Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Death Cab For Cutie - "The Open Door" EP

Today marks the digital release of "The Open Door" EP by Death Cab For Cutie. The 5 tracks were recorded during the Narrow Stairs sessions and just didn't fit on the record but the band still wanted them to be heard. The EP includes four new non-album tracks and the original version of "Talking Bird" with just Ben singing and playing the ukelele.

The first song, "Little Bribes" used to be a song Ben played on solo dates with David Bazan in 2007 but was called "Casino Blues". The acoustic strumming remains and added to that are a Wilco-like guitar solo and sweet harmonies to flesh out the song that would have stuck out on Narrow Stairs but is a great song on its own. The mid-tempo "A Diamond And A Tether" has more acoustic guitars, a great hook and tender, self-pitying vocals as a nice contrast to the happy, alt-country charm of the opening track. The third song, "My Mirror Speaks" is classic DCFC. Leaving the acoustic guitars behind, the vocal melodies wind around the guitar lines over a thumping beat and would have fit right in on Narrow Stairs. The final new song, "I Was Once A Loyal Lover" has pounding piano that mirrors the drum beat, crunchy guitars and Nick's bassline doesn't just walk, it strolls as Ben realizes his friends are all growing up and leaving him behind. The fifth and final song, is the demo version of "Talking Bird" which showcases Ben's sweet voice that matches well with the light ukelele strums that puts the icing on this unexpected cake of an EP.

You can download the EP now at http://www.deathcabforcutie.com/ or here: iTunes. The physical release scheduled for April 14th, will follow on Atlantic Records.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dream Concert: Modest Mouse

Dream Concert: where in a dream scenario, I get to choose the songs my favorite artists play when they come to my town. This edition features Modest Mouse, by far one of my favorite bands who I have seen live 6 times. My first time was in Chicago at The Metro in May of 2000, right before “The Moon And Antarctica” was released. Another memorable show was that same year in Columbus at Newport with 764-Hero and The Shins before they were signed to Sub Pop and had CD-R’s of their demos for sale (which I stupidly did not buy). I also saw Modest Mouse both nights of a two night stay at the Southgate House in 2001.

For my Dream Concert with Modest Mouse, I would choose to see them again at The Metro and if I could choose the opening acts, they would be The Shins, Wolf Parade and 764-Hero.

Here is my Dream Concert set list for Modest Mouse:

Styrofoam Boots/It’s All Nice on Ice, Alright – It was the first song I saw them play live.

March Into The Sea

Ohio – Is where I’m from!

Interstate 8 – First MM song I ever heard.

Bury Me With It – The way he spits the chorus…

Alone Down There

Gravity Rides Everything

Karma Payment – I used to work at Karma Records and we played this song all the time.

Heart Cooks Brain

Black Cadillacs

Blame It On The Tetons



Parting Of The Sensory – I haven’t seen any of the new songs live yet…


Spitting Venom

Night On The Sun

Trucker’s Atlas

(I do not want to see Wild Packs of Family Dogs. They play it every show.)

1st Encore: We’ve Got Everything w/ James Mercer from The Shins

2nd Encore: Whenever You See Fit w/ 764-Hero

Hey, it could happen!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3 Songs: Dancing Shoes Edition

1. The Library - "You Don't Need No Doctor, Sugar"
Download: http://www.feudalrecords.com/thelibraryep/youdontneednodoctorsugar.mp3

Bonus: Win a copy of The Library's debut EP and a T-Shirt!
Here: http://filter-mag.com/index.php?id=152&c=contest

2. White Lies - "To Lose My Life" (Filthy Dukes RMX)

3. Dri - "You Know I Tried" (Remix by Joc Max and John Brewer)
Listen: http://rangeliferecords.com/audio/MISC/You_Know_I_Tried_remix.html

Monday, March 23, 2009

O+S - "Self-Titled"

O+S is Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, Art In Manila) and Scalpelist, aka Cedric LeMoyne (Remy Zero). Their self-titled debut will be released by Saddle Creek Records on 3/24. Orenda has been very productive since parting ways with Azure Ray, her band with Maria Taylor. Just last year she released Art In Manila, a dreamy, alt-country collaboration with Adrienne Verhoeven from The Anniversary. Before that, she released a solo record under her own name. O+S finds her experimenting with found sounds and field recordings with Scalpelist to create a dreamy and haunting set of songs that sound like they were pulled from the classic 4AD archives. What started as a long time friendship between the two Birmingham, Alabama natives and a one time art project, evolved into a musical collaboration that was meant to be.

