31 May 2007

8+

"Rainbow" by Battles which clocks in at 8:11

Tell me I don't adore this band, this album, this song. I need you to. Do it. Something has to break the spell that Battles has put on me. For serious. I'm real. I mean... I'm really serious. Or, for real - I'm serious. Serious serious real amazing for music for omg for I luv it 4evr 4real. For like $wows$ yooha. Chew HA! Yobba yooba... eepa ho a leepa ho sca-tur sca-turr. Wait. Hold. I lost my ability to speak English. Battles melted the language part of my brain with sonic perfection and/or working in this edit room in freezing cold AC has destroyed my ability to make sense out of these buttons underneath my fingers. Heep heep heep heeeelp. Gosh it's cold in this room.

Here's my favorite quote* about Mirrored:

"His flow is generic and instantly forgettable and his lyrics are trite, inconsequential and full of self-importance."
I don't care if the entire world has already been singing the praises of this album, it's not about that. This album got me. It had me at "Race - In". I can't imagine Mirrored won't end up on my year end list of greatest music ever for 2007 (it sits alone at the top of this list as of now) and I can't imagine what will come of my brain once I listen to this sucker some 5,000,000,000 more times between now and the end of the year. Help me?

Shit. You can't. You can't help me.

All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles. All I need in the world is Battles... and a sweater. I know it's hot as a bitch outside, but it's freezing right here. Right now. I'm not crazy, swear. All I need in the world is Battles.

*in a brief moment of clarity I've just realized that that quote I quoted up there was actually someone talking about K Fed's album... here's a quote about Mirrored for you that says it like it is:
"This is not just an album that can be appreciated by fans of the avant-garde, pop and rock alike but a genuine fuck you to the people claiming modern music has nowhere left to go."
Buy Mirrored 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+:
Nirvana - "Scentless Apprentice"
Jesu - "Weightless and Horizontal"
Nuh Uh - "This Is Embarrassing"
The Cure - "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"
Explosions In The Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"
Guns N' Roses - "Locomotive"

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

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

OPP

WMFU's Blog on R. Kelly

Bradley's Almanac has MP3s of Arcade Fire in Boston

Music is Art: song/context/result pt. IV (very cool series)

Gorilla vs. Bear on Animal Collective live in Dallas

T-Sides: Lost MP3 of the Week: “It Was a Good Day”

Beth Ditto nude on the cover of NME

The Bowerbirds / Summer Hymns at Bickett Gallery

CMJ's blog on the Wilmington Exchange Festival

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

30 May 2007

Bell @ Pianos - 29 May 2007

Bell - featuring Olga Bell on keys and vocals, Jason Nazary on percussion, Mike Chiavaro on bass guitar, and Grey McMurray on guitar - played their final of three Pianos May residency shows last night. The band was as tight as they've ever been (seriously... Mike, Jason, and Gray excel at their respective instruments and are a pleasure to see and hear each and every time) and Olga appeared to be very much at ease as she charmed the audience between songs and masterfully steered the set from high to low, fast to slow, and everything in between. Oh, and there was dancing! Lots of dancing from the first two rows of fans and I've got proof on video. Woot!

It was a pleasure seeing each of Bell's performances at Pianos and I'm very much looking forward to all that the future has in store for Olga and her band. If you ask me, there's a lot of greatness just around the corner for these guys. They're going into the studio at the end of this week to record songs for a soon-to-be-released EP, have a few shows lined up for early Summer, and have plans to reach out to audiences outside of NYC very very soon.

Listen:
"A Better Way" (live @ Pianos - 29 May 2007)
"Clementine" (live @ Pianos - 29 May 2007)

Visit Bell on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show and others) of Bell HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

29 May 2007

Three for Free - Handsome Furs, Rasputina, Videohippos

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

Listen:
Handsome Furs - "What We Had”

Listen:
Rasputina - "Cage in a Cave"

Listen:
Videohippos - “Kool Shades”

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Today's NEW releases

A slow week, but there are still a few things catching my ear:

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

snip·pets

The Police Deliver At Official Reunion Tour Kick-Off

Timberlake Goes Corporate With Own Label

Village Voice: A Road-Trip Playlist (that sucks)

NY Times: Plunge in CD Sales Shakes Up Big Labels

CNN: If you're a female singer, you'd better be sexy

Web distributor gives 'lost' CDs a 2d life, on demand

CBS on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Apple prepared to launch DRM-free catalog of music from EMI this week

Steven Tyler leaving Aerosmith?

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

25 May 2007

Bowerbirds and The Rosebuds @ Bowery Ballroom - 24 May 2007

Bowerbirds
Bowerbirds opened the show last night with their enchantingly delicate musical poetry. Having already listened to their songs a fair amount I knew to expect beauty and high quality songwriting; however, I wasn't ready for how perfect their vocals came across in person. Each member of the band has an excellent singing voice and each exudes a rather similar charismatic comfort while performing. I highly recommend seeing them live the next chance you get.

Listen:
"Dark Horse"

Visit Bowerbirds on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show) of Bowerbirds HERE.


The Rosebuds
The Rosebuds headlined the evening and were just as great as I expected they'd be. Their music, bet it from their first, second, or most recent album, is precisely the kind most well fit for a live performance. That is to say it's rousing and irresistible pop. Go see them for yourself sometime - you'll know what I'm talking about when you realize how much you're either singing along or dancing. Or both. I think what I enjoyed most about their set last night was getting a chance to hear the songs from the new album live. Night of The Furies is better than most people are giving it credit for, and in person many of the songs simply soar.

Listen:
"Blue Bird"

Visit The Rosebuds on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show) of The Rosebuds HERE.

