Saturday, August 30, 2008

Feeling Bookish

An unpredictable and dramatic “big band song cycle about science and information”, Everything/ Everything, the 3rd album from Simon Bookish and his first worldwide release on Tomlab, represents a new departure for London-based composer Leo Chadburn. Though previous Simon Bookish releases have been informed by the sounds of digital synthesizers, Everything/Everything does away with them entirely to focus on live instruments.

Scored for an ensemble dominated by saxophones, brass, piano, harp and Farfisa organ, the album features luminaries from both the jazz and experimental classical music scenes. While this is almost certainly his most pop-oriented release to date, Everything/Everything, as its name suggests, finds room for moments of racing Philip Glass minimalism, lop-sided disco, expressionist cabaret, and even an eerie ambient interlude.

Think of Simon Bookish as the Tindersticks on acid or the Divine Comedy gone psycho. In any case, Simon Bookish is great left of centre pop that's utterly enjoyable and crazy. There hasn't been a good theatrical pop album like this in a while.

Download: Dumb Terminal

Woven Into the Fabric

A furious space-rock album of serpentine electronics and heavy atmospherics, Woven's new album, Designer Codes, marks a new chapter in the band's existence, as they head out into the new musical landscape an unsigned and independent band.

It's heavy stuff, similar to the Notwist or Deerhunter, and it's a great achievement for a band that's shaking off major label involvement. You can kind of think of it as Kid A in a not-really Radiohead sort of way. It's dark, eerie, filled with atmospherics and dark beats. It's not stuff to listen to in the dark especially if you're depressed.

Designer Codes will be released on September 23rd and is not the feel good hit of the fall.

Download: She Blows My Amplifier
Download: Prickly Pear

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Victim of Friendly Fires

Friendly Fires, born of commuter belt boredom, are now one of the most exciting new bands coming from the UK. Last year, a super limited seven-inch, Paris, was judged to be the single of the week in both the NME and The Guardian.

Ed Macfarlane (vocals, synths, bass), Edd Gibson (guitar) and Jack Savidge (drums) met at school and formed their first band when they were 14.

Some facts about St Albans: the Campaign For Real Ale started there in 1972; it's home to the Royal National Rose Society; and a number of episodes of Inspector Morse were filmed there. In other words, it's suburbia writ large. Ed Macfarlane, Edd Gibson and Jack Savidge didn't really have much choice but to form a band.

Their song "On Board" is currently featured in a national TV ad for Wiiand the band recently played to packed houses in NYC and LA earlier this summer.They are just now confirming dates for an October/November tour supporting Lykke Li. Woo Hoo...

Download: Jump In The Pool

We Are The Sam Champions

September 2nd! September 2nd! September 2nd!

By now you’ve probably read the release date for Sam Champion’s sophomore bash, Heavenly Bender, a few hundred times or at least three. But the Brooklyn indie rockers threw us all a big curveball this morning. Effective immediately, the band’s North Street debut – in all of its skuzzy garage pop glory – is available for pre-release purchase exclusively at

And better yet, for the next three days, you can snag it for just three bucks. Yes, that’s right, three measly dollars. And then, when Friday rolls around, the price inches up to four greenbacks until (one more time with feeling!) September 2nd, the album’s wide release.

So, yeah, long story short, Heavenly Bender costs sixty nickles for the next three days!

Download: Be Mine Everyone

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's That? More Twee?

Soda Fountain Rag fits in amongst the true spirit of indie pop; they are uplifting and write joyous music with sublimely subversive lyrics.

Soda Fountain Rag is 25 year-old subversive genius Ragnhild Hogstad Jordahl, a one-woman indie-pop phenomenon from Bergen in Norway. In 2007, Soda Fountain Rag released a number of sold-out DIY EPs in the US (Cloudberry Records) and Europe, which quite charmingly introduced her unique take on 21st century pop.

An anti-folk Nico fronting a garage Belle and Sebastian hybrid, she established herself as a compelling indie-pop heroine. In a sense imagine if Isobel was a bit less twee and a bit more angry and you kind of have what Soda Fountain Rag is all about

Her latest LP, It’s Rag Time, is released September 30th on Yesboyicecream!

Hitchhikers Guide to Kino's Universe

Born in 1980 Ankara, Turkey at the same hospital as Joe Strummer to English and Turk parents, KiNo grew up in North London, where he was eventually educated in film studies in college. He moved to New York in 2001.

Map of the Universe is comprised of an album, a book and a future feature film. It is centered around the iconographic character "9" who discovers the ancient map of the universe.
The fusion of cinema, music and literature through anarchism form the riches of KiNo's inspiration that accounts for the epic, extravagant and innovative stature of the Map of the Universe as an album.

In this musical project, KiNo's collaborator is the highly respected sonic wizard/producer Jeff Blenkinsopp; the inventor of cutting-edge analog equipment. He has developed his unique production techniques while working with the world's leading artists over the years including; Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, The Clash, Kate Bush, T-Rex, Ian Dury and Vangelis among many others.

The album features 11 songs written, performed and engineered by KiNo. He plays all instruments (except drums, percussion, and horns) and sings. Produced by Jeff Blenkinsopp & KiNo.

It's pretty good British pop in a grand and sort of epic way. There's a tunefulness to the songs but it's still got enough of an indie pop punch to make you think Kino is the British Apples In Stereo if Guy Garvey was their singer or the other way around.

Download: Won't Do
Download: Vainglorious

Liz Durrett Is Outside Our Gates

Outside Our Gates represents a sonic leap forward for Liz Durrett. With Bachmann on board, Durrett’s once spare, acoustic downbeats have been supplanted by a more textured and diverse orchestra of sounds.

A virtual cornucopia of instruments are here, including (but not limited to) tiny nylon-string guitars, backwards electric feedback loops, pizzicato violins, plucky cellos, upright bass, wurlitzers, accordions, grand space pianos and marching drums.

Bachmann’s score somehow harmonizes these elements seamlessly to provide the perfect setting for Durrett’s near dream-state writings and softly unsettling voice. Additional performances by Vic Chesnutt, Brian Causey (Man or Astro-man?), Amanda Kapousouz (Tin Cup Phrophette) and members of Ham1.

Download: Wild As Them

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Thursday (August 21st) at POP! at Eclipse

It's been a crazy week this week. Fay has or will literally covered every inch of this state with a blanket of rain. It's nuts.

Rain or not Eclipse will be open tomorrow night and we've got a double whammy of a show for everyone that comes out. Straight from Manchester UK comes the punka pop power of Hotpants Romance and from Athens, GA comes a crazy two piece band called Cars Can Be Blue. Of course I'll be spinning the hits before, between, and after the bands.

In addition to all that, we've got Darker My Love CD giveaways AND we're going to have a puzzle putting together contest for a bar tab!

Sounds like a Hurricane Party to me...ok Tropical Storm Party.

Hope to see you out!

Download: Cars Can Be Blue - I Used To Think
Download: Cars Can Be Blue - I Hate You (Studio Outtake)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Army Air Force or Marines

Essentially, the music of Army Navy can be best described as impeccably crafted melody over blankets of guitar fuzz that creates a delicate balance between melancholy and joyful resignation.
This Los Angeles band looks to groups from the past such as Teenage Fanclub, The Smiths, The Posies and The Libertines for inspiration while keeping a firm eye on the future. Set for an October 14, 2008 release, the debut album will be issued on the band’s own The Fever Zone record label and features a wondrous mix of modern power-pop playfulness and timeless Brit-pop elegance consistently through its 12 tracks.

Produced by Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Yo La Tengo, etc.), the album is a never-ending barrage of touchstones from a band that references the past at every corner of the record yet is forging new musical pathways with every song they pen.

Download: Army Navy: Saints (via YouSendit)

CSS...Meet Sunny Day Sets Fire.

Well, I've already written about Sunny Day Sets Fire recently, but seems as though they've been busy since I wrote that post a couple of weeks ago.

