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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Best of May

It's a somewhat short "Best of" list this time, based more on the fact that I'm strapped for time than the quality of music I posted this month. The recurring theme in this month's list is "Bands I'd never heard of before this month". Enjoy:

Another Eccentric Soul release, another amazing album. This time Numero Group compiled tracks from Detroit's Big Mack Label to explore the "oil stained underside of the Motor City Sound". That "Sugar" Jones track is unbelievably hot.
This French band sort of came out of nowhere (for me at least), but I'm really enjoying their brand of "shit-kicking electropunk". Especially this song.
Utterly hypnotic. Generally not a fan of music that makes me sleepy, but that voice and the fact that I don't understand a word she's saying induces daydreams everytime.
Martin Crane (of Austin band Ink) is going to be releasing some solo stuff in the near future. Do yourself a favor and remember the name, because it's going to be great.
Dude she's 4 years old.
A commenter the other day said if I rolled up next to her playing this song in my car, she'd think I was gay.
Minneapolis is blowing up lately. These guys have been compared to Malkmus and Thin Lizzy, and this track just oozes "summertime".
  • Soul Jazz Records Presents Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound
Every single track on this amazing comp is worthy of being on my Best of May list. Buy it here.

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gorilla vs. bear on SIRIUS: tonight at 10

After hearing Brooklyn Vegan's show last night on SIRIUS Left of Center's Blog Radio, I now realize that I've got my work cut out for me. Dave sounded like a pro as he led us through a 2-hour retrospective of the beginning of his blog, dropping tracks from Joanna Newsom, Broken Social Scene, Fiery Furnaces and more (view his complete tracklist here).

Make sure to tune in tonight at 10 Eastern (9 Central) to SIRIUS Left of Center to hear my broadcasting debut. Just keep in mind, this is my broadcasting debut. Don't have SIRIUS yet? Sign up for a free trial at sirius.com so you can listen.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

occult hymn

DangerDoom's Occult Hymn EP

Big ups to Adult Swim for hooking us up with a free/legal download of DangerDoom's Occult Hymn EP.

MP3: DangerDoom--Occult Hymn EP:

1. Skit 1
2. El Chupa Nibre Remix
3. Perfect Hair II
4. Korn Dogs
5. Skit 2
6. Sofa King Remix
7. Space Ho's (Madlib Version)

For those of you that prefer your free EPs in handy .zip form:

DangerDoom Occult Hymn EP .zip

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the heart attack

I mentioned Cee-Lo Green's collaboration with Plantlife's Jack Splash about a month ago, and now more tracks have surfaced from the duo, in the form of an extremely limited sampler CD that was apparently included with some early copies of the Gnarls Barkley album. Originally referred to as Lovestink, the pair is apparently now known as The Heart Attack, which based on the songs I've heard, isn't as serious as it sounds. This song is a straight up feel-good '70s style soul jam that would have worked great as a '70s TV show theme.

The Heart Attack Right Now mp3

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i'm tired of being sexy

Cansei De Ser Sexy

I'm fully aware that I'm painfully late to the Cansei De Ser Sexy party. But the new Sub Pop signees are so irresistable, I'd be remiss if I failed to at least mention them here. How can you not love a band made up of six pretense-free, pop culture-obsessed Brazilian girls (and a male drummer) that sound a little like what would happen if you let Smoosh hang out with Le Tigre, and they all went to a party at Mu's house, inhaled a bunch of helium balloons, and made some dance anthems?

Cansei De Ser Sexy Meeting Paris Hilton
Cansei De Ser Sexy Let's Make Love and Listen Death from Above


Cansei De Ser Sexy I Wanna be Your J-Lo

Cansei De Ser Sexy's self-titled LP will be released on Sub Pop on July 11. Check the band's myspace page for video of the girls, um, inhaling a bunch of helium balloons and speaking Porteguese. Hot.

Cansei De Ser Sexy will be playing day 2 of the Pitchfork Music Festival, and I will be there front and center.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

London, London


A reader who obviously knows more about the current state of Brazilian music than I suggested that I take a listen to The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves, the new album from Sao Paolo's Cibelle. Cibelle, who has drawn numerous comparisons to Bebel Gilberto, combines classic Brazilian styles (samba, bossa nova, tropicalia) with downtempo electronica (she's worked with Morcheeba and Apollo 9). The result is a ridiculously sexy, often stunning work, featuring guest turns from Seu Jorge, Tunng, Devendra Banhart, and others.

