Thursday, August 31, 2006

Second Cup | Dylan: critique on Today's Music

Pretty bold words from Dylan...

From Tue Aug 22, 2006

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Dylan says modern recordings sound "atrocious," and even the songs on his new album sounded much better in the studio than on disc.

"I don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the past twenty years, really," the 65-year-old rocker said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Read the full article ovah here.

Today's Brew | The Sound of Animals Fighting

Thought these guys were quite an oddity, especially considering that they are from LA.
I found out about these guys through The Autumns connection.
Matthew Kelly from The Autumns lends his vocals on some of the songs. The Autumns are currently working on their next album to be released sometime next summer.

The group member consists of: the walrus, the ram, the lynx, the nightingale, the skunk, the dog, the octopus, the hyena, the penguin, the wolf?, the koala

TSOAF's forthcoming album "Lover, The Lord has left us"
Stream their music here:
My Space: The Sound of Animals Fighting

official site: The Sound of Animals Fighting

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Today's Brew | The Roots

The latest album by The Roots dropped yesterday, "Game Theory".

After jumping ship from the Geffen label, The Roots release their first album under the Def Jam label. The album's subject matters are a bit more heavier than their previous material.
Some of the notable tracks feature: "Atonement" samples Radiohead "You and Who's Army?" from Amnesiac, and an eight-minute suite titled "Can't Stop This," features a J Dilla production.

YouTube: The Roots- "Don't Feel Right"

The Roots decided to just use their My Space site as their official site.
Stream their new stuff ovah here: official site: The Roots

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Today's Brew | Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's 44th album and first studio since that's alot of mileage. The longevity of his albums probably exceeds a good majority of our ages who blog. And maybe some of the youngsters can learn from his ability to write some of the most interesting songs.
One of my favorite songs of his is: "Desolation Row" (from Highway 61 Revisited).
And currently there is a film being made about his life, "I'm Not There". It'll take five men and a woman to play Dylan, at various incarnations of his life. (the stars includes Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett).
His album drops today...and from the tidbits I've heard, I'm looking forward to hearing the whole thing.

From the LA Times:

"'Modern Times' fulfills the mandate of a late Dylan album: its 10 songs make you think hard about the past and muse quietly about the future. Titles like "Thunder on the Mountain" feature apocalypse aplenty, and rejuvenating interpolations of source material from Muddy Waters, Carl Perkins and the like further Dylan's efforts to expose the "strong foundation," as he calls it, of his own work. But Dylan also gives a randy tickle to the funny bone and the family jewels, reminding us all that, in pop at least, profundities register better when stirred with something sweet." (By Ann Powers, Times Staff Writer)

Stream track samples from the album ovah here.

official site: Bob Dylan


We're going back to Manchester...
Another look at postpunk at its infancy.

"Magazine's Real Life is post-punk ground zero. Singer/lyricist Howard Devoto split from Buzzcocks to be less musically direct and therefore more adventurous with his new outfit. Taking the groundwork laid by his previous band and applying the artsy abstractions given to the basic rock formula pioneered by the likes of Roxy Music, David Bowie, and Krautrock, Devoto chose his new partners well -- partners who were talented musicians, not afraid to display their skills." (Text from AMG, by Andy Kellman)

YouTube: Magazine-"Shot by Both Sides" (1978)

Buy the album ovah here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Second Cup | The Changes

A bit like Sea and the Cake, but with more of an 80's Brit influence, eventhough their from Chicago...go figure.

From the album "Today is Tonight" (release date: Sept. 26):
YouSend: The Changes- "Water of the Gods"

official site: The Changes

Today's Brew | Frida Hyvönen

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today's Brew | The Album Leaf

Jimmy LaValle is back.
From the album "Into The Blue Again" (release date: September 12th):
mp3: The Album Leaf- "Always For You"

official site: The Album Leaf

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Evening Brew | Oh No! Oh My!

