Friday, February 29, 2008

we saw: Apes and Androids

If you visit the Apes and Androids website, you will find the following quote:
"It's long and loud and everything about it is big: from the massive riffs, the pounding score and the band itself, which towers above everything and everyone in this mega-budget sonic explosion." -adapted from actual Transformers movie review
And after seeing them last night at Hiro Ballroom, I would have to say that description is pretty accurate. They do indeed have a big and diverse sound filled with massive riffs and complex vocal arrangements, and their live show was all about neon, confetti, glow sticks, and synchronized dance routines that gave it a blockbuster feel. Their stage presence and image matched up with their darker, electronic-tinged "Bowie meets Queen" sound, but I couldn't help but draw comparisons to The Darkness in the sense that it was hard to tell if these guys were being tongue-in-cheek, or if they actually dress and act that way. Regardless, these guys definitely have what it takes to make it big, so be on the lookout. Check out their MySpace to hear some tunes off of their recently released album Blood Moon and watch their dancing sleeping bag video below.

viddyo: Chavez

"Just take this with you"

The other day Spinner listed their list of the top 25 band logos of all time. A controversial list if ever, and so the mucks at Idolator had to chime in with an appendix(+5). Well, they both fucked up, because they left this classic band logo off the charts and I'm not gonna let it go unnoticed.For those unfamiliar, this is the logo of mid-90's reverb loving indie rockers Chavez. You know, Matt Sweeney's old band. They were pretty much the coolest, most jaded group of New York indie rockers this side of VU and the groups 1996 record (and last studio release)Ride the Fader is a ninties indie-alt rock classic on par Crooked Rain... and I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One. In fact, if you like Pavement and Yo La Tengo, you'll probably love Chavez. (That mid-90's Matador roster was so fucking bad ass.) Be sure to check out the classic video for "Unreal is Here", which plays as a faux-retrospective to the career Chavez could have had if the public wasn't so busy lapping up Brian McKnight records and inflating Teddy Riley's ego. Rock on Matt Sweeney, just stay away from Billy Corgan and anything rhyming with Swan.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

coming up: Acorn/Bowerbirds/Phosphorescent

"Keep this wood stove burning"

This ridiculous lineup combines our love of Dead Oceans with my North Cackalacky roots (Bowerbirds are from Raleigh). They have already sold out one NYC show (last night at Union Hall in Brooklyn), so there was no way we were going to miss the Friday night Phosphorescent, Bowerbirds and The Acorn show at the Merc, especially for $10. Yeah, the same amount as a 6-pack of Studweiser tall boys in the Big Apple. If you have any interest in rootsy folk, accordions, and incredible songwriting, well, I'd get your ass to the Mercury Lounge Friday night. If you can't make it, try and catch The Acorn (minus Bowerbirds & Phosphorescent) tonight (2/28) at Maxwell's in Hoboken. It's definitely worth the $1.50 path ride. Seriously.

Bowerbirds playing "My Oldest Memory" in a park in Raleigh

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

viddyo: Portishead

"Give me a reason to love you"

The summer of '97 was a heady time in my life. I was 13, and besides going to Bar Mitzvahs, trying to cover up zits and talk to girls, I had one other thing on my mind; being dark. Luckily, Radiohead had just released the now decade old masterpiece that is OK Computer. I vividly remember selling 10 CD's back to the record store, so I could afford OK Computer the day it came out. A seemingly dyslexic July 1st release date (OK Computer isn't exactly a summer record, if ya get my drift) didn't curb my enthusiasm, in fact it only heightened my interest in the emerging post-Brit pop, electro influenced rock scene.

It was around the same time that I rediscovered Portishead. Yeah, rediscovered. I was ten when Dummy was released but that didn't stop me from falling in love with "Sour Times", an MTV staple in the Kennedy, John Sencio, Daisy Fuentes era. (Remember Alternative Nation? 120 Minutes? Those were the days.) At the tail end of the summer of '97, Portishead released the self-titled follow up to Dummy and "Only You" alone sent me into a trip-hop coma. After seeing them on SNL (anybody remember that?), I had fallen, hard. Beth Gibbons had become my obsession, my first crush on an ethereal chanteuse. I spent hours at the computer trying to sample the scratching sequences on "Glory Box", failing miserably time after time. Regardless, Portishead made a lasting impression on my impressionable mind, and turned me on to the dark side of electronic music (Odelay had already gotten me primed on the whack'd out junkyard funk side of the electro scene).

Of course, this is all relevant because on April 29th Portishead will issue the appropriately titled Third. Below is an honest to god, make the hair on the back of your neck stand up performance of "Glory Box" from the memorable PNYC. Nothing better than Portishead with a an orchestra. Now lets all cross our fingers and hope they announce a NYC area date.

