Thursday, February 26, 2009

Double Decker announces headliner

Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford, MS has announced that Robert Randolph & the Family Band will headline the April 25 festival. I think this is a great pick-up for the oxford festivals headlining act. A great musician with a very southern sound. It is something that everyone will be very excited about. I cannot comment on the other bands that will be playing since I have not seen the official schedule, but if you want more information you can visit the Double Decker website.

In other news, I will be attending South by Southwest this March and hopefully keeping everyone up to date on whats happening in Austin, TX. Is anyone else going to be there?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Jerusalem

The top of their MySpace page explains the meaning of their name: "They wandered in their 40 years, collectively at least, through bands and projects that dried up to desert. Milk and honey, stale beer, and cigarettes, it didn't matter - they found their Jerusalem when they found each other." My Jerusalem uses this biblical reference from Exodus to tell everyone that they have found their "niche."

The band consists of five members (or six), all having been a part of other bands in the past. Jeff Klein, an accomplished singer-songwriter, put the band together as he has played with all the other members in the past during his solo career. With all of its members, My Jerusalem is a descendant of the Afghan Whigs, Gutter Twins, Twilight Singers, Great Northern, and Polyphonic Spree. Don't let any of those associated bands shape your expectations for better or for worse - My Jerusalem is a fresh start. Reminding me a lot of Arcade Fire at first, My Jerusalem utilizes Klein's powerful vocals, strings, and horns along with their rock sound - seemingly weaving the best of all their previous projects into one.

Their first release is a 5-song EP called Without Feathers that is coming March 10, and I believe they are working on a full length album to be released this summer. I'm pretty excited about these guys. I've posted a song from the EP, "Sweet Chariot," below. Check it out.

Kitty Snacks Magazine

From the editors and creators of Kitty Snacks Magazine, and friends to our blog:

We are pleased to announce the launch of Kitty Snacks Magazine. With Kitty Snacks we seek to bridge the gap between the literary journal and the independent zine. Founded in Oxford, Mississippi in 2008, the magazine features short fiction, poetry, art, doodles and interviews. We will publish both online as well as a quarterly print version—a limited, hand-numbered edition in a 6”x7.5” format on high-quality paper. Through Kitty Snacks we will promote emerging and established writers from Mississippi and across the country. The first print issue of Kitty Snacks is available now in a limited edition of 200 hand-numbered copies. It features work by Jack Pendarvis, Selah Saterstrom, Clarissa Romano, Wilson McBee, Kent Osborne, Jeff McNeil, plus interviews with Animal Collective and King Khan, art by Will Bryant, Josh Burwell and more. It will be available for purchase online (at kittysnacks.blogspot.com) and at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, Quimby's in Chicago and Goner Records in Memphis. On Tuesday, March 3rd at 7 p.m. at the Powerhouse in Oxford, Mississippi we will celebrate the release of the first print issue with readings by Jack Pendarvis, Jeff McNeil, Clarissa Romano, Clarissa Romano’s mom, and Will McIntosh reading a poem by Wilson McBee. Music will be provided by Jimmy Phillips. Ten dollars admission gets you a copy of the magazine, a bottomless cup of beer, as well as entry into the Kitty Snacks raffle. Raffle items include two tickets to the sold-out Modest Mouse show on March 6 courtesy of the Lyric Theater, a signed copy of Dent May’s debut LP, new 7 inch vinyl from Fat Possum Records, Silver Jews documentary on DVD, original artwork by Josh Burwell, and originally screenprints by Len Clark. A free after party at the Lyric Red Star Bar will follow featuring DJ Konrad Bevilaqua.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

King Khan & the Shrines/The King Khan & BBQ Show


They've been around since 2002 and some of you readers already know, so shut yo mouth and here we go. From Spin Magazine's February 2009 issue:

Arish "King" Khan and Mark "BBQ" Sultan met in their native Montreal and played in the short-lived punk band the Spaceshits. After parting ways (Khan moved to Germany and formed the 11-piece soul review the Shrines, whose The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines came out last year; Sultan fronted Les Sexareenos and released solo records as BBQ), they reconnected in 2003 and have made time for madcap and debauched world tours ever since.

