28 February 2007

Clint @ Knitting Factory Old Office - 27 February 2007

Clint played their US debut last night at the Knitting Factory Old Office. You're wondering - who is Clint? They're a five piece from Paris who bring to the stage their own unique blend of Bloc Party meets Queens of the Stone Age meets Placebo and they're playing three more shows in New York before heading home. Go check them out and tell them "Ferme d'oreille m'a envoyé"!

"Video Clip"

Visit Clint on MySpace.

Clint live in NYC:
28 February @ Arlene's Grocery
2 March @ Baggott Inn
3 March @ Union Hall as part of EAR FARM Presents... L'amour (or Less)

*see more pictures of Clint (from this show) HERE

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Sister Vanilla

Last year five albums by The Jesus and Mary Chain were reissued through Rhino Records (Psychocandy, Darklands, Automatic, Honey's Dead and Stoned & Dethroned) and this year the band has gotten back together for an appearance at Coachella and to record an album under the name Sister Vanilla. Excited? You should be.

Sister Vanilla features Jim and William Reid (as well as Ben Lurie) from The Jesus and Mary Chain with Jim and William’s sister Linda handling most of the vocals. The music is 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 two songs posted below offer a great hint at what you're going to hear on the rest of the album when it comes out in April. "Jamcolas" has that trademark wild yet under control JAMC sunglass strut and will instantly remind you why the world considers this the first family of noise pop/shoegazing. "K To Be Lost" carries with it the same wandering guitar and breathless vocals while expanding on the sound hinted at on Munki when Linda sang on the song "Mo Tucker". Listen to them both and understand why you already need this record, whether you knew it or not. Little Pop Rock is beauty incarnate and is going to be the perfect soundtrack to Spring 2007.

"K To Be Lost"

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27 February 2007

Three for Free - La Laque, Die Romantik, and Mancino

EAR FARM's Three for Free: three EF approved, free and legal MP3s posted each week. This week, three songs from artists playing the upcoming EAR FARM Presents... show. More on these guys later this week - for now, just the music. I love this music. You owe it to yourself to come out to Union Hall this Saturday. Click on the artist name to go to their site, click on the song name to listen to the song.

La Laque - "La Sirene dort"

Die Romantik - "Narcissist's Waltz"

Mancino - “Hetchie Hutchie Footchie”

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Contrast Podcast #48

Time for another NEW Contrast Podcast! The theme this week is song chain. In other words, as Tim explains: "I pick a song, and then you pick a song that is related to that song in some way. Then someone else picks a song based on that song and so on. Repeat until fully satisfied!"

Go check out Contrast Podcast #48, it's fun.

You can download Contrast Podcast #48 HERE.

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Today's NEW releases

Today's interesting releases (according to me, which aren't many this week):

Anything else that I might have missed?

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23 February 2007

Goes Cube on tour + EAR FARM = Tour Documentary

And now for something completely different...

From March 6th - April 6th Goes Cube is going to be going on a cross-country tour of the United States and I'm proud to announce that EAR FARM is going to be going along for the entire trip. That's right, the month of March is going to bring with it some interesting times here at EAR FARM. Namely, tons of time on the road in a van with an awesome band and my video camera. Posts from the road? You bet.

Many of you may not be aware of the fact that my full time job entails working in the realm of film production but it does. Therefore, it is with tons of excitement that I set out upon this journey with the guys from Goes Cube to create a film that captures their experience during their first US tour. If you're a fan of the band, friends with the band, a blogger who has written about them, a music industry insider, another band who'll be playing one of these shows with Goes Cube - anything - please get in touch with me. I'd love to potentially have you talk on camera about Goes Cube's music or any aspect of indie music and touring. Seriously. Email me at earfarm -at- mac -dot- com. And hey, if we're coming to your town, please come out, see the show, and say hi.

Also, I plan to try to post daily on EAR FARM while on the road, but who knows how well that will turn out. Fingers crossed that you'll be able to get your usual EF fix, but in a new tour-oriented manner, during the month of March. Who knows for sure? Guess you'll have to keep checking back to find out. Oh, and if you live in any of the places we'll be visiting feel free to send along suggestions of places to eat, drink, visit, etc.

Tour dates below with up to the minute info always available on Goes Cube's MySpace page.

Goes Cube tour 2007:

6 March - The Red and Black w/ the Constants
1212 H Street St NW, Washington, DC, Washington DC

7 March - The Cave w/ Red Collar
452 1/2 Franklin, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

9 March - The Rudyard Kipling w/ Halophile
Louisville, Kentucky

10 March - Ruby Green
514 5th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee

11 March - Newby's
539 S Highland St, Memphis, Tennessee

13 March - Lakewood Bar and Grill
6340 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, Texas

14 March - Woody's w/ Nakatomi Plaza
321 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, Texas

15 March @ 1:00 PM - The Chain Drive w/ Catfish Have, Midgetmen, Black Tie Revue and more
Austin, Texas

16 March @ 4:00 PM - Ruta Maya w/ Foreign Islands, Takka Takka, and A Place To Bury Strangers
3601 S Congress Ave, Austin, Texas

19 March - The Bean
2011 Ave De Mesilla, Las Cruces, New Mexico

21 March - Beauty Bar w/ Foreign Islands
San Diego, California

22 March - The Viper Room w/ Foreign Islands and Street Drum Corps
8852 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, California

