Apr 30, 2006

Rock and The Rakes

Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadillo - UnderDiscussion (2005)

The Rakes are a London rock band birthed directly of the recent American rock band resurgence. Unfortunately many (including myself) found this shallow rerun annoying and uninspiring, and abandoned the resultant progeny to run around unsupervised and feeling entitled, writing on the walls of the music scene with loud nostalgia-colored crayons. The Rakes have apparently remained resilient and survived the childish mimicry, learned the language, and continue to scream for attention. Expected heavy guitar and crowd chant lyrics are flaunted like a spring teenage midriff, accessorized with transparent references to ancestors that are still too fleeting to be trusted. I retain the hope that rock is just going through an awkward phase and will eventually emerge with a deepened sound and mature self-awareness. But, right now I'd send it off to boarding school to find itself (apparently not in London).

The Rakes - Retreat (mp3)

Apr 27, 2006

Cleanin' Out My Closet (No Eminem, Don't Worry) VOLUME 1.1

Jorg Lenzlinger & Gerda Steiner - Falling Garden (2003)

I'm clumsily clamoring through digital music piles in an attempt to recycle a scattering of orphaned mp3s horded and reported over the past few months... Remember when organizing music involved more rigid plastic collisions than the Southern California Rollergirls? Whether it was tapes or CDs, how did we ever store our music in such inefficient packaging? I can't even imagine what convenience the next format will bring.

I'll post a bunch of the savory songs in two bite-sized chunks
in case you missed 'em.

Volume #1.1:

We Are The Fury - Better Off This Way (mp3) [original post]

The Winks - Castle In The Clouds [original post]

Man man - Engwish Bwudd (mp3) [original post]

Leslie & The Lys - Gold Pants (mp3) [original post]

The Knife - Heartbeats (mp3) [original post]

Maximo Park - Isolation (mp3) [original post]

Ninja High School - Jam Band Death Cult (mp3) [original post]

The Go! Team - Ladyflash (mp3) [original post]

Amy X - Life Stepped In (mp3) [original post]

Over the Rhine - My Love (mp3) [original post]

Hot Chip The Warning (mp3) [original post]

Black Box Recorder - The Facts of Life (mp3) [original post]

Aberfeldy - Vegetarian Restaurant (mp3) [original post]

Pants Yell - Your Feelings Don't Show (mp3) [original post]

Mos Def - Katrina Clap (mp3) [original post]

Saul Williams - List of Demmands (mp3) [original post]

The Fools - Psycho Chicken (mp3) [original post]

Apr 25, 2006


Martin Boyce - We Are Resistant, We Dry Out In The Sun (2004)

"I sit, awkwardly fraying a sleeve with my front teeth, in front of the next contestant in a trickling that seems like a barrage. I smirk while she recounts the death of her previous boyfriend and she smirks while telling me she never wants to see me again. The smiles illicit a certain level of comfortable normalcy – one for which I’ve been searching for some time. I smile when I’m uncomfortable and she smiles when she’s right. And we are a happy couple smiling at each other in a coffeeshop.

It this what life is about? Finding a way to sculpt ones abnormalities into a sitcom format? Into a resume format? She explains that the content should speak for itself and the rest shouldn’t suggest a distraction. She stresses the importance of black lines to suggest confidence. She lectures me on the art of removing all art. And she smiles.

She’s much better than my therapist. In ways I feel I should be paying her, but she doesn’t have the capacity to accept payment through my insurance. She makes it all make sense and I love her for it. But I don’t. Why not? As I squat in the public restroom I realize I’m vulnerable without my pen. And that this paragraph will never translate correctly from the way I’d first imagined.

One should know what he wants and exude this desire at all times. If he makes wee-wee in the apartment, you have to slap him with a newspaper."

Okkervil River - For Real (mp3) [music video]

Okkervil River - Black (mp3)

Okkervil River - A Favor (mp3)

Okkervil River - War Criminal Rises and Speaks (mp3)

Apr 22, 2006

Good Luck!

Kelsey Brookes - Bahama Mama

A formally trained biochemist, Kelsey Brookes now applies himself to the creation of brashly intricate images that weave a complex emotional presence through pairings of sex, animals, traditions, and loud colors. He has said that his body of work is inspired largely from his experiences in the US's university system that "refuses to teach its scientists to draw". Perhaps I enjoy our parallel conflicts and the dirty freedom that his commitment exudes, but each piece is simultaneously inspiring and visually intriguing.

Two of my buddies (Andy and Alex) take their MCATs today. Both will rock it out, but its is equally comendable that they are able to devote such time and energy while not losing themselves in the process. I can't be there physically, so I thought I should at least be musically supportive. I think this song is actually about bitterness towards a past relationship, but I chose it purely superficially based on it's title and basic chorus. So, just pretend it's a pop song on the radio and sing along without thinking about it.

Basement Jaxx - Good Luck (mp3)

Apr 21, 2006

Bishop Allen: So Colossal and So Unstoppable.

