Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday Music Definitions: Hippies

Dirty Pretty Things - Hippy's Son [mp3]

Beck - Nitemare Hippy Girl [mp3]

Black Lips - Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah [mp3]

The Dodos - Horny Hippies [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]
this song is so pretty. I love the Dodos. they combine primal percussion with psychedelic guitars, and they manage to craft perfect songs which sound so simple but so layered. the lyrics to this song are surprisingly cynical.

Jarvis Cocker + Radiohead - Do the Hippogriff [mp3]

The Strokes Post #314

I just discovered the greatest show ever.
it's called Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and it is hosted by a genius of comedy called Simon Amstell

that would be the horse.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Strokes Post #313

let's start off the year the best way we can...

...with a Strokes bootleg!

it's The Strokes @ University of Maryland, Baltimore County on 12 October 2003, a couple of weeks before Room on Fire was released. I've been binging on 2003 era Strokes lately.

I know that to some people all of these bootlegs sound the same, but to me, they're very distinct. I absolutely LOVE their rendition of "Reptilia" here, which, in my opinion, is one of their weaker live songs. well, it's mainly the First Impressions tour that has subpar "Reptilia" performances, maybe the band were just burnt out on that song at that point. in any case, the set is great, check it out


1. Under Control [mp3]
2. Alone, Together [mp3]
3. What Ever Happened [mp3]
4. Someday [mp3]
5. Reptilia [mp3]
6. Between Love and Hate [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]
I love this song, they don't do it enough live. hear that guitar solo go go go
7. Hard to Explain [mp3]
8. I Can't Win [mp3]
9. The Modern Age [mp3]
10. 12:51 [mp3]
11. New York City Cops [mp3]
awh, at the end of this, Julian gives a nice shout out to Regina =)
12. The End Has No End [mp3]
13. Automatic Stop [mp3]
I also really adore this song. Albert co-wrote it
14. Last Nite [mp3]
15. The Way It Is [mp3]
16. Soma [mp3]
17. You Talk Way Too Much [mp3]
18. Take It Or Leave It [mp3]

Thursday, December 31, 2009

a belated SEASONS GREETINGS from The Strokes!

ah! I almost cried on Christmas 'cause they hadn't posted one this year, but it seems like it was just a tad belated is all!

haha @ Fab.

Classic Track Thursday

Pixies - Here Comes Your Man [mp3]
from Doolittle (1989)

Pixies are one of those bands that can easily overwhelm you if you jump into their discography too fast. the best way to attack this band is album by album. goodness knows that each of their LPs are insane enough to keep you occupied.

Doolittle is a wicked album, it's intense in all the right ways: loud + obnoxious underground bliss with plenty of screeching female background vox to go around. but this track is a bit different from the rest, it's...well, almost a pop song! a rare and beautiful change of pace from one of the most brilliant bands of all time.

The Strokes Post #312

[probably my favourite version of this song. *tears up a bit*]

I wonder if Jules has seen that video lately. that whole concert was so incredible, and he concluded it with such magnificence. what I would do to have seen The Strokes in 2003...le sigh

contest winners announced!

okaaaaaaaaaaay so the winners were chosen randomly, but in a special way.

what I did was I compiled a list of the songs which I loved this year. the ones which continuously warranted that little "repeat song" icon. they didn't have to be released this year, they just had to be songs which I really adored this year: the songs I could not get enough of.

I ordered the songs into a playlist which was sorted alphabetically by artist, and then made a corresponding list of people who entered the contest (ordered chronologically). finally, I put the playlist on shuffle and matched up the winning songs with their corresponding entrants. viola!

also, this way, everyone gets a little treat, a nice zip file of 42 songs. if you're interested in what your "song" was, you can open up the word file and figure it out based on the track number. trust me, the mix is well worth checking out =)

Hanan's favourite songs of 2009 [ZIP FILE!]

so, without further ado,

the winners of the TELEKINESIS album (and their corresponding songs):

Mary Shea [Audrye Sessions - "Perfect, Sometimes"]
K. [Death Cab for Cutie - "I Will Possess Your Heart"]
Charles [My Bloody Valentine - "When You Sleep"]
Fred [Stereophonics - "Maybe Tomorrow"]
Shane [The Wombats - "Let's Dance to Joy Division"]

(these guys were smart to mention my #1 album in their response because it heightened their chances of winning. it's basic Algebra II. what happened after I had 5 winners was I kept hitting the shuffle button until it landed on 5 people who requested Telekinesis. there were fewer of them, you see, so the laws of permutation tell us...oh man I'll stop now)

the winners of ANY ALBUM OF THEIR CHOICE [from the top ten or honourable mentions] (and their corresponding songs):

Nate [Beirut - "Elephant Gun"]
Edith [Casper Bangs - "Queen of Hearts"]
Maryanne Sullivan [Cage the Elephant - "Back Against the Wall"]
Olivia [Free Energy - "Dream City"]
Connor Green [Mister Loveless - "Just Thoughts"]

so, what I need from you guys now is a quick email, specify if you'd prefer CD or vinyl, include your mailing address, and, if you're in the latter group, tell me which album you want.

congrats to the winners, thanks to everyone who entered the contest, and rest assured, there will be many more giveaways in the future!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Strokes Post #311

I recall hearing Julian say "this is our favourite song, of all our songs" about "When It Started" in a bootleg. he was probably just faded but still. "When It Started" is a beauteous song.

