Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Best Song Ever: Wake Up Little Susie

The Everly Brothers - Wake Up Little Susie

I don't think it's wrong to assume that calling "Wake Up Little Susie" the best song ever goes beyond just the personal opinion of this blog. The Everly Brothers were quite the pop songsmiths in their hayday, and throughout the years they've been covered by everybody from the Beach Boys to the Beachwood Sparks.

Their true gem for me is this song, as it the most timeless. It doesn't completely rely on the easy emotions of love and actually tells a tale that is still relevant to this day: who hasn't stayed out a bit too late with someone you may or not be going steady with, possibly passed out from too much fucking or getting high and you miss your curfew? Brilliant stuff.

Fun fact: according to the Wikipedia entry for the "Wake Up Little Susie" single, George W. Bush declared it his all time favourite song on Oprah back in 2000, though he erroneously thought it to be by Buddy Holly: smooth.

Friday, September 26, 2008

High Places

High Places - Golden
MP3: High Places - From Stardust to Sentience

The new eponymous record from High Places is very much worthy of it's self-titling in that it is a fine representation of the group and all of it's strengths. What was merely hinted at on the group's singles collection "03/07 - 09/07" is realized to it's fullest potential; it is two people's musical outlet at it's greatest hour.

You've certainly heard of High Places, probably starting late last year and well into 2008, as they've fit in like a glove at your favourite band's gigs and consumed all of your favourite internet news and mp3 publications. It felt like there was a bit of a label race to snag up this talent (in the shadows of course) and when it was announced that Thrill Jockey had reigned victorious, everybody seemed deserving of their winnings.

All of this, of course, makes for an interesting introduction, but it requires ignoring once you get down to the dirt and actually listen to the band and it's debut long player. They're not exactly reinventing the 'High Places' wheel, as they are that rare band that has found it's sound and embraced it completely, but they have perfected it, erasing any near-impossible flaws that could've been found in the past. It is the perfect pop record in the sense that it only goes 19 seconds over 30 minutes, and the beat never stops. It is ethereal and it is bouncy, it is sweet and it is challenging, all of the things that make it so rewarding to be a fan of this music. While it's less buried treasure than it was when it started, it still sounds personal enough for everyone to hold dear: when you're listening to songs like "Vision's the First..." or "Golden", it is yours. You get the empty room percussion, you get the rarely pitch-shifting vocals and the synths serve to sew it together into a well fitting shirt. It's all yours. High Places have done their part, and now it is our turn to sit back and enjoy it. Be it at a party or a candle lit dinner, this record is the soundtrack to every possible activity in life, and I personally am thankful to have that in any band, it is aces that it comes from these folks. An audible job well done.

"High Places" is out now from Thrill Jockey.

{purchase high places releases from insound}

Monday, September 22, 2008

"German Love" by Starfucker

Starfucker - German Love

NOTE: Today's contribution comes from Zach Hangauer, who has been missed around these blogging parts. Hopefully he is enjoying some love at this moment, German or not. Fuck yeah!

If the mid-70's Kraftwerk boys sang a verse without the vocoder and then Weezer, a year before the Blue Album, sang the octave-up response, you'd have the gist of "German Love". That there is anything more going on, any brilliance in the structure or a mixologist's melange of sounds and styles - much less drums on full-blast A/C, much less that Portland art-collage wink wink - is gravy, frosting, whipped fucking cream.

"German Love" is the only Starfucker song I've heard, so I have no idea if they are one-hit wonders, but the more I think about it, the more I'm certain they know what's up. Even the words, "German Love" spark sparks. The "German" part is famously literal, wracked by philosophical passions but incapable of expressing them casually. And the "Love" part is the most open, earnest, vulnerable passion we feel. So Starfucker channels Kraftwerk to sing "German Love, I will give it to you/ give it to you/ give it to you" like hungry robots, as though repeating the desire will fulfill it. And then they bop their mop-tops and froth their Weezer falsettos into "But she won't have a thing to do with me/ to do/ to do with me", full of teenage - twenty-something - universal longing, howling wolves by way of a boy's choir. Need a cherry on top? Having set the stage, Starfucker throws the two themes together, the Capulets and the Montagues, desire and defeat, all intermingled like it ain't no thing, like indie-rock pulls off drama like this all the time, so effortlessly, so puzzle- solving-perfect.

