30 September 2006

Weekend Live Music

Robyn Hitchcock live @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ, 14 November 2004
(photo, from another show, from HERE)

1. Introduction
2. "September Cones"
3. "Victorian Squid"
4. "Across The Universe"
5. "The President"
6. "Mother Nature's Son"
7. "Aquarium"
8. "I Saw Nick Drake"
9. "Museum of Sex"
10. "Sleeping With Your Devil Mask"
11. "Dark Princess"
12. "Dominoes"
13. "A Globe Of Frogs"
14. "We're Gonna Live In The Trees"
15. "Be Here Now"
16. "Sometimes A Blonde"
17. "I Got The Hots"
18. "Tired Of Waiting"
19. "Not Dark Yet"
20. "I Something You"
21. "The Devil's Coachman"
22. "Chinese Bones"
23. "Clean Steve"
24. "Queen Elvis (take 1)"
25. "Queen Elvis"
26. "Satellite"
27. "W Sucks"
28. "A Day In The Life"
29. This is the encores
30. "Ted, Woody and Junior"
31. "Demons And Fiends"
32. "Only The Stones Remain"
33. I'm back
34. "She Belongs To Me"
35. "When I Was Dead"
36. I'm going to leave you with this one
37. "Full Moon In My Soul"

*thanks to woj for this recording.
**download the entire show as a VBR MP3 .zip HERE

Past EAR FARM Weekend Live Music has included live songs/sets by Sublime, Spoon, Ween, The Unicorns, My Bloody Valentine, New Order, Sufjan Stevens, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sonic Youth, Explosions in the Sky, The Smiths, Morphine, Talking Heads, The Stone Roses, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Pulp, The Decemberists, Blur, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Led Zeppelin, Islands, Echo and the Bunnymen, Morrissey, The Durutti Column, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Giant Drag, Tool, Polvo, Mazzy Star, Meat Puppets, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Nouvelle Vague, Built To Spill, Thelonious Monk Quartet, Liars, Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Unicorns, Madonna, The Feelies, Ryan Adams, The Fall, The Roots, Fugazi, Band of Horses, and Mountain Goats.

Each week one of these live shows will be removed to make room on the server. Get them while you can.

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28 September 2006


“Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (a true story)" by !!! which clocks in at 9:04

This record fell right into my lap.

I was at a store in the East Village looking for records to buy that I could grab bits 'n pieces from for this music project I had going on. This was three years ago I think. My search, and the music project, went nowhere. But in the midst of digging through loads of discarded twaddle I turned around and came across the 12" of “Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (a true story)". My mouth agape, tongue probably sticking out, the cover caught my eye right away. Upon figuring out that what I was looking at was a !!! record I realized my fate was sealed. It was time for me to buy my first !!! record.

The song “Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (a true story)" is an electro dance-punk affair that jumps around like hot oil leaping from a frying pan yet somehow manages to enthrall and feel much less than nine plus minutes long. This is most likely due to the fact that !!! blends so many separate song notions into a cohesive whole. As each shift passes with deft ease (as if the song is the work of a master DJ and not a band) you're left with no choice but to dance dance dance. And that's precisely what I did when I got home with this record.

First, a boom. Then some clicks like a sped up version of the intro to "Contact" by Brigitte Bardot. Before I knew what was happening, the nonsensical lyrics and groovin' low end dragged me under. What started as seated bopping from side to side quickly morphed into leg movement. I was about to enter the dancing-at-home-alone dangerzone. I smelled trouble after the horns came in and the wave of guitars climaxed around 2:30 but it was too late. There I was dancing like the kid in the "Last of the Famous International Playboys" music video. Another wave of guitars crashed and became lyrics around the 4:15 mark and I attempted to mouth along. No, you're right, it was my first time ever listening to the song. But the "lose yourself, lose yourself" and "doo doo doo doo doo" bits made me feel like I was a lip syncing clubbing superstar. Reminded me of the first time I heard The Stone Roses (and I'm not the only one).

Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven!

I'm not even going to attempt to explain how excited I was when I heard the lyrics start with "everybody cut, everybody cut, everybody cut loose" around 6:44. Suddenly this song was scratching some 20 year old Footloose itch I didn't even know I had. I was dancing and laughing and finally living and I loved all nine minutes and four seconds of it. So, you got me. This record didn't actually fall right into my lap, but it did give me a teasing bit of private dance pleasure.

Fine, I'll revise that first line: This record gave me one hell of a lap dance.

Buy Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (a true story) [CD single] HERE on Amazon.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
Newcleus - “Jam On It”
Aarktica - “Song For A Free Williamsburg”
Bob Marley & The Wailers - “Exodus” (1984 12" Mix)
Charalambides - “Two Birds"
Explosions In The Sky - "Memorial"
Rush - “2112"
Love and Rockets - “Haunted When the Minutes Drag"
Suede - “The Asphalt World"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.

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EAR FARM Presents... Beg Yr Pardon #10 with Low Lustre, The Midnight Hours, The Muggabears, Mistakes and DJ sets by Mancino

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm very happy and excited to announce (again, but this time with a very nice flyer) that I'll be working with the fine folks from the Beg Yr Pardon team to bring you a very special show in October.

October 10th marks the ONE YEAR anniversary of the very first post on EAR FARM and this year, on October 10th, EAR FARM will be celebrating by presenting the following four bands at Beg Yr Pardon #10.

Beg Yr Pardon #10 - October 10th @ The Delancey:

In addition, there will be the standard free baked goods, free beer from 11:30-12:30, and the three guys from Mancino will be DJing in between the bands. I can't wait to see everyone there!

