Monday, September 29, 2008

new: Koushik

"Feels Like I've Been Here Before"

We're really excited about Koushik's Out My Window, which finally drops on Stones Throw today. As expected, Out My Window is a stoner's lament, a hazy mix of sunshine drenched slow funk, sexy soul, lo-fi bedroom beats and tambourine shaking pysch-pop. My only qualm is that I really wish I had it all summer for walks through steamy industrial parks and afternoons sleeping in McCarren. If you cop the record from Stones Throw, they'll throw in a 45 for A1. A must have for fans of Caribou, MadLib, The Zombies and late night blunt sessions. Oh, and while we're on the Koushik tip, the producer/dj will be spinning at APT on Friday (10/3) from 11pm-3am. See ya there post-Hot Chip.

Koushik- Lying In The Sun

Koushiks Fader Mix - Koushik

monday morning music: Johan Heltne

“Everything is Allowed”

Dreamy Swedish pop that's as if Sigur Ros were straight forward and sung in Swedish rather than Hopelandic. Melodic, woozy and affecting in the most celestial way. More ethereal goodness from Johan Heltne's Vetenskapliga bevis för att Jesus lever over here.

Johan Heltne- Hjärta. Instinkt. Principer.
Johan Heltne- 16, Avenue de l’Opera

Friday, September 26, 2008

movie: Major Organ and The Adding Machine


Those crazy kids from the Elephant 6 collective have made a short film and surprise, surprise, it's totally whacky in all the of kitschy, trippy trappings that you'd expect from the E6. Named after the loose collectives extremely loosely knit supergroup, Major Organ and the Adding Machine will make its world premiere in Athens, GA (where else?) on October 7. Be sure to catch the E6 whackyness this fall, as the Music Tapes spread Holiday cheer across these fantastic lands. (thx merge)

Major Organ and the Adding Machine trailer

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

love: Micah P. Hinson

"Throw The Stone"

Can someone please tell me why Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra has yet to be released in the States? Hinson's latest, released in July in the UK, is not his most intense record, but certainly his most enjoyable, as evidenced "Come Home Quickly Darling", an introductory vignette that feels like an ancient Appalachian mountain hymnal. According to WikiPedia, Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra will be released on Jade Tree in the States, but their is no sign on Jade Tree's site to validate, as Micah's artist page hasn't been updated since September of 2007.

Regardless of distribution methods and availability, ...And the Red Empire Orchestra has become one of my favorite records of 2008 (Godspeed RapidShare). Hinson's old soul sketches have evolved from unfortunate, homeless, battered and bruised poetics into stunning Nashvillian symphonies, best exemplified in the orchestral arrangements which act like a puppeteer, physically moving Hinson's stories through song, as best exemplified by the plucked rhythm and swooping melody on "I Keep Having These Dreams" and the classical strings on "We Won't Have To Be Lonesome", which sounds like Townes Van Sandt locked inside a Dusty Springfield recording session in Memphis. For those in need of Micah's foreboding baritone and minimalist folk, don't worry, as "Throw The Stone" and "When We Embraced" exist in Hinson's gothic Abilene. Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra is a complete record with mountains and lush valleys of hope and despair, culminating with "Dyin' Alone", which perfectly melds Hinson's dark country folk with Kentucky chamber strings for a most beautiful tale of a man afraid of dying alone. "I'm not afraid of the sunset or the rain/ I'm just afraid of dyin' alone...I'm not afraid of the suffering or the pain/I'm just afraid of dyin' without findin' you."

Micah P. Hinson & the Red Empire Orchestra- I Keep Havin' These Dreams
Micah P. Hinson & the Red Empire Orchestra- Dyin' Alone

Micah P. Hinson "The Fire Came Up To My Knees"

Monday, September 22, 2008

soon: Marissa Nadler

"When I Was Young & Happy"

