Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Breeders - Pod

Artist: The Breeders
Album: Pod
Genre: Alternative/Noise Rock
Year: 1990
Record Label: Elektra

As most would expect, the first CD by Kim Deal's band The Breeders bears significant resemblance to her previous band the Pixies, but with some key differences. Unlike the Pixies, the Breeders are more subtle, relying on a much more subdued approach that creates an almost tangible tension between melody and noise throughout the entire album. Steve Albini's production only furthers the stiff tension in the Breeder's songs allowing the listener to hear every note in its rough, unaltered, natural state and appreciate the full depth of each individual sound. Showcasing some impressive songwriting talents, Kim Deal proves she was much more than just a bassist and occasional vocalist for the Pixies, drawing upon some interesting personal influences to craft her new band's sound. -Amazon

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The Gossip - Music For Men

Artist: The Gossip
Album: Music For Men
Genre: Disco-Punk/Dance Rock
Year: 2009
Record Label: Colombia

What's that joke about gay couples wanting to get married? They deserve the chance to be as unhappy as straight people. On the Gossip's major-label debut -- 12 Rick Rubin–produced tracks spanning minimalist disco, post-punk, and garage -- the trio extends the gay-positive message of 2006's "Standing in the Way of Control," the single that broke them in Europe seven years after the band started. Yet frontwoman Beth Ditto remains caught somewhere between Donna Summer and Dolly Parton: she loves to love, but all those complications keep her down. -Spin

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tilly and the Wall - Wild Like Children

Artist: Tilly and the Wall
Album: Wild Like Children
Genre: Indie/Pop/Folk
Year: 2004
Record Label: Team Love

1. Fell Down The Stairs
2. Let It Rain
3. Night of the Living Dead
4. Reckless
5. You and I Misbehaving
6. Bessa
7. Shake It Out
8. Perfect Fit
9. I Always Knew
10. Ice Storm, Big Bust, And You

Tilly and the Wall’s debut album, Wild Like Children consists of 10 perfectly formed songs bursting with enthusiastic hyperactivity, while emanating a bittersweet melancholy of long lost summers and misguided first loves. In front of a backdrop of sunshine, rain and snow, Tilly and the Wall sings songs about loving & kissing, dancing & drinking, staying & leaving, driving & talking, sleeping & dreaming… and they’re probably the only band to write a hauntingly wearied love song built around Madonna’s “Into The Groove.” If Phil Spector had ever decided to make a record with ‘60s folk heroes Mimi and Richard Farina, it might’ve sounded a little bit like Tilly and the Wall.

With an album inspired by love, friendship, music and dancing, it’s obvious that Tilly and the Wall like to dance. In particular, Tilly and the Wall like to tap dance. In fact, they forego a drummer. Instead Tilly and the Wall’s star percussionist Jamie provides beats with her own nimble-toed tap-dances. Sometimes she bangs some old leather suitcases with drumsticks while Neely and Kianna play tambourine and bells. You can listen to Tilly songs and tap along in your own bedroom in your own house in your own town. They hope that you do. -

Brimming with co-ed harmonies, jangly acoustic guitars and lambent keyboards, Tilly & The Wall forgo a drummer and allow Jaime Williams' tap-dancing to provide the rhythmic chassis. While this may sound like a despicable throwaway gimmick upon first impression, it actually makes a great deal of intuitive sense, and seems so completely natural that one becomes kind of astonished that the tap-dancer-as-percussionist isn't more common. Williams hoofs out striated, staccato clusters that would be impossible to replicate on drums, and lends the clattering pop songs a crisp and martial demeanor that buoys them up above the traditional indie-pop maneuvers they otherwise employ. - Pitchfork

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender

Artist: Joanna Newsom
Album: The Milk-Eyed Mender
Genre: Folk
Year: 2004
Country of origin: United States

  1. Bridges and Balloons
  2. Sprout and the Bean
  3. The Book of Right-On
  4. Sadie
  5. Inflammatory Writ
  6. This Side of the Blue
  7. En Gallop
  8. Cassiopeia
  9. Peach, Plum, Pear
  10. Swansea
  11. Three Little Babes
  12. Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie

Newsom's wonderfully detailed romanticism ("Your skin is something that I stir into my tea"), homespun wisdom ("Never get so attached to a poem, you forget truth that lacks lyricism"), idiosyncratic flourishes ("See him fashion a cap from a page of Camus"), and insights into the prosaic ("There are some mornings/ When the sky looks like a road") infuse each track with the weightiness of an embroidered travel narrative and a private field-recording.

Showing an appreciation for Appalachian folk and the experimental composer/folksong scholar Ruth Crawford Seeger, her spare arrangements-- harp, Wurlitzer electronic piano, harpsichord, piano, and slide-guitar on two tracks-- unwind like early Homestead oddity, The Supreme Dicks.

