Friday, September 29, 2006

MUSIC: F*ck This, It's Friday (2nd Edition)

::: Wolfmother - Woman (MSTRKRFT Remix)
::: Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights (Phone Lovers Remix)
::: Professor Murder - Free Stress Test
::: Pharrell - I M A G (Freestyle)
::: Clipse - Queen Bitch (Diplo Remix)
::: Panther - You Don't Want Yr Nails Done

[I have no idea where that Pharrell track came from, but I think it's fantastic. The MSTRKRFT remix is brilliant as well. Have a good weekend.]

[Find exciting new music at The Hype Machine.]
[Buy some music on Insound.]
[Photo credit goes to malalove.]

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

MUSIC: Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band

The amount of good music coming out of Little Rock absolutely blows my mind. For proof, check out Tel Aviv or The Good Fear or The Paper Hearts. Now comes another one..... Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band. One could definitely file their sound under indie, but it's got some urgency in it that automatically hooked me. I really think they're onto something.

::: Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band - Great Hungry Birds (highly rec'd)
::: Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band - Bee Stings
::: Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band - Please

There's no proper release for these guys, or even a website for that matter. All I've got for you is a myspace page which has one more song to download. Let's hope they've got some new stuff coming out soon.... this stuff is just too good.

[Photo credit goes to drinkkmepretty.]

MUSIC: The Morning Benders

I really don't know how this post slipped by me for so long, considering that The Morning Benders come from my back yard, essentially. They just recently released an terribly excellent EP called Loose Change. And we all know how much I love EP's. It's a six song collection of crashing, catchy pop songs. Take a listen.

::: The Morning Benders - Grain of Salt
::: The Morning Benders - I Was Wrong

You can download the EP on iTunes or buy it directly from the band from their website store.
The Morning Benders official website
The Morning Benders myspace page

[Photo credit goes to Sean McNeil.]

Friday, September 22, 2006


Lots and lots of covers posts rolling around the internet these days. As you well know, I'm a big fan of song titles. One thing that I particularly love is when songs have the same title but are completely different. Sometimes I run across this phenomena and one of the songs sucks, but this is not the case here. Three excellent songs all called "Wake Up" by three excellent bands. Thought it would be appropriate for gateway-to-the-weekend day.

::: Les Savy Fav - Wake Up!
::: The Arcade Fire - Wake Up
::: The Walkmen - Wake Up

[Buy albums on the cheap over at Insound.]
[Find/Download more songs over at The Hype Machine.]
[Photo credit goes to the extremely talented grandylion.]

Thursday, September 21, 2006


So I was singing the praises of Panther a couple of posts back and then I saw that he's got a video out for his song titled "You Don't Want Yr Nails Done". Totally awesome.


I really like this song by The Whigs (myspace) off their debut release called Give 'Em All a Fat Lip (consequently a pretty good name for an album). Honestly, it's nothing revolutionary, but it's solid and catchy. Sometimes that's all you need. Plus they're from Athens which has a pretty damn good musical pedigree.

::: The Whigs - Technology

The rest of the album is growing on me as well. After so much touring and playing and practicing it looks like their hard work is paying off. Couple of good quotes:

"The Whigs catchy, feel-good, ethereal tunes are both gripping and eclectic, and through their short but storied life as a band, they have truly proven themselves worthy of being one of the bands to watch this decade." - Performer Magazine

"A fiery, young and timelessly tuneful rock trio from Athens, Georgia -- may well be the best unsigned band in America." - Rolling Stone Magazine
(obviously before they signed onto ATO Records)

You can buy the new album for $11 at Insound. They've got free shipping on orders over $30 and if you enter the code "ilovesummer10" at checkout then you get 10% off your order. Lots of good deals.

Official website of The Whigs
The Whigs myspace page

[Download more songs over at The Hype Machine.]
[Photo credit goes to james m.]

