Saturday, April 18, 2009

Your Guide To the Twitterverse: Musician Editions

Since Twitter is apparently taking over the universe, I think it's important that I educate you all on the best musicians to follow. Get a-twitterin'...

Lily Allen: Lily is currently on tour, so her tweets are mostly rhyming riddles leading fans to spots where she has hidden pairs of tickets.

Jay Reatard: Pretty average tweets about his day-to-day routine. Lots of comments about food and music, plus odd punctuation use.

Edward Droste (of Grizzly Bear): Fantasizes about rolling in Wayne Coyne's hamster ball and posts tour/album announcements. Also tweets about strollin' through NYC.

Colin Meloy: Mourns closing book stores, makes up NPR names, celebrates Record Store Day. Pretty much exactly how you would imagine Colin Meloy's mind working.

John Mayer: Enthusiastic, self-absorbed and funny. Lately he's been hosting contests to see the unusual tattoos (and offering signed guitars or handwritten song lyrics as prizes!).

Amanda Palmer: Currently, lots and lots of Coachella updates! Other than that, lots of pictures and sarcasm.

Ted Leo: Favorite songs, pictures of his travels, funny exchanges with other tweeters.

Asher Roth: Weed, sports, and self-promotion.

D.A. Wallach (of Chester French): Pretty much just self-promotion.

Skye Skjelset (of Fleet Foxes): From-the-road tour updates, gets really excited about seeing Natalie Portman walking her dog.

Robin Pecknold
(of Fleet Foxes): From-the-road tour updates, favorite movies, puppy-love for Leonard Cohen.

Mates of State: Commentary on favorite cities, cute motivational sayings.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Get On Out for Record Store Day!

It's tomorrow!

Here's some of the goodies that will be on sale at stores...CLICK

more info...CLICK

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Neko Case on Letterman

Neko performed "This Tornado Loves You" on the Late Show last night. She killed it and looked awesome at the same time.

Doctor Rosen Rosen Remixes Eminem

For every Top 40 hit there are at least 100 remixes, but only a handful are ever worth giving a listen. Earlier this year when Britney's "Womanizer" was dominating the charts, I heard remixes left and right, but most were stale takes on the already awesome (Don't dispute this. Fact.) original. However, Doctor Rosen Rosen produced one that caught my ears- in fact, I've listened to it more than the original. DRR also produced a remix on a song I felt should never be tampered with- Department of Eagles's "1997." Of course he pulled it off though, and it's awesome.

Anyway, DRR is at it again with a remix of Eminem's latest, "We Made You." DRR's version transforms what was a tacky, carnival tune into a grimy electronic jam splattered with synth jabs and thick beats. Honestly, I hate "We Made You" (Worst lyrics of 2009. Fact.) but DRR's take is so cool and creative I can't help but love it.

Get it off zShare HERE.
To hear Doctor Rosen Rosen's other remixes, check out his MYSPACE.

New Death Cab- The Open Door EP

Death Cab for Cutie's "Narrow Stairs," the muscular, hook-filled follow-up to their major label debut, "Plans," was one of my favorite albums of 2008- and probably my most-listened. It is one of those albums that progresses in a positive musical direction without abandoning what made the band great in the first place.

"The Open Door," the new five-song EP from Death Cab, keeps the robust hooks and textured arrangements that made "Narrow Stairs" such a pleasure to listen to. While many EP's are just throwaway B-sides from an album, the four new tracks on "Door" sound just as strong, if not stronger, than any song off of "Stairs."

