Friday, December 30, 2005

The End

Well, 2005 is just about over. I think this is going to be my last post in 2005 because of partying and everything tomorrow. It's been a great year for this blog. Started in May and readership has only gone up. Thanks for reading and commenting and linking to me everyone! I really appreciate it and can't thank you enough.

Now, if you've got nothing else to do, Indie for Dummies has put up the top 100 albums of the year as decided by dozens upon dozens of bloggers. Chek it out, and I'll see you in '06.

The song that started it all:
Belle and Sebastian-Judy and the Dream of Horses

Fashion Abel

I've said it before that my local town is pretty barren of music. The only thing that's come from Tyler it seems is Eisley. The band is all siblings, for those of you that don't know. Their parents own a church/coffee shop that they used to play at a lot. The first and only time I ever saw them they were playing there, and a couple bands opened for them, namely Ester Drang and fellow locals The Connotations. Now I think Eisley is a pretty sleepy bunch and didn't enjoy them too much. Ester Drang was along the same lines.

The Connotations, in my opinion, should have been the band to blow up. Their songs were pop-perfect and everyone in the band have the nicest personalities. The band was still in high school at the time, and when college time came I think they started to break apart. Most of them went to UT at Austin and they made a few songs and broke up. I am glad to hear, though, that their lead singer is still making music and actually was just signed to a label.

His name is Taylor Muse and he goes by the name Quiet Company. He was signed to Northern Records and is releasing an album, Shine Honestly, in spring of 2006.

Quiet Company-Fashion Cain, Fashion Abel

Check out more Quiet Company at his MySpace.

Second Band/SXSW

I got an e-mail concerning an outstanding band from, you guessed it, Sweden this morning! I sure am glad I did. The band is The Second Band. They've released an EP and have some demos to shop around with, plus an upcoming EP in 2006. The track I got is from that EP. The song, "Wild is the Wind," is all piano and handclaps. The singer's voice sort of reminds me of James Mercer of the shins. Anyway, the song is really great, so I checked out more they had on their website and everythng there seems to be amazing too. Please check them out, and I'm sure you will unless you're burnt-out on Swedes. Which is bad because I'm sure there are loads more that deserve your attention!

Wild is the Wind
What's Up Tiger Lily?
Coffee Kills (and French Summer)

Check out quite a few mp3s at their website.

Also, if you didn't know, SXSW is comin' at you from Austin, TX March 15-19. Invited guests (they may not all show up at the fest) include, Annie, Arctic Monkeys, Belle and Sebastian, Boy Least Likely To, Neko Case, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Cribs, The Duke Spirit, Editors, Jose Gonzalez, The Go! Team,the list goes on and on and on. Check out the full list of invitees here.

Also! Not to be missed are the music panels and speakers. Neil Young is the keynote speaker this year, and other speakers include Sam Moore, the Pretenders, and Billy Bragg. Some of the panels would be great for independent bands to attend, with topics like touring, distribution, and there is even going to be one about music blogging. It is all not to be missed!

Two Lonely Girls Go on The Run

I've talked about the Long Blondes before, but they just released a killer new single in the UK called "Separated by Motorways." They're a very catchy band and they've released a few singles. I can't understand how they haven't been signed yet. I don't know, but hopefully it'll be soon. You can download "Separated by Motorways" over at Green Pea-ness.

And you can download this catchy tune here!
Autonomy Boy

In the Reins

It seems like a really long time ago that it was released, but Iron and Wine's collaborative EP with Calexico, In the Reins, is still making waves. The bands will appear on Late Night with Craig Ferguson next Friday (Wolf Parade will be on the same show Tuesday) and Big O Magazine graciously put this live recording of the bands' performance at the Triple Door in Seattle.

I think these tracks have made the rounds before, but it's nice to have a trusty server hosting them all. Anyway, go here to download the show.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Things That I Know

I finally did that whole eMusic 50 free mp3's thing. Gotta say, it was pretty nice. I laid to wast the 50 free songs pretty quickly. I finally got the Dirty Projectors' The Getty Address, Y.A.C.H.T.'s Super Warren MMIV, Bobby Birdman's Heart Caves EP, the Liars and Oneida split Atheists Reconsider, and The Blow's Poor Aim: Love Songs.

I'm really really enjoying the last one. I had The Blow's album Bonus Album but didn't pay much attention. What caught my attention about her (because the band is essentially Khaela Maricich) was the similar one-woman show thing she has going that Wynne Greenwood of Tracy + the Plastics also had. I think they both even have similar voices and both use video when performing.

Anyway, the album was actually produced by Jona Bechtolt, aka Y.A.C.H.T., which explains why their beats sound very similar. He also is in a music video for the song I'm putting up here.

Knowing the Things That I Know

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Nellie

Nellie McKay has been up to quite a lot. She left her label, Columbia, and is releasing her sophomore album Pretty Little Head all on her own. She's also going to be on Broadway in 2006 in The Threepenny Opera with Alan Cumming.

According to this Billboard article, the dispute has something to do with Sony wanting to cut out seven songs from the album, although I'm sure there are more reasons. There was a live DVD slated to come out the same day as the record too, I guess. McKay is planning on releasing the new album on the Internet in January and on disc in February.

Anyway, here is a track from the album, a duet with Cyndi Lauper.
Bee Charmer (ft. Cyndi Lauper)


I love Touch and Go Records. They are a very wonderful label who loves giving away mp3s. And I love that. Case in point: the new Quasi record. Quasi is, for those of you that don't know, the drummer from Sleater-Kinney Janet Weiss and bandmate Sam Coomes. They've released a couple albums to great acclaim, and are prepping their new effort, When the Going Gets Dark which will see the light of day March 21st in 2006. The album was mixed by Dave Fridmann, who has worked with the likes of the Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse, and worked on DOH's 2005 favorite album, Sleater-Kinney's The Woods. This makes me excited. Anyway here's a new mp3 from the new Quasi album.

Merry X-Mas

They've got two dates this week!

December 29 Showbox - Seattle, WA
December 30 Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
both dates are with Sleater-Kinney and Stepehen Malkmus + the Jicks

Chosen Darkness

It's been awhile since anyone's heard anything about Austin, TX band with a mouthful-of-a-name, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. They released a self-titled EP, produced by Spoon's Britt Daniel. They're finally releasing their long-awaited debut album, which is being released March 2006 and is called Fear is on Our Side. They're also releasing a 12" single for the song "According to Plan," which sounds very New Order if I do say so. Here's an mp3 of that song courtesy of the band's label, Secretly Canadian, and an mp3 from their EP.

According to Plan
When You Go Out

They've got one tour date coming up:
February 2 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa w/ Spoon

Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day

Today seems like it's gonna be a pretty boring. No real news to speak of it seems, since everyone's in holiday mode. Still a good day to put up a couple mp3s, right?

Well awhile back, there was a lot of hulabaloo as to whether or not the Decemberists would be participating in an Elliott Smith tribute full of Portland bands (and even titled To: Elliott, From: Portland). Well Colin Meloy said no, they weren't participating. And now the promo for the comp has been sent out and, yes, the Decemberists are on it. They contributed a cover of "Clementine" and you can download it at Each Note Secure.

Also, the other night a friend of mine was driving me back home. She's a great girl and has a great taste in music. She's been trying to get me to listen to Magnolia Electric Co./Songs: Ohia for quite some time but I never really gave in. Well she played Magnolia's new album What Comes After the Blues and I have to say it's a great album. It was really really foggy out, and it was surreal to be driving through it hearing this song, the first single off the album.

Hard to Love a Man

I hope you all have a good day returning unwante purchases or lounging around free of work!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I Love Gossip

I'm really pumped for the new Gossip record Standing in the Way of Control. They are a great, energetic band and hopefully this record will get a lot of loving. Here's an mp3 from Kill Rock Stars, the title track from the record.

Standing in the Way of Control

Oh! and what do you know, they're touring in support of the record! Watch out it's gonna be an awesome show! They're even hitting Australia while they're at it. Oh and SXSW.

January 2006
24 - Portland, OR @ Jackpot Records (203 SW 9th ave. @ burnside) - RECORD RELEASE!
25 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
27 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill w/ Numbers
28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echo w/ Numbers
29 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah w/ Numbers
30 - Pomona, CA @ Glass House w/ Numbers

February 2006
01 - Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall w/ Numbers
02 - Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey w/ Numbers
03 - Tacoma, WA @ UPS Wheelock Student Center w/ Numbers
04 - Olympia, WA @ Capitol Theater Backstage w/ Numbers Australian Tour!
25 - Melbourne @ Spanish Club w/ Pretty Girls Make Graves
27 - Perth @ The Rosemount w/ Pretty Girls Make Graves

March 2005
01 - Adelaide @ Jive w/ Pretty Girls Make Graves
02 - Brisbane @ The Zoo w/ Pretty Girls Make Graves
03 - Sydney @ Gaelic Club w/ Pretty Girls Make Graves
05 - Sydney @ Laneway Festival w/ Pretty Girls Make Graves

US Tour
12 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
13 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
16 - Austin, TX @ KRS SXSW Showcase
21 - Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
25 - New York, NY @ Knitting Factory
27 - Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
29 - Toronto, ONT @ X Space

April 2005
02 - Fargo, ND @ Raplhs

Friday, December 23, 2005

For the Rest of Us

I probably won't post until Monday because of all the Christmas stuff and yadda yadda but I wanted to leave you with this. If you're feeling cheap this Christmas season, print off this coupon and give it to friends, family, or co-workers.

