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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Diggs


Brooklyn's The Diggs have been getting quite a few rave reviews in their hometown for their live performances, which earned them a current residency at NYC's Sin-e (including a show tomorrow night). I especially like "Trouble Every Day", an atmospheric, dreamy pop-rock ballad that slowly gains momentum and swells into a huge wave of sound that is indicative of the band's style. Look for the The Diggs upcoming LP, Commute, to be released later this year (hopefully).

The Diggs Trouble Every Day mp3
The Diggs Stagg mp3

Buy The Diggs EP, Orange, here for only $7.

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Turn Records

turn records

I discovered indie label Turn Records while I was trying to buy the new Thee More Shallows record, More Deep Cuts (which I received in the mail already, and i fu**ing love it), and I'm pretty happy about the find. In addition to having a roster of really cool bands and a wealth of mp3s on their website, when you order a CD from them you get it in like 2 days.

So I recommend you first download these tracks, courtesy of Turn Records, then go to their online store and buy something. You can't go wrong, and most cds and t-shirts are only ten bucks.

thee more shallows
Thee More Shallows 2 a.m. mp3
"...one of the most original and best releases of 2005." -Tiny Mix Tapes

the dying californian
The Dying Californian Prairie Fire mp3
"Their intimate style may draw comparisons to the more introspective end of The Elephant Six posse, but The Dying Californian are in a league of their own..." -Splendidezine.com

dealership
Dealership Pure Of Heart mp3
"an irresistible blend of punk, sugar sweet twee, and breakneck beats...simultaneously fun and intelligent" - Venus

track star
Track Star The One We Play mp3
"Its...tunes range from sedate ditties to sublimely poppy rockers that whiz by in a brief yet blissful 30 minutes" -CMJ

nervous and the kid
Nervous and the Kid Stoned Ponies mp3
"Their music has elicited comparisons to rock groups such as the Velvet Underground or Neutral Milk Hotel, to folk and county outfits such as the Carter Family or Palace Brothers"

Download more at the Turn Records website

Also...


Check out Austin, TX, based Indie Interviews, where you can download mp3s of interviews w/ indie bands, such as the Wrens and Midlake. Pretty cool idea, and it'll be interesting to see if it catches on. I hope it does.

If you haven't heard Dungen yet, this song is a great place to start. I got the U.S. release of "ta det lugnt" recently, and it is amazing. Here you go, courtesy of Filter:

Dungen
Panda mp3

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The Long Winters


Download the great title track from the upcoming EP from The Long Winters, Ultimatum (out Oct. 11), at the Barsuk website. Highly recommended.

Bonus:

The Long Winters Blue Diamonds mp3 (also highly recommended)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Seventeen Evergreen

seventeen evergreen

If you live in or around San Francisco, I highly recommend that you attend the release party tomorrow night (Aug. 31) at The Rickshaw Stop for Seventeen Evergreen's debut album, "Life Embarrasses Me On Planet Earth". The album is exceptional, and is definitely one of the best debuts I've heard this year.

UPDATE: You can purchase "Life Embarrasses Me On Planet Earth" right here or here. Do it now! (thanks Caleb!) Listen:

Seventeen Evergreen
Music Is The Wine (follow link)

SF's Minipop and Japan's PINE*am will also be performing, and you should check these bands out too.

Minipop Sky Like mp3
PINE*am Do I Know You mp3

Also...



Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 4 came out today...I will be buying it after work and you should too. For serious.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Music is Happiness

In the next few weeks leading up to ACL, I thought I'd feature a few awesome bands from Austin, TX that you may or may not have heard yet. First up: The Octopus Project

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I'm not even going to attempt to describe The Octopus Project's electronica-driven glitch pop-rock hybrid, but I will let URB Magazine do it:

"The trio calls its music 'ambidextrous equipment failure junk-tronica' after the way it hooks up 'half-broken electronic shit all wrong'. However, this record is nowhere near as sloppy as they'd lead you to believe. Every strong is structured; some will fill a dancefloor, others are icy and emotive."

the Octopus Project

If you live in one of these towns, go seem them on their upcoming U.S. tour...you won't be disappointed.

