Sunday, May 10, 2009

More Like Close! Hah.



The new Regina Spektor album, Far, drops Tuesday, June 23rd.

You can check out her very Regina-esque blog post about the tracklisting and the album in general right here. OR you could skip the reading and just listen to the album's first single, "Laughing With", on her MySpace page. OR you could preserve your strength for greater feats [lion-taming? weeding your garden?] and just download her song on this very page:

Laughing With by Regina Spektor

For the most part I think this song is great. It's already stuck in my head and I only just learned about it and the new album less than an hour ago, thanks to a friend. I say for the most part because these lyrics are less crazy than usual, they're a bit too... easy? Is that the word I'm looking for? Maybe what I mean is that the lyrics are just very obvious and most of them could have been written by someone else with far less originality than the beloved miss Regina.

But! I still can't stop listening to it. It's very easy to hear. Which is alright for a single, but I certainly hope she delves into her eccentric brilliance on other songs.

To end on a positive note, there are some pretty promising titles i.e. "Eet", "Human of the Year", "Genius Next Door" and "One More Time With Feeling", so I'm optimistic.


Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wolfe Island Music Festival 2009

Initial lineup. Announced. FINALLY.

More bands to be added. But. Here is the list thusfar...

Holy Fuck, Busdriver, Rural Alberta Advantage, P.S. I Love U, The D'Urbervilles, Ohbijou, Attack in Black, Woodhands, Apostle of Hustle and Julie Fader.

This year it's going down Friday, August 7th and Saturday, August 8th. Mark your calendars.

I think I'm most excited to see Holy Fuck again. The Wolfie Fest was amazing last year, but did feel a little incomplete without those crazy Fuckers. I'm also rather jazzed to at last witness the live, breathy beauty of Ohbijou. I hope they get a night time set, because how lovely would that be? Answer: very. Who are you most excited to see?

I'm not too familiar with some of these bands i.e. Busdriver, D'Urbervilles and Julie Fader, but I'll do a little scavenging and post a get-to-know-the-tunes thing once the lineup is finalized. And maybe I'll finally put up my notes/review from last year's Wolfie fest... if anybody even remembers it at this point.

For more info check out the official WIMF site, and the Radio 3 bloggy post.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Awesome, Totally Genius

Image Credit: s7409651 of deviantART

From The National's Matt Berniger:
"It's a beautiful neighborhood that feels more like Savannah, Georgia than Brooklyn," he said. "The houses are all free-standing with nice yards and wrap-around porches. I was sitting outside one night watching a bunch of kids running up and down Beverly setting off car alarms. The song is theirs."

The Geese of Beverly Road by The National

We'll take ourselves out in the street
And wear the blood in our cheeks
Like red roses
We'll go from car to sleeping car
And whisper in their sleeping ears
We were here, we were here
We'll set off the geese of Beverly Road

Hey, love, we'll get away with it
We'll run like we're awesome, totally genius
Hey, love, we'll get away with it
We'll run like we're awesome

We won't be disappointed
We'll fight like girls for our place at the table
Our room on the floor
We'll set off the geese of Beverly Road

Hey, love, we'll get away with it
We'll run like we're awesome, totally genius
Hey, love, we'll get away with it
We'll run like we're awesome

We're the heirs to the glimmering world

We're drunk and sparking, our legs are open
Our hands are covered in cake
But I swear we didn't have any
I swear we didn't have any

Hey, love, we'll get away with it
We'll run like we're awesome, totally genius
Hey, love, we'll get away with it
We'll run like we're awesome

We're the heirs to the glimmering world

Oh, come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight
Serve me the sky tonight
Oh, come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight
serve me the sky with a big slice of lemon

We're the heirs to the glimmering world

Oh, come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight
Serve me the sky tonight
Oh, come, come be my waitress and serve me tonight
serve me the sky with a big slice of lemon

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Canadian Popsicles

Whoa. I was doing so well with the whole not abandoning this blog thing. And here I am again. Well over a month since my last post.

C'est ma vie.

But! I return with oodles of music to unleash onto the internets.

Let's start with a post I've been meaning to write up for a couple months now. A post of great, Canadian poppy bands who warm my heart with their melodic sounds. Onward.


The Superfantastics are from Halifax, Nova Scotia. And they sound like it. They're totally Sloan-ish with a slightly less epic New Pornographers sound. Your summer is begging for this band to be a part of it. They're on tour. Check them out.

MySpace, website and Facebook
mp3's: Turn On Me and Vantastic (Eastern Canadian Roadtrip Blues)


Two guys and a lady from St. John's, Newfoundland. This is a band with some ridiculously lovely melodies that you will be humming for days. They play the male and female voices so well off of each other and are the perfect soundtrack for washing dishes. Try it. You'll see.

mp3's: That Was Hong Kong and An Honest Man


Torontonians, they are. I saw this wonderful band play (alongside Urban Aesthetics and The Rural Alberta Advantage) in January and they were a happyhappyjoyjoy to watch. They are composed of a cornucopia of uber-skilled lads and lasses. And so many instruments. And they all seem to play at least three different instruments and kept switching between songs. It was really great to watch.

They've also got a sweet male/female dynamic happening and do a great job of highlighting everybody's respective talents. But I must say I'm probably most enamoured with the lead male's voice (I believe his name is Daniel.) It has a really unique tone--kind of lazy and conversational. Overall, a really fun and playful band.

They're making the rounds right now, too. They're playing at Zaphod's with the Whitsundays on Wednesday, April 15th and I'm definitely hitting that up. So give yourself a little break from exam studying and come join the fun.

MySpace and Facebook
mp3's: Train Station and Fall Leaves


Regina, Saskatchew-ians. I just came across these guys last week but I've been listening to their marvelous album Going Steady pretty much all the times.

Their sound reminds me of a less taking-ourselves-too-seriously Arcade Fire and a less frantic Winks. Once again, they have the male/female aspect to their vocals... is this becoming the thing to do for Canadian indie bands? Maybe. These voices are less polished than their other Can-counterparts, though. And it works so well. These wavering, genuine, untrained voices spinning you 'round for a good old fashioned frolic.

Anyway. They use scratchy, slightly out of tune string instruments. The percussion is always executed to its full potential. They play around with cutesy, hand-clappy acoustic numbers ("My Guarentee") but can pull off a slightly darker, gallavanting sound ("Fuck NAFTA") with total ease and zero awkwardness. They're not tied to any one style which makes for a fun and interesting listen. Unfortunately they're not currently road warrior-ing, but keep checking for tour dates. I have a feeling they'd make for a great live show.

MySpace and Facebook
mp3's: (I couldn't narrow it down to just two songs. These guys are really stellar. Please go buy Going Steady, if not for the band than for your ears.) My Guarantee, Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel**, Fuck NAFTA and Cuba/Peru

Happy listening!

Thanks for stopping by,

** This is currently my favourite Rah Rah song. The girl's voice is just so soulful and real. Listen for the 2:20 mark, and the off-kilter rhythmic way she sings "These are the most desirable traits to be found in a man, I hear." You'll know what I mean. And the stomping chorus ("It is fashionable to be single / In big cities, but not in small towns / In Regina, Saskatchewan / I fell in love with her frown.") that slides into this great, creaky violin, jangle-guitar'd mini-instrumental bit... it's pretty damn amazing. And, like, sonically satisfying. True say.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Arms Make Music

Arm: a human upper limb; especially: the part between the shoulder and the wrist

Arms: a band; originally: composed only of Todd Goldstein (a Brooklyn-based mid-20s-type): adittionally: guitarist/vocalist in the band Harlem Shakes.

I think I'm in a revisiting spirit lately. Arms are another band who've more or less been on my radar for a couple years now, but I only had three songs and never thought to see what they'd been up to as of late.

"Jon the Escalator" is one of those songs that always gets stuck in my head because of its interesting harmonies, so when it popped in the ol' noggin today, I decided to check into the band and see what was new and fresh. And I was pleased as punch.

They've still got a delightfully poppy, natural, summer-excited, guitar-ish, uke-tastic, and totally hummable sound. This is a group to tuck into your go-to-bands pocket.

For the most part I try and only have three songs available for download, but with Arms I just couldn't pare it down to a measly three. So instead, I bring you SEVEN. Buuut, if you're overwhelmed by the prospect of such an onslaught of fantastic tuneage, my two favourites are "Tiger Tamer" and "The Frozen Lake." You really should just download all of them, though. You really should.

Tiger Tamer, Gunsmoke Legend, Neighbors, Shitty Little Disco, The Frozen Lake, Jon the Escalator and Whirring

And here are some Arms-y links: website, MySpace,, Facebook, music video for "Kids Aflame", live video of "Kids Aflame" being played in a tunnel, and buy Arms' music

Lastly, here's a bonus mp3 from the Harlem Shakes:


Happy listening.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guided By Voices... and More Spillage

Happy love day! So far mine has been pretty great. I was in the [wrong] line-up for my bus home when I saw one of my All Time Favourite People, who was marvelously heading back to our place of residence on the very same bus as me. So we spent the past couple hours being rocked about, catching up on the past month and a half, and eating the Valentine's chocolate my mom sent me. As if I don't already love Greyhound trips enough.

So now I'm home. And there is MILK in the fridge. Milk. Luxurious.

And in my cozy, contented state, I felt that it would be a nice gesture to toss a little handful of fantastic Guided By Voices songs out into the interweb.

This is another band that was vaguely on my musical horizons before, but that I never really delved into for one reason or another. But I guess this is a good time for me to bring fuzzed out nineties nostalgia glow bands into my life, considering all the Built to Spill adoration I'm having lately.

Here's some Guided By Voices:

Tractor Rape Chain
Gonna Never Have to Die
As We Go Up We Go Down

And a couple Built to Spill tracks off of the lovely Ancient Melodies of the Future, because I'm just so enamoured with these chaps:

The Weather
Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

Lastly, some Guided By Voices links: MySpace and imeem

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. This is totally unrelated, but on my voyage with one of my All Time Favourite People, I was reminded how much I love the way she says things like "I haven't been on the MSN much lately" and "I don't speak the French." I just think people should start talking like that. It could start with you.

Them Girls and Their Skirts

This sector of Canada just had a bit of lovely weather. It's over now, of course, but on Thursday I saw several folks walking around outside in t-shirts. This was a bit excessive.

But the point is they COULD do it without risking their lives. So let's just focus on that, okay?

What I'm leading up to is that the Pseudo Spring for South-East Ontario Good Weather Times (or PSSEOGWT, if you like kajumbled acronyms) got me thinking about springy clothes. And then when I was hardXcore procrastinating on an essay that was due two days before, I saw some delicious skirts on Urban Outfitters.

So here we are.

I am not able to pontificate** on the merits or stylistic qualities of these skirts, other than to say that are lovely and oh-so-pretty and I want to welcome each one to my wardrobe family. Observe, and bask in their beautaciousness:

Yes, I realize there is a dress in the above collection of fo-tos. I also realize that a dress is not a skirt. A dress has a skirt component. But it is not a skirt unto itself.

Since this is a music blog, let's have a song that superficially relates to my yammering!

Ghost in Summer Clothes by Department of Eagles

The end.

Thanks for stopping by,

** I know this is an incorrect use of the word "pontificate." But doesn't it sound like it could mean something along the lines of ruminate or ponder? Maybe?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Built to Spill

Sorry for the postless week. Life [a.k.a. procrastination] caught up with me.

I have to run off to an exam post haste, so this is a real quickie. I've been listening to lots of Built to Spill lately and I think these guys are one Stephen Malkmus away from being Pavement fantastic.

It's such a heartwarming sound. So guitar-y. So hook-y. So... rad. I'll come back and post something real later.

Enjoy the BtS.

Time Trap
Conventional Wisdom
Distopian Dream Girl

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. I've received my copy of Hungry Bird. Album review coming up within the week.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Train Tracks

Image Credit: 石.ⓎaⓌen of Flickr

Trains! Three covers of a song! Three covers of a song about trains!

1. Freight Train by Laura Veirs

It's a little slow. It's a little long afternoon. Her voice is a lot pretty.

2. Freight Train by Simone White

Off-kilter timing. Two guitars. Pleasantly throaty voice.

3. Freight Train by Le Volume Courbe

A washboard. A harmonica. A banjo. A lo-fi voice that sings "fweight twain." A low percussive backbeat that sounds like the palm of a large hand hitting the exposed, overhead ducts while this song is being jangled out in the basement of a roarin' backwoods house party.

