January 12, 2009

Monday Music Roundup


The cunning, evil piglets run to the tiger, smothering her with their small hooves and short snouts. Made weak by the cuteness of the piglets (and undoubtedly aware of the fact that she is only making the situation worse by being in the picture herself), she reaches out her paw, licking her lips, grasping for an errant piglet she can stuff in her mouth. That would really ruin the moment, she thinks to herself, desperate for some way – any way – out of this moment of terrifying cross-species affection.

I find the Fuck You, Penguin blog entirely hilarious,  even if I’ll admit to feeling a little shy about admitting it. Really, you think you’re too good to let animals “say” funny things and make you laugh, but you’re dead wrong.

When I’m not looking at tiny cute monkeys and stuff this week, I’ve been listening to some electrifyingly good music:

Fall In Step

Last week, a mash-up artist called Minty Fresh Beats unleashed an entire (undoubtedly illegal) album of Jay-Z/Radiohead blends that kiiind of has been rocking my world all week. Before he gets arrested and the files expunged from the internet, you need to go listen to that kickass opening to “15 Step” with Jay-Z’s “ah, ah, yeah, whoo!” and then the shattering fragmentation of the beat that makes my head spin around. I haven’t yet been able to listen to this without smiling. The whole album is inspired and near-flawless.

You Can Be Timeless
Henry Clay People

The formula may be one we know: the slow start, the ragged heartfelt vocals, the muted power chords and then — the explosion and the crush of hot summer nights and a rebel vibrancy. Henry Clay People remind me of The Hold Steady and Springsteen and there, I’ve said it. I cannot stop listening to their fresh take on themes we all know so well and a language I speak fluently. Signed to the Autumn Tone label (Aquarium Drunkard) and opening for Airborne Toxic Event in these next few months (including Feb 23 at Denver’s Bluebird), this is a band I am totally gonna investigate more. Hot dang. For Cheap Or For Free is out now.

Nothing To Worry About
Peter Bjorn & John

How charming; the whistling Swedes have tapped the same children’s choir as Justice’s D.A.N.C.E. (a fact I may have arguably made up just now, but certainly sounds true).  In another “wow, the internet is weird” moment, the first song off the new album from superstar-whistlers Peter Bjorn & John was leaked via Kanye West’s blog last week, and as Kanye says, “SHIT IS DOPE!! DRUMS ARE CRAZY AND I LIKE THE KIDS ON THE HOOK…LOL!!!… The new PB&J album Living Things will be out at the end of March, and this hugely stomping song sounds nothing like the young folks ditty. Peter Bjorn & John were also just announced on the initial SXSW lineup — and it looks like I will be making the trek to Austin this year for the first time! Suggestions on BBQ are now being accepted.

Five Years Time
Noah And The Whale

In a pleasant mixing of your memories of Sunday School stories, Noah And The Whale scramble tales of divine intervention with that whistling you’re not getting this time around from Peter Bjorn & John. Over a sparkly effervescent ukulele, this band from Twickenham, England just charmed my pants off and made me clap my hands. Wow, that sounds like an odd predicament to be in. This song is all fun fun fun, love love love, and sunshine — and despite the message of “in five years time, I may not know you,” they want to drink and laugh in the park with you today. Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down is out now and they’re hitting the UK in March.

World Without End (live on HearYa)
A.A. Bondy

A friend who makes cooler mix CDs than me just included an A.A. Bondy track on his year-end retrospective and it perked my ears up with the thick melancholy authenticity. Bondy is the former frontman of Verbena, and this track comes to us free and clear from the excellent Hear Ya Sessions compilation (those in-studio DIYers who taped Samantha Crain at the end of the summer). I’m reminded here of the simplicity of the Avett Brothers — a rawness, and the ability to eviscerate with very few words: “and now you are broken, and I am less,” followed by a bittersweet harmonica of a thousand walking-aways. Just off a fall tour with the Felice Brothers, Bondy’s American Hearts is out now on Fat Possum (and there’s a free Daytrotter session here).


  • Yeah I love A. A. Bondy. I reviewed his album here: http://www.dynamicmeter.com/2008/09/album-review-a-bondys-american-hearts.html

    I particularly love the tune “There’s A Reason.”

    Thanks for giving him some more recognition.

    stephen — January 13, 2009 @ 7:35 am

  • I love the Jaydiohead, I’ve been listening to it nearly non-stop since it came out. Great stuff.

    Lance — January 13, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  • That Noah and the Whale song is completely infectious, yowsa!

    Matt Walters — January 13, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

  • Wow, love the new look here….


    Justin — January 13, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

  • Weird how when I emailed you last week and told you about how I had Jaydiohead on my blog (THEDEMELLOTHEORY.WORDPRESS.COM) & asked maybe if there was a chance I could get added to the blogroll I received no response yet here it appears on your blog. I understand that you feel the need to flex your muscles since you now how a clean new site, but really? Wow. Great site.

    Matt — January 13, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  • hi there matt. i appreciated your email. um, i get emailed a lot about two things. one: please add me to your blogroll and two: take a listen to my band/remix project. this week i did get one from you asking me the former (which i appreciate, and i did take a look at your blog) and the latter (from the artist who mixed jaydiohead). i read a lot of blogs and i add my very longtime favorites to my blogroll. thanks for suggesting yours.

    browneheather — January 13, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

  • I couldn’t get enough of A.A. Bondy this past year. If it was possible to wear a groove on an mp3, I would have worn a wide swath through “American Hearts.” A great album. Also, the Noah and the Whale song always makes me smile, which I guess was the purpose.

    Love the new site.

    marty — January 13, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

  • Thanks for posting the AA Bondy track from our session! He’s a really great guy (and songwriter) and its great to see the word spreading.

    The Henry Clay People sound like Steven Malkmus fronting The Hold Steady. I’m really looking forward to catching them at SXSW.

    Oz — January 13, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

  • Hey Heather…new site looks great.

    You know, I cannot grasp the appeal of mash-ups, and Jaydiohead is no acception. There is nothing about them that strikes me as impressive. It’s interesting enough but I don’t consider it a viable form of music, I just don’t. Ah well…I’m sure many would consider it my loss. For now, I’ll stick to first degree creations.

    George — January 13, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  • I think Noah and The Whale is a mash-up of Noah Baumbach, who did the (awesome) film “The Squid and The Whale.”

    But, I’ve been known to be wrong. It could also be biblical. But what is biblical is how that song gets stuck in my head.

    Drew — January 14, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  • A.A. Bondy’s voice is so simple and pure. World Without End is one of the best songs I have heard all year. Excellent.


    Kip — January 14, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

  • Be warn: I first heard that Noah and The Whale song 6 months ago and it’s still stuck on heavy rotaion in me brain. Do check out the rest of their album, the remainder is just as delightful. Having the lovely and super-talented Laura Marling sing back-up doesn’t hurt either!

    Kevin — January 14, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  • for sure hitting up the Henry Clay People show at Bluebird, I can definitely hear a lot of great influences in their music.

    Jevan — January 16, 2009 @ 11:07 am

  • Have you seen the Jaydiohead 99 problems remix video on youtube??

    Check it out.

    Foley — February 5, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  • jaydiohead links are still live. thanks :)

    matt — April 4, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

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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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