Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cake - Strangers in the Night

Coinciding with the release of the XBOX game "Stubbs the Zombie" (about a dead salesman who gets revenge) is an interesting soundtrack featuring modern indie rock and alternative favorites covering 50's classics. For example, Death Cab For Cutie do "Earth Angel", the Flaming Lips cover "If I Only Had A Brain". Other artists on board include the Walkmen, the Raveonettes, Rogue Wave and Clem Snide. But none of these bands' style seem to fit more than Cake, who cover Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night". Cake have always been a good band for covers, and they deliver yet again with this one. The soundtrack is now in stores.

Diplo - Outkast - Bombs over Baghdad

Another hit from Diplo. This is from his live mix FabricLive24 which I just got and is really good. He has some amazing mixing abilities, that'll make you wet and not just from dancing. In the beginning of this song you can hear bits of the Cure's Love Song before it turns into a harder rock sound and is just about to go into Le Tigre's Deceptacon. If you wanna hear how it ends on Cat Power's Free, well I guess you'll have to buy the album.

Eighteen Visions - Quiet (Smashing Pumpkins cover)

When I first heard that there was a hardcore tribute album to the Smashing Pumpkins coming out, my first thought was "This should be good for a few laughs". Disappointingly, most of the bands on Reignition Records' The Killer In You: A Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins play it straight. In fact, I'm not even convinced that a lot of these bands are actually hardcore acts. Eighteen Visions at least try to give a bit of edge to "Quiet", but I can't say the song sounds all that different. Now if you want to hear something really different, check out the Gothic Industrial Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins on Cleopatra Records. Now that's funny!

» Bonus Track: Razed In Black - Cherub Rock

Radiohead vs. Ghostface Killah - Daytona 500 (Panzah Zandahz Iron Lung Remix)

A DJ by the name of Panzah Zandahz has compiled a set of 16 Radiohead remixes, which has now been made available as a torrent online, although you can buy it on CD from Zandahz's site instead if you wish. There are a number of fine tracks in this set, one of my favorites being a version of "Creep" sung by the computer voice from "Fitter Happier". But the cream of the crap is Zandahz own mashup of Radiohead's "Iron Lung" with Ghostface Killah's "Daytona 500". Other artists that have been mixed with the mopey Brits on this collection include Jurassic 5, the man with the metal face MF Doom, and De La Soul.

Life Without Buildings - Is Is and The IRS

I think it's fair to say that Life Without Buildings were criminally short lived. After only a year or so, the very pretty and mantric Glasgow rockers broke up. Up until now I only had their first (and last) album, Any Other City, but I just recently came across their pre-break up EP, Love Trinity, the other day. This song is just another reminder that I wish I was friends with these guys so I could tell them to get back together. Or I was these guys. And I would get back together.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mazing Vids - Soda Jerking

Contributers to the obscure art community that is the Super Assembly, the Mazing Vids are an electro-punk duo making a rawkus in NY, and it's really quite raw. Low-fi bleeps and bleeps, guitar-noise and uninhibited vocals smushed together on their self released, plain CDRs, these guys are starting another art-rock dance dance revolution.

Stephen Malkmus - Wow Ass Jeans

With the release of his new video for "Baby C'mon", former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has also issued a new 7" on Domino Records. The b-side is a song called "Wow-Ass Jeans", and if Face The Truth has been my favourite Malkmus solo album so far, this new track is clearly in the same league. Another catchy pop song with demented SM melodies, the man is definitely on a roll.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Clipse - Pussy

The fact that nobody does drug music like Clipse do drug music is a real comfort to me. If Hell Hath No Fury, the long awaited follow up to their debut album, Lord Willin', never sees a proper release and they never rapped again, I can rest assured that Pusha and Malice will do alright for themselves dealing weight on dark corners. "Pussy", one of the many leaked/mixtaped tracks off the upcoming album, is another excurision into the Virginia duo's world of futuristic blaxploitation. With eerie Star Trak production and a chorus like this, pussys better beware:
"I ain't in to fat lippin, I'm in to gat grippin
A cat's slippin, is a cat drippin
Why I say that? the cat's slippin, the Mac's spittin
The cat drippin, look in the mirror you's a fat kitten
You's a Puuussssssssssyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-ah!"

