Friday, May 27, 2011

Plants and Animals

In honor of the upcoming national holiday, it's Ooooooo! CAAAA-na-daaaaa for this one.

They know I'm a patriot, ok? It's cool.

Plants and Animals play to one and many things, all stitched together with their record to tape sound, swirling up 1972 nostalgia and an appreciation for rum and cokes. Warren C. Spicer, Matthew "the Woodman" Woodley and Nicolas Basque recorded 2010's La La Land in both their hometown of Montreal, The Treatment Room and Paris, Studio La Frette.

Apparently we've been watching the same Jane Fonda tapes.

Making the second track my vacation anthem in the lowcountry. 'Cause I feel like it. And hey, about that, I'll be casting shrimp nets and swimming in salty South Carolinian seas all next week, so I think ES is taking some vacay-time.

Dunno though, I'll miss you guys too much to REALLY stay away.

The Week's Once Over

Looking awfully cute together, Mirah & Thao
Rolling tumbleweeds in Other Lives
Reviving the Wrens {Dustin Artz}
Under the Covers: coming down from my Bon Iver high

remember your baby oil-n-iodine this weekend. makes you look real sexylike in those wayfarers.

xx, chirgo

Plants and Animals // Kon Tiki
Plants and Animals // Jeans Jeans Jeans

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mirah & Thao

Mirah {Yom Tov Zeitlyn} and Thao {Nyguen, of Thao with the Get Down Stay Downs} are push and pull. Oil and water. Cement and silk. Paula Abdul and that Cartoon Cat. Fried chicken and celery sticks. I like.

Mirah & Thao // Squareneck
Mirah & Thao // Little Cup

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Other Lives

Gut check.

I had a hard time deciding on a single to post for this band. I'd have to listen to the album in it's entirety every time and mull over "oh this one. eh, i don't know, maybe that one?" Not a bad thing. Tamer Animals, May 10 release by Other Lives on the White Iris record label {whattup Daron!}, was crafted to be an immersion experience. Fold your legs underneath you, relax into the grass, be swept away by prairie winds.

Originally collected under Kunek by founders frontman Jesse Tabish, cellist Jenny Hsu and drummer Colby Owens - Other Lives grew in the great West of Stillwater, OK. After the studio fare of their self-titled debut, the band returned to Stillwater and took things slowly {14mos., to be exact} before producer, and Beck longtime drummer, Joey Waronker tied it off with rough-hewn twine and bolts of dusty velvet. The end-result of 11 tracks are densely layered with horns, gypsy rags, ringing ivory keys and coyote guitars. There are oboes on this album. I f*cking love oboes. Seriously.

So. I went with the song that transported me the farthest and most completely.

Other Lives are playing Red Palace / DC 6.10.11. Tempting, awfully tempting.

Other Lives // Dust Bowl III

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Wrens

In order to be the best blogger ever for you, reader, and to maybe one day earn one of these babies, I scour the internet for new music releases I'm interested in. The bad news this week is that there aren't any. The good news is that I found something even better.

There are rumors of a new Wrens album coming in 2011.


The Wrens last released an album 8 years ago, and the one before that was 7 years previous. Their website says it all: "Keeping folks waiting…since 1989."

They say anticipation is usually better than the real thing, and this may be the case here. Like Neutral Milk Hotel, the Wrens are firmly cemented as legendary indie stars and adding to their discography may only damage their legacy. But whatever. I'm stoked.

The song below isn't my favorite of theirs, because I shan't be reviewing "She Send Kisses" in a blog, but it's a close second. The way it flips a switch from delicate and sad to just plain mad is priceless. I'd rather let those three notes talk then expound profoundly about unrequited love (hopes of merit badge dashed).


The Wrens // Happy

Monday, May 23, 2011

Under the Covers Monday: The Outfield & Bon Iver

How can I NOT post this for Under the Covers?

We're done with Justin after this one. Swear. I'm starting to feel similar to how I do after my annual ration of one dozen Cadbury Eggs every spring. OD'd and crashed the fruc{tose} out.

Download Bon Iver's 10 best covers courtesy of Stereogum here. And one of the songs that defined your coming of age there.
As in a little lower.



