January 26, 2009

Monday Music Roundup (+ contest!)


One night last week when I should have already been asleep, instead I sat up in bed scrolling through Failblog archives and absolutely dying laughing. Along with the FYP blog (for example: omg), Failblog is my new favorite — for reasons like this or this, or this or this.

That’ll start your Monday off right; so will these songs.

Hospital Bed

The opening violin stirrings of this song are breathlessly gorgeous, heart-stoppingly so. After the condensed symphony of the first seconds, it transforms into la-la-las and quiet plucking and patter that sounds like rain on the cabin roof on that one night, so black, during the storm. I could hear you breathing.
Seabear is from Iceland, and this song is off their 2007 album The Ghost That Carried Us Away [and brought to my attention by this fine set of ears]

Help I’m Alive

I posted this last week as part of that gigantic hour-long mp3 from my set at the Larimer Lounge, but it is such a fantastic song that it deserves a starring role. Emily Haines is a sometimes-member of Broken Social Scene and Metric, in addition to putting out solid solo albums. Make no mistake, this is a kickass girl-rock moment on par with the riffs of Veruca Salt’s “Volcano Girls,” with the danceability of Blondie and Hello Stranger. Over the shadowy industrial chugging there bursts a golden sheen of ’80s rock and snarl. My favorite, favorite part comes at 1:17 — one of the absolute best moments in a song I’ve heard in months. Listen/try to sit still. You can’t. You’ll dance. This is the leadoff track from the forthcoming 2009 release Fantasies.

A Song For Milton Feher
Richard Swift

I saw Mr. Swift open for Wilco on the blessed day that they converted me to raving lunatic fan. I remember being impressed by his toe-tapping poppy, piano-based compilations and huge head of curly hair. Apparently Milton Feher is a classical dancer, and I have no idea what this song is on about, but it’s a catchy blend of sunny pop sensibilities and synthesizers. This track was first on Swift’s free EP Ground Trouble Jaw last year, and will also be featured on the forthcoming full-length The Atlantic Ocean (both via Secretly Canadian). [thanks Bruce]

Black Lung

I love the homespun charm in this song, the way it sounds like it’s being recorded in someone’s kitchen. The double-tracked vocals have a shimmering air of transparency that reminds me of Bon Iver’s home projects. Cedarwell is a man named Eric Neave from Wisconsin, and there’s a pretty little breakdown at the end with campfire clapping that always makes me smile. Find a dozen more songs for download on his site, with a donation suggested. Thoroughly lovely. [via MOKB].

Back From Exile
Nickel Eye

While The Strokes continue to consider offering us a new album, bassist Nikolai Fraiture has become the latest Stroke to embark on a side journey with his band Nickel Eye (get it? Nikolai?). The album brings old poems of Nikolai’s to musical life, and features Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Regina Spektor.

CONTEST: You can win one of these autographed 7″s I’ve got (pictured below on my kitchen table, “Brandy of the Damned” b/w “Back From Exile”) just by leaving a comment for me. Discuss Strokes side projects if you wish, or something else I will find entertaining, and I will pick two random winners. Contest runs through the end of this week, and the Nickel Eye album (The Time of Assassins) is out tomorrow on Rykodisc.



  • Man, I like The Strokes and Albert, and am digging Little Joy a lot, but that Nickle Eye track is seriously hurting. I can’t believe he released that.

    jeff — January 26, 2009 @ 11:38 am

  • i freakin love that metric song, too. the intro percussion also reminds me of zoo station a little.

    c — January 26, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

  • Remember Garden State? haha

    Hatley — January 26, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  • I had planned on going to see Nickle Eye last Friday night in Madison, mainly because one of my favorite local bands, Sleeping in the Aviary, was opening and I haven’t been to a show in a while. Instead I met my father for a late lunch and a couple of rounds of Capital Winter Skal, then hit up the record store and go straight home to listen to a pile of new albums as opposed to going out and, you know, talking to people.

    As for Strokes side projects, I would say Little Joy is my favorite of the group right now.

    Bruce — January 26, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  • DIVA GINA…priceless!

    Mona Street — January 26, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  • Love the dance fail – these are two of my favourite fails!


    thanks for the tunes. When it comes to Nickle’s, the eye is much better than the back.

    Tawriffic — January 26, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  • More than once, what I thought was going to be a few minutes perusing, I have unintentionally and without realizing lost *hours* at a time on failblog.

    scott b. — January 26, 2009 @ 9:20 pm

  • Thanks for the tunes!

    Rachel Matthews — January 27, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  • Can wait to hear this. I often refuse to dl leaks. Nothing like spinning it for the first time.

    upsetter — January 27, 2009 @ 11:05 am

  • Competition Fail (Borat Pause) NOT

    Diarmuid — January 27, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  • Wow, Failblog is great. The opening of the Seabear song is not long enough.


    Kip — January 27, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

  • Little Joy’s Little Joy, what can I say? It’s softer than I usually listen to, but I keep going back for another listen – it does sound like soft cocktail lounge music, but I keep going back for another listen.

    Suzanne — January 27, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  • The illustration on this 45 looks very cool. Do you know who the artist is?
    Best wishes, -K

    kevin — January 27, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  • I’m beginning to like The Strokes more and more ever since I first heard Mercy Mercy Me with Eddie Vedder and Josh Homme I’ve begin a fan of their music. I have to say that I like this Nickel Eye stuff too.

    Jordan MacNiven — January 27, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

  • Nickle Eye Volkoff!

    Joseph Giovinazzo — January 27, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  • In Communist Russia, eye nickles You!

    Danny T — January 28, 2009 @ 8:36 am

  • Thanks for turning me on to Seabear – I really like them.

    Steve Goldner — January 28, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

  • Seabear & Jamal?

    Jake — January 30, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  • Ok, so I don’t have a lot to say about the strokes side projects, but I was reminded of an absolutely hilarious side project that I got to see live one time. It was started by Patrick Wilson, the drummer from Weezer. I went to catch the Strokes, Weezer, Dashoard Confessional, and Sparta in Nashville one year and The Special Goodness were playing at a tent as we walked in. I’m not saying the music was bad-in truth I barely remember it-but Pat was really great. It was a lot of fun to see the guy front and center and watch him interact with the audience. If ‘ol Nicolai is half as interesting as Wilson, I’ll check ‘em out. Thanks Heather!

    Ross — January 30, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  • have you checked out the last crooked fingers album? “Forfeit/Fortune” I feel like it got skipped over by alot of people. Its actually the first album I’ve picked up by them (cause i found it for a cheap 7.99 at the princeton record exchange on vinyl!) but its surprising eclectic and ridiculously good. alot of classic rock feels to the songs along with a latin feel to some of the tracks.. well aside from the fact that some a few are in spanish. Also this band White Lies out of england (i believe).. they just dropped an album this month.. extremely reminiscent of Joy division or other copycats like Interpol or Editors… editors being my preferred copycat. But even though the sound is similar I feel they’ve got a couple of good songs. especially Unfinished Business.

    well if you get the chance check those out.
    thanks for the heads up on this other fun stuff!

    Chris — January 30, 2009 @ 11:17 am

  • Is it weird to say I love you, and the music you post?

    It’s weird.

    But true!

    Amyb — January 30, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

  • Also, it’s exciting that Metric is getting dancey again. Live it Out was a balls-out rocker (not a bad thing) compared to Old World Underground.

    Amyb — January 30, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  • I just saw Nickel Eye in SanDiego and he was funny and charming and oh so amazing! The music was great, I would love his LP =)

    Katherine — January 31, 2009 @ 3:17 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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