28 December 2006

8+

Sorry guys, no new 8+ this week. It's time for a bit of a break and a look back at what the past year has given us in 8+ land.

For a little over a year now EAR FARM's 8+ has offered a weekly look at songs longer than eight minutes. Each week, new song. The rules have always been very simple: there are no rules, or guidelines, other than that the song has to be over eight minutes in length and I won't allow live versions of songs to be featured. Beyond that, it's anything goes. And that's true in terms of genre as well. The songs have gone from current electronic music to '70s jazz, from early rap/electro to classic prog-rock. And that's only scratching the surface of the variety of the music that's been touched upon here.

The feature was conceived as a way for me to explore (and share) something I've always really loved musically (the long song) in a manner that offered complete posting freedom. Often times I've found myself telling stories about the selected song and how it's taken part in my life. Sometimes I've switched it up a bit and done wacky things like composing an original screenplay, free writing, or given a pop quiz. I've also opened things up and let some guests share their 8+s with you. No matter what, it's always been a real pleasure for me. Hopefully the same has been true for all of you. If you'd like to leave a comment here I'd be curious to know what your favorite post has been thus far in the 8+ series and also what your favorite song has been. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week/year with an all new 8+.

You can see all 52 of EAR FARM's 8+ posts thus far below listed from most recent to oldest.

Depeche Mode - "Never Let Me Down Again" (Split Mix)
This Mortal Coil - "Dreams Are Like Water"
The Church - “Chaos"
Alex Skolnick Trio - "War Pigs"
Arlo Guthrie - “Alice's Restaurant Massacre"
The Human League - "Morale... / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Red House Painters - “River"
Suicide - “Frankie Teardrop"
Grateful Dead - “Terrapin Station"
Deodato - “Also Sprach Zarathustra"
Bark Psychosis - “All Different Things"
!!! - ““Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard (a true story)""
Suede - “The Asphalt World"
Love and Rockets - “Haunted When the Minutes Drag"
Rush - “2112"
Explosions In The Sky - "Memorial"
Charalambides - “Two Birds"
Bob Marley & The Wailers - “Exodus” (1984 12" Mix)
Aarktica - “Song For A Free Williamsburg”
Newcleus - “Jam On It”
Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Sir Psycho Sexy”
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - “Cowgirl in the Sand”
DJ Shadow - "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain"
The Stone Roses - "I Am The Resurrection"
Big Brother & the Holding Company - "Ball And Chain"
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "1% Of One"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
New Order - "Temptation"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Islands - "Swans"
British Sea Power - "Lately"

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OPP

Wes over at Brooklyn Vegan lists his top hip hop records of 2006

Heart On A Stick is back with another well aggregated list of bloggers' top albums of 2006

Nerd Litter posted his 30 best songs of 2006

RBally has some REM Christmas goodness for you

Idolator posted about The Au Pairs

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27 December 2006

Taigaa

The only band on the bill tonight not from the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill area is the exotic Brooklyn band Taigaa. Taigaa is a three piece all-female band that caught my attention immediately with their experimental energy and efficient minimalism. 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.

Influences abound here (from classical to flamenco to Asian pop), and I get the sense that this is a band who'd be right at home playing behind belly dancers in İstanbul, but the very first sound alike that came to mind is a band that Taigaa doesn't actually sound very similar to: Deerhoof. Taigaa shares the same joyous explosiveness and less-is-more creative chaos as Deerhoof while doing so in a world that's entirely their own. This is a band on the rise, a band for those unafraid to explore music, and a band I'm extremely excited to see live.

Listen:
"Ennui Ennui Catastrophe"
"Queen of Black Diamond"
"Cosmic Matador"

Visit Taigaa on MySpace

Come see Taigaa (and other swell bands) TONIGHT at the EAR FARM Presents... show @ Bickett Gallery.

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Erie Choir

In setting up tonight's EAR FARM Presents... show I asked Tripp from Schooner for a little help selecting the bands for the bill. The first one he mentioned was Erie Choir, a band I'd not heard of before and am now extremely excited to see live.