*unfortunately I wasn't able to see The Ladybug Transistor as I was catching up with a few old friends who were there last night...I have it on good authority that they put on a great show as well.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

24 May 2007

8+

"Scentless Apprentice" (Rehearsal) by Nirvana which clocks in at 9:32

WARNING: "LOST" SPOILERS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS 8+

Okay, let's talk TV. Shall we? Great. But first, let me reinforce the above statement. If you're not fully caught up with "Lost" you might want to NOT read what's written below. I'm really not looking to spoil the show for anyone, so consider this fair warning: I'm about to talk about the Season Three finale which aired last night.

Still with me? You "Lost" fiend you. Let's ask ourselves some questions here, shall we? Please feel free to play along with more questions (goodness knows there are many more than what I've listed here) or answers of your own in the comments. I know some of you who most definitely watched, so don't be shy - speak up!

Q: Aren't you glad Charlie finally died?
A: Yes I am, he was sooo annoying. But then, they sure did find a nice way to let him go out honorably. "Not Penny's Boat," you go Charlie.

Q: Okay so whose boat is it then? And was Charlie actually communicating with Penny?!
A: Well, it would appear he was actually talking to her and had just enough time to tell her that Desmond is alive and on the island, and that he was a survivor of Oceanic flight 815. As for the boat, your guess is as good as mine. But here's my guess: it's Penny's father's people who just happen to be connected to the Dharma Initiative in some way.

Q: So was that actually a flash forward for the first time? Were we seeing the future?? Kate and Jack were safely off the island?!
A: It appears it was indeed some kind of flash-forward. I mean, they pretty much spelled it out for us by making the name of the funeral parlor (Hoffs Drawlar) an anagram for "flash forward". Is it the actual future? Who knows, but Jack sure wasn't happy whenever it was. And he said he was sick of lying. Lying about what? Also, he'd actually become just like his father who, by the way, may or may not actually be dead - though I tend to think he is. And strangely, Kate seemed to want to run towards someone for the first time (at least, for the first time in the world that isn't on the island). What the eff??

Q: Speaking of the flash forward, what was up with the newspaper article, and who was in the coffin?
A: Who knows, right? I've found a rough transcription of the newspaper clipping HERE on the Lostpedia but it only offers hints. It's anybody's guess as to who died (what do you think?), what we know for certain is that reading this article made Jack consider killing himself. Oh, and the newspaper article is apparently from April 5th, 2007.

Q: What was up with all of the suicide references in last night's episode?
A: Yeah, seriously. Did you catch all of them? I'm not sure I did, but let's review... we had Jack attempting to jump, Locke almost shooting himself, Charlie killing himself by closing the door, Mikhail "killing" himself with the grenade, Sawyer and Juliette going on a "suicide" mission back to the beach, Sayid willing to give up his own life if it meant helping everyone escape the island, and finally... the fact that "Scentless Apprentice" by Nirvana was playing in the car on the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide (if we are to believe that the paper is indeed from April 5th) as Jack drives to the funeral of a man who apparently killed himself (liberal conclusion jumping based upon the above linked rough transcription of the newspaper clipping). What's up with all of that? And how freaking sweet was it to suddenly hear some Nirvana on "Lost"?

Q: Where did John Locke run off to once he realized he couldn't stop Jack from using the phone?
A: I'm guessing he went to talk to Jacob, who I'm guessing had been telling Locke he needed to stop Jack.

Q: Who would win in a fight to the death between Mikhail and Locke?
A: Trick question. The answer is neither, they apparently can not be killed. Which is really cool in a horror movie kind of way. I'd love to see a battle royale matchup of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Mikahil vs. John Locke.

Q: Do we really have to wait some 8+ months for a new episode of "Lost"?
A: Yes, it appears we do. But we've got each other, and that's a lot for "Lost", so bring on the questions, answers, guesses, and theories!

Buy With The Lights Out 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+:
Jesu - "Weightless and Horizontal"
Nuh Uh - "This Is Embarrassing"
The Cure - "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"
Explosions In The Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"
Guns N' Roses - "Locomotive"
Guns N' Roses - "Estranged"

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

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

The Rosebuds, The Ladybug Transistor, Bowerbirds @ Bowery Ballroom TONIGHT

Ya'll know by now that I lookout for bands from my home town/state, so just imagine how happy/excited/proud I am to have TWO of North Carolina's best bands playing Bowery Ballroom tonight. Plus, one of the members of Bowerbirds is a friend of mine from high school. So come out tonight and support a fellow Jaguar! My school spirit is at an all-time high! I might even wear my letter jacket to the show tonight...

Honestly, all nepotism aside, this is a killer lineup well worth your time and money. Be sure to get there early enough (by 8:15pm I've been told, the set times below are my estimates) to see Bowerbirds.

Tonight at Bowery Ballroom:

10:30pm The Rosebuds (listen: "Blue Bird")

9:30pm The Ladybug Transistor (listen: "Song for the Ending Day")

8:30pm Bowerbirds (listen: "Dark Horse")

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

OPP

Soft Communication has written a story to go along with a new song from The Song Corporation

Stereoactive has live video of The Muggabears

BrooklynVegan: Daniel Johnston's private show & the Man Man vegan dinner

I Got A Message For You (a new blog): Wherein every Robyn Hitchcock song undergoes a vigorous probe in the hypothalamus, disgorging chortles and exhalations, as appropriate

T-Sides: Lost MP3 of the Week: “These Days” (Part Two)

Gorilla vs. Bear has a new Rosebuds remix

Retro Music Snob has Poison covering Tom Petty and Alice Cooper (via Idolator)

Dr Martens Fires Agency Responsible For "Rockers In Heaven" Ads

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

23 May 2007

Bell @ Pianos - 22 May 2007

Last night Bell played their second of three scheduled Pianos May residency shows. While it was a more mellow set overall, if I'm being honest, it was a better show than last time. That's not at all meant to be a knock on their show last week, just meant to explain how well everything came together last night. The band as a whole seemed to be slightly tighter and Olga's vocals sounded even better than before. I've included two MP3s below for your enjoyment: the first is my current second favorite song of theirs (I think...these things change lots though when you love each and every song by an artist) and the second is Bell's cover of "The Eraser" by Thom Yorke. Having seen this band a number of times now, I'm constantly amazed at how a new song that I've never heard them play seems to show up at each performance. Will the parade of excellent newness ever end?! When Bell finally gets in to the studio I'd imagine they're going to have a very tough time deciding which of their billions of great songs they'd like to commit to tape. "Tape".

