Saturday, December 22, 2012

Frightened Rabbit - "The Woodpile"

In anticipation of a new album, Frabbit introduces a stunning single-shot music video for the track "The Woodpile." If you want to all music-geeky like me, the video is also an excellent opportunity for a game of "spot the band member!"

Frightened Rabbit's fourth studio album, Pedestrian Verse, will be released on February 5 next year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

R.I.P. Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar, the iconic Indian musician and sitar player, passed away last Tuesday at the age of 92. Shankar had a long and prolific career; he was recording music and performing right up until the end. He had brought Hindustani music to the mainstream through both his own work and his collaborations with The Beatles (especially George Harrison). His influence set the tone of much of the band's best work.

He leaves a legacy even in death, with his two surviving children, Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, both celebrated musicians. His legacy also continues in his influence, both direct and indirect, on many artists today.

Goodbye Ravi!


"Tabla Tarang" & "Tala Rasa Ranga"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Music Tuesday - 12/11/2012

New Full-Length Albums

Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

I'm not huge on hip-hop, it never seemed to meld with my indie sensibilities, though I do have some favorites. Recently, though, I've noticed that hip-hop artists are developing love affairs (not literally) with indie artists. Big Boi is no different. He flexes his indie muscle by including Little Dragon, Phantogram and Wavves on his new album!
"CPU" (featuring Phantogram)

Other New Releases

D'Angelo - Voodoo Vinyl Reissue

Almost 13 years after its released, this album is getting a vinyl are a still waiting for a follow-up album. Oh, but who could get tired of this music video?

Julia Holter - Ekstasis Expanded

Expanded edition of the album, originally released in March, featuring five live recordings.
"Goddess Eyes II"

This Is 40 OST

Soundtrack for the new film from Judd Apatow (the "sorta" sequel to Knocked Up), featuring Fiona Apple, Ryan Adams and Norah Jones.
Fiona Apple - "Dull Tool"

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Earl Sweatshirt - "Chum"

Earl Sweatshirt is somewhat of a mystery to me. He's a member of the Odd Future collective, but spent much of the year that they made it big (2011) in Samoa and away from the spotlight. His return has been somewhat slow, he's appeared live with other members of Odd Future and has been featured on others' albums, including Frank Ocean's excellent Channel Orange. There's no release date announced for his second album, Doris, but he has released this incredible single, along with a great music video!

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Music Tuesday - December 4, 2012

You may have noticed the omission of this post for last week. There was really nothing major (on my radar, at least) being released, so, no post! This is a good week, though!

New Full-Length Albums

Memory Tapes - Grace/Confusion

Really, 2011 was the year of the so-called "chillwave" genre, and Dayve Hawke did release Player Piano during that wave (hehe). Hawke brings in a bit more of the electronic aspect on this release, going the direction that many ambient artists go and releasing an album with fewer songs that are longer in length.

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Walker has had a long and well-regarded career. He started in the 1960s with a baroque pop sound that was well-suited to his baritone voice. He's become gradually more experimental as he's gotten older and this release is no different. It promises to be a difficult listen, but good old Scott is worth it.

Other New Releases

Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights Tenth Anniversary Edition

It's been ten years since the release of this groundbreaking indie album. I guess this means it's time for it to be re-released with extra tracks!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "We No Who U R"

A new single from the legendary rock star in anticipation of a new album, Push the Sky Away, coming in February!
"We No Who U R"

The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Remastered and Expanded Box Set

The band's been re-releasing albums all year, as well as releasing a new one!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

On Repeat: "Armed for Peace" & "Up Past the Nursery"

Suuns may be my new favorite band. About a week ago, I somewhat randomly decided to check them out and quickly fell in love with their sound. It's experimental, though they excel at keeping the end result simple and straightforward. Also, they know how to rock out when needed. At times, the vocals call to mind the British band Clinic, which may be why I've loved this so much!

In all honestly, their entire debut album, Zeroes QC (2010), has been on repeat since I first heard it. "Armed for Peace" and "Up Past the Nursery" are easily my favorite tracks on the album.

"Armed for Peace" opens the album. The buildup of the song gets me excited every time, so much so that I have been listening to it two or three times before allowing the song to finish.

"Up Past the Nursery" is probably the more experimental of the two tracks, with each syllable of the vocals delivered in a staccato style. What really gets me on this song, though, is the melodic bassline that comes in towards the end of the verses. It's surprising and works really well!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Flying Lotus - "Tiny Tortures"

Elijah Wood stars as a man who has lost his arm and is none too happy about it. He reconstructs his arms with household objects, then trips out on pain medication.

Flying Lotus released Until the Quiet Come in October of this year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Divine Fits at Deluxe

I didn't quite jump at my first chance to see the Divine Fits, when they came to Columbus, OH. I figured that I had other things to do on a Monday night (and, truth be told, I did), but I slightly regretted not going to one of their inaugural shows. That is, until they expanded their tour and added Indianapolis to the schedule! I bought my ticket as soon as they went sale and never looked back!

