30.12.05

The Big Bang: Capping Off the Year With BiBaBiDi

new year's ball
I was too afraid to make a "Best Of" list of any sort for this year. I had a difficult time giving overall impressions of this year in music. I sort of stumbled through 2005 ... my blog changed quite a bit, but I was still stuck in transition. I think that I have finally found where it is that I want to go with this thing -- I've created some pretty permanent "series" posts, I've introduced the BiBaBiDi media player, and I've become better -- and more thorough -- at searching the web for music news and music and all that other stuff.
So -- in celebration of my first whole year of having this blog, I would like to give you all a New Year's Mix (The Big Bang) ... it does not cover the whole year, by any means, but it covers what I like currently and what I have liked throughout this year (or what has stayed on my computer's harddrive).
So, without further ado, here is The Big Band:
Islands - Rough Gem
Deerhoof - Wrong Time Capsule
the Strokes - Razorblade
Metric - Monster Hospital
Love Is All - Make Out Fall Out Make Up
Field Music - Shorter Shorter
Mystery Jets - You Can't Fool Me Dennis
Faunts - Memories of Places We've Never Been
Chromatics - Healer (12" Version)
Serena Maneesh - Drain Cosmetics
Clogs - Pencil Stick
the Arcade Fire - Cold Wind
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins - You Are What You Love
Bell Orchestre - Throw It On A Fire
Man Man - Black Missions Goggles
We Are Wolves - Non Stop
Test Icicles - Circle, Square, Triangle

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28.12.05

The Unicorns Are My DEVO

the unicorns
I post a lot about the Unicorns (and things related to the mystical creatures), I know. No one's asking you to pay attention, though ...
Today is my birthday, and I have decided that the Unicorns were a very important band for me. They changed my outlook on music quite a bit and they were the first blast of musical (and mystical) freshness that I had ever experienced first hand.
It doth soundeth corny, yes -- that I idolize one particular band with such fervor. So I'll skip the rest of this crap and give you guys your birthday presents!
the Unicorns - Unknown (Hands) (Live at Emo's)
the Unicorns - Rocket Ship (Daniel Johnston Cover) (Live at Levi Fader Lounge)
the Unicorns - Suicide Is A Shame (Live at Levi Fader Lounge)
Yup -- only two songs, and both live ... but they're goodies and oldies and new to me. Enjoy them as much as I did, please.
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26.12.05

Vibrations 9.3

vibrations
I've got a musical backlog that I'm trying to get through before the New Year hits, so be prepared for a lot of new music ...
The Old Soul is a band that I would like to make friends with. Their lyrics sound like they were pulled out of Wayne Coyne's (of the Flaming Lips) book o' lyrics, and their unpretentious sound is a welcome change for me. A very unique musical "explosion," these guys are good.
New Music Canada Site

I am hesitant to compare Mellowdrone to Siousxie and the Banshees, but I can't help it. With a vocalist like theirs, I can't help it, though (although vocal duties are shared in this group ... )
Mellowdrone - Fashionably Uninvited
MySpace Site

The Divorce are a slightly flamboyant poppy punk group. They sort of chug along through most of their songs, but there is something appealing about them for me ...
the Divorce - Fishing With the Party Sharks

Here's a confusing one for ya: the Colour. They have the style of the Strokes combined with the Killers (and [some of] the hooks, to boot), and the vocals of Robert Smith! Bizarre, man!
the Colour - Tambourine
the Colour - Open Up the Boulevards

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23.12.05

Vibrations 8.7

vibrations
Doing a holiday post is tough, and I honestly don't think I have it in me to tell you guys what I thought the best 10, 15, 20 ... even 100 releases of the year were. That's way too damn hard!
Remember how the Arcade Fire hit really big at the end of 2004? Well, I don't think that Portugal the Man will get as much attention at the Arcade Fire (and they probably don't deserve as much), but they're good, and certainly a nice note to end the year on! Really quirky mix of rock and goofy R&B stuff ... angst ridden as usual ... take a listen!
Portugal the Man - Stables and Chairs
Portugal the Man - Marching With Six
Portugal the Man - AKA M80 the Wolf

