Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This band, I've mentioned them before, really does blow my mind. They give me close to that new being-in-love feeling. Which I guess is what I mainly look for in a band, something I didn't realize until recently. My favorite all-time bands, Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, As Tall As Lions, and Animal Collective all renew feelings I felt back when I was 15 and 16, when I thought I knew who I'd spend the rest of my life with and when I thought everything was going to be perfect from then on. Anyone over 20 knows it doesn't work out like that. But everyone has felt that feeling at some point. It's a beautiful thing, and the only way those feelings can be manifested is through the graceful art of music. Shakespeare said "if music be the food of love, play on", and couldn't have been more right.
Nowadays, with a war raging on that no one is talking about, people starving all over the world and a planet being taken over by the mega-wealthy, music is the only escape we have. Whether it be comedic like Flight of the Conchords or heart-melting like As Tall As Lions, no music is "wrong", ever. No person's music taste is better than another's.
I mean think about it, we are a species that always falls back onto music. Does any other species dance, or move to rhythm, or react to melodies to the extent humans do, or at all?
Sometimes I really believe we were meant to just play music and learn to love through that music, and fuck all the rest. I mean, if we didn't know that we could have a warm house, a clean, soft bed, and deliciously unhealthy fast food, would we miss it? If all we had was music and our bodies, would we be better off? Video related.
- Break Blossom
- 96 Heartbeats
- The Carousel
- Why We Cry At Movies
- If I'm Not Out Burning
- My Glowing Morning Dreams
- A Ghost In Drag
- Blowing Out A Wish
- Goodnite, Noises Everywhere
Posted by Ryan at 12:09 AM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This is some pretty awesome spring music here. This band has released 2 other albums; At Rear House (2007), and How to Survive In-In the Woods (2007). They're last.fm profile describes them as an "acid/strange/psych folk rock band based out of Brooklyn, New York." I would also describe them as Lo-Fi, for sure, as the recording style is fuzzy and sounds like they are playing just for you, which is a great quality to have in these days of perfectly pristine production. I haven't heard the aforementioned other two records, but I can't wait to.
Favorite song so far: "Rain On". Put simply: this is a very, very pretty collection of songs.
Here is "The Number", another great track:
- To Clean
- The Hold
- The Number
- September With Pete
- Down This Road
- Military Madness
- Born To Lose
- Echo Lake
- Rain On
- Gypsy Hand
- Where And What Are You?
Posted by Ryan at 8:12 PM
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I really love this band. The singer, Dan Nigro, has one of the best voices I've heard. Their music is original, beautiful, lovely, and worth listening to (obviously). Each instrument is played to it's full potential. The drummer, Cliff Sarcona, is one of my favorites ever. He has a very unique style. Also, the bass lines are fucking hot. Julio Tavarez makes me want to turn up my sub woofer to full blast every song.
"505" is a great way to start this 5-song EP. The screams of "now I don't wanna be alone" get me every time.
The title track is full of energy. The guitar chords, drums, and bass all come together in explosively fast motion.
"We're the Ones That Keep You Warm at Night" just plain kicks ass. As do all of the songs on this EP.
"Breakers" is my fucking favorite. This song has a drum part that I'm obsessed with in the beginning, followed shortly by the best bass line I've heard in a long, long time. I need to see this song live. I ALWAYS turn it up. Also, Dan's voice is hauntingly beautiful when he sings:
If all alone it came to me
Now I'll surely believe
If all alone it came to me
My love, you'll see
The end jam on "Breakers" is insane, too.
"Blacked Out" is probably my least favorite on Into the Flood, but it's still kickass.
Here they are playing "Breakers" live. The sound quality is decent.
- Into the Flood
- We're the Ones That Keep You Warm at Night
- Blacked Out
Posted by Ryan at 10:32 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I'm positive everyone reading this has heard of Elliott Smith and has heard this album, so I'm just going to review it briefly and post it here fo free.
This is the second album recorded by Mr. Elliott Smith. I've posted some other entries about him as well. The self-titled album is a very dark and depressing one. It starts off with "Needle in the Hay". You may have heard this before as it was featured in the Wes Anderson-directed movie, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) in this scene, in which the character Richie Tenenbaum KILLS HIMSELF (or does he)? This is one of the best movies of all-time by the way.
It is the first song I've heard by Smith. The song's somber tone and Elliott's soft voice layered over the acoustic guitar make the song a truly special one.
The third song, "Clementine", has one of the best melodies on the album. Smith's voice in the song is soft, almost whispering, which is not surprising because it is how he sings on the entire album.
