Monday, August 29, 2005

We're moving!


Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly.

New music should be up at that site by morning.


Movin' on up...


Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly.

New music should be up at that site by morning.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Kano - Remember Me - There is no justice in this world if, by this time next year, this song is not a staple of frat parties everywhere. I mean, it's got everything. Latin-infused shuffling beats, Kanos sick, super-charismatic flow, and a chorus that extolls the joys of booze fueled hookups. What's not to love? Kano is blowing up all over right now, and I only expect that to increase a few dozenfold after his US Debut @ the Knitting Factory here in NYC on Saturday. He deserves it. All the production prowess of Dizzee or Skinner with none of the incomprehensibility or literary pretentiousness, and with a flow so utterly, disarmingly charismatic, I can't NOT see this at least making a run at the charts once a smart stateside label starts pushing it.

[Buy Home Sweet Home from!]

Cloud Cult - You've Got Your Bones To Make A Beat - Equally hyped at the moment are Cloud Cult, the environmentalist collective from Minneapolis operates as a non-profit activist band. When they tour, they go to admirably extreme lengths to minimize their environmental footprint, and spend their days working for The Cause. "You Got Your Bones To Make A Beat" immediately stands out from their new album Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus - the band "does this one simple - just basic riffs," as promised. The result is a song that feels almost tribal in it's insistence. Mutant organ and flute sounds, vocals that trail off into falsetto world, and that Bass and those Drums. They chug through the song like the engines of some mad war machine. It's songs like this that made me call my blog "Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again."

[Buy Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus from! - the rofits go to a great cause, so it deserves your support twice over.]

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Passive Agressive.

Calla - Swagger - Brooklyn's Calla have come a long way. They've signed to Beggars Group recently, and with their new album, Collisions, seem poised to finally outshine their oft mentioned siamese twin of a band, the Walkmen. It's "Swagger" that does it really. The bass stomps, high hats in all the right places, not there for the disco set, but for mood - it's dynamics eerily recall earlier Walkmen hit "The Rat", but in all the right ways, and none of the wrong ones. It lacks "The Rat"'s almost whining tone, and maintains the furious momentum and to make the obvious pun, swagger. The song rolls over, but then it pulls you down and proceeds to punch you in the face with drums and hums.

[Collisions drops on September 27th. Pre-order it today from!]

The Mobius Band - Twilight - Xylophones ring out and shne over a kraftwerk computerscape as an extremely normal sounding man sings about very normal troubles like shitty jobs and smoking dope and banality and age. The song is gentle, like Casiotone, or the Mountain Goats, but prettier and with more string sounds. But there are drums. Thunderous drums. And electric guitars. Serious Kevin Shields style shit. This is too aggressive to be compared to the likes of Casiotone. The Mobius Band have, after 3 years of hotly tipped singles splitting the difference between heavy electronica, and raw garage rock, moved beyond the titular 'one-sided' pun to put together The Loving Sounds of Static, a debut LP on Ghostly International simply overloaded with songs like this. Songs both gentle and demanding. Songs worth a listen.

[The Loving Sounds of Static is due out in a week on August 9th. You can preorder now from Insound and have it on release day!]

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Animals will forgive us again.

Tigers & Monkeys - I'll Ruin your Thoughts - Tigers & Monkeys is described as a solo project of Shonali Bhowmik, but she's frequently backed up by a rotating cast of NY Rock all stars. But it's definitely all her at the center. "I'll Ruin Your Thoughts" seductively lopes through droning blues chords with a raspy, scorched vocal style. It's somewhat reminiscent of the Kills, but it lacks the distinctly pissed off razor sharp vibe of that duo, instead sounding more relaxed, more confident, and more welcoming. Be sure to also check out "Vampire in a Dirty City" at the bands website.

[I can't seem to find a link to buy the 5 song demo/EP I bought at a show a year ago, but the band is playing a few NYC shows in August, so if you're local, check them out.]

