Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A lesson in Remixology

I forget my keys everywhere. Actually, I basically misplace every one of my belongings at least once during the course of the week. Not long ago I seemed to have thrown my wallet away with the outgoing garbage, which included all my credit cards, cash, and rebate checks (at least I was keeping clean). (Un)Fortunately, I happened to find that darn leather patch nearly three months later (rebate checks expired) lying on my closet shelf, tucked away behind some of my least favorite clothing.

The above mention mix-up usually drives me crazy and that’s when I call on the powers of the remixology to cure my insanity. It’s a wonderful thing these remixes. Some obscure artist takes one of your favorite songs, mutilates it, dismembers it, and then piles it together expecting us fans to find the new beheaded being attractive. Amazingly, these cut-ups sometimes become beautiful reinterpretations of the original as the following list displays. This goes out to all of you who are having a rough week and need a little help making it through “hump day.”

P.S. We love you JAX.

[www] The Little OnesLovers Who Uncover (Crystal Castles Remix)
[www] Mia Doi ToddMy Room Is White (Flying Lotus Remix)
[www] Thom Yorke - The Clock (Surgeon Remix)
[www] Grizzly Bear - Knife (Girl Talk Remix)
[www] The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health (Ratatat Remix)
[www] Thom Yorke - Analyse (Various Remix)

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where the Black Lips Go - Chaos Follows

If you don't leave a Black Lips concert covered in beer and sweat, then you've missed the best part of the show. For six years the band has cultivated a notorious, free-for-all, live environment, and it'd be a shame not to take advantage of it. I give pardon only to RC's brilliant photog Braedon, due to camera safety concerns.

Walking into the Echo, I had serious doubts whether this was going to be the Black Lips show I'd heard in legend; however, it only took the first note, of the first song to prove all worries false. The once docile crowd, instantly made for the stage and started dancing in all directions. Also, most everyone holding a drink began throwing it towards the stage. This left me soaked in beer, smashed up against the stage (reference the bottom right photo) and having the best time of my life.

The strangest aspect of the show was the overwhelming reaction of the crowd to the music. I never see that kind of crowd enthusiasm anymore, especially in Silverlake, and it all goes back to the Black Lips cultivating this environment. While the band's music is filled with tons of energy, it's also got a downbeat psych vibe that you wouldn't connect with a chaotic show. It's really with the band itself that the crowd finds its guidance. The Black Lips know this, and take full advantage, by always engaging with the audience.

By the end of the show girls had rushed the stage, St. Pe (guitarist) was getting naked and the Echo staff were getting annoyed. For me it was a perfect way to experience the Black Lips. If you want to learn a bit more about their music, check out an earlier article about them here. Thank you also to the lovely Christen at Vice for always hooking me up.

[www] Black Lips - Not a Problem (live in TJ)

[www] Black Lips - Freakout (live @ SXSW)

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Rosie Thomas, Sufjan, & their baby

I always knew Sufjan was a Christian but I didn’t know he would succumb to the ring around the campfire worship song. And with most of the songs on Rosie Thomas’ These Friends of Mine camouflaging themselves in that hold-your-hands-up-in-praise awkwardness, it’s an uncomfortable, though easy, listen even if the mention of Christ is minimized to a side plot story about Rosie’s mother’s tears. In all honesty, the sound that is more than apparent on These Friends of Mine demands a lot more mention of the Savior than is portrayed. And that tension between the expectation of the music and the actual delivery of lyric is enough to drive someone mad.

But once that roadblock is overcome you find yourself traveling on smooth, back country roads with mist kissed sunsets and recollections of the more tender, quieter moments of life. The report (now proved to be a hoax) that Rosie was carrying Sufjan’s child brings an interesting twist to the sound that Sufjan accompanies on much of the album with his usual hush puppy vocals and warm banjo. It could almost be imagined that the two have put together an album of lullabies for the child that never was or the child that is still supposed to be.

These Friends of Mine doesn't come out till March 13 but right now you can download the entire album over at eMusic.

[www] Rosie ThomasThe One I Love (featuring Sufjan Stevens)
[mp3] Rosie Thomas - I Play Music (from Only With Laughter Can You Win)
Rosie Thomas - Two Dollar Shoes (from When We Wer Small)
[mp3] Rosie ThomasPretty Dress (from If Songs Could Be Held)

| Official Site | Myspace | More mp3s | Buy These Friends of Mine |

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Friday, January 26, 2007

The Brobecks Play For a Pleasant Tomorrow

In a music world freed from major label shackles, The Brobecks are amidst a blossoming music community, fueled by a DIY spirit, and finding it a smoother path to success. No one is target marketing their songs (except me), or paying them rock-star salaries to keep them motivated. The Utah native, four piece merely write music and release it. As the musical playing field is leveled, and talent becomes the only requirement - The Brobecks are destined to be first string.