And the Chromatics are finally back. And they've like, totally changed! For the better! They've drawn out their songs a little more, made them spookier and cleaner, and their layering is deceptively sparse. Way cool.
the Chromatics - Healer (12" version)

Herman Dune is a very laid back group ... loopy vocals, lo-fi production qualities, understated guitars. An interesting winter introduction ...
Herman Dune - You Could Be A Model, Goodbye
Herman Dune - Various Medicines
Herman Dune - Suburbs With You
Herman Dune - Orange Hat
Herman Dune - A Wiser Man
Herman Dune - Not On Top

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22.12.05

A Unicorns Christmas

islands
The Unicorns are still my favorite band, so I thought that a Unicorns-themed Christmas present would be a nice thing to give all you readers out there.
The two Islands songs are leaks from their debut album (due out sometime early next year), Return To the Sea, and the Unicorns song is from the group's XFM session. I did not realize that "Abominable Snowman" was written by the Unicorns when they were still together! Like, "Ceremony" was written when Joy Division was still together, but it's the New Order version that we all know (I don't even think Joy Division ever got around to recording the piece, but you get the idea ... )
Islands - Swans (Life After Death)
Islands - Rough Gem
Islands - Volcanoes
Unicorns - Abominable Snowman (XFM session)

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21.12.05

The Great Depression of Music

ticker
I have, by no means, really thought this idea out too thoroughly -- and I do not plan on doing so -- but I thought some of you might be interested to hear what I have to this about the music world of today (yes -- once again).
I'm going to draw a lot of comparisons to the Great Depression (in America) to illustrate my point. The music industry and music "machine" of today is, in many ways, like the US stock market and economy of the Great Depression. Let me explain this statement.
What caused the Great Depression in America? One of the core reasons was that the market was expanding too fast for the consumers. Production was soaring, but no one was there to consume the products. In turn, the stocks continued to rise and overspeculation peaked in 1929, causing the Crash. Why was their overspeculation? Mainly because technology was improving at rapid rates, and this allowed for production to rise at unprecedented rates as well.
So this is how I parallel the Great Depression to music today:
(1) Improved technology (i.e. the production line) of the early 1900s = improved/cheaper recording equipment of the 1970s - today ... because of the cheapness of recording space and equipment in today's world, musicians can release a record with much more ease than their grandparents' generation. Little effort is required to pump out dozens of albums, just like little effort was required for Ford to make millions of Model T cars. This overproduction leads to overspeculation ... people think that since there is more there are [going to be] more consumers.
(2) Overspeculation = Overhype ... since there was an abundance of product in the 1920s, there was an abundance of speculation ... there is now an overabundance of music and therefore an overabundance of hype (honestly, how many "next big thing" bands can the NME churn out each year?)
(3) Limited Markets in the 1920s = Too Many Markets Today ... sometimes having too much of something is as bad as having too much. In the 1920s, before the Depression, there were not enough markets to distribute goods through. So the few markets that there were were getting clogged with excess products (i.e. little opportunity for oversea trade back then). Now, thanks to the internet and an increase in places where music can be purchased, the complete opposite is happening. It's like using a broadband connection to send a 2 kb word document ... all of that extra bandwidth is not needed and it goes unused and unnoticed. So, the musical products of today go unnoticed quite often as there are too many ways to distribute it. Also, again due to the internet, there are too many ways to categorize and subdivide music. It's relatively easy now to judge the health of the nation's economy based upon the performance of a few indexes (the Dow Jones, NYSE, and Nasdaq), but if there were, say, 50 other indexes used to gauge this, it would be much more difficult to get an accurate read on the relative health of our nation. And it's the same with music now. There are dozens, if not hundreds of various music communities (i.e. last.fm, radio.blog.club), piles of music wikis, and far too many webzines to keep track of. How the heck are any of us to keep up with the music around us when there are seemingly unlimited outlets for this music to seep into the public through?

So -- my solution? This is a tough one, and probably one that can't be achieved. "Start over." It's the only way out. We have nothing left to build upon except the far too confusing and muddled past. Like FDR, we've got to make a "New Deal," and take steps forward to rebuild from the foundations of music from the ground up ... not just try to fix the problem indefinitely (i.e. continually blaming "big" record companies).
Well -- that sounded far too scholarly and absolute, so I will leave you all with that. But also don't get me wrong ... I love music. I love buying it and listening to it and writing about it ... everything. But I am quite certain that, had I lived during the 1920s, I would have had a similar urge to invest and buy and be an avid consumer (can you say that?) ... it's not that I dislike music, it's that I just don't see it going much anywhere now. Plus -- how many times can you recycle a plastic bottle? It ain't indefinite ...
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20.12.05

Weekly: So Sick of Power-Pop

eye
Let's start this post out on a rant!
For every year that I've been actively paying attention to the music I hear, there has been a sort of musical trend ... some sound that becomes fashionable. Bands have even been known to totally alter their sound to cater to this new trend (i.e. Supersystem), also. Two years ago, thanks to the DFA, the Rapture, and the Liars, we were hit with a massive wave of dance-punk[, or whatever you want to call that hybrid indie-rock dance style ... ]
Last year was a little hazier -- and we still have not had enough time to analyze it too thoroughly -- but all of the "fashionable" bands (I am not using that term derogatorily) seemed to strive for a return to something more simplistic or basic. Whether that was the simple freak-folk of Dvendra Banhart, Espers, Joanna Newsom, and Ariel Pink, the lo-fi production values of the Concretes, Mirah, and the Walkmen, or the true return to punk of the Futureheads, all of the bands aspired to reach the artistic highs of their technologically-deprived predecessors.
This year -- while it is too early to analyze it in any great detail since it is not even over yet -- has had one too many power-pop groups for me to handle!
I don't mean to hate on such bands, but whenever I see a band advertised as a power-pop group, I think that the band is incompetent and has little, if any creativity. Power-pop is, for many groups, a cuter punk. The chord progressions are lamer than I can imagine, and the vocals are whiney and boring. But for some reason, when a group is dubbed as a new power-pop sensation, they get cred. I think it's stupid.
So this weekly is stuff that I'm am listening to that is - thank God - not power-pop in any way. There is a difference between being influenced by old power-pop (Blondie, the Raspberries, the Modern Lovers) and just dubbing your band as such because you're not witty enough to compose a song with more than two chords.
Foreign Islands is cool, man! They're vicious and angular and jagged and brash and all shouting ... I like their raw energy quite a lot. They recently released an EP which features the songs Fine Dining With the Future and Ghost Story.
Between the Pine is pretty lo-fi, yeah, but the gasping vocals and 60s-psych-pop drumming and xylophone on one song and the ukulele strumming on another make the band far more eclectic and engaging than any power-pop groups from this year. They've just posted a three-song EP on their website (Please Sit Down, I'll Carry On My Father's Joke, and We Awoke), which I think is pretty interesting!
Young and Sexy is, yes, pretty low key and has plenty of pop elements incorporated into their songs, but they are by no means power-pop. The group writes these moody, swooning, guitar [and sometimes piano] atmospheric pseudo-shoe gaze pieces (that's a mouthful, ain't it?)
But I like the husky female vocals, and the piano, while sometimes overdone, does add a nice, serene aspect to their sound. Listen to Oh My Love and In This Atmosphere.
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19.12.05

Vibrations 8.2

vibrations
I like Canadian music more living in Japan since the country is no longer my "next door neighbor." When I feel lonely or detached from the society I am living in, I like to listen to Canadian music (i.e. the Arcade Fire) and imagine the bands playing in some small shack of a studio far from any community. I know this is rarely the case, but it's my imagination, so ease up!
The Vermicious Knid is a quartet from Brantford, Ontario (where the heck is that?!) ... I like them because they sound like a more acoustic - yet no less invigorated - version of the Stills. And their song "The Ghosts of Drunken Past" has some very Unicorns-esque chord changes in it, not to mention Arcade Fire-esque vocal harmonies! (Although they're a tad too emo for me at points ... )
the Vermicious Knid - The Ghosts of Drunken Past
the Vermicious Knid - Finding Seventeen Hands

We're Marching On is better, I think. A more funky version of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! ... I dig their use of cheesy organ and shout/call-and-response vocals. Their only song I can find is the one they have on their NMC page ...
We're Marching On - Shithawk

Last is another (!) Brantford band, the Majesties. Again, the only song I can find of theirs is their NMC piece ...
the Majesties - Geronimo
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17.12.05

Weekly: Changes

jenny lewis
I am currently looking forward very much to several releases ... the new Man Man record (Six Demon Bag), the Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) solo debut album (Rabbit Furcoat), and the new Liars LP (Drum's Not Dead). All of these artists have changed their sound quite a bit, making their forthcoming releases all the more exciting.
Man Man seems to have turned down the road that Wolf Parade is profiting from currently. Honus Honus, the lead singer, has perfected his wail into that Isaac Brock sort of yelp, and there is an off-kilter aspect to their newest sound. A bit honky-tonk or something like that. I like Van Helsing Boombox a lot because of the jovial, up-beat sound of that saloon piano combined with the simple, thumping bassline.
Rilo Kiley is one of my favorite bands. Sure -- they may have sold out with More Adventurous, and sure -- they have been known to tread water on quite a few occasions, but I am always impressed by the ground that the group covered. Their first EP, Initial Friends, was like a cover of one of those children's 7" records, whereas More Adventurous was a polished, alt-country pop album.
But I am most fascinated by Jenny Lewis' pitch-perfect voice. She has arguably one of the most serene and enchanting voices in pop music today. A tad husky, a little on the soft side ... everything about it is subtle and sublime. I love it. I also like her songwriting ... she tends to write songs that are heartwarming because they are written from a removed perspective ... when I listen to her songs, I can't help but think that someone besides Jenny wrote these songs about her life.
Rabbit Furcoat is a good album ... a true alt-country comeback. More country than anything Rilo Kiley ever recorded and gorgeously produced. Listen to my favorite song, You Are What You Love.
Now, Liars are quite a paradox to me. First they released They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top, a predecessor to the dance/punk style that exploded in 2003. Then they released the highly experimental and controversial LP, They Were Wrong So We Drowned, which was pretty damn hard to listen to, I will admit. Then their Aussie frontman, Angus, moved to Berlin. He did some shows there, he played around with some new material, recorded a bunch of stuff with the group, threw it all away, broke up with the band (?), made some new music, and recorded it with the re-united band in Berlin.
Confusing.
Well, the group just released It Fit When I Was A Kid, an EP which is not too inspiring. Sounds like They Were Wrong ... to me, but with less wacked out drumming, less mention of witches and burnings, and more stress on abstract bass and tribal drones. Watch the crazy video for "It Fit When I Was A Kid" here (broadband) or here (56k). Or just listen to the song here.
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12.12.05

Vibrations 7.2

vibrations
All right ... it's been a while since I've done a "vibrations" post, so here's one more before I go off to Okinawa for a few days (back on Friday night).
When I first listened to Apparat Organ Quartet's music, I thought I was hearing a mash-up of YMO and Kraftwerk or something along those lines. The Reykjavik group's music is simple and spacey, but not too minimalist to make it sound like the more modern techno, artsy groups that are popping up all over the place.
Apparat Organ Quartet is basically a band that consists of 4 men, operating ancient, highly customized electric music machines, including various cheap home organs, Farfisas and Russian synthesizers, with the help of a trusty old drum set. All of it’s members are well known in the Icelandic music community for their previous work.
Apparat Organ Quartet - Romantica

