Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Trans Am

MP3: Trans Am - North East Rising Sun

I've heard bits and pieces of Trans Am before, but the other day I got full on with their "Sex Change" lp. While I'm not completely in love with it, it has some killer moments. "North East Rising Sun" is flawless though. Get in a car, turn this up and drive fast. Get pulled over. It all rules.

{buy trans am recordings from insound}

Monday, February 26, 2007


MP3: Limbeck - Big Drag

Limbeck is one of those bands who seem to be in a genre they don't belong in. I don't mean the music they make, that's coming along nicely. I mean they get lumped in with these pop punk godawfulness that really isn't deserving of them. I'm hoping their new self titled effort will wipe the slate clean.

After a lackluster (in my opinion at least) lp in 2005's "Let Me Come Home", the Limbeck band comes at us again with "Limbeck", due April 10th on Doghouse Records. Now, I was having a conversation with a fellow named Stephen the other day about self titled efforts. I'm not into them, but we both agreed that it takes balls to do it and that it better be good if it's going to represent your band as a whole.

Each record they release seems to have a different vibe. Now, they'll never make "Hi, Everything's Great" again (much to my sadness), but we already own that record. I don't want to re-buy it. This is the new album.

This is a huge improvement over their last record, and they found a way to get country to fit their sound instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. Thanks can be thrown to Casey Prestwood who lays down some pedal steel on a couple tracks and producer Ed Rose, returning to the band he helped make (in sound). It's a very relaxed and upbeat piece of work and is tight as tight can be. It rocks, it rolls and the storytelling is as strong as ever.

"Big Drag" is all over the internet and is a fantastic choice of single. I hope a little closer to the release date I can share some more tracks, because it really is a great record and I'd love to have more to illustrate my point to you all. I just don't want to get in trouble.

{buy limbeck recordings from insound}

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Yndi Halda

MP3: Yndi Halda - Dash and Blast

Hailing from the United Kingdom is Yndi Halda. They just released their ep "Enjoy Eternal Bliss" (which is what their name translates to, so I guess it's really self titled) this month. They must be doing something right because it seems like it's out on labels worldwide: Big Scary Monsters in the UK, Burnt Toast Vinyl in the US, Xtal Records in Japan and Avant Garden in Taiwan. Wow!

The band's music is huge. They're doing something right in the hit or miss instrumental genre and really are worth a damn. "Dash and Blast" starts off slow, led by a string part before building and bursting into something textured and epic. Yndi Halda evoke feelings without words and tell stories told through music and imagination.

The mp3 for "Dash and Blast" I was given by the label is edited, so you'll have to buy the disc to take it all in. But if this sample does anything for you (like it did for me), you'll be seeking it out asap.

{buy yndi halda recordings from burnt toast vinyl in the united states}
{buy yndi halda recordings from big scary monsters in the united kingdom}

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The End Will Be Kicks

MP3: The End Will Be Kicks - If You See Them Tell Them That I Love Them
MP3: The End Will Be Kicks - Drowning Margareta

NOTE: Today's blog comes from my good friend Matt Giordano, who will guest here from time to time. Fuck yeah.

Although I've had this album since it came out last year, it just hit me how solid it is. Maybe it's this rainy day in New York, where it feels as though mother nature is unsure of whether or not to begin the rebirthing of foliage during what we call Spring, but it just finally clicked. Music for me always clicks and makes sense at different points in one's life (hell, it took me ten years to appreciate Pavement), but the self-titled debut album by The End Will Be Kicks, which these tracks are from, is a rare angular indie rock masterpiece that will go under the radar for many years to come, unless you, the people make this happen.

Their label Chalksounds has since closed shop and another has sprouted who's name I cannot recall, but through purveyors such as It's a Trap! and even iTunes, this record can live and breathe it's proper life.

Here you are, lovers of fine music—the end indeed, will be kicks. This is for the beginning of Spring.

{buy the end will be kicks recordings from it's a trap}

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Neil Young

MP3: Neil Young - Winterlong
MP3: The Pixies - Winterlong
MP3: matt pond PA - Winterlong

Brr huh? Thinking of winter? Always a good time to enjoy some Neil Young. I've heard "Winterlong" is about cocaine, which makes it one of those jams you can make your lover swoon over and think of drugs in the back of your mind.

