Saturday, July 29, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

They Might Be Giants, "Am I Awake?"

I say this with all love for They Might Be Giants. I used to listen to the album Flood every day, several times a day in my early twenties. My college dorm roommate and I had a dance we made up for "Birdhouse In Your Soul". With that said, I was dismayed as they slipped further and further into Kiddieville. Now kids songs are great if you're just really nostalgic (AKA drunk) or if you're a kid. Otherwise, I may like my music slightly goofy, but I still like it to be geared to adults.

I downloaded "Am I Awake?" on a lark because I figured maybe I'd actually like it. When it came up on my MP3 player I hadn't listened to it, and I didn't know who it was. My first thought as the first blips and bleeps came through was "what is this Euro-crap I've downloaded?" Well, a few seconds later more instruments came in and the vocals started. I re-assed my initial opinion--definitely not Euro-crap. Not crap at all. I liked it. It sounded oddly like They Might Be Giants--if They Might Be Giants were covering a Pet Shop Boys song. An incongrious notion, but I really liked what I was hearing. I was bowled over to find out it actually was They Might Be Giants. Who'd a thunk? It's almost dance! John Linnell's got this wonderful robotic-like delivery in this song, and the whole thing is unlike any TMBG's song I've heard. It's from an EP they released two years ago called Indestructible Object on Barsuk records. (By the By, Barsuk is home to a lot of bands I love). Long live TMBG!!!

Headlights, "Signs Point to Yes (But Outlook Not So Good)"

Oh my! You gotta love it for the name of the song alone! But how about loving it for the song itself? It's like Mates of State gone California Pop. Lots of hazy, blasting guitars and punchy keyboards. The vocals are a tad screechy-emo, but not so much that it deters my love of the song. The song is from their debut album Kill Them With Kindness. Here's a nice article on them from Popmatters (the comparison to Rainer Maria is very appropriate, I think). Their website.


Black Fiction, "Magic Hands"

I posted a song by this band on my podcast last week; "Spread The Disease". Man, I love that song. It was a toss-up which song went on the podcast and which one the blog 'cause i love them both. I decided "Spread The Disease" should go on the podcast 'cause it's such a groovin' little song, it needed to be listened to immediately. "Magic Hands" is groovin' too, but it's not as hyper as the former song. It's more steady and more contemplative, though it does break out into weirdness about halfway through (that's a positive thing where I come from). I keep saying groovin' 'cause they have a very 60's psychedelic sound, which is one of the things that first attracted me to them.

The Hourly Radio, "Not A Victim" (direct link)

This is a band that I posted about several months ago. They quickly became one of my favorite bands with the songs "First Love Is Forever" and "Lost And Found". They have a new(ish) album out, History Will Never Hold Me. So far, this is my favorite song from it. It doesn't make me want to faint like "First Love Is Forever", but maybe a song like that is only supposed to happen once in a lifetime. I'll let this song stand on its own merits. I can't help but love a lyric like "call me vicious, call me defensive, call me the reason you can't get connected, but don't call me a victim". I love the guitars, too. The strumming guitar at the beginning gives me chills. The later guitar part is loud and crashing, and the bass and drums are both awesome. Pretty close to perfect. Their Myspace and website

The Hourly Radio

Hallelujah Hills, "Wave Backwards To Massachusetts"

Okay, I'm in love with this song. Totally flurried, all kinds of squee in love. The band behind this song needs some explanation. I recently discovered this band that it is awesome called The Stairs. Some of their songs are going on my podcast and may go here, actually. Well, I found out also that they've just broken up--just as their latest album, On Sleep Lab came out. Turned out some of them are going to Ivy League colleges or something. is for four years, but music is forever! Rock on!!! Don't let the band die!! Anyways, I guess the band's dead, but some of the members went into Hallelujah Hills. A little more info on Hallelujah Hills (and The Stairs). The lineage kind of confuses me, but here's an article that explains a little about it. There's another band they're related to--Motel Candlewasters--that I'm going to post on next week. I just have to get the lineage straight--what members are in it, etc.