As fate would have it they've been giving songs out for remixes. Enter CSS. While CSS's latest album(Donkey) isn't quite as good as their debut was, their remixes continue to kick some serious arse.

That's the case with their Sunny Day Sets Fire remix of Wilderness. It's a killer tune that sounds like Pink Floyd circa 1970 meets Of Montreal on pills flying through space like a gurner out of control.

Great stuff then.

Download: Wilderness (CSS Remix)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Absentee Ballot

London-based Absentee will return with its new album, Victory Shorts, available in the United States of America November 4th, 2008. The record will see release on Memphis Industries (current or former home to The Go! Team, The Pipettes, The Ruby Suns, and more).

Victory Shorts is the sound of a band whose time has come. Tackling themes of premature marriage proposals, adultery, lost property, love, and broken crockery, Absentee provide the soundtrack for every lost soul who took a wrong turn whilst looking for the right one. Born to the sounds of Barry Manilow and The Carpenters, raised on romantic comedies, and schooled in failed love and misfiring lust… Absentee emerge well-versed in the rigours of romance with their finest album to date, Victory Shorts.

Marked by the influence of Johnny Cash, Pavement, and The Velvet Underground, produced/engineered/mixed by Nick Terry (Klaxons, Libertines, Bernard Butler), and shot through with the originality and humour we’ve come to expect from Absentee, Victory Shorts stands alone as the band’s strongest, most honest record yet.

Download: Bitchstealer

The Isles...

Ruby Isle are a singing trio of brothers — Aaron, Dan, and Mark Isle. In the year 2008, they received a plea to come to the Mexican village of Santo Poco to defend it from a bandit named El Guapo. The villagers gave the band a hero's welcome. After a nearly fatal confrontation with El Guapo, they realized the danger to which they were subject. Ruby Isle made several disastrous attempts to thwart the bandits, including infiltration of El Guapo's birthday party and seeking of mystical aid via a singing bush and an invisible swordsman. They then discovered that the villagers' greatest skill is sewing. Ruby Isle organized the villagers, using their sewing skills to create an army of "Amigos" by replicating their mariachi costumes. The villagers defeat the bandits by appearing clad in the costumes and shooting from all sides, creating the illusion that the Amigos are everywhere. Thereafter, Ruby Isle rode off into the sunset.

Ok...that's really the plot for Three Amigos.

But as far as Ruby Isle are concerned, the band is presided over by Dan Geller (of I Am The World Trade Center) and famed solo artist Mark Mallman. After they got done with their cover project of last year, the band buckled down to record Night Shot, which plays like a combination of Justice, Ratatat, and Ratt, perhaps? It's guitar rock done with electronics or vice versa. This tops the covers and then some. It's like hair metal with synthesizers and you know how much you love all that!

Download: Night Shot (featuring Tay Zonday)
Download: Hey Hey Hey (That Kid's Okay)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Setting a new Standard

Following releases on Touch and Go (August) and Yep Roc Records (Wire Post To Wire, Albatross) and shows / tours with an incredible array of globally renowned bands including Wire, Nine Inch Nails, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National, The Shins, Stephen Malkmus, and Slint, The Standard signed to V2 Records (The White Stripes, Grandaddy) in 2007. They worked tirelessly throughout the year in Portland, OR to record their fifth full-length effort, Swimmer. The album was portended to be the release that would propel The Standard out from the underground where quietly, they had been making their own brand of uniquely inventive music since 1999.

In January 2007, V2 Records' United States and Canada branches announced that they were "undergoing restructuring". Simply put, the label was closing its doors and could not release any new albums. The band explored new options for the release of Swimmer, and throughout the process of determining what the band's next step would be, singer Tim Putnam encountered numerous other extraordinary artists that had similarly weathered the industry confines. Seeking to have full control over the fate of his own band's releases and help other artists, Putnam resolved to form his own label, Partisan Records in late winter 2008.

