Saturday, March 31, 2007

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Dybdahl, Thomas "A Lovestory"

Starts with a quiet grandness. Like you're in a nearly empty apartment, and you're so high above the city that the only thing you can hear, the only thing tangible is this impressive, insistent piano line. The singer's voice weaves in and out of the song, much like the guitar does--as if the two were playfully chasing each other. Dybdahl sings the notes with underwrought emotion: never exaggerating the sadness inherent in the song, but leaving it slightly on the side of melancholy, thus keeping the sentiment from lapsing into sappiness. The tone fits the lyrics perfectly: don't let the title fool you. This isn't a song about a current lovestory--it's a song about accepting the end of a lovestory and loving it for what it was. It's about putting the past in the past and still being able to love the memories and laugh.


Thomas Dybdahl, looking like he gave up his comb for lent

Weeping Tile, "Don't Let It Bring You Down"

Caveat: Since researching the band, I've found out that A) this song is hella old (1995--that's old in music blog years. Oops, oh well) and it's led by a singer-songwriter I love--Sarah Harmer. I didn't know all this before I wrote the following paragraph. I'm tired, though, so I ain't rewriting it. You can rewrite it if it means so much to you.

This is a little more honky-tonkin' than I usually go, but I've shown I like me some country once in awhile, and besides I've got a place in my heart for female singers who own a song as wholly as this woman does. She sings this so well. She sounds like Kristen Hersh (really!) if Kristin Hersh was all "I wanna write a kinda bluegrass song". This is a raucous of a song, and after all the gently gliding folk songs I post it's nice to include a kick of a song that ya can get drunk to. I love how she says "don't let it get you's only castles burning...find someone who's turning, and you will come around". I will come around, miss lady who sings like a banshee on fire.

Wikipedia Entry
(No Myspace)

It's a shame Weeping Tile isn't together anymore. It sounds like they're still friends, though (and the two women are sisters)

Uncle Seth, "Still...You Turn Me On"

I listen a podcast called Coverville alot. In fact, I know a few songs I post/podcast in the next few weeks will be songs I heard through this podcast. It's an awesome podcast; regularly updated, and the music is generally very good (except when he does a special "Worst Covers" podcast.)

This was not on the worst covers list, though. This actually fits in perfectly with the Weeping Tile song: another slightly alt-country song (though this leans more toward folk than bluegrass) with amazing female vocals.
Her voice is stark, pleading, persuasive and pervades the song as if it were a sharp knife and the song were, well, butter. Yes, her voice is that sharp, folks. The original artist for this song is Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I'd honestly never heard the song before I heard it on Coverville, but this version is so good that I almost don't want to hear the original.


Nice picture of Uncle Seth. They had a sexy picture available, but I was in a nice mood.

Winter Took His life, "When You Said You Headed Home"

This song is more winsome than the others; the vocals are wispier, but the tone evokes a sense of winter, of isolation--just as you would think a band called Winter Took His Life would. I can't determine exactly what the song is about, but it seems to be a reflection on past memories: She asks to hear someone's stories and for them to remember things they'd done together. Huh...maybe this is an answer to Thomas Dybdal's song? Interesting...The band is actually one woman, Susanna Brandin, from Swedin (I have a Scandinavian thing going on: Thomas Dybdal's from Norway). According to her website, she's friend with a band I posted not long ago: We are Soldiers, We have Guns. Lots of "W" bands, huh?


Susanna Brandin from Winter Took His Life

Album Leaf, "Always for you"

Ambient music has a new star with this band. I first heard them a few years ago, and I was highly impressed. This is from their recent (6 months old) album Into The Blue Again. I love ambient music, but too much of it is cheap keyboard drivel. This isn't typical Ambient, though. There isn't anything anonymous about this; it doesn't blend. It stands out--it's unique from other ambient and electronica, while still making me feel like I'm floating in a star system. That's the ambient I love.


Guy from Album Leaf looking very, very happy. They had pictures of the whole band, but they were taken from very far away and they looked like dolls.


I just wanted to mention a few songs I'm not officially including.

