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.
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.
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
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?
Artist: Ra Ra Riot
Album: The 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’:
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!
For a more complete sampler of Sunday’s line up, check out HearYa’s complete playlist of all the artists featured.
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.
Artist: The Morning Benders
Album: Talking Through Tin Cans
File Under: Indie Pop
Recommended if You Like: The Shins, The Kooks, Brian Wilson
Featured Track: Boarded Doors
The Bay Area’s very own indie pop rockers have released their debut album, ‘Talking Through Tin Cans’, and…I’m liking it! I had to sit with it for a while because…nah, I couldn’t like a pop band, could I? But there’s something about the groups’ sunny California sound – catchy hooks and melodies, jangly guitars – along with their collegiate youthfulness that makes this an irresistible summer album. That and I may be a bit nostalgic to the fact that they happen to be my little boy’s first official concert.
To add to my momentary love affair, they’ve just compiled an album of covers called, ‘The Bedroom Covers’, that they are releasing for free download. The EP features 11 tracks from artists such as Velvet Underground, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac and more. Here’s a good sample from the Talking Heads:
Maybe I’ll look back on this as a summer fling or passing trend. But until then, I plan on working this album for the summer, like my white jeans.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with cover songs. And nostalgic for the mixtape. I miss the mixtape, frankly, and wish it would come back. Mix CDs are great and all, but the ‘drag and drop’ medium doesn’t require the same amount of effort, thoughtfulness and dedication as making a mixtape did. It’s one thing to find the right songs and arrange them…but to actually time the songs so you didn’t run out of tape? That’s an art form.
And in that sense, they seemed more meaningful too. I just can’t recall anyone today being particularly impressed by a mix CD they were given. But remember when someone gave you a mixtape in the day? That was…WOW.
It’s been far too long since I’ve made or have been given a mixtape. But I’m changing that today with my first mixtape to you (albeit digital) – a collection of my favorite indie cover songs. There will be more to come. So if you like this and want more, you’ll have to subscribe to my Mixtape Podcast to receive them.
the OCMD – Best Covers Mixtape
1. Cryptacize – Peg (Steely Dan cover)
2. Johnathon Wilson – La Isla Bonita (Madonna cover)
3. Midnight Movies – Mes Reves de Satin (Moody Blues cover)
4. Japancakes – Only Shallow (MBV cover)
5. Sonic Youth – Superstar (Carpenters cover)
6. Grizzly Bear – Owner of a Lonely Hearts (Yes cover)
7. We are Scientists – Hoppipolla (Sigur Ros cover)
8. Jose Gonzalez – Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
9. Marissa Nadler – No Surprises (Radiohead cover)
10. St. Vincent – These Days (Jackson Browne cover)
11. Cat Power – Ramblin’ (Wo)man (Hank Williams cover)
12. Vampire Weekend – Exit Music (for a Film) (Radiohead cover)
13. Sons and Daughters – Killer (Adamski cover)
14. The Cloud Room – Blue Monday (New Order cover)
15. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Another Satellite (XTC cover)
16. The Paper Scissors – I can’t Go for That (Hall & Oates cover)