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Monday, July 31, 2006
  The Bird And The Bee

::::mp3: The Bird And The Bee - I'm A Broken Heart

per a few posts by both Loudersoft and TTIKTDA(welcome back), i have been delighted to discover what will soon be my latest obsession, The Bird And The Bee. what you hear is the voice of the lovely Inara George coupled with the aiding musicianship of Greg Kurstin, of whom i have not heard heretofore. it's absolutely lovely pop music, defined on terms of their love for music and their compatible song-writing style. oh, hush, listen you loud-rocking fuckers!

so i never do this, but i'd like to let them cut to the chase for you:
Greg and Inara met a few years ago. Discovered a common love of jazz standards...nerded out for a couple of hours playing every song they knew...and then wrote and recorded a record together.

they plan to release a full record before January 2007 on Bluenote. i can tell you that i will be ecstatic to receive it.
  Bloc Party, Secret Machines, Mew @ Pavilion, 7.28
friday night we braved the flash monsoons to see Mew, Secret Machines, and headliners Bloc Party at the Bank of America Pavilion. yeah, it was sick.

unfortunatelyyyyyy, our pictures absolutely suck, so instead of pretending you can get anything out of them, we're making the excuse that our intention was for you to get an idea of how impressive the light display was. we also only have Bloc Party photos. so we're really handicapped in this post, now. we won't get offended if you go check out clicky clicky's post instead.

no words, just look, sorry. i'm sorry.

Saturday, July 29, 2006
  One Hundredth Post Day. (a mix for you.)
i'll tell you what - today, life is good. it's absolutely gorgeous, the humidity wave is over, we're not at the Pitchfork Music Festival (like everyone else) but we are home, enjoying our own home-home town's humble festivities... and it doesn't get a whole hell of a lot better than this.

conveniently, we have another reason to celebrate on top of it all -

what you read now is our one-hundredth post. that's right, push you over with a feather, i know. all of you seasoned bloggers may scoff but we're proud of our little hundred and on we go. but first, a celebratory mix! holy shit!

::::100th post: the

songs were chosen based solely on what we've found and/or blogged about since the birth of Noise For Toaster. we left out a ton of favorites in order not to overwhelm you (or ezarchive). enjoy.

here's the tracklisting:
The Minders - "There Goes My Formula!"
- - this is one of the best intros to an album i've heard in a while, and this is very key for me.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Pangea
- - this followed nicely, and the pop is a great jump-start to the mix.
Regina Spektor - Hotel Song
- - frequently passed over on the album, i love this track of Reg's.
Orillia Opry - Lucky Wind
- - though i never posted on the band way back at the beginning of June, i think this is great folk and shows a lot of talent for such young kids.
Office - The Big Bang Jump!
- - kicking it up a notch... great eighties influence, good jam. yo.
The Weepies - Take It From Me
- - how much do i love the sound of her voice? one of the most played songs on my iTunes.
Cansei de Ser Sexy - Music Is My Hot Hot Sex
- - for all the hype surrounding this Sub Pop signing, they really live up to it all. this track is both funny and genius.
Feist - Mushaboom
- - bringing this one back because Open Season re-got me into it. oh feist.
The Long Winters - Hindsight
- - by far my favorite song from the newest album. John Roderick is a lyrical mastermind.
Psapp - Tricycle
- - slowing it down to the sweetness of their noise pop. love that.
Lily Allen - Everything's Just Wonderful
- - yeah, hype... but come on. summer fun. this song is (per the usual) both funny and catchy. there you are.
Shapes and Sizes - Island's Gone Bad
- - a band perfect for Asthamtic Kitty, i love the transition in this song - and kind of like everyone else, i love the female vocals.
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
- - if it's cliche for this song to be my favorite, i don't mind. see them live.
Apollo Sunshine - Phyllis
- - hands down, best Boston band out there right now. i can't believe there isn't a hype for these guys yet. this cut is to wind up the album to craziness...
Boat - Free The Birds In The Stall
- - and now settle, because pop masters Boat will sail you to indie euphoria.

tadaa. have fun with all of that... you know we are.
[p.s., if you'd like any single files and not the whole zip file, let us know.]
Thursday, July 27, 2006
  Sound Team, Cold War Kids @ TT the Bear's, 7.26
hey there. how's it goin'.

last night was the much-buzzed-about show trio: Midlake, Cold War Kids, and headliners Sound Team at TT the Bear's. for reasons i wish were actually excusable, we did not make it to the Midlake performance - and man, do i regret that. every time i listen to The Trials of Van Occupanther i get goosebumps, for pete's sake (poor pete). but. anyway. onwards -

[full flickr set]

Cold War Kids

we arrived a little later into their set than i would have liked, but we caught them (and maybe my favorite song, Hospital Beds) just in time to see them break a sweat and really showcase their infamously incredible live performance. i was encouraged at the turnout (regardless of how much the small venue had to do with making it look packed) and was glad to have seen them again.


i have always enjoyed this band immensely, regardless of proclaimed hype or recent bad reviews or anything else. they were unfortunate in having to go on after their opener's performance (as they say, tough act to follow), and it did their cut-and-dry routine no favors that we were tired out of our minds and yawning like assholes before they even got to the last three songs of their set. god, i felt so rude. but they're very fun and having six members allowed them to bounce their own energy off of each other and create something well worth seeing.

other Boston kids were there - though as usual, we didn't meet up, and they remain a mystery. but there's proof of their having been there:
Hello Gina
(more as they come along... if they come along?)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
  Siren Music Festival 2006: we went too, you know.
the reason for the awful delay of this post is pure laziness and the realization that we were such rookies to the game. we have no good band pictures - none of Dirty On Purpose, Art Brut, The Rogers Sisters - none. so instead of pretending to have anything more interesting to say or show than Ear Farm, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, or this guy that loves Man Man - i'm just going to quietly say, hey, it rocked, it rained and was hot and crowded and yesthesoundwasbad - but we had a lot of fun.

our alternative pictures:
[see the set and hilarious comments (cough) at our flickr that loves you back.]

