Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Twilight Sad: A Scottish invasion.

The Twilight Sad live up to their hyped publicity. Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters is jam packed with thick, full-layered tunes. With a thick Scottish accent that is apparent on the album, James Graham voice and lyrics both provide the perfect ingredient to accompany the album's thorough instrumentation. P4K gave it an 8.6. I picked it up via eMusic. Here is one of the strongest songs on the album.

Cold Days From the Birdhouse

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

January Reviewed

I know its late, but some of these cd's i just got last month.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
At first listen, one can easily get red-faced and want to grab Alec Ounsworth by his receding head. However, I know it seems like the new trend, but this album is completely different. (the whole apples and oranges cliche'). P4k said it best in that it seems like the social anxietous Ounsworth may have put out an album aimed to throw off some fans. The album starts off with a great song with a recording that is hardly bearable to listen to. Here is a non-static version that is much better Some Loud thunder. Anyway, back to the album as a whole. I like it. (there I said it) It is not catchy at all but a pretty good album nonetheless. Granted it takes a few listens, but gems like "Emily Jean Stock", "Underwater (you and me)", "Yankee Go Home", "Five Easy Pieces" get things going. I will say the first version of "Underwater" is much better. I will post it one day when I get it on this computer. "Five Easy Pieces" does not even have any words per se, yet I love it. Once you get past the lyrics in "Satan Said Dance" and just realize it is a fun song, one will realize it too is a gem. In sum, this is a dark album but a pretty good follow up to a near perfect first album. Good/not great.
Grade B-

Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer
I have talked this one to death. Just buy it. Kevin Barnes wrote this album in a state of depression after his woman left him. Jeez tell her to leave him every year. Then, they song was on an Outback Steakhouse commercial. Next, his meat and potatoes were on Pitchfork at a vegas show and now has agreed to sell the pics to Playgirl. Now, Of Montreal are doing Karaoke shows. Finally, they were just recently on Conan with the best/weirdest national performance I have ever seen. These guys are relentless. Meanwhile back at the ranch, perfect album for a band I really did not even like before. See, "A Sentence...." "Suffer from Fasion" basically 1-8 will blow your mind. Amazing album.
Grade A

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Once again, a tough follow-up scenario is at hand from near perfect Chutes Too Narrow. James Mercer and the boys try the slow route to hook us. I feel similar about this album about CYHSY's Some Loud Thunder. At first listen, I thought it was weak until gems like "Sleeping Lessons," "Phantom Lamb," "Australia," "Turn on Me." shine through. I absolutely love these four. "Sea Legs" and "Split Needles" are just behind these. The album needs more upbeat songs though. Good album, not great. Grade B-

Works in Progress

Menomena - Friend and Foe
Just started listening to this album. Sounds great so far...will keep you posted.

Youth Group - Casino Twilight Dogs
First listen sounds good. Will let you know. Great version of Alphaville's "Forever Young"


Monday, April 16, 2007

The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine

After seeing The Thermals open for The Hold Steady, I knew I must get their latest cd. The Body, The Blood, The Machine is absolutely fantastic. Intertwined with heavy distortion and punk rock, TBTBTM is a definite rocker. With as much energy as any Hold Steady cd, TBTBTM has numerous catchy tracks leaving you singing to yourself all day. You may have an initial problem with his voice but that problem will soon vanish. Mp3-->Here's Your Future

Great Wilco Article

Great Article Here

Friday, April 13, 2007


The National Join Arcade Fire for U.S. Dates


In what's being described (by me) as the record nerd double-bill of the second quarter, yarn spinning Brooklynites the National will bring seven loads of urban grittiness to the pomp and circumstance of the smoldering Arcade Fire, as the National have been announced as the opener for a string of previously-announced Arcade Fire dates.

With Neon Bible-thumpin' and Boxer vs. Alligator debate concurrently reaching fever pitch, these will be hot tickets, for sure. Or rather, were hot tickets, as most of the shows are sold out already. So expect to give a scalper something you'd only give your significant other on his/her birthday.

In other Arcade Fire news, their "Keep the Car Running" single drops May 5 in the U.S. In other National news, they're touring with Arcade Fire. OMFG 4 REALZZZ.

