Wednesday, May 31, 2006

MUSIC: Ode to J-named Women

There's quite a precedent in music writing to use a girl as a subject. Even more so, it seems like artists use said girl's name as the song title. Here are a couple that came to mind, all of which begin with the letter "J". Got any more?

::: The White Stripes - Jolene (Dolly Parton cover)
::: The Mountain Goats - Jenny
::: The Fakrays - Johanna
::: Stellastarr* - Jenny
::: Franz Ferdinand - Jacqueline
::: The Minders - Jenny
::: Adam Green - Jessica

So it appears that Jenny is the most popular girl in class. I'll resist posting Jenny 867-5309 but shall leave you with a couple bonus J-related songs.

::: The New Pornographers - Jackie, Dressed In Cobras
::: Oh No! Oh My! - Jane Is Fat
::: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Jeane, If You're Ever In Portland

(Girlpants has an excellent mixtape post of girl-related songs as well, so check that out)
(Another excellent mixtape, done by Good Hodgkins, can be seen here. It turned me onto the The Minders. Bonus points for songs about Eliza, Kate, and Irene.)
(I feel an A-Z Girls Names post coming on, don't steal my idea!)

As always, you can buy these albums here.

[Photo credit goes to darkshapes. Isn't this an amazing photo?]

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

MUSIC: DangerDoom (New Free EP)

My fascination (read: obsession) with MF Doom and his projects has been illuminated in this blog before. See here for my another post with a number of awesome rap tracks and here for another DangerDoom-related post. I think that the stuff he does is so much more on point than 99% of the mainstream rap out these days. These collaborative albums are also pushing the boundaries left and right (see: Madvillain, Gnarls Barkley).

I don't know exactly when they released this FREE ep of new DangerDoom tracks, skits, and remixes but I'm all for it. You can download the whole thing from [adult swim]'s DangerDoom Occult Hymn EP website. Here's a sample track:

::: DangerDoom - Korn Dogz

Anyone got any hip-hop/rap recs in this vein?

[Photo credit goes to Out of Tune. She's takes some awesomely weird shots.]

MUSIC: New "The Good Fear" Track

Short work-weeks are the best aren't they. Some of you might remember me raving about The Good Fear a while back. You can read those posts here and here. Just got this re-worked track from the band, it's from their album "Keep in Touch".

::: The Good Fear - Tonight

You can order the album for only 10 bucks from their website.

PS - One of the bandmembers (Todd) has a great website/blog called Crasymaker with many awesome things included.

[Photo credit goes to darkshape, whose Flickr page includes some amazing potrait shots. I just love this photo.]

MUSIC: The Walkmen

it seems like with a little effort, I imagine that you can get every track from the new Walkmen album (titled "A Hundred Miles Off) from the web (but you should buy it anyway!). I was going to post something about this last week but wanted to fully digest the album before officially giving a thumbs up/down on it. Typically, when I enjoy an album as as much as I did "Bows + Arrows" the follow-up is inevitably a disappointment. I think that B+A encapsulated the nervous energy I was feeling at the time of its' release. Check out my favorite track from that album:

::: The Walkmen - The Rat

So now comes "A Hundred Miles Off"..... what are we to expect? In my mind, it's a little more constrained, and dare I say, happy? It's as if that underlying twitch/energy is a little more opaque. See for yourself.

::: The Walkmen - Another One Goes By
::: The Walkmen - Louisiana
::: The Walkmen - Emma, Get Me A Lemon

If you listen closely, even the more upbeat song of the three, "Emma, Get Me A Lemon", doesn't have the punch of "The Rat", or "Little House of Savages", or any of a number of tracks off of B+A. Anyhow, so what's the end result? I f'ing love the album.... it's good, it's different, and different is good. It took me a good week to find the right mindset for it, however.

Buy albums by the Walkmen here, especially if you like the last three songs.

Also, an excellent blog called So Much Silence has an entry with a live Washington DC show by The Walkmen which was part of NPR's live concert series. For those of you who are interested and what not.

