Music Monday 3.29.10



Real Estate is totally awesome. They’ve got such a great feel good vibe to all their songs, that after a few listens I was totally hooked. I kept going back to them all week long anytime I needed to get work done. If you’re looking for a jam to get down to Fake Blues is the right spot.

Dr. Dog’s Shame, Shame came into my realm this week, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a really solid effort and I think I’ll be listening to this for a long time to come. Much like Fate it has a classic sound that will always seem relevant.

I somehow just listened to the latest Coconut Records album this week. I have to say I love Jason Shwartzman, and thus I’ll give anything he’s a part of my time. It’s pretty cool that he’s as multifaceted as he is, and while Davy isn’t an awesome album, it has some great songs on it.

Millionyoung was my dose of chillwave for the week. I don’t really think there’s much that distinguishes this from anything else in the genre, but nonetheless it’s still pretty decent.

I also finally listened to the much hyped Neon Indian. I’m still kind of unsure on how I feel about it, and it definitely will require a few more listens to get a grasp on it. I will say though that I didn’t like the singles as much as I did some of the other tracks. Also, when did taking acid become such an in topic in music?

Washed Out, Local Natives obviously.

Memory Tapes, I only got a few listens in towards the end of the week, but I liked what I heard a lot, and I’ll be giving them some more time in the future for sure. It’s along the lines of Toro Y Moi so if you like that, you’d probably like this.

Last.fm friends dude.

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Music Monday 3.22.10


I was riding the chillwave wave so hard this week. Washed Out quickly became a new favorite, especially after hearing his new Life Of Leisure EP. For fans of Toro Y Moi, this guy is the next step up. He seems to be kind of leading the pack in this group of artists, and I am going to be following.


Nite Jewel is to me, the female counterpart of Washed Out. She’s really floaty and I hit this one heavy early last week, pumping her jams all day at work. She’s another player in the chillwave game, and if you have any interest in that, she’s worth checking out.

King Tuff was strong again this week. Sun Medallion is king.

I finally got a taste of Cotton Jones, and I was really feeling it. You can still hear traces back to Page France, but this seems to be a bit more evolved and solid. Blood Red Sentimental Blues is a standout track, though I think I’m a bit bias because I love the Secret Mountains version so much.

Surfer Blood is an absolute favorite of the past few months. I really need to catch these guys soon. Give these guys a few listens, the more you listen to it, the more you can’t help but love it.

Telefon Tel Aviv is another great electronic band, who I was hesitant to get into because I had heard a song I didn’t like a while back, but Mike passed me Immolate Yourself and I was happily getting work done to that for many hours.

Paul McCartney made his way back into my daily listening after months of being absent. I was more or less obsessed two summers ago and played almost everything of his to death. However, I can always revisit RAM, which this time led me into Venus And Mars which I think could be his second best.

And because any band with “surf” in their name seems to be grabbing my attention lately, I rounded this week out with Surf City who have a cool little EP out, and a really cool sound. They’re playing in Philly soon, and I think I may try to catch them.

You know how it is, last.fm.

Wallpaper



Here is a wallpaper I made. I feel guilty because I usually only remember to make these after Mike does. But even so, I had fun with this one. You can click it to get it full-size, and then I’m sure by now you know how to save something from the internet. Downloading, they call it.

#musicmonday 3.15.10



I was kicking back to The Kinks this week. In particular Muswell Hillbillies, which I feel it’s a very under-appreciated album. I went through some of the other classics like Arthur and Lola versus Powerman, which are both just so so good.

King Tuff became a new obsession this week after finally downloading the album. I had first heard them in Ian’s car back in the summer, and thought they were a band from a time long ago. They are a great blend of old and new, where even though they sound like they could be straight out of 1969, they also sound like something completely new and fresh. I would absolutely love to see these guys live. Jeff said he’s looking for a tour with The Strange Boys, and I would have to say, I’m looking for the same.

I was waiting and waiting to hear the new Jónsi album, and this week, I finally got the chance. While the album is no doubt awesome, it’s still a little closer to Sigur Rós then I imagined it would be. I never understand why artists who make a solo album, wind up making an album that sounds like their band. I mean, that being the case, is not a bad thing in this situation, and I recommend listening to this…now.

