Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Good, The Bad and The Queen

Although my mind always told me that "super-bands" were destined to make great music, my experience has painted a more pessimistic picture. Whether it's conflicting egos, misdirection or just a publicity ploy, "super-bands" come and go rather quickly and rarely wet my appetite.

Wth that, The Good, The Bad and The Queen break this stagnant mold, and keep it fresh by keeping it simple. The roster: Damon Albarn's (Blur, Gorillaz) leads the group, with Paul Simonon on bass (The Clash), Simon Tong on guitar (The Verve) and Tony Allen on drums (Africa 70, Fela Kuti). Producing this endeavor is the infamous DJ Dangermouse, who worked with Damon on Demon Days.

At this point I've only heard "History Song," but its sparse beauty gives me great hope for the album. It's a requiem march, holding to a single, haunting melody, but constantly and subtly altering its approach.

I want the full length now, but I'll settle for "History Song" on repeat.

[mp3] The Good, The Bad and The Queen - History Song

pre-order the album


pre-order the single "Kingdom of Doom"


Continue reading "The Good, The Bad and The Queen"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Nigel Godrich's From The Basement

I think that everyone is pretty let down whenever their favorite band performs live on the late night television circuit. The sound quality is always below par, the filming is nauseating, and an uncomfortable pit forms in your stomach as you watch the band over animate for the attention of a crowd consisting of uncaring middle-aged tourists who really just wanted to see the gap between Lettermen’s two front teeth. Obviously it leaves much to be desired.

Thank goodness Nigel Godrich (producer – Radiohead, Beck) has become fed up with the lack of integrity to these televised performances and has created his own online series called From The Basement. There is no host and no studio audience, which allows for the artist and their performance to take center stage. The first episode, filmed at Maida Vale studios in London by acclaimed director Sophie Muller and live sound by Nigel Godrich, portrays Thom Yorke solo behind the piano, the White Stripes in their live glory, and an improvised collaboration between Four Tet's Kieran Hebden and genius drummer Steve Reid. What has been captured is an unparalleled intimate portrait of some of our favorite performances.

You can purchase these performances for repeated viewings at iTunes and in WMV here. Here is Thom Yorke performing “Videotape” live From The Basement.

[mp3]
Thom YorkeVideotape (Acoustic)
BONUS [mp3] Thom Yorke - Jetstream
BONUS [mp3] Thom Yorke - The Clock (Acoustic)

Continue reading "Nigel Godrich's From The Basement"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The King's (Extra) Picks for 2006

Camera ObscuraLet’s Get Out Of This Country

This was the year of pop for me (along with gypsy music) and I have a lot of gratitude to show Camera Obscura for helping me along that path. On this album, Camera Obscura sound like they could have been transplanted from the reverb chamber of a 1960s, black and white televsion dance off. And it doesn’t hurt that “If Looks Could Kill” is one of my favorite songs of 2006.

[mp3] Camera ObscuraIf Looks Could Kill

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The PipettesWe Are The Pipettes

Those that were put off by the matching polka dots and the resurrection of a genre that died a slow death nearly 30 years ago missed out on some of the most solid songwriting of the year. Every song was written with enough buttercup harmonies to land in the top 10 back in 1973. The triumph of the Pipettes though was their ability to modernize their sound with up to date lyrics for the double oughts that dealt with the empowered woman.

[mp3] The PipettesPull Shapes

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My Brightest DiamondBring Me The Workhorse

Shara Worden’s well-done hair accenting her head as it bent along the freshly trimmed back of that dark horse was a warning to all who would listen. Those familiar with the easy and light sound that her voice had backed in her day job with Sufjan would be in for a change of pace with the dark and elegant songwriting that Workhorse brought. The simple orchestrations of guitar and strings were the perfect playground for the professionally trained voice of Warden and we were there enjoying every moment of it.

