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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cheat Sheet #7 2011

Lacrosse season has started, so the little time I had is now gone. The only real time I am getting to listen to music is driving to and from work. Thank goodness for great music blogs like the ones listed below that keep me up to date. This is a great week of new and eclectic music. Feel free to recommend this site to friends, leave comments, or join as a follower and get emailed updates. I'm thinking about making the switch to an independent site free of blogger and switching to Word Press as a format. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Remember you can right click and download tracks to listen or use the embedded player tab sticking out on the left.

Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place from Happy Days Are Here Again
The whole album is just beautiful soundscapes of vocals (and a little bit of synth) all layered on top of one another. Put in on and go to some place new. I love to turn the volume up and just let everything build!
New album The Magic Place out NOW!
Band Website

Okkervil River - Mermaid from Citizen Dick
I have been a die hard fan of this band since The Stage Names. Can't wait to see what the new album brings. I love his shaky voice, sounds so sincere. Great easy sound and interesting lyrics.
New album I Am Very Far available on May 10
Band Website
Below is the video from Fallon show performing "Weave Room Blues."

The Submarines - Birds from Stereo Pills
New band to me and this is the first track I have ever heard. Seems like lots of people have been jocking them and expecting a break out. This next album may do it. This is 100% pop. So pop you might think they were Swedish, but they are from LA. The female singer in the band is the great-grand daughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
New album Love Notes/Letter Bombs out on April 5
Band Website

The Sandwitches - Lightfoot from Tale of the Tape
The Sandwitches - Joe Says from Gorilla Vs Bear
Girl garage rock. Often times we accept lo-fi, dirty vocals from guy singers, but not the ladies. Well, I like this even though it isn't necessarily pretty.
New album Mrs. Jones' Cookies comes out March 29
Band Website
Below is an old track that made me fall in love with this band:

The Dodos - Don't Stop from Insomnia Radio
Featured the first leak Black Night back in Cheat Sheet #4. I liked that track, but I love this one.
New album No Color due on March 15
Band Website
Great live performance below via pitchfork. Must see these guys live

TV On the Radio - Will Do from Old School
Anything new from these guys is always welcome. Hoping for another great release. This track sounds like what I would expect. I like.
New album Nine Types of Light out this spring.
Band Website

Video: Walkmen + some free downloads

The Walkmen have a new video out for "While I Shovel The Snow," one of my favorite songs from 2010. The video is nice and simple with shots of the band in the snow - fitting.

Click here to go to the band website for free downloads of "While I Shovel the Snow" and "Orange Sunday," a B-side from album. They also have another new aqua themed video posted for "Orange Sunday." I also noticed that the band is selling current album Lisbon and the previous one You and Me for $7.99 a pop. Pretty good deal, but it seems to me more bands should directly sell their albums from their websites at a cheaper price and get more money directly.
I'm sure it's all a licensing and merchandising deal. However I know that I have not bought whole albums I want because I see them priced at 7.99 for an mp3 download, and the reverse of that I have bought whole albums from bands that maybe I'm unsure about or on the fence because they were priced at 5.99 or less.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Review: 33 1/3 Series - Low

Just finished reading the 33 1/3 series book on David Bowie's Low written by Hugo Wilcken. This is an album that has always gotten insane critical praise and props for being a defining moment in Bowie's career. I however have always found the album difficult to listen to. That is part of the reason I choose to read this book and have been listening to the album extensively while reading.
Low is considered the first in Bowie's Berlin album trilogy (the others being: Heroes and Lodger). Interesting fact that only Heroes was fully recorded in Berlin, parts of Low were and none of Lodger. These albums are grouped together because of their sound and the influence of Brian Eno who was a collaborator on all three.
The greatest influence on the album was the movie The Man Who Fell To Earth which Bowie starred in. Bowie was also going to make the soundtrack but never completed it due to his heavy drug use and failing marriage. However some of the tracks for Low were started as tracks for the soundtrack. I have never seen the film, but Bowie has also said that the themes (isolation, loneliness, and helplessness) of the movie overflowed into the making of Low.You can certainly feel thos things in the sound and lyrics.
The other big influences on Low you will see are Kraut-rock, synthesizer bands and Iggy Pop. The Iggy Pop album The Idiot was made just before Low and Bowie helped produce and make the album. It was really a dry run for the making of Low. In my opinion I'll take The Idiot over Low any day of the week. However after extensive listening I am now a fan of Low, in particular the first couple tracks (Speed of Life and Sound and Vision being the tops) They are all experimental and used tape loops and distorted instruments and vocals to create a cold electronic sound with lots of layers. With every listen I can focus on a different sound and hear something new or I just hear the blending of all the noise.
Tracks 6-10 lack vocals and slip off into the ambient sound that Eno is known for and I lose interest. Sure it sounds cool, but to me it really is just background music.
Well the book is a great little read and inspired me to listen to more Bowie and Eno and I at least understand the obsession that some critics have with the album.Below are a handful of tracks that inspired the making of Low.

Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing

Brian Eno - I'll Come Running

Neu! - Hallogallo

Kraftwerk - Autobahn

John Cage - Water Walk and 4'33

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheat Sheet #6 2011

The Low Anthem - Ghost Women Blues from slowcoustic
I am very excited about the release of this album, because I was such a fan of Oh My God Charlie Darwin.This tracks follows the same formula from that album; slow building melodies with a folk tinge. A sweet Oboe (I think) solo to top it off.
From the album Smart Flesh due out Feb.22
Band website

The Ravonettes - Forget That You're Young from Off the Radar
A little bit of a change in sound from The Ravonettes. Still has that surf guitar but they have lost the back beat garage drums. A softer gentler Raveonettes, which hopefully translates to a great new album.
From the album Raven in the Grave due out April 2011
Band Website

The Lovely Eggs - Have You Ever Heard a Digital Accordion from Swill Merchant
Discovered these guys through NPR - All Songs Considered. They love to write a song in rounds and some people find the singers voice and their music utterly annoying, but that is what I find charming. The video below is Don't Look at Me which is from their most recent album and Digital Accordion (above) is  from their previous effort If You Were Fruit.
Most recent album Cob Dominos came out last week.
Band Website

Akron / Family - Silly Bears
Akron / Family - So It Goes both from The Dada   
Just look at the name of the album and you know these guys are stoner rock. Probable Kurt Vonnegut reference with that second track.
From the album S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT out now
Band Website

Yuck - Coconut Bible from Your Third Ear 
Yuck - Rubber  from Chromewaves
Here is one I missed. These guys are blowing up all over and I just heard about them this week. They do rock, but I'm still unsure. Rubber is sonic sludge!!!!
Self titled album out now.
Band Website

Bonus: New Radiohead album out this week - King of Limbs. Here is video number one off the album

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New phone books are here!

Is there any way this album can continue the success of Radiohead? I have a hard time believing that they can hit a home run every time they step up to bat, but I know I will be in the stands to watch on every occasion. Downloading right now and I'll be listening all day. The album is $9.00 for the mp3 - looks like we are not getting to name our own price this time around.

Go here to Download King of Limbs

New cheat sheet coming later tonight!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


 I've been reading a book about the making of David Bowie's Low and as a result I've been listening to Nightclubbing by Iggy Pop like crazy. While searching the song on youtube I came across this great version. A couple things to point out:
1. If it is hard edged synthesier music you want then you should go to Trent Reznor, this is his wheel house.
2. I'm not a big fan of Bauhus, but Peter Murphy has a great voice.
3. Jeordie White used to be Twiggy from the Marilyn Manson band. He looks better now as Jeordie.

Play the original by Iggy Pop below or click here to download it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie Review: Control + Lots of Joy Division Videos

Control is the story of Joy Division, but really Ian Curtis (actor Sam Riley). The lead singer who got married young, joined the band, found out he had epilepsy, had a kid, started getting famous in England, had an affair, wobbled back and forth between his wife and lover, and then hung himself the day before heading to the USA for a tour. You can find the story on Wikipedia so I'm not giving anything away.
The interesting part of the movie is how they cover the relationship between his wife, his lover, and his epilepsy.

Joy Division - She's Lost Control:
Actor Sam Riley gets the performance down pat in the movie and this video shows some of the patent Ian Curtis moves. I have seen many people call it the epilepsy dance

The movie is based off of Deborah Curtis's (wife) novel. I think this is surprising because there was only one scene where we see a strong connection between the two of them, instead we see lots of Ian alone listening to music and writing. I also never felt that Ian had a strong connection with anyone in his band, the person he seems most connected to is manager Rob Gretton.
Once the band is taking off Annik from Belgium enters the picture. Their relationship is hot and heavy and she is the one person that seems to spark Ian to life. From that point forward we get lots of crazy from Ian and his wife, we also get a real sense of the negative impact that epilepsy had on his life and music. 

Joy Division - Shaowplay
Here is the actual footage of the band on Granda Television. They do this exact scene in the movie only they perform the song Transmission.

The mood of the movie matches the music. It is cold and moody, but intriguing. It is filmed in black and white which helps set the tone. The cinematography and music scenes are my favorite part of the film. The music is great and the actors get the performances dead on. This film is a must see for fans of music, but otherwise you should probably just skip it.

Joy Division - Transmission
I think Bernard Sumner's guitar work in this song is simple but so effective. He hits some great single note solos and makes a great racket that really builds the intensity. Looks to me like Ian Curtis took a few notes from Jim Morrison on performing. The video gets interrupted by Bono to tell you how he was influenced, then you get to hear from the other band members and manager.

After Ian's death the myth of the man and band became bigger. The real power of Joy Division was their influence on the music of the time and on future musicians. The band also solidered on under the new name and sound of New Order.
Link to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" their most famous song made shortly before the death of Ian.

