Thursday, August 31, 2006

31 tracks, $8.50...

...and stroke your conscience by donating to a very worthy cause.

If that's your kind of language, 75 Or Less Records put a compilation of 31 tracks from 31 local bands together in a spiffy hand-silkscreened edition, and it all benefits the Providence Animal Rescue League (PARL), which provides for the rescue and relief of suffering of homeless animals and performs charitable or benevolent acts for the welfare of animals.

The compilation is called Rock Out With Your Tail Out, and as I said in the title, it's only $8.50, including shipping & handling, and you can order it here.

How's the music, you ask. Let me answer with a few mp3s. The first, Brother Kite's Get On Me (mp3), sounds perfect for a Sofia Coppola movie - moody guitar music seemingly from circa 1989, reminiscent of the great brit rock bands of that era, crossed with Burke, VA's Poole, and cross-pollinated with a little Matthew Sweet, maybe. Next, we've got The Baylies, who, with Let's Get Stabbed (mp3), prove that 2:22 is twice as long as a punk song needs to be. Lastly, there's Excess (mp3) (but isn't there always, when it comes to the Smudge?), the Lame Drivers' solid effort to rock hard in Jesus & Mary Chain fashion.

Also, don't miss The Cold War's New Romance (mp3), available on the 75 or less website with other mp3s to preview.

The proof is above: the comp is solid, and you will feel good with it on your shelf.

Nothing Gold Can Stay, But Goldenboy Is Staying On My Mp3 Player

The new Goldenboy album, Underneath the Radio, hits stores on October 3rd. Meanwhile, you still have two mp3s from their Eenie Meenie site, and now you have this. Summer of the Evening has an early Velvet Underground feel, with a little Yo La Tengo in the mix. I'm not just saying that because I'm an mp3 blogger. Listen to the deadpan delivery in the beginning, and the guitar that kicks in at about the 50 second mark. You'll feel it. And hey, is that a little nod to Dire Straits at the end?...wait a minute, did it actually work? Why, yes, it did.

Dare I say that the pure audio bliss that is this track makes the CD worth pre-ordering? I daresay. Now you'll just have to wait until you can.

Goldenboy - Summer of the Evening (mp3)

These are still available on their Eenie Meenie page:
Goldenboy - Second Day of the Year (mp3)
Goldenboy - Underneath the Radio (a Million Miles From Yesterday)(mp3)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Eliane Elias Covers Beck

This is sort of weird. Way back in the 90's, Beck made an announcement with his bossa nova/pop experiment, Tropicalia: This is where I add spice to the funk & junk. Last week, established jazz singer & pianist slash sex symbol Eliane Elias released her new CD, Around the City, on which she covers Beck's Tropicalia. It seems to be an announcement of her own: this is where I add the funk & junk to the spice. I love it - she slows it down, makes it sexier and surer. The piano, though subtle, is the foundation of this version.

Billboard described Around the City, as a "spellbinding meld of pop, Brazilian and Latin music with a jazz sensibility." I suspect that the movement toward adding pop/electronics to bossa/latin jazz might have influenced her music. The trend has worked wonders for Federico Aubele, Bebel Gilberto, and Cibelle. It's still a fresh sound, because radio hasn't exactly been saturated with it. If Eliane is able to tap into the market and gain a few extra fans, who then buy some of her older records and gain an appreciation of her work, I'm happy.

She doesn't need the electropop treatment, though; the songs stand on their own. With the embellishment, they stand and dance.

Eliane Elias mp3s:

Tropicalia (Beck Cover)
Running (DJ Strobe Remix)

Chill to Around the City.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bonnie "Prince" Billy Live in the MPR Studio

Bonnie "Prince" Billy, a.k.a. Will Oldham, strummed & picked these three songs for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current on the 12th of this month.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Live, MPR, 8-12-2006) (mp3s):

Ebb Tide
His Hands
Goodbye, Dear Old Stepstone

Look for Bonnie "Prince" Billy's Then The Letting Go in September. Order the Cursed Sleep Single now.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Motown, 1965