"Little Bribes" kicks the EP off with a jaunty march propelled by Jason McGerr's throbbing drums and Ben Gibbard's heart-on-sleeve lyrics. Gibbard is a very skilled songwriter, but his lyrics are usually only recognized on acoustic ballads like "I Will Follow You Into The Dark." On this EP, though, his lyrical ability is on full display, as are his signature lilting vocals. On "A Diamond and A Tether," Gibbard ruminates on his fear of relationships with lines like, "I've got this habit I abhor/ When we go out I'm always watching the door/ As if there's someone I'm gonna see who could outdo the things you could do to me," and "You can't hold out forever/ Waiting on a diamond and a tether/ From a boy who won't jump when he falls in love/ He just stands with his toes on the edge/ And he waits for it to disappear again." Gibbard continues to express anxiety over commitment on the aching, jagged "My Mirror Speaks." Above layers of chugging bass (courtesy of Nick Harmer) and Chris Walla's lushly arranged guitars, Gibbard delivers his lines with stinging lamentation. Death Cab is a traditionally melancholy band, so even their upbeat songs are coated in a Smiths-esque blanket of remorse. "I Was Once A Loyal Lover" epitomizes this with neurotic, diary-worthy lyrics washing over its buoyant sound. Closing out the EP is the ukulele-accompanied demo version of "Talking Bird." On "Stairs," "Talking Bird" was heavy and sluggish, but here it's charming and wistful.

"The Open Door" EP is a perfect follow-up to "Narrow Stairs," so much so that it feels more like an extension of the album than a collection of songs salvaged from the cutting room floor.

Favorite Line: "All my friends are forward thinking/ Getting hitched and quitting drinking." (from "I Was Once a Loyal Lover")

I Was Once A Loyal Lover- Death Cab for Cutie


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Dave Matthews Band- Funny The Way It Is

DMB is one of my favorite bands to listen to in the summer, so this new single couldn't come at a better time. "Funny The Way It Is" is off the the upcoming "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King," an album recorded in tribute to late band member LeRoi Moore. So far, so good. "Funny" is a available as a free download HERE so get it while it's hot!

Also, check out the trailer for the album right here:

Also, "Big Whiskey" is now in the running for my favorite cover art of the year.

Crooked Fingers feat. Neko Case- Your Control

When I saw Neko Case last week, Will Sheff opened, but for most of her current tour, Crooked Fingers is the opening act. I'd never heard of Crooked Fingers before but I looked into them (a friend of Neko is a friend of mine!) and I found this awesome track called "Your Control" featuring Neko. It's a pretty straight-up pop rock song but as usual, Neko's voice brings it to the next level. "Your Control" inspired to me to look into other Crooked Fingers songs. This is definitely a band I can see myself getting into. Now I sorta wish I had seen both night of Neko so that I could have heard CF live!

Your Control (feat. Neko Case)- Crooked Fingers
Call To Love- Crooked Fingers

Monday, April 13, 2009

Susan Boyle. No Words.


Demetri Martin Live at the Warner Theater- 4/11/09

When Mitch Hedberg died in 2005, he left behind a void in the comedy world for witty, observational one-liners to be told with awkward bemusement. While no one can ever live up to Hedberg's legacy in that department, Demetri Martin is doing a pretty good job. Through his stand-up shows and his great Comedy Central series "Important Things with Demetri Martin," Martin has breathed new life into the genre. During his show Saturday at the Warner Theater, Martin's one-liners were on full, hilarious display.

Taking the stage at promptly 10:30 while wearing a white t-shirt with the slogan "Person" in block letters, Martin had the crowd at "Hello." His jokes, told at a steady pace but leaving enough room in between to allow for laughter from the audience, were spot on and fresh- there were only three or four repeats from his show.

When Martin moved to his signature "Large Pad," a, duh, large pad of paper, to do jokes centered around minimalistic charts and sketches, the fanboys in the audience went crazy with anticipation. They were appeased when jokes about correlations between karaoke and skiing (both are more entertaining when the person is either amazing or awful) were hysterical. Similarly, when Martin grabbed his guitar or sat down at his keyboard to perform jokes with musical accompaniment and crowd was extremely appreciative and Martin returned the favor with more witty lines. Toward the end of the set he took requests for old and popular jokes. Despite the fact that I'd already heard them, I couldn't help but laugh more. His observations are still funny the third time over.

