Friday, September 29, 2006

M. Ward, Two Songs, Live on KCRW, 9-28-2006

The bad news is that my stream cut off after the first two songs that M. Ward played in the KCRW studio yesterday. The good news is that those first two songs are below. Of course, you can still listen to the rest of the performance on KCRW. AND you can get some great M. Ward rarities here.

M. Ward (Live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, 9-28-2006)(mp3s):

Chinese Translation

We still have his in-studio performance at Minnesota Public Radio's The Current here.

UPDATE: Muzzle of Bees has the rest of the performance. They don't have "Post-War" yet, though, so it's kinda like we complete each other.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bobby Bare, Jr.'s 11 Hour Stunt

Since I mentioned Bobby Bare, Jr. yesterday...

Have you heard his latest, The Longest Meow? Criminally good.

11 members, including My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Patrick Hallahan and Carl Broemel, 11 songs, all in 11 hours. It seems almost planned, and seems to beg for a Spinal Tap reference, but I'll spare you. The album sprawls stylistically, which, in this case, makes for an engaging, unexpected experience. It plays like a really good live in-studio mixtape.

Check out Sticky Chemical (mp3), which is Sha Na Na playfulness, without crossing the line into silliness.

And then there's his acoustic treatment of the Pixies' Where Is My Mind? (mp3), which comes across as a folk tale.

Help a starving criminal. Own Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals Starvation League's The Longest Meow.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quincy Coleman - Live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic (9-26-2006)

This has been a phenomenal year for in-studio performances - Grizzly Bear, Cat Power, the Bobby Bares, Art Brut, M. Ward, The Coup...the list goes on.

This performance is right up there among the best of them. If there's justice in this world, Quincy Coleman just sold an assload of records after her set at the KCRW studio. She fuses country, jazz, blues, doo-wop, rock, ragtime, handclaps, and much, much more, seamlessly and proficiently. She's not your everyday average Norah Jones-wannabe, though--there are surprises and delights around every bend, especially the spicy guitar and brass solos. Improv heaven.

Quincy Coleman - Live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic (9-26-2006)(mp3s):

This Time
Calling Your Name
Never Happy
Don't Go Away
Blown Away
Want Me Back

After seeing her photos, you might want to check out the video (.ram) of this performance.

Support justice. Own Quincy Coleman's independently released Come Closer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Decemberists, Live on KCRW, 9-25-2006

Curious about The Crane Wife, the Decemberists' debut on Capitol, out next week? The band played four songs in 30 minutes (you do the math) in the KCRW studio yesterday; three were from the new CD. Worry not: they still know how to touch a nerve.

Decemberists, Live on KCRW, 9-25-2006 (mp3s):

O Valencia
The Island
The Perfect Crime 2
Crane Wife 1 & 2

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I was up late last night listening to the engaging new Guther album, Sundet. It's a fantastic emotional journey. The songwriting inveighs at one moment, and confesses in the next, but the music is always clean and patient, seeming to seek absolution through pop melody. The best thing about it, though, is that smoky hypnotic voice.

Guther - Statements (mp3)
Guther - Trick or Treat (mp3)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Annuals - "Ida, My" (Live at Sin-e, NYC) (YouTube)

The Prefixmag Blog posted this vid from a recent Annuals performance.


Serena- Maneesh, live on KEXP, 9-19-2006

Norwegian rockers Serena-Maneesh played four songs on KEXP yesterday, before their show with those manic Evangelicals last night. I wish I were in Seattle.

Serena-Maneesh (Live on KEXP, 9-19-2006)(mp3s):

Chorale Lick
Sapphire Eyes
Selina's Melodie Fountain/Beehiver II

Own their self-titled album.


Check out this vid, just posted on YouTube:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Polyphonic (not spree)

Polyphonic the Verbose isn't as talkative as the name implies on Abstract Data Ark. Some of the tracks are experimental instrumentals, psychedelic hip hop blended with jazz, reggae, and electronica. When the verbage does flow, it dazzles.

Land Rovers in the Video (mp3) works for several reasons, among them:

1. The spaced-out intro.
2. Clever use of the phrase "doo-doo head dummies."
3. The flute. The guitar.
4. The fact that this is a political rap song with a spaced-out intro, flute and the phrase "doo-doo head dummies."

Spin the Globe (mp3) is Nintendo rap, with well-placed bleeps, but more impressively, perfectly placed pauses.

The subliminal Moving On (mp3) has all of the above, minus the "doo-doo head..." and is the best track on the disc.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cibelle, live on The Current, 9-14-2006

Cibelle played 3 songs on Minnesota Public Radio's The Current last week. I hoped that she would perform stripped down, straight bossa versions of her selections. She didn't. After listening to these songs, I'm confident that you'll be as happy as I am with her decision to keep it modern. I was blown away by them.

Cibelle - Live on MPR's The Current, 9-14-2006 (mp3s):

London, London
Minha Nequinnha
Naite de Carnival

Own The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves.

Mountain Goats @ Amoeba, & Interviewed by A.C. Newman; Cat Power's Lived in Bars vid

From the Beggars YouTube Channel:

Even better: the video for Cat Power's Lived in Bars. Amazing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Grizzly Bear !! Live KEXP 9-14-2006

Grizzly Bear played a live in-studio set for KEXP yesterday, and it will floor you. I've been waiting impatiently all week for this set, and I knew they wouldn't disappoint. I think that my contemporaries would agree that these live mp3s are the kind of stuff that you would save to put up as your last post.

