Thursday, November 30, 2006

Late Night Brew | Clipse

Alright, I'm jumping on this bandwagon, and after hearing the album-- its a pretty damn good one too. This album has gotten quite a buzz of late, especially after the comment by Pitchfork -- "an album that's sonically deep, dark, and one of 2006's finest". Notable tracks are "Mr. Me Too" and "Trill".

From their album Hell Hath No Fury:
mp3: Clipse- "Trill"
(YouSend: for a limited time only)

official site: Clipse
My Space: Clipse

Today's Brew | Joanna Newsom

She's in town tonight for a show over at the El Rey Theatre.
Unfortunately, yours truly won't be attending, and regrettably so.
And if you want a sneak peek of how the show will be, check out Pitchfork's review of the show ovah here.

mp3: Joanna Newsom- "Monkey & Bear"
(YouSend: for a limited time only)

In talking about her current album Ys that's been getting rave reviews (and I like it too):
"I don't really even consider it a concept album, even if it does have some unifying aesthetic choices that make it really different from the first record. It's the product of a series of very small decisions, as opposed to sitting down like, "I want to do this record with long songs and huge orchestral presences." Basically I wanted to undertake the task of writing songs about a particular year of my life. Not the task of telling that story in a linear way, or in any way that would make the story explicitly knowable to a listener, but rather, to tell the story to myself." (Joanna Newsom, excerpt taken from Pitchfork's Interview)

Read more of the Pitchfork's Interview with Joanna Newsom ovah here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Today's Brew | Richard Swift

If you haven't picked up his first album The Novelist/Walking Without Effort (double CD), you have at least a couple of months to do so til he releases his sophomore album.

"Just listen to my songs... the riffraff in the background is inconsequential."
(Richard Swift)

From the album Dressed Up For The Letdown (release date: Feb 2007):
mp3: Richard Swift- "Kisses for the Misses"
(courtesy of secretly canadian)

Stream a couple of additional tracks off the upcoming album.
My previous entry about him ovah here and here.
He'll be at the Mercury Lounge in New York on November 30th.

official site: Richard Swift
My Space: Richard Swift

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

re: 1997

Recently, Depeche Mode released their Best of, Volume 1, just another of their many compilations. I recommend their Singles 81>85 and Singles 86>98 as a good primer of their music if your not too familiar with DM prior to their recent albums. But this is one of their albums, I actually like alot. Not too many critics liked it as much. But to me, the album is darker and the vocal lessons that Gahan took pay off.

Combined with Gahan's near suicide and lengthy recovery from drugs, things looked bleak. Happily, Ultra turned out a winner; hooking up with Tim Simenon, longtime U.K. dance maven and producer of arty fare such as Gavin Friday's Adam 'n' Eve, Depeche delivered a strong album as a rejuvenated band. The most immediate change was Gahan's singing; for the first time ever, he took singing lessons beforehand, and his new control and projection simply shines, especially on the marvelous "It's No Good," a pulsing, tense, yet beautiful song with another deeply romantic Gore lyric. (by Ned Raggett, AMG)

mp3: Depeche Mode- "It's No Good"
(YouSend: for a limited time)

YouTube: "It's No Good" video directed by Anton Corbijin

Buy the album ovah here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Today's Brew | Orpheum: Cat Power

This past Saturday, I caught the Cat Power with the Memphis Rhythm Band at the Orpheum Theater. I figured by now, it'd be safe to actually catch a Cat Power show with her notorious reputation of her past shows turning rather sour.

The Orpheum Theater is quite an exquisite venue, restored and renovated, very classy. Seats were a bit crampy and a pain in the ass for those who had to move to the center of the aisle.

The Memphis Rhythm Band opened with a couple of instrumental tunes, and then Chan Marshall came on the stage to open with the song "The Greatest".
Her stage presence was quite an awkward array of quirky and erratic dance moves that ranged from the chicken dance to some moves she might have learned from watching too much Bollywood film. Some movements were just downright weird and strange. Not sure if I was more interested in her movements and gestures as much as what she was singing.

The concert was clocked at about 2 hours, and consisted of some guitar/ piano solos.
She even covered the song that every single band in the planet has pretty much covered, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. In this case, the song was somewhat believable, especially with her wacky gestural movements. Either she was on something that the audience was missing out on or she was seriously wanting to make this show as she closed off by saying, "a memorable show for everyone to remember".

