Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Music Definitons: Beirut

I don't have access to my mp3 collection right now because there are mean people on the internet who like to infect other people's computers so I'm going to share my new favourite youtube video instead:

Zach Condon has got to be the most worldly, well rounded musician around these days. I want a new tour!


this is pretty incredible too:

The Strokes Post #51

no, Jules, that most definitely does NOT sound like Coldplay.

Band of the Week: Robbers on High Street

most people discount how important a good band name actually is, especially for emerging bands not yet signed to a label (also known as indie muahaha)

to name a few great bands whom I began listening to because they had cool names: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, and The Muslims (although they are now known as The Soft Pack. lame.)

enter Robbers on High Street.

the setting, late December 2007
the main character? me.
the quest? to find cool shows to go to in January.

so, I'm browsing various venues' websites and I come across the name "Robbers on High Street". I look them up, am immediately smitten with "The Fatalist", and then proceed to purchase their album Grand Animals at my beloved Amoeba.

However, as I was perusing the band's website a few days later, I realized that they didn't have any tour dates posted. I check the venue's website again for specifics, and, I realize,

that show was in January of 2007.
as in the year before.

so, you see, I never actually got to see Robbers on High Street,
but I managed to learn about this very cool NY based band (as all of the best bands hail from the big apple) in the process.

I never got around to listening to their debut, Tree City, but I just pulled out Grand Animals again and have been transported to a very happy place.

for fans of: Cold War Kids, Modest Mouse, Spoon

Robbers on High Street - The Fatalist [mp3]

Robbers on High Street - Across Your Knee [mp3]

visit them on their cyberspace portal we deem a "website"

Friday, April 10, 2009

concert review: The Airborne Toxic Event @ Slims 08 April 2009

I'll keep this short and simple:
I was not all too impressed Wednesday night by The Airborne Toxic Event. While I quite liked their record, they failed to deliver an impassioned performance, which I was expecting. The problem was, while I was at the concert, I couldn't decide whether they were good or bad, or neither, because I'd get bored, but then, randomly, there would be like 15 seconds of super awesome aural pleasure.

I don't want to write off their live set, but I kind of have to. Their songwriting is good, but they somehow manage to make the live set sound flatter than the record. They had a good attitude, though, and were engaging with each other (dancing, being playful) and with the audience (who weren't dancing or really showing any signs of enjoyment). The highlight of the set was "Something New", as well as seeing their bass player play with a bow. That was kind of rad.

The verdict? good, not great. definitely not a deal breaker but sure to please die-hard fans


I was, however, super blown away by the opener, a band from LA called The Henry Clay People. They had great energy, good punk sensibility and a rockin' drummer. I will post more about them soon, after I've had time to digest the two albums I bought from them.


set list:

The Henry Clay People:

SPIN names top 10 albums of 2nd generation musicians

I'm disappointed that they didn't include Liam Finn or Sean Lennon (I'll be Lightning and Into the Sun are both excellent records), but was happy to see Jakob Dylan's Bringing Down the Horse (a la The Wallflowers) and Jeff Buckley's Grace (I didn't even know that his dad was a musician)

the rest of the list is kind of meh, check out the photo gallery of the list HERE

10. The Wallflowers, Bringing Down the Horse
9. Norah Jones, Come Away with Me
8. Charlotte Gainsbourg, 5:55
7. Damian Marley, Welcome to Jamrock
6. Rufus Wainwright, Poses
5. Nancy Sinatra, Nancy & Lee
4. Hank Williams Jr., Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
3. Jeff Buckley, Grace
2. Roseanne Cash, King's Record Shop
1. Nas, Illmatic

The Strokes Post #50

this is a clip from In Transit in which Nikolai beats up Albert, saying "yo bitch, yo bitch". This is incredibily hilarious, especially because Nikolai only ever speaks one other time (in the "housekeeping" scene). SO out of the maybe 8 or 9 words he utters during the entire film, two of them are "yo bitch"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hockey on tour with Friendly Fires + HEADLINING SF DATE!

catch them at Rickshaw on the 17th! I'll be there. I was SUPER mad that I missed The Virgins at Popscene last December, even moreso when I found out that Hockey opened the show.

