Friday, January 22, 2010

Band of the Week: The Octagon

Some bands have the irresistible characteristic of sounding like they wrote their songs just for you. I am not talking about universal lyrics, but rather, a quality of sound that permeates your entire being, be it through headphones or at a live show. The Octagon are exactly this type of band.

The NY band begins their third LP, Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever, with a superb Pavement-esque number, “Suicide Kings”, but soon deviate by emulating the two bands which influence their sound the most—Guided By Voices and Dead Kennedys.

The album has 16 punchy yet incredibly lo-fi songs that will allow you to sink back into yourself, to good summer memories and happy oblivion. The music has all the good energy of punk wrapped in the appeal of 90’s apathy.

It’s the aural equivalent of that really good level of inebriation, when your own sense of self is heightened and everything else is pleasantly drowned out as redundant.

The Octagon – Revolution [mp3]

this is the closing track, and my personal favourite

Visit the band on MYSPACE

You can stream the entire album HERE for free

new video: Cold War Kids - Audience

I love this song, and the video is beautiful.

The Strokes Post #334

this is too cute.

thanks, Amanda =)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Classic Track Thursday

Pulp - Monday Morning [mp3]
from Different Class (1995)

oh Jarvis. oh what you do to me.
Pulp are required listening. that's all I'm gonna say about the matter.

White Stripes movie gets deluxe treatment

I've heard a lot about this movie, and Stereogum just announced some details regarding the DVD/album release. I'm just gonna copy and paste from this point forward, so watch out, lazy journalism is ahead!

"The album features 16 songs, recorded at various shows, and will be out on vinyl, CD and in a special limited-edition ox set. We have the tracklist and other details.


01 "Let's Shake Hands"
02 "Black Math"
03 "Little Ghost"
04 "Blue Orchid"
05 "The Union Forever"
06 "Ball and Biscuit"
07 "Icky Thump"
08 "I'm Slowly Turning Into You"
09 "Jolene"
10 "300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues"
11 "We Are Going to Be Friends"
12 "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself"
13 "Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn"
14 "Fell In Love With a Girl"
15 "When I Hear My Name"
16 "Seven Nation Army"

Under Great White Northern Lights is out 3/16 via Third Man. The limited-edition box will include the DVD, CD, and double LP along with a live DVD of the White Stripes 10th Anniversary Show Under Nova Scotian Lights plus and "Icky Thump" (Live) b/w "The Wheels On The Bus" (Live) 7", 208-page hardcover photo book (photos by Autumn de Wilde, foreword by Jim Jarmusch), and a Rob Jones silk-screen print. You can pre-order it now at, where you'll also find more info."

I'm actually quite scared to visit the site, I don't wanna know how much this thing is gonna cost. I figure this much: if I find it at one of my record shops, I'll buy it. if not, then, well, it wasn't meant to be.

The Strokes Post #333

I love this song. I do I do I do-oo.


I love channel 92.3
they used to be known as 104.9, but, without fail, every fucking time I enter online to win shit, they give it to me!
proof, that, when you lose all hope, shit falls into place


Cold War Kids - Audience [mp3]
this song is appropriate at the moment, me thinks =)

MUST WATCH VIDEO: Spoon do "Written in Reverse" on Conan

ok, class, raise your hand if you agree:
Transference, while a tad toned down on record, will translate as the most epic collection of live Spoon songs to date.

jesus, I need to stop watching this video.

The Strokes Post #332

oh, boys. I miss Albert. I miss him a lot.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

record review: Adam Green - Minor Love

Adam Green is a sneaky son of a gun. He has the uncanny ability to trick you into believing that he is your best friend. Every time I put on his records, I slip into this reverie, like, it’s just me and Adam, hanging out. And then reality slowly sinks in.

Minor Love is his latest musical offering (numero six!) as a non-Peach and it is perfectly delightful—even though the album is chock full of less-than-cheerful songs. Lately, Adam has been channeling his quirkiness into effervescent, mellow numbers that will have you swaying along stupidly.

He has long since abandoned his early roots of mockery and guile, and actually taken to writing music seriously. Minor Love is dark at times (“Boss Inside”), and strangely Dodos-esque at others (see the supernatural combo of depressing upbeat acoustic guitars of “Don’t Call Me Uncle”) but Adam always manages to fill in the holes with his signature bubbliness.

“Buddy Bradley” is almost like a cult anthem swirled together with a beat-box. Minor Love is Adam’s ode to the great melancholy of great solo recording artists: specifically Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen. Sure, NY can get lonely, but it sure as hell makes for great song writing.

And we mustn’t forget about “What Makes Him Act So Bad”, a tune that is so deliciously VU that I just want to write Adam a gushing note of thanks. I probably should anyways, it’s the least I can do to show him my appreciation for his loyal pseudo-friendship.

Minor Love is strange. It’s wonderful. It’s Adam.


the album was released in Europe last week, so you can buy it online, or wait a couple of weeks for its February 16th US release. either way, make sure you pick it up! who can afford not to hear Adam singing to Gatsby?

Adam Green - Stadium Soul [mp3]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Magnet rates over/underrated TALKING HEADS songs

Magnet has yet again given one of my favourite bands the over/under treatment. read the justifications for each song choice at

most underrated:

1. “The Great Curve” (1980) [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]
I love Remain In Light. I really, really do. it was the LP which solidified my Talking Heads obsession. I feel like so many bands today draw from this album.

