29.9.06

Being Upstaged

foreign born
I went to see Rogue Wave last night, and if you haven't picked it up yet, I didn't end up liking them the best out of the three groups I saw perform. Rogue Wave was not doing too well (singer was a bit sick, bass player looked like hell), and Jason Collett and his group were, while on the ball, a little boring and too much like Bob Dylan for my liking.

Foreign Born was where it was at last night. I was impressed with their EP, but that did little to prepare me for how awesome they are live! Imagine a folksy Echo & the Bunnymen or something. But not folksy at all, really ... just an Echo that, instead of British roots of some sort, looked to American music for their foundations. Truly a cool concert. The guitarist was amazing, and I love the singer (he even has an Ian McCulloch thing going on!) ...

And hey, the group is releasing an album -- maybe called On The Wing Now -- next year. They've pressed 500 copies of it themselves, and you can pick that up at the shows (while supplies last). I reccommend it.
Oh, and check out the photos here, here, and here.
Foreign Born - Union Hall
Foreign Born - The Entryway
Foreign Born - Holy Spinter (demo)
Foreign Born - Into Your Dream (demo)

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28.9.06

Not From Around Here

ii

This post has no geographic unity -- Australia, Iceland, and the UK are all included -- but I'd like to think that musically, there's some sort of focus.

Hafdis Huld is a chick from Iceland (don't hear much from them these days), and boy is she cool. More accessible than Bjork, but certainly quite a creative force. Her voice is sort of girly, but there's something mature and reserved about it. I like it ... And hey -- she's got a blog! How cool is that!?

If you're into crazy sort of dissonant and spacey ambient stuff, then ii is the group for you. They're from Australia, and have been around for something like three or four years now. I like how they apparently improvise a lot of their stuff ... that style usually connotes more planning. Yeah, they've got MySpace.

I'll admit it ... I'm usually not really into male singer/songwriters. They bug me for some [stupid] reason. Anyway, Fionn Regan is good enough. He's got a humble voice -- which I like -- and he seems to write some pretty down-to-earth simple folky guitar music. Not something I'll ever get into (sorry), but he's pretty good. Check him out at his MySpace page!

Last (for now), but certainly not least is Skatebård, a Norweigen electronica/dance one-man group. Dark, spacey, pulsating dance music that wakes you up while slowing you down, mellowing you out. I love layering, therefore I love Skatebård quite a bit.

Hafdis Huld - Tomoko
Hafdis Huld - Fucked Up Mind
Hafdis Huld - Who Loves the Sun
Skatebård - Data Italia

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27.9.06

Ready to Hype!

mixtapes & cellmates
I'm going to lay off the Swedish music a little here. This post will be mostly dedicated to British groups. Hey, I'm all about embracing diversity, right? (Although I've yet to write about the latest bangin' Inuit throat singing compilation.)

I'm going to make a prediction here (and it may have already come true ... too lazy to look into that, though). At least one of the three English groups contained in this post will get hyped at some point, and I think they'll get a pretty fair amount of it.

Innercity Pirates, formerly known as My Red Cell, are "in between labels" (this sounds like a job description), but have released three EPs independently. They describe their sound as "speed garage indie" which I think is exceptionally fitting. It's quick, it's torn up and loose, and it's loud and brash like good garage should be. I dig female lead vocals, so this group has already pulled some of my heart strings. Anyway, check 'em out at their MySpace page. Rock out.

Flipron is currently blowing me away. That raspy voice? That goofy Wurlitzer organ? Those killer, tinny drum fills? That folky electric guitar? The saloon piano parts? This band has something terribly unique going for them, and that makes me very excited. I want these guys to do very, very well. You guessed it ... they've got a MySpace page as well!

Invisibles are not to be confused with a different [lamer] American group by the same name. In fact, something should be done about that ... I don't like it when bands are forced to add "(UK)" or something to their name in order to differentiate. Especially when the British group is so awesome and charming and compelling. (Apparently there's also a group called "the Invisibles" from Brazil as well.)
Anyway, the British group has this wacky-in-a-very-cool-way sort of retro sound. Like old garage pop tunes with a bit more modern aesthetic mixed in there. Great lyrics, too ... these guys are hopefully going places as well. I'm rooting for them ...

Lastly -- as promised -- a Swedish band by the name of Mixtapes & Cellmates. What a huge sound these guys have! But I'm not overwhelmed by it, which is so perfect. There's something nostalgic about these guys for me ... they remind me in some ways of the post-punk groups that I love so much; the groups that formed my tastes (Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Cure). But then there's this Interpol edge to them ... and a bit of like, Radio Dept. I can't place it. I think I may like their stuff without vocals a bit more than the newer stuff that has plenty of singing, but I can't complain. They rock. Yeah, yeah ... MySpace?
Innercity Pirates - Rollercoaster
Innercity Pirates - Eat the Paint
Innercity Pirates - Go Now Go
Innercity Pirates - Little Secrets
Flipron - Big Baboon
Flipron - Rusty Casino's Casino Rustique
Flipron - Skeletons On Holiday
Invisibles - Ohweeohh
Invisibles - London Zoo
Invisibles - Gasbag
Mixtapes & Cellmates - Static, Oh Static
Mixtapes & Cellmates - A: Pavement B: Home
Mixtapes & Cellmates - Longing Remixed EP (.zip)

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26.9.06

The President Is Laughing to Cheat

halfby
I so do not get the process that Japanese people go through to name their songs or bands. You wind up with all these random ones like ... "The President Is Laughing to Cheat," and thing ... "uh ... what the hell does that mean?"
Well, I have no answers. It beats me, and I'm sure that if directly asked, no Japanese people would be able to give satisfactory answers.
Regardless, the songs still have the potential to be awesome. Don't judge a book by it's cover (or name!), right? So don't judge Halfby too harshly for being bad in general at naming his songs ("Screw the Plan," "Rodeo Machine," "And the Coconut") ... he's Japanese. I recently picked up his newest single -- Screw the Plan -- and while I like it, I'll admit that it ain't as good as some of his stuff. The single marks his debut on Toy's Factory (although he seems to still be with Second Royale), one of Japan's bigger record labels. Did he sell out? Maybe. I don't care ... I dig the songs, and that's all.
So those of you who have been waiting for my promised Japanese music updates, here's one more for the count.
Halfby - The President Is Laughing to Cheat

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Hey Hey My My

hey hey my my
Truly, it is a great feeling to come across a group like Hey Hey My My. They're inspired, and so clearly doing what they're doing -- in this case, playing a folkier version of something the Beatles, Johnny Cash, or even Brian Wilson may have written thirty or forty years ago -- because it's simply what they like. It's an added bonus, I'd say, that the music they're creating happens to be oh-so-sweet and pleasant, yet emotionally provocative.
And on top of it all ... they're from France! I've never heard of a band of this quality and depth coming out of France. Again, I'm stunned ... amazing, these two.
So if you're into the likes of the Shins and the Beatles and the Kinks, and you enjoy a clear, crisp guitar cutting through mellow folk tunes, then Hey Hey My My is for you.
Be sure to check out their MySpace page as well ... stream a few more songs. But be sure to download this gem as well!

And be sure to catch their EP, which should be out next year. They're also planning on getting on over to America, so watch out for a tour! It shall be cool!
Hey Hey My My - Too Much Space

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25.9.06

Hazy

piccollo & nopposan
I like how we Americans are so quick to categorize entire countries within a certain musical genre. That is, we'll say something like, "oh yeah, France ... everyone's like Daft Punk over there," or, "right -- Sweden ... everyone does guitar pop in Sweden." And for the most part, those categorizations are correct ... and when they're not, it's not necessarily the critics' fault, but the fault of the people promoting the foreign music ... they're the ones who have the final say as to what stuff hits the American market, and they tend to shoot for stuff that's more straightforward in terms of defined genres. So Sweden'll probably be the place to go for guitar pop for a while, but things are looking ... different recently.

Piccollo & Nopposan are such a French band. They're trip hop, I suppose, but they've got lots of little poppy quirks in there as well. Regardless, they're something different than like, Uffie and the Ed Banger crew and the DJ scene over there. Check them out (and sign them as well!) ...

Australian artists, on the other hand, have less of a focused style. But they still often confirm to a specific aesthetic ... there are plenty of twee-/indie-pop groups out there, tons of more organic dance music, and enough psychedelica for the whole world to share. However, you categorize Mountains In the Sky, though, they certainly don't fit into any of those stereotypical groupings. They've certainly got tracings of psychedelica there, but there's something dancier about them. Imagine like, the Avalanches doing a darker album ... that's sort of what these guys come off sounding like.

And just for fun ... Lucky Lucky Pigeons, a Swedish girl band. Okay, so they're sort of what you'd expect from a Swedish girl group, but those accents, and those goofy lyrics ... too much. And no one will turn down a nice pop song ... ?
Mountains In the Sky - Noah's Arkestra
Lucky Lucky Pigeons - Who Smells Marshmallows?
Lucky Lucky Pigeons - N to the ICE

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23.9.06

Tired Day

cake on cake
I need something in every day (and I specifically mean day here ... night not included) that makes me feel like I did something. Today's not looking too bright as they are many football games and other complications.
So ... I got it down to this: do the laundry, do a post, or ... do both! I opted for the latter, thereby making my day super fulfilling.
So ... those of you who aren't weekend readers ... you're missing out. Enjoy this on Monday.

Yeah, I've got a terrible obsession with anything Swedish right now, so I'm digging BomBom quite a bit. I guess Sweden isn't such a bad place to have an obsession with. I like how the BomBom dudes sing in Swedish ... don't hear that too often. If you like the Hives -- that sort of thing -- you will certainly enjoy BomBom.

Guess where Cake On Cake's from!? They sound nothing like BomBom, though, so be happy with that difference. Cake On Cake the lo-fi band of Helena Sundin. Apparently, she makes everything alone and in her room, which is pretty cool considering the depth of her music. It's lo-fi, but it's pretty ambitious ...

For my last Swedish band of the day ... 22:22, a cute indie-pop group. I have neither the patience nor the time (do I really?) to read the info that the group's written on their MySpace page in that annoying font. No way I'm getting through that. So listen to them for yourselves, and enjoy them ... interesting vocal dynamic there ...
BomBom - Pop I Kras
BomBom - Han Menar Allt
Cake On Cake - Sparrow Parade
Cake On Cake - Francoise
Cake On Cake - I See No Stars

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21.9.06

Your Fight Is Over

envelopes
Envelopes are currently touring the country with Ratatat, and last night marked their first gig in L.A. It was sold out weeks ago, but luckily I was able to hook up an interview with the group, so I got on the guest list literally 48 hours before the show!
So that was happy moment number one.
But what an amazing night. For about an hour and a half I just hung out with Envelopes (okay, so I did the interview was well), and, while this shouldn't have surprised me, they are incredibly down to earth and exceptionally friendly and relatable. I'm not afraid to admit it: I love them.
But man what a great show. Absolutely on top of their game, they did a great live rendition of their album stuff. That's one of the group's biggest concerns: making the album sound too much like a studio effort. They are definitely very good at replicating that live sound on records, though. So while the set wasn't a whole lot different than Demon, it was great to see them do their thing in the flesh.
Truly a great band. (You know why I'm saying that, though ... )

Ratatat had amazing lights but bored me after a while. Eh.
Check out the Envelopes photos here, and the Ratatat stuff here. They cam out pretty well!

Oh -- and here are some live tracks from the tour! Enjoy them!
Envelopes - I Don't Like It (live)
Envelopes - Life On the Beach (live)
Envelopes - It Is the Law (live)
Envelopes - Sister In Love (live)

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20.9.06

Crystal Castles Interview (Part 2 of 2)

Crystal Castles Interview (Part 1 of 2)

18.9.06

What's Going On In Japan?

mystery twin
One thing that I love about the Japanese music scene is it's conciseness. There truly is a united scene, or at least a united style that goes through a phase before moving on to another. For a while, it was all about 60s lounge and French pop ... before that it was more about guitar pop. Recently it's been about mixing and matching bits and pieces of music in a updated Fatboy Slim style (Halfby, Mr. Comicbook Store). But at the same time, there's been a pretty significant move towards a subtler taste.
There are many acoustic-based groups out there as well as tons of sound experimenters ... dudes messing around with Power Books and field sounds and that sort of thing.

Anyway, I've been looking around for new Japanese stuff for a while, and I now feel confident to post about it. Here we go ...

4 Bonjour's Parties is sort of like a hippie version of Architecture in Helsinki. They like flutes and guitars and acoustic bass, toy drum kits, and cute, whisper voices. Definitely going for an ensemble feel, which I really like in this case. They've got a MySpace page, believe it or not!

Mystery Twin is another especially peaceful group from Osaka. As far as I can tell, the duo is only half Japanese, but since they work out of Japan, I consider it to be part of some scene over there. These guys like playing around with atmospheric loops and glitch pop intertwined with acoustic guitar and occasionally tight female vocals. Sort of edges on the the brink of Tujiko Noriko and Lullatone at the same time ... tre cool.

No idea who this dude, I'm Sore is, but man does he make some compelling ambient stuff. It's sort of abrasive in nature ... forceful and abrupt, yet not at all fast or especially focused and structured. I like it ... "I'm Sore makes beautiful music for gentle aliens." I'd say he's right ... pretty spacey music here. Also very cool, but he hasn't released something in years. Maybe soon ... (more of his [more current] music here).
4 Bonjour's Parties - Satellite (demo)
I'm Sore - Track 5

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Before Bed

comic book fever
I'm really tired ... too much working and walking: a dangerous combination.
Anyway, I decided to post about this group, Comic Book Fever before doing a "real" post tomorrow.
These guys are from Toronto, but they are definitely unlike most other Canadian bands I'm familiar with. New Wave and and Post-Punk would be two really great descriptors to use for these guys ... there's something very David Byrne about the vocals, but it's offset by each song's abruptness and punkiness. And while they've got some cool structure to their songs, they're pretty simple and sloppy. In this case, though, I like sloppy, and I like how it all fits together.
Cool bass, too ...
Oh! I've got it! The singer sounds a bit like Fred Perry ... (no?)
Comic Book Fever - TV Babies
Comic Book Fever - Kids On Drugs Under Fire
Comic Book Fever - The Moving Car
Comic Book Fever - We Sympathize (live)(.m4a)

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16.9.06

Noisy Noise

chrome hoof
Generally speaking, there are two sorts of music I like and that I really get into. There's the thought-out, smarter, complexer stuff -- think Interpol, Arcade Fire, Islands ... that sort of thing -- and then there's the thematic stuff -- something that survives on style alone (Tilly and the Wall, New Young Pony Club, MSTRKRFT). I consider noise-rock or any genre with "noise" in the name (save for a few ... Deerhoof, for example), to be such a group; one that survives on style.
So if you're into sweaty, noisy, sporadic, and unpredictable funky noise-rock, then Chrome Hoof is the group for you. I love their female vocalist ... she sounds like a witch. And the vocoders and so cool. Whatever, you know I'm just into this group for that raw, speedy bass.

I like Lexie Mountain Boys for the complete opposite reason. They're the epitome of under spoken style ... so while they rely on a very specific aesthetic ("we-just-finished-recording-this-in-our-basement," that is), it's not noisy and it sure as hell isn't well produced. I wouldn't even really call this music. It's a bunch of folky girls that try to look normal while walking through the middle of Compton. Whatever ... give 'em a try. They're weird.
Chrome Hoof - Tonyte

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14.9.06

Giving In

international pony
I usually don't like writing posts that you can see coming. I aspire to be at least slightly unpredictable. And I acknowledge that my musical tastes change (either in the forward direction -- exploring, that is -- or in a backwards direction -- looking back on the bands that guided me into the musical world), and I try to post in accordance with that. So you'll get a mixed bag here at BiBaBiDi. I hope you all like that ...
So my point ... this post may be one of those where you sit down and say, "oh, I should have seen this one coming." Some of these groups are big in the blogosphere. The next post will bet less predictable. (Wait for the end of this one, though -- you won't guess what it is!)

Oh boy oh boy! The Boggs' latest is truly exciting! Experimental? I say yes. Garage? I say yes. Post-punk there, too? Absolutely. Great job in terms of balancing the male and female vocals, too. Great job all around. This is really cool stuff ... listen to some new tracks on their MySpace page!

And the Octopus Project is back! The uber-cool thing about their return is that they did it with Black Moth Super Rainbow, a group that is often compared -- justifiably -- to like, Boards of Canada. So this new record, The House Of Apples & Eyeballs has a steady pulse, a restrained sort of ambiance about it, but it's also full of life and quirks and that indie-pop aesthetic that made the Octopus Project so likable to begin with. Who doesn't have a MySpace page? (Download from me, though ... you get to keep the MP3s!)

You know that everyone's been waiting for the new Legends album. It's called Facts and Figures and it's finally on the horizon! It's the same stuff -- amazing guitar pop with a bit of a hint of New Wave and, of course, Scandinavian sensibility added in -- but this time around ... better! I'm digging all of these tracks, so I feel bad just putting up two ... enjoy them, though!

And lastly ... a German band -- International Pony. These dudes ... honestly, I wish I could describe them. Okay, they dress up like they're imitation Power Rangers, and they play German dance music, but with like, guitars and such. So there's much more of a band feel here, and I like that, especially in Germany, a place where you don't see a whole lot of band activity. They're goofy, but for some reason, I take them seriously (maybe a bad thing in this case?) ... maybe it's because they genuinely have creativity in them ... and talent?
the Octopus Project - Spiracle
the Octopus Project - Lollipopsichord
the Octopus Project - Psychic Swelling
the Legends - Play It For Today
the Legends - Blue Lights
International Pony - Solid Gold
International Pony - Gothic Girl

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12.9.06

Rainy Season In Sweden

olof
Honestly, it is raining Swedish bands all over the place these days. Sweden is the Canada that does not give up, does not sputter out, does not lose the energy that got it to where it is now.
That'll make their fall from grace all the more sweet for me. I have a love/hate thing going on here ... I love this stuff, but man do I wish I was hearing it from U.S. bands first ...
Anyway, I've got a few more Swedish bands for you all now.
You cannot go wrong with this band, Lapuma. Very strong female vocals (a little in the style of Chrissie Hynde, a little bit of the Cardigans, no?) While I get a tad tired of their especially straight-forward style of pop-garage, I feel my toes twitching when I listen, and that's a good sign.
Little Dragon is unlike most other Gothenburg groups I've heard. They're more interested in like, R&B as opposed to guitar pop, but I respect that and, in this case, actually dig it. So check them out ... they've got something unique and creative going on for them.
I was hesitant to post about this guy I got a message from, Olof. His music, especially "Springbreak2" are especially tired. Like, they have little energy. I listened more and, needless to say, got more into him. Some of these songs are especially sweet and dreamy and just great pop tunes. It's very clear that this guy likes Joy Division ... while this is guitar pop we're talking here, it doesn't get much darker than Olof. And the atmospheric qualities of the arrangements are shooting for that Joy Division sound (not getting there, though ... not humanly possible).
Lapuma - Ride the Devil
Lapuma - Queen In Bloom
Lapuma - You Make It Hard

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11.9.06

As Of Late ...

acid mothers temple
Saturday night marked the fourth annual Japanese New Music Festival, curated by the Smell, a really small (and narrow!) venue in downtown L.A.
Although the night featured seven "bands" on the roster, it was really just an Acid Mothers Temple concert. Since the concert was three hours long, the three band members would alternate between their side projects in order to maintain a level of energy at which they could keep playing! It was quite impressive, and man was it hot. Conservatively, I'll say that it was around 90 or 95 degrees in there.
Anyway, the music ... while Acid Mothers Temple isn't quite my thing (imagine Japanese dudes playing heavy pscyh-rock), some of the side projects were fascinating. Ruins -- the drummer's side project -- was my favorite. It's like ... hardcore punk mixed with math rock. Very interesting stuff.
Then they did some hilarious covers of "Smoke On the Water" and some Miles Davis stuff. The high point of their avant garde set was when they hooked amps up to common items -- a camera, their zippers, toothbrushes -- and then established a beat and rhythm with those objects. See the pictures here

Okay ... now on to the newer stuff ... things that I've been listening to.
I wanted so badly to go to the G/L/A/S/S/C/A/N/D/Y and Chromatics concert last night. No cigar. Damn it. But I did try out the other band that was playing that night -- Chop Chop -- at their MySpace page. And they're better than I was expecting! Like, I don't know much about the Cambridge, Massachusetts music scene, but I wasn't expecting to find something like this. Sweet pop melodies mixed with heavy bass and a lo-fi aesthetic ... can't ask for more!

Lastly ... one English band and one band from NYC that I've come across recently. The Rank Deluxe and the Affair. Listen to them ... write you're own post. Their good. The Rank Deluxe is poppy garage sort of stuff while the Affair is like, the Strokes with a girl singer. (Listen to them on their MySpace page.)
Chop Chop - Mix Tape
Chop Chop - Bloodbath
Ruins - Mennevuogth
the Rank Deluxe - Poor Man's Cab
the Rank Deluxe - The End In Mind

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8.9.06

No Standards

clinic
Every once in a while, I feel compelled to give you all a little dose of what you can be expecting on your music plates (okay, lame?) in the near future.
Maybe you've already heard, but Clinic has a new album coming out. It's called Visitations and I think that's a good name ... they've got one hell of a distant, sparse sound ... this album is another "visitation." Or something. They've got a cool E-Card out to promote the album! But I've been seriously digging the album. It's solid solid solid. They do a better job of clearing up their sound on this record than any before -- that guitar! the strumming! the noodling! the high-heavy drumming! the sharp rhythm! the distorted bass! -- it's all so clearly there, and I love it. This is what post-punk would sound like if punk didn't exist ... they've parred down the rock sound, added some garage to the mix, and painted it all over with shadows and darkness. With a few sploshes of color. It rocks hard.

I am so tempted to post a song or two from the leak (oh no!) of this new Of Montreal album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer, but the fact that it's supposed to be released in January makes me feel really guilty about putting something up. Wait a bit?

So in lieu, I will give you some Whitey ... I'm guessing he's got something coming out soon, but man is he slow! He released this single a while ago, but since then, no news! What's up, man? Anyway, enjoy these songs as well ... I like his updated sound. He's filled it out, made it wackier, made it more awesome ... but I can still dance hard to this!
Clinic - Animal Human
Clinic - If You Could Read Your Mind
Whitey - Wrap It Up
Whitey - I Made Myself Invisible

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7.9.06

Come See the Duck!

deerhoof
It's a bit after 1 o'clock in the morning here, and I believe that that's indication enough that I loved this Deerhoof concert at the Troubadour to death: I stayed up to write this quick post!
Man oh man was it amazing. Deerhoof was so on the ball. I was a little concerned that they wouldn't be able to maintain their full sound, now that they've only got one guitarist. But their loss only meant that the remaining three members had to put more into the music. The show was certainly better than the one I saw in Cleveland, and that was when they were four.

deerhoof
Their drummer -- Greg Saunier -- never ceases to amaze. He's like a jazz drummer gone spazz-pop ... he still uses the smallest possible set ever (snare, hi-hat, bass), but keeps his sound so damn full. Certainly fuller than most bands using full sets. He anticipates every beat, changes time so naturally, and plays around with his limited set as though it's the world to him. (And it probably is.) He cracked his hi-hat. Literally, a fifth of the thing splintered off.
The guitarist who's still there is amazing as well. You can clearly see him counting (in eights, I think!) throughout every song, really showing that these guys are one hell of a tight band. Amazing. Fantastic. I must go to sleep ... that had to have been some figment of my imagination. (You can confirm that it wasn't by viewing my flickr photos of the thing right here.)

Here be some [older] live tracks for you all. I never like to write a post without delivering any music!
Deerhoof - Panda Panda Panda (live)
Deerhoof - Milk Man (live)

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5.9.06

Noise & Pop

lo-fi-fnk
If you like awesome noise/spazz rock nonsense, then Indian Jewelry is the band for you. I always like it when noise rockers maintain some level of coherence in their music, and these guys do ... that might be due to their drone-like tendencies. Intense post-punk plus dark, jagged hypnotism. Regardless, I dig this stuff.

Now, if you're into poppy psych-pop, then M Coast is the band for you. Serene female vocals blended perfectly with goofy uh, psych instrumentation (flute, tambourine, strings?) ... the nice thing about these guys is that they keep it simple. Minimalist psych-pop. It's a good way to go ...
Their newer stuff can be streamed at their MySpace page, and you can download their entire old album here.

