Thursday, March 30, 2006

Field Music - You're Not Supposed To

Field Music are a British band that has shared members with both Maximo Park and The Futureheads at one time or another. While that fact alone may be enough to pique your interest, don't assume that this is another Gang of Four tribute act. And yet, what they lack in angular guitars, they more than make up for with beautiful vocal harmonies and shimmering pop craftmanship. Their debut album will finally get a U.S. release next week, replete with bonus tracks including a cover of Electronic Eye Machine's "You're Not Supposed To". Soon afterwards, they will be releasing a b-side compilation called Write Your Own History, which collects the aforementioned bonus tracks along with b-sides from their various singles from 2005.

» Bonus Track: This Is To Test Your Reaction
» Pre-order s/t on Amazon
» Pre-order Write Your Own History on Amazon

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hot Chip - Tchaparian

Alright now these tracks should more than make up for that rather lethargic Hot Chip track I posted at the beginning of this month (from the See You On The Moon compilation). And to think, I was just starting to get into Coming On Strong, and now they already have a new full-length on the way. Hmm... well I suppose it has been about 2 years since Coming On Strong was originally released. The Warning hits stores on May 22nd and it totally kicks these guys up a notch in my books. I can't get enough of "Tchaparian" in particular, it's got these addictive beats but also an odd ethereal quality I can't quite describe. Hey, why not check out their video for "Over and Over" while you're at it.

» Bonus Track: Boy From School
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Monday, March 27, 2006

We're Moving...

Just a quick word to let you know that I'm switching over the hosting for this site we may experience some brief downtime. Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stream New Albums from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morrissey and The Flaming Lips

Sometimes you don't want just a couple choice MP3s from an album, you want to preview the entire thing before you buy it. Here's your chance to check out three great upcoming albums from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (in stores March 28th), Morrissey (April 4th), and The Flaming Lips (April 4th). Enjoy. The Flaming Lips stream unfortunately requires registration to listen, but if you have the BugMeNot plug-in for Firefox you're all set!

» The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
» Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors
» The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dokaka - Creeping Death (Metallica cover)

I've always been intrigued by beatboxing and amazed by some of the sounds that these vocal geniuses can mimick with their mouths. Although it kind of started out as a practical and inexpensive form of providing rhythm for rappers, beatboxing has "evolved" and come to be a little more respected and used in many other forms of music as well. Case in point, Japanese beatboxer Dokaka who has a quirky and unique style of his own and is starting to get a lot of attention thanks to the many wonderful covers posted on his website. He collaborated with Bjork on her vocal concept album Medulla and also recently provided the theme song for the We Love Katamari game on the Playstation 2. He takes what hardcore jokers Jud Jud started a few years back and makes it more than just a stupid gag. Rumour has it he will release his first album sometime this year, in the meantime, check out tons of MP3s over at Dokaka.com.

» Bonus Track: Smells Like Teen Spirit
» Bonus Track: Contra NES theme

Juvenile - Keep Talkin ft. Skip & Redd Eyezz


I haven't been this excited about an album since the Snowman hit us with a case of El Nino last summer. Reality Check, the latest outing from Juvenile, has got to be hottest thing on the block. The founding father of bounce hasn't put out anything this hot since the cover of 400 Degrees. Why, I dare say we got ourselves another near-classic on our hands! I'd be a little more balls-out with my praise, but it's those slow-jams that are holding me back. Like "Addicted" with Brian McMotherFuckingKnight on the track. That's disappointing. Anyways, all I know is that I haven't been listening to much else lately, and don't really want to neither.