This song, a playful duet with Devendra Banhart, was "written by Brazilian hero/star Caetano Veloso while he was living in forced exile in London during the early '70s":

Cibelle London, London (feat. Devendra Banhart) mp3

Download The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves with your 50 Free Download trial from eMusic. Other recommended tracks include "Arrete La, Menina" (feat. Seu Jorge) and "Mad Man Song" (feat. Spleen).

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

yeah yeah yeah

I got the new Prototypes album in the mail today, and based on the hot Karen O-looking girl on the cover (Isabel Le Doussal aka "Bubble Star"), and the fact that the press material describes the band's sound as "shit-kicking electropunk", I decided to give it a listen. I was immediately hooked by this, the first track from the album. It's everything electropunk should be: loud, catchy, danceable, and sung by a hot French girl. I can assure you that this song will be making an appearance in my next DJ set.

Prototypes je ne te connais pas mp3

Check out the Prototypes on Mintyfresh, and be the band's friend here.

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I went vinyl shopping today for the first time in a few months, and I spent tons of time digging through the dollar bin trying to find some gently-worn LPs that no one else wanted. I came across Nancy Sinatra's Sugar, and I figured the cover art alone was worth a buck. And at the very least, a Saturday afternoon post here on the blog (Kevin suggested making the "Dollar Album of the Week" a regular post...not a bad idea).

While this is by no means Nancy Sinatra's best album, there are definitely some hidden gems, including a duet with her pops ("Somethin' Stupid") and this little ditty:

Nancy Sinatra Coastin' mp3

The moral of the story: hit up your local record store's dollar bins. For those of you that are sans turntable, you can download Sugar on emusic with your 50 Free Download trial.

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Friday, May 26, 2006


I've had a few requests for more some recommendations on Brazilian music, so here we go. The fact there's been sort of a lull in the last few weeks in new releases has contributed to me listening almost exclusively to the Eccentric Soul albums and Soul Jazz Records' Tropicalia compilation. Now, I'm no expert on Brasil's Tropicalia movement; I actually know next to nothing about it. But I can't even begin to express how much I love this compilation of genius Brazilian psych-pop. It hasn't left my car since the day I got it, and it's helped me understand where a ton of my favorite artists (Beck, namely) are coming from. My only complaint is that at 20 tracks, it's too short. I am dying to hear more of this stuff, and it's already led to my purchases of about 5 of the individual artists' records. One thing I do know for sure: this is an ideal primer on the history of Tropicalia for those who would like an entry point into the genre.

Tom Ze Gloria mp3
Gilberto Gil Bat Macumba mp3

purchase Tropicalia here

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

traditional media linky

A couple of noteworthy links for your mid-evening interweb surfing pleasure:

My man Luke Winn from Sports Illustrated continues to support great music (Sound Team, Midlake) and slightly-above average blogs in his Inside College Basketball column. Trust me, Winn and his column get more traffic than the somewhat insular blogosphere, so he's essentially introducing these bands to a whole new crowd. Thanks, man, it's much appreciated.

Also, VH1's Best Week Ever is searching for bands for its Soundtrack to The Best Week Ever podcast. Before you scream "sell-out", consider the fact that BWE offers one of the few intelligent, funny, relevant perspectives on pop culture in the world today. Plus, your music will get heard by like a million people, and Paul Scheer rules, so there's that too. Bands, submit your music here.

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Teenage Symphony

Teenage Symphony

I have a new favorite local band (Plano represent), and their name is Teenage Symphony. Forget for a second that their list of influences happens to read like my iPod's "Most Played" list (the Zombies, Beach Boys, Elliott Smith, The Kinks, etc.). Their unique, almost paradoxical style of haunting, lo-fi symphonic pop feels both huge and extremely intimate; it's also seemingly joyful at times, and impossibly sad at others. Dallas blog We Shot J.R. describes them as "a Spacemen 3 marching band fronted by people with a Brian Wilson fetish", and the band seemed to like that description, so we'll go with that. Expect to hear much more from these guys.