"NYC Cops" is on the opposite end of the energy spectrum from "When It Started" and is one of my favourite songs of all time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

record review: The Almighty Defenders (eponymous debut)

Labels are not cool.
Unless, of course, they are self-inflicted.

I remember the first time I read about Black Lips, the so called “flower punk band” from Georgia. I chuckled a bit—but when I heard the music, I understood. This garage punk was flowery! There was something I couldn’t exactly put my finger on, a subtle trace of… fragrance and silkiness, and “flower punk” was the best way to describe it. I was a tad annoyed that the band beat me to it.

In addition to releasing their fifth LP—the unbridled and effortlessly brilliant 200 Million Thousand—earlier this year, Black Lips teamed up with their friends King Khan + BBQ to form “The Almighty Defenders” and released an album under that moniker. Nope, there isn’t any trick to their name, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

“Gospel punk”.
Oh, dear.

What really amazed me about this record was that it didn’t sound so much like a supergroup, but more like…well, gospel punk. Supergroup efforts are always emphatically…super. Like, you can always tell the difference between a song by a regular band and one by a supergroup; the latter always has an element of heaviness which doubtless comes from collaborative songwriting from a group of experienced songwriters (as opposed to regular bands, who, for the most part have one primary songwriter). Anyhow, The Almighty Defenders don’t sound like a supergroup at all; their songs are lighthearted and lucid. Maybe it’s because the two bands are friends, maybe it’s because they’ve collaborated on stage before, but whatever the reason, I am very grateful for it.

While each track is distinctly deviant, the whole album is filled with 50’s beach rock influences and percussion galore. I found myself twisting and turning and being completely overtaken by the bass in “The Ghost with the Most”. The craziest thing, though, is that the label “gospel punk” hits the mark exactly. And I never would have predicted that the melding of those two genres would result in such a ferociously danceable album.

Don’t fret, The Almighty Defenders are here to get rid of all of your Jihad Blues. I guess I don’t hate all evangelists after all.


Highly recommended, especially for people like me, who really love Black Lips but haven’t gotten into King Khan yet. It’s a great way to transition into King Khan + BBQ’s work. Give my favourite track a listen below (vocals courtesy of Mark Sultan aka BBQ):

The Almighty Defenders – Cone of Light [mp3]
I dare you not to love this song. It makes me shake like a Polaroid picture!

newly leaked Elliott Smith song

many thanks to Nate for bringing this to my attention

the track, which comes from From A Basement on a Hill era (his last studio album, released posthumously), is beautiful. it's "instrumental" in the fact that there are no vocals, but it is so much more than your conventional "instrumental" track. it's loud and aggressive and I love it. Elliott was such a great songwriter, these gems continue to prove so.

Elliott Smith - new instrumental track [mp3]

The Strokes Post #310

record review: Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit

Whenever I watch period films, I always find myself wishing that I were British. Adaptations of Jane Austen novels have the uncanny ability of making me renounce centuries of progress and women’s suffrage and all that—and just make me want to live in the English countryside amongst ducks and pigs and needlepoint.

Jamie Cullum seems to have precisely the opposite problem. The British singer seems to wish he were American. Opening with yet another Cole Porter cover, Cullum’s lucid third album, The Pursuit, is a lovely reminder of the loveliness that is jazz.

His latest musical offering raises the bar of his own standards: everything is faster, bolder, and delivered with a fresh new confidence. The exploding piano on the cover is a great aesthetic analogy to the foreign thrashing found inside this album.

Lead single "I'm All Over It" treads ever so slightly into the territory of a recent hit single by an American singer, but, of course, redeems itself by retaining a slightly superior, slightly snide British air, maintaining Cullum's musical ingenuity.

This is the voice of Jamie Cullum, all grown up. Ever the romantic, Cullum even invites his fiancĂ©e Sophie Dahl (granddaughter of everyone’s favourite childhood author) to lend backing vocals on “Mixtape”—a song that strikes very close to home (“I'm a gentle soul I'm sure /But on the stereo I'm a dictator”): we are all guilty of forcing our taste in music on others…or is it just me?

Cullum flip flops between the old and the new throughout the album: he concludes The Pursuit with a Sweeney Todd cover which is then followed by the synth driven "Music is Through" — a song which is strikingly different from anything he's ever written in the past. Jamie Cullum has managed to find the perfect meeting point between his oldie influences and a thoroughly modern perspective— and The Pursuit stands as a audible manifestation of his success therein. A jazz singer’s music has become club-appropriate— well, I’ll be damned.


