Saturday, February 28, 2009


Eventually from Portland's Marriage Records. This chick, Merrill, was into anarchy puppets and Christmas music when she was younger. You can actually hear that in the music. She attended Smith and sang in a "brazen" all-female a capella group, too, and later went to Kenya, all of which you can also hear.

She recorded her whole album, BiRd-BrAiNs, on a hand-held voice recorder. She also booked her own tour all last year, which led to the thing with Marriage and this past month to opening for Beirut.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Architecture in Helsinki

Aus pop orchestra superhappy-times band's got a new single with some cool remixes, That Beep.

They're pretty good with packaging themselves, so I'll refer you onward: (There you can listen and get your download on>)

No pun intended... Fun intended.

Boney M, Brown Girl in the Ring.

I admit I have been looking for an excuse to post Boney M since I started contributing to this blog, but I do think they have influenced Architecture in Helsinki.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Telepathe 2

So I'm sitting here reviewing this cd for WRIR and realize... I love it. I know I'm not just saying that because the review I wrote was completely dead-on on the first try, after the first full listen. You know what that means? I feel it.

Telepathe Dance Mother
Label: Iamsound
melodic dramatic indietronica (RPM)

Off-key, moany, choral female vocals over bass and drum heavy beats, occasional harpsichords, and dirty south parking lot synth riffs and high-hats. Bold, often violent, Secret-Gardenish lyrics similar to Hole's Victorian fixation.
RIYL Gang Gang Dance, Free Blood, School of Seven Bells

Reviewed by: Mary Claire
Recommended tracks: 1, 7, 9, 2 (see below)
FCC: 8, 2 (at -1:36)


"You could have at least said 'Secret Garden at night.'"

This is the song that made me realize it's appropriate to do a second Telepathe post immediately after the first one.


Monday, February 23, 2009


Telepathe is from Brooklyn, having started off as a side project by members of the bands Bloodlines and First Nation. To my delight they decided to roll with the Kraut jamz full-time.

I thought the WRIR mail squirrels had chewed it up or something, but apparently Telepathe has only just released Dance Mother, their full-length from Iamsound.

The album includes "Chromes On It," which via music blog distribution and the Chromes on It EP caught a lotta people's attention last year. Iamsound is giving it out free here. I also quite like the Tan Lines remix.

Most of the songs on Dance Mother are less in-your-face than "Chromes."

The video for "So Fine." Can we please talk about the MSCL elements of this? And the kitty, obv.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fol Chen

Another decent Asthmatic Kitty band. I can't get myself to read the feature NPR did on them, and they seem to like to fill their own websites with feverish beat-pop stories, poser Pynchon or something. So I don't really have much info on them except that they're from LA.

Flyer for an upcoming show in Echo Park.

You and Your Sister in Jericho

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mr Scruff

Mr Scruff draws cartoons and named his new album Ninja Tuna. Plus he started his own tea company.

Ninja Tuna is Mr Scruff's first full-length since 2002. He's been on Ninja Tune records since 1999 and been dj'ing famously since the mid-90s, when he blew up in Manchester.

Flyer drawn by Mr Scruff for Keep it Unreal, his monthly at Manchester club The Music Box. Scruff normally dj's the entire night (six hours).

Here's what he says about dj'ing:
Although I am a fairly technical DJ, it is vital to remember that the most important skill for a DJ is to play great records in the right order. Each record must complement the one before, and introduce the one that follows. Beatmatching is an obvious way of linking records, but there are other common factors, such as lyrical themes & complimentary keys that a DJ can use to aid the transition. Each piece of music has a mood and an energy level, and orchestrated carefully, you can create an atmosphere where every record that comes in is precisely right for that moment.

Hairy Bumpercress

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Odd Nosdam

This guy, alongside fellow members of his former band cLOUDDEAD and a bunch of other people, actually helped found the Bay Area label/collective Anticon. I mentioned Anticon a few weeks back as Tobacco's label. Odd Nosdam's also collaborated a ton with groups outside Anticon: Múm, Notwist, Mr Dibbs, Sarena-Maneesh, Boards of Canada, TV on the Radio...

He also did a soundtrack for the 2007 film This is My Element, centering around sk8boards. Element Skateboards. Each song on the soundtrack corresponds to the style of a rider in the film; this one is Brent Atchley's, and if I talk any more about that I'll be a huge poser because I don't know who Brent Atchley is. But I like his style.

Anticon has just re-released the T.I.M.E. Soundtrack.

Anticon co-founders Why? (left) and Odd Nosdam (right)

Fly Mode

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


My BFF Chris introduced me to this most amazing song in college. I'm pretty sure it caught his attention initially because of the title, thrift being a value the two of us hold sacred. After bass of course.

Didi Bruckmayr, Didi Kern, and Fadi Dorninger are from Vienna and have been making music together since 1992. Chris and I both were actually in contact with the band via internet for a while, and so we managed to catch Didi Kern, who did Wipeout's programming and percussion, perform in Vien. He played in a squat/trailer kinda near the Prater fun-fair. The squatters were selling this super-hearty soup for a euro. (Thrift.)



Monday, February 16, 2009


Three-chords plus distortion divided by lo-fi static equals California beach punk in this disaster of an equation. The dingy noise plaguing this entire album will make your ears bleed if you forget to take a break every few songs. But do that and you might find yourself hearing a nice, and sometimes melodic, extension of 80's punk sock. I mean rock. Punk sock? I’m sick, forgive me. Physically sick, not mentally demented. The latter is yet to be proved.

But seriously, you could end up stabbing your grandmother’s eyes out with the dull end of a plastic spoon if you take too much in at once. So please BE CAREFUL!

I’d like to make a quick note about the labeling of music. Or rather propose a question about it. What the fuck is College Rock? Who decides what gets labeled what and on what criteria? Are those in college the only ones who can appreciate such music? And what if you’re an athlete that goes straight to the NBA after high school because of a gifted set of calves? Do you bypass this music altogether like some type of music time machine? That seems really unfair. I mean just because I can jump really high doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy some quality sock rock. I’m just sayin’ maybe the powers that be should be more thoughtful when it comes to these sorts of things. You never know who’s gonna get hurt.

Never mind, I don’t care anymore.

See also No Age and Jay Reatard.

So Bored

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears

Just put on the advance Black Joe Lewis ep, which contains 4 tracks:

1) Gunpowder
2) Bitch, I Love You
3) Cousin Randy
4) Master Sold My Baby

The Black Joe Lewis collective is based in Austin; you can catch em at SxSW if you're headed that way, but if not they'll be doing a tour following the album launch. The full-length comes out on March 17th, called Tell Em What Your Name Is! from Lost Highway.

Otherwise, I haven't found too much press on Black Joe Lewis or the Honeybears, though the promoter did tell me that Obama has endorsed them.

Cousin Randy

Why not send your valentine a "Bitch, I Love You" e-card?

Cotton Jones

So here it is: I love Jefferson Airplane. I mean, yeah, there's a bit more to it than that, but listen.

Cotton Jones is Michael Nau, alias Page France, and Whitney McGraw.

Up A Tree (Went This Heart I Have)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Phosphorescent Salutes Willie Nelson

...with 11 of his finest tracks on an album simply and aptly titled To Willie. If you like Willie, you’ll either love or hate this. My guess is you’ll love it because it’s about as close to the real thing as it gets. Then you say "Well why cover it then?" Then I say "It’s a fucking tribute album and it’s a damn good one." Then you say, "But I hate Willie Nelson." Then I punch you in the eyebrow and we never speak again. Until the next day when we have coffee and reminisce about the awesome fight we had the day before.

But don’t get me wrong. Phosphorescent (Matthew Houck) doesn’t make an exact replica here. He has a style and interpretation that makes Willie sound cosmic in areas. Like right here:

Permanently Lonely

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - White Corolla

Owen Ashworth, aka CFTPA, is a one man operation out of Chicago that describes his music as "a curious mix of austere character studies and playful electronic programming." At first that sounded like the type of trite garbage I would write here, but then I realized, after listening a bit more, that’s a pretty good assessment. Now I’m a little tempted to take off the quotation marks and claim it as my own, but I’m too lazy to pretend I know what I’m talking about. Check out the new album, Advance Base Battery Life.

I love how the ad that pops on this is for Corollas. Man, technology is good.


Tussle's been around since 2001-- they did a couple of releases on Troubleman Unlimited before jumping over to Oslo's Smalltown Supersound and putting out Telescope Mind, in 2006, along with their new one, Cream Cuts. Isn't that such a dope name for a record?

Apparently while on tour last year with Hot Chip, Hot Chip superstar Alexis Taylor became so "smitten" with them that he wanted to contribute to this new one (on the song "Titan"). Smitten. They're from San Francisco.

Transparent C

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nous Non Plus

Si vous comprenez du français, vous saurez que je ne parle pas français. Ceci est une farce pour apparaître le spécial et intelligent. J'étais en France avant, mais je ne me rappèle pas. J'ai été enlevé et ai été drogué et ai été forcé à manger du fromage avec le pain. Alors j'étais libre. C'était agréable.

Translation: These guys aren’t even French. They’re a bunch of jokers from New York, save the singer who’s Swiss-German. It’s faux-French rock and it’s none of the rage. But it’s pretty cool. Ménagerie, their latest, could easily be the soundtrack to a French drive-in in the 60s. I picked the one song that doesn’t sound like the rest since that’s what I do. If you’re looking to shake your ass, buy the rest of the album.

Sunlight Yellow Noise

One Night In Paris
This was apparently banned from YouTube, but they reposted. Maybe it’ll last this time. I think it’s safe to say that this is NSFW.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Handsome Furs Like To Travel

Husband and wife duo, Alexei Perry and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, have an inspiring story. They travel and then write music based on what they’ve absorbed. And what they’ve absorbed is a tightly nit ball of electronic beats and quiet rage. According to them, they’d both love to be foreign correspondents. Just a bit of advice, stick to the music. And to the fucking. It’s good for all of us. They’re currently touring in France, Italy, and Canada before hitting up Iowa and Kansas.