These fellas from good ole Texas make their way to Southern Cali.
They did a special show last night, from what I've been told, and they hit up the Echo tonight, and then to Spaceland on Friday night.

Love 'em or hate 'em, I'm still trying to get into them...
I think "Jane is Fat" and "I have no sister" is growin on me.
mp3 download: Oh No! Oh My!- "Walk in the Park"

Stream some of their music at My Space:
My Space: Oh No! Oh My!

official site: Oh No! Oh My!

Today's Brew | Vinyl Films + Mono

I really don't know too much about this EP project that Mono was involved in, other than that Vinyl Films is connected to film director Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky, Almost Famous, Jerry Macguire, Say Anything...blah blah blah).

My previous mention of Mono goes back a bit ovah here.

From the Vinyl Films 10" Series- Memorie dal Futuro

Produced by MONO

release date: Nov 1, 2006 (10"EP (vinyl) worldwide)

Strings orchestration : Taka, Susan Voelz
Violin : Susan Voelz, Inger Carle, Thomas Yang
Cello : Diana Parameter, Alison Chesley

Song titled by Agostino Tillota

mp3: Mono-"Memorie dal Futuro"

official site: Vinyl-Films
official site: Mono

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Today's Brew | NPR-ASC 2006 Concerts

This week on NPR All Songs Considered takes a look at some of their concert highlights of this past year so far.

Belle and Sebastian
Concert: March 6, Washington, D.C.
Song: "Me and the Major"

Martha Wainwright | Neko Case
Concert: April 10, Washington, D.C.
Song: "Ball and Chain" and "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"

Concert: May 10, Washington, D.C.
Song: "We're No Here"

The Walkmen
Concert: May 26, Washington, D.C.
Song: "Emma Get Me a Lemmon"

The Bad Plus
Concert: June 23, Washington, D.C.
Song: "The Empire Strikes Backwards"

Concert: June 23, Washington, D.C.
Song: "Bring it On"

Drive-By Truckers
Concert: July 25, Washington, D.C.
Song: "Lookout Mountain"

Concert: August 3, Washington, D.C.
Song: "Dig Me Out"

To stream the concert highlights, visit their site.
NPR: All Songs Considered

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Late Night Brew | Rogue's Gallery

Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys

(text below from the label)
The idea for Rogue's Gallery originated when Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp were working on their second film together, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. 'I slowly became fascinated by the idea of a contemporary reinterpretation of the sea chantey,' explains Verbinski. 'I imagined the artists that I listen to and respect doing their take on this age-old music: the song of the sea.'

The collection is filled with contemporary reinterpretations of songs from a genre of music that has all but disappeared. Bono, Sting, Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Gavin Friday, Van Dyke Parks, Andrea Corr and Rufus Wainwright are only a few of the distinguished artists who turn in uncompromising and honest performances that illuminate the power of traditional sea songs.

Quite an eclectic reinterpetation of some traditional sea songs...just hearing a bit of the medley, gives you a good preview of things to come.

mp3 download: ""Rogue's Gallery Medley" (courtesy of insound)

Buy the album ovah here.

Today's Brew | Asobi Seksu "Thursday"

The music vid is made by the creative force of So and Brad.

QT: Asobi Seksu- "Thursday"

re: 1974

Here Come the Warm Jets, his first album was more complex and densely detailed.
Another Green World, his third album was more minimalistic and bit of more stripped down arrangements. Most would note his third album as the masterpiece, but I find the sophomore release to be the more interesting transition from the first album to the third album.
This transitory state of the second album was surrounded by two tragic events that occurred in his life. Right after his first album, Eno experienced ill health and his lung collapsed while on tour. And right after his second album, Eno got into a car accident that left him bedridden for several months. As a result he discovered "his most significant innovation, the creation of ambient music: unable to move to turn up his stereo to hear above the din of a rainstorm, he realized that music could assume the same properties as light or color, and blend thoroughly into its given atmosphere without upsetting the environmental balance."

