Thursday, May 31, 2007
It's been too long. Although I've returned to the city a couple times since school ended, it's been a long three weeks since I caught a show there. In the time, things have unfortunately slowed down here, and while it's inevitable that I'll pick up something new and interesting in album form regardless of my location, nothing really beats being there. This set was part of the Upper North Side Canadian Music Series, and I was reminded once again how incredibly likable Torquil and, by arbitrary extension, the entire Great White North is. I think the reason so many people have been drawn to the Broken Social Scene collective is, aside from the musical quality, the distinctly human quality of it all. At some point, you cease being a mere fan of a group, and you kind of wish you were part of it. And I suppose that, for one night, we all were.
We managed to snag front-row seats, a first in what was my fourth trip to Joe's. After an ear-popping soundcheck and a brief introduction from someone from Upper North Side, seven member strong Memphis - the duo of Torquil Campbell and Chris DuMont, along with five supporting musicians - took the stage. Things began airily with "I Dreamed We Fell Apart," which highlighted Torq's smooth delivery and soaring vocalization. Things picked up with the great single "I'll Do Whatever You Want," or as Torq called it, "a big old pop song." The full band erupted, as the drummer, who was later revealed to be Bucky Wheaton, formerly of Land of Talk, switched from brushes to sticks. The only complaint I have is that the dense instrumentation buried Torq's vocals, but the energy compensated.
Things were rather sparse throughout the middle of the set, and a number of songs featured only a few chords of Chris' guitar, perhaps punctuated by a string flourish, and Torq's voice. Torq even requested that for "Ghost Story" all of the lights of the venue, sans table candles, be dimmed. Thankfully, a waltzy rendition of "Incredibly Drunk On Whisky" and a triumphant rendition of "Into The Wild," a cut off of their first album, I Dreamed We Fell Apart that I hadn't heard. (Yes, their first album shares the name of the first song on their second album.) A brief band introduction followed, and the main set concluded with another unfamiliar track, "Love Comes Quickly;" I'm not sure if this is actually a Pet Shop Boys cover. A quick encore, which featured just the main duo and their trumpet player, closed out a satisfying set that will definitely have me delving into their back catalogue.
Memphis is altogether more introspective than Stars, trading great gestures of affection for more personal vignettes, fictional or otherwise. While not as grandiosely charming, Memphis still retains the impeccability of Stars' arrangements, and perhaps more essentially, Torq's strong presence. What it does not have, unfortunately, is Amy Millan's achingly pretty voice, and the slower stuff just didn't do nearly as much for me. Shortcomings aside, they're still a strong group, and they continue their U.S. tour in Union Hall on May 31st, and return in June 18th for a set at the Mercury Lounge.
MP3: Memphis - I'll Do Whatever You Want
Official Site: Memphis
Meanwhile, Stars have just released that long belated remix album, Do You Trust Your Friends, and hopefully a new album will be out in the fall. Here's their second KCRW set, recorded on November 18th, 2003.
1. Romantic Comedy
2. The Vanishing
4. Le Petite Mort
6. What The Snowman Learned About Love
7. Elevator Love Letter
Sunday, May 27, 2007
It's been a pretty hectic couple of days, hence the lack of activity here. The free time I have had, I'm sorry to say, I've been pretty inclined to squander; I guess not having immediate obligations really encourages me to do nothing. But hopefully, I can make it up to you guys. While it wasn't a spectacular week of new discoveries, I did do a pretty thorough exploration of the number two charter, a nice example of interconnectedness. Enjoy!
I was perusing some magazine or another and came to the realization that Client just released a new album, entitled Heartland. While they don't quite exceed Ladytron when it comes to crafting dystopian electropop prettiness, the Rotherham trio are a fine substitute until the Liverpool quartet finally releases a followup to Witching Hour, hopefully by the end of the year. Incidentally, both bands are in full tour mode, with half of the 'tron (Mira Aroyo and Reuben Wu) wrapping up a U.S. DJ tour. (Did anyone go to the Hiro Ballroom show a few nights ago?) Meanwhile, Client plays at Studio B next Friday, June (!) 1st, as Ladytron starts up European dates in Lithuania. Here are cuts from both bands, the former being a fine single from Heartland, while the latter a pretty interesting take on one of the few on the aforementioned Witching Hour.
