Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Get Up Kids - "There Are Rules"

After reuniting in 2009 to tour in celebration of the tenth anniversary of their classic album Something To Write Home About, and seven years after their last album, The Get Up Kids return this week with their highly anticipated new album, There Are Rules. They also return to their DIY roots, releasing the album on their own label, Quality Hill Records, when I am sure plenty of labels would have jumped at the chance to release this album. The album was produced by long time producer Ed Rose and has the youthful energy of their earliest and best work but the atmosphere surrounding the songs is different.

At the core, their pop-punk formula remains but each track is wrapped in a dense coating of fuzzy bass, chiming synths and a shocking newfound love for abrasive noise, giving the album a more modern sound that may be polarizing to long time fans. But given a second chance, Matt Pryor’s distinct voice, the instantly memorable hooks and all of the reasons you loved them in the first place begin to appear from the haze like a beacon of light just as they were as the enormously influential band over a decade ago. There are rules and The Get Up Kids are breaking all of them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

3 Songs: Deerhoof Edition

1. Deerhoof - "The Merry Barracks" (After 16 years together you would think things would become stale or they would run out of ideas...not so for Satomi & crew, their new album and Polyvinyl Records debut Deerhoof vs. Evil finds them at the height of their insane creativity for their best album yet.)


2. Asobi Seksu - "Trails (Deerhoof Remix)" (Deerhoof reconstruct their label mate's single with a pulsing and pounding rendition. Asobi Seksu's new album Fluorescence will be released 2/15.)


3. Shugo Tokumaru - "Rum Hee (Deerhoof Remix)" (Deerhoof also welcomed their newest label mate with an extra-percussive remix of the Japanese multi-instrumentalist's Beatles-esque pop masterpiece from his Japanese-sung American debut Port Entropy which will also be released 2/15 on Polyvinyl Records.)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Iron & Wine - "Kiss Each Other Clean"

Sam Beam and Iron & Wine return today with their fourth album Kiss Each Other Clean, the first since The Shepherd’s Dog, released over three years ago. Producer Brian Deck and collaborators from avant-folk band Califone again return to place their indelible stamp on the album, but Sam Beam’s inviting vocals and lyrical imagery are still in the spotlight. Continuing his shift from the intimate folk of his past, he delves into 60’s and 70’s pop and funk for one of his best albums yet.

“Walking Far From Home” opens the album with a hazy atmosphere and layers of vocal harmonies. Standout track “Me and Lazarus” bounces on a big, funky bass line and skronky saxophone solos, bringing a new dynamic to their already experimental sound. “Tree By The River” features Beach Boys-inspired vocal harmonies and glockenspiel for a breezy and warm AM radio sound. “Monkeys Uptown” combines both the artificial and natural with the electronic blips and beeps Brian Deck is known for combined with gorgeous vocal melodies. “Half Moon” and its doo-wop vocals and country twang sounds like Motown broadcast from the South. “Rabbit Will Run” stands out with its 70’s jazz outro complete with vintage organ and clarinet solo. Another standout, “Godless Brother In Love”, features vocals from Doveman and is a pretty piano-led ballad the Iron & Wine fan is more accustomed to. “Big Burned Hand” should appeal to the hippie crowd with a swampy, strutting 70’s funk groove and more skanky horns and synthesizers. “Glad Man Singing” is a slice of James Taylor-like soft rock. The seven and a half minute “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me” makes for the perfect album closer, blending all of the elements of the album into one track.

For his first major label album, Sam has pulled out all of the stops creating an album in HD-quality that feels like the natural progression of his music for his best album yet.

For more info and to stream the album click here:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dream Concert: Circa Survive

Over the years I have seen many of my favorite bands live but there is a growing list of bands I want to see. With the Dream Concert feature, I list the set list and venue of my choice for one of my favorite bands that I have yet to experience live. My current selection is Circa Survive. I have been a fan since I first heard their amazing album Juturna in 2005. They have been touring non-stop since then but of course I have not been able to make it to a show, until now. They are currently on tour with Anberlin and will be in Cincinnati on Monday 1/24 at Bogart's. I will be there and you should be too.

I couldn't have picked a better venue for the show, I have seen many of my favorite emo/punk bands at Bogart's. Now if I could choose the set list I would probably lean towards their early material, only because that is what first got me hooked but I also enjoy their new EP Appendage, released last November.

Set list:

Act Appalled

I Felt Free

Get Out

In The Morning And Amazing...

Holding Someone's Hair Back

Wish Resign


Frozen Creek

Glass Arrows

The Greatest Lie

Imaginary Enemy

The Glorious Nosebleed

Stop The Car

So those are the songs I would choose. Now I can't wait to see how many I get to cross off my list on Monday!

For more info and tour dates click here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Hot Club De Paris - "Free The Pterodactle 3" (Liverpool 3-piece make their U.S. debut this week with their obtuse, XTC-inspired indie rock. Bringing back the energy The Futureheads have lost, they are one of my favorite new bands!)


2. La Sera - "Devils Hearts Grow Cold" (Another great 7" single of dreamy, girl-group pop from the Vivian Girls' Katy Goodman, leading up to her self-titled debut album out 2/15 on Hardly Art Records.)


3. Junk Culture - "Weird Teenage Vibes" (The second single of self-described "Cosmic R&B" from Deepak Mantena's cut-and-paste pop-project out Feb. 1st on Illegal Art Records.)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Ivan & Alyosha - "Glorify" (Uplifting new track from the Seattle indie-folk four-piece named after the main characters in Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. Their new EP Fathers Be Kind is out Feb. 1st on Missing Piece Records and is filled with gorgeous melodies and perfect vocal harmonies.)


2. British Sea Power - "Living Is So Easy" (The super catchy 80's inspired synth-led first single from their excellent fourth full-length Valhalla Dancehall out now on Rough Trade.)


3. Jonquil - "Get Up" (The Oxford, England band's official vinyl release of the One Hundred Suns EP on Dovecote Records is this week. Their brand of romantic indie-folk and pop should make for the perfect soundtrack to a snowy day.)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Broken Records - "Let Me Come Home"

Scotland’s Broken Records came together as a happy accident. Frontman Jamie Sutherland had aspirations to start his own record label but formed a band instead. Good for us because swelling orchestral moments burst from the emotional guitar-rock like a more romantic Arcade Fire on their elegantly stunning sophomore album Let Me Come Home, out today on 4AD Records.

The album opens with the percussive single, “A Leaving Song” anchored by a soaring and yearning vocal with enough weight to not get lost in the sky it reaches for. “Modern Worksong” plays with stabbing piano and tumbling drums before erupting into an anthemic chorus for a standout moment. The brooding and dark “Dia dos Namarados!” matches Jamie’s baritone with a female counterpart. “The Motorcycle Boy Reigns” showcases Jamie’s voice which has been compared to Jeff Buckley’s with a shuffling beat and atmospheric background. Another standout is the upbeat single “A Darkness Rises Up” which features pounding piano and frantic violins.

Broken Records’ moody brand of epic indie rock touches on Interpol and Arcade Fire but their crafty, cinematic arrangements give them an identity all their own and Let Me Come Home is the first must listen album of the new year!

Download "A Leaving Song" here:

For more info click here: and