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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy (Bullets) New Year

Live in Dallas and still don't have New Year's Eve plans?


The Happy Bullets

Then go see The Happy Bullets and the Tah Dahs at the Cavern tonight...only 3 bucks!

The Happy Bullets The Vice and Virtue Ministry mp3

OR


Sorta

Go see Sorta @ The Barley House

Sorta 85 Feet mp3

We haven't decided for sure which show we'll be attending, but you can't miss either way. Whatever you decide to do tonight: have fun, and take a cab!

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Friday, December 30, 2005

bored?



new songs. cleeeeeeeeck

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I've had a very busy day today at work of shopping online all day. So far, I've bought two copies of The Light Footwork's LP, I pre-ordered Love is All's album, and I bought Mancino's debut EP from CD Baby.

I also ordered the vinyl-only Devendra Banhart/Jana Hunter split from Parasol...not only does it have Devendra's R. Kelly cover, it also has Jana Hunter's "A Bright Ass Light". I've posted on this song before, but I don't think my original write-up did it justice. Let's just say this song, which sounds like it was recorded in some backwoods cabin in the 1920's, makes me wish every song had hand-claps:

Jana Hunter A Bright Ass Light mp3

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Ms. John Soda



I had never even heard of Ms. John Soda before I heard their upcoming LP, Notes and the Like (due out Spring '06 on Morr Music). Here's what I gathered in about 5 minutes of research: the band is essentially the 'pop-project' of Micha Archer (The Notwist and 13 & God) and Stefanie Bohm; Pitchfork named their last LP one of the best of 2003, and Tiny Mix Tapes called their last record "one of pop music’s most surprising masterpieces...the best collaboration of any pop record that I have ever heard".

And you guys think I overhype stuff. Ha. But after a few listens, Bohm's warm, ridiculously beautiful voice over Archer's familiar downtempo beats and layered sounds have definitely made me a fan. This is a really gorgeous record, and I can't wait to get it on vinyl. Hear for yourself:

ms. john soda a million times mp3

Also:



If you live in Texas (hell, even if you don't), go check out the new and improved TexasGigs.com. Cindy does more than anyone to help promote the thriving North Texas music scene, so it's great to see the site looking so awesome. While you're there, listen to TexasGigs' interview with up and coming hip-hop artist, Pikahsso. The dude is seriously a trip.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers



Until I read Yeti's post on Wednesday, I had only heard one song from Irving: their catchy-as-hell contribution to the Dimension Mix, "Army Ants in Your Pants" (mp3), which my girlfriend played incessantly for a while when it first came out.

But it's this song that has me hooked. Recalling elements from The Beatles, Belle & Sebastian, The Zombies, and Elephant 6, all on the same song, this track has me very excited for Irving's upcoming full-length, Death In The Garden, Blood On The Flowers (due out April 4, 2006 on eenie meenie) And even more excited to see them live at SXSW.

Irving The Curious Thing About Leather mp3

Be Irving's friend

Read about the kick-ass Ship Collective, made up of Earlimart, Irving, The Silversun Pickups, and more

Also:

Speaking of SXSW...

March 15 @ Stubb's (Austin): Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, and Mogwai

See you there!

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Silent Shout



The Knife, one of my very favorite musical discoveries of 2005, have announced that their new album, Silent Shout, will be released in March 2006. Can't wait to hear this one. Here's a track from their 2004 LP, Deep Cuts...such a great song:

The Knife You Take My Breath Away mp3

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Beck: Pink Moon



Thanks to the anonymous person who ripped this to mp3 format and emailed it to me...

Beck Pink Moon (Nick Drake cover) mp3

Also:

Don't forget to check out the definitive year-end list, Jesus Christ's Top 11 Albums of 2005 (he loves Sufjan, naturally). While you're there, also check out the son of God's Top 5 Musical Disappointments of the year.

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Mojo at Mojo's...Tonight


Bill Baird

Fare thee warned, lucky Austinites, SOUND team's Bill Baird will make a solo appearance tonight at Mojo's Daily Grind at around 8:30 or so. Voxtrot's Jared Van Fleet, along with SOUND team's Sam Sanford and Jordan Johns, will assume backup duties.

