Monday, March 31, 2008

video: The Acorn- Flood Pt.1

"You lick your lips and paddle for the levee"
It's no secret that we're big fans of Ottawa's The Acorn and the new video, courtesy of MTV (say what?!?!), does nothing but reinforce our fandom. " After we saw them at the Mercury Lounge, we knew the band was special and this video for Glory Hope Mountain standout "Flood Pt.1" is just another reminder that The Acorn aren't just your everyday Canadian indie band, they're exemplary. We can't wait for them come back our way in early May, especially for the show with The Cave Singers. Until then, get your animated video on.

we missed: Simian Mobile Disco

"It's the Beat"

We were stupid and put off buying our tickets for last Friday's Simian Mobile Disco show at the Museum of Natural History and ended up getting shut out. It should come as no surprise that tickets were hard to come by, because everyone who has seen them live can attest that they bring the HEAT. For those wondering how a pair of acclaimed electronic producers might play effectively in a live setting, check out the informative video above, in which the two James' explain their massive live setup.

covers: Bjork

"My headphones, they saved my life"
Stereogum dropped a bomb today with the third incarnation of their covers project. We were big fans of the Drive: Automatic for the People(especially covers by Bodies of Water and Shout Out Louds), and, of course, the fantastic OKX: Tribute to OK Computer. This time they've tackled Bjork's Post, the Icelandic princesses second solo record and some say her best. Personally, my favorite is Homogenic, but who cares.

After a first listen we're really digging Atlas Sound's version of Post closer "Headphones", which sounds like it was recorded in an underwater garden. S'gum really couldn't have picked a better candidate to deliver the classic lyric "My headphones, they saved my life/ Your tape, it lulled me to sleep." While Bradford gets dreamy, Dirty Projectors transform "Hyperballad" (aka the best Bjork song ever) into a jangly tropical jam akin to the sound of the Belizean jungle. In a similar use of summery sounds, Barcelona's El Guincho does his loopy SP-404 shit on "Cover Me."

Also really feeling the distortion fueled, shot gun blasts of "Army of Me" by the Liars, which is so sinister it makes the original sound like a lullaby. Some covers don't stray too far from the original, as is the case with High Places "The Modern Things" and Bell's "It's Oh So Quiet". Another highlight, one sure to end up on mixtapes for years to come, is Final Fantasy & Ed Droste's (Grizzly Bear) cover of "Possibly Maybe", which gets the blessing of Owen Pallette's signature string arrangements and Ed's ethereal voice. Also pretty impressed by White Hinterland's "I Miss You." Basically, this covers album is the f'ing shit, so download it asap. Full .zip file below, as well as a few of our favorites.

Oh yeah, if you haven't seen the new Bjork video for "Wanderlust", do it now. While the quality kinda sucks online, we're gonna highly recommend picking it up on DVD, especially for the 3-D version. Bjork, CGI and 3-D equals a stoned evening in heaven.

Enjoyed: A Tribute to Bjork's Post
Full .Zip

High Places- The Modern Things
Final Fantasy & Ed Droste- Possibly Maybe
Atlas Sound- Headphones

Sunday, March 30, 2008

we saw: Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper

"Turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime"
(Photo by JuicyGoo)
We knew last night's Fleet Foxes show was going to be amazing, and now we can confirm... utterly amazing. While lead singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold prefaced their set by letting the crowd know he had the flu and had puked right before hitting the stage, his sore throat and headache didn't seem to affect his vocal, which was spot on all evening. We're also happy to report that the bands majestic harmonies are as eerily dreamy as they are on record. Cathartic and wonderstruck, like a magical revelation through a dream.

The show kicked off with the gorgeous acapella "Sun Giant" and within seconds all questions regarding Robin's voice were gone. The crowd was silent. Eyes were wide open like children on a snow day. "Sun Giant", the opening track on the recently released EP of the same name, segued perfectly into "Sun it Rises", the opener on the bands leaked, and soon to be released (June 3) eponymous full length debut. Other highlights included an utterly pristine version of "Oliver James", a heart wrenching cover of "Katie Cruel" (video which we posted yesterday), a fan requested "Blue Ridge Mountains" and the pastoral insta-classic "White Winter Hymnal."

After a set that felt like being baptized in fresh mountain water, it's safe to say that Fleet Foxes blend of high lonesome balladry and CSNY harmonies is going to be pointing alot of kids to the forest. Like Justin, we agree that Fleet Foxes remind us of the criminally under rated, and often forgotten, David Crosby record If I Could Only Remember My Name, as well as After The Gold Rush era Neil Young.

All in all, we were blown away. Like, totally blown away. The band seemed to feel the same way, amazed at the sincere and righteous reaction from the glowing New York crowd. Not to mention, all the singing along.

After the show we got a chance to catch up with lead Fox Robin Pecknold, who had just turned 22 at midnight and was drinking Emergen-C to heal his aching flue. While we can't stress enough how impeccable Pecknold and Co. sound live, we really hope he gets back to a 100% so crowds in the rest of the country get to bask in the light of his warm voice. We also caight up with multi instrumentalist and co-harmonizer Casey Wescott who let us know that the vinyl release of Fleet Foxes will include the Sun Giant EP. That makes 2xLP's we couldn't be more excited to hear on the ole phonograph.

Oh yeah, Blitzen Trapper played too. They rocked out the title track from last year's Wild Mountain Nation, as well as the albums "Country Caravan", "Devils A-Go-Go" and "Sci-Fi Kid." They were pretty darn good, but, unfortunately, couldn't compare to the Fleet Foxes, who were utterly jaw dropping. I've often heard that the Who refused to go on after Hendrix at Monterey Pop, fearing that he would suck all the wind from the audience. Honestly, I'd hate to be in any band that has to play after Fleet Foxes. It's just not fair.

