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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Birdmonster: live & acoustic

(photo credit)

Thanks to Ryan from Spokane 7 for making us aware of this live and acoustic Birdmonster song, the "hee-haw version" of the title track from the new album (is that Zach on the banjo?? edit: nope, it's Justin). Beautiful work, guys.

Birdmonster No Midnight (acoustic) mp3

Head over to Spokane 7 now for more great stuff from Birdmonster and Division Day, including iPod ready video footage and more acoustic tracks.


Check out Good Hodgkins'exhaustive analysis of all 8,468 album reviews in Pitchforkmedia.com history. The funniest one, according to Good Hodgkins, can be found here.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006


The more I listen to Chulahoma, The Black Keys' new mini-LP of Junior Kimbrough covers, the more I think it might be the best thing the Akron duo has ever recorded. The record comes out Tuesday (May 2), but you can download the entire thing right now, exclusively on eMusic, for free with your 50 Free Download trial offer.

Here's the song that originally got me into The Black Keys, who are now one of my favorite live bands. Ironically, other than being extremely soulful, this track has little in common with most of the Keys' other work:

The Black Keys The Lengths mp3


This is definitely the funniest thing I've seen all day. Of course, it's only 9 am. But it's pretty damn funny.

Read Chuck Klosterman's 100% accurate take on why The Houston Texans will, in about two hours, make a franchise-cursing move by picking freaking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush with the first pick in the NFL Draft. Unbelievable. They're going to take the wrong guy. If there are any Houston Texans fans left after this (which isn't likely), they're going to be pissed.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

the theater fire

"...a gorgeous trek down country, soul, folk and Latin paths all at once, and there's nary a plugged-in instrument to crowd out the horns, mandolins, washboards and accordions."--Dallas Observer

With "influences ranging from The Velvet Underground to George Jones", The Theater Fire is what Texas Music should sound like, but rarely does. Their sound is a spellbinding fusion of folk, country, mariachi, and rock, wrapped in themes of death, guilt, and isolation. Perhaps the Fort Worth Weekly put it best: "It sounds at once urban and rustic, modern and very, very old."

And while I'm a fan of their self-titled debut album, the songs I've heard from the new LP, Everybody Has a Dark Side, have left me reeling, desperate to hear more. Luckily, for myself and everyone else in Dallas, the band plays tonight at Lee Harvey's. Edit: show cancelled due to shitty weather.

Undeniable Records will release Everybody Has a Dark Side on May 9th. Pre-orders will be shipped May 5th.

Befriend The Theater Fire on myspace

gorilla vs. bear favorite Red Hunter is also a big fan of the band. Read his take on their sound here.


Thighs Wide Shut has the mp3 from the very cool Jack White Coke ad.

Indie Interviews has posted part two of their interview with TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone.

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livin' thing

I'm about to head into a "meeting" (that's what they call it around here when we go into a small room to sit around and stare at each other), so in lieu of an actual post, I'm going to introduce you to a couple of blogs that have recently caught my eye:

an "awesome tape from africa"

Funky 16 Corners is a goldmine of obscure and rare soul from the '50s, '60s, and '70s, and Awesome Tapes From Africa...well, that one's self-explanatory. Ch-check em out.


Here's my current favorite song, in case you were wondering:

ELO Livin' Thing mp3

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

the audience's listening

Here's a new track from Cut Chemist's (best known for his work with Jurassic 5 and DJ Shadow) new LP, The Audience's Listening. Cut Chemist is one of the world's best DJs/producers, and this jam is indicative of his innovative and unique style:

Cut Chemist The Storm (feat. Edan & Mr. Lif) mp3

The Audience's Listening comes out June 13th


Indie Interviews has posted part one of their interview with Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio. I was around for part of this one, and Kyp is a very interesting dude, so check it out.


Gnarls Barkley
Myspace.com secret show
Friday April 28
The Roxy
Doors 7pm
Showtime 730pm
-band will perform a 35 minute set
-this will be a free show, first come, first served basis

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I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not too familiar with Os Mutantes, but when they were announced as part of the Pitchfork Festival lineup, I figured I'd better educate myself. Luckily, Marathonpacks hooked me up with a history lesson.

