Friday, August 28, 2009

Dream Concert: Death Cab For Cutie

Over the years I have seen many of my favorite bands live but there is a growing list of bands I just have to see. With this Dream Concert feature, I have listed the set lists and venue of my choice for one of my favorite bands that I have yet to experience live. My selection this month is Death Cab For Cutie. I have been a fan since 2001 and have had a couple chances to see them live but life happens...
As for the venue I would choose Newport Music Hall in Columbus. (You thought I was going to say Southgate House, didn’t you?) I chose Newport because I have seen some great shows there in the early 2000’s, including Modest Mouse and Sunny Day Real Estate and I wish I had seen Death Cab at that time as well. Here is the set list I would choose if I were the one writing it out for the band the night of the show.

Set list:

I Will Possess Your Heart
Blacking Out The Friction
Title and Registration
Long Division
Someday You Will Be Loved
Why You’d Want to Live Here
Information Travels Faster
Lowell, Ma
Grapevine Fires
A Diamond And A Tether
We Looked Like Giants
Technicolor Girls
The Sound of Settling
I Will Follow Into The Dark

Movie Script Ending
The New Year

Hey, it could happen!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Enlou - "Easing Out" (New Lujo Records signing from Cincy, friends and tour mates of The Pomegranates)

2. U.S. Royalty - "Every Summer" (Debut EP Midsommar out now on Engine Room Recordings)

3. The Very Best - "Warm Heart of Africa" (Features Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Upwelling - "An American Stranger"

The Upwelling are an American rock band in the old-school tradition, with a DIY attitude, heartfelt story-book lyrics and simple but understated instrumentation. The band consists of the Ingber brothers: songwriter/singer/guitarist Ari and Josh on the drums as well as keyboardist Conor Heffernan. Their debut full-length, An American Stranger was released today on Edmond Records, a subsidiary of Doghouse Records.

“American Girls” opens the album with jabbing guitars and a steady beat, while lyrically exposing the torture of trying to meet a woman’s lofty, romanticized expectations with lyrics, like “…An honest kiss won’t suffice. They want one to remember for the rest of their lives.” The soaring chorus on “Garden” is surrounded by shimmering guitar strumming and keyboards, making it radio ready and fun to sing along with. “Wanderlust” is led by the bass and a tight, locked-in beat on the verse with the guitars making their appearance on the melodic chorus. ”Who Needs You Now” slows it down a bit and features beautiful harmonies and lush, ambient instrumentation. Other standouts include the bouncy New Order-like guitars and contrasting gloom on “Paris” and the melodic rocking on “Little Darling”. They give way to the album’s most poignant and powerful song on “Ladder 116” which was written on the confusing day after 9/11. The beautiful atmosphere that the vocals and keyboards create is torn down by a wall of guitars, creating a dynamic metaphor of the tragedy, showcasing their stellar songwriting skills.

After touring with bands like Third Eye Blind and Metric and enlisting producers such as Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind and Jason Hill (Louis XIV), The Upwelling have put together a debut album that delivers above and beyond the hype and should gain them even more hard-earned and well-deserved attention.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Asobi Seksu - "Transparence" 10"

After the February release of their stellar Polyvinyl Records debut Hush, Asobi Seksu have released a limited edition clear vinyl 10" for their single, "Transparence".

The title song is included but has a new percussive intro. It also features two new songs taken from the same recording session that produced Hush. "Urusai Tori", sung in Japanese, features layers upon layers of glimmering synths, a cascading guitar riff and a glitchy electro-beat. The other new song, "Miniature Cities" creates another lush, hazy soundscape with a climbing vocal melody and a cinematic wall of sound release at the end that would have fit in perfectly as the last song on Hush. To round out the collection is a mesmerizing remix of "Transparence" by Aa.

Limited to only 1,000 this 10" should go fast. Asobi Seksu fans should snatch this up as the new songs are well worth owning and the vinyl will look great in your collection!

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3 Songs: On Repeat

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Division Day - "Visitation"

After gaining love from critics and bloggers for their debut Beartrap Island,
Division Day returns with their sophomore album Visitation, released today on Dangerbird Records. Visitation is a darker, more cohesive album, showcasing the atmospheric synths and electronic beats that made their debut such a standout.

“Reservoir” opens the album with a big, noisy beat as ethereal strings appear and disappear along with singer/keyboardist Rohner Segnitz’s bending vocals and a warped saxophone squeels. “Malachite” builds steam on a shuffling beat, rumbling bass line and dark atmospherics with a melancholic but poppy vocal melody. The single, “Chalk Lines” features some gazy guitar squalls with a cool electro beat and an infectious chorus. The rippling deep-sea soundscapes, and guitar line that mimics the vocal melody on the chorus makes “Azalean” a standout. “Planchette” is a slower more ambient song with aching vocals, plodding piano and swirling, feedback drenched guitar freak-outs. “Surrender” is beat driven and paranoia fueled, bringing into focus the darkly romanticized electronic underbelly of the album. The eclectic “Carrier” is wrapped in a dream-like gauze and features saxophone solos and an 80’s brit-pop vibe. The spacey synths and blips and beats on title track, “Visitation” mixes well with the breathy vocals, invoking an eerie feeling that fits well with the theme of the record. And the piano-led closer, “Black Crow” is carried on a steady beat amid blasts of guitars and synths and a moody melody.

The dark atmosphere on “Visitation” is balanced by the poppy melodies, lending the album to repeat listens for whatever mood you are in.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

3 Songs: New Music

1. The Happy Hollows - "Monster Room"


2. AM - "Grand Opinion"


3. Brand New - "At The Bottom"


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nightmare Of You - "Infomaniac"

Last week, Nightmare Of You returned to release their highly anticipated second album, Infomaniac, after a four year wait. Skillfully crafted, the ambitious indie pop on the new album will please fans both old and new.

“Good Morning, Waster” opens the album with a dreamy showcase for Brandon Reilly’s smooth voice and flows into “Eustacia Vye” with bouncy piano, memorable Beatles-esque melodies and a harpsichord like guitar riff. “I Think I’m Getting Older” pits beachy jangly guitars against quarter-life crisis lyrics and a short lived reggae part at the end. The emotional “Someday, But Not Today” floats on a lifting chorus as a sweet but sarcastic ode to hope. The super poppy “Hey, Sweetheart” plays with a doo-wop rhythm, plinking piano and contrastingly darker yet tongue-in-cheek post break up lyrics. The heartfelt protesting on “Amsterdam” is set to a marching beat with biting lyrics like, “I am moving myself to Amsterdam in detest of a futile war.” “Gavi” is atmospheric with sirens and a wall of sound built around a smooth, swaggering vocal melody. “A Pair Of Blue Eyes” sways romantically with a bluesy rhythm, ringing guitars and an old fashioned guitar solo. Finally recorded on album, the self-deprecating lyrics and lilting melody on “Please Don’t Answer Me” seem to have taken their cue from the Morrissey school of drama, on this fan favorite from their live shows. Closing out the album, “Goodnight, Devil” is furious and noisy unlike the rest of the album, with feedback drenched spiraling guitars adding another layer to an excellent, album that proves to have been worth the wait.

For more info click here:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

3 Songs: More Metal Than Your Ma's Kettle (Double Pedal Jesus Metal Edition)

1. Hands - "Hurricanes"

2. A Plea For Purging - "Retribution"

3. The Chariot - "Daggers"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Israel Darling - "Dinosaur Bones and Mechanical Hands"

Engine Room Recordings artist, Israel Darling are set to release their debut album, “Dinosaur Bones and Mechanical Hands” on August 4th. Hailing from Western North Carolina, singer/guitarist/songwriter Jacob Darden’s music reflects his small town life with themes of isolation and religion wrapped in Appalachian folk and indie rock.

“Samson The Mason” opens the album with Jacob’s aching vocals and jangly guitars, turning into a raucous romp with shouted backing vocals. “I’m Dropping By” works itself into a fever with a shuffling beat, slide guitar and handclaps in its short two minute time span. The acoustic guitars and distant, ghostly background vocals on “Oh My God” provide the right atmosphere for the sorrowful vocal melody before ending the song in a cathartic jam. Leaning more towards indie rock than folk, the clever arrangement on the upbeat “Sherwood St.” uses synths, shape-shifting drumming and shout-along “whoa, oh, oh” vocals to great effect. Whereas stand out track, “Woman, God, And Pity For A Man” blends the two styles together seamlessly with all of the country music signifiers (harmonica, slide guitar, and picked guitars) but with bubbling synth, crashing cymbals and passionately unhinged vocals that are reminiscent of early Bright Eyes and Okkervil River. The twangy “Locked In A Safe” kicks up the dust with a country-fried freak out at the end and has a positive message, (“Never give your dreams up”) sung with the conviction of feeling trapped in a small town. The smoothed out “All Is Well” unfolds, allowing Jacob room to croon among the banjo picking and beautiful textures. The last song, “Dinosaur Bones and Mechanical Hands” also experiments with textures making the title track both rootsy and dreamy as the title suggests.