Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Benjy Ferree: In the Countryside


Geez, it's been almost a full week since I last posted and that's unacceptable! It's been a combination of being busy and the whole not-so-EZ archive deal (haha). Anyways, no more excuses. We are back to the good stuff...

I don't know much about Benjy Ferree. In fact I don't even have his full debut LP, Leaving The Nest, which is to be released on Domino Records November 7th. But even after just hearing a few songs, I do know that I abosultely love Benjy's spin on the whole indie alt-country rock thing. If this song is any indication of the album's likeability, than look for Benjy to turn some heads and make some lists by the end of the year. For fans of Ramona Corodova, Page France, Josh Ritter, Ben Kweller, etc...Enjoy!

-mp3- Benjy Ferree - In The Countryside
Hearing this song for the first time, reminded me of the first time I heard Page France. It must be something about lo-fi recordings and nasally, unique voices. Aside from the song's title, it isn't hard to imagine this song taking place in the Midwest - and goodness golly - good-clean-fun has never sounded so good! If your not bobbin your head, whistlin', and clickin your cowboy boots together by the end of this quick sing-song jam, than you need to lighten up partner!

-mp3- Benjy Ferree - Private Honeymoon

Benjy's Site
Be his myspace friend
Pre-order Leaving the Nest

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You Needed More?



I know, I know - all the hip kids already posted on The Sleepy Jackson way back when their sophomore album was released in July. I, however, being the ignorant blogger that I am, just got this album the other day - and "better late than never" has never been so applicable. The Sleepy Jackson's newest album, Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird, is a masterfully orchestrated pop masterpiece. Its quirky lyrics and endless amounts of delicate musical subtelties create an incredibly diverse album that is enjoyable all the way through. So come on, get over the gay album art, and dig in:

-mp3- The Sleepy Jackson - You Needed More
Kicking off the album, this track shows the first of many faces to the aptly titled album. Channeling a little bit of Animal Collective's Feels and some 1960's pop, "You Needed More" starts with Luke Steele's vocals echoing over some drizzling ambience. From there, the drizzle turns into an all out pour; and before this song ends, you will have been (happily) drenched in some of today's most innovative pop! And just in case you needed more (har har!), there's twelve more excellent songs to be enjoyed.

Here's one of them:
-mp3- The Sleep Jackson - God Lead Your Soul

Buy Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird from AmpCamp

The Sleepy Jackson Site
Be friends with The Sleepy Jackson

Monday, October 23, 2006

Darling, Won't You Please Come Home


It's been awhile since an album has really completed me. I know that sounds like an over-dramatized statement, but the new self-titled Math and Physics Club album has essentially engulfed me of late. I find myself listening to it when I wake up, when I go to bed, when I am wishing for fall weather in Southern California, and basically, whenever else I feel like it! MAPC isn't necesarrily doing anything new (see Lucksmiths and B&S), but something about its perfected soft, delicate pop sound seems to grab ahold of me on every single one of the ten tracks. The lyrics are perfect for an anguished teen, as it discusses relationships and heartbreak in numerous seasonal settings. This album is a must have for not only fall, but for 2006. Look for this album on my end of the year lists and enjoy this beautiful song!

-mp3- Math and Physics Club - Darling, Please Come Home
Everything on this track seems to fit in to place perfectly. Jangly guitars and a hushed pop melody accompany the lyrics of a lovestruck boy longing for his love to come home. Like all the other songs on the album, this one takes on a specific seasonal feel with the descriptions of the sun setting and the fireflies outside. The culmination of this aesthetic occurs at the 1:25 mark when the song shifts pace and lead singer Charles Bert whispers: "I love it when the coals burn way down low / You slide up next to me, so sweet, so slow." If this isn't the anthem for a fall romance, I don't know what is. Mmmm, darling, won't you please come home?

Here's another song from their 2005 Movie Ending Romance EP:
-mp3- Math and Physics Club - Movie Ending Romance

MAPC's Site

Be Their Myspace Friend
Buy their EP's and Math and Physics Club at Matinee Record

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ode to fall: A Mix.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Oh fall...what a season! And a season that calls for a playlist. Fall carries a somewhat odd musical mood in my mind. Fall for me should be filled with calm melodies and energetic vocals; epic songs that you can listen to on the way back from a football game or on the way to a 12 oclock horror movie. See, good fall music has a big responsibiliy on its personified shoulders. It has to be able to ease you off your summer loves and your huge summer twee phase, and into drinking coffee and wearing sweaters. But it's job doesn't stop here. Fall music must then also transition you into the snowy and dark winter acoustics. Quite the daunting task, if you ask me, for this fall music to take on.

So, if your scratching your head as to what kind of songs could possibly evoke such a complex mood, then this playlist should be of some assistance. From Belle and Sebatian's upbeat poppy fall anthem to The Decemberist's gritty ode to love, this playlist is bound to get you into the mood for warm cider and walks through parks painted orange and red with fallen leaves! So grab your scarves, bundle up, and have a wonderful fall. I hope you enjoy. :D

-mp3- Belle & Sebatian - Women's Realm
-mp3- Casey Deinel
- The La La Song
-mp3- Chas Mtn. - Cinematic Unbearable
-mp3- Desaparecidos - Whats New For Fall
-mp3- Destroyer - No Cease Fires
-mp3- The Decemberists - Clementime
-mp3-
Grizzly Bear - On A Neck On A Spit
-mp3- Headlights - Put Us Back Together
-mp3- Jose Gonzales - Hearbeats
-mp3- Tunng - Code Breaker
-mp3- Unkown - Cherokee

*Also, a special thanks to Natasha for pulling together this post. Look for some posts from her in the future possibly as well!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Let's build a fort!

No, no no. I did not take their picture and alter it in paint. This was all their doing. See, teamAwesome! is just a bunch of fun, college-aged Coloradans who don't take themselves too seriously. Mixing everything from violins to glockenspiels, teamAwesome! creates a carefree, happy pop sound. The band draws alot of its style from the likes of Architecture In Helsinki, while adding in the fun and childish lyrics that are reminiscent of The Boy Least Likely To. With not one song over three minutes, teamAwesome! manages to keep my ADD childish-self entertained for all 21 songs of their Greatest Hits Vol. 1 album! This track is the highlight in my opinion! Enjoy:

-mp3- teamAwesome! - Fort!
Like any good happy song, this one playfully hooks you from the start. With the twee-ish repition of "Ba ba" dueling between the male and female vocals, the song resonates with child-like fun. From here, its just a simple guitar and a boy urging his friends to build a fort with him. Not any fort though; a fort that will "reach to the big blue sky"! The song peaks as everyone joins in at the 1:31 mark for a bubbling chorus. Unfortunately, before this fort even starts to get built, the song slows down and stops. Why? I don't know. Kids get distracted!

Here's two more songs from teamAwesome's newest EP Heck Yeah! :

-mp3- teamAwesome! - Yr Fur
-mp3- teamAwesome! - Oh Ship!

download teamAwesome's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 for free here!

buy their 2006 Heck Yeah! EP
teamAwesome! on myspace
the teamAwesome! website

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pelle Carlberg : Everything Now!

It's hard to act proffessional about this, considering I feel like a gitty school boy on Christmas morning, but I'm going to try anwyays. Needless to stay, I was very estatic upon receiving our very first ever promo album here at RMDS. And even more wonderful, is the that I like it...A LOT! The artist and album in question is Sweeden's newest up-n-coming pop sensation Pelle Carlberg. His debut solo album Everything Now! will be released on October 24 via Twentyseven Records. Carlberg, fromerly the front man of the Sweedish pop act Edson has loaded his new LP with one pop gem after another. Pelle draws most of his influences from his across-the-pound counterparts such as Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, and Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - all while adding his own mature and satirical slant. I've been listening to this album non-stop now for the past day, and although I enjoy it as a whole, I always get stopped in the heart of the album with these two songs. Enjoy!

-mp3- Pelle Carlberg - Go To Hell, Miss Rydell (!!!!)
I can't help but think Belle & Sebastian when I listen to this track, but once I get past that, I hear so much more. The song tells the story of a lamenting musician, angered at a bad review from a certain Miss Rydell. The lyrics, while bitter, come across as more satirical upon careful listening. The music is just some simple strumming with a little tamberine, but the lyrical rhymes add just enough charm to hook you in. If anything, you have to smile at these lines: "She told me this conversation is over / Send me an email when you're sober / ...And I wasn't even drunk."

