Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cornelius - Wataridori

While electronica music has exploded in recent years, Cornelius has seemed to be oddly absent from much of its popularity, which is surprisingly since he was one of the first to make electronica poppy. Even now, his new album has fallen somewhat under the radar. The album was recently released overseas, and no one's even talking about it over here yet. What gives guys? Stop crying about EZArchive and start posting! (you too Sean!). His new album Sensuous may, in fact, be his most poppy and accessible album to date. In fact, it may be my favourite so far, and could be a late edition to my album of the year (so long JT!). It was difficult selecting some songs to post since there are so many stand-out tracks, and some are simply amazing. Get on them before you don't!

Bonus Track - Gum

Devandra Banhart - White Reggae Troll

When I first bought Banhart's latest CD, I placed the disc in my computer, and suddenly this amazing song started playing. The song, "White Reggae Troll," is actually a bonus track on the album that only plays when the CD is in the computer. But who listens to CDs anyways? Doesn't everyone upload their music and then stash them away. We all know they belong in mint condition, unused, untouched, placed securely on a CD tower in alphabetical order for a potential mate to appreciate.
Anywho, I managed to finally find an mp3 of this song. It turns out that the vinyl release comes with a whole bonus record, including this song. Though the song starts off a bit slow, it really hits it stride at the three minute mark, with a huge african drum beat, and the typically odd lyrics "Africa, we all came for ya!"

Cacoy- Mural of Music

I'll admit that every so often I completely miss out on a huge band (I just got 'into' Broken Social Scene half an hour ago). But there's no excuse for not hearing of Cacoy, except that it wasn't released in North America until recently. The album was actually originally released in Japan way back in 2003. The best comparison I can make to other bands that start with the letter 'C' are Cornelius or Caribou, who use cut up beats and samples, mixed with a bit a hip-hop and electronica. Cacoy definitely emphasizes the more downtempo styles of electronica, but showcases and incredible ability to build songs out of nothing. "Mural of Music" begins with little more than some cut-up beats before climaxing at a soothing, monumental chorus. The album is full of songs like this that begin quietly, and play more like background music, and then build and build until you can't concentrate on anything but the music. Definitely a must have.
Hey, isn't it about time they put out another album?

Bonus Track - Piracle Pa

The Tragically Hip - In View

What's this? I don't post anything for two weeks, and I mark my return by posting a new Tragically Hip track? No, but...wait. What if I told you that it's actually really good. I mean seriously. At times I've thought I was the only one in my small Canadian town that didn't like the Hip, and I know I'm jumping on their bandwagon. No, but...seriously. I swear Gord Downie has been listening to some indie rock. I posted the video so you can get a taste of it, even if you doubt me. Too bad there's all the interruptions in the video.

Video: Deerhoof's Milk Man Ballet - "Milking"



Pitchfork posted last week about an awesome art performance that was recently put on by the North Haven Community School in North Haven, Maine. Students from elementary, middle, and high school developed a dance routine based on Deerhoof's album Milk Man! The school drama teacher Courtney Naliboff and choreographer Ken Jones collaborated with the band to adapt music for the project, but the music and dancing are actually performed live by the students themselves. (Deerhoof were actually in attendance, however.) Man, why didn't I ever have cool teachers like this in school?

Videos from the Milk Man Ballet are now up on YouTube and it's quite a sight to behold. Here are direct links to more of the songs:

Dream Wander's True
That Big Orange Sun Run
New Sneakers
C
Rainbow Silhouette

Monday, October 30, 2006

Excuses For Lack of Updates

Well it looks like we picked a terrible time to start using EZArchive. They're in the middle of upgrading their servers and launching a new user interface, so a lot of bloggers have been left out in the cold over the past few weeks with nowhere to host their MP3s. Zak has had a few new posts in the queue for a while now, and I've got a couple on the way so we'll have to try and find a temporary file hosting solution until EZArchive gets their shit together. Sorry about that.

