Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Best Tracks He Downloaded Legally

I know I turn into a "Nothing But Green Lights" fanboy as of late, but this is blog is so good, I need to link to it. Mike will solely talk about music that's really important to him, he won't shill you the next big thing, to get some traffic.

Mike made a great great mix of the 19 best tracks he legally downloaded over the last six months. And it's awesome, yeah, really awesome.
Gems and gems and gems. Jamie Radford, Voxtrot, Herman Dune, Tigs, Beirut, Sky Larkin, Rose Kemp, The Harvey Girls, Prototypes, Victor Scott, Husky Rescue, one thing better than the other.

This is great, and most of all, it showcases how much great music out there is legally available for free. You just have to look for it.

I need to write about some of these artists (right now I'm quite obsessed with Rose Kemp & Jamie Radford), but for now get that mix, and enjoy it, while it's up.

Head over to Nothing But Green Lights & Download it now.
And say thanks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Fiery Furnaces

I've never been a fan of the Fiery Furnaces. Yes I do like experimental music, but in my inner heart I'm still a lover of a straightforward beautiful popsong, shining melodies I can sing along to. Yeah, sounds like Top 40 radio, but that's not what I mean.

I read one hell of a great review on FF Blueberry Boat, when it came out a couple of years ago, shortly listened to the record, and put it back in the shelves. They didn't get me in that short moment. The record didn't grab me, I was really put off by all these strange sounds, when I stood in the record store, listening to a record for the first time. It didn't grab me then, and I never went back to the FF since.

So a couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a (wonderful) acoustic session FF performed at KEXP from goodhodgkins. Nothing was like it was before.
These short acoustically performed songs were gems, they were beautiful popsongs, grabbing hold of your hand, pulling you in. I was totally in love with that session.
And starting from that session I started to listen to the actual albums of the Furnaces. Two songs from that session totally grabbed hold of me: "Teach Me Sweetheart" and "I'm Waiting To Know You", both songs of the new Fiery Furnaces record "Bitter Tea".
FF studio records sound very complex, using all kind of distortions and "irksome warblings" (I love that phrase, taken from a Cokemachineglow review ;-) ) . But if you listen to the acoustic session, with only Matthew Friedbergers acoustic guitar and Eleanor Friedberger's vocals, you'll realize these are simple, catchy popsongs. And beautiful at that.

Head over to Goodhodgkins and listen to FF acoustic on KEXP.

And I needed just these simple versions of the songs as a starting point to experience the Fiery Furnaces studio records. I just bought their latest record "Bitter Tea" a couple of days ago, and I absolutely adore that record now. These are simple, beautiful songs, sometimes hidden beneath strange distortions, but they never go too far, they always come back to you, and heartily sing another catchy melody in your ears (before storming away again, more noise to come). But you always know, they'll be back...
And here they are.

After listening to one acoustic session, I'm close to buying Fiery Furnaces whole discography, so thank you KEXP, thank you Goodhodgkins.

Legal downloads (from Fatpossum).

Benton Harbor Blues (again)
Nevers
Waiting To Know You

Buy the record.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Arcade Fire Ready New Album

Oh Yeah!

from Arcade Fire's official homepage.

"Just letting you know that things are going very well here in the studio. We have maybe 15 songs with little bits left to record and a few more we want to get to tape. We are going to try and record a couple of songs in me and Regine's living room, because the drums sound so great in there...Feeling excited and inspired, learning to play all these new instruments...Well mostly Regine to be honest! It's gonna be really interesting how we're going to fit all of these new sounds in a tour bus."

"This week we are recording a huge fucking pipe organ on 2 songs...what an incredible sound!"

"Owen is coming here to record with us in early July. There is talk of recording a few songs with a full orchestra in Budapest...The next couple of weeks we will be pulling our hair out."

This sound really promising. I dearly hope that album gets finished over the summer, and we get an late 2006, early 2007 release. But at the same time, I'm really scared of this album. The really need to deliver a classic record after the mindblowing "Funeral". How can you top such a record? I know they'll do it.