The Brobecks are further evidence that the ever-moving pendulum of music, is currently arced at a point where rock bands are reacquainting themselves with pop music. The muddled beauty of post-punk has lost it's dominant presence in my life. I have fallen back in love with melody and beat. It feels as though my body has sluffed off its old, weathered skin, for the prospects of a fresh new existence. Thank God for the pendulum's ebb and flow.

Goodnight and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow, like most great pop music, shrouds its lamentations on love - with ambiguous storytelling and a healthy admiration for the Sun. It's about living West of California, on a bicycle made for two, all before being cut to pieces and sorted out by a girl you once loved. It's also about dancing. Like the pop resurgence of The Little Ones and Bloc Party (to name only a few), The Brobecks embrace an infectious chorus and foot tapping rhythm. However, it's in the album's theatricality that Goodnight... finds its uniqueness. The intro to "Goodnight
Socialite" and "Bike Right" show The Brobecks dabbling in the dramatic, and succeeding.

As a whole, Goodnight and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow proves the band has ambitious plans, but hasn't quite decided which
road to take. The album didn't leave me feeling scattered, but instead heightened my interest as to what path The Brobecks will eventually walk down.

[www] The Brobecks - Jacqui

Bonus Track:

[www] The Brobecks - Aeroplane

Come rock with them on tour:

02/02/2007 The Electric Theater - St. George, Utah

02/08/2007 Solid Ground Cafe - Sandy, Utah
03/10/2007 In the Venue - Salt Lake City, Utah
SXSW appearance
03/29/2007 Safari Sams - Hollywood, California
04/03/2007 The Launch Pad - Albuquerque, New Mexico
04/19/2007 Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, Utah
04/20/2007 Velour - Provo, Utah
04/21/2007 The Grind - Cedar City, Utah

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Getting back on the ‘Of Montreal’ Bandwagon

I fell off the Of Montreal bandwagon a while ago. It seemed like I was continually being pushed off that crowded box of wood. I would run and run to try and make it back on but to no avail. With a back catalog that runs twelve years long it seemed a little too much to handle. But to be honest, it was just a little too crowded in that boxcar for me to take it seriously.

But with fresh ears taking in Of Montreal’s latest effort, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? it was almost as if I had forgotten all the bad experiences and suppressed the visions of meatheads screaming out steak products at their shows. It was as if I had happened upon that beacon of hope floating upon the flooding sea of backwash bad blog bands that had been hitting me like tidal wave shore break day after day after day.

Hissing Fauna reeks with infectiousness from first sound clip. A child’s sing along to strum is the inviting call into the rabbit hole towards the wacky world of Kevin Barnes. The robot rock, bubblegum, steakhouse jingle sound is laced with the sweetest of ear candy presented by the friendliest of strangers, a stranger that I have gotten into the car with and driven around the block a few times. Part psychedelic heartbreak recovery with a dash of Beatles tribute, Hissing Fauna is as intriguing as it replayable.

[www] Of MontrealSuffer For Fashion
Of MontrealSink The Seine

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Coachella Highlights

The 2007 Coachella lineup has been announced, and once again the bill should leave few disappointed. The only band that didn't make the list was My Bloody Valentine - maybe next year. Since there are so many acts, I've decided to make a highlight reel for each day. Once the time schedules are released, it'll be necessary to have a well thought out battle plan. Like every year, band times will conflict. It's up to you to decide the correct route.

Each band is hyperlinked to Hype Machine or previous RC articles.

Bjork, Interpol, Arctic Monkeys, Sonic Youth, DJ Shadow, Rufus Wainwright, Tokyo Police Club, Busdriver
[www] Tokyo Police Club - Citizens of Tomorrow (live)

The Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, !!!, MSTRKFRT, Ghostface Killah, Peter Bjorn & John, Sparklehorse, Girl Talk

[www] !!! - Heart of Hearts

Rage Against the Machine, Air, The Roots, Explosions in the Sky, Soulwax, Spank Rock, Ratatat, Junior Boys, CSS, Tapes n Tapes, Teddybears, Grizzly Bear

[www] Teddybears - Punkrocker

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

The West loves Mikhail Gorbachev for his role in helping fulfill Reagan’s demands to “tear down that wall.” That wall was more than a division of East and West Germany but rather the embodiment of the separation of us as a global community, the metaphorical duct tape lined up between our nuclear bombs and tactical weaponry. Unfortunately, Gorbachev is anything but popular in his motherland where he was quickly replaced by Boris Yeltsin, the showboat leader who could out shimmy any other in the Duma.

