Wednesday, December 31, 2008

have you seen the Strokes lately?

they look so different! somehow, Jules looks a bit younger. and hellooooooooo Nikolai. he was always so handsome, but now he can't hide behind those golden-brown locks anymore

anyhow, everyone, be safe tonight but have loads of fun!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Morning Covers

Social Distortion - Death or Glory (Clash cover) [mp3]
this morning, my mum looked at my desktop background and asked me who that was. I simply replied "my lover".

Dead Confederate - Theresa's Sound World (Sonic Youth cover) [mp3]
this band was one of my favourite finds of the year

Fiona Apple - Across the Universe (Beatles cover) [mp3]

a classic covered by the talented Ms. Apple

Jack Johnson - Who Knows (Jimi Hendrix cover) [mp3 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]
this is actually really good.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Music Definitions: Leaves

the leaves may be gone from the trees, but they live in poetry and song.

Simon and Garfunkel - Leaves that are Green (live, NYC, 1967) [mp3]

Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves [mp3]
the polar opposite of S&G, this Canadian band opened up for My Chemical Romance at the Warfield last April. the lead singer likes to screech, but they're pretty cool.

The White Stripes - Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground [mp3]
loove Jack White. Meg kicks a lot of ass too. White Blood Cells is an excellent record.

Ryan Adams - Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (White Stripes cover) [mp3]

Friday, December 26, 2008

band of the week: The Doors

band of the week often comes down to the band I listened to a lot during any given week, and today's post is no exception

now, I know this is blasphemy, but I never really got into The Doors before.

I have been obsessively spinning the various dollar vinyl records I own (I love Amoeba), and I realized that the Doors record I had picked up was an original copy of their eponymous debut, minus the original album sleeve. anyhow, I've listened to it through a ridiculous number of times and my verdict is...


I think the reason I had never really gotten into this phenomenal band before was I never gave them proper, undivided attention. I love winter break. anyhow, I suggest you all do the same if you aren't already Doors fans and listen meticulously to some incredible music I've somehow managed to look over.

anyhow, here are some mp3s and a WEBSITE of all things Doors.

The Doors - Break on Through (to the other side) [mp3]

this one is really well known, even my uncultured 15 year old brother loves it

The Doors - Light My Fire [mp3, highly recommended!]

The Doors - When the Music's Over (live in concert) [mp3]

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Franz Ferdinand: Ulysses in studio

this is an awesome version of what has been my favourite sneak peak of the year

many thanks to Jackie at Cartoon Music For Superheroes for the heads up


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

really, now.

DMCA, play nice, I'm just trying to expose people to some good music

unfortunately, I didn't save the superlatives of 2008 but if anyone is interested, leave a comment and I will repost it (I have it written down in my music notebook)

here are the songs from the top albums of 2008:

10. Little Joy:
No One's Better Sake
How to Hang a Warhol

9. Ra Ra Riot:
Dying is Fine
Suspended in Gaffa (Kate Bush cover)

8. Liam Finn:
Second Chance
Wide Awake on the Voyage Home

7. MGMT:
Electric Feel
Of Moons, Birds and Monsters

6. Delta Spirit:
Tomorrow Goes Away
Strange Vine

5. The Virgins :
Hey Hey Girl
Radio Christine

4. The Killers:
Joy Ride
I Can't Stay

3. Vampire Weekend:
I Stand Corrected

2. Wild Sweet Orange:
Ten Dead Dogs

1. Frightened Rabbit:
The Modern Leper
Keep Yourself Warm

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hanan's Top Ten Records of the Year

This is my first year end list, and I have put much thought and deliberation into it. The sad truth is, 2008 was not a spectacular year for music. Therefore, I feel even further obligated to do justice to the handful of solid releases this year. All but two of the albums are debut LPs, that should tell you about the disappointment of returning artists this year. The top 5, I consider essential to everyone's musical library. So, here goes:

10. Little Joy - Little Joy

Fabrizio Moretti's side project was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. This album is so easy to listen to from beginning to end, bursting with sunshine-y sweet melodies. "Unattainable" is sung by their female band member Binki, and I find myself overlooking my I-hate-female-vocalists thing and really enjoying it.

click here for a -> record review

visit them on MYSPACE

9. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

Following the tragic death of their drummer, John Ryan Pike, Ra Ra Riot released a beautiful and often heartbreaking debut with lyrics that often reference their loss. In addition to the standard rock instruments, they incorporate a cello and a violin. This record is GORGEOUS. "Dying is Fine" draws its chorus from a poem by e.e cummings. You might find yourself listening to their cover of "Suspended in Gaffa" on repeat. "Ghost Under Rocks" begins like Mika's "Love Today" but the similarities end there, as it delves into a ballad which unmistakably eulogizes Pike which will give you shivers.