I know all of you already have Funeral in your shelves, but if for some strange reason you do not have it, here are some legal downloads from it.

and here is one great video to Arcade Fire's Laika

Sky Larkin - Somersault (Notes!)


Thanks for introducing me this absolutely amazing band to the always reliable Nothing But Green Lights.

Sky Larkin are Katie (vox, guitar), Lindsay (bass) and Nestor (drums).
They're from Leeds, UK and are still unsigned.

And I have no idea why, as this is one of the best, freshest new bands I've heard in quite a while. Somersault (notes!) (mp3) might very well be their best song. It leaps forward, and the first thing you'll do is push the volume control up to the limits.

Nestor's pounding drums carrys this song forward, you can't help to sing/scream along to Katie's frantic vocals. And every band with a female bassplayer gets 100 bonuspoints (at least ;) )

This is absolutely fantastic, it's charming, it's addictive. I urge you to listen to this song, to this band. Please listen to all songs on their myspace, download them, put them on your iPod or burn them on a CD, listen to them everwhere you go, everywhere you drive to. You'll feel better, you'll smile, you'll sing along. I promise you that.

Somehow needs to use his brain, and immediately sign this band. They need to be huge.

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Wake up, you sleepyhead! You can sleep when you are dead!"

"Wake up, you sleepyhead! You can sleep when you are dead!"

Oh my. this is so fun. or annoying. i guess depending on your mood and the amount of drugs you've taken.

But I can't avoid to hum to this tune every damn morning since I saw this clip a few days ago.
I'm sorry I shared this with you. you'll hate me for it (or hum along as well).


And....
(This blog is in no way affiliated with Folgers. I advise you not to buy any products of said brand because
of this blog post. thanks)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Weekly Blog Sampler

I love the weekly blog round-ups some blogs regularly do (Largehearted Boy, Mocking Music, etc.) I subscribe to dozens of blogs with my RSS reader and still miss so many great postings every week.

I'd missed a lot of music if I didn't read those weekly round-ups. And that's the reason I wanted to do one as well. Maybe this can be helpful to some readers. I'll try to do one of those every Sunday.

1. This blog covers the setlists of every single Radiohead concert this summer, and has the complete sets from Bonnaroo, Philadelphia, Copenhagen and London for download.

2. My Old Kentucky Blog brings you several live covers by Elliott Smith.

3. Largehearted boy has "No Children" sung by the Mountain Goats' fans.

There are rare moments at live shows where music fans experience a truly magical moment. Last week, the Mountain Goats swung through California, and John Darnielle's voice was feeling the effects of illness. Truly inspired, he decided to rest his voice and let the audience sing "No Children" from Tallahassee, and the crowd erupted into an indie choir. Though I didn't attend the show (last Tuesday in San Francisco), the recording alone gave me goosebumps.

4. Kwaya Na Kisser shares a Mix of songs full of unrequited love
and revisits the protest song. They also shared a great recording of a 1989' Bob Dylan concert.

5. So Much Silence shares radio performances by Cold War Kids and Birdmonster.

6. I Guess I'm Floating presents an unbelievable mix of his favourite 50 tunes this year and rants about Pitchfork.

7. Bows + Arrows shares its summer playlist.

8. Musicisart is one of the best new blogs there is, and always shares wonderful music, visual art and poetry. A must see, listen and feel.

9. Everyone's favourite new artist Beirut shares some songs in one more amazing "Said The Guests" Feature over at Said The Gramophone.

10. Motel de Moka shares yet another amazing playlist as they always do: Distant Sounds Of Summer III

11. "The Rich Girls Are Weeping" deliver a couple of fantastic remixes.

and finally, hands down the post of the week:

12. Marathonpacks invites guest author Chilly Jay Chill to talk about Free Jazz.

Josh Ritter - Girl In The War

Josh Ritter put out one of the finest records of this year, but the buzz was on others.
Yeah, it's pretty hard to make an impact being "yet another songwriter", but Josh Ritter's voice deserves to be heard.

