Monday, July 31

The Walkmen 3-8-2006 @ Skully's Music-Diner, Columbus, OH

Beginning a couple weeks after their performance at the Pitchfork Festival, The Walkmen are going to invade the South. Among the dates on that tour is a stop on August 15 at The Loft in Atlanta, with Bobby Bare Jr. along for the ride. I wasn't planning to go, mostly because of the venue, but when I saw tix were a mere $5 ($7 after charges) I couldn't help myself. Should be a good one. If you plan to go, I'd pick up tix soon. They're available from Ticket Alternative.

In anticipation of the show, here is a Walkmen show from a few months ago. There are few little crackles and pops in places that I assume are an artifact of the original recording. Hope it makes for some good Monday listening:

The Walkmen
March 8, 2006
Skully's Music-Diner

Columbus, Ohio

01. Don't Get Me Down
02. This Job is Killing Me
03. Little House of Savages
04. Emma, Get Me a Lemon
05. Louisiana
06. Danny's at the Wedding
07. Thinking of a Dream I Had
08. Good for You's Good for Me
09. Rue the Day
10. All the Hands and the Cook
11. Always After You
12. Another One Goes By
13. The Rat
14. Lost in Boston
15. Bows + Arrows
16. Wake Up


If you'd prefer to download the entire show, it's packaged in two .zip files available via Rapidshare:
Part 1 (58mb)
Part 2 (62mb)

While they'll probably concentrate on the material from their new album, here are a couple of tracks from their prior releases:

The Walkmen - Rue the Day
The Walkmen - The Blizzard of 1996


While I'm at it, here a couple of tracks from Bobby Bare Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr. - I'll Be Around
Bobby Bare Jr. - Strange Bird


You can also download Bobby Bare Jr.'s new track "Snuggling World Championships" at Stereogum.

The remaining tour dates for The Walkmen are available at Pitchfork.

Friday, July 28

Tapes 'N Tapes returning to ATL, Athens 10/28-10/29

Tapes 'N Tapes have just announced new tour dates for the fall. Among them are stops at Tasty World in Athens (10/28) and The Loft in Atlanta (10/29). The full slate of dates is available at Pitchfork.

Tapes 'N Tapes - Insistor
Tapes 'N Tapes - Cowbell

Might be worth giving them another chance after I wasn't too into the June show. Then again, I almost never go to The Loft because it feels like watching a band in a parking garage.

For more on Tapes 'N Tapes, see their official site.

ATL weekend preview: The Cogburns and more

While a bunch of bloggers are up in Chicago this weekend, I'll remain in Atlanta enjoying music right here. Even though I'm not up in the Windy City, my weekend is shaping up to be a good one. On Friday night there are several interesting shows in the area, including The Cogburns' CD release party.


The Cogburns are one of Atlanta's leading rock/garage/punk bands, full of piss and vinegar. Their new album, Pay Up, Sucker, is the first from the current lineup of Glenn, Jenn, Doug, and Tony Cogburn. As you might have noticed from the shared last name, they consider themselves a family as well as a band.

They recently told Creative Loafing that the album is dedicated to a slew of themes as old as rock itself -- sex, booze, and rock 'n roll. The CD will be made available for the first time tonight (Friday) at Star Bar, where The Cogburns will play alongside Rocket 350 and The Bluejays. I haven't heard the album yet, but I'll be sure to pick up a copy on Friday night. Here are a couple tracks from Pay Up, Sucker to check out:

The Cogburns - You Want It You Got It
The Cogburns - Spooky Song

The band has also been generous enough to make their entire Bob EP (2003) available for download on their website.

You can order Pay Up, Sucker directly from the band for just $12 (postage paid). Those of you across the pond should also note they'll be on tour in Europe soon. Tour dates (foreign and domestic) are on their MySpace page.

If you're looking for some late-night fun in ATL on Friday, there's a trio of great local bands playing a "secret" show at Decatur Social Club. One of the bands is Atlanta's own KillGordon... and I'm not at liberty to identify the other two. More info can be found at KissAtlanta.

KillGordon - In the Know


If you happen to be in Athens on Friday night, both The Selmanaires and 63 Crayons are playing at the 40 Watt. That should be a lot of fun. I'd totally be there if it weren't for the allure of seeing The Cogburns rock out at Star Bar.

The Selmanaires - Images
63 Crayons - Mrs. Brewster

Other interesting shows this weekend include a pair of Ryan Adams gigs (Sat. and Sun.) at Tabernacle and an appearance by Arizona-based pop band The Format Saturday at Masquerade. I won't share any Ryan Adams tracks here (I'd rather not have to hire a lawyer), but here a couple songs by The Format to check out:

The Format - She Doesn't Get It
The Format - The Compromise

Hope you have a great weekend, whatever you're up to. Hope to see some of you running around ATL!

Thursday, July 27

Girl Talk coming to ATL 8/11

According to Pitchfork, mash-up superstar Girl Talk has scheduled a handful of U.S. shows. One of them, oddly enough, is at Lenny's in Atlanta. Whoa. It better be the new Lenny's, because if it's the current location... well, you know. The date is August 11.

Girl Talk - Bounce That
Girl Talk - Hold Up
Girl Talk - Smash Your Head

If you're up for a dance party today, just stream the tracks from his MySpace page.

Frank Turner - "The Outdoor Type"


There often come moments when one is tempted to lie, or at least exaggerate, about one's abilities. After all, even the hapless Napoleon Dynamite recognized that girls only like guys who have skills. Whether a result of bravado or stupidity, it seems that we all too often make this dubious mistake.

Like many such everyday occurrences, this phenomenon has found its way into song. Originally penned by Tom Morgan (of Smudge), the track "The Outdoor Type" appeared on the Lemonheads' 1996 release Car Button Cloth. It's the tale of a guy who lies about his abilities as an outdoorsman. Why? To match the ideal attributes of his love interest's perfect mate, of course.

Featured on C&T today is a cover of that song performed by Frank Turner (ex-Million Dead) that appears on his current split release with Jonah Matranga (ex-Gratitude, Onelinedrawing, New End Original). Each artist contributed a pair of covers to the project as an homage to their own favorites, and this song was one of the two by Turner. Give it a listen:

Frank Turner - The Outdoor Type
[Lemonheads/Smudge cover]

The split 12" vinyl release on which this track appears, featuring both Turner and Matranga, was just released online July 25. However, it won't be in retail stores until September 5.

Along with the song above, Turner contributes a cover of the classic "You Are My Sunshine." Matranga's songs are a cover of Billy Bragg's "A New England" and Babybird's "All I Want." I have had a chance to hear it, and I like it a lot. Only 1,000 have been pressed, 100 of which are special dual-color vinyl issues (about 20 of which reportedly remain), and it can be ordered from Welcome Home Records for only $7.50 (postage paid). Not too shabby.

If you'd like to see The Lemonheads perform "The Outdoor Type," there's a pretty nice video of them doing so (in Germany, no less) on YouTube.

One more thing -- I noticed that of the 10 most popular tracks on Hype Machine, exactly zero are anything I would ever post here. So thanks for reading my blog anyway!

ELSEWHERE...

Kwaya Na Kisser has a live Neko Case show from May in Germany. Sooooo good.

Wednesday, July 26

Thee Headcoatees - "Spineless Little Shit"


Matt over at You Ain't No Picasso is fond of posting songs that celebrate love. While I applaud his optimism, let's not forget that messy break-ups can result in some great music as well. Beck's Sea Change immediately comes to mind, as does the most recent Nicolai Dunger album.

One angry, two-minute addition to this genre was contributed about a decade ago by Thee Headcoatees (with Holly Golightly!), who were a side-project of the Billy Childish-led garage outfit Thee Headcoats. Titled "Spineless Little Shit," the song is basically a bitter outburst toward the vocalist's soon to be former lover. It's a fuzzy garage/punk number, and it's straight to the point.

