Monday, August 31, 2009

Jaga Jazzist - A Livingroom Hush

Holy fuck this rules. Progressive Post-Jazz. This is a 10 person group that will make you feel shitty for writing that embarrassing 4/4 song in 11th grade about some girl who didn't want to fuck you cause you couldn't throw a ball. They are about as good as you can be at this completely unique/complex sound. So good it hurts.

For Fans Of: Mouse On The Keys, Bluebridge Quartet, Amazing Music


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sleepy Sun- Sleepy Son [EP] (2009)

This Sleepy Sun album is fantastic. The songs are both 7+ minutes long and are filled with great riffs and eerie vocals.

For Fans of: Black Mountain, The Decemberists


Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1996)

Number 14 in Pitchfork's list of the top 100 albums of the 1990s, it's been said that this marks the high point in Belle and Sebastian's career. While that is completely and utterly untrue (I actually liked "The Boy With the Arab Strap" and will forever have a soft spot for "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant"), if you look at Belle and Sebastian from a Tralfamadorian perspective, it's one of the spots that shines the brightest. Stuart Murdoch, the band's leader, says that in his opinion, this is the best collection of songs he's ever written (in other words "If You're Feeling Sinister" : Belle and Sebastian :: "The Photo Album" : Death Cab for Cutie). My personal favorite track is "Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying," in which Murdoch quips, "Nobody writes them like they used to, so it may as well be me," and goes on to cheer for the success of the boy inflicted with naïveté. This record isn't the Big Bang; it's the serene and calm right before hand. After this album, something happened and new and different things began popping up in the band's career, manifesting in subsequent albums. Murdoch's also said that he isn't completely happy with the album's recording quality, and in response to that (and any complaints about low recording quality in general), I offer three words: Something. About. Airplanes.

For fans of: Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brand New - Daisy (2009)

Yeah, it's real... Yeah, it's low quality... but who cares, NEW BRAND NEW! If you need a description or don't know who this band is, this prob. isn't the blog for you.

I haven't heard it yet but people are saying it's "weirder" than before and not like modest mouse (which is kind of what the single sounded like) -- here... we... go...


Friday, August 28, 2009

The American Analog Set - Know by Heart (2001)

"Know by Heart" is the fourth studio album by The American Analog Set and is considered by many to be their crowning achievement. It contains two of the band's most famous tracks, "Punk as Fuck" (which actually contains no profanity at all, moms and dads) and "Choir Vandals." Track 4, "The Postman," contains backing vocals by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service fame. Funnily enough, Gibbard covered the song "Choir Vandals" on volume five of Post-Parlo's "Home" series, which is a split EP with The American Analog Set's own Andrew Kenny. Other notable tracks include "Gone to Earth," "Aaron and Maria," and "Million Young."

For fans of: The Wooden Birds, Broken Social Scene, Kings of Convenience


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cassettes Won't Listen - Small-Time Machine (2008)

This album is perfect for one in the mood for light, airy synthpop. The one-man indietronic project of Jason Drake, Cassettes Won't Listen, in addition to releasing his own music, he's done remixes for artists like Aesop Rock, Morcheeba, RJD2, Asobi Seksu and many more. This record lifts you up and puts you on a synthesized cloud with the help of songs like, "Freeze and Explode." It's pretty comfortable on that cloud, give it a shot.

For fans of: Ladytron, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Au Revoir Simone


Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass (2007)

Crank this up, kid! Aesop Rock's fifth studio album is his best work yet. This New York based rapper speaks out against "American nonsense penned by the rich" in his signature stream-of-consciousness style. The Michael Stipe of the hip-hop world, his lyrics are oceanic, deep and connecting many different worlds and places, yet it's not so easy see to the bottom at first glance. No superficiality here (Sorry, Kanye). Keep an ear open for the record's closing track, "Coffee," which features a guest appearance by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

For fans of: Immortal Technique, The Roots, Common


Norma Jean - Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child (2002)

This record contains absolutely nothing but raw, pounding awesome (recorded entirely without the use of computers, no less). Norma Jean's 2002 debut came hard, fast and with swift vengeance. I completely understand why vocalist Josh Scogin (who is unmistakably one of the most recognized voices in hardcore today) left after the recording of this album to start The Chariot. There simply wasn't anything all the members could've done together that could ever again reach this level of awesome. The album's most famous track is no doubt "Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste," which features an amazing guest vocal appearance at the end by mewithoutYou's Aaron Weiss. Raw, unrelenting and unapologetic, this is definitely one of the albums you keep when your record collection gets split up in your divorce.

