Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Top Ten Albums for 2009

I'm running behind but here is my top ten for 2009

10. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

9. The XX - xx

8. Discovery - LP

7. Delorean - Ayrton - not on lala, so....

6. Miike Snow - Miike Snow

5. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

4. The Memory Tapes - Seek Magic

3. Passion Pit - Manners

2. The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

1. Wild Beast - Two Dancers

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Memory Tapes

Memory Tapes

Hail From:


Active from: ?

Sounds Like: Slightly David Lynchian (maybe with a rainbow coming out his ass) mellowed out dance music

Memory Tapes is producer Dayve Hawk. He also produces music as Memory Cassets, Wierd Tapes as well as Memory Tapes. Outside music he is a stay at home dad in NJ who claims to be bad with computers. He has a Blogger site to discuss his music.

Kid Sister

Kid Sister

Hail From: Chicago, Il

Label: Downtown/Fool’s Gold

Active from: 2006 to current

Sounds Like: 1987 J.J. Fad/Queen Latifah era fun rap with 90's dance vibe

Her moniker refers to her older brother J2K of Flosstradamus. The music: Is it epic? Is it gonna make you think? No. Is is gonna make you shake your ass and dance? Yes! The whole album isn't a bulls eyes, but the dance hits and right on target. Skip "Big n Bad" she samples on of the more horrid overplayed dance hits of the 90's. I caught her at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX and had a blast. I highly recommend checking out her live show.

Kid Sister - Right Hand Hi (video) You have to follow the link cuz the record label has disabled embedding for some lame ass reason

The Big Pink

Who: The Big Pink

Hail From:
London, England

Label: 4AD

Active from:

Sounds Like:
Early 90's alternative electronic with fuzzy guitars

I'm totally in love with band! The remind me of my 1st days going out to clubs and dancing my ass off. Their are doing their 1st U.S. tour right now, but are going no where near my loving Austin, TX.

And then there is the radio hit!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Boyz

Who: New Boyz

Hail From: Los Angeles, CA

Label: Asylum/Warner Bros

Active from: 2009

Sounds Like: Cool Kids rip off, but lyrically more 80s centric

The Cool Kids opened up the road for Hip Hop to go back to its roots. Taking us back before Gangster Rap and hip hop’s current manifestation and infatuation with money, bling and status. Taking us back to when hip hop was fun. It was about kids entertaining themselves. Yes, a lot of underground hip hop kept that beat alive. There are tons of great intelligent fun hip hop out there. See Jurassic 5, Blackalicious or even their MC Gift Gab. However, I think it took our culture’s current crush of their fantasy version of the 80’s along with music’s continuing respect for its roots. Bring in the new youth and here you go. Out in Cali a hybrid of breakdancing called jerkin had developed. It basically is poppin with more focus on the lower body and foot work. The New Boyz have brought that dance into the lime light with "You're a Jerk." I love their lyrics. It is very reminiscent of UTFO. There are insults flying back and forth but they are all in good fun. They are also making it their own. Hip hop in SKINNY Jeans...the hipster look has invaded hip hop my friends....look at those bright ass 80's colors. Check'em out:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Who: Tiga

Hail From: Montreal, Canada

Label: Turbo Recordings

Active from: 2001 to current

Sounds Like: Pants off Dance off

I've had this album for awhile and Shoes is by far my favorite track. For whatever reason I'm just getting around to seeing the video. I am loving it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lightning Dust

Who: Lightning Dust

Hail From: Vancouver, British Columbia

Label: Jagjaguwar

Active from: 2007 to current

Sounds like: Indie pop with heavy 60's folk leanings, sung while sitting on a washing machine on spin cycle.

Lightning Dust is the side project of Amber Webber and Joshua Wells of Black Mountain. Lightning Dust was created to challenge themselves and to go for a completely different sound. Amber states she was looking to explore her goth side. She went for a "more theatrical sounding" vocal which I guess means MORE VIBRATO! Throughout the whole album you'll flirt between being annoyed by it and easily dismissing it's effect on the song. Still for some reason, probably my soft spot for 60's female folk, I totally dig their new album, Infinite Light

Lightning Dust - I Knew

Wild Beast

Wild Beast

Hail From: Kendal, UK

Label: Domino Records

Active from: 2006 to current

Sounds like: Jimmy Somerville got a gig with a modern atmospheric indie rock band

