Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bee Gees - "You Stepped Into My Life"

Bee Gees - "You Stepped Into My Life": "Less disco dance than groovy shuffle, it's a subtle number that says 70s sultry, while also making one wonder how a grown man can sing in that key, let alone three."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Harry Nilsson - "Me and My Arrow"

Harry Nilsson - "Me and My Arrow":
"My friend Bob just reminded me of this tune. From possibly the best 'children's' record filled with pristine pop tunes (The Point!), this song can't help but cheer you up. And, yes, 'Arrow' is a great name for a dog."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yelle - "Dans Ta Vraie Vie"

Yelle - "Dans Ta Vraie Vie": "Her set started late, so I could only stay for two songs, and I don't know what she's singing about (it's all French), but her music sure is fun. She played with only a drummer and a DJ, but she made sure to bounce around the stage like she was having a bigger party than you would have expected from 230p on a Wednesday afternoon."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - "Lights"

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - "Lights": "I hadn't seen these guys in a while, so I was glad to find they still sound great. Songs like this still melt my panties and they did them in style. The new songs sounded good too and I can't wait to hear them on record. Don't take too much longer, guys, it's been long enough!
(Their show was also a bit of SXSW nostalgia - I first heard them at SXSW in `04 (or was it even earlier?) with my friend Julie - so this felt a bit like coming full circle.)"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cut Off Your Hands - "Happy As Can Be"

Cut Off Your Hands - "Happy As Can Be": "I'm wondering if I was just cranky when I saw these guys play at Emo's last week, since I didn't really dig their set - but when I go back to songs like this, I really like them. I wish I had given them a second chance during SXSW, but at least I can still appreciate the album. Points to Michael Bertin for committing the 'Cut Off Your Hands (Say Yeah)' joke to print in the Austin Chronicle."

Friday, March 20, 2009

School Of Seven Bells - "Half Asleep"

School Of Seven Bells - "Half Asleep": "I know I'm biased, but our Rhapsody Rocks Austin party at SXSW (more here) was off the hook. I was particularly psyched with School of Seven Bells, whose set took the dreamy electropop of their album (as heard here) and amped it up with more volume and intensity, blending a powerful shoegaze element with the pretty melodies. I'm sorry I only got to see them once!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Homosexuals - "You're Not Moving The Way You're Supposed To"

The Homosexuals - "You're Not Moving The Way You're Supposed To": "A band I had heard about for a long time, but had never actually seen or heard - making SXSW a perfect time to check out and I wasn't disappointed. The singer has a on-stage charisma missing from most front-men and the music occupies the same great space in British post-punk between Wire and Gang of Four - sloppy in concept, but executed tightly. Their set climaxed with an extended version of this tune that was far more aggressive than you'd expect from this version, but that worked to their advantage."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Were Promised Jetpacks - "Ships With Holes Will Sink"

We Were Promised Jetpacks - "Ships With Holes Will Sink": "Saw these kids at the IODA Day party today - my SXSW/Wednesday tradition. The vocals are so heavily Scottish that they approach the "If It's Not Scottish, It's Crap!" sketch from SNL (not unlike The Twilight Sad, also on the same label). Once you get past that, it's just a rocking tune any indie rock fans will love. Bonus points to the band on their live set today - they looked like intimidated 18 year-olds (which they might well be) in front of the large crowd, but rocked it as hard as they could anyway. Good for them!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michael Penn - "I Can Tell"

Michael Penn - "I Can Tell": "Today, I attended a SXSW panel with Michael Penn. It was largely an interview with him about his film soundtrack work (as part of the SXSW Film Festival), but they had a Q&A at the end and I got to ask a question. I inquired about his re-occurring references to Los Angeles in his work - the L.A. of yesteryear, in particular. It turns out his affection for the less stereotypical Los Angeles and its history is not unlike my own, which is what I had always expected.
Here, in "I Can Tell", the narrator crosses Pico (a street in L.A.) as part of a relationship song that feels like it's a part of a larger cinematic story. The dramatic crescendo in Michael's vocals, after the narrated interlude, is one of my favorite moments in his work."

Monday, March 16, 2009

American Analog Set - "Hard To Find"

American Analog Set - "Hard To Find": "SXSW coverage starts now! Technically, SXSW Music hasn't even started yet, but since bands are starting to play in Austin, I might as well start too. I just saw Andrew of American Analog Set's new band, the Wooden Birds, at the Onion A.V. Club party at the Mohawk. Their sound was mellow (not unlike AmAnSet), but more twangy than dreamy, but still very solid. Wooden Birds don't have any music out yet, so I'm instead tipping my hat to one of my favorite AmAnSet songs, which is propelled by a mellow, shaker-driven groove, not unlike the Spinanes' "Azure"."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ex-Boyfriends - "Breathe Without Breaking"

Ex-Boyfriends - "Breathe Without Breaking": "These guys did a great set at the Eagle last night. They're just a three-piece, but their sound is so much bigger and fuller than that. They did a new song last night and I'm looking forward to hearing more from them!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Longwave - "Satellites"

Longwave - "Satellites": "The searing guitar squall that kicks off the song is a great, modern example of the shoegazer-style rock that I can't help myself but love. The chorus comes off a little soft, given the rest of the song, but the choruses are solid and the aforementioned guitar parts are aces."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tiger Trap - "Words and Smiles"

Tiger Trap - "Words and Smiles": "Since I referenced them yesterday, I figured I should give them a post too - especially since this song is, in many ways, in the same vein as "Oh No" from yesterday's post. Maybe a little sweeter sounding here, than AGSFB, but off-set by the lo-fi jangle."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All-Girl Summer Fun Band - "Oh No"

All-Girl Summer Fun Band - "Oh No": "My new favorite song! It's almost too sweet to take, with its sugary all-girl vocals, but the song rocks, not unlike classic Tiger Trap. They're totally crushed out and so am I!"

Friday, March 06, 2009

Akinyele - "Put It In Your Mouth"

Akinyele - "Put It In Your Mouth": "For the James Lo.
Oh yeah - not for the easily offended."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Swervedriver - "The Hitcher"

Swervedriver - "The Hitcher": "I know I recently blogged about another bonus track from Swervedriver's Mezcal Head re-issue, but that was a track I had already been familiar with prior to the re-issue. This track, however, is new to me and it quickly possessed me with its gauzy rock, simultaneously upbeat and dreamy, so I had to give `em another post."

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Avalanches - "Since I Left You"

The Avalanches - "Since I Left You": "To steal a phrase from Deee-lite, this is sampladelic, except squared...or probably even cubed, yet still eminently listenable. I hear that after going M.I.A. for a few years, these guys may even come out with a new record soon, which would be swell."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Spinal Tap - "Sex Farm"

Spinal Tap - "Sex Farm": "Two different things just reminded me of this track, so I figured it was worth a blog post. Besides, how could this song not put a smile on your face?"