"Southern Belle", the fourth song, is also dark, but faster than NeedleHay (haha) and more forceful.
"Single File" is one of my favorite songs. He brings a distorted guitar into the song as well as his acoustic, and creates one of the best songs on the album.
"Satellite" stands apart from the rest of the songs. Smith compares lovers to satellites in a beautiful way.
"Alphabet Town" is another slow, grim song. It references Alphabet City in Manhattan. The song includes a harmonica which somehow makes it even more depressing.
Finally, my current favorite track on the album, "The Biggest Lie", has a foot tapping beat and makes me want to sing along with Elliott about the girl who broke is heart. It also has an almost-guitar solo in the middle that fits the song perfectly and hooks the listener right into Elliott's world.
- Needle in the Hay
- Christian Brothers
- Southern Belle
- Single File
- Coming Up Roses
- Alphabet Town
- St. Ides Heaven
- Good to Go
- The White Lady Loves You More
- The Biggest Lie
So help yourself to this bitter pill
Or somebody else will
Posted by Ryan at 5:33 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I've mentioned before that one of my favorite all-time bands is Death Cab for Cutie, so if you read this blog you're going to notice quite a few posts about their releases. This song is a cover originally by Superchunk, off their fourth album Foolish. The cover comes from a Merge Records compilation Score! 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers!, which features a million indie rock juggernauts (I just had to use that word). You can buy that from the Merge website here.
I don't know much about Superchunk, but this cover is infectious and a must-have for me personally and anyone who loves Death Cab and/or Ben Gibbard. Gibbard's vocals throughout the song and Walla's production at the end make this song so great. Click on the lyrics to get it.
I wish the nights were warm again this month, we could stay up all night.
Posted by Ryan at 11:28 PM
Monday, April 6, 2009
I wasn't much into Sigur Rós until I watched that Take Away show, so I need to catch up. This band has really amazed me so far. They have a true talent for capturing feelings and sharing those feelings through their music. Sæglópur is an EP released from the 2005 album Takk.... The title song, meaning "Lost at Sea", builds into an explosion of percussion and guitars as the piano chords keep the structure of the song in tact. It then subsides into a calming, beautiful melody. Hear for yourself:
The next song, Refur, is slow moving but really grew on me after the first listen. I just wish it were longer.
Ó friður, meaning "Oh Peace", is another truly gorgeous track; slow, but like Refur it grew on me after a few plays.
Get this 4 track EP. If you don't like it, you probably won't like Sigur Rós, but it's worth a try.
Get it here
Posted by Ryan at 9:49 PM
Friday, April 3, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
There's a lot I don't know about James Dewitt Yancey. But I do know this album full of hip hop instrumentals is more than just some dapper beats ready to be rapped over. James, or J Dilla, died just three days after Donut's release. He suffered from the incurable blood disease TTP and lupus. Many people believe the different tracks to have subtle meanings relating to his sickness. The blog No Trivia wrote a great series of reviews for all 31 songs off the album. Read those here.
Dilla has influenced such hip hop greats as Kanye West, Flying Lotus, The Roots, Common, Pharrell Williams, and many others. Donuts is a legendary must-have.
Posted by Ryan at 6:16 PM
Friday, March 27, 2009
The Take Away show is about music being performed at places other than the usual venues. They invite artists to perform their songs in parks, diners, streets, and even elevators. In their own words:
"Every week, we invite an artist or a band to play in the streets, in a bar, a park, or even in a flat or in an elevator, and we film the whole session. Of course, what makes the beauty of it is all the little incidents, hesitations, and crazy stuff happening unexpectingly. Besides, we do not edit the videos so they look perfectly flawless, instead we keep the raw sound of the surroundings. Our goal is to try and capture instants, film the music just like it happens, without preparation, without tricks. Spontaneity is the keyword."
One of their more recent episodes consists of Sigur Rós playing their almost-title track Við Spilum Endalaust from their latest album, Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust. Read the story behind the episode here. It is a beautiful performace, one that can give you goosebumps if you let it take you away, pun intended.
I know no one reading this can speak Icelandic, but regardless of what the lyrics are, this is a must see for anyone who loves music.
More from Sigur Rós later.
Posted by Ryan at 12:21 AM
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I've been pretty busy because I'm on break right now, but I'll be posting more soon. In the meantime enjoy this beautiful song by Death Cab for Cutie from their Open Door EP, via Stereogum.
