Friday, November 27, 2009

Quick Post: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, you ask, your faces upturned quizzically, mouths twisted?

(note - I've gotta run. Like, three minutes from now, I've gotta go somewhere. Otherwise, I'd give you more witty text and more analysis, plus I'd upload a couple of mp3s. Or something.)

Yes, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. I read about them a little while ago in an interview that The Dresden Dolls did. From SGM's Myspace:

[...] they reject the elitism of the avant-garde in favor of a reckless populism: They are entertainers. Though not without humor, their often wide-ranging musical and theatrical choices are rarely ironic.

Just what I've been looking for.

Anyways -

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum: Widening Eye

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rain Machine: Big Hair and Big Sound

Any of y'all like TV On The Radio?

I ask this because Kyp Malone (this guy, and, yes, he does look kind of like a hobo nerd), one of the leaders of that august assemblage, has put out a solo project under the title of Rain Machine. And it's awesome.

[content warning, before I continue: yes, he uses bad language. bad words. if that offends you, don't listen to his music]

He's definitely got a unique sound. His voice is a strained, warbling thing that alternates between a croon and a shriek; the guitars that underlie most of the album are alternately sparse and overwhelming.

The music is also passionate; it takes on Important Issues (or, perhaps more importantly for the sake of creation, issues that are important to Kyp Malone), and it does so without getting stuck in the preachy, whiny tone that so hinders a lot of art that tries to be political. This is music, first and foremost, and it's pretty dang good music. I like.

Anyways... it's a rainy Wednesday evening. The rainy Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, yeh? Y'all have a good one, enjoy your times of rest and celebration. Enjoy these tracks, too. Peace out.

Rain Machine - New Last Name

Rain Machine - Smiling Black Faces

Rain Machine - Love Won't Save You

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Brightest Diamond: Music for Rainy Days

So I'm going to have a rain theme in my next couple of posts... just be forewarned.

My Brightest Diamond are labelmates of one of my other favorite artists, DM Stith, and there are definitely some sonic similarities (a good thing), but MBD work generally in a much more familiar soundscape.

I've been struggling to come up with a way to describe this band cohesively; descriptions such as 'acoustic/orchestral blues' and 'delicate constructions of precise emotion' touch on what's going on, but don't really get to the core of the issue.

What I can say is that the band's slightly eclectic (but never rushed) sound hovers in the space between image and thought, between raindrops and earth, between continuity and discreteness. Frontwoman Shara Worden's voice is a haunting presence that inhabits the well-worked soundscapes with careful lyrics and unselfconscious quavers and tremors. The sum is something that verges on the hypnotic.

It should be noted also that these couple of tracks are from My Brightest Diamond's first album, Bring Me The Workhorse, which came out in 2006; they've put out a couple of albums since then, but I don't have the mp3s of those.

My Brightest Diamond - Gone Away

My Brightest Diamond - We Were Sparkling

Have a good day, y'all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Night Spotlight: Gridlok

Hey, y'all!

It's the weekend! (and the party just begun!)

Party! (in the USA!)

Dance! (Dance Revolution!)

Neurofunk! (... uh... I got no witty followup to that.)

Gridlok! (has a new album coming out next week!)

Granted, I don't actually have his new album yet (sad panda), but I do have a few of his older tracks. So here are a couple of those, some fun ish to get your party started right.

Gridlok - California Schemin

Gridlok - Sherlok Holmes

Have a great night, y'all!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Frank Turner: Poetry of the Deed

So I picked up Frank Turner's new(ish) album, Poetry of the Deed, and figured that I'd throw up a couple of tracks and talk about it a little bit.

For those of you who aren't necessarily familiar with Frank Turner, that's completely okay - I'd never heard of him until about four days ago, either. Apparently, though, he used to front Million Dead, which was some sort of post-hardcore British punk band that broke up a few years ago, and he's been making folk music ever since. He's also written a song called "I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous". Hm.

Anyways - the music on Poetry of the Deed is really a mixed bag. There are a few tracks that are completely awesome (like the three I'm putting up here), as well as a few that aren't quite so strong, due mostly to little clunky bits that mess up the sonic and lyrical flow - in the title track, for instance, after a reference to Baudelaire and a verse whose lyrics go "Pentameter in attack, iambic pulse in the veins, / free verse powered off the street light mains, / an Iliad played out without a shadow of doubt / between the end of the club and the sun coming out. /
Leave Kerouac at his desk, we have romance in our risks" - which is just drop-dead gorgeous stuff - Turner inexplicably decides that rhyming, over and over, "poetry" and "show it me" is a good idea, thus completely ruining the ending of that track.

So. There are moments of cringeworthy lyrical clunkiness - but, at the same time, there are tracks that are just wonderfully done; "Live Fast Die Old" has gotten a lot of hype, and worthily so - it flat-out rocks, and its thoughtful lyrics belie the seeming ease with which the song flows; it's obvious that the track is well-crafted and well-worked, but it feels effortless. Lyrics like "We can never sell out because we never brought in, / And if they build it back up then we'll swing back in town / and bring the whole thing down again" work nicely with the guitar, piano, and drums that dominate the track.