New podcast coming this week too hopefully.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Flaming Lips - Free Radicals (Simlish Version)

When I first heard that The Flaming Lips were going to be on the soundtrack for EA's The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack, I didn't give it much thought. It seems like every game developer is looking at their game soundtracks in the same way as movie soundtracks -- ie. just another piece of the marketing pie. But then I read that the artists on this soundtrack actually re-recorded the songs with the lyrics in "Simlish" (ie. the in-game gibberish that the characters use). Now that sounded like something worth tracking down! It took a bit of work to extract the music from the data files on the CD, but voila... here are songs from both The Flaming Lips and The New Amsterdams. The disappointing thing is that the 2 Hot Chip tunes are only available on console versions of the game. Anyone feel like hacking their X-Box? As a bonus I threw in a link to The Sims 2 Theme (written by Mark Mothersbaugh).

» The New Amsterdams - Turn Out The Light (Simlish Version)
» Mark Mothersbaugh - The Sims 2 Theme
» Buy The Sims 2 Pets on Amazon

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bow Wow Wow - Fools Rush In (Kevin Shields Remix)

Sofia Coppola's soundtrack for Lost In Translation was one of my favourite soundtracks in recent years. It managed to assemble the perfect mix of melancholy pop songs and lush instrumentals, anchored by a handful of original compositions by ex-My Bloody Valentine frontman Kevin Shields. Not only are the songs great individually, but together they completely capture the mood of the film.

Coppola's newest movie Marie-Antoinette opens this weekend, and the soundtrack looks to be another great collection. This time around there is a new wave theme, with songs by bands like New Order, The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees. However, it still has a lot of familiar contributors including Air, Squarepusher, and Kevin Shields (remixing a couple of Bow Wow Wow songs). Perhaps the biggest highlight, however, are the 3 songs from Swedish indie band The Radio Dept. (who just happen to sound a heck of a lot like My Bloody Valentine).

» Bonus Track: The Radio Dept. - Pulling Our Weight
» Bonus Track: Squarepusher - Tommib Help Buss
» Buy it on Amazon

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Eight Day Hell

Next month ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead will release their 5th full length album So Divided. The sound is definitely a bit of a departure for these Texas noisemakers who were known once upon a time for self-destructing at the end of each show. But I guess that expectation probably gets old pretty quickly, and now they've moved on and conjured up something much less bombastic.

In retrospect, I think it's fair to say these guys were pretty overhyped once upon a time (Pitchfork awarded Source Tags & Codes a 9.7 I believe), but now they're kind of free to do whatever the hell they want. In many cases it barely even sounds like the same band. Take this song "Eight Days Hell" for instance, with its rollicking piano and group vocals... it borders on Polyphonic Spree territory. The album didn't really grab me overall, but I give them props for at least trying something new. So Divided hits stores on November 14th.

» Bonus Track: Life
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Monday, October 16, 2006

Beck - This Girl That I Know

I am enjoying Beck's latest album The Information, if for no other reason then because it comes with a booklet of stickers to create your own customized album artwork. Now there's a reason to buy the actual CD instead of just downloading it, right? The music mainly carries along in the same direction as Guero in my opinion, which is to say it brings back the junkyard pastiche of rap and funk that made Mellow Gold and Odelay so catchy. I was a little disappointed though, that there wasn't much of the Midnite Vultures-era Beck to be found. It turns out at least one such song made it onto the U.K. release of the album as a bonus track, however. It's too bad they weren't included as part of the standard release, as these extra songs actually make up for some of the uninteresting tracks on the rest of the album.

