Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Avett Brothers

I think it's fair to say that my desert island genre is I'd choose a Wilco, Neko Case, or Uncle Tupelo album over Death Cab any day. I just think that it is such a pure form of music. There is usually limited production (in terms of fake drums, etc.), a lot of strong songwriting, and I think that if the country business weren't a machine, it would value artists such as those listed above instead of cookie-cutter robots like Kellie Pickler and Keith Urban.

One band I love is the Avett Brothers. They play really straight-forward folk songs that I can't help but love. Their music fits every mood. "Die Die Die" is my favorite track from their latest album, "Emotionalism."

Die Die Die- The Avett Brothers

New Live Wilco!

The countdown to the upcoming Wilco album has commenced! The band not only posted the track list of the as-yet-untitled record online, live MP3's of some of those tracks have been found! In addition to the studio version of the wonderful "Wilco (The Song)," which the group performed live on The Colbert Report in December, I'm looking forward to "You and I," which is a duet with Feist. Yes, Feist. Yes, this will be the best album of the year. You heard it here first, folks.

Deeper Down
Conscript (aka I'll Fight)
One Wing
Wilco (the song)
Country Disappeared
Bull Black Nova
Sonny Feeling
You and I

Wilco (the Song)- Wilco
One Wing- Wilco
Sonny Feeling- Wilco

Enjoy! I know I am. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Loney Dear

Loney Dear is one of those bands that I've read a lot about but never listened to, for God knows what reason. They were even opening for Andrew Bird, one of my favorites, and I didn't think to look into them. What a fool I was. Anyway, today I finally got around to listening to some Loney Dear tunes and I must say, I have been missing out a looooot. Here are some top tunes from the Swedish songwriter (yeah, it's actually only one guy).
I Was Only Going Out- Loney Dear
Summers- Loney Dear

Arcade Fire's "Wake Up"- Where The Wild Things Are trailer Version

I am completely obsessed with the trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are," and one of the things I love most is the toned-down version of Arcade Fire's epic (then again, what AF song isn't epic?) track "Wake Up."

Download HERE through zshare.

New Gomez: "Very Strange"

I've been a fan of Gomez since their 2006 ATO release "How We Operate." They make catchy rock for fans of Pete Yorn and DMB but with a slightly Britpop twist. They've got a new album, "A New Tide," out Tuesday. Here's the first single, titled "Very Strange," as well as "Little Pieces," which was featured on Grey's Anatomy this week.
Very Strange- Gomez
Little Pieces- Gomez

Gomez is also a really great live band, and they have a lot of concerts up on One of the better ones is from three years ago at the Fillmore. CLICK.

The Most Fun Way to Waste Time Today

This keyboard drum machine is almost TOO fun.



As you, my millions of readers, may have noticed by the previous post, I have figured out how to add a media player to the page, I'll be posting MP3's for you to listen to/download! Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!!!

Under the Covers

I've been listening to a lot of covers lately, so I thought I'd post some good ones here. Click to play/download.

Time to Pretend (MGMT cover) by Gareth Pearson- This cover could not be more different from the original. Rather than a trippy synth-heavy disco, Pearson unravels a flowing acoustic strain bearing no resemblance to MGMT's jam save for the melody.
Time to Pretend (MGMT cover)- Gareth Pearsons

Kodachrome (Paul Simon cover) by Conor Oberst- It always surprises me to hear Conor Oberst sing a happy song, but he pulls it off wonderfully with this Paul Simon classic.
Kodachrome (Paul Simon cover)- Conor Oberst

Changes (David Bowie cover) by Seu Jorge- "The Life Aquatic" is one of my favorite movies, and I LOVE its soundtrack, mostly because of all the Seu Jorge Bowie covers.
Changes (David Bowie cover)- Seu Jorge

When You Were Young (Killers cover) by the Noisettes- This cover sticks pretty closely to the original, save for some adapted lyrics in the bridge, but I like the lead singer's vocals a lot. I've never listened to the Noisettes except for a single every now and then, but this makes me want to get into them.
When You Were Young (Killers cover)- The Noisettes

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Killers Cover Bright Eyes. No, Really.

