Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fraternité: Emilie Simon on FIP

One of the most satisfying parts of our region of the blogging universe is the sense of community that exists. While we're all shaped by our disparate tastes and inclinations, we're all united, to some degree, by our appreciation for music. A great example of this occurred last week, when I was introduced to Emilie Simon over at Music Is Art. As mentioned within, Emilie's been featured on Thievery Corporation's Versions (definitely check out that great remix of "Desert"), and also composed the soundtrack to La Marche de l'Empereur, or its English incarnation, March of the Penguins. A bit of poster investigation reveals that her work is unfortunately absent from the latter, but it's nonetheless significant. There seems to be quite a trend of French artists who dabble in both cinema and musique (more on that tomorrow), and this connection lends a really stylish quality to Emilie's work.

Happily, French radio is as good as French cinema. This great set was broadcast on FIP on May 22nd, 2006. You really get a sense of the eclecticism of Emilie's influences; the songs move from an electronica to more traditional singer-songwriter style, just as her own duality is manifest in French and English vocals. It closes with a nice cover, and I'm always partial to those.


1. Dame de Lotus
2. Fleur de Saison
3. Rose Hybride de Thé
4. In The Lake
5. Sweet Blossom
6. Annie
7. Swimming
8. Opium
9. Le Vieil Amant
10. Ice Girl
11. All Is White
12. I Wanna Be Your Dog
13. Song of the Storm
14. Never Fall In Love
15. Desert
16. Alicia
17. En Cendres
18. My Old Friend
19. Graines d'Etoiles
20. Flowers
21. True Colors (Cyndi Lauper Cover)

Flower Power: Here

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Finished Symphony: Bitter:Sweet on KCRW

This is definitely going to be a week dominated by female vocalists.

While Bitter:Sweet is reminiscent of many other groups, they offer something fresh and appealing. They've been getting a load of press lately, and I'd say deservedly so. The band has been endorsed by Aurgasm, featured on Zune, and generously compared to the likes of Serge, Portishead and Everything But The Girl.

As seems to be the case with many artists, this set from KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic provided my introduction. While their sound may seem merely so many beeps and bloops, they performed with a full orchestra here. As with their predecessor, I think it adds a lot, although it must limit touring capacity.


1. Don't Forget To Breathe
2. Overdue
3. Dirty Laundry
4. The Mating Game
5. Interview
6. Moving Forward
7. Heaven
8. Bittersweet Faith
9. Moody


Full Set: Here
Tastemaking: Here

In other news...

The Torture Garden celebrates three hundred posts with an very insightful look at the state of blogging. Incidentally, Zune is referenced.

gets with the holiday spirit.

A rather amusing blurb in the Voice today:

"Long Island’s [Straylight Run] feature two dudes from Taking Back Sunday who abandoned emo-rock to play emo-prog; they also have a killer emo-disco tune about hot tubs."

I can't argue about that last part. They'll be at the Bowery on December 3th.

Interlude: Alpinestars

I just got back from the Garden after the Rangers/Thrashers game. It was quite a good one, although the resulting 5-4 OT loss wasn't ideal. I thought the Rangers were a bit sloppy early on, but they managed to grab a Power Play goal at the end of the first period. While Atlanta tied it up early in the second period, the Rangers extended regained the lead with another PP goal. Martin Straka's great individual effort made it 3-1, Atlanta managed to score another one, but heading heading into the third Period with the score 3-2, I felt quite confident.

This was apparently wishful thinking, as Atlanta went on to score a couple more, grabbing a 4-3 lead. With time running down in the third, the Thrashers took a penalty, and then got caught for a delay of game (shooting the puck into the stands is considered such under the not-so-new rules). With the Garden roaring, the Rangers managed to tie it up. That was undoubtedly the high point of the evening (and week, for that matter); there's something really cathartic about mass screaming. I guess the overtime was a bit of an afterthought, as the Rangers were automatically awarded a point, ensuring their retention of first place in the Atlantic Division. It would've been a great end to a wonderful evening if the game had gone to a shootout, but alas, former Ranger (and Devil) Bobby Holik ended it with his second goal of the game.

So, I'm pretty happy where this team is right now. They've shown that they can really play with some of the upper-tier squads in the league, and they've gained points in the standings in each of their last five games. I just hope they improve their play at home (they're barely over .500 at the Garden) and really push it to the next level. But really, any team can excel in this new incarnation of the NHL, and I think it's a really fun and dynamic game. If you aren't really familiar with it, try watching a game, although it's admittedly difficult; we don't get it MSG, either. However, the recent deal with YouTube should increase accessibility, and I'll keep you posted. Oh, and head over to Puck Podcast for some more excellent coverage.