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
  at what point did you stop believing me?

Bound Stems - Appreciation Night

play our songs and never grow up!

so promises Chicago's Bound Stems. i love this band. a lot. i simply enjoy their weirdness and the thematic score (if you will) that they compose as the album grows. though their city inspires most of the sound and subject matter, it's about the progression of life, from kickball in alleyways to the blushing-cheeks grade school crushes to the noisy move out on your own. they translate the insanity of leaving adolescence into an audible sensation - a lyrically and instrumentally adept look into that exciting obliviousness and unsteady... whatever. it rises and falls like the same hills and dips of elation and disappointment that happen almost daily. it's crazy, it's noisy, it's delightful. there is a whole story written of fifteen tracks to relate to, and you want to hear the story over and over.

vocals have everything you can't get enough of from Isaac Brock, and the music itself leaves the same aftertaste as Wolf Parade's rawness and Broken Social Scene's experimental unpredictability. both male and female vocals blend well, and the lyrics are simple, minimalistic (not minimal - they're an integral part) and they take great care to either speak or sing according to the entire feel of the track. some instruments get carried away, but we can forgive them that.

Appreciation Night is their debut LP. their EP - The Logic Of Building The Body Plan - got quite the round of attention and was enjoyed by some and actually angered others.

::::goodness gracious.
Bound Stems - Andover
Bound Stems - Wake Up, Ma And Pa Are Gone
Bound Stems - Excellent News, Colonel

it all drops September 19th on Flameshovel Records (more mp3s), which is so far away they aren't even talking about pre-ordering yet. but keep it in the back of your mind, yo.
also, check their myspace. great pictures of these guys.
Monday, July 24, 2006
  Funky Nashville: Hitch A Ride

Funky Nashville - Hitch A Ride

news flash: Nashville is not in Kentucky. in case you didn't know, it's in Tennessee. finding this out was a cringe-worthy moment (thanks, Daniel) but now i know, and i'll probably still make the mistake again regardless. but now - Funky Nashville? my eyes are rolling. painfully cheesy name, huh? block o' cheese. cheez-whiz style, oh yeah. but the truth is, this band is prime aged cheddar, NY's Dean & DeLuca's style.

dairy metaphors aside, i like this band a lot, and they're not even from this country (Denmark) let alone the southern rock haven. the albums they're putting out are very different from everything the indie scene represents right now. it's not obscure, there are no electronic beeps or blips, and not even any synths. it's pure rock, with classic influences and deep deep roots quite obviously implanted in the rich rock history of their Tennesse namesake (hm, got it right that time). i hear blues, funk, soul, country - all within a finely-tuned array of tracks that keep the listener's interest consumingly piqued.

the album kicks off with the first single, title-track Hitch A Ride. it's a good and obvious choice. it's friendly; you get the instant pleasure of a hook and a foot tapping along. if there's one thing you can expect from Funky Nashville, it's their consistency and sure-footedness. they know their craft, they know their influences, and they know what you'll like - and good-god-damn, they're going to give it to you.

the rest of the album never strays too far from single material. jamming along though varying degrees of bluesy classic rock, you get waves of good 'ol times and waves of losing your wife/dog/truck, breakin' heart blues. the steel is never heavy (ever) and there is no voice distortion, nothing to ever draw comparisons to (gulp) Tim McGraw. basically, it's not country. it's so many things, from latino influences to old Western soundtracks. really, it's quite amazing what they can pull off every time. so listen up: it's sure, it's good, and it's talking about that good'olfeelgood stuff. if you've spun the new BOAT album one too many times or Klee's airy Honeysuckle just isn't grabbing you like you thought it would - this'll do the trick. they promise.

::::here are the two first singles:
Funky Nashville - Hitch A Ride
Funky Nashville - La Luna

- - - i am surprised and almost disappointed that this is one of the singles. there are so many other songs that are so much better, and yet i cannot give them to you. i urge you to acquire them yourself.

Hitch A Ride is on 215 Music. go purchase the damn thing, prettily packaged all the way from Denmark. also check the myspace, do the friend thing, check tour dates..
  Wolf Music
today we received an email from a guy calling himself "Wolf Music," and for some reason - out of all the artist emails we get - this one stuck out to me. i clicked his link, waded through the less-than-perfect english and very simple site layout (he warns: "I'm not a HTML programmer....So these pages won't get nominated for any kind of design award, that's for sure"), learning about his inspiration (RadioheadlateRadioheadallRadiohead) and his homestudio/songwriting background. okay, alright.

then i venture to the music page, and find about twelve or so songs up for download. i grab only the first page's worth and... well, you want to know how the music is, don't you?

