Friday, July 30, 2010

Emmit Rhodes

If "underrated" needed a picture next to it in a dictionary, Emmit Rhodes would be one of my top picks. This guy splashed onto the rock scene as the multi-instrumentalist of The Merry-Go-Round in the late 60's. However, it is his solo career that has really kept people's interest over the years. Quite frankly, this guy is the one man Beatles (there is even a forthcoming documentary called "One Man Beatles" about him). I'm not kidding, this guy sounds exactly like Paul McCartney. When I first heard a song of his, I thought it was some early Beatles recording that I was not too familiar with. Rhodes was able to harness that McCartney-pop sound and use it to his full advantage. By recording every instrument himself he was the sole controller of his music and was able to engineer his sound exactly to how he wanted it. He released four solo albums, one of which did surprisingly well on the charts before receding into the shadows and stopped playing music.  Yet, the cult of Rhodes' music doesn't seem to want to die. Wes Anderson used "Lullaby" for The Royal Tenenbaums and Hip-O Select Records have done a fine job at bundling his four albums and remastering them into one fine collection. Rumor has it that Rhodes, now sixty years old, has decided to start playing again and is indeed recording new material. If any of that sees the light of day it's going to be very interesting to see if this lost pop genius has retained some of his brilliance after all those years of silence. 

Download via Mediafire:
Long Time No See

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Three Sisters

Having seen Fleet Foxes live I can attest that drummer J. Tillman is one of the more lively members of the group, always ready with a sarcastic comment in between songs gives an interesting contrast to the sweeping beauty of their music. However, Tillman is more than just a witty drummer, he plays guitar and sings in his ever growing solo career. Though it can be compared to Fleet Foxes, Tillman's music explores darker textures than his nature-loving harmonious brethren. On this song, "Three Sisters" from his forthcoming new album, Tillman gets dark while at the same time elevating his game to new heights.

Download via Mediafire:
Three Sisters

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ty Segall

Lord knows what they're putting in the water up in San Francisco, but they need to bottle it and pass it along to the rest of us. There has been a great lo-fi rock/garage scene that has been building in SF for the past few years, and this newest release from Ty Segall proves it's legitmacy.
Download via Mediafire:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Punch Brothers

Chris Thile is known already for his work with Nickel Creek, the trio that was to bluegrass what Whiskeytown was to country, a breath of fresh air. However with Nickel Creek currently "not broken up, but not together" Thile finds himself two albums deep with his new outfit The Punch Brothers. Antifogmatic can be called a bluegrass album, it does contain a few songs with that traditional hand-clapping toe-tapping sound the genre is so well acquainted with. However, this album takes that sound, breaks it apart and reconstructs it into something completely fresh. This album is complex, ornate and most of all ambitious. Take the song "Alex" for instance, one would not expect rapid fire mandolin to work in a song with a slower pace as that, but it does and quite well at that. That's what is most engaging about Antifogmatic, it's an album that could have easily failed, yet the musicians absolutely nail it and create something unbelievably special. Thile continues to be a force of nature in the world of Bluegrass with another successful group. Quite simply, Antifogmatic is the best bluegrass record I have heard all year.
Another way to experience the talent of The Punch Brothers is to watch some of the songs they cover on YouTube. I'm going to show you two of my favorites, but there are a bunch more online.
The first would have to be a cover of Radiohead's "Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box" off of Amnesiac. This song is complex enough as it is, but for a bluegrass band to cover it so well is quite an achievement. This is just another example of how The Punch Brothers are expanding their genre.

The next cover is of "Reptilia" by The Strokes, not much can be said except they are on fire in this video.

Download via Mediafire:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chatham County Line

It's been awhile since we've had a bluegrass mention here, and well honestly things just didn't seem quite right. So the first of a few bluegrass posts I would like to enlighten you with is Chatham County Line from North Carolina. They have been around for quite sometime and have been making solid records that have ignited bluegrass fans all around the country. However, last week they released Wildwood, an album that they hope will drag them into the mainstream like a few of their counterparts (Old Crow Medicine Show, Avett Brothers) have done in recent years. While Wildwood may not be my favorite bluegrass record of the year (you'll see that one later this week), I certainly commend it for having ambition. It takes a great deal of confidence for a bluegrass act to add drums and electric guitar. Many of the more traditional fans frown upon that and don't consider it pure. Though only a few of the tracks feature non-bluegrass instruments, those that do implement them in a way that enhances their sound. All in all, Wildwood is another solid release that would go perfect with a glass of corn whiskey on a hot summer's night.
Download via Mediafire:
Crop Comes In

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mountain Man - Made The Harbor

Like a sailor hearing a siren's song this album pulls the listener in with it's chilling beauty. Vermont trio Mountain Man have put together a stunning compilation of Earth-tinged folk and  acapella songs that are akin to little girls playing patty cake under drying sheets on the clothesline. Though it is simple and short in duration Made The Harbor is easily one of the most enchanting albums of 2010. These three ladies keep it modest, the only instrumentation is the light picking of a guitar and most of the songs clock in at two minutes plus change. However, where Mountain Man's power comes from is their  powerful harmony. Fans of Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver understand what it is like to have a person's voice cause chills to run down their back. Mountain Man will undoubtedly be lumped in the category of campfire folk, their lyrics conjure up images of being surrounded by trees, and the love of nature or enjoying nature with a loved one.  Fans may be a little disappointed with this debut LP considering many of the tracks were recycled from their self-titled EP but honestly any new material from these talented ladies is worth it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guns In The Sky

You might already know that while Beck is taking some time off from recording new material, he has been very active in the studio bringing in his friends to re-record classic albums. Beck's Record Club has covered a few classic artists such as The Velvet Underground, Lenoard Cohen and yes, even Yanni. Of all the covers he and his entourage have put out my favorite would have to be his cover of "Guns In The Sky" by INXS. Beck absolutely nailed this song, and keep in mind one of the mantras of Record Club is no rehearsal, everyone learns their part and then they record it. What this lack of practice yields are loose cannon and wild versions of these songs. It's quite easy to tell the fun Beck had recording this with friends St. Vincent, Os Mutantes, and Liars. I put the cover and the original version of the song for comparison.

