Sunday, September 30, 2007

NEW RADIOHEAD!! IN 10 DAYS!!

Sweet!

Check out the original message from the band here.

stereogum graciously gathered the details for us here.

In short:

-It comes out in 10 days (Oct 10).
-They're calling it In Rainbows.
-Radiohead is releasing it themselve, apparently. No label.
-Thus far, it is available in Download or Discbox format only.
-And the best part is, the price for the download version is up to you.

My advice: Radiohead is providing us with a grand opportunity to give a big middle finger to the big labels. So, if they're not joking about the price thing, then don't be stingy... you stingy bastartds. Let's make this work.

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Iron & Wine - Pabst Theater 02/08/2007

Last week we posted about Sam Beam of Iron and Wine's set at Messiah College. The show was the second in a pair of acoustic teasers for the fantasic The Shepherd's Dog. Two days prior to the Messiah College show, Sam performed at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater. The tracklist is strikingly similar with one major exception, TSD stunner "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" closes as the second encore.


Download

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Twilight Sad live at Gooski's in Polish Hill, Pittsburgh

The Twilight Sad will be at Gooski's in Pittsburgh on October 2nd. Not sure what the cover will be, but the bar tender last night told me probably $5-7. A steal! Be there.

I scoured the intertoobs for a decent Twilight Sad video but there seems to be nothing but horrendously grainy live bootlegs of almost unlistenable audio quality. The only exception seems to be this strange Ingrid Bergman montage to the tune of That Summer At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy.

But what the hell? Here it is. And besides, black and white is like a coolness multiplier:

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth


One-off albums hold a mythical place in pop music history. A band appears, seemingly from thin air, and burns hard and bright before quietly disintegrating. Their music is left to stand on its own, pure and untouched by the excess that success often breeds.


Formed in 1978, Young Marble Giants released one album, 1980's Colossal Youth, and a handful of other tracks. Stuart Moxham, the band's principle songwriter plays stiff palm-muted guitar lines and swirling organ leads, while his brother Philip's bass lines often carry the song's melody. Listening to Alison Statton's detached vocals it is hard to decide whether they are a practiced cool or simple naivety. Without an interest in hiring a drummer, the band's backbeat is carried by a homemade drum machine created by the Moxhams' telephone engineering cousin, Peter Joyce. The machine lays down simple cardboard box rhythms that allow the music space to breath. In fact, open space often occupies these songs as much as the music itself.


Often tagged with the "post-punk" descriptor, the sound of YMG has none of the jagged guitar lines or danceable rhythms of a band such as Gang of Four. Instead, this is minimal music that is beautiful in its simplicity. Highly recommended.


Earlier this month, Domino Records released a 3-disc edition of Colossal Youth stateside. This expanded set includes the Testcard EP, the 1979 Final Day single, the Salad Days demo collection, a compilation track, and a 1980 John Peel session.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam

You may have noticed by now that when I get excited about something, I get really effing excited. Call it a character flaw, I guess.

Although it may be a little premature, I’m going out on a limb here and declaring that Strawberry Jam marks the second entry Panda Bear will have on my top 10 of ’07. Let’s just say, some shit’s gonna have to go down real fast if he’s going to get bumped from the list.

As a follow-up to Person Pitch, his brilliant solo record released earlier this year, Panda Bear joins back up with his Animal Collective cohorts for another round of the madness that has become so familiar and unmistakably characteristic of the band. This time however, they seem to have continued on in the direction hinted at on the first half of Feels, their last full-length. On Strawberry Jam, we find the band immediately more accessible than the vast majority of their previous work. On "For Reverend Green," clearly the highlight of the album, Avey Tare bubbles over the edges with what can only be described as (trust me, if I could have used another term I would have) raw emotion. Barely able to restrain himself long enough to croon perhaps the strongest melody in the Animal Collective catalogue, he erupts into the chorus with fits of hysteria finally shrieking “a lucky child don’t know how lucky she is.” All I can say is, if you don’t feel something on this one, then you don’t feel at all.

With all this talk of a poppier, more accessible Collective, you might be worried that they’ve sold out. Fear not. They’ve sacrificed none of the head-scratching eyebrow-raising quirkiness that we fell in love with in the first place. You’re still going to need to be prepared to defend your sanity if you pop in Strawberry Jam at a party. What I’ve always loved about Animal Collective is that they make it easy for me to tell who my true friends are… they’re the ones who still invite me to parties.