When I met the guys from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin on their last tour, their genuine nice guy feel was a stark contrast to the eastern European namesake that they had taken upon them. I just wanted one of their shirts but what I got was a handshake and smile coupled with some of the most humble of harmonies. Their genuine friendliness is more than apparent through their music where they sing of heartache through playful imagery such as massive land formations pulling apart from one another (“Pangea”). In a lot of ways, SSLYBY is a reminder of what happens when young music makers lock themselves in their rooms with Pinkerton. Even in its throwback emo-riffic moments, it’s still humbling to have music this solid bring me back to those moments of youth and lost love.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Pangea
[www] Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - I Am Warm And Powerful

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Motivate That Step

I didn't have much reason to celebrate this weekend. On Saturday night, someone decided they were the rightful owner of my ipod, and stole it from my car - shattering my front window in the process. Outside of dancing all over this _____'s face, I currently have little motivation to dance, enjoy a beat or even tap my foot. What better time for a dance music round-up! I'm feeling better already...

This post goes out to my pal Morgan for guiding me into the world of Justice. Though I was blind, now I see. While the French duo (Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay) have only a few scattered releases, they've stayed in the spot light with their ingenious remixes. If you haven't heard "We Are Your Friends" or watched the video, go here now. Sometime this year Justice's D.A.N.C.E. EP will be released, along with the groups first full length. For now buy Waters of Nazareth on emusic or find more music on Hype Machine.

[www] Justice - Phantom (Part 1)

Sebastien Grainger
For a while, I thought the much missed other-half of DFA1979 was lost forever; however, my prayers have been answered, and Sebastien is back. Strangely, he sounds like he's been hanging out with MSTRKRFT. What happened to all these irreconcilable differences? Either way it's nice to have him back. Sebastien will even be opening the Bloc Party shows at the Wiltern! Rad.

[www] Sebastien Grainger - When You Go Out

New Young Pony Club
Got this little treat in the mail last week, and thought I'd share one of their catchy, hip shaker tracks. "Ice Cream" is the song that may turn UK's New Young Pony Club into a hit. It's no surprise that the group has already received a lot of attention. Tahita's disillusioned, robot voice is the perfect picture of the indie dance movement. They even have a cow bell. Get more tracks at Hype Machine.

[www] New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream

Continue reading "Motivate That Step"

Friday, January 19, 2007

Malkmus likes The Kingdom

How did I miss this? Almost a year ago I came across the Kingdom with their debut Unitas EP and was immediately struck at their quick jabs at pop perfection. It wasn’t until this week when Stereogum let us in on Stephen Malkmus’ sit-down with Seattle’s The Stranger where Mr. Pavement points out his liking for the Portland outfit that I forced myself to find out what the Kingdom have been up to.

Fortunately, I was able to head over to eMusic (God bless their souls) and pick up the Kingdom’s new album
K1. I hate saying that I was pleasantly surprised by a band but the Kingdom’s K1 is everything and a step up from where Unitas left off. With their new album, the Kingdom find themselves firmly planted in their tight fitting pop architecture (only one song on the 11-track album runs over 3 minutes). Charles Westmoreland’s ringy, high-pitched vocals have grown on me during my second pass and now come off as more friendly and familiar in his avant-garde story telling. And it never hurts to have a gorgeous girl in the band.

[www] The KingdomRacer

The KingdomDriver

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Black Lips - Los Valentes Del Mundo Nuevo

The Black Lips created a lot of internet chatter over the past year, due to the various, insane acts performed by the band on stage. We'll just leave it at - there is a lot of urine involved. Like everyone else, I thought - ewww... I wonder what their music sounds like? "Not A Problem," "Gentle Violence" and "Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah" performed a three punch knockout on me, in the first round. The songs contain an unchecked, abandon, somehow wrapped in a catchy pop melody. It sounds like the band is trying to claw its way out of my speakers, with chaos and infectious riffs. Translation: You just need to hear it to believe me.