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MUSIC: FM3 Buddha Machine

Never really posted on an actual product here on macktronic before, but I thought I'd pass this along since it falls under the category of music and art. The FM3 Buddha Machine is a totally cool, amazingly designed project between a designer and a musician. The picture above is of mine. Here's the product description:

A unique 'Soundbox' from China, which is causing senstation worldwide. A totally dazzling item which causes jaw-dropping delight everywhere -- Alan Bishop bought twenty-four of these on sight, Brian Eno bought eight (how's that for apocalyptical math?). FM3 are a duo of Christiaan Virant and Chinese keyboardist and computer musician Zhang Jian -- based in Beijing. The Buddha Machine is a hardware loop player, built kind of like a little AM radio (available in 6 different colors, shipped randomly), but without all the nonsense -- total genius from out of nowhere. Comes with 2 x AA batteries. "The Buddha Machine is a small soundbox made in China which comes with an integrated speaker, a volume control, mini jack-out and a switch to choose between nine different loops which are stored on a small chip and can be directly played by this mini soundsystem."

The loops are really intoxicating. You can buy your own imported Buddha Machine for only $25. (Remember that the colors are shipped randomly, which is kind of fun).

SHOW: Panther / Envelopes / Ratatat

Got a chance to catch an excellent show at the Great American Music Hall here in San Francisco last night. The crowd was certainly into Ratatat and were more than open to the opening acts, Panther and Envelopes.

I was totally impressed with Panther (myspace). So impressed that I picked up one of his special edition tour cd's, which are all self-recorded. There's a proper release coming out soon enough on Frykbeat Records. Here are some tracks off of that, you can get more from the myspace page if you're into it. Weird sample/rap/electronica stuff, sorry I don't know any of the track names (it's a CDR, what do you expect?).

::: Panther - Tour CD Track Two
::: Panther - Tour CD Track Three
::: Panther - Tour CD Track Twelve

Envelopes (myspace), a ice little Swedish experimental pop band, were also quite excellent. They've got a new album coming out (a follow up to the excellent Demon release). So keep an eye out for that. Here are some Demon tracks. [Sister in Love is a dang catchy song.]

::: Envelopes - Sister In Love
::: Envelopes - It Is The Law
::: Envelopes - Isabel And Leonard

And last but not least, I was more than impressed with Ratatat (myspace). I was admittedly skeptical on how they'd play out live, but it was much better than I thought it could be. They were able to play on the dramatic effects of their music, and the sound in the venue was spot on. Plus, the visuals (shown behind them by an LCD projector) were awesome. I'm really excited about a mixtape coming out soon, similar with their last release. Anyone have any news on that? OK, here are some previously posted ratatats.

::: Ratatat - Lex
::: Ratatat - Wildcat (E*vax Remix)
::: Ratatat - Desert Eagle

The remix of Wildcat comes off the limited edition 12" single (I got one of those, too). Originally posted by the good folks over at Gorilla vs Bear, an excellent blog if I say so myself. You can buy a copy for yourself for the ridiculously low price of $4.16 over at Insound.

If you do happen to head over to Insound for some music, here are some tips for saving money:
(a) play the easy back-to-school game for 20% an order (not including preorders)
(b) order more than $30 of stuff for free shipping
(c) or use the code "ilovesummer10" for 10% any order (including preorders)

[Photo credit goes to a-man-duh. Nice colors on these concert shots. And, I know these aren't from the SF show but I forgot my camera and hers were dope.]

Monday, September 18, 2006

REVISIT: Les Savy Fav (Go Forth)

Earlier this summer, Les Savy Fav bassist Syd Butler revealed that him and the fellas had designs on recording a new album in November for a March/April release. This kind of news is a major blip on my life radar. LSF is solidly in the all-time Top 5 of macktronic.

Go Forth is their latest proper full-length (originally out in 2001), not counting the 7-inch compilation (Inches) released last year. I will always remember this album since I listened to in (almost) non-stop during a marathon drive from SF to Boulder through a number of snowstorms. I can't think of a better soundtrack to not being able to see 10 feet in front of your car due to the white out. Exciting! Feast your ears on the inventive songwriting and energetic sounds of Les Savy Fav.

::: Les Savy Fav - Tragic Monsters
::: Les Savy Fav - Reprobate's Resume
::: Les Savy Fav - Crawling Can Be Beautiful

You can buy LSF Go Forth for only $9.99 at Insound. (And, if you enter "ilovesummer10" then you'll get 10% off that) . Great deal.

