December 26, 2007

Wednesday Music Roundup

I had high aspirations for posting this on Monday, but then I had Christmas shopping to do (meager shopping since we’re still half-jobless this holiday season, which is actually kind of freeing cos no one expects anything but cookies from you). My sister and I actually braved the shopping scene to find some fun little inexpensive gifts. They’re selling shirts like that on the right at Target, which confused me.

Sis has been feeling the stress of helping to care for my sick uncle (she’s the closest-located relative to the hospital in CA) so she had expressed a desire to bake the most complicated Christmas cookies we could find while she was here in town. Her exact instructions to me were, “Go online to Martha, and find a recipe for something like talking reindeers with 8 layers of phyllo dough and green glitter.” We didn’t get quite that adventurous but we did manage to make even more basic cookies than truly necessary. They were good snackin to eat warm from the oven on Christmas Eve while the whole family watched A Christmas Story as we do each year in the hours before Santa comes.

Sons of b*tches! Bumpuses!

Bad Place
The Beauty Shop

At first, I listened to The Beauty Shop out of curiosity – their moniker was incongruous for the sound described (Mojo says “as much J Mascis as Johnny Cash”), but also probably because it made me reminisce of the cosy little Beauty Bar in San Francisco that I used to go to on occasion. See, both use the name and the promise of beautiful things to entice the unsuspecting. I am glad I clicked to listen to this trio out of Illinois because they get under my skin. This song feels a bit like that cover of Cash covering Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage,” and when frontman John Hoeffleur sings about punching a hole in the sky, punctuated by little yelps and a rough and ready acoustic guitar, you believe him. More tunes here.


Fitting nicely onto your mix between Feist’s 1234 and something from The, this new numerical scorcher from Oxford’s Supergrass is just as slicing as the other new track “Diamond Hoo Ha Man” was. If these tunes are any indication of what’s to come from the forthcoming album in 2008, they’ve been listening to more White Stripes and smoking less supergrass. I felt a little frisson of electricity when this first came over my speakers.

Endless Conversation (acoustic)
The Alternate Routes

One of the Fuel/Friends favorites in 2007, The Alternate Routes keep on putting out sublime melodies with this new acoustic EP, which they’re selling exclusively at shows. Eric the guitarist tells me that the band had these alternate versions echoing in their heads of songs from Good and Reckless and True, so they recorded the EP themselves and now their label, frankly, is trying to figure out what to do with it. Let’s hope it gains an actual release in 2008 because it’s simply lovely — dusty backporch Sunday, sweetly aching, Willie Nelson-styled versions of their roosty music.

Heart It Races
(Architecture in Helsinki cover)
Dr. Dog

I mentioned this song some months ago as the b-side to a Dr. Dog 7″ Beck remix, and now I finally have the mp3 from a friend who put it on his annual Best-Of-2007 mix CD which he distributes to his lucky friends. Track #9 on the mix, I’ve been listening to this tune non-stop on repeat. It took me a while to place this song as an AIH cover that I’d streamed months before, but either way it made me love Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog even more. With equal parts Sixties doowop, git-down handclapping rhythm, and spacey My Morning Jacket-esque vocals, this is a perfect song. Perfect.

Cut Your Hair (Pavement cover)
Cassettes Won’t Listen

This is what happens when Stephen Malkmus gets channeled through your Casio keyboard, and even though it’s impossible to improve upon the original, this updates it in a strangely danceable, slightly-weird but pleasing way. Part of a free EP of Nineties covers with album art that hits right at the heart of the Class-of-’97 nostalgia bin, Cassettes Won’t Listen and the blog Music For Robots take care of you with this free collection. They also give Liz Phair, Butter 08, Blind Melon, and Sebadoh their unique treatment, just for kicks and giggles.

December 15, 2007

Fuel Favorites of 2007

For each year so far that I’ve been dabbling in this music-blog-writing hobby, there seems to be a greater proliferation of choices for my ears to make. It seems like more artists are making their voices heard, more albums getting out there in one form or another, more people being turned on to music outside the mainstream 35 songs you hear on the radio.

This is good news for ears, hearts, and souls, and bad news for listmakers.

After much struggling, I’ve picked out ten albums that I’m happy with being my favorites from 2007; add all of these to your collections and be happy too. There were some very good albums that I left off this year (I am sure you will point them out to me in the comments) but these 10 are the ones that connected with me uniquely and viscerally. And they’re listed in alphabetical order because even numerically ranking them defeated me.