[Photo credit goes to Iguana Jo, check out his Flickr page]

Sunday, May 28, 2006

MUSIC: Dear Eskiimo

Got an email from the lead singer of this band, Dear Eskiimo, recently and was enamored from the start. (It doesn't hurt that she's quite the looker, I imagine). More importantly, however, is their music. Fantastically playful, definitely UK-ish if there is such a tag. Her voice reminds me of Bjork, but I'm sure the bjorkophiles out there might jump down my throat for saying that. Here are a couple tracks for your listening pleasure, off their myspace page. I believe that the only release to date is an EP.

::: Dear Eskiimo - Pretty
::: Dear Eskiimo - Jack & Jill
::: Dear Eskiimo - Patience

[This photo looks like a Banksy piece, and it comes from What What's flickr page which has tons of street art shots]

Friday, May 19, 2006

MUSIC: The National (Alligator Bonus Track)

So I'm gone for a week to the East Coast. I leave you with one of the bonus tracks from The National's Alligator album. This was a web exclusive for those who bought the album and also included some videos. Too bad I don't have a video IPod.

::: The National - Secret Meeting (REMIX, Alligator Bonus)

You can buy the album here. It's really quite excellent.

I also started my own FlickR page with some photos I've taken (one can be seen above). Take a look, leave some comments, and explore all of the other works.

MUSIC: Oh No! Oh My! (Friday Goodness)

A couple months back, The Underrated Blog urged me to order the CDR's of Oh No! Oh My! (and their previous incarnation The Jolly Rogers) so I did. I'm a pushover when it comes to cheap new music. Anyhow, the buzz is building around ONOM's self-titled (major) debut album. Oft-compared to The Shins for those of you who need a reference point, they play upbeat indie-pop numbers. Here's a cut from their album plus my favorite track from their Jolly Rogers demo (hand claps included!).

::: Oh No! Oh My! - Walk In The Park
::: The Jolly Rogers - Oh Be One (awesome)

And for you Shins fans out there, here's the Postal Service cover off the Believer Magazine music issue comp from last year. The 2006 Music Edition of the magazine will be released next month sometime (June/July apparently) and I haven't seen anything on whether or not they're including a CD (but I assume they will). Last year's collection of covers was excellent (I've posted many of them) and included songs by Wolf Parade (see here), The Decemberists, Two Gallants (see here), Spoon (see here), and Devendra Banhart among others. Highly encouraged listening. (PS - Excellent magazine all around if you're into that whole literature thing, 45 bucks for a subscription)

::: The Shins - We Will Become Sillhouettes (Postal Service cover)

You can buy most these albums here, except the Believer Comp can be ordered here. Oh No! Oh My! is 11 bucks on the front page of Insound.

A couple requisite shout-outs to Brooklyn Vegan and Bird in the City for linking this direction. Both are excellent blogs and deserve a read, especially for you NYC-centric folk. Especially important since I'll be in the Big Apple next week.....

[Photo credit goes to asaresquares]

Thursday, May 18, 2006

MUSIC: Bonnie Prince Billy / Matt Sweeney

One of my all-time favorite albums, done by one of my all-time favorite artists, is Superwolf; this collaboration between Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (aka Will Oldham) and Matt Sweeney is just a huge load of tenacious musical sweetness. I saw them play the album, track by track, two days before the official release date at Amoeba Records in SF. Couple of Tecates, two talented troubadors, and one awesome free concert. Here's my favorite BPB track, a song off of Superwolf, and an absolutely fantastic track from Chavez (Sweeney's previous band).

::: Bonnie Prince Billy - Madeleine Mary
::: Bonnie Prince Billy & Matt Sweeney - Lift Us Up
::: Chavez - Unreal Is Here

I can only hope that we get Superwolf Redux sometime in the future. Sooner, rather than later, Billy. Purchase these albums here. All three are amazing, I promise you that.

[Photo credit goes to sandwich]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MUSIC: Court & Spark

Had some interest in The Court & Spark after yesterady's posting of their Oldham cover song. Their recently released album, "Hearts" (from Absolutely Kosher Records), is a larger step forward than any of their previous albums. My only (slight) complaint about their earlier work is that it didn't exactly seem that they were growing or changing or anything. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I like to see advancement (even if I don't like it). Try listening to all of Modest Mouse's albums in a row and you'll see an interesting progression. Anyhow, I think C&S have taken a large step forward, it sounds like they've honed their sound a little more while expanding it (is that possible?!?).

::: The Court & Spark - Capaldi
::: The Court & Spark - Your Mother Was The Lightning

You can buy the album here, which you should definitely do if you enjoy the above tracks..... Support this excellent band. Double gold star that they're from the Bay Area.

Link to Court and Spark's MySpace page.
[Photo credit goes to SpatialK]

Monday, May 15, 2006

MUSIC: Monday Short Mix

Sometimes a couple new tracks can make the difference on a slow Monday.

A little country band from Little Rock called The Munks plays some fantastically warm songs, here's one for you.
::: The Munks - Believe

Here's my favorite song by current blog darling Beirut. I haven't delved into the whole album (Gulag Orkestar) as of yet, can anyone say that it's worth it?
::: Beirut - Mount Wroclai

The Court & Spark just released a new album called Hearts, but this track is off of the Will Oldham tribute album buy Tract Records. You can order it from their website.
::: The Court & Spark - The Sun Highlights The Lack In Each (Will Oldham cover)

I'm really looking forward to TV On The Radio's new album. Still loving the political track they released.
::: TV On The Radio - Dry Drunk Emperor

And, to top it off, here's Spoon doing a cover of a Yo La Tengo track. I love both bands so it makes sense that I'd like this one. It's from Believe Magazine's music issue last year, you can still pick it up (highly recommended) from their website.
::: Spoon - Decora (Yo La Tango Cover)

You can buy most of these albums here.

[Photo credit goes to may|ing's flickr account]

ART: Sita Rupe

Ran across some work of the artist over the weekend at Fly Bar in San Francisco. Sita Rupe, who works in both photography and painting, was dispalying some of her work which uses acrylics, wood, screenprinting, and resin. It's quite colorful and playful, but I'm not sure if she's trying to say anything outside of the "design" realm. Go ahead and cruise on over to her website which has tons of images.

MUSIC: Call Me Lightning (New Frenchkiss Band!)

In typical Frenchkiss Records fashion, they've gone out and found themselves an excellent new band. Hailing from Milwaukee, welcome Call Me Lightning to the fold (check out their excellent website). In a similar vein to other FK signees, they play driving post-punk..... full of energy, surprisingly good songwriting, and some good ol' middle America angst. Their debut album, released on Revelation Records, is called "The Trouble We're In", but they're working on a new one for the FK gang. Here are a couple tracks.

::: Call Me Lightning - Ghosts In The Mirror
::: Call Me Lightning - Golden Radical (Young Professional)
::: Call Me Lightning - Horseflies

You can buy the album here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

MUSIC: Right On Dynamite

A new(to me) music find by the music slut is Right on Dynamite from Brooklyn (check out their myspace page if that's your bag). Their sound is right down the alley of popular indie rock (is that a oxymoron?) a la, in the words of TMS, a lovechild of Weezer and Bloc Party. One track even has hand claps! There's another influence (maybe The Stokes) I can't quite put my finger on...... Either way, it's some damn good stuff.
Here are a couple newly mastered tracks.

