Discovery = Vampire Weekend + Ra Ra Riot


Osaka Loop Line”:

“Orange Shirt”:

It’s an indie pop orgasm! The latest buzz on the street is the new band Discovery featuring Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot and Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend. The duo are collaborating to produce a new album expected July 7.

Peasant – On the Ground


Artist: Peasant
AlbumOn the Ground
File Under: Indie Folk
Recommended if You Like: Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, Elliott Smith
Featured Track: Birds

You know how annoying it is when you diligently track new music from your favorite blogs, hear something you get excited about, then can’t find it because the album isn’t even released yet?  Well, I’m sorry but I’m about to do that to you right now.

I just can’t help myself on this one though.  Peasant’s, On the Ground, was a little gem sent to me from Paper Garden Records last month and I cannot stop listening to it.  Unfortunately for you, it’s not available until January 27, 2009. But you can pre-order here now.

Peasant is the musical alter-ego of Damien DeRose from Doylestown, PA.  And you can’t help but think Elliott Smith when you hear his beautiful lyrics and delicate acoustic arrangements float by.  I’m completely obsessed with the song, ‘Birds‘.

Based upon his upcoming engagements to promote the album, it appears I’m not the only one obsessed.  He just recorded studio sessions with Daytrotter (known for helping to launch emerging bands like Of Montreal, Vampire Weekend, Tokyo Police Club, Spoon, and A Place To Bury Strangers), and is scheduled to record live sessions on WOXY and LaundroMatinee as well.  Oh, and let’s not forget his upcoming music placement on the new Showtime series “United States of Tara.”

So go get it already!  Pre-order here.

Check out the Daytrotter recordings here.


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Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids @ The Mezzanine



It was an Indie Pop extravaganza at The Mezzanine in San Francisco this Wednesday. The night began with local band Audrye Sessions putting out a very impressive performance. I posted a cover they did recently of Elliott Smith’s Waltz #2.  One of the more beautiful covers I’ve heard lately.  While their sound doesn’t quite gel with my overall music taste, their live presence gave me motivation to revisit that initial judgement.  Big, orchestral sound and beautiful arrangements.  Very talented and sure to go far.

Next up was Chairlift, who’s performance paled in comparison.  I know many people are big fans of this Brooklyn-based trio and they received oodles of publicity for the song ‘Bruises’ that was featured on an iPod commercial.  (Which I’ve come to realize that if I don’t already hate the band being featured on an Apple commercial, I soon will. The Ting Tings are a perfect example.) But this band does absolutely nothing for me – recorded or live. I mean really, who puts a chorus of ‘stop, drop and roll’, into a song?  Their lyrics are just idiotic. Here’s another one:  “The most evident utensil/Is none other than a pencil/Not a multi-colored stencil.” What?  My 3 year old could write more compelling lyrics. It’s like bad 80s music all over again.  The equivalent of Nena’s ‘99 Luftballons’

Thankfully Cold War Kids turned the vibe around with an energetic performance, albeit short.  Their rousing rendition of Saint John was great. Vampire Weekend played their usual set (this was the third time serendipity brought me to one of their shows this year) and they did not disappoint.  Love ’em or hate ’em, they do deliver.  It will be interesting to see how they follow up all the hype from this year.

Listen to Audrye Sessions‘ cover of Elliott Smith’s Waltz #2

Listen to  Chairlift, Evident Utensil (if you dare)

Listen to  Cold War Kids, Saint John

Listen to Vampire Weekend, A Punk

School of Rock: Cold War Kids

The story of a boy and his toilet paper holder continues.  Judah’s at it again.  This week it’s Cold War Kids, ‘Hang Me Out to Dry’.  While technically not his best work, he gets lots of style points for his Elvis-like footwork. Lead singer Nathan Willett can learn a thing or two from these moves, no?

Cold War Kids and Vampire Weekend top the line up for the Pre-Not So Silent Night Party at Mezzanine in San Francisco this Wednesday, December 10. (Thanks, Joerg for the ticket!)

Get this album free via eMusic’s 50 Free MP3 Promo

buy it at insound!

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Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line


ArtistRa Ra Riot
AlbumThe Rhumb Line
File Under: Indie Pop
Recommended if You Like: Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend
Featured Track: Under Ghost Rocks

The best way I can describe Syracuse-based Ra Ra Riot is Arcade Fire meets Vampire Weekend – upbeat rhythms layered over rich orchestral-based melodies. And their live shows, with their huge ensemble cast, are raucous and infectious – just like Arcade Fire.  If you like either of those bands, it would be worth your while to give Ra Ra Riot a listen.  They were the darlings of SXSW this year and are fast becoming a critics choice for 2008 as well.

‘The Rhumb Line’ is the band’s first LP and a tribute to the recent drowning of band member, drummer John Pike, who co-wrote most of the lyrics for their debut album. The title of the album, ‘The Rhumb Line’, is fitting in both its nautical theme and meaning – a term for the constant course a vessel takes in a give direction.  Which is what the remaining band members have had to do.

See them live tomorrow, September 24, at The Rickshaw Stop or watch the video for, ‘Ghost Under Rocks’:

Get this album free via eMusic’s 50 Free MP3 Promo

buy it at insound!

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8tracks is the New Muxtape

With Muxtape still battling the RIAA, 8tracks has emerged as the new online MP3 playlist solution.  8tracks allows you to create a playlist of 8 tracks and share it with your friends online.  It’s easy to use and they are Beta testing an Uploader feature for Mac users that allows you to drag and drop a playlist directly from iTunes to 8track. Hmmm, given how DRM happy Apple is, I wonder how long that will last.  Well, go check it out now before the RIAA shuts them down too.

Here’s a mix I created for the Treasure Island Music Festival this Sunday in San Francisco, featuring Fleet Foxes, Port O’Brien, The Dodos, Okkervil River, The Morning Benders, Vampire Weekend, Dr. Dog and The Raconteurs.  Can’t wait!

Listen to Treasure Island Music Festival Playlist.

For a more complete sampler of Sunday’s line up, check out HearYa’s complete playlist of all the artists featured.

Get this album free via eMusic’s 50 Free MP3 Promo

buy it at insound!

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Playing the Field

My son is 3 years old and already playing the field.  He has three girlfriends and speaks highly of all them – Monet, Olivia and Susannah.  But Monet holds a special place in his heart.  To him, she is his wife (his words, not mine).  We recently chaperoned a date between the two to his favorite pizza joint, Gaspares, in the Richmond district. The entire trip to and from the restaurant, they held hands in the back seat, giggled, kicked their feet and screamed AY! AY! AY! AY! to Vampire Weekend’s A Punk.

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