"Glory Box" Live at Roseland, NYC 1997

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

underrated: Marc Bolan & T. Rex

"Children of the Revolution"

Glam rock emerged in the UK in the early 1970s, at the tail end of the psychedelic movement's acid hangover. Marc Bolan, and his band T. Rex, helped set the tone for the glam era with their flamboyant and sexually ambiguous fashion sense combined with a narcotic and hard rocking sound, and overarching lyrical themes of hedonistic desire, which helped pave the way for the disco explosion later in the decade.

Marc Bolan was a rock star's Rock Star, living fast and partying harder. His genius was tragically cut short at 29 years, but his spirit lives on through his music. T. Rex was best known for their 1971 chart-topping hit "Get It On(Bang a Gong)" but their diverse catalog includes many memorable gems that still sound fresh and relevant more than 30 years later. Get acquainted with their style with the video above and streaming track below, and then join us in eagerly awaiting the release of the Metal Guru DVD, a definitive look back on Bolan's career which hits shelves on April 1.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bobkast #11: Gonna See A Movie Called Gunga Din

"A Town Built on Black Gold & Iron Ore"

Nothing spells winter like a pair of carhart overalls and a thick ole flannel shirt. Throw a wool sweater on top of that, thick socks, duck boots, and a warm hat and your ready for a jaunt through the snow covered forests. A few great covers here, along with a preview of the M. Ward/Zooey Deschanel "She & Him" record, our favorite folkies (Karen Dalton & Joanna Newsome) and a new one by The Builders & The Butchers, who Bill the Butcher of Gangs of New York definitely would've loved.

Bobkast #11: Gonna See A Movie Called Gunga Din
Oakley Hall- Marine Life
Band of Horses- Plans (Grizzly Bear cover)
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irkglova- You Ain't Going Nowhere (Bob Dylan cover)
Karen Dalton- Katie Cruel
Joanna Newsome & the Ys Street Band- Colleen
The Builders & The Butchers- Black Dresses
Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris- Return of the Grievous Angel
Blitzen Trapper- Country Caravan
Silver Jews- Friday Night Fever
M. Ward- When I Get to the Border (w/ Zooey Deschanel) {Richard & Linda Thompson cover}
Willie Nelson & Calexico- Senor (Bob Dylan cover)
Wilco- True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston cover)

Bobkast #11: Gonna See A Movie Called Gunga Din {direct link; right click, or option, to download}

classick albums: Odessey & Oracle

"A sweet vibration seemed to fill the air"Recorded at Abbey Road in the Summer of '67, Odessey & Oracle was produced during the height of the psychedelic movement in London, and The Zombies were smack dab in the middle of it. As you can probably tell the album cover (above), The Zombies were riding a wave of psychotropics, which when filtered through their novice Brit Invasion crops, conjured a hazy dream world, thick with cloud 9 eccentricities and the stoney sheen of a magically sunny day in the Summer of '67.

Odessey & Oracle opens with the skeletal "A Rose for Emily", which moves from a minimalist piano composition into a soaring breeze of harmonic wonder and back down, before drifting softly into "Maybe After He's Gone," a bass heavy British Invasion jam with thumping jazz drums and carefully constructed "la-la" harmonies wrapped underneath Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals. In a bizarre bit of ancestry, the off kilter clicks of a typewriter during the breakdown in "Maybe After He's Gone" play like an unlikely great-grandfather to the rhythmless glitch tech of IDM.

A bit stoney from the beginning, a feeling of chemical imbalance comes alive on "Hung Up On A Dream",where orchestral sweeps envelope the dreamy song, whose ambiguous lyrics straddle the line between a child's mystical dream and a young man's transcendental trip.
A sweet confusion filled my mind/ Until I woke up only finding everything was just a dream/ A dream unusual of its kind/ That gave me peace and blew my mind/ And now I'm hung up on a dream
The glow only grows from there with "Changes", a loopy flute laden cut with 4 part harmonies swelling in unison over simple hand percussion and extremely minimal piano parts. Like the Beach Boys, The Zombies used harmonies as vehicle for psychedelic experimentation, using layer upon layer of effected vocal to form an ethereal feeling of drifting through space and time, as if everything were a dream.

On the other side of the psyche coin is the rumbling, squeezebox fueled "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)", which would sound fitting on the Incredible String Band's The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. Propelled by a fully overdriven organ and lyrics like "My hands won't stop shaking/ My arms won't stop shaking/ My mind won't stop shaking/I want to go home", "Butcher's Tale" is the quintessential bad trip song, in a totally good way. I don't think I have to mention how lovely uber classics like "Time of the Season", "This Will Be Our Year" and "I Want Her (She Wants Me)" are. Y'all already know that.

