We all know Radiohead is great. If you look them up in the dictionary it says 'great band.' So this past summer when we were all anticipating the release of their new album in '08, we were all expecting it to be pretty good. Then they went and did what great artists have always done since the beginning of modern art. They did what they wanted to do. They wanted the fans to have the music first. They gave us a present and let us decide what to give in return. All of a sudden the relationship between band and fan became closer. Of course it wouldn't have mattered if the music wasn't good. It was. In fact it was great. There was passion and focus flowing through each song from start to finish. Waves of rhythm would pull you from one song to the next. Then they would bottom out and let the lush vocals of Yorke do the rest. In the end, Radiohead did indeed produce one of the best albums of the year. It's a fact.
mp3: Radiohead - All I Need --> buy
mp3: Radiohead - Nude
mp3: Radiohead - Reckoner (LoveTongueAttack Bmore Remix)
mp3: Radiohead - Nude (Amplive Remix)
Don't miss a great show tonight at the Lo Fi Social Club in Baltimore where We Read Minds, Suicide Dolls, Heroin UK, and Algebra of Need are performing.
mp3: We Read Minds - You're Too Young --> website --> buy
There are some pretty good concerts tonight in the area. The one that stands out is legendary MC, Rakim, burning Sonar up in Baltimore with lyrics of fury(as the song goes). If your an indie kid looking for rock, then DC is the place tonight. The Velvet Lounge presents The Alphabetical Order, Can Joann, FOX Japan, and Erik Bradford. Continuing the indie rockingness is the Black Cat who hosts Benjy Ferree, The Points, and The Shirks. So go forth into this great night of concertness.
mp3: Erik B. & Rakim - Lyrics Of Fury --> website --> buy
mp3: Benjy Ferree - In The Countryside --> website --> buy
mp3: The Alphabetical Order - Submarines --> website --> buy
mp3: Can Joann - Indecision's Way --> website --> buy
Woops! I just noticed that the Benjy Ferree show is tomorrow night at the Black Cat. Sorry 'bout that!
Ahhh...the short work week. Where Friday doesn't really feel like Friday. Don't get me wrong...it's still Friday. I still have the overwhelming joy that two days approach where everything is calm and relaxing. I will still check the clock every hour to see how much longer until this work day ends. So let's call this the pre-weekend before New Years Day eve celebration! Hooray! Go be merry. Paint a picture. Give a hug. Plant a tree. Eat french fries. Watch TV. Run. Jump. Sing. Dance. Listen.
mp3: Human After All (Justice Remix) - Daft Punk
mp3: Needy Girl (Bloc Party Remix) - Chromeo
mp3: 2080 (Brenmar Remix) - Yeasayer
artwork by blu
If you're itchin' to get out of the house, show off those new threads, or spend some of that XMAS loot, then there are some dynamite shows to do that tonight. Here in Baltimore a great local band, Mary Nova, rock the Ottobar with Watch Man Walk, The Ghostwrite, and Balk. In DC, Meredith Bragg has a CD release show at the Black Cat with Paul Michel and label mate Danny Hue. Finally in Philly at the Khyber, Chris Fullerton folks it up a bit along with the bare bones rock of Toy Soldiers, Sailboat!, and Engine We're A Forest.
mp3: Mary Nova - The Banker --> website --> buy
mp3: Meredith Bragg - Twin Arrows --> website --> buy
mp3: Paul Michel - Day's Looking Up --> website --> buy
mp3: Chris Fullerton - Song For The Devil --> website --> buy
mp3: Toy Soldiers - Wrecking Ball --> website --> buy
I thought this little animation courtesy of Grickle would help spread some of that famed holiday cheer!
mp3: Brad Laner - Out Cold
mp3: Beck & The Flaming Lips - Cold Brains
mp3: Yeasayer - Wait For The Wintertime
mp3: Tacks, The Boy Disaster - Frozen Feet
mp3: Sam Skarstad - Ice Cave
mp3: Summer Hymns - Ice Age World
mp3: Ugly Cassanova - Ice On The Sheets
mp3: The Octopus Project - Exploding Snowhorse
On a foggy Sunday in Baltimore, it's quite clear to me where you need to be tonight. Spankrock will be taking the stage at The Talking Head in Baltimore for their fourth annual Christmas performance. I saw last years show, and I'm going back for more of their experimental, electro hip-hop.