***the flyer for this show, and the last one, as well as three of the EAR FARM banners were all designed by Destroy Space. go visit them, they are very special***

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Gerard vs. Bear points out that My Old Kentucky Blog plagiarized and then Idolator followed suit

Pitchfork gives a good review to a track by Raleigh's Bowerbirds

Aquarium Drunkard on an overlooked album by Violent Femmes

Fluxblog posted about The Vandelles (and also posted a new Beck song)

RBally is auctioning an iPod to benefit the Pat Spurgeon Kidney Transplant Fund

Ruined Music continues to be one of my favorite weekly musical reads

Yeti Don't Dance risks Indie ostracization by giving a less than stellar review to Grizzly Bear

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27 September 2006

Beg Yr Pardon #9 with The Vandelles, DraculaZombieUSA, and O'Death

Last night, at The Delancey, Beg Yr Pardon #9 was a festival of fun. Three excellent bands, some great DJ action, and an overall festive atmosphere made for a very fine celebration of D's birthday. Tiny Masters Of Today were set to be the first band of the evening but had to cancel at the last minute; therefore, DJ sets warmed up the crowd until it was time for The Vandelles to take the stage.

I had no idea what to expect from The Vandelles and I tend to like it that way. Of course I had a few preconceived notions, given that their name sounds like a band out of the '60s and that the music played before they took the stage was, well, mostly '60s dance music. So did they sound like a band from the '60s? Only in terms of wet reverb and vibrato, which is to say they certainly take cues from '60s surf rock (which was reinforced by footage of surfing being projected behind the band as they played). The Vandelles are more than that though. They don't sound strictly surf-revivalist like, say, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet but rather take things upward and outward along the lines of Man or Astroman? mixed with Happy Mondays. One part this, another part that...never tells the whole story. Instead, let me suggest going to see The Vandelles live at one of their upcoming shows if you enjoy dark, moody, noisy, psychedelic surf-rock. Gnarly.

DraculaZombieUSA has been on my list of bands to see for a while now. Sure, the members of the band are people from Man in Gray and The Unsacred Hearts and are people I'm friendly with but the fact is that it's the music and fun times I was after. I figured that the tangible joie de vivre present in the recorded DZUSA material would make for a fun fun live show, if the right people performed it. All along I've known that the members of the East Coast Annex (DZUSA is a franchise, more info HERE) are indeed the right people to kick out these jams. Have you ever seen Stop Making Sense...where the Talking Heads run around for like 2 hours straight while performing? It's as if the band is making an exercise video at times, right? Same exact kind of energy in a DraculaZombieUSA show. Gena literally never stopped the whole time, amazing. She's my hero. Tina brought her usual MiG excitement but everything seemed cranked up a notch within the frame of DZUSA. D appeared to blend in for a good portion of the show until she suddenly took center stage and took over for most of one song. Awesome. With Travis absolutely killing the kit and Bryan hanging from the ceiling, the show had a psycho circus pep rally kinda thing going on and I loved it. It was exactly what I was hoping for from them...the Spank Rock cover they played, well that was just a nice bonus.O'Death is another band I tried my best to go into the show last night without having much prior knowledge of. They got in touch with me via MySpace (and have received much online love already) but I decided to wait to check them out since I'd be seeing them at Beg Yr Pardon #9. Still, I had a sense of what I was in for. Namely, some kind of bluegrass, folk, ragtime fun. And, given the name, potentially a touch of the macabre? I love those things. All of them. And O'Death delivered those things. But how do I really tell you so you get it? Explosive mountain music? Hm, well as a North Carolinian who appreciates good bluegrass I can tell you it's not really "bluegrass" per se but more like a rock take on traditional American music. In fact I'd go so far as to call these guys the US version of The Pogues. Sure there's a banjo, a fiddle, and an overt embracing of other things Appalachian (that's pronounced "apple atch in" if you were wondering) but there's also a purely punk kind of impulse to O'Death and their music. Do you know that Food TV show where Bobby Flay rolls up into some random town to challenge the local expert to a cook off? I'd do a show like that with these guys in a second. We'd all show up in someplace like Valdese, NC and challenge the baddest mountain band to a stomp-off (I'd be nothing more than along for the ride but that'd be more than enough). Once O'Death blew the other band out of the water we'd then steal their moonshine and party all night with their toothless women. Drunken sonic gypsy death pirates. If that ain't living, I don't know what is. O'Death: become a believer tonight at The Spiegeltent.
I've got pictures but I have no special cord to get them from my camera to my computer. What gives? It's always in my bag and now, now it's off somewhere else on its own. Probably huddled up in a corner shivering and crying and just wanting to be safe and sound and back in its usual spot. Whatever, who needs stupid pictures anyway?


Looking ahead, I'll be working with the fine folks from the Beg Yr Pardon team to bring you a very special show in October. You can read about it in the post below!

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

26 September 2006

Contrast Podcast #26

This week, a very special Contrast Podcast. Tim approached me about the special theme, bands introducing their own music, and asked if I might be able to help find a few good bands for the show. But of course!

Readers of EAR FARM will recognize the two bands I got in touch with for Contrast Podcast #26 and everyone else will (I'm sure) want get to know a lot more about Goes Cube and Mancino in the very near future. Both bands are hard at work finishing up the production of new records that I've been lucky enough to get an advance listen to, both bands have shared one of their BRAND NEW songs for this podcast, and both bands are going to find MANY new fans with these new releases. To be frank, Goes Cube and Mancino are two of my favorite bands in the world so thanks to them for taking part in this week's Contrast Podcast and thanks to Tim (as always) for putting together another excellent podcast.

You can download Contrast Podcast #26 HERE.

***while the song Goes Cube has shared for this podcast has already been made available, the Mancino song that OPENS the podcast is the WORLD PREMIERE of material recorded for their upcoming debut album. the song is amazing and the album is going to be something really special. expect much more about Mancino's debut album in the near future***

You can see BOTH bands this week in New York!

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Today's NEW releases

These new releases caught my eye this week:

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25 September 2006

EAR FARM checks in with the Elbo.ws top 10

This is EAR FARM's weekly moment to check in with music blog aggregator Elbo.ws to see what it is all of you guys are listening to and downloading. It's like, I'm checking this stuff out anyway so why not share (and open up) the process with (to) everyone. My comments here are off the top of my head and honest. Disagree with what I've said here? Have something to say? Say it!

Elbo.ws top 10 'hot' artists - 25 September 2006 @ 2:20pm EST

Ben Kweller - was in a band in the '90s called Radish and got far too much press at too young of an age for me to really take him seriously. Ever since I've ignored his music and figured Kweller to be nothing more than a product of hype. Yet, I know a lot of smart music lovers who listen to his stuff. Maybe I'll give his new record a chance? Probably not.

The Postmarks - or, your new favorite blog band if you love Camera Obscura's album Let's Get Out of This Country. I think this song "Goodbye" is pretty great, but then I also think it sounds like a Burt Bacharach song as sung by Hope Sandoval and I love both of those musicians. Now there's a duo that should've gotten together to make a record...I guess it's too late and kinda pointless with The Postmarks set to release an album early next year.Tom Waits - I like the idea of Tom Waits (the bourbon/cigarette/school of hard knocks voice, the blues/jazz influenced style, the atypical path to music legend status) a lot more than I do the execution of his music. Just never find myself wanting to listen to Tom Waits songs. Oh well. Liked him a lot in Coffee and Cigarettes though.Bound Stems - From Chicago, no? That's nice to hear as I don't know of many up and comers from the windy city. I like the potential these guys exhibit and will be interested to see them here at Mercury Lounge in October. Any band that makes pop infused rock while mixing up time signatures is alright by me.Sufjan Stevens - I can't talk about him anymore. Self imposed. Why? Because I've said too much already? No, because everyone else has. I ask again: does it degrade the value of their work for Woody Allen and Bob Dylan to put out sooo darn many new films and albums? I think so and I think the same is true of Sufjan.TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain right now tops my list of best albums released in 2006. I'm not sure where it'll be by the end of this year but it's a record you should check out as soon as you get the chance.Beck - Color me a blasphemer but I've never really liked Beck as much as the rest of you. Mellow Gold was pretty good, back like 50 years ago, but nothing else he's released really did much of anything for me except Sea Change. Problem with that record is that it's just not one you listen to over and over again. Supposedly that's just what all of his other records are good for but to me they're boringus maximus. Okay, maybe not "boring" but it's almost like, if you've heard one Beck song you've heard them all...kinda like with Stevie Wonder. Sure, these guys may be musical geniuses but what have they done for ME lately? We'll see if this new one he's got coming out soon changes my mind.Yo La Tengo - This is what it says when you try to search for anything relating to Yo La Tengo on Elbows: "Unfortunately, we've been notified that simply searching for posts about new Yo La Tengo album is a crime, so we've been forced to remove the links to the blogs that reviewed and praised the work of this artist." Fine. I won't talk about them then.
    Listen: no listen - Yo La Tengo doesn't like you
My Brightest Diamond - Who the...? As much as I'd like to ask if this is some super-group comprised of My Morning Jacket, Bright Eyes, and Neil Diamond, I can't. I do know a tiny bit about this band so let's start there. It's a woman named Shara Worden who's got a hell of a voice and is signed to Asthmatic Kitty. That's all. The rest you'll have to figure out for yourself while I jam out to this Prince cover. Wait, I just listened to it. It's not that much more special than any other coffee shop version of this song you may have heard elsewhere excepting that Shara's voice soars through even the crappiest microphones.The Killers - Is it cool to like this band? I'm asking honestly, because I have no idea. They sound like they come from the same vapid emptiness which spawned artists such as Coldplay and The Bravery...wait, has anyone seen all three of these bands in the same place at the same time? All I know is that, even though I think they suck big toes, I kinda liked the song "All These Things I've Done" upon first listen. Even so, the new stuff I've heard by them reminds me of a mixture of Meatloaf and Mike + the Mechanics. In case you don't know, that's only appealing if you're a 45 year old balding dude who likes to cling to the past.

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Daylight's For The Birds, Snowden @ Union Hall - 23 September 2006

I went to Union Hall on Saturday mostly to see Daylight's For The Birds for the first time since I saw them play at the first EAR FARM Presents... show back in June. They played an excellent set of their brand of updated shoegaze and impressed me with a few songs I hadn't yet heard. The crowd of people, clearly mostly there to see Snowden, seemed to be enjoying Daylight's from what I could tell. For good reason too...the band as a whole showed definite growth towards a more perfectly unified sound. Not to say they weren't as excellent the first time I saw them but I could tell that they've spent more time on stages together since then and were very tight. In a live setting their songs might well come close to eliciting an out of body experience with the multiple layers of synth, guitars, spot on percussion, and vocals. I can't stress enough how fantastic Amanda's voice is and how sweet it is to see, to hear, such a massive sounding band in such a small venue.

I've heard many great things about Snowden and their debut album but I'd never really given their music much of a chance before seeing them live on Saturday. Things I loved: their first two songs, their enthusiasm, and their overall sound. Not so much: the lyrics, the (somewhat) weak vocals, and repetitive drumming. Don't get me wrong, Snowden was a fun band to see live and I'd suggest catching them if you have a chance...I just didn't get the feeling that they're quite as special as some people seem to think.

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Snoop And Dre Together Again On New Album

Stylus with the Top Ten Songs Featurin’ Present Participles (Or Gerunds) With Dropped “G”’s

Pirate Radio Challenges Feds

NBC trying to decide if it will allow Madonna to stage a mock crucifixion as part of her upcoming prime-time concert special

Rock Star: Supernova Pick Name and it's...Rock Star: Supernova

Rolling Stone - the 10 best shows at Austin City Limits 2006

Halifax Daily News on album art getting renewed respect (via Largehearted Boy)

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23 September 2006

Weekend Live Music

Mountian Goats live @ Village Tavern, Mt. Pleasant, SC, 19 October 2004
(photo, from another show, from HERE)

(my server is not cooperating today so instead of uploading MP3s to my own site I'm going to give you links to download this show as zipped MP3s below)

01. Southwood Plantation Road
02. Linda Blair Was Born Innocent
03. Slow West Vultures
04. Quito
05. Tallahassee
06. First Few Desperate Hours
07. -Dilaudid Intro-
08. Dilaudid
09. Jam Eater Blues
10. Your Belgian Things
11. Letter From Belgium
12. Alpha Incipiens
13. Alpha Omega
14. Oceanographer's Choice
15. Jaipur
16. -Lion's Teeth Intro-
17. Lion's Teeth
18. I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone
19. Going To Georgia
20. See America Right
21. The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton
22. -Stage Banter-
23. Terror Song

download the entire show as a 64kbps MP3 .zip HERE

download the entire show as a VBR .zip HERE

*thanks to tightglobes for this recording which was found HERE

Past EAR FARM Weekend Live Music has included live songs/sets by Sublime, Spoon, Ween, The Unicorns, My Bloody Valentine, New Order, Sufjan Stevens, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sonic Youth, Explosions in the Sky, The Smiths, Morphine, Talking Heads, The Stone Roses, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Pulp, The Decemberists, Blur, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Led Zeppelin, Islands, Echo and the Bunnymen, Morrissey, The Durutti Column, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Giant Drag, Tool, Polvo, Mazzy Star, Meat Puppets, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Nouvelle Vague, Built To Spill, Thelonious Monk Quartet, Liars, Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Unicorns, Madonna, The Feelies, Ryan Adams, The Fall, The Roots, Fugazi, and Band of Horses.

Each week one of these live shows will be removed to make room on the server. Get them while you can.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

22 September 2006

Don't You (Forget About Me)

The following list covers all of the artists/bands featured on EAR FARM through the end of December 2007. This excludes the weekly features (such 8+, Weekend Live Music) and is more about bands that have gotten a band-specific write-up on EF. The quotes are from EAR FARM write-ups about the band and should help give you a mini-notion of what each artist is all about and should also clue you in as to why they've been featured on this site. Click the (+) to visit a previous EF posting about any of these bands and click the band name to go to their site.

