Friday, March 27, 2009

Patrick Pleau's Hype...

Ok...I admit, I don't speak a word of French. But music is the universal language and if something is good it doesn't really matter what language it is in, it's still good. That's especially true in the case of Patrick Pleau!

This French Canadian sounds like he was beamed to the 21st century from the 60's with a love of all things Chanson. He's got that smokey, tender voice that haunted so many French pop records 40 years ago and made all the girls fall in love.

When you wrap his voice around tunes that sound something like Phoenix mixed with a dash of Britpop and throw in some international intrigue (yeah, ok he's from Canada) you have the makings of something special that's bound to cross borders and language barriers. As fate would have it Patrick Pleau does have that something's his album called, Hype-Moi.

Hype-Moi is a great record that's filled with jangly pop, huge choruses, and tender ballads that will no doubt make girls stalk him no matter where he goes. It's a fun listen that will make you wish you were in Paris...or Montreal as the case may be. If you love your pop with a bit of foreign flare, than Patrick Pleau is your boy.

Download: Bocalophobe
Download: Antigenie
Download: Cimetiere Lunaire

Rosie and Me

Rosie and Me are a folk/acoustic duo from Curitiba, Brazil, made up of Rosie and Alex.

Their music is driven by Rosie’s voice, with an increasing level of vocal participation from Alex, whose voice blends entirely with the whole set. Rosie also plays a great number of instruments, such as: guitar, piano and bass while Alex plays the synths and harmonicas. In addition to the namesakes of the band there's also Guilherme who plays the bass and Tiago who plays the drums.

Perfectly matched, their songs are catchy and heartbreaking at the same time. It's cute and cuddly twee pop and nothing says Spring more than Rosie and Me's shy, shuffley tunes. If you ever thought Ballboy's softer side was brilliant than you'll find Rosie and Me the most charming band to ever come out of Brazil.

They record everything themselves and have yet to step in to a studio to record an actual EP. But they've been kind enough to send over a few demo tracks that are charmingly brilliant twee pop.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's All Minimal to Joachim Spieth

Techno has been the new black since before that phrase came into existence. It is a genre that flourishes in the most dank cities and towns across the globe. Detroit and Berlin are it's two capitals but if you observe surrounding areas you're sure to find the echos of this machine music coming from seemingly abandoned buildings. That's where Joachim Spieth and his Affin imprint step in.

Joachim Spieth, has released records on Techno giants like Kompakt, Speicher and Paso Music. He started the Affin imprint a little over a year ago to release his own tracks and those of like-minded producers.

And that's where we come in. He's released his new compilation album Presence which marks the past decade or so of his musical career. To celebrate he's released a handful of tunes for you to get scientific to.

If you like things that are minimal, sleek, and precise than Joachim is your boy. His clinical techno killers are bleak, stark, and really frickin good. Mixing found sounds, throbbing basslines, and beats that take control Joachim knows a thing or two about glitch, minimalism and just making songs that fry your brain.

Download: Ich
Download: Connect
Download: Maxime Dangles - Strawberry (Joachim Spieth Remix)
Download: Bjirn Scheurmann - Musicmol (Joachim Spieth Remix)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beware of Alligators

When you think about Kitsap County and “the other side of Puget Sound,” not much comes to mind but small towns and the naval shipyard. But that's where Alligators come from. These five gentlemen have already hit it big in a sense just because of their name. Alligators (the animals), are large reptiles that have a peculiar mystique surrounding their existence and without being reptiles, the band are hoping that mystique follows them.

Taking influence from many of the greats and hints of Radiohead, The Beach Boys, and The Zombies can be heard in their songs. While they don’t stick with one narrow style of music, their sound can be described as very creative, high-energy, precise pop laced with beautiful harmonies and clever arrangements. Each element of the band is interesting; from the tight pulses that the bass and drums provide, to the guitar-synthesizer relationship during the always-stylish vocal melodies. In other words, while there are hints of Radiohead's prog leanings, The Beach Boys multipart harmonies and the Zombies 60's groove, the song ends up sounding like a long lost Phoenix track. Is that a good thing? What do you think?

Download: Where Does It Hide

Ryan Smith Just Wants to Feel

Ryan Smith's music finds middle ground between the far reaches of the indielandscape and the familiarity of pop radio. His latest album, I Just Want To Feel That Way, was called "the best six Paul Westerberg songs that Paul Westerberg neither wrote nor recorded."