MP3: Client - Drive
MP3: Ladytron - Soft Power (Vicarious Bliss Gutter Mix)
Buy: Here and Here
Now, while Vicarious Bliss might seem like a cool name for a remix, turns out they're actually another noisemaker from the explosive Ed Banger. It's a wonder that I hadn't heard of the label until a couple months back, considering the sheer momentum of Justice's fantastic new(ish) single, complete with equally excellent video. While the duo is clearly adept at creating crunching electronic action, it's the particularly winsome vocal, reminiscent of the equally fantastic "We Are Your Friends," that makes it a standout. Awesome!
MP3: Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
So, back to Client: while the group continues idiosyncratic etymology for its members (Client A, B and E), it's been revealed that its members are veterans of industry, with singer Sarah Blackwood (Client B) previously appearing in the band Dubstar. They've announced plans to reform on their MySpace, and it'll be interesting to see where they go with that. This track is undoubtedly their most well known, appearing on pretty much all of their releases. (Aside: Is it just me, or does every band have a song called "Stars" or thereabouts?)
MP3: Dubstar - Stars
But after hearing that Dubstar track a couple times, I was had an unsettling sensation of deja vu. As it turns out, I had heard the song before, albeit through Lacuna Coil's rendition. Unfortunately, my consumption of that group has dropped off precipitously; despite their pretty accessible qualities, it's a style that doesn't really do much for me these days. However, one can't really dispute Cristina Scabbia's soaring vocals, and she proves herself particularly adept with these two covers.
MP3: Lacuna Coil - Stars (Dubstar Cover)
MP3: Lacuna Coil - Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)
Speaking of Depeche Mode, Technique was all set to go on tour with them, but for some reason, singer Xan Tyler wasn't up for it. Kate Holmes, the other member, would eventually unite with Sarah Blackwood, forming Client. Conveniently, they posted the video for this track, and in a fitting tribute to new media marketing, I was hooked. While the lyrics are rather uninspired, the rest of the song makes up for it.
MP3: Technique - Sun Is Shining
Last but not least, Battles have popped up with such frequency in the last couple months that I felt very obliged to check them out. While doing that Headlights interview, Tristan mentioned that they had really been enjoying Battles' new release, Mirrored. Writeups in the New York Times and, just last week, the Village Voice have been pretty positive as well. As noted in the latter article, the group played at our very own Kimmel Center last month (I saw Hot Chip instead), and they'll be back for a July 20th gig at Studio B, as well as a free show at the Seaport Music Festival on August 31st.
MP3: Battles - Atlas
And with the title of this post being extracted from Mahogany's wonderful album, it'd be neglectful for me not to mention that the band will (also) be playing at Studio B on June 28th, along with Robin Guthrie, formerly of Cocteau Twins. I'll be missing out, but hopefully you will not.
Oh, and today's my birthday. Festivities will commence...eventually.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Apparently, the year can get more exciting. As Pitchfork reports, Portishead has been selected to curate this year's ATP Festival in December, and are set to perform new material. This comes a week after the band's MySpace bulletin conclusively stated that progress on the third album is being made. Although I'm in relatively embryonic stages of Portishead fandom, having only listened to the band intensely over the last few months, I'm as eager to hear this new material as any of those (imagined) long timers. To be honest, I'm not nearly as enamoured with their second, self-titled album, at least not to the extent that I adore Dummy. So, in some way or another, the release of new material should give me an excuse to really explore all of their material, and if there is justice in the world, perhaps one day I'll get the chance to see them live.
But it's a long time 'til December, so here's a set to keep you company. It was recorded at Bizarre Festival in Cologne, Germany on August 21st, 1998.
