Saturday, May 31, 2008

Review: Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs

A new album from Death Cab?! Sweet! I loved Transatlanticism with my whole heart.

Narrow Stairs is a good album. It falls flat once or twice, and I must admit that I prefer the truncated radio version of the first single, "I Will Possess Your Heart." If that makes me less of a DCFC fan, then so be it! This new album features some great lyrics by one of my personal favorite songwriters.

It's a good addition to Death Cab's already stellar catalog, and you should pick it up.

[mp3] You Can Do Better Than Me

Buy some Death Cab For Cutie: Amazon | iTunes

Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Around the Blogosphere!

I'm sure everyone out there had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, right? Right??

It sucked it Utah. So much for that extended weekend - it rained me in. Picnic in the garage? Are you kidding me? Yup, I was there. Well, dammit - now it's sunny.

Anyways, I bring you 4 tracks that are hotter than liquid gold. Here's what the kids are talking about around the virtual water cooler:

Travis - J. Smith

Thanks to Heather for this one. I've never been much of a fan of Travis, especially since they hit it big with that Invisible Band record a few years ago. J. Smith sounds good to my ears though - a return to form. And by form, I mean rock. Travis was always better when they chose rocking over pouting.

[mp3] J. Smith

Buy some Travis: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Sloan - I'm Not a Kid Anymore

This one comes via Stereogum. I know this one's a bit old but it just made it's way onto my playlist. Once this gets on your playlist I doubt it will get off anytime soon - it's a bit like the plague. Like it or not, you'll be humming this song after one listen. New album out on June 10th.

[mp3] I'm Not a Kid Anymore

Buy some Sloan: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Ron Sexsmith - This Is How I Know

Another one from Heather and her fabulous blog. Love it.

Anyways, I first saw Ron when he opened for Coldplay back when they rocked. Not exactly what I was expecting from an opening act, but his folk-rock with pop sensibilities intrigued me and I've followed him to this day. He's got a new album coming out on July 8th, I'm sure it will be quite smashing.

[mp3] This is How I Know

Buy some Ron Sexsmith: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace

The Hold Steady - Sequestered In Memphis

Thanks to iGIF for this one. I've never really gotten into The Hold Steady and I probably deserve a good slap in the face as a result. I figure that they know I haven't been listening, so this song serves it's purpose as a musical punch in the gut. Their new album is out on July 15th.

[mp3] Sequestered In Memphis

Buy some music from The Hold Steady: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Six Pack of the Week - Soundtrack Songs

The soundtrack is quite possibly the most underrated part of a movie. Really though, what truly great movies have not had a similarly brilliant companion soundtrack? It's not just about picking the right music, it's about getting the right feeling to move the story along. Directors that can pair the sites with the sounds deliver a product that is truly moving. This week's six pack focuses on the often-overlooked soundtrack. Kraig goes first this week.

The Dropkick Murphys - I'm Shipping Up to Boston (The Departed)

Sure, that little intro sounds a little mushy and you certainly need a mushy song for a mushy movie. But what about if you've an ass-kicking movie? Well, then you need your self an ass-kicking song.

The Departed was a brilliant film, absolutely fantastic. The film deserved all the critical acclaim it received and more. Truth is, I probably wouldn't find myself re-watching it again and again if it wasn't for this monstrous tune by The Dropkick Murphys. It sets the tone early on for the entire movie. I can't stress how important that "tone" was, especially given the length of the movie. Is this song solely responsible for the success of the film? Hell no. Did it a play a part? Surely did.

[mp3] I'm Shipping Up to Boston

Get the soundtrack: Amazon | iTunes
Buy some Dropkick Murphys: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - Falling Slowly (Once)

Now we'll get back to that touchy-feely crap. Once was an ambitious film that was more of a soundtrack turning into a film rather than a set of songs setting up a film. When a film focuses so much on music it's absolutely critical that the music is able to stand up on it's own. The soundtrack for Once is certainly able to do so.

