I don't know if I like this new trend of band naming. While bands like They Shoot Horses Don't They? have ... interesting and fun names, they're a mouthful. And it's just way cooler to say, "yeah -- I listen to Deerhoof, Beck, the Fiery Furnaces ... " than "yeah, my favorite bands are Pretty Girls Make Graves, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, and You Say Party! We Say Die!"
That being said, you should give the Ape Drape Escape a listen. The UK band is wacky (they've written fake bios of each of the band members and they wear funny clothes) and a sort of combination of the Cramps' hyper punk and the electronic cacophony of DEVO. While I like them, I'm sorry guys -- I'm not likely to name drop you in a conversation.
the Ape Drape Escape - Soregums
the Ape Drape Escape - U Need Glue
the Ape Drape Escape - I Am the Uniform
the Ape Drape Escape - Ultra Modern Homes
Now Emit plays another strange mix of styles. They've got the lyric and vocal edge of the Streets, but they've added plenty of dancey angular punk to the mix. I don't know if I could listen to more than 17 minutes of these guys, but they're interesting. Maybe they're become more certain of their sound when (and if) they get signed ...
Oh, now I like Loka. Electronic stuff that has a very free flow, improvised feel to it. Some of his stuff sounds like it could be from like, a hard-boiled detective mystery movie soundtrack, but it may be a little too spontaneous for that. Imagine Blonde Redhead doing an electronic, jazzier side project. That's sort of what Loka's like. I like listening to this sort of thing since it's always fun to try and figure out where the artist's influences are coming from. Loka's are certainly all over the place.
And since it's been a while since I've posted about electronic music, why not add Matinee Orchestra to the mix here? I like this band (I never know what to call ambient groups ... for some reason they don't seem to be a "band" to me). Sort of the mish-mash style of the Books, but a bit more focused. Although not by much. They use a lot of field sounds, plenty of vocal samples, and lots of interesting instruments. Definitely worth a listen.
Matinee Orchestra - Pray, Rock, Stone, Paper, Scissors (clip)
Matinee Orchestra - I'll Never Be Afraid Again (clip)
Arable Records' MySpace page
And to end on a quiet note ... Lise Westzynthius, a singer-songwriter born to Danish and Finnish parents. She's lived all over Europe, it seems, but now lives in London where she sings charming piano songs that pull my heartstrings. Her whisper of a voice makes her songs all the more eerily sad ...