New Order - Ceremony:
The first single released by New Order was actually intended to be a Joy Division song. It still sounds like Joy Division. Bernard Sumner is singing but his delivery is not that different than Ian's for this song.

New Order - Temptation:
New Order would quickly develop their own sound with a bigger synthesizer and dance influence. It starts to show on this classic. Hey, when I hear this and it gets to "up, down, turn around...." I can't help but tap my toe and shake my head. I gotta dance! This video also shows the originality of factory records and Tony Wilson the brave cool soul who supported this band and Joy Division (also Certain Ratio and Happy Mondays). I love this live version and video. Can't help but falling in love with the record and flower stealer. This song is also used on Trainspotting. Ok - I need to stop now....this song is the bomb.

The Temptation of Victoria from Dani on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cheat Sheet #5 2011

A return to normalcy this week. Nice easy going time at work and home. Lots of time for music listening. Should be a great weekend of nothing special. Here is new music to enjoy.

1. Bright Eyes - Shell Games
Bright Eyes - Haile Selassie  both tracks from 5 Score Pacyderm
Unsure about this Bright Eyes album. Neither of these tracks blew me away, but at the same time they are solid. I expect the album will be strong, it just won't be the best Bright Eyes......that however is still better than 80% of the music out there. Seems like there might be too much hype for the album, time will tell.
Album the People's Keys due February 15
Band Website

2. Spectre Folk - Blackest Medicine
Side project from the drummer of Magik Markers. How often do drummers put out great music on their own (Phil Collins excluded)? This is the exception, I mean its no "In the Air Tonight," but it nice blues rock. I'm looking forward to the whole album, I love the muddy sound of it. It's hard to find info on these guys, I think the album is out already - I just need to track it down.
Band Website

3. Daughter - Run from Fense Post
Up and comer from London with a beautiful voice. Nice simple music. You can go here and enter your email address to get more free music from Daughter.
Band Wenbsite

4. PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder from UnpianoCompose
Back in 1993 I bought Rid of Me. I had read about it in Spin magazine and knew what a fuss everyone was making about it. It was my freshmen year of college and most of the music I listened to was in the Pearl Jam, U2, and Stone Temple Pilots category. I wanted to seem cooler than the other kids at my school so I often bought albums that no one else I hung around with had heard of....Rid of Me was purchased. I hated it. I pretended to like, but the truth is I found it grating. I can only remember she repeated lines a lot, had a rough voice, and was overtly sexual. I have no idea what it sounds like now, it has been over ten years since I sold it to a used cd store for credit and I have never looked back. Well the times have changed, this album looks like it is going to pull me back in. I love this song and the other I have heard "The Last Living Rose" posted below.

Album Let England Shake out on Feb. 15
Band Website

5. Banjo or Freakout - Go Ahead from Ground Control
Can't tell you much about this guy. He is not a rock band. He mixes traditional and electronic music; and it is great Sunday morning music. search out his early singles for more awesome.

Banjo or Freakout - Left It Alone from banjo or freakout on Vimeo.
Self-titled album out Feb. 21
Band Website
At the Black Cat on March 30

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cheat Sheet #4 2011

Still going strong on the posting, but apologize for the delay this week. I was on a weekend trip to Bethany beach to watch the Superbowl with my family and closest friends. Had a great time, traded music tips, drank beer, and made stupid bets on the game.So this is a short posting with just the facts, but I have a lot of great music coming up this weekend to make up for it.

1. Dodos - Black Night from Umulauthttp://www.unnecessaryumlaut.com/?p=6960 album "No Color" due out March 15
Band Website

2. James Pant - Alone from Gorilla Vs. Bear album coming soon
Band Website

3. Telekinesis -  Car Crash from One Track Mind album "12 Desperate Straight Lines" due out March 15
Telekinesis - Dirty Thing 
Band Website

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

White Stripes Call It Quits?

Link to Band Website With Letter

I remember the first time I heard The White Stripes I was driving around Washington DC with an old friend. I can't remember where we were going or what we were doing, just that I liked the music he was playing. It was rambunctious and gritty. You tell whoever was making this noise was into it. I can't remember what song it was and when I left that night I didn't even remember the bands name.

Months later my friend Steve played Hotel Yorba, Fell In Love With a Girl and a couple other songs; the instant I heard them I knew who they were. This was the same band I heard a couple months ago driving around DC. This time I did not make the same mistake. Steve burned me a CD and I left that night filled with the power of ROCK!

The love affair with the White Stripes has grown and I truly believe that are one of the very few bands who have never laid an egg. That doesn't mean that every track has been as life changing as Seven Nation Army, but The White Stripes have never failed to satisfy my soul.

I'm not sure why they are calling it quits. I mean I read the letter and understand but to me it would have made more sense just to fade away never saying anything at all, always leaving fans with the glimmer of hope that some day we might get more. Oh well, there is always a reunion tour down the road...but those tickets will just be too expensive.

Lets end this with the proper sentiment - take it away Jack: