Saturday, October 4, 2008

Andrew Bird: new mp3 + track listing

now, the cool new song "The Master Swarm" which Mr Bird played at Outside Lands held us over for a while, but now we get more!

Andrew Bird - Oh No [mp3]

Noble Beast is set for a 27 January release.

1. Oh No
2. Masterswarm
3. Fitz & The Dizzyspells
4. Effigy
5. Tenuousness
6. Nomenclature
7. Not A Robot, But A Ghost
8. Anonanimal
9. Natural Disaster
10. Confess
11. Souverian
12. On Ho

that's cute, his first and last songs are inversely related. I adore word play.

visit him on MYSPACE for tour dates and other cool stuff.

Saturday Music Definitions: Under Pressure

I am in the midst of midterm season, which for an English major entails hours on end WRITING and READING hundreds and thousands of pages of texts, respectively. I swear, it requires so much more effort than just memorizing facts, which is what is required of most other majors.

anyhow, I apologize for the sparse blogging, I'll come back full throttle with reviews and such soon, I promise

now, there is only one song which adequately describes my situation, and it's Under Pressure. enjoy.

David Bowie and Queen - Under Pressure [mp3]

now, I will watch the Cal/Arizona state game while working on my Philosophy take home midterm.

one last thing, I actually really like the MCR/Used cover. it's a lot of fun. not as good as the original, of course, but I have a weakness for Gerard Way's voice. hear it below:

Friday, October 3, 2008

Band of the Week: Frogs in Fire

my familiarity with French music is probably limited to Daft Punk and Justice, but this is a rock band that totally kicks ass.

they have a bunch of covers on youtube, including an excellent cover of Last Nite by The Strokes:

they're not on tour or really producing anything at the moment, but I thought I'd share them because I liked their sound.

For Fans of: Kaiser Chiefs, The Strokes, The Libertines

visit them on MYSPACE to hear more

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

calling all American readers:

watch this video. I hope you're already registered, if not, I hope this helps sway you. Sarah Silverman is so great.

I know this is a music blog, but this election is huge. you have musicians backing Obama everywhere you turn

anyhow, go out. rock the vote.

Kasier Chiefs cover MGMT

this rendition of Time to Pretend is really cool! I love that covers of MGMT songs are always vastly different from the original, but still quite tasty.

I need to get my hands on "Off with their heads" (their forthcoming record, to be released on the 20th)

Noel Gallagher: Ryan Adams' version of Wonderwall is superior

I'm reading the newest issue of Spin, and in an interview, Noel responds to the claim that Liam hates singing Wonderwall by saying: "I hate him singing it too. Liam doesn't sound like he did ten years ago. Your voice and your body change. We've never got it right. It's too slow or too fast. I think Ryan Adams is the only person who ever got that song right. I'd love to do the Ryan Adams version. but in front of 60,000 Oasis fans that wouldn't be possible" (Oct 2008 issue pg 70)

now, I know this will make me feel bad when I hear them at the Oracle in December, because you know they will play it.

anyhow, I do adore the Ryan Adams version. enjoy it below:

Ryan Adams - Wonderwall (Oasis cover)

it's a good interview. you can read it online for free by flipping to page 70 in the digital version of Spin

Noel also tells Spin of how drugs helped him right brilliant songs, and how he thinks Radiohead are full of crap

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Virgins on Letterman TONIGHT

catch em on your telly at 11:30. well, more like 12:25, but whateves.

gotta love these guys. their eponymous debut is fan-fucking-tastic. I actually reviewed it in my notebook, maybe I'll post it here later.

they're on tour with the Black Kids. check them out on MYSPACE!

The Virgins - Rich Girls (EP Version) [mp3]

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Airborne Toxic Event bites back.

Pitchfork has a record of being really quite bitchy and excessively critical when it comes to record reviews. Their recent review of ATE's eponymous debut was not spared from their wrath, getting a 1.6/10 rating. Now I had never heard this band's music before (I do remember their name, but never heard any songs), but the following letter got me listening to them. And I've got to say, I like what I hear. Now, as soon as I scrounge up a couple of bucks (thank you Killers show for eating up the last of my money), I'm gonna head down to Amoeba and get the record. So expect a review within the next couple of weeks.

Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight [mp3]

visit the band on MYSPACE

here's the letter:

Dear Ian,

Thanks for your review of our record. It's clear that you are a good writer and it's clear that you took a lot of time giving us a thorough slagging on the site. We are fans of Pitchfork. And it's fun to slag off bands. It's like a sport -- kind of part of the deal when you decide to be in a rock band. (That review of Jet where the monkey pees in his own mouth was about the funniest piece of band-slagging we've ever seen.)

We decided a long time ago not to take reviews too seriously. For one, they tend to involve a whole lot of projection, generally saying more about the writer than the band. Sort of a musical Rorschach test. And for another, reading them makes you too damned self-conscious, like the world is looking over your shoulder when the truth is you're not a genius or a moron. You're just a person in a band.

