven't really gotten around to giving it a proper listen. More crazy shenanigans, more loco chorus singing. I'll just throw in the two tracks that caught me on first listen- funny stuff.

Morrissey- Human Being

Morrissey- Good Looking Man About Town

The Streets- Can't Con An Honest Jon

The Streets- Hotel Expressionism

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Some things never change- nothing's gonna change that.


(check those beards- that's how they grow 'em in Idaho, kids)

Who would have thought that Built To Spill would abruptly change their entire sound and style with their new album You In Reverse? Hopefully no one- 'cause it certainly ain't happening with this one. But that's not disappointing to me at all. Is it wrong to love strange and experimental bands and at the same time be comforted by the familiar standby approach of others?

This album took the band five years, as opposed to their customary one or two. Even before those trademark Doug Martsch vocals kick in, the guitar alone instantly clues you in that you're listening to Built To Spill. If you're a fan of some of the somewhat lengthier jams, they're still in there, too. And a good helping of Doug's customarily clever lyrics are sprinkled in for good measure. Those fans looking for a new sound or direction from Built To Spill should look elsewhere. But if you're looking for another solid album worth of songs from a great band who seldom disappoints, you've found it with this one.

That being said, I must admit that ska-like tail end of "Mess With Time" is a nice little switch-up. And the guitar totally goes off at then end of "Just A Habit..."

Built To Spill- Goin' Against Your Mind

Built To Spill- Traces

Built To Spill- Conventional Wisdom

Built To Spill- Mess With Time

Preorder at Amazon

Oi, oi- c'mere, ya furry geezer!



Mikee Skinner's been stealing stuffed animals- cause he's hardcore like that.

From NME:

Mike Skinner - tiger thief!
The Streets man comes clean over German big cat
Mike Skinner has apologised for stealing a tiger while in Germany.

The Streets man admitted he had taken the giant stuffed animal on March 10.
"Apologies to the German authorities," he wrote on his band's website The-streets.co.uk. "The tiger was stolen from a motorway service station at approximately 3am the other night between Hamburg and Koln I think, or maybe it was between Hamburg and Berlin. My facts aren't sure."

Skinner then explained that he liberated the furry beast after feeling sorry for it.

"He was looking very lonely on the top shelf next to the porn and engine oil," explained the rapper, adding that he was hoping for some sort of tiger amnesty.

"The guy didn't see him jacked from the store and we understand that he was worth 200 euros," confessed Skinner. "If you get in contact maybe we can return Tony (as we have named him) in exchange for amnesty from deportation and/or criminal charges being pressed."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

You could use a change of tune...



Sometimes my descriptive skills of persuasion in the case of music escapes me. Or is that always? How do you convince someone through words that a band or songs in particular are worth listening to? It's much easier in person- "here, give this a listen and see what you think." In the case of music blogs, I often find myself so overwhelmed by the number of artists that are new to me, and in turn, various downloadable mp3s, that I tend to skim much more than I ought to. Ah well, let's give this one a shot.

The first thing that struck me upon recently giving this album the first listen since the months following it's release were the similarities it had with some of the Decemberists work. First off, the band and various other characters are dressed in old-timey costume; a circus side-show feel runs through the pictures complete with a strong man weight-lifter, crystal ball reader, magician, and dancing girls. A few subjects that would by no means seem out of place in the liner notes of a Decemberists album.

Then we move on to the actual comparisons and musical kinship between Grant Lee Buffalo frontman Grant Lee Phillips and the Decemberists' Colin Meloy. Many of their tunes revolve around evocative lyrics of another century, complete with phrases and descriptions that easily bring the picture and story into your mind.

Of course, neither songwriter ever lets their talent for eloquent and detailed lyrics get in the way of catchy, memorable melodies or great musicianship. Ukeleles, tack pianos, chamberlains (god bless Jon Brion,) sleigh bells- all part of a great mix. And pardon me, but what the crap is a Vibraslap? By the way, that's none other than Robyn Hitchcock on backing vocals and harmonica on "My, My, My."

Grant Lee Buffalo- A.P.B.

Grant Lee Buffalo- Change Your Tune

Grant Lee Buffalo- Fine How'd Ya Do

Grant Lee Buffalo- Everybody Needs A Little Sanctuary

Grant Lee Buffalo- My My My

Get Jubilee for less than ten dollars at Insound

Monday, March 20, 2006

If there was a sequel...

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OK, so I'm still raving about the Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan album- easily one of my favorite albums released so far this year. And that's even before listening to this interview on NPR. Yes, the voice and Scottish accent leaves me struggling to be objective. She's already finished up a short tour of the US but has a few dates in the UK scheduled...

Isobel Campbell's Official Website

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- Deus Ibi Est

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- (Do You Wanna) Come Walk With Me?

Speaking of interviews, there's a good one with Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls at 411Mania. Their second album Yes Virginia... will be released April 18th.

In unrelated news, can you say "merchandising that never needed to happen?" Yeah, that's The John Lennon Jewelry Collection. That's right- not for charity, folks. How atrocious.