I posted them as BAND OF THE WEEK a few months ago.

visit the band on MYSPACE

here's a complete list of dates:

4/10 - Beatnik Studios - Sacramento, CA #
4/11 - The Partisan - Merced, CA #
4/13 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA *
4/14 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa, CA *
4/15 - The Loft @ UCSD - San Diego, CA *
4/16 - Cellar Door - Visalia, CA #
4/17 - Rickshaw Stop - San Francisco, CA #
4/24 - The Roundhouse (MTV "Camden Crawl") - Camden, UK
4/25 - Bristol University - Bristol, UK *
4/27 - Manchester Academy 2 - Manchester, UK *
4/28 - Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton, UK *
4/29 - Waterfront - Norwich, UK *
4/30 - Forum - London, UK *
5/1 - Southampton University - Southampton, UK *
5/2 - Digital - Brighton, UK *
5/3 - Custard Factory - Birmingham, UK *
5/5 - Leeds Met University - Leeds, UK *
5/6 - Studio 24 - Edinburgh, UK *
5/7 - OMU - Glasgow, UK *
5/8 - Red Room - Nottingham, UK #
5/11 - Black and White @ Plug & Play - Reading, UK #
5/12 - Clwb Ifor Bach - Cardiff, UK #
5/13 - The Cellars - Portsmouth, UK #
5/14 - The Great Escape - Brighton, UK #
5/16 - The Great Escape - Brighton, UK #
5/24 - Sasquatch Music Festival @ The Gorge - Quincy, WA
6/11 - Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Manchester, TN

* w/ Friendly Fires
# Headlining date

James Morrison: new video + tour dates

I really like James Morrison. His debut album Undiscovered, is a gem; the followup album Songs for You, Truths for Me (released last year) is quite good too. His voice is very soulful, like a more edgy Ray Lamontagne.

he's just released a music video for his song "Broken Strings", watch below:

tour dates:

April 18th – Indio, CA Coachella
April 19th – Phoenix, AZ Martini Ranch
April 20th - Tucson, AZ Rialto Theater
April 23rd – Dallas, TX Granada
April 24th – Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
April 25th – Houston, TX Warehouse Live
April 27th – Atlanta, GA The Loft
April 28th – Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom
April 30th – New York, NY Webster Hall
May 1st – Montreal, (Quebec) Canada Cabaret
May 3rd – Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
May 4th – Ann Arbor, MI Blind Pig
May 5th – Indianapolis, IN The Vogue
May 7th – Toronto, (Ontario) Canada Opera House
May 9th – Las Vegas, NV The Palm w/ Jason Mraz

The Strokes Post #48

my computer crashed last night. I managed to salvage my school files this morning (in safe mode), but only after much frustration.

here is a song which adequately describes how I'm feeling:

(posted from my work computer)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Franz Ferdinand cover Britney

sorry guys, I cannot wait until Sunday to post this.

Franz Ferdinand - Womanizer (Britney Spears cover) [mp3]

Alex Kopranos has done a magnificent job of converting a very annoying song to something extremely palatable. kudos, sir.

Ryan Adams is experimenting with drugs


I cannot stop laughing. Oh, Ryan, how I love you so.

Killers frontman disses Nirvana frontman on anniversary of his death

(this is a couple of days old, I only just came across it)

via NME

The Killers' Brandon Flowers has blamed Nirvana and Kurt Cobain for making rock music depressing. Despite the seminal grunge frontman dying almost 15 years ago to the day (he took his life on April 5, 1994), Flowers lambasted Cobain. "I don't mean it in a bad way but I think Kurt Cobain and grunge took the fun out of rock and roll," he said. However, Flowers says that he thinks his band is now making American music "a lot more playful and brighter" (Daily Star).

The Strokes Post #47

I love the beginning of the video: "drinking, drug taking, fornicating"
oh, Jules.

