Search This Blog

Monday, September 24, 2012

Grizzly Bear - Shields

Talk about "good things come to those who wait!" This old saying has been proved so many times before and the latest time, for me at least, was due to the recent release of Shields by Grizzly Bear. It's been a long 3 years since we last heard from the band with their amazing Veckatimest (my 2009 top album). My most anticipated album of the 2012, Shields comes nowhere close to being a letdown despite the lofty expectations I had for it.

I had hoped to get this out a couple weeks ago as a "Prevaluation" as I listened to it obsessively while NPR was streaming it. I loved it then but I knew it wouldn't be a true evaluation until I had my own copy and was able to really listen to it whenever and wherever I wanted to. May seem weird, I know it does as I type, but I'm glad I waited. Took it to a new level for me.

The band needed to take some time away from each other, and Grizzly Bear itself, after they finished touring for Veckatimest. You could tell in the last year or so that the band was itching to get back into the musical swing as side projects started popping up. About a year prior to Shields release, bass player Chris Taylor released the debut album by his side project CANT. Then earlier this year, singer and guitarist Daniel Rossen released an amazing solo EP Silent Hour/Golden Mile. This really got the GB juices flowing as it had a very similar vibe and Rossen's stellarly unique voice and style were as great as remembered. If you haven't checked it out I highly recommend it.

As I mentioned before, I have a deep love for GB and Vecaktimest is one of my favorite albums of the last 5 years. Their albums have always had a way of meandering around which is part of the reason they were so great. There was an odd balance, or lack thereof. Shields is easily the band's most cohesive effort to date. Seemingly a big reason for this, Droste and Rossen wrote songs for each other for 1st time on this album. Between Taylor's and Rossen's solo efforts and this new more collaborative effort, Shields just feels more complete than anything else they've released. It reminds me of The Beetles in that you (basically) had 4 solo musicians all working together in a band. As time went on, each had their own songs and ideas and it sometimes caused their albums to be all over the place. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Beetles fan and am not knocking them. Just saying that GB has seemingly evolved in the opposite direction. As time has passed, they have become more of a single unit than 4 moving parts going in a similar direction.

Prior to the albums release we got to hear opening track "Sleeping Ute" and then "Yet Again." Both were great teasers for the epicness that was lying in the weeds waiting to invade our ears. As much as I loved "Two Weeks" from Veckatimest I was a little worried they would stray too far towards that poppier vibe. Those worries were quickly laid to rest as Shields strikes a great balance. I can't get over how seemless the overall flow of the album is. It's almost as if they aren't so much songs but chapters in a book. They are all focused differently but come together to tell a story that you can't put down and want to read again before it's even finished.

Two of my favorites from Shields come at the tail-end of the album in "gun-shy" and "Sun In Your Eyes." Both have quickly become favorites of mine from their entire catalog. "gun-shy" opens with a hypnotic dreaminess before Droste pipes in with "The sky keeps staring at me, frozen in the tracks" followed by a ghostly Rossen with "Nothing else to see." This back-and-forth carries on throughout and closes with a reversal of sorts. Taylor leads with his own ghostliness this time followed by Droste, and then they sing on top of each other in a marriage of vocal awesomeness.

(Sandwiched in between is "Half Gate," which is no slouch itself. Droste's voice is at the epitome of its utmost gorgeousness.)

"Sun In Your Eyes" starts off with a door closing? Then Rossen comes in on a cloud of mellow over a simple drum beat and some keys. The is where the epicness comes to throw down. The band brings an almost orchestral feeling that brings your senses to life in a whirlwind of noise. Things mellow back down but with a notion that you're about to get bombarded again. And you do. Just when you think the song is coming to a close you are quickly reminded that this is Grizzly Bear. Rossen eases back in with a more intensely building mellowness, which has the sole purpose of tying us over until one of the greatest final minutes of an album in recent memory....Rossen and Droste playing off each other's voices over booming instruments. Keys close it out. Utterly phenomenal.

Now that my senses are completely in awe, I must return my media player's Play icon back to its proper state of Pause.

I dig this live version of "gun-shy"

Check out the epic "Sun In Your Eyes" below:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Video: Here We Go Magic - Hard To Be Close

This morning, Here We Go Magic premiered the video for "Hard To Be Close" off A Different Ship, one of my favorite albums of 2012. What better way to visualize the literalness of the song title than with the awkwardness that accompanies 3 dudes in a small elevator? Exactly. Now, what about when that elevator gets stuck? Perfection. I would blame karma, stemming from the dude that reminds me of a mousy version of Party Boy from Jackass for wearing a turtle neck....that's like the new "breaking a mirror."

But....did it really get stuck? One of life's great questions I suppose...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Video: Yeasayer - Longevity

I recently dropped a Prevaluation of Yeasayer's excellent new album Fragrant World, and today they provide us with a video for the 2nd song off of the album, "Longevity." The video is about as trippy as we have come to expect from these guys but this time the trippiness comes from the rapid aging of singer Chris Keating. It's a little creepy, especially why eating lunch, which I recently discovered the hard way. Nonetheless, a great tune and a solid video by Yeasayer.

I found it a bit ironic how the band wastes away within about 3.5 minutes considering LMFAO was featured in the advertisement that preceded the video. Does anyone expect them to last much longer than that? Ok ok...that's cold but they have "one-hit wonder (album I suppose)" stamped all over them....says this guy.

Check the video out below.

New Song: Benjamin Gibbard - Teardrop Windows

So Benjamin Gibbard, aka Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie but going by Benjamin, has a solo album coming out October 16th. He recently dropped the first single "Teardrop Windows" to give us a taste of what to expect. Based solely on this tune, me thinks this solo album will keep closer to his Death Cab roots than veer itself towards a long-desired Postal Service follow up.

