Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Best Music Of The Year From Central Oregon & Beyond

Check out the website for the Bend Bulletin out of Oregon for their special year-end music feature with the year's best lists and reviews as well as downloads of favorites from Oregon based performers and national acts like Arcade Fire, The Shins, and Aesop Rock to name a few. Props to the staff and to Ben Salmon for the work it took putting this together.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Part 1. "Lest I Shiver"

Sure, I got an imposing letter demanding that I remove the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds track, "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!" but I don't take it personally. To that extent, here is, what appears to be, the first in a serious of tongue-in-cheek promotional videos produced by the band and released by Mute. Also, the band's homepage, has relaunched and is currently streaming the new song. Furthermore, stream Shaun Keaveny's Music Breakfast show from Boxing Day, Wednesday December 26 to here an interview with Nick and more new music.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Here's... Well You Get The Picture

New hosting in place, I thought I would start off with a track off an album released in the last month that probably didn't get a lot of press or play on the indie circuit, Wyclef Jean's Carnival, Vol. 2: Memoirs of an Immigrant. Fast Car features the legendary Paul Simon, and while it may seem an odd duo, it makes for a great track. Enjoy

Apple iTunes

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mea Culpa

It appears as if Boxstr has suspended my account due to my hosting the new Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds track. Hopefully, I can get this straightened out and get back up and running.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Single Posted

So the first single from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' forthcoming album, Dig, Lazerus, Dig has been released to radio, or at least Radio 1 in the UK. Nick warned all that this would not sound like anything he's ever done with the Bad Seeds, and based on a couple of listens to the title track, I would have to say that he was spot on. Here is a little insight from Nick himself into the concept of the album.

"Ever since I can remember hearing the Lazarus story, when I was a kid, you know, back in church, I was disturbed and worried by it. Traumatized, actually. We are all, of course, in awe of the greatest of Christ's miracles - raising a man from the dead - but I couldn't help but wonder how Lazarus felt about it. As a child it gave me the creeps, to be honest. I've taken Lazarus and stuck him in New York City, in order to give the song, a hip, contemporary feel. I was also thinking about Harry Houdini who spent a lot of his life trying to debunk the spiritualists who were cashing in on the bereaved. He believed there was nothing going on beyond the grave. He was the second greatest escapologist, Harry was, Lazarus, of course, being the greatest. I wanted to create a kind of vehicle, a medium, for Houdini to speak to us if he so desires, you know, from beyond the grave. Sometimes, late at night, if you listen to the song hard enough, you can hear his voice and the sad clanking of his chains. "I don't know what it is but there is definitely something going on upstairs", he seems to be saying. It is, most of all, an elegy to the New York City of the 70's." - Nick Cave

The single will be available as a limited edition 7", CD and download on February 18, and we'll have to wait for the full record until March 14. Here's a little sneak peak at the title track from the new album. It is quite different, but still Nick at the core and I quite like it. Judge for yourself.

Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (radio rip)
File removed at the insistence of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Don't Like Mondays

So here's a little Elvis Costello (MySpace), from one of the greatest debut albums ever, to finish off today and get us through the rest of the week.

Welcome to the Working Week (mp3)

Apple iTunes

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Late Saturday/Early Sunday Mix

A little old, and a little new with some covers thrown in for good measure. Enjoy, and if you like what you hear let me know. If you don't, go ahead and let me know anyway, I've got pretty thick skin.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Cannonball Adderley
Santa Clara - The National
Sun Kil Moon - Dramamine (Modest Mouse Cover)
Radiohead - All I Need
Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball (Neil Young Cover)
John Lennon - Working Class Hero (Acoustic)
Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Right Now I'm A Roaming
Dan Wilson - Easy Silence
Cat Power - The Greatest
U2 - Acrobat
Neko Case - I Wish I Was The Moon
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - (Do You Wanna) Come Walk With Me
Sigur Ros - Saeglopur
Holler, Wild Rose! - Holler, Wild Rose!
The Twilight Singers -Number Nine
Wilco - Sunken Treasure

Apple iTunes

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another Canadian Export To Watch

There's been a lot of great music coming out of the Great White North over the last few years, and Jain Vain & The Dark Matter are the latest in that line. Jain Vain is the existential outlet for singer/songwriter/producer Jamie Fooks. Their debut album, Love Is Where The Smoke Is, due out in January 2008 on Rectangle Records, was recorded & produced in Fooks' basement. The record itself, a musical confessional of sorts, is an honest and sincere 10 song therapy session where Fooks' ethereal voice rises above layers of strings, synthesizers, & well placed guitar to create a very textured and mature sounding debut record. Though still in its infancy in many ways, the band has already opened for the likes of Cat Power and Tokyo Police Club, and more extensive touring is sure to follow. I am no prophet (and here's no greater matter), but as we come to the close of a year that saw many female artists and female led groups like Feist and Regina Spektor charge to the forefront of the indie music scene, 2008 shouldn't be all that different. Below is a track for your listening pleasure and check out the band's MySpace page to hear three more tracks. Lastly, keep a look out for the album; songs like "Moving Notes," "Last Chance For Romance," and "Oh Captain" round out an incredibly solid debut record.

C'mon Baby Say Bang Bang

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rap As Mathematical Charts And Graphs

Courtesy of

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Slow Down

lean in, call up that feeling
you get when you're stealing, that all too revealing side of you
Feeling a little reflective tonight, so here are three versions of The Twilight Singers' "Candy Cane Crawl" off Powder Burns (2006). The first is the album version featuring Afghan Whigs' bassist John Curley and the always amazing Ani DiFranco, followed by two live versions. The first live track was recorded in November 2006 with the full band and is bookended by a cover of The Band's epic "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." The final track is a stripped down version recorded live at The Triple Door in Seattle on Oct. 4.

Candy Cane Crawl (Album Version)
Candy Cane Crawl (Brussels)
Candy Cane Crawl (Seattle)

If you haven't listened to any of Greg Dulli's material, you are really missing something extraordinary. Few can match Dulli's ability to capture the frailties of human nature in both light and dark.

The Twilight Singers
| Amazon | The Twilight Singers

Band of Horses Returning to Nashville

The last time Band of Horses visited Music City, they were opening for Modest Mouse at the Ryman Auditorium, where they previewed a few tracks from their, yet to be released, sophomore effort, Cease to Begin. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long for them to return. Tickets are now on sale for their January 29 show with Cass McCombs & Tyler Ramsey via the Exit/In online sales and also at Grimey's New & Preloved Music. The Exit/In is a Nashville landmark and this show will almost certainly sell out, so if you didn't get your tickets early through the band's website, you had better get them soon.

The following tracks come courtesy of KCRW
Is There A Ghost
Islands On The Coast
The General Specific
Our Swords
Ode To The LRC
The Funeral
Wicked Gil
Marry Song

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We Are Fixed Right Where We Stand

Nothing new, nothing special, just a song that's getting quite a bit of play on my ipod right now.

If life's not beautiful without the pain
well i'd just rather never ever even see beauty again

Monday, December 3, 2007

Giving The Grand Ole Party A Good Name

I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but I have become a fan of the Grand Ole Party. The SoCal trio, not the sorority made up of and mostly run by rich white male bigots. But that's another post for another day. This one is dedicated to the fledgling band generating quite a buzz. Their sound to me would be one of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O singing for the Cold War Kids. In other words, a damn nice combination. Take a listen and one of the the first things that will grab your attention will be the powerful vocals of Kristin Gundred, who doubles as the band's drummer. Kristin's in-your-face vocals are the perfect front the the band's pounding rhythms. For now, their debut album, Humanimals, is available only on Grand Ole Party - Humanimals or at their shows. Don't fret if your area isn't on their upcoming slate and you want a hard copy, because the record will see an official release in early 2008. The band is touring through most of December.

03 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
05 San Francisco, CA - Independent
07 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
08 Denver, CO - Bluebird
09 Omaha, NE - Slowdown
11 Chicago, IL - Schubas
12 Iowa City, IA - The Picador
13 Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge
14 Norman, OK - Opolis
15 Austin, TX - Emo's
31 Solona Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern

Here are a couple of tracks and a performance video of "Bad, Bad Man" for your listening & viewing pleasure.

Nasty Habits (mp3)
Look Out Young Son (mp3)

West Indian Girl's New Video For "To Die In L.A."

Check out the new video from West Indian Girl for "To Die In L.A." from the band's latest release, 4th and Wall.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


And my orange clad Volunteers are clinging to a 7-6 lead thanks to a superbly executed opening drive and a bend-but-don't-break defense that has stiffened as the game has progressed. All they need to do before they come out for the second half is watch the video below entitled, "This is Tennessee."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Please Excuse My Absense

I am having to rebuild (my first attempt) my machine from the ground up that houses my entire library. I've been working late into the night after I get home from work to try it up and running again and I'm almost there. I should have everything access this afternoon or tonight and my posting will start anew.

In the meantime, here is something from The Black Keys (MySpace) latest album, Magic Potion. The Ohio duo still have their four song live EP available for download via MySpace so grab it now if you haven't already.

Strange Desires (mp3)

Photo courtesy of Daniel Norton

And the video for "Just Got To Be".

Monday, November 26, 2007

Scott Miller's Annual New Year's Eve Show

Tickets are on sale now for Scott Miller's annual New Year's Eve Celebration featuring Mic Harrision and the High Score. This year's festivities will take place, as always in picturesque Knoxville, TN. The Valarium will host the party to ring in 2008. This familiar with Knoxville will know The Valarium by it's former name, The Electric Ballroom. Every year is a surprise and a blast. I'll be there unless my beloved Vols pull the upset of LSU this weekend in Atlanta, in which case I'll be ringing in the new year in New Orleans. All songs below are from Scott's solo acoustic record, "Are You With Me?".

Bastard's Only Child
Goodnight Loser (V-Roys)
Lie I Believe (V-Roys)
Daddy Raised A Boy

Thursday, November 22, 2007

J. Tillman

J. Tillman (MySpace) has been compared to the likes of Nick Drake, Ray Lamontagne and Ryan Adams for his stripped down bare-your-soul songs. Strong comparisons indeed, but one listen to his 2006 debut on Yer Bird Records and you will understand. Any album named Cancer and Delirium carries with it a certain weight. And as you would surmise from the title, the songs are stark, bleak and absolutely beautiful both musically and lyrically. If you are looking for a sunny, top-down, wind-in-your-hair record, look elsewhere, but if you would like a late-night record to listen to in the company of your own thoughts, do not pass this one up. Tillman will be releasing a new album, Minor Works, in January on Undertow Records. Below are three songs from Cancer and Delirium and a track, "Seven States Across," from his earlier self-produced record, Long May You Run.

Seven States Across
Evans and Falls
Ribbons of Glass
When I Light Your Darkened Door

You can stream as well as the purchase Cancer and Delirium at Yer Bird Records.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Okkervil River's Daytrotter Session

In case you missed it, Okkervil River (MySpace) dropped by Daytrotter a little more than a week ago for a chat and some music. Topics ranged from their latest album, The Stage Names to the Muppets. Their performance included covers from Carol King, Jimmy Webb, & John Phillips, as well as a loose and playful version of a track from the new record.

April Anne (John Philips)
No Easy Way Out (Carole King)
Do What You Gotta Do (Jimmy Web)
You Can't Hold The Hand Of A Rock And Roll Man (The Stage Names)

Finally, if you haven't picked up the new record yet, you are missing out on one of the best records of the year!
Okkervil River - The Stage Names
| Insound | eMusic| Amazon

Enviro-Tips from The Green Team!

Ben Folds Playing An Intimate Nashville Show

Nashville resident, Ben Folds (MySpace), will be playing a hometown show at the Exit/In on December 19. With a capacity of only about 500, this promises to be as entertaining as it is intimate. Tickets go on sale Saturday November 24 at 10 am, but you can buy tickets now through Friday via a pre-sale at Ticketmaster. The password is BRICK. See you there.

The Luckiest (mp3)
In Between Days (mp3)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Joe Lally (Fugazi) Releases New Album

Joe Lally, best know for his work with the seminal punk and model indie band Fugazi has released his second solo album, Nothing is Underrated. The album, which hit store shelves not located in big box stores, was produced by former band mates Ian McKaye and Guy Piccotto, both of which contribute guitar work to the album as well. The is, and has not been, a band that could match Fugazi for their live intensity and true dedication to their music and fans. Until they end their self-imposed hiatus, we can just enjoy each band members work, whether solo or under another band name, such as Ian McKaye and Amy Farina's Evens. Below are two tracks from Joe. The first is from the new album, while the second is taken from Joe's 2006 record, There To Here. Neither are Fugazi clones and as a fan that would be the last thing I would want. I'm glad to see each member branching out on their own and putting together damn fine records.

Skin and Bones (Nothing Is Underrated)
Lidia's Song (There To Here)

Both albums as well as Fugazi's catalog and each member's side projects can be purchased through Dischord.


Monday, November 19, 2007

A Completely Random Selection of Songs

for a completely random Monday a few hundred miles West of the Great Smokey Mountains.

The Twilight Singers - The Lure Would Prove Too Much
R.E.M. - Perfect Circle (Tourfilm)
Fugazi - Last Chance for a Slow Dance
Dave Alvin - King of California
Billy Bragg & Wilco - Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key
Steve Earle - Jerusalem (Live)
Jeff Buckley - Eternal Life
Ryan Adams - Sylvia Plath
Mission of Burma - Academy Fight Song
Neko Case - Star Witness
The V-Roys - Motion Pictures (Live)
Elvis Costello - (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea (Live at the El Mocambo)
Charles Mingus - The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Right Now I'm A-Roaming

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Soulsavers Spiritual Soundscape

I don't typically run out and buy a record these days after hearing only one track (Been burned too many times). One listen to "Revival" off the new Soulsavers' (MySpace) record, It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land, and I couldn't wait to hear the rest. The album was release in April of this year and I've been kicking myself for not finding it sooner. A dark brooding mixture of Gospel, Rock, & Electronica with haunting vocals provided by the amazing Mark Lanegan (MySpace). The band and Lanegan provide a perfect synthesis for an affecting and melancholy collection that resonates and reverberates with despair. Covers of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations" and Neil Young's "Through My Sails" have been reworked to fit the album's ambiance wonderfully. Fans of Lanegan's recent work with The Twilight Singers (MySpace) should run to their nearest indie record store to pick this up. My recommendation is to set the player on repeat, settle in for a night with a bottle or wine, scotch, or whiskey (whatever your drink of choice maybe, as long as there is not an umbrella sticking out) and immerse yourself in the music. The existence of heaven is debatable, but the desolate bliss of this record is not. Listen for yourself and watch the amazing video for "Revival."

No Expectations

Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land
| Buy it at Insound! | Amazon

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Top Ten Covers of the Century (Berkeley Place)

If you are like me, you appreciate a well done cover, whether it is a faithful re-make paying homage, or a new take and arrangement giving a song a new life. Anyway, head on over to Berkeley Place and submit your top ten covers of the century (or at leave the first eight years).

Here was my list (most of which I have previously posted) in no particular order other than the first. I'll re-link them all for good measure.

Johnny Cash – Hurt
Iron & Wine – Waiting on Superman
John Mayer – Kid A
The Twilight Singers – Medley of Lovestoned/TheKiller/Wolf Like Me (Live)
Nick Cave – I’m Your Man
Gillian Welch – Black Star
Ani Difranco – Hurricane
Foo Fighters – Darling Nikki
Tuung – Pioneers

Introducing Kate Nash

Don't let the sugar sweet vocals of Kate Nash (MySpace) fool you. This UK songstress has got something to say, and one listen to her debut album, Made of Bricks, will give you a pretty good idea of what she is about. Like everyone, she's been through bad relationships, and like most songwriters, she uses these experiences as inspiration. Unlike most female songwriters though, she isn't afraid to express herself in blunt terms. She has been compared to Lilly Allen on more than one occasion and it is a reasonable comparison due not only to their age and innocent appearances, but also due to their styles in which they deliver their songs in an almost storytelling fashion.

Made of Bricks has received mixed reviews, but still managed to climb to #1 in the UK. The record will hopefully be available stateside sometime after the first of the year. Her first single, "Foundation," (song & video below) tells the story of a burned out relationship where neither of the participants can summon the courage to call it quits. The video for what would would normally be a somber occasion is as entertaining and quirky as the songs take on the situation. Her latest single, "Mouthwash," is available also available now. She has released an E.P. for "Foundation" currently available on Kate Nash. For us Americans, Made of Bricks can be ordered as an import through several retailers (see links below) if you listen to the songs and watch the video and can't wait.

We Get On (Live on BBC Radio)

Amazon |

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Sweet Smell of Burning Tires

With a name like Backyard Tire Fire (MySpace), anything but a super-charged energetic Southern Rock band would be a surprise. Luckily it is a good one. Don’t get me wrong, there’s not a dive anywhere in the South this Midwestern trio couldn’t play and own, but there’s also not an indie alt-country crowd around that they couldn’t equally impress. This band writes complete songs. That is, a solid and driving backbone rhythm supplied by drummer Tim Kramp and abetted by bassist Matt Anderson, rounded out by the guitar and vocals of chief songwriter Ed Anderson. Best of all, this group is not a one-trick pony, all style and no substance. The lyrics are every bit as strong and powerful as the music itself. Whether it is the folk influenced “Vagabonds and Hooligans,” the title track from the groups latest offering, released earlier this year, or the shuffling double-time rock of “Tom Petty,” the songs are tightly woven and road-tested. The six live tracks, recorded in February at The Double Door in Chicago, the band has so graciously offered up for free download are a testament to the music and most of all, to the band, as the three work in perfect unison to create the rockin’ country chaos few can match. The band is also currently working on a new album.

Buy the new album directly from the band here or on Backyard Tire Fire - Vagabonds and Hooligans.

Catch them on their fall swing through the Midwest

November 15 / Rudyard Kipling's / Louisville, KY (w/ Phonograph)
November 16 / Ruby’s / Columbus, OH (w/ Phonograph)
November 17 / Grog Shop / Cleveland, OH (w/ Phonograph)
November 21 / Lucas School House / St. Louis, MO (w/ Joe Stickley's Blueprint)
November 24 / Chicago St. Pub / Joliet, IL
November 30 / Crusens / Peoria, IL
December 1 / Redstone Room / Davenport, IA (w/ The Winter Blanket)
December 21 /Daddio's / Bloomington, IL - 2nd Annual Holiday Jamboree!

Feel free to listen and/or download each song individually or you can download them all at once via this zip file.

Vagabonds and Hooligans
A Long Time
Tom Petty
The Wrong Hand

Sailing The Silver Seas

The Silver Seas (MySpace) new album, "High Society," is like a 70's "best of" compilation, and I mean that in the best of ways. Impeccably produced, the album is a radio dial's worth of lush pop melodies combined with bittersweet lyrics. Daniel Tashian, the quartet's main songwriter and vocalist has absorbed elements of the singer-songwriters of the day, like Jackson Browne, as well as the smooth pop melodies of artists like ELO & even Seals & Crofts. He has said however, that his inspiration came instead from the desire to have one of his songs used as the theme song to a sitcom. I, for one, would prefer any of the track on "High Society" to the innocuous "Friends" theme from the Rembrants'.

Some will see the afore mentioned artists and dismiss this record without ever giving it a chance, and that would be a damn shame. You wouldn't be passing on Seals & Crofts or ELO or even Jackson Browne, but rather a modern-day take on the music of that era at crossroads with the modern indie pop sensibilities that are gushed over day after day on other bands by countless other blogs. Give the songs a chance and, if you appreciate well written songs with incredible melodies you will not be disappointed. So listen to the tracks below and order the record directly from Cheap Lullaby or drop by your local indie store if you like it.

One final note of congratulations; "High Society" is a finalist for the Independent Music Awards’ Best Pop/Rock album of 2008. Do the link to vote for them.

The Country Life
High Society
Imaginary Girl