23 March - Studio 99 w/ Foreign Islands
Bakersfield, California

24 March - Brain Wash w/ Foreign Islands
San Francisco, California

26 March - Larimer Lounge w/ Foreign Islands
2721 Larimer, Denver, Colorado

28 March - El Torreon w/ Witch and Hare
3101 Gillham Plz, Kansas City, Missouri

29 March - The Ground Floor w/ Foreign Islands
215 E Main St, Belleville, Illinois

30 March - The Iron Post w/ Foreign Islands
120 Race St, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

31 March - Elbo Room w/ Foreign Islands
Chicago, Illinois

1 April - Town Hall Pub w/ Foreign Islands
Chicago, Illinois

2 April - Elbow Room
6 S Washington, Ypsilanti, Michigan

3 April - Cafe Bourbon St w/ Necropolis
Columbus, Ohio

4 April - Garfield Artworks
4931 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

6 April - Mercury Lounge w/ Bang Camaro
New York, NY
***the tour schedule has been updated and is now FINAL - see you on the road***

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Queens of the Stone Age new album info

This just in from PR email land: Queens of the Stone Age have a new album coming out in June called Era Vulgaris. Word is, there will be guest spots from Julian Casablancas, Trent Reznor, Mark Lanegan, and Texan guitar wizard Billy Gibbons.

For more Queens of the Stone Age goodness you can watch the new in-studio video posted below or visit Queens of the Stone Age on MySpace.

Queens of the Stone Age behind the scenes montage of Era Vulgaris studio sessions

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22 February 2007


"The Gift" by The Velvet Underground which clocks in at 8:18

Hair metal had reached its limit. It was then mid-August 1989 and I was sick of everything I was listening to at the time. So were a lot of people I think. The wave of "alternative" music was cresting and about to break. Even if my hair didn't show it, the endlessly flanged riffs of Joe Perry, Slash, C.C. Deville, and all of the other guitar heroes were no longer music to my ears. A change was on the horizon and the path that lay ahead of me was one of looking back before looking forward. First, The Velvet Underground. Then, everything else.

I didn't know it right away, but I was starting to expand my musical horizons from the very moment I sat down for the first time in the cramped back seat of my friend Jon's older brother's (older brother was college age, but not enrolled in school) late '70s Camaro. On that day I heard "Lady Godiva's Operation" blasting through the speakers positioned directly next to my seat and I'll never forget just how blown away I was. Oh yeah, it was LOUD. He had 200 amps or something in there. As the speakers shook so did the car frame. But that's not what drove the point home. No, what made me know that this was going to be my next tape purchase was the music itself. It was dark and sexy and slightly scary but mostly interesting. The song grooved and chugged along like a perfect soundtrack to Richard Matheson's short story Dance of the Dead. In fact, I noted that at the time. I always loved horror movies, and stories, so this was an obvious connection for me to make and I listened and enjoyed for a few minutes when, suddenly, someone spoke very loudly. "SWEETLY". I had no clue what had just happened. "What the shit was that?!" I thought. Then it came again, same voice. "NEATLY PUMP AIR". Realizing it was part of the song, and not some rogue voice in my head, I continued to enjoy the rest of it and we were at our destination (Pizza Inn, if I remember correctly) in no time. Once we sat down, I needed answers.

"What were we listening to just now?"

"Dude. Velvet Underground dudes. Ya'll need to gets with this shit and stop listening to that Winger and shit. Duuuude." (he sounded like a southern Ted Theodore Logan)

"What album? And what was up with that guy's voice when it was all 'SWEETLY'? I thought it was one of you guys at first..."

"Dude, you want to borrow the tape? Be my guest bro. The album is called White Light/White Heat and that song was 'Lady Godiva's Operation'...isn't it fucking cool as shit? This band did tons of drugs, yeah. But what ya'll little bitches need to hear is 'The Gift'. It's on the same tape too. Check it out. It tells the raddest story and it's like rrrreally long and stuff. And the band mixed it so that the story is being told in one speaker and the music is in the other. You little dudes should go get some headphones on and check it out. You can pan it so you only hear one or the other. It's like: story only, or music only...your choice dude. It's awesome. And remember, listen to the words. It's about the story dude."

Being the smart (obedient) music hungry little dudes that we were, we went right about the task of listening to "The Gift" as soon as we got back to Jon's parents' house. And we did indeed listen on headphones. And we played with the balance and switched it from left to right and back again. And we listened to the spoken lyrics very closely. And we loved it.

Your turn.

Buy White Light/White Heat 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+:
Elton John - "Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding"
Jenő Jandó - "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2"
The Temptations - "Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind"
Deerhoof - "Look Away"
Tan Dun - "Symphony 1997: II. Earth (Yi3)"
Jane's Addiction - "Three Days"
Joanna Newsom - "Monkey & Bear"
Depeche Mode - "Never Let Me Down Again" (Split Mix)

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

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Funky Video has "The Sexiest Music Videos Of All Time"

An Aquarium Drunkard has an M. Ward/Beth Orton show

17 Dots is the new blog done by several employees at eMusic

Badical Beats has an early video of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" live and a clip of The Simpsons' take on the video for "The Hardest Button To Button"

Idolator featured "My Insatiable One" by Suede

Sean from Said the Gramophone: on almosts

The Bastardly has semi-revealing photos of American Idol contestant Antonella Barba

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21 February 2007

Ben Clarke

Ben Clarke (also from Chicago) is another musician to keep your eyes and ears on, especially if you're a fan of slightly psychedelic folk influences in your rock music. He got in touch with me via MySpace and it couldn't have come at a better time. I'd just finished listening to quite a few bands with a sound not quite in line with my tastes when I got to Ben's profile and couldn't believe my ears. Here, thankfully, was an artist with a sense of honesty in his songs and a grasp of musical influence from the past as well as the present. The first song I heard of his ("Tell Me", posted below) reminded me of so many things I love about music all at once. Great vocals, adventurous production and a wide open sound - it's a song that sounds like it could've come from a current British band that's enamored with American music and is the song of Ben's that best sums up everything his music seems to be about.

