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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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Band You Need to Know: Caveman - Coco Beware

Caveman is a 5-piece out of New York that has only been around since 2010 when a group of friends decided to get together and form a band. Their sound is comprised of chamber pop, dreamscape, and melodic harmonies. They were also just signed to Fat Possum a couple of weeks ago, which is awesome news.

My boy Pete brought them to my attention a few weeks back and was lucky enough to catch their free show at Happy Dog in Cleveland, OH last Sunday. Said although the sound in there was terrible the band was great live and got a chance to talk to a couple of them and they were good dudes. Looking forward to seeing them myself when they make it down this way.

Caveman's debut album Coco Beware was released November 15, 2011 and the tribal percussion on opening track "A Country's King of Dreams" instantly reminded me of Local Natives. On the 3rd track "My Time" this comparison was realized again but moreso with the style and vibe of the song....VERY much like Local Natives. Throughout the album the vocals and some of the vibe also reminds me of Real Estate. Anything that combines Real Estate and Local Natives is going to have staying power with me as I love both of those bands. Oh, and the song "Thankful" belongs on a Wes Anderson soundtrack. It is especially very Tenebaums-ish and possibly Rushmore-ish.

Check out the audio for "Thankful" and then the NSFW video for "Easy Water" below


Easy Water:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

J. Nolan x Reese Jones - The Archetype EP

Not gonna lie but I don't listen to much hip hop these days. Not because I don't want to or try, but because nothing has really stood out for me. Earlier this week, the We Listen For You blog caught my attention with the crazy sick track "Tonight's the Night" off the J. Nolan x Reese EP The Archetype, released on 1/16. This 22 yr old out of ATL just dropped the best hip hop I've heard in a while.

WLFY hit it on the head with their comparison to old school Tribe Called Quest with smooth and relentless rhymes over jazzy hooks. Speaking of jazzy hooks, the EP closer "Lost in the Abyss" sounds like the rhymes are cruising over a Destroyer sample....right?

Definitely check this EP if you even remotely dig hip hop. You can listen to and download The Archetype for free over at the Bandcamp site. You can also hear and check out their review for "Tonight's the Night" over at WLFY.

Below, my favorite "Lost In the Abyss"

Prevaluation: Chairlift - Something

To say 2012 is young is an understatement but luckily we are already getting some fantastic albums. Yesterday, I mentioned First Aid Kit's  gorgeous new album and you can add Chairlift's sophomore effort Something, also out next week, to the list of early stellar albums.

Chairlift is comprised of the Brooklyn, NY based duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly. They formed back in 2055 while at the University of Colorado before relocating to Brooklyn and the rest is history.

Something is the follow up to their 2008 debut Does You Inspire You. In trying to pinpoint the sound on Something, and after a few listens, I have decided on a cauldron of Santigold, Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and bits of Neon Indian (can insert other chillwave artists as well) boiling over and being stirred by some maniacal music wizard. Needless to say, albeit early, this is the best tuneage of 2012 so far. I can't stop listening to the infectious hooks and melodies.

I may need to go to rehab to get over this one. In the meantime you should check out for "Amanaemonesia" below. The song title alone is enough reason to give it a listen!

You can also stream the album along with First Aid Kit's The Lion's Roar along with a few others out next week on KCRW's site.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Santigold and Her "Big Mouth" Are Officially Back!

Finally! Santigold dropped a new track and video off her upcoming album that will supposedly be out sometime this spring and possibly named Master of My Make Believe. This will be her long-awaited follow up to 2008's Santogold.

Check the trippy video for "Big Mouth" below and try to hold in your excitement for the full album...

Prevaluation: First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

Last week I posted the new video for First Aid Kit's "Emmylou" off their upcoming sophomore release The Lion's Roar. You can stream the full album, or track-by-track if you prefer, on NPR. This is always nice to get a good listen or 12 before you buy something...and why is there even a question that we need NPR? That's gonna open a can of worms so back to the album..

I had mentioned previously that First Aid Kit is based around 2 young Soderberg sisters out of Sweden. When I say young I mean Johanna is 21 and Klara is 18, which just expands on how amazingly talented they are with their songwriting and harmonization.

