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.