cold cave – death comes close
listening to this with my roommate, she asked me “is this electro?” and i said, “no, this is new wave” and then next song corrected myself – “well this is kind of electro”. truth is, i was wrong both times. cold cave sways between heady, bleached out melody and something more aggressive – it can’t easily be categorized. whatever bucket you put them in, they’re creating songs that deserve to challenge you.
julian casablancas – phrazes for the young
with such a distinctive voice it’s hard to listen to casablancas without making straight up comparisons to the good times that were the strokes albums, but phrazes for the young is a different beast. reviews for this album have been pretty acerbic, but when he’s good he’s very very good; “out of the blue” and “river of brakelights” are both beauties and once you let “glass” warm up you’re going to be happy you gave this the chance to grow on you.
bricolage – bricolage
there’s seems to be a pattern in scottish music which has veins part bitter and part raucous. this glaswegian band has created an album of poppy goodness that every once and a while bites back. i’m trying to avoid using sour patch kids as a reference…
the big pink – a history of love
with vocals that swoon and swell with shards of guitar and drums, this album is a sonic gem. by far one of my favorites of the year, a history of love lives up to its bravado.
patti smith – horses
horses doesn’t prove that smith has an exceptional voice or that she needs to work only with her own material. but it is her real, pure music at its core, and that is rock and roll.
perez prado – havana, 3a.m.
better known as the “mambo king”, prado leads his band in the perfect cuban mix of spanish and african rhythms. he finds himself with a better flow on this record than some of his others . the band is so tight, and yet when sections break way into solos they feel like an entirely different entity.
bonus: following the break up of the clash, paul simonon named his (short-lived) new band after this album!!
various artists – 41 original hits from the soundtrack of american graffiti
this is mostly a mix of rock and doo-wop hits from the late ’50s and early ’60s. george lucas and francis ford coppola spent almost all of the money allotted to music in the film on obtaining the rights to these songs. because of that the film doesn’t have a score – think of what that could have meant for some of their other, less known, films…
the national – alligator
very understated, yet feels a bit rambling. it is amazingly gloomy and catchy all at once. how can you not love a man with that deep baritone?
(side note from the blogger…this is one of my favorite albums…ever.)
and for your listening pleasure, here is a mixtape featuring songs from the above albums!
grizzly bear, one of my favorite bands right now, just released this awesome video for their song “ready, able” on friday. the video is directed by allison schulnik, a claymation artist that the band likes…if you dig this video, you may also enjoy her short film “hobo clown,” which also features the music of grizzly bear.
i have always loved album covers…i think they’re a very special form of art that tends to get lost in all the online sites that allow you to download music these days. having the actual album means something to me, and to a lot of people who still insist on buying them, and when my dad gives me his old record collection one day (i hope…!), a lot of the albums are going in frames and up on my wall.
so i think it’s really cool that next year, britain’s royal mail will launch a new series of stamps that celebrate ten classic british album covers. for the near-impossible task of selecting which ten to use, they did a series of polls and conferred with music editors, designers and writers. the stamps will have the unique shape seen in the images above, allowing for the vinyl disc poking out of the sleeve.
here’s the full list:
the clash – london calling
rolling stones – let it bleed
led zeppelin IV
david bowie – the rise and fall of ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars
pink floyd – division bell
blur – parklife
primal scream – screamadelica
coldplay – a rush of blood to the head
mike oldfield – tubular bells
new order – power, corruption & lies
don’t be too shocked that no beatles albums made the cut…they have already been on stamps.
do you agree with the british choices? if they did this in the US…what classic album covers would you want to see on stamps?
this would be at the top of my list:
i saw the monsters of folk last night at the academy of music in philly, and i was so impressed that i felt compelled to write about them today. MOF is a “supergroup” consisting of jim james (frontman of my morning jacket), m. ward, conor oberst and mike mogis (brighteyes), all of whom have had great success in their respective careers. so it seems odd then that they’d put their main projects on hold to record an album and tour together, but seeing them live makes it clear why, as they have amazing chemistry together on stage. they each bring something different to the table, and they feed off of each others talents to create a sound that is incredibly unique – sometimes folky, sometimes it rocks out, sometimes you’re not really sure what it is (“dear god”)…but it’s always good. what i also really enjoy is that they don’t lose their individuality, and seeing them live is almost like seeing several shows in one, as they play a mix of their new music along with my morning jacket, conor oberst and m. ward songs.