Jamie Cullum - You and Me Are Gone [mp3]

The Pursuit was released in the UK on the 10th of November, and shall see a March 2nd release in the US

you can buy it now at

tour dates can be found HERE
I'll see you guys at The Fillmore in March.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The best and worst of 2009

2009 was a great year for music. I have already posted my favourite albums of the year, but I have a few more superlatives up my sleeve. but first, here's a list of things I really didn't like very much, just so y'all can have a definitive list of the artists who incurred my wrath this year

artists who released albums that disturbed, disgusted, or quite simply disappointed me:

Green Day
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Neko Case
the xx
Elvis Costello
Monsters of Folk
Lily Allen
Pearl Jam
White Lies
La Roux
Grizzly Bear
Bat for Lashes
Passion Pit
Lady Gaga
Dirty Projectors
Ida Maria
The Big Pink
Florence and the Machine
The Drums

worst concert of the year: The Virgins @ Great American Music Hall (20 May 2009)

best concert of the year: Franz Ferdinand @ Fox Theatre (15 April 2009)
runner(s) up: Julian Casablancas @ Regency Ballroom (17 November 2009)//Andrew Bird @ The Fillmore (19 February 2009)

album from 2008 that I really grew to love in 2009:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
The Gaslight Anthem - Great Expectations [mp3]

runner up: The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of Understatement
The Last Shadow Puppets - My Mistakes Were Made for You [mp3]
(I liked this album last year, but ADORED it this year)

saddest breakup: Harlem Shakes
Technicolor Health is one of the most delectable albums I've heard all year, but sadly, the band disbanded a couple of months ago, and their breakup prevented me from including them in my best albums of the year list. RIP, sugary goodness. we hardly knew ye.
Harlem Shakes - Nothing But Change Part II [mp3]

best new band: Free Energy
the great thing about this band is that they aren't REALLY a new band. they're actually more or less the reformation of a band called Hockey Night. they are so much fun, but, more importantly, they know what they're doing. even though their songs are lighthearted, you can tell that each note is deliberate. the proof is in the pudding: on the strength of their debut single (and a couple of extra songs) alone, they have landed tour dates throughout the country-- without a debut LP (or even EP!) to their name.
Free Energy - Something in Common [mp3]

cover of the year:
Cage the Elephant - Psycho Killer (Talking Heads cover) [mp3]
this is so right in so many ways.

EP of the year: Calypso - Teen Age
Calypso - Casually Sad Mercedes [mp3]
I imagine that this is the type of music which pisses G-d off.

band of the year: Phoenix
Phoenix put out a flawless album that was unanimously loved by fans, critics, and even mainstream audiences. they are first and foremost perfectionists, but they don't let that from keeping them down to earth and extremely loveable. viva France!
Phoenix - Lisztomania [mp3]

song of the year: Girls - Lust for Life [mp3]
last year it was "Kids". this year, it's "Lust for Life". what can I say, I'm a sucker for upbeat, slightly bittersweet songs from indie darlings.

The Strokes Post #309

this was actually the video that inspired me to post Is This It songs as Strokes posts until the end of the year. "in many ways we'll miss the good ol' days". there is so much truth in that little statement, it scares me.

"Alone Together" is one of their best live songs. love love love it. whenever I watch these live videos, I notice that both musically and aesthetically, The Strokes are so random and eclectic, but somehow it all seems like, ordered chaos. like a bag of jelly beans.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

must watch video: Beirut's "Guyamas Sonora" on La Blogotheque

somehow this video had previously eluded me and my frenzied Beirut binges, but, better late than never:

"Guyamas Sonora" is my favourite Beirut track ever. what I really love about this video is that it properly showcases how the music of Zach Condon cannot be contained within 4 walls. it's so sonically expansive, so far beyond the realm of reality.

Sunday Morning Covers


Jamie Cullum - Not While I'm Around (Sweeney Todd cover) [mp3]
I swear I will get around to reviewing Jamie's new album soon, alongside a few others.

Monsters are Waiting - I Wanna Be Adored (The Stone Roses cover) [mp3]

I sing this song all of the time, so hearing a lady sing the song just seems natural

Sondre Lerche - Bluish (Animal Collective cover) [mp3]
did you forget about Sondre? well, here's a nice reminder: don't.

Hot Chip - Transmission (Joy Division cover) [mp3]

Spoon - Melted Pat (Guided By Voices cover) [mp3]

Robbers on High Street - Cool It Now (New Edition cover) [mp3]

Andrew Bird - The Giant of Illinois (The Handsome Family cover) [mp3]

Elliott Smith - Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks cover) [mp3]

Belle and Sebastian - Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

hurrah for lighthearted covers

Ryan Adams - Everything In Its Right Place (Radiohead cover) [mp3]


The Botticellis - Here I Go Again (Whitesnake cover) [mp3]

of Montreal - Computer Blue (Prince cover) [mp3]

Beck - European Son (Velvet Underground cover) [mp3]

The Strokes Post #308

I know that the above song is the demo version from The Modern Age EP and technically not the version on Is This It but I just really love that fucking solo.

PS I just wiki-ed Is This It (which I hadn't done in maybe 4 years) and holy moley that's gotta be the most thorough wiki article on any album I've ever looked up. it was NOT that thorough the last time I looked at it.