::::courtesy of
Wolf Music - All The Way Back

- - - this track is tied with the third for my favorite, i think. it's sonorous, and a big sound for its home recording. heavy heavy Radiohead, here, but his vocals are nothing like Yorke's and he's just... hopeful. great entrances for the electric over the driving piano.
Wolf Music - Where I Wanna Be
- - - "And in case you wonder: the cheesy keyboard sound at the beginning is NOT an accident" - this was actually helpful to hear. it is cheesy, but it's catchy, and it's about as upbeat as you'll hear him get. good, though.
Wolf Music - Journey's End
- - - per his comments, this track is meant to lift the mood following a different song that precedes it on his personal list. that may be true, but this is another downer - again, in that addictive Radiohead kind of way. there are traces of R.E.M. here more than i picked up in any other track. also, anyone know The Church? they're a huge Aussie band that had most of their hits here in the late 80's/early 90's.. well this guy should pick up their stuff, because he sounds a LOT like them, especially vocally.

and there you are. you might be tired of Wolf bands, but i insist you'll enjoy these tracks.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
  Ill Lit - Tom Cruise

i've been sitting on Ill Lit for weeks and weeks now, and without very good reason. maybe it was the name of the album - er, Tom Cruise, if you can believe it - or maybe it was the intense and album-cover-obvious country aspect. oh, so country. count-er-ee (i can't spell it phonetically or i'd be crossing huge lines, wouldn't you say?). yes, yes.

the thing is, it's good stuff. it's beautiful alt-country of the Wilco/Andrew Bird variety, complete with both organic acousticness and synthed-up beats and twists. it's pop, delicious pop, twinged with everything you love from alt country giants and everything you'd ask for in what could be its strongest aspect - the vocals. it is the answer to cravings and fulfillment of requests, like that cool wind drawing from you your deep breath on these hot days. i like every song. my final word? it's too good to be so entirely unknown as it is.

::::as always, here you are:
Ill Lit - Satan's Doing Fine Without Me
Ill Lit - Los Angeles

the shame is that very little of their information is updated to include the new album.
the myspace - check out some tracks..
buy it from cdBaby
Friday, July 21, 2006
  Lollapalooza: three bands
here i'm going to slip in three bands (all at once! yes!) that you probably (er, definitely) already know. i would just feel more comfortable if i had these out of the way because we're psyched that they're there and if you're going, you should be too.

Oh No! Oh My!

this blogger-friendly, Kentucky-residing Nashville-residing [what the hell was i talking about?] band has really gathered speed on their way to, er, indie stardom (we're all so full of ourselves with this hipster shit, aren't we?). kid-friendly melodies mixed with hilariously adult lyrics have given their self-titled debut LP quite a long time on Insound's Top Seller list, whether at #1 or #4 (as it is now), as well as a continous fury of blog mentions (which is an accomplishment in itself at our usual pace). i suggest you:
read Stylus's review (pshht, B-, whatever),
check their myspace for tour dates and stuff,
listen to their WOXY lounge act set,
and of course buy their album!

Cold War Kids

i typically don't like to use the word phenomenal because it's awfully hackneyed and besides, i like to stretch out my sentences as much as possible when i'm being hyperbolical. but CWK are so damn good in their live performances that it's very hard for me not to gush and say: wow. yep. phenomenal. predominantly beginning with their TnT/Figurines tour, these California rockers have widely caught the attention of bloggers, scenesters, and tour bookers alike - now following up with a tour supporting Sound Team and, of course, a spot on the crazy Lolla lineup.
catch up and:
check the 'space and seriously see them live
i don't know this guy, but he reviewed both CWK and Apollo Sunshine, which is the best fucking band ever.
everyone loves them... check around... blogger favorite.

Mates of State

i would imagine it would be insulting for me to actually start telling you about this San Fransisco girl/boy duo, so i won't. i love their sound and maybe even moreso their image - c'mon, what indie chick doesn't have some soft spot for couples that play sweet, sweet music together? (cough.) but cutesy references aside, this pair - along with the brother/sister element in Fiery Furnaces, and others - are continously paving the way for what seems like another genre altogether (much more acceptably than the White Stripes. as Nathanial pointed out in this IGIF post, more and more of these duos are cropping up with good sound and good intentions. they're free to rock like everyone else. if they're married, divorced, dating, related - we don't mind. let them hold hands and sing us a song.
do yourself a favor and:
check their myspace... just because.
listen on epitonic! those guys are so badass, i love them.
also listen on indie interviews, another site i adore. yess.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
  Lollapalooza: Anathallo


i'm well known to disparage the reviews of Pitchfork that are inappropriately low, and i guess it's with good reason. however - though i'm actually quite a fan of this Michigan collective - i'm not about to go on a rant about their undeserved 2.7. instead, i'm going to admit that i see what they're saying (or at least why it would have been low. Sufjan comparisons hurt, though).

Anathallo are out there. compositionally, their album Floating World is arguably genius; the instrumentation and emotive quality are incredible (in my opinion), and it's obvious that having seven members really contributed to the project. as far as collectives go, this is kind of all that i ask for.

they aren't Polyphonic Spree, not by any stretch of the imagination. there are literally only seconds of songs that would imply even the same feel or tonality. but as for Broken Social Scene, they're the closest i can think of in terms of... oh... accessibility. i am a huge, huge fan of BSS, and therefore i tend to like everything they produce; i'm just fully aware that they're not for everyone. but - like Anathallo - they know how to write a pop song, and can, and do. it's just more often that they tend towards obscurity. Anathallo's version of this obscurity strays from the norms of all indie pop, venturing into operatic vocals, airy and ethereal melodies and.... well, it loses you.

if for no other reason than curiosity, we plan to check them out at Lolla to see how in the world they manage to bring their act to the stage, but we'll see them opening for Rainer Maria and The Format as well. here is the tour page for that.

::::go get tracks per their purevolume site: here you are, loves.

their myspace
buy the newest album
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
  Ben Kweller, new mp3
considering how much i've always been into his stuff (Sha Sha is still my favorite, you can say anything you want) i can't believe i didn't know Ben Kweller was putting out a new album. but indeed he is. you can get the scoop on the release date and albumish stuff here (very handy dandy newslettery dealie). you can also discover the husband and father factors all over the message board and the myspace... actually, not so much the latter. yeah. whatever.

my point? the in-the-know asshole (i'm totally saying that as like a term of endearment, trust me) over at Stereogum has the "debut mp3" from the new album and i instruct you this instant to go check it out. right here. i'm personally excited about the new venture because... well, here:
The entire album was written and recorded by Ben. He played every instrument from drums to sleigh bells. Of course there's guitars and pianos and claps and glockenspiels and harmonicas and organs and much, much, more....And the title is simply, BEN KWELLER.

i like him. he's a good guy. go get the song, now.
  Lollapalooza: What Made Milwaukee Famous

What Made Milwaukee Famous

the fact that i have not yet written about this band is for no other reason than to save it as the kick-off band to what will be a very selective Lollapalooza profiling. this will last the few weeks we have left before we ship off to Chicago, and will concentrate on independent artists rather than wasting our breath telling you all about the Chili Peppers or The Shins. so here we are, Day One of this gig, fifteen days to go. first up is WMMF.

this Austin, TX based band is young and ambitious. when the news that their first LP release Trying To Never Catch Up was slated for release on Barsuk, the word that circulated through the blogs sounded a lot like warnings: basically, get yourself acquainted before everyone else does, and quickly.

though we've known about the signing for some time now, it's only been recently that WMMF has been spreading the word per their official site (linked above) and their myspace. the album's re-release will come out August 22nd, but you can can grab two tracks now thanks to their new uber-indie sign.

::::here you are. thank them, not us.
WMMF - I Decide
WMMF - Sweet Lady
Monday, July 17, 2006
  The Format - new website
we here at NfT happen to really, really like The Format.

so when we were alerted that they prettied up their website, we had to go take a gander.

god damn! they weren't kidding! this shit rocks. it's interactive (a little more video game than the new Sound Team site) and entertaining and good enough for even the most ADD of us. for instance. you see that dog there? he flies where you move your arrow keys. you can float him on up to meet the band, check out contacts, get mp3s... there's even a dude that catches him in a butterfly net..

go check it out here, in case you haven't already. now.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
  The Killers - When You Were Young
The Killers (i don't have to link you to them, right?) have a new single out, as you may have heard. you may have also heard Brandon Flowers say that their upcoming album, Sam's Town, is going to be the best of the year, or something to that effect. i can at least tell you that it's probably one of the most anticipated so far.

let's hope this first sample isn't any indication of what the rest of the album sounds like.

::::my oh my
The Killers - When You Were Young

Brandon has been quoted as saying that their new sound is somewhat Springsteen-influenced; this particular example is heavy on the Bruce. for those who are fans of that, they'll eat this up. if you're not, you'll probably focus on the fact that the instrumentation is pretty good, probably the best part of the song. it's well produced, with strings and synth and changing dynamics and everything. but when it comes down to it, the thing everyone hears right away is the vocals. he sings about two notes the entire song, in a more nasaly and obnoxious tone than before, and at least for me, it brings the overall picture down a few notches. just see for yourself and tell me if i'm wrong.

Edit: yep. trouble on that one.
Friday, July 14, 2006
  gone again. don't cry.
hey there, kids.

as usual we're skipping town for the weekend and heading back out to the condensed urban area that resides in that state we all know as the new York. that's right, New York City, again. what's up bagels.

our excuse for heading there is Coney Island's Siren Music Festival, which features some relatively good bands (Stars, TnT, Art Brut - i still like them!, The Stills - kind of, Dirty On Purpose... etc...). go to my super-reliable joint Oh My Rockness for a funny take on the whole thing ("She Wants Revenge: no comment" = our exact feelings).

i was hoping to go to Boris (aka Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, yessiree) at Mercury, but that's clearly not going to fly, so. if anyone has any recommendation of after 9 pm plans, hit up my screen name, will you?

anyway. join us Sunday night to see if the bands were worth the 90 degree heat. miss us.

we love you too.

