Monday, June 30, 2008

we saw: The Hold Steady

"The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me"
Yesterday was some biblical shit, as most of the afternoon felt like God was trying to fuss with the Hold Steady's plan to build something this summer by drowning drunken kids in a relentless storm. Apparently no one told him that Craig Finn is down here doing his work and the kids are being redeemed. It's really quite lovely, in a druggy, bloody and ugly sort of way. It fucking poured yesterday, but no amount of thunder, lightning or rain could keep The Hold Steady from holding mass at McCarren Pool. And so when Craig Finn began delivering the gospel, the skies grew blue and fists were raised to the sky. Total redemption.

Peep the video below for an accurate portrayal of yesterday's rain soaked show. Yes, the crowd sang along at that volume the entire show. My neck really hurts, in the best was possible.

Setlist:Constructive Summer/ Banging Camp/ Chips Ahoy/ Magazines/ Multitude of Casualties/ Yeah Sapphire/ Navy Sheets/ Same Kooks/ Stay Positive/ Stuck Between Stations/ The Swish/ Your Little Hoodrat Friend/ Resurrection Really Feels/ Joke about Jamaica/ Sequestered in Memphis/ Arms and Hearts

Encore:Lord I'm Discouraged/ One for the Cutters/ Slapped Actress

The Hold Steady "Stuck Between Stations" at McCarren Pool, Brooklyn, NY 6/29/08

sound design: WALL-E

R2D2 Evolved

Pixar's latest jaw-dropper is about a love-struck, trash-compacting robot in the year 2815. While the movie is visually stunning, it is the sound design that really brings the film to the next level. Ben Burtt is the mastermind that brought it to life, and you may recognize his work from Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Simply put, the guy is the King at what he does, and he raises the bar a notch with his work on WALL-E. Check out the short featurette above to get a glimpse into how he works his magic, then do yourself a favor and check out WALL-E in theaters. If you want some company let me know, cause I'll go see it again.

we saw: Devo and Tom Tom Club

"Psychedelic and Funkadelic, Check It Out"
Thursday night we gathered the troops, hit the Turkey's Nest and wandered over to McCarren to catch the nostalgic new-wavey pairing of the Tom Tom Club and Devo. As expected, both bands were in excellent form, with Tina and Co. bringing the hits ("Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood" both slayed it), while Mothersbaugh and Devo murdered "Whip It" and "Gut Feeling." While the post-show disco train through Greenpoint was ill, the highlight of the evening was Devo's cover of Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi."

Our friend Abbey Braden from Punk Photo and Blog Fresh Radio shot this fitting clip of the Tom Tom Club straight bringing the funk.

Tom Tom Club "Genius Of Love" McCarren Pool Park

Friday, June 27, 2008

killer kels: Feelin' On Ya Booty (Reprise)

"I don't see nothing wrong"
Nearly lost amongst the fervor of Trapped in the Closet, R. Kelly's other DVD, "LIVE - The Light It Up Tour", is full of hidden gems that will make even the biggest Kels haters smile. Occasionally we're going to highlight some of these moments in all their glory and absurdity.


An hour and a half into the concert Kels finishes a performance of "Feelin On Ya Booty" then turns to the audience and asks, "Oakland can I have some fun right now?" Normally a question like this coming from R. Kelly is a recipe for perverted disaster. Luckily this time Kels keeps it PG and crushes a "Booty" reprise. Watch and enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bobkast #14: Get On The Disco Train

"You're A Vegetable"
With the solstice behind us, we figured its as good a time as any to share a brand new, fresh for Summer Bobkast with you. A potent and delectable mix of sugary pop, acid disco, African pop-hop and Michael Jackson, the latest Bobkast is fun for all ages, shapes and sizes. Enjoy.