Bon Iver // Your Love
The Outfield // Your Love

**5.24.11 update**

i can't stop!
get it together already, chirgotis.

Bonnie Rait // I Can't Make You Love Me

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bon Iver

image compiled from zealous

someway, baby, it’s part of me, apart from me.
you’re laying waste to Halloween
you fucked it friend, it’s on it’s head, it struck the street
you’re in Milwaukee, off your feet

…and at once I knew I was not magnificent
strayed above the highway aisle
{jagged vacance, thick with ice}
I could see for miles, miles, miles

3rd and Lake it burnt away, the hallway
was where we learned to celebrate
automatic bought the years you’d talk for me
that night you played me ʻLip Paradeʼ
not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree
saying nothing, that’s enough for me

and at once I knew I was not magnificent
hulled far from the highway aisle
{jagged, vacance, thick with ice}
I could see for miles, miles, miles

Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright
above my brother, I and tangled spines
we smoked the screen to make it what it was to be
now to know it in my memory:

and at once I knew I was not magnificent
high above the highway aisle
{jagged vacance, thick with ice}
I could see for miles, and miles and miles.

Bon Iver releases on Jagjaguwar on June 21. I'd like to request to be left alone and on the brink of tears at my desk with my headphones on until further notice.

Bon Iver // Holocene

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

wash. and watch.

Bon Iver // Wash.

Tyler, the Creator

Assumed posting the Rick Ross cover track this week made me look hard. 7minutes and 18seconds of Tyler, the Creator and I'm milquetoast.
All you, d.a.

Ahhhhh, a hip-hop album to review. Don't want to get all into the hype here, but this was an obvious must-listen of 2011. "Yonkers" and "Sandwitches" live on Fallon had us all heralding the Second Coming of Wu-Tang. The last legitimate hip-hop album in my collection is Madvillainy from 2004, so yeah, this was big.

Controversial lyrics aside (because too much has already been said, and by 2011 who really cares except those Fox News pettifoggers?), musically the album is largely forgettable. I love that Tyler is out there being him, "dropping xanies and dancing around in print panties to some Maaarvin." Moments like on "Her" when his twin guards of hyper-vigilant self-awareness and brash over-compensating bravado have been lowered, we get a glimpse of something intimately relatable. "… Her name is my password…(fuck) …" The album will have seminal importance because Tyler as a person feels real while the players of his industry do not.

But 'The Creator' needs to learn to edit, and that 'not giving a fuck' works in terms of lyrical content but not in terms of beat production. His argument, of course, would be that he's catering to HIS audience, not the mainstream, but leaving out hooks and innovating sonically doesn't necessitate sacrificing quality or, worse, sounding cheap. See Latyrx's "The Album." Tyler's only 20, so as long as fame doesn't crack his (presumably) fragile psyche, we'll be good. Glad you're here buddy. SWAG SWAG WOLF HALEY GOLF WANG OFWGKTA.

Been wanting to do that.


Tyler, the Creator // Radicals


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Morning Jacket

One of my most-clicked articles this year from listing some of Yim Yames' influencer tracks fueled the soul-fire and got my hands rubbing evilly. Eagerly. For the next release from Kentucky-reared My Morning Jacket. Circuital, dropping May 31 with Sauron-reminiscent album art, {...I may have just Middle Earth dorked myself outta here} continues to carry the soul torch back to rock n' roll. Start growing your hair out, because you're gonna want to wetdog shake your head to the majority of this album. There's moments of Pentecostal revival, Navajo war bellows, 50's doo-wop, shimmering waters of reverb and maybe even a little bit of a middle school social. Boys on one side, girls on the other.

FIRST pre-order THEN get the free release of title track "Circuital" here. NOW you can dig into the brassy wa-womp and gospel kindergarten growl of "black metal."

My Morning Jacket // Holdin On To Black Metal

Monday, May 16, 2011

Under the Covers Monday: Rick Ross & Lykke Li

In honor and homage of last night's show at 9:30 Club, a little bit more of Lykke Li - straight hustlin' in 2009.

Lykke Li @ NTBR Part 4 - "Hustlin'" on Vimeo.

I'm Good, I'm Gone
Sadness Is a Blessing
Paris Blue
I Follow Rivers
Dance Dance Dance
Made You Move
I Know Places
Little Bit
Love Out of Lust
Silent Shout {the Knife cover} - bonus tidbit for missing you Friday

Rich Kid Blues
Until We Bleed
Get Some
Youth Know No Pain
Unrequited Love

Rick Ross // Hustlin'

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Penny & the Quarters

{we just got personal, people}

Penny & the Quarters are a lost soul band from the '70's, recently revived by Ryan Gosling's attention and inclusion on the Blue Valentine soundtrack. The group, assumed to be teens at the time, were invited to audition and record three demos at Columbus, OH's Harmonic Sounds Studio. The songs were discovered after label co-owner Chem Price's death in 2006.

A few years and change of hands later, "You and Me" was released by Numero Group. With the growing popularity of throwback insta-vintage, they're doing the honorable thing and actively looking for the vanished members to pay them their due. I almost don't want them to be found. I almost want to pretend this song just immaculately came into being; created for the singular purpose of weaving your fingers through somebody else's.

Penny & the Quarters // You and Me

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raphael Saadiq

I've been dancing with abandon in socked feet across my hardwood floored hallway, and it's all because of this guy.

Raphael Saadiq is no stranger to the scene, with forays of touring with Prince in his teens and collaborating with some of the biggest R&B/soul names in the business {Lucy Pearl, Tony! Toni! Toné!, etc}. He's a producer, singer, songwriter, guitar thrasher and instant vintage. Did you watch the Grammys? Did you see Mick Jagger's performance? Did you wonder who the fresh-faced, bespectacled chap in the cardigan hot-heeling it across the stage was? Well, three guesses and the first two don't count.

Stone Rollin', released yesterday, is all late 60's soulful Stevie Wonder orchestration and retro-distressed lyrics. Reach out and The Four Tops will be there. Sashay your modern high-waisted flares while bobbing your old school head. The album is solid from top to bottom, taking you from the assured swagger of "Good Man" to wig-out twisting of "Radio." Sweet and favored "Go To Hell," with it's ghostly Greek Chorus and soaring strings, was track two and all it took to book two tix to see Saadiq at LGBG later this month. If you need a little more convincing, stream the whole album here.

Raphael Saadiq // Go To Hell
Raphael Saadiq // Heart Attack

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Antlers

When I first listened to the album Hospice I was all, "Beautiful music!"

After I read the lyrics I was all, "Ohhh…oh dear god."

A concept album about letting go of a cancer patient at a hospital, the Antlers' last effort was a heartrending masterpiece, as desperate and personal as it gets. How could they follow something like that?

Frontman Peter Silberman has stated that Burst Apart begins "in a pretty negative, anxious place, at arm's length — and as it progresses, it becomes warmer and more trusting," which I feel is a nice bridge from the capable-of-inducing-an-emotional-shitshow predecessor.

Without the gravitas of morbidity wafting over the songs, there is a bit more levity and life here. "Burst Apart" is lush and intricate, full of piano chords and horns, soaring guitars and sweeping melodies. Silberman's falsetto is still present, but it's not wispy and fragile, it is full of conviction. Though the song matter deals with, let's see…avoiding intimacy, emotional disconnection, being broken, having no one, bursting apart, teeth falling out, bad people out to get you, being trapped in a room on fire, and dying alone, respectively, compared to "Hospice" it's a sunny spring walk in the park, folks!

The cohesion and craft calls to mind Grizzly Bear's Vecketamist from '09, sure to grant the Brooklyn trio a spot on many top 10 lists this year. Maybe the mainstream will catch on and we'll all be blasting it from our shiny new Jettas. Red one.


The Antlers // No Widows

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lucinda Black Bear

Lucinda Black Bear were gracious enough to come perform at the agency a few weeks back - not all places of work allow for lunchtime live performances. I know I'm lucky.
I know that till I'm here till 3:37am on a Friday night working on a deck to take with me to a consultant in Santa Monica.
And I now know to "save" said deck every five minutes so I don't lose the entire night's work before exporting that motherfather. goddamn server gremlins. Lucky indeed.