The material for their yet-to-be titled new album, which follows 2005's The King Khan & BBQ Show and 2006's What's for Dinner?, was recorded in Montreal, Berlin, and Brooklyn over the second half of 2008 and should be out soon. Its ass-shaking Chuck Berry riffs, doo-wop vocals (Khan specializes in gravelly screamers, while Sultan soulfully belts bay-ay-ay-behs), and raunchy sing-along lyrics don't so much reinterpret as channel the charged energies of vintage '50s- and '60s-style rock. "We carry on a tradition, but we do it in the right way," says Khan. "Not this cheesy, purist, look-like-a-certain-time-period kind of thing. And we're sexualizing it a lot." King Khan and the Shrines - "Took My Lady to Dinner" and King Khan & BBQ Show - "Too Much in Love" have been added to the playlist.

King Khan and the Shrines nearby tour dates include: March 13-Exit Inn-Nashville, March 14-Hi-Tone-Memphis, March 15-One Eyed Jack's-New Orleans. Look for The King Khan & BBQ Show to add some tour dates later on.

This Is A Joke............Right?

Tinted Windows

Monday, February 23, 2009

Culkin


I love classic 90s indie rock - I can't help it. Bands like Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine just come natural to me after being an angry grunge kid in high school. The thick layers of guitars and how the vocalists make no effort to put their voice over the music - don't know why, it just gets me. I heard Culkin a couple of weeks ago and immediately felt that same draw. These guys are a Swedish band that have been together for a couple of years. I think they just finished recording an album, so we'll be watching to see what comes of them. Check out "Glow" below.

Props Where Deserved

I just wanted to point out that Dent May's video for "Meet Me In the Garden" is the featured video on AOL's music website spinner. We posted the video awhile back, but this is a big step in the right direction for one of Oxford's finest. If you have not checked out the album, where have you been? Its great. Also his website has launched www.dentmay.com.

Black Lips - 200 Million Thousand full length stream is available this week here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Place To Bury Strangers


A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS) is a heavy psychedelic trio based in New York City (NYC). They are affectionately known as New York's loudest live act. The Washington Post is quoted referring to the band as "the most earth-shatteringly loud garage/shoegaze band you will ever hear." They broke out in 2007 with the fabled favorable Pitchfork Media review, and since then they have toured around with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, MGMT, and Nine Inch Nails. After listening to them, I can imagine how loud their shows must be. Check out "To Fix the Gash In Your Head" on the playlist.

In Case You Missed It...

Can I get some thoughts on this White Stripes showing? Uninspired, kinda boring, OK at best...Any thoughts? Certainly someone thought it was great

Friday, February 20, 2009

Conan's Last Show

We've all heard that Conan O' Brien is taking over for Leno in the coming weeks, thankfully. His last week of Late Night with Conan O' Brien has been this past week, and subsequently his last show is tonight, Friday Feb. 20th. Throughout the past several years he's had a great relationship with the White Stripes. I think every time they release a new album he books them for the entire week. Anyway, they will be performing tonight to send Conan off to Los Angeles, and it should be pretty special. Be sure to set your TiVos and DVRs for this final taping. They even featured Conan in their music video for "The Denial Tiwst".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WTF?

Per Billboard.com and one of the weirdest things I've heard in a few weeks...

Former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, Hanson's Taylor Hanson and Fountains Of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger have formed a new band, Tinted Windows. The group has recorded its debut album at Stratosphere Sound Studios in New York, which Schlesinger and Iha co-own with Ivy's Andy Chase. The set is expected this spring on a label to be announced. Tinted Windows will play its first major show at Billboard's South by Southwest showcase, to be held March 20 at Pangaea in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some More Playlist Bids

Peter, Bjorn, and John
I bet people remember the 2006 hit "Young Folks." The Swedish group already has another big one out in "Nothing to Worry About," which Kanye so humbly claims to have discovered. Much to my surprise, he's even already sampled it. Here's to hoping this is the last time that name will ever grace this blog. Enjoy Peter, Bjorn, and John though.