"Eno's sophomore album, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), is more subdued and cerebral, and a bit darker when he does cut loose, but it's no less thrilling once the music reveals itself. It's a loose concept album -- often inscrutable, but still playful...although not quite as enthusiastic as Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain is made accessible through Eno's mastery of pop song structure, a form he would soon transcend and largely discard." (excerpt taken from AMG, by Steve Huey)

From the album "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy":
YouSend: Brian Eno- "Third Uncle" (for a limited time)

Bauhaus also did a cover for the song "Third Uncle" almost a decade later.

Buy the album ovah here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Late Night Brew | Video Gaming: The Knife

One of my favorite album releases this year is from The Knife, and their album "Silent Shout".
Also their videos have been quite impressive as well.
And now a video game for those who have a bit of down time while working...or studying...or picking your nose.

Play the game, the winner with the highest score gets a signed Motomichi Nakumura print.
The Knife- Video Game

And watch the video featuring the work of Motomichi Nakumura that inspired the game...

WinMed: The Knife- "We Share Our Mother's Health"

Second Cup | Daytrotter: Cold War Kids

Daytrotter offers up a nice feature on Cold War Kids.

Daytrotter: Cold War Kids

Today's Brew | Hot Chip "Colours"

WinMed: Hot Chip "Colours"

official site: Hot Chip
My Space: Hot Chip

A side note: I just realized I missed the Clientele on Saturday Night as they were at the Knitting Factory...damn.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Second Cup | Fuck Yeah Fest 3

This weekend in LA- the city of Angels...

I mentioned this a couple of days ago ovah here.
Besides, Silversun Pickups and Midnight Movies, here are a few others...

Giant Drag
Saturday, August 19th

QT: Giant Drag- "Kevin is Gay"

Matt and Kim
Sunday, August 20th

mp3: Matt and Kim- "Yeah Yeah"

The rest of the Line Up

official site: Fuck Yeah Fest 3

Today's Brew | Pitchfork's 1960s: Day 5

It's Day 5.
Covering songs from #20-1.

Thought I highlight some of the songs from the countdown with their lil' blurbs.
(The following excerpts are taken from Pitchfork)

16. The Stooges: "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
Having defected from the Velvets, the classically trained John Cale handles production by adding sleigh bells and an endlessly repeated single-note piano riff. Instead of deflating the grit and toughness of the music, it elevates the tension and enhances the mood of numbed detachment. And in the end, it's that unsettling sense of monotonous resolution in Iggy's pleas that makes this sound so dangerous.

4. Bob Dylan: "Like a Rolling Stone"
From its first double-drum crack (which Bruce Springsteen later described as the sound of someone "kicking open the door to your mind"), to its mythical opening couplet (a perfectly seething "Once upon a time..."), "Like a Rolling Stone" is one of Dylan's strangest and most enthralling moments, a big, shambling statement that hovers on the verge of total dissolution, threatening to shimmy your record player (and, potentially, your entire life) off the shelf and onto the floor.

1. The Beach Boys: "God Only Knows"
The first words Wilson sings, "I may not always love you," are already uncertain, so if you need a tie into the legacy of 1960s youth culture, glance no further than the naïve but strained optimism locked inside this song. Yet, Wilson made this uncertainty sound gorgeous. The voices that sail behind his might just as well be a quartet of violas and cellos playing counterpoint that'd already been obsessed over a few times before they got it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Afternoon Brew | Silversun Pickups Vid

QT: Silversun Pickups- "Well Thought Out Twinkles"

They play a soldout show at the Troubadour tonight and also play this weekend at the Fuck Yeah Fest 3 in LA.

official site: Silversun Pickups

Second Cup | Pitchfork's 1960s Day 4

It's Day 4.
Covering songs from #60-21.
Thought I highlight some of the songs with notable excerpts.

(the following excerpts taken from Pitchfork)

53. Led Zeppelin: "Whole Lotta Love"
"According to Joy Press and Simon Reynolds' The Sex Revolts, American soldiers in Vietnam would ride into battle blasting..."
*I wonder if they still do that as we're in Iraq...or ride in with a beat of a different drummer, so to speak.