Bonus MP3:

Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

I was talking with someone (well, typing--it was on Livejournal) about being an 80's child and how that's our decade. I'll always have a fondness for MTV VJs, New Wave, early Madonna, The Brat Pack, etc., 'cause that was the time in which I "came of age" (or at least came into my dorkiness). I mentioned that even 20-odd years later I still think of "Cruel Summer" when it's the middle of summer like this and it's hot as hell. The song's even fitting to my life right now. So, in honor of the decade I love, and because it is a frikkin' cruel-ass summer, I'm including this song! Also, here's the video ('cause the experience wouldn't be complete without it.) The one with streaky-blonde hair (not the one with the scarf, the other one with streaky-blonde hair) has Boy George makeup. It must've been melting.

I wonder if I could make money giving seminars on 8os music? I totally could! (I feel a best of the 80's post coming on...maybe sometime this week).

Bananarama (there were prettier, later photos, but this was their look during that time period, so it makes more sense to use this one...).

Sunday, July 23, 2006


(It seems really choppy to me...maybe it's just because I'm streaming it.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

1986, "Narcotic"

The message is kinda depressing--"You think things will get better but they don't. You think you feel so much better when you're stoned". I personally just think things get more scary when I'm stoned, but that's just me. For me, things are usually much better when I get home the next day, shower, then eat all available potato chips. It's still a cool song, though. Reminds me a lot of Cracker. I've heard more of their music, too--they're very good. They're from one of the centers of American music, Austin, Texas (the city that makes me feel like a Texan even though I'm not).

Jennifer O'Connor, "Exeter, Rhode Island" (First heard on In House With Jeremy Peterson)

This is a nifty song (it's my blog; I can say "nifty" if I want. Though I will never say "Keen", though I do like the band Keane. My mother apparently does, too; she thinks they're "sweet", but not in an "ooh, sweet" way. More like an "oh, that band is so cute and sweet" way. It's my mom--there is no reasoning). Anyways, this is a neat song. I'm not overly impressed that she travelled all across Rhode Island 'cause the state's like the size of my city (granted it takes forever to get anywhere in this city) but I like the song.

Jennifer O'Connor
Jennifer O'Connor

The Long Winters, "Pushover"

I first posted The Long Winters awhile ago (probably one of the first songs I posted). The song was "A Scent of Lime" and it's from a previous album, The Worst You Can Do Is Harm. They've got a new album, Putting The Days To Bed, and I've heard about half of it. I haven't heard a bad song from what I've heard, either. I look forward to hearing the rest of the album, but right now I'm still absorbing these unique and well-crafted songs. Their website and their Myspace. (I also like "Blue Diamonds" and the other songs on this page.)

The Long Winters, from (I love the grins the two guys in the middle have on their faces!)

Anathello, "Hanasakajji" (Click on the song if you just want to hear it)

This is an odd song. Odd, odd, odd. That said, I love it. It gives me chills. It actually makes me smile (or am I just in pain because of cramps? It's hard to tell with me sometimes...) Anyways, I really have taken a liking to this song. Lots of horns and piano and weird-ass vocals. All I ever ask for in a song. (First heard by me on Noise For Toaster).

Beirut, "Postcards From Italy"

This is kind of Italian Vaudeville. I'm guessin' a genre like that exists. If not, I just made it up. How do I make the little TM sign from the keyboard? Anyhow, the guy's voice really, really reminds me of Devotchka--another kind of Vaudevillian band. This song has some very ballsy, very brassy horns. The drums are pretty cool, too. I had originally been looking for the song "Brandenburg' which I heard on In House With Jeremy Peterson. I did finally find the song, but I came across the Italy song while I was looking. I like both of the songs, actually :) Wow...there are alot of instruments played in this band. I love! Wait--he's twenty years old? That's it--I'm going to bed. (Their Myspace)

Beiruit's Album Gulag Orkestar

Bonus: I really like this cover of The Gorillaz' "Feel Good, Inc." It's by The Editors. I didn't put it as a regular selection 'cause it seems kinda cheesy for the first song I post by a band to be a cover (though I've done it before).