The Helio Sequence
These Portland rockers started up in 1999 and have been with Sub Pop from the get-go. There latest album, "Keep Your Eyes On," was released last year. It's not new so some of you may have heard of them already, but I always love when a band comes in under the radar and surprises me so I decided to toss it on the list. Check out their song "Can't Say No."

Grouper
Liz Harris, another Portland resident, ironically operates Grouper solo. Guess it's not ironic if it's after the fish. Anyway, this is probably the most peaceful music I have heard since Enya. A single acoustic guitar and a quiet voice, it's definitely not music for every hour, but when you're in the setting and mood - it's perfect. Check out "Heavy Water" on the playlist.

Also, be sure to catch Antony and the Johnsons on Letterman tonight.

2.17 Releases

Beirut/Realpeople - March of the Zapotec/Holland

Zach Condon releases two EPs today. March of the Zapotec was influenced by a trip he took to Oaxaca, Mexico. The Jimenez Band, a 19-piece band, backs him on the EP, and they worked together via a translator. Holland contains electronic sounds, credited to Realpeople, one of Condon's pre-Beirut pseudonyms. These two EPs, packaged together, leaked almost a month before this release date.

...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - The Century of Self

This is the first full-length release from Trail of Dead since their Interscope contract. It is also a departure from their normal studio production style: "On the last two albums, we were really meticulous recording to click-tracks and doing overdubs...This time, we threw all that out. We learned the songs and all tracked them live."


M. Ward - Hold Time

This is the follow up to his 2006 album Post-War. This consists of 14 tracks and includes guest performances by Jason Lytle of the band Grandady, Lucinda Williams, Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa and She & Him co-conspirator Zooey Deschanel. A streaming preview was made available through NPR. The album leaked to the internet in full on January 19, 2009. "Jailbird" has been added to the playlist.

Various Artists - Dark Was the Night

A compilation release benefiting the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Featuring exclusive recordings by a number of independent artists and production by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, the compilation can be received as a double CD, three LPs or as a digital download. John Carlin, the founder of Red Hot Organization was the executive producer for the album. The title derives from the Blind Willie Johnson song "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground". Several songs have been added to the playlist: The National - "So Far Around the Bend", Sufjan Stevens - "You Are the Blood", Feist and Ben Gibbard - "Train Song", and Arcade Fire - "Lenin"

Other notable releases include: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - S/T and Morrissey - Years of Refusal. Also, Andrew Bird on Leno and M. Ward on Letterman tonight.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Songs on my current Playlist

The following are a few of the songs that have made a recent splash on my iTunes playlists:


Ferraby Lionheart - "Dear Corrine" - This Nashville singer songwriter plays an old school style of piano which leans toward swing, but that touch is missing from this newer tune. Perhaps he is leaning away from the swing rhythm a little bit in his newer stuff. Click the song title for a listen. Also check out his song "Small Planet," which has received some good press.


The Deep Dark Woods
- "All the Money I had Is Gone" - This Canadian alt-country/folk band has two albums and a tour with The Stills to its name. This song gives a lot more of their folk flavor which I prefer. This song has been added to the playlist.



Youth Group - "Daisy Chains" - This Australian band has been around for awhile although I have not heard much from them in the past. They definitely have an easier sound to the likes of Nada Surf, but I have enjoyed this songs charm. The song is on the playlist. They also have a pretty cool cover of "Forever Young."



Harlem Shakes
- "Winter Water" - This song has the oddity of Anathallo with the big choruses of Plants and Animals or Arcade Fire. I have really enjoyed this song lately. These Brooklynites have toured with Deerhoof, Beirut, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to name a few. Click the song title to listen.

