Monday, January 30, 2006

Blog Roundup
The Best of December and January

The following are a few songs that I downloaded in the last two months and enjoyed for one reason or another:

Attorneys - The Way I Want to Love
This to me sounds far more new wave and '80s than the bands that get credit for reviving this era (Killers, Bravery, etc.). My roommate complained that the vocals were too wussy, but that's exactly the point. And the muscular guitar riff more than makes up for the frailty of the Journey-esque vocals.

Band of Horses - the Funeral
There are some songs that you listen to twenty times in a row and then never listen to again. "The Funeral" is far too dense with yearning and emotion to encourage compulsive listening. However, it will creep up in your subconscious with a little time. My only complaint is the band name which is one of the most forgettable monikers in years.

Greg Ashley - Apple Pie and Genocide
Buddyhead's blog posted this one. If you like wacked-out cult-rockers like Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, get this in your ears now. Also recommended in this genre: Deadly Snakes

Clean Prophets - Tambourine Crown
Now here's a piece of indie rock that is actually danceable without trying too hard. It's a little bit sterile, like so much indie music these days, but it's still memorable. Chalk that up to the head-bobbing disco guitar part. This band is from LA.

The A-Sides - The Sidewalk Chalk
This is another enjoyable slice of indie dance pop. Kind of a Motown thing -- upbeat, sunny, persistent.

Sparrow House - When I'm Gone
A solo project from a guy in Voxtrot. Overexposed on the blogs, but amazing nonetheless.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Karl Blau
Into the Nada

"I, Karl Blau, am a recording artist from Anacortes, WA. My debut K record Beneath Waves should be available in January of 2006. You may have heard my flute, sax, or drums on various K records. I've recorded with Mirah, Wolf Colonel, the Microphones, Little Wings, and I'm one third of the band D+(with Phil Elverum and Bret Lunsford). And more recently I've been touring & recording with the fabulous Laura Veirs." -- Karl Blau

Is it just me or are the music blogs totally ignoring K records? I just visited the site and found this excellent mp3 from Karl Blau. To my ears, this song updates the Canterbury sound of Gong and Caravan for the mp3 era. Lovely.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Still Flyin'
Mystery Tent

To all those who wondered what would happen if the Polyphonic Spree played reggae, listen up. This combination ain't nearly as bad as it sounds; in fact, Still Flyin' pretty much rules. This San Francisco band turned a lot of heads last year as the opening act for Architecture in Helsinki, due in part to their outrageous stage show (20+ members!), but also for their odd mix of indie sensibilities and stoned-out dub beats. Sean Rawls, Still Flyin's primary singer, is no stranger to indie rock it turns out. Rawls used to be in Masters of the Hemisphere, an Athens band who recorded a couple of albums for the now-defunct Kindercore label. (Where for art thou Kindercore?)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I Love my Recorder

The song title says it all.  In the sweetly addictive "I Love My Recorder," Julie Margat's vocals ride a hip hop beat with all the sensuality of Brigitte Bardot in her prime.  No surprise then that Margat hails from Paris, France, where she currently records her self-released records under the Lispector moniker.  To my ears Margat clearly wants to fuck her four-track, but Margat herself compares the song to Virginia Woolf's A Room of Your Own.

Margat swiped the Lispector name from a Ukranian-born author.  Although Margat had not read Lispector's books at the time, she eventually grew to be a fan.  Margat has never toured, but she has released two full-length albums and appeared on a few compilations.  "I Love my Recorder" is from her first full-length, Human Problems and How to Solve Them.  Her new album is out now and can be downloaded for free at her website here.