Monday, March 29, 2010

Dum Dum Girls

It's no secret my favorite record label at the moment is Seattle's Sub-Pop. With names like Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper, The Shins and Nirvana under their belt they have a lot to be respected for. If you are ever looking for new music to dig into, I cannot recommend browsing their catalogue enough.

I have been catching wind of Sup-Pop's recently signed band Dum Dum Girls, who hail from the streets of L.A. Their debut record I Will Be is scheduled for release tomorrow, March 30th. I have listened to this record a few times now and I've got to say it's quite an enjoyable listen, and I don't know why. The reason I say that is because this is chick lo-fi indie rock. Lo-fi has seen a resurgence in the past few years, and there have been a number of bands that are doing exactly the same kind of thing that Dum Dum Girls are doing. However after listening to this record, I know and evidentially Sub-Pop knows that they do it better than everybody else.

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It Only Takes One Night

Friday, March 26, 2010

Plants & Animals

Canadian indie group Plants and Animals return with their second LP titled La La Land on April 20th. I was really impressed with their first LP Parc Avenue a few years back, so this release will be on my radar for sure. Here's a song off of La La Land titled "Tom Cruz."

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Tom Cruz

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New LCD Soundsystem

"I Believe In Waking Up Together"
A party song that is also a scathing criticism of the party scene. Genius.

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Drunk Girls

The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio

If you like The National, you already know what this new song is going to sound like. The National are one of those bands that are pretty dead set on their sound. Instead of expanding and experimenting they opt to take the road of improving upon and perfecting what they're already known for. I like to think of The National as bar music for sophisticates. Needless to say, their new album High Violet comes out in May, and after listening to this I can start to assume that it will be a worthy follow-up to the immensly rich Boxer.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Blitzen Trapper

Can I get a woop woop? Man, this year really is turning out to be one of the best years ever for indie rock. One of our favorite groups Blitzen Trapper announced their new album Destroyer of the Void will be released on June 8th. Not only that, but a new song from it "Heaven and Earth" has been released for your viewing pleasure. I like this song, I'm not crazy about it, but I like it. It has a similar feel to the material of Furr, but with a slower piano-pop feel to it.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Loud, brash, anthemic, punk, political, smart, inventive, daring. These are all words that could be used to describe the sophomore album by Jersey rock group Titus Andronicus. The Monitor, an album loosely based around The Civil War, offers plenty of head banging and fist pumping tracks that are never tiring. That's the mark of a truly great album, something that keeps you engaged and entertained the whole way through. Titus Andronicus offer a fresh breath of air to this genre of music. This band is incredibly smart, and have their heads on straight. What's most incredible is this group is still fairly new. If they keep it together, Titus could be a very important player in the world of indie-punk. I cannot recommend this album enough. 

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do

Drive-By Truckers had a lot of pressure to be able to produce a worthy follow-up to one of the best albums of the decade, Brighter Than Creation's Dark. But dammit Truckers you done good. A few months back frontman Patterson Hood claimed that The Big To-Do would be more of a rock album than Brighter. He was not kidding. This album has the most rock and roll since The Dirty South. What's interesting about this album is how Patterson Hood sings on almost all of the tracks. I'm not complaining, his southern-gothic political diatribes give this band a razor sharp edge. However, the other two singers are quite talented as well. Mike Cooley gets his few chances to shine, especially on the grotesquely hilarious "Birthday Boy." That song marks as one of the album's highlights.

However, the biggest surprise comes not from the two main members but from bassist Shonna Tucker who helms two really powerful songs. The first being the ballad "You Got Another" and the rockin' "(It's Gonna Be) I Told You So."

It may not be as diverse as Brighter Than Creation's Dark, but The Big To-Do proves once again that Drive-By Truckers are the best bar band in the world.

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You Got Another
This Fucking Job

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here We Go Magic

It's going to be a beautiful day tomorrow. Download this song throw it on your Ipod and go for a bicycle ride. Seriously. This song was made for it. Here We Go Magic release their sophomore record Pigeons in June. This song could be on "repeat" for me for a long long time.  

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

R.I.P. Alex Chilton

You may not have ever heard of Alex Chilton, but you've probably heard of Big Star, and if you haven't you should have. Big Star quietly made music in the 1970's and in the early 90's after a reunion. If you enjoy artists like Wilco or Whiskeytown you have Big Star to thank. Chilton passed away this morning shortly before Big Star was supposed to make an appearance at SXSW in Austin at the age of 59. Big Star may not have had the fame of The Kinks or The Byrds, but they certainly influenced a generation of important artists of today. Mr. Chilton will be sadly missed.

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Round and Round

Not going to lie, I would have never checked this song out if it weren't for the cover. However I am glad I did because this song has a very hazy slow 80's jam to it. This song takes me back to eighth grade retreats to the roller rink. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti could be thrown in the same pile as Animal Collective, since they are on the same label. However Ariel Pink takes psych-pop in a different direction from their trippy brethren, they take a more relaxed and blurry approach to their music, which helps them stand out. Check out their new song "Round and Round"

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Monday, March 15, 2010


Okamoto's from Japan are taking America by storm! Well, not really, but at least they made it across the pond. That is something that not too many bands from Japan are able to do. What helps them is the fact that they are making classic American rock better than most bands of today are. Their album dropped last year, but since then they have slowly been gaining respect on the interwebs. They are a mix of early Rolling Stones with straight up garage rock. 

