Monday, October 29, 2007

Video & mp3 - DAFT PUNK rocks it !

DAFT PUNK - Alive 2007


Alive 2007 is the brand new album from Daft Punk set for release on November 20th. The French duo are producing the some of the craziest beats and remixes the world over with this new collection a live reminder of all their best material. The first video for the album is out now.

Myspace / Web

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Ten Best Albums of 2007 through September - Brilliant Right Out of the Box!

The Best New Music of 2007!
10 Tracks from the Albums You should Know & Love.

Don't see great records that came out two weeks ago?
No worries... The Best of List will be expanded to 40 at the end of the year!


The Handsome Furs -
Plague Park.

I put a ton of miles on Plague Park - the debut for The Handsome Furs. Dan Broeckner, Wolf Parade, and Alexei put out this incredible album this year. They got engaged and then got married. Dan's gone back to working with his Wolf Parade comrades but this is a reminder of just how good this dynamic duo can be! An album of the year candidate. The worthy tracks are dark and full of irony. Not sure what to make of that? Here is my favorite:

Here is my write-up on the Handsome Furs: The Awesome Plague Park.
The Incredible Canadian indie rock scene: The Importance of "Being Wolf"
Handsome Furs - Myspace

Pop Levi -
The Return to Form Black Magick Party.

I knew this would be a top ten from the moment I first heard it in April. Meet Jonathan "Pop" Levi - one of the most talented musicians in the States right now. The former bassist for Ladytron, Levi can play several instruments and has a powerful inclination for making catchy music (think Prince but with a Seventies sound!) The Return to Form Black Magick Party is an absolute must have album! Fall in love with Hades Lady:

Here's my original writeup on the album: Los Angeles' Pop Levi rocks hard!
Pop Levi - Myspace

The Editors -
An End Has A Start.

If you didn't know it,Editors are one of the most improved bands in the world in 2007. That's saying something when you consider how good 2006 was to them and the band's audiences. The new album is "An End Has A Start." The lyrics are improved as is frontman Tom Smith's dramatic delivery. Also better these days: The Editors' instrumentation and song structures. Both are richer and far more textured than what we saw on the "Back Room" album. The first single released this year was the impressive "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" but my favorite is this one:

The Editors Come to Boston: Pre-Show Hype.
Editors leave their Mark on Boston: Live Show Review
Editors - Web / Myspace

Kings of Leon -
Because of the Times.

Perhaps the most unexpectedly addictive and fun album released this year came from Kings of Leon. Because of the Times is a more sophisticated album in a sense - the tracks are more developed and the music follows its course. One of the biggest compliments I heard about this album this year is that even people that don't like Kings of Leon couldn't help but fall in love with this release. An easy selection for the top ten of 2007.

Here's my original writeup on the album Kings of Leon - Because of the Times.
Kings of Leon - Web

Modest Mouse -
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

The Rich get richer. Issac Brock and company made a wise decision by extending a hand to guitar genius Johnny Marr. What amazing results. Modest Mouse is now a household name. This album has produced enough hit songs to keep the band touring for years to come.

Here's my original writeup on the "Dashboard" VIDEO and mp3.
Modest Mouse - Myspace

The White Stripes -
The Icky Thump.

Stripes by Leibovitz

Jack and Meg White joined forces again this year to produce a powerful new album. There appears to be no way to slow down The White Stripes. The "Icky Thump" is arguably the greatest in the duo's career for a number of reasons. While less loud the songs on the record are more creatively (rather than emotively) driven. This could very well have been the turning point in the band's career. They could have turned back on themselves and continued to make the same records again and again. Instead, to everyone's good fortune, they headed off into new directions. All hail the White Stripes!

Here's my original writeup on the album The Icky Thump.
The White Stripes Storm Boston: Live Show Review!
The White Stripes - Web

Eldridge Rogriguez -
This Conspiracy Against Us.