And lastly, if you're into Swedish indie dance pop, then Lo-Fi-Fnk is the group for you. (That's pronounced "lo-fi funk" okay!?) ...
I think they're pretty self-explanatory. Give 'em a try ... they're pretty good. Japanese people like them, I guess.
Indian Jewlery - Lesser Snake
Indian Jewlery - Health and Wellbeing
M Coast - Sailing Around the World
M Coast - Out Of the Water
Lo-Fi-Fnk - Wake Up
Lo-Fi-Fnk - Steppin' Out
Lo-Fi-Fnk - Adore

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4.9.06

More Sweden (and Friends ... )

hemstad
I came across this band the other day, and I cannot say how glad I am that I clicked on that slightly suspicious-looking hyperlink. Phew ... this one turned out to be a gem.
Yeah, the Swedes have given us a few too many bands, but I'll let Hemstad slip in through the back door here. Way too good. They make this adorable guitar pop (Orange Juice/Aztec Camera, no?) that sweetens you up and is exciting ... and "sometimes they go, like, 'doo doo doo' and stuff." Right on. Check out the MySpace page (or just download from me)!
*Note* -- Want to hear another reason why Hemstad is uber-awesome? Because they live in a house they built themselves in Gothenburg! You have to admit ...

Oh, and I found another good guitar pop kind of band ... the White Sport. Granted, these dudes are from London, and they're a bit "harder" than Hemstad ... and slightly gaggier, but that's cool with me. I dig this stuff as well ... check out their MySpace page for the cool tracks!

And while we're going over this whole guitar pop thing from Sweden/England, I guess I'll also mention ... To My Boy. And yes, I may have mentioned these dudes before, but since I never heard all of the songs up on their page, I decided to risk it ... so this may be the second time you've seen these guys mentioned here. You attentive readers ...
Isn't it cool, though? Like, spazzy, nerdy guitar pop. Woo.
Hemstad - Fyllekärring
Hemstad - Patrik Sjöberg
Hemstad - Kaserntorgets Chardisco

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2.9.06

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jamie lidell
Last night, I saw Jamie Lidell at the Getty in L.A. ... it was a free concert, so it was a real sweet deal, I'd say.
But man was I expecting something different. To tell the truth, my expectations were a bit on the low side. I respected Lidell's chops -- man can he sing, especially for a white German dude -- but I never was able to really get into his stuff. It's a bit of soul, a bit of R&B, a bit of funk ... and I guess that ain't my thing ...
And I'd say that still, I can't actually sit down and listen to the album. But man was this live show awesome. He had (a) amazing stage presence, (b) a great sense of humor, and (c) played some fantastic stuff. Okay, so what he'd often do was record a beat or bass or something with his voice, loop it, mess around with it, add some effects, and then layer all of these samples and loops together on top of each other. So I guess the end product was German dance music, but it was so much more than that, and he always had at least some part of each song reserved for singing ... so he stayed at least a little true to the album.
Fantastic ... it's always really inspiring to see someone who's not working with a whole lot physically (i.e. a guitar, drums, etc.), but still being able to really get the crowd going. (Check out this video of Jamie Lidell to get a good idea of how different his live stuff is from his album stuff.)
I had many pictures, but my memory card fritzed out, and now I've lost them all ...

Okay -- now, on to *news* ...
Chin Up Chin Up has a new album coming out in October called This Harness Can't Ride Anything, and from the few tracks I've heard, it's sounding pretty damn good. Looking forward to this one. The guitar interplay has gotten more intricate and deeper, the vocals have become stronger and more persistent, and the rhythm has really come together. I'm sure they'll give a strong product, but I'm not certain as to how much I'll enjoy their new super-clean, reinvigorated selves. We'll see ...

And I've been meaning to post about this band for days ... the Eastern Stars. Really cute little folk-inspired group here. One of the dudes from Mixel Pixel teamed up with two cute female singers, and now they play around with experimental folk kind of stuff. I enjoy anything that uses a Moog, so I can't complain here ...
Chin Up Chin Up - This Harness Can't Ride Anything
the Eastern Stars - They Know What to Do
the Eastern Stars - The Diamonds In Your Eyes

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