Wednesday, May 25, 2005

recent favs

American Music Club:
Love Songs for Patriots
Streams of the whole album + downloads

British Sea Power:
Open Season

Explosions in the Sky:
Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
Live shows!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

  • Gimme Fiction by Spoon

    The blog sixeyes has a long list of links to Spoon mp3s.

  • Silent Alarm [Japan Bonus Tracks] by Bloc Party

    Their official site has downloadable mp3s of a couple tracks I haven't seen elsewhere.

  • The Grind Date by De La Soul
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Guero, by Beck

    I grabbed this bootleg pre-release (link to torrent file) to see if it would be worth buying the CD when it comes out. Like a bunch of his other albums, I love some of it and don't like other parts as much. Some of the songs sound disjointed, jumbled up, sloppy, and some sound boring, mainstream. But I think, like with his other albums, it'll grow on me and I'll see the brillance that might not be obvious on a first listen. So I'm going to make a rare exception and actually buy this CD—or, actually, the CD/DVD special release that has six remixes and a DVD of videos to go along with the music. The cheapest place to buy it online that I found is cdwow. The price went up, though, since I looked at it yesterday. I gotta go buy it now!

    Beck's website

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    Talking Heads

    Sand in the Vaseline
    I feel like I've had my head in the vaseline. Where have I been? There's a bunch of bands that I've only gotten into of late, that I never knew were so great. I wouldn't have bought their albums because I am—or I thought I was—more interested in fresh stuff. But I got a heap of mp3s from a friend—including this best of album and a bunch of Dylan, Leonard Cohen, The Clash, etc.—and I'm realizing how much music is already out there that I've missed. This development isn't really helping, though, as I was already feeling deluged...

    Thursday, February 10, 2005

    Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News

    It's always heartwarming--and earwarming--when a band just keeps getting better. I had a long obsession with their previous album, "The Moon and Antarctica" (yeah), then got burnt out. "Good News" brought me back.

    If you get into them too, I wouldn't bother digging into their back catalog.

    Check their redesigned website, featuring a hummingbird in sync with the backing vocals and, and in their new store, the totally unnecessary Modest Mouse medical ID bracelet.

    Clips from all the songs on "Good News" are available at their label's official band site.

    Saturday, November 27, 2004

    Medeski, Martin and Wood
    End of the World Party (just in case)

    The trio's latest album is less weird than their last two, Uninvisible and The Dropper (which they named it, I heard, because they thought they'd get dropped from their label when the managers heard it, if that tells you anything).

    To my mind this album's more consistently brillant than anything they've done since Shackman, back in 1996. In between they've collaborated with turntablists, horn blowers, and percussion ensembles. This is back to the core trio, and it's better because of it.

    Listen to clips here.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004


    Is it rock? Electronic? Hip-hop? Ratatat layers simple but precise guitar riffs over old skool drum machine beats and synths. On their self-titled album, they tweak it a bit one way and it's rockin', another and it's ambient. On their bootleg-style mix tape they kick up the bass and back a bunch of rappers, from Missy to Ghostface. I picked this album up at their show for a five spot, but as far as I can tell they've sold out of it. It probably wasn't licensed in the first place, so don't bother looking for it at the store.
    The Velvet Teen: Out of the Fierce Parade

    Half the time I don't know what's playing on my iPod. My friends gave me a ton of music before I left for Europe and I listen to it on shuffle and bands come on and I don't know who they are.

    So I was listening to songs on the noisy bus when a heartbreakingly beautiful voice began singing. Familiar, but difficult to place. Jeff Buckley? Did I get some rare Buckley tracks from someone? The music, once it kicked in from the quiet intro, was like OK Computer-era Radiohead. I had to pull out my iPod to see who this was.

    Turns out it's The Velvet Teen. I got a lot of good music from my friends, but their "Red, Like Roses," is only songs that's inspired me turn my iPod off shuffle and listen to the whole album to see what they're up to. Like in the Tom Waits lyric, I wondered, "What are they building in there?"

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor

    Do Make Say Think

    Both these Canadian groups build monumental songs by layering deceptively simple guitar riffs, exquisitely-timed drums, and punchy horns. Godspeed's sprawling songs are slow to build, but cram epic drama into their climaxes. Do Make Say Think has shorter, tighter, more accessible songs. Though I don't know what to call this music, I know it's beautiful and disturbing and amazing. And cheap. Direct orders from their label, Constellation Records, get you the cds, post paid, for only $12.

    Clips of Godspeed here.
    Russian Futurists

    Despite being named after an art movement, just one man is behind these atmospheric organs, tender voice, and solid beats.
    Tom Waits: Mule Variations

    A few months back I went on a date with a girl I met on the internet. She asked why I'd picked the screen name "Big in Japan" and I told her it's a Tom Waits song. She seemed disappointed and said, "He's kind of scary." That's when I knew it was not meant to be.