My Mirror Speaks by Death Cab for Cutie
I'll review this EP after its digital release.
Posted by Ryan at 2:14 PM
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Musically, this man is unbelievable. The number one release for me in '08 was Kid Cudi's mixtape. From start to finish, it puts a talented hip hop force on display. You may have heard of him because he is featured in the spectacular song "Welcome to Heartbreak" by Kanye West off 808's and Heartbreak. Cudi makes me even more proud to be from Cleveland. He currently resides in Brooklyn, but he gives more than a few shoutouts to his hometown. So musically, he's got it going on.
But recently, he's been creating way too much drama. It seems like this instant success has gotten to his head already. Hopefully it doesn't affect his music.
A few days ago (March 16th), he posted this blog, in which he declared he was not going to make any more music after the release of his debut LP this summer. Then, after being dramatically late to his show at South by Southwest in Austin, he stated that he was not going to retire and that he was here to stay, as you can see in this video:
I lost some respect for him after all that nonsense... But there's no denying the man is a fucking talent. The mixtape blows my mind during every listen. "Man On the Moon (The Anthem)" and "The Prayer" are two hip hop treasures. This is a must have.
Click on the lyrics to download the mixtape.
Make my words important so if I slip away, if I die today the last thing you remember won't be about some apple bottom jeans with the boots with the fur.
Posted by Ryan at 3:18 AM
Friday, March 20, 2009
Let me start by saying Death Cab for Cutie is my all-time favorite band. I can not get enough of Ben Gibbard's sweet voice and deep, elegant, gorgeous lyrics and songwriting.
I've been searching for a lot of Elliott Smith lately, and I'm coming across some musical gems while I'm at it. I stumbled upon this cover of "Say Yes" performed by Death Cab for Cutie the day after Elliott died. It is obvious from this performance that Elliott's songs had a deep impact on Ben Gibbard's life. He is clearly choked up at the end when trying to think of the words to commemorate Elliott. This mp3 captures a beautiful yet heartbreaking moment.
Death Cab for Cutie-- Blacking Out the Friction/Say Yes 10-22-03
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Realeased in 1970 by George Harrison off the triple album All Things Must Pass, this song is a truly beautiful piece and something I had to share on here.
This is a cover done by one of my favorite artists, the late Elliott Smith. Enjoy.
This is a cover done by one of my favorite artists, the late Elliott Smith. Enjoy.
Posted by Ryan at 11:36 AM
OH YES. OH HELL YES. Ten track from my favorite video game of all time (Zelda: Ocarina of Time), mashed up with various hip hop songs. This is so hot. Artists featured on this mixtape:
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
MF Doom (recently changed to just DOOM)
Pimp C, Li'l Keke & P.O.P.
Slim Thug & Mike Jones
This is a must-have. Period.
More good music coming!
Posted by Ryan at 1:24 AM
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This is an EP by Kría Brekkan (Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir) from Iceland. She was a part of múm, and she has appeared on Mice Parade tracks and Animal Collective's Feels. This is definitely not for everyone, but I like it. The soft texture of the music combined with her high, childlike voice creates a very different atmosphere that I'm not used to. It reminds me of early Animal Collective. So I guess her and Avey Tare are a perfect match (they're married). Most of this album is creepy and distant, but there are a few tracks that stand out.
The second song, Girafeel, features heavily distorted vocal effects along with the picking of a zither. It is relaxing and brings the listener out of this world and into another, happier place.
Giddy Walks Through Sand Without Skin On, as the name suggests, is the creepiest song on the album.
Biboni, the album's longest song at 2:54, is probably the most accessible track. The song sounds as if its being played using an old record player. Soft piano lines dance in and out creating a pretty melody.
Solush becomes more likable with every listen, as Kría sings over a lovely piano chord for a minute 28.
Armor, the closing track, is another favorite. Electronic textures and a plucked banjo lightly bring you back into the world and set you on your feet.
Again, this type of music is not for most people, but if you enjoy early AC (Campfire Songs, Here Comes the Indian), then you will enjoy this swift, melodic journey.
Possibly maybe her official Myspace page
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Hmm... What's the deal with this guy? He's telling the truth about rap? He's being real? Unheard of. This guy is a true rapper from DC. And he's about to essplode. Not only is he a fresh, exciting young rapper, he's also a fan of the best show of all time, Seinfeld. The show clearly inspired this mixtape (look at the picture), which features clips from the show throughout most of the songs and also a cameo appearance by one of the stars of the show... WHO COULD IT BE? Find out by downloading this mixtape. Current favorite song off it: The Vacation from Ourselves, which begins with a dialogue between George and Jerry:
Jerry: "You said this would be better! Remember? A vacation from ourselves! That's what you said! I'm sorry, you gotta get a job!"
