Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Now I'm taking a few steps back...

Lansing-Dreiden - The Eternal Lie - Lansing Dreiden are a media corporation from Miami. They are not a band. They scorn the term 'collective'. They are a corporation. They work in a variety of media, of both the visual and audio variety. They do not perform live. Their website has a Legal Disclaimer that will baffle you. Lansing Dreiden believes Art and Commerce to be one. Thus, Corporation. Company. The music than, is obviously full of a slickly produced, almost soulless sheen. This is sellout rock - but it never had any principles to sellout in the first place - the logical extension in many ways, of Warhols Factory aesthetic, merged with the Residents wholesale consumption of individuality in the face of collective identity. The Eternal Lie is a bouncy little garage number, echoes of the Police and perhaps a Brian Setzer-ish vocal, a gallloping bassline and obligatory, perfectly timed, calculated solos.

Lansing-Dreiden - I.C.U. - This song is just flat out New Order. No other way to describe it. Whereas much of this albums hype has been the New Order meets the Rapture vibe of Glass Corridor, I.C.U. is far more appealing on repeat listen. Copping it's style from Subculture era New Order, dramatic, dancable, 3 minute electro. perfect for bouncing around the room to. And besides, puns on hospital rooms and spotting people across the dancefloor are always welcome, right?

[Buy The Incomplete Triangle from Lansing-Dreiden.com!]

Monday, August 30, 2004

My country, Tis of thee.

So, yesteday I attended the mega huge UFPJ march across manhattan, along with 399,999 other awesome people who care enough about their country and the world. All through this week, I'll be helping out Music For America with their over 70 events of all shapes and sizes, from concerts, to basic activist skills trainings, all over the city. In case you haven't picked up on it, that fucking ROCKS.

Death Comet Crew - America - if marches such as yesterdays can be said to have a musical theme, it's percussion. More specifically, it's the noise for noise sake beating of thousands of buckets and hand drums as people try to make themselves heard through the din. And yet, many of the drummers there are in full command, laying down all sorts of complex rythyms, that when intertwined with voices, lifted in protest, creates it's own sort of beautiful music. On the face of it, this would seem to have nothing to do with the Death Comet Crew's totally synthetic brand of 80's electro, full of turntable work, clearly sampled breakbeats and wisps of bassline, single word vocal simples chillingly overlaid wth squeals. And yet, in those beats, I hear the echoes of the power I heard yesterday - of rhythmic music as something so truly open, so democratic, that I cannot escape the power of it. This is from a reissue of a classic early 80's album, just released recently on Troubleman Unlimited.
[Buy This is Riphop from Troublemans store]
Only one track today because things is crazy. We'll be on a better schedule soon folks. I promise.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


Okay, I'm switching the redirect links back to Shrinkster, for a number of reasons, but mostly because site founder Kyle has been so VERY helpful in getting us a workaround on the issues people were having with right click->save as, and because now I can track and find out how many people are clicking on various songs. Let me know if you have any problems.

Green Day - Letterbomb - It's confession time kiddos. I love Green Day. Or, more specifically, I love Dookie It was the first CD I ever bought for myself, and just hearing it, it warped my fragile little middle school mind. I don't think I knew anybody growing up who didn't have a copy of that album. It was the album, and more specifically, "Basket Case" was the song, by which we all suddenly seemed to become cognizant of Music as this... thing, with power, with meaning, something more than just background noise on the radio, and that stuff you sang in chorus or played in the band. It was the soundtrack of my preteen years. And then, I abandonded Green Day, and Green Day abandoned me. Around when I started high school, I discovered NOFX, and the whole wide world of other punk bands, not to mention my local booming ska scene. Green Day meanwhile, were going all soft. As my friends followed them off and away from punk, I stuck with it, and grew to ignore Green Day. I still tend to listen once to anything enw they put out, just for nostalgias sake, but they haven't managed to impress me since, or, for that matter, amuse me even most of the time. But Green Day have a new album coming out soon, entitled American Idiot. Letterbomb is a song from this album. And by god, it's the second coming of Basket Case. The sound is tightened up, the production denser, but Billy Joe's forgotten all those fancy chord changes, and plugged back in, and the band has remembered how to be all they were ever good at - overgrown adolescents with a Ramones fixation and a California sneer. And they've still got it. My inner 12 year old is pogoing his ass off, and I've got a grin a mile wide.
[Buy American Idiot from Amazon.com!]