To put it simply, you're going to want to give a listen to Ben Clarke if you've ever fallen in love with a Wilco record, or if you like your musicians to draw influence from legends such as Neil Young and Pink Floyd (give a listen to "Chump" on his MySpace page for a bit of the Floyd mixed with Tom Petty circa "Last Dance of Mary Jane") while always keeping in mind their own artistic intent. Especially, most importantly, you'll want to listen to his songs if you're a fan of '70s era Rolling Stones. Be sure to keep an eye out for live dates if you're in the Chicago area.

"Tell Me"

See Ben Clarke live.

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Dungen - "Gör Det Nu"

The new album from Dungen is set to come out on May 1st and Kemado Records has made available an excellent track from it. Enjoy.

"Gör Det Nu"

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In Miniature

Chicago's In Miniature reminds me of The Magnetic Fields or perhaps Kristin Hersh, if she had a more Leonard Cohen kind of sensibility. They sound like aimless cross-country wandering brought on by heartbreak, but in a friendly sense. The wandering is friendly I mean, not the heartbreak. Or, maybe that too...there's a certain kind of sweet sadness in the songs of In Miniature. As if this is the music of a few close friends who've taken off on a musical walkabout in response to what the world has thrown at them and they're (literally) inviting everyone else to come along for the ride. See what I mean: "Stefanie and Erin are looking forward to putting this plan into action, asking for audience participation and performing with a rotating cast of talented musicians."

In Miniature is obviously a young band just beginning to figure out who they are and where they'd like to go, but I like the potential shown in the songs posted on their site and, in particular, the song "Gone" that's posted below and the song "Lonestar Souvenir" on their MySpace page. I'll betcha they impress people at open mic nights.


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Cheyenne - "That Was The Ghost"

Cheyenne has a great new song posted on their MySpace page called "That Was The Ghost". It was recorded a few months ago live at Southpaw in Brooklyn and will appear on their full length later this year.

Read more about Cheyenne on EAR FARM HERE and HERE.

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20 February 2007

Three for Free - Buildings Breeding, Laura Gibson, and Essie Jain

EAR FARM's Three for Free: three EF approved, free and legal MP3s posted each week. This week, a few songs sent to me via email. Click on the artist name to go to their site, click on the song name to listen to the song.

Buildings Breeding - "Stacking Up Reasons"

Laura Gibson - "Hands In Pockets"

Essie Jain - “Haze”

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EAR FARM Presents... L'amour (or Less): An evening of rock from Paris to Brooklyn

REMINDER: On March 3, 2007, EAR FARM will present the first-ever evening of French and Francophile indie rock in New York at Union Hall. Featuring Anglophone bands from Paris, and expatriated old Europeans from Brooklyn, the echoes of rusty accordions will mesh with the jingle jangle of punk, dance-rock, and the psychedelic jaunts of La Laque (NY), Elodie O (Paris/NY), Mancino (NY), Die Romantik (Paris/NY), DJ Melody Nelson (Paris/NY), Clint (Paris), and Michael Higbee (Paris/NY).

The evening will start with a free hour of Pastis and pétanque on two indoor bocce courts and the music will start at 6pm with one band every hour and DJ sets in between by Melody Nelson, Frenchfriedjam, and myself. Stay tuned to EAR FARM in the coming weeks for more information about this event - UPDATE: read more about this event HERE.

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Today's NEW releases

Today's interesting releases:

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16 February 2007

Brett Anderson

After briefly reteaming with Bernard Butler to release an album in 2005 as The Tears, Brett Anderson is back this year with his first official "solo" album. Supposedly, this time he has taken on all of the songwriting duties himself and the songs I've heard so far tend to support the notion that Brett is reaching out beyond Brit-pop or indie rock and towards a sound that is much more about (melo)dramatic and fragile emoting. This is a notion familiar to fans of Suede (some of the new material sounds like some songs from Sci-Fi Lullabies with strings and keys in place of guitar) but there's a definite new approach to the few tracks I've heard so far. It's obviously a rather personal record for Anderson and I, for one, am very excited to hear the whole thing once the March 26th release date roles around. Until then, enjoy the tracks below.

"Love Is Dead"
"To The Winter"

Listen to another track, and read a nice write-up on this record, over at Obscure Sound.

Buy Brett Anderson's solo debut album HERE on Amazon.

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15 February 2007


"Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding" by Elton John which clocks in at 11:09

Let's talk about sports for a minute. Recently, retired professional basketball player John Amaechi came out of the closet and became the first active or former NBA player to publicly acknowledge he was gay. A few players from other major professional sports have come out as well in the past, but none before they were retired. Knowing the probable macho male team environment that exists in all levels of team sports it's not exactly shocking that moving towards an open and accepting culture will take some time in the world of sport. However, it was nice to see signs of humanity in the words of some people associated with the NBA who were publicly quoted in response to Amaechi's announcement. Some I said. There were, of course, others who offered a more expected response. Former Duke player Shavlik Randolph said he would be okay with a gay teammate "as long as he didn't bring his gayness on me." Of course Shavlik. Because you'd hate to have some of that gayness rub off on you right? Awaken latent urges you've buried very deeply and struggle each day to ignore?

Former NBA star Tim Hardaway went one step further with his response. Tuesday afternoon, on Miami-based radio station 790 The Ticket, Hardaway declared "I hate gay people. I let it be known, I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people. Yeah, I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world...or in the United States..."

This reaction is about as honest of a response as you're likely to find from any figure in the public eye, and I expect it reflects the feelings of a large number of Americans in the same way the response of Phillies players to playing against Jackie Robinson did in 1947. Back then it was unthinkable that a black player be allowed to play in the majors and the Phillies voiced their opposition by calling Jackie a "nigger" from their dugout and yelling that he should "go back to the cotton fields." Soon after that, moms and dads across America feared the impact that a white boy playing sexually charged black music would have on the nation's youth and many thus labeled Elvis Presley "a danger to American culture." Yes, this does get back to music and, eventually, to Elton John and his fabulous song "Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding". Not yet though. First, a bit more on the subject of spreading hatred.

In my experience, nobody can "get their hate on" quite like certain followers of organized religion (of course, nobody can "get their acceptance on" quite like certain other followers of organized religion, but this isn't about them.) One doesn't have to dig very deeply to find Christians, Muslims, Jews, or any other number of religious denominations, that like to stereotype and spread hate. It's a rather basic means for uniting idiots, and organizations that do so are generally best left ignored. However, once in a while there's no way to not pay attention.

A few weeks ago I read something that led me to take a look at the website for Love God's Way Ministries. Love God's Way is a ministry run by "reformed" homosexual Donnie Davies. On the site he explains, rather bluntly, that "God hates fags!" and in response to this basic fact Davies has started C.H.O.P.S. (which stands, according to the site, for Changing Homosexuals into Ordinary People...or, maybe they mean to say it stands for Changing Homosexuals into Ordinary PeopleS...yes, that makes the acronym work.) He explains "You are not alone and guess what, God Loves You even if he hates your Homosexuality. You just can't stay that way. Let me help you love yourself. Follow me and together we'll C.H.O.P.S away the Gay."

No amount of Christian self-inflicted gay bashing would normally merit mention on EAR FARM, and my desire to not want to send people to his site nearly forced me to not write this post, but Donnie Davies decided to take things into MY world by putting together a few music related lists on the Love God's Way site (the site explains "one of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music".) Let's take a look.

The first list is of "gay bands" and includes such obvious gay rights activists as The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Phish, Metallica, DMX, Frank Sinatra, Ghostface Killah, Ted Nugent, and Eminem. Wait. Again. The Nuge? Ol' Blue Eyes? Eminem?!? Yeah, those are some big time gayness spreaders if ever I saw them. Parents should totally be on the lookout if their children are listening to Frank Sinatra and/or Ted Nugent - next stop, Gayville. Metallica too. Actually, I think "Ride the Lightning" is some kind of queer code. And "Master of Puppets"? Gay masturbation slang. Good thing this guy is on the case because fans of these bands have most likely been turning more and more gay with each listen. And these aren't the only bands on the list, there are a bunch more. Be sure to note some of the parenthetical comments too, they're very helpful. For example, next to Marilyn Manson it says "dark gay" and next to Elton John, "really gay". Really?

The other list, naturally, is the much shorter "safe bands" list. Here you will find Christian musicians you'd expect to see such as Jars of Clay, P.O.D., and Sufjan Stevens, but you'll also notice a few surprises such as Cyndi Lauper and The Dresden Dolls. Really? The Dresden Dolls? I would've expected them to show up under the "dark gay" category. Guess not. Guess they hate gayness as much as God and Cyndi Lauper. Not EAR FARM though. No, here on Queer Farm we love to spread the gayness!

So take this seed, the eleven minute long Elton John epic that is "Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding", and plant it deep within the minds and ears of children and straight people everywhere. Before you know it the whole world will turn gay from listening to music and "Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding" can be our new National Anthem. Do you hear that Tim Hardaway, Donnie Davies, and hate mongers the world over? I dedicate this 8+ to all of you.

Follow me and together we'll C.H.O.P.S away the hate.

*above wedding photo of Elton John and David Furnish from HERE
**UPDATE - a reader sent me some links to a few posts questioning whether Donnie Davies is serious or not...does it matter?

Buy Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 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+:
Jenő Jandó - "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2"
The Temptations - "Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind"
Deerhoof - "Look Away"
Tan Dun - "Symphony 1997: II. Earth (Yi3)"
Jane's Addiction - "Three Days"
Joanna Newsom - "Monkey & Bear"
Depeche Mode - "Never Let Me Down Again" (Split Mix)
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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Mars Needs Guitars - Love Songs

Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good - This one goes out to the one I love

Yeti Don't Dance - Songs To Woo A Wooman

Music Is Art - Late Night Valentine Day '07

The Yellow Stereo - The Better Days of Valentine’s Day

Indietastic - Valentine's Day Playlist

Speed Of Dark - A Valentine For You

Undomondo - Valentine’s love compilation

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14 February 2007

EAR FARM's Valentine's Day Mix 2: Easy Cheesier

Ah Valentine's Day. That syrupy sweet, send flowers to your special someone, son of a gun of a shopping day holiday. If the lords of commerce didn't make off with all of your available credit over the Christmas/Chanukkah season then here comes good ol' February 14th to finish you off. But, but, you don't have to go spending money at the chocolatier, or Hallmark, to get the most out of this holiday. The way I see it, whether you've got a sweetheart or not, chances are you'll be listening to music today. And that's where EAR FARM comes in...

My own favorite gift to give (and receive) on this special day has always been the old reliable personalized mix. Not the most original idea, but there is a great deal of genius (and/or love, lust, longing, displeasure, disdain...) that can be relayed in the execution of a well put together mix. Last year EAR FARM posted a very special mix for your enjoyment - EAR FARM's Easy Cheesy Valentine's Day Mix. This year, EAR FARM's Valentine's Day Mix is back with big hair and tons of guitar solos. In other words, it's even cheesier.

Please enjoy this special gift from EAR FARM to all of you. Download it and give it to your sweetheart and tell him/her that you put the mix together yourself, or enjoy listening to it together and watch the sparks fly (remember, this is a mix meant to be listened to first song to last - it's better that way, trust me), OR (if you're without sweetheart) download this over-the-top lovey dovey cheese fest and burn it to CD and smash it. One way or another, I hope you enjoy.

