Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Week That Was #6: Look Up

Last week was definitely a return to favorites. I'd like to keep things fresh, but I haven't really touched on a number of these artists (at least as far as studio work), despite the fact that they're regularly at the top of any playlist. So, I'm going to split today's picks between favorites and newcomers, although there's an emphasis on the former, especially in regards to upcoming releases. Hopefully the following will have something for longtime readers and newcomers alike. Oh, and how awesome is that new music quilt feature?


As the release of Bloc Party's new album sends waves throughout the blogosphere, the hunt for bonus tracks begins (although Jeff over at as the cry flows seems to have it all). It's pretty remarkable that the band would so nonchalantly include more b-sides than actual album tracks. This isn't such a break from tradition, as the non-album material released between Silent Alarm and Weekend is probably enough to fill a couple LPs. "Two More Years" is the first song I really heard, and it's still a standout for me. I've also included an acoustic version of "Plans," which appears on the bonus disc to the remix album of Silent Alarm. Whew.

MP3: Bloc Party - Two More Years
MP3: Bloc Party - Plans (Acoustic)
Buy: Here

I've been immersed in Bitter:Sweet for the last week or so. I had the pleasure of interview Shana Halligan, the vocalist for the group, and some sort of feature should be appearing soon, in anticipation of their Thursday show at Joe's Pub. As I allude to a couple times in the write-up, it's going to be a great show, and if you've been shut out of Arcade Fire like the rest of us, I can't recommend it highly enough. The band's bringing along a menagerie of strings, horns and DJs, and it's definitely going to be a case of quality and quantity. And remember, they're doing an interview at 6:30 tomorrow evening at the Virgin Megastore at Union Square.

Mp3: Bitter:Sweet - The Mating Game (Dublex Remix)
Buy: Here

Brian Eno calls it the "the vaguest music ever to have been a hit;" I'm generally speechless whenever I listen to it. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so I suppose we can consider this MBV's gift to the world. I'm still not completely enraptured by Loveless (insert pun here), and I get a bit restless when the roar of guitars gives way to the muddle of feedback. As heretical as it sounds, the group just isn't all that appealing to me when they tone things down. They're far too abrasive (in a good way!) to be minimal. But this track is more or less perfection, especially now that I've realized that it has actual lyrics.

Mp3: My Bloody Valentine - Soon
Buy: Here

Silversun Pickups just continue devouring my listening time. Carnavas has conclusively maintained my hyperactive musical interest for the longest time in a while, and it does so on the simple premise of rocking out. If that wasn't enough, the opener to their extended play Pikul is no less stellar. Brian Aubert's growl is toned down to great effect, and excellent backing vocals from Nikki Monninger, as well as a downright emotional bass, complete a fine picture.

Mp3: Silversun Pickups - Kissing Families
Buy: Here

I gave Eisley's Room Noises a full listen for the first time in a long time, and it's still the most magical experiences I've ever had. It's been a long while since I dedicated a post to the band, but that will undoubtedly change in the next few months. They're finishing the details on their sophomore release, which should be arriving in the summer. As great as this year looks for new releases, they remain at the very top of the list. If I could pick any upcoming albums to listen to, it would be theirs. Seriously. I guess the logic there is that I've exhausted just about every there is (check out Orange Gold and Green for a bunch), and I've been waiting for something new for a solid year. But here's one of the tracks from the Room Noises sessions, on the EP of the same name; it's one of my favorites.

Oh, and guys, we're still waiting for that studio version of "Sun Feet."

MP3: Eisley - Head Against The Sky
Buy: Here

Before the Eisley album, Straylight Run's self titled debut was basically all I listened to. I've grown a little away from the band, and I suppose that's inevitable in such a crowded environment. But I gave it another spin, and it stands the test of time, even if it's only been a couple of years since its release. "It's For The Best" features Nate Ruess of the Format and some nice melodies. The second track is from their upcoming album, and I'm liking their evolution towards janglier, but still dramatic, indie pop. And who can resist those horns?

MP3: Straylight Run - It's For The Best
MP3: Straylight Run - The Miracle That Never Came
Buy: Here

Producer Carmen Rizzo's album is a long guest list, including a couple of my favorite vocalists. Welsh cutie Jem contributes a track, and hopefully she'll be releasing her own sophomore album shortly. Kate Havnevik of Röyksopp fame also appears on a couple tracks. This one is trippy, and a pretty good companion to her album, Melankton. Sure, listening by association is a really arbitrary way of choosing, but I find it to be pretty effective. Speaking of which...

MP3: Carmen Rizzo - Easy Way Out (ft. Jem)
MP3: Carmen Rizzo - Bring It Back To Me (ft. Kate Havnevik)
Buy: Here

Not too long ago, I was wondering when CocoRosie was going to return with new material. Apparently, they've been listening in, because their third album, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, arrives on April 10th. For those of you keeping score at home, that's the first actual, definitive release date, and the girls will be playing at Warsaw on April 20th. I'm pretty intrigued to see their set in person, as I've found their live recordings to be a bit more accessible (and expect another bootleg as the release date nears). Anyways, here's Bianca's recent appearance on Busdriver's new album; thanks to WSN for the heads-up there.

MP3: Busdriver - Go Slow (ft. Bianca Cassidy)
Buy: Here and Here


Chris (CPAOI) said...

That last.fm quilt is somethin' sweet. I hope you don't mind if I shamelessly lift another idea from you :P.

d16 said...

thanxs for the awesome music!

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