Thursday, November 30, 2006

Patrick Watson...

More songwriting excellence from the great country to our north. I believe that Patrick Watson is from Montreal and if you buy into the idea that that city produces a specific sound (i.e. the recorded output of Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, etc.) then Watson is part and parccel of that aesthetic. His songs are big epic sweeping things that unfold slowly as they metaphorize from small innocent kernels of struggline notes into brooding enveloping sweeping winged birds of prey. But nice. He sounds at times a bit like Chris Martin but don't hold that against him, the songs are excellent. He's one to watch in 2007.

2 songs from Mr. Watson:

Luscious Life


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


What's .de stand for? I think it's Denmark. I may be coming off like an ignorant American but I'm really not sure. My other stab would be...hmm I'm not even sure. I think it's Denmark. So, therefore, for the purposes of this post I'm going to tell you that Sometree is from Denmark and I'm sure someone will gleefully correct me if I'm wrong. Whatever the land of origin may be the soil certainly seems to grow strong guitar pop. Sometree has a dark edge that reminds me for some reason of The Blue Nile (which is a band about as far away from guitar based pop as I can conjure). I think it's the swirling lilt of the vocals, maybe the way the melody floats on a bed of rhythm guitar. Good song.

from the 2006 album Bending The Willows:

Hands And Arrows

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Special...

Well this new blogger interface pretty much sucks. Thanks google. Despite my usual warm reception to the array of Google applications I've now tried to post to Bars & Guitars 3 times and have lost the post each time. Believe me when I say that what I wrote last time was really witty and endearing and you would've loved it had it not been cast out into the hard cold barren tundra of lost bytes.

I believe I started with some lame excuses about my not having posted for awhile. Trust me when I say that the excuses were lame, but more or less they were as follows:

1) work busy
2) Birthday Party = very much bad headache and inability to do much more than breathe for about 48 hours. I now understand why all that stuff is illegal, though the hot tub was fun.

So I feel sufficiently guilty about my lack of posts that I'm prepared to offer you, my valuable reader, this offer. Here's a track list of a CD I recently used as a participant in the In ternational Mixtape Project, it's weird and disparate but it works (trust me):

Neu! - Fur Immer
Supervitesse - Mahogany
The Loving Sounds of Static (Junior Boys Remix) - The Mobius Band
Tough Kid - Honeycut
Al Green - Dr. Octagon
Missing Pieces - Voxtrot
Sour Shores - Portastatic
Grun Grun - Willard Grant Conspiracy + Telefunk
Western Biographic - Bound Stems
Landlord - Oakley Hall
Benson Harbor Blues - The Fiery Furnances
Another Excuse (DFA Remix) - Soulwax

It's oddball, but it works.

The first 10 people to email me their addresses will get a copy of the mix CD. I'll also throw something random into the envelope. I can't promise anything good or, really, anything completely hygienic, but it will at least be interesting.

So there you have it. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Fun...

I don't know if dude is a bad ass rapper or an amazing mimc or both:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Bicycles...

The goddamn Canadians need to relax with all the high quality pop music. I mean it's a subversive invasion of head nodding guitar theatrics, hand grenades of melody and high altitude strafings of harmony. The latest band to assault my ears is The Bicycles. I believe they're from Toronto, but it's all the same to me once you get north of Michigan. I think of The Bicycles as a hybrid of Architecture in Helsinki, Belle & Sebastian, and Zoloft. It's all about pop songs on MDMA, harmonies after a whippet, a summer day on a bicycle, holding the hand of your best girl or boy while hiding from a rain shower. Jangly and delicious it makes my sack relax. Let the pop waves run over you. The Bicycles album is The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly and can difficult to locate stateside. A recent resource I've been using to get the good stuff from north of Minnesota is Zunior, check it out.

3 songs from the fun loving Bicycles:

Paris Be Mine

Gotta Get Out

I Know We Have To Be Apart

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Panda Riot...

Okay, so lots of people send me links to their music. Sometimes that's really cool and sometimes it's a burden. I mean who am I to judge the quality of you squawking? So in truth most of the time I don't even bother listening. I don't have enough time or patience to sort through it all and, frankly, I'm not trying to be Joe Music Blogger and I don't want to be invited on Zune press junket or make money from advertising or make money selling links or songs or anything. I just want to tell you, dear reader, about the music I like and why and get some free Cds out of the deal. My aspirations are low. I already have a life.

So don't ask me why I clicked on the links in the email from Panda Riot. I don't know why I did because I don't like the name and the website comes up all funky in my browser with sentences running all over themselves causing me to squint and rub my eyes and wonder if I'm having the syntactical equivalent of an acid flashback. But click I did and the results of that lone click are pretty good. I'd describe Panda Riot as being of the shoe gaze family: what sounds to me like programmed beats, layers of fuzz heavy guitars, lilting lovely female vocals.

Check out: She Dares All Things

It's good enough to make me wonder how many good songs I've sent to the trash without knowing it.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I've been in hiding at least that's what I call a four day bender to celebrate the recent realignment of our country from red faced anger, fear mongering and divisiveness to a more moderate form of corporate profiteering and me-first-ism. But anyway I'm back and aside from a few scratches and bruises that I don't remember getting I'm ready to talk about music. Today I'll talk about new wave music and how Voxtrot does such a good mimicry of "Fire In Cairo", "Killing An Arab" era Cure. It's wide eyed brighly produced recollections of music that's fallen out of favor. Voxtrot plays what I would call a feel good brand of mope pop in vein of Belle & Sebastion, The Smiths, The Cure. A mix of jangly guitars, light keyboards and slightly out of key vocals that carry a certain charm. It's good listening just like Hormel Chili is good eatin'.

1 song from Voxtrot's 2005 Raised By Wolves EP:

Missing Pieces

All Voxtrot's output is available on iTunes. If you're so inclined.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote Today...

Do what's right. Vote your conscience, not your pocket book or your biases. Vote with a clear head and good reason. Remove your blinders and strip bare the illusions that have been perpetrated upon all of us for too many years. Take control of this hurtling fevered train, coax it to a reasoned throttle. Let's make this country true and hopeful again.

Go to The Dust Congress and watch the video.

Here we go. We'll listen to music tomorrow.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oakley Hall...

Oakley Hall's recent record (their 2nd) Second Guessing is just flat out good. It took me awhile to really appreciate but it's good. Listening to it on the ferry today (yes, I ride a ferry to work) I was struck by how unfair it is that they're overshadowed by the Drive By Truckers or even by My Morning Jacket because they're every lick as good. This record has been flat out slept on by too many hipsters and even too many lovers of the alt country. Ignore it no more my friends, embrace it, live it, listen to it.

Here's my favorite:


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Just Made Me Smile...

when most I needed it: