30 June 2006

EAR FARM Presents... at Sin-é - 29 June, 2006

Last night, EAR FARM sponsored a show at Sin-é. Unfortunately, the skies opened up and there was a downpour right before the first band started. Also, there were a bunch of other great shows going on in NYC and my BYP friends held the third Beg Yr Pardon last night so there were definitely a few reasons for people to not show up. Point being the turnout was pretty good, all things considered, and the night overall was a total success. See, the four bands were all flat out EXCELLENT. More than a few people talked to me about how much they liked (not just one, but ALL of) the bands, and the chance for more people to be exposed to musicians I really believe in is what these EF Presents shows are all about.

Daylight's For The Birds
The early evening thunderstorm actually set the mood nicely (even if it may have kept a few people from braving the rain to come to the show early) for the first band of the evening, Daylight's For The Birds. Whether you're already familiar with this band or not, get ready to hear a lot more from them. Gorilla vs. Bear posted about them a while ago and Chromewaves posted about them, again, this past week. Their recordings I listened to before seeing them live promised a sweet mixture of classic shoegaze sounds from bands like Slowdive and dream pop bands like Cocteau Twins. Sounds such as these are often not easy to bring to life on a stage but Daylight's For The Birds was completely up to the task. I was entirely impressed with their performance, with Amanda Garrett's vocals, and with the overall image the band has put together...from pre-show music to the dormant disco balls on the stage to their straight-forward confident demeanor.

Random comment made to me about them: "their sound was so amazing, it really filled up the room and kinda blew me away".

Listen:
"To No One"

Visit Daylight's For The Birds on MySpace.

The Secret Life Of Sofia
Band number two - The Secret Life Of Sofia. Loved their set. Loved it. It's that simple. What else can I say? Want to know what they sound like? Well, remember when I said:

"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. The ones where everything is all massive and dark and snowy and humans are nothing more than a small part of the whole. Like this one and this one."
Yes, so I stand by that description and to see them live was like finally getting to see a favorite painting in person at a museum after falling in love with pictures of it online or in books. It's evident that their recent tour probably helped the band build upon their live chops and chemistry as they seemed extremely comfortable together on stage and confident in their ability to deliver a fully memorable show. They did just that. Go see one of their upcoming shows to see what I mean.

Random comment made to me about them: "I loved The Secret Life Of Sofia, they reminded me of '80s Cure but with more friendly vocals".

Listen:
"Hospital Inside Me"

Visit The Secret Life Of Sofia on MySpace.

The Isles
Here I am, writing about another live show by The Isles...two in one week. I guess you might as well get used to it, their music has really been quenching my thirst lately. Previously I talked about their sound in terms of The Smiths but comparisons such as those don't convey what you need to know about this band. Let me say it like this, because it's the straight truth: if you grew up listening to Duran Duran, New Order, Squeeze, The Smiths, Suede, Blur...if you love Interpol but are a bit put off by their clinically calculated take on the aforementioned bands...if you've loved British indie-pop for as long as you can remember and wouldn't mind finding a New York band who plays music as if they wrote it just for you...if this is you; get up off of your bedroom floor, put down the book, and go see The Isles. Last night their kick ass rhythm section grooved so hard that a member of the audience got up on stage and danced along to a song. Ben's guitar playing was, once again, fully on point and I'll just let the below comment speak for Andrew's vocal skills.

Random comment made to me about them: "That guy's voice is amazing, it's just one of those voices that can totally carry a rock band".

Listen:
"Major Arcana"

Visit The Isles on MySpace.

Mancino
Mancino. They blend '60s pop and jazz sensibilities with time changes and an indie-rock attack reminiscent of Pavement. Each member adds vocals to the mix and at times it seems like this three piece is conjuring extra instrumentation out of thin air. Given how many times I've seen Mancino live throughout the past few years I can say without pause that this band has taken great leaps forward in the past few months with the new songs they've written for the soon-to-be recorded LP. The new stuff is magnetic, complex, and catchy and last night's outstanding set was made up almost entirely of these new songs. I am extremely excited for what lies ahead and for the rest of the indie-rock loving world to start paying attention to Mancino.

Random comment made to me about them: "Mancino pretty much blew me away".

Listen:
"Hiccup Lines"

Visit Mancino on MySpace.

Once again, my friend Franz showed up and did some sketches of three of the bands last night. Wicked cool stuff, check them out below. You can find more such drawings done by Franz of bands from BYP #1 HERE. Also, be sure to visit his site FMP Studio.com.

The Secret Life Of Sofia

The Isles

Mancino


And finally, all of the performances last night were videotaped so stay tuned for some footage from the show! Thank you very much to everyone who made it out last night!