visit them on MYSPACE

8. Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning

The son of the acclaimed New Zealand musician Neil Finn, Liam quickly establishes that his father is not the only one in the family with talent. A genius in the making, Liam's live performances are simultaneously breathtaking and energizing, leaving the audience in awe and dancing along. Each of these songs is a GEM, but the energy of the songs diminishes as the record comes to a close. The last few songs are slow and beautiful, "Wide Awake on the Voyage Home" (the second to last track) being my absolute favourite, made even more special by the fact that Liam played it after I requested it before his show.

visit Liam on MYSPACE

7. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

It's really a good thing that they included "spectacular" in the title, I cannot find a more fitting word for this incredible record. I had initially thought this would be an album of a few lead singles and some filler but I was shocked to find that the entire album is a masterpiece. Ever wonder where the future of psychedelic rock lies? Look no further than Oracular Spectacular. While their live performances are not mind blowing, they still are a lot of fun and the duo's energy more than makes up for their lack of bravado.

click here for a -> record review

visit the band on their WEBSITE

6. Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine

I don't know how this band isn't famous yet. They excel at something which a lot of bands have attempted to do: combining the Americana, folk and rock genres BEAUTIFULLY. Originally self released with the grey album cover and later rereleased by Rounder Records in August with a new version of "Streetwalker", this is a rare band that manages to pull off a very Bob Dylan-y vocalist. I have nothing bad to say about this band, either on record or live. They blew me away this year. Do check them out.

visit the band on MYSPACE

5. The Virgins - The Virgins

For a band that pretends to be sexually inexperienced, these songs are a bit out of place: they are oozing with sex sex sex. Hailing from NYC, comparisons to The Strokes are inevitable, and the band doesn't seem to mind too much. Their bass player Nick demands your attention in lead single "Rich Girls" and all over the rest of the record. The ultimate dance record of the year, The Virgin's debut is a winner on all levels. They will chew you up and spit you out like the gum on their album cover, but you will come back begging for more. These guys are AMAZING live too, so catch em when they swing by your neck of the woods.

visit them on MYSPACE

4. The Killers - Day and Age

The Killers came back more powerfully than ever before with their third album, drawing from equal parts of 80's and futuristic sounds. A joy ride indeed, this album will leave you dazzled and confused and dying for more. The bonus tracks then step in and oblige.

for a song by song analysis of why this record owns you, click HERE

visit the boys on MYSPACE

3. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

do you remember getting hyped up on sugar as a kid? if that feeling had a musical manifestation, it would be Vampire Weekend's amazing debut record. These boys compensate for being over-educated by providing songs that anyone can dance too. Why all the haters? Because this band was hardworking and successful and produced excellent songs that brightened up the rainy season. This was going to be album of the year for a while, but it was recently replaced by two better crafted records. It still remains one of my favourite records of all time, sweet perfection from start to finish. Vampire Weekend's goals were to play classical music with rock instruments, but they throw in some African beats too. If you buy this record and don't enjoy it, I will reimburse you and then punch you in the face for being musically and human-ly retarded.

click for a -> concert review

visit Vampire Weekend on MYSPACE

2. Wild Sweet Orange - We Have Cause to be Uneasy

This debut from the Birmingham based band is heartbreaking in every sense of the word. The lyrics express the childhood anguish which is more or less universal. The guitar riffs from "Either/Or" will be stuck in your head indefinitely, and the lyric "All the things I've hated, I've been before" reminds me of "Between the Bars" by Elliott Smith: "people you've been before that you don't want around anymore". If the opener, "Ten Dead Dogs" doesn't get you hooked, nothing will. The lead singer's voice will penetrate your soul but the music will distract you from the lyrics. Sometimes I have to double back and listen to the words again, and then I am left breathless again. The album presents the ugliness of the human race in the most beautiful way possible. In a way, they redeem us for the cheating, lyric bastards that we are.