“New Life” opens the album on the wind, with Orenda’s misty vocals and a loop that sounds like wind chimes. In addition to Cedric LeMoyne, “Permanent Scar” includes contributions from former band mates, Gregory Slay and Jeffrey Cain, which may be the closest we may get to a Remy Zero reunion for a while and reminiscent of Remy Zero, every open space is filled with sound. The fuzzy bass and driving drum loop propels the song underneath ethereal vocals and twinkling piano keys that end the song on an eerie note. The simple and dreamy song, “The Fox” plays with celestial background voices and an acoustic guitar and little else, to great effect, sounding like a David Lynch lullaby. The cinematic plodding piano of “Toreador” is actually quite poppy and could be great TV soundtrack fodder. The title to the standout track, “We Do What We Want To”, sounds like the band’s mission statement and the coasting bass line gives the song a groove for the swirling synths to wrap around.

The trippy, atmospheric soundscapes on O+S’s debut makes for an interesting listen, as you try to decipher the code to the different loops while the hypnotic sound washes over you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Mates Of State Remix EP out April 14th

Mates Of State will release a 4-song remix EP titled, "Re-Arranged: Remixes Vol. 1" with remixes of tracks from "Re-Arrange Us". "You Are Free" will be remixed by the Mae Shi. DJ Sega will remix "Help Help". RAC will re-arrange "Now" and Flosstradamus takes on "The Re-Arranger". The remix EP will be released by Barsuk Records on April 14th, to coincide with Mates Of State's Spring tour with the Black Kids. The EP is a vinyl only release. Stay tuned for details on Volume 2...

Download "My Only Offer" from "Re-Arrange Us" here: http://barsukmusic.blaireau.net/MatesOfState_MyOnlyOffer.mp3

For more info click here: http://www.barsuk.com/ and http://www.matesofstate.com/

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Black Joe Lewis - "Gunpowder" (reminds me of Joe Tex)

2. Jeremy Enigk - "Mind Idea" (sounds more like his work with Sunny Day Real Estate)
Download: http://stereogum.com/mp3/Jeremy%20Enigk%20-%20Mind%20Idea.mp3 (via Stereogum, via P4K)

3. Headlights - "Cherry Tulips" (I know it's older but I saw them play last weekend and can't get this song out of my head)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Pomegranates - "Everybody Come Outside!" and Live Review

Cincinnati’s own denizens of art-pop, The Pomegranates, introduced their stellar sophomore album to a packed house at the Southgate House in Newport, KY on March 13th for their CD release show. They were supported by opening acts Enlou and Michael Shelton and the Polyvinyl Records’ touring machine known as Headlights (who played “Tokyo” much to my delight). The Pomegranates played their new album, “Everybody Come Outside!” from beginning to end before an encore that featured favorites from their previous releases.

The perfect song to open an album and show is the title track, “Everybody Come Outside!”. The pounding drums and Joey’s megaphone enhanced Carnival-bark grabbed the audience’s attention and never let go. Dressed in matching brown jumpsuits with “The Future Calls” painted on the back and war paint on their faces, The Poms pulled out all the stops for their hometown crowd. Following in order, and playing some songs live for the first time, “Beachcomber” was next with its shifty arrangement, shimmering guitars and sweet vocals. The fake-out ending that trails off into a few seconds of silence, was just enough for the crowd to erupt in applause, before the actual cacophonous ending. The poppy bounce of “This Land Used To Be My Land, But Now I Hate This Land” immediately began with a chiming guitar line and a clever vocal trade off and ended as Joey channeled the band Me Without You with a frenzied rant.

The highlight of the night was when the members of fellow Cincinnatians and opening band, Enlou joined The Poms on stage to play percussion, dance and sing back-up vocals on the infectiously catchy, “The Southern Ocean.” The next song on the album was the only one that was not played; the short acoustic “Sail (Away With Me)” which was replaced in the set by the song “Sleepover”. Next was the spacey lead single, “Coriander” which opens with cascading guitar noodling over a fuzzy bass line and bleeds into the short, dreamy track “384 BC”. Handclaps and sunny guitar lines propelled “Svaatsi Uutsi”, as Josh took the vocal reigns, asking “Do you wanna go for a ride?” Their Modest Mouse influence shines through the most in the vocals, the reversed guitar and drum tracks, and frenetic dance passage of “Jerusalem Has a Bad Day” without becoming a distraction. The twinkling guitars, easy going vocals and steady keyboards on “Tesseract” are reminiscent of Voxtrot. Album closer, “I Feel Like I’m a Million Years Old” might feel like it is a million years long but clocks in at thirteen minutes. Based on a slow acoustic guitar riff and enhanced by trance-inducing hypnotic keyboards and samples, the song is over before you know it. As this was the last song on the album, it was also the last song for their set. They left the loop playing and their guitars in their stands as they left the stage. For the encore, they played to the crowd and offered up “Thunder Meadow”, “The Bellhop” and “In The Kitchen” from last year’s “Everything Is Alive” album and closed with “Osidius The Emphatic” from their debut “Two Eyes” EP.

