Happy Days

happy days
I've got one more Canadian musician up my sleeve before I go on a short internet-less hiatus.
Victor Scott is from Vancouver, but he's all over the place. Influences include ...
hip-hop, mariachi instrumentals, folkish pop ballads, soundtrack stylings with dialogue samples, the ghost of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and brassy butt-shaking dance music with bawdy double entendres.

He even describes his newest record, Happy Days (out on SVC Records), as a "schizo kind of a record," which I guess it sort of is.
But none of the above comments are meant to be negative! Quite the opposite! Scott's collage of sound is overwhelming enjoyable and intriguing. Funk is a really lively style of music, right? Real upbeat, real energetic, but when Scott does his own take on funk, with "Gotta Go" it's not like that at all! It's laid back, chill, and sort of soft. But it's that sort of thing that makes his style so cool ... his music is all at once familiar, but ... different. Charming, but not necessarily cute, and on the edge of lo-fi, but with high-quality production values. This guy's got it together.
Victor Scott - Gotta Go
Victor Scott - Mareel
Victor Scott - Airstream
Victor Scott - Golf
Victor Scott - The Laundromat Song (Happy Days B-Side)
Victor Scott - Superman (Happy Days B-Side)

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Vibrations 18.2

Welcome back, welcome back. It's just been a few hours since my last post, but I am about to be internet-less for a little while, so I'm cramming a few more bands in real quick here. But you guys will be provided with ample time to absorb all of this new material (and one more big post tomorrow).
I'm a bit late on the uptake here, but I will still direct you all to Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos, on the off chance that you have also missed them. Hey, coulda, shoulda, woulda, right? I am impressed by these guys' ability to make really beautiful arrangements. And the singer's voice melds so perfectly with their indie-rock lackadaisical feel. And they have witty lyrics, to boot.
Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos MySpace page

I'm a big Raveonettes fan. I like them for their male-female harmonies and all that sexy tremelo guitar that they use. They're uber slick, yeah? Well Scrabbel is like the Raveonettes if they had folk origins. Same male-female harmonies, but with this sort of Tilly and the Wall sing-along songwriting style.
Scrabbel - Chicago New York
Scrabbel - M*A*S*H* Theme Song
Scrabbel - Sometimes

Aw man, Bahai Cassette is bizarre, dude. Is it rap or is it like, kiddie indie-pop? These guys rap like they know they don't have much in the way of skillz (ironic spelling, okay?), so I don't know how to really ... interpret their music. But it's fun, if nothing else, and so therefore you should all listen to them!
Bahai Cassette - Victory Lap

Slow Hand Motëm is also a strange band. They've released -- as far as I can tell -- all of their albums on the internet. With like artwork and all! And these are "good" albums, in that they sound like someone actually took time to make them. Not just some internet freebie. I cannot top the description of the band that accompanies their album, Explain the Swans to Swim, so I will just quote:
Slow Hand sounds like Donovan if he hung out with George Clinton and they smoked some weed and listened to Beat Happening.

And that's pretty accurate, I'd say. You can get another album of theirs here. Cool guys.
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Weekly: They Mean War

the seconds
I like bands that are interesting because of an assumed cool that they posses. It's no fun to see a publicity shot of a group of like, four or five guys, all staring at the camera with this sort of "I don't give a shit" glare, donning the slickest t-shirts they could find at the local Salvation Army, oh and wearing their grandfather's Depression-era boots since that's retro cool.
That's why I like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Who else do you know in the music world that can slosh makeup on in the most unattractive ways, cover herself in dirt, and lather bright red lipstick on and still look attractive (and sexy in a sort of primitive, dirty way)? No one. It's all about Karen O.
And who would have thought that the band was just a three piece? ... Nick Zinner is a man in command of his guitar. And apparently his camera, too... I would never have thought that he was such an excellent photographer! And then there's the drummer, uh ... Brian. But he's really cool, too, because he's apparently a learned jazz drummer and is in another band, the Seconds. See? Who would have thought that the YYYs had such a story? And they didn't even have to buy vintage t-shirts.

But the Seconds ... cool band, this group ... more punk-edged than the YYYs and more crazed, rushed. Think of playing an X record at 45 rmps instead of the usual 33 1/3 rpms. It's like that. Listen to Moving, Dedicated (both from their forthcoming album, Kratitude, Mommymommymommy (live), Say Hey, and Right Way.