The Morning Bends have a new album called Big Echo and it’s awesome. I was anticipating this album for a bit now, and I’m very pleased with it. Certainly their best to date. The lead-off track Excuses is a song too good for it’s own good. This band is pretty young, and I’m interested to see where they’ll go.

Megafaun had a Daytrotter session come out this past week, and that put me into a whirlwind of beards, harmonies, and awesomeness. In an effort to make your week easier, I’m all but begging you to go download it now.

The Nerves are a band that James suggested I listen to, they only ever recorded one 4 song EP, which is all songs just under or just over 2 minutes, which added up to me breezing through it multiple times. If your trying to hear a song Hanging On The Telephone is so good.

I heard about Suckers in an interview I read with Local Natives, and they were a band that one of them was listening to. So, I figured I’d check them out. They also only have a 4 song EP at the moment, but I am seriously digging it, and can’t wait for a full length. Their song Easy Chairs is easily the one, so get busy and check that out.

I heard about The Bitters because they were featured on Gorilla Vs Bear as something that the staff was listening to, so I figured I’d give it a try. Unfortunately I more or less hated it. It is too noisy, too sloppy, and too blehhhh. There’s not much redeeming this group….even their album cover for East General is just gross. I didn’t care for it, but who knows, you might.

Add me on last.fm!

River City Extension Record Release Poster



I had another great opportunity to make something for River City Extension. This time, the poster for their record release show. I wanted to do something reminiscent of an older movie poster, which wound up only serving as a loose guideline, and I was somehow influenced by the thought an old army band or something like that, which is where I was pulling the color scheme from. This show is going to be insane, and I highly recommend everyone doing everything they can in order to get there. Something tells me this night is going to be one you won’t want to miss. You’ll also finally be able to purchase The Unmistakable Man, which you all know by now, I designed. Confirm your attendance on facebook!

#musicmonday 3.8.10



The Avett Brothers have finally made a significant dent in my music listening again. It has been a while, but it finally felt right again, and I went through most of their albums and I was loving it. I guess however, the most significant part of this (at least for me) is that they have surpassed The Beatles as my number one listened to artist of all time, one last.fm. I’m sure the two will teeter back and forth for a while, but The Avetts are on top! I think you all know I love this band, and they are probably my favorite of all time, so this one is a strong recommend.

Next is Sigur Rós. They probably aren’t new to any of you, but I just got so excited thinking about Jónsi’s new album, that I needed to listen to this to wet my whistle for when that comes out. I mean, just watch this.

Gorillaz new album Plastic Beach is certainly the source of these plays…and in fact any plays regarding Gorillaz. I never really listened to them aside from anything that was on TV or the radio, and I was interested enough to give this a shot. To be honest, I really didn’t mind it, and some stuff was particularly good. I have to say, I enjoy the songs that aren’t featuring anyone better than the ones that are, but there are some stand out parts, Mos Def’s songs for sure, that I’d say make this album at least worth a few listens. Also, the more chances I gave it the more I got into it.

Local Natives are still dominating me. Such a good band, and I’m so pissed they canceled their show at Kung Fu Necktie. My wait to see them live continues…

Fool’s Gold I stumbled onto by using the last.fm radio player, and I was glad to see the thing actually played me something I’d never heard, and liked. These guys are in the style of an afro-beat band similar to something like Rubblebucket, but with a zest…the zest being the singing is done in Hebrew. It makes me want to put on my Jim Duncan jersey and daaaaaaance. To start, check out this video.

River City Extension. Obviously.

Nurses is another band that came onto the last.fm radio and I remembered I had seen a video of them playing a song I really liked. So I got a hold of the album, and I still really really love the song I had originally heard, which is called Technicolor, but I don’t really like much else of the album. There’s one or two other decent songs, but the rest is just really not that good. However, I will say that Technicolor is worth your ears.

And finally, Discovery. I had heard a Ra Ra Riot song that I knew I knew, but didn’t know where from. Well, it turns out that it was Discovery who was doing more a less a cover of on their LP. That makes sense since Discovery is one part Ra Ra Riot, and one part Vampire Weekend, two bands I don’t really care for that somehow equals one band I’m moderately interested in.

So that’s how this week panned out, as always, check me out and last.fm.

What’s Your Spirit Animal?



This past summer I was told by my friend Tara Toms, that my spirit animal is a deer. This was exciting to me because I’ve identified with this animal in the past and was glad to hear that she saw the connection. Since then, and maybe because of that, I feel like I’ve had many instances involving deer. One being driving home from Jesse Loux’s house with Ian at 3 in the morning on the foggiest road and seeing literally 25 or more deer in a five minute stretch. Plus I just recently got this. In short, I wanted to make something about this because it’s been really interesting to me lately, and this poster is what came of it.
Anyway, I encourage you to explore what your animal may be, and I don’t mean just taking an online quiz, really explore it!

Little Things



So I made this with my friend Russell in mind. He just set up this awesome tumblr of these collages he’s been doing. It’s really worth checking out!
Anyway, I told him that I was into this stuff, and he responded with the phrase on the poster above, and I just really loved it. It’s a little child-like rhyme that at the same time really holds a lot weight. As an artist or creative person we need to continually strive to keep on making things, let this be an inspiration. I worked in a color scheme I almost never work in, but it kind of reminds me of Russell which is cool.
I’m thinking of trying to print these out and give them to you if you want?

#musicmonday 3.1.10



I got my ears on Frightened Rabbit‘s The Winter Of Mixed Drinks and had a field day with it. I really wound up liking The Midnight Organ Fight and in turn had high hopes for this new record. I read that they were being conscious about clearly making this a studio album, and taking advantage of what that could offer, and I think that shows through. The production on it is great and the songs are just simply good songs. Definitely check this one out.
The Strange Boys also released a new record with Be Brave. They are sloppy, they are raw, and they are fun. His voice is so unique that for me it’s hard not to like, even it’s only because you haven’t heard anything like it.
So glad I’m getting to talk about Secret Mountains. I’ve been chipping away at their awesome EP Kaddish since the summer, and pretty much since then have been looking for more tunes to satisfy my interests. Well, I’ve finally got some more ammo to work with. As they seem to keep on doing, they are cementing themselves as Baltimore’s most promising up and comers. However it won’t be long before they’ve outgrown that title. This past week they recorded a microshow at Mobtown Studios. SO good. I almost have to insist you head over and download the session, FREE. We’re talking about a Smokey Robinson cover of “I Second That Emotion”. Yeah, do yourself a favor this week, and let this be your soundtrack. Jeff is a great friend of mine and I’m so happy for him that this is going in great directions. If you’re in Baltimore at all, be sure to check them out. They’re playing at the Ottobar on the 12th with Hop Along. Decent, Decent.
The Beach Boys. So nice. I really think everyone should listen to The Beach Boys. It’s so much fun, and there’s so much to enjoy. If you don’t know where to start, Endless Summer is a great compilation of their best and brightest. Also, I got Love You on vinyl this week, mainly because I was loving the cover, but it proved to have some nice jams on it as well.
I got to see Algernon Cadwallader this week at a Haiti benefit show they played at Rowan University. Which got me back into their albums a few times through. I know I’ve said this before, but Algernon is doing Kinsella better than the Kinsellas are. It’s pretty impossible to not have a good time while listening to these guys, and even harder while watching them. If you have the chance to see them, just give it a shot, especially if you can catch them in Philly.
Akron/Family is a great band who I haven’t had a chance to talk about since I’ve been doing these things, but I had a few moments this week where they were hitting the spot so well. I was listening to their self titled a bit and really appreciating some of the great moments on there especially the three song span of I’ll Be On The Water into Running, Returning into Afford. That’s like you’re three best batters up with the no outs and the bases loaded. For anyone completely unfamiliar, go ahead and watch any video they’ve got on YouTube, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the stuff they’re doing live.
The Consecos is my band, which is a bit embarassing, but hey, I was listening. It’s a two piece band I have with Biff. At this point in my life, I can’t commit to anything more serious than this, but I still love playing live music, and this is feeding that desire because it happens when it can, and there’s absolutely no expectations. Except for crowd surfing. We expect that you do that.
River City Extension. Have I shot this one dead yet? Listen to them! Honestly one of my favorite bands ever. The live show is amazing, the record is amazing, the people in the band are amazing… I can’t stress this enough. You all know I’m a huge advocate for these guys and I hope to bring you all over to their side with me.

You know the drill, let’s get groovy on last.fm, add me and we can monitor each other’s weekly mp3 intake. Sound good?