2007 has seen Boston's ownEldridge Rodriguez (ER) temporarily shed his role as the frontman of The Beatings to pursue this remarkable solo project. The songs here are awash with emotional steel and adventures resulting in love lost. In April I was all over this record and my feelings haven't diminished with time. Rodriguez just released a quality follow-up EP that follows close in this album's tracks. Do yourself a favor and check out his catalog of material available on Midriff Records.

Here's my original writeup on the album This Conspiracy Against Us.
Eldridge Rodriguez - Myspace

The Willowz -

The Seventies Sound revival was a common movement in independent rock this year but no one did it better than Southern California's the Willowz. The magic of this record is that it sounds like you driving down a dusty road on a hot summer day while being the perfect record to listen to on your ipod at work. It seems to be just about the perfect listening material... The Willowz (who are great people to talk to) released a totally lovable gem from out of nowhere. You cannot miss with this album! Here is one of the best songs of the year:

Here's my original writeup on the album Chautauqua.
The Willowz played Cambridge: Live Show Review!
The Willowz - Web / Myspace

Georgie James -

Georgie James is the duo of Laura Burhenn and John Davis

This album is worth every single penny. Not a bad song on the album but a few are truly exceptional! Meet Washington D.C.'s Georgie James. If I had to pick a favorite record - this one would be a strong contender. One of the strengths of "Places" is the varied styles and presentations put forth by the band through the album. No two songs are the same. Very creative and very, very good. Highly Recommended!

Here's my original writeup on the album Going Places - "Places".
Georgie James - Web / Myspace

Jesse Malin -
Glitter in the Gutter.

If you are new to the world of Jesse Malin then this one is a great start! What a tremendous album. I pretty much have this one memorized. When I last saw Jesse play (a few weeks back at T.T. the Bears in Cambridge) there was a mass of fans singing along with him. The man grows more popular every day. And for good reason. This album should be owned. There probably isn't much I can say further than what his songs will do for you. Here is one of my favorites from the new album. Check out the review and get to a live Malin show soon.

Here's my original writeup on the album Glitter in the Gutter.
Jesse Malin's Incredible Boston performance: Live at Great Scott!
Jesse Malin - Web

Ten new albums will be added at the end of the year
- rounding out the 2007 list!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The sensational Ra Ra Riot - Moving Forward, Leaving Pain

It's nice to see good things happen to great, well-deserving people. It's been a most tumultuous year for Ra Ra Riot - the very talented Syracuse, NY band with the stuttering name. (Before I go too much further, I will say a lot of people consider this to be a Boston band because of the number of times they have played here through the years...)

Ra Ra Riot's 2007 started with the promise of new exposure and invitations to the year's best music festivals. In the middle was utter tragedy: their drummer and close friend died in a drowning accident. Then there was the mourning and later - the recovery - the band has soldiered on to release a hopeful new video. They were just touring in Europe and are working on a new album.


I caught Ra Ra Riot earlier this year with Midlake here in Boston. (Incredible show!) The sextet of performers generate a tremendous energy up on stage - enough to draw a smile from even the most resistant audience. The band sports the usual fare: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and Drums - but Ra Ra Riot also boasts a Cello and Violin! This creates such an unusually round sound that I found my eyes darting to and fro - looking to match what my ears were hearing.

We are Ra Ra Riot:

Dying Is Fine (An ode to renewal!)


Ra Ra Riot - Dying is Fine

On June 3rd, 2007: John Pike - the band's drummer died during a tragic drowning accident here in Massachusetts. There is a December 15th benefit planned at the Middle East for his memorial fund starring Tokyo Police Club and his former band (amongst others.) I will be there. Expect more on this show and on the band's progress on recording their new album in the days to come.

Ra Ra Riot
web / myspace

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Police Video - The Kin ward off the Cops with their Music!

The Kin are indie rockin' brothers from Australia living in New York city. They have made a name for themselves recently by nearly constant touring up and down the eastern seaboard - specializing in the corridor from Boston southward to Washington D.C.