The Invisible Cities - Birthday - The Invisible Cities take their name from the surrealist Italo Calvino, and this is entirely appropriate. Their debut album, Watertown, has an airy, floating quality, insubstantial, but huge. Birthday is a perfect example. The tiniest hints of a rhythm section creep through the quietly strummed guitar and the wishing, hopeful vocals. Is it supposed to mean something that the song is immediately followed by the drunken, loud, riotous, and short "Double Fisted"?

The Invisible Cities - Bumper Cars - I'll give you three today. "Bumper Cars" is a whole other side of Watertown. Where "Birthday" is all loss and regret and nostalgia, "Bumper Cars" is a wild night on the town, bright lights, impaired judgement, no though, all action, all fun. There's still a certain delicacy in the layering of the instrumental work, but it's all overwhelmed by the momentum of everything. Any element in the song that doesn't move forward is simply left in the dust, in favor of pushing ahead, and pulling the listener along.

[The Invisible Cities have a very nice website where you can buy


, and even listen to the whole thing first.]

On the Music News front, Franz Ferdinand, TV On The Radio, and Cut Copy are touring together in the fall. On the one hand, this is the making of a very cool line up. On the other hand, they are playing arenas, which will likely blow. More importantly though, according to Pitchfork, the tour has been dubbed the "Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance Tour 2005." I haven't been able to get in touch with anybody to confirm this, it could very well just be some shit that the fork came up with. If someone who knows is reading, please do let us know. As it is, I want my royalty check. Or at least some tickets or something.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast. Pitchforks Rob Kleckner has informed me that is is in fact a classic little piece of Fork Wit and not an official name.

Ah well, the righteous fury was fun for a few hours.

Monday, July 18, 2005

No No, This Can't Be Right

Hard-Fi - Cash Machine - Hard-Fi are yet another hotly tipped Brit band with all the right namedrops from the Clash and the Happy Mondays to the Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party. But "Cash Machine's" dub bassline, glammed out guitar, and tales of woe and debt have more hook in them their contemporaries, more modern and vital, less forcefully retro, and perhaps most relevantly for me, a heck of a lot more of the great second wave ska sound of the Specials or The English Beat. The band's debut, Stars of CCTV is a big glorious, hornless ska record, with that trademark upward guitar stroke rearing it's head everywhere. They'll be playing the Mercury and Rothko this week for those readers of mine who are NYC dwellers. Go - you won't be dissapointed.

[Buy the "Cash Machine" single from Insound!]

The Solution - Get On Back - Scott Morgan is one of those unknown legends desperately in need of a second chance that the musicblog world so seems to love. In the 60's, Morgan fronted The Rationals, and worked with people like Bob Seger, and Jim Osterberg (AKA Iggy Pop before he became Iggy Pop). Somehow, Morgan has hooked up with an army of soul crazed Swedes from bands like the Hellacopters to form The Solution. Communicate! is an homage to the greats of Chicago, Memphis and Detroit, a hard boiled soul album that boogies through time and captivates with an absolutely irresistible level of catchiness. "Get On Back" is a wild unrestrained frenzy of pianos and horns tinny drums and Morgans frenzied white boy soul howl. Put it on, turn it up loud, and rock out. Be sure also to check out where you can listen to an MP3 of the PHENOMENAL "I Have To Quit You Babe" (which was going to be posted here as well before I saw it on his page)

[Criminally, Communicate! has not yet been released in the states. You can pick up an Import from Amazon though, and Morgan's website has some other goodies.]

Thanks for all the well wishes and welcome backs folks. It feels good to be bloggin' again. And I'll reiterate my requests from last week - Hey Music Industry/Music Journo Industry/Other Folks - You Hirin? If so, Hit Me - and I'll throw a Resume your way.

Oh, and finally, those of you who have bookmarked anything other than should probably change your bookmarks since all the other domains are going to be expiring soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Why don't you laugh at my jokes?