Head Automatica - Brooklyn is Burning - Our other selections today come from Head Automatica, the fusion of Glassjaw's Daryl Palumbo (yes, THAT Glassjaw, the emo band from LI. I told you, this entry is about Guilt.), and Dan The Automator. Basically, Dan does what he always does, and Daryl, well doesw what he always does too, and proves that he's never not one to cash in on a trend. Thing is, with these two tracks, he does it pretty damned well. Palumbo calls it "Electronic Cock-Rock" - which sounds about right. If the Scissor Sisters represent Glams softer side, all Elton John Pianos and disco beats, Head Automatica, bring the rock. Fuzyzy rolling guitar licks, and vocals that wouldn't sound out of place circa 1982. Meanwhile, Nakamuras contributing a pretty vicious beat that could serve handily in a hip hop song if it weren't so overlayed.

Head Automatica - Beating Heart Baby - unfortunately, Palumbo hasn't totally lost his emo tendencies. Fortunately, in the context of beat heavy, party ready glam rock, it manages to make for a pretty decent power ballad. And besides, you can never have enough cowbell. Now if only they could sound a bit less like the Rapture, and maybe if Palumbo could release an album when a trend is actually hot as opposed to dying, he might have something. It's a damn shame he's always late to the party, because at least in this genre, he's got some real talent. (I'm a long time hater on glassjaw for reasons that only have a little bit to do with their music. But this blog is for talking about the music, so I will spare you.) Okay readers, you may all proceed to tear me to shit for todays entry.

[Buy Head Automatica's Decadence from Amazon.com!]

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I am talking to my contacts... they always bring me flower, but no intelligence.

Camper Van Beethoven - Militia Song - So, the other day, my attention was drawn to this lovely little piece of under the radar news. It seems that the US is looking to start up local militias to help various countries "combat terrorism from within" as it were. Because we all know how well this has worked out in the past. What does this have to do with todays song? Well, aside from the tangential conection of the word Militia, it has to do with the fact that this is a song off of Campers new album, New Roman Times. The new album is, in David Lowery's own words, a "sci-fi prog rock concept record," about the current politicultural divide that is tearing this country in two. Or, to put it simply, it's about "Wacko-grape-koolaid-drinking-fascist-homophobe-Christian-right-winger-cretins vs. smart, tolerant and decent people," in a ficitonal war between California and Texas. The song itself is a classic camper hoedown. Flashes of the folksier side of Telephone Free Landslide Victory, and the referential, silly sort of somberness from the bands self titled album. It's also a poignant little ditty about the unabomber. And who hasn't wanted to have a song about Ted Kasczinski, for that sort of morning? really?

Camper van Beethoven - I Am Talking To This Flower - I'm still sadly, trying to work out the full narrative arc of this album, so I wish I could give a better explanation of this song. Near as I can gather, it's a song from the perspective of a Texan spy in California, who has managed to find himself falling in love with "flower," and the various cultural baggage which it entails, running around stoned, and generally not being a very effective spy. Hard to misss the political context that Lowery & co. are going for - especially when he sings of not being able to "run for the power" and it's hard to disagree with the sentiment.

Camper Van Beethoven - Discotheque CVB - Campers biggest strength though, has always been their instrumental numbers. "Border Ska", "Mao Reminisces about his Days in Southern China," etc. While silly little songs about punks and weed and the unabomber are fun, Campers unique instrumental folk rock is where they slay. And Discotheque CVB is no exception, adding in a nifty little dance beat, and stabs of violin that give the song a weird sort of urgency it's an odd sort of closing number, full of the sort of laid back "everything will be all right" sort of energy that has always driven Camper, but with stabs of a fuzzy electric guitar that warn that maybe it won't - a new element for camper, and one that speaks to the atmosphere that has led to the birth of New Roman Times.

[You can buy 3 tracks of New Roman Times at the Itunes Music Store or this album and many more, from Pitch-A-Tent Records.]

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sunshine goes sinister...

Happy Monday everybody! Sorry about the lateness of todays post, but trust me, it's worth it.

Rouge - Happy Together (Turtles Cover) - Our first selection today is my little play on the news. Seeing as John Kerry's vietnam service has been all the rage of late, what with Swift Boat Vets for Fraud coming out and saying all sorts of nasty things, and then Kerry turning around and filing an FEC complaint, I figured I'd be wise to post a track from Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again - it's a compilation of covers I picked up at a Q & Not U show last week, featuring a bunch of leading indie lights doing covers of 60's and 70's tracks... (Q & Not U do "Don't Let it Bring You Down", Enon do "White Rabbit", Death Cab do "Fortunate Son" and many more - good stuff). This takes the sunshiney 60's pop of the original, and reinvents it as something dark, something sinister - the stuff of a smokey and empty bar at 3 AM - the optimistic hippy becomes the bitter femme fatale and happiness has disappeared.

Ted Leo - Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff cover) - I know I know, I hype Ted Leo too much.... The man deserves it. This is another Ted solo track, covering a classic piece of 70's songwriting. His falsetto is on full display here, and I think it's that which makes his covers work - he's got the vocal range to just belt out a tune by anybody - something very few artists can lay claim too. Mellow, beautiful monday morning (or, by the time this goes up, afternoon.... music.) Most excellent.

[You can buy Don't Know When I'll be Back Again, a comp to benefit the VVA from Exotic Fever Records]

Still looking for work. Anyone out there got my back?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Isn't it Weird?

The Toadies - I'm not In Love (Talking Heads Cover) - The Toadies are one of those forgotten mid 90's bands that people don't like to talk about for some reason. I never fully understood it myself, though i will admit to having forgotten them. My own rediscovery of the Toadies came when my old college radio station aquired a Toadies live album, and "Possum Kingdon" showed up on my chart show. And then, recently, Chris Uncritical sent me this song, off of the soundtrack to Basquiat, a great film about the artist of the same name. And like any movie about a cutting edge, downtown New York artist from the early 80's should, the soundtrack is full of songs by the likes of PIL, and Bowie, and this song, by Talking Hea- oh. It's a cover. But damn is it a good one. This was recorded in 1996. 1996. If it wasn't it would probably be pretty unremarkable. But the fact is, 8 years ago, it points out the fact that the Toadies were smarter than all of us. They saw all this spazzed out dance punk coming. They were onto it before you and me. A fantastic cover.

[Buy the Basquiat soundtrack at Amazon, or The Best of The Toadies: Live from Paradise, also at Amazon.]

Talking Heads - Crosseyed and Painless (Live) - I would be remiss if I didn't mention in this blog the rerelease of what is possibly the greatest live album ever. The Name of This Band is Talking Heads was never released on CD, until yesterday, when it got the double disc, half hour of extra material treatment. This is good because for years, Stop Making Sense was all fans had to judge the Heads Live - and while Sense does a fine job of relaying what the Heads were visually, in their later years as they went off on their art bender, the essential audio document has always been "The Name of This Band." The first half of the album is early live cuts, but this track is from the second half of the album - from the Remain in Light tour. Which means the lineup on this track was from the Heads in all of their Big Band excess prime, multiple percussionists finally giving Byrne the complicated multiple rhythyms that he so loves, multiple backup singers, and most notably, Adrian Belew contributing a frenetic, slicing lead guitar that obliterates everything else on the track until Byrne resumes command with his little rap about 2/3rds of the way in. An ESSENTIAL album for anyone who calls themself a Heads fan.

[Buy The Name of This Band is Talking Heads from Amazon.com!]

And for those of you out there who might be hiring, I'll restate the fact that I'm unemployed and hungry...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I've got a Heavy Metal mouth that hurls obscenity...

