Friday, August 31, 2007

A.A. Bondy - American Hearts

Talk about a huge surprise, this album came out of nowhere and haven't been able to stop listening to it for almost a week now. A.A. Bondy is Scott Bondy, former frontman of the mildly successful and utterly forgettable band Verbena. Apparently the guys in Verbena were really holding Scott down because his first solo outing, American Hearts is absolutely incredible. Bondy plays well crafted folk tunes with sparse arrangements that really allow his great lyrics to be at the forefront of the songs. I could not recommend this record enough, it's really the sort of record that you could play for almost anyone and they'd enjoy it. Download this immediately and then go out and buy ten copies and give them to your friends.

- Steve

Download American Hearts

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Birds of Avalon - Bazaar Bazaar

(LINK REMOVED 8/30/07)

The guys in Birds of Avalon really wish that it was 1974. Unlike other bands with a similar mindset (the no talent Tony Iommi riff stealing dildos in Wolfmother instantly come to mind) Birds of Avalon seem to be influenced by a wide variety of classic rock bands (Cheap Trick, .38 Special, Pink Floyd) and most of the time create songs that wouldn't sound too out of place along side these bands on any classic rock station. I personally didn't get a lot out of this release, but it isn't bad and I'm sure some of you will get a kick out of it.

- Steve

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Deerhunter - Deerhunter


During their live set in Detroit, the drama queen lead singer, Bradford Cox (who blogs here), encouraged the crowd to not purchase this album, which is unfortunate because it is the only material the band has released that doesn't bore me to death, so download your little heart out, guilt-free. Their self-titled debut (which is more commonly known as "Turn it Up Faggot" now) is early Liars-esque. Danceable, noisy, fractured punk rock. Although it is entertaining, I can understand why the band dislikes it, as the tracks tend to blend into one another. Worth a listen though.


Download Deerhunter


The CD portion of the CD/DVD released in 2006.

A reissue of their 2001 debut. Released in 2005.

Split released in 2004.

And a bonus video from the CD/DVD...

- Dan

Monday, August 27, 2007

Baroness - The Red Album

Baroness is probably one of the hardest working bands in music, so I'm glad they finally have gotten a chance to release an album on a label like Relapse so that more people can be exposed to them. It seems the sole goal of this Georgia based group has been to write and record songs that attempt to combine nearly every sub genre of metal all at once. This is probably why it's taken the band so long to gain success despite constantly touring; they are impossible to pigeonhole. Baroness will often pummel their listeners with monolithic Doom inspired riffs, only to revert to an intricate, almost ambient inspired soundscape or some killer guitar harmonics that hearken back to the days when Iron Maiden weren't old and shitty. I'm personally much more fond of the band's debut and sophomore releases (the appropriately titled First and Second) but The Red Album is certainly worth checking out.

- Steve

Download The Red Album

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Total Request Live

The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

Heart-on-your-sleeve indie rock that is full of great hooks and a surprising level of maturity. Fans of the group's previous records will not be disappointed.

Reunion Tour

Best Fwends - Alphabetically Arranged

A mixture of snotty punk rock and trashy pop music played by two guys that don't take themselves too seriously and more than likely have A.D.D.

Alphabetically Arranged

Power Pill Fist - Extra Life

Black Moth Super Rainbow side project that combines Nintendo inspired blips and bleeps with straight up noise.

Download Extra Life

satanstompingcaterpillars - The Most Wonderfulest Thing

Pre-Black Moth Super Rainbow band, featuring the majority of the members of BMSR if I'm not mistaken. This is some very strange, but at the same time, very beautiful low-key psychedelic pop music. Definitely check this album out.

Download The Most Wonderfulest Thing

- Steve

Silver Apples - Contact

I was blown away to see that these guys were still alive and touring this year, and I'll be getting a chance to see them September 9th. Minimalistic psychedelic electronic rock music from the late 1960s. Way ahead of their time and have been hugely influential on countless bands and artists.

- Dan

Download Contact

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms

The Feelies seem to be the most criminally underrated post punk band of all time. It's rare that you hear the band's name mentioned along side other greats like Joy Division and Wire. Fortunately, a few people took notice of their stellar debut. R.E.M. has cited Crazy Rhythms as a major influence on their early work. Apparently Rivers Cuomo enjoyed the album so much he decided to lift the cover for Weezer's own first album. This album is great from start to finish without a single weak track; something that can rarely be said about any record. The key to what makes Crazy Rhythms work so well is the combination of Andy Fier's unorthodox drumming style and the group's collective awkward nervous energy. I can also say that The Feelies are the only band that comes to mind that has covered both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones without sounding the least bit stupid.