New York based bands:
Apse (+) - ominous post-rock with a sense of wonder...(at times) The Beta Band, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and My Bloody Valentine.
The Art of Shooting (+) - musical cousins of Pretty Girls Make Graves...influences like Sonic Youth and Siouxsie
Bastion (+) - a little Joy Division during the verses, My Bloody Valentine during the chorus
Beat the Devil (+) - sultry dark dirgey folk rock that climbs into your mind and never lets go
Bell (+) - has this beautiful warm lilt in the way she sings that seems to cut right through the darkness of a venue as if she's singing just for you
Bishop Allen (+) - "Click Click Click Click" belongs at the top of the camera/picture-song list with other classics like "Kodachrome" and "Pictures of You"
A Brief Smile (+) - fresh and current in a way that won't make you go "hmm, Gang of Four"
Butch & Bellie (+) - obviously absorbed the work of early Beastie Boys, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, and Slick Rick and they know the importance of fixing their rhymes and beats up all perfectly so as to inspire smiles and dancing
Daylight's For The Birds (+) - remind me of that special wonderful spot where '80s and '90s 'alternative' music intersected and gave us bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain
Department of Eagles (+) - very schizophrenic in its stylistic choices. Somehow, though, it's crafted in a very seamless way, perhaps due to the consistently casual and playful tone and hazy lo-fidelity production that meanders throughout the album.
Die Romantik (+) - their sound is being finely tuned...evolving...very similar to what it's been in the past but now with teeth
The Diggs (+) - some 90's college radio rock, emo, and some British music influences...a taste of The Verve and Sugar
Dracula Zombie USA (+) - combining live drums and drum machines with samples, synths, loops, guitars, vocals, and lord knows what else...music that's equally interesting, fun, and moving
El Jezel (+) - from the opening chords of "Michigan" I was in love. No joke. That song fucking rocks my shit. It does. Almost made me poop my pants it was so good...
Emma La Reina (+) - tasteful angular guitar blended with shoegaze notions and topped with dreamy female vocals
Fanuelle (+) - I like peculiar...a little Stephin Merritt, Syd Barrett, Burt Bacharach, Serge Gainsbourg, or Pulp
The Fatales (+) - what I hear in The Fatales is something more like early U2/later Pulp.
Foreign Islands (+) - I can't tell you how refreshing it was to see a band put the balls back into a rock performance
The Forms (+) - Angular, tight, and yet soaring all at the same time.
Frauke (+) - 100% music... sounding of a garage band, very much Frauke for Frauke's sake, and better than the music that you've heard elsewhere that made you think "yuck"
Goes Cube (+) - sets out to fearlessly go wherever they want to, perhaps beyond where other bands dare...one of the best live bands in NYC
Gold Streets (+) - a fascinating niche of groovy bass, spaced out rock, and split male/female vocals which this band inhabits and I like everything I've heard from them so far
The Gritty Midi Gang (+) - some very promising catchy electro-pop sounding tunes
Grizzly Bear (+) - every headphone-straining nuance of every song popped through the cathedral's sound system with clarity, urgency and confidence, most impressive among these being the band's ethereal vocal harmonies. These guys can sing. Each one of them.
Michael Higbee (+) - an extremely talented singer-songwriter originally from Paris... currently making a name for himself playing gigs around New York showcasing his adept one man, two guitar parts playing style and excellent voice
Higgins (+) - Beatles, Beatles, Beatles...great balance within the band, great balance from rocking songs to more quiet ones
The Isles (+) - along the lines of The Smiths meet Pavement & Blur...pop driven romantic melancholy rock that groove as much as they jangle
Jaguar Club (+) - for certain they've spent time with Echo and with Morrissey and with early New Order and probably all of the others from this era/sub-genre as well...The Jaguar Club succeeds largely due to their dance inducing infectious energy.
La Laque (+) - a French infused band from New York who create music full of lofty atmospheric melodies and breathy vocals
Levy (+) - catchy and melodic...the kind of material that should easily grab them more attention as their reach expands beyond NYC
Limbs (+) - reminded of...early Folk Implosion and Slint...informed by angular post-punk yet aims to achieve a certain kind of quiet indie-rock/pop
Lismore (+) - a sound more cold in nature...winter-pop. Yeah, that's the ticket. Beautiful winter-pop.
Love As Laughter (+) - sweet ass home-groove indie-rock a la Malkmus, Neil Young
Katelyn Maier (+) - an amazing voice...reminded me of some kind of cross between Natalie Merchant and Kristin Hersh
Man in Gray (+) - I love a band with two guitars...love a great female lead vocalist...a roaring cover of "Twentieth Century Boy" by T. Rex...fucking hot shit
Mancino (+) - they blend '60s pop and jazz sensibilities with time changes and an indie-rock attack reminiscent of Pavement
The Midnight Hours (+) - obvious love for southern tinged rock (which is amazingly refreshing to hear amidst all of the NYC indie-scene bands)...a bit of John Frusciante and George Harrison in the guitar work
Gabriel Miller-Phillips (+) - a gentle folk strum and wandering picking style (a bit Jerry Garcia if I might) perfectly complement his softly soaring voice
Mistakes (+) - as if they formed their band by placing 15 different music genres in a hat and picked a few at random...rock, prog, ska, dance punk, pop-rock, grebo, experimental rock, etc etc.
Mobius Band (+) - their electro pop rock quickly turned me into a fan
The Muggabears (+) - fit very nicely into the indie-rock family tree someplace between Silver Jews and Sonic Youth and manage to pull off their sound without seeming derivative
Murder Mystery (+) - sounds that seem to stem from a late 50's/early 60's pop-rock sensibility...from the same influences that made George Harrison play guitar the way that he did
The Nailbiters (+) - reminiscent of Bishop Allen and Wilco...good solid American indie pop-rock
Nous Non Plus (+) - all dance dance hot sexy French indie-pop
O'Death (+) - not really "bluegrass" per se but more like a rock take on traditional American music. In fact I'd go so far as to call these guys the US version of The Pogues.
Other Passengers (+) - will rule your world...a sound that will knock you on your ass and make your head spin
A Passing Feeling (+) - this music has a sense of urgency to it...sounds like Jeep Wranglers and bikinis
The Picture (+) - something you don't see a whole lot of these days...a singer who can definitely sing (the rest of the band rocks socks off too)
Pink Noise (+) - rocked and jammed like Sonic Youth of 15 years ago
Proton Proton (+) - these guys are really excellent and they make me want to dance and they make me want to wreck shit and they make me want to go 'la la la la'
Proud Simon (+) - a band whose sound fits very comfortably alongside contemporaries such as Sufjan Stevens, The Magnetic Fields, and The Decemberists yet Proud Simon has managed to carve their own little niche within this seemingly overpopulated genre
The Rapture (+) - I like The Rapture...I feel like they get a bad rap (ha!) sometimes though
Royal Arms (+) - some Mike Campbell in the guitar work, a pinch of Greg Hawkes in the keys...an overall Spoon-ness
Seasick (+) - an entrancing intensity that's equal parts spooky and alluring
The Secret Life of Sofia (+) - I could see some of the songs by The Secret Life of Sofia being the soundtrack to the wintry landscape paintings by Caspar David Friedrich
Schwervon (+) - got more of a Neil Young (Matt's guitar playing), Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (overall sound), Ween (sense of humor/mixing of Pop and indie-rock) kinda thing from these guys.
The Shapes (+) - a bit of Franz Ferdinand in their guitar chops and some garage grunge in their pop melodies
The Shondes (+) - a perfect blend of punk and gypsy folk music that comes across as both beautiful and enlivening
Alina Simone (+) - magical combination of tone, content, and composition... the vocals are bloody amazing
Slowlands (+) - a very full, well thought-out, sound often characterized by building songs from gentle beginnings to explosive climaxes
The Song Corporation (+) - show was a blast, had a pretty sweet balance between mellow songs/female vocals and more rocking songs/male vocals, and they had all kinds of people dancing and grooving along
Split Over Drapes (+) - listless but with purpose...interesting arrangements and choices, lyrics/vocals I like, and a well defined sound of their own
Super Volcano (+) - they mix in elements of Beatles-esque harmony/arrangements (think of a garage-pop version of XTC) with the urgency, fire, and desperation found in certain songs by The Unicorns or They Might Be Giants.
Susu (+) - one of those bands that makes me want to start a record label just so I can be sure (they're) recording more music and getting it out there for more people to hear
Taigaa (+) - the kind of music that awakens your own creativity and reminds you of the endless wonders you witnessed to the first time you entered the woods as a child
Takka Takka (+) - reminded me of Velvet Underground/Lou Reed, and Bob Dylan a bit too, but their music veers much more towards the pop side of those artists
Thieves Like Us (+) - I felt as if I was in Manchester in 1982 seeing an up and coming new wave band blossom before my eyes
Tigercity (+) - poised to fit nicely next to LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk in the playlists of daring-enough-to-dance cool kids everywhere
Umami (+) - a guitar-less happy place... an in between zone where they've combined the low end growl of Death From Above 1979 (I also hear a certain Trans Am-itude at work, and, to be frank, quite a bit of Peter Hook in the bass playing) with the understated rhythmic vocal grace of Pinback
The Unsacred Hearts (+) - their ideal fanbase...this imaginary gang that wears old black leather jackets and black jeans and walks around drinking Mickey's grenades...throwing the empties at people
Vampire Weekend (+) - a certain carefree take on songcraft you're not likely to find just growing on trees...smart pop
The Vandelles (+) - they have a roaring surf vibe that they then combine with a JAMC/MBV tidal wave of sound approach. As well, they wear their performance on their sleeve, taking cues from The Velvet Underground and Suicide in this regard...a rather unique sound bursting with palpable darkness.
Via Audio (+) - showed off some fine fine work on the stage, what with great stage presence and swift shifting of instrument duties, and showcased their soft harmonies and excellent pop skills with what turned out to be a really great set.
The Walkmen (+) - Watching them on Wendesday, I remembered how perfectly their sound captured (and still does) the essence of stumbling wide-eyed around dark city streets clamoring to soak everything in at once.
White Rabbits (+) - a staggering wall of sound that is somehow both intricately woven while recklessly delivered. In other words, as a live band White Rabbits are the intriguing nexus between the ethereal sound of the Walkmen and the raucous attack of Man Man.
Yeasayer (+) - their group charisma (highlighted at each performance by lead singer Chris Keating's ability to explode as if inhabited by the spirit of Ian Curtis at one moment and then calmly sustain a beautiful vocal moment the next) cuts like a lighthouse beacon through the fog of doubtful NY concert goers, converting the stoic arm-folders and leaving everyone equally impressed.