[mp3] My Brightest DiamondDragonfly

-------------------------------------

Junior BoysSo This Is Goodbye

I was on board the Timberlake sexy train until I heard the Junior Boys record and I wasn’t at all ashamed of my early departure from hearing JT bringing sexy back. There isn’t anything released this year that screams out sexy more than Junior Boys and JT and if “Sexy Back” and “In The Morning” were going to duke it out I would be hard pressed to find a clear winner.

[mp3] Junior BoysIn The Morning

-------------------------------------

CalifoneRoots & Crowns

It was impossible to find the line between the organic and the manufactured on Califone’s Roots & Crowns. The songs seemed to roll like tumble weeds through an electronic graveyard mending and doing right all the synthesized seemed to cover up. Dark and dusty pieces moved to Sunday morning bedroom contemplations and onward weaving out through night and day. Roots & Crowns is one of the sonic masterpieces of 2006 all but hidden behind the beautiful songwriting of front man Tim Rutilli.

[mp3] CalifoneThe Orchids

Continue reading "The King's (Extra) Picks for 2006"

Nick's Personal Favorites

Although both Jon and I love our Top 10 list, we still had some personal favorites that needed to be mentioned. In no particular order, here are my additions to the list.

Tom Waits - Orphans

Tom Waits is America. He's a rough, expansive continent, who rejects classification and being tamed. In this massive 3 disc release of rarities, b-sides and spoken word, Tom Waits proves he can't write a bad song. Even the songs stuck in the attic are gold.

[mp3] Tom Waits - Lie To Me




----------------------------------------------------

The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes

If Tom Waits is America's soil, The Blood Brothers are the country's dark underground. They expose the darkest vices of man, and paint apocalyptic pictures of each tale. Young Machetes finds the band at a creative crossroad, which they have decided to avoid for the moment. For now, they are content doing what they do best - making beautiful noise, and crafting stories of depravity.

Young Machetes review

[mp3]
The Blood Brothers - You're the Dream Unicorn!


-----------------------------------------------------

Bonnie "Prince" Billy
- The Letting Go


When Will Oldham recorded The Letting Go in Iceland, he took inspiration from his surrounding. Oldham's usual unpolished style, is smoothed out in The Letting Go, by a sea of strings. While this might worry some fans of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, one listen to the LP will vanquish all fears. This is a new and wonderful stone overturned for Oldham.

The Letting Go review

[mp3] Bonnie Prince Billy - Love Comes to Me


----------------------------------------------------

Islands - Return to the Sea


Where Nick Diamonds goes - I follow. Simple as that. No more Unicorns? I packed my bags right then and said, "Where to next?" Islands is not Unicorns lite. The band is full of talented, young musicians that bring new elements to the music. Return to the Sea has some brilliant moments, and that gives me hope for future releases. Plus they bring fireworks to their concerts.

[mp3] Islands - Rough Gem


-----------------------------------------------------

Mogwai - Mr. Beast

It's a shame that Mogwai get caught in the "study music" net, because it becomes merely background music. I want people to experience Mr. Beast with their full attention. Despite the intimidating album title, Mr. Beast is actually a quick, straight forward LP. From first to last note, Mogwai keep the listener's entranced. Don't ruin this album with a study session.

[mp3] Mogwai - Auto Rock

Continue reading "Nick's Personal Favorites"

Monday, December 18, 2006

RC Christmas Mix 2007

Happy Holidays everyone.

Its come late this year but here it is. This years Rewriteable Content holiday mix. Hope it adds to your enjoyment of the season.



Christmas Mix 2007

1)
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Christmas Eve
2)
The Bird And The Bee - Carol of the Bells
3)
Magnet - Let It Snow
4)
Snowden - Christmas Time Is Here
5)
Sufjan Stevens - Sister Winter
6)
Jimmy Eat World - 12/23/95
7)
Coastal - Lonely
8)
Idaho - Santa Claus Is Weird
9)
Iron & Wine w/ Calexico - Sixteen, Maybe Less
10)
James Brown - Funky Christmas
11)
Kings Of Convenience - Deilig Er Jorden
12)
Low - Taking Down The Tree
13)
Tom Waits - Silent Night
14)
The Innocence Mission - Little Town Of Bethlehem
15)
Belle & Sebastian - Christmas Time is Here
16)
Al Green - Glory, Glory
17)
Cocteau Twins - Winter Wonderland

[zip] Christmas Mix 2007 - Download

* Last years mix available for download here.

