Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Live : Holy Ghost!

Aaaaaaaand we're back. My apologies for the unplanned hiatus--sometimes life happens--but what better way to get the ball rolling again than with a ticket giveaway? Huzzah.

Tomorrow night one of New York's finest, Holy Ghost!, will be hitting Dallas, bringing their insanely catchy electro-pop hooks to the Prophet Bar. Though I've never seen them live myself, I've heard that their show is a rollicking good time, and you can bet I'll be there dancing my butt off. If you'd like to join me, either buy tickets HERE, or Like Us on Facebook and follow the directions on our most recent status to be entered to win a pair of tickets (courtesy of our friends at Tactics Productions)! Until the show, groove out to their latest single, I Wanted To Tell Her, a cover of the 1983 Ministry song of the same name, featuring fellow DFA-ers Nancy Whang and The Juan MacLean. Released just last week, the song is a delightfully over-the-top, synthy throwback gem. Really, it doesn't get much more fun than this.

I Wanted To Tell Her - Holy Ghost!


And because you can never go wrong with an RAC Remix, ever:
Static On The Wire (RAC Remix) - Holy Ghost!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

No Place Like Home

Florian Rainer

Chicago's musical wizard Mike Kinsella is back with a new full-length record, continuing his solo endeavors as Owen. Ghost Town, out today on Polyvinyl, is the singer-songwriter's sixth studio album. It expands on the new territory and expanded sound introduced in 2009's New Leaves. Owen looks to an upbeat and pop-centric direction, and it definitely feels more polished this time around. It still retains the overall mentality of what Kinsella's been doing as Owen since 2001, which translates to: It sounds damn good.

No Place Like Home highlights Owen's knack for beautiful instrumentation and witty lyrics. The track feels so familiar even as it displays such a different style for Kinsella, which is what I find so charming. There's a lot going on musically for an artist I normally consider to be pretty bare boned when it comes to his songwriting. The song feels a lot fuller than past efforts with a lot more to offer than anything on New Leaves. Once the electric guitar kicks in toward the end, it's impossible to mistake the track for anything but one from Owen. It's awesome to see the evolution of an artist, especially when it can sound like this.

Listen to No Place Like Home and be sure to buy Ghost Town. You can even do it in person on Thursday night as Mike will be performing at Hailey's in Denton.

No Place Like Home by Polyvinyl Records

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Verdis Quo

Takun Williams

FINALLY! I've been waiting for this day for a long long time, much akin to how I felt in regards to the Monsieur Adi song we posted a few weeks back. Today finally marks the official release of Cat Covers Vol. 1, a project started by Angel Riba, known professionally as CatComplex. Riba sought to promote the musical talent of his native Barcelona by providing them with an outlet through which they could showcase their skill. Cat Covers Vol. 1 is the result of this. It sees 13 artists re-interpreting Daft Punk's classic Discovery, to various degrees of success.

The Amplid cover of Veridis Quo (spelled Verdis Quo on the tracklist--not sure if this is a typo or intentional) is by far and away the best track on the album, and by extension possibly one of the best tracks of the year. The Amplid take one of Daft Punk's most subtle songs and mercilessly throttle it. Using the original piece as a reference rather than a template, the Amplid turn the track up to 11 (dare I say 12), and transform it into a commanding, stomping, electro tour-de-force. This is, quite simply, an absolute banger. Whereas many of the covers on the CD fall short, with this reinterpretation the Amplid prove that they alone could carry the future of the Barcelona music scene on their backs. It is that good.

The entire Cat Covers album is being graciously offered for free download here. Get the Amplid track below, and be sure to download the rest of the CD, it's worth the space on your hard drive. Viva Barcelona.

Verdis Quo (Daft Punk Cover) - The Amplid [MP3]

*Big thanks to the boys at Tracasseur who sent us these tracks (and the Adi one, for that matter) way back when. They're killer, be sure to show some love.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dreamers

I will wake you in the morning.

Theo Gosselin

Believe it or not, there's a certain 'sound' that I try to focus on with this blog. Yeah, sometimes we deviate--we throw in some disco, post-emo (hey Russ), or experimental to keep things interesting, but generally speaking, my goal is to provide you guys with a steady supply of feel-good, melodic pop for the whole family to enjoy. Savoir Adore are a quintessential embodiment of that sound. Their latest single, Dreamers, is about as perfect as it gets in my book. With male-female vocal harmony, electronic accents, sweet and simple lyrics , and a chorus so unabashedly uplifting it deserves one of those hands-in-the-air type moments, Dreamers gives me that incomparable warm and fuzzy feeling that only great pop music can. Here's your daily dose of cliché: I adore Savoir Adore.

The Dreamers 7" is coming out on Neon Gold (who seriously, seriously have this power pop thing in the bag) on 11/11/11. Make a wish.