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Massive Attack are playing a single show in Gloucestershire on July 30, as part of the Forestry Commission's annual forest shows. I really have no idea what the Forestry Commission does, but I'm guessing it benefits the environment? Massive Attack's upcoming greatest hits collection Collected is out next week, but apparently not here in the US. A new album is in the works, hopefully toward the beginning of 2007.

Some fantastic line-ups at SXSW this year, as expected. Carl Libertine's new band Dirty Pretty Things played a five song show, following a couple of my favorite new UK bands including iForward Russia! and The Rumble Strips. Now they're off for a European tour, the dates of which can nearly be made out here...



And last, there's a review of the Boston Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins show here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

There's a chill in the air- and it's catching!



Well, I sit here- a new convert to the Fiery Furnaces. Before this new CD Bitter Tea, I must admit that I wasn't at all taken. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to like them. I listened to grandma sing and thought "OK, am I missing something here?" Blueberry Boat? Not so much. And even upon my first listen to Bitter Tea, I had some of the same doubts. Are they trying to be difficult? Avant-garde for the sake of avant-garde usually equals a misstep by my calculations. Backward vocals? Yeah, check that one. Again? Yeah, we get it. Strange half-sung half-spoken vocals? Yep, it's in there. And how many times must I click back to iTunes to figure out if a new song has started or not?

But those were the preliminary complaints. Upon a second, third, fourth listen- I just gave up and took it for what it was. Wait, I still don't know what it is, but I know I like it. Is she giving street addresses? Directions to the local 7-11? I'd be the wrong person to ask, but I know that when that beat kicks in midway through, it's pretty great. Of course, I'm sure they're still playing with my head. It's becoming more and more difficult for me to explain why I like or dislike music, but so far I really don't have a problem with that. I think I don't have "the wrong Eleanor Friedberger" after all... and that tea's only bitter on first taste.

Fiery Furnaces- I'm In No Mood

Fiery Furances- Oh Sweet Woods

Fiery Furnaces- Bitter Tea

Fiery Furnaces Official Website

Pre-order on Amazon

Monday, March 13, 2006

Don't let it fool you like it nearly fooled me...



I still haven't gotten a chance to come even close to "digesting this one properly" but I hope it will still grow on me some more. Not that it's at all bad, mind you- but upon the first couple of listens I just can't convince myself it's quite up to past Gomez standards. But in the meantime here are a few of the tracks in case you just can't wait and want to decide a bit for yourself...

Gomez- See the World

Gomez- Hamoa Beach

Gomez- Tear Your Love Apart

And just for kicks, here's the two tracks they recorded last year for the Lennon Tribute- good stuff...

Gomez- Hey Bulldog

Gomez- Instant Karma

Friday, March 10, 2006

There is no such thing in life as normal...



Ah yes- to finally get my hands on both the new Gomez and Morrissey albums within the span of twenty-four hours. At this point, I'm a bit more sold on the Morrissey. The tunes are catchy and have that typical Morrissey wit and flair upon first listen. Tongue in cheek lyrics, still giving the nudge to the States, and still with his unique point of view on life, the universe, and everything. Who would've thought that a children's choir would work so well within a Moz tune? A nice touch added there to "The Youngest Was The Most Loved." I've only given the whole album one proper listen through, but here are my favourites so far...

Morrissey- I Will See You In Far Off Places

Morrissey- The Youngest Was The Most Loved

Morrissey- In The Future When All's Well

Morrissey- I Just Want To See The Boy Happy

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I live to fall asleep...



Hey Manics fans- it's James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers sleeping in the studio- click here!

OK, not so great- but kinda funny.

There's a ton of Manics videos and interviews here.

Manic Street Preachers- A Secret Society

Manic Street Preachers- Bright Eyes (live)

Manic Street Preachers- Motown Junk (acoustic)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I Bet You Ruin This Tune With A Needless Cover



Hey look kids! It's Sugababes covering Arctic Monkeys- I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. No offense to Sugababes- as I've liked a few of their tunes here and there, but no thank you!

I am a weapon of mass destruction.

Don't know why, but I've been in a headbangin' sort of mood today. From new Ministry to Mclusky's greatest hits, it's been some more heavy duty stuff today (you know, as compared to your Belle & Sebastian, Nick Drake, Rilo Kiley- that sort of thing.)

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I haven't had a chance to give the new Ministry album Rio Grande Blood a proper listen all the way through, but I'm fairly digging on the title track. Sampling Bush- and what would you expect? May not be the best sort of tune to stand the test of time, but it's a bit of a statement on affairs, if nothing else. Bush never rocked this hard.