Scott Walker's song "Darkness (Plague of Locusts)" is just freakin' crazy-ass weird-ass freaky-ass shit. I'm not joking. It's weird-ass stuff. I'm oddly compelled by it. I'm not exactly jamming to it, but I feel drawn to it, as a teenage girl is drawn to a vampire in a horror movie. I feel a little like I'm in an old Hammer Horror movie when I hear the song. It's just weird-ass shit. I feel this weird urge to let people know about it, though. Scott Walker's been making music for several decades, and in fact he's signed to one of my favorite labels, 4AD. I think I found the song here. The song comes from 4AD's compilation Plague Songs. Cool name, huh?

His Label Page
Wiki Entry

That song actually inspired me to make some CDs for two Podcasters I love, Dawn Miceli and Drew Domkus of The Dawn and Drew show. The next bonus song is from their website, and it's a loving tribute to their sugargliders. It's called "Naughty Sugarglider" and it's by Lord Kool. It's hosted on Dawn and Drew's song page along with other great songs Dawn, Drew and D & D admirers have recorded. It's an awesome song and it's on my favorites list every week. I'm not including it in the body of the blog, though, because I'm not sure how Dawn and Drew would appreciate me appropriating the song for my blog. So, I'm just linking to the song (but not hotlinking!). I loves the Dawn and Drew and want to be part of their inkernet for years and years to come. Oh, and I love Sugargliders, too (though I've never owned one)!

A Sugarglider

Saturday, March 24, 2007


March 24th, 2007 #15, "Introducing Moxie"

Direct Download

Show Notes:

Lead-In Music: Postscript, "Untitled 2"

Hera, "Don't Play This" from
Her Website and Myspace

Postscript, "This Is" (from Fanatic Media)

The Northern Two Learning To Weld (mp3 directly from the band)
(No website listed)

Blonde Redhead, "23" (from, though I originally got it from Fingertips)
Myspace (not the bands, though, it seems)

Airliner, "Everything That's You" (from Labrador)
Couldn't find a website, but he has a listing on Last FM!

Roger O'Donnell, "For The Truth In You" (Dntel Remix) (from Artist Direct

His website confuses me :( I couldn't find a Myspace.

Whoa! I just read the bio! This is the Roger O'Donnell from The Cure! Well, I'll be flabbergasted! Cool!

Micah P. Hinson, "Jackeyed" (from SXSW)

His label's website

That's all for tonight--it's frickin' 11. I've been doing this for almost 12 hours straight (except for a few hours I spent walking). I'll have another blog entry next week and another podcast in two weeks.
Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Before I start: Podcast either tonight or tomorrow!

Cassettes Won't Listen, "F**K and Run" (explicit--this version and a clean version can be found here)

This is my favorite song from Liz Phair's excellent 1993 debut Exile In Guyville. The whole album was a snapshot in time: a snapshot of my silly youth, a snapshot of Liz Phair herself since I don't think her later music has had the same rawness and incalculableness (word?) about it.

Cassettes Won't Listen took the rawness out of it, but what's left is still a really good song, and their interpretation is interesting and strangely kind of upbeat. it doesn't sound sad anymore.


Cassettes Won't Listen sees a bug and jumps up on a chair like a little baby girl cassette! (Photo by Bob Martus)

AA Sound System, "Laissez Faire" (originally from SXSW's site)

I'm still only about 1/12th through listening to all the free songs on the SXSW site. There's a torrent download for all 1,200 (or however many) of the songs but I kept getting an error message when I tried to download it.

Luckily, though, with their band name starting with an AA and all, this was one of the first songs I heard. I have a feeling it's going to end up being one of my favorites--even if I listen to all of them. Despite the singer saying he snapped at someone like a dragon in full bloom, there's nothing harsh or snappish about this song. It's smooth, drifting and gorgeous. The song itself is laissez-faire; content with being it's own peaceful self. It makes me want to drift along, watching the sky and tops of trees go by. I know--can I be any more of a sap? Probably--don't test me. Anyway, as the singer says, "it's all gonna work out fine" and I feel just fine when I'm listening to this song.


AA Sound System get some learnin'

Brianna Lane, "Still Alive" (Warning: Yousendit link--only good for 7 days)

I first heard this song on one of the podcasts I listen to, and I fell absolutely in love with. Of course I couldn't find a copy of it online, so I did something bold, innovative and I'm sure completely unheard of: I e-mailed the artist and asked her if I could put her song on my blog. I had no idea if she'd respond, but I'd have a better chance of getting the song if I e-mailed, so I did. I know--the suspense is killing you. Did she e-mail back? Did she let me have the song? Well, duh, Sherlock. I'm posting it, aren't I? :)

I'm posting it as a Yousendit link, though, because she asked me to take it down after a short while, and I knew I'd forget, so I figured Yousendit was the surest way to go since the .mp3 is automatically taken down after 7 days.