Take a listen! And have a great Sunday afternoon, eh?

Frank Turner - Live Fast Die Old

Frank Turner - Sons of Liberty

and, finally, just to have some flashy video up in here -
though, seriously, the song is pretty awesome -

Frank Turner - The Road

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Night Spotlight: Hardstep

Y'all like hardstep?

Y'all know y'all like hardstep. Thick bass, classy drum patterns, stuff you can dance to.

It's Thursday night, y'all! Classes are done for the week (unless you have Friday classes, in which case I pity you), and you know what time it is! So tune in, turn off, drop out, drop in, switch off, switch on, and explode... just don't blame me if/when Public Safety comes knocking on y'all's dorm room doors!

I'd like to offer thanks to NB for clueing me in to IQ Collective... you know who you are, and you rock.

I'd like also to throw out a shoutout to all the beautiful people out there... especially if you don't know who you are. Because that makes you rock harder.

What're you waiting for?! Start up the strobe! Hit the play button! Get your dance on

IQ Collective - Mode One

Resonant Evil - Are You For Real

Resonant Evil - Hold Your Breath

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quick Post: Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications

Hey y'all!

I don't know quite how 'indie' Jarvis Cocker is, seing how he used to front Pulp and he's signed to Rough Trade Records... but his music is tremendous fun, and there's new music from him out now! This is the title track from his new album, "Further Complications", which dropped all of two days ago. Hope you enjoy!

...and it's time for me to head out.

Have a great afternoon!

(whoo! four minute post. who says that you need free time to be a blogger?)

(also: whoo! two posts in two days!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DM Stith - Lingering Traces of an Unfelt Presence

Hey, y'all... sorry it's been a little while since I've posted - life has a funny way of getting busy and eating up spare time.

Anyways - I realized this morning that I'd never posted on DM Stith. This caused some slight embarrassment, if only because (1) a lot of people have never heard of him and (2) he's completely freakin' amazing. I'm going to post three of his music videos for y'all today, all from his album "Heavy Ghost", which came out in March of this year.

[disclaimer, before I begin: I've heard from folks that DM Stith's music is a very bad idea if you're high. I would of course have no firsthand knowledge of this, but it seems reasonable. So. If you're high, be warned.]

DM Stith - Isaac's Song

For those of you who are counting, Isaac's Song is the first track from Heavy Ghost. Simple enough, lyrically - but absolutely haunting and just drop-dead gorgeous. It's probably worth mentioning at this point that DM Stith - DM stands for David Michael, his first and middle names - is a protege of Sufjan Stevens and is signed to his label, Asthmatic Kitty Records.

DM Stith - Pity Dance

Pity Dance is the second track off of Heavy Ghost, and it starts getting into some of the absolute lyrical brilliance that DM Stith features - lines like "I say bring me sunflowers and bring me a landscape of clouds and rain / And let the sky give up her many, heavy hammered warnings"... wow. I'd also like to comment on the music video, which is simultaneously creepy and absolutely wonderful.

DM Stith - BMB

The complete lyrics to this track:

From in your car we saw the fire
and we could feel it on our skin
Slick licorice road, our glassy eyes,
shared in the argument of undefended light
Oh, did you say?
What did you say?
Oh did you say?
What did you say?


Hope y'all have a great day (and how could you not, after seeing those music videos?)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday Night Spotlight - Five Infected Maroon Earworms

Hey y'all! Another Thursday... the end of another straight-up awesome week... let's party, eh? Correspondingly - let's party with AAH (who better?).

Got three fun tracks for y'all tonight, all of them suitable for turning up loud and getting your dance on.

First up - from Israeli psychedelic trance band Infected Mushroom, the title track off their 2007 album Vicious Delicious. Some killer stuff there.

After that - two remixes from San Francisco mashup artist DJ Earworm. The first one is a little bit older, a club workup of several different Maroon Five songs; the second one is his newest piece, a mashup of a bunch of different Sean Kingston songs. All irresistibly catchy, all a lot of fun.

Infected Mushroom - Vicious Delicious

DJ Earworm - Love and Wonder (Club Mix)

DJ Earworm - Beautiful Mashup

Hope y'all have a great night! Party hearty, party safe!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Johannes Hopfner: Blues from the Other Side of the World

So I was wandering around the internet the other night, putting off my reading, and I came across this guy, Johannes Hopfner. And then I listened to his music, and I was like, "hey! this guy's pretty awesome!" (because when I'm talking to myself, I don't use capital letters). And then I read about him a little bit, and I was like, "hey! this guy's not from around here!"

He's French-Danish, actually, which kind of surprised me, if only because there's not much of an accent evident in his music... and because his sonic palette is exactly the sort of indie-blues I'd expect to hear coming out of the mid or northern South. Not so much Europe.

Anyways... I've got his album "One Song, One Take" - a reference to his method of recording it - which came out not all that long ago. Take a listen! If you like acoustic blues, I think you're gonna like this. I like acoustic blues. I like this.

Johannes Hopfner - Over

Johannes Hopfner - Walk Away Leave Away

Off to the library! Have a great day, all you beautiful people out there. And we're all beautiful people.