Unfortunately, by the time the album was released, The Zombies had disbanded. Odessey & Oracle was their last work, their definitive artistic statement, an undeniable masterpiece. While Brian Wilson and Pet Sounds continue to get all the critical nods for influencing the psyche popsters of the moment (Panda Bear, Miracle Fortress, Of Montreal, etc), The Zombies have clearly left a similar influence on Generation X/Y, especially on Panda Bear, who thanks them in the liner notes of Person Pitch (His loopy harmonies are much more comparable to the songs on Odessey & Oracle than the highly orchestrated choral arrangements of Pet Sounds & Holland). Now only if someone from Continuum would do 33 1/3 book on The Zombies master work.

The Zombies- A Rose for Emily
The Zombies- Changes
The Zombies- Hung Up on a Dream

Sunday, February 24, 2008

we saw: Atlas Sound

Ethereal and atmospheric ambient shoegaze

The slowly spinning disco ball hanging above the stage at Johnny Brenda's in Philly on Friday night was the perfect fit for the lo-fi, ambient pop-rock of Atlas Sound. Much like the music, the reflected blue light created a methodical, entrancing, and slightly disorienting psychedelic vibe that made the room feel as if it were floating in space.

Atlas Sound is a strange mix of heavily looped and processed guitar and keyboards, densely layered on top of simple song structures. The slow-motion rhythms that shape the tunes are sparse, leaving plenty of room for the distorted soundscapes to flesh out the rest, while providing the perfect complement to singer Bradford Cox's introspective and repetitive lyrics.

Despite having to play the show with borrowed gear (a busted van transmission left their equipment stranded in Baltimore), the band seemed relaxed and jovial, performing a large chunk of their fantastic debut album in between extended episodes of ridiculous stage banter, which included a graphic retelling of Bradford's disastrous first encounter with the Philly breakfast staple, scrapple. Somehow, it all came together as a coherent whole and made sense when bathed in the otherworldly disco lights hanging from above.

Download a live track below and then head over to the band's MySpace to stream their new album. Atlas Sound plays tonight at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Atlas Sound- Recent Bedroom [recorded live on Feb 16 in Athens, GA]
Atlas Sound MySpace

Friday, February 22, 2008

we saw: Bon Iver

"So Many Foreign Roads"

It's been just a little over four months since we first fell in love with Bon Iver at the Bowery Ballroom. Leaves died and fell from trees. Snow fell and covered evergreen trees and all the while we had our trusty handmade copy of For Emma, Forever Ago to keep us warm. For Emma... feels like drinking a mug of hot cider by the fire place in Northern New England, when the snow is thick and the only sign of neighbors is billowing smoke from a chimney three miles away. It's warm, it's comforting, it's folkie, and it feels like wearing your oldest, most favorite wool sweater.

Thursday nights free show at Sound Fix felt the same way. The atmosphere couldn't have been more fitting for Justin Vernon's atmospheric folk. Everything was right, from the chandelier to the dark golden light to the superb mix. And while the mix was superb, Justin's amp decided it wanted to pick up some Spanish radio frequencies, which it did for 80% of the show. Not one to let a little Merengue bother him, Justin played it off cool, saying that he had decided to do that, a little experimentation, after all he was in Brooklyn. Not gonna lie, for most of the show, it worked, adding a hint of CB radio warmth to his already cozy sound. Luckily, the Spanish radio cut out and allowed Justin the chance to play the ultra hushed "Re: Stacks" and hit the piano for a heart-wrenching cover of "Satisfied Mind", which was as good, if not better, than the versions by Jeff Buckley and Johnny Cash. Yeah, it was that sort of magical evening. And what better way to finish it off than with a totally acoustic version of "For Emma" in the middle of the utterly silent crowd.

After the show we picked up the vinyl copy of For Emma... (via JagJaguwar) and chatted with Justin for a hot second, who was just as charming and genuine as he was at CMJ. The evening finished with an epic drive through the snow covered streets of Northwestern Jersey at 3 am. The perfect ending for an evening with Bon Iver.

"Lump Sum" on The Current

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

good peeps: Jacob Miller

"The Time Has Come For Us All To Praise Unto Jah"

Like 10CC, "we don't like reggae, we love it!", and we really fucking love Jacob Miller. While we rarely post on reggae, there are some artists who just don't get enough love and Jacob Miller is one of those artists.

Jacob Miller is undeniably one of the greatest reggae singers of all time. His soulful take on Irie poli-tricks and natty dread culture was not just Rastafarian rhetoric, but true gospel for the spiritual movement. I was introduced to his two most enlightened records, Who Say Jah No Dread? and ...with the Inner Circle Band & Augustus Pablo, by two reggae connoisseur friends in college who each had a chronic collection of classic roots and culture records. To give credit where credit is due, without Guy and Dewy, I wouldn't know jack shit about reggae.

Unfortunately for the world, Miller died in a car crash at the young age of 27, but his spirit lives on in his music and his role in the legendary roots rock reggae film Rockers (aka the definitive documentation of roots reggae culture, aka the "street" version of The Harder They Come), both of which showcased Miller's ultra righteous Rastaman attitude, natty dread spirituality, and his soulful staccato phrasing, epitomized in utter classics like "Forward Jah-Jah Children" and "Curly Locks." If you consider yourself even a modest fan of reggae and you don't own these records & haven't seen Rockers, you're doing yourself a great disservice.

