Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve Music Parties!

Don't have plans yet for Monday night? Fear not, as there are three great shows to attend in the DC area. What can beat listening to some great music while ringing in the new year?


The Epochs & Zulu Pearls - Mt. Pleasant
1801 N. Kenyon St.

This is the party that I will be at and it will most likely the smallest of the three shows. Festivities start around 10, so there is plenty of time to party before you come out. The Epochs are first and Zulu Pearls go on at the stroke of midnight and the party lasts however long it takes the last person to stumble home. The show is only $5.

Zulu Pearls - Dancing + Drinking
The Epochs - Opposite Sides

Georgie James & DJs
Rock and Roll Hotel

Over on H Street, there will be a huge blowout party at the R&R Hotel with Brightest Young Things, Georgie James and a bunch of DJs. Georgie James plays a shorter set than normal, but the party is sure to be a good one.

Need Your Needs


Last Train Home & Vandaveer


In Arlington, you can have a real Indie New Year's Eve with some great local bands. This party is technically the only official concert and even after the music ends, the party keeps going. IOTA opens at 5, if you want dinner as well. I have not personally been able to see these bands in concert myself, but Joe tells me that they are worth it.

Last Train Home - I'm Coming Home
Vandaveer - However Many Takes It Takes

No matter which you pick you are sure to have a great time.

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New Year's Eve Party Playlist

To get you in the partying mood for NYE here are some great songs to dance to. Enjoy!

Orbital - Satan
Plastic Operator - Parisols
Panda Bear - Good Girl/Carrots
Working for a Nuclear Free City - Asleep At The Wheel
2 Bit Pie - Fly
Sugarcult - Do it Alone (Breakfast Club Remix)
Slightly Stoopid - Above The Clouds
Girl Talk - Lets Run This
The Crystal Method - American Way
Daft Punk - One More Time

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Mike's 2007 In Review

It's almost mandatory to do one of these. If you write about music, people always ask what's your favorite, who broke out, who sold out, who fizzled. I'm doing things a little different. This isn't just a list of my favorite's. I decided to encompass the whole of music, regional and national. Not just releases, but music found in other media and the live shows that accompany the recently released albums and EPs. Now, these are not the opinions of Joe or Chris, but mine alone. I am sure that they would both cringe at some of these, but their individual posts are on the way. Let the flaming begin!

Albums of the Year: Pretty simple, these are my favorite nationals released this year, in no particular order.

Neon Bible - Arcade Fire

I have been waiting for this album since I saw them at the 2005 ACL Fest and bought Funeral and the original EP the next day. Dark, brooding, and much more polished. Lyrically and instrumentally, the songs grab you and never let go.

Black Mirror

Cease to Begin - Band Of Horses

Although I enjoy their previous work more, it is still a great album. Indie rock at it's finest. These guys should be around for a long time.

Detlef Schrempf

The Shade of Poison Trees - Dashboard Confessional

Chris Carrabba gave up the electric guitar and over-the-top production and is back to his old tricks with angst and an acoustic guitar. It reminds me of his earlier albums, and that is a great thing.

I Light My Own Fires Now

The Shepherd's Dog - Iron & Wine

Sam Beam is one of the greatest singer-songwriters alive. This album just continues what he started with his previous releases.

Boy With A Coin

Under The Blacklight - Rilo Kiley

Moving to a 'newer' sound is always difficult, but Jenny Lewis and friends take the 70's rock sound of Fleetwood Mac and make it their own.

The Moneymaker

The Stage Names - Okkervil River

Emotional indie-rock tinged with southern style, they are slowly taking over Spoon's place as Austin's indie-gods.

Savannah Smiles

A Weekend In The City - Bloc Party

Much like Arcade Fire, saw them at ACL 2005, fell in love, and waited with much anticipation. Though some of the b-sides are better, I was not disappointed.

The Prayer

Wincing The Night Away - The Shins

Ever since Garden State, these guys have been the buzz. Most people will forget this album, because it was released way back in January. I'm making sure people remember.

Phantom Limb

Live Album

Live - R.E.M.

Yeah, I'm partial. They are my favorite band, but nothing has made me feel more charged up than a live show by Stipe and the boys. This takes me back to the 5 times that I have seen them. Now if only they could make a good studio album again.


Oh, By The Way - Pink Floyd

Recently released, this is THE Pink Floyd set for anybody who has an interest in listening to the greatest psychedelic rock band ever.

Reissue That Should Have Happened

Disintegration - The Cure

It is the next logical step in the progression of double-disc reissues that Robert is doing. After three straight in 2006, there were none in 2007. Darn it, it is the best album ever! I am waiting with an-ti-ci (say it!) pation.

