Thursday, August 31, 2006

Throwback Thursday: Morphine

And the winner of this week's open call for Throwback Thursday is... me!?! Since I had zero suggestions, I had to wing it. The sad thing is that somebody could have written in and said Vanilla Ice and they would have won. The good news is that I came up with something at the eleventh hour. Our weekly throwback artist is... Morphine.

Morphine was a nineties band from the Boston area. The funny thing about them is that there are a lot of people reading this that have never heard of them. They were cool like that, in an underground way. Their sound is very unique. For the most part, it consisted of a 2-string bass, various percussion and sax. Tragically, lead singer Mark Sandman died of a heart attack on stage in 1999.

I am very fortunate to have seen them at the 9:30 Club in DC, literally a couple of months before his death. It was a great show and one of the ones that I am proudest to have witnessed. In concert, they played with bass, sax and two drummers. Sandman did poetry readings in between songs. I also remember it being a very loud show.

So enjoy this week's throwback. If you don't know them, try something new. Mike will be filling in next week and he has a good one planned. As for the prize that went unclaimed, it will be added back to the pool that will be given away for our first contest. Look for details on that in the near future.

You Look Like Rain
The Saddest Song

Honey White

Cure For Pain
Cure For Pain

Greatest Hits: '92-'95
I'm Free Now

Like Swimming
Wishing Well
French Fries With Pepper

The Night
The Night

Past Throwbacks:
08/24/06: The Lemonheads
08/17/06: Depeche Mode
08/10/06: New Order

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Astroladies, Coming To A Planet Near You

There are some bands that you just cannot get out of your head. Recently, there was a band that found me on myspace. We started talking and became penpals. Now, things will never be the same. Before I even touch on their music or cd, I have to talk about them and their amazing backstory. This story is so unbelievable, that it has to be true.

Astroladies are an indie band located in Belgium. According to their official bio, they are a four piece comprised of "a half Congolese computer freak, a nearly blind Italian guitar player who is about as tall as his pedalboard is long, a monomaniac Belgian voice and a Vespa freak on drums."

According to Vincent, their sound "originates from poverty rather than intention". He says that "Frederik plays a second hand Roland Juno 106 and if he's lucky his Casio SK-1 will join in, until it breaks down... again! I play the cheapest guitar I could find, an Ibanez Jetking II. The computer that we use for live shows exploded a couple weeks ago and the entire band is technically unemployed."

They are "about as unsigned as one can be." They are trying to promote their album and receive some positive attention so that future releases can be on a proper label and have actual distribution. They are trying to play as much as possible, but are having problems finding gigs and airplay in their own country without a proper label or promotion. Vincent said, "we did our first gig in a psychiatric hospital. The crowd 'liked' us so much that we had to hide backstage. We got paid with ice cream on that occasion." He also told me that they would love to come play in America, but they would "probably have to sell some of their vital organs to make that happen."

How is the music, you ask? Well, Neon Tokyo is absolutely brilliant. If you didn't know their back story, you never would have guessed it. This does not sound like an album that was recorded in those conditions with such poor instrumentation. I have received a lot of low budget recordings, but I have never heard one that sounds this professionally done. I have played this for friends who are not in to this type of music and they all have said that while it is not their thing, it sounds really good.

I was trying to figure out how to describe their sound. The best that I could come up with is a combination of early Depeche Mode, very early New Order and Auchtung Baby era U2. The guitars on some of the tracks are what remind me of U2. Neon Tokyo, Meet Me At The OC8, Swallows and The Management Has Failed 2day are all really good songs. In all honesty, I never fast forwarded through any of the 11 songs, which is very rare for my short attention span. They have a lot of talent and a sense of desperation. That combination is what makes them a good band.

I am going to post a few of their tracks. It was hard for me to pick a couple to post, because there are so many different sides to their sound. If you would like to hear more, become their friend. They also have some videos and a remix available there. If you like their music, please support them. In the states, you can purchase their album on iTunes.

Finally, post a comment or shoot me an email. I would love to hear what you think about these guys.

Astroladies - Neon Tokyo
Astroladies - Meet Me At The OC8
Astroladies - The Management Has Failed 2day

Rockin' Out This Week in Austin

The calendar turns to September this weekend, which means only two weeks until the Festival! The big names are getting ready to filter through central Texas. Until then, let's see who will be in the ATX this week.

As Joe said in his post, the dinosaurs are out this week. I am not a huge fan of punk and hardcore bands, but two of the most well known and influential ones are playing together Wednesday at Stubbs: X and The Rollins Band.

On Thursday, Stubbs has San Antonio's Buttercup and the latest Austin buzz band, Oh No! Oh My!. Friday night brings Gil Mantera's Party Dream to Emo's. They are they best thing to come out of Youngstown, OH since Joe. They will be joined by Texas locals The Lord Henry, lalaland and February Chorus. You need to listen to their Fleetwood Mac cover. It is frightening, yet addictive.

The big show of the week is at the Continental Club on Friday. National buzz band Snowden is coming along with local bands The Onlys and For Those Who Know. Additionally, Snowden will be doing an in-store at End of an Ear at 6pm. Hopefully I will see you guys Friday night.

Finally, I want to show you some love. AT&T is sponsoring a free show at Stubbs on September 13 featuring Gnarls Barkley. They are giving away tickets starting Wednesday 8/30. Please check here for more details.