48. David Bowie: "Space Oddity"
"...the song stands on its own, showcasing Bowie's gifts for building atmosphere through arrangements and thematic elements..."

39. The Rolling Stones: "Sympathy for the Devil"
"It was a ballsy move for Mick Jagger to sing about Satan in the first person...he weaves the Crucifiction, the Hundred Years' War, the October Revolution, World War II, and the assassinations of the Kennedys into an interlocking tapestry of human cruelty, and then he takes credit for all of it..."

21. The Beach Boys: "Good Vibrations"
"'Good Vibrations' introduced the electro-Theremin (now often known as the Tannerin, its interface involves shifting the pitch of a sine wave by sliding a knob across a dummy keyboard) to the world at large, its bright eeriness audibly echoing Wilson's knack for blending the mundane with the extraterrestrial..."

Today's Brew | Early Day Miners

Daniel Burton and company ("music co-op") are back with another album.
Amber Webber of Black Mountain lends her vocals on "Return of the Native".
The song is quite hypnotic and lures you in, not sure if its the vocals or the instrumentation, but quite possibly both...
To listen to another track off of "Offshore", visit their My Space to stream "Sans Revival".

From their album "Offshore" (release date: August 22nd):
mp3: Early Day Miners- "Return of the Native"

official site: Early Day Miners
My Space: Early Day Miners

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Late Night Brew | Fuck Yeah Fest 3

Okay, hold on, I'm gettin' ahead of myself here...
prior to this gargantuan event...

I'll probably post another entry about this on Friday.

We got a couple of noteworthy shows to mention.

Both local Southern Cal bands playing on Thursday night and both to parttake in this year's Fuck Yeah fest....Fcuk yeah!

Midnight Movies
OC Museum of Art

From their self titled album (2004):

QT: Midnight Movies- "Mirage"

My Space: Midnight Movies

Silversun Pickups (show is sold out!)


From their EP "Pikul" (2005):
WinMed: Silversun Pickups- "Kissing Families"

My Space: Silversun Pickups

More about this later:

official site: Fuck Yeah Fest 3
Get tix ovah here.

Today's Brew | Starflyer 59

EP cover art by Matt Maust (Cold War Kids)

SaveFile: Starflyer 59- "I Win"

official site: Starflyer 59

Upcoming Shows:
Sep 15
Spaceland, LA

Sep 16
Verizon Wireless Ampitheater Vcast Village
Irvine, CA

My previous entry about SF59 ovah here and the entry about the whole Cold War Kids and Starflyer 59 connection ovah here.

Be sure to check out Day 3:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today's Brew | Pitchfork's 1960s: Day 2

It's Day 2...and wow, if you're like me, I've been enjoying this series so far.
Counting down the 200 Greatest Songs of the it's #150-101.
So far, its been some impressive selections, and a few stuff here and there that I've never really heard before.

Gorilla vs Bear has a beautiful track from Francoise Hardy as she's also featured in Day 1.

re: 1979

Last week we looked at a band from Liverpool, and now we look at the other city that became the haven for the postpunk movement in the late 70s and beyond- Manchester.
This week we look at the Buzzcocks.

"If Never Mind the Bollocks and London Calling are held up as punk masterpieces, then there's no question that Singles Going Steady belongs alongside them. In fact, the slew of astonishing seven-inches collected on Steady and their influence on future musicians - punk or otherwise -- sometimes even betters more famous efforts." (by Ned Raggett, AMG)

SaveFile: Buzzcocks- "Ever Fallen in Love"

Buy the album ovah here.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Late Night Brew | Earlimart

Earlimart has returned with two new tracks. “Answers and Questions” is the fourth in a series of 7” releases in 2006 for Suicide Squeeze. (So maybe this will be their new record label home, who knows?)
Side A – “Answers and Questions” Side B – “Caruthers Boy”.

