Exciting Times for the Teenagers

The Teenagers have quite a few really exciting things coming up in the near future. First and foremost, the trio will be over here in North America early next year (dates after the jump), so we'll finally all be exposed to their live raunchiness (?) and spirit.

Second off, the Parisians just released a triumphant EP, The World Is Not Fair, on the Japanese label, Rallye/Klee ... check it out! More importantly, though, the EP will reach North American audiences next month (for a much fairer price, I might add) via Summer Lovers Unlimited, the label that, arguably, brought the Teenagers, or at least made the band into a viable music outfit rather than a few pathless hobbyists, looking for ways to kill the time during that oh-so-fateful New Year's celebration a few years back.

And thirdly, they've released a bunch of stellar remixes of their work by the likes of Yuksek, Brodinski, CFCF, and Les Petits Pilous. Check 'em out below -- they're really good. As usual, Yuksek/Brodinski over perform and show up every other DJ that did a remix -- theirs is the best I've heard so far (not to dis the others which are immensely fun and well made, too).

the Teenagers - Homecoming (Yuksek & Brodinski Remix)

the Teenagers - Starlett Johanson (Les Petits Pilous Remix)
the Teenagers - Sunset Beach (CFCF Remix)

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It's happened again! I've found a new band to hail unquestioningly, listen to 24/7, praise to something mightier than myself for ... Cowtown (MySpace) is the name of the band, and with all sincerity, I hope they change your world, too.

The Leeds group is a dazzling amalgamation of literally everything I love about music. There's noise-pop elements that remind me of Deerhoof, de-evolved rock that must be part DEVO, bits of crazed spastic punk that immediately reminds me of like, Melt Banana, some Red Krayola (maybe?), definitely a bit of Mark E. Smith/the Fall, too -- everything! Everything, I tell you! But it's all constructed in this fantastically wacky and skillful manner that there's no denying the band's originality and pure creative genius.

They are wonderful. Crank these tunes up, do the Malfunctioning Robot Rawk Dance (yes, I made that one up), stream the whole LP here, and buy the album! Please, go out and buy it now. Twelve mind-warping, face-melting, foot stomping jams that will hook you in and never let you go ...

Cowtown - Curtis Tigers!

Cowtown - Part Man, Part Machine, All Cop

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West Indian Girl LP/T-Shirt Giveaway

West Indian Girl (MySpace) is what would happen if the sublime indie-rock opuses of Annuals were re-written for a psychedelic pop outfit with U2-like arena rock aspirations and a tendency to write saturated anthems rather than all-over-the-map rock experiments. They're big, they're catchy, and they're absolutely exploding with creativity ... but they somehow keep it all contained and collected, yielding nuggets of pure joy and happiness, all of which are hard to turn down.

Download "To Die In LA," from the new album, 4th & Wall, below just in case you're not convinced by my text description.

We've a copy of the LP and a super awesome Tank Theory t-shirt to give away to one lucky reader. If you think you're that lucky person, please email bibabidi@bibabidi.com with the subject WEST INDIAN GIRL MAKES MY HEART SKIP A BEAT and we will select, at random, one winner next Thursday.

Check out a picture of the shirt after the jump if you're too lazy to click on the above link (although I suppose both options will involve a click). Good luck to you all!

West Indian Girl - To Die In LA

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Friendly Fires Debut Video for "Paris"

Very cool video for Friendly Fires' solid single, "Paris." That weird, ethereal, mystical style popularized by Klaxons is the most enchanting part of the otherwise angular, punky track's visual compliment ... I dig.

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New Sally Shapiro Remix

The lovely Swedish "pop princess," Sally Shapiro (MySpace) has a new remix out.

The remix is of "Anorak Christmas" (just in time for the holidays!) and was done by Sally's composer/producer, Johan Agebjorn, who has made the original into a sort of lo-fi twee rendition of something Abba could've played three decades ago. Incredibly serene and charming, and made all the better by Sally pitch-perfect, buttery smooth voice.

Does anyone else here the Claudia Gonson Susan Anway (Magnetic Fields) likeness here? Sorry -- that took me fifteen minutes to place, so I had to add it in ...

Sally Shapiro - Anorak Christmas (Johan Agebjorn Piano Mix)

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Many of us -- I know -- have asked the following question: what would a lo-fi bedroom recording of Joy Division doing space rock sound like?

Well, I've your answer: Mikrofisch (MySpace).

The Hamburg/London duo sound like a sublime merging of Echo & the Bunnymen (when Echo, the band's "drummer," was just a drum machine) and the Hacienda-cum-basement-dance-party. Every track on the group's second album, Masters of the Universe, out now -- for free! -- on Komakino, sounds like Beat Happening but with proto-electronica roots. It's all awkward lyrics, goofy -- but sincere -- vocals, sharp, eding on abrasive beats, concise, clear bass lines, and surprisingly catchy hooks.

So get the album! You will not be sorry, Metric/Joy Division/New Order/Calvin Johnson fans!

Mikrofisch - Let's Kiss and Listen to Bis

Mikrofisch - Alien Monsters

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Wild Sweet Orange EP Giveaway

While most of you will be reading this early in the morning, around lunch break, or sometime during the workday, I'm writing it at night time, wrapped in darkness and quite aside from this music. And it's just perfect. Wild Sweet Orange, a Birmingham, Alabama indie-rock group, write these massive, immaculately arranged, delicate opuses made for those times we're feeling a little slow or a little moody or maybe just a little overwhelmed.