Thee Headcoatees - Spineless Little Shit

How's that for some venom, eh? I'd hate to be the guy on the receiving end of this little ditty.

This song originally appeared as a 7" single, but was later released on a CD compilation of Thee Headcoatees material titled Sisters of Suave. It appears to be out of print, but there are some used copies for $25 at Amazon. You can hear more from the band at this fan-made MySpace page.

Heroes and Villains - "Color Coded"


It's not often I use the "repeat" button on my Winamp player, but I did so today. I was listening through some songs a friend sent me to check out (hey James!) and "Color Coded" by Portland's own Heroes and Villains came on. You might expect that a band named for a Beach Boys song would write some fine pop, and in this case you'd be right on target.

The song recalls a sea shanty for the first minute or so, reminding one of Colin Meloy and that other Portland-based band known for nautical and fantastic tales. "Color Coded" features a lovely harpsichord, glockenspiel, piano and a children's choir. The first minute or so is subdued, but from that point on the song is essentially a piano-led romp in which the vocalist laments his station and time away from home. After a tumultous latter third of the track, I'm actually a bit unsure of what happens at the end -- has he been reunited with his bonnie lass? Am I reading too much into the female vocal? If you're a fan of bands like The Decemberists or Lylas, this is up your alley.

Heroes and Villains - Color Coded

This song was released both as one side of a 7" release and on the band's Heroes and Villains EP (2005). Both of those releases are available through the band's website.

Their site also says that their forthcoming album has been mastered and will be released in August. Keep an eye out for that one. For more on the band, check out their MySpace.

Tuesday, July 25

John Common - Good to be Born

Today on C&T we have a guest post from my buddy Lance, a long-time friend who currently lives in beautiful Denver, Colorado. He'll be reporting in occassionally with info on the music scene out there in his neck of the woods. Thanks Lance!



Hey crew! Rich was hospitable enough to let me sequester his blog for a post, giving me the opportunity to introduce you to some of the great albums coming out of Denver.

My personal favorite for the year is Good To Be Born, the debut album from John Common. Hailing from an alt-country background with the band Rainville, John has now moved on to push the creative envelope with this exploratory record, a classic headphone album from start to finish.

The blending of traditional acoustic rock and electronic elements is incomparable to anything I've ever heard. Case in point: The album fades in with the relaxing sound of crickets chirping, but the nighttime creatures are slowly overcome by a layer of industrial effects, which in turn give way to a vehement rock ballad. And no, the sampling isn't yet another take on Radiohead; this is an immediately accessible pop CD from start to finish.

A quote from John Common sums up the attitude taken in recording the disc: “The only rule we had was that any obvious choices had to be challenged. And that meant hours of trying different things, looking for how the puzzle of each song might fit together in new ways."

Here are a couple tracks from Good to be Born:

John Common - Anyway
John Common - It's Out

Also, here are a couple non-album tracks I taped at a show last month:

Following Cynicism [live 6-29-2006]
Do You Know My Name[live 6-29-2006]

The disc is currently streaming (in its entirety) and for sale at Free School Records, and will be available in Tower Records and other retail outlets this fall. Also be sure to check out myspace.

The Simpsons - "Amendment to Be"

Everyone seems to be digging the "I'm Just a Bill" post (judging by download numbers, anyway), so here by popular demand (hi Joel!) is the Simpsons parody of that song. It's called "Amendment to Be" and it's a brilliant send-up of the flag-burning debate that emerges each election year in the U.S. In fact, such an effort failed yet again this year. And will fail again in 2008, and 2010, and so forth.

The Simpsons - Amendment to Be

And thanks to YouTube, here is video of the same:



For a decent discussion of U.S. flag-burning law, see the Wikipedia entries for Texas v. Johnson (1989) and U.S. v. Eichman (1990).

Tap Tap - "100,000 Thoughts"

Ryan at Catbird Records (an off-shoot of his outstanding Catbirdseat.org) has made available the label's fifth release, Tap Tap's Lanzafame. I just ordered my copy, and I'd like to encourage y'all to do the same. I've yet to be disappointed by any of Catbird's wares.

I don't know much about Tap Tap, but they're British and their #1 friend on MySpace is the Black Lips. WTF? Whoa. From what I've heard, I'd say that Tap Tap would probably appeal to fans of bands like Beirut, Jens Lekman, DeVotchka, and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names. And now I feel like a weirdo for not being able to name-drop more mainstream bands for the sake of comparison. Oh well.

Here's a track from Lanzafame. If you're a fan of interesting pop music you should check it out:

Tap Tap - 100,000 Thoughts

You can buy it here for only $7, or $8 in the deluxe packaging. I also kicked in an extra buck for the artist, which you can opt to do during the checkout process. There are also 8 colors to choose from in the limited (200) run of deluxe versions, but some are nearly sold out.


By the way, I also picked up CBR006 by Maestro Echoplex recently. It's actually a re-issue of a great album that was self-released in 2001 but never received wide distribution before going out-of-print. It doesn't ship until August, but you should probably pre-order it before they sell out. Here's a sample from that one, which I think is pretty damn cool:

Maestro Echoplex - My Eyes Are Disconnected from My Head is Disconnected from My Body

More info on that release can be found here.

Monday, July 24

Deluxx Folk Implosion - "I'm Just a Bill"

On the occassion of President Bush's first veto, as asinine and misguided as it was, I felt it might be an appropriate time to review the legislative process. Or, at least a simplified version of it. Luckily our friends at Schoolhouse Rock contributed a handy little song to the popular culture that does the deed. Even more fortuitous is that a kickass cover of the song appears on the Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks album released a decade ago. Here are both versions, for your edutainment:

Schoolhouse Rock - I'm Just a Bill
Deluxx Folk Implosion - I'm Just a Bill


Also, even now that primary season is winding down, be sure to register to vote this November if you haven't.

"The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Word.

Best of 2006 (so far): Artists' and bloggers' picks

As many of you might have seen, Gorilla vs. Bear shared an interesting post recently that polled many artists and bloggers on their favorite releases of 2006 to date. I thought it might be fun to do a similar post compiling the favorite albums of 2006 so far by my own industry, blog, and band buddies.

You'll notice a clear Dixie flair in the entries below, although the participants aren't as a rule from the southeast. You'll also see that a few contributors "cheated" a bit by including releases from late 2005 or offering multiple submissions. I let that slide for the most part. This was a lot of fun to put together, and there are several albums below I haven't checked out yet. Now I have a good reason to do so, eh?

Anyway, on with the picks...

Neal of Blank Crisis:

Liars, Drum's Not Dead
I have to go with Liars' Drum's Not Dead. To me, it isn't very often these days that artists successfully invoke occult-like mystery that was once part-and-parcel of the trade. Cryptic cool. Scary shit. And they've abandoned the guitars altogether! What or whom is this "Drum" anyway? Are they going to kill me? Something isn't right about these boys, I'll tell you that.

mp3 sample:
Liars - Be Quiet, Mt. Heart Attack


Brandon Arnold of The Preakness and The Licentious Five:

Six Organs of Admittance – The Sun Awakens
Last year, I thought Ben Chasney had hit his high water mark with School of the Flower. This year, he proved me wrong. The first six tracks explore the same Fahey-influenced, psych-drenched ground he's trod before…but, this time it's somehow more focused, more cohesive… From the solo acoustic opener ("Torn by Wolves"), to its reprise ("Wolves Pups"), these tracks are succinct, brilliant examples of Chasney's ability to demonstrate restraint. But it's the final track - an unapologetic, self-indulgent woozy drone masterpiece - that makes the record a career milestone. The patient, plodding 25 minute epic begins with layered guitar a la Roy Montgomery/Keiji Heino, slowly building with drums, chant, and washes of sound…It's the auditory equivalent of reaching the top of the mountain. When I first heard this record, I was driving through a rainstorm. I can't think of a better metaphor… clean and direct… a storm can be violent, unsettling, and mezmerizing…This record is a near perfect storm.