Spank Rock - Put That Pussy on Me (Diplo Tonite Remix)

I'm not familiar with Spank Rock but they're really not that important in this context. I found this song while looking for Diplo and it's the beats in this song that really stand out. I've never been too big on Diplo, maybe because I've been jealous of him and M.I.A., but this song is really incredible. Diplo recently released a mix album called FabricLive 24 that's supposed to be really good. But this song is just B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Living Things - Bom Bom Bom

(wanna watch the video instead? click here)
I'm not sure what I think of this band. "Bom Bom Bom" is a catchy song that has a sound to it that makes it seem destined for an iPod, car or beer commercial. There's a twist though - Living Things are supposedly a massively political band who initially tried to release an album titled "Black Skies in Broad Daylight" last year, but from what I understand couldn't get a real release on it in the US because of the Interscope/Dreamworks deal... and they were ripping up effigies of Bush onstage every night. The video and lyrics give some indication of this, but the song doesn't feel dangerous at all, and the video is bright enough that any intended message will probably fly over everyones heads. SPIN and even the reputable at that time were really high on this band, spouting out "next Nirvana" over and over again, when really they are so slick (despite being produced by Steve Albini) that they seem to be more along the lines of Danko Jones, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, or even... Jet. The newly released "Ahead of the Lions" is mostly material from the "Black Skies" sessions. Whether you like it or not I bet you're likely to be hearing this track everywhere soon enough.

Secret Mommy - Dance Studio

Andy Dixon, formerly of d.b.s. and The Red Light Sting, has never been one to let band break-ups get in the way of his creativity. He is now able to pour the majority of his time into a new solo project called Secret Mommy. It is completely different from his work in these other bands; rather it is an all instrumental electronic endeavour, full of glitchy beats and weird noises in the vein of Matmos and Mum. His new album "Very Rec" hits stores this week, and the track "Dance Studio" will appear on it.

» Bonus Track: That's Not My Girlfriend, Those Are Girls Shaving (Red Light Sting Remix)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Jose Gonzalez - Crosses

With a name like Jose Gonzalez you might think of the soundtrack to Desperado, or maybe a little flamenco. Well, be prepared to have your assumptions destroyed. Surprisingly, Jose was born in Sweden and plays music in English. This song from his debut album Veneer is reminiscent of some of the work of Red House Painters and was apparently on the season finale of The OC. I hope this doesn't ruin any of his credibility because it is easily one of the most powerful songs I've heard in a while. But maybe I'm just a sad bastard.

Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche

If you read any indie music blogs, you obviously know by now who Sufjan Stevens is. The quiet, unassuming young Christian boy who can do no wrong (well... he did use Superman on his album cover without permission) has just released the vinyl version of his masterful album "Illinois". On it, there is an exclusive new track entitled "The Avalanche", and it fits beautifully with the rest of the songs on the album. Another delicate folk song with banjo, fluttering strings and flute, and of course, the sweet vocal harmonies of Sufjan and the Illinoisemakers.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Vertical Struts - Stab Stab Stab

Saw these guys in a couple days ago. For free no less. And parking was also free. Major Bonus. Gas is a bitch though. Anyways... The Vertical Struts, Edmonton's finest, have been pushing their brand of garagey guitar music for a few years now, and they just put out their debut, self-titled full length, along with going on their first tour of Eastern Canada. Crazy energy, lots of fun, and they're incredibly charming to boot. Keep your eye out for these guys.

Tiny Tim - Livin in the Sunlight, Lovin in the Moonlight

I think most of us have heard of Tiny Tim, the ukelele player who gained fame in the late 60s and 70s. He was a very creepy, asexual man who mostly sang in falsetto and got married on the Johnny Carson Show. He had always been explained to me as a novelty act, and until I heard this album, I believed them. This is a legitimately weird man with a very legitimately weird album, even by todays standards. I think it has loads of artistic value, and I'm well on my way in trying to hear more. Interesting of note is that this album was produced by Rick Perry, who produced the first Captain Beefheart album. SpongeBob SquarePants fans might recognize this particular track from the show's pilot. Read more about Tiny Tim here.