A couple pictures:

Oh, and props to the Garden; they played Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" before the start of the game and Goldfrapp's "Ooh La La" in the second intermission.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lucky and Unhappy: Fiona Apple at the Eastman

One of the stronger testaments to the changing industry occurred a couple years ago, back when I still listened to the radio (R.I.P. K-Rock). If you recall, demos to Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine leaked, prompting a fan-fueled "Free Fiona" effort. While the situation was conveyed as nefarious record executives at Sony caging artistic expression, in actuality, what transpired wasn't nearly that clearly cut. Of course, what's important is that the album came out last year and was appreciated. I'm not quite sure what she's up to now, but her recording of "Sally's Song" recently appeared on the expanded soundtrack for The Nightmare before Christmas. I guess that means it's official; it's holiday season.

Anyhow, it seems an appropriate time to give her another spin, and if you aren't familiar with her work, here's an opportunity to discover. This set was recorded at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York on January 7th, 2000. It's made up of material from her first two albums, and Tidal and When The Pawn.


1. On The Bound
2. To Your Love
3. Criminal
4. Limp
5. Sullen Girl
6. Paper Bag
7. Get Gone
8. Love Ridden
9. Sleep To Dream
10. Carrion
11. The Way Things Are
12. I Know
13. A Mistake
14. Fast As You Can
15. Just One Of Those Things

Buy Stuff: Here

In other news...

Speaking of good female vocalists, I highly recommend Jem. Apparently, Nic Harcourt agrees.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Edge of the Ocean: Isis in Groningen

Many thanks to Arivia for the review. Incidentally, the Big Takeover has some thoughts on the new album as well.

Isis opened for the ubiquitous Tool way back at the beginning of October (an eternity ago), but, as noted, I missed out. In some ways, this may have been for the best, as I can't say I'm particular attached. In any case, it's always best if you hear for yourself. As promised, here's some live stuff, recorded in Groningen, Holland on March 23rd, 2003. I found the female vocals by Maria Christopher in the middle of the set to be quite striking.


1. From Sinking
2. Glisten
3. Carry
4. Weight
5. The Beginning and the End
6. Celestial (The Tower)
7. Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)

The Flood: Here

In other news...

Music Is Art has Emilie Simon's Black Sessions up, and look for another set from yours truly later in the week.

My First Review: Isis At Your Location

Nominally, my first contribution to ÜberDrivel was to be a joint review with our esteemed founder, Roland.

So, we both queued up Joanna Newsom's Ys and went at it. Neither of us liked it.

The next try was Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55. That was better, but still nothing wonderful. Both of us are big believers in omens (I still have nightmares about the day I lost my rabbit's foot), so that was unusable, too.

Hence, this conversation:

UberDrive: it might be better if you wrote about whatever you've enjoyed lately, no matter what genre
UberDrive: (I've got some live Isis and/or Mastodon I could throw up there...)
Arivia: Okay, sure, I'll do the new Isis. (Not a big Mastodon fan.)

Hence, this review: Isis' In The Absence of Truth.

For those of you new to the post-rock party, Isis is one of the more metallic tentacles of the genre, more established in metal circles than the musical world as a whole. Arguably, they weren't even post-rock when they started off, instead belonging to yet another "random adjective + metal" subgenre, sludge metal. No matter which side of that issue you stand on, Isis have grown from something caustic and twisted into a careful, deliberate entity concerned far more with turns of thematics and mood than bashing your head in.

In The Absence Of Truth is the culmination of this development, resulting in long pieces where the metallic structures of old still exist, but are now endangered and carefully pad throughout, with long stretches of calm and meditation between each sighting. "Over Root And Thorn" is a good example of this, spending 4:15 building up to two strums of a distorted guitar, then flying past and beyond into frontman Aaron Turner's lamentations, which flow into a metallic pattern of tidal riffs, ebbing and swelling into careful cymbal crashes. Here is the purest of post-rock: it's minimalist, mostly instrumental, and completely haunting, but contains just the perfect balance for all those interested in the genre.

For those wondering whether the tour with Tool had any effect on this album, I ask you this: Do you know Tool like the back of your hand? Did you listen to Panopticon? The closer to "yes" on the first, and the closer to "no" on the second, the more you will hear of Tool in this release: you can read whatever you'd like into it. Either way, Isis have created something wonderful for all comers.

