Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Music Definitions: Soldier

this post was inspired by my favourite Jack White project, The Raconteurs.

The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers [mp3]

The Kinks - Tin Soldier Man [mp3]

Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier [mp3]

John Lennon - I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier [mp3]

Muse - Soldier's Poem [mp3]

The Doors - The Unknown Soldier [mp3]

Beck - Soldier Jane [mp3]

Oasis - Soldier On [mp3]


Andrew Bird - Fitz and the Dizzyspells [mp3]

"so soldier on, soldier on!"

The Strokes Post #209

I'm crying a little bit right now. in so many ways, this epitomizes the opening lyrics to "Someday"..."in many ways, they'll miss the good ol' days"

it has to be said again, we love you Albert. so so so much.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Band of the Week: Calypso

For fans of: Black Lips, Spoon, The Strokes, Television (and great 70’s punk in general)

The world is a dangerous place, filled with shit music everywhere and anywhere you turn. Sometimes, even the indie world can’t escape the mundane. You must therefore be vigilant, and guard your ears with good music at all times.

Enter Calypso. This Brooklyn-based band (previously known as Blonde Acid Cult) has a knack of creating songs that really get under your skin. Their debut EP, Teen Age, is composed of four killer songs: not melancholy, not pensive, just really a potent dose of excellent guitar-fueled lo-fi don’t-give-a-fuck sound that will make your bloodstream vibrate even while you’re sober.

The music hits you hard, it’s loud, unapologetic and relentless, and you’ll double take when you pay attention to the lyrics, especially in EP opener “Casually Sad Mercedes”. “I will spoon feed you Chuck Berry, but if you won’t try, I won’t see”. The songs are screaming with the frustration of the feeling of helplessness which ALL of us have experienced when other people cannot grasp good music. For most of us, music is the most important thing in our lives, and yet we are forced to be surrounded by people with awful taste, reveling in tripe on the radio and g-d awful products of the Disney Channel.

“Son of a Gun” is casually repetitive, emulating the grunge sound which the band cites as an influence.

“Oh Santiago” reminds me why I love Black Lips so much, and why all the best bands come from NY.

“Post 100 Pills” is urgent and fun, like an unholy union of Beach Boys and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This EP gives you a chance to strengthen your grip on the ever slim pickings that is good music. Hold on to it, because nobody else will ever understand.

Calypso- Casually Sad Mercedes [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

I love the delivery of the line: “then you fucked my skull”. This song is extraordinary to the nth degree. I can tell that they will deliver a killer live show, just by hearing this song.

buy the EP HERE
visit the band on MYSPACE

here's a track from their days under a slightly more interesting moniker...they seem to have adopted the track title as their band name.

Blonde Acid Cult - Calypso [mp3]
awesome, right?

The Strokes Post #208

I was looking through my Strokes cds yesterday, and remembered how much I love the album art for this single. Also, the font for "Clampdown" is green and pink, which is an extra tribute to the greatest Clash album ever. The first, and more important tribute, of course, is the b-side cover of the song.

The End Has No End [click to watch the music video]
much love to Ryan, Eva Mendes, and Mila Kunis.


Lissy Trullie and Adam Green - "Just a Friend"

I know it isn't Sunday yet but I just came across this and HAD to share it.
two incredibly gifted and under-appreciated musicians covering a classic.

Thursday, September 17, 2009



Julian Casablancas - 11th Dimension [mp3]
[UPDATE: you hungry hippos ate ALL of my bandwidth, so I uploaded it again, only this time, it's the "full" 4:02 version. enjoy]

I want to make love to this song, it is SO FUCKING GOOD. why can't all experimental music be this HAPPY? seriously, this is simultaneously tropical like Little Joy, catchy like J.U.S.T.I.C.E and dark/race-y like Arctic Monkeys. there's some great hip-hop sensibility, and crescendos like nobody's business. AND IT'S FUCKING JULES. his voice makes me melt, always. there's SO MUCH GOOD STUFF GOING ON, get listening!

Katzen, you are an incredible person and I want your home address so I can send you some homemade fudge.

Classic Track Thursday

Pavement - Summer Babe (Winter Version) [mp3]
from Slanted and Enchanted, the band's 1992 debut.

there are rumours of a Pavement reunion

I don't have much time to write right now (gotta go get ready for work) but I think it'll suffice to say that Stephen Malkmus and Pavement turned the music world upside down. along with Sonic Youth and Pixies, they were the bread and butter indie music of the 90's, and continue to fascinate young listeners and artists alike.

side note: a newer band I like, called The Henry Clay People, have a lead singer with a very similar voice to Malkmus. they also sound like The Replacements, which means they are double awesome.

The Strokes Post #207

Albert, you beautiful boy, we all hope you're ok.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Strokes Post #206

this one's for Allie.

1:32 is where it's at =)

interview: Phoenix

I was recently contacted about a really cool project going on called TOPMAN CTRL, where "each month a different band takes charge and edits the blog all month and we interview them in depth. The band then curates a gig of their top new bands. This month is Phoenix...Phoenix will follow in the footsteps of past Controllers; Black Lips, Sam Kilcoyne of Underage, The Rumble Strips, Lightspeed Champion, Ladyhawke, and Metronomy who have all curated highly acclaimed events for Topman CTRL."

check out the website HERE and read the interview with Phoenix's lead singer Thomas Mars below! it's a lengthy but incredibly good interview; he even mentions Slim's, one of my favourite venues ever!

Theo (interviewer):
1. Well it’s a little bit of an unusual interview I suppose because we’re not talking about the band so much, but talking about kind of information about what you like, musically, and you know, things that inspire you, things like that.
So, if I could just start, basically the first, it's divided up into four sections, and so the first section is where we ask you to pick out some new bands that you recommend to the readers, so do you have a couple of new bands, one or two, that you could recommend to us?

Er, yes, I have one, well the thing is I am not sure, some are already almost famous and some, are not

Right now, one of the CD’S I’m mainly listening the most to is the dirty projector one, the album is called Bitte Orca, and it's great because there are a lot of bands that are coming out that are making music that is very complex, and it's not easy and they still manage to be successful, which makes me think that we are living, it’s a good time because musically they wouldn’t have had a chance a couple of years ago maybe

2. Yeah, so what is it specifically about the sound of the dirty projectors, apart from that it’s complicated?

It’s just so complex, I love it because it's very unique and it's recognizable instantly, you know every instrument, or every voice, the way they use it is so unique that you know it's hand crafted and yeah it's just something that’s coming out of nowhere which is very inspiring, it's very fresh...And at the moment there’s a French band I like called Fortune [this band has remixed Phoenix's "1901"...check it out!]

3. Okay… The Dirty Projectors I did know but fortune I don’t know so maybe you could tell me a bit more about them.

Yes, Fortune are very, unknown actually, they are just starting but they are, they have a sense of, they way they arrange their music is almost like, a candy shop, everything is very sweet, the whole thing is full of, it's very fresh and it's very, well it's basically a mix between classical music and modern pop music, yeah, it’s a recent thing that people should know

4. Cool, well the second section is called, it's like a music map, so we’re gonna you, and I’m meeting all the other guys tomorrow in Versailles, just to give us some places, around the world, that are kind of special to you for music, so it could be, you know a record shop that you like, or it could be a venue somewhere, or, you know a festival somewhere, so you know do you have some kind of places like that, that you can tell us about

Berlin is a special place because it's where we recorded our first record. It's really like the only time we felt like we were on…To make the record really fast, because it put it put us in an uncomfortable situation, and at the same time, the idea of being a foreigner and what makes you uncomfortable helps make it beautiful you know, the beauty of the city, it's very inspiring, and so that was a place where we recorded

5. Was there a specific place in Berlin where you were staying, or where you were recording?

Yeah, it was a studio called Planet Rock, but with a Roc, it's an old studio for East Berlin Radio

And it’s the only place where we can record two things to make our different material. It’s the only place that has this, one booth in the middle, and it's truly abandoned, it's truly empty, and you can really create some thing.
I think we, what we like is we like to go in places where you can, you can own them and they have a history, then you can still create something that’s yours.
In relation to like a very fancy, like you have the gold records on the wall, that’s something, that’s a place that we couldn’t record in.

