Thursday, June 28, 2007

If you didn't already know

We are on a long break. No word yet when we will be back. Enjoy summer and life.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank -- .Woah.

So, I was all ready to come on here to write up the new Ted Leo album (I'll be getting to that one in a few day.) But then, out of nowhere, one of my most anticipated albums of the year, Modest Mouse's "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" decided to leak onto the interweb. And so, plans change, and I just had to give my 2 cents on this very interesting LP.

Now, here's the thing: When I say that I was highly anticipating MoMo's new album, it doesn't mean that I thought it was gonna be good. Rather, I was almost positive that it was going to be shit. I loathed "Good News," thinking it as big a step backwards as the band could possibly take after "The Moon And Antartica," and the lead single "Dashboard" left me sure that they were about to deliver more of the same take it or leave it tepid pop crap.

And so, imagine my surprise when it turned out that "We Were Dead" not only didn't suck, but was actually a really really awesome listen. This is a big deal.

I'm not saying that this album is perfect (it's still leagues behind the emotion and intensity of MM's early work,) but it is jam packed with track after blood stained track of energy, emotion and ingenuity. Some songs, like the previously mentioned lead single and a few others, tank, but these mistakes are forgivable. For there's plenty of hard-edged gold in here.

Posting sample tracks is going to be a bit difficult, because, at first glance, there are a bunch of highlights. So, I'll try to give you a representative batch.

Modest Mouse - March Into The Sea - Woah, this, the album's lead track, is totally unrelenting. Not many musicians could create the intense build up that occurs in this song's 3 and a half minutes, but Brock and co. pull it off with ease. The last minute and a half of this baby are pure insanity. Love it.

Modest Mouse - Fire It Up - Okay, so a substantial part of the album are pop songs. But, as this song proves, that doesn't have to be a bad things. While the instrumentation isn't necessarily classic Mouse, Brock's lyrics, delivery, and the band's powerful performance prove that MM has the ability to make powerful and unforgettable pop.

Modest Mouse - Parting Of The Sensory - Here's one that only Isaac Brock could write. To tell you the truth, this was the song that surprised me most of all. It's so original and genuine, such an excellent departure from "Good News."

Well, I guess that's all I'll throw up here. This album is definately worth checking out, because, as I said, there are plenty more highlights (including the heartstopping 9 minute opus 'Spitting Venom,' which might just be an early contender for song of the year.)

I can't believe I'm listening to great new Modest Mouse.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bonnaroo 2007: The Line Up

If you can go, then go. Bonnaroo is the festival to end all festivals from what I hear. So go. Go. Go. Go.

The Police
Widespread Panic
The White Stripes
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
Flaming Lips
Manu Chao
The String Cheese Incident
Franz Ferdinand
Bob Weir & Ratdog
Damien Rice
The Roots
Gov't Mule
Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers
The Decemberists
Kings of Leon
Regina Spektor
The Black Keys
DJ Shadow
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Keller Williams
Sasha & Digweed
Old Crow Medicine Show
The Hold Steady
Lily Allen
North Mississippi Allstars
Fountains Of Wayne
Hot Tuna
Hot Chip
John Butler Trio
Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
Aesop Rock
The Richard Thompson Band
Xavier Rudd
T-Bone Burnett
Mavis Staples
Cold War Kids
Paolo Nutini
Brazilian Girls
RX Bandits
The Slip
Girl Talk
Railroad Earth
Martha Wainright
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Tea Leaf Green
Sam Roberts Band
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Charlie Louven
Sonya Kitchell
Apollo Sunshine
Ryan Shaw
Uncle Earl
The National
The Little Ones

[via I Guess I'm Floating]

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Video Friday: The Decemberists

So I just picked up my ticket for the Decemberists show in March and I thought to myself, why not give their videos a little publicity. So I am.

16 Military Wives

O Valencia (Green Screen Contest version)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Norfolk and Western

Norfolk and Western is a Portland band that is new to me, but one that has been around for a while. It has featured M.Ward, Rachel Blumborg (former Decembrists drummer) and other back up members to bigger names on its various albums. It's a community project in many ways. An American Broken Social Scene (though not quite the same sound.) They do create a really cool sound though, what with the banjo, accordion, trumpet along with all the basics. Here's two tracks off their CD, "The Unsung Colony", released in 2006.

Barrels of Fire

The Rise of New Labor

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Andrew Bird, you so crazy!

This video seems to be getting the rounds, but I just have to post it. It's an appearance of Mr.Bird on a children's television show. His role = Dr. Stringz. It's funny. And a little scary. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Willy Mason's Back -- And He's Grown Up

Well, here's an album that should make blogmaster "Preciousroy" tres happy, the long awaited sophomore release from young and promising folk singer Willy Mason. Now, I must admit, contrary to popular opinion around these parts, I was not the biggest fan of 2004's "Where The Human's Eat." I felt that Willy, while certainly showing promise, hadn't quite perfected his songwriting craft just yet. Tracks like "Oxygen" and "Where The Humans Eat" stood out, but, as a whole, something didn't click for me.

Luckily though, it appears that those problems are way in the past, for "If The Ocean Gets Rough" shocked me upon first listen as a stunning improvement for Willy, and a great folk album in general. It seems that touring with the likes of Radiohead and Bright Eyes has matured Willy's songwriting skills quite a bit, as everything from the young man's lyrics to his deep and powerful voice just plain sound better here. This album is not to be underestimated, it's pretty fantastic.

A Few (of many) Highlights:

Willy Mason - The World I Wanted
This song is my favorite from the album, and is the perfect example of Mason's stunning maturation as a songwriter. This is pitch perfect and emotionally resonant folk on every level. The lyrics, the vocal performance and the atmospheric classical guitar solo make it a truly affecting listen.

Willy Mason - Save Myself
"Save Myself" expands upon the previous album's stand out "Oxygen," with clever lyrics and a genuinly cool guitar riff. The difference here from "Oxygen" is stunning production, which allows the song to breath easily.

Willy Mason - When The Leaves Have Fallen
"When The Leaves Have Fallen," the album's closing track, is another whistful and beautiful folk tune, carried by Mason's voice, and propelled by the building instrumentation. It's stunning just how improved Mason is on this album, how matured and worn (in that good folky way) he sounds at such a young age.