- Steve

Download Crazy Rhythms

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Klanguage - S/T


French trio Klanguage make some ridiculously infectious, sugary sweet electro pop. Normally this kind of music isn't really my thing, but after a few listens they were able to win me over. Klanguage just has an excellent grasp on how to write a good pop song. If you dig groups like Metric, or if you enjoyed the album by The Blow that Dan posted a few weeks ago, chances are you'll like this.

- Steve

Download S/T

Numbers - Now You Are This

The new Numbers is album is a huge step up from the last album. With 2005s We're Animals, I found myself waiting and waiting for the upbeat charming dance pop goodness heard on their earlier releases, but is just never came (although "Fuck You Garage" is probably my favorite track by them), and, after catching their dull live show a few years back, I slowly began to lose faith in them. Now You Are This is a much more entertaining album from the band, maintaining the charming vocals previously heard, but leaving behind the single tone succession of sounds, making it similar to their 2005 release in ways, but with a louder Krautrock influence. Sounds a little like the huggable vocals/guitar rhythms of Deerhoof mixed with a louder version of the incessant buzz heard on any Broadcast album. You'll like it a little more after each listen.

- Dan

Download Now You Are This

Monday, August 20, 2007

Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

(LINK REMOVED 8/22/07)

Let's Stay Friends
is probably my least favorite Les Savy Fav record based on the couple of listens that I've given it so far. Still, Les Savy Fav's worst record is still better than the vast majority of music that has been released this year. The band doesn't seem to be breaking much new ground, sticking to their tried and true groove heavy art-punk style. I guess if ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

- Steve

Frode Haltli - Passing Images

This album was an unexpected suprise to my ears, and will most likely end up in my top 10 of 2007 after just one spin through the record. Frode Haltli is a Norwegian accordian player who does a lot more than just play the instrument. The various emotions and range of intensity and beauty that he can create through that single instrument is quite shocking. Backed by bizarre female vocals, a few other instruments, and a few field recordings, the album is continuously unpredictable. Imagine the arrangements of A Hawk and a Hacksaw mixed with the vocal slobbering gibberish (listen to track 2 and 4) heard on Boredoms Pop Tatari (if you're a Boredoms fan you'll know what I'm trying to explain), and you've got Frode Haltli's latest album. Brilliant.

- Dan

Download Passing Images

Sunday, August 19, 2007

High On Fire - Death Is This Communion

It's sad that we live in a world where the term "metal" is generally attached to groups consisting of guys wearing girls pants and trucker hats or euro-dorks dressed up like professional wrestlers and singing about riding around on the magic dog from "The NeverEnding Story" and slaying dragons. High On Fire are just three regular guys who used to play in badass bands like Sleep and The Melvins. No gimmicks here, just well written songs that happen to be heavier than a ton of bricks. After listening through Death Is This Communion twice I already enjoy just as much, if not more than their phenomenal 2005 release, Blessed Black Wings, which is saying quite a bit.

- Steve

Download Death Is This Communion

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mark Sultan - The Sultanic Verses

Mark Sultan (a.k.a BBQ of the King Khan & BBQ Show) is gradually becoming one of my favorite songwriters in quite a while. His blend of rock & roll, punk, R&B, and surf music is nearly flawless. The one man band has delivered another rock solid album that, although isn't quite as good as his work with King Khan, is entirely killer.

- Dan

Download The Sultanic Verses

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things (2006)


Neither Japanese nor a duo, but a British trio heavily influenced by 1970s krautrock bands and electronic dance music, who decided one day to put the two genres together. The end result is a catchy, laid back, old school, party album that hipsters across the world have been eating up for the last year or so. Replayability is slim here, but definitely worth a listen. For fans of Cornelius, Of Montreal, or LCD Soundsystem.

- Dan

Download Transperant Things

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Shitmat - Grooverider

Shitmat is a breakcore/gabber artist best known for taking humerous or clichéd techno samples/breaks, and magically making them awesome again. The new albums sound is largely based on the early 90s hardcore jungle rave scene, which I thought had been beat to the ground many years ago, but Shitmat has managed to create an album that makes the genre feel fresh again. This is a much more focused album, limiting the mashup glitched sound of all his previous releases. Easily Shitmat's most polished release to date.

- Dan

Download Grooverider

The Dirty Projectors - Rise Above

Though I can't say I've always loved every release from The Dirty Projectors, I've always admired Dave Longstreth's unique take on pop compositions and the singer/songwriter genre. Really the only thing I've come to expect from Longstreth is an unconventional listening experience with each new record. Rise Above is certainly no exception, and just might be the most ambitious (and as far as concept records go, flat out strange) Dirty Projectors' release yet. Apparently, Longstreth was a big Black Flag fan in his youth, and decided to cover the entire Damaged album from memory alone. Quite a feat considering he claims to have not heard the album since his adolescence. The resulting record, Rise Above is really an admirable piece of work. While bits of Black Flag seem to float to the surface every now and then, most of the songs take on a whole new life, completely unlike the original compositions. If you're looking for something different, download Rise Above right now.