Bobkast #14: Crazy Train, Sexy Train, Get On The Disco Train

1. Michael Jackson- Wanna Be Starting Something
2. Esau Mwamwaya- Tengazako 2 (Paper Planes remix)
3. Fleetwood Mac vs. Gwen Stefani- Everywhere (Paul Devro Mix)
4. Dance Reaction- Disco Train (Morgan Geist Mix)
5. Indeep- Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (Mirage remix)
6. Air France- Collapsing At Your Doorstep
7. Music Go Music- Light of Love
8. James Pants- Crystal Lite (Feat. Deon Davis)
9. J DILLA- The $
10. Atlas Sound- Balcony
11. Lykke Li vs. Field- Dance, Dance, Dance In My Face (The Hood Internet mash)
12. Cryptacize- Peg (Steely Dan cover)

Bobkast #14: Crazy Train, Sexy Train, Get On The Disco Train {direct linl; right click (or apple + click) to save}

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

we saw: Snake and Jet's Amazing Bullit Band

"I'm Listening To Your Favorite Records"
Saturday afternoon is a great time to check out live music, especially when its free. As excited as I was about the free After The Jump Fest, I was really juiced at the notion of catching Danish synth boogie outfit Snake and Jet's Amazing Bullit Band for the first time. I've written about Snake and Jet before, and we even gave away some amazing picture vinyls, but I'd yet to see them live. Why? Because I don't think they'd ever come to the States before. Yes, Saturday afternoon at Music Hall was S&J's NYC debut and frankly, they killed it. Which says alot considering the room at MHWW was so vacant after the programmed drums, metal duo left the crowd, well....OK, there was no crowd. But, right after S&J hit the stage with their schizo Green Onions-esque raveups, the crowd arrived (Did I mention it was 3:30?) Well lubricated the increasingly full audience did their damndest to keep up with the rhythm overload. Not easy. Utilizing a host of samplers, drum machines and other kooky electronics, Snake and Jet managed to pull off the epic over-the-top sound that makes up X-Ray Spirit. Snake and Jet will be around NYC, sorta kinda, until July 2nd, although they don't seem to be playing at all except that night at the Mercury Lounge. Fans of Junior Senior, Booker T and the MG's and The Stooges should check them out. And yeah, their press photo is supremely badass.

Snake and Jet "Favourite"

we saw: The Muslims

"I Got News For You"
We saw The Muslims Friday night at Union Pool and the verdict is in: they're bad ass. But not in a stereotypically snotty, metal grinding way either, but in a we-don't-give-a-fuck-how-we're-suppose-to-dress- in-Williamsburg way. The Muslims simply play their songs and their songs are powerful enough to will children to bash broken car radios and steal prescription chemicals from pharmacies the world wide. Bill was there and he agrees The Muslims got a helluva lot of attitude. The band played a solid set of songs from their EP, as well as a cover of Arthur Lee's "My Flash On You." However, the undisputed highlight of their set is the slo-punk sing-a-long "Brightside," which is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs of the year. If "Brightside" is any indication of what The Muslims have up their sleeves, then get ready for a full on assault.

Their infamous EP (above), which sports genuine bullet holes from a real live gun, is a must have and will be re-released in July. Luckily, 2/4 of the Bobka crew got lucky and were able to pick up copies of the bullet ridden EP on vinyl (and the 7"). Besides being a great record, the EP comes with a CD of all the songs and a few extra. Incentives, incentives, incentives. Between Dirt Dress and The Muslims, 2008 could see the full fledged recurrence of shabby, opiated lo-fi garage punk in the vein of VU and early Modern Lovers stuff. Ok, now I must return to moshing in my kitchen.

Get the Extinction b/w My Flash On You 7" here.

The Muslims- Brightside

The Muslims "Extinction"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

remix: The Chap "They Have A Name" (Atlas Sound Remix)

"Hearthrob Hits The Ladies"

Blogger just did something really odd to these images after I uploaded them. Oddly enough, the bizarre manipulation couldn't be more appropriate for this post. Our friend Brooke has been peeping us to The Chap for a while and while I've enjoyed their macabre synth pop, it should be no surprise, that I'm really digging on Bradford Cox's remix of The Chap's "They Have A Name." As per usual, Cox takes the basic framework and trips it out with a series of noisy oscillations, jolting found sounds and other Atlas Sound goodness. It's gotten to the point where we might as well rename Chocolate Bobka, "The Totally Gay for Bradford Cox Blog." Bells and distortion, a combination for the ages.