X - Los Angeles
Rollins Band - Liar
Buttercup - Anti-Antartica
Oh No! Oh My! - Walk in the Park
Gil Mantera's Party Dream - Dreams
The Lord Henry - Like You Like Me
Lalaland - Crack Up
February Chorus - Cars and Planes
Snowden - Black Eyes
The Onlys - Ah Happiness
For Those Who Know - Competition
Gnarls Barkely - Gone Daddy Gone

Monday, August 28, 2006


Sometimes I find sites that are so good, that I need to pimp them. One that fits the bill is Daytrotter. Instead of talking about the same bands as everyone else, they invite the bands that everyone else is talking about to stop at their studio in Rock Island, IL for 2 hours between tour stops. While they are there, the bands record 4 exclusive songs that are made available for free on Daytrotter's site. Some are covers, some are unreleased, some are old rarities and some are just reworked versions of the songs that you love. In all cases, it is pure quality. Some recent sessions include Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Maritime and French Kicks. They recently recorded a wonderful set by Cold War Kids that includes two unreleased tracks and a great version of Hospital Beds. Please check these guys out and give them your love, they deserve it.

Baltimore's Spotlight Show of the Week: Forget Cassettes and AVECduet

I had to save the best for last. On Thursday night, AVECduet will be having a cd release party at The Talking Head. Nashville's Forget Cassettes will also be on the bill. They are suporting their superb new disc Salt. If you forget how I feel about them, see this to refresh your memory.

AVECduet is one half of local band AVEC. I know, how the hell did they get a band like Forget Cassettes to play their cd release party? Shawna Potter (AVEC's lead singer) used to be in a Nashville band called Fair Verona. Two of her bandmates were Forget Cassettes singer Beth Cameron and drummer Aaron Ford. Once you listen to their mp3, this pairing will make sense. They really are not too bad themselves. This should be a stellar show and I highly recommend it to anyone who will be in the area.

AVECduet - Chase Adam
Forget Cassettes - Quiero, Quieres

I also have mp3s of 2 in-studio broadcasts from Forget Cassettes recorded at WOXY. The first one was recorded in August 2005 and includes the following songs: Sleeper, Vis-A-Vis, Tabula Rasa, Nicholas and Venison. The second one was recorded this month and has these tunes: Venison, Quiero Quieres, Lonely Does It and Nicholas.

August 26, 2005
August 18, 2006

Finally, I have a live video of Forget Cassettes performing Quiero, Quieres.

Forget Cassettes - Quiero, Quieres

This Week in the Baltimore Region

Technically, summer's last hurrah is upon us and for whatever reason, dinosaurs are taking over the region this week.

Ironically, the week begins with Dinosaur Jr. at The Ottobar. Thursday brings World Party and Elvis Perkins to the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis. Mike, didn't you see WP in the early 90's?

Friday has two shows that make me feel like I am still rocking out to cassettes in my old ass '87 Chevy Spectrum circa 1993. The Violent Femmes and their pals Langhorne Slim invade Rams Head Live. One of the original hardcore bands, Gorilla Biscuits; are back together and will play a sold out show at The Ottobar followed by an after party that features a solo acoustic set by Walter Schreifels.

Fortunately there is some new blood circulating through the region this week. Los Angeles band Gliss will be at The Sidebar Tavern on Friday night. They will be joined by Crooked Looks, Life in Bed and The Closer I Get. John Ralston will be at The Ottober on Saturday night.

Heading to Pennsylvania, Saturday brings Ennui and A Choir Silence to The Chameleon Club. For those looking for a relaxing time, the Kipona Festival is in Harrisburg Saturday through Monday and features a lot of acoustic acts. It is "a celebration of sparkling water." Darcie Miner will be headling the festival on Monday night.

Dinosaur Jr. - Feel the Pain
World Party - What Does It Mean Now?
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday
Violent Femmes - Good Feeling
Langhorne Slim - Mary
Gorilla Biscuits - Start Today
Walter Schreifels - Arthur Lee's Lullaby
Gliss - Blue Sky
Crooked Looks - Pay Day Baby
Life In Bed - Logic is Your Best Defense
The Closer I Get - August
John Ralston - Gone, Gone, Gone
Ennui - Tonight
A Choir Silence - Julia's Harbor
Darcie Miner - Explain This To Me

Friday, August 25, 2006

Nightcrawling Till The Sun Turns Black

Next Tuesday has two pretty big releases from American singer/songwriters. They are Pete Yorn's Nightcrawler and Ray Lamontagne's Till The Sun Turns Black.

The new Pete Yorn disc is his third studio album and it is the completion of his Morning (musicforthemorningafter, 2001)/Day (Day I Forgot, 2003)/Night (Nightcrawler, 2006) trilogy. Yorn says "When you hear it, you'll understand. This could be the last one. I could be three records and out in this form. I might start a band and see where that takes me." If it is half as good as musicforthemorningafter, he should be fine. I listened to that album for a year straight.

Ray Lamontagne is following up 2004's Trouble. I heard a lot of these songs when I saw him live last month. They sound like a natural progression from his first disc. He is not making any major musical breakthroughs, but with him it has always been about the lyrics anyway. On a side note, Ray did a lot of work before Trouble. His early albums a demos are available here.