Dreamers - Savoir Adore [MP3]

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Magic

Ashley Lande Brown

What is a J Paul Getto? A funkless disco slum? Or perhaps some sort of concentration camp where those with no groove are relegated?

Whatever the case, Tony Saputo (formerly 1/2 of the massive Swivel Hips) and Maurice Tamraz always bring the goods. With their tracks caned by everyone from MSTRKRFT to Armand van Helden, this duo is bringing back that classic pumping disco sound, recalling the days of house music at its finest. [Something you probably didn't know - Tony was one of the masterminds behind Felix da Housecat's groundbreaking remix of Nina Simone's Sinnerman.

For you Dallas heads, they'll be playing the free Oak Lawn Halloween Party next weekend - don't sleep.

Check out their latest banger, Magic, available now on Beatport.
J PAUL GETTO - Magic (Soundcloud 128kbps Edit) ***Out October 17*** by J Paul Getto

Also check out an excellent Louis La Roche remix.
LOUIS LA ROCHE - The Wall (J Paul Getto Remix) OUT NOW ON BEATPORT by J Paul Getto

Monday, October 24, 2011

Always On The Run (Peter & The Magician Remix)

Julian Bialowas

My future husband released an EP today.

Well...this is only a half-truth. The EP was only released in France and who knows what other European countries. We Americans have to wait. Merde.

Anyway, when I can actually get my virtual hands on it is irrelevant, let's talk details. The EP features several remixes of Yuksek's latest single, Always On The Run. One such remix is by Peter & The Magician. So, to clarify: This is a Peter & The Magician Remix of a Yuksek original. If that registered clearly with you, at this point, all further information is irrelevant. Are you reading this anymore? No? Good. Surrender to the sound.

Yuksek "Always On The Run" (Peter & The Magician Remix) by TheMagician

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

POW!

Werner Amann

I know its Sunday which means I'm supposed to keep it chill, but this is BLOWING MY MIND RIGHT NOW YOU GUYS. Kris Menace, master of French House, and Rex The Dog, master of just about everything electro, have come together to create an uncharacteristic but exceptional 7 minute dance-track-of-the-year. Dark, pulsing, and at times absolutely explosive, the track name, POW! couldn't be more on the money. Can you imagine this in a club? I die.

POW! is available on Beatport now, and becomes available everywhere else tomorrow, 10/24.

Kris Menace & Rex The Dog - POW! by Your Army

Friday, October 21, 2011

Let's All Chant (DatA Remix)

The Acid Messiah, by Craig Redman

I've been meaning to post this song for literally ten months or so, and never had a 'good' time. It's one of my ultimate pump-up songs; I usually listen to it towards the middle-end of a run for that extra oomph. At the very least, it always makes me smile. Today's my birthday, so if there's ever a good time to sneak in some 'extra oomph,' it's this one.

DatA's remix of Michael Zager Band's iconic (albeit somewhat ridiculous) Let's All Chant is nothing but fun. It's over-the-top, flashy, and yet irresistibly catchy in a way that only the most amazing disco can be. DatA announced awhile back on his Facebook that a comeback is imminent, so stay tuned. The world could always use a little more of this type of unapologetic disco bombast.

Let's All Chant (DatA Remix) - Michael Zager Band [MP3]

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eyes On You

Janelle Dry

Hello everyone and welcome to this month's edition of
"Don't Judge a Band By Its Name."

When I first heard mention of the transatlantic duo Pandr Eyez my immediate reaction was, "not another damn panda band."
It's not that I dislike pandas. As a matter of fact I find them quite adorable. (And please, no one throw out the 'they're actually ferocious" argument because two summers ago I lived in China, and they have reserves whereabouts you can actually pay money to just sit there and HUG a panda. Like, cradle it in your arms and cuddle until you all but die from cuteness. Seriously.) But think about it, how many current acts have 'panda' in their name? A quick search on Hypem reveals: Too fucking many.

But as it turns out, Pandr Eyez are not just another damn panda band. The name is in fact a play on Pander (I think), which is ok in my book. And even if it wasn't, their music is so good that all trespasses made on the account of hackneyed names would have to be forgiven. Read: Pandr Eyez are damn good. In a smooth, R&B meets dubstep meets fuzz meets itty bitty glimmers of pop kind of fashion. But really I should have expected nothing less, this is a Cascine release after all.

Pandr Eyez' debut EP, Eyes On You will be released October 25th (next week!). Keep things groovy until then with this free download of the title track.

Eyes On You - Pandr Eyez [MP3]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crate Diggin' : Shep Pettibone

Here is the first of what hopefully becomes a semi-regular series, where we show love to those grinding long before the internets, names that might have slipped through the cracks between today's Tweets and tomorrow's Hype Machine mashups: This is CRATE DIGGIN'.