From the title, you might expect something closer to the pre-Zooey-Ben...I almost giddily did. While the lyrics seemingly want to go there, musically it leans a little closer to the recent Death Cab release, Codes and Keys with poppier overtones.

Still, most Death Cab and Gibbard fans will likely enjoy this tune as it's not a far cry from what they have come to love. Check the song out below and see for yourself

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Video: Band of Horses - Knock Knock

"Knock Knock," the first single off Band of Horses upcoming Mirage Rock (out 9/18) just got a new video. These guys love not taking their videos too seriously (see 2010's "Dilly") and continue with this take on the old nature shows. Just like National Geographic and similar programs back in the day, as well as the movie Strange Wilderness, the video features a group of "experts" following the band around in their....natural habitat, I suppose. Well whatever, it's entertaining and a good tune.

I do love me some Band of Horses and am looking forward to this album. I just saw them live a few days ago and this song fits right in to their other tunes. Always a good showing by those chaps

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Album Review (and band you need to know): Fierce Creatures - Catacomb Party

After 3 years, the Fresno, CA septet of a band that calls themselves Fierce Creatures just released their debut LP this week. And to be's kinda fantastic and it's called Catacomb Party. The band previously dropped their self-produced/released debut EP called I Mostri Feroci back in 2010, which you can also check out and purchase (I already have) HERE. I went back to check out Feroci after listening to CP a few times and it definitely laid down the foundation for the band's current interestingly unique sound.

Now the hard part....defining said "sound." Every time I listen to CP, I pick up a different nuance that reminds me of the elemental uniqueness of other bands I love. Allow me to explain with a few examples....

The album gets things started with the beautifully hazy shoegazetasticness "Ask for Lightning." If you have been following me long you probably know my go to in the shoegaze indie world would be my local favorite, black books. There are some similarities in the hazy garage-fuzzedness but also a bit of Real Estate in there as well, especially in the vocals/harmonies.

Next up we have the percussion/rhythm-heavy and poppy-yet-kinda-dark tune that is best described by it's name, "Babbity Abbot." Now I have no clue what that means but it feels right. When I listen to it, I definitely wanna babbity some abbots! Seriously though, this song is the 1st time I start to catch auditory glimpses in the percussion that brings to mind Local Natives and White Rabbits a bit. What I'm saying is it's a pretty killer song.

Then we follow with "Lover's Vice," which right off the bat brings the shoegaze back to the forefront until the vocals kick in. Here is where I instantly thought of Grizzly Bear and most definitely their songs where Daniel Rossen is featured. The vocal sound and style is pretty close, which is awesome cause I do love me some Grizzly Bear. Then, the harmonies kick in and play off each other as I would expect in a GB tune. Oh and if you're wondering, that Local Natives/White Rabbits beat is still there too.

This Grizzly Bearedness stays prevalent on the succeeding track, "Body for the Grave." There isn't a lot going on lyrical-wise with a lot of repetitiveness but it's a freaking catchy tune. It has a pretty wicked bass line and the chorus chanting "we need a body for the grave" might as well have translated into "we need a place to stick this dude's eardrums cause they are about to explode from awesomeness!"

"For the World is Hollow" is the first time we get to experience the hauntingly beautiful voice of Amanda Valdez at the vocal forefront. Let me tell you she crushes it over some interesting bloops, bleeps, and all sorts of distorted fuzziness that only C3PO and "his" vast knowledge of languages could translate.

The following comparison may sound a little strange but it was literally the progression of thoughts when I first heard "Magical Disappearing Acts." Honestly have felt the same way every time I've heard it since. So right off the bat between the instrumental style and Valdez's dreamy voice it brought to mind the band Father John Misty. Her inflections are almost spot on even more so as the song builds. The thing that's most interesting is that Father John Misty sounds way different live than when just listening to the album. As "Acts" progresses it quickly gears much closer to the live Father John Misty. If you've ever seen them live you'll probably know what I'm talking about.

On album closer "We Know It Knows," The Shins instantly come to mind and then you realize the vocals throughout have sneakily had a very James Mercerish feel to them. At this point I was confused as to who I thought they really reminded me of and wanted to listen again right away. I felt the exact same way with every song, in each coming across like the initial revelation prior to hearing the rest of the album. I feel like that sentence may not make sense....just read it a couple times cause I don't know how else to put'll get it.

To Fierce Creatures debut LP Catacomb Party I thought of black books, Real Estate, Grizzly Bear, Local Natives, White Rabbits, The Shins, Father John Misty, and Star Wars. The collection of different unique sounds throughout CP as well as the larger band element also brought to mind Arcade Fire. Knowing this, I started to pick out other similarities between the bands respective sound.

If you haven't noticed yet, it's a pretty awesome album and not only for a debut. I haven't wanted to listen to anything else for the past few days.

Check out the video for the stellar title track (I didn't even mention this one!) below....

New Track: Hooray for Earth - Never

We haven't heard much from Hooray for Earth since their very solid 2011 LP True Loves which cracked the top 30 of my Top 50 Albums of 2011. That is until today, where we get "Never" off of an upcoming single being released later this month off Dovecote Records.

Big fan of Hooray for Earth and this song continues the love but brings it a little stronger than previous tunes. Mixed in with this bulldog vibe is the ever-present synth-pop-on-crack we've come to enjoy from these Brooklyn-helmed underrateds.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Prevaluation: Yeasayer Fragrant World

The upcoming 3rd studio album by Yeasayer, titled Fragrant World, has been one of my most anticipated of the year. This was kicked into an even higher gear upon the band releasing a couple tracks from World over the last few weeks. Once I heard "Henrietta" for the 1st time I was enamored and borderline ecstatic. Then came "Longevity," which is another very solid and catchy tune and it seemed like August 21st was going to take forever to get here.

