Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Flashback Tuesday: Compulsion

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Irish band Compulsion surfaced briefly in the mid '90s with a sound that married punk agression with British pop, the highlight of which is their 1994 album Comforter. Listen -- they are a great band, but my brain is way fried right now, or else I'd have something more interesting to say about them!

Audio: "Mall Monarchy"
Audio: "Oh My Fool Life"

Monday, February 27, 2006

Birdmonster: News

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There you have it: the Birdmonster full-length will land on April 11th, and if you refer to the band's blog, you can see the progress step-by-step and day-by-day, as well as pre-order the album. The process has been a long and arduous one, but I am absolutely elated at the prospect of hearing new tunes from the guys [and seeing them on the road]! And really, you should be, too.

3/3 - Cafe Du Nord (SF)
3/6 - The Echo (LA)&
3/8 - Club Congress (PHX)
3/10 - The Cavern (Dallas)*
3/11 - The Wreck Room (Ft. Worth)
3/13 - Blacklion (San Antonio)*
3/16 - SXSW - FADER Trading Post
3/17 - SXSW - Hell Ya! showcase
3/31 - Noisepop - Slims (SF)%
4/9 - Live105 Soundcheck (SF)
5/4 - Amoeba - In Store (SF)
[& w/ Divsion Day, * w/ Tapes 'n Tapes, % w/ The Heavenly States]

MySpace: Birdmonster
"Resurrection Song"

The Eames Era @ Great Scott [Monday Feb. 27th]

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Tonight at Great Scott, The Eames Era bring their brand of sweet indie rock to a stage that will also include Drab and The Jumblies. Just think Rilo Kiley, but WAY better, and the Eames even have a red-headed vocalist!

Buy: Insound
MySpace: The Eames Era
Audio: "Could Be Anything"
Audio: "Year of the Waitress"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Morningwood @ Avalon [Saturday Feb. 26th]

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Despite the [fucking] snow falling today, expect Morningwood's show at Avalon to be really hot. Frontwoman Chantal Claret oftens strips during the band's set and has been known to encorage audience members to do the same! If singles "The Nth Degree" and "Jetsetter" are any indication, this will definitely be a sweaty night. Head Automatica is headlining.

EDIT: The show is actually at Axis, which is nextdoor to Avalon.

MySpace: Morningwood

Quick update

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I was in NYC for the past couple of days for work, so I don't have a proper post ready. Until then, check out Clever Titiles Are So Last Summer where Bethanne had me as a guest blogger yesterday. I may have taken up too much bandwidth talking about my love of Saint Etienne, but it's all good because I gave her some B-sides to post!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

SXSW Preview: Lady Sovereign

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Recent cover star of every magazine on both sides of the pond, Lady Sovereign is about to make her back to the States with the release of Public Warning this spring on Island/Def Jam and a slew of live dates, including SXSW. While the last string Ms. Harman's shows here weren't the most successful, hopefully practice will make perfect. Or maybe Jay-Z and Usher gave her some tips!

Whatever, let's just hope her shows are more like her recent Boston and NYC appearances and less like the debacles in Philly and San Francisco because you can not control the wrath of angry hipsters.

Mar 16 : SXSW Lady Sovereign & DJ Frampster (DJ SET ONLY) - URB Party @ Beauty Bar (4:00pm)
Mar 16 : SXSW Live Performance - Vice Party @ Victory Grill (7:15pm)
Mar 17 : SXSW Live Performance - Stolen Transmission House Party (Secret Location - 10:00pm)
Mar 18 : SXSW Live Performance - Fader Party @ The Levis/Fader Trading Post (2:30pm)
Mar 18 : SXSW Live Performance - MTV2 Show @ La Zona Rosa (11:00pm)
Mar 25 : M3 Summit, Miami
Apr 29 - 30: Coachella Festival, California

MySpace: Lady Sovereign
Audio: "Public Warning"
Video: "9 to 5"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Sounds: On Tour!

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So The Sounds are coming to The States this spring to hype their second album, Dying To Say This To You, which comes out March 21st! Dates are below. Get pumped for the April dates because all of them feature Morningwood.