For fans of: The Chariot, mewithoutYou, Botch


The Bled - Pass the Flask (2003)

This one goes to eleven. It is perfection, an 11/11 amongst mathcore records, and records in general. When listening to it, one doesn't need to skip tracks, it plays seamlessly and beautifully the whole way through. If I had to pick my favorite tracks, they'd have to be "I Never Met Another Gemini" (awesome intro into face melting) "Ruth Buzzi Better Watch Her Back" (there's no hope in saving your face) and "Porcelain Hearts and Hammers for Teeth" (aww, it's sweet and loving, wait no, there's that darn face meltage again). An honorable mention is the breakdown during "Red Wedding" (YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE!!!!!). Musically, it's amazing and lyrically, it's not too shabby either. Whether it's the angst-ridden chant of, "Let's set our hearts at self-destruct" at the end of "You Know Who's Seatbelt" or the self-sacrifice of "I'd burn alive to keep you warm when you're alone" in "Porcelain Hearts and Hammers for Teeth," this album never lets you down.

For fans of: Alexisonfire, Vanna, As I Lay Dying


Foxy Shazam - Introducing (2008)

This band has been described as alternative. That right there is one of the biggest understatements of the century. If I had to describe this band in one word, it would be FREAKOUT (FUCK YEAH, CAPSLOCK!)! I challenge the listener to listen to this record's track "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and not break out their boogie shoes. I double dog dare you. These guys toured with The Fall of Troy last year and the nation's hospitals are still over capacity because of all the people in the burn wards suffering from severe face meltage.

For fans of: The Fall of Troy, Portugal. The Man, The Blood Brothers, Little Richard


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

American Football - American Football (1999)

This album is a must-have for bearded, sweater-wearing indie kids everywhere. Recorded at the end of a millenium, it was a new beginning for indie rock. A studio-only project with Mike Kinsella (Owen) as its nucleus, it blends emo lyrics with math rock time signatures (and the occasional lullaby trumpet), and is responsible for the creation of the sound used so frequently in bands like Look Mexico, This Town Needs Guns, and Cats and Cats and Cats.

For fans of: Minus the Bear, see above


Pretend – Bones in the Soil, Rust in the Oil [2009]

If Joan of Arc and Dilute started a jam band... Very good.

For Fans Of: Joan Of Arc, American Football


April March- Chick Habit [EP] (1995)

April March has a terrific 1960's surf rock revival feel. She covers a song by the French artist France Gall named 'Laisse tomber les filles.' Mostly sings in French but has a song or 2 that is in English. The song 'Chick Habit' was featured in Quintin Tarintino's movie 'Death Proof.'

For Fans of: The Bunnys, Holly Golightly, The Ventures

Medication- Don't Die [EP] (2009)

A really good album recorded by one guy in his attic in New Milford, Conn. Has sounds similar to a solo John Lennon. One of the best recent releases of HoZac Records. Take a listen.

For Fans of: Ty Segall, No Age

The Whitest Boy Alive - Dreams (2006)

This album accomplishes the feat of being dancy in this day and age without being overly bassy, annoyingly bubblegum or saturated with Auto-Tune. In fact, this album contains no programmed elements at all. Erlend Øye (you might know him from Kings of Convenience or from lending his vocals to Röyksopp's car insurance-friendly "Remind Me") spearheads this minimalist indie pop wonder and shows no signs of slowing down. The record's opener, "Burning" will have you dancing for weeks.

For fans of: Phoenix, Kings of Convenience, The Maccabees


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Red House Painters - Songs for a Blue Guitar (1996)

One of the staples in the slowcore movement of the 1990s, this record brings singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek's lyrics that overflow with nostalgic regret to a whole new level. More guitar driven than his previous efforts, the listener feels every last bit of the weight of his words on songs like "Have You Forgotten" and the album's title track. In addition, he provides a beautiful cover of Wings' "Silly Love Songs." This record was released after Red House Painters was dropped from 4AD in the wake of alternative bands like Nirvana, a decision that the president of the label would later informally announce to have regretted.

For fans of: Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith, Ben Gibbard, Will Oldham


Algernon Cadwallader - Some Kind of Cadwallader (2008)

This album is a must have for fans of this sound. I don't quite know how to describe this sound, but I'm not entirely sure it needs a name. The music speaks for itself.

For fans of: This Town Needs Guns, American Football, Street Smart Cyclist, The Promise Ring


Woods- Songs of Shame (2009)

My favorite album of the year so far.  Woods' 4th release, named "Songs of Shame," has amazing melodies and really catchy, simplistic music to back it up.  I ask everyone to give it at least one listen.  

For Fans of: Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver

Them, Roarintwenties- Future Sandwich (2008)

A 4-piece band from Chicago that's off of Sickroom Records.  Really fast-paced math rock kind of similar to Don Caballero.  With a tinge of They Might be Giants.

For Fans of: Hella, Atom and His Package, Minus the Bear

Murder by Death - Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them? (2003)

Murder by Death's second full-length release, Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them?" is a concept album based around the Devil and a small Mexican border town which he wages war against. In addition to having an abundance of Americana noir accented by haunting cello and ringing guitar, this album features guest vocalists Gerard Way, Geoff Rickly and William Elliott Whitmore on tracks 1, 2 and 3 respectively (hey, 2 outta 3 ain't bad, eh?).

For fans of: Cursive, Tom Waits


Look Mexico - This Is Animal Music (2007)

I had the extreme privilege of opening for these guys back in '06. No, that's not an overstatement. These guys are so together musically, it's daft. Hailing from Tallahassee, Look Mexico comes in hot with a side of awesome. This one won't soon leave your CD player. (...or recent playlist or whatever you kids are using nowadays)

For fans of: American Football, Algernon Cadwallader, This Town Needs Guns


Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing (2008)

Weird, crazy experimental stuff from across the pond. This album quenches a thirst for a certain sound that you don't even know you had until you hear it. Produced by Mogwai guitarist John Cummings, Pitchfork named it #20 on their list of the 50 best albums of 2008, and I myself ranked it #10 on my top 10 list of 2008.


Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn (2003)

Everyone knows that Canada's chief exports are hockey, mainstream actors, maple syrup, and funny names for ham. What you probably don't know is that their BEST export is instrumental music. While more upbeat than the likes of post-rock greats Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think's fourth studio effort "Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn" packs all of the emotion into their melodies. Jazzy drums and bass guitar prominence carry this record into our ears and continues on down into our hearts.

P.S. After my first time listening, I had the album's opening track "Fredericia" stuck in my head for weeks.

P.P.S. That's not a bad thing.

For fans of: Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Johnnytwentythree


Monday, August 24, 2009

Sigur Ros - Live At Musuem of Modern Art

SigusRos Live at @MoMA from Martin Alonso on Vimeo.

Desolation Wilderness- New Universe (2009)

A good album for those long drives looking out at the scenery and a great one for the end of summer.

For fans of: The Dead Texan, Deerhunter, The Appleseed Cast

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Pale Pacific - Urgency (2005)

Great indie pop from Bellingham, WA. Notable tracks include "Sucker Punch" and "Identity Theft."

For fans of: Death Cab for Cutie, The Album Leaf, Built to Spill


Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See a Darkness (1999)

This album is pure, unadulterated folky awesome. This record not only ranked #9 on Pitchfork's Top 100 albums of the '90s, but they also rewarded it a rare 10/10 rating. Bottom line is, if this is not among the records in your collection, that collection is lacking.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Love Of Everything - Ghosts And Friends (2009)

Bobby Burg from Joan Of Arc- I have no clue about this release, I am downloading now but if this is anything like his past stuff it's very minimalistic soft synth work and toy pianos with him singing softly. I love his past work. Here we go.

Edit: I now see this is from a 19 song 12" put out in June! Def. check it out!

For Fans Of: Joan Of Arc, Owls, Make Believe


Built To Spill - Nothing Wrong With Love (1994)

This is a classic emo/indie record. This is what influenced your favorite band.

For fans of: Brand New, Bright Eyes, Manchester Orchestra, Jimmy Eat World


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mouse On The Keys - An Anxious Object (2009)

AMAZING post-jazz from japan. They do some really complex things that make me ashamed to be a musician. They are really really talented.

For Fans Of: Bluebridge Quartet, Radiohead (the weirder stuff), Post Rock
Rating: 8/10


Fun - Aim And Ignite (2009)

This band was born in the wrong generation, they sound like a classic rock band in modern times- more specifically the 70's. They have this knack for killer harmonies and sing along type songs. It might not be something you'd blast in your car, but worth a download!

Rating: 6/10
For Fans Of: Queen, The Unicorns, Spoon


longwalkshortdock - Casual Tea (2009)

I'm back- I will be updating a lot! As for longwalkshortdock, it's electronica grooving - good work music, good party music. I downloaded this strictly based on how bad ass the name is.

For Fans Of: Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Toxic Avenger
Rating: 6/10