Friday, August 29, 2008
Deciding to venture into the world of discovering music I had to take a deep breath and realize that I will always be overwhelmed by how much there is out there to appreciate, learn about and enjoy. It took me a long time before I could even start writing about music because I figured people would always know about what had just come across for the first time ages before I did. Rodriguez is one of those treasured artists that I should know about but unfortunately did not until today. He has an incredibly interesting story which might explain for why I have never heard about him before. Born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez in 1942 to Mexican immigrant parents who had relocated to Detroit. His debut and hit album, Cold Fact was recorded in 1969 and released in the March of 1970. Recording the sad times of life within one of America's most stifled economic cities ravaged with riots, lay-offs and crime Rodriguez fed off of this cultural devastation and painted a portrait of the struggling working class and the emotional downfall left in poverty's wake. His is a different path of Dylan theology and often receives comparisons to our beloved poet and patriot. The most stunning bit of his story has yet to come,
But the album sank without a trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez's more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. Cold Fact producer Mike Theodore remembers how he would only play at "hooker bars, inner city dives, and biker bars." When the follow-up, 1972's Coming From Reality, also tanked, Rodriguez called an end to his recording career. He'd never even played a proper gig. And he got on with life. Over the years, he turned his hand to local politics, philosophy, a job in a petrol station and, eventually, hard labor.
Read the rest of it here. For those of you interested he is playing a show at Joe's Pub on Wednesday, September 3rd at 930 PM and it is not sold out. I am beyond excited to continue my exploration.
Rodriguez-Inner city Blues.mp3
Heading into this long weekend is the perfect time to acquaint your ears with the rambunctious Pete and the Pirates. Why, because if you are lucky enough you are spending this weekend situated on a beach or river or lake of some sort soaking up as much sun and swimming as you possibly can before we are back into the work routine of late hours and leaving when it is already dark outside. Sigh...and so it goes. Similar in sound and theme to The Pigeon Detectives, The Voom Blooms and The Fratellis their music is light and full of pop'eske lyrics and upbeat rhythms. Home to them are the successful-indie-band-rearing streets of Reading, England. My favorite track off of their first release, Little Death (which was released back in February) is Mr. Understanding for its jovial quality and youthful expression. This is a good introduction to just what Craig David (vocals), Praying Hefferan (vocals and guitar), Dodie Thorpe (guitar), Paste Cattermoul (bass) and Jum-Jum Sanders (drums)have in store for you should you choose to check them out. If you decide to dislike them you are in good company with Vice magazine's Stewy Matterson who claimed that their album Little Death was the "worst album of the month" category with "jangly guitar music that doesn’t actually sound like it wants to be heard by anybody apart from [the band's] mothers." OUCH.
Pete and the Pirates-Mr. Understanding.mp3
Pete and the Pirates-Come On Feet.mp3
*(this track sounds like the Hidden Cameras to me)
The Voom Blooms Tags/The Pigeon Detectives Tags/The Fratellis Tags
Last night i finally got to see Lykke Li even though I have been vying to since February and instructed all of my friends to go see her at SXSW. She was AMAZING. Anyone who loves her, you should definitely go to see her shows when she passes through your town. Anyone who doesn't like her---you might just be a little bit crazy. Just a little bit. Show review to come soon. Oh and Le Poisson Rouge is one of the most beautiful spaces in NYC. We are incredibly spoiled. Special thank you to all of the lovelies over at Sneak Attack Media. I already thought you were delightful now I personally know you are some of the best people in the business.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
How could the indie world not love this foursome out of Cambridge, MA...it is such an easy sell. They play music that sounds so similar to MGMT it is a no-brainier. Of course I liked them after the first listen of Sleepyhead and am not surprised that French Kiss Records and the Agency Group have already branded Pop Levi as their very own. The boys just finished up a residency at Pianos which had the industry folk all a twitter this week and will be opening for the French Kicks at Bowery Ballroom on September 24th.
Sep 12-Newbury Comics on Newbury St-Boston,MA
Sep 13-Monolith Fest: Red Rocks-Denver, CO
Sep 18-Great Scott ( CD RELEASE SHOW! 18+)-Allston,MA
Sep 24-Bowery Ballroom w/ French Kicks-nYc
Oct 4-POP MONTREAL w/ The Dodos-Montreal
Passion Pit-Better Things.mp3
Alright so I will admit The Verve have blessed us with some pretty darn good songs but I have never devoted much of my attention to them beyond putting Bittersweet Symphony on almost every warm-up tape I made in High School for my sports teams. I remember lying on my childhood bedroom the one season I couldn't run winter track and listening to Oasis' Champagne Supernova on repeat (on my yellow Sony Walkman) back to back with Photograph...talk about a cool-down session, it was down right depressing! Both bands are trying to make a comeback in the States in a big way and I wouldn't be surprised if The Verve's first single off of their new album Forth doesn't make it onto an episode of the upcoming season of Entourage. It just seems like one of those songs Vinny Chase and co. would be walking off into the sunset to. Cheesy yes---fantastic, you betcha.
The Verve-Love Is Noise.mp3
Earlier this summer Mozambique Courier, also known as British artist Pop Levi released his album Never Never Never Love (on Counter Records) which i just discovered today-heading into the last weekend of the ete. This is incredibly sad since it is the perfect dance music for all of those hipster rooftop parties that New Yorkers love to talk about and re-live alllll year long. Yawn! So to perk you up and put on your iPod before you head out of town for the long weekend i have selected some of my favorite tracks to share with you. Although this band is new to me and possibly new to you as well he has been working with Ladytron and put out a debut album back in 2007, The Return to Form Black Magick Party. The tracks on Never Never Never Love are a bit more sophisticated, smooth and addictive with simple lyrics and groove-worthy melodies. Definitely a departure from the heavily synth and electronically influenced Ladytron. All i know is i like both and you should as well.
Pop Levy-Dita Dimone.mp3
Pop Levi-Never Never Love.mp3
Pop Levi-Mais Space.mp3
While everyone was feasting on Justice I was enraptured with Digitalism- and unlike Justice they have never let me down. Theirs was one of the first shows I saw at Studio B and left sweat-soaked and satisfied. If you have not had a chance to catch them live then Sunday, September 14th is your night. This is their only New York show and it is sure to sell out so grab your tickets early at Other Music or here, tickets are $10, day of the show tickets will be $12 (if they are still available). Yes, yes...i know it is a Sunday night which i my little apartment means HBO happiness but thank goodness for the technological advances known as tevo or on-demand! Resident DJ's JDH and Dave P will also be slamming the dance floor with hits. If you have yet to check out Santos I highly recommend it. Extremely good sound and I really enjoy the energy of the staff and crowd. YEAH!
Sunday September 14th, 2008 @ Santo's Party House 100 Lafayette St. (@ Walker)-New York, NY~~~10pm-4am
$10.00 in advance/$12.00 at the door
Advance tickets available at: Other Music 15 E. 4th St. New York, NY
Idealistic(A Trak Remix).mp3
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Maybe it is just within my group of friends but I feel like people do not give Okkervil River enough credit. My affection was borne during my time spent with Down the River of Golden Dreams, an album that changed the inner pace of music I was listening to at the time and forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. It was not only Will Sheff's trembling voice, or the fact that the band coined it's name after a short story by one of my favorite authors, or that I have a secret desire to one day live in Austin, which the band calls home-but these factors did help my admiration to grow. With each project since that first listen-(Black Sheep Boy,The Stage Names, The Stand Ins) along with Sheff's and Meiburgs' side project, Shearwater they have consistently created lush lyrically laden records that over flow with sentiment and intimacy. I am not the only one who seems to have noticed. Recently Bon Iver and David Vandervelde have covered songs by my beloved River folk. Of course since it is Bon Iver (covering Blue Tulip) and David (taking a turn at Singer Songwriter) they sound striking and eerie at the same time, each in their own delicate way.
I hope someone covers Love to A Monster next...
Lover, now that you've left me, I'm glad you're unlovely.
Because if you could take all the heat in your heart and just hang it from you,
I wouldn't be able to bear the way you cannot love me.
It's much easier of me make a monster out of you.
And so here I go, substituting the glow from your temples,
all our sighs and our trembles, and each last letter sent you
from the cheap little pen of this weak little man
- the one singing - out his jangling, ringing
and hopefully stinging attack upon you.
Okkervil River-Love To A Monster.mp3
Okkervil River-Lost Coastlines.mp3
Okkervil River-Pop Lie.mp3
Okkervil River-For Real.mp3
Okkervil River-Do What You Gotta Do.mp3
Okkervil River Tags/Bon Iver Tags/David Vandervelde Tags
Friday, August 22, 2008
Ohio's very own State Bird recently stopped by My Old Kentucky Blog and Daytrotter and recorded some beautiful live in studio sessions. Being a huge fan of the boldly talented Magnetic Fields it is easy to understand why State Bird caught my attention and delighted my ears. They are a bit more upbeat and sound like Vampire Weekend on some tracks such as I Don't Love You Anymore which is sure to be a hit with audiences as we head into the fall. Mostly Ghostly is the sophomore release from Coby Hartzler and Jared Riblet and since I am joining in the game late I definitely will be checking out Marching Thru The Wilderness as well. If you enjoy what you hear, you should do some homework too!
State Bird-The Bright July Night.mp3
State Bird-Uh Oh!.mp3
*Photo Cred Giorgio Verdiani
While watching the Olympics I noticed during a Hybrid car commercial one of my favorite songs of last year, 'You're A Wolf' by the clever and talented Sea Wolf. Hopefully people will hear that enchanted track and check out the rest of his album, Leaves In The River that was released on Dangerbird Records. He has been touring and premiering his new track, Song For the Magpie which hopefully means he will have something else for us to tote around and fall in love with sometime soon. In the meantime you can wear this one out.
Sea Wolf-Song for the Magpie.mp3
Sea Wolf Tags.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
During my vacation I started reading The Fountainhead written by the prolific and visionary author Ayn Rand. Since I have had a hard time putting her pages to rest and find myself looking at everything differently. There is almost nothing like a good book, except for of course, good music. The Fountainhead touches on numerous social and philosophical issues, one of which was the working class conditions in New York in the early stages of my families' beginnings. Tenements squashed in the East Village that seeped with foreign languages, dedicated freedom seekers and devilishly hard working families trying to get by. These stories of hardship and heartbreak ran through the streets of the Lower East Side in turn influencing the likes of Bob Dylan and Lou Reed. Folk songs are so vital to our existence as a species that it allowed me to have a some what competitive discussion with my labor rights lawyer father as to why music is so important to me as a career choice. (He is dreadfully supportive--he is just also the biggest salt thrower I have ever met, but it keeps one incredibly honest having to constantly back up what you preach...) Tossing out the likes of David Vandervelde, Bonnie Prince Billy, Cat Power and one of my recent discoveries Horsefeathers I covered all my bases and left him somewhat convinced. Or at least charmed. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Horsefeathers first captured attention after their release, Words Are Dead back in 2006. Justin Ringle, Peter Broderick, and Heather Broderick are the spirit of truth and justice and soothe as much of your social unrest that is possible these days to cure with armed with a banjo, violin and guitar. There must be something in the air for those Northwestern bands. Now if only we could mix that with a bit of New York stutter and vigour- what a scene that could be. There upcoming album, House With No Home is due out September 9th via Kill Rock Star records.
Horsefeathers-In Our Blood.mp3
The folks over at Hardly Art certainly know how to rustle up folks who know how to spin a pretty little ditty or two. Adding to the family where The Duchess and The Duke and Le Loup are lovingly taken care of is Seattle-based band The Moondoggies. After you have gotten that snarky chuckle out of your system regarding their name hunker your bones on down for a listen to singer, songwriter Kevin Murphys' voice. Surrounded by Robert Terreberry on bass, Carl Dahlen on drums and Caleb Quick on keys these four have been working out the kinks of the first songs, shows and now album since their high school days. Don't Be A Stranger is a beautifully composed debut and hopefully we will be hearing much more from them soon tour date wise.
The Moondoggies-Ol Blackbird.mp3
Le Loup Tags
The Duchess and the Duke Tags
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
David Byrne and Brian Eno are at it again. This is the latest from track from the brilliant minds of both of these talented men. I have been obsessed with it ever since I heard it last week on vacation. Visit David's site for more information about upcoming releases, tour dates, the fascinating life of the one and only mister Byrne...for any or all of these above listed details. Or simply enjoy the song.
David Byrne and Brian Eno-Strange Overtones.mp3
Robert Smith has written some of the best love lullabies during his lengthy career that continue to be covered by some of the most talented artists out there. The latest Cure Tribute record, Perfect as Cats: A Tribute To The Cure comes out on October 28th via Manimal Vinyl records. Amongst the artists featured on the album is one of my loves, Natasha Kahn of Bat for Lashes. The beautifully enchanting songstress recently toured with none other than Thom Yorke during Radioheads' European run. Lemon Sun, Dandy Warhols, Voyager One and Ich Bin Aiko.
Xu Xu Fang “Fascination Street”
Bat For Lashes “A Forest”
Hecuba “Killing An Arab”
Astrid Quay (of Winter Flowers) “The Caterpillar”
Indian Jewelry “The Walk”
Rainbow Arabia “Six Different Ways”
We Are The World “Why Can’t I Be You?”
blackblack “In Between Days”
Rio en Medio “Pictures of You”
Gangi “Fire In Cairo”
Joker’s Daughter “Kyoto Song”
Aquaserge with Laure Briard “10.15 Saturday Night” (in French)
The Muslims “Grinding Halt”
Voyager One “M”
Ex-Reverie “The Hanging Garden”
Caroline Weeks (of Bat For Lashes) “The Drowning Man”
Devastations “All Cats Are Gray”
The Dandy Warhols “Primary”
Veil Veil Vanish “The Upstairs Room”
Wolkfin (ex-Junior Senior) “Charlotte Sometimes”
Army Navy “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”
Ich Bin Aiko “A Strange Day”
Lemon Sun “The Exploding Boy”
Corridor “The Kiss”
Katrine Ottosen (CALLmeKAT) “The Love Cats”
Silver Summit “A Night Like This”
Mariee Sioux “Love Song”
Kaki King “Close To Me”
Buddy “Sugar Girl”
Les Bicyclettes Blanches “Hot Hot Hot!”
Tara Busch “Let’s Go To Bed”
Jesu “The Funeral Party”
Sarabeth Tucek “Three Imaginary Boys”
Lewis & Clarke “Disintegration”
Bat For Lashes-A Forest.mp3
Bat For Lashes Tags
The Cure Tags
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So i was informed by a little birdie that Fleet Foxes will be playing a show at Webster Hall on October 5th and that tickets will be going on sale at Noon-time today. However, there is no information on their website or on Ticketmaster...so I shall leave you up to your own detective devices to see if you can find the missing pieces of the puzzle. The band recently stopped by David Letterman, or as they would like to call it, Sell-outs-burg. I thought they sounded brilliant.
Fleet Foxes Tags
There is nothing more spoiled than waking up on vacation on a beautiful island...tottering into the kitchen to grab some yogurt before your morning swim and tuning into the Morning show on KEXP only to hear new David Byrne with Brian Eno. John will continue to debut new songs as they are recorded...so stay tuned. The first track, Strange Overtones was chillingly fantastic.