Wowza. This is one cover I never would've predicted. The Killers do David Bowie? Sure. The Killers do Springsteen? Yeah, fine. The Killers do U2? Duh. The Killers do Bright Eyes? Whhaaaa?!??!?!?

Yeah. Brandon Flowers & Co. have recorded a cover of Bright Eyes's "Four Winds." Let me rephrase: The Killers, who make epic disco rock, covered the song "Four Winds," by Bright Eyes, who make alternative bluegrass country jams and trembling ballads.

The thing is, I actually really, really like it. The Killers transformed "Four Winds" from a rollicking, violin-heavy country tune to a spacey dance track.



R.I.P. Blender Magazine

Serving as another sign that paper/print media will be obsolete in mere hours, the Maxim-run music magazine Blender is dead. I never subscribed to Blender, but I bought copies every now and then. It always had funny lists, cool features, and, in my opinion, covered the largest range of music of any magazine around. I think Blender was probably the only rag to be well-versed in the discography of the Black Eyed Peas, Sufjan Stevens, and No Age (for example, the issue pictured above offers pieces on Leona Lewis, Neil Diamond, AND Sub Pop). Joe Levy, Blender's Editor-in-Chief (and former Rolling Stone managing editor), will take over at Maxim.

I think Amy Phillips summed it up best in this snatch from Pitchfork:
No more Blender magazine means some kid isn't going to pick up a copy at the 7-11 because he thinks Katy Perry looks hot on the cover, end up reading about Mastodon, and have his mind blown. And that sucks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ashes of American Flags

With Wilco being my favorite band, I will buy pretty much anything they release. Next month, "Ashes of American Flags," the concert documentary chronicling Wilco's 2008 winter tour (including their two dates at DC's 9:30 Club that I could not go to because they were on school nights even though one was the night before a half day so it wouldn't have even mattered if I were tired. Hi, parents.).

This is the first Wilcomentary since 2002's candid, achingly beautiful "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart," which documented the making of the band's seminal masterpiece, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." It's directed by Brenden Canty and Christoph Green, both of whom directed Jeff Tweedy's live solo DVD, "Sunken Treasure."

The two directors will be speaking in April at the Avalon Theater as part of FilmFest DC (the film will be screening at the Avalon as well).



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Be My Gun" by The Ropes

Upon first listening to "Be My Gun" by the Ropes, the female vocals reminded me of a much more distressed Mates of State. On second pass, I realized that's not an accurate assessment at all. The only thing The Ropes have in common with Mates of State is the female vocalist. "Be My Gun" is a slowly rolling number with atmospheric layers of vocals and noodled electric guitars, a driving bass line, and a large helping of introspection. Not much like the peppy pop of Mates of State at all. The Ropes are perfect for fans of The Knife and the Airborne Toxic Event.


I have been following the roller coaster ride of this film for quite some time now. I'm a huge Spike Jonze fan (and I actually got to interview him earlier this year for my school's paper. It was as cool as you would think it would be) and I love the Maurice Sendak book. FINALLY, there is a trailer. And it is incredible. Truly amazing wonderful mind-blowing wow perfect everything. The visual effects look great and even though the trailer only has snatches of the film, the cinematography looks stunning. Plus, using Arcade Fire has never hurt anything. CAN'T WAIT.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

FSRN: "So Far Around the Bend"- The National

Not only did the National compose one of the best albums of 2007 (GET BOXER NOW), they curated what could be one of the best albums of 2009 (the Red Hot compilation "Dark Was The Night"). One of my favorite tracks off of the first DWTN disc is the National's own "So Far Around the Bend." It's unusually upbeat for a National track, but the melancholy lyrics ruminating on loneliness and depression are nothing new. Enjoy.