22 - Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theatre
23 - Pomona, CA Glasshouse
24 - San Diego, CA House Of Blues
25 - Ventura, CA Ventura Theatre
27 - Phoenix, AZ Clubhouse
28 - Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
29 - Lubbock, TX Jakes
31 - Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom

1 - Dallas, TX Lizard Lounge
2 - Austin, TX Emos
3 - Houston, TX Warehouse
5 - Tampa, FL State Theatre
6 - Miami, FL Culture Room
7 - Orlando, FL House Of Blues
8 - Atlanta, GA Masquerade
10 - Washington, DC 9:30 Club
11 - Philadelphia, PA Trocadero Theatre
12 - New York, NY Irving Plaza
14 - Boston, MA Avalon
15 - Toronto, ONT Opera House
16 - Montreal, PQ Spectrum
18 - Detroit, MI St Andrews
19 - Cleveland, OH House OF Blues
20 - Chicago, IL Metro
21 - Milwaukee, WI The Rave
22 - Minneapolis, MN First Ave
25 - St. Louis, MO Mississippi Nights
26 - Lawrence, KS Granada
28 - Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
29 - Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue

1 - San Francisco Slims

MySpace: The Sounds
MySpace: Morningwood
Audio: The Sounds "Painted By Numbers"

La Rocca

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Dangerbird Records has been on quite a streak lately, and it looks like they are adding another trophy to their case with Irish quartet La Rocca. Pairing frenzied guitars with keyboards, insightful lyrics and a touch of their Irish roots, the band is looking is set themselves up for an ace 2k6! An EP is available now with an album to follow in May.

Buy: Itunes
MySpace: La Rocca
Audio: "Sing Song Sung"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Flashback Tuesday: Cibo Matto

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Cibo Matto, comprised of Japanese-born Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda, only went through one thing faster than food -- the genres that comprised their schizophrenic tunes. They formed in 1994, were picked up by Warner Brothers and dropped Viva! La Woman in 1996, which still sounds futuristic a decade on. Their sound was a mix of funk, jazz, dance, indie rock and hip-hop that came off much more cohesive than one may have expected. The only constant for them, at least on that first album, was food. Their name was Italian for "food madness" and each song on that debut disc detailed a love of some kind of food.

In what was perhaps their shining moment, the video for "Sugar Water," the screen was split into two: Miho was on the left [at the beginning of her day] and Yuka was on the right [at the end of her day] with the former moving forward while the latter went backwards. The band took what would have normally been the mundane elements of an ordinary night and made those events totally fresh and interesting.

They released Stereotype A in 1999, enlisting Jon Spencer Blues Explosion drummer Russell Simins and Honda's then-boyfriend Sean Lennon and going in a funkier and dancier direction. They disbanded a few years later with Hatori doing some work with Gorillaz while Honda produced Sean Lennon's Into The Sun and collaborated with The Boredoms on Flower With No Color.

Audio: "Sugar Water"
Audio: "Moonchild"
Audio: "King of Silence" [Dan The Automator remix]

Monday, February 20, 2006

SXSW Preview: The Others

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Despite being pegged as mere Libertines rip-offs, The Others have blown up in their native England mainly due to playing out as much as possible and their approachability. Their stunning debut album ranks as one of last year's best, possessing a sound that exists somewhere between The Strokes and Pixies with plenty of punk rock spirit. Don't miss their show at SXSW -- it will be only their second show ever in the States! It's at the Flamingo Cantina Stage on March 15th at 10 pm.

Audio: "Stan Bowles"
Audio: "William"
Video: Live in The Tube

Friday, February 17, 2006

SXSW 2k6

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Rock! A preliminary schedule for this year's SXSW was posted today. There are obviously a lot of holes that need to be filled, but this is a good starting out point for those of us that are really going to need to map out our week there.

Starting next week and leading up until the festival, I am going to be profiling a ton of bands that I am excited about through a totally genius feature I'd like to call "SXSW Preview"!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Darker My Love

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Los Anegeles band Darker My Love takes notes from such psych-rock touchstones as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Spacemen 3, yet vestiges of their previous outfits remain -- Tim Presley was in the Nerve Agents, while Andy Granelli was in both the Agents and The Distillers. A new album will be out this spring on First Time Records, but for now, check out their Summer is Here EP on Tarantulas.