We are now in an age of constant internet leaks of anticipated albums and this includes Yeasayer's Fragrant World. Apparently, the band caught wind of this impending leak and decided to preempt it with a pre-release of their album for the fans through an internet scavenger hunt announced on Wednesday, August 1st. They scattered links to each of the album's songs, with the accustomed visually stunning videos for each, across the interweb for fans to find. Many of the music blogs compiled these songs in one handy location so we could preview the album in its entirety. I give many thanks to Stereogum for providing me with the auditory bliss that has ensued to start the month of August. The only 8pm tonight (Friday, August 3rd), the songs will all be taken down and we'll have to wait until the 21st again....or the aforementioned leak.

Fragrant World is the follow up to the band's 2010 sophomore "breakout" album Odd Blood. The Brooklyn-based band has come a long way since their debut 2007 release All Hour Cymbals while still maintaining pieces of that "worldly music" vibe they started with. Since, there has been a progression more to the electronic/synthy styles. Combining these elements with the initial self-described "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel" style, Yeasayer has found themselves a very unique sound in a world where a lot of bands are sounding like retreads.

Opening track "Fingers Never Bleed" kicks the album off with a clap/snap beat that gets you moving and excited for what is yet to come. It slowly builds into a catchy tune with an addictive chorus that will haunt you throughout the album. For me, this was only slowed down because tracks 2 and 4, the previously mentioned "Longevitiy" and "Henrietta," respectively. Most of this has to do with having heard them many times and each having their own variation of getting-stuck-in-my-brain-edness. Nonetheless, "...Bleed" is hands down a standout opening track and will surely be quite stellar live.

There is still something special about "Henrietta" as it has been a borderline obsession for me since I first heard it. It starts off with an up-tempo pounding flow and then it goes into a cocoon for a bit before emerging in this beautiful mellow form with the longing, and an almost sadness, in the repetition of "Oh Henrietta, we can make love forever."

"Reagan's Skeleton" and "Demon Road" are a couple of other wicked tracks at first listen. The former, builds on a synthy-electroness before an almost rap-like flow kicks in and the music expands into a trance-like state of awesomeness. The chorus is very much in tune with an evil twin of the 80's and 90's pop music scene. The latter, blatantly shows off what reports had told us before that the band was going to inflict some R&B influences into this album. There is a legit futuristic R&B vibe going here and with slightly more of an emphasis on the R, as opposed to the B. Not sure what Marvin Gaye would say though....

Overall, I am that much more ethused for this album and especially being able to listen to it at my leisure without the prospectus of a looming deadline where the songs will be taken away. Yeasayer has once again done a fantastic job in putting something together that can live up to, and potentially succeed, the hype behind an impending album. In my anticipatory state, I know I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on Fragrant World once I knew it was in the works and I have not been disappointed after my few listens through. There is a darker vibe with some of the tunes, that is for sure. This brings me back some to the 2nd half of Cymbals.

Now, I am looking forward to September 6th when I get to see them play for the 3rd time!

As the band closed their statement regarding the scavenger hunt....."Please remember, it's fun to share, but more important to support." So when contemplating whether to pirate this album or buy know what to do.

**UPDATE: You can now stream the album in full on NPR

Check out the 2 songs that will still be available after 8pm on August 3rd below.

"Longevity" (with lyrics)


Monday, July 2, 2012

New Wye Oak Tune: Spiral

Wye Oak is the latest to release a tune for the Adult Swim Singles Program, which will drop a new song every Monday all summer. "Spiral" doesn't exactly sound like an excerpt from 2011's excellent album Civilian but I am really digging this song today.

Give it a listen below.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Band of Horses Tease New Album and Song "Dumpster World"

Band of Horses just dropped a teaser video for their currently unnamed 4th studio album that's set for a September release. The video features a snippet from the tune "Dumpster World" and features the classic BoH snazzy font and laidback vibe.

Pretty pumped for this one in what is shaping out to be an epic fall/winter release of albums. Check the teaser below and get ready to get your pre-orders on!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Song! Oli Chang: Maaam

You may recall the talented Oli Chang from one of my last posts about his remix of "Golden Road" by Trippple Nippples, and from my 2011 obsession with the band High Highs. If not, check those out and get familiar with High Highs especially as they are about to drop their debut LP in a few months...which is awesome news!

Back to Oli though...I would usually go last name there but as I typed it, all I could think about was Ken Jeong's character in Community. Anyway, he has an electronic project he is also working on under Oli Chang (so you don't get too confused) and just released his first tune for all of us to hear. The song is called "Maaam" and it is flat out awesome. If you dig the electro-synth vibe that takes what we loved about the synthed-out 80's and makes them badass, you'll love this jam. Especially as temps continue to trend upward and we wanna party like it's summer vacation.

Check it out and download for free over at Oli's Soundcloud page. While you're there scope out his remixes, like the one mentioned above. I'm currently digging his totally mellowed version of "Walking On A Dream" from Empire of the Sun. Speaking of....when are they ever gonna release some more songs!?

Now go listen, download it, then burn it to a CD or record it to your cassette for walkman purposes or upload it to your ipod/iphone/blackberry/android/whatever and rock it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grimes - Visions

First of all, is it just me or does this album cover seem like it belongs more with a Rob Zombie record? I guess if you aren't familiar with Grimes yet, this may not seem as much of a stretch but Grimes sounds NOTHING like Rob Zombie.

Grimes consists of Montreal native and visual artist Claire Boucher, who is responsible for both the vocals and music. Visions is her latest effort after forming back in 2010 and was released February 21st on 4AD Records.