Postscript: If you like post-rock, but haven't explored the more metallic members of the genre, Cult of Luna and Neurosis are the other forerunners. For a real challenge, try The Ocean.

Buy Isis Music: Here

Sunday, November 26, 2006

French Disko: Daft Punk at the Rex Club

Whew. I hope your Thanksgiving was as enjoyably unproductive as mine was.

I suppose this is simply an extension of a predominantly French music slant that I've been lately, whether through Emilie Simon via Music Is Art or Charlotte Gainsbourg. While both of those chanteuses have a fair bit of electronic production (as well as cinematic-centric experience), Daft Punk has...a bit more.

This set was recorded at the Rex Club in Paris on May 15th, 1997. In the context of the constraints of traditional songcraft, it's a bit hard to sit through an hour of beeps and bloops. (Corollary: you should be dancing!) Yet, there's something fascinating to me about constructing music (or musique, if you will) so technologically. Anyways, I think hearing it live gives their sound a new aspect, and I suppose that's the general reaction, particularly in the context of their appearance in the past Coachella. There's something frenetic, yet controlled, in the live mix.


1. Alive
2. Musique
3. Teachers
4. Da Funk
5. Fresh
6. Phoenix
7. Rollin' & Scratchin'
8. High Fidelity
9. Burnin
10. Oh Yeah
11. Rock'n Roll
12. Around The World
13. The Chase

Study Up: Here

In other news...

The New York Times has a rather exciting playlist today, with appearances by Tool, Britt Daniel of Spoon, and Destroyer.

I was pleased to witness the Rangers' dramatic 2-1 OT win over the Penguins yesterday. Apparently, they came back from a two goal deficit and got a point out of the game with Buffalo tonight. No complaints here.

I also continued the movie binge and saw Volver on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it was another instance of personal taste defeating critical response, although I was pleased to hear Saint Etienne playing at a random point in the film (as confirmed by Wikipedia).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Short and Sweet: Smoosh on KCRW

Here's a quickie. Smoosh is comprised of ridiculously young sisters Asya and Chloe, hailing from Seattle. They got their start through drummer Jason McGerr of Death Cab, and they play fun, sunny pop. Their latest release, Free To Stay, has been one of my recent favorites. I was rather disgusted with myself after neglecting to download this set over the summer, but I've managed to track it down. It's their July 13th appearance 2006 on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, and there's a taster track up as well.


Find A Way, courtesy of Barsuk.
Full Set: Here

Cheaper Than Gold: Here

In others news...

Pitchfork has the Blow's new video for "Parentheses" streaming, as well as some info on the upcoming Coachella.

The Rangers did an impressive job of shutting down Carolina yesterday. Instead of the game, I finally saw The Science of Sleep, and a more comprehensive view will be upcoming.

Like most of the nation, I'll be stuffing my face with turkey this weekend, and will subsequently be taking a few days off from blogging. Feel free to peruse the archives; all working sets can be displayed by searching for filexoom, etree, and the Bloc Party seems to be up well. Enjoy, and don't hesitate to ask if you'd like something uploaded again.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving! See you soon!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quiet Riot: Kings of Convenience on KCRW

It's undoubtedly my skewed perception, but it seems that Scandinavia is a really active these days as far as music-making goes. While many of its inhabitants choose to embrace the climate by sculpting artfully frigid electronica, others are more inclined to preserve warmth with the comfort of acoustic guitar.

Kings of Convenience are decidedly the latter, but there's a bit of complexity beneath their mellow surface. Their remix album Versus, which includes work by Ladytron, Four Tet, and Röyksopp, bridges the gap between these two seemingly disparate schools of music. Erlend Øye also provides many of Röyky's trademark world-weary vocals, as well as compiling a DJ-Kicks and recently releasing Dreams with the Whitest Boy Alive. Don't let that laid-back picture (and musical delivery) fool you; he's a busy man!

This set originally aired on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic on May 18th, 2005. And, since I'm a sucker for covers, I've included their take on Feist's "Gatekeeper;" she appears on a couple tracks in Riot On An Empty Street.


1. Intro
2. Until You Understand
3. Cayman Islands
4. Love Is No Big Truth
5. I Don't Know What I Can Save You From
6. Interview
7. Know How
8. Stay Out Of Trouble
9. Homesick
10. Misread
11. Toxic Girl

Gatekeeper (Live Feist Cover)

Convenient: Here

Monday, November 20, 2006

License to Grill: Audioslave at the Weenie Roast

To be honest, this as much of an Audioslave posting as a chance to gush over the new James Bond flick, for which Chris Cornell provided the theme song. As you may have discerned, my media form of choice is decidedly more audio than cinematic, but it is quite therapeutic to lose oneself in the Hollywood-produced haze occasionally. As with music, I try to take the hype with a grain of salt, particularly when personal taste is, as always, more relevant (case and point: Ys).