::: Right On Dynamite - Hard To Know
::: Right On Dynamite - Pull The Wool

Exchanged an email with bandmember Dan who informed me that a 7" is in the works as long as an official website. Scheduled shows coming up are:

May 29 - Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)
June 9 - Union Pool (Brooklyn, NY)
June 29 - Northsix (Brooklyn, NY)

Hey, new music, alright.
(PS - A third track is on their myspace page)

MUSIC: Ramblin' Friday Blues

I've been a sporadic appreciator of blues for the last couple years but lately it's slowly creeping into my everyday rotation. A fantastic blog out there called Squeeze My Lemon often has some dang good stuff. Here are a couple good tracks from way back in the day. Robert Johnson just kills me every time. (He's got an interesting story, check out his wiki page).

::: Robert Johnson - Ramblin' On My Mind
::: Big Bill Broonzy - Good Liquor Gonna Carry Me Down

Fat Possum has done a good job in the recent past of putting out some nice blues albums from previously unrecorded/unheralded artists. Here are a few.....

::: T Model Ford - Backdoor Man
::: RL Burnside - See What My Buddy Done

Recent Fat Possum signees The Black Keys recently released an EP of Junior Kimbrough cover tunes which is absolutely awesome. Sample this one....

::: The Black Keys - Have Mercy On Me

As always, go out and buy these albums if you like them. Also, if anyone knows of some other blues-centric music blogs out there send'em this direction. (Or any recomendations, as I'm currently a sponge when it comes to this stuff)......

[Photo credit goes to Kris Kros]

Thursday, May 11, 2006

MUSIC: Magic Weapon

I've got a serious penchant for side projects, and here's another one on recommendation from GCINBC who replied to my request for more information on the side projects of Wolf Parade members. Magic Weapon fits the bill in a roundabout kind of way, as it involves Jordan Robson Cramer. He's the drummer/guitarist for Sunset Rubdown, the side project for Wolf Parade vocalist/keyboarder Spencer Krug. So I guess this is a project once removed or something. Anyhow, it's more of a shoegazer/electronica kind of thing than WP or SR; it however retains the lo-fi/experimental tendencies of it's cousins. The other member of MW is Mathieu Malouf, anyone got any dirt on him? Here are a couple of tracks which are available for download from their myspace page (which also hints at an album in the works).

::: Magic Weapon - Tree Giants
::: Magic Weapon - Fireflies

[Photo credit goes to the Flickr account of A Girl Named Eve; She's got lots of interesting shots from an intimate perspective.]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

MUSIC: Wednesday's Two Songs

Foggy morning in the bay leads to this song.
::: Editors - Munich

Sun opening up by noon brings along this one.
::: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion (Diplo Remix)

Enjoy. (and buy the albums if you like 'em)
[Photo credit goes to kk+, who also receives a high five for one amazing flickr page]

Monday, May 08, 2006

MUSIC: Think About Life

Definitely not the first, and certainly not the last, to post about Think About Life. The latest release from Alien8 Recordings, this Canadian band is oft-compared to their north-of-the-border compatriots Wolf Parade. I can buy the comparisons to a point, but this duo is still fully residing in the noise/experimental phase of their musical maturity while Wolf Parade moved past it by the release of their first proper album (not that it's a bad thing, i like the noise/exp scene). What draws me to their music is that it's a little out there, a little new sounding, a little different...... But just how different? Fresh off reading Pitchfork's review of the Gnarls Barkley album where they re-hash the popular "this has been done before" debate, it's something to think about. So here are a few tracks from Think About Life's self-titled debut album.

::: Think About Life - Paul Cries
::: Think About Life - What The Future Might Be
::: Think About Life - The Blue Sun

(For you Pitchfork-0philes and Pitchfork-o-haters alike, one of my favorite websites is called Pitchformula which is still quite interesting/relevant even though it's a couple years old. Also, since it's old, many of you have probably already seen this.)

[Photo credit goes to MemoryMotel's Flickr page. Just FYI, Flickr is awesome.]

ART: Lisa Ostapinski

I made a fantastic Friday night find during the Art Murmur event in Oakland. (For those of you who don't know, Art Murmur occurs the first Friday of every month. It's an organized event where a number of galleries open their doors for openings and showings on a single evening. It's a ton of fun.)