From what I can tell, Erie Choir is the work of Eric Roehrig and a revolving cast of musician friends. I can say 'friends' with a bit of confidence as, well, it comes across in the songs. There's this particular comfortable warmth in Erie Choir's music that feels like home and sounds like memories. You're thinking, "Greeting card sap begone!", but honestly I'm just getting started. After I see them at Bickett Gallery I might come back here and write sappy sonnets or something so you may as well stick with what I've got for you right now.

The songs I've been able to check out vary from country infused pop-rock (check out the song "Picture Equals Proof" on their MySpace page) to detached intelli-pop along the lines of the work of Stephin Merritt ("Pan Pan Where Did You Go?", also on MySpace). At each turn Erie Choir lets the listener peer through a different window of inspiration: the song "Trunion Pike" comes across as the work of a singer songwriter who can deftly work hushed campfire songs about loneliness without sounding derivative while "Lullaby For John Grives" finds Erie Choir moving towards Tom Petty and Tears for Fears territory (believe it or not) with a touch of those smart backing vocals we all love so much. The real standout of the songs I've posted though is "Favorite Fotos". In this song Erie Choir reaches a level of textured maturity that belies the number of profile views the band has had on their MySpace page and sets the course for the song to help the band reach a broader audience via television, film, or simple word of mouth.

Oh, and supposedly they sometimes do a kick ass Prince cover.

Listen:
"Favorite Fotos"
"Lullaby For John Grives"
"Trunion Pike"

Visit Erie Choir on MySpace

Come see Erie Choir (and other swell bands) TONIGHT at the EAR FARM Presents... show @ Bickett Gallery.

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26 December 2006

Schooner

If you've been reading EAR FARM for a while you've no doubt seen mention before of Schooner. Certain bands tend to scratch you in all of the right places and Schooner's been working that magic on me for a while now. Yet I've never properly given them the EF treatment and I haven't had a chance to have them play an EAR FARM Presents... show, but all of that's about to change. Take a moment to read the following and then come on out to see them tomorrow at Bickett Gallery.

Schooner is an American indie pop-rock centric band that fits very nicely into the family tree of bands from Raleigh/Chapel Hill music history. At times they'll have you thinking of Silver Jews, or their peers The Rosebuds, (or maybe Cracker) but the songs they write also drift towards experimentation. They refuse to put fences around themselves and their melodic yet melancholic songs always come across both interesting and catchy. Isn't that, like, everything you look for in a song/band? I know, I know, yep - yeah you too.

Take the song "Normal Day" for example. It starts out Sonic Youth-y and then wastes no time moving into a twist on something Dylanesque...it's kind of...it's nearly all things to everyone and that's no simple feat. I love it. And their song "Trains And Parades"? That was one of my most played songs of late 2005. As soon as I hear that bouncing organ I smile. The song almost feels like a favorite song by The Smiths as interpreted by Wilco...or something. At least, that's the kind of warm comfort feeling I get when I hear it. It's quite an achievement, really, to have written even one song as good as "Trains And Parades" and from what I've heard thus far, Schooner is not content to stop there. What lies ahead for this band as they near the completion of their second LP is nothing but good things. Good things Mikey.

Listen:
"Make Me Mad"
"Normal Day"
"Trains And Parades"

Visit Schooner on MySpace

See them live on December 27th @ the EAR FARM Presents... show @ Bickett Gallery.

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Contrast Podcast #39

The final Contrast Podcast of 2006 is upon us. Go check out Contrast Podcast #39 and thank Tim for an excellent year of podcasting.

You can download Contrast Podcast #39 HERE.

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Today's NEW releases

Not much out today:

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25 December 2006

Have A Funky Christmas - In Memory of James Brown

Early this morning the world lost a pioneer, a true legend, when James Brown died after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Brown was one of the most elite and influential musicians of the past century. He brought the funk (he invented it) but he also sang and acted with the goal of bettering the lives of African Americans and poor people across the country. These are the things we should remember James Brown for - let's make Christmas mean something this year.

Have yourseleves a very Merry (funky) Christmas.

Listen:
"Funky Christmas" (via silence is a rhythm too)
"Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto" (via who killed the mixtape?)
"Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year Pts 1 & 2" (via FPSA)

Buy James Brown's Funky Christmas HERE.

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22 December 2006

Indie Christmas songs from Big Love Hospital and Gritty Midi Gang

"All right, listen up guys. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation."

Doesn't that just make you want to hear some Christmas music? Stuff you've not heard before? Yes, good.

The first band with Christmas songs to offer is Big Love Hospital. 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." They wrote and recorded a 5 song EP of original Christmas songs titled The Christmas Rush and have just recently made available four of these songs for download on MySpace. I've posted one song below - the rest are available HERE.

Secondly, we've got an outstanding Christmas song from The Gritty Midi Gang. You know them well - as Time Out NY said: "the Gritty Midi Gang plays tender, intelligent indie pop that has a British sort of melancholy - oh and there's MIDI aplenty, or at least chintzy beats and textures." Or, you maybe remember that they played the Family Business, EAR FARM, Deli Magazine CMJ show. Whatever the case, they've written one heck of a good Christmas song for your enjoyment. You can get it on their MySpace page, or just check it out below.I know you're totally going to impress all kinds of people with these uber-indie Christmas songs on that mix you're making. Don't thank me - thank the musicians.

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Goes Cube news + download "Goes Cube Song 35" (remixed and remastered)

Goes Cube's seven song EP Beckon the Dagger God is now available to pre-order (limited edition) over at Insound. The songs were produced by Dean Baltulonis (of Foreign Islands) and the exceptional artwork was done by Nick Brown.

I don't know if you've noticed or not but I've been telling you for all of 2006 that you should listen to this band. In fact, I'm going to repeat myself: In a world where bands barely have five songs down before they play live shows, where overhype equals indie rock success, and where rivers of shit have eroded the good taste of most listeners, Goes Cube matters. Ain't that the truth. I think I've been listening to the songs from Beckon the Dagger God more in the past six months than anything else. No, think about that. I'm serious. I just flat out love this band. Buy this record - see them live, please. You owe it to yourself. At least check out the song below.

Listen:
"Goes Cube Song 35" (remixed and remastered)

Buy Beckon the Dagger God HERE.

Visit Goes Cube on MySpace.

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21 December 2006

8+

"Never Let Me Down Again" (Split Mix) by Depeche Mode which clocks in at 9:34

Regionally, Waffle House is king in the southeast when it comes to all hours dining but in Raleigh, NC in the early '90s the IHOP on Hillsborough St. was the place to go late-night if you wanted to be amongst the misfits and oddballs. Showing up around 2am you'd never really know for sure what kind of people would be sharing the dining room with you, but it was always a guaranteed freak show of some sort. You were sure to see many drunken college kids. You might see a crack head force his way into the kitchen demanding he be allowed to cook his own eggs just the way he liked them. Or perhaps there'd be a runaway lurking around the bathrooms waiting for the right people to show up that she could take advantage of. Or maybe a family of six, with young children, eating dinner right in the middle of the whole scene. At 3am. As if that was a normal time to take your kids out for steaks at the pancake house. Or, you just might meet a sixty-two year old transient Depeche Mode fan.

Okay, "fan" is maybe taking it a bit far. And transient a bit overly euphemistic. In reality this was a smelly old bum with a portable CD player and a surprisingly dope collection of CDs in his bag.

Right, so one time when my friend and I went to that very IHOP on Hillsborough St. we couldn't help but notice the old man at the booth next to us. He looked like he was homeless, smelled like he was homeless, yet there he was seated with a cup of coffee and cash to pay on the table. This isn't what made us notice him though. What did was the fact that he had headphones on and was listening to some music rather loudly and singing along in broken speak.

"I shot a man...Leeeno....just, die....train.......San Antoooooone..."
"I shot a man...Leeeno....just, die....train.......San Antoooooone..."
"I shot a man...Leeeno....just, die....train.......San Antoooooone..."

Yes, it was clearly Johnny Cash and he had the song on repeat. It played, and he sang, over and over until my friend interrupted him on the third go-around. He invited the smelly music lover to sit at our table but the man declined by not responding in any kind of coherent fashion. In fact, conversation continued, but didn't really go anywhere, and all we were able to get out of him was that he was headed to San Antone. He asked us for a ride. I think. We asked to see his CDs.

I don't remember what all of them were (there were about 15-20 of them) but I do remember a choice few. He had Enigma's MCMXC A.D.. He had the afforementioned Johnny Cash. He had some Air Supply and Buddy Holly. And he had a CD single for Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again". I was floored. I mean, first of all this was an import. It was re-released in 1992 in the UK and you couldn't readily find it anywhere in the States. Definitely not in Raleigh. I know, I'd looked. And that's to say nothing of the fact that I was immediately in love with imagining this guy jamming out to the variety of versions of "Never Let Me Down Again" that were on the disc.

I asked him about it. Asked where he got it, asked if he liked it. He still wasn't responding well to our questions and kept singing "Folsom Prison Blues" and talked of heading to San Antone. I think he'd decided to travel via train at this point.

Then suddenly he collected all of his belongings and stood up and headed right out the door, presumably for Texas. But he left the Depeche Mode single sitting there on the table with his money and cold coffee. I grabbed it and ran after him.

"Hey you forgot this..."

I held out the CD motioning for him to take it. He stopped and looked at me. No response.

"You left it on the table..."

He shook his head no, pointed at me, and said three words very clearly. "No," (pointed at me) "Merry Christmas."

It was March but I wasn't going to try and discuss it. I simply thanked him as he turned and walked away.

I do still have that CD, of course. The version of "Never Let Me Down Again" posted here is my favorite of the four that are on it. Enjoy. And have a Merry Christmas yourself, if that's your thing. Happy holidays otherwise.

Buy Singles Box, Vol. 4 [BOX SET] 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+:
Grateful Dead - “Terrapin Station"
Suicide -“Frankie Teardrop"
Red House Painters - “River"
The Human League - “Morale... / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Arlo Guthrie - “Alice's Restaurant Massacre"
Alex Skolnick Trio - “War Pigs"
The Church - “Chaos"
This Mortal Coil - "Dreams Are Like Water"

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

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The Muggabears @ The Annex - 20 December 2006

The Muggabears live at The Annex.


Listen:
"I'm Coming True"

Visit The Muggabears on MySpace.

More pictures from this show HERE.

(ps - congratulations Kevin!)

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OPP

Brooklyn Vegan lets us know the 2007 tour dates for the recently reunited Sebadoh

Big Rock Candy Mountain's got some Christmas music for you

Noise For Toaster, also brings multiple Christmas music posts

Mike at Nothing But Green Lights posts his Top 20 Songs of the Year

Motel De Moka posted an excellent Winter mix

Ryspace has MP3s of Rainer Maria @ Bowery Ballroom, December 16th

Marathonpacks' 2006 Year-End Mixes, Vols. 1-4 - totally worth your time

Stereogum posted the new Jarvis Cocker video

Yeti's got a video of Nous Non Plus covering the Unicorns' "Tuff Ghost"

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19 December 2006

Cheyenne @ Lakeside Lounge - 15 December 2006

Can I put in something like: this is American music, take one. One two three four...

After the first three bands played the outstanding Neon Lights show on Friday night I decided to skip out a bit early to catch a band I've been wanting to see for about a year now. Seems silly that it's taken me this long to finally see Cheyenne live, I mean I first posted about them...uh, shit wow. It was one year to the day from when I first posted until when I finally saw them live. Amazing.

So, I left The Delancey and headed up to Lakeside Lounge with a friend. He was going to see Cheyenne just based upon my suggestion that he might like them but I wanted to give him a little heads up as to what kind of music to expect. I told him that their music is solid middle of America music. It's intimate rock with country tendencies that would please fans of bands like Wilco and Bob Dylan and pretty much anyone who enjoys their poetic lyrics with a nice helping of a quietly melodic, solid rock band backing them up. There's even more to them than that description but it lies in the nuances of their sound. When I first heard their music a year ago, Cheyenne left quite an impression on me. So, naturally, I was anxious to finally see them perform in, what I considered to be, the perfect venue for their music.

