Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Say Hi

Say Hi - Northwestern Girls

This band has been around town for a little bit but the biggest turnoff for me was always the name: seeking out a band called "Say Hi To Your Mom" just really wasn't high on my to do list. Thankfully, songwriter Eric Elbogen dropped the 'To Your Mom' to the simpler Say Hi, moved to Seattle, went on a killer tour with the Velvet Teen and put together his 5th album "The Wishes And The Glitch" which is a finely crafted record of honesty and delicious hooks.

The opening track and by far my favourite "Northwestern Girls" struck me right away. For me personally, it was very easy to relate to the prospect the song was selling me. I too have moved from the East Coast to the Northwest and been stunned by the fantastic women that populate the area. While everyone else may not get the meaning that literally, I think it's pretty a universal feeling to be somewhere new and just be completely taken in by all of exciting change around you and thankfully I now have a soundtrack to that feeling.

"The Wishes And The Glitch" comes out February 5th from the band.

{purchase say hi recordings from the band}

Monday, January 28, 2008


MP3: Canadians - Summer Teenage Girl

Just a quickie, since I am super sick...

Canadians' gem of a record "A Sky With No Stars" hit my mailbox a few months back and I slacked on it. A quick listen told me that I like it enough to post on it but would need another listen to know what the hell I would be talking about.

Skip to a few weeks ago and I am still waiting for that next listen. Luckily, the clever bastard that is iTunes shuffle decided to throw me "Summer Teenage Girl" and for a little over 4 minutes kicked my ass with it's pop goodness. While it's not reinventing the wheel it sure is showing one of it's more flashier models.

Everyone has their band comparisons for these Italian duders (mine? The Rentals meets the Beach Boys) which happen to be bands that everyone loves and I feel that's for good reason: Canadians are easily up to par with all of your favourite bands & songs and are very worthy of being in your cd stand/iPod/computer bootlegging. From the second you hear this songs' "ooh la la la"'s, I think you'll be hooked or else your claims of loving quality pop music will be decided upon a jury of your peers... or not. Whatever, your loss.

"A Sky With No Stars" is out now from Ghost Records.

{purchase canadians recordings from ghost records}

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Weather: warm songs for cold times.

MP3: A Weather - Shirley Road Shirley

When we last A Weather, I was enjoying their then recently released "Feather Test" single and loving it. Here they return with "Cove", coming March 4th on Team Love. They still sounds the same, except a little better and thankfully with more than 2 songs to offer us. A wonderful offering of dream pop goodness, pick this little guy up when you see it in your record shop.

See you dudes in Portland this fall, my one big regret is that when I lived there, I never saw you live. Weak.


1. Spiders, Snakes
2. Shirley Road Shirley
3. Screw Up Your Courage
4. Small Potatoes
5. Hanging Towers Of Baltimore
6 Pilot’s Arrow
7. Oh My Stars
8. Pinky Toe
9. It’s Good To Know

{pre-order "cove" from team love}

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

GO TEAM: Monitor and the Merrimac

Montior and the Merrimac - Lonesome House Blues

NOTE: Today's GO TEAM contribution comes from one of my favourite Connecticut artists: David Grazynski, who performs as Monitor and the Merrimac. He released "Grandma's Old Couch" at the end of last year and has been a consistent staple in my listening habits from then and well into this year. The record features contributions the CT all stars including members of Mates of State, Quiet Life and TITLES and is all hits, no misses.

David has been kind enough to give us some background on one of my favourite songs from the album, "Lonesome House Blues". Fuck yeah!

I have to preface my explanation of this song by telling you that I purchased a town home in the summer of 06 that I live in by myself... It has a pool and a nice back porch and I made the entire record down there. Ok... here goes...

I wrote this song sometime during the summer of 07 when I was feverishly writing and recording during some downtime at work. It started, as do most (if not all of my songs) with a line "I sing the big lonesome empty house blues" and the verse that begins "go tell your father..."I remember going to the pool and sitting there for a while right before a late afternoon heatwave storm rolled in and I just started jotting down lines for verses that could end with "I sing the big..." It was around this time, and it should be noted, that my girlfriend took an internship with Howard Stern in the city. Now living in the north end of Bridgeport isn't exactly "Country livin", but I just don't like the hustle and bustle of the city all the time, for me it all depends on my mood, sometimes I love it, sometimes it gets me down. So that's kinda what started those lines (about the city), as my friends all migrate towards New York I am still here and very content at being here...

The breakdown and the last verse were all written much later, the original lines were really just placeholders. those are very true to the situation that was happening with the recording of Grandma's Old Couch. I would be stealing time in the afternoons in the basement pounding on drums trying to learn how to play the drums, all hoping that my neighbors wouldn't get pissed off. I recorded everything in my basement except for the instruments at the end and the foot stomps and hand claps in the breakdown... Those were done at my friend Jason's house. We were stomping on an old suitcase and he played the piano and concertina at the end. I am happy with the way the recording sounds... I wanted it to sound like we could be on my back porch... I am trying to get that same sound and feeling throughout the rest of the record too... like.. you could hear these songs in a bar or you can hear them played by a bunch of friends on a porch. All in all the song is just about a dude living alone in a house. Being bored, doing far too much sitting on the porch and bbqing. Banjos and shuffle beats and foot stomps and hand claps and harmonica and hollering.

{purchase "grandma's old couch from monitor and the merrimac}

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Someone Still Loves You Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin!