The show itself was as wonderful as I could have hoped it to be. The dark indie band Cold Cave opened for them. Having only seen them from afar at last year's Pitchfork Festival, I had a presumption of them as being broody performers, but they had a surprising level of energy.

The Divine Fits carried the energy on through their set. Both singers, Dan Boeckner and Britt Daniel are great performers. This has likely been honed from years in other bands (Daniel with Spoon and Boeckner with Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs). It was an incredible show, though I wish they had performed the cover of Frank Ocean's "Lost," like they did at a number of their other shows, but I'll try not to complain too much!

Mini setlist:

Cold Cave - "Underworld USA"

Cold Cave - "A Little Death to Laugh"

Divine Fits - "Would That Not Be Nice"

Divine Fits - "Shivers"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

R.I.P Larry Hagman

Iconic television actor Larry Hagman died yesterday at the age of 81.

While Hagman became best known for his role in the 1980s soap opera Dallas, I remember him most at the comic foil to Barbara Eden on the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. Back when TV Land and Nick at Nite actually aired old shows, his was one of my favorite shows on the networks.

Goodbye, Mr. Hagman!

I Dream of Jeannie - "One of Our Bottles is Missing" (Part 1)

I Dream of Jeannie - "One of Our Bottles is Missing" (Part 2)

Big Boi - "Mama Told Me"

I'm pretty picky when it comes to hip-hop, but Big Boi is one of those artists that managed to avoid my mental guillotine. Teaming up with Kelly Rowland, he's released a colorful video for the single "Mama Told Me."

Big Boi will release his second post-OutKast album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, in December.

Friday, November 23, 2012


The horror movie genre can be fairly hit or miss, especially with more recent films. Sinister is one of those rare hits.

In the movie Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a struggling crime writer trying to find inspiration for his next book. He'd had success years before, but found repetition to be a difficult game. In the pursuit of his next story, he has moved into the home (unbeknowst to his wife) that was the site of a mysterious families' murder and disappearance. He soon finds a box in the attic containing Super 8 footage of this and several other family murders. Following this, strange things being occurring in his home, affecting both him and his entire family. He believes the murders in the videos to be connected, but does not discover how-so until his own family moves from the house.

While it wasn't quite an earth-shattering plot, the movie managed to breathe some new life into the now-omnipresent "found footage" style by combining that footage with more traditional cinematography. While it easily could have felt like a the Paranormal Activity/Blair Witch knock-off, it still managed to feel fresh. Of course, it helped to have a known (and good) actor like Ethan Hawke in the film. The only thing that I didn't like about the film was that it showed the monster. I find that I tend to create a more fearsome creature when the specifics are left up to my own imagination.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Music Tuesday - 11/20/2012

New Full-Length Releases

Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin - Instrumental Tourist

Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin, who performs as Oneohtrix Point Never, are both on their way to becoming as highly-regarded of ambient artists as residing king Brian Eno. This is their first collaboration together and should present an excellent meeting of these amazing minds!
"Uptown Psychedelia"

Other Releases

Atoms for Peace - "Default"/"What the Eyeballs Did"

Vinyl release, with b-side, of single released in September. An album in rumored for early next year!
"What the Eyeballs Did"

Björk - bastards

Remixes of her most recent original full-length, Biophilia. Includes remixes from Omar Souleyman, The Slips and Death Grips.
"Crystalline" (Omar Souleyman Remix)

Dinosaur Jr. - Chocomel Daze (Live 1987)

Live album recorded in 1987 (ok, that much is obvious from the title). The album was recorded at Doornroosje in The Netherlands during the band's first European tour.
"Severed Lips"

Flock of Dimes - "(This Is Why) I Can't Wear White"/"15"

Third single this year from Jenn Wasner's (of Wye Oak) side project.
"(This Is Why) I Can't Wear White"

Kate Nash - Death Proof EP

British singer drops the piano in favor of a bass guitar in anticipation for a new full-length in March.
"Death Proof"

The Silver Linings Playbook OST

Soundtrack for new film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Includes songs from alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan.
"Buffalo" (featuring Mountain Man)

The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes

Remix album for 2011 release from the band of the same name. Included tracks remixed by Warsnare, Com Truise and Liars.
"Nil" (Liars Remix)

Sunday, November 18, 2012


This is a fun little web tool, good for wasting enormous amounts of time. It allows you to mix a variety of sounds and even to save and send your composition! Here's mine!

Make your own:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Yo La Tengo - "Before We Run"

Yo La Tengo will be putting out a new album, Fade, in January of next year! This past week, they released the first single from the album, "Before We Run," with an accompanying music video. The video is almost a straight shot of a large tree with splashes of pastels projected upon it. Truth be told, I find the whole thing rather mesmerizing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Music Tuesday - November 13, 2012

New Full-Length Releases

The Babies - Our House on the Hill

The Babies is a collaboration between the Vivian Girls' Cassie Ramone and Kevin Morby of Woods. The band started as a side project for both artists, but has started to become a full band in its own right. Their first album called the Vivian Girls a bit more to mind, but on their second release, there is a more mature sound. It's becoming something that stands apart from either of their main acts.
"Get Lost"

Brian Eno - Lux

Eno is the master of ambient music. His lush arrangements make him one of the few true modern composers working outside of the orchestral realm. While his most recent releases have been more song-based, this album features longer composed pieces, just four tracks averaging about 20 minutes each.

Clinic - Free Reign

Because of the band's physical persona, it would be easy to label them as a gimmick. Each member wears a face mask similar to what one would wear is they worked in a clinic. They're never seen without these masks (or, at least, I've never seen a picture without them). They've maintained this appearance for the majority of their fifteen-year career, which belies some really great music featuring vintage instruments and abnormal chord progressions.
"Miss You"

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles III

Perhaps this band is trying to go the way of Led Zeppelin or Scott Walker in the naming of their albums. Both artists named their first four albums for the number release it was for them. Same for Crystal Castles...this is their third album. They can only do this one more time, though! As the number gets higher, though, the more mature their sound becomes. They started with video game-esque electronic riffs, but have traveled towards more involved arrangements. That, however, does not make their music any less thrash-worthy.

El Perro del Mar - Pale Fire

An article in the most recent issue of Under the Radar tried to explore why Swedish musicians make such bright, sunny pop music. They determined that predilection for that sound was due to the country being so cold and dark. Sarah Assbring expertly highlights the preference towards this type of music. She's not, however, afraid to bring social commentary and personal struggles into the mix. This album has been teased for nearly a year, with non-album singles being released throughout 2012.
"Walk on By"

Guided By Voices - The Bears for Lunch

This band, and especially frontman Robert Pollard, have been especially prolific this year. Perhaps making up for a break taken between 2004 and 2012, they've released three albums this year. Pollard, in addition, has released two solo albums, though he's been releasing a steady stream of albums in the band's downtime. What's amazing is that, despite three fairly long releases, the songs on these albums are still great, nothing feels thrown in.
"Hang Up and Try Again"

Other Releases

Animal Collective - "Applesauce"/"Crimson"

The latest single for an excellent album released in September of this year.

The Rolling Stones - GRRR!

Career-spanning compilation album (with a few new songs) from one of the longest-lasting rock bands.

School of Seven Bells - Put Your Sad Down EP

New EP brings an air of poppiness to established mystical sound.
"Secret Days"

Sharon van Etten - Tramp Deluxe Edition

Excellent young singer-songwriter accompanies latest album with 13 bonus demo tracks.
"Tell Me"

Sonic Youth - Smart Bar-Chicago 1985

Their status is still up in the air, but we've not been left for wanting for material from this band and its members.
"Intro"/"Brave Men Run (In My Family)"

Sufjan Stevens - Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10

Some more holiday cheer from Sufjan Stevens' second Christmas release.
"Mr. Frosty Man"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Band of Horses at Bogart's

These guys were supposed to come to Cincinnati in August of 2011 to open for the Kings of Leon. Sometime in July, however, KoL frontman Caleb Followill came down with a bad case of "exhaustion" (read: he was an alcoholic) and the remainder of the tour, including the Cincinnati date, was canceled. Band of Horses did their best to reschedule as many of the dates as possible, but Cincinnati was not among that group.

Fast forward more than a year and, finally, Band of Horses come to town! While there are many artists that I do not hesitate to buy tickets for, it seemed my wallet opened even faster for this gig.

The show was well worth the wait. While I haven't been crazy about their last two albums, the band played a good mix from all of their releases and their on-stage energy was strong enough to make all of the songs a treat to hear!

Mini setlist:

"The Great Salt Lake"

"Knock Knock"

"The General Specific"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Alt-J - "Fitzpleasure"

An awesome new video from my new favorite band. At first, it seems to hold many of the same urban aesthetics as their video for "Tessellate," but quickly turns into something completely different.

Alt-J released their debut album in September of this year (for North America, Europe got it way back in May...jerks).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

A while back, I caught this amazing third and (likely) final movie of Christopher Nolan's Batman films.

I'm sure most know the basis of the story, if not having seen the movie itself, but I will still provide my short synopsis. The movie picks up eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, he is not acting as Batman, nor is he doing a very good job of running his company. Persuaded by Gordon to return to his crime-fighting duties, he faces one of his most difficult opponents yet, the superstrong and superintelligent Bane. Bane's actions eventually turn the city to chaos. The movie also introduced everyone's favorite Batman villain, Catwoman, though her role here turns out to be much more complex.

The movie was good and served as an excellent finish to Christopher Nolan's trilogy. While no one's performance in a Batman movie, I think, will ever exceed Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, the movie overall was better executed and provided a much more uplifting ending than the previous two. While the ending hinted at a possible turn by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robin (which I would gladly watch), I would be quite satisfied for this installment of Batman to end here!

New Music Tuesday - 11/06/2012

New Full-Length Releases

Aerosmith - Music from Another Dimension

In reality, this band has seen much better days, they released much of their best work in the 1970s with a resurgence in the early 1990s. I'm rather surprised they're still together, given long-standing rumors of conflict, as well as Steven Tyler's ever-changing day jobs. Over the days preceding the release, Rolling Stone previewed each of the songs of the album. It's not great, but I think it could please some fans who were turned off by their last album, Honkin' on Bobo.
"What Could Have Been Love"

Prince Rama - Top Ten Hits of the End of the World

A weird ex introduced me to this band, yet I somehow ended up liking their music anyways. The band, too, is pretty weird and the concept behind this album proves that. It's envisioned as a "best of" album of music from just before the world ended, with the band taking on the personas of a myriad of fictional bands. Strange as it is, it's rather fitting, seeing as we have fewer than two months left here.
"No Way Back" (channeling Guns of Dubai)

Other Releases

Charli XCX - The Super Ultra Mixtape

This British female phenom seems to avoiding the release of a full-length. Her sound is pretty interesting though, so the EPs and mixtapes will suffice until that day comes.
"Cloud Aura" (featuring Brooke Candy)

Dirty Projectors - About to Die EP

They released what may be one of my favorite albums of the year so far, this EP supports a new single of same name.
"About to Die"

Friendly Fires - Late Night Tales

Last year, they released the incredible Pala, but I didn't realize how amazing it was until long after it came out. Now, they have joined up with LateNightTales for the 30th release of artist-curated compilations.
Junior Boys - "Under the Sun"

The Velvet Underground & Nico by Castle Face and Friends

A new tribute album to accompany 45th anniversary of iconic Velvet Underground album.
Thee Oh Sees - "European Son"

The Walkmen - "Dance with Your Partner"/"Vewrmeer '65"

They also released an incredible album this year, this release comprises two exclusive non-album tracks (you know my copy's already in the mail)!
"Dance with Your Partner"

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ben Gibbard - "Teardrop Windows"

Death Cab for Cutie frontman goes gangster, or as gangster as this man can possibly go...which isn't very gangster.

You would think a high-profile (-ish) divorce would be enough for a bad-boy image! I love entertainers who can laugh at themselves!

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Music Tuesday - 10/30/2012

New Full-Length Albums

Andrew Bird - Hands of Glory

Bird released his most recent album, Break It Yourself in March of this year. Hands of Glory is meant to serve as a companion to that release, featuring re-recordings of songs from that album, as well as covers of classic country and bluegrass tunes.
"Three White Horses"

Matthew Friedberger - Matricidal Sons of Bitches

Friedberger is mainly known for his work with sister Eleanor as The Fiery Furnaces. It's been some time since the most recent release from that project and, in the meantime, Eleanor has released her first solo album, Last Summer, last summer (literally). Matthew has been considerably more prolific as a solo artist, having released twelve albums (including this one), with ten in just the past two years!
"Expectant Fathers - In for a Surprise VII. As If in the Car with the Kids"

RNDM - Acts

This new rock collaboration features Akron's Joseph Arthur, bassist for Pearl Jam Jeff Ament and Richard Stuverud. The three met 13 years ago when Arthur opened for a project featuring Ament and Stuverud. It took all this time, though, for that friendship to yield a musical result.
"Modern Times"

Other Releases

Cee-Lo Green - Magic Moment

Cee-Lo gets into the holiday spirit, featuring Christina Aguilera, Rod Stewart and The Muppets.
"This Christmas"

Holy Ghost - "It Gets Dark" single

New single from the LCD Soundsystem torch-bearers, released on James Murphy's label, DFA Records.
"It Gets Dark"

Rush Midnight - +1 EP

Debut EP from Twin Shadow off-shoot.
"The Night Was Young Enough"

From Gainsbourg to Lulu

Tribute to the late great Serge Gainsbourg, fronted by his son, Lulu.
Lulu Gainsbourg featuring Scarlett Johansson - "Bonnie and Clyde"

Holidays Rule

Starbucks Christmas compilation featuring The Shins, Sharon van Etten, Rufus Wainwright, Paul McCartney and Andrew Bird (among many many others).
Sharon van Etten and Rufus Wainwright - "Baby It's Cold Outside"

The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack

Soundtrack from RZA's directorial debut.
Kanye West - "White Dress"