Jacob Miller- Forward Jah Jah Children
Jacob Miller- Who Say Jah No Dread?

"I'm a Rastaman, not a dreadlock"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

we saw: The JOIN

If you can't beat them...

The question mark in the above photo can be traced back to Dan Kurtz, bass player for "" pioneers and longtime Bobka-faves theNEWDEAL. When Kurtz moved to London a few years ago to focus on his new electro-pop project, Dragonette, he left a massive void in theNEWDEAL sound and created an air of uncertainty over the future of the band. To keep busy during the tND hiatus, Jamie Shields (keyboards, blue shirt) and Darren Shearer (drums, white shirt) came up with The JOIN, "a musical unit that host[s] a revolving door of musicians depending on what area of the world they're in as well as what show setting they find themselves a part of."

This past Saturday night in Brooklyn, Brother's Past members Tom Hamilton (guitar) and Clay Parnell (bass) took over the role of question mark and turned it into an exclamation point. For a band that rarely practices, The JOIN lived up their expectations and then some, providing a sound that was similar to theNEWDEAL (there were lots of trippy synth lines and energetic beats and breaks to be had), but featured a few different elements (most notably vocals, provided by Mr. Hamilton) that kept things fresh. Given the amount of improvisation that goes into any given JOIN set, the band was remarkably ON, hitting all the right key changes and playing together in a seamless and group-oriented fashion that kept the kidz dancing all night. It wasn't theNEWDEAL, but at times it sure felt like it.

Those who missed the throwdown at Studio B will have another chance to catch The JOIN this coming Saturday (Feb 23) at one of our favorite venues, Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ. Next week's show will feature the same lineup as Brooklyn, with the addition of Sir Joe Russo on a second drumkit to make things even more frantic. Check out a track below.

The JOIN - Let's Dance > Improvised Jam (encore from Studio B in Brooklyn, Feb 16)

This Week in Nu Musick

Get your wallets out, as tomorrow is the first big release day of 2008. Not only are two albums we've been dying to hear on vinyl finally getting released (Bon Iver, Grand Archives), America finally gets druggy with the Raveonettes, Cryptacize digs treasure and we also get a new fill of John Darnielle's drunken lullabies. It's a good week to be a music fan.

The Mountain Goats- Heretic Pride
Another great record from John Darnielle and company, this one departs from Get Lonely and The Sunset Tree, as it documents a series of character based tunes rather than Darnielle's interior dialogue. Nothing exceptionally new with the sound here, just great lyrics, affectingly nasal vocals and Darnielle's everyday poetics.

The Mountain Goats- Sax Rohmer #1{right click to download}

Grand Archives- The Grand Archives
We've been patiently awaiting this release since Mat Brooke uploaded 4 demos on MySpace over a year ago. Couldn't be happier to finally hear it on wax. We've had this one pre-ordered since Sub Pop put it up. They really need to come East soon.

Grand Archives- Torn Blue Foam Couch

Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
Yep, one of my favorite records of 2007 finally gets a proper release by the nice people at JagJaguwar. And yes, it's coming out on vinyl(!). More importantly Justin will be at Williamsburg's Sound Fix Thursday night for a free performance. See ya there.

Bon Iver- Skinny Love

Cryptacize-Dig That Treasure
Asthmatic Kitty releases the debut from this band of minimalist SoCal sugar popsters. And by sugar, we mean this band was started in an apartment across the street from a sugar factory and their sound totally reflects it.

Cryptacize- Cosmic Sing Along

The Raveonettes- Lust Lust Lust
Following in the steps of The Magnetic Fields Distortion, or the other way around (Lust Lust Lust was released in Europe last Fall), the new Raveonettes record finds them dabbling in J&MC distortion and MBV Loveless-esque walls of noise. Walls of feedback behind '60s pop melodies and loads of digital delay make tracks like "Dead Sound" and "Candy" sound like they could be long lost demos on a remastered deluxe version of Psycho Candy.

The Raveonettes- Dead Sound

Sunday, February 17, 2008

viddyo: Marissa Nadler

"I Dreamed Your Face A Million Times"

Absolutely beautiful. The perfect companion piece to one of Songs III: Bird on the Water most stunning compositions. A must have for fans of melancholic, pastoral folk. Highly Rec'd. Highly.

nu musick: Atlas Sound

I Slept On The Bridge

Anyone interested in pink noise, atmospherics, ethereal landscapes and drones should head over to the the Deerhunter Blog where head hunter Bradford Cox is sharing a shit ton of music from his Atlas Sound project for free. And by shit ton I mean a 2006 long playing CD-R How I Escaped the Prison of Fractals, some recent demos, a sweet Valentine's day mix and the brand new Orange Ohms Glow EP, which was recorded February 5-8 2008. So, yeah, I'd say that's pretty recent. A must for anyone into lo-fi home recordings and psych loops.

