Monday, June 26

I'll take a HIATUS for $200, Alex

Howdy all!

So, after a short time at home, I'm off to Tanzania (!) tomorrow to do some ecological research - should be an absolute party, and exhilarating in that I've never been to Africa. Here's hoping that when I return in September I'll be outfitted with a stash of killer afrobeat!


Sunday, June 4

"If you like Rap music so much how come you ain't smiling?"

I was pleasantly surprised last night to find that the new Stones Throw podcast has been posted! Podcast No. 5 showcases Roc C, one of the label's new(er) additions. He's dropping a new album in late June (which will include the song El Capitan, below) that has some pretty killer beats. I must say that I don't know much about Roc C, but from my listen of the podcast last night think that his flow's pretty tight.

However! The hands down best part of this podcast is the excellent production. J Rocc, of the Beat Junkies, gives the Roc C cuts that he features the star treatment, letting the rapping shine without too much distracting flourish. Best moment in the podcast? When J Rocc throws in a clip from Beverly Hills Cop. EDDIE MURPHY YES!

Anyways, head over to Stones Throw to pick up the 20-odd minute mix. It's sweeeeeeet!

Roc C on myspace
Stones Throw Podcasts

Roc C - El Capitan feat. Chino XL
[ Buy All Questions Answered, Roc C's upcoming album ]

Saturday, June 3

You take your side, I'll take my own side!

I've been sitting on A Passing Feeling's self-titled EP for far too long - especially since it screams to be heard, and sometimes quite literally. These four boys churn out spirited indie punk that reminds me of my high school days in sweaty, beer-soaked clubs in DC (that best kind of club featuring that best kind of punk: urgent and accessible). Precisely the kind of music that I'm looking forward to cranking on an early summer Saturday night! I know that Book of Matches is absolutely going to get some spins this weekend.

Hit up the band on myspace and DEF head over to 75 or Less Records to pick up a copy of the EP. It's five songs of absolute goodness! I'm jealous of any of you all who have a chance to see these folks live - I'll bet that they tear it up.

A Passing Feeling - Book of Matches
A Passing Feeling - Probably

[ Buy A Passing Feeling EP ]

Friday, June 2

Look! The song title and photograph match!

Assembly Now, perhaps the UK's next big post-punk export, has some new tracks. Tenement and Roman Promises showcase a less frenetic, more patient side of the band - looks like we've got quite the multi-layered act in the work. These boys are looking pretty flipping stellar!

Stream three more tracks on myspace: Out On 24s rocks my socks into the stratosphere! Hit that!

Assembly Now - Tenement
Assembly Now - Roman Promises

Weather images are disproportionately represented in this post's prose!

It's the time of year that finds me gazing out of the window in the late afternoon at cirrus clouds, watching sunsets that inevitably last for a full hour, and realizing that it's light out - at 7:30 pm. Late spring also seems to lend itself to harmonies and sincere indie pop flourishes.

Lo! then! From on high, I have been sent just such a song! Blitzen Trapper's Summertwin was released on their Field Rexx in 2005, but will be re-released in the UK later this month. It's breezy and fun and has a punctuating whistle during the chorus. Something tells me that this song will be making it on to many a summer mix this year.

I also dig Crazy On You. Ch-ch-check it out below. Also neato to check out: Blitzen Trapper's myspace and lead singer Eric Earley's interview at Coke Machine Glow.

Blitzen Trapper - Summertwin
Blitzen Trapper - Crazy On You

[ Buy Field Rexx (US Version) ]

PS. HUGE thanks to K. over at Analog Giant for pointing me to the the most recent Stone's Throw podcast (episode number four). Madlib's 45 Mix has been blowing my mind - Madlib goes crazy with all of the records that he can lay his hands on, and includes everything from soul to a public service announcement (from the 70s?). Insanity!

