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Friday, June 30, 2006
  and i'm waiting patiently, waiting for a sign.
on july 11th Muse is releasing the follow-up to their highly successful 2004 album Absolution. Black Holes And Revelations is a maturing for them, a bit of a branching out from that Radiohead-esque driving rock feel that Absolution banked on. don't get me wrong, though - as many people will tell you, Matthew Belamy still sounds like Thom Yorke for a great portion of the album, but his occasional wailing and the accompanying instrumentals from Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard separate them from the Radiohead of old.

something that many artists have lost sight of is the overall cohesiveness of the final album. as elaborated upon in High Fidelity, there is an art to a mix tape, and there should be an art to the ebb and flow of an album as well. i'm not saying it's perfect and that everyone will enjoy it, but Black Holes tells a story. you can feel it take you on a journey over the fifty minutes and six seconds of emotion that these three guys pour through their instruments. you're drawn in slowly and gradually by the opener, Take A Bow, and quickly led through that into Starlight, a rocking piano ballad reminiscent of something from Absolution, with those easily recognizable vocals when he gets into his higher register. and then, for a change of scenery, you're thrown into a Supermassive Black Hole, a sort of dance-funk groove-rock mash-up of genres with light falsetto melodies and backs that are prone to get stuck in everyone's head this summer. Map Of The Problematique is the uptempo song to bring you into the middle part of the album, with tight background harmonies and a beat that you would be likely to feel in an underground club in europe. there's a momentary lull as you're carried off into the dark night by a Soldier's Poem, its pretty melodies echoing, rising and falling like your own breath, until the military drums of Invincible march you toward the oncoming battle, vocals climbing with intensity. and then you're right back into it, full on prog. rock feel, almost like Porcupine Tree, with the driving double bass leading you into the heavy drums and raw guitars of Exo Politics. arriving at the City Of Delusion, it's like a spanish bullfight, a piercing trumpet solo riding the surging energy and sense of urgency. but then all is quiet for a moment: Hoodoo. you're on a barren street, like a western showdown, the strings building into the triumphant piano entrance and then back down to the final onslaught: the Knights Of Cydonia have arrived. the controlled galactic surf-rock conflict turns into an all out explosion, a clash of the titans introduced by Queen-esque harmonies:
no one's gonna take me alive,
the time has come to make things right.
you and i must fight for our rights,
you and i must fight to survive

when the battle is won, Glorious plays like an epilogue, leading you back home. victory has been secured, and you're returning safely.

visit their myspace to listen to the entire album from start to finish
preorder the album from amazon

::::here's some lovin' for you to keep
Muse - Map Of The Problematique
Muse - Soldier's Poem
Muse - Hoodoo

::::BONUS - a special song for you special people
Muse - Glorious
Thursday, June 29, 2006
  the hap'.
have you seen this? yes, probably.

this is a contest for Shapes and Sizes. i was just about to do a review on them, actually. i still will, but after stupid finals and such. [summer courses suck.] they recently signed to Asthmatic Kitty Records - which is a really great place for them, in my opinion - and they're recruiting bloggers and bloggers to spread the word/judge (note: i have not been contacted. they must have lost my email... cough..) and anyway, it sounds pretty cool.

is all
Jeff Mangum.
you kids... and your fake E6 posts.. (even though it's PF, i recommend the last link there to catch up).

go about your lovely days.. wish me luck tonight.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
  breaking news.
this is urgent. really.

...okay no, it isn't. but check it out anyway.

as shan alluded to, our flickr account is live and on the air. click here (or on the last sentence) and you can check out our mascot as well as pictures from the Morningwood and Rock Kills Kid show last sunday. we'll probably be putting up a few photos from past shows but we'll definitely post batches after every show we go to now on. so go take a peek and see exactly what you've been missing.(if i link you again, will you click it?)

this page has gotten a makeover! ROFLOMGLOLZ or something. we're trying to streamline it a little, so you might see some more minor changes over the coming days. if you're having problems viewing it at any point, or even if you like it, just leave a comment or drop us an email by clicking the thing on the sidebar (over there, on the right), or by clicking right here.

and finally, the new Muse album, Black Holes And Revelations, is out there for your pleasure. a real tangible copy has surfaced somewhere and is therefore spreading like wildfire, but the band has posted the full album themselves, as well. just hit up their myspace to listen to the entire thing, from start to finish, as it was intended. and you actually have to go from beginning to end, since you can't skip tracks or even fast forward. the effect of the album is better that way, though, in my opinion. i'll have a full review with some tracks for your listening and sampling pleasure, as well as a super special bonus track, when the mood strikes me (read: when i have time tomorrow).

and lastly,

Toaster says goodnight.
  the moves
because i'm so caught up in independent music, it takes a longer time for mainstream MTV material to get to me. in fact, most of it never heads my way, especially music videos and MTV-targeted hip-hop. the only thing from that area that i've liked in a long time is Kanye West.

however, Shakira doesn't count. i might get to her a little late - i might be behind the times by a few months - but i'd say it's never too late to gawk at her skills. not only is she absolutely beautiful, but her dancing - my god. she could be in an eskimo suit and she'd still look pornographic. which is way cool, if you ask me.

if you haven't seen the video for what i'm guessing is her latest single, Hips Don't Lie, i have it for you below.

Shakira - Hips Don't Lie

don't get mad because i did the pop music thing. this is incredible.

i'd say the best way to get me on your side is to tell me i can dance like she can.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
  a little female action. ...not that kind.
i would like to warn ahead of time that this post is estrogen-rich. yep, i'm putting together some of the lady artists/female leadsingers that i've been listening to lately.

let me start off by saying i've always had a strange relationship with female artists. it used to be taboo in this tuck of the universe to listen to any band with actual instrumentation that had a woman's voice instead of a man's. i'm not kidding; the value of the music was somehow destructed by her presence. a token female keyboardist or bassist was alright - i think Smashing Pumpkins broke that mold - and maybe as back-up vocals. otherwise, sensations like those were a thing of the past, crazy leg-warmer wearing people (The Pretenders) or blond and ambushed-looking, like Hole or Garbage. [wow. those bands suck now.]

it still isn't a popular occurence. the rise of YYYs is, in my opinion, a novelty thing (note: i actually really like Show Your Bones). Jenny Lewis is fucking adorable, and it's clear she's extremely talented and noteworthy, with either Rilo Kiley or the Watson Twins. but in the indie-indie world, there are lead chicks abound. i was opened up to a whole new world of them - maybe starting with Frou Frou, to be honest - and now, we're cool. it's no longer taboo. if i'm caught in the car with the windows down, blaring Camera Obscura, i won't feel ridiculous.

so. here are just two of the girlies i've been spinning. (yeah, i said girlies.) i'll be posting more as the week goes along, but i'll get two of the biggies out of the way now. (both from the UK... hm...)