6. How did you find this place in Berlin, did you hear about it or, see it one day or..

We went to go there because you know, we saw that it was appealing, and one day we were on tour and it was the last show of the tour was in Berlin in Germany and we had to drop our equipment in Berlin and that day we just visited studios and we found this place and we just decided to stay for three months.

7. [How about Venues?]

I always like in San Francisco they have a venue that’s called Slim's and it's kind of the ultimate rock club in a way, it’s a small club, it's really where you can, connect with people the most, where you, it's just the ultimate rock club, and it’s a place that we’re looking forward to coming back to and we have to play there because it's just, you feel that you know, it’s a place where you could have gone when you were a teenager and you could have seen bands and been inspired and..

8. Is it an old place?

Yeah but it's, it's also America.
Everything is pretty good about it, you know like the whole staff, the chefs, they make a point, like that they really care about you, it's nice, it doesn’t feel like you’re in the industry, it feels like you’re really something special

9. Okay, so even though, the band is obviously getting bigger but you still like to play the small venues best

Well I love contrast, I think it's great when you, well we still love to play the really big venues but then, there is something special about the small clubs, and I think that every band always comes back and they always play small shows because it’s the best type of show

10. Yeah, of course, okay, well that’s enough for the map part, the third bit is about your favourite albums, they could be classic albums, albums from your childhood, or they could be albums that you like now, but I guess what we’re kind of interested in is the story about why you like the album, so if there’s a reason, or if it was specific to a time, or a place, or you know, do you see what I’m saying?

Okay, there is one by Iggy Pop and James Williamson, it’s called ‘Kill City’, and I love it because I really feel like it was made just for me. It really came at a time where it was exactly what I needed

11. Yeah, when did you first hear it?

I think maybe, when I was a teenager, maybe in 96’ or something, and it’s a record that we love, because it's more than a record, it was like a possibility of, suddenly a lot of elements that were considered like very bad taste, like saxophone or some synths, or just some chords, they sounded the best now, and so they were familiar, it's basically a messed up piece made with insanity.
I know he probably made this record when he was in an asylum and he would go out on the weekend and re-record this record on the weekend.

12. And did you feel like you could take those elements and put them into your own music, or did it just inspire you in a different way?

It just inspired us because everything about it, from the lyrics to the artwork, everything is, I felt like it was the best mix, you know like visuals and the daring thing about them, and at the same time it had the quality of the beach boys or something with the songwriting, so it was really a record that we love.

13. And how did you very first hear the record, did somebody give it to you, or did you hear it on the radio?

It was (someone) in the band who, I think he must, maybe you can ask him tomorrow but I think he must have bought it because the vinyl we had was like a limited edition, it was one that was white and transparent green, and I’m not sure why he bought it but you can ask him.

14. Yeah I’ll ask him; well the colour of it sounds like a good reason to buy it anyway

Yeah, yeah the colour is always the best reason, well the second album or record that I would have bought for the album cover for sure would be Voodoo by (something soul?)

It’s a record that we discovered on tour when we were playing, and every time on tour it was in the tour bus and it was pretty far from earth, and it felt like changing the metric system or something because it was a whole new thing.

I mean a lot of musicians I know, were thinking it was wrong because they were thinking that the way, it's really hard to put on a partition, on a score, it's really hard to score because it's so detailed and so precise. And so this record was such a revelation for us and it became almost a nightmare because we lost maybe 6 months to a year writing out new record and then we heard voodoo and then we had to do everything again, so we lost a lot of time.

15. Well, that’s high praise, I noticed actually, I saw another interview with you guys on the internet today and one of you, I cant remember who it was, was saying that you also liked R. Kelly and T. Payne.

Yes that’s true

16. So you guys kind of listen to a lot of R’n’b, I guess a lot of people would be surprised by that maybe

Yes, but it's almost like classics for music, it's like Otis Reading or..

17. It’s more fun, kind of music

Yeah it’s like a guilty pleasure, but really it’s like something that just, improves your life in a way, but it doesn’t change your skeleton or your DNA, you know.

18. Yeah, cool, are there any other records that you want to mention in this bit?

Yeah, well let me think there are just so many. There is a record produced by Phil Spektor, I can’t remember the title, it’s all on my computer so you’ll have to check, it's called Born to Be [With You], and there are three songs that are really amazing, especially one that is called ‘In and Out of the Shadows’

19. Does that relate to, you know is that a recent discovery for you or is it a record that you’ve liked for a long time?

It's maybe, 3 years ago we got into it, and it’s the kind of record that transcends everything you know, you can play it at every moment and it will give, just you know it gives emotion to, it makes every moment really emotional, it has this quality…

20. It's interesting that all the three albums that you’ve talked about, when you’ve described listening to them, it's always been that you’ve listened to them with the others from the band, that’s quite interesting, it sound like you must listen to a lot of music together, is that right?

Yeah, I know he was looking for this record a long time and he found it one day, you know and it's rare that you, it was a record that he didn’t really expect and he wasn’t disappointed, and he played me a song that I really liked and then I heard one that I liked even more and then another one and you can share and you can talk to your friends about it, it's almost like those great movies where you can debate about it, yeah, that’s the kind of record it is.

There’s a whole thing, every Phil Spektor record great has stories to tell, there is a lot of drama behind them, there is a whole story.

21. Well it's the last bit now, this one is a bit more, well it's even looser than the rest of the categories, it's basically just that we ask you to name some things that you like, and they can be anything, so it can be food, it can be clothes, you know you can be as abstract as you like, you know just name three or four things that you like, or even two or three things that you like, ad just say why.

Okay, it’s very easy; I think Coca Cola has to be my favourite thing

22. Is it the taste, is it the caffeine?

No, it’s just, it's part of my DNA, I guess it's one of my favourite things, maybe milkshakes too.

23. [Do you love any French things?]

Yeah it should be easy, what do I love.. I love the empty streets at night

I don’t think in London or in New York, that the streets are empty like they are in Paris at night, Paris is a big city but it feels, when you’re driving through it at three in the morning it really feels like it’s small because you can really own it, it really feels like it can be yours at night, and so yeah, that’s great.

The tunnels are great, you should drive the tunnels, and the light, they are very unique and very inspiring,

24. Kind of like science fiction or futuristic you mean?

Just, they have like a rhythm you know, because the road has a rhythm but the tunnels, like if you are listening to music, like I love listening [to] music going through tunnels, it’s a good experience, I encourage you to do the same.

Especially going through Versailles there is one, it’s not the best one but it's still good. And one last thing I love to do, I love to do trampolining, that’s maybe my favourite thing.

25. Are you good at the trampoline?

No, but we do that thing called pop corn, you know that thing pop corn where one lays down and one jumps while you say pop corn.

26. Oh yeah I know, that’s the best kind, I like that, do you have a big trampoline?

It's pretty, decent, you know, descent enough to make popcorn

Phoenix - Playground Love (Air cover) [mp3]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

record review: The Dodos - Time To Die

The Dodos named their band after an extinct type of flightless bird; this act of self-deprecation has ironically achieved the very opposite effect. With each new album, they soar higher and higher, and one day, the claims that they are a poor man’s Animal Collective will be drowned out by people yelling “MERIC, I WANT YOUR BABIES!”

Today marked the (physical) release of their fantastic third album, a sunny, bold and beautifully flowing album that I would describe as the perfect soundtrack to any summer. The Dodos’ music in general creates this effect, but Time to Die is slightly more deliberate, slightly more mature, slightly more polished than their first two albums.