Hip-O recently released The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 5: 1965, with far less buzz than they had upon the release of the first volume. That's too bad, because it's a treasure of soul delights. The collection is fascinating, considering that these love songs for dancing to were written in such a turbulent, metamorphic year. Sample a few of them on iTunes, and you'll be surprised how many times you click on the "Buy" button. Among others, my favorites included these spirited Stevie Wonder songs:

Stevie Wonder - Kiss Me Baby (Mono)(mp3)

Stevie Wonder - High Heel Sneakers (Mono)(mp3)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Uncle Tom

What do you give to a guy who has everything, and lives on the other side of the planet? You give him what he loves, of course. And since I know that Uncle Tom loves the SCORPIONS!!!, here's a video that features a scantily clad woman with some sort of whip thingy, a scantily clad woman backlit in silhouette, two scantily clad women touching butts, and a guy named Klaus. What more could a man want?

Uncle Tom, I know you found your soul mate and all, but who knows you best? Say it...

Good God!, It's Good! Can I Get An Amen?

I've been spending my time with four new CDs since yesterday: the Christina Aguilera double disc, Outkast's Idlewild, M. Ward's Post-War, and the Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal compilation.

Since being harassed and/or sued is uncool, and a Christina mp3 post would scream "Shut Me Down," I'm not touching that. I did the live Letterman Outkast thing the other day, so that's out, too. The M. Ward is brilliant, but has already been posted to absolute death by the mp3 bloggers. That's right - absolute death, which is deader than plain death. I digress.

So, with the other three eliminated, I'm left with the Good God! comp. I've been misleading you, though. This compilation is my favorite of the four. Christina and Outkast may make me move, but Good God! moves me and makes me move, and feel wholesome while doing it. It's a win-win-win situation, and I'm only one person. Anyway. Whoever spelunked the archives for these beats should be awarded a new Grammy - Best Archive Searcher or something like that, because these are genuine rhythmic funk gems that shine brighter than gold grills on a clear summer day.

Mighty Walker Brothers - God Been Good to Me (mp3)
Brother John Witherspoon - That's Enough (mp3)
LaVice & Company - Thoughs Were the Days (mp3)

Preview clips from the entire CD here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pass Me the Masta Killa!

Speaking of Darnielle's emusic dozen, he describes Masta Killa's Wutastic Made in Brooklyn as "liberally sprinkled with smoky, summery moments. Very old-school, lovingly textured and quite generous with repeated listening."

True, but you'll find that the stories MK tells are a little different than the ones on the Mountain Goats albums.

Pass the Bone (Remix)(mp3)
Then and Now (mp3)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Mountain Goats' [Emusic] Dozen

Check out John Darnielle's Emusic dozen.

In his intro, he says:

Sometime over the last couple of years I've gone from thinking that nothing could ever really be too fast or too loud to craving an all-purpose available-anywhere immersion tank. I seek out trance states, dark rooms and a good pair of headphones...Albums have lost favor as the consumer’s freedom to pick and choose has increased, and this is generally a good development. But for me, there can be no substitute for an album that keeps its focus on the flow: escapism, long a dirty word for thinking people, is due for some serious reevaluation.

Outkast on Letterman, 8-21-2006

Outkast performed on Letterman last night. It was crazy, man. It sounded like this:

Outkast - Morris Brown (Live on Letterman 8-21-2006)(mp3)

The Water Tastes Good, The Winters Ain't Cold

Yeah, "Home" is like that with Neko Case at the mike.

The Sadies - Home (feat Neko Case)(mp3)

From The Sadies' In Concert, Vol. 1

Speaking of Neko Case, this is a great video from New Pornographers' Electric Version:

And here's one of my favorite Neko Case songs, which begins chillingly here:

And here's a video that's totally unrelated to anything:

Monday, August 21, 2006

Well, Well, Well, My Janelle.

This goes out to you, Janelle from Big Brother All-Stars. The Season 6 alliance is done, and now you're target #1, but without you it will only be half as fun.