If you can't make it to a show, buy the record or some other really cool merch (toys, t-shirts, wallets, etc.) here.

mp3

The Octopus Project Music Is Happiness
The Octopus Project The Adjustor

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Summer Is Almost Here

pas/cal and la laque
PAS/CAL and La Laque

Detroit's PAS/CAL and NYC's La Laque will release a split-12" vinyl single (buy it), featuring new tracks from both bands. The Romantic Air Recording Co. has made both tracks available for free download for a limited time. Both of these bands are great and I love both of these songs. Get them while they're hot:

PAS/CAL Summer Is Almost Here mp3
La Laque Secret mp3

And if you're in NYC tonight:

tonight at tonic

From PAS/CAL's Myspace page:


"We here at PAS/CAL/HQ are sick and tired of practically everything and plan to let it all out in the most bombastic of manners on the forsaken stage at TONIC, located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, this Saturday the 27th of August.

Fellow comrades of La Resistance include New York's frenchy hipsters La Laque and Philly's The Teeth."

Bonus mp3:

PAS/CAL The Bronzed Beach Boys mp3
PAS/CAL O Honey, We're Ridiculous mp3
La Laque La Sirene dort mp3 (.zip)

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More New Polyphonic Spree

photo by me

The Polyphonic Spree has two new tracks (both from the upcoming Thumbsucker soundtrack, out Sept. 13) available for streaming at their myspace page.

The band has a few big things coming up in the next couple of weeks: they open for Brian Wilson on Sept. 4th at the Hollywood Bowl, then play PETA's 25th Anniversary Gala in L.A. on Sept. 10th, before heading home to play The Granada here in Dallas on the 11th.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

You're My Top Special, Baby



Via Rolling Stone.com:

"Jack White pulls his black Ford pickup truck to the curb on a quiet, tree-lined street in his native Detroit and hits the 'play' button on the CD player in the cherry-red dashboard. He turns the volume up to deafening and grins proudly as howitzer-fire drumming and squeals of distorted guitar rattle the windshield. There are bursts of marimba, too, which sound like someone shaking a bag of bones. The singing is really just shouting, and the lyrics are kid stuff: "You're my top special, baby/Top! Top!" But the total effect is elementary, irresistible ecstasy.

Jack is playing "Top Special," a new White Stripes track recorded a week earlier with drummer Meg White -- who is sitting quietly in the back seat -- for a special Japanese single. The chorus, Jack says over the din, is a phrase popular with Japanese teens: "It basically means 'You're my best friend.'""

Download The White Stripes' "Top Special" here (via Prefix)

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New Buffalo

New Buffalo

I know this is my second post in a row on an Australian artist, but the new album from Australian singer-songwriter Sally Seltmann, aka New Buffalo, was released this week on Arts & Crafts, and I've been listening to it quite a bit (thanks to Jesse for the recommendation).

Aversion calls New Buffalo's music "sweet, chilling pop...more akin to Spiritualized or Black Box Recorder than Sarah McLachlan."

I would throw comparisons to Mirah, Bjork, and Beth Orton in there (for those of you who are into comparisons). Just a stunning collection of electronica/jazz tinged pop, especially for a debut LP.

New Buffalo Recovery
New Buffalo I've Got You and You've Got Me
New Buffalo Yes

Buy New Buffalo's Last Beautiful Day here

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nations By The River

Nations By The River

Australian "supergroup" Nations By The River is Luke Steele's (of The Sleepy Jackson) side project, and while not as good as The Sleepy Jackson (who are fu**ing awesome, and an amazing live band, by the way), they are definitely interesting and worth checking out.