{performing in the Gallery space at The Martin Agency}

H'anyway - the plaintive, string-happy LBB {cello is mainstay with a frequenting violin} is fronted by curly-mopped Christian Gibbs, who's force of nature hair happened to be offset by a moustache at this particular setting. I appreciated it.
Surrounding himself with what initially appeared hypertrained studio musicians, the silo'd impression dropped off after they warmed into their set and Gibbs lobbed a joke or two. Opening with the featured track, any pessimism in the crowd dropped away as their intricately crafted, preternatural folk songs this side of rock established that they were the legit biz.

Lucinda Black Bear // Hand Bible

The Week's Once Over

Smack yo' mouth Ema
Bitterly soulicious Irma Thomas {Dustin Artz}
Oddbird Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch
Under the Covers: Rave on Buddy Holly tribute album

good luck and godspeed nursing your tequila hangovers.
xx, chirgo

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Irma Thomas

imma dance this one out, real quick-like.


I was the best man at a wedding a couple weeks back, floating amidst the mixed emotions that weddings sometimes bring, and then this song happened. Though I am pretty well versed in New Orleans Funk music, I had never heard of the Sweet Soul Queen Irma Thomas.

This song uses a favorite device of mine: singing about something tragic with fun poppy music that completely clashes (I used to LOVE the Unicorns for this. … What the hell happened to the Unicorns?).

Needless to say there was a lot of kick-stompin' and finger waggin' on the dance floor when this came on. Pick up "Sweet Soul Queen of New Orleans" if you'd like to smile at your latest worries.


Irma Thomas // Breakaway

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch

I woke up this morning and said to myself, "I want some eccentric, left of center, randomized goodshizza up in my eardurms." So I perused the card catalogue for something to fit the bill, of which Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch does in spades. Graham, at the ripe age of 24,

{I'll take a moment here to mention I've reached the age where I have some difficulty accepting the talent and success of those I tutt-tutt and think "...ah to be [insert # here] again." blarf.},

had already flexed his musical biceps with bands like RTFO Bandwagon, Pink Reason and, my personal favorite, Psychedelic Horseshit. Now he's doing his own thing with a rotating cast, aka Swarming Branch, on the Mexican Summer label. Bluegrass infused with some punk and plenty room to breathe, don't be hating on Kathy. At least she can dance.

Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch // Take It Easy On Kathy At Least She Can Dance

Monday, May 2, 2011

Under the Covers Monday: Rave On Buddy Holly

We've already posted a Buddy Holly cover earlier this year, but it's worthy of a second spinning. Plus I'd like to talk about something else other than the Osama Bin Laden breaking news for a bit; {though trust I very much&always appreciate your diligent coverage during my morning commute, NPR.}

Upcoming tribute album to the iconic Buddy Holly, Rave On A Buddy Holly, is gathering steam for it's June 28th release on the Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group label. A fitting celebration in what would've been his 75th birthday.

Caught up in the spirit, I even got some new specs to look just like Buddy Holly. UH OH and like Mary...all right I'll stop.

In case you haven't already seen the billiontimesposted tracklist:

01. The Black Keys - “Dearest”
02. Fiona Apple and Jon Brion - “Everyday”
03. Paul McCartney - “It’s So Easy”
04. Florence and the Machine - “Not Fade Away”
05. Cee-Lo - “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care”
06. Karen Elson (Produced by Jack White) - “Crying, Waiting, Hoping”
07. Julian Casablancas - “Rave On”
08. Jenny O. - “I’m Gonna Love You Too”
09. Justin Townes Earle - “Maybe Baby”
10. She & Him - “Oh Boy”
11. Nick Lowe - “Changing All Those Changes”
12. Patti Smith - “Words of Love”
13. My Morning Jacket - “True Love Ways”
14. Modest Mouse - “That’ll Be the Day”
15. Kid Rock - “Well… All Right”
16. Detroit Cobras - “Heartbeat”
17. Lou Reed - “Peggy Sue”
18. John Doe - “Peggy Sue Got Married”
19. Graham Nash - “Raining in My Heart”

And a few years old cover from Buddy Holly devotee, M.Ward.

M.Ward // Rave On
Buddy Holly // Rave On