29 November 2009

Lest anyone accuse me of going without a Sufjan post for a while

I can't believe we got scooped on this one! But the trailer for the upcoming movie "Babies" features the song "The Perpetual Self, Or "What Would Saul Alinsky Do?"" by Sufjan Stevens, off his album The Avalanche. Kind of surprising and refreshing to have a pick from that album! (Oh, and even though I'm not a big fan of babies, this movie looks really cute and interesting!)

And of course, here is the song for your downloading pleasure:
Sufjan Stevens - The Perpetual Self, Or "What Would Saul Alinsky Do?".mp3

Keeping with the theme of cover albums

Though this came out in July, I am ashamed to admit, dearest readers, I did not know it existed until just this morning. It is absolutely incredible, and it is now your imperative mission to download this FREE album in its entirety.

Here's a link to the page! Go nuts!!
Weezer: the 8-bit cover album

That's right, it's a compilation of your favorite Weezer tracks. Covered by great, unknown artists. Who only work in the same musical format as your favorite old-skool Nintendo soundtracks.

My favorite:
Bit Shifter - The World Has Turned And Left Me Here.mp3

It'll get you dancing for sure, and keep an ear open for the "Wave of Mutilation" lyrics thrown in as well. EPIC WIN!

28 November 2009

Hi, We're not the Mountain Goats

Ok so I just gotta pimp this awesome cover project. 34 Mountain Goat fans picked out the songs they most wanted to hear covered and then were randomly assigned one of those songs to cover themselves. Here is the result. All songs are up for free download. All they ask is that you donate a few a bucks to the Farm Sanctuary if you find yourself enjoying it. Sounds like a fair deal to us.

(Oh and full disclosure, yours truly sings a bit on "Seed Song", so um yeah I sound a little squeaky, so nevermind my lack of vocal ability. It was fun anyway.)

26 November 2009

No, Thank you!

This cat macro is lovingly dedicated to fellow blogger Jess and her poor terrified cat, Mudpie

Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. readers! Here's a grab-bag of songs from some very thankful musicians:

Dido - Thank You.mp3

The Flaming Lips - Thank You Jack White.mp3

Alanis Moressette - Thank U.mp3

the Mountain Goats - Thanks For The Dress.mp3

Neil Diamond - Thank the Lord for the Night Time.mp3

ZZ Top - I Thank You.mp3

And finally, a very thankful Sufjan takes time to appreciate the audience and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden in this clip from a live show in 2006:
Sufjan Stevens - "Thank You!".mp3

24 November 2009

My cat is more internet famous than me.

Dear Readers,

The indie-verse works in mysterious ways.

It's been a loooooong two days. Yesterday I flew down to Florida to visit my grandma for the Thanksgiving holiday, with the intent of catching the Mountain Goats show in Orlando. However upon deplaning I was greeted by the most saddening voicemail ever from co-blogger Julie: the show was canceled on account of John Darniele getting sick! NOOOOOOOOOO! EPIC FAIL. Get well soon JD! (However a concert did end up going on. Final Fantasy played and Peter Hughes did a solo set, as did various other performers. A seperate post is pending to justly describe the awesomeness.)

BUT I was also greeted with a super-awesome email from Tim Harrington, the zany and wonderful lead singer of Les Savy Fav. I didn't recall signing up for a LSF mailing list or personally emailing him, so I was colored confused. I click the mouse. Here's what the message said:

Hey You guys remember how you sent me pictures of your cats lo those many months ago? Well, I've finally posted the BEARDO episode I used them for- it is kind of an endurance joke but your cute cats are all up front- Thanks So much, I hope you enjoy!

OH YEAH! Now that he mentioned it I *DID* send him a photo of my beloved Mudpie. There she is at the 0:37 mark. Good job on making it on Pitchfork before me, Mudpie. You are clearly hipper than your owner.
Watch her here:

22 November 2009

Another song I love, another band I know so little about

Ramshackle, lo-fi production? Check. Surf pop melody? Check.
Detached, old-school Liz Phair vocals? Check. Lyrics about hating to sleep alone? Check.

When I'm With You - Best Coast

Listen to more by the Best Coast here.

20 November 2009

My favorite song about cats ever

Yes, I'm dragging my boyfriend to a cat show tomorrow. In honor of that I'm posting my favorite song about cats EVER.

Plea From a Cat Named Virtute - The Weakerthans

And speaking of the Weakerthans, John K. Samson just released a three-song solo record City Route 85 for Anti. We quite like it as well!
Also the above cat is my gal Mudpie. She needs a LOL caption, don'tcha think?

17 November 2009

SWIM (To reach the end!)

This band played like 87 CMJ shows and guess what? Leave it to us to miss ALL of them. Beyond that we don't know much about Surfer Blood (besides the fact that they just opened a bunch of shows for Art Brut). BUT I am completely enamored with their latest single "Swim". It's kind of shout-y, pounding bit of power-pop but in a totally catchy, deceptively simple way. And there's also that little instrumental break that vaguely reminds me of Vampire Weekend (but only vaguely). Their debut Astrocoast hits shelves January 12th. Here's hoping it lives up tot he single.

Swim - Surfer Blood

16 November 2009

Say Yes to "Say No"

We're quite bummed we missed the epic Slumberland Records 20th Anniversary concert last weekend at the Bell House. Thank God however, for bootlegs because thanks to nyctaper we've got a live recording of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart's entire set which includes the premiere of a brand new song.