EAR FARM's Valentine's Day Mix 2: Easy Cheesier

1. "Wait" by White Lion - BUY the album
In 8th grade I "dated" my second official girlfriend for about two weeks. I remember it seeming like 6 months. Sadly, I didn't really care for her very much but agreed to "go with her" because she asked me and she was tall. Our dates consisted of meeting in between classes to hold hands in the hall and a few long talks on the phone on school nights. Then one I day I decided to end the charade and broke up with her. The next day she gave me a copy of White Lion's album Pride (a cassette of course) - she had drawn hearts all over the liner notes and highlighted some key portions of the lyrics. Namely, "wait, I never had a chance to love you".

2. "When I See You Smile" by Bad English - BUY the album
This song smells like strawberries. Or, the hair of the girl I went to my 8th grade dance with (different from the above mentioned 8th grade girl) smelled like strawberries and we slow danced to this song. Yes, my first time dancing with a girl was to this song. Cheese much?

3. "Born To Be My Baby" by Bon Jovi - BUY the album
Why is this one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs? Because it's AWESOME. Check these lyrics out: "Rainy night and we worked all day / We both got jobs 'cause there's bills to play / We got something they can't take away / Our love, our lives"... It's like "Hand In Glove" except written by a dude from New Jersey.

4. "Heaven" by Warrant - BUY the album
Don't get me wrong, I adore this song. But I can't help but laugh at this one line: "no matter what your friends might say." I've always imagined her friends being the ones who inadvertently named Warrant's debut album. Something like "Trisha, STOP seeing that loser from Warrant. He's dirty, he's rotten, he's filthy, and he'll only be stinking rich for about another year and then America is going to lose faith in hair metal. But that Rob Van Winkle guy, now HE is a keeper."

5. "I Remember You" by Skid Row - BUY the album
Only recently did I realize how great Sebastian Bach's voice is and yet, this song was always there as proof if only I would've paid attention. I think I was too busy being a youth gone wild or something. How about that classic bend in the guitar solo at 3:13, eh? Money.

6. "Love Walks In" by Van Halen - BUY the album
This is the first of two songs on this list that I learned how to play on piano thanks to my friend's older sister. She was cool like that, except when she was busy making fun of our air Rush sessions. Whatever. In my opinion, this is the best Van Hagar song. And, for some reason, it reminds me of that scene in Rocky IV when Rocky is cruising in his car by himself at night. Perhaps because "Love Walks In" sounds eerily similar to "Burning Heart".

7. "Save Your Love" by Great White - BUY the album
Fun fact: Great White's 1987 album was titled Once Bitten... and the follow up in 1989 was called ...Twice Shy. Fun, right?

8. "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses - BUY the album
An all-time classic smack dab in the middle of the mix to bring everything into focus. Take note of that when making mixes of your own. The midpoint (often song number eight) is the make or break moment. Anyway, not much to say about this song that you don't already know. Except... well, you might not know that this song was supposedly written about Erin Everly. According to wikipedia: "Rose and Everly met in 1986 and dated for many years before Axl spontaneously proposed, allegedly threatening to kill himself if she refused. They married in Las Vegas on April 28, 1990. One month later, Rose filed for divorce, but the two reconciled and decided to stay together. Everly's miscarriage further strained the marriage, and in 1991, the two had the marriage annulled. In 1994, Everly filed a lawsuit against Rose, claiming that he physically abused her. The charges were settled out of court..."

9. "Love Song" by Tesla - BUY the album
This is another classic. Heck, they all are. Again, it's the lyrics that make me go "hmmmm". Listen to them. Sounds to me like it's about a guy who is friends with some girl (but always wanted more) and is offering her a shoulder to cry on now that she's been dumped. He basically begs her to notice him - "Love will find a way...so look around, open your eyes." Gosh, give her some space creep.

10. "Home Sweet Home" by Mötley Crüe - BUY the album
Here's the other song my friend's sister taught me on piano. Or, the intro at least. The rest of the song doesn't have much piano. Too bad she didn't teach me the kick ass guitar part instead.

11. "When I Look Into Your Eyes" by FireHouse - BUY the album
This song reached #8 on the charts when it was released in 1992. Seriously, think about that. I submit that there is no better evidence of how long it takes for American pop music taste to shift than the song "When I Look Into Your Eyes" by FireHouse.

12. "Angel" by Aerosmith - BUY the album
Joe Perry's intro riff just pulls you right into this song. You can not resist. And if you listen closely you just might notice that this is the very moment that Aerosmith went from being bad ass rockers to being everyone's favorite anthemic stadium filling MTV band.

13. "Still Loving You" by Scorpions - BUY the album
Oh baby. Talk about cheesy love songs and guitar solos. This song should definitely be in Guitar Hero 3. There's a version of it featuring George Lynch on guitar that is pretty f'ing amazing but nothing beats the original, soaring vocals of Klaus Meine.

14. "Talk Dirty To Me" by Poison - BUY the album
Question - does Bret Michaels always talk directly to C.C. right before a solo? I think he does. At any rate, this song is the stuff that happy Valentine's Days are made of: "At the drive-in / In the old man's ford / Behind the bushes / Till I'm screamin' for more / Down the basement / Lock the cellar door / And baby... talk dirty to me"

15. "Just Like Paradise" by David Lee Roth - BUY the album
That kick ass solo that's over all too soon? Yeah, this song features Steve Vai on guitar. Belee dat.