The Standard's long awaited album Swimmer will be one of the first releases on Partisan Records. It reflects the wholly distinctive collaborative songwriting of Jay Clarke, Rob Oberdorfer, Robby Duncan, and Tim Putnam. The album is centered around Putnam's emotive disarming vocals / guitar, Clarke's beautiful constructed keyboards / piano, and Oberdorfer's / Duncan's accompanying rhythmic movements all at once minimal and full. Like many of their previous albums, it is a slow burn, that over time reveals a dark and poetic, innovative body of work that is hard to ignore. It dark moody goodness that's just a little off kilter and takes a wee bit getting used to. But one listen to, "Different Skin," with its dark synth line and swirly guitars and you'll be hooked.

Download: Sunday Eyes
Download: Different Skin
Download: The Swimmer

Crawl back under the covers

The Morning Benders just can't sit still. During a week off between touring the US with The Kooks, We Are Scientists and upcoming festival dates and a Fall tour with Ra Ra Riot, the band decided to cover some of their favorite songs and offer it as a free download to fans exclusively on their blog.

Here's what they have to say about the The Bedroom Covers EP

"The Bedroom Covers. as you may have guessed, are covers… and yes, we did them at home in my room! the songs that you hear here are just songs we really really like. we didn't deliberate over which songs to pick. we didn't try to stick to a certain time period or genre. we just recorded songs we were going to be singing around the house anyway (and we needed the practice).

These songs sound the way they do, because we recorded them with a laptop and one mic. we used mainly acoustic guitars and shakers because that's what we had lying around, and we couldn't make much noise in our apartment anyway. We didn't spend time arranging any of these either. We learned the chords and the lyrics (which was pretty easy because we've heard all these songs hundreds of times), and we played 'em. What you hear at the basis of the recording is generally a first take. Sometimes we added some background vocals or another guitar part here or there, because the songs we were covering had a lot more going on than us, and we were feeling a bit inadequate…

But hey, you're always fighting a losing battle when you're recording covers, because 99.99% of the time the cover isn't going to be as good the original. Well, for the record, let it be known that none of our covers are as good as the originals. That's part of why we wanted to give all these tracks away for free. If you haven't heard one of these songs before, you should go out and buy it from the original artist, RIGHT NOW. Disclaimer aside: if you want to hear some kids having a lot of fun playing some of their favorite songs ever, check these out."

And you should.

Download: The Bedroom Covers (via Sendspace zip)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Love the Violens!

Violens are a New York-via-Miami four-piece formed in the fall of 2007, featuring members Iddo Arad (synths/vocals), Ben Brantley (bass), Jorge Elbrecht (lead vocals/guitar) and Kris King (drums). Their music imagines a place where The Zombies & The Byrds meet Wire & The Violent Femmes, and Crass meets Angelo Badalamenti & Prefab Sprout.

Violens songs conjure descriptions of nightmares, the passing of time, speculations on spiritual messages, and accounts of psychedelic hallucinations. Even their most frenetic guitar work and aggressive rhythms are draped in a gauze of reverberant, harmonized vocals and synths which create a sense of creepy, artificial comfort. A fitting characterization, lyrically and musically, for a group whose name sounds like a melding of the words "violence" and "violins".

Download: Violent Sensation Descends (via zip file)

Twee POP! Forever

caUSE co-MOTION! have spent the last three years releasing a series of increasingly rad singles on What's Yr Rupture?, Cape Shok, Can't Cope and finally Slumberland. Their sound is a blazing chaos of jangle, clatter, and thump - busted strings and broken hearts. Hummable tunes to scratch that TVPs/Pastels/Comet Gain itch, with more than a dash of 14 Iced Bears and Desperate Bicycles in theretoo.

Using reverb as a weapon, caUSE co-MOTION! have honed their hyperactive sound into a formidable DIY pop lexicon. Dig their new language.

Slumberland is very happy to bring you It's Time!, a compilation of all of these fine singles. The fourteen songs race by in barely over twenty minutes, the compressed rush of melody, tunes and crash-bang energy perfectly mirroring the hormonal frenzy of adolescence and young adulthood. The eagerness to COMMUNICATE, if only for two minutes at a time. Classics like "This Time Next Year" and "Take A Look" have become mixtape staples, and are joined by more recent missives like "Say What You Feel" and "Cry For Attention" in the canon of crash-pop.