click here for a -> concert review

visit them on MYSPACE

1. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

I was first exposed to this band via the blogosphere, first hearing the songs "The Modern Leper" and "Poke" . I subsequently purchased this Scottish band's second full length album. I listened to it once, it didn't strike me as particularly amazing. Once more, I thought. Nope, no avail. I put it on my shelf, shrugging off another meh record. A fellow blogger mentioned that it was his favourite album of the year thus far, which got me to pick it back up and listen to it meticulously, poring over each note and lyric. Then it started getting under my skin. I started listening to it ENDLESSLY, on the BART, at the gym (and this is NOT your average work out album), in bed, everywhere. This album is a reality check to how modern life has alienated us from one another, but the music itself may help us come together and fix ourselves. Please please please take my advice, go out, buy this record and listen to it through five times. They don't have to be consecutive. Just make sure you give it a chance. This album surprised me, and I'm sure you'll love it too.

visit the band on MYSPACE

honourable mentions:
Beck - Modern Guilt
Ben Sollee- Learning to Bend
The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
Panic at the Disco- Pretty. Odd
Albert Hammond Jr - Como Te Llama
The Dodos- Visiter
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of Understatement
The Morning Benders - Talking Through Tin Cans
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's- Animal
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Pershing

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Morning Covers

David Grey - Smile Like You Mean It (Killers cover) [mp3]
this one, I'm on the fence about. it's decent, not as good as the original of course, but I do like it a lot at times. what do you think?

Hot Chip and Peter Gabriel - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend cover) [mp3 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

THIS IS SO SO SO COOL! it's my favourite cover at the moment, the best find in AGES. I love the line "it feels so unnatural, Peter Gabriel too, it feels so sing your own name" everyone needs this mp3. download it immediately, that is an ORDER

Emile Simon - Space Oddity (Bowie cover) [mp3]

I don't like this one at all, but I have a big bias against female vocalists. I thought some of my readers might like it.

The Black Keys - She Said, She Said (Beatles cover) [mp3]

I never thought the BK would cover the Beatles, but it makes perfect sense, Dan Auerbach is an AMAZING guitarist and it really shows here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Music Definitions: FREEDOM!

I am done I am done I am done
I kicked so much ass this semester. now, let's commemorate my three weeks of freedom (which I plan to devote to leisurely reading and listening to music and NOTHING else) with some excellent songs:

Jimi Hendrix - Freedom [mp3]
Sublime - 40 oz to Freedom [mp3]
Elliott Smith - My New Freedom (rare, unreleased) [mp3]

Sublime = Smoke Two Joints [mp3]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Band of the Week: Built To Spill

Built to Spill is like, the ultimate in indie cool. They've managed to avoid the wrath of bloggers as they have not gained too much fame, but their music is superb. The Idaho based band doesn't try to sound bigger than they are (I'm looking at you, Coldplay), and stick to steady chord progressions, some interesting guitar riffs here and there and a singer who is very comfortable in his range.

They've been together since '92 (hot damn!) and have released 6 superb LPs to date, the most recent, "You in Reverse", in 2006
"Keep it Like a Secret" is one of my favourite records, ever.

For fans of: Guided by Voices, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, Pinback

visit them on MYSPACE

Built To Spill- The Plan [mp3]

Built To Spill- Liar [mp3]
Built To Spill - Alarmed [mp3]

Built to Spill - Someday (Strokes cover!) [mp3]
they do a fantastic job here. leave it up to a great band with an ear for intricate simplicity to cover the Strokes perfectly.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The National: new album in 2010 + charity record

"we are in the early stages of making the follow-up to Boxer. We will let you know when we can what the plans are for its release, but it's likely to find its way to you in 2010."

also, two of the band members (Aaron and Bryce) have produced a charity record called "Dark Was The Night" for the Red Hot Organization that comes out on February 17th worldwide on 4AD.

All profits from the sale of the record will go to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The album features 32 exclusive tracks (!) and will be released as a double CD and on triple Vinyl.

The National wrote and recorded a new song for the record called "So Far Around The Bend". Aaron and Bryce also collaborate on the record with Bon Iver and Antony Hegarty respectively.

get your hands on it in February of 2009

The full artist list:
Andrew Bird
Antony + Bryce Dessner
Arcade Fire
Beach House
Blonde Redhead + Devastations
Bon Iver
Bon Iver & Aaron Dessner
The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
The Decemberists
Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
Kevin Drew
Feist + Ben Gibbard
Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear + Feist
Iron & Wine
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Kronos Quartet
Stuart Murdoch
My Brightest Diamond
My Morning Jacket
The National
The New Pornographers
Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch
Riceboy Sleeps
Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio)
Sufjan Stevens
Yo La Tengo

The National - Brainy (Alternate, Boxer bonus track)[mp3]

NME showcasing new Franz Ferdinand tune

I'll make it easier for you guys so you don't have to sign up for emails (I'm already on the listserve so it doesn't make a difference to me)


Franz Ferdinand- What She Came For (live) [mp3]

courtesy of

it sounds a bit like Ulysses ,but is more guitar driven, less synthy.
the verdict? I freaking love the new stuff the boys are putting out. Franz Ferdinand have yet to disappoint me, let's keep it that way!