Marbles - Cruel Sound

Move over Ben Gibbard, you're not the only indie rock superstar with an electronic side project. Robert Schneider (no, not Rob Schneider), frontman for the Apples in Stereo, also decided to branch out and try something different under the name Marbles. But this isn't as beat or bleep-oriented as The Postal Service... in fact, it still sounds like the same 60's psychadelic pop that the Apples in Stereo are known for, just with a hint of 80's new wave thrown in for good measure.

» Bonus Track: Out of Zone

Thursday, November 24, 2005

C3P0 - Bells Bells Bells

Ah, the Star Wars Christmas album. It has eluded me for quite some time, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I've now had the chance to listen to this monstrosity. Most of it is absolutely unlistenable and just as bad as you could imagine, but its Christmastime so I thought I'd pick my favorite track and share it with you. Did you know C3P0 had a fetish for bells? By listening to how excited he gets about Christmas and bells, you might get a little concerned in that way you wonder about Bert and his pigeons, or Gonzo and his chickens. But then again, C3P0 has always sounded gay for everything.

Bonus Track: The absolutely godawful "What Can You Get A Wookie For Christmas"

The Darkness - Hazel Eyes

The Darkness will release their sophomore album, "One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back" this upcoming Tuesday. I've had the chance to listen to it a couple times already (full review coming on next week), and here's the simple breakdown - awesome, but not as awesome as their debut. A track though, that immediately stood out for me, is "Hazel Eyes", proof that the Darkness aren't really a throwback to cock rock so much as they are absolute devotees to 70s rock such as Queen, Boston, Sweet, Thin Lizzy, and AC/DC. Their sense of humor throws people off guard sometimes into thinking the Darkness are a 'joke' band, but if you ask me those people are just confusing 'fun' with 'funny'. You can stream some more tracks, as well as the video for "One Way Ticket" via the Darkness' site

Tokyo Sex Destruction - Break Out Town

I stumbled across these guys while browsing the Dim Mak website, although it is their old label and they now have a new album out on BCore Records. Tokyo Sex Destruction are from Spain, but they remind me of a lot of the stuff coming out of Sweden lately... The Hives, Turbonegro, and especially The (International) Noise Conspiracy, as they have a thing for radical politics too (I swear those Spaniards are all anarchists!). Their newer stuff seems to be going in a more psychadelic direction, but "Break Out Town" is a killer track from their first album that brings to mind The MC5. Kick out the jams mofo.

» Bonus Track: Song To Apologize

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cause For Applause - The Wire

NYC = cool. Rock music = cool. Cause For Applause = cooler than cool. Seriously, this NYC rocking trio just sounds cool and they make you feel cool just by listening. And who don't want that? "The Wire" is the single off their 2003 EP released on Say Hey Records, and from what I can tell, it's their only release (mind you, I haven't done that much looking... feel free get me correct). It's too bad a 15 minute EP from these guys is all that's out there, cause it's definitely not enough.

Le Tigre - Nanny Nanny Boo Boo (Junior Senior Remix)

I've been meaning to post this track for a while here, and now it seems only appropriate to pair it up with the previous MP3. Le Tigre themselves released an album of remixes from their most recent album "This Island", and among the contributors are everyone's favourite happy go-lucky Danish duo, Junior Senior. The original "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" wasn't a favourite of mine, but with the cheesy disco atmosphere and pop sensibilities of J-S added, it's certainly a lot more fun. Le Tigre later returned the favour by doing back-up vocals on a few songs from Junior Senior's newest album "Hey Hey My My Yo Yo".

Lesbians On Ecstasy - Revolt (Le Tigre Remix)

Montreal's Lesbians On Ecstasy fuse hard electronic music with the riot grrl ideals of old. The beats will get your body moving, while simultaneously hammering home their feminist perspective. And, like just about every other electronic band out there nowadays, they've opted to do a remix record (on vinyl only) with help from outfits such as Le Tigre, Tracy and the Plastics and Sean Kosa. Le Tigre's version of "Revolt" is pretty rave-tastic, although I haven't heard the original to compare it with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ghost Exits - She Is Beyond Good & Evil

Alright, here's what I know about Ghost Exits: they're on The Social Registry; they're from Brooklyn; they're a duo of Christopher Exit and Ivan Sunshine. But what's more important is that they kick some serious, funky, psychy shit. And that's all you really need to know. This song is off their Cincinatti Riot Blues EP, which you can check for at

The Advantage - Mega Man II Stage Select + Metal Man

They may not be the only Nintendo cover band out there, but they are definitely the best I've ever heard. The Advantage return with a second album of 8-bit renditions done strictly with guitars and drums (the drums are played by Hella's Spencer Seim). The album is called "Elf-Titled" and was supposed to be out last month but for some reason got delayed until January. There aren't as many iconic songs this time around, but the production quality finally sounds slightly better than ass. To paraphrase Christian Bale in "American Psycho": it's hard to choose a favourite among so many great tracks but "Megaman II Stage Select + Metal Man" is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation, dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late to better ourselves. It's an important message, crucial really, and it's beautifully stated on the album.