The guitar work in this song is lovely, and Brianna's voice glides along the music as surely and effortlessly as the guitar does. She actually reminds me *alot* of my friend D. Mangione who goes by the stage name Josephine Sweet.

I'm grateful Brianna let me borrow the song and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Sweet picture!


Rooftop, "Hallelujah" (Warning: Yousendit link--expires in 7 days)

I've heard several versions of this song. At least six versions. Up until now my favorite version (and one of the few that I thought got it right) was Jeff Buckley's. The way his voice cracked so often; I could feel the pain and the gravity in each word. Whereas his version conveyed the wretched pain inherit in the song, this new version is full of hope and reverence, which also has a place in this song (the name of the song is "Hallelujah", afterall). This woman pushes each note out with striking brilliance and soulfullness. This woman's voice is brilliance and soulfullness. I still love the Buckley version, but I've found salvation with this version. Just listen to her voice.

This is not a great copy of the song, though: it's from NPR's Open Mic series and there's talky-talky at the beginning (and it's not me doing the talking). I searched to the rooftop for a good version, but no luck. I'm doing this as a yousendit link because *though* I got it for free through a podcast, NPR doesn't offer it for download on their site, and I don't feel like messing with NPR. I'm sure they'd be polite about their Cease and Desist letter, but still...anyhoo...the song will be up for 7 days. The video is below:


The Rooftop

The Twilight Sad, "Cold Days At The Birdhouse" (originally from Promonet)

I got this from IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance). If you write about music or have a music podcast, it's an important resource. If you just love music, it's a great place to go. Their podcast is called Promonet, and this song came through that.

This song is heavy on guitar, but yet also has one very gentle, very unobtrusive piano note repeating in the background. The song is contradictory at times, but it's the mixture that makes it so compelling. It starts off slowly and contemplative; sounding like a country song done celtic. It progresses into a series of clashing and thrashing guitar parts, which just gives me all the more to look forward to as the song reaches the end. Huh...wonder if the "red sky at night" line is a reference to The Fixx. Maybe not; would be cool, though.

Label Site

I think one of the band members is stuck in the guy in the middle and is trying to come out John Hurt-style. (Photo by Neale Smith)

IODA asked me to post the following as part of my user agreement. I couldn't get it to work at all on Myspace, and I'm not entirely sure it's working now.

The 3rd Annual IODA SXSW Opening Day Bash Sampler

Download "Cold Days From The Birdhouse" (mp3)
from "The 3rd Annual IODA SXSW Opening Day Bash Sampler"
by The Twilight Sad

More On This Album

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

First off
, let's all congratulate Lola on winning the "Stupid Move of the Week" (and it's only Sunday!) award. I decided to come to the coffeehouse, brave potential loudness, obnoxious teenager-ness and having to type on a laptop, all for a change of scenery. Anything to get away from my living room and my same old laptop (love ya girl, but I need a break).

So I packed the laptop up and walked the few blocks here.

Yes, and I left all my notes at home. I can reconstruct most of it, but it's gonna be a chore remembering where I got everything. Let's see how I do.

Los Campesinos!, "You, Me, Dancing"

You've got to love a band who takes on part of their band name, punctuation included, as their last names. So, no, the Campesino!s in this band aren't all related, and Campesinos! isn't their given names...or maybe it is. Maye that's where they got the band, I'm pretty sure I read that they took that name as their last name, a la The Ramones.

The song starts off deceptively slow, but soon hypes up to Mates of State levels. Their vocals actually remind me of Mates of State--hyperactive, exaggerated and taking a shotgun approach to singing, veering between actual singing and "talk-singing". Still, the fun of a song like this is the shotgun approach. It's like dancing; it may not always be the most perfect (or sometimes the most recognizable as being what it is), but the point is that it's done with true gleeful abandon and a sense of spontaneity. They must be having fun, because there's laughter at the end of the song.

Los Campesinos! look like they're having fun. "You Me Dancing" is from the EP Hold On Now Youngster. I found the song through Fingertips Music. The band offers their new single "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives" through their website. They also have a Myspace.

