Monday, April 30, 2007

Coachella 2007!!!

Awwwww man! COACHELLA! Wasn’t that amazing?!?! I mean, when that one band…..so awesome. I almost….you know….all over my pants!!!! MAN! Great times. Hot, crowded, but man….great. G-R-E-A-T.




You’re right. We didn’t go. And if you can’t tell, we're about as bitter as squirrel nuts (don't ask).

Rage? Probably just o.k. I mean, they couldn’t have been that…..you know, after all these years….(sob)……right?

Here are some tracks from bands you may have seen and said “Man, I hope the Miz posts music from this band on Monday.”

We hope you choke on your gluttony:

Amy Winehouse: Rehab (Hot Chip Remix)

Andrew Bird : Dark Matter

Arcade Fire: Intervention

Arctic Monkeys: Brianstorm

Blonde Redhead: 23

Busy P: Rainbow Man

CSS: Alala

The Decemberists: O Valencia!

Digitalism: Darlight

El-P: Drive

Girl Talk: Smash Your Head

The Good, The Bad & The Queen: Northern Whale

Grizzly Bear: Easier

Hot Chip: Over & Over

Interpol: The Heinrich Maneuver

The Jesus & Mary Chain: Just Like Honey

Jose Gonzalez: Remain

Junior Boys: In The Morning (Hot Chip Remix)

Justice: D.A.N.C.E.

Kings Of Leon: Ragoo

Konono No.1: Mama Liza

LCD Soundsystem: North American Scum (Dunproofin's Not From England Either Mix)

Lupe Fiasco: Kick, Push

The New Pornographers: Use It

Noisettes: Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)

Of Montreal: Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse

Peter, Bjorn & John: Young Folks

The Rapture: Whoo! Alright-Yeah... Uh Huh

Ratatat: Lex

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Diablo Rojo

The Roots: Don't Feel Right

Rufus Wainwright: Going To A Town

Silversun Pickups: Lazy Eye (Original), Lazy Eye (Curtis Vodka Remix)

Sonic Youth: Incinerate

Spank Rock: What It Look Like

Sparklehorse: Shade and Honey

Tapes 'n Tapes: Insistor

Tokyo Police Club: Box


Friday, April 27, 2007

Halrem Shakes

"Carpetbaggers"






Even through my extensive research (read: little), I still can’t seem to find out why these guys decided to name themselves Harlem Shakes. I can’t help but think of little kids in sweat suits dancing in P.Diddy videos. Aside from the imagery that comes with the name, I can’t seem to get enough of the bands EP Burning Birthdays. The lead off track “Carpetbaggers” starts off on some heavy tom thuds and naked guitar plucks. The chorus gets a slight doo-wop treatment with “oh-oh’s” breaking up the vocals. My first take on the song left the impression of a hybrid between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Wolf Parade. It may not be entirely accurate, but it’s a good start. While most tag the band as lo-fi indie rock/pop, they don’t sound any more lo-fi than a majority of other stuff out there. Regardless of inaccurate tags, Harlem Shakes are one of the most promising bands buzzing around the blogosphere. This is one of the few instances where you’d benefit from tuning in to the hype. Either way, you’ll hear from them again soon enough.



Download >>Carpetbaggers

Page France

"The Ruby Ring Man"






This song reminds me of the 60s. No, I wasn’t alive, but everyone has their own impression of what the 60’s was like. “The Ruby Ring Man” makes me think of what rock and roll may have sounding like before it became classic rock. Imagine Bob Dylan crooning over a slightly sped up version of The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” and you might get the picture. And while the pre-classic rock statement may be slightly overreaching, I can’t help but think of how many rock bands were influenced by VU before they actually rocked. … And The Family Telephone, the bands third full-length in three years, is filled with the same earnest, easygoing vibe heard on “The Ruby Ring Man.” It’s pretty refreshing to hear something as honest and simple as Page France, especially within the array of over-produced music and we’re-so-important posturing. It’s sort of like starting from the beginning.



Download >>The Ruby Ring Man

Digitalull: Your Weekly Electronic Fix

The German Connection




Efdemin


Efdemin, aka Phillip Sollmann is yet another techno artist from Germany, joining the ranks of fellow compatriots Ellen Allien and Superpitcher amongst a long list of respected producers. His self-titled debut for Dial records is another excellent addition to the growing number of albums credited as minimal techno. Luckily, the album explores other styles of the electronic knit, such as house and straight techno. "Knocking At The Grand" and "Loh & Brot" are two standout tracks from the album.




“Knocking At The Grand” introduces itself with percussive bells. Here, Efdemin creates the sort of dark, haunting textures similar to Plastikman. The usual swift hi-hats come in to play over a circular sub-bassline. As with most microhouse, the space in between is the most intriguing part. The track spends most of its time playing with fleeting sounds that poke in and out of the mix, never staying long enough to form any sort of relationship. With a sparse sonic collage and slippery basseline, “Knocking At The Grand” feels like the shadowy death-dance for the final rave.

Download >>Knocking At The Grand




“Loh & Brot” is based on the more conventional structures of house music, with its bassline offset from the downbeat. Click-clack percussion is interspersed throughout choppy, processed synths and filtered organ chords. The second half of the song gives way to a synth reminiscent of an old science documentary, effectively climaxing without making too much fuss. Eventually, the synth turns into an ominous wash of sound, lingering aimlessly like a gray cloud shadowing the landscape.

Download >>Loh & Brot






Pole


Pole is not one of your typical techno producers. In fact, it’s safe to say he’s not really techno at all. Named after his favorite piece of studio equipment (Waldorf 4 Pole-Filter), Pole is the moniker of Stefan Betke. Some would categorize him as “post-techno,” but since techno hasn’t disappeared, I’m hesitant to use such labels. While his past albums have varied from dub influenced to house, rhythm has always been the most important factor. Betke’s latest release, Steingarten can be easily separated from the slew of techno/house albums from Germany’s electronic scene. Neither Pole, nor the album is easily categorized.