As a kick off release for their new label home- Vice, the Black Lips kept the insanity alive, and recorded a live record at a chaotic bar in Tijuana. Vice and Black Lips are the perfect marriage of crazy rad, and rad crazy. The record is called Los Valentes Del Mundo Nuevo, and it sounds fantastic. John Reis recorded the show, and is owed a huge debt of gratitude for capturing the ferociousness of the show, without sacrificing sound quality. Check out a trailer of live footage from the show here. The album comes out February 20th, but we have a track to get you listening.

[www] Black Lips - Not A Problem

Bonus track from Let It Bloom

[www] Black Lips - Hippie Hippie Hoorah

Come see them live:

1/23/07 12 Galaxies (San Francisco)
1/24/07 The Glass House
1/25/07 The Casbah
1/26/07 Echo
1/27/07 Spaceland
1/29/07 UCLA

Continue reading "Black Lips - Los Valentes Del Mundo Nuevo"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What God Doesn’t Bless, You Won’t Love

A child walks among the leaves to freeze at the sight of the winged thing. Its black arms spread wide between trunks and trees, its neck cocked to the side with the posture of a stone. The child’s tiny fingers curl tight in defense to the enormity of the situation at hand. Frightened, the child stares as the winged thing begins to bend its legs to the sound of the drum sounding off within its bowels. Bending notes begin to flow out through the winged thing’s up shaped beak to bring his long lost bird relatives out from hiding atop the branches. The caws and coos begin to trickle off the tree limbs from above dropping wet sounds of rain upon the child’s skin. They are gentle beings these winged things.

Shedding’s new album What God Doesn’t Bless, You Won’t Love; What You Don’t Love, The Child Won’t Know has been a companion of mine for the last month. I went in alone on this one knowing that what lay before me was a trip through the other world where we paint and create our own languages, the world we left so long ago. When we were children it was so easy to escape into that world, where beasts lived in trees and among the shadows in the hallway. There are things that only children see but there are also secret passages, chutes and ladders, which some art allows for us to ride making us visitors into that world that we once knew so well.

What Shedding’s Connor Bell has done with this record is create a collage of “micro-sampled” jazz with appropriately placed bird songs and mimicry of the like. The record, though challenging if listened to proactively, is a rewarding, hypnotic guide to the other world of your choice. And coupled with the dark fantasy artwork of the gifted Kathleen Lolley it is no wonder that others are finding Shedding’s new work to be nothing more than absolutely bewitching.

[www] SheddingGB
[www] SheddingLess Than Natural Wash (from Dead In The Water)
[www] SheddingRaindrops Revisited v.2 (from Now I’m Shedding)

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

I hope everyone has a nice day honoring MLK, and I hope that, as a people, we are able to take some of his words to heart - if even for a day.

These songs come from people who have made/are making a positive difference in music. Some speak through their lyrics, and others vebalize through their instruments - all call for change.

[www] The Arcade Fire - Wake Up

[www] Brian Wilson - Surf's Up (solo)

[www] Miles Davis - Moon Dreams

[www] Radiohead - True Love Waits

[www] Tom Waits - Road to Peace

Continue reading "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Mandatory Attendance

It seems as though the holiday season got the best of us. We had a few weeks to relax and then the world seemed to start rotating faster than ever before with one of us here starting a new job and the other getting a butt load of assignments dropped on his head during the first week of classes. Fortunately, some of our favorite bands have decided to make our lives better by starting the New Year off right and booking dates in our fair city. So for all of you that need a reason to get off the couch, here is our New Years installment of the mandatory attendance (and yes that says Bright Eyes at the El Rey).

01/24/07 – Deerhoof @ El Rey (tix)
01/26/07 – Of Montreal @ El Rey (tix)
01/27/07 - Black Lips @ Spaceland (tix)
02/21/07 - Grizzly Bear @ Trouabdour (tix)
03/03/07 - The Annuals @ Spaceland (tix)
03/07/07 - Bright Eyes @ El Rey (tix) (2 days)
03/13/07 - El Perro Del Mar @ Jensen RecCenter (tix)
03/19/07 - Bloc Party @ Wiltern LG (tix) (2 days)
03/30/07 - TV on the Radio @ Henry Fonda (tix) (2 days)
04/13/07 - Ted Leo & the Pharmacists @ El Rey (tix)
04/22/07 - The Books @ Malibu Performing Arts Center (tix)
04/24/07 - Xiu Xiu & Sunset Rubdown @ Troubadour (tix)

The “You-Should-Really-Already-Have-These” Taste Tester
[www] The Books Smells Like Content
[www] Sunset RubdownThree Colours
[www] Grizzly Bear - Knife
[www] El Perro Del Mar - Candy
[www] TV on the RadioWolf Like Me

(Note: Bear with us while we get our server problems fixed. It won't be that much longer and the upgrade will be oh so pleasing for all of you. Thanks for being patient.)