That wouldn't be far from the truth. Smith's whiskey coated vocals and slightly rustic sense of songmanship hits the mark. His songs are a smoky, remorseful listen that's quite entertaining and will remind of dusty prairies, hard drinking, and harder times. The perfect musician for these dark days then.

Download: Santa Cruz

Taking Over...

The Takeover UK are in fact NOT British but hail from the exotic land of Pittsburgh, PA. In the short time since I originally posted about them as part of the Stimulus Package Tour the band released their debut album on Rykodisc entitled Running with the Wasters. They might not be British, but they're the most Britpop non-Britpop band to not to come out of the UK. Figure that one out.

The foursome perform a raucous blend of pop smattered with a bratty dose of punk rock rebellion. Huge hooks and smashing choruses flirt with one another in songs such as "Ah La La," while the band's inherent charm shines through in tracks, "Evelyn" and "The Lonely Ones." The Takeover UK are as charismatic on record as they are live and that's why you should see them when they roll through your town. See the earlier post for dates!

Download: Ah La La (video featured on TEN TRACKS YOU NEED last week)
Download: Running With The Wasters

You're Filthy.

Carmine P. Filthy has been sweating it out on the dance floor since he was 15 years old. P. Filthy got his start in the club scene as an integrated part of Beat Camp and Revolver down in Miami. He moved on to Chicago to throw underground art party Mondo before moving on to a residency at Grammercy. After four years in the city that built House he moved to Brooklyn. Since moving to NYC in 2005 he has produced and Djed all over the city including venues & parties like APT, Happy Ending, Ruff Club, Crooked Disco, Beauty Bar, B.E.D., element and South Paw.

Carmine P. Filthy is always interested in the new territories of sonics for the dance floor. P. Filthy plays relentless tech crunk, body music and heavy electro as well as the deepest italo and slickest techno. He's shared the decks with DJ Fame (Dubsided), AC Slater, The Captain (Trouble & Bass), Alexander Technique, Lauren Flax (iheartcomix), Glimmers, Eamon Harkin, James F!@#$ing Friedmen, Selway, Mark Verbos, Tommie Sunshine, Ewan Pearson to name a few.

The two mixes span some time but are still super worthy. Barack is a bit more "euphoric," if you will while Sordid is a bit rougher. Are they worth downloading? Um 2 hours of music for free...yeah they are.

Download: Sordid Standard via Soundcloud
Download: Barack the Boat via Soundcloud

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Noah’s Ark Was A Spaceship!

I don't know a lot about Noah’s Ark Was A Spaceship but what I do know is that they are a band from Omaha, Nebraska formed in 2004 by good friends Andrew Gustafson and John Svatos. The band has undergone several lineup changes as most bands do but they finally settled on drummer Rob Webster in 2007. Influenced by late 80’s and early 90’s alternative rock the band combines noisy guitars, fuzzed out bass and hard hitting drums in a simple songwriting fashion.

In other words, they're good old fashioned indie rock in that Sub Pop/ Seattle meets Merge / Chapel Hill sort of style. If you like your indie a little rough around the edges but still with a sense of melody then you'll fall head over heels for Noah's Ark Was A Spaceship. The songs for download are off of their latest EP entitled My Name Is, What Is Your Name and the whole EP is a doozy in that 90's sort of indie rock angst way. It's good stuff that'll blow out your tweeters and maybe even your ears.

Download: Adult Sized Skeletal
Download: Reverse Effects In Jumping Jacks

To the Nite Club Baby...

Nite Club is the project of multi instrumentalist Richard Spitzer. Born into a Orthodox Jewish / Cuban family, music was a natural part of daily life. Either the salsa and mambo infused family parties or the introspective soulful prayer at the ultra Orthodox Hebrew Temple. Diversity in music was Spitzer’s calling since he was little.

Showcased in the live setting Nite Club becomes a collaboration with Osbourne (Ghostly International) drummer Steve Bryant. Their combined background of live jungle, indie rock and hip hop makes for a upbeat and dreamy atmosphere.

Manipulating all kinds of instruments Spitzer’s experiences come together with Nite Club. While having the New York night life as his backdrop he creates a beautiful project that shines in the night sky.

Judging by the tracks below, the band's album My Tronic should be a brilliant little slice of synth indie pop heaven. The songs are shy and laid back and sound a bit like Figurine or the more sensitive moments of Postal Service. It's really cool stuff that kind of shuffles its feet along as it takes over your brain.