Lily Allen
when every single blog was going crazy over Lily, i didn't bother to add another post to the mix. instead, i just hit up her album, gave it a listen, then put it away again to let the flow of unheard/undiscovered artists continue through my playlist. it wasn't until i saw the video for "Smile" (this post) that i began to take her seriously.

first of all, she's adorable, and i love her name. her bri-ish accent compliments her sound so perfectly; instead of coming off as a struggling popstress waiting to be picked up by Columbia, she's oh-too-cool for America (not really) and bold, funny, and makes some of the catchiest electro-bubblegum pop that I've heard in a long time. if you're holding off listening to Lily because she seems too pop to you, hear this: she does everything herself. have you ever heard her mixtapes? you haven't? well, time to fix that.
::::because you can't actually buy it:
Lily Allen - Mixtape #2

(if anyone wants a tracklist, let me know.)

buy the import of Alright Still also, she has a blog.
check her myspace for all things Lily.

ah. here's another example of a band i haven't yet posted on - except in this case, you can't blame me. we're a baby blog, and Psapp [pronounced "sap," kids] i have known about for something like nine months now. [Grey's Anatomy. so guilty.] who are Psapp? read here (toytronica, hm). what do Psapp sound like? listen here. why do i love them?
because when was the last time you heard a voice as rich and full as Galia Durant's tune itself to electronic/instrumental noise-making fusion. when was the last time beat tracks and crazy Punky-Brewster-esque outfits made a team of musicians that kick so much ass. it is sonorous and mechanical, artsy and technical, honest and brutal. these guys get it all in.

::::you may have my favorite song off of Everything I've Ever Wanted:
Psapp - Tricycle

do the myspace thing. also, buy this.
they're touring with Jose Gonzalez and you'd be crazy not to see it - if it's not sold out (god damn it).

remember, you'll get more of this good stuff as the week goes on, including chick-present duos (Xiu Xiu? new songs? yes.)
Monday, June 26, 2006
  Morningwood, Rock Kills Kid, The Lashes @ Axis, 6.25
when we left the club last night i turned to alex and said, "i feel like i've been molested."

here, i edit: in a good way.

it was appropriate that before we checked in to Axis last night, we skipped along Newbury for a bit and ducked into some shops (what's with the rain, guys..) - one of which was the beloved American Apparel. on the walls there they have hung vintage porn - magazines called Oui with scandalously clad or naked eighties models - and underneath, a little explanation. their reasoning is innovatively simple and to some degree coincides with their absolutely fantastic ad campaign; that is, that they feel there is a new influx of twentysomethings that are coming to embrace the sex culture, and not fear it. their added point was that people seem ready for "real models" again - that imperfections are normal and embraced as well (think curvy Scarlett rather than stick figure Nicole Richie).

the show at the Axis last night aggressively asserted this hypothesis. hol-lee shit.

just to let you know: this post is the first in which i'm inviting you to check out our flickr account. it's still kind of empty. however, eventually we'll have up pics from all of our shows (yes, ever, even the ones you Noise for Toaster fans don't know about) and it'll be a rockin' good time.

speaking of that...
the headliner of the night was, of course, Morningwood.

i'll tell you. we were prepared for a wild show - i remembered JAX's photos at the Roxy (as she says, CAUTION NUDITY) - but seriously. we had no clue.

all we could say afterwards?

"that. was. intense."

alex recognized Ave Maria playing as the lights went down and we all waited for them to take the stage. in near-darkness, bassist Pedro, guitarist Philip, and drummer Pedro set up and waited. at the end of the track, out comes a roundish girly figure bent over on crutches, face hidden, a red cape draped over her back and arms. as their openerGood Morningwood sped up, Chantal burst out from her "guise" -
and totally. blew. us. away.

the first thing to notice is her breasts. displayed prominently and, er, bulgingly, they are almost as intimidating as her voice and her stage antics. she sings to them, licks them, shakes them vigorously and demands $5 extra from every single person in the room for if/when they should pop out. ...but this is hardly the only thing about Morningwood, or Chantal, that makes the show a scandalous and orgyesque experience. it's the overall coating of sex. sex, sex, sex, and more of it.

there is no need to explain the relationship this band has to sex. even without an explanation, a mere introduction of the band's name kind of puts it out there. so it only makes sense that their live performance should be jazzed up with it. the only thing is, it's not just Chantal that's having it. it's everyone in the room. jumping, sweating, fist-pumping, mouthing every word: drunk chicks, tough-looking guys, indie don't-dancers, black-wearing emo kids and craft-making fifteen year olds with scrunchies all alike got down and dirty to the crowd-winning Wood. you've heard it and you know it yourself: sex sells. and we were all buying.

Chantal had us doing everything, from stealing our cameras to take pictures of herself and the band on stage, to inviting people up for a dance-off, to coming out to the crowd and demanding a piggy-back from some sturdy dude, to the notorious Take Off Your Clothes performance, to jumping off the stage and making us circle around her, down on the ground, during Nth Degree. she had us jumping, shouting, and interacting with her more than any other show we/I've ever been to. she made assert: "I fucking love you." she established we were all in love. and she had the minerals (as they say in GB) to get a stranger on stage and quite literally strip him, almost without his choice. she nuzzled his neck, bit around his belly and sang into his opened boxers. he was astounded and we were too - but it was all apart of the Morningwood. it was fucking crazy.

i would so see that again.

so, we didn't have tits and Suicide Girls like JAX did, but for lil 'ol Lansdowne Boston, we had a damn crazy night.

Good Morningwood
Nu Rock
Everybody Rules
Morales (never-before played live)
New York Girls
Body 21
Nth Degree
Take Off Your Clothes

Family Affair ( Mary J. Blige cover)
Knock On Wood

find out where they're playing near you at their myspace.
buy their debut Capitol release by clicking on the tiny album cover.
  Rock Kills Kid
before Morningwood came Rock Kills Kid.
before i start, you should know that this was 75% of the reason we were at this show. we have a thing for this band - and by we, i kind of mean Alex. it is for this reason that i'm going to leave most of the performance review to him.

to say that these guys were an incredible live act does not do them justice. if you know their back story (courtesy of Andrew from Harmonium), you already know that this record Are You Nervous? is everything to this band - literally. at a pause in the set, keyboardist/guitarist Calhoun (see linked interview) told the audience that it was a really exciting, amazing thing to see their record being sold in stores and so please, if we liked what we heard, we should go buy it. as always, NfT urges you to do the same.

they were tight. i mean, they were tight. and not coincidentally, their innate sexual nature was a perfect opener for what was to come, and also the beginning to my insightful and genius (cough) generalization of the night's performances. they wear black. they're dark, mysterious, rebellious and indefinitely older. they're starving artist and and LA grunge-glam. their songs addictively hail from eighties giants like The Cure and The Smiths - accidentally filling a niche that the kids love these days. and live? my god. they emanate sexual tension while positively kicking ass at what they do. regardless of the major label, the cliche following and those god damn Killers comparisons, they're amazing.

