Sunday, September 27, 2009

birthmark - the layer

been really bad on uploading recently. moving / starting university again etc..., no time! anyway. i meant to upload this album a while ago but forgot. then i spun the record last night and was like yeah! so most people probably have this but just in case. its nate kinsella blah blah. this is a pretty understated and charming album. there are chimes, cellos, xylophones, drum samples, flutes etc..., but also what you'd expect from a 'kinsella' record. but don't take that in the wrong way - it does not sound like joa or make believe. it probably has more in common with something like (although not a kinsella) bobby burg's love of everything than the former. it is very much a solo record. even though the array of instruments is vast, everything is still clearly the work of nate. it is more complex and interesting than owen (but not necessarily better - i'm covering all bases as not to start an arguement). but while owen can overload on the 'pretty', nate works it with much more restraint and poise. it is also a grower. while flightless bird will no doubt have you simultaneously toe tapping and reaching for the repeat button, others may take more work - but are just as rewarding. suffering from being what could be argued as quite an introvert album it probably hasn't had the 'success' it deserves. you should buy it via the information below.

"North American residents.
No more LPs for sale in the US.
Use Paypal to send $12.00 to
Please be sure to include your address.
If you live in Canada or Mexico, kindly add $1.00 to your order to cover extra shipping costs"

buy (europe and everywhere else)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

this mess is mine - sign the drafts ep

i absolutely can not get enough of this album right now. chances are this is probably one of the cutest things you will ever hear. it's a solo project of this guy, lars, from germany, he mixes a lot of soft guitar strums with some soft strings here and there. really great stuff if you're riding on a lot of trains or walking around in the fall. you should listen to this album and drive through the woods or sit in a coffee shop alone or with your friends or whatever and hear these folky, pretty much acoustic tunes. the lyrics are really cute and the ending song is this piano instrumental, which is really lovely. this is a gorgeous album, i definitely recommend it, especially for this time of year when the leaves are changing and you can still roll down the windows in your car. but maybe turn the heat on juuuust a little. 
overall: 8/10

buy it

Monday, September 14, 2009

the player piano - the player piano

couldn't find a decent photo. the player piano were a band from salt lake city, utah. imagine pele or tristeza mixed with christie front drive or mineral. even some american football and boys life too. this is classic twinklemo. not like those ever so popular tambourine waving guitar tapping youth of today. thinking on it, if you're a fan of empire empire you should get this as they are quite similar. anyway. this record came out in 1997 and sounds like it. while almost straying to an all instrumental album there are SOME vocals. they are often hushed and in the background, only to sometimes rise out of some emotional depth and thrive on the twinkle. and when they do, oh boy! they remind me of mineral endserenading era. while vocals don't make this favourite two tracks happen to have them. mayday has the climax of the rousing chant like "cleveland....cleveland...are you there?!" which gets louder and louder. from whisper to desperate plea! oh yes! ahem. so this record is for autumn. it is, as andy sncl would describe, autumo. it will make you want to find a cute boyfriend/girlfriend to watch the leaves turn with; only to break up with them straight away just so you can languish in your own self loathing. it is the soundtrack for both these instances without being corny or sentimental. oh, cleveland.

buy (japan reissue with two extra tracks)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

the ladies - they mean us

this is rob crow from pinback on geetar and zach hill from hella (etc...) on drums. this is pretty much pinback meets hella; simple as that. hopefully you know both bands. if not, well, pinback are one of the most solid yet slow burner indie rock bands. everyone and no one simultaneously seem to listen to them. you should pick up blue screen life if you haven't already. hella are mental MAFF RAWK with crazy insane drumming. ok, well, imagine them combined? kinda? well, thats the ladies. and they manage it pretty well. there is a decent balance between solid pop riffs and almost weird avant-whatever. the 1 minute ten seconds track empathy on a stick is a pretty good example of this. the song non-threatening, too, could be a pinback track if isn't wasn't for the animal-from-the-muppets like drumming. its pretty neat.


woods - at rear house

this band kinda started as a meneguar side project thing, but has grown now into something that is just as big if not now bigger. their new stuff seems pretty cool in the hipster psychedelia folk arena (especially with the whole woodist/fuck it tapes thing), but i'm not too keen on it. this album though, yeah yeah! this is proper lo-fi folk SLASH pop. there is so much tape hiss oozing out of it that it sounds like it was recorded in a cabin in the mountains...on someones phone. they combine sing-along pop songs with field recordings/noise (which can be a bit frustrating at times) to create a pretty eccentric BUT accessible album. at times delicate, and others noisy and unpredictable. but never boring! a lovely record that will make you want to go outdoors on a school trip or something.