Shep Pettibone. You have either never heard the name or are rolling on the floor laughing at me for posting this here.
In a nutshell, Pettibone was the sound of 80s pop/club music (think epic snares) and the mastermind behind countless artists you would shell out $65 to see perform without blinking. Heard of any of these?
Madonna - Vogue
Janet Jackson - The Pleasure Principle
Pet Shop Boys - Heart
Duran Duran - I Don't Want Your Love


Pettibone's extensive discography probably deserves a blog on its own (check out his indulgent 15 minute mix of Vogue) but I will leave you with a couple personal favorites and an amazing mixtape from 1983.

Janet Jackson - The Pleasure Principle (Shep Pettibone Vocal Mix)


BB&Q Band - Dreamer (Shep's Dream Version)


Shep Pettibone Mastermix on New York City: Kiss FM 98.7 WRKS (Part 1)
Shep Pettibone Mastermix Part1 by nuyori

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cadillac Makes You Feel High

Luis Morais

Ladies and gentlemen: Australia is the answer.
But you already knew that.

The latest exciting export from the land down under is a group by the name of Cadillac. (Enter obligatory "no, not the car" quip here.) What started as an 'unadulterated disco' project a few years back has along the way evolved into a full-fledged rock band, with influences spanning their disco roots to whimsical balearic pop. They've recently signed with Sydney-based label Future Classic, which also claims the likes of Flight Facilities and Poolside in their roster, so needless to say they're in good company. Cadillac's debut self-titled EP is set to be released on October 21st, and features seven upbeat, grooving pop tracks augmented by sweet tenor vocals and soaked in sunny nostalgia. It's a keeper. We're knee deep in fall and headed fast for the what is potentially going to be one of the worst winters of recent memory, get into Cadillac now for summery songs guaranteed to keep you shining on in the months ahead.

From their upcoming album, a remix by Marcos Cabral and an original, free courtesy of the label.

Make You Feel (Marcos Cabral Remix) - Cadillac [MP3]

Cadillac - High For Me by future classic

Bonus:
Cadillac reminds me a lot of Miami Horror. Fitting then that there's this remix.
Summer Sun (Cadillac Remix) - Miami Horror [MP3]

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Monday, October 17, 2011

212

Kristian Hammerstad

For today's post, I was debating between a sweet, melodic little indie number or Azealia Banks' ferocious 212. I decided on the latter; why not get this week started with a BANG.

In a word, Azealia Banks is fierce. She samples huge house tracks, snarls obscenities, and oh did I mention, is only 19. I'm tempted throw up the lyrics of this spitfire, stomping number to illustrate my point, but my dad reads this blog and I don't want him to have another aneurism. (Hey Dad, don't download this song.) And besides, I should probably just let this one speak for itself. Azealia doesn't need my (or anyone else's) help to get her point across.

212 - Azealia Banks [MP3]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

After You're Gone (The Magician Remix)

Takun Williams

In lieu of a Comedown Sunday, here's some sobering news.
As you undoubtedly know, the Magician is one of my favorite acts. Really he's discos of-the-moment golden boy, with a slew of successful international tour dates, and each successive new release supported by tastemakers the world over. That's why this update, from his Facebook page, comes as a particular shock.

Hello,
Yesterday around 2.30 am at Club Bonsoir in Bern/Swiss, The Magician was playing and has been attacked by someone with a chemical liquid that he threw to his face. 
He had to stop playing and went to the hospital at emergencies. He is better now.
To all the people who were there yesterday, if you have any information, video, pics,.. Can you please send them to info@the-magician.be 
To help local Police, we want to find this person and punish as appropriate.
Thank you.

Incomprehensible. Incorrigible. Just wow.
Here's to hoping Music Terrorism doesn't become a 'thing'. There's enough shit in this world already, the last thing we need is sabotage of art as well.

Luckily, the man is ok, which means we have more fabulous work to look forward to. Check out his most recent Tyson remix to see what I mean:

After You're Gone (The Magician Remix) - Tyson

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cyclist

(I have been just WAITING for an excuse to use this picture. -M)

Who is Cyclist?
At a time when the word "disco" is thrown about and abused like a $10 Peruvian prostitute, he is one of a select few committed to keeping the sound funky and authentic. His EP just dropped on Homebreakin Records (currently #5 on the Juno nudisco charts) and has been popping up in dj playlists from Treasure Fingers to The C90s to DCUP.

I would bet you a toonie - our $2 Canadian coin - that your MP3 listening device does not host any tunes sounding like the man born Mark Penner. While the former Winnipeger-cum-Vancouverite is turning heads with this release, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for his remix of Gigamesh - People dropping soon.

Check out the delicious Point Blank and the epic Hemingway remix of Bass Face. [In the interests of full disclosure, I did a remix on this EP too] And buy his EP here.

05 Point Blank by Cyclist

08 Bass Face (Hemingway Remix) by Cyclist

Bonus MP3: Salome (Cyclist Remix) - Parallels

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Coconino

love, we don't talk anymore
why can't someone listen?