In April I talked about a limited edition 7" that was in the works over at Rococo Records. You can now pre-order (reserve) your own copy of the Hit By Train Hit By A Car 7" by clicking here. It's limited to 1000 total copies (with only 200 in dark green vinyl). Get 'em while you can.

[Photo credit goes to handmadelove2006.]

Friday, September 15, 2006

MUSIC: F*ck This, It's Friday

::: Girl Talk - Bounce That
::: LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
::: Kanye West - Golddigger (Diplo Remix)
::: NERD - She Wants to Move (DFA Remix)
::: Ratatat - Lex

That about sums it up.
[Photo credit goes to kandyjaxx.]
[Insound has free shipping on orders over 30 bucks.]
[Insound also has $2 off pre-orders.]
[Secret: If you use the code "ilovesummer10" then you get 10% off automatically.]
[Find more good bands on lots of links to other songs over at The Hype Machine; complete with a new design.]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

MUSIC: Storm The Castle! (Free EP!)

So I've written briefly about Storm The Castle before (here in my indie instrumentals post) but now I'm happy to bring you a whole EP (cleverly titled the Free Of Charge! EP). If pressed to categorize their sound, most folks would say metal, but it's much more than that. Consulting their myspace page, one finds an appropriate description: "Riding a lightning bolt towards victory while simultaneously regretting something horrible you've done". That's about right. Cop some free awesomeness.

::: Storm The Castle - Victory... But At What Cost?
::: Storm The Castle - The Day Roscoe Got His Big Boy Britches
::: Storm The Castle - Lost in the Goddamazon
::: Storm The Castle - Where Is My Crossbow?
::: Storm The Castle - Fire Breathing Sympathy Machine

Official Storm The Castle! website

Storm The Castle! myspace page
Storm The Castle! blog

[Looks like they've got a new t-shirt that's pretty cool since it includes a deep sea diver. Bet you'd be the only kid on the block (outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas) with one of these bad boys.]

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

MUSIC: Tuesday Six Pack

I don't have a specific theme for today, or even a particular artist to pass your direction. All I've got are some tracks that are doing me good, so perhaps they might treat you the same. A couple of new ones, a couple of old ones, a couple of pertinent ones; but not enough for a mixtape or anything. Call me indecisive.

The Black Keys release their new album today, titled Magic Potion. Saw the boys live at the Fillmore on Saturday night, impressive as always. I always latch onto their songs real quick-like which is incredibly comforting. (Perhaps a fell record review coming later)
::: The Black Keys - Your Touch

Impressive album review out today on Pitchfork Tap Tap, and it sounds well-deserved. From all the tracks I've been listening to over the last couple weeks, this is my favorite. So much so, that it made me order the album today. You do the same.
::: Tap Tap - 100,000 Thoughts

Forget Cassettes are picking up some steam. I posted on 'em a while back, and their record is still in contant rotation. Love this song to death. (Buy the album, you won't be disappointed.)
::: Forget Cassettes - Quiero, Quieres

Damn, I am looking forward to the new Hold Steady album. You can pre-order it here for only 12 bones.
::: The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

Slow buzz a-bulding for Baltimore's Beach House. No ordering info as of yet, but the full length coming out on Carpark Records on October 3.
::: Beach House - Apple Orchard

New song off their up-coming full-length by new powerhouse duo Matt & Kim. You can get more of their awesomeness from my previous post.
::: Matt & Kim - Someday

So that's that, my friends.

[Photo credit goes to grandylion; what an f'ing wonderful pair of shots.]

Monday, September 11, 2006

MUSIC: My Morning Jacket (Complete live High Sierra set & Okonokos Release Info)

So the announced release of the My Morning Jacket's double live album titled Okonokos is enough motivation to make me finally post the whole MMJ set from High Sierra on July 1. Truly an epic performance (as I've said previously). You've got to check out Jim James talking about the balloon at the beginning (and end) of "At Dawn".

::: My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - It Beats 4 U (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Gideon (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - What A Wonderful Man (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - One Big Holiday (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - I Will Sing You Songs (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - The Way That He Sings (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Masterplan (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Golden (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Hopefully (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Just One Thing (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Xmas Curtain (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Off The Record (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Lay Low (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Dondante (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Dancefloors (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Run Thru (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - At Dawn (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Anytime (@ High Sierra 2006)
::: My Morning Jacket - Mahgeeta (@ High Sierra 2006)

Speaking of live MMJ, Okonokos will be available on September 26. You can pre-order the album and get a free digital download of the "Strangulation" double album. Apparently, it's the re-mastered recording of a show they did at The Fillmore here in SF, of which I was one of the attendants. After the CD release, a DVD also called Okonokos will be a released a week later. If you pre-order the CD you can get a discount code for the DVD as well. The DVD is directed by Sam Erickson, done in Dolby 5.1, and apparently not just a straight-forward recording of a concert. Pseudo-storylines? I'm not sure. It's sure to be an experience.

[I couldn't find any information on who exactly did thid recording (found through in FLAC format) so if anyone knows then send it this direction so I can give credit where credit is due.]

Saturday, September 09, 2006

MUSIC: Daytrotter Sessions are Awesome!

One of the more enjoyable stops on a typical internet journey in my world is Daytrotter. Just an excellent website with good stuff done by good people. The prize catch of the whole project is the Daytrotter Sessions..... artists come into their studios in Illinois and record 4 tracks just for us. Recent artists include Bonnie Price Billy, Jennifer O'Connor, Cold War Kids, The Donkeys, Two Gallants, French Kicks, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Casiotone, and many others. Being the bonnie-o-phile that I am, the new session comes to me like an early Christmas gift. Here's a track from that, plus a couple other golden nuggets from their back catalog. Enjoy.

::: Bonnie Prince Billy - New Partner (from Viva Last Blues)
::: Cold War Kids - God Make Up Your Mind (unreleased)
::: Two Gallants - Unititled II (unreleased)

[Photo credit goes to bulldog1.]

Friday, September 08, 2006

MUSIC: The Mother Hips

Ok, so here's another band that has somehow managed to put together a pretty extensive career and somehow fly under the music radar for a long long time. The Mother Hips, hailing from California, are often said to play a unique brand of California Soul music (for whatever that is worth).

Returning to the fold after a four year hiatus, they've released a new EP called Red Tandy which you can listen to over at their mypsace page. Harp Magazine describes the release as "psychadelic retro-rock guitar-pop with catchy hooks, honey-soacked harmonies, and hippie-soul infused lyrics." Just about right on.

They also just released an entertaining DVD called Beauty Rock: Live at the Catalyst. The live music part of the DVD comes from a 2003 show in Santa Cruz directly preceeding their hiatus. Also included are interviews from the bandmembers describing the show, their careers, and the break-up (which turned out to be a hiatus). I got a chance to watch the DVD and it's a classic example of rock 'n roll done california style. You can order it here.

To get a taste of the Mother Hips live, here's three tracks from their July 2006 show at the High Sierra Music Festival. I was actually at this show and my interest in the band grew 10 fold after seeing them deliver this blazing set.

::: The Mother Hips - Mother Hips (live @ High Sierra 2006)
::: The Mother Hips - Red Tandy (live @ High Sierra 2006)
::: The Mother Hips - Two Young Queens (live @ High Sierra 2006)

You can order albums and merchandise through their official website.

[Photo credit goes to John Carelton.]

LIT/MUSIC: Dry Ink Mag #3

Here's some good internet reading for you: the new issue of Dry Ink Magazine. It's called the "Transportation Issue" and it includes some excellent information on politics and music. Personal highlights include an article on the extremeley bright Rod Bryan and his bid to become governor of Arkansas, a brief history of the Drive-By Truckers, and a look into Austin's SOUND Team. There's lots of other good stuff as well.

To accompany your reading adventure, here's one of my favorite DBT tracks and a good one by the SOUND Team.

::: Drive-By Truckers - Puttin' People On The Moon
::: SOUND Team - Movie Monster

You can buy albums by all these bands at Insound.

[Photo credit goes to daytrips.]