Listen to Elizabeth Cotten's warbling, hillbilly original here.

Which version do you like the best? Or do you not like any of them?

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. Download Train of Thought by Mother Mother because it's so obviously great.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink[s]

Montreal's The Winks are totally a baroque punk band.

I came across these lads and lady and couple years back and seeing as how I'm on some kind of chamber pop kick right now, I thought I'd sharesies.

This is exuberant music for people:
a] who enjoy unique blends of orchestral sounds AND/OR
b] who might have a strange liking for casually worn cummerbunds or hats with peacock feather arrangements.

Other than that, this is a talented group of Canadians who, at different points, remind me of Mother Mother and a sprightlier, sillier, less psychedelic-er Spiral Beach.

So here are some Winks-p3's.

Snakes [Revisited]

Also check out their MySpace and website.

And if you're in Montreal this Friday, February 6th, they're playing at the Green Room with Ryland Bouchard [an Oregonian!] and Emperor X-- all for the low, low price of $8.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Clem Snide Tourdates

I got sidetracked with posting other bloggy things last night and forgot to put up the promised Clem-y tourdates. So here they are:

Mar 11, 2009 8:00 PM - The Earl
448 Flat Schoals Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 - $10

Mar 12, 2009 8:00 PM - Local 506
506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, North Carolina - $8

Mar 13, 2009 8:00 PM- Grey Eagle
Asheville, North Carolina - $8

Mar 14, 2009 8:00 PM- IOTA club & cafe
Arlington, Virginia - $14

Mar 15, 2009 8:00 PM - Club Cafe
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - $10

Mar 16, 2009 8:00 PM - World Cafe Live
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - $12

Mar 18, 2009 8:00 PM - Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancy St., New York, New York

Mar 19, 2009 8:00 PM - Middle East (upstairs)
Cambridge, Massachusetts - $12

Mar 21, 2009 8:00 PM - El Mocambo
464 Spadina Ave, Toronto, - $12 *

Mar 22, 2009 8:00 PM - Beachland Ballroom
Cleveland, Ohio - $12

Mar 23, 2009 8:00 PM - The Tiger Room @Calhoun St.
Fort Wayne, Indiana - $5

Mar 24, 2009 8:00 PM - Schubas Tavern
Chicago, Illinois

Mar 25, 2009 8:00 PM - 400 Bar
Minneapolis, Minnesota - $10

Mar 26, 2009 8:00 PM - High Noon
Madison, Wisconsin - $10

Mar 27, 2009 8:00 PM - The House Cafe
Dekalb, Illinois - $10

Mar 28, 2009 8:00 PM - Off Broadway
St. Louis, Missouri - $10

If you're and are able to make it to one of these shows, make sure to add it to your events. Check out the site's show listings for Clem Snide here.

And I forgot to mention this the other day, but there's a bonus EP available with Hungry Bird when the LP is purchased through an independent retailer.

Tracklist for bonus EP:

1] Ure Gent
2] I Need You Now
3] Death of Silvertone **
4] Close the Door
5] South American Lullaby

You could have fifteen new Clem Snide songs to add to your collection. And that would be pretty great. So check your local independent music store in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by,

* I'll be at this show!
** You can hear this track and "Beard of Bees" [off of Hungry Bird on Clem's MySpace page.

BK Baby Saddles Up

This is a personal bloggin' record. Three in one day. Well... I guess this is a new day seeing as how it's 2:07 in the morn. But. I haven't gone to sleep yet, so I still consider it yesterday.

Suck on that, time!

I thought I'd inform you [hopefully] entertained lions about the album preview that's available exclusively on for Ben Kweller's upcoming record Changing Horses, set to be released on February 3rd in Canada and the U.S.

I will admit that I was sad an kind of terrified at first by the rumour of the new and countrified sound that's been buzzing around Kweller's new release. Think slide guitars and a romantic relationship with acoustic guitars inset with desert rose motifs.

And then don't think about that.

I'm only two songs into the album and I'm kind of really digging it. Yes it's different and much more... I don't know adult-contemporary friendly. But let's face it.

Okay let me face it: Ben isn't seventeen anymore, writing songs about hedgehogs and a drawer that he knows in a house up the road. But really. I was expecting that he'd continue down this more mellow road given the nature of his last, decidedly less amplified album.

So I think it's going to be okay. I'm four songs in now and even though I recall hearing the word "Jesus" used in a Southern fist-pumping kind of way in the previous song ["Fight"], I can see myself cozying up to this sound. I can see myself taking this record under my wing and having it turn into something gold.

Check out the album. Give me your thoughts.

It's just different is all. Right?

Changing Horses preview on

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. Don't worry Sha Sha. No album could ever replace you.

P.P.S. I'm tooootally seeing Ben Kweller at the Mod Club in Toronto on March 22 a.k.a. I will be able to cross off a life goal from my bucket list.

P.P.P.S. Whoa. "Wantin' Her Again" is on this album. I had this song at some point before one of my many computer crashes. It's been re-worked... But still. It's nice to hear it.

Dead Man's Bones

So thanks to a lovely blog called The Singing Lamb, I am now in the know about a fantastic up and coming band called Dead Man's Bones.

Here are the things you need to know. Their MySpace page accurately describes their sound as gothic/gospel/showtunes. They feature a children's choir. The band includes Zach Shields and Ryan Gosling. Yeah. I'm talking about that Ryan Gosling.

Did I just blow your mind?

But let's get real. Because I really don't want to be all jazzed about this band just because it's got an extremely talented and fantastic-looking fellow in the lineup. So let's pro/con it.


- This is really cool music, guys. Seriously. "In the Room Where You Sleep" is catchy and thumping and ghoulish. "For Weddings and Funerals", with its accordion and wavering vocals, sounds like a mix of Gogol Bordello and Islands.
- It's exciting music and it sounds like they had good times writing and recording it.
- Judging by the three songs I've heard, they're not one-trick ponies. Yes they can do the bass-vocalish chamber pop stuff, but they've also got a song like "Paper Ships" that is stripped down and adorable and full of warm-breath "ba-ba-da-da"s [it reminds me a lot of lo-fi, sunshiney Beulah goodness].


- On his website [link below], Ryan Gosling posted a song he wrote himself ["Put Me in the Car"] aaand... his voice is completely different than it sounds in Dead Man's Bones. I knew he was affecting his voice somewhat when I listened to "In the Room", but... it's a big difference from "Put Me in the Car." So I don't know how I feel about his vocal wishy-washyness. I most certainly prefer his DMB style, though.
- The whole thing is -kinda- gimmicky. Children's choir. Animal face masks. You know.


I have recognized and reconciled with the vocal incongruities and gimmicks.

Because when it comes down to it I really do enjoy what I've heard from this band so far and am anxious to hear the rest. But, for all I know they could only have three great songs and the rest of the album will be total crap.

However. I'm choosing to be optimistic. I think Dead Man's Bones show a lot of promise. And they're just fun to listen to. So if you've got any hang-ups about actors-come-musicians or gothic motifs in popular song, just let them go and give your ears something nice.

mp3: In the Room Where You Sleep by Dead Man's Bones

other links: MySpace, website, download two more DMB songs from Ryan Gosling Online, and check out this great live video of Shields, Gosling and a bunch o' kids performing "In the Room Where You Sleep."

And then let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Food for Fine-Feathered Friends


Anywho. I just felt like being moderately clever. I shall now proceed to explain what this silly title is all about. Y'see, a couple days ago I got a message from a nice production manager named Bruce, asking if I'd like to help with the word-of-mouth campaign for an upcoming album, to which I say would I LIKE TO?!

Needless to say I'm very excited because 1] this kind of makes this blog shtick seem a little bit legitimate? Maybe? Yes? but mostly because 2] I really, genuinely dig the sound of this really genuine band.

From the press release:

"Hungry Bird, the sixth full-length recording by indie rock semi-legends Clem Snide, will finally see the light of day on February 24th courtesy of 429 Records. Completed in the spring of 2006 it was produced by Clem Snide founder Eef Barzelay and recorded and mixed by Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Silver Jews—he also worked on the 2005 Clem Snide release "End of Love"). Throughout 2006, a series of painful and bitter breakups both within the band and with their longtime manager and booking agent occurred and the future of Clem Snide seemed uncertain at best. With the release of “Hungry Bird,” Barzelay is hoping to put an end to any and all rumors he may have started regarding the death of Clem Snide. In fact, come the spring of 2009, Eef and Clem Snide will valiantly attempt to bring these songs and other fan favorites to clubs and theatres all over Europe and the United States [...]