But look on the bright side. After you're evicted, you'll be able to skip to a music store, or even access the internet, and buy this great CD from the Chicago band Royce. It's way better than having Power of Veto. They're sort of like Gus Gus gone introspective. Like laptop dance music with cool guys rather than a pocket-protector-wearing Wizard behind the curtain. The CD even has a song that is all about you. Fools spelled your name wrong, but who cares about spelling when you're hot. If you listen real close to "Ginelle," I think that you'll agree that it's clearly about someone who fell into obsession over you after getting to know you intimately on CBS. Am I lying? Come on, you can trust me like a housemate.

Royce - Ginelle (mp3)
Royce - Tuff Love (mp3)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bicycles, Tracks

This is a bicycle track:

And here's another one:

These are more colorful Bicycles tracks, and you don't have to shave your legs or compress your prostate to enjoy them.

The Bicycles - Paris Be Mine (mp3)
The Bicycles - Gotta Get Out (mp3)
The Bicycles - I Know We Have To Be Apart (mp3)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New The Sky Drops

The Sky Drops have offered another beautiful mp3 from their EP "Clouds of People." It's gorgeous downer vocal harmonies reminiscent of Low, with a devastating strummed backbone.

Hang On (mp3)

Own the EP.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just offer up your neck already.

My wife is a rockstar sex symbol. Life rocks.
(Photo by Sarah Dougher)

I finally, finally got the new album from Anita Robinson (and her husband, what's-his-name), a.k.a. Viva Voce. It seems like eons since The Heat Can Melt Your Brain, and I know it hasn't been, but doesn't it always seem so after something so damn good. Get Yr Blood Sucked Out was worth the wait. Anita riffs her way into your heart, and simultaneously charms your muscles into a weird state between tension and relaxation. But don't think about it as you listen. The pleasure here is in giving yourself away to it.

Viva Voce mp3s from Get Yr Blood Sucked Out:
When Planets Collide
So Many Miles

These are not the original mp3s posted; Barsuk has made these available on their Viva Voce site.

Sign up to preorder Get Yr Blood Sucked Out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Evangelicals, Live KEXP 8-11-2006

The Evangelicals brought absolute sonic chaos to the KEXP studio last Friday. Ever go to a concert and say "Holy Expletive" or "Oh my God" after every song? The Evangelicals did that to the friendly interviewing DJ in this performance. Listen to the interview and stream the performance on at

Evangelicals (Live KEXP 8-11-2006) (mp3s):

Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)
Skeleton Man
Hello, Jenn, I'm a Mess
What an Actress Does Best (Is Act)

Own the beautifully unpredictable So Gone.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Live REM

Have I mentioned my excitement over the forthcoming R.E.M. collection from the I.R.S. years? Oh yeah, I have.

I pulled out Essential R.E.M. In the Attic yesterday, and was reminded of how much that very last medley annoys me. It's so stinking long, and the whole Peter Gabriel Red Rain part is barely tolerable to me. Nothing against Peter Gabriel or his song, but I just want to get to the So. Central Rain part already, you know? So I snipped out that section, and now I have the slow So. Central Rain part by itself. Here's the excerpt, along with the live studio version of Just A Touch, from the same collection.

R.E.M. - South Central Rain (Live, excerpted from In The Attic medley) (mp3)
Just A Touch (mp3)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Attack of The Clock Work Army

The Clock Work Army's new EP is called A Catalyst for Change. I have a feeling it's going to be just that for the band - they're about to move out of that comfy little room and into hordes of adoring fans. Loaded with talent, chemistry, and energy, they're well-equipped for a loyal following. At her quieter moments, lead singer Emily Neveu has a jazz singer's timbre, but can project it with all the power of Nancy Wilson. The band is credible as both a hard rock and a power-pop outfit. These five songs are little treasures.

The Day We Woke Up Without Mouths
is the obvious mp3 post. It starts like one of Metric's numbers, uptempo and irresistable from the start, with inspired interplay between synth and electric guitar dancing around pedal points, layered over a dance beat. It's pop perfection, and it ascends into guitar rock bliss before ending.

Supplemental Love and Read Me A Story aren't as radio-friendly, but are just as enduring. They feature piano lines that have a melancholy creepiness straight out of a Tim Burton movie. Just before it lulls you to sleep, Read Me A Story transforms into a turbulent rock riot.

