Monday, October 29, 2007

Introducing... Pétur Ben

Pétur Ben writes music you can't escape. The Icelandic singer-songwriter is a trained composer who, having earned his reputation in Iceland, is now taking on the world. Playing either alone or with his band, he engages every crowd with his easy presence and confident musicality. His debut album, Wine for My Weakness, was released in August of 2006 to rave reviews and named rock album of the year at the Icelandic Music Awards. Pétur composed critically acclaimed soundtracks for two feature films and two theatre productions; and that was just in 2006.

Born in Reykjavik in 1976, Pétur has been playing and writing music since his teens. Although active in the Icelandic underground scene for years, Pétur first became known for playing with Mugison, both arranging and writing for Mugison's 2004 album, "Mugimama is this Monkeymusic?" Pétur graduated from the composition department at the Reykjavik Academy of Music in 2004, where he studied with Úlfar Ingi Haraldsson and Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson.

The composition degree has come to good use for this indie rock artist. The music to Ragnar Bragason's "Children" and "Parents" are his first film scores and he has been involved in several theatre productions. Most notable are his score for Strindberg's "Dreamplay" directed by Benedikt Erlingsson and his arrangement for "Woyzeck" a Vesturport production with original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Pétur has also made a name for himself for arranging music for others, for example Mugison, Slowblow, Telepathetics and many other Icelandic artists.

Pétur's debut album, entitled "Wine for My Weakness", was released by Icelandic label 12 Tónar in August of 2006 and features 11 original tracks. The aptly titled album is somewhat of a self-help manual in tackling one's own demons. The album was recorded at The Swimming Pool; the studio owned by Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós. Pétur produced the album with the trusted help of audio engineer and friend Biggi Poolboy. Sigtryggur Baldursson, formerly of the Sugarcubes, plays drums on the album and Pétur's wife, Anna Kristín Guðmundsdóttir, sings backing vocals on several of the tracks. The track White Tiger has gotten a fair amount of radio play in Iceland and was at the top of the charts for several weeks.

12 Tónar released Wine for My Weakness in Denmark where it received rave reviews. Politiken gave it five of six possible stars and as did the magazine Soundvenue. The music magazine GAFFA gave Pétur four out of six stars. In Iceland, the album was at the top of most critics' albums of the year lists, as well as receiving the Icelandic Music Award for album of the year against noteworthy competitors. Wine For My Weakness is released for European market on September 14th via Cargo Records. Highly Recommended!

Pétur Ben - White Tiger
Pétur Ben - Live Concert (video stream)
Pétur Ben @ MySpace

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Hype: Morton Valence

Morton Valence have existed since 1781 when Morton Valence Junior was born in Morden, England.

In his youth he became a fan of enlightenment literature and fled to London to pursue a musical career. Before long he was performing to Prime Minister Pitt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and and array of European autocrats. This earned him a fortune, which he prudently spent on 200 years' supply of opium.

After finishing the opium, Morton stumbled across a group of travellers in an Inn called "The White Horse King and Garter". Anne had travelled from across the Irish sea; Leo was a dock-worker from Colombia; Gigi a trader's daughter from Hong Kong.

They laughed, and drank, and wrote thirty songs by closing time.

Today, one year on, they are a successful electro-pop five-piece on the brink of fame and fortune. Miraculously, none of them age.

The band consist of Rob Hacker (vocals, trumpet, harmonica, megaphone, guitar), Anne (vocals, keyboard, xylophone, tambourine), Gigi (keyboards, synths, vocals), Leo (bass), Yuri (maracas), Camilo (drums).

The debut release Sailors/Man On The Corner is released by Cheap Date on November 5. Highly Recommended!

