Weekly: The Other Neighbors To the North

boys of scandinavia
Yeah, it's a stupid title. Corny, but it gets my point across, I hope. Scandinavia and the surrounding region (still not quite sure where Scandinavia cuts off) has for, like the past 5 or 10 years, been pumping out bands at a ratio of one band to every ten citizens. It's not quite like that yet, but considering the size of the non-band population "up there," the number of people in a group is gigantic. Give them another 25 years, and everyone and their grandmother will be in a group.
I posted about that group, the Envelopes, a while back. I liked them for their international (or at least European) approach to making music. They have someone from England, someone from France, and someone else from Finland (I believe), which is pretty impressive, I guess. But after listening to their album, Demon, for a while, I got tired of them. They seem to have gotten together a bunch of excellent ideas -- perfect for making a great record -- but then ended up just recording the demos and releasing it as such. So the final product seemed a tad underwhelming (and sorry -- the accents upset me a little).
So Laakso is the fine-tuned version of the Envelopes. They have that lo-fi jangle pop sound, like the Envelopes, but they've put this tense edge on all of their stuff, making them seem a bit more "finished." I like the vocalist more, too. Oh, and they're from Finland! Listen to streamed versions of High Drama, Drinking, Second Winter, and Kiss Me.
Just by the name alone, Boys of Scandinavia fits perfectly into this Scandinavia-themed post (by the way, their hipster name is simply "Bos" ... uh ... way cool ... )
They're this sort of electro-funk thing ... it's slick, yet gritty ... dark, yet light and uplifting. They are a true amalagation of bizarre combinations and styles. Check out Why Do You Love Me, from their new 7" single. I like these guys too much ... they are that missing link that the likes of the DFA and the Rapture and Liars never filled in ... funk don't just come from disco beats and post-punk basslines ... it comes from a more primal aesthetic, found in bands like A Certain Ratio and Maximum Joy and No Wave dudes. These guys draw more from that sort of style, making them fresh and exciting.
Lastly ... the Ark (dramatic, eh?)
Imagine a Swedish version of the Darkness. But instead of the Darkness' arena rock style, think arena funk. Or something like that. The band is really flamboyant and sort of goofy, but they play some pretty cool, slick funk rock.
I've spent nearly an hour composing this post since my internet sucks, so I'm not going to bother trying to find MP3s and stuff ... I'm just going to cry in my bed out of frustration. Man this is annoying.
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Weekly: It's Really Too Much

peter and the pirates
I really go on about it too much, don't I. Pop music is stuck in a rut, blah blah blah ... even the unique stuff is the "same thing" but with a different perspective, blah blah blah. So I'll do it again, I guess ... I'm trying to convey my bitterness or something. I like these bands that I post about. But the fact that we need to read dozens of blogs, magazines, and other sources weekly to catch up on what, not even 50% of the releases every month, just goes to show that we're being swamped with an overabundance of music. This is what I mean when I say that I sort of wish I was around at the height of 'zine culture. When a monthly index or collection of reviews was all I needed to be an authority on something I dug. When I didn't feel compelled to dig deeper and deeper just because I can. There just seemed to be something more organic and human about those old 'zines -- something more inspired, maybe. I just don't really feel fulfilled to find a new band anymore. It doesn't mean much to me, the act of finding. Ah ...
Okay -- the Capes are kind of cool. Very ... driven music. That lead guitar plays these cool descending hooks that make them sound in constant motion. British vocalists these days seem to be turning back to the late-70s and early-80s for inspiration. I keep hearing guys that sound like the Jam or Madness or something ... this strong voice ... a little choppy, a little accented. I like that sort of thing. Listen to samples of Super Girls, Shinjuku Hi-Five, and First Base
Now Duke Raoul is an interesting band. They seem very conscious of the music they are playing ... very aware of who they sound like and where they get their ideas from and what sort of makes them tick. They seem almost proud to say that they sound a bit like David Bowie, a bit like Zepplin, a bit like some hard-core bands. I like that ... listen to Heaven Sent, The Local News, and Aesthetics.
Peter and the Pirates is also a intriguing group. A determined sound ... classic, yet sure-shot hooks, lots of this sort of chanting chorus thing, ace vocals, and appropriate drumming. They sound purposely loose, which would normally be a turn off for me, but is somehow interesting in their case. Listen to What's On, Thyme, Ill Love, and Nuana.
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My Dad's Records