» Bonus Track: Inside Out
» Buy the UK Import of The Information on Amazon

Thursday, October 12, 2006

MIA - XR2

If it wasn't already official that MIA had blown up, last night's episode of America's Next Top Model solidified it when they played an instrumental song in the background that was an obvious rip-off of an MIA track. Not only is ANTM on the cutting edge of fashion, but they are also famous for ripping off only the world's hottest tracks. Of course, she's not only HOT! she's also HAWT! This track comes from her upcoming album supposedly being released later this year. At one point Timbaland was supposed to produce a couple tracks, but the newest rumor is that the album will be entirely produced by Maya herself. Vain? Maybe. But I'm definitely digging this new track.

Rogue Wave - Eyes

Some time ago I was watching the instant classic hit Just Friends with my mom, and this one song that kept appearing throughout that sounded like Rogue Wave, though I didn't recognize it from either of their full-length albums. I had forgot about the song for a while, until last week as I was watching the season premiere of Heroes and heard the song again. I don't want to join in the debate of whether or not pop songs should be used in superhero films or television shows, but the point is that this song is awesome. It's a short acoustic number more reminiscent of their first album Out of the Shadow but it actually appears as a bonus track for the single "Publish My Love" from their more recent Descended Like Vultures album.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Muzak For Cybernetics Mixtape #5

Welcome to the fifth Muzak For Cybernetics podcast! Thanks for all your e-mails... we're trying to record the Mixtape more often but there always seems to be stuff that gets in the way. (You know, work and life and other unimportant crap like that.) We're also introducing some non-music related banter to the mix... you may find it boring, but we consider it educational.



Playlist:

Pilot Scott Tracy - Woo
David Bowie - The Width of a Circle
Daniel Johnston - Held The Hand
Built To Spill - Some Things Last A Long Time
Ben Folds - Such Great Heights
Beck - Dark Star (TV On The Radio Remix)
Field Music - In Context
The Bicycles - Longjohns and Toques
The Curtains - Green Water
The Changes - When I Wake
Malajube - Montreal -40C
Darkel - My Own Sun
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
Akron/Family - One Spring Morning

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Curtains - The Thousandth Face

Now that guitarist Chris Cohen has officially parted ways with Deerhoof, he is concentrating full time on his other band The Curtains. I didn't realize this, but he was actually doing The Curtains back before he even joined Deerhoof (around the Reveille-era), and the new album Calamity will be his 4th under that moniker. Being that this is my first exposure to Cohen's solo material, I can't compare the sound to previous albums, but I can tell you that it contains many elements that will be familiar to Deerhoof fans. The one thing that did surprise me, however, was just how gentle and laidback most of the songs were. I kept waiting for him to explode into a frenzy of Deerhoof-esque noise, but that moment never comes. Instead we are left with a collection of quiet pop songs built on slightly twisted melodies, some of which seem a bit forgettable, while others will stick in your head for days. Calamity is released on Asthmatic Kitty Records on October 24th.

» Bonus Track: Fell On A Rock & Broke It
» Pre-order it on Amazon

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Flaming Lips - Why Does It End?

You know, I've always felt that audio DVDs were a bit of a scam. There's a section in pretty much every music store where they sell these things and I have no idea who actually buys them. Conoisseurs of music, I suppose. I certainly don't own any, but if there was one band that I would consider buying an audio DVD from, it would definitely be The Flaming Lips. Considering what they did with the album Zaireeka (released as a package of 4 CDs to be played simultaneously from 4 different sources), I know that these guys could do some cool stuff with their songs in Dolby 5.1.

As it turns out, this month The Flaming Lips will release a new deluxe edition of At War With The Mystics, remixed in 5.1 surround sound and supplemented by a number of b-sides including their cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". The DVD will also feature videos for "Mr. Ambulance Driver", "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song", and "The W.A.N.D.", along with footage of Wayne Coyne's commencement speech from his high school graduation, if you can believe it. It does sound like a worthy re-issue if ever there was one. "Why Does It End?" is another b-side that will be included (it originally appeared on the single for "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song"). Look for this expanded edition in stores on Oct. 24th.

» Pre-order it on Amazon