Morton Valence @ MySpace
Where Is Morton Valence? Rockumentary

Morton Valence - Sailors (Live)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

West Indian Girl

West Indian Girl is a rock band from Los Angeles, who released their self-titled debut album in August 2004 on Astralwerks. The band's music draws influence from the California coastline where the band resides. The songs have sweeping melodies and haunting harmonies courtesy of the band's two lead vocalists. While the band does have influences of psychedelic bands of the 60's their songs have a clear pop sensibility that makes the music appeal to a wide audience.

West Indian Girl are Robert James (guitar/vocals), Mariqueen Maandig (vocals), Francis Ten (bass), Nathan Van Hala (keyboards), Mark Lewis (drums), and Amy White (keyboards/vocals). The band's name comes from a type of acid that was popular in the early 60s, and it's initials are a reference to James' and Ten's previous band, "WIG". Their video for "What Are You Afraid Of" has received heavy airplay on MTV2's underground show Subterranean.

The band released "Remix EP" in 2006 which features remixes of songs on their self-titled debut. They are currently working on their second full-length album, "4th & Wall," due to be released October 23, 2007 on Milan Records. In August 2007 the band signed a pioneering recording and wireless distribution deal with digital media and entertainment company Flycell. The First single, Blue Wave, has been released on September 25, 2007. Highly Recommended!

West Indian Girl - To Die In LA
West Indian Girl @ MySpace

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vincent Vincent And The Villains

Vincent Vincent grew up in Hatch End, an area in the London Borough of Harrow. He later moved to East London's, Bethnal Green and after leaving Art College decided to start a band. In 2003 he formed Vincent Vincent and the Villains and released a limited edition single on Smoking Gun Records in 2004 called 'On My Own'. With the band gaining local notoriety they were then talent spotted by Young And Lost Club, who signed the Villains and put out their second release, 'Blue Boy'. As well as Neill Kidgell on bass and Alex Cox on drums, the band at this time had two frontmen (Vincent himself and Charlie Waller) Waller left shortly after in 2005, to pursue his ambitions with his childhood band, The Rumble Strips. The final months in The Villains were described as "stifling, unpleasant and impossible" and inspired the song 'Johnny Two Bands' which would be the bands first major release, taking the melody from a previous song 'Making Raindrops'. Vincent Vincent found a new bassist and guitarist in Will Church and Tom Bailey (who were friends from college, and with whom Vincent worked in the Ten Bells pub), and the third single - 'I'm Alive' - was released on Young and Lost Club Records in April 2006. This secured a record deal with EMI, with 'Johnny Two Bands' being chosen as the debut single. This was performed on Top of the Pops in October 2006. An album is expected to be released on EMI in February 2008 although no release date has been confirmed. Three singles will be released from the album in October and December 2007 and February 2008.

This week Vincent Vincent and The Villains started their new end of year tour, which will see them playing live until mid November (see the dates listed here). During that time, the band will release next single On My Own on November 12th as another sample of their forthcoming first album Gospel Bombs. Recommended!

Vincent Vincent And The Villains - Johnny Two Bands
Vincent Vincent And The Villains - Blue Boy
Vincent Vincent And The Villains @ MySpace

Vincent Vincent And The Villains - On My Own

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Dimes

Wildly melodic and inherently quirky, The Dimes’ sunny day indie-pop is born of the same Northwest, um, loins as The Decemberists, The Shins, Ben Gibbard, and even recent Austin to Portland transplants, Spoon. In fact, known for unexpected outbreaks of foot stomping and hand clapping at their live shows, The Dimes boys’ first full-length looks to push them a couple rungs up the ladder, closer to likes of the aforementioned indie royalty – maybe sooner than anticipated.

Early reviews are already gushing with admiration for the new album, The Silent Generation. The Portland Tribune boasts “a fantastic new album from one of the city’s most promising new artists”, while the Stranger coos “The Dimes simply create really lovely, understated but sweepingly beautiful tunes that burrow into your brain, take hold, and refuse to leave.” And the Willamette Week testifies to “lucid, charging pop anthems complete with clap-along beats and considerable harmonic glee.”