However, I'm inclined to go with the predominant opinion on this on: Casino Royale is some good. Which is to say, it accomplishes the goals of your standard fare action movie, as the plethora of special effects and disarmingly attractive population are all present and accounted for. What distinguishes this film is the injection of actual depth of characterization, particularly by the title character. It seems that all the naysayers have been silenced by Daniel Craig's performance, blond hair and all. Casino was satisfying for its visceral appeal, but also for its intellectual capacity, bolstered by many instances of genuinely funny dialogue.

So, we've got broad strokes of action, tempered with literary complexity...sounds very much like a good rock band. Indeed, Audioslave is a collection of stars, a legitimate supergroup, able to fill arenas and, as shown below, able to draw upon a hefty historical catalogue. That's not to say that I'm completely enthralled. As I've said, I seem to have developed an aversion to standard rock groups, and I haven't heard any of their new Revelations, but I still appreciate some nostalgia.

This show was recorded at KROQ's Weenie Roast on May 21st, 2005, the same day as that Interpol set from way back.


1. Your Time Has Come
2. Set It Off
3. Like A Stone
4. Spoonman (Soundgarden "Cover")
5. Be Yourself
6. Bulls On Parade
7. Sleep Now In The Fire (Rage Against the Machine "Cover")
8. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden "Cover")
9. Show Me How To Live
10. Killing In The Name (Rage Against the Machine "Cover")
11. Cochise

Freedom Is Slavery: Here

In other news...

Speaking of criticism, I'd like to welcome my friend Arivia on board. Look for some sort of weekly, dual album reviewing in the near future.

Speaking of multimedia experiences, Pitchfork has a very interesting article describing Snapp Radio, which is essentially a fusion of, Flickr and OCD.

Jaromir Jagr became the 16th player in NHL history to tally 600 goals, as the Ranger got a much needed 4-1 win over the Lightning. I'll be attending the game against the Thrashers next Tuesday, and I might be inclined to jump on the N train after class tomorrow...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Unsheathed: The Knife at Webster Hall

I suppose while we're on electronica, I might as well throw The Knife out there as well. It's still a bit surreal that such an unconventional band, whether in appearance, touring methodology and overall freakishness, would simply explode onto the collective musical culture in the past few months. They are unique, not only as an entity, but in renouncing, perhaps even transcending, the burdens of identity that seem so paramount in today's music industry.

This was their well-documented first appearance in America, recorded at our very own Webster Hall on November 1st, 2006. As you've probably heard, the visual aspect of their performance was mind-blowing, and they've just released a DVD visual companion to Silent Shout.

Setlist courtesy of Stereogum:

1. Pass This On
2. The Captain
3. We Share Our Mother’s Health
4. You Make Me Like Charity
5. Marble House
6. Forest Families
7. Kino
8. Heartbeats
9. Silent Shout
10. From Off To On
11. Like a Pen


Full Set: Here
Knives Out: Here

Transistor Radio: Lali Puna at Benicàssim

Like many of the artists on the Morr Music label, Lali Puna combines the indie rock mentality with electronic tones. As noted, they've been heavily influenced by Stereolab, not merely instrumentally, but Valerie Trebeljahr's dreamy, ethnically-inflected delivery prompted AMG to call her a "long-lost sister to Stereolab's Lætitia Sadier." That's not to say that they're completely retro. Valerie guests on fellow Morrite Styrofoam's Nothing's Lost, and Lali remixed Dntel's masterpiece, "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan," which provided my introduction to the band. The percussion and guitar work on "Micronomic" sounds downright Bloc Partyesque.

But there's some else entirely at work here.

As noted in an article in Eye Weekly, had My Bloody Valentine continued, they could very well have pulled a Kid A and gone completely electronic post-Loveless. I've witnessed the density capacity of synths, but there's also a very mellow, brooding quality to shoegaze that, strangely enough, is duplicated by more minimal electronica. In fact, the Morr label released a compilation of Slowdive covers, and Lali contributes an excellent take on "40 Days." It's a pretty incredible testament to the diffusion of genres, and makes me wonder why we bother with them at all.

Again, if you'd like to hear any of those above recordings, I'd be happy to reload them for you. Just leave a comment below or email me.