Yea, I know, crappy pictures, my camera's quite retarded and old, or maybe I am?
I hope to load up a video clip of Cat Power's "Crazy" real soon, its also pretty crappy visually but audio wise quite decent.

mp3: Cat Power- "The Greatest"
(courtesy of matador)

ALSO: Chromewaves has a fantastic concert review of her show at The Phoenix. And also has some incredible shots of that show. So imagine if my camera wasn't retarded and I could actually take as great shot as these, it was an awesome evening.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Today's Brew | Catchin up with Cold War Kids

If you haven't checked out their site recent, Cold War Kids offer up some mp3s of their live recording of the Benefit at the District Lounge in Orange back on September 24th.
I'm sure this is old news for some, and I believe MOKB already posted this about a month back or so ago...but its news to me.

mp3: Cold War Kids- "Indoor Fireworks" (live)
mp3: Cold War Kids- "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" (live)

Also they got some really nice images of their recent tour in Europe as well.

official site: Cold War Kids

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Today's Brew | NPR: Cat Power in Concert

Cat Power with the Memphis Rhythm Band performed a concert last night in DC as part of NPR's Live Concert Series.
Visit the site to listen to the full concert, and I'm sure the downloadable version of the songs will be floating soon.

She'll be coming to LA this Saturday for a show at the Orpheum Theatre.

NPR: Cat Power in Concert

re: 2000 to 1983 to 1987

Today's re: is brought to you by Patrick Bateman. Perhaps a music blogger himself? The guy knows his music or does he?
(excerpt taken from the Universal Pictures movie "American Psycho")
Writing credits (WGA) by Bret Easton Ellis (novel)
Mary Harron & Guinevere Turner (screenplay)

The living room floor has been meticulously covered with
Owen is slumped drunkenly in a white Eames chair, a glass
in his hand. Bateman is looking through his CDs.

You like Huey Lewis and the News?

They're okay.

Their early work was a little too New Wave for my
taste. But then Sports came out in 1983, I think they really
came into their own, commercially and artistically.

Bateman walks to his bathroom, taking a large ax out of the
shower. He takes two Valium.

mp3: Huey Lewis and the News- "I want a new drug"

(Said partly from the bathroom)
The whole album has a clear, crisp sound and a new sheen of
consummate professionalism that gives the songs a big boost.
Bateman comes back out and leans the ax against the wall.
He walks to the foyer and puts on a raincoat, watching Owen
from behind ail the time.

He's been compared to ELvis Costello but I think
Huey has a more bitter, cynical sense of humor.

In 1987 Huey released this, Fore!, their most
accomplished album. I think I heir undisputed masterpiece is
"Hip To Be Square," a song so catchy that most people probably
don't listen to the lyrics. But they should because it's not
just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of
trends. It's al~ a personal statement about the band itself.

Bateman puts on "Hip To Be Square."
mp3: Huey Lewis and the News- "Hip To Be Square"
(YouSend- for a limited time)

BATEMAN crosses the room and picks up the ax.

We follow BATEMAN from behind as he walks up to Owen, the
ax raised over his head.

Added info:
Sports by Huey Lewis and the News was yours truly's very first vinyl record album purchased.

Buy the album:
For Sports
For Fore!

Buy the book ovah here.

Buy the DVD ovah here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Today's Brew | Swan Lake

Swan Lake's debut album drops this Tuesday. I'm lookin forward to this collective efforts from Dan Bejar of Destroyer and New Pornographers, Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes, and Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown.
Spencer's been one busy bee.

mp3: Swan Lake- "The Freedom"
(courtesy of jagjaguwar)

Stream the song "City Calls" on their My Space site.

My previous entry about them ovah here.
Check out Daytrotter's A Week with Swan Lake ovah here.

official site: Swan Lake
MySpace: Swan Lake

Friday, November 17, 2006

Today's Brew | Hot Chip

If you haven't heard already, a new track of Hot Chip is on their My Space, from their forthcoming 2007 release of Shot Down In Flames. A possible reference to an AC DC song from the album "Highway to Hell". But maybe not, anyways-- visit their site, and listen to "I Volunteer", a bit of a different vibe than what you heard from their current album.

Hot Chip
are in town, as they will be playing on Saturday night over at the Henry Fonda.
mp3: Hot Chip- "Over and Over (Devolve vs. Solid Groove)"
(YouSend: For a limited time)

My Space: Hot Chip

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Best Vids I've Seen So Far- 2006 Edition

It's that time of year once again where we look back at the past year with the list of the best.
And just like last year, I kicked off the series of lists with the Best Vids I've seen so far.
The list consists of vids envisioned by some of the most creative folks whether they be video music directors or not. The key words here are, I've seen so far, since there are so many vids I'm sure I've neglected. The past year, we've seen how YouTube became a viral component in making videos accessible. It also allowed even amateurs to make their own or record live music, etc as well.
I wish I had time to explain why I picked each vid, but I thought the vids can speak for themselves.

1. The Knife "Like A Pen" (QT)
Directed by Andrea Nilsson

2. Hot Chip “Boy From School” (WinMed)
Directed by Garth Jennings

3. The Knife "Marble House" (WinMed)
Directed by Bjorn Renner

4. Beck "Cellphone's Dead"
Directed by Michel Gondry

5. Emily Haines "Doctor Blind" (QT)
Directed by Jaron Albertin

6. Death Cab for Cutie- "Your Heart is an Empty Room"
Directed by Jeffrey Brown

7.The Knife-"We Share Our Mother's Health" (WinMed)
Directed by Motomichi Nakumara

8. Zero 7 “Futures” (QT)
Directed by Robert Seidel

9. The Concretes- "On the Radio” (WinMed)
Directed by Daniel Levi

10. Jamie Lidell "New Me"
Directed by Aleksandra Domanovic

Some Honorable Mentions:

Badly Drawn Boy- “Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind”
Directed by Dougal Wilson

Xiu Xiu "Boy Soprano
Directed by Jose Perez III

The Fever "City of Sleep"
Directed by Geremy Jasper and Johanna Witherby

Peter Bjorn & John- "Young Folks"
Directed by (does anyone know?)

Spinto Band- "Oh Mandy"
Directed by La Blogoteque

Okay, and also...
OK GO "Here it goes again"

Best Vids I've Seen So far- 2005 Edition

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Today's Brew | Sonic Youth

The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities
Album release: December 12th

The Destroyed Room is the last album that's part of Sonic Youth's current contract with Geffen. Bassist/vocalist Kim Gordon doesn't seem optimistic about continuing with Geffen, according to a recent interview she gave to

"I don't really think they want us to stay," she said. "They fired a few key people working on [2006 album Rather Ripped] a week before it came out.

(courtesy of Chartattack)


1. Fire Engine Dream - Sonic Nurse outtake, previously unreleased
2. Fauxhemians - All Tomorrow's Parties 1.1
3. Is It My Body? - Alice Cooper Tribute
4. Razor Blade - Bull in the Heather B-side
5. Blink - Pola X soundtrack
6. Campfire - At Home With the Groovebox
7. Loop Cat - You Can Never Go Fast Enough
8. Kim's Chords - Sonic Nurse Japan edition
9. Beautiful Plateau - Sonic Nurse Japan edition
10. Three Part Sectional Love Seat - The Noho Furniture Sessions previously unreleased
11. Queen Anne Chair - The Noho Furniture Sessions previously unreleased
12. The Diamond Sea - Washing Machine LP version

Stream a couple of the tracks ovah at their My Space:
MySpace: Sonic Youth

Preorder the album ovah here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Second Cup | Espresso Pluggio Awardachino

QT: Plug Award Promo Vid

Here's my picks...

The Album of the Year- The Knife "Silent Shout"-- Hands of my favorites this year.

New Artist of the Year- Beirut-- One of the most unique acts I've heard so far this year, and also seen. This kid is only 20?? WTF?

Female Artist of the Year-Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power)--
Actually this category was tough, some really strong contenders. Emily Haines and Shara Worden would definitely be in the running as well as Joanna Newsom and Neko Case. But I chose Chan. With the Memphis Rhythm Band backing her up, this album just hits you and tugs you inside. And then upon reading the NY Times article about her personal struggle, the album almost has a whole new meaning and life to it.