I caught wind of First Aid Kit back in 2008 when they did a gorgeous cover of Fleet Fox's "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song." Piqued my interest but I unfortunately never committed them to my rotation. Then I was lucky enough to see them play one afternoon at the 2010 Austin City Limits festival and was blown away. Their vocals and harmonies were even more stunning in person and the festival setting apparently did not cause nervousness or anything else to detour their performance. They will be at Coachella this year, if you were lucky enough to get tickets, so be sure and check them out there and/or any other opportunity you get to see them live.

The Lion's Roar, out next week on 1/24 and produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, has been one of my most anticipated albums for 2012 and does not disappoint. It is a collection of gorgeous folk songs full of harmonious chemistry that would be hard to match for non-siblings. Everything about this album from the lyrics to the structure show the Soderberg sisters have talents well beyond their years. They pull from influences like Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom, so if you like either of those you will love First Aid Kit.

Since I showed "Emmylou" last week you can check out The Lion's Roar's beautiful title-track and opener below.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Video: Blitzen Trapper - Taking It Easy Too Long

Blitzen Trapper recently dropped a video for us so that we may be blessed with a visual that matches their song "Taking It Easy Too Long" off of 2011's American Goldwing. To capture their vibe they included country roads, beer drinking, skipping rocks (and phones) into a creek, and a broken down pick-up. Not saying their music is sad and dreary but sunny and simplistic.

Listening to BT is like a nice jaunt through the country on a sunny spring day. If Timbuk3 listened to this, they'd say "the music's so bright, I gotta wear shades."

See below for visual confirmation:

Free Delta Spirit!

No, they're not incarcerated in some 3rd world country jail for protesting the unfair treatment of mollusks. In honor of the upcoming March release of their new self-titled album, Delta Spirit has a treat for all of us. In exchange for your email address and zip code they are are offering up their 2 previous EPs for free.

The I Think I've Found It EP is the 1st by Delta Spirit, from back in 2005. Also included, The Waits Room EP is from 2010 and is their most recent release. They have mentioned their new album is self-titled because it is the sound they have been searching for from day 1. I suppose this move makes sense then so we get a reminder of where the band started musically and where they were most recently before we see who they really are come March.

You can get your hands on this free download HERE

Chieftans + Bon Iver = Down In the Willow Garden

The Chieftans are celebrating their 50 years of Irish Folk with Voice of Ages, a new album of collaborations with some of today's big names. Out February 21st, and as you can see above, Ages will feature The Decemberists, The Civil Wars, The Low Anthem, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver among others.

Speaking of Mr. Vernon, you can stream the first song off the album "Down In the Willow Garden" over at Pitchfork.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Watch: Full Arcade Fire Austin City Limits Episode

Last week I told you to set your DVR, at the very least, for the newest episode of the Austin City Limits TV series on PBS as it featured an Arcade Fire performance from this past September.

If you did not heed my advice and are full of regret, you are in luck! You can now stream the entire episode HERE and prepare to get your socks knocked off in a way that only Arcade Fire can do.

The performance was as stellar as you would expect from AF with them incorporating just about any object in sight into percussion. I believe there was even a tree that was used instead of a drumstick at one point.

Sleigh Bells - Comeback Kid

Sleigh Bells just dropped "Comeback Kid," the official 1st single for their upcoming sophomore release Reign of Terror. It definitely has more of a pop-ness with their loud thrashy ways than the 1st track we heard "Born to Lose." Terror is out 2/21...a barely late birthday present for me which unfortunately means my birthday is on a Monday this year.

Check out "Comeback Kid" below!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Teletextile - Reflector EP

A fairly new band out of Brooklyn, NY was recently brought to my attention by the name of Teletextile. If singer Pamela Martinez's voice sounds familiar that's because you may recognize her from her former project, The Pamela Martinez Band. It was a duo back then but the name changed when additional members were added and the sound was expanded as well. The foursome now comprises of Martinez, Allan Mednard, Alex  Torpornycky, and Tim Cronin.