However, even with all of the charming comparisons to their Northwest kin, The Silent Generation is built around something undeniably original. While singer-songwriter Johnny Clay insists the record isn’t a full-fledged concept album, he does concede that most of the record draws its inspiration from a series of Depression-era newspapers that guitarist, Pierre Kaiser, found buried beneath the old floors of his 1908 Portland home. At first, the old papers were a novelty item and a good read for a history buff like Clay. But it wasn’t long before he fell in love with the cast of bizarre characters he found, resurrecting them on the new album.

Only a day after unearthing the papers, Clay arrived at rehearsal with two brand new songs in his quiver, including “Paul Kern Can’t Sleep”, a brilliant American pop song about a WWI soldier who didn’t sleep for 30 years due to a stray bullet lodged in his brain. Intrigued by the new material, the four friends started doing what they do best - geeking-out in the studio, creating the gleeful and quirky arrangements that they’ve become known for: stomps and hand claps, punchy guitars, glockenspiels, melodicas, flutes, and their signature statement – perfect heart-warming harmonies that Brian Wilson would applaud.

The result is an album that unravels like a soundtrack to an odd documentary film, bringing to life a world of endearing, yet enigmatic characters from long ago. A film where a 19th Century Czech opera star can hob-nob with Al Capone-era Chicago gangsters, while an 8-year old boy from Kansas can fly high above a cornfield after being sucked out of his home by a tornado. A strange world perhaps... but not to worry. The Silent Generation will rile you up, spook you a bit, romance you some, then ease your mind with happy melodies and unique instrumentation that will bring you back home. The album will be released on December 11, 2007, via the Pet Marmoset label. Highly Recommended!

The Dimes - Jersey Kid
The Dimes - Paul Kern Can't Sleep
The Dimes - New York 1930
The Dimes - Catch Me Jumping
The Dimes @ MySpace

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Cut Off Your Hands

Hailing from a land where there are more sheep than people, then venturing Stateside only to be threatened with a legal suit from a Portland, OR based band with the same name. It would seem the odds of making a name for yourself on an international level, both on the street and in the press are somewhat slim. Cut Off Your Hands (formerly Shaky Hands) however, have defied all reason and pricked the ears of many with their raw riffs and rampant rhythms, their energy comparable to those of Punk popsmiths Klaxons and The Pigeon Detectives, be very excited for these New Zealanders who are about to shake your world with the release of their debut Shaky Hands EP on October 9th (IAMSOUND) and a US tour soon to be announced.

On top of completing a monster summer tour of New Zealand with Shihad and the Datsuns, this ferocious quartet have been hiding away in a London studio recording their soon to be released LP with none other than Suedes Bernard Butler, the man responsible for playing on and producing bands and albums suchas The Libertines, The Verve and Manic Street Preachers.

Momentum and favor are snowballing, no doubt due to a huge hand from the rapturous response of John Peels protg Steve Lamacq, with the band being playlisted on his BBC Radio 6 new music show and performing live on the premier BBC Radio 1. Their lead track You and I has excelled the band into a completely new league, resulting in their tracks to be placed in heavy rotation in their homeland, Australia and Europe and now with their recent runner Expectations its clear these chaps are unstoppable and more than ready to take on American audiences too, confident (as are we) that their humble plans of worldwide domination and to have as much fun as possible, is soon to become a reality for dance-pop-punkers Cut Off Your Hands. Highly Recommended!

Cut Off Your Hands - You And I
Cut Off Your Hands - Let Go
Cut Off Your Hands - Still Fond
Cut Off Your Hands @ MySpace

Cut Off Your Hands - Still Fond

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Introducing... Throw Me The Statue

Throw Me The Statue is this dude, he lives on Capitol Hill in Seattle with some wonderful friends. Together they make up a musical family, the collective/record label Baskerville Hill. And now made up of four additional members, TMTS is fit for lots of summer shows throughout the Northwest and beyond so keep it tuned here for news of those dates!

Most of all, the debut record is now finally done! Entitled Moonbeams, this baby is a pop rainbow! A dynamic tour de force with songs coming from all angles and all styles. For the bedroom headphones to the speakers at the bbq party, this album goes up, down and around to convince you that this kid is here to do this thing right.

Throw Me The Statue joined recently to the Secretly Canadian family. Conceived and fronted by Scott Reitherman, TMTS has been delivering its wondrous concoction of cheapo sequenced synths, brass ensembles, fuzzed out beats and epic vocal melodies to various Seattle clubs for the past year.

The band's debut, "Moonbeams", was constructed primarily by Reitherman and Casey Foubert (Pedro The Lion, Sufjan Stevens, Richard Swift). TMTS's live show has been described as "Wildly energetic. Live drums, electric guitars, and four-part harmonies replace Reitherman's multitracking, and the able, athletic band switch instruments, add extra percussion, and throw in melodica and glockenspiel with an abandon grounded by serious musicianship." (The Stranger, 2007)

Due in February, "Moonbeams" "is both complicated and personally cohesive. Each song expands beyond the bedroom atmosphere often attributed to mellow solo artists. The opening track, 'Young Sensualists' sets the tone with a digital backyard party beat while a guitar riff and vocals dance smoothly over it." (QRO Magazine, 2007)

The album at times brings to mind the whimsy of Magnetic Fields, the lyrical playfulness of Neutral Milk Hotel, and the lo-fi bliss of Eric's Trip. Highly Recommended!

Throw Me The Statue - About To Walk
Throw Me The Statue - Lolita
Throw Me The Statue - Yucatan Gold
Throw Me The Statue - Conquering Kids
Throw Me The Statue @ MySpace

Throw Me The Statue - Live @ Reverb Festival In Seattle

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New album release: Figurines

Figurines is an indie rock band from Denmark, formed in the mid-1990s. The band released their first EP, The Detour, in 2001 and their first full-length album, Shake a Mountain, in 2003. The band began to receive national attention in Denmark around the time of the full-length release, and began touring Germany in 2004. Their second full-length, Skeleton, was released in 2005 on Danish label Morningside Records and German label Pop-U-Loud, and on US label The Control Group in 2006.

The band began a North American tour after being nominated for a Canadian Music Week Indie award and has since performed at the Indies ceremony, SXSW, KEXP, and in cities in the US, Canada, and Europe. The band has also received positive press from Pitchfork Media, The New York Times, and Spin, among others. Figurines's sound has been most often compared to that of Pavement, Modest Mouse, and Built to Spill.

The band has completed work on their third record When the Deer Wore Blue (scheduled for release July 23rd, 2007 in Denmark and September 11, 2007 in the US) with Chicago-based co-producer/engineer Jeremy Lemos, who has worked with Smog, Jim O'Rourke, Loose Fur, and many other Windy City acts in the past. The new material is said to be more psychedelic than previous efforts, but remains faithful to the melodic-pop sounds of Skeleton and Shake a Mountain. "Hey, Girl" is the first single from the new record. Highly Recommended!

Figurines - Hey, Girl (from When The Dear Wore Blue)
Figurines - The Air We Breath (from When The Dear Wore Blue)
Figurines - The Wonder (from Skeleton)
Figurines - Silver Ponds (from Skeleton)
Figurines - The Danger (from Shake A Mountain)
Figurines @ MySpace

Figurines - Let's Head Out

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Free album: Darker My Love - S/T

Once upon a time, there lived a group of revelers who made their homes along the sparkling landscape of the California coast. Amidst the glitter of the ocean and the sun-lit haze of the morning, they began to make music together, drenching their guitars in blissed-out fuzz, their drums pulsing and crashing like waves, and stretching echoing harmonies sky-high. And with each distorted squeal of feedback, with each note drifting upward and heavenward, gleaming in the shards of California sunlight, as if it were meant for divine intervention: Darker My Love was born.

Darker My Love is a psychedelic rock band based in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of 5 members. Tim Presley, a former member of the band The Nerve Agents, contributes vocals and guitar. Andy Granelli, formerly a member of both The Nerve Agents and The Distillers, plays the drums. They are accompanied by Rob Barbato, who plays bass and shares lead vocal duties with Presley, and Jared "The Sandwich" Everett on rhythm guitar. As of late 2006, Will Canzoneri joined the band on organ and clavinet.

The band has released two EP's and one LP. Their debut LP was released on 22 August 2006 on Dangerbird Records. On 28 August 2007, the band released a 12" 45 rpm split record with Denver-based rock group Moccassin. Darker My Love's contribution is a song called "Hair Decisions," which was recorded at San Francisco's Hyde Street Studios in October 2006. The record was the first release on L.A.-based label IHATEROCKNROLL. The group's style is often compared to bands such as Can and My Bloody Valentine. In Spring 2006, Presley and Barbato became members of Manchester (U.K.)-based group The Fall. They both are featured prominently on The Fall's most recent album, Reformation Post TLC. Darker My Love decided to give their self-titled album for free. Be sure to check it out. Recommended!

Darker My Love - Darker My Love (album download)
Darker My Love @ MySpace

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Monday, October 15, 2007

New album release: Nada Surf

Beloved New York-based band Nada Surf will be releasing their new record, “LUCKY,” on February 5th, 2008 on Barsuk Records, and will be offering fans the opportunity to hear the track "See These Bones" at starting today.

“LUCKY” is Nada Surf’s fifth record and third for Seattle indie Barsuk Records, following the successful and critically lauded “Let Go” (2003) and “The Weight is a Gift” (2005). The band lineup for almost 12 years has been and still is Matthew Caws (vocals, guitar), Daniel Lorca (bass) and Ira Elliot (drums). The record is filled with songs of restlessness, longing and the elusiveness of love. Yet, in its inimitable way, the band beautifully counterbalances its signature lyrical wistfulness with its singular musical buoyancy. Intimate tunes become we’re-all-in-this-together anthems, thanks to the chiming guitars, propulsive beat, and the ever-present yearning in Caws' voice.

“I tend to be pretty hopeful about things further in the future, but full of anxiety about the next eight hours,” jokes Caws. “Unlike my friend John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants, who says he's manic depressive without the depression, I think I'm manic depressive without the mania. Yet I'm ready to be cheerful at the drop of a reason. I’m always looking for rapture in music.”

“LUCKY” was co-produced by the band and John Goodmanson (Death Cab For Cutie, Blonde Redhead, Sleater-Kinney). It was recorded in Seattle at Robert Lang Studios where artists like Nirvana, Death Cab for Cutie, Foo Fighters and Dave Matthews, among many others have worked in the past.

Many great artists make guest appearances on the record, including: Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard, Ed Harcourt, John Roderick of the Long Winters, and guitarist Phil Wandscher of Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter. To help announce the coming of the new record, Nada Surf is about to embark on a national headlining tour. The dates begin October 13 in Philadelphia and end November 2 in Baltimore. Sea Wolf will be supporting. Highly Recommended!

Nada Surf - See These Bones (from Lucky)
Nada Surf - The Interface Performance (interview + 8 songs)
Nada Surf @ MySpace

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jana Hunter

In 1994, Jana Hunter was a 16 and a violinist in the Greater Youth Orchestra of Fort Worth (Texas.) This quickly and naturally led to smoking cigarettes, hanging out in a VW Van and joining local hippie band McGillicutty. Hilariously, this group soon disbanded due to creative differences, and Hunter began in earnest the pursuit of solo writing, performing at local open mics and house parties.