Virtually every other venue in Balt/DC/Philly is quiet until after Christmas, so come out and get Spankrocked.
mp3: Spankrock - from Breezeblock ---- website --- buy
Jam packed. That's the only description for this Saturday in terms of live shows. In Baltimore, the Ottobar hosts Squaaks, The Payola Reserve, The Motorettes, and John Hardy Boys. In DC, These United States govern the Black Cat with The Hackensaw Boys and John Bustine. The Velvet Lounge has a hip hop showcase featuring Flex Mathews, Good Will Ink, Oddisee, Enoch, XO, YU, and DJ V-Roc. Finally in Philadelphia, New Motels roll into the Khyber along with The Minor White, The Moneynotes, and Paul Rogai. Have a good one!
mp3: Squaaks - Be Dry My Bleeding Heart
mp3: These United States - Burn This Bridge
mp3: Flex Mathews - R.F.C.
mp3: Oddisee - Camera
mp3: Oddisee - Ride'N (featuring XO)
mp3: Oddisee - iHate Rap (featuring YU)
mp3: New Motels - Modern Thinker
Another Friday is upon us and you're probably saying, "So what? Fridays come and go. What's so special about this one, sucka?" First of all, don't call me sucka. Second this is the last Friday before XMAS. Most of us are scrounging to get last minute gifts or laughing away the final hours of work. This Friday post goes out to the people who are busting their butts this weekend working a service or retail job. These kind folks basically get no rest this time of year, and deserve all of our thanks. Thank you! Please don't snap just yet. There's only a few days left. In the meantime, I offer you some toasty remixes.
mp3: Radiohead - Climbing Up Walls (Zero 7 Remix)
mp3: Grizzly Bear - Deep Sea Diver (Bomarr Remix)
mp3: Apostle Of Hustle - My Sword Hand's Anger (Circle Research Remix)
artwork via blu
If you're like me, there's nothing a good show can't cure. The only problem is when there is multiple good shows on the same night. That's the case today. In Baltimore, home town heroes Lake Trout take on the Ottobar with Gunwife Gone and Cocos Palme. Down the road at the Talking Head, Judd and Maggie play with Water School, Steve Hefter & Friends of Friends, and Quick Step John. You couldn't ask for a better show at the Black Cat in DC where Hammer No More The Fingers take the stage with New Rock Church of Fire, Velvet(CD Release), and Mas Y Mas. Up in Philly at the North Star Bar a fantastic band called Small Town Fires plays the North Star Bar with Evro, Betty Iron Thumbs, and Somerset Project. Finally also in Philly Brown Recluse Sings plays Johnny Brenda's with The Neighborhood Choir, Hermit Thrushes, Surefire Broadcast, and DJ Kyle Intensified. Enjoy!
mp3: Lake Trout - Sounds From Below --> website --> buy
mp3: Judd & Maggie - Hunger --> website --> buy
mp3: Water School - Whole Town --> website --> buy
mp3: Hammer No More The Fingers - Fall Down, Play Dead --> website --> buy
mp3: Small Town Fires - Pink Pixels --> website --> buy
mp3: Brown Recluse Sings - Rainy Saturday --> website --> buy
This is a music blog, and this is not really music related, but this is music to my ears, so here it is. The Dukies lost to Pittsburgh 65-64 in OT tonight; And that gives me an excuse to post the best mock music video ever made about college basketball. Set to "This is Why I'm Hot," by Mims, this is called, "This is Why You Suck." Enjoy. F U Duke. Die.
Menoma's Friend and Foe, out on Barsuk Records, took a couple of listens before I truly could grasp it. Having heard their previous albums, I was prepared for 'the strangeness', yet what struck me from this album was the amount of melody incorporated into it. Menomena has a sound unlike any other band. Off kilter dirty beats combined with layers of guitar, pianos and vocals. The make up of every song varies giving a freshness to each play. This was an early suprise of an album that came out at the beginning of the year and memorable enough to be written about now.
mp3: Menomena - Ghostship --> buy
mp3: Menomena - Duel
When I first saw the name Black Moth Super Rainbow I was intrigued to say the least. As it turns out, they couldn't have chosen a better names for their music. BMSR plays a type of music only known as analog-synth-funk-wha?. That's right. Synthesizers playing abnormally funky rhythms and melodies layered with vocals using the greatest invention ever - THE VOCODER. It was only logically to have a synth voice too. Getting back to the music, there wasn't anything on the album, Dandelion Gum, that necessarily blew me away, but I kept finding myself returning to this album for a groove fix. Black Moth Super Rainbow is the elixir for your analog-funk deficiency.