With their tight and energetic live show and the stunning song-writing chops on new album, “Everybody Come Outside!”, The Pomegranates prove they no longer need to be compared to contemporaries such as Modest Mouse and Wolf Parade but that they belong right there on the list with them.

Download "Corriander" here: http://lujorecords.com/media/01%20Corriander.mp3

For more info click here: www.myspace.com/pomegranatesart and http://www.lujorecords.com/

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Pomegranates - CD Release Show Tonight and Tour

The Pomegranates will play a CD release show tonight at The Southgate House in Newport, KY with Headlights, Matthew Shelton's Picnic and Enlou. Their sophomore album, "Everybody Come Outside!" will be for sale at the show and is available now digitally at iTunes and eMusic or can be ordered from the Lujo Records store now in a variety of packaged deals here: www.merchline.com/lujorecords/.

Also, www.buzzgrinder.com will be hosting an Online Listening Party tonight, streaming the new album between 7-10 PM. So, if you can't make it to the show at least give the album a spin tonight with Buzzgrinder!

Look for a live review of tonight's show and the new album, "Everybody Come Outside" on Atlas and the Anchor soon!

Tour Dates:

With Headlights:
03/13/09 Newport, KY @ Southgate House w/Headlights
03/14/09 Urbana, IL @ Canopy Club w/Headlights
03/15/09 St. Louis, MO @ Bluebird w/Headlights, Gentleman Auction House, Cut off Your Hands
03/16/09 Columbia, MO @ Mojo's w/Headlights, Gentleman Auction House

03/17/09 Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/18/09 Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/19/09 Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/20/09 Austin, TX @ SXSW

03/21/09 Hot Springs, AR @ Valley of Vapors

With Wye Oak:
04/15/09 Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox w/Wye Oak
04/16/09 Cinncinnati, OH @ Southgate House w/Wye Oak
04/17/09 Chicago, IL @ Hideout w/Wye Oak
04/18/09 Carleton, MN @ Basement w/Wye Oak
04/19/09 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry w/Wye Oak
04/20/09 Iowa City, IA @ Public Space One w/Wye Oak
04/21/09 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room w/Wye Oak
04/22/09 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive w/Wye Oak
04/23/09 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Ct. w/Wye Oak
04/24/09 Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/Wye Oak
04/25/09 Kennewick, WA @ The Red Room w/Wye Oak
04/26/09 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern w/Wye Oak
04/27/09 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/Wye Oak
04/29/09 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop w/Wye Oak
04/30/09 Los Angeles, CA @ Silverlake Lounge w/Wye Oak
05/01/09 Pheonix, AZ @ Trunk Space w/Wye Oak
05/04/09 Norman, OK @ Opolis w/Wye Oak
05/05/09 Ft. Worth, TX @ TBD w/Wye Oak
05/06/09 Austin, TX @ Mohawk w/Wye Oak
05/09/09 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn w/Wye Oak
05/10/09 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 w/Wye Oak
05/11/09 Washington, DC @ Black Cat w/Wye Oak
05/12/09 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/Wye Oak
05/13/09 New York City, NY @ Mercury Lounge w/Wye Oak
05/14/09 Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bears w/Wye Oak
05/15/09 New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine w/Wye Oak
05/16/09 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery w/Wye Oak

For more info click here: http://www.myspace.com/pomegranatesart

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3 Songs: To Listen To While Driving

1. Oneida - "Each One Teach One"
Listen: http://www.lala.com/song/360569458061365254

2. Japanese Motors - "B.N.E"
Listen: http://www.lala.com/song/360569462372302924

3. Modest Mouse - "Interstate 8"
Listen: http://www.lala.com/song/504684672190796186

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cursive - "Mama, I'm Swollen"

Cursive returned this week after almost three years and amid thoughts of disbanding to release, “Mama, I’m Swollen”. After one listen, you will be glad they didn’t decide to call it quits. Cursive’s complex arrangements and inventive instrumentation and Tim Kasher’s lyrical storytelling and distinctive voice are all on display once again and have never sounded better.

The noisy guitars and driving rhythm of the fast paced opening track, “In The Now” starts the album off before giving way to the cathartic first single, “From The Hips” which goes from hushed to histrionic in just moments. The vocals to “I Couldn’t Love You Anymore” are drenched in heartfelt emotion, as the musical backdrop includes blasts of brass and a rollicking beat with a quiet/loud dynamic. “Donkeys” sound like it is being broadcast from a broken music box, complete with detuned guitars and horns, which have replaced the cello as the go to accent instrument in Cursive’s arsenal, as it weaves a tale about the “Peter Pan Syndrome” some people have about not wanting to grow up. The alt-country stomp of “Caveman” provides a transition to the more atmospheric and moody last half of the album, including the pleading slow burn of “Let Me Up”, and the arty, almost tribal title track, “Mama, I’m Swollen”.

Cursive, since 1997, have reinvented themselves with every album and with their sixth, “Mama, I’m Swollen”, they will again end up on year end lists and garner heaps of praise.

Download "From The Hips" here: http://loudfeed.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/15508/cursive-from-the-hips.mp3

For more info click here: www.saddlecreekrecords.com or www.cursivearmy.com

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bell X1 - "Blue Lights On The Runway"

Bell X1 return to the States with their follow-up to “Flock”, “Blue Lights On The Runway”, released March 3rd on Yep Roc Records. The Irish rockers take a cue from Radiohead and Coldplay’s recent forays into more experimental sounds with their new album. Everything is bigger this time around; the beats, the catchy vocal melodies, the length of songs, and the electronics, all without turning into a mixed-matched mess of ideas.

“The Ribs Of A Broken Umbrella” kicks the album off with a big beat and chiming keyboards with a “la, la, la, la, la, la” sing along that will be stuck in your head like gum to a shoe. “How Your Heart Is Wired” sounds like an unearthed Radiohead B-side from “In Rainbows” (in a good way), complete with yearning vocals, finger picked guitars and an almost glitchy electronic beat. The first single, “The Great Defector” with its tight beat and David Byrne-like vocal delivery, along with the female background vocals and rubbery bass line, undeniably sounds like classic Talking Heads without becoming a distraction. The same can be said about “A Better Band” which starts off with tinny guitars and cowbell, accenting a tom-heavy beat before fully morphing into a full out rock jam to end the song. Things become more light and introspective on “Light Catches Your Face”; a cinematic piano ballad that sounds made for TV, has actually been featured on an episode of One Tree Hill, and could net the band a wider audience here in the States. The jazzy Mardi Gras brass on “The Curtains Are Twitchin’” ends the album sounding like a party you wish didn’t have to end, leaving you wanting more.

With "Blue Lights On The Runway", Bell X1 has created a great and lasting record that should earn them the accolades and respect here in the U.S. that they have enjoyed in Ireland for years.

Download "How Your Heart Is Wired" here: http://cpanel.redeyeusa.com/pdl.php?id=5119685491&v=932b4b0c1efe9724368e483cc

For more info: http://www.yeproc.com/ and http://www.bellx1.com/ and www.myspace.com/bellx1

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat (Since the 90's)

1. that dog. - Old Timer"
2. Shudder To Think - "The Man Who Rolls"
3. The Inbreds - "Any Sense Of Time"

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Whip - "X Marks Destination"

After two years of writing, touring and generating hype, indie-electro outfit, The Whip, are ready to release their debut full-length, “X Marks Destination.” After their original band, Nylon Pylon dissolved; Bruce Carter (vocals/guitar) and Danny Saville (synthesizers) enlisted Fiona Daniels (drums) and Nathan Sudders (bass) to create the manic-mechanical, indie-electro rock that is The Whip.

The first single, “Trash”, builds up to a crescendo that explodes into dance-rock mayhem, with hints of The Faint’s dark undertones. The next song, “Frustration” is moodier like The Cure with synths both rubbery and glimmering, punctuating the beat. Stand out track, “Blackout”, blurs the line between dance-punk and straight up dancehall electro. “Divebomb”, an instrumental, features phase gun synths over a bouncing beat that would sound great in a club. Also included on the U.S. release are four extra remixes including, “Trash – Crookers Remix”.

The Whip combine the visceral energy of a crowded dancehall with the pop sensibilities of Hot Chip to make “X Marks Destination” a record that is as fun to listen to as it is to dance to.

Download "Trash" here: http://loudfeed.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/14809/Trash.mp3
Download "Dubsex" here: http://loudfeed.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/15488/Dubsex.mp3

For more info: www.myspace.com/thewhipmanchester