"Say No to Love" contains everything we've come to love about the Pains - jangly guitar, breathy vocals and a melancholy "BEEN THERE" sentiment. Needless to say, we dig it. Download it below:

Say No to Love (Live) - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

14 November 2009

Hippest 5 year old ever

Most adorable Sufjan cover ever. It's almost enough to make me want to have kids. Almost.

12 November 2009

Cover smackdown: 2009 edition

So at this point it's pretty obvious what songs will top the best-of-09 lists this year. Two "No, Duh" contenders are Animal Collective's "My Girls" and the Dirty Projectors "Stillness is the Move". They're all swell and pretty and all but we think the more important question is which cover version is better. Earlier this year we brought you Taken By Trees re-gendered, stripped down, Pakistani influenced "My Boys", which might we add is AWESOME. But now Solange (aka Beyonce's hipster sister) went and sung her heart out on a newly R&B infused "Stillness is the Move".

So my question dear readers is this: who better did a better re-interpretation of 2009? I'm still waiting for Britney to cover "Two Weeks".

My Boys (Animal Collective cover) - Taken By Trees

Stillness is the Move (Dirty Projectors cover) - Solange

11 November 2009

Nana Grizol @ The Cake Shop, NYC 11/8/09

We've been writing a lot about Nana Grizol lately, but deservedly so. I caught their set at the Cake Shop last Sunday and it reaffirmed my love for the Athen, GA indie pop collective tenfold. First off their sound expands like WHOA in the live context. The six band members practically spilled off the stage, while their two dueling drummers rev up the rhythm section for a rollicking, punk-ier effect. BUT how many punk bands have trumpet, euphonium and clarinet players, huh? Marching band instruments represent!

Oh and in addition to the music, they told some of the silliest (read: groan-worthily awesome!) jokes I've ever heard. My fave: How do you find Will Smith in the snow? Look for fresh prints! See they're comedians too! Ok, maybe Nana Grizol should stick with their day job.

Check out that set list:

And here's a song off their new album Ruth:
>Galaxies - Nana Grizol

P.S. - We spotted Jeff Mangum, aka Mr. Neutral Milk Hotel in the audience!

09 November 2009

The post in which I wimp out on saying Hi to Jeff Mangum

Maybe you've already read my many fangirlish tweets about it, but yes I stood just inches away from Jeff Mangum, aka Mr. Neutral Milk Hotel last night. It was at the Cake Shop, an itty bitty NYC venue, decked out with Christmas lights and tinsel. Athens, GA-based band Nana Grizol was performing (truly an outstanding live act, by the way). Several of Nana's members were in Neutral Milk Hotel so it's probably no surprise Jeff was there supporting his former bandmate's new projects.

I recognized him right away. In fact he was wearing this very outfit, down to the lumberjack shirt and paperboy hat. Like he was in uniform, or perhaps in costume, like a superhero: I didn't say hi. I just gawked and starred. And yes I know he's human just like everybody else and not some mythical creature, but a part of me was just so in awe to witness the corporeal flesh of a dude who crafted one of the finest life-affirming albums to quote Kanye, "OF ALL TIME". I feel bad for making my star-struck-ness so apparent. But I didn't say hi, though I saw a few people hug him (I figured they were just old friends or acquaintances). I restrained myself from screaming "Jesus Christ, I love you", which was not very hard given my acute shyness. But just thought I'd pass along word that he does very much exist and I'm glad I caught a glimpse of such humanity.

And some songs to celebrate:
Circle of Friends - Neutral Milk Hotel
Love You More Than Life - Neutral Milk Hotel

08 November 2009

Meet your kid's new role model.

You've probably heard about Yo Gabba Gabba, that trippy kids show with the monsters and hip indie bands. Well the show is finally releasing an full length album and it features this new little ditty by Of Montreal. "Brush Brush Brush" as you probably guessed is our new favorite song about the glamtastic awesomeness of oral hygiene. But it begs the question: do you really want your kids taking dental advice from a guy who parades around in his golden underoos on a horse??? We're gonna say YES. I mean we turned out alright.

Listen here: Brush Brush Brush - Of Montreal

05 November 2009

Lady Gaga has some stiff competition

I finally get an excuse to post about The Office and man I'm psyched about it. Here's an awesome ditty by everyone's fave office ditz Kelly and receptionist Erin aka Subtle Sexuality. There first single "Male Primadonna" features the Nard Dog (oh Andy we love your smooth dance moves) and introducing Mr. Understanding (two words: rapping Ryan!). While this is obviously a parody, it veers hilariously close to auto-tune top-40 tripe, but in a lovable laughable way. In other words I'd buy the song off iTunes in an instant and revolve my whole workout around it.

04 November 2009

Love the homesewn album cover too

I promised myself I would do my best not to reference Sufjan Stevens when describing Freelance Whales, but there's simply no way around it. After countless false starts writing this post I surrender. Maybe it's the banjo, or the angelic, breathy vocals or the grandiose arrangements with harmonium and glockenspiel or the occasional flourishes of electronic blips and bleeps that make such comparisons easy - or as in the case of this very blogger - lazy, but it remains apt nonetheless.

I've only heard half their debut album Weathervanes but I can already tell you there's a lot to take in. Layer upon layer of sound make for an intricate listen, but one I think will be rewarding in the long term. "Generator ^ Second Floor" however remains an immediate standout. It's the kind of shimmery orchestral folk that Suf himself excels at. It'll be sure to hold you over until the next state album is released. Wait, what do you mean that was a hoax?

Listen up!
Generator ^ Second Floor - Freelance Whales