Visions is an electronic and spacey album that you can tell within the first few seconds of the short opener "Infinite Love Without Fulfillment" it is going to be fun and groovy. The next track, "Genesis" comes at you with all of it's synthed-out glory and a flare of Asian musical vibeage. Here is where we first get a true taste of Bocuher's unique voice. Throughout, Boucher (no relation to Bobby from The Waterboy, that I am aware of) almost sounds like some alien-crafted mixture of Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, and even a splash of the less-weird side of Nicki Minaj. Whew, that mixture is gonna give me nightmares! Anyway, this is followed by the infections loop of "Oblivion" and the album just keeps picking up steam from there. Especially on the track "Vowels = Space And Time" where the danceableness gets kicked up a notch and you can't help but get your "groove thang" on.

Grimes' Visions is another solid release for this young 2012. Check out the audio for the aforementioned "Vowels" in all it's awesomeness below...

Monday, March 12, 2012

C2C - Down the Road EP

C2C, formerly known as Coups2Cross, is a French turntable foursome that has been DJing for the better part of a decade. They just released their debut EP Down The Road and it's an interesting combo of bluesy tunes turned electronic...maybe even dubstep? When I first heard the title track as the "Jam of the Day" from someone that was following me and I check out their profile, I was instantly hooked. The aforementioned bluesiness was the instant attraction and then the added scratching that reminded me of 80's/90's rap was the clincher. Down The Road has a different feel to it than a lot of music out there with in the electronic world. I'm now a fan.

Check out the track that hooked me, "Down The Road," below...

Gracie - Treehouse (Remixes)

I recently told you about one of my favorite EPs of 2012 by Gracie titled Treehouse, and last week I shared his new video from an older tune called "Flirty Little Fishy". Now, Small Plates Records just put out a remix version of the Treehouse EP featuring remixes by HOLLAGRAMZ, YALLS, Giraffage, RMX, and Sun Glitters. Most of these add a dancier side to the dreaminess that Gracie originally brought us, especially on the wild "Southern Place." The take on my favorite track "Tryck R Treat" is interesting, to say the least, and in a good way. Overall, there are a lot of bleeps, bloops, blaps, and loops latched on to the chill and unique Gracie-vibe. I'm not typically a big "remix album guy" but this one is comprised of some pretty solid translations of the 5 songs and is worth checking out.

You can stream and download the album over at Gracie's SoundCloud page

Real Estate - NPR Tiny Desk Concert

NPR just shared their latest in the brilliant Tiny Desk concert series featuring one of my favorites, Real Estate. Last year, Real Estate released their sophomore album Days, which was one of my top albums for the year and remains a constant in my rotation. This performance features a few of their more stellar tunes from the fantastic album (full tracklist below). The band's gorgeously melodic tunes and relaxed state makes for a fun and pleasurable live show that you may not quite expect by their level of chilledness. This intimate setting only enhances their effect.

You can view the full performance on video and even download the audio over at NPR.

1. Easy
2. Green Aisles
3. Municipality

For some reason I had a feeling "Municipality" would be included but am surprised it replaced their single "It's Real."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Lambchop - Mr. M

No, this isn't music by a sock puppet singing about a song that never ends. I'm always honest with you, so why stop now? This is my first taste of Lambchop, although I am aware the band has been around since the 90's and originated in Nashville, TN. I also know they started off as a country band but have delved into many different types of music. Not gonna lie but when I first read this band was know as alt-country I thought I was researching the wrong group. Nope. I am intrigued to hear some of the earlier sounds seeing as this is Lambchop's 11th studio album, and that doesn't even count the earlier work when they went by Posterchild. Reminds me of The Shins in that the core of Lambchop is a seemingly revolving door but frontman Kurt Wagner always remains.

Mr. M is pretty much like nothing else I have heard recently. There are plenty of bands out there that have a jazzy vibe or play some old school soul. Lampchop, though, has taken both of these along with some blues and lounge music to create a very unique and addictive sound. I heard about 30 seconds of a couple of songs and wasn't sold but decided to buy it anyway. I'm glad I did. Just hearing snippets don't do any of the songs justice. You need to hear them in their entirety to get the full effect that Wagner and co. were going for.

This is the latest installment in my "can't stop listening to this album" mini obsession phase I periodically go through. The lyrics are fun yet heartfelt and the music is almost fascinating. I mentioned the various types previously but there are also the occasional electronic and/or synth sounds mixed in to the fold. I would be very intrigued to see this album played out live.

If you are looking for something fresh, unique, and pretty fantastic then I suggest you give Mr. M by Lambchop a couple of listens and you'll be hooked. This is absolutely one of the best albums I have heard so far in 2012.

Check out the video for one of my favorite tracks "Gone Tomorrow" below...

New Song: Beach House - Myth

So late last night, Beach House unveiled a new song called "Myth" off of their upcoming Sub Pop album, that will apparently be named Bloom. This is a beautiful song in that way that only Victoria Legrand and Alex Scaly can do. I'm rather excited about this as 2010's Teen Dream was a pretty phenomenal album.

Listen to it below and you can get the song as a free download by joining their Mailing List

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Single and Video: Bon Iver - Towers

In honor of Bon Iver releasing the latest single, "Towers," off of last year's exquisite self-titled album, I will share the video for this song that was actually released last week while I was on hiatus. It features an older gentleman who seems to be carrying some sort of towerish (see what they did there?) dreamcatcher into the woods before paddling out to sea. That's all I'll give away of this quasi-cryptic video other than the craziest thing for me is that the guy almost looks like an older Christian Bale dressed as Jeremiah Johnson but as a captain of one of those Deadliest Catch TV show boats. Just's weird.

Check it out below.

Video: Here We Go Magic - Make Up Your Mind

So I made up my mind and I still don't know what's going on with the women in this video. Possession? Random convulsions? Something of a sexual nature considering the Village People leather attire of the man causing this? The common denominator is that they're all in their underwear. Hmm....