So I recommend listening to the below song, off the Canvasback Music-released EP, The Whale, at home, during a moment of peace and quite. It'll work. (And hey, it worked from Grey's Anatomy ... )

Anyway, we've got a copy of the EP to give away to one of you lucky winners so send an email to bibabidi@bibabidi.com with the subject WILD SWEET ORANGE IS THE SWEETEST THING and we'll select one special reader next week as the recipient of this special release!

Wild Sweet Orange - Wrestle With God

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The Elephants

The Elephants (MySpace) is just another illustration of how we've been paying too much attention to Sweden and that country's music scene when we should've been dedicated at least one eye and ear to Denmark. Sure, there have been a handful of Danish bands that got some Stateside hype, but it hasn't been enough!

The Elephants pull from the usual influences -- Brian Wilson, jangly guitar pop, maybe a little baroque pop here and there -- but mash everything up into this delightfully catchy and fun potpourri of eclectic pop styles. Enough hand claps, cute female harmonies, and memorable choruses to appease the inner-Swede in you, but a plethora of unique characteristics -- namely the Dylan-esque folk-pop elements and the old-fashioned rockabilly crooner vibe the vocalist gives off and that is supplemented by the soft-spoken string arrangements -- that will surely make them stand out to anyone.

You might be able to buy the phenomenal debut eponymous LP here, at the Tapete Records, but I've no confirmation of that ... for the time being, just love this one track.

the Elephants - Obvious

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The Delinquent, the Hipster, & the Square

We tend to avoid non-music-related topics here at BBBD, but today we've found an exception.

DHS (the Delinquent, the Hipster, and the Square), is an upstart fashion label that was officially formed in Los Angeles last year, although it's been in the developmental stages since the beginning of the millennium. High in concept (re: the above film, based on a play that was written by the christian Right in the 1950s), minimalist in design, sophisticated in style, DHS is a brand that you all should keep your eyes on.

Check out the above video -- it's certainly worth your time -- and if that doesn't hook you on the clothes (a sort of unique melding of Commes des Garcon and Dior Homme), then explore the homepage for a bit as it's jammed with line sheets, a manifesto, falsified, arty reviews, and plenty of other high brow expressions of form and style.

The future of DHS is up in the air, but that's the exciting part of it all. You may see the brand open up a pop-up store in your neighborhood or be surprised to see it in the pages of the next issue of Purple. We're all wondering what the future holds ... support now, be in on it before DHS hits the tipping point.


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LCD Soundsystem, "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" (Live)

A while back I posted a live performance of LCD Soundsystem performing "Us Vs. Them" in Manchester at the Manchester Academy. A very good rendition, to say the least. Apparently, EMI is releasing one new song from that show (?) every week, so we'll have plenty of killer live LCD Soundsystem for the archives ...

I always thought James Murphy was old enough that he arrived on a standard style with the debut record, but wow, this version of the classic LCD "hit" is quite a long cry from the original. Really flexes his vocal talent, get the band ragin', turns the thing into a whole new beast. I love it.

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Daniel Rossen Covers .

Yup, that's right, Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen announced today on the band's blog that he recently recorded a cover of his latest on-repeat fav, Jo Jo's "Too Little Too Late." Shocking, yes. Surprisingly good, yes.

Sorry to make this post so short. I've gotta go out and buy the Jo Jo album, though.

Daniel Rossen - Too Little Too Late (Jo Jo Cover)

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Peggy Sue & the Pirates

Touring with budding starlet Kate Nash and being compared to the Moldy Peaches and Billie Holiday alike, Peggy Sue & the Pirates (MySpace) seem bound for their own stardom and a leap from their MySpace fame to real-world celebrity.

The Brighton-based lo-fi pair sound like Vaudeville bedroom recordings or swing music recorded on a four-track -- it's soft-spoken but with a backbone that's both sophisticated and reverent to the popular music of old (does that sound awkward?) ...

These girls have great chops, can carry a dance-y tune with nothing more than a single guitar strum, have some of the wittiest, sharpest lyrics around, and project a modest and humble personableness that's rare and hard to come by.

Stream the a-side off their single below, grab an old track, too, and single.

Peggy Sue & the Pirates

Peggy Sue & the Pirates - Superman

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SLAVE to the SQUAREwave

I usually don't connect Canada with any sort of vibrant dance music scene, but that was before I stumbled upon SLAVE to the SQUAREwave (MySpace), a quartet that clearly has an affinity for a wide array of musical visionaries from DEVO to George Clinton to David Bowie.

The group has received some chart action up North, and it's merited, to say the least. They produce stuff that's absolutely ready-for-radio -- catchy hooks, sultry funk bass lines, a solid vocalist (who can dish out the falsetto when necessary), and memorable lyrics -- and easily a guilty pleasure for those of us maybe a little too bitter and jaded to listen to the radio.

Making several "Best Band" lists and a pile of laudable reviews ("Better than the Scissor Sisters," for example), maybe you should seriously consider buying their album, Big Change (just $13 CAD -- maybe you should wait for the currency's plummet, though). Check out a couple tracks below, anyway ...

SLAVE to the SQUAREwave - Pumpin' Up the P House

SLAVE to the SQUAREwave - Big Change

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Le Volume Courbe

I think BBBD posted about Le Volume Courbe years ago, but frankly, we don't want to dig through the [embarrassing] archives. Maybe one of you long-term readers can vouch for us here ...