Now its your turn...
Vote here!
I like their slick new categorization of "obsessive".

Today's Brew | Hello Saferide

I have to say thanks to SwedesPlease for introducing me to Hello Saferide. Hello Saferide aka Annika Norlin from the land that brought us some amazing music.
Also be sure to check out Vapnet as well.

mp3: Hello Saferide- "San Francisco"
(YouSend: For a limited time)
-visit her My Space site for more music to download.
mp3: Vapnet featuring Annika Norlin- "Färjemansleden"
(YouSend: For a limited time)
-visit Vapnet's My Space site for more music to download)

official site: Hello Saferide
MySpace: Hello Saferide

MySpace: Vapnet

re: 1992

When I started this re: series back in April, I started off with a comparison in the catchy hook between Siouxsie and the Banshees "Kiss Them For Me" and Chapterhouse's "Pearl" (which featured the vocals of Rachel Goswell of Slowdive- which suggests Slowdive derived their name from a Siouxsie and the Banshee's song). So everything's sorta connected in this vast music landscape.
One of the better compilations of Siouxsie and the Banshees, a primer of their best material if you're not familiar with their music.

The Banshees' post-1982 singles (documented in entirety on Twice Upon a Time) have a lush and expansive sound that directly influenced the goth sound. From the opening of "Fireworks" it is immediately apparent that Siouxsie and the Banshees were growing up.
(by Chris True, AMG)

mp3: Siouxsie and the Banshees- "Kiss Them For Me"
(YouSend: For a limited time)

Buy the album ovah here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Late Night Brew | Linda Linda Linda

Don't ask me why I posted this entry, but there's something really weird about this movie...which I find intriguing as I was browsing through the NY Times over the weekend.

James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins' has laid down the soundtrack for this movie made up of awkward conversations, listless moments and shy glances that makes you think it's an art flick until you suddenly realize that this is a punk rock anthem about how rock and roll saves our souls

The three members soldier on: Kyoko (Aki Maeda – BATTLE ROYALE) is on drums, Nozumi (Shiori Sekine from the real life band Base Ball Bear) is on bass and Kei (Yu Kashii – the very cool looking secret weapon in LORELEI) switches from keyboards to guitar. And finally, they recruit a shy Korean exchange student to be their singer (Bae Doo-Na, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE).
(text courtesy of NYAFF 2006)

New York Asian Film Festival 2006

Navigate yourself through the site to the trailer-
official site: Linda Linda Linda
(Site is mostly in Japanese, but some English)

Second Cup | Music News

I was listening to NPR Morning Edition, and heard this poignant feature on the jazz musician Ornette Coleman , known as the father of "Free Jazz" and his latest release Sound Grammar.

Read the full article ovah here.

Also some quick reads ovah at Pitchfork :
-An interesting interview of Cat Power.
-News that Grizzly Bear cancels the rest of their European tour due to a big loss by some break-in on their tour van.

-Joanna Newsom gets a nice solid review of her latest effort "Ys", which is really an awesome album if you haven't heard of it already.

Today's Brew | Troubadour: The Wrens

This past Friday night, I checked out The Wrens show over at the Troubadour.
Asobi Seksu were there as well. Much tighter set then the last time I had seen them, which was over a year ago. As I mentioned previously, I haven't really followed The Wrens, regretfully, and never really caught them live either. But after watching their show, I had a renewed interest for these guys. Although the show wasn't sold out, The Wrens were backed by some very devoted fans that really made the show very special.

(photos courtesy of cindy c)

asobi seksu

the wrens

the wrens
From their album Abbott 1135:
mp3: The Wrens- "I Guess We're Done"
(courtesy of the wrens)

YouTube: The Wrens- "Everyone Chooses Sides"

My previous entry about them ovah here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Today's Brew | The Wrens

The Wrens are in town tonight at the Troubadour with Asobi Seksu.
I've written plenty of entries about Asobi Seksu, and I've seen them perform once before. Check out my past entries about them ovah here. I thought, its about time for me to write up something about these guys. It'll be an interesting treat to catch The Wrens, since it'll be my first time catching them even as they've been around for some time.

