30 June 2008

Don't Go to Florida, Dear

I'm going to Florida early tomorrow for sad family reasons. On that note, download this song:
Florida, Dear - One Happy Island

28 June 2008

Liz Phair @ Hiro Ballroom, NY 6/25/08

Tomes have been written about Exile in Guyville and its influence on women in indie rock. It's pretty much a fact, if you were born after 1970 and have a vagina this album resonates with you in some capacity. Fifteen years after its release, it still holds up as a third-wave feminist text (or whatever wave we happen to be up to). Perhaps Guyville sounded a lot more shocking back in 1993, but it is still most definitely relevant. It's an emotionally complicated listen. There is a desire for men. There is a contempt towards men. But it's all so intricately enmeshed you can't quite detect what is felt when. But then again neither can Liz. Equal parts bitterness, horniness, vulnerability and apathy, yep it's all there.

Watching the sold out crowd sing along as Liz performed the album in its entirety just reasserted just how much meaning and power these 18 songs have. Although I will admit it was just a tad creepy seeing a man who couldn't be much younger then my father mouthing the lyrics to "Flower" (you know the line about blowjobs). He also came bearing a bouquet. Apt, right? Flower, get it! EW creepy. Anyways, it was a cathartic show I'm glad I got to witness first hand. And I'll be damned if I look as good as Liz when I'm 41.

Fuck and Run - Liz Phair

Flower - Liz Phair

Ant in Alaska - Liz Phair (Bonus Track off Exile's 15th anniversary reissue)

27 June 2008

In the heart of America

Well I've made the move and am not yet totally settled but wanted to offer up a weakly related but fun song nonetheless, about trying to find my way in this new city.

Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier.mp3

25 June 2008

Spoon covers The Smiths - Swooooon

Thanks to You Ain't No Picasso for unearthing this cover. The thought of Spoon covering The Smiths makes me wet myself. But then I actually listened to it. Yep, my suspicions were confirmed - it's sexy! But then again so is every word Britt Daniels utters.

Panic - Spoon (The Smiths cover)

23 June 2008

Oh I'm in a lull...

Here's the really gorgeous video for Andrew Bird's Daytrotter version of "Lull" featuring Dianogah

Lull - Andrew Bird featuring Dianogah (Daytrotter version)

20 June 2008

Please Feed the Animals

You've probably already downloaded the new Girl Talk album Feed the Animals. If you haven't you should, since it's "pay what you want" (my favorite words in the music industry!). Technically you can be a total cheap-ass and download it for free (not that we're advocating that, but just saying). Anyways after listening to it about 4 times today (mainly while bopping like a lunatic behind a desk at work) I think this is my favorite track. "Here's The Thing" samples 96 Tears, Come on Ride the Train, Since You've Been Gone and Jesse's Girl amongst a mish-mosh of hip hop and electro-beats. And it works!

Here's the Thing - Girl Talk

18 June 2008

Mix to my 17 year-old self

Six years ago the number of albums I owned barely cracked the double digits. However, those few precious CDs were totally ingrained in me. In light of a few recent events I've been thinking a lot about who I was, who I've become and how a handful of songs were responsible for getting me there. Enjoy these tunes in my moment of solipsism:

Green Eyes - Coldplay
Long before their misguided attempts at becoming the Biggest Band in the World(TM), they were MY band. To this day, I will even brush aside hipster impulses and defend, rather then condemn, the almost unbearable earnestness that sustained my senior year of high school. Besides when you're seventeen this kind of shit, the cliche black and white binaries in the lyricism, the kindergarten rhyme schemes, sounds utterly profound, ok? Especially when it comes from a dreamy Brit. YOUR dreamy Brit to be exact.

There There - Radiohead
Hail to the Thief was the first Radiohead album I ever bought. I was at that age where I wanted to cultivate that elusive thing known as "taste" and I'm pretty sure Radiohead were one of those bands I was "supposed" to like. I know, I know, that's a dumb reason for buying any album, but hey it's turns out I actually liked it. So there.

Girl You Have No Faith in Medicine - The White Stripes
This was also the year I was prescribed some hardcore anti-depressants. Um they didn't exactly work. I'm glad Jack White realized this.

Lost Cause - Beck
Sea Change is a break-up album. When I was 17, I considered break-ups a luxury. Because break-ups imply that you were at one point um, with someone. I would have killed for one. And thus I was jealous of Beck.

Untitled 4 - Sigur Ros
Ok, so this song barely makes the cut. I got () for my 18th birthday. It was the ONLY thing I asked for. I read about in USA Today (of all unhip places!) and thought "Whoa a band that sings in a made up language and names their albums after punctuation. I must have it!" Also I worked at nursing home and dealt with death on a near daily basis and I would listen to this song on my lunch breaks when in need of an calming, ethereal respite. That would usually be often.