If you would like to hear me talk more about these albums, and discuss my perspective as a music blogger in the digital music world in 2007, please tune in to NPR’s World Cafe on January 1st. I’ll be doing a piece with David Dye, Tom Moon from NPR and Marco Werman from BBC’s “The World” program.

And yes . . . this is my poker face. I’m doing little freakout backflips on the inside.


Kings of Leon

Folks complain that this album isn’t as loose and rough and gut-punch raw as earlier KOL efforts, and they’re right. This album is bigger and hazier and more anthemic, but I find myself craving the riffs, the melody, the scowly drawl of the lyrics, and the unabashed rock. I agree with the fantastic Daytrotter piece that called this one “a sneaker” (as in it sneaks up on you, not a shoe). I like that KOL are experimenting with their sound and pushing the edges. Plus, they absolutely have the best live show I saw (twice) this year, all caged energy, confident strut and rock and roll.
Fans – Kings of Leon

The National

This is the richest album in my top ten this year, in that the songs seep under your skin and percolate slowly. As we discussed, so much of this is 4am music; the late-night special, flawed but transcendent. Woven through songs that pulse restlessly with thumping drums, elegiac strings and evocative piano melodies, the lyrics here destroy me. Absolutely. They lament “another uninnocent, elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults,” then ruefully note that “we’re so disarming darling, everything we did believe is diving diving diving diving off the balcony / Tired and wired we ruin too easy, sleep in our clothes and wait for winter to leave.” The purity of elemental urges and gorgeous expression makes me wants to live inside the stories of this album.
Fake Empire – The National

The Star Spangles

Here to save the rock and roll crown from the hands of slicker entries this year, The Star Spangles from New York are filthy and gritty and raw, making pub-chant punk with strong melodies. Full of heart, they are the real deal so don’t mess with their work ethic. In addition to playing roughly 3,528 fiery live shows this year, they’re not above doing things like playing a recent show at the Jesse Malin/Ryan Adams hangout Niagara in NYC wearing only a trenchcoat and a fedora (all the better to rock with less friction, I guess). Listen to this vibrant album loud, and feel the ebullient crush of youth.
Take Care of Us – The Star Spangles

The Swimmers
The owner of some trusted ears remarked upon first hearing this Philly band that “this is what Wilco might sound like if they just let their popness run rampant.” Fighting Trees is a shimmering, delicious, intelligent album full of pop goodness but not too sugary-sweet. It’s got the jangle and the thump, the three-part harmonies and the cohesive storyline lyrics that sweep me off to somewhere else; they weave a dream-sequence where you are floating above yourself, watching the actions below with a distanced eye. Loosely based around the 1964 short story “The Swimmer,” both the grad-school premise and the resulting album deserve massive props.
[stream here, buy CD at shows, out via Mad Dragon in early 2008]
Heaven – The Swimmers

The Alternate Routes

In a year when I was really hoping for a grand, rootsy, golden album from Ryan Adams that never materialized for me, The Alternate Routes warmed the speakers of my car all summer long with their expansive, windows-down, wholeheartedly good brand of alt-country rock. One of my favorite lyrical pictures all year comes from these opening notes: “I’ve been wasting my days good and reckless and true, I have danced in the dark at the edge of the water, swingin my hips at the black and the blue…” The songwriting is solid and incisive, highlighted by the aching tenor of lead singer Tim Warren — and speaking of Ryan Adams, current Cardinals drummer Brad Pemberton pitches in on the skins here as well. Although the album swings effortlessly from rollicking to pensive, the common thread that I find appealing is the earnest commitment to simply playing their blessed hearts out.
Ordinary – The Alternate Routes

Josh Ritter

A pal recently asked me who I thought the best modern-day songwriter was. At the time it was 2am, and I mumbled something about how I thought Josh Ritter was pretty dang incredible. Upon coherent reflection, I take that back; I think Josh absolutely may be the best songwriter of our generation that I’ve heard. His penetrating lyrics consistently blow me away, and the rock influences of his new album ramp up the folk sounds I’ve loved in the past into something that definitely hits harder and leaves me all itchy and excited-like. You must see him live in 2008, the new material is amazing in concert. As Josh weaves his intricate, literate songs on stage, he overflows with each lyric as if he were birthing every line afresh for the first time. That same refreshing joy is palpable on this album, and we are grateful for it.
To The Dogs or Whoever – Josh Ritter

he Broken West
When I first heard this new Merge Records signing last January, my post title was “I want to listen to The Broken West all weekend long, maybe until my eardrums crystallize into sugar.” That pretty much sums up how vividly I crave the sounds on this disc. Catchy hooks and fuzzy power-pop sounds blend with a blast straight from the ’60s in terms of sheer listenability — and you’re having 100% Fun with Matthew Sweet while the Kinks play in your garage. Hailing from Los Angeles, the guys in the Broken West wrap up all kinds of California imagery while also underscoring a bit of the shadow as well: “Sun down, blood horizon, now it feels all right/ No one feels the darkness down in the valley tonight.” Musical novocaine.
Down In The Valley – The Broken West

Coconut Records

This clever, humble, and thoroughly enjoyable album from Coconut Records (the nom de rock of actor Jason Schwartzman) came out of absolutely nowhere this year in a stealth digital-only release that spread like wildfire. Normally we can all agree that actors making music spells disaster, but in this case it absolutely spells y-a-y. Schwartzman blends some of the jangly California indie-pop of his previous work with Phantom Planet with his experience in composing film scores for this aural delight. No two tracks alike: the Weezer rock of “Back To You” flips over the lo-fi duet on “Mama” (with Zooey Deschanel?) and the scratchy dabble into Beatles pop with “Easy Girl” is a million miles from the disco beats of the title track or the Franz Ferdinand stomp on “Minding My Own Business.” The album is eclectic, stripped of pretension and ready to make you smile.
Back To You – Coconut Records


The completely charming and effortlessly cool Leslie Feist covers a lot of ground on this album, her third of original solo material, in addition to her releases with the Broken Social Scene. Feist is musically adventurous with a sound that is impossible to pin down. Moving easily from intimate songs like “The Park” that aches like a midnight dirge sung lying flat, looking out a darkened window, to the spiritual-gospel handclap community of “Sea Lion Woman,” you never know what the next track will bring. The only common thread among the songs is her gorgeously honey-drenched, knowingly sly voice. Feist possesses a welcome imaginative streak that she’s not afraid to reveal on this album. She deserves every ounce of recognition that Apple commercial got her in 2007; anyone who conceives of the idea to do a rainbow-hued dance video clothed in spangles to a song that good gets my respect. I wait in breathless anticipation to see what she does next.
My Moon, My Man – Feist

Ike Reilly Assassination

Call it defiant pre-punk, cranked-up ’50s rock’n'roll that slipped past the censors, or just some seriously good music. Ike Reilly writes unflinching rock songs full of bluesy, boozy, humid, rock riffs and intelligent, biting, evocative lyrics that make me want to take off with him through the desert on the run from the cops, the windows down and a knowing glance between us. Ike’s not ripping off a halcyon era of memories past like some of the retro-influenced acts today (Brian Setzer, I love you, but I’m talking to you), but rather he feels like an earnest, fierce character who somehow slipped in from a time when the music was rawer, the sex was furtive, and the liquor was bootlegged. This is a fiercely fantastic album that provocatively edged itself into my top ten the first time I listened to it.
Valentine’s Day in Juarez – Ike Reilly

And yes, since you asked, my membership in the bloggers guild is currently under review for revocation for not listening to Arcade Fire or Radiohead in 2007. I’ll keep you posted.

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November 5, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

This weekend was an unexpectedly gorgeous Indian summer weekend in Colorado, with temps in the 70s and me completely loving the feeling of the sunshine soaking into my skin for what could be the last time in a while. On Saturday I made it up to the top of Castle Rock which gave amazing panoramic views of the whole Front Range area. I’ve driven past it a million times (every time I see a show in Denver or Boulder) but never thought to see what it looked like from the top.

In order to tackle the easy hike up (2 miles or so) I had to face my icy-grip-of-death fear of mountain lions and other large carnivores with big teeth and claws that sometimes eat people. I despise being afraid of anything, really, so I get hotly mad at myself for flinching at underbrush crackles. But after seeing pawprints in the mud, it took some serious steeling of the will to overcome my natural inclination to go somewhere indoors. So as lame as it sounds to you rugged types, I was proud of my little mini-feat in overcoming fear — and the view from the top of the rock formation was worth it.

Delivery (demo) – Babyshambles
This song could have easily flowed from Ray Davies’ pen + guitar. Pete Doherty lays off the smack and blatant self-destruction long enough to record one of the catchiest tunes of recent memory. This is an ’06 demo version from the Stookie + Jim Bumfest sessions available on French Dog Blues (Doherty’s site), while the finished version is even snappier and out now on the new album Shotter’s Nation (Astralwerks). And as Pete says in the song, the vibe of this is your basic “make pretend it’s 1969 forever, find a girl, have a drink, have a dance and play.” Okay Pete. You convinced me. [photo]

I Just Want The Girl In The Blue Dress To Keep Dancing
Mike Doughty
This is my new favorite song. Mike Doughty was the lead singer for Soul Coughing, and his uniquely gravely voice and badass sense of killer rhythm always gets me. He’s announced a new album called Golden Delicious, out on ATO Records in 2008. This preview tune manages to combine indie-rock sensibilities with a retro feel, using some fun little vocal repetitions imitating the band that he wants this girl to keep dancing to — “Ba-rumpa-doh-bum-bum.” It’s like the little drummer Boy, but significantly less annoying. Love it.

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
(Neil Young cover)
Lions In The Street

This scorching cover of Neil Young’s 1969 classic comes from fellow Canadians Lions In The Street when they visited the XM Radio studios recently. Here’s a band that has the crazy idea that music should be shared and loved freely, so to that effect, they give away quite a bit of it on their website, despite some disagreements with their label. When I wrote about these guys last summer, I cited the obvious swagger and strut of the Stones in the vocals and the boozy riffs, but in this song I can also hear a bit of the warm tone of some of my favorite Adam Duritz vocal moments. So if you like those bands, you should check out LITS, go download some free tunes on their site — my favorite is still probably “Mine Ain’t Yours.” New full-length from these guys is expected in 2008.

The Future Is Nothing New (the toolbox song)
The Alternate Routes
This was one of the coolest tunes that Connecticut’s Alternate Routes did when I saw them live in concert last month, using an amplified toolbox to provide the uniquely crashing hurrumph beats throughout. There’s also a Latin-tinged feisty feel to this that reminds me of Justin Timberlake’s “Senorita,” and so I am pleased to finally have an mp3 of this (courtesy Andrew). The Alternate Routes are finalists in this ‘lil Hennessey/Rolling Stone contest so you can go over and vote for them. Matt Nathanson is also listed and I felt guilty for not voting for him, but the Alternate Routes asked me to go out with them first.

My Favorite Mutiny
(feat. Talib Kweli)
The Coup

This past February when I saw Oakland, CA band The Coup as part of the Noise Pop Music Fest (now accepting apps for 2008) I was completely and totally blown away. It was one of the best and most thoroughly fun shows that I have seen in a long time. They made those dusty historic floorboards at the Fillmore shake up and down. Therefore, news of their 2002 live double album being available on eMusic is welcome (although, really, you just need to go see Boots Riley & Co in concert for yourself). So Much Silence has ripped an mp3 “Shipment” from that live album for your listening pleasure, but this particular song from their 2006 album Pick A Bigger Weapon still kills it as one of my favorite tunes I discovered in this past year; I am not yet weary of listening to it. I doubt I ever will be.

Check the video I took at the show in San Francisco, I’ll use any excuse to post this again:

THE COUP: Laugh/Love/F*ck (live 3/1/07)

October 13, 2007

The Alternate Routes: “Aftermath” (live in Colorado Springs last night)

So I’ve verified it, The Alternate Routes are good and reckless and true, and last night in concert at the Black Sheep their catalog of expansive, soaring melodies really took flight, as the crowd sang along and yelled requests.

They are currently touring with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (who, as always, put on a sweaty tequila-soaked show of exceedingly enthusiastic proportions) which is a good pairing; I would love for them to also come back through on a solo tour in 2008 — or maybe I’ll just convince some promo folks to send me on the Rock Cruise. I’ll work on that.

I think Aftermath is probably my favorite song on that album. Just fantastic.

With this next video, the sound and shooting skill is a bit worse (sorry), but definitely worth watching to get a feel for their new material — and to see how very very cool this amplified toolbox sound effect is! As frontman Tim Warren lifts and drops it to the beat, hear that huge earthy whooomp. It kinda made my stomach jump, and I loved it. This is a new song (with sexy-dramatic Latin flamenco vibe) called “The Future Is Nothing New.” It’s allegedly about a fortune teller, and the intro reminds me of Justin Timberlake’s “Senorita.” Oh, I’ll admit it.

(live 10/12/07)

I know, I stopped recording too soon. Then there’s also one other video here (I believe this is the other new song they performed for the first time last night, a scorching rocker called “Toe The Line”), and some still shots from the concerts can be seen here.

They’ve got about a dozen more tour dates listed for this year; they are an excellent, affable, talented group of musicians – and if you go see them, make sure to stop by the merch table to get one of their free EPs with 4 tracks from their debut album (Good and Reckless and True, Vanguard Records).

Now the only question that remains is whether I should head up to Boulder for tonight’s sequel.