16. "More Than Words" by Extreme - BUY the album
Do you know how funky Extreme was before this song came out? Like funk-metal or something. Seriously, they were. Like Faith No More but horrible. Then, in the summer of 1990, they released a beautiful little audio greeting card known as "More Than Words" and the band, the world, was never the same. Soon after it came out I bought the cassingle and taught myself how to play the song on guitar. And I know I'm not the only one. Thanks to "More Than Words" there's a whole legion of dorks just like me out there who count this song among the "covers" they know how to play. Yikes is right. I'd say it's pretty easily the most popular romantic ballad ever released on August 7th and definitely the perfect ending for EAR FARM's second Valentine's Day Mix.

***Download the entire mix as a .zip HERE***

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13 February 2007

Three for Free - Radical Face, The Go Find, and Andrew Bird

EAR FARM's Three for Free: three EF approved, free and legal MP3s posted each week. This week, songs made available by our good friends over at Toolshed. Click on the artist name to go to their site, click on the song name to listen to the song.

Radical Face - "Glory"

The Go Find - "Dictionary"

Andrew Bird - “Heretics”

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EAR FARM Presents... L'amour (or Less): An evening of rock from Paris to Brooklyn

On March 3, 2007, EAR FARM will present the first-ever evening of French and Francophile indie rock in New York at Union Hall. Featuring Anglophone bands from Paris, and expatriated old Europeans from Brooklyn, the echoes of rusty accordions will mesh with the jingle jangle of punk, dance-rock, and the psychedelic jaunts of La Laque (NY), Elodie O (Paris/NY), Mancino (NY), Die Romantik (Paris/NY), DJ Melody Nelson (Paris/NY), Clint (Paris), and Michael Higbee (Paris/NY).

The evening will start with a free hour of Pastis and pétanque on two indoor bocce courts and the music will start at 6pm with one band every hour and DJ sets in between by Melody Nelson, Frenchfriedjam, and myself. Stay tuned to EAR FARM in the coming weeks for more information about this event.

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Today's NEW releases

Not a whole lot to get excited about this week:

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09 February 2007

The Shondes

When Sleater-Kinney called it quits last year there was a noticeable collective unease over who, if anyone, might fill the void left by their departure. At least, in my own circle (okay, in my circle of one, but I'm going to miss Sleater-Kinney) there's been a bit of a mourning period followed by the wondering. What band might be able to pick up the riot grrrl baton and push forward into the ears and minds of progressive listeners? What now for those of us who like our music to feel and think and fight just like we do?

The Shondes, a rock quartet based in Brooklyn, are here with an answer and their own simple solution: be yourself, be true to yourself and what you believe in, and rock the shit out. Isn't that what music is all about anyway? Rarely. It should be, but more often than not I find that musicians are too conventional, afraid, or immature to actually do just that. This band, however, breaks the mold. They wear their influences, both musical (from traditional Jewish melodies to hardcore/punk rock, among other things) and political (Jewish and non-Jewish Palestinian-solidarity activism, among other things) on their sleeve. No, I mean that seriously. They've walked away from playing certain venues because they try to "make it a priority to play spaces that are not destructive to the communities in which they are located, that are accessible for people with disabilities, that are all ages, and that promote anti-racist queer feminist politics."

No amount of dedicated radicalism would be worth noting unless the music was worth listening to, and to that point The Shondes have taken everything that's been building up inside and turned it into "rousingly glorious music". Sure the lyrics bite and cut through the mix to convey a message but the instrumental aspect of this music is what will get your feet moving. The Shondes deliver a perfect blend of punk and gypsy folk music that comes across as both beautiful and enlivening. From the stomping thunder crush of the rhythm section to the well placed violin and group vocals this is a band that rocks as if they just don't give a fuck but has crafted their art in a manner that shows they clearly do.

It's entirely too early to anoint The Shondes as the next band to take the forefront in the riot grrrl, Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney lineage, and I'm not even sure they'd want that/belong in that classification, but to merely consider the notion should give you an idea of what this band is all about. Listen and decide for yourself.

"Lets Go"
"The Mother and the Colony"
"I Watched The Temple Fall"

Visit The Shondes on MySpace.

Listen to live MP3s of The Shondes over at RySpace.

See The Shondes live (more dates HERE):
10 Feb @ The Delancey in New York

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07 February 2007

The Swimmers

"I, I'm standing where my, uh, living room was and it's not here because my house is gone..."

According to their bio, The Swimmers are "a band based on a story. It’s not the story of how the Philadelphia four-piece met or of how they came to music or even how they shook off their alt-country tendencies; it’s the story of a young man who swims home through the backyard pools in his affluent suburban town only to find his home abandoned and ruined."

The story being referred to above is in fact “The Swimmer” by John Cheever, a symbolic tale of money, happiness, American suburbs, and the age-old fact that you can never go home again. These are the seeds of creative influence which begat The Swimmers and the themes feature prominently on their debut LP Fighting Trees.

Here is a band presenting an album full of blended duality. An album as likely to inspire happy foot tapping as it is to elicit introspective melancholy. Dive into the song "Heaven" and you'll hear enough of The Beatles to make you want to keep swimming listening. Let "All the New Sounds" lead the way and you just might decide to have the music of The Swimmers feature prominently in the movie you're writing about your own quarter-life crisis. 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.

You can never go home again, Oatman, but I guess you can shop swim there.

"All the New Sounds"

Visit The Swimmers on MySpace.

See The Swimmers live (more dates HERE):
7 Feb @ the Khyber in Philadelphia
8 Feb @ Sin-é in New York

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EAR FARM's Easy Cheesy Valentine's Day Mix

In exactly one week you will be able to download the 2007 version of EAR FARM's annual Valentine's Day Mix. This year the songs are just as cheesy and sugary sweet, the mix is more solid from first song to last, and the guitar solos are even more magnificent. It's going to make a better gift than any chocolate boxes or roses...