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

29 June 2006

8+

"Ball And Chain" by Big Brother & the Holding Company which clocks in at 9:29

At Beg Yr Pardon #2, D told me something that kinda blew my mind. She said that Oxygen has an OnDemand channel; and on it, there is freaking karaoke ON DEMAND!! Holy moly-cow! For someone who loves singing anything as much as I do, that was quite the revelation. I actually had a virtual karaoke machine already in my house?! Well, I went home and checked it out right away but didn't really get a chance to sing along until last night. I had a friend over, we had a few drinks, and then I busted out the good news.

Me - "Dude, have you seen Oxygen's karaoke thing?"

Him - "Nuh, what?"

Me - "Look..."

Him - "Holy SHIT!"

That's right folks, and we sang our bloody asses off. Okay maybe not, because the selection is more heavily geared towards, well, Oxygen viewers (I suppose) and the songs they would most like to sing (drunkenly) at a bar. Regardless, we found a gem or two and busted through some fine renditions of "The Gambler", "Don't Stop Believin'", and "Every Breath You Take" (among others). But it was during my Johnny Cash meets a throat cancer having Lou Barlow version of "Me and Bobby McGee" that I realized there's quite the fine Janis Joplin 8+ song. This post is about that, not about karaoke.

You may know "Me and Bobby McGee", you may know "Piece of My Heart", or Janis Joplin's version of "Summertime", but you SHOULD know "Ball And Chain". Where the other songs made popular by Janis Joplin delivered a more radio friendly version of her raw emotion, this song IS pure, unedited raw emotion. The song feels alive. It wakes up at 2:30pm stinking of whiskey and cigarettes, it brings the pain, and it captures everything that was Janis better than any other song she ever recorded. It weeps, screams, begs and delivers one of the great human experiences ever recorded onto tape. I'd argue that just this one song, and Joplin's performance of it at the Monterey Pop Festival, did more for showing that women could be rock stars (could feel and exude Rock & Roll just like the men who were dominating the rock world at the time) than anything else recorded by a female musician in the '60s. Man how much I wish I could've heard her live. And, after you listen to this song, just imagine if Janis had recorded a few tracks with Jimmy Page. Good god.

"Ball And Chain" is a time capsule of a song that instantly transports the listener back to 1968. Back to San Francisco and the era of psychedelic peace, love, and harmony. Grab yourself a drink (or a doobie or whatever) and let Big Brother & the Holding Company take over.

Speaking of drinks, I'm playing DJ guy tonight at the EF Presents... show. I'm going to be playing ONE 8+ song at some point in the night (and this song will get posted and written about in next week's 8+) and I've got a little contest for you guys. Here's the deal: whenever the 8+ song is played, the first person who comes up to me and tells me the name of the song, and that it is in fact THE 8+, that person will get a free drink of their choice. Maybe even two if you're really impressive about it. Yes, nerds are impressed by other nerds.

(photo taken by Linda McCartney found HERE)

Buy Cheap Thrills 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+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "1% Of One"

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Score: Billy Bragg 1, Rupert Murdoch 0

Billy Bragg rules. Remember the whole MySpace owns your music thing? Well, Mr. Bragg took on MySpace over this notion - have a look at the results:

"I am very pleased to see that MySpace have changed their terms of agreement from a declaration of their rights into a declaration of our rights as artists, making it clear that, as creators, we retain ownership of our material. Having been adopted by the biggest social networking site on the block, I hope their recognition of the right of the artist to be sole exploiter of their own material now becomes an industry standard because there is much more at stake here than just the terms and conditions of a website.

In the past, songwriters and performers needed a record company to manufacture, market and distribute their work, and in exchange for that, the company expected to own the rights to exploit the recordings for as long as the material was capable of earning royalties - life of copyright in legalese which currently means 50 years."
Read the rest HERE.

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28 June 2006

EAR FARM Presents... at Sin-é - 29 June, 2006

One more day until the FUN.

EAR FARM is presenting a showcase at Sin-é here in New York City TOMORROW. All of the bands are really fantastic, checkit:

EAR FARM Presents... at Sin-é - 29 June, 2006

11:30 Mancino (+)
10:30 The Isles (+)
9:30 The Secret Life of Sofia (+)
8:30 Daylight's For The Birds (+)
Here's a little blurb about the show:
On Thursday, June 29th, New York City based music blog Ear Farm is presenting its first showcase of live music at the legendary Lower East Side venue Sin-é. Four New York based bands are in the lineup: Mancino (a blend of '60s pop, indie-rock and jazz - they played multiple shows with Tapes 'n Tapes earlier this year), The Isles (often compared to The Smiths and early REM - they recently played with Islands at the Knitting Factory), The Secret Life of Sofia (one of NYC's best little-known bands - currently on tour, this will be their homecoming show), and Daylight's For The Birds (featuring members of On! Air! Library! - these guys will be getting serious national attention very soon). Each band was hand picked by Ear Farm to deliver a unified overall sonic experience sure to move minds, hearts, and feet. Doors open at 8:00pm, the first band starts at 8:30pm, and tickets are available on Ticketweb for $10.
You can get tickets on Ticketweb HERE or at the door.

