Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms / The Good Earth

Recently, the first two albums by the extremely underrated group The Feelies were re-mastered and re-released. If you do not own these two albums I highly recommend picking these up. The Feelies were one of the main influences for many bands including R.E.M. Glen Mercer of The Feelies was one of the first musicians during the 70's-80's to stop focusing and soloing and start perfecting his guitar strumming. If you like the fast frenetic-paced guitar of R.E.M. or even modern bands such as Modest Mouse, you have The Feelies to thank.

Download via Mediafire:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Concert Review: Bon Iver

Whoever thought having a sunrise concert with Bon Iver at a cemetery is a genius. It was a foggy morning, I arrived around 4AM to the sight of 1000 people snuggled up in sleeping bags snoozing away under the night's sky. Planet Earth was being projected against a wall while ambient music was playing in the background and whisks of fog drifted through the tombstones. It was absolutely surreal. Around 5am, a bunch of Buddhist monks chanted and blessed the band and crowd. I couldn't help but think of a better way to be woken up for a Bon Iver show.

On Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago there is a specific track called The Wolves (Acts I &II). I can almost pinpoint in that song the exact moment where Bon Iver show that they are not just another indie acoustic act, but rather something completely original and exciting. Throughout the pitch perfect show Bon Iver played almost the entirety of For Emma. To many people there it seemed more like a religious experience rather than a concert, to be in that setting and to hear his perfect falsetto voice ring off of the mausoleums of the cemetery is something that will stick with me forever.

Download via Mediafire:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Atlas Sound - Sheila

I'll tell you what, this Atlas Sound album that's coming up in a month sounds like it could be one of the best releases of 2009. It already has my favorite song of the year thus far, Walkabout featuring Panda Bear, and earlier this week another song off of the upcoming album Logos titled Sheila was released. This song is a great follow up. It doesn't have the pop hook of Walkabout, but try listening to it a few times in a row and not start singing along. I've posted the track as well as Bradford Cox's acoustic cover of a Fleetwood Mac song. Happy Friday!
Download via Mediafire:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk? Is it the new Crosby Stills & Nash? An updated version of The Traveling Wilburys? Sort of. It's the new supergroup featuring Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and My Morning Jacket's Jim James. Their self-titled debut has been in the works now for awhile and has been one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Does this supergroup live up to it's expectations? Not really, but wasn't that to be expected? When you put three juggernauts of the indie-folk scene together huge expectations are created, expectations that are seemingly impossible to achieve. In my opinion, these guys could have put out a three song EP and I would have been satisfied. I'm more interested in their three hour long live shows that spans their individual careers as well as their collaborative work. Each of them do what they do best on this album, Oberst creates vivid complex imagery with his lyrics, and Ward plugs away at his vintage AM-Radio sound.
     However I feel like Jim James has been cheated on this album. He only takes lead on a few songs, which turn out to be the best songs on the album! What this album lacks in is variety, which is a shame because My Morning Jacket is one of the most eclectic rock bands in the world right now. James has always been a man who pushes the boundaries of his music. I feel if he had a stronger presence on this album this release would have easily been one of the best releases of the year. I have posted three tracks off of this album exemplifying each of the three singer's attributes.

Man Named Truth, originally a Bright Eyes leftover that was never officially recorded, here Conor Oberst paints a Dylan-esque picture in your head with an array of didactic lyrics.

Goodway showcases M.Ward 's trademarked lackadaisical easy going strumming, a good ol' song to take you back to the good ol' days.

Losing Yo Head, is the one rocker on this primarily folk album. Here Jim James pummels through this song giving it a very Cheap Trick feel.

Hot Grits!!!

Download via Mediafire:
Elijah & The Ebonies - Hot Grits

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Music Go Music

Here is a L.A. native band that has really caught my attention, Music Go Music. These guys have a very ABBA and Electric Light Orchestra sound to them that I really dig. Their EP Light of Love is solid, and their debut LP Expressions is out Oct. 6th.

Download via Mediafire:
Light of Love

EDIT: Link fixed. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Flaming Lips - I Can Be A Frog

The Flaming Lips "I Can Be A Frog"

New video off of their upcoming double LP Embryonic. Since The Flaming Lips are one of my favorite bands you can expect to see a full album review of this release in a few weeks on this site.

Vetiver - Tight Knit

In the New Weird America or Freak Folk movement I tend to follow three of the more prominent artists, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and a little group called Vetiver. If Devendra Banhart is akin to Bob Dylan then Vetiver is The Band. On Tight Knit their fourth album and their first record on their new label Sub-Pop, Vetiver finds themselves pretty much in the same terrain as they have always been: lazy yet enjoyable folk songs. Tight Knit is a slow-burner of an album that gets better with every listen.

Download via Mediafire:
Another Reason To Go

Monday, September 21, 2009

Little Joy

Recently I learned not as many people as I thought had heard of Little Joy, then I realized I live in a world of indie snobbery where the tiniest bands are splashed all over the blogosphere. Nevertheless, Little Joy, named after the dive bar in Los Angeles, dropped their self-title debut in 2008, consequently appearing at many magazine's and prominent blog's end-of-the-year lists. It's hard not to like a band that consists of Los Hermanos member Rodrigo Amarante, The Strokes's drummer Fabrizio Moretti, and some contributions by Devendra Banhart (who has a new song out that you can listen to on his Myspace). This resulted into one of the sweetest sounding summer-drenched records of 2008.

Download vid Mediafire:
The Next Time Around

Now that you're here, go somewhere else.