» Bonus Track: Rock Like That ft. Bun B
» Buy it on Amazon

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Danko Jones - Sticky Situation

A few years back Danko Jones was one of the hottest things going in the Canadian rock scene. His unbridled energy, cocky swagger and razor sharp garage rock riffs garnered him a lot of fans, and his snappy fashion sense was even the subject of a Smugglers' song ("Danko Jones' Pants"). It wasn't long before he had a few radio hits, and then... disappeared. Or at least that's what it seemed like to me. In actuality he signed to Swedish label Bad Taste Records and began to develop into a bona fide star over there (where, incidentally, they seem to really, really love rock n roll). He landed himself a radio show and even released a spoken word album. Now he has released a new album called Sleep Is The Enemy, and while it's not quite as explosive as his older stuff, there's still some decent tracks on it. Also check out this rad cover of Elvis Costello I found over at the fan site DankoJones.net!

» Bonus Track: Pump It Up (Elvis Costello cover)
» Buy it on Amazon

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kelis ft. Too Short - Bossy

Last year I would drive around in my car with Slim Thug in the speakers calling himself the "boss of all bosses" and I believed him whole-heartedly. However, as of last Tuesday, I've re-evaluated that truth and realized something. Slim Thug may claim to the hard-ass'd boss he likes to think he is, but he's still got someone to answer to. Kelis. Just listen to the song, you'll know what I'm talking about. (And she's even got Too Short on a leash on this one! Now that's the boss of all bosses!)

TV On The Radio - Playhouses

TV On The Radio are another one of those bands whose universally praised last album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes simply passed me by, for one reason or another. Still, I always had them tucked away in the back of my head, waiting to be thoroughly impressed by them one day down the road. And now I think that day might be here, because some of these tracks on their new record are pretty damn cool and have me really intrigued. Clearly they are a band that defies categorization... I'm not quite sure what I expected, but this mixture of smart beats, haunting male/female vocals and throbbing keyboards has me captivated. The new album Return To Cookie Mountain will be released through Interscope Records in (I believe?) May, and I have a sneaking suspicion it may end up on more than a few people's top 10 lists for the year.

» Bonus Track: Blues From Down Here

Catholic Gaydar - 500 Up (Sloan cover)

I'm not too sure how I stumbled across this band, and to be honest, I'm really not sure how I managed to get past their name (granted, it's better than their previous name "Stiff Kitty"), but I'm glad I did eventually give them a listen. Catholic Gaydar are an electro-pop band out of Halifax, and from the sounds of it they are still in the process of developing a style and some confidence, but there's definitely potential here. I gotta be honest, the thing that initially grabbed my attention was the plethora of interesting covers they do, including this song by former fellow Haligonians, Sloan. It's probably more interesting if you've heard the original, but I enjoyed their electronic take on it. Check out more songs over on their MySpace page, or grab a whole album's worth over at Mocking Music.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Snowden - Anti-Anti


Although I've never been a big fan of Jade Tree records, every once in a while they hire some amazing bands to their roster to balance their largely emo and hardcore base. Obviously, I'm not throwing Snowden into their 'shitty' repetitive pile. Rather, Snowden definitely stands out in their list, with singer Jordan Jeffares' distinct voice, and catchy melodies. I would say it reminds me of the more poppier moments of Wolf Parade or Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Although their debut album for Jade Tree doesn't have a scheduled released day yet, you can download there previous EP for free on their homepage here

Sunset Rubdown - Snakes Got A Leg III

Wolf Parade fans desperate for something new from the band will definitely want to check out the latest LP from guitarist Spencer Krug's side project Sunset Rubdown when it is released this May. Now that the project has grown into a full band, Krug's talent as a songwriter is becoming painfully obvious, and Shut Up I Am Dreaming delivers on the potential that was shown on previous Sunset Rubdown releases. Their sound is still less accessible than Wolf Parade, but Krug's distinctive voice along with the fuzzy guitars and off-kilter piano will keep you listening. The album is released through Absolutely Kosher Records on May 2nd.