Teenage Symphony Our Sad Prayer (demo) mp3
Teenage Symphony Lucky mp3

befriend Teenage Symphony at their myspace page



  • Salon offers up some Senegalese hip-hop from Daara J:
Daara J Boomerang mp3

Cam'ron Do Ya Thing (Remix) mp3

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

way out

Ellen Allien & Apparat

Before you leave a comment telling me that I don't know shit about IDM/electro, I'll go ahead and say it for you. I know nothing about it. Some of it I like--The Knife's Silent Shout is one of my favorite records of the year--but most of it, I can't stand. With that said, I love what I've heard from Orchestra of Bubbles, the new Ellen Allien & Apparat record. I'm becoming increasingly impressed by artists that are able to create this organic-feeling, affecting, melodic pop music out of nothing but electronic textures and glitches. On this, one of the few vocal tracks on the album, Allien's distant voice somehow manages to be both engaging and a little cold. See, I told you I don't know what I'm talking about.

Ellen Allien & Apparat Way Out mp3

buy Orchestra of Bubbles here

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eccentric soul

I recently discovered (thanks to Del) the new Eccentric Soul record, featuring music from the little-known Big Mack Label (out yesterday). This record, consisting of 19 Motown tracks never before issued on CD, is honestly some of the coolest shit I've heard in quite some time, and not just because it's from Detroit. I've listened to that Ms. Tyree "Sugar" Jones track about 10 times today alone. This is the kind of find I get really excited about, and I can't see many people not liking this, no matter what your musical tastes.

Performers Mini-skirt mp3
Ms. Tyree "Sugar" Jones If You Feel It mp3

purchase Eccentric Soul: The Big Mack Label here
(obviously very highly recommended)


From the previous Eccentric Soul release, featuring tracks from Miami's Deep City Label.

Them Two Am I a Good Man mp3

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sound Team: Live in Dallas

Sound Team's show last night at Gyspy turned into more of a dance party, due in no small part to circumstances surrounding the evening. The band graciously waited for the final seconds to tick off the clock in the Mavericks game 7 overtime victory against the Spurs before launching into their set, and the appreciative crowd responded in kind. They proceeded to tear through most of the upcoming Movie Monster LP, mixed in a few older favorites, and played an amazing new song with the working title of either "Poppyseed Muffin" or "Suckerpunch", depending on who you ask. Non-stop touring has served the Sound Team well, as they seemed to have developed quite the stage prescence, and they sounded as tight as ever. Here are some Polaroids for your viewing pleasure:

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summer here kids

I don't know about where you live, but it's already getting ridiculously hot in here. My boy Eric recently got me thinking about my essential summer jams, and summer is the best time of the year (even in the oppressive Texas heat). So naturally, here's my breezy pop/hip-hop-heavy summer mixtape. This is by no means intended to be a definitive mix, just the songs that feel like summer to me; feel free to leave your additions and/or subtractions in the comments.

the gorilla vs. bear Summer Mixtape .zip (67.8 mb)

track list:

1. the zombies--care of cell 44
2. the flaming lips--race for the prize (remix)
3. caetano veloso--alfomega
4. a tribe called quest--award tour
5. camp lo--luchini (this is it)
6. jurassic 5--jayou
7. spoon--small stakes
8. wu-tang clan--C.R.E.A.M.
9. broken social scene--7/4 (shoreline)
10. grandaddy--A.M. 180
11. beulah--if we can land a man on the moon, surely i can win your heart
12. brendan benson--tiny spark
13. a.c. newman--miracle drug
14. jack white--what goes around (coke ad)
15. john lennon--oh yoko
16. sufjan stevens--chicago

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the defining moment of Dirk's career

Dirk got it done, and Mike Finley reminded Dallas fans why we weren't all that sad to see him go. Bring on the Suns/Clippers.

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Monday, May 22, 2006


Couple of notable events this evening: The Mavs take on the San Antonio Spares in the deciding game of their series, and Sound Team performs at the Gypsy Tearoom. I'm definitely going to watch the game, but the show depends on my mood afterward. I don't know if I'll be able to take it if the Spurs steal this series.



This track (via Brooklyn Vegan) is one of the most bizarre, disorienting pieces of music I've heard in quite some time. Okay, to be honest, it's scary. Bjork chanting, "the rose has teeth, in the mouth of the beast" is likely to give me nightmares for weeks. But upon repeat listens, this song has become increasingly hypnotic and awesome. Someone please play this for Tim Duncan and/or Tony Parker during pre-game warmups. I guarantee it would make them cry.

Matmos feat. Bjork Roses & Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein mp3

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maybe next year

Thanks to everyone who showed "concern" (premature trash-talking, etc.) regarding the Pistons second-round scare against the Cavs Lebron James, but as I've stated before, I was never really worried. Now if the Mavs can finish up the Spurs tonight, we can begin the mere formalities that are the Conference Finals, and get on with the real draw: the inevitable Detroit-Dallas Finals matchup.


Adult Swim has made the second track from the upcoming DangerDoom remix EP available for free/legal download:

DangerDoom Sofa King (remix) mp3

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Frozen Feet

I told you it was only a matter of time before the world took note of Tacks, the Boy Disaster. The Austin boys were recently featured on Fluxblog (recently named Entertainment Weekly's 10th best music website), and they've apparently finished mastering at least a few tracks from their upcoming LP, entitled Oh, Beatrice (maybe). Fluxblog comments on Tacks' "rainy day piano" sound, which is an absolutely perfect way to describe it. That's why he's Fluxblog, and we're not. Here's one of the newly mastered songs:

Tacks, the Boy Disaster Frozen Feet mp3

Befriend Tacks at their myspace page, and they'll let you download a couple more tracks. The band plays (along with Ola Podrida) at Austin's Progress Coffee on May 26

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bosque Brown

Looking for something to do tonight? Go see Bosque Brown at the All Good Cafe in Deep Ellum. I think she starts in about an hour, so I'm out the door.

Bosque Brown Fine Lines mp3

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Tonight: The Theater Fire

The Theater Fire

The Theater Fire is hosting an album release party tonight at 7 at Good Records for their excellent new LP, Everybody has a Dark Side. There'll be food, beer, a "DJ", and a live set by the band. The festivities commence at around 7 PM.

After the record-release party, the happenings will move a few doors down to The Cavern, where The Theater Fire will be joined by like-minded NYC bands The Bowmans and Lowry. Should be a good one.

The Theater Fire These Tears Could Rust a Train mp3

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three of the whiniest bitches in the league

I'm pretty furious today at the news that Mav Jason Terry was suspended for his alleged "punch" in game 5 of their series with the Spurs, in effect tainting what was shaping up to be one of the best playoff series in years. I've watched the replay maybe 20 times, and that's not a punch (watch the video here). A push to get Finley's nuts out of his face, maybe. But a punch, no.

Moving on, Pitchfork has announced a P-Fork Fest preshow on July 28 at Metro, featuring Sunset Rubdown, Voxtrot, and Joggers.

Sunset Rubdown Stadiums and Shrines II mp3
Voxtrot Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives mp3
Joggers Era Prison mp3

Finally, here's Chapter 3 of The Decipher Series, in which different artists remix tracks from The Return of Dr. Octagon. This, the Money Fight remix, is the best one yet, featuring members of Her Space Holiday:

Dr. Octagon Ants (Money Fight remix) mp3

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

SIRIUS Blog Radio

We here at gorilla vs. bear (okay, it's just me, but 'we' sounds so much more important) will be joining such luminaries as Howard Stern and Mark Cuban as hosts of our very own show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Left of Center, and boy are we excited. We will be joining Brooklyn Vegan and ProductShop NYC as part of SIRIUS Blog Radio. Here's the official press release:


Top music bloggers will highlight indie rock music

NEW YORK - May 18, 2006 - SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) announced today that it will launch a daily music show hosted by some of America's top music bloggers.

The innovative new program, Blog Radio, will debut on Monday, May 29 on Left of Center channel 26, the commercial-free SIRIUS music channel that plays the best in college, indie and alternative rock music.

Each weeknight at 10 pm ET, Blog Radio will be hosted by a blogger who will showcase his or her favorite music and provide views and insights into the indie rock music scene. Some of the influential music blogs which will contribute to Blog Radio include Gorilla Vs Bear, Brooklyn Vegan, and Product Shop NYC.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio Senior Vice President of Music Programming Steve Blatter said, "Blog Radio further solidifies SIRIUS' position as the leader in the discovery of new music and demonstrates our commitment to providing a vehicle for independent musicians and opinion makers to be heard."

