Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Speaking Canaries - Get Out Alive: The Last Type Story (2003)

There is something to be said for an album that seemed to have done so much right and even in its day received high critical praise but was thrown to the side. This is the often forgotten about project of Damon Che (drummer of Don Cab)  Here the skin smasher takes up guitar and enlists the assistance of fellow Pittsburghians Hurl. However I have read for this particular release these are songs mostly tracked by Che himself. Its an interesting period piece of 90's indie rock that seems to have an odd love of early Van Halen, but it works well. Something I will let our readers choose however is which release they want..... There are two cuts of this album.  One has severely extended versions of a couple songs and the other does not. Im in the camp of the shorter version but I know a lot of people prefer the extensions.

Get Out Alive: The Last Type Story (long)

Get out Alive: The Last Type Story (short)

The Most Serene Republic - Population

Population is the sophomore effort from Canada's The Most Serene Republic. Signed to revolving door super group Broken Social Scene's label arts and crafts you may be able to piece together the sonic puzzle of this band. Boy girl vocals, horn section, indie pop rock with dynamic song structures....sound familiar? Well yes and no.  You'd have to be in a lot of denial to say that they don't sound even a little bit like BSS. But it would be doing this group a disservice to dismiss them on these charges. Its a very enjoyable outing and actually pushes things a bit more than even their influences do.  Also as another feather in their cap the drums are top notch running amok. Just check out  album highlight "compliance" where they are front and center tearing up the earth around them. Its worth the time to check but wont be sneaking on anyone's top 20.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

This Music Moment: 2000

Honestly when I was younger I wasn't super interested in music. While channel surfing I just so happened to stumble on a show on USA called hosted by Matt Pinfield. (anyone remember this show?) The band on at the time was At the Drive In. 14 year old me suddenly was blind sided by what I had just witnessed. I had no clue who they were or what exactly it was that they had played but I knew that it was awesome. So it began.

Ecstatic Sunshine - Freckle Wars (2006)

These gents are in the band Ponytail, which I'm sure many are familiar with.  Could never get into em myself (that vocalist needs to scream talk elsewhere) Ecstatic Sunshine finds these two guitar slingers doing what they do best.....strumming together. Its kinda poppy, certainly indie tinged, sprightly and slightly distorted. Maybe a more all encompassing statement would be youthful happy surf folk music for slightly miffed pre-teens. I know that prolly doesn't sound so tempting but I promise there is much to enjoy.

Freckle Wars

Nasty Drummer Challenge- Fleet Foxes

After reviewing my post, and again listening to the brilliance of Two Weeks by Grizzly, i was reminded of another standout performance from a band i wanted to share. Fleet Foxes have been consistently epic since they started, but i had not heard of them until i was sent a link to them playing a song on Letterman. Here they are, getting lots of spotlight while promoting their major label debut, and just at the top of their game for live performance. Such a great sounding stage for these guys; the overwhelming amount of reverb doesnt affect the performance one bit. The song is just upbeat, a bit moody or dark, and beautiful. They build wonderfully here, accenting their lovely vocal harmonies and letting those drums enter fully at just the right moment.

For Eddie

Took me a while to locate, but i wanted to post this nasty Incubus song from SCIENCE. I forgot how tight of a band these dudes are; dudeman on drums is killer, bass is sweet, and man can mike einsinger rip a solo. He is one tasty guitarist; probably my biggest regret for not following their work after Make Yourself.
Deep Inside by ninko


Nasty Drummer Challenge- Papa Jo Jones

Papa Jo Jones is one of the grandfathers of orchestral jazz drumming. Dude is a maniac, and i will only slightly go into his history. Jo Jones was playing with orchestras to preform the soundtracks to silent films, where they were providing sounds for everything that happened in the movie they were preforming to. Starting off in that kind of a world, Jo created a style of drumming that flowed and changed with the melodies of the songs, and soon after playing in theaters, he was the lead drummer in Count Basies Big Band for decades.

First, im posting a video of a closeup of Jo going wild on a solo. He was one animated motherfucker, just grinning for the camera and pulling off crazy nonsense effortlessly. Love how he strips his set down to just his hands and feet before bringing those sticks back into play for his nasty drum rolls.

Next, a song from a Count Basie album, Live with Frank Sinatra. It was a short album, but sweet as shit; Basie arranged some classic hits to fit his own big band style, and Jo Jones was just riding along happy as can be. I have heard him explain how he reads jazz charts, changing the course of his drum style depending on which instruments are driving the song forward. No better example than of the traditionally slow paced Im Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, where Basie kicks it up a notch and lets those horns ride under Franks timeless singing.

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter by ninko

Nasty Drummer Challenge- Grizzly Bear

Man, nothing has disappointed me recently as much as the promise of Grizzly Bears second major label release, Veckatimest, had disappointed me. They were billed to play Letterman for their EP between Yellow House, their debut, and their follow up, but they were bumped a few months back from when they were supposed to play, so when they took the stage for the Letterman performance, they had already written a bunch of stuff for Veckatimest, so they decided to debut Two Weeks from that album instead of promoting something from the EP. Two Weeks blew me away; I was convinced their new album would be the new Motown. But sadly, the man who sings this song got put in the background, creatively, and daniel rossen, who plays the keyboards on this track, took the helm of Grizzly Bear and turned Veckatimest into a Daniel Rossen Project. The standout tracks on Veck are all Ed; you can tell where his input is placed.