What you either already love about Bell, or will soon, are the peaks and valleys of the music, both live and on "tape". Songs that start out as a quiet study in delicate elegance and reserved professionalism inevitably evolve into an irresistible explosion of exuberance before returning once again to the lovely tranquility from whence they came. Like a roller coaster ride for your ears. Look, I don't mean to sound obscenely PR-speaky, it's the simple truth. And the same can be said of a Bell show as a whole. Hey, don't just take it from me - the audience last night (largely made up of musicians I recognized from a variety of successful NY bands) enjoyed Bell's show so much they demanded an encore, and the band responded with an abbreviated version of their trademark show closer. Want to know what that is? Sad you missed the first two shows at Pianos? Well, luckily there will be another encore... an encore performance.

Make sure not to miss your last chance to see Bell during their residency at Pianos on the 29th of May. One week from yesterday. Be there, or be willing to explain to yourself why you missed three perfect opportunities to see one of New York's most promising up and coming artists at a venue the size of Pianos.

Listen:
"The Miner" (live @ Pianos - 22 May 2007)
"The Eraser" (live @ Pianos - 22 May 2007)

Visit Bell on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show and others) of Bell HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Man Man Secret Show (tonight) Location Revealed

From the depths of Man Man's MySpace page comes the following announcement:

Real quick, real simple. Tomorrow night's (meaning tonight) Secret Kitchen event is in Chinatown, at 98 Mott Street, better known as the Grand Harmony Palace! This is the second event in the New York by New York event series and it is a secret no more.

Here are the details you need, you might want to print this out:

Wednesday, May 23rd
@ The Grand Harmony Palace (98 Mott St)
Doors for Open Bar: 9pm
Man Man at 9:30
Out by 11!

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22 May 2007

Three for Free - The National, Shapes and Sizes, Voxtrot

EAR FARM's Three for Free: three EF approved, free and legal MP3s posted each week. This week it's three songs from some of the week's new releases. Click on the artist name to go to their site, click on the song name to listen to the song.

Listen:
The National - "Fake Empire”

Listen:
Shapes and Sizes - "Alone/Alive"

Listen:
Voxtrot - “Kid's Gloves”

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Top ten things to do in New York tonight

You may not realize it, but each day is a struggle for me to not turn this site into a daily posting of lists. Anyway, here are ten things that involve music that you might want to consider doing tonight:

10. watch the American Idol finale
9. go see the Yankees vs. the Red Sox and listen to the National Anthem before the game, watch the grounds crew dance to "YMCA", hear "God Bless America" in the middle of the 7th inning, listen to "New York, New York" as you exit the stadium
8. see Elliott Yamin @ Bowery Ballroom
7. see The New American Songwriter Tour @ The Living Room
6. see The New England Symphonic Ensemble play Beethoven, Mozart, and Vivaldi @ Carnegie Hall
5. see The Jesus and Mary Chain @ Webster Hall
4. go to Lido Bar for games and drinks and the DJ stylings of Robot Hot Dog
3. go to the Man in Gray listening party @ The Delancey
2. see night two of Bell's residency @ Pianos
1. all of the above: grab your iPod with your favorite Beethoven, Mozart, and Vivaldi pieces, set your DVR to record #s 10 and 9, hit up The Living Room first for some singer-songwriter action, then head to the Delancey to hear some of the new Man in Gray, pop by Bowery to catch a song by your favorite from last year's AmIdol - Elliot Yamin, head over to Pianos for Bell's set, stop in at Webster to catch the end of JAMC, then head out to Lido for a late night DJ party!

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Today's NEW releases

A few potential bests of 2007 come out today along with many other solid releases:

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

21 May 2007

Tapes 'n Tapes @ Irving Plaza - 18 May 2007

Tapes 'n Tapes played a sold out show at Irving Plaza this past Friday night. It was their one stop in NYC on their current Hit-n-Run Video Game Tour and they killed it. By "it" I mean they played an excellent set full of songs from The Loon with a couple of oldies thrown in for good measure. Actually, if I might for a moment speak to the band... it was great to hear "Icedbergs" and all, but could you please work "50s parking" into the setlist each time you play NYC? K thanks.

Now, what I enjoyed most about the show was hearing the new songs and watching the young fans react to the band. Tapes played probably 5 or 6 new songs and it was great to hear where they want to go with their second album. It seems as if they might want to continue along a similar path musically while opening things up for a little adventure within each song. Or, that's the notion I got based upon hearing the new stuff live. I can't really say much about the specifics of these songs other than that I really enjoyed the first and last of the new ones they played, and their adoring fans seemed to agree. All in all, Tapes 'n Tapes may have been showing signs of being a touch road weary, but their set on Friday night was top notch and jam packed with their signature enthusiastic emotion which inspired a multitude of fist pumps, sing alongs, and even a mosh pit at one point.

Listen:
"Cowbell"
"50s parking"

Visit Tapes 'n Tapes on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show) of Tapes 'n Tapes HERE.

Listen to MP3s of the two songs they played on the Human Giant marathon on Saturday (and MP3s of songs from other artists too...including Mastodon!) over at Culture Bully right HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

snip·pets

Ian Curtis Biopic Premieres At Cannes

The White Stripes make live return in Nashville

Wired: How To Live an Open-Source Musical Life With Ogg Vorbis

The Jesus & Mary Chain Leads Reunion Parade

NY Times: As Ice Cream Trucks Tune Up With Songs That Madden or Gladden

Ex-Creed frontman Stapp charged with assault

Raleigh's N&O on The Rosebuds

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

18 May 2007

Weather Report

No, not that Weather Report... the actual weather I mean. See, it's kind of unseasonable right now here in New York. It's mid-May and yet it's all gloomy and cold. But then it is still Friday, and Fridays are meant to be FUN days! What better way is there to celebrate the cold gray impending rain than with a mini-mix created specially for right now?

Listen:
1. "Grey Clouds, S. 199" - Andre Watts
2. "Cloud My Tongue" - Tori Amos
3. "Cold" - The Cure
4. "Hold Back The Rain" - Duran Duran
5. "You Look Like Rain" - Morphine
6. "Cold Night" - The Folk Implosion
7. "Just Like The Rain" - Richard Hawley

Download the entire mix as a .zip HERE

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17 May 2007

8+

"Weightless and Horizontal" by Jesu which clocks in at 10:06

Heyo! Woo hoo! Congratulations! No, really. You've earned it! It's... it's EAR FARM reader appreciation day!

Now, I may not be able to respond to each and every email that is sent to EAR FARM headquarters but you should know that I do in fact read every last little line of text that shows up in the EF inbox. And what better way, I figured, to give back to all of you (the loyal readers) than to open up the mailbag and respond to one such previously unanswered email. Cue the music.

Letters. We get letters. We get stacks and stacks of letters...

This one comes to us from Robert (aka "Bob the Baron") von Richthofen in Arkadelphia, AR:

Subj: 8+ question

I had a suggestion for something for you to post about on your blog in the 8+ category. And then also I have a question. The song suggestion is either of the songs from the new Jesu album that are 8 minutes plus. They're both dope, so either one. Unfortunately you said no live tracks because I can think of tons of great live metal for this feature. It's a great idea btw. I'm just wondering how you keep it up week after week even when your busy. That's all. Oh that was my question, what do you do when your too busy to write an 8+ or just don't want to? Thanks and keep it up.

- B
Well Robert, Bob if I might, thanks for reading. I actually drove through Arkadelphia recently while I was away on tour. Or, well that's a lie. We didn't "drive through", but I saw the name Arkadelphia on a sign on the highway and I laughed at it. Kenny did too. In fact seeing Arkadelphia and Texarkana on the same highway sign ended up providing us with jokes lasting the entire trip (and beyond). That counts for something, right?

Anyway, I'll tell you what I do when I'm too busy, or feeling too uninspired, to write an 8+ on any given Thursday... I'll tell you the answer to that question and I'll post a song from/agree with you about the most recent Jesu album all in one fell swoop. Hopefully this won't be too much of a glimpse behind the curtain for you loyal EAR FARM readers here on EAR FARM reader appreciation day.

You see Bob, when I am not in a good place to really give the 8+ feature my "all" with a true story or actual research, well, I just make things up. Things such as EAR FARM reader appreciation day, or that you're from Arkadelphia and that your name is Robert von Richthofen*. I just reach right into my creativity storage unit and pull out something new and exciting that won't take much effort at all. It's like Mary Poppins used to sing "just a spoonful of bullshit helps the 8+ go down"...

No kidding about the song though Bob. You're right on about this one. The song posted here is pretty much the core of the album it comes from and seems to represent the overall aim of the entire album fairly well. I seemingly can't get enough of both this song and the first song on the album ("Conqueror"), each of which are over eight minutes in length. In fact, as of this moment, I'd say that Jesu's Conqueror is one of my favorite albums of 2007. And you Bob, you're the #1 lucky reader who gets to have his email answered here on EAR FARM reader appreciation day.

Try not to lose yourself.

*right so the truth is that I'm not sure of the name of the person who submitted the above email but the letters "RvR" were indeed in the email address, so coming up with Robert von Richthofen as this person's most likely name was an elementary deduction.

Buy Conqueror 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+:
Nuh Uh - "This Is Embarrassing"
The Cure - "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"
Explosions In The Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"
Guns N' Roses - "Locomotive"
Guns N' Roses - "Estranged"
Guns N' Roses - "Coma"

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

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

OPP

Brooklyn Ski Club found some video of Trent Reznor Before NIN

Brooklyn Vegan has a letter from Trent Reznor on CD prices

Chromewaves on The National's new album

Gorilla vs. Bear posted a couple live versions of songs from the upcoming Animal Collective album

Idolator tells us that Amazon has finally announced its MP3 store

Music For Robots posted a Guns N' Bombs remix of Chromeo's "Fancy Footwork"

My Old Kentucky Blog posted some new Schooner tracks

Big Rock Candy Mountain posts their top 10 drinking songs

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

16 May 2007

Via Audio, Bell @ Pianos - 15 May 2007

Via AudioThough this was my third time seeing Via Audio (links to first and second) it was the first time I've been able to fully pay attention to their show. I was very impressed. Not just by the continuous trading off of instruments, but also by the incredible variety of songwriting that exists within this one band.

Listen:
"Modern Day Saint"

Visit Via Audio on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show) of Via Audio HERE.

BellBell played the first of three scheduled Pianos May residency shows last night and kicked major ass. They had a substitute drummer for the evening (named Gunnar, he was fantastic) but didn't miss a beat as they played through a set that included a brand new song, some old favorites, and two fun '90s covers. I must say that I'm currently head over heels in love with the song "Chunk" and the entire audience seemed to be pretty thrilled with Bell's version of "Lump". Check out the picture above of Olga singing "Lump" on the floor in front of the stage with two members of Via Audio, and dig on the two MP3s posted below from last night's show. You too can join in on the fun at one of Bell's two remaining shows (next Tuesday and then again on the 29th) at Pianos.

