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Friday, September 28, 2007

Bright Eyes on Leno

Wow - 2 posts in a row featuring performances on Jay Leno. I'm not a big Leno fan . . . but whoever is doing his booking may just win me over! Nah . . . I'll just catch it all online.


Here are a couple other new Bright Eyes Videos that I REALLY like from his new Cassadaga LP. While there are tunes on the album that I'm not too crazy about, these 2 are great! In fact, if all of Bright Eyes' music sounded like these 2 songs, he would vault himself up near the top of my favorite artists. Unfortunately, most of his releases have been hit and miss for me. These are 2 great videos though with some great strings.

Four Winds

Hot Knives

Consider buying:

Spoon performs on Jay Leno

Spoon has long been a band that I have really wanted to like, but never have. I know, I know . . .that is probably some sort of indie rock heresy, but its true. (Speaking of heresy . . . go check out Maritime's new album Heresy and the Hotel Choir . . . I'll blog about that later). However, seeing as Rob Pope (of The Get Up Kids fame) is now playing bass with them, I decided to check out their new, and highly acclaimed, album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. And, much to my pleasure, I loved it.

So - here is a video of them playing a new song off the album.

Minus the Bear - Knights Video

Minus the Bear - Knights Video

Have I blogged about this before? Well . . . if I did, it deserves a second mention. Not only is this a rocking track of Minus the Bear's new album, Planet of Ice, but it is one of the most inventive uses of split screen cinematography that I've seen in a while. The split moves with the song's rhythm and is very well done.

As far as the new album is concerned, I think it is a much strong release than their previous Menos El Oso. It seems like they are a bit more comfortable with their evolved sound and becoming much more skilled in filling it out. I think it and their 2002 release Highly Refined Pirates should be in everyone's music collection. So . . . what are you waiting for? Go buy them now!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day MP3s

That's right folks, International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!! In celebration of this great global recognition of pirates, I thought I would share a couple of my favorite shantys - both by The Decemberists. If you are unfamiliar with the Decemberists, I suggest you rectify that quickly. While they do have a few songs about pirates and other 19th century whatnots, they are a mostly normal band that happens to put out some of the best music I've found in the last couple years. Honestly. So, without further delay, here are your pirate songs for the day. Put them on repeat, crank the volume up and wait for coworkers or roommates to come in yelling. YAR! I would suggest starting out with either their Picaresque album, or The Crane Wife.

Blue Scholars - Bluchini

I am not a huge Camp-lo fan, but even I can admit a thick fat horn sample when I hear one. I refer, of course, to the 1997 track Luchini This is It. You can listen to it currently on Camp Lo's myspace profile.

For those of you with a more current, indie hop-hop slant to your tastes, I suggest the following track: Bluchini, but the Blue Scholars. An unreleased demo, Geologic here places his own verses over the Camp Lo horn track. I love it!

Also - here's a pitchfork media review of the Blue Scholars' 2007 album Bayani.

Add them to your collection!

Also, consider their associated act Common Market (same DJ, different MC)

The Moutain Goats - John Darnielle as America's #1 lyricist?

I'm not sure what it says about you, as an artist, when you get a rigorous treatment in The New Yorker, but it has to mean something. Hence, when I came across the following New Yorker article about John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, I was intrigued. In particular, the author proclaims Darnielle to be "America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist." He may be right. In light of that, I enjoy the lyrics of the song Woke Up New. The Mountain Goats even put out a really cool video for it. Enjoy.

John Vanderslice - Kookabura and The Emerald City

Besides have a very cooler Dutch last name that I have ever heard, John Vanderslice is somewhat of an enigma to me.

I really enjoyed his 2005 Pixel Revolt, but I really don't like any of her solo ventures before that. However, at the same time I really like what he did in producing The Mountain Goats' We Shall All Be Healed (2004) and The Sunset Tree (2005).

So, it was with some scepticism that I gave Vanderslice's new solo album, Emerald City a listen. Generally speaking, it is a good album. Eclectic, eccentric . . . ecumenical (ok . . . I was just trying to think of another 'ec' word there . . . its in no way ecumenical). As I listened though, I kept on returning to the first track, wishing that the rest of the album followed more closely in its footsteps. I therefore offer you that first track, Kookabura. Enjoy and please support this fabulous indie artist by purchasing his album here.

Mike Kinsella (Owen) plays Van Halen

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Mike Kinsella (Owen) covered Van Halen? Yeah, me neither.

Iron and Wine meets the Four Tops - most unlikely cover Ever?

I am a big fan of good covers - I assume we all are. As a matter of fact, I have a lengthy playlist on my iTunes called "Covers that are better or as good as the Original." This list ranges from Ben Folds covering The Cure and The Pale Pacific covering Billy Joel, to Hey Mercedes doing When in Rome and Mark Kozelek doing AC/DC.

I especially like when bands cover songs that would not seemingly fit into their genre (can we say Jimmy Eat World covering Prodigy!) .

Today I came across an new odd combination. The ever folksy lo-fi Iron & Wine covering the quintessential Motown doo-wap classic from 1965, "Its the Same Old Song" by The Four Tops.

Who would have thought that such a bizarre pairing could produce such wonderful results. Perhaps its the beards that make it such a good combo. I would tell you all to go buy the track, but I have no idea where you can buy it at. Enjoy.

The New Amsterdams - Strangled by the Thought (Cured Version)

The New Amsterdams recently re-released Killed or Cured, a free album they had done back in 2005, but with a 2nd disc on which they re-recorded and re-interpretted the 1st disc. While I don't like all of the new renditions, there is one that really stands out - Strangled by the Thought. The original was probably my favorite on the original album, but the new version has some strings in the background that are subtle, yet effective. I love it. Enjoy!

I suggest buying the entire double-disc.

On a related note - The New Amsterdams have new album coming out, and currently on their Myspace page you can download 4 of the new songs. I was supremely dissappointed with their lackluster 2006 album - Story Like a Scar. The New album - At the Feet of my Rivals - sounds much better.