Monday, January 31, 2011

Lia Ices

I am finding it hard to get over how beautiful Lia Ices is. Her album Grown Unknown came out last week, and though I've only heard a few tracks this has to be a top-knotch album. This is certainly for the Imogen Heap and Joanna Newsom crowd. She takes earthy music and makes it seem otherworldly. There is also a lovely track called "Daphne" that features an ever lovely Bon Iver on it.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Disappears - Guider

Don't let Disappears sophomore release Guider sneak by your radar without gaining your attention. These guys have an awesomely pounding faux-krautrock meets The Velvet Underground. "Halo" is probably the most Velvet sounding track on the whole album, but it's the bass line that really separates them for me. Guider is quick, in fact most of the album is comprised of the fifteen minute closer "Revisiting," but it's loud, brash, and a dead on rock album.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gunn-Truscinski Duo

This hardly noticed gem was released last November, Gunn-Truscinski Duo are a instrumental act that features a lot of Leo Kottke sounding ragga folk guitar as well as some other added minimal instrumentation. However, the guitar is really where it's at and there are a lot of different emotions being poured into this piece, "B38 Blues." Give it a whirl, throw it on in the background while you're reading or futzing about in your room.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

For The Sake of The Song: LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge

"For The Sake of The Song" is a new periodical segment where I take a look at some of my personal all-time favorite songs, dissect them and try and show you their genius. 

"But I was There." is the conclusion James Murphy keeps coming to throughout "Losing My Edge," LCD Soundsystem's first and arguably best song. Originally released in 2002 as a single, James Murphy had no plans of being in a touring band, he just had an idea for a song and wanted to release new music. Three years later LCD Soundsystem release their first self-titled record that featured that song, and five years after that they're headlining festivals globally. LCD Soundsystem is one of indie rock's recent big success stories. However their success wasn't gained through mass radio play or commercial licensing. They earned their title of being the best dance-punk band ever through three solid LPs, a shit ton of Internet buzz and an unforgettable live presence.
It all started with "Losing My Edge" a seven minute plus change rambling dance epic that breathed life into a new sub-genre of rock that mixed the dance-hooks of Daft Punk with the frenetic art-rock of Talking Heads. 
In this track Murphy assumes the character of an aging hipster forced with the realization that with age comes a loss of coolness. "I'm losing my edge, the kids are coming up from behind" Murphy bluntly states at the beginning of the track. "I'm losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties...I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent." As the youth begin to come into fruition, what is hip for a generation becomes re-defined, Murphy's character feels inadequate as a result of the changing landscape around him. 
 "But I was there." Murphy cries, because the one thing the in-crowd doesn't have is experience. "I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band. I told him, 'Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime.' I was there. I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB's. Everybody thought I was crazy. We all know. I was there." There is one thing that older people will always have on the younger generation, and that is the benefit of "being there." For instance, there is a difference between actually attending a Rolling Stones concert in 1972 and buying a faded Stones shirt from Target. The experience of actually "being there" is priceless.
Murphy then goes on to make light of the Internet bloggers who "can tell me every member of every good group from 1962 to 1978" As well as the younglings who collect rare records and act as if it somehow makes them special. Murphy begins to playfully list off his favorite records, before the track climaxes musically and lyrically with the antithesis "You don't know what you really want."
To me, this song is a triumph. I have never heard a song that takes a rambling rant and turns it into an absolute club-stomper. This song can be taken multiple ways, it can either be seen as an aging hipster's love letter, a sarcastic attack on the naivety of youth culture, or my personal favorite, showing us just how silly the hip culture is. At the end of the day, does it really matter how many records you have collected? As we age, the most important thing we will have is to be able to look back on is our experiences, making the rest of that shit quite frankly, pointless.

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Losing My Edge

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Punch Brothers covering Bach

I was going to save this video till the next time I did "Bluegrass Week" however it's too good to keep hidden. Punch Brothers landed a spot on our top of 2010 list mainly because of their precise instrumentation. If you didn't believe me then, watch the video of them covering Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #3. This truly is some next level shit right here. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

Kiss Each Other Clean

Ladies and Gentlemen we have ourselves here the first great record of 2011. Iron & Wine return with Sam Beam's most stylistically diverse record to date. I know the indie heartthrobs still pine over "Naked As We Came" but those days of his acoustic work is long over. I actually kind of prefer the current incarnation of Iron & Wine. Though there is a lot of love about a man and his guitar intertwined, there is just more to experience with the added band. Many folk singers have added backing bands and have failed (Devendra Banhart), but not Beam, he is able to create lush music to carry his poetic lyrics with any array of instruments. In Kiss Each Other Clean, there is everything from saxophone to marimba. The last song "Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me" takes the cake however. It is his most pounding jam to date. While I think Kiss Each Other Clean is second to The Shepherd's Dog in sheer flow and cohesiveness, there is still a lot to love about this release. 

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 Big Burned Hand

Friday, January 14, 2011

Julianna Barwick

Ease yourself into the weekend with this airy ethereal piece of beauty from Julianna Barwick. Her new album The Magic Place will be released on February 22nd on Sufjan Steven's label. That's fitting since, I find a lot of similarities between the lush landscapes that Sufjan creates and Ms. Barwick's work. The Magic Place may just become the best record to do yoga to all year.  

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi made a splash last year, and it looks like in 2011 he already has his sophomore LP ready to go. He's cleaned up his production quality quite a bit, and who knows you might even find your self dancing a little in your chair to this one. He is also an artist that I predict is a sure lock for the Coachella 2011 lineup, which should be released by next week.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Like A Ship...(Without a Sail)

Start your week off right with some good lovin' gospel soul. Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth For Christ Choir's album Like A Ship...(Without a Sail) is considered to be one of the most treasured rare records for collectors. Finally, it is being reissued in CD as well as vinyl to preserve this tremendous disc. This album was most likely recorded at The Mt. Zion Baptist Church where Barrett preaches. We've all seen ideas of what classic gospel church music looks and sounds like, for instance James Brown's sermon on The Blues Brothers is a prime example. However this record is a document of the real deal. You don't have to be religious to appreciate how groovy this music is.

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Like A Ship...(Without A Sail)

Friday, January 7, 2011

AD Presents: Deadwood...Revisited

 My favorite blog in the universe Aquarium Drunkard recently posted a long ode to the defunct HBO western, Deadwood. I know this seems like a cop out of a blog post on my part, but this love letter is so accurate it is hard for me to not re post it. I finished watching the third and final season of Deadwood about a month ago, and I honestly have been depressed ever since then. I haven't seen anything close since then that is up to this show's intellectual par. Each and every character is so perfect, and so dense, it's impossible for me to not get swallowed up in it. Whether it be the rise and fall of E.B. Farnum, or perhaps one of my favorite characters the annoying, loud and violently racist drunk named Steve who when placed in a position of duress, his only savior comes in the form of a black man. 
If you haven't seen Deadwood, you must. It can be hard to follow since the dialogue is a combination of iambic pentameter and blank verse mixed with harsh vernacular. A lot of people are pissed off that this show got canceled, there was supposed to have been two movies that summed things up. Though there are a ton of unanswered questions that the audience is left with at the end of season three, I am glad the show ended when it did. By being canceled, a shroud of mystery was cast over this show, instead of seeing a storybook ending we instead got to take a short glimpse of life in the town of Deadwood. We may yearn for satisfaction and answers, but man, what a ride. 

Check out Aquarium Drunkard's take on this landmark show.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Seven years between albums is quite a long time, more often bands who take extremely long breaks tend to lose their edge, but not Cake. Showroom of Compassion is their first record since 2004's Pressure Chief, and I must say I was quite surprised when I started hearing snippets of this record. Quite simple, Cake is still funky as all hell. They haven't changed at all, but who would want them to honestly? They have such a unique sound that it would be career suicide for them to tinker with it. Instead here with "Mustache Man" they brush off the dust and find an impossibly infectious riff to carry them through. From what I have heard from this record (which is out next Tuesday), I would go as far to say Showroom of Compassion could be their best record since Comfort Eagle.

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Mustache Man (Wasted)

Monday, January 3, 2011


First post of the New Year! 2011 is off to a start, since it's only the first week there isn't a lot of brand new 2011 music out there yet. During the break, I had an opportunity to catch up on a bunch of 2010 artists that slipped by me. For instance, a lot of blogs and critics hailed Big Boi's album as a triumph and it wasn't until the very end of the year when I finally got a chance to listen to it ('tis quite good). Another band that passed me by is the impossibly hard to Google band from San Francisco, Weekend with their album titled Sports I expect big things to happen to weekend next year, these guys seem to have a lot going for them. They are a great blend of lo-fi, garage, and shoegaze. Check out the track "Coma Summer" which I feel like is a perfect song to accompany your soul as you take that first step into the new year. Get outside and do something.

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Coma Summer