October 15, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

The game’s on tonight. I love taking three or four hours to watch baseball — the pace of it, the grace and the subtlety. I am having so much fun watching The Rockies’ brand of baseball – it’s young and hardworking and fun, and it’s all coming together for them into a very very likely World Series run (becoming more likely after that 4th inning tonight)! It’s a fun time to live in Colorado. They need to win just one more against the Diamondbacks to go to the Series, and this Giants fan is cheering for them without qualms.

The Feeding Of The 5000
Ian Brown

There’s a Matt Nathanson song called “Everything You Say It Sounds Like Gospel,” a sentiment that also applies to much of what former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown has been putting out lately. In addition to a storyline here straight out of The Good Book, Brown is drawn to using these dramatic orchestral foundations that make it all seem even more epic and important. But I don’t find it pretentious; I get into the way the strings combine with cool electronic flourishes and his effortlessly swank vocals. His new album The World Is Yours is out now in the UK, not in the U.S. yet.

The Hustle
This came on my shuffle on my iPod at the gym while I was trying to top my personal best at sit-ups (oh, like 33. Something mindblowing), and it gave me an instant rush of energy. This is a Marah tune that has comfortably been living on my iPod for a good two years or so without receiving my full unabashed love — until now. Without reading the shuffle display, at first I thought this urgent, perfectly ebullient song was maybe Westerberg because of the yowly crack to Dave Bielanko’s voice, with delightfully jangly rock guitars. I now love this song, it’s my new favorite — off their 2005 album If You Didn’t Laugh You’d Cry. This Philadelphia-based, brother-helmed band has got a lot of cool stuff going on now, including a new EP/10″ vinyl this month (Can’t Take It With You) and a forthcoming album called Angels of Destruction.

Lisa Hannigan
I wrote about the Cake Sale compilation last year when the Oxfam benefit album featuring the talents of lots of good folks (Damien Rice, Lisa Hannigan, Josh Ritter, Glen Hansard, Gemma Hayes, etc) was released in Ireland. At the time, it was a UK-only release, and for those of us on this side of the pond not hardy enough to weather the pounds-to-dollars conversion, it’s finally gained a U.S. release tomorrow on Yep Roc. This particular song (written by Damien Rice) is as haunting and lovely as everything Hannigan loans her vocals to. Allow me to repeat at this point that it’s truly a crying shame that things didn’t work out musically with her and Damien Rice; I can’t get enough of the way she sings.

The Way I Am
Ingrid Michaelson
I’ve mentioned my love/hate relationship with Old Navy music and also lately their ’80s carnival of wide-necked, very long, big-buttoned, “they-think-I-am-11″ items. However, this song which they tapped for their latest sweater commercial is a nice home run for deserving songwriter Ingrid Michaelson from Staten Island. Despite her being my MySpace friend for, like, ever — somehow this infectiously cheery, handclappy sweet ditty slipped my notice. Okay, it’s a bit syrupy, but you know when the girl-group harmonies of that chorus hit, you kinda like the sugar rush. Her new album Girls and Boys is out now.

Avril 14th
Aphex Twin
Since we’re already talkin’ TV, here’s one other one on the airwaves lately. I’d never listened to ambient musician Aphex Twin (born Richard David James) until I started seeing articles about the licensing flap about the sampling of this song in the recent hi-larious Samberg digital short on SNL, “I Ran.” This original is a lush, gorgeous piano song from the 2001 Aphex Twin album drukqs, and count me as a new fan . . . but I can’t really listen to it purely without thinking of lines like, “You ain’t wrong to me, so strong to me, you belong to me . . . like a very hairy Jake Gyllenhaal to me” (which, incidentally, may be one of the best rhymes ever written). If you haven’t seen it:


  • Ha! Missed that SNL short last week. Funny stuff.

    haunted weather — October 16, 2007 @ 12:47 am

  • I would also like to point out that not all of Ingrid Michaelson’s music is sweet and syrupy like The Way I Am. Listen to the first track on that album, Die Alone, for a more accurate depiction of the rest of her repertoire.

    The Duck — October 16, 2007 @ 5:10 am

  • Congrats to the Rockies on their sweep! I too enjoy watching that smothering defense and all that enthusiasm for the game. I hope they get to play the Bosox — I have no favorite of the two, but would like to see the contrasting styles on the field.

    Greg — October 16, 2007 @ 8:33 am

  • Thanks for the recommendation, Duck.

    And how perfectly PERFECT was Helton catching the final out and his reaction?! Gives me chills.

    heather — October 16, 2007 @ 8:40 am

  • No prob Heather. I just recently “discovered” her thanks to that Old Navy commercial myself, and love at least the first six tracks on the album. I admit I haven’t given the second half of the album the attention it deserves as of yet.

    The Duck — October 16, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  • Heather – what happened with Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan? I haven’t heard anything and couldn’t find any information when I just looked it up. She’s not in the band anymore? WHAT!? How can this be?

    Smik — October 16, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  • I never knew you were a Giants fan. I come from a family of Giants die-hards (though they’re my #2 team behind the Cincinnati Reds). Too bad they both were atrocious this year.
    At least the Rockies seem to have made up for it.

    Passion of the Weiss — October 16, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

  • I had not seen that SNL video. It is a classic. Go Rockies. F*&$ my stinkin’ Cubbies. Also, that Indgird Michaelson song is just soooooo good.

    Eric — October 16, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

  • Ha you’re crazy for this one Mahmoud.

    Drukqs is a great introduction to Aphex Twin. Sorry to correct you though but he’s from Cornwall on the south coast of England. You might have heard about his latest alter-ego The Tuss on the old blogosphere.


    Tommoyo — October 18, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  • I’m glad to see Marah belatedly get some attention on here, Heather.

    (Unless I have missed some glowing praise before).

    If you liked If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry, you should definitely check out their second album, Kids In Philly.

    Pete — October 18, 2007 @ 8:16 am

  • tommoyo, thanks, noted and changed.

    And Pete, yeah I did glowingly praise them when I first heard them two years ago and linked to it in the post.

    Love it!

    heather — October 18, 2007 @ 9:00 am

  • Hi, actually it was released in Ireland in Nov 2006 and only released in the UK in Sept 2007 but well worth checking out.

    Aonghus — October 21, 2007 @ 9:07 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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