Friday, August 31, 2007

Side Project Friday

Lately I've been listening to Memphis and The Whitest Boy Alive, side projects of a couple of my favorite bands, Stars and Kings of Convenience respectively. Torq (Stars) and Erlend Øye (KoC) both have distinctive voices that I really enjoy...they're definitely in my favorite male singers pile.

Here's a couple of songs from A Little Place in the Wilderness.
Memphis - Incredibly Drunk On Whiskey
Memphis - I'll Do Whatever You Want

Leah and I were shopping in the SCAD store in Atlanta earlier this month when I heard a familiar voice over the sound system. The music sounded like Kings of Convenience mixed with dancepop, so I asked the shopgirl if it was a remix of a KoC song. "No, it's Erlend Øye...The Whitest Boy Alive." I never checked out this band when Dreams came out last year, but I'm digging the crap out of it now.

The Whitest Boy Alive - Fireworks
The Whitest Boy Alive - Don't Give Up
The Whitest Boy Alive - Burning

Have a fun Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Josh Ritter

This is the blog entry where I stand up on my soapbox and proclaim my love for Josh Ritter. I think he's the king of Americana right now, to be rivaled only by the formidable Brooklyn songsters Hem. But this blog is about how much I love Josh Ritter. Right. To this day, I can't tire of 2004's The Golden Age of Radio, and Hello Starling's "Kathleen" is enough to make any girl weak-kneed. Show me a woman who isn't wooed by that song and I'll show you a woman with a heart of stone who is insusceptible to flattery:

"All the other girls here are stars
You are the northern lights
They try to shine in through your curtain
You're too close and too bright...

And I won't be your last dance
Just your last goodnight
Every heart is a package
Tangled up in knots someone else tied...

I'll be the one
To drive you back home, Kathleen"


It was hard to pull myself away from "Other Side" and "Harrisburg," but I finally left them alone long enough to listen to The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Hyperbolic title? Maybe. I mean, most definitely, and for the best Ritter album it's got some stiff competition, but it's worthy in its own right as a more straight-up rock record than his previous efforts. And once again, I'm smitten.

Here's a few favorites from the new record:
The Temptation of Adam, a more folky and traditional sound for Ritter. Yum. I dig the horn intro.

Rumors, I think this one has gotten the most attention of all the songs on the new record, and rightly so. I love the lines "And the string section's screamin' like horses in a barn burning up" and "Can't seem to forget you 'cause the music isn't loud enough."

Real Long Distance, a fun rocker tune with pounding keys and skronky horns.

You can, of course, pick up the record at all your favorite record stores and my favorite, the insanely cheap Do yourself a favor and check out the other albums mentioned, too. It's love at first sight for folkies.

Oh, and:

That's what happens when you ask Mister Ritter to "smile stupid" with you.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs

Pinback will release Autumn of the Seraphs on September 11. I've got to say, I really don't like the album artwork or title at all. It seems like the work of one of those girls who are obsessed with angels and dark know, the sort that have a large selection of angel statue photography on their myspace profiles. Not really my bag. Thank goodness the music on the album is classic Pinback and it doesn't sound like the tunes that might be more at home on a record called Autumn of the Seraphs. So far I'm digging "Bouquet" and "Blue Harvest" the most, but those tracks are not label-approved for posting so here's the promo single instead, along with my 2 favorite Pinback songs from previous albums.

Pinback - From Nothing to Nowhere

Pinback - Crutch
Pinback - Penelope

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

what's next: the ninja cheerleader jumprope edition

The Go! Team's music makes me want to jump rope double-dutch style...if I had ever actually mastered that skill in elementary school. Double dutch and rope climbing were the bane of my third grade gym class experience. But I totally rocked the square dancing portion of the class! You haven't truly lived until you've experienced the full sass of my California Twirl.

Proof of Youth comes out September 11.

The Go! Team - Grip Like a Vice
The Go! Team - The Wrath Of Marcie

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

what's next: the low-key edition

Today was a big release date with Architecture in Helsinki, The New Pornographers, Josh Ritter, Earlimart, Minus the Bear, M.I.A., and Rilo Kiley all sharing space on the new release shelf of your favorite record store. But these days you can listen to an album weeks before its street date if you so desire and the cries of "what's next?" start before the ink has dried on the digipaks...the big music wheel keeps on turning and CD's keep on burning. So let's take a look at a few upcoming releases.

Sambassadeur is putting out a new single on August 28.
Sambassadeur - Subtle Changes

Also on August 28, Sally Seltmann, the songwriter of Feist's "1234," will release Somewhere, Anywhere under her New Buffalo moniker.

New Buffalo - Emotional Champ
New Buffalo - It's Got to Be Jean

On September 26, Jose Gonzalez will follow up his widely-praised Veneer with In Our Nature.

Jose Gonzalez - Killing For Love
Jose Gonzalez - Down The Line

Warning: the "Killing for Love" video could induce nightmares...

The Most Serene Republic are giving us a new Population on October 2.

The Most Serene Republic - Sherry and Her Butterfly Net

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Night Drive with a Healer after a Dark Day In the City

I have no clue how I discovered Chromatics. Some days I download every mp3 I come across on ye olde internete, then I don't listen to them for a few days and I don't remember the origin of the file. But anyways, I downloaded "Night Drive" and dug it, so that led to a search for more from the band. This is dark, sexy music with haunting female vocals, string sections, and drumpads.

Chromatics - Night Drive
Chromatics - Dark Day
Chromatics - Healer
Chromatics - In the City

Chromatics myspace
Chromatics blog

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Asleep At Heaven's Gate

Rogue Wave's got an album coming out next month...September 18 to be exact. Asleep At Heaven's Gate is keeping in the same vein as Descended Like Vultures, so it looks like the band's sound hasn't been affected by changing from Subpop to Jack Johnson's label. I've given the album a few listens but so far, I prefer Descended Like Vultures. Maybe it will be a grower.

A trio of songs in the theme of places (real or imaginary)
Rogue Wave - Lake Michigan
Rogue Wave - Chicago x 12
Rogue Wave - Phonytown

Preorder Asleep at Heaven's Gate at Insound and get a free 7" with the album!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

short posts are better than no posts, right?

I hate to end my blogging hiatus with such a short post but most of the time it's better to just let the music speak for itself anyway. Check out the sweet indie pop/rock of Brooklyn-based Via Audio. Jim Eno of Spoon produced their first album, Say Something, which is set to debut on September 25.

Via Audio - Presents
Via Audio - Modern Day Saint