Lindsay Buckingham-Holiday Road

Oh yeah, this is it, the theme song to National Lampoon's Vacation movies, of all people it was sung by Lindsay Buckingham. I'm guess Kenny Loggins was already booked. This song is incredible and makes me want to dance like i'm a Griswold in a discotheque. Enjoy it.

Lindsay Buckingham-Holiday Road

Here's another gem from this cinematic trilogy: Power Station's Some Like It Hot. In case you didnt know...Power Station is a super group with Robert Palmer, dudes from Duran Duran, and the drummer from Chic. It blows my mind that I didn't know about this until today. Here's Rusty getting down to their jam wearing one of the most beautiful white leather jackets I've ever seen.

Power Station-Some Like It Hot


Justin Townes Earle: Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

Justin Townes Earle the son of music great Steve Earle was probably destined for the stage ever since he was born. He started out playing in a two different bands The Distillers, a bluegrass band and The Swindlers, he was only a teenager at the time. Justin began using drugs at the tender age of 12 years old. When he was still in his early twenties, after 5 overdoses and being fired for from his fathers band The Dukes for his erratic performances he got clean. After his new found sobriety he became focused on music again and since 2007 he has released 3 albums. He is currently signed to the Bloodshot Records (the quality of this label will be discussed at a later date) and still making music. The newest track "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" is a duet with the ever so beautiful Dawn Landes.

Justin Townes Earle - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

Bonus Track - Justin's Cover of The Replacements Can't Hardly Wait

Frightened Rabbit: Swim Until You Can't See Land


Frightened Rabbit the band aforementioned in the previous post is not currently touring the USA so no you cannot see them until they are done with their third album The Winter of Mixed Drinks. The band didn't fully realize itself until lead singer and guitarist Scott Hutchinson completed the lineup with his brother Grant on the drums. The critically acclaimed Midnight Organ Fight is what put them on the map and some have been anxiously awaiting the follow up. A new video has been released for the single off this new album. Your sneak peak here.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

we were promised jetpacks Pictures, Images and Photos
These Scots are turning up their guitars and doing some screaming and it rocks with angst. Label mates with Frightened Rabbit who are a band that is more somber and melancholy We Were Promised Jetpacks are yelling with all they got and filling out their sound with raw emotion. The first album was released last year and they have done some touring with Frightened Rabbit. When you are at a point where you are afraid you cannot feel, put these boys on and sing along loudly. The Scottish accents add flavor and I am sure if you try you may be able to imitate them well. They will be at Rock and Roll Hotel in DC on 2/13 and at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on 2/15. Come back for a review of the DC Show.


Beach Boys-Wind Chimes

After Pet Sounds, California got weird for The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson took too much acid and became a recluse; Dennis Wilson got mixed up with Charlie Manson; and Mike Love went to India with The Beatles and Donovan to study transcendental mediation. As a follow up to Pet Sounds Brian Wilson wrote SMiLE, an album which he supposedly dubbed as "a teenage symphony to God", whatever that means. The project imploded, and was ultimately shelved, even though Capitol Records had already planned on creating a gate-fold record cover for it including a 12 page booklet (the finished cover art is below).
For once (supposedly) an apparently brilliant album was not released by a major label for some fault other then their executives...it wasn't a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot situation...it was worse. Some claim that it was Brian Wilson's escalating drug use and mental deterioration that caused the ultimate collapse of this highly anticipated masterpiece, and rumors swirled that he had been caught trying to burn the master tapes of the album, however, it has been stated by many studio musicians involved in the recoding that Wilson conducted himself in an extremely professional manner while recording. Why would anyone lie about that when it might cost them future jobs?

The most common speculation for the lack of an offical release of the SMiLE project is that it was shelved due to frictions within the band, specifically between Mike Love and Brian Wilson. SMiLE is far removed from the "Beach Boys" sound (and Brian was one of the youngest Beach Boys members) so it ended up getting shut down by the rest of the group. Its a shame, really...this is one of the strangest, strongest and most creative albums that came out the Beach Boys camp, up until that time, the boys usually stuck to singing about (as Dan Meth points out) girls, cars , and surf); however this album was much more psychedelic and varied in its subject matter.