Download:

Buy it at Amazon.com

Also, check out this early live version of "For Reverend Green"

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Big Star - September Gurls

September is a month without an identity. The seemingly endless possibilities of summer are over, but the rustic woodsmoke scent of autumn has yet to begin. Big Star's September Gurls captures this bittersweet feeling, like the crisp taste of an apple plucked straight from the tree. The guitars ring out like the Byrds with a bit more muscle and the sweet harmonies hint at those not-so-distant summer days. But when Alex Chilton sighs "I loved you, well never mind" it's as if he can see the oncoming deadness of winter and just might collapse from the weight of it all.


Download:
Big Star - September Gurls
Big Star - September Gurls (live)


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Buy #1 Record/Radio City from Amazon.com
Buy Big Star Live from Amazon.com

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Iron & Wine - Messiah College 02/10/2007

Iron & Wine's latest album, The Shepherd's Dog, is out this week, but we've already written about that here.

In February of 2007 Sam Beam played a pair of seemingly random shows, the second of which took place at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. With minimal backing, Sam tried his hand (or fingers) at several songs that would find their way in expanded versions on The Shepherd's Dog. Stripped of TSD's kitchen sink instrumentation, many of these songs are given more space to breath allowing for added emotional resonance. One can only imagine that the intention was to debut much of this material lending to a eudemonic atmosphere, as Sam jokes about the titles or flubs opening lines.

Luckily for those of us who were unable to attend, a sound board recording was made for broadcast on the campus radio station. The strength of these performances makes this essential listening for both die hard obsessives and passing fans.

Download: Iron & Wine - Messiah College 02/10/2007
01. Die
02. He Lays in the Reins
03. Sodom, South Georgia
04. Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car
05. Lovesong of the Buzzard
06. Free Until They Cut Me Down
07. House by the Sea
08. Naked As We Came
09. Peace Beneath the City
10. Muddy Hymnal
11. Boy Wtih A Coin
12. Jezebel
13. Carousel
14. Resurrection Fern
15. Trapeze Swinger
16. Upward Over the Mountain



Video: Lovesong of the Buzzard - Messiah College


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Buy The Shepherd's Dog at Amazon.com

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Kevin Drew – Spirit If…

When it comes to BSS fanboys, there are few as intensely unabashed as yours truly. Well, that is perhaps not true; there are a lot of goddamn BSS fanboys out there. So take this for what it’s worth:

I’ve been in bands before, and I know that we were lucky if we could get the drummer to stop dicking around long enough to play four consecutive bars of something that even slightly resembled what we were trying to play; and a doctorate thesis can be, and probably has been, written about the delicate psychology involved in convincing a rhythm guitarist that face melting finger tap solos are sometimes not appropriate. Or at least not appropriate all the time. So it is and always will be: the trials and tribulations of the aspiring 4-piece.

So for Broken Social Scene to pull together 237 musicians {{citation needed}} and make anything beyond incoherent ruckus, much less (arguably?) flawless music, is no small feat.

I think my point, though I’m much less certain now then when I began writing, is that this sense of shear improbability, the singularity from chaos, is what makes BSS so fascinating for me. And I think the lack of this sense is why I was so disappointed in Spirit If… initially.

Yes, I am aware that there were so many contributors to the album that it more closely resembles a marching band’s halftime performance than a solo record. Nevertheless, it is Kevin Drew’s project, solo or not, and although it may not be fair to compare it to a BSS album, the comparison is unavoidable. The result? It feels like it’s missing the influence of about 236 people.

Only after I was able to look beyond what was probably, to be honest, a subconscious thirst for new BSS did I realized Spirit If… is actually a fantastic record. It is somewhat hit and miss, but when he hits (i.e. Gang Bang Suicide) there is no questioning that Kevin deserves credit for garnering at least his proportionate share of the fanboydom.

If nothing else, Spirit If… is a wonderfully detailed magnification of one small section of the mosaic that is BSS.

Download:
Kevin Drew – Gang Bang Suicide

Then buy from:
Amazon.com or Emusic.com

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

MIA - Kala


I know that British grime isn't for everyone. In fact it's probably for very few. The problem is, this MIA record doesn't play like her more grimey Arular. This new record is like a trip through Sri Lanka (her father's homeland if you aren't in the know), but on that trip you are fervently dancing and partying.

MIA seems confident and married to the music that she's putting out this time. The second track, Bird Flu, hits you with a barrage of organic drums and child like screams that make you think she's descending upon you backed by some far off warrior tribe, that likes dance music. The following track, Boyz, is like a micorcosm of the entire record. With it's constant horn stabs and helium vocal shouts, you are thrown into that party atmosphere whether you like it or not, though you probably will.

This time through, MIA succeeds at everything she attempts. To make a Radiohead comparison, if Arular was her Bends, Kala is her OK Computer. It is an album that builds on the last and realizes all of the potential and half cooked ideas that were started the last time through. Hopefully she makes good on my Radiohead comparison and continues this pattern of growth and experimentation.

The bottom line is, if you need to dance, and we all do sometimes, pick up this record.

Buy it at Amazon.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gravenhurst - Trust

My head feels heavy and thick like a can of condensed soup. Sleep deprivation has finally taken its evil tole. Admittedly, this happens to me a lot and when it does I find it near impossible to listen to music for more than a few seconds before shutting it off. These are the days when I end up listening to NPR very quietly on the drive home. Today was different though. Today I discovered Gravenhurst. More specifically, today I discovered their song "Trust."

The band's third album, The Western Lands, was recently released by Warp Records, a label typically known for its blippy and bleepy electronica. The Western Lands, however, is pure hazy pop. The band creates a beautiful mess that mixes the fragility of 60's folk-pop with shoegaze atmospherics. Check out the excellent video for "Trust" below.



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Buy The Western Lands from Amazon.com

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Archers Of Loaf - Web In Front

I have to admit I’m a little bit late to the party on this one. A couple years ago I happened upon a random web forum thread posing the question “what is the ultimate indie-rock song of all time?” Scrolling through the sea of posts, all of the favorites were well represented: Teenage Riot, Debaser, Summer Babe (Winter Version), etc.

I decided to check out a few I’d never heard of. Web In Front by Archers Of Loaf fell in that category. Knowing nothing about the band, I felt pretty safe, after only one listen, in agreeing that “yes, this is indeed one of the best indie-rock songs of all time.” (I should qualify that by mentioning my tendency to jump the gun; when it was first announced, I thought the Segway was actually better than sliced bread.) But Web In Front, two years later, remains heavily fortified high atop my version of “the list.”

Pretentious bandwagoning aside, Web In Front via The Speed Of Cattle accomplishes in slightly over two minutes (two minutes!) what most bands struggle to accomplish over the course of an entire catalogue. Its immediately energetic pace and weird-enough-to-be-brilliant lyrics keep you engaged just long enough for the crescendo to pick you up, put you down, and disappear, all before you have the chance to say “holy shit!”

The Speed Of Cattle, as a whole, is no slouch either. In its lo-fi splendor reminiscent of its decidedly more successful first cousin Slanted And Enchanted, it is an excellent record, start to finish.

The more obvious comparison is Nirvana, though. Eric Bachmann mimics Cobain’s rasp on many of the tracks, rather poorly I might add, but it doesn’t elicit the same gag reflex that we’ve come to expect a little over a decade after the scene’s heyday. You can’t hold it against Bachmann, especially when he’s screaming a lyrical masterpiece such as “Power walker / you really look so stupid when you walk that way / you really look so dumb when you walk that way / why don’t you just fucking run?

And while I can’t help but think that The Speed Of Cattle could’ve been edited down to a more reasonable 40-50 minutes from the 60 minute monstrosity that it is, I can’t say that there is a single song that doesn’t belong.

Enjoy:

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

White Rabbits - Fort Nightly


First, look past the name that invokes images of Alice and the Mad Hatter. Then prepare yourself for unbridled listening enjoyment. I'll admit, upon first "skim" through the tracks, I thought I was getting myself into another hipster retread. You can try to make comparisons to bands like the Walkmen, for instance. However, White Rabbits do bring a sense of east coast cool, but also the feeling of a more simple and elegant yet dangerous time.

This record plays like something you should be listening to in a speakeasy while sipping gin. Listen after listen I feel a constant urge to light a cigarette and sit in the corner booth of a dimly lit, underground club. The feeling and imagery provided here is enough, but it is easily overtaken by the fact that this sextet writes layered pop music that defies comparison. I dare you to not be dragged in by the rhythm section, which, by the way, is what probably makes this record so interesting in the first place. Honestly, this is some of the most creative, and at the same time understated, rhythm work since the first Interpol record.

This record deserves the praise being heaped upon it. If this isn't enough for you, they're cool enough to let you listen to the whole thing on their site.

