28 February 2007

Music Around the Web

Bradley's Almanac has posted a compilation celebrating seven years of the 'Nac; it includes Starlight Conspiracy, a new song from Charlene, the Madelines song that gave the site its name, Starlight Conspiracy, and so on. He's even put 'em all in a handy zip!

Hear Ya has a sampler of mp3s from SxSW bands.

Lala is streaming live performances from Noise Pop, including John Vanderslice, Damien Jurado, French Kicks, Snowden, and Midlake.

Grist has a playlist from Al Gore.

Raghav Gupta has an interesting article highlighting changes and predicting more in the music business on GigaOm.

Tripwire reports that Telefon Tel Aviv is releasing a CD of rare remixes.

I like Califone.

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27 February 2007

Top o' the Mailbox : Thailand

Thailand is another datum supporting the comeback of Cure-style bombast: keyboards fizzing with effects, unbounded reverb, and a certain fey attitude in the vocals are all getting to be staples of the indie-er side of music. Thailand is an electro take on this, sometimes verging on the toytronica, and their December release Motorcade (which can be bought on their Myspace page) is a strong debut. It should be noted that the album was mastered by Dave Cooley, who's also worked with Silversun Pickups, Long Distance Runner, and Dangermouse (on the Grey Album, I believe). Bergerac is the most immediately appealing, with the luscious, drama-queen sweep contrasting nicely with the world-weary lyrics; This Officer's Life is a compelling, tinsel rock shout, as well--none of it is music to be listened to sitting down, or in sweatpants, in any case: it demands glitter somewhere.

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20 February 2007

Earworm: TV on the Radio - Modern Romance

Modern Romance is TV on the Radio's stickiest song, more so than anything from Return to Cookie Mountain; it reminds me of sitting on top of the dryer as a kid, and feeling that buzzy wum wum wum wum vibrating through me.

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It's a Josh Ritter Kind of Day

It would seem, since Chromewaves is covering his show in Toronto last Thursday, and Kwaya Na Kisser posting his live set from KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, the world is in agreement. The Animal Years makes up most of the set, but Other Side (from Golden Age of Radio) makes a welcome appearance as well. Josh looks so much like a young Tom Waits that it always surprises me how edgeless his sentimentality is; this is clearest in a live cover of Chelsea Hotel, which is played quietly and soberly, downplaying its anger.

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15 February 2007

Earworm: M. Ward - Vincent O'Brien

This, it seems, is the song that plays in your head when you wake up at five o'clock on a day where six inches of water have frozen solid in all the places you want to walk.

M. Ward - Vincent O'Brien, from Transfiguration of Vincent

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14 February 2007

Myspace Find: Caitlin Frame

Caitlin Frame is a recent Myspace find; she has some of the pleasing swing of Aimee Mann's vocals, but melodic phrases are executed with less hesitation. She's also the subject of Band in Boston's new set, which means everyone who missed her set at Abbey Lounge last night can get filled in.

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09 February 2007

Song of the Day: Belle & Sebastian - A Space Boy Dream

It's hard not to dismiss Belle & Sebastian as unbearably twee, the style change in A Life Pursuit notwithstanding. They're so boppy and hair-floppy most of the time that a flash of imagination like A Space Boy Dream is a tremendous surprise. Particularly given how rarely spoken word really works; but there's a hypnotic flow to this track that fits the dream setting well--or maybe it's just Stuart Murdoch's accent.

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08 February 2007

New Music: The Glass Set

The Glass Set's CD Something Unknown showed up in my mailbox, languished awhile on my desk, and then found its way into my ears. I'm glad it did, because it's in the vein of Metric, minus some of the aggro: sharp, stylish, angular music heavy on the attitude. Maybe less devastatingly elegant than Metric, but maybe also with more sounds to offer. It was difficult to choose the song to post: Telescope's beat is smart as military buttons, but Something Unknown has a nice, graceful flow in the vocals; Tradition won out as the favorite for the moment, with its easy, catchy bounce.

It seems they're playing at Castle Greyskull in Allston tomorrow night. Good timing on their part, or mine, or someone's.

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07 February 2007

Earworm & Upcoming Show: Alexi Murdoch

Alexi Murdoch's 2006 release Time Without Consequence is one of those nice CDs where the tracks take turns: each time I listen to it, a different one strikes me. This time it's Home; its lyrical repetition contrasts nicely with the evolution of the sound, from cozy and acoustic at the beginning to the rougher, more impressionistic end.

Alexi Murdoch has a show with DJ Carbo and Midnight Movies at Great Scott tomorrow night, as part of the Fenway Recording Sessions series.

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06 February 2007

a'tris @ Tommy Doyle's

Local favorite a'tris (now semi-local) had their most recent show at Tommy Doyle's on Friday; I couldn't make it, but now there's the next best thing: the whole live set! Conquer All, Difficult Time, and Orion are the new songs, and the rest are off of Appeal. Mason's habit of peeling the middle to end of phrases into the back of his throat becomes obtrusive in Conquer All, but Difficult Time is classic a'tris, nimble and stylish.

a'tris @ Tommy Doyle
File 01ConquerAll.mp3
File 02GhostintheCloset.mp3
File 03DifficultTime(St.PaultheEvangelist).mp3
File 04CactusBride.mp3
File 05EvadetheUnavoidable.mp3
File 06GreenLand.mp3
File 07Orion.mp3
File 08YouMadeTheDecision.mp3
File 09NoSuchThingasSilence.mp3
File 10Duality.mp3
File 11Compassion.mp3
Provided by

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05 February 2007

Earworm: Decemberists - The Sporting Life

This is one of those persistent earworms that resurface every couple of days; the rollicking sock-hopper sound disguises the bitterness of the lyrics, in the frozen moment of a fall on an athletic field. The Sporting Life has less of a historical setting than most of the songs on Picaresque, but it's no less a comedy-of-manners song.

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Not Music: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Trailer


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01 February 2007

Earworm/Unexpected Cover: Sun Kil Moon - Ocean Breathes Salty

Kozelek's Tiny Cities keeps surprising me: applying the Patented Kozelek Sound--dreamy, melancholy, and gentle--to a whole album full of bombastic, jagged Brock songs is about as unexpected a move as you could find. And yet somehow, they work surprisingly well. Ocean Breathes Salty is remarkable for this, as well as hearing the furious couplet "You tell me what you want and I'll tell you what you get/ You get away from me. You get away from me" in Kozelek's melting, meandering tenor. But upon rereading the lyrics, it's an unabashedly sentimental song: "Your body may be gone, I'm gonna carry you in/In my head, in my heart, in my soul/ And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both live again/ Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Don't think so."

I wouldn't have expected that from Modest Mouse, but this is what covers are for: revisiting perceptions of a song through a different lens.

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Ist - I Am Jesus (And You're Not)

I get some odd things in the mail, and ist is certainly one of them. I am Jesus (And You're Not) (from 2005's King Martha) is brash and freakishly energetic with the occasional demonstration of admirable dexterity. The rest of their catalog has more to offer than dexterity: it's a gnarly, more relaxed Modest Mouse sort of sound, with only a touch of this reconstructed-new-retro punk sound; and it's good listening.

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