Elliott Smith - Kings Crossing - I was extremely wary of posting this song when I first got it, mainly because the album didn't seem to be leaked all over everywhere the way most of the leaked stuff I post is. So, what makes me post it now? Because I haven't stopped listening to it since I first heard it. Because the song pulls you in slowly, with tence, atmospheric strumming, and then that ragtime piano, and suddnly, Elliott is there, pulling you close by the collar, breath soaked in booze. Because he's trying to tell you, to tell me something, and for gotssakes, it must be listened to! This song feels important somehow in a way few songs manage to. It's an old live song, but being released in this context, and with this performance, it takes on new heights of urgency. When Elliott trails off, singing "don't let me be carried away..." you can feel him reaching, feel the grasping for something else - something to save him. Do what you can folks, Donate to the Elliott Smith fund for Abused Children if you can afford to. It's a good cause, and they need every penny. You were only gonna spend it on drinks and cd's anyway, right?
[Preorder From a Basement on the Hill at Amazon.com]

Rhythym of Black Lines - One Red Eye - 2004: The return of Prog? First, we had the Fiery Furnaces schizophrenic prog-opus diving between a thousand ideas, and now Rhythym of Black Lines come along, with Human Hand, Animal Band to play the genre the way it was intended. But somehow, they do it without coming off as the pretentious bastards that so many prog bands do. Oh sure, there's technical prowess here. but more than that, there's a lot of ideas, and some genuinely good songwriting going on. Who said Glammed out texas prog, full of horns and strings, would automatically suck? Okay, so maybe I did when I first heard about these guys. Mea culpa. This is some great stuff, and fully worthy of your listening attentions.

[Buy Human Hand, Animal Band from Insound.com]

Monday, August 16, 2004

If I could see straight tonight...

Hookers Green No. 1 - On How The Illustrious Captain Moon Won The War For Us - Hookers Green No. 1 is a 2 piece from Scotland in the sense that They Might Be Giants are a two-piece from Brooklyn, operating under the monkers of J. Turgenev and NHG. Warm, lo-fi, orchestral indie rock, in the mold of the Microphones, with some of the jazzy swagger of Karate, this is the title track from Hookers Green's debut on SnowStorm records. Not only does it bump off McLusky for the "best album/song title of the year" award, it manages to be utterly fantastic. Exploding out of the gates full of horns and booming bass drums, and swaggering through warbly vocals and flutes and organs and the de rigeur bass and guitar. The thrill of discovering a band like this never gets old. There's noplace to buy this on either the bands site or the labels for that matter, but there are some more free MP3's, so go listen.

The Gunshy - Your Favorite Dylan Song - The Gunshy is another name for Pennsylvania based singer-songwriter Matt Arbogast, and whoever he manages to round up to play drums and stuff. "Your Favorite Dylan Song" is what Tom Waits might sound like if he had Dylans penchants for long, guitar driven epics. Nicotine scorched vocals, raw, intense guitar work, and a stripped down, bare bones approach to the word epic that makes every note, every phrase, burn with tension, with power. This track comes from TTIKTDA reader Gretchen, along with a bunch of other stuff she's sent me that may be popping up in the not too far off future. She's also one of our guest reviewers for the TTIKTDA mix thats going out as soon as I type this up. There's more MP3's at The Gunshy's site.

[You can buy the Gunshy's latest album, No Man's Blues from Latest Flame Records]

Things are brewing. You may see some changes here soon.

PSA - Oh, and like The Fork Man at the TofuHut it's my turn to start begging. Anyone got a job for a go-gettin night school student finishing his bachelors? I need money to keep this blog going! And Money means a job! Anybody?

Friday, August 13, 2004

Water softly running running running...

Q & Not U - Wonderful People - I've always been a fan of Q & Not U - not a huge fan, but they were always a fun band live, and "9 Things Everybody Knows" is still one of my favorite songs. But they always tended to shine when they slowed things down. The more energy they tried to exude, the more they often came off as faking it.. Then, last year, they released a single, entitled X-Polynation. X-Polynation was way ahead of anything they'd done before. Sounding like Fugazi covering '77 era Talking Heads, X-Polynation offered a tantalizing hint of their new album, Power. And now, Power has leaked. And damn if X-Polynation wasn't only a hint of what was to come. With Wonderful People, Q & Not U open the album with a statement. They done gone disco. The classic DC drums and skittering minor chords are there, but this time with some well defined downbeats and a rapturesque falsetto. Talking Heads, seem, to me, to have been an overlookeed touchstone in much of this recent revivalism - critics love to use it, but very few bands (with the exception of the occasional Radio 4 song) seem to have taken the lessons of Byrne and company to heart. Most certainly not Franz Ferdinand (But then, when was NME ever right with a comparison...) When the gang vocals kick in, it's clear this is still the same Q & Not U. They just want you to dance while you're rioting nowadays.