MP3: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Glue Girls

It's always great news when a great band gives word of a new great record. It's even greater when you get to hear a bit of said great record. Enter "Glue Girls", the lead track from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's upcoming "Pershing" lp. Even though "Broom", the band's last effort, feels so new, it being a reissue resulted in it appearing younger than it truly was. So while it's been some years since their last proper effort (the band dropped a killer seven inch last year [that I covered right here] which gave hint to what was to come), they seemed to have skipped a couple of albums worth of "feeling it out" to go straight to polished guitar pop brilliance. "Glue Girls" caught me off guard at first, because it was so different but I soon realized these seeds had been planted long ago.

I can't stop listening to the song and will be looking forward to April 8th, when "Pershing" drops on Polyvinyl.


1. Glue Girls
2. Boring Fountain
3. Dead Right
4. Beach Song
5. Modern Mystery
6. Some Constellation
7. Think I Wanna Die
8. You Could Write a Book
9. Oceanographer
11. Doris Tailspin (Boring Mountain)


01-25 Columbia, MO - Mojo's
01-26 St. Louis, MO - The Bluebird
01-27 Bloomington, IN - Space 101
01-28 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
01-29 Rock Island, IL - Huckleberry's Pizza Parlor
01-31 Northfield, MN - Carleton College
02-01 Grinnell, IA - Joe Rosenfeld Center (Grinnell College)
02-12 Springfield, MO - The Gilloiz Theatre (Brooke Fletcher benefit)
03-14 Austin, TX - Habana Calle (SXSW)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hello, Blue Roses: All the best songs begin with 's'.

MP3: Hello, Blue Roses - St. Angela

MP3: Hello, Blue Roses - Sunny Skies

From what I've noticed, most everyone is paying attention to Hello, Blue Roses because of Dan Bejar's (Destroyer, New Pornographers, Swan Lake) involvement which, is all well and good, but hopefully after being drawn in by that fact they will realize the true shining star of the group is songwriter Sydney Vermont. She really stands out with her near divine singing and her ability to create such vivid imagery from her lyrics. It should come as no surprise that this beauty is coming from a visual artist: she really does paint stunning, audible pictures.

I really appreciate the dynamic of the group: Vermont builds them up and Bejar arranges them and then proceeds to knock it all out of the park. In the end, you have an album's worth of songs that are carefree, deep and original. I think it is safe to say that "The Portrait Is Finished And I Have Failed To Capture Your Beauty..." is the first great record of 2008. Best wishes and good luck to everyone else who decides to release music this year.

"The Portrait Is Finished And I Have Failed To Capture Your Beauty..." is out tomorrow, January 22nd from Locust Music.

{purchase hello, blue roses recordings from locust music}

Monday, January 14, 2008

Top 15 Songs of 2007: The rest!

To say we took a break is an understatement. Time got the best of me, and I never got around to finishing my top 15 songs of 2007 posts and to move forward you've got to complete that which was start. So here is the rest, then I will be taking the rest of this week off to compile many posts to look ahead on the new year. Thanks for sticking around!

10: Dr. Dog - Heart It Races

The audible definition of polishing a turd (sorry Architecture In Helsinki). After hearing this, it begs the question: when is the covers album coming out Dr. Dog?

09. HEALTH - Perfect Skin

Just got this record on wax a few weeks back and it sounds great. "Perfect Skin" rules even harder on it. This track is so fucking powerful, and it has the best sounding drums I've maybe ever heard.

08. Welcome - Natural Frost

Probably the best rock and roll record of the year, and a this song is a mix tape staple for me for the past 6 months.

07. Alicia Keys - No One

My personal favourite pop song of the year and the only radio track that didn't make me want to shoot myself. Old girl has pipes and when that synth lines kicks in, it's over for me. Pure gold.

06. Dri - Free Tonight

2007's party anthem. "Smoke Rings" was unstoppable, and I see it dominating 2008.

05. Juvelen - Summer-Spring

I find out about bands on this blog too. When Matt posted about Juvelen, I was hooked. I know he swears by "Watch Your Step", but it was "Summer-Spring" for me that was the deal maker. Pop music at it's finest/sexiest.

04. No Age - Neck Escaper

No Age is the Jesus of punk music. I like this song cause it's catchy and it's from my favourite single of theirs. I'm pretty sure their debut on Sub Pop is my most anticipated album of '08.

03. Spank Rock & Benny Blanco - Loose (featuring Amanda Blank)

Another Matt posted gem. The whole Bangers & Cash ep was a party for me (dudes: where's the full length?) and this was it's crowning achievement. Amanda Blank spits fire at the closing end of this opus.

02. Scout Niblett & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Kiss

Beautiful, beautiful music. I loved the output from both of these heavyweights of rock this year, but no one can deny the power of "Kiss". A perfectly orchestrated song from the beginning to end. A real tear jerker/love partier/gash slayer.

01. Sam Sparro - Black & Gold

From the second I heard it, I knew "Black & Gold" was my favourite song of the year. Catchy as all fuck and sung by Sparro's soulful voice, it's like all the best drugs being transmitted to your ears. Count me in! Hope 2008 brings an lp from this modern wonder.

So there you have it. If you want to see my best records of 2007 list, I posted those on the Pink Teeth website. Check them out here: http://www.pinkteeth.com/bestof2007.htm. See you next week!