Ministry- Rio Grande Blood


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I first heard Mclusky a couple years back on WOXY (there's another plug- go there and check 'em out and give money if you can.) In fact, Mclusky's "To Hell With Good Intentions" is one of the first tunes that really grabbed me about woxy. There's always been a special place in my heart for rock trios, and the fact that they're Scottish and have some clever lyrics helps, too. They've since debanded, sadly- and never quite got the breakthrough that they deserved. A B-sides collection has followed and the hits compilation Mcluskyism is to be released March 21st. Mcluskyism makes for a perfect little sampling of their albums if you're not quite ready to make the plunge into the raggedy rockin'goodness that is/was Mclusky.

Mclusky- Without MSG I Am Nothing




I completely missed out on Drive Like Jehu during their actual existence as a band (count that as all of two albums in the early '90s.) I always hate to try to define or describe bands like this but I think people might use words like "emo" or "hardcore punk." Maybe it's easier to name bands that Drive Like Jehu might not fit too badly alongside- Jawbox, Hot Snakes, At The Drive-In, These Arms Are Snakes (snakes, snakes, everywhere snakes!) And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, etc. Definitely driving music- and by driving music I mean propulsive, not music you'd listen to on that cross-country trip with Crazy Larry.

Drive Like Jehu- Do You Compute?

Drive Like Jehu- Caress


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And just for the heck of it, here's Razorlight covering the Cure...

Razorlight- Boys Don't Cry (live Cure cover)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

How many episodes is this again?



Well, this one struck me a bit by surprise. Last year the word was that Dre was at work on some sort of masterpiece and then scrapped the whole thing. Now here's a new record with three songs, one of them with Dre and Rakim. Sounds like your typical Dre tracks, but that's a good thing, right? He certainly isn't reinventing the wheel with this one, but it's nice to hear new tracks from Dr. Dre...

Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg and Nate Dog- Next Episode 2006

Dr. Dre feat. Rakim- When U Die

Dr. Dre- Smokin' Weed 4 Hours

The Horn of Amalthea.

Amalthea was the goat that suckled Zeus after his mother had him sent to Crete so his father would not eat him. The goat later broke a horn, and Zeus filled it with the fruits of the harvest. So the Horn of Amalthea became the symbol of plenty, and whoever had it in his or her possession would never starve.

Ain't Greek mythology wacky?

Here are some tunes for that someone who bitched "again with the Liars!" You know who you are...



Regina Spektor- Oedipus

Do I know what this song is about? Of course not. But I've come to really appreciate Regina Spektor's music. I can totally understand how her tunes might be a love/hate kind of thing- she has some strange affectations and is prone to throwing in some scat-singing type of stuff. This one's from her bonus DVD Mary Ann Meets the Gravediggers and Other Short Stories. Long live the king.




Feist- Mushaboom (Postal Service remix)

Here's my confession that I am late to the Feist train. No, it wasn't on my best of 2005 list- because I hadn't really heard a single tune from it until about a month or so ago. And yeah, I heard the Bright Eyes cover of "Mushaboom" before the original. Whatever. I think Rice Krispies should ditch Pop and go with Snap, Crackle, and Mushaboom. Word on the streets is that Pop's developed a bit of a nasty meth habit anyway. Here's the Postal Service remix...



Lederhosen Lucil- The Best Dishwasher I Ever Had

This one's courtesy of the predestined and imminent Queen of the Galaxy Jess McFoxglove. The music? Think Peaches without the vulgarity. Interesting, as Lucil is also Canadian. She was apparently cloned in a genetic mutation lab in 1998. In other words- she's crazy. She does have a Swiss Miss deal going on which is cute... but still crazy. You can check out more on her at her website here.



Photo by Bryan Bruchman at subinev.com

We Are Scientists- Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt

These dudes are a trio out of Brooklyn that first reminded me a bit of !!! for some reason. I haven't really dived into their stuff but this tune has been a favourite of mine for quite a while now. I also heard someone compare We Are Scientists to the Killers and thought that that idea was nearly bitch-slappable on a number of counts. This track's the opener from their debut album released earlier this year- With Love And Squalor.




Ninja High School- All Right To Fight

What the Molson? More Canadians! It's not intentional, I promise you. Pure coincidence, that is. These guys call themselves a "positive hardcore dance-rap band." Which means their hippie hipsters, I'm guessing. They'd probably kick back quite well with Tilly & the Wall or those doofuses (doofi?) LEN from like ten years back. Allegedly the main guy from the band heard a Crazytown song on the radio, thought it sucked balls, and decided that he should start recording music as he could do better. Totally a respectable reasoning in my book. And who can resist the hook "you're going home in a f*cking ambulance?" Compare previous KYCW Auteurs entry. BTW, the official website looks like it was "designed" by a thirteen year old girl. Fix that crap up.




Looper- Burning Flies

Looper began as a side project of Belle & Sebastian bass player Stuart David (yes, the other Stuart.) After B&S finished the album Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant, David quit to do Looper full time. Was that a good or bad thing? I'm not quite sure, as the Looper albums tend to be fairly hit or miss. This tunes a definite plus, though. Stuart David's influence was pretty clear in Belle & Sebastian tunes like "A Space Boy Dream" and "A Century Of Elvis." You can also get yourself some free Looper mp3s here.


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