Continue reading "RC Christmas Mix 2007"

The 10 Best Albums of 2006

10) Thom YorkeThe Eraser

It seemed like a no brainer for one of the greatest songwriters of our time to release a solo effort. Skeptics worried that his attachment to his relatively new found love for the sonic versatilities of the electronic tic and tac would throw his effort into the sea of obscurity. Yet repeated listens have proven that Yorke can travel the road alone, combating the agitations of the modern world with his somber falsetto and hard punching rhythms.

The Eraser review

[mp3] Thom YorkeThe Eraser

----------------------------------------------------------

9) A Hawk And A HacksawThe Way The Wind Blows

In many ways, 2006 became the year of gypsy music. With Beirut leading the way, Jeremy Barnes followed up with the most foreign sounding releases of the year. A lot of that had to do with the geography of the recording taking place along the border of the Ukraine with one of the most world-renowned Balkan brass bands. Zach Condon’s trumpet didn’t hurt our infatuation either.

A Hawk And A Hacksaw - a story of impression

[mp3] A Hawk And A Hacksaw - In The River

----------------------------------------------------------

8) Grizzly Bear - Yellow House

Grizzly Bear didn't grab my attention until I saw them in concert. My first listen to Yellow House had been a ten song blur. There was a distinct melancholy running through the album, but I had not yet penetrated the surface. Live, the subtle inflections in the album, quickly revealed themselves. Yellow House is meant to be played at high volumes, while wearing headphones.

Yellow House review

[mp3]
Grizzly Bear - Colorado

----------------------------------------------------------

7) TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

Whenever I feel like going to New York, I listen to TV on the Radio. Return To Cookie Mountain is a captivating sophomore LP that requires the listener to nestle into the thick sheet of fuzz. Each song on the album is heavily layered, yet the production remains crisp and textured. Plus, "Wolf Like Me" is one of my favorite song of the year.

Return to Cookie Mountain review


[mp3] TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me

----------------------------------------------------------

6) BeirutGulag Orkestar

Beirut emerged like a call from the wild, bursting out sounds that seemed to have been buried for more than a century in a world that the west had forgotten. The trumpets seemed to awake everyone in indie music to a world outside the dancehall beats that seemed to be the standard of the last few years. On Gulag Orkestar, Zach Condon’s voice reeks of life long experience in gypsy stomping grounds and coupled with the percussion arrangements of Jeremy Barnes, there seemed hope for the reincarnation of Neutral Milk Hotel.

Photos: Beirut live at the Troubadour

[mp3] BeirutPostcards From Italy

----------------------------------------------------------

5) Man Man - Six Demon Bag

Man Man devote 100% of their energy towards art. This fact is clear in the ferociousness of Six Demon Bag's recording, and astonishingly apparent while watching them live. I'm not going to compare Man Man to Tom Waits, at the circus on acid, or whatever other analogies people have made up. I will however say that Man Man possess a force that the indie music scene desperately needs.

RC predicts Man Man playing Spaceland

[mp3] Man Man - Feathers

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4) Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I'm Dreaming


Spencer Krug might be the songwriter of my generation. Since his career has basically just begun, I understand the odds are still a little long; however, judging from complexity and beauty of every song on Shut Up I'm Dreaming, I'm feeling pretty confident about my bet.


Sunset Rubdown at The Echo

[mp3] Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shines II

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3) The Hold SteadyBoys and Girls in America

Based around the social commentary that coincides with the Kerouac excerpt “boys and girls in America, they are having such a sad time together,” the Hold Steady successfully developed their bar house, guitar muscles while effectively paying homage to Springsteen and his all-American portrayal of the all-American. The guitars are heavy enough for a child to carry comfortably and light enough to tip the nostalgia scale for all those cubicle parents wishing for the days with the Boss.

