Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Japan Air

I'll go ahead and preface this by saying I know practically nothing at all about Sweden's Japan Air. What I do know is that I've been entranced by their instrumental pop tunes for the past two days. Have a listen and you'll understand why I chose the word "entranced." I think the picture says a lot.

[MP3]: Japan Air :: Crack Of Dawn (Highly Rec'd!)
[MP3]: Japan Air :: Sept
[MP3]: Japan Air :: Stationen By Night

Speaking of instrumental pop songs, I've been thinking about posting a nice instrumental pop songs mix. I've got a pretty good list of songs in my head already, but feel free to make some recommendations!
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tiny Microphone: "Answering Machine Girlfriend"

Tiny Microphone is the solo endeavor of Kristine from The Starlette Canvas, and well, she's making some of the prettiest dreamy-pop I've heard in a while. Her MySpace says she used to record on a cassette four-track, but has since moved towards digital recording. This song is obviously one from her four-track era, but I've found it to be the most charming of all. Tiny Microphone was also featured on the 2CD Patty Duke Fanzine #6 compilation, which you should check out HERE, as it looks pretty awesome. Anyway, listen to this song right now, or put it on your iPod and then go take a nap and listen to it.

[MP3]: Tiny Microphone :: Answering Machine Girlfriend (Highly Recommended!)
As I hinted to above, this song is definitely the lowest of lo-fi, but it's my opinion that it actually works in the songs favor, adding a layer of fog overtop the already dreamy track. If the title didn't give it away enough, this song is pretty cute, and the chorus is just fantastic! When she sings "it goes round and round" I can't help but smile. This is some of the best napping music ever.

Head over to her MySpace and listen to "We Don't Live Here...," one of her newer songs that's just as great and wonderful as this one. Hey, you might as well just listen to all of them, they're all so good!
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Monday, February 26, 2007

A Cat Called Cricket: "Watch For Falling Rocks"

A Cat Called Cricket!

The debut record from Baltimore, Maryland's A Cat Called Cricket, Here Comes Another Melody, is the perfect album to warm up with during the cold winter. Originally started by Alex Champagne is 2004, the band eventually grew into something much bigger. Complete with beautiful sweeping cellos, lush choruses, and an unexplainable warmth, Here Comes Another Melody, is as fine a folk-pop record as one could ask for. Songs like "Nothing" and "Watch For Falling Rocks" were instant favorites.

[MP3]: A Cat Called Cricket :: Nothing (Rec'd!)
[MP3]: A Cat Called Cricket :: Watch For Falling Rocks (Rec'd a bit more!)
"Nothing" opens with sounds of what's either a stream or waterfall, before breaking into chugging acoustic guitar with cello weaving all around it. At the end, probably my single favorte moment on the record, the whole band joins in together singing before Alex comes in, moving through one last chorus. "Watch For Falling Rocks" is a little bit more upbeat, probably the most driving -- and instantly catchy -- song on album. The cello steals the spot light here, at least in the verses, moving up and down, bobbing like a buoy in the water. Then comes the chorus, with Alex warning "Watch for, watch for falling rocks, when they fall, they fall hard" as the snare rolls along behind him. Careful though, because once you hear that chorus, it's pretty tought to shake it out of you head.

Pick up Here Comes Another Melody from The Beechfields label for $6!
A Cat Called Cricket on MySpace
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Slumberland's track of the week

Slumberland Records finally updated their "track of the week" back on the 12th. I suppose it would be better suited with a title more along the lines of "track of the month," but it's okay cause they always seem to uncover some gems. The new track is a pretty noisy one from Dutch band, The Nightblooms. Like they say, there's definitely a great pop tune in there, you're just gonna have to dig through the noise to find it.

[MP3]: The Nightblooms :: Never Dream At All (follow the link)

A teeny bit more info on The Nightblooms over at Tweenet.

P.S. A few copies of Boyracer's AUL 36X EP, which was assumed to be long out-of-print, also surfaced over at the Slumberland warehouse. You should probably head over there and grab one before they're all gone again. P.P.S. it's on blue marble vinyl.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Video: Lucky Soul: "Add Your Light To Mine, Baby"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Annemarie: "Bubblegum I See"

Dian, Tantri, Inu, Jojon, and Iqbal of Annemarie!

A fact overlooked by many people is that Indonesia actually has one of the best pop music scenes in the world right now, with tweepoppers Annemarie leading the way. They've appeared on compilations from both Fruit Records and Plastilina Records, and released an absolutely stellar EP in 2005 on Sweden's Music Is My Girlfriend label. This past Monday their debut album ABC on TV was co-released by the aformentioned Music Is My Girlfrtiend and Plastilina labels. It's full of pop gem after pop gem of cutesy girl vocals and jangly guitars, with the uncanny ability to put a smile on your face and a dance in your step even on the unhappiest of days.

[MP3]: Annemarie :: Bubblegum I See (Highly Smiley Recommendly!) (What does that even mean?!)
This song, from the new record, is so cute and catchy it forces me to make up words! Tantri's vocal melody in the very first few lines: "Here comes something amazing to me, so I go there" is so perfectly executed that if they just repeated that over and over throughout the whole song with the jangling guitars and swirling keyboards setting it in motion, the song would probably still be just as great as it already is. But, then I guess they couldn't call it "Bubblegum I See," and surely that would be a sad loss.

Want more? Check out the AWESOME title track from 2005's Living Model EP:

[MP3]: Annemarie :: The Living Model (Highly Rec'd, too!)

Please buy ABC on TV, it will make your day so much better!
Annemarie on MySpace
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Sodastream says farewell

Sodastream, you'll be missed.

In a blog posted on their MySpace this past Sunday, Australia's Sodastream announced that they'll finally be calling it quits:

"After 10 years, Sodastream are calling it a day.

Throughout our five albums, four EPs, seven international tours and countless shows around Australia we have had the privilege of working with many incredible people, and have made a lot of great friends. We have also received amazing amounts of generosity and hospitality from people all over the world. It is those people we have worked with, the friends we have made, and that generosity which we have received that has sustained us all this time, and 'thank you' isn't nearly enough to express how much we appreciate it all.

And a huge thanks to all our fans and everyone who has supported and loved our music. You are the reason we have poured the last 10 years of our lives into these songs, and our music will live on through you."

They made some amazingly great songs, including this one, my favorite from their first album Looks Like A Russian.
[MP3]: Sodastream :: Fitzroy Strongman

Feel free to head over to their MySpace and say goodbye :(


AROUND: I guess I overlooked it, but back on the 15th it seems Pitchfork finally reviewed the Bob Stanley (Saint Etienne) currated CD86, obviously reviewed by Pitchfork's in-house indiepop expert Nitsuh Abebe. Abebe's argument is that Stanley's take on the era may be a little straight and narrow -- "Either he's blinded by nostalgia, a hardcore stickler for absolute truth, or just more of a collector than a historian or genre partisan" -- but nevertheless, there's really nothing to complain about with a compilation like this. If you haven't already, pick up the 2CD set from, I guess, Darla, or somewhere else.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Strawberry Whiplash

Glasgow's Strawberry Whiplash!

"Sandra, Laz, Paul and Duncan are Strawberry Whiplash. Based in Glasgow, Scotland where everyone is in a pop band. It's in the blood, it's in the water and it's in the contract."

When I stumbled upon Scotland's Strawberry Whiplash last night I couldn't have been more excited. Much like The Manhattan Love Suicides, whom I posted on last week, Straberry Whiplash has a lot to owe to bands like the Shop Assistants, Talulah Gosh, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Their distorted haze of guitar, reverbed baby stupid drums, and breathy vocals are music to my ears. I noticed Indiepages had also given a solid nod to them as their Demo Of The Week, and they couldn't be more deserving! Both of these songs come with a huge stamp of approval, I hope you like them as much as I do! They've got no official releases as of yet, but we'll definitely keep you posted.

[MP3]: Strawberry Whiplash :: Who's In Your Dreams?
[MP3]: Strawberry Whiplash :: Falling Through

Strawberry Whiplash on MySpace
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Blonde Redhead: "23"

23's fantastic cover art is really fantastic.

I've only been truly excited about a couple records this year so far and Blonde Redhead's 23 is most definitely one of them. I wasn't even aware of it until a couple weeks ago, but now that I've listened to a countless number of times, I'll be really surprised if it doesn't end up on a lot of top ten's by the end of the year. So far it's definitely better than 2004's Misery Is A Butterfly, and I'm not postitive yet, but I make be liking this even a bit more A Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000), which until now was my personal favorite. Almost every song on 23 is instantly memorable, but none so much as the opener and title track, "23."

