It’s the last day of July and half the year has gone and passed. To celebrate, I’ve compiled a mixtape of my favorite songs (not albums) of the year…so far. You can listen here, but if you want the file, you’ll have to subscribe to the OCMD Mixtape. Enjoy!
Waxing philosophical about the soundtrack of my life yesterday reminded me of one of my all time favorite – and little known – Swedish rock bands, The Soundtrack of Our Lives (a.k.a. TSOOL). I had the good fortune of seeing them for the first time this year at SXSW and nearly fainted when the lead singer jumped off the stage and sang ‘21st Century Ripoff‘ right in front of me. I at least had my wits about me to take this photo.
Turns out TSOOL has a new single, Utopia, streaming on their MySpace page. Unfortunately, they don’t have a widespread US following, so I’m resigned to adore them from afar. I just love the Swedes and their fantastic music sensibilities.
For those of you unacquainted with TSOOL, here’s a video for one of their more popular tracks, Sister Surround.
I often fantasize that if my life were a movie it would have the best soundtrack ever. I guess I’m a bit Mary Katherine Gallagher in the sense that I think my feelings would often be best expressed by some melodramatic song. And if my life came with a built in scary movie soundtrack? Oh, the trouble I could have avoided. Like my little boy’s projectile vomit that hit me this morning. Gross.
Nothing makes you feel more helpless than trying to comfort a 3 year old through waves of nausea while screaming hysterically, “THERE’S HOT SAUCE IN MY MOUTH, MAMMA! MAKE IT GO AWAY!” And you can’t; all you can give them is words. “Don’t worry, sweetie, don’t you worry…it’ll be okay.”
After the worst had passed, I try to find something to comfort him…..”Juice? No. Crackers? No. TV? Yes. Anything else? A lollipop. Okay, a lollipop then.” And as I handed him the lollipop, this is the song I heard playing in my head…
I’ve long be a proponent of the music subscription model (see Rhapsody and Topspin) and am convinced that the entire music industry will be soon headed in this direction. Case in point, MySpace has an upcoming music joint venture with 3 of the 4 major labels that will launch in September (EMI is still a holdout). MySpace Music will be a combination music store/subscription service, with unlimited playbacks of full tracks, but for free. The revenue model will be advertising and paid downloads. Advertisers are already lining up, with some eight-figure deals being negotiated.
Artist: The Ruby Suns Album: Sea Lion File Under: Psychedelic Indie Pop Recommended if You Like: Panda Bear, The Magnetic Fields, Cocteau Twins Featured Tracks: These Are Birds, Kenya Dig It?
Listening to The Ruby Suns on the sunny beaches of Santa Cruz this weekend, feeling all bleary eyed and relaxed, reminded me how much I love this album. The band’s founding member, Ryan McPhun, is a California native whose love for travel took him to far flung destinations like Africa and Thailand before settling in Auckland, New Zealand.
Knowing that trajectory helps to make sense of the band’s sound, which is like a combination of sunny California psych pop and world music. Some of the songs on the album are actually sung completely in Maori. Co-vocalist Amee Robinson adds an etherial, dreamy quality to tracks like ‘These Are Birds,’ and at times her voice gives me flashbacks to the Cocteau Twins. It a beautiful and atmospheric album, perfect for a sleepy Sunday morning at the beach.
You gotta love The Bay Bridged for keeping us all apprised of the latest and greatest indie music artists in our town. Here’s a video they shot during last month’s sold out performance of The Dodos performing ‘Paint the Rust.‘ Great musicians…great show!
Being the huge Brit Rock fan that I am, I always follow the Mercury Prize to make sure I’m on top of my UK artists. Who will get the award for ‘Best Album of the Year’? There are certainly some strong contenders, but I’ll be rooting for Elbow – the eternal underdog.
Adele – ’19’ British Sea Power – ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’ Burial – ‘Untrue’ Elbow – ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ Estelle – ‘Shine’ The Last Shadow Puppets – ‘The Age Of The Understatement’ Laura Marling – ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ Neon Neon – ‘Stainless Style’ Portico Quartet - ‘Knee-Deep In The North Sea’ Robert Plant And Alison Krauss – ‘Raising Sand’ Radiohead – ‘In Rainbows’ Rachel Unthank And The Winterset – ‘The Bairns’
…is my boy Judah. And we were lucky enough to meet the band last night during rehearsals before their show at The Bottom of the Hill. The band was so gracious and sweet; gave him a tour of their bus…invited him up on stage to play instruments and sing. Pretty cool for a 3 year old, huh?
I know you’re probably thinking Mom’s projecting this on the kid. But he’s truly passionate about this band and knows most of the words to their songs (as well as a 3 year old can interpret them). Good thing I like them too, because I have to listen to it over and over and over and over again. Sure beats Barney though.
One of my favorite groups from last year, The Early Years, just released a single in the UK on vinyl this week. Apparently, the band has just finished recording their second album, but this is their first new material in a good while.
The two new tracks, ‘Like a Suicide’ and ‘Computer Voice‘, are available for streaming on the band’s website. I was so thrown off after sampling the tracks, I had to check three times to make sure I was on the right MySpace page. Their self-titled debut album fell squarely into the category of psych rock for me, and I loved the way David Malkinson’s voice echoed David Gilmour at times. These new tracks sound more like krautrock – not that it’s a bad thing…just different.
The A side, ‘Like A Suicide‘, is an electro, experimental number that moves into more familiar Early Years’ guitar-based territory as it progresses. ‘The Computer Voice’, is krautrock meets Jim Morrison with loud guitar, drums and vocal loops that will send your head into psychedelic dreams – definitely my favorite of the two.
I still eagerly await their second album, but until then, you should check The Early Years debut album. It’s a good one. Featured here is the video for a single they released last year, ‘So Far Gone.‘
I’m quite the Rock Band junkie and have pretty much appointed myself house drummer. Play with me and you’re relegated to vocals or guitar, but drums are off limits. Not that I don’t like to share and all; it’s just too painful to watch a newbie flail around on the drum pads, and only a matter of time before they inadvertently pause the game mid-song by whacking the XBox menu button instead of the pad. Grrrrr.
I started to seriously drool when Adam forwarded me this post from Gizmodo about this new third party Ion Drum Kit available with the impending release of RockBand 2 in September. This isn’t the drum kit shipping with Rock Band 2, you’ll have to pay $300 for this one. But my, isn’t it pretty?