"Girl In The War" opens the album, and it's one of this years' most captivating songs. It's a political song - an anti-war song, with fascinating lyrics.

Unlike other straightforward protest songs it presents its notion in a more subtle way, presenting its message in the form of a conversation between two characters. One of them being separated by his girl who left for war. This voice seems to let go, with barely any hope left.

"Because the keys to the kingdom got locked inside the kingdom
And the angels fly around in there, but we can't see them
And I gotta girl in the war, Paul I know that they can hear me yell
If they can't find a way to help, they can go to Hell
If they can't find a way to help her, they can go to Hell"

He's confronted by another voice, begging him not to give in: "You gotta rock yourself a little harder; Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire"

It's as much a song about the casualties of war, as it is a story about personal separation. The narrator ends the song remembering his love, idealizing her. But it seem to me his eyes are raining as well, but with tears, not champagne.

"But I gotta girl in the war, Paul her eyes are like champagne
They sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain
Sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain
They sparkle, bubble over, in the morning all you got is rain"

Josh Ritter - Girl In The War (Myspace Download) (read more) (buy)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Herman Dune - Suburbs with you

It's summer right now. and when I'm not sitting at a computer, writing my diploma thesis or writing my blog, I'm out. having fun. (thankfully I don't have to watch the world cup in front of the tv set, there are a couple of outdoor events in town).

and this video reminds me of summer. it's light. it's silly. it's cheerful. it's full of smiles and airbubbles and green grass. yeah. smiles. beautiful smiles like this:


and the song is wonderful too, those handclaps. do i love handclaps! you can download it from the band's website.

Herman Dune - Suburbs With You

watch the video, and most importantly, smile!

Pitchfork 100 Awesome Videos

This one song a day feature I was going for really is to restrictive for my tastes. I want to post random links if I want to. I want to give you clips straight from the tube. I want to post pics from shows I went to.
Or like earlier today, I want to link to amazing posts I find in the blog-o-sphere (or the whole internet for that matter) whenever I want to.
I like this bloggin' thing very much. so expect kind words about great songs I listen to, but also expect everything else, or nothing.

Just expect every post to be about something I care about. I won't post a song "I kinda like". Or post a song of some mediocre band that mailed me their promo CD or added me at Myspace.
I want to make this blog as spontaneous as possible, on some days I won't feel inspired at all, or won't have material for the blog, on other days I might post 4 times a day. Just the way it fits.
And my native language is German, so expect lots of grammatical mistakes and typos. But I need to write in English more often, and the blog is a great way to do that.

Now something completely different.
Sometimes I hate Pitchfork. Sometimes I don't.
And this is great:

Pitchfork Presents: 100 Awesome Music Videos

And you know it's The Fork, when you get A-ha, The Decemberists, Björk, Boards of Canada, random Hip Hop & David Hasselhoff all on the same list. oh my.
Lots of guilty pleasures (Girls just wanna have fun!?), but also lots of really great videos (in an artistic sense - e.g. Sigur Rós) .

And the best of all that: you can stream all of those videos directly from youtube. so rush over there, before some record company decides to pull some of those videos from the tube.

Yeah, I'll say it. Youtube is probably the greatest thing ever.


If you don't like my new layout, don't be shocked. as this blog is still in its infant stages I'll probably change the template a couple of times before I decide which way I want to go. I'm not really sure yet.

Mountain Goats - No Children

Another reason to absolutely adore the wonderful Largehearted Boy.

I can't really say it any better than the boy so let's do some linking.

There are rare moments at live shows where music fans experience a truly magical moment. Last week, the Mountain Goats swung through California, and John Darnielle's voice was feeling the effects of illness. Truly inspired, he decided to rest his voice and let the audience sing "No Children" from Tallahassee, and the crowd erupted into an indie choir. Though I didn't attend the show (last Tuesday in San Francisco), the recording alone gave me goosebumps.