Review of Boys and Girls in America

[mp3] The Hold SteadyStuck In Between Stations

----------------------------------------------------------

2) Liars - Drums Not Dead

Drums Not Dead is the most cohesive and haunting release of the year. Although the album is abstract at times, it is careful to never alienate. As Liars venture into other worlds, they are kind enough to bring the listener with them. Drums evokes primitive desires for rhythm and percussion, similar to Feels... and you know how much we loved that album.

Liars at the Troubadour

[mp3] Liars - It Fit When I Was a Kid

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1) Joanna NewsomYs

Ys is a mountain of visionary achievement. It is understandable how many have had trouble with the ascent up Newsom’s peak but those that have taken the challenge have gotten lost in its crevices and valleys with their secret chambers of story and treasure. Ys is a masterful collection of montages of story telling adventure wrapped together with the playful tickle of Newsom’s tongue and lyric and the imaginative orchestrations of Van Dyke Parks. It’s unfortunate for the listeners who turned their noses up at Ys with their premonitions of having to sit through lengthy numbers. Those unfortunate souls have truly missed out on a timeless masterpiece that is sure to be looked at as the crowning achievement of Newsom’s career.

Review of Ys

[mp3] Joanna NewsomEmily (Live)

Continue reading "The 10 Best Albums of 2006"

Friday, December 15, 2006

Horse Feathers unbury the truth

I don’t know who it was that started comparing Horse Feathers to Iron & Wine, but that just ain’t right. Iron & Wine’s early recordings sounded like they had been pulled from the heart of a grandfather clock, caked in dust and age that called into question the carbon dater’s adequacies. On Words Are Dead, Horse Feathers recollects that incident where you and your little friends went exploring in old man Weatherby’s abandoned, hillside home, and found that set of recordings buried deep within the chest of that clock that still ticked and tacked away at life. It was that same exploration that you now tell your children about, as you surround around the campfire when you head to the trees for your annual escapes.

It was right of Pitchfork to call Words Are Dead more avant-garde than other folk acts, but it is hard to understand that claim at moments. If you alone listened to any one song on Words Are Dead, Horse Feathers could be considered a fairly straightforward songwriting duo that fancies on their abilities to instrumentalize their tunes using the folk appropriate mandolin, singing saw, string arrangement combination. But within your glance from your step back, you see the inner workings of an album that is saying much more with its arrangement than your average coffee-shop-come-Sub-Pop-indie-folk-act. They might not be in the vein of Sam Beam, but they don’t need to rely on another band’s expertise to brighten up their b-sides for a release either. (No offense intended – I really love Iron & Wine.)

[mp3] Horse Feathers - Hardwood Pews
[mp3] Horse Feathers - Finch On Saturdays

Words Are Dead has been nominated for Americana Album of the Year in the Plug Awards. Be sure to vote for them here.

---------- Horse Feathers ----------

Continue reading "Horse Feathers unbury the truth"

Camera Obscura are coming, we bring the B-sides

The Content has been a little slow lately on bringing you up to date LA concert news, but hearing that Camera Obscura was returning to LA got our fingers typing this one out faster than ever. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend their last show at the Troubadour due to our lackadaisical jaunt to the nearest ticket location, which left us empty handed. This time we are getting our tickets early, and you should follow suit. There is only one way to enjoy some of the best pop of 2006, and that is together (kumbaya its the holiday season and finals are over).

And since the Content is all up in the holiday spirit, why don't you enjoy some Camera Obscura b-sides as our free gift.

[mp3] Camera Obscura - Books Written For Girls (Live Acoustic)
[mp3] Camera Obscura - Phil And Don
[mp3] Camera Obscura - Roman Holiday

2/17/07 - El Rey (tix)

---------- Camera Obscura ----------
| Official Site | Myspace | More mp3s | Buy Camera Obscura | Digg it | Del.icio.us |


Continue reading "Camera Obscura are coming, we bring the B-sides"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Faint @ The Palladium / The Glass House

Article and photos by Braedon

The Faint made their run through California last week, and left a blazing trail in their path. They have to be one of the funnest bands to see live. Their music has a way of not allowing your body to hold still while listening. Their beats and energy begin to flow through your blood until your muscles follow their call to dance. The Faint had a more than impressive performance at the Hollywood Palladium supported by Ladytron and Ratatat. I don't think there was a single person not dancing at that show and this was a big, sold out venue. I even caught the cool guys in the back snapping their fingers and shaking a leg.