- Steve

Download Rise Above

Sunday, August 12, 2007

DAT Politics - Are Oui Phony?

DAT Politics are an obnoxiously fun, drugged out, Nintendo-loving, laptop electropop threesome from France, and although it is considered an LP, their latest release only clocks in at around 20 minutes, which works out well because a majority of DAT Politics fans can only handle their sound in moderation. Listeners either hate them, love them, or hate themselves for loving them, but it's hard to deny how infectious their sound is.

- Dan

Download Are Oui Phony?

Friday, August 10, 2007

George Thomas And The Owls - Concert For Two Bicycles


George Thomas and his backing band The Owls have made one hell of a modern folk record. Taking their cues from Devendra Banhart and Elliott Smith, the subdued and bizarre tunes are accented by some cool reverb drenched lo-fi production and beautiful instrumentation. Concert For Two Bicycles completely blows any other folk music I've heard this year out of the water, and I guarantee George Thomas will be a prominent figure in independent music a few years from now.

- Steve

Download Concert For Two Bicycles

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The World On Higher Downs - Land Patterns

thanks to bolachasgratis

Land Patterns is a wonderfully layered and incredibly detailed electronic approach to the shoegaze genre. The four piece from Wisconsin collaborated through the mail, adding their own instrumentation to the process. The final product proves that electronic music, at times, is modern-day classical music, carrying the emotion, intensity, patterns, and progressions that make a listener feel as intelligent as the composers.


Download Land Patterns

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jesu / Eluvium - Split

This release is limited to a mere 4000 copies, which is a shame because it really shows the direction Justin Broderick seems to be taking Jesu's music. While I loved Conqueror, it didn't seem to be that big of a step forward when compared to previous album, Silver. These new tracks show Broderick almost completely leaving his metal roots behind him. All three tracks are thickly layered with keyboards and drum machines, and are as beautiful and lush as anything Broderick has done under the Jesu name. The lone Eluvium track is a slow burning 20 minute ambient number that while at times interesting, didn't do a whole lot for me. Thank god we live in a digital age so that more than 4000 people will get a chance to enjoy this record.

- Steve

Download Split

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Psychic Paramount - Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural

I'm not sure how this one slipped past me, but after listening to Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural, I can say with confidence that it would have cracked my top 5 for 2005 had I heard it when it was initially released. The Psychic Paramount are fucking LOUD, and that is in no way an understatement. The band's sound is quite difficult to describe. Essentially they create a huge distorted wall of sound with manic drumming and endless looping guitars. The end product is pretty jaw dropping considering these guys are only a trio. I suppose you could say this album is what it would sound like if you were front row for a Can concert circa 1972 and a 747 crashed into the venue while the band continued to play. If you're a fan of groups like Comets On Fire and Acid Mothers Temple, don't hesitate and download this record immediately.

- Steve

Download Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Ohsees - Sucks Blood

John Dwyer, formally of Pink & Brown and Coachwhips, has blessed my ears once again with yet another solid release from his latest project, The Ohsees (or The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees and formerly OCS, Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite). The band originated as a side project during his days with Coachwhips, but has developed into a full fledged effort. Sucks Blood is the second release from the band (as "The Ohsees"), and, in general, is a fuzzy drone version of early folk-pop with emphasis on the hypnotic psychedelia of the late 1960s. It may take a few listens for it to grow on you, but it will. Think of a reverb-drenched, laid back version of the Velvet Underground with the vocals taken up a few octaves.

- Dan

Download Sucks Blood

Adorable - Against Perfection

Sorry about the lack of updates the last few days, I just moved into my new place and I just got the internet up and running a few hours ago. Dan and I really appreciate the feedback you guys have been giving us, and we'll do our best to try and upload any requests.

Moving on...

Adorable has always baffled me. This is a band that by all rights should have been huge (and at the very least, huge in their native England) but they seemed to come up just short with little to no praise from critics and modest sales of their only two releases. Like many bands that you can look back on years later and really appreciate, Adorable seemed to be the wrong band at the wrong time. Their debut, Against Perfection, was released at the very tail end of the popularity of the shoegazer scene, and while the album has some fantastic hooks, it certainly lacks the upbeat nature of the britpop bands of the time. Against Perfection is just a flat out good record with an identity crisis of sorts, and had it been released at a different time on a different label, the band would have had a much bigger following. Along with the album, I'm also including a video for the song "Sunshine Smile."

- Steve

Download Against Perfection