Thursday, November 30, 2006

When Heart and Head agree - Songs for Indecisive Days

The Perfect Fit - Unexpected Mood Music

A Playlist for people who like all kinds of music.
A Dozen new tracks from some of the best bands.
Each song has its place and time.

This is the most diverse play list posted on this blog to date.
The songs run the gamut, but there isn't a bad song here.

Music is a Form of Expression.
Be Guilty of Good Taste!

* image credit: VHM design studios

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Echo - an Ambient Explosion from Across the Ocean

Sounding Off - Recommending
France's ECHO


Tremendously talented but his material is quite challenging and a little evasive. I wish I could just lump his outputs into the category "Electronica" or "Ambient" and then close this particular discussion. There are some similarities to Radiohead as well. Oh, but it's not that simple. The man's work is engaging in the way that good classical arrangements are when they are used in movies. They can standout as the stars of the show and it matters little how bad the script is.

Basically, it's your life to do what you want with it.
Echo just makes the soundtrack.

Listen to these memorable tracks (available now on Echo's new EP) and he will win you over too.

Wednesday's Perspective - Seven mp3s to Adore

Hello Wednesday.
What's up with that look in your eye?

7 songs

I actually started putting this song list together last week and with the addition of the Stone Roses and Kay Hanley tracks, I finally felt good enough about this thing to share it. She's yours!

Who they are:

Kay Hanley is a talented (and gorgeous) East Coast/West Coast singer songwriter. I first heard her with Boston's Letters from Cleo. A few times a year she plays gigs in the Boston area.

Man Man are a talented yet twisted Philadelphia band. They bring together elements from across music's wide spectrum to capture their unique sound.

The Stone Roses are now alt-pop indie icons. The defunct Manchester UK group are rumoured to be in talks to reform, but even if they do - don't expect it to last. On the page today you have an extremely cool and rare demo from 1986.

Plus/Minus are an indie band on the rise! Hailing from New York City, but touring everywhere after some early success with their first big single" Steal the Blueprints," the band has hit the roads on tour. See them in Boston this Friday night at the Middle East in Cambridge.

Matthew Friedberger is half of the highly talented sibling indie tandem the Fiery Furnaces. Matt has released a double album of his own: "Winter Woman/Holy Ghost Language School."

"Just What I Needed"
is a great song - even if Best Buy owns its soul.
The Cars have been reformed without original new-wave singer Rick Ocasek.

You know who the Beatles are, right? Long live The White Album.

Boston's Pending Disappoint

Hello, Indie Rock?
Boston answers the call.

Introducing Pending Disappointment

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Just north of Boston in Sommerville, we find one of the best independent rock sounds the region has to offer these days in "Pending Disappointment."
It's a production from Boston's Midriff Records.

This is a Boston indie-rock All Star Band featuring Frank Lewis (bass and vocals) from Bright White Lights; Paul Lourenco (drums) from Trucks and Skulls and Greg Lyon (guitar and vocals) from Faccia Brutta (with the incredible Eldridge Rodriguez from the Beatings.)

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Greg Lyon

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Upper Crust - "Let them Eat Rock!"

Now this is just too cool for words:

The "Let Them Eat Rock"-umentary
starring the pompous Victorian throwbacks

Will be aired on screen this weekend at Boston's Coolidge Corner Theatre this Saturday.

The Upper Crust movie this Saturday, Dec 2 @ Midnight
Hosted by director Rodman Flender.

This night will feature an 18th Century themed performance from

$7.50 Seats
- UPPER CRUST mp3s -

Monday, November 27, 2006

Indieland News - Late Nov / Early Dec 2006 edition: Telemetry Orchestra, Cornershop and some Great Videos

It's Australia's Telemetry Orchestra!

I stumbled across this band through their new video. The song is "Under the Cherry Tree" and the video is simply amazing. Director Dael Oates (of Animal Logic) created the animated music video and here it is:

Under the Cherry Tree - VIDEO
Directed by D. Oates, Music by Telemetry Orchestra


Telemetry Orchestra on MySpace

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Consistently different and a real sonic treat - Cornershop is an absolute necessity when making a mixtape for friends and lovers. I mean it and just to show you here are some amazing tracks - two of which are being offered free by the band on their website.

Non-music related news to make you think.
This is the most amazing advertisement I have ever seen. As far as I am aware it has not aired yet in the US. Can you guess the product before it tells you?

Prepare to be amazed.
(click here to watch this video)

Music News from Around the World

“I watch the newspapers for you. I do it so you can continue wasting your time doing something really important like weaving with your loom or whittling a wooden bowl from a tree stump.

Swan Lake is in stores now.

This Indie Canadian super group (see my previous post with mp3s here) should be on the gift list for the indie hipsters on your holiday shopping list. Highly recommended music.

Mark it on your calendar

The Cold War Kids will be appearing on the Letterman Show on

Dec. 21!

My image used by Cold War Kid Matt Maust to make a NYC tour poster for the band
Photo taken outside the Middle East in Cambridge!

My how they have grown! Alas we hardly knew thee… All the praise must have reached the right ears . You can bet I will be watching! YouTubers, get your tapes and TiVos ready.

(If you want to check out some of my previous CWKs posts with mp3s , click here.)

A note to readers -
There will be a Year's End Indieland News coming soon as we look at the best of 2006!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

North to the Future - Meet Matt Hopper

Let's look north to chilly Alaska.
The state motto is, "North to the Future."
This might just be true.

It's here that we meet up with talented musician-on tour Matt Hopper, a down-to-earth soul and quite possibly the hardest working rocker all of Alaska.

Matter Hopper by photographer Katrina Mosienko

I have been listening to Matt's music off and on for about four months now and it suddenly came to me that I never took the time to share his music with you. Matt Hopper is a prolific artist having balanced his almost daily solo acoustic appearances with a tour with rock-focused backing band the Roman Candles. Both are talented incarnations of his creativity and good uses of his time! If Matt can forgive me one comparison - he reminds me a great deal of Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin who impress crowds during both acoustic (including alt-country and folk) and rock and roll gigs.

Hat's off to you Mr. Hopper!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Blog Radio Version 10.0 - Songs for High Seas


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Title: Sailing In Stormy Seas
Photo credit: Bill Vaccaro

Hello readers. This is Volume Ten of the vaunted blog radio series. It's been a popular search item on the page so I actually posted them all up in the tool bar so you can access them and listen to what I am listening to. It's been an interesting exercise in both creativity and in connection. I tell you what I am listening to week-by-week. Sometimes the songs are emblematic of larger themes or represent an entire artist's album. Sometimes it's just the song that got me and motivated me to share it with you. Hopefully you will connect with a few of these and give them a try in your collection. As always, please support artists and musicians whose work you enjoy. Everybody has to find a way to survive.

That brings us to the topic of this blog entry - "Songs for High Seas." There are a great number of people, myself included, who find this time of the year to be particularly difficult (for a myriad of of reasons.) This is just a little post to say I recognize this aspect in us all and then, hey - let's move on and listen to some of the best music I could cook up for you.

Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover) - The Raconteurs

Time Bomb - The Old 97's

God Is Gonna Get Sick of Me - Aberdeen City

I'm Waiting for the Man (live 1969) - The Velvet Underground

Dirty Dream (# 2) - Belle and Sebastian

Bird Song - Ryan Adams with Phil Lesh (Live at Stubbs in Austin, TX 6/16/05)

The Funeral - Band of Horses

Psycho Killer (Talking Heads cover) - Bishop Allen

The Bucket - Kings of Leon

Float on (Alternate Version) - Modest Moust

See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Spending the Season with the DECEMBERISTS

Falling in Love with The Crane Wife

Now I will be the first to admit I have been slow to get on the Decemberists bandwagon. (Real slow and now if I could kick myself, I would.) This situation has been made worse by a full mailbag and a backlog of listening. That's normally a good thing, unless something really good gets buried for far too long - which is the case here.

I cracked open my copy of "The Crane Wife" about 36 hours ago and am instantly a fan. Being obsessive about all things awesome - this meant me going back over the last 16 hours and listening to everything the band has ever produced. Check.

This new album, I am pleased to report, is markedly better than their prior two (which I listened to last night with my friends in their urbane villa north of the city in Somerville.) I listened to The Crane Wife driving to their apartment in the pounding rain, and once there we discussed it together. These musical sophisticates already had the album and were fans. We popped the first two discs into the player. They too agreed that the Crane Wife was the far superior but that the earlier releases had their moments. An excellent Thanksgiving indeed. (The end result is that today's blog is almost "Decemberists review by committee!")

Awash with lyrical intrigue and potent musicianship, I found The Crane Wife to be right up my alley. It's probably something you would like too. On many levels, the album is near perfect - but there are two particular successes in the recipe of The Crane Wife that are worth talking about: Singer-Songwriter Colin Meloy steps back just a bit in this album and allows the rest of the band to fill the space. Meloy is still a dominant figure, but the music is remarkably strong. This was an excellent move as the players are just too damn good to be covered up. It has allows the songs to elongate and take life of their own.

And with the emergence of the Decemberists sound comes sonic experimentation - the second success - on The Crane Wife. This album is firmly rooted, but peeks into the world of progressive rock. The use of the organ and unconventional instruments which underscore often irregular time signatures are a treat. This too helps serve Meloy's quirky lyrics and unusual voice.

Rambling, where to begin?
I tasted summer on your peppery skin
Been saved, the warm of the waves
I felt a slip into a watery grave.

My girl, linen and curls
Lips parting like a flag unfurled
She's Grand, the bend of her hand
Digging deep into the sweep of the sand

And summer arrives with a length of light
And summer blows away and quietly gets swallowed by a wave

Waylaid, the din of the day
Boats bobbing in the blue of the bay
All the dead sailors slowly slipping to sleep

And summer arrives with a length of light
And summer blows away and quietly gets swallowed by a wave

Artists– Decemberists Contest for You!

The good folks at the Decemberists want you to know there is a contest for artists going on right now: It’s called "Re-Animate the Decemberists" sponsored by The band has almost completed their video for “O Valencia!" This involved them standing and acting before a giant green screen which will later be filled with animation. This animation and artwork will be created by their fans. And therein is the contest! What do you think belongs in the background for the video? Since it is a contest, there are prizes involved. Check out for details.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Of Montreal Announces Winter 2007 Tour Dates

Attack North American venues beginning in January!

NYC on March 9 and 10, 2007.
Boston on March 11, 2007.

1-19 - Memphis, TN - HiTone AA *
1-20 - New Orleans, LA - Republic 18+ *
1-21 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit AA *
1-22 - Lubbock, TX - Jake's Backroom AA *
1-23 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad AA *
1-24 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse AA %
1-25 - Park City, UT - Music On Main at Sundance AA
1-26 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey AA **
1-27 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon AA **
1-28 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour AA **
1-30 - San Diego, CA - SOMA AA **
1-31 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Attic AA **
2-1 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill AA **
2-2 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall AA **
2-3 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall AA **
2-5 - Arcata, CA - Kate Buchanan Hall @ Humboldt St Univ. 18+ **
2-6 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom AA **
2-7 - Vancouver, BC - Richards On Richards 19+
2-8 - TBA
2-9 - Seattle, WA - Showbox AA **
2-10 - Eugene, OR - W.O.W. Hall AA **
2-12 - Sacramento, CA - Union Ballroom @ Sacramento St AA **
2-13 - Las Vegas, NV - TBA
2-14 - Tuscon, AZ - Rialto AA **
2-16 - Austin, TX - Emo's AA ***
2-17 - Houston, TX - Numbers AA ***
2-18 - Dallas, TX - Gypsy Ballroom 17+ ***
2-19 - Norman, OK - Meacham Auditorium AA ***
2-20 - Lawrence, KS - Granada AA ***
2-21 - Columbia, MO - Blue Note AA ***
2-22 - St Louis, MO - Mississippi Nights AA ***
2-23 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree AA ***
2-24 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse AA ***
3-5 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle AA $
3-6 - Fall's Church, VA - State Theatre 18+ $
3-7 - Clinton, NY - The Annex @ Hamilton College AA $
3-8 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero AA $
3-9 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza 16+ $
3-10 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza 16+
3-11 - Boston, MA - Avalon AA $$
3-12 - Montreal, QC - La Tulipe AA $$
3-13 - Toronto, ON - Opera House AA $$
3-14 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick AA $$
3-15 - Chicago, IL - Cabaret Metro AA $$
3-16 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue AA
3-17 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre AA
3-19 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom AA
3-20 - Newport, KY - Southgate House 18+
3-21 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge 18+
3-22 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle AA
3-23 - Columbia, SC - Headliners 16+
3-24 - TBA
3-29 - Gainesville, FL - Abbey Road 18+
3-30 - Miami, FL - Studio A AA
3-31 - Orlando, FL - The Club At Firestone AA
4-1 - Jacksonville, FL - Freebird Live AA
4-2 - Tallahassee, FL - The Moon AA