But first, I'd like to offer you one last chance to download EAR FARM's Easy Cheesy Valentine's Day Mix from last year. Tracklisting below, and yes, it's as great as it looks.

1. "More Than I Can Say" by Leo Sayer
2. "High On You" by Survivor
3. "Faithfully" by Journey
4. "Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon
5. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
6. "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner
7. "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" by Air Supply
8. "The Flame" by Cheap Trick
9. "Invisible Touch" by Genesis
10. "Babe" by Styx
11. "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister
12. "How Deep Is Your Love" by The Bee Gees
13. "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel
14. "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
15. "The Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera
16. "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie And Diana Ross
17. "Lost in Your Eyes" by Debbie Gibson
18. "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton John

For one week you can download the entire mix HERE.

Check back on the 14th for "the mix sure to make your sweetheart swoon" - EAR FARM's Valentine's Day Mix 2: Easy Cheesier.

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06 February 2007

Three For Free - Track A Tiger, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and Diet Kong

EAR FARM's Three for Free: free and legal MP3s. This week, a song from Track A Tiger's new LP, one from the upcoming A Sunny Day in Glasgow record, and a track from the recently released Diet Kong album. Click on the artist name to go to their site, click on the song name to listen to the song.

Track A Tiger - "All These Accidents"

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - "The Best Summer Ever"

Diet Kong - “Lines & Lines”

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Today's NEW releases

Today's interesting releases:

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05 February 2007

N.C. State 83, UNC 79

It's rare, but once in a light blue moon you might find a sports related post here. What? Is this about the Super Bowl* and about how great Prince was during halftime? He was amazing, but no. This is about another game from this past weekend, a college basketball game.

Specifically - the #3 North Carolina Tarheels vs. my beloved North Carolina State Wolfpack. See, where I come from college basketball is embedded in the fabric of the culture. That's not even an exaggeration. And within this pantheon of great college basketball my school very often finds itself playing the role of David to one of the blue schools' Goliath. That's just how we like it.

This time around I learned my lesson: post AFTER the game. And what an amazing game it was. In my opinion UNC is still a lock to go deep in the NCAA tourney in March, but for the majority of 40 minutes on Saturday the Pack dominated the Heels. In fact the only thing that kept North Carolina in the game were consistent turnovers by N.C. State.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I noticed something different, something special, as soon as I saw the team (and Coach Lowe) take the court. Rather than wearing one of his usual sharp NBA style suits, Sidney Lowe was sporting a bright red blazer. From the N&O:

North Carolina coach Roy Williams wore a gray suit -- conservative, well-tailored. Since returning to UNC, he had not lost a game to the Pack.

But the Pack has a new coach, Sidney Lowe. He donned a red blazer -- a tribute to his old State coach, the late Jim Valvano, who often wore red for the big games, for the Carolina games.

"It was," a smiling Lowe later said, "no coincidence."
The most satisfying aspect of the game was the fact that NCSU simply outplayed UNC. State shot 76.5 percent in the second half and outrebounded Carolina 31-25. DOMINATION. Coach Roy Williams agreed: "They had more passion for the game than we did and I don't understand that. I'll never understand that. They dominated us."

You said it Roy. Dominated with style, if I do say so myself. How about (pictured above) Gavin Grant's dunk?! Engin Atsur pulling a bit of a Willis Reed...Courtney Fells on fire and with a massive breakaway dunk! All the dunks in fact...let's take a look.

Gavin Grant reverse windmill dunk
NC State dunk highlights vs. UNC

Below you'll find MP3's of some N.C. State songs. Play them in the office today for your UNC alum friends or just send them a link to one of these songs. It's the nice thing to do.

NCSU Fight Song - lyrics and info
The Red And White Song - lyrics and info
NCSU Alma Mater - lyrics and info

These MP3s were found HERE where you can also find MP3s for a bunch of other schools...even Carolina if you must. The pictures posted above were found HERE where you can find many more photos from this game. And lastly, let's just take a quick look at the post-game celebration on Hillsborough Street. Ah yes. Well done guys.


*speaking of the football game from yesterday, I have to give a shout out to the Super Bowl ad for Doritos done by the guy from Cary - Waverly Place in tha house!

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Wired: Indie Music Takes on the Majors

Bloc Party's Kele Okereke accused Jack White of being "treacherous"

Guns N' Roses Set For First African Concerts

LA Times on Morrissey's first of three sold-out shows at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium

Apple Inc., Beatles' Apple Corps. reach new agreement over use of 'Apple' trademark and logo

Morricone makes US concert debut

Rick Rubin offered a job as co-chairman of Columbia Records

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02 February 2007

Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips

Two artists, one post? What gives? "Lately you be posting like MC Hammer on crack Mr. Earfarm." Noooo, that's not true. There's reason to the madness. Check it.

The Mayan Empire Recording Empire is a brand new digital label started by Bryan and Mary (of Ruined Music fame among many other things) and this is what they have to say about their first release:

Musicians Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips grew up a few miles from each other in Massachusetts and attended the same small high school a few years apart. As adults they both made their way to Brooklyn and began writing, recording, and performing with bands and as solo artists. Yet somehow their paths never crossed – until now. In the fall of 2006 mutual friends uncovered the coincidences and made the necessary introductions over a late-night game of Scrabble. A joint tour to Gabriel and Alina’s native New England was the logical next step. Their “Get Going” tour is commemorated by a split digital EP of the same name; for this recording Gabriel and Alina each wrote a new song about Massachusetts. The “Get Going” EP, available on iTunes Feb. 2, also includes unreleased tracks from each of them.
If you trust Bryan and Mary as much as I do then you don't really need to hear me tell you that you should check these songs out. But I will, just a bit, because it's what I DO.