Hungry Bird features Eef Barzelay on vocals and guitar, Pete Fitzpatrick on guitar and banjo, Brendan Fitzpatrick on bass, Ben Martin on drums and percussion, Tony Hamel on piano, organ and accordion, Roy Agee on trombone and a special spoken word performance by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright (on 'Encounter at 3AM')."

The tracklisting is as follows:

1] Me No
2] Born A Man
3] Hum
4] Burn the Light
5] Encounter at 3AM
6] The Endless Endings
7] Our Time Will Come
8] Beard of Bees
9] Pray
10] With All My Heart

In the spirit of not having this post take up 100% of this page, I'll wait to share the upcoming tour dates until later tonight, but rest assured I will be attending the March 21st show at El Mocambo in Toronto.

So. That's all for now. But do expect more about the upcoming Hungry Bird and Clem/Eef in general in the coming days. Because I am quite excited for what, based on past experience, I expect to be some variation on a vox-twangin'/nineties fuzzin'/acoustic bumblin' good romp of an album.

Some links, before you go:

Clem Snide on website and on MySpace
429 Records on website
Eef Barzelay on

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Small, Soft Weather

Image Credit: ricetactics of deviantART

woke up to january gray clouds
leaning 'gainst my window

so i took you
took the car
took a drive

to the shoreline
with cold sand stickin' to our boots

as you squinted out and said,
"there's snow over the ocean today."

Left click.

Sons of Levi by Samamidon

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

you be the one and i'll be the two

Image Credit: 47electric of deviantART

A little rise and shine, old school love.

[Left clicks for song links, starry eyes.]

Our Mouths Were Wet by Oh No! Oh My!
Sweepstakes Prize by Mirah
Sweet Darlin' by She & Him

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, January 9, 2009


This isn't the kind of music that will make you fall over yourself or make you mutter something under your breath like "Oh my god. This is fucking incredible." **

But. This is easy music; subtly catchy, quietly hummable and an ideal sonic accompaniment for anything casual. These songs are laid back like a mid-afternoon Sunday spent reading and wandering around your house to the rooms with the best sunlight. And sometimes that's all you really need from a band.

Left clicks for mp3 links.

Life Boat
Under the Knife
Bad Connection

Thanks for stopping by,

**Do you/have you ever done this when you're by yourself? When you see/hear/feel something so profoundly wonderful that you have to verbalize it? It doesn't even need to be profound, just something nice enough to make you say it out loud.

It happened to me today. I was heading down a stairwell, alone, after class and I passed [someone who I assumed was] a professor. He gave me this lovely, genuinely friendly smile and I returned it. Once I got up to the next flight of stars I said very quietly, but out loud, "He seems like a really nice guy."

I suppose that's kind of silly to do as I didn't really accomplish anything... But sometimes I just feel like I have to say it. So... Ever happened to you?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tiny Jubilees: Slop-Pop

Maybe I'm spending too much time inside and am consequently lacking the essential vitamin D. Maybe I'm spending too much time thinking about aimlessly fantastic road trips. Maybe it's all the Roald Dahl books I've been reading lately.

Whatever it is, I'm in the mood for breezy summer songs with slightly out of tune guitars, hand claps, silly lyrics and the perfect combination of childish bashfulness/total disregard.

So here are four artists who are sloppy, poppy, and fall under the polka-dotted parasol that I've [lovingly] dubbed... Slop-Pop.

[Left click on mp3 links]


Ryan Schmale is an eighteen-year-old crafter of lo-fi gems that are a foot-tappers dream. His more up-tempo songs jump!crackle!spark while the slower acoustic numbers breathe warm and sway around on tippy-toes. Overall: homegrown and intoxicating.

mp3's: I Crossed Out the Options, Going Out When it's Warm at Night and Top Shelf


According to Wikipedia, Boris Yeltsin "was the first President of the Russian Federation from 1991 - 99 [...] Yeltsin never recovered his popularity after a series of economic and political crises in Russia in the 1990s. The Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems."