Creating avant-garde American music for the back porch, she expands upon tradition without losing authenticity. In this sense, her practice could be linked to Devendra Banhart, a friend and kindred spirit. Both map a pile of eccentricities that tumble together to create something useful, familiar, and nearly sacred.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wingnut Dishwashers Union - Live in Plattsburgh, NY

Artist: Wingnut Dishwashers Union
Album: Live in Plattsburgh, NY
Genre: Folk-Punk/Anarcho-Folk
Country of origin: United States

1. Picking Sides
2. Reason To Breathe
3. Free and Alone
4. Jesus Does The Dishes
5. For A Girl In Rhinelander
6. Pop Jam
7. Stop Being So Cool
8. Ain't Nobody's Business

Since the death of Johnny Hobo & The Freight Trains, lead singer Pat The Bunny has been working on this project.
If you've never really gotten into Folk-Punk, this is a good album to start with.
I decided to post a live WDU album because the things Pat The Bunny talks about between songs are tiny morsels of amazingness.

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He is Legend - Suck Out the Poison

Artist: He is Legend
Album: Suck Out the Poison
Genre: Southern rock/Hardcore/Metal
Release Date: October 3, 2006
Label: Solid State Records

  1. Dixie Wolf (The Seduction Of...)
  2. Attack of the Dungeon Witch
  3. Suck Out the Poison
  4. Mushroom River
  5. Opening
  6. China White II
  7. Serpent Sickness
  8. Electronic Throat
  9. Stampede
  10. The Window of Magnolia
  11. The Pot Bellied Goddess
  12. Cannonball Hands (The Tomato Parade)
  13. Goldies Torn Locks
  14. (((louds
When He Is Legend signed to Solid State Records in the spring, the band had already stirred a blaring buzz all their own. But they were just getting started. 2004 put He Is Legend on the map and on the move. In June, the five North Carolina natives released their debut EP, 91025 with Tribunal Records, a label most noted for helping launch the careers of bands like Atreyu and From Autumn to Ashes. The release received rave reviews, stirring the anticipation even further for He Is Legend’s debut full-length album, I Am Hollywood, released November 2nd, 2004. Their sophomore album, Suck Out The Poison, was released on October 3rd, 2006, featuring more raspy vocals.

*The bands roots reach back into the late 1990’s when Adam Tanbouz, Steven Bache, Matt Williams, guitarist McKenzie Bell, and vocalist Schuyler Croom began writing and performing around Wilmington, NC. In 2003, having previously played under the names of Stronghold, No One Wins, and The Uriah Omen, the name He Is Legend was adopted by members Tanbouz, Bache, Bell, Croom, and Williams. After releasing their first EP in June of 2004 entitled 91025, the band signed on with Solid State Records and released their first full length album in November. I Am Hollywood was a massive success and the band immediately began to experience a surge in popularity that extended far beyond their NC roots. After almost two years of extensive touring in the United States and Europe, the band temporarily relocated to California to record their next release. Suck Out the Poison was released on October 3, 2006 and triggered mixed reviews from long-time fans. It was evident, however, that the band believed firmly in the album and as a result were largely indifferent to often cruel criticisms from offended fans. Their confident, care-free response is portrayed in their music video “Attack of the Dungeon Witch” which was released in March of 2007. Soon after the release of Suck Out the Poison, guitarist McKenzie Bell left the band without explanation and was eventually placed by guitarist Mitch Marlow (previously of Classic Case). Bell later joined the band Bloodjinn.

Debates abouts whether or not He Is Legend is a Christian group have been fueled by the fact that Solid State Records is a Christian record label. While Croom and other members of the band have claimed to be followers of Christ, the band has made it clear that they are not collectively a Christian band in the FAQ section on their website saying that, “We are in no way a Christian band… We all enjoy music, we all enjoy playing our instruments, so if we had to be classified as anything it would be a ‘band’ band or ‘music’ band.” - [Source]

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom

Artist: New Young Pony Club
Album: Fantastic Playroom
Genre: Post-Punk/New Wave/Dance/Electro
Release Date: July 9, 2007
Label: Modular Interscope

  1. Get Lucky
  2. Hiding on the Staircase
  3. Ice Cream
  4. The Bomb
  5. Jerk Me
  6. The Get Go
  7. Talking, Talking
  8. Grey
  9. Fan
  10. Tight fit
New Young Pony Club: new rave or new disco? Answer: who cares when their music sounds this good? The London quintet might be a new phenomenon to some, but others will know them well, as they’ve been working hard behind the scenes for a good three years or so, building up a solid fan base to accommodate the release of this debut album. And what a debut it is. Fantastic Playroom ticks all the right "influence" boxes--Bowie, Blondie, New Order-–to make it suitably zeitgeist-capturing, yet their tunes are infused with an extra savvy and edginess, putting them slightly ahead of the new whatever game. Singles like "Ice Cream" and "The Bomb" illustrate the band’s way with a sexy rhythm; songs like the percussive "Hiding on the Staircase" keep the party going, while the band’s 80s style synth-pop indulgences come unashamedly to the fore on "The Get Go" and "The Jerk." A large part of the band’s appeal is vocalist Tahita Bulmer, whose slightly detached vocal delivery sits well on the band’s songs. True, Fantastic Playroom can feel more like a collection of singles than a coherent album at times, but that’s just what this band do best. We should love them for it. --Paul Sullivan

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