[closed captioning provided by my lovers over at Oh My Rockness. i am infinitely jealous of you NYC indie scenesters. they do all the work for you. be grateful..]
Thursday, July 13, 2006
  Black Fiction: Ghost Ride
about a month ago we got a few promos in the mail and one of them was this band with fantastic cover art and Animal Collective and old Beck comparisons. we popped it in, drowned it out by making food while it was playing, and never really spun it again.

i hate these kinds of mistakes.

in one day (today), two of my daily reads - Skatterbrain and GvB - both posted on the band raving about them. i sighed, mumbled the long version of wtf, and brought them up in my itunes.

yeahhhhhhh... they're goooood... i admit it.......

Black Fiction is a band from my Favorite Place On Earth, San Francisco. this gets them my props right away. but what earns them my liking (with a more diligent, attentive listen) is their creativity. yeah, creativity. their comparisons are right-on, but not necessarily because of any immediate auditory relevancies. it is more that they can't quite be defined, or matched, or pegged; they're quite above the petty games of genres and conventionality. recipe for a blogger favorite? i think so.

start off with Great Mystery. with the repetitive noise tracks, synths, and their signature highlighted and complicated percussion - you have a start that doesn't grab you, but tricks you. i think that's why we were originally able to go about our business and miss it - miss the simple tweaking and the uncommon instruments (glockenspiel! these guys are killer) that make all the difference.
go get this track from Matt at Skatterbrain, where i linked you already.

Magic Hands? uh, yeah, i friggin love this song. frequently i skip the lyrics when i'm listening to unusual indie genres, because they tend not to be prominent (or they're just plain nonsensical/irrelevant). but these lyrics make the song. sung by anyone else, they'd be thrown accusations of pansy shit, and my eyes would roll and i'd pass it by. but the style of execution (god i love being technical) is so damn cool that i'd like to geek out and to put the words in my myspace profile. i won't though. maybe.
by far, the best part is the first transition in tempo and added perc at his declaration, "all you have to do, is dance with me."
::::yes, please, listen: Black Fiction - Magic Hands

no, i won't go through every track with you (much less upload them all) but the next one, title-track Ghost Ride, is what propels your further interest. three strikes? no, just three easy steps from curiosity, to interest, to acceptance. the acoustic guitar and glockenspiel (yesss), little tingles of Gonzalez-like Latino plucking, and blended "la la las" accompany an echoey vocal track and lasts for four minutes without losing my good opinion. watch out at three minutes for harmonica and a transforming beautiful melody that really draws you in completely. now you're hooked. sorry.
::::you want to get hooked too, trust me: Black Fiction - Ghost Ride

lastly on my list is You Can Find Me, which is a gem past the point of no return with these guys. at two minutes and thirty-eight seconds, i am consistently impressed with their instrumental versatility and their ability to transform otherwise simple melodies and concepts into complex and innovative pieces. in this song, a gentle and unhalting acoustic bumbles along somewhat in the vein of Iron & Wine, but is backed by a little lawn-mower action and great fuzz that clouds you over. it's a nice one, i'm telling you.
::::free to grab: Black Fiction - You Can Find Me

the track that's causing all the hubbub elsewhere is the infectious I Spread the Disease, and it's a great one. but i won't steal their thunder. head over to either link (above) to grab it, if you haven't already.

the album drops on Howells Transmitter in just over a week (July 25th). buy.
also, head over to their myspace and download two tracks that won't be on their upcoming album.
  Weezer calling it quits... again.
apparently Rivers is too good for the band now that he graduated from Harvard.
"I've been writing a lot. I don't know what'll happen with these songs — if anything — I just sort of write them and I can't stop. I certainly don't see them becoming Weezer songs, and I don't really see the point of a solo career. ... The band is all back in Los Angeles, and I sometimes I speak with Patrick, and I occasionally e-mail with Brian and Scott, but we've never mentioned getting together. Really, for the moment, we are done."

interesting. the solo career bit? that's because he's a neurotic bastard that couldn't hold stardom on his own. the fact that they made it big on MTV and made it onto the playlists of every Laguna Beach wannabe is the irony and demise of nerd rock in itself; he was meant to sit in his room, only lit by the glow of his computer, and hack into things.

too bad they had to ride out on Make Believe, but because they did, i'm finding it reeeeeally hard to give a shit. so much so, that i'm surprised i made a post on it.

don't worry, it took me thirty seconds.

[thanks to stereogum for the convenient quotage.]
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
  here and there
i'm back to the job grind, and so the blog suffers. but do check out the cool stuff happening and a'happenin:

  • Pitchfork is at it again with inappropriate reviews, this time on Anathallo's Floating World, here. i like these guys a lot, and i've been waiting to do a review of them until we start profiling for Lollapalooza. i won't bother to tell you what i think of the painfully low 2.7, but i'll direct you to GvB and IGIF for similar opinions.

  • yesterday Largehearted Boy made a really decent and comprehensive list of everything that came out today. it's pretty amazing. i know alex is pumped for Every Move A Picture, and i'm personally stoked for The Format. the two most obviously buzz-worthy are Sufjan Stevens's The Avalanche and Thom Yorke's The Eraser (no links necessary, seriously). i would attempt to say something clever here, but they've had their posts and i already have a favorite "funny post," by Catbirdseat, here.

  • do go indulge marathonpacks in his first-ever podcast while we sit around and figure out if we should do the same.

  • sometimes i close the curtains, light incense, and do little chants in full lotus position to thank Buddha for Said the Gramophone. try on this post and see what i mean.