Once you've done that, buy it from emusic, or amazon.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

St. Vincent - Dig A Pony

Its worth getting a bit car sick to see Annie Clark do a cover of the Beatles' "Dig A Pony" from the back of a London cab. Consider my schoolboy crush cemented.

(via GvB, via forkcast)

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Buy Marry Me from Amazon.com

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Video: Menomena – Evil Bee

Those of you who have been giddily following Menomena, as I have, since the release of their first full length album, playfully titled I Am The Fun Blame Monster, will be pleased to know that they’ve released a video for Evil Bee from their most recent and most excellent effort Friend And Foe. While the video is a rather sick and twisted affair (i.e. vomiting and fornicating bumblebees enslaved and forced into cannibalism by an evil race of crows... with tank treads?) still, you can’t help but find these guys downright lovable. While their albums are generally darker in tone and subject matter, there is a pervading childlike quality to their music that is unmistakably Menomena.

Plus, how can you not love a band that can incorporate the words chrysanthemum and germinate into a jazz-rock song (Monkey's Back)… and actually pull it off… successfully?!?! ‘Nuff said.

You can find the video for Evil Bee on pfflyers.com (high quality, annoying interface) or youtube (I’m sure you’re familiar with the site).



Also check out this weird as hell video for Cough Coughing from IATFBM.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Iron & Wine - Shepherd's Dog

A new album by Sam Beam's musical moniker, Iron & Wine, comes with a number of expectations. He is from the south. He plays gently finger picked acoustic guitar. He sings in a near whisper. He has a beard.


Despite these somewhat limiting parameters, each new release has seen Iron & Wine's sound expand to include new dimensions. Shepherd's Dog, out September 25th on Sub Pop, marks the largest departure from the aforementioned expectations yet. Beam's songs still evoke a strong sense of cinematic imagery, but a new rhythmic denseness lays atop his looping acoustic guitar lines. Shepherd's Dog can be seen as the natural progression from 2005's Woman King EP and his collaboration with Calexico, In the Reigns. The result is a looser sound that seems more influenced by Ali Farka Toure than Nick Drake.
Download:
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Site Update

If you're one of the 3 people who currently read this blog, you may have noticed its recent inactivity. Fret not, dear reader, because behind this facade of nothingness lies a virtual cornucopia of musical goodness.

What I am trying to say, is that my long-time friends Matt O. and Sam will be joining me in contributing to Colour Me Impressed. We're hoping that between the three of us we can pump out more regular content while posting about a broader range of topics.


In tribute, here's an excellent track from Crooked Fingers' 2000 debut.

Download:
Crooked Fingers - A New Drink for the Old Drunk

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Buy Crooked Fingers at Amazon.com

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Why I'm Watching More TV Than Usual


Watching TV has always been a favorite past time of mine. Not only does it provide a great escape from reality, but it also provides fodder for my obscenely short attention span. What's making me watch more than ever is the fact that the commercials in between are now allowing me to listen to my record collection without leaving the couch. Peter Bjorn and John lending their pop sensibility to Pontiac and Levi's, Modest Mouse helping to hock Nissans, The Flaming Lips making neon Dell lap tops seem like a good idea. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

At this point I suppose you're expecting a diatribe about the dangers of selling out. Maybe you're thinking about how this might lessen the quality of the music we love, because bands might concern themselves with writing a "jingle" instead of a song; that's not where I'm going. I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm happy the 4-5 minutes in between actual showtime now plays like a Girl Talk album. Ok, maybe it's not mashing Clipse and Grizzly Bear, but I don't really mind the droning of talk about cellphone coverage so long as it's over top of one of my favorite New Order songs.

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

CBGB Founder, Hilly Kristal, Dies


As you may have already read, Hilly Kristal, the founder of the famous NY club CBGB passed away this week due to complications with lung cancer. CBGB is often considered the birthplace of punk and it is difficult to deny its importance in rock history. Originally intended as a club for bluegrass, country and blues, Kristal opened his doors to the loud, messy bands of the neighborhood and provided a home for the Ramones, Television, the Talking Heads, Blondie, and more. Forced to close, the club held its final show in October of last year.


Brooklyn Vegan has some great pics from outside CBGB.


Here are a couple live Television tracks recorded at CBGB in 1975. Turn 'em up real loud and pretend you're there.
Download:
Television - Hard On Love (Live @ CBGB 08/21/1975)
Televsion - See No Evil (Live @ CBGB 12/07/1975)

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