The band just released their fourth album, "Rise and Fall" this month and are trying to get the music out to a wider audience. A recent stint further south and late night driving on unfamiliar roads found them in a spot of trouble with Mr. Law. Good thing for Issac and Thorry that the southern cop that pulled them over had a taste for their music. (Is this the coolest cop in the world, or is he a jerk for trying to playing power trip?!) Great for us that the band caught the whole thing on their video camera which they placed in the window:

The Kin: Lost in Atlanta

TONIGHT in Northampton, MA @ 7:45pm
The Iron Horse
20 Center St.
Northampton, MA 01060

Thursday, October 25, 2007 in BOSTON (doors open 8pm)
The Paradise Lounge
969 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

Today's Featured mp3s:
The Kin - See

The Kin - Together

The Kin - Official Web / Myspace

Monday, October 22, 2007

Album of the Year? Music's Best cover Dylan on the "I'm Not There" soundtrack

This one could be truly great - like once every four or five years great. Imagine it - the best people in the business doing the songs of Bob Dylan. It's almost like the 30th Anniversary Concert all over again! The media blitz surrounding the Dylan movie is getting pretty intense. The music though is all true: This 2CD soundtrack goes on sale on October 30th. The wait won't be long! For the first time - the track listing is here:

The "I'm Not There" soundtrack - Album of the Year?

Disc 1
1. Eddie Vedder and the Million Dollar Bashers: "All Along the Watchtower"
2. Sonic Youth: "I'm Not There"
3. Jim James and Calexico: "Goin' to Acapulco"
4. Richie Havens: "Tombstone Blues"
5. Stephen Malkmus and the Million Dollar Bashers: "Ballad of a Thin Man"
6. Cat Power: "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"
7. John Doe: "Pressing On"
8. Yo La Tengo: "Fourth Time Around"
9. Iron and Wine and Calexico: "Dark Eyes"
10. Karen O and the Million Dollar Bashers: "Highway 61 Revisited"
11. Roger McGuinn and Calexico: "One More Cup of Coffee"
12. Mason Jennings: "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"
13. Los Lobos: "Billy"
14. Jeff Tweedy: "Simple Twist of Fate"
15. Mark Lanegan: "The Man in the Long Black Coat"
16. Willie Nelson and Calexico: "SeƱor (Tales of Yankee Power)"

Disc 2
1. Mira Billotte: "As I Went Out One Morning"
2. Stephen Malkmus and Lee Ranaldo: "Can't Leave Her Behind"
3. Sufjan Stevens: "Ring Them Bells"
4. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Calexico: "Just Like a Woman"
5. Jack Johnson: "Mama You've Been on My Mind"
6. Yo La Tengo: "I Wanna Be Your Lover"
7. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"
8. The Hold Steady: "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window"
9. Ramblin' Jack Elliott: "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"
10. The Black Keys: "Wicked Messenger"
11. Tom Verlaine and the Million Dollar Bashers: "Cold Irons Bound"
12. Mason Jennings: "The Times They Are a-Changin'"
13. Stephen Malkmus and the Million Dollar Bashers: "Maggie's Farm"
14. Marcus Carl Franklin: "When the Ship Comes In"
15. Bob Forrest: "Moonshiner"
16. John Doe: "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine"
17. Antony and the Johnsons: "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
18. Bob Dylan: "I'm Not There"

Acceptable in the 80s - Loving it In Boston

Don't know if you are abreast with the sporting news, but just in case you're not... The Red Sox are back in the World Series as of tonight. They just won game seven of the American League Championship Series. Not only is this totally kick ass - it's also great and wonderful and cool. If you have ever been to Boston you realize that the Red Sox are our religion here. Don't worry, I still love great music - I just wanted to celebrate for a minute or two. Let's celebrate together. Here is "Acceptable in the 80's by Calvin Harris (the hottest DJ in the UK right now.) And here's a totally awesome cover of that same song by the Editors. (*Thanks Brad!) It doesn't get any better than this - Especially in Boston!