Either way, the new video by Here We Go Magic for the tune "Make Up Your Mind," off their upcoming album A Different Ship, was just released. You should check it out cause the song itself is pretty much awesome.

See for yourself below...

Video: Gorillaz - DoYaThing ft. James Muprhy and Andre 3000

Although I posted 100 times about this song a couple of weeks ago it appears I missed the release for the video last week while I was off the grid. So, to tie it all up I might as well post the video for anyone that hasn't seen it yet. It's a mix of animation and real-life featuring the fictional members of the group including the newly imagined versions of Murphy and Andre 3000. There's also a nice cameo by one of the new special edition Gorillaz Converse shoes.

Check the animated creepiness and insanity below...

Video: Gracie - Flirty Little Fishy (NSFW)

I recently told you about Gracie's Treehouse EP, who also released the For Summer EP last summer. Yesterday, Gracie dropped a kinda creepy "cult-loving" and NSFW video for one of its tracks, "Flirty Little Fishy."

Check it out below....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Video: The Shins - Bait and Switch

A little behind on this but still wanted to share....

Another song to tease us for the upcoming release of Point of Morrow by Kevin, James Mercer's The Shins was released via video last week. I'm talking about "Bait and Switch," which has a pretty classic Shins vibe. There are some "updated" nuances Mercer likely picked up from the changes in the musical landscape over the last few years and from his time working with Danger Mouse.

The video was filmed while the band was rehearsing in Portland, OR. Check it below!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Slight Break...Will Return Very Soon

Greetings Nomes,

I just wanted to let you know that this week is unfortunately a little rough for me with work and travel but there should be new posts by the end of the week.

Posts coming soon include reviews of the new Tennis, Leonard Cohen (FINALLY going to get this up!?), Sleigh Bells, Lambchop, a few lesser known bands I think you'll enjoy, and Lord knows what else will come across my auditory sensories in the near future.

Follow me on twitter at @jclyne56 and I will notify you there as soon as I have some new posts up. If you're not already, you can also follow me on This Is My Jam at for fairly consistent updates of songs I'm currently digging.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Listen Again and Longer: Gorillaz - Do Ya Thing (Extended Version)

Considering this week wouldn't be complete without yet ANOTHER mention of the new Gorillaz tune featuring James Murphy and Andre 3000 "Do Ya Thing," well here you go. At the end of their recording session they laid down an epic 13 minute version of the song and this version won't be found on the Converse site. When I say "epic," that's exactly what I mean. This version is a little more of what I expected with there being much more of an LCD Soundsystem vibe as the song builds and more of Andre as opposed to the shorter version which is very much a Gorillaz song with a couple cameos.

Check it for yourself at 107.7 The End and be sure and stay till the end for Andre's extra verse and repeated "I'm the shit" and crazy LCD Soundsystemified ending that will make you wish they were still around. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Video: Beirut - Vagabond

Check the new video by Beirut for "Vagabond" off of their excellent 2011 album The Rip Tide. It's a black and white goofy throwback to soldiers and nurses at a dance of some kind. There are odd match-ups and plenty of not-wanting-what-you-have along with chain smoking, alcohol-induced vomiting, and chasing chickens. Sounds like a typical Tuesday to me....

Very good tune and interesting video. Check it out below, the song alone should put you in a good (or at least better) mood.

Listen: Solo Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) - Olivia, In A Separate Bed

Last night, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes dropped a tweet that he uploaded a new solo acoustic song called "Olivia, In A Separate Bed." The song is very heartfelt and equally heartbroken. It is apparent that "Olivia" is about the breakup of a relationship and there were subsequent tweets to support this idea that have since been deleted from his account.

Maybe it's actually about the recent departure of their drummer, J. Tillman, under the guise of a relationship? Or maybe not...either way, this is another beautiful song constructed by Mr. Pecknold.

You can stream the song on his SoundCloud and see what you think for yourself.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Listen: Gorillaz - Do Ya Thing ft. James Murphy and Andre 3000 (of Outkast)

So the day has finally come! Well, almost. Scheduled to hit the Converse website tomorrow, but now available via a radio rip, is the much ballyhooed track by Gorillaz with special guests James Murphy and Andre 3000. This is especially awesome since we lost Murphy's epic project LCD Soundsystem last year and have long been waiting on a new Outkast album.

The track is called "Do Ya Thing" and mixes classic Albarn-Gorillaz, Murphiness, and an epic flow by Mr. 3000. You can hear for yourself over at Listen Before You Buy.

I'm guessing the part at the end when someone keeps saying "can we get an Outkast album now?" isn't part of the song yet I totally agree.

**UPDATE: You can now download the track for free over at Converse's website. Do it!

Prevaluation: Deer Tick - Tim EP

Deer Tick just announced they have a new EP that will be released on February 28th online and will be sold as a 10" during their upcoming tour. These 5 songs were recorded during the sessions for last year's solid Divine Providence. There is an acoustic version of Providence's lead single "Main Street" of singer/guitarist John McCauley performing only a few minutes after he finished writing the tune. That alone makes Tim pretty badass.

The EP starts off with the bluesy rocker "Born At Zero" to set the table for what's to come. Then as a nice break in the middle, there's the mellow burner "She's Not Spanish." The songs and flow all follow suit to Providence but are different enough that it's understandable why they missed the cut yet are obviously worth the release.

You can stream the entire EP right now over at rdio. I recommend checking it out if you're a fan of the Tick.

New Jam: J. Nolan - Hit Em (ft. Rizz Capolatti)

I recently told you about my favorite new(er) MC J. Nolan and he has a new song for us called "Hit Em" featuring Rizz Capolatti. Staying true to his form "Hit Em" has Nolan's smooth flow over some jazzy beats. He does pick up the pace some with his delivery this time, which I'm guessing has to do with the fast-flowing Capolatti.

