Andrew McMahon

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I turned on the radio last night for a minute to hear some very bad news. A radio DJ from here just recently visited Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin. He said that Andrew looked as if he were on his death bed. We all knew his recent health battles but I don't think that I realized that it was so bad. So this is for Andrew. I haven't ever gotten to see him play live but the sheer fact that I couldn't find a decent performance photo of him (and had to resort to this canned shot you see above) really speaks. I've seen the DVD, I've heard a couple of bootlegs, and the fact that he's not performing right now is a big loss to the world. Here's to putting up a fight, Andrew.

Something Corporate - As You Sleep (Solo)

Blackpool Lights

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Everyone knew it was coming. When the Get Up Kids, easily the best band ever to originate in Kansas (despite the fact that they called Kansas City, Missouri their "hometown), started taking extended hiatus, everyone knew that the members who weren't in other projects already would be in them eventually. There's Reggie and the Full Effect, the New Amsterdams, Koufax and Blackpool Lights (I don't think I'm forgetting anyone...). Jim Suptic has really done some great stuff already in Blackpool Lights despite the fact that they don't even have a full length album yet. Check out a couple from their tour ep and a demo that I am QUITE anxious to hear a full blown version of:

Blackpool Lights - Crash Sounds
Blackpool Lights - Empty Tank
Blackpool Lights - Maybe Just Maybe (Demo)


My favorite song in the world!

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Rilo Kiley

If the entire world listened to this song, it would be a better place to live.

Rilo Kiley - With Arms Outstretched

High School Reunion

I was born too late. I was too young to particpate in the great high school movies of the 80's. I have never had a crush on Molly Ringwald or played "In Your Eyes" for a girl. But now I watch the movies whenever they grace my tv screen and love every second. So when I heard about the compilation "High School Reunion - A Tribute to Those Great 80's Films" I wanted to hear it. I REALLY wanted to hear it when I heard that Frank Black (or as I like to call him, Black Francis...haha...I'm a dork), Kristen Hersh and the Dresden Dolls. I've never been a fan of 80's music but this one picked out most of the best songs involved. So here's a couple that I dug:

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Dresden Dolls (I swear I tried to find a picture without the creepy makeup)

Dresden Dolls - Pretty in Pink

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Frank Black

Frank Black - Repo Man

BONUS (for Heather):
Frank Black - Atlantis (Donovan Cover, Bonus from "Honeycomb")


Graham Coxon

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I am posting this new Graham Coxon track on good faith. I have not listened to it yet. I have not listened to one second of the album. But come on, it's Graham. It's gonna be good. I'll share thoughts on the album later.

Graham Coxon - Standing on Your Own Again


Brad Mehldau

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I've had a minor jazz thing going on since I was first introduced to jazz in my grade school music class...you know, the one where you sang songs about chicken noodle soup and eagles...yeah, that one. I got into it so much that when I was seven years old I saved up all my money until I could afford to go buy Louis Armstrong's greatest hits - my first cd purchase. So I got excited when I came upon Brad Mehldau. I first heard him due to an article on Pitchfork about Jon Brion (who produced Mehldau's album "Largo"). The thing is, everytime I listen to Mehldau, it's like the first time I listened to Thelonious Monk - I get chills down my spine that make me wonder how discord and confusion sound so darn good. And the coolest thing is the covers he does. Don't get me wrong - I dig his originals but the fact that he covers the Beatles, Nick Drake and Radiohead really does something for me. Check these two out and see if you don't go buy an album:

Brad Mehldau - Paranoid Android

Brad Mehldau - Wave-Mother Nature's Son


Well...its a top 10...kinda...maybe...

I had finished my top albums of the year list and then decided to take it back and re-do it. So, until I finish it up (which will probably be on the 1st), here is my
10 Most Disappointing Albums of 2005:

Plans - Death Cab For Cutie
Has Ben Gibbard been listening to Bon Jovi? He really should stop...

Stand Up - Dave Matthews Band
You have one of the best drummers ever to live and he's replaced by lame beats? Why? And they wrote the majority of the album while in the studio...never a good sign

Get Behind Me Satan - White Stripes
A few good songs but not much of an album. The personality is gone.

Picaresque - Decemberists
Once again - only a few songs did it for me because the personality is gone

Songs For Silverman - Ben Folds
Ben seems content to rehash his old stuff. The album wasnt bad but just not near as good as it could have been

Demon Days - Gorillaz
Bring back Dan the Automator!