Falling Slowly is the standout track in my mind. The duet version is very sweet and subtle. I've also posted the full band version from Glen's band, The Frames. I prefer the full band version just because it has a little more depth - there's more drama, more of a build...but both are fantastic.

[mp3] Falling Slowly (Glen & Marketa)
[mp3] Falling Slowly (The Frames)

Get the soundtrack: Amazon | iTunes
Buy some Glen Hansard: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace

Stereophonics - Maybe Tomorrow (Crash, Wicker Park)

Flexibility is the middle name I have just now given to Stereophonics' wonderful track, "Maybe Tomorrow." Not only does it serve as a great opening credits song (a la Wicker Park) but it also functions as an excellent closeout number (in Crash). How many songs could ever hope to accomplish that? That's right, not many, thus my new nickname: Maybe 'Flexibility' Tomorrow. Think of it like the middle name 'Danger,' it actually makes sense that way. Anyway, it's an all around great track, and if you've never heard it you're probably missing out on 3 great things (2 movies, 1 song). Start with the listening and finish up with the viewing, that's my advice.

[mp3] Maybe Tomorrow

Get the soundtrack: [Crash] Amazon | iTunes [Wicker Park] Amazon | iTunes
Buy some Stereophonics: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Maroon 5 - Woman (Spiderman 2)

Not appearing in the film (at least not to my knowledge) but appearing on the soundtrack is this funky number from Maroon 5 entitled "Woman." And it is funky, don't let the appearance of the name "Maroon 5" sway your downloading judgment. Interesting sidenote: I wouldn't listen to Maroon 5 for a long time because I didn't think they were my "thing." I finally jumped on the bandwagon after hearing this number, and was pleasantly surprised with most of their stuff from Songs About Jane. I have since jumped off the bandwagon (as is the tendency with all bandwagons), but this remains my favorite Maroon 5 song.

[mp3] Woman

Get the soundtrack: Amazon | iTunes
Buy some Maroon 5: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Pete Yorn - Undercover

Another song used on a Spider-man movie, this little ditty appeared on the soundtrack for the first one. The lyric in the chorus is "walk me to a car-park," a weird phrase Pete got from a woman he dated. She was from New Zealand, and refered to parking lots as car-parks. Okay story, great song.

[mp3] Undercover

Buy some Pete Yorn: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace

Dog's Eye View - Umbrella

No, not that "Umbrella."
I have been a fan of Peter Stuart and Dog's Eye View for a long time, in no small part due to this song, and its presence in the silly teen comedy Can't Hardly Wait.

[mp3] Umbrella

The sites: Official | Myspace
The sounds: iTunes | Amazon

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beck - Chemtrails

Earlier this week Beck tossed us the first listen we'll have of his collaboration with Danger Mouse. It's streaming on his website and it's called Chemtrails.

I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to Beck since Sea Change. That album still strikes a chord with me, mainly because when I purchased it the cashier accused me of being Beck and purchasing my own album. Yup, I'm sure those rock stars often purchase their own albums - particularly the ones with their faces on it. It makes sense, right?

Back to the subject at hand - Chemtrails rocked my socks off. The drum track is so scorching hot that it melted my face into a puddle. Now I can't see. Damn. Hopefully the spelling and grammar errors aren't too abundant as a result.

The album will probably be out sometime soon, we'll let you know when there's an actual release date and title. My instincts tell me June 17th. Someone owes me a Klondike bar if I nailed it.

[mp3] Chemtrails

Buy some Beck: Amazon | iTunes
Visit Beck online: Official | Myspace

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Review: Can't Love, Can't Hurt

At some point along the way, someone must have decided that Augustana needed more piano. This probably was due, at least in part, to their successful single, "Boston," from All the Stars and Boulevards. Though "Boston" brought them some popular success, it was not the draw for me. I became a fan of their pop-rock sound from songs like "Bullets" and "Lonely People." Unfortunately, Can't Love, Can't Hurt, Augustana's latest release, is missing this sound. As I alluded to, the piano is a key (pun!) and prominent element on this record, much to the dismay (I imagine) of most Augustana fans.