News is scant but Marissa Nadler has said her forthcoming record is on its way. Way back in July, in a MySpace post titled "record finished", Marissa wrote "i can't believe it! now its time to recover from pouring out the most intense and personal songs i have ever written. i feel naked." This got me really excited. Her homepage reads "New Record out October 2008", however, a different MySpace post provides a little more insight:
"Marissa Nadler's new full length is all done and will be out in early 2009 on Kemado Records, this time teaming up with New York based Chris Coady (who has worked with Blonde Redhead, Grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, T.V. on the Radio). The record features several guest musicians, such as Myles Baer (Black Hole Infinity, work on Ballads of Living and Dying), Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead), and Farmer Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio, Interpol, Elvis Costello, etc etc.). With the same intimacy as earlier records, this record has a lot of exciting new developments."
Rather than let her record leak in pieces, Marissa has decided to take the road less traveled.
so, I have fought off the urge to put any of my new material online so I can save it for the record.The ones I put up today are NOT new songs and NOT on the record- but I wanted to put something up anyway. There are just some demos I never did anything with.

The new record will not be heard till it is released, at all. Its hard because there is the desire to get feedback from other people and it is so easy and quick with the Internet these days. But, I am trying to make it a surprise. So, my apologies for keeping the same stuff up for a while and putting up not totally new songs.
Luckily, Marissa has a few scheduled dates for you to get your fix, that is, of course, if you live in Boston or New York. Oh, and for all you vinyl heads, Ballads of Living and Dying will be re-released "in a remastered form, with a track that was accidentally left off the album, in the coming months. The reissue will be out on Kemado records new vinyl imprint Mexican summer. (named after a Marissa song from Songs III: Bird on the Water)." So until CMJ, Brainwaves and 2009, here's your fix of the beautiful, enchanting Ms. Nadler.

Marissa Nadler- Honey Bear

Marissa Nadler- Cortez The Killer

Marissa Nadler "Mexican Summer"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bobkast #16:...And You In Your Autumn Sweater

"Yes, Yes, Yes It's My Autumn Almanac"
*a magical forest near kilkenny city, republic of ireland.
(Photo by Edward Dullard)

September 21 marks the Autumnal Equinox, which means this is your last chance in 2008 to successfully balance an egg on end. It also means the rolling Green Mountains of Vermont will erupt in technicolor magic, wool sweaters will return from moth ball covered chests in the corner of basements and pumpkin seeds will be salted and subsequently roasted. But the best part of fall is the way whiskey warms your belly on aimless jaunts through leaf plastered forests, bundled in flannel and wool (herringbone). Oh yeah, and you in your autumn sweater.

Bobkast #16: ...And You In Your Autumn Sweater

1. Mark Mothersbaugh- Kite Flying Society
2. Camera Obscura- Let's Get Out of This Country
3. The Kinks- Autumn Almanac
4. Jim James- Gideon (Live @ Newport Folk Fest)
5. Fleet Foxes- Mykonos
6. Magnetic Fields- Abigail, Belle of Kilronin
7. Blitzen Trapper- Furr
8. Ra Ra Riot- Winter '05
9. Jenny Lewis- Acid Tongue
10. Oxford Collapse- Featherbeds
11. Okkervil River- Lost Coastlines
12. Pavement- Folk Jam
13. Sufjan Stevens- Tahquamenon Falls
14. Micah P. Hinson- Yard of Blonde Girls
15. Yo La Tengo- Autumn Sweater

Bobkast #16: ...And You In Your Autumn Sweater [PC: right click+save as; Mac: option+click]

Friday, September 19, 2008

new: Volcano! Africa Just Wants To Have Fun

"You Came To Pary & You Came To Get Laid"

Volcano!'s "Africa Just Wants To Have Fun." Just in time for the weekend.

Buy the 7" here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

we saw: Sigur Ros United Palace Theatre

(Photo by Taekjoo)

A wondrous evening in a majestic theater with one of the most magical bands on the planet. Viking mystics, if there ever were such a thing.

Setlist: Svefn G Englar/ Glosoli/ Ny Batteri/ Fljotavik/ Vid Spilum Endalaust/ Hoppipolla/ Med Blodnasir/ Svo Hljott/ Heysatan/ Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa/ Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur/ Saeglopur/ Hafsol/ Gobbledigook

(Encore) All Alright/ Popplagid.