the ridiculously nice Sean Stopnik wrote out their memorized set list for us:

Don't Wanna Stay
Run Like Hell
Are You Nervous?
Back To Life
Raise Your Hands

check out their myspace.
seriously, you're crazy not to buy this album.
  The Lashes
before any of the craziness was Columbia-signed, Seattle-native The Lashes. i hadn't really had that much exposure to these guys before; i'd seen their album in Borders, i think, and they friended us on the 'space (note: you should too). but otherwise, with a few listens, i was aware that their stuff wasn't really my style. good, sturdy "shrug" rating. their live performance was similar. they had the energy - there are enough of them (six) for leadman Ben's vocal act (note: no instrument, admittedly weird) to bounce off the rest of the crew, incite keyboardist Jacob into backup and a highlighted solo by guitarist Eric (the "cute one"). they went for the classic emo-punk-poprock look, complete with black hair, black nailpolish, striped shirts, and their signature multiple-belt look (see picture, see record cover). as this was not an 18+ show (groan) there was a large majority of non-wristbanded kids, looking similarly to the members onstage and getting down (that awkward jump, swish-hips, arms-dangle-uselessly thing) to vocals that were drowning in guitars. for the kids, they were great. they got the club hoppin' and and praised the acts to come. they talked a lot - some east coast/west coast banter that seemed useless coming from a Seattle band - but. you know. they rocked their style, and no doubt they'll continue to rise.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
  The Dears - Gang of Losers
well well well. what do we have here.
the very adorable people that are The Dears are putting out a new album in a bit (August 2nd), called Gang of Losers and we have the chance to check it out before it's available for purchase.

i haven't listened to it very intensely, but i'm doing the same thing as i did for Oneida and putting them up definition-style. remember kids, buy it when it's released, please. here you are, song and first-listen comments:

::::The Dears - Death Or Life We Want You
immediately i'm caught up with the use of cowbell. alex appreciates the good use of it moreso than i, and so i note it more for his sake than mine. i do like the highlight of it, though, the minimal instrumentation around it. the chorus has some interesting voice distortion to harmonize with lead singer Murray Lightburn’s vocals. also, is that a kazoo i hear? this song is essentially interesting and not that bad (remember: cowbell) but i wouldn't run to my neighbor's house and bang on their door about it. i don't even know my neighbor.

::::The Dears - There Goes My Outfit
i chose this song specifically because the band is allowing downloads of its demo at their label's site. admittedly, i didn't spring for the demo, because having the real thing seems to eclipse that. this song as a slow beginning that rises with classic "na-na-na" vocals. insistent piano plunking follows into the first verse, and the song continues to progressively build. it's a little 90's pop-rock, only with the attention to detail that only six people in a band can bring. ending choruses bring back the na-na-na, which layers over Lightburn's

::::The Dears - Whites Only Party
i'm immediately, immediately attracted to this song, from its very first two seconds. great riff coming in, great knee-slapping lead (in minor. delicious) and even a perfect lead-in with the vocals (maybe i would have preferred a longer lead-in? the notes are just so great). i like the down-play of what is usually almost too big for the sounds around it - that being Lightburn's voice. much like Roderick's voice of The Long Winters, Lightburn has such a unique tonality to his voice that its usage is hit or miss. in my humble opinion, i think Roderick has it down a little more than Lightburn. should i have said that? probably not.

::::The Dears - Ballad of Humankindness
another great start with vocals. it's a longer song, so they set out to accomplish more here, and i think they do. the lyrics stand out to me, especially in regard to the track title - "No one should have to live all of their life on their own." hey, sounds good to me. even at 2 minutes, when they burst out and Lightburn rips it, so to speak, it works. it really does. i get into it, it's ripe in the middle, doesn't fizzle at the end but triumphantly scores and stops. it's good. the best i've heard on the album, i think.

The Dears hail from Montreal, and their tour doesn't leave Canada or Europe-side for now. but you can bet it will.
  in which we reassert how bad radio really is.
i don't listen to the radio. i haven't, really, since the dark ages of middle school tweendom, and i sort of plan on keeping the dial-turning to that shady music past.

so when i read this post by Conor over at San Diego Serenade, not only did it have me laughing embarrassingly loud, but it also supremely caught my interest. he kept an hour-long diary (like last week) of a radio station, and basically proved that radio is committing suicide anyway. in-between astonished ravings about choosing Zombie by The Cranberries and admitting he doesn't like German accents, he hits the big points. mainly:

I was especially goaded on by some of the comments that were left on the 949 diary, asserting that San Diego actually did have better radio than the rest of the country. Of course, this is preposterous. FM radio blows universally. Radio has, to quote Calvin, "Lowered our expectations to the point where they are already met." As in the medium is so godawful, that things like playing a non-Crazy Gnarls Barkley track, or devoting 2 Sunday evening hours to local music is seen as revolutionary and messianical. So let's hold off on the "San Diego radio is better than New York, LA, Austin, etc" claims until we've researched both of our fair cities options, OK?

our local alternative radio station, as the Boston bloggers will know, is FNX. i sort of like them for their omnipresence around beantown music scenes and their willingness to fund a gajillion local concerts - even ones in small-town city halls. but other than that, they're pretty typical. they play a lot of bad emo punk pop mumbo jumbo - stuff that the kids dress in black for, you know - and bands that, like Conor was saying, will not be remembered in 10 years.

as alex previously posted (scroll all the way down), FNX is doing some crazy shit with absolutely commercial-free radio as funded by Snapple, and that's kind of cool, because as i've noted on maybe one single occassion, this gives them more of an opportunity to play older alternative favorites like Tears for Fears (no snickering, i love them) and even a little old old old Beastie Boys (yes, back when they were actually innovative). i think that this commercial-free business is a nod to the increasing popularity of XM and even personalized radio like i think it's also one of the last-ditch efforts to get some listenership.

but, you know. like Conor said. it all sucks.
Friday, June 23, 2006
  mp3 aggregators getting shut down?
mm, so, fuck.

this sucks.

the internet is basically just imploding.

have you gone and tried to save it yet?
  Oneida - Heart of Brooklyn

Oneida - Happy New Year

everything Oneida does reminds me of a heartbeat. i feel like the three quirky individuals play their hearts out, literally; checking their pulses to the rhythm of their repetitive riffs and mechanical, pumping drums. they work harder than most artists - possibly harder than anyone. they sweat, rave, jump around like their lives depended on it, never ceasing to look back on what they've done or what they'll do next. it's only music. it pulsates. it's their heartbeat - and for forty five minutes, it's yours, too.

i'm actually giving you four tracks from their upcoming release Happy New Year, which comes out on Jajaguwar on July 11th. you can preorder it now, which i suggest you do, and you can also take a look at these songs (you know, if you really want to).

::::Oneida - The Adversary
this track is the first off of the album that made my eyes open widely and pay attention to something other than my self-absorbed little world. i find this to be a good quality in things, especially music, so that i can take some time out of my day to clear the palette, wipe the board clean, start on a clean slate, and... well. i'm half kidding.

::::Oneida - Up With People
this is the single, and it's postively everywhere. even Pitchfork, in its futile attempts to act like an mp3/music blog, posted a review of the track this morning. the truth is, it's pretty fantastic - it really drives my heartbeat theory home. it ticks on in your brain well after the 7+ minutes are up.

::::Oneida - History's Great Navigators
possibly my favorite of the bunch, it instantly grabs you with a beat track (Mark Mothersbaugh sample?) then a high pitched, incessant keyboard ringing. the song takes on many highs and lows from there, cutting almost five minutes of a breath-catching ride. i'm telling you - your heart pumps to this stuff.

::::Oneida - Busy Little Bee
lastly i give you a little switch-up from the Brooklyn band. this track stumbles in with a twanging acoustic riff that holds you captive, much like a black and white western would. it's a little slower, a little quieter, a little less on the keyboards and electrics. yes, they're still the obsessive compulsive repetitive rockers we love, just mixing it up.
i love this. a lot.

Brooklyn Vegan points us to a really terrific ad campaign for Philidelphia: "Philly: The Edge of New York". clearly i don't live in New York, but i will someday, and i like this campaign for several reasons.

  1. i'm an artist myself. i get a lot of crap for this, but i support the "starving artist" culture and truly believe that an artist is largely influenced by their surroundings. i'm one of those people that soaks up SoHo and 1980's Brooklyn artists like Basquiat... and therefore, i'm always interested in the cries of the New York artistic community - even if they're saying, um hi, we're freakin moving to Philly.

  2. this is an intersection of art and music. as i am continuously faced with the question of what the hell i'm going to do with my life, i keep trying to find ways to join the two biggest things in my life - art and music - together. i mean, saying that is kind of like saying art and art, and in this way there ends up being a sort of obvious and irrevocable connection between them. but the truth is, one is more profitable than the other, unless your art is commercial or you're the second coming of Andy Warhol.

  3. beat the system, yo. fucking move to Philly. do it. then maybe the rail system will improve (because gas prices clearly won't allow for a move).

iiiii don't know. i like the idea. and it does have to do with our indie scene, because a million great bands come from that area, and you care. you do.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
  about the mp3s.
i think i've decided not to upload any of the previous mp3s (before this post), really just because it is a pain. if you stumble upon something you'd like to download, let me know and i will put them up. otherwise, you kids can live without them.

mm.. okay. carry on.
  stuff and stuff.
not quite sure why i'm not sleeping right now. i feel a little like Brooklyn Vegan - only without the out of control reader traffic. i think the post i just linked you to was at 4:37 am yesterday. if i'm still awake in two and a half hours, i don't want to be me tomorrow.

anyway. since safari decided to disappear in the middle of a longer, cooler, more interesting post, i'll just link you elsewhere so you don't notice my five year old foot-stomping hissy fit. this is stuff from the last few days, while i've been reviewing shows and doing interviewish things.

  • i can't actually access the song myself (damn mac vs. pc feuds), but you have no idea how much i wish i could: stereogum has Teddy Geiger covering the Postal Service. oh, you bet.

  • i ran across Bradley's Almanac (great read) in a little Boston blog congregation over at rbally, and i'm psyched to say that along with Dany at Exitfare our little Boston cohort is growing. yay Beantown.

  • Marathonpacks points us towards The Anchor Center as one of his past students gets a video blog and friggin tools on a video feature of Aberdeen City. i highly recommend checking it out.

  • Conor at IGIF continues with the quality mixes and also manages to put all of my feelings towards Pitchfork into words. i'd been thinking of writing something myself, and then i read this, and thought he pretty much did it for me.

  • i tend to like these chart reports by torr. i think creative aggregations of infomation are kind of priceless. for instance, pretty much anything by largehearted boy.

    oh, man. fuck everything. i'm going to bed.

    have you read our interview with Justin? scroll down.
  • Tuesday, June 20, 2006
      Artist Interview: Justin of Birdmonster
    please give bassist Justin of Birdmonster a big round of applause, confetti, and cakes with sugary icing for braving Noise For Toaster's first artist interview. he was a great sport, both when we chatted him up after the band's amazing performance at Great Scott and also with our crazy questions. he gave some great answers that show his humor and personal writing style, which all of you should check it out in its prime at the birdmonster blog.

    and forgive him his fluffernutter ignorance. he means well.

    Noise for Toaster: None of you have a good bio available online, but all I want is the important stuff. Where are all of you from?
    Justin: Us four birdmonsters were born in scattered parts of America, but all near one ocean or another. The band has never used anywhere but San Francisco as a homebase.

    NfT: How about the first tape you bought as a kid?
    J: The first tape I ever bought? Man. I wish I could say it was something hip or interesting, but I think it was Aerosmith's Pump. Although, you know, I still stand behind Janie's Got a Gun, but the rest is just noodly, large-mouthed rubbish. Sorry Joe Perry.

    NfT: Cheesy, I know, but what has been the biggest influence on your personal music style?
    J: We all come from different places musically, which is why I think we sound the way we do, by the way. There's no stated, agreed-upon vision.

    I must point to London Calling as my personal, biggest influence. 2 discs, no bad songs and it's surprisingly complicated without ever sounding that way. Everything's so seemless, no one tries to do too much. If London Calling was a woman, we'd be married with four children, none of which would sound like Sandanista, hopefully.

    NfT: Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, pirate or ninja?
    J: Realultimatepower be damned: I choose motherfuckin' pirates.

    NfT: On we go. Now, you're known for your explosive and high energy live shows. What's your performance mentality?
    J: Every show I've ever loved (not enjoyed, but straight up adored) walked that line between musicianship & energy. I don't want to see you stand there seeing if your shoes are untied.

    NfT: Any before-stage rituals?
    J: We always, always shake hands. It's kind of three muskateers, I know, but it's important. We did it before every song on the album too.

    NfT: Seeing as you even have a religiously-updated blog yourselves, what do you think about music/mp3 blogs influencing music in the future?
    J: There's a few things I think are incredibly important about music blogs:
    1- no review can ever properly describe a band. I'd rather get a nice, concise paragraph, and a sample. Let the listener make their own decision, not some guy who's favorite album, for all you know, might be Huey Lewis's Sports.
    2- blogfolks tend to be really supportive and true to their tastes. I think some reviewers live to pan albums or won't love something they didn't hear about first whereas most blog writers we've met were just enthusiastic, honest fans.

    Nft: What was your favorite tv show growing up? How about the theme song?
    J: My favorite show always and forever will be the Simpsons. And Jeopardy has the best theme song ever. It's kind of maddening and it serves a purpose, namely, to stress out anyone who dares challenge Ken Jennings.

    NfT: We watched you bang the shit out of a cymbal a couple of times on stage. How many cymbals do you go through a tour?
    J: [drummer] Zach's cymbals last about 5 months, maybe. The ones [guitarist] Dave & I use are usually his old ones and they never, ever make it through a tour. It's more for everyone's enjoyment than for sonic reasons, since the one we're using now sounds like a dented garbage can.

    NfT: Lastly, what everyone's dying to know, pbj or fluffernutter?
    You scream at me for this, but I don't know what fluffernutter is. I'm partial to PB&Banana, the messiah of spreadable nutness.

    - Thank you, Justin.

    Monday, June 19, 2006
      Band Of Horses @ Maxwell's, NJ - 6.17
    before i launch into my review, let me point out a few things in fine print.

  • if you haven't already, you should read my other post on the night. i decided to split up my formal review (because we're so hoity-toity around here, clearly) and the informal story-telling session because it was a pretty self-indulgent move to tell you all of the back stories, and you should have the right to choose. that's right, kids, Noise For Toaster is getting political!, not really. just kind of preachy.

  • there is no mention of openers The Can't See or Mt. Egypt because they're both mentioned in my storytime post. i have you linked to them, so if you'd like to know, go check them out. i recommend the official pages, both of which offer free mp3s. those are also the links in the other post.

  • yes. there are mp3's at the end of this post.

  • down to business. the response from the sold-out crowd in the craftily sound-proofed Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ, was incredible. it's always a great comparison to go from relatively unknown bands to a well-established trendoid favorite, as only Sub Pop can create. they were all absolutely stoked (yes, i said stoked), and guys and ladies alike cheered for them like the floor section of fourteen-year-old girls at a Britney Spears concert. Ben Bridwell would have only needed a chair to contort himself around and the audience's response would have been rather appropriate.

    they were missing a fifth member (no website has helped me in determining who is who - who is the bassist, who does the keyboards and second guitar? who were we missing, beloved writer of St. Augustine?) but to be perfectly honest, I couldn't tell the slightest difference. Bridwell, just to gush for a moment, has such an amazing voice talent. sometimes the sensitivity of it has me thinking of Kermit, to tell you the truth. live, the man sounds exactly like he does on their studio release - and with those high pitches and resounding curvatures on songs like Wicked Gil ("it's nothing, now") and The First Song, you could imagine belting, so tightly and clearly, being hard to keep up with. nahhh. nothing's too hard for Horses.

    you guys know their album, you know their sound, they're coming to see you and you'll probably go out to see them. so i won't go on and on. the hype is real, they're amazing, and the music pushes you from the front row, glances off of you and back, moving at invisible speeds, like pure whale speak in the middle of a dirty club with hardwood beer-stained floors. Bridwell seems so innocently surprised at the reception, the chance to sing the lyrics and play the music that he evidently adores. it was just so good.

    one picture for the set list (because we're crazy):

    The Great Salt Lake
    Weed Party
    The First Song
    Our Swords
    No One's Going To Love You (new)
    Part One
    Wicked Gil
    Hall & Oates Cover - You Make My Dreams
    Detlef (new)
    The Funeral
    -Boat (new)
    -Wicked Gil (alt version)

    ...yes, you read correctly, they played three new songs. i loved them all, but my personal favorite was the first that they played (No One). in the future, i think we're going to scam some recording equipment and be able to put up live recordings of new songs and things like that. in the meantime, i have a bunch of rare tracks from them, so i'll give you those. the first three are entirely different songs than on Everything All The Time, and the other three are live/demo.

    ::::yes, i'm just that nice.
    (Biding Time Is A) Boat To Row
    - my personal favorite.
    Savannah, Part 2
    I Lost My Dingle On The Red Line
    Billion Day Funeral
    - great alternative version of "The Funeral"
    The Snow Fall - now known as "The First Song"
    For Wicked Gil - some harmonizing in this demo version
      stories and times from our trialing travels in NYC & mostly NJ.
    did you miss us?

    after our god damn exhausting weekend around NYC/NJ, we come back with stories and under-eye circles galore. even though this is a music/mp3 blog, i'm taking this post to tell you a few stories behind the review that is to come.

    the genius that is the city transit system took us to the club - Maxwell's, in Hoboken - by 10. the first band, The Can't See, was not entirely rewarded with our presence (scoff) because by the second song they just weren't doing it for us, and we were overtired, overheated and underfed. we stepped outside into the not-so-cool night air, took a little walk down the intersecting street off of Washington, and sat down on a curb to take in the view of the NYC skyline across the Hudson.

    ...out of thin air a skateboarder went rushing by us, a shady dart of a figure that was one second controlledly careening around the corner and the next second was down for the count, sprawled on the ground.

    "i'm dead." a voice crawled away from the motionless figure.
    we just stared, dumbfounded.
    "i'm dead. you just watched someone die," came the voice again.
    stupidly, i just laughed, while alex choked out something to the effect of, "you okay man?" a small group around the corner peered over at the fallen figure and made a few remarks themselves.
    "ah yeah, it's cool. i drank a lot of whiskey and now i can't skateboard," he ingeniously explained. i laughed while he retrieved his board and haphazardly continued on his way. we let it go as a funny encounter and kept our station at the curb.

    we arrived back in the club just in time for the second band, Mt. Egypt. we weasled our way to the front (0% difficulty) and waited while the three of them set up. i was making subconscious notes in my head like, wow - they seem like a tight-knit band, a lot of love going on, woozy frontman but it's alright. suddenly, as the music progressively fell apart, and the bassist and drummer kept laughing and shaking their heads, it was apparent that the frontman was absolutely tanked. after a particularly bad song, the "frontman" - whom we now know is Mt. Egypt, and whose name is Travis - sauntered up to the mic and slurred an apology: "hey guys, you don't even know that song, but we just played it so bad." the audience all laughed. "i drank a lot of whiskey tonight.." suddenly, alex and i turned to each other, wide-eyed. "that's the skateboarder!" we got a good, astonished laugh out of that one. Mt. Egypt continued for three more songs, but clearly the competence rate was low (90% difficulty) - to the point that Travis kept stepping up to the bassist to watch his hands, intent upon regaining the rhythm of the song. it was funny, but rather a shame as well, because the set showed a lot of potential. i'll probably grab the studio album to see what they made of that.

    another point from the show was the degraded quality of listening. we spoke to a few kids after the show and thankfully they agreed with us, but the audience was positively rude. Travis, though somewhat provoked by alcohol, had good reason to once step up to the mic and say, "hey, you guys are pretty loud back there, you know." someone from the middle returned with, "whoa, this is Jersey!" Travis stepped back up and said, "hey, i do whatever the fuck i want."