Telextile released their EP Reflector last June and also released an Europe-only LP back in October titled Glass. Reflector is comprised of refreshingly melodic indie dream-pop tuneage...refreshing in the sense of being in a home by a beach and opening up the window to let the ocean-fueled spring breeze in as it moves past your face and lightly brushes through your hair.

At different times throughout Reflector I am reminded of bands the likes of Beach House, Wye Oak, The Dirty Projectors, and one of my recent favorites Low Roar.

You can stream Reflector on their bandcamp site HERE and check out their new video for "I Don't Know How to Act Here" below. You can also scope out their Glass LP HERE.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Announcement: The Decemberists - We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11)

So this morning The Decemberists announced via the twitterverse that they will release a live set of songs on March 13 titled We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11). I thought this sounded familiar and thanks to Pitchfork I now know that is because it is a lyric from "The Infanta" off of 2005's amazing Picaresque. No surprise that this collection of 20 songs from across their discography includes this song as you can see from the track list below.

If you didn't notice in the title, We All Raise.. will feature songs played live from their recent tour in support of The King is Dead from April through August. On a personal note, I hope it specifies where each song was played since I was lucky enough to see them play here in Austin back in April. 

The Decemberists are an amazing live show and with this being their 1st non-record store day limited live release I am excited to add this to my collection. It will come as a double-disc CD and 3xLP for those vinyl lovers out there. 

For a preview of their live show check out "Calamity Song" from their recent taping for the Austin City Limits TV series below

Is it just me or does frontman Colin Meloy kind of have a hipsterish version of Alan from the Hangover pt 2 going on with his short hair?

Tracklist (CD Version):

Disc 1:
1) The Infanta
2) Calamity Song
3) Rise to Me
4) The Soldiering Life
5) We Both Go Down Together
6) The Bagman's Gambit
7) Down By the Water
8) Leslie Ann Levine
9) The Rake's Song
10) The Crane Wife 1, 2 & 3
Disc 2:
1) Oceanside
2) Billy liar
3) Grace Cathedral Hill
4) All Arise!
5) Rox in the Box
6) June Hymn
7) Dracula's Daughter > O Valencia!
8) This is Why We Fight
9) The Mariner's Revenge Song
10) I Was Meant for the Stage

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Arcade Fire - Austin City Limits Episode Preview

One of THE best episodes I've ever seen of the Austin City Limits series was from Arcade Fire back in 2007 to play songs off that year's, Neon Bible. Since 2010 brought a new AF record, The Suburbs, and they were in town for the festival of the same name this year, of course they'd record another episode and lucky for us!.

The new episode is set to premier this Saturday (1/14) on PBS so check your local listings and set your DVR! Now, before you forget!

At one point in the video, for a split second, the camera cuts to the set list which included gems from Suburbs as well as Bible and Funeral. I'm interested to see which make the cut for the episode since it's only an hour long. Although the camera doesn't show the bottom of the list, where "Wake Up " would usually be, I have read in a couple spots that the song will be featured. Has to, right?

Here is a preview and a behind the scenes look with the band playing "We Used to Wait"

Video: Death Cab for Cutie - Underneath the Sycamore

Even they can't watch...
Death Cab for Cutie just released a new video for "Underneath the Sycamore," one of my favorite songs of 2011's Codes and Keys. The video is an animated adventure of the film noir variety with your typical twists and turns of a private detective film from back in the days of yore. Not gonna lie but I hope there is a sequal cause I want know what happens next!

I wonder if the "falling" and darkness of this is supposed to symbolize the struggle Ben is going through right now with his definitely has a different vibe than the previous videos for their songs off 'Keys. Just sayin'.

Since the video isn't officially up yet you can scope it out over at Stereogum

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Video: First Aid Kit - Emmylou

First Aid Kit, the young Swedish sisterly duo, recently dropped the second video off their upcoming release The Lion's Roar for the song "Emmylou." We are treated to their beautifully elegant folked-out harmonies once again on this tribute to some of their favorite country artists and influences such as Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, June Carter, and of course Emmylou Harris. They would all be proud.

Video: Nerves Junior - Swimmer's Ear

Have you ever "blacked out" from a night on the town? Maybe from drinking too much or whatever floats your boat? Have you ever had a Hangover-esque moment when ya woke up but there was now a light switch surgically attached to the palm of your hand and a strange key was in your mouth?