Fleet Foxes- Oliver James
Blitzen Trapper- Stolen Shoes (Daytrotter Session)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

tonight: Fleet Foxes & Blitzen Trapper

"Over near Tennessee"

Backstage Sessions : Fleet Foxes - Katie Cruel (Cover) from Hard to Find a Friend on Vimeo.
We're super duper excited to see Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper tonight at the Bowery Ballroom. As of a few minutes ago the show still hadn't sold out, but expect that to change by show time. This will be Fleet Foxes first show in New York, and from what we've heard, it sounds as if we could be in for a very magical evening. Not to mention that Blitzen Trapper put out one of my favorite records of 2007. Ola Podrida is also on the bill. Oddly enough, the last time we saw them was back in October at Maxwell's on the same bill as Port O'Brien. It's all coming full circle. Weird. Anyway, if you're in the area be sure to hop a train, plane or automobile down to Delancy St. for what is sure to be a memorable evening.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sunday Brunch: Muxtape

Missing XL-II's like whoa
Dura sent me a link to Muxtape the other morning. It's pretty sweet, so I figured we'd make an inaugural mux. Think of it as a belated St. Patrick's day present, from us to you. No theme here, just a few randoms I've been enjoying and threw together. Expect this to change over the coming weeks. Without further adieu, our first muxtape.

Hello Blue Roses- My Shadow Falls
Dr. Dog- Heart it Races (Architecture in Helsinki cover)
Ra Ra Riot- St. Peter's Day Festival (Daytrotter session)
Peter and the Wolf- Better Days
The War on Drugs- Buenos Aires Beach
Sera Cahoone- Only as Long as the Day
Radiohead- Unravel
Mindbenders- Groovy Kind of Love
Silver Jews- Black and Brown Blues
Arthur Russell- A Little Lost
Fleet Foxes- He Doesn't Know Why
Port O'Brien- I Woke Up Today

Make your own Muxtape here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

we saw: Port O'Brien and Delta Spirit

"I Woke Up Today"
(Photo by IRockIRoll)
There was a good chance Pianos could've burned to the ground last night. And if Port O'Brien happened to lit the spark that burned down the Lower East Side, it's safe to say that anyone in attendance would've been cool with it. That said, Port O'Brien absolutely destroyed the minds of New York hipsters, who, as usual, stood around like nothing that important was going on. Truth be told, any band that works as hard as Port O'Brien is sure to make a name for themselves. Especially with songs like "I Woke Up Today", a ravaged shanty anthem that felt like a call to arms, a definite highlight of the evening.

While I'm not too familiar with the bands catalog, another undisputed highlight was "A Fishermans Son", which featured one of the most unexpected, yet utterly smooth segues I've heard in a long time. I caught a few songs of theirs back in October when they were supporting Rogue Wave and remember feeling a sort of Arcade Fire vibe. Truth is, Van Pierszalowski bears more than an uncanny resemblance to a Mr. Win Butler. But throw similarities out the door (like when you think of My Morning Jacket/Band of Horses/ Fleet Foxes) because Port O'Brien is a savaged beast of a band with the seemingly rare ability to "take ya to church." A blood wrenching assault of banjos, tin cans, Americana guitars and shout along vocals transformed Pianos into what felt like a Depression era labor rally in Hooverville. Working class punk rock for kids who don't get skinny jeans, neon t-shirts, and guyliner.

Throughout the evening Port O'Brien kept reminding me of the Pogues, which makes sense as Van Pierszalowski and Shane MacGowan share a similar blood boiled intensity and both bands bash through a ramshackle revival of traditional folk music. Drunken shanty town sing-a-longs for sure. Port O'Brien's blue collar spirit is real (Pierszalowski works on his fathers fishing boat in Alaska every summer) and would make Woody Guthrie proud. Robert Hunter once noted the best compliment he ever received was from a coal miner in the Cumberland Gap who actually thought the Grateful Dead's "Cumberland Blues" was a real miners tune. Something tells me that the fishermen in Alaska will one day be saying the same thing about a high percentage of the Port O'Brien catalog. Expect to hear about this band changing lives in the coming years (days, months).

(Photo by Pupkin)
After a short break, Delta Spirit took to what was left of the stage Port O'Brien destroyed for a set of their signature retro leaning Americana. The band, who seem to have miraculously bridged the time continuum between 2008 and sometime back before I was born, was in fine form, playing a host of new songs and selected gems from last years Ode to Sunshine. Things seem like their in full swing for Delta Spirit; their performance a lot tighter and, for better or worse, sleeker than when we caught them at Maxwell's last Fall. (Coincidently, not long after seeing Port O'Brien at the same venue.) The San Diego quintet treated the sold out (?) crowd to "House for Two", "Strangevine" and "People C'mon", amongst , including a few new tracks ("Oh Vivian", "Throwing Stones"). A very poignant show from Delta Spirit, who finished with their trademark social reform ballad "People Turn Around." Like the last time we saw the Spirit, we left wondering the same thing: Why the hell aren't these guys huge?

Port O'Brien is self releasing a new album, All We Could Do Was Sing, on May 13th. Needless to say, after last night, we are really fucking psyched about it. In the meantime you can feast your ears on a few tracks from their recent Daytrotter session, including an alternative arrangement of "I Woke Up Today" titled "Simple Way."A video of "I Woke Up Today", although incomplete, is a indicative of Port O'Brien's live show. It's bad ass.