1. Half Day Closing
4. Glory Box
6. Western Eyes
8. Sour Times
11. All Mine
Future Proof: Here
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
As recently mentioned, Immaculate Machine is releasing a new album in about a month. Although the band falls somewhat under the shadow of keyboardist Kathryn Calder's other group, there's plenty of the same pop goodness to be found here, and hopefully this new release will give them much deserved recognition. Perhaps I'm being naive it, but when a band is this darn likeable, such attention seems inevitable.
Here's their set at the Garrick in Winnipeg on October 14th, 2006, opening for those aforementioned Pornographers. While the songs stay pretty true to their recorded form, it's nice to hear the audience incorporated into shouts of "On" and "Off," as well as interspersing French vocals on "Broken Ship" and "So Cynical." It's going to be a great year for new releases.
1. Northeastern Wind
2. Dear Confessor
3. Phone No.
5. Broken Ship
6. So Cynical
7. Death of a Rockstar
8. Latest Breaking News
9. C'mon Sea Legs
10. No Such Thing As The Future
11. Don't Leave Without Us
Friday, May 18, 2007
Some albums are timeless. Granted, the Postal Service's Give Up is only a few years old at this point, but it has already shown unprecedented longevity. "Such Great Heights" in particular has managed to remain in the top twenty tracks over at Last.fm, a feat that's especially remarkable in a music environment that's as dynamic - and fickle - as it's ever been. So with such ubiquity the first time around, it's only natural that we'd jump at any development in that hypothetical second album. The folks over at Urge just sat down with Jimmy Tamborello recently and inquired about just that, and although the news isn't entirely hopeful, it's clear that the integrity of the band is as solid as ever:
[Ben Gibbard and I] are working on songs but it doesn't feel any more like a band. It still feels like a side project. We don't have a schedule, and I could just as easily see it never materializing again as having another album. We both want to make sure that we put it out because we have more ideas; not to sell more records. We're still working on songs the same way: by mail. We started around the beginning of this year, and it's hard to say what the sound is. I sent him a few beats, he added some stuff to it, that's it. I do like the three unfinished songs we have so far, but it's hard to say what's going to happen.
For now, here's the duo - along with Jenny Lewis - in Madrid. Incidentally, Rilo Kiley's fourth album, Under the Blacklight arrives on August 20th in the UK, so we've definitely got something to look forward to. I'm not sure about the date of the performance, but it appears to be a radio rip. In any case, it's a real treat to hear "The Dream of Evan and Chan" is its live form.
1. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
2. We Will Become Silhouettes
3. Nothing Better
4. Clark Gable
5. This Place is a Prison
6. There's Never Enough Time
7. Brand New Colony
8. Such Great Heights
9. (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan
In other news...
The awesome Dawn Landes recently recorded a cover of the recently mentioned "Young Folks." Take a listen or a look!
MP3: Dawn Landes - Young Folks (Peter Bjorn and John Cover)
YouTube: Dawn Landes - Young Folks (Peter Bjorn and John Cover)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Vacation kicked off in full force over the last week, and I'd like to think that my music consumption expanded as a result. Although there's still a staggering about of new albums coming out in the next few months, including from some from my favorite artists, I've become attached to a few new releases already. Enjoy!
Remember when I talked about missing a band that I didn't know I liked? Well, Fields definitely fits that bill, although I would have been pretty willing to see them open for Blonde Redhead last week had that show not sold out. To add a bit of salt to my wounds, the band is playing at Union Hall and the Mercury Lounge this weekend, and my attendance is uncertain at best. Anyways, I'm not quite sure where to categorize them, which is probably why I like them so much. They're kinda folky at times, with the occasional electronic flourish, but above all a really good indie rock group (despite being affiliated with Atlantic). Expect a exhaustive review of their full length, Everything Last Winter, in the near future, but for now, enjoy one of my favorite cuts from their EP, 7 From The Village.
MP3: Fields - Brittlesticks
Apparat just released a new album, entitled Walls. Although we already know he's a master of glitchy IDM, he's taken the vocals to a whole new level. As much as I adore Orchestra of Bubbles, Apparat's guests on this album exude a far more organic vibe, which is refreshing. "Hailin From The Edge" features the groovy falsetto, backed by tribal chanting and whispered repetition of the title line, making for some of the most accessible, enjoyable electronic music that I've ever heard.
MP3: Apparat - Hailin From The Edge
I've actually had Cranes' Future Songs for a while, but haven't really given it much of a chance before this week. "Fragile" remains a standout, and it's pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when describing the band's sound. Singer Alison Shaw's child-like vocals float around a languid atmosphere, and while it's not a particularly exemplary of songwriting skill, there's much to be said about sustaining a mood.
MP3: Cranes - Fragile
MP3: Cranes - Fragile (Remix)
Single Gun Theory is Australian, and Jacqui Hunt's tonally pleasing vocals might somehow be linked to their geography. Sure, it's nothing too groundbreaking, with its downtempo beats, suitably dramatic sampling, and general pretty singing, but it's a style that greatly appeals to me. I've only given the full album one semi-conscientious listen, but I have been spinning this track a few times, and enjoying it.
MP3: Single Gun Theory - I've Been Dying
I'm kind of late to the party on this one. PB&J have been lighting up the blogosphere, as well as playing a slew of New York dates, over the past few months. This success is understandable after hearing this breezy, infectious track, with it's distinctive whistling. Sweden really is a gold mine for pop music of all sorts these days, and this is one of the more memorable tracks, even in such a saturated environment. But you already knew that, right?
MP3: Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks
When I read about Jesu's Justin Broadrick and his seemingly noisy background, I was a little apprehensive about checking out his latest project. I expected something exceedingly loud and post-rocky, with little to hang my pop leanings on. Thus, I was completely disarmed by this track, with its effortless vocal hook and downright pretty guitar effects. The rest of the album isn't nearly as accessible, but with this fantastic track, Jesu proves that poppy shoegazing is alive and well.
MP3: Jesu - Conquerer
Starting off with an immediate 4/4 beat, and quickly moving to a dirty bass line and sassy female vocalist, Shiny Toy Guns' "Le Disko" probably resembles more than a few dance punk acts. I'm not completely enamored with the band, and I find Gregori Petree's vocals (which show up only sporadically on this track) to be a little off-putting, but when this track breaks into a somewhat floaty interlude, I do realize that there's more to them than wicked synth lines (which are present, as well). It's reasonably interesting.
MP3: Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko
I got into this song through Morr Music's Blue Skied An' Clear compilation, and while that album is a collection of Slowdive covers, this track just screams (shreds, even) MBV. Through Guitar, Michael Lückner really relies his namesake, chopped up as it may be, but pretty-if-simple lyrics from Regina Janssen of Donna Regina take it to another level. Conveniently enough, Guitar's fifth full length, Dealin With Signal And Noise, just came out.
MP3: Guitar - House Full Of Time
Sunday, May 13, 2007
One of the most stunning tracks of the last year, electronic or otherwise, came courtesy of Anders Trentemøller. "Take Me Into Your Skin" is an epic eight minute journey, starting with creepy ambient beats, an abstract vocal sample, and a spectacular percussion-driven crescendo. Unfortunately, the rest of his album, The Last Resort, wasn't nearly as immediate; although it's a great mood piece, there isn't really enough to get attached to. Thus, it's really nice to hear a more eclectic crowd filtered through Anders' impeccable selection, courtesy of his Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1. While far from danceable, it's a unique collection from one of today's most distinct electronic artists. This summer, Anders plays a slew of European dates with drummer Henrik Vibskov and guitarist Mikael Simpson, which should be very interesting.
MP3: Trentemøller - Essential Mix [Sendspace]
MP3: Trentemøller - Take Me Into Your Skin
MP3: Trentemøller - Take Me Into Your Skin (Nudisco Edit)
Saturday, May 12, 2007
LCD Soundsystem drops by Studio B tonight for a DJ set. Jona Bechtolt, aka YACHT, opens, and while I'm not terribly familiar with his own material, his work as one half of the Blow is very good. Although he's a bit of a recluse when it comes to appearing on stage when Khaela's involved, I suppose he won't have a choice if he's going to be spinning. LCD resembles a bit of a collective, with a live band that includes, on occasion, Al Doyle of Hot Chip, who guested on their incredible Coachella set, which you can grab over at Culture Bully. But despite numerous talented collaborators, it's first and foremost James Murphy's project, and his involvement goes beyond just production. Although hardly the traditional crooner, James makes for an incredible, energetic frontman, and his live presence is something that's apparent, even on a mere recording.
This set was actually posted over at the now sadly missing rbally about a year ago, and it was recorded at Electric Picnic in Ireland on September 4th, 2005. It's interesting to compare the frenetic, occasionally abrasive tunings of this set with their more recent one. If you're heading over to Studio B tonight, or catching the band at Webster Hall on Monday, have fun!
1. Beat Connection
2. On Repeat
3. Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
6. Losing My Edge
Give It Up: Here
Friday, May 11, 2007
So, my last night in NYC. Having missed Patrick Wolf a few times before in the last month or so, I figured it would be offensive to pass him up again. To avoid being shutout, something that was developing into a trend of the last couple weeks, I stomached the $4 surcharge and reserved a ticket online, although that would later prove unnecessary. This was actually my first time at the Bowery Ballroom, which lead to some confusion when the entrance lead downstairs to the bar, without a stage in sight. They didn't actually open up the entrance to that area until a good hour after doors, but I suppose I should be used to it by now. Anyways, logistics aside, it was a great show to end my stay with.
Essie Jain is British, but by her own word, "Not from the same envelope as Patrick, not that there wouldn't be anything wrong with that." Although she was referring to geography - she currently resides in New York - her restrained set was quite different from Patrick's, although perhaps not too dissimilar to some of his older material. Her dignified delivery, reminiscent at times of our favorite country cat, was the centerpiece of the set, although soothing, Mojavesque guitar was also a nice feature. Things remained pretty mellow throughout, occasionally swelling with a chorus, and the drummer did switch from brushes to sticks, as well chipping in the occasional verse, which was nice.
MP3: Essie Jain - Glory
MP3: Essie Jain - Haze
MP3: Essie Jain - Loaded
MySpace: Essie Jain
Official Site: Essie Jain
Things started reasonably enough, with some programmed ambience and a mournful violin intro. Patrick appeared in his patented short shorts, a tattered shirt and sat down for a piano ballad. He switched to guitar, then it went insane with the downright violent "Tristan." One of the reasons I enjoy The Magic Position so dearly is the electronic elements bubbling below the surface, but they were really in the forefront in the live setting, providing all of the percussion. It turned what I'm sure what could have been a polite singing-songwriting set into a head-bobbing (if not feet-elevating) dance party. Major kudos to the crowd for being so darn fanatical, and for P-Wolf for being his dramatic self, quickly tearing said tattered shirt off, and executing dance moves that made the hipsters swoon. The coup de grâce was when he flung off his black wig in a flourish of glitter, revealing his trademark shock of red hair, and setting up the theme of the night: theatrical.
Things continued merrily, but then came to a rather bemusing halt when Patrick, in what seemed to be in response to a random call from the crowd, improvised a rhyme, ending with, "Goodbye," and dashed off the stage. The instrumentals picked up for a few minutes, and I recalled with mounting dismay that he had reportedly only played for a scant half-hour over at Studio B a few weeks prior. But Patrick finally returned, sporting a new, less revealing outfit, and if I recall correctly, began again with "Overture," one of my favorite cuts from the new album. Patrick picked up his own violin, and even amidst the thudding beats, it was apparent that he's classically trained. Another Magic Position highlight in "Bluebells" would follow, but there was a strong presence of old material throughout the set, and while I'm still pretty unfamiliar with it, I will definitely be investigating after this experience.
A second costume change and a short while later, we arrived to the highlight of the night, an anthemic rendition of "The Magic Position" that closed the main set. Whom Patrick is crediting as the source of the "major key" isn't clear, but for one night at least, it could very well have been the crowd. I heard some of the loudest cheers I've ever heard in any venue, and it wasn't just Patrick's occasionally outrages gestures, or even the music, as good as it was. There's just something that's incredibly appealing about this guy and the way he approaches music, a sort of purity that isn't obscured by his idiosyncrasies. Anyways, "Accident & Emergency" kicked off the encore, and while some technical difficulties prevented us from hearing Patrick's take on disco, he did cover Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" in the finale. And it really seems that rumours of his demise have been overstated, as Patrick's promise that he will "be back in New York soon" seems a certainty given this incredible show.
MP3: Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
MP3: Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
Here's Patrick's 2003 London Calling set. While decent, it doesn't do justice to the power of his current live show, and if you ever get a chance, absolutely see him live.
3. To The Lighthouse
4. The Childcatcher
6. Pigeon Song
8. Don't Say No
Official Site: Patrick Wolf
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I'm not graduating for another three years, but with the festivities going on over in the park, it's a retrospective day nonetheless. The last eight months or so have been some of the greatest times of my life, and I'm actually a bit disappointed that I'm now officially on break. So this is the last post from my dorm, but it's also the first of the (unofficial) summer. Things probably won't be nearly as excited in suburbia or in upstate New York, but I'm sure I'll head back a couple times. Stay tuned for a post detailing my last night (e.g. Wednesday) soonish, but for now, enjoy some themed tracks:
MP3: Eisley - One Day I Slowly Floated Away
MP3: Ivy - Get Out of the City
MP3: Ladytron - Skools Out...
MP3: LCD Soundsystem - New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down
Monday, May 07, 2007
The New Pornographers have an album in the works, entitled Challengers. Although they didn't play any new songs during their recent performance at Coachella, they did reveal the album art. I'm not exactly sure what's going on there; it looks like a shirtless, mustachioed guy that's...flexing - apparently so. I'm not sure I like the cover, but I do appreciate the small maple leaf in the corner. Aesthetics aside, I'm sure it will be another great collection of pop gems, still tight and tuneful, but still distinct from previous work. It really is going to be a good year for new releases.
Here's their KCRW set, broadcast on October 23rd, 2005. Unfortunately, it cuts out a bit early, but what's here makes for a very good listen. The interview portion is pretty interesting, as you hear the back story between Kathryn Calder's entry into the band. Incidentally, her other group, Immaculate Machine, releases their new album, Immaculate Machine's Fables, on June 12th. You can head over to You Ain't No Picasso for a listen of the track "Dear Confessor."
1. Twin Cinema
2. Use It
3. The Bleeding Heart Show
4. Jackie, Dressed In Cobras
6. The Bones of an Idol
7. It's Only Divine Right
8. Sing Me Spanish Techno
MP3: The New Pornographers - KCRW Set
Midnight Movies: Here
Sunday, May 06, 2007
It's been quite a week. After missing the better part of the Rangers' season - including their first round sweep of the Thrashers - I had the fortune of catching two of their playoff games on NBC. While last Sunday's double-overtime victory was a drawn-out, often frustrating marathon, today had a sense of inevitability to it. After a hard fought first period, in which the Rangers finessed a 1-0 lead off of a great flick from Michael Nylander (see above), Buffalo erupted with a flurry of offense, scoring four times in ten minutes. It would be a lead that would prove surmountable, but not before Buffalo added a fifth and deciding goal. And so it comes to an end, but what a run it was. I salute the Rangers for a great season; October will be here before we know it.
From one great New York group to another, here's Interpol's XFM session, recorded on August 15th, 2002. Enjoy:
2. Obstacle 1
Friday, May 04, 2007
One can never have enough Metric, right? Apparently that isn't just the opinion of yours truly, but the maxim of one of the hardest working bands I know. As Chromewaves reports, Ms. Haines and company will be playing a slew of Canadian dates - including both V Fests - over the next few months. As previously mentioned, I might finally get a chance to seem 'em when they play at the Ottawa Bluesfest on July 13th.