The covers? Well the Pixies contributed their version to a 1989 tribute album to Mr. Young. and the lovely matt pond PA covered this jam on their "Winter Songs" ep from that golden age of 2005. Oh how the time will pass ye by.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Promise Ring

MP3: The Promise Ring - My Life Is At Home

It's Valentine's Day I've heard. I could post a song with it in the title or something (I suggest seeking out Hello Saferide's "Valentine's day" right here) but I decided to focus on the love.

"My Life Is At Home" comes from The Promise Ring's terribly ignored/panned Anti debut and final release "Wood/Water". It's probably one of my favourite sweet songs and always ends up on a love mix or three. Dust off your copy if you didn't sell it, and rediscover Wood/Water today. It's a solid disc to listen to on a cold winter day stuck inside with nothing to do but read and listen (it really does work all seasons though).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lucky Soul

MP3: Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted

The press release for Lucky Soul boldly states that they're "the most exciting thing to come out of Greenwich since time itself". While I'm not familiar with what has come out of Greenwich, I can say that I am excited by time and now I am excited by Lucky Soul.

"The Great Unwanted" is the title track from the group's upcoming lp on Ruffa Lane, out April 9th in the UK. The track is full of beautiful harmonies and strings which take center stage, but the guitar work actually fuels the song from a distance. Guitarist Andrew Laidlaw (who is the songwriter for the band) is like a composer, taking the lead but letting Ali Howard's vocals shine on through until together they build up the song to a grand finish.

The band made a video for another track from "The Great Unwanted", titled "Add Your Light to Mine, Baby". I'm sure you'll find it as fun and grandiose as the other.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Van Morrison

MP3: Van Morrison - Moonshine Whiskey

NOTE: Today's blog comes from my good friend Matt Giordano, who will guest here from time to time. Fuck yeah.

So, originally I was going to submit this awesome Troll interlude (however I'll get around to is if Joey allows me to guest again), but at the last minute I decided to go with one of my favourite tracks by one of the best songwriters of the 20th century, Mr. Geroge Ivan Morrison. Tupelo Honey is a pheonominal country-rock album, and this track, it's closer just exemplifies the spirit and heart in the music. The slide guitar is perfectly complimented by Morrison's soulful vocals, and with The Kinks Musswell Hillbillies is the some of the best Americana to come out of the British Isles.

Above the legendary status he's reached amongst his peers, I feel that Van Morrison's influence amongst the artists of today isn't as widely acknowledged as it should be, but maybe since I consider him to be a great influence on me, I'd expect likewise amongst highly regarded contemporary musicians, but I guess they're missing out on some great music. Whilst never feeling dated in his early material, Van Morrison place in popular music has been solidified for decades, and I guess I'd just like to thank him for all of the great songs.

{buy van morrison recordings from insound}

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dr. Dog

MP3: Dr. Dog - My Old Ways
MP3: Of Montreal - Keep Sending Me Black Fireworks

I know, I know. I'm not posting anything new, everyone else on the entire interweb has been all about this Dr. Dog track (and with good reason). Last night, while at work, I got this song in my head along with "Keep Sending Me Black Fireworks" by Of Montreal stuck in my head and they became one song. When I got home I put on both songs and they seem pretty different now. Rats. But you be the judge. The bonus ep from the "Sunlantic Twins" is better than that entire album (yes, I'm a bitter fan who likes everything pre "Satanic Panic In the Attic").

I'm highly excited for the upcoming Dr. Dog record "We All Belong". It's funny, "My Old Ways" reminds me a lot of Of Montreal, with the harmonies and the warm sounds. But you can tell the difference. I'm excited for this one.

And there's a video. Everyone LOVES videos:

{buy dr. dog recordings from park the van}
{buy of montreal recordings from insound}

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Loney, Dear

Loney, Dear - I Am John
MP3: Loney, Dear - Le Fever
MP3: Loney, Dear - Never Let It Slip
MP3: Loney, Dear - Warm, Dark, Comforting Night

I wanted to do something special for the release of Loney, Dear's "Loney, Noir" on Sub Pop. But I got swamped and distracted. So it had to wait until today.

So here you are, enjoy 4 songs, each from the 4 albums Emil Svanängen has produced. They're all really worth tracking down I promise.