Podcasts I listened to this week:

Woxy FM Lounge Acts podcasts (scoll to the bottom right). They had a live show with The Hourly Radio--another Texas band. Such a great band, too. They also had Alexi Murdoch in the studio--I posted a song of his recently; he is most awesome.
Insomnia Radio
In House With Jeremy Peterson
CBC Radio They have a great Tegan and Sara interview in #60.

the great photo from Jennifer O'Connors home page
The image on the front page of Jennifer O'Connor's website

Quote of the day:

"Noise music is really only fun if you're playing it, not listening to it".
Coco Hayley Gordon Moore, 12-year old daughter of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, from an article in the Summer 2006 issue of Under The Radar.

(depending on the noise music, I might agree)

I did a lot in this post. Yay for me! I can't promise I'll be this thorough every week, but while I have the time I'm putting it into my blog. Tomorrow I may try to do a podcast and update my blogger site a little. I say may. I also have to clean (boo!!!) I unfortunately won't be able to put this much into the blog every week, though. I was kind of a captive blogger tonight because I was waiting for my friend to call to go to the movies to see Clerks 2, but she had a crappy day so we're going to wait until tomorrow. All the better for me 'cause I got this done. (Next week we're seeing A Scanner Darkly).

Okay, how many people think the guy from The Long Winters looks like Neil Young here? How many people think I really just need to go to bed?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

FDR "FDR Drive and Pawns"

Wow. This is one of the strangest, yet most interesting songs I've heard in awhile. I like some really odd, idiosyncratic music, and this is right up there with the oddest. Their conceit is that they've recorded 50 songs in 50 days, much like another musician I've posted about before, Boy Name Thor. They've released those songs on a 3 disc set. Anyway, the song's one step over from alt-country (he says "darlin'), with a hint of Neil Diamond. Yes, I said Neil Diamond. His voice reminds me a little of the singer's voice from Rusted Root. The song seems to morph into a different song, but this is how it plays in Myspace, so I guess it's the same one. The second part is where the Neil Diamond comparisons come in. The first part is my favorite; however. Some of the lyrics are gruesome; he talks about a woman getting in an accident and being pulled off her child. The music doesn't betray the seriousness of some of the lines, though. The quick rhythm reminds me of Soltero and I love the piano, guitar (and hand claps!) Their website and Myspace.

FDR, The New Deal album cover

The Big Sleep, "Murder"

This is not the usual freak-folk type of song I listen to, though it is definitely freaky. It's trippy, driving, and hopefully loud enough to drown out my co-workers. Their website.

The Big Sleep (I found this song because I was looking for a copy of one of my favorite Mazarin songs, "Louise". That songs also on this page; I highly recommend it).

River Detectives, "King Of The Ghost Town Ride"

Lola has veered off in another direction again. This song isn't a force like the previous song and it's not quirky like the first one. It's folk, folks. Lola likes the folk music and the alt-country and here's a very good example of alt-country. It has a lot in common with it's predessors, but there's a broadness not found in most standard country. It's country that's been to the city (or something). They're Scottish, too! Most alt-country is American; it's nice to see others appreciate it. The song's been available for over a year, but I just heard it recently. So I'm not always up on all the new music, but I'm completely on top of the newish music... newish to late. Their website. Their label (also home to another musician I like a lot: Ally Kerr).

Lisa Germano, "Too Much Space"

Though I absolutely adore her album Geek The Girl (I wore it out in the nineties), I lost track of her once the decade changed over. Part of it had to do with me not keeping up with her label 4AD after the founder Ivo Watts-Russell left. Part of it was that I just lost track of a lot of stuff in the early '00's. I'm slowly getting back on track and was happy to come across a new song from her. If you listen to her 90's music and think she sounds depressed and despairing, then you'd be right. Part of her appeal for me is the pure despair she puts into her songs. Her voice twists into mangled, almost psychotic phrasings; sometimes the only pure part of one of her songs is the violin, which she plays beautifully. This song, however, is much different from Geek The Girl. It's genuinely pretty, and instead of the violin her voice is accompanied by a piano. The lyrics are a little dire--someone's heart is made of metal or something, but she doesn't display the same psychosis in her vocals she did in the music I'm familiar with. From the album In The Maybe World.