This song in particular has been in constant rotation over the last few days, and it's safe to assume it will start making regular appearances in my future DJ sets:

Os Mutantes A Minha Menina mp3


Speaking of Marathonpacks: today, they give us one of the cooler blog posts I've seen in some time: the Talking Heads' complete 1975 CBS Demos. Amazing stuff.

an integral part of the Pistons' playoff run

In NBA Playoff news, the Pistons and Mavs continue on their collision course to meet in the 2006 NBA Finals, with each taking commanding 2-0 leads in their respective first-round series. I guaranteed a Detroit-Dallas Finals at the beginning of the season, so you heard it here first. Of course, I've guaranteed a Detroit-Dallas Finals for the past 5 years, but that's beside the point.

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tapes 'n tapes sign with label


I spoke with our good friends Tapes 'n Tapes today, and they finally spilled the good news about their new label/home. So who's it going to be, guys?

"Ok, (we're) signing with XL...They're going to re-issue The Loon sometime in July and it will also come out on vinyl sometime this summer."

For the uninformed, XL is home to a diverse roster which includes M.I.A., Devendra Banhart, The Raconteurs, Dizzee Rascal, and more. There is speculation that Tapes plans on consuming exorbitant amounts of alcohol to celebrate, but that cannot be confirmed at press time. The band plays two Chicago dates this weekend, one with the motherfu**ing Wrens. Nicely done, guys. I'm proud of you.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

saturday looks good to me

"For the past five years, Saturday Looks Good to Me has been releasing irresistible pop nuggets that magically bridge the gaps between the Beach Boys and Jesus and Mary Chain, Motown and the Happy Mondays, and Phil Spector and My Bloody Valentine"
--Delusions of Adequacy

Betty Marie Barnes (photo by Grambo)

If you've read this blog from the beginning, you know I'm a huge fan of Detroit's Saturday Looks Good To Me. The band's new release, Sound on Sound, is an outstanding collection of "12 EPs, 7-inches, singles, and tour CDs, all limited, sold-out and highly sought after by fans", and is a perfect introduction for those not familiar with the band's '60's AM radio sound.

Here are a couple songs from Sound on Sound. If you like these, I can highly recommend purchasing the album here, or downloading it with your 50 Free Download Trial Offer from eMusic.

Saturday Looks Good To Me Lift Me Up mp3
Saturday Looks Good To Me Can't Ever Sleep mp3

bonus: (not on the album)

Saturday Looks Good To Me Meet Me by the Water mp3

read Delusions of Adequacy's full review of Sound on Sound here

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The Carrots

The Carrots

Austin's The Carrots have been called a "post girl-band girl-band", and let's face it, they have some factors working against them being taken seriously. First of all, they're named after a vegetable. Then there's the fact that they could be considered somewhat of a gimmick, what with the matching outfits and the fact that they play '50's-style doo-wop.

Luckily for them (and us), however, they do an amazing job of capturing the spirit and essence of the original girl-groups of the '50's and early '60's, like Martha and the Vandellas, The Ronettes, The Crystals, and The Shirelles, often covering some of these bands' hits in their live set (which I hear is great).

Here are a couple songs from The Carrots' myspace page:

The Carrots Beverly mp3
The Carrots Kissing & Telling mp3


The Ronettes Be My Baby mp3

Man, I made it through a whole post without mentioning how hot The Carrots' lead singer is. Awesome.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


This evening, Stereogum premieres an exclusive new song from Sufjan Steven's The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album. And guess what, haters and naysayers? It's not boring. In fact, it would have fit nicely on Illinoise.


SubPop has released their Acquired Taste DVD, featuring 25 videos from some of their best bands, including The Shins, Rogue Wave, Wolf Parade, Iron & Wine, and oh so many more. Peep the tracklist and buy it here for only 10 bucks.

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Be Your Own Pet (photo: Andrew Kendall)

This is the kind of thing I usually find really annoying. Be Your Own Pet are teenagers from Nashville who make noisy, angsty, aggressive garage punk/pop. But there's something authentic about these kids that is really endearing, and, for lack of a better word, fun. Plus, frontwoman Jemina Pearl is a total badass. Enjoy this track from BYOP's upcoming self-titled LP, due out 6/6/06.

Be Your Own Pet Adventure mp3

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Soul Position

C-Bus' finest, RJD2 and Blueprint, are back with their second LP as Soul Position. The new record, Things Go Better With RJ and AL, was released earlier this month. Hip Hop DX calls it "best album (we've) heard in 2006", and even notorious hater Byron Crawford likes it.

On this track, the album's first single, RJD2 combines blaring horns over a slinky bassline to create the best beat on the album, and Blueprint drops his signature socially conscious (if a little heavy-handed) lyrics. Highly recommended:

Soul Position Hand Me Downs mp3

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Monday, April 24, 2006

movie monster

Here's the title track from Sound Team's upcoming LP, due out in June on Capitol:

Sound Team Movie Monster mp3

You know how I feel about Sound Team. Read The Tripwire's review of the album here.

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Head over to Indie Interviews to get an exclusive cover of Blondie's "Shayla", performed acoustically by Voxtrot frontman Ramesh Srivastava. Recorded live in Denton on Friday night. In Garrison's car.

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TV On The Radio: Live in Dallas

Last night's TV On The Radio and Celebration show was a collaborative affair, with members of TVOTR joining Celebration on stage, and Katrina Ford of Celebration returning the favor during their set. This was one of the more exciting, powerful shows I've seen in a long time, and I'm still not quite sure how TVOTR puts that much heart and soul onto the stage every single night. The new songs were amazing, and "Wolf Like Me" is officially my frontrunner for song of the year.

Adam's mind being blown

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Sunday, April 23, 2006


We're very excited this morning, because we're going to see TV on the Radio and Celebration tonight at the Gypsy Tearoom. So, your loosely related jam of the day comes from twins Aku and Akwetey O.T., aka Dragons of Zynth. The Dragons are not only friends of TVOTR and Celebration, they also assisted TVOTR on the genius new album, and Dave Sitek and Kyp Malone produced the Dragons' "psycotropically astonishing" debut album, due out this year. Further, an upcoming "New Gothic Soul" collabo with Massive Attack(!) is currently in the works.

Dragons of Zynth Afrospliffs (feat. Notorious B.I.G.) mp3

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Voxtrot: Live in Denton


Here are some photos from last night's Voxtrot show, which, as you'll be able to tell, turned into an on-stage party by night's end. The Denton crowd was great, and the band even seemed a little surprised by how receptive they were. Great sets by Bosque Brown, Tacks, the Boy Disaster, and Irving, too.

Bosque Brown

Evan of Tacks, the Boy Disaster

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Friday, April 21, 2006

new clouds

Spiral Beach sound kind of like a trip to the beach (duh), a play in the park, a roll in the grass, and laughing your ass off at the clouds --Wavelength

Commenter Kayin tells us that Spiral Beach opened for Voxtrot/Irving on the Canadian leg of their current tour, and he/she adds that they "blew my mind". Can anyone else confirm/deny the mind-blowing abilities of this band? I've heard a couple songs, and I am fairly intrigued:

Spiral Beach New Clouds mp3

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car trouble

Voxtrot will hopefully make their way to Hailey's in Denton tonight, with fellow Austinites Tacks, The Boy Disaster and L.A.'s Irving in tow. You see, Voxtrot has been plagued by a bit of a curse the last few times they've been scheduled to play in North Texas, and have had to alter or cancel their shows here twice in the last couple of months. And of course, they're having van trouble again, currently stuck in Lawrence, KS. They had to cancel their show in Oklahoma last night, but band management assures us the band will make it. Unless the van breaks down again, of course.

And even if you're a Voxtrot hater (yeah, i'm talking to you again anonymous), then Tacks and Irving will still be well worth your 3 bucks.

Here's a track from Irving's new album, Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers:

Irving Jen, Nothing Matters to Me mp3

Want to win a signed copy of Irving's album? Enter by leaving your prediction of who will be the 2006 Major League Baseball home run champion in the comments. I'll pick my favorite prediction, and if you have no idea who's going to win, just guess Albert Pujols.

UPDATE: Voxtrot got the van up and running, and are on the highway. And Bosque Brown is also playing, which is good news (thanks, anonymous).