Happy holidays!

Voxtrot Touring Schedule

Austinite popsters Voxtrot have announced plans for their upcoming tour through February and March, ending at Austin's SXSW.

Fri 20 - Houston, TX - Rudyard's

Fri 17 - Dallas, TX - The Cavern
Sat 18 - Norman, OK - Opolis
Mon 20 - Columbus, OH - Andyman's Treehouse
Tue 21 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Parlour
Fri 24 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
Tue 28 - Fargo, ND - VFW

Fri 3 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
Sat 4 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
Wed 8 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile
Thu 9 - Portland, OR - Holoscene
Fri 10 - San Francisco - Hemlock (Advance tickets @ Hemlock only)
Sun 12 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo
Mon 13 - Los Angeles, CA - Cooperage, UCLA
Wed 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Emo's

New Artists Pt 2

Okay okay here's some more artists that you should all look into because they all deserve your listening attention.

Sarah Rogers is only 14 years old. Sounds like she could be the lost Smoosh member but instead she's making her own power-pop songs. She's been recording some material with two members from the band The Math and Physics CLub. Sounds like good stuff. Check out what she's got on her MySpace.

Dutch band General Mindy seems pretty new to the scene, but are already playing great songs infused with an 80's feel (maybe it's the synth).
Travel in Style
Porzac Candy
Check out more on their website or their MySpace.

Six piece band Dr. Mike may have a goofy name and proclaim themselves as "the greatest band" buuut you know. They're working at it and I like their song "Dolly." Check it out and two more songs at their MySpace.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Artists Pt 1

I'm gonna put up some music from some great artists that I'v received e-mails from in the past week or so and have been neglecting.

Jenny Gillespie is from Chicago, land of one of my new favorite artists of 2005, The Changes. Taken from her bio:
Jenny Gillespie is a Chicago-based singer-songwriter. She makes well-crafted folk rock in the vein of Red House Painters, Damien Rice and Aimee Mann. Her confessional songs are tinged with intelligent storytelling and poetic phrases and her classically-trained voice has just enough tremble to evoke the emotion of the lyrics.

Body's Boat
Mountain Laurel
Check out a couple more at her website.

The Duke Spirit are from the UK and I think I've done a feature on them before, but their debut album Cuts Across the Land is being released on StarTime Records in March of 2006! This is pretty awesome, because you know what? The album is awesome. Check it out.
Cuts Across the Land

Swedish band Shooting John sent me this B-side to their single"Beggars." If you like the track, check out their MySpace.
Drunk and Astray

I'll put up some more artists later.

Oh Boy

Soo I haven't been updating like I thought I would. Huh. Oh well. It is Christmas season so um yeah that's no excuse I know I'm sorry.

Anyway I checked out David Sedaris's Naked from the city library in Provo UT before I left. When I get back I'm gonna have some late fees on it but whatever. I was really late jumping on the Sedaris bandwagon but I finally made it. Naked is the last book of his for me to read and it didn't disappoint. Anyway I thought I'd put up some audio of Sedaris reading some of his stuff. It's all pretty great so I hope you enjoy.

Diary of a Smoker (NPR Morning Edition
French Lessons
Big Boy
The Youth in Asia
That last file's pretty big (41 minutes) and has another story on it too but I can't remember which.

BONUS: This blog, Living in the Day has compiled a list of the supposed best 150 songs of 2005. Impressive.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Hey sorry I haven't been posting. You know it's the holidays, family, friends, blah blah etc. Plus I don't have internet on my computer so I gotta be usin' other peoples' internet. Don't wanna feel like too much of a leech.

ANYWAY if you watched Saturday Night Live on Saturday being hosted by Jack BLack, you were probably laughing pretty hard to the rap by Chris Parnell and that other dude about the Chronicles of Narnia. Well someone gone and put the video online for your viewing pleasure. If you didn't see it, definitely watch this clip.

Watch it here.

Also love: SNL Google Video search

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

So Sorry

I'm sorry that my posts have been dumb/absent the past couple days. I'll be taking finals until Thursday and then I'll be flying home soo probably don't expect another great post till maybe Friday. That might be pushing it. I don't know. Anyway, sorry to be the typical college blogger who has finals. Laaame.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Age of Consent

I was interested when I heard that Sofia Coppolla was going to be writing and directing a film about Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst and Max Fischer Jason Schwartzman. Well the first teaser trailer for it came out and I was very surprised by it. It looks a lot like a music video, mostly because there is no dialogue. The song used is an interesting choice too.
The song is New Order's "Age of Consent." Is Coppolla going to try and use contemporary music to spice up the movie a la A Knight's Tale? I hope that's not the case. Anyway I love the song and thought I'd share it with you, and the trailer, and an Arcade Fire cover of the song. Duh everything has to relate to them some how.