“Warum,” the album opener for Steingarten is built on a deceptively simple, loose groove. The bass sounds even deeper than an 808, if that’s even possible. The industrial sound of drills and pipes are layered throughout the track, adding a sort of “found sound” style approach to programming. As loose as the track may sound upon initial listen, everything pretty much adheres to a strict rhythmic phrasing. The handclaps are loose and scattered, but all within a tight frame. “Warum” sounds fairly linear at first, but its intricacies manage to reveal themselves after repeated listens.

Download >>Warum


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sea Wolf

"You're A Wolf"/"Ses Monuments"






Alex Church, who began his musical career as a bassist in local Los Angeles indie group Irving, is gearing up for the May 8th release of Get to the River Before it Runs Too Low, the debut EP of his solo project Sea Wolf. Although many bands share the common “wolf” in their names, you can be assured Church sets Sea Wolf apart from the rest with an array of instruments ranging from cello to keyboard, accompanied by the use of his own melodic singing and story telling lyrics which are all put together to create ear pleasing, memorable songs that you may just find yourself singing well after the music has stopped. Acoustic guitar accompanied by deep strings that hang in the background, and the occasional string swell that join the chorus in “You’re a Wolf” hook up effortlessly with the softly sung, sometimes drawn out melodic lyrics, and instantly make it a standout track on the upcoming EP. “Ses Monuments” has a very different feel when it opens with a jaunty synth that will remind you of your first Nintendo, and returns periodically throughout the song. Despite the more upbeat tempo, “Ses Monuments” shares the drum/string/guitar relationship that works so well throughout Get to the River Before it Runs Too Low. With the solid line up of this first EP, and the prospective September release of a full length, I think we will be seeing much more of Mr. Church and Sea Wolf in the future. Keep your eyes and ears open.



Download >>You're A Wolf

Donwload >>Ses Momuments

Matzak

"Girl In The Water"













I usually leave the electronic stuff to our digital guru Jared, but I couldn’t resist with this one. I haven’t been able to shake “Girl In The Water” from my playlist since I got my hands on Matzak's excellent Life Beginnings. I'm amazed at how well the track travels the path from minimalist techno to maximalist textures. From the classic drum machine bassline to the typical rave organ stabs, all the standard ingredients are there. Hyperactive airbrush sounds seem to drive the rhythm into new territory without touching the actual tempo of the song. Since most electronic music of this kind lacks any formal melody (at least to untrained ears), it’s always a curious thing when a song gets stuck in your head. It’s as if there’s some secret ingredient at work, but what it is is beyond me. I just know that “Girl In The Water” has fit perfectly for whatever mood I’m in at that given moment.



Download >>Girl In The Water

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Manic Street Preachers

"Underdogs"






It’s been a long, long road for the Preachers. They’ve been making political protest albums since ’91. And while they were once superstars in the U.K., they received very little love in the states. They’ve been relentless with their message, but not always successful with its delivery. Send Away The Tigers finds the band embracing a straight ahead rock approach, as on “Underdogs.” The song could be seen as a logical step backwards; it’s very much like the American “punk” rock from the mid-nineties. Lyrics like “This one’s for the freaks, for you're so beautiful/For all the devotion ridden in your soul” are sung sympathetically over muted power chords. Before you know it, the guitars rip through the air like an explosion while the snare drum jackhammers into infinity. “For underdogs revenge is sweet.” I’m starting to think “Underdogs” may be more autobiographical than outcast anthem.



Download >>Underdogs

The Kissaway Trail

"Tracy"






Bear with me on this one. While “Tracy” starts off wonderfully, I have a feeling this guys voice is going to be the deal breaker for most. When most people complain about indie rock, the number one criticism is that the singer’s voice is too winy. And while nothing makes me cringe more than a winy voiced sissy singer, I don’t get the same vehement feelings with The Kissaway Trail. Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Joanna Newsom. Besides the higher pitched lets-sing-at-the-very-top-of-our-range vocals, “Tracy” should feel familiar to most. While the band could have rested on the infectious, bouncy guitar line alone, they do a great job of fleshing out the arrangement. The bands self title debut ranges from the innocent enthusiasm of “Tracy” to the ambitiously dramatic, but is not always successful in either. Still, most bands would kill to have just one “Tracy” under their belt.

Oh yeah, and I was told not to mention that the band is from Denmark.



Download >>Tracy

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Honeydrips





Disclaimer: We here at www.themusicmiz.com are sponsored by the Swedish Government.

The Honeydrips. Sounds like something that’s kind of gross and kind of good at the same time. Which is how “Trying Something New”, the second track off their album Here Comes the Future kind of sounds. Fortunately, the combination is a tasty one. “Trying Something New” is an upbeat song awash in distorted echoy explosions, eighties organ bass lines, wispy lyrics about getting away and well…trying something new, with a fairly sweet, oddly ascending, distorted guitar riff at its center. Mix these together and you get something that ends up sounding like a spacey new wave laser tag dream song, while remaining a fairly grounded and organic rock song. The Swedes truly seem to have a highly eclectic output of bands that have an intense grip on what the rest of the world is going to dig music wise. The Honeydrips seem to bee no exception.

Note: www.themusicmiz.com is not sponsored by the Swedish Government. That was a lie.



Download >>Trying Something New

People Press Play





Maybe it’s not just Sweden that produces 90% of the talent pool in indie rock. People Press Play hail from Denmark and are here to make an argument for Scandinavia as a whole. The band combines the soft, hushed vocals of Azure Ray with the downtempo electronics of Mum. “Frail” is definitely a low-key affair with it’s spacious arrangement and plainspoken lyrics. Delicately phrased synth-bells are mixed with synth-blips, while wordless vocals jump back and forth between notes in the background. “Always Wrong” underscores Sara Savery’s delicate voice with bouncy, sprightly electronics. It’s the perfect soundtrack to relax to. People Press Play’s self titled debut is electro-chill at its best; not too busy, but not too boring.



Download >>Always Wrong

Download >>Frail


Monday, April 23, 2007

Queens Of The Stone Age

"Sick Sick Sick"








“Rock should be heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls.” Those words, straight from QOTSA head honcho Josh Homme, sum up the band pretty well. The music is always great for rocking out without sounding like a macho scream fest. I like to think of it as hard rock with a groove. With their fifth album Era Vulgaris to be released in June, the band has seen a slew of line-up changes as well as slight changes in musical direction. And while experimentation is always welcome, I have to admit that I feel the band is at its best when they bring the rawk, as they do on “Sick Sick Sick.” It almost sounds like a reckless Nirvana b-side. The song is heavy on riffs and rhythms, equally useful for head banging or just plain dancing. Homme describes the new records as "Dark, hard, and electrical, sort of like a construction worker." I’ve spent the last week or so trying to figure out what the hell he’s talking about. Let’s just hope it somehow means “good.”



Download >>Sick Sick Sick

Bonus: Here's a track featuring Trent Reznor that was cut from the album.

Download >>Era Vulgaris

Moonbabies

"War On Sound"/"Don't Ya Know"











…..It’s a beautiful start. If you don’t love Moonbabies within the first ten seconds of “War On Sound,” then you probably won’t like them at all. It’s easy to be skeptical when songs are as instantly gratifying as this one, but after repeated listens, the song has remained on replay in my mental jukebox. “Don’t Ya Know” has fared just as well, with its Postal Service style programming. The Swedish duo has managed to craft an amazingly lush pop album with Moonbabies At The Ballroom (due 5/29 in the U.S.) with a handful of songs just as addictive as these. They’re best likened to Canada’s Stars; an acoustic/electronic hybrid of romantic indie-pop. With the bands profile elevating on a day-to-day basis (“War On Sound” was included in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy), it won’t be long before they’re on everyone’s list. Mark another one for Sweden.



Download >>War On Sound

Download >>Don't Ya Know

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Maccabees

"Latchmere"






Tim pretty much nailed it in his Maximo Park review, so I won’t bore you with the whole post-punk rhetoric. Just know that The Maccabees fall squarely into the same category. They sound almost identical to The Futureheads, even sporting similar harmonies. Now whatever you do, don’t fall into hype that surrounds the band. They’re not the “Best Band In Britian,” like certain people would like you to believe, but when you want something fun, upbeat, and not too heavy, “Latchmere” will do the trick. Repetitive eight-note down strokes, thin wiry guitars, rolling drums, thick accents—they’re all there. If you listen closely after the intro, you can actually hear a harmonica play for all of five seconds. While nothing is particularly mind blowing about the band’s debut album Colour It In, there’s something to be said about the their knack for catchy melodies and memorable hooks. Consider it mix-tape fodder for all those cool indie kids.



Download >>Latchmere

The Snake The Cross The Crown

"The Great American Smokeout"






For sometime there was speculation as to whether we would hear anything more from The Snake The Cross The Crown. They canceled the remainder of their tour dates when on the road with their second album Mander Salis, and seemed to have simply dropped off the map. Fast forward to 2007 and they resurface with the release of Cotton Teeth. Something had changed though, and what a wonderful change it was, resulting in an album with that folk feeling that reaches into your bones and makes you want to say “I’m coming home mama.” “The Great American Smokeout” begins with acoustic guitar that is reminiscent of stepping in your car turning the key and hearing the motor sputter just a slight bit before it starts, but once it does you’re off and down the road. The kick drum leads you into the catchy chorus which is accompanied by an equally catchy piano melody. All of these elements give “The Great American Smokeout” that good ol’ Americana folk feeling, which for some strange reason, always seems to be the perfect soundtrack for that summer road trip you’ve been planning.





Download >>The Great American Smokeout

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Digitalull: Your Weekly Electronic Fix

Klaxons - "It's Not Over Yet"




Yay, rave is back!! Well, not really because it never went away, but the Klaxons are apparently (according to idiot NME) here to make it more accessible (even though I never saw a live band at any rave, what the shit?). Their video for Magick, with the glow stick blood spraying everywhere, seemed to visually kill that idea about them being rave resurrected. On to the song; sometimes hype can kill a band like this.....and this band has way too much (unneeded) hype. That being said, the Klaxons may very well hook you in with a rock vs. electronic recipe that at the very worst would end up on an OC soundtrack or at the very best introduce you to a new genre you never knew existed. "It's Not Over Yet" is most likely a token add on track to their album Myths Of The Near Future, but it's definitely one of the best. Originally a mid 90s trance song by Grace and later more famously a late 90s re-work by Planet Perfecto (Paul Oakenfold), "It's Not Over Yet" is nothing more than a sophomoric, lost love song, but the Klaxons cover it very nice with a live instrument version (see more accessible reference earlier). Bringing in the electric guitar and live drums with the male vocal (original was a female vocal) shows how talented these guys are; and to do a remake of a vocal trance song, (which no one to my knowledge has done yet) just shows a lot of balls. So, sit back eat some candy and enjoy some pure cane sugar, twice.



Download >>It's Not Over Yet

The Junkies - "Toys Professor" (Incorporation Mix)




This remixed track is pretty much a hipster's wet dream, but whatever, it sounds goddamn good. The Junkies sort of look like Aqua at first glance (remember that Barbie Girl song?) only not as much hair gel and way more talent; and conjure up Book Of Love. This Brooklyn, NY collective includes DJ Cosmo, Michelle Antoinette (almost falling out of her shirt!), Daniel Blue, Gil Bitton, Bleu, and DJ Johnny Blista; gotta love a group with 2 DJs and 2 female lead singers with more to spare. "I like boys that look like girl toys.....I like the girls that like the boy toys" are the main lyrics here, which, while not anything eye opening or breakthrough (and not meant to be), sound pretty darn sexy even if you're not stumbling around drunk wondering how in the hell you will get home. If anything, this may get someone laid from a night out at the indie dance club, so what's the harm in that? I say none. Add to that some stutter chorus, sounding a tad like Blur's "Girls and Boys", deep synth rackets, and dueling male/female vocals (and pseudo white persons rapping?), let this be the track that makes you think going out tonight and spending way too much on drinks, watching white dudes dance, and being kicked out at 1:30 is a great idea.