Continue reading "Mandatory Attendance"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Welcome to Your Future

I saw two movies in one day, made by two life long friends...
In Children of Men, Alfonso Cuaron brings to the table the major issues facing man in the 21st century. It's a tale of terrorism, fascism, immigration, environmental depletion and the varied reactions of the human will towards these plights. The movie is structured as a chase film that may feel thin on paper, but delivers wonderfully on film - due to the ever changing social situations. Through this, Cuaron is able to paint a picture of the entire social spectrum in England. The film's constant movement also allows Emmanuel Lubezki to create some of the most spectacular camera work since Kubrick. At the heart of the film is humanity's need for hope. This theme is what elevates Children of Men from a political statement to human story.

Even Ed from Grizzly Bear loved the film.

[www] Radiohead - Life in A Glass House

Pan's Labyrinth is hallucinatory portrayal of a young girl's escape from the crushing blows of Fascism. Told in the parallel narratives of Capitan Vidal's evil rule and Ofelia's infinite imagination, Guillermo del Toro gives the viewer a dizzying insight into both the physical and emotional realm of the characters. Like Children of Men it is a cautionary tale; however, unlike the gritty reality Cuaron portrays, Guillermo dive deep into rich textured fantasy. The film is beautiful and terrifying, and (in my understanding) void of hope - at least for life in this world.

[www] Radiohead - You and Whose Army?

Continue reading "Welcome to Your Future"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

She took me far away. Somewhere far from the garages and traffic lights I found her strumming alone. The angels and sugar sprout fairies surrounded and lifted her voice up to the heavens as I curled my fingers into the mossy ground beneath her toes. The others crept in slowly after to lay their heads at her feet as she sang sweet echoes between the trees and between city noises sounding off in the distance. We weren’t that far away but for moments linked together in minutes we had escaped.

The reaction has always been the same when I have played Josephine Foster’s A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing for new ears. Her voice has the power to freeze time to all who are within reach of her vocal chords. The music of this opera-trained dropout turned Young God folkie is exciting for her avant-garde take on the past. A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing is really Foster’s interpretation of 19th Century German parlour balladry. Her creation of foreign scenery with modernized echoes of today is just a reminder that our escapist attempts are riddled with residue of the moment.

[www] Josephine FosterAn Die Musik
[www] Josephine Foster Stones Throw From Heaven (from Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You)

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Round 2

I got information! New shit has come to light! And
- The Dude

Within a week of posting on The Good, The Bad and The Queen and Panda Bear, I was emailed two new tracks to share. Instead of letting these songs slip through the crack, I am making this an epilogue post.

Damon and co. continue to bring the goods with "80's Life." The waltz first enters with simple piano chords and guitar arpeggios, and from this foundation the vocal layering is constructed. It's called "80's Life," but the barbershop vocals bring me back to the 50's. Maybe it's about people in their 80's. Either way, GBQ do a great job crafting dense, but contained songs. Now I'm even more excited about the LP.

[www] The Good, The Bad and The Queen - 80's Life (yousendit file)

Welcome to my new obsession. Panda Bear is everything I love about music, wrapped into one person - Noah Lennox. I explained in my post last week that I'm fascinated by drummers and DJs. Panda Bear is a percussionist, sampler and singer who is finally showing all his cards. Young Prayer is a good introduction to Panda Bear, but over the course of the album, it's grows a little sparse. Person Pitch (released March 20th) is filled with infectiously beautiful vocal melodies, and precision crafted loops. This album will be in our top 5 for 2007 - I'm claiming it now.

[www] Panda Bear - I'm Comfy in Nautica (yousendit file)

I also found a great live video of Panda Bear performing "Bro's."

