Monday, March 31, 2008

Headlights - Live on The Current, 3-30-2008



Headlights harmonized in The Current studios last week. Take a minute, slow down. Quiet your breaths, let them sync with the isolated heartbeat of the arresting "Some Racing, Some Stopping."

Headlights (Live on The Current, 3-30-2008)(mp3s):

Market Girl
Towers
Some Racing, Some Stopping

From Some Racing, Some Stopping.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

O, Delay No Longer.



It's just about April, and you STILL haven't picked up the Deluxe Edition of Beck's Odelay??

DUDE.

Respect the riff:

Beck - Thunder Peel (mp3) (from Disc 2)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Give It To Me Good



As the piano swaggers and Sidney Bechet's and Louis Armstrong's clarinets and cornets sway among early 1920's hiss and static, Virginia Liston musters enough sass and spunk to boldly stun an unsuspecting barroom, and I'm sure she did that to many in her day.

Virginia Liston - from Document Records' Vol. 1 (1923-1924)(mp3s):

You've Got The Right Key, But The Wrong Keyhole
Give It To Me Good

Buy Virginia Liston, Vol. 1: 1923-1924

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dean & Britta, Live on Fair Game, 3-26-2008



Dean & Britta still pop up here and there from time to time, to the delight of those of us who remember and love Luna. Their latest appearance was on Fair Game yesterday.

Dean & Britta - Live on Fair Game, 3-26-2008 (mp3s):

Strange
Words You Used To Say

Back Numbers came out last year, but Dean Wareham's memoir, Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance, just came out this month.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Laura Cantrell - Love Vigilante



Did you know that New Order's Love Vigilantes was originally a country song? Okay, not really. But Laura Cantrell could easily convince a person otherwise.

Laura Cantrell - Love Vigilantes (New Order) (mp3)

Laura Cantrell reemerges from a 3-year silence, with her forthcoming digital-only covers EP, Trains and Boats and Planes.

The song is also on the Body Of War soundtrack.

Stream The Breeders' Mountain Battles Release Party

Balloons, cake and The Breeders at the V.F.W. You won't find it anywhere else but here:


Mountain Battles Record Release Party from The Breeders on Vimeo.

Mountain Battles is out April 8th.

British Sea Power On The Current



British Sea Power electrified Minnesota Public Radio's The Current with a 3-song in-studio set yesterday.

British Sea Power - Live on The Current, 3-25-2008 (mp3s):

Atom
Waving Flags
No Lucifer

Do You Like Rock Music? was released earlier this year.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nina Simone: Protest Anthology



Here's Nina Simone, in an incredibly intense performance, sounding as passionate and comfortable belting out a rock song as she does singing jazz or blues. You'll find it on Protest Anthology, a collection of 8 previously unreleased video interviews, in which she expresses her views on political and racial issues, and 11 unheard live tracks. This is the first in a series of five anthologies of Nina Simone rarities.

Nina Simone - Revolution (mp3)

Watch this interview clip from the series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4QCrrzaX6U
"An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times...How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bell X1, live on The Current



Bell X1 played three songs for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current last week, including this somber acoustic guitar/piano version of Don Henley's The Boys Of Summer (mp3). Stream the entire performance with interview here.

Bell X1's latest album, Flock, was released last month.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Royal Bangs

Royal Bangs' Let's Get Even (mp3) is an imaginative, hyperspasmodic jumble of guitar, stuttering machine noise, and various squeaks and bursts, with an artful mid-song deconstruction and resolution, before it just plain disintegrates perfectly at the very end.

Ghost Types



Here's a sweet little nugget of quirk rock from New York's Bridges and Powerlines. It feels sorta like The Rentals, but with guitars less hooky and more unleashed. The energy is irresistable - I imagine their live shows are a blast.

Bridges and Powerlines - Uncalibrated (mp3)

Ghost Types is out April 22nd.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jo Ann Garrett Goes Man Huntin'



As we impatiently await the next Eccentric Soul compilation from Numero, there's always the back catalog. It's hard to tire of any of those collections. Listen to the backing vocalists get straight to business in Goin' Man Huntin' (mp3), supporting Jo Ann Garrett's 1970 quest to "get me a man today." From the same year, Renaldo Domino's "soul is achin for a feelin'" in Let Me Come Within (mp3).

Eccentric Soul: Twinight's Lunar Rotation is always a buy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lightspeed Champion, Live on NPR@SXSW, 3-11-2008



Here's Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion, with violinist Mike Siddell, in a performance for NPR, recorded outdoors at the French Legation Museum in Austin. It includes a stellar acoustic-and-violin version of Olivia Newton John's Xanadu from the prophetic movie of the same title. Subscribe to NPR's Live Concerts from All Songs Considered podcast and you'll also get the video.

Lightspeed Champion, Live on NPR@SXSW, 3-11-2008 (mp3s):

Tell Me What It's Worth
Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk
Galaxy Of The Lost
Xanadu

Falling Off the Lavender Bridge was released last month.