Cox will bring Atlas Sound to NYC on 2/23 and 2/24, for shows at the Mercury Lounge and the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

absurd: Paper Planes

"Being Poor's A Disease/ Gotta Hustle Up A Cure"

Those B-more, ghetto tech loving Swede's over at Discobelle flashed us with the streaming Paper Planes Homeland Security Remixes EP the other day and we're happy to confirm that the DFA remix is totally on point. While we still can't get enough of Diplo's Street mix featuring Bun B and Rich Boy, which made the original obsolete, so much so that I took it off Kala on my iPod and replaced it with the Street version, this DFA cut takes "Paper Planes" in an entirely different direction. Kinda like getting lost on the way to Studio B and stumbling into a warehouse full of homemade synths and drag queens on stilts. Presented below is a GChat conversation between two Bobka editors upon listening to Murphy and Goldsworthy's sex'd up disco nectar. Can you smell the funk?
greg: dude sooooo sick, the dfa mix
mcg: havent heard yet
g: oh man, crushing it
m: really?
g: yah dude, first listen i love it
m: peeping now
g:amazing bassline
m: wow funk, oh shit
g: ya dude
m: oh my god
g: dirrrrrrrty
m: wow, i just wanna fuck
g: fo real
m: i wanna fuck this remix
g: valentines day shazam
m: holler

Aural Viagra if we've ever heard it, ya dig.

Friday, February 15, 2008

viddyo: "Thou Shalt Always Kill"

"...just a band."

dan le sac provides the beats, and Scroobius Pip drops the truth bombs in this satire of pop culture. BEWARE: English accents.

le sac vs. Pip MySpace

we saw: Band of Horses

"Looks Like The Tide Is Going Home"
(Photo courtesy of Aberger915)

Mount Pleasent, South Carolina's Band of Horses hit up Brooklyn's Masonic Temple last night for a big Valentine's Day show, their last in the States before shipping off to Europe next week. While not the most incredible show I've ever seen, Ben Birdwell and company managed to tear through a set culling mainly from 2007's Cease to Begin. As expected, Birdwell's vocals soared throughout the night, even more so than on record. Of course, this may have been attributed to keyboardist Ryan Monroe whose complimenting harmonies gave the show a dreamy, back in time feel. During the encore Birdwell appropriately dedicated "No Ones Gonna Love You" to "all the people having intercourse tonight." He followed that by ironically dedicating "Weed Party" to "everyone who was going to treat their body like a Masonic Temple."

Band of Horses have been in NYC all week. Wednesday night they played Carnegie Hall with Sufjan Stevens, Ray Davies, and Phillip Glass. Tuesday they played Conan, which you can take a gander at below, courtesy of the Daily Tube.

Band of Horses 2/14 Brooklyn Masonic Temple
is There a ghost?
islands on the coast
great salt lake
the first song
bass song
cigarettes wedding bands
thirteen days (jj cale song)
Older? (sung by Ryan Monroe, keyboardist)
Wicked Gil
Ode to LRC
Effigy (CCR song)
no ones gonna love you
weed party
marry song
general specific
Feeling Stronger (Chicago cover)

"No Ones Gonna Love You" live on Late Night With Conan O'Brien

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Mix Up

"Let's Stay Together"

This year we're starting a new tradition. Every Valentine's Day instead of giving out candy hearts and chocolate's, we're gonna share a few songs. Know matter what kind of mood you're in this year, we've got a song for you. Don't believe us. Just take a gander down below.

For the innocent Virgin couple celebrating their first Valentine's Day->The Beach Boys- Forever
Also, for Full House fans who remember Uncle Jesse rocking this Denny Wilson classic (Stamos' favorite B.B's song) out with an elderly version of the Beach Boys.

For someone still in love with their Ex-> The Magnetic Fields- I Don't Wanna Get Over You
"I don't wanna get over love/I could listen to my therapists/Pretend you don't exist/And not have to think of what I think of...Or I could make a career of being blue/I could dress in black/And read Camut/Smoke Clove Cigarettes/And Drink Vermouth/When I was 17/ That would be the scream/But I don't wanna get over you." A 69 Love Songs classic.

For the soul mama who loves his her funky daddy-> Aretha Franklin- Baby I Love You
Ain't nothing wrong with that.

For the lustful cougar who just signed up for Facebook -> The Chromatics- I Want Your Love
Something wrong with that.

For people who practice kissing their hand late at night-> Cat Power- Where Is My Love?
If you're gonna pretend to make out with someone, Chan Marshall's a good pick.

For those seeking closure-> LCD Soundsystem- Someone Great
Who knew James Murphy was so human? We were convinced analog wires ran through his veins.

For sexual philosophers-> Silver Jews- How Can I Love You (If You Wont Lie Down)?
David Berman never sounded so enlightened. Come to think of it, he always sounds the same.