The Chap- They Have A Name (Atlas Sound Remix)

The Chap- They Have A Name

interview: Delta Spirit

"The Great Spirit of America"
A while back I sat down for an interview with Delta Spirit bass player and badass Jonathan Jameson. Besides having the greatest email account in the history of the world, Jameson knows how to lay down the groovy bits that keep the "dharma bum" tunes together. Delta Spirit rolls into NYC this week and Friday will be my third time seeing them in the past 8 months. There is a reason I keep going back and the reason is Ode to Sunshine. Be sure you catch them at the Mercury Lounge Thursday or Union Hall Friday before they get huge and start opening for Coldplay or Pearl Jam at the Garden.

Chocolate Bobka: There is an innate honesty in the Delta Spirit sound that seems to owe as much to punk rock as it does to old school folk and country music. Who are your influences?
JJ: On the punk side there are some. We like The Clash, Television, more recently the Libertines. I really like the Waterboys, but they aren't really punk. We also love soul music, hip hop and some folk. We are a band that loves big ideas, like social change and redemption, as well as songs about how its hard to date another man's girlfriend. It is that paradox that we are drawn to.
C: I've heard you talk about personal responsibility in the world, and realizing that everyone is apart of the problem, and that it's more important to be part of the solution rather than point the blame on someone, actually owning up to personal responsibility. How does that sort of personal integrity affect your music?
JJ: I guess it leaves us in a slightly more constructive place than a destructive place, because we aren't disillusioned with the idea of fighting against something as much as we are into fighting for something. We made our own record, put it out ourselves, managed ourselves for a while, got some good tours with some friends and now we are working with really great people who we know understand us and whom we deeply respect. It feels good.
C: In the live setting it seems that there is an unfettered equality between band members on stage, something I don't feel/see with alot of other bands. On Ode to Sunshine the writing, recording and producing are all credited to Delta Spirit. most would says its impossible to maintain equality, put egos aside and work for the greater good in a band, especially when your spending X amount of days in a cramped van with the same people. How do you keep it together?
JJ: There was a monk in the 4th century that said living in community is the only asceticism that you will ever need. It really isn't easy, but it is worth it and it does require us to constantly push our egos back. The President of the United States should be forced to be in a band for a year or so. I think they could really learn a thing or two about how to get along. We respect each other and recognize that the band wouldn't be half as good with out any one of us.
C: Ode to Sunshine was essentially recorded live. Was it important for you to capture the essence of your live shows on record?
JJ: Yeah we felt that that was how that album needed to be recorded. I'm not sure we will do it again, but it was right for that album and we are all happy with the results. I think one of the most beautiful parts about it is that it feels like it belongs in time and space. It feels like a living room, not a museum.
C: Delta Spirit is uber-tight live. Has there been anything, instrumentally or an arrangement that the band can't pull off live, or chooses not to try?
JJ: We can't play the last song on Ode to Sunshine. We played it once cause we had our friend playing trumpet, but it still wasn't quite there. It's kind of a thorn in our side. I really want to solve it, to bring it back to life.
C: Does the band have any plans to record in 2008?
JJ: We have already done a bit of recording, and with us you never know what might make the album. So yes, we will be recording as songs come. It may or may not be the final version. We have the blessing of having our own recording gear, so it would be a shame to be lazy with that. we are always looking forward too.
C: The Port O'Brien tour was a great pairing in that both bands have an unbridled sense of working class companionship, loyalty and selflessness. Is there anything you personally took away from touring with those guys, or any other band you've toured with?
JJ: They were so great! We really love them. Real people playing music they love. It's the best. Thankfully we have toured mostly with bands like that.
C: The band seems to embody a working mans integrity. Is there any particular reason for this, or is it simply that you are all so passionate about what you do that you have to work hard...and enjoy yourselves?
JJ: We don't really identify with the culture of Southern California, so in our effort to dig deeper we have found that that is the great spirit of America, not the 'american dream,' but working hard to do something you love. It's what makes us a country of grand possibilities. It may be a bit presumptuous but I also think that that is really one of the deepest human desires. I also think music is a beautiful example of giving love. We work so hard not to just record a bunch of songs so that when we are old we can sit back with our headphones on and listen to all that we have accomplished. No! How absurd would that be!? We work hard to have the chance to share this with other people, to give them a little of ourselves and when this sharing happens something greater than words is established. It is a communion. It is a holy moment, even though it becomes normal to us from time to time.
C: Ode to Sunshine is an album that screams 'vinyl'. any plans to release it on wax?
JJ: One way or another it will be released on vinyl this year. You are right, it may make the most sense like that.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

we saw: Evangelicals

"Strange things keep happening..."