mp3: Black Moth Super Rainbow - Rollerdisco --> buy
mp3: Black Moth Super Rainbow - Sun Lips
What's up with Brooklyn? How can there be so much consistently good music coming out of one place? It's a conspiracy...yeah...you know what I mean. Well, adding to that conspiracy is Bell Hollow, a quartet from Brooklyn, NY that makes suspiciously great music. Drawing from influential 1980's alternative pop rock bands like The Smiths and The Cure, Bell Hollow produces a sound filled with chorused guitars and smooth, Morrissey-esque vocals. The downfall to most bands that try to pull that eighties sound off is that they end up sounding like a bad cover band. This is not the case with Bell Hollow. The lead singer, Nick Niles, uses his voice with authority and emotion, and that drives the songs into a plateau of their own. Bell Hollow's debut album, Foxgloves, came out this November on five03 Records and is solid from front to back. They plan on touring in the spring of '08, so be sure to catch a show.
mp3: Bell Hollow - Copper Crayon --> website --> buy
mp3: Bell Hollow - Getting On In Years
I picked these albums recently and I must say, if I had picked them up earlier this year they probably would have been on my favorites list. MGMT is a band that defines what good modern music is. You can hear bits and pieces of techno, indie, folk, funk, pop, rock, and other styles in the music, but one prominent one doesn't particularly stand out. You would think this would end up sounding like a bunch of mish-mash with no real point or style. MGMT defies the notion and brings it all together into an audio feast for the ages. MGMT was started by Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. They met in college and soon found success with their newly founded band. They released an EP in '05 then toured with of Montreal, quickly gaining a following. Their debut full length Oracular Spectacular was released on Sony/Columbia and produced by the famed Dave Fridmann, who has worked with the likes of The Flaming Lips, Weezer, Phantom Planet, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the up and coming Tapes 'n Tapes album. So what does this all mean? MGMT is a great modern band with a well produced album that everyone should go get right now! Go!
mp3: MGMT - Electric Feel --> website --> buy
mp3: MGMT - Kids
Yeasayer is a Brooklyn band who has a lot of hype swirling around them right now. Usually I'm wary of this and try to avoid them at all cost. Somehow I managed to get a listen and was sold. This band deserves the hype they're receiving. In October they released All Hour Cymbals, an album that, like MGMT, seems to draw from a multitude of genres and seamlessly sew them together into cohesive and stunning music. The band describes their sound as eastern-psych-pop-snap-gospel. I describe it as 'friggin great'.
mp3: Yeasayer - Sunrise --> website --> buy
mp3: Yeasayer - Germs
There aren't usually a ton of good Sunday shows, but if you head up to Philly today there's a great one at the Khyber. Five sweet up and coming indie rock bands are poised to put on a ear pleasing show. The line up includes Eastern Conference Champions, Greyhounds, The Sky Drops, The Mural and the Mint, and, Baltimore's own, Squaaks.
mp3: Eastern Conference Champions - Noah --> website --> buy
mp3: Greyhounds - No Slogans In '76 --> website --> buy
mp3: The Sky Drops - Green To Red --> website --> buy
mp3: The Mural and the Mint - Something To React Against --> website --> buy
mp3: Squaaks - Two Hippies --> website --> buy
Sometimes I'm-a-walkin' down the street and people stop me and say, "Hey Laurent! What separates good bands from 'friggin great' bands?" Then I turn to them and say, "Who the heck are you and how do you know my name?!! But to answer your question. The live show."
When I first heard Middle Distance Runner, I was impressed. They played catchy indie rock with varying styles intermingled within. They were good. I was a fan. Fast forward to last night at the Rock and Roll Hotel, where MDR not only rocked their set completely, but 'friggin killed it'! They blazed through their set with passion and emotion that energized the packed crowd. If I were to pick a highlight...hmmm...the whole thing. One thing I love to hear is a good drummer. Well my friends, crown Erik Dean the greatest drummer in the WORLD!!! Well maybe that's a bit much, but trust me...he's good. It doesn't stop with him. Steve Kilroy, the lead singer of MDR, sings like there's a burning in his soul that needs to be unleashed. All of this wouldn't matter, though, if they all didn't come together and perform as one. And they did. Middle Distance Runner was a good band. Now they're a great one.
mp3: Middle Distance Runner - Man Of The People --> website --> buy
mp3: Middle Distance Runner - Naturally
The sun is setting over an orange tinted lake. Cold whispers through my hair and sends a chill up my spine. A powerful chord from a Guild guitar echoes through the valley. Wait one second. There's no lake or sunset or chills! I'm in the middle of an inspired crowd at the Rock and Roll Hotel watching Ravens and Chimes utterly amaze me.