Both Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips have gorgeous voices and both are singer-songwriter types; meaning, the songs from this Get Going EP are just these two artists with some words and a guitar, and the vocals are bloody amazing. Beyond a couple of pretty voices, the key factor here is that both of these artists know how to deliver that magical combination of tone, content, and composition. "Winter in Massachusetts" is Alina Simone's rather timely, lonely cold weather song. The finger picking lays a fine foundation for the song but "Winter in Massachusetts" isn't about the guitar, it's about Alina's outstanding voice. In Gabriel's song "Memorial Drive" you'll hear a gentle folk strum and wandering picking style (a bit Jerry Garcia if I might) perfectly complement his softly soaring voice. There's a delicate haunting immediacy to all four songs on this record that manages to get you needing more Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips as soon as the EP has finished. And I'm not going to lie - one of the songs on Get Going gave me chills the second time I listened. What then is one such as yourself to do? Check out these two songs, buy the EP, see the tour. Duh.

"Winter in Massachusetts" - Alina Simone
"Memorial Drive" - Gabriel Miller-Phillips

Visit Alina Simone on MySpace.

Visit Gabriel Miller-Phillips.

See Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips live:
Mon, February 19 - Java Hut Cafe (Worcester, MA)
Wed, February 21 - Radio Bean (Burlington, VT)
Fri, February 23 - Strange Maine (Portland, ME)
Sat, February 24 - Nadav's house show (Cambridge, MA)
Sun, February 25 - Pianos (NYC, NY)

Buy the Get Going EP on iTunes, eMusic, or Napster.

Visit The Mayan Empire Recording Empire on MySpace.

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Don't forget your booties, 'cause it's cold out there today

It's cold out there everyday...

You know what today is right? Thats right, woodchuck-chuckers, it's Groundhog Day! Around these here parts that has less to do with animal shadows and more to do with music. Music that appeared in the classic film from 1993, starring Bill Murray, known quite simply as Groundhog Day.

You'll recognize the song posted below as the lovely polka that's playing in Gobbler's Knob when Phil first arrives to do his report. There are four different versions of the song posted here for your listening pleasure.

"Pennsylvania Polka" - Frankie Yankovic & His Yanks (version used in the film)
"Pennsylvania Polka" - Frankie Yankovic (studio version)
"Pennsylvania Polka" - Natalino Otto
"Pennsylvania Polka" - Polish Radio Polka Band

And now for Phil's official forecast as read 2/2/07 at 7:28 a.m. at Gobbler's Knob:

    El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
    Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.

    Global warming has caused a great debate.
    This mild winter makes it seem just great.

    On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
    Will we have winter or will we have spring?

    On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
    I predict that early spring is on the way.

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01 February 2007


"Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind" by The Temptations which clocks in at 8:33

"Friday the eagle flies, and so do I." What?

"I wonder did you hear me when I said: the eagle flies on Friday, and so do I."

Holy moly. What?!

Believe it or not, writing this 8+ feature has led me to seek out and listen to all kinds of new/old songs longer than eight minutes that I'd never really paid any attention to before. For example, did you know that Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell has three 8+ songs on it? Or that there's a Jamiroquai song that's 8:49?! Do you even care? Nah, me neither. But sometimes my adventures in listening have brought to my attention things I'd never otherwise know about, but find curiously fascinating. We'll just cite "Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind" as Exhibit A. Watch out for lots of questions marks below.

Now, questions have been posed here before in 8+ land, and for this particular question perhaps the truth is that I'm simply vastly undereducated in this genre/time period, but I mean... what I'm saying is... huh?! Look at that album cover. That's a Motown record?! The... those lyrics quoted above about the eagle flying (the ridiculously coded drug reference) come from a song by The Temptations?! The Temptations did lots of drugs and were hippies and wrote songs about it?! What?! Nuh uh. What's next? Reality TV is actually fake?! Tom Cruise is gay?! Cats and dogs can actually be friends?! Middle class Americans who shop at Walmart are destroying their own jobs and local economy by supporting Walmart's Chinese vendors?! My whole world is turning upside down.

If, like me, you've always thought of The Temptations as a group of suit and tie wearing guys who sang "My Girl" and "Just My Imagination" then prepare to have your mind blown. Listen to the song. It's like a nerd interpretation of "Doriella Du Fontaine" or something. I mean, I've always known that doing lots drugs (and then writing music about the experience) was somewhat of an inevitable career path for bands in the '60s but The Temptations too?! Damn. And the way they come across sounding like a public service announcement mixed with beat poetry mixed with psychedelic jazz mixed with, well, The Tempations is just priceless. Are there random hand drums peppered throughout the song? Do they mention the circus? Is that "My Girl" they're singing in the beginning...just riffing on some vocals as if they're strolling down Haight Street sharing a doobie? Is there a walking bass line the entire eight and a half minutes of the song? Does it end with a massive crash of a gong? You bet.

Buy Psychedelic Soul 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+:
Deerhoof - "Look Away"
Tan Dun - "Symphony 1997: II. Earth (Yi3)"
Jane's Addiction - "Three Days"
Joanna Newsom - "Monkey & Bear"
Depeche Mode - "Never Let Me Down Again" (Split Mix)
This Mortal Coil - "Dreams Are Like Water"
The Church - “Chaos"
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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Torr's got the new Brett Anderson single

Stereogum: The Beautiful South have split up

Ryspace has MP3s from Peter Bjorn and John - Bowery Ballroom, January 30th

The Punk Guy: “TV on the Radio” Frontman Headlines VIP “Exist” DVD Launch Party FEB.12th

Music For Robots on The Isles

Information Leafblower has video of a very early Oasis show

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