24 April 2009

Video History: Pixies & Throwing Muses

I remember my first time seeing both of these bands at a club called Axis on Lansdowne Street in Boston back in the Fall of 1987 (I think, it's all a little blurry). It was a double bill and there were about 50 to 75 fans there. Surfer Rosa was being pushed hard by Newbury Comics and WFNX had both bands on the radio constantly. The show was a revelation. I was already into the Muses green self-titled record (the song Green Eyes was a personal fave) and their set did not disappoint at all with its manic electrified take on folk music. Audience members were reaching onto the stage writing their own requests onto the band's set list (I still have one somewhere!). Kristen Hersch is an enchanting front person with her eyes locked on the back of the room she seems to be looking straight through you when she channels her songs. Tawnya plays the cute coy young thing next to her intellectual older 'sister'. I was in heaven after there set. The Pixies came on and proceeded to frighten me out of my hazy happiness with a jarring and aggressive set that sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. My musical world would never be the same after that night. This video is a little after that time frame but it brought me back and I thought it would be fun to share. Enjoy. Frank Black is an arrogant hoot throughout!

Wild Clover

Prince returns with a triple album set only available at Target. Typical for the Purple One but a strange move indeed for anyone else on the planet given the state of the music industry. Where most artists are turning to one song at a time delivery systems via youtube and twitter, Prince packs a punch with a dense set of new material. Whether any of it will hold up to his greatest work (which for me hits right around Sign Of the Times) only time will tell. Chances are given his last several releases nothing will rank so high. I can't remember anything off Musicology though I did like Old Guitar off that last record (what was it called again?). Anyhoo, he's got a nice take on Crimson & Clover the classic Tommy James and the Shondells number that is also available in a psychedelic 007 meets Barry White vidvid that's worth a passing glance. Why he slips into a bit of Wild Thing is beyond me but it works just fine.

21 April 2009

Public Enemy

It's never a bad time for Built to Spill. Something about Doug Martsch's delivery, his poetry, and his sound just puts me at ease and hits my bliss. I hit the day in need of some of that goodness and so wen ton a little search for tunes. In the process I stumbled across a little tidbit of news that put a big grin on this dour gray New England day: Built to Spill is working on a record for release this fall called There is No Enemy! Doug revealed the great news in a little interview over here at Rotoworld. How Rotoworld (#$%&!??) got the scoop, we'll probably never really know. They also clued us into another little gem we'd had no idea about: Boise Cover Band's Unoriginal Artists cd featuring covers by Bowie, Beefheart, and The Delusions as well as an instrumental take on The Pretenders Chain Gang. BCD of course features Sir Martsch himself as ringleader. My copy is on order! In the meantime, here's a great impromptu bit of Doug playing Liar for some fans who couldn't get tickets to a sold out show.

20 April 2009

Vampire Riot

The secret has been out for a while (at least if you've been anywhere near the Oasis Pub or Sean Murray anytime in the recent past) but there's a fancy new project/supergroup featuring Rostam Batmanglij and Wes Miles (of those certain little acts who could: Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot!) called Discovery. Their tunes offer up a more spritely version of Postal Service and are chock full of yummy happy beatness. Neon Gold has a download for your tasting pleasures.

Singing Saws

Julian Koster of the Music Tapes (and Neutral Milk Hotel) sat down and answered some questions for David Glickman (who has kindly posted it on his blog The Creative Intersection). A must read for sure, so check it when you can!

Silversun Pickups: Panic Switch (video)


Leonard Cohen sings his classic track. Enough said:

19 April 2009

Take Away Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Wake Up!

The Spike Jonze theatrical reenvisoning of the Maurice Sendak classic children's book Where The Wild Things Are is finally on its way to us (though not until October 16th!). The new trailer features a slightly stripped down and cool new take on the classic Arcade Fire track Wake Up. According to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, a certain Ms. Karen O is also listed as a musical director for the project. Methinks we are in for a yummy soundtrack indeed. Here's the trailer:

17 April 2009

Feeling Called J.A.R.V.I.S.

I'm off to the Dutch but had to post the good news: a new collection of Jarvis Cocker tunes produced by studio guru Steve Albini is on its way to audiophiles everywhere. The record, Further Complications, is out 5/28 on Rough Trade. Stereogum has a first taste in the lead single "Angela" - grab it while you can.

15 April 2009

Holy Windfall, Batman!

There's almost not much you can say except for "Wow", "Blam", "Pow"!!! Independent minded and free-form forged radio titans WFMU are putting the music where their love is and have launched the Free Music Archive. the bi-line for the site says it all: "It's not just free music; it's good music." Teaming with guest curators including KEXP, the ISSUE Project Room, and dublab, the station is building a Library of Congress like collection of the music that makes are heart's swoon....and rock, and roll, and scream, and grow. There's a treasure trove of goods from all genres including the experimental bits you'd expect from FMU as well as jazz, folk, rap, spoken word and more. Rainy day hobbiests rejoice, let your downloads begin!

Got This Crazy Feeling

M. Ward's dreamy take of Buddy Holly's "Rave On" from his excellent Hold Time collection gets an appropriately puppet blessed animation treatment. The song features Cotton Queen Zooey Deschanel on back-up vox. So good.

Industrial Symphony

Connecticut native Moby returns on june 30 with a new record, Wait for Me. The kick-off starts now with a special treat in the form of a video directed by legendary film auteur David Lynch (strangely his only previous foray into music video creation was a typically blurred-reality take on Chris Isaac's Wicked Game). Moby was apparently inspired by a talk that Lynch had given on the role of art and commerce. From moby's site:

david was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine. it seems that too often creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, how much market share it commands and how much money it generates.

In making this record i wanted to focus on making something that i loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. as a result it’s a quieter, more melodic, more mournful and more personal record than some of the records i’ve made in the past.

100% of My Love

She really is just too cute for words, that Zooey Deschanel. First, she's playing Dorothy in a weird and wild Oz redo, then she's in a band with everyone's fave partner-in-muse M.Ward, and goes and marries the romantic pop bard Ben Gibbard. What's an it girl to do to follow all that up? Well, it turns out you write a diddy for the Cotton industry and star in the commercial it soundtracks. Sounds, god awful, I know, but it works. Well. I'm off to by some cotton briefs and boxers and anything else made of the stuff right now!

14 April 2009

Out on the Townes

Steve Earle has always professed a true love of for the great american songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Hell, he dropped the man's name on his own kid so it must be true! Now, Earle is upping the ante with a collection of the songwriter's material titled simply Townes. guesting on the record are Steve's son Justin Townes Earle, his wife Allison Moorer, and Tom Morello.

In Earles own words: "This may be one of the best records I’ve ever made. That hurts a singer-songwriter’s feelings. Then again, it’s some consolation that I cherry picked through the career of one of the best songwriters that ever lived."


01 Pancho and Lefty
02 White Freightliner Blues
03 Colorado Girl
04 Where I Lead Me
05 Lungs
06 No Place to Fall
07 Loretta
08 Brand New Companion
09 Rake
10 Delta Momma Blues
11 Marie
12 Don’t Take It Too Bad
13 Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold
14 (Quicksilver Daydreams of) Maria
15 To Live Is to Fly

Thanks to Muzzle of Bees for the tip. They've got an mp3 for the tasting too.

The Very Spector of Guilt

The troubled if brilliant, Wall of Sound producer Phil Spector was found guilty of second degree murder in the untimely death of actress Lana Clarkson.

unborn chicken voices in my head

13 April 2009

Regina Returns

The inimitable Regina Spektor will release a new set of tunes, Far Set, on June 23rd. That's all we've got for now short of a list of producers that reads like a who's who of a-listers: Jeff Lynne (ELO, The Traveling Wilburys), Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem), David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes) and Garret “Jacknife” Lee (Weezer, REM).

Thanks to cause=time for the scoop!

Dirt Farmer goes Electric

Levon Helm has readied a new collection of tunes for release June 30th entitled Electric Dirt on Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard Records. The tracks (including covers by Grateful Dead, Randy Newman and Happy Traum) were recorded at Helm's studio and produced by multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell.

Track Listing:

1. Tennessee Jed
2. Move Along Train
3. Growing Trade
4. Golden Bird
5. Stuff You Gotta Watch
6. White Dove
7. King Fish
8. You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had
9. When I Go Away
10. Heaven’s Pearls
11. I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel To Be Free

Thanks to Muzzle of Bees for the tip.

