Friday, June 29, 2007


So these aren't really aged, though three months old in the mp3 blog world is like a half decade in human years. Palomar's anthemic Our Haunt and their dark daydreamy Bury Me Closer are both on the travel mix for Saturday's drive from Orlando to West Virginia.

Palomar - Our Haunt (mp3)
Palomar - Bury Me Closer (mp3)

Both songs from All Things, Forests.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Aged, Distinguished, and On The Road

Since I haven't been posting, you probably haven't been visiting. I've been road tripping, and I'm currently in Orlando, in the unlikely case that you were wondering where I've been.

My iPod travel mix consists of slightly aged, yet distinguished material, which is what I'll be posting until I get back home in a little over a week.

First up, to celebrate the hopefully forthcoming album from The Magnetic Fields: The 6ths.

The 6ths - Falling Out Of Love With You (with Dean Wareham) (mp3)
The 6ths - Movies In My Head (with Georgia Hubley) (mp3)

Wasps' Nests is still one of my favorite albums.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

SoCalled Shtetlblaster

File under Jewish Hip-Hop.

The spoken intro to the first SoCalled track below is deep and perfect. Sing your song, so that your flower is present.

SoCalled - (Rock The) Belz (mp3)
SoCalled - Baleboste (mp3)

From Ghettoblaster.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The White Stripes Do Conan

There are guitar players who have tamed the instrument, and there are those who sound as though they are wrestling with a wild beast, taming it as they play it, like Jack White did on Conan Monday night.

The White Stripes - Icky Thump (Live on Conan, 6-18-2007)(mp3)
The White Stripes - Effect & Cause (Live on Conan, 6-18-2007)(mp3)

Own Icky Thump.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Picastro's Blue Period.

...where is her ear for music?

"...there's a Swedish term about whore luck, it means that you've had sex with an attractive customer, and that's your luck. I thought it was perfect."

- Liz Hysen of Picastro.

Picastro - Hortur (mp3)
The guitar arpeggios lumber along with singer Liz Hysen's vocals shrouded in Owen Pallet's waves of strings. The single picked notes crash into grating, desperate strums, the tension held for longer than a few uncomfortable moments - will it descend into chaos or return to order?

Picastro - Friend of Mine (mp3)
This sounds like a creaky old upright that hasn't been tuned or played in a half-century, echoing in a large empty abandoned room, and you half expect to see a ghost out of the corner of your eye.

Whore Luck is out Sept 11.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sloan, Live on The Cherry Blossom Clinic

It's unjust that a band as prolific and consistent as Canada's Sloan gets so little radio play, especially since their latest album, Never Hear the End of It, is universally acclaimed. WFMU aired a recent performance by the band on the Cherry Blossom Clinic - a total of five consecutive songs. If that's not a record, it's certainly a gleaming rarity.

Sloan - Live on Cherry Blossom Clinic (5-6-2007) (mp3s):

Another Way I Could Do It
Everybody Wants You
Who Taught You To Live Like That?
Black Out

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rondo Bros

Rondo Brothers' Seven Minutes to Midnight is out next Tuesday. Listen to Still Your Ghost, best played while dancing with little circles of light reflecting off a disco ball, and Houston, a beautiful piano tune where the ghosts really reside.

Rondo Brothers - Still Your Ghost (mp3)
Rondo Brothers - Houston (mp3)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Pipettes - Live on MPR 6-8-2007

Here are The Pipettes on MPR's The Current, as you probably haven't heard them before - stripped down, acoustic, all harmonizing, no fillers, and their trademark biting cleverness traded for poignancy. You always knew the ladies were very good, but you didn't know until now that they were this good. I capture and post a lot of in-studio performances, and this one is among the very best of the year.

The Pipettes - Live on Minnesota Public Radio's The Current, 6-8-2007 (mp3s):

I Love You
Milk Man
Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me

Own We Are the Pipettes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

James & The Quiet

If you weren't fortunate enough to find the Deluxe Edition of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation today, you probably didn't have any more success in finding Wooden Wand's James & The Quiet. Double whammy, because on the Lee Ranaldo-produced James, James Toth, without the Vanishing Voice band, comes down from the clouds, and gets not so much down to earth as down in the earth. There's a dark, gritty, soulful feel, with hard-as-nails lyrics supported by SY's Ranaldo and Steve Shelly assisting with drums, guitar, piano, and vocals. The sound and feel are not unlike Nick Cave at his quieter, less macabre moments. In other words, a great success. If his previous work was airy and unbound, then this is contained fire.

Wooden Wand - The Pushers (Morning Version) (mp3)
Wooden Wand - Spitting At The Cameras (mp3)

Stream the entire album on the Wooden Wand E-Card.

Own James and the Quiet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

!!! !n Stud!o

!!! played four songs in-studio for KEXP last month. The result was a lot of people forming beautiful structured chaos.

!!! - Live on KEXP 5-3-2007 (mp3s):

Myth Takes
Heart Of Hearts
SundayMust Be The Moon

Order Myth Takes over there on the sidebar, under "The Smudge Recommends."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cult Cargo

Heavy Bahamas funk compiled by Numero. I think those six words are all I need to say. Yes, I'm feeling lazy, so a short post, but this stuff won't let me sit down.

Jay Mitchell & The Mitchellites - I Am The Man For You Baby (mp3)
Sylvia Hall - Don't Touch That Thing! (mp3) (updated link)

Own Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay..

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Poole, 1995

It was the mid-90's, and indie pop was barely heard underneath the rumble of grunge in its heyday. But it was there, and the few of us that hoped that it had a future bought records and $5 concert tickets from bands like Burke, Virginia's Poole.

Poole - can't go back (mp3)
Poole - car (EP version/alt lyrics)(mp3)

"car" is lyrical eons from the hard alt-rock of the time:

I really like
it's my favorite show
I watch it all the time
on channel 5
and I'm really glad that Kelly's still alive

Both from their Promo EP for the Alaska Days tour (unavailable). But you can still buy the beautiful Alaska Days., which is a celebration of adolescence, rather than a condemnation of the perceived world surrounding it.

They also had a video for their hit song, Supermerica.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Blow - Live on Fair Game

Portland's The Blow played a live in-studio for Fair Game with Faith Salie the week before last. Close your eyes and you might just find yourself imagining the band is playing right there in your basement, charming the socks off you and your friends, sitting on an old sofa, drink in hand. It's electropop, but it's right there in your head.

The Blow (Live on Fair Game, 5-23-2007) (mp3s):

True Affection
What Tom Said About Girls

Own Paper Televisionand Poor Aim: Love Songs.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Will Stratton - What The Night Said

20-year old Will Stratton's MySpace says that he's from "wandering," which, by rule, is where the best folk songs are written. These are no exception. There is a rare warmth to his fingerpicking, strumming, and piano playing, and his voice has that clear, somber quality that you find in Sufjan Stevens and Nick Drake. The arrangements, full with violins, cello, harpsichord, piano, mellotron, and ump organ, are lush, but retain a close intimacy - you hear every acoustic hammer-on, bend, and whisper. His writing is personal and self-searching, and if such wandering makes for better songwriting, then there's a part of me that hopes Will Stratton doesn't find himself for many years.

Will Stratton - mp3s from What the Night Said, out July 24th.

I'd Hate To Leave You

Also highly recommended: Katydid, which you can stream on his MySpace.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Sinister Turns

The Sinister Turns are all energy and charm, seemingly the kind of people you'd want to sit down with and have a bagel and coffee. Their songs are quirky and collegiate (who name-drops Hermann Hesse?), and their music overflows with the vitality of youthful possibility, and of possibilities squandered, carried by strong piano, guitar, and vocal melodies, sort of like the New Pornographers. This stuff is loveable to the infinity power.

The Sinister Turns - The Last Time (mp3)
The Sinister Turns - Disappear (mp3)