Port O'Brien- Simple Way (Daytrotter Session)
Port O'Brien- From Port(Daytrotter Session)
Delta Spirit- French Quarter(Daytrotter Session)
Delta Spirit- House Built For Two(Daytrotter Session)

Port O'Brien "I Woke Up Today" Live in San Francisco

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

coming to town: Tyler Ramsey

"What were you swimming away from?"
Last fall a good friend of mine from Wyoming turned me on to acoustic wunder-pluck Tyler Ramsey after being mesmerized by Ramsey's preternatural fretwork at a Band of Horses show in Bozemen, Montana. He was right. Ramsey, a native of Asheville, NC, has an incredibly simple, yet elegant way with a guitar, as if he's not playing the instrument, but it's playing itself (see video below). His playing is so subtle that one of our cohort's didn't think much of him when we saw Band of Horses on Valentine's Day (Tyler plays lead for BoH). Regardless, Ramsey's blend of Leo Kottke-like finger picked folk gems and high mountain balladry is as soothing as a snifter Kentucky bourbon (or a spliff) after a long day of work. Ideal for Sunday mornings.

In January Ramsey released his first solo effort, A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea, a record as majestic as its name suggests. Tyler will be coming to New York for an intimate show at Joe's Pub on April 13th. We highly recommend attending as who knows how much time he'll have off from his gig with Band of Horses.

Tyler Ramsey- A Long Dream
Tyler Ramsey- No One Goes Out

"A Long Dream" Live at Echo Mountain Studios

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

we want: International Dance Party

A party in a box, literally

Do I need to say anything more?
The International Dance Party comes as a large, non-suspicious looking flightcase. Internally, it is equipped with cutting edge radar sensing technology, an ear blasting state of the art 600W sound system, tons of psychedelic light and laser effects, and even a professional grade fog machine.

Through its dance activity radar, the International Dance Party detects and evaluates motion input from surrounding people in realtime. Several sophisticated transforming mechanisms let the flightcase turn into a powerful and boosting party machine, once the visitors start to dance within the machine's range of perception.

The audience controls the complexity of the generated music and the intensity of the light effects directly by the energy of its dance action. When there is no audience, or when the audience is not active enough, the machine stops its performance and transforms back into a transport crate.
Click HERE for the full-length video demonstration. And remember kids, just like the machine tells you, "DANCE TO START THE PARTY!"

classick: Electric Prunes

"I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night"
While we're on this nostalgic psych trip, it's as good a time as any to talk about a band I've been meaning to write about since we started the Bobka; The Electric Prunes. Like the 13th Floor Elevators, this Electric Prunes classic made a serious comeback with druggy garage lovers by way of the truly psychedelic Nuggets:Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968. The fact that the incredibly titled "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" kicks off the first disc of the Nuggets box set cements it as a true garage psych gem. While these guys weren't around for very long, they certainly established themselves as one of the key psychedelic groups in Southern California, big enough to hawk wah-wah pedals for Vox (see below). I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night is a must for anyone with a fetish for distortion, trippy effects and ragged '60s garage rock. Be sure to check out the Prunes live performance on the Smothers Brothers variety hour below.

Electric Prunes- I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night

Vox Wah-Wah Pedal Advertisement starring the Electric Prunes

"I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" on the Smothers Brothers

Monday, March 24, 2008

classick: Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

"Your Gonna Realize"
The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators first entered my conscience after receiving Robert Palmer's Rock and Roll: An Unruly History for Christmas in 6th grade. One of the best chapters in the book, "Eight Miles High" features a picture of The 13th Floor Elevators first record, known by heads as "The All Seeing Eye." Once you see it, it's all over.

One of, if not, the first truly psychedelic band, The 13th Floor Elevators represented a clear shift in consciousness, not only in their super reverberated R&B, but in their unequaled "quest for pure sanity." For example, the liner notes for The Psychedelic Sounds... read like some sort of avant-psych manifesto:
Recently, it has become possible for man to chemically alter his mental state and thus alter his point of view...He then can restructure his thinking and change his language so that his thoughts bear more relation to his life and his problems, therefore approaching them more sanely. It is this quest for pure sanity that forms the basis of the songs on this album
The 13th Floor Elevators convey this hedonistic psychedelic voyage on songs like the frantic, reverb soaked "Fire Engine", which features the reverberating whirl of the electric jug amongst lyrics like "Let me take you to the empty place in my fire engine/ it can drive you out of your mind." The dark trip doesn't end their, as everything the 13th Floor Elevators touched was soaked in a haunting blend of LSD, best exemplified in "Reverberation."

Two years ahead of the San Francisco psychedelic revolution, The 13th Floor Elevators paved the way for acid-heads for years to come by getting freaky-deaky and looking perpetually inward, making The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators a sort of white American equivalent to The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

The 13th Floor Elevators- You Don't Know (How Young You Are)
The 13th Floor Elevators- Fire Engine
The 13th Floor Elevators- Reverberation

"Your Gonna Miss Me" Live on American Bandstand

Sunday, March 23, 2008

new mix: Robert-Johnson podcast

"Won't you walk me through the tiergarten?"
The other day while perusing the Resident Advisor message boards, I came across this fascinating tidbit about world famous Frankfurt nightclub Robert-Johnson.
Top Frankfurt club Robert-Johnson only has a 250-person capacity, and with DJs such as Hawtin, Villalobos and co. regularly through the doors, to combat the squeeze they've had to give up on announcing lineups. Instead RJ are posting a mystery mix on their site for each club night, all of which are downloadable if you subscribe to their RSS feed. No names, no labels, no bad music, and a total nightmare for trainspotters.
As one who always enjoys a little mystery, I snatched a mix at random, and boy am I glad I right clicked and saved "12. 04. 2008." The mystery mix kicks off with the insanely beautiful Supermayer (aka Michael Mayer and Superpitcher) remix of Rufus Wainwright's "Tiergarten." This epic 13 minute dance floor jam is complete with the minimalist big beats you'd expect from the Kompakt heavy hitters, but what truly makes this an incredible track is that the German superstar tag team leaves the Rufus's ethereal intro intact. The whistful strumming of the harp and the swirling synthetic marimba give "Tiergarten" a dreamy wondrousness not usually associated with German micro-house. Recommended for long walks through foggy forests and late night drives through the back streets of sleeping cities.