Monday, September 7, 2009

victor villarreal - alive

i'm sure we're all familiar with him from cap'n jazz, ghosts and vodka, owls, noyes... shall i go on? after being out of the music loop for awhile, he's come back with a new album (and rumors that ghosts and vodka may be making some sort of return in the near future? we can only hope). no doubt, he is a fantastic guitar player. the vocals aren't awesome, but it's bearable, and i give him a whole lot of credit for singing. "you are worth it" has to be my favorite track. this album is really heart felt, and while listening to it, you can really tell that these songs mean a whole lot to him. 
overall: 6.5/10

Friday, September 4, 2009

totally nebular - boat boat

this is the same dude from forest clay as well as some other guys. they make fluttery electronic music with bells and chimes and beeps and soft noise in the background, a few twang-y guitar riffs thrown in there. they finally put this cd out this summer, and it couldn't have been better. this is a great "life rules, all i want to do is bike ride, explore and dance around" album. expect some "woo!"s in all of the best places possible. 
overall: not as good as forest clay, in my opinion

purchase it off of myspace

julie doiron - will you still love me e.p

oh julie. so sticking up that mount eerie album made me want to dig out my julie doiron cds; this is the first, and my favourite, that i bought. pretty much just guitar, some vibes, bass, and voice. i wouldn't recommend listening to this as a pick-me-up, or to get a party started, but julie writes some tremendously pretty songs. maybe it's because we're getting into september now, but all i want to listen too is what i can only describe as 'autumn music'. this is a great example. this is the days getting shorter. putting away the hammock. realising you're gonna need to start clearing leaves. gathering nuts and seeds etc..., ya know? this album is very peaceful. so peaceful you'll forget what you're doing, how many times you've listened, and probably who you're listening too, as well. but that doesn't matter when something is this pretty. will you still love me in decemeber? is absolutely crushing and will increase your sad level by 10 fold.
overall: too pretty.

pele - teaching the history of teaching geography

this is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. pele got together in 1997 and released this as their debut record. this is one of their more "tropical" sounding albums they put out before they broke up in '04. loaded with lots of bleeps and blips, this is one of those "driving around on a nice day with your windows down" kind of albums. lots of good things come out of milwaukee, and this is definitely one of those things. 
overall: 10/10

mount eerie - lost wisdom

mount eerie is one of my favourite things. one common arguement (i guess?) is which is better; mount eerie or the microphones. i've never really bothered with this because i see them at two completely different entities. both signal different times in elv(e)rum's life. i think mount eerie is definitely more sad. often just one man and an acoustic guitar, it sounds...more lonely, i guess. this was one of two albums released under mount eerie in 2008, and is my preferred. what makes this record so special is the addition of julie doiron (of eric's trip). i remember hearing (and falling in love with) her 3 or 4 years ago when i picked up her solo will you still love me? e.p from the wonderful tree records. the combination of her and phil's singing in sublime! especially on voices in headphones and with my hands out. i read another blog somewhere in which they described this album as, "...sad, but wooden cabin sad. It’s the christmas melancholy, when you know the last fire is burning and after that you’ll freeze to death.", which is a pretty perfect description. a lovely lovely record that seems to almost slow time down. good for train journeys when the sun just stars to set.
overall: i don't know. i can't do marks outta 10 anymore.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

auto!automatic!! - another round won't get us down

this is absolutely one of the most fun bands i have heard in a while. this cd is jam packed with some fingertapping goodness. it's a great album for times where you feel like bobbin' yr head and closing your eyes or tapping your feet. just some whole-hearted fun jams. there was a point over the winter where this album didn't leave my car.
overall: 9.5/10

vaccine - demo

nothing much to say about this apart from its one of mr killingsworth's (orchid) new projects. straight edge powerviolence/hardcore. demo tape is OOP, but has been repressed on 7" by clean plate. rock out and shake your finger at an unusually fast rate now.
overall: XxX/XxX


rafael anton irisarri - 7"

rafael is the main guy behind the sight below, a more well know moniker that produces some totally gorgeous ambient work with subtle 4/4 beats. kinda like stars of the lid of deaf centre mixed with the field. if that makes sense to anyone. anyway, this is his more recent project under his own name and is just as lovely; more so, even. this ep was released as a 7" through chicago label immune at the start of the year (and has already gone OOP i believe. boomkat have got the odd load of copies back in here and there though). i always find music like this hard to describe because it always gets me in knots. i end up finding it hard to breath. this is something that lands in category of neo classical etc, but don't let that put you off (it shouldn't anyway). these two tracks were made for rainy days and late nights. winter time when the sun sets early and the light kinda darts through the trees, ya know?. its like nostalgia wrapped up into about 12 minutes. absolutely sublime.
overall: 10/10

buy (if it comes back in stock!)

carta marina - time moves west

i never really thought anything too good would come out of batavia, illinois, a small town so close to mine. but when i went to see the appleseed cast earlier this year, boy was i mistaken when i saw these guys open. kind of a little math rock-esque with a few chimes or twinkly guitar parts here and there.  
overall: 7/10

bexar bexar - haralambos

oh my goodness. all i think that i can say is this is an album for one of those days where all you feel like doing is laying in bed and being engulfed in pure beauty. really, just... get this. 
overall: 9/10

forest clay - vernal pools

this dude, eddie roqueta, from florida has finally decided to put this out, and it's pretty fantastic. a bit on the experimental/electronic side, with fun lyrics and great beats.  it's got the twinkly noises of animal collective as well as a few soft numbers can that literally put you in a trance. this album is definitely a favorite of '09 so far.
overall: 8.5/10

contact him to purchace it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

so lindsay and delia made a blog!

we'll post music and fun stuff on here! albums, reviews, ratings, y'know, cool things! keep those ears open, this is going to be quite the variety!