Monday, June 26, 2006

This is another in Lola's long line of "didn't get enough sleep last night" posts. The posts are shorter and scamblier, but they're often more biting and get to the point more quickly.

Maritime, "I Used To Be a Singer"

This is a sad song. It's all about used-to-bes. Used to bes bother me. I don't want to be used-to-be anything (except maybe used-to-be single, used-to-be insomniac, etc.) Anyways, he's singing about how he used to be a singer, which is weird 'cause he's singing. Despite the slightly depressing lyrics, though, it's a very good song. Actually all the songs I've heard from them are very good. (Click on "download" to get to the right page.)

Flook, "The Tortoise and the Hare"

It's Celtic! It's all flutey and whistley!. I like it! (Scroll way, way down for the song) Also, this is the second song I've posted in the last month to have "tortoise" in the title. Weird? A coincidence? Divinity? Here's an article on Flook, from their site.


Flook

Laura Viers, "Fire Snakes"

The songs I've heard of Laura Viers' remind me a lot of Mindy Smith's music-- they both have a really organic, earthy sound. "Fire Snakes" manages to be moody, dark and slightly folky all at the same time. I like my folk music dark and spooky, so this works very well for me. Here's her website.


Laura Viers

The Bother, "Not a Day"

Scroll way down for this song. Ooh, I had no idea this was posted a year an a half ago. Oops--well, it's new to me and you. This is another dark, moody, slightly folky song. I certainly do take to these kind of songs. I guess I'm a dark, moody, slightly folky girl. Anyway, the guy's voice could be, uh, a little more steady and a little less warbling. That's one flaw, and though it's highly noticeable, what's left is a very distinguished piece of music employing a very engaging undercurrent of violin and a low-key, Red House Painters-like guitar.

The Capstan Shafts, "She Paints With Both Hands"

As far as I can tell, most of this guy's songs are short, so I think this song really us just 55 seconds long. (Scroll way down for the song). It's very difficult to find information on this band (which is really just one guy, Dean Wells). I've googled, all-music-guided, amazoned and I'm coming up fairly empty. I know they have a few albums and have been on a few labels and they seem like a pretty cool band. Their website is under construction. Here they are on Last.FM I can tell you this: He's looking for a girl with an ambidextrous ability (not me, unfortunately). Also I can tell you I'm quite fond of this song.


The Capstan Shafts cover for The Sleeved and Grandaughters of the Blacklist

Okay, that's all for me tonight. I have to go to bed early. I have to. I simply have to.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Five songs will be delayed until tomorrow. Please forgive :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

FIVE SONGS I'M LOVING THIS WEEK


Io Perry, "I'll Pick You Up"

When this song starts, it reminds me of something Frankie Valli would've sung in the 50's. You know--very "Beauty School Drop-Out". It's cool because of that, plus it mentions X-Ray vision and references to Superman are always cool in songs (well, alright--some people may dispute that Five For Fighting song, but I liked "Superman (It's Not Easy)"). Then it segueways into a breezy, poppy song with kind of sad lyrics. She says she'll take someone somewhere "even if it's just as a friend". I don't drive, so I can't comment so much, but if it were me with the price of fuel there'd better be something going on. Friends are nice, but gas is almost $3 a gallon for the cheap stuff! Anyways, I like this song a lot, as I do the other song posted, "Saturday". This is her website and her Myspace.

io_perry2_300dpi FROM HER SITE
Io Perry, Grey Baby album cover

Lake Holiday, "In Whispers"

I've posted a song from this band before, and last week I included their song "Press Record Then Play" on my podcast. Okay, so it hasn't been that long since i posted one of their songs, but they're worth multiple postings. The rapid delivery of the song (and even the guy's voice) reminds me of Guided By Voices. The keyboard refrain is distinctive; I'll never mistake this song for any other song. I know I say a lot of bands are "my favorites", but this is one of my favorites. I actually don't mind spending money on their cds. Here's their website.

The Arrogants, "Cool Shoes"

I first heard The Arrogants' "Cool Shoes" on Insomnia Radio Double Shots, which is a mini-podcast that site puts out in addition to its regular podcasts. The song has kind of a 60's feel--I'm beginning to realize that I really seem to like these kinds of songs. I call it boppy girl-pop, though I've heard some guys engage in it also. It has a lot in common with Io Perry's song in that respect; very upbeat, fast musical delivery, and slightly sing-songy female vocals. Maybe it's all the girl groups my mom listened to when I was a kid (and we listened to them all), but I love this kind of music. Maybe it's because it doesn't make me depressed like 98% of the music I like does; I'm not sure why I have such a penchant for California-type melodies and vocals. The Arrogants' Myspace page.

medium_the_arrogants_full_band
The Arrogants

Magneta Lane, "Constant Lover"

This is also a female-fronted band, but it's more hard-edged than the previous two songs. Granted hard-edged for me is along the lines of Sleater-Kinney or Yeah Yeah Yeah's--I'm not talking about death metal here. The vocals aren't sentimental--they're more penetrating than most pop vocals. More Joan Jett than Anna Nalick. Like they say on their website--"hugs and punches". They seduce and punch us at the same time, and we love it. I regretfully got their name wrong on the podcast from last week (oops--not my only mistake).

magphoto1  from their site
Magneta Lane

Retro Song:

The Unicorns, "Sea Ghost"

This is one of several songs from I Guess I'm Floating that I have lined up, ready to write about. Yes, folks, I have a surplus of songs-I'm-Loving-This-Week (er, month). This is two years old, and unfortunately the band's no longer together (but the members have gone on to do other worthy projects). I'd heard of the band before but had never heard any of their music until I decided to look for them after hearing one of the ex-member's side project Islands. It's a shame I was late to this (and I feel silly 'cause apparently they were as well-known to indie-music aficionados as Arcade Fire). Anyways--about the song: Oh my God! I love that piccalo or whatever it is (once again showing my ample musical knowledge). I love the name of the album, too--"Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone". What an awesome title.

UNICORN
A Unicorn, a mythological creature

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Podcast!!! This is the mp3.
Also, don't forget to look at my blog post from earlier today. It's especially awesome, I believe.

ETA: Oops. I screwed up again. The Magenta Lane song has extended commentary by someone on the website I got it from. Oops. I'll get this right one day.
Really beautiful song & video: Regina Spektor, "Samson (.mov file)

Corinne Bailey Rae, "Trouble Sleeping". Awesome singer and a really good song.

***
Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

(Actually, I accidently posted six. Oh well. I have seven more I could've posted, but I figured I should save something for next week).

Alexi Murdoch, "All My Days"

I heard this guy on KRCW's Morning Becomes Eclectic and for once I ceased posting on Livejournal, my mind stopped wandering, and I stopped petting my cats. I just sat here and listened, enthralled. He's getting a lot of comparisons to Nick Drake, and they're valid--it's uncanny how much he sounds like him. However, I'm not going to dismiss his music as a Drake copy--the spirit may remind me of what made me love Nick Drake's music, but he very much is his own musician. He has other songs that aren't so reminiscent. His website

vert.alexi.guitar LARGER PICTURE I.CNN.NET
Alexi Murdoch

Salim Nourallah, "All Waste The Days"

This song has an almost 70's feel--that's actually not a bad thing. One both loves and loathes the decade they were born into. I'm sure my grandmother felt the same way about flapper music (or whatever 20's music was called). Actually, my grandmother never talked about music. She sold vegetables. I did use her nail polish a lot, though. Anyways--on topic--once the chorus kicks in some of the 70's feel goes away and a very good indie pop song is forged from the dust. His website.

salim_nourallah_3
Salim Nourallah

Sia, "Numb"

I usually have an instant distaste for anyone who just uses his/her first name (unless you're Madonna, in which case I may secretly worship you, know your full name, your birthdate and your life story--yes, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, I'm talking about you); however, I really, really like this song, so I'm letting go of that directive for now. She's touring with a band I just posted recently, Zero 7. This is her website--no capital letters. I'm trying to reserve judgement on that, too.

Beck, "Which Will"

Speaking of Nick Drake (which I was earlier), his songs were special. Not trying to get all mushy or anything, but he was a prince among smucks. Beck, who's not Nick Drake, has covered some of his songs and "Which Will" is my favorite of the three. I've always liked Beck, but I would've never thought he (or anyone) could do justice to these songs. I'm happy with the outcome, though. "Which Will" is such a slight song; any hint of heavy-handedness would've ruined it. Beck seemed to understand that he had to handle this song lightly.

The Bellyachers, "About You"

I simply love this song. I e-mailed them and begged them to donate this song to me so I could post it and tell the world (or whomever reads this) how much I love it. They e-mailed back almost immediately with the song--they sounded very happy to know I was interested in it and wanted to share it. It's one of those near-perfect songs (to me, anyway). I love the way she says "ahah". Here's their website and their Myspace.

The Bellyachers

Mary Timony, "14 Horses"

I chose to post an older song from her because while I like the stuff from her newer album, it doesn't affect me the same way this album does. This song is from The Golden Dove, an album that flows with Pagan Pop. If Elf Power is Druid Rock, she's a Pagan Pop Queen. "14 Songs" sounds like the accompaniment for a pre-Christian procession, only the party is going to L.A., and not a virgin slaughter (it is L.A.--no virgins). Her new cd, Ex-Hex, is very well-done, but it's guitar pop. I usually like guitar pop, and I do like the songs from Ex-Hex, but I'm too hung up on the awesome variety of instruments she uses on her previous album to be fair to the new one. After I get enough viola, cello and piano I can move on to her latest album. Right now I'm a girl with a crush on string instruments. She was on Matador records for a long time, but she moved to Lookout for Ex-Hex. According to her news page, though, she's going to Kill Rock Stars (they have a lot of music I like).

mary_timony247-200
Mary Timony, looking so cute

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

I'm going to do something a little different beginning with this post. I'm going to attempt to make it clear the name of the song and band I'm talking about. Why you say? Isn't mystery part of the beauty of life? Yes, it is. However, while I enjoy being the only one in my city to know who these bands are, I would like the people reading this post (even the people in the same city as me) to know who's performing the songs so that maybe they too can look them up and order their cd(s). So, I'm doing it for me, for the readers and also for the bands 'cause they might appreciate more people buying their cd(s). I realized I had to do something when I was looking for a specific song in an old post and I couldn't find it until I hit CTRL F and searched for the name. It was kind of sad.