Pete Yorn - For Us
Ray Lamontagne - Three More Days
Ray Lamontagne - Empty (Live from Bonnaroo)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Big Bloc Party

If we were asked to name our favorite current bands, Bloc Party would be a consensus pick. Today is a good day, because today seems to be Bloc Party day. Adding to an already crazy week, we have info on the new album, the new US tour and we stumbled upon a demo. If you don't have a clue who we are talking about, you have to check this out.

The new album is slated for late '06/ early '07 release. It does not yet have an official title, but it sounds like they are being much more experimental on this album. Kele Okereke says the album is "dark, bigger and quite abrasive. It's not noisy, but it's quite dense. I think it's going to require people to make an effort with it. There's a lot of interplay and a lot of detail. There are some slower moments too. I was aware that we didn't have very many songs that were laid back. Everything was frenetic and that's fine, but we wouldn't be doing ourselves any justice as musicians if we just ploughed the same furrow." More information can be attained here. In addition, they have revealed the track shortlist for the new album. Songs which don’t appear on the album will be used as b-sides. The songs are:

A Prayer to the Lord
Hunting for Witches
It Started in an Afternoon
Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
Waiting for the 7:18
We Were Lovers
Where Is Home?

As far as a tour goes, the good news is they will be going on one during the late fall. The bad news is that they will be opening for Panic! At The Disco. The Dates are:

* 11/7 - Sunrise, FL @ Bank Atlantic Center
* 11/8 - Orlando, FL @ UCF Arena
* 11/9 - Atlanta, GA @ HiFi Buys Amphitheatre
* 11/10 - Charlotte, NC @ Cricket Arena
* 11/11 - Fairfax, VA @ Patriot Center
* 11/13, 14 - New York, NY @ The Theatre at Madison Square Garden
* 11/16 - Toronto, ON @ Ricoh Coliseum
* 11/17 - Rochester, NY @ Gordon Field House at R.I.T.
* 11/18 - Lowell, MA @ Paul E. Tsongas Arena
* 11/19 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
* 11/21 - Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
* 11/22 - Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion
* 11/24 - Minneapolis, MN @ US Bank Theatre at Target Center
* 11/25 - St. Louis, MO @ St. Charles County Family Arena
* 11/26 - Council Bluffs, IA @ Mid America Center
* 11/28 - Denver, CO @ Magness Arena
* 11/29 - West Valley City, UT @ The E Center
* 12/1 - Portland, OR @ Memorial Coliseum
* 12/2 - Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coliseum
* 12/3 - Seattle, WA @ Everett Events Center
* 12/5 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
* 12/6 - Long Beach, CA @ Long Beach Arena
* 12/7 - Glendale, AZ @ Glendale Arena
* 12/8 - Las Vegas, NV @ Orleans Theatre
* 12/9 - San Diego, CA @ ipayOne Center

Finally, we found a demo floating around. It is for the track Song For Clay (Disappear Here) and was supposedly recorded earlier this year. According to, "'Song For Clay' is about the main character in Brett Easton Ellis' novel 'Less Than Zero'. A rich young college student who returns to his hometown of Los Angeles for the winter break. Clay subsequently becomes bored and turns to drugs and cheap thrills to keep him occupied, resulting in further boredom. This dizzying spiral of desperation takes him to relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs as he seeks inner direction." If this is any indication of what the finished album will sound like, it is going to be great.

Bloc Party - Song For Clay (Disappear Here) - Demo

Throwback Thursday: The Lemonheads

For this week's throwback, I was leaning in several directions. After their new song leaked yesterday, I knew that I had to go with The Lemonheads. While they may not be one of my absolute favorites, they will always have a special place in my heart. Way back in the day, they were my first indie rock show. Since that fateful day, they have released music in various forms and Evan Dando did some solo things. Now they are back, kind of. Evan got a new group together to record and tour under the old name. Their new album drops in late September on Vagrant. Until then, let's take a trip down memory lane. Enjoy!

The Lemonheads - Hate Your Friends (1987)
The Lemonheads - Confetti (1992)
The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray (1992)
The Lemonheads - Into Your Arms (1993)
The Lemonheads - If I Could Talk I'd Tell You (1996)
The Lemonheads - No Backbone (2006)

A bonus Whitney Houston Cover....
Evan Dando - How Will I Know

Past Throwbacks:
08/17/06: Depeche Mode
08/10/06: New Order

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hot Nights in the ATX

Hot enough for ya? I'm sweating more than a...well I don't know what 'cause my brain melted about 4 days ago from this heat. Maybe some live music will cool you and me off. This is some of the stuff that is happening around town this week.

Thursday 8/24 @ Stubb's inside the club: Birdmonster. Worth a listen. Plus get some good grub upstairs before the show.

Thursday 8/24 @ Antone's: Tim Reynolds. Guitar magic at the home of the Blues.

Friday 8/25 @ Red Eyed Fly: Alpha Rev. Austin-based Casey McPherson led outfit. Definately worth a look and listen.

Saturday 8/26 @ The Parish: Hairy Apes BMX. The BMX stands for Butt Movin' eXperience. Prepare yourself for a funk-tastic good time.

So get out there Austin and party. While you wait to go to the shows, have a listen to some of the tracks.

Birdmonster - Ice Age (live)
Alpha Rev - Big Blow
Hairy Apes BMX - Phone Numbers

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Some New Releases

The fall album season has officially begun. Many new releases are beginning to hit your record stores and online outlets. Here are some of the notable ones from this week....