Ain't nothin' wrong with a bit of folkie-sounding indie-pop. So ain't nothin' wrong with the Light Footwork. Cute little duo that released a record a few months back called One State Two State. The cover[, unfortunately,] features what looks like Dr. Seuss artwork. Now, as a quick aside, I would like to express my discontent with album cover art. I don't know why it has always seemed to me that cover art always looks better on an LP. CD artwork tends to be rushed and sort of lame. It's too easy to just throw an image into photoshop, mess with it a bit, and then put it on your CD cover. And CDs just have a cheaper feel to them, and they're smaller, less imposing, so maybe people don't worry as much about the artwork. Destroyer's Rubies comes to mind (as an example of a new release with crappy artwork). It's just like, a picture. What happened to all the cool covers from the 70s and 80s ... Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Joy Division, New Order, Madness ... huh? Anyway -- listen to Coastlines Are Landmines and Rapture Good, Rapture Bad.

The Loungs is, man ... what do they remind me of? It's like Babyshambles/the Libertines mixed with the Kinks or something. They have this old-fashioned British pop sound, but they're sharp and have this modern edge (production-wise and instrumentation-wise). They use horns and stuff like that sometimes and are occasionally just flat-out goofy ("Seen My Baby Dancing"). Perhaps a little too hard to predict, but I see these guys going places soon ... listen to Cats and In Winter Coats.
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The Pink Elixir and the Fluorescent Rain Cloud

you say party! we say die!
Friggin' Canadians. Every month or so, I do a big "woohoo Canada" post. Here's February's "woohoo Canada" post.
Children of the CPU is -- at first glance -- a rip-off of Ladytron. Oh, except their from Vancouver. I think they have a richer sound though, founded more in the vein of Depeche Mode. Moody is a good way to put it, I suppose. You can hear a bunch of their stuff on their New Music Canada page.
Too many bands have put exclamation marks in their name. I cannot think of any other trend that got so cliched and lame so fast. Not even the revival of "the" bands got old this fast. Next people will be naming their bands with like, footnotes and sub-titles and stuff (i.e. "Famous Falcons: the Defenders of the Known Universe" or "Rocky Ricksaw: the Forge"). But I will overlook the exclamation marks in You Say Party! We Say Die!'s case (did I, uh ... already post about these guys!?)
They are also electro-based ... but more aggressive and more like straight-up electroclash. I like handclaps though, you know. And dude, that singer sounds like Siouxsie Sioux! Listen to Clap Hands! Hot Bodies!, The Gap, and Love In the New Millenium.
An---d ... Two Hours Traffic sounds like too many other bands to me. I am feeling very frustrated right now -- I have big time band overload, and I can't place this sound! Where do those guitar plucks come from!? Where do those dry vocals come from (maybe Spoon?) ... and what about the alt-country sort of vibe? What's that from? I feel so desperately unorganized. Ugh. Anyway -- listen to a bunch of stuff the group's got up on their New Music Canada page. They're good ... very interesting combination of summery pop and Canadian uh ... "thinking man's pop" or something like that.
Awwww, shit ... Halifax represent! I am still totally dense about Canadian territories (they're not called principalities or anything, right?), but I think I know where Halifax is. In-Flight Safety is from Halifax (pick that up by now?). I would go as far to say that these guys are one of Halifax's top 100 bands ... and I'm not just talkin' this year -- I'm talking of all time. Ach -- enough ... they're a good band ... a bit like Wilco, but a bit lighter (probably not addicted to pain killers, these guys). Listen to a bunch of their stuff on the site mentioned above.
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Weekly: I Want Trouble