» Bonus Track: Castlevania II - Woods

Monday, November 21, 2005

Belaire - Back Into The Wall

I don't know too much about Belaire except that they are from Austin, Texas and they are 2 parts male, 2 parts female. This is a track from their self-released 5-song EP, which only makes me anxious to hear more from them. It's addictive indie pop with delicate vocals and catchy synths. Fans of The Anniversary's "Designing A Nervous Breakdown" or The Rentals will want to pay special attention. Hear more from Belaire over at their MySpace page.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Futureheads - Area

I know I just posted something from The Futureheads last week, but well... do I really need an excuse to post another one? Here is the title track from their upcoming EP "Area". I think it's safe to say that if you like The Jam, you're going to like this. I'm pretty sure they performed this song during their opening slot for Hot Hot Heat in Toronto back in April because it sounds very familiar. The EP hits stores on November 28th, and the way I understand it, there are two versions (one with just this song and the Shy Child remix, the other with 2 additional new songs). You can order a special slipcase to hold both discs via The Futureheads website right now. Oh, and the video is now playing online there too...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ghostface Killah - Be Easy

I don't think I have to tell you that Ghostface is the coolest and baddest mother to have ever graced the microphone. Even if he wasn't wearing that purple robe and swinging those pounds of dana danes, you'd still know he was the king. His presence just demands it. He's the James Brown of our time. And with "Be Easy", we got the first single off the king's highly anticipated "Fish Scale" LP. Pete Rock on the boards, Trife da God in the background, and Ghost basically telling everyone to be eas'. Still no worry that he's falling off his Staten Island Throne.

Akron/Family - Moment

I've been hearing people rave about Akron/Family for a good while now, and I think I'm finally starting to understand what people find so exciting about them. Their self-titled album was mostly mellow, folky type stuff (quite pretty in its own right) but this new split CD with Angels of Light captures the bristling energy and joyful crescendos that their live show is apparently known for. "Moment" opens with almost a full minute of swirling guitar noise and crashing cymbals before transitioning into an epic sing-along of sorts. It's a good example of how much ground even just one of their songs can cover. Akron/Family play Over The Top Fest in Toronto on January 11th with Final Fantasy and the Great Lake Swimmers. Listen to more songs over at Young God Records.

Brian Posehn - Yelling Stuff

Maybe the name doesn't ring a bell, but if you're 1337 enough to be on this blog, you probably have seen Brian Posehn around somewhere: lurking in the backgrounds of the Devils Rejects and the Wedding Singer, or maybe in more prominent roles as a cast member of Mr. Show or... ugh... Just Shoot Me.
Anyways, Brian's been one of the clique of "alternative comics" like David Cross, Sarah Silverman, Eugene Mirman and Patton Oswalt, and has just released an album that I think at this time is only available from his website. The album isn't exactly laugh out loud funny, but Brian tells stories in the way your dry quiet sarcastic weird freind does, never reeking of insincerity. His self depracating, likable personality is what makes the album a little more relistenable than say, the latest David Cross disc.

Bright Eyes - Mushaboom (Feist cover)

A series of recordings were made during Bright Eyes' "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" tour, and Team Love Records has now released them. My opinion of Bright Eyes changes from time to time. Some days I find him to be a melodramatic whiny little bitch, but others I'm just in the right mood for it. While this cover of Torontonian/Parisian/Broken Social Scenian Leslie Feist's "Mushaboom" may not hold up to the original, it's still interesting to hear Conor Oberst's take on it. This album also features a cover of the late Elliott Smith's "The Biggest Lie"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cat Power - Lived in Bars

Cat Power has a new album coming out in late January. Titled 'The Greatest,' the album was recorded in Memphis under the guidance of many musicians associated with several soul and Motown classics. Stylistically, it sounds like Chan Marshall is moving away from her inflective, personal songs. This, along with her guest appearance on the latest Handsome Boy Modeling School album suggest that she is trying to abandon her sad, somber music. Matador Records has the song 'The Greatest' available on their website, and it definitely shows some progression from Marshall's past efforts. 'Lived in Bars,' sounds more like her previous work, but is still a joy to behold.