Cursive: Happy Hollow
At Conception (mp3)

Eric Bachmann: To The Races
Lonesome Warrior (mp3)

Headlights: Kill Them with Kindness
Put Us Back Together (mp3)

My Brightest Diamond: Bring Me the Workhorse
Something of an End (mp3)

Mountain Goats: Get Lonely
Woke Up New (mp3)

Ratatat: Classics
Wildcat (mp3)

Snowden: Anti-Anti
Anti-Anti (mp3)

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin: Broom
I Am Warm and Powerful (mp3)

What Made Milwaukee Famous: Trying to Never Catch Up
Almost Always Never (mp3)

A more comprehensive list can be found here.

The Light Footwork

Another band getting a lot of buzz lately is California's The Light Footwork. Their album One State Two State was released early this year and they have recently started to preveiew some new songs. According to their press release, they are an indie band that use "vocal trade-offs, harmonies, powerful guitar riffs and eccentric lyrics." Give them a try and see what you think.

The Light Footwork - The Art of Everyday Communication Part 1

and a new track....

The Light Footwork - Melville

Monday, August 21, 2006


Annuals are a North Carolina band that are starting to make a name for themselves. They recently signed to Ace Fu records and will be opening for Tapes 'n Tapes this fall. Their sound is indie experimental and they definitely use some unique textures in their music. Give them a listen and let us know what you think.

Annuals - Bleary Eyed
Annuals - Dry Clothes

Another August Week in the Baltimore Region

Well August is slowly coming to an end. Things start to really pick up after Labor Day, but this week has some decent offerings.

The week begins on Tuesday with locals Blonde Hair Blue Eyes at Full Moon Saloon in Fell's.

The Ottobar has a solid week that includes Chicago's Smoking Popes on Wednesday and a local show featuring Payola Reserve, The Mishaps and Private Eleanor on Friday. For a little New Orleans flavor, Better Than Ezra takes the stage at Ram's Head Live on Sunday.

Heading up to Pennsylvania, DC's Army of Me hit The Chameleon on Thursday, Joshua Radin comes to town on Saturday and Dinosaur Jr. take over on Sunday. J Mascis and the boys will also be at The Ottobar the following night.

Like always, if I missed anything or if things change, let me know.

Blonde Hair Blue Eyes - The New Disco
Smoking Popes - Need You Around
Payola Reserve - Music Is Not Music
The Mishaps - Maama Jamma
Private Eleanor - Seventeen
Army of Me - Come Down to DC
Joshua Radin - Winter
Dinosaur Jr. - Start Choppin'

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Long Winters

A band that is getting a lot of buzz lately, is Seattle's The Long Winters. Since they are playing ACL Fest, I thought that I should give them a mention. Their latest album Putting The Days To Bed, was released about a month ago. After ACL Fest, they will be heading out on tour with Austin's What Made Milwaukee Famous. They will be heading northeast from Austin and hit various cities, including Baltimore on September 27.

The Long Winters - Pushover
The Long Winters - Fire Island, AK

Various Weekend Rants

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of picking my brother up from BWI airport. I was able to witness firsthand the crazy ass lines caused by terrorist assholes as I walked past various check in points. I am definitely not looking forawrd to trvaeleing internationally in 2 weeks. It basically looked like a rather large line of cattle lined up in their chutes. Lovely!

So everytime I log on to our myspace site, I have various friend requests from girls who look like hookers. Now I am not naive enough to think that these girls really want to be our friend, yet alone like 10 of them within a 5 minute period. They obviously have their own on-line pimp who sends them out in groups. Oh you don't like asians, well how about redheads? Why do they do this? Since I am a heartbreaker and always deny them, I will never know for sure. My guess is that they splatter your page with hoe-esque comments and skanktastic pics trying to pimp their webcams or whatever hoe bag things they are peddling at that particular moment. Stay away skanks, I will always deny you.

We recently stumbled upon some music that we would love to share more than anything. However, we are not dumb enough to open ourselves up to legal prosecution. It sucks. It is like knowing a juicy secret that you can't tell because you were sworn to secrecy. Hopefully we can share this sometime in the future. We'll see.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lake Trout

It's Saturday morning and I am half out of it, so let's keep this simple. I post some tunes from a band and you tell me what you think. Let's go with a little Baltimore action and play some Lake Trout. This is another band that I got in to way before I had this site. I saw them several times when I was in college during the late 90's. I rediscovered them a couple of years ago and found that their sound had evolved, definitely for the better. These tracks are off of their disc from last year, Not Them You.

Lake Trout - Shiny Wrapper
Lake Trout - Now We Know

As an added bonus, this is their Rolling Stones Cover.

Lake Trout - Street Fighting Man

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What's going on in Austin *Links Added*

I made it back from Wisconsin in one piece and I am ready to show the world what music should be entertaining us. Some quick hits for those roaming the ATX clubs this weekend:

Friday 8/18 at The Parish: Final Fantasy. Owen Pallett, violinist and singer who has recorded and toured with The Arcade Fire. Not your normal orchestra geek.

Friday 8/18 at the Saxon Pub: Vallejo for a local flare and an intimate setting. It will be tight at the Saxon, get there early.

Saturday 8/19 at Emo's: Evangelicals. Worth checking out, even if you have never heard of them.