Listen:
"Chunk" (live @ Pianos - 15 May 2007)
"Lump" (live @ Pianos - 15 May 2007)

Visit Bell on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show and others) of Bell HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Initial 2007 Siren Festival lineup announced

The first wave of bands for the 2007 Siren Festival has been announced. Without beating around the bush I'll tell you what I think: it sucks. They better pull out some kick ass bands to complete this lineup or else I'm not going. That's right, I'm threatening you Village Voice. Even though going to the very first Siren Festival two weeks after I moved to NYC is one of my favorite concert memories, the lineup below makes me kind of glad this might be the final Siren.

Initial 2007 Siren Festival lineup:

New York Dolls
We Are Scientists
Matt And Kim
The Black Lips
Dr. Dog
Lavender Diamond
The Detroit Cobras
Elvis Perkins
The Twilight Sad

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

15 May 2007

Three for Free - The Sharp Things, Carolyn Mark, The Silent League

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

Listen:
The Sharp Things - “An Ocean Part Deux”

Listen:
Carolyn Mark - "2 Days Smug and Sober"

Listen:
The Silent League - “Goliath”

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

EAR FARM talks Mancino on Blog Fresh Radio

When you find yourself with a spare moment today you should head over to Blog Fresh Radio and listen to their most recent show. In it you'll hear some M.I.A., Panda Bear, Elliot Smith, and more, as well as interviews with various music bloggers about these artists. Plus, you can hear ME fumble my way through an interview about one of my favorite bands. Check it.

*you might recall that I previously spoke to Blog Fresh Radio about Jarvis Cocker back in March

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Bell begins three-week residency at Pianos tonight

One of Ear Farm's favorite New York artists is set to begin her residency at Pianos tonight. In case you've missed some of the previous postings, I think Olga and her band put on quite the show and I suggest doing your best to make it out to one of the three Bell shows happening at Pianos this month. Word on the street is that there'll be a fun mid-90's era cover song for us all to sing along to. You don't want to miss that!

Here is tonight's lineup:

11:00 Enzo
10:00 Bell
9:00 Via Audio
8:00 The Teeth
7:00 Annekei

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Today's NEW releases

These are today's new releases that I'm like "hmmmm" about:

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14 May 2007

The Muggabears, The Secret Life of Sofia, Mancino, Nous Non Plus @ Pianos - 12 May 2007

The Muggabears

The Muggabears (above) played a very solid set, once again proving that "Dead Kid Kicks" is one of the better songs released so far this year, and is a song best experienced in a live setting.

Listen:
"Dead Kid Kicks"

Visit The Muggabears on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show and others) of The Muggabears HERE.

The Secret Life of Sofia

The Secret Life of Sofia (above) returned from their long winter's nap to amaze the crowd with four new songs so finely crafted that I can't help but to already start thinking of comparing their yet to be released album to Yellow House. In more simple terms: wow.

Listen:
"Hospital Inside Me"

Visit The Secret Life of Sofia on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show) of The Secret Life of Sofia HERE.

Mancino

Mancino (above) played one of their best shows yet. The band was loose, yet incredibly tight, and full of their infectious love of music that energizes audiences like nobody's business. Here's a tip: catch them soon while they're still playing these smaller NYC venues.

Listen:
"L'amour (or Less)"

Visit Mancino on MySpace, see more pictures (from this show and others) of Mancino HERE.

Nous Non Plus

Nous Non Plus is a band I've been wanting to see for quite a while. They brought their catchy and fun French indie-pop to life perfectly in person and did not disappoint.

Listen:
"Tant Pis Pour Toi" (edited clip)

Visit Nous Non Plus on MySpace.

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snip·pets

Paul McCartney's back catalogue to go online

Pumpkins Plan Residencies In Asheville, San Fran

Pink Floyd Members Appear At Barrett Tribute

The Independent: The cult of Ian Curtis

NY Times: In a Stadium or in a Pool, Bands Galore

U.K. Music Label Creates a Vinyl-MP3 Hybrid

Little Charlie's Gone, Bowie-Backed Burlesque Show Replacing It

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

11 May 2007

Bowerbirds

Frequent readers of Ear Farm will know by now that this is not one of the many music blogs that sources its content directly from press releases. Raise an eyebrow if you didn't know it, but many of the more well known sites out there do little more than copy and paste from the PR emails they get. I know they do it, I get the very same emails. Add to this the fact that the majority of the music these folks are pimping equates to not much more than the very same kind of copycatting and you just might shed a tear yearning for the days gone by. The simple days of nothing but live shows, radio, and 78s. Yes, it's a boring and uninspired world out there people, but it's by no means something to whine about. After all, yesterday I received one of these previously mentioned PR email blasts about North Carolina's Bowerbirds and knew immediately that I'd be using said email as a launching pad for a post about this band. This is, in fact, long overdue.

From the PR email:

NC-based duo/somtimes trio Bowerbirds will release its debut album, Hymns for a Dark Horse on the newly formed Raleigh/Durham-based record label Burly Time on July 10. The band will also be playing shows with The Rosebuds, Ladybug Transistor and The Clientele over the next few weeks.

Indicative of the music they make, Bowerbirds were born of unequal parts conflict and sweetness. Phil Moore and Mark Paulson had moved east from Iowa to form a band. Phil met Beth Tacular—a collected and published painter—while they worked together in a grocery store. Beth’s marriage was failing, and she saw something special in Phil. Not long before their band collapsed on tour somewhere in Alabama, Phil and Beth moved in together. They painted pictures and wrote songs and sang them. They started Bowerbirds and asked Mark to join them whenever possible.

They’ve toured the country once in a minivan, playing small clubs and coffee shops and street corners that welcome them, then camping beneath the stars with pleasure. They live in an Airstream trailer in the woods in Chatham County, North Carolina, and they’re ecstatic. As built on the belief that our limited earth (“In Our Talons”) is as sacred as the unlimited love that we can find within it (“Human Hands”), Bowerbirds make acoustic music that feels good and aware and powerful and hopeful. And yes, they know nothing should be all of those things anymore.

"My favorite new band in forever" - John Darnielle
What is most important to note here, as with anything featured on this site, is the music. Bowerbirds aren't your typical PR-push indie band, and they're not likely to find their way onto sites that are lazy about the music they write about. For you see, Bowerbirds make songs that climb inside your mind and your heart and latch on. Theirs is a world of beauty and harmony and mother nature and creation, but also of melancholy and darkness and pain. Listening to their songs I'm reminded of some of the work of William Blake for some reason. Not his overly Christian stuff per se, but some of his Dante watercolors... or perhaps similarly themed art from other Romantic artists... or even that Hieronymus Bosch piece called "The Garden of Earthly Delights". Art that speaks to strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience and views humans as but a small part of the greater whole that is our planet. Bowerbirds write songs that appear to fit nicely within this artistic sensibility, songs that offer the universal comfort that comes from having experienced sadness and lived to sing about it. Songs that speak to my personal desire to treat music the same way I do a good book; that is, to curl up with a good record (and some wine) next to a fire and let the music and lyrics lead the way. Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it.

I'd imagine that fans of Devendra Banhardt, The Rosebuds, The Decemberists, Magnetic Fields, Red House Painters, and the like, will be very pleased with what they find in the music of Bowerbirds. There's plenty of melodic Earth love in the form of male/female singing, accordian playing, guitar strumming, and random percussion for even the most thirsty music loving hippie to be sated, but the real beauty of what Bowerbirds bring to the table is in the fact that fans of a wide variety of musical styles are likely to find something to enjoy in their songs. In fact, if you're a fan of The Rosebuds you'll be happy to hear that Bowerbirds are going on a brief tour with them (see below) which includes a stop here in NYC in a few weeks at Bowery Ballroom. I, for one, can't wait. Yes, I'm in their talons now and they're never letting go. Fine by me.

Listen:
"Dark Horse"
"In Our Talons"

Visit Bowerbirds on MySpace

Buy their debut album Hymns for a Dark Horse HERE

See Bowerbirds live:
May 10 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle*
May 18 Asheville, NC Grey Eagle #
May 19 Raleigh, NC Bickett Gallery
May 22 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel #
May 23 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s #
May 24 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom %
June 23 Raleigh, NC Rock and Shop Market
June 30 Chapel Hill, NC The Blend
July 17 Carrboro, NC Nightlight

* = w/ Clientele, Ladybug Transistor
# = w/ The Rosebuds
% = w/ The Rosebuds, Ladybug Transistor

Also, in the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that I went to high school with one of the members of the band (Beth) and, in the spirit of helping spread the word for a friend, I'd like to mention that she's a very talented artist in addition to being a wonderful musician. If you enjoy the music of Bowerbirds you should also check out her artwork when you have a moment.

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Nous Non Plus, Mancino, The Secret Life of Sofia, The Muggabears, Can Joann @ Pianos tomorrow night!

This might as well be an official EAR FARM show, given that each of these bands have appeared on this site before. Heck, the majority of them have done so multiple times and are alums of Ear Farm Presents shows past.

What I'm getting at here is that you should most definitely plan to head to Pianos tomorrow night to see:

12:00 Nous Non Plus
11:00 Mancino
10:00 The Secret Life of Sofia
9:00 The Muggabears
8:00 Can Joann

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10 May 2007

8+

"This Is Embarrassing" by Nuh Uh which clocks in at 10:31

So last night I'm at the bar, right, and I'm walking from the back room where the stage is to the front room where there's a bar with two televisions. As I'm entering the room I hear a familiar song. A song I've strangely been listening to a lot the past week. The room was full of lead guitar licks and sweeping synthesizers and Rush was just about to kick "Xanadu" into high gear. But this wasn't the version from A Farewell to Kings (which, by the way, has not left my record player in at least eight plus days), it was the live version from Exit...Stage Left. And it wasn't simply on the stereo in the bar, but rather playing on both TVs too. I stopped dead in my tracks and found myself involuntarily playing air bass. I looked up. Hot shit, there was Geddy Lee on TV playing a double neck guitar/bass Rickenbacker 4080. Obviously what was on TV was the recently rereleased DVD of Exit...Stage Left (that I've been meaning to purchase) and (obviously) it was unbelievably cool. Unbelievably cool in a nerdy prog rock kind of way, sure, but unbelievably cool no less.

Equally cool was the fact that I noticed Conrad (the drummer from both Takka Takka and Nuh Uh) there at the bar watching and jamming along with me (with what was on TV rather). Honestly I didn't see him right away, but when I snapped out of the initial nerd trance I'd entered upon hearing "Xanadu" I proceeded to chat him up about Rush. I told him about how I've been really digging A Farewell to Kings lately (I've been telling everyone this, in fact I think I've now told all of you twice within this very post) and he told me about plans he's got in mind for forming yet another side project band. I don't want to spoil anything by talking about it, but supposedly the band he has in mind relies quite heavily on Rush's music. Knowing that his band I was about to see (Nuh Uh) had released an album comprised of THREE 8+ songs it came as no surprise to me to find out that he, and his other two Nuh Uh mates who showed up to the viewing area a minute after I did, love Rush. We all sat and enjoyed some drinks and a good twelve minute long live version of "Xanadu". Geek heaven.