Death in Vegas - Zugaga

The first time I heard Death in Vegas it was on the Lost In Translation soundtrack. I thought the dreamy cascade of guitars and soft female vocals in the song "Girls" brilliantly captured the feel of the entire movie. I was a little surprised to find out later that Death in Vegas are big on satanic imagery... not sure if it's a joke or not, but it doesn't really suit the music I've heard from them up to this point. Their latest album, "Satan's Circus" is all instrumental and sounds overwhelmingly cold, synthetic and mechanical. On first listen, I thought this song was a cover of Kraftwerk. The Canadian release also comes with a bonus disc featuring live recordings from a show at Brixton.

» Bonus Track: Girls (Live at Brixton)

Monday, November 14, 2005

KaitO - The Marshalls Are Dead

Well it seems like like everyone's either covering or remixing Bloc Party lately, and now KaitO have decided to put their own quirky noise-pop spin on "The Marshalls Are Dead". They're currently on tour with Bloc Party in the U.K., where they are giving away a free compilation CD at the shows called "They Spoke Like An Axe: A Bulletin From The Underground". This song appears on the CD, along with a new KaitO original "Jonnie". No word on when their next album may be ready, but you can hear a demo of this new song over at MySpace, or download a WMA version from their website.

» Bonus Track: Jonnie (Demo)

Quit Your Dayjob - Vlado Video

Quit Your Dayjob are a fun, goofy, somewhat surrealist electro-punk band who have just released "Sweden We Have A Problem" on Bad Taste Records. Reminding me of Devo, Cramps and even a little bit like Talking Heads, these Swedes blast through their record at a pace not unlike the Hives (one half hour, 18 tracks), with this new release focusing a little more on rock than electronic compared to their s/t EP. Interesting is that this band has actually been around for over a decade, and I think this experience shows in their work. Additional mp3s are available on the Bad Taste website.

Bonus Track: Quit Your Dayjob - Look! A Dollar, from their s/t EP

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Os Mutantes - Panis Et Circenses

Here's an amazing song from the innovative 60's pop act, Os Mutantes. 'Panis Et Circenses' is the first track off of this Brazilian psychadelic trio's debut 1968 self titled album. World sounds are invaded by 'Beatlesmania' pop sensibilities, forming a truly unique arrangement that remains relevant and original nearly forty years later. Upon first listen, 'Panis Et Circenses' could easily be mistaken for a modern pop-experimentalist throwback; a testament of how the short lived Os Mutantes were unquestionably ahead of their time. Any band that successfully substitutes the sound of a can of bug spray for a hi-hat is good in my books.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Flaming Lips - She Don't Use Jelly (NES)

I love you Soulseek. A while back I stumbled upon a cache of NES covers on the Internet. Since then I've kept Soulseek open all the time searching for NES music, and have stumbled upon NES covers of everyone from Weezer to System of a Down to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme. But one of my favorites is this cover of the Flaming Lips' breakthrough hit "She Don't Use Jelly". If you like I recommend you open your P2P programs. There's a lot of NES freaks out there with a lot of time on their hands with lots of other secret goodies to be found.

Bonus Track: Beastie Boys - NESabotage

Neil Diamond - Hell Yeah

It's odd that no one really remembers Neil have a career outside of his greased up Vegas showboating days, but he's written some great songs in his time, including a bunch of hits for the Monkeys. I assume that's why Rick Rubin has chosen to resurrect his career by producing his new album 12 Songs. This song in particular reminds me of some of Cash's work Rubin, particularly as Diamond looks back on his life and the myths he's created. Did he create some good songs...Hell yeah he did.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ween - Boys Club

Recently reviewed by us on Space Junk , we offer up a slice from Vol. 1 of Ween's b-sides/rarities/demos collection, "Shinola". Most of the material on this album seems to come from Ween's "Chocolate and Cheese"/"Pure Guava" days, (with a little bit of their Pink Floyd influenced wanking about here and there as well), and surprisingly, as a whole it stands up against all their other albums, arguably better than a few of them as well. I can see the reason Ween didn't use some of these songs on albums, but why "Boys Club" hadn't been released until now is beyond me. "Shinola" is out now on Chocodog Records.