Mountain Goats: "No Children (live)" [mp3]

This is really unbelievable. Tearjerking. Wonderful. Fantastic. It sounds almost as cheerful as I'm From Barcelona's song I posted yesterday. But the lyrics reveal that it's not your classic ice-cream lickin', singing-along song. it's really not.

The song's original version appears on the album Tallahassee, which you can buy here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona

Oh my. I can't stop. youtube is so fun.

anyway. that's the most cheerful thing i've seen in quite a while.
kind of quirky, but you will start singin' along in the middle of this song, put on some flip-flops, leave the house and buy some icecream. I
promise you that.

Sing-A-Long:
Nanananananananananana Nanana

Na Na Na Na Na

Nanananananananananana Nanana

Na Na Na Na Na

Na Na Na Na Naaa

Na Na Na Na Naaa Na Na Na Na

Na Na Na Na Naaa

Na Na Na Naa Naaa Na Na Na Na

I'm gonna sing this song
with all of my friends
And we're all from Barcelona
Love is a feeling
that we don't understand
But we're gonna give it to you
We´ll aim for the stars
We´ll aim for your heart
when the night comes
And we'll bring you love
You'll be one of us
when the night comes

Nanananananananananana Nanana

Na Na Na Na Na

Nanananananananananana Nanana

Na Na Na Na Na

I'm gonna sing this song
with all of my friends
And we're all from Barcelona
Love is a feeling
that we don't understand
But we're gonna give it to you
We´ll aim for the stars
We´ll aim for your heart
when the night comes
And we'll bring you love
You'll be one of us
when the night comes
We´ll aim for the stars
We´ll aim for your heart
when the night comes
And we'll bring you love
You'll be one of us
when the night comes

Nanananananananananana Nanana

Na Na Na Na Na

Nanananananananananana Nanana

Na Na Na Na Na

Na Na Na Na Naaa

Na Na Na Na Naaa

Na Na Na Na Naaa

Na Na Na Na Naaa

The Big Picture Live In Seattle

Everyone who knows me, can tell that I absolutely adore the music of Bright Eyes.

I've seen Conor Oberst in a huge venue in front of 2000 fans in Munich last year. I enjoyed the show, but the intimacy I've felt while listening to his records was sorely lacking in this crowded
place.

In this video Conor plays "The
big picture" alone with his acoustic guitar.

When I see this video it reminds me how beautiful and intense Conor's songs sound. Solely with an acoustic guitar I'm left in awe. I don't care if it's still cool to like Bright Eyes in the blog-o-sphere, but no other singer can captivate me and touch me like Conor Oberst can.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Quiz

Hello Saferide - The Quiz (download from Myspace) (buy) (read more)

Ah. what a charming pop song this is.
sometimes that's all you really need.

and really, is there a better sentence to sum up longing, to sum up love.

"and if I fall would you pick me up?"
what's your answer to this question?

Gone

This is an MP3 blog. probably MP3 blog #34617.
so why should you care?

I'm planning to post one song I adore every day. simple as that.

Could be the hottest band in town right now, could be some obscure song by a friend of mine.
could be a sad acoustic song like today, or the The Knife remix I'm diggin'

And yes, I want to start this blog with an obscure song by a good friend of mine sung in an obscure Austrian dialect (Vorarlberg). Yeah, really.

Wildwaexl - Hem(expired)
It's a silent song, slowly progressing.
a calming acoustic guitar pattern starts the song followed by Hubert's sad voice.
"Look what he's doing. He arrived a couple of years ago and tomorrow he'll be gone."
he declares before Ruth's beautiful violin joins in. I shudder everytime I hear her playing the violin.

I always think of her when I listen to Bright Eyes' Song: "Going For The Gold".

"I know a girl who cries when she practices violin
cause each note sounds so pure
it just cuts into her
and then the melody comes pouring out her eyes"

that's how the violin feels for me in this song. it's sad, it's pure, it's beautiful, it's perfect.