In Nerves Junior's new video for "Swimmer's Ear," band member Corey Wayne has and it's a hell of a...wait, don't want to ruin the ending there with another movie reference. You'll pick up on it.

"Swimmer's Ear" is off Nerves' 2011 album As Bright As Your Night Light and you can view the video below.

Video: Real Estate - Easy

This morning, the band Real Estate released a new video for the song "Easy" off last year's phenomenal album Days. The video is a comedic tale of the dark side that can come from their laid back summery vibe with fans taking things a little too far to help the band. I thought I picked up on a subliminal message or 2 when listening....

You can see the video over at Funny or Die's website by clicking HERE.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Shins - Simple Song

So we recently got word that The Shins were FINALLY putting out a new album in March of 2012, the band's first since 2007. Then this morning it was announced if you sign up for the band's newsletter they would send out an email with a link to the 1st song off Port of Morrow. Well, that email just popped into my inbox so I will share it with the rest of you, 'cause I'm just that nice.

You can check "Simple Song" out HERE and you just need to click the little Play button on the player and you're all set!

I like what I'm hearing and can't wait to hear more from Morrow!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Solo: Tom Hagerman - Idle Creatures

It's usually hard for me to get into albums that are primarily instrumental. Not sure what it is but I've always been like that, I need words/singing. As with anything else in life, there are exceptions and Tom Hagerman's sophomore solo release Idle Creatures is one of them. If that name sounds familiar it's because you likely know him as one of the current members of Denver, Colorado's own DeVotchka. You will likely recognize his work/sound as he has collaborated with numerous artists such M. Ward, Amos Lee, and She & Him, as well as Calexico to score the film "The Guard." Tom was most notably a major contributor to the scoring for the 2006 hit movie "Little Miss Sunshine."

Where's Olive?

I had just recently started listening to DeVotchka late in 2011 so when Hagerman's solo album was released in early December I wanted to see how he worked things on his own. While there are DeVotchkaian qualities to Creatures this album has a life all to its own. At times it feels like you are watching a Tim Burton film and just zoned out focusing so much on the music. Other times it feels as if you are a child again and this should be the soundtrack to your every day life and adventures.

Hagerman delivers a beautiful instrumental gem late in 2011 that did not have a chance to make my best of 2011 list because I never got to it until it was completed. For me, Idle Creatures is a perfect album to have in the background while working on a project or even just to zone out too. After all, it's not like I need to focus on the lyrics or anything....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Band to Watch: Nerves Junior - As Bright As Your Night Light

Would Mel Brooks call this a "Mabbit?" Half man, half rabbit?
And let's shift gears a bit, shall we! Another late addition to my top 50 albums of 2011 was As Bright As Your Brightest Night Light by Nerves Junior. I first heard the title track over the holidays as I was driving home...thank you Sirius XMU! The funky opening beat caught my attention and then the singing kicked in. Initial impression was some conglomeration of The Black Angels and Gardens & Villa. Intrigued.

Not gonna lie, shortly after arriving at my destination I jumped on their bandcamp site and scooped up the mp3 of the album so I could listen judge its list-worthiness.

'Night Light made an overall solid impression the first time through. Momentum established. Granted, I was only able to listen a handful of times before it was list-decision time but I felt it was a good sign that each time I listened it crept a little further up the rankings. The freshness of it likely played a role but I think it had more to do with the funk-groovetastic-yet sometimes mellow-rock (kinda want to combine that into a one word adjective) vibe I got from the whole thing.

This 4-piece rock outfit comes from the land of Lousiville, KY. Considering My Morning Jacket also came from there they instantly got additional credibility. **I am aware there are many other great musical acts as well as others from there that are terrible. Just roll with it** Nerves formed all the way back in 2009 and 'Night Lights is their debut release, which makes it even more impressive. They consistently delve into a world of experimental psych-garage rock throughout the album. I understand where the mild comparisons with Radiohead come from with their layers of excitable beats and effectsed-out guitar.