Click HERE to subscribe to Robert-Johnson's podcasts in iTunes.

Rufus Wainwright- Tiergarten (SuperMayer remix)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

remastered: Nick Lowe Jesus of Cool

"I love my label and my label loves me"

Harsh criticism of the glutinous music industry is nothing new. And while it seems like things may be changing, it's hard to deny the old saying that 'the more things change, the more they stay the same.' With the record industry rapidly drifting into a financial hellhole, a timely reissue of Nick Lowe's magnificent critique of the music business seems, well, utterly ironic.

I had never heard the Jesus of Cool record until the AMG Blog hyped me to it a month ago. As a record that defines almost every intricate aspect of trickery the record industry has pulled on artists and the unsuspecting consumer for God knows how long, Jesus of Cool is not only essential listening for those fed up with the current state of the biz, but a cohesive masterwork that defies stereotypes and showcases a true artist speaking his mind. Since finding a used vinyl copy at Westsider Records, Jesus of Cool has not only become a daily listen, but a personal obsession.

Lowe's pissed, and witty as fuck, on the opener, "Music for Money", an elegy for the long gone notion that music is, first and foremost, art. Delivered in an authoritative monotone, lyrics like "Music for Money/ Must get more bucks" are almost comical considering the current state of the record business. But Jesus of Cool, or Pure Pop for Now People as it was titled in the US, isn't just a wry commentary on the bastardization of music, rather an exceptional exercise in genre hopping, as Lowe hits everything from proto-hard rock ("Music for Money"), to guitar slicing disco funk ("I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass"), to 50's goody two shoes pop ("Tonight"), and Thin Lizzy-like Arena rock ("So It Goes"). A record thoroughly entrenched in the AOR (Album Oriented Rock) craze, Lowe also rocks the loose southern jam of "I Love my Label", a biting love note to his record label, in which he sings "They always ask for lots of songs/ Of no more than 2:50 long/ So I write them some".

In some ways Jesus of Cool reminds me a lot of The White Album, especially how Lowe revitalizes played out genres with a touch of pastiche and super tight production. Released thirty years ago this month, Jesus of Cool is a timeless record whose genius lies in it's simplistic approach to universal themes that are as imposing on listeners today as they were in March of '78. If you don't believe me, just read what these guys have, to say about the Jesus of Cool.

Buy Jesus of Cool HERE.

Nick Lowe- Music for Money
Nick Lowe- So It Goes

"I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" Live on Television

Friday, March 21, 2008

new mix: Ambient Sleep

"It's our last night together"
A long time ago we posted a sleep mix from the now deceased Knuckles McGregor. Apparently it knocked y'all right into a coma, however, immune systems adapt and that old mix just wasn't doing the trick anymore. Luckily, we're back with a fresh set of new agey dream music, the type of stuff DMT-heads listen to for fun.

Ambient Sleep is almost entirely instrumental, the exception being Vera November's rendition of the late Arthur Russell's "Our Last Night Together". (Although Grizzly Bear's "Granny Diner" does include the absurdist "Why don't you do any dishes? Why?/ I always clean up the kitchen" at the very end of the song.) Also included are some ambient classics by Tangerine Dream and Johan Johannson, a few soon to be classics by Stars of the Lid and Deerhunter, a totally wunderstruck cover of the Loveless jam "What You Want" and some of that eerie magic from There Will Be Blood. If you're having trouble sleeping, or you're simply looking to transcend space and time, this is your soundtrack. Guaranteed sweet dreams.

WARNING: NSFW (You Will Pass Out)

Ambient Sleep Mix
1.Vera November- Our Last Night Together (Arthur Russell Cover)
2. Stars of the Lid- Even if You're Never Awake (Deuxieme)
3. Deerhunter- Red Ink
4. Grizzly Bear- Granny Dinner
5. Japancakes- What You Want (My Bloody Valentine Cover)
6. Taylor Deupree- Untitled 1231
7. Tangerine Dream- Sequent c'
8. Efterklang- Illuminant
9. Johan Johannson- Bao
10. Jonny Greenwood- Prospectors Arrive
11. Klimex- The Ice Storm
12. White Rainbow- Awakening

Ambient Sleep Mix (sendspace link)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

comp: New Matador Compilation...FREE!

"I am a cold son"
Matador has always been one of, if not, my favorite label(s). Not only do they consistently release some of the best independent music in the world, they're also really freakin' kind to their fans. Back in the day they sold the super rad 2-disc compilation What's Up Matador for a mere $5, which single handedly turned me on to Cat Power, Bettie Servert, Chavez and Spoon. Unlike the major labels, Matador has embraced technology in an extremely progressive manner. Whether it's through their Buy it Early, Get it Now-Executive Package series, or the countless videos, embeddable widgets and free tracks they give away on the Matablog, the NYC label is always hooking the kids up with chronic jams.

Case in point, the Intended 2008 playlist, a .zip file of 12 tracks from Matador's hottest records of '08. With the exception of the Cave Singer's "Helen" (released in Sept. 2007), every song on this collection is as fresh as the organic lettuce at your local co-op (some haven't even been released yet!). Did we mention it's free?