And I thought it might be swell if I mentioned a few of the other shows going on tomorrow night, because there's a bunch worth going to and I'd love to send you guys to these if not to mine. All I'm saying is, if you're not coming to the EF show you better be going to one of these:

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Shapes and Sizes remix/cover song contest!

Asthmatic Kitty Records recently signed Victoria, BC band Shapes and Sizes. In addition, this Saturday is Canada Day. To celebrate these two things, and to give you musicians something fun to do in your free time, Asthmatic Kitty Records is having a contest. That's the short and long of it, but let's have some details, shall we?

Submit a remix, cover, reinterpretation, or mash-up of Shapes and Sizes' song "Wilderness" from their forthcoming self-titled debut. A specially selected team of bloggers will choose the three most creative and intriguing entries. First place will receive $300 and some AK-Shwag. Second and third place will receive shwag, without the cash.

On September 1st, check back at asthmatickitty.com for the winners.
I'm not sure who (else) will be making up the panel of bloggers, but I do know that one of them will be ME. That's right, so get your shit together and remix, remix, repackage...er, I mean remix or cover "Wilderness".

And hey, want a free tip? Make sure your version reflects who you (or your band) are (is) as a musician(s). Seems obvious, perhaps, but I've heard more than one cover fail to work because of a lack of understanding of this.

Full info about the contest HERE.

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Sleater-Kinney calling it quits

Sleater-Kinney announced the following yesterday via their website:

After eleven years as a band, Sleater-Kinney have decided to go on indefinite hiatus. The upcoming summer shows will be our last. As of now, there are no plans for future tours or recordings.

We feel lucky to have had the support of many wonderful people over the years. We want to thank everyone who has worked with us, written kind words about us, performed with us, and inspired us.

But mostly we want to extend our gratitude to our amazing fans. You have been a part of our story from the beginning. We could not have made our music without your enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty. It is you who have made the entire journey worthwhile.

With love and thanks,
Sleater-Kinney
Uh, now I REALLY wish I had gotten tickets to their upcoming show here in August. See a list of their final shows HERE.

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27 June 2006

snip·pets

Axl Rose Arrested In Stockholm

Die Romantik interview with The Deli

5 disc Tori Amos box set due Sept 26th

Arcade Fire have recorded 15 songs for their new album

Wired magazine on Rupert Murdoch and his $580 million purchase of MySpace

New Portishead Album Imminent?

Dave Brubeck's big band makes N.Y. debut

Pitchfork's summer reading list

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Contrast Podcast #13

Again I'm here to tell you about Contrast Podcast. Again I'm not a contributor. Must get it together and contribute for #14. But, this is about the podcast for this week. Theme: 'dinner music for a pack of hungry cannibals'. Go now and listen to Contrast Podcast #13.

You can download it HERE.

Previously:
Contrast Podcast #1
Contrast Podcast #2
Contrast Podcast #3
Contrast Podcast #4
Contrast Podcast #5
Contrast Podcast #6
Contrast Podcast #7
Contrast Podcast #8
Contrast Podcast #9
Contrast Podcast #10
Contrast Podcast #11
Contrast Podcast #12

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Today's NEW releases

For one reason or another, these that come out today interest me:

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

26 June 2006

Other Passengers, Susu, Die Romantik @ Tonic, 24 June 2006

I'm embarrassed to say this but, this weekend was my first time seeing a show at Tonic. I've almost gone a few times in the past but things just never worked out for some reason. So, yes, I did make it there for Saturday night's show. No, not this show, the other show that happened at Tonic on Saturday night.

Other Passengers
Other Passengers will rule your world. That's the disclaimer that should be posted along with each announcement that they're playing a live show. Seeing an Other Passengers show is a double slap across the face that makes you remember how you felt when you first saw Syd-era Pink Floyd and then makes you realize you're not old enough for memories like that. No, you must've been thinking about what it was like in your imagination all those times you thought about how fucking cool it would be to see an experimentally inclined rock band play a show in a small club. A band that uses video projection as a backdrop, nay, kinda wears the video projection. Other Passengers has a lead singer cut from the same mold as Ian Curtis/Jim Morrison, has a sound that will knock you on your ass and make your head spin, and has a new full-length coming out SOON. Get with it.

Listen:
"Bank"

Visit Other Passengers on MySpace.

Susu
Dear Susu, how I love thee...let me count the ways. One, I adore Andrea's guitar and vocals. Seriously. Two, Mike's bass work and alternating vocals with Andrea kick ass. Three, Justin tears it up on the drum kit and is also a bunch of fun to watch play. Makes me want to jump around and break things. That's right, and that's a good thing. I didn't break things during your set but I might've jumped around a bit. At least I definitely was pumping my first in the air, at times, like some cross between a Black Panther and a kid at a high school pep rally. Yeah, sorry about that. But when I hear "In The Pool" and "Sawtooth" I just can't help it. Susu is a band that really matters. One of those bands that makes me want to start a record label just so I can be sure you're recording more music and getting it out there for more people to hear. Hey, whatever, it's the truth. I thought it on Saturday night when I was, er, with bourbon, and I'm still thinking it today. So, cheers Susu, nice to meet you guys finally, and thanks for the great music!