My guess is they'll continue to garner up some buzz with the title track that's getting some airplay now but "Kale" will be the one to get them a little closer to being on that proverbial map. This is another one of my "band to watch" favorites of the moment and should most definitely be on your radar!

You can check the audio to "As Bright as Your Night Light" and the video for "Kale" below.

As Bright As Your Night Light:


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Anonymous - To My Long Lost Love

If you checked out my top 50 albums of 2011 you might have noticed one in the back half by Anonymous titled To My Long Lost Love. The story surrounding this album has been a subject of intrigue to me so I want to share what I know with you.

A few weeks back when the year-end lists started popping up there was one from a couple of different places that caught my eye. It was a list of Robin Pecknold's (lead singer of Fleet Foxes) favorite 10 things of 2011. The list was kinda random, so of course I liked it. One of the first things he mentioned was some mixtape by an anonymous person out of Portland, OR called To My Long Lost Love.

After doing some searches on The Google I found a bandcamp site with the songs. You could listen to 2 tracks and I liked what I heard, very mellow and interesting. I emailed the address on the site about how I could purchase the entire album but for some reason I hadn't expected to actually hear back from Anonymous! Between that and this being the ONLY way to get the record, unless you live in Portland where you can snag it in record stores, I obviously went through with the purchase.

This was all in early-mid December so of course the album didn't come in the mail until I was away for the holidays, but it was a nice treat waiting for me when I got home. Is there any doubt it would be the first thing I listened to?

Listening to 'Lost Love is like peering directly into the soul of Anonymous. You hear the words and you can feel a pain. A pain anyone that has truly, and I mean TRULY, loved someone and had their heart broken has felt. Take the song "What You Said" and tell me while toiling in heartache you have never uttered something to the effect of "Remember what you said, when we were lying in your bed...I'll never said you want me, you said you need me, you said you love me."

In my emails with Anonymous I dug for some background on the album and was told "I didn't want to make this album, but I didn't know what else to do with all my feelings." I also found out Anonymous has been working with music their whole life and mentioned never really being good at the whole process of it...making it, sharing it, and playing it for others. This is the album that changed everything and as Anonymous told me, "I'll let the tunes tell you the story."

Anonymous: "I really made this record for the woman I wrote it for. I still don't know if she's ever heard it."

After listening to the full album I understood that to know the whole story would defeat the purpose. There is nothing hidden in the songs, these are feelings put to song that were meant for only one person. They weren't written to get a record deal. They weren't sung to impress some random girl. They weren't recorded so you or I could hear them. They possibly aren't even being played for the one person they are intended to be heard by.

Anonymous: "I still continue to deal with this part of my life through music."

You can check it out for yourself on the bandcamp site here

Oh and one other tidbit I got from Anonymous has to do with the album cover, which is the picture at the top of the page. If it looks a little fuzzy that's because the entire album cover is in 3D and even came with a pair of old school 3D glasses! I loved this and when I inquired about it I was told that the 2 of them made this together a while back for another project. "She was so inspired that day and made all those cute scenes. It's my favorite part of that record"

She may never hear this beautiful collection of songs but I am glad that I did.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ra Ra Riot Moog'd Out!

Although they haven't released any new material since their 2010 sophomore release The Orchard, Ra Ra Riot was recently featured by Moog experimenting on a couple of their tunes in the Asheville, North Carolina Sound Lab. I caught wind of this in a Spin article this afternoon that includes the video of them performing "Boy" from 'Orchard, which you can check out HERE.

As mentioned in the Spin article you can also go to the Moog site to see the band perform "Oh La" from their debut release The Rhumb Line. You can check that out HERE and be sure to scope out previous episodes with such bands as The Antlers, Phantogram, and many more.  Easily one of my favorite bands out there I am always stoked to hear new stuff from them, even if nothing more than new versions of a couple of favorites. They do not disappoint on either as both offer phenomenal renditions with on-point vocals, harmonies, and the creative use of the Moog devices in the lab.

Doesn't hurt they feature the goddess and love of my life on cello, Alexandra Lawn, either. If you don't should. 