Dont Tread on Me - 311
Cartoonish imitation of themselves in years past at best.

Honeycomb - Frank Black
Bored the snot out of me. The Donovan cover that was the bonus track was the only thing i can stand to listen to.

Out of Exile - Audioslave
Purely pedestrian. Lyrics are unamusing and Morello does nothing we havent heard him do for years.

Frances the Mute - Mars Volta
I had virtually no expectations for this in the first place but I checked it due to the hype - hey look at me! I can play really fast! Who do you think you are - Yngwie Malmsteen?


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Excuse me if I seem at bit obsessive, but I love me some Feist. I'm not even going to bother posting anything from her most recent album, Let It Die, because it is so impossibly good that you should be running to jump in your car to go buy it right now. You will not find an album any better than Let It Die. However, it seems that most people haven't even heard of her first album, Monarch. While it is quite different stylisticly, her talent and voice shine through immaculately.

Feist - Flight 303

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Another one just because I can.


The Decemberists

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First off, I don't see why the Decemberists went major label...
Didn't they hear what happened to Death Cab? They made their worst album ever.
Second, its great to hear them cover Elliott Smith. This track is from an upcoming tribute album "To Elliott, From Portland".

The Decemberists - Clementine


Dashboard Confessional

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Chris, oh Chris, why do you make me wait? Its been quite a while since we heard that you were going back into the studio. Its been slightly less time since we've heard that you scrapped the album that you had recorded to go back to the sound you had on "The Swiss Army Romance." Its been months since we heard that you went BACK into the studio to start recording a brand new batch of songs with Daniel Lanois (which worries me since he worked with U2 and you just toured with them). Its been two months since the "release date" of the album in October. I am still waiting. But if you're tired of waiting with me, then check out this new track live:

Dashboard Confessional - Don't Wait (Live)

Dashboard Confessional - Ghost of a Good Thing (reAct Now Telethon Live)


Blue October

I only have a second or two to post so I'm just gonna link you to the Myspace Page of one of my favorite bands in the world. You can check out three tracks from their upcoming release within the next few monts. "X Amount of Words" is my personal favorite.



Flake Music/The Shins

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In 1997, an unknown band called Flake Music released their overlooked album "When You Land Here, It's Time To Return". It was bright and sunny pop music that at times made Belle and Sebastian sound emo. And then...Flake Music disappeared. They didn't have a farewell tour. There was no saddened blog entries. Just one great album. However, four years later in 2001, Flake Music released another full length album after a few EPs...but with a different name and record label, and even holding different instruments. Flake Music became The Shins, one of the great bands of the 2000's. (Is that how you say it?) Shiny happy pop music is back. And the lone Flake Music release is still overlooked and fantastic...so here is a track to remember them by.

Flake Music - The Shins


Who is the MPA?

This story is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Next thing you know people will be banned from singing in their cars because its an unauthorized rendition. Who knows what action we can take about this?

Megan Slankard

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To be honest, I haven't the slightest clue as to how I first found out about Megan Slankard. It wasn't from the radio because Kansas City radio isn't worth a dime. It wasn't from a blog. I have no clue. But I'm glad that I did. I have talked to Megan a time or two and she is a very sweet, very cool lady. And she inspired one of my new favorite quotes: "She could make the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] sound melodious."(Good Times Magazine) At times its hard to describe the acoustic pop music that you are listening to on her album "Freaky Little Story", but I don't think that she's decided what it is yet either. These folks kinda have her pegged tho...

Megan Slankard - Mockingbird

Also, check her out at archive.org

Oh, My dear Yanks, say it ain't so!


Bright Eyes

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I was a bit sad when i read this at rollingstone.com:
in 2006, Bright Eyes wizard Conor Oberst tells Rolling Stone, the band will release zero (albums).

That's right folks, absolutely nothing. He did say, in the same articles, that he's going to be doing a lot of writing with Mike Mogis and his trumpeter/pianist Nate Walcott, recording a ton of songs and then picking the best for their next release. And also, its possible that he's going to be going back on tour with M. Ward and Jim James of My Morning Jacket again...if they do I PROMISE I will be there...

So, to hold us off until then, here is a new song that Conor played at the Bridge School Benefit a couple of months ago:

Bright Eyes - Napoleon's Hat (Live)

BY THE WAY, I am still new to the whole blogspot thing...so the dates on my posts are not necessarily accurate. Sorry about that...I can control that now...



