Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hurricane Bells

Had that moment of being in the midst of normalcy when a song makes you stop in your tracks. You listen fiercely for a breath to catch some of the pieces, figure out what it is that made you freeze. Then you cast about wildly, who's going to tell you who this is?? Who knows this song?! You throw down the frilly blouse you were folding and stammer to your manager that you've got to know who the artist is, is there way to look? Hoping desperately that you don't come off weird slash socially awkward on the first shift of a part-time gig {a girl needs a little drop in the bucket to finance all these mp3s}.
With a cool confirmation she disappears for a moment to return with a magic post-it, scrawled on in graphite is the key to your craving. Nirvana. As is my 40% discount. I like this place.

Currently on tour with KT Tuntall, {VAST improvement from prior tour with Blue October. Gag me with a spoon}, Steve Schiltz of Longwave created solo album, Tonight is a Ghost, in the best sense - writing, playing, recording and mixing all the songs himself. Quickly followed by Down Comes the Rain, stream either or album here. Admittedly, I'm not as wild about the rest, that could be the mention of Blue October leaving a bad taste on my tongue

But like a locomotive racing down frostbitten rails, away away from here, "Freezing Rain" makes my heart hurt.

Hurricane Bells // Freezing Rain

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wolf People

The brit boys of the lupine persuasion take us on a time travel tour to 60s/70s era rock - their February release, Tidings, disjointedly puffs and passes in the same circle as TBK Attack and Release and White Denim Fits. Peace, love and Jethro Tull flutes set over western twang rubbed with eastern silks. Steel strings live in harmony with sitars, strung over tape to tape transfers that hisses and pops to their pleasing. It's like Woodstock, except in the UK, no patchouli and absolutely no acid tripping Little Red Riding Hoodlums.

Wolf People // Tiny Circle

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kanye West {and a phoenix}

Ordinarily I don't have much patience for mr. West, but I carved 34+minutes out of my workday to "good-lord" over this work of...posturing? Artistic genius? High wizarding of feathers and a gluestick?

Kanye West f. Pusha T // Runaway

imma imma monstah


Kanye West's latest installment in universal pop takeover, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is goddamn massive. Literally. Most tracks are extended to and beyond the 5minute mark. Compared to the auto-tuned cold, minimalistic 808's & Heartbreak, Fantasy has about 90gabillion layers of music production. Brass, electric guitar distortion, tabernacle chorale groups - all intended to max out whatever vessel you're in to aural capacity.

Yeah, a number of the tracks could've been edited down.
Sure, the majority of lyrics focus on graphic sex or Jesus.
Yes, West can be a sonovabitch. But he is a talented sonovabitch, so I bought the eff into this album and dance as much as my seatbelt will allow while playing "Lost in the World" on my commute. Just how I live my life.

Kanye West (f. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Manaj & Bon Iver) // Monster

Monday, October 25, 2010

Solarium Guns in Paris Gold

10.26.10 UPDATE: I was metricfied last night - big time. Still don't have full strength of hearing in my right earbones thanks to the EXPLOSIVE guitars. Ms. Haines was a whirl of peroxidized gold lamé, and had the audience practically eating out of her thin, smack-ready hands. A certain person who is unendingly difficult to dazzle and has a hard time with the word "fabulous" beamed it was "best show {he's} seen in a long time. Maybe ever." His tee was also drool-soaked from watching Emily for a hour and a half, but I do take him at his word, and agree with it. Pole vault, don't walk, to catch them back on opening for Muse.

METRIC TONIGHT, taking a little break from their tour with Muse.
The National / RVA / 8p doors

Metric // Gold Guns Girls
Metric // Gold Guns Girls {Acoustic}

Lykke Li is back on tour for a short stint while finishing up her LP, sole Stateside stop is Le Poisson Rouge / NY / December 1. She laments the stage is easier to handle than real life - along with playing with mirrors out in the desert in her skivvies and bed linens.

Lykke Li // Paris Blues

Friday, October 22, 2010


Jesse Kivel (vocals) met Zinzi Edmundson (keyboards) on a chance visit to a friends' college when Cupid ratcheted back that arrow and let fly. The LA loves now play under the name Kisses, without an ounce of shame over it's sugary sweetness. Rather, they revel in honey-coated lyrics and bumblebee buzzing Balearic pop beats.

Schedule your next nostalgic makeout sesh November 16th for their unblushing debut, The Heart of Nightlife.

Kisses // People Can Do the Most Amazing of Things

Happy Wedding Em&Jay!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Damien Jurado

Grey gray day. My dad always laments days like this are "raw, goes to your bones" before he shudders and saunters off to find his Smartwool socks. Need something lonely and brittle, dustings of bitter cocoa powder on plinking ivory keys. Journeyman Damien Jurado, with a hollow call and slow turns over his shoulder. That'll do it.