For thirteen year old mall rats & drunken 19 year old celeb-utants->Uffie- First Love
What middle school dances are all about.

For the sappy, hopeless romantic->Jens Lekman- Someone To Share My Life With
Sometimes he goes a little overboard with the melodrama...Take that back, never enough melodrama.

For the heartbroken drunk->Tom Waits- I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
Nobody knows whiskey and women better than Ole Mista Waits.

For Sexual Deviants-> R. Kelly- Sex Planet
"Girl I Promise This Will Be Painless(Painless)/We'll Take A Trip 2 Planet Uranus(Anus)."

For making love on crushed velvet-> Barry White- Ecstasy When You're Next To Me
You know that voice does you mmm mmmm good...Ok, that was nasty.

For "Schmooopies"-> The Explorers Club- Forever
Yes it has the same name as the aforementioned Beach Boy's song. And yes it sounds just like the Wilson's and Friends. And yes, you're the schmooooooopie.

For anyone with a heart-> Joy Division- Love Will Tear Us Apart Again

And we'll end with our collective favorite Valentine's Day Jam-> Silk- Freak Me
It's hard picking a particular lyrics to associate with this song, but we're gonna go with this one. "You, you, you, you/Oh you/You, you, you, you/Let me freak you/ You, you, you, you/ All of you/ I want it, I want it/ You, you, you, you/ Oh you/ You, you, you, you/ Let me do you/ Cuz tonight baby, I wanna get freaky with you"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

we dig: Odelay Deluxe

"Hook me up with the mad phat beats"

Featuring 19 b-sides, remixes, and previously unreleased songs (plus an essay by Thurston Moore), the Deluxe Edition of Odelay is a treasure trove of the upbeat, kaleidoscopic sound that cemented Beck's reputation as a capital-A Artist. And while the music stands up to the test of time and then some, it is hard to deny that a lot of Odelay's appeal lies in the album's legendary cover art, which has been updated with doodles for the Deluxe pressing. Says Beck:
"The cover of the album was found in a book of dogs. It is in fact a dog, and it's a ridiculous dog, and you look at it and you ponder the... absurdity... the comedy... but the tragic comedy of this splenderous dog leaping over a hurdle and why such a dog is being made to leap over a hurdle. And you think to yourself, you know, all the splenderous dogs within ourselves, why we are made each day to leap over this hurdle that life constantly places before us."
While you let those words of wisdom sink in, stream "Diskobox", an Odelay-era rarity that was previously released, but for whatever reason did not make it on to the Deluxe Edition.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Acorn/Blog Fresh/Bobka

"Lift Your Head"

The folks over at Blog Fresh Radio were nice enough to have us on again this week to talk about The Acorn and their majestic Glory Hope Mountain. We talked about them just a few days ago, so if you're playing along they should be fresh in your mind. And fresh they should stay, as this record is the type of album that can, and will, save lives. We triple dog dare you to give it a listen. Peep our post HERE and be sure to check out the latest edition of Blog Fresh Radio.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bobkast #10: Bells & Whistles

"Your Magic's Real So Why Aren't You Using It"

A mess of crayons always makes for the best art. This mix is meant to transport you to a simpler time when you cared for nothing but chocolate chip cookies, Kool-Aid and magic markers. Think of it as an adult version of drawing on the wall, only you won't get yelled at by your parents. If that doesn't do it for ya, how about one of the songs being culled from a compilation called Waking Up Scheherazade: Arabian Psych Nuggets. Figured that'd get ya listening. Shazam.

Bobkast #10: Bells & Whistles
1. Badly Drawn Boy- Bewilderbeast
2. Dennis Wilson- Rainbows
3. Albert Hammond Jr.- Bright Young Thing
4. The Boy Least Likely To- Rock Upon A Porch With You
5. Shout Out Louds- A Track And A Train
6. Manitoba featuring Koushika- Crayon
7. Los Campesinos- Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s)
8. The Sheffields- Plenty of Love
9. Les Savy Fav- Comes & Goes
10. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks- Vanessa From Queens
11. Mark Mothersbaugh- Hardest Geometry Problem in the World
12. New Pornographers- Myriad Harbour
13. El Guincho- Antillas
14. Caetano Veloso- Lost in Paradise
15. Sea-Ders- Thanks A Lot
16. MGMT- The Youth
17. The Beach Boys- All I Wanna Do
18. Yacht- I Believe In You

The Bobkast #10: Bells & Whistles {direct download: right click to save}

nu musick: Wolfkin

"It Takes Love and Gasoline"