Okay -- so
the Physics of Meaning
ain't nothing too special, but I like their chilled-out style of pseudo-baroque-rock. The edgy guitar playing makes for a sort of country feel to their music, though ... I dunno ... hm.
the Physics of Meaning - Small Towns and Invisible People
the Physics of Meaning - Oregon, My Only True Friend
the Physics of Meaning - Down at Columbia and Cameron

The Silent Type is equally quiet and laid back, but their sound is more folky, the orchestrations a little less flashy and more subtly ornate.
the Silent Type - Alarms
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10.12.05

I'm Tired of TMBG

tmbg
Just the other day, I got an email from the They Might Be Giant guys because I am a lucky subscriber to their mailing list.
Man did I love TMBG. They wrote such pretty, engaging pop songs back in their "heyday." They were witty, and always a little bizarre ... you never knew what to expect from them ... the one certainty that TMBG fans did have was that the band was not likely to write a love song. And that was pretty much it.
Ironically, just the other day, I was wondering why exactly it is that young bands are the bands that most often get the highest praise. Like, Beethoven and Bach and all those "old guys," for example, hit their creative peaks when they were old men that, by today's standards, should have been in nursing homes. I have never heard someone say "oh -- I like Handel, but he totally sold out after his first sonata, dude ... his later material is just not as good!" ... and why does this happen!?
Well -- TMBG is a good example of why this is the case with modern music!
It is the immaturity, the youthfulness, the willingness to try and "make a band" that makes the younger musicians out there the more highly anticipated and more "creative." Old guys mellow out ... they become more mature, and are unable to tap into the anger that made their punk so awesome, the moodiness that made their shoegaze so melancholy, and the depression that made their grunge so awe-inspiring.
TMBG has done the same with age ... they can no longer tap into their youthful optimism ... their nonsense songwriting. The things that made them so cool have just become a part of them now ... not something that was stumbled upon ... not something that was spontaneous. Spontaneity is what people like ... the unexpected is always the most exciting. Sure -- Gang of Four kick ass, but I look forward more to the next DFA remix than the next Neil Young record.
Okay -- so now some media.
TMBG, in their effort to appeal to tech-savvy listeners, has created a podcast, which can be heard here. It ain't all that great, so be warned ... the music is new and not too interesting, but I guess if you've got time to kill, you should give it a try!
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8.12.05

Guerolito!

guerolito
You guys know that some LA Mexican cuisine restaurant is going to start serving the "guerolito" after Beck's Guero remix album, Guerolito, hits store on the 13th. I wonder what the edible version will taste like ...
Well -- I like the remix album ... a lot! Often times, "remix album" are just loose collections of various bands' takes on a few songs. So many "remix albums" contain just three or four songs from the original album, which makes listening to the thing a little tiresome, and in the end, not very meaningful.
Well, Beck's "remix album" is quite different. Every track is remixed and the tracklist stayed intact. Beck has, almost overnight, become a sort of rock savior, I think ... his new site is incredibly interactive (check out the Guerolito Media Player), and the mere fact that he had his whole album remixed just shows me that he is more than willing to share his music, on or off the internet.
So -- check out some remixes before you buy the album!
Girl (by Octet)
Ghost Range (E-Pro)(by Homelife)
Que Onda Guero (by Islands)
Terremoto Tempo (Earthquake Weather, remix by Mario C)

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6.12.05

Rumble 5.2

rumble
It's been a while since I posted a rumble post, but do not worry -- I have indeed been reading! And you, too, should have been reading! Right-o ... I've got a few things here!
Who doesn't like Nic Harcourt (the "Morning Becomes Eclectic" DJ)? He just published a book, Music Lust (read a Tiny Mix Tapes review), and it looks pretty good! The book is a comprehensive guide to the modern world of music, featuring 80s various lists, many essays, and plenty of pictures to boot! I would like to read this guy!
I have not yet finished reading this excellently written paper, but I plan on it ... Everything Went Pop! (.pdf file), written by a University of Lund student. I am enjoying reading this essay because it is a truly comprehensive history of the C-86 phenomena ... so, next time you all talk or write about C-86, you'll really know what it means!
We have all been told, at some point in our life, that classical music really does matter. I guess I always agreed ... having taken 11 years of classical piano lessons, I have grown to appreciate classical composers because of the foundations that they created. But, in our present, self-prescribed "post-modern" society, us listeners are having a harder time grasping the importance of a style of music that has long since passed away. We're interested in the stuff that represents our time, our emotions, our ideals and ideas, our society. So -- this PopMatters essay, VARIATIONS ON A THEME: A Historicist Manifesto: Why Classical Matters was very meaningful and worthwhile for me to read ... it asks all of the questions I used to ask, and answers them in a fair and just way ... definitely worth a read!
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5.12.05

Weekly: In Japan ...

au revoir simone
It's been a while since I've posted a Weekly, so here goes a new one! Here are a few things that I am listening to in Japan. That is, these groups have recently released something in Japan or are being pushed in Japan or are themselves Japanese.
Au Revoir Simone is a girl pop trio from NYC, actually, but they just released a pretty cutesy EP through the Rallye Label in Tokyo. The neat thing about this EP is that it features a remix of "Hurricanes" by Masashi Naka ... some guy from Escalator Records (my favorite! Woo!) ... anyway, listen to the remix (which I think is better than the original) right here
Majessic Dreams is a sweet, mopey dream pop band from Sweden. I like them for several reasons. (1) Their self-titled album is gorgeously packaged, yet [seemingly] cheaply produced ... opening it is like unfolding an origami swan or something. And the art is simple, yet bold, and works well with the music. (2) The music is very much to my liking because most of the group's song are short, yet not abrupt by any means. The group takes its sound from many sources, but maintains an intimate, bedroom-pop consistency throughout. Never too ambitious, and never too shy, Majessic Dreams is one of my current favorites. Listen to Out There, a song that leaves me wanting oh so much more.
My last mention for now is Handsomeboy Technique, the Japanese equivalent of the Go! Team. More dance-y, yes, but with a similar goal of pumping you up with 80s-nostalgia warm melodies, sing/shout vocals, hand claps, and heroic synth lines. I'm sorry you guys ... uploading that Au Revoir Simone file tired my computer out, so I will skip uploading something by Handsomeboy Technique ... check them out at their record label homepage ... Second Royal ...
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3.12.05

The "New" Comic Medium

insomnia #1
You guys -- comics are the hot new thing, okay? They are the new source of infinite indie cred. Drop a few artsy comic titles in your next conversation at a concert, and people will be impressed ... here are some new ones to start your collections off!
Fantagraphics is now doing this joint project with the Italian comic book company, Coconino. Some cool stuff, looks like to me!
Check out their first three titles (Baobo, The Innocents, and Insomnia) at the Fantagraphics website!
This other comic,
Night Fisher, is also getting a lot of press. It was written by an up and coming comic writer, R. Kikuo Johnson, who also created Project: Superior. I have not yet read either book, but Night Fisher deals with isolation and coming of age (in Hawaii!) ... supposed to be very good, and well paced, too, which is always one of the most important aspects of comic writing!
conversation #2I never quite "got" James Kochalka, but maybe you will. And he is certainly a very respected artist, so it will do you no harm to read some of his stuff ... he recently released Super F*ckers #2 (but it here), and a sort of "duo" comic with the [chronically depressed, heir to the Chris Ware legacy] comic writer, Jeffery Brown, called Conversation #2 (but it here).
Lastly, although they are not comics, the Ganzfeld books are very important to comic readers. The newest issue, the Ganzfeld 4: Art History?, is a beautifully produced "art history book" of sorts. It focuses mostly on comic artists, but also has a section on record covers and plenty of paintings and other modern art forms. Looks good!
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Fantastic! Spectacular! Lucky You

neutral milk hotel
Hey -- my post title sounds like a new band name ... aren't exclamations marks the hot new thing to use? Bands with "wolf" in their name are so out.
Right -- it is time for Christmas (thought I'd switch it up there!), and that means that it's time for musicians to give their music away for free, in hopes that you will give them a nice little year-end present in return ...
The Spectacular Fantastic is a band that I like now. I like their killer distorted thumping bass lines. And I like their yippy-skippy, sing along songwriting style. Well, the group released a split EP with Tessitura, which you can download right here. Tessitura is a good band as well, by the way, and they have what looks like a free album posted on their site as well! Cool!
Lucky Misu is another pop group (maybe there are too many pop groups these days ... I want a little less cheer this holiday season!), and they too are given away an EP ... download the .rar here. (That EP is the second one that they have given away for free ... download the other EP [.rar] right here).
Also, Digiki's latest Polypunk is out ... download 004 here, and visit his website here.
And I know that this has been all over the net as of late, but I wanted to write about it, too. Some Neutral Milk Hotel demos have surfaced as of late ... but these demos are really cool because they were made in a sort of college frat, and they were made before the band truly became NMH, and once all the songs' titles are confirmed, all of the tracks will be released. Listen to some of them at Shannon's Arty Arty.
Update - Also, download an EP by the band Hussalonia right here!
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Vibrations 5.7

vibrations
The beginning and the end is always the hardest. So it's hard for me to re-start this blog ... I want this post to be fantastic, excellent, awe-inspiring, but ... I dunno.
Anyway -- I've got lots of bands for you to listen to, so if that doesn't make you all happy, I'm not quite sure what will!
I bet that a lot of you know about this website, the Secret Unicorns Forum, and I bet that a lot of you know that there is a bootleg section on the site, which is usually locked until the end of the month. Well, I found a "back entrance" to the bootlegs ... hehe. I won't link directly to any of the MP3s -- that would be a little mean even for me -- but I will direct you to the site. Unicorns and Islands fans rejoice!
the Islands Bootlegs

Coyote is a neato garage band ... creepier than most. Lots of weird and eerie harmonies spice up the [sometimes bland] style ...
Coyote - Half the Time
Coyote - White Fox

Aw ... I like the Teeth quite a bit. They have this really elegant, pretty, quaint sound. The vocals remind me of the Starlight Mint vocals. Kind of loopy, wacky stuff, but lots of sugary fun.
the Teeth - The Man Without a Motive
the Teeth - Peter Goes to 43rd St.

Now, Beat Radio is nice, too. Swirly keyboard melodies add a sweet little twist to their sound, which, without the keyboards, would be pretty "normal" ... poppy, well-done ... I like.
Beat Radio - Mexico
Beat Radio - Everything Is Temporary
Beat Radio - Another Loveless Anthem

Hmm ... I suppose I like Le Sport, but maybe they sound a little bit too much like they're trying to rip New Order off ... judge for yerself!
Le Sport - I Comes Before U
Le Sport - Business Girls
Le Sport - Eurosport Music Baby

I think that one of the reasons I would really like to go to an Arcade Fire show is because they seem to always be covering good songs. And they do their own, unique versions of them all ... I would love to hear these things live, but getting them off the 'net is the best I can do for now ...
the Arcade Fire - Age of Consent (New Order Cover)
the Arcade Fire - Brazil

Last up (for now, sadly) is ... Measles Mumps Rubella, a ... bizarre group. Like David Byrne singing dance tunes played by the ESG girls ... weird, but pretty good.
Measles Mumps Rubella - Algorithm of Desire

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