Also loved records by: Liars, Danielson, Islands, and Destroyer...many others, but those come to mind.

mp3 sample:
Six Organs of Admittance - Attar


Leah of Confessions of a Music Addict:

Rhett Miller, The Believer
I think my favorite album so far this year has been The Believer by Rhett Miller. Miller's ability to incorporate the previous alt-country style of the Old 97's into a pop/rock sound that is all Rhett Miller for a sophomore album is pretty admirable. I'm also a huge fan of the lyrical content, so this album hasn't really left my CD player/iPod since probably around February. Definitely a super mood-setter if I've ever heard one.

mp3 sample:
Rhett Miller - My Valentine


Bawston Sean of Bucket City is Burning, Grand Palace Records (Murfreesboro, TN):

Various Artists, Soul Sides Vol.1
It's a little blog-cestous, but this is, far and away, the best record I've bought all year. If you read Soul-sides.com you're familiar with Oliver "O-dub" Wang's superb tastes in all things soulful and funky. The first Soul Sides comp has great mix of the classic and the contemporary, perfect for barbeques and trips to the swimmin' hole.

Simply said, every track is a barn-burner. Amanda Ambrose's "Sad Songs" and Joe Bataan's "Ordinary Guy" have become staples of my DJ sets at Grand Palace, and Erma Franklin's "Peice of My Heart" is friendly reminder that Janis Joplin was full of shit.

O-dub does a great job of sequencing the tracks, keeping the momentum up from song to song. A lot of comps have a clunker or two, but this only slows down a tad, downgrading form great to damn-good.

HONORABLE MENTION: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker "Come On In"/"Slinky" 45 rpm

DEEP, DEEP funk from Music City. You can't beat it.

mp3 sample:
Charles May and Annette May Thomas - Keep My Baby Warm (sample)


Jennifer Hicks (aka Jenn Cogburn) of The Cogburns:

Elevator Action, Society, Secret
Elevator Action's "Society, Secret" is one of the few albums released in 2006 that I actually own, but even if I had a thousand records released this year this one would be at the top with no question. Elevator Action's 2nd album was recorded by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Kills) and released on up and coming Charlotte, NC based Morisen Records. With their tales of rock and roll nightlife and the drama that goes along with it, and the finely executed male/female vocals, they have perfected modern trashy, glammy, bubble-gum rock. I imagine a host of rockers playing this while dolling up for a night out or driving out to the local rock show. In fact, I dare you to listen to Society, Secret and not make your glam face/poses - if you can stop singing along at all.

mp3 sample:
Elevator Action - Surely You Know


Philip Dickey of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin:

Jonathan Bentley, Sue
I like this CD so much because I know JB and because it's real good. It's art... and it means a lot to me.

mp3 sample:

Jonathan Bentley - Raven and Me (sample)



Michelle Dubois of Luigi and Ultrababyfat:

(Michelle cheated a bit, as her pick was released in 8/05, but here it is...)

Amadou and Mariam, Dimanche a Bamako
I don't know if you'll allow this, cause it was released in August of 2005, but:
I loved it in the winter and I'm loving it this summer.
IT is Dimanche a Bamako by Amadou and Mariam.
The married duo teamed up with Manu Chau on this release. This music has soul that I rarely find in today's efforts; in the voices, the guitars, the rhythms--together so buoyant you can float on the songs, so vibrant your heart beats with excitement and you find yourself blushing.
More simply put: this world music rocks and has a beat I can dance to.

mp3 sample:
Amadou and Mariam - SÈnÈgal Fast Food


Leanna Fugate of Silent Kids and Georgia Fireflies:

Flaming Lips, At War With the Mystics
No contest - the new Flaming Lips! Why? In a word - handclaps.

mp3 sample:
Flaming Lips - Yeah Yeah Yeah Song


Cary Ann Hearst (singer, songwriter, guitarist):

(Cary Ann cheated too, as JCN was released in 9/05 and she picked two)

Ryan Adams, Jacksonville City Nights
The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
I spent most of my year listening to vintage music... old Tom Petty, Neil Young, New York Dolls, and I am always listening to Exile on Main St. by the Stones and Highway 61 Revisited by Dylan... this stuff is always great, but it also lets you know where I am comin' from and why I would love one record verses another. I fell in love with two records this year. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals "Jacksonville City Nights" and The Raconteurs' "Broken Boy Soldiers" are two of my favorites.

I am not a die hard Adams fan, but this album has some deep cuts on it that shatter my heart into itty bitty pieces, especially the title track "Jacksonville" and "the Hardest part". Adams seems to put out every song he writes, but there is nothing extranious on this album. Its is a solid heartbreaker. The Raconteurs brilliant record is highlighted by the now hit single "Steady as She Goes" and my personal favorites "Call It a Day," and "Blue Veins." There is the ever vintage inspired Jack White in the context of a full band for a change. The songs are stylisticly forward but there are always references to the rock and roll basics... do woppy harmonies, overdriven tube amps, and something of the blues is ever present in their sound. YAY for the presence of the blues in rock and roll!


Ryan Adams samples at Amazon (I don't want to get sued)

mp3 sample:
The Raconteurs - Steady as She Goes


Jeff Kuykendall of Optical Atlas:

The Essex Green, Cannibal Sea
A few weeks ago, as I was driving to Santa Cruz with my sister and her kids, she asked what kind of music I listened to, and I was suddenly in the position of trying to find an album both representative of my tastes and strong enough to convert her own away from--whatever my sister listens to (we barely talk). Cannibal Sea, the third album by The Essex Green, was perfect Boardwalk music, all fresh air and sunburn, and to my sister's ears it was utterly alien. But Sasha Bell, Chris Ziter, and Jeff Baron, erstwhile members of Guppyboy and The Ladybug Transistor, are formidably matched singer/songwriters, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more impressive collection of pop songs this year, from singles "Don't Know Why (You Stay)" and "Snakes in the Grass," to the folky "Rue de Lis" and "Rabbit," the snarky "Uniform," and the rocking "Elsinore." If you play it for your sister, tell her they were on Gilmore Girls (sort of true), and then she might really listen and start bobbing her head to the music as she ought to.

mp3 sample:
The Essex Green - Don't Know Why (You Stay)


David Lizerbram of Kite Flying Society:

Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
This is almost unfair. Neko's voice is so great, she could put out "Neko Sings Nickleback's Greatest Hits" and I'd probably love it. Fortunately, despite reviews to the contrary, I think Neko's songwriting has continued to develop on every album, and this one is no exception. As her song structures get more abstract, her obsessive attention to detail (both in the lyrics and in the production) continues to draw me in to the stories she's singing about. I was lucky enough to see her at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach last month (my 3rd or 4th Neko show), and the new songs come across just as well live as they do on record.

Runner-up: Tropicalia compilation

This comp was my first opportunity to hear these classics, which I've been reading about since Beck cut that "Tropicalia" tune back in the late 90's. Great stuff. I've fallen in love with Os Mutantes. These songs will be making appearances on my mixes for years to come, and people will think I'm very hip. Want people to think your mixes are hip? Buy this comp, and you're good to go.

Looking forward to: the new Dylan album, of course. Every time one of the songs from Time out of Mind or Love and Theft comes up on my iPod, I get a total charge...one can only imagine (hope/dream?) this new one will hit the same astonishing levels of quality. Hell, even if it's the new Empire Burlesque, it would still be better than almost anything else out there these days.

mp3 samples:
Neko Case - Star Witness
Gilberto Gil - Bat Macumba


Jon Manyjars of Underneathica:

There have been some great reissues and reunions this year. The surviving members of the Replacements recorded several new songs for their latest career retrospective. Legendary Aussie punk band Radio Birdman reunited and recorded an album of new material which will be released in August, and they will tour North America for the first time ever. Dance punk pioneers ESG and the Slits have also recorded new material.