Download: I Lie Awake

Monday, August 11, 2008

Will You Please Quit Barking!

Bark Hide and Horn is a four-man folk-rock orchestra hailing from Portland, Oregon. National Road, the band’s first full-length, uses the full range of colors in Bark Hide and Horn’s sonic palette.

Digging deep into a basement closet full of stringed instruments, horns, odd percussion, and old electronic noise-makers, the boys flesh out their live sound with rich orchestrations, choral arrangements, and sonic experiments. Inspired by Andy’s collection of old National Geographic magazines, the record tells a tale about Melville Bell Grosvenor, editor of the magazine from 1957-‘67. The grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, Melville was an innovator and (in Andy’s imagination) a madman. Possessed by the spirit of his grandfather, Melville takes a mystical journey through the perspectives of the silenced voices in National Geographic articles -- an enslaved honey ant, a lovelorn tree snail, the disgruntled wife of a staff writer, even Ham, the first chimpanzee in outer space.

West Coast Performer explains, “In this way, Furgeson was much like fellow Portland storytelling songwriter Colin Meloy, able to stitch these ideas and their subsequent imagery seamlessly into catchy, sing-along pop.”

With its wide variety of voices and sounds, National Road swells up like our bloated nation, bursting forth as the singular vision of an up-and-coming band.

Download: Treasure of the Everglades
Download: Trumpeter Swan

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Video time again.

Here's a handful of rather cool videos I've come across the internets over the past couple of days. And while there might not be anything to download in this post, it's still worth a watch or two. So, go grab a drink, sit back and watch five really fun videos...and then download a bunch of stuff from the site after.

Gentleman Auction House:

Octopus Project:

This is Ivy League:


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jurrassic POP!

On their current self-titled album, The Terrordactyls' quirky, lighthearted yet decidedly melancholic pop/anti-folk tunes are augmented by toy pianos, kazoos, and the voice of Kimya Dawson

Despite all these charming trappings, though, nothing really serves to take the edge off the band’s gutsy interpretation of the sad sweetness (or sweet sadness) of living. This is demonstrated by the contrast of their childlike music to the dark and serious subject matter explored by lyrics such as (from “Fall”):

“Shoot me in the face / I’ll shoot you in the face / We’ll see which one of us / Can shoot the other in the most accurate place / Stab me in the chest / I’ll stab you in the chest / We’ll see which one of us / Can stab the other in the chest the very best / Hang me from the rafters / And I’ll hang you from the lamp post / We will see which one of us / Wants to end everything the most.”

Despite being labeled a “lo-fi” band, The Terrordactyls say they “strive for the highest fidelity” while maintaining the whimsy you might expect in homemade recordings. And if that doesn't sound like a sales pitch than I don't know what does.

Download: Overcast Summer
Download: Growing Old

I Got The Cure

Perfect As Cats: a tribute to The Cure will be released worldwide on October 28th, 2008 through LA indie label, Manimal Vinyl.

The final tracklisting sees a relatively unchanged line-up since it was announced in the media last March. The charity album (to benefit the Invisible Children organization) boasts 32 tracks from 32 artists ranging from UK bands Bat For Lashes and Jesu to American anglophiles The Dandy Warhols to newcomers like Hecuba, blackblack and Army Navy.

The album will be released as a limited deluxe double disc extensive liner notes on the bands as well as the charity's cause. It will also be released on all digital formats.