I think it would be cool to get like, a cease and desist order from Warner Records. It would certainly help my publicity (or I would like to this it would). "Yeah ... had to take down that MP3 since I got this official notice from Warner Records ... sorry, guys." Something like that would make my day.
So I am going to post a new Flaming Lips song here, but first, let me tell you my impressions of the album so far.
I like At War With the Mystics. With this new record, the Lips have gone a bit back to their roots, I think. They've made an album which seems less focused. It has no plotline like Yoshimi, and a lot of the songs center on Mr. Coyne's obsession with religious matters (i.e. if there's no heaven, then maybe there's no hell and stuff like that). The reason I enjoyed Yoshimi so much was because it was like delving into a book. I wanted to find out the "backstory," learn all about the characters, figure out what every song was about, read the prequel and wait for the sequel. The accompanying artwork, various EPs, and other Yoshimi-themed products didn't help vanquish this dream of mine. It's like if J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings and then ... stopped.
But I like the album regardless. Listen to the first track, Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.
Gliss is a relaxed, yet sexy alt-rock group from LA that, uh ... Billy Corgan likes. And so does the Wicked Witch of the West. They've got -- as far as I can tell -- their whole EP up on their site, but you can also check out their MySpace page and hear the ... same stuff.
These international bands are poppin' up faster than dandelions in spring. Fields is one such group ... they come from Rekjavik and London. How cool is that? They also have a roadie named Hector "Whiplash" McGee, and he comes from Newfoundland. They do cool chants and have an awesome drummer and have this very slick post-punk production sheen that makes them all the more likeable. There is something very M83 about their music ... like if M83 was an indie band or something. Listen to Song For the Field, If You Fail We All Do(?), Charming the Flames, and Skulls And Flesh And [...](?) ... sorry, they've self-released all their stuff on a record label they themselves made called Black Lab. Therefore, I cannot tell you the full names of all those songs ...
Who doesn't like a good old husband-and-wife band? Who doesn't like The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald? Eh? No one. Fitzgerald is the great grandson of the band that F. Scott was in, the Fitzies. The Fitzies were a sort of big-band group in the 20s. They unfortunately broke up in the early 30s because of heroin addictions and the murder of their bass player (he was stabbed with a pair of chopsticks by his wife), and never completed their UK tour. But luckily there is now just Fitzgerald, and they're just as sweet. They've been around for a while, playing "folk indie," and uh ... kickin' it, I guess. Now they have a new record, Raised By Wolves, and they're better than ever. Their vocals have gotten stronger and they're musicianship has gotten more nuanced and perfected. I like, I like. Listen to How Far North ... it's really cool. They're from Minneapolis, so they are therefore on 2024 Records since that's the only label all the cool Minneapolis bands sign to.
And lastly ... AM Syndicate. They are from Texas (and "holy shit, their record's out!!!!!!!!!!!!")
I like them ... all angular and depressed-sounding and ornate and very enchanting. Their music wraps around you, but provides no warmth or happiness ... they're good at sounding very sad. Very cool rhythms, too, and interesting song development. Listen to Kicking A Sailor In the Teeth (from -- "holy shit" -- their EP, Empire).
That's it.
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Vibrations 17.1

Having unreliable internet means two things: (1) I can't post as much as I used to (duh), and (2) I am much slower "catching up" on stuff ... I can't as easily gauge what is"new" and "old" ... I have a sort of constant internet jet-lag, if there is such a thing.
Regardless, here be a few bands for you to listen to.
Novillero is another one of those feel-good groups that plays music that sounds sort of like old Madness songs ... lots of horns, light ska, dancey, and raspy vocals. Cool to see this sort of music taking off again (even if it is taking off in a small-ish scene).
Novillero - Aptitude
Novillero - Hypothsist

I've always had a special place in my heart for Island Records ... they were a big label, but one that was willing to take chances, it seems. They were the guys that signed like, Plastics back in the late 70s when the B-52s were taking off and no one even knew that Japanese people made pop music. Island has changed quite a bit, but they still seem to like supporting "underdog" acts ... bands that appear smaller than they really are. The Feeling is such a band. Classic rock through and through ... sunny poppy melodies, enchanting harmonies, and slightly annoying guitar solos. But they've got chops, and are certainly worth a listen.
the Feeling - Modern Classic

Four Tet is everyone's favorite folktronic artist (whatever the hell that means), right? Folktronic is a buzz word, to say the least ... everyone wants to make some kick-ass folktronic tunes, but ... I dunno, maybe it's just the ambiguity the name implies ... no one is quite as cool as Four Tet. Pedro is gettin' there, though. He's got that sort of "falling apart" sound that makes Four Tet so interesting ... disintigration jazz or something like that (to sound all goofy and esoteric).
Pedro - Fear & Resilience (Sirconical remix)
Pedro - Fear & Resilience