Bands from elsewhere:
Lily Allen (+) - catchy/ irresistible blend of ska/reggae, old-school soul, and solid, fun, pop
The Alright Ma's (+) - stripped down Zeppelin-esque blues song...it's over-the-top and I love it
Annuals (+) - any one of them on their own would surely stand up as a high quality musician but all together they sounded like they were leading a tribal indie-rock invocation of the god of sound
The Apparitions (+) - within no time I was singing along, imagining listening to the song on my iPod whilst commuting, and thinking of how many people I know would like this song
Arizona (+) - a band who is poised to join Okkervil River, My Morning Jacket and Wilco as the torchbearers of kickass American rock 'n roll music.
Arthur & Yu (+) - some of the best vocals I've heard anywhere in a while...in the realm of certain songs by The Velvet Underground (w/ Nico) or Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra
Ash Tree (+) - in line with stuff by Lou Barlow or Daniel Johnston...and some of it even reminds me of demo tracks from that Nirvana box set
At Dusk (+) - more better than good/sweet and tasty like candy canes
Bang Lime (+) - a raw, blues infused, '60s garage stomp that'll remind some of The White Stripes but had me thinking of how well they'd have fit in at CBGB in the '70s.
Bat For Lashes (+) - songs full of haunting sexual imagery highlighted by gorgeous ethereal vocals
Beangrowers (+) - hearing things much more interesting than your average neo-new wave sound-a-like...think more PJ Harvey and Elastica
Bella (+) - male/female vocals and a...groovy synth/guitar indie pop-rock sound that begs you to just have fun
Big Love Hospital (+) - is what happens when The Evangelicals, Cheyenne, Ryan Lindsey and friends get together to write and record tribute albums to American holidays
Birdmonster (+) - something that finds a happy place between classic 70's rock and post-punk
Black Kids (+) - an embryonic band unsure of how to deliver on the hype swirling about them...one notch above awful. A 1.7 on the Pitchfork scale.
Black Nasty (+) - chances are, it'll either offend the heck out of you or really make you laugh. Me? I enjoy it bunches
Bowerbirds (+) - a world of beauty and harmony and mother nature and creation, but also of melancholy and darkness and pain
Katy Bowser (+) - you're really going to come back for more because of Katy's candied sweet voice and because her songs can't help but inspire smiles
Billy Bragg (+) - I picked up the Billy Bragg boxset Vol. 1 and it's well worth owning if you're a fan
Brakes (+) - Brakes sound a bit like Pixies...and maybe a bit like Camper Van Beethoven...
Jake Brennan (+) - something like Nebraska era Bruce Springsteen, or Back to Basics Billy Bragg, but with a rockabilly slant
Can Joann (+) - they sound like a band who grew up listening to those early '90s NC bands and are simply putting their own spin on the Chapel Hill sound
Captain of Industry (+) - I've been listening to their stuff on MySpace and have found the songs both pleasing to my ears and interesting
The Captains (+) - Some of their songs come across as ready for tweenie TV show fame, some as Bling Kong-esque cheer-a-longs, some as guitar based pop-rock burners, and some as prime candidates for silly drunken karaoke.
Cansei De Ser Sexy (+) - I went to the store, bought the album, came home and listened to it immediately, and loved it
Ben Clarke (+) - an artist with a sense of honesty in his songs and a grasp of musical influence from the past as well as the present
Clementine Broadcast (+) - fun, melodic, upbeat music that's catchy and full of smart harmonies
Clint (+) - unique blend of Bloc Party meets Queens of the Stone Age meets Placebo
Cloud Cult (+) - Pitchfork gave Cloud Cult's album Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus an 8.3 - perhaps proof that Pitchfork is not as narcissistically irrelevant as I previously had thought
Erie Choir (+) - from country infused pop-rock to detached intelli-pop along the lines of the work of Stephin Merritt
Cut Off Your Hands! (+) - simple angular tunes that were derivative and uninteresting.
Femme Generation (+) - Streamers, confetti, a trombone, the 'woo oh oh oh oh ooohs' in "Semper Fi, Little Guy", and this certain je ne sais quoi that made me think of Jane's Addiction (not their sound, but just something) and late '80s LA fun
The Floor Is Made Of Lava (+) - a sound that centers around strutting guitar work and danceable beats
Golden Smog (+) - a fantastic song for a nice summer day like today
Graveyard (+) - This is riff rock ladies and gents, thunderous, cavernous RIFFS that get into your skull and make you do that annoying upper-lip curl when listening to it.
A Great White Bird (+) - rather perfect background music for the grey skies and bossless Monday-induced trance that's going on over here at my office
Happycasio! (+) - for a slightly very recent comparison, they sound like an English Tapes 'n Tapes
Noah Harrison (+) - atmosphere, mood, longing, reflection...it's hard to not...to be reminded of Nick Drake
Richard Hawley (+) - mellow tender throwback songs
The Heights (+) - the kind of stuff you heard more of in the 90's, the kind of stuff that makes for some great beer drinking music
Helvetia (+) - Alternately aggressively wah-drenched and peppered with deft jazz voicings and delicate flourishes, this is the sort of album that makes me wish it was standard practice to list effects pedals and setups in liner notes.
In Miniature (+) - sound like aimless cross-country wandering brought on by heartbreak, but in a friendly sense... the wandering is friendly I mean, not the heartbreak
John & Jehn (+) - why should I even bother trying to tell you any more about them other than take my word for it and check them out?
Juiced Elfers (+) - a four piece partyfuntime '60s dance music inspired band that includes Nicolas Thorburn and Jamie Thompson of Unicorns/Islands fame.
Kim Novak (+) - make me think of songs by some really outstanding bands that I love, bands like The Cure, Interpol, and The Velvet Underground
Law (+) - They bring the electric piano and bass lines and drum beats but their true aim is to hit you right between the eyes with their low-fi groovy garage pop
Le Loup (+) - I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by them and the sheer size and gravitas of their sound.
Lesley Lane (+) - a hint of a connection to the sound that has made The Dears favorites of mine
Little Name (+) - delicate dream-pop, heavy on the '60s French/Bacharach sound, that's perhaps more closely aligned with St. Etienne and Camera Obscura
The Lovely Feathers (+) - their music is concentrated and groovy: it'll get your ass moving and won't bore you
Low Lustre (+) - soaring vocals and guitars that remind me of the things The Walkmen obviously liked about early U2
Machine Go Boom (+) - roots planted in acoustic based experimental pop rock and would probably appeal to people who like bands such as Camper Van Beethoven and Dead Milkmen
Man Man (+) - like seeing/hearing the thoughts of a musically-minded mad scientist played out by a group of wandering minstrels