Arlington, TX (Jana's hometown) is a depressing place, and Hunter took that sentiment to New York (1996) and eventually Houston (1998), writing dark, severe and beautiful songs that more and more reflected a paranoiac view of the world. These were shared for the most part with a few friends, occasionally in the guise of rock songs in her now-defunct band, Matty & Mossy, and eventually, at a few shows in Houston, opening up for touring bands.

A show in 2003 with Devendra Banhart, led a year later to Hunter's inclusion on his Golden Apples of the Sun compilation (Bastet). In 2005, Devendra and Jana released a split vinyl album on Troubleman Records, followed quickly by the release of Hunter's debut solo album, Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom, in October of that year on Gnomonsong.

Since her initial release, Hunter has repeatedly toured North America and Europe, joined forces with Castanets as their sometimes touring bass player and vocalist, guested on albums by CocoRosie and Metallic Falcons, played at the Banhart-curated All Tomorrow's Parties, recorded a soon-to-be-released album with a new band, Jracula, and prepared a split release with her fellow Houstonians, Indian Jewelry.

Hunter has also appeared on the following compilations: The Enlightened Family (Voodoo-Eros), The Black and White Skins (Les Disque Du Crespuscule), Furniture Record's Sheets of Easter Everywhere singles series, and the online lullaby collection from ...Heirs of Doom was re-issued in a very limited run as a double cassette on Fuck-It Tapes in June, 2006.

Most recently, Hunter, in a fit of drunken ingenuity, helped devise a plan to tour by sea. Along with friend Red Hunter (Peter & the Wolf; no relation), Jana is charting a late summer tour for 2006 along the Intracoastal Waterway from New York City to Norfolk, VA., in a sailboat. Good friend and former WFMU staple OCDJ will skipper his own vessel, and Ray Raposa (Castanets) will complete the bill. Hunter is currently at home(preparing for a usa & european tour in april & may) in Houston having just completed her second album, "There's No Home". Highly Recommended!

Jana Hunter - Valkyries
Jana Hunter - Daytrotter Sessions
Jana Hunter @ MySpace

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

House Of Brothers

Having spent 3 and a half years in The Murder Of Rosa Luxemburg and Scarecrows, two bands many considered the best proggy/math/post-rock/screamo (delete as you see appropriate) outfits in the UK, you can understand why awkward time signatures and twisted spazzy rhythms could easily start to get on top of Andrew Jackson, face, name and brains behind the beautiful House Of Brothers, a musical project about as far removed from his previous acts as you could ever imagine possible.

Comparisons to the likes of Elliott Smith, Tom Waits, Nick Drake and Fionn Regan are to be expected, but House Of Brothers is too good to dismiss so lazily. As Andrew put it himself "This is a songwriting project. It's about constructing precise and thought provoking music that draws it's influences from the city, relationships, people in bars, philosophy, religion or anything that makes for a good story."

His first London show came at the start of the year supporting the much-hyped Sub-Pop signed Swede, Loney, Dear, at the invitation of Drowned In Sound, Europe's most read online music magazine. Since then Andrew has been adored by many up and down his native England supporting the likes of Howling Bells, Jack Penate and Owen as well as sharing stages with the likes of Blonde Redhead and Laura Marling at the prestigious Dot to Dot Festival.

Bringing a refreshing willingness and exciting new sound to a wholly over-crowded, yet disappointingly less than exciting genre, this 21 year-old's dark, ethereal and beautiful songs are winning over the hearts and minds of audiences the country over.

House Of Brothers debut EP, 'Deadman', will be out via Big Scary Monsters in November 2007 and is proceeded by a tour with Youthmovies, with more live dates to be announced shortly. Recommended!