Things aren't slowing down on the studio side of things either, as the band has released a video for "Empty," Live It Out's third single. I'm not totally sure about that choice; I actually wonder if the album's title track would have been better, both as a one-of release and as the album's opener, but it is hard to resist that, "Shake your head/It's empty" line. And if that wasn't enough, NME's interview with Emily reveals that a new album is in the works, due for a release early next year.
So, having said all that, let's enjoy some Old World Underground favorites. Here's Metric's May 4th, 2005 set, recorded in Lyon, France as part of Les Femmes s'en Mêlent. A few pictures from the show are available here.
3. The List
4. Wet Blanket
5. On A Slow Night
6. Combat Baby
7. Hustle Rose
8. Dead Disco
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Despite the rampant Coachellafest that occurred over the last week, my intake of new and exciting music definitely picked up. Enjoy!
The Postmarks are, I suppose, one of those bands that I should have seen recently. I was leaning towards checking out Smoosh at the Knitting Factory at couple weeks ago, where they opened, but unfortunately I passed. The important thing is that I finally did give them a listen, and it's nice, but still growing on me. They're occasionally too polite, and Tim Yehezkely's widely-described wisp of a voice isn't quite as affecting as some of her peers. Still, it's pretty, which isn't so surprising as their self-titled album was produced by Ivy's Andy Chase, and they've also released a Remix EP, which I'm always fond of. Check out the Smudge of Ashen Fluff for some live tracks, as well as their official site for more songs.
MP3: The Postmarks - Goodbye
MP3: The Postmarks - Goodbye (James Iha Remix)
It's remarkable how much you can do with so little. Supposing, of course, you're a part of Booka Shade, whose second album Movements seems to have flown under the radar (it could just be that I'm a year late). Although minimal, "Night Falls" is evocative, Trentemølleresque in its moodiness. Thanks to Larry from WSN for tipping me off here.
MP3: Booka Shade -Night Falls
My main motivation for checking Tussle out was, of course, after seeing them live with Hot Chip. Their most recent offering, Telescope Mind, is much like their live set; the recorded songs are still groovy, percussion-driven abstractions, but they're mellow enough to make for darn good study music. "Warning" - not to be confused with their tourmate's album - is an epic seven minute jammer, not shifting significantly, but still an interesting listen.
MP3: Tussle - Warning
When Frank of Chromewaves recommends something this enthusiastically, I listen up. When the band in question not only justifies the gushing, but conforms to my own tastes splendidly, I listen to them copiously. Specifically, it's been the title track from Lucky Soul's self-released album that's really been a favorite: just when you think you've hit the song's peak, the band wows you by bringing in another string flourish, or an even prettier verse. Sublime.
MP3: Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted
Although my consumption of the Chemical Brothers last week was tied to their Coachella set, I feel the need to post this track, which was absent from the gig. It features Anna-Lynne Williams of Trespassers William, whom I featured all the way back at the start of this insanity. Trespassers have just released a six-song set of original material via an EP entitled Noble House. Meanwhile, the Brothers release LP number six, We Are The Night, on June 18th.
MP3: The Chemical Brothers - Hold Tight London (ft. Anna-Lynne)
So I'm going to start French next semester. It's a move that might warp my academic schedule over the next couple years, but at this point, I'm so confused as far as career goals, it should at least make things interesting. At the very least, I should begin to discern the meaning of sleazy-yet-appealing house en Francais, courtesy of Yelle. I know, I know, there's little inherent meaning here, no matter what language, but goodness is it addictive.
MP3: Yelle - Je Veux Te Voir
Despite hearing this track for the first time last night, I am completely infatuated. Here I was, thinking that Sneaker Pimps was just a couple of producers, which I suppose is the case now, but most definitely not on their debut, Becoming X. Vocalist Kelli Ali, who inexplicably left the band following the album's release, is just indispensable here, with singing that's as soulful as anything this side of Massive Attack (fittingly, Wild Bunch guru Nellee Hooper contributes a great remix as well). She has two solo albums, and I'll probably investigate those before moving on to later work from the guys in the band.
MP3: Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground
MP3: Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground (Nellee Hooper Edit)