record collection
It's probably pretty cliche by now to credit your dad's record collection as being the one thing that developed your musical tastes. But it is so often true. People that take a liking to music usually get into it as a way of splitting from the "normal" and the everyday. I think that 20 or 30 years ago, kids did this by looking to 'zines and the small press -- immersing themselves in a community of people that had "split" from the "normal" and were proud of that. But now, in a world cluttered with too many blogs, magazines, charts, and lists to even begin to comprehend, looking to the small press for guidance is so often ... unfulfilling. While part of me would really like to go out and start buying up 'zines and home-made newsletters, another part of me feels like that's not enough with the information overload that we can so readily tap into.
When I was younger, I looked to my dad's record collection as a sort of basis for my musical future ... he, it seemed, had once read all those 'zines and indexes and kept up on the things that were impossible for me to experience first hand. So, as cliche as it does sound, it was because of his collection that I have developed the basis for my current likes and dislikes. I will, for example, never get into Pink Floyd because my dad preferred Blondie, I will never become a Dead Head because my dad preferred Joy Division, and I will never get into acid house because my dad always liked New Order more. If I were say, born in China, I would probably always prefer Chinese food over Mexican food, no matter how good it tastes. Something like that.
So -- I decided to guide you all through the highlights of my early listening ... here it be:
(1) Joy Division - Isolation
(2) Gang of Four - Damaged Goods
(3) Echo and the Bunnymen - The Cutter
(4) DEVO - Uncontrollable Urge (Live)
(5) Blondie - Call Me
(6) New Order - Blue Monday
(7) the Clash - Lost In the Supermarket
(8) the Monochrome Set - Alphaville
(9) Siouxsie & the Banshees - Arabian Knights
(10) the Fall - Blindness (alternative mix)
(11) Talking Heads - Crosseyed and Painless

I missed stuff there, and I posted some things that my dad doesn't actually own ... but he has a record of 7" or something by all of these guys, and I guess exposure was more of the point here. Enjoy what I gave ... I like all of these bands ... this is just a peek!
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Vibrations 12.7

I should have seen this one coming ... a neo-psychedelica pop revival. There have been plenty of psychedelic bands -- Dungen being the most jam-oriented and the Elephant 6 bands being the most pop-oriented -- but none of the groups have hit upon that hard edged neo-psych style that made the Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen so appetizing. So there is plenty of room for that sort of group, I think.
Film School is this cool, fuzzed out psych pop group. But there's something different about them ... less like Of Montreal and more like the Zombies. They're looser, hipper, and sound like they're suffering from hallucinations caused by acid rather than the disillusionment of being young that the Of Montreal dudes utilized to make extremely peppy music.
Film School at MySpace

Schooner is a bit different. These guys play music that is plenty fuzzy and psychedelic, but they add this sharper, crisper edge to it, with a bit of melancholy on top. I can't help but think that the singer sounds like the guy from the Rosebuds.
Schhoner - Trains and Parades
Schooner - Stunts and Showmanship and Codes
Schooner - We Let the Cat Out
Schooner - Machine's Running Out

Everyone likes Architecture in Helsinki for it's over-the-top goofy rock-opera tunes, right? The pure fun that they inject into their music makes them too cute and too smart all at once. Gus Franklin, one of the band's members, has recently created a new group called the Universe. These guys are bedroom pop at it's greatest. But they too have this psychedelic edge ... their tight harmonies being the uniting point here.
the Universe - Goodbye
the Universe of MySpace