Pitchfork says the band "conjures visions of some lost pocket of '60s social idealism, a wigwam village where men cultivate immense beards and women nurse infants in slings and everyone gathers around the campfire for early-evening sing-alongs" (ummm, okay), while Evolution of Media recommends the band for "fans of Bright Eyes, Iron & Wine and the Shins".

mp3 (courtesy of The Alternative)

Nations By The River

Nations By The River Boy
Nations By The River These Are The Times
Nations By The River Heart Attack Romance

Download an interview/live set the band did on Australia's Triple J

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This Saturday

Jim Yoshii Pile-Up

I'm hopefully going to see the Wrens this Saturday at Hailey's (c'mon Melissa!), and The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up (a band I've heard of but never really checked out before now) will be opening. They're on the same label as the Wrens, and I'm liking this track from their new album, Picks Us Apart. Check it out and let me know what you think:

The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up Silver Sparkler mp3

Listen to 3 more tracks from Picks Us Apart at the band's Myspace page
Buy the album at Absolutely Kosher's website

Bonus:

The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up Reckless Driving mp3
The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up Sleeping in the Crawlspace mp3

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Thee More Shallows

thee more shallows

San Francisco's Thee More Shallows is a band that has apparently been making the rounds of the blogosphere as of late, yet somehow they had managed to escape my attention until late last night. I downloaded these four tracks, and at first listen, I was instantly mesmerized, and compelled to listen again and again, especially to "2 a.m." I don't know, maybe I was just in a contemplative mood, but the immediacy of this track, driven by what sounds like a toy piano, is both haunting and beautiful. I will be buying this album. Highly recommended.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thee More Shallows 2 a.m.
Thee More Shallows Freshman Thesis
Thee More Shallows House Break
Thee More Shallows The Perfect Map

Buy Thee More Shallows' album, More Deep Cuts, here

Check out the awesome cover art of their UK EP:

thee more shallows

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Giant Drag

giant drag
Annie of Giant Drag is hot

Via Filter Magazine:

"It's not every day that a new band is mentioned in the same breath as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Mazzy Star, PJ Harvey, the Beach Boys and Nirvana. It's even rarer when it occurs in those bastions of hipster credibility." (read more)

The new band they are referring to is Giant Drag, whose new album, Hearts and Unicorns, comes out on Sept. 13. Listen:

Giant Drag This Isn't It mp3

Bonus: Listen to "Kevin Is Gay" from the new Giant Drag album at Filter

Listen to more tracks here

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DJ Shadow vs. Diplo

shadow
vs.
diplo

Diplo + Shadow = Megatroid Mix mp3 (43 minutes)

via Solesides...thanks to my boy Van Horn aka "Pinnacle of Evolution" (his self-appointed nickname) for the heads up

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New Polyphonic Spree

the spree

I mentioned the other day that Tim DeLaughter of the Polyphonic Spree scored the upcoming soundtrack to Thumbsucker. Well, he involved the whole band on a couple tracks, and here's a live version of one of them, as well as a live Beatles cover, courtesy of The Polyphonic Spree message board.

mp3 (follow link)

The Polyphonic Spree Move Away and Shine (live)
The Polyphonic Spree Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (live)

The Thumbsucker Soundtrack also features 3 unreleased Elliott Smith songs. Buy it here.

Bonus:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

View the Thumbsucker trailer here

completely unrelated:


I watched the Comedy Central roast of Pam Anderson the other night, and my girl Sarah Silverman stole the show. Check out the trailer for her upcoming film, "Jesus Is Magic", right here (NSFW!).

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Monday, August 22, 2005

New Broken Social Scene

"You need it now....then have it.
This was a hard album to let go of.
But it is done.
We were hoping that it would have taken longer before someone leaked it.....
but today is a beautiful day.
We are all confused and happy.....
We're grateful you are tracking us down
Go argue and go fall in love....
Either way, thanx for the support and thanx for the bullshit."

--excerpt of BSS's Kevin Drew addressing the internet leak of "Broken Social Scene" (read the whole thing here)

BSS

Broken Social Scene's upcoming self-titled LP (pre-order it now), due out in October, is already drawing mixed reviews...Some are calling it genius, while others find it slightly underwhelming. After only a couple listens, I can't say yet how I feel about the record as a cohesive whole, but I can say I really love this track. Entitled "Windsurfing Nation" (the original title of the album), it features Canadian indie-rapper k-os, and it is both chaotic and melodic in the way only BSS can be. There's a lot going on here, but somehow it all works.

Broken Social Scene Windsurfing Nation mp3 (follow link)

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New Go! Team Track

are you ready for more?

Here's a new track from The Go! Team's tour only EP, "Are You Ready For More?". Reminiscent of my favorite track from Thunder Lightning Strike ("Huddle Formation"), this track sounds like a cheerleading squad chanting over a 70's TV show theme song. Go see The Go! Team on their upcoming U.S. tour and pick up a copy of the new EP.

The Go! Team We Just Won't Be Defeated mp3

The Go! Team will be at Trees on Oct. 15

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Saturday Looks Good To Me

saturday looks good to me

I think I've mentioned this before, but I love Detroit, MI's Saturday Looks Good To Me. They are one of my favorite bands, and I don't really understand why they aren't huge already.

They have been described as "What The Beach Boys might have sounded like if they recorded in an underwater cove", sounding like "a warped vinyl copy of your favorite pop record played on one of those tan Fisher Price record players we all owned as kids".

To me, they sound like Belle & Sebastian if they were a '60's Motown band and Phil Spector was their producer. And that's a huge compliment. Listen:

slgtm

The Girl's Distracted mp3
Meet Me By The Water mp3

Get a couple more mp3s here

Bonus Detroit-ness:

Sufjan and Katrina Kerns sighting!

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Go Blue

go blue
Michigan's Heisman Hopefuls

The AP preseason poll has been released, and my team, The University Of Michigan Wolverines, came in at #4. I probably won't post on them as frequently as I did the Pistons during the NBA Playoffs (you're welcome), but I will post on them occasionally throughout the season, especially if they're doing well. For more indepth coverage of my boys, check out this great blog.

Bonus request (follow link):

leslie feist

Feist Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' Bout That Girl (Kinks cover)

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

twin cinema

new pornographers

Kill All Artists has posted "Stacked Crooked", the closing track from the new, New Pornographers album "Twin Cinema" (buy it) and it has me all worked up in anticipation of this album (out Tuesday, by the way).

Just his track description alone ("The vocal harmonies in this song really remind me of something The Zombies would have done, Odessey & Oracle era of course. I hear some surf-style Beach Boys in there, too, with the ooh-ing and the guitar twang. Plus, there's even some Sgt. Pepper trumpet. Truly epic stuff.") had me excited, and the song really delivers.

A.C. Newman can do no wrong in my eyes (if you don't have "The Slow Wonder" yet, buy it now and thank me later), and Twin Cinema is no exception. All right, enough talk, go download the song here.

And a couple bonus tracks from Twin Cinema (via Matador):

Use It mp3
Twin Cinema mp3

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Friday, August 19, 2005

The White Birch

Today's second post about a band named after a white plant (purely coincidental, by the way):

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Norway’s The White Birch is a slow-core trio who's piano-driven, contemplative, moody music has been described as "like Mark Kozelek putting Sigur Rós to sleep, equally paranoid and gentle. Like fire..." I've only heard these 3 tracks, and it is dark yet melodic, dreamy, and best listened to in the dark...

mp3

From the new album, "Come Up For Air", out Nov. 2005:

Your Spain

From the band's previous album, "Star Is Just A Sun":

Beauty King
Breathe

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You Could Be All You Ever Want In A Dream

thumbsucker

The film Thumbsucker (starring Vince Vaughn, Keanu Reeves, Benjamin Bratt, etc.; out Sept. 16), will feature new music from Tim Delaughter of the Polyphonic Spree, as well as unreleased tracks by Elliott Smith. Here are some words from the director of the film, Mike Mills (via Pitchfork):

"Mills (not the guy from R.E.M., by the way) found inspiration in the unlikeliest of places-- a Polyphonic Spree concert. As Mills told MTV.com, "[The show] really changed all the molecules in my body! Their performance just made me feel like, 'Why not be happy? Why aren't you choosing to be positive?' I walked out of the theater and [felt], 'That's what I want people to feel like in the film.'"

Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter dug into the project immediately, and eventually the band hammered out almost two dozen tracks for the film. The soundtrack to Thumbsucker hits shelves on September 13, complete with previously unreleased Polyphonic Spree material not heard in the film."

Listen to a preview here

Bonus Tim Delaughter: (follow link)

the spree

Tripping Daisy Sonic Bloom mp3
The Polyphonic Spree Soldier Girl (live) mp3

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The White Foliage

the white foliage

I discovered "avant-pop" duo (or trio?) The White Foliage while browsing around Where Is Helsinki? (a great new-ish blog by Samantha). They make charming lo-fi experimental pop that could be described as a combination of Iron & Wine-esque hushed vocals with more layered and lush instrumentation.

Well, turns out they're on the same label as the much blogged about Page France. The White Foliage describe themselves this way:

"Formed in late 2001, catalyzed by a mutual love for Neutral Milk Hotel, we traded tapes through the mail and built up a vast (or at least respectable) surplus of vaguely experimental pop...We’re just two kids with hundreds of miles of frozen tundra between us and the nearest scene. Only we’re the best band ever.

Download "Zurich (be still)" and listen to more tracks at the band's Purevolume page (I recommend "Dreams of the Silver Moon")

Zurich
Buy the album, Zurich, for only $8 here

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Buy this really cool t-shirt here

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

40 year old virgin

I'm taking the day off work tomorrow to go see this, because Steve Carell (The Daily Show, Anchorman, The Office) is fu**ing hilarious, and because that's how I roll. I don't even know what that means, but yeah, I'm going to see this tomorrow. Written and directed by Judd Apatow, who is responsible for one of my favorite TV shows ever (Freaks and Geeks, bitches!).

Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer calls the film "near-brilliant...astoundingly astute but also wondrously clever, written with more care and joy than any hundred comedies to come out of Hollywood in years". Now usually I don't give a shit what critics say, but Wilonsky hates just about every movie ever, so if he likes it, it's gotta be good. I'll let you know.

Also:

Head over to YANP where Matt has made available for download "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en" featuring The Arcade Fire, Karen O, Smoosh, Beck, and others. So awesome.

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The Hourly Radio

THR
The Hourly Radio

The Hourly Radio
is a band from Dallas that doesn't sound like they're from Dallas. If you're not from Dallas, you may have no idea what I'm talking about right now. How about this description of THR from Dallas Music Guide:

"Britpop evolved with Southern sentiment, their music is expansive, effusive, and beautiful...The radio-ready, The Strokes meets My Bloody Valentine, “Lost + Found” is pleasing pop waiting to be added to any playlist."

And Torr, who probably knows more about Britpop than you (or anyone else, for that matter), has been singing their praises for quite some time now. And if that's still not enough for you hipsters, according to the band's website they recently played a show at a Vice party in NYC w/ Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Download two new songs from The Hourly Radio:

Deaf Ears mp3
Closer mp3

Watch a short video clip by Torr for what is probably my favorite THR song, "Lost and Found"

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Rogue Wave--Descended Like Vultures

Rogue Wave
Poster by The Heads of State

The new Rogue Wave album, Descended Like Vultures, comes out October 25, and I already love it. Yeah, I know I say that about everything. But that's because I usually only post about stuff I love, so BACK OFF! Sorry about that. Anyway, this album is like, possibly "gorilla vs. bear top 10 of 2005" good, but don't take my word for it: listen to the first single from the album, 10:1 (mp3), and head over to More Cowbell, where Solace has posted his two favorite tracks from the album. And as a bonus, here's my favorite track so far...I think (well, it's either this one or "Catform"):

Rogue Wave You mp3 (follow link)
(such an amazing song)

Buy the 10:1 EP here
Be like me and order this shirt
Buy Rogue Wave's debut LP Out Of The Shadow here

Also...

Brandon from Love as Laughter (another SubPop band I really like) was in a very serious car accident, and he and his wife were badly injured. If you would like to help, please go here and make a donation.