Some of the solo material I've been fortunate enough to hear recalls
Panda Bear's cathartic, ambient soundscapes. Songs like "New York Love" and "Dear Friend Failing" evoke the chill of autumn with a sad and wanton innocence...prolonged distance weighs heavily on the lovesick. Another excursion, "Bourbon," takes the listener through uncharted analog backcountry with a tech-loving, neo-futurist drunkard serving as the wayward tour guide. Blissful stuff with a level of intrigue rarely achieved.

Not to be missed if you're anywhere within the Central Texas vicinity.

Unrelated:

Check out DoCopenhagen's excellent Top 50 Videos of 2005, featuring links to great videos from The Knife, Jose Gonzalez, Devendra Banhart, the Arcade Fire, and many more.

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Mancino

"...a band that will capture the hearts and imagination of folks who think that Ben Folds is maybe a bit too mainstream"
--Smother



I'm loving this song by Mancino, and judging by the two-minute song snippets at CD Baby, the rest of their EP is worth checking out too. Recommended for fans of The Beach Boys, Pavement, and '60's psych-pop.

Mancino Hiccup Lines mp3

buy Mancino's Dear International here

NYC people, please go to this and tell me how it was:

Mancino + Tapes 'n Tapes, Jan. 7th 2006 9PM @ The Delancey

Also:


clicky

If you haven't checked out gorilla vs. bear radio yet, please do. thanks.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Send Someone Away



I got this mp3 from some foreign website, and as I've mentioned in the past, I don't speak foreign (jesus, that joke is getting old). So, this is either a new José González song, or more likely, his solo version of a song he did with some guy named Embee, but I'm not sure. Either way, it's pretty good:

José González Send Someone Away (live) mp3

Bonus:



José González Heartbeats (live) mp3

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to ask...how was everyone's Christmas? Mine was great, even though I didn't get one of these.

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Band of Horses

I have to thank A Boy and His Blog (which is quickly becoming one of my favorites) for this one:



I had already heard the demo version of this Band of Horses song, from their upcoming SubPop debut, Everything All the Time, but the album version is absolutely stunning. Compare/contrast:

Band of Horses The Funeral mp3
Band of Horses Funeral (demo) mp3

buy the album (due out March 21) from Sub Pop
(highly recommended for fans of Iron & Wine and The Shins)

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You Could Surely Try to Be More Alive

Forgive me if this song is already all over the place, but I've somewhat neglected the internets over the weekend:



I'm not a huge Mates of State fan...I've always felt that they're a little too cute for their own good at times (see above album cover). With that said, I loved their "Goods" EP, and I'm enjoying this track quite a bit, so I'm actually really looking forward to their Barsuk debut, Bring it Back, due out March 21.

Mates of State Fraud in the '80's mp3

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Gnarls Barkley



I've been pushing this song on everyone lately, and everyone seems to really love it. And why not; Gnarls Barkley is made up of everyone's favorite DJ/producer, Danger Mouse, and the "Soul Machine" himself, Cee-Lo Green. If this isn't one of the most interesting and enjoyable albums of 2006, I'll be equally surprised and disappointed.

Gnarls Barkley Crazy mp3

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas


somebody learned how to climb the tree

She's only broken 3 ornaments so far...not bad. Have a Merry Christmas, and I hope you get all the toys you want. This song makes me nostalgic for when I was a kid...

Paul McCartney Wonderful Christmas Time mp3

I won't be posting over the next couple days, so if you're bored, go check out gorilla vs. bear radio...a nice eclectic mix of jams I think you'll like. Just click "launch radio".

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Dallas Album of the Year

Christmas Eve Eve = slow day at work = yet another post:



The Dallas Observer's Sam Machkovech has named Bosque Brown's Bosque Brown Plays Lara Lee Miller the local Album of the Year. In a year that saw quite a few great albums released by North Texans, I have to say, you can't really argue with this choice.

Since I posted about Bosque Brown back in September, I don't know that I've heard a more starkly beautiful song than this, and I'm both embarrassed and ashamed that I forgot to include this on my songs of the year list:

Bosque Brown Still Afraid mp3

buy Bosque Brown Plays Lara Lee Miller here

Bosque Brown's one-sided LP, Cerro Verde (which, roughly translated, means "green cerro"), will be released by Burnt Toast Vinyl in March or April of '06. The other side will have an etching by the artist herself.