Lastly, I'll throw a Japanese thing here. I like Tujiko Noriko a lot. She has this incredibly unique style which combines traditional (otherwise known as, ahem, dissonant) Japanese music with spacey electronics, spooky wails, and excellent, atmospheric production. Damn unique musician. She's done a lot of collaborative work, and the most recent thing she's collaborated on was RATN (with Riow Arai). The resulting record, J, sounds like the soundtrack to an early-80s sci-fi thriller or something. It's very focused, I guess you could say, and that makes it seem like it should have some sort of plot that accompanies it. I've uploaded this song for your listening pleasure ...
RATN - Ato Mou Ikkai Dake

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Weekly: Ages

the ladies
I cannot tell you how frustrating it is for me to have no internet. It's weird, though -- I keep thinking myself, "man, I need to update the blog," like it's a reflex, but I don't really know why I keep thinking that. I mean, deep down, there ain't nothin' wrong with a weekly update. That's the name of this bloody post, anyway.
More importantly, though, it sucks not having good internet resources because I can't download stuff as much as I used to. It's no fun waiting a day or two for one album, especially when I don't even know if I'll like it or not!
But here's some stuff that I do like ... read on!

I will never forget seeing Hella live. The drummer was like, in constant spasm, and that bizarrely enhanced his performance. Like, you know how humans become much more powerful under stress -- to the point where they can even pry someone they love from under a small car or something? Well, this drummer must be under a lot of stress, because I have no idea where the hell he gets his energy from. But I digress ... that drummer isn't even in the Ladies, a two-piece group, formed by Zach Hill (the other half of Hella) and Rob Crow (one of the dudes from Pinback). This band is cool. Imagine Hella being the band version of Pnin by V. Nabokov. You've just finished reading it, but you don't get it, so you pick up the Cliff Notes and, what do ya know -- it makes sense! The Ladies are like that for Hella ... they make sense, hearing them. When I saw Hella I was sort of like, "uh -- what the hell is going on up there? Whatever -- it looks awesome!" But the Ladies make it all understandable and more accessible. So listen to Empathy On A Stick to get what I mean.
I remember listening to Nobody a while back ... sort of cool DJ, I guess. Nothing too special, though, was what I though of his ...And Everything Else record. But he just recently collaborated with Mystic Chords Of Memory and created this awesome record called Tree Colored See. It's sort of ... hippie sounding. That laid-back DJ vibe combined with those chill vocals work well together, though. Okay -- I don't have a whole lot more to say about the release, so just download Broader A New Sound and see for yourself.
Now, I know this is getting a lot of hype, this new Yeah Yeah Yeahs song, "Gold Lions." But I'm gonna share it with you guys to save you the trouble of wasting too much time Google-ing it! I like this song, though ... as usual, Nick Zinner tears it up with his excellent guitar playing, and Karen O. wails throughout, but this song is different. Maybe it's the chain gang vibe ... maybe it's just a more focused piece. All of their energy has been compressed into something very accessible. Okay -- download Gold Lion. Can't wait for the album to hit.
Liars, one of my favorite groups, has been a bit of a let-down as of late, haven't they? Obscurity and obscenity do not make up for lack of creativity. I wish they'd put themselves forth a little more and make something as exciting as their debut was.
That's what I though until I heard "The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack," a stunningly ... pretty song from the group. Where the hell did this come from!? It makes me a little weepy, which is absolutely bizarre as this is ... Liars we're talking' here! Anyway -- download the song here, and tell me what you think of it! I was very pleasantly surprised!
Little Claw is ... man are they bizarre. Described as experimental folk punk, they are edgy and sharp and eerie. Siouxsie Sioux-esque vocals, spooky guitar lines, and a very sparse production make them uber slick and modern, but retro in a post-punk sort of way. Listen to Ice Age, Shewolves, and Eel Dances.
And now just a quick mention of British music ...
Morning Runner is simple, cut and dry, and fun punk-inspired pop. I like this new wave of British pop ... happier than punk was, but not quite a poppy as Brit-pop legends like Blur and others were. Go to their website and listen to their streamed songs. Something about the vocals and reverb reminds me of Oasis, which I am not too keen about, though ...
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Weekly: Manga Kissaten