House Of Brothers - Deadman
House Of Brothers @ MySpace

White Rabbits - Fort Nightly (2007) !!!
The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters (2007) !!!
Paul Baribeau - Paul Baribeau
Battles - Mirrored
Beirut - Gulag Orlestar + Lon Gisland EP
Dan Deacon - Spiderman Of The Rings
The National - Boxer
Timbaland - Shock Value
Against Me! - Bootlegs And Demos
Booka Shade - Movements
Pendulum - Hold YOur Colours
Justice - Waters Of Nazareth

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Hype: Black Kids

Black Kids are an unsigned band from Jacksonville, Florida, who don't have a record and have never been on tour but are suddenly being tipped as the next big thing. The band consists of Owen Holmes (bass), Kevin Snow (drums), Dawn Watley (keys+vocals), Ali Youngblood (keys+vocals) and Reggie Youngblood (vocals+guitar). The music of Black Kids is often compared with Arcade Fire, Go! Team, The Cure and My Bloody Valentine and the band was highly praised from Pitchfork, NME and The Guardian. The indie blog community welcomed them with an excitement and the song 'I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you' became an ultimate hit. You can download Black Kids' four-song demo, Wizard of Ahhhs, for free on their MySpace-- it's not available in stores. Highly Recommended!

Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
Black Kids - Four Song Demo (MySpace)

KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic (2007)
Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War (2007) !!!
Yellowcard - Paper Walls
Kanye West - Graduation
Alanis Morisette, Mika, Snow Patrol, KT Tunstall, Poets Of The Fall, Jem, James Morrison, etc.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Emily Jane White

Armed with little more than an acoustic guitar and her fragile alto, San Francisco folk singer/songwriter Emily Jane White offers complex tales of melancholy and isolation. While comparisons to contemporaries like Cat Power and Hope Sandoval are frequent, Emily's music owes a clear debt to classic female jazz and blues singers such a Billie Holiday.

Emily's haunted blues quickly found a home on Oakland's Double Negative Records with them only hearing her 4-track demo. Fooling around with music since pre-school, Emily started on piano around the same time she learned to read, eventually picking up the guitar during her college days.

After graduation Emily picked up and moved to Bordeaux, where she performed with a bevy of independent French artists further honing her songwriting skills. Upon returning stateside, she moved to SF and began recording 4-track demos formulating the songs that would ultimately become her debut album, Dark Undercoat.

For a brand-new artist without any other releases out, there is already a great deal of anticipation for Emily's debut. Her song "Wild Tigers I Have Known" recently appeared on the soundtrack for the Cam Archer film of the same title and Rolling Stone recently placed Emily in their top 5 Hot List in which they describe the aforementioned song as "melancholy as a rainbow glimpsed through the bars of a prison window." Check It Out!

Emily Jane White - Wild Tigers I've Known
Emily Jane White - Magdalena
Emily Jane White @ MySpace

The View - Hats Off To The Buskers (2007)
Interpol - Our Love To Admire (2007)
Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times (2007)
The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (2007)
Shy Child - Noise Won't Stop (2007)
Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures (2007)
Radio 4 - The New Song And Dance
The Organ - Grab The Gun
Matt Pond PA - Several Arrows Later
Morrissey - At KROQ EP
Air - Moon Safari + Pocket Symphony + Talkie Walkie
Idaho - Hearts Of Palm !!!
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
The Long Winters - Putting The Days To Bed
Feist - Let It Die + Open Season
Matt Pond PA - The Green Fury + Winter Songs [EP]
Zwan - Mary Star Of The Sea
+ Mum, Brian Doerksen, Keane, Sixpence None The Richer, Leigh Nash, U2, etc.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

San Serac

Nat Rabb aka San Serac grew up in Baltimore, playing with oddly prescient post punk bands Candy Machine and INK when he was only very small. We're talkin 90s. There was New York, Big Numbers, screaming (not screamo). But fate eventually brought him to Providence, a place of few rules. And it was there where – seeking a true fusion of Midnight Star and Bryan Ferry – he embarked in earnest on a journey into electronic funk and its brothers and sisters house, disco, garage, quiet storm, freestyle, you get the picture.

