May 28, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

So what, exactly, do you get the dog that has everything? I almost spit my coffee in laughter/disbelief the other morning when I came across this site (a link from dooce) — Neuticles. Apparently these little silicone delights “allow your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and aids in the trauma associated with neutering.” If that doesn’t just beat it all. Good thing I don’t have to worry about decisions like that; although I am definitely a dog person, pets are just too much work for me right now. I consistently and methodically kill plants. I sometimes leave groceries in the car (meat. mmmmm.). I horrifically shrink wool sweaters by putting them in the washing machine. I don’t think I have time to worry about testicular implants. Anyways. I don’t really have a point other than . . . wtf?

Changing gears completely (thankfully), here are some new tunes to please your ears.

Aftermath
The Alternate Routes
I am completely in love with this new album from The Alternate Routes: Good and Reckless and True (Vanguard Records). I’ve been listening to it all weekend and from the first notes I smiled, and kept at it all the way through. They’ve got a warm, expansive, alt-pop-americana sound with hints that remind me of The Damnwells or Whiskeytown — and speaking of Ryan Adams, current Cardinals drummer Brad Pemberton pitches in on the skins here as well. Solid songwriting and incisive lyricism, a highly recommended new album. I’ll be talking more about them, I’m sure.

Either Way (featuring Mike Skinner of The Streets)
The Twang
Stereogum calls bollocks on this group, but I find myself rather liking this ditty in a summer-fun way. The video starts out promising, all froliciking on a rocky British beach, but ends up a bit like the goofy-looking kids from high school who got a hold of dad’s camcorder while drinking. Either way, I can always do a little bit of Mike Skinner‘s rhymes, notwithstanding his odd penchant for wearing rainbow striped sweaters.

All The Way Down
Glen Hansard
This is from the rootsy-melancholy soundtrack to the new movie Once which is in select theaters now after wowing everyone at Sundance. Glen Hansard (of Ireland’s The Frames) stars in the film as an art-imitating-life busker on the streets of Dublin, and wrote the evocative soundtrack. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but readers tell me I must. This hushed song is in a similar vein to countrymate/tour companion/duetter Damien Rice, or maybe Josh Ritter. Good stuff.

Reunion
Jason Collett covering Stars
This tune is labelled as being by lush-indie-popsters Stars (whom I adore), but it’s from their new remix album Do You Trust Your Friends, and is completely reinvented by friend and Broken Social Scenester Jason Collett. He delightfully turns it into something rollicking and loose, with a funky beat and fatty bass line that would be marvelous live. The Stars remix album is out now on Canada’s Arts & Crafts label, and I also still recommend the impetus behind the remix album, 2005′s Set Yourself On Fire.

Ghost of An Afternoon
Dave Fischoff
Independent musician Dave Fischoff labors from his small Chicago apartment/closet studio, weaving together sound samples that he has created himself and culled from the vast Chicago Public Library collection of sounds. You can hear his concentration in listening to the world around him, absorbing sounds and ideas, incorporating his own. They become melded together here on his album The Crawl — one touch Postal Service with threads of ’60s pop and orchestral strings. You can stream his whole album here and buy it from label Secretly Canadian.

PS – Comments turned on. That was an accident.

7 Comments »

  • i am so glad you turned the comments on (that keeps happening on my blog too – what’s up with that?) because I have to tell you how much i LOVE the alternate routes! I just bought their whole album and it is blowing me away. this will be on constant rotation this summer for sure, thank you thank you for all the great artists like this you’ve introduced me to.

    Anonymous — May 29, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

  • Anon- I am not sure why certain posts keep popping up with a no comment option. I guess I have to remember to double check…? I am really glad to hear you like the Alternate Routes. I just keep listening to them too. GREAT stuff.

    heather — May 29, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  • I read a comparison of Alternate Routes to The Damnwells at another site selling their cd. It will be arriving with the Ari Hest cd. Vanguard Records is reported to have remastered the Alternate Routes cd.

    Thanks for the great recommendations Heather.

    debs — May 29, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  • I played that Jason Collett on my show this week. God that’s such a good take on the song. He’s seriously one of my favorites these days.

    Mike — May 30, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  • I want to add my praise for the Alternate Routes track! The album is brilliant, thanks for the recommendation :]

    Brendan — May 31, 2007 @ 4:46 am

  • Thanks for the introduction to the Alternate Routes. I just had to go to iTunes and download the whole album. Great stuff indeed! And some good tracks for this summer’s road trip to Cali playlist

    E — May 31, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  • Hey, maybe we can send some Neuticles to the Democrats in Congress!!!

    Dan — June 1, 2007 @ 9:43 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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