So there you have it. That's the warmup I got before seeing Nuh Uh live for the first time (actually Frauke was the band that played before them, but I'm trying to get across the point that I had Rush on the brain). When they started their three song set I was already thinking RUSH RUSH RUSH... Nuh Uh! I'm not even sure what I mean by that, but I was pretty excited to hear what Conrad, Damion, and Grady had in store for us, and once they started I knew immediately that I was a fan of their music. The songs they played ended up sounding less than completely prog-y, and I think that's a good thing. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of progitude that comes through in what Nuh Uh does but they balance this nerdiness with heaping amounts of that same indie-rock sensibility that makes Takka Takka so popular. However, while Takka Takka songs come out on the mellow side of indie-rock, Nuh Uh brings to the table a bit more bite. Similar in ways to Guided By Voices or some of Bob Mould's stuff.

The song posted here is a wonderful example of Nuh Uh's ability to craft songs longer than eight minutes that don't feel like extremely long songs. Theirs are songs that are mindful of the bands that have influenced them (notice the Rush-like synth bits in the middle of this song and the Lifeson inspired strumming throughout) without sounding as though they're ripping off someone else's music. Listening to "This Is Embarrassing" you're not going to find yourself bored to tears by six minutes of guitar noodling or drum soloing (not that those are necessarily bad things) but instead you'll find that the song moves in waves. Little indie-prog movements. Or shifts rather... like a hockey team.

Take off, eh?

Buy Nuh Uh HERE on Amp Camp.

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+:
The Cure - "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack"
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"
Explosions In The Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"
Guns N' Roses - "Locomotive"
Guns N' Roses - "Estranged"
Guns N' Roses - "Coma"
Guns N' Roses - "November Rain"

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

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Frauke and Nuh Uh @ Trash - 9 May 2007

The photos above are of Frauke (first pic) and Nuh Uh (second pic) playing @ Trash last night.

Listen:
Frauke - "Hunt The Yeti"

Visit the fine folks from this post on MySpace:
Frauke
Nuh Uh

See more pictures from this show HERE and HERE.

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OPP

Boing Boing: Boston-centric Punk video archive (late '70s - early '80s) (via clickyclickymusic.com)

2007 Austin City Limits - Full Lineup

Heart on a Stick is currently obsessing over Shiina Ringo

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Glassland Responds & Apologizes, Photographs

Arcade Fire demos/rarities

Live Video: Man In Gray - “Dust Mites”

Soft Communication on Björk's "Dull Flame of Desire" as performed recently at Radio City Music Hall

"Lee's 78s" is a new series featuring MP3s of 78s... If you enjoy old music, just go check it out (via Idolator)

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

09 May 2007

Ruined Music One Year Anniversary Party @ The Delancey - 8 May 2007

The photos above are of last night's Ruined Music One Year Anniversary Party @ The Delancey. I was able to hang around long enough to see the first two readers (above: pictured first is Nichelle Stephens, second is Mick Stingley) and first two bands (above: pictured first is The Shondes, second is Beat Radio) - it was a blast. No offense to the bands, DJs, or free PBR, but I think my favorite part was Mick's reading.

Listen:
The Shondes - "Let's Go"
Beat Radio - "Everything is Temporary"
Unsacred Hearts - "Somewhere Deep In NYC"

Visit the fine folks from this post on MySpace:
The Shondes
Beat Radio
Unsacred Hearts
Ruined Music

See more pictures from this show HERE and HERE.

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Fujiya & Miyagi - "Ankle Injuries" video and MP3

Fujiya & Miyagi have released a new video. I like them. Their PR lady sent me an email alerting me to this fact (the new video fact, not the fact that I like them) and I watched the video. I liked it very much. Therefore, I share it with you.

Watch:


Listen:
"Ankle Injuries"

Fujiya & Miyagi July Dates:
6 July - New York, NY (South Street Seaport)
7 July - Philadelphia, PA (Johnny Brenda's)
9 July - Boston, MA (Middle East Downstairs)
10 July - Montreal, QC (Lambi)
11 July - Toronto, ON (Legendary Horseshoe Tavern)
12 July - Cleveland, OH (Grog Shop)

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Frauke and Nuh Uh TONIGHT @ Trash

Frauke and Nuh Uh are playing tonight @ Trash. See you there?

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08 May 2007

Three for Free - Ill Lillies, Seymore Saves the World, Leopold and his Fiction

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

Listen:
Ill Lillies - "High Tyde"

Listen:
Seymore Saves the World - "Love Song"

Listen:
Leopold and his Fiction - “Be Still”

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Contrast Podcast #58

Time for another new Contrast Podcast. The theme this week (chosen by yours truly) is "songs mentioning other songs, bands, or artists". Along with the rest of this week's cast of bloggers, I've once again contributed an intro and a song for you to enjoy. So get on with it and head on over to the Contrast Podcast site and listen!

Go check out Contrast Podcast #58.

You can download Contrast Podcast #58 HERE.

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Today's NEW releases

These are today's new releases that I can recommend:

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04 May 2007

Björk - "Innocence" & "Declare Independence"

In case you've been asleep for the past few weeks, here's what's up. Björk is back in full effect with a brand new album called Volta (buy HERE) set for release on the 8th of May. She recently dominated Coachella, SNL, and Radio City Music Hall - with two more shows still on the schedule in New York before she heads to Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Vancouver, and the Sasquatch Music Festival. If there's any doubt that Björk is one of the world's great living artists... well, there just isn't. How could there be? But in case you were wondering, her new album is excellent.