Calvin Harris on the RSL
Editors on the RSL

It could just be coincidence, but it will hit 80 degrees today in Boston.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New York City's Hottest New Indie Rock Band - Blonde Acid Cult

Ready for the Show? Ask yourself twice. The latest indie rockers in all of New York City is Blonde Acid Cult - a young, irreverent bunch of musicians setting up tour dates now. The band has made an early name for themselves in New York. I caught them - and man, did they ever rock out! - during their only Boston area show. There is no way readers on the left coast have heard of them before - until now.

Incredible live!

Blonde Acid Cult - Shake It Loose

Blonde Acid Cult is Michael, Sonny, Marcus, Dammo and Phil.


Nov 15 2007 - PARTY @ 205 - NEW YORK CITY

Nov 16 2007 - TBA - BOSTON


myspace page

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bob Dylan - Guitar Blues '86

Bob Dylan
A short but choice blues set from the Hampton Marriott - 1986.

Dylan was playing the blues.
No Classic Rock here - just live blues guitar.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

2007's Top 30 Album Countdown Continues - HOT HOT HOT

The 30 Greatest Albums of 2007
(Thru September*)

Today I share 5 Songs
from 5 of the best Albums!

The Top Ten albums of the Year will be showcased at the end!

The Series continues....

I'll be honest with you the five songs from the five 2007 album selections I give you here today, while still in no particular order, were the hardest for me to pick this year. These were all discs that just couldn't fit in my top ten - essentially because I couldn't shove the other records out of that most vaunted spot. Keep reading and check these out. Each should be owned and enjoyed!

Mason Proper -
There is A Moth In Your Chest.

I have no doubt today that Mason Proper is perhaps one of the top ten most underrated bands operating in the United States today. Perhaps this status is due to their most unusual songs or the fact they hail from Michigan. But good, my friend, is good! Their brilliance was recognized by New York label Dovecote Records this past year. And what resulted was this gem of a record. Expect very big things from this band in the next year - I am! Below you will find the most inclusive, detailed interview of the band to-date and my original album review.

Here's my original writeup on the album There is a Moth in your Chest.
The Secrets of Mason Proper Revealed: Two-Part RSL Interview!
Mason Proper - Myspace

Ryan Adams -
Easy Tiger.

Guilty as charged. - I am certainly a fan. But I will never be a blind follower as the RSL review of this record clearly demonstrates. It's a somewhat scathing review of the artist's statements and deeds - but a glowing review of the music! (Confused? No worries - read on!) This mention of Ryan as a top 30 record of 2007 comes just days before the prolific performer releases another new record. I have included a link below for my sneak peek at Ryan Adam's "Follow the Lights" EP to be released just next month. Here is one of the most beautiful songs of the year:

Easy Tiger Review (must read!) on the RSL
Ryan Adams - Lost Highway page
Ryan Adams - Myspace

Rilo Kiley -
Under the Blacklight.

I am still not able to fully put into terms how fantastic Rilo Kiley was live on this tour. What a huge success - despite what some of you snobby hipsters might say - this album and its songs are brilliant! This record is a recipe for a live show and it works really, really well. This album got bashed about by some longterm purists. Hold your breath Rilo Kiley fans... This is my favorite record they have ever done. The sooner you get over it, the quicker you can enjoy this amazing, amazing record.

"Under the Blacklight" -Review of the RSL
Rilo Kiley - Official Web
Rilo Kiley - Myspace

Spoon -
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

There is nothing I can say that Britt Daniel or Spoon's music can't tell you. The songs are rich and full. The narratives are textured and interesting. A lot of people picked this Austin band's record as their favorite of the year - it would have been a sin not to make my list! Here's The Underdog:

Spoon - Official
Spoon- Myspace

Fionn Regan -
End of History.

