Friday, March 31, 2006

is this just alphabetical now?

I'm not sure if not many people are aware of Koufax or if just no one cares? Neither seem very likely, but the latter upsets me, so I'll continue hoping it's the former. I believe myself to have owned Social Life now on at least three separate occasions. There may be something about it that made me feel I outgrew it, but I have the feeling the case was more a age/cool scenario. I've been in possession of my dad's old Navy shirt (that's lowercase 'o;' capital 'N') for several years. Obviously, he was in possession of it for some twenty years prior. It was shelved and never thought of because that just wouldn't be cool. Recently I rediscovered it and realized that - not only is it a perfect fit, but - it's absolutely cool, for a multitude of reasons.
Koufax's Social Life was released four years ago, but it can be rediscovered at any time. It also plays quite well on these inaugural Spring windows-down days. The Toledo/Detroit natives also just released . These guys are quite accessible and very easy to love. Do you like Ok Go or Piebald at least a bit? Do you still secretly love Hot Hot Heat? It's more than likely that you'll enjoy Koufax, but the thing is you could loathe both of those bands and still enjoy Koufax. The moral? Enjoy Koufax. I do.
Here come some of my favorite tracks from the two sister albums. The new album selections are the opener and closer; the opener is the single, the closer is painfully relatable and most cleverly titled.

Koufax's "Let Us Know"
"Social Life"
& "So Put On"
from Social Life

Koufax's "Why Bother At All?"
& "Colour Us Canadian"
from Hard Times Are In Fashion

Whoa. I'm listening to a new band (to me) and will have to force you to join me. What is it about octets? Tomorrow at the latest.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

sometimes is and kinda

Let me tell you how I found out about Joiya...

I wish I could tell you. Through Justin somehow or another, I'm assuming. They're really quite good.
Being as how this is my blog and this is a band with very little accessible press or distribution, I'll let a few songs from their 2004 self-released Sometimes Is And Kinda and one new demo speak for themselves. It's really too gorgeous outside to be doing this.
Maybe I'll add more to this later. But only if I get some kind of response. I'd really like to see if anyone cares what I spend this time doing daily.

Anyway. Joiya is two boys and two girls playing the following instruments: cello, string bass, guitar, violin, piano, vibraphone, glockenspiel, percussion and vocal chords. The debut album also includes the occasional addition of trombone, baritione, tuba, french horn, tympani and Cale Parks (of Aloha and Cex) playing vibraphone.
Have fun. They do.

Joiya's "Merchants"
& "Penguin Suite"
from Sometimes Is And Kinda

Joiya's "Rouge" (demo)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

spotlight on the future.

In lieu of my now famous, well-received and highly demanded traditional Tuesday Spotlight, I'm aiming the spotlight to the near future. Will this light be falling on land unchartered, giving visibility to creatures man has never been in contact with until this very moment in history? No. Will said light be aimed at musicians that almost every single noteworthy AudioBlog has overlooked and failed miserably at introducing you, the helpless scavenger? Again, no. Am I any less excited about either (That's right. Two) bands? Hellznah. Nah-meen?

Here are our two very firm but not necessarily neighboring rocks on which all anticipation for the following albums should be based:
The Unicorns' Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
Danger Doom's The Mouse And The Mask

The former is a representation that music can still take it's listener by surprise, grip them by the shoulders and shake them into amazement so bemusing that dancing is the only possible outcome. The Unicorns confidently played an albums worth of thoughtful, morbidly funny, melodic pop songs and if by some chance you still don't own and periodically remember, play and shake your head for neglecting this album, change that. Now.
The latter is another disc that I shouldn't be introducing anyone to. A collaboration between Danger Mouse - who, you will recall, combined Jay-Z's The Black Album and The Beatles The White Album to create perfection.) and MF Doom and the cast of several [adult swim] shows, this album boasts appearences by Ghostface, Talib Kweli, the Mooninites, and Cee-Lo. Obviously Cee-Lo wanted more...

Nick Diamonds (Nicholas Thorburn) and J'Aime Tambeur (Jamie Thompson) of The Unicorns have joined with several other players to create Islands. The direction is not the same, no one is arguing about the actual lyricist, but fans of one almost can't dislike the other. Return To The Sea is out one week from today and you should pick it up to fill in the gaps from the generous hunk I'm offering and have compiled from several just such blogs.

Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo couldn't get enough of each other and created a bizarre funk-pop album with soul. You heard it here last. They'll be turning every single head during Lollapalooza's stellar (and pricey) line-up, and they've already befriended sixteen thousand of you. They are Gnarls Barkley, and they are doing anything but being ignored right now. Join the party, won't you? St. Elsewhere drops some knowledge on ya in four weeks.

Islands' "Swans (Life After Death)"
"Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby"
& "Rough Gem"
from Return To The Sea
Matt's right. I got carried away. Three songs is still more than enough.

Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"
"Smiley Faces"
& "Surreal Life"
from St. Elsewhere
Three each.

Let's watch Wonder Showzen!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

who has what where?

Maybe you go to a bunch of these types of blogs. Maybe you don't. Either way, I've found some great things, and I'll share them.

Funtime OK has a Four Tet live set.
I Guess I'm Floating is one of my favorites and has Amy Millan, Beck covering Hank Williams, and all those new Format songs.
Marathonpacks has an incredible David Byrne self-interview.
Muzzle of Bees has a National radio set.
Said The Gramophone has a new Gomez song.
Skatterbrain has quite a few great downloads. Definately.
Sound! has some Danielson Famile material.
3hive has a new Islands song!
The Torture Garden has some great picks as well as some Joanna Newsom, which will make Ashley quite happy.
Where Is Your Mind? has a better link to that Natalie Portman rap than I.
You Ain't No Picasso has a new Walkmen song, a great band called Pants Yell!, and was the blog that introduced me to this world.

I'm really going to stop typing this time!!

the first, the best, the living room.

The Spring and Summer of 2004 could not have involved more "Interventions & Lullabies" blaring in my car. I think that I was starting to consider The Format a guilty pleasure, but I've come to realize that that is bogus. The Format, no matter how radio-friendly, is a tremendous outfit. Originally just two talented gentlemen playing a few songs, The Format is now a full band with two EPs and LP under their belt. These numbers are both about to change however. The guys are releasing an online EP as a prelude to their sophomore LP. You can very easily join The Format's fan club "The Living Room" and gain access to five new songs and a video. Hell of a deal for being free.*
There are not many songs that I can play repeatedly, but somehow The Format has several just such songs and I'm sharing them with you. "Janet" may just be one of the best songs I've heard. Period. "On Your Porch" has a history of getting to me emotionally. And truthfully, "The First Single (You Know Me)," is what got me started. It took me quite some time to be able to get past that song (I&L's first) at all.
And now The Format is going out on tour with Anathallo?!* The world works fairly well sometimes.

The Format's "The First Single"
from EP

The Format's "Give It Up"
& "Career Day"
from Interventions & Lullabies

The Format's "Janet"
& "On Your Porch (acoustic)"
from Snails

The Format's Live From The Living Room: Volume One

BONUS: Plenty of Format downloads available here.

*Speaking of free/Anathallo: Anathallo is playing a free show in Cleveland tonight. Who here is going, would you raise your hand please? (Note: I'm typing this addendum one-handed.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

i'm digging the sound.

"Dreamy, catchy, throwback rock." - Tamec.
Maybe Cleveland is the next big music scene. While I completely disagree with what I just said, I'll admit that it's not entirely farfetched. Last week I was introduced to Clevelanders (Akron is close enough) Goodmorning Valentine and this morning I remembered a band I saw in the Beachland Ballroom nearly two years ago. They only had three-song CDRs at the time, but those three not-perfectly-recorded pop songs played on repeat throughout that Summer until the next time I saw them. They were releasing their first label-backed (Van Gogh Round) EP, "Summer Sweet Summer" which added two more songs and some caliber of production value. This band is The Twilight and I couldn't be more thrilled to introduce them to you. If you know them already, then you either get kudos from me or a 'thank you for reading' if you're Amie or JBright.
The Twilight wrapped up recording a proper debut full-length this year and are currently label-shopping and website-creating. It should prove to be The Twilight's year. My name is Tim and you can count on it.*

The Twilight's "Apple Pie Suburbia" (My favorite)
"I've Got Love"
& NEW SONG: "Walking Down The Street"

*More Cleveland fame. The now locally legendary Marc Brown of Norton's Furniture (famous for his high production value commercials. ) has signed on for Evil Dead Night at Elyria's Midway Cinemas. It's April 22. It's $10. Zombies. "Evil Dead." Marc talking. All night. I'll try to get you more information. I know you're drooling.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And an add-on to my Cex post. Rjyan is playing with Sandcats and I guarantee, no matter who you are, you will be hooked by listening to their one and only song on MySpace. You will not regret it or forget it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

this ain't for everyone.