Photo by Travis Summer Deuel

Have you ever fallen in love with a band? It's a lot like falling in love with a person. First, there's trepidation. Is this moving too fast? Is this really the greatest thing to ever happen to me? Then, there's infatuation. Your pulse quickens when your iPod shuffles to a song. You exhaust their album on repeat, unable to get enough. And then finally, there's the warm comfort of familiarity, of knowing the music inside and out: every lyric, every tempo change, every chord.

I've fallen in love with Ennui. The Pittsburgh trio take their name from the French word describing a feeling of weariness and boredom, yet their brand of languid pop maintains a dreamy hopefulness--a lighthouse in the fog. Their lush sound is characterized by aquatic synths, fuzzy vocals, and longing lyrics tinged with nostalgia. Essentially they are the embodiment of all that is good in the dream-pop genre, and yet, for whatever reason have remained criminally under-appreciated. The release of their sophomore album, Formation of Tides, passed in April with merely a ripple of recognition. It's a shame, because the record is a luscious, atmospheric journey--its themes of temporal melancholy enrobed in a sanguine, silver lining--and deserves higher accolades. Take the record's standout single, Coconino: a commencement of regret, Love, we don't talk anymore, followed by a gradual uplift by gilding keys and soaring synths, and finally an optimistic end, Young girl, up to my window.. Beautiful, ethereal, and relatable? Yeah, it's love.

You can buy Formation of Tides on Ennui's Bandcamp. I highly suggest you do.

Coconino


Bonus: Balance and Motion

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nights Like This

Photo by Werner Amann

In case you haven't noticed, I have a soft spot for pop music. OK, more than a spot. More like every piece of me revels in the neon glow of the world's greatest (or at least most accessible) genre. Given that, to say I love Icona Pop would be an understatement. The Swedish girl duo has the over-the-top production, irresistible hooks, and memorable choruses of commercially successful pop music down to a near science. Their Nights Like This EP (which drops October 10) is a tour-de-force of shimmering refrains, sparking cadences, and those stomping percussion. And yet despite the shiny package, it doesn't feel like a guilty pleasure. The songs have enough quirky synthwork and indie sensibilities to hold their own against other 'blog darling' electronica bands. What sets them apart from the former, though, is their sound's mainstream marketability. I'll be pretty flabbergasted if these girls don't end up all over the radio. At the very least, they deserve it.

Case in Point:
Nights Like This by Icona Pop

And if you're the type that needs visual proof as well, check out their just-released video for their single Sun Goes Down, produced with help from The Knocks.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Comedown Sunday: All Again

Installation by Robert Montgomery

I'm well aware it's no longer Sunday, but it's Monday, which rhymes with Sunday--and not just a partial rhyme either--so no one better huff. Truth is, I fell asleep before I had a chance to post last night; but the thought was there.

This week's Comedown Sunday tune comes from Hard Mix (real name Noah Daniel Smith), a South Carolina-based producer who's smooth, sample-heavy beats have been earning him accolades among the Pitchfork types and electronica purists alike. Having been on the radar for a few years, I assumed he was a seasoned veteran. Surprise! Turns out he's barely legal, with his 21st birthday passing just last week. Nothing like learning a favorite artist is a year your junior to make you feel seriously under-accomplished. In celebration, he released the song All Again , a hazy little number that retains a fluid languor in spite of rattling percussion and staccato marimbas. Pretty sexy stuff.

If you like what you hear, be sure to download his Defaults LP, which is available for FREE if you 'Like' his label, Dovecote Records' Facebook Page.

All Again - Hard Mix

Friday, October 7, 2011

Faith Pt. 2 Featuring Drake

Photo by Dani Cardona

I may not know a lot about hip-hop, but I do know of a few artists who I feel can do no wrong whenever I hear one of their songs. In this case, it's K-OS, the best rapper to ever come out of Canada. Then again, there's that one dude who was on Degrassi who played the kid who ended up in a wheelchair (spoiler alert!). Yes, I'm talking about the one and only Drizzy Drake. And wouldn't you know it, he's featured on K-os' latest track! It could be the greatest Canadian hip-hop performance of all time. Then again, this is coming from a guy who just received a reissue of Penfold's Amateurs & Professionals in the mail.

Regardless of my naivety to the genre, Faith Pt. 2 Featuring Drake is an absolute killer song. K-os delivers some of his best work since 2005's The Joyful Rebellion, punching in some freaking awesome rhymes. Drake is back to what he's best at - rapping. There's no R&B business, auto-tuning or Lil' Wayne cameos, just Drizzy showcasing his raw talent. Take a listen for yourself.


Faith Pt. 2 (Feat. Drake) - K-OS

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The MAKEOVER

Painting by Gene Davis

What's good!
It's my first post on Loose L!ps and I'm geeked.
Instead of boring you with nonsense introductions let's get to it.