Anyway, Le Volume Courbe is the musical solo project of Charlotte Marionneau who moved from a small town in France to the big city of London over a decade ago. She got involved with a band, got frustrated with that, and embarked on her own career. With the support of big names like Mazzy Star and Kevin Shields, she began recording her own lo-fi folksy songs that draw heavily from both the punk movement/D.I.Y. aesthetic of the late-1970s and the original bedroom recording visionaries like the Velvet Underground (Nico and Reed in particular), maybe a little bit of Yoko Ono ... you get the idea.

She's definitely living in the wrong decade, or at least that's the impression I get after listening to her discography. Melancholy, moody, and brooding songs that are made especially catchy and addictive because of the tremendous care and delicate skill invested in the meticulous songwriting and craftsmanship.

Anyway, enough with my blabbing. Listen to the new single, "Freight Train" -- out now on Trouble Records (get 'em while supplies last!) -- and find out the genius that is Le Volume Courbe for yourself!

Le Volume Courbe - Freight Train

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New Blamma! Blamma! Remix

Blamma! Blamma! is one of our favorite DJ outfits because of their ability to stand out in an era of everyone becoming a DJ, of crowd-sourcing remixes to the fans, of extreme stylistic copying and lack of creativity and ingenuity.

Blamma! Blamma! is on the scene, switching everything up with their smooth, sultry, and funky dance floor tracks that will stand out on any set. Sometimes the Londoners will lay out heavy-hitting techno-infused songs like their remix of the Teenagers' "Starlett Johansson," other times they'll lay low and produce a more mellow tune, perfect for the comedown or moody mixtape.

The latest B! B! remix is of U.K. prog-rockers Rival Joustas' (MySpace "Clarity," a sort of dancier song that resembles something by Ratatat mixed when they cross-bred with Bloc Party and then got all math-y and prog-rock on us. Check the original out below, but here's a hint -- the remix is bomb, quite a bit better, in my opinion, than the original. They don't sound all that much the same, too ... the remix, as B! B! puts it, is "an unashamed dancefloor doodle."

Work off some of that Thanksgiving feast.

Rival Joustas - Clarity (Blamma! Blamma! Clear As Mud Mix)

Rival Joustas - Clarity

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Cryptonites Album Teaser

Hmm ... unorthodox Thanksgiving Day post, but I scheduled this post to go up on Thursday as I was posting ... too much? (I don't like to overload you guys! I try to cap it off at four posts/day, in case you're wondering.)

Anyway, I hope all is well with you dear readers ... preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner is always the most fun part (for me, at least), so why not get a little funky this year with so ready-for-the-dancefloor tunes from Switzerland's Cryptonites?

These guys pick up where the Ed Banger/Digitalism crowd leaves off, adds in more funk twists and turns, a sprinkle of Daft Punk's earlier House leaning, and some secret X component that just makes it all seamlessly work in the catchiest, danciest way imaginable.

If "Can't Give You Up" ain't enough for ya, check out their bizarre October Mixxx (the tracklist can be found after the jump).

October Mixxx

Again, happy holidays to all of you, thanks for reading, and come back soon!

Crpytonites - Can't Give You Up
001: Craig David: Hot Stuff (Touche Remix)
002: Chromeo: Bonafied Lovin (Yuksek Remix)
003: Cryptonites: I Can't Give You Up
004: Julien Milan: Poney
005: John Neilson: Hollywood Hills (Cryptonites Remix)
006: Mr. Oizo: Halfanedit
007: Jacknife Lee: Making Me Money (Switch Remix)
008: Boys Noize: Shine Shine
009: Futurecop!: Transformers
010: Bitrok: Slipping Trough (Philipe De Boyar Remix)
011: Donna Summer: I Feel Love (Original 12“)
012: Uffie: Body Bass (Curtis Vodka Blend Mix)
013: Junesex: Eye Of The Tiger
014: Martini Bros.: Big N Dirty (Tiga Remix)
015: Justice: D.A.N.C.E. (Les Rythmes Digitales Remix)
016: The Hives: Because I Wanna (DJ Hype Breaks Mix)
017: Detect: Dance Division (Yuksek Remix)
018: Popmuschi: Sometimes I Feel
019: Daft Punk: Harder Better Faster...(Alive Radio Edit)
020: Sebastian Tellier: Sexual Sportswear (SebastiAn Remix)
021: Busy P: Chop Suey (Jeremy Remix)
022: Daft Punk: Face To Face (Mercurius FM Jackin House ReEdit)
023: Choreo: Cut The Dust

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New Kills, "U.R.A. Fever"

Ah, what the heck. The Kills (MySpace) have a new tune, "U.R.A. Fever," floating around. That's pretty much all we know. The band's still on Domino Records, is still playing angsty sludge garage rock (I made that up just now -- good description?), and is still singing about moderately obscure topics ("I am a fever/I ain't born typical" -- beyond me). But it works, oh it works for me.

So glad to see them back. Thank you thank you.

the Kills - U.R.A. Fever

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80kidz is another example of how the entire world has truly succumbed to the almighty greatness that is Justice. It's almost too east at present to say that any electronic dance act is somehow derivative of the Parisian duo. Without even hearing an dance act, it's pretty safe to assume they'll sound like Justice in some way, shape, or form -- that's just the nature of the beast.

That being said, not everyone is explicitly copying the French: there're tweaks and alterations galore. Some shoot for more melody, others go for more abrasive sounds, more glitch, others still aspire for a more organic sound, one that's not so deeply rooted in a laptop setup. But however you approach the form of dance music at present, in the early 2000s, you'll wind up coming back to Justice, Ed Banger, and all the French affiliates, from Teenage Bad Girl to Kavinsky. I don't get it, in all honesty, but I can dance to it, so maybe that's enough for now.

Anyway, sorry for all the long-winded posts!
80kidz is a Japanese outfit that sounds like an 8-bit Justice covers band or something. They're plenty good and loads of fun, but again, maybe it's just my pessimism, but they sound like someone else I know (grin). Anyway, you ought to listen to their stuff and judge for yourself.

80kidz - ALT A

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The Whitsundays

A few days back, I was reading through my coveted copy of the fourth edition of The Trouser Press, which is, in my opinion, the definitive guide to alternative music spanning from the late 1970s (on occasion earlier; their not terribly rigid) to the early 1990s. I noted that there are currently a plethora of bands that mimic or parallel in sound the psychedelica or garage musics from the 1960s -- from Caribou to Panda Bear to Grizzly Bear to so many more -- and there are quite a few that splinter from most other genres (90s alternative, 70s punk, 50s rockabilly and original rock). But there aren't a whole lot that truly follow in the footsteps of New Wave originators (I'm talking more about Altered Images than Duran Duran here; Duran Duran, A Flock of Seaguls -- bands like those were derivative of true New Wave music). No one's recreating that clean yet thick and filtered bass anymore; no one's singing in that sharp, higher-register non-nasal voice; no one's embracing the clear, angular guitar lines sans pedals that Blondie and the like brought to popularity.

All I'm trying to say here is why is that!? I want to hear groups that sound like they're genuinely from 1980, 1981 ... so far, no cigar.

That being said (boy was that ever long-winded), the Whitsundays -- Friendly Fire Records' latest signing -- is a Canadian group that sounds like they literally traveled from 1967 to the present in a time machine. I've not heard a group that so aptly and true to form sounds like a 60s psychedelic outfit (think the Zombies, Love, the Byrds). Really phenomenal work! On top of the clearly distinguishable 60s psych-pop sound, there's an air of the folk music of the time ... a bit of Simon & Garfunkel or something (as one reader commented).

The debut eponymous LP will drop on January 22, so keep an eye out for that one (it will be awesome), but in the meantime, see how right I am with the following two tracks.

the Whitsundays - Sorry James

the Whitsundays - It Must Be Me

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Wah! New Presets!

The Presets (MySpace), arguably the band that put Modular Records on the map (them and Cut Copy at least), has a new single, "My People," out on December 18.

They've getting rougher but a little more, uh ... Depeche Mode? I dunno. Hear it for yourself.

the Presets - My People

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Damn, Just Snippets

While it's generally agreed that Dim Mak founder, Steve Aoki (MySpace) ain't the best DJ out there, it's hard to argue his pop cultural importance and visionary status. Aoki's been one of the emergent voices of L.A. with his record endeavors, attempts at fashion (hmmm), and notrious club nights ... as well as just being a heavy-hitting DJ, on every guest list within a fifty mile radius, and a pop icon that few will ever parallel.

By now it's pretty much common knowledge that he's got a mix tape LP, Pillow Face & His Airplane Chronicles, in January, but we've not heard a whole lot of anything from it, and we've certainly not been given many MP3s to download and enjoy during the massive hype build-up over the past month or so. While I've a bit of a personal disdain (sorry -- that's too harsh a word) for Aoki, I am envious of his networking skills and all around good ear, because wow, this album's got some good songs on it, many of which have not been released, and several of which have been reworked by an Aoki-assembled all-star crew (from Spank Rock to Uffie to the Faint to Hot Hot Heat to Santo Gold to ... ach, why even try to name all the names on this thing!?

Anyway, I got four snippets off the new album today -- the first four tracks to be precise -- and thought I would share them with you all! I merged the files into one "sampler" MP3 for your listening pleasure (and since who really wants to just hear 30 seconds of any one song?), so download the thing below and be severely teased! The four tracks are listed after the jump!

Steve Aoki - Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles (BBBD Sampler)

1) Refused - New Noise
2) Justice - Waters of Nazereth (Erol Alkan's Durr Durrrrrr Re-Edit) w/ Pase Rock's Guest Drop
3) Does It Offend You, Yeah? - We Are Rockstars w/ Spank Rock & Amanda Blank's Guest Drop
4) Services - Element of Danger (MSTRKRFT Remix) w/ Har Mar Superstar's Guest Drop

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Spiral Beach

Get ready for Spiral Beach (MySpace), a young Toronto quartet that just released their debut LP, Ball, as they will most likely be hyped to the extreme south of their border in the coming months.

Ball is a stumper. It's energetic and vital, certainly, but filled with so much flare and creative juices, that it's tough to classify solely as a dance record, indie-rock album, or anything else for that matter. "Teddy Black" sounds like a Cramps song remixed by some hot Parisian DJ crew; "Made of Stone" is an ethnic rock tunes -- like what would happen if David Byrne's World Music stash was stolen by and then regurgitated by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or something; "Red Shoes" is a garage thrashers/pub rocker; and everything in between and on the ends is just as different and unique as those three.

Another phenomenally creative and ingenious band that's really upping the anty for other up-and-comers. Wannabe hip groups be warned! Spiral Beach is tough, tough competition to live up to, will always be cooler and better than you, and so maybe you just should skip even trying to get that record deal. You'll be hooked on these Canadian in no time, too!

