Califone: Roots and Crowns

February 27th, 2007

The men of Califone (the name comes from old cassette recorders check out this video of some old Califones in action) have been pretty busy. Their most recent release “Roots and Crowns” has been in heavy rotation for a few months now. It is perhaps a legitimate follower to Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot for the crown of best americana. Roots and Crowns is filled with understated singing, thoughtful lyrics,  and raw natural acoustic noise. The CD title is best explained here by the author.

“Uniting where you come from – your roots — with what you strive to be or what you reinvent yourself to become — crowns,” explains Califone’s Tim Rutili. “At the bottom of these songs are the memories and images you sift through in the process.”

Califone: Roots and Crowns

Check out Califone’s cover of Psychic TV’s “Orchids”

MP3 Sample: [audio:http://download.pastrysharp.com/audio/roots-orchids.mp3] : “Download”

Itunes : Roots and Crowns

Youtube: Video for “Hand

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The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine

February 23rd, 2007

It’s not breaking any new ground, but The Thermals new record is pretty damn catchy pop-punk fun. This sub-pop trio (mostly a duo for the recording) recorded this latest album in the comfort of their home with Brenden Canty (of Fugazi). The theme involves envisioning a fascist christian state…and the dream of escaping while you can. Not so hard to imagine eh?

The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine

MP3 Sample: [audio:http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/2907.mp3] : “Download”

iTunes: The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine

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The ghost of Nico raises it’s head once again

February 23rd, 2007

Rhino UK is releasing a two-disc CD combining two of Nico’s releases, and adding a bunch of addional outtakes demos etc. which will mostly entice collectors. Both the Marble Index and Desert Shore include music by John Cale…who is simply one of the finest musicians of our time. 1969 must have been a really interesting time to be a crazy hippy in NY. Check out this video for Nico’s haunting beautiful song “Frozen Warnings” featuring Andy and most of the fun bunch from the Factory. If you have never read Nico The End it’s a great book about the demise of a rock icon by James Young who was her keyboard player on some of her final tours.

Via Pitchfork: Nico

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Holy Fuck! it’s HOLY FUCK!

February 23rd, 2007

The name DOES beckon for attention, I mean c’mon they didn’t say “Humble Earthly Fuck”. Holy Fuck are a five piece ensemble “creating a legacy based on near stupidity”. They strive to make music that sounds like computers…without computers! Ok then, we just think they rock and are loads of fun…and they are on tour now.

Holy Fuck

MP3 Sample: [audio:http://www.holyfuckmusic.com/holykcuf/01_Safari_(live_from_the_Verge-XM_radio).mp3] : “Download”

Get yourself Holy Fucked: Holy Fuck CD

itunes: Holy Fuck

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Deerhoof Milkman Ballet!

February 21st, 2007

The music and drama teacher at North Haven Community School, Courtney Naliboff, gets my vote for coolest music teacher on the planet. She transcribed all the music from Deerhoof’s great Milkman record and with a lot of help from her friends and students they turned it into a ballet! They got a special visit from the Deerhooffers who offered tips and watchs some of the final dress rehersals. great stuff.

Deerhoof Milkman Ballet!

Watch video for “Giga Dance

Itunes: Deerhoof’s “Milkman”

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16 Horsepower…Woven Hand

February 20th, 2007

Well 16HP is history, but the fire burns on with Woven Hand. It’s taken David Edwards a while to come into his own after a few spotty solo records. He’s still perhaps one of the most engaging performers in the country, and his evocative voice is certainly without many peers. Woven Hand is on tour now and you should do what it takes to catch them live. Check out this video from the good old days…nice pig tails dude…really it takes confidence to pull that look off. Say what you want David’s the real deal…

Click here to check out a few tunes from the new Woven Hand CD “Mosaic”

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Max Richter: Songs From Before

February 20th, 2007

Max Richter has a long history of working with modern classical themes and electronic musicians, most notably the Future Sound of London. His piano playing and programming skills were put to use collaborating on their release “The Isness”. His latest solo release on FatCat records showcases his natural talent for melody, and simple classical themes. Fans of Arvo Part and Henry Goreki will find this CD especially satisfying.

Max Richter: Songs From Before

MP3 Sample: [audio:http://www.etherbomb.com/au/audio003.mp3] : Hear More

Link to: Max Richter on Itunes

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Album Leaf: In a Safe Place

February 18th, 2007

Recently caught them at a horrible all ages show, crammed into a club full of kids busy smoking and text messaging each other. Album Leaf were good enough to hold the attention of said crowd, most of whom i am sure had no idea who Album Leaf is…For the record, Album Leaf is comprised of the solo works of Jimmy Lavelle (Tristenza, and Black Heart Procession). He has a few newer albums out, but this remains our favorite here, recorded at the Mosfellsbaer studio of Sigur Ros. You will no doubt note similarities in sound to Sigur and Jon Thor Birgisson lends his distinctive vocal stylings to the mix. Also check out this short 10 minute video which documents the creation of “Into the Blue Again

Album Leaf: In a Safe Place

MP3 Sample: [audio:http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/2470.mp3] : Download “Over the Pond”

SubPop: “In a Safe Place

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