But, all that said, Two Weeks is a standout track. The band really has it all together, and four part vocal harmonies are always a big plus. The drums are quite simple here, but in the context of the song they are just so damned tight and groovy in an orchestral, minimal way that many drummers lack, knowing when less really is more.

Nasty Drummer Challenge- Dredg

A bit heavy, but oh so badass. Dredg started off as a sick creative band, but eventually they straightened out a bit under pressure from their label. Their debut was insanity though; Leitmotif is a hard rock dream album of epic flowing proportions. The songs all meld into one another; I was actually quite mad that the track im about to post doesnt flow into the next track. The album just keeps going, keeps ebbing and flowing through quiet and heavy. Dudeman on the drums knew how to open an album though. They just immediately kick it off with a bang, laying down sweet guitars and vocals, with the drums and bass locked into each other something fierce. Leitmotif and El Cielo are essential listening; the rest i have not heard, but what a great start. Hopefully these guys go all Incubus and put out some bullshit for a while to then reclaim their place*


Passion Pit

Man, acerola, you are a hard dude to keep up with. I dont know how or where you find all of this music that you post, but you have somehow tapped into a fountain of youth for the ears. Seriously ya'll, give this dude some props. This blog is bumping with all kinds of things i have never heard before, and 90% of it is from our main man acerola. I was telling him that i have now got an itunes/ ipod folder called PlentyOSwords that is solely devoted to the things that i download from his recommendation on this site, and i still havent absorbed a third of it. Youve got an incredible skill for finding sweet tunes under the radar; keep it coming brother.

I wanted to step back a year or two and dive into an album i found on a whim that i ended up listening to endlessly for a few months. I was driving, running, and passively playing Passion Pit in the back and foreground of my life after i picked up Manners. it is just such great, melodic catchiness that permeates an entire album, and a debut at that. Although "they" technically released a 7 song EP before their major label product dropped, Manners is the place to start for Passion Pit. Chunk of Change was an EP that the singer released as a total solo project, songs he had written for a girlfriend while he studied at Emerson college. He started playing out live, and some Berklee cats nearby caught a show of his and formed the rest of his band. Then a year or so later, out came Manners, a fully realized electro pop extravaganza. They are a strong studio band, but live the dudes falsetto vocals suffer from the lack of production they can add to them on the spot. In the studio though, it is tight shit. Their first single from Manners is what blew me away. The Reeling is just one sweet bumping dance track.

The other big one from Manners was Sleepyhead, which i am sure i am treading water posting the video for, but its worth another listen if you havent heard it in a while. The entire album is this good; although there are some slower points for more lovey dovey songs, the full band is backing up the awesome melodies going on vocally, and you can really appreciate how quickly dudeman singer took his craft to the next level with 4 guys to bounce ideas off of.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Zevious - After the Air Raid

If anyone would like more proof of just how magically gifted a drummer Jeff Eber is (drummer of dysrhythmia) , you should check this.  Sharing similarities with dysrhythmia only in its flirtations with odd times signatures. Zevious is all about the progressive jazz vibe 60's era. Plenty of solo's abound from Mike Eber but generally the riffs are kept angular.  I've seen these guys live and its just fun to see them tear through their set like demonic children. For a sophmore release its hard not to mistaken them for seasoned vets of the form.

 After the Air Raid

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giraffes? Girraffes! - More Skin With Milk-Mouth

These days the math-rock genre is brimming with young bands trying to claim their place among so many. Giraffes? Giraffes! is one such group.  A two piece that has a lot of technical skill and does not write themselves in a corner. Admirable, considering the amount of two man math groups trying their hand. What really sets them apart and really why I'm posting at all is actually one song on this release.

"A Quick One, While She’s Away"   the last song

It has just that right amount of melody and skill that pulls you in. The kicker however is that this song unlike the others transcends the music and pours forth with emotion. If these guys can some how bottle this bad boys energy and spread it around the sandwich, well youve got yourself a fucking nice little sandwich.

More Skin With Milk-Mouth

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Subtle - For Hero: For Fool

Starting something so concise for these guys is almost impossible.  I dont care how your feelings sway when it comes to Dose One (Adam Drucker) high register mc spitting, this is just to good to be bogged down by anything. Subtle is a mish mash of talents, therefore giving it a very hard tag to pin on it. Heres where it gets dangerous...cough...cough ....

...Rap Rock *


In all seriousness it is so much more than that. Just easy escape for what I cant really say. It really brings together some savage hooks, pretty bouncy pop, vintage synths, samples, live instruments everything but the kitchen sink. You truly have to listen. This album is possibly in my top 10 of all time lost in space/ Apocalypse album choices. The reason behind this is its honesty. Dose spins a story of middle class stagnancy and really its a whole lot more complicated than that. There are three albums in the story of hour hero yes. A New White White the precursor to For Hero and Exiting Arm the last release. Both are very enjoyable in their own way. For Hero is just so self assured that it doesn't matter whats happening there's just such commitment to the instrumentation and production that I dare you to point out chinks in the armor. This begs for more exposure. Spread this into your life and you will not be sorry.

*saying that three times, like beatljuice, reforms Limp Bizkit. No one wants that. So it is only mentioned once in the write up.

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