Spiral Beach - Teddy Black

Spiral Beach - Pedestrian

Spiral Beach - Red Shoes

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Halfby Update

As longtime BBBD readers know, I go through musical micro trends. Every couple of months I'll either reapproach old standbys (Pavement, Joy Division, the Unicorns, Beck) or delve into and explore deeper a genre or category of music that I've forgotten or just skimmed over.

This week (or month?) has proven to be a Japanese retrospective: I've been relistening to Cornelius' older stuff, my P5 collection, and a multitude of other independent, unnoticed, and undiscovered groups. (That language barrier and ocean really do us a disservice, I tell ya.)

Cut to the chase, Nik.
Second Royal/Toy's Factory's very own Halfby released a b-sides/rarities/extras compilation, Side Farmers, and a new single, "Slip On," a little while back, and they are very, very solid. Some of the Kyoto native's best work. Halfby is a notoriously quirky DJ; a jumble of styles and influences ... so many, in fact, that it's hard to place his sound in any categorization more specific than dance. He draws from World Music, the old school breakbeat leanings of Fatboy Slim, straight up hip hop, ambient mood music, and so much more. And confounding as it may be, he never winds up sounding derivative but completely unique and original. (But hey, with album names like Green Hour and Side Farmers, I suppose that's practically expected!)

Below are three fantastic tracks from Side Farmers; after the jump are a few music videos that the wonderful Kyoto design studio, Groovisions, made for "Rodeo Machine/Screw the Plan," "Slip On," and "Star Track." They are, uh ... very bizarre but incredibly charming in their alien animation.

Halfby - Scarecrow Man

Halfby - Impossible Carpets

Halfby - Farmer's Delight

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New Pandatone, Free EP

Pandatone, a BBBD favorite and owner/proprietor of Music Related Trevor Sias' solo act, just released a new free EP, What Has Nature Done For Me Recently EP on the digital-only imprint label Creation Centre.

That was a lot of plugs, geez! But the EP is most definitely worth mentioning. It's a collection of rarities and unreleased tracks, some of which I'm assuming date back quite a few years, while others are more recent (circa Happy Together) all of which date back to 2006 or before. They're all great songs, though ... from the glitchier "Wondering" to the serenely dazed space-pop tune "Only to Sleep In" to the surprise lo-fi bedroom recording, "Two Piece (feat. Michi)" (Michi is from the wicked awesome Japanese pop/punk trio MacDonald Duck Éclair) ... the record is showcase of how damn good Mr. Sias has gotten! He's developed a more confident and stronger voice that's reminiscent of Thom Yorke on a rainy, slow day; he's become infinitely more comfortably with the recording, mixing, and producing process, elegantly layering simplistic loop upon loop, dropping in and intertwining supportive melodies and riffs; he's become a bona fide recording artist and no longer just sounds like he's making music as a hobby he doesn't wholeheartedly pursue.

So I'll cut this post off with a big Congratulations! -- Pandatone has only a bigger and better future ahead. Check out a couple songs from the new EP below and then head over here to download the thing in its entirety!

Pandatone - Only To Sleep In

Pandatone - Two Piece (feat. Michi)

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Norway's Grande (MySpace) is the cold North's response to the Cramps with more of a haunted house vibe and a little more garage swagger and uh ... Jimi Hendrix singing? (No joke -- he sounds very much like ol' Jimi.)

Grande is just another indication of how old fashioned rock is making a comeback. These songs have the natural, raw catchiness of any boss garage tune that those garage originators and proto-punk fosters of the 60s would've played in their heyday melded with the musicality and junkyard assemblage of something along the lines of Beck's Odelay. While the rock quality is what shines through most predominantly, there's definitely a lot more at work beneath the surface (take "We Did It All," for example, which is more sleazy 70s funky disco than blues-infused pop), and that's the most exciting part of Grande's stuff!

Get the LP, Uppers, Downers, Screamers, & Howlers at one of these fine retailers. You will not be sorry.

Grande - Rhythms of Sin

Grande - We Did It All

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Annuals @ the Troubadour, 11.15.07

We're still taking entries for our Annuals/Manchester Orchestra split 7" giveaway, so be sure to enter if you've not already!
Very, very impressive. Annuals (MySpace) is a young band, a very confident and assured band ... a band that will win you over with their powerful exploding wall-of-sound style, decked out with World Music nods, grunge-era twists and turns, and a plethora of funky indie-rock ... that will instantly win you over whether you're listening to them on your stereo or -- if you're lucky! -- live where they will literally blow your socks off.

I've not seen such a vibrant band in a while. The North Carolina six-piece is definitely an unorthodox band. None of the ADD members stick with one instrument or role for more than a couple of songs, singer Adam Baker doesn't wear socks on stage, Donzel Radford is a guitar god in the making, and there're uh ... two drummers most of the time.

The bombastic set had few slow point, and when a slower song did pop up, the band quickly turned it around and delivered another heavy-hitting indie-rock anthem. I was impressed at how on everyone was: every member seemed genuinely happy and proud to be playing up on stage, none of them played any stray notes, no one lost steam ... it was a very, very strong delivery.

That being said, I wish Annuals had played a few more relaxed, chilled out songs. I know they've got them, but they just didn't end up delivering in that regard at the Troubadour. The almighty wall of sound can be dazzling and absolutely impressive, but it's too easy to wash away every glimmer or sophistication, tastefulness, and delicacy with such a musical tactic. That's my one complaint. I want to see Annuals take apart their songs, accentuate just the basic elements, and see what is yielded. I'm certain it would be just as catchy, unique, and bold as any tune off Be He Me or the new EP and 7". Their young, though, and probably a little hesitant to bare themselves like that. Anyway ... if you've the opportunity to see the Raleigh natives, do it!