This set was recorded at the 2004
Benicàssim Music Festival, which ran from August 5th to 8th. There are some technical difficulties (it's nice to know I'm not the only one), but it's a good introduction to the band.


1. Faking the Books
2. Call 1-800-Fear
3. Don't Think
4. B-Movie
5. Small Things
6. Rapariga da Banheira
7. Scary World Theory
8. Grin and Bear
9. Micronomic
10. Left Handed

Macronomic: Here

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Cinematic Orchestra: TNP in Seattle

All right, we're back on track, literally. I'll be using fileXoom for the foreseeable future, as 2 Gigs and unlimited bandwidth seems like a pretty good deal for free. If you're blogging in the same spacial vein, definitely consider it. The downside is that all previous posts have to be reloaded, which I'll definitely get on. If there's a particular set you'd like to have, email me or leave a comment. Thanks for hanging in there.

It seems like an eternity ago, but seeing The New Pornographers over the summer really instilled me with an appreciation for live music. As fun as their studio work is, I was really won over by the band when I saw them live. If, for any reason, you aren't familiar with them, I can't recommend checking them out enough. They'll be touring in Australia to close out a year, and their fourth album is tentatively scheduled for the spring. 2007 looks to be a great year for new releases.

I wasn't aware initially, but this set was actually posted by B(oot)log some time ago, and originally aired on KEXP. In any case, it's silly to put an expiration date on good music. Kathyrn Calder of Immaculate Machine sings here instead of Neko, but she does a great job, as usual. There's some pretty funny banter from A.C. Newman as well, including a very...resonant line at the end of the superb "Bleeding Heart Show."


1. Intro
2. Twin Cinema
3. Use It
4. It's Only Divine Right
5. The Bleeding Heart Show
6. Jackie, Dressed in Cobras
7. The Bones of an Idol
8. Star Bodies
9. The Slow Descent into Alcoholism
10. Sing Me Spanish Techno
11. Jackie
12. Outro

"Just look at the Pitchfork website if you don't believe me:" Here

Interlude: Technical Difficulties

Hey guys, I'm having some problems accessing the server (and I assume you are as well). Hopefully, this will sort itself out, but I'm exploring alternate space in either case. Definitely expect a proper post by the end of the day.

For now, here's some tangental goodness to keep you busy:

B(oot)log has a live set from The Dears.

NYU's own Washington Square News interviews Chris Funk of the Decemberists and Robert Pollard. Thanks to the spiffy new Chromewaves for the heads-up.

Pitchfork reveals details on the upcoming LCD Soundsystem record, Sound of Silver. It'll be out March 20th.

Interpol is recording their third album!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

¡Forward, Russia! The Decemberists in Houston

I'm a recent convert to the The Decemberists, a definite case of better late than never. It's still a bit incomprehensible that such a quirky, esoterically-fueled band would gain such prominence, yet it's reassuring that being unique is still appreciated. Initially, I was exposed to some of the more difficult material, including their epic "The Tain," which really didn't do anything for me. Only last weekend, I randomly heard the charming, pretty hook of "The Engine Driver," and I really noticed the pop sensibilities underneath their often quirky content.

This show was recorded on October 15th, 2003 at Rudyards in Houston, Texas. While it dates from the Her Majesty era, some tracks also appear on Picaresque. At some point, I should probably give a listen to their acclaimed Crane Wife.


1. Leslie Anne Levine
2. The Bachelor and the Bride
3. The Gymnast, High Above the Ground
4. The Engine Driver
5. The Soldiering Life
6. Up The Junction (Squeeze Cover)
7. Sixteen Military Wives
8. The Legionnaire's Lament
9. Clementine
10. Red Right Ankle
11. Grace Cathedral Hill
12. Los Angeles, I'm Yours
13. The Chimbley Sweep
14. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect

Writer of Fictions: Here

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dissolved Girl: Garbage in Toronto

From one strong frontwoman to another, here's Garbage. Although the band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, Shirley Manson continues our ongoing trend of great Scots. While the formula of loud guitars and female vocals seems prevalent here, the AMG review for Beautiful Garbage really touches on their complexity. "They consciously picked up elements from shoegazing, trip-hop, and indie rock...there are elements of My Bloody Valentine crashing up against Tricky." Well, I can't argue with that.

This set was recorded in Toronto on November 11th, 1995, in what was really the band's infancy. The guitars really snarl, and Shirley's powerful delivery syncs up nicely.