MySpace: Darker My Love
Audio: "I Feel Fine"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


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North Carolina label Yep Roc is known for their quality bands that bring a healthy sense of history to the table, like The Minus 5, Bob Mould and Paul Weller. On the other hand, Chapel Hill band Cities are an entirely different lot -- they are young, brash and play crunchy indie rock with enough passion to make history of their own. Check them out on the road this spring, and look for their self-titled debut on April 18th!

02-27 Carrboro, NC - The Reservoir [w/rahim]
03-15 Austin, TX - Friends [Yep Roc SXSW Showcase]
03-15 Austin, TX - TBA [Fader Party]
03-18 Austin, TX - Yard Dog [Harp Magazine / Yep Roc Party]
03-25 Athens, GA - Tasty World [w/an epic at best]
04-14 New York, NY - Knitting Factory [w/Audible, Cataract Camp]
04-15 Bronxville, NY - Sarah Lawrence College [w/Cataract Camp]
04-28 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 [cd release party w/Fin Fang Foom]

MySpace: Cities
Audio: "A Theme"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Flashback Tuesday: Jason & Alison

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With us bloggers, most of the time our focus is on what's new, and while that is awesome, I don't want to forget about some of the great bands of the past. Each Tuesday, look for a profile about a band that has broken up or one that most of us has forgotten about. I have a ton of CDs that I used to love that are gathering dust, so it will be a good way to illustrate my musical evolution to everyone.

I am not going to reach back that far today, but this is a group that has been forgotten about nonetheless. Jason & Alison formed in the early '90s in Evanston, IL, when guitarist Jason Narducy met cellist Alison Chesley, who was studying at Northwestern University's School of Music. They released one album, Woodshed, in 1994 on Whitehouse Records of songs that range from the understated to buoyant, each tackling love and loss expertly. The duo went on the form the backbone of Verbow, while Narducy also spent time in the band On. His latest project is Rockets Over Sweden.

Buy: Woodshed [I am pretty sure this is out of print]
Audio: "Letter From Florence"
Audio: "Time To Realize"

Monday, February 13, 2006

Every Move A Picture

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San Francisco band Every Move A Picture has yet to receive much press in the States, but they have gained quite a following in the UK. Their sound melds the looseness of Duran Duran with the post-punk tendencies of Gang of Four. Their debut album should see the light of day this spring on V2 Records and you can catch them on tour with the Electric Six this spring!

Wed 03/08/06 San Diego, CA The Casbah
Thu 03/09/06 Santa Ana, CA Galaxy Theatre
Fri 03/10/06 West Hollywood, CA Key Club
Sat 03/11/06 San Francisco, CA The Independent
Mon 03/13/06 Portland, OR Douglas Fir Lounge
Tue 03/14/06 Vancouver, BC Richard's On Richards
Wed 03/15/06 Seattle, WA Neumo's
Thu 03/16/06 Boise, ID Neurolux
Fri 03/17/06 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
Sat 03/18/06 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge

Buy: Opposition Party EP
MySpace: Every Move A Picture
Audio: "Signs of Life"

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Division Day: New Songs

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Divison Day are dropping their debut album, Beartrap Island, soon and they have just posted a few new tracks for your sampling pleasure. Head over to their site to check them out, and don't forget about their March residency at LA's The Echo!

MySpace: Division Day
Audio: "Colorguard"

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Magic Numbers: On Tour

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While the rest of the UK hijacks dance punk, The Magic Numbers take a different route to our hearts by updating the sounds of late 60s California groups like The Mamas & The Papas and The Lovin' Spoonful for the 21st century. They are about to hit the road with The Elected, and they recently contributed a track to Dream Brother: The Songs of Jeff & Tim Buckley on Rykodisc.