Q & Not U - Wet Work - Wet Work though, screams single. with a groovy bassline, stabs of organ, vocals right out of the Mackeye toolkit, and not so much of that damned trendy Falsetto - which i know Q¬U have had for years, but it's still trendy now. When, about 2/3rds into the song, the "congas and shakers and shit" to steal someones description of Radio 4 kick in, you know it's on. This is the album that Stealing of a Nation should have been. Outraged, beautiful, dancy as hell, and innovative in all the right places.

[Power is due out in September from Dischord Records. Buy it!]

Thursday, August 12, 2004


The Go! Team - Ladyflash - I frankly have no clear clue what to call the Go! Team, or their new album, Thunder Lightning Strike. But I will say that, along with the Arcade Fire, the Fiery Furnaces, and others, we're seeing a definite... childish movement in new music right now. My initial instinct upon this realization is that Kindercore Records stole the most obvious name for the whole trend, for those who like to name things (to my dismay, I generally am one - I'm just a very verbal person I suppose.) So... well, Toddlerclash works. And I have to say, all this kid stuff isn't necesarily a bad thing. In fact, in the case of the Go! Team, it's quite awesome. This track seems to pick off where Junior Seniors D-D-D-Don't Stop the Beat left off last year, with vocals that are uncannilly reminiscent of Jackson 5 style kiddie soul, a bouncy piano/bass interplay that wouldn't be out of place on a Fiery Furnaces track for about 15 seconds, and a killer steel drum fill.

The Go! Team - The Power is On - Fluxblog posted this track a while back, and referred to it as something akin to the Hello Kitty Death March. That sounds about right. There's something in the marching beats, in the shouts, in the urgent horn fills, that just makes this a war song. With singers who sound like kids. If the Arcade Fire are like a depressed and angry childish Polyphonic Spree, then the Go! Team are the militant kids choir answer to Jr.Sr. There's just so much energy here. Anthemic and addictive.

The Go! Team - Huddle Formation - Some people seem baffled by the comparisons this band has at times drawn to Sonic Youth. If there's a song that deserves it, it's this one. The guitar drone is straight out of 80's youth, layered over with playground chant vocals that never fail to produce a smile. Thunder Lightning Strike is rocketing out of nowhere to be in fierce competition for the title of this years best debut.

The album is set to be released in September.

Oh, and you can check out another track that Seans posted over in Gramophone land.

[Watch this spot on the labels site for buying type info.]

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

'ey blud. There was FIVE pies on this table 'ere...

Okay, I've been doing a bad job of midnights lately. And I'm out early in the mornings lately. Let's try Evening updates to see if I can make them more consistent.

Wiley - Pies - Okay, so grime is reaching saturation in some circles. And Dizzees new album has leaked, and everyones heard of Wiley, so why am i bothering with this track? Well, consider it an attempt at exorcism. Ever since The very awesome John Darnielle nominated Wiley for president a week ago in Last Plane to Jakarta... well, I've been unable to excise this song from my head. I try to sleep. i try to work. I try to listen to other music. All I can think about is the fact that WILEY HAS EATEN ALL OF THE PIES. I can't really describe this track. I will merely say that it is utterly and completely awesome. And that Wiley is a pie thieving scoundrel - but he's an honest pie thieving scoundrel.

[Buy Treddin on Thin Ice from Amazon.com!]

The Teenage Harlets - I Ain't a Square
The Teenage Harlets - Nancy - So, this past weekend, I made a pilgrimage to the Punk Rock Flea Market that is the Warped Tour, to do the whole activist thang (registering voters, clean air/clean energy), as well as to catch a few bands and, as per usual, go shopping at the tours massive Merch area.