They are also included in the SUICIDE SQUEEZE 10 Year Anniversary Compilation
“Slaying Since 1996" (2XCD)


Disc 1
1. 764-Hero "Now You're Swimming"
2. Modest Mouse "A Life of Arctic Sounds"
3. The Scenic Vermont "Elementary" #
4. Elliott Smith "Division Day"
5. Modest Mouse / 764-Hero "Whenever You See Fit (DJ Dynomite D REMIX)
6. Pennsy's Electric Workhorses Songs "Cycle Suitor" * #
7. Pedro the Lion "June 18, 1976"
8. The Black Heart Procession "After the Ladder" #
9. Aspera "Bird's Fly" #
10. Constantines "Dirty Business" #
11. The Magic Magicians "Cascade Express"
12. The Black Keys "Yearnin' (live)"
13. Iron and Wine / Six Parts Seven "Sleeping Diagonally"
14. The Melvins "With Teeth (live)" #
15. Les Savy Fav "We'll Make a Lover of You" #
16. Hint Hint "Natural Collegiate"
17. We Ragazzi "Making You Queens Tonight"
18. The Unicorns "2014"
19. S "5 Dollars"
20. Goon Moon "Rock Weird (Weird Rock)"

Disc 2
1. Minus the Bear "The Game Needed Me (Dalek REMIX)" *
2. The Aislers Set "What Fades First (demo)" *
3. Headphones "Gas and Matches (acoustic)" *
4. Crystal Skulls "Baby Boy (demo)" *
5. Six Parts Seven "Afternoon Bed" *
6. Metal Hearts "Jean Baptiste" *
7. Of Montreal "Voltaic Crusher/Undrum to Muted Da" +
8. Chin Up Chin Up "Trophy's for Hire" *
9. Earlimart "Caruthers Boy" *
10. Red Stars Theory "Evergreen and Ivorbean" *
11. Black Mountain "Voices" +
12. Russian Circles "Upper Ninety" *
13. These Arms Are Snakes "Old Paradise" *
14. Hella "Meth Leper" *

* - Previously Unreleased
+ - First time on CD
# - Out of Print

Stream the 7" single "Answers and Questions" at My Space: Earlimart

official site: Earlimart
Suicide Squeeze Records | Slaying since 1996

Today's Brew | Pitchfork's Song of the 1960s

Pitchfork has compiled a list of The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s and will be the main feature this week on their site.
So check it out.
I will.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Half of 2006: My Favorite Songs (So Far)

Twenty-one songs with some selected links.

Not in any particular order, since it was really hard to compile the list, I'd be spending a lot longer trying to rank here it is. And this list of course is incomplete, since I'll probably hear more stuff along the way, but so far this is what I've enjoyed so far:
(check back later, and I'll put some up as temporary YouSend files)

YouSend: Band of Horses- “Funeral”
Thao Nguyen- "Feet Asleep"
TV on the Radio- “I was a Lover”
The Knife- Silent Shout
Cat Power- “The Greatest”
YouSend: Lily Allen- “Alfie”
YouSend: Sonic Youth- “Incinerate”
Silversun Pickups- “Lazy Eye”
Beirut- “Postcards From Italy”
Danielson- “Five Stars And Two Thumbs Up”
Neko Case- "Star Witness"
Sunset Rubdown- “Stadiums and Shrines II”
Acid House Kings- "Keep Your Love"
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan- “Black Mountain”
Cold War Kids- “Hospital Beds”
Guillemots- "Trains to Brazil"
Midlake- "Young Bride" (Cassettes Won't Listen Remix)
Portishead- “Requiem for Anna”
Sufjan Stevens- "The Avalanche"
Asobi Seksu- "Thursday"
Thom Yorke- "And It Rained All Night"

Thursday, August 10, 2006

NPR's Best Songs 2006 (So Far)

This week, NPR All Songs Considered serves up their take of the best songs this year (so far).
Tender Forever- "Then If I'm Weird I Want To Share"
Cat Power- "The Greatest"
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins- "The Charging Sky"
Neko Case- "Margaret Vs. Pauline"
Super XX Man- "Collecting Rocks"
Gnarls Barkley- "Crazy"
Paul Simon- "How Can You Live in the Northwest"
The Walkmen- "Emma Get Me A Lemon"
Art Brut- "My Little Brother"
Thom Yorke- "And it Rained All Night"

Stream the show by visiting their site ovah here.

