Archive for pop

One For the Team deliver sweet sounds with new Build a Garden EP

Posted in Audio with tags , , , , , on Friday, April 3, 2009 by Ryan Buege

One for the Team just released their new Build A Garden EP on Tuesday via Minneapolis’s consistently solid Afternoon Records indie imprint. Though it’s only an EP, it’s a beautiful package that can properly introduce new listeners to the sweet melodious indie pop that is quickly making this local band a household name around the country. After receiving nods from SPIN and MTV’s Real World this year, it’s hard to not pay attention to the intoxicating and irresistible songs that One for the Team consistently creates. Sonically on Build a Garden, their lively apartment recordings sound remarkably clean and exude a melalcholic, carefree, modern-yet-classic atmosphere not unlike artists such as The Broken West, Mates of State, and Peter Bjorn and John. Even as a mixed collection of 4 brand new songs and 4 rerecorded tracks, Build A Garden still has a natural cohesiveness that makes it feel like an album, and because of that I think it deserves a purchase. Plus, I don’t know exactly what they’re talking about, but the “unique items” they plan to ship with physical copies make this an alluring purchase for anyone who wants more than just the mp3s.

MP3: One for the Team, “Best Supporting Actress” (from Build a Garden, available now)
LISTEN: One for the Team, “Questions & Panthers” (from Build a Garden, available now)
LISTEN: One for the Team, “Build a Garden” (from Build a Garden, available now)

Black Blondie introduces debut album Do You Remember..? with a tune

Posted in Downloads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Black BlondieDisplaying an elegance and savvy soulfulness of a band wise beyond their years, it’s hard to believe that Black Blondie are only now making the announcement for what they consider to be their “debut”. The local fourpiece has been earning respect and acclaim both locally and nationally over the past few years for their danceable, experimental style of gritty, soul, pop, hip-hop and R&B; they’ve been tapped to open for everyone from the Roots to Jill Scott to K’naan to Amy Winehouse (as well as participated in countless much smaller local gigs) and even appeared on URB‘s shortlist of artists to watch out for in the Mar/Apr 2008 issue. Now, thanks to City Pages Gimme Noise, we’re aware that the group has scheduled an April 14th release for their first official LP, Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be? The time couldn’t be better for them to release this, and from the sounds of the sample that they provided, “Candy Cigarettes”, they’re not holding anything back. As strong and powerful as it is soothing, the vocal combination of Black Blondie’s Samahra and Channy Moon Casselle from Roma di Luna is a something to be commended. Indeed, it’s a haunting mood they’ve created on this song, and I’m grooving on it; I can’t wait to hear more when the release comes April 14th and I’m sure many longtime Black Blondie fans are thinking the same thing.

MP3: Black Blondie, “Candy Cigarettes (featuring Channy Moon Casselle)” (from Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be?, available 4/14)

Neko Case’s “People Got a Lotta of Nerve” receives moving visual accompaniment

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , , , on Monday, March 23, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Usually when I watch a film, I like to play like a critic and try to really “interpret” what the director is trying to get across. Some people prefer to simply enjoy a movie for its visual pleasures, but understanding the intricate aspects of editing and directing tends to provide a much more fulfilling viewing experience to me. With the music video for Neko Case‘s “People Got A Lotta Nerve”, her lead single from the new Middle Cyclone album, it’s hard for me to even begin to come to any solid conclusions about what it’s about; but I do know that I don’t mind wondering. Girls are frollicking around and playing with every type of wild beast imaginable; everything from elephants and tigers, to dogs and monkeys, to cranes and (yes, you guessed it..) killer whales. The animation, though simple, is gorgeous, and the warm colors and cheery atmosphere make me forget why I even wonder why the red-head cartoon girl (Neko?) is trying to shoot the apes who just want to gander at pictures of Neko. It’s an adventurous piece of work, veiled in multiple meanings; a dream that has been dreamed awake.