Bonus Track: Ween - Monique the Freak

Polysics - Wild One

The Polysics are perhaps best described as Japan's modernized, ritalin-fueled, high-tech upgraded version of Devo. Their newest album "Now Is The Time!" just came out last month in Japan and it is probably their most accessible, poppy album yet. It's a lot more guitar-oriented and focused on straight-ahead rock, with not as much overwhelming electronic noise. Every song is still a head-on burst of manic energy though. Hopefully this will get a North American release soon, possibly through Tofu Records who recently released their greatest hits album, Polysics or Die!

» Bonus Track: Polysics - Psycho Therapy (Ramones cover)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Futureheads - Decent Days and Nights (Shy Child Remix)

Like every other British rock band this year, The Futureheads have dabbled with remixes as a way to increase the longevity of their songs. For this particular remix of "Decent Days and Nights" they have recruited Shy Child, an electro duo featuring former members of El Guapo and Touchdown. The reworked version adds M.I.A.-style dancehall beats and thick synths while layering vocal tracks for a call and response effect. Pretty cool. Check the bonus tracks for a live rendition of the original and an MP3 from Shy Child's last record.

» Bonus Track: Decent Days and Nights (Live @ KVRX)
» Bonus Track: Shy Child - Summer

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Holy Shroud - Say What You Are

I think the only thing I don't like about Halifax's North of America reforming is the fact that it may mean the end of The Holy Shroud. During the time that the Nords were taking what was thought to be a permanent break, Jim MacAlpine and Michael Catano teamed up with members of the band Contrived to finalize a project they had been trying to get off the ground since 2003. They recorded an album, "Ghost Repeaters" which to me is just as good as anything North of America have done. The manic guitars, raw vocals and tight off-time rhythms will have Fugazi fans smiling and win over anyone with an ear for mathy indie rock. The whole album is good, but I chose this song... just because.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

PartyGoon vs. Alanis Morissette - Boy Crazy

Here's a novelty track for you today, created by yours truly. I love Seal's version of "Crazy" and always have. I heard Alanis' cover of the song, and I have to admit I liked it enough to download it to hear it again. Later that day I was playing around with the music program WavePad, and randomly chose the song to mess around with. I found out that by simply reducing the speed/pitch to 80%, Alanis' voice becomes a strikingly beautiful male voice, even during the high parts. I went on to try this out with other Alanis songs, and well, it also works, though not as convincing or as listenable as a full song as with this example. I cut a bit off the end of the original version of the song because otherwise it would be over 7 minutes long, and frankly that's just too much. If you're not interested in hearing the full track but curious about what it sounds like, click here for snippet of the track which has made its way onto

edit: Nov. 12 - this track was featured in The Toronto Star's "Anti Hit List" section

BONUS mp3 - another PartyGoon vs. Alanis - Right Through You

Ris Paul Ric - Run Up Wild on Me

After the break up of Q And Not U, frontman Christopher Paul Richards drove up to Ottawa to record a bunch of songs with his buddy Tim Hecker. The result is a solo project dubbed Ris Paul Ric and the album "Purple Blaze" (available now through Academy Fight Song). The songs are mostly stripped down acoustic fare, but there are still hints of Q And Not U within the quiet melodies. "Run Up Wild on Me" sounds like something that could have been on Q And Not U's last album, with the Prince-esque falsetto vocals and pulsing rhythm. I kind of wish I could hear what some of this stuff would sound like with a full band, although the intimacy of the solo recordings have a distinct charm to them as well.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Polyphonic Spree - Move Away and Shine

"Thumbsucker" is a coming-of-age story about a 17-year-old boy who can't kick the habit of sucking his thumb. I still haven't seen the movie but hey, if the soundtrack is any indication, this is going to be a masterpiece. The score for the film was penned by Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree, and the band's entire vocal ensemble appears on many of the songs. After seeing the Spree play live, director Mike Mills was inspired to carry on through some hard times he was experiencing during the editing process. He claims that in some ways the band's uplifting music actually saved the movie. (Having Delaughter later agree to write the soundtrack was just the icing on the cake.) The soundtrack also features a few songs from the late Elliott Smith, including a cover of Cat Stevens' "Trouble", believed to be one of the last recordings he ever did.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Editors - Lights