I had no problem finding five songs to share this weekend. The problem as usual is figuring out something to say that legimately deconstructs the song and adequately conveys its sound, even for people who haven't heard it. As usual I remember that I'm actually not that good at that (hey, I'll admit my weaknesses) so mostly I just wrote a bunch of silliness. There's some legitimate musical criticism going on, though. (Somewhere in the world I'm sure there is some legitimate music critisicm!)

Midlake, "Van Occupanther"

I tried to find a non-radio show version of this song, but couldn't. As the post indicates, though, the DJ chatter is kept to a minimum. The sound quality is amazingly good considering this was taped at SXSW--no distracting background noise or interruptions. I just started hearing about this band a few months ago, but they've been around awhile. I kind of feel the same way I felt when I first heard Rogue Wave--I've stumbled late onto an almost-perfect band. Not to say the music's shiny or radio-ready; when I say perfect I mean my kind of perfect. Not a wasted note or lyric--each song stands completely on its own. Here's Midlake's website and Myspace. Also, the CD is already available through their label's site, but it's an import for us American folk. It won't be available domestically until July. I know--I don't understand, either.


Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther

The Concretes, "Grey Days"

This is a really pretty song. I mean really pretty. I've read about The Concretes in a lot of magazines, but hadn't heard any of their songs. It's that kind of poppy, bright song I tend to like. It's also kind of alt-countryish which is neat 'cause they're from Sweden. I guess our music really does stretch wide. It's very good considering they didn't even know how to write songs when they formed. I came across this while looking for Walkmen songs (the Walkmen song on this page is excellent). This is from their new album In Colour, and the album has gotten some negative reviews. The bad reviews I've read have a common theme, though--"this isn't like the earlier album". C'mon, reviewers! That's exactly why most reviewers said they hated The Strokes second album--'cause they said it WAS like their previous album (I liked both albums). It's not fair to the music to judge by previous efforts. Judge each one as if it were it's own work of art...as it is. Also, treat others as you would be treated, don't step on cracks, don't eat anything that's touched a potentially dirty surface for more than five seconds (that's the "Five Second Rule"). Anyways, here's a fair, but mixed review of the new album from Pop Matters. I haven't heard the whole album--just a few songs--so I could very well agree that this is an uneven album. I know I like the one song I've just mentioned, though. Both their debut and the new album are available.


The Concretes

My Code Name Is Blue, "llegnes and Marshall"

I just happened to find this song when I was looking up other stuff--I'd actually seen an article on Strange and I was looking for that. This song caught my attention, though. It's a little juvenile, but then again so are some of my favorite songs. The keyboards are a little silly (but then again so are some of my favorite songs). I like the song itself; regardless of the instrumentation. I like the guy's vocals and the lyrics; lost love and nostalgia over love is a favorite topic of mine (yes, I'm a romantic. Shut up! Don't say a word--I'll hurt you!)

Yonder Mountain String Band, "Wind's On Fire"

Sigh...after sunny, poppy songs and sad ruminations on old love we have an honest blue-grass song with beautiful, intricate vocals and tons of instruments. I definitely need those once in awhile. Sometimes I just gotta remember I'm a girl from the South who loves to be underneath the large, clear sky. A field would be nice, but let's be realistic--I'm in a large city in Florida. The only fields are attached to office parks and most likely have hazardous material strewn in them. I'll settle for the clear sky and my lovely neighborhood. Here's the band's website and their Myspace.

Wheat, "Closer To Mercury" (also other versions at Chromewaves)

Okay, well this is kind of a retro song because it's from 2003. I didn't even hear of this band until a few months ago, though, so it's not retro for me. I'll let you all decide if you consider it retro or not. It doesn't really matter; as I've said before good music is good forever (wow, that reminds me of The Office when Brent says something like a good laugh is forever--or something.) and I love this frikkin' song. I mean I love, love, love it. The version I've been listening to is the first one listed. I love the little cat noise in the middle of it. Okay, so I'm a sucker for the smallest of touches. For awhile their website was down, but it seems to be back up. Here's another site, too. One of the founding band members has formed a side project, and per the Myspace site, he's an ex-Wheat member. I certainly hope this doesn't meant Wheat is gone. Would be my luck, though, huh? Here's an article on them detailing record label limbo. Lots of audio available at their website--Oh! I remember "I Met A Girl!" I loved that song! Where did I hear that from? I don't remember...maybe CMJ. Yeah, CMJ. So I've actually known about this band for a few years. Wow. There's so much about myself I don't know. (Lola's lost her mind now...she should rest)


Very lovely picture of Wheat (the band--not the grain)