Continue reading "Round 2"

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Brian Wilson's final Pet Sounds performances

“... Jesus, that ear. He should donate it to The Smithsonian.” – Bob Dylan

“It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life.” – Paul McCartney

“I think he's a truly, truly, truly great genius.” – Pete Townsend

“Brian Wilson is, without a doubt, a pop genius.” – Eric Clapton

With Pet Sounds still celebrating its 40th anniversary, Brian Wilson has been out and performing the album in full with original Beach Boy, Al Jardine. With the tour stopping by UCLA’s Royce Hall back in November, I thought that I would have the perfect opportunity to see one of my musical idols live for the first time while performing Pet Sounds, in its entirety, for the last time. But with classes, midterms, and bad luck I was left dreaming about what that experience would have been like. Luckily Brian was able to give me one of the greatest Christmas gifts this year when he announced the final performances of the final Pet Sounds tour to be here on the West Coast. Some tickets are still available and eBay is always an option for you diehards that don’t mind forking out the big dough. This is the last time you will ever get to hear Pet Sounds performed in its entirety by as close to the real Beach Boys as you will ever get.

[mp3] The Beach BoysHang On To Your Ego (Alternate Version)

[mp3] The Beach BoysHang On To Your Ego
[mp3] The Beach BoysShe’s Goin’ Bald
[mp3] Brian WilsonIn Blue Hawaii

1/26/07 – Terrace Theater, Long Beach, CA (tix)
1/27/07 – 4th and B, San Diego, CA (tix)
1/28/07 – Paramount Theater, Oakland, CA (tix)
1/29/07 – Malibu Performing Arts Center, Malibu, CA

Continue reading "Brian Wilson's final Pet Sounds performances"

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Panda Bear drops Bro's 12" / Animal Collective attack 2007

My new year's resolution for 2007 (first one ever) is to learn the drums. Over the last year, percussion has taken a front seat in my musical experience, and it's feels necessary that I know my way around a drum kit. With Liar's Drums Not Dead absorbing my life, and Animal Collective's Feels still on repeat, there's no better time to start making some noise.

It's also a perfect opportunity to talk about Animal Collective's lead percussionist and solo artist extraordinaire, Panda Bear. Over two years after releasing Young Prayer, Panda Bear is back with a gorgeous 12" called Bro's. The disc contains one 13 minute track and a remix of Bro's by Terrestrial Tones (Avey Tare of AC and Eric Copeland of Black Dice).

We have the shortened version of Bro's for you, but consider it just a taster, because the full release is a must have. As the song begins, Panda Bear creates a subtle rhythm track that he is able to loop throughout the song.
It is this looped percussion that acts as the foundation for Bro's. From there, PB builds the song through swelling vocal tracks and sparse guitar notes. Compared with Young Prayer, this 12" has a much stronger pop feel. I've heard people using Brian Wilson references, and I definitely buy into it.

A key element to Panda Bear is the unified feel he creates throughout a track. Due to my deep love/respect/envy for DJs, I'm always impressed by an artist who makes an effort to weave tracks together, and construct a mini-universe within a song/LP.

On the Panda Bear agenda for 07 is a split with Excepter out this month, and a full length this winter.

[mp3] Panda Bear - Bro's (edit)

On the Animal Collective front, Panda Bear's recent chat with Pitchfork discussed several AC releases in 07: People EP will be out January 23rd, 3 LPs worth of live recordings out in May and the followup to Feels (hopefully) done by this fall. Check out the full Pfork article here.

Here is a track off AC's recently reissued live LP Hollinndagain:

[mp3] Animal Collective - Forest Gospel

Continue reading "Panda Bear drops Bro's 12" / Animal Collective attack 2007"

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Dog of the Sea sings sweetly

This past year made me realize that I love pop music. I want to live inside Brian Wilson’s good ear and spend the night next to the loaded gun of Phil Spector. Nothing would be more satisfying than sitting in on the vocal recordings of “God Only Knows” or watching Camera Obscura play their abandoned trash can drums while recording Let’s Get Out Of This Country. The Little Ones helped me tap my feet for six straight months in ’06 and those good pop vibrations just keep on coming.

With my yearlong infatuation with pop it is no wonder that I would inevitably be introduced to the chamber pop simplicity of El Perro Del Mar. The echo chamber harmonies atop acoustic strummings are enough to transport anyone back a few decades to where pop actually lived a good, clean life. The lingering hope that lies between the melancholic sounds that El Perro Del Mar emits throughout her self-titled debut are perfect for anyone that is still recovering from their New Year’s romp or for those still trying to write out those New Year resolutions.

Shoobie doo wah wah.

[mp3] El Perro Del MarCandy
[mp3] El Perro Del MarGod Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)

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