Download >>Toys Professor (Incorporation Mix)


Nine Horses

"Money For All"/"Get The Hell Out"






Meet my latest obsession. While not as bananas as Santogold or as grandiose as Arcade Fire, it’s an obsession nonetheless. Former Japan lead singer David Sylvian fronts Nine Horses with Steve Jansen & Burnt Friedman. The bands recent EP Money For All features re-workings of songs from 05’s Snow Born Sorrow, as well as the two new tracks featured here. While much different than his sparse, haunting solo album Blemish or his contribution on Fennesz’s Venice, Sylvian’s voice is trademark enough to make the material recognizable. His low, wavering tone stands out over the galloping industrial noises of “Get The Hell Out” where he connects non-sequiturs such as “Get the hell out/Honey it’s your birthday”. It creeps on you like a shadowy tempest with its dark, bubbling synths and granulated machine sounds. “Money For All” starts off with a muddied drum loop, eventually finding Sylvian backed by some soulful harmonies. I can’t truly explain why I’ve been so obsessed with the bands EP, all I can tell you is that it slowly sucked me in without me even realizing it.



Download >>Money For All

Download >>Get The Hell Out

Ghosthustler

"Parking Lot Nights"






One day I’ll get sick of that sound. But for now that distorted, scuzz-fuzz synth is the key to my heart. It keeps begging me to breakdance. It keeps telling me to put on that 80’s style sweatband I’ve been hiding in my closet for so long. I got so wrapped up in the moment once I tried spinning on my head and nearly lost my neck. I can’t help it, it’s infectious. “Parking Lot Nights” sounds like it came straight from the Ed Banger camp, but these dudes don’t even have a deal yet. Normally I stray from posting songs from unsigned artist, but “Parking Lot Nights” is a worthy exception. Besides, I’d be willing to bet Ghosthustler won’t have to go too much longer before the get snatched up by a label. And even if they don’t, we’ll just play “Parking Lot Nights” on repeat until we drop.



Download >>Parking Lot Nights

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Maximo Park

"Girls Who Play Guitar"






It’s funny that in the midst of the post-punk-punk new-wave-or-whatever revival of a couple of years ago, we seemed to have forgotten that there were actually some good bands. The good one’s seemed to have survived by not only transcending the hype and the dance punk stigma, but growing from what seemed to be a short lived trend. I’m not sure if Maximo Park were ever really “one of those bands” though they seemed to have been caught up in the swirl. Either way, the band’s sophomore release Our Earthly Pleasures kicks off with "Girls Who Play Guitars", a song that seems to have evolved from the genre. In a way, singer Paul Smith makes my heart skip with how brilliantly he weaves the lyrics through the first minute of the song. His North Eastern English Brogue, reminiscent of Joe Strummer, thrusts out confessions and cool images (“In the gaps, inbetween words, Are the things that really intrigue me/It's the gasps, and the sighs, that say more about what's inside you”) in and out of what begins as a staccato beat. Then he rides the lyrics and melody on top of an explosion of ascending and descending power chords. That combined with an interesting bridge make for a fairly amazing, air tight three minute rock song. Maximo Park are a pretty straight ahead, steady, though deceivingly chopsy band. Some might not be convinced yet, but give "Girls Who Play Guitars" a good couple of listens and it’ll be hard not to have at least steady infatuation with the rest of the album.



Download >>Girls Who Play Guitars

Apostle Of Hustle

"Cheap Like Sebastien"






Apostle Of Hustle, headed by Broken Social Scene’s Andrew Whiteman, recently released their sophomore album, National Anthem of Nowhere. With a unique blend of sounds that range from that classic indie rock feel to a distinctly Latin flavor (that goes as far as “Rafaga” sung completely in Spanish), National Anthem of Nowhere is a breath of fresh air in a seemingly endless supply of “generic” music we see so much of today. The drum introduction to “Cheap Like Sebastien” has an almost marching band with a Latin twist feel to it. Soon after, the vocals are introduced, along with synths that hang in the background throughout the song and carry you through to the end. The soft spoken vocals along with a catchy bassline mesh perfectly with the synth, and with the help of some carefree female vocals. Then you have lyrics like “It was new, it was love, it was cheap” that embody that blissful yet sometimes despondent feeling love and life can bring us.



Download >>Cheap Like Sebastien


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stars

"Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" (Final Fantasy Remix)






Back in the old days, the remix was sort of a commodity. Once a song reached its peak in popularity, someone would do a remix, a sort of ode to the song itself. Ahh, those were the days. Now, it’s some sort of industry standard to remix and entire album, even for artist with only one album out. And with a surplus of remix albums, a surplus of excess crap is bound to follow. With that in mind, you could probably understand my skepticism when hearing that Stars planned on releasing Do You Trust Your Friends?, a full re-working of Set Yourself On Fire, sometime in May. But alas, a remix can offer a new perspective on an old favorite, even when the original was pretty good in its own right. Final Fantasy strips the lush, majestic orchestration of “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” into a simple, poetic ballad. Using the same progression from the intro, the song now rests on a gentle piano waltz. The strings that were once used as heavy accents now move smoothly back and forth….for the most part. In a typical Owen Pallet fashion, the violins have their moment of scratchy shrieks, purposefully piercing the comfortable atmosphere. If all remix albums started this good, we could look forward to more of its kind.



Download >>Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Final Fantasy Remix)

Download >>Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Original)

Mark Ronson

"Just"









Mark Ronson has been pretty busy the last couple of years. Robbie Williams, Christina Aguilera, and Lily Allen are just a few artists that owe production credit to him. The most notable success of late would be Amy Winehouse, which a majority her recent album was produced by Ronson, including the first U.S. single “You Know I’m No Good.” From that album alone, you might figure the London born DJ/Producer may have a little more soul than the rest of his English compatriots. But you would never figure he had the skills to re-work a Radiohead masterpiece into the funk’d up adaptation presented here. The song originally appeared on Exit Music: Songs With Radioheads, an album full of Radiohead covers. The song now comes on his latest release Version, which takes songs from artists such as Coldplay, Ryan Adams, and even Brittany Spears and revamps them, northern soul style. “Just” is easily the most successful of the batch, managing to keep a majority of the original arrangement with different instrumentation. Maybe the next Radiohead album will have more soul and less machine….but I wouldn’t hold my breath.



Download >>Just (feat. Phantom Planet)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Noisettes

“Don’t Give Up”/“Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)”






If Noisettes’ music were meant for a movie, it would probably be one of those kick-ass movies with motorcycles and bar fights. I’ve had to fight the temptation to break a beer bottle over someone’s head whenever “Don’t Give Up” comes on. This is actually pretty frustrating since I don’t drink beer-- there’s never a bottle in sight. The song is a sweat filled, garage rock romp-fest, the stuff trouble makers listen to when they’re looking for trouble. “Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit),” with its knee slapping rockabilly beat and lines like “We compliment each other just like Satan and Christ”, knows no good either. It starts off swing dance style, but wastes no time launching into power-chord punk-rock on the chorus. It wouldn't be enough if the London trio only knew how to rock, their secret weapon lies in lead singer Shingai Shoniwa; she’s got a fiery attitude and a soulful voice to match. What’s The Time Mr.Wolf? comes out tomorrow (4/17)-- don’t be surprised if you see an increase in local bar brawls.



Download >>Don’t Give Up

Download >>Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)

Lost In The Trees

"Lost In The Snow"






Listen, I’d be the first person to label Lost In The Trees a bunch of posers if I only listened to the first few seconds of “Lost In The Snow.” I’d pretty much write them off as knock-offs or hip-hop wannabe’s. Good thing they’re not hip-hop at all. All preconceived notions melt away once the east-coast style drum beat disappears and leaves a banjo in its absence. But what could have been pure kitsch or a clumsy attempt to defy categorization actually reads earnest. It’s simply including the elements of music the band’s main man Ari Picker has come to love, without any hip indie-elite posturing attached. To be honest, I’m sort of a sucker for the cinematic orchestrations found on the bands EP Time Taunts Me, so if they wanna add a simple little backbeat to freshen things up, be my guest.



Download >>Lost In The Snow

Friday, April 13, 2007

Preview- Björk

"Earth Indruders"



There’s nothing like new Björk material to get people all excited. “Earth Intruders” is the first single from Volta, and owes some production credit to Timbaland (although how much I’m not sure). You can buy the single on iTunes. Here’s a preview for you in the mean time:

Album Review- Sharp Teeth


David Karsten Daniels
Sharp Teeth
8.3/10

A majority of our lives are spent fighting against things we have no control over. There are your typical fights against evils such as injustice, world hunger, global warming, commercial radio, etc., that with enough will and effort might actually be won. But these are nothing. The hardest fights we as humans have to face are internal. The sort of internal battles that wreak havoc on our physical state being the worst, since there is no true escape from internal conflict. But we can never bring ourselves to fight against ourselves, so the problem must be externalized somehow in order for us to gauge its impact and challenge accordingly. In comes the art of catharsis. Demons weren’t meant to live inside the body, and this is why they must be exercised.

The artwork for Sharp Teeth seems misleading at first. It’s a gruesome portrait that makes one wonder what association it could have with the acoustic folk found on the album. Upon further listen, it becomes startlingly clear how accurate it is. Its portrayal of a man ravenously gorging the innards from a woman’s body is a bloody, but realistic view of human nature in the rawest sense. As the album illustrates, it works both ways. We have the just as much an ability to tear apart others as we do ourselves.

The album opener, “The Dream Before The Ring That Woke Me” should be able to convince the hardest of hearts of music’s ability to convey, as well as influence emotion. It’s the first, and last, truly happy moment of the album. The music builds and builds under the same lyrical refrain until it’s brimming over with joyous energy. If you can’t feel a palpable sensation in your heart, you should probably be sleeping in a morgue.

The following song, “Scripts” rests on quiet acoustic strums and lonely organ chords. It’s the blues at its bluest—you can practically hear the hound dogs howling. But just before we sink into total despair, the sound of a New Orleans band breaks the silence creating a sad, but somewhat celebratory rendition. “American Pastime” wins the award for best lyrical metaphor, likening a relationship to a game of little league baseball. “We’re not cut out for the major leagues” is basically the conclusion. It also shows that the music doesn’t have to be sad to be cathartic. With its circular, bouncy bassline and childish prose, it actually becomes an endearing form of release.

While all of the songs expose Daniels’ inner conflicts in some naked form, “Minows” is the best example of the music channeling his absolution. The crescendo swells until its apex is answered by a collective yelling towards the heavens; “And in the dark our touching is anonymous/I am a shark, drinking blood and drowning us.”

“I wanted to talk about planets….” David starts on the album closer, “We Go Right On”, “Something to romanticize this human cruelty we have within us/Something about orbits passing and an inability to do anything but what we are designed to do.” After a ten step process of catharsis, he comes to the realization that these are infact a basic part of human nature, something not easily exhumed. But while we may not always be able to exit all demons from our system, we can be certain that music will always be the best means for trying.



Download >>The Dream Before The Ring That Woke Me

Download >>American Pastime

Digitalull - Your Weekly Electronic Fix

Adult- "I Feel Worse When I'm With You"




Sometimes we need to step outside of our silky comfortable lovey indie poprock sensitivity and jump into how we really feel. That manic, insane, uncontrolled feeling that keeps getting buried under soft harmonies and cushy guitar riffs needs to surface or else one day you will become a volcano and probably end up in a straight jacket. Adult has been making mizik since 1998, and although their sound or ideas haven't changed much, their unique wavelengths have been embedded as their own sound. Both straightforward and abstract at the same time, Adult creates chic, fast paced, electro that could make you dance, cringe, or say "fuck yeah" all at the same time. So answer that knock on your door and invite in "IFWWIWY". The anxiety you can never really express well comes in with some manic Adam Lee Miller keyboard and almost gabber beat that hits you in the temple right before Nicola Kuperus' shrill voice explains how we (ok I) feel about most people. As the video shows (it's on youtube) this looks like it is meant for your significant other but I think it is relevant to really anyone. I can't eat, breath, or sleep around a lot of people and honestly, couldn't say that to their faces. This song is a great muse for those of us who just cannot vocalize our grievances. The song title pretty much says it all (along with "Inclined To Vomit & You Don't Worry Enough" off of their new album Why Bother?) but at least they don't title their tracks Billy Corgan style.



Download >>I Feel Worse When I'm With You

Mr. Oizo - "Transexual" (Lorn Remix)


Mr.Oizo(below)
Lorn(right)




Quentin Dupieux has been in the game for a while now, most noticeably from that 1999 gem "Flat Beat". Ok so you don't recognize the title but you'd probably recognize the song. Look it up, we can't be your daddy for everything. Enough history, "Transexual" is the upcoming EP from Monsieur Oizo on Ed Banger Records and here is the title track all bass'd and lazer'd up just for you; complements of Lorn, who I've never even heard of before now. His talents seem to be emerging though, this track made me feel like I was back at the goth club, only not wearing fishnets or flailing furious fists at KMFDM. This song is pretty much all over the place with Benny Benassi type lady robot voice, hand clap snares, brown notes, and EDM organ breakbeat all in yo face. It almost seems German even though it's by a Frenchman, mixed by an American. Maybe the answer to life is France + USA = super German tranny goth.



Download >>Transexual (Lorn Remix)


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tokyo Police Club

"Box"






HA HA! Fooled ya! Not only are Tokyo Police Club not from Japan, but they’re not cops either! Good one boys! You got us! Hahahahaha! But all seriousness aside, the Canadian blog-favs are destined to set the hype machine in motion…. as soon as they decide to release a full album. With only one EP (A Lesson In Crime) under their belt, the boys have already generated a decent buzz. So to keep the masses hungry, they give us the Smith EP, a digital only release. The lead-off track “Box” makes self-deprecation sound like fun. “It comes easy to a scum-bag like me” they admit. Fair enough. The drummer lays down a strict, propulsive rhythm while the rest of the boys shake out your typical, partially distorted guitar noise. “Box”, being only a limited release, really only hints at the bands potential. Whether or not their yet to be released full-length will fully deliver on the promise of early material….only time will tell.



Download >>Box

Au Revoir Simone

“A Violent Yet Flammable World”






The drum intro on “A Violent Yet Flammable World” is the same one perfected by Motown, Phil Spector, and so many other acts from the 60’s—and it still works. It’s a comforting welcome mat that tells you you’re entering familiar territory. But instead of launching into bouncy girlish harmonies or typical funky girl-group fanfare, Au Revoir Simone opt for a darker soundscape. The song is colored in grayscale, a monochromatic wash of storm cloud synthesizers. Underneath it all, the same drums from the intro keeps steady throughout the entire song, accented by what sounds like fluttering hand-drums. The vocals are sung with idle simplicity and innocence, and the harmonies don’t come in until the end—all which is in direct contrast with what you’d expect from the intro. It’s like the element of surprise, but one where they whisper it instead of shout.



Download >>A Violent Yet Flammable World

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Elk City

"Cherries In The Snow"






There’s a newfound energy on Elk City’s upcoming release New Believers. If you let the band tell it, they’d give credit to the departure of lead guitarist/singer Peter Langland-Hassan. If that’s truly the case, then it’s very unfortunate that one band member would be capable of stifling so much creativity. The music now lies somewhere between the soft, acoustic sounds of Camera Obscura and the charging rhythms and harmonies of the latter day girl groups. You make think I’m crazy, but I can actually hear a little bit of The Cranberries in “Cherries In The Snow”, which in this case is not a criticism. In between the “Ooh la la” harmonies and oh-so-90’s-rock guitar solo lies an irresistible slice of head-nodding pop perfection. The lyrics are simple enough to get stuck on endless repeat within the inner recesses of your brain, but cryptic enough make you ponder what reference may be flying over your head. But let’s not think too hard about that, we wouldn’t want to ruin the fun.



Download >>Cherries In The Snow

Apparat

"Arcadia"






If it weren’t for the airy synths, soft falsetto, and distant angelic choir, I would have deemed “Arcadia” the next club banger. Strip it down to just the first few bars of the intro and you’re left with a potential radio-ready single. But with the other elements mixed in, it becomes the dream-like comedown after a long night of partying and substance abuse. It actually sounds like one of those parties where everyone dances is slow motion, fully bathed in blue light. The only thing keeping the song from floating away is the booming kick drum and clattering percussion. Coming off like a less erratic Thom Yorke, Apparat handles vocals on this and a handful of other tracks on the forthcoming Walls. The style suits the tracks well, keeping everything light and smooth to match the drifting background sounds awash in reverb. The only frustrating thing is deciding whether to pop and lock or sit back and relax.



Download >>Arcadia

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Rosebuds





Are you having a bad day? Not for long! (I just said that while running down the street and ripping some tear-away pants from my loins). Don’t be fooled by the euro-pop synth strings and happy high hat. Sleeping on top of that sugary sweet melody is an indie-pop dream song called "Get Up And Get Out" from the duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, otherwise known as The Rosebuds. Not since PB&J’s "Young Folks" has a song been so set for a dance club remix. "Get Up And Get Out" is deceivingly amazing. The song’s beat is incorrigible, and worthy of some private dance sessions. The lofty melody introduced in the beginning of the song, and what is ultimately the songs musical center piece, is accompanied by a verse/chorus/verse of jazzy acoustic chords and great lyrics. It’s awesome that a song about curing the poisonous parts of life with goodness and freedom inspires just that. "Get Up And Get Out" may seem like aspartame, but if one expands their pallet a little more, they'll see that it’s sweetness is homemade and pure.



Download >>Get Up And Get Out

Eluvium

"Prelude For Time Feelers"






Sometimes in life it seems as if before we have time to grasp what is happening at any given moment, that moment has ended and the next has already begun. We get so caught up in living for the moment that has yet to come we never have time to appreciate the moment that is now. Copia, Eluvium’s latest album seems to have the effect of slowing the world to near stop and allowing us to escape into a dreamlike atmosphere of thought, feeling and emotion. With “Prelude For Time Feelers” Matthew Cooper starts with a simple piano melody that instantly seems to slow your breathing and lovingly pull you from reality. While the simple circular piano melody runs throughout, string swells are gradually introduced and you begin to feel as if the music is empathetically reaching out to you, comforting you, much the same way a mother would rock her child to sleep in her arms. Turn off your phones, close your eyes and have a listen, “Prelude For Time Feelers” may just be what you need to transport you to that strange place between reality and dream, where neither seems to matter.



Download >>Prelude For Time Feelers

Monday, April 9, 2007

Art Brut

"Pump Up The Volume"






Being obsessed with pop culture is an interesting habit when you’re in a indie rock band. Especially when that bands entire goal is to infiltrate pop culture. Then again, maybe that’s not so strange at all, but for some reason it still seems like an odd fixation for Art Brut. They’ve openly declared their desire to be on the British television program Top of the Pops, and still, after the shows cancellation last year, are adamant about it. So it’s no surprise that “Pump Up The Volume” finds lead singer Eddie Argos more interested in a song on the radio than making out with his date. It’s a ridiculous notion for most, but expected behavior from these guys (and girl). The music consists of the usual hard rock riffs paired with Argos' awkward, half melodic speak-singing. It’s hard to believe Argos when he claims to be serious about a majority of the material since most of it borders on tongue-in-cheek, but in this case we’ll have to just take his word for it. I can only hope that whatever song it is on the radio that keeps him from getting play is really, really good.



Download >>Pump Up The Volume

Low

"Breaker"






When you’ve been around as long as Low have (fourteen years), you would think you’d run out of things to say. With the primary members being married (to each other) with children, one might assume that any fiery protest they may have had in them would have died with age. But obviously, as “Breaker” and the rest of the bands latest album Drums and Guns illustrates, assumptions aren’t always accurate. And while most protest songs attempt to channel their rebellious energy through the music, Low take a more subtle, effective route. The track uses a synthetic drum beat as the backbone, accented by heavy claps. Once the organ comes in, the sound of a mournful dirge becomes clear. The message is direct: “Our bodies break and the blood just spills and spills/But here we sit debating math/It’s just a shame, my hand just kills and kills/There’s got to be and end to that.” Whatever crimes are being committed, be it here or elsewhere in foreign countries, we’re all somehow responsible. It’s as if a lack of action, in effect, actively perpetuates the very injustices we’re ignoring. It’s heavy stuff, which of course no one wants to be bothered with. I guess we’ll have to leave it up to bands like Low to speak up every now and then and hope that someone’s actually willing to listen.



Download >>Breaker

Friday, April 6, 2007

Rufus Wainwright

"Going To A Town"






Rufus Wainwright has given up. You can hear it in his voice. While he always sung in that lazy drawn out style, you can’t help but notice how tired he sounds this time around. What once sounded slightly defiant has become fully defeated. “I’m going to a town that has already been burned down/I’m going to a place that has already been disgraced/…I’m so tired of America.” Wow. No more clever puns, no sarcastic commentary, no humor. Whatever hit Rufus, it hit hard. While I can’t say that everything the man has done has been completely uplifting, I’m still certain that the level of depression has increased some-fold. While Rufus sings in his typical elongated fashion, the music sweeps and swells acting as Wainwright’s emotional conscious, as if the weight was too much to carry in his own voice. I don’t normally encourage drinking, but you might need one after this.



Download >>Going To A Town

Studio

"No Comply"






Studio’s song “No Comply” begins in some casio-genius’ bedroom. Chalk full of cheap keyboard “Doo” voices and lo-fi beats. Though with each musical stanza, brilliant understated percussive noises emerge on top of a cruzie outer space bass line. The song is so deeply layered with sound you can spend multiple listens focusing on one or two lines a time and have a new experience with each one. With that in mind, “No Comply” is essentially in three or four different parts that snow ball into an ultimate crescendo filled with Duran Duran, LCD Soundsystem, Verve, and Daft Punk. I hesitate to orgasm over the danceable qualities of the song since it could be a little slow, depending on your taste. Though I’m sure some of our more visionary and dance inclined friends could be inspired to create some bitchin’ moves. In fact they should probably spend some time practicing ‘cause I’m starting to feel a little inspired myself.



Download >>No Comply

Digitalull: Your Weekly Electronic Fix

Zeigeist




Sweden, one part of the recent holy trinity of music (with France and laptops) has given birth to yet another gem with Zeigeist. In case you happened to get the leaked version of Silent Shout by The Knife last year, you might have noticed an extra track at the end named "F As In Knife". The song is actually named "Tar Heart" and sounding like The Knife's twin, your humble corespondent didn't even blink. Cut to a month or so later only to fnd out someone had tacked it on to get Zeigeist a little publicity. May many blessings come unto that person. The performance-art group includes (according to their myspace page): Maria N Styling & Costume Design// Per S Music & Production// Mattias B Words & Performance Consultant// Nicklas H Conceptual & Graphic Design// Andreas S Movies & Stage Design. So as you can see, the Zei are one half music and one half visual, much like The Knife, whose music is prerecorded for live shows. I have no idea if Zeigest does the same, but clearly the mission here is to infiltrate both the ears and eyes. Fortunately their music holds up to their counterparts, very very well. First thoughts would probably be 80's-electropop/electroclash, but I seriously dare you to only listen to these only once. Zeigeist manages to make dance songs with a great deal of sophistication mixed with playfulness and heart. Even with all of this excitement, they have yet to release a complete album and so, we bring you 3 of the 5 tracks released so far. One of my fellow Mizians says they are all about sex, which I could tell in a couple, but not all. Hi Devon.




"Dawn/Night" leads you down the bubbly road, needles you with synths and then you'll recognize the Knife-like vocals (only not all distorted to sound like a creepy guy). Yes they sound very feminine and very lovely, not only that, but for a synth-pop group they manage not to ever sound cheesy, but truly genuine. The battling female vocals and numerous hooks will leave you spell-bound and the haunting, reflective, almost sadness provokes a little spark for your dead battery.



Download >>Dawn/Night

"Bunny" steps it up a little bit, enough to get you to do the pogo, including some electro hand claps and (gasp) even some guitar riffs. Also in this recipe are some independent woman attitude, mid-80's keyboard and male harmonies popping in for a quick visit. Get off me muscle boy, I just want to dance ....SNAP. (or have a lot of sex with you later)



Download >>Bunny

"Chasing Your Shadow All Around" is the sad song. His voice makes you melt a little and realize you've probably been in the same stranded situation, well maybe except for the first line which I will just let you listen for yourself. "My body's flesh and gore" rings out repeatedly alluding to just being a piece of meat. Combined with the late night purple sky-foamy waves washing on your feet as you walk along the beach alone-background of battling vocals and music, you might just cry a little bit.



Download >>Chasing Your Shadow All Around


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Bikeride

"There's Something Odd About Elizabeth"/"She's Radioactive!"






What is it about catchy tunes that cause our morals to fall to the wayside? We’re willing to ignore terrible musicianship-- as long as it’s catchy. Lyrical content, a sense of purpose, thought provoking; none of these elements seem to matter when you can’t get that damn song out of your head. Luckily for you, Bikeride make catchy tunes that you can still feel good about the morning after. They often sing Beatlesque melodies (let’s be honest, who doesn’t these days?) over playfully experimental music, sometimes even with a touch of psychedelia as on “There’s Something Odd About Elizabeth”. There’s even a Theremin, adding to the creepy (in an Addams Family sort of way), low droning voices from the verse. “She’s Radioactive!” goes straight for the hip shake. Bouncy four-on-the-floor drums push the rhythm to the forefront over classic sounding sythns. It’s great material for a dance party, but more like the kind where the people don’t know how to dance. They even shout out directions at the end: “Put your hands on your hips!/Let your backbone slip!” Sure, it’s kind of cheesy. But we promise not to tell if you do it anyway.



Download >>There's Something Odd About Elizabeth

Download >>She's Radioactive!

Ben + Vesper

"Gardens Ahead"






The latest artist to join the Danielson family (which includes our good buddy Sufjan), are a duo by the name of Ben + Vesper. The (married) couple specializes in a unique brand of acoustic pop. Although lyrics like “The state of my plant life is my own business” and “Don’t try to divine my true thumbs color” lead me to believe there’s another substance influencing them besides pure talent (this is pure speculation by the way), I’m still willing to recommend them to fans of lush, folk influenced pop. The easy going “Gardens Ahead” from the bands EP More Questions makes use of care-free acoustic guitar, banjo, and some sort of chime that sounds like a star falling from the heavens. Ben sings with a slight drawl, à la Rufus Wainright, sometimes combining several words into one long sound. Vesper plays back-up, adding slightly unsettling harmonies which always manage to come together by the chorus. It all gently builds into a jangly, beautiful acoustic lull. It’s a good reminder of something most of us forget everyday: the art of relaxation.

UPDATE: I was informed by Vesper herself that no, they do not take partake in the use of illicit substances. They just really, really like plants.

No joke.



Download >>Gardens Ahead

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Santogold

"You'll Find A Way" (Switch & Graeme Sinden Remix)/"Creator"






It’s time to redefine “Bananas”. No, it aint got shit to do with produce. “You'll Find A Way” (Switch & Graeme Sinden Remix) is bananas. I listened to the track after it being suggested by of one of my fellow Mizians and promptly lost my shit. That loose, spacious, almost dub rhythm: bananas. The chains they substituted for a snare drum: bananas. The way they stretched the vocal over that sinister, bubbling synth: b-a-n-a-n-a-s. You get the point. There’s no two ways about it; I’m obsessed. I haven’t been able to digest any other music. It all seems pretty bland when compared with the few Santogold tracks I’ve managed to get my hands on. Check how she holds the tension in her voice, shouting warnings to “Watch out, run for cover!” while the beat plays it cool, executing equally measured claps and kicks before erupting into the aforementioned freak-out. It was the first moment of the year where my jaw literally dropped. Imagine my surprise when I came across the equally hot “Creator” after listening to some not-so-hot material from her previous full band effort. Imagine my face when I heard that bird-call vocal intro over sick drum rhythms and a queasy, wobbling synth line. Two shits lost in one day. I’m hesitant to make the obvious reference to M.I.A. because I think she deserves better, but it’s probably the closest comparison. Overreaching statement: I highly doubt there will be anything as exciting as Santogold in ‘07. Typical blog hype? Maybe, but you’d be silly not to see for yourself.



Download >>You'll Find A Way (Switch & Graeme Sinden Remix)

Download >>Creator

The Electric Soft Parade

"Woken By A Kiss"






There’s a weird, comforting feeling I get from the fuzzed-out shoegaze sound of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Maybe it’s the way the sound fills the space, leaving no silence to hide in. Or maybe it’s the way all the elements bleed into one amorphous river of noise that’s somehow loud and soothing at the same time. Whatever it is, it’s always nice to hear an updated version done well. If ESP’s entire album copied the sound of “Woken By A Kiss”, they’d easily be written off as characterless copy cats. But since it’s a one-off, it simply works as a genre exercise. Luckily the band holds off on the fuzz long enough to introduce soft, distant piano trills in between verses. Once they pass the bridge, they turn on the “rock” switch and bring the tempo to double speed. It's not going to shake any musical foundations, but it's nice enough in its own right.



Download >>Woken By A Kiss