It's beautiful when music takes you places as it did last night at the R&R Hotel. It's also rare. That's why I'm still savoring the moments of R&C's performance. As I watched Asher Lack and company perform, I started asking myself a question. What are the odds that 6 New Yorkers could come together, form a band, and write and perform complex and personal indie rock in the same thread as the Arcade Fire? Well Ravens and Chimes beat those odds. Ravens and Chimes play music with sincerity and honesty that usually only comes out of the more seasoned bands. If you want to give yourself an early present, go purchase a copy of their debut Reichenbach Falls, go up north somewhere and rent a cabin with a fireplace, and put the album on repeat as you watch the snow come down... Oh yeah! To make their phenomenal performance completely blossom into uncharted territories, they ended their set with an stunning rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'So Long, Marianne'. Wow.
mp3: Ravens & Chimes - Archways --> website --> buy
mp3: Ravens & Chimes - So Long, Marianne
It's Saturday and many glorious shows await you! First off why not take a drive up to the city of brotherly love to see Illinois rock your screendoor off with Ian Hunter at the Trocadero. There's a great hip hop act with Flex Mathews at the Velvet Lounge in DC. Finally there's the mega Washington Social Christmas show at the 9:30 club sponsored by SPIN and BrightestYoungThings.com. The line up includes Laura Burhenn of Georgie James, Jukebox The Ghost, Caverns, The Dance Party, Exit Clov, and more!
mp3: Illinois - Nosebleed --> website --> buy
mp3: Flex Mathews - B.P.M. --> website --> buy
mp3: Exit Clov - Violent Berries --> website --> buy
mp3: Georgie James - Long Week --> website --> buy
mp3: Jukebox The Ghost - Good Day (Andrew Maury Remix) --> website --> buy
Jimmy Eat World will support Foo Fighters on a run of 2008 US tour dates! Details are as follows. All shows are on sale now:The cheapest seats are between $20 and $25, which is pretty reasonable for this crazy pairing.
January 16th – Miami, FL – Bank Atlantic Arena
January 17th – Orlando, FL – Amway Arena
January 19th – Birmingham, AL – BJCC Arena
January 20th – Pensacola, FL – Pensacola Civic Center
January 22nd – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
January 23rd – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
January 25th – Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
Mp3: Jimmy Eat World - Carry You ----- Website ----- Buy
Apparently whichever band members illness caused the cancellation of their Long and Short of it tour is good as new, as the Decemberists will be playing four shows in January. From their website:
We are pleased to announce that the Decemberists will be playing four shows in the Northwest next month - January 22 and 23 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland and January 30 and 31 at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. We know this may be a small consolation to those of you outside of Portland and Seattle that had tickets to the fall tour, but the band has rested up, and was excited to play some dates close to home. These shows will be neither Longs nor Shorts, just good ol' fashioned Decemberists shows.Good news indeed. Go get those tickets Seattle and Portland peeps.
A limited number of tickets are available Friday, December 14 at NOON Pacific time at The Decemberists' ticketing site. Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning the following Friday. Check venue websites for complete information.
Mp3: The Decemberists - Sons and Daughters --- website --- buy
It's Friday and I'm allowed to rant a little, right? I'm not the biggest environmentalist, but I look out for good old mother nature. I recycle. I own a semi-fuel effecient car. I walk places sometimes instead of driving. So I have the right to get angry when I see the greatest environmental nightmare in the world! You've seen them. The 'advertising on wheels'. What's going on here folks. One day Mr. Advertiser decided regular billboards weren't polluting the world enough, so he came up with brilliant idea of throwing a ginormous sign on the back of a gas guzzling truck. And that's all it is. A sign. It's not hauling or transporting things like any respectable truck. It's just there taking up space, polluting, and distracting drivers. A DANGER TO SOCIETY! So what can you, the public, do? Boo that sign/truck! Boooooooooo! Whew...it feels good to finally get that off my chest. Now some celebratory remixes.
It's an incredible Friday for live music! There's no time to waste! Here's the run down. First off there is an epic show going on at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC with a stellar line up of Mobius Band, Ravens & Chimes, The Epochs, and Middle Distance Runner. At the Black Cat you can check out some folkish type music from Junior League, Olivia Mancini & The Housmates, and Vandaveer. Finally if you would like to take a worthwhile trip to Philly, then head on up to Fluid Nightclub where Diplo is laying down a set.
mp3: Middle Distance Runner - Monochrome Boys --> website
mp3: Mobius Band - Starts Off With A Bang --> website
mp3: The Epochs - Opposite Sides --> website
mp3: Ravens & Chimes - The Faraway Sounds Of Cars --> website
mp3: Vandaveer - Marianne, You've Done It Now --> website
mp3: Diplo - Into The Sun --> website
In holiday news, Vandaveer has released a three song XMSEP for free. You couldn't ask for a better gift. Go get it here.
I'm a big fan of remixes. The good ones reexamine the structure and nature of the original and essentially become new pieces all together. That is what you get with Ruby Beats. Ruby Beats(aka Noah Rubin) is a musician out of New York who has worked with Celebration(go Baltimore!), Just Blaze, TV on the Radio, and Cormega to name a few. So you can imagine my excitement to find out that he recently remixed an Architecture In Helsinki track. Noah was even kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the new remix.
What was your mind state going into this remix?
For this one I was in a really forward-moving mind state, just trying to heal from a complicated and disappointing relationship. Nothing helps more than working days on end krafting new sounds and that's just what I did!
How was it working with AIH?
I met Cameron while he was working on the bonde do role "office boy" remix with Chris Coady at Dave Sitek's Stay Gold studios. I was at another studio down the street working on a track with Cormega and I stopped in to say wassup. AIH have great energy and a one-of-a-kind aesthetic. Keeps me inspired to stay on the grind!
Bam blew up by blending Kraftwerk with the Bronx and bringing it all downtown. That's pretty much where I'm at.
Thanks Ruby Beats!
mp3: Architecture In Helsinki - Hold Music (Ruby Beats Remix) --> website
mp3: Celebration - Hands Off My Gold (Ruby Beats Remix)
After The National put out Alligator, I have to say I was intrigued, but not quite sold on them. I was probably the only one since they seemed to have drawn praise from everyone. This year they put out Boxer, an album that feels like you're the only one in the room with them while they perform a selection of intimate and personal songs. I'm sold. They're 'friggin good'. Boxer is a dark and stormy night, with looming pianos and instrumentation. It can draw comparisons to many great musicians and artists, but in essence, it is unique, powerful, and one of this year's best.
mp3: The National - Squalor Victoria --> buy
mp3: The National - Mistaken For Strangers
Eulogies is a band that came out of nowhere for me. I had no expectations when I first dropped their cd into the player. The sounds that emerged were hints of late eighties/early nineties indie rock with layers of modern goodness. With a croon similar to Tweedy, Peter Walker belts out passionate vocals over crisp guitar pop rock. For a first album, Eulogies hits all the marks and has me anticipating the follow up.
mp3: Eulogies - One Man --> buy
mp3: Eulogies - Life Boat
Second albums are notorious for exposing weak one hit wonder bands. That was the fear as I cracked open the Arcade Fire's Neon Bible. To my relief and probably everyone else's that didn't happen. There was joy and happiness. This album is intense and emotional. Pain was put into crafting and molding this. The best part for me actually was months after the release. The Arcade Fire put up that crazy interactive video. Then they had the live performance with 'The Boss'. Basically those two things led me to pick up my copy of Neon Bible and put it back into the player. That's when I realized it truly was one of the great albums of the year.
mp3: The Arcade Fire - Intervention --> buy
mp3: The Arcade Fire - The Well And The Lighthouse
Sounds of Silver by LCD Soundsystem is a great album, but it would not be if it weren't for two particular songs. I'm not one to single out songs from an entire album and just repeat them over and over, but that's what I did with this album. 'North American Scum' is a classic. The lyrics are sarcastic(which I like) and somewhat humorous(which I also like). Not to mention the rockin' LCD style through the whole thing. Sometimes their emotion gets lost in the repetitive nature of their songs, but not in this one. Or in 'Someone Great' either. This song is what pushed this album over the top. It's a heartfelt, slow building, electronic anthem. A perfect song when you're driving late at night in the rain. It's not to say the rest of the album falls short---it's pretty good. In my opinion, these two songs took LCD Soundsystem to another level.