You can get can get a free 3-day trial subscription to SIRIUS (and can listen to gorilla vs. bear's BLOG RADIO show) by signing up at www.sirius.com.


I'll keep you guys updated as to time/dates the show will air. I've already lined up some great "in-studio" performances with some of my favorite artists, and of course I'll be playing the best music played on any radio station ever. Should be a lot of fun.

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maya bond

For all of you elitists who think pre-teen indie phenoms Smoosh are a gimmick, I've got something that's about to blow your hipster minds:

"Maya Bond was four years old when this record was made in early 2004.
She is from Osaka, Japan and Austin, Texas."

Maya's album, Pink Drums, Purple Lights (released on Ellahy Amen Records) reveals a little girl who loves her Dad, has a morbid fascination with ghosts and death, and likes to sing about pee, poop, and war. Pretty much your average four year old kid, except that she is a bilingual indie-rockstar.

On "Cute Papa", the album opener, little Maya bluntly shows us that she's not screwing around by making like a pint-sized Karen O. Back when Karen O used to be a badass.

I can't begin to explain how awesome the totally improvised "Ghost Castle" is, so I'll just hit you with the lyrics:

There was a castle and it was very dark,
And there was a beast live inside the castle.
There was 125 + 3 wolves that been there
And a little girl went to the castle,
And her dad told her not to go there.
And the beast ate her.
That's why her dad told her not to go there.
That's why he said that because he loves her,
And he knows the beast will eat her.
That's a very scary story and there's
3+1, 4+1 wolves

Maya Bond played her very first live gig on April 29 at Rice University. If you have a little daughter/son/niece/nephew/friend, they'd love a copy of Pink Drums, Purple Lights. Trust me. Buy it here.

BONUS (from the request line):

Loyal reader B Chapman has requested the smash hit from early '90's French kid-pop phenomenon Jordy! Well B-Chap, you're in luck:

Jordy Dur Dur D'etre Bebe (It's Tough to be a Baby) mp3


For those in NYC and surrounding borroughs, Sound Team will be playing a show at The Annex tonight. 10 pm.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

lion's mouth

You know how on myspace bands always list their "influences", and as you listen to the songs, you can't help but think, "yeah, not really. at all."? Well that is refreshingly not the case with Seattle's Arthur & Yu, who recently befriended me on myspace.

They've pretty much hit their influences right on: Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin, Nico-era Velvet Underground, etc. And while the influences are clear, the songs are never derivative or boring. I don't know much else about this band, but these songs left me wanting to hear more:

Arthur & Yu Lion's Mouth mp3
Arthur & Yu Afterglow mp3


Arthur & Yu's female vocalist, Sonya Westcott, also sings on the excellent new James Figurine (Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel and Postal Service) single:

James Figurine 55566688833 (feat. Sonya Westcott) mp3


After you go listen to this Midlake interview, you can go pre-order The Trials of Van Occupanther here (U.S. only)

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ACL 2006 Lineup

I was going to refrain from discussing the ACL Lineup until it was made official, since it's all basically speculation at this point. But the fact that my boy Robert Wilonsky from the Dallas Observer is the dude who leaked it makes me feel pretty safe in assuming that it's accurate. At any rate, the lineup is pretty sick. Here are my highlights:

Massive Attack
Van Morrison
The Shins
Wolf Parade
The Flaming Lips
Cat Power
Gnarls Barkley
The Raconteurs
Willie Nelson
Jose Gonzalez
Iron & Wine
the New Pornographers
and more

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tree wave

"We're a Dallas-based band that makes shoegazy pop music and video using obsolete 70's and 80's computer and videogame gear accompanied by female vocals. The code to drive the music and video is our own, and it's all dirty assembly language"

Tree Wave are, in my estimation, one of Dallas' most relevant and important bands; i.e., one of the handful of bands that I'm counting on to actually matter to people outside of my hometown. So it's sort of puzzling to me that they've been more or less ignored by blogs up to this point. I can assure you that this is the warmest, most organic-sounding music ever made using a Commodore 64, an Atari 2600, an Epson dot matrix printer, and a shitty 1980's model Compaq PC. Think along the lines of Lali Puna, Eno, or a more interesting and more innovative Postal Service.