Damien Jurado // Arkansas

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

This wasn't a first listen in love experience for me. Mariam Wallentin's deep, almost asexual vocals - peppered with yelps, keens and scatting - weirded me out. Husband Andreas Werliin's spooky, roiling percussion made me paranoid. Add the backing vocals of the Schola Cantorum Reyjavik Chamber Choir and I'm practically walking up the stairs of the Bates mansion.

Then I told myself to be cool for once in my life and got in the campfire circle of Swedish husband and wife's August release, Rivers.

The University of Gothenburg music school dropouts have an incredible talent for maintaining tension in their music. Experimental, native rhythms, abstract storytelling and, clearly, jazz press the record in to being. Attention is easily drawn to the lyrical imagery sung by Wallentin, who's classically trained voice
morphs to whatever shape the song calls for. And Werliin's barely tethered kit is the binding agent, only occasionally allowed to crash down the steep grade. Incoming.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums // Fight for Me

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pearly Gate Music

There's a good possibility I'll sway up the cloud escalator to a predetermined destination by this soundtrack, created by Zach Tillman (aka Pearly Gate Music). I think it would be downright fitting to skip up and along to toothy guitars, vocals hearkening of Leonard Cohen and pervasive percussion, tattooed by older brother Josh Tillman (singer/songwriter, Fleet Foxes percussion).

Until I executed a quick suicide bomb dive during the growling bridge.
That's the good stuff right there, son! PGM is not all lilting folk, aiming from a dustier age. It does it's bit of rough-housing, though shaded by, admittedly, achingly pretty lyricism.

when we get married
I think it be best

if you wore that blue sweater
instead of a dress
-Navy Blues


A bedroom artist of sorts - the self-titled LP was written and recorded in Tillman's Seattle living room, friends and brethren pitching in where needed. The ambient sounds of an apartment; the front door opening, someone looking lazily into the fridge, are neat whispers. Maybe makes you feel like it isn't that far of a stretch to be a part of that lo-fi world, adding your claps and kneeslaps to the din. In the den. {insert groan here}

Pearly Gate Music // Gossamer Hair

Friday, October 15, 2010

White Sea

After Morgan Kibby finished touring with M83, she took it upon herself to sit down and learn Pro Tools so she could write and produce this minute gem of an EP - This Frontier. Kibby is White Sea, a name that stuck after looking up her own name's meaning on a baby website. Mine means "pure maiden." That's rich.

The five tracks don't sound much like the other, and I dig it. Album cohesiveness is all good, but I like the differing urge to doo-wap to #5 and sprint in the desert to #1. Kibby was heavily influenced by disco when putting things together, making the effort to wrench herself from familiar heavy brooding to lighter, dancier faire.

And that album cover is definitely inspiring my zombie makeup for Howlyween. Care if I copy?

White Sea // Mountaineer

( this? have the rest, and read more about my current girlcrush)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Carolina Chocolate Drops

It's no secret I adore old-time revival. I'll take something old over something new any day - and it's not just because it's all I can afford. (why isn't "a penny for your thoughts" a REAL THING? I'd be filthy rich.) Carolina Chocolate Drops know what's up, and I couldn't say it better than they already did:

"Tradition is a guide, not a jailer. We play in an older tradition, but we are modern musicians."

So I'll hush up quick on this one. Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson assembled together under the tutelage of Joe Campbell, a then octagenarian fiddler. With a band first called The Chocolate Drops, they had their start in town squares and farmer's markets. They're now the first all African-American band to play the Grand Ole Opry.
Rumor has it their live shows crackle with the whole-hearted enthusiasm of their following. Young and old, stomping and clapping like they were dancing on the dirt-packed floor of a speakeasy. Jugs and bones are used as much as banjos and guitars; snap your suspenders and hear it all on their February release, Genuine Negro Jig.

Carolina Chocolate Drops // Cornbread and Butterbeans

Carolina Chocolate Drops // Live: Memphis Shakedown, 1.23.09

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ellie Goulding

When I was a fresh young thang, I danced. I'm not talking your fingersnap with the toetap and the head bob. And I'm not talking seven years at the barre, mashing my peds into trollfeet. I mean I ardently believed wild and tribal blood sang through my veins demanding that I get down wit my bad self and do somethin. In cars, in yards, in bars, by myself, with a girl, with a boy, it didn't matter. I would just give myself over and dance the fuck out.

Now it takes a bit more before I tilt over the edge. At a stately 26, I'm not as emphatic about rhythm-inspired profuse perspiration. I can easily keep myself from hurtin nobody when frequenting shows like Fleet Foxes and Bowerbirds. But sometimes....sometimes....

Before Ellie Goulding's studio debut, Lights, she had won both the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and 2010 BRIT Award. So no pressure, right? The UK singer/songwriter partnered with Fin Dow-Smith, aka Starsmith, who produced and cowrote a few tracks. The result is a lace up of 1980's electroacoustic pop vogue and a dash of conservative folk to keep it anglo-friendly. I'm nodding my head but raising an eyebrow. Deviating from the popular chanteuse mold made for a lukewarm album reception, but I'd bet money another release or two and she'll be standing on terra firma.
Or she just needs to move to Iceland or Sweden and be more readily accepted for all the ABBA she could be.

Two remixes of the *E*uphoric Starry Eyed that have me applying WD-40 to my creaky joints and snapping on sweat bands. If you listen to the second track with headphones on, your brain's gonna throb. Just looking out.

Ellie Goulding // Starry Eyed (Monsieur Adu Remix)

Ellie Goulding // Starry Eyed (Jakwob Remix)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Junip, not juniper. Or Jupiter.
Which is good on both counts, as I have an aversion to gin and do not have proper lung capacity to accomodate atmospheric ammonium hydro-sulfide.

But it's Junip, phew!, out of Gothenburg, Sweden and in existence since the early '90s
. You'll recognize the tremolo of José González
alongside Tobias Winterkorn (keyboard) and Elias Araya (drums). González and Araya have been palling around since 14 with a shared love of hardcore metal. Meeting and jiving Winterkorn from time to time at shows sparked conversation on a different aesthetic, something more on the 60s and 70s mellow guitars and a Moog. Far from thrash, and a clear fingerpoint in the hypnotically melodic direction.
A long, slow-trodden, patient direction - with their first full release, Fields, released last month after 10 years in the making.

Drift along at a North American show once they make landfall Nov. 1.

Junip // Rope and Summit

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jenny & Johnny, Isobel & Mark

She & Him and Pete & Scarlett and Sonny & Cher and over it. Almost over it.

Jenny (Lewis) and Johnny (Rice) are (I'm) Having Fun Now, k? They are creatively young and prolifically in love and no amount of winking on will yield these kind of results. These two are genetically enabled to make you reluctantly bounce along to their surf rock homage towards kitten kisses and California. Doesn't matter if the reviews keep the indie-darling of Rilo Kiley close while casting Jonathan to the gum-stained curb. I happen to like his vocals just fine. Clearly - as it seems I played his single "So Sweet" 24 times in college. Ew. Here's winking at you, Johnny.

Hawk is the third album from the whiskey and chambord pairing of Isobel Campbell (Belle & Sebastien) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees). Campbell produced, arranged and wrote all but two songs, heavily showcasing Lanegan's smoky rasp with her wispy coos skimming in the background. The odd birds still have some sexy time tension to talk about with 70's soul retro cuts, exploring past the familiar badlands of dusty-country-rock stomping grounds.

Jenny & Johnny // Big Wave

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan // Come Undone

Thursday, October 7, 2010


My usual goal, bolstering both "at least I barely know about ONE thing" hopes for myself and a shareworthy iTunes lib, is scoping artists on the eensiest cusp of being massively accessible. Getting ahead of the game. Like when one knows that everybody will want Lebron James at the Masters so you slate him for your fantasy football league; that sort of ESP.

Well. Lissie isn't it. The moment I started listening to
Catching a Tiger, released in August, it was obvious I was two-weeks too late. Plus once you're on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack, you're a veritable soda-pop comet. I can say that with no malice because it's quoted in her write-up, so ger'off me. Key difference being - she's impossible to dismiss. Her pipes cover a range of genres, spaghetti western gospel folk pop? Spend 39 seconds searching her online and you'll find some pretty sick live performances and insane covers (after the Cotton commercial, nice one). Like this of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness." Not every cornsilk-haired Illinois native-come-LA lady can swill tequila and sing "roll it up, take a hit" somewhat convincingly. I like a little acid on my sugar-pops in the morning.

Lissie // Record Collector

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

J'aime Les Filles, these in particular

Allo allo. Been a bit, I know. Summer got away from me, working this new job, etc etc, in summation - I'm an ass. Of the 11 people who put money in this jukebox it's likely 3 of you are left, 1 of whom is probably my mother who feels maternally obligated and huffs disapprovingly when I use foul language.

I could grin sheepishly and scuff my toe for another hour, but what's that really gonna do, eh? I'm just gonna look you full on in the face, tell you I've missed your company, and drop in a quarter. Let's listen for a bit then catch up on life.

You look good, you really do.

Jacques Dutronc // Et moi, et moi, et moi