So what is this? Synth-pop? Indie-rock? Ganking tween from the tweens for a stoned and boozy Art School party? Acoustic guitarelectronica? There aren't more compressed drums mixed with more diffuse cymbals anywhere on MySpace Music - they've totally flipped it. 10 years of digital Portastudios and we're finally making sense of the way it sounds. I'm wondering if this is the palette for the rest of the record too? D.I.Y. pumped through the digital makeover machine except now there's bands that are too fucking savvy to let it neutralize them.

"German Love" sounds like a glass ceiling busting, like the romance between digital and analog is finally getting past the sniffing-butt stage. It's "Power to the People" seized by people ready to wield it. And they're three kids from Portland! And they're packing maracas!

"Starfucker" is released September 23rd from Badman Recording Co.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vivian Girls "Tell the World" video

The Vivian Girls are a band I've been digging on since their first 7 inch, but I missed the boat on their full length on it's first edition so I refused to listen to anything from it until it sees wide release next month from In the Red. However, seeing that they had a new video out for "Tell the World", I couldn't resist watching it and now it's constantly on repeat. The video itself is a total blast, a fine visual to accompany the wonderfully catchy song, filled with detached steering wheels and dancing friends (bears, monsters, hipsters) that is worthy of your eyes. So yes, I am very excited for self-titled to come out. October can't get here soon enough!

Monday, September 15, 2008


MP3: Talkdemonic - March Movement

Golly, I knew Talkdemonic had a new record coming out, but TOMORROW?! What a slacker I've been! I have not heard the album itself but I have heard the song I am posting today, "March Movement", a sprawling work of beauty that hits all of the right notes and emotions (as usual); they find a way to make strings more awesome and to make banjo an instrument with strings taken from your heart. Talkdemonic continue to prove that they are the only active band exploring the landscape of sound and doing unique and original things with it. Incredible.

"Eyes At Half Mast" is released tomorrow from Arena Rock Recording Company.


9/20: Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
9/30: Seattle, WA - High Dive
10/1: Missoula, MT - Crystal Theater
10/3: Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
10/4: Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
10/7: Chicago, IL - Schubas
10/9: Somerville, MA - PA's Lounge
10/10: Philadelphia, PA - Khyber
10/11: New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
10/12: Washington, DC - The Red and the Black
10/13: Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
10/14: Mt. Pleasant, SC - Village Tavern
10/15: Atlanta, GA - The Earl
10/17: Tampa, FL - Crowbar
10/18: Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds
10/21: Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon *
10/22: Austin, TX - Mohawk
10/24: Tucson, AZ - Plush
10/27: San Diego, CA - Casbah #
10/28: Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
10/29: San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord

* = w/ Born Ruffians and Plants & Animals
# = w/ Jeffrey Lewis

{purchase talkdemonic recordings from arena rock recording company}

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hello Saferide: Anna

Hello Saferide - Anna

The great thing about Hello Saferide is that she's consistent, which seems to go unappreciated around these parts. Hopefully the upcoming "More modern short stories from..." will change that. Check out and enjoy the mp3 and video for the single "Anna". The record comes out September 24th from Razzia. Hopefully It's a Trap! will have some copies for us gents in the States sooner than later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Noise For Obama!

MP3: Lightning Bolt - Dracula Mountain
MP3: No Age - Here Should Be My Home

I have been subconsciously praying for a way to link Lightning Bolt, Deerhoof and No Age together other than being fucking amazing, but last night I was finally given a way: Noise For Obama. A new website launched by noise artists in support of future United States President Barack Obama, it gives personal statements from members of the bands I just mentioned as well as the radical Foot Village and a link to register to vote (pretty pointless as you've already done so, right?).