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I am constantly baffled that no one has ever heard of Sirsy. Their Website mentions the fact that they've been voted the "best band" of the year in New York for three years straight. And if you've ever heard their live album, At This Time, you'll understand why. Lead singer Melanie Krahmer's voice has a distinctive quality that ranges from sweet and shy to in your face and growling, not to mention she is the first person since Ian Anserson of Jethro Tull to make the flute cool again. They kinda make me think of a female-fronted version of Maroon 5, but with a bit MORE funk. Be sure to check out their website for some more tracks, but these ones here are two of my personal favorites.

Sirsy - Uncomfortable (direct download)

Sirsy - Ruby (direct download)

And now a few more Elliott Smith tracks have leaked. I haven't gotten to listen to them yet but they're Elliott so they must be amazing!
You can find them here:
Where Is Your Mind


Ida, my love

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I love Ida. Don't know 'em? Don't feel too bad. When my friend Heather told me about them, I hadn't heard of them either. Now I wonder where they were all my life! Ida is for fans of slowcore bands like Low and...I can't think of any other slowcore bands off the top of my head right now but you get the point. Its under construction right now, but check out their official site when it comes back up. My favorite album of theirs, "The Braille Night" is an epic from start to finish and I never tire of listening to it. The vocal harmonies are flawless and they know their way around an instrument, creating lush landscapes with the least amount of effort. Although each album of theirs has had a minorly different lineup, everyone has a consistant sound. At times Daniel Littleton's voice sounds like Elvis Costello with a bit more restraint (and more control) and Elizabeth Mitchell sounds almost a bit like Caitlin Cary. It all has this amazing blend and works so fantastic together. You won't regret checking them out.

Ida - Blizzard of '78 (HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION)

Ida - Let's Go Walking

Nickel Creek

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I am unabashedly a gigantic Nickel Creek fan. Their new album, "Why Let the Fire Die" is thier best yet. But really, what else did you expect? They've been playing together since they were in diapers practically, they are all extremely talented writers and instrumentalists and Sara is wicked cute. (I had to sneak that in there somewhere...) As a matter of fact, they have taken a song that is just kinda "ehhh..." to me, Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", and given it new life by attaching it to their own "Lighthouse's Tale." Everytime Chris Thile opens his mouth my jaw drops to the floor. And he gets into this one! This track is definitely worth the download.

Nickel Creek - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (Live Wilco Cover)

Also of note, they've just been announced to be performing the next SXSW...anyone ready for a road trip?

Elliott, We Miss You

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A few years ago I accidentally stumbled onto Elliott's music when I accidentally downloaded "Between the Bars". I was immediately hooked. His emotion in his music spoke to everything wrapped up in my bones. He was sad. He was angry. He was happy. He was in love. And so was I. The day I heard about his death was a very dark day for me. I holed myself up in my room listening to XO over and over. And now I get my chance to pay homage to the man. It wasn't until I heard this version of "Miss Misery" that I realized how fantastic of a piano player Elliott was. He spoke well through his guitar, but he screamed his emotions through the piano.

Elliott Smith - I Didn't Understand (Piano Demo)

Elliott Smith - Miss Misery (Live Piano Version)

Also, "Miss Misery" comes from a Live show he played in Japan in 2000. If anyone knows where I can get ahold of the rest of the recording, you will have my everlasting love.


Way better than New Car Smell

Ahhh, smell the new blog smell!

I thought I'd start out with a few tracks that never leave my harddrive.

Glen Phillips - Don't Need Anything (Demo)
I feel this version of the song (which is quite obviously the name-sake of my blog) is far strong emotionally, and far less Randy Newman-esque, than the version that made his oft-overlooked album "Winter Pays For Summer". There's not a dry eye when he moans "if she was with me".

Erin McKeown - Blackbirds
This Girl can freaking play! The lyrics are catchy and the tune lodges in your head for days and days. And did I mention she can play?

Thursday - Ny Batteri (Sigur Ros Cover)
The first time I heard Sigur Ros - I really didn't "Get" them. Then I heard this cover and it made me give them a second chance. Now I love them and can't imagine why I didn't love them in the first place. And its great to hear Thursday's singer in icelandic.

Please please please give me feedback on the music and the different filehosting services that I'm using until i set on one.

EDIT: to download the file, after you click on the file link and you're on the mooload page, click on the text line that reads "Your download is ready. Click Here to download."