mr. comicstore
Well, this is sort of cool ... I'm eating pancakes and drinking coffee and watching War Of the World in a Takamatsu manga kissaten (a 24-hour rest station ... tons of comics, PCs, DVDs, free drinks, etc.)
So I decided to do an update from here!
Okay, so I was in Kyoto a few days ago, and I came across this cool new 12" by Mr. Comicstore called Theme Of Comics. Sort of in the same vein as like, Halfby and all those Second Royal dudes, but definitely a fun listen. There are tons of samples up on their website ...
Damnarms are this sort of hardcore group from Melbourne that's currently touring with Test Iscicles. They definitely have a similar sound ... a little rougher if anything, and less organized, but still pretty cool. Listen to two of their songs at their MySpace page. They shall be big.
I like these guys, the Mules ... bizarre psychedelic garage rock from Allston, Mass. ... all weird and distorted ... goofy vocals with a nice female touch. I dig the organ -- what is that? a Farfisa? Listen to their song Teenage Freak Girls.
And I guess I'll close this off with an obscure Escalator Records artist (awesome Tokyo-based record label whose roster includes Yukari Fresh and Cubismo Graffico): Caede. So far she's only got a CD single out, but it's cute and fresh and full of energy and fun like all these other Japanese releases I'm listening to now. Check out a samples of the first and second tracks.
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Weekly: In Kyoto (Part Two)

Alright ... I'm back at the hotel for a bit, so I thought I would get this second part of my "In Kyoto" thing out of the way.
You've all seen Lost In Translation, right (or at least heard the soundtrack)? Well, you know how Kevin Shields did a sort of disappointing job of making it? I see Volcano The Bear as the group that recorded the alternative (and better) version of that soundtrack. It's like My Bloody Valentine in its shoegaze simplicity, but without the unnecessary amount of distortion and feedback and stuff. Sorry -- I like My Bloody Valentine, but it just doesn't work for a movie like Lost In Translation! They've got Memphis (Remix), Larkrise (Remix), Clasical Erasmus Fusion, Golden Hot Bite (Remix), Where Are All The Bounds, Arc Felt, Uh-Omm, and Inner Arms And Necks all up for grabs on their website.
Listening to Staggering Statistics makes me remember Mission of Burma big time. That same sort of proto-grunge punk style, the same drawn out, overwrought vocals, and the same chaotic drumming. And they're from Cincinnati, man ... that's like, where I grew up (almost)! Listen to stuff at their MySpace page!
Awww ... Twink is too damn cute! A "toy piano band" that has an obsession with sampling, cats, and rabbits. Twink's music has an uncanny resemblance to Japanese Shibuya-kei (or Neo-Shibuya-kei or whatever you want to call it) music, but Twink definitely is not Japanese, making it all the more interesting, I guess. You can hear songs from three of Twink's albums on the website, but here are three from the latest record, The Broken Record, to get you started: Pussycat, Animal Talk, and Boys And Girls.
Writing about Twink reminded me to post a new Yukari Fresh song, Henry House. It is a song that is featured on Escalator Records' latest compilation CD, Henry. Not quite sure why they decided to compile a bunch of songs focused on the cute vacuum sweeper with a face painted on, Henry, but they did. The song is a nice return to Yukari's roots, and I like it. Even if it is strange that she's singing about a vacuum sweeper in it ...
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Weekly: In Kyoto (Part One)

Okay -- I have friggin' internet once again! Not any of this crummy dial-up wireless card crap in the country. Good solid LAN lines here. And I'm connecting to the web in a little hotel in Kyoto, to add to my joy. This is a very cool city, and while I've been here twice before, this is the first time I've been able to explore it in any sort of depth.
So -- I'm going to just write about a whole bunch of stuff here ... things I've been wanting to post about, and one thing I just re-discovered.
The Lolita Bras are "going to be this year's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" ... uh ... I dunno about that. They're like a slowcore version of pop -- a power-pop version of shoegaze. Which sounds strange, but they're atmospheric while being angular and power poppy. Listen to Her Own Conversation.
Velella Velella is weird, man ... like loungey trip-hop stuff. Lots of these flutes and warped loops and stuff ... they are also getting hype quite a bit, but I dunno ... well, listen to Do Not Fold/Do Not Bend, Hunter, and The Bread Is Hard As Crackers.
I'm going to have to finish this later. But I will leave you all with Hairsalon. Man was this a surprise. I walked into Jet Set Records, Kyoto, and I found a copy of Hairsalon's CD. I had emailed this guy (he's a 30-year-old musician living in Tokyo) over a year ago, and he had sent me a MD of his stuff and a pretty depressing email -- how no one was too interested in signing him. But now here he is with a CD and a label and all! I'm surprised! It rekindled my interest in that sort of music ... which could be a bad thing. He has this sort of fascination with old TV show music and Walt Disney and bright and colorful things like that. A strange mix of incredibly cheery music. Listen to Sledge And Piggybank.
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Weekly: An Assortment