If the songs on their upcoming full-length are as good as the five songs on this EP., sign me up as a volunteer recruit.

The Clock Work Army mp3s:
The Day We Woke Up Without Mouths
Read Me A Story

Join the hordes. Own the EP.

A Real Video That Tells It Like It IS

Okay, so I know it's been awhile since Uncle Tom has posted anything on this site. Well, I've been busy alright! But I found this little video that puts into words all my emotional distress about how I miss eating out during lunch, how much mix CD's are no longer a part of my daily routine or even how great it was debating the best Batman movie (Batman Returns people!!)
But regardless, here is my contribution to the fluff. Uncle Tom miss you all and hopes to rock out again someday!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Raconteurs Do Bowie, Nancy Sinatra

Yes, I know, I just posted some live Raconteurs the other day.

These are different - two are irresistable covers. I just got them yesterday.

The Raconteurs, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor MI, 2006-08-05 (mp3s):

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) (Nancy Sinatra)
It Ain't Easy (David Bowie)

Own Broken Boy Soldiers.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stephanie Mckay Tells It.

If you can't get enough of that nu-soul sound, but you're dismayed by the small catalog of choices, you'll want to hear Bronx sensation Stephanie McKay Tell It Like It Is on her forthcoming EP. She has a message to put out there, and she sings it like she means it. Check out that bass line on the title track. Listen to the song once and it will own your right brain for half a day.

Stephanie McKay - Tell It like It Is (mp3)

These collaborations are just as priceless:

DJ Spinna - Peace and Quiet (Featuring Stephanie McKay) (mp3)

Roy Hargrove - Forget Regret (Featuring Stephanie McKay) (mp3)

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Hard Tomorrows

Washington, DC's The Hard Tomorrows have made four songs off of their fantastic six-song EP available here. These tracks are instantly likeable, yet enduring. The Hard Tomorrows achieve the trifecta: infectious pop melody, blood-stirring rhythm, and cold steel edge. I'm ready for the full-length.

The Hard Tomorrows mp3s:

Put Yourself Out
Dear Mary
I Never Write Anyone

Own the EP for a mere $6 including shipping. As the now-defunct Splendid put it,

This fresh-faced Washington, DC-based band has assembled a five song EP that showcases their depth and dynamic talent. Even their packaging (five interchangeable covers featuring simple depictions of tragedy) is on-point.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Raconteurs Live on KCRW

KCRW captured this performance from The Raconteurs, and played it on Morning Becomes Eclectic yesterday. They weren't plugged in, but they were still electric.

The Raconteurs - Live on Morning Becomes Eclectic (Broadcast 8-3-2006) (mp3s):

Broken Boy Soldier
Yellow Sun
Blue Veins

Own Broken Boy Soldiers.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Keep a Souvenir

Monk released the Jeux de Nuit EP this past weekend, and it begins with this manic-depressive tune, in which the band make bipolar = ear candy, even the depressing parts.

Monk - Souvenir (mp3)

You can get it on iTunes.

And from their Mountain album, which you can get here:

Monk - F Word, I Still Love You (mp3)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

All You Need are Two Fingers and Massive Beats.

If you only buy one CD next Tuesday, buy two: Winter Women and Holy Ghost Language School, the 2-disc set from the Fiery Furnaces' dude half, Matthew Friedberger. Take these two songs, about...I don't know, something about stockbrokers, a Portuguese widow, the Rifle Brigade with a famous one-armed Col, and the enterprising enlisted man, Little Bill Crib, and his Ladies of the Desert.

Right. Well, the important thing is, nobody, and I mean nobody, can make two adjacent piano keys sound as good as Friedberger can. Here's the school of thought: lay down some massive hemmorhaging beats, or an infectious bass line, and play something random on top of it. Be generous with that most primal form of dissonance - adjacent whole or half-notes. Garnish with some train-of-thought, and voila. Simultaneously Hitchcockian and groovy.

From Winter Women (mp3s):
Big Bill Crib and His Ladies of the Desert
Servant in Distress

From Holy Ghost Language School (mp3):
Azusa St.