This city is about to blow up musically. It does it twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. Everybody who is anybody is coming to Austin in mid-September for the Austin City Limits Festival. Artists are even piggy-backing off of it and playing shows at clubs that same weekend, even though they are not in the festival. There are quite a few pre and post show concerts. I am going to try and preview as much of it as I can before festival time, then I'll give a nightly recap after each day. Ten hours of music a day for three straight days will definitely be a good time, if not exhausting. Tickets are still available for single days and I am sure that you can find three day passes from a broker or stubhub or something. Come party with 60,000 (a day) of your closest friends!

On a final note, I came home from vacation to a message from Joe tipping me off about an Austin band that he had talked to and to let me know that they invited us to their show that night. Unfortunately I was dead tired after 7 hours of airport fun and another 9 hours of work the next day, so I did not make the show. However, I have previewed some of the band's material on their myspace page. Please do the same, it is good. I will definitely give you more detailed coverage of them in the future, but let's start with an mp3. I present to you, The Drawing Board.

The Drawing Board - The Writer
Final Fantasy - This is the Dream of Win and Regine
Evangelicals - Another Day

Throwback Thursday: Depeche Mode *Fixed*

When most people think of Depeche Mode, they think circa 1990 with full stadiums and songs like Personal Jesus flowing out of their radio. That is great and all, but Depeche Mode was around long before their commercial success of the early 90's. When I think of Depeche Mode, I immediately think of their mid 80's releases. Albums like Some Great Reward and Black Celebration. To me, those are the albums that are still an enjoyable listen 20 years later. I also find it fascinating to hear the evolution of their sound from the very beginning to what everyone thinks of when they hear Depeche Mode. To be completely honest, I never really cared all that much for 90's era DM. It seemed like it was more about the production and less about the music. So for this week's Thursday Throwback, I am going with pre-Violator Depeche Mode. I am also going to include some of their real early stuff, to show the complete metamorphosis. You can purchase any of their albums here. Enjoy!

*UPDATE* I listened to the songs and 2 of them were awful quality. I fixed them and uploaded them again. They now have a fixed by their name and sound a lot better. Let me know if anything else needs corrected.

Speak & Spell (1981)
Just Can't Get Enough

A Broken Frame (1982)
See You

Construction Time Again (1983)
Love In Itself

Some Great Reward (1984)
Lie To Me (FIXED)
Blasphemous Rumours

Catching Up... (1985)
Shake The Disease (FIXED)

Black Celebration (1986)
Here Is The House

Music For The Masses (1987)
Never Let Me Down Again

Past Throwbacks:
08/10/06: New Order

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cleaning Up The Harddrive Part 2

I have been having all sorts of server problems today, so this series of posts will definitely not be getting finished today. These issues have also caused me to post them in a different order than I had planned. Due to this, you will be getting a rather random mix of artists for this post. Enjoy.

Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
Cold War Kids are a California band that I was introduced to a few months ago. I like them more every time that I hear them. They definitely grew on me. This track is off of their Up In Rags EP from earlier this year.

Film School - Pitfalls
I got in to Film School through a free daily download on eMusic earlier this year. This is off their self titled album, which is really good.

What Made Milwaukee Famous - Almost Always Never
WMMF is another band that I discovered earlier this year. They are an Austin band and this off their album Trying Never To Catch Up, which comes out next Tuesday.

Band of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
I became educated about Band of Horses earlier this summer. It took me some time to get in to them. This track is off of Everything All The Time, which I now really enjoy.

Gomez - Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol
Gomez is a band that I have been aware of since the late '90s, but never really got in to until the past year or so. This track is off of their latest, How We Operate.

That is it for today. More tomorrow, hopefully. Also look out for this week's Thursday Throwback.

Cleaning Up The Harddrive Part 1

As promised earlier, I am compiling some stuff that I have enjoyed long before my great adventure in to blogland or before I even knew that music blogs existed. This is going to end up being several posts. I am going to start pretty mellow. This first group is filled with singer/songwriters. Let me know who you like, so I can devote more time to them in the future.

Alexi Murdoch - Breathe
I first discovered Alexi Murdoch right after four songs was released on CD Baby. I'm thinking it was late '02 or early '03. Long after that, I began to hear his music all over television and movies. Earlier this year, he finally released his debut full length, Time Without Consequence. This is one of my favorites from that disc.

David Ford - State of the Union
I stumbled upon David Ford earlier this year and immediately became a fan. This is off of I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused. I posted the video last weekend. If you haven't watched it yet, give it a try. It's amazing to see how he composes this by himself.

David Mead - Hallelujah, I Was Wrong
Like David Ford, I stumbled upon David Mead earlier this year. This song is off of his latest, Tangerine.

Grant-Lee Phillips - Age of Consent
I first listened to Grant-Lee Phillips when I saw his old band open for R.E.M. in the mid 1990's. His new disc is full of covers of his favorite songs form the 80's. This is a great New Order cover.

Josh Ritter - Wolves
Josh Ritter's new album Animals is on my short list of contenders for best album of the year. Yeah, it is that good.

Josh Rouse - Middle School Frown
I discovered Josh Rouse about 2 years ago. This is off of his 2005 release, Nashville. He makes some pretty good music.

Sorry that doesn't look as kick ass as I had hoped. I am really busy today and don't really have the time to add pictures. Between that and server issues, it may take me longer to post all of these than I had hoped. Stay with me, I will get to them.