From this scene:
Get ready for this guy. This single, Nike Boots, is a good start.
The Mixtape About Nothing!
EDIT: According to his website he's releasing his debut album's title on Monday and the first single off it on Friday!
Posted by Ryan at 2:00 AM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This is a complete genius take on Kanye West's Touch the Sky, remixed by DJ STV SLV over at The Hood Internet, mashed up with Cage & Aviary's Television Train. If you haven't visited thehoodinternet.com, go now. STV SLV and ABX are the best mashup artists, period. Far better than Gregg Gillis (Girl Talk) in my opinion. I highly recommend The Mixtape Volume Three and The Hood Internet vs Chicago. Its all free!
Posted by Ryan at 11:25 PM
THIS is a must-have for anyone who enjoys electronic, ambient music such as Air. Its an exciting listen; fun and pretty. Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge really know what they're doing. They make up the band which has released two albums before this one, Melody A.M. and The Understanding. If you enjoy Moby, Air, Goldfrapp, or Zero 7 then you will love these guys.
Happy Up Here is one of the funnest songs I've heard in a long time. Its going on my party playlist right NOW.
The next song, The Girl and the Robot, is just as good. Its techno roots are strong here. Near the end of the song it explodes using violins, synths, and who the hell knows what else.
Another definite high point is Silver Cruiser. Its slower than the previous two I mentioned, but its a truly beautiful piece, reminding me more of Air than any other song from Junior. It slowly builds and then fades with about a minute left into a heart-wrenching orchestra.
I love this album.
Happy Up Here. Enjoy.
Posted by Ryan at 10:42 PM
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Wow. Words can not describe how much inspiration and beauty flow out of my speakers when Flying Lotus is on. I absolutely loved his 2008 album Los Angeles. Anything he touches seems to turn to gold, and this 2 hour mix he made for BBC Radio is no exception. Actually, it is my favorite release from this artist (though I haven't heard 1983yet, his debut LP. I will be buying that tonight, though. Any fan of experimental electronics, and especially fans of anything by Richard James (Aphex Twin), needs to listen to this. I am currently working on uploading it, and I will put the link on here once it finishes.
EDIT: Here it is!
Posted by Ryan at 7:53 PM
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I've listened to this once through so far and it hasn't been anything memorable. Owen Pallett is no doubt an extremely talented person, yet this E.P. I found very boring. I haven't listened to much Final Fantasy in the past but I liked most of what I've heard. The one standout track to me on this album is the last one, "The Ballad of No-Face". It's a fun song and a good listen, but I wouldn't recommend this E.P. unless you are a devoted fan of Pallett.
Posted by Ryan at 1:58 AM
I really like this song by Ratatat off their 2008 release LP3. However, I am posting it on here not because of "Mirando" but because of the remix by Animal Collective. AC is one of my favorite bands of all time, and their remix here reminds me why. Everyone should hear this at least once, music lover or not.
Posted by Ryan at 1:26 AM
I didn't get my hopes up too much upon hearing of this album. I loved Handsome Furs' Plague Park, yet after I heard the first single off the new album Face Control, "I'm Confused", I wasn't as excited for the follow up. I'm Confused is a mediocre dance song but it didn't arouse any emotions in me or inspire me, as much of Plague Park did.
I have now listened to the album once through, and I can't wait to listen again. Handsome Furs are back with their beautiful electronic beats and smooth melodies, and better than ever.
Legal Tender is a tense, dramatic song in the verses, and a beautifully melodic song in the chorus, as if you're in a ship at sea getting tossed to and fro and the chorus is the sun coming out and the waters clearing and providing new hope.
(Passport Control) is an in your face pounding of electronic beats, something any drummer will appreciate. The song then leads into
All We Want Baby, Is Everything. Great title, because it is very true. Humans by nature want, everything. This song is a showcase of great lyrics and beautiful guitar pickings. Enjoy this song, let it fill you up and become part of you.
(White City), though only 1 minute 29 in length, is my favorite so far. It shows you something that only Handsome Furs can pull off, their ability to construct such perfect melodies using electronics and electric guitars.
Handsome Furs are emerging as one of the most successfully creative (a lot of bands are creative, but few pull off such inspiring tunes) bands of our time. Enjoy this.
Posted by Ryan at 12:58 AM