Tree Wave May Banners mp3


The alleged leaked ACL 2006 Lineup can be found here.

EDIT: the leaked ACL lineup was actually posted first here, which gives it a little more legitimacy. I should've known it was you, Wilonsky.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

pour me another

I know I've posted on Ola Podrida a couple times recently, but I finally got their full-length after much anticipation, and it is absolutely fantastic. Just to recap, Ola Podrida started as the home-recording project of David Wingo, who scored the wonderful films All The Real Girls and George Washington. David now has a full band, and they started playing together in Austin in March (I think they've played two shows). I'm not sure how you can obtain this record just yet, but you can start by being their myspace friend.

Ola Podrida will play with another one of Austin's best bands, Tacks the Boy Disaster, at Progress Coffee on May 26. Don't miss it.

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lazy eye

LA's Silversun Pickups played one of the best sets I saw at this year's SXSW, and though I'm a big fan of last year's Pikul EP, it was the new material that blew me away. However, I had a hard time believing that the emotional intensity and immediacy of the live set could be captured on record. Well, I finally had the chance to hear the new album, Carnavas (out July 11), and it doesn't disappoint.

This song recalls last year's powerhouse/blog favorite "Kissing Families" with it's trademark fuzzy guitars and Nikki's pulsing bassline, accentuated by frontman Brian Aubert's bittersweet raspy vocals. Highly recommended.

Silversun Pickups Lazy Eye mp3


Sound Team played a wonderful set on Woxy.com's Lounge Acts, and as always, Woxy's made it available as a downloadable mp3.

Sound Team Woxy Lounge Acts Session mp3


Back in Town
Don't Turn Away
TV Torso
Handful of Billions

Finally, Good Hodgkins recruited some of the world's best bloggers, and also me, to describe some of our most visceral moments in song.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

korn dogs

It's a huge night in the NBA tonight, with the Pistons and Mavs each hoping to go up 3-1 against Lebron James the Cavs and the Spurs in their respective series. I'm not worried about the Pistons in the least, mainly because my boy Rasheed guaranteed victory, and he's never wrong.

UPDATE: Son of a bitch. Pistons lose. Rasheed scores 7 on 3 of 13 shooting. Nice job Sheed. Son of a bitch.

The Mavs, on the other hand, are a different story. Dirk's ankle is a little jacked up, and I have a feeling all that whining Tim Duncan did on Saturday will affect the bogus NBA referrees at least a little. If the Mavs win, the series is essentially over, and if they lose, the Spurs get back home-court advantage.

unrelated: New DangerDoom!

DangerDoom Korn Dogs mp3

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Kite Flying Society

Kite Flying Society is a 7-piece band from my former hometown of San Diego, California. The band lists The Shins, The Kinks, Brian Wilson, and Wes Anderson (obviously) as influences, and you could probably throw San Diego weather in there too. In other words, a solid formula for a band I'm going to love. I've only heard a couple songs, but "If I Could Split", taken from their upcoming LP, Where is the Glow? (due out July 28), shows a lot of promise, recalling a slightly less twee version of The Boy Least Likely To.


Kite Flying Society Love and Seagulls mp3
Mark Mothersbaugh Kite Flying Society mp3


Coming on the heels of Matt's post about being so over Sufjan Stevens, this Pitchfork interview reveals that Sufjan's over himself, too. Some gems from the P-fork interview:

"I'm not so possessive about it that I would sue anyone who misused it. If someone were to sample my work, I would have a hard time seeking payment for that. I don't even have a problem with people illegally downloading that stuff."

"I'm getting tired of my voice. I'm getting tired of...the banjo. I'm getting tired of...the trumpet...I'm writing too much, for sure."

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

innocence and despair

"Listening to 60 kids sing in a gymnasium might not be the average music fan's cup of tea, but those who give this little treasure a chance will be forever changed..." --Pop Matters

Recorded in the mid-70's by Western Canadian elementary schoolkids, Innocence & Despair is one of 2001's few releases that I still listen to regularly. If you can overlook some cringe-worthy musical moments (an out of place cymbal crash here, a vocal note that was just out of reach there), you're in for a sometimes funny, often sad and haunting, and always disarming, listen.