Marie Antoinette trailer (Quicktime)
New Order-Age of Consent (live on BBC)
Arcade Fire-Age of Consent

And the Nation Wept (For Joy)

Soo Pitchfork says the Decemberists signed to Capitol Records. I'm sooo happy for them!! They also said Carson Ellis, the Decemberists' exclusive artist and Colin Meloy's girlfriend, is pregnant with the couple's first child! What a day of good news!
The Pitchfork article has a lot to say about things upcoming for the band.Tarkio reissues in January, recording a new album in April, baby sometime, maybe a DVD, perhaps a live CD from Colin's January solo much! I'm really really happy for them all!
I'm only slightly saddened that they're leaving Kill Rock Stars, who first introduced me to the band. It sounds like they're still going to release stuff through the label so it's obviously an amicable split with good ties still. That is good news.
(First person to say the phrase "selling out" gets sucker punched by a bunch of nerdy Decemberists fans dressed up as chimney sweeps and dead orphans.)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Go See

If you're in the Dallas area, go see Xiu Xiu and The Dead Science at Hailey's in Denton tonight. The band is toting along their limited edition 2x10" vinyl editions of their newest album La Foret, and I hear they all have pictures from their tour inside them all. And they're wrapped up like Christmas presents. Also, you can pick up some other vinyl, like the pAper chAse split I talked about earlier this week.

Xiu Xiu-Bog People
The Dead Science-Drrrty Magneto

The Final Top Ten Albums

Okay okay as promised here's my list of top albums. This was a great year for albums, so of course very difficult to choose a top ten. Well here it goes.

10. Spoon-Gimme Fiction
Britt Daniel and co. returned to the scene to follow up their criticially acclaimed Kill the Moonlight. They had a lot of pressure on them to follow up after such a great album and did a great job. Songs like "The Two Sides of Monsier Valentine" and "I Turn My Camera On" were my faves. And of course, "I Summon You."

9. LCD Soundsystem-LCD Soundsystem
DFA Records' James Murphy and his band's first album did not disappoint. The new material on disc one was filled with songs bound to become dance party faves for years to come ("Daft Punk..." and "Disco Infiltrator" for sure). Disc two collected all of Murphy's past singles, all pretty great, if not a little long each. I listen to disc one more often and, since that's the new stuff, that's how I'll judge it.

8. Boy Least Likely To-The Best Party Ever
UK indi act BLLT came out of nowhere to create the year's cutest and heartbreakingly endearing album. Songs like "Be Gentle With Me" and "Monsters" had me comin' back for repeated listening. Hopefully the album will be released in the US and they'll do a tour here to get more followers.

7. Okkervil River-Black Sheep Boy
One of Austin's greatest exports made this album 2005's dark horse. The album is dark and poetic, filled with angst and longing. The concept is beautiful and songs like "A Stone" and "King and a Queen" are achingly sweet with sorrow. Then rockers "For l" and "Black" keep it all balanced. I wasn't too impressed by the follow-up EP Black Sheep Boy Appendix. Don't know why, just didn't have the oomph.

6. M.I.A.-Arular
Again, a relative newcomer making one of the year's best. Maya Arulpragasm's beats and vocals truly made this album pop out. More than rap, hip-hop and all that, MIA created her own style here and that really impressed me. Favorite songs: "Bucky Done Gun" and "Sunshowers."

5. Bloc Party-Silent Alarm
After seeing these guys twice, I couldn't deny them a spot on my top ten. Loathed by many, this album is chock full of great songs. Mind, many of them were on singles and EPs before the album's release, but still. The entire album is solid, and only starts to get worn by the time I get to "Compliments."

4. The Decemberists-Picaresque
Having been one of the Decemberists' biggest fans for quite a while, I was really excited for this album. I heard the leak and knew of the great things that were gonna be on it. A much more solid album than Her Majesty..., Picaresque has several songs on it that are really great, and I thought for sure it'd be the album to rocket them into stardom. Doesn't look like it has yet. Favorite songs: "The Bagman's Gambit" and "On the Bus Mall."

3. Wolf Parade-Apologies to the Queen Mary
One of the year's most hyped bands didn't disappoint. Again, like Bloc Party, many of the songs had already been released (there were actually only two new songs, "Fancy Claps" and "This Heart's on Fire," which are a couple of the album's best). The band was supposed to be this year's Arcade Fire and I guess people sort of made them be. Oh well, Funeral was great, and Queen Mary is great too, but different. You see??

