Sunday, March 28, 2010

8Tracks and Bangers 2.0

Hey internet fam, I wanted to introduce you all to 8Tracks, a great way for us to share new music. 8Tracks is an incredibly simple site that lets you create and swap playlists of 8 or more songs. Using a loophole in copyright law (similar to Pandora), it turns these playlists into miniature internet radio stations that you can stream over and over again. Building a playlist takes 5 minutes tops - just upload the songs or search for them on 8Tracks (you can use any song that's on there already), and drag and drop them in. There are still a few dumb Pandora-like rights restrictions - you can't see the songs in the playlist until you play them, you can only skip a handful of times, and the playlist only goes in order the first time through - but that aside it's become my favorite way to find new tunes.

To get the ball rolling I've thrown together a mix of the top stuff off of my IPod for your enjoyment, and you can find me on 8Tracks here. I also recommend checking out this chick and this chick while you're at it. Let's get a little audience participation going - what are your top jams?

1. Gotye - Learnalilgivinanlovin
2. Wu-Tang Clan vs. The Beatles - Cutting It Up
3. Electric Wire Hustle - They Don't Want
4. Francis & The Lights - Night Watchman
5. Tanlines - Real Life
6. Small Black - Despicable Dogs (Washed Out Remix)
7. MillionYoung - Chlorophyl
8. White Hinderland - Icarus
9. Toro Y Moi - Imprint After
10. The Hood Internet - Save Me Concubine (Ghostface Killah vs. Beirut)
11. Bibio - Bones & Skulls
12. Bonobo - All In Forms
13. Delorean - Stay Close
14. Beach House - Norway
15. The Black Seeds - Love Is A Radiation
16. Plantlife - Your Love
17. Raashan Ahmad - If I
18. DJ Deckstream - Can You Let Me Know (feat. Lupe Fiasco and Verbal)
19. Blu - Since
20. Fashawn - Stars
21. Spiro - The Sky Is A Blue Bowl

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Can Go For That!

From J.D. Ryznar showcasing them in several episodes of the web series Yacht Rock to Chromeo becoming best friends and performing with Daryl Hall, to others dressing up as them for Halloween, Hall & Oates have become indie idols over the past several years. Given the fact that their music is catchy, danceable, and oh so smooth it's perfectly understandable and in my opinion very well deserved. If you disagree go back and listen to She's Gone and I Can't Go for That or better yet just ask Method Man what he thinks. This past week, their indie stardom was elevated even higher when The Bird and The Bee released their new album, "Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates." While more mellow and not nearly as dancey as the originals this album is definitely worth a listen for any self proclaimed fan of the Philadelphia duo. Enjoy!

Dragons- BFI

Once upon a time in the halcyon days of 1970 in the Land of Southern California, lived three brothers whose passion for the Beatles, surfing, and the psychedelic movement lead them to create one of the oddest, most totally radical tripped out albums of the 1970's. Combining elements of rock n roll, jazz, and funk the album was titled BFI (Blue Forces Intelligence). Unfortunately this album was so weird and different that record labels, having never heard something like this before, decided to shelve it. The brothers, who were now going by the name The Dragons, were so dismayed that they decided to disband and go their own ways. BFI would never be released.

Fast forward 37 years to an English DJ (DJ Food of Ninja Tune's) digging through some crates in a record store. He stumbles across a piece of buried treasure- a soundtrack to an old 70's surf movie which just happens to feature The Dragons "Food for My Soul." Completely blown away by the fresh and innovative sounds coming through his speakers he decides he must track down the artists who forged this tune and learn their ways. Eventually DJ Food manages not only to locate one of the long lost brothers but also the original mix tapes. After listening to the mix tapes in their entirety, DJ Food realizes that this is just too good and decides to releases the tapes on the Ninja Tune label for the masses to hear. At long last the brothers achieved their dream and BFI was released to critical acclaim. A joyous cry erupted all over the musical world and everyone lived happily ever after.

All story telling aside- this is one dope album. Listening to it one hears elements of Frank Zappa, The Doors, and Air, not to mention some really bizarre sound effects (babies crying, Japanese rhythms, funk vocals!). Oh yeah and that sweet sweet organ player, who lays down the nastiest of grooves throughout each song...he went on to become the Captain....totally nuts, I know.

Disclaimer: It should be noted that the above song is probably the most "normal" one on the album.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Besnard Lakes

This married duo from Quebec has made one very impressive record. Their third to date, surrounded by musicians, but the brainchild of this couple and it comes on big. Big sounds, big production, big ambitions. It sits somewhere between indie rock and shoegaze. They have that big wall of sound thing going on, full productions and My Bloody Valentine style ear-assault. But it's a little more reserved, more melodic, with some space for the listener to settle in and get comfortable. My problem with shoegaze is often that it's so intense and overwhelming that I can only deal with about two songs before I need a few minutes of total silence. This album really paces itself more -- they don't overwhelm you, it brings you along as opposed to just knocking you over. Not to mention the music really is just superb -- the vocals are beautiful and finely tuned, the songs intricate and compelling. As soon as it starts, you want to hear more, always a good sign.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Earful

A few tracks to enjoy this week.

Yeasayer "ONE" By: Radical Friend from ODDBLOOD on Vimeo.

Incidentally, all three of these albums are well worth a full listen.

Yeasayer - Odd Blood

Toro y Moi - Causers of This

The Morning Benders - Big Echo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sound Opinions

I've been listening to an excellent podcast for some time now and wanted to throw it some love up here. Sound Opinions is a weekly public radio show based in Chicago, hosted by the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times (Jim DeRogatis) and the rock critic for the Tribune (Greg Kot). They get some outstanding guest performances (Dodos, Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Kid Sister), but some of the best shows are when they delve into some random genre or facet of music. I don't necessarily always agree with their reviews, but the show never fails to intrigue and entertain.

More car time has given me the chance to catch up on some old episodes, and they had Black Francis/Frank Black of the Pixies on to discuss Doolittle a few weeks back. It was absolutely fantastic -- I've never heard Black interviewed before, so maybe he's that garrulous and effusive all the time, but I sort of doubt it. The interview truly provided a fascinating look into the mind of the man and how the whole thing came together. Most hilarious moment: when Black bitched about festival fans bouncing an inflatable shark at one of their shows and he stopped the performance to confiscate the thing. should listen to it, the podcast is free and awesome.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Every now and then I get the special urge to leave the synths and turntables so often heard in todays music behind, crank the speakers up to 11 and do jump kicks off my couch. Fueled by the surf and sunshine of Southern California, The Soft Pack's debut album fulfills just this fever. With only 10 songs and a total listening time of 32 minutes this is a garage rock sprint from start to finish.

The also do a pretty good deadpan cover of Phoenix's "Fence's"

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So I definitely ripped this straight from Pitchfork's best new tracks. But dammit it's so good I had to make sure you all got a taste. The band is Cults, a less than unknown band, a barely formed band, with a 7" and three songs to their catalog. The best of the three, bar none, is Go Outside, a jangly, effervescent breath of a song rich with texture and vocals. The xylophone makes you feel like you're 6 again, playing with the playskool band kit in the grass, but the lyrics are decidedly adult. It's also the warmest and loveliest melody I could ever want to accompany the spring awakening. Some of those best new tracks are hit or miss and often the rest of the album doesn't deliver, but this one hits you like a cool breeze. Most Wanted is worth a full listen as well.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meet The Locals

It's probably a sign of the times that one of the most significant cultural moments of 2010 centers around a 17 year old chick from Berlin. That's author Helene Hegemann, whos bestselling book caused an uproar in Germany because it plagiarizes not just sentences but whole pages from a lesser known novel. What's really interesting, though, has been the country's complete non-response to the scandal: the book was a finalist for the prestigious Leipzig Book Fair prize despite Hegemann admitting to the plagiary. Her response "there's no such thing as originality anymore, just authenticity", with its implied shrug, neatly sums up the attitude of our whole generation.

Authenticity also seems like the right place to begin talking about a band that calls themselves Local Natives. That shrug of a name, paired with the fact that this is a rustic folk outfit from the backwoods of suburban L.A., had me prepared for the worst. And with an aesthetic that so clearly apes several other bands (Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, and Yeasayer, just for starters), these dudes sure know how to paint themselves into a musical corner. In fact, the affectations are so prominent - the 3 part harmonies, the jittery percussion, the thick reverb, even a goddamn Talking Heads cover - that it's not hard to imagine Local Natives as something spit out by an indie rock hitmaking algorithm. The influences aren't even disguised or rearranged - the pages have just been ripped out whole.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the hipster gristmill. Though the Natives' style still got immediately saddled with the lazy labels we've come to expect ("west coast Grizzly Bear", "Andrew Bird-inspired"), the songs themselves were embraced. Which is why it's interesting to contrast these guys against, say, Band of Horses, who were cruxified not even 3 years ago for the same creation-by-constellation. And like "Cease to Begin", when you take "Gorilla Manor" as its own world its a pretty fascinating place to be. This is a band that refuses the idea of a lead singer, who's first single was written by their drummer, and who look as comfortable banging on the side of a storage shed as they do in the studio. And their 12 uniformly radiant songs, emerging fully-formed yet warmly ragged, might just be the perfect spring album. This is shit to bloom with guys - enjoy it all.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Before These Crowded Shows

This post is primarily for Bubba, Panda, Bary and Rachel (assuming any of ya'll read this blog.) I'm certain alot of you will be unhappy with it, but, you know, I'm sorry. I promise I'll be back in a few days with something a bit more relevant to my usual role with the Bangers...

Anyways, this is a soundboard February 2nd, 1993 recording of the Dave Matthews Band performing a hometown show in Charlottesville, VA at Trax. The band included a full-time keyboardist at this point. If you've ever been a fan of DMB in any capacity, I urge you to download this and give it a listen. It will definitely surprise you. The band is unpolished to the point of unrecognizability but it's not tough to see how things would quickly escalate from an opening slot on the H.O.R.D.E. tour to teenage high-schoolers insisting on a first-name basis. ("How many times have you seen Dave?")

Highlights include a solo acoustic version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," a bitchin' "Halloween," an actually-meant-something "Dancing Nancies," and the since-nonexistent final keyboard outro to "Two Step" that's eerily reminiscent of the breakdown in Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain." Hopefully it makes somebody's day...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Office Dance Party

Everyone was struggling in the office today after a pretty demanding weekend, so we bumped these tunes to pump us up for the rest of the afternoon. It worked:

New Edition-Cool It Now. So fly. So Fresh. Plus that kid in the orange can dunk.

George Benson - Give me the night
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George Benson-Give Me the Night. This guy is so silky smooth it's absurd. I mean the dude can play guitar and rollerskate backwards, all while delivering the sweetness.

Mary Jane Girls-Candyman. My love for this group is endless...well at least on a Saturday nights it is. It's impossible not to move your feet to their songs. See also: In My House & All Night Long