The Amazing Pilots - I've Got Wings Irene - The Amazing Pilots are a pair of brothers from Ireland and their many friends that, were it not for some bad label luck (theirs folded a week before their first single), may have stolen all of the Arcade Fires thunder last year. The two bands are certainly of a piece, creating heartbreaking, orchestrated, but most of all big music. "I've Got Wings Irene" is a song about a breakup, about leaving home and loss, about growth and Making It. There's echoes of countrymen the Frames in the musics swell and crescendo, in the rustic orchestra quality that the Pilots seem to be aiming for. It's a song about a relationship thats gone on too long and the messy disentanglement afterwards. The Pilots debut album, Hello My Captor is on Undertow records, and you can check out another standout track, "The Price of Winter" - complete with accordion solo and what sounds like a banjo on the leads - at the label site.

[Buy Hello My Captor from!]

The Church - Chromium - I'd like to think I don't need to tell you anything about the Church. I hope I don't need to tell you anything about The Church. Still, you may never have heard "Chromium". It's a newer Church song, originally found on 2002's more or less forgettable After Everything, Now This. 3 Years later, the band has put out El Momento Descuidado, a collection of acoustic tunes, some old, some new, and "Chromium" is revealed as the song it always should have been. While the album will likely garner more attention for it's acoustic reworking of songs like "Metropolis", and "Under the Milky Way," it's the discovery and reinvention of those more forgotten cuts that make the album worthwhile. "Chromium" is a jangly, nervous ballad, overloaded with internal rhymes, and a swooping falsetto chorus, and a delicate shuffling beat. "Broken records, faded labels" - if they keep this up, it's a fate the Church likely won't be destined for anytime soon, still pushing the boundaries after nearly 25 years.

[El Momento Descuidado will be availiable on July 26th. Preorder it from Amazon now.]

And I said this yesterday, and I'll say it again today. If Y'all're interested in a willing slave employee and are willing to pay decent, just holler over with an email and you can have my resume and such.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Give Me Unconsciousness

So, yes I've received many of your emails and instant messages and comments and other harangues to come back to this blog.

I've been working on it. Hopefully I'm back for real this time. No big promises though. Not this time. The world has been falling apart somewhat of late the past few months, and I'm just trying to tread water. (that said, anyone hiring, or just looking for a freelance writer, or whatever, send an email this way, and you'll have my resume promptly. If it's an incentive, a steady paycheck that I can live on makes the return of this blog to full daily status that much more likely.)

But I have some choice tunes to share with you, and many more where these two come from.

The Hypertonics - The Moments We Don't Allow - The Hypertonics are from New York. Some time ago, they decided to say "fuck it" to the whole capitalist record industry. They now give away all of their music for free on their website. They also do a very nice job of explaining why, over on their website. They just today released their newest studio recording, an album entitled Vigilante Ballast that careens between the retro and the thouroughly modern. "The Moments We Don't Allow" is a steady pump of spacey surf rock that wouldn't have been out of place on Bossanova. It pulls at the simple infectious energy of older Hypertonics songs like "Beer get me a Woman, Woman Get Me a Beer," but where those older tracks often sounded laid back, if not downright lazy, the new album is a forceful in it's determination. It makes demands not casually, but powerfully.

[Download Vigilante Ballast from - Be sure to check "America is a Miracle" and "You Get So Uncomfortable When You're Uncomfortable" - they made choosing a track today very tough.]

Rachid Taha - Rock El Casbah - It's a cover. It's a novelty. It's also the best damn thing I've heard on my hiatus from this blog. Announcing an entrance with a fanfare of flutes and drums before those distinctive guitar chords declare to the world that this is not just another Clash cover. This is an ironic Clash cover. See, Rachid Taha is Algerian. The Casbah is in Casablanca. Get it? But enough of that. The point is that Taha has infused the old staple with that soaring Rai trained voice of his and enough raucous energy to make it seem vital again, rather than the last desperate grab for relevance it feels like when I listen to the Clash original these days. The multilayered drums, both the traditionally african rhythyms and the pounding, almost reggae layers under the chorus. The tense stabs of violin. but mostly just Tahas vocals. There's a venom there, and a swing that makes this something special, even translated, and when that English chorus comes in, with the gang vox and the spit in the sharifs eye... Oh, it's something perfect, oh yes.
[Buy T├ękitoi from - the album also includes a great collaboration with Brian Eno.]