This version of the Fleetwood Mac classic is as emotionally affecting as the original. The Langley kids, as Stylus puts it, "duplicate Fleetwood Mac's mysticism with just an off-rhythm woodblock, one bass string, and a modified xylophone. With a child's transparency (and a cymbal crash about three days off-beat--a touching and funny motif throughout the album), the group lurches into a blithe, confident chorus."

Forget for a second that The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt verisons of this song are cheesy and emotionally overwrought. "Desperado", as sung with pure "innocence and despair" (thus the name of the album) by 9 year-old Sheila Behman, is a heartwrenching classic, and Pitchfork called it the definitive version of the song.

Download Innocence and Despair at emusic; other recommended tracks include "Space Oddity", "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", "The Long and Winding Road", "Good Vibrations", "God Only Knows"


As I mentioned briefly last week, eMusic's no-strings 50 Free Download Trial comes to an end this month, and since they are one of our sponsors, I thought I'd point out some of the excellent new releases that can be had with your trial offer:

Beirut Gulag Orkestar
Sunset Rubdown Shut Up, I Am Dreaming
Danielson Ships
Jolie Holland Springtime Can Kill You

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Saturdays are for Requests

DJ Shadow vs. Diplo Megatroid Mix mp3 (43 minutes)

Bonus request:

The Stranglers Golden Brown mp3

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Friday, May 12, 2006

the magic's in my heart, believe me

I'm posting this song today for a few reasons; first, Tripping Daisy was/is one of my favorite bands, and Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb is one of the most criminally underrated and overlooked albums of all time (even Mr. Pitchfork himself thinks so). But I also get the feeling that most people consider Tripping Daisy a one-hit wonder, associating them with MTV/radio hit "I Got a Girl". While I happen to actually like that song, it's hardly representative of the band's work.

So yeah, I'm posting this to tell you guys about the band, dispel misconceptions, all that stuff. But mainly, I'm posting this song because it's absolutely perfect for a gorgeous spring day, and I suggest you put it on your iPod and go ride your bike or walk your dog or drive around with your windows down.

Tripping Daisy Sonic Bloom mp3

purchase Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb, um, anywhere you can find it. Try your local used record store, or maybe here. Trust me, it's worth the effort.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006


If you find yourself in Dallas this evening with nothing to do, head over to The Firehouse on Lower Greenville, where I will be DJing with my friend DJ Del. We'll be playing all types of thangs, such as this:

Hot Chip And I Was a Boy From School mp3

and this:

The Zombies Care of Cell 44 mp3

...and who knows what the hell else Adam will bust out. Word is he plays everything from Modern Lovers (yay!) to George Michael (yikes!) to Destroyer (yay!). See you bitches there.

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The Speakers

First and foremost, I'd like to thank my friend, the insanely talented JP33, for the work he did on gorilla vs. bear's new banner. The dude does amazing work, and I absolutely love it. You can see some of J's other work here, and check some of the t-shirts he's working on at Oddica.


"the Bay Area-based duo of Peter Musselman and Brian Miller has created something sad and sparkling and fragile. And, in the end, really beautiful."
--The Inlander

The Speakers' dog

You might say that setting the poetry of William Butler Yeats to music is an entirely novel idea; some may even call it a "gimmick." Unless, of course, we're talking about The Speakers' Yeats is Greats, a beautiful collection of dreamy, atmospheric folk-pop perfection. Recommended for fans of Sam Beam's hushed vocals, this song is fragile and hypnotic, capable of lulling the listener into a state of peaceful tranquility. Highly recommended.

Speakers The Mountain Tomb mp3

obtain Yeats is Greats here, or download the album on eMusic

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Beirut: Live in NYC

Beirut performed last night at The Knitting Factory in NYC, his first show since being christened "the next big thing" by every blog on Earth (including this one). Since I am obviously stuck in Texas, the following photos and words are not my own. I had a friend, who was in NYC on business and had never heard of Beirut, agree to take some shots and promise to send me an honest review (via text message, of course).

"young kid. eyes closed. anxious. passionate. not very engaging, and a bit sloppy. mentioned blogs/bloggers. nice falsetto that carried well. clearly a proficient instrumentalist. way too much dead air/false starts/tuning in between songs. lots of room for improvement. tremendous promise."

Beirut Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) mp3

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