Welcome Comeback

Duran Duran: Losing Andy Taylor led Simon and the others to re-create the entire album that was originally slated for summer 2006, using the talents of Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. My take is it was for the better.

Welcome Comeback, but Good Lord, You Guys Look Old


Led Zeppelin: All rockers wanted this to happen, but maybe 10 years ago or so. See that Rolling Stone cover? Jimmy Page, nice hair. Robert Plant's face is melting. John Paul Jones actually looks pretty good. But hey, its always a good time to get the Led out.

Nice Try, Hot Shots (Least Welcome Comeback)


Smashing Pumpkins: Trying to recreate lost glory, eh, Billy? Some liked it, I sure didn't.

Sell Out! (Music in Ads)


Click Click Click Click - Bishop Allen (Sony Commercial): It works and its catchy, I'll give it that.

In Local News (The Best of The Philly Region)


Jukebox the Ghost: Now claiming Philly home, originally from D.C., they leave one of IA's regions to come to the other. Thank God we didn't lose these guys. Great songs, catchy melodies, piano rock at its best. And the thing is, the energy from the studio work carries over into their live shows. The full length will be out in late January and I cannot wait.

Hold It In

Creeping Weeds: One of the few Philly-based bands to play Indie at The Abbey, they are indie-pop incarnate. Another band that is worth the price of admission.

Billy Pilgrim


The Sky Drops: I love a good shoe-gaze sound and this duo produce just that.

Now Would Be


Papertrigger: Sound, sound and more sound! See these guys live, buy their EP, do whatever you have to do to hear them!

We Are Nations Now!


Hoots and Hellmouth: A religious experience in concert.

Want On Nothing

Honorable Mention (not quite in our area, but they play here enough)

Shade (from Pittsburgh): Their album Arms Raised on Rooftops is stellar and their live show is a sonic experience that must be heard. If you are near Pittsburgh this weekend, go see these guys play with Creeping Weeds on 12/29!

Broken Ribs

Up Close and Personal (Live Shows)


Best National Tour: Morrissey. Yeah he cancelled some shows, but he did his best to do those shows at a later time. If you saw him, you know what I am talking about. Philly show started with "The Queen Is Dead!" Holy Hell! Always the showman, he ripped through new and old, giving a fan of whatever period of his career, a reason to smile and sing along.


Best Local Show: Jukebox The Ghost. It is just a fun show. They chat up the crowd, give little insights about the songs, and they sound great live.


Close Second Local Show: Middle Distance Runner. Another fun band to watch. They sure seem to have a good time up on stage.


Most Anticipated Show of '08: The Cure. This would rival Morrissey, but much like Moz, Robert and the gang changed dates on their tour from late 2007 to early 2008. May cannot come soon enough.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

IA's Classic Christmas Mix

It's that time of the year again. When it comes to holiday music, I like the classics. So I compiled a mix of many of my personal favorites. I had a ton of requests for me to repost last year's mix and this is basically a much enhanced version. I hope that everyone has a great couple of days with their families. Happys Holidays!

Gene Autry - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock
Bing Crosby - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Louis Armstrong - 'Zat You, Santa Claus?
Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
Dean Martin - Baby, It's Cold Outside
Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
Frank Sinatra - Jingle Bells
Alvin & The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)
Ella Fitzgerald - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Johnny Mathis - Sleigh Ride
Jimmy Durante - Frosty The Snowman
Dean Martin - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Thurle Ravenscroft - You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Otis Redding - Merry Christmas, Baby
Burl Ives - A Holly Jolly Christmas
Bing Crosby - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Perry Como - Winter Wonderland
Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad
Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy
Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas
Burl Ives - Silver and Gold
Bing Crosby - I'll Be Home For Christmas
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Andy Williams - Silent Night


Saturday, December 22, 2007

This Week's Mix

Next week, I will present you with my favorite albums of the year. Before I do that, I wanted to touch upon some of my favorite songs that aren't on the CDs that made my list. So I decided that this week's mix would be a good chance to that. Enjoy!

Modest Mouse - Spitting Venom
Film School - Must Try Easier
Band of Horses - Is There A Ghost?
Junius - A Word Could Kill Her
Kinetic Stereokids - Explosions Were Heard
LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
Battles - Atlas
Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe
Kasabian - I.D.
Editors - Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pela Music Video

I am pleased to announce that the boy's in Pela have a new video for "Lost to the Lonesome." The video features the guys in an early 1800s small town trying to sell a miracle cure to the masses. Billy is dressed quite humorously in a preachers outfit, while he sells his wares to the crowd. The guys then get the crowd dancing around and praising him for helping them. It has a surprise ending as well, so check it out.

Lost To The Lonesome


Some December Releases

December hasn't produced many albums this year, but there are a few worth noting. On the big name front, Wu Tang Clan finally released 8 Diagrams and members of Weezer and Radiohead released solo albums. On the more underground side of things, there were some good releases from The Dimes, Wakey! Wakey!, and DC's Meredith Bragg.

Meredith Bragg

Silver Sonya - "My Absent Will"

Wu-Tang Clan

8 Diagrams - "Stick Me For My Riches"

The Dimes

The Silent Generation - "Catch Me Jumping"

Wakey! Wakey!

Silent As A Movie - "LGA"

Rivers Cuomo

Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo - "Wanda (You're My Only Love)"

Jonny Greenwood

There Will Be Blood (Soundtrack) - "There Will Be Blood"

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Picture Pages

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to have two great shows come through town and I got the pictures to prove it. On Thursday, Middle Distance Runner, The Epochs and Mobius Band rolled through Wilmington, making a stop at Mojo 13. While the crowd was made up mainly of other band members (as it usually is at that venue whenever I go), it was a great show. The pictures aren't the greatest, but they work.

Middle Distance Runner

Mobius Band

Friday, the line up was all great Philly bands. Of course, stealing the show (in my opinion) was Jukebox The Ghost. Papertrigger lived up to their billing (bar brawl music and they'll blow your nuts off). Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery during the Jukebox show, so no photos of Papertrigger or Drink Up Buttercup.

Jukebox The Ghost

Check out the rest of the pic on flickr.

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New Regional Music

I apologize for being so out of it lately. Things should improve in the next week. In the meantime, I'll share some regional songs and remixes that have flooded my inbox over the past week or so.

The Dan Deacon remix was done by Baltimore's own Adam Lempel. DC's Party on Marz remixed an unreleased Exit Clov track. Philly's Creeping Weeds did a great cover of BOAT's "(I'm A) Donkey For Your Love." Finally, Baltimore's Beach House have a fantistic new CD that will be out in February and "Gila" is a preview track from it.

Dan Deacon - Wham City (Lempel Remix)
Exit Clov - Space Alien (Party on Marz Remix)
Creeping Weeds - (I'm A) Donkey For Your Love (BOAT Cover)
Beach House - Gila

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Los Campesinos!

By: Grace deVille

The summer release of the latest EP from Los Campesinos! seemed to slip right past me until I stumbled upon it recently. I heard the song "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives" and then I listened to it another five times, before I forced myself to listen to the next song. Moving through the rest of the album opened my eyes to the new ways that pop and punk can be combined. The exclamation point on the end of the band's name is aptly placed, as you come away almost exhausted just from listening to the songs. This UK band has done a great job of combining the best talents of each member to produce one of the most energetic releases I have heard this year. The album relies on quick beats with harmonizing vocals from many members to produce crazy pop songs with hints of '80s punk energy and guitar rifts.

We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
You! Me! Dancing!


The Root Of It All

Way back in 1994, I went to my first indie rock show. I was in high school and Mike (yes, the one that runs this site with me) and I went to see The Lemonheads at the local college. I believe that we took his mother's station wagon, but that isn't really the point. The point is, that is where it all started. The angst, the passion, the freedom... it all was let loose that day. I was an indie kid entering his prime. Almost 14 years later, I sit here writing about indie rock and without that show, it probably never would have happened. There were obviously many more to come, but that was the start. Ironically, The Lemonheads are back on the road and they'll be all over the region for the next few days. Tonight's Lancaster show even has The April Skies on the bill, which makes that the best lineup of the whole lot. Either way, you can see them as follows:

12/18/07: Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA
12/19/07: Black Cat, Washington, DC
12/20/07: The Troc, Philadelphia, PA

The Lemonheads - Into Your Arms
The April Skies - My Love Is In This House

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A lot has been written recently about Tulsa, as their newest release I Was Submerged seems to be turning heads around the indie scene. This seven song release is the first non-digital release from the Massachusetts band and it's a good one at that. The vocals compliment the music exceptionally and will have you singing along with the tunes that you will inevitably have stuck in your head.



Friday, December 14, 2007

Jukebox The Ghost, Papertrigger and Drink Up Buttercup!

Get down to The Fire Friday night. This is a stellar line-up of some of the best Philly local talent. Show starts at nine, and every band is worth seeing. Get there early!

Newly relocated from DC, Jukebox The Ghost now calls Philly home. You may recall past posts about these guys. They are one of our favorites. A mix of Ben Folds, Queen, They Might Be Giants, and numerous others, their songs are pop gems, taking piano rock to a new level. Hold It In was number 1 for the week of 9-20 on WOXY! These guys tour constantly, so see them now before everyone else does!

Good Day
Hold It In

Voted one of the top 10 unsigned bands in Philly, Papertrigger has been compared to Ben Folds and late-era Radiohead, but fans have labeled their music "bar-brawl music", as it would be music played during a bar fight. Whatever you take from that, their EP Riot Lovers is a five song experience. As for their sound, one quote sums it up: "They'll Blow Your Nuts Off".

We Are Nations Now!

Drink Up Buttercup rounds out the bill. A Delaware Valley band you must hear now, they mix sweet 60s pop with a 70s psychedlic swagger. Their sound is ecletic and different, but in a good way. These guys will go places.

Young Ladies

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Austin Update

I haven't done much with my former stomping grounds lately, so I thought it would be a good time to catch up with the latest news from Austin.

My friends The Drawing Board have a new song up on their Myspace page. Stick Around is a haunting piano ballad with a definite Rufus Wainwright vibe. Hoepfully more will be coming soon. Check it out and buy their album, Clear to The Far Side of Way Over Yonder and read my review of the album.

A whole slew of bands have recently released or are releasing new CDs in the near future:

AM Syndicate has a CD release party for the new release Liberation December 20th. Take a listen to a track from the album: The Neighbor and His Wife (mp3)

The Boxing Lesson has some rough mixes of some songs from the upcoming Wild Streaks & Windy Days posted. Release party is scheduled for December 15th.

Ghost of the Russian Empire also has some new songs for your listening pleasure and being assembled is a forth-coming yet unnamed full-length album.

Peter and the Wolf released The Ivori Palms earlier this fall. Much like past ventures, this album is very experimental: Where Summer Goes(mp3)

In other news, Oh No! Oh My! song Walk In The Park(mp3) was featured on Showtime's Weeds back in September. Up next for ON!OM!, they are heading over to Europe for their first tour across the pond. After they return to the states, new songs will be written and an album coming thereafter.

Finally, something on the local front, sort of. The Mercers got some air time on WXPN over the summer. I must have missed it. These guys also put together a full-length album Pretty Things Walk this year: Sexy Youth(mp3)

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Monday, December 10, 2007


Le Loup - credit

There is not a whole lot happening today. However, our friends Le Loup are out on the road with Margot and The Nuclear So and So's. You can catch them at Black Cat in DC tonight and at First Unitarian Church in Philly tomorrow. It's a pretty well known fact that their live sound is much different than what is on their album. To prove that point, here is the concert they recorded for KEXP on October 15, during CMJ...

Look To The West
Le Loup (Fear Not)
To The Stars! To The Night!
Sea Took Me
I Had A Dream I Died

Margot and The Nuclear So and So's - Skeleton Key

Middle Distance Runner - credit

Since it's that time of the year, I will leave you with Middle Distance Runner's Holiday single, "XMAS Party." They were nice enough to let us premier it last year and it's just as relevant a year later. They are currently on the road with Mobius Band and The Epochs and they'll be hitting the region later this week. You can check them out as follows:

12/13/07: Mojo 13, Wilmington, DE
12/14/07: Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
12/15/07: North Star, Philadelphia, PA

Middle Distance Runner - XMAS Party

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Friday, December 07, 2007

This Week's Mix

This mix is for those cold and snowy nights, when you are sitting by a fireplace and drinking hot chocolate...

Apostle Of Hustle - Sleepwalking Ballad
Kings of Convenience - Misread
Slumber - Komodo
Iron & Wine - Boy With A Coin
Devendra Banhart - Seahorse
Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
DeVotchKa - We're Leaving
Belle & Sebastian - Sleep The Clock Around
John Vanderslice - The Parade
The Shins - Phantom Limb

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This Week's Releases

It's another week with minimal releases, but there are a few worth noting...

Bonde do Role.

Marina Gasolina EP - "Marina Gasolina"

Ghostface Killah

The Big Dough Rehab - "We Celebrate (ft. Kid Capri)"


Light Works - "Body Buzz"

The Raveonettes

Lust Lust Lust - "Dead Sound"

Pants Yell!

Alison Statton - "Shoreham Kent"

Black Tie

Goodbye, Farewell - "Wide Open"

Daft Punk

Alive 2007 - "Da Funk/Dadftendirekt"

Damien Rice

Live From the Union Chapel - "Creep (Radiohead Cover)"

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall - "Across the Universe (Beatles Cover)"

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