I know some people who don't care for Martin's comedy, but I find him easy to love. Between his moptop haircut and smiling delivery, I can't help but laugh at everything that comes out of his mouth. He just seems like the type of person you always want to be hanging out with. He even has no douchebag tolerance! There were a few loudmouthed drunks present at the show who kept shouting things at him, but Demetri's responses were always dead-on and hilarious. When one girl was shouting something about her fiance, Martin asked her name, she said "Katherine." He responded saying, "Katherine with a 'K,' a 'C,' or a 'S-H-U-T-U-P'?" When a few guys in the balcony were shouting annoyingly, Martin asked if there was a douchebag-only entrance in the back that he was unaware of.

Anyway, my friends and I laughed for a solid two hours during the show to the point that our torsos were hurting. If you aren't already a follower, check out Demetri's Comedy Central show (it just ended but I'm sure there will be re-runs this summer).

**I know this isn't a music review, but he played guitar and stuff so it counts!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New St. Vincent Video- Actor Out Of Work

I've always heard really good things about St. Vincent but of the clips and tracks I've heard of her music, I've never loved it. However, I heard some good things about her upcoming album, "Actor," so I decided to give her music a second chance. I'm glad I did. The latest song of hers is "Actor Out Of Work." The juxtaposition of the chunky, distorted guitar and synth behind her sweet, airy vocals makes for a really funky tune. I've fallen in love with this song and it's inspired me to go looking for the rest of her stuff.

Also, I love the music video. It features actors trying to cry on command while Annie Clark (St. Vincent) sings with a straight yet dramatic face (if that makes any sense...). It reminds me a lot of this short film on Encyclopedia Pictura called "The Competition" where people compete to cry on command. To reach "The Competition," go to Encyclopedia Picture, then click HTML (or Flash, doesn't matter I guess), then click "Working With Wholphin," then click "The Competition."

Actor Out Of Work- St. Vincent

Under the Covers #2

Some covers for Easter! Enjoy.

Live Your Life (T.I. feat. Rihanna cover)- Just Jack: The British singer-songwriter (who reminds me of Jack Penate to no end) did a pretty good job covering T.I./Rihanna's summer hit. He brings the tempo down but does his best to rap. The results are surprisingly not-awful. Probably just because his accent is cute. Whatevskis.
Live Your Life (T.I./Rihanna cover)- Just Jack

Every Breath You Take (Police cover)- Frankmusik: I posted about new electronic/dance artist Frankmusik one or two weeks ago and since then I've discovered this cover of the Police classic. I'm not sure I like it enough but it's a pretty original take with a strong 80's vibe.
Every Breath You Take (Police cover)- Frankmusik [MediaFire link]

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding (Elvis Costello cover)- Chris Cornell: While Chris Cornell's latest album, "Scream," is a laughable collaboration with Timbaland, it's important to remember that Cornell actually was an actual artist with actual talent. I love this cover of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," which is arguably my favorite Elvis Costello song (and that is a close race, let me tell you).
Peace, Love, and Understanding (Elvis Costello cover)- Chris Cornell

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover)- Death Cab for Cutie: Covering the Smiths is a risky business indeed. Morrissey's voice is so integral to the band's sound that hearing another voice sing his music oftentimes sounds so wrong I just need to shut it off. That being said, I actually really enjoy this cover of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" by Death Cab for Cutie. It's interesting because as I would say that Morrissey's voice is necessary for the Smiths, Ben Gibbard's voice is equally essential to Death Cab's sound.
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths cover)- Death Cab for Cutie

Speaking of covers, I'll be posting a review of the new Tera Melos cover EP, "Idioms Vol. I" so stay tuned!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs on SNL

Yeah Yeah Yeahs performed last night on SNL and played new killer single "Zero" as well as old classic "Maps." The sounds wasn't superb on either, but they band sounded awesome nonetheless. Nick Zinner's shredding on "Maps" was awesome and I was glad to see Karen O. sporting the studded "KO" leather jacket from the "Zero" music video. Seeing them on SNL has only added to my anticipation for the band to release tour dates!!!! MP3's of the performance below for your iPod enjoyment.

Zero (Live at SNL)- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Maps (Live at SNL)- Yeah Yeah Yeahs