Download: No Matter Which Way
Download: Good Life (Kanye West Cover)


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Lovetones Reach New Dimensions

The Lovetones are an Australian band that's been slowly building it's reputation over the last seven years. Back in 2002 their debut album, Be What You Want was hailed by critics around the world as featuring songs that were worthy of Ray Davies, Roger McGuinn, Lennon and McCartney. But as fate would have it, the bands leader, J Tow, left Australia to join the brilliant train wreck that is the Brian Jonestown Massacre in 2003. Returning to his own band in 2004, The Lovetones released the Stars EP and then Meditations in 2005 and Axiom in 2006 all to acclaim. These releases furthered the development of the band and set them up for their latest album, Dimensions.

A psychedelic pop experience, Dimensions has the sound and feel of a record recorded sometime between the years of 1965-1968. I suppose you could think of The Lovetones almost as if Ride met the Dandy Warhols and then ran into the Ray, Paul, and John on Carnaby Street. It's a jangly affair that rises up out of the mists of history to sound like reflection of the sum of its influences. In fact, at certain times during, Dimensions, you would swear that the Beatles or Kinks sat in on the sessions. One listen to a couple of songs like, "Journeyman," and "Two of a Kind," and you’ll be convinced that this is a long lost record from a bygone era

Dimensions is quite a good record that harks back to pop's glorious past while attempting to carry the legendary influences that shape it in to the future. The Lovetones clearly have been around long enough to understand their way around a classic pop song and they do a pretty good job of recreating them time after time. Whether it is lush, orchestral ballads, spacey psychedelic pop, or Merseybeat-ish jangle, J. Tow and The Lovetones have the chemistry, adoration for classicism, and talent that allows them to write great songs that consistently hit their mark.

Download: Journeyman

Pomegranates Are Good For You

Hailing from that hotbed of rock and roll that is Cincinnati, Ohio, Pomegranates are preparing to issue their second album in as many years. Everybody Come Outside is a concept album of sorts, weaving an interesting tale of a man who leaves home, only to be abducted by a time traveler. No, it's not an episode of Dr. Who or Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy but it is one heck of an indie pop record.

Everybody Come Outside is an impressive shimmery, jaunty, jangly, spacey and artful pop record. Pomegranates are clearly a band ahead of their career trajectory as you hear that this band has matured by leaps and bounds from their debut Everything Is Alive. The songs here are stronger, better written, and so much catchier that I think I need a flu shot. While I'm not to sure about the concept portion of the record, as a group of eleven songs, Everybody Come Outside is a brilliant sophomore effort that sounds something like the Talking Heads duking it out with the B-52's (old) and some strange collective of New York bands that all wear skinny jeans.

Sounding a bit lo-fi at times Pomegranates sound as though they are telling you the tale of this time traveler to you directly while you sit in your Lazyboy. It's an intimate record that still manages to create enough energy to rip the space time continuum when needed. Check out the ethereal epic, "I Feel Like I'm a Million years Old," for an example of how they do this. Starting out as a pop song the tune then transports itself into another galaxy utilizing wave upon wave of guitar based bliss that will leave you thinking Brian Eno returned from the Moon with this record in his hand.

Download: Corriander

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Just So Poptastic.

Seeland Records is pleased to present The Teen-Pop-Noise Virus, one of the most absurd albums of all-time by Poptastic. The music, like the band itself, was spawned from the warped minds of experimental producers Chris Fitzpatrick and Thomas Dimuzio. At the core of their debut release are twelve intricately mangled songs, but in the spaces between, there is much more.

Poptastic’s basic concept is accessible and humorous, yet buried in the layers of sound is a complex web of mixing, remixing, editing, re-editing, arranging, and de-arranging that continues to reveal something new with each listen. It was also designed so that in CD shuffle play, only the “hits” play, yet when in continuous linear play, the entire album is a single interwoven work; the spaces in between songs are arenas in which fragmented elements of each song collide and blend discordantly. Fitzpatrick explains, “We are finding that people are not as confused by the music as by why they find themselves listening again and again.” With a smile, Dimuzio sums up the entire project, “Poptastic is just plain wrong.”

If you were wondering what they're on about, their association with Negativland (they run Seeland Records) kind of gives you an idea of what they sound like. In other words, Poptastic aren't exactly a "pop" band in the conventional sense. They love pop music but they prefer it sliced, diced, chopped, and pasted back together. The result are songs that sound a bit rough around the edges but have a heart that beats w/a pure bubblegum. A tribute to the power of the editor, Poptastic are exceptional masters of the patchwork pop tune.

Download: I Think of You
Download: Not Coming Back
Download: Hold Me
Download: Are You Happy

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's An UltraChorus?

The duo known as UltraChorus is Chris Heidman and Jeff Lorentzen. The two spend nearly everyday in their Minneapolis SoTM studio composing and making beats at an Olympic level. Judging by the single that they've just released, Words Kept Talking, I'd say they if there was an Olympic event for such a thing they'd win a gold medal.

As for how the band came together...well that starts back in the 90's. Chris began his career as half of the late 90’s electro indie band Sukpatch, pioneering beat driven music for the twee set by way of the Beastie’s Grand Royal label. After a small bit of indie cult status was achieved, Sukpatch laid down their samplers and called it done in 2004. Meanwhile, carefully straddling the line between distinguished gentlemen and accomplished degenerate, Jeff has spent most of his life in the studio. A producer through and through, this is his debut on the other side of the microphone.

It's a damn good debut and how could it not be, Sukpatch were are brilliant band so the foundation for something fantastic had already been laid when these two got together. As for the single, Words Kept Talking, it's a brilliant slab of synth pop run through a banjo, the 80's, a bit of the Postal Service and then sugar coated with a choruses so catchy it will make you sick. In other need this in your life.

Everyone's Going Green...

Guelph, Ontario's shouty dance funk pop band, Green Go are gearing up for release of their debut full length, Borders, this April. The year that was 2008 saw them play many a sweaty house party and release a stunning 3 song sampler, the Ghosts of the Future EP, which was quick to top campus radio charts across the Canada and has apparently sold out. Although defining their sound isn't the easiest task, but what the hell I'll give it a shot. This is a band that takes acoustic instruments and beats up synthesizers and drum machines until they get something that sounds like a spastic Beck on all sorts of drugs. They're pretty crazy but in all the best ways. If they don't get your feet moving then you truly have problems.

In an effort to make you happy the band are releasing the Green Go Remix Project Vol. 1. Explosive remixes of everyones favorite Canadian indie rock tracks from Born Ruffians, the Rural Alberta Advantage, Women, Gentlemen Reg, and The D'Urbervilles are re-wrapped in the synth heavy, freak out inducing, sweaty ways Green Go have become so well known for. Are the remixes good? Oh hell yeah!!! The Women re-work is a brilliant 60's tweaked folk rock taken through an 808 that's worth the download alone.

Download: Green Go Remix Project Volume One (via Drop Io)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stimulus Package Tour

Los Angeles’ GLISS and Pittsburgh’s The Takeover UK will join forces this March on a co-tour dubbed “The Stimulus Package Tour.” All of the shows will be at recession-friendly prices, so grab your friends and come out to support these young musicians on the rise. We're talking like $5 or something for the show and super cheap merchandise. Think Fugazi folks.

As for the bands GLISS, is a Los Angeles trio (Victoria, Martin and David) who will release their sophomore effort Devotion Implosion on April 7th via Cordless Recordings. Devotion Implosion is a decadent slice of sexy, moody, atmospheric garage-pop ecstasy.

The Takeover UK are in fact NOT British but hail from the exotic land of Pittsburgh, PA. They will release their Rykodisc debut Running with the Wasters on March 24th. The foursome perform a raucous blend of pop smattered with a bratty dose of punk rock rebellion. Huge hooks and smashing choruses flirt with one another in songs such as "Ah La La," while the band's inherent charm shines through in tracks, "Evelyn" and "The Lonely Ones." The Takeover UK are as charismatic on record as they are live and that's why you should see them when they roll through your town.

Here are the dates:
3/25/09 San Diego CA Beauty Bar
3/27/09 Los Angeles CA Spaceland
3/29/09 San Jose CA Johnny V's
3/30/09 Sacramento CA Luigi's Fungarden
3/31/09 San Francisco CA Hotel Utah
4/02/09 Portland OR East End
4/04/09 Eugene OR Sam Bond's Garage
4/05/09 Seattle WA El Corazon
4/06/09 Spokane WA BLVD
4/07/09 Boise ID Bouquet
4/08/09 Denver CO Soiled Dove
4/09/09 Davenport IA Redstone Room
4/11/09 Chicago IL Beat Kitchen (early show)
4/13/09 Lawrence KS The Jackpot
4/17/09 Pittsburgh PA Brillo Box
4/20/09 Atlanta GA Drunken Unicorn
4/24/09 Miami FL Sweat @ Vagabond
5/4/09 NYC NY Mercury Lounge
5/6/09 Brooklyn NY Union Hall

Watch: Takeover UK (downloads at bottom of post)
Takeover UK

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Since forming in early 2007, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart have become one of the most talked about pop bands in years. They have released a handful of singles on classy labels like Slumberland, Fortuna Pop!, Atomic Beat and Cloudberry, each one issued to greater anticipation and even wilder reception.

There is something instantly identifiable about a Pains tune, and it is the essential “rightness” of their records that has captured the attention of pop fans around the world and raised anticipation levels for their debut album to a near-fever pitch. Thankfully, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart has arrived to quench the thirst of everyone who longs for 80's noise pop to return.

Sounding something like The Primitives, The Pale Saints, JAMC, a bit of shoegazing, and a whole bunch of Sarah Records singles all blended into a sheet of cascading beautiful jangly noise, POBPAH have tapped into that classic noise pop sound and come up with a set of songs that are absolutely brilliant. If you ever loved anything from the late 80's British pop cannon you will LOVE these guys!!

Download: Everything With You
Download: Young Adult Friction

Grauwelt's Industrial Mayhem

I'm the first to admit I'm in touch with my inner goth. So when Grauwelt showed up in my inbox was I was pretty chuffed at the chance to hear something that smelled of clove and was covered in nothing but black. I got that...but I got more...

Obsolete: this is the title that designer and electronic artist Robert Krums has chosen for his latest project under the alias Grauwelt. He chose this title because after completing the album, he realized that the genre it belonged to no longer existed. Krums, who also records hip-hop under the name Earmint, came of age at a time when his native Chicago was churning out exciting industrial and electronic music at an alarming rate. As a teenager, Krums saturated himself with the music of Wax Trax recording artists like KMFDM and Ministry, as well as earlier electronic groups like Cabaret Voltaire and Depeche Mode. While he later found himself gravitating toward the emerging culture of hip-hop, these early influences have never left him. “This is the album I would have made back then if I could have,” he asserts.

To create Obsolete:, Krums was wary of using any modern techniques, as he wanted to maintain what he calls the “rawness and harshness” of a purely analog sound. In the end, he used a decade old computer program to sequence his compositions, but relied on strictly analog methods for his instrumentation, utilizing vintage drum machines and synthesizers layered over stacks of mutilated samples.

The result is a brilliant blast from the past that sounds like the best record Front 242 or Ministry never released. It's dark and brooding beats take the songs through fog, smoke, and enough fishnet and Doc Marten's to last a lifetime. It's so good that if Wax Trax were still around this would easily fit on the label and would be huge.

Download: Warfare
Download: Brutality

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Zion I Takes Over

The email clean out continues...I keep finding all these hidden gems that I apparently never posted. Up next is Zion I.

Zion I have recently released their album The Takeover and needless to say it's probably pretty important that you find it and add it to your collection. I've done a few posts from one of it's members, AMPLive, in the past and his Radiohead Remixes were a big hit. When Amp teams up with MC Zumbi they become conscious musicians Zion I.

In the Great Email Clean Out of 2009 I've unearthed a few tracks from last year that you might dig. First there’s the “Gotsta Chill (Temperature Remix)” featuring Zumbi, which radically re-envisions the Zion I gem “Temperature.” Second, there’s the Santogold “Starstruck”-sampling remix of another Zion I standout “One” which features Zumbi and Grouch. Both tracks are below for download.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Put Your Drugs Under the Rugs

The music of the 60s casts a mighty shadow – so formidable, in fact, that bands have a pretty tough time escaping it. Which is a blessing for anyone within earshot of Drug Rug, a Boston-based vintage pop duo that owes a sizable debt to many a proto-punk, many a flower child, and many a Beatle.

Keen on the Everly Bros, The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, and Paul & Linda’s righteous RAM, Thomas Allen and Sarah Cronin create the sort of stuff music writers like to call “timeless.”

Drug Rug have that folky call and response thing down to a tee and they manage to warp that sensibility into heartachingly beautiful pop that almost sounds as if Dylan himself produced the tunes.

These songs might be a bit older, but they're quite good! I'm not sure why I never posted them. So enjoy a blast from 2008.

Download: Day I Die
Download: Winter Time

Friday, March 6, 2009

His Name Says It All...Darren Keen

After a couple day of bangers and mash, so to speak. It's time to cool down a bit. So everyone welcome my good friend Darren Keen. Like his last name his songs are good. Really good in that sort of twisted kind of humor way.