If you have yet to see The Faint in concert, or even worse, if you have yet heard The Faint, there is a whole new world you can enter. The band on stage is in constant movement, dancing and singing, with the most aggressive light show I have not yet seen matched.

During this short winter tour, The Faint have experimented with four new songs: "Get Seduced", "The Geeks Were Right", "Fish In A Womb", and "Metal Hawks". They also said they should be finished building their new studio and able to start recording in February.

You can check out a rough performance of this song performed live on YouTube by clicking here.


The new songs definitely are taking the band in a similar direction as 'Wet From Birth', the bands most recent studio album, while you can still taste their earlier roots. Some of the material was slower while a good portion was as dancy as anything you would find on 'Dance Macabre.' The album's release date is is still unannounced but is estimated sometime in 2007.





















To get a good taste of the band, look at their video of 'I Disappear' You won't be disappointed.


[mp3] The Faint - Sex is Personal

[mp3] The Faint - Birth

Continue reading "The Faint @ The Palladium / The Glass House"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Drop that Ball - End of the Year Lists

While Jon and I are meticulously crafting our various end of the year lists, I'd like to point out some great lists that have come out so far.

The Punk Guy has a bunch of great lists. One even includes RC on it!

Aquarium Drunkard shows why he's always a step ahead, by creating a comprehensive list of great releases this year.

Stereogum is leaving it up to the people - vote here.

Gorilla vs Bear has reissue, song and album best of lists.

Rawk Blog has a nice Top 30 albums of 2006.

Continue reading "Drop that Ball - End of the Year Lists"

The World of Dan Boeckner

Dan Boeckner probably doesn't like you. His eyes see right through all the superficial bullshit piling up around your heart, and it makes him nauseous. He hates hype, press and this article. Since 2006 is the year of Spencer Krug, I thought it was a good time to start talking about Boeckner.

The fierce, punk energy that Dan first showcased in Atlas Strategic, has become the perfect counter-weight in Wolf Parade for Spencer Krug's boyish charm. During my initial experience with Wolf Parade, Boeckner's songwriting was overshadowed by Krug's pulsing keyboard and drunken yelps. Spencer's sound was so infectious that I wanted nothing more.

Now a veteran listener of Apologies To the Queen Mary, I've become obsessed with Boeckner's guitar wielding, heart bleeding tunes. In an interview he talks about Wolf Parade being a punk-rock band. I'd say that Dan infuses the band with a punk-rock feel. While his songwriting often sounds raw and intuitive, each track is actually complex and meticulous. He's just able to deliver it with a punk swagger.

I've noticed this same shift in attitude at the two Wolf Parade shows I've attended. At their first show in LA, the crowd was most responsive to "Runner," "Sons and Daughters" "I'll Believe in Anything" (all Krug tracks). At the time I thought it must be hard for Dan to hear that kind of crowd reaction; however, no one can touch "This Heart's On Fire," and the crowd loved every second of it. Seeing them a second time, the audience really embraced "Shine a Light" and "We Built Another World" (Dan's tracks). Like me, I think the crowd had finally expanded its horizons with the LP.

From Atlas Strategic, to Wolf Parade and finally to Handsome Furs, Boeckner's transition has a common theme - slowing down. Where Atlas Strategic is unfiltered, and Wolf Parade finds Boeckner in a balance, Handsome Furs (a side project with his fiance Alexie Perry) is his most sedated work to date.