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Elvis vs. Elvis

Tapes 'n Tapes with new bassist Erik Applewick (photo credit)

The Rock 'n Roll Star reports that Tapes 'n Tapes debuted their new lineup last night in a secret show at a Minneapolis bar under the clearly gorilla vs. bear-influenced moniker Elvis vs. Elvis. Read all about it here.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

so far

Said the Gramophone's Sean has posted his top 5 albums of the year thus far, and in doing so he's inspired me to think about my favorites of '06 so far. And because we believe in quantity over quality here at gorilla vs. bear, we're going to do our top 8, in no particular order. Of course, I'm probably forgetting some, and if you ask us tomorrow it could be totally different, but we really, really like these:

Destroyer Destroyer's Rubies
Midlake The Trials of Van Occupanther
Sunset Rubdown Shut Up, I Am Dreaming
The Knife Silent Shout
Birdmonster No Midnight
Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
Beirut Gulag Orkestar
Ghostface Fishscale

As StG also points out, Beirut has made a couple more tracks from his wonderful Gulag Orkestar available on his website. I've been enthralled by his work with since I first heard his demos back in February.

Beirut Mt. Wroclai (Idle Days) mp3

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lovers who uncover

I had a lengthy discussion with a Rock Insider yesterday who told me that The Little Ones were here newest obsession. She has pointed me in the direction of some good bands from LA in the past, so I decided to check them out. Of course, always being one step ahead of me, Matt posted on them today as well, and Yeti, Rachael, Janet, and Coolfer are also fans.

At any rate, I'm glad I found them, because I've been looking for something like this to tide me over until I get the new album from The Shins...even their EP cover art is Chutes Too Narrow-esque. This track, upon a few listens, reminds me quite a bit of The Spinto Band's "Oh Mandy", one of the catchiest songs of '05:

The Little Ones Lovers who Uncover mp3

purchase the bands Sing Song EP here


The Spinto Band Oh Mandy mp3

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

best news all day

I just read that Beck will be touring the U.S. with Jamie Lidell this summer, and that their first stop (nevermind) they will be in Dallas on June 21. If you've seen Jamie and/or Beck play before, you know this is a perfect pairing. See you there.

Beck Which Will mp3 (Nick Drake cover)
Jamie Lidell Multiply (Gonzales remix) mp3


If you have an iPod Video, or even if you don't, I highly recommend hitting up Videoteque, one of my favorite new blogs. In addition to having an awesome banner (see above), they've currently got iPod compatible videos from The Knife, Sigur Ros, The Streets, and tons more.

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come on and say it here

Tanakh is Jesse Poe and an ever-revolving ensemble of musicians from Italy (via Richmond, VA). I was introduced to them by the lovely Lady Byrd, who expressed her love for the band here.

Tanakh's new album, Ardent Fevers, is a gorgeous collection of Neil Young/Tim Buckley-influenced psych pop that recently received a very positive Pitchfork review, which described the band's sound as "stubbornly indefinable." This song, with its sad horns and "front-porch guitars", is as hopeful as it is melancholy, recalling "Beck from his Sea Change period."

Tanakh Drink to Sher mp3

Purchase Ardent Fevers here

The band is currently touring the U.S. Who Needs Radio has the dates.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

with wolves

We love J Tillman here at gorilla vs. bear. We love him so much, in fact, that his album, Long May You Run, J Tillman, is one of our favorite records of 2006 thus far. Hopefully you own one of the 100 copies that were printed, because it's sold out.

At any rate, when we found out he has two new songs from his upcoming Minor Works available on his myspace page, we had to share one.

J Tillman With Wolves mp3

J Tillman is so great, in fact, that he was recently interviewed by none other than Jesus. Read that interview in its entirety here.

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The Shins to play 2006 ACL Fest

Today's ACL Scavenger Hunt clue:

"This band was once called Flake"

I thought they were called "Flake Music", but what do I know? Either way, they're confirmed to play the ACL Fest, and I am glad.

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Neko Case: Live in Dallas

We endured what is possibly Dallas' lamest venue last night to see the lovely Neko Case, and she made it all worthwhile. Highlights included Neko ripping the city of Houston ("We'd never fucking play Houston...because Eddie Money lives there, and he's a fucking mean guy"), a goosebump-inducing version of my favorite track from Fox Confessor Brings the Flood ("Maybe Sparrow"), and a foot-stomping cover of Dylan's "Buckets of Rain".

I also picked up a copy of Neko's amazing tour-only EP, Canadian Amp, which includes this Neil Young cover:

Neko Case Dreaming Man mp3

If Neko comes through your town, it's worth the price of admission just for the chance to get this EP. Here are some photos of the lovely Ms. Case (click for larger image):


Download Neko Case's wonderful album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, with your no strings attached 50 Free Download Trial from emusic.

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