  • check out Skatterbrain's staggeringly long interview with John Patterson of The Grates. very good, and he uses the myspace survey thing. nice touch, kitschy-cool.

  • i rarely link to fluxblog, and since there is absolutely no reason for that, i thought i would direct you to Matthew's post on Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, who died Friday. sad as hell, and this one is well-done.

  • i'm kind of just getting around to completely falling in love with Boat, and i'm lucky because their album actually dropped today. you should expect a post on them soon. in the meantime, you can download all four songs on their myspace (which is what i linked you to), and you can read all about them here. or you can wait until i sell them to you. they're very good.

    that's all.. for now.. yep. woo, tired.
  • Monday, July 10, 2006
      boston loyalty
    just popping in quickly. i wanted to say that in response to the trend of my fellow boston bloggers, namely this post by the great rbally, we thought we should jump on the bandwagon and show some support as well. the result is a totally and completely ripped-off list of boston blogs (thanks Jennings) on our sidebar. check it out for some really great sites and different perspectives of the music scene as we see it.
    ..because we're so god damn different from all of you. obvi. (ously.)

    read below for alex's Every Move A Pictureage..
      Every Move A Picture: Boston debut 7.06 and record debut 7.11
    disco rock has recently become almost trendy. record labels are signing band after band that rides their hi-hat like it's their job. there are plenty of bands that can play their sixteenth notes fine and record some synths for the background, but there aren't a ton who do it well.

    welcome Every Move A Picture.

    four guys from San Francisco whose only reachable web site is their myspace, who play "indie/new wave/alternative," and who have their act together. i get the new wave claim; they use a Mac with some pre-programmed beeps and blips for lack of a separate live keyboardist. the synth stuff is actually rather prominent on the album and even off the laptop live. at the core of it, though, their overall sound has a solid disco rock groove.

    their debut album Heart=Weapon comes out tomorrow on V2 Records. it has ten songs, as is common for most debut indie releases, but it covers a wide spectrum of feeling within their genre. it's almost like they were told to follow a formula: you're supposed to have x many uptempo songs, a ballad or two, some singles, something quiet... so they took that and had a field day. sure, they have the right parts of the equation, but they went above and beyond the requirements. the music is tight, and they have a solid feel within their own sound. Brent Messenger has the perfect voice to mesh with Allen Davis's guitar and Joey Fredrick's bass. Dan Aquino is the rock, driving their sound from behind his set. they seem to know exactly what they're going for and have done it right for their first release.

    ::::listen up - four diverse tracks
    Every Move A Picture - Signs Of Life
    Every Move A Picture - The Best Is On The Outside
    Every Move A Picture - Chemical Burns
    Every Move A Picture - Outlaw

    Dan again

    as for their live show? they totally rocked the Paradise last thursday. the music is just as tight, the energy is pumping, and they don't rely on any one thing to pull their show. Brent's voice and performance isn't necessarily in the background, but it isn't the overpowering centerpiece; it just fits. Allen is off on his side, often caught in a power stance, facing the mysterious little dinosaur that we noticed halfway through the set. Dan is drumming by the light of the laptop, an eerie glow that leaves his limbs in a blueish blur over the set. Joey? he's kind of the average guy. he wears a striped sweater (which you'll find in some of their myspace pics) and stands in the same place, quietly and dutifully playing his part. they're a dynamic group with a dynamic sound, and well worth seeing and hearing.

    the set listthe set list:

    Chemical Burns
    Mission Bell
    On The Edge Of Something Beautiful (At 12 AM)
    Love And Secession
    The Best Is On The Outside
    Signs Of Life
    St. John's Night

    Sunday, July 09, 2006
      can i stay.

    Ray Lamontagne
    Until The Sun Turns Black

    oh, simplification. oh emotion, rejection, anger heartbreak gut-wrenching fear. oh sonorous description. do you need words, or do you need enveloping sound; do you need it to take you away - you will be taken away. prefer not the doldrums of base words, inexplicable syllables hitting the otherwise silent air, darts of sound that maintain nothing but the name of good advice. what, in sound, is forever? that you converse with those that live around you is a necessity of humans as social animals.

    but you hear these songs, and you tell me that there isn't more to sound. tell me you aren't gutted. tell me you are immune to the upset of your hair follicles and your skin's pimply reaction; tell me those aren't goosebumps. tell me it means nothing to compress every second of your waking experience to one song. tell me the notes, the composition, the little bits and pieces of a genius creation, an intangible joy - tell me these things aren't forever. tell me it only lasts so long. what, then, is it for? music was never for the quick high. it would seem that the petrification of time was always the goal - the descriptor of a thousand voices in a single guitar pluck. if none of this rings, sounds, screams true - i do call you a liar or i declare your time of death. life brings this noise to you from human conduits of universal emotion. this sound is life.

    Ray Lamontagne - Be Here Now
    Ray Lamontagne - Empty
    Ray Lamontagne - Three More Days
    Ray Lamontagne - You Can Bring Me Flowers

    i want to leave it at that. there is nothing i could say about the man that this doesn't tell you. you know his voice, you know about the strings, you know about Trouble and you know if you liked it. you know if you're watching for the next.
    Saturday, July 08, 2006
      Lisa Papineau, Night Moves

    Lisa Papineau
    Night Moves

    rarely am i shocked to hear an artist's choice of a first single. there's always some kind of formula involved in the making, and consequently the choosing, of a single; you need a catchy, accessible, relatively stable song to present to everyone before they've heard the rest. you need to hook the people. with the amount of music pouring through our mailboxes, computers, local record stores, myspace friend requests (sigh) - we just don't have time for bad music, and if your single represents you badly, there is a good chance (again, sigh) that we'll either lose interest or feel misinformed once we get ahold of the cd in its entirety.

    but with Lisa Papineau, everything just stated became a joke. i was totally blown away when i realized that the first track i heard when i popped this album into my car stereo was actually the single. having not the chance to previously know which song was the single, i assumed it was a typical introductory track, and meant to set a mood. i continued on and was quickly shown what Papineau can pull off. holy shit.

    ::::before i go any further, please have a listen, if you haven't already:
    Lisa Papineau - Out To You

    this track is slow. if i may, i'll compare it to a female Owen, circa his self-titled, in terms of mood only. it's slow. it brings you in with tinkering guitar/bass with a blanketing Eastern influence, then low airy vocals that shift into contradictory outbursts, while the quiet tinkering goes on. it takes two minutes for the drum machine to come in, and though it helps to build, it essentially rides out on the same tone for the next two minutes. it's the most surprising choice for a first single that i've heard in a really long time.

    ::::now let's look at the second track.
    Lisa Papineau - Shucking, Jiving

    had this track not followed the first, i would have disregarded Papineau. where with Out To You it's apparent that there's quite a bit of bottled intensity - if nothing, i will give it that - where on this track, she lets it out. she tricks you with innocent, pretty notes, then with an indignant "yeah?" she launches into a beat track to kick the best of indie hip-hop producers. heavy distortion and voice production makes her previously low and airy vocals completely pissed off. there's even a highly distorted scream about a minute and a half into it. but at about two minutes, she's tired of yelling, and with a quiet intensity starts repeating "never give it up, i never give it up." it's insane; the song is the equivalent of an internal breakdown. it's so clearly emotional and surprisingly deep that she totally has me hooked.

    was this her intention? is the single to draw us in with an innocence, a quiet but clairvoyant darkness, a bottled fierceness - only then to whip around with the truth? it's messed up, and i like it a lot.

    it's hard not to write something about Lisa Papineau without mentioning Imogen Heap. even though Papineau is technically an entire band, it can't be helped. on your bonus track, you'll really hear the vocal similarity, but it's not just the vocals that tie them together. they seem to be linked by another force - using electronics to create sonorous, emotional, and usually dark sounds. i think the 'sphere has room for more of these kinds. i'm always a sucker for this kind of thing, and maybe they'll draw you in too.

    ::::your bonus track, as promised.
    Lisa Papineau - The Quiet Storm

  • for those with fear of commitment, listen by her myspace
  • her album drops July 18th. if you love it (which you do) you should go pre-order it courtesy of the Filter Store.
  • Friday, July 07, 2006
      Matthew Friedberger's "non-double-LP" double LP.
    The Fiery Furnaces, to me, have always made up an anomaly of sound. they defy barriers of custom, expectation, all conventionality, and most usually, what is considered "accessible." there are those people that hold Fiery Furnaces very dear to their hearts - Blueberry Boat, i would especially consider - and praise every piece, every musical twang, every blip and beep and sigh. (no, no, not thinking of PF at all.)

    i, dear readers, am not one of those people.
    i will tell you until i am blue in the face that yes - i respect what they accomplish; yes - i understand the genius in their complexity; yes - i know i'm a fool.
    but i don't get it guys.

    so when i listen to the solo work of Matthew Friedberger, Fiery Furnaces' main writer/instrumentalist, i expect more of the same. it must be the consequence of habit, of burning your hand on the stove too many times (or should i say furnace?). i am conditioned to be wary of brother sister duos, of experimental rock whose initials are F and F, of noise synthpop and complication.

    sometimes i feel like, i am complicated enough. i do not need any more.

    well, my expectations are only slightly dashed, and in a good way. to stray too much from the experimentation that makes up Matthew and Eleanor's musical image would be sort of a crime, and it's one that he doesn't commit. it's all still very much like Fiery Furnaces - only this time, he splits the two main characteristics of his song-writing, those that are normally integrated into one sound, into two separate sounds and onto two different albums.

    Winter Women is by far the most accessible collection of tracks that i have yet heard by anything to do with Friedberger. he says so himself: it's a pop record. there is actual opportunity for songs to get stuck in your head, for the twangs and beeps to morph into something less difficult and more... catchy. yes, i'm saying catchy. it might be the closest they'll ever get.
    ::::see what i mean?
    Matthew Friedberger - Under The Hood At The Paradise Garage
    Matthew Friedberger - Ruth Versus Richard
    Matthew Friedberger - Don't You Remember?