Delorean, "Heather, Remind Me How This Ends" (from their 3rd album You Can't Win)

I actually have Delorean's last CD (yes, I actually own a CD...) and I liked it a lot, so when I saw that they had new songs, I was very interested. This song is very alt-country--very back porch, looking at your pick-up in the yard and pettin' your basset hound on a lazy Sunday evening. I love those types of songs.

I'm not sure if Heather ever told him how it ends, though, 'cause it just kind of ends. Guess she didn't. She missed her cue.

I got this song from the ever-wonderful podcast/radio show/music blog In House With Jeremy Petersen. He has awesome taste in music and frequently includes complete mp3s on his blog for some of the songs he plays. I couldn't find a Myspace for them, but--oh how cool! According to their website, their touring with Kristen Hersh. What an awesome bill!

Delorean (the band, not the car)

Dean and Britta, "Words You Used To Say" (from the album Back Numbers)

If you've heard Luna or Galaxie 500, then you've heard Dean Wareham. Those bands were staples for my generation. Along with Spacemen 3 and other space-trippy bands of the late 80's and early 90s, these bands fueled certain nights for me and helped me to identify the years that turned me into an adult (the same years I nearly slept through).

The spaciness is still there, but it's more of an underlay in this song, not obscuring the vocals or the melody, but enhancing them. This song has a bit of a meandering tone, much like the Delorean song. Alt-country for folks who like to gaze at the night sky and dream of other realities? Okay, I'll buy it.

There's a video for "Words You Used To Say" on their website. They also hae a Myspace. Thanks to The Yellow Stereo for the mp3. You can listen to samples of each song from the album on their label site, Rounder.

Dean and Britta say "What we do in between sets is our business. If we want to sit in a bathtub, we can..."


This coming up week is South By Southwest, in my mind the holy grail of music festivals. I've never been, but one day I will...mark my typing. I will go.

The website for SXSW (as it's known to those of us in the know) lists hundreds of mp3s for the bands scheduled for the festival (hundreds and hundreds of bands will perform). I've trolled through part of the list, but it's gonna be awhile before I make it all the way through, so expect lots of these songs to make an appearance on my blog/podcast in the next few months.

Hera, "Don't Play This" (from the album Don't Play This)

Okay, I offically LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song. I don't just love it, I love it times three. What is not to love about a song that's so obviously a bitter anti-love song. She says if the person ever gets another kiss, she hopes he/she "chokes on it". Ouch! Anyone who's ever left a bad love situation will fully comprehend the meaning...although it makes me laugh when she says "this is a song I'll never play". Obviously she has played it--I found it on th SXSW site. Maybe she means she's never played it live. Why would they feature it on the festival's site if she's not going to play it, though? Maybe she's talking about a different song she'll never play. Maybe she's singing a song about a different song..maybe...

Hera's originally from Iceland, but if her English sounds perfect, it's because she's lived in New Zealand since she was twelve. Hera's Website and Myspace. (The cat has more respect for the bird than I do for you...)


Ughhh...I remember another thing I hate about sitting in a coffee shop for more than an hour...I'm lactose intolerant, but I get mochas with milk anyway 'cause they don't make light soy milk. I'm usually ok for a little while, but then after about 45 minutes, the stomach troubles start. Usually by then I'm home...not now. Now I'm still at the coffee shop and I made a pact with myself earlier not to leave the coffee shop until I finished the blog because I am not going to stll be working on this as 11 hurts...mommy, make it go away.

Anyways, now on to the next song.

A-Sides, "Cinematic" (from their upcoming album Silver Storms)

"...say something cinematic..." What a romantic line. It sounds very ideal and dreamlike. I'm not sure exactly what he means by it, though. He says "say something cinematic, or become a tragic figure". A lot of cinematic figures were tragic, so it seems like someone could be tragic whether they're quoting a movie or not

I'll quote Ferris Bueller's Day Off:

I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I'm going to take a stand. I'm going to defend it. Right or wrong, I'm going to defend it.

-Cameron Frye (definitely not a tragic character)

MP3 available on the SXSW Site and their Website. They also have a Myspace.

Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller's Day Off


I need to go home.

I've got to start taking my digestive troubles more seriously.


Remember I'm taking the next few weeks off. I'll be back with a new episode of my podcast and a new blog entry on March 25th, 2007.