Intended Play 2008 (zip file)

Track listing:

1. Jay Reatard Always Wanting More (from 7″ #3, due out June 17)
2. Times New Viking DROP-OUT (from Rip It Off, released January 22)
3. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Cold Son (from Real Emotional Trash, released March 4)
4. Shearwater Leviathan, Bound (from Rook, due out June 3)
5. Cat Power Metal Heart (from Jukebox, released January 22)
6. Matmos Polychords (from Supreme Balloon, due out May 6)
7. Mission Of Burma That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate (from Vs.: The Definitive Edition, released today, March 18)
8. Jaguar Love Bats Over The Pacific Ocean (from Take Me To The Sea, due out this summer)
9. The Cave Singers Helen (from Invitation Songs, released last September)
10. Dead Meadow I’m Gone (from Old Growth, released February 5)
11. The New Pornographers All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth (live) (from Live From Soho (iTunes Exclusive), released March 11)
12. Earles & Jensen Bleachy Is Back In Town, Look Out (from Just Farr A Laugh Vols. 1 & 2: The Greatest Prank Phone Calls Ever!, due out April 22)

If this mix makes you want to buy the entire Matador back catalog, and it should, check out the Mid-Price Classics series, which offers classic albums like Cornelius' Fantasma and Belle & Sebastian's Tigermilk for as low as $8. A great way to build your collection without breaking your bank account.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

collaboration: Of Montreal & MGMT are Blikk Fang

"I Ain't No Goddamn Son of a Bitch"

Sometimes trolling the Internets really pays off. Like yesterday, when Mort stumbled upon this fascinating press release, which subsequently led to me finding this redonkulous PureVolume page for Blikk Fang (formerely Ocelot Fang), the musical collaboration of Of Montreal ringleader Kevin Barnes and MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden.
Aveh Tiger Roma is the first EP from Blikk Fang, the top-secret side project of Kevin Barnes (from Of Montreal) and Andrew VanWyngarden (from MGMT). Scheduled to be released in August 2008, it will be followed by the full album early next year.

"Displaying all the electro-pop mastery of their most recent albums, Aveh Tiger Roma takes it in a more cutting, harder edged direction.

The opening '(Just A Little) Judas Tonic', is a fuck all anthem to rival MGMT's 'Time To Pretend', beginning with some drum machine bleaker than anything
the parent bands have done, and growing into a keyboard symphony that earlier material has only pointed to.

'Nupital Eagles Sharpened', a nearly electroclash cover of the Misfits 'Eagles Dare', is a perfect example of their sensibility - keyboards with a punk ethos, stripped down and hard drivingly danceable."

"They've been half-jokingly writing songs for each other for awhile.
Kevin will think of an absurd title and tell Andrew to write a song... and then he does! and vice versa. But now, it will be more collaborative... "
-the late b.p. helium

And we all know the Late B.P. Helium is legit. From the two tracks on PureVolume, we're guessing Barnes and VanWyngarden were drinking Ecstacy milkshakes and eating bowls of raw DMT on their way to '80s night at the local club. Not gonna lie "Nupital Eagle Sharpened", a cover of the Misfits "Where Eagles Dare", is going to be in your head for the rest of the week.

Listen to Blikk Fang HERE

** UPDATE: According to Barnes (via his publicist), he and VanWyngarden are indeed collaborating in a project called Blikk Fang. However, the title Aveh Tiger Roma is "completely bogus" and the songs on the PureVolume page "will definitely not be on it." The pair does have a few songs recorded, with such working titles as "Hypnotic Agents", "Dead Dogs", and "Pleasure Cunt" already cut to tape. But we shouldn't hold our breath, as Barnes says "it's unlikely that anything will get released before the winter of [20]08." (via P4K)

viddyo: Atlas Sound (Live)

"Do that Pat Metheny shit"

We told you about the Atlas Sound show we saw in late February at Johnny Brenda's in Philly. Now you can watch a video clip from that very gig! Here, Bradford and co. spacily meander their way through Let the Blind... standout "Cold As Ice", which they are playing on borrowed gear courtesy of the Dirty Projectors. (Thanks to P4K for the tip.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

nu musick: Diskjokke

More great electronic music from Scandinavia

We first heard Oslo, Norway-based producer Diskjokke featured on the fantastic (and criminally underrated) Sunkissed mix last year, but it wasn't until recently that we were re-introduced to his novel take on the space disco sound. Using the laid-back, bongo-infused vibe of space disco as his template, Disjokke works in elements of German tech-house and French electro to give his music a unique sound and appeal.

Essentially, he has taken my three favorite sub-genres of electronic music and seamlessly blended them together to create some awesome tunes that sound equally as great on a pair of headphones as they do blasting from large stereo speakers. Fans of Lindstrom, Kompakt, and Ed Banger will all find something to like in Diskjokke's music.

Stream the opening track off of Staying In, Diskjokke's debut LP

El Guincho Alegranza / Blog Fresh

Last week, while not attending SXSW, we spoke with those cool cats over at Blog Fresh Radio about Barcelona's hypnotizing El Guincho. With the polar ice caps melting and mud puddle season among us, it's only appropriate that Alegranza take some of the heat for global warming and the ever increasing hole in the O-Zone. We're OK with it, and for one reason only, El Guincho is playing the Other Music Partytonight at Union Pool for free. While it sucks that not receiving a work visa means some of our favorite artists can't get paid for shows, it's really sweet for us fans, especially the poor ones. So do El Guincho a favor and purchase the lysergic Alegranza immediately, you'll be glad you did.

Be sure to check out Blog Fresh this week, an exceptional episode in which Edinburgh's Song by Toad introduces us to a sweet Scottish folk collective by the name of Broken Records. Just one of many of the fine bands this top notch show has introduced us to, and we're not just saying that because we contribute.

nu musick: Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band

"I'm Listening to Your Favorite Records"

Bridging the gap between the Hammond B-3 rave-ups of Booker T & The MG's (think "Green Onions") and the freewheeling kaleidoscopic collage of The Go! Team, Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band are set to get the party started all over the globe. Their latest record, the psychotropic X-Ray Spirit, is a frantic mess of lo-fi drums, distorted vocal samples and sexed-up wah funk that could be the soundtrack to a menacing cinematic drug montage, like the cemetery scene in Easy Rider. If you haven't jumped on the band wagon, do it now, because all this whacked out alien shit is sure to make the kids start doing drugs and breaking stuff, and making music again. After all, isn't that the order in which these things are supposed to happen?