AA=All Ages
* w/ A Hawk And A Hacksaw
** w/ Enon
*** w/ Elekibass
$ w/ Grand Buffet & Mixel Pixel
$$ w/ Grand Buffet
% w/ Peachcake

mp3 files

Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games
Heidmdalsgate like a Promethean Curse

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday's Dive for Five - Treasuring the Week's 5 Best Songs

Treasure from deep within my collection - but stuff that helps clarify the last five days of my week. Maybe you'll make some sense of your week with these songs. And depending on how your week went - maybe these tracks will help you forget all that. Either way - Listen to these songs.... Because for right now, in this moment we share on this page - they are as good as it gets!

- Friday's Dive for Five -
The FIVE BEST SONGS of the Week!

* By the way - something to look forward to - Did you like the Archie Bronson Outfit song? Yeahhhhh, "Dead Funny" kind of really rocks. Do you remember how good, "Dart for My Sweetheart" was? This band shows a hell of a lot of promise - and I have an interview with the band setup for the near future. I'm pretty psyched for it. You should be too - Stay tuned!

Is TRANSIENT the Best Undiscovered Band in New England?

Take five minutes. Listen to these tracks and add a band's name to your "must see live show list." You will not regret it!

Transient could be the best undiscovered live band in New England.
Here's why you should be paying attention... I recently attended a completely random night (in more ways than one) at the Lucky Dog in Worcester MA. My friend Chris and I were completely bowled over by Transient and how good they sounded!

I hate to sound like a snob, but I ask: "How could a live band playing this close to home sound this good without me being aware of their presence?????!" I mean - seriously... Go to a Transient show. Drink a beer and just listen. You will not be disappointed.

Transient plays rock and ambient music in a special brand of fusion I haven't seen pulled off that well in the past. They are doing it as well as anybody and doing it right here in New England. (For you readers of RSL in Chicago, Los Angeles, England, and Australia - all I can say is that this is a local band and you have -unfortunately received the short end of the stick.)

Here are three reasons why you should be following this band and attending their shows...

That Breaks Me

In the Mood


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Go to Hell, but make a Mix Tape to take with you!

I have been burning the candle a little long each day - and not leaving much behind. And, a little overtired - possibly explaining the sweet title (heheh) of this particular blog entry, but it's creative so ultimately... whatever. Today's blog entry is focused squarely on emotive tracks that draw a little more, make you think about feeling and free that caged thing inside of yourself.

There, that's better.
Now enjoy the best music you will hear all day:

Make yourself a sweet little feelin' mix and find a special place to listen to it all. (You really don't have to go to hell, but feel free to give other people the directions if you like!)

By the way, if you have been putting in a little extra at work and want to listen to some great work songs - I have the blog for you.... Labouring Through The Week - Songs for the Grind

See you tomorrow - Ryan