SMiLE would have given the recently released Sgt. Peppers album a run for it's money back in the summer of 1967...had it been released, so its a shame that it was never given the chance. So be it though, instead, this has become the holy grail of bootlegs, and is widely regarded to be the most important album to have never been released by a rock band in the 20th century. Besides the fact that it's the direct follow up to Pet Sounds, the album was supposed to house the song "Good Vibrations" one of the best charting Beach Boys songs (no.1 in Britain and America).
Many songs intended for the SMiLE album (including "Good Vibrations", "Heroes and Villains" and "Surf's Up") were later re-recorded and released on subsequent Beach Boys album such as Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, and Surf's Up, many of them did not come out the same way (like all of them), and one of those such gems is the SMiLE version of "Wind Chimes" which lost some of the pleasant haziness of its original incarnation. Too be honest, and I dont think I'm alone here...it seems as if Brian Wilson never wrote another song again after SMiLE.
Beach Boys-Wind Chimes

Yes-Long Distance Runaround

Yes is a divisive band, some people love them, and many people hate them; its easy to hate a band who writes about whales and supernatural fantasies in all minor keys and have songs that are 25 minutes long which are divided into movements. But fuck that, Yes is a great band, and "Long Distance Runaround" off their 1971 opus Fragile is one of their most accessible and concise tracks that they ever laid down. This is ons of the few jams by Yes that you will regularly hear on FM radio, and you should cherish the break from Bon Jovi songs for a minute and get sucked in.

Yes-Long Distance Runaround

You may notice that this song seems to cut off suddenly, that's because I upped the album version which runs into the following track. It truly wasn't until "Owner of a Lonely Heart" that Yes would make an actual proper pop song...

Yes-The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)

Bonus: Here is Yes performing a song called Siberian Khatru on a rotating stage, you heard me right...a rotating stage with Jon Anderson in the middle wearing what looks to be a Luke Skywalker costume and Rick Wakeman surrounded by 23 keyboards on the outskirts of the circle (you'd think they'd put the guy you wrote a mini symphony about Henry the 8th in the center spot). Check it out, these dudes weren't slackers when it came to putting on a show. They're performing on a rotating stage, they're dead serious.

I'm Just Gonna Say It: WYCLEF SUCKS

Last week the world was dealt a terrible blow. An earthquake ripped apart Haiti, the death toll now reaching over 200,000. The worst earthquake in hundreds of years and the most deadly natural disaster in my memory. It's a terrible thing, and if you can, please text "Haiti" to 90999 and donate $10 to the American Red Cross. They need your help. Whatever you do, don't by a Wyclef Jean album.

Wyclef Jean may be the only famous musician you know of from Haiti, but he sucks and this tragedy isn't going to change that. When I first saw him asking for donations on TV, I was glad to see he was lending his time and celebrity to this worthy cause. But then something else happened. I started hearing him singing in the background of one, then two, then I don't know how many commercials (it's happened 2 times since I started writing this) and I was reminded anew of how annoying that motherfucker is, and how much his music sucks, even when he's covering Bob Marley's simplest songs.

Something terrible happened, let's prevent another tragedy. He's creeping back into our collective consciousness and I don't want him there. I don't want him to be for Haiti what Bruce Springsteen was for 9/11. Let's stop this as it's starting! I may be the only person to notice this crime of culture as it's happening, but my biggest fear is that this goes unnoticed, and 15 years from now he gets inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame and my grand-kids think he wrote "No Woman No Cry." Let's not let him benefit from this terrible event by becoming unwilling fans. Firenze warned me that it was too soon to write this kind of piece related to such a terrible tragedy, but fuck it, that's why we used pseudonyms. And trust me, I have a lot worse things to say, but I'm holding back.

Throughout this terrible tragedy, give all you can. Pray for the Haitian people. And remind your friends and coworkers how much they hate Wyclef Jean.

Freelance Whales: DC's Black Cat Backstage Show

Freelance Whales played the Backstage of the Black Cat last night. This group is not from Brooklyn they are from Queens. They spent some time busking in the subways of NYC. The band consists of five people and some of them are instrument hoppers passing off different duties to each other for different songs during their performance. There is drums, synth, bass, drums, guitar, xylophone, and banjo all played at some point during the set. They have only released one album so they did not play for long. Freelance Whales will whisk you off with sweeping melodies and vocals sung by all of them. This is the sort of band that will come across much better live then they ever will on an album. They received much attention at CMJ Festival this year and has already played sold out show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC.

Freelance Whales - 1st floor generator

Freelance Whales - 2nd floor generator

The Beatles Never Broke Up!

Or at least they didn't in a parallel universe, to which a one James Richards claims to have accidentally traveled to through a portal in the California desert, from which he returned with a cassette(!) of an album entitled Everyday Chemistry released by the Beatles in the late 70s or early 80s (of this parallel universe). That sums up his story, and hes sticking to it (check out his FAQ section). You should read the entire thing here, because something this bat shit crazy absolutely deserves a minute of your time.
K, so back to reality...what dude basically did was mash up a bunch of post Beatles solo joints and strung them together into songs, which he then compiled into a mixtape. Clearly I need to brush up on my Lennon and McCartney cuz, I couldn't place a lot of the samples here. However, this one clearly contains significant portions of the Wings classic: "Band On The Run".

"The Beatles"-Four Guys

Visit the site here, and download the whole tape...its worth a listen for the creativity and insanity that went into it.

Bonus: While I'm at, and had previously mentioned Band on the Run, here's a personal favorite off that album.

Paul McCartney & Wings-Mrs Vanderbuilt


Eels: End Times

Mark Oliver Everett of the Eels has written a new album that is similar to that of Electro Shock Blues in that it is personal. The man is clearly distraught over a woman who has gotten away from him. The first video he made was with Top Chef Star Padma Laksmi and he has quite the beard and his dog looks good in his little doggie tuxedo. Oz over at hearya.com wants to tell him to buck up and write something uplifting. In the review Oz eloquently puts that he sees Everett as "an aging man losing love in a world where the integrity of humanity is decaying before his eyes." Everett is familiar with the pain involved in unexplainable loss as he lost his sister to suicide in 1996 and his mother to lung cancer in 1998 and these experiences is where many songs off of Electro Shock Blues stemmed from. The second song I have posted off the new album "Little Bird" has a melody that caught my ear and I cannot stop listening to it.


The Ghostvillage Project

In Scotland there were six artists that took what was a never lived in village created for 500 oil workers which was abandoned for 33 years and turned it into a work of art. This forgotten structure gave "Agents of Change" a chance to explore their creativity through their own graffiti art. In three days these artists gave this eerie place a set of characters. Watch and learn more.

The Ghostvillage Project from Agents Of Change on Vimeo.


2 Live Crew-Me So Horny

2 Live Crew's 1986 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be is kinda mediocre considering all of the controversy it generated at the time. It sold 2 million copies, and was the first record EVER to have been determined legally obscene in Florida (a ruling later overturned by the Supreme Court). Am I just desensitized, or is this album not really as nasty as it ought to have been to have garnered all this attention? I mean, its obviously one big joke. NO ONE can be serious when they rap: "If you could wear a dick bitch, you would flaunt it" which is an awesome quip for sure, and a very valid point, but really though? My complaint against these fellas has more to do with their rhyming skills than with their content, I can say fuck shit bitch all day, but when you throw "Pussy" and "Cock" at the end of almost every single line, I start to think that 2 LIve Crew weren't really living up their postential to be as nasty as they could have been. It's too easy to rap using those words, as they rhyme with just about anything. To be able to build fluid rhymes out of phrases such as "engorged clitoris" or "unprotected dicksmacking" requires a more poetic soul, and if utilized within the right context could've stood to create something truly filthy.

I think the best part about this album is the fact that J.P. Stevens heard it, and ended up loving the album so much that they all became friends. Here is a candid shot of him posing with 2 Live Crew while the whole gang frolicked on the beach together in Miami chasing bitches (see below).
I mean in my opinion this album is better categorized as a novelty record than as a masterpiece of rap music, Ready to Die, it's not. Their track "Me so Horny" is a goddamn treasure though, but that's all you really need. In short the album is more of a landmark and raised the bar on nastiness which has now been broken many times over by the likes of Snoop Doggy Dogg and Will Smith

2 Live Crew-Me So Horny

Bonus: this mustve come out before stricter intellectual property laws regarding music samples were enforced (The Beastie Boys' classic Paul Boutique also benefited from lax laws against sampling, famously employing literally hundreds of unlicensed samples) "Fuck Shop" throws a nice Van Halen riff on the beat.

2 Live Crew-Fuck Shop

Douches of Leon Launch Hipster Clothing Line

Warning: rant. I'm going to offend a couple people with this one.

I first heard of Kings of Leon in 2007 when I was first becoming familiar with the new methods of browsing and was particularly enamored with Metacritic because of its ability to combine a number of reviews into a nice and easy numeric rating. I downloaded their Because of the Times album and played it once on a long road trip. The album was fine. Never really went back to it or gave it another thought.

When KoL reemerged in late 2008 with Only By The Night, all of a sudden everyone was all over this band's shit (in the US; they've always enjoyed popularity elsewhere, particularly in the U.K. and Australia). Something clicked and they started riding the hype wave and "Sex is on Fire" and "Use Somebody"were on repeat in bars throughout the first half of 2009. I, too, enjoyed those songs the first 87 times I heard them, but still wasn't a big fan of their album. I didn't understand the phenomenon.

This is when it starts to go bad. Stories began flowing in about the band's rockstar antics. I heard a story from a friend who attended their concert in Philadelphia that the lead singer "thanked" the crowd "for finally catching on". Then I caught word of the disaster at the Reading festival in which Kings of Leon threw a temper tantrum resulting in telling the crowd, "Fuck you. We're the goddamn Kings of Leon" before smashing their guitars and flipping the bird to the crowd while storming off stage. This would be totally awesome if they were Guns and Roses, but they aren't. They're a mediocre-at-best rock outfit, and a bunch of whiny pussies (especially the shirtless pedophile pictured above - no, I never took the time to match their names to faces).

A friend put it best when he told me "people like me, who dont know much about music or appreciation think that liking kol makes them have an understadning (sic) of new age rock/hipster movement." This makes perfect sense. These guys represent an easy access point to new wave rock and hipsterdom for the general populace and they carry that flag with an air of pretense and over-inflated self-worth. And instead of bridging that gap and bringing good rock to those that don't spend hours surfing the blogosphere and Brooklyn concert scene, they give musicians a bad name.

Their latest super-edgy move is the release of a Kings of Leon- branded clothing line. This will thankfully inform all their wannabe hipster fans what gear they should be wearing when they want to have sex on fire. I understand the connection of clothing to music when its representative of the culture (i.e. hip-hop, disco, etc) . However, the spirit of rock and roll has never flourished in conformity. If anyone actually buys these clothes it will be for all the wrong reasons.

Kings of Leon represents a movement that I personally cannot stand. A band that holds image over substance. Scouring the internet for information on these guys usually results in more photo shoots than earnest reviews or articles. Really, the fact that these guys are selling a red bandana for nearly $100 and and a necklace for $270 is mind-blowing.

Well here you have it folks: KOLxS2A clothing line. I'm pretty sure this is clear proof that the world is coming to an end in 2012. Next up, KOLxS2A male nipple rings and tongue rings on the shelves at Hot Topic.


R.I.P. Jay Reatard

I have just found out about the tragic death of Jay Reatard, a.k.a. Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr. According to a release by his label, Matador Records, Jay died in his sleep last night. He was only 29 years old. I had the special pleasure of seeing two of his frenetic performances last year and consider myself a huge fan. Will follow up in the coming days with a look into his short but prolific life.

RIP Jay. This guy was a hell of a performer.

Faking It (a personal favorite):

For now, check out Grizzly's post on Jay from Summer 2009.

Julian Casablancas: 9:30 Club Show

Julian Casablancas has arrived back on the scene after the The Strokes broke up. He played the 9:30 club last night in DC and it was a short set of Casablancas new material which apparently there is not that much of. He came out with a very calm, cool and collective demeanor. NME has a good interview with him in which he explains why he wanted to do a solo record etc etc. HERE IS THE LINK.

Casablancas delivered his new work with a comfortable relaxed swagger and this tour will be a breeze for him. The new sound has a lot of electronic sounds going on and drums that sound very clear and distinct although some of The Strokes aesthetic still exists. It was clean and had definite pop sensibilities. The crowd was especially riled up and screams from them were louder then I have heard in the 9:30 in a long time. There was two drum sets on stage that were both utilized at certain times. The keyboardist was responsible for some of the great melodies especially on “11th dimension”. When they did “4 chords of the apocalypse” Casablancas showed his best of the night. Almost all the songs were good with some definite high moments, his stage diving for one.

Julian Casablancas - 4 chords of the apocalypse


...I am listening to hear where you are

The above is an image from the mind of Jeff Mangum, former frontman and current agoraphobe. Besides a couple surprise performances in 2008, the once prolific and haunted leader of the incomparable Neutral Milk Hotel has been hidden from the public since 2001. He's been called the J.D. Salinger of the indie music world and his self-induced disappearance has been the subject of much speculation by a loyal fan base yearning for a follow-up to the epic In The Aeroplane Over the Sea, released over 11 years ago.

Well, it looks like Jeff is picking up the guitar again. He's recorded his first song since 2001, covering the Tall Dwarfs' tune "Sign The Dotted Line" as his contribution to a benefit album for Chris Knox put out by Merge Records. While this is only a short acoustic cover and doesn't represent new work, its great for fans like myself to see him break his silence. Next up is obviously a collabo with Lady Gaga. Thanks to Nicole for the heads up on this!

Cop the tribute album at Merge here.

Sign The Dotted Line:

Two-Headed Boy performed live at Knitting Factory NYC in 1998 here. This song gives me chills. I love that this is the only song Jeff ever wrote in New York. Check out how intense his eyes get as the performance goes on.

Article speculating on Mangum's whereabouts from 2003. Published by Ferenzi's old employer! Here.

There was a two headed boy actually born in Bangladesh and its the creepiest thing I've ever seen. Here.

Hint: Jeff's the one in the middle.

Fleetwood Mac-Dreams (Far Away Re-Edit)

Not much needs to be done to improve upon this song, and this re-edit by Tyler Fedchuck (under the alias: Far Away) does little more then stretch out the juicy bits and a little kick here and there to keep up the energy. The original track off of the multi-platinum hit record Rumors was written by Stevie Nicks and hit the number one spot on the Billboard Singles Chart in June of 1977. The dreamy melancholy lyrics reflected a time of personal turmoil for Nicks, who addresses her situation indirectly on this danceable soft rock track.
Fleetwood Mac-Dreams (Far Away Re-Edit)

tracks via: www.feelmybicep.com


Passion Pit @ Terminal 5, NYC 1/9/2010

"These are the biggest three shows of our short career!" exclaimed the lead singer of Passion Pit. Very few bands are able to sell out three shows at one of the largest venues (and hardest to see the band at) in New York City without cutting their teeth for years, but Passion Pit seem to have done it only one. This time last year the band was playing Pianos, over the summer they opened for Phoenix at Summer Stage, and now theyve arrived as a major force for ticket sales in New York.
The singer has a stage prescence prancing around the stage with his endearingly awkward falcetto, backed by versatile four piece who helped with the lyrics at times...that is when the band didnt have the entire audience singing along at the top of their lungs for the choruses of their most well known hits. It was hard to differenciate what or who was playing any given note which is a credit to the bands innovative approach. Their electronic sound is all created through live instrumentation albeit utilizing a myriad of effects pedals and fuzzboxes; it was hard to not be impressed with their musicianship by the end of it, truthfully I was expecting samplers and laptops to be onstage...of which there were none.
The biggest surprise of the night though was their choice of a cover for the second of their three song encore: "Dreams" by the Cranberries. It was an insprired if odd choice but the suprisingly the band was able to pull it off, and as you can see in the video below, the crowd got really into it.


Grateful Dead-Shakedown Street

In 1978, The Grateful Dead departed from their signature sound, a mixture of country rock and psychedelia; and cut an album influenced by Disco. Many of their contemporaries in the rock world would also attempt the same thing (Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones) but the Dead pulled it off while still remaining true to their weirdo roots and not losing their essence. On the title cut, the disco influence comes out strongly, its has a slinky danceable groove; and although it may not be something that would tear up a club, makes for great headphone music. Its an atypical song from one of the flag bearers of classic rock.

Grateful Dead-Shakedown Street


Japandroids on Jimmy Fallon

Japandroids smaller photo
The Japandroids recently lit up the stage on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I think that they were definitely turned up to eleven. See reference video below

This performance could be the best thing thats happened on this show since its inception. Turn it up, all the way up. These guys will be doing a show at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC on March 29th and The Bowery Ballroom in NYC April 1st, get off your couch and go see it.

Broken Bells-The High Road

Supergroups are a dime a dozen these days (Them Crooked Vultures, Monsters of Folk, etc.) Seems as if musicians are banding together through the recession, just as they did in the late 70s and early 80s (Asia, Damn Yankees). This doesnt necessarily mean the music will be better, after all...too many cooks...as the saying goes. This one seems more organic than the others to me. Broken Bells is the prolific producer Dangermouse (Gnarls Barkley) and James Mercer of the Shins. Dangermouse has been working with stars of the indie rock stratosphere (Beck, Black Keys) with some degree of success... so teaming up with Mercer isn't an unexpected move for him. The results of their collaboration work out well on this first single: The High Road. All of Dangermouse's idiosyncratic bleeps and squirts which he flourishes his music with works well to contrast and compliment the hyper melodic songwriting of Mercer, whose aerobic voice can reach around just about anything. Nothing seems forced about this song, and that's why it works so well.

Broken Bells-The High Road


Dawes: North Hills

Two brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith abandoned their post punk sound of their other bands to cut an album of folk songs and called it North Hills. The band is a part of what is now being called the "Laurel Canyon Sound" coming out of LA. The first song struck a chord with me as sometimes I need to get out of the city and this song is perfect for a drive down a long country road. "When my time comes" has a little more umpf! and with lyrics such as "So I took what I wanted and put it out of reach, I wanted to pay for my successes with all my defeats" it might hold meaning for you as it did for me.

Dawes - Take me out of the city

Dawes - When my time comes

Mixtape Volume 9

Pacific-Hold Me (Breakbot Remix)
Minnie Ripperton-Inside My Love
Aretha Franklin-Jump To It (Prince Klassan Re-Edit)
Noah and The Whale-Love of an Orchestra (Nightwaves Remix)
Olivia Newton John-Magic
Sleigh Bells-Ring Ring
Fever Ray-Seven (The Twelves Remix)
Amy Holland-She's On Fire
Big Boi-Shine Blockas (featuring Gucci Mane)
Dam Funk-The Sky Is Ours
Empire of the Sun-We are the People (Build Remix)
Grab It


The Cave Singers

The Cave Singers

After the disbandment of Pretty Girls Make Graves in 2007 the bassist Derek Fudesco teamed up with Pete Quirk (formerly of post punk rockers Hint Hint) to make a new band called The Cave Singers. Fudesco has been quoted saying "It is a simple as Pete and I getting high and going in the basement and playing for a couple of hours and making music." The product is two albums of relaxed twangy songs that put me at ease.

The Cave Singers - Helen

The Cave Singers - Beach House

World's End Girlfriend: Experimental Japanese Music

Wolrd's End Girlfriend#2
World's End Girlfriend is Katsuhiko Maeda's project and he hails from Tokyo Japan. He has been making music since he was 12 years old and has mastered the art. These songs are contemplative, powerful and express a vast amount human emotion without uttering a word. The first track "Singing Under the Rainbow" is off his 2002 release Dream End Come True and the second "Birthday Resistance" is from 2007's Hurtbreak Wonderland.

World's End Girlfriend - Singing under the rainbow

World's End Girlfriend - Birthday Resistance