Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Johnny Cash - "American V: A Hundred Highways" Update

Some great new tracks from the forthcoming final American Johnny Cash release. Following the tradition of its predecessors it looks like there's going to be some roots-influenced covers scattered amongst some originals. "Like The 303" was the last song ever written by Cash, and is a testament to his abilities up to his dying days.

Johnny Cash "God's Gonna Cut Down" (mp3) (alternate link)
Johnny Cash "Like The 303 (1:30 sample)" (mp3) (alternate link)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dinosaur Jr. - "Raisans" on The Henry Rollins Show 06/24/06

Check out a great performance by one of the most influental bands of the last twenty years, Dinosaur Jr., on The Henry Rollins Show. They're aging, yeah, but at least the band is back working together. (link)

Dinosaur Jr. "Raisans (The Henry Rollins Show (06/24/06)" (mp3) (alternate link)

Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band - "Bring Em' Home" & "Pay Me My Money Down" on Late Night With Conan O'Brien 06/23/06

There's a certainty that this is one of the best performances that I've ever seen from a late night television program. Stereogum posted a link to the YouTube files for Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band's performance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien from this past friday and it is absolutely spectacular. The band consists of literally some twenty musicians (well...Jimmy Fallon & Thomas Hayden Church are there too...playing the spoons...) which all lend their individual talents flawlessly creating a massive musical orgy. If there's one performance you check out this week, let it be this (oh...and I still have a considerable distaste for Jimmy Fallon, in all his spoon playing, camera-time stealing glory):

Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band "Bring Em' Home (Late Night With Conan O'Brien 06/23/06)"(mp3) (alternate link)
Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band - Bring Em' Home (Late Night With Conan O'Brien 06/23/06)(video)
Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band "Pay Me My Money Down (Late Night With Conan O'Brien 06/23/06)" (mp3) (alternate link)
Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band "Pay Me My Money Down (Late Night With Conan O'Brien 06/23/06)" (video)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Go! Team - "Bull In Heather" Sonic Youth Cover

Occasionally something on Pitchfork really peaks my was one such day that this was oh so true. What kind of crazy mixed up sounding explosion of goodness could come from everyone's favorite sample-steady indie pop band covering one of the longest standing street-cred worthy acts in history? It's odd...but not too odd...not excellent...but FAR from horrible. Enjoy friends:

The Go! Team "Bull In Heather (Sonic Youth cover)" (mp3) (alternate link)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Contrast Podcast #12: Numbers

The 12th edition of the Contrast Podcast has been released with a numbers theme, unlike the first edition which simply surrounded interpretations of the number 1. My selection for the podcast was a long time coming, Hank Williams III with his song "7 months, 39 Days." (link) (feed) Next week's theme has been provided to us by the outstanding Victor Scott, "Dinner Music For A Pack of Hungry Cannibals."

Hank Williams III "7 Months, 39 Days" (mp3) (alternate link)

Review - Snow Patrol: Eyes Open

Irish indie rockers Snow Patrol fell into fashion with the band's 2003 releaseFinal Straw. Blending into its surroundings Snow Patrol found popularity through the band's fresh appeal; though in all reality it had been a long time coming. Forming in and around 1994, Snow Patrol reveals Eyes Open as the band's fourth album, finding its increased expectation resulting in, at times, both pulsating musical flair and tranquilizing lulls.

By maintaining a sense of accessibility Snow Patrol's Final Straw was released to much critical acclaim characterized by its similarities to comparable bands such as the hugely popular Coldplay. The band's music struck a note with fans of a slower, sentimental brand of rock which was reaching its peak in popularity at the time. Eyes Open offers much a similar style of song though it is being released in somewhat of a different musical environment. The blessings that (mild) overproduction and mellow melodies were to the band's last release come as handicaps with Eyes Open as they distract from the songwriting and allow the listener to examine how distinct the band is from its contemporaries.

