Monday, February 20, 2012

SONG OF THE DAY: The Sleepy Jackson - "Good Dancers"

The Sleepy Jackson is the Australian psychedelic group formed by Luke Steele, the frontman of Empire of the Sun.  "Good Dancers" is the opening track on the band's debut album Lovers.  The song features guitar work that seems to sing throughout the track as it compliments Steele's voice.  The repeated lyric "Don't always dream for what you want" makes you feel as if you are in a dream when listening to this track.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

VIDEO: Bon Iver's 4AD Session

Check out Justin Vernon and Sean Carey of Bon Iver perform tracks from last year's Bon Iver and a Bonnie Raitt cover in their 4AD session. Setlist below via P4K.

01 Hinnom, TX
02 Wash.
03 I Can't Make You Love Me
04 Babys
05 Beth/Rest 

SONG OF THE DAY: Big K.R.I.T - "King Pt. 2"

Big K.R.I.T followed up "KING" with a part two, once again talking about social issues over the Just Blaze-produced 'Lord Knows' instrumental. I really don't know who could dislike Big K.R.I.T he is consistently putting out new music that is way too under appreciated. He is undoubtedly one of the most talented, intelligent, and well spoken artists around. Once again he left us satisfied with his southern influence. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SONG OF THE DAY: Breakbot - Summerparty

Breakbot is Thibaut Berland, the Electro-funk DJ/Producer hailing from France. On this track, "Summerparty" from first release, Happy Rabbit EP, he proves that sometimes glitchy can work. That is, if it is well produced. And I sincerely state that I am sure no one can truly say that this track isn't incredibly well assembled. All of it's parts work cohesively with the in and out dance beat parlayed with the drifting background synths. He'll be at Coachella, so give it a listen, and imagine having it on at a dance party in the middle of a hot San Diego spring afternoon. 

TOURS: The Beach Boys

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the Beach Boys are reuniting this year. Check out their tour dates below compliments of CoS including a stop at Bonnaroo

04/24 – Tucson, AZ @ Anselmo Valencia Ampitheater
04/26 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
04/27 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz Fest
04/29 – Raleigh, NC @ Raleigh Ampitheater
05/02 – St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Ampitheater
05/04 – Hollywood, FL @ Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
05/05 – Tampa, FL @ David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
05/08 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theater
05/09 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theater
05/11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Bendum Center for the Performing Arts
05/12 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
05/13 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
05/15 – White Plains, NY @ Westchester County Center
05/17 - Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Events Center
05/19 – Atlanta City, NJ @ Borgata Hotel Casino
05/21 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
05/27 – Las Vegas, NV @ Red Rock Casino
06/01 – Berkley, CA @ Greek Theatre
06/02 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
06/08 – The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
06/10 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/13 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
06/15 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
06/16 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
06/17 – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
06/19 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Ampitheatre
06/20 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
06/22 – Bangor, ME @ Waterfront Park
06/23 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
06/26 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion
06/29 – Darien Lakes, NY @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
07/01 – Milwaukee, WI @ Markus Ampitheater (Summerfest)
07/03 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live
07/10 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Ampitheatre
07/13 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
07/14 – Eugene, OR @ Cuthbert Ampitheater
07/15 – Stateline, NV @ Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Ampitheater

NEWSIC: Yellow Ostrich

Multi-tasking is incredibly difficult. That's why Alex Schaaf is incredibly talented. He is the man behind Yellow Ostrich. Well he and his drummer, Michael Tapper. The sounds and ideas behind the band however, are Schaaf. And so are the guitars, samples, synths, and every other sound besides the drums emitting from the speakers when they perform. This guy isn't necessarily new however. In fact, I have 45 of their songs in my library. You can even grab every single one, as I did, from their Bandcamp page… Just name your own price. They have a new record coming out, on March 6th, entitled Strange Land. You can grab the free download of their tune "Marathon Runner" below.

However, I would like to focus on my favorite track from their previous releases, "Whale." It is their most popular, and deservedly so. It's a genuinely good track for countless reasons. Rather than focus on the music, which you can hear for yourself in all it's goodness below, I want to focus on the multi-tasking. I included the picture above, from their NPR KEXP Session (which you can download HERE), because it shows the talent that goes into Schaaf's act each and every song. If you listen to the studio version vs. the KEXP session version, there is little difference. Not only does Schaaf's voice sound just as good, but each instrument is even played… Even though there is only a guitarist and a drummer. As you can see above, he only has a guitar and keyboard in front of him. How does he play the bass? Those foot pedals you see below. How does he play samples? Even more foot pedals. All while playing guitar and setting the loops from the keyboard. You tell me if you can do that?









REVIEW: Tennis - Young and Old

Grade: 80% (B-)

If you came upon Tennis' second album looking for cute indie-pop, then you will get exactly what you came for. This album, much like last year's Cape Dory, is carefully constructed indie-pop that will surely catch your ear and make you want to tap your foot. The couple turned trio does a good job maintaining many of the elements from their debut while also expanding their sound in slight ways. 

The components of Cape Dory are all still present on Young and Old, however, it is a little sharper and jarring. Alaina Moore sings with more authority and sturdiness, and assists this with her lyrics. While her voice is just as youthful and lovable, her lyrics are more thoughtful and though-provoking than the debut. On the opener, "It All Feels the Same," she sings, almost with pain in her heart, "tired of waiting around for you to intervene. tired of wishing that you even knew what i mean." There are bits of emotional flares like this, but no single moment which sticks out as a defining moment on the record.

The rhythms take you seemingly back to the 50s and 60s with Patrick Riley's (husband of Moore) guitar work moving up and down the fretboard seamlessly and in a charming fashion. While his guitar maintains the pop-feel of the record, the bass on songs like "Petition," the brass on "Origins," and underlaying synths on "Traveling," are what make this effort a little different from their first. All the while, Moore stands firm in front of her keyboard, pushing the songs along with her steady piano chords. 

Recorded and produced by the Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, the album shows strong mixing. Most notable is their ability to layer the background vocals in with the lead vocals. On "Petition," there is a dueling aspect to three different kinds of vocals that Carney swerves about each other and affects with different tools in order to give the listener the idea that they are hearing three different women singing. 

At the same time however, most of the songs sound very similar. While certain choruses and riffs stand out, the album sways very little from it's intended genre on a track-by-track basis. In that sense, the track listing is seemingly unimportant. No single track really stands out on its own as a "key track," and this seems to fault the trio and does not help gaining more respect for their sound. 

The album is neither excellent nor poor. Instead, like many others from it's genre, it is a vigilantly written and recorded record which contains many songs that can be added to your casual playlist, but none that can be added to your favorite playlist. These are easy listening tracks, and with a little help, a track or two might touch you with their lyrics and become a favorite. In all likelihood however, a few of these tracks will get mixed into your dinner party background music rather than a friends new mix tape.