Regarding Suggestions

Believe it or not, I actually receive feedback on this site. Some things that I do go over really well, while others (that I would never expect) spark controversy. Please feel free to send me feedback and music suggestions. If you suggest something and I like it, I will write about it. I do listen to every bit of feedback that I receive.

There is a reader who really likes my more mellow side. She suggested that I delve in to that territory a little bit more and post some of the stuff that I really like but haven't posted about because my site was not up yet. I thought about that and I will be writing a series of posts over the next day or so that cover some of the stuff that I have been listening to over the last few years. Some of it is rather mellow, some of it is not. Additionally, several readers seem to really enjoy Throwback Thursday. If you have any suggestions for artists to cover with that feature, let me know. I have a really good one planned for tomorrow.

On a side note, yesterday was a banner day for this site. I am not sure why, but we more than doubled our previous site records. Thanks for all of your support.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ripping The Ripper

By now pretty much everyone has heard of Girl Talk and the breakout album of the summer, Night Ripper. For the few who haven't, he is a DJ from Pittsburgh who basically mashes every pop culture sample of the past 30 years into an album so crazy that it actually works. He samples everyone from Biggie to Hall and Oates. I will post a sample below. Anyway, the only two bloggers that are actually more nuts than I am, spent hours picking apart all of the songs and made a 2 part post on all of the major songs sampled for the album. Due to legal concerns, they aren't going to keep these up for very long, so check them out while you can. Some Velvet Blog has Part I and I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS has Part II.

Girl Talk - Bounce That

Chameleon Turns Black Tonight

Just a heads up... The Jeremy Enigk/Stars of Track and Field show tonight at Lancaster, PA's Chameleon Club has been cancelled. My guess? It's too freakin' hot for the horses to pull their masters to the show.

A Little Out of the Ordinary

As most of you know, I am not much of a hip hop guy. With that being said, I have to tell you about something that I have become aware of. On Friday night, there is a show at Supreme Imperial in Baltimore that I feel is worth checking out. Including DJ's, there will be 8 acts performing for $5. I want to talk about 3 of them.

Unsung and Witness are 2 hip hop acts from Pennsylvania. While I may not be big on hip hop, this is good shit. They have both have laid back vocals over jazz grooves and it's just pleasant to listen to. Extortion Labs are a group from Vienna, VA that I'm not even sure how to describe. They are not hip hop, yet they fit perfectly with the other 2 groups. I will post a song from each of them so that you can hear what I am talking about. If you agree with me, check out their sites and their show on Friday.

Witness - Sylvia Plath
Unsung - Head Coma
Extortion Labs - cycle96

Monday, August 14, 2006

This Week in The Baltimore Region

Ah another week has passed, which means it is once again time for my weekly concert calendar of the Baltimore region. I must admit that things are looking pretty sad in Charm City this week. Fortunately there is enough life in the outlying areas to make this week worthwhile.

The lone concert of note that I have to report in Baltimore this week is fortunately a good one. On Wednesday night, The Ottobar has a bill featuring Aloha, Rahim and local favorites Avec.

If you venture to Annapolis, The Ram's Head has a great show featuring Corinne Bailey Rae, Kevin Devine and Gran Bel Fisher on Friday Night. If you head north, Frederick, MD has Bob Dylan at Harry Grove Stadium on Saturday Night.

The real place to be this week is The Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA. On Monday night, they have Frank Black from the Pixies. On Tuesday night, they present Stars of Track and Field and Jeremy Enigk, formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate. Wednesday night brings G Love and Special Sauce to town. Friday night has Bill Mallonee, formerly of Vigilantes of Love.

If I am missing anything, let me know. I did this kind of quick since I was running late with it. Some sample mp3s follow. Please go out and support all original music and the fine artists that produce it.

Aloha - Your Eyes
Rahim - 10,000 Horses
Avec - 16 Minus 71
Gran Bel Fisher - Crash and Burn
Kevin Devine - Brooklyn Boy
Frank Black - Elijah
Stars of Track and Field - With You
Jeremy Enigk - Been Here Before
G Love - Booty Call
Bill Mallonee - No Longer Bound

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Ray Lamontagne

Since I just saw him play in Baltimore last month, I decided to end with Ray Lamontagne. What can I say... if it is early in the morning, late at night or you are just having a mellow day... he's your guy. I have to be in the mood, but I like his music. He isn't the best at audience interaction, but he plays his songs and plays them well. This is his set from Studio 7.

Ray Lamontagne - Trouble
Ray Lamontagne - Hold You In My Arms
Ray Lamontagne - Jolene

As an added bonus, his acoustic Gnarls Barkley cover.

Ray Lamontagne - Crazy

I hope you enjoyed the weekend. I am so happy to be done. Normal coverage resumes tomorrow and Mike is back from vacation. I'll leave you with a video of Trouble.

Acoustic ACL Weekend - David Ford

If I was going to ACL, I would definitely be checking out David Ford. He wasn't initially part of this weekend, but I decided to add him. Watch this amazing solo video for State of The Union.

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Gomez

When you ask Mike to name the bands that he is most excited about seeing at ACL Fest, there is one band that always tops the list. Gomez is from England and just released their fifth studio album How We Operate. I can tell you now that this album will be in Mike's top 5 at the end of the year. It takes a little to get used to 3 different lead singers and the changes in sound from song to song, but it really grows on you after multiple listens. Personally, I feel that (minus the accents) their music sounds very American influenced. They have kind of a rootsy, jam band vibe, yet they play some very pure Brit pop. This is their acoustic set from Studio 7.

