Rose Hill Drive

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These guys are mind blowing. First off, I posted their cover of "Shakin' All Over" a bit ago and it smoked. Now I've been able to get ahold of some more stuff by these long-haired hippies that rock like they think they're Led Zepplin. I haven't been able to get ahold of it, but I've heard that their live album has several Zepplin covers and the ones that I've heard over at The Llama have been fantastic. Check em out and bang your head. No one's around. It's OK.

Rose Hill Drive - Cool Cody
Rose Hill Drive - Polyester Fad


New Ted Leo Song!

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Army Bound
I was pretty dang stoked to see this file. Sure, it doesn't have a blazing chorus or the intricate guitar work that we're used to from Ted, but its still good. Hopefully we'll be able to get another song or two soon! Bring on some more!

I Loves Me Some Feist

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Sometimes you come across some amazing things when you troll music forums. At the official Arts and Crafts board, some guy posted a cd's worth of live tracks, collaborations and demos from Miss Leslie Feist. In the interest of keeping this a blog the whole family can read and listen to, I won't post all the tracks but here were a few highlights:

Placebo - Keen Nose
Chances are by now, you know that Leslie was in a punk/grunge band called Placebo that won a contest to open a concert for the Ramones. Their influences included Metallica and Jesus Lizard and they were just plain loud. The track is, well, not very Feist-y.

The Kings of Convenience and Feist - Know How
How can you not dig the Kings? Add in Feist and you've got one wicked good track.

Feist - L'amour Ne Dure Pas Tojours
I have no clue what this song is saying but I do know it is darn sexy.

Feist - Mushaboom (Live on Jimmy Kimmel)
So you've probably heard this one before, but I heard one guy on the Arts and Crafts forum say that he's heard this song 50 time, played 50 different ways and this performance was by far his favorite. I have to agree.

Sorry about the lack of posts lately! There has been a few problems on my end that has prevented me from doing much for the site but that should all be rectified now. I'm gonna try to get back to daily posts now. So tell your friends to come back!


Music That I Need to Listen to Today

This post is more for me than it is for you, but its still good music and you should still listen to it.

Rachel Yamagata - Faster (Live at Bonnaroo 2004)
I just so happen to be a big fan of Miss Rachel. Despite the fact that a few of my friends disagree, I think that if Norah Jones had grown up listening to Ani Difrance instead of Billie Holiday, this could be what she sounded like. Maybe its just me. But this particular track, as Rachel notes, is a bit more of a rockin'-ish track than what we've grown accustomed to from her. Man, she can wail sometimes...

The Concretes - New Friend
It's good. Just trust me on this one.


Say What You Will

364 days out of the year I am devoted to love. I am enamored with love. This is day 365.

Eels - Ugly Love
And if she finds me so repulsive
She wouldn't be the first to retch...
'cause my kind of love is an ugly love

Feist - Let It Die (Live on KCRW)
Now I know what I don't want
I learned that with you
The saddest part of a broken heart
Isn't the ending so much as the start

The Shins - Gone For Good (Live on KCRW)
I found a fatal flaw
In the logic of love

Bright Eyes - A Perfect Sonnet
I believe that lovers should be tied together,
Thrown into the ocean in the worst of weather,
Left there to drown,
Left there to drown in their innocence


New Sondre!

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Continuing the trend of ignored great advance songs - here's the new Sondre Lerche song. The song has a great quiet little jazzy charm that will stay on my mp3 player for a while. This one is Highly Recommended:

Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet - Minor Detail (Highly Recommended!)

Come back tomorrow for an...interesting post. Heh.


New Flaming Lips and Grandaddy

Even though no one comes here you can't say I'm not trying to put out the good stuff. In addition to the new Calexico stuff I posted, here's new tracks from Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips.

Grandaddy - Summer...It's Gone
This is just more of the same from a brilliant band that's going to be sadly cut short. There really is nothing particularly new from the new album, "Just Like the Fambly Cat", but its still great.

Flaming Lips - Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
About halfway through this song I got up from my computer chair and spontaneously went into half dance/half spasms. This track is fun and out of this world - just like the rest of the album. And if you didn't like "The W.A.N.D.", which I posted previously, it sounds way better in the context of the album. I'll definitely be buying this album.

I'm interested to hear what the rest of you think about these songs. Let me know!


New Calexico

The New Calexico album, "Garden Ruin", hit the web today.
I got this description along with it:
Ennio Morricone's fantasy house band, Calexico, have some surprises in store for their fans when the follow-up to 2003's Feast of Wire comes out this spring. Due April 11 on Quarterstick, their longtime label, Garden Ruin seeks to cement Calexico's reputation as more than just "that indie rock band with Mariachi horns".