Sigur Ros "Hafsol" at 8/22/08

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

we saw: Kria Brekan & Olaf Arnalds

Pixie Dust

Todd P sent out an email yesterday that read:

2NITE -> a special beautiful night of quieter sounds w/ Múm alums Kría Brekkan -&- Ólöf Arnalds (both from Iceland) -&- Sam Amidon @ LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH
Immediately, I knew I was in. Even more so after my delirious eyes realized the Lutheran Church of the Messiah is a few measly steps from my front door. The basement of the Greenpoint church was dark and dank, quite the contrast from the cool evening outside, which seemed to usher in autumn. We arrived at 9 just in time for Kría Brekkan's set of tape looped, piano driven, whimsical dream cycles that flutter in and around your head like specs of gold dust after you've run into a brick wall. Quite refreshing, and entrancing too. Kría wanted the room dark and finagled with the lone flood light that lite the stage. She pushed a table in front of it so its ominous glow was more of a shadow than a spotlight. Her live show was much like I envisioned after hearing the Wildering 7"; gorgeously quiet, as if her music was seeping out from 5,000 years of frozen dreams. Kría often stopped songs claiming she was messing up, or didn't know the words, but she is so beautiful and charming on stage that none of that mattered, as if it should. Music to dream to, most definitely. Even reminded me to get back into William S. Burroughs My Education: A Book of Dreams.

Her former múm partner Ólöf Arnalds set was similar, albeit totally different than Kría's more experimental set. Leaning closer to traditional Icelandic folk than Lau Nau-ish experimentalism, Ólöf stunned the crowd with her voice, which sang like you wish your mother would've sung you to sleep. Of course, Ólöf is a new mom and her son was in the audience, arguably making more noise than the dudes running down the stairs, popping beer bottles and shuttering lenses. All good though, he was just hungry and when Mommy called him on stage for some food, and an acapella lullaby, he seemed to relax. Ólöf ended the evening by bringing VT bred ambient folkie Sam Amidon, whose set we regrettably missed, and Kría back on stage for a string of collaborations that carried me off into a purgatorial state, which I may still be in while writing this. Absolutely beautiful evening from some of Iceland's most provocative, most enchanting songstresses.

Next up, Sigur Ros tonight. Iceland's really taking over.

Kria Brekkan- Gömul vísa um vorið

Ólöf Arnalds performing "Klara"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

we saw: Apollo Sunshine

"Harder Than It Used To Be"

Last night's Apollo Sunshine show at Monkey Town served as a reminder that Apollo is one of the most criminally underrated bands in the "Indie" realm. Their early records, Katonah and Apollo Sunshine, were both focused pieces of sunshine pop strung together with jaunts of noise, whack'd out late period Coltrane time signatures and lots of instruments that would have been found during the recording of The Millenium's equally underrated Begin (or a Sun Ra tribute record).

To be honest, I haven't listened to Apollo Sunshine's recently released Shall Noise Upon, although that is changing right now. After last night's extremely intimate, extremely psychedelic show at the multimedia performance space Monkey Town, there is no denying that everyone should get their hands on Shall Noise Upon ASAP. I went in having only heard "666: The Coming of the New World Government", which we posted a while back, and the acoustic ballad "Singing To The Earth (To Thank Her For You)", which was anything but acoustic last night. To say that Apollo Sunshine absolutely melted my soul and mind last night would be an understatement. Maybe it was the food (eggplant and cucumber croquettes) or the beer (Leffe Blonde) or the 80's Hip-Hop/Chinese Kung Fu Death/ Ancient Monkey Prints/ Scorcese/Weed Smoking Skull images Egan was projecting on all 4 walls, whatever it was, I left with my heart fluttering, mind loose and eyes wide, as if I'd just come back from an ancient mystical realm, only to be pushed back out into the industrial streets of North Brooklyn in absolute awe of the world. Did I mention it was a full moon??

If you missed last night, do your best to get to Monkey Town tonight, when the band (and Egan) will do it all again. HIGHLY REC'D.