"Hey Now" was an ominous start for me; it doesn't even halfway measure up to their demo of "Heart Shaped Gun (Hey Now)." I'm not huge into alt-country, but even I can tell "Heart Shaped Gun" is a vastly superior song (Kraig posted this demo some time ago, check it out). I can't emphasize enough that you should check out the "Heart Shaped Gun" demo, it may be better than anything you hear on the album. Song #2, "I Still Ain't Over You," is not the strongest lyrically (seriously Dan, "back and forth, and side to side/right ain't wrong if wrong ain't right," what were you thinking?), and sounds like a watered down track from All the Stars and Boulevards.

In the hole is the first single, "Sweet and Low," which, for lack of a better word, is tame. I liked it for the first few listens, but after a while the riff started to sound very monotonous and boring. "Twenty Years" sounds like a re-made "Boston" (or at least like a future-single that's going to be pushed as a 2nd "Boston"). It actually may be too slow in spots to be a pop single though (the listening public has a short attention span, this always must be taken into account). A couple filler tracks are stuffed right in the middle of the CD ("Meet You There" and "Fire"), with the latter being short, solo, and all piano. Perhaps I should be impressed with Dan Layus holding a note for a goodly amount of time, but it just didn't do it for me. I am a fan of the next song, "Either Way, I'll Break Your Heart Someday," for no reason in particular; it's some good alt-pop, I like it.

"Dust" has some of the most interesting elements and probably the most feeling to be heard on the album. It starts out sounding alt-country, but fades to rock as the song progresses. It's very good, I definitely recommend a listen. "Rest, Shame, Love" is downright mellow and almost doesn't fit with the rest of the album. The closeout number, "Where Love Went Wrong," is excellent. More piano (noticing a trend yet?), but this song is very well done; it may be my favorite song on the album.

[mp3] Either Way, I'll Break Your Heart Someday
[mp3] Dust
[mp3] Where Love Went Wrong

Overall, I just didn't hear the passion (or the rock) that I heard throughout All the Stars and Boulevards on this outing. It makes appearances in spots, but it just isn't sustained. I really wanted to like this album too. And the album does grow on you, but unfortunately not to the point that I think many are hoping for.

In Conclusion
-check out "Heart Shaped Gun"
-damn, why couldn't the album be 10 "Heart Shaped Guns"?
-loads of piano
-too much pop, not enough rock (or alt-country)

Visit them: Official | Myspace
Buy some: Amazon | iTunes

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mason Jennings - In The Ever out TOMORROW!

Well, I'm not sure how, but I totally spaced my post on Friday. I'll Blame it on Gravity. What this means is ya'll get a double post today. Hooray! Seconds for everyone!

This is more of a friendly reminder than a post, but I wanted to make sure to get this across:


It's fantastic.

Thank you.

[mp3] Fighter Girl

Here's the lead-off single from the new album...

[mp3] The Times, They are a Changin' (Bob Dylan Cover)

...and just for kicks. Who doesn't love a little Dylan?

Oh...and also, forgot to mention this. We'll be doing a splendid give-away featuring some Mason Jennings content in the very near future (i.e. this week). Stay tuned for more info.

Buy some Mason Jennings: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace

Artist to Watch: Joe Purdy

I was searching my brain for something uber-fantastico to post on today and I ended up going through some of our old posts in the process. It seems I made a promise to give you guys some more Joe Purdy a few months ago and never came through.

My apologies, I'm not quite certain how Joe slipped through the cracks. He's solidified his place on my playlists but somehow I neglected to pass on the good word. Well, never fear - here's the promised post on Joe - enjoy!

In today's fast paced world the music industry has shown time and again that they simply can't keep up with the needs of a true artist. The old model is broken. It used to be that it took 2-3 years for an artist to write, record, produce and release an album. It made sense - the label needed to make sure each album was up to their standards, they needed plenty of time to send out pre-releases to critics, drum up some advertising and stroke the hype machine, plan the tour etc.