Something very strange went down at the Music Hall of Williamsburg the other night... the opening band upstaged the headliner. Or at least I thought so. The opening band was Evangelicals, an indie band from Oklahoma who looked like they just walked off a B-Movie set (or are just really into watching them, as you can see above). They're songs are something along the lines of the Cure melodies meets the Flaming Lips massive sounds, with more than a nod toward the latter's insanely energetic live shows and a penchant for celebrating the macabre; see "Skeleton Man" below, about a jilted lover who's insides burn up and all he can do is laugh. As a bonus, their new(ish) album, The Evening Descends, more than lives up to the live show (and they gave it to me on vinyl for free for working the merch table for a while!). Highly recommended for late night drives on the way to random parties in the middle of nowhere where you don't know a soul.

Evangelicals - Skeleton Man

Ed Note: If you don't believe the B-movie description, peep this video the band released a while back for single "Midnight Vignettes." Hunter's right on.

sunday morning music: Caribou/ Four Tet

"And When You Smile It Melts Away Again"
I've been listening to this at least once a day since I stumbled upon it a month ago. Four Tet takes an already mesmerizing Caribou track and stripes it to the bones, leaving only dreamy harmonies (which are amazing), acoustic guitar and floating atmospherics. Life in slo-mo. The perfect soundtrack to a sun filled wake and bake or sleepwalking through the park.

Caribou- Melody Day (Four Tet remix)

Friday, June 20, 2008

comp: Acid Dreams Epitaph- 75 minutes of Green Fuz

"Useless when you're hungry"

I've sung the praise of the Acid Dreams Epitaph- 75 Minutes of Green Fuz compilation before, but one can never have enough druggy garage rock in their life. Besides I'd be doing a great disservice to all readers if I didn't post The Regiment's "My Soap Won't Float" and Godfrey's "Let's Take A Trip." These songs are pretty self-reflective (and explanatory) but that doesn't take away from their lysergic charm. Seriously, how can you deny songs with lyrics like "chrome plated candy bars and plastic covered tangerines" and "a world of frogs and green fountains and flying dogs and silver cats and emerald rats and purple clouds." Let's take a trip, shall we.

Godfrey- Let's Take A Trip

The Regiment- My Soap Won't Float

Thursday, June 19, 2008

video: Bon Iver

"So The Story Goes"
Bon Iver is a winter act. Justin Vernon's tunes just sound better when the sun sets at 4:30, plain and simple. And while I've had reservations about experiencing For Emma during Summer, this video from his session with Vincent Moon does a lot to quell my apprehensions. Not only is the new arrangement gorgeous but the glockenspiel and looser feel of "Lump Sum" make it perfect for drinking tea in the early morning while the sun is rising over the Manhattan skyline.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

hot: Girls

"I Wish I Had A Pizza And A Bottle Of Wine"
Just like the rest of their stuff, this Girls video is awesome. Can't wait to get the Lust For Life 7" (True Panther) in the mail...complete with custom corsage.

Girls "Morning Light"