2. Sufjan Stevens-Illinois
I loved Seven Swans but really didn't like Michigan so much. I know, blasphemer. But Illinois really made me a Sufjan believer. I think I sort've OD'ed on the album by the end of summer, but it as my summer disc. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to "John Wayne Gacy Jr." and "Chicago" over and over some nights. Pure pop genius.

1. Sleater-Kinney-The Woods
Girl rockers Sleater-Kinney's 2003 album One Beat was a really great album, but sounded a bit like all the other ones. Not wholly, but you could hear the band itching for something different. This year's Sub Pop debut The Woods blew many people away. The sound was different and so much more. Singers Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein don't lose their rocking steam until "Modern Girl," an eerily cheery follow-up to the year's anthem for disgust towards mainstream culture, "Entertain." The album blew me off my feet, and I've been listening to the album on repeat since it came out in the spring. Amazing piece of work and the trio's hard work really paid off.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dallas Shows

So I don't live in Texas right now but I am coming home this next week until the second week of January when I'll be coming back to school. ANYWAY I know a lot of you are from the Dallas metroplex area and I always like telling you what to do. So these are some shows that you should go to in the upcoming weeks, if you have money that is.
All dates are taken from this wonderful showlist site called NTX Showlist. It's a great site and is usually up-to-date with new shows. Plus it's run by my sister.

TONIGHT - Rogue Wave/Mazarin/The Happy Bullets @ Hailey's
TOMORROW December 10 - Weird Weeds @ Good Records (4pm)
- Xiu Xiu/The Dead Science/Weird Weeds @ Hailey's
December 14 - The Lovemakers/She Wants Revenge/Rock Kills Kid @ Hailey's
December 14 - Mommy & Daddy/Bang!Bang!/Kneepad @ Rubber Gloves
December 30 - Old 97's/Shibboleth @ Gypsy Ballroom
January 11 - Jason Anderson/Fishboy/The Love Letter Band @ Rubber Gloves
January 20 - Bosque Brown/Lowry/The Bowmans @ Rubber Gloves
January 21 - Bettye LaVette @ Poor David's Pub
January 24 - Akron/Family /Mi and L'au/Shearwater @ Andy's (DENTON)

Top 11 of 2005

Okay so, as promised, here are my top eleven individual tracks for 2005 (haha I almost wrote 2004). Don't forget to check in tomorrow for my top ten albums of 2005. I know I like to drag it out. Watch out cuz this post's pretty long.

Yeah this is the demo version. No I'm not being a twat, I just like the sound of Britt Daniel and a guitar on this track. It sounds a lot more real and everything. I'll always love anything Spoon does, and this year's Gimme Fiction did not disappoint.

Again, not trying to be snooty here by providing a B-side from their "Entertain" single. When I heard them play this at SXSW before the album came out, I knew I'd love it the most off of the album. Sadly it didn't make the album. It very well could have. It sounds as good as anything on the album. It's magnificent. Maybe even "Entertain Pt 2," except it doesn't have as much fury as there is disgust in Carrie Brownstein's voice (or maybe it's Corin Tucker, or maybe it's both. My sister's going to kill me).

I don't really know what it is about the song, but it's great. The music video's pretty awesome. It sounds a little techno-y but stays away from it by just a little bit. I love the sounds on it, like they're from space. Pretty much anything Juan Maclean does sounds like it's straight off a spaceship dance party.

I know this probably should be higher on the list, but you can be rest assured that it's my favorite rock track of the year. It's just so...intense. I love this whole album a lot, and this is one of my favorite tracks ("Song of Our So-Called Fried" is probably tied at second with "Black"). I'm pretty sure all of you have this downloaded, but if you don't, DOWNLOAD IT NOW. I told you so.

Chris introduce me (and probably a lot of others) to Jose Gonzalez a couple months ago and I fell hard. This track is so beautiful, I think even more so than "Heartbeats." It's just soo beautiful and heart-breaking. Fantastic. Can't wait to hear more from Gonzalez.

I first heard this track last year when the band was touring in support of Her Majesty the Decemberists. I have a poor recording of it on cassette tape and love listening to it. It was just Colin solo and I think he said it was his first time playing it live. He messed up on one of the verses and it was funny. Anyway I couldn't wait for this song to be on the new album (I knew it was going to be it's just too great to leave off) and I wasn't disappointed with the studio version.

One of the greatest songs this year (duh). I loved Twin Cinema and this song is the greatest song on there. I love so much when the song picks up and from there on in it's heaven.

I love it. This song hasn't left my mp3 player in months. So beautiful. Doesn't hurt that Jamie Stewart sings a few harrowing "Oh my God"s. Greatest song for fall/wintry weather in the world. There I said it.

Cutest song of the year! I am always singing it in my head. If Morrissey wasn't so sad and would write cute upbeat music, he'd be right along the lines of BLLT. My favorite lyric this year comes from this song "I'm happy if you're happy but it breaks my heart." I can't get it out of my head and I don't want to.