It's that comparison that allows the listener to both enjoy and find distaste for the group. There is something oddly familiar with Snow Patrol, something that brings about a sense of home, or longing, but with that comes an inferior level of innovation in the music. Some of the finer tracks such as "You're All I Have" and "Shut Your Eyes" find themselves appealing as such, both comforting and disturbingly similar to much of what has already been recorded and heard within the genre. By appealing to a certain fashion or cast of listener these similarities can easily become a downfall for the band. Though Snow Patrol offer a number of pleasurable songs on Eyes Open, they do so as passive pioneers, offering enough creativity with key tracks that shadow the majority ofEyes Open's homogeneous output.

Snow Patrol "You're All I Have" (mp3) (alternate link)
Snow Patrol "Make This Go On Forever" (mp3) (alternate link)

Snow Patrol - Official Site
Snow Patrol - MySpace Site (4 songs)

Contest: Warped Tour/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Trip!

A number of companies including Fuse and Alternative Press are offering an amazing contest that includes a trip for two to The Vans Warped Tour in Cleveland, OH and a pair of tickets to a guided Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Tour. Though I've historically had distaste for many things Cleveland, I've been to the HOF and it's definitely a sight to be had. Check the contest out here - LINK

The Bouncing Souls "The Gold Song" (mp3)
NOFX "Seeing Double At The Triple Rock" (mp3)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sonic Youth - "Incinerate" on The Late Show With David Letterman 06/16/06

Sonic Youth is one of my all time favorite bands and it is truly amazing to see a band aging with such grace. One of the true great bands of the last century (I'm excluding bands pre-June 1906...they were a bunch of losers anyways...).

Sonic Youth "Incinerate (The Late Show With David Letterman 06-16-06)"(mp3) (alternate link)
Sonic Youth "Incinerate (The Late Show With David Letterman 06-16-06)"(video)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monday Night Mash-Ups: June 19, 2006

The most popular post in the short history of this site is Culture Bully's 10 Favorite Mash-Ups of 2005. In the spirit of that, I'd like to introduce some of the best mash-ups that I've come across for the week ending Monday, June 19, 2006. As always, they're not for everyone, but for those who still like 'em, enjoy.

Aggro 1 "Pink Party Factory (Pink vs. Fear Factory)" (mp3)
Arty Fufkin "Barrel of Goo (Beastie Boys vs. Sonic Youth)" (mp3)
DJ Jay-R "Kinky Park (Jay-Z vs. The Kinks)" (mp3)
DJ Nicky-T "Shaggy Fat Boy (Shaggy vs. Fatboy Slim)" (mp3)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Review - The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower: INRI EP

San Diego's The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower have been receiving quite a bit of recognition within the confines of modern indie, but when it comes to bands with more than 7 words in their names, this usually spells trouble. The band's INRI EPsuccessfully serves as a quick once over of the quartet's image and sound, introducing drawn out vocals, crashing percussion and deep bass, all of which characterize the single's sound.

The EP also includes a rendition of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging" and a remix by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner which help develop the band as one with a broader tone, especially "Boys..." which touches on Bowie's bouncier beat and lighter melody. Zinner's remix adds what most mixes do, a slight touch-up from a different perspective, which coming from his background is something that TPTBUTET should take advantage of as it sounds fresher and sharper than the original. But far be it from me to mistake a 3-song EP for a revealing look at a band which has the possibility of developing into something unique.

The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower "INRI" (mp3) (alternate link)

The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower - Official Site
The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower - MySpace Site (2 songs)

Review - Pretty Flowers: Pretty Flowers EP

Pretty Flowers is a Brooklyn-based four-piece that harkens back to the post-punk era of bands that played solid mid-tempo music based on harder, faster influences. The three-song debut EP explicitly borrows from a wide range of bands from the early '80s, and the group does so effectively. Keeping somewhat of a rough sound through a modest recording budget has its definite benefits.

"I've Got Your Love" is reminiscent Hüsker Dü, with its fast paced, muted drum set. If the band's eponymous EP was longer than 10 minutes it might become clearer as to whether the Pretty Flowers sound is simply a knock-off or a continuation of a lost gem. Time will tell.

Pretty Flowers "Riot" (mp3)
Pretty Flowers "Knife Fight" (mp3)
Pretty Flowers - Official Site
Pretty Flowers - MySpace Site (4 songs)

Review - Björk: The Music From Drawing Restraint 9

Björk has made a handsome living from defining and recreating boundaries in the aural arts. One of the key characteristics made throughout her career has been the tremendous lack of separation between what is recorded and what her fans marvel at. As her career progresses she has been given the liberty of continually defining herself through any number of experimental projects, as many to critical acclaim as to critical question. As time goes on there is a sense of connect to Björk that I hadn't previously had, much due to the lack of artificial influence in her work. Her music is genuine, in that she isn't making it with hopes of spiting modern radio, and nor is she making it for the simple credibility that is associated with her (lack of) genre. She admirably makes the music that she loves, whatever form it may take. A Drawing Restraint 9 site comments wisely on her style, in that she is "refusing to choose between pop pleasure and restless experimentation, Björk's musical vision weds technology and emotion, countering gut-level expression with an insistence upon formal modernity and innovation."

The Music From Drawing Restraint 9 accompanies the film in a manor uncharacteristic of the majority of scores. The audio accompaniment engulfs the visuals throughout the film and directly serves as well placed keys to emotional targets, carefully lending itself as the only dialogue to the film for all but one of the scenes. As the description surmises, this is a stage well suited for Björk's composition skills. As she only contributes orally to 2 songs it is amazing to see how her production and arrangement skills transfer some precise characteristics of her music to other musicians' work. Far from much of her 2004 release Medúlla comes an increasingly raw track performed by throat singer Tagaq. "Pearl" is much like the rest of the album as it is a traditional track, distancing itself from much of the hip-hop and dance influenced music found on Björk's experimentation with the outlet.

As is the case with much of Björk's catalogue there is a dramatic learning curve, of sorts, in that it takes a number of listening sessions to begin to understand and appreciate what is actually on the recording. The Music From Drawing Restraint 9 is no different as its shocking first listen initially startles before settling in; showing that it takes time to familiarize oneself to a new, alien piece of music. The artistic beauty is lost at times however as the accompanying visuals aren't provided to aid in the music. The tracks admittedly provide a great deal of their own visually warming aids on their own, however, symbolic of not only Björk's influence but of the dramatic role each character plays in the sonant.

Björk "Ambergris March (Feat. Guðrún Óskarsdóttir & Samuel Solomon)" (mp3) (alternate link)
Björk "Storm" (mp3) (alternate link)

Björk - Official Site
Drawing Restraint 9 - Official Site

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Echo & The Bunnymen - "Stormy Weather" on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson 06/15/06

A great late-night performance from a classic band. Kudos to Ferguson for the classy...well...nice intro.

Echo & The Bunnymen "Stormy Weather (The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson 06/15/06)" (mp3) (alternate link)
Echo & The Bunnymen "Stormy Weather (The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson 06/15/06)" (video)

Everclear - New Single "Hater"

Sometimes there are casualties of mergers and shifts in the tastes within modern pop music which result in unfortunate misrepresentation or simple label drops. Whatever it is, rider of grunge's coattails, Art Alexis, has assembled a new version of Everclear on indie label Eleven Seven Music. The band lost me years ago and I'm not sure the new stuff is really worth checking out, but check it out and see for yourself:

Everclear "Hater" (mp3) (alternate link)
Everclear - E-card

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Night Free For All: June 16, 2006

Some of the best songs that passed through my inbox for the week ending June 16, 2006.

The Bronx "History's Stranglers" (mp3)
The Bronx "Shitty Future" (mp3)
Brookville "Nothing's Meant To Last" (mp3)J. Dilla "Love (Feat. Pharoahe Monche)" (mp3)
Brian Eno & David Byrne "Regiment" (mp3)
Grace Potter "Toothbrush And My Table" (mp3)
Razorlight "In The Morning" (mp3)Shapes And Sizes "Wilderness" (mp3)

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - New Single "Saving Grace"

Just in time for the touring season comes the new single from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. What else would you expect, it's great. A harder song than a lot of Petty's later albums with a Thorogood-esque intro, and I completely dig that. Check it out!