Sure, he's kind of a singer songwriter, but his stuff is funny and takes the piss while at the same time still trying to be kind of serious. It's good stuff that sounds about as lazy as a Sunday.

Here's Darren to explain about his new album, Slumberparty Record. "I’ve wanted to make a “nice” album for a long time, but, my other bands are all strkingly un-”nice” sounding. The point was at first to please the ear, but that only led to the realization that my voice will never “please” any “ears”. The point for me was to write pop gems that didn’t drag on. One verse, one chorus, maybe two if that’s what it took to get the point across, that’s the point. Postmodern huh? My name is Darren and I made “Slumberparty Record” in my bedroom all by myself. I’m terrible at the drums so I used a $5 toy keyboard rhythm section. This was really fun to make, and I hope you enjoy listening to it. You’ll never get to heaven if you’re scared of getting high."

Download: Good People Like You
Download: Hot Air Balloon

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Laughing Through the Jungle

The Laughing first took the Austin scene by storm in 2007 with its Tiger Cry EP. The thematic release centered on a gang finding meaning through worshiping a mythical tiger and earned The Laughing shows with MGMT, Yeasayer, The TING TINGS, Monotonix, The Stills, Tapes N Tapes, and Tokyo Police Club. With JUNGLE, the band evolves into a darker, more sonically diverse sound than their initial inception. When asked to name the sound, the band suggests: “jungle smut core.”

Guitars, bass, drums, sticks, saxophones, keys, flutes, glockenspiels, clarinets, djembes, dulcimers, melodies, bells, harmonies, rhythms, claps and chants (just to name a few) form the sounds of JUNGLE. The Laughing is currently putting the finishing touches on FEVER, its upcoming debut full length record due out this May.

To say this band isn't diverse when it comes to writing songs would be an understatement. It's as if they literally throw all that instrumentation listed above at a wall see what sticks and then cram them into each individual tunes. The results are songs that have more going on around them then most bands have in their entire discography. It makes for very interesting listening as things emerge out of nowhere to assault your senses. JUNGLE is hazy stuff that's aurally exciting and hypnotically other words, pretty good.

Download: Canopy
Download: Paradise

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crushed into Bits

Who the hell are Bit Crushers? Well you may know them separately as DJ Fame and Gaby Dershin who is one half of Astro&Glyde.

DJ Fame was the first US producer on the fidget originators Dubsided as well as a member of the Pottymouth Music label out of Chicago. Fame also held down a long running residency at NY's Sullivan Room bringing in top guests including Switch, Jesse Rose & Mathew Jonson.

Gaby Dershin holds down a residency at Le Souk as a part of Sunday Sessions, a cornerstone of the NY House scene. He has also released tracks on CR2 and Azuli.

Together they combine into the mighty Bit Crushers and come up with tunes that a bit of everything. Their tunes are a bit fidgety, a bit 8bit, a bit minimal, and a bit garagey(kind of a stretch I guess). While a combination like that could be incredibly annoying and lead straight to a migraine of epic proportions, Bit Crushers manage to stay away from that by drilling a small hole into your skull and pumping these tunes directly into them so that you won't soon forget them. It's good stuff then.

Download: Wanna Ride (Original Mix)
Download: Wanna Ride (DJ Fame Mix)
Download: What She Said (Original Mix)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Greater California Area

Hailing from the burghs of Long Beach, the band Greater California bring us a whole new distinct sound on their third album All the Colors. Produced with Ikey Owens (Mars Volta, Crystal Antlers) and includes an impressive list of guest musicians (most notably percussion genius Steven Hodges of Tom Waits), All the Colors is a summertime landscape likened to the works of Brian Wilson, the Zombies, Harry Nilsson, the Velvet Underground and the Byrds, full of jangly 12-string guitars, rich vocal harmonies, a big bag of percussion, vibraphones and marimbas, a stray trumpet, and the ever inviting sounds of the Hammond organ and Wurlitzer electric piano.

Greater California are a theatrical bunch that utilize that whole list of instrumentation above to create lush, dramatic pop that's hypnotically cool. The plodding piano on "Disappearing," marches throughout the song making it so easy to latch on to, you'd have to be missing ears not to. The tune sort of reminds me of something like an American version of the Bad Seeds meets the Tindersticks in a Vaudevillian theater somewhere. It's cool, spooky stuff.

Download: Disappearing