Lisa Germano

Retro Song:

Badly Drawn Boy, "Magic In The Air"

I heard this song again a few months ago--the first time in years. I'd forgotten how much I love it. I know I love the song "The Shining" from the same album (The Hour of Bewilderbeast) 'cause I've played that a million times; however, I'd forgotten all about this lovely song. I've been wanting to post it, but I couldn't find a copy of it. Now I have and am very happy to have it up here. (Link will expire after seven days). His label's site.


Nice drawing of Damon Gough, the musician behind Badly Drawn Boy. It's from this website, but I'm not sure if the artwork is original to the site or if they got it from someone else; I can't read the language the site's in.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Five Songs will be delayed again...(I know--this is becoming a nasty habit).

Trust me--it was all for a good cause. Eric tried to install a second hard drive for me, but turns out my ancient computer (2 1/2 years old) is not compatible with a 300 GB hard drive, so we spent while chatting with Dell support technician Rohit (his name makes him sound like he should be from Mordor) who advised us that yes we can do a Bios Upgrade, he led us to the site, and as soon as we had some serious questions about how to upgrade without ruining my computer, the guy abandoned us. Completely and utterly abandoned us. So, we wisely decided not to risk my not-paid-for-yet computer and leave it alone for now. We're going to try again next time he comes over. Then we finished burning Veronica Mars Season Two onto DVD. He showed me how to use bit torrent (Yay! I'm one of y'all now!) and we spend the whole weekend downloading the two seasons burning them. We had a lot of fun picking out backgrounds, layout and music. Then he started fragmenting my hard drive and left (*sheds a tear*). Also, all my music is on DVD now, so I'd have to hunt for what I wanted to post. So, I've had very little time to do the post, and I don't want to rush it, so I'm going to wait until tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you--all five of you ;)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

The Gifted Children, "Skylab Love Scene"

The instrumental part of this song reminds me of Joy Division's "Atmosphere": dark, insistant, though not nearly as dire. The vocals sound more like Death Cab For Cutie, though, which makes an interesting juxtaposition. (From the album Chinese Food Takeover) Their website.

The Dresden Dolls, "Sing"

I have a deep fondness for Cabaret-inspired music. I don't know if it's because I really liked Liza Minnelli as a child, or the fact that the performers tend to wear all black and heavy makeup. Okay, it's largely to do with the "all black, heavy makeup" thing. I love the torchiness of some cabaret songs (though I can like the more uptempo ones, also). Dresden Dolls is a modern cabaret band, dressed like a Vaudevillian act, with songs that range from send-up to sincere torch-song ballad (such as this one). The singer belts thing song out with an unrestraint and emotion not usually associated with the more comic aspects of cabaret--in this song in particular she displays a sincerity usually lacking in performers wearing pinstripes and a permanently surprised look on their faces..

Dresden Dolls

The Magic Words, "Tiny Spiders"

This song is almost shoe-gaze, but really infectious shoe gaze (ooh--that sounds more like a really bad health problem). The guitars meander at first, as if waiting for inspiration to strike, but then rev up as the song progresses. The vocals and instruments come with lots of reverb, which gives it that "recorded in a very small club" sound that I actually really like. (The song is also available on their Myspace).

The Magic Words

Childballads, "The Onion Domes of Tallahassee"

Well, I first noticed this song because of the name: I live in Florida, and of course Tallahassee is the capital of Florida. I don't really know what they mean by Onion Domes, or if there are any in Tallahassee (hmmm...maybe I could find out by going to Or maybe not). I have no idea what the song is about, but it has what sounds like moroccas, and I'm not sure I've ever heard moroccas in a song that wasn't being sung by an elementary school class. Moroccas are a selling point for me.

Architecture in Helsinki, "Do The Whirlwhind"

This is a live version of this song; I had the regular version, but let's just say it was a casualty to my forced mp3 clearing out (turns out mp3s were taking up 35 out of the 40 gigabytes on my computer. That's why it was running so slow!) This version is good as the original and gives you a sense of what the song sounds like. The best way I can describe it is electro-disco. Lots of gadget-y sounds, but so squarely in the disco category. It's like Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah! If they had Saturday Night Fever. (Their Website)

Architecture in Helsinki, Fingers Crossed

Speaking of only having 40 gigabytes of space--not anymore!!! Next week I will have a mean 300 gigabytes (plus the already existing 40). Yay!