And you know what? SSLYBY seem like just the kind of fellows who would forgive ol' Yeltsy for his screw-ups. Maybe it's the way they craft rather intelligently structured pop songs that still manage to sound impromptu-Saturday-night-jam-on-the-back-porch genuine. It's this polite, humble, ramblin' sort of sound that leads me to believe they wouldn't think twice about slapping a former president on the back, forgiving him for crumbling an economy [whatever it was he did], and inviting him over for sandwiches and lemonade.

And if you weren't already charmed enough, they sound like a blissful combo of Beulah and Rogue Wave. Pretty grand.

mp3's: Tin Floor 51, Anne Elephant and Gwyneth


He has some very long song titles. He has lyrics like "Let's have some drum rolls for drunkenness." He's prone to using little flutes and whistles. His hands can't seem to stay apart--he's just gotta clap. His voice reminds me of lead singer of David & the Citizens and also of Dent May's voice. His songs are loopy and carefree, like a montage of all your favourite Julys.

mp3's: Residents in Orange County Live in a Bland Republican Paradise and Don't Know What it Really Means to Jam Econo..., Lynette I Love You and I'm Pretty Sure This Is Someone Else's Song But I Couldn't Figure Out Whose So I'm Keeping It!


What a jolly little French man!

It sounds like François was raised by a forest: he grew up as a free spirit meadow runner, a climber of mountains and a jump off-er of cliffs. One day he happened upon a guitar in a threadbare case and he picked it up. He slapped its body and poked at the strings and found that a strangled, garbled voice was singing out from his throat that was so unused to speaking at all.

He decided to go.

So he took his guitar and ran all the way to France, galloping across countrysides and whizzing through tiny villages where he would knock on the doors of strangers and play through the untamed joys he had written. His lyrics were almost unintelligible, broken up with whoops and high notes so far out of his vocal range he could scarcely squeak them out. But he stamped his feet on the front step and pawed at the guitar until he felt the song was over. And then he would smile at the stun'd, amaze'd new friend. Then he would take a bow.

And then he would move on.

mp3's: Not the One, Where O Where A** and Island

Thanks for stopping by,

** I know that the file name for this song says it's called "Young Sand", but I assure you that I checked and the title is Where O Where A.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mellowdia Mix: Old Year Nostalgia, New Year Anticipation

Image Credit: melissalibra of deviantART

"This year went by in the usual way,
Some friends were lost, some friends were made.
Money was spent, money was saved,
And in the end we're all OK.
In the end we're all OK.

Cheesy? Yes! Oh well? Yes!

Here is a carefully-arranged mix that serves a dual soundtracking purpose:

a] to be listened to whilst thinking back on your past year with nostalgia and/or satisfaction and/or sadness and/or regret and/or et cetera. I can only hope your back-thinking is more of a smiling affair than a frowning one...


b] to be listened to whilst thinking about the oncoming year with anticipation and/or fearlessness and/or peace of mind and any other positive outlook.

Enjoy these low-key tunes, and I hope this year treats you nicer than cookies treat taste buds.

Left clicks for mp3 links.

Gold World by Aloha
Song for Morrie by Forest City Lovers
Liar by Built to Spill
Rabid Bits of Time by Chad VanGaalen
Photo Booth by Ola Podrida
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song [Fleet Foxes cover] by First Aid Kid
This is the Dream of Win and Regine by Final Fantasy
Going Out Tonight by Andrew Vincent
Julie's Song by Angelshakes
Week Off by Malcolm Middleton
Green Gloves by The National
Dummies by François Virot
Apocalyptic Friend by Eef Barzelay
Dead Letter & the Infinite Yes by Wintersleep
The Year in Review by Her Space Holiday *
Atlantic City [Bruce Springsteen cover] by Tom Thumb and the Latter Day Saints
Floating in the Forth by Frightened Rabbit **

* The lyrics at the beginning of the post are from this little dittybop.
** I realize this seems like a fairly depressing note to end on given that the last sentence has the word "suicide" in it, but there's quite a bit of hope in this song--especially within the context of the whole, smashing success that is The Midnight Organ Fight. Bright sides and all that.

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. Two of these songs are in WMA format, so if you're a Mac user or somesuch and that format just ain't cutting it for you and you REALLY want to have one of those Window-y songs, let me know and I'll try and get an mp3 version for you.