Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cecelia by Local Natives


What better way to get patriotic than playing your favorite American artists? This is a great cover. It makes me salute with both sides of my mouth! Listen to it, Love it, Eat a Hot Dog. Gawd Bless Amerikuh.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Whoa: Grizzly Bear is creepy, exploding?

So Grizzly Bear's newest album Veckatimest, named after an uninhabited island in New York, has been making a bit of a hullabaloo on the Billboard charts. The indie elite is doing its (tiny awkward) happy dance because the bands we like never get their names up on that graph! Yippee! But honestly, I don't like the record that much. I listened to it a few times and never retained anything, so I can't even really tell you why I don't like it. It's just not... sticky enough I guess. And below here I am going to post the video for their single "Two Weeks", the only song I remember enjoying off the album. When I first watched this video, I was really busy being creeped out really hard by their staring, shiny, unflinching altar boy doll faces and constantly looking away from the screen, trying to avoid the jumpy screen trickery that seems bound to pop out at any moment. The heebie jeebies (read: bow ties, sweatiness, EYE TICS) go on and on and on... and then their faces start to glow and... then they... ignite. It's a weird, trainwrecky video, and I kinda like it, but I'm not sure if I am okay with that. Decide for yourself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Phoenix 1901 acoustic "Live in France"

Those darn adorable French boys of Phoenix released a new album lately called Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It's not that inspired of a name, but the first few singles have been fun, so maybe their own catchiness got to their head and made them think they could have been hot shit back in the 1780's. One of the hot new tracks is "1901," which is relatively cute, but I was definitely suckered into this video. It presumably uses Mac Photo Booth's awful "green screen" function (which really barely functions at all) to drop a stream of the Eiffel Tower behind them. I am a sucker for a kind of "yeah, we know this looks awful, but that's the point!" aesthetic *coughhipstercough* and I love them playing with their own Frenchie identity. Here it is, with the original streaming below.

1901 - Phoenix

Monday, June 22, 2009

John Vanderslice Too Much Time with Magik*Magik Orchestra

Here's another version of Too Much Time, off his new album Romanian Names, live with his studio orchestra. This one has crisper audio and some of his insights on album versions versus live incarnations. The stringed arrangements are far superior to the recording in my opinion, and I've been listening to it all day long.

John Vanderslice: "Too Much...

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Monday, June 15, 2009

It's not you, it's me.

Sorry blandorexics, i fell out of love with you for a minute. But I've been missing you and I wanted to see if we could get back together again. If that's cool with you, keep reading.


When you read that, who do you think of? Bob Dylan? Maybe Woody Guthrie or Joan Baez? Or even (for us youngin's) Devendra Banhart?

Then you will be disappointed.

The M.O.F. is actually the synthesis of Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes), M. Ward, and Jim James (of My Morning Jacket). While I am an avid fan of all three of these guys, and I approved of their touring together a few years back, I don't know if collectively they really have the right to dub themselves the monsters of any genre.

Mr. Oberst has been dallying heavily into folkier territory, recording his last album in Mexico and forming the Mystic Valley Band to back his solo material, but his infamous emo voice will always remain. His video off his self-titled first album showed him and the band playing around, being silly, and *GASP* smiling a lot, which i would bet was an effort to try to shake off his weepy notoriety. He even wore a cowboy hat when he performed with the MVB on Conan a little while back, but he will never be able convince me to think of him as some kind of drawling, down-home boy.

M. Ward has recently shot to the front of the line with his fun collabo band with the VOMITOUSLY AWESOME AND CUTE ZOOEY DESCHANEL (all hail). He has since released Hold Time, a well-rounded folky-pop album that ties in well with the vibes from his albums Post-War and Transfiguration of Vincent. I would daresay M. probably has the most folk cred of the alleged MOF.

Never Had Nobody Like You (Featuring Zooey Deschanel) - M. Ward

Jim James was a big part of the rather rad album "Z" and it's rather sad follow up "Evil Urges" with MMJ, but if he has any folk chops at all, I've yet to hear about them.

So these "Monsters of Folk" seem to be releasing an album this September. I will no doubt get it and listen to it, maybe even obsessively. Despite my intense disapproval of their name, I do love all three of them, and this record has potential. It could go either way, but Mike Mogis (the silent second half of Bright Eyes) is producing it, and I have faith for now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Heroes in German is "Helden." And it sounds. so. good.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dark Was The Night

Last month the Red Hot Organization (dedicated to fighting Aids through pop culture) released a compilation featuring every awesome indie band known to man. Dark was the Night features great covers, unreleased songs, acoustic renditions, and interesting tag-teams working together to make one of the best (double) albums in recent history (exaggeration).

My absolute favorite track is "Knotty Pine," by The Dirty Projectors and David Byrne. I like to listen to this song and imagine Dave (DP) jittering with excitement, looking over at David (TH), and having one of those "oh my god, I'm really working with one of my heroes" moments. Their voices go insanely well together in a way that only psycho geniuses can orchestrate.

Check out the other two tracks, and consider this your intro course on the greatness of Dark was the Night.

Some other awesome bands on the comp: Andrew Bird, Arcade fire, Beirut, Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), Feist, Ben Gibbard, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine, Jose Gonzales, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Stuart Murdoch (of Belle and Sebastian), My Morning Jackey, Conor Oberst, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, Yeasayer, Yo La Tengo. And that ain't even all of em. Whew.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The 60's SO pwn the 80's.

Speaking of covers you didn't know were covers, you know that awesome 80's song "Always Something There To Remind Me" that everybody loves to drunkenly scream along to?

Well, I was BLOWN AWAY to discover that it, too was a cover! Who knew!?! And the original is endlessly entertaining, like a drag queen Tom Jones with a pinch of young Michael Jackson, and apparently it's also written by Burt Bacharach. Here is Sandie Shaw belting out her 1964 #1 UK hit.


The first version I heard of this song was not the original, but a cover that I didn't even know was a cover. British musician/DJ Mark Ronson (brother of Lindsay Lohan's girlfriend) put out an record called Version, an album of covers. It's really fun and dancey, and most tracks have superstar guests and are backed by the horn section of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Two really awesome tracks are Oh My God which features Lily Allen, and Pretty Green with Santogold. But my first love off the album was Valerie, with vocals by Amy Winehouse. It's HELLA good with a jazzy motown brass heart and classy soulful American Bandstand beats. Lissen heeeya:

Once I found out it was a cover, I pictured the originator to be a slick early seventies James-Brown-esque character, only to be shocked to discover it was actually done by The Zutons, your average white indie rock band. While I am a bigger fan of Amy and Mark's souled-up version, I don't hate it. Compare for yourself!

MP3: Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen - Oh My God
MP3: Mark Ronson feat. Santogold - Pretty Green
MP3: Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse - Valerie
MYSPACE: The Zutons - Valerie

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


by allan kaprow

iron curtain
by christo

artist unknown