The MAKEOVER is two talented (and really nice) dudes from Toronto, Canada. Half the duo is Jeremy Glenn, whose voice and production you'd recognize from the lover's anthem New Life on Future Classic which everyone and their mom is playing. The other half is Todd-Rod Skimmins, and together these guys rock some epic future boogie that must be heard to be believed.

They've just finished their MAKEOVER mixtape: a compilation of TEN (count'em!) re-works/covers of this year's top finalists for Canada's Polaris Music Prize, which is awarded to the best Canadian album of the year (spoiler: Arcade Fire won). If you're in Toronto you can catch them at the MAKEOVER POLARIS MIXTAPE PARTY this Friday - their live show jams out!

[Stream] Austra MAKEOVER
The MAKEOVER - Shoot The Water (Austra MAKEOVER) by The MAKEOVER

[Stream] Arcade Fire MAKEOVER:
The MAKEOVER - Sprawl Y'All (Arcade Fire MAKEOVER) by The MAKEOVER

[MP3]
Tightrope (Janelle Monae MAKEOVER) - The MAKEOVER


Obligatory Self-Introduction: I play records and make a little music. With my label buddy Cyclist (Homebreakin Records shout out) we do a monthly party and mixtape called Daft Funk. If you're dying to know more, like the color of my hair after I shower or my favorite toast spread, click here or here. Or you're in Vancouver, come and catch me opening for Fred Falke and Lifelike this Sunday at the Waldorf and you can hold my hair while I throw up over the toilet at 3:45am.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Comedown Sunday: Suicide Dream 3 (Solar Bears Remix)

Photo by NASA

Solar Bears make their second Comedown Sunday appearance with their achingly beautiful remix of How To Dress Well's Suicide Dream 3. Vocoders, sustained strings, and minimal bass take the original from orchestral filler piece to a cosmic epiphany. Deliberate and haunting, it feels like floating prostrate through space, gliding listlessly towards infinity.

Suicide Dream 3 (Solar Bears Remix) - How To Dress Well

Friday, September 30, 2011

Crater (Mogwai Remix)

Photo by Vincent Fournier

It's time for another rare installment of "Russ finds an electronic track he absolutely loves," and I can say that it's more along the lines of enamoured and obsessed than it is love. The subject of this week's endearment is a remix of a Laki Mera song called Crater. The Scottish electronica quartet's track was awesomely improved by fellow Glasgowians and one of my personal favorite bands, Mogwai.

The remix of Crater feels a little less spacey and much more haunting than its breezy, poppy predecessor. The song is easier to get transfixed while listening to, the first half's repeating, low, electronic drone sounds like something that would fit nicely on Mogwai's Mr. Beast. Still, the Scottish rockers left the basic feel of the song the same. Synths still bounce like shooting stars, resulting in something that might make M83's Anthony Gonzalez take note. The slowed down tempo works almost too well with Laki Mera's hypnotic female vocals. Mogwai took an impressive electronic pop track and turned it into something of pure bliss. Give it a listen, especially if you're not normally into electronic music. If you like it, make sure to buy Laki Mera's album The Proximity Effect (No, not the Nada Surf album!), which dropped last May on Just Music in the U.K.

Stream the song below, download the MP3 for free on Laki Mera's FACEBOOK.

Laki Mera - Crater (Mogwai Remix) by Just Music label

And here's the original, for reference
Crater by Laki Mera

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FM (Tensnake Remix)

Let's leave tonight.

Photo by Lina Scheynius

Question: Does it get much sexier than Junior Boys?
Answer: Not really, no.

Junior Boys played in Dallas tonight. If this was the first you've heard, the bad news is you've missed it. The better news is you're in good company because I missed it too. But even better still: It turns out that not only is their music some of the sexiest on the planet (I know I keep dropping that adjective but there's really none better), it also provides a quality studying soundtrack. So while I sit here figurative-balls deep in the philosophical history of 19th-century Europe, at least my ears are enjoying themselves. Yours will too.

Check out this old but killer Tensnake remix of FM. True to form, it's dark and broody like, with more than a dollop of sexual tension. FM is off their 2006 sophomore--and my favorite--Junior Boys album So This Is Goodbye. They've got a new album out though, and are currently on a huge world tour in support of it. Don't repeat my mistakes, be sure to see them when they come through your city; check dates here.

FM (Tensnake Remix) - Junior Boys

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Comedown Sunday: Orange U High?

Painting by Rebecca Bird

It's backkkk.
For those of you new to the blog, welcome to Comedown Sunday. It's a weekly shtick featuring music to help combat your hangover, on the day when you need it most. This week we have the smoky and sultry Orange U High? from Orlando-based experimental hip hop outfit Great People (who are apparently friends of a friend; thanks for the introduction Rachael). The kinda cheesy play on words is forgiven in light of the smooth beats, sexy female chorus, and ever reliable stoner rhymes. As we all [hopefully] know there's no better hangover cure than my girl mary jane, so this song is pretty pertinent.
Orange U High? You should be.

