Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Songs Sept 09

So this blog is really for me myself and I, I'm pretty sure nobody else has ever read a single post. But I put notes here about cool songs and shows so that I'll remember what I was listening to at a certain point.

To that end, I heard two really cool songs on Andy Langer's Next Big Thing show on 101x this weekend:
1) "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear. Hooky pop, crazy video here.
2) "Percussion Gun" by White Rabbit. The crazy Burundi drumming reminds me of when Dave Barbarossa was the drummer for Adam and the Ants. Video here.

Baby I'm Back

Ha! Thought you'd gotten rid of me, hmmm?

OK so the last thing I posted was after SXSW 2007. I'm behind on posting my "best of" picks and shows.

SXSW 2008's "best of" were these:

Say Hi - Northwestern Girls
Astra Heights - The March
The Hard Lessons - See and be scene
Richard Julian - If you Stay
Little Jackie - The World Should Revolve Around Me
Money Mark - Pick Up The Pieces
Magic Wands - Black Magic
Erin McCarley - Love, Save The Empty
The Boss Martians - Power of Doubt
Meiko - How Lucky We Are
Tiny Animals - Useless
Bella - Give It A Night
Holly Conlan - OK
The Redwalls - Summer Romance
The Hush Sound - Wine Red
Colour Revolt - Naked and Red
Daniel Lanois - Here is what is
Black Tide - Shockwave
Anamanaguchi - Power Supply

Most of these are available for free at - except for a couple that have since become "hits" and taken down (stupid record companies don't get it).

And here are 2009's picks for best 20(ish) songs out of thousands:

Two Hours Traffic - Nighthawks
Crash Kings - 14 Arms
Madi Diaz - Nothing At All
Local Natives - Airplanes
Eugene Francis Jnr & The Juniors - Beginners
Miniature Tigers - Cannibal Queen
The Octopus Project - Wet Gold
Ume - The Conductor
Fol Chen - Cable TV
Kinch - The Economic Chastisement
Bashtak Joke Alash
Dear and the Headlights - I'm Not Crying. You're Not Crying, are you?
The Boat People - Unsettle My heart
Thao With The Get Down Stay Down - Bag Of Hammers
Choo Choo - A little wiser now
The Golden Dogs - Lester
Maps & Atlases - Witch
Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today
David Martel - The End of Self
School of Seven Bells - Half Asleep
The Bloodsugars - Bloody Mary

You can probably get most of these for free as well from

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New Music October 2007

I have to confess I am listening to a lot of Sloan these days.

And Austin's The Sword. And "Louder Than Love" by Soundgarden.

But I've still let a few new(ish) things sneak in.

Individual songs that I've gotten stuck on:
Keane - Is It Any Wonder?
Esthero - Everyday is a Holiday (with You)

New album:
The Slip - Eisenhower. All over the place. Not sure how to categorize. Buy it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April Songs

Yeah yeah some of these aren't brand spanking new but they don't let me out of my cage as often as they used to.

Laura Viers - Saltbreakers
Gotta love Laura Viers. Saw her at SXSW 2006 and she gave the sound guy an earful after he blasted her with feedback for the 3rd time. She does that thing with loops that I've noticed a lot of solo artists doing, but it looks like now she's got a full band.

Teenage Fanclub - Sparky's Dream
OK so it's not new. But I like it.

Guillemots - Trains To Brazil
Kinda reminds me of that song June Gloom by The Like.

Stereophonics - Dakota
I don't care what you say about them, you have to admire bands like Stereophonics (and Sloan, Juliana Hatfield, Creeper Lagoon) that can take three chord pop songs and make them sound like something fresh. Not quite as ooey gooey pop as my other favorite by them, Have a Nice Day, it's still poppy. A la Maritime though, when I saw them live a couple years ago they were much more rockin' and seemed to eschew their ooh and aah material.

The Teenage Prayers - Brown Bottle
Sounds all swamp dirtay.

The Bird and the Bee - I'm a Broken Heart
I like a few of the songs on their latest album. I can't find it though anywhere so I don't know if the whole thing is good. Dear The Bird and the Bee, I know you're reading this because this is the most famous and influential music blog there ever was, so please come to Austin and sell me a copy of your CD.

Stereolab - Space Moth
Kind of a multi-faceted thing. Veers a little, but overall a great song.

Six Parts Seven - Stolen Moments
Somewhere between Tristeza and El Ten Eleven. Good stuff.

Monday, March 19, 2007

SXSW Last Day Wrap Up

This is the end...

So we made it down town around 6 or 7 and had burgers at Jackalope.

Then over to one of the clubs on 6th street to catch an Australian(?) band called Porcelain. Not sure if they were part of the official SXSW or not. They all seemed like very talented musicians but I wasn't blown away by the material. Nevertheless, anyone who comes all the way from Australia to play on a Sunday night has my sincere appreciation.

Porcelain @ random 6th street bar

Over to Emo's for the rest of the night. First it was Dynasty Handbag. I'm not really sure what the deal was and I don't want to sound disrespectful but the best way I can describe this act is a female Richard Simmons stream-of-consciousness spoken word thingy over dub beats. And she had handbags for sale. I defy you to go see her show and keep a straight face.

Dynasty Handbag @ Emo's Jr.

Then V.I.P. from Philly. I think they are just doing this rap thing until they meet some nice girls and settle down.

V.I.P. @ Emo's Jr.

Au revoir SXSW 2007. It were a good one. And that's that.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SXSW 2007 Day 4

Ah, the last big day. And Saint Paddy's day no less.

We started off seeing Josh Pyke again at Whole Foods. He was fantastic again, his songs are so well written - I take it back about wanting to hear him with a band. Apparently his record Memories & Dust just debuted at #4 in Australia.

Josh Pyke @ Whole Foods Market

Then a brief lunch intermission and on over to Habana Calle 6 for their invite-only day party (ooh la la).

We saw Johnossi and drank a few free Heinekens.

Johnossi @ Habana Calle 6

Then over to Chuggin' Monkey and caught the tail end of a set by Cameron McGill, who has a fantastic string section. Not sure if he was originally part of SXSW or a last-minute addition... he's not listed on the official site.

Then Cloud Cult. They were good - I like their album Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus but it doesn't really seem to translate to Rawking Out Live.

Cloud Cult @ Chuggin Monkey

Then Earl Greyhound. They were a lot looser and more relaxed than the Thursday show at Mugshots. And they had picked up quite a few fans during the festival who all pumped the official international the rock and roll hand symbol the entire show.

Earl Greyhound @ Chuggin Monkey

We literally ran down the street to see West Indian Girl at Opal Divine's. The sound was great, the band was great, the energy was great. They didn't play many songs from their s/t debut album which is hopefully a good sign that their new record is coming along soon.

West Indian Girl @ Opal Divine's

Then we caught a cab so that we could catch the last couple of songs from Oppenheimer, who always put on a fantastic show. The cab driver was talking a cell phone and told how he got a call from one of his regular customers who was too drunk to go out and get himself cigarettes, so he asked the cab driver to deliver some. And the customer apparently repeatedly assured the cabby that he would take care of him in exchange for the favor. When the cabby got there the customer gave him a $5 tip and a bunch of Vienna Sausages in a plastic bag.

Then ran back down 6th street to Molotov's to see the tail end of The Yoko Casionos. They were good.

The Yoko Casionos @ Molotov's

Then one of the shows I was most looking forward to: Golden Dogs. The mp3s they released this year and last year were both in my list of favorites. Live, they were awesome. High high energy, great material. They closed with the big drum solo / jam at the end of Abbey Road. The bass player from Sloan showed up and danced for the last couple of songs. Also, helpfully, the band displayed the name of the song they were playing with a little placard on a music stand.

Golden Dogs @ Molotov

Chris Murphy from Sloan rocking out to Golden Dogs @ Molotov

Then the last show of the night... Kissaway Trail. I like their single a lot. I was less impressed by them live but it's hard to put my finger on why. They were really loud, and they had three guitarists which can sort of muddy the sound. I need to see them again in a different venue.

The Kissaway Trail @ Buffalo Billiards

Saturday, March 17, 2007

SXSW 2007 Day 3

Big day...

We got a late start. Got down to the Jane magazine party around 3ish. Walked past Architecture in Helsinki at Cedar Street - the little I heard was pretty good.

At the Jane magazine party we caught the tail end of The Comas' set. It was really, really good. Then Scissors for Lefty - they were fun but the material wasn't all my cup of tea. Then Great Northern - good songs, good performance, good "look" but missing some oomph. Margot & the Nuclear So & So's were my least favorite band of the day. Sue me, I'm just not all that in to rackety dirges performed by vintage store retro-chic clad hipsters. Then...

Sloan. SLOAN SLOAN SLOAN!! It's probably redundant to say Sloan rocks, like saying Rio Grande River. But mah gawd Sloan rocks. And they rock so effortlessly and confidently, you know that their not rocking would be an unnatural state that would cause a disturbance in the force. The sun will rise in the east, Sloan will rock.

Sloan, rocking (duh) @ Jane Magazine party

Quick food break at 7... we caught a rickshaw (I think they call them pedicabs) over to the Convention center for the next couple shows.

8 PM - Annuals. This is where my South by Southwest dream came true: I got to see an awesome indie band whose material I really love, where the sound was really good, and for the entire show nobody bumped or shoved me, or blew smoke in my face or flicked ashes on me, or talked on their cell phone with bad breath near me, or moshed, or farted, or spilled a drink on the floor for me to slip on. Heaven. As for Annuals' music: it's awesome, their record is totally awesome, and live they play it all with awesome energy and awesomeness. Buy the record and see them the next time they are in town. Oh, and the members are all 14 years old and 3 feet tall. I was a little surprised by that.

Annuals @ Austin Convention Center

9 PM - Peter Bjorn & John. More total awesomeness at the Convention Center. Another great band, great sound, great show. Half the audience left after they played their hit ("Young Folks"), which just goes to show there's no accounting for taste because the show kept getting better as it went on.

Peter or Bjorn or possibly John @ Austin Convention Center

10 PM - Via Audio. I was a little disappointed but I think that for any musician to escape the curse of Berklee music college and come out of there able to play a decent song without 14 time signature and key changes modulating all over the place is an accomplishment. They have a great song, but to memorialize the late, great Paul Sessums (RIP), every band has one good song so it's nothing to go on. I got their CD though so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

11 PM - Aqualung, AKA Coldplay's little brothers. Great songs, performance, blah blah and don't get me wrong I really liked the show and wish them the best but I cannot watch them and not think of Coldplay. It's a shame because they are probably more talented than Coldplay but seriously IT SOUNDS LIKE COLDPLAY. OK enough complaining - Aqualung truly is great and I've seen them a few times and every time they put on a great show. If you like Coldplay.

Coldplay @ Austin Convention Center

12 AM - Maritime. 2 data points does not a representative sample make, but I'm wondering if there's an emerging mini-trend where a band records upbeat pop music then plays punk rock at their live shows. I really like Maritime's record (this song is great) and live they were fun but I kept having to ask people in the crowd "this is Maritime, right? Maritime, you're sure?" I couldn't really think of the scenario where they would do that. It could be that the real Maritime died in a bus wreck or something at the last minute and they found a Sex Pistols cover band and gave them a quick listen to the Maritime CD and shoved them out on stage and said "remember, you're Maritime." Or maybe Maritime really is a punk band and they got some hollywood producer who kept trying to smooth out their material to make it radio friendly and they think it's really lame and have returned to their punk roots live. I don't know. It could also be that the sound at Soho Lounge was the worst of any venue anywhere in the entire city for the entire duration of SXSW.

Maritime @ Soho Lounge

1 AM - Josh Pyke. This guy is a supremely talented songwriter. It's hard to engage people and keep them listening with just an acoustic guitar so anyone who can do it is already ahead in my book. Plus he has some incredible songs like this one. I think he would be even better with a backing band but I can understand not wanting to fly them all in from Australia for a 40 minute set.

Josh Pyke @ Hilton Garden Inn