    sometimes i can understand if an audience talks through an act they don't know, socializing in the barroom atmosphere until the headliner takes the stage. but even after Band Of Horses came on, everyone continued to talk over every song, inserting loud conversation in the beautiful quiet spaces of songs like "Part One" and even the beginning of the much-cheered for "The Funeral". the girls around us were especially locquatious, making remarks that had everyone in the vicinty rolling their eyes. no one was especially happy, like Marathonpacks described in his review of the show. there was even a small fight between an over-imbibed short blond and a very high popped-collar boy. we had an experience much more like Good Hodgkins. another huge issue for me was the flash of a million cameras, blinding and irritating me, working hard to ruin my time. one on either side of me had $200 models that lefts spots in my eyes every time they went off - which was about twelve times a song.

    i don't want to brag, and i'm not a huge baseball fan, but we don't get this in Boston.

    thank you for indulging me in the stories behind the night. the formal review is separate, clearly, and you should hit that up if you haven't already.

    i love you, NJ. you set me up in unfurnished apartments for free and provide incredibly convenient hours of travel in and out of the city. but please - next time - shut the hell up.
    Friday, June 16, 2006
      ciao for the weekend..
    hi kids.

    as alex hinted towards, we're off for the weekend to NYC, where i will eat bagels and maybe even pizza (did i mention i'm vegan?) and see Band of Horses at Maxwell's (because Bowery was sold out) and do other things. we could be at Bonnaroo.. but we're not.

    you should click on some of those links. especially the pizza one.

    so, until sundayish,

    buckle your seatbelts, tie your shoes, rock on.
      The Long Winters - Putting The Days To Bed :: Review

    you all know The Long Winters, correct? no introductions needed? good. this is business. review time.

    their third LP is coming out on Barsuk on July 25th (note: i have a horrible habit of spelling it "Barsuck," which is a rather embarrassing and hilarious mix up).

    it's a fantastic release. my personal opinion is that it surpasses the previous two ("gasp, how can you say such a thing, we adored When I Pretend To Fall with every string of our hearts and to our viscous, blood-and-guts cores, to the very fiber of our lungs and the capacity of our ribcages..") - um, yeah. well. this one is better.

    Putting The Days To Bed flows. it just... flows. it pops open the top and pours it on you - smoothly, suavely, cooly. you don't even know it but by the time Sky Is Open breaks into that eye-opening solo, you've been rocking out for (er, wince, math) almost thirteen minutes - and you haven't even blinked. you haven't cringed, not once, not even at the hyper-repetitive chorus of Teaspoon (you know to expect that from John Roderick) (and what's that i hear? Bostones-y horns? yes?). especially not at the highlighted piano in Hindsight (chills at "bailing water, i'm bailing water, because i like the shape of the boat" - oh, man). yep. it all goes down so easily.

    past track five, of course, it starts to dawn on you that you're being taken over. it's been too long to do anything about it; you're chest-deep in the thick, syrupy stuff of "extensive months after the fall season" and you're wading, a little nervous at the prospect of ever getting out. "it was that damn acoustic opening of Honest," you think to yourself, "and that slide of the steel guitar, and Roderick's pleading chorus.." but it's no use. by the time Clouds comes tinkering in with thankfully gentler vocals and a latino-style plucking (enter bass drum, enter alt country), you have your arms in the stuff, you're scooping handfuls to your mouth to get the sweetness, licking the surface like a cat lapping milk. you're thinking, can i swim in this?

    that's when Rich Wife grabs you, whisks you up and out of the ooze, shakes you off and rolls its eyes while you blink feverishly, trying to let go of the haze. with the insistent beat and Roderick's hyped warning ("i don't know why i bring you around.."), it's not long before you're on your feet, drunkenly dancing like an idiot (a happy one) to something you barely understand, and love all the more for it. that riff - oh that guitar - it comes in at the end and rattles off with the tambourine, just to pick up again with a spruced-up return of the title track from their Ultimatum EP (note: the song is significantly better now). the light of recognition passes over your mug and you're sobering up, comparing the original to the album version, making notes, you're thinking of heading over to the 'top, pondering, "should i make a post on this...?" but it passes too quickly. (It's A) Departure rings in with an Stone Temple Pilots-ish opening, a ruckus of guitar that disturbs your train of thought and a roll of drums that has you kicking out with the dancing again. you're almost exhausted.

    finally, Seven. it comes in quietly and rises, the acoustic catching your breath. you feel that sticky syrup returning, pouring over you from the crown of your head and down over your eyes, nose, into your mouth and over your clothes again (these will need to be dry-cleaned). drums come in late, after Roderick, and his voice is still tolerable (it is possible to highlight it too much) even with the returning sound of the stripped-down Ultimatum EP (minute:30, bring on the steel). by the time the song ends, you're captivated by harmony, and the repeated declaration: "I miss you, Seven." when the song ends, you do, too.

    yeah so. i hate the album.

    ::::and you thought you'd read all of that with no reward?
    The Long Winters - Sky Is Open
    The Long Winters - Rich Wife
    The Long Winters - Seven

    more mp3s here.

    BUY IT. hell, pre-order it now.
      no friends?
    well then we'll tell you how to make some! here are a few easy steps that Toaster recommends for fast results.

    step 1: note the location of our sidebar [hint: it's on the right side of the window of this page].
     step deux: scroll down the sidebar until you see the large letters that spell out "boston area shows."
     step III: find a band you like in the list, put the date and location on your datebook/planner/calendar/post-it/arm and find your way to the venue's homepage for ticket and time information. [Google can help you with that, i'm sure.]
     step eye-vee: get dressed, put on some shoes, check your fly, and make your way to your venue of choice.
     step five: before and after the band plays, make conversation with someone around you. chances are, if they're at the show too, you two have something in common. swap names and phone numbers and embark on your journey to funland.

    and there it is! you're on your way to being the most popular kid in the greater boston area. who knew?!

    so we'll keep adding shows as we find out about them, and we'll make note of it when we plan to be at one. the ones in that blue color with our initals after them are shows that we either have tickets for, will have tickets for, or will show up at. or those crossed out ones, which we've already gone to. then you can find our reviews of the shows by clicking on - where else - our respective initials! then maybe you'll learn something new or unexpected and suddenly have plans for next time they're in town! who knows?!

    today's lesson brought to you by the letter p for papaya and the number fourteen.

    Thursday, June 15, 2006
      some Mints, some Octopi, some Figurines, and some nonsense.
    so check it out:

    • we went and saw Starlight Mints last night. hot damn. i was pretty excited, i'd have to say. i too came away with a sticker, a button, and a window cling, as well as a tshirt. i love tshirts. i also came away with some photographs. my camera and i are getting to know each other pretty intimately these past few weeks:

      The Octopus Project

      Starlight Mints, after we weaseled our way to the front of the crowd

         both bands took full advantage of the wonderful world of technology. TOP is based around the concepts of guitar versus synth, drum set versus drum machine, man versus computer. the Mints had two Mac notebooks of their own out in plain view, for a lot of the horn and string stuff. it was great, and definitely exceeded expectations for such a small room. the crowd was feeling it, too.