Art Oriente Objet (AOo) - Henn (2005)

Images birthed of the art duo Art Oriente Objet (AOo) are strongly biological and possess a clear fascination with the human animal. A unique 1997 installation called "Live In Boston" explores an artistic pseudo-science experiment by displaying a video of a procedure that bred the two artists' (Ms. Laval-Jeantet and Mr. Mangin) skin cells alongside the actual skin samples tattooed by a tatoo artist.

Bishop Allen's delightful pieces of unique pop are being packaged into neat little packages in the form of a four-song EP released every month. "April" should be out soon, but here are samples from the last quarter in case you missed them.

Bishop Allen - The Monitor (mp3) [From the newest "March" EP]

Bishop Allen - The News From Your Bed (mp3) [From the "February" EP"]

Bishop Allen - Corazon (mp3) [From the "January" EP]

A whole year seems like an extensive project, but I suppose Sufjan would disagree. Order "Charm School" and all the EPs (only $5 each) at Bishop Allen's online store. [myspace]

Gnarls Barkley's single "Crazy" appears to be on the path to become this summer's over-played, over-hyped "Hey Ya". It's a solid pop hook with trendy watered-down influences, and the RIAA is already coming down hard on the little guys to preserve a big expected profit. Check out the arty music video that manages to take the mental-health insensitivity even farther. This drunk kid's version is even better. It's hard to not like the song, but do you really think you're in control? I think you're crazy.

Apr 18, 2006

The Science of Sleep

Michel Gondry's new movie "The Science of Sleep" stars Gael Garcia Bernal (from Amores Perros, Y tu Mama Tambien, Dot the I, Motorcycle Diaries) along with Gondry's characteristic low-fi animation and boundless surreality. Apparently shown at Sundance, the film promises to be a complex flow of images about a boy with a strange relationship to reality. I'll take two copies.

Boards of Canada's new album "Trans Canada Highway" is set for release on June 6th. With a tracklisting that includes "Dayvan Cowboy", it should be another sleepy intrigue. I'm currently in seclusion trying to get my own sleep managed, so if I slack with the new music... just put this track on repeat.

Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy (mp3) [myspace]

Cheers to the shout out on VH1's Best Week Ever blog today!

Apr 17, 2006

My Eyes Have Been Opened by Bright Eyes Openers

Red Bone Slim (Bianca Casady of CocoRosie) - Noah's Ark

In addition to filling my life with his own tremendously influential music, Bright Eyes has turned me on to a diverse group of bands that play regularly in my soundtrack. The list of past openers demonstrates a flair for the unique and the well-crafted (a talent put to good use at Saddle Creek). Arguably my favourite of the bunch, Tilly and the Wall, is set to release a new album called Bottoms of Barrels on May 23rd. After listening to the first single, it might be a collection of songs that are metaphorically (not literally... that would just be weird) remnants from the stylistic barrels of last albums. The band's uniqueness is such a *literal* leap beyond other bands that I suppose more of the same is still groundbreaking.

Tilly and the Wall - Bad Education (mp3) [myspace]

CocoRosie - Noah's Ark (mp3) [myspace]

The sisters also contribute to a project called Metallic Falcons, whose upcoming release "Desert Doughnuts" can be previewed with two tracks available for download

Arab Strap - Who Named The Days (mp3)

Arab Strap - Love Detective (mp3)

A diverse collection of classic and live oddity tracks featuring Aidan's stretched plodding lyrics is available at their website including "We Don't Make Each Other Laugh Anymore".

With spring comes fresh blog features... here are a few beauties:

1) Evan of Evan's Song A Day academically dissects a
new song every day!
2) Bethanne of Clever Titles are So Last Summer answers your questions (musical and otherwise) with her
Ask Bethanne feature.
3) Jeff of DIY Rockstar is exploring the music label perspective over the next three weeks with his Loveable Labels feature starting with JagJaguwar.

Apr 15, 2006

Call On Me

Just in time for the weekend...

"Call On Me" by Eric Prydz may just be the best song AND best music video ever created. My life would not be the same without either. Though it sounds strikingly like Phil Collins, the sample is actually from a 1982 song by Steve Winwood called Valerie (Call on Me). When Swedish DJ Eric Prydz's dance track was released in 2004, it topped the UK singles charts for 5 weeks. The controversial video, featuring an erotic 80s aerobics workout, inspired outrage within mothers and politicians while quenching the rest of the world's thirst for accessible softcore pornography set to ironically hollow dance beats.

Eric Prydz - Call On Me (mp3) and MUSIC VIDEO

The international love craze for this piece of work has produced a touching collection of sincere tributes. "Call On Me" can be seen performed in gyms across the country, in public, extremely precisely by 12 year old boys, instead of practicing vital pilot maneuvers, homoerotically in dorm hallways, with an intesity only taught in the army, in Lithuania, embarassingly by large awkward people, while driving in rural Illinois, as a rap video, passionately in the bedrooms of crazy "women", by best friends, by a frog with a penis, and basically anywhere there is a videocamera and a dream.
Grab yourself a pink beer bottle cozy, a bike strobe light, some clean underwear, and a couple of friends... and dance your little heart out. You deserve it.