And for my last mention of the day ... Blitzen Trapper, a band who, ironically, sounds sort of like Of Montreal. They play this very primitive, jumpy sort of rock that sounds like a hybrid between the Starlight Mints and well, Of Montreal. I like their drum fills -- they're short and a little rushed, like the drummer is nervous or something. But that's a good way to describe these guys: nervous.
Blitzen Trapper - Cold Gold Diamonds(?)
Blitzen Trapper - Summer Twin(?)
Blitzen Trapper - 10 Cent Slut(?)
Blitzen Trapper - Texaco
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Weekly: New Old

the lovers
I shall start this post off with some very good news from my perspective. I was recently mentioned on Dave Cusick's Post Modern Rock Show, and Dave even played three songs that I posted a while back on his show! Download the MP3 here.

Okay -- so now for the new music part of this blog.
The new indie buzzword is Paper Airplanes. These guys are being hailed as "true" indie-rockers. While I am still not quite sure that that's supposed to me, I suppose it's a complement. And they certainly are disorderly enough to classify as indie-rock and filled with enough creative juices to keep them going for, hopefully, years to come. Listen to The Fences, or go to their MySpace page.

These guys, the Lovers are too damn sweet. When I listen to their music, I think that by some odd stroke of luck -- and some magic on the side -- Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg have been reunited. The guy has, from what I hear, a really skeezy French-looking mustache (no offense, French guys -- that's the stereotype speaking!), the woman sings with an incredibly sexy voice, the songs are totally French-lounge-themed, and everything about them is just so perfect. Listen to La Degustation, La Le, French Kiss, Basque Country, and Sex Club (Original Mix). "Come drink my wine."

Who would have thunk that Venezula would produce such edgy post-punk-inspired dance rock? I usually stray away from music that is from a Spanish-speaking country ... I don't know why. It's probably subliminally racist, but I would hope it has something more to do with a dislike for salsa, rumba, maracas, and those goofy-looking bass guitars that they play down there.
Todosantos neither play that stupid Mexican acoustic bass nor sing lyrics that I recognize as Spanish (they are more of this alien sort of yelp that doesn't sound like any language spoken on Earth to me ... )
I will admit that the song title, "Ian Curtis" was a big turn off for me. Who the hell names their song "Ian Curtis"!? But I downloaded it and, while I still don't know what the heck they're talking about, but I liked it. It's raw, I guess you could say. I feel like their whole image is too flarey to make songs called "Ian Curtis" to begin with, but who am I to judge some crazy Venzulean musicians, obsessed with post-punk, the Rapture, and James Murphy and his cronies? Listen to 1999, Ian Curtis, A Veces, Epica, and Dicimbre. There.

Woah -- this is a good band ... the Handsome Charlies. They play this stuff that sounds like Madness mixed with, I dunno, Dexy's Midnight Runners and the Jam. Really light, crisp mod guitar pop, offset with horns and a very smart style, influenced by the likes of the Monochrome Set and XTC. These guys are very good -- I am impressed. Listen to Perfect, Makes Me Love You, 81, and Coffee.

And lastly, I've got Woodbine to deliver to y'all (isn't that the name of a really disgusting, harsh flavored British cigarette?) ... well -- these guys are not, by any means, disgusting. They are rather mellow, playing music that reminds me of the tighter works of like, Mazzy Star. They're cool and chill and I like them. They put all these interesting, liquidy effects into their songs that really spruce the whole moody thing up quite a bit.
Listen to three songs that their label, Domino, have to offer.
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Weekly: Another Shot In the Dark

the creeping nobodies
My slow connection is killing all potential I had to do any sort of in-depth research before posting. All I can do is look stuff up that seems interesting to me, cross my fingers, and hope that some of you agree with my judgments.
I'll start this one off with a sure shot, though ... Built To Spill, one of the few early-90s indie-rock bands that still survives, is releasing a new record, You In Reverse in April. The group has posted their lead single (?), "Goin' Against Your Mind," for the LP on their MySpace page.
Now for the stuff I have not heard much of yet ...
The Creeping Nobodies are a five piece from Canada ... they've released an album and a few EPs, and from what I've heard -- and the little I've actually heard -- they are pretty good. Listen to Treachery, Your Likeness, Intent, Quarantine!, and State.
Also from Canada is North Atlantic Explorers, a pretty mellow, spacey group from B.C. ... can't say much more than that. Listen to When My Ship Comes In and I Will Not Leave You Alone.
The Elephants are an uber-feelgood psych-pop band from Washington. Cool, huh? I think these guys will get big once they release something through a label ... gut feel ...
They've got a MySpace page ... or else just download Oh Tina and Humans Extinct (thanks to the Camera as Pen).
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Weekly: Things I Can't Hear