You can check the jam and download for free over at his SoundCloud. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Prevaluation: Roman Ruins - Homebuilding

Graham Hill's solo project Roman Ruins is set to release his debut album Homebuilding on February 28th. You may not recognize the name of this Oakland, CA based songwriter and producer but you surely will recognize some of his work. Graham has played drums and toured with the bands Papercuts and, one of my personal favorites, Beach House. Speaking of, he helped with the recording of Beach House's stellar 2010 release Teen Dream.

I have been listening to this album almost nonstop for the last couple of days and it is very good. Musically, the style kinda reminds me of Washed Out with it's somewhat slow-building chilledness and dreaminess (see "Mother's Day"). There are understandably also traces of Beach House influence (see "Freret Jet"). Both are good things, at least to my ear holes.

The first couple of listens through, there weren't necessarily any songs that stood out in the "man, I could totally hear that on the radio" kind of way we tend to judge albums. At least I find myself doing that. Not really sure where I picked that habit up. That isn't a knock either, my number 1 album of 2011, Destroyer's Kaputt had a similar feel. Anyway, where was I.... Yes...After a few listens, though, Homebuilding started to really come to life and I was able to truly hear the songs for how good they are. One that specifically stands out now know, I'll let you decide for yourself. All you need to know is this is a solid debut album of lively yet relaxed tunes.

You can pre-order the extremely limited pressing of the Homebuilding vinyl or name your price and download the LP at their Bandcamp. I pre-scooped the vinyl and already received my download code for the album. Another reason to go this route is you get a bevy of remixes. Some are Roman Ruins songs remixed by others and some are the versa of vice, such as a remix of Beach House's "Lover of Mine," one of my favorites from Teen Dream.

I recently mentioned the video for "Mighty Love" being available on Vimeo, so hit it up!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Video: Jack White - Love Interruption

Jack White brought himself back into our minds with the recent announcement of his first solo album Blunderbuss, out April 24th on his Third Man Records label. Well yesterday, perfect for Valentine's Day, he dropped the video for the 1st single "Love Interruption," which you can check out below.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what a solo album by White will sound like after all these side bands and collaborations he has been in and how they mesh with the old White Stripes sound we all know, love, and miss.

Preview: Gorillaz - Do Ya Thing (ft. James Murphy and Andre 3000)

Not gonna lie but I have been pretty geeked out about this since I first caught wind of the Gorillaz, James Murphy, and Andre 3000 collaboration for Converse's "Three Artisits, One Song" series. Been needing some more James Murphy tuneage in my life since LCD disbanded last year and Andre is half of my all-time favorite, Outkast. This coincides with Gorillaz working on a line of shoes with Converse and I can only imagine how those will turn out.

"Do Ya Thing" drops next week on the 23rd so keep your ears open.

Recently a video leaked teasing the song and video for it which you can check out below.

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Song/Video: Porcelain Raft - Something In Between

I have been loving me some Porcelain Raft with the recent release of Strange Weekend. The 7" for "Unless You Speak From Your Heart" comes out next week so we are treated with the B-Side, "Something In Between," which is a very good tune that is not featured on Weekend.

You can check it out below...

Video: Childish Gambino - Heartbeat

Donald Glover returns as his hip hop alter ego, Childish Gambino, with the new video for the intense track "Heartbeat" off of last year's solid major debut Camp. A tortured soul is this one.

Check out "Heartbeat" and it's Thriller-esque  beats below...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Video: The Head & the Heart - Down In the Valley

One of my absolute favorite new bands, and albums, from 2011 was by The Head & the Heart with their fantastic self-titled debut album. This week they reminded us they are still awesome with the video for "Down In the Valley." This was actually the first song by H&tH that I ever heard early last year and I instantly fell in love. Their live show is even more amazing than their music with their energy and chemistry.

I hadn't listened to them for a minute until this came out, almost forgot how good this band is.

Check it out...

Friday Cover: Chairlift and Kool A.D. (Das Racist) - Party (by Beyonce)

I recently reviewed the solid new album Something by Chairlift and yesterday was made aware they did a live cover of "Party" by Beyonce with Kool A.D. of Das Racist for an Australian radio station. This is pretty sweet, I'm not gonna lie.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

EP Review: Au Dunes - 73's & 88's

I honestly don't know much about Au Dunes, despite my attempts at researching them via The Google. The only reason I am aware of them and their solid EP 73's & 88's is once again because of Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) mentioning them. 88's was actually released in June of 2011 but since I just found out about it, and am guessing not too many others know them, I wanted to drop a note it.

Au Dunes bring something to the table that is full of low-fi, garagey, 70's fuzz rockedness. A more recent comparison that instantly comes to mind is War On Drugs, but sans the obvious Dylan, Petty, and Springsteen vibeage. Take those away and add some extra fuzziness and you find Au Dunes. I'm hoping for more from these guys cause I dig what I'm hearing. Plus, I swear "Child Dust" would fit perfectly in just about any Quentin Terantino movie....

You can stream the 4 song EP and even download it for free on their Bandcamp. Do it.

Awesome Cover: Oupa & Tony Crow - Backwords (Porcelain Raft)

Oupa (Daniel from Yuck) and Tony Crow recorded an awesomely gorgeous acoustic cover of "Backwords" off the recently released Strange Weekend by Porcelain Raft,one of my early favorites of 2012. You MUST check this song out, it is fantastic!

You can check it out as well as pre-order the limited edition 7" and/or download the track HERE

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gracie - Treehouse EP

If you are looking for something to listen to that's dreamy with some chilledness and a skoch of funk, look no further than Gracie's just-released-yesterday EP Treehouse. The album opens with "Sisters," a spacy slow-moving tune that will have you singing along to the occasional chipmunk-ish "Everybody!." . Treehouse keeps going with 5 songs all from the same family but each has its own personality. You can tell which ones are directly related and which are the distant cousins. "Tryck R Treat" and "Candii" are the fun-loving and unpredictable sibling cousins.

You can stream "Sisters" and "Tryck R Treat" on their Bandcamp site and check out "Sisters" below...

Video: The Black Keys - Gold On the Ceiling

The Keys of the Black variety have released a video for their standout tune "Gold On the Ceiling" off of last year's El Camino. The video follows the band during their live online album release show at Webster Hall in NYC. They basically wanted to remind everyone when you see them live how obvious it is the band has grown yet is still the same. Love me some Keys, especially the live variety.

Unlike everyone else, I didn't post this yesterday because the video wasn't available on Youtube until late last night, so you can now view it below.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Imperial Teen - Feel the Sound

Although this San Francisco-based indie pop group has been around since 1996 this is, I believe, my first taste of them. Granted, there is very legit chance I would recognize some of their older stuff if I heard it. Luckily, this is a review of their latest and 5th studio album Feel the Sound or else I'd be screwed and lacking 4/5th of the content. However, since I don't have their previous records to rely on for a basis to compare I am able to bring a fresh perspective on this album without the bias of the older stuff. Like how I spun that one?

Feel the Sound, much like Hopsitality's debut I wrote about yesterday, was brought to my attention mostly through Twitternation, specifically by their label Merge Records. There was a lot of build up and countdowns to the release of this album so I thought I'd scoop it up without really hearing much. Life is about taking chances and this is one I am now ecstatic that I did. Imperial Teen has taken up a huge chunk of my rotation this week. The album is a fantastic display of catchy hook-filled indie pop to bob your head to. It's good in the car, it's good in the background, it's good when you need a pick-me-up, it's good pretty much anywhere! We're still talking about the album, right?

Now I might have to go back and check out the back catalog, especially since my friend Holly celebrated my newfound love for Imperial Teen mentioning she's seen them 6 times and how amazing they are. If only I had listened to Holly back in Missouri when she tried to tell me about all this good music out there she knew from her days of living in San Diego (discovered by the Germans in 1904). All I knew was the music played on our 3 radio stations that weren't talk or country. Those memories may cause me to go to therapy some day just so my ears can be at peace with the torture I put them through.

Check out the audio of the exceptionally catchy "Out From Inside" below:

Video: Neon Indian - Fallout

Neon Indian just dropped an official video for "Fallout" off of 2011's excellent Era Extrana. It is of the animated variety and was produced by everyone's favorite hilarious crazies over at Adult Swim. It's kinda like a teenager that has only seen girls in his dad's Playboy collection created a 80's Saturday morning cartoon type clip.

Check it below...I'm sure you can already see what I'm talking about

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Notable Debut: Hospitality - Hospitality

Bursting onto the seemingly underground scene the last couple of weeks is the Brooklyn based trio Hospitality with their self-titled debut album. I honestly don't know if I have seen a band get more run on the twitterverse the last few weeks besides Hospitality. Obviously, I'm discounting Lana Del Rey with that last statement because at this point and with this conversation she shouldn't count. It hasn't just been bloggers and music publications either, other bands and artists have been all over plugging them and mostly unbeknownst to the band. Even Colin Meloy, lead sing of The Decemberists, tweeted this last week, "Coming out of twitter lock-down to say: Hospitality is, like, my new favorite band." That tweet also included their fantastic video for the current single "Friends of Friends." On January 31st, the day the album was released, he tweeted again, " has a record out today and it's super good." Not bad for a band to get that kind of unsolicited publicity from an indie music God like Meloy right out of the gate.

My 1st taste of Hospitality was when the aforementioned video for "Friends of Friends" dropped and was mentioned that Alia Skawkat, who played the characted Maybe in Arrested Development, was in it. I love all things AR and especially now that the show is making a comeback and answering all of our prayers so of course I was going to check it out. Between the opening guitar-riff-buildup to my introduction to singer Amber Papini talking about not wanting to go down to the streets of New York and friends that are old and new friends, I was instantly taken in by the catchiness of this song.

Considering this trio has been together since 2007 and this being their 1st full-length album it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there is such cohesiveness, clarity, and smootheness to their sound. You can tell they have been playing together a while and didn't just get lucky after only playing for a few months, which seems to be the trend. It's nice and refreshing and I hope for much more to come from Hospitality and to see them live soon!

To be honest, I was going to wait a little bit before reviewing this because there has been so much hoopla but I haven't been able to stop listening to it, even with such a strong week for new music!

Check the video for "Friends of Friends" below. It's crazy how much Maybe looks the same...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Video: Trippple Nippples: "Golden Road (Oli Chang Remix)

Word on the street is that Trippple Nippples are fast-rising dance group out of Japan. According to multiple articles I read on them, their live shows are INSANE and I really wanna check them out. To be honest, the only reason I know about them is this remix of "Golden Road" done by Oli Chang. Chang is 1/3 of one of my favorite new groups of 2011, the High Highs. This remix is oozing with the dreamy mellow synth-pop of High Highs and is pretty badass in its purgatory of wanting to be chill and wanting to get the party started. Needless to say, I dig it.

You can view the video over at Noisey

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All Sorts of Amazing Live Low Roar!

One of my absolute favorite albums of 2011 was the gorgeous and amazing self-titled debut of Low Roar. I have long wondered how these beautiful songs would sound live and look forward to seeing firsthand someday. In the meantime there are a couple of awesome live recordings that were just brought my attention to hold me over until then. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do because this album is still amazing to me.