Note to my cat - watch out. I got Susu's new album on Saturday night and this might lead to some at-home jumping around/Susu induced pep rally-like behavior. I'm not a freak, I swear. Some music just makes you want to SCREAM. Wooo hooo SUSU!

Listen:
"Sawtooth"

Visit SUSU on MySpace.

Die Romantik
I ended up needing to run Saturday night before even really hearing any of Die Romantik's set. Basically, I snapped a picture and took off to get some much needed food (drinking on an empty stomach - lunacy or idiocy?). But I did want to be able to tell you guys (again) about this band. From the tiny bit I heard on my way out, their sound is being finely tuned. Slightly evolving. Maybe very similar to what it's been in the past but now with teeth. Or something. Don't get me wrong, I still stand by my previous description of their sound; so for whatever reason sparks your desire, you should go see them when you get the chance.

Listen:
"Tik Tok"

Watch:
"Nattmusik Fur Linnea"

Visit Die Romantik on MySpace.


ps - how was Final Fantasy anyway?

UPDATE - slacker Brooklyn Vegan finally posted a very nice write-up of the Final Fantasy show.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Slowlands and The Isles @ the Mercury Lounge, 24 June 2006

Saturday night I finally got to see two bands I've meant to check out live for a while now, Slowlands and The Isles. You might remember the post on EF about Slowlands, or that I included their song "One More Fire" as my contribution to Contrast Podcast #7. You also may have noticed that The Isles are playing the first EAR FARM Presents... show this Thursday night.

Slowlands
Slowlands opened the night a little bit after 9pm and they were missing a member of the band, their guitarist. I thought that, given the situation, the guys sounded great. Other than "One More Fire" I'm not super familiar enough with their songs to notice what was missing, and when, so I really enjoyed their set regardless. They have a very full, well thought-out, sound often characterized by building songs from gentle beginnings to explosive climaxes. The entire time, their lead singer brought it - his voice reminding me more than once of Tim Booth. I'm (mostly) always happy when bands remind me of my musical heroes of the past. More on that in one second.

Listen:
"Eisenstein"

Visit Slowlands on MySpace.

The Isles
The Isles remind people of The Smiths. I've heard it more than once, in fact it was the first thing I ever heard about this band. I missed seeing them open for Islands back in December at the Knitting Factory but in the bathroom before the show I heard someone say "they were okay, sounded like if The Smiths got back together but sucked". Yes, that's what I heard, and let me tell you I mention this for two reasons: one, because I find it amusing and entirely false, and two because it was these very words that got me interested in the band in the first place. Reminder - The Smiths are my favorite band ever. I've heard SO many bands called "the next Smiths" (or Smiths sound-a-likes) that it's generally quite a turn off to hear a band described as such, but that's never been the case with The Isles. Within their songs there's some Marr in the guitars, there's some Rourke in the bass, a touch of Morrissey in the lyrics, but there's so much more. Influences have clearly come to these guys from a variety of directions and the songs I've heard from their upcoming album really prove that they're in the upper echelon of New York based Indie-rock bands. There aren't many times you'll find yourself dancing to the groovy bass line/drumbeat while loving the jangle of the guitars and also actually listening to the lyrics...no, these guys are something special. Come and see them on Thursday night at Sin-é and see just how right I am.

Listen:
"Major Arcana"

Watch:
"Eve Of The Battle"

Visit The Isles on MySpace.

Right, Rahim and The Plastic Constellations played next on this bill but I had to leave to go see a show at another venue. I trust that both bands were excellent.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Don't You (Forget About Me)

The following list covers all of the artists/bands featured on EAR FARM through the end of May 2006. Neat and tidy, neat and tidy. Now go and catch up on EAR FARM's past, even though none of these bands is really OF the past. Each one is a band worth checking out right NOW. So, do it. 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 (+)
The Art of Shooting (+)
Bastion (+)
Bishop Allen (+)
A Brief Smile (+)
Daylight's For The Birds (+)
Die Romantik (+)
The Diggs (+)
Dracula Zombie USA (+)
Fanuelle (+)
Goes Cube (+)
The Isles (+)
Limbs (+)
Man in Gray (+)
Mancino (+)
Mobius Band (+)
Murder Mystery (+)
The Nailbiters (+)
Nous Non Plus (+)
Other Passengers (+)
A Passing Feeling (+)
Proton Proton (+)
Royal Arms (+)
The Secret Life of Sofia (+)
Slowlands (+)
Split Over Drapes (+)
Susu (+)
Tigercity (+)
The Unsacred Hearts (+)