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (their third album to date) is set to be released on 26 January in the UK, and on the 27th in the US. I will keep you posted with updates

watch the new Flight of the Conchords premiere online!


many thanks to Tastes Like Caramel for the heads up

this episode was not as funny as anything on the first season, but it is still really really good.

for those of you unfamiliar with this GENIUS show, it showcases Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, two Kiwis trying to make it as folk musicians in the big apple. the soundtrack is pure joy, but you can only really enjoy it if you've watched the show
buy the first season on dvd and start laughing your troubles away!

disclaimer: this can only be viewed in the US.

FoTC- Think About It [mp3]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Noisepop 2009 updates!

ah! I freaking love Noisepop. for those not from the SF area, it is a week long indie music/art/film festival which showcases some incredibly talented artists!

it will take place between February 24 and March 1

some confirmed bands so far are:

Stephen Malkmus, St. Vincent, Josh Ritter, French Kicks, Ra Ra Riot, Martha Wainwright, Broken West, The Morning Benders, The Submarines, Antony & The Johnsons, New Pornographers frontman AC Newman, No Age, Goblin Cock, Clues and Dear And The Headlights

visit the official NOISEPOP website for more info or for an all access pass (just a tad over 100 dollars)

see you all there!

Julian Casablancas to appear on comedy album

according to NME,

"The singer has teamed up with 'Saturday Night Live' trio The Lonely Island, aka writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone and cast-member Andy Samberg, to record 'Boombox' for the album entitled 'Incredibad'."

read the entire article on NME

all of us who have watched "In Transit" (perhaps 83 times...) are aware of how funny this man is.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Concert Review - Little Joy @ Slim's 09 Dec

LA based Red Cortez were the first opening band. They were decent, I didn’t like the lead singer’s voice very much, though. I liked that the drummer used maracas as drum sticks, that was awesome. Their fast songs were the best of the bunch, but when they played slower songs, it just didn’t work very well. When the lead singer pulled out a harmonica, it just went downhill. Stay clear of that, boys, keep up the good guitar work and you might have a chance to get signed someday. The lead singer banged the keys of the keyboard with his elbow on the last song, which I guess was meant to be cool but it was just kind of disrespectful. They had this weird energy thing going on, where they didn’t know where they belonged: slow folks-y songs or let’s-get-trashed-and-rock-out attitude. But yeah, their guitarist and drummer redeemed the set, which was a tad too long (at 40 minutes).

visit them on MYSPACE

Next on came The Dead Trees, from Portland, OR. These guys more than made up for the mediocrity of the previous band. They had everything a band should have on stage: good energy, excellent sync and an awesome sound. I would classify them as somewhat bluesy, but more edgy rock-ish. They had an extra member playing with them, bass player Tad’s brother Tory, who was on an extra drum kit and keyboards. Their songs were strange at times and tambourines were busted out in a quick frenzy, but they pulled it off somehow. The crowd was dancing along; the Dead Trees put us right in the mood for Little Joy.

visit them on MYSPACE

Little Joy was superb. They felt like a family on stage. They were having so much fun, and the crowd was LOVING it. They were joined by Matt Romono (the drummer from Albert Hammond Jr’s band) for most of the set. For the last song, “Brand New Start”, they were joined by The Dead Trees, and the three people who Fab thanked profusely (“without whom Little Joy would not have happened”): Noah Georgeson (their producer), Devendra Banhart (“the coolest fucking musician I have ever met”), and Greg Rogove. Greg later wore a scarf that we argued about, he insisted that it was Persian and not Palestinian, and I asked if he was Persian and he seemed offended. It was quite hilarious.

Despite the fact that they experienced some technical difficulties, as Fab’s guitar stopped working midway through the set forcing Binki and Matt had to keep the crowd entertained with an intermission of sorts, the set was perfect. They insisted that they kept messing up, but a few minor mistakes was nothing in the larger scheme of things. A funny point in the show was when someone yelled out “for no one’s better sake”, and Roderigo replied “we’ll play that in a minute!” and then Fab went “NO, we already did that one!”