Monday, June 16, 2008

wtf: Children of the Sixth Root Race

Drink The Kool-Aid

I bought this yesterday after hearing it on the Sound Fix sound system and peeping the back album cover. I really can't do this release any justice, so I'll just let the Drag City reissue team tell you whats up:
A lost-and-found 1973 recording of The Source family. These twelve songs were recorded live in the Hollywood Hills as a rehearsal for a concert date that Spirit of '76 -- aka YaHoWaH 13, The Savage Sons of YaHoWa, Yodship, and FireWaterAir, now known as Children of the Sixth Root Race -- had at the Whisky. A 1/4" tape copy of the recording was found in Chicago in 2006, though no one is really sure how it got there. Djin Aquarian, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Spirit of '76, recalls being sent on a mission to Chicago later in 1973, where he believes he left the tape with an old friend. Djin wrote most of the songs in the year before he joined with The Source, as part of his solo "mystical quest to help enlighten the world before it might annihilate itself," adding, "I'm glad both the album and the world are still here." Though this rehearsal wasn't meant to be released at the time, there are probably no other recordings as complete of the band doing these songs. The Spirit of '76 had a different sound than the one YaHoWaH 13 made with Yahowa. Songs from the Source has more r'n'b-grooved energy, with splashes of synth and organ, a female vocal chorus and streamlined fusion rhythms backing the uniquely Yahowan lyrical populism of songs like "Godmen" and "Lost Dead But Hoping." The ebullient, ever-climbing power of the climactic "We Are the Dinosaurs," has few analogues in the other Source recordings and is furthermore an outstanding piece of music from the entire era. Songs from the Source is a miraculous missing piece of The Source's positive musical movement. The members of YaHoWaH 13 (Djin, Sunflower on bass, Octavius on drums) were joined by family members Ahom, Aquariana, Cinderella, Rhythm, Vibration, and Zoroaster on lead guitar, to create the ecstatic sound of Spirit of '76.
Highly recommend picking up this obscure piece of cultish 60s over-the-top psych, which is sort of a hybrid of Love and Hair: The Musical. Pick it up tomorrow at fine retailers everywhere, or at Insound.
Children of the Sixth Root Race- Godmen

Sunday, June 15, 2008

we saw: Sera Cahoone & Grand Archives

"Another Saturday Night And I Ain't Got Nobody"
I arrived at Union Hall just in time to grab a drink and catch Sera Cahoone's first song. From the start things sounded great and the live interpretations of songs from this years fantastic Only As The Day Is Long sounded as good, if not better than on record. Her band was tight, fleshing out rainy day country folk with elegance and restraint. The weeping of the pedal steel and the charming backwoods melodies of the banjo, coupled with Cahoone's smokey voice and heart-broken (but not devastated) lyrics made the basement of Union Hall feel more like a porch or bon fire affair than a packed gig in a Park Slope bar. I can't possibly emphasize how immaculate Cahoone's band sounded, except by saying that they were spot-on, every note delivered with reverence and grace. Stunning. (And yes my crush on Ms. Cahoone is now a mega-crush.)

Setlist: You Might As Well/ Last Time/ Only As The Day Is Long/ Runnin' Your Way/ Baker Lake/ The Colder The Air/ Shitty Hotel/ Couch Song/ Happy When I'm Gone/ Delta Dawn (Tanya Tucker cover w/ Grand Archives)

After Cahoone left the stage, former bandmate and collaborator Mat Brooke brought his Grand Archives to the Union Hall stage. The band, a scruffy group of vocal pop and atmospheric '60s California pop revivalists, played most of the tracks from their debut LP, as well as a couple covers, including Sam Cooke's lonely weekend anthem "Another Saturday Night." I've been patiently waiting Grand Archives New York debut since they released their original demos 16 months ago and last night was a culmination of over-playing demos, pre-ordering LP's and being inherently happy that the Grand Archives exist. Their classic retro pop was the perfect match to Cahoone's weeping folk, and the bands fabled 4-part harmonies lived up to all the praise they've received. The band seemed at home on the dimly lit stage, exchanging slacker banter with the crowd and bringing a little bit of Seattle comfort to Brooklyn.

Set List: Miniature Birds/ Louis Riel/ Index Moon/ New Song/ Swan Matches/A Setting Sun/ Sleep Driving/ Torn Blue Foam Couch/ Liberty Bell/ Another Saturday Night (Sam Cooke)/ George Kaminski/ Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)/ The Crime Window/ Southern Glass Home

Sera Cahoone- Couch Song

Grand Archives- Miniature Birds

Friday, June 13, 2008

new: Atlas Sound

It's been nearly two months since we posted anything by Deerhunter frontman/Atlas Sound craftsman Bradford Cox, which is the equivalent to five years for most artists. If you've been playing along, every so often Bradford releases a MicroMix or a Digital 7" or a homemade EP or whatever the fuck release he wants to put out via the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound/ Lotus Plaza blog. It happens quite often but regardless of Bradford's insane output, my heart always begins to flutter at the site of a new post on the Deerhunter blog (Yes, my life has reached that pathetic point where I get very excited about obscure blog only releases). Cox's new Amsterdam Midi digital 7" is another fine example of what one man can do in a hotel room with a laptop and midi controller. I'd like to think my stone-made compositions were this hypnotic, but they definitely don't compare with the looping transcendence Cox composed in an Amsterdam hotel. As always, highly rec'd.