mp3: LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum --> buy
mp3: LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
My mother always told me you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. Well maybe she didn't REALLY tell me that, but it sounds like something a mother should say, right? In any case, this applies for my first introduction to the Cyanide Valentine. When I saw that name floating in my inbox I was skeptical, to say the least. What I found when pushed the play button basically threw me for a loop. Not only was it not the type of music I expected, it was music that was 'friggin good'! So here's the scoop. The Cyanide Valentine are a four piece indie/electronic/lo-fi/space-rock/dance/funk/folk outfit from Boston. There is no reason people all over the world shouldn't be listening to these guys. They have there newest album The Three Sides Of The Cyanide Valentine for free download! Go get it! They play music that seems to effortlessly flow from transitor-radio-folk to industrial to electro-funk. This would normally be a challenge for most bands to pull off, but CV have nurtured this sound into the full grown beast that it is. There is no excuse not to listen.
mp3: The Cyanide Valentine - MegaFauna --> website --> buy
mp3: The Cyanide Valentine - Neanderthals
Dangerbird Records is turning out to be one of my favorite labels this year. Seawolf, Eulogies, and Dappled Cities are just a few of the stand outs. This year Dangerbird released an album form a new favorite of mine, The One AM Radio. The One AM Radio aka Hrishikesh Hirway plays music just as the band name states. Soft spoken sounds beautifully arranged emote feelings of heartache, tragedy, but sometimes hope. Hirway's not being a trailblazer in style, but his mind and passion flow through this music demanding second and third listens. If you happen to be up at 1 am(evilhomer that meens you!), I'll go out on a whim and say this is the perfect music for that moment.
mp3: The One AM Radio - Lest I Forget --> website --> buy
mp3: The One AM Radio - In The Time We've Got
If these two bands aren't enough, perhaps you have a craving only live music can satisfy. In that case, head on down to the Rock and Roll Hotel to see the amazing, the fantastic, The Most Serene Republic! Get there early to catch Bellflur and Watch Man Walk open for them.
mp3: The Most Serene Republic - Why So Looking Back --> website --> buy
I know Mondays are rough, but maybe some solid shows could do you some good? It's worth a shot especially with the line ups going on tonight. In DC, the Black Cat plays host to a must see band in Le Loup along with Margot and The Nuclear So So's. Cake is playing DAR Constitution Hall with Brazilian Girls, Oakley Hall, Agent Ribbons, and King City. I know it sounds like a bizarre grouping of bands, but trust me it will be good. Finally, if you're in for the long haul, then head up to the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA to see the wonder that is Neil Young. If anyone is worth the trip, he is.
mp3: Neil Young - Heart Of Gold --> website --> buy
mp3: Cake - Tougher Than It Is --> website --> buy
mp3: Le Loup - We Are Gods! We Are Wolves! --> website --> buy
mp3: Margot and the Nuclear So Sos - Quiet As A Mouse --> website --> buy
If you're like me on Sundays, you are just trying to relax. No work. No effort. So perhaps this post is for you. Cosmos Corbin is an electronic artist who has set out to produce a audio piece every week. He posts them for free download on his blog Cosmos. I've been keen to these types of things before (see Podington Bear), but Corbin definitely has a good thing going. With Cosmos it's not just some random electronic sounds. They really set out to express mood and emotion. Cosmos Corbin is set on taking you to another place. Usually indie electronica this good doesn't come for free so TAKE ADVANTAGE. Here's some samples, but there is a boat load more at the site. Be sure to drop some comments.
mp3: Cosmos Corbin - Caverns --> website
mp3: Cosmos Corbin - Islands
Some good shows for a Sunday, if you can pull yourself off the football couch. At the Ottobar is the awesome lineup of The Casting Out, The Courtesy Line, Joe vs. The Volcano and Piano Black. If you're a DC kid, head to the 9:30 club for Rasputina w/ the Mathematicians. Apparently this is a seated show at the 9:30. Weird.
Mp3: The Courtesy Line - Goodnight Goodbye
Mp3: Rasputina - Cage in a Cave
your server is evilhomer at 1:25 AM
I'm not very good at comprising lists. Deciding if one album is better than the other gives me a headache. I do know there were a lot of good albums that came out this year that deserve to be remembered.
Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? was a winner from the first moment I pressed play(well maybe a couple of moments after I pressed play). They took their sound and truly funked it up, making bizarre indie electronic-ish dance music. I must say the videos for this album weirded me out a bit, but didn't make me take them out of the rotation.
mp3: Of Montreal - Cato As A Pun --> buy
mp3: Of Montreal - Grolandic Edit
This album took the term 'side project' and threw it out the window. Andrew Whiteman, a member of the band Broken Social Scene, put out Apostle of Hustle's National Anthem Of Nowhere this year, and it was a truly amazing collection of songs. Powerful rhythms and energetic vocals make this album friggin fantastic. I think I listened to it for a month straight before changing the old playlist.
mp3: Apostle Of Hustle - A Rent Boy Goes Down --> buy
mp3: Apostle Of Hustle - The Naked & Alone
There seems to be an abundance of great pop music out there these days. That's great for everyone, but sometimes a band can be over looked. Don't let that happen with Georgie James. The pop duo of John Davis and Laura Burhenn has released their first full length this year on Saddle Creek entitled Places, and it struck me from the first note to the last. Places is filled with vivid lyrics, catchy melodies, and gorgeous instrumentation. Overall they remind me somewhat of the New Pornographers. Not so much as their sound, but the combination of two strong song writers fusing their musical styles together to form a indie pop masterpiece. If you are looking for well-crafted, intelligent pop music, it doesn't get any better than Georgie James.
mp3: Georgie James - More Lights --> website --> buy
mp3: Georgie James - Hard Feelings
Be sure to check them out on New Years Eve at the Rock and Roll Hotel!
If you re looking to see some great local music then tonight's the night. In DC, the great Bellman Barker take the stage at the Party Pit along with the many sounds of These Elk Forever and 5acrosstheeyes2k. In Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda's, treat your ears to some great all around pop music from B.C. Camplight, Audible, Buried Beds, and Girl Friday. Finally in Arlington, Virginia you can check out DC's Greenland who plays the Galaxy Hut with Twin Earth.
mp3: Bellman Barker - In Their Defense --> website --> buy
mp3: These Elk Forever - Pink Lights --> website --> buy
mp3: B.C. Camplight - Blood and Peanut Butter --> website --> buy
mp3: Audible - Sunday Bell --> website --> buy
mp3: Buried Beds - Insomnia --> website --> buy
mp3: Girl Friday - If You Are --> website --> buy
mp3: Greenland - Solace In The Sea --> website --> buy
Hey! It's Friday! I went to a great show last night. The entire line up was good, and that's rare. If you get a chance be sure to check out Red Headed Temper, The Izzy's, The Blackjacks, and Among Wolves. But that was yesterday. Today is Friday. The day of Fri. I don't know who that person is or was, but I make this tribute to you Fri. The remix!
mp3: WHY? - By Torpedo or Crohn's (Dntel Remix)
mp3: The Knife - Marble House (PTR Remix)
mp3: CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above (Diplo Remix)
artwork by Zevs via Wooster Collective
It's cold and snowy here in Baltimore, but don't let that stop you from seeing some really good shows. At the Ottobar here in town, Redheaded Temper is up for rockingalong with The Blackjacks, The Izzy's, and, a new fave of mine, Among Wolves. If you are missing the hip hop in your life, then it doesn't get much better than Peanut Butter Wolf's B-Ball Zombie War tour which makes a stop in DC at the Black Cat. Featuring Madlib, J Rocc, and Percee P, it's sure to be a dynamite show!
mp3: Red Headed Temper - The Smell Of Fear --> website
mp3: Among Wolves - Baltimore --> website --> buy
mp3: Peanut Butter Wolf - Casio --> website --> buy
mp3: Madlib - Mystic Bounce --> website --> buy
mp3: Percee P - Reverse Part 2 --> website --> buy
mp3: PB Wolf - Legendary Lyricist Pt. 2 feat. J Rocc & Percee P
Sometimes music can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It can pick you up and hug you when you're down, or it can shovel the last pile of dirt on your grave. A pivotal time of day for me is the drive home from work. The long day has worn me down. The selection of songs the old pod chooses could make or break my evening. Yesterday music saved the day. I was in a fairly drab mood when the tunes began to play. 'What's this?' I said to myself while a smile slowly came across my face. I looked down. It was Middle Distance Runner's 'The Sun and Earth'. Those of you unfamiliar with MDR should make it a priority to know them. This song simply rocked my brains out!!! It's great when you listen to a song and you can feel the energy and emotion flowing out of every note and beat being played. MDR's recent EP captures that the whole way through leaving your finger next to the repeat button. So if you're looking for a good soundtrack for the ride home, go track down DC's Middle Distance Runner. They are currently on tour with Mobius Band and the Epochs, and will be at the Rock and Roll Hotel on December 14th.