One reunion that I think was overlooked this year was that of the Belgian band dEUS, who emerged from a ten year hIATUS with a new album, Pocket Revolution. It isn't as good as their first album, or even their last one, but the single "Seven Days, Seven Weeks" was silky smooth, dark and bittersweet. Flat Pack Philosophy, this year's record by the reunited Buzzcocks, contains the perfect single, "Wish I Never Loved You", in which Pete Shelley puts every other punk-pop songwriter to shame with the spiraling melody of the chorus. Of this year's reissues and retrospectives, I highly recommend Mcluskyism, the Au Pairs' Stepping out of Line, and Wire's 1977-1979, which contains remastered versions of their first three classic albums, plus two discs of live material.

mp3 samples:
Buzzcocks - Wish I Never Loved You
dEUS - 7 Days, 7 Weeks


Austin L. Ray of What We All Want, Decatur CD, and music journalist:

TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
When Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes came out in 2004, it caught my attention enough to earn the "honor" of my #1 album of the year. However, Return to Cookie Mountain makes Desperate Youth look silly by comparison. This is a band that has expanded both its membership and its sound over the last couple years, and managed to make the major label jump without watering down its sound. In short, Cookie Mountain is gorgeous, epic, near-perfect, completely triumphant throughout and a whole bunch of other hyperbolic, over-wrought descriptors. Believe me, it's worth every one of them too.

mp3 sample:
TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me


Janet Timmons of Out the Other:

Sound Team, Movie Monster
It's been a little over seven months since I first saw Sound Team at the Basement last November, and they've grown to be one of my favorite bands - on the strength of their phenomenal live shows as well as this incredible, incredible album. The two go hand in hand though, and while Movie Monster does a better job capturing what Sound Team is capable of on stage than I dreamed was possible, I think their recorded material will always just be a way to tide myself over until the next concert.

mp3 sample:
Sound Team - Your Eyes are Liars


James Trigg of The Jupiter Watts:

Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
My hands down favorite album so far this year is Sonic Youth "Rather Ripped." The weird thing is that the first time I heard it, I was disappointed by how conventional it sounded to me. On second listen, it got more interesting, and by the third one I was hooked. The great thing about it is that they're taking straightforward pop songs and subverting them in really subtle ways with odd unresolved chords, tasteful (and restrained) use of noise, and their always-cool Beat-like lyrical style. They sound like a band totally in control of what they're doing, which was confirmed by their sublime show at Center Stage Atlanta back in June.

mp3 sample:
Sonic Youth - Incinerate


Mike Turner of Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records:

(Mike really, really cheated)

Well, only one is too hard... so here are 4 that are always on rotation.

First off, I'm going to skip talking about any of the HHBTM records that are out this year as that is lame, and well if I didn't love them the most I wouldn't have put them out, but so far 2006 has brought us these gems:

Danielson, Ships
The squeal, the shrill, the most xylophone-tastic record you'll hear all year. The band has costumes, and the all star cast that made the album can't be beat, just check out the mp3 below.

Bearsuit, Team Ping Pong
This band might be the best band in the world at this time. Sonic Youth's tonal challenges, Stereolab's drone, Beat Happening's rough and tumble structure, and some of the brattiest and catchiest songs to date. This is an import that is a must have. (suggest mp3 of hey Charlie hey Chuck)

Delta 5, Singles and Sessions
Post punk brat pop on reissue from Kill Rock Stars, the opening track of this disc is worth the price of the CD alone. All I got to say is "can I get taste of your ice cream?"

Boat, Songs that You Might Not Like
New 4 -piece from the Pacific Northwest that blend the charm of the first Kissing Book record with the wit and snarky humor of Tullycraft. They are a perfect fit for Magic Marker Records.

There are plenty of other good records, these are just a few that have
been stuck on heavy rotation.

mp3 samples:
Danielson - Did I Step On Your Trumpet?
Bearsuit - Chargr
Delta 5 - Now That You've Gone
Boat - Holding All the Globes


Greg of Captain's Dead:

Centro-matic, Fort Recovery
After reading a pre-release statement by the Trucker's Patterson Hood claiming that Centro-matic's Fort Recovery was a "master piece," I was both estatic and a little skeptical. Having that kind of statement out there could potentially mess up my whole listening experience. Luckily, Patterson was pretty much on the money. Fort Recovery is not about immediate gratification, and thats part of it's brilliance. Listen just once, don't expect much out of Fort Recovery. Listen ten times, reveals a record that is damn near perfect.

mp3 sample:
Centro-matic - Triggers and Trash Heaps


Kim Ware of Eskimo Kiss Records:

Gomez, How We Operate
Gomez's "How We Operate" pretty much served as my introduction to the band. I had heard a few of their singles here and there but never an entire album. I became interested in the band after hearing the title track a few times on satellite radio and was impressed enough to want to hear more. That song is great, but what really hooked me was "Girlshapedlovedrug." Catchiest ditty of the summer, IMHO. All in all, I enjoy the album's variety and pace. Sometimes it leans towards brit-pop (expected, as they're British), other times Americana, sometimes more straightforward guitar power-pop (like in "Girlshapedlovedrug"). There's hardly a clunker in the bunch, and it's great for driving or for helping me get through a tough day at work!

mp3 sample:
Gomez - Girlshapedlovedrug


Some interesting choices, for sure, and a few records I haven't checked out at all.

Now, as for my pick
... I have to go with the most recent Neko Case album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. What can be said about Neko's soaring voice and talent that hasn't been written already? It wasn't an album I necessarily expected to be among my favorites for the year. However, it's been one of the few 2006 releases that have remained in constant rotation. Nearly every track on Fox Confessor is outstanding; I rarely skip any of them when listening. I imagine a great performance at Variety Playhouse in April also contributed to my enjoyment of the record.

mp3 sample:
Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On


One last note -- the JoeRockhead.com guys have extended their sale for C&T readers by a week. You can still get 15% off purchases this week by using the code TWEED15 at checkout.

Sunday, July 23

TMNT teaser trailer online & Little Miss Sunshine


Man, did I ever watch me some Ninja Turtles back in elementary school. I used to have toys of Leo, Donny, Raph, and Mikey that would regularly kick the asses of Shredder and the legions of the Foot. Many of you have probably seen the live action films based on the characters in the early 1990s. Now those are being followed up (to an extent, it seems) with an animated CGI film based on the characters. It looks to be darker than prior versions of the characters, consistent with the comics that spawned them in the first place. The teaser trailer was just released, and is online here (via Apple) or here (via YouTube).

The film is due out in March 2007, and reportedly includes neither Vanilla Ice nor ninja-rapping of any sort. Although an animated MF Doom might an acceptable addition.


In other movie news, I caught an advance screening of Little Miss Sunshine last week and it is terrific. If you like bittersweet indie flicks with a wicked sense of humor, do check it out. Don't just take my word for it -- it has a 93% positive rating at RottenTomatoes.com. Wow.

Cold War Kids music videos & Lylas reminder

I have been on a total Cold War Kids kick since the show on Thursday. In the midst of a recent visit to YouTube, I came across the recently posted video they shot for "Hair Down" from the With Our Wallets Full EP. Directed by Josh Forbes, it's very well done and captures a bit of the manic behavior the band exhibits on stage.



In addition, here's the "Hang Me Up to Dry" video, featuring a cast of hundreds (of high school kids) rockin' out with the band:



Also, for the Atlanta crowd, a quick reminder that Nashville indie-folk/pop band Lylas will at Criminal Records (ATL) at 3pm today (Sunday, 7/23). Here's a track from their current release, Lessons for Lovers:

Lylas - His Master's Merriment

I did a more extensive post on Lylas here. If you'll be there, say hello.

Now, off to watch Meet the Press...

