Saturday, December 24, 2005 

new truckers song for christmas

While "A Blessing And A Curse" doesn't come out til April, the Drive-By Truckers have decided to leak one of their songs during the holiday season.

"Feb. 14" discusses another holiday - Valentine's Day - with the same lyric fervor and musical intensity that the band has become famous for with its past several albums: The Dirty South, Decoration Day, and Southern Rock Opera.

From the looks of the record site, Wes Freed did the artwork for the album again.
Thanks to Jenn and the Truckers for making our Christmas dreams of new music come true.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

top 10 tracks of 2005

As a way to recap the bands and albums and songs that I most enjoyed in 2005, here's links and downloads of ten of the songs released this year - the ones that stayed in the playlists and made it on several mix cds.


1. Black Mountain - Druganaut on their self-titled record.
[from Jagjaguwar Records]

-- sludgy, psychedelic music rarely sounded as good as this in 2005.

2. Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day) on their self-titled release. [from the blog Can You See The Sunset From the Southside?]

-- Totally Mind Blowing. Even Better Live. The first time I heard this was from Said the Gramaphone (which happened a lot this year).

3. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away from their self-titled debut (there's a pattern developing there)

-- after the carnival craziness of the opening track, the tamborine/bass churn up the real beginning to their fantastic first collection of songs.

4. Fruit Bats - Lives of Crime from the album, Spelled In Bones.
[SubPop's link to the download is broken. I've got it hosted now.]

--perfect pop.

5. My Morning Jacket - Off The Record off of Z.
[from the blog Hug Robot Radio (scroll down/YouSendIt link)]

-- this may not always be my favorite song from "Z" (that seems to change weekly) but it was one of the first new songs that I'd heard live (in concert in Athens) and recorded (when some tracks started leaking). A departure from the band that changed the ways I enjoyed jam rock and 'alternative' country music.

6. Spoon - I Summon You on their new record, Gimme Fiction.
[from the blog Unfinished Novellas]

-- The first time I really LISTENED to this song was on a great Pop77 mix about Annie Hall. I can't say enough good thing about Pop77. Always such great mix cds.

7. Okkervil River - Black from the album, Black Sheep Boy.
[from Jagjaguwar Records]

-- I think I heard this track before I heard "For Real" (.mov). Both are stunning. While that song sounds more dire and this one more up-beat, the lyrics here continue with the album's sordid tales.

8. Stars - Ageless Beauty (Most Serene Republic Remix) from their single, Ageless Beauty.

-- Listen to the original track first, then listen to the remix (keep reading for the link). Completely different from the original and both are just excellent. (scroll down to Music for Kids Who Can't Read Good's #7). Thanks again to saidthegramophone for the original download!

9. Stephen Malkmus - Baby C'mon on his record, Face the Truth.
[from Matador Records]

-- Tight, Loose, Good.

10. Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel The Illinoise from his LP, Illinois.
[from the blog The Big Ticket]

-- This is epic, lush, and other more grandeous adjectives. The record is one of the most blogged and loved and hated.

11. The Black Angels - Black Grease from their new self-titled EP. ($4!!!!!)
[from the band's website; the DJs at KEXP led me to this one]

-- Not a whole lot of press about the band, but when they release a full-length, beware the onslaught on bandwidth....The EP's tracks deliver freight-train level intensity.

Also check out You Ain't No Picasso's 12 Days of Mixmas. It's nice.

Thanks also to Aquarium Drunkard for the plug last week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

finding meaning in physics

The Chapel Hill music scene brings thoughts of Ben Folds or superchunk or Merge Records. However, there's an increasing popularity (at least in the minutae of the indie-blogosphere) for bands associated with bu hanan records. The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (he wrote 156 episodes, Dude, bulk of the series) and now The Physics of Meaning (from Go Machine's Daniel Hart).

Said the Gramophone had a mini review and two tracks up on Monday. ("Down at Columbia and Cameron" & "Manhattan Is An Island") Bu Hanan has some more tracks ("Small Towns and Invisible People" & "Oregon, My Only True Friend").

After checking out there one-sheet, they also have as recommended listening "Bigger Cities, Thicker Doors". It starts in Death Cab land but moves into Arcade Fire territory. Fans of the Sufjan Stevens, Final Fantasy and the aforementioned groups should enjoy this. Stringed Instruments abound...Its all warm and deliciously pleasing. Download it now.

The last track on the album, "A Slowly Tilting Planet," is a bit more experimental and noisy in the vein of Grandaddy or the new album by The Fiery Furnaces (for the grandma-esque bit). The lyrics are very interpersonal and introspective but the music is moving towards the far-out + a xylophone. Download it now.

Vinyl Mine and The Oak Room were one of the first to talk about this band. (The later has some demos of the album available too). Somewhere Cold has a great recent review of the album. There's also some hot and heavy Myspace streaming action.

"So, what makes the Physics of Meaning's self-titled debut such a great album? Could it be the appearances of such friends as Dale Baker (Sixpence None the Richer), Heather McEntire (Bellafea), Anne Polesnak (Utah!), Wendy Spitzer (Eyes to Space), labelmate David Karsten Daniels, Wes Phillips (The Rosebuds, Ticonderoga) and the superb mastering abilities of Chris Colbert (Pedro the Lion, Summer Hymns, Elf Power)?" - from Phony Nowhere.

The next big thing? We can only hope... (Arcade Fire > Wolf Parade > Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! > The Light Footwork > The Physics of Meaning)?!?!

Purchase the Album from Bu Hanan records. ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 

zombie. whiskey. rock.

Those words seem to pop up in most any review for The Drones, an Australian band that makes really intense records - like wailing and gnashing of teeth but in a good way.

The band was nominated for The J Award (Australian album of the year) this year. (They did not win...)

The last track on this album "This Time" is a booze-fueled train of musicthat picks up speed and takes the listener on an epic journey of sound. Download "This Time."

Pitchfork reviewed the album "Wait Long By the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By" today. They gave it an 8.3 and a Recommended Music endorsement.

Also online - Download the first track from the album, Shark Fin Blues, from Moebius Rex's blog. Several live tracks and radio sessions are available from the band's site. There's also a video (.wmv) of Shark Fin Blues.

Purchase The Drones' music.

Recommended If You Like (RIYL): Exile on Main St., Gun Club, The Drive By-Truckers, drunk guitar sex, not eating at Outback.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 

new order in athens

Vigilantes of Love's early songs were a large part of my highschool experience. I picked up a compilation of their first albums in early 1997, V.O.L. They had a kind of rootsy jangle to their music (r.e.m.-esque) and vivid, heart-felt lyrics. Also, slightly fuzzy and country - this was sort of my version of Uncle Tupelo in the early/mid-90s.

The following tracks are from the V.O.L. compilation of their first four albums and four previously unreleased songs recorded at John Keane's studios. Struggleville is from the 1994 album "Welcome to Struggleville". And You Drown is one of the unreleased tracks.

Bill Mallonee was the Jeff Tweedy of the band (well, there was never much of a Jay Farrar to compete with/play off of). Bill continues to perform and record. Although I'm less familiar with his more recent work, its more informed by the Beatles than say Neil Young.

Pastemusic has several of these current songs available for download and his more recent albums for purchase.

Two of group's concerts are available at the Internet Archive.