Apollo Sunshine- 666: The Coming of the New World Government

Apollo Sunshine- Singing To The Earth (To Thank Her For You) [courtest of IGIF]

Monday, September 15, 2008

new: Shaky Hands

"So Well Hidden"

The Shaky Hands were one of my favorite CMJ discoveries last year. Their self-titled debut, which I recently rekindled my relationship with, is one helluva jangle pop winner, complete with all the catchy hooks and head shaking rhythm you love about early R.E.M records. Often I feel like The Shaky Hands are right out of Chronic Town, which is a damn good thing if you ask me. The band recently released their second album, Lunglight, which in this on-the-cuff clip (below), is explained as being "darker and more provocative." After a few spins with "We Are Young", you begin to hear the exceeding aggression in the band's sound, which, if you recall, used to have a certain 'running down the beach doing cartwheels' thing going on. Order the Lunglight from the band's new label, Kill Rock Stars, for $10...and yes, it includes a free digital download. The best of both worlds. Also, if you're on the Left Coast, check out The Shaky Hands with fellow Bobka favorite The Acorn, for a slew of shows that are sure to be delectable.

Shaky Hands- We Are Young

Thursday, September 11, 2008

we saw: Deerhunter

"It Never Stops"
(Photo by EduardoO)

We hadn't planned on seeing Deerhunter Tuesday night and that was dumb. Luckily, my brain shifted into gear after a cross country flight, and I was lucky enough to find 2 for face on C-List by 8 a.m. Nice. Microcastle, soon to be released by Kranky, has been leaked for almost 3 months and according to iTunes I've played it over 25 times. Yeah, it's good...damn good. When we saw the band play an afternoon set at McCarren (with King Khan) earlier in the summer, we were psyched at how great the rhythmic noise of Microcastle sounded live. Surely, the band had expanded on the ethereal noize and distorted melodies of Cryptograms, but Microcastle is anything but a pop record...Or is it just that, Deerhunter's pop record.

Bradford mentioned at (le) Poisson Rouge that New York City is noted for blending the "avant garde with the pop" and that pretty much summed up the evening. That, and noize. Lots of it. Loud motherfucking noize that left us with nothing to do but stare at the floor and shake the shit out of our heads until we were dizzy, as if we just spent an hour and a half on an amphetamine driven merry-go-round. It was beautifully ecstatic the way Bradford, Whitney and Lockett built a massive wall of noize behind three guitars, bolstered by an incredibly tight and, dare I say, groovy rhythm section that really is the nuts and bolts of Deerhunter. Without Moses Archuletta's ferocious drumming and Joshua Fauver's driving bass, the band would have no basis for the fervent noize excursions that they invoke. Truth be told, it's the mess of noise, behind simple, yet utterly insatiable rhythms that make Deerhunter great.

We got a good mix of Cryptograms and Microcastle material, including "Intro->Agoraphobia", which we hadn't heard live yet, and which Bradford sang, yet Lockett sings on record. Interesting, although I definitely prefer Lockett's vocal on the first proper Microcastle jam. "Never Stops" and "Nothing Ever Happened" both raged, as did "Strange Lights", "Hazle St" and "Saved By Old Times." Deerhunter is jetting off to Europe this week, but will be back in the states very soon, with shows in both Brooklyn and NYC. I recommend peeping at least one of them, even if you caught them at the pool, because there is nothing better than being drenched in explosive noize in the dark, while bursts of flaming colors blanket the band.

If you've yet to hear the melodic majesty of Microcastle, peep this vid for two of the albums highlights, which don't sound as good as on record, but you'll get the drift.

Deerhunter "Never Stops" & "Nothing Ever Happened"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Check It: Beirut

"It's been a long time since I've seen you smile..."

So we're all a little sad that Beirut is on hiatus. But fear not! Pitchfork has optioned the Beirut- La Blogotheque collaboration "Cheap Magic Inside" for their One Week Only section, and I highly recommend cruising over and checking it out. The film was a special project in which each song from Beirut's sophomore album, The Flying Club Cup, was filmed somewhere in lovely Brooklyn, creating something of a companion piece to the album itself. And don't worry Beirut fans; something tells me Zach and Co. will be back soon enough...

Here's a different take of album standout "Nantes", though the Cheap Magic version is way cooler if you ask me...

Bobkast #15: Out of the Darkness...