An album that kind of slipped under the radar this summer is "The Back Room" by Birmingham's Editors. Being a British band with emotional vocals in 2005 pretty much means you get thrown into the pile of Coldplay ripoff bands, when really I hear a little bit of (hey, lets make a long list, that'll be fun) Replacements, U2, Maximo Park, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Placebo, and specifically in this track's case, Interpol. The band goes on to add Echo and the Bunnymen, REM, Elbow and the Doves to this list as well. Is it just me, or do British bands always end up compared to a zillion more bands than North American ones? You can stream a few more tracks via their section on the Kitchenware Records website.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Hella - Madonna Approaches R&B Blonde Wreckages

The hyperkinetic duo of Spencer Seim and Zach Hill are back, this time with a live DVD entitled "Concentration Face" that provides visual proof of how insanely talented these guys are. It also comes packaged with an EP of new material called "Homeboy". Kill Rock Stars have posted an MP3 of a new track that hits you with more of the 8-bit electronic noodling that Seim indulged in on the last album backed by Hill's psychotic drumming. Hella's wall of sound is certainly not for everyone, but they still manage to leave me with my jaw on the ground every time.

New Domain Name:

Hey I just thought I'd mention that if you find this wacky URL a little long and difficult to remember, you can now also access this site via Quick, simple, and to the point. Tell your friends!

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Bats - Bells

23 years, 6 albums, never changed their line-up once, and I never heard of them until today. New Zealand's The Bats, who look like your local bar band, play interesting jangly indie pop with an acoustic base. It's hard to dislike these Kiwis, they give me the same pleasant feeling I get from listening to the Shins. "Bells" is taken from their new release, "At the National Grid", which is available on Portland, Oregon's Magic Marker Records

Milemarker - Food Chain

No longer on Jade Tree, Milemarker have jumped over to Eyeball Records for their latest release "Ominosity". They don't seem to fit in nicely with any particular sound or genre, which may be why they keep switching labels. I'm surprised they aren't more well-known though, especially since their live shows are supposed to be fantastic. On this new album they continue their goal of being a high concept band while exhibiting a healthy obsession with both 80's new wave synths and raw hardcore punk. "Food Chain" almost reminds me of a marriage between Gary Numan, Thunderbirds Are Now and Sick Of It All, if such a thing were possible. (Then again, after considering that perspective, it may explain why they don't have a larger following.) Still, I dig it and maybe you will too.

Nirvana - Sappy (1990 Studio Demo)

Originally I thought this new single-disc Nirvana compilation "Sliver: The Best Of The Box" would simply trim all the fat from last year's "With The Lights Out" box set, making for one solid disc of outtakes and rarities. It turns out it's just as muddled as the box set was. The track listing is still filled with demo recordings and rough versions of a lot of songs we've all heard before. What I want is a definitive collection of all the great b-sides from their singles and various compilations... is that so much to ask?? The 1990 Studio Demo of "Sappy" is billed as one of the unreleased songs on this CD, but it's just a slightly different version of "Verse Chorus Verse" (aka the hidden track from the "No Alternative" compilation). Great song, but what happened to all the rest? The band's rare material is so much better than most of this disc lets on. The bonus MP3 I've included is Nirvana's bombastic cover of "Do You Love Me" by Kiss, a song that never even made it onto the box set (presumably because Kiss was never compensated for it).

» Bonus Track: Do You Love Me (Kiss cover)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rx - Birthday

Some of you may have heard the various tracks out there of Bush's state of the union addresses cut up to make him look foolish. Rx takes it to another level entirely and makes full rock and dance songs out of Bush quotes. Some seem to spread a political message, but most are just fun and stupid. Another one of Rx's tracks,"Who's the Nigga?" is perhaps the best known of all of them thanks to various humor websites, but my favorite is "Birthday" because it features a guest appearance from the Guvernator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Each one of Rx's compositions is available for download, and surprisingly, as a full album it's quite listenable. Check out more tracks at his website