It's been four years since PAS/CAL released their first in a series of two introductory EPs totaling eleven pitch-perfect pop songs just delicate enough to still have no trouble burrowing deep inside your eardrums and exploding inside your brain with fireworks of equal parts candy and warm buttered homemade bread. That was one sentence. Count it! Mastermind Casimer Pascal and his six uber-talented band mates have spent much of the time since working on a full-length release, "Citizens Army Uniform." I was introduced to these magicians of feel-good nearly one and one-half years ago. I refer to a now (among a few) infamous roadtrip to Detroit by way of Chicago from Cleveland. This trip included five friends, blood-water, not-fourteen hours of not-sleep in a not-warm van, public library primping, three million inside jokes, two smile-inducing performances by Mates of State, two jaw-dropping introductory (to me) performances by Bishop Allen, my first Make Believe experience, and a knock-out performance in Detroit by PAS/CAL (starting off with the almost too appropriate "This Ain't For Everyone.")
PAS/CAL has been documenting their progress on "Citizens Army Uniform" for the better part of a year at their very own blog. Apparently it's near completion. One can only hope.
For now though, you can download "The Bronze Beached Boys (Come on, Let's Go)" and "What happened To The Sands?" from their (say it with me...) MySpace page from "The Handbag Memoirs" and "Oh Honey, We're Ridiculous," respectively. You can also take advantage of my kindness as I'm offering you three tracks from the very same EPs (one is a perfect in-betweener for your next mix), and a validation that your desperation to hear the actual song "Oh Honey, We're Ridiculous" is not unnecessary and certainly not without company. Fingers crossed for C.A.U. by Fall.

PAS/CAL's "This Ain't For Everyone"
& "Grown Men Go Go"
from The Handbag Memoirs

PAS/CAL's "Bem, Please Come Home"
from Oh Honey, We're Ridiculous

Anybody else hear Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" (as played here by a jangly-wangly banjo) in "Bem...?"

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

i ain't here to clear a path...

I ain't here to clear a path. I came to clog it up with corpses. That could've been the title for my blog and it comes courtesy of (anyone? anyone?) Cex. Cex is Rjyan Kidwell. Rjyan is 21. 21 is familiar. Familiar is not Cex's music. Several sources say the music is very IDM in the vein of Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and Autechre. I can't vouche for this. Another source proclaims that the music speaks to fans of hip-hop, indie, electronic and pop alike. That, I can. Rjyan has put out releases on several different labels, most notably his own TigerBeat6. His releases on both Jade Tree and (Bobby Burg's) Record Label sound at home on each label respectively. The latter being the recent "Know Doubt" EP, the first to include band member Cale Parks (of Aloha and Joan of Arc). Cex's earlier releases ("Starship Galactica," "Oops, I Did It Again!" and "Role Model") are electronic-based and almost stand apart as a completely different sound (albeit just as enjoyable). The more recent-than-not release, "Being Ridden," was released when Rjyan was 18. It wasn't the first Cex I'd heard, but it was probably the most important. VICE says of the album, "This shit destroys." Never has a CD review been more spot-on. Head-bobbers beware. This is where you belong.
I'm becoming increasingly aware that this is turning into a bizarre white-hop blog. We go through phases and we need to have eclectic tastes or else we'll all end up listening to Editors, Interpol and Arctic Monkeys, dulling our aural sense to the point that our ears move to Canada to spite us.
Cex is releasing a new full-length next month called "Actual Fucking." There are two new songs on Automation Records' MySpace.
And now, your brief history lesson. But I suggest you make like Peabody and Sherman and take an extended trip to these places yourself.

Cex's "Your Handwriting When You Were A Child In The Winter"
& "Starship Galactica"
from Starship Galactica

Cex's "Theme Song To Cex"
from Role Model

Cex's "Florida (Is Shaped Like A Big Droopy Dick For A Reason)"
from Oops, I Did It Again!

Cex's "Brutal Exposure"
& "Cuts"
from Tall, Dark, And Handcuffed

Cex's "Kill Me"
from Maryland Mansions

Cex's "Earth-Shaking Event"
& "Not Working"
from Being Ridden

Cex's "State Secretly"
from Know Doubt

Monday, March 20, 2006

"snoop dogg finally got his degree..."

EDIT: Apparently I'm an idiot. The show I was excited for and posted about is Thursday not Tuesday. On the bright side of things, I spent some good time with Joe and Ashley and some good money at Music Saves. I won't be able to go to the actual show, so we made the best of it. And on an unrelated note: Is the new Calexico going to disappoint?


I believe myself to be going to a rock concert tonight. I may bulk up this post on the bands later and I may not. Ashley and I saw Dr. Dog briefly before Architecture In Helsinki and they seemed very fun. Polyvinyl's more recent find, The M's, have a great new record (Their debut and EP on Brilliante! are quite good as well). What Made Milwaukee Famous, I hadn't heard until a few seconds ago, but "Hellodrama" makes me believe I shall enjoy them thoroughly. Listen to it through their
MySpace. That's really all I'm saying right now as it's Honeycomb and bagel time.

Dr. Dog's "The World May Never Know"
"Easy Beat"
"Wake Up"

The M's "Plan Of The Man"
"My Gun"
"Future Women"

Here comes the pie.

on ten, and eleven if it's spinal tap.

I started writing just now how I was pretty sure I posted about a group on my original "Today's Song" site a couple years ago. Out of curiosity I stopped and tried to locate that site. I found it and am extactic. It's overrun with Angelfire ads, but the theme is still buried in there, and it looks like you can still download all fifty-three songs. So consider this a massive post. I'll try to recover my Angelfire password and whatnot or at least recover those imagemaps. Wow. At least one person is pleased by all this. That gives me a resurgance of energy and momentum for this blog, and while I'd really like some feedback in any way (comments, e-mails:, AIMs: HowTheyGetThere, etc.), I recognize that I will derive more pleasure from this than anyone else. Just the small spark of hope that I have any affect on anyone through this or any outlet is overwhelming and enough.
So, since some things never change, here is the third repeat from my posting then and now (at least I have no intentions of posting about Jack Johnson or Maroon 5 anymore): Ugly Duckling, a white hip-hop trio from California with a couple full-lengths under their belt and a new LP out in the US on April 11th. I haven't located any of the new tracks for download anywhere (PLEASE notify me if you know of any), so I'll post what I like from what I've got, and what I've got is what should convince you.
UD's last full-length was a hip-hop concept album about a mythical and appealling fast food restaurant called MeatShake that serves meat exclusively. It's called "Taste The Secret" and taste it, you should. It's hard to narrow down what you should hear from this tremendously conceived and perfectly executed album.
I also recently found their 2000 release "Journey to Anywhere" and it's just plain fun. I can't imagine not enjoying this stuff.

Ugly Ducking's "Opening Act"
"Turn It Up"
from Taste The Secret

Ugly Duckling's "A Little Samba"
"If You Wanna Know"
"Pick up Lines"
from Journey To Anywhere

Oh, and what you've been waiting for: My original MP3 website - TODAY'S SONG

Thanks for reading, anybody.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

that's what i be doin'.

I wanted to get this post up on Sunday, so I'm being cheap now and posting this short one early Monday, with a more fleshed out post hopefully later on.
The pharmacist I work with most often has a son who was told by his dentist or orthodontist that he would need to have his palate widened. This will apparently be a costly surgery, but one of my coworkers thought he just needed to widen his palette (i.e., to broaden his tastes). I thought this was funny and am now using it as a segue to post music that most wouldn't necessarily expect from me. I like what I like.
I finally picked up "Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star" and turning it up while driving around on a sunny day off is just about perfect. It's good hip-hop. I was explaining recently how tired I am of popular music (be it pop, rap, what-most-people-call-indie, etc.) as it's all the same. I went on to paraphrase a Cex lyric, which I'll just post verbatim...
"Middle finger to the indie rock singer
Middle finger to the wack MC
Middle finger to the uncreative underground
And a sack of middle fingers to y'all on MTV
Middle finger to the indie rock singer
Middle finger to the wack MC
Middle finger to the uncreative underground

Now some sucks claim that their lyrically superior
Writing Cex off cause they say I'm not serious
Yeah, you might use a few more syllabyles
But you're singing about the exact same shit Britney Spears is
So hear this, I represent the average music listener
You've been bringin' us down, and now we're all pissed at ya..."
It's difficult to declare your love for Cex out loud and for the point to be clear. Tomorrow is Tuesday and you know what that means. No, I mean aside from the Wonder Showzen DVDs. Spotlight. And I think we just narrowed down our candidates. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves.

Black Star's "Definition"
"Hater Players"

Uhm, Clarence Carter references make me smile uncontrollably.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

i've got softer eyes than you.

This is truly a great time to be a part of music. Sure the business is on ground as shaky as Michael J. Fox, but the horizon has no cliffs nor end in sight. It's no longer strictly about getting signed nor is it at all about radio play. What is the radio now, anyway? Bands are capable of success based solely on word of mouth and, while that has always been an option, mouths have never been so easily accessible than now. Your next favorite artist is at your fingertips. Sure, you're likely to run into more garbage than ever, but at least you won't be stuck listening to Garbage on WTVR. Hell, I could easily be talking about the internet or Chicago. Both would be true when considering phenomenal find, Blake Zweig. Chicago-based singer-songwriter and friend of Mike Kinsella (Owen, American Football, Owls, Joan of Arc, Cap'n Jazz, The One Up Downstairs) released his own solo CD (after playing with Sleeping for Sunrise) in 2001, and discovering it four years later was an absolute treat. Blake runs his fingers along the strings of his acoustic guitar beautifully, adds breathy vocals to his wonderfully written songs and cites Paul Simon, Ida and The Red House Painters as influences. At times Blake's singing is reminiscent of Robert Nanna (more The City on Film than Braid or Hey Mercedes). I'm not sure why you're not already e-mailing him (, asking to purchase "Other People Make Me Do This." You can and should get to his MySpace account for two newer songs, "All About You" and "Oh City." Otherwise, please close your eyes and drift away with three songs from "Other People...," two of which feature Mike Kinsella himself.

Chris Strong has photographed everything I know.

Blake Zweig's "Softer Eyes"
"Say Goodbye"
"Better Without You"

I can't decide whether or not to post the three now infamous One Up Downstairs recorded songs. Maybe anyone that cares has heard them already or has made the conscious decision not to.

Friday, March 17, 2006

adequate dawn february fourteenth lover.

Have I praised Music Saves at all? I can't recall. I was finally able to delve into some of last Sunday's pickins, and I have a current favorite. I'm not sure when the news that was bestowed on me will drop, but local (Akron-based) band Goodmorning Valentine has signed with the (again) continually growing (in roster quality and quantity) Suicide Squeeze Records. The label will reissue GMV's 2005 album, "Steady Your Hands," this year as well as their follow-up. More (and official) news will be coming soon, I'm sure. This will mark the second area-band to sign to the Squeeze after Six Parts Seven (who I know I will be into as soon as I get my hands on their material, I just always forget, and if someone wants to nudge me, that'd be great). I've been having a hard time identifying the correct adjectives to describe "Steady Your Hands." I just keep stumbling upon RyanAdamsian and - while that is monumental enough - I don't feel it's the best I can do. GMV list influences including Elvis Costello, Belle and Sebastian, Tom Waits and Wilco, but that doesn't get quite everything across either. Maybe it's that there's another singer or sound that this is similar too, or maybe it's just that universal. You can be the judge and definitely leave me a comment on who it may (or may not) be that I'm thinking.
One of the songs I've chosen for you from the Collectible Escalators release of "Steady Your Hands" was the first sound I heard of the band convincing me (along with a highly respected recommendation) to pick up the album. Then I've got a self-realization jam (if you will) that brings to mind the strange feeling of realizing I'm* old enough to "know what these 'kids' are going through" but not so old as to feel detached from it or any better than guilty. And finally, there's the finale which recaps just about every reason I found for being so engrossed with these songs, and wanting nothing more than to repeat them.
Here comes the weekend. It's about gee dee time. I have ridiculously high hopes that Saturday will bring with it the new Mates of State LP and CD, as well as Bishop Allen's February EP.