Click ‘read more’ to watch “People Got A Lotta Nerve” after the jump… Continue reading

Röyksopp “Happy Up Here” video is a visual delight

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, March 5, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Röyksopp is a well-established electronic duo hailing from Norway that surely deserves the attention of anyone who enjoys the melodic electro pop or synthpop stylings of bands ranging from Massive Attack to Daft Punk to MGMT. On this first video from their new album Junior (available March 23rd), the visuals definitely vibe with the positive flow of “Happy Up Here”. Though I’m not sure of the director, this video inspires many of the same feelings as when I first saw many of the Justice videos or something Surface2Air might do over the last few years. The song’s soothing, but it has a beautiful, strong presence, that is complemented intriguingly by the sleek subliminal visuals of this video. Watch and respect, and don’t forget to check out more from Röyksopp online if you have yet to hear these guys. Continue reading

Concert Review: Fujiya & Miyagi, School of Seven Bells @ 7th Street Entry

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, February 13, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Fujiyai & MiyagiFujiya & Miyagi came to the 7th St. Entry on Wednesday Feb. 11th with School of Seven Bells, and the show was nothing short of spectacular. The sold out basement club was packed wall-to-wall with a crowd who were highly anticipating the opening performance from SVIIB, and their fuzzed out, dreamy, drony psychedelic pop created an intoxicating atmosphere that did not fade until they left the stage. Sounding ultra classic, futuristic, AND foreign all at once, the twins of School of Seven Bells blend heavenly melodies over the hypnotic driving backbone of Benjamin Curtis’s guitar and electronic experimentation. Fujiya & Miyagi were even more powerful than I imagined they would be, with their bouncy electronic psych rock aided by the powerful presence of a full band. Depending on the point in their set, the crowd might have been dancing to the rhythm or swaying to the spacey fretwork; either way, it was always all fun for those who were wise enough to stick around. We were there all night and were able to snap a few photos; view them below!

Fujiyai & Miyagi(Fujiya & Miyagi)

Fujiyai & Miyagi(Fujiya & Miyagi)

Fujiyai & Miyagi(Fujiya & Miyagi)

Fujiyai & Miyagi(Fujiya & Miyagi)

School of Seven Bells(School Of Seven Bells)

School Of Seven Bells(School Of Seven Bells)

School Of Seven Bells(School Of Seven Bells)

School Of Seven Bells(School Of Seven Bells)

Don’t stop there! We’ve got LOTS more great photos after the jump! Click read more to keep viewing the album: Continue reading

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers, “My Weakness”

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , , , on Thursday, February 12, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Brooklyn, NY shoegaze/post-punk band A Place To Bury Strangers has posted the new video for their song of fuzz-soaked melodies entitled “My Weakness” off their self-titled debut on Pitchfork.tv. This intense video of high contrast imagery was directed by Dylan Mulick and was filmed partly in Vasquez Rocks (aka Star Trek’s filming location). Watch the video here.

Video: Air France – “No Excuses”

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , on Monday, February 2, 2009 by Erik Burg

The official video for “No Excuses” off of the amazing 2008 swedish pop masterpiece release No Way Down. After watching the video go out and find a copy of the album, you won’t regret it. I promise. Enjoy!

Audio: The Whitest Boy Alive – “Island”

Posted in Downloads with tags , , , , , on Friday, January 30, 2009 by Erik Burg

wbalogoThe outpour of new music lately is unprecedented. I feel like an idiot jumping on here again and praising some blog-worthy track to the max, but here I go. (It’ll be fun this time, I promise). The Whitest Boy Alive is an interesting group, not only because its name suggests it’s a white parody-rapper or something of that sort, but because of the music as well. With only one album release out at the moment, the hugely under-rated 2007 “Dreams,” Whitest Boy plays some of the most polished and soothing songs on the market. Tracks like “Fireworks” and “Golden Cage” combine soft vocals with amazing song-writing and mix in plenty of guitar with rhythmic cymbal crashing. Maybe not so graceful sounding when I put it in words, but check the video below if you don’t believe me. Whitest Boy Alive performing “Golden Cage” live on BBC:

“Islands” is the first single off of the upcoming sophomore album “Rules” which is slated to be released in “early March” according to their Myspace. The track is much more electronically influenced, sprawling nearly seven minutes of synth heaven. Much of what makes Whitest Boy Alive so great remains, however, thanks to the vocals drums. Much of the guitar work is traded for the synthesizer, as I mentioned, giving the track a much more don-tempo disco sort of feel. It’s not really a bad thing, it’s not really a good thing, merely change. Reminding me a lot of Mock & Toof or Still Going, “Islands” is a great track to have on in the background of something, but certainly is not something that is going to steal the show. wbalogo2

It raises my hopes for “Rules” slightly, seeing as I didn’t hate the track, now hopefully Whitest Boy Alive can stay with this vibe for a whole album. A track that long heard out of context can be quite different than hearing it in the middle of a twelve track LP. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but for now we have this at least, enjoy!

mp3: The Whitest Boy Alive – “Islands”

Dig Deeper: Myspace Official Page Wiki

Review: Los Campesinos!, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , on Monday, January 12, 2009 by Erik Burg

lc_-_wearebeautifulwearedoomedLos Campesinos! new album “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” is an exciting and fun album from a group whose initial LP “Hold On Now, Youngster” was a let down after a series of excellent EPs. The six family members from Wales, all bearing the awesome last name of Campesinos, rebound extremely well on this LP thanks to the title track and other heartfelt songs of typical indie pop noir. Though lyrically and idealogically (sic) typical of what you might expect from this type of music, Los Campesinos! continues to be unique in the way their vocals are presented and executed.

In line with all of their other releases, the band utilizes two vocalists equally on every track; one guy and one girl. There are certainly other groups out there that track vocals in the same sort of manor (see dirty projectors or fiery furnaces) but it’s the way Los Campesinos! present their lyrics through this unique format. Many if not all of their songs touch on love, sex, and any or all topics surrounding subjects, so using the vocals of opposite sexes allows for story telling and funny lyrical quips to be a strong asset for the group.

The title track from “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” is not only the most stellar of all the tracks on the album, it plays perfectly well into what I was just describing. You can guess for yourself what the topic of the song is all about, but even though it seems cliched and over-done. The group makes silly teen love and depression a fun topic again. Yes, I do realize that last statement is ridiculous. But as I mentioned, the two view points of the guy and the girl are presented in a way that is interesting and fun enough to make this track one of the most heartfelt and enjoyable tracks floating around right now. The harmonies created by the vocal duo make for a triumphant crescendo at the end of the track and really set the tone for the entire album. The best example of this type of music is displayed perfectly well near the end of the track, as the music builds the two vocalists shout at the same time “We kid ourselves there’s future in this fucking, but there is no fucking future!”

If you’ve heard anything from Los Campesinos! in the past you have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but it’s a great thing to hear them return to their sound on their first two EPs instead of the obviously over-produced “Hold On Now, Youngster.” The fun-loving kids from Wales deliver a stellar sophomore album (not many times do you hear that, ha) and will without a doubt expand their already growing fan base with this album.

Check ‘Em Out: mp3s  “You! Me! Dancing!” “C Is The Heavenly Option”

8.2/10

Review: Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavillion

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, January 8, 2009 by Erik Burg

Pretty Much Amazing: “Take the time to really listen and understand what direction Animal Collective is trying to go. If you do, I think you’ll find a band you can really get behind: A band that makes music for music lovers.”

Pitchfork: “Although it will be tagged as Animal Collective’s “pop” album, Merriweather Post Pavilionremains drenched in their idiosyncratic sound, a record that no one else could have made.” “But Merriweather feels like a joyous meeting in a well-earned, middle place– the result of all their explorations pieced together to create something accessible and complete.”

merriweatherpostpavillion

Not much has been left unsaid about Animal Collective’s newest album Merriweather Post Pavillion. Those two quotes above give a fine example of the kind of perfection and praise that this album is receiving, and has been receiving for weeks now.

My personal history with Animal Collective has been a bit rocky, I have to admit. At first I hated the group for their music, it was just so weird and different and felt so disjointed upon first look, but when I took the time to listen to an album all the way through it became quite apparent that they truly were making music for music lovers. And Merriweather is no different, an album steeped in more harmonious vocals and musical clarity than any of their other works, this disc is one of the most impressive I’ve heard in a very long time. 

Tracks like “My Girls” and “Brother Sport” are monstrous songs that will catch you by surprise if you’ve never listened to Animal Collective before. As the P4K reviewer said, this disc is certainly their “pop” album, and that’s why it has so much potential. “My Girls” is their most accessible track to date, but that’s not to take away from it because it’s probably going to go down as their finest track ever laid down as well.  “Brother Sport” reminds listeners of AC member Panda Bear’s incredible album Person Pitch released in 2007. 

animal_collective_says_boo

It really would be easy to go on about Merriweather for thousands of words, but there would be no reason, because like any other Animal Collective album this just has to be heard and an opinion formed on your own, not through reading this review or another number of the thousands now out there. All I can say fro sure is that this is AC’s best album, most accessible album for first time listeners, and and album that will be talked about for years to come. 

9  9.5  10/10