Handsome Furs' sophomore album, Face Control, out today, promises to be dance-worthy and soulful at the same time. Soul dancing is not advisable. Here’s a taste.

I’m Confused

Did I mention Alexei is hot? Or did you not see the photo?

Monday, February 9, 2009


These dudes are on tour with Japanther, but for some reason they weren't on the flyer for last night's show. I got all happy when I realized who they were, my new-band missed connection from the Rock the Bells sidestage last year.

Ideally I would post a photo of Telli Gramz in the Vera Bradley hoodie he was wearing last night, but this is fashion, too.

Tight Pants (Rap Version) (free download from iheartcomix)

There is also a more punk version of this song, laid over "Negative Thinking" by Death Set. Death Set actually shot the video for it with them.

On their myspace they list GG Allin, R Kelly, and ODB's Grammy performance as their influences. Kool Keith gets no mention, for what it's worth.


Wooo, Canadians! These guys are from Edmonton, and the group includes 3 brothers, the Batkes boys.

They wrote their new album, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of, while touring across the States. It's technically some kind of indie rock, whatever that means, but I have chosen one of the album's more Jan Hammer tracks to share with you.

"I Think I'll Start A Fire." Their record label, Friendly Fire is hosting several free downloads.

Mike Bones

Mike Bones’ (aka Mike Strallow) vocals are sometimes hard to listen to. Like a dead person whispering in your ear. But if you look at the cover of his latest album, A Fool For Everyone, you’ll find an image of Mike resembling what I would refer to as pornography for dead gay men. So maybe that’s what he’s going for.

Here’s a quick biography from his own words. Edited by me.
I grew up in New Jersey...and...used hard drugs daily...Sometimes I slept with women...Then I got serious about writing songs...A frustrated girlfriend left me...Things are looking up.

Some have compared Bones to Leonard Cohen. See also Lou Reed and Stephen Malkmus. He’s currently touring with Phosphorescent. Be sure to carry some strychnine for you and your date if you stay for both sets. What date? Who am I kidding? Just take enough to off yourself.

One Moment’s Peace

Sunday, February 8, 2009


When I saw this flyer taped to the Bagel Czar I thought something was a little off-- Marshé usually seems to design the flyers for shows happening at Rumors, or at least the band does, and this didn't really fit what I think of as an aesthetic that either she or Japanther would really come up with. I noticed the weird varsity style of the "free" at the top.

But, whatever. Sweet, free Japanther show a block from my house. Totally down.

Then on Friday I got the Franki Chan/iheartcomix email blast that the Japanther/Totally Michael tour was kicking off, and suddenly. The flyer... Franki Chan... SCION.

Hahaha, Marshé is hosting a Scion party? Actually no, I asked her. She did sound like she wouldn't be opposed, though. Still, something funny about that flyer...

But yeah, whatever. Free Japanther show a block from my house.

Um Like Yer Smile Is Totally Ruling Me Right Now --my sister says "Critical" is their best song but I couldn't find it except a noisy live video.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Erol Alkan

I know Erol Alkan primarily for his DJing-- His 2005 Essential Mix for Radio 1 gave me so much; bittorrent it. Alkan started the London clubnight Trash, which went on for 10 years, and he won Mixmag's DJ of the Year for 2006. He's also got massive Superstar DJ association: the Soulwax documentary features him, and when I saw him spin it was at the Fixed party at WMC last year, with Simian Mobile Disco.

He's involved in other projects besides remixing, though. Check this. He produced the Late of the Pier album Fantasy Black Channel, just released in the States last week, as well as the Long Blondes' album Couples and the Mystery Jets' Twenty One. He's even got his own music-with-guitars-in-it project, a psych outfit called Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve.

Fan Death - Veronica's Veil (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework)

Late of the Pier - Space in the Woods

Beyond the Wizards Sleeve - Violent Lampshade

Monday, February 2, 2009

Titus Andronicus #2

McKay already posted about this band a couple of months ago, but I can't get this song out of my head. It's been there all week, the refrain, "all the pretty horses."

Brueghel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. 
Icarus is not the focal point of the image. Discuss.*

Upon Viewing Brueghel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

*Discussion topic courtesy of Paul Graham

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Tobacco's myspace headline is, "Taking down PETA one member at a time." Yeah! But I think it might be because animal sacrifice is part of his religion. Leafy vines sprout from my brain and blossom into magenta fur. Backwoods Altar indeed.

Tobacco is one of the founding members of Black Moth Super Rainbow. His album Fucked Up Friends did very well on WRIR's charts this fall-- it's on the alt-hiphop label Anticon and includes a track with Aesop Rock.

He kind of looks like McKay.

Gross Magik