Don't worry, it doesn't end there: Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale is lending his Black Pus project to a split 12 inch with Foot Village which collects tracks that originally appeared on their split cassette and adds a bonus Foot Village jam and 2 Black Pus jams. To make the deal sweeter, included is a 16" x 22" poster of a full colour animal photo with screened art by Chippendale on top of it (it should be noted that BC's art is amazing, and has 2 widely available art books/comics available from PictureBox Inc: Ninja and Maggots [the cover is pictured above, but it comes minus the Obama face]). All profits go to support the Obama campaign and it sees release October 14th from Deathbombarc. You can order it now right here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Deerhoof: "Offend Maggie"

MP3: Deerhoof - Offend Maggie

Very excited for this one: the new Deerhoof record "Offend Maggie" drops in the States October 7th from Kill Rock Stars. Today the blog family has been passing the title track around our dinner table and boy is it delicious! It's a quickie and starts off with some pretty sweet acoustic guitar work before exploding into the charm and sophistication we've come to love from the 'Hoof. It's one and done and a great way to up the anticipation. Bring it on!


10-03 Los Angeles - Avalon *
10-04 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall *
10-06 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom ^!
10-07 Seattle, WA - Neumo's ^!
10-09 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge ^!
10-11 Denver, CO - Bluebird ^!
10-13 Omaha, NE - The Slowdown ^%
10-14 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue ^%
10-15 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall ^%
10-16 Bloomington, IN - Buskirk Chumley Theater ^%
10-17 Chicago, IL - Metro ^#
10-18 Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom ^#
10-21 New York, NY- Spiegeltent
10-22 New York, NY - Irving Plaza ^#
10-23 Cambridge, MA - Middle East ^#
10-24 Northampton, MA - Pearl Street ^#
10-25 Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom ^#
10-26 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^#
10-28 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle ^#
10-29 Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle ^#
10-30 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge ^#
10-31 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club ^#
11-01 Orlando, FL - The Social ^#
11-02 Tampa, FL - Crowbar ^#
11-05 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues ^#
11-06 Houston, TX - Numbers ^#
11-07 Dallas, TX - Granada ^@
11-08 Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11-10 El Paso, TX - Club 101 ^+
11-12 Tucson, AZ - Club Congress ^+
11-13 Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse ^+
12-05 Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
12-06 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
12-08 Rennes, France - Antipode
12-10 Lyon, France - Grrrnd Zero
12-11 Paris, France - Trabendo (Sonic Protest Festival)

& with Gnarls Barkley
* with Okay, Happy Hollows
^ with Experimental Dental School
! with Coconut
% with Au
# with Flying
@ with Hawnay Troof
+ with KIT

{purchase and pre-order deerhoof recordings from insound}

Monday, September 08, 2008

GO TEAM: Adventurers

MP3: Adventurers - Do me right

NOTE: Today's GO TEAM contribution comes from our own Matthew Giordano and his Adventurers project. He just released "Penguins & The Vinson Massif", a 15 song free download from the excellent Sound/Friends. Get it here and jam out.

When asked what "Do me right" is about, I really don't know. I'd be safe to guess subjectivity, and based upon its vagueness, well, that just sounds about right. Written and recorded in about thirty minutes on the Christmas morning of 2006, my brother and I were just having fun. Seeing as how Santa Claus did not bring us any new toys that year, we had to make our own fun.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Super duper.

MP3: The Cardigans - In the Round


Closing out the extra long week with the newest Cardigans record "Super Extra Gravity". Maybe their most solid effort, and a fine showcase of a band that is wise beyond it's years with no signs of slowing down. I'm ready for the next album now!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Long Gone.

MP3: The Cardigans - You're the Storm


A hop and a skip later, pretty much starting from scratch came "Long Gone Before Daylight", the polar opposite of "Gran Turismo" or really anything that came before it. Mostly mellow and even a bit twangy, it sparked the biggest sea change for the Cardigans yet. A nice one to sleep to, and maybe be a little melancholy too.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Victory at Gran Turismo

MP3: The Cardigans - Erase/Rewind
MP3: The Cardigans - Hanging Around


"Gran Turismo" is a wild card of an album, it sticks out in the Cardigans' discography, abandoning their pop roots almost completely in favour of electronic sounds and darker tones. At times, it can be the most rewarding of albums from them and it makes you wonder what would happen if they revisited the ideas birthed from this time in the band. I'd like to see one like this again, at least for a spell.