Now, in today's world, a band like Nine Inch Nails can release an album for free with no label, start their tour and create their own hype. Who needs a label now? What good will a label do an artist when they end up limiting output so as not to "over-saturate" the public. These are probably the thoughts that Joe Purdy had going through his head when he started making noise back in 2001.

Well, let's look at Joe now. In 7 years Joe has released 9 albums, toured around the country as part of the Hotel Cafe Tour while also having a number of his songs land in TV spots and commercials, all of which which has helped to turn him into one of the top selling artists on iTunes. All of this with no label, no constraints - just Joe calling the shots.

You might only hear about Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and The Raconteurs when people start talking about the "new model" for the music industry - and rightfully so. These are the big name bands that are using their influence to push the RIAA into a realm they don't even want to admit exists. The thing you have to remember is that Joe Purdy is the one who's living and breathing the new model. Very few artists have been able to combine the success Joe has garnered through his TV spots and his digital downloads all without the support of a label through any portion of his career. He is proving that, with the advent of the internet, an independent artist simply doesn't need a label anymore.

True, Joe hasn't quite "broken out" yet. If you drop Joe Purdy's name in casual conversation, overwhelming majority of the US population will still give you that "what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about?" face. The thing is, these same people will recognize some of Joe's work once they hear it - they probably just don't know the name attached to the voice. It's a shame really, the only thing Joe really needs to break out is to have Kia put his name at the end of their commercial.

That's not to say that Joe's TV spots haven't benefited him. Some people are still finding out who he is by themselves, but only the truly motivated will go to that trouble...and how many truly motivated people do you know? Yeah, that's what I thought.

As far as Joe's music goes, it's best described as "folk". He fits into that whole singer-songwriter vibe they have going on in the Hotel Cafe. Not surprisingly, he's toured on the Hotel Cafe Tour a few times. If you dig the WAZ I posted earlier, or if you're into Cary Brothers and his gang of soul-baring acoustic singer-songwriters, then Joe Purdy is right up your alley.

In fact, I'd be willing to bet that you already do love him - you just don't know it yet. Here's a copule of Joe's more famous TV spots. You've probably seen at least one of 'em. God knows that Kia commercial is still getting mad play.

Wash Away (Lost - Season 1)

Any "Lostie" will remember this moment.

Can't Get It Right Today (Kia Spectra Commercial)

...and here's the piano side of Joe.

Those are the two "big" moments that Joe Purdy has had on TV. He's had several songs (The City, Suitcase, I Love the Rain the Most, San Jose and the previously mentioned Can't Get It Right Today) featured on Grey's Anatomy throughout the past few years as well. He also had one song on featured on House M.D.

There's clearly talent here. If not, I'd doubt that ABC would keep knocking on his door. As far as his albums go, I'd highly recommend Julie Blue and Paris in the Morning. I've been listening through all of his albums over the past few months and those two stick out as his best. From front to back I have a tough time finding a song I'll skip from those two. I can't really pick one that I dislike though, so you can't go wrong with any of them.

I've spent a good deal of time today mulling over which tracks to post. Ultimately I decided to post a few that you probably haven't heard - so no Wash Away or Can't Get it Right Today. You can decide whether you like his "hits" based on the Youtube vids. My purpose is to dig a bit deeper to really motivate you to go out and snatch up his entire discography.

[mp3] Look At You Now

This one comes from Only Four Seasons, another one of Joe's fantastic outings. It's got a bit more of an edge to it than the folky side that you'll hear on the TV.

[mp3] Ode To Sad Clown

Ah, I've somehow managed to pick two songs from two albums that I didn't recommend. Oh, the irony. This one comes from You Can Tell Georgia. A little more bluesy and a little bit rock 'n roll.