16 June 2008

Going to Buffalo

So I'm going through a major life change that will impact Volume Knob very slightly, and that is I'm moving from Olympia, WA to Buffalo, NY this week. This means our "base of operations," mailing address and such things will change. As soon as I get a new mail box address, you'll see it on the side bar.

This also means that we will sadly no longer be on three different oceans (tear!) but um... hey, how 'bout that Niagara Falls? Also, I might be a bit sketchy in posting as all my worldly belongings are going to have to fit into a single suitcase as I uproot from the home of K records to the Church of Ani land of Righteous Babe records.

the Mountain Goats - Going to Buffalo.mp3

the Mountain Goats - Leaving Home.mp3

Tori Amos - She's Leaving Home (live Beatles cover).mp3

Magnolia Electric Co. - Leave the City.mp3

The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving.mp3

Chantal Kreviazuk - Leavin' on a Jet Plane.mp3

Nellie McKay - Suitcase Song.mp3

Hank Williams - Move It On Over.mp3

Sufjan Stevens - Niagara Falls.mp3

Leonard Cohen - Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye.mp3

Bright Eyes - Devil Town (Daniel Johnston cover).mp3
I was livin' in a devil town, didn't know it was a devil town
Oh Lord, it really gets me down, about this devil town

15 June 2008

Ah, that cello...

This is a song to listen to while you're walking along the side of the road. The early afternoon sun is warm and softly yellow, and the long grasss brushes the fingertips of your outstretched hand. You're not looking for a ride, not really, but you probably wouldn't say no if one came along.

When I First Came To This Country : Crooked Still

13 June 2008

It's the frickin' weekend, baby!

Woohoo R. Kelly! Not Guilty!

Let's celebrate with the GREATEST mash-up of all time:

If I Could Rock (It Would Feel Like This) - Jens Lekman Vs. R. Kelly (ABX)

10 June 2008

Happy Birthday June!

Let's all wish a very happy birthday to blogger June! (Technically her birthday was yesterday, June 10th, but while I was in the middle of posting this I very suddenly lost power. Silly thunderstorms!)

(We'd like to say) Happy Birthday Just For You - Donny Hue and the Colors

09 June 2008


Because sometimes there are just no words.

Tori Amos - Over It (B's Over the Pool mix).mp3 from the "Y Kant Tori Mix" Bootleg.
A soft, dreamy, ethereal a cappella which might be considered an early mash-up, if they weren't both Tori songs and didn't result in quite such a perfect blend. I listen to this much more than either of the two original songs the create it.
"The Pool" is originally found on the Winter EP and "Over It" is part of an instrumental piano suite found on the God single.

Estradasphere - Six Hands.mp3 from Palace Of Mirrors
All their songs are instrumental, and it's a good thing: The degree of brash, cacophonous complexity would only be burdened by the presence of any lyrics. This short punch of a song screams "CIRCUS!" with its calliope-like staccato piano that surely must only be played with six hands.

Sufjan Stevens - Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou).mp3 from Michigan
Yia-Yia & Pappou are code named for Dear Abby and her sister, Ann Landers, both Michigan natives as well. Deliberate and cerebral, this instrumental pause of heavenly vocalizations backing hesitant piano in an otherwise richly poetic album, serves as a moment of silence for reflection.

Mason Williams - Classical Gas.mp3 from The Mason Williams Phonograph Record
A favorite of mine since I was a kid. Hard to believe this song is 40 years old! His most well-known and one of his best pieces, this guitar-based classic builds to full orchestral blast in barely over three minutes.

Neutral Milk Hotel - Untitled.mp3 from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Not sure if I love it or hate it when there's a fucking amazing album with a single instrumental track in the middle of it. Bagpipes, and roaring trombone are the signatures in this admittedly very odd song.

Islands - Tsuxiit.mp3 from Return To The Sea
Very similar to the above: the single instrumental track dividing (uniting?) the halves of a 11-star (our of four stars) album. Featuring gongs, piano, fluttery synthesizer and of course strings, this Instrumental Intermission cleanses the palate in a cheery way.

Sunn O))) & Boris - N.L.T..mp3 from Altar
NOT a relaxing piece, and definitely not for grandma. If you've never heard Sunn O))), it's like drinking two bottles of Robitussin, then putting a Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath vinyl on at 20 RPM, adjust the 100khz up to max, and putting the speakers on the floor.

Jeff Buckley - Peace Offering.mp3 from ??????
Sorry for the (lack-of) sound quality on this one; it's an ultra-rare/random/unreleased/b-side/whatever from back in the day. To give you a Jeff Buckley song without his gorgeous vocals seems like a crime, but this only showcases what talented songwriter and guitarist he was.
What? You don't own Grace? SHAME ON YOU. BUY IT.

Two Gallants - Instrumental Song.mp3 from Live at The Independent
This punchy rock piece holds more than a bit of southern flavor as it boldly twings and jangles through the night, driven by relentless drums and a walking baseline, occasionally pausing and delivering what can only seem like a musical punch line.
Buy their Self-Titled Album.

Aphex Twin - Avril 14th.mp3 from Drukqs
One of my favorite instrumental pieces of all time. This short, soft piano piece plucks along gently and makes good use of the residual instrument sounds, as if caught wandering and daydreaming.

Django Reinhardt - Limehouse Blues.mp3 from The Complete Django Reinhardt and Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Swing-HMV Sessions 1936-1948
If you've never heard Django play, then you've missed out on one of the greatest guitarists of our--or our parents' or grandparents'--time. His light, cheery strums bounce along jazz beats with incomprehensible complexity for such a feather-touch sound. Paired here with violin reminiscent of Andrew Bird's early works, this is a happy piece to lift any mood.

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson & Sigur Rós - Pictures & Memory.mp3 from Angels of the Universe OST
Hot Icelandic-on-Icelandic action! Here the two artists team up for the floaty, gorgeous soundtrack to the 2004 documentary of aerial scenes of Iceland. The rich violin is backed by Sigur Rós' classic dreamy soundscape.

Philip Glass - Metamorphosis One.mp3 from Solo Piano
Think: Gershwin Plays Gershwin. The only other song that could be considered a "classical" selection here (I could have all-too-easily done an all-classical mix!) but is probably the best example of the all-explaining joke:

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?

Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass
Philip Glass

08 June 2008

NEW Radiohead song!

Two days ago Radiohead premiered this gem of a song in Dublin. "Super Collider" is a shiver-inducing piano ballad, which further solidifies their reign as biggest band on the planet. As if you really needed more proof:

Super Collider - Radiohead

05 June 2008

Sail On

A much-needed vacation was in order, so this weekend my husband (yeah, sorry fellas!) is taking me on a cruise up to Victoria, British Columbia for the weekend. Here's some songs to share that set the mood:

The Beatles - Day Tripper.mp3
Jukebox the Ghost - Victoria.mp3
The National - Squalor Victoria.mp3
Danielson - Cast It the Setting Sail.mp3
Half-handed Cloud - Sailing the Veil-Boat.mp3

03 June 2008

Top 6 songs of the moment

Guy Blackman & Jens Lekman - A Dark & Quiet Place.mp3 from Adult Baby
The most homoerotic song ever! Regardless of your gender or orientation, it'll make you want to take your pants off. Slow, sultry and tinkly... whimsical and yet serious all at once with gorgeous male-on-male vocal harmonies.

Van She - Kelly (Cut Copy mix).mp3 from the Kelly 12"
Like the first time I heard Cut Copy, I heard this Van She song and was convinced it was straight from 1985. The chorus, the synthesizers, the sound effects... This 7+ minute remix is just icing on the retro cake.

Damien Rice - Woman Like a Man.mp3 from B-Sides
Dark, hot, brooding, sweaty and powerful (and that's only the guitar!), this is a song for those of us who like it rough. For the heady feminists out there it produces a cultural conundrum: it is a degrading command or an observational compliment? Throw in some cello and ethereal female harmonies, and you will only say YES.

Islands - I Feel Evil (Creeping In).m4a from Arm's Way
I should have just uploaded the entire Islands album, because, really, that's almost all I've been listening to lately. Also, will someone PLEASE PLEASE get on the anticipated/inevitable Creeper remix or mash-up?? For reals, people. It's screaming for it.

Cold War Kids - Saint John.mp3 from Robbers & Cowards
I'd listened a bit to CWK some time ago but never really "got into" them until recently, with a revival of their true greatness courtesy of the recent Sasquatch festival. This song is a bit odd and off-tempo for them, like a jangly olde-tyme revival preacher. The schizophrenic cymbals and determined bass offset the choir-like vocals calling out for mercy from death row.

Flight of the Conchords - Bret You've Got It Goin' On.mp3
There's no reason or excuse for this, save for the fact that it's brilliantly written. It makes me want to be a guy so I can sing it to other guys. All I can do instead is Jam out with my...Clam out? (ooof, sorry for that one.)

01 June 2008

The Very Most

One band might just be single-handedly responsible for making Boise, Idaho the new indie-pop mecca. The Very Most are really that good, or at the very least good enough to make location best known for potatoes slightly known for jangly, catchy-as-hell melodies. Really, just listen to these guys. You too will think "Idaho, really??"

The Very Most - Good Fight Fighting.mp3
The Very Most - Sod Off.mp3
The Very Most - Spilt, Spilt Milk.mp3

Their new album Congratulations Forever is out now.