Gomez - How We Operate
Gomez - Notice
Gomez - Get Miles

Bonus Gomez....

Gomez - Girlshapedlovedrug

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Guster

Guster started at a New England university in the mid-90's. Anyone who has heard their album Parachutes, knows that the acoustic setting is not unusual for them. They actually pull off a full band sound in this environment. This is their set from Studio 7.

Guster - One Man Wrecking Machine
Guster - Captain
Guster - Amsterdam

Guster - Two Points for Honesty - Live @ Easy Street Records

Bonus acoustic Guster

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Aimee Mann

Aimee Mann has been around forever. While she has changed some over the years, a few things have stayed the same. She writes intelligent songs that are actually beautiful, if not tragic; stories and she puts out solid albums. Check out her acoustic song from Studio 7.

Aimee Mann - Going Through The Motions

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Halftime Entertainment: Catherine Wheel

We are about half way through Acoustic ACL Weekend, so I felt that it was definitely time to change it up a little. Our halftime show is not acoustic, nor is it from a band playing ACL. This band actually is extinct, but their music lives on. It is time for Catherine Wheel. To this day, they put on one of the best shows that I have ever seen. They had a stadium of 30,000+ Americans going nuts and the pit... out of control. They were definitely one of the most underrated bands of the 1990's.

This set is from the BBC and was recorded August 9, 1995. If I am correct, that was about a month after they blew Mike and I away. The best chance you have of hearing them now is through Rob Dickinson. For those uninitiated, let me know what you think.

Catherine Wheel - God Inside My Head
Catherine Wheel - Crank
Catherine Wheel - Judy Staring At The Sun
Catherine Wheel - Heal
Catherine Wheel - I Want To Touch You
Catherine Wheel - Way Down
Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic

Acoustic ACL Weekend - KT Tunstall

Our journey continues to Scotland. KT Tunstall is known for her powerful songs and the way that she produces them. She has been known to play solo and have the sound of a full band. She records all of the parts live and loops them. Check out her acoustic set from Studio 7.

KT Tunstall - Black Horse and The Cherry Tree
KT Tunstall - Miniature Disasters

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Donavon Frankenreiter

Next up on acoustic ACL Fest preview weekend is Donavon Frannkenreiter. He is another "surf" rocker but after leaving Brushfire Records for Lost Highway, he added a lot more funk to his sound. Check out his song from Studio 7.

Donavon Frankenreiter - Move By Yourself

Friday, August 11, 2006

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Matt Nathanson

Our second entry for Acoustic ACL weekend happens to be one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Matt Nathanson. He has been around for several years and plays both alone and with a band. From what I have heard, he is hilarious in concert and is great solo acoustic. Live At The Point is a very good live cd. This set is solo acoustic from Studio 7. Enjoy!

Matt Nathanson - Bulletproof Weekends (new song)
Matt Nathanson - Suspended

Matt Nathanson - I Saw

Great example of his audience banter.

Acoustic ACL Weekend - Ben Harper

I decided to change it up a little for the weekend and give Mike something cool to come back to. I found this awesome site that has intimate acoustic performances and I noticed that their archive is full of artists that are playing the ACL Fest this year. Because I feel like it, this will be Acoustic ACL Weekend. On a side note, Mike will be covering that event. I will not be making the trip to Texas. Stay tuned over the weekend, I have a lot of artists to go through.

I might as well start in style, so Ben Harper is going to be first. What else can I say, the guy is awesome. He can play basically any kind of music with any kind of accompaniment and play it well. If you get the chance, he is amazing live. This is his solo acoustic set from Studio 7. You can totally tell that this is from Boston, Get It Like You like It has a great ad lib about my dear old Red Sox.

Ben Harper - Get It Like You Like It
Ben Harper - Morning Yearning
Ben Harper - Waiting For You

Ben Harper - Amen Omen

Bonus Ben Harper. Not entirely acoustic, but who cares?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bel Auburn

There is something about me that very few people know. It is kind of my dark little secret that only the real in crowd is aware of. I've lived in the Mid-Atlantic region as long as anyone can remember, so everyone assumes that I am from here. The truth is, I am from Ohio. Why would I admit this after all of these years? Well, I have finally heard something that makes me proud to be from Ohio. That my friends is the new album from Bel Auburn.

Bel Auburn consists of five guys from a rural town in Ohio. Based on what I have read, they are about as down to earth as you can get. "Scott spends his time finding jobs for the otherwise unemployable. Peps sells cabinets to people who may or may not be able to afford them. Justin manages a Hollister and sells racy t-shirts to adolescents. Abrams runs his studio and makes metal/emo bands sound remarkably good. Jared sells diodes and potentiometers to the locals." However, there is something else. Something is a little bit different about them. They make really good music.

Lullabies in A and C is their new album and I am being told that it drops on August 14. The band came up with something though. They posted the whole thing on their website and let every music site that would listen know that it was there. How is it? It sounds like the record I would have written if I was still sane and picking up the pieces after my first love went nuts on me, broke my heart and lied to the whole world about it. Obviously most of us weren't that composed, weren't able to express our feelings so beautifully; but they were. Is it a great album? After two listens, I can't make that call yet. What I can say is that it shows a vast amount of potential and the music is still stuck in my head long after listening.