I'll put together my favorite songs of the year (so far) on Friday.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Evening Brew | Yo La Tengo

I've always liked their album "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One" (1997) and really never followed their more current stuff.
I got a little catching up to do, if even that, til their next album drops.
Gotta love their new album's pretty catchy.

from ‘I am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass’
(release date: September 12th):
mp3: Yo La Tengo- "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind "
(courtesy of matador records)
mp3: Yo La Tengo- "Beanbag"

official site: Yo La Tengo

Second Cup | Bishop Allen : July

mp3: Bishop Allen- "Click Click CLick Click"

buy the EP and their past month EP's ovah here,

Today's Brew | Avalon: CW Kids & Editors

cold war kids
Okay, I admit, I'm still working on taking better shots on my 3 year old digital camera...quite slow for today's standard, but does the job, sorta.
Last night, Editors played at Avalon (in Hollywood) with the Cold War Kids.
And if I were to mirror last night's show and this show, wow, in terms of energy level, its like night and day.

The stage presence of both bands really made the show dynamic and fun. I'm talking some serious movement around the stage, some interesting aerobic workout and a bit of jazzercise happening...okay maybe not to that level.

With alot of airplay and buzz, the audience absorbed every single song by the Editors, it was quite a sight as people were bobbing their heads to and fro, and as random clusters of digital camera screens can be seen in the sea of the masses.

By the end of the evening, the Editors brought down the house down...and to top off their encore set, they played the familiar cover by the Talking Heads "Road to Nowhere".

My previous entry about the Cold War Kids ovah here.

My previous entry about Editors ovah here and here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

re: 1985

A tale of two cities. One, being Manchester, and the other, Liverpool.
Liverpool giving birth to the Beatles...but the postpunk movement flourished well in the city of Manchester during the late 70s and beyond.
I'll post about this later, since I've been listening to a great deal of music from Manchester and Liverpool. Actually its a compilation album, I'll share that later.
But one band from Liverpool left their mark during the 80's, evenwhile such bands from Manchester flourished like the Smiths and New Order. I believe I used the word 'flourished' twice, hahaha...
Songs to Learn and Sing released in 1985, a compilation album and considered a staple of the 'post-new-wave rock'.

Songs to Learn & Sing is a solid and comprehensive collection of the band's material, also introducing the previously unissued album track "Bring on the Dancing Horses," which was featured on the soundtrack to the Molly Ringwald film Pretty in Pink (1986).
(courtesy of AMG, by MacKenzie Wilson)

YouSend: Echo & The Bunnymen- "Bring on the Dancing Horses" (for a limited time)

Buy the album ovah here.

Today's Brew | Troubadour: Mew

Last night, Mew performed at a sold out show at the Troubadour. Although they did play last week with Bloc Party and Broken Social Scene at the Greek Theatre (on Thursday, if I got my facts straight). This is their first time coming out to Southern California.

The band exceeded the expectation in their performance as they really handled the music well, but the vocalist Jonas Bjerre was rather stiff and unintereresting. Bottom line, there was really no sense of interaction with the lead vocalist to the audience.

Also, I was hoping that they would play their set like they did their album- a continous flow, from one song to the next, where the songs seem seamless. Instead they took liberty to change the sequence of the songs, thus a more fragmented jigsaw puzzle. The set list they played was almost deconstructing the sequential songs of the album itself.

Not bad of a debut for a bunch folks from Denmark.

My previous post about them back from late last year ovah here.