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Avant-Garde - Naturally Stoned

I was literally cleaning out a closet at work today when I found on a shelf an old tattered 45" record. It read The Avant Garde - Naturally Stoned. I had no idea who it was, but naturally I swiped it and took it home. Turns out this song was the only semi-popular song this psychedelic-folk band made. It made Top 40 one week in 1968, then this group disappeared off the map. The main singer ended up being a session guitarist for Bob Dylan later on. What we have here is a simple catchy psych-folk song, nothing special, but a unique find for me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

This week was a huge week for music. Broken Bells, Ted Leo, Liars, Black Rebel Motorcycle Gang, among others all had albums that were released. However the biggest of them all without a doubt was the return of Gorillaz. Let's get one thing out of the way. No, this is not Demon Days, nor does it try to be. I mean, how could a band possibly top "Feel Good Inc." it's arguably one of the biggest hits of the past decade. Instead Plastic Beach finds Damon Albarn and his cartoon band exploring different routes while still producing some insatiable dance beats. Their first single, "Stylo" is definitely a different style of song from the pounding basslines of previous work. This song has a slower yet groovy Krautrock vibe to it. However, I do feel the song that everyone is going to be remembering off of Plastic Beach is "Rhinestone Eyes." I can't always tell when a song is going to be a hit, but when I know, I know. There is no doubt in my mind that this song will be huge. While Plastic Beach certainly does not surpass its predecessor, it is full of multi-textured songs that will grow on you as time passes.

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Rhinestone Eyes

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Moondoggies

Seattle's Moondoggies will be making an appearance in Los Angeles this Thursday at The Echo. They will be performing along with The Dutchess & The Duke and The Cave Singers. Unfortunately I will be not going to this show's tight and sacrifices have to be made. Plus I'm saving my cash for a certain three day music escapade in the desert coming up in April. Oh well Moondoggies, I guess we'll will have to wait till next album. 

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

And The Oscar Goes To...

The Academy Awards are like Easter Sunday here in Los Angeles. Hollywood pretty much shuts down for it, the streets flow with limos booze and tuxedos. It also is the only awards show that I actually pay attention to. While I don't believe that one can truly determine what the "best" picture of the year is, I do find it interesting to see how my own opinions fall in line with the so called experts. So here's my ballot:

Who Will Most Likely Win:

Best Picture: Avatar
Best Director: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress: Monique
Best Original Screenplay: Inglorious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay: Up In The Air
Best Documentary: The Cove
Best Song: The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)

Who I Actually Want To Win:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges
Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress: Monique
Best Original Screenplay: A Serious Man
Best Adapted Screenplay: Up In The Air
Best Documentary: Food Inc.
Best Song: The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)

Seeing as this is a music blog, it would only be appropriate if I commented on the best song category. Pretty much Crazy Heart is a lock for this category. The song itself fits beautifully with the idea of the movie, and compliments the film as a whole. However, on it's own this song doesn't impress me. Ryan Bingham writes pretty much a standard country-folk song. Nothing is groundbreaking or challenging at all about this song, it's chord progression is easy, it's lyrics are relatively simple, it's a very basic song. However, the conviction in which Bingham sings it correlates to the movie quite well...but it ain't no "Jai Ho."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hall of Fame: Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West

** Hall of Fame is where we discuss our favorite albums of all time, they may not be the most critically acclaimed, but they hold a special place in our hearts**

Considered Modest Mouse's breakthrough album and one of the defining albums for indie rock in the 1990's The Lonesome Crowded West is a freneticlly supercharged masterpiece of an album, and is in my opinion the best Modest Mouse record to date. 

From start to finish this record is a swirl of loose-but-tight guitar crunch. Featuring an array of similar sounding yet uniquely dignified tracks. From the sleazy boogie of "Doin' The Cockroach" to the sing along slow-jam of "Polar Opposites" to the fiddle-filled hoedown of "Jesus Christ Was an Only Child," this album covers a lot of terrain. 

What is also intriguing about this record is the way singer/guitarist Isaac Brock works his voice into each song. His voice gels with the guitar riff's so well, it sounds almost like an indie version of scat singing. Though Brock may not have the prettiest sounding voice, he makes it work for the atmosphere of the band and thus it becomes its own instrument. 

However, what I enjoy the most about this album is the majority of these songs are able to get their message across fairly quickly, allowing the last few minutes to be a genuine rock out jam. Thus, The Lonesome Crowded West adopts two ideas, the notion of making a statement and at the same time being able to say "Fuck art, let's dance!" And frankly, there aren't too many albums that are able to do that. 

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Joe Higgs

It dawned on me today that I have yet to explore the genre of Reggae on this blog. So I'm making it a goal to post it more often, hoping to prove that there is more to this genre than just Bob Marley. For instance have you ever heard of Joe Higgs? Joe Higgs is considered by some as the father of Reggae, and is regarded by Marley as a huge influence. He has toured with the Wailers often, yet his music is still relatively unknown outside of his homeland Jamaica. 

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