Monday, August 4, 2008
There is something so incredibly delicious about swimming. One of my earliest memories was my first swimming lesson. The water was unbearably frigid and I did not enjoy it all. Screaming with tears streaming down my face I would not unleash my chubby arms from the neck of Pam, my beloved babysitter and unfortunate instructor. Once immersed and comfortable that was the end of the story for I became infatuated with the water from that day forward. Maybe it comes from growing up on a river that feeds into the majestic and unique Chesapeake Bay or maybe it was because as soon as it was warm enough I would ride my bike every day to our local watering hole and not return until it was dinnertime. My entire childhood was spent in, on or near the water and I was certain I would dedicate my education and adult life to preserving what was so beloved to my heart. Unfortunately I discovered New York and the reality of politics surrounding lobbying for environmental protection and have taken the weaker way out. But my love for the slickness and crispness of the waves and my respect for the creatures that call these places their home has never left me and never will. Floating in between that upper layer of sun-soaked surface wetness and the cool depths below you truly feel you are blessed for being a creature of our earth. The only sounds that penetrate your ears are the bits of coral crumbling under the hungry mouths of the fish feeding upon their jagged edges. Dark navy blue fins dotted with irridescent baby blue sparkels are my favorites to seek out. They hide under the large orange fans that drift with the waves, both coinciding peacefully as they have for ages. Yesterday afternoon while wadding out into the azure sea a little fish no longer than my pinkie took a liking to me and swam circles around my belly for a good thirty minutes. He would hide behind my back dodging my fingers that playfully chased him around the front and then hide again. To see if he really was interested in playing I took a couple of curious side strokes and he happily kept by my side. I decided to name him Claude. After my sister inquired, why Claude i responded with, 'because he is such a little flirt he must be french.' For you my dear little Claude I give you the lovely Jessica Lea Mayfield. This talented songstress has opened for both the Black Keys and the Avett Brothers on numerous occasions and has the lit of a skylark. At the tender age of 19 she recently was on the Black Keys last album, Attack and Release on the last track. Unfortunately I could only find one track to share with you, but I invite you to check her out. She is worth the gander.
Jessica Lea Mayfield-For Today.mp3
Friday, August 1, 2008
So keep on wishin'! Happy first weekend of August my darlings. I am beyond excited to spend the next upcoming week with my family. For some crazy reason two complete opposite people met at a basketball game and fell in love and years later decided to have me...the rest is history. Despite how much my parents have driven me crazy over the years i love dearly and consider myself incredibly lucky to be one of their offspring. Thank god for basketball! So enjoy your work weeks- I will try my hardest to write about all the bands I have listed on post it notes all around my desk and apartment. They are all worthy of listening to and by next weekend you will have some good new tunes for your fantastic daily happenings.
Curtis Mayfield-Move On Up.mp3
The Meters-Hands Clapping Song.mp3
The Heptones-Do Good To Each And Everyone.mp3
King Curtis-Piping Hot.mp3
The Sound Studio-Give Me Some More.mp3
Valella Valella-Alex Boom Selector.mp3
Cedric Im Brooks-Silent Force.mp3
Winston Wright & The Upsetters-Jam #1.mp3
Although from their name you would think that this duo is from France, however in reality they are the latest electronic sampling from the Swedish music scene. With only an EP, No Way Down available via Sincerely Yours (the label founded by The Tough Alliance) they single handily capture the essence of those last lazy days of summer. Don't get me wrong, we still have a whole month to go but if you have started to notice the days are getting shorter and the leaves are already starting to fall...so get out and enjoy the suffocation and humidity and all that this month has to offer. Air Frances' crooning is the perfect soundtrack for lying on a beach and evaporating into the atmosphere.
Air France-Beach Party.mp3
Air France-June Evenings.mp3