I think my "Sounds like" says almost everything you need to know to decide if you want to check them out. Their sophomore full length album, Two Dancers, comes out fully to the US 9/8 (was available earlier on eMusic). The lead singer, and Jimmy Somerville impersonator, is named in true soap opera style, Hayden Thrope. So far my favorite track is Hooting and Howling due to it poetic description of guys fighting over girls, but also just to fucking fight. This is definitely a band worth checking out the lyrics on:

Carry me hooting and howling, to the river to wash off my hands of the hot blood, the sweat and the sand.
Any rival who goes for our girls will be left thumb sucking in terror and bereft of all coffin bearers.
A crude art, a bovver boot ballet – equally elegant and ugly.
I was as thrilled as I was appalled, courting him in fisticuffing waltz.
Now I’m not saying the lads always deserve a braying.
And I’m not saying the girls are worth the fines I’m paying.
We’re just brutes bored in our bovver boots. We’re just brutes clowning ‘round in cahoots. We’re just brutes looking for shops to loot. We’re just brutes hoping to have a hoot…
Hooting, hooting and howling.

I fell in love with the song when the phrase "equally elegant and ugly" strummed across my ear hole.

Wild Beast - Hooting and Howling

This next video is off their 1st album and shows a lighter hearted side. Hayden Thorpe's vocals on this one are almost laughable at 1st but still a good song. Slightly hypnotic (read almost seizure inducing) fun visuals on this one. Hypsters and their bad mustaches are funnny.....and sometimes damn cute.

Wild Beasts - Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants

Bonus Material
For those not in the know, Jimmy Somerville, was the original lead singer of Bronski Beat who later moved on to moderately successful carriers as the lead singer in The Communards and as a solo artist. Check out Bronski Beat's hit Smalltown Boy (1984) and tell me if you don't hear the vocal simularities.

As always comments are encouraged

Friday, September 4, 2009

The xx

Who: The xx

Hail From: South West London, UK

Label: XL / Beggars Group

Active from: 2005 to current

Sounds like:
Slightly sparse electric haunted 80's influenced

I found it a bit hard to describe this band. Not that they are that radically different. They do feel vaguely familiar, but every time I almost think of who they may remind me it evades me again. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim frequently take turns on vocals in most of the songs, but also play instruments as well. One of the things I think I like best about this group is its use of negative space. They don't feel the need to fill up every second with sound. It doesn't feel rushed, too spaced out, or even sad. I guess the best description would be melodic indie pop. It may take a second listen to really fall for them, but once you do....Check out the following videos. They are coming to Austin, on November 19, be there, I know I will.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Who: Discovery

Hail From:
New York, NY

Label: XL Records

Active from:
2009 to current

Sounds like: Indie Whiteboys do R. Kelley style R&B

Discovery is the side project of Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot. Neither of which are bands I'm a fan of. Vampire Weekend has that same California sunshine guitar riff from Sublime and Ra Ra Riot, just doesn't do it for me. I was very presently surprised when I gave this album a shot. Its a great fusion R&B bass lines, electronic synthesizers and vocals, indie sensibilities and camped up R&B lyrical content. Check out the handy dandy embedded player I found on their website.

Discovery - Orange Shirt

Discovery - Carby

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Drums cometh from Elkland

Who: The Drums

Hail From: Brooklyn, NY

Label: Twentyseven

Active from: 2008 to current

Ok, right now the The Drums are getting lots of Buzz on the Blogosphere. And I get it, so far what I've heard is fun. Sorta a gayish indie rock take on the Beach Boys, but I could be saying that cuz the song is Called "Let's Go Surfin." As I watched the video, I thought I recognized something about the singer.....Other then he looks like Johnny Lawrence of Karate Kid. Then it hit me....This is the freaky side to side dance guy from Elkland who I saw open for Erasure three years ago. Check out the video for The Drums and then check out Johnathan Pierce in his previous band Elkland. Ah, the interwebs, how I love thee. When checking out Elkland make sure to take note of his oh so masculine dance. You get a real good view around 1:46 to 1:56:

The Drums - Let's Go Srufin

Elkland - Apart

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amanda Blank

Who: Amanda Blank

Hail From: Philadelphia, PA

Label: Downtown Records

Active from: 2005 to current

Sounds like: Minimal Dance Rap (sometimes reminiscent of Princess Superstar and Peaches, but not always)

Amanda Blank began her career collaborating with aritst such as Spank Rock, MIA, Santogold, Diplo and N.A.S.A. She gained notoriety on Spank Rock’s “Blow” and on the track “I’m a Lady” that is featured on Diplo’s 75 minute mixtape “Top Ranking.” This song was a collaboration with Diplo and Santogold. It is a reworked partial cover of LL Cool J's "I Need Love." It gained such popularity over the internet that they put together a full track from it titled “A Love Song” on her freshly released LP, “I Love You.” She opened for Santogold recently and I caught her show here at Stubb’s. She puts on a great show, she has a great stage presence, is very charismatic and energetic.