Anyhow, Lisa Ostapinski was showing some new pieces at the Mama Buzz Gallery. Her style is interesting, combining encaustic and oils to form some fairly organic feeling works. Here are some pictures of older works, but it seems like her newer stuff is less organic and more vivid. One of her group shows was also written up in the SF Chronicle here. The work pictured above was my favorite, but I am a sucker for boombox type apparatuses.

MUSIC: Indie Pop Monday

It's a bright shiny day in the SF bay, which can only lead to a minor medley of pop songs for the workday walk/bus/commute adventure. Loads of attention is being directed at Camera Obscura of late, and this song has been working its' way into my daily rotation.

::: Camera Obscura - Lloyd I'm Ready

(Side Note: For years I wondered how Vermeer was so damn exacting, and then it turns out he was a big fan of the camera obscura. Almost as unnerving as finding out that Robert Bechtle worked from photographs)

And, what indie/pop mixtape is complete without some New Pornogrpahers? Here's my favorite track off of their latest, Twin Cinema. And, for good measure, some solo releases from Neko Case (opening track from her Blacklisted album, not the new one) and AC Newman (my most definite favorite song from his The Slow Wonder release, which is absolutely brilliant).

::: The New Pornographers - Use It
::: Neko Case - Things That Scare Me
::: AC Newman - Most Of Us Prizefighters

You can pick up any of these albums online here, or from your local independent record store.

[Virtual high fives go out to Souled On and Luna for linking this direction.]
[Art credit goes to sam flores. you can pick up some of his designs on t-shirts here or vinyl figure creations here.]

Thursday, May 04, 2006

MUSIC: Rap In The Morning

Woke up this morning with the hook line from King Geedorah's Fastlane in my head (You gotta listen to it; absolutely blows my mind every time I hear it. Still). Couldn't get it out until I started listening to some new Dr. Octagon stuff (originally posted by gorilla vs bear a while back). Reminded me that the Deltron 3030 album was amazing (collaboration between Del and Dan the Automator). Started craving some of the Madvillain darkness. Thought Viktor Vaughn would approve.

::: King Geedorah - Fastlane (Feat. Biolante)
::: Dr Octagon - Trees
::: Del The Funkee Homosapien - Deltron 3030
::: Madvillain - Meat Grinder
::: Viktor Vaughn - Let Me Watch (Feat. Apani B)

So that's my morning.
Buy these albums.
[Art credit goes to poorworm]

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

MUSIC: More Lucero Info

Insound has Lucero's "That Much Further West" re-issued double album on sale for only 8 bucks. The album was originally released on Tigerstyle before that label folded. Their website seems to still be down. Anyhow, the second disc includes a bunch of demos, instrumentals, alternate versions, and such. It's a good deal, so I thought I'd pass it on. BUY IT HERE. (They also have free shipping on orders over $30)

::: Lucero - That Much Further West

Lucero's website is also doing pre-orders for the re-release of their Attic Tapes album. It's another fantastic album. Here's a link to my previous Lucero post which has some tracks from that album and another off of their self-titled release, which you can buy here.

Zombies Ate My Blog posted last week about a recent show in Missouri, Aquarium Drunkard has some touring information, and I recently read where they're planning a new album already to follow up last year's excellent Nobody's Darlings which is also only 10 bucks at Insound.

[Photo credit goes to Adam Smith]

MUSIC: Okay (From Oakland)

Had the rare experience last night of thoroughly enjoying an opening act. As posted yesterday, I attended the Sunset Rubdown show in SF during the evening. One of the opening acts was called Okay, which is apparently the moniker for lead singer Marty Anderson's many band incarnations (think of how Molina handles the Magnolia Electric line-up). Their sound is somewhere in between Architecture in Helsinki and Animal Collective, as they tend to use lots of instruments (xylophones, kazooos, you name it). The result was just fantastic. They recently released two albums (one called "High Road" and the other "Low Road") simultaneously through Absolutely Kosher Records. You can order them from the band's label-run website. There are also four tracks on their myspace page for your listening pleasure.
Here are four total tracks, two from each album.