    • if you refer to the last picture of The Octopus Project's set, you will see the female, Yvonne, with her hands sort of hovering above a box with some metal rods sticking out of it [shan has a better picture of it in action, here]. as promised, i have a brief explanation: basically, it's called a theremin, and it was the first instrument in the world intended to be played without any physical contact. Wikipedia can explain in detail here, but i'll summarize for you anyway. the metal antennae generate high-frequency radio signals, and are affected by how close a body is to them. the long straight one, generally controlled by the right hand, determines the pitch, while the looped antenna, controlled by - you guessed it - the left hand, determines the volume. it's quite the contraption and requires a hell of a lot of skill to master and command, so more credit goes to Yvonne and The Octopus Project for taking advantage of a rather obscure instrument.

    • i promised some live tracks from the Tapes 'n Tapes and Figurines show on the fifth, didn't i? well, we'll start you off with some examples of why Figurines are not the type of opening band that you want to show up late for.

      ::::because we care [and because we can]:
      Figurines - The Wonder [Live]
      Figurines - I Remember [Live]

    • until further notice, i'm not doing the video thing. i do have some clips from the past two shows, but YouTube disagrees with me and refuses to sync the audio and the video.

    • living in the Boston area and driving to and from work every day in a car that was manufactured in 1993, i don't have the luxury of a CD player and i've never made the commitment to getting myself a tape adapter and so, well, i listen to the radio. my car radio has had itself parked on WFNX for probably over a year now, and there has been no time better than right now. see, FNX is doing this big promotion with Snapple where they get to play music straight through without commercials for forty days [ending july fourth] in return for shameless namedropping and promotional events. it's really quite a big deal, and i don't care so much for the Snapple bit, but it's nice to pretty much always hear music when i'm in the car. and plus, they're giving away lots of swag like tickets and merch - and Snapple - and putting on free shows throughout the course of it. just go to their homepage and you'll see the events and shows coming up, in and around Boston, of course. Dashboard Confessional played with As Fast As to start it off, and Hawthorne Heights is up next. you can't expect to see me at anything of that sort, but i know they'll be packed and it's a great deal for anyone who's into it.

    ...whew. i think that's it for now. be safe, kids, and stay tuned for Shan & Alex's Trip To The Big Apple.
      mp3 trouble
    mmm, just to let you know, if you're looking to download an mp3 from a previous post (before the latest on the Middle East show last night), they aren't working right now. i'll let you know when we have them back up.

    yep. hosting issues. you know.
      Starlight Mints & The Octopus Project @ Middle East Upstairs, 6.14
    we're out of our minds. really.
    and i'd have to say it's pretty damn fun.

    so last night we actually managed to see The Octopus Project and Starlight Mints at the Middle East Upstairs. just to make a few blanketing statements before i get into the nitty gritty, it was a great show. surprisingly so. i know we tend to have rave reviews of the shows we go to, but that's just because we see great bands... i mean, we're just that cool.

    first that we saw (we missed the opening band, Duresse, which i feel rather guilty about) was The Octopus Project. i'm not usually an instrumental kind of person - certain family members of mine might roll their eyes - but i tend to find music entirely without vocals a slight bore. i appreciate it, certainly, and i have a few selections for studying purposes. but. The OP doesn't fall into this category. first of all, it's instrumental - yes - but hardly just that. it's electronic. it's genuinely computer-driven and merely complemented by guitars and, occasionally, real drums. with this in mind, i still wasn't prepared for the kind of show they put on; it was like a battle of weirdness, a violently swinging scale balancing conventionality and originality. i'm telling you now that at the end of the night, the battle only died down - neither won. i was really glad to have seen them do their thing live, if only for the chance to see Yvonne do her thing with that... er.. instrument... which I'm sure Alex will research and report upon. in the meantime, a picture is to the left.

    if the audience was any indication of where this band falls in the world of category, i would say they were almost purely nerdcore electronica. it was intense. watching the kids in the first two or three rows was nearly as entertaining as watching the band, if not more. they took to heart that hackneyed Chicken-Soup-esque quote "dance like no one is watching;" their moves were very original, very animated, and very.. unusual. they were elated to be in the presence of the music they clearly adore, and they closed their eyes in apparent ecstasy, as if their pulses were synchronized to the erratic beat. oh, it was great. i shimmied my hips a little, in tribute to their uncaring adoration.

    go to their myspace to stream, and here to purchase.
    ::::and you get these:
    The Octopus Project - The Adjustor
    The Octopus Project - Music Is Happiness

    after the twenty minutes it took just to take down The OP's set, we were psyched to see Starlight Mints take the stage. their show fulfilled all the expectations i had from hearing their three Barsuk releases, as well as from the videos for Popsickle (puppets! i command you to watch it on YouTube) and Inside of Me (go to their music eCard and click video). no - they're not as weird as you thought. they're oddballs that mesh well together and play weird pop music. they're really into their own show, but they don't set up giant green beasts like their touring companions. they just play, and move on. and we were completely down with it.

    they had a really great mix of stuff from all three albums. the set choice was probably influenced by the fact that it was their second-to-last stop on the tour; they mixed it up quite a bit, from what i could see, even throwing in Submarine #3 from Dream That Stuff Was Made Of. they were a lot of fun - sometimes throwing in random comments (Andy, drummer, with the sticky New Orleans subject, ouch) but mostly just letting their strange mutation of pop music do the talking. Allan has a great voice - it's boyish, snazzy, and (of course) characteristically unusual. he's a great one to watch, and doesn't even remotely commit the frontman crime of eclipsing everyone else's stage presence. if anything, he's almost as shy as bassist Javier, while sole female member Marian and drummer Andy make silly jokes and prompt keyboardist Ryan to occasionally chime in. they are an unusual group, and i think they're a little surprised everyone likes them so much. fame isn't necessarily what they're going for - just a good time on stage, meeting nice people and selling their merch embarrassingly well (i am now the new proud owner of a sticker, button, and a window clingy for my car. oh yes). yeah.. we had a great time. you should be way jealous.

    you should also stream three tracks from their album here, and then go buy it here.
    ::::i know, i know, too generous:
    Starlight Mints - Goldstar
    Starlight Mints - Torts

    we're set list snipers.
    Rhino Stomp
    The Bee
    Black Cat
    Rinky Dinky
    Eyes Of The Night
    Zillion Eyes
    What's Inside Of Me?
    Seventeen Devils
    The Bandit
    Submarine #3

    their tour is ending, so i can't really tell you to go see them, but the next time they're in your area, just go. we did.
    Wednesday, June 14, 2006
      MusicGremlin. new technology for flopping.
    well, well.

    Largehearted Boy pointed me in the direction of this new mp3 player called MusicGremlin. i read the article, which you can read here, and suddenly got excited - an alternative to the iPod that actually sounds pretty damn good.

    Today, a small New York City company called MusicGremlin Inc. is rolling out a fresh approach to denting the iPod hegemony: the wireless music player. Its new $299 Gremlin portable player has built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking, so it can download songs from an accompanying subscription service directly, without requiring the use of a personal computer.