High Highs EP

My first, sans 2011 list, posting of 2012 will be....for the stellarly chilled out self-titled debut EP by the High Highs. Speaking of my best of 2011 posts, this EP made the list of my favorites for the year and came in at #5. Granted, they could have found themselves higher on the list had I purchased this sooner and had more than 2 days to listen to it before finalizing...

High Highs features 4 tracks that each bring a different sound and element that show there is a lot to be excited about with these guys. They are definitely a band to watch. Most are more guitar-driven indie folk-pop but as a whole there is an overwhelming feeling of relaxation with this record through the beautifully layered vocals and harmonies.

As mentioned with my top EPs list, the song "Flowers Bloom" has been one of my favorite and most-played tracks for all of 2011. It is a deluxely fantastic song of chillwavedness proportions the likes a Washed Out would be jealous of. For this, the track really stands out from the rest of the album. Considering the High Highs duo are from Sydney, Australia, but now find themselves in Brooklyn it will be interesting to see how their sound develops.

In case you missed it, check out "Flowers Bloom" below....

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Top Lists....Combined and Simplified

Since I spread my top lists out over 3 posts I wanted to wrap it all up and start 2012 with a simple recap of my favorites of 2011. Below you will find my full top 50 along with those that just missed out and my favorite EPs.

Let's start with those EPs!

Top 10 EPs of 2011
10) James Blake: Enough Thunder
9) Year of the Tiger: Good Day for A Tiger
8) The Heavenly States: Oui Camera Oui 
7) Gary Clark Jr.: The Bright Lights EP
6)Toro Y Moi: Freaking Out
5) High Highs: High Highs
4) Of Monsters and Men: Into the Woods
3) The Decemberists: Long Live the King EP
2) Phantogram: Night Life
1) Black Books: An Introduction To...

2011 Albums That Received Votes:
The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?
The Naked & Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You
Childish Gambino - Camp
The Weeknd - Thursday/House of Balloons
Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
Grouplove - Never Trust A Happy Song
Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours
Zubatto Syndicate - Zubatto Syndicate
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2
Givers - In Light
Young Galaxy - Shapeshifting
Justice - Audio Video Disco
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Mirror Traffic
The Cool Kids - When Fish Ride Bicycles
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears - Scandalous
Young the Giant - Young the Giant
Radiohead - King of Limbs
The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar 
Gardens & Villa - Gardens & Villa
Toro Y moi - Underneath the Pine
Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital

My Top 50 Albums of 2011
50) Dad Rocks! - Mount Modern
49) Cults - Cults
47) Wye Oak - Civilian
46) Other Lives - Tamer Animals
45) Anonymous - To My Long Lost Love
44) The Roots - Undun
43) St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
42) Seryn - This Is Where We Are
41) Adele - 21
40) Nerves Junior - As Bright As Your Night Light
39) Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing
38) The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy
37) Mayer Hawthorne - How Do You Do
36) Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr - It's A Corporate World
35) The Strokes - Angles
34) Kanye & Jay-Z (The Throne) - Watch the Throne
33) James Blake - James Blake
32) Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong
31) Neon Indian - Era Extrana
30) Metronomy - English Riviera
29) Atlas Sound - Parallax
28) Washed Out - Within Without
27) Hooray for Earth - True Loves
26) Death Cab for Cutie - Codes & Keys
25) The War on Drugs: Slave Ambient
24) Ryan Adams: Ashes & Fire
23) Deer Tick: Divine Providence
22) M83: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
21) Cut Copy: Zonoscope
20) Low Roar: Low Roar
19) Girls: Father, Son, Holy Ghost
18) The Antlers: Burst Apart
17) My Morning Jacket: Circuital 
16) The Cave Singers: No Witch
15) Snowmine: Laminate Pet Animal
14) Middle Brother: Middle Brother
13) The Black Keys: El Camino
12) Holy Ghost!: Holy Ghost!
11) Beirut: The Rip Tide
10) Iron & Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean
9) The Decemberists: The King is Dead
8) The Head & the Heart: The Head & the Heart
7) Real Estate: Days
6) Yuck: Yuck
5) TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light
4) Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues
3) Wilco: The Whole Love
2) Bon Iver: Bon Iver
1) Destroyer: Kaputt