the rezillos
I didn't want to consecutively post two Vibrations, so I decided to call this a weekly, even though it has not uniting "theme."
Do you all know the Rezillos (sometimes call the Revillos)? They were this really cool Scottish band that played in the 70s and 80s. Like, a hybrid of New Wave and Glam and Punk ... they played this really fun stuff ... sometimes garage, sometimes surf, always with that New Wave sheen, and always in creative costumes stolen from the set of Flash Gordon.
While the Ms aren't quite the same since their music is more indie based -- and incorporates more rock 'n' roll -- they give off a similar vibe. They wear cool costumes, and are just as much about a fun style as they are about a fun sound. Listen to Plan Of The Man. Their album, Future Women will be out on February 21st on Polyvinyl.
Oakley Hall is cool, too ... being described as a sort of modern X: a "smarter," yet slightly old-fashioned (phew) style of punk. Listen to Lazy Susan, Landlord, and Eyes, Lock, and Steel.
And then I've got the National Eye, a group which has been around for a couple years, but has only caught my attention uh ... today. Again, sort of indie psych rock stuff -- very appealing in it's sort of compressed sound. Everything is drawn out, yet short; accessible, yet beautiful. I like them, and am looking forward to their next record, Roomful of Lions, due out on February 14th. Listen to At the Bottom of the Pool (from their 2003 album, The Meter Glows). They've got lots of songs that you can stream on their music page, though.
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Vibrations 14.4

Aw man -- it has been a long time. My apologies. I'll kick off my return to the blog with a simple Vibrations post, as these tend to be rather self-explanatory.
There's this band, Bronx Cheerleader, that is getting a reasonable amount of underground hype. They're being described as Canada's version of the Shins. Really crafty songwriting, especially memorable melodies, and for some reason, very familiar. Familiar in a distant way -- it sounds like something I like and that I know, but I don't know why or where it's from. They're cool ...
Bronx Cheerleader - The Assault
Bronx Cheerleader - Racing Time
Bronx Cheerleader - So Nice To See You (Fall)
Bronx Cheerleader - Unseen Hands
Bronx Cheerleader - Crapshooter's Blues
Bronx Cheerleader - Hollywood Ending

I have not heard a whole lot of stuff by Drew Danburry yet, so forgive me for not being able to comment too much on his style. He does this folky sort of stuff, which isn't usually "my bag," but he adds a bit of indie flavor to it all, which makes me like him a bit more.
Drew Danburry - At A Stop In St. Regis
Drew Danburry - I'll Only Believe I ...
Drew Danburry - Red Rock Virgin's Encounter With Winter Nights
Drew Danburry - Tree On Wheels

When I first got to the Apparitions' website, I assumed that the group would be all spacey and weird and electronic or something. They ain't ... that glossy edge they've added to their album art and website design is misleading. They play this really accessible rock 'n' roll. Like old-fashioned sort of blues-inspired stuff. They seem to have lots of fun playing their music, so I have fun listening to it.
the Apparitions - Electricity + Drums
the Apparitions - God Monkey Robot

Moving on to something completely different ... Shit Robot -- the DFA's latest signing! They're from Stuttgart, which is really cool to me. I don't know why. I usually associate German music with metal and techno. And both of those styles seem to be examples of why German engineering should not be extended to the realm of music production. So often, this German techno sounds too slick and sharp and too riddled with club drugs. It makes me uncomfortable. But Shit Robot isn't like that, as their name should imply. Listen to the stuff on their MySpace page ... I've again taken way too much time making this post. Ugh.
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