Unfortunately we arrived in the middle of their set but right away they put a smile on my face. The band, the venue, the whole experience, was exactly what I'd been itching to see (and quite a perfect contrast to the show I'd just come from). Cheyenne played their music in the low light of Lakeside Lounge to a group of seated fans. Not just an audience, but fans. People who've clearly discovered the goodness of the band for themselves and were wearing their appreciation proudly in the form of mouthing/singing along to the lyrics, dancing, and...believe it or not...NOT talking during the songs. The band itself thoroughly impressed me with their unity, demeanor, and delivery. I really enjoyed (what I believe to be) their newer songs that aren't on the album I was given, and I left feeling lucky to have seen them in an intimate setting/dive bar knowing full well that a band as talented as Cheyenne is going to end up selling tickets at larger venues across the country in very little time. Do you like American music?

Visit Cheyenne on MySpace.

You can check Cheyenne's upcoming schedule HERE.

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Contrast Podcast #38

Today, and last week, the Contrast Podcast is all about the holiday season. That's right, go check out Contrast Podcast #38 to hear some of your favorite bloggers selecting Christmas songs just for you.

You can download Contrast Podcast #38 HERE.

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Today's NEW releases

Not much at all:

What else is there?

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18 December 2006

Neon Lights presents... Bell, Lismore, Thieves Like Us, The Ballet

This past Friday night (at The Delancey) Neon Lights put on the first of what I'm hoping will be a long run of fantastic shows. Those of us who attended were treated to some very fine live music as well as three two of the best darn DJs this side of the Mississippi. No, I'm not talking about Prince Paul's set upstairs - I'm talking about DJ Colleen Crumbcake and DJ Fluxblog.

The bands: so, I went to the show not knowing much about the four bands I was going to see, other than that they were all D-approved and that they all share some sense of a love of synthesizers. Of course, that's really all one needs to hear to get excited right? Works for me. I figured I'd listen to each band a tiny bit before getting some songs for my own DJ sets in mind, and I did. Then I stayed as far away from the bands as I could so as to have as pure of an experience as possible. Okay, all except for Lismore. I kind of already posted about them back when my plan was to find out TONS about each of these bands before seeing them at this show. First one plan then another. I voted for posting about all of these bands before I voted against it. A flip-flopper...you got me.

Bell
Bell was the first band to take the stage. All I knew about them before the show was that they'd recorded an excellent (but too short) cover version of "Moonriver". I knew this because Colleen posted it about a week ago and I listened and then waited to see how the band sounded live. Well, it turns out that "they" only describes the band in terms of live shows and that Bell is really the work of one Olga Bell (lead singer/Juno player in the picture). It also turns out that Bell put on an amazing show on Friday night, afterwhich I realized that Olga Bell happens to be my new favorite musician in New York. Is that an exaggeration? Perhaps, but sometimes hyperbole is extremely effective in conveying a message and this is one I'm going to need everyone to pay attention to: Olga Bell has a very bright future ahead of her in the world of music. You're doing yourself a disservice by not listening to, and not going to see, Bell.

In recorded form Olga Bell's songs are delicate sparse bedroom recordings. Low-fi goodness that sounds as if it would've been very comfortable hanging out in the '90s with Bjork and Folk Implosion. In a live setting, however, Bell's music reached a completely different level of excellent. Olga's voice is simply amazing. She 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. Plus, she plays a mean (borrowed, which resulted in a few minor miscues) keyboard. Don't let her tell you, though, that Bell's set wasn't a success just because she made a mistake during the beginning of one song. Being able to display vulnerability and a sense of humor on stage is something more New York bands need to learn how to do and the moment when she stopped a song to start it over again only served to let the audience grow a bit closer to Olga and her band.

The band she surrounded herself with was perfect. The rhythm section not only kept things together nicely but knew how to shine at just the right time when the moment allowed for it. Jessica (from Via Audio) brought her usual vocal and stage presence, as Bell's backup vocalist, and I was rather impressed to later find out that this assembly of musicians isn't a full-time band. Given the collective joie de vivre with which they breezed through their set, highlighted by a totally awesome cover of Ski Lo's "I Wish", I would have thought that they've been performing together as Bell for years. No? Good. That means they've only just begun and I've still got a chance to see Bell again before the rest of the world wants a piece of them.