Arcade Fire and the National:

05-01 Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Civic Centre Theatre
05-02 Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
05-04 Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall
05-05 Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
05-07 New York, NY - United Palace
05-08 New York, NY - United Palace
05-09 New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall (High Line Festival)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Arcade Fire B-Side

Arcade Fire released a B-Side from Neon Bible on Vinyl. Someone converted it.....Broken Window

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday's New Releases

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes puts out Cassadaga on Saddle Creek. The album has received mixed reviews. A 6.0 from P4K and an aggregate score of 75 metacritic. Some critics rave and some downplay. As a big fan of Bright Eyes, I have a feeling I will like it. No One Would Riot for Less
Blonde Redhead - 23 - Blonde Redhead is a very ambient sound. Compare to My Bloody Valentine.
23 - MP3
The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies. I am going to download this from emusic. At first listen it sounds similar to Andrew Bird. P4K gave it a respectable 7.7.
P4K Review Get Up, Get Out Mp3

Monday, April 09, 2007

Jason Isbell leaves Drive-Truckers

Drive By Truckers' most talented member, Jason Isbell, has left the band. The bad news is that this is a huge blow to DBT. The good news is for Jason. In case you are not familiar, Jason wrote and sings "Outfit," "Danko/Manuel," "Decoration Day" "GD Lonely Love" and "Never Gonna Change" and others. Clearly being the most talented singer/songwriter, Jason will not regret this decision. I recently wondered why he hasn't already left and started a band on his own. He will be releasing a new solo CD, Sirens of the Ditch, on July 10th. Check out some of the tracks on myspace. Both DBT and Isbell claim it is an amicable split. Full announcement from the band is here.

Two Live Jason Tracks:

Dress Blues (of his upcoming record)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Summary of March

With the month like we had thus far in music, it's time to reflect back on the releases that unveiled in March this year. Here are my mini-reviews of each.

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Absolutely incredible album. Starting off with the torque drenched, "March Into the Sea," this is Modest Meat at its finest and is one of the harder tracks on the album, which is followed by radio-friendly "Dashboard," which is also a top track on the album. Stoner anthem "Fire It Up" is incredible. I could keep going but it would be too thorough. James Mercer adds great touches to favorites like "Missed the Boat" and "Florida" Basically 1-7 are amazing...add "Little Motel" and "Spitting Venom" (an epic which I have ran into the ground) and you have a classic album. The only songs I am not just going crazy over is "Fly Trapped in a Jar" and "Invisible," however they are growing on me. Grade - A

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Arcade Fire sophomore effort is a slower tempo-ed even darker album than Funeral. However, it is an amazing album. Highlights include, "Keep the Car Running," "Anti-Christ Television Blues," "Intervention." Weaknesses of the album include "My Body is a Cage" (which is growing on me). Although I love the album, I still feel they could have done better...see "Power Out" and "Rebellions(Lies)" While I know it is like comparing apples to oranges, I don't find myself oohing and ahhing over it like I did with Funeral. This might be because I enjoy upbeat music more. I do love the album, I just wish there were more faster tracks that seem to make me keep coming back for more, and craving certain songs. Grade B+

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
The Bird comes through in the clutch. This album is Andrew Bird at his finest, and is very up-tempo combining whistling, violins, mandolins, guitars and Martin Dosh's drums and effects. Highlights include "Dark Matter" "Fiery Crash" "Heretics" "Simple X" and "Plasticities" All highly recommended.
Grade A-

Son Volt - The Search
As I have nearly given up hope for my oldest obsession, Jay Farrar comes back with a pretty solid album. Although the album starts off with the weakest song on the cd, the rest of the album is non-comparison. The album is very diverse. It is mixed with poppy upbeat rock tunes ("The Picture"), Slow country steel guitar ballads ("Highway and Cigarettes")and middle of the road rock songs. "Adrenaline and Heresy" somehow points to Death Cab's "Different Names for the Same Thing" or "Transatlantacism." Highlights include "Circadian Rhythm," "Adrenaline and Heresy," "Beacon Soul," and "Methamphetamine" Grade B-

Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Although I do think this album is brilliant and unique, I feel it loses its luster after a while. I do enjoy popping it in every now and then but it is not something you can just put in anytime. In accord with the theme of this is a little slow for me. Highlights, "Bros," "Comfy in Nautica" I also think sometimes critics just decide on an album that they are going to rave about, which leads me to the next album..... Grade - C+

LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver
This album is not as good as the critics say. Although I do LOVE "Someone Great" and "All My Friends" the rest of the songs are just pretty good...not great.
Grade - C

I know no one leaves comments but I would love to hear opinions.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The National: Boxer reviewed.

One of the best blogs out there had wonderful things to say about The National Boxer. I can't wait. Review and Interview with The National I know it has leaked, but I am going to try to wait it out. Here are some Mp3's All the Wine (early)

Jay Jokes of a Reunion.

Q&A with Jay Farrar of Son Volt pretty funny. The whole article can be found here at the Chicago Tribune.
Q. You've been in bands starting with Uncle and Son. Will you start one for Grandpa?

A. Nope, but people often ask about an Uncle Tupelo reunion, and I think the Uncle Tupelo reunion that would really make sense to me would be if we do it when we're in our 70s. Uncle Tupelo can go out the way it came in, just playing for 10 people--at the nursing home barbecue.

Q. Do you own any Wilco records?

A. I do not, no. Do you?

I do.

Also, America's Bar Band, The Hold Steady is on the cover of Paste this week

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Hold Steady loves the Twins

The Minnesota Twins marketing guy asked The Hold Steady to do a version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" to be played in between innings. Story
Video here