Goodmorning Valentine's "Last Year"
"Why Do You Bother"

*I changed this from "you're" to "I'm" for grammatical purposes, but the feeling of confession I felt in doing so was notable. So I did so. With this note.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

im joel fri

My mom used to teach "pre-first grade." The kindergarten class at the soon-to-be-cult-run school was too large and the kids who, when interviewed, didn't respond to "What do you do when you're hungry?" with "go to the garage and get my dad's chainsaw..." made it to "pre-first grade." She (mom) taught the alphabet and it's many English-imposed intricacies. Part of her curriculum was an explanation of the letter Q's dependence on the otherwise least used vowel, which she did by staging a faux wedding. Two students donned foam-made Q's and U's and then said their vows; obviously the latter's speech would have been called the vowel's vows, which is just fun to say.
What, dear sweet cable-knit sweater, what is the point?!
Well, mom was wrong and Q and NOT U works just as well. Though their non-union is sometimes chaotic and off-the-wall it still brings joy and a very danceable feeling. I'm not-so-vaguely talking about the D.C. Dischord dance-punk (if you will) three-piece Q and not U. The recently disbanded seven-year-old trio released just three full length albums but has a legacy all their own. It's interesting to note that drummer John Davis (NOT Jonathan Davis of KoRn) played with Corm, whose only full-length, "Audio Flame Kit" was just repressed by (who else?) Polyvinyl Records.
The voice of Q and not U is Christopher Paul Richards and he has recently created his own label, Academy Fight Song, and released a solo CD. His new moniker is Ris Paul Ric and "Purple Blaze" is a chilled-out QANU dinner-party centerpiece.
That's all I'm giving you today. I'd talk at more lengths about the delicateness of this album, but I'm eager to spend some "quality" time with Ashley. I give you two standout and album-defining tracks from "Purple Blaze."

Ris Paul Ric's "Purple Blaze"
"I Wish You Love Me"


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

because i miss my friend of the same name.

All that new stuff gets another day of limbo as I received the vinyl version of the new Maritime album, "We, the Vehicles." I defy you to not let almost any given Maritime song define your good mood and light-chested (describing the physical 'light-hearted' elated feeling, not those of you in A cups) smile. Davey von Bohlen, one of the original members of the undeniably influential young Chicago band Cap'n Jazz, fronted The Promise Ring for the better part of a decade. The Promise Ring's popularity and significance - albeit deserved - should not have faded the way it seemed to. I believe their final LP, "Wood/Water," to be their finest work. It's also the work that made Maritime inevitable. I'm sharing with you two tracks from the new LP; nothing that hasn't been at your fingertips, but as the CD isn't out until next month, I can't rip you my favorites. You can check out two more. on Maritime's MySpace account. Davey's most frequent partner in crime since the fall of Cap'n Jazz has been Dan Didier. The two of them (alongside instrumental Crouton god and Pele member Chris Rosenau) played as Vermont, and I'm including one of my favorite ballads from their second release, "Calling Albany." It's repetetive, but that just means you'll keep repeating a smile.
Do yourself a favor and head to Flameshovel for Maritime's latest and a whole bunch of other solid stuff (some of which may be coming to you via me soon).

Maritime's "Calm"
& "Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts"
Vermont's "Ballad of Larry Bird"

I'm off to play "War of the Monsters!" And I need to see my Davey soon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

...two, three, four!

Sorry about the lack of new posts, however I'm sure you enjoyed the newest Digital Short. Lorne Michaels may have a few more tricks up his sleeve afterall. His new show "Sons may shape up nicely as well.
In any case, Sunday was new-music-filled. I emptied my wallet at Music Saves (and traded up some at The Exchange), and as soon as my work schedule isn't ridiculously demanding and I've got some time, I'll get to listen to everything. I am very very excited for all of it though. What do you have to look forward to? The unknown, faithful reader, the unknown. I'll do my damnedest to reveal all my secrets this week. And this Sunday's wrap-up will have to make up for the lackthereof this week. Ooh, Lackthereof. In other loose-ends talk, Aesop Rock signed on to the Pitchfork Good-Times-Gallore-Festivities! Here we go...

It's Tuesday and I feel bad about my silence on Monday, so I present to you the Tuesday Spotlight! First, a quiz:

1. Where does a bulk of the music I seem to enjoy originate from (hint: July's destination)?
(a) Norway
(b) Norfolk
(c) Norwalk
(d) Chicago

2. Most of said music tends not to be on Adult Contemporary Radio; It's more-obscure or less-mainstream. This music can be classified as...
(a) Bi-curious
(b) Wanton
(c) As disappointing as Bill Murray in "Garfield: The Movie"
(d) Underground

Finally , a three-parter
3. Batman & Robin are the "Dynamic ___;" the Musketeers were a ____; red and white striped male singers lend their voices to a Barbershop _______.
(a) Duo
(b) Trio
(c) Quartet
(d) All of the above

Papers front. The answers were all, of course, "d." And that leads us to the Spotlight. This week, I present to you the jazz stylings of two, three or four gentlemen from Chicago, IL. Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor, who play (minimally) cornet and percussion (respectively) and dabble with electronics and vibraphones are sometimes joined by additional players to create a jazz that is sometimes sparse and thin, sometimes full and rich, always heavy with frenzied improv cornet, and always percussively fun. Their occasional partners in crime are guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist Noel Kupersmith. The players have also assisted the legendary Joan of Arc in putting on an expansive live show.More information on their history and sound on their label, Thrill Jockey, which has released their six most recent releases (two thirds of their discography). Unfortunately, I don't have the first CD, "Playground," so I'll just be posting the first track from their last eight full-lengths. Great study music for all you students, and great headphone music, either way.

Chicago Underground Trio's "Othello" from Possible Cube
Chicago Underground Trio's "Quail" from Flamethrower
Chicago Underground Duo's "The Pursued" from 12° of Freedom
Chicago Underground Duo's "Blue Sparks from Her, and the Scent of Lightning" from Synesthesia
Chicago Underground Quartet's "Tunnel Chrome" from Chicago Underground Quartet
Chicago Underground Duo's "Micro Exit" from Axis and Alignment
Chicago Underground Trio's "Protest" from Slon
Chicago Underground Duo's "Falling Awake" from In Praise of Shadows

Thanks everyone. I'll hit you with the new sh*t pronto.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Saturday, March 11, 2006

music does indeed save.

Yes, yes, the Aloha show was grand. The new material is very good. I've spent a little time with "Some Echoes" and I do think it is quite solid. I can't wait until they are more confident with the songs. That's the trouble with being one of the first stops on a new tour. The "Here Comes Everyone" songs just dominate due - in no small part - to the fact that they've been playing them for about two years. They did play "Water Your Hands" which, if you didn't know, contains the origin of my blog title. I anticipate that being part of the Sunday wrap-up. Back to the Thursday night show: I'm still betting that Mazarin has a killer album (if anyone can confirm or deny, let me know), but due to a poor audio mix I just couldn't get too impressed. The Double are an entirely different story. Watching The Double is like watching a really decent indie-rock band inside a bubble. I don't mean a metaphoric bubble. I mean an actual soap bubble. At times, the soap is so thin and evenly distributed that it's all but transparent, but as the bubble turns there can be a warping effect such that everything is still identifiable but altered in an undeniably unique way. Rhythms based on echoing guitar cord tip tapping. Hi hats mic'ed to sound like powerful stomps. It was truly quite good, and I have to recommend you listen to their latest Matador release, "Loose In The Air."

Since I missed a day on here (I spent Ashley's birthday with her, a pepperjack bacon burger, a disappointing lesbianism movie and "Ooooooohhh... On The TLC Tip"), I'll make it up to you by making public a conversation I had with Cleveland's best record store's owners (on one of whom's brithday) at the Aloha concert:

Me: "I credit you guys for introducing me to a big three, being Menomena, The National and The Double."
Kevin: "Whoa."

I definately shouldn't go into a career of interviewing. Here now are songs from each of those magnificent bands, along with a brief personal history. Have a great weekend, all. I'm off to Music Saves at some point during it.

The Double's "Idiocy"
Just see my unusual bubble reference above. These four guys are truly creating something great. Actually, more appropriately, this is some of what Village Voice says about the album:
"There is a foreboding sense of everything coming apart at the seams in The Double’s subversive take on pop music. Their Matador debut, 'Loose in the Air,' is an eerie, paranoid album steeped in a hyper-awareness of the impermanence of things. Melody moves through thick layers of noisy, manic guitars and heavily distorted keyboards, and drums fight through a dense fog of melancholy. Tender vocals soar high and low through an atmosphere of chaos – it’s at once unsettling and utterly captivating."
The National's "Secret Meeting"
Remember Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? No, their one and only LP so far is still quite good, but at their live show last fall - as assured to me by Team Music Saves would happen - The National wowed me more than CYHSY could even hope to. With a rich baritone croon, a gentle guitar jangle, and perfect pop tendencies, The National are a seasoned New York-by-way-of-Ohio outfit that you should go out of your way to see. It just so happens I have that solution. Make the same journey I am to Chicago in July for the Pitchfork Music Festival. The National is part of the already stellar line-up.

And finally...Drumroll...