Monday, May 8

You lied to the lonely hearts

To follow up on yesterday's country-tinged fare, I want to highlight Centro-matic and their most recent release, Fort Recovery. It's currently on my list of AWESOME!

Will Johnson, the band's primary songwriter and lyricist, crafts songs that speak to dissatisfaction and frustration without descending into pettiness. The honest, open guitarwork grounds his sentiments in a power and realness that makes him quite the everyman. The tunes themselves aren't half bad either.

Check out album closer Take A Rake and see why Johnson is so outrageously engaging that my last paragraph had no choice but to dive directly into the depths of pretention. On Monument Sails the band busts out the kind of rock that melds crashing cymbals with, oh, I don't know, twill shirts. In other words, it tears it up, soaring chorus and all.

The band's record label, Misra, is streaming the entire album. CYSTSFTS? knows what's up - they posted on these folks just yesterday. Also check out the Misra website for a third song from the album up for grabs. Killer!

Centro-matic - Take A Rake
Centro-matic - Monument Sails

[ Buy Fort Recovery ]

Crucial shoutout: marathonpacks wrote up a phenomenal post on the beatles and their particular and unique "moments," complete with edited clips and fiddled with stereo levels. Anything that gets A Day In The Life into my head is a-ok by me.

Also: RIP Grant McLennan. Let's Kiss and Make Up has a fitting memorial post to the former Go-Betweens member.

Sunday, May 7

This post is real - huzzah!

Photo credited to this lovely Sadies fan site

The punk nerd in me must be hibernating, because I've been spinning some country-fied discs like whoa recently. Neko Case comes to mind immediately - I absolutely adore her latest, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, as you likely did/will when you heard/hear her modern take on folk, spirituals, country and anything and everything related to killer pipes. Just in case you haven't heard Fox Confessor yet: Hold On, Hold On, below, is a glorious track. DEF check out the album.

I, however, seem to be a bit behind the times with regards to sometimes Neko-collaborators (and oftentimes live band) the Sadies. Rated X combines the Sadies twang and, let's be honest, pure Americana attitude, with Neko's vocals. The result is a track in fine country form. Mother of Earth is from the Sadies' 2001 Tremendous Efforts and makes you forget that the alt country group is from Canada. Killer!

PS. Kevin at So Much Silence is an amazing human being and ripped Neko Case's live NPR performance in DC into individual mp3s. I now worship him.

Neko Case - Hold On, Hold On
The Sadies and Neko Case - Rated X
The Sadies - Mother of Earth

[ Buy Fox Confessor Brings the Flood ]
[ Buy Tremendous Efforts ]
[ Buy Favorite Colors (the Sadies newest) ]


Just as a disclaimer: clearly, I haven't been updating of late. And that bums me out. This semester I'm studying off campus and am having a spectacular time and remembering why I am a big nerd in the first place (ecology HOLLER!).

However, my bio adventures are severely straining my updatin' time. So, for now, I'm going to do what I can, when I can, and hopefully throw out some neato tunes along the way. Awesome possum!

Friday, April 7

Cars & Trains & Fish & Yeahs!

This neato fellow named Tom is soon to be releasing a neato electronic e.p. under the name Cars & Trains. Broken Streetlight Serenade has a bit of a postal service vibe going on, and seems to reflect the majority of his work. Where Cars & Trains really shines, however, is in sprucing up a song by singer-songwriter Boy In Static, whose uber pensive vocals are highlighted nicely by some tentative drumming. Stream the original song at Boy In Static's myspace page.

Cars & Trains - Broken Streetlight Serenade
Boy In Static - Newborn (Cars & Trains Remix)

PS. Arbitrary plug: over my recently ended spring break, I became (even more) obsessed with the new Ghostface Killah album, Fishscale and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs new cuts, which have turned me entirely into a believer. Just fir kicks, here's the Nick Zinner remix of Show Your Bones' Gold Lion. Duuuuude listen now! Ridiculously good music!