Dark Was The Night

I'm a little late to the dance but then it's never too late to share some good tunes. When we were hosting the CondoFucks listening party a few weeks back, Beggars Banquet kindly hit me with a promo featuring a handful of tracks from the recently released Dark was the Night collection. The compilation is the most recent of the long running Red Hot and Blue series that dates back some twenty years (remember No Alternative way back in the early 90s?). This new batch of songs (31 strong) features new work and excellent covers by the likes of Feist and Ben Gibbard, Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch, Spoon, Yeasayer, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and so many more. It is well worth the price of admission. Personally, I can't get The National's excellent "So Far Around the Bend" out of my head (love the nod to Pavement here!). Of course, the Feist and Ben Gibbard cover of a Vashti Bunyan number is a timeless classic as is Sharon Jones fronting the Dap Kings for a cover of Shuggie Otis classic "Inspiration Information". This is truly a must have collection. It's 3 slabs of vinyl that are a joy to flip through time and time again. Radio City Music hall will host a special one-off concert featuring many of the artists on the comp performing their tracks for one set and then step into further collaborations for a second on May 3rd.


1 Knotty Pine – Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2 Cello Song (Nick Drake) – The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3 Train Song (Vashti Bunyan recorded, written by Alasdair Clayre) – Feist + Ben Gibbard
4 Brackett, WI – Bon Iver
5 Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
6 So Far Around the Bend – The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
7 Tightrope – Yeasayer
8 Feeling Good (popularized by Nina Simone) – My Brightest Diamond
9 Dark Was the Night (Blind Willie Johnson) – Kronos Quartet
10 I Was Young When I Left Home (Bob Dylan) – Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 Big Red Machine – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 Sleepless – The Decemberists
13 Stolen Houses (Die) – Iron and Wine
14 Service Bell – Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 You Are The Blood – Sufjan Stevens

1 Well-Alright – Spoon
2 Lenin – Arcade Fire
3 Mimizan – Beirut
4 El Caporal – My Morning Jacket
5 Inspiration Information (Shuggie Otis) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6 With A Girl Like You (The Troggs) – Dave Sitek
7 Blood Pt 2 (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) – Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8 Hey, Snow White (Destroyer) – The New Pornographers
9 Gentle Hour (Snapper) – Yo La Tengo
10 Another Saturday (traditional song) – Stuart Murdoch
11 Happiness – Riceboy Sleeps
12 Amazing Grace (traditional song) – Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 The Giant Of Illinois (Handsome Family) – Andrew Bird
14 Lua – Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 When the Road Runs Out – Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 Love vs. Porn – Kevin Drew

Satruday Night: Yeah!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs hit SNL this past weekend giving a taste of the excellent, soon-to-be-everywhere It's Blitz! with lead single Zero and an oldie but goodie Maps.

09 April 2009

You are the Blood

You Ain't No Picasso delivers the best news of the day with the announcement of a new Circulatory System release. Sadly, we'll have to wait until August 4th but I bet you it will be worth every heart beat in between. The Elephant 6ers new slab will be dubbed Signal Morning. I for one can't wait.

I get lonesome....

Beck's amazingly wonderful neo-folk-indie opus One Foot in the Grave is getting the deluxe reissue treatment. Produced by Calvin Johnson and released on his seminal K Records, the record is a raw portrait of the artist as a young man pre-Odelay studio madness. Two acoustic guitars and a microphone!

Track Listing:

01 "He's A Mighty Good Leader"
02 "Sleeping Bag"
03 "I Get Lonesome"
04 "Burnt Orange Peel"
05 "Cyanide Breath Mint"
06 "See Water"
07 "Ziplock Bag"
08 "Hollow Log"
09 "Forcefield"
10 "Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods"
11 "Asshole"
12 "I've Seen The Land Beyond"
13 "Outcome"
14 "Girl Dreams"
15 "Painted Eyelids"
16 "Atmospheric Conditions"


17 "It's All In Your Mind" (K Records 7")
18 "Whiskey Can Can" (K Records 7")
19 "Mattress"*
20 "Woe On Me"*
21 "Teenage Wastebasket"*
22 "Your Love Is Weird"*
23 "Favorite Nerve"*
24 "Piss On The Door"*
25 "Close To God"*
26 "Sweet Satan"*
27 "Burning Boyfriend"*
28 "Black Lake Morning"*
29 "Feather In Your Cap" (K Records 7")
30 "One Foot In the Grave"*
31 "Teenage Wastebasket"*
32 "I Get Lonesome"*

* never before released

The reissue is out 4/14 on Beck's Iliad label.

Thanks to Stereogum!

Got Blog?

Oasis pub does. Visit the hot new spot on the bloggy road to nowhere. Total nonsense, downloads, and even a schedule of upcoming events. What's not to like? Tell Murray we sent you...


07 April 2009

Beware the Donut

brakesbrakesbrakes are back with their third record this month. It's twelve tracks of assuredly good garagey confections entitled Touchdown. you can get it through Fat Cat. here's the first tasty creation, Hey Hey:

Thank You Satan