Ammonia



It appears that Mint 400 is out of print, but Austrailian band Ammonia's Drugs, which used to be in heavy rotation on MTV's 120 Minutes, is permanently stamped on a small but stubborn aggregation of cells in my brain. Something to do with jumping over the sofa whilst playing air guitar and drinking rum with my friend Fall. Memories.

Ammonia - Drugs (mp3)
Ammonia - Mint 400 (mp3)

Used Mint 400s are still available.

And of course, the video, which patiently waits for a 90's revival:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

She & Him, Live on The Current at SXSW, 3-14-2008



I read somewhere that M. Ward, after becoming spellbound with Zooey Deschanel's homemade demos, was compelled to bring her music to the masses. A live internet broadcast of their SXSW performance as a duet can't hurt that effort. On Friday, Minnesota Public Radio's The Current broadcast a 3-song performance by She & Him, available with interview here.

These are the songs they played (mp3s):

This Is Not A Test
Black Hole
Change Is Hard

Order Volume One, the debut album from She & Him, out Tuesday.

You can also stream the album on their Myspace.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Soundpool Dichotomies



Soundpool's second album is an unlikely mosaic of early 90's brit indie guitar rock, psychedelic electric distortion, vintage synth, and gentle vocal harmonies. There are echoes of Love & Rockets, Gary Numan, and The Beatles at their karmic height. The result is colorful & hypnotic, sweeping & epic. Definitely worth a dive in the deep end.

From Dichotomies + Dreamland(mp3s):

Pleasure & Pain
The Divides Of March
Lush (What Becomes You)

Stream the entire album on their e-card. Headphones recommended.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Witch - Real Fast



1000 mph (mp3) opens with a guitar siren, a fair warning of the aural assault that lies in wait. Demon-possessed fingers riff, solo, shred, and improvise with apocalyptic abandon in the relentless ax attack. If you listen real close, you might even hear lyrics.

Witch will be playing several SXSW shows in Austin this week.

Own Witch's sophomore album, Paralyzed. You won't hear another metal album like it this year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Magnetic Fields - Live on KEXP 3-7-2008

...and the live performances are coming in, scores of live internet broadcasts riding on metal wires and fiber optic cables from Austin to some strange mysterious winding path, yearning to breathe and thump through your computer speakers (hopefully they're good speakers). This one was actually recorded last week in the KEXP studio. It's a recording, and it travelled a long distance, and was then compressed into a smaller electronic file, but it still feels like Stephin Merritt is right there having a conversation with you.

The Magnetic Fields - Live On KEXP 3-7-2008 (mp3s):

This Little Ukelele
Smile, No One Cares How You Feel
With Whom To Dance
The Nun's Litany

Own Distortion

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jesca Hoop Lingers



I already have regrets on my year-end 2007 list. Jesca Hoop's Kismet should have been in my top 10. Maybe Nic Harcourt was right - he has her at #1 on his list.

Don't miss her SXSW performance for The Current this Thursday. If you're not in Austin, they're broadcasting live. She already scintillated in their studio in July of last year.

Here are two of my favorites from Kismet.

Jesca Hoop - Intelligent Tactile (mp3)
Jesca Hoop - Summertime (mp3) (via MPR)

The Mountain Goats - Surrounded (Live on Fair Game)

John Darnielle told Faith Salie that this song, to his knowledge, has never been played live before he played it for last Friday's Fair Game show. It's originally a collaboration with John Vanderslice, and it's about "rich guys who spend six months tending to the organ-harvesting colonies on the moon, and the other six in their mansions in Colorado..." So this is something very special, and if you don't agree, I will fight you. Plus, it sort of ties in nicely with my Terminator post:

Let me fall right through my own roof like a meteorite
Let the world and all its wonders leave me to my toys tonight
And my ninety six inch television screen
Let me die, let me die surrounded my machines


The Mountain Goats - Surrounded (Live on Fair Game 3-7-2008)(mp3)

Own The Mountain Goats' Heretic Pride (but please note that Surrounded is not on this album)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Three Undisputably Valid Reasons To Renew Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

According to EW, the show is on the bubble for a return season, and I agree with writer Whitney Pastorek: "I've enjoyed watching this fledgling series fumble to find its footing. I remember loving that first mess of an X-Files season on Fox back in the day and hoping it would stick around so I could make heads or tails of it. I wonder if Chris Carter's masterpiece would have survived in this instant-gratification, hair-trigger world?"

Enough talking. Let me make my case. Here are two undisputably good reasons to bring the The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles back:

1. Summer Glau as Terminator cop.
2. Summer Glau as Terminator dancer.
3. Summer Glau as both of the above in the same episode.

And I'll sum it all up by declaring that the world would be much more beautiful and interesting if we only had more cop dancer androids with ridiculously long necks from the future. Word?


cop.


dancer.


cop.


dancer.


cop!


dancer!

Completely Easy Mixtapes



I just realized that with all of the Complete Motown Singles collections, it's ridiculously easy to create endless mixtape variations, all stellar. You should try it.

The Contours - It's So Hard Being A Loser (mp3)
The Four Tops - Bernadette (Promo Version) (mp3)
(both from The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 7: 1967

The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969 is also out now.