Bands from elsewhere:
Lily Allen (+)
The Alright Ma's (+)
The Apparitions (+)
Arthur & Yu (+)
Ash Tree (+)
At Dusk (+)
Beangrowers (+)
Bella (+)
Birdmonster (+)
Black Nasty (+)
Billy Bragg (+)
Brakes (+)
Captain of Industry (+)
Clementine Broadcast (+)
Cloud Cult (+)
Happycasio! (+)
Noah Harrison (+)
Richard Hawley (+)
The Heights (+)
John & Jehn (+)
Kim Novak (+)
Lesley Lane (+)
The Lovely Feathers (+)
Low Lustre (+)
Machine Go Boom (+)
Man Man (+)
The Melody Function (+)
Mull Historical Society (+)
OMR (+)
Peasant (+)
People in Planes (+)
The Pine Club (+)
Pleasant (+)
Pretty Girls Make Graves (+)
Sam Roberts Band (+)
The Sames (+)
Schooner (+)
Kelley Stoltz (+)
Strip Squad (+)
Tapes 'n Tapes (+)
Tennis and the Mennonites (+)
Track A Tiger (+)
The Vorstand Circus (+)
We Versus the Shark (+)
Katharine Whalen (+)
Wilderness (+)

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

24 June 2006

Weekend Live Music

Nouvelle Vague live @ Le Bataclan, Paris, France, 14 June 2006
(photo, from another show, from HERE)

1. "The Killing Moon"
2. "This Is Not A Love Song"
3. "Dancing With Myself"
4. "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)"
5. "Making Plans For Nigel"
6. "Blue Monday"
7. "Human Fly"
8. "Sweet And Tender Hooligan"
9. "Guns Of Brixton"
10. "Fade To Grey"
11. "A Forest"
12. "Eisbär" (thanks to Marvo and Michael for telling me the title of this track!)
13. "Don't Go"
14. "Heart Of Glass"
15. "Just Can't Get Enough"
16. "Teenage Kicks"
17. "Too Drunk To Fuck"
18. "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
19. 1st encore - applause
20. "Sorry For Laughing"
21. "Bela Lugosi's Dead"
22. "In A Manner Of Speaking"
23. 2nd encore - applause
24. "Relax"

Thanks go out to Liquidsky for this recording.

EF can't offer the whole show as a .zip due to issues in the past when bandwidth was exceeded.

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, and Radiohead.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

23 June 2006

The Unsacred Hearts and Levy @ Sin-é, 22 June 2006

Last night, somewhere deep in NYC, I finally made it out to the Crackers United party known as Friction. Yeah, only took me like months to do so. What was the draw this time? Well, for most people it was Levy and The Big Sleep (who I didn't get to see because I had to leave but I heard they were great). For me, it was a chance to see The Unsacred Hearts live at last.

The Unsacred Hearts
I only just started listening to The Unsacred Hearts in March. Back then, I mentioned how stupid and lazy I was about getting into their music. You'd do yourself quite a favor to not make the same mistakes as me. See, I've had their new album In Defense of Fort Useless (buy HERE) for a little over a month now and I'm finding myself liking it more and more with each listen. The album has raw power like The Stooges, a bit of a country-punk nod to bourbon in a few songs, and NYC bravado like The Ramones. Live, they were everything I could have wanted and more. It was the sound of four guys reminding New York what it means to have a blast playing rock/punk-rock. Their show, a virtual auditory viagra for the flaccid fans I've come to expect at NYC club shows. Absent were 'cool' people with arms folded, and a serious look on their face, and in their place was an audience rocking out to The Unsacred Hearts and their guest singers, the lovely Hardtogettes.

Listen:
"Somewhere Deep In NYC"

Visit The Unsacred Hearts on MySpace.

Levy
Sorry. Sorry about this picture. I'd like to say that I was being creative here and trying to show those of you who didn't consume multiple free Sparks just what it looked like once you had, but that's not the case. No, I happened to step outside after The Unsacred Hearts and when I came back inside, the whole world was there to see Levy and I was stuck far off in the back of the room. My goodness there were lots of people up in thurr. I mean, I'd heard a few Levy songs before, knew of the video (below) they did, but I had no idea they were so well liked by so many people. Given the sharp blend of Brit-pop and '90s alternative I can see why they've built themselves a nice fanbase. Supposedly they played mostly new songs last night and the tunes seemed to go over well with the audience. They were catchy and melodic and the kind of material that should easily grab them more attention as their reach expands beyond NYC and into the hearts of the rest of America.

Listen:
"In The Woods"

Watch:
"On The Dance Floor"

Visit Levy on MySpace.

More pictures from last night HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

22 June 2006

8+

"1% Of One" by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks which clocks in at 9:13

Achtung! We are set for another guest post here on EAR FARM's 8+ series. This one comes to us from my good friend Mike. You may remember reading a contribution or two (or three or four) from him here on EF in the past... If you missed those previous posts, fear not. I'll tell you all you need to know in one simple sentence: Mike's immense desire to stalk and grope Stephen Malkmus is only surpassed by his immense desire to talk about Stephen Malkmus and the music he makes. And I'm only half joking. Excited? Heck yes. Want to contribute yourself? Go ahead then, send me something. In the meantime, let's have your full attention focused on Mike.