Here's the Dan Boeckner musical spectrum:

[mp3] Atlas Strategic - Jeered By Minor Demons
[mp3] Wolf Parade - Shine a Light (CBC Radio 3)
[mp3] Wolf Parade - Love You Like I Do (new song - live)
[mp3] Wolf Parade - This Heart's On Fire
[mp3] Handsome Furs - Untitled #1

Bonus Track:

[mp3] Subtle - Middleclass Haunt (featuring Dan Boeckner)

Continue reading "The World of Dan Boeckner"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Mix Two Thousand Six

* The RC 2006 Christmas mix is now only available as a .zip

Happy Holidays!

[zip] Christmas Mix 2006 - Download

Hey dudes,

I’m new here to the site, and the guys have been kind enough to let me put together this year's holiday mix. I do love Christmas music; sorta fitting that it would comprise my first offering to you.

I've tested it out, and she feels party worthy. Good for festive drives to the mall, or spicing up train rides to work. We tried to compile some new classics, without it sounding like you'd heard it all before. Hopefully there will be at least something new for everyone.

Yuletide cheer for ya' ear,

- English


Christmas Mix 2006

1 ) [mp3] Sufjan Stevens - Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
2 ) [mp3] Maya Shore -
Lowly Stable
3 )
[mp3] Julie London - I'd Like You For Christmas
4 )
[mp3] Pedro the Lion - I Heard the Bells on Christmas
5 )
[mp3] The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song
6 )
[mp3] Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
7 )
[mp3] The Dismemberment Plan - This Christmas
8 )
[mp3] Louis Armstrong - Zat You Santa Claus?
9 )
[mp3] Fountains Of Wayne - Valley Winter Song
10)
[mp3] Belle & Sebastian - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
11)
[mp3] Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rappin'
12)
[mp3] Low - Just Like Christmas
13)
[mp3] Mark Mothersbaugh - Rachel Evans Tenenbaum (1965-2000)
14)
[mp3] Vitesse - Ice & Ribbons
15)
[mp3] Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song
16)
[mp3] Teenage Fanclub - Christmas Eve
17)
[mp3] Sunfall Festival - Still Still Still
18)
[mp3] Buffer - Quiet
19)
[mp3] National Geographic - Emily

Continue reading "Christmas Mix Two Thousand Six"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah comes back to life, we give you some demos

My workload for finals has greatly affected my sleep schedule, overall happiness factor, as well as hindering my ability to find time to get a post up. Thankfully some new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah songs were released this week from their forthcoming Some Loud Thunder, out January 30, which seriously brightened me up a few times in the last few days. With this little preview of the album, it seemed fitting to throw out a couple demos that CYHSY frontman Alec Ounsworth put together before the release of the bands debut. Enjoy listening to the progression of these songs over the years of reworking them.

Here's the tracklist:
1. Some Loud Thunder
2. Emily Jean Stock
3. Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?
4. Love Song No. 7
5. Satan Said Dance
6. Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant
7. Goodbye to Mother and the Cove
8. Arm and Hammer
9. Yankee Go Home
10. Underwater (You and Me)
11. Five Easy Pieces

[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater (You and Me) (New Song)
[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Love Song No. 7 (New Song)
[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater (You and Me) (Demo)
[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Heavy Metal (Demo)
[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Over and Over (Demo)
[mp3] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Details of the War (Demo)

Pick up CYHSY fall tour EP over at Insound. Check out another new tune, "Satan Said Dance", over at their Myspace.

Continue reading "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah comes back to life, we give you some demos"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Winter Books and Songs

Last time I collected a book/song list it was during the dead heat of summer, when going outside meant evaporating into the concrete. Now it is winter, and a blustery chill has finally descended upon LA (in the evenings at least). Therefore, RC recommends staying out of the cold (especially if you are reading this on the east coast), snuggling into a soft couch, and reading some dark, cynical literature.

Crime and Punishment








[mp3]
The Black Lips -
Gentle Violence










Catch 22









[mp3]
Modest Mouse - Exit Does Not Exist









Mao II






[mp3] We Are Wolves -
T.R.O.U.B.L.E.