Joe has a new album coming out soon (well, probably) called Last Clock on the Wall. Rumor also has it that he'll have another album out soon after that one called Burn Down Alaska. Hopefully these come our way soon - one can never have enough Joe Purdy. I'll keep my ear to the ground. As soon as I hear some rumblin' I'll let send it your way.

Buy some music by Joe Purdy:
Amazon | iTunes
Visit Joe on the web: Official | Myspace

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Matches - A Band In Hope

The sticker on the front of my copy of A Band In Hope, The Matches' new album, said "The Matches: A Band as Weird as You Are." Oh, gracious, but I do love the Matches. Shawn Harris has such a distinctive voice. It's powerful the way it seems constantly on the brink of collapse, and helps to cement the Matches as one of my favorite bands.

"AM Tilts" starts the new album, and it's a good return to the unique sound of the Matches. The vocals are spot-on, but the guitars feel somewhat reserved, making this a track that gets off the ground but doesn't really soar.

"Their City" feels like a better start to a Matches record; it's simply a great rock song. The guitars and drums are what I would describe as "unrelenting."

There are a couple quiet tracks, which is something we haven't really seen before on a Matches album: "Darkness Rising," an all piano song, and "Clouds Crash," an acoustic one. "Darkness Rising" isn't great; the melody really doesn't come across as well established. "Clouds Crash," on the other hand, is excellent. It's intense and moving.

A Band In Hope features some changes from previous Matches records, including more backing vocals than I'm used to from them, but the changes aren't at all unwelcome. It's a terrific album; and I'd be much obliged if you'd run out and buy it.

The sites: Official / Myspace
The sounds: iTunes / Amazon

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Six Pack of the Week - Grab Bag

We had originally intended to do a six pack featuring really good songs from bands that otherwise suck. But as it turns out, those kinds of songs are hard to come by. I guess it makes sense, and, really, why would we want to make you listen to sucky bands? Instead here are some good songs that have been on our minds of late. Brock goes first this time, and let's all welcome him back to the land of the Internet.

Ben's Brother - Stuttering (Kiss Me Again)

First off is a song I've been meaning to post for some time now. It's catchy stuff, and I can't help but sing along. I love the whole stuttering thing throughout the song. Check it out!

The sites: Official | Myspace
The sounds: iTunes | Amazon

Ludo - Love Me Dead

The vocals on this one kind of remind me of Max from Say Anything; intense and urgent. The lyrical content is Say Anything-ish, as well. It's a bizarre mix of romantic and morbid, and it totally works.

The sites: Official | Myspace
The sounds: iTunes | Amazon
Kraig's Picks

The Damnwells - Kung Fu Grip Kiss

I've been stuck on Air Stereo recently. Maybe there's just something about the warm, sunny weather that makes me yearn for the album, or maybe it's just some damn fine music. I think I'll go with the latter, though I do tend to listen to this one whenever I'm adventuring in the great outdoors.

Kung Fu Grip Kiss has a rather silly name but don't be deceived, it's killer (not filler). If you enjoy some damn fine vocals, swelling horns and a catchy-as-hell hook (who DOESN'T??) then I recommend takin' a listen. This song will put a goofy smile on your face right when you hear those shiny horns take you halfway to funky town - guaransheed.

[mp3] The Damnwells - Kung Fu Grip Kiss

Visit them online: Official | Myspace
Buy their music: Amazon | iTunes

Arizona - Some Kind of Chill

Ah, yet another band that finds itself in rather favorable position on my virtual iTunes chart due to the changing of the seasons. I'd imagine that Some Kind of Chill will somehow make it's way onto a summer playlist of mine in my golden years. I'd hope so anyways.

Take a bit of folk and add some sunny back ground vocals with some smart instrumentation and you've got Arizona. I highly recommend checking them out if you haven't done so already.

[mp3] Arizona - Some Kind of Chill

Visit them online: Official | Myspace
Buy their music: Amazon | iTunes

Stu's Two

The Shins - Sea Legs

I keep wanting to call this song funky. I think it's because the bass line sets the tone, which usually results in a funky song. And yes, I absolutely loooove the bass. The other thing I enjoy about this song: it sounds nothing like what you'd expect from The Shins. You owe it to yourself to check this out, even if you're biased against these dudes.