Here's a good little song by a band out of LA called The Colour. It's part of a new EP which is a prelude to their new full-length called Between Earth & Sky. Pretty straight forward, but it's got a nice bounce to it.

::: The Colour - Devil's Got a Holda Me

You can buy their debut EP from Insound.

[Photo credit goes to defekto.]

Thursday, September 07, 2006

REVIEW: TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

When a certain publication unleashed their review of TV on the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain over 2 months ago it was kind of cruel. Sure, there were some song leaks, but for the vast majority of us the album couldn't (and wouldn't) land in our laps until closer to (or on) the September 12 release date. So, with all of this in mind, the buzz has steadily been building for over 2 months now.

Actually, for me, the buzz about this album has been building since the inception of the band through their latest full-length release (Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes). From the outset it was evident that this band was (a) fucking good and (b) different. But, behind all of the excitement, there still loomed a sense that they were holding a little something back, that this wasn't the best of TVOTR we'd see.

Return to Cookie Mountain prooves this little theory. The record is not only a step forward, but also a step upward. Everything fits together; it's a real album. Here they craft songs that manage to flow together while still standing distinctly on their own, which is something I felt was lacking from Desperate Youth. "Wolf Like Me" (lyrics) is a surging, energetic, poignant piece of work. Lead singer Adebimpe's lyrics have always been good, but I just love the way he delivers:

Got a curse we cannot lift
Shines when the sunshine shifts
There's a curse comes with a kiss
The bite that binds the gift that gives

My personal favorite track is "Province" (lyrics), a crashing display of methodic homeage to the hope and fear that comes with love. What's actually scary about this album is that once you've fully digested it, you know that there's more to come. And I promise you, the next album will be just as different, just as brilliant, and just as fucking good.

::: TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me
::: TV on the Radio - Province

You can pre-order the album from Insound for $9.99 (and a free poster to boot!). I promise that you won't be disappointed. (The US version has three bonus tracks on it as well)

official TVOTR website
TVOTR myspace page

[Photo credit goes to wesfrazer; dude seriously has some great photos on his flickr page, so check it out.]

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

MUSIC: Chris Whitley

One of the more interesting musical introductions I encountered on my recent trip to Germany is Chris Whitley. It's sad that I have to travel to Germany to hear about this guy, a truly talented songwriter and musician that was just passed over by the American recording industry for the most part. Up until his death last year, Whitley managed to record 14 proper albums mostly in New York City and parts of Germany where he had amassed a pretty good following. His confessional blues/rock songs are incredibly powerful, his guitar work top-notch, and his voice as broken in as a good pair of blue jeans. Here are a couple quotes I thought you might be interested in.

"The post-Hendrix explosion of whammybar wankers hasn't produced a single axeman who can compare to Chris Whitley. His eerie, bluesy voice and American gothic tunes frequently draw attention from the fact that he picks like a pissed off Doc Watson jacked through a Marshall stack" - Rolling Stone

"Chris is an example of one of those things that appalls me about the record industry. That is, how could a talent like his go relatively unnoticed? So few singers have their own personality, and Chris is his own man to the bone. Honestly, I feel more passion for his music than I do for my own. My music I'm critical of. But I have a fervent, religious devotion to the magic that Chris makes." - - ATO co-founder Dave Matthews

His 14th and last album (Reiter In by Chris Whitley & Bastard Club), recorded in NYC, is completely analog and done mostly in a single take with no overdubs. Here are a couple tracks off this impressive record.

::: Chris Whitley & Bastard Club - I Wanna Be Your Dog (Stooges Cover)
::: Chris Whitley & Bastard Club - Mountain Side
::: Chris Whitley & Bastard Club - I Go Evil

Now, the super interesting thing is that there's a limited release 7-inch single of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" released by a small record store in Heidelberg, Germany called Downtown Records (500 copies only). I couldn't find a website for the store, but if you're interested then email me at and I'll send you the owner's email address so you can work something out.

You can purchase the new album as well as much of his back catalog at Insound or Amazon.

Official Chris Whitley website
Chris Whitley myspace page
Chris Whitley / Reiter In myspace page

[Photo credit goes to Danny Cinch]