    Not only that, but Gremlin users can wirelessly exchange entire songs right from their players, legally, as long as both the sender and receiver are subscribers to the MusicGremlin Direct service, which costs $14.99 a month. This process, called "beaming," allows you to share songs with your Gremlin-toting pals, no matter where they are, without ever using a computer or a CD burner. You can even peer into other users' Gremlins to see what they're playing and what they've downloaded, and pluck any song you like from their devices, if they give you permission.

    now. i'm not an iPod hater. i had a non-click wheel one long before the hype, and shamelessly threw it in everyone's face after they started getting their minis and click wheels (oh yeah, i'm one of those). now i have a video one, and it plays me videos, and has the neat little picture of the album when a track is playing. it's my friend on the T and plane rides. i like friends. i like iPods. i like Apple, for that matter.

    but i don't like iTunes. i don't like monopolies - strong holds on any particular market scare me. and if there is one thing Mac seriously did correctly, it was gaining king-of-the-hill status in the digital music world - and thusly the digital music player. i don't know, is that right? can't we give other things a chance? must we all be lemmings? "Suzy has an iPod nano. everyone likes Suzy. i want an iPod nano, too." i suppose that example works for everything from an iPod to a Tamagotchi to a particular brand of hair elastic (man, grade school was so sick). but it also works for 52-year-olds sitting down and watching television, seeing an iPod commercial and going from "kids these days," to "hey, i used to like U2," to "it costs what??" to "son/daughter, i bought myself this gadget, can you show me how it works?" to "honey, i'm sorry, i racked up $145 worth of songs on iTunes this morning." soon they're cooking dinner with their iPod on, swinging their hips and humming loudly to nostalgic 60's oldies and 80's Top 40 and James Blunt.

    ...but this player won't get anywhere. first of all, it doesn't work with a Mac, and guess what i own? and guess what the grand majority of kids going to college in the next five to ten years are going to get? and guess what is still better looking, better marketed, and better situated to the point of all hopeless competition? yep. you bet. Macs. iPods. oh well.

    how do you like my token iPod and Musicgremlin pictures? you can thank Amazon. also, if you'd like to take the new gadget into consideration, you can buy it here, or through Amazon, here.
    Tuesday, June 13, 2006
      i know, i know..
    i'm a super sleuth.

  • just because i'm allergic to brazil nuts doesn't mean i can't read this particularly awesome Said the Gramophone post about Tom Ze (Brazilian) and Loki (Scotland native. admittedly i'm not savvy on the butterscotch reference. oh - just go read).

  • i think i'm probably the last to know, but Pedro the Lion is going solo. that's right. the one-man music maker is heading out to make music on his own. the solo artist PtL is going solo. anyone catching the irony yet? go check out his official site, which reveals that the "debut" EP "Fewer Moving Parts" dropped today. i'll get my hands on it and do a longer review.

  • San Diego Serenade continues to make me laugh like hell (and embarrass me in public) with posts on Sound Team and seals. yeah, that's right, he actually manages to relate the mammal back to music - and Springsteen to boot.

  • i think this is pretty sweet. Fader Mag is now available for free as a podcast on iTunes. this is a first for iTunes (soon they'll be offering cookbooks and kung-fun how to's, i'm telling you). i HIGHLY suggest you hit this up, because fader is one of the last best publications on alternative music. get your podcast subscription here - totally free. i mean it. if you click this, you'll go to itunes. yes way.

    also... what's up with this blogger bull...
  •   Great Scott 06.12.06 - Birdmonster. Period.
    shan has already posted her review here and everyone seems to agree: Birdmonster rocked. even they were pleased with it. being the taller of our little co-op, i have pictures for you loyal folks and a few thoughts of my own.

    our conundrum was as follows: a period of time ago, we had purchased tickets to see The Boy Least Likely To. last week, at the Tapes 'n Tapes show, we were handed a flyer and thus reminded that Birdmonster was playing on the twelfth [for those of you playing along at home, that was last night]. all that we knew when we left the north shore on monday night [still last night] was that we were driving towards boston and getting off of storrow drive...somewhere. our attempts to rationalize the decision failed, kind of like a fat kid choosing between types of cake. it was rough. so basically, we committed to Birdmonster once we drove by the exit where we would have been able to see TBLLT [tybalt? what?] and: welcome to Great Scott. band-from-around-the-corner Age Rings has some decent potential. there were seven of them, as noted, but the actual drummer was missing and they were welcoming a new acoustic guitarist and they just didn't click. we'll see what happens when they put out their first album. The Talk? they come from Charlottlesville, North Carolina, and they're kind of a mix of pop-punk basslines, rough guitars, and loud drums. we needed air and quiet for a few minutes, so in hopes of lessening the permanent damage to our ear drums, we stepped outside for a break during their set.

    in talking to Justin after the show, after we made sure his hand was okay from beating the cymbal to death in the encore [he made sure to note that they bought that cymbal the night before, purely for the purpose of beating it to death], the concept of rocking came up. he grew up around shows where the bands were there to rock and the performers would do just that: perform. flinging their bodies around, whipping their instruments through the air, feeling their music, engaging their audience. the energy that radiates from a performance like that is more than enough to make up for a few missed notes. it grabs your attention and gets inside you. it's more than just a show at that point; you feel like a part of it. and that is exactly what Birdmonster did last night. they drew us all in with the smooth, seductive sounds of Ice Age and then proceeded to blow us away. they played off each other, they played to us, they played like they believed what they were playing.

    and we could feel it.

    they like what they're doing, and we like them for it. it was the first show of their inaugural east coust tour, and we were lucky enough to have been there. don't expect them to burn out anytime soon, either, because they're having fun doing this. make sure you find them on one of their stops, too, the dates for which you can find at their official site, their myspace, or you can just stalk them at their blog, which they'll be updating from the back seat of the van. if you need some convincing, check out these here photographs.

    all was calm, at first.

    but then, you know...

    then they brought the rock.

    it really was a whole lot of fun. the girl with the shaker and the girl with the tambourine would agree, i'm sure.

    p.s. i have some goodies to post once i get myself together:
    • choice tracks from the recordings of last week's Tapes 'n Tapes, Figurines, and Cold War Kids show
    • a short video from Birdmonster last night
    • a few new tracks from Muse, if you're nice
    • a legitimate entry containing something other than pictures from a show

    just stay tuned, Toaster promises we won't let you down.

    NOTE: as much as toaster loves free music, he'd like to encourage you to buy the cds of the artists you enjoy. he'd also like to remind you that any music hosted by or linked to from this page is property of its respective owners, so if that's you and you'd like it to not be here, just let us know.

    READ ME: if files are not working properly upon opening or saving [ex: unknown file type], make sure that there is a .mp3 at the end of the filename, and all will be well.

    also: all files posted will only remain available for two to three weeks. if you find something in an old post that you'd really like to hear, tell us.

    be our god damn myspace friend. damn it.