[mp3] The Shins - Sea Legs

Visit The Shins online: Official | Myspace
Buy some: Amazon | iTunes

Counting Crows - Anna Begins

I listened to Anna Begins many, many times before I finally developed an appreciation for it. The first couple listens left me feeling generally...uneasy. Still, I gave it a listen every once in a while until one day it finally clicked. It really is an excellent blend of beat, instruments, and vocals to create a precise mood. I now love the repeating, "I am not worried, I am not overly concerned;" so basic, yet so effective. It's an oldie (from August and Everything After), but always worth a listen.

[mp3] Counting Crows - Anna Begins

Visit Counting Crows online: Official | Myspace
Buy some: Amazon | iTunes

Monday, May 12, 2008

Joseph Arthur - Bag is HOT

It appears that Mr. Arthur is following in the footsteps of Ryan Adams these days. Earlier this year he stated that he'd be releasing 4 EPs and a full length LP all by the time fall hits us. He's held up to that statement so far, but now he's taken it a step further with Bag is HOT. Check it out here.

Basically, he's taking the same approach Ryan has in the past by recording and releasing everything he ever does for the listening pleasure (and pain) of the fans. Now I should clarify this by saying that Jo's material here is significantly better than Ryan's rap or death metal fake-bands, but I get a little leery whenever an artist is releasing SO much material without any real editing taking place. There's reasons to have b-sides and unreleased tracks and it's usually because they aren't very good. Here's what the man himself has to say on his new project:

“’Bag is hot’…like fresh popcorn for all the kids to grab,” says Joseph. “Digital hands eating the digital popcorn. This project is fun and doesn’t have to be precious, but it’s hard not to take it seriously and really work on it. It’s not, ‘Bag is getting a little lukewarm - Bag is hot! It’s gonna be slang soon!”

Lonely Astronaut Records could be releasing the first installment of ‘Bag Is Hot’ sometime before 2009.
Now, after listening to some of these tracks I'll say that Joseph has some quality work here. It's a bit aggravating sifting through everything on the tumblr since most of it is random pictures, but once you've found a song you'll usually be rewarded for your patience. Here's all the songs (and dates they were posted to make it a bit easier to find) I've been able to locate:

"Straw Dogs" (5/11/08)
"One By One" (5/9/08)
“I’m In Your Life” (5/8/08)

“Fading” (5/5/08)

“Still Life Honey Rose” (5/4/08)
“Burning Wheel” (5/1/08)
“Father’s Eyes” (4/29/08)
“So Far Away” (4/27/08)

“If Yer Afraid” (4/24/08)

“My Eyes Follow You” (4/23/08)

“Blast Off” (4/22/08)
“Dark Forces” (4/21/08)

“Lovely Cost” (4/21/08)

I recommend subscribing to the RSS stream, it makes it a LOT easier to navigate through all the posts since most of the non-music posts are titled as such. Not that the photos aren't interesting and all, but it can take a while to get through it all if you just want to hear some music.

Oh yeah, and he's on tour. If he's coming near you it's an absolute-must-attend concert:

JOSEPH ARTHUR TOUR DATES (solo / acoustic unless otherwise noted)
June 11 Newcastle, UK - Cluny
June 12 Nottingham, UK - Maze
June 15 Manchester, UK - Night & Day
June 16 Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
June 17 Birmingham, UK - Glee Club
June 19 London, UK - Union Chapel
July 4 Montreal, QC - Club Soda
July 9 Boston, MA - Paradise
July 10 Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live
July 11 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (JA & the Lonely Astronauts)
July 12 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s (solo)
July 15 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
July 18 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
July 21 Portland, OR - Doug Fir
July 22 Seattle, WA - Triple Door
July 24 Vancouver, BC - The Media Club
July 26 Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival

Sadly, he's not coming anywhere near me. I can't really blame him since the last two times he came to Salt Lake only me, Stu and 10 other people showed up. Damn Utahns.