Check out some pictures I took here or in the slide show after the jump!

Annuals - Carry Around

Annuals - Where Have You Been (Manchester Orchestra Cover)

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It's sort of relaxing, every once in a while, to listen to a band that solely sings in a foreign language like Chocolat, a Quebec five-piece. You get the opportunity to listen to the music only and not be distracted by show-stealing lyrics, deep meanings, and all that fun poetic stuff (not to sound terribly stupid -- I'm a lyrics man most of the time ... and "Le Monde Est Vert" is in English and radio-ready; the Canadian response to "Up the Bracket" -- an absolutely gorgeous, wonderful song that I must, that I demand to hear someplace else that's not my computer).

Anyway, anyway. These folks are not to be missed. The eponymous Dry & Dead-released EP is a throwback, a reverent ode to proto-punkers/pub rockers (Iggy Pop, the Stooges, MC5, and Dr. Feelgood and garage rockers of old like the Kingsmen and, you know, the bands that started the whole the _____s trend nearly a half century ago.

And there's something Dylan-esque about the vocals ... maybe that's just my imagination.

You get the point. They pull from a rainbow array of influences that all fall under the harder, rockier categories, and apply the sound to a 21st century-accessible form. You really, really ought to buy the EP, just to get a kick out of boss cuts like "Johnny Depp" and "Le Monde Est Vert," but you can also just download half of the thing below. Come on, support these guys!

Chocolat - Le Monde Est Vert

Chocolat - Johnny Depp

Chocolat - Magalie

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Kylie Minogue Remixed by Studio

Blows your mind, doesn't it? But in all honesty, Sweden's killer dubbed-out electronic duo, Studio (MySpace, remixed Kylie Minogue's uh ... new ... uh ... hit single (?), "2 Hearts." (You've guessed it! I think the gal's gotten a little worn out! WTF's up with the Calvin Harris track? Why's everything sound so half-assed?)

The remix -- sort of funnily named "2 Hearts (Version by Studio)" (I like the Slavic undertone) -- is classic Studio fodder, though. Layer upon layer of heavily dubbed, warped, morphed, and tweaked guitar lines, bell shimmers, and chopped up snippets of Kylie's voice. There's a sort of Latin vibe deep down in there somewhere, but for the most part, it just sounds like an awesome Studio tune with a sort of mediocre singer.

Kylie Minogue - 2 Hearts (Version by Studio)

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Man Like Me

Man Like Me sounds like the meeting point of the Streets, Beastie Boys, and Hot Chip, or something along those quirky lines. One the one hand, they're an electro-funk pop trio from London ... on the other, they're fresh up-and-coming white boy rappers who are pretty damn good at what they do and certainly have the potential to become way more awesome.

It's lighthearted, it's fun, it's bouncy and jovial, it's hooky and catchy ... Man Like Me is everything you could want from a British electro-pop rap trio. I don't even want to bother trying to classify them. My head hurts, I've a pretty sour cold, and "Oh My Gosh" just feels right at this point in time, so download/stream it below. Start head bobbin'.

Man Like Me - Oh My Gosh

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Preacher and the Knife

Very little to actually report here, but very much to love. Preacher and the Knife (MySpace) is this new Brooklyn trio that, undeniably, will soon saturate the blog-o-sphere. You will hear these guys everywhere.

The guys play this creepy breed of post-punk that draws equally from Liquid Liquid's funky, heavy-on-the-cowbell aesthetic, Gang of Four's sharp, angular guitar accents, Adam & the Ants' tribal tendencies, and something sort of hymn-ish. It's like Professor Murder gone Nick Cave and produced by LCD Soundsystem.

It's really not even worth the attempting to explain. I've really got to get through this stuff, digest it, absorb it -- this is very good.

And while there're two songs available for download below, be sure to check out the super-simple band homepage as it features two more songs for download. Giving away the EP or something (the loonies ... )

Preacher & the Knife - Ghost House

Preacher & the Knife - The Cross
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Annuals 7" Giveaway

Raleigh's Annuals (MySpace) took us by storm (no, tsunami) with their Ace Fu debut, Be He Me, and have persisted in delivering funky, psych-infused, instantly-catchy, foot stompin' indie rock tunes since. Remember how friggin' awesome "Carry Around" was? How much you absent-mindedly whistled "Complete or Completing"?

The good news is that the N. Carolina six-piece is touring the continental U.S. through November 20, and they'll be here in L.A. on Thursday (11.15.07 @ the Troubadour) ... peddling a split 7" they did with Manchester Orchestra (MySpace) no less. And we've got one of the tour-exclusive records to give away! So if you'd like to get yer grubby little hands on one, email bibabidi@bibabidi.com with the subject LIFE IS NOTHING WITHOUT ANNUALS and you're address and we'll hook one lucky winner up!
The Annuals song on the split, "Where Have You Been," is actually a Manchester Orchestra song; the Manchester Orchestra song, "Brother," is a cover of one of Annuals' stand-out songs on Be He Me. Cute idea, huh?

If you're one of the unfortunate losers (although uh ... no one's a loser at BBBD), then I guess you'll just have to check them out live before they go into winter hibernation.

Annuals - Where Have You Been?