Orange U High? comes from the album Patchouli, which Great People self-released last month. You can download the single below, and buy the album at their bandcamp.

Orange U High? - Great People [MP3]


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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Real Green Aisles

I carved our names into a tree, I walked on decomposing leaves,
I walked upon a frozen sea, it's real as far as I can see.

Photo by Algo

I've been sitting on this gem from Real Estate for awhile, quietly reveling in the warm embrace of what is one of my favorite songs of the summer. The New Jersey trio craft just lovely, pastoral rock, and It's Real, the first single off their sophomore release Days, is a prime example. Dreamy weaving guitars, crisp tenor vocals, and a short but shining chorus are bundled together in a tight musical package that, despite its simplicity, feels expansive and transcendent.

It's Real - Real Estate


I finally felt the push to post It's Real in after Real Estate's second single, Green Aisles was released yesterday. If It's Real is a carefree summer revelry , Green Aisles is its wistful autumnal antiphon. Those pedal-enhanced guitars come into play again, this time with a languor that compliments the reflective, longing lyrics. This pristine pair of singles has me immensely excited for the Days release, slated for October 18th on Domino Records. You can pre-order it here.

Green Aisles - Real Estate

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Argument With Myself

More of a conversation, really

There has always been something special about Jens Lekman. It feels like I’ve listened to the Swede craft his indie pop masterpieces forever, and it’s hard to believe he’s only released two albums. Lekman’s musical career quickly ignited after his homemade CDRs began floating around at blinding speeds – and I can see why. It’s almost impossible not to find the singer-songwriter’s style endearing. Lekman croons like a wedding singer from the ‘50s, but draws on modern-day vocal icons like Stephin Merritt and Morrissey. Songs unfold through extremely witty lyrics, turning into stories of love in the cold, Swedish winter. His first release, 2004’s When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog, continues to keep its place as one of my all-time favorite records. With every song there’s something to be said, and the Swede knows exactly how to say it. Perhaps it’s because he’s got a surprisingly raging inner monologue?

An Argument With Myself, a cut off Lekman’s new similarly titled EP from Secretly Canadian, finds the singer at ends with his greatest critic of all – himself. It’s a schizophrenic, frantic song, but not because of the melody. “Shut up, no you shut up!” exclaims the 30 year old. Just try to not crack a smile as the conflict escalates. It takes a real talent to write a song, but even more so to make one feel so genuine. What Lekman reclaims here in An Argument With Myself is believability. Even though his last record was hailed as his best, 2008’s Night Falls over Kortedala just didn’t do it for me. The music was cool and all but I just didn’t believe anything he said. Fortunately with the new tune, I can truly see our dear friend beating himself up on the side of the street. Listen to An Argument With Myself and see it for yourself. Don’t forget to grab the EP over at Secretly Canadian Records.

An Argument With Myself - Jens Lekman

Hot Thought

Hey White Denim, I'm crushing. You fill that sexy-boys-making-sexy-garage-rock hole in my heart left so empty by the Strokes and all those other mid-naughties bands that are now well past their prime. Secondly, you're from Austin, so I feel some sort of kindred connect. And most importantly, your music is great. It's creative by accessible, the kind that could satisfy the heightened goûts of my snob elitist friends, while being catchy enough for my NPR-indie Dad to like. Hell, I'm even buying him the CD for Christmas. So needless to say I'd be totally ok with bringing you home. What's more, you're impossibly cool in a yeah-we're-trying-but-fuck-if-you-can-tell kind of way. For example, that B-Side you just released, Hot Thought? (It is quite.) It's all so easy breezy. But then what the hell, ya'll throw in some Autotune? I mean who do you think you are, Bon Iver?
But baby, it works.

Hot Thought - White Denim


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crème de la CREM : Volume 3

Bonjour!
Soo it's been a bit more than a month since the epic-ness that was Lollapalooza 2011, and I've been super busy with life.  I'm studying in Paris for the semester, and it hasn't been as easy as I expected.  The whole foreign-culture-different-language thing is quite an experience so far, but I'm making progress.  Anyway, I've been slacking hard on posting, so here are some recent favorites I listen to on the Metro every morning. 

Download All Tracks Via This: Zip Folder

This month is all about relaxed, catchy instrumentals.

Master and Student - Jogger

Kicking off with the LA duo Jogger, Master and Student shows how experimental electronic can still be catchy and quite melodic.  I also really enjoy their application of the guitar in their music, which is more evident in some of their other songs, especially Nephicide.  

Oyster Dreamland - Pogo

Next, let Pogo take you back to your childhood with one my favorite Disney remixes, Oyster Dreamland.  It's really amazing how he can piece together movie dialogue, music and sound effects to make a song truly representative of the film (in this case, Alice in Wonderland).