Anyways, here's a few MP3s from this whole Bag is Hot adventure. I'm really diggin' Straw Dogs right now, but the songs range from the "acoustic style" JA to the "spacey style" JA. There should be something here for everyone.

[mp3] Straw Dogs
[mp3] I'm In Your Life

Buy some Joseph Arthur: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace | Tumblr (Bag is Hot)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

So, my idea was to toss up some songs about Mom (since it's Mother's Day here in the U.S. and all). However, it turns out that there aren't a whole a lot of songs about Mothers. It's amazing, there are likely thousands of "yo mama" jokes, but seemingly only a handful of good Mama songs. For shame peoples of the world, for shame! Here's a couple of tunes that are kind of about Mom:

Your Mother Should Know - The Beatles

Gotta love this song from the Magical Mystery Tour. Actually, gotta love the whole Magical Mystery Tour album in general. If you decide to listen to this song with Mom, don't point out that "she was born a long, long time ago;" bad idea, doubly-so on Mother's Day.

[mp3] The Beatles - Your Mother Should Know

Buy some Beatles: Amazon
Visit the sites: Official

Wouldn't Mama Be Proud - Elliott Smith

I may be completely wrong on this one (I tend to do that sometimes) but I've always thought this was a self-deprecating and sarcastic "wouldn't mama be proud." You know, like when you do something stupid and say to yourself, "sheesh, I'm glad mom's not here to see that!" Mom's a great teacher, follow her sage advice and remember to appreciate her the other 364 days of the year too.

[mp3] Elliott Smith - Wouldn't Mama Be Proud

Buy some Elliott Smith: Amazon | iTunes
Visit the sites: Official | Myspace

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Flobots - Handlebars

Some things you should know about this song: 1. It's hip-hop. 2. It's actually a few years old, but recently radio has picked it up and it has exploded. 3. You're going to like it.

This song has been picked up by the alternative stations here in Salt Lake, and the response has been huge. It's meaningful hip-hop with horns and violins viola (thanks, ellie :)), and the way it starts out kind of innocent and then builds to a thundering crescendo literally gives me chills.

[mp3] Flobots - Handlebars

The sites: Official Myspace
The sounds: iTunes Amazon

Friday, May 9, 2008

Blame it on Gravity's out on Tuesday (May 13th). I must say, this may be the album I've been anticipating the most this spring. I posted up the first single, Dance With Me, a little while ago and I've posted it again below.

I found this when looking for some info about the album. There's some great live cuts of various tracks:

Mark your calendars, I'll be rushing to the store to pick this up on Tuesday!

[mp3] Dance With Me

Buy some Old 97's: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Six Pack of the Week - Covers (Vol. II)

Ah, it's covers. I love covers. I'm not sure why I have such a fascination with one band playing another's music, but it always has (and always will) intrigue me. Sometimes they bring something new to the song or emphasize it in a way you never thought of it. Sometimes it's just really, really shitty. We'll try to avoid those ones. To start things off, I (Kraig) will take you out to Africa for my selections.

Mysterious Ways - Angelique Kidjo (originally by U2)

Both of the tracks I'm posting come from the album In the Name of Love, which is more or less a tribute to U2. All of the tracks on the album are U2 songs performed by African bands/artists. As you can imagine, these often take off in directions you wouldn't normally find in your "typical" cover.

I'm not going to pretend to be all knowing when it comes to the music you'll find on the album, but I recommend picking it up if you're into covers and/or if you're into U2. You'll certainly dig it if you listen to a bit of "world" music (whatever that means today).

Anyways, this first track caught my ear and got my interest in the album. You'll recognize it as a cover, but it takes off with some different beats and splits out of English during the verses.