While wandering said Merch area, I came across the "Space Station Stage", a tiny little stage in the corner of the fest area, not one of the listed stages, where I stumbled across the Teenage Harlets, giving an absolutely ELECTRIC performance of bracing, spasmatic surf punk, of the like I hadn't heard, and hadn't been so thoroughly engrossed by in a LONG time. Singer Johnny Dismal wasn't on stage more than 5 minutes out of the set, opting instead to run around at the end of the leash his mic provided him, accosting passersby, writhing on the ground tourettically, dancing with the crowd he attracted, picking up litter, and climbing under the stage. If you're going to one of Warpeds last few weeks, CATCH THESE GUYS. And, more importantly, buy some CD's from 'em. They could use the business, and they're selling 'em cheap! The bands website is here, but you can't buy anything online, so if you'll be at Warped in the next few fays, be sure to catch the Harlets, and tell 'em TTIKTDA sent you!

Monday, August 09, 2004

Are you kidding me? You must be kidding me!

First off, some linky links.

First off, everyone, please send your best wishes in Sean's direction - he's been recuperating from what I understand to be a pretty nasty accident, and while we all expected him back sooner, I take it from his lack of activity that he's just needed the R&R. Here's hoping yer up and running in no time Sean!

Secondly,check out this: Ergo Phizmiz "and his Orchestra", cover the Velvet Undergrounds White Light/White Heat (the whole album!), with "Banjo, Bass Guitar, Ruler, Music Box, Violin, Toy Piano, Electric Guitar, Accordion, Squeezebox, Euphonium, Ukulele, Kazoo, Xylophone, Pixiphone, Uumskither, Mbira, Pod, Delay, Turntable, and Percussion." Check out the "Dirty Duck" vocals on The Gift...

Finally MP3Blogs.org seems to have some serious competition. Web Nymph has a slicker look, and a more 'edited' feel, with regular spotligh features on particularly great posts, and unique icons for all indexed blogs. Also, Web Nymph isn't just for MP3 Blogs. The tradeoff is that the Nymph indexes fewer MP3 blogs than MP3blogs.org. It's your call aggregator peoples. I know where I'll be going.

Now, MP3s!

The Aquabats - Love Without Anger (DEVO cover) - The Aquabats are a, for the most part, forgettable comic-ska act, mainly notable for 2 modest hits within the ska/punk scene, and for letting Blink 182 steal their drummer. I don't know when this cover happened, or what album it's from (god bless file sharing, and very obscure tribute albums), but their mariachi take on Devo's classic just always manages to bring a grin to my face. I'm posting this now because I never got around to it during my abortive string of Devo posts, and well, it deserves a post. I mean, check the conviction in those vocals. It's extremely clear that these guys 'get' DEVO, better than many who have tried.

Against Me! - Pints of Guiness Make You Strong! - I made my annual pilgrimage to the Punk Rock Flea Market this weekend. (The Warped Tour. I wouldn't have paid to get in... but if the ticket is free...) Amidst the 12 year olds and the occasional good sets throughout the day, (including one surf-rock band that blew me away, check in for them later this week), I got to revel in nostalgia and I got thinking about Against Me! Against Me are a bunch of Floridian anarchist cowpunks who when I first heard them a while back, revived a great deal of my faith in new and exciting punk rock. This song has the guts and the wisdom to ignore the modern 'punk' formula of "really fast, really short, really loud." By no means a slow song, theres a defenite sense of pacing, with a rhythym section recalling old westerns, and vocal that recalls a young, drunken Paul Westerberg at times, these guys have something. Their second album, was disappointing at first, but on revisiting it, I find that it's merely more subdued. I suppose I was expecting more chaos... Nonetheless, it is in fact quite good. I have high hopes for number 3.

[Buy Against Me albums and Merch from No Idea Records, including this track, from Reinventing Axl Rose]

Friday, August 06, 2004

Sorrow is the Key that Gets our tears out of Eyejail...

Augie March - Songs in the Key of Chance - Augie March are a new Australian band, whose second album, and American debut, is due out on SpinArt records in September. This is a fantastic song, with lyrical content reminiscent of the Decembrists, but sonically, the song has all of Nick Cave's dark brooding swagger, a hint of the melodocism of a Leonard Cohen, and something of the swirl of the Flaming Lips. This is really promising stuff. Oh, and I will admit it. This time, the Aussie was intentional. I figure if I got this far, I can finish it out.

[Buy the album, Strange Bird from Spinart in September!]