First, you can read about (and download for free!!!) Low Roar's show at Piano's in NYC on January 19 of this year at NYCtaper. On the site you can also stream "Just A Habit" from this show. I have downloaded and listened and the audio is fantastic!

Then, you DEFINITELY need to check out the acoustic intimate performance Low Roar did for our friends over at BTR (Break Thru Radio). This includes the fantasticly sad "Give Up" and the story behind the song.

Also, it was just posted on the Low Roar Facebook  page that the vinyl was printed a couple of days ago and can be purchased HERE along with the CD or digital download.

Video: Roman Ruins - Mighty Love

Homebuilding by Roman Ruins is another album I am really looking forward to in 2012. Out 2/28, this will be the debut from Graham Hill (aka Roman Ruins). I haven't heard much of this yet but his contributions to one of my favorite albums of 2010, Beach House's Teen Dream, are the primary reason for this anticipation. Hence, my limited edition vinyl copy has been pre-ordered from Gold Robot Records!

Hill just dropped the video for the 1st single "Mighty Love" and it is as dark as the song in its classic tale of the hunted becoming the hunter....You can check the video out over at Vimeo

Monday, January 30, 2012

Video: Phone Joan - Damned (slightly NSFW)

The 1st single from Phone Joan's sophomore release, "Damned" was given a fantastically sad video by some young Norwegian filmmakers. It perfectly follows the bluesy sadness of the song as we follow a beautiful young girl, post one-night stand wake up, who ventures around the city ending back in a club. Rinse and repeat.

+47 91799466 will be out on March 14th and since the video is NSFW you can stream the song on the band's Soundcloud  if you like. This is currently my only taste of Phone Joan but they have a sound much bigger than I expected and am anxious to hear what else they have up their sleeves.

Local Band Prevaluation: Good Field - Good Field EP

Good Field, the Austin, TX foursome with waves of indie pop/rock hooks and shoegazedness, are set to release their debut self-titled EP on 2/4. For a debut EP it's evident there is a lot of potential here with their familiar-yet-fresh sound. You can hear for yourself and stream the full EP now on their Website. While you're there check out the rest of their show dates especially if you are local since they play around here a lot. I'll definitely scope them out on 2/25 when they open for Black Books at Cheer Up Charlie's.

Check out my favorite track, and closer, "These Dreams" below in all it's pop-hooky catchiness.

Jack White Announces Debut Solo Album - Blunderbuss

Jack White is back and this time it's with a solo album called Blunderbuss. This was announced via twitter with nothing more than the website Here we are provided with details that White's album will be released April 23/24...presumable 23rd in Europe and the 24th here in the States. Also, you get access to the 1st single "Love Interruption" but for the 1st 30 minutes it is only available to members of the Third Man Records Vault. After the 30 minutes you are able to stream the song and will be able to purchase a 7" of it out February 7th. This will also include the B-side "Machine Gun Silhouette." It is currently available for preorder on the site and will be available digitally tonight.

The stream should be up and running by/around 1PM EST. Here's to hoping there aren't any ICP cameos...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Porcelain Raft - Strange Weekend

Porcelain Raft is the sleepy indie pop solo project of Mauro Remiddi, formerly of Sunny Day Sets Fire. It's not too often that we get such a solid entry into this genre's arena from someone in their late 30's but Remiddi has done just that. After previously releasing 3 EPs under Porcelain Raft, that you can check out on his Bandcamp site, Remiddi just dropped his debut LP Strange Weekend this past Tuesday.

Earlier in the week before Weekend was released I was reading some buzz about this album and remembered hearing a song from one of the previous EPs that I was into. Yesterday, I decided to scoop it up and am glad I did. The dreamy fuzz-chill-pop Remiddi has sculpted is another solid addition to this young 2012. After a few listens the closest comparison I can think of would be the love child of Washed Out and Beach House. Specific songs like closer "The Way In" really bring to mind the mellower side of these artisits. There is also an element to this song that I cannot put my finger on but want to say something or someone from 20-30 years ago. If you hear it too and know what it is please comment below because it's been driving me nuts since I 1st heard it.

Below is a preview for you with the video for "Unless You Speak From Your Heart."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video: Tennis - Origins (Live)

Tennis will be gracing us with their sophomore release Young and Old on Valentine's Day. Today they sent out a live video to their email list of them playing lead single "Origins" live for one of the first times on 12/12/2011 in Portland, OR during their recent tour.

I am very much looking forward to this Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) produced album and this song has only fueled the anticipation!  Check it out below...

Video: Wilco - Dawned on Me

So yesterday I posted the video for Wilco's Monday night performance on Conan and included their web exclusive for "Dawned on Me." Well today they gave us an official video for the song and it features the cast of an all-time great cartoon/comic, Popeye! Luckily we got this version and not the creepy Robin Williams live movie...

Popeye and Wimpy got some moves!

Where can I find some Wilco brand spinach??

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Video: Sleigh Bells - Comeback Kid

So last Monday I mentioned and provided audio for the new track off Sleigh Bells upcoming release Reign of Terror called "Comeback Kid." Well, now there's a video for it and it includes guns and guitars. And no, Antonio Banderas doesn't reprise his role as "Desperado." Check it below

You can check it out over at SPIN , via MTV


Talk about fate. Last night I watched "Happythankyoumoreplease" (very good movie, by the way) and right when I shut it off Wilco was being introduced by Conan. Luckily I had been watching Seinfeld earlier in the night so my TV was already on TBS. Granted, I would have woken up to other blogs and music magazine types tweeting out links to these all day today anyway but it was a fantastic way to end my Monday.

Wilco played the title track to last year's phenomenal album The Whole Love which you can check out HERE

They also played a web exclusive for one of my favorites, "Dawned On Me" and you can see that HERE