"I guess it kind of sounds different from previous records," frontman Joey Burns told Pitchfork earlier this week. "The Southwestern element is downplayed more on this release. It's focusing more on the songs themselves. There's no instrumentals on this record."

Calexico have been riding high recently. They've been out on the road in support of their successful collaboration with Iron & Wine, In the Reins, and finally secured their place in the adult contemporary world when NPR recently aired a performance from this tour. That's got to be worth, like, three OC soundtrack appearances.

Burns said that Calexico's desire to branch out was inspired by working with Iron & Wine and Neko Case (the band appears on her forthcoming album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood), as well as touring with Wilco. "It's helped us reconnect to the music scene in the States more, and I can see where in the past our music and our style has maybe been hard for people to identity with here, especially outside of the Western states. So having gotten to tour with Wilco and Iron & Wine, and playing festivals like Bonnaroo, has helped us play to bigger audiences and [ask], ‘What is about us that makes us different?' and 'What else do we have to offer that hasn't been highlighted before?'" "Listening to bands like Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens, digging into this tradition of singer/songwriters from the States, has had a big influence," Burns said. "I wanted to put down the nylon string guitar and pick up the steel string guitar, which may sound like a small factor, but for me, what you gravitate towards as far as what you're going to write songs on really does have an influence as far as where the songs are going to go."

Calexico's live improvisations also helped shape the sound of the album. "It's interesting to see what we can do to kind of continue on in the spirit of experimentation, trying new things and coming up with new sounds and new textures and arrangements," Burns said. "I really enjoyed performing and covering the song "Alone Again Or" [by Love] and just having the whole band singing and playing the trumpet, not so much in a Southwestern style, but more in a pop sense. So the first track off the record, "Cruel", is kind of a result of that. I think because of the climate here politically and socially, and the fact that the band is always into reinventing ourselves, we wound up kind of focusing on more of a classic American singer/songwriter or folk or rock influences."

The lyrics on Garden Ruin have more of a liberal political bent than the usual Calexico fare. "Touring a lot in Europe has presented a lot of questions to the band," Burns explained. "How do you feel about your government? Your country's choice for president? What's going on outside the international boundary lines? Living close to the border of Mexico, being born in Montreal, Canada-- these things kind of make you think outside of the TV box and what's being said and what's being focused on. So I think all things have an influence at some point on your life and eventually it kind of settles into your writing and your experiences as you get older, travel about, do music."

01 Cruel
02 Yours and Mine
03 Bisbee Blue
04 Panic Open String
05 Letter to Bowie Knife
06 Roka
07 Lucky Dime
08 Smash
09 Deep Down
10 Nom de Plume
11 All Systems Red

Check out a couple of tracks:
Calexico - Cruel
Calexico - Leter to Bowie Knife

The Grammys

Since I had to work Wednesday night when the Grammys were on I had to tape them and watch it yesterday afternoon. I just thought that I'd throw in my two cents on the performances of the evening.

Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc./Madonna - Hung Up
Why on earth did they have the Gorillaz open? It might have been amusing halfway through the show but watching Murdoc grind his bass in his underwear was a terrible way to start the show. And Madonna. What really can you say about Madonna? First off, I must say that she looks better now than ever, but what was that song? I know I'm fairly removed from the radio and mainstream in general, but is that really popular? The dancers had it working tho.
Grade: D+

Coldplay - Talk
I'll admit to the fact that I really don't like this song. It's probably my least favorite Coldplay song but Chris Martin is quite the charismatic performer and rescued the lame song.
Grade: B+

John Legend - Ordinary People
I am in love with this song. John kinda reminds me of Bill Withers with the half croon/half soul vibe I get from him and the expanded instrumentation made it even more rich and beautiful than the original.
Grade: A

Sugarland - Something More
Not my cup of tea even though the lead singer was kinda cute. I fast forwarded through half of it.
Grade: C

U2 - Vertigo/U2 and Mary J. Blige - One
Ahhh, the king of Pretention. or pretentiousness...whatever. I wonder if Bono knows that he's counting "one two three FOURTEEN!" Either way, I still think that Bono sounded terrible. Mary J. back in her "I was your secretary" days would have saved this performance but now she seems to be satisfied to oversing everything hitting some notes that people for some reason are able to tune out. I can't.
Grade: D+

Kelly Clarkson - Because of You
I will admit to being a fan of Kelly Clarkson. If Ted Leo can be a fan, than goshdarnit, I can be too. She sang wonderful, the little kids playing was very cool and she looked great. Did anyone else notice the reel-to-reel sitting on the stage?
Grade: A-