What a wonderful and most unexpected treat! Irish singer and performer Fionn played Boston (the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge actually..) and blew the doors off the place. (Surprise - that's what all his shows are like!) The tracks are individual and yet somehow cultural explorations as well. This stands as one of most impressive live shows I saw this year. Please pick up this album, absorb the sound and improve your life!

My write-up: Fionn Regan on Ryan's Smashing Life
Fionn Regan - Official
Fionn Regan - Myspace


Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Brief Smile - FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD! (Limited Time Offer - CMJ Special)

It's good to have artistic and generous friends. I got an email from New York's A Brief Smile yesterday reminding me to check out their CMJ Music Festival gigs and to offer all of you a limited time free album download. I was (again) a little irked that I am missing the East Coast's best music festival - but ecstatic about them offering you guys a free copy of 2007's "Now We All Have Horns" album!


A BRIEF SMILE, you are the bomb!

mp3 from the new album:
A Brief Smile - Big Sky

"Horns," which I already enjoy, is a full-length album - not a three-track EP or a couple of b-sides slapped togethr. This is the whole damn enchilada and it's the brand new record that the band is selling for $10 and you can probably buy it at your local retailer for $14.99... In other words, this kicks ass! Thank you very much ABS. It's great to have good friends!

And you - what are you doing? Download the thing and enjoy. This free offer will be toast once CMJ is over!

((if there is a delay or problem loading the page, try again later.))

A Brief Smile
Remaining CMJ Schedule:

Tonight Oct. 18: 9pm - Club Europa


Friday Oct. 19 - 2pm - the Delancey
(pop tarts suck toasted showcase)

A Brief Smile: Official Web / Myspace

Division Day plays it All - The Hottest band from LA

Division Day is one of the hottest bands going with a most unique sound. The Los Angeles band playing CMJ has a brand new album - Beartrap Island which really must be owned (look for it today) and they have this neat little project where they release cover songs of other musicians songs each week. Creativity knows no bounds!




Why cover a Sponge song?
“Everyone remembers this song- maybe not the name, or the band that bestowed it upon us, but a recited line or two will bring a gleam of nostalgic recognition to the eye of the skinny-jeansed-est hipster you know. It's a dumb song by a thoroughly forgotten band, but somehow we killed thirty-plus van minutes in Texas coaxing from our memories the whole thing, from start to finish, and then dropped several quarters (later that night, at the Doublewide in Dallas) for the pleasure of reminiscing to the selfsame song on the jukebox as we downed pints of Lonestar.

When we started making covers, this song (somehow?) got nominated for consideration, and the notion was sort of too preposterous to deny. In taking on the task of attempting a compellingly indigestible rendition of a wholly in-credible track, I learned that "Plowed" stays buried in our brains for good reason; the melody is elegant and ominous, the guitar refrain undeniably propulsive, and the lyrics occasionally become profound. "To see wide open with a head that's broken" became a directive of sorts for this project (which was executed quite feverishly in two days); I like to think of Division Day's cover as the "Broken Head" version of Sponge's anti-classic anthem to regret and emotional atrophy.”

On Tour This Month
October 18 New York, NY - Red Eye Showcase at Mo Pitkins (2pm)
18 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall [residency]
19 New York, NY - Pianos (2pm)
19 Philadelphia, PA - The Khyber (8pm)
20 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 [w/ Eulogies & Film School]
22 Atlanta, GA - The Loft
23 Washington, DC – DC Nine
25 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall [residency]
26 New London, CT – The Oasis
27 Cleveland, OH – The Grog Shop
28 Pontiac, MI – The CroFoot
29 Chicago, IL – Schubas

Official Web / Myspace

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CMJ - The Best Show Tonight: Austin's Black and White Years

I am a little bitter that one of my favorite underground bands in the world has come all the way east from Austin and will play in NYC tonight and I am missing it. Austin's Black and White Years will take the stage tonight in a must-see CMJ showcase.


* My Interview with The Black and White Years
Find Out What Makes These Indie Rockers Tick!
Their Hot Performance at SxSW 2007!
Their New Record is being produced by The Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison!

If You See the Band Tonight Tell 'Em I said Hello.

And We're Back! Downloads Restored.

How is this for a great entrance?? If you had told me that I could have possibly gone over my incredibly high bandwidth limitations for this page not once but twice in the last few months I would have scoffed (I can be bit of a scoffer, you know...) Well, the limits have been restored and I am going to have to be a lot more careful with posting great material, live shows and top album lists... It's all a little embarrassing, really. Please take a look around and get back to what you were doing before The Man stepped in between us.

Now, this looks like one of those haunting, life-long memories....

Poor kid can see someone taking his picture.
What the hell was he doing sticking his head through the back of the chair?

Coming Up this week: Amongst other things - I finish off the top 30 albums of 2007 List (through September) - AKA the list that put my download bandwidth over the top. I introduce you to a new favorite band. I plug a few favorite acts at NYC's CMJ concerts (wish I could be there but I just couldn't make it!) An album review from overseas. And a hot concert for a great cause. The Ryan's Smashing Life Myspace page (*let's be friends) - or Mail me. Subscribe to the page.

Just in Case You're Interested:
Cobra Starship (NYC) on Myspace
the band has a new album:
"Viva La Cobra" set for an Oct 23rd release.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Boston's Bang Camaro - Push Push (Lady Lightning) as seen on Guitar Hero 2

You need not be living in Boston these days to have heard of the completely out of control rock phenomenon known as Bang Camaro. The bay state guitar band started by rockers Bryn Bennett and Alex Necochea now has a rolling membership of as many as 20 members. (And I wouldn't even be kidding if I were to tell you that sometimes all of them show up all at once to play!) If that fact alone doesn't stop you in your tracks then the newfound commercial and public success of this indie metal super group should.

The band was recently joined on stage by a very drunk, singing and dancing Jimmy Fallon (of movie and SNL fame) and another recent gig had BC getting down with the guys from Orange County Choppers. A full page magazine ad with Bang Camaro recent pumped chewing gum. Then there are the television appearances... The list continues to grow.

Guitar Solo - a Bang Camaro show includes a lot of these:

That brings us up to date and Bang Camaro's inclusion on the Rock Band and Guitar Hero II video games. (You play the guitar and get graded on your results!) The game, designed by Cambridge's own Harmonix Music Systems, is probably one of the top ten sellers in the world these days. Here's a video of somebody kickin' ass on Bang Camaro's "Push Push (Lady Lightning)."

Kick Ass:

(download the song "Pleasure Pleasure" on the official page)


Monday, October 15, 2007

The Joe Strummer Documentary Soon to Be Released

Born John Graham Mellor, this is the story of the man who would leave the Earth some fifty years later the subject of music folklore. The Clash's Joe Strummer story is one of light, triumph, majesty and yet some enigma remains. A new perspective - Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, presents an entirely new outlooks on the man's life and later career. The documentary is set to be released on November 2nd.

The Clash's Joe Strummer

For a time, there was no bigger man in music.

Filmmaker Julien Temple, who filmed the Clash's first ever studio recording session and went on to film hours and hours of video of Strummer through the years, interviewed several friends and bandmates of the late Strummer in an attempt to build a more complete profile. Strummer, who died of heart failure in 2002, will be canonized and celebrated by the U2's Bono (among others) in the documentary. In rare live performance video and in quiet moments, Strummer is remembered for being much more than a member of the Clash.

Strummer cast in a brilliant light?

Temple's movie will share insight into Strummer's youth and private life - as well as his total professional career. The film, which will open in exclusive theaters beginning in Los Angeles and New York, promises to provide the best - and certainly the freshest - picture of the Clash icon to date!