i highly recommend checking out their album, monsters of folk, which was released this fall, and seeing them if they play in a town near you! in the meantime, you can watch this video for the song “the right place.”
that’s right…it’s girls on film on music, halloween edition! here are some creepy cuts selected by bunny and monkey (a.k.a. the girls of girls on film on music).
the rolling stones – some girls
easy dress up option for men – be a girl. problem being that even men as pretty as mick make seriously unattractive women…
bananarama – the greatest hits collection
blonde, brunette and redhead – a pick n’ mix for three ladies in need of a group costume pronto. and then you get to walk around and tell everyone you’re being “banaaaah-nah-raaaah-mah”.
kate bush – never forever
this album is kate at her best, both in terms of her songs (“babooshka”, “army dreamer”) and cover art…one musician on this album is credited with playing the harmonica, mandolin, balalaika, sitar, koto, banshee, saw, mando and delius. i have the feeling the “banshee” is the official instrument of hallowe’en…
steve martin – a wild and crazy guy
A SUIT AND BUNNY EARS. a man on the same page as me when it comes to his sartorial approach. and i do mean just every day.
bobby “boris” pickett – monster mash
thriller may be the current “grave yard smash” but i’ve always has a certain affinity for this one. and don’t be surprised if at the holidays i’m suggesting you pick up “monsters’ holiday”…
misfits – walk amoung us*
anything by the misfits on halloween is prime, but i think danzig really knocked it out of the park on this one, zombies, martians, checking with your mom if it’s ok to kill tonight, perfect!
various artists – luxury condos coming to your neighborhood soon
though it never received the attention of athens or seattle, hoboken was one of major players in the ’80s indie scene, and the evanescent coyote records helped document this scene with this 1986 compilation. how is this halloween you ask? “elvis, what happened? what happened was you died” lyrics from the mr. bonus song “elvis, what happened?” proving that if you look, anything can me spooky.
the rocky horror picture show soundtrack
i’ll be magenta, and you can be columbia (in the confetti sequin tunic, perhaps?)
*i would have picked “halloween” but for all intensive purposes, it’s only a single
devendra banhart – what will we be
what will we be is devendra banhart’s seventh studio album, but it is his first major label release, and has drawn mixed reviews from critics and fans who were expecting more of the raw, bohemian weirdness that banhart is known for. the overall sound of what will we be has a clarity unlike his previous albums and the vocals are smooth and relaxed, but the freak-folk moments and international influences are still there. the album starts out strong – the first few songs are like a breath of fresh air and the first single, “baby”, is addicting. “rats” is unexpected but interesting, starting out slow and then rocking out like a zeppelin tune…but for me, towards the end, the album sort of lost its excitement.
listen to the album here and let me know if you agree or disagree!
after 42 years of sports and musical history, this week the beloved philly venue will host its final concerts before being torn down early next year. pearl jam will play tuesday, wednesday, friday and saturday night, and rumors are swirling about possible guest appearances on the final night. the spectrum is known amongst performers for its excellent acoustics, and some of the most legendary musical acts of the ’60s and ’70s have played there- including led zeppelin, the doors, jimi hendrix, pink floyd, the who, eric clapton, bob dylan, neil young, the beach boys, frank sinatra, the jackson five, elvis, the band and bob marley and the wailers. the grateful dead played there 53 times, more than any other musical act.
i’ll be attending all four shows this week and will be sure to report back on the blog!
here are some of the greats who played the spectrum…
jimi hendrix concert poster…check out those ticket prices!
top images of the spectrum from remember the spectrum.
so long, spectrum…you will be missed.
anyone going to any good shows this weekend? there are quite a few going on in philly…
on saturday night i’m going to see local band dr. dog at the tla. i’ve seen them live before and they’re a ton of fun, plus i looooved their latest album, fate. it’s sort of folky, sort of poppy, sort of awesome. listen to some tracks on their myspace page…i recommend “the breeze”…
i hope the stage set-up looks like it does in these pics from their show at the fillmore in san fran.
if i’m able to get any good photos i’ll share them on the blog!
the 23rd annual bridge school benefit concert, organized by neil young and his wife pegi, is taking place this saturday and sunday at the shoreline amphitheatre in mountain view california. neil young is the man…if you don’t believe me, watch this video.
benefits from the concert go towards the bridge school, a non-profit organization that helps children with severe speech and physical impairments. for more about the bridge school and the concert click here.