X-Ray Spirit hits US stores March 25 via Copenhagen's Crunchy Frog Records.

"X-Ray Spirit"

Monday, March 17, 2008

post-hype: Lykke Li

"For You I Keep My Legs Apart"

Lykke Li (pronounced Lookey Loo??) is the latest Scandanavian sweetheart to make our collective hearts flutter. Her record Youth Novels is the type of minimalist pop that blends the boundaries of indie bedroom folk and laptop pop, with weeping orchestrations and arrangements by, you guessed it, Bjorn Yttling of PB&J and Lasse Marten, who also worked on Our Ill Wills and Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've been Gone". Lykke is bound for exponential stardom, or at least fan-boy dom, as her coy, slinky vibe is sure to win over last years Feist converts and hype eating hipsters, alike. Goldmines like "Dance, Dance Dance", which features the precious "My hips they lie/ cause in reality/ I'm shy, shy, shy", is poised to wind up on college playlists across the country, while "Little Bit" is likely to be zapped into your home Television set via a Honda commercial. And rightfully so, as Lykke has all the makings of a Swedish pop sensation; sincere, smart, beautiful and Swedish, that's all it takes. Not only does she have the stuff FM pop stations should be drooling over, she's got tracks that scream "remix", like "I'm Good, I'm Gone" and the slightly robotic breakup jam "Complaint Department" ("If you want to complain/ I'm not the complaint department").

The only thing preventing International stardom is the limited distribution, as Youth Novels is currently only packaged for Scandanavian consumption, although we're pretty sure after all the shows she played at SXSW that somebody is bound to ink a deal to bring it Stateside. Right now the only place to buy Youth Novels is HERE.
She will be making her NYC debut 5/7 at Joe's Pub, with another date at the Bowery Ballroom 5/8. Peep the video that made me fall for Lykke below.

"Little Bit" in the Street

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

we saw: Shout Out Louds, Joe's Pub

"It's Now, And We're Too Late"

Seeing a band in a place like Joe's Pub is alot different than, say, you're average beer soaked rock club. Not only are the bathrooms clean and void of years of amateur graffiti and bad stickering, but the acoustics are as warm and crisp as any lauded theater and there isn't a bad seat in the house (Although we wouldn't really know as we sat front row, center).

It was clear the Shout Out Louds knew where they were playing, as the band ditched their jeans and button downs for dressed for a more formal look... Did someone say rental tux?? And while the Cure conjuring swede's looked mighty dapper, they're sound was a bit, how do we say, lethargic. Possibly in an attempt to fit the venues super mellow, jazzy vibe, SOL played a toned down set full of alternate versions of songs from their recent Our Ill Wills and 2004's Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. From the beginning we knew something was up, as the happy happy joy joy "Impossible" sounded like the original on ambien. Fittingly, most of their set was played in half time, making use of whistful bossanova melodies and pouring the sap on thick. On record, SOL's overly emotive sensitivities are shroud in joyful sing-a-longs and pigtail bopping harmonies, however, last night the band actually sounded heart broken, and not in a happy go lucky way.

Fortunately after taking a short break from the uber-attentive audience, SOL came back out kicked out the jams, most notably on Our Ill Wills standout "You Are Dreaming," one of my favorite songs of 2007. All in all a special night, even if the band didn't exactly 'bring the heat.'

(Photo by Brilliancy)

(Photo by Alexistheo)

coming soon: Kate Simko

Kate Simko first caught my ear with last year's stellar Strumm EP. Her minimal sound and acute attention to detail immediately appealed to the Herbert side of my electronic appetite.

Simko was raised on the piano, focusing her studies on classical then jazz piano (hence the Herbert-like qualities) before eventually becoming swept up by the electronic music scene in the mid-90's. Her studies took her to Santiago, where she teamed up with Chilean producer/composer Andres Bucci and the pair released an album under the moniker Detalles in 2003. Simko returned to the US and has since been active DJ'ing and composing minimal techno and is slated to release her "She Said EP" March 25th on Ghostly Intl's Spectral imprint. Although I've yet to hear it, P4K claims "the EP suggests not only Simko's definitive arrival but also the revitilization of Ghostly's Spectral offshoot." Can someone please just give Mort some sort of frequent buyer card? A Ghostpass perhaps?

BELOW: "Machine War" from 2006's Strumm EP (available for digital download via myspace)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

we love: Prince

"Let's Go Crazy"
(photo circa 1979)
Androgynous funk-master Prince officially crossed the threshold into living-legend status in our minds after he stole the show at Super Bowl 41 by playing the shit out of "Purple Rain" in the freakin' RAIN. That was just one more incredible moment on the dude's stacked resume, which we imagine is covered in sparkles and smells like perfume.

For those looking for a refresher in the greatness of Prince, check out this incredible mix courtesy of U-Tern from Brooklyn Radio. Just to warn all of you, this mix is NOT a simple greatest hits collection (although they are all here), but rather U-Tern's favorite tracks, including unreleased songs, demos, and alternate versions, spanning Prince's entire catalog and even featuring a few side projects. What I'm trying to say is, only click the link below if you want to get sexy.