I worship Aquarium Drunkard. They are hands down the best blog on the internet. Recently they posted an absolute treasure trove of music. A compilation of 70's-60's music all on the topic of a little town called Los Angeles. I love it when a song can capture the essence of a city. Well AD found thirty six songs that capture the feel of Los Angeles, and put them into a compilation called L.A. Burnout. The tracks can be downloaded here. Also while your at it download their end of summer mashup mix Weird Summer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Warren Zevon

I leave you for the weekend with this bitchin' version of Warren Zevon classic. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

One of the many breakout bands of the year is the 10-piece Los Angeles organic folk-rock group Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. There are many great songs on their debut album Up From Below but the track entitled "Home" is the one that stands out the most for me. I love the way the male and female singers trade off lyrics, it reminds me of the way Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty playfully exchanged lyrics with each other back in the day. Check the song out below.

Download via Mediafire:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monotonix @ The Smell

Tonight I will once again have the pleasure of seeing one of best hardcore bands around, Monotonix. These guys lay it all on the line for every show that they play. Their music isn't really that satisfying on record, however their live show is one that is extremely hard to top.

Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

Oh Yo La Tengo, how I love thee! You have been one of the most solid indie groups for the past decade, why are you not headlining the biggest concert halls in the world? It's because you stay true to who you are and don't sell out. Popular Songs is not Yo La Tengo's best album, but it's a solid album. Which is saying a lot for a band who has been making solid albums since 1993. If you enjoyed their last effort I Am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, then you will be equally as pleased with Popular Songs. It is chalk full of rock songs, pop songs, slow songs, and their trademark indie-prog closes the album out with a bang. If you are already familiar with the band then it is no surprise to you that Yo La Tengo put out another great record, however if you do happen to be new to them, might I suggest this release...as well as every other Yo La Tengo album.

Download via Mediafire:
Here to Fall

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Foreign Born

Foreign Born are a Los Angeles native band, who with their 2009 release Person to Person have done a tremendous job at capturing that Southern Californian sound. Driving down the PCH on a lazy day the song Early Warnings came on the radio, it was a very complimentary song to listen to while the pacific ocean breezed by my open window. If you don't live in SoCal though, this is still a great record and is well worth checking out.

Download via Mediafire:
That Old Sun
Early Warnings

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Love Language

     The Love Language is probably the album that has been flowing through my speakers the most these past couple of weeks. Lo-fi has had a pretty big year in 2009, one band Wavves has been making a huge splash in the indie scene this year, however I can't stand them. I find their music practically unbearable. The Love Language however, is a highly enjoyable record. This album shows great instrumentation, lyrics and arrangement, as well as keeping that underproduced lo-fi sound. The Love Language certainly doesn't have the popularity yet, but if they keep producing records like this they will undoubtedly have a long career. Check out the two songs below. 
Download via Mediafire:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Atlas Sound feat. Noah Lennox - Walkabout

If the year ended right now, this would be my favorite song. While I am already a fan of Bradford Cox in Deerhunter I was not as familiar with his side project Atlas Sound. While there is no question that Cox is good at what he does the real genius on this track comes from the contributions of Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear from Animal Collective). By himself and with Animal Collective, Panda Bear has been putting out some of the best experimental pop for the past few years. If you do not own Panda Bear's album Person Pitch, buy it now. For now though, enjoy this great late summer tune.

Download via Mediafire:
Atlas Sound (feat. Noah Lennox) - Walkabout

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Antlers - Hospice

If you haven't listened to Hospice by The Antlers you are missing out on one of the best releases of 2009. Just check out the song titled Kettering for all the proof you need. The way singer Peter Silberman delivers the touching lyrics makes it seem like he is sitting beside a hospital bed peering out a window contemplating his own existence. A true gem of a song, and a tremendous '09 release. Check it out below.

(via Mediafire)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Beatles

Big week for Beatles fans, first the reissues of all of their albums (anyone pick these up yet?). Apparently they sound amazing and from what I can tell from the reviews Paul's bass packs a better punch and Ringo's drums are more defined. Secondly, we have Rock Band: The Beatles, which I am bubbling over with eagerness to play. I had a dialogue with a friend the other day and I posed the question as to what were the most underrated Beatles songs? While that may be a hard question to answer for most considering that the entire Beatles catalogue is one of the most celebrated collection of songs in music history, however there are still a few gems out there that haven't received the attention that they rightfully deserve. My friend felt that there were a few songs off of The White Album (Savoy Truffle) and Help! (You're Gonna Lose That Girl) that didn't get enough fair radio play. 
     I figured I would post the two Beatles songs that I felt were extremely underrated. The first being Old Brown Shoe, a b-side off of The Ballad of John and Yoko single, and the second being Hey Bulldog a track from The Yellow Submarine soundtrack. 
    Both of these songs would have been career highlights for any other band, but for The Beatles, they were swept under the rug, another example that shows the sheer talent of these four boys from Liverpool.
What do you think is the most underrated Beatles song? 
Download via Mediafire:
(media player coming soon)

Well Hello There

Greetings, Welcome to Shiny Tops & Soda Tops! Let me explain what we're all about. This is a blog that will weekly post a variety of music and comedy. This will include: album and concert reviews, comedian/band profiles, as well as some discussion on the current state of music. Please feel free to comment on the postings, tell us what you like what you hate or any thoughts on the subject. If you are in a band or are a comedian hit us up and if we like what you got we'll throw it on the site.

Please take a look especially at the other blog-sites that we have posted here, many of these blogs are what have inspired us to even consider creating Shiny Tops & Soda Pops in the first place.