Friday, April 30, 2010

NPR's "This American Life" series is now on Netflix Instant

Ira Glass, American public radio personality, took Boston Public Radio's hour long program "This American Life" and gave it a new medium by turning it into a series. In 2007, the show ran for a good year, before Ira and a few others on TAL's staff pulled the plug on the series. (Reason being, because the footage captured for one show, would be over a timespan that conflicted with Showtime's airing deadlines.) If you have Netflix or Itunes, I recommend watching the series. The stories told are beautiful and most imporantly, real.

If you don't have Netflix or Itunes, it's not the end of the world: You'll find some here.

Tim Hecker- Harmony In Ultraviolet (2006)

I'm not gonna bother trying to explain this album a) because it's really hard to explain drone/ambient albums b) I'm way too drunk right now to be articulate. But Tim Hecker's Harmony In Ultraviolet is without question one of the best ambient albums I have ever heard. Hecker has been at the forefront of the experimental electronic music for almost 10 years and Harmony In Ultraviolet is surely his finest composition. The album is a haunting but undeniably compelling mix of glitch, drone and laptop electronica, similar in sound to avant-garde contemporaries Christian Fennesz, Nadja, or even the expansive post-rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Also, Harmony In Ultraviolet has to be one of the best fucking album names ever, not to mention it describes this album perfectly. I'm not gonna bother explaining any further, JUST DOWNLOAD THIS ALBUM RIGHT NOW. Refer to When We Were Younger And Better's comprehensive Tim Hecker post for more of his amazing back catalog. Otherwise click the album artwork to sample.

Buy Harmony In Ultraviolet on iTunes

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Andrew W.K.- "Party Hard"

After having a sick throwback session with my roommate Pat White (check out his sick photo blog here and download his mixtape), I decided that Andrew W.K.'s "Party Hard" is probably one of the best songs ever written. Perfect mix of early 00's nostalgia and hilarious balls out rock. Remember when this song was the shit? Don't hate.

Friday, April 23, 2010

M.I.A.- "Born Free"

Only a few days after she announced the release date for her new album (via blimp), M.I.A. has blessed us all with "Born Free," the first single from her yet to be titled new album. It fucking rules. Psychedelic swirling vocals boom over crashing cymbals and a fuzzy guitar line. It's sure as hell like nothing she's done before, this shit is straight punk rock. I know she had mentioned in an interview that this album was going to be different, but this is more awesome than expected. Check out "Born Free" below and commence "getting stoked" about M.I.A.'s new album.

Stream M.I.A.- "Born Free" at Stereogum

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record [2010]

Count on a band like Broken Social Scene to not change anything you love about them and yet completely throw to the wind any suggestions they're a one trick pony. Let's run through my Official "What makes an album like Forgiveness Rock Record successful?" Check List, shall we?

- Kevin Drew's outrageously catchy and abstract lyrics? (Check.)

- Amy Millan, Leslie Feist, and Emily Haines tearing it up on vocals? (Check.)

- Production by John McEntire (who's worked with Tortoise and Sea & Cake)? (Check.)

- Brand spankin' new horn section that feels like it's been missing since the first album? (Check.)

Broken Social Scene's contributions to setting the bar for indie music have yet to cease and that's the bottom line. For their first album in five years, this maintains true to their roots in a clear and more straightforward way then ever: accessible and poppy yet expansive and psychedelic. This should absolutely be the first BSS record you pass on to a friend.

Between 'You Forgot It In People' and their self-titled, there's usually noticeable correlation after each release and what gets popular in the indie scene. Perhaps Forgiveness Rock Record is a sincere apology from the company to any of their listeners expecting them to set the bar any lower? Or maybe a light-hearted joke on the bands that will have to gall to try and replicate it? Either way, nobody should be sorry purchasing this CD May 4th.

Toro Y Moi -"Talamak"

This year, one must ask themselves... "Am I riding the chill wave?"

Toro Y Moi dropped their first full-length album titled, "Causers of This" earlier this year, and since then, it's been spreading like wildfire. Chazwick Bundick, the brain behind this entire album, (not surprised he chose Toro Y Moi as a name to represent his music, aside from just using his name... chazwick? really?) either way his music is a slice of heaven. Most of the songs on this album, have a really low-key "vaca" vibe to them, so if you're trying to get pumped for warm weather, drunk volleyball games, and Fla-Vor-Ice, get this album. It'll do you some good.