High Road
::: Okay - Compass
::: Okay - Give Up

Low Road
::: Okay - Now
::: Okay - We

I highly encourage you to buy these albums, it's a young band with alot of talent. Also, if you get a chance to see them live it'd be a good decision. Interesting show style, lots of stuff going on, plus you get to see all the crazy instruments.

[Photo credit goes to Birds of Westwood. This one here is a red tailed hawk bird.]

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

MUSIC: Bombs Away

Ended up getting this album by Ima Robot (their self-titled release) after seeing the fellas open for The White Stripes at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley a couple years back. This track stuck with me for sure. Just excellent energy.

::: Ima Robot - Here Come The Bombs

Their website is currently going through a re-design, but their myspace page has lots of new information. You can also listen to tracks from their new EP (Search & Destroy), with one available for download.....

::: Ima Robot - Black Jetta's
(This link is being quite funny.......)

Here's the album version just in case:
::: Ima Robot - What We Are Made From / Black Jettas

You can buy the albums here.

MUSIC: Noun Noun, Awesome

So tonight is the Sunset Rubdown show at Bottom of the Hill. Should be an amazing time. Anyhow, in honor of this, I've decided to post some of the projects of Spencer Krug, Sunset Rubdown frontman. I'm sure there are more side projects from other members of the group (can anyone confirm this?) but the major ones that jump to mind are Wolf Parade and Frog Eyes. (Side Note: What's with the fascination of naming a band with two random nouns? I don't know, but I like it.)

::: Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II
::: Wolf Parade - Claxxon's Lament (Frog Eyes cover)
::: Frog Eyes - Russian Berries But You're Quiet Tonight

And, as a bonus track for the day, here's my favorite cut off of Kings of New England's release (On The Cusp).

::: Kings Of New England - Space Is The New Seattle

Pick up the KONE album from their website, purchase all of the others here or from your local record store. Later on.
[Photo credit goes to Adam Smith]

Monday, May 01, 2006

ART: John Casey

Recently ran across this artist, John Casey, at a two-man show in Oakland at Boontling Gallery. He does some really intense sculpture and some pen-and-ink drawings. A little dark for most people's tastes, but undeniably effective as an emotion-inducing tool. The show wassbsolutely great; one piece invloved 50 small heads, seen here:

I even bought one for myself (great deal at $45 per piece), I'll post pictures of it once I get around to picking it up from the gallery. Check out his website, it's well designed and contains many pictures of his work.

MUSIC: Monday Morning

It's an awful shame when things are so scattered that I can't drum up an entry on a single particular artist. So, instead, I'm posting my top 5 tracks of the last 48 hours for whatever that's worth.

Not usually a fan of the mash up genre, but it seems like Missy's music lends itself to the practice quite well (see also: Dear Nora and Casiotone's cover of Hot Boyz).
::: Le Tigre / Missy - Decepta Freak On

Sufjan's getting a ton of press right now, but I keep going back to this track (even though I don't exactly know where it came from). It's more electronic, a little dark, and utterly good.
::: Sufjan Stevens - The First Full Moon

One of my super-repeat songs of the last couple months and still going strong. Gotta check out The Good Fear if you've got a chance.
::: The Good Fear - Heroes / Outsiders

In order to fill the "covers quota", here's The Shins doing Postal Service's "We Will Become Silhouettes...... I believe this is in last year's Believer Magazine music issue and part of a Shins single.
::: The Shins - We Will Become Silhouette (Postal Service Cover)

And, last but not least, a little T-Model Ford from the good folks down at Fat Possum. (I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow's release of The Black Keys covering Junior Kimbrough's songs)
::: T Model Ford - Bad Man

You can pick up cd's by all the artists here. (Except for The Good Fear which you can order from their website, linked above)
Keep up the good work everyone.
[Photo credit goes to the extremely talented Misha Dyer]