Okay this is the most beautiful song. I like it about 20 times more than "Casimir Pulaski Day," which I like quite a bit. The soaring ending and the hurt in Sufjan's voice is so awesome.

A lot of people don't like this track so much but I think it's stupdendous. Like "Silver Sparkler," this track will probably always always remain the last song on my mp3 player. It's a great ending to any mix. The throbbing synth drives me crazy! In a good way. James Murphy done good again.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

2005 Top 5

Okay so I'm just about ready to throw my hat in with everyone else's end-of-the-year/best-of lists. I'll be giving you my favorite individual tracks tomorrow and then you have to wait all the way till Saturday for my top ten albums! Torture I know. Believe me you probably won't be surprised with anything on it so don't get too excited.

BUT for today I'm going to give you my top five EP's of two-thousand and five! I know you're excited for this. EPs themselves are usually teasers for a full album so here's your teaser for Saturday's album list.

(Unrelated: I don't know, it seems like 100mb is used up pretty easily for me. Probably the Christmas mix. So I'm going to have take down some older songs. If you find my site looking for the songs and want them, e-mail me.)

5. Iron & Wine-Woman King
This little effort was a grower for me. I immensely liked the title track and "Jezebel" from Sam Beam's home recordings, but the other songs took a little while. You might be wondering how this beat out the split EP with Calexico and I'll say to you, well I just didn't like that EP as much. Simple as that.
Iron & Wine-Woman King

4. Wolf Parade-Wolf Parade
This EP was probably the biggest teaser of the year. Contained two songs bound to be on their debut full length and two other unreleased songs. The other songs, "Disco Sheets" and "Lousy Pictures" are great tracks that definitely would have fit on Apologies to the Queen Mary.
Shine a Light

3. Toothfairy-Formative
Chad Crouch, founder of Hush Records and frontman of Blanket Music, released his solo EP of sorts. It's filled with great electronic beats and midi keyboards, but Crouch's voice and lyrics make the EP great. The EP's about adolesence, and songs like "Stephanie, My First Crush," are about the awful existence as a pre-teen. Unnecessarily cute and under the radar.
Kicked Outta the Band

2. The Changes-The Changes
I almost didn't include this one because I haven't had it for a long time, but gosh darn t if I just don't love it!! The songs on it are all amazing and catchy and just superb! This Chicago band is going places if they've got more like these songs up their collective sleeve. I love this CD so much and want to thank their manager Chris for sending me a copy.
When I Wake

1. Voxtrot-Raised By Wolves
I feel like this EP has been out forever! I have listened to the songs so many times and they're still amazing every time I hear them. This is the best CD I've heard from a newish small unsigned band this year. I love the band so much and it doesn't hurt that they're from Texas. These kids too are gonna be going places! They should tour with the Changes. That'd be amazing. Anyway if you don't have this CD, do get it! It is amazing and these 5 songs are some of the best pop songs crafted in a long time. I am eagerly awaiting their new EP and album coming out next year.
The Start of Something

Cemetery Row

Pitchfork mentioned the other day about the new Minus Five album that would feature a lot of guest vocals, a couple from Wilco. Well one of the other tracks has Decemberists singer Colin Meloy on it. Songs:Illinois has that track, "Cemetery Row," if you want to hear it (which you do, of course). It reminds me a lot of his old Tarkio stuff, cuz it sounds more country.

Speaking of Tarkio, more information has been released about the reissue of all the Tarkio material on Kill Rock Stars called Omnibus. It's a 2CD affair, and CMJ has more details.

EDIT: It's just been announced that Colin Meloy will be making a CD full of covers by English folk singer Shirley Collins. The EP, a sort of sequel to this year's Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, the EP will be sold on Meloy's solo tour across the coasts in January. Here are the dates and a track by Shirley Collins if you're unfamiliar with her.
18 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox a/a
19 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater a/a
20 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall a/a
21 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater a/a
23 - Chicago, IL @ Park West a/a
25 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club 18+
26 - New York, NY @ Town Hall a/a
27 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts a/a
28 - Alexandria, VA @ Birchmere a/a

All dates with Laura Veirs.
Shirley Collins-Space Girl

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sufjan Fahey

So I know I'd heard somewhere about Sufjan Stevens (wow I haven't talked about him in a long time) and Devendra Banhart appearing on a tribute CD to John Fahey. Well there is a MySpace now that has their two contributions and a track by Sub Pop band Fruit Bats. Be sure to check them all out here. Sonic Youth, M Ward and Calexico also have tracks on the CD but they aren't at the MySpace.