1% Of One. The title alone scares up an image of the Malkman chewing on a pen cap and thinking of clever new ways to smoosh words and phrases together as a reminder that he's smarter than us. How much is 1% of one? I try not to think about that; math slows my breathing. Just say it out loud though - 1% Of One - sounds cool, right?

Yes, and the actual song sounds nice too. Real nice. And isn't that the point? How much meaning are we to glean from a blind soundman in the Netherlands mixing a record that sounds both a bit like the Zephyrs and a bit like the Jicks? I don't know. I don't think Malkmus knew either, which is why at around 1:08 he nudges and winks at us saying, "And there my friend the story ends, short though I know it may be," and then proceeds to shred our collective faces for nearly the next eight minutes with an absolutely jamming breakdown.

Here is the fact: Malkmus is the best guitar player on the face of this earth. No, he doesn't have his own model of Fender Strat like Yngwie Malmsteen (or even the guy from Blink-182 for that matter). No, he's not the most technically efficient. You won't see a Malkmus DVD showing on loop behind the counter at Guitar Center. But, similar to his way with words, he has an uncanny ability to attack melodies, toying with them and rearranging them in such a tasteful and endearingly sloppy way that you can't help but want to drink a bottle of Robitussen and play along on air guitar.

And there my friend the story ends, short though I know its not. Over nine minutes of Malkmus perfection. Carry on.
Buy Pig Lib 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+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"

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OPP

The 14th Floor has new Futureheads songs

Pop Tarts Suck Toasted has some live Beirut videos (via LHB)

The Oak room celebrates the Stanley Cup win by the Carolina Hurricanes

Rock Insider with a post on Swedish music

Beirut guest posted on StG

Stereogum - MP3 Search Engines, The Law And You

Yeti Don't Dance has Taylor Hicks + Snoop Dogg performing "Gin & Juice"

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21 June 2006

Beg Yr Pardon #2

The second Beg Yr Pardon party was held last night at The Delancey. Kicked ass once again? You bet. Were you there? Did you go to see Telenovela Star, Planes For Spaces, Takka Takka, Higgins...or perhaps for DJ Travisson Business, or the free Moonshot beer? Personally, I was there because I had such a blast at the first one and because I totally trust the BYP crew to bring the goods. Oh and they did. The goods were GREAT. Do I mean the baked goods? No. Well sure, I mean those were excellent. So much so that they were all consumed last night and then an unruly mass of people started marching across the Williamsburg Bridge with torches demanding more. Okay no, that's not true. But everyone did seem to really like the free baked goodies, myself included. Seriously Tina, those brownies are superb. What I am referring to, however, are the 'goods' that were the four excellent bands (plus one great DJ) last night.

Telenovela Star
The first band of the night was Telenovela Star. I am seriously sad that I got there late and was only able to hear their final two songs because the ladies in this band seemed to rock something fierce. A smart rock too, not all over the place but actually rather well put together in a manner that reminded me of Elastica. Then again, I had far too brief an experience with them so I will most certainly have to see Telenovela Star sometime in the not-to-distant future.

Listen: "blmhyl improv" by Telenovela Star

Planes For Spaces
Next up, Planes For Spaces. They came all the way from Milwaukee Minneapolis to play Beg Yr Pardon and I think I speak for all of the BYP'ers there last night in saying thanks to Planes For Spaces for making the trip and thanks for making me envision one of your band members having sex with a senior citizen. According to Joe January, the band has been an evolving cast of characters but he's clearly the heart of what Planes For Spaces is about. Last night, they were about rocking some faces with the classic small venue raw set-up of one guy on drums, one on guitar.

Listen: "Dream Number One" by Planes For Spaces

Takka Takka
Last night, D told me that Takka Takka is used to refer to foosball in Chile. Mmmm foosball. Well, I really love foosball and, so it seems, I also love the band Takka Takka. Even if their name is a reference to a painting (is that what it was? by which artist? stupid lack of memory skills... thanks D - the painting is by Roy Lichtenstein) and not to the game I love so much. 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. Check them out next time you get a chance and go see what Village Indian just recently said about them...me, I'm going to go listen to the CD they gave me last night that came in its very own felt CD case sleeping bag.

Listen: "We Feel Safer At Night" by Takka Takka

Higgins
I say Higgins, you say "rules"...Higgins, RULES...Higgins, RULES! Shit yeah man. I had never heard anything about this band before last night (truth be told, I sometimes try and keep it that way so that my first experience with a band is a rather pure one) but from the moment they jumped into their set I was thinking Beatles, Beatles, Beatles. That's not to say I didn't hear other influences in their songs, it just means that I found myself loving how much Higgins obviously loves the Beatles. I tend to go through phases where I'm all of a sudden listening to the Beatles again for the first time in years and I'm in the midst of one now, so last night was a perfect time for me to see a band like Higgins. Don't go away thinking their sound is old news, this is a band that needs to be heard by more people. They've got a great balance within the band, great balance from rocking songs to more quiet ones, and a great drummer who seemed more Keith Moon than Ringo. Very glad I stayed for their whole set.