    Holy Ghost Language School is, by contrast, one of the least accessible pieces i've ever heard. there is no putting this record on, sitting back with tea/coffee/beer, and lazily sifting through your Safari aggregator. you put this on and you're captivated - and if you're not, you're annoyed. it is, as Matthew Friedberger put it, the noise record. it reminds me somewhat of 2005's Rehearsing the Choir, sounding a little like a story-telling session: weird, difficult to sit through. i don't mind it, however; though some of it is a little grating, and it's certainly not an entertaining experience - it's more of an education into the possibilities of Friedberger's talents. it's a lesson, not a windows-down summer drive.
    ::::it was hard to choose the best examples...
    Matthew Friedberger - Holy Ghost Language School
    Matthew Friedberger - The Cross and the Switchblade
    Matthew Friedberger - Do You Like Blondes?
    Wednesday, July 05, 2006
      Pitchfork gives Sound Team the 3.7 slap, and bloggers feel the burn.

    Pitchfork is sometimes genius with their bad reviews. i once posted on this review of Weezer's Make Believe, which got a whopping 0.7 (and deserved probably less that that). [read here if you'd like to indulge me.] and their burning-stake take on PANIC! at the disco is one of the funniest things i've ever read.

    but sometimes Pitchfork gives entirely unnecessary bad reviews. for the quality of Destroyer's Rubies, this review with an 8.5 can be considered horrible - an absolute crime. and it is extremely hard to say that the reason for it being "a few points shy of a 10.0" is for any other reason than to defy the expectations of the music/mp3 blog community.

    i feel like Pitchfork's recent Sound Team review is along the same vein. first of all, the review is late. the album came out a month ago, yes, but we've been talking about Movie Monster for quite a long time prior. it feels too much like PF waits until the 'sphere is absolutely primed, and then makes us gawk with their decision. yeah, Tapes 'n Tapes rock, but can they explain to me exactly why they rock more than Sound Team? what does it for PF? who sits down and decides the next big band? it's ludicrously hypocritical for them to say "This Austin sextet has attracted Next Big Thing-spotters by rolling out the right set of influences," when they know they hold the power to decide just that: the NextBigThing.

    finally, it pisses me off to read this article.
    Despite more than a year's worth of blog buzz behind them (and a fairly promising performance at last year's CMJ festival), the painfully mediocre debut album from Capitol Records "indie" band Sound Team got reamed last week by your pals at the Pitchfork. In retaliation of the 3.7 rating, the band-- or someone purporting to be them-- posted a YouTube video depicting a sort of Sound Team effigy being mutilated, thrown off a cliff, burned, and dismembered by a Pitchfork. Creepy! That's exactly what we did to our promo copy this weekend!

    it's not funny to counter us for kicks. their incentives are lame and this stand-off is ridiculous. if they can't handle the rise of influence from independent music bloggers, even with the same ultimate goal in mind - that is, to share good undiscovered music - and continue relentlessly to step up and imitate the qualities of blog posts (mp3 downloads, youtube streaming, live concert pictures blog-style), we have a bunch of immature foot-stomping adults on our hands. it is never their work i criticize. they are talented people that know their shit; admittedly, they've been on the scene far longer than i, able to state that their '95 mixtape had gems like The Breeders. who knows what i was listening to in '95, besides my parents' radio stations (Jagged Little Pill, probably). and most of them write extremely well. but it is their taunting, finger-pointing, raspberry-blowing blog references and deliberate defiances that piss me off. they've always been pretentious and on some level, that's what people love them for. but they don't need to be so greater-than-thou that they pretend we aren't a force to be reckoned with.

    yeah. so step off, yo.
    Monday, July 03, 2006
      Au Revoir Simone @ the Paradise, 7.02
    Chantal of Morningwood has been quoted as saying something to the effect that after MW shows, girls go up to her and say they're going to start a band, and to Chantal - that's one of the greatest parts of performing.

    well. though i was totally blown away by MW and Chantal's performance, it was more the kind of band we saw last night that would have caused me to actually consider being in a band.

    Au Revoir Simone are adorable. super-nice members Erika, Heather and Annie take the stage unassumingly, nicely thrift-shop trendy with great hair and great shoes. this is what makes their image; they're tallthin&beautiful, but not in an imposing Barbie kind of way. they're the kind of girls us indie chicks love to love.

    their sound is just as cute - if i can get away with calling music "cute." but it's synth pop, normally lo-fi, and it's three girls with keyboards and occassional perc (tambourine, shakers). they produce surprisingly dynamic songs with characteristically quiet vocals (note: not airy, just blended in) and some great dance beats. Annie (glasses, far right) is the bounciest, skipping out on stage and immediately jumping up and down to get the crowd clapping and dancing along. it seemed, though
    probably unintentionally, that Erika took sort of the lead personality, and Heather took a quieter, more irresistably dark and mysterious personality. this may be a consequence of the natural human instinct to pigeon-hole band members (Spice Girls, anyone?) but i hope i'm not too far off. in any case, they were all equally nice, talking to the excited and probably tipsy audience members up front, and smiling and chatting like they'd invited us to their attic to sift through vintage clothes chests and check out the songs they made up.

    basically, i like them a lot. i feel like emptying my piggy bank for a Roland keyboard, or something, i liked them so much.

    ::::courtesy of their official site, take their music:
    Au Revoir Simone - Hurricanes
    Au Revoir Simone - Through The Backyards
    (this one was on Grey's Anatomy. whaddya know.)

    buy their album, the aptly-named Verses of Comfort, Assurance and Salvation.
    check out their myspace to non-commitally listen to three tracks.

    these pictures aren't fantastic, but you know we have our shiny wonderful beautiful flickr account and it's a lot of fun. go party with the pics.

    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.