Fab invited me and a couple of other people backstage, and I got to talk to the band, who were all SUPER down to earth. Roderigo told me that he wanted to move to the city because he really likes it here. I encouraged him to do so. I also told him that Little Joy really surprised me, as I just expected a mediocre side project-y thing, but what I got instead was one of my favourite records of the year. I told him I haven’t stopped spinning it since I first got it, after which he pulled out the record and said “ah! It’s alive!” and then proceeded to point out how cool it is that they hand engrave the number on the inside of the record. I never knew that before. Binki told me that the boys are teaching her Portuguese, but they tell her that her accent is perfect. And then Fab told me that what he loves about Little Joy is it is a lot more laid back from the Strokes (no duh haha). “Don’t get me wrong, I fucking love those guys, I’ve known them since I was 13, but the band is too obsessed with getting that perfect sound.” “Well yeah,” I said. “You are all very meticulous”. “It gets to you sometimes, though. Like tonight. We were all messing up and nobody cared. Not the band, not the fans. Everyone was having a great time”. He then offered us some beer and cookies, and about an hour later, Matt came in yelling “who ate all of the fucking cookies?!” hahaha

Set List:
The Next Time Around
How To Hang a Warhol
No One’s Better Sake
Unattainable (live at Slim's) [mp3]
Shoulder to Shoulder
With Strangers
Keep Me In Mind
*a cover of a Spanish/Portuguese song, I am sorry, I am culturally deprived and cannot identify it*
Eat At Home (Paul McCartney cover)
Don’t Watch Me Dancing
Brand New Start

4/5 because they are just that awesome

visit them on MYSPACE


want to get famous? (sort of)

the folks over at Pretty Much Amazing wanted you to know:

"Pretty Much Amazing is calling out bands everywhere (especially ones who email me wanting their material on this blog), COVER “WOMANIZER” AND GET PMA-EXPOSURE."

send submissions to

just for the record, I really hate that song but I do love PMA so that's that.

Record Review: Fall Out Boy-Folie a Deux

Folie a Deux is, quite simply, Fall Out Boy’s weakest record to date. I’m listening to my beloved vinyl copy of “Give ‘Em Enough Rope” in an attempt to get the awfulness out of my ears. Only the Clash can save me from the mediocrity of a very very very very belated sophomore slump on FOB’s part. The record not only lacks momentum, but cohesion as well. There is no powerful feeling, no tracks that really stand out, no theme or anything. Pete had claimed that the guitars will explore new territory and we might mistake it for AC/DC. Lies. They barely scratch the surface with that claim.

I think the reason I am so mad at this record is because I know how good Fall Out Boy can be. Infinity on High was GENIUS (and helloooo Take This To Your Grave.) I think that Fall out Boy is trying too hard to sound like something that they are not, and it just isn’t working for them. Why try to reinvent yourself when you were good in your niche before?

The tracks jump around with many guest vocalists and different feels in each song, but it isn’t eclectic in a good way the way that Albert Hammond Jr’s newest record is. It is just…ugh. The songs on their own are ok, but barely.

Really, Fall Out Boy, I am disappointed in you.

2/5 (this is me being generous)

Fall Out Boy - 20 Dollar Nosebleed [mp3]

When this song started playing, I thought “this sounds like Fall Out Boy trying to be Panic at the Disco trying to be The Beatles” and then I heard Brendon Urie start singing and I just laughed. I SO CALLED IT. This is probably the best song of the bunch, but that isn’t saying much, as it isn’t anything special

Sunday Morning Covers

The Raconteurs - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover) [mp3]
this one is so synthy and tasty

MGMT - Roger (Laid Back cover) [mp3 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

this one is fantastic. then again, what else could we expect from MGMT? come to think of it, Andrew reminds me of Bowie.

Mark Ronson - Just (Radiohead cover) [mp3]

more of a remix type thing but I love it all the same

Vampire Weekend - Ca plane pour moi (Plastic Bertrand cover) [mp3]

oh Vampire Weekend how I love thee. the audio quality here is a wee bit iffy but it still rocks.

Saturday Music Definitions: Cold


Poor Bailey- A Common Cold [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

this one gets a lot of repeat time. the happy guitars a la Beach Boys may even make you forget that it's winter

Margot and the Nuclear So So's - Cold, Kind and Lemon Eyes [mp3]
I recently bought a copy of Animal! on vinyl and have been a tad disappointed. maybe I just haven't listened to it enough. regardless, the next time I get a paycheck, I'm buying a copy of Not Animal

Matt Costa - Cold December [mp3]
not my favourite song by Matt, but it still outshines most of the crap that most people listen to. by a long shot.

Modest Mouse - The Cold Part [mp3]
I love old Modest Mouse. I love new Modest Mouse. I don't really like Modest Mouse (one of those three statements is false.)