Love as Laughter In Amber mp3

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New Brendan Benson Song (sort of)

I'm Brendan

For some unexplicable reason, I don't think I've devoted an entire post to Brendan Benson yet. He's one of my favorite artists, and one of his 3 LP's is always in rotation either on my iPod or in my car. Plus he's from Detroit. And as if I needed an actual excuse to post on him, here's one: he has posted a new mix of his song "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" from his latest album, Alternative To Love (buy it) on his MySpace page--I knew MySpace was good for something. Anyway, here it is:

Brendan Benson
Cold Hands, Warm Heart (Chris Shaw mix) mp3

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It's the Remix



I know the mashup is a tired, played-out genre in most cases, but there are a couple innovators (namely Diplo and Z-trip) who can still make it interesting. The Elektrobank collective (Fake ID, LionelVinyl) is another crew who can combine two seemingly incompatible songs and turn them into something new, and while they may be disposable, they're worth at least a listen or two. Check these out:

Kylie vs. Mark Ronson Sloooweee (recommended)
Shapeshifters vs. Busta vs. Daft Punk Danger, Hard Lola
Missy vs. Air Kelly Wash the Cars

Additional Fake ID remixes:

Annie Chewing Gum (Juicy Fruit mix)
The Faint Agenda Suicide (Fake Agenda mix)

and one more mashup:

Interpol vs. Dizzee Rascal Live Stand Up (mcsleazy bootleg)

and because this song just hasn't been remixed enough:

Gwen Stefani vs. South Rakkas Crew Bionic Girl (DJ Skeletor mix)

and a 45 minute long Baile funk/mashup thing:

DJ Sujinho I Love Baile Funk

Also...

What are you guys' thoughts on this thing?

everybody's a fu**ing DJ

It comes out in October, and while I realize it's probably not a legitimate form of DJ'ing, it may be fun to play w/. Think it's worth $400?? (get a close-up view of it here)

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The Most Serene Republic

The Most Serene Republic

The newest band to sign on to the greatness that is Canada's Arts & Crafts collective (joining Broken Social Scene, Stars, Apostle of Hustle, etc.), The Most Serene Republic creates indie pop in the same vein as the other bands on their label. And while they don't come anywhere close to BSS quite yet, they do show promise on their debut single, "Content Was Always My Favorite Color".

PopMatters says about the song:

"The beat combined with frontman Adrian Jewett's fey, Gibbard-esque vocal stylings invites all too easy comparisons to The Postal Service. But it's in the unpredictability where The MSR really shines. From that moment of the unavoidable reference point, the song mutates, incorporating seemingly out of place acoustic guitar and handclaps. It's this volatile side of the group's sound that makes it stand out more. "

The Most Serene Republic Content Was Always My Favorite Color (via Insound)

Bonus:

Also via Insound:

Grandaddy Pull The Curtains mp3
(i love this new Grandaddy EP)

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New Bloc Party Track

bloc party

Here's the new song from Bloc Party that's been floating around...pretty good stuff.

Two More Years mp3 (follow link)

And in case you don't already have it...the new Franz Ferdinand song:

Do You Want To mp3 (follow link)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Happy Bullets

the happy bullets
The Happy Bullets

You guys know how much I love breezy, shimmery indie-pop, and The Happy Bullets, from Dallas, TX, make damn near perfect indie-pop songs. Forget for a second that they're from Dallas, so I may be a little biased...these guys hold their own w/ the best of them: if you're a fan of The Shins, The Kinks (and who isn't?), or any of the poppier Elephant 6 bands (Of Montreal, Apples In Stereo), I'm pretty sure you'll dig these guys.

the vice and virtue ministry

Released on Dallas' own Undeniable Records, the band's debut LP, "The Vice and Virtue Ministry" can be purchased here (highly recommended!)

mp3 (follow link)

The Vice and Virtue Ministry
If You Were Mine
A Momentary Vision At The End Of The World...

The Happy Bullets open for Mates of State on Sept. 25 @ Hailey's.

Other Dallas music stuff...

Head over to Good Records tonight at 7 PM for Salim Nourallah's "Beautiful Noise" release party...free food, beer, and an acoustic performance by Salim.

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... ...