1. Intro
2. Supervixen
3. Stupid Girl
4. My Lover's Box
5. As Heaven Is Wide
6. Fix Me Now
7. Subhuman
8. A Stroke of Luck
9. Trip My Wire
10. Queer
11. Only Happen When It Rains
12. Not My Idea
13. Vow
14. Milk
15. Girl Don't Come

Versions: Here

In other news...

Music Is Art is on a roll, and rbally's back in action!

Pitchfork has some astounding footage for all you Radioheads.

The Rangers scored three goals in ninety seconds to overcome a 2-0 deficit against the Devils last night. They'll be in Carolina this evening.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Renaissance: Lacuna Coil in Paris

Despite the best efforts of a number acquaintances, I don't really get metal. This probably isn't a rarity among indie-minded individuals (incidentally, Tool seems to transcend the genre), but I find Lacuna Coil to be one of the more accessible bands. Critics might call their particular brand a watered down substitute to the shredding, monstrous beast of yore, but I learned a while ago that hooks are not the enemy. Really, the organization of the band calls for a more, dare I say, pop-inflected outlook, as they have two dedicated vocalists. I find that Cristina Scabbia's soaring vocals backed by Andrea Ferro's lower tones are far appealing setup than abrasive, inscrutable screaming or growling. I couldn't really see Slayer covering Depeche Mode, to say the least.

This energetic set was recorded on January 6th, 2004 in Paris.


1. Intro
2. Swamped
3. To Live Is To Hide
4. Entwined
5. Self Deception
6. Humane
7. Cold Heritage
8. Senzafine
9. When A Dead Man Walks
10. Tight Rope
11. Heaven's A Lie
12. Daylight Dancer

Memories: Here

Monday, November 13, 2006

Marching Bands of Manhattan: Interpol on KCRW

One of the more anticipated albums in recent memory leaked recently. Inevitably, it will be compared to its highly successful predecessor, and there will be a subsequently polarizing debate as to which work is better, despite the fact that the debate is inherently subjective. Sound familiar? But, despite the gloominess of that interpretation, it's really a whole lot of fun. One of the most intriguing elements of music is its constant evolution, even if it leads to information overload. Yet, the question remains, what's Interpol gonna do with their third album?

But today, let's take a trip down memory lane. This set was recorded on KCRW's venerable Morning Becomes Eclectic on July 29th, 2002, just a few weeks before Turn On The Bright Lights was released.

1. Untitled
2. Obstacle 1
3. NYC
4. Interview
5. PDA
6. Hands Away
7. Stella Was A Diver and She Was Always Down

C'mere: Here

In other news...

Speaking of prominent second albums, Joanna Newsom's will be released tomorrow, and the acclaim is already overwhelming. She'll be playing two sets tonight at Webster Hall.

Watch "The Sprout and the Bean:" Here

Pitchfork reports some sad news concerning Grizzly Bear.

Watch "Deep Sea Diver:" Here

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Danse Macabre: The Faint in Providence

The Faint
are touring in a few weeks, and, as seems to be the trend, they won't be coming here. That's a shame, as their dystopian-yet-danceable dark wave seems perfectly attuned to Gotham. I remember hearing "Agenda Suicide" when I still listened to the radio, and upon further investigation, I was a bit shocked to find them not only signed to the same label as the enigmatic Bright Eyes, but that Conor Oberst was a former member. Granted, I had constricted Conor to the country-twinged singer-songwriter, and in the context of Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, the connection seems far more feasible. Nonetheless, there aren't too many bands, particularly those from Omaha, that have combined such, well, depressing elements and created something so catchy.

This set was recorded at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, in support of the aforementioned Bright Eyes. I even found the poster!


1. Southern Belles in London Sing
2. Glass Danse
3. In Concert
4. Your Retro Career Melted
5. Desperate Guys
6. Erection
7. The Conductor
8. I Disappear
9. Posed To Death
10. Paranoiattack
11. Let The Poison Spill From Your Throat
12. Birth
13. Drop Kick The Punks
14. Agenda Suicide
15. Worked Up So Sexual

Agenda Credicide: Here

In other news...

is amazing.
Download: Find A Way

The Rangers' winning streak came to an end against Washington. Oh well, not a bad week at all. Interested parties should check out the latest episode of Puck Podcast.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Collected: Broken Social Scene at ACL

Seeing how Broken Social Scene wraps up their tour tonight, and I haven't featured them in two months, I'd say it's about time for a post. Everyone's favorite Canadian music collective (sorry, New Pornographers) seems to be showing some cracks recently, and it's anyone's guess how the band will look, post-hiatus. While I'm pretty disappointed that BSS didn't come here on their recent tour, I look forward to seeing various satellite bands in the coming months.