(With Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers)
Oct 13 – Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO

(With Will Hoge)
Oct 17 – The Pub – Harrisonburg, VA
Oct 19 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC

(With Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers)
Nov 7 – The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS
Nov 8 – Blueberry Hill – St. Louis, MO
Nov 9 – The Music Mill – Indianapolis, IN
Nov 10 – The Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI
Nov 11 – Cambridge Room House of Blues – Cleveland, OH
Nov 23 – Tupelo Music Hall – Londonderry, NH
Nov 29 – Birchmere – Alexandria, VA
Nov 30 – High Fidelity – Rochester, NY
Dec 1 – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
Dec 21 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
Jan 19-24, 2008 – The Rock Boat – Miami, FL

August 24, 2007

Both are good and reckless and true: The Alternate Routes to tour with Roger Clyne

This news just made my day – The Alternate Routes have just announced a fall tour with another Fuel/Friends favorite, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers! This is most excellent news.

I have been waiting to spring on an Alternate Routes tour since I first learned about them a few months ago, and have been listening to their Good and Reckless and True album non-stop ever since. I’m sold on their expansive, golden, rootsy-rock sound and smart lyricism.

And I think you know how I feel about Roger Clyne; together with his band The Peacemakers, they definitely put on one of the best, heartfelt, sweat-drenched, rocking shows I’ve seen. Ticket prices range from like $8 to $20 — an absolute steal for this much heart. I guarantee you will enjoy the show.

Aftermath – The Alternate Routes
I Don’t Need Another Thrill – Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers
Banditos (live) – A Roger Clyne song from his previous band, The Refreshments

Fall Tour Dates
with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

Sep 25 – Tasty World, Athens, GA
Sep 27 – 8 x 10 Club, Baltimore, MD
Sep 28 – The Iron Horse, Northampton, MA
Sep 29 – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
Oct 2 РHard Rock Caf̩, Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 4 – The Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI
Oct 5 – Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
Oct 6 – Joe’s Bar, Chicago, IL
Oct 7 – The Annex, Madison, WI
Oct 10 РFine Line Music Caf̩, Minneapolis, MN
Oct 11- Knuckleheads Saloon, Kansas City, MO
Oct 12 – The Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 13 – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO

With Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
Nov 7- The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS
Nov 8 – Blueberry Hill, St. Louis, MO
Nov 9 – The Music Mill, Indianapolis, IN
Nov 10 – The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI
Nov 11 – Cambridge Room/House of Blues, Cleveland, OH

June 8, 2007

The Alternate Routes :: “The Black and the White”

I have been listening incessantly to the album Good and Reckless and True from The Alternate Routes these past few weeks (I told you I’d be talking more about them). For some reason it sounds exceedingly good to me here in early June, especially in my car. Although the album swings effortlessly from rollicking to pensive, the common thread that I find appealing is the earnest commitment to simply playing their blessed hearts out.

This particular track is penultimate on the album, and I freaking love it. Over a bittersweet piano melody, it is melancholy, stripped, and a bit ironic (is there ever that one exact time when you are over someone? Or is it usually just a bit of self-preserving delusion? The last verse seems to confirm that bit of wishful thinking) . . .

The Black and The White – The Alternate Routes

Well, it’s five of 9:00 and I’m over you
I wanna do whatever this empty bottle tells me to
And I’m so excited that I feel no pain
And finally everything’s right in place in my heart again
And there are no ends I can see
There’s nothing but the summer in me

Sing hey-la-de-day
I come out tonight
I look to get lost in the back and the white
But the colors in me remembering when
I start looking over my shoulder again
Over your shoulder

And it’s a holiday weekend
Only 12:25
I walk down to this neighborhood place and I’m feeling alive
And it’s trapped in the alley and the lighting is fair
The bartender’s laughing with strangers
I reach for my wallet, I pull up a chair
Singin’ luck be a lady, this is where I belong
And I know that you’re somewhere singing along

Sing hey-la-de-day
I come out tonight
I look to get lost in the back and the white
But the colors in me remembering when
I start looking over my shoulder again
Sing over your shoulder

Where there once was a dozen
now there’s only a few
And it’s just passed 1:30 and I’m over you
And there in a crosstown shadow as I steal away
I let a Jim shot of whiskey
take a good man back to his yesterdays
It starts me on thinking that you should have stayed
And I think about sleeping tonight in the bed that you made

Sing hey-la-de-day
I come out tonight
I look to get lost in the back and the white
But the colors in me remembering when
I start looking over my shoulder again

I’m over your shoulder
It’s over your shoulder

Tim Warren: vocals & acoustic guitar
Eric Donnelly: piano

BONUS: Check out some great acoustic video here
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.

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.

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.

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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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