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Magic Glasses


"Magic glasses...They bring energy."
--actual quote by Ben Wallace

It's been a while since I did a post on my Detroit Pistons, but they are off to the best start in franchise history (20-3), and that picture was just begging to be posted.

Okay, on with the Detroit Christmas music:

Pas/Cal Last Christmas mp3 (Wham cover)

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On a Plain



Everyone head over to Indie Interviews and congratulate my boy Garrison for his recent mention in Spin Magazine. Garrison is a local (Plano represent) and an all around cool guy, so I thought this was really great. And while you're there, I recommend listening to his past interviews; specifically those with LCD Soundsystem, Rogue Wave, The Polyphonic Spree, and Vashti Bunyan.

Garrison also hooked me up with Rogue Wave's cover of Nirvana's "On a Plain", which Zach played solo at their recent show in Denton. This simple, pretty version was recorded live at KTSW:

Rogue Wave On a Plain mp3

Bonus:

I found this in my inbox, courtesy of someone who knows how much I like Animal Collective. Still not sure how I feel about this version, though:

Animal Collective On a Plain mp3

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Indie Heroes Gather for Free-form Spectacle at Big Orange

I thought today was just another day at the office until I received a most unexpected e-mail from SOUND team's Bill Baird. Apparently the many purveyors of Austin's burgeoning indie cooperative gathered at SOUND team's Big Orange studio on Tuesday for what sounds like a raucous little hootenanny. Red Hunter mentioned this session to me when he was in Dallas last week, but I had no idea what would actually transpire. And, since I can in no way capture what went down, I'll just pass on what Bill had to say about it:



"Chickens could be heard rustling about. The neighboring horse stall had shut down for the evening, the moon was about half-full, I reckon, and Red and I decided to have a big group recording session at Big Orange with all the most sympathetic folk-er, super-enthused, and in-love-with-life kind of people we could find.

So there I was making musics, Red doing his thing, and Jared (from Voxtrot) playing under the moniker 'Sparrow House.' Dave from 'The Black,' who also plays keyboards for Trail of Dead, handled washboard duties with ambitious purpose. Sparks were a flyin' from 'em spoons across the room and damn near lit the whole place on fire. There was also a group there called Wax Museum Pandemonium, as well as a member of 'Tacks, the boy disaster,' which includes a member of the Polyphonic Spree. Then, of course, there was the drummer from this amazing free jazz group, e.c.f.a., and the drummer for the Weird Weeds, who were most recently the opening act for Deerhoof. So many musicians and peoples and, well, 'twas just lovely.

Among the instruments we utilized: junk metal gathered from the scrap
heap down the street, the singing saw, accordion, wash tub bass,
electric piano, drums, claps, flip flops banged on the floor, loud
wailing voices, etc.

Two songs were recorded. These will hopefully see release soon on both
our labels, Big Orange Records and Whiskey and Apples Records. But they may also see release into the trash bin, it's just hard to have perspective right now. Whatever the case, it was amazing indeed. I'm toying with the idea of filming the next sessions and turning them into a public access television show.

So, yeah, we got a little scene hap'nin here. 2006 will be a big year for all of us and some amazing music will be coming out of Austin. Amen!"

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You've Got Me All Wrong



I've been listening to quite a bit of Miguel Mendez lately, and in doing so, I discovered that one of my favorite dios(malos) songs, "You've Got Me All Wrong" (featured on the O.C.) is actually a cover of a Miguel Mendez song. I think I like Miguel's version better. Plus, he went to high school w/ Snoop Dogg in the LBC.

Miguel Mendez You've Got Me All Wrong mp3

Bonus:

Miguel Mendez Drinking Beers mp3

Buy Miguel Mendez' new album, My Girlfriend is Melting, here

Also:

A Christmas gift from Sweden/Dallas' own Sarah Culler...a new song:

Sarah Culler At Least Like Melissa mp3

Finally, go check out Guava's Top 10 list, complete with original haikus for each entry. While you're there, I recommend you check Mu's "Paris Hilton" video...so classic.

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Gotye

"Throw Air, DJ Shadow, Lamb, Massive Attack and The Avalanches in a blender and what you’ll get is Gotye..."
--Buzz Magazine



I was introduced to Australia's Gotye by The Test Pilot, and these two tracks from his upcoming album (due out Jan. '06) are really cool. This guy was definitely influenced by DJ Shadow, but I would describe these tracks as "Cut Chemist/DJ Shadow-light"...which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because these songs are very enjoyable:

Gotye A Distinctive Sound mp3
Gotye Learnalilgivinanlovin mp3

Also:

Go check out SF's BAGel Radio, and download the BAGel Radio Compilations, featuring gorilla vs. bear favorites Birdmonster, Tapes 'n Tapes, Miguel Mendez, and more....Also be sure to check out the BAGel Radio Indie Rock Noise Pop Podcast Blog.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

gorillavsbear radio


image by megan whitmarsh

Bored tonight? Then go listen to gorilla vs. bear radio while you do what you do. It's good. (just click "launch radio". do it.)

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The Rosebuds Unwind



The Rosebuds' have quickly become one of my favorite bands thanks to their new album, Birds Make Good Neighbors, so I feel like an idiot that I never bothered to check out their EP (released this summer) until Ryan told me about it.

The Rosebuds Unwind is every bit as good as the LP, just shorter and much more upbeat. Check out a couple of tracks from the EP, and if you like them, buy the EP/LP bundle from Merge for only twenty bucks:

The Rosebuds Unwind mp3
The Rosebuds I'd Feel Better mp3

Bonus:

Possibly my favorite Rosebuds song, from their debut LP, The Rosebuds Make Out:

The Rosebuds Back to Boston mp3

Also:

Check out contest week over at MOKB. Dodge is hooking you guys up w/ tons of crazy shit, go over there now and enter...

And finally, I think I've received an email or comment from every single person in attendance at that Blood Arm show at Club Deville during SXSW (all 20 of them), and they feel I ranked it waaaay too low on my top shows list. Everyone agrees, it should have been number one. Thinking back, it was pretty insane, you guys are right.

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Joanna Newsom: New Songs and Jimi Hendrix Cover

"...this new one, I approached it from the beginning - um, I hope this doesn't sound too pretentious, but sort of with an "album-ic" approach, you know, like thinking about how each of the song's connected to the others, and thinking of there being an overarching story from the first song to the last one where there were also these self-contained stories within each one."
--Joanna Newsom, discussing her next album



As I was making my '05 "Best of" lists, I was looking back at my favorites from 2004. As it turns out, Joanna Newsom's Milk-Eyed Mender was one of my 3 favorite records of the year, and I still love it dearly. I think she is just amazing. Just to give you some perspective, if Mender was released this year, it very well could have vied for my number 1 spot.

Coincidentally, I just recently discovered the excellent Joanna Newsom fan site, Milky Moon, where I found some gorgeous little gems, including this new song that Newsom's been playing live:

Joanna Newsom Emily (live) mp3

...and a couple of cover songs:

Joanna Newsom Angel (Jimi Hendrix cover) mp3
Joanna Newsom Man's Road mp3 (America cover)

Go here to download more new Joanna Newsom

Also:

go check out gorilla vs. bear MyHeavy radio...sort of like a myspace ripoff, but with your own radio station. Just click on "Launch Radio" to listen. Some highlights of my station include Rogue Wave, Diplo, Cat Power, A Tribe Called Quest, Brendan Benson, Mu's "Paris Hilton" and more...

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wonder Showzen on DVD


Happy Holidays from Wonder Showzen

The genius creators of Wonder Showzen have announced a release date of March 28, 2006, for the Wonder Showzen: Season 1 DVD.

This is one of the most uncomfortably hilarious shows ever, so I highly recommend you pre-order the DVD here. Highlights include Tyler, Funny/Not Funny, and other various skits involving kids doing shit that will likely scar them for life.

Get your Wonder Showzen t-shirts here

Bonus:

Chewties Theme Song mp3

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More Swedish Goodness

"Amandine roam across a vast and chilly plain, tumbling guitars and graceful bearing aligning them with the windswept Americana of Sun Kil Moon, Songs:Ohia, or pre-Z My Morning Jacket...Yet singer Olof Gidlöf's trembling whisper and easy sense of pop melody evoke a comfortable, hypothetical Sam Beam-Ben Gibbard collab"
--Pitchfork



This song is gorgeous, and it's perfect for this cold, dreary evening.

Amandine Blood & Marrow mp3

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gorilla vs. bear's Favorite Live Shows of '05



I honestly didn't think that my Favorite Shows of 2005 list would be this difficult, but I labored over this damn thing for so long. I left out some shows I had huge expectations for that I didn't feel really made a lasting impression on me (CYHSY and Brian Jonestown Massacre, please sit down). But when it comes down to it, I saw more shows this year than I have in any other year, thanks in large part to this blog. And each one of these shows was special in its own way, which made ranking them an unbelievably difficult task for me. I hope you guys enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed making it:

25. Th' Corn Gangg/Matisyahu, Carribean Lights (SXSW)
This show was slightly wheels off, but it was hilarious and very surreal. I don't know why, you just had to be there.

24. Jaime Lidell/Four Tet, Hailey's (Denton, TX)



23. M.I.A., La Zona Rosa (Austin, TX)



22. Modest Mouse/Cass McCombs, Nokia Live (Grand Prairie, TX)
Nokia Live, while decent for a larger venue, is not one of my favorite places to see a show. That said, Modest Mouse was great, and Cass McCombs made quite an impression.

21. Feist, The Fader Tent (SXSW)
This show at the Fader Tent was memorable for so many reasons. Free Red Stripe all day, Elijah Wood, and the flash thunderstorm that almost killed Feist. The girl is a trooper.

20. Metric, Gypsy Tearoom (Dallas, TX)



19. The Secret Machines/Autolux/The Moving Units, Trees (Dallas, TX)

18. SOUND team/Mazarin, Trees (Dallas, TX)



17. Rilo Kiley, Trees (Dallas, TX)



16. The Go! Team/The Grates, Trees (Dallas, TX)



The Go! Team was cool, but the highlight of the show was The Grates and frontwoman Patience. I could have watched them play all night.

15. Common/De La Soul/Rahzel, Gypsy Tea Room (Dallas, TX)
I remember this show as being one big party, which is how a good hip hop show should be. Highlights: when Dres came out with De La Soul to perform hip hop classic "The Choice is Yours"; Common's entire set; Rahzel shooting down my request to do a Bjork song.

14. Bloc Party/The Cribs/Apostle of Hustle, Urban Outfitters, Women's Swimwear Section (SXSW):



13. The Rosebuds, Gypsy Tea Room (Dallas, TX)



12. Rogue Wave/The Happy Bullets, Hailey's (Denton, TX)



11. The Faint/Bright Eyes, Stubb's, (Austin, TX)

10. Jurassic 5/Diplo, Stubb's (Austin, TX)



9. St. Vincent (Annie Clark)/Red Hunter, The Doublewide (Dallas, TX)
This show would have been top 5 if it had been longer. Red Hunter's set was like 15 minutes long, and St. Vincent's was like 30, tops. But both made a lasting impression, and both lead me to believe these artists are going to make some serious noise in '06. Highlights: Hunter's cover of "Imagination"; Annie's showstopping closer, "Now, Now".

8. Digable Planets, Gypsy Tea Room (Dallas, TX)



It is SO good to see these guys back together. They haven't skipped a beat. One highlight was local favorite E. Badu joining the group for a few songs.

7. Broken Social Scene, Gypsy Tea Room (Dallas, TX)



This show would've been higher if Kevin Drew hadn't attempted to sabotage it, but it was an amazing set nonetheless.

6. The Blood Arm, Club DeVille (SXSW):



Frontman Nathaniel Fregoso is by far the most energetic, engaging, and possibly insane person I've ever seen. Dude was climbing walls, making out with unsuspecting audience members, and running all over the small venue. Plus, free beer helps any show stand out.

5. Devendra Banhart, The Cavern (Dallas, TX)



Definitely the most bizarre show I've ever seen, and one of the best. I had seen Architecture in Helsinki and CYHSY earlier in the same night, but Devendra was the spectacle of the year.