I'm Always Right

Okay besides ther goofy name, the Pigeon Detectives are pretty great. I heard about them because they're playing a big show with Sunshine Underground in the UK in Leeds on December 11th. Anyway, if you're wondering what Pigeon Detectives might sound like, ponder no more. The music sounds much like the Strokes.
If you downloaded the Strokes' new one (for shame!) and felt as if a little something inside you died, don't worry. That feeling you had from listening to Is This It has found a new home with the Pigeon Detectives. The singer, Matt, sounds as if he really cares, not the lazy talk-singing Julian Casablancas has been boring us with for a few years. Anyway, check them out. If you liked Sunshien Underground you'll probably love the Detectives.
These songs come from a demo they did in October of this year. Check out the other two tracks (which are equally great) here.
Don't Know How to Say Goodbye
I'm Always Right
I'm Not Sorry

Story of the Viper

You've gotta love Xiu Xiu. Okay you don't really have to but you oughta admire their gusto. They put out more split 7"s than any other artist I know. This year they put out their split with Devendra Banhart on which they covered each other (I posted the songs here and you can buy it from 5RC)

Well their newest split 7" is with Dallas locals/quasi Xiu Xiu labelmates the pAper chAse (they're on Kill Rock Stars). Sadly they didn't cover each other but they did do covers.
This time though, both bands took a stab at a song by Nick Cave. Xiu Xiu took on "Jack the Ripper" and the pAper chAse tackled "God is in the House." Well you're in luck cuz I have the Xiu Xiu track for you. It was ripped from vinyl so the sound quality may be a little quiet. Many thanks to Nacht who gave me the mp3s. He might get me a higher quality mp3 today. Maybe. He has a band that I'll be talking about probably later on today.

Xiu Xiu-Jack the Ripper (Nick Cave cover)

Please please please buy the 7" here!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Put You in Your Place

This band sounds like exactly what I'd need today. It's been snowing all day and for a Texan that just ain't cool. So the name of this band is Sunshine Underground. I haven't seen the sun today so I that was going to be lame. Good thing I stopped it. ANYWAY this band is from Britain (!!!!omg) and they're pretty great. The singer's voice kinda reminds me of the Rapture but it's a lot easier to handle. I dunno, maybe if the Rapture guy was leading We Are Scientists? Maybe? Do you see where I'm going? Good because you need to download these tracks. Your winter happiness depends on it.

Put You in Your Place
They Got a Hold of Us

Download a couple more live tracks and a demo at their website.

Monday, December 05, 2005

You're So Sexy

On Franz Ferdinand's new UK single for "Walk Away," they cover Air's song "Sexy Boy." Franz doesn't shy away from calling boys sexy, as they already went through the gamet of torment for their song "Michael" on their debut album. Anyway, check out the song. ALSO: the Franz is going to be releasing "The Fallen" as their next US single. Possibly going to be included is the remix/edit by dance-duo Justice. Get it at Razorblade Runner.

Sexy Boy (Air cover)


So I guess Swedish bands are the new cool thing right about now, huh? Well I guess I can't really disagree. I love me some great Swedes (Acid House Kings and Jose Gonzalez for example) and it seems there are more to be heard. Pitchfork is trumpeting about Love Is All's new album that doesn't come out in the U.S. till January today. Well here's another group of Swedes for your consideration.
Amandine's songs seem ordinary until they go on and the instrumentation swells and everything's beautiful. Their debut album This Is Where Our Hearts Collide was released earlier this year in the U.S. in October.
(It may be of interest to some of you to know that they're on Britain's Fat Cat record label, home of Animal Collective, Sigur Ros, and Mum.)

Blood and Marrow

You Were All Yellow

Earlier this year, wunderkind Petra Haden (of The Rentals, That Dog, and most recently, the Decemberists) released two albums: one was the ridiculously good interpretation of The Who Sell Out, and a collaboration with musician Bill Frissell. We'll be taking a look at the latter album because it has an interesting song or two.
The album is mostly covers, from bands like Foo Fighters to Stevie Wonder. Also is a cover of Coldplay's break-out song "Yellow." Frissell does the instrumentation and Haden adds her beautiful voice, taking Chris Martin's lyrics and making them really something beautiful.
I guess this week the song was featured on The OC. What does this mean? Will the song be featured on their next mix and Haden will be made the next indie goddess? We'll have to wait and see. As for now, here's the song.

Petra Haden and Bill Frissell-Yellow (Coldplay cover)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You Wouldn't Leave Me

Okay I know her album The Tigers Have Spoken came out in November of last year, but I just got into Neko Case's live album a couple months ago. I liked the New Pornographers and AC Newman's solo album but never took a stab at any of Neko Case's albums. Well I got this album and loved it so much! Anyway, I don't have much to say but this is my favorite song from the record. I don't know my Neko but I don't think this is on any other record. Correct me if I'm wrong. And if I am wrong, tell me if this live version or the studio version is better so I can get my hands on it.