Saturday, July 22

The Decemberists coming to ATL 10/27

The Decemberists have a new album, titled The Crane Wife, due out on October 3. To support the album, they have just announced fall tour dates. Happily, they include a stop at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on October 27. Woohoo! That gives each of us about three months to pray/wish/beg/whatever that they play "The Tain" again during their Atlanta stop.

More info on the album can be found here (via Pitchfork) along with the full list of tour dates.

mp3's from their older albums courtesy of Kill Rock Stars:

The Decemberists - The Soldiering Life
The Decemberists - Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect
The Decemberists - The Engine Driver

Sound Team, Cold War Kids, and The Preakness 7-20-2006 @ The EARL

I don't know if there's a backlash coming soon (see CYHSY, Tapes 'N Tapes, etc.) but when it comes to Cold War Kids, I have to say -- believe the hype. On Thursday night I saw them for the second time in two months, and yet again I thought they were simply great. While they weren't technically the headliner, they were clearly the biggest draw on the bill (alongside The Preakness and Sound Team) and brought the rock just as well or better than they did a month ago at the Drunken Unicorn.


The Preakness on stage at The EARL.


Bassist Tracy Clark of The Preakness.

The evening began with an impressive set by Atlanta upstarts The Preakness, who have recently been generating a solid local buzz. After starting their set with a slower (as yet untitled) new song, the band played a cover of Smog's "A Hit" before playing about a set of original songs including the "Frog Logic," "What They're Saying," and "This Drive" before closing with a rockin' version of "Don't Ask Me." The crowd was quite receptive to their indie rock/pop sound, which even inspired one individual to skank uncontrollably on the dance floor during (I believe) "Air Traffic." It was a veritable Preakness Boogaloo. Here's a snapshot of the complete setlist, as snagged from the stage:


While I very much enjoy The Preakness and did so Thursday night, the main draw for the evening was obviously Cold War Kids. While the room had been reasonably full during the Preakness set, when the L.A.-based Kids came on the size of the audience swelled and the crowd's gaze turned fully toward the stage. The band proceeded to play a 40 minute set that more than justified the attention they received.


The band began with the rollicking "We Used to Vacation" from their Up in Rags EP and continued to hold most of the crowd throughout their set. There were a handful of talkers who more than made their presence known (assholes...) but that's all too typical of Atlanta shows. The band played what already seem like old favorites in "Hang Me Up to Dry," "Saint John," and "Hospital Beds," all the while scampering all over the stage, exchanging instruments, and overall giving as much energy to the crowd as it could give back. I've rarely seen a band sweat so much on stage, although the warm room certainly contributed to the perspiration.


In addition to the material from their EP releases, Cold War Kids also played two new songs that they're working on during their current tour. The first, "Hat in Church," would fit in well on either of the recent EP's with its driving bass, spastic guitar, and Nathan Willett's distinct vocals. The other new song, titled "Make Up Your Mind," began as a slower number, picking up the tempo in its second half before peaking with a series of stop-start sections toward the end. I was told after the set that each of these songs are very much works in progress. Here's the complete setlist, as it looked at the feet of bassist Matt Maust:


Headliners Sound Team followed Cold War Kids, but played to only about half the crowd that had seen their predecessors on the stage. In a scene much like the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/The National tour last year, much of the room cleared out after the second opener. Whether as a result of disinterest or the fact the show was running late on a Thursday night, it was a little disheartening to see the audience thin out. I can only hope it had nothing to do with Pitchfork's too-harsh review of their recent album (and there's your obligatory P'fork review mention). Regardless, I have to admit that I wasn't terribly attentive during their set either -- by the time they took the stage I was already on my downward slope after three hours at the venue and two great sets. Apologies for not providing a decent run-down of the Sound Team set. It was not unlike similar recent experiences with Starlight Mints and The Spinto Band when they were the third of three bands on the bill, so perhaps there's a lesson there of some sort. I'll have to listen to the tape again in the near future. Once again, here's the setlist from the stage:


For another take on the show and more pics, see The Yellow Stereo.

As noted, I taped. Shocking, huh? You knew this would show up here...

Cold War Kids
July 20, 2006
The EARL
Atlanta, GA

Taped and converted by Rich Vining

Taping: SP CMC-4's > batt box > Nomad Jukebox 3
Conversion: JB3 > Dell Inspiron 6000 > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD Wav > mkwACT

01. We Used to Vacation
02. Hat in Church*
03. Hang Me Up to Dry
04. Saint John
05. banter/tech
06. Robbers
07. tuning
08. Hospital Beds
09. tuning/audience
10. Make Up Your Mind*
11. Quiet Please! intro > Quiet Please!


* second time played

Those boys are good. I'll also seed the show in .flac format tomorrow, so check back if you'd prefer it in lossless format.

UPDATE 7/22: The .flac version can be grabbed via dimeadozen.org. I may be seeding intermittently through the day, but stick with it. If you do download it, please help seed.

Friday, July 21

A Fir-Ju Well name change

After getting much attention here and elsewhere about a "break-up," it seems A Fir-Ju Well are still around. More or less, anyway. Someone called in to the Georgia Music Show on WRAS yesterday and said that A Fir-Ju Well had changed their name to Gringo Star. Looks like it's official.

Thoughts?

Thursday, July 20

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals 6-2-2006 @ World Cafe

Just how much fun are Grace Potter and the Nocturnals? They kicked my ass at Bonnaroo, and since then I've been thoroughly enjoying their albums and live recordings. She's been all over the blogs, including this one, so I doubt a lengthy bio is necessary. In short, this is one feisty gal with a fatty B-3, supported by a talented and energetic backing band. As much as I like the studio albums, I have to say their live shows are even better.

Recently my friend Adrienne pointed me in the direction of their performance on NPR's World Cafe program, and I decided to capture the stream and cut it up into tracks for the sake of convenience. I thought C&T's readers would enjoy this too, so it's available below for download. Good Lord I can't wait 'til these guys make it to the southeast.

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
June 2, 2006
World Cafe
Philadelphia, PA

Taping: Streaming audio (NPR.org) > audio output > Nomad JB3 > 44.1 wav
Conversion: .wav > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD Wave

01. Treat Me Right
02. banter
03. Ragged Company
04. banter
05. My Toothbrush and My Table
06. banter
07. Left Behind
08. banter/intros
09. Over Again
10. banter
11. Joey
12. banter/tuning
13. Belladonna
14. banter
15. Nothing But the Water
16. outro/station ID


Thanks very much to NPR and World Cafe for making the show available. Be sure to support their programming!

By the way folks, look at all the great stuff coming to The EARL:

7/20 Sound Team, Cold War Kids, The Preakness
7/21 YOU, Modern Skirts
7/31 The Minders, The Kingdom, The Protectors Of
8/4 Telegram, Engineering, Creve Coeur, Elevado, Atlanta Rollergirls
8/5 The Selmanaires, Forget Cassettes, El Hub
8/6 The Selmanaires (dunch)
8/6 The Clientele, Great Lakes, Snowden
8/9 Thee Crucials, Poison Control Center, Sound AD
8/11 Charles Walker & the Dynamites
8/17 All the Saints, Bones, The Judies
8/18 The Hiss, Variac (CD release), KillGordon
8/19 Elf Power, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, Jupiter Watts
8/26 Syd Barret tribute (The Sweetloves, Mike Wright, and more...)
8/31 Birdmonster, The Sammies
9/8 Ultrababyfat (CD release), The Preakness, others..
9/9 The Features, Sovus Radio, Parade
9/22 Magnolia Electric Co.
9/23 Jose Gonzalez
9/26 The Electric Six
9/30 Luigi, Producto, The Skinwalkers
10/4 The Hold Steady
10/11 Damien Jurado
10/26 Alejandro Escovedo

Hopefully the Nuclear No-Shows (thanks Paulie) will make an appearance this time. Quite a lineup, eh?

Wednesday, July 19

Jon Auer covers everybody


Well, not quite everybody, but you get the idea.

Here we have Jon Auer (Big Star, Posies, etc.) covering a few songs you might recognize. Who ever thought the guy from The Posies would cover Madonna? I hope you enjoy these as much as I do:

Jon Auer - Baby Bitch [Ween cover; 12-15-2001]
Jon Auer - Is She Really Going Out With Him? [Joe Jackson cover; 6-30-2000]
Jon Auer - Beautiful Stranger [Madonna cover; 12-15-2001]
Jon Auer - Gold Star for Robot Boy [Guided by Voices cover; 12-15-2001]


For more on Auer, including more songs and tour dates, see his MySpace.

Thanks to C&T buddy Stan for passing them along!

ELSEWHERE...

If you're in the Nashville area, note that Out the Other is giving away tickets to see The Format this Sunday at the Exit/In. Go there for the 411 and some mp3 samples.

Sunset Rubdown coming to ATL -- Sept. 30

Good news! The band behind one of my favorite releases of the year, Sunset Rubdown, has scheduled an Atlanta show! Matt Musick of KissAtlanta.com is reporting they'll be at Lenny's on Sept. 30.

For more info on the band, see their MySpace page.

Here's an mp3 sample, courtesy of Absolutely Kosher Records:

Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II


You can also go download their Daytrotter session.

The rest of the tourdates, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan:
07-20 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
07-26 - Ottawa, QC - Zaphod Beeblebrox
07-27 - Toronto, ON - Lee‘s Palace
07-28 - Chicago, IL - Metro
09-23 - Boston, MA - Middle East
09-24 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09-25 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09-26 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Chruch
09-27 - Washington DC - Black Cat
09-28 - Raleigh, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
09-29 - Charlotte, NC - Tremont
09-30 - Atlanta, GA - Lenny‘s
10-02 - Birmingham, AL - Bottle Tree Cafe
10-03 - Cincinnati, OH - Alchemize
10-04 - Columbus, OH - Little Brothers
10-05 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom

Tuesday, July 18

Sound Team, Cold War Kids, and The Preakness @ The EARL (Thurs, July 20)

Hey Atlanta folks -- do I have to remind all of you how excited I am about this show? I think not.



mp3 samples:
Sound Team - Your Eyes are Liars
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
The Preakness - What They're Saying (demo)

MySpace:
Sound Team - Cold War Kids - The Preakness

Buy tix here. $8 at the door or $10 online.

Remember to get there early. The Preakness go on first.

Arcade Fire 3-7-2005 @ Maida Vale Studios, London (BBC)


Don't have a lot of time for blogging today (work and all), but I thought I could share with you what I'm listening to at the moment. This is a short little FM set by The Arcade Fire last spring, on what was apparently their first tour of Europe. It's a great quality little set, and if you dig the band I imagine you'll find this a nice little addition to your music library.

The Arcade Fire
March 7, 2005
BBC Maida Vale Studios
London, England

01. interview
02. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
03. interview
04. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
05. Rebellion (Lies)
06. outro


I'm loving the version of "Rebellion (Lies)" here. Nifty.

For more on The Arcade Fire, see their homepage or their MySpace.

I was actually inspired to listen to this by a bit of news about their next album at Pitchfork. You might check that out too if you haven't already.

ELSEWHERE...

Berkeley Place has some cool Raconteurs covers here. Go pay Ekko a visit.

Monday, July 17

Kite Flying Society 7-7-2006 @ AmplifySD

By now you've probably heard that the new Kite Flying Society album is finally available for pre-sale. As I've said here before, I'm rather excited for this release. To support it, Kite Flying Society will be going on their first extended tour up and down the west coast. I haven't heard a note of live KFS yet (San Diego tapers, are you out there?) but was pleased to be able to hear Dustin and Kelly from the band do a live interview and a play a couple of songs for Sign on San Diego's AmplifySD broadcast last week.

I ripped this from the July 12 broadcast, but I'm told the interview and performance actually took place on July 7. Along with the first interview with the band members that I've heard, you can also check out live acoustic versions of "Groundflower" and "Tiger Stripes" and sample a couple songs from the album. It's my first time hearing "Tiger Stripes" in any form and it has me even more excited about Where is the Glow?. Here is the full set either track-by-track or packaged in a .zip file:

Kite Flying Society
AmplifySD session
July 7, 2006
San Diego, CA

Interview with Maya Kroth and acoustic performance
Dustin and Kelly only

Taping: Streaming audio > audio output > Nomad JB3 > 44.1 wav
Conversion: .wav > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD Wave > mkwACT

1. interview
2. If I Could Split (full studio version)
3. interview
4. Tiger Stripes (live, acoustic)
5. interview
6. Groundflower (live, acoustic)
7. interview
8. Submarine Music (partial studio version)


Full set/interview: YouSendIt, 45mb (link good for a week).

For those of you lucky enough to be within range of their tour, here are the dates that have been announced so far:

7/23 FM 94.9, San Diego, CA
7/27 Lestat's, San Diego, CA (all ages CD release party)
7/28 The Whistlestop, San Diego, CA (CD release party)
8/8 Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA
8/10 Cafe Noir, Salem, OR
8/11 The Acme, Portland, OR
8/15 The Make-Out Room, San Francisco, CA
8/16 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
8/19 M Theory Music, San Diego, CA (in-store performance)

Now, go buy lots of copies of their album so they can do an east coast tour. I can dream, right?

Demetri Martin

"I keep a lighter in my back pocket all the time. I'm not a smoker, I just really like certain songs." -- Demetri Martin


One of my favorite performers at Bonnaroo this year wasn't even a musician. I caught Demetri Martin's set in the comedy tent, and he might have been the most entertaining comic I saw the entire weekend. Prior to the show I knew him primarily through his "Trendspotting" pieces on The Daily Show, in which he explains to Jon and the audience current trends in youth culture. His profile of MySpace has become almost legendary, I'd say. Classic.

While Martin's taped segments are usually hilarious, he has won acclaim as a stand-up comic and comedy writer (primarily with Late Night with Conan O'Brien). His style as a comic is defined by rapid-fire punchlines and observational humor, often accompanied by music at some point in the show. Here are a few of his performances I've acquired or captured, beginning with his performance last year on Comedy Central Presents. Hopefully they'll help you start the work week with a smile.

Demetri Martin
Comedy Central Presents (2005)
1. Observations
2. Material Enhancers
3. Jokes with Atmosphere
4. Where My Jokes Come From


If you'd like to watch a video of part 2 with the "material enhancers" viewable you can do so via YouTube.

If that's just not enough for you, here are a couple of full, brief live sets by Demetri from the last couple years:

Demetri Martin - Invite Them Up [August 10, 2005]
Demetri Martin - Melbourne Comedy Festival [May 2006; video here]

You want more, you say? Well, I'm happy to oblige. Here is the aforementioned Daily Show segment profiling MySpace. If you, like me, sometimes find yourself spending too much time on that site you'll probably get a kick out of this too. And you have to love the emo-rock ode to MySpace that closes the piece. Take a gander if you haven't seen it:


And here's the full "studio" version of the song mentioned above, ripped from the stream on his own MySpace page:

Demetri Martin - I Got 9000 Friends

Notably, in the months since that piece aired he's skyrocketed up to nearly 50,000 friends. Dude is more popular than Zack Morris, Brandon Walsh, and Summer Wheatley combined. Damn. And C&T has a mere 600+ friends. Sigh.

You can also hear an NPR interview with Martin and more material here.

By the way, anybody seen Strangers With Candy yet? I'm thinking about going this week. Thoughts?

Have a good Monday, y'all!

Sunday, July 16

JoeRockhead.com sale for C&T readers

Some of you may have noticed by now that C&T has an ad for JoeRockhead.com in the sidebar these days. For those who don't know, JR.com is an Atlanta-based online music retailer. It should surprise none of you that I'm up for helping out a local business. While they have a great variety of indie, garage, twang, pop, etc., they also have a good and growing selection of music by Atlanta and Athens artists.

All that said, I wanted to make sure my readers were aware that this week JR is running a sale just for C&T readers -- 15% off all orders over $15. The sale is good through July 23. To get the discount, enter the code TWEED15 at checkout.

Artists and labels, if you'd like for JR.com to carry your items in stock or through consignment, drop them a line. ATL locals, note the Smoke and Kelly Hogan albums in their Atlanta store. Sweet...

Saturday, July 15

Danielson - "Did I Step on Your Remix?"

While I've only recently picked up Danielson's Ships album (Pfork review here), which was released back in May, I've been really enjoying the widely circulated "Did I Step on Your Trumpet?" track for several months now. In fact, it may be one of my favorite songs of the year so far. It's rather weird, but somehow still infectious.

Recently, it was brought to my attention that a remix of the song was released on 7" vinyl a while back and is available from Anticon Records. Umm... nifty. It was one of a few vinyl releases the band put out prior to the release of Ships, it seems. The vinyl pressing was limited to only 1500, but it appears some are still available. This remix was actually the B-side (technically, AA-side) of the "I'm Slow, but I'm Sloppy" single. You can purchase it here.

Here are the original track and the remix. Checka-check 'em out:

Danielson - Did I Step on Your Trumpet?
Danielson - Did I Step on Your Remix?

For more on the vinyl releases see Danielson's website.

Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Beatles

Has any band ever sold out and retained their credibility as well as The Beatles? Maybe it's because they broke up without riding out their legacy too long; perhaps it's because the music was just that damn good. Either way, one interesting artifact of the "Beatles mania" four decades ago was a syndicated cartoon featuring the band.

Airing from 1965-1969, the cartoon featured many performances of Beatles' classics by their cartoon counterparts interspersed among ridiculous storylines. A few of my favorites are presented below. Saturday mornings are for cartoons, right?

"Tomorrow Never Knows":



"Run for Your Life":



"Strawberry Fields Forever":



For more, see YouTube.

Friday, July 14

Thom Yorke 4-16-2005 @ Trade Justice Rally & ATL weekend preview

Well, it seems that I just can't get enough Radiohead this week. I hope I'm not boring all of you with my music selections. I just keep coming into possession of more cool stuff by those lads, and I want to share. Cool? Cool.

Today we have what is actually a pretty widely circulated set, but one I haven't featured here before. Good enough for me. This is what I understand is a solo set by Thom Yorke on April 16, 2005, at a rally for trade justice in London.

A little bit of Googling makes it apparent that Thom felt his presence would boost the profile of the rally, and it did just that. Whatever the case, Thom took it upon himself to play a short set at the rally that included some rarities. Fortunately, somebody with taping gear was apparently on hand to get a pretty good audience recording out of the event. Note the police whistles you can hear a couple of times. Here it is for your Friday listening enjoyment (unless you grab it at a later date...):

Thom Yorke
April 16, 2005
Trade Justice Movement rally
London, England

01. intro
02. Last Flowers ('Til the Hospital)
03. House of Cards
04. Big Ideas *
05. No Surprises
06. The Reckoner


* a few seconds of cell phone interference/static at 2:35

Can I say how much more I like this stuff than I do The Eraser? There, I did it.

Now, as for what's going on in ATL this weekend...


It looks like the only show I'll be able to make this weekend is the Cassavetes CD release party at The EARL. I've been looking forward to the release of Funny Story this week since seeing them at Corndogorama. I dig their Constantines-meets-Wilco sound, and I'm eager to hear the album.

Cassavetes - An Ancient Mistake
Cassavetes - My Heart Your Beat

If you can't make the release party this weekend, Funny Story is now available online.


Other shows this weekend in Atlanta:

Fri 7/14
KillGordon, Tentonic, Pasadena @ The EARL
The Futurists @ Masquerade
Creve Coeur @ Vinyl

Sat 7/15
Tiger Bear Wolf @ Star Bar
Zoroaster @ Criminal Records (free in-store)
Zoroaster @ Drunken Unicorn (CD release party)
Chickens and Pigs, Hardly Darlings, Brad Jones @ Aurora Coffee, Virginia Highlands (free)
Indie hip-hop showcase of some sort (I guess) @ Masquerade
Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon@ Masquerade Music Park

Hopefully I'll see some of you at The EARL!

Thursday, July 13

M Coast album pre-sale (and KFS pre-sale reminder)

The forthcoming M Coast (formerly Marshmallow Coast) album, Say It In Slang, is now available for pre-sale from Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. I ordered mine today. Supposedly pre-orders will come with special packaging and a bunch of goodies, and they're only $11. Apparently the only catch is that it isn't out until sometime in September or October. I'll take the wait in exchange for cool packaging and bonus goodies.

To encourage you to purchase the CD, here are a few demos of tracks from Say It In Slang. I wrote reviews of these tracks back in May, but here they are again:

M Coast - Sail Around the World
M Coast - Out of the Water
M Coast - Johnny Kasai

Order Say It In Slang here.

The M Coast have an upcoming show with 63 Crayons on July 22 at Secret Squirrel in Athens. Anybody wanna carpool over there from ATL? That's gonna be a great night of indie pop.

Oh, and remember that the Kite Flying Society album is available for pre-sale too. It'll certainly keep you entertained all summer while you're waiting on your M Coast CD. Yep. Once again, here are some more tracks I posted back in May to remind you of how good they are:

Kite Flying Society - 6000 Shipwrecks
Kite Flying Society - Groundflower
Kite Flying Society - Love & Seagulls

Order Where Is the Glow? here. Pre-orders get a bonus CD of non-album material.

Couple of fine indie pop bands, eh?

The Pee-Pees 7-8-2006 @ The EARL *and* new Selmanaires!

Note: First off, my apologies that EZArchive was down most of the day. Out of my hands, you know. Seems to be back online now.

Herb Harris of The Pee-Pees (The Selmanaires). Photo by Alex Adan.


If you read my review of the Shannon Mulvaney benefit show last weekend, you've already seen me gush about how much fun the Pee-Pees' set was that evening. You've also already seen me point out that The Pee-Pees were in fact Atlanta's own Selmanaires playing a "secret" show under another name.

The Pee-Pees are supposedly a flamboyant dance band from Lyon, France, who for some reason wear disguises on stage. Regardless, they put on one heck of a fun show. They came out and treated the crowd at The EARL to a set of mostly covers, only one of which I'm aware The Selmanaires had played in the past. Regardless, here's the set so you can check it out for yourself. If you were at The EARL that night, I know you're gonna want to grab this:

The Pee-Pees (The Selmanaires)
July 8, 2006
The EARL
Atlanta, GA

01. Pee-Pees' Theme Song (aka Pee-Pee Rock) *
02. Moody ^
03. Miss You #
04. banter
05. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy $
06. Agua de Baber %
07. banter
08. Danger @
09. banter
10. Havah Nagilah **
11. banter
12. Pee-Pees' Theme Song Reprise *
13. applause


* Herb on bass, Tommy on guitar
^ E.S.G. cover; Herb on cowbell; tommy on bass and drum
# Rolling Stones cover
$ Rod the Mod Stewart cover; dedicated to Shannon Mulvaney
% Antonio Carlos Jobim cover
@ Pylon cover
** traditional; with Herb on drums, Tommy on guitar, Jason on melodica

You can also download the entire set at once via YouSendIt (link good for a week). Oh, and I hear it's even more fun if you listen to it in disguise. Feel free to send in pictures.

In other Selmanaires news, the band also posted a couple of new demos on their MySpace today. The band reports that each was recorded for a possible 7" release that never came to be. One is for "GMAFB," which they've been playing live since at least February, and the other is for an instrumental called "The Air Salesman."

The rollicking "GMAFB" is a fun rocker, and this version sounds like it was recorded in one live take. I wonder if it was, however, because there is a prominent cowbell and what sounds like organ in a few places -- additional instruments that I'm not sure the band could pull off in one take unless they were aided by extra personnel. The vocals sound a little distant, however, which again makes me thing it was simply recorded live. Either way, it's nice to have another version of the song that I didn't tape at a club.

The Selmanaires - GMAFB (demo; NSFW lyrics)

"The Air Salesman" is a mid-tempo instrumental, with a prominent organ and bass. There are also what sound like shakers, wood block, and even a sitar in the mix. Perhaps an accordian too? What is that tone? To me, this track sounds like something that would be blaring out the car windows of a '70s TV detective. I bet it would sound even better on an 8-track than as an mp3. Notably, it's the first instrumental I've heard them play since their "Man from UNKLE" cover and the original "Mid-Afternoon Motionless" some months ago. Hopefully they'll bust out some more at their afternoon acoustic show on August 6.

The Selmanaires - The Air Salesman (demo)

For more Selmanaires stuff, see their MySpace.

Bonus mp3:
The Selmanaires - Selmanaire Rock
The Selmanaires - In the Direction of Yes


Bonus, bonus mp3 (for Amy):
Pylon - Danger
Pylon - Feast on My Heart

Apollo Up! 7-7-2006 @ WOXY.com

While in Nashville for The Clutters and The Woggles last week, a fellow patron of the Exit/In suggested that we check out Apollo Up! if we hadn't done so. Apollo Up! is a trio from Nashville including Jereme Frey (drums, vocals), Jay Leo Phillips (guitar, vocals), and Mike Shepherd (bass, vocals). I had seen the band mentioned on several blogs recently, but hadn't yet taken the time to see what they were all about. However, with all the great stuff coming out of Nashville these days I figured it was worth a shot. Fortunately, I came home to an email notifying me that they had just performed a WOXY.com session that was now up for download.

Further research revealed many references to post-punk, which tends to make me nervous. It's not that I'm afraid of the genre, it's that so many of the bands seem to sound like a rehash of the same old formula. Luckily, it appears that Apollo Up! doesn't fall into that trap. I've only had a chance to listen through this set a couple of times, but it sounds like a quality performance. Their sound is in the neighborhood of other contemporary post-punk acts, but the vocal is more Elvis Costello than Ian Curtis and they seem quite willing to carry on an extended jam (not Phish-style, mind you) when the mood strikes. Check it out for yourself:

Apollo Up!
July 7, 2006
WOXY.com session

1. introduction
2. Walking the Plank
3. Situation: Hot!
4. interview
5. Even If You Don't Die
6. Custom Critical
7. The Job's a Game
8. interview

Once again, this set is available from the WOXY.com archives, along with many other performances. I thank them for providing the set as a download. I still haven't heard Apollo Up!'s current album, Chariots of Fire, but I have heard a few tracks from it. Sounds like good stuff.

Here are some tracks from Chariots of Fire, courtesy of the band:

Apollo Up! - Walking the Plank
Apollo Up! - Cut Up
Apollo Up! - Invisible Syllable
Apollo Up! - Plans

For more on the band, see their MySpace page.

ELSEWHERE...

You Ain't No Picasso has the Oh No! Oh My! set from WOXY yesterday. Go get it!

Wednesday, July 12

Shannon Mulvaney Benefit 7-8-2006 @ The EARL

Last Saturday, July 8, The EARL hosted a benefit show for Shannon Mulvaney, a mainstay of the Atlanta music scene. Mulvaney is a former member of Magnapop and other projects, current member of Anna Kramer's band and The Sweet Loves, co-owner of International Hits Records, and manager at Atlanta institution Criminal Records. Sadly, Mulvaney has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer and has been undergoing treatment as a result. In a show of support for Mulvaney, many acts from Atlanta's music scene came together for a benefit show and roast at The EARL.

The evening began with sets by Johnny Knox and Hi-Test, Lennys, The Liverhearts, and The Roy Owens Jr., all of which I missed because of the early start time. However, I wandered into the venue in time to catch most of a solid late evening set by rock act The Close. For me the evening really picked up when the Sweet Loves took the stage, followed by the reunion of shoegazers Seely, a spirited set by Anna Kramer, and a special set by The Pee-Pees -- who were in fact Atlanta post-punk favorites The Selmanaires playing a set of covers under a pseudonym.


The Sweet Loves at The EARL. Photo by Alex Adan.

The Sweet Loves are a quintet of familiar faces from the Atlanta music scene, including Mulvaney (bass), Adam Renshaw (drums; ex-Forty-Fives), and Brandon Smith (vocals). Unfortunately, Mulvaney has been unable to play with them so they have employed a guest bassist. Although they have been playing together only a short time, they put on an entertaining show. Their '70s-style rock is reminiscent of The Faces, with Smith's vocals not unlike those of Rod the Mod. They certainly put on a fun rock show, and have attracted a good deal of attention within Atlanta's rock community in a short time.


Seely on stage at The EARL. Photo by Alex Adan.

Following The Sweet Loves was the reunion of Seely, a once-successful local band who broke up years ago but reunited on this night to show their support for Mulvaney. There was a strong sense of curiosity about their set, both from old fans eager to see them reunite and others (myself included) who knew little about the band but wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I'd say that they certainly impressed this new fan -- their music was like nothing I've seen from the current local scene and was refreshing despite the age of the tunes performed. The band even joked that some of the songs were more than half as old as some in attendance.

Their sound was primarily rooted in the dream pop/shoegaze mold, but never lost my interest. The same can't be said of the too-chatty folks in the back of the room. Regardless, I was impresed and glad to catch the reunion show -- odds are it won't happen again.


Anna Kramer at The EARL. Photo by Alex Adan.

Seely was followed by Anna Kramer (vocals, guitar, organ), with whom Mulvaney typically plays bass while Adam Renshaw handles the drums. However, on this night it was only Kramer and Renshaw on stage. Kramer plowed through a short set of her unique country-rock, including a cover of Alice Cooper's "Long Way to Go" and Sam Cooke classic "Bring It On Home To Me" along her original tunes. At the end of her set Kramer was joined on stage by three of the four former members of A Fir-Ju Well, a favorite Atlanta band that played its own final show just a week prior on July 1. They played a roaring version of "He's Got the Power" by The Exciters (with Kramer on backup vocals) before exiting the stage.


Herb and Jason Harris of The Pee-Pees (The Selmanaires). Photo by Alex Adan.


Shannon Mulvaney during "Havah Nagilah." Photo by Alex Adan.

Whatever party atmosphere had been ramped up by their predecessors on the stage, headliners The Pee-Pees took it up a notch. As some had been aware before the show, The Pee-Pees were in fact Atlanta band The Selmanaires playing under the guise of a French disco band complete with costumes and a setlist of covers they'd never played at their own shows. Their opening tune left no doubt that they were taking on another identity for the evening; it's main reprise was the lyrical statement that "We used to be The Selmanaires/Now we're the Pee-Pees!" After that number they proceeded to cover songs by E.S.G. ("Moody"), The Rolling Stones ("Miss You"), Rod Stewart ("Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"), Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Agua de Baber"), and Pylon ("Danger").

While each of those were great fun, the highlight of the set may have been a sick version of the traditional "Havah Nagilah" with drummer Jason Harris on melodica while brother Herb took over the drum kit and bassist Tommy Chung manned the guitar. A great moment came during the song when Mulvaney was hoisted up on a chair and carried around the room. The Pee-Pees followed that up with a reprise of their opening "Pee-Pees Theme" before being shut down by the 2am curfew.

Overall, it was a spectacular night for a great cause. Although the occassion was prompted by an unfortunate circumstance, it was in the end a celebration of local musicians' love for Shannon Mulvaney and all he's done for music in the city. Here's hoping the next show is held to celebrate his recovery.

For more of Alex's pictures from the event, see his Flickr site.