One Day Later Radio presents: The Purple Mix (full tracklist is in the comments section)

good peeps: Big Youth

"Just Be Glad and Righteous"

Recently we wrote about Jacob Miller and since shuffle decided to treat me to three jams from Big Youth on the way home from work, I figured it's as good a time as any to mention an original ras. Known to many as the Rasta musician with the red, gold and green bejewled front teeth, Big Youth came alive in the Kingston ghetto with a string of hits, including his most popular song "S. 90 Skank", a dubbed out jam about motorbikes. While "S.90..." was his most notable hit, I've always been a sucker the tracks on Dreadlocks Dread, a record full of stoney vocals, steady riddims, and dubby production. Bust out the Bambu's and get acquainted with one of reggae's finest.

Big Youth- Marcus Garvey
Big Youth- Natty Dread She Went

"Train to Rhodesia"

Sunday, March 9, 2008

video: Sigur Ros Heima

If you've got 90 minutes to kill I highly recommend taking an audio-visual trip to Iceland. Not possible? Well, thanks to the symphonic genius of those guys in Sigur Ros, it is not only possible, but expected that you get up out of your desk chair and leap through the computer screen and experience the wonder that is Sigur Ros in their homeland. Here's what they have to say about Heima:
heima' is sigur rós's first ever film, filmed over two weeks during the summer of 2006 when the band undertook a series of free, unannounced concerts in iceland. they hauled 40-plus people round 15 locations to the furthest flung corners of their homeland for their debut venture into live film, to create something, well, inspirational.

on their way they went to ghost towns, outsider art shrines, national parks, small community halls and the absolute middle-of-nowhere-ness of the highland wilderness, as well as playing the largest gig of their career (and in icelandic history) at their homecoming reykjavik show.

'heima' (icelandic for "at home" or "homeland"), truly, shows sigur rós as never before. whereas seeing the group live is normally a large-scale and sometimes overwhelming experience, making full use of lights and mesmeric visuals, 'heima' was always intended to reveal more of what was actually going on on stage. it does this via long-held close-ups and a rare intimate proximity, without ever once breaking the spell.

loosely based on a documentary format - and including personal reflections from the band - 'heima' also serves as an alternative primer for iceland the country, which is revealed as less stag destination-du-jour and more desolate, magical place where human beings have little right to trespass.
So far Sigur Ros has one American date lined up for the summer, 6/14 at Bonnaroo, hopefully they'll be adding a few more, like maybe one at the Good Shephard Faith Church?? (Pllllease) You can buy the Heima DVD HERE.

Friday, March 7, 2008

video: El Guincho "Kalise"

This might constitute plagiarism, but it's impossible not to think El Guincho sounds like a lysergic Spanish Sangria made withs tons of fresh fruit, a whole Os Mutantes & a wedge of Panda Bear. Everyone fucking loves it. I could guzzle intoxicating nectar all day, everyday. Guaranted to make Spring and Summer that much better for years to come. El Guincho Alegeranza; get down, ya heard.

If you like tropicalia, bossanova, afrobeat,Canary Islands, steel drums, acid, tribal rhythms, life, sun, loops, dancing, and the beach, then you should buy this right now from Other Music, the exclusive distributor of Alegranza in the States.

It's so on.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Boss, Elvis & Grohl are...The Clash

"Quit Holding Out And Draw Another Breath"

A few weeks back we sorta watched the Grammys. And by sorta I mean, we bitched about the Grammys sucking, blah, blah, etc. Chuck was especially beefed after UGK and Outkast didn't win for Best Rap Collaboration. Understandable. (R.I.P PIMP C)

Somehow, in the midst of all this angst, someone, not me, pulled up this Youtube video of an absolutely balls to the wall moment in Grammy history. In this four-guitar tribute to Joe Strummer (R.I.P), Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Little Steven Van Zandy (Sylvio!) and Dave Grohl trade verses on one of the greatest, most anthemic rock and roll songs of all time, period. The four axeman are joined by No Doubt's Tony Kanal on bass, and Pete Thomas, Costello's longtime drummer, on the kit. The clip is so great that we're really hoping these guys quit their day jobs and go out on the road as a Clash cover band.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

under the covers: Marissa Nadler

"I Met You In The Belly of a Whale"

In the 19th century, an entire generation of kids in rural farm towns across America were raised on opium infused elixirs; cough syrups sold to their mothers by traveling salesmen and mail order catalogs. Imagine what it'd be like to walk a mile in those kids shoes; mind aimlessly wandering, constant out of focus/blurry vision, and that God foresaken opium itch. Must've been tough.

Marissa Nadler's Espers infused trance-folk is the musical equivalent to the ethereal opiate state. She loves covers and, coincidently, we love her covers. When she does her thing with Leonard Cohen and Neil Young (twice) numbers, you almost forget that you're listening to someone else's song (from a long time ago). Down below you'll find a video of Marissa covering one of my all time favorite Radiohead songs, "No Surprises." In other Nadler news, Peacefrog just released Marissa's majestic Song III: Bird On The Water on limited edition vinyl (500 to be exact). Don't sleep on that shit. Also be sure to keep an eye out for a new record from Marissa in 2008.

Marissa Nadler- Cortez the Killer (Neil Young)
Marissa Nadler- Clairaudients (Bright Eyes)
Marissa Nadler- Expecting to Fly (Neil Young)
Marissa Nadler- For the Good Times (Kris Kristoferson)
Marissa Nadler- Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen)

Marissa Nadler covering Radiohead's "No Surprises"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

we saw: DFA/ Color Chart at MoMa

"Because I Feel Blind"
(Photo by Mecredis)
Saturday night at the MoMA was the opening of Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today, a Crayola color installation that featured works from Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Frank Stella, to name a few. Personally, Hirst's John John stole the show for me, but besides the art, there was a lot more to take in. Free booze and hot DJ sets by the DFA crew, to be exact. Holy Ghost and Juan Maclean brought the heat, although, personally I can't remember too much of the heat they brought. The exception being a dancefloor destroying drop of DFA labelmates Hercules & Love Affair's "Blind". After that everything is a wash of kaleidoscopic colors and terrifyingly tight jeans. Wish I could tell you more, hopefully these pictures do a better job of setting the scene than I did.