Here's the track listing...
Disc 1
Xu Xu Fang "Fascination Street"
Bat For Lashes "A Forest"
Hecuba "Killing An Arab"
Astrid Quay (of Winter Flowers) "The Caterpillar"
Indian Jewelry "The Walk"
Rainbow Arabia "Six Different Ways"
We Are The World "Why Can't I Be You?"
blackblack "In Between Days"
Rio en Medio "Pictures of You"
Gangi "Fire In Cairo"
Joker's Daughter "Kyoto Song"
Aquaserge with Laure Briard "10.15 Saturday Night" (in French)
The Muslims "Grinding Halt"
Voyager One "M"
Ex-Reverie "The Hanging Garden"
Caroline Weeks (of Bat For Lashes) "The Drowning Man"
Devastations "All Cats Are Gray"

Disc 2
The Dandy Warhols "Primary"
Veil Veil Vanish "The Upstairs Room"
Wolkfin (ex-Junior Senior) "Charlotte Sometimes"
Army Navy "Jumping Someone Else's Train"
Ich Bin Aiko "A Strange Day"
Lemon Sun "The Exploding Boy"
Corridor "The Kiss"
Katrine Ottosen (CALLmeKAT) "The Love Cats"
Silver Summit "A Night Like This"
Mariee Sioux "Love Song"
Kaki King "Close To Me"
Buddy "Sugar Girl"
Les Bicyclettes Blanches "Hot Hot Hot!"
Tara Busch "Let's Go To Bed"
Jesu "The Funeral Party"
Sarabeth Tucek "Three Imaginary Boys"
Lewis & Clarke "Disintegration"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Can't Stop the Twee POP!

As recounted in songs by Comet Gain and Walker Kong, the Vivian girls are the seven sisters who featured in Henry Darger's posthumously published fantasy epic, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. They've also been paid tribute by everyone from poet John Ashberry to Sufjan Stevens, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Camper Van Beethoven, F***ed Up, the Residents' Snakefinger, and ex-Maniac Natalie Merchant. And now by Brooklyn noise-pop band the Vivian Girls.

With their debut 7" on their very own Plays With Dolls Records already sending out waves of panic and adoration to the outer limits of the underground pop contingent, they have become the newest breakout sirens of the New York loft-pop brigade. Within seconds of hearing their seductive three-part vocal harmonies lushly interwoven with chest-pounding rhythms of beautiful feedback, it's obvious that their songs are hard to resist, especially if you find yourself keen on the mid-80s noise pop trifecta of Jesus And The Mary Chain, The Vaselines and the Shop Assistants.The Vivian Girls self-titled debut album appeared recently on Mauled By Tigers records in a vinyl-only edition of 500 which sold out before the band had completed their recent three week US tour. In The Red is now proud to bring you the re-release of this essential pop platter in both vinyl and compact disc formats. Swirling noise topped with sweetly angelic vocals is practically a can't-miss concoction, so expect your fruity neighbors and your attention-starved friends to chime in with unabashed praise when you spin this record.

The re-release of the Vivian Girls album will be preceded by a seven inch single with two exclusive songs. The re-release will be followed by much touring of the US and Europe.

Download: Where Do You Run To

Previously on Lost...

Ok...I love this show. Since the X-Files went off the air there really hasn't been a drama that I was keen on. That is until Lost came along. It's like Lord of the Flies mixed with the X-Files and it's so well thought out and mysterious that you can't help but throw things at your TV.

It's brilliant television and I've been hooked for four years now. Apparently, so has New York band, Previously On Lost.

They are NUTS and are truly the only genuine TV recap rock band that bases its songs and career around what's happening on the show.

If you thought Wizard Rock was off about Lost Rock. Well seeing as though we have an eon to wait until next season, you've got nothing better to do than go to and watch this season on repeat while you listen to Previously On Lost.

Download: The Wink (via Mediafire)
Download: Be My Constant (via Mediafire)
Watch: Lost on

Minus The Bear Add Jacksonville

Minus the Bear will embark on a new headline tour to support its latest Suicide Squeeze release, Planet of Ice. For this trek, the band will see main support duties from the Raleigh, NC septet, Annuals. The tour kicks off in Spokane, WA at Service Station on October 8 and will feature additional support from first of three acts Themes, Sylvie, 27 and Helms Alee along the way. Presale tickets are available beginning August 5 –9 at

The tour stops by Freebird here in Jacksonville on November 5th!

Download: Minus the Bear: Memphis & 53rd
Download: Minus the Bear: Pachuca Sunrise
Download: Annuals: Sore

They're Way More Hood Than You.