He released Ice Age in 2004 on his own Frog Man Jake label, and his idiotic hysterics so impressed Trevor Jackson that Output Recordings released Tyrant in 2006, putting our man in an insane roster that included Mu, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Black Strobe and the most important band of all time Yello. Recently completing a full US tour with Junior Boys, San Serac is back on the road to promote his new album “Professional” out Oct 9 by way of Normals Welcome Records. Check It Out!

San Serac - Keep Giving Me Love
San Serac @ MySpace

Extra Blue Kind - Tide & The Undertow !!!
The Long Winters - When I Pretend To Fall !!!
Lovedrug - Pretend You're Alive !!!
The Thermals - Fuckin A
Nada Surf - Let Go
Elbow - Leaders Of The Free World
The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun
The Format - Interventions & Lullabies
KEXP Live: The Decemberists, Mike Doughty, Minus The Bear
Guilemots - Through The Window Pane
Tv On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Thom Yorke, Muse , DJ Shadow, UNKLE
Cocorosie - Live at KEXP
Do Make Say Think - Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn !!!
The Tuss - Rushup Edge EP (2007) !!!
Shapeshifter - Soulstice (2007)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ivy League

Alex and Ryland met in 1997 in High School. Both were avid guitar players and both played in local bands with varying degrees of accolade. Alex got Ryland a job waiting tables at "Mr. Deli's Jewish Delicatessan," in Boca Raton, Florida.

A few years later, Alex went off to pursue a degree in the culinary arts while Ryland procured his BFA in Acting. The two lost touch for seven years.

Ivy League formed in August of 2005 when Ryland discovered that his old friend Alex was not only still playing music but living just ten minutes away from him in Brooklyn, NY. The duo quickly began writing songs together. They hope you enjoy their music as much as they do.

In 2006 Ivy League released the EP London Bridges, containing the covers of Simon & Garfunkel's 'June' and the Arcade Fire's 'Crown Of Love'. Ivy League signed for Twentyseven Records and scheduled the new album for March 2008. They released the video for 'London Bridges'. Highly Recommended!

Ivy League - London Bridges
Ivy League @ MySpace

Ivy League - London Bridges

Katie Melua - Call Off The Search
Deep Dish, Katie Melua, Norah Jones, Royksopp, Jem, etc.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ravens & Chimes

Asher, Brittany, Avery, Abe and Nora met when they were forced to ride through a haunted house in the same trolly. By the end of the ride they had written and recorded their first 7''. They were called Lost at Sea for the first year until the record company asked what it meant. Now they're Ravens and Chimes.

Grown from the halls of NYU, in the midst of one of New York City's harshest winters, Ravens & Chimes debut album, Reichenbach Falls, introduces a youthful, optimistic lightness in the form of a record packed with a series of eclectic and ear-grabbing tunes. Perhaps influenced by many a dark, snowy night in that winter of 2005, Ravens & Chimes dig out a catchy set of instrumentally-charged melodies that show their developed blend of unconventional sound. CMJ called Ravens & Chimes "beautiful" and "unique" evoking comparisons at times to either Wolf Parade or Voxtrot. This group of classically trained musicians each bring unique talents to the album. Among the instruments used are the Mandolin, Glockenspiel, Harmonium and a handmade Theremin. Reichenbach Falls encompasses the raw quality of youth in a split open-heart combination of first lust, disappointment and self-doubt. Songs like ‘St. Jude in the Village' and ‘Eleventh Street' don't push the melodrama of teen angst, but lay out the band's effervescent spirit. Highly Recommended!

Ravens & Chimes - So Long, Marianne (Leonard Cohen cover) (web Exclusive)
Ravens & Chimes - January
Ravens & Chimes - General Lafayette! You Are Not Alone
Ravens & Chimes - Reichenbach Falls (album stream)
Ravens & Chimes @ MySpace

Babyshambles - Down In Albion
Lostprophets - Liberation Transimission
Kanye West - Graduation (2007)
50 Cent - Curtis (2007)