Megadeth (+) - one of the four great/original American thrash metal bands...extremely tight, professional, and awesome. Take no prisoners... take no shit!
The Melody Function (+) - hints of The Kinks, The Beach Boys, and that song from True Romance
Menomena (+) - a wholly original entity, forging a sound entirely their own through dynamic arrangements, innovative instrumentation, and a mastery of loops and samples that feels both playful and organic.
Mono in VCF (+) - magical cinematic pop sound... the sound of lonely romantic yearnings played out through the camera lens of your mind
Mull Historical Society (+) - reminded of XTC and Tears for Fears and The Flaming Lips a bit, but that's probably only because of the grand scope of this music
Nyles Lannon (+) - laptop pop - think Grandaddy and Postal Service, but from a place more similar to where Eilliot Smith and Simon & Garfunkel were coming from.
OMR (+) - you'll hear their Black Box Recorder-ish electro-pop songs and fall in love with them
Peasant (+) - beautiful, delicate, catchy, folk-pop...think of songs by The Kinks or Paul Simon
Pale Young Gentlemen (+) - Obvious references can be (and were) made to Beirut and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and such comparisons are definitely warranted and accurate. Their songwriting and arrangements also recall a more frenetic Die Romantik, and there's a charmingly ramshackle feel to these burlesque orchestral arrangements that are able to transcend their own playfulness...
People in Planes (+) - their sound (some bits Radiohead, some Supergrass, something their own too) is sure to soon be guided towards making tweens happy and filling arena seats
Scott Phillips (+) - at one point he played these songs in succession: "I Won't Share You", "But Not Tonight", and "The Saturday Boy"...that's The Smiths, Depeche Mode, and Billy Bragg... back to back to back
The Pine Club (+) - remind me a bit of The Housemartins or The Connells or The Judybats
Planes For Spaces (+) - they were about rocking some faces with the classic small venue raw set-up of one guy on drums, one on guitar
Pleasant (+) - I hear a little Pavement, Feelies, and even some Three Imaginary Boys era Cure in their songs
Pretty Girls Make Graves (+) - Pretty Girls Make Graves is one of my favorite US bands.
Read Yellow (+) - annihilated the implied barrier between themselves and the audience and moved from mellow moments to all out rocking with ease...pure energy
Brian Michael Roff and the Deer (+) - the sound of waking up and going for a walk in dewy grass, of sitting on your deck with friends and the perfect drink needing no conversation to make everything just right
Sam Roberts Band (+) - reminds me a bit of The Beta Band mixed with Blind Melon
The Rosebuds (+) - rousing and irresistible pop
The Sames (+) - sounds like Blur meets Arcade Fire...mmmm
Schooner (+) - Schooner was really great live...it was pretty cool to hear their songs in more pure/raw form
Victor Scott (+) - as each song carves a worthy sonic path through the thick brush of your mind remember that it's all the work of one guy
Screaming Tea Party (+) - The aural equivalent is like shuffling between a sunshine-sweet children's song informed by Pachelbel's "Canon" and a B-side from In Utero. In other words, completely worth your time.
Sebadoh (+) - one of my favorite bands ever and was one of the only American bands that held my interest for very long in the '90s
Shade (+) - some very nice British infused neo-shoegaze
Shiny Toy Guns (+) - give it a chance because it does turn into some sweet '80s style bubble synth-pop around the two minute mark before getting all Madonna meets Garbage around 2:37
Sister Vanilla (+) - along the lines of what we all know and love about the legendary music from the brothers Reid (except this time there's wonderfully ethereal vocals from Linda that blend perfectly with the music) and is every bit as interesting and listenable as you might expect
The Sky Drops (+) - considerable skill with creating full, lush sounds...music you'd not think was being made by a two-piece band
So! (+) - melancholic distorted dissonance and chugging steam locomotive riffs
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (+) - somewhere along the lines of early Of Montreal and Beulah if fronted by Rivers Cuomo
Square Root of Margaret (+) - they're more post-pop ergo propter pop. Post-pop goes the weasel goes the weasel post-pop! Pop pop fizz fizz what a relief their indie pop is? Yes, sure. Call it whatever you'd like, I'll just say that this is some very good indie pop.
Stardeath and White Dwarfs (+) - Their sound in a live setting was a mixture of shoegaze, prog, and elements of fellow Oklahomans Evangelicals. For the first two songs I thought "yesss" and then by the fourth song I was ready for them to leave the stage.
Kelley Stoltz (+) - amazing that this music is all the work of one man, stop avoiding this guy
Strip Squad (+) - carefree and catchy electro pop that's part Belle and Sebastian and part Looper
The Swimmers (+) - there's something irresistibly personal in this music and I'd highly suggest keeping an eye on this band if you're a fan of music along the lines of The Shins or The New Pornographers
Tapes 'n Tapes (+) - these guys make rock music that is interesting and comes out sounding FRESH in a world full of bland
The Televangelist and The Architect (+) - their sound does indeed fit somewhere right in between Cursive, Bright Eyes and The Faint
Tennis and the Mennonites (+) - their blend of acoustic singer-songwriter pop stuff mixed with plugged in indie-rock sounds really nice in the early summer sun
Those Damn Twins (+) - fans of Magnetic Fields, Mazzy Star, and that sense of adventure that drove bands like Cabaret Voltaire, will find much to like in the music of Those Damn Twins
The Ting Tings (+) - not your run of the mill male/female duo, The Ting Tings sound much more like Gwen Stefani mixed with M.I.A. and CSS than they do The White Stripes, or Matt and Kim
Track A Tiger (+) - a '97 Brunello of the indie music world...music that must've gestated for a while before finally being recorded and sent out for the public to enjoy
Trials & Errors (+) - this is the sound of a pensive cinematic moment and reminds me of the life I never lived hopping from town to town in the province of Castellón
The Vorstand Circus (+) - strikes that most perfect balance of clever production and songwriting coupled with smart melodies and blissful harmonies that guide you through personal lyrics
M. Ward (+) - While you listen to his music...I liken the feeling you'll have inside to that of feeling all warm and wonderful when you drink hot chocolate (or tea) sitting inside next to a fire on a cold winter night.
We Versus the Shark (+) - this band freaking ROCKS
Katharine Whalen (+) - jazzy lounge with a bit of Moroccan club influence and her voice sounds heavenly, as usual
Wilderness (+) - Public Image Limited for the 21st century...and beyond
Tim Young (+) - I could actually see Tim's a cappella version appearing in a hipster Sesame Street with a bunch of colorful furry monsters singing all the backup (and intro) vocal parts