Lucky for us, their musicality is ever-improving and Meric has begun to make more use of his gentle voice to create aural harmony. While some of the tracks are more urgent (“This is a Business”), Time to Die is perfect because of its easy going nature. The guitars don’t try to sound like anything but guitars, and everything fits in its right place. The Dodos don’t try to create something out of their reach, and, because of this, they really do outshine everyone else. And this is as good a reason as any to go out and pick up a physical copy of the album.

Highly recommended.

The Dodos – Acorn Factory [mp3]

you can buy Time to Die on AMAZON

The Strokes Post #205

7:05: "it's all about the money" hahahah
I got my first (full time) paycheck today! like Jules, I have a bit of integrity when it comes to earning my bread, even though it could be super easy to sell my soul for a few more zeros.

Vampire Weekend Announce Details for new LP

their sophomore album is called Contra, will be released on 11 January in the UK, 12 January in the US (hey! didn't Ezra say October?) and has the following track listing:

1: horchata
2: white sky
3: holiday
4: california english
5: taxi cab
6: run
7: cousins
8: giving up the gun
9: diplomat's son
10: i think ur a contra

record review: Muse - The Resistance

Months and months ago, when Matt Bellamy was asked to describe Muse’s newest album, he stated that it was “a symphonic album … like a full collaboration with an orchestra. There's definitely a few things on the album which are segueing into each other and it's all very orchestral, but that could take over the album, so it could actually be kind of classical act basically, and move away from rock all together.”

He wasn’t joking. While the first few songs are more guitar heavy, The Resistance quickly morphs into Muse’s very own rock opera. Whereas many bands today could never pull this feat off, Muse, ever the masters of genre-hopping and oddly-palatable experimentation, have succeeded.

When the first single “United States of Eurasia” hit the internet, people couldn’t stop saying that it was nothing short of a Queen rip-off, and worried that this trend would ensue throughout the album. To this, I have to say that the only song which slips musically is “Guiding Light”, which sounds like a very bad mix of Keane and My Chemical Romance pretending to be Queen on their third album.

Other than the song titles, which try a tad too hard to establish that theme of avante garde rock opera a la Sigur Ros or Radiohead, the album is really well constructed. Often transcendent, and other times creepy, the album navigates such a wide range of emotions musically that it’s hard to remember that the band is only three guys.

Bellamy croons that “love is our resistance” in the album’s title track, paying tribute to the much over-looked love story in George Orwell’s 1984. But while the album often nods towards dystopian lyrics, it doesn’t end up sounding strictly like an homage to any particular work of art. For example, none of the songs could fit well on any film’s soundtrack, because of the very fact that The Resistance is so cohesive as its own work of art that it must be taken as is. It accomplishes the difficult feat of simultaneously flowing well while being eclectic. It’s every bit as daunting as Phantom of the Opera, but with a lot more different and interesting angles.

The best song of the bunch is the partially French song “I Belong To You/Mon Coeur S’oevre a ta Voix”, a slightly funky take on a traditional opera song. Sliding bass? Yes please.

"We're not droplets in the ocean", Bellamy declares in the aggressive track "Unnatural Selection". Perhaps with this incredibly well titled album, Americans will finally begin to understand this internationally recognized fact.


buy the album on AMAZON, it was released today

Muse -I Belong To You/Mon Coeur S'ouvre a ta Voix [mp3]

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye disses Taylor Swift

ok, I know the internet is FLOWING with this news,
and I know most of you don't watch those stupid awards anyways (I don't)
and I know I hate both of these "artists",
but this is just too too funny. it's almost as good as that Hitler video.

seriously, this gives me a lot more respect for Kanye, who is indeed a self involved douchebag. at least he's directing his asshole-ness to talentless hacks like Swift, instead of at Radiohead.

The Strokes Post #204

this post is dedicated to Eric, one cool mofo who really really wanted to see the 2006 SNL performances.
I hunted for these videos and uploaded them to dailymotion. I tried youtube first, but they deleted them right away.