Oh yeah, Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington was there too, so you know it was sweet.
(photo by Mecredis)

(photo by Regisbluejeans)

(photo by Whitney)

(photo by pocketmonsterd)

Monday, March 3, 2008

nu musik: Annie

"Life's too fun for you to get it wrong"

This is like that big speech you've imagined in your head but when the time choke.

So I'll try to be as eloquent as possible.

Our always-favorite-Norwegian Annie has (finally) posted a new track to her myspace page. It says it's been listened to 3,477 times which means my personal count is up to 3,104...

Stream via myspace: Annie - Girlfriend
Stream via prefix mag: Annie - Girlfriend

Make that 3,105
(thanks to P4K for the tip)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

we saw: Acorn/Phosphorescent/Bowerbirds

"Was it always there, or just distraction?"

Friday night at the Mercury Lounge held one of the best show lineups of the year, and while hard to neglect the hype, the show exceeded all things buzz, and may as well leap into the historical category. The evening kicked into high gear when Ottawa's The Acorn took the stage, performing an assortment of songs from their Bobk-approved Glory Hope Mountain. Their set, which began with "Crooked Legs", consists of a hodge-podge of musical arrangements that at times led to dueling ukuleles. It was clear from the get-go that Glory Hope Mountain comes alive on stage, with songs like "Bad Antenna" and the "Flood Pt.1" taking on a chugging train like quality that felt like Gloria's story jumping off the page and onto the stage of life. A rousing version of "Low Gravity" confirmed all my suspicions that this band is poised for big, big things in the future. Glory Hope Mountain gets proper US release this Tuesday, but we'd still recommend shelling out the extra loot for the limited edition vinyl, which, like we've said before, is one of the most beautiful records we've ever owned. It's that good.

(Photo courtesy of Ihateanarchists)
Usually, our evening would end their, but with a lineup this absurd, it's hard to head out into the night, and with Brooklyn's Phosphorescent (aka Matt Houck) up next, it was hard to imagine heading back out into the Lower East Side any time soon. I'd heard great things about the Phosphorescent live show, and after Friday nights gig, I fully understand why this guy is constantly playing out, and always making waves. Pride was a late 2007 purchase which has kept me warm and cozy all winter long, lending it a certain under the covers like quality, however, on Friday night the last thing I wanted was my blankey. Opening with "My Heroes Have All Been Cowboys", Houck's lovingly strained vocal was spot on all evening, despite members of his band's constant request for the soundman to tweak levels on and off stage. It didn't matter, in fact, once they fixed Matthew's microphone, it was like he was delivering the softest, most sincere church sermon we'd ever heard, as "Wolves", "Cocaine Lights" and "My Dove, My Lamb" took on a crowd silencing, almost religious, tone that left me feeling that Matt Houck's Phosphorescent is going to be making waves for a long time to come.

(Photo courtesy of Ihateanarchists)
I could've left after Phosphorescent feeling satisfied, but on this fateful night I had the pleasure of wrapping things up a dessert set from the Bowerbirds. The room, which had bulged during Phosphorescent's set, had wanned, leaving a quiet set of attentive Bowerbirds fans to finish off the hallowed evening. From the beginning it was story book; someone lit a joint, and the Mercury Lounge was immediately engulfed in the dank stank of NYC delivery service. Lead singer Mark Paulson didn't mind, as he took the stage, only to say "Smells good up here." He is a very idealistic looking young man, almost as if he stumbled out of a dream. And with the songs he delivered, accompanied by Bowerbirds Phil Moore and Beth Tacular on percussion and accordion, it wouldn't be wrong to assume these three stepped out of a long lost world similar to Narnia, minus the hostility and bizarre deer-men. Culling froms songs off of 2007's Hymns of a Dark Horse, the Bowerbirds transformed the Mercury Lounge into their own little bonfire, as if the audience was lucky enough to be taken to their majestic Air Stream, parked somewhere deep in the woods of Appalachian North Carolina. "In Our Talens" and "Olive Hearts" were clearcut highlights, while "My Oldest Memory" whisked me off to a desert island where only swaying palm trees sing. It was that sort of magical evening. And then, off into the wintry mix.

The Acorn- Crooked Legs
Phosphorescent- A Torn Up Praise
Bowerbirds- In Our Talons

we saw: Environ Bar Mitzvah

Jewish Disco, ya heard?

After checking out the ultra-hip, brightly-colored extravaganza put on by DFA at the MoMA, we headed to Studio B to check in with one of our other favorite labels, Environ Records, who were celebrating their 13th year anniversary with a Bar Mitzvah to make their mothers proud.

We walked in just in time to catch the start of Kelley Polar's set and were immediately taken with his unique brand of electro-pop. (Take the best parts of Chromeo and Junior Boys and blend it together with the funky disco elements of Metro Area and you are left with Kelley Polar.) Following a brief stand-up comedy routine featuring Environ founder Morgan Geist and head Junior Boy Jeremy Greenspan, Metro Area got behind the decks and spun the hottest disco you've never heard until the early morning hours.

Kelley Polar's new album is available on iTunes right now and will be in stores this week. Check out a few tracks at his MySpace and also be sure to have a listen to a live Metro Area set from 2003 that is one of our favorites. PS- that is in fact Mr. Morgan Geist himself featured in the above photo. Lookin' sharp.

Kelley Polar MySpace
Metro Area- Live @ 10 Days Off, July 2003