Lismore
Lismore was the second band of the evening and they immediately took things a bit more towards the darkness. While Bell offered a warm take on '90s influenced indie-pop Lismore brought a sound more cold in nature. Winter-pop. Yeah, that's the ticket. Beautiful winter-pop. If only it would finally start acting like winter then maybe Lismore would be the perfect band to provide our seasonal soundtrack. Get with it weather!

As Lismore took the stage, and I saw their Prodigy and other synthesizers, I realized that they were going to be doing quite a bit more than the previous band to sate my desire to see a band get all wicked synthy. Have I mentioned how much I love synthesizers? Well, Lismore does too - thank goodness for that. They played through their set with a shy professionalism emphasizing mood and sound. I thought their performance was very good, and their material clearly well rehearsed, but I think I still had Bell a bit too much on my mind to give my full attention. At any rate, Lismore is a band I'd love to see again.
Thieves Like Us
With a name like Thieves Like Us you better bring the goods. I mean, you can't just go and name your band the same name as a New Order song and not have the chops to back it up, right? Well Thieves Like Us has got it going on and played a very fine set on Friday night. As the night was progressing, and the bands seemed to be moving towards even more synth-based sounds, towards more dark music, it was only appropriate that Thieves Like Us have the stage lights turned down so that you could barely see them. This set up an unavoidably appropriate atmosphere. Watching them I felt as if I was in Manchester in 1982 seeing an up and coming new wave band blossom before my eyes. Or maybe I mean Sheffield. Yeah...Sheffield. If there's any one criticism I'd offer about the band it's that their sound rarely strays from sounding like early New Order/early Human League fronted by Larry Cassidy (from Section 25). But how can that be bad really? Those are only some of my most favorite bands ever.
    Listen: "Lady"
    see more pictures of the Thieves Like Us set HERE

Sadly, having fulfilled my DJ duties and aiming to try and see another band at another venue I ended up leaving before I could catch The Ballet. This is no excuse for you to avoid checking them out, however, and I suggest you do so right now. Don't you fear, I'll be going to see them live in the near future and I'll give you a full report then.So there you have it. A wrap-up (from one weirdo's point of view) of the most-definitely-fun premiere Neon Lights presents... show. Between the choice DJs, perfectly selected bands, and really great people in attendance I can't see how I'll not be going to the next one. When I find out when it is, I'll let you know in advance.

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snip·pets

New Arcade Fire Song Hits Net, Answering Machine

Axl: 'Chinese Democracy' Tentatively Due In March

Legendary Velvet Underground guitarist John Cale is producing the next Ambulance Ltd album

Perform With Timberlake at the Grammys

Wired: In Praise of the Zune

The iPhone is Dead

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14 December 2006

8+

"Dreams Are Like Water" by This Mortal Coil which clocks in at 8:37

This song is alive. It moves in sections like a snake and it lives and breathes and feels. It's atmospheric bliss but not in a meandering aimless manner. Listen. No, I mean it. Listen.

You know you don't normally listen to these songs anyway. They're too long and you're on the go. You can't be bothered to spend time downloading long songs by bands you've never heard of, right? I mean, who's This Mortal Coil anyway? That's a silly name. Who came up with that nonsense? What? Something from some play by Shakespeare? Lame. Gimme more Cold War Kids or some shit. This blog sucks. I thought bloggers posted songs by Beirut and Sufjan and Cat Power and other current delicate geniuses. Where's the new Clap Your Hands shit?

Yeah, I'm in your head.

It's not that I don't like this song enough to write a whole bunch about it, it's just that I know how you think. All of you. You're not actually listening to these songs, you're just checking in each week to see if I'll share another embarrassing story from my past. Or you keep checking back to see if I've finally broken down and posted something by Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. Or, you showed up here because you were searching for "sweet naked farm mannequins" and arrived here by accident (who DOES that? who the shit was searching for that exact phrase and ended up here? don't lie. I know you did it, I saw it in my referrals you weirdo) Well, you'll get none of that this week! No Floyd, no silly stories, and NO sweet naked farm mannequins. Not until you start listening to these songs.

Have you ever even heard of This Mortal Coil? Do you think The Knife is, like, the coolest shit ever? Will you know beauty when it whispers in your ears some four minutes into this song? Do you even know why you're here?

"Dreams Are Like Water" knows. Listen.

Buy Blood 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+:
Deodato - “Also Sprach Zarathustra"
Grateful Dead - “Terrapin Station"
Suicide -“Frankie Teardrop"
Red House Painters - “River"
The Human League - “Morale... / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Arlo Guthrie - “Alice's Restaurant Massacre"
Alex Skolnick Trio - “War Pigs"
The Church - “Chaos"

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

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

12 December 2006

Favorite shirts I no longer wear: Suede - "Heroine"

Who: Suede
What: One of many Suede shirts I got that were released during their tour supporting Dog Man Star.
When: I bought it in 1995 when I drove down to see Suede in Atlanta. I left the show with a ton of autographs, having met and hung out with the band backstage (after the show they shared some pizza and Red Stripes).
Why: I've always had a real problem with calling Suede "The London Suede". In fact, I've never called them that and it always bugged me to have to wear a shirt that said just that. Plus, the sheer number of idiots who don't understand the spelling differences between heroin/heroine got to be more than annoying. It didn't help that they stopped making excellent albums around 1997 but the main thing was that the shirt says "London Suede".
Status: I still own the shirt and wear it from time to time around the house and as an undershirt.

Listen: "Heroine" (buy the album Dog Man Star HERE)

Previously:
Favorite shirts I no longer wear: Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
Favorite shirts I no longer wear: Rage Against The Machine

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Today's NEW releases

Not much at all (again):

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08 December 2006

Mancino @ The Annex - 7 December 2006

Mancino live at The Annex.


Listen to a song from their soon-to-be released debut LP Manners Matter over on Mancino's MySpace page.

More pictures from this show HERE.

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07 December 2006

8+

“Chaos" by The Church which clocks in at 9:34

When the cards are stacked up against you and chaos is taking over...what then? Where does a person turn in times of dire need?

It would be the case that my computer crashed as I was finishing up my first version of this post, right? Chalk it up to chaos. The world is full of it right now, but you know this. You've been following closely and noticing that Krampus might be getting banned in Austria...that many female Hollywood stars are just too darn busy to shave their armpits...that La Toya Jackson has been made a reserve police officer in Indiana...that Robert Smith has writer's block. Yikes. All signs point to something potentially apocalyptic on the horizon - so what should we all do? Hey, as the saying goes: "when the going gets tough, the tough listen to music".

Well it seems that I often remember the song "Chaos" when the going gets tough. Recently, the going toughened up a bit for me and I, once again, re-discovered this song, and album, by The Church. Now I'm paying it forward.

The Church is a band that has been largely overlooked their entire career (at least in the States). While similarly sounding bands such as Echo & the Bunnymen and U2 achieved legend status over the past two decades, The Church has been relegated to one-hit wonder land with most people only knowing them for their hit song "Under The Milky Way". Even some who might consider themselves well versed in late '80s/early '90s "alternative" wouldn't immediately know just how excellent their 1992 album Priest = Aura really is - heck, I even overlooked it myself when putting together EAR FARM's Overlooked of the '90s feature. Silly silly dumb dumb, let's not let this happen again. How dare the world turn its back on The Church!

The Church's Priest = Aura is a fantastic album in terms of ominous wide-open guitar rock with stand out lyrics and vocals. In fact, I don't think it's a stretch to consider it the yin to Achtung Baby's yang...or something. How it's not gotten more acclaim is beyond me, but you're getting a super introduction with the song "Chaos". Everything that the album is about, both sonically and thematically, are present here...everything that it is to be caught up in a whirlwind of chaos are within this one song and you're going to love it because it loves you. You'll listen to it with headphones on and it just might save you from a storm of chaos. Then you'll forget about "Chaos" for a while until, at some point in the near future, you need a nice nine and a half minute break from the world. A break from the chaos. When that happens just remember that you've always got The Church on your side.

After all, where does a person turn in times of dire need? To The Church, of course.