The HornRimJobs - Alice's Livejournal - This song was reccomended to me by the awesome Largehearted Boy, over at the newly opened Last Plane to Jakarta Forums. The Hornrimjobs are a "spoken word emo" duo from Lincoln, Nebraska. This song is, quite obviously about Livejournal. And of course, true to form, it is VERY VERY EMO. It's also funny as hell. How can you top a line like He was wearing khakis for christs sake!?

[Download the Vegan Brownies EP from the bands website!]

And do you people honestly mean to tell me that not a one of you wnats a TTIKTDA mix CD?

Honestly? There's like 1000 of you reading this blog every day.... Speak up folks!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Things went down that I don't understand....

It's fast becoming the week from Down Under her at TTIKTDA.

I swear, it's not intentional, but... seeing as I don't hear anyone complaining...

Black Cab - Good Drugs - Black Cab are another Australian duo, straddling the line between rock and yadda yadda yadda. You get it all. The essentials, are that their new album, Altamont Diary, is a concept album - essentially an alternate soundtrack to Gimme Shelter. The album is inspired, and follows the course of the days events, of the Rolling Stones infamous free concert at Altamont in 1969. As a result, the album opens full of sunny, colorful psychedelia, full of optimism, and bouncy, sunshiney riffs, before beginning a slow plunge into an industrial nightmare, as the Hells Angels break loose, and the riot starts. A man is killed. And the Stones kept on playing. It's been called the death of innocence for the hippies, and the end of an era. "Good Drugs," appearing halfway through the album, more than any other song, shows the dichotomy of the day. The song is full of tension, of a sense of forboding - something bad is about to happen, and it's only a matter of time before everything falls apart.

Black Cab - New Speedway Boogie - This is the albums high point though. The song is a Grateful Dead cover, a choice with a story of it's own. The short version is that The Dead bailed out of playing Altamont that day, was friends with a lot of the Hells Angels players involved in the riot, and wrote this song as a lament of the days events. The cover captures the emotion perfectly. The song captures the sense of confusion, of chaos of the days events perfectly, simultaneously upbeat and rocking out, while at the same time full of regret - there is a palpable sense of pain in this music.

I'd've posted 1970 to give you a better taste of the albums dark side, but it's like... 10 minutes long.

Again, I R Lousy at hunting down buy links on Import CD's. Feel free to post one in the comments.

In other news, I'm thinking I'm going to do a Mix CD tofu hut style. I'm gonna be a bit pickier than John though. If you want to get a mix to review, post your take on any 2 tracks up on The blog right now, in the comments section of THIS POST, and BE SURE TO LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS. I'll email a few people (I don't know how many yet), to get addresses to mail off a CD.

It'll be entitled God has left the building: A Pop Hymnal.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

All of this time on my hands...

Returning to the Southern Hemisphere for a second evening...

The Dissociatives - Somewhere Down the Barrel - Okay, first off, to get accreditation out of the way, I'm biting off of Uncritical here, and he deserves full credit for introducing me to these guys, by posting "We're Much Preferred Customers" last week. (It's still up! Go Get it!). Now, onto the band and the track at hand. The Dissociatives are sort of Australias answer to the Postal Service. Though the pedigree is far weaker, it is the collaborative joining of a DJ (Aussie House guru Paul Mac), and a Rocker (Silverchair singer Daniel Johns), and the music they produce is FAR greater than the sum of their parts. This track is the Dissociatives first single, and with good reason. Where the Postal Service cop tired synthpop touchstones, (and yes, reinvigorate them, but they're tired nonetheless), these fellows have the smarts to pull a healthy dose of Primal Scream, into the mix, toss in some vocals that sound more soulful than sweet or whiny, and when the song kicks up in the second half, full of reverb laced hand claps, and echoing nananas, all becomes right with the world. Every musician probably dreams of recording one song this good, this complete, this... downright perfect.