2. “Love → Building On Fire” (1977)

3. “Don’t Worry About The Government” (1977)

4. “(Nothing But) Flowers” (1988)
from the album with the monkey on the cover =)

5. “Sax & Violins” (1991)

most overrated:

1. “Psycho Killer” (1977)

2. “Wild Wild Life” (1986)

3. “Stay Up Late” (1985)

4. “Heaven” (1979)

5. “Swamp” (1983)

double-take time: Coachella Lineup Announced

Sunday will be a day of worship, indeed. I'm actually considering treking down 500 miles to lose my Coachella virginity.

The Strokes Post #331

this one's for Patrick.

Monday, January 18, 2010

NME names 50 important albums of 2010

view the photo slideshow HERE
I've condensed it to a palatable 13. I was surprised to see a few of these, and you might be too. in any case, I love the new MGMT photo. and the fact that they aren't releasing any singles on Congratulations

new song: The Dodos - Company

I'm not sure if this is a b-side or a bonus track, but I do know that it's awesome

The Dodos - Company [mp3]

The Strokes Post #330

I got Season 4 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia a couple of days ago. Watching it reminded me of The Strokes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

record review: The Dudes - Blood Guts Bruises Cuts

It’s a dangerous thing, as a music blogger, to list your email out in the open. I get massive amounts of garbage masquerading as music daily, but, being the fair-minded person that I am, give everything a little listen. Most of the time, I close the window straight away. Other times, I deliberate a bit, listen to a couple more songs, then decide what to do. But rarely, ever so rarely, I get something that my soul instantly recognizes as right.

The Dudes are not cool. The kind of music that they are making is far from the fashionable lo-fi shoe-gaze indie blog norm right now. But that doesn’t matter, because their music is right. It pulls all the right heartstrings, pushes all the right buttons. It’s soulful and raw: the contrast created by the lead singer’s expressive voice and the unabashed 90’s guitars has the ability to instantly envelop your entire being and sink you into rock n roll bliss. It cuts like a knife through all of the jaded crap, leaving ominous scars for figurative broken hearts.

The Dudes - Pretty Lies [mp3]
Can you believe that these guys are Canadian?

buy the album on AMAZON

visit them on MYSPACE

holy shit.

2010 is gonna be MEGA.

record review: Spoon - Transference

Spoon are one hell of an underrated band. Since the very beginning, their catalogue has been nothing short of spine-tingling, musically holistic brilliance which the public continues to ignore. They are the kind of band that is so consistent that you can begin at any point in their discography, and get so sucked into the intoxicating combination of guitars, keys, drums, and Britt Daniel that you just want more more more.

On their seventh (yes, seventh) studio LP, Transference, Spoon have taken a turn to more basic, raw elements which are usually evoked in their live shows. It’s a toned down album, there are no instant charmers like on Kill The Moonlight, but the album, more than any other Spoon release thus far, really gets under your skin.

Listening to Transference is almost like having a private studio session with the band in your pocket. The sounds of the album are quite varied: there’s the incensed desperation of “Written In Reverse”, the shockingly gentle “Goodnight Laura”, and a bit of classic Spoon, like “The Mystery Zone”. And it's all golden.

All in all, Transference is the album that Spoon had to make—not for fans, not for critics, but for themselves. The music is very personal, and the band is obviously not trying to please anyone. But this purity and genuineness will compel repeated listens. Sorry Spoon, you’ll have to try a bit harder next time to fade into obscurity.


the album drops on Tuesday, make sure you go out and pick it up.

they have a whole load of tour dates lined up for us, check it out on their MYSPACE

new song: The Morning Benders- Promises

"I kept thinking that we grew up too fast...I know, I know I know this won't last"

everything from Talking Through Tin Cans, down to its title, evoked the carefree glories of childhood. well, The Morning Benders have done some serious growing up since their excellent 2008 debut, and, behold, they have reached their angsty teenager stage (just hear that bass go). join in on the fun, this is sure to be a interesting ride!

The Morning Benders - Promises [mp3]
from their upcoming Echo, which you can preorder on their WEBSITE

The Strokes Post #329

I think everyone's seen the famed The Strokes + Jack White rendition of NYC Cops at Radio City Music Hall in '02.

well, the whole gig is worth watching, and you can do so on my youtube page if you haven't already. or if you have already.

Sunday Morning Covers


Jay Reatard - Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle (Nirvana cover) [mp3]

Babyshambles - Janie Jones (The Clash cover) [mp3]

Cursive - Frankly, Mr Shankly (The Smiths cover) [mp3]

this is one of my favourite Smiths songs. I love its uptempo, and the lyrics make me grin. Cursive amend it a little, change "bloody" to "fucking" but it's a solid cover. nobody will ever be able to match Morrissey singing "it corrodes my soul", though.

James & Robert Mercer (The Shins' man and his brother) - Spanish Harlem (Bob Dylan cover) [mp3]
I've had this track for a couple of weeks now, it's good. it will be included on an upcoming covers album, stay tuned for that.

Stereophonics - Don't Let Me Down (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

Jamie Cullum - Our Day Will Come (Mort Garson cover) [mp3]

Ben Gibbard - To Sing for You (Donovan cover) [mp3]

Elliott Smith - I'll Be Back (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

Saturday Music Definitions: Joy

The Strokes Post #328


Brooklyn Vegan has some great photos from Julian's 2nd NY gig. I've posted a few above; click HERE to see more.