Paul McCartney - Fine Line/Helter Skelter
When did the bass player from Bowling for Soup start playing drums for Paul? The new track didn't do a bit for me but the psychadelic piano stuff was great. It made me wish I was listening to Pink Floyd. And "Helter Skelter" was a welcome surprise. Next time Paul, please play "Happiness is a Warm Gun".
Grade: C+

Mariah Carey - We Belong Together
I can't stand this stinking song. Mariah still is as stuck on herself as ever. I started fast-forwarding about a minute into the song.
Grade: N/A

Faith Hill and Keith Urban - I dont' know the songs...
I've got to give Keith Urban credit where credit is due - the man can play that guitar. I enjoyed his performance but was a bit lagging during Faith's side.
Grade: B

Sly and the Family Stone Tribute
Where to start - Who is Van Hunt and Devin Lima? How did these guys get involved here? Ohwell... Joss stone and John Legend were great together as always, Maroon 5 sounded good but I could have done without Ciara. Fantasia continues to be a cross between Macy Grey and Corey Taylor (yeah, I just went there.) and Steven Tyler was..well..Steven Tyler. I would have like to hear a bit more of my boy Robert Randolph but I can live with it. Sly Stone obviously has used lots and lots of drugs. Obviously.
Grade: C

Jay-Z and Linkin Park - Numb/Encore/Blackbird (Plus Paul McCartney)
Numb/Encore was un-exciting as expected but the Paul appearance was quite unexpected. Chester surprisingly held his own but I really could have done without Jay-Z grunting so much. Didn't he have a party to go to or something?
Grade: B-

Bruce Springsteen - Devils and Dust
I have a confession to make - I have never "gotten" Bruce. Sure he has a song or two I like but that's about it so I never took the time to listen to his new CD. After hearing his song I will take the time now. I've performed alone on stage in front of about 1000 people before. It was wicked scary. Bruce is obviously a trained professional. As much as I dislike people using award shows and the like for political statements, I really dug this performance.
Grade: A+

Kanye West and Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger/Touch the Sky
I can't stand Kanye and Jamie needs to stop trying to be Ray Charles. I fast forwarded through it and refused to listen to it.
Grade: N/A

Herbie Hancock and Christina Aguilera - A Song For You
Grade: A

Various - New Orleans Tribute
A bunch of cool people and U2 together. I love Allen Toussaint (despite the fact that I think I just misspelled his name) and Dr. John so it was great to see them on stage making everyone a bit weepy. I liked it.
Grade: A-


Hey Hey My My

I got an email a few weeks ago from the manager of a band called "Hey Hey My My". So I listened to the songs at their Myspace page and dug em so here's the bio and a track:

"The hey hey my my’s is a bet launched on the number two: two artists, two Juliens (Garnier and Gaulier), two guitars, two Hey’s, two my’s and a lot of luck on two people becoming fundamental. It all began on February 9th 2005, while singing a few songs for friends during one of the Julien’s birthday party, a fire broke out in the apartment. Luckily, no one was hurt, more fright than harm, but this inspired the two Julien’s to think of a part of a Neil Young song saying « It’s better to burn out than to fade away », which lead them to name their group with the title of this song : «hey hey my my». Tempo being set by such a flaming start, both write and compose folk songs in mind similar to Nick Drake, Frank Black, Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash or Brian Wilson (nevertheless neither of the two Julien’s never really listened to the Beach Boys !). We could say the torch has been passed."

Hey Hey My My - Too Much Space

Also, the new Grandaddy Album has leaked so keep your ear to the ground and I'm sure a few tracks will show up.


Am I Still Lazy?


The Faint - Psycho Killer (Live) Talking Heads Cover


James Mercer And Friends!

(I've already shown you his picture two or three times by now. That's enough.)

I'm gonna try to make a few intelligent posts this week but until then enjoy these live collaborations from James Mercer of the Shins.

James Mercer - New Slang (Live With Sam Beam
James Mercer - The Past and Pending (Live with Rosie Thomas)

By the way, the Rolling Stones are very good live for being so darn old - but not SuperBowl halftime show good.


The New Amsterdams

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The New Amsterdams is the vehicle of Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids. When the Kids broke up everyone looked to Pryor to figure out where the New Amsterdams were gonna go next. First off, he keeps releasing all kinds of new stuff to his website and then, he has a new album coming out some time this year. Here's a track from it:

The New Amsterdams - The Death of Us

Sorry about the lack of updates lately - I've had a SUPER busy week or two. I should do better this week...