[*- w/ The Elected]
3/15 Fort Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theatre*
3/16-3/17 Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/20 Atlanta, GA @ The Loft*
3/21 Charlottesville, VA @ Starr Hill Music Hall*
3/23 Washington, DC @ 9.30 Club*
3/24 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club*
3/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts*
3/28 New York, NY @ Webster Hall*
3/31 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick*
4/1 Chicago, IL @ Double Door*

MySpace: The Magic Numbers
Audio: "Sing A Song For You"
Video: "Love Me Like You" [Windows] | [Real Player] | [Quicktime]


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Leeds, UK band Duels are tight knit in the way that one would expect a group made up of three siblings to be, and they communicate this bond to their fans by asking them to sign up as "Young Believers" on their forums. Much like The Kinks, The Adverts or Diamond Dogs-era David Bowie, Duels take pieces of the past to build their own version of the future. Their latest single is available on Nude Recdords.

Check them out at SXSW, March 14th-19th.

MySpace: Duels
Audio: "Pressure On You"
Video: "Pressure On You" [Quicktime]

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Nine Black Alps

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Imagine Oasis getting it on with Idlewild in the back of a van driven by Nirvana, and you should have a pretty good idea of what Nine Black Alps sound like. I am excited to see that their debut album, Everything Is, will be landing in the States on February 28th from the good kids at Interscope! These guys have been through Boston twice in the past several months, and they owned each time. Expect some more US dates really soon!

MySpace: Nine Black Alps
Audio: "Cosmopolitan" [Real] | [Windows Media]
Audio: "Shot Down"

The Ricky Gervais Show

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To take a little break from music for the moment [I'll have more mp3s up later], I just listened to the 10th podcast of The Ricky Gervais Show, and again spent the better part of 45 minutes laughing my ass off. While I am a fan of Ricky's work in The Office and Extras, his role in the podcast has become almost minimal due to the rising star that is Karl Pilkington, who can be found on the right. His brilliance shines through in the fact he expresses his oddball thoughts and observations quite matter-of-factly, in a dryness that is to be expected in British comedy. Two of Karl's segments have become regular features on the show: "Monkey News" and bits from his diary, which began in podcast #8.

Check out Guardian Unlimited to download the podcasts.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Be Your Own Pet

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Be Your Own Pet have been making quite a racket both in their home state of Tennessee and the UK for well over a year, and the group is just barely out of high school. Lead singer Jemina Pearl has the voice and stage presence of a below the Mason-Dixon line Karen O., while the rest of the band exudes the wiry energy of that gangly kid who you're friends with just so he can hack into the school's computer system to change your grades. This band was INSANE when I saw them at Siren Fest this past July and reports from the field say that they have only gotten better. XL Recordings is dropping their self-titled debut album on March 13th in the UK, but I am not sure what the US date is. The Extra Extra EP is currently available through Infinity Cat.

And not that I am the biggest fan of the South, but just like me, BYOP are fans of the great Waffle House! Perhaps Jemina and I can share an early morning breakfast. Check the tour dates...

Feb 10 2006 : The Masquerade-Hell Room | Atlanta, GA
Feb 11 2006 : Cat's Cradle | Carrboro, NC
Feb 14 2006 : Space 1026 | Philadelphia, PA
Feb 15 2006 : Knitting Factory | New York, NY
Feb 17 2006 : Maxwells | Hoboken, NJ
Feb 18 2006 : Southpaw | Brooklyn , NY
Feb 21 2006 : Black Cat-Back Stage | Washington DC

MySpace: Be Your Own Pet
Audio: "We Will Vacation, You Can Be My Parasol"
Video: "Damn Damn Leash"
Video: "Let's Get Sandy"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Morrissey: Another New Track

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Another Morrissey track from the new album, Ringleaders of the Tormentors. Personally, I like this track more, but it will definitely have to grow on me. Umm, get psyched? Check out the Moz mingling with the peons! He loves us!

Audio: "Dear God, Please Help Me"


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I never really got into The Delgados, but maybe as I get older I can appreciate mellower stuff like that. For instance, check out the Guillemots because they have that mellow indie rock thing down to a science. They are a perfect band if you want to chill out and avoid checking into the wimp community with your Coldplay and James Blunt albums. Be warned, the track offered below is seven minutes long, but honestly, not a second is wasted. Currently available from them is the "Trains To Brazil" single with a new single out in March on Fantastic Plastic in the UK. The band is also coming to the US for a set of dates that include SXSW.

Mon March 13 NEW YORK Mercury Lounge
Wed March 15 TORONTO Horseshoe Tavern
Thur March 16 AUSTIN SXSW
Fri March 17 AUSTIN SXSW
Sat March 18 AUSTIN SXSW
Sun March 19 CHICAGO Il Schubas
Tue March 21 LOS ANGELES Hotel Café
Wed March 22 SAN FRANCISCO Popscene

BTW, a guillemot is a type of bird.

MySpace: Guillemots
Audio: "Sea Out"
Video: "Made Up Love Song"

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pretty Boys

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Brooklyn group Pretty Boys formed in the summer of 2004, and oddly enough, are all girls. Their debut album, Ghetto Rock, dropped on Jan. 14th and conjures sweet sweet nothings of the swagger of Guns N' Roses and the insane funk of Prince filtered through an ipod from the year 2106. Their next show is on Feb. 16th at Trash in Williamsburg [Brooklyn], NY.

MySpace: Pretty Boys
Audio: "I Wanna Dance"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Manic Street Preachers

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While they are a band that has achieved global success in much the same vein as U2 or Robbie Williams, just like the former Take That member, the Manic Street Preachers have been unable to crack the market in the States. Easily one of my favorite ten bands of all time, the Manics' lack of commercial success in the U.S. boggles my mind. Their early albums show a scrappy band that merged the best Joe Strummerisms with the grunge of the early 90s to create a sound that was not only appealing to the ears, but one that also carried a message. By the time the band released their career-defining The Holy Bible in 1995, the band's legacy was secure; they have achieved massive commercial success without marginalizing their message.

An interesting backstory to the band was that of guitarist Richey Edwards, who was troubled in much the same as Kurt Cobain. On February 1, 1995, Edwards disappeared. Many thought foul play and other believed that he ran away from success. The group splintered and then returned in 1997 to release Everything Must Go, an album that melded their punk anthems with stadium-ready rock. It has been a precarious line they have straddled since then, and the symbiosis between their socialist stance and new embrace of commercialism has at times been confusing and not easy to accept from older, hardline fans, but the band still writes great songs. The band may not be the same as they were in the early 90s, but every good bands evolves. The Clash, a band that the Manics often mirror, did the same thing and produced artistically-viable music after their commercial success.

To this day, Richey has never been found.

MySpace: Manic Street Preachers
Audio: "You Love Us"
Audio: "Nat West-Barclays-Midland-Lloyds"
Audio: "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next"
Audio: "The Love of Richard Nixon"

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Morrissey: New Track Leak!

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Morrissey has a new album out on April 4th. It's called Ringleader of the Tormentors. Pre-order it here. This is the album's first track, and it's pretty awesome.

RIYL: crying, doom, gloom

MySpace: Morrissey
Audio: "I Will See You In Far Off Places"

The Minus 5

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The Minus 5 have been kicking about for well over a decade now. The band is the mastermind of Scott McCaughey, formerly of the Young Fresh Fellows, and always features a laundry list of the finest indie-leaning musicians of the moment. The latest release comes at us on Yep Roc Records and the players include Peter Buck, Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche, Colin Meloy, Kelly Hogan, Ken Stringfellow and many others. Thankfully Sufjan Stevens was busy...

Audio: "Bought A Rope"

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Sounds

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If you are looking for a good Missing Persons/Cars/Blondie fix, look no further than Sweden's The Sounds. Their second album, Dying To Say This To You is out on Feb. 21st on Scratchie / New Line and not only one-ups the debut, but it blows it out of the water!

Oh yeah, anyone have the lead singer's number?

MySpace: The Sounds
Audio: "Painted By Numbers"
Audio: "Queen of Apology"

Tom Vek: B-sides

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Blah blah blah Tom Vek blah blah we all love him. Here are some b-side goodies. Get psyched!

MySpace: Tom Vek
Audio: "Summer Fall"
Audio: "Things Are Here To Stay"

Sound Team

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I've been rocking Sound Team a lot lately! You should most definitely pick up their Work EP if you have a sense of what's good in music. The band hails from Austin, TX and create songs that build up from your standard indie rock blueprint before making a pit stop at the thrift store to nab that old synthesizer and every cassette tape in sight.

MySpace: Sound Team
Audio: "The Fastest Man Alive"
Audio: "Don't Turn Away"