-mp3- Pelle Carlberg - Riverbank (!!!!)
Right when I thought I was done with my summer happy twee phase, Pelle Carlberg has to hit me with this track. I was trying so desperately to start listening to fall music. But just as quickly as I could jump into that pile of leaves, "Riverbank" has pulled me out. The incessant chorus filled with the repetition of "Du-Du-Du" is as irrisistibly delicious as a firecracker popsicle. Ugh, you win Mr. Carlberg - let's go play in the water!

Pelle Carlberg's Site
Buy Everything Now!

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Sad Pop Song Mixtape

Like thousands of other indie hipsters, I love my happy-twee-indie-pop. I listen to it a good chunck of the time as I frolic around my beautiful California college campus. But unfortunately, I am not always in the mood to smile and giggle. You know what I mean right? Ok. Sooo...because of this aforementioned dilemma I decided to make a mix that would more appropriately accompany a sad state of emotion despite the weather still being sunny and the setting being happy. To evoke this specific emotion I decided to take all of the best sad and slow songs from my favorite indie pop groups and toss them into one conveniant mix. I'm not claiming that all of these songs are necessarily the epitome of a sad song, but just that they take a distinct stylistic turn and tempo change from the bands normal recordings which results in a somber tune! On the same note, this mix isn't recommended for rebounding from a broken relationship or anything (you can let these guys do that), but more for those times when you know life is good and sunny but a few little things are still getting ya down. These songs are about wilting flowers, childhood illnesses, and sad helpless animals! You get the point. So hopefully this mixtape will find a niche within your ipod for all those little downer times during the day. Now then, get outta here 'n go dabble in some sorrow with RMDS' first ever mix: The Sad Pop Song Mixtape!

-zip- The Sad Pop Song Mixtape (61mb)

-mp3- Rogue Wave - California
-mp3- Islands - If
-mp3- Ramona Corodva - Heavy On My Head
-mp3- Belle & Sebastian - The Boy Done Wrong Again
-mp3- The Boy Least Likely To - My Tiger My Heart
-mp3- The Format - Snails
-mp3- The Lucksmiths - The Music Next Door
-mp3- Kite Flying Society - Groundflower
-mp3- Page France - The Saddest Ones
-mp3- The Apples In Stereo - What Happened Then
-mp3- I'm From Barcelona - Chicken Pox
-mp3- Voxtrot - Warmest Part Of The Winter
-mp3- Beulah - Emma Blowgun's Last Stand

ps. I even attached some nifty album art to accompany the songs! And also, download the zip file if you want the whole thing and not just specific songs. Enjoy!
pss. If this depresses your indie boy/girl heart too much, you can check out Skatterbrain's Totally Twee Super Summer Mega Mix which is packed with happiness out the wazoo!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ghosltand Observatory: "Sad Sad City"

Mmm, this picture reminds of that pic of The Blow I posted a few weeks back. And coincidentally, Austin's Ghostland Observatory pumps out very similar dance-jams to that Portland duo. Together they are both feuling my complete indie-electro-dance obsession I am going through right now!

I gotta give props to Chris over at
Gorilla vs. Bear for turning me onto these guys. His pics of them live intrigued me to download the stuff, and I was not disappointed. I don't know what to say about these guys, except that they make me want to dance my ass off. Combining some infectuous electro-beats with a thumping drum and eccentric voice is all it takes to make up a Ghostland Observatory song - but boy does it pack a punch. Thier website bio says their end result is "ballsy" - and I say: fair enough! Luckily for you guys, you can put your money where their balls are because they have two full LP's. The latest Paparazzi Lightning, was just released earlier this year. Sooo, download these two tracks, buy their CD's, and proceed to make a fool of yourself dancing like me! Enjoy.

-mp3- Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
-mp3- Ghostland Observatory - Vibrate

Ghostland Observatory on Myspace (Check the tour!)
Buy Paparazzi Lightning at their site

also, I'm going up to San Francisco for the weekend because we have a mini-break, so don't expect any posting until Monday! I do have a sweet mix for you guys when I come back tho - so get stoked. Alright, have a good weekend yalls.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sufjan Stevens / My Brightest Diamond - Live at the Wiltern

No stylistic summary to start off the review. The concert was the shit, so just read it and deal with my bird puns.
I'm sorry that came off mean. Here: I really like Sufjan and MBD and they both perfrmed immacuately. Please read below...

My Brightest Diamond
I really never would have guessed that Shara Worden was such a showman (showwoman?). Bearing a red velvet dress and high heels, I simply assumed that she would sit motionless at her piano and project her mysterious sound. Thus, it took me by suprise when Ms. Worden, rocked back and forth on her heels, annunciating her stimulating guitar riffs with extravagant two-steps. Unlike the bouncy butterfly she would later be in Suf's butterfly birgade, Worden owned every squaure inch of the stage with a commanding presence and didn't leave a single crevice of the Wiltern distanced from her voice. This all culminated near the end of the set during her charged chords at the 2:10 minute of "Golden Star." The moment proved to be an emphatic close to the show; even more so than the heavily touted and aptly named "Something of an End" (which was still good!). My Brightest Diamond was a wonderful precurssor for Sufjan and she definitely should not be dubbed as just an opening act.

-mp3- My Brightest Diamond - Golden Star

Sufjan Stevens
I had previously seen Sufjan Stevens a few months back at the Sasquatch Music Festival. It was somewhat like the reminents of his Illionois tour, and like the other ones, there were cheers, horns, and the rest of the works. I'm not saying I was dissatisfied; I mean it was my first time seeing my favorite artist. But something was missing in his short performance at the open-aired Gorge Ampitheatre in Washington. Ok, I'm losing you, I know. Here's what I'm trying to say: Sufjan's new tour is a complete reflection of his masterful recorded work that I believe his previous tours didn't due justice.

Last night at The Wiltern, the master snowbird and his butterfly birgade took the sold-out audiance on a soaring trip through new and old material; resulting in sights and sounds that are uncomparable in my mind to any other concert experience I've ever had. Sufjan, although still quite, showed more poise and confidence between songs than the previous time I saw him - offering up witty banter that smoothly transitioned the audiance from the likes of the Detroit skyline to the loneliness of the Great Lakes.

Sufjan's eleven piece orchestra seemed to nestle itself perfectly on stage: adding that extra oomf when needed, and hiding in the wings(I'm done with the bird puns I promise) when Suf slowed down. I don't think one person would argue that the night's brightest momement occurred smack dab in the middle of the set with the 10 minute-plus epic and new piece "Majesty Snowbird." Whether or not you've already heard the track via the blogosphere, this piece really needs to be heard live. Sufjan owns the song, orchestrating the entire thing, all while his attention seems entirely focused on the piano. With a new Christmas song and some more Illinois hits (see below) Sufjan slowly descended his flight (I lied) until leaving stage. Although it must of been known the flock (I really lied) would return to the stage, the Wiltern audiance remained on their feet, cheering for what seemed like minutes on minutes. Upon return, Suf delievered a Seven Swans centered two-piece encore, that dripped of nostalgia and bitter sweetness. The last notes of "The Dress Looks Nice On You" seemed more like a cliffhanger than a closing however; everyone wanted more, but Sufjan was done.

I don't know what to say really, as far as on a critical level - except that Sufjan, in my mind. is now not only an icnredible singer/songerwriter, but also a blossoming performer. It is not an easy task to orchestrate such a spectacle, all while incorporating some some of his most complex and innovative work to date (see mp3's below) - yet he does it. And with seemingly compete ease to boot. I'm not sure where Sufjan's recorded work is going to go from here, but if this tour is any reflection of what is to come, Suf fans are in for a treat.

-mp3- Sufjan Stevens - Majesty Snowbird (Live)
-mp3- Sufjan Stevens - Sister (Live)

Setlist:
Sister
The Transfiguration
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
He Woke Me Up Again
Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Majesty Snowbird
Casimir Pulaski Day
Jacksonville
That Was The Worst Xmas Ever
Chicago
The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders: The Great Frontier/Come to Me Only
-Encore-
To Be Alone With You
The Dress Looks Nice On You

- Sorry for so few pics and their quality. It's the best I could do. We were in the balcony!
- Ahh, other mp3's to come when EZArchive starts to work again. Sorry x 2.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Plague Songs Compilation

When I first heard about the 4AD Plague Songs compilation I was very intrigued. Thier idea was to gather together 10 original recordings from various artists and present a song for each Biblical plague. (If you are unfamiliar with the plagues, you can click here and read about it from Exodous 7-12). Anyways, the result of their project, released by 4AD records, is incredible and moving - to say the least. The genre-spreading recordings give a very unique perspective into the Biblical account from Exodous. The 10 song compilation features contributions from music figures such as Scott Walker, Rufus Wainright, Brian Eno, Robert Wyatt, Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), Laurie Anderson and Imogen Heap. After listening to the album a few times, I find myself floored every time I get to this song. Big is in this year, and this one certainly fits the bill...