Released in Europe in 2006, Wolfkin's Brand New Pants will finally see the light of day in the States Tuesday 2/12. No illusions here, the band even has a countdown on their website until the "US Special Edition" of Brand New Pants drops. As fans of their dark, yet uber-bouncy, indie stylings, I have to agree with their label,Crunchy Frog Records, who says that Wolfkin sounds like "a musical mixture of exotic noir, Morricone Americana, stylish and dirty drum programming that demands dancing, and is oozing with psychedelic sensibilities reminiscent both of the spaced-out synthesizer meditations of the seventies as well as the sixties' hotheaded guitar-driven ecstasy of rock&roll." Brand New Pants begins with the sultry "These Are All Illusions", which is definitely one of my favorite songs of 2008 so far, even if it originally came out two years ago. It's clear that between the Wolfkin release, the new Raveonettes album and an upcoming release from Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band that 2008 could be the year of the Danes. We really gotta get over to Copenhagen and gulp down whatever liquids these cat's keep getting into, cause it's definitely rad. And by rad, I mean fucking radical.

"These Are All Illusions"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

flashback: Neutral Milk Hotel

"With cocoa leaves along the border/Sweetness sings from every corner"

Ten years ago today Neutral Milk Hotel released In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. It's rare that a record hits you in the face like a brick, but this album does that, repeatedly, and after years of listening to it (not even close to ten), I can honestly give thanks for having been hit in the face by it more than once. So thanks we shall give. Make yourself some stovetop, put on King of Carrot Flowers Pt.1 and thank Jeff Magnum for doing what he did.

For more info on the landmark record Pitchfork named #4 best album of 1990's, check out Kim Carter's book for the 33 1/3 series, or read this post we did a few months ago.

"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

nu musick: I Make This Sound/The Breakups

"I'm Not Getting Any Younger"

As an east-coaster it's often hard to keep up with all the great music coming from the left coast. However, I Make This Sound is too good not to keep up with. Full of clever, often counter-intuitive, melodies, I Make This Sound has a vibe that owes as much to the Laurel Canyon scene as much as it does pre-school choirs. An affable mix of pop hooks and odd time signatures, mixed with some rainbow sprinkles, makes for a devilish cookie batter that one can't help but devour before cooking. Check out "One, Two, Three!" below, which should be the archetype of a modern pop song.

It just so happens that The Breakups are also releasing an EP next week and playing a show with I Make This Sound. Crazy, right? I've really been digging "Let's See What Happens", an electro-pop song with all the slicing funk guitar needed to get my shoulders shaking, which you can hear at their MySpace page (here). The tune is one of the standouts on their soon to be released Eat Your Heart Out EP. We expect alot out of both of these bands in the coming year. Now come to New York already!

If you're in SoCal be sure to catch their CD release show this Wednesday (2/13) at The Echo with friends The Breakups, Aquarium Drunkard favorites Le Switch and the Amateurs.

I Make This Sound- One, Two, Three!

nu visuals: The Shaky Hands

"All Whales Can Sing"

This afternoon I realized that CMJ was almost 4 months ago, and that means that I have been listening to The Shaky Hands self-titled debut for 1/3 of a year. I knew these guys were the real deal when the only pauses between songs was to suck down a deep breakth and break back into their Murmur-esque jangle pop. Their label, Holocene Music, recently posted a video for The Shaky Hands "Whales Sing" on YouTube. No doubt influenced by A Hard Day's Night and '60s beach party movies ala any Annette Funicello and Franky Avalon, there is really only one word to sum up it up: Fun.

The Shaky Hands- Whales Sing

Friday, February 8, 2008

coming to town: The Acorn

"Was It Just A Bad Antenna?"

2007 was a year of musical overload. When it came time to compile my year end, best of- list I finally understood why my old college computer took to that life-fucking blue screen. Too much use, too much abuse. There were way too many records to keep up with, and I knew I hadn't spent enough time with some (Bodies of Water, Marissa Nadler, Bowerbirds) but The Acorn's Glory Hope Mountain was a record I couldn't stop thinking about. A few tracks spread around the blogosphere ("Crooked Legs", "Flood Pt.1", "Low Gravity") in the late summer and immediately became drive-thru liquor store staples.

Everything seemed to line up, except without OINK it was quite tough to find Glory Hope Mountain. Fortunately, the guys at Paper Bag Records make it worth the import price, as they sell a limited edition of 300 copies of The Acorn's masterful creative non-fiction fairy tale Glory Hope Mountain on vinyl for $20 (Buy HERE). Not only is the album art silk screened, but each side of each record has the songs etched in wax and side 4 has an absurd etching of a butterfly instead of proper songs. We're not really sure what they're drinking in Canada, but we really wish they'd import Molson export.

If you're in a mood to listen to something that sounds like an ancient postcard from Pan's Labrynth, then be sure to check out Glory Hope Mountain. Also, the band will be in the NYC area at the end of the month, playing consecutive shows at three of our favorite clubs; Union Hall in Brooklyn, Mercury Lounge on Houston, and Maxwell's in Hoboken. Even better, the Union Hall and Mercury Lounge shows they will be opening for Phosphorescent and the Bowerbirds, basically making this the best bill of 2008 (so far). We'll be there, you should be too.