I'll keep them in mind for a re-post when that time comes. The Smudge has a long way to go.

Grizzly Bear (Live KEXP (recorded in NY) 9-14-2006) (mp3s):

On A Neck, On A Spit

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Annuals Bloom This October

The Annuals are sexy (see the pics on their myspace), but don't let that fool you. This band is all substance. Their debut, Be He Me, is packed with powerful, dynamic music, and is a must-buy on October 17th on Ace Fu.

Oh, and don't listen to these tracks yet.

To be fully amazed, don your best set of headphones first. These are not meant for A.M. radio. At times, they want to burrow and weave into and out of your subconscious, they want to engulf you, they want to pummel you, sometimes all in the same three minutes. But for them to be effective, you'll have to be able to hear everything.

1. Brother (mp3)
Crickets, fingerpicked acoustic guitar, violin, hushed vocals, something buzzing: this is campfire music, a lullaby. Then the song slips into a dream. Strange noises and spaceship sounds lead into anthemic electric chords. It's an intergalactic arena rock dream. And then it wakes up again, rain falling on the leaves.

2. Dry Clothes (mp3)
Dry Clothes kicks off with...R2D2(?), who shuts up and lets the song stray into acoustic arpeggios, violin pulses, and classic rock vocal harmonizing. And then the electric guitar hook that could be straight out of Dan "the Destroyer" Bejar's catalogue. A piano wanders in, pulling the reins on the tempo, and the same line repeats.

3. Bleary Eyed (mp3)
Bleary Eyed is more straightforward, vocally forceful, percussion-fueled, its harmonies influenced by the classics. You can drive to this one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Because it's there.

Ladytron - Sugar (Jagz Kooner Mix) (mp3)

Cat Power, Live KCRW 9-12-2006

Enjoying yesterday's essential new releases? Good. Here's a CD's worth of essential music to add to what you already bought. KCRW recorded a live performance and interview by Cat Power and aired it yesterday on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Cat Power (Live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic - aired 9-12-2006) (mp3s):

The Greatest
Wild Is The Wind
Remember Me
Ramblin' Man
Good Woman
Love & Communication
House Of The Rising Sun
I Don't Blame You

Listen to the show, with interview, here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

M. Ward, live at MPR, 9-5-2006

So much indie pop & rock sounds temporary and faddish. Most of what you listen to today will probably start gathering dust after December. M. Ward's Post-War won't be one of them. It's one of the highlights of the summer, and has a timeless feel. If the new Dylan CD finds its way into your regular rotation time and again, I'll bet Post-War gets as many plays. Here are some gorgeous live tracks to add to the rotation:

M. Ward - Live in Minnesota Public Radio's The Current studio (9-5-2006)(mp3s):

Eyes on the Prize
Today's Undertaking
Magic Trick

Friday, September 08, 2006

Scarlett looks best in Dylan

More Modern Bossa by Marisa

Hello, Smudge? I think you are so hot. I want you to do a post on me.

I listened to Marisa Monte's Universo ao Meu Redor all day yesterday, and I plan on doing the same today. It's one of my favorite CDs of this year. Marisa has the perfect voice for bossa nova, and though this album is tinted with electronic effects to give it a modern feel, the power and sexiness of the old form comes through, as you'll hear in O Bonde do Dom, in the interplay between voice and cello. Statue of Liberty is not as sexy, but it's great fun, and David Byrne sings on it.

Marisa Monte - O Bonde do Dom (mp3)
Marisa Monte - Statue of Liberty (with David Byrne) (mp3)

Own it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Panda & Angel, Live KEXP 9-5-2006

Panda & Angel, whose song Mexico was recently featured on Said the Gramophone, played four songs in the KEXP studio on Tuesday. These are ethereal in one moment, visceral the next, and all sweetly imperfect.

Panda & Angel, Live KEXP 9-5-2006 (mp3s):

A Thousand Whispers
Ohio December 24
Bonus Song

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Get Riche

Philly's Nouveau Riche's debut EP has been described as a "lo-fi, trippy, dub-rock-hop thing, poppy and piano-filled, buzzing and super fragmented — like a fuzz-tone, hip-hop version of Bowie's Low. Or a Just Blaze mix of a Psychedelic Furs record." Bandmember Dice R.A.W. (also of the Roots) describes their music as "a new genre that's yet to be named. We're taking a whole bunch of different forms of music and people and meshing them together. It's hip-hop's son. If hip-hop, funk, early-'80s synthesizer-if all those motherfuckers had an orgy, that's what this shit would be."

Hip Hop's son. I really don't know how to put it any better.

It's not as crazy as you think, though--it's less a weird demon-child of genres than it is a perfectly balanced baby. It's as though someone took the best genes from three genres, incubated & hatched it. It goes down easy. The baby sounds damn good.

Nouveau Riche mp3s:

Just a Little Louder
Take Me Home
Wait a Minute

Own the 12-song EP.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Friday, September 01, 2006

heavy-weight super-tough deep-funk ultra-rarities

Larry Ellis and the Black Hammer know how to start a funk song: with a screaming wake-up call. And since their Funky Thing is track 1, Will "Quantic" knows how to start a compilation titled World's Rarest Funk 45's (Sixteen heavy-weight super-tough deep-funk ultra-rarities). And you know the rest of it is going to be glowing hot.

Larry Ellis and the Black Hammer - Funky Thing (Pt. 1) (mp3)
The Shades of Black - Mystery of Black (Pt. 1) (mp3)