I am posting the first two tracks below. After you like it, follow the link above and get the entire thing while you can. This album really needs to be listened to as a whole. If we are real lucky, they will be coming through our towns in the near future.

Bel Auburn - Lullaby In A
Bel Auburn - Metropolitan (Watercolor)

Throwback Thursday: New Order

I like listening to new music as much as anyone, but there are some bands that are timeless. They always seem to pop up in your playlist and their music still sounds relevant years later. So I decided to devote a column on Thursdays to these artists. For no reason in particular, I decided to kick this off with New Order. I know that starting off with New Order seems a bit strange. Wouldn't it make more sense to start with Joy Division? Yeah, probably. Oh well, I may cover them in the future.

The thing that is so amazing about New Order, is that they shouldn't have existed in the first place. After tragedy struck Joy Division, they were left to pick up the pieces and continued as New Order. Think about how many bands lost their lead singer, tried to continue without them and actually produced a good record? When you figure that out, let me know. Even more amazing is that they produced numerous good records and are still around 25 years later. I could write about them all day, but who cares? Let's listen to some music. They offer some of the more popular ones here.

New Order - Ceremony
New Order - Age of Consent
New Order - Love Less

I'll even offer a bonus track.

The Arcade Fire - Age of Consent

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Forget Cassettes

There is a band that I want to tell everyone about. Their name is Forget Cassettes and they hail from Nashville. Before I begin, you can go ahead and wipe out any preconceived notions that you may have about Nashville music and the attractive woman in the picture below. This band is anything but country and she is anything but a cute little girl.

Now I am not big of album reviews, I find them kind of rote and boring; but a good album needs to be talked about. Yesterday, they released Salt and it is killer. I will say that this is not an album that most people will sit down and love from the first note. It takes time to grow on you, but if you let it; Beth Cameron's voice will take over your soul. When you first hear it on "Venison" it sounds kind of subdued and a little wobbly, but it is a trap. You underestimate her and that is a mistake or maybe it is exactly what she wants. Seconds later, the power comes out and you are blown away. As the album continues and her and the band keep switching from loud to soft, a light eventually kicks in and you become enchanted. By the end of "Tabula Rosa" you are left breathless, wondering what the hell just happened to you. She is also a good singer and their rhythm section is solid. If I was held at gunpoint and forced to give you a starting point for their sound, I would have to say that PJ Harvey is a decent place to begin. In the end, listen to them and form your own opinion. I understand that not everybody is going to dig them, but give it a shot. You may be surprised.

I am intrigued by the thought of seeing them live. It looks like I just may get my chance. They will be in Baltimore on August 31, which is ironically the day before I leave on vacation. I can't wait. In the interim, check out some samples below.

Forget Cassettes - Venison
Forget Cassettes - Quiero, Quieres
Forget Cassettes - Lonely Does It (follow link)


This Week in the Baltimore Region

Ah, my home turf! Unfortunately, this is a big beach weekend and there isn't much happening here. There are a few shows of note...

The weekend kicks off with Pittsburgh's favorite sons The Clarks at Ram's Head in Annapolis on Thursday night. Heading back to Baltimore, Friday brings local favorites Celebration to The Ottobar. On Saturday, Sonar has a reggae show featuring Kingston's Luciano. The weekend ends with Sweden's Ane Brun at The 8x10 on Sunday.

For those of you heading to the beach, The Pat McGee Band will be at Dewey's Bottle & Cork on Friday and Tally Hall will be at Dogfish Head in Rehobeth on Saturday.

As far as south central PA, there really isn't much to report. It is basically status quo... cover bands, jam bands and screamy pop punk and hard rock wannabes that all sound exactly the same.

I will say that next week looks quite promising for the entire region, so look for that report Monday morning. In the meantime... Austin, want to trade?

The Clarks - On Saturday
Ane Brun - Song No. 6 (m4a)
Celebration - New Skin (follow link)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This Week in Austin

For those who didn't get the memo, Mike picked the week after we went live to go to Wisconsin on vacation. I will be covering Austin this week. This should be interesting (covering a city ~1600 miles away that I have visited once), but I'm game.

Tonight at Stubb's is NYC's Dirty on Purpose with locals Loxsly. Thursday night, Stubb's presents one of my favorite bands from across the pond, Bloc Party.

Tonight at Emo's is British Columbia's Ladyhawk. On Thursday night, they have a power pop show oustide featuring Matt Sharp's The Rentals with fellow Californians Ozma and locals Cruiserweight. On Friday they have Rhode Island's Sage Francis kicking it outside.

La Zona Rosa brings you the always popular Eels on Wednesday night.

For those of you who like your singer songwriters, Gran Bel Fisher will be in town Friday at Waterloo Records and Monday at Antone's.

Well, that is my romp through Austin. If anybody from Austin is reading this and laughing, please let me know what I missed. To make up for my ineptitude, sample mp3's are included below. Your regular Austin correspondent will be back next week. Until then, keep kicking it live.

Dirty On Purpose - Your Summer Dress
Loxsly - Card Gauge (follow link)
Bloc Pary - Blue Light
Ladyhawk - The Dugout (follow link)
The Rentals - We Have a Technical (follow link)
Ozma - Wake Up (follow link)
Cruiserweight - Goodbye Daily Sadness
Sage Francis - The Cure (follow link)
Eels - Novocaine For The Soul
Gran Bel Fisher - Edible (follow link)