The Dissociatives - Horror with Eyeballs - But the Dissociatives aren't done. No. They're going to throw Tom Waits style circus melodies into the mix. And a vocal hook that could be the best moment of the best boy band that never was. And it's going to work. There's a defenite sense of thematicc recurrence here - the nananas heard as faint echoes at the end of "somewhere" return front and center in this track, and give this song the vibe of an otherworldly sort of circus of the damned. And at the center of it all, Dan is running in circles, lost, confused, mourning. If there's any complaint that is ultimately the Postal Services true failing, it's the somewhat mechanical, robotic sound of many tracks. Even Gibbards usually fragile vocals, when run through the lens of Tamborello production, take on a slick, indestructible sheen that takes something of the humanity out of many of their songs. (See Iron & Wine's cover of "Such Great Heights" for the utter majesty that can be achieved upon returning said humanity.) The Dissociatives have a far more organic sound - Johns' guitar work is clearly front and center in many instrumental sections, and the vocals have a rawer, more lo-fi tone to them. It allows a song like this to take on a creepiness that the robotic tones of a Postal Service rendition of Waits' themes would never allow - and is why the Dissociatives, in my book at least, have a lot more promise than the Dream of Evan and Chan.

This is what The Postal Service should have been. You owe this album to yourselves people.

[Buy the album from the bands (Australian) Website!]

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Who's waiting? Why Satan of course!

Sorry about disappearing like that, and not delivering more Devo. We had some technical difficulties here in TTIKTDA-land, but everything should be back and firing on all cylinders now.

The Shocking Pinks - Us Against The City - If Sean can post Shocking Blue, then I call pink! This is a reader submission from a whiiiiile back that fell through the cracks. The Shocking Pinks are a Christchurch, New Zealand based 4 piece, whose debut, Dance the Dance Electric, has been winning it's share of raves from all the right people, for both it;s DFA-aping funkhappy numbers (such as this one), and for their tendency towards genre hopping. This track sounds like everything in NYC dance punk just got tossed into a vat and stirred into a fine, greasy broth of pure funk. It's got !!!'s slithering basslines. The Raptures tension. Interpols moodiness. But it isn't any of those bands. Very good stuff. Can't seem to find a buy link for this one, though I remember seeing it on Insound once upon a time.

Anyone wanna help a guy out?

Japanther - Symptoms Vocal - Japanther are easily one of the hardest working bands in NYC right now, as it seems a week doesn't go by without them playing a show somewhere. The two piece produces a decidedly abrasive, noisy form of dance rock that fits the tenor of the town right now - equal parts mosh pit and rave, something like a brand of electro-hardcore. This song opens with a slow, distorted synth/bass line, before exploding into typical Japanther chaos. It's a fairly standard MO, but it's pulled off here with enough style and enough skill, not to mention a fair share of lo-fi ambiance (they use refitted (stolen?) payphone handsets as microphones!) to more than make up for things. There's also a healthy dose of Ratatats hip-hop informed sensibility towards beats here.. This is off of the bands most recent album, Dump the Body in Rikki Lake There's also an instrumental version of this track on the album for those, that find the vocal grating (as I know many do... I think it has a certain charm myself.)

[ClickityClick here to buy "Dump the Body in Rikki Lake" and other Japanther titles from insound!]

In other news, the folks at I Love Music are taking stock of the past half decade. Have you voted yet?

My ballot: (keep in mind, the limited choices were... somewhat baffling)
My favourite albums (in order of pref.):
01. 45pts The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird Bark
02. 40pts The Liars - They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top
03. 36pts Radiohead - Kid A
04. 32pts Wrens - The Meadowlands
05. 28pts The Rapture - Echoes
06. 24pts Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Hearts Of Oak
07. 20pts Life Without Buildings - Any Other City
08. 16pts The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
09. 13pts Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
10. 10pts Fugazi - The Argument
11. 7pts Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash
12. 5pts Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
13. 3pts Junior Senior - D-D-Don't Stop The Beat
14. 2pts Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
15. 1pt The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell

My favourite tracks (in order of pref.):
01. 45pts The Dismemberment Plan - The Face Of The Earth
02. 40pts LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
03. 36pts Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone
04. 32pts Radiohead - Idioteque
05. 28pts The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
06. 24pts Life Without Buildings - The Leanover
07. 20pts Le Tigre - Deceptacon (Dfa Mix)
08. 16pts New Pornographers - Letter From An Occupant
09. 13pts Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U
10. 10pts Jay-Z - 99 Problems
11. 7pts Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene
12. 5pts M83 - Run Into Flowers
13. 3pts Flaming Lips - Fight Test
14. 2pts The Streets - The Irony Of It All
15. 1pt Outkast - Hey Ya!

Have a bearable Monday folks!