New Villager

This is another band that there doesn't seem to be a lot of information on. The extent of my knowledge is that they consist of two guys: Jeff Bromley and Ross Simonini, from northern California and Brooklyn. As far as I know, they only have two songs to their name as of now, but their single "Rich Doors" lends them some promise. Check it out on the playlist and keep your eyes open for more stuff from these guys. 

Wilco to the Lyric

The Lyric in Oxford has added yet another addition to its ever astonishing spring concert line-up. Wilco will again be gracing the stage in Oxford on Thursday April 23. Tickets go on sale Friday February 20 at 10 AM and can be bought here. Other lyric shows to consider include:
March 6 - Modest Mouse (Sold Out)
March 23 - Andrew Bird with Heartless Bastards
April 15 - Galactic

In other news, the complete SXSW lineup has been announced. The majority of the bands offer a free download under their name, so if you have some free time head here and browse. Some notables include Blind Pilot, Lemonade, Langhorne Slim, Lucero, Anathallo, NASA, Passion Pit, These United States, Lil Jon, Wavves, The Wrens, Blitzen Trapper, Handsome Furs, Harlem Shakes, Andrew Bird, Ben Harper, Dent May, Beach House, and several others that I skipped. Oh, and that is just some of the bands I had heard of that are playing Thursday. The festival lasts from Wednesday t0 Sunday. SXSW is an immense showcase of music and film. It is something worth seeing if you ever get the chance. The dates this year are March 18-22.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ye Olde Playlist Update

White Denim

These guys got together out of the fusion of two bands: Parque Touch and Peach Train (oh them?) in 2006. When one member left the next year, the band took on the name White Denim and released two EPs in '07. Their first full-length album, Exposion, came out
 last October. Anyway, these guys have been growing on me a lot and I put their songs "Sitting" and "Let's Talk About It" on the list.

School of Seven Bells

Benjamin Curtis of the Secret Machines met the twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza when they were touring with Interpol in 2007. Shortly thereafter, they decided to drop their previous commitments and form School of Seven Bells. Supposedly, they start all of their writing with lyrics first and then adding music as mere "accompaniment." The music is lead by the girls' voices and guitar riffs with some cool electro sounds. Their first album, Alpinisms, was released last October. I added their song "Connjur" to the list.

The Golden Filter

Still not much is known about this new disco pop group. Early this year, blogs starting going nuts about this band and hyped them up pretty good. They managed to keep their identities a secret until their first show earlier this month. I still can't find out who they are, but I hear them all the time on the radio. It is what it is: very scene electro. Check out "Solid Gold" on the list. If you think you might like them at all, check out the song "Hide Me" on MySpace or something, I like it better than Solid Gold but can't find it anywhere.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dent May Video Premiere

Pitchfork.tv premiered Dent May's video for "Meet Me In The Garden" a couple hours ago. I also found out yesterday that he's been invited to tour Europe with Animal Collective in March and April. Things are looking pretty good for this guy. Click his link for dates.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I heard the voice of a porkchop say, come on, cover me in grits.


Jimbo Mathus is Mississippi blues through and through. His influences range from Hank Williams, Junior Kimbrough, Charlie Patton, Jimmy Rogers, RL Burnside, and Mississippi Sheiks. Guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and producer, Jimbo Mathus, grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He first caught the public's ear in the 1990s with the hyper-ragtime vaudeville act, The Squirrel Nut Zippers. Since then, he's released many recordings of his own in a style he describes as Mississippi Music. Basically, Mathus says, "I combine the myriad styles of deep roots music in a type of alchemy. Blues, country, gospel and soul all go into the equation equally." He released Knockdown South in 2005 on his own label and received much critical acclaim. It was voted number 2 for Best of 2005 by Honest Tune Magazine.

Mathus played a key role in Buddy Guy's Sweet Tea (2001) and Grammy winning Blues Singer (2004) as guitarist and arranger. He also runs the Delta Recording Service, a studio based in Clarksdale, MS and is sought out by many artists seeking the old school style of recording. One such artist was Elvis Costello, who recorded his Grammy nominated "Monkey to Man" single in Mathus' studio in 2005. He has produced two blues CDs that are nominated for WC Handy awards in 2006; Duwane Burnside's Under Pressure and Big George Brock's Club Caravan. Additionally, he contributed vocals on North Mississippi Allstars' 2006 Grammy nominated Electric Blues Watermelon. His latest release called Jimmy the Kid is out now.

All that being said, who is Jimbo Mathus really, and what is he trying to do to us? "I break down walls and stereotypes with my music. I confuse people. I use Mississippi music, which is renegade music at heart, as my inspiration and motivation. I use it as a tool to reach people, to express my own feelings and continue to express those that came before me. I keep the old stories alive while they help keep me alive". My father told me a story of when he played with Buddy Guy, that after the show, he'd pack up his gear and walk off down the road. No one ever knew whether he'd make it to the next stop. Our good buddy, Eric Carlton, plays keys for him. Thanks to his myspace for most of his bio. "Ben Dewberry's Final Run" has been added to the playlist. Nearby tour dates include:

February 11th - Rooster's Blues House - Oxford, MS (tonight)

March 6th - Crawdad Hole - Jackson, MS

The Damnwells - One Last Century

Paste Magazine and The Damnwells are giving away their album here. I have skimmed it and enjoyed it. Some of it was recorded with Andrew Radcliffe in Oxford.  Here is a quote from his talk with Paste.

Frontman Alex Dezen said the decision for giving away the album was easy: He simply wants people to hear it. "I have never worked so hard or put so much of myself into a collection of recorded songs," he says. "It is for just this reason that I want to give it away. To me it makes perfect sense. I just want people to hear this music, and I don't want them to have to enter some kind of contractual agreement with a third party to do so."

Enjoy!

DC rapper works with Justice

Washington D.C. rapper Wale has released a GREAT remix to Justice's hit "D.A.N.C.E." The song is inconspicuously called "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E." but I have gotten the impression that he has the blessing of the French DJ duo. Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Austin Rockers Give Away Song

Austin, TX veteran rock outfit ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are giving away a free song "Isis Unveiled" off of their new album Century of Self. The song is only available until midnight so hurry here and get it while you can. Solid rock music in a Muse sense of the word. As mentioned earlier, you can stream their upcoming album at AOL's spinner.

Full Stream's available

Full Streams for new releases by Lily Allen, ...And You Will Know Us, Dan Auerbach, and The Lonely Island. Spinner is always good for some free sounds. Heartless Bastards is still up as well if you have not heard it yet, and they're on Letterman tonight.

Monday, February 9, 2009

In Case You Missed It

Radiohead performing "15 Step" live at the Grammy's with the USC Trojan marching band.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rewind of the Week

Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue - 2008

I am not really sure why this album did not get more press than it did. I loved the record and thought that it had potential to make a move in 2008. The band has a very big sound with lots of instrumentation combined with Polyphonic Spree style vocals. You will hear trumpets, violins, pianos, guitars, xylophones, whistling, and great percussion.  However, don't get lulled into the choral melodies of songs like "Bye, Bye, Bye" and "Faerie Dance," because just around the corner comes jazzy, raw guitar riffs with a significantly edgier sound (see "Mercy") or less harmonious vocals with a more Black Keys feel like in "Feedback in the Field."  The barrage of instrumentation beats you down as the lyrics pick up, yet the boys of Plants and Animals are kind enough to throw in a slow bridge or a harmonic riff to assist your movement through their song.  Its the musical equivalent of comic relief.  A rest from the brash solos.  Yet some songs create just the opposite scene with a slightly off-key note or a quick storm of percussion done to remind you that all is never what it seems.  Deep within the confines of the beauty there is a loud indwelling. Whatever direction the song takes, the music does the feeling for you, and it is this aspect of Plants and Animals that I have loved the most.  It's like life in that way, seemingly moving in a given direction with surprises always waiting behind the next corner.  Beauty defiled by darkness and darkness redeemed with light.   See the playlist for a sample...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

As Promised

Friday, February 6, 2009

Full Stream of Heartless Bastards new release

Once again AOL's spinner has provided us with a free avenue to not having to spend that dreaded $9.99 on an album you have never heard. Heartless Bastards The Mountain is available for free full stream. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Heartless Bastards Daytrotter Session

Fat Possum Record's Heartless Bastards recently took a trip to the Day Trotter studio to publicize their newest release The Mountain. The album has received great reviews everywhere I have read about it, and it seems to be selling real well on iTunes. The day trotter session includes four free downloads of songs off their new album. The songs are not with the original studio recording and at times don't even include the entire band, but you will get a good taste of their sound. Go here to hear them.

2.3 Releases

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele: The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele

The album is finally out for Oxford's own Dent May. Best of luck to Dent on his tour with A.C. Newman and congrats on the release. I've moved "Meet Me in the Garden" back to the top of the playlist.

Heartless Bastards: The Mountain

This is HB's third album since signing with Fat Possum in 2004. Adam wrote a little blurb on them some posts down so check that out. Also be sure to listen to "Sway" in that post. If I find anything on playlist I'll be sure to add it.


Sorry for the delay on this post guys. It's been a busy week.

No Seriously, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Yeah I know this is the third post on the blog about this album. There's plenty of other things going on in music right now, but this is all I want to write about. If you have yet to check this out, or you did but didn't feel it at first, I think you should try it (or again). There are three types of albums that you like out there: those that you love immediately and ruin by listening to constantly, those that are ok whenever you feel like listening to them, and those that get better every listen. MPP definitely falls in the latter category. I have never been one to get into an avant garde type band, but this album has completely hooked me. I couldn't find the song I wanted to post on Playlist, so I just added it below. Check it out. "My Girls" is still on the playlist too. Also, don't forget!!!! They're performing at the Library Bar and Grill in Oxford, MS on June 6th.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh, Canada

Chad Vangaalen is a Canadian musician from Calgary, Alberta. Following a few scattered independent releases, done mostly on homemade CDs with hand-drawn art, VanGaalen released Infiniheart (2004) on Canadian independent label Flemish Eye. He does most of his recordings from his basement, and is known for being an extreme homebody. On August 22, 2006, VanGaalen's second album, Skelliconnection, was released in the U.S. on Sub Pop and in Canada on Flemish Eye. The album is composed of new songs as well as tracks previously released on his earlier independent recordings and features exclusive artwork and videos made by VanGaalen. In 2008, he released Soft Airplane. "Willow Tree" has been added to the playlist, and is one of the prettiest songs I've heard. I was introduced to it by a buddy at an extremely late "late night" party.


The Rural Alberta Advantage is a Canadian indie, folk rock band that formed in 2005, and are based out of Toronto. The band released a demo tape and EP independently in 2005, and their first full-length album, Hometowns, in early 2008. As of now, they are somehow unsigned. I can only assume they are waiting for the right fit. They were selcted eMusic's featured artist of the month for November 2008. I've been talking with friends of the blog, Clyde and Clayton, about them today, and they've convinced me to take a closer look. I'm glad I did. Clyde posted about this band back in mid December on his blog, RadioCure. "Frank, AB" has been added to the playlist.

New Music from Robin Pecknold

Pecknold, the lead singer of the band Fleet Foxes, recently recorded and posted some solo work under the name of White Antelope. The first song, "False Knight on the Road," is a cover of a traditional folk song by Steeleye Span. The songs cut down melody goes great with Pecknold's voice. Word is, he may try and release some of this solo stuff in the future.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele


The Good Feeling Music of DENT MAY and His Magnificent Ukulele is now available on iTunes. Go get it and breathe in the new sounds of the upcoming summer. It's particularly important to buy the iTunes version so that you can get the bonus track entitled "Eastover Wivez." I think we all know what that's about. A review of this album will no doubt be up shortly, but in the mean time go and read this interview with Dent. It highlights his multiple talents to say the least.