Joe Strummer - Redemption Song



Strummer News
Joe Strummer on Wikipedia
Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (imdb page)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Are You Indie? A funny look at Emo and the Underground Scene.

Check out the rest of the videos in the RSL collection on YouTube!


A victim of success, I suppose - but it doesn't soften the blow. The RSL download bandwidth has been exceeded (wow - you guys were hungry!) right in the middle of my top 30 Albums of the 2007 Countdown. What that means - a two day hiatus until I resume that list. (And 2 days until you guys can download and listen to all the old material I have up....) But the music will go on. I am using a temporary hosting service to get us through this little timeout. You can't stop the shinin'

Two Long, Rough Days Lie Ahead. Don't fret - there's still new music!

Today's fun track comes from Brazil. Cansei de ser sexy is a dance club phenomenon that first caught on at home then traveled to Europe to achieve cult status! The name Cansei de ser Sexy (C.S.S.) literally means "Tired of being sexy" in Portuguese!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brave New World - Top 30 Albums of 2007 - the list continues!

The 30 Greatest Albums of 2007
(Thru September*)

Each day this I share 5 Songs
from 5 of the best Albums!

The Top Ten albums of the Year will be showcased at the end!

The Series continues....

Aaron English -
The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon.

In March I reviewed a most unlikely candidate for album of the year. Seattle singer-songwriter, pianist Aaron English and I crossed paths and I was (thankfully) able to listen to his music. Tremendous from the start, his strong music is sharp, bold and clean. He is the only musician in the I have ever compared to Peter Gabriel. Listen.

Here's my original writeup on Aaron English'sThe Marriage of the Sun and the Moon.
Aaron English - Official Web
Aaron English - Myspace

The National -

This is an album that has been getting a lot of play time around the RSL compound these days. The National just played the Roxy in Boston last week and I was lucky enough to be there. The remarkable Cincinnati group have played the world and came back to improve on their earlier efforts. Boxer is a triumphant effort. Everyone has probably heard (or at least she hear) "Fake Empire" so I will share another brilliant track from the record.

The National on the RSL
The National - Official Web
The National - Myspace

Voxtrot -
Voxtrot (LP).


As I write that Voxtrot is one of the greatest bands in 2007, I have my fingers crossed. Vocalist Ramesh has been recently hospitalized and subsequently released for medical reason(s) unspecified. I wish him a speedy recovery. The band plays here this Saturday and I certainly hope the show goes on. (I have the flu, so hopefully we'll both be there!) I have missed this great Austin band every time they have played here. Not only does Voxtrot rock, they also have their own little side project of note. The band's Jared Van Fleet just happens to "be" Sparrowhouse - one of my favorite indie acts of the last two years. Take a listen to Voxtrot:

Voxtrot on theRSL
Voxtrot - Official Web
Voxtrot - Myspace

Silverchair -
Young Modern.

The great Australian band is back and - in my mind, better than ever. Gone is the teen angst and the self-loathing. This is critically, the best album this group has ever put out. There are long-term fans out there who will disagree, but this is a huge departure from the lyrically-poor albums put out by this still-very-young and very much growing band. I was lucky to see the band play live at the Paradise Boston (thanks again East-West for squeezing me into an already sold out show!) and was not disappointed to say the least. This is a band with a cult following around the world and they are now starting to get good. I expect more to come. Check out the album review and enjoy this song!

RSL Album Review: Young Modern
Silverchair - Official
Silverchair - Myspace

Explosions In the Sky -
All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone.

We head back to Austin for this latest review. Explosions in the Sky released the Double-Length LP "All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone" this spring when everybody else wasn't paying attention. I literally stumbled across it on the new release shelf at Newbury Comics. "Oh Yeah. I forgot about this one!" What a happy accident. Instrumental and Rock Explosions ensued. This is a thoroughly enjoyable listen from front to back and I think I learned as much about myself from listening to it as I did the record. It's just that kind of powerful, trance-inducing stuff. For those unaware - there are skilled music technicians out there. Meet Explosions In the Sky.