Automatic Stop is a great song. Most people don't appreciate Room on Fire, and even of those who do, I've met a bunch of people who don't like this song. What's wrong with these people, you say? Everything.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nico Vega on Carson Daly

Beast on Last Call with Carson Daly

very impassioned performance.

new Oasis song

it looks like a work in progress.

according to NME, it was recorded during a soundcheck

it's just Noel and an acoustic guitar but it's pretty cool. it's a lot softer than anything on Dig Out Your Soul.

io echo playing BOTH in May

Bottom of the Hill doesn't have an email list, so I have to check their website periodically to find out about new shows.

the show is on May 11th. for $10, you get to see the following:

-Sonny (singer from From First To Last)
-io echo
-Dan Sena
-Dead Sara

tickets can be purchased in advance HERE

the following mp3 has been popular around these parts, download it if you haven't already:

io echo - I want you (she's so heavy) (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

according to their MYSPACE, they also have upcoming San Diego, Anaheim, and Las Vegas shows. catch one if you can.

The Strokes Post #46

Albert and Nick get interviewed by a horse. They don't seem too happy about it.

Beirut's first album: rare, unreleased, untitled.

according to,

Condon has recorded before: when he was fifteen and under the name of Realpeople, he made an electronic record, fashioned after his love for The Magnetic Fields. Condon was a straight-A student until he dropped out at the age of 16 to travel Europe in a drunken haze, cavorting and partying with the locals wherever he ended up.

Realpeople/Beirut's very first album is called The Joys of Losing Weight

here's a description from the site I downloaded the album from:

"This album has never been released, is not available for sale, and has never been seen or heard by anyone other than a handful of people who have personally received a copy of this record. It pre-dates all of his work with Beirut and does not bear any influence of the Balkan/Eastern Gypsy sound that he has become reknowned and critically acclaimed for; however, it's a highly precocious album that's steeped in amazing melodies draped against a backdrop of synthesized electronica: imagine an entire electronic/experimental album in the style of Scenic World with Zach's distinctive vocals and the occasional appearance of his famous brass instrumentation."

now, I've gone and made this very easy for you guys, I have an mp3 of a very good piano driven song that you can sample, and a zip file with all 21 songs on it. it took me forever to download it, but it was well worth it. it's gorgeous and unrefined, not in a grungy way but in a oh-he's-definitely-experimenting-and-learning-in-the-process way. it sounds very much like the new EP, Realpeople Holland, and I love it.

warning: if you aren't already a big fan of Condon's work, or if you absolutely hated Realpeople Holland, I would get super well acquainted with Gulag Orkestar before trying to tackle this. and, just for the record, the recently released double EP sounds a LOT better on vinyl. I dunno what it is, something about the compressed mp3 file doesn't do Beirut justice.

Beirut - Untitled 12 [mp3]

Beirut - The Joys of Losing Weight [zip]


the following three sessions have managed to slip my attention. I need to read my RSS feed more closely...




Sunday, April 5, 2009

an AMAZING version of "Postcards from Italy"

"Postcards from Italy" by Beirut was THE song that initiated my shameless love affair with Zach Condon. by love affair, yes I mean obsessive listening rampage.

I've been listening to a lot of his live performances, and I just realized, in the following mp3, starting at 2:15, Zach begins to sing in Italian! or at least I think it's Italian, that's what it sounds like, and it would make sense, given the title of the song

anyhow, give it a listen for yourself, it's beautiful! and, if anyone knows Italian and would like to share what Zach's singing, that would be much appreciated

Beirut - Postcards from Italy (KLRU studios 2007) [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

The Strokes Post #45

"We are not here to save rock'n'roll! Please quote us on that. We're not going to change your life, and the way everyone is idealizing our arrival on the scene is ridiculous. Look, the bottom line is the music. That's it. Simple."

-Julian Casablancas

Sunday Morning Covers

Muse - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (Frankie Valli cover) [mp3]
Muse are so rad.

Gavin Degraw - A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover) [mp3]

The Kooks - Kids (MGMT cover)[mp3]

I know I've posted this before (multiple times), but I just love it so much.

Voxtrot - Heaven (Taking Heads cover) [mp3]

of Montreal - Rain (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

The Beatles - Boys (Dixon/Farrell cover) [mp3]