» Bonus Track: Swimming

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Matmos - Tract For Valerie Solanas

The masters of cut and paste sound collages return in May with a new album entitled The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast. One of Matmos' previous albums was composed entirely using sounds from liposuction surgery... how's that for an artistic statement? This time around they attempt to pay tribute to 10 different people that they admire, from writer/spoken word artist William S. Burroughs to feminist/Andy Warhol assassin Valeri Solanas. Each song is a unique audio portrait related to the person and their life, sometimes with direct references to historical events, other times implied through metaphoric instruments and samples. Here are a couple choice cuts from the album: Valerie Solanas' song mixes up phat beats with feminist spoken word pieces, while record producer Joe Meek's homage contains echoes of the surf reverb he is known for pioneering with the The Tornados hit "Telstar".

» Bonus Track: Solo Buttons For Joe Meek

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wilderness - Monumental

One of my highlights of last year was being introduced to a little band known as Wilderness. Their self-titled album released in 2004 sounded like an 80s post-punk band who was toying with a little post-rock; sounding somewhat akin to many current 80s revivalist bands, yet somehow transcending them. At the time of its release, the band only received brief exposure, as several major music sites didn't even notice the record. Fortunately, the band is releasing their second album Vessel States in April, which builds on the ideas and styles brought forth in their debut album. With the band's dreamy, atmospheric melodies and singer James Johnson's emphatically over-enunciated, deconstructive prose, the band sounds like David Byrne fronting Explosions in the Sky, creating music so simple and amazing that it's simply amazing.

» Bonus Track: Beautiful Alarms
» Bonus Track: Emergency
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Amy Millan - Skinny Boy

The explosion of Canadian female indie rockers going solo is well on its way to becoming a bona fide "movement", although it should come as no surprise seeing as they're all good friends. Feist has been carving out a name for herself for a while now outside of her time with Broken Social Scene and Emily Haines of Metric will also release her first solo album sometime this year. Now Amy Millan of Stars (and Broken Social Scene) is the next female chanteuse to break away and go it alone. Arts & Crafts is offering a free download of a song from her upcoming album Honey From The Tombs. "Skinny Boy" is a decent showcase of Millan's soft and alluring voice, although the song conveys a certain sadness and heartache not found in the music of Stars. Look for her solo album in stores on May 30th.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Catfish Haven - Madelin


Chicago's Catfish Haven have been causing a stir amongst all the bloggers for the past few weeks. With only a recently released EP on Secretly Canadian records to their name, they have been making everyone swoon by their powerful live performance. Too bad the only way I can experience them is through their album, which is still quite stellar, and unfortunately too short. Apparently this EP is only a teaser for their full length which will be released later this year, but don't dismiss this EP because there's some amazing material here. I love the lead singer's soulful, yet raspy voice, which perfectly suits the band's fast-paced, almost rockabilly vibe.

Bonus Track - Crying Shame

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Honeybear

I really like what I'm hearing from the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, Show Your Bones. In fact, now I'm starting to wonder why on earth I overlooked their last album. I always thought it had some decent singles but I never investigated any further. Their new stuff certainly doesn't sound much different... the album is still fueled primarily by raw rock n roll riffs and Karen O's lung power (not to mention her unique fashion sense). "Honeybear" just happens to be one of the songs that grabbed me most, along with "Deja Vu" (which is a bonus track only available on the U.K. release). Show Your Bones hits stores on March 28th -- better mark it on your calendars kiddies.

» Bonus Track: Deja Vu
» Pre-order it on Amazon


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - Sneaker Song!

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last couple of days, it's shaping up to be a pretty hectic week. Hopefully you will settle for a handful of great songs from the Japanese band Plus-Tech Squeeze Box. Their music is cute, frenetic and eclectic, mixing ragtime jazz and classical with electronics and punk rock. They are a mad scientist's experiment gone horribly right, something like Pizzicato Five hopped up on caffeine pills and implanted with robot body parts. These songs are from their first album Fakevox, but they also released an album in 2004 called Cartoom! and contributed a song to the Spongebob Squarepants movie soundtrack. I'm not sure if they've got anything new on the go, mainly because their website is in Japanese. Someone needs to dig up the skinny for me.