This set was recorded at Austin City Limits on September 17th, 2004. It's vintage BSS, with the bulk of material from You Forget It In People and some choice selections from their self-titled. Members of Stars, Metric and Do Make Say Think guest, and the enthusiasm is apparent throughout.


1. Intro
2. Stars and Sons
3. Late Nineties Bedroom Rock For The Missionaries
4. Shampoo Suicide
5. KC Accidental
6. Cause = Time
7. 7/4 (Shoreline)
8. Almost Crimes
9. Major Label Debut
10. Looks Just Like The Sun
11. Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl
12. Lover's Spit

Albums = Yay: Here

In other news...

Happy Remembrance Day, Canadians!

The Rangers routed the Thrashers quite convincingly last night. I am impressed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chilled To Perfection: Röyksopp Black Sessions

While typing up last night's post, I finally gave Röyksopp's Melody A.M. a conclusive listen, and it's a shame I've neglected it for so long. I really gotten into Röyky after hearing "Only This Moment," which features Liz Fraser-worthy hooks from fellow Norwegian Kate Havnevik. The rest of that album, The Understanding, is simply electro-pop fun, and includes an appearance from the reclusive Karin Dreijer of The Knife on "What Else Is There?" However, it received a significantly lower response from critics, who cited a lack of innovation, particularly when considering the uniqueness displayed on Melody.

As much as I like The Understanding, I can't really argue; Melody is really an otherworldly creature. The distinctive video for "Remind Me" may be one of the more prominent songs, but the video version is really a popped up remake reminiscent of later work. Melody is, above all, a chillout album, but one that remains interesting throughout, tickling the brain with an eclectic mix of instrumentation, electronic effects, and laid-back vocals. I find "Poor Leno," "Eple," "Sparks" to be more representative tracks.

Here's their Black Session, which features highlights from Melody as well as a bit of nonalbum content.


1. Intro
2. Banter
3. Your Hands
4. So Easy
5. Röyksopp's Night Out
6. Om Ravpuling
7. Poor Leno
8. Mekon Remix
9. She's So
10. A Higher Place
11. Eple
12. Remind Me

Remind You: Here

In other news...

Bloc Party's drummer Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung, forcing the band to cancel a few shows, including the MSG dates. Best of luck in recovering, Matt!

The Late Greats has Feist's World Cafe Sessions.

The Rangers play the first of two in two nights against in Atlanta this evening.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Owls Go: Low in Paris

recently reported that Low will be releasing an album next year, entitled The Violet Path. I'm not really familiar with the band; my introduction actually came a few weeks ago. Former bassist Zak Sally wrote a piece on Tool for the Voice, which was met with consternation from the aforementioned Pitchfork folks. I later came across a remix of "Monkey" by Bob Mould, he of the Antics deluxe edition, which was enjoyable.

The band is classified as slowcore, a word that's vaguely reminiscent of the word shoegazer, at least as a method of etymology. However, while the latter depends on a roar of effects, Low is minimalist, although they seem to have gravitated more towards traditional rock on later works. I can't say it's my favorite style, but it's worth checking out.

This set was recorded in Paris in 2001. I'm aware that the band released an official live recording of Paris, but the track listing is different than this one.


1. John Prine
2. Laser Beam
3. Dinosaur Act
4. Medicine Magazines
5. Sunflower
6. Two-Step
7. I Remember
8. Kind of Girl
9. Lust
10. Embrace
11. Over The Ocean
12. Venus
13. Closer
14. In Metal
15. Starfire
16. I Started A Joke (The Beegees Cover)
17. Violence
18. Same

Things To Lose In The Fire: Here

In other news...

Blogger Beta is really nifty.

The Rangers are looking good, having gone 4-1-1 in their last six games.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Interlude: See 'em Play at CMJ, Part II

November 4th, 2006 - The Knitting Factory, NYC

After a night of debauchery, I wasn't really prepared for another marathon concert. I generally arrive early to a show and catch the openers, barring obscene traffic circumstances, but my ears were still recovering. In any case, we still arrived in plenty of time, and saw...

Chris Conley of Saves the Day
Chris is part of a style that I was a bit more partial to in my younger and more impressionable years. I remember acquiring Sound the Alarm earlier this year, but I never got around to listening to it. Anyways, stylistic differences aside, he sang with enthusiasm, and they crowd responded nicely. It was a very communal atmosphere, with frequent sing-alongs. I was a bit out of the loop as far as lyrics go, but I was pretty amused when he sang, "I told you I didn'’t want my picture taken but you snapped it anyway." (From "Take Our Cars Now!") As you can see above, I wasn't the only one, uh, responding to the music.