Listen: "Drop Off" by Higgins

So, there you have it. Some kind of a recap of last night's Beg Yr Pardon party. It was, once again, a really great time. If you haven't gone to one of these yet, wake up. The next one is Thursday, June 29th so if you really must go see a show other than the first Ear Farm Presents... show, I HIGHLY recommend going to BYP#3.

Read more about BYP#2 on Subinev, the BYP site, and elsewhere soon I'm sure. Let me know if you've written about the show or have pictures.

Visit Beg Yr Pardon on MySpace.

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Brakes news - currently recording second album

Brakes just sent out an email update. I love Brakes and was VERY happy to hear that they're currently recording a new album, so I now pass along the news to you:

Brakes are currently holed up in a recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee in the throws of recording their much anticipated second album. Reports so far indicate that things are sounding lush. But Brakes are not satisfied with only recording an album over the summer, no, as soon as the finishing touches have been applied they are flying to Paris to start their European tour of summer festivals:

June 25 - Furia Festival -Paris, FRANCE
July 14 - Summercase - Madrid, SPAIN
July 15 - Summercase - Barcelona, SPAIN
July 16 - Dour Festival - Dour, BELGIUM
July 22 - Truck Festival - Oxford, UK
July 24 Taylors Bar Watford, UK
August 4 - Festival Sudoeste - Zambujeira do Mar, PORTUGAL
August 6 - Electric Gardens - Mount Ephraim Gardens, Canterbury, UK
August 9 - Oya Festival - Oslo, NORWAY
August 12 - Summer Sundae -Leicester, UK
August 18 - Frequency - Salzburg, AUSTRIA
September 1 - Electric Picnic - Stradbally, Co. Laois, IRELAND
September 8 - Bestival - Robin Hill, Isle Of Wight, UK
September 16 - End Of The Road - Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, UK
Visit Brakes on MySpace and/or go check out their shirts and merch online. I definitely need one of those "Hi how are you" shirts.

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I Want my MTV

"Steady, As She Goes" by The Raconteurs edition:

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

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20 June 2006

Victor Scott

When bands send me music there's a multitude of ways in which I end up listening to their stuff. Inevitably though, it all gets put into this massive playlist on my iPod called 'New Bands To Check Out'. Sometimes I go through in the order they're in, other times it's on shuffle. But each time I hear something that catches my attention I'm sure to look and see just who the artist is. A few days ago, I was listening to what I thought was a shuffled version of this playlist. First song, nah. Next. Second song...meh, next. Then came this ragtime guitar strumming. YES, I thought. Got me grooving right away with the ethereal backing bit...is that a guitar or keys? Whatever. Either way it's goo...oh, it's over. I hit the back button to listen again and see what it was. Victor Scott eh? "Whodat?" I wondered, and then calmly went on to the next song.

Turns out I had been sent Victor Scott's entire new album Happy Days and was just beginning to listen to the whole thing. I wasn't aware of it for some time though. That first song I heard is called "Chimp Farm" and when it gave way to the next track, "Gotta Go", I assumed shuffle had taken me to another artist. I liked what I was hearing in "Gotta Go" though, so I checked out who it was. Victor Scott again, interesting. Not unusual that shuffle wouldn't really shuffle though. Hmmm, next song. The next track began playing, "Oh cool" I thought, "this is nice Kinks kinda stuff, I like it". Then I checked the artist once again and, again, it was Victor Scott! I finally understood. The tiny jukebox was NOT on shuffle, I was just being a fool. What's that saying that Bush slaughtered about fooling me once/twice? Anyway, by the time I knew what was going on I was on to track number five and seemingly the fifth genre in five songs. Five really good songs. Hmm, must learn more about Victor Scott!

(below, a bit more about Victor Scott)

Victor Scott was born in London and then moved to Massachusetts and then Vancouver. The bio on his site is maybe a bit much to copy and place here, or even summarize. Let's just focus instead on the final line of that bio: "Like every other musician, Victor wishes he was in Deerhoof". Well put Victor. The music he makes isn't so much akin to Deerhoof (other than in spirit perhaps) but is rather a cornucopia of styles. There's surf-rock, sample based stuff, quiet folk-y pop-rock, guitar rock, Beck style jams, a song about underpants...the list goes on and on, just know that this is an album you need to hear. 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 - Scott, Victor Scott. No wait, let me try that again. A martini...shaken, not shuffled. No! Damn. Again. Happy Days straight up, not shuffled...check it out, it's fab. Scott, Victor Scott. Do it.

Listen:
"Gotta Go"
"Mareel"

Watch:
"Fortune Favours the Brave" (done by Mike from Nothing But Green Lights)

Visit Victor Scott on MySpace.

Go HERE to buy some of his stuff!

Other people talked about Victor Scott before me:

***also, if you find yourself dancing along to "Gotta Go" and feel like you'd like to be in the video for it, you're in luck! find out more info HERE***

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Pitchfork's 100 Awesome Music Videos

What's that noise? Do you hear it? It's faint. Ever so slight but getting louder. I think, yes it is, it's Pitchfork's pulse. Ye olde music site that nearly hipped itself right into oblivion is revving its engines and seeming more than relevant once again. Years ago they had the whole world of indie music checking in every day to see what Pitchfork had in store. Okay, they still do. I, for one, check in each day. But now, after many a really good feature and interview in a row (as well as consistent music news and a killer festival) I think I just might start READING, rather than skimming, the album reviews once again. That's all to say that I'm now going to lead you to this fun feature they've just posted over there, so enjoy.

Here is Pitchfork's 100 Awesome Music Videos. You probably know how much I love music videos and there are some choice ones in that feature. Go check it out.

UPDATE - just saw this post on NPR which points to another EXCELLENT music video resource - HERE.

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Contrast Podcast #12

Slacker. That's me. Not really, but I wasn't able to find the time to contribute to Contrast Podcast. Again. Still, I listen. I love it, don't you? Theme this week: 'numbers'. Check out Contrast Podcast #12.

You can download it HERE.

Previously:
Contrast Podcast #1
Contrast Podcast #2
Contrast Podcast #3
Contrast Podcast #4
Contrast Podcast #5
Contrast Podcast #6
Contrast Podcast #7
Contrast Podcast #8
Contrast Podcast #9
Contrast Podcast #10
Contrast Podcast #11

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Today's NEW releases

Today brings us:

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19 June 2006

Beg Yr Pardon #2

The SECOND Beg Yr Pardon is happening tomorrow night. Tina (organizer) is AGAIN making brownies and you can get them for FREE. There will be four bands (Higgins, Planes for Spaces, Takka Takka, Telenovela Star), nice people, FREE beer from 11:30-12:30 and this is all for $5. For an extra $5 you get all-you-can-eat BBQ. It's going to be a rockin party and I will indeed be there again. Wouldn't miss it!

Go HERE for info on the bands and mp3s and what it's all about (partying! basement style! community!).

Read about the first Beg Yr Pardon HERE.

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snip·pets

New Air album in 2007

Justin Timberlake to release new album too (don't lie, you want to click it...go ahead)

XM, Sirius Push Interoperable Receiver Initiative

The Independent on Hope Against Hope - Q magazine's fake MySpace band

Taylor Hicks set to record some 'secret stuff' that he's 'completely stoked about'

Spin's Bonnaroo '06 coverage (not so bad there Spin)

"Kill Your Idols," a NYC music documentary, picked up for distribution by Palm Pictures

Pitchfork Interview with Nick Diamonds from Islands/Unicorns

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15 June 2006

8+

"Doowutchyalike" by Digital Underground which clocks in at 8:54

You may have noticed before that I'm a very big fan of Digital Underground. Huge. At least, I've listened to their album Sex Packets something like 5,000 times. That number might not even be an exaggeration. I can bust into quoting their rhymes at ANY moment, just like I can with quotes from The Goonies. You want to know what thrills and entertains the general public at parties and social events? Responding like so when someone says they're hungry:

"Now if you're hungry, get yourself something to eat, and if you're dirty, then go take a bath. Messed up the line? Nope, sometimes I don't rhyme. Help yourself to a cracker, with a spread of cheddar cheese. Have a neck bone, you don't have to say please. Eat what ya like, yo, smell how ya like."
Yes, it's a sad life I lead.

The first song to grab my attention from Sex Packets was, obviously, "The Humpty Dance". What an instant classic that was. Next, I fell in love with "Freaks of the Industry" which happens to be one of my favorite songs of all time. That's not to sell "Doowutchyalike" short, it's just that good of a song. But, on "Doowutchyalike" you've got an automatic 8+ minute long party. The bass draws the listener in immediately and in no time a strong beat comes in to anchor the song. Also, without pause, you find out that you're in for a dope group rap/party song. Everyone is invited - "Now, red, white, black, tan, yellow, or brown, it really doesn't matter, we can all get down" - this song brings more people together than Hands Across America.

Keep your ears peeled for many great moments in "Doowutchyalike". At 3:30 there's a break (and faux ending) for radio stations to begin fading out the song. This gives way to the notion that Digital Underground will "...now allow the beat to continue, and proceed to give you more of what you like." Indeed, and next up are some classic samples, a piano solo at about 5:26, and more old-school humor from Shock G and Money B. Baby dope is in tha house!

Buy Sex Packets 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+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"

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