-mp3- Brian Eno and Robert Wyatt - Flies (The Plague Of Flies)
The track starts off with an incessant buzzing. The flies swarm in your ear. But soon a gentle and ambient noise begins to drone out the buzzing. Piano and synthed-out guitars struggle against the pesky insect. Then at the 2:49 mark, Robert Wayatt's distinct voice acts as the resolution to the aforementioned annoyance. Wyatt's soft and hushed words side nicely with Pharaoh - Moses will rid the land of the flies as long as he will let his people go. The flies stop buzzing. The song finishes. Pharaoh is off the hook...for now:

-Bonus mp3- Imogen Heap - Glittering Cloud (The Plague Of Locusts)

Plague Songs is out now on 4AD in the UK,
and November 21st in the US...

Buy it on Amazon
Listen to tracks from Plague Songs and download a screensaver.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Refreshing Roundup:

In my short career as a blogger I have teetered and tottered on the fine line of getting new music out to readers and actually enjoying some music along the way. I know that this conundrum of mine is not a new concept within the bloggin' world, but it seems like something I have been struggling with lately. Because let's face it, it's not always that much fun to scour Myspace and small record labels in hopes of finding a sweet new band. Granted when you do find that band it is a wonderful feeling, but generally you end up tredging through some not-so-enjoyable-stuff. Ok, let me get to the point. In my last few weeks of blogging, or lack there of, I have listened to some of the best tunes I've heard all year. I just haven't blogged about it because it can either be classified as "old news" or " already hyped-out." I mean, it's not cool to post on stuff in the Elbo.ws top ten right? Well...for today I am going to say "f*@k that" to that dumb hipster mentality and share with you what's really been bumping on my ipod for the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy it, even if you've already heard about it a million times...

Ben Kweller's new self titled album is easily in my top ten of the year. It has completely satisfied my alt-country/pop craving and left me asking for more. There really isn't a non-enjoyable song on the album; just soaring highs ("Run" / "Penny On A Train Track") and nostalgic lows ("Sundress" / "Thirteen") of goodness (I think I use this fake adjective way too much. Ugh). Anywayssss, I don't care if people say the lyrics are too simple or if this whole pop thing has already been done before. All I know is that I can't stop playing this album.

-mp3- Ben Kweller - Penny On The Train Track
-mp3- Ben Kweller - Thirteen

I love Suf. Who doesn't? I can't wait to see him a week from today in L.A. And best of all, his two newest songs show a completely new look from the Stevens camp. "Majesty Snowbird," a ten minute-plus symphonic piece, is epic to say the least. YANP puts it nicely. The song, as stated by Sufjan, is the theme song to his new tour. Could he of possibly changed his states project to the 50 State Bird Project? I can't even imagine what a song about the Colorado Lark Bunting would sond like!...Oh ya, "Sister Winter" is great too.

-mp3- Sufjan Stevens - Majesty Snowbird (Live)
-mp3- Sufjan Stevens - Sister Winter


Mmm, and if things weren't good enough, RMDS and the rest-of-the-world favorites Page France just did a Daytrotter Session yesterday and everything about it is gooooood: the write-up, the interview, the songs, and the album art (look to your left). Mmm, album art. They even did an unreleased song, which sounds wonderful. Here it is below...and be sure to head over there to download the rest of the sesh.

-mp3- Page France - The Ruby Ring Man (Daytrotter Session)


And finally, there's M. Ward. "Old news" huh? I know. Well I just got it the other day and realllly like it so suck it Trebek. Some call him the next Dylan, I'm not going to, I just reallly like this album. Give it a few listens and watch it latch on to you. It's been echoing in my ears all week...

-mp3- M. Ward - Poison Cup
-mp3- M. Ward - Chinese Translation


Well, there you have it. Nothing new, but just a bunch of good stuff that I've been enjoying. This post was, if anything, more for my own sake - a blogger renewing if you will. Regardless, I hope you keep reading RMDS and my mangled sentences even if we aren't consistently crankin' out the newest suff! Show us some love...