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers "Saving Grace" (mp3) (alternate link)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Streets "Never Went To Church" on Jimmy Kimmel Live 06/13/06

The latest album has been put down so hard throughout the blogosphere, but occasionally something pops up like this and questions that. It's not all that spectacular, but it's a good song nonetheless.

The Streets "Never Went To Church (Jimmy Kimmel Live 06/13/06)" (mp3)(alternate link)
The Streets "Never Went To Church (Jimmy Kimmel Live 06/13/06)" (video)

Cat Power - "Living Proof" on The Late Show With David Letterman 06/13/06

Cat Power is completely hit or miss with me, and generally (sorry indie friends) she doesn't hit. This performance - hit.

Cat Power "Living Proof (The Late Show With David Letterman 06/13/06)"(mp3) (alternate link)
Cat Power "Living Proof (The Late Show With David Letterman 06/13/06)"(video)

Review - Zero 7: The Garden

Who is Zero 7? Remember that one movie with that one perfectly placed song? If the movie you're thinking about was Garden State, chances are you already know Zero 7. However in an attempt to change what might be perceived as the duo's image stemming from the success of 2004's When It Falls (and exposure through mediums such as movies) Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker moved their production out of London's core and into Glastonbury. The thought was to also limit the level of collaboration in hopes of finding a grassroots sound, possibly even to find something they weren't even looking for in the process. They needed change, and change they found. Reeling from the near-20 guest musicians that appeared on When It Falls, Binns and Hardaker made the simple addition of 2 for The Garden, long time collaborater Sia Furler and Swedish indie-hipster Jose Gonzales.

As an album The Garden is deceiving. It progressively becomes somewhat scattered and its musical meaning becomes less understandable. The lead-off track "Futures," featuring Gonzales, and the Furler collaboration "Throw It All Away" influence the listener into developing certain expectations surrounding what is to follow. The two smooth, moody, coffee-shop rock feeling tracks are followed with a five minute departure into light, flowing electronica. "Seeing Things" reveals a movement closer to the electronic based music that follows, while still managing somewhat of a balance. The Garden is deceiving in that it manifests itself as a hybrid when you aren't expecting it and introduces a variety of new sounds when it seems as though it is following a pattern. Even its concluding track "Waiting To Die" comes as somewhat unexpected as it is similar in feel to the album's initial tracks. Somehow The Garden goes full circle without lending any sense of direction or indication as to how it was done.

In an attempt to find a balance that was lost with the recent surge in the duo's popularity Zero 7 made a variety of lifestyle and musical changes which resulted in The Garden, too, finding balance. Limited collaboration allowed Binns and Hardaker to develop sounds truly identifiable to their current musical disposition and they did so in a crafty way which made it hard while enabling consistent seamless transitions. For whatever reasoning can be attributed to The Garden sounding as it does, Zero 7 have completed something not simply masterful, but enjoyable in the process.

Zero 7 "Throw It All Away" (mp3) (alternate link)
Zero 7 "The Pageant of the Bizaare" (mp3) (alternate link)

Zero 7 - Official Site
Zero 7 - MySpace Site (4 songs)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Contrast Podcast #11: I'm The Only One Who Likes This

The latest episode of the Contrast Podcast is up and once again, it's looking good. This week's episode features a theme surrounding the kind of music that is kind of embarassing, but kind of good nonetheless; the kind of music in which you're the only one who likes it. My pick this week comes from a German transexual goth who's back-up band is made out of souls. Oh, and they typically play in the style of baroque. That's right, you got it, Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows. (link) (feed)

Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows "Shake of My Soul" (mp3) (alternate link)

Wolfmother - "Woman" The Late Show With David Letterman 06/09/06

Who's blowing up these days? Who's on the latest iTunes commercial? Who's playing practically everywhere at the same time? Wolfmother, baby, Wolfmother.

Wolfmother "Woman (The Late Show With David Letterman 06/09/06)"(mp3) (alternate link)
Wolfmother "Woman (The Late Show With David Letterman 06/09/06)"(video)