mp3: Middle Distance Runner - The Sun and Earth --> website --> buy
As for the rest of the drive home, these were the next to songs:
mp3: Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Wives
mp3: Nada Surf - Blizzard of '77
Something is going on in Baltimore. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something is up. Maybe it's all the 'BELIEVE' banners around town. Maybe the high crime rate has put the sense of urgency into everyone causing a massive surge of creative energy. Or not. Monarch is a duo straight out of Charm City that encorporates that creative energy previously mentioned. On their myspace they list their sound as Indie/Folk Rock/Experimental. The thing is...they're not quite folk rock. They're not quite experimental. I guess they're indie, but what isn't these days. Some reviewers labeled them shoegazer, but...not quite. What does that mean? Monarch plays their own brand of music defying labels and labelers. Layers upon layers of fuzzed out sound sewn together with soothing vocal harmonies lull me into a world that I don't want to leave(but eventually I have to...booo). If you're into beautiful, amazing, and generally 'good friggin' music', then Monarch is the cure for what ails you.
mp3: Monarch - Obituary --> website --> buy
mp3: Monarch - Regret
It's hard to believe that another musician in Baltimore is brushing categories off their shoulder in Jay-Z fashion. Orion Rigel Dommisse has a heavenly voice and sings over brilliantly arranged music. So what? That's been done before, you say. True, but Orion's delivery has an ancient feel to it. The instruments behind her voice feel like they're being played in a deep dark forest and the fire's almost out. Isn't that when music is at it's best. Sadness combined with beauty. Fear wrapped up in excitement. These musical weavings push Orion Rigel Dommisse into the famed category of 'Good Friggin' Stuff'.
mp3: Orion Rigel Dommisse - Fake Yer Death --> website --> buy
The year isn't even over yet, but I've already have my ears set on next year's releases. One of those releases will be Cadence Weapon's second full length, Afterparty Babies, out on Upper Class Records. On his first album, Breaking Kayfabe, Mr. Rollie Pemberton dazzled us with his crazy Edmonton flow over raw electronic beats. It was a place hip hop hadn't been yet. Now, everyone's been there. What does the Weapon have in store? Well for the track "In Search of the Youth Crew" he offers up a twisted rollerskating jam with his trademark lyrics bouncing all over the track. When I heard this track, I let out a sigh of relief. Rollie's back!
mp3: Cadence Weapon - In Search of the Youth Crew --> website --> buy
Are you trying to end your weekend on a high note? Then go check out Greenland at the Galaxy Hut in VA.
mp3: Greenland - Shipwreck on the Watery Eye --> website
Tulsa, a dynamic duo from Massachusetts, pours their heart and soul into their latest release on Park The Van Records, I Was Submerged. Carter Tanton and Eric Wormwood have put together a collection of songs that roll in like fog on the water. They sit with you and marinate as you listen to the light melodies and reverbed vocals, leaving you feeling a touch of melancholy, but mostly satisfaction. I've heard a lot of people compare them to My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses. I thought they sounded a bit like Rogue Wave on first listen. Really they just have a great sound. Tulsa is a place everyone should visit, and I think they will.
mp3: Tulsa - Shaker --> website --> buy
mp3: Tulsa - Rafter
After the wave of good shows yesterday, it's hard to believe there is more today. Be sure to check out Baltimore's own Celebration at Johnny Brenda's in Philly along with Dragons of Zynth.
mp3: Celebration - China --> website --> buy
The Toadies, who are guaranteed to rock your proverbial socks off, will be setting out on a small tour of Texas and the southeast on December 13th in Houston with other Texas dates and stops in Arkansas and Louisiana. If you can make it to any of these shows, DO IT. These guys are INSANE live, and chances to see them are few and far between, especially if you don't live/want to travel to Texas. I'm really jealous of a friend who lives in the Big Easy. You know who you are. Jackass. Go to the Dec. 28th show at Tipitina’s.
mp3: The Toadies - Possum Kingdom
mp3: The Toadies - cover of Where is My Mind - - > website - - > buy