kids these days
This post may turn out horribly wrong, so forgive me if it does.
As you may have picked up by now, I am suffering from a slow internet connection crisis. I can easily do simple stuff on the net, but I cannot just click and download ... one MP3 can take me up to like, 30 minutes.
But from what I gather, these bands are good. And I have listened to one of the groups in part, so I can confidently tell you that the last group I will mention is good.
Glass Family is a group from Austin, Texas, and they're music is said to be this sort of conceptual symphonic thing. Sounds interesting, but I can't really say ... listen to Swimming In Fiction.
Kids These Days is not a "startup" band ... they've been together for a few years now, playing as a sort of Vancouver collective, working on their debut album. Here's something from their one-pager:
All These Interruptions. The van is overheating. The tow truck is on its way. Late again… A thesis to write. A missing member. The phone is ringing… Five songwriters. Five friends. Two years in the making. Ten songs. All These Interruptions is the debut album from Vancouver’s Kids These Days.

Listen to Intoxicated, The Captain, and Sink In Your Teeth. Sound intriguing.
And last -- but not least -- there is Vertical Struts, a sort of rockibilly group that I am digging, and would certainly like all the more if I could download all of these songs I'm about to post. They're a two-piece that likes lo-fi music, but also certainly wants to still make stuff you can dance to. I like these guys ... a lot of lo-fi, to me, is sort of boring -- more of a statement than something you can actually enjoy. So -- without further ado, please listen to Girlfriend, Boyfriend, Stab, Stab, Stab, and Sh!.
Oh -- and please comment and tell me if you liked any of these groups I blindly posted about.
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Vibrations 11.5

Although I have temporarily gone back to dial-up wireless internet, I have still been downloading various podcasts (although it takes like, 5 times longer to get the bloody things) ... my favorite "find" being Dave Cusick's Post Modern Rock Show. I was, honestly, a little hesitant to start listening to the KSPU show, mostly because the name confused me a bit. But I get it all now, and I am glad that I took the leap and became a subscriber ... the show is one of my favorite podcasts. Cusick plays a good combination of the music that I want to hear (as I said before, when I critically judge someone's musical taste, I usually just see how much the person in question has in common with me) and the music that I have not yet found, but wish I had.
I credit Dave completely for my discovery of Cran. Cran, AKA Jonny Hughes (hey! another Canadian!), is a recent high school grad who has recorded one unreleased album, and although his computer pop sound is pretty commonplace now, he's fresh. I like him.
Cran - Spring-break Faith
Cran - Recall
Cran - Rider

That was my main point (mostly because I do not have the resources any longer to search for more points!), but I would also like to tell you all that the Watson Twins -- whom I have only recently learned about thanks to the new Jenny Lewis record they helped create -- are releasing their own album, Southern Manners, soon. They've posted a free song, but it's unfortunately an MP4 file ...
the Watson Twins - Friend or Foe

The British hype machine is going full blast, as usual, and their latest saviours or ... something ... are This Et Al. I actually sort of like this group ... atmospheric post-punk (leaning towards Radiohead at points), with lots of unique instruments and styles thrown into the mix (i.e. tremelo guitar).
This Et Al - Mother Was A Vulture
This Et Al - He Shoots Presidents
This Et Al - Catscan

Damn these guys have released a lot of singles and splits to still not have an album.
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Weekly: the Future

bell orchestre
I say it a lot, "when are we really gonna get the next Big Thing? Something totally new and differnet."
Well -- I am hopeful for the future. There are several groups that are completely "new" and totally "different." They represent the "next step" in music, as opposed to just a different perspective or re-hash (no matter how creative).
I have posted about all of these bands already, but it was only after listening to the new Man Man album, Six Demon Bag, on my MP3 player (stereo, man!) that I realized that Man Man is the Future (along with some other groups ... I'm gettin' there!)
Okay -- let me explain. Man Man is the Future of Music because their music is derivative. It's origins lay in Eastern European folk (?) and Dixieland combos and blues and honky-tonk. They have not just created something so abstract that it simply can't be classified. They have made a unique, incredibly cohesive, new breed of music that can only be described by itself. Unlike noise rock groups (i.e. Lightning Bolt and Hella), Man Man makes music that isn't just a spazz out. They're evolved music ... structured, together, and whole, they play music that is not just an individual's interpretation of noise.
I also see the Arcade Fire (okay -- old news, I know) and Bell Orchestre, for the same reasons as stated above, as the Future.
Okay -- enough with that, I guess. Comment if you agree or disagree, please ... I'm curious to see if you all think my points are valid.
Man Man - Black Mission Goggles
the Arcade Fire - Cold Wind
Bell Orchestre - Throw It On A Fire

BiBaBiDi: the Contest

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A Different Perspective

aztec camera
This blog will, as it stands now, never have an official podcast aspect to it. But I am trying to write posts that includes music that "makes sense" if you download them from a podcast app.
I have been listening to a lot of podcast recently, and I find that most of them fall into one of three categories. There are those that just push new music ... whatever that may be. Then there are those that go for a real radio sort of feel ... mixes, interviews, monologues, etc. Then, lastly, there are those that focus on music that the DJ likes. The latter type of podcast is the one that bugs me the most for two reasons: (1) I think that the DJs are playing stuff they like because it somehow sets them apart from the sea of podcasters ("hey -- I'm not playing Wolf Parade! Whoopie!") and (2) I rarely like the tracklists. It is not good of me to be critical of other people's tastes, but I can't help it. If you like Joy Division, then, by some law (that I've subconsciously constructed) you are supposed to like Echo and the Bunnymen and Interpol ... you are not supposed to like, say, Blondie. You can still like Blondie, but they can't coexist ... there needs to be your Blondie side and then there needs to be your Joy Division side.
So I'm going to post a few songs that are (a) older (b) some of my favorites and (c) work together. I would like to see if any of you have critical comments to make concerning my tastes. I have never felt so critical about another person's tastes until I started listening to these "what I like" podcasts.
Squeeze - Pulling Muscles (From the Shell)
Echo & the Bunnymen - The Cutter
the Undertones - Here Comes The Summer (Peel Session 5.2.1979)
XTC - Big Day
Siouxsie & the Banshees - Spellbound
the Jam - All Mod Cons

Well -- I wanted to post more songs, but this should give you an idea of what I'm trying to say. If nothing else, at least enjoy the free music!
BiBaBiDi: the Contest
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It's been quite some time since I posted about just one band ... I'm doing this mostly because I don't know how to fit dd/mm/yyyy into any other category.
The group is unlike any other band I'm listening to right now. They play really intense music ... as they describe it, it's a cross between hardcore dudes like Bikini Kill, Black Eyes, and the Locust and like, more "ornate" musicians such as Blonde Redhead and Frank Zappa. They are, by no means, to be compared to Zappa, but they are definitely not just noise.
It you're into that sort of thing, I guess they're pretty damn good.
They've got a MySpace page right here.
Listen to Blue Screen of Death and So Cold.
I like people from Toronto.
BiBaBiDi: the Contest
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Weekly: Opposites Attract Me

le volume courbe
Before I get to this Weekly's bands, I will tell you all my new Music Theorem.
The juxtaposition of a "low key" or lo-fi song and a more "energetic" song with lusher/flashier production qualities increases the perceived quality of both songs.

I mean -- what's a mix all about? Putting a variety of styles on one tape or CD. And how do you do that well? By pairing "soft" and "loud" songs, by putting a fast song back-to-back with a slow song. That sort of thing.
So here are some bands that attract each other by the "law" of my above Music Theorem:

Le Volume Courbe is my current favorite really lo-fi group, signed to Honest Jons (the guys that brought you Damon Albarn's Mali Music). Don't let the French name fool you ... these guys are British through and through. Not only are they from Nottingham, but they have even collaborated with the likes of such British "superstars" as Kevin Shields and Mazzy Star. Listen to Who Are You from the album, I Killed My Best Friend.

Germlin is almost the total opposite of Le Volume Courbe. His music is what would happen if you cross-bred Melt Banana and hardcore electroclash. A lunatic. Listen to Death Pixxel, Tooot Mountain, and Ghetto Backpack'r. Bizarre, man.

Lastly, I've got Precious Fathers for you all. These guys are being hailed as like, a new Broken Social Scene (minus, as far as I can tell, the absolute genius and the vocals). But I like them all the same. I especially enjoy their drumming, since it seems to be always a little lost or confused. Never quite on the best, but hey -- what the hell is a beat, anyway? Listen to Snowshoes and Praire Train.

Oh -- and by the way, I've made BiBaBiDi into a podcast-able RSS feed. So just add the feedburner RSS address to your podcast software and you can download all the MP3s I post, no problem at all!
BiBaBiDi: the Contest
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Australia Is the Place

madman moon
I am surprised by Australia's recent, pretty major, re-introduction into the music world. For the past few years, the only music we've gotten from Australia has been from the Vines and like, Jet and Cut Copy. AC/DC used to be big, Nick Cave has always been in the independent music world's eyes, and a lot of people liked the Clean (sorry -- they're from New Zealand), the Dirty Three, and the Church. But aside from that, Australia is unjustly misrepresented in the world of modern music.
Within the past year, though, there have been quite a few Australian bands that have formed and shown plenty of international promise and potential.
Youth Group has gained some recognition and Wolfmother is going to get hyped up soon, I can just feel it.
Madman Moon is a surprisingly creative Australian band that just released a self-titled LP. They sound like a reincarnation of Madness (before they hit it too big) ... really great stuff. Listen to Destination, Thorn, The Pattern, and Point of Life.
I am also quite impressed with the work of Van She ...
Unashamedly taking bits and bobs from 80’s post punk, funk and synth pop, 90’s grunge, French house, film scores, 70s Krautrock and the latest collection of innovative artists like Tom Vek and M83, Van She are that unique beast that one was beginning to believe no longer existed -– a band that takes all these influences from days gone but makes them sound unique, modern, and...… fresh. A lazy pastiche this isn't.

Listen to Sex City.
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BiBaBiDi Music Hype Contest

bibabidi: the contest
Okay, I'm working on a BiBaBiDi contest here. I still need to figure out how to work out the bugs of this proposed contest, but I think I've got it.
I feel like there are too many music blogs. With my blog, I try to unearth bands that are not getting much attention, but which I feel will get a little more in the future. Sometimes I come across a group that never breaks through (quite often, actually), but sometimes I hit on something pretty early.
I posted about the Cribs, the Departure, and the Blood Arm at least 4 months before they started getting press (in the NME in this case), and up to 7 or 8 months before their first "big" release.
So -- I thought it would be fun to play a sort of betting game here. The way that you "enter" is by subscribing to this blog so that I can have your email address for the sole purpose of collecting data and sending out contest emails. Your address will stay confidential with me!

Every address gets 50 points to "bet" with at the start. You can either send me emails with you "bets" or else wait until I send out my first mass mailing and then respond to that.

I've made this contest (a) much easier and (b) much shorter (I will take it down on the 10th, so act fast).
Here's what you have to do:
Put however many points you want to on however many of the following bands you would like to. I have assigned a number to each of these bands. The number is between 0 and 5 and corresponds to how much potential each group has ... a 5 would merit a band on the brink of a break through, whereas a 0 would merit a band doomed to the dollar bin. A "0" means that you get no points back and a "5" means you get 5 times the points.
The idea here is to try and see what sort of music is probably going to get big ... I find it interesting to look at this sort of thing. I mean, some of the bands I have assigned zeros to I actually like a lot, but I do not think they will explode like the Bravery did or anything.
Get it? Good.
So -- if you get 200 points, I will give you a "small" release from one of the bands you bet on. If you get 300+ points, I will give you a "big" release (an EP or an LP). If I calculate your points and they turn out to be less than 200 points, you will have more chances to bet with the points you've already received, but you must bet them on another group.
Okay -- so subscribe away and spread the word ... this is a very limited contest, so act quickly. There may be more games in the future if you guys all dig this sort of thing!

So, here are the starting betting options ... start placing "bets"!
the Colours
the Divorce
El Presidente
Milk Kan
Madman Moon
Portugal the Man
We're Marching On
the Vermicious Knid
the Teeth
Beat Radio
the Wet Secrets
Le Volume Courbe
Precious Fathers

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And the Brits Say

This post is a lead-up to my next post, so sorry for the "incomplete" sort of feel of it. I just want to mention a few UK bands that I have come across that seem pretty interesting, and -- keyword here -- hype-able (that doesn't mean they deserve the hype, but I think they will get it/more of it).
Various is a crazed electronica dance group. Everything's overexaggerated and loony and crass and harsh and dissonant. The soft female vocals make the mood all the more complex and bizarre, but that's why I like them, I guess. They have three songs on their site, but I can't seem to find the source files, so you'll have to go there and listen for yourselves. Sorry.
I'm a tad late on writing about the Manchester group, Fear of Music, but I need to post about them. They've got this cool garage rock sort of songwriting style, but with a more uniquely British twang of post-punk mixed in. Interesting ... potential. Listen to the stuff on their website or The Waltz (Acoustic Demo).
I like dark and haunting and enchanting music. Especially when the minor chords are played with old school synths and crisp, punctuating guitars. And Mark E. Smith sounding vocals certainly help make that sort of music all the more scary. So listen to the Presets ... (and yes, I know I'm a little late on them as well). Download Cookie, At A Loss, Beat On/Beat Off, Kitty In the Middle, and Mia's Mouse, please.
Now, Littl'Ans have not released any solo recordings so far (just a single with friggin' Pete Doherty), but they deserve to be selling records big time. I don't know what to call this stuff ... acoustic/baroque-rock meets the Libertines? Very witty songwriting, elegant guitar plucking and jazz drumming create quite a cool vibe. I'll point out a few of my favorite songs from their gigantic downloads section on their website ... Do You Hide From Saturday Night?, Tell Me You Love Me, , and Say You Miss Me.
I'll fill you in on my future plans tomorrow. I'm dead tired right now.
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Weekly: Colors

I've been reading up on and listening to a few groups that are very ... colorful. Vibrant in terms of style and in terms of design and look. El Presidente is a glossy amalgamation of 70s rock, R&B, and electronica. Their falsetto singing and goofy sound is offset by their Interpol-inspired wardrobe. These guys are cool, if nothing else.
The group has one-minute samples of their whole record on their website, and streams for three of their music videos. I uploaded a song of theirs, "Without You," which you can listen to here
There have been several British white-boy/suburbia rap-groups that, as far as I can tell, decided to start flowing when they heard A Grand Don't Come Easy by Streets. Goldie Lookin' Chain is the most annoying one for me, but they can sometimes be funny and fun. Milk Kan is the Beastie Boys on speed or something. Or maybe more like the rap incarnation of the Happy Mondays. I dunno ... they're weird, man. Listen to Real Fake World.
I know nothing about Fursaxa, and I think Fursaxa (it's just one person) wants it that way. The website is bare, as is the music. It sounds like a Gregorian chant on downers or something ... atmospheric guitar (?) plucking and slightly raspy female vocals make for some weird stuff. Check out Japonica ...
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