If You Knew

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fawns With Fangs

The Places and lead singer Amy Annelle have been on Hush Records for quite some time in various incarnations. Their last album as The Places, Call it Sleep, crept under the radar with good reason. The album's quiet and soothing atmosphere got the band little attention, and even opening for The Decemberists on one of their cross-country tours didn't help. Well maybe their new album, a cover album entitled Fawns With Fangs will. Bands/people covered on the album range from Bob Dylan to Elliott Smith to the Beatles. It is only available through contacting the band for $10 either through their Gmail or MySpace account. Here's a track from the album.

The Places-Sickle Clown (The Pretty Things cover)

Find more information at the band's MySpace

New New New DP Video

I'm really feeling responsible for posting these. It's another beautiful video as part of the Dirty Projectors' album/DVD The Getty Address. This one's for the song "Warholian Wings," "in which Don Henley sees the shape of Love." Hm. Anyway, it's a great video. As always, you can view it here, along with the other past chapters.

Dreams of Snow

Hey I've been waiting to post this. I know a lot of people have been putting up their winter selections and stuff so here's mine. It snowed again last night and this morning so it put me in the mood. Here's some songs that remind me of snow and some Christmas songs. I like Christmas songs but not so much to put a whole list of them so I put in some others. I hope you have a good wintry day even if it's still eighty degrees.

Doris Day-Here Comes Santa Claus
Arcade Fire-Cold Wind
Boy George and Antony-Happy Christmas, War is Over
Coldplay-Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Keane-Snowed Under
Feist-Lo a Rose E'er Blooming
Belle and Sebastian-The Twelve Days of Christmas (from their Peel Christmas Party)
Arcade Fire-Jinglebell Rock (thanks to Big O magazine)
Elliott Smith-Angel in the Snow
Sufjan Stevens-Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Friday, December 02, 2005


I just wanted to urge you all to go vote in the Plug Awards if you haven't yet. There are a lot of great artists up for awards, and it's a bit difficult to choose. Anyway, if you haven't voted, please do. You can do so by going here and submitting your ballot.

Also, if you're in the Dallas area, be sure to check out Voxtrot playing tonight at the Cavern. I doubt I really need to hear stuff by them (if you do, just search for them on here and you'll find about 10 posts about them), but maybe you just need a little nudge into going. They're playing with Castanets (which seems like a weird pairing to me) and this band from Denton called Shiny Around the Edges. We saw them open for Castanets and they're a pretty good country band. Here's two songs by them.

In the Heart
Waiting for the Night

Someone asked me for this in the comments yesterday. It's Ted Leo covering Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and then throwing in a bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps" during the part where SUBG sounds all Mapsy in the guitar. Yeah. It's a pretty great track.
Ted Leo-Since U Been Gone/Maps

Some people have told me that the Belaire cover of Kanye West's "Through the Wire" wasn't working so I uploaded it.
Belaire-Through the Wire

(Also, I only have 100 mb of space on EZ Archive so I'm gonna have to be taking down older mp3s. I uploaaded some that I had on my SiteSled account that died. If you want an mp3, don't hesitate to e-mail me for it, or I might put up a SaveFile if a lot of people want it so it'll last longer.)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Try Again

I got an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from this band who I had heard of through Gorilla vs. Bear. Chris posts a hecka lot of new artists all the time so I don't always check out each and every one. Such was the case for this band, Empty Rooms. Well I took a listen to the mp3's they offer on their site and I like them pretty well. They kind've sound like a more opened-up Interpol or maybe more like American Analog Set with a few more British influences or something. There's a bit of reverb and the songs are the perfect songs for overcast days like today. Take a listen and buy their EP if you'd like.

Docks in the Distance
Try Again


I thought this was a really sad news article. One of my favorite female artists Nellie McKay apparently had a bad time at a recent show in LA. Defamer has the details:
She was talking to the audience about the problems she’s been having with Sony and someone shouted “Shut up and sing!” This seemed to touch a nerve with dear Nellie. After politely explaining to the miscreant that “If this continues with Sony, I will leave the music business, B****. And NEVER SING AGAIN,” she started screaming and crying and “They say I’m just pulling a Barbra Streisand,” and “You have NO IDEA WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH,” and corporations are raping the world, etc. etc. As the audience, who had previously been laughing and hawing at everything she said, stood there in uncomfortable silence.
That's pretty awful. I really really love McKay's first album (a double album, actually) Get Away From Me. The follow-up is supposed to come out January 3rd, including duets with Cyndi Lauper and k.d. lang. Exciting.

Change the World

Sorry about posts today, I've been pretty busy. Am working on getting a file host so be ready for that!