"In The Doldrums, So The Story Goes"

Composed on an early fall flight from Idaho to LaGuardia, after a brief visit to Hell's Canyon, this mix is a subtle, woozy collection of songs that drift and float through both darkness and light, as if they were specks of rainbow dust that meander through the atmosphere only to occassionally brush up against your shirt and get you thinking about the size of the planet. We're big. We're small. We're infinite. Whatever we are, this subdued mix of fuzzy psych pop and muted downtempo electro is just the thing to transport you from the steamy slums of summer into the blissful shades of autumn

Bobkast #15- Out of the Darkness & Into the Fire

1. The Walkmen - In The New Year
2. Department of Eagles - Teenagers
3. Handclaps, etc - Keep It Together
4. The Rosebuds - Silence By The Lakeside (Portastic Remix)
5. Olivia Tremor Control - The Sylvan Screen
6. The Ruby Suns - There Are Birds
7. School of Seven Bells - Connjur
8. Caribou - Irene
9. Atlas Sound - Track 6 (from Unmastered Logos LP)
10. Bon Iver - Lump Sum (Daytrotter Session)

Bobkast #15- Out of the Darkness & Into the Fire

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New MuSick: Department of Eagles

"No one does it like you..."

If you haven't gotten your hands on this leak yet, I suggest you search a little harder. Department of Eagles, side-project of Grizzly Bear co-songwriter Daniel Rossen, has a new album entitled In Ear Park, and it's sure to please those of you who dig Rossen's Griz compositions (looking at you McG). The album is in the loud/quiet folk style of Yellow House standouts "Little Brother" and "On a Neck, On a Spit", but with some welcome experimentation (the song "Teenagers" being the best departure). And while the album doesn't move in the same pop direction as the upcoming Grizzly Bear album promises to, I don't think I'll ever tire of Rossen's soprano croon. As to how Daniel chose which songs would be Grizzly Bear and which DoE, he says-

"A lot of these songs felt way too personal to bring to Grizzly Bear-- there's a lot of childhood nostalgia and an emphasis on more concise songwriting. Fred and I had license to try some things that I could never get away with otherwise, but we still went for the lushness and and attention to sonic detail that Chris and I always want out of a recording. I'm excited."

Yeah, he's referring to one of the two Chris' from GB, as they both helped out on the album. In Ear Park comes out on October 7th, and I've been told Daniel went through several test pressings to get it the way he wanted it (and I mean SEVERAL), expanding it from a single LP to double (much to the chagrin of label 4AD). Also, the pre-order comes with a free 7"! In deference to my friend Ami, I'm only gonna post a stream to the title track, but trust me, you're gonna want to buy/steal this album in it's entirety.

"In Ear Park" stream

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

reunion: Ben Folds Five

"It Keeps Me On The Ground"

Safe to say that if I didn't hear "Underground" on the Buzz (K-Rock's indie rock show on Sunday nights from 12am-4 am, hosted by Matt Pinfield, and later Jake Fogelnest) during sixth grade, my life would be totally different. Ben Folds Five's classic ode to local indie rock was like some sort of cosmic calling to me. Couple it with "Philosophy and you've got a potent set of social values guiding your way through ever evolving landscapes. Ben Folds Five were my first favorite band. I wore the Piano/Kiss My Ass GoodBye shirt with pride and was never once asked to take it off by a teacher (They were all down with BFF). The band split in 2000 after the release of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, which at the time, I was sort of cool with. I understood that creatively things were different and bands break up. No harm, no foul. However, I could never let go of the ever present need to hear the distorted bass rip my inner ear canal. Well, that dire need may now be fulfilled as Ben Folds Five are reuniting. Yep, according to Stereogum (via indyweek), BFF are reuniting for a MySpace show in Chapel Hill, where they will play their swan song, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, in its entirety. My fingers are crossed that the band will hit the road, as I haven't seen them since their Hammerstein Ballroom show in the winter of 1998, right after "Brick" hit.

Peep the videos from BFF's Session at West 54th, which I still have on battered VHS somewhere in my parents house. This is some seriously awesome news. I feel like a school boy right now. Seriously.

Ben Folds Five "Emaline" Live on Sessions at West 54th

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

nice: Wilco and Fleet Foxes

"I Shall Be Released"

Two of my favorites bands covering one of my all time favorite songs. Thanks to Steregoum for making Monday morning quite pleasent. Oh shit, it's Tuesday.