Buy Priest = Aura 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+:
Bark Psychosis - “All Different Things"
Deodato - “Also Sprach Zarathustra"
Grateful Dead - “Terrapin Station"
Suicide -“Frankie Teardrop"
Red House Painters - “River"
The Human League - “Morale... / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Arlo Guthrie - “Alice's Restaurant Massacre"
Alex Skolnick Trio - “War Pigs"

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

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OPP

Aquarium Drunkard's favorite 12 albums of 2006

The Battering Room's 40 favorite albums of 2006

Chromewaves has a nice hockey card theme to his list

Justin from Crackers United lists his favorite albums of 2006

Gorilla vs. Bear's top albums of 2006

Largehearted Boy's favorite albums of 2006

My Old Kentucky Blog - the best rap/hip hop albums of 2006

The Passion of the Weiss - the ten best debut albums of 2006

Torr's favorite albums of 2006

For a very comprehensive listing of lists like these go check out Largehearted Boy's 2006 Year-end Music Lists

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06 December 2006

Three for Free - Ara Vora, Rocket Surgery, Letters & Colours (and a CYHSY bonus!)

Time waits for no one. I've been a bit busy with some stuff in my personal life lately and haven't been able to EAR FARM as much (or as often) as I'd like to, but have no fear. EAR FARM carries on. Tomorrow you can expect the regularly scheduled 8+ and on Friday you're going to get a look at EAR FARM's Top Albums of 2006. Until then, dig on some free music. Click on the artist name to go to their MySpace page, click on the song name to listen to the song.

Listen:
Ara Vora - "Souvenir"

Listen:
Rocket Surgery - "Eyes in the Walls"

Listen:
Letters & Colours - "Confrontation"
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BONUS - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah new songs! You may have noticed elsewhere online that there are a few new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah songs floating around. These are tracks from their new album (set to come out in January) that the band made available for your enjoyment. You can hear two of them below. Like? No like?

Listen:
"Love Song No. 7"
"Underwater (You and Me)"

You can hear another new track on the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah MySpace page.

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01 December 2006

I Want My MTV - Chapel Hill/Raleigh in the '90s

Let's pretend I'm a VJ and you're watching my little block of programming here. Below you'll find some music videos from the '90s by bands from Raleigh/Chapel Hill (my hometown area) that I used to love and go see all the time.

First up is the video for the song "Vibracobra" by Polvo. Polvo was a hugely important guitar based math rock band from Chapel Hill and one of the great indie bands of the '90s. After that you're going to see a video for the song "Will" by Sex Police and one from the film Flirting With Disaster by Southern Culture on the Skids.





Southern Culture on the Skids has turned out to be one of the longest lasting bands to come out of the Chapel Hill in the '90s but the next two bands really defined that whole entire scene and became legendary, each in their own way. First we've got the video for "Lowest Part Is Free!" by Archers of Loaf and after that, feast your eyes and ears on the video for "Fishing" by Superchunk.



To put it plainly, Superchunk dominated the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill music scene in the '90s and still do today via Merge Records. All hail Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. The next band, Dillon Fence, is from Winston-Salem (I think) but their MySpace says Chapel Hill so we'll go with that. Below is the video for their song "Collapsis" followed by one of my favorite music videos ever shot in Raleigh - "'74-'75" by The Connells.



I'll never forget the first time I saw that video on MTV. The opening shot is of Broughton High School and I was all jealous that Broughton (and not MY school) was on MTV. Anyway, next we've got a video from ska band Regatta 69 and then a video for the song "Underground" from some band called Ben Folds Five. I'm always shocked how many people hate Ben Folds Five. Is it because they're not all "underground"? Maybe you'll like this video then, it's from before you had ever even heard of them and their song "Brick".



Last, but most certainly not least, is the excellent video for the standout song "The Ghost of Stephen Foster" by Squirrel Nut Zippers. Both the song and the video are deserving of your adulation so don't let me delay you any further.

I hope you found yourself enjoying at least a couple of these music videos. Maybe you found something old that's new to you and you like it...maybe you were reminded of a band you'd long ago forgotten about and now want to revisit...maybe Chunk found the police...maybe it's another one of Willy's booby traps...maybe maybe maybe. Hey, if nothing else, at least it's Friday.

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