Download via Medaifire:
Beck's Record Club - Guns In The Sky
INXS - Guns In The Sky

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

King Of The Beach

Building off of yesterday's summer themed post. Today's post is in celebration of the sun. Yes, today is the first truly summery day on the coast of Los Angeles. Thus, here's a track to put on your Ipod and enjoy the day with. This comes from the band Wavves, it's off of their new album and it is called "King Of The Beach." Not going to lie, in the past, I have been very vocal about my contempt for this band. Their debut release gained a great deal of undeserved praise, and they were practically listenable. However, Wavves have cleaned up their production quality it seems, and this song in particular is not only listenable it is a highly enjoyable new beach anthem.

Download via Mediafire:
King Of The Beach

Monday, July 12, 2010

Os Mutantes

Summer is in full swing, though the coastal region of Los Angeles may be experiencing a cold and dreary climate, inland it feels like summer. Thus I start to listen to music that have summery qualities to them, heck if I find the time I might even throw together a summer mix for you all. One artist that I would absolutely include is Brazilian rockers Os Mutantes. They are one of the best known acts from the 60s Tropicalia scene, a blend of British rock American psychedelia and Brazilian rhythms. This combination lead to an extremely unique and vibrant sound that was very influential to South America in the 60s 70s and even to indie artists of today. Os Mutantes is perfect for a Los Angeles summer because like the city, their music is a melting pot of different cultures.

Download via Mediafire:
A Minha Menina

Friday, July 9, 2010

Department of Eagles

Don't you love it when you hear a song that completely speaks to you, that pretty much sums up where you are at in life in that particular moment? I had that happen to me the other day when I stumbled upon the "new" release from Department of Eagles. Department of Eagles is of course the brainchild of Dan Rossen, who is the singer/guitarist for Grizzly Bear. While Ed Drotse may impress the ladies with his angelic croon of a voice, Rossen is responsible for much of the arrangements on the songs. It is quite apparent what his responsibilities are in Grizzly Bear when you compare them to Department of Eagles. "While We're Young" is a track off of their upcoming archival release of past songs that didn't quite make it on to an official release. It befuddles me that this track was deemed unfit for a previous release since this is one of the best songs I have heard all year. This jangling ramshackle of a tune will keep you swaying back and forth while you hit repeat on your Itunes all day.

Download via Mediafire:
While We're Young

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lord Huron

I have recently been turned on to a local Los Angeles band that goes by the name Lord Huron. If you're a fan of music that feels like it belongs in the great outdoors then this is for you. I definitely am feeling the Fleet Foxes vibe that Lord Huron is giving off, still it is great music to travel along a country road to or to enjoy the cloudy mornings that we Angelenos have been experiencing as of late.

Download via Mediafire:
The Problem With Your Daughter

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Late Discoveries: Wolf Parade

** Late Discoveries is a periodical on ST&SP. because we're only human and can't possibly hear every band that comes along, sometimes we miss a truly great album or band.**

Today we feature Montrel band Wolf Parade. If you're a fan of indie rock, chances are you know a few Wolf Parade songs. I had always appreciated a band, I always accepted "I'll Believe In Anything" to be a modern rock anthem. However, other than that I never gave them a proper listen. A few weeks ago, they released their third album Expo 86, which is probably their most danceable record to date. "Ghost Pressures" is an exceptional track along with "What Did My Lover Say?"

However, this post is not completely meant to tout their new album. I would like to take a minute to express my newfound love for their sophmore album At Mount Zoomer. Released in 2007, it made several year-end-lists under "the most overlooked" category. Frontman Spencer Krug explained that Zoomer was an absolute pain in the ass to record, the songs did not come easy to them. This has to be my favorite Wolf Parade record to date, and from start to finish is an excellet album. This album can be loose and bombastic on "California Dreamer" and "Kissing The Beehive" but also crisp and restrained "The Grey Estates."

Spencer Krug alone is an amazing phenomenon who I feel doesn't get the credit he deserves. Not only has he put out solid records with Wolf Parade since 2003, he also has a string of successful albums being the frontman of another band, Sunset Rubdown. Both bands have similar qualities to them, since he sings and plays guitar on both. However,  I would say that Sunset Rubdown is the more experimental and adventurous of the two, while Wolf Parade is the more straightforward and anthemic. What I find most incredible is the fact that Krug is able to perfectly balance the two. They release albums on alternate years, and neither band seems to get in the other's way. That creative harmony is something that only few have successfully pulled off.

Download via Mediafire:
What Did My Lover Say? (It's Always Hard To Go This Way)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Perfume Genius

Another lo-fi indie pop song, one of the many up and comers in this seemingly never-ending trend that has been rampant in indie music the past few years. Normally, I don't go for this kind of stuff but the piano on this track caught my ear, and after listening to "Mr. Peterson" for a few days now, I must place this on the list of lo-fi pop that I can not only tolerate, but enjoy.

Download via Mediafire:
Mr. Peterson