Apparently there's a documentary currently being made by Kathyrn Yu and Co. about The Wrens. They have a blog.
Little Quill Productions.

From their album Meadowlands (2003):
mp3: The Wrens- "Everybody Choose Sides"
(courtesy of the Wrens site)
mp3: The Wrens-"She Sends Kisses
(courtesy of MySpace)

Official site: The Wrens
My Space: The Wrens

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Second Cup | loudQuietloud

The Pixies film came out on DVD a couple of days ago.
QT: loudQuietloud Trailer

Buy it ovah here.

Today's Brew | Deerhunter

Today's Brew consist of alot of namedropping. But bare with me on this, cuz these kids from Atlanta deserve some attention.

Upon reading Pitchfork's Guest List: Liars, they mentioned these guys and actually toured with them.

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s in NME had said their music borders along as “a religious experience.”

mp3: Deerhunter- "Spring Hall Convert"
(courtesy of MySpace)
mp3: Deerhunter- "Like New"
(courtesy of Notown Sound)

Notownsound: Deerhunter
My Space: Deerhunter

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Today's Brew | The Mary Onettes

Aside from IKEA, Sweden has definitely become a vibrant place for some interesting music within the past couple of years. An interesting phenomena as the sound is quite diverse and draws its influence from various genres. Perhaps one could parallel how the way the IKEA concept works?
IKEA contends that it has been a pioneering force in sustainable approaches to mass consumer culture. Kamprad refers to the concept as "democratic design," meaning that the company applies an integrated approach to manufacturing and design. (wikipedia)
Well, maybe that's a stretch, but then again, I find the music scene from Sweden to be alot more interesting.

I don't know too much about these guys, but think Echo & Bunnymen and the Jesus and Mary Chain, but Swedish style.

mp3: The Mary Onettes- "Lost"
(courtesy of Labrador)

official site: The Mary Onettes
My Space: The Mary Onettes

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

re: 1988

This album should definitely be in your collection, and if it isn't, well, I highly recommend you pick yourself a copy. It's one album that I will never grow weary of listening to.

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, a record that rewrote the rules of what hip-hop could do. That's not to say the album is without precedent, since what's particularly ingenious about the album is how it reconfigures things that came before into a startling, fresh, modern sound. Public Enemy used the template Run-D.M.C. created of a rap crew as a rock band, then brought in elements of free jazz, hard funk, even musique concrète, via their producing team, the Bomb Squad, creating a dense, ferocious sound unlike anything that came before.
What's amazing is how the words and music become intertwined, gaining strength from each other. Though this music is certainly a representation of its time, it hasn't dated at all. It set a standard that few could touch then, and even fewer have attempted to meet since.
(by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG)

Public Enemy- "Bring the Noise"
(YouSend: for limited time only)

Buy the album ovah here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Today's Brew | El Rey: The Knife

This past Saturday, The much anticipated arrival of The Knife came to L.A.
At first, I made the mistaken impression that Planningtorock was going to open, but instead we all waited for The Knife.
The stage was set up with a veil that divided the performers from the audience. At first glance, one wondered if the stage was set with a dismal coat of smoke or the sheet provided a seperation til the actual show began.

As The Knife took the stage, finally after a long ass wait. Their were two projections going on simultaneously. There was the backdrop screen and then there was the veil that acted as another screen. Thus creating the illusion of a layered painting. Long time collaborator and art director of The Knife's audiovisual show Andreas Nilsson provided the amazing visuals.

Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson came out looking like glow monkeys on stage.
And as they performed one wondered if it was just all an act as much of the set was all pre-recorded. The only thing that wasn't pre-recorded was possibly the vocals done by Karin Dreijer Andersson. They covered most of the crowd favorites like "Heartbeats", "Silent Shout", "We Share Our Mothers' Health", "Marble House", and came back to do an encore of "Like A Pen".

Although the performance of The Knife felt a bit stagnant and banal. One couldn't help but think their costumes looked like space monkeys worn by the Blue Man Group. The audio-visual experience was quite intriguing and made that the focal point of the evening. Most people at the show were either in a dancing frenzy or bit disappointed by the venue's lack of air-conditioning as the room became uncomfortably warm by the temperature in the place.

From their album Deep Cuts:
mp3: The Knife- "Heartbeats"