If you are in Boston - the band plays 10/13, 10/15, 10/16 at the Orpheum!

Explosions In the Sky - Official
Explosions In the Sky - Myspace

Maps -
We Can Create.

Maps creator James Chapman

Northampton, UK is the site of our next musical discovery. James Chapman is a remarkable man. He had a musical concept and created all of its parts, painstakingly recording all the instruments and editing each, carefully, into a multi-track recorder. Then he finally brought the pieces together. The result is "We Can Create." The album was a bit raw but it met enthusiastic ears at the labels. The album was reproduced and Chapman was allowed to form a band to play his music. They are currently on tour. The sounds are insanely rich and full - certainly modern, but the experience is a human one. (We feel the breath pass through our longs and the coursing of the blood through our veins in these tracks.) Remarkable music!

Listen to Don't Fear here and then check out my initial review for another track!

The RSL Review of We Can Create
Maps - Myspace

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moving Forward - The 1990s are Indie Rock Catalysts!

One of the first bands I ever wrote about as an blogger were a little-known group from Glasgow named the 1990s. They are a Franz Fedinand, Yummy Furs spin-off group - and with a kooky family tree like that - you know the fruit is ripe! Well, today - months after I first talked about the band (they had no material back then to share - I was really sticking my neck out!), the group have released their debut LP, "Cookies", and will be appearing this week in Boston.

The 1990s are the RSL Artist of the week!

The 1990s have one hot sound!
Live at the Middle East with Voxtrot (2007 Top 30)
this Saturday. (10/13/07) This stands to be one hot show!

The History of the 1990s - A look into Franz Ferdinand's past, the tale of the Yummy Furs and V-Twin! I knock on the door of the "Glasgow Sound!" This is the post I put up on August 1, 2006. This is Ryan's Smashing Life ground zero!

Time for Links - The 1990s:

Official / Myspace / World's Fair page (video, mp3s) / Immem page (links and store)

The Middle East -
Central Square, Cambridge

Voxtrot & 1990s tickets

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The 30 Best Albums of 2007 - The Big List

The 30 Greatest Albums of 2007
(Thru September*)

Each day this I share 5 Songs
from 5 of the best Albums!

The Top Ten albums of the Year will be showcased at the end!

The Series continues....

Animal Collective -
Strawberry Jam.

I was lucky enough to be there at ground zero - day one of the current Animal Collective tour which opened up here in Boston. This group grows on you fast - like the moss that grows on old food in dorm room fridges! Lots of people downloaded this one early when it became available as a leak on torrent pages. The band didn't bat an eyelash. They just told people to listen to the album straight through as it was intended. I agree.

Here's my writeup on the Animal Collective.
Animal Collective's new video: Peacebone is released
Animal Collective - Myspace

Arcade Fire -
Neon Bible.

There wasn't a band on the receiving end of more hype in 2007 than Arcade Fire. Their tremendous Neon Bible album made for some great listening. The group continues to grow and evolve on this record!

Ryan Adams interviews the Arcade Fire: Hot Q&A
Arcade Fire on Myspace

David Vandervelde -
Nothin' No EP.

In June, Chicagoan David Vandervelde released a truly remarkable EP that changed the way my ear was hearing music in 2007. Rich and full songs with a little bit of bar-room in them - this is a must have EP!

David Vandervelde: Nothin' No
David Vandervelde on Myspace

Tigers and Monkeys -
Loose Mouth.

This album rocks. I receive a lot of music in the mail each month but if a third of the records prove to be half as good as this one from New York's Tigers and Monkeys it would make things a hell of a lot easier for me. This CD literally came out of no where and has been in regular rotation at my house. Tigers and Monkey's Loose Mouth is a Top Record in 2007!

Tigers and Monkeys - Official
My plug of the Loose Mouth album: Review