The Acorn- Antenna
The Acorn- Flood Pt.1

we saw: Marco Benevento

David Fricke-approved!

"Thursday [Jan 31] was the fifth and final night of Marco Benevento’s January residency at Sullivan Hall, and it was a party in more ways than one. The night was a CD release party for Marco’s new CD Invisible Baby, and it featured the twice-performed “Real Morning Party” along with a premiere of the video for the song in between sets [see above].

"Benevento was joined by the superb bassist Reed Mathis (from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey), and drummer Andrew Barr (from The Slip). The band performed two long sets of a superb mix of jazz, prog, jam, rock and pop, all anchored by the unique keyboard and effects of Marco."

Download the entire show HERE (courtesy of nyctaper)
Buy Marco's new album HERE

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

nu musick: DJ Dolores

"World Music" for a Globalized World

Using the traditional sounds of his native Brazilian Northeast as a starting point, DJ Dolores makes World Music for the 21st Century: music that proudly shows its local roots, but is recontextualized through modern production techniques and by adding elements of diverse genres.

Brazil's most well-known musical exports, Samba and bossa-nova, undoubtedly shape a lot of the rhythms on DJ Dolores' third and latest offering, 1 Real, but the beats on the album also evoke the tribal percussion of Fela Kuti, the downtempo dub of Thievery Corporation, and the head bangin' snare of Chad Smith.

Inventive instrumentation (violins, melodicas), voice-over sampling, and tight computer-programming jack up the music to the point where one might expect it to feel too crowded, but DJ Dolores is able to effectively weave together all of these disparate influences to create a sound that simply works. The music is original but still feels recognizable, in large part due to its user-friendly nature.

Look for 1 Real in stores March 25 courtesy of Crammed Discs. Until then, stream two tracks below.

Monday, February 4, 2008

not musik: GMEN / The Onion / Jersey

The Greatest Play in Super Bowl History

Needless to say, the stunning Super Bowl XLII upset by the New York Football Giants led to a pretty awful hangover this morning. But as I was recovering in bed, I stumbled across the following gem in the latest book from our friends at The Onion, Our Dumb World: Atlas of the Planet Earth

New Jersey: Demanding People Shove It Up Their Ass Since 1832

Located in you know where the fuck we are, and bordered by a bunch of places that can suck it -- especially you, Pennsylvania -- New Jersey is one of the nation's oldest and most historic states. So f*ck you.

Founded by a guy who could kick your state-founder's ass, and boasting some of the safest, cleanest cities in America -- you hear that, jerk? -- New Jersey will destroy you, just say the word.

And while the state has in recent years come under fire from environmental groups, that doesn't f*cking matter because Jersey rules.

Oh, and by the way, the entire state was balls-deep in your girlfriend last night.

That last line is meant for you, Brady. 18-1!

Friday, February 1, 2008

we saw: Joanna Newsome

"The Meteorite is the Source of the Light"

It took a while, but we finally got to see Joanna Newsome with an orchestra. And not just any orchestra, but The Brooklyn Philharmonic. Needless to say, we were anything but let down.

The show was divided into two sets. First came the formal set with Joanna, and band, accompanied by the 29 piece orchestra, playing Ys in its entirety. The opener "Emily", one of my favorite Newsome tracks, was an incredible way to kick start the evening and immediately silenced the sold out capacity crowd at BAM's Henry Gilman Opera House. By the time she got to "Monkey & Bear" I was in total ecstasy, eyes closed, feet tapping, mouth silently singing along ("My bride/ Here is my hand, where is your paw?/ Try and understand my plan, Ursala/ My heart is a furnace/ Full of love that's just, and earnest"). To sum it up, her set with the Brooklyn Philharmonic was the absolute cat's meow of indie-rock cross pollination with high culture. Something I will take with me the rest of my life and be thankful I had the opportunity to watch such wonder unfold before my eyes. Not to mention, she looked damn good in that black evening gown.

After a short intermission, Joanna, now clad in a pink velvet cocktail dress, returned with her band for a set of classics and newcomers, many of which played on her increasingly celtic sound, a term I never would have used to describe her music in the past that, for some reason, seemed to click last night. Maybe it was Gaelic drum or the intricate fluttering of the harp, but something really made me want to drunkenly dance a jig during "Colleen", arguably the highlight of the second set. Whatever it was, it was special and her encore cover of Karen Dalton's "Same Old Man" and it's New York shout out, was exactly the right way for her to end night one at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Set 1
Monkey & Bear
Sawdust & Diamonds
Only Skin

Set 2
Bridges and balloons
Book of right on
Inflamatory Writ
Barbara (temp title)
En gallop
Clam Crab Cockle Cowrie
New song "Kindess prevails"

Same old man

If you have any doubt as to the wonder of Joanna Newsome, check out the video below from the Jools Holland Show. It should convert all non-believers.