» Bonus Track: Rocket Coaster
» Bonus Track: A Day In The Radio (micro mach machine Remix)
» Buy it on Amazon

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hockey Night - Get Real

Despite the obvious assumptions you might have about a band named Hockey Night, these guys are not Canadian. Instead they hail from Minnesota, one of those other hockey crazy cities located down there in the good ol' U.S. of A. Now I don't want to say that they stole anything from Pavement, because clearly they have their own thing going on, but lead singer Paul Sprangers has got Stephen Malkmus' half-interested drawl down to a T and there is a definite early 90's indie rock vibe infused in this music. And damn, if it isn't one of the best albums I've heard in a while. Hockey Night also have a rather unique set up, consisting of 2 guitarists and 2 drummers. Do yourself a favour and check out their album Keep Guessin', out now on Eenie Meenie Records.

» Bonus Track: Cooperation
» Bonus Track: For Guys' Eyes Only
» Buy it on Amazon

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hot Chip - I Can't Wake Up

When Toronto record label Paper Bag Records announced that they were releasing a compilation featuring bands playing songs for kids, and that it would include such indie rock superstars as Broken Social Scene and Sufjan Stevens, I thought it was a great concept. The problem is, it seems like a lot of the bands misunderstood what that concept was. A good majority of the tracks from See You On The Moon! (Songs For Kids Of All Ages) don't sound like children's songs at all -- unless, that is, the bands were striving to create lullabies in which case they've succeeded admirably. Hot Chip contribute perhaps the most chilled out song I've heard from them yet, while Hamilton electronic duo Junior Boys provide their first brand new song since their 2004 album Last Exit. The Sufjan Stevens song previously appeared on one of his Christmas EPs. Volume 2 is supposedly already in the works... all I'm saying is it better have more kazoo in it.

» Bonus Track: Junior Boys - Max
» Bonus Track: Sufjan Stevens - The Friendly Beasts
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Metal Hearts - Mountain Song

I know how much Sean likes gimmicks, so I'm kinda dedicating this song to him. Try this one on for size: Metal Hearts is comprised of 18 year old Anar Badalov and 19 year old Flora Wolpert-Checknoff, who met through their sexy, Greek friend who Anar was dating at the time, and whom Flora dated in kindergarten. Sounds like all the makings of a quirky, indie band. However, Metal Hearts is quite tamer than I thought it would be, what I would call a mood album. Consider it the Postal Service for people with narcolepsy, with hushed vocals, guitars, synths and drum loops. These two songs are definitely the stand out tracks on the album, while the rest of the album is much more subdued.

» Bonus Track: Socialize
» Buy it on Amazon

Polysics - Mr. Psycho Psycho

Tokyo's Polysics are one of those bands that I wish everyone could experience at least once in their lives, whether it be seeing them in concert or even just hearing snippets from a few of their songs. I know that their insane blend of robotic bleeps, hyperactive guitars and high pitched shrieks are not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but deep down I think we all have a little bit of Polysics in us. That's right, I said it... we are all Polysics! Their newest album Now Is The Time was just released in North America on Tofu Records, and it has 2 new songs that were not included on the Japanese release. Unfortunately, it is also missing 2 songs from the original Japanese track listing as well, so I thought I would post one U.S. exclusive track, one Japanese exclusive track, and then throw in their take on a Devo classic as well. Duty now for the future.

» Bonus Track: The Next World
» Bonus Track: Jerkin' Back and Forth (Devo cover)
» Buy it on Amazon

Arabesque - Bellyache

I've never been too crazy about that middle ground between the flash of mainstream rap and the boring humility of back-packer consciousness. (I know what you're all thinking. What about Kanye?! Yeah, well, I'm not exactly going ape-shit over him either.) However, every now and then those that walk the middle ground put out a few interesting tracks. T.dot rapper Arabesque, aka Aramaic, is one of those guys. And Bellyache is one of those songs.