Ike's Mood I - Visioneers

Visioneers is a self-proclaimed "studio project" that infuses hip-hop and jazz into their songs.  I love the sound of these guys, do yourself a favor and download their album.  Great reworkings of classic hip-hop including The Pharcyde and Nas.

Gravitas - Little People

Little People is one of my favorites I've come across recently.  Defining himself as downtempo electronic, Little People creates appealing, electronic infused hip-hop beats that I can't stop listening to.  Gravitas is my favorite of his tracks, showcasing his sampling, electronic sounds with a killer drum/piano hook.

Blue Bossanova - Bossanova

Blue Bossanova is an overall phenomenal song.  Don't know much about the band Bossanova other than the hail from Vancouver.  Only one release so far to their name, but I love the guitar work.  Simple and repetitive riff with nice layering, it keeps me coming back again and again. 

Enjoy, I'll be coming back next month with a playlist Francais.   
Au revoir mes amis.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

So Free (Jensen Sportag Remix)

Hey Paula.

There's nothing to brighten the Monday blues quite like some Balearic beats1. Thank goodness for Jensen Sportag, who have recently provided us with a beautiful, rousing remix of Shine 2009's So Free, which features vocals by the one and only Paula Abdul. Two weeks ago darling Cascine celebrated their one-year birthday, and gave away this track as a reverse birthday present. A nice gesture from the nicest label ever. (Stop drooling, Mikayla.) The remix is killer, but little else can be expected from the Sportag boys, who are quickly rising to the top of my ones-to-watch heap.

So Free feat. Paula Abdul (Jensen Sportag Remix) - Shine 2009


And while we're on the subject of Cascine, be sure to get this remix signee Chad Valley did of Active Child's (feat. How To Dress Well) Playing House. It strips down the original, focusing on the inimitable vocals of Pat Grossi, which really didn't need all that bass-heavy accompaniment present in the original.

Playing House (Chad Valley Remix) - Active Child ft. How To Dress Well


1If you found the alliteration in that sentence to be so over-the-top you wanted to vomit, let it be known that you're in good company. I hate myself.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Changes

Collage by Ariel Chiesa

A new Twin Shadow track dropped on Thursday. Hallelujah. There's nothing in modern music quite like George Lewis Jr's croon. (That is, at least, until Bowie makes a comeback album.) Lewis' latest endeavor is a cover of the 80's Experimental Italo-Disco group Bagarre. Chris at Gorilla vs Bear was cool enough to forward along a Bagarre EP so I had something to compare the cover with, and all I can say is: wow. That Bagarre album is something else. Bordering the line between "this is really cool" and "I really need to be on drugs", its genius may be debatable but it's a total trip nonetheless. The Twin Shadow covers seem all the more brilliant having heard the originals; his ability to turn experimental disco dissonance into a timely, lively pop gem deserves some serious accolades.

Despite the out-there-nature, do make sure to check out Bagarre's Dirt Love 4'51. It may be a bit dated, but boy does it groove.

Changes - Twin Shadow


Dirty Love 4'51 - Bagarre


[via GvB]

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Same Mistake

Photo by Hannah Davis

I've definitely had my ups and downs with Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah over the years. I disagreed with the harsh critics of the band's sophomore effort, Some Loud Thunder, finding the album a fresh, new, good-sounding direction for the band. I'm sure it was hard being heralded as the "greatest unsigned indie rock band EVER." All that hype for CYHSY's second record was more of a shot in the foot for the band. Still, it was a great record with a lot of tracks that fell into more of a stripped down feel than the poppy, indie-rock gold the band shredded on '05's self-titled debut. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's third album, Hysterical, hit airwaves earlier this week (next week for us in the States), and I'd say four years has been kind to the Brooklynites. Well, at least for one song.

Album opener Same Mistake will quiet the Some Loud Thunder Negative Nancies - the uptempo, head-nodding riffs and snare hits are back. The band definitely taps into what threw them into the Internet music spotlight, and it ultimately works. The track is reminiscent of older songs such as In This Home on Ice. It's a nice way to wrap up the summer months as the blistering temperatures start to recede. Same Mistake is a breezy jam that complements the band's influences more than ever before. Alec Ousworth's vocals still sound like a mix of Dan Bejar and David Byrnem yodeling after a quick breath of helium. But in the case of this jam, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Listen to Same Mistake and make sure to buy the album if you like it!

[MP3] Same Mistake - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

[Stream]
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "Same Mistake" by GrillMarketing

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fire Fire Fire

Photo by Coley Brown

It's here.

It's here.

It's here.