Sunglasses- "Whiplash"

Although I tend to dislike most of the stuff that comes out nowadays that sounds exactly like Animal Collective, Sunglasses' song "Whiplash," despite all it's unashamed Panda Bear influence, is one of the best singles of the year. Given its revolving beats, carnival-esque synths, and playful vocals, the song should henceforth be mentioned in any sentence concerning the best Animal Collective impression of 2010, in the running with Delorean's "Stay Close" and Keepaway's "Yellow Wings." All comparisons aside, "Whiplash" is a delightful track that any fan of electronic psychedelic pop will dig. Check the track below.

Sunglasses- "Whiplash" (via Fantastic Weapon)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sonic Youth- Screaming Fields Of Sonic Love

As if you needed anymore proof that Experimental Etc. is one of the best music blogs out there right now, they just posted an awesome VHS Rip of a Sonic Youth's video collection Screaming Fields of Sonic Love which features music videos of the band's songs from their first album through their 1988 classic Daydream Nation. I haven't watched it yet but the stills that Exp. Etc. posted are enough to get me excited and convince me its worth clicking 7 different Rapidshare links to download.

Sonic Youth- Screaming Fields Of Sonic Love at Experimental Etc.

Jim Carroll Band- "People Who Died"

My friend Andrew (he doesn't have a blog but if he did it would too ridiculous for the internet to handle) turned me on to this amazing song by the Jim Carroll Band called "People Who Died" from their 1980 album Catholic Boy. With a little research, I was able to briefly familiarize myself with Jim Carroll, author of the Basketball Diaries and all around awesome relevant punk literary figure. Listening to "People Who Died," it's easy to see what Kurt Vile and his band The War On Drugs were listening to before writing their songs. The song's morbid lyrics and fast-paced, rowdy and almost shoegaze-y guitar work call to mind the raw punk of contemporaries The Misfits, The Velvet Underground, and The Stooges. Check out "People Who Died Below."

Jim Carroll Band- "People Who Died" from Catholic Boy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

RUN DMT- "Spruce Bringsteen"

Ughhh, sorry I haven't updated in forever. Just been real busy with school and shit. Anyway, I'm probably gonna bombard you all with a bunch of posts over the next few days to make up for it. Here's a great song I found over at Chocolate Bobka called "Spruce Bringsteen" by RUN DMT. Judging from their myspace, this dude has a love for all things psychedelic and drug related and it certainly comes through in the music. "Spruce Bringsteen" is a short little variation whose twinkling guitar, ambling bass line and hazy melodies call to mind the Beach Boys influenced psychedelic pop of Ariel Pink, Department Of Eagles, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Check out "Spruce Bringsteen" below and be sure to check out RUN DMT's myspace, he's put up a bunch of free albums for download.

RUN DMT- "Spruce Bringsteen"
(via Chocolate Bobka)
RUN DMT on Myspace

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti- The Doldrums (2004)

Check out Glowing Raw's awesome feature on Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti's The Doldrums. Ariel Pink is finally getting some more mainstream exposure with the release of "Round and Round" from the band's upcoming album on 4AD. The Doldrums is one of Pink's first releases so it features the distinct lo-fi feel that his work is known for. Pink boasts a cult following because of his strange approach to songwriting; on The Doldrums, Pink recorded most of the drums sounds using his mouth and he is also known for his extensive list of unreleased material available on CD-Rs and tapes passed out at shows.

But behind all the weirdness, The Doldrums stands as a testament of Pink's brilliantly unique take on music. The music sounds like some kind of alternate reality Beach Boys. It's poppy and sappy, but there is a distinct creepy vibe to it. The lo-fi recording accentuates the out of tune guitars, crackling violins and swirling vocals. It's like the music of some lost weird psychedelic decade.

Anyway I could go on, but I'll just refer you to Glowing Raw's sweet coverage (and upload) of The Doldrums. I will probably be posting some of more of Pink's stuff soon. Read up on the guy in the mean time, his Wikipedia is a good place to start, he is really an amazingly interesting musician.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti- The Doldrums (2004) on Glowing Raw
Ariel Pink on Wikipedia