Plus, the variation of opinions on our record has bordered on absurd. Most of what's been said has been positive, a few reviews have been on the fence and a few (such as yours) have been aggressively harsh. We tend not to put a lot of stock in this stuff, but the sheer disagreement of opinion makes for fascinating (if not a bit narcissistic) reading.

And anyway we have to admit that we found ourselves oddly flattered by your review. I mean, 1.6? That is not faint praise. That is not a humdrum slagging. That is serious fist-pounding, shoe-stomping anger. Many publications said this was among the best records of the year. You seem to think it's among the worst. That is so much better than faint praise.

You compare us to a lot of really great bands (Arcade Fire, the National, Bright Eyes, Bruce Springsteen) and even if your intention was to cut us down, you end up describing us as: "lyrically moody, musically sumptuous and dramatic." One is left only to conclude that you m ust think those things are bad.

We love indie rock and we know full well that Pitchfork doesn't so much critique bands as critique a band's ability to match a certain indie rock aesthetic. We don't match it. It's true that the events described in these songs really happened. It's true we wrote about them in ways that make us look bad. (Sometimes in life you are the hero, and sometimes, you are the limp-dicked cuckold. Sometimes your screaming about your worst fears, your most trite jealousies. Such is life.) It's also true that the record isn't ironic or quirky or fey or disinterested or buried beneath mountains of guitar noodling.

As writers, we admire your tenacity and commitment to your tone (even though you do go too far with your assumptions about us). You're wrong about our intentions, you're wrong about how this band came together, you don't seem to get the storytelling or the catharsis or the humor in the songs, and you clearly have some misconceptions about who we are as a band and who we are as people.

But it also seems to have very little to do with us. Much of your piece reads less like a record review and more like a diatribe against a set of ill-considered and borderline offensive preconceptions about Los Angeles. Los Angeles has an extremely vibrant blogging community, Silver Lake is a very close-knit scene of bands. We're one of them. We cut our teeth at Spaceland and the Echo and have nothing to do with whatever wayward ideas you have about the Sunset Strip. That's just bad journalism.

But that is the nature of this sort of thing. It's always based on incomplete information. Pitchfork has slagged many, many bands we admire (Dr. Dog, the Flaming Lips, Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids, Black Kids, Bright Eyes [ironic, no?] just to name a few), so now we're among them. Great.

This band was borne of some very very dark days and the truth is that there is something exciting about just being part of this kind of thing. There's this long history of dialog between bands and writers, NME ripping apart the Cure or Rolling Stone refusing to write about Led Zeppelin -- so it's a bit of a thrill that you have such a20strong opinion about us.

We hear you live in Los Angeles. We'd love for you to come to a show sometime and see what we're doing with these lyrically moody and dramatic songs. We're serious about this stuff. You seem like a true believer when it comes to music and writing so we honestly think we can't be too far apart. In any case, it would make for a good story.

all our best--

Mikel, Steven, Anna, Daren, Noah
the Airborne Toxic Event

Sunday Morning Covers

today, in honour of the whole UK vs US music power struggle that kind of re-exploded after this NME article, I will post US bands/artists covering UK ones and vice versa

Kate Nash - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You (Black Kids cover) [mp3]
I think it's adorable how she sings "dance". I'm overlooking my usual dislike for female vocalists in this case, it's a pretty decent cover

The Flaming Lips - Life on Mars (David Bowie cover) [mp3]

The Flaming Lips? Bowie? can you have anymore psychedidelic-y goodness? I think not.

Panic at the Disco - The Weight (The Band cover) [mp3 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!]

and, I know this is cheating because The Band is Canadian, but what the hell, I've been listening to this song on repeat for ages. it is mind-fucking-blowingly good. really, listen to this rendition of the much covered song, and tell me that Panic are not growing musically at an exponential rate.

Ben Folds - Lost in the Supermarket (The Clash cover) [mp3]
really, this is too adorable. yes, I SAID A CLASH SONG IS ADORABLE. well, the cover anyways =)

Arctic Monkeys - Baby I'm Yours (Barbara Lewis cover) [mp3]
mmh. Alex Turner makes me melt.

The Kooks - Kids (MGMT cover) [mp3]
I think that I've posted this before, but it's so good that I'm reposting it. Luke + acoustic guitar = love. this song is so much fun to behold live (well, MGMT in general are pretty amazing live AND in studio), The Kooks give it a surprising twist.

and, of course, the song that has encited so much "it's better than the original" controversy:

Ryan Adams - Wonderwall (Oasis cover)

I love both Ryan and Oasis. I adore Wonderwall. I might maybe prefer Ryan's version a wee bit, but my musical favouritism fluctuates like nobody's business. Plus, I've been kind of obsessed with Ryan the past couple of weeks. His voice is heavenly.

I enjoy good music, and both the UK and the US produce ace tunes. Granted, I'm exposed to more crap here on the US homefront (when I was home for the summer my brothers would play Chris Brown or Rhianna if they wanted to punish me or just piss me off) but I'm sure the UK has its share of lousy music. Oh, and one last thing, I am most definitely moving to Canada if McCain wins the election. Which is NOT going to happen. Just had to put that out there.