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21 September 2006


“The Asphalt World" by Suede* which clocks in at 9:25

I'll never forget the first time I realized the ability of olfaction to elicit memories. I was eight years old and upstairs in my room. My mother was downstairs in the kitchen making cookies but I wasn't aware of this right away. I was just chillin' and playing with some Transformers and Legos until the sweet smell of cookies in the oven wafted upstairs, grabbed me by my nose and carried me halfway down the hall. Then I paused. Something clicked. A feeling. A memory of this same smell from (perhaps) years before. Instantly I was transported to the past. I remembered exactly when and where I had smelled this very same odor and couldn't believe how strongly it was tied to this memory. And yet the memory wasn't a very specific one. No, it was mostly just a sense of who and where I was when I last smelled the sweet smell of fresh cookies. Even as an eight year old boy things like this fascinated me.

Certain songs have the same ability to conjure the past. Most often it'll be a song you used to love but haven't heard in quite some time. Perhaps you left the song because it reminded you of pain, perhaps because a new and better song came along to take its place, or maybe just because you started to find yourself not needing the song so much anymore. Whatever the reason, whatever memories the song unearths, it's an all too familiar feeling. The past rushes back as you suddenly realize that there's this one moment from your life forever frozen in tandem with this particular song that you'd nearly forgotten about. This song that brings on a kind of auditory deja vu, but you most certainly remember the moment. And the song. It had just been a while since you last listened to it. For me, “The Asphalt World" is a perfect example of such a song.

I gave up listening to Suede when I broke up with my 'high school sweetheart' about a month or so into my second year of college. At the time Suede was my favorite current band and had become my soundtrack to our relationship. In college we attended different schools that were 30 miles or so apart and it seemed that every time I was driving to see her I was listening to Suede or Dog Man Star. As well, the two of us drove down to Atlanta from Raleigh to see them play The Masquerade and also were fortunate enough to attend Suede's concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Strictly speaking for myself, Suede was our band. I never actually realized this at the time but did years later when I first started listening to songs from their first album again. Without my knowing the songs Suede released from 1993-1996, and most importantly the songs from Dog Man Star, just kind of sat there frozen in time.

When I revisited Dog Man Star for the Overlooked Albums from the 90's post I was amazed to realize that, of all of the songs, this particular song brought back the most vivid memory. It reminded me of coming back to my dorm room one night to many messages from the same person. Reminded me of getting into a fight on the phone and then driving to Chapel Hill late at night to continue the fight in person. Reminded me of laying in bed together after the fight talking about how we weren't going to fight anymore. Most notedly, when I re-listened to “The Asphalt World" it just reminded me of this one very particular moment of my life when I was free to transform Brett Anderson's tragic romanticization of the streets and drug use into my own romanticized version of what it felt like to be young and bound by the restrictive freedoms of life and love.

Buy Dog Man Star HERE on Amazon.

*I refuse to call this band "London Suede". Always have, always will. Just because some jerk sued for the right to the name "Suede" here in the US doesn't mean I should have to call them something other than what they decided they'd like to be called.

(picture from HERE)

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Sir Psycho Sexy”
Newcleus - “Jam On It”
Aarktica - “Song For A Free Williamsburg”
Bob Marley & The Wailers - “Exodus” (1984 12" Mix)
Charalambides - “Two Birds"
Explosions In The Sky - "Memorial"
Rush - “2112"
Love and Rockets - “Haunted When the Minutes Drag"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.

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I Want my MTV

Art Brut music videos:

Want even MORE videos? search "I want my MTV" on this site for past music video related EAR FARM postings.

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