Slaughterhouse Five








[mp3] Prodigy - Firestarter








East of Eden









[mp3]Annuals - Brother









League of Extraordinary Gentlemen







[mp3] Swan Lake - The Freedom



Continue reading "Winter Books and Songs"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Maps - Start Something EP

Maps are for the wandering hearted, laying out the world in coordinates and planes that are often hidden to those steady in their familiar footsteps. In a time where the foreigner simply has to “mapquest” a given area, that crinkled, impossible to fold, paper has seemingly lost all its need in a world that allows technology to guide one’s travels.

And somehow Maps, the band, juxtaposes this little analogy with their direct, electronic architecture that always arrives at its destination. The subtle hum of James Chapman sets the mood for the perfect winter soundscape. Where Beach House is the escapist winter destination along the coast, Maps is the escape to a snow fluttered forest where the stars align to guide you home. Maps is not rural to any extent; rather it is the light at the end of the tunnel, the snow covered city lights that burn brightly over yonder.

[mp3] MapsLost My Soul
[mp3] MapsTo The Sky

Maps has been garnering acclaim from NME, as well as others across the pond, calling the Northampton wunderkid's debut Start Something EP “soul searching electronica that has been getting people very excited.” We understand that NME can’t always be trusted but we sure can agree that Maps is something to get excited about if merely for its ability to lighten the emotional load on your back which is ever important during this stressful holiday season.

Buy Start Something here. You can thank us later.

Continue reading "Maps - Start Something EP"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Faint come out of hiding

Our brother Braedon is here to remind you about the quickly approaching Faint / Ratatat West coast tour.

The Faint has created a new-wave revolution, combining the elements of the 80's synth pop with a haunting tone of pop modern destruction. Since 1998, the band's sound has transformed from punk-influenced indie rock, to a sexy, danceable, new wave marriage of David Bowie and Depeche Mode. Four albums into their career, this little band from Omaha is selling out every venue they touch.

You come to a show by the Faint ready to dance, ready to hear good music, and ready to observe a tremendous display lights and video. The band is on tour right now and coming
through Southern California next week at three different locations. If you didn't get a ticket to the Palladium with Ratatat and Ladytron, there's still hope. The Faint is playing in Long Beach, Pomona, San Diego, and San Francisco. For more tourdates look here.

12/05/06 -
Mezzanine (San Francisco)
12/06/06 -
4th and B (San Diego)
12/07/06 -
Palladium (Los Angeles)
12/08/06 -
The Vault (Long Beach)
12/09/06 -
Glass House (Pomona)

[mp3] The Faint - Glass Danse
[mp3] The Faint - Worked Up So Sexual

Continue reading "The Faint come out of hiding"

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Toy Fight Collective

The Parisian collective, Toy Fight, spent the last three years producing their debut album Anagram Dances. The album pours out twelve, youthful, pop tracks, shrouded in an air of timelessness. Although each member of Toy Fight writes music independently , the collective remained true to their endeavor, and collaborated wholly on each song during the writing process. Unfortunately, Toy Fight's long awaited birth cry, has quickly become their swan song. The growing demand for solo work has pulled the collective apart, but in their own words "the trunk is dead but the branches are still alive."

Anagram Dances works hard to elude any connections with the present. From the album's rustic, silver nitrate cover, to the I am Cuba / Joan of Arc montage that is "The Hidden Second" music video, Toy Fight have carved out a bit of the past for themselves. It is in this nitch that the melodies of "Victim's Hairdo" or "Tiffany" best exist. The album is escapist in the best sense of the word. It transports you to remote land, in a far off time.

While Toy Fight might no longer exist, there are six reasons why this demise isn't a tragedy. The first five consist of solo projects started by the band. On Toy Fight's website, there are songs from the newly formed groups, and each project has something unique and lovely to offer. The sixth is that Anagram Dances is complete and available for purchase.

Visit Toy Fight's myspace or website to hear more music and buy their debut LP.

[mp3] Toy Fight - The Hidden Second

[mp3] Toy Fight - Victim's Hairdo

GvB Picasso and MOKB have been following Toy Fight for a while now.



Continue reading "The Toy Fight Collective"