[mp3] Mysterious Ways

Buy her music online: Amazon | iTunes
Visit her online: Official | Myspace

Pride (In the Name of Love) - Soweto Gospel Choir (originally by U2)

...and here we have another take on a U2 classic. Not much in the instrumental department, but it probably delivers the message at the heart of the song better than Bono could with his mates.

[mp3] Pride (In the Name of Love)

Buy some of their music online: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Hard Sun - Eddie Vedder (Originally by Indio)

I'm sure you all heard this blaring through sunroofs and fancy cars with tops down last summer/fall. It's still a regular on my playlists. I highly recommend listening to this one in headphones if you haven't yet.

[mp3] Hard Sun

Buy some Pearl Jam online: Amazon | iTunes
Visit PJ/Eddie online: Official | Myspace

Back to the album - I recommend picking it up if for nothing else than to expose yourself to some music you wouldn't normally listen to. Since it's a cover album it's a bit easier to step into the "world" music genre because you'll already know the songs. Check it out here on Amazon, visit the official page (with streams) here.


Africa - Howie Day (Toto cover)(Live)

Speaking of Africa...Howie Day does a pretty awesome cover of Africa. This version is from his 4-21-01 show, and you should probably go pick up the whole show for FREE from You can't argue with free!

[mp3] Howie Day - Africa

All Along the Watchtower - Howie Day (Bob Dylan cover)(Live)

Back in the days before Stop All The World Now, it used to be a pretty popular thing to go to Howie Day shows and yell, "FORTY-ONE!!!" at him. I'm not sure why, I've heard his cover of #41 (originally by the Dave Matthews Band) and it never really jumped out at me. At least it didn't jump out at me like this cover of a cover (supposedly Howie covers this like DMB covers it, therefore cover-of-a-cover). Truth be told, this is the first Howie Day song I ever heard. It's an interesting first song to hear, mostly because you aren't expecting the raw emotion and passion (or the excellent screaming). This one's from his 7-20-99 show, which is also free at

[mp3] Howie Day - All Along the Watchtower

Buy some Howie Day: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace | theHDTB

Splendid Isolation - Pete Yorn (Warren Zevon cover)

This cover comes straight from Petey's most recent album, Nightcrawler. Originally by Warren Zevon, Pete's take on Splendid Isolation is very well done (I'm a fan of the harmonica work myself). Incidentally, splendid isolation is also a foreign policy pursued by Britain during the late 19th century. So ya, now you know that.

[mp3] Pete Yorn - Splendid Isolation

Buy some Pete Yorn: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace

No picks from Brock this week kiddies, he's internet-less right now (hence the lack of Brockness lately). Hopefully he'll get that resolved soon. We're missing a certain dash of Lurp 'round these parts...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nine Inch Nails - The Slip

As you may recall, Nine Inch Nails released a little ditty called Discipline for free via their website a few weeks ago. The comments tag of that track told us to come back on May 5th. Well, it's Cinco de Mayo and I've come back to Trent - this time to find a whole album for my listening pleasure.

The album is called The Slip and it's available for free in a multitude of formats. More info on the formats and download info here. Here's a few tracks so you can see what's coming:

[mp3] Discipline
[mp3] 1,000,000

Buy some Nine Inch Nails: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mason Jennings - Fighter Girl

I know that I have a "thing" for criticizing bands for going the "yeah yeah yeah", "hey" and "la la la" route, but I gotta give Mason a free pass on this one. He may have a pre-chorus of solid "yeahs" on Fighter Girl (his first single for the upcoming album) but it's a catchy song and it's been stuck on repeat throughout this dreadful finals week.

If you haven't already downloaded this track, do yourself a favor and listen to it already. It's the perfect soundtrack for some springtime frolf (or whatever it is you do in the spring).

Mason's next album (In the Ever) comes out on May 20th. You probably deserve a good punch in the face if you aren't considering purchasing it. Everyone needs a little Mason!

[mp3] Fighter Girl

Buy some Mason Jennings: Amazon | iTunes
Visit him online: Official | Myspace