Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Fanfarlo track

Quick post today guys, but I've got a couple of new band type posts in the works, expect those soon. In the meantime, I've got a new Fanfarlo track, Fleetwood Mac cover "What Makes You Think You're the One". It's the B-side to their Record Store Day exclusive single, "You Are the One". If for some reason you haven't listened to Fanfarlo yet, check out their last year's debut album, Reservoir (stream a bunch of it here). Anyway, this cover is fantastic, check it out, and go buy the 7" at your local record store.
What Makes You Think You're the One?

Also, in even more exciting Fanfarlo news, they've got an EP of songs recorded at college radio stations available for free, just sign up for there mailing list. Get it here.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Jared Mees & The Grown Children

"I hate to say it, but these last few years have been hell/but patience/pays off/finally"

This song is prime earworm material, and a lot more upbeat than those lyrics make it sound. That opening line has been stuck in my head for a day running now, walking around whistling or humming it to myself. Jared Mees & The Grown Children are a Portland indie-pop group with 19 people listed as members, but 5 members is all of their pictures. They sort of fall into the genre that is popping up more and more these days, the acoustic indie-folk collective. They've got trumpet, glockenspiel, violin, banjo, keyboard, bass, guitar, great vocals, and lovely gang vocals on the chorus.

However, Jared Mees & the Grown Children have a much more pop sound than folk, unlike most of the bands who fit a similar mold instrumentation-wise. The same ideas that work so amazingly in the mellow folk setting for bands like Fanfarlo and the Freelance Whales plays out beautifully as a vehicle for catchy, up-beat pop music.

I have yet to fully explore their catalog, but everything I've heard is fantastic. They've got a full length called Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money, released in '08, and from which this track is from. They've also got a 2007 called If You Want to Swim With the Sharks. As always, if you like what you're hearing, go buy it! (or if you're lucky enough to live in Portland, go to a show, they're playing 3 there this spring, check their Myspace.

The Tallest Building In Hell - Jared Mees & The Grown Children
Listen to more tracks on their Myspace.
Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money on iTunes
...If You Want to Swim With the Sharks download or CD on CD Baby.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Posts Soon

I've found quite a few new bands lately, so expect to see a lot of posts of that variety in the very near future, I'm just waiting on permission to post their mp3s. Soon, I promise.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Portland Lo-Fi band Eat Skull

It's been a hell of a week. I saw Spoon at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Tuesday, and Passion Pit (with Mayer Hawthorne!) last night at UCDavis's Freeborn Hall. I started writing some show reviews, but a couple sentences in, it occurred to me that sitting here telling you about how awesome the concert that already happened was doesn't do anyone much good, and I should probably get back to the real purpose here, introducing you guys to new music. So here we go.

Eat Skull are a lo-fi band out of Portland, Oregon. Their music is heavy on noise and heavy on distortion, but it's way too catchy to be called anything other than pop, or even pop-punk at times. I'm very picky about lo-fi and other music which uses a ton of noise and distortion, and this definitely works. What sets it apart from most of the music like it is the great pop melodies, backed up some great jangly guitar riffs. I very much hope I get to see these guys in a garage or living room somewhere, and since they seem to have a good deal of association with some Sacramento bands, that could very likely happen. I'll be sure to let you guys know if they hit up the area, or if you live in Portland, go catch them this Sunday. They have a full length called Wild and Inside which you can order directly from them, and a 7" out on Woodsist Records (you gotta scroll down the page a bit). They've also got a split 7" with a Sacramento band called The Ganglians, who I will be reviewing in the very near future, which is sadly out of print. If you like what you're hearing, buy some vinyl! (or cds if you really must be that way).

Stick to the Formula - Eat Skull
Punk Trips - Eat Skull (From Wild and Inside)

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

2 rock solid tracks from the new Dr. Dog album, and some festival news

The jury is still out in my brain on Shame, Shame, the new Dr. Dog album, but I do know for a fact that "Stranger" and "Shadow People", the first two tracks, are amazingly fantastic. They have a sort of bouncing post-Americana sound that fills the space after Wild Mountain Nation ends, and that is always a very good thing. Post-Americana is a term that I pretty much pulled out of my ass, but it makes perfect sense once you hear it. It's indie rock, but with very heavy influences in the instrumentation and song structure from 19th/early 20th century Americana and folk music. The aforementioned Blitzen Trapper also does it quite well, and it's a sound I totally dig. Give them a listen, and check out the album to draw your own conclusions.
Shadow People - Dr. Dog
Stranger - Dr. Dog

And while we're mentioning Dr. Dog and Blitzen Trapper in the same breath, if you're in the Northern California area, you gotta go check out the High Sierra Music Festival, held in Quincy, CA from July 1st to July 4th. Highlights from the stellar line-up include The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog, Blitzen Trapper, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Truth and Salvage Co. Full line-up here. Essentially it looks to be four days of fantastic music, largely in the vein of what we've been talking about today. Four day passes are only $175, pretty damn cheap for a big festival like that. If I can work it, I am there, and you should highly consider it as well.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Janelle Monae video with crazy awesome dancing! (and a general Janelle Monae rant)

I love Janelle Monae, love her hair, her voice, I love this song, but HOLY SHIT these dance moves are amazing!!

(the embedding didn't work out, so watch it on Youtube, preferably in high quality, full screen)

That out of the way, time to rant about Janelle Monae in general. First off, the hair. I love it. Second, she doesn't even have a full album out yet, but a string of singles and an EP and some contributions to compilations have resulted in a large group of absolutely fantastic songs. Her songs range from total throwback R&B/Soul, to some great hip-hop (seen above). It really all comes down to her voice, its fantastic, and damn does she know how to use it. Her debut full length, The Archandroid comes out May 18th on Bad Boy Records. Everything she's done, including the two singles off the record ("Tightrope" and "Cold War") point to a fantastic album. I'm pumped.

Tightrope (feat. Big Boi) - Janelle Monae
Come Alive (War of the Roses) - Janelle Monae
Other songs to check out:
Sincerely, Jane (from Metropolis: The Chase Suite)
Cold War (from Cold War Single)

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