My friend had passed me some songs to listen to from the band but I never fully got into it. I enjoyed Emil's contribution to the I'm From Barcelona lp but other than that it wasn't something I was in love with. But then I saw him perform with a full band twice for CMJ last November and was blown away. A really, really great and intimate-yet-upbeat live show.

After the first 2 listens of "Loney, Noir", I definitely thought it wasn't as strong as "Solonge". After the next 324598 listens, I take it back: Loney, Noir is a perfect pop album, with great songs.

Sub Pop is marketing "I Am John" which is the smartest idea ever. It's a really great introduction to Loney, Dear and what the music is all about. It builds and builds until it explodes with "I've got a feeling of you and we danced for so long, I want your arms around me like lovers do, and I'm never gonna let you down, never gonna let you down. "

Here is the video for said song, which is a lot darker then the sunny music behind it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Au Revoir Simone

MP3: Au Revoir Simone - Fallen Snow

Gorilla vs. Bear posted about Au Revoir Simone and I really only noticed because they were 3 pretty ladies and they all played keyboards. I checked them out and thought they were good, but it really was the video for "Fallen Snow" that fully brought me around. Sometimes it takes a visual to appreciate the audio.

The video is just dashing, they hold hands, they fish for keys, and live in tree houses and a train car. That's a recipe for AMAZING.

The song has lots of great harmonies and the keys really set the tone of fun.

"The Bird Of Music" is going to be self released by the band here in the states, I just don't know when. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 02, 2007


MP3: Koufax - Loveless Meredith

I ventured into Bloomington, Indiana last night to see my friend Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band play at Rhino's. While I was excited to see Mr. Devine again, I was very much giddy about seeing the Koufax band rock out. I've been a fan since "It Had to Do With Love" and they've come by me a couple of times but something always came up.

They certainly delivered. To my surprise they played material mostly from 2002's brilliant "Social Life". But myself and my roommate threw in a request for "Going to Happen" and "Colour Us Canadian" and both were fulfilled. Got a chance to chat and host the gentlemen and they were all stand up lads. See this band if they're in your town. Good times are promised.

I picked up an import vinyl edition of "Hard Times Are In Fashion" and the import cd/ep "Why Bother At All", which is where today's mp3 comes from. It's a lovely little b-side I remember hearing about when the band first started recording their last lp. It features the brothers Pope (who were in the band for a quick second) as the rhythm section.

{buy koufax recordings from insound}

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor - A Good Start
MP3: Maria Taylor - Smile and Wave

I admit it: I like Maria Taylor solo much more than Azure Ray. Not to say I dislike the band, but it certainly required the right kind of mood (sad) to fully get into them. Otherwise it was... boring. And I like a lot of "boring" music, so saying that has to hold some truth. But solo, Taylor's songs move and feel complete, with her on drums, her brother on bass and sister on keys. A family affair indeed. The family got together and recorded in Texas with Spoon's Jim Eno, in Georgia to record with longtime collaborator Andy LeMaster (who Taylor plays with on the Now It's Overhead records) and Memphis with Doug Easley (Cat Power) to make "Lynn Teeter Flower" bloom. It's a very natural sounding record, despite coming to life in so many studios.

"A Good Start" is very much so one to begin the record. While it's been enjoyably different to hear Taylor go so upbeat in a song, she sounds completely comfortable on this one. She's still able to make her own with her trademark harmonies and storytelling. Saddle Creek put this one up for download, so it's the single mayhaps? I hope so, it'd be a really great starting place for new fans.

I would have to say Kate Taylor's swirling key contribution really makes the music end of "Smile and Wave" shine, plain and simple.

The album certainly isn't 100%, but neither was Taylor's last effort "11:11". "Irish Goodbye" seems like an effort to rekindle the magic of "One For the Shareholder", co-written by producer Mike Mogis on the last album, but it sounds awkward and out of nowhere has someone rapping over it. It sounds very forced. Conor Oberst (who?) co-wrote and sings on "The Ballad Of Sean Foley" but his fans excited by this shouldn't be: he's buried under Taylor. The record as a whole takes a listen or two to make complete sense, but once you get there it feels very nice.

"Lynn Teeter Flower" doesn't birth itself on your record shelf until March 6th, but if you preorder it from the Creek they promise it's water will break 2 weeks early to your mailbox.

Oh man, 2 Saddle Creek related releases in 2 posts? Yikes! How hip of me!

{buy maria taylor recordings from saddle creek}