Amanda Blank - A Love Song

Might Like You Better - Amanda Blank

Monday, August 3, 2009

Miike Snow

Who: Miike Snow

Hail From: Stockholm, Sweden

Label: Downtown Records

Active from: 2007 to current

Sounds like: TV on the Radio meets Passion Pit

Consisting of one singer and two producers, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, Miike Snow is bound to sound very polished. Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg are better know as Swedish production team Bloodshy & Avant. They've worked with tons of big pop stars such as Britney Spears and Madonna. Surprisingly this album does not sound mainstream at all. It is still pop, but chilled down a degree and still retains a more independent mentality. Probably due to Andrew Wyatt’s, formally of The A.M., song writing. The name was taken from Japanese film director Takashi Miike. This and the fact that their album cover makes me think of Jagermeister is reason enough to check them out.

Miike Snow - A Horse Is Not A Home

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ruling Class

The Ruling Class

Hail From: London, England

Label: Shelflife Records

Active from: 2005ish to current

Sounds like: Straight up The Stone Roses

We all feel a little cheated with the fact that The Stone Roses only released 2 albums between a 5 year label battle. Well, reincarnation through inspiration. Swedish guitarist Tomas Kubowicz loved the whole Manchester Brit Pop movement and set out writing and singing what he loved. Evolving as all projects do he now leaves the vocals to Jonathan Sutcliffe and concentrates on guitars and writing. Take yourself back to 1989 and listen up.

The Ruling Class - Flowers

The Ruling Class - Sleeping Beauty

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Who: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Hail From: Eidenburgh, Scotland

Label: Fat Cat Records

Active from: 2003 to current

Sounds like: Indie guitar pop, sorta like label mates Frightened Rabbit (but to be that is prob cuz they both have Scottish accents)

Like most I was 1st drawn to check out this band just because of the band name. Very catchy (but not cheesy) fun indie guitar pop with accents (and lets face it, we Americans are suckers for singers with accents). The story goes that they were discovered by their label through label mates Frightend Rabbiet's Myspace page.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - It's Thunder And It's Lightning

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Ships with Holes Will Sink

Friday, July 24, 2009

Polly Scattergood

Who: Polly Scattergood

Hail From: Essex, England

Active from: 2005 to current

Sounds like: Tori Amos or Kate Bush but more depressing, self-deprecating and quirky

Polly Scattergood and a great voice and her music is slightly haunting. Listening to the album you may think sister needs to see a therapist. She spends the whole album beating herself up for her shortcomings and failures. However, many of us have then in that place in our lives. She doesn’t come off whiny and in some very odd way she is slightly empowering at times. It is hard to explain, but it is definitely worth checking out. On a side note: Her album cover reminds me of Mary Hopkins for some reason.

Polly Scattergood – I Hate the way (had to go the youtube route, couldn’t find any mp3s on line. Just audio and sill picture of album cover

Polly Scattergood – Please Don’t Touch

God Help The Girl

Who: God Help The Girl

Hail From: Glasgow, Scotland

Label: Rough Trade, Matador

Active from: 2008 to current

Sounds like: 60’s Female pop folk with underlying bits of show tune

God Help the Girl is a Side Project of Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian. His plan was to write the sound track to a coming of age story of a young woman, record the album and then film the movie. I could go on, but Paste Magazine has a good story on the whole shebang here.

Check it out!

God Help The Girl - Funny Little Frog

God Help The Girl - If You Could Speak

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Who: Katzenjammer

Hail From: Oslo, Norway

Label: Propeller Recordings

Active from: 2005 to current

Sounds like: Girl Power Norwegian Polka with alternating punk and rockabilly attributes

Who doesn't love a good ol' polka? I know I do! Play it like rockabilly or punk song AND by an all girl band from Norway?!?!?!!?? How, I ask, can you go wrong? Katzenjammer: German for cat's yeowl is playing Bonarooo this year. Put on your best liederhosen and TANZ!

Katzenjammer - Bar in Amsterdam

Katzenjammer - Le Pop

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Who: Deastro

Hail From: Detroit, Michigan

Label: Ghostly International

Active from:
2008 to current

Sounds like: If New Order was still making relevant music but without the leftover dark undertones from Joy Division. Simmer and stir with live instruments.

I 1st got a hold of Deastro last year on their sleeper Keeper's. I enjoyed the album, but never blogged on it. They generated some buzz this year at SXSW but I never got around to seeing them. Only a year later, Moondagger was released. Randolph Chabot Jr. (brain child behind the electronics) is definitely fine tuning his craft and kicking out smoother music. While primary electronic music he is using real instruments (and musicians) as well. The use of a real drummer (not a drum machine) give the songs a more diverse and authentic feel. On a side note for us Austinites, how can you go wrong with a song name like, "Daniel Johnston Was Stabbed In The Heart With The Moondagger By The King Of Darkness And His Ghost Is Writing This Song As A Warning To All Of Us" Check out some of the tracks from Moondagger:

Deastro - Parallelogram

Deastro - Toxic Crusaders

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Crocodiles

Who: The Crocodiles

Hail From: San Diego, California

Label: Pat Possum Records

Active from: 2008 to current

Sounds like:
Reverb loving garage rock of The Velvet Underground

There is a thick layer of reverb gravy oozing all over this band's music. They feel like something out of the late 70's early 80's. The music is at the same volume as the vocals so that they are almost another instrument. They aren't drowned out like My Bloody Valentine but it does have it's MBV moments. The 1st LP Summer of Hate was released in April of 2009. Opener "I Want to Kill" and title track "Summer of Hate" are 2 of the strongest tracks on the album.

The Crocodiles - Summer of Hate

The Crocodiles - I Want to Kill

The Crocodiles are playing with Holy Fuck at Mohawk in Austin, TX on June 11th for $8.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

That Ghost

Who: That Ghost

Hail From: Sonoma County, California

Label: Two Syllable Records

Active from: 2006 to current

Sounds like: Lo Fi simple indie pop

That Ghost is one man band Ryan Schmale. Part of what is impressive about him is that he is only 18 and his current LP, Yong Fridays, is his 3rd. According to intertubes these are all D.I.Y. releases recorded mostly in his bedroom. Young Fridays was picked up by Two Syllable Records last year. Put it in your earhole.

That Ghost - Open Windows

That Ghost - I Crossed Out the Options

Monday, June 1, 2009

Passion Pit

Who: Passion Pit

Hail from: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Active: 2007 to Current

Sounds like: Sped up Postal Service who emotes with fabricated, off key (but fun) falsettos and a dash of ass shaking.

Even If You Don't, You Do is up again. Format and how I'm going to get the music out there is still a work in progess, but I got tired of not sharing the love. For those who don't know I had some post removed due to complaints from some label or organization. I'm really sorry I was giving your artist free press. I was disheartened for awhile and kindly bowed out of the blogosphere. Wounds licked, I'm back an to spread my music loving seed all over your face!

I’ve been digging on Passion Pit for awhile, but figured I had to reboot my music blog somewhere. I really like them on 1st listen with Sleepyhead, their big breakout single. It reminds me of a somewhat more electronic TV on the Radio. The rest of the album felt a little more Postal Service…at least in tempo. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. However, having it on my iPod in a playlist of newer albums, it really grew on me. I actually love them now. I think this is a band that may take a few listens to really dig. I think part of what threw me off is the lead singer's constant slightly altered off key falsettos. At first, they just seem a little off key, but after several listens they totally add to the happy party dancey feel of the album. Chunk of Change, the bands 1st EP was released in September 2008. Its a tight complete EP. There really are not any weak tracks on the album. To my surprise their LP, Manners released in May 2009, was not the EP with a couple added tracks. The only repeat offender is their hit Sleepyhead which was understandably added to bring in any new cummers from the blog buzz. Adding to their strength is the fact that Manners is not more of the same. If feels like a continued evolution of what began on Chunk of Change. It feels a little more mature, a little more arty, without losing its original appeal. Once again I think Manners takes a couple listens to really dig it, but I think they are worth the time. Check them out.

On a trivia side note: According to Chunk Of Change was originally intended as a Valentine’s Day gift from Michael Angelakos (lead vocals) to his girlfriend.
~Sorry baby, I gave your Valentine to the music whores of the world.

Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

Passion Pit - Little Secrets

For those in Austin, Passion Pit will be playing Wednesday 6/3 at Emo's with Harlem Shakes.