P.S. The new Deerhunter album is... how do I say...ah yes... sick.
Atlas Sound- Amsterdam Midi Digital 7"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

mix: Maurice Fulton - Futureboogie

"Straight From The Heart"
Maurice Fulton has been producing super-funky, futuristic retro disco from outer space since the mid 90s, and this mix he put together for the Futureboogie booking agency is one of the best we've heard in the genre, right up there with Morgan Geist's Unclassics and Murphy and Mahoney's masterpiece, Fabriclive.36. So if you are into of either of those two albums, then do yourself a favor and give Maurice a spin. Above all else, this mix is a lesson in pacing; it has a laid back yet energetic vibe throughout, and subtly uses tension and release to give it that extra boost. Of course, it also features some incredible, obscure disco cuts, but that kind of goes without saying. Download below.

Maurice Fulton - Futureboogie Mix

new: Dirt Dress

"So Many Girls Look The Same"

I don't know much about Dirt Dress except the following: they rock. They probably know it too, as their slo-mo blend of blues and garage rock is a self-conscious reinvention of what all the psych-garage revivalists have been trying to sound like for years, except instead of getting all snide and hipster'd out, Dirt Dress just sound like a band playing shitty blues in a garage. Their singer could be the millenial love child of Eric Burden and Eddie Argos. Loose, jangly and untouched by work nor duty, Dirt Dress seems to exist solely to kick out the jams (and yes, they sort of remind me of the MC5). They aren't afraid of tackling a meandering fuzz jam ("Peter and The Wolf" clocks in at 11: 40) or talking about bleach blonde girls in cut off jeans ("Iguana"), both of which conjure visions of ramshackle teenage rock and roll, like if Buddy Holly were hanging with Lou Reed while he was waiting for his man. Highly recommend heading over to CokeMachineGlow and downloading the band's EP for FREE! Just do it.

Dirt Dress- Iguana

Dirt Dress- Peter and the Wolf

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

new: Apollo Sunshine

"I Was On The Moon When You Were Born"

I've been meaning to do a post on Apollo Sunshine's Katonah since we started the Bobka, but for whatever reason, I just never got around to it (expect it soon). However, thanks to YANP, I got tipped off that the psychedelic pop trio have a new record, Shall Noise Upon, coming out August 5th on Vinyl and MP3 and September 2nd on Compact Disc (remember those?). Besides massive amounts of touring, the Sunshine boys have been rather quiet as of late, presumably due to working on Shall Noise Upon. As big fans of Katonah and Apollo Sunshine (which you can pick up as a colored vinyl package for $25 here), "666: The Coming of the New World Government", the first peek of the record, is a progressive testament to the band's potent blend of cosmic psychedelia and pure pop (for now people), an inebriating and undeniable mixture that has made this band one of the most underrated in post-millenial times. While we're waiting for Shall Noise Upon, be sure to re-listen to the wonder of Katonah and peep their MySpace for some psychedelic experiments.

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

Monday, June 9, 2008

new: Dr. Dog

"I'm Never Going Back To My Old Ways Again"
We reported on the new Dr. Dog record Fate (7/22/08 via Park the Van) a little while back, but now that we've had a few proper listens we're really excited about Fate. Not only is it another solid set of the neo-nostalgic pop tunes from Philly's finest interpretors, but its a massive step forward for a band that refuses to be pigeonholed by revivalist stereotypes. Dream inducing harmonies, gorgeous hooks and all the Beatles/ Beach Boys/ Band comparisons you'd expect from Dr. Dog not only make Fate a damn good record, but cement Dr. Dog as one of the best bands going. For my money, I'm not sure there is another band that has consistently made me so happy to be alive as Dr. Dog does. Nothing pretentious, just the sort of good time pop music that goes well with laying on the floor, smoking a joint and getting lost in the music. I have a feeling this is going to be one of my most played albums of the summer (along with The Hold Steady's Stay Positive, which has already received summer classic status on my iPod). Below is one of my favorites from Fate. Peep Dr. Dog's MySpace for tour dates through November!

Dr. Dog- 100 Years

Friday, June 6, 2008

hot: Fleet Foxes

"Where Do They Go Graceful In The Morning Light"

Our love of the Fleet Foxes is highly chronicled on these pages. Fleet Foxes is probably going to be the best album released in 2008. I picked up my copy of the debut on double vinyl (comes with a repackaged Sun Giant as LP 2!) Tuesday evening from Sound Fix. And now Pitchfork has gone and given the band a much deserved 9.0. Well done. Can't wait to see these guys again in a month. Go buy it now.

Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal

Thursday, June 5, 2008

review: The War on Drugs

Three weeks ago at the Bishop Allen show I picked up a vinyl copy of The War On Drugs debut LP Wagonwheel Blues. In the weeks prior to the show, the Barrel of Batteries EP had been getting quite alot of attention from my iTunes. I was psyched for Bishop Allen, but I really couldn't wait to see The War On Drugs. Unfortunately I only caught the last 3 or 4 songs, which were all good, although they seemed a bit distant and their stage presence left alot to be desired. Luckily they had their album for sale, wayyy ahead of time (and only on vinyl!).

Wagonwheel Blues, as the title suggests, is a uniquely American record. No, The War On Drugs do not sound like a Roots or Americana act, but their sound is still intrinsically American. Filtered through 40+ years of American rock and roll, Wagonwheel Blues touches on everything from the landscape poetry of Dylan and the suburban angst of Springsteen to the fuzzed out, feed back ringing distortion of Sonic Youth and the bedroom psych experiments of the E6 collective.

Wagonwheel Blues is a storyteller record linked with sludgy melodic sonic transitions that often feel like when your head gets spacey and your body loopy from smoking too much weed and not sleeping enough...or you've been drinking for 72 hours and your mind is swaying while you try to pass out and not vomit. It's enjoyable for existing in the fog between chemical euphoria and a full on sonic coma. Which is essentially what all rock and roll records are supposed to feel like, right?

The War On Drugs- Taking The Farm

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

sweet: Chocolate USA

"Ladies and Gentleman, The Ruler Of The Universe"
Julian Koster is perhaps best known for his involvement with Neutral Milk Hotel, for which he played the Wandering Genie organ, singing saw, bowed banjo, accordion and white noise on In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Yes, he is the man responsible for those anti-gravity noises that elevate your consciousness whilst listening to NMH. He's also known for being insanely devoted to the singing saw (not a bad thing at all). While Koster has also performed under and/or with The Music Tapes, Major Organ and The Adding Machine, The Olivia Tremor Control, and Black Swan Network, we're going to focus on his first musical project, Chocolate USA. Besides having a terrible name, some sort of bizarro Elephant 6 law, Chocolate USA crafted lo-fi pop in an absurdly psychedelic way, something you'd come to expect from the E6 collective as they got older.

Chocolate USA only released two albums, All Jets Are Gonna Fall Today and Smoke Machine, but their influence on the E6 collective and modern psych-poppers is undeniable. I hear their sloppy homemade stoney pop sound in The Unicorns and The War On Drugs, and, of course, every Elephant 6 project that followed. Their Sesame Street meets Sebadoh sound is the sort of thing that could make kindergarten students dance and thirty-somethings cry in the same instance. See for yourself.

Chocolate USA- All Jets Are Gonna Fall Today
Chocolate USA- Doogie Love Theme/Wysotsky's Tea

Sunday, June 1, 2008

sunday morning music: Renfro

"Sky Talks To You, Crowd Walks With You"
This weeks Sunday morning music comes to us via UK ambient pop duo Renfro. While the name conjures visions of former Hollywood bad boy and The Client, the music couldn't be further from Hollywood, instead choosing to come from a pre-historic ice cave or a foggy, post-apocalyptic wasteland. Mort said that Renfro "makes me want to eat pills and cover myself with blankets." He's right, their glitchy, found-sound, downtempo beats are wrapped in smooth vocal melodies that feel like they would feel at home in a post-surgery pill coma, or one of those weekends where your buddy comes over with a 'script of PK's and you can't muster the nerve to say no. Renfro will release Mathematics on June 16th, a must for anyone taking a mental trip to the Himalayan Mountains in the coming weeks. Give it a whirl.

Renfro- Capture
Renfro- Invite The Bullets In