Annuals - Complete or Completing

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I Am Sound Prize Package Giveaway: Black Ghosts

One last reminder for you all to enter our I Am Sound prize package giveaway in case you missed the announcement. If you wish to win, you must add your correct e-mail address to the mailing list (subscribe below! how easy!) and email bibabidi@bibabidi.com a message with the subject IN THE NAME OF EVERYTHING HOLY LET ME WIN. We will choose winners at the end of the week. Good luck.

BBBD's personal I Am Sound Favorite is the Black Ghosts (yeah, save 'em for last), and we would honestly like to be the winner of the nifty prize package that we're giving away, but I think that's compromising or something, right?

Anyway, the Black Ghosts are a London duo that arose from the ashes of Simian (Simian Mobile Disco arose from these same proverbial ashes, a note that needs to be made for only the least pop cultural savvy of you out there) ... and they rock hard. Infectious, contagious, hooky, bounce-y dance tracks with the heart and soul of a solid pop tune. Good songs below.

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the Black Ghosts - Any Way You Choose to Give It (Extended Mix)

the Blacks Ghosts - Any Way You Choose to Give It (the Whip Remix)

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I Am Sound Prize Package Giveaway: Cut Off Your Hands

Just a friendly reminder here -- in case you missed the post announcing the I Am Sound prize package giveaway -- that we're still taking entries. All you need to do is enter your email address in the box below (this is required if you want to win), e-mail bibabidi@bibabidi.com with the subject IN THE NAME OF EVERYTHING HOLY LET ME WIN, and we will select a winner at the end of the week.

Today I thought it'd be good to do a spotlight on Cut Off Your Hands, the new New Zealand buzz band. With the quartet's Shaky Hands EP, they showed us how hard they can rock, how spastic they can be, how irresistibly dance-y they can be. Be prepared for a face-melter with "You & I."

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Cut Off Your Hands - You & I

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Six Figure Transatlantic

Six Figure Transatlantic (MySpace) is a soft-spoken band from Northern region of Sweden, currently residing in Stockholm. I like these guys quite a bit. They play these really melodious, chilly (finally a Swedish band that sounds like they're from way up North), brooding acoustic-based tunes that will gently seep into your ears and melt your heart.

"The Last Waltz" is the best original song from the group's Four EP, but I'm equally hooked on their cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." It works very well for some reason unbeknownst to me. Support the Stockholm six-piece after sampling these two songs!

Six Figure Transatlantic - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Six Figure Transatlantic - The Last Waltz

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Cut Off Your Hands/the Black Ghosts/Nico Vega Prize Package Contest

One of you lucky BBBD readers will be the recipient of one of the coolest prize packages around and certainly the coolest one that this blog has given its readers the chance to win.

We've got a package containing one (1) Cut Off Your Hands CDEP, one (1) COYH poster, one (1) Black Ghosts CDEP, one (1) Black Ghosts poster, and finally, one (1) Nico Vega vinyl single.

That's a total of five prizes, three of which your eardrums will love, while the other two will be embraced by the interior decorator within.

So, if you'd like to try your hand and win the killer I Am Sound package, shoot an email to bibabidi@bibabidi.com with the subject IN THE NAME OF EVERYTHING HOLY LET ME WIN and we will select one special winner after one week. Additionally, you must add your real email address to the I Am Sound mailing list below in order to even be considered. We'll be checking, so don't try to pull a sly one on us (grin).

Join the IAMSOUND mailing list (REQUIRED if you want to win!)

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New Unicorns Live Material Unearthered

It's absolutely amazing to me how much Unicorns material has been discovered in the three years since the Montreal three-piece disbanded. Posthumous albums, compilations, EPs, books, etc. haven't been released or published yet (although I'm sure they're on their way), but literally a library full of stock photos, b-sides, rarities, live takes, bootlegs, lost songs, and videos has amassed in the short span of time that's transpired since Nick/Jamie and Alden split ways.

The latest addition to the ever-growing Unicorns media archive is a professional video of one of the group's final shows at a club called Rhino's in November of 2004 (had I posted this yesterday, it would've been published on the third anniversary of the show ... what timing!)

While the clips themselves are great, I was almost more excited to find that there were two new songs (to me) featured in the set: "Hanz" (which I guess had been floating around before the Rhino's bootleg) and some unknown tune that's really quite good.

The unknown new track is a super catchy "Abominable Snow"-era thrasher (look at Alden shred up his axe) while "Hanz" sounds sort of like an ode to Aztec Camera or something ... I love that jazzy bridge that pops up towards the end ... another Unicorns-penned hook of pure genius. Where did they go ...

the Unicorns - Unkown Song

the Unicorns - Hanz

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Guns 'n' Bombs Interview (Part 2 of 2)

Read the first half of this interview here.
Q: I'm always curious to know about a specific band or artist's musical past ... aside from the IMAROBOT/Junior Senior connection, what else were you involved in and what was the musical "lead-up" to Guns 'N' Bombs?

A: Filip has been in bands nonstop since he was still a twinkle in his daddy’s eye, but the only real lead up was that we were both DJs prior to Guns’n’Bombs and we wanted to make music that we wanted to play, and bam. That’s that.

Q: What's the plan for the album? If there's one coming out ..

A: We’re currently working on that one, hopefully it’ll be done by summer ‘08.

Q: And in a more general sense, what's coming up for you in the near future? Production stuff? More singles? Collaborations? Anything we all should know about?

A: We’ll probably have 2 more singles out before the album release. As for collaborations, I don’t want to jinx ourselves, so I’ll keep that hush.

Q: What's the recording process like for you? How do you construct these songs, hammer 'em out, all that good stuff?

A: We listen to a lot of Phil Collins and then we go into the studio. That’s all we can tell you.

Q: Undeniably, you two are a substantial part of a majorly hyped area of music today. The blog world is all over you, you're in every club, you're remixing tons, and, most importantly, you're feeding into that glitch-y, real heavy and abbrasive dance style that pretty much everyone seems to be copying today. How do you cope and how do you defend your position?

A: By playing a lot of Mario Kart on our Nintendo DS's.

Q: I think that's about it ... best of luck to you two as you continue to dominate the globe!

Junior Senior - Can I Get Get Get (Guns'n' Bombs Jak the Tab Remix)

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Radiohead Covers New Order's "Ceremony"

The best Joy Division/New Order cover ever, no questions asked.
To say the least, I was not expecting to see this on Radiohead.tv, the band's latest promotional tactic ... but then again, I wasn't expecting that I'd actually be glued to the computer screen because of a real-time webcast, either. They've at least temporarily altered many Internet users' ways of digestion.

Right -- just listen to the track. Phenomenal.

Radiohead - Ceremony (New Order Cover)

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Guns 'n' Bombs Interview (Part 1 of 2)

Guns 'n' Bombs have been slowly but surely quickly rising to international DJ stardom, and over at BBBD, we couldn't be the happier.

The duo just released a new Kitsune Records single with an album to come (although the label releasing that has not been confirmed yet). Be sure to check out their two mixes, but for now, just read on for the first installment of the exclusive BBBD Guns 'n' Bombs interview!

Q: Okay, so you two are from Los Angeles, but how'd you meet up? One of you is from IMAROBOT, the other a Chicago DJ …

A: We met over MySpace, Filip will deny it but he friend requested me and I went to look at his profile and saw that he had good taste in music, namely Anthony Rother, and that made me message him to ask him if he wanted to DJ my birthday party.

Q: "Nothing Is Getting Us" was your breakthrough. What was the process behind that and how did it take off!? Getting in all the clubs, getting picked up by Kitsune ... no small task!

A: Filip and I sat down and just tried to make a good club track and after we had finished it I sent a message to all my MySpace friends to check out my new music project and Gildas happened to be on my friends list and saw it and listened and was into it.

Q: You've toured quite a lot in the past couple of years ... where've these tours brought you and how're you received internationally? Any bizarre, out-there stories?

A: We’ve played every populated continent except Africa and South America, and its all been pretty good reception, especially in Japan and Australia, we’ve had nothing really bizarre happen to us yet, but of course we have nightmare travel schedules that include little to no sleep, like the last time we were in France during the transit strike and it took us an entire day to find a way from Lyon to Barcelona that included crossing the entire country twice.

Q: You've also done a tremendous number of remixes. How do those come about and why do you do so friggin' many!?

A: I don’t think we do that many, it probably comes out to one a month if that? Initially we asked friends if we could do remixes for them and after that we started to get offers based on the strength of the remixes we had already done.

the Teenagers - Homecoming (Guns 'n' Bombs Remix)

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The Bombhappies

The Swedish music scene is literally bursting at the seams, but that's good, right? It's exciting to see the country's people to be going through such an intensely creative phase. Here's to it not ending!

The Bombhappies (MySpace) are my latest Stockholm find, and what a find they are. Although the five-piece was brought into this world nearly twelve years ago, they sound terribly fresh, energetic, and instantly-likable. If anything, their tenure as a band has only weathered them to an aged, perfected form. They know exactly how to write contagious hooks; they know exactly how to arrange their songs; they know exactly how to pen a chorus bound to get stuck in your head and refuse to leave.

Additionally, the Bombhappies aren't so easily classified as a typical "Swedish pop" group. Sure, they've the clean and crisp guitar pop jangle that instantly brings to mind bands like Shout Out Louds, Peter Bjorn & John, and the Concretes, but there's something more mature, something rockier about the quintet. Bass lines and guitar melodies tend to climax into a sort of 90s alt-rock thrash -- think the Pixies or Pavement or something -- and Joel Bergqvist (the vocalist) has the chops of any bona fide chart-topping rock singer. Imagine the merging of Interpol, the Hives, and Orange Juice. Maybe something like that ...

The Bombhappies recently released Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok, which you might be able to pick up here. Anyway, it's a fantastic album ... a knee-jerker, a spasm-inducer, a head-bobber, a foot stomper, a head banger. It's solid, man.

the Bombhappies - When I'm Asleep

the Bombhappies - Trace and Build

the Bombhappies - Madness
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Clique Talk Remix Thives Like Us

I wonder how many of you have click on the Thieves Like Us (MySpace) "Drugs In My Body" remix contest banner on the right of this page ...

But if you're looking for your ticket to stardom, an opportunity's come knocking on your door! Kitsune Records will digitally release the best "Drugs In My Body" remix they get before the deadline of November 15.

BBBD favorite Clique Talk did a very good remix of the two-thirds-Swedish-one-third-American-by-way-of-Paris trio's hit single that's definitely worth checking out. I hope it's selected as the winner ...

Unlike Thieves Like Us' usual Factory-Records-meets-Cut-Copy New Wave tunes, the remix is a brooding, cavernous, atmospheric club night come-down. (Day of the hyphenated phrases, eh?) A solid remix of a solid song.

Thieves Like Us - Drugs In My Body

Thieves Like Us - Drugs In My Body (Clique Talk Remix)

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