tunesday

people have been buzzing about jersey-based indie/pop band real estate since the summer, but they’re just releasing their debut self-titled album today. while the songs might seem more summer-appropriate (just look at titles like “beach comber” “pool swimmers” “atlantic city” “lets rock the beach”), it’s a great listen at this time of year, especially if you’re missing warm weather and the shore (like me). the album does have an underlying moodiness that darkens it a little bit, but for the most part it’s simple, light and breezy…great for a lazy sunday. i especially like “suburban beverage” and “black lake”. the band, made up of martin courtney, matthew mondanile, etienne pierre duguay and alex bleeker, list paul mccartney, the doobie brothers, kokomo, the boss and new jersey among their influences. also, they’re touring right now so check out their myspace page for dates and to listen to some tunes!

my kind of stamps

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:

tunesday: monsters of folk

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.”

tunesday

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!

concert for a good cause

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.

cmj in nyc

the 2009 cmj music marathon and film festival starts today in new york city. cmj spans five days and showcases hundreds of new acts playing small shows at a variety of venues in the city. highlights include atlas sound, who we posted about earlier today, playing two shows (tonight and tomorrow night), and the very best, playing tomorrow night. for a full list of bands, venues and showtimes click here.

also if you haven’t heard of the very best, check out their song warm heart of africa featuring ezra koenig of vampire weekend…i dig it.
you can listen to it on their myspace page here.
if you’re going to any cmj shows tell us how they are and send pics!

tunesday

time for this week’s new music review…

atlas sound – logos
atlas sound is the solo project of bradford cox, the lead singer of deerhunter (whose album microcastle was one of my favorites of 2008). with atlas sound, he is able to be more experimental than he is with the full band, blending ambience, airy electronics and soft, warm lyrics. you can hear the influence of 60s pop and doo-wop in the undertones of songs like “walkabout”, “my halo” and “shelia”, which when compared to the dreary melancholy of most of cox’s music, sound just like a crisp sunny day. “walkabout” is a collaboration with noah lennox (a.k.a. panda bear/member of animal collective), who also rocks. check out this cute video set to the song.

atlas sound is touring now, so check out the tour dates on myspace to see if he’s coming to a town near you.
the above image is from the deerhunter/atlas sound blog.

hidden treasure

those of you in the san francisco bay area this weekend should check out the treasure island music festival, taking place saturday and sunday. the annual festival typically chooses a lineup of dance-friendly acts for saturday and more low-key acoustic acts to mellow out to on sunday. this year, saturday will feature mgmt, girl talk and passion pit, among others, while sunday has a killer lineup including the flaming lips, grizzly bear, yo la tengo, vetiver and edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros.

not to mention, the scenery is breathtaking.

if any of you go, let us know how it is and send pictures!