I really want the mp3 for a song called "Postcard From a Darkstar". Seriously--the song is as fabulous as the title. I can't find it anywhere, though. I may have to (gasp!) by the CD. For now, though, I can make do with the viideo: Merz, "Postcard From A Darkstar"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Five Songs Post Delayed

Please forgive me--my five songs post will be delayed. I'm having too good a time doing other things :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

This is for those girls and guys among us who love to see beautiful womens playing piano passionately, while only partially dressed.

What? There's a song playing? Her website's still under construction, but here's a Wikipedia entry on her.

Really lovely video from Ladytron. The song's typical Euro Pop, but the video's awesome.

The Dresden Dolls, "Sing" (which will more than likely end up being a Five Songs entry this weekend.)

I love the whole Cabaret look, but why does she have to do her eyebrows like Divine? It bothers me.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

The Blue Van, "Revelation of Love"

This is a pretty rockin' little song. Every once in awhile I like my music kinda loud and thrashy. Much like I like my--okay, never mind. You don't need to know that. Anyways, so yes. The song is "Revelation of Love", and I found it on their Myspace. Unfortunately, they don't let me add the song to my profile, so I must settle with a declaration of love through my Five Songs post. I suppose that will suffice. They're from Denmark--might be the first Danish musicians I like. Maybe--I forget. I love tons of Swedish and Norwegian musicians; I don't remember any from Denmark. Anyways, they're good in a gritty, Rolling Stones kind of way. The kind of band a girl loves, but may not take home to mama. Here's a video for the song. This is their website.

The Blue Van

Sally Crewe and The Sudden Moves, "Good Morning, Aston Martin"

That's definitely one of the weirder song titles I've seen, but that's why it caught my attention. Some people do talk to theirs cars, and even name them, so that's nothing new. I just can't help but wonder what member of an indie band owns an Aston Martin. It damn well better be an Aston Martin tour bus, that way the whole band can benefit from it. The song's pretty rockin', and the lead singer, Sally Crewe has a fantastic voice. The Sudden Moves' website.

Sophie Barker, "Wintertime"

This is definitely more low-key than the first two songs, but that's ideal. I try to go for a mixture every week; that way if someone doesn't like the more lackadaisical type songs then they still have something that might interest them, and vice-versa. Eh, I just wanted an excuse to write "lackadaisical". Do I really need an excuse? This song isn't folky, like some of the slower songs I post; it has more in common with the torch song genre than anything else. We'll call it alt-torch, with a guitar. She has a beautiful voice; she actually reminds me alot of one of my favorite singers, Heidi Berry. Here's her website.

Sophie Barker

The Spelling Bees, "Love Is For The Birds, Not The Bees" (please click on "media", then the band's name to bring up their mp3 page)

This song is just cute as hell (and hell's pretty damn cute). The vocals are distorted in a pleasant sort of "I've been up all night so everything's hazy" kind of way. I can't understand much of what she says, so some day I might want to look up the lyrics (watch it be about the war in Iraq, or some other non-love song subject) but I still love listening to it. Here's their website.

Chris and the Other Girls, "Let Go"

I think one of the instruments is someone just beating on the side of a guitar or something. it's really cool. The sound of the song is a little Jack Johnson (in other words: lackadaisical) but this guy (and girls? No girls are singing--maybe they're playing. Maybe they exist only in his mind and heart) brings a little more tension than is in Jack Johnson's songs. Maybe it's Jack Johnson if he was raised in Italy instead of Hawaii. (His website)

Christian Pitschl, from Chris and the Other Girls (he's so pretty)

In other news, no I'm not upset that my computer keeps crashing because I guess the hard drive's too full. I guess that's the reason it keeps crashing. Okay, so I'm a little perturbed. I really need a 2nd hard drive.


Hee! The Bens do The Divinyls' "I Touch Myself".