To say that I have been waiting for this day would be an understatement.
Truth is, I've been biding my time since March, when I first heard two excerpts from Monsieur Adi's forthcoming Fire Fire Fire EP, to be released on Technofavrik, September 19th. The title track, Fire Fire Fire, is perhaps the most powerful, well-executed, and exciting French House track I've heard, well, since Daft Punk. I've said it then and I'll say it now : this song is fucking incredible. Those scaling, harmonized guitars. That commanding kick. The gorgeous, cascading string bridge two minutes in. Adi wears his influences on his sleeve but he does it so well that if I were Daft Punk, I would be proud; if not a bit nervous at the unrealized potential of this wunderkind.

This is it, guys. This is the future.

Monsieur Adi - Fire Fire Fire (Radio Edit) by Monsieur Adi

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

RIP DJ Mehdi

Photo by Karl Hab

News broke this morning that DJ Mehdi, the immensely talented French (via Tunisia) DJ/Producer responsible for some of the most rousing electronic music of our day, not to mention greatest DJ sets, passed away in an accident. Mehdi was one of my favorite musicians and one of the greatest DJ's I've ever had the pleasure of seeing live. He was full of energy, always with a goofy smile plastered on his face, and seems to have been--according to the outpouring by acquaintances in the wake of his death--a stand-up gentleman as well.
Mehdi, you will be missed.

Signatune (Thomas Bangalter Edit) - DJ Mehdi


Our hearts and thoughts go out to Medhi's family and friends, including his label, Ed Banger Records. Ed Banger embodies a musical 'family' perhaps more so than any collective I've ever come across, and this is no doubt a devastating loss for them. While living in Paris, I couldn't go to a single party or show featuring an Ed Banger artist without seeing the entire crew there to support. They are their own biggest fans, and most importantly each-others' biggest support group, as I'm sure anyone who knows or has seen them live can attest. Our best wishes go out to the label/family who, with last week's release of their Fall 2011 Delivery sampler, looked poised to dominate the dance music scene in the upcoming months. It's regrettable that their impending success be overshadowed by this tragedy, and we wish them strength and the best of luck.

ED REC FALL 2011 DELIVERY by edbangerrecords

P.S. Less than 5 days ago Mehdi released his 'Tunisian Summer Mix' via his blog on Cool Cats. Be sure to download what is regrettably his final mix.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swimmhaus Johannesburg (Star Slinger Remix)

isn't she precious?

Some facts:
- Swimmhaus Johannesburg is a song by Fixers. (Buy the original here.)
- Fixers are an Oxford-based psychedelic rock band.
- I initially wrote off Fixers based on singer Jack Goldstein's voice.
- It is one those nasal and high-pitched BIlly Corgan/whichever Gallagher sang-esque voices.
- Many people dig that kind of voice. I find it rather grating.
- I do, however, really dig Star Slinger.
- Star Slinger is essentially the MasterChef of remixes.
- Star Slinger remixed Swimmhaus Johannesburg.
- The remix has lots of swirling synths, plucky pseudo-strings, and deeeeep, warm bass.
- It is my new favorite thing.

So much for first impressions.

Swimmhaus Johannesburg (Star Slinger Remix) - Fixers

Friday, September 9, 2011

Between the Concrete & the Clouds

Photo by Werner Amann

Brooklyn's Kevin Devine has never quite gotten the credit he deserves. He's been churning out superb solo records since 2002, not to mention his work as frontman of the now-defunct Miracle of '86. The singer-songwriter's foray into a solo career has covered a lot of ground with a lot to sing about - including the death of his father and the ultimate demise of his band. Now, almost a decade later and six full-length records under his belt, Devine still isn't the household name he should be.

Next week's release finds Devine at the top of his game, resulting in some of his best songs to date. Between the Concrete & the Clouds, which happens to be the title track, is in contention for my favorite song of the summer. Devine has once again melded his brooding style of lyrics and verses with poppy, crescendo-laden choruses and bridges. The result is something that feels like you're being ripped apart while listening. As he's often likened to Elliott Smith, although a more upbeat version - I think it's an unfair comparison. Devine himself may cite the late indie-folk legend as a chief influence to his music, but tracks like this are proof the New Yorker is in a world of his own. Listen to Between the Concrete & Clouds and make sure to pre-order the album over at Favorite Gentlemen Recordings.

Between The Concrete & The Clouds - Kevin Devine

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Get Lost

Photo by Jeff Luker

I'm not usually one to post something after hearing it only once. Actually, I can't think of a single time I've done it. But I've got to make an exception with the latest output from Mark McGuire, the Cleveland based guitarist better known as one-third of the ambient rock trio Emeralds. He's preparing a new solo LP to be released September 27th, and the first excerpt from it, the title track Get Lost is as perfect as I could have hoped. A trepidatious start gives way to a swarm of fuzzy loops that swirl around each other until pointed strumming grabs the ambience by its shoulders and pulls it to standing attention, building to a swelling, swirling, resonating head before settling down to a twinkling end. If this is what getting lost feels like, I don't want to be found.

Get Lost - Mark McGuire

[via Pitchfork]

Previously: Mark McGuire's Brain Storm