If you came to POP! at Eclipse when Astronautilis and I used to tag-team DJ, then you know Astro used to drop Hood Internet tunes like bombs. The songs he would play were mash ups from the gods and people would always be like, "What the hell is that shit?"

Well here's the story. In an age of immediacy, The Hood Internet gives the people what they want on a daily basis—even if they don't know they want it yet. Marauding the pop, rap and R&B landscapes like laptop-armed alchemists, DJs STV SLV and ABX (aka Steve Reidell and Aaron Brink) drop the unlikeliest elements into their pot and make gold—from Dirty South rap to Canadian indie rock to “French Touch” electro to pretty much whatever else you got.

Longtime collaborators and occasional rivals, STV SLV and ABX first “met” on the Internet, downloading one another’s songs, and later shared bills in their respective bands, taking occasional shots at each other on wax before joining several other friends to start Chicago art-pop band May or May Not. The pair staked out in the spring of 2007 and started cooking up full song mash-ups at a breakneck pace, complete with photoshopped glossies for each title.

With the world wide web on lock—at a million-plus downloads, they've already gone “Internet platinum” —The Hood Internet has racked up +140 original mash-up tracks, three mixtapes, some straight-up remixes for bands like Blitzen Trapper and El Perro Del Mar, and a 10-track collaboration with Bay Area rappers/Vans aficionados The Pack.

Download: Pro Nails Forever (Kid Sister Vs. Walter Meego)
Download: Super Bowl Jesus (Kanye West vs 1985 Bears vs Wilco)
Download: Public Enemy Vs. Health (via Z-Share)
Download: Dizzee Rascal Vs. Cut Copy (via Z-Share)

Die Die Die!!!!!

With bad hair and bad hats, these Kiwi's are destined to kill us all! Die! Die! Die!, as the rather shitty, Spin magazine actually said correctly, "has little time for pop conventions." This is true as the bands angular guitar riffs go for the jugular while raw raspy vocals miraculously manage to bore their way into your collective memory.

Impressive stuff then.

Die! Die! Die! has been compared to an intriguing mix of bands, including ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Wire, Sonic Youth and kiwi faves like Bailter Space and The Clean. The boys in the band -- vocalist/guitarist Andrew Wilson, drummer Michael Prain and bassist Lachlan Anderson -- traveled to Chicago two years ago to cut its first self-titled release with Steve Albini in a brick basement (responsible for some of the greatest records of all time). Needless to say, this record sent the trio on a whirlwind series of countless tours (supporting Blood Brothers, Wire, Slint and Wolfmother) and gained it considerable world wide notoriety which no band from their native Dunedin, New Zealand had seen since the Dunedin sound heyday of the 80’s.

That being's easy to say that New Zealand is back once again in the never ending POP! stakes with Die! Die! Die!'s latest album Promises Promises. Cathartic, direct, indispensable… You will know the sound as Die! Die! Die! Check out a quarter of the album below and join in the kiwi madness that is Die! Die! Die!

Download: Sideways Here We Come
Download: A.T.T.I.T.U.D.
Download: Blue Skies

Even More Twee.

Not many bands can say they have put out 12 albums, much less a twee indie rock band but that's exactly what Super XX Man has done since their inception in the 90's.

After 13 years writing, recording, and producing, Scott Garred aka Super XX Man, has cultivated a mildly edgy modern rock sound in the new release Volume XII: There’ll Be Diamonds. Previous releases have garnered acclaim from everywhere, even the likes of Bob Boilen, host of All Songs Considered (“If we’re going to choose ten songs every week, let it be Super XX Man”).

The bands songs are marked by washes of feedback, dark atmospherics and pointillist lyrics that chronicle the lives of the people Garred works with at the Oregon State Hospital, the oldest psychiatric institution in his home state. Super XX Man has been through many changes since the beginning but none as dramatic and exciting as what can be heard on Volume XII: There’ll Be Diamonds. It is a difference that both long-time fans and new listeners will surely welcome with open arms, sharing a long embrace with Garred’s musical vision.

Download: Medication