[MP3]: Blonde Redhead :: 23 (SO GOOD!!! :D)
I don't give the illustrious "so good with a smiley" to just any song. Infact, I made it up just now, for this post, so yeah, yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. "23" opens with some delayed keyboard before being joined by an awesome high-hat and snare combo that I've found to be fairly difficult to not airdrum along with. Eric thinks the drums sound like Radiohead's "Where I End And You Begin," which I'm gonn ahave to agree with. The song's finest moments come however in the choruses, as the main vocals are joined from behind by a seemingly endless string of some of the most effectively used LALALAs ever.

23 comes out April 10th on 4AD. Make sure you buy the hell out of it.
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Gui Boratto: "Beautiful Life"

Gui Boratto's Chromophobia

One second of listening to this song and you'll realize that it's pretty much nothing at all like what I typically talk about here. However, when songs are this good, we all make exceptions. This song, "Beautiful Life" comes from Brazilian musician/composer/producer Gui Boratto. Despite it being different from just about everything else I've listened to in the past ten or so months, his Chromophobia record, due out early March on Kompact, is one of my favorite records of the year so far.

[MP3]: Gui Boratto :: Beautiful Life (20mb) (Highly Recommmmmmended!)
What can I even say about this song? All I can really say is that everytime I listen to it, I wish it would never end. Also, this song may be one of the best candidates for a car commericial, ever, and I genuinely mean that in the best way possible. Eric over at Marathonpacks may eventually write something far more eloquent than I concerning this song, so pop over there from time to time to see if he has. P.S. Trust me, every byte of that 20mb is worth it.

Gui Boratto on MySpace
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Monday, February 12, 2007

The Manhattan Love Suicides Touring... A Little Bit

The Manhattan Love Suicides

I got really excited on Friday when I stopped by The Manhattan Love Suicides' MySpace and noticed they had posted several new tour dates. Then I got even more excited when I saw that one of the few of them was in DC! They've got a reputation for playing reckless sets normally between 10 and 15 minutes in length, so that should be interesting. Their debut self-titled record came out last year on Magic Marker Records and on vinyl care of Squirrel Records in the UK. If by chance you haven't heard them yet and you like anything from The Jesus and Mary Chain to the Shop Assistants, then you'll probably love them. So, if you live in Texas, DC, New York, or London, you better be pretty excited.

[MP3]: The Manhattan Love Suicides :: Suzy Jones (Highly Rec'd!)

Mar 15 2007: SXSW - Lovejoys Austin, Texas
Mar 16 2007: SXSW - Habana Calle 6 Austin, Texas
Mar 21 2007: Union Hall New York, New York
Mar 22 2007: Red And Black Bar Washington, DC
Mar 23 2007: The Cake Shop New York, New York
Apr 20 2007: Luminaire London

Buy the record from Magic Marker
Buy the record from Squirrel
The Manhattan Love Suicides on MySpace
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Friday, February 09, 2007

Video: Lullatone: "Bedroom Bossa Band"

This is the video for my favorite song from Lullatone's new album Lullatone Plays Pajama Pop Pour Vous. It was shot in Shawn's house on 8mm film and features eggs, bird animations, and lots of tiny instruments making pretty noises. I love it!

Get the album from Darla for $12!
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oh, so...

Hi guys, I may not be posting for a couple days, possibly into next week as well, as there are issues with the phone line causing the DSL connection to perform extremely slow or not at all and frankly, posting just isn't very fun at 32kbs. I'll return as soon as the phone line is repaired, and I may still be able to get some posts in at work, so I guess we'll see. ¯\(º_o)/¯
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Liechtenstein: "Stalking Skills"

Liechtenstein is such a fun word to say

Göteborg, Sweden's Liechtenstein carry on the tradition of bands like The Shop Assistants and Talulah Gosh, with their reckless, yet, dreamy style of indiepop. After being featured on last year's C06 cassette released by South American indiepop blog Mira El Péndulo, they're finally releasing their debut 7". Sometime in the next month or so, Fraction Discs will release said 7", featuring "Stalking Skills" and two other new songs! Check out "Stalking Skills" and keep a close watch here for release details.

[MP3]: Liechtenstein :: Stalking Skills (Highly Recommended)
There's something about a simple tom-snare drum beat that just gets me, and it's particularly appropriate here, allowing us to focus on the rest of the song. I'm not exactly sure who's on vocal duties here, but the girls' harmonizing oohs and coos are undeniably cute and it gives a nice contrast to shambling nature of the percussion. It's kinda weird trying to discern why a song like this is good, because it's just good and all I really want to say is "I really like this, I think you'll like it too," yknow?

Liechtenstein on MySpace


I'm going to go play on the river today cause it's frozen. Let's hope I don't die! :D
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Monday, February 05, 2007

Brown Recluse Sings on Veronica Mars!

Skatterbrain pals Brown Recluse Sings

I've mentioned Brown Recluse Sings here several times before, but it's time to mention them again because now... THEY'RE FAMOUS! Make sure to catch "Western Meadowlark" by Brown Recluse Sings on the upcoming episode of Veronica Mars, this Tuesday, February 6th at 9:00PM (EST) on the CW. You can watch it HERE, or just watch it on Youtube, right below the MP3.

[MP3]: Brown Recluse Sings :: Western Meadowlark (Greatly Rec'd!)

Brown Recluse Sings on MySpace
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Dressy Bessy on Daytrotter!

Dressy Bessy

I wouldn't normally make a post just for link, but this is worth it. The wonderful and fabulous Dressy Bessy stopped by Daytrtotter last week. Go listen to the session and check out the interview! It's looking like a Fall or Winter release for the upcoming Dressy Bessy record, so keep your fingers crossed! Stay pretty, babies!
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Electrelane: "The Greater Times"

Brighton's (thanks guys) Electrelane

I'll have to admit, before recently hearing them again, I was only mildly familiar with with the four ladies from Brighton that call themselves Electrelane; which is kind of embarassing considering they've released three albums prior to their foirthcoming No Shouts, No Calls. Catching up with their back catalog aside, the new record, which will be released by Too Pure at the end of April, is probably the only 2007 release so far that I've actually been consitantly listening to over and over again. Especially the first track, what a way to open an album. This also marks the first non-pop record I've been really into in the past several months.

[MP3]: Electrelane :: The Greater Times (Very Rec'd!!)
I like to imagine the kick and ride at the start of "The Greater Times" as a sort of marching of sorts, leading the song into battle, and the crash hits as the big guns firing off into the distance. Glorified battling aside though, these girls have got a great grasp on the concept of "building up" because there doesn't seem to be a point (save, the end) where the song isn't growing in some way. It reaches it's finest moment however as Verity sings: "I'm tearing down the walls! the walls! the walls! the walls! the walls! the walls!" Like I said before, I couldn't think of a better song to start off the album.

Dreams of Horses has another track from No Shouts, No Calls

Electrelane on MySpace
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Remembering Free Loan Investments

Free Loan Investments' lifespan was short, but very sweet.

I suppose I should have written up this post quite a longer while ago, but I guess it's better late than never. For those of you familiar with Free Loan Investments, I'm sure you can agree with me when I say their end was very untimely. They could have made so much more great music. I'm sure there are many people out there that are much more knowledgable about the band, but what I do know was basically all gleaned from this Twisterella interview with Free Loan Investments founders Amanda Aldervall and Roger Gunnarsson.

What I can say is that they released three fantastic singles --- the "Pretentious Girl" 7" on the Socialism label, the "Puppy Love" 7" on England's Where It’s At Is Where You Are label, and one more on Micke Granberg's Booff label --- and one equally great EP, put out by Shelflife Records in 2002. Some time following the release of the Ever Been To Mexico? EP the band decided to call it quits. It was quite the shame too, as they had a more solid grasp on that "tweepunk" sound than any other "new" band really ever has, I think. Take a listen and you'll understand why their short stint was so unfortunate.

[MP3]: Free Loan Investments :: Dayplanner (Highly Recommended!!!)
[MP3]: Free Loan Investments :: Ronan Keating (Highly Recommended!!!)
[MP3]: Free Loan Investments :: In The Park (Highly Recommended!!!)
I suppose I could have just wrote: "All songs are highly recommended!" but that just wouldn't have been nearly as fun. No sir. If you like Heavenly, Talulah Gosh, The Fat Tulips, Tiger Trap, etc, etc, then you'll no doubt love this (if you don't already do). P.S. If you're one of those people who already do, and you happen to have an MP3 of "Bomb The Bourgeoisie," I would forever be in your debt if you could get it to me.

You can still pick up their Ever Been To Mexico? EP in Shelflife's shop for, like, $7
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