Straylight Run

I described Straylight as the source of my immersion into music, and I think that still holds true. Unfortunately, I probably played out their self-titled album a bit excessively back in the day, and I don't really listen to them nearly as much. Having said that, finally seeing them live was a blast, literally. They started things off with "The Miracle That Never Came," a new song streaming at their MySpace. I like the direction that they're taking with this song, but then, I am a fan of horns. Things really became sublime after that, with "A Slow Descent," "Tool Sheds and Hot Tubs," and the gorgeous swirl of "Existentialism On Prom Night."

Also in attendance was Jeff DeRosa, formerly of The Exit. Straylight is really becoming a bit of a family affair. I suppose my only disappointment was that, as seems to be the case with CMJ, time was limited. Despite their status as the headliner, they were only given about an hour to play, forcing them to cut a few selections from the setlist.

I've also reloaded most of the stuff from that previous post. Enjoy:

Costello - Demo of "It Never Gets Easier"
Dignity and Money - Live on WLIR Radio
Now It's Done - Live on WLIR Radio
A Slow Descent - Live on Sirius Satellite Radio
Existentialism On Prom Night - Live on Sirius Satellite Radio
Tool Sheds and Hot Tubs - Live on Domestic Disturbance Radio
Now My Heart Is Full (Morrissey Cover) - Live on Domestic Disturbance Radio
Velvet Waltz (Built To Spill Cover) - Live on Domestic Disturbance Radio

Dignity and Money: Here

I'll leave you with some shots from "Hands In The Sky (Big Shot)," which, as you can see, really lived up to its name. Straylight's back in town on December 3rd at the Bowery Ballroom, and they'll be touring constantly until then. Check the official site for details; I highly recommend checking them out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Out of This Country: Camera Obscura in Madrid

Not only did Camera Obscura release one of the most delightful indie pop records of the year, but they also have a blog (as verified by the official site). Well, now that's just irresistible! The band is just one of a number of good Scottish bands, and Tracyanne reminds me a bit of Helen Marnie.

Seeing as how they'll be heading off to Spain shortly, hopefully followed by some North American dates, here's their set from Los Conciertos de Radio 3 in Madrid. They've had quite a few appearances, but I'm pretty sure that this one is from November 11th, 2002. If any of you speak Spanish, perhaps you could verify that. I suppose the only downside is that nothing from the shimmering Let's Get Out of This Country appears here, but KCRW's got you covered.


1. Intro
2. Pen and Notebook
3. Anti-Western
4. The Sun On His Back
5. Swimming Pool
6. I Don't Do Crowds
7. Happy New Year
8. Teenager

Razzle Dazzle: Here

In other news...

Mahogany is bringin' back the shoegaze with a record release party at the Bowery Ballroom this evening. I highly recommend the album in question, Connectivity!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Garden State: Zero 7 in London

Zero 7 continues the trend of production duos. What's a bit of a distinction is that the vocalists that appear on their recent release The Garden, Sia Furler and José González, have gained a fair amount of exposure as solo artists. Even those that aren't aware of these individuals may have chanced upon "Breathe Me" or the cover of "Heartbeats," respectively. Such is the power of mass media, and I'm totally for it. (Incidentally, the Knife's upcoming DVD looks wicked.) And yes, while we're on the subject, "In The Waiting Line" appears on the Garden State soundtrack. Zach Braff was, like, indie when I thought it was an ethnicity, man. Anyways, I've really enjoyed The Garden, as the focus on pure songwriting makes the whole downtempo thing that much more accessible.

I'm not totally sure on the date of this recording, but it's tagged as London 2001. In any case, it's quality stuff. Sia's soulful delivery graces the set, as do pre-Garden contributors Mozez and Sophie Barker.


1. Polaris
2. I Have Seen
3. Simple Things
4. Salt Water Sound
5. Distractions
6. Destiny
7. In The Waiting Line
8. Look Up
9. Spinning
10. Red Dust
11. Give It Away
12. This World
13. Up With People
14. End Theme
15. Hot Fun In The Summertime (Sly & the Family Stone Cover)

In The Shopping Line: Here

In other news...

Pitchfork has a comprehensive wrap-up of their CMJ coverage. I should get my own Part II up shortly.

Okay, so the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead yesterday, but I'm pretty happy to get a point out of Buffalo. But when is Henrik going to start again?
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