4. Lollapalooza, Grant Park (Chicago, IL), July 23-24



So many highlights I wouldn't know where to begin. The lineup was amazing, Chicago is amazing, and I got to hang out with Dodge and MJ all weekend.

3. Iron & Wine/Calexico, Ridglea Theater (Ft. Worth, TX)



This show exceeded all my expectations going in. I wasn't sure how Sam Beam's hushed vocals would translate live, but this show was perfect.

2. The Black Keys, Zilker Park (ACL), September 24, 2005
Kevin, Dodge, and I (and our significant others) were pretty exhausted from the heat and dirt when these two took the stage...and wow. They tore it up. One of the most scorching sets I've ever seen.

1. The Polyphonic Spree, Nokia Live/The Granada/Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens
I couldn't seperate the three times I saw the Spree, because they were all spectacular. I've said it before, but if you haven't seen them live yet, please do. You might be surprised.

Related posts:

Top 5 Arcade Fire Shows I Saw This Year

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The Glass Family



This morning's post features Austin, TX's The Glass Family. I was introduced to these guys by a reader (thanks Aaron), and they have been compared to such artists as Wilco, Gram Parsons, and My Bloody Valentine. Austinist says "The Glass Family has achieved something uniquely their own in the space of ethereal alt-country and indie rock".

The Glass Family plays a free show at Emo's on January 7 with What Made Milwaukee Famous, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, and Zykos

The Glass Family There's a Red Light Waiting For You mp3

coming up later this morning:

gorilla vs. bear's Favorite Shows of 2005...and I'll warn you, this post is getting out of hand.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Shades are Drawn


Finian McKean

I wasn't familiar with Finian McKean's former band, Push Kings, but I am really enjoying the tracks I've heard from his recently-released solo LP, Shades Are Drawn.

Blackbook Magazine says McKean's solo work is "emotional and eerie, but still accessible...His music, for now, is what keeps him from running into the woods, and will provide you, too, with some satisfying four-minute escapes."

This particular "four-minute escape" has been helping me get through the day at work today:

Finian McKean Shades are Drawn mp3

buy Shades Are Drawn here

Also:



Pitchfork has revealed their Top 50 Singles of 2005. We both had Kelly Clarkson in our top 5.

Harmonium has begun counting down their top releases of 2005 as well...today they're at number 19, Woman King.

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gorilla vs. bear's Favorite EPs of '05


The Grates

8. The Ouch The Touch, The Grates
Key Track: Sukkafish mp3

We saw these Australians when they opened for the Go! Team, and they stole the show, thanks to frontwoman Patience's energy and charisma. The EP is short and sweet, like a cuter, cuddlier version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
buy

7. Black Sheep Boy Appendix, Okkervil River
Key Track: No Key No Plan mp3

Every bit as emotional and powerful as the LP.
buy

6. Birdmonster EP, Birdmonster
Key Track: All the Holes in the Walls mp3

This EP could have been even higher, but it's tough to judge a band on 3 songs. But if they can match the intensity of this EP on their upcoming full-length, expect the LP to be near the top of my list in '06.
buy

5. Wolf Parade, Wolf Parade
Key track: Disco Sheets mp3

This is worth buying for "Disco Sheets" alone.
buy

4. Ultimatum, The Long Winters
Key Track: Ultimatum mp3

I've never been a huge fan of these guys, but man, Ultimatum is awesome. Probably one of the most underrated releases of the year.
buy

3. Work, SOUND team
Key Track: Don't Turn Away mp3

It was a big year for SOUND team...signed to a major, played with the Arcade Fire, etc. But it all culminated in the release of this EP, which actually comes close to capturing the power of their live show.
buy

2. Pikul, Silversun Pickups
Key Track: Kissing Families mp3

"Kissing Families" was one of the most emotional, soaring songs I heard this year, and Pikul is the perfect length, just enough to leave me wanting more from this LA band.
buy

1. Raised By Wolves, Voxtrot
Key Track: Raised by Wolves mp3

I almost cheated and put this on my albums of the year list, because it was truly one of my favorite releases of this year of any length.
buy

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