Menomena's "The Late Great Libido"
Menomena has a unique website a unique MySpace account, their debut CD is a half-inch thick flipbook, the LP version is a gigantic pop-up monster, and oh yeah, they play music. Nothing I say about their sound will turn you on to them as much as simply listening.
I remember stopping into Music Saves before going to a show last Spring of a band I had only heard about called Pit Er Pat. The infant record store seemed stoked for the headlining band, which I wasn't going to see and was even intending on leaving after a couple of their songs. That band would be Menomena and suffice it to say, I stayed. Read about them on Pitchfork if you'd like. But please don't deprive your ears of them any longer.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

align your eyes with mine.

Aloha is playing tonight with The Double and Mazarin. I anticipate all three bands being stellar, and you just may be hearing more from the latter two in the near future. As for now, all you need are a few new Aloha songs to get you so psyched for the new album, "Some Echoes," that you won't know what to do with yourself.
A brief personal history of Aloha: I was in the designated computer room of one of my good friends my junior/senior year of high school, and noticed an excellent piece of art hanging above the monitor. It was explained to me that the artist was a friend of the family, and 'hey, he also did the art for this awesome cd.' The band: Aloha. The album: "Sugar." The artist: Zachary Buchner.

Aloha's "Brace Your Face"
Aloha's "Your Eyes"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

pay to play.

I deluded myself into believing I could do everything I wanted to do here for free. Survey says? X. In any case, I'm official; here and now. Unfortunately, I spent all my blog time for the day straightening everything out. I'll leave you with two things for the day...

a) a reference to yesterday's (now fully functional) spotlight, which I am very hopeful will be enjoyed thoroughly,
b) Calexico's first new song from their "Garden Ruin" LP, due out on April Eleventh.

Calexico's "Cruel"

Also due out on 04/11/06 is Aloha's "Some Echoes." They'll be in Cleveland tomorrow night, so you might guess what type of post you'll be looking at in twenty-four hours.

We're both back.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I missed Monday. Weekdays are definately harder for me, what with working until five and enjoying spending time with friends and the girl. I'm trying. I'm making it up to you by doing a spotlight. One artist (/group). Every release. One song each. Today's spotlight: a duo from Canada that you are probably not familiar with. Two brothers named Andy and Jim Creeggan formed under a band name as absurd as we've grown accostomed to (see: Death Cab For Cutie, Test Icicles, AIDS Wolf, etc.) and are known publicly as The Brothers Creeggan. In the last decade they have release just four full-length releases, due in part to their busy schedules outside of their project together. These four CD's show remarkable growth as a series, while each one is sonically remarkable. The sound obviously matures - along with the subject matter - but the piano and upright bass (with occasional/eventual percussion) jazz-influenced pop is always fun. So here they are. The lead-off tracks on each of The Brothers Creeggan releases, "The Brothers Creeggan," "The Brothers Creeggan II," "Trunks," and "Sleepyhead." With one bonus song from Andy Creeggan's second solo effort. The first track from which is a joyously relaxed choral warm-up and roll-call. Please do enjoy.

The Brothers Creeggan's "Shoppin' For Shoes"
The Brothers Creeggan's "Why Won't They Bite?"
The Brothers Creeggan's "Stuck"
The Brothers Creeggan's "You Will Be Adored"
Andy Creeggan's

Sunday, March 05, 2006

sunday. sunday. someday.

I think it's entirely possible that I'll use Sundays as catch-up days. If I've promised to touch on something later, I'll try to do so on a (pardon the second SNL Digital Short reference within twelve hours) lazy sunday. First up are two Suicide Squeeze newcomers. Metal Hearts debut "Socialize" was created by two gentlemen from Baltimore, neither having lived two full decades. Crystal Skulls' sophomore effort, "Outgoing Behavior," is out in about a month. Suicide Squeeze Records is becoming a force to be reckoned with. The final catch-up (catsup?) artist is that Kid Koala character. With two full-length cds (each packaged remarkably), several demos, a live ep/dvd, a graphic novel and much more on the way, Eric San is a force to be reckoned with. So here is one track from each artist. Each track is a force to be reckoned with.

And always remember that utilizing the right-side button on your mouse and the "Save Link/Target As..." function is a force to be reckoned with.

Metal Hearts' "Disappeared"
Crystal Skulls' "Just Like You Want"
Kid Koala's "Music For Morning People"

Have a great week.