Below are two tracks from Volta, Björk's sixth full-length solo studio album. The first, "Innocence", is one of three tracks that were produced by Timbaland and will be the second single released from this album. If you're feeling creative in an I'm a filmmaker kind of way, Björk is inviting you to create a video for "Innocence". More on that HERE. The second track posted below is currently my favorite from the album and comes across as if it were produced by Trent Reznor; that is if Trent Reznor were still actively creative and pushing his own boundaries a bit. Björk has dedicated this song to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, encouraging them "to 'declare independence' from Denmark, singing 'raise your flag higher, higher.'"

To say I'm disappointed to have not gotten tickets to any of her shows here in NYC would be an understatement. So, who's got extras for the Apollo show?

Listen:
"Innocence"
"Declare Independence"

Listen to Björk live @ Radio City Music Hall on 2 May 2007 over at Kwaya Na Kisser HERE.

See/hear Björk's recent appearance on Saturday Night Live over at Culture Bully HERE.

Visit Björk on MySpace.

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03 May 2007

8+

"Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack" by The Cure which clocks in at 27:51

When I think back to the old days, the wild wild west days of the world wide web, one of my fondest memories is the massive amount of musical self-education the early internet offered. With nothing more than a whispered inclination of what you wanted to listen to you'd soon find yourself knee deep in endless MP3 options. Crazy cover songs? Yep. Pre-release stuff? Yep. Just about anything your little heart desired? Yep, yep.

What I'm talking about here is Napster. No, not that Napster. The 1999-2001 Napster that brought to my ears more unreleased, unavailable, and out of print stuff than I could've ever possibly imagined. I know that there were a lot of people using the service as a means to compile massive libraries of pirated music, but I have always maintained that I spent more money on music, more than I ever have before or since, back when Napster was in its heyday. My general methodology would include researching artist influences, or songs that had a certain instrument on them that interested me (like when I wanted to hear everything I could that featured an ARP Odyssey), and then taking directives from this information and using it to explore music on Napster. Very often this led to me purchasing albums by the artists I'd just discovered at my favorite local record store. It was a happy time. My musical knowledge, taste, and collection grew exponentially and then stupid Metallica and Dr. Dre destroyed everything. I digress...

What we've got here is one of the many songs (thousands if I'm being honest) I first found thanks to Napster. At the time I was already a fan of The Cure, had been for years, and was most certainly a fan of their music from the album Faith. I was also most certainly on a search. I had decided that my band at the time needed, nay NEEDED, to spice things up by getting a Fender Bass VI. I wanted that guitar so damn badly (still do) but the problem was that I simply couldn't find one at any music store near me. Ever. I searched for years, nothing. I knew at the time that I couldn't afford a vintage Bass VI, so I was looking for one of the Japanese reissues. But honestly, any Bass VI would do. I just wanted to pick one up and (at least) play it for a while in a store to affirm the fact that this guitar and I were meant for each other. No dice. As a substitute I bought a Danelectro Baritone from EBay. Crunchy, lots of growling low end, but just not the same. Then I decided to turn my obsession inward and began seeking out every song I could find that featured lots of Bass VI action.

This search brought to my attention a song by The Cure that I'd never even heard of, Wikipedia explains:

Carnage Visors (an antonym of rose-coloured spectacles) is a short film made by Ric Gallup. It was made as an opening act for The Cure on their 1981 Picture Tour instead of an opening support band. The Cure used this film on some of the gigs they played and it featured animation of several dolls in different positions and stances. The film has since disappeared and only Lol Tolhurst, Robert Smith, and Simon Gallup own copies of it. The soundtrack of Carnage Visors was first released on tape as a B-Side of the album Faith by Fiction Records in May 1981. The soundtrack appeared on CD in 2005, when Rhino Records re-released Faith in a Deluxe Edition.
Pound for pound "Carnage Visors: The Soundtrack" features more atmospheric Bass VI action than any other song out there. And given that I'm currently obsessing over Bass VI's again, it should come as no surprise that this song should show up here this week. It's also one of the longest songs you're likely to find here in 8+ land, so sit back for half an hour and enjoy.

Buy Faith [Deluxe Edition] 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+:
Aphex Twin - "Ziggomatic V17"
Agalloch - "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion"
Explosions In The Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"
Guns N' Roses - "Locomotive"
Guns N' Roses - "Estranged"
Guns N' Roses - "Coma"
Guns N' Roses - "November Rain"
Sleep - "Jerusalem (Pt. 4)"

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

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M.I.A. - "Hit That"

Thanks to Fader's blog for unearthing this new rump shakin' M.I.A. track. It's set to appear on her new album Kala and should be a pretty decent track for you guys to bump while enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend (though I'd bet that it might not last you much past the weekend). While it sounds like more of the same from Maya Arulpragasam (mixed with a bit of a Missy Elliot vibe), the added Wreckx-N-Effect shout outs and lyrics you can't help but sing along to should be enough to make you thirsty for more new M.I.A. - don't worry, the new album should be out in time for some warm weather fun at the end of the summer.

Listen:
"Hit That"

See M.I.A. live.

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OPP

Aquarium Drunkard - Robyn Hitchcock :: Gets Spooked

Bjork @ Radio City Music Hall pics and setlist

Talent Filter: A new blog featuring unsigned talent from around the world

Crackers United presents FRICTION | 5.12.07

For Turkish music fans, check out Deniz’in Kulağı

Grizzly Bear fans should head over to Daytrotter, if you haven't already

Faronheit has Jeff Buckley covering "I Know It's Over"

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02 May 2007

Mancino is SPIN's Band of the Day

With the announcement that Mancino is SPIN's Band of the Day, one of my very most favorite bands continues to find more fans at each turn, thus drastically raising the chances they'll all get super rich and buy matching orange Escalades. If you ask me it's about time.

Listen:
"Hetchie Hutchie Footchie"
"L'amour (or Less)"

Visit Mancino on MySpace.

Read EF's review of Manners Matter HERE.

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