Friday, December 19, 2008

#11 (Falling Stars Glory Drums Edition)

"What a treat for all of us," squealed the children in the snow.

When the Chemical Brothers sonically met Midlake, it was kind of like Glory having a baby. She birthed the warm organ tones, tinny drumming, honey-dripped vocals, and buzzing machinations.

This song is a Calder mobile set below a nightscape of children's glow in the dark stars. Windchimes and xylophones abound. And yet, my favorite part is the steady, pulsing drumming on the tom drums. That, and the steady building that begins around the 3:30 mark. Crescendo comes, but not for another 2.5 minutes, after which falling stars synth lines bring us finally back down.

Well, that was fun.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

The Chemical Brothers featuring Midlake, The Pills Won't Help You Now

Dutifully Yours,

Friday, December 12, 2008

#10 (Sleepyhead Edition)

Holy Recession Economy, Economists and Economistas,

Much like a Gray's Papaya Recession Special, I give you two for one this week (no mango drink, however).

Sparkly and jangly are two adjectives that I appreciate more and more with my music notes (perhaps it is inversely related with stock prices). This song is both in spades. I love this song because it is a sonic celebration of waking up groggy and miserable. You could never listen it and not be be excited to wake up and greet the day. Throw in some Alvin and the Chipmunk voices and one of the better synth lines of the year and you have a very winning combination.

Passion Pit are a band from Cambridge, MA that formed as a Valentine's Day present to a college student's girlfriend. His self-made mix tape got beyond the initial audience of one and has reached the mighty internet masses as the hype has grown. They were just in New York and return in February to the Bowery Ballroom. If anyone wants to go, please let me know. As of now, they have only a short EP called Chunk of Change with a full-length CD out in January.

Passion Pit, "Sleepyhead"

Our lonely hero Justin Vernon (better known with his band as Bon Iver) is back with a new EP called Blood Bank. After attending a brief but brilliant show at Town Hall last night, I'm happy to share one of the new tracks, called "Babies." It has one of those haunting melody/harmony combinations that make Bon Iver music so lovely. I hear more Jeff Buckley in this song than I've ever heard in Vernon's work in the past. Similar experimental song structures and heartache falsetto. The double keyboard harmonies are also soaring. Lay back and enjoy:

Bon Iver, "Babies"

As always, let me know what you think.

Hungry and Hopeful,

Friday, November 21, 2008

#9 (Folk You Very Much Edition)

There are few things I enjoy more than a beautifully-crafted, simple folk song.

I get even more excited when a beautifully crafted folk song like is written in 2008 and mentions dogwood trees, angels, and getting raised by wolves.

Enjoy the story, the melody, and the Bob Dylan "babe"'s in there. There's so much Dylan here: the speak-singing, the vocal inflections, the arrangement, the harmonica playing. There's just a lot to like. Sub Pop just continues to sign awesome, awesome bands.

Blitzen Trapper, "Furr"

Let me know what you think,

Friday, November 14, 2008

#8 (Hello Again, NYC Edition)

Hello Again, New York.

Hello Again, Music Friends.

I will greet you with:


My favorite band currently playing with two drum kits on stage is back with a new album called "Such Fun." While I've yet to hear more than two tracks, this friend I have named Ryan W. has listened to it and says that he no longer has socks (as they've been rocked off).

Annuals have 6 members, hail from Raleigh, NC and write consistently thoughtful, complex music that is deeply personal. "Such Fun" marks their second full-length album. As with many bands with two drummers, Annuals like to get polyrhythmic from time to time, and that's more than ok by me. They can veer towards the experimental, but at their core, Annuals write beautiful melodies and exciting arrangements.

This song "Hot Night Hounds" has the time tested, early baroque song structure of:
Glory Piano--Crazy Cracked Out Bridge Section--Glory Piano--Glory Guitar

Annuals, "Hot Night Hounds"

I do hope you enjoy. I highly recommend sticking around and listening to "Sore" on this site afterward.

Change You Very Much,

Friday, October 3, 2008

#7 (Tweaked Out Fuzz Edition)

Long time no share, patriots,

Department of Eagles is a folksy, electronic, also in Grizzly Bear duo who met when they were blindly assigned as roommates at NYU. I know nothing else about them except that a long lost friend shared this with me last night. They have a new album out October 7th and this is a beautiful song. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Department of Eagles, "No One Does It Like You"

I hope you enjoy.
The Original Maverick

Friday, August 29, 2008

#5 (Oooh La Labor Day Edition)

Fair-weather French-Canadian Friday, Friends,

Friends of friends with attractive female strings players will always be given a chance by me (I'm equal-opportunity but am also human). However, when a friend recommended Syracuse University's own Ra Ra Riot, in which her friends played, I immediately fell for the band hard. After releasing a fantastic 6 song self-titled EP, their drummer drowned tragically and the band was forced to regroup or call it quits. Luckily for all their fans, they chose the former and have been touring and recording since. In August, they released their first full-length album on Barsuk Records "The Rhumb Line" and now can tell all their fellow Orangemen that they are labelmates with Death Cab, Mates of State, Menomena, and others.

RRR manages to establish deep grooves while also expertly layering guitar, cello, violin, and often keys on top.

The song "Oh, La" is my favorite track on the new record. Although I'm not thrilled with the production of this album in general, there's a lot of nice production on this track. If you're wearing solid headphones, check out how the cello and violin parts switch from your left ear to the right ear in the intro. Then as the song moves on, they start layering in baritone sax. I also love the bass and drum interplay on the song.

Ra Ra Riot, "Oh, La"

Let me know what you think and have a great holiday weekend,

Friday, August 15, 2008

#4 (Feeling All Warmy and Touchly Edition)

Friendly Friday Friends,

This week's submissions are brought to us by warm organ sounds.

Dr. Dog is by far my favorite band named after an animal w/ a PhD. This Philadelphia Phivesome combines some of the grittiest, muddiest guitar tones in the biz with angelic vocal harmonies and a lo-fi recording quality. They definitely love The Beatles, but then again, so does most everybody. In my humble opinion, each Dr. Dog record has gotten progressively better and their new album (the band's fourth) "Fate" is a barn-stomper. I hope you enjoy their song "The Ark." Dr. Dog rocks two very distinct lead singers, but the singer on this song (the bassist) sings with about as much emotion as possible. You can hear the passion and the pain and the cigarette smoke in his voice. Also, listen to that organ sound!! Pure liquid.

Dr. Dog, "The Ark"

Alberta Cross is a British band that really caught my ears during last week's All Points West Festival. Maybe it's the organ sound. Maybe it's the harmonies. Maybe it's the closest singer I've heard to matching the sound of the late Shannon Hoon, of Blind Melon (one of my favorite bands of all time). Regardless, I love these guys and I hope you love them too. This song busts in like "And Your Bird Can Sing" and immediately feels like sunshine bursting through the slit in your window shade. Have Fun.

Alberta Cross, "Old Man Chicago"

As always, let me know what you think.

Five rings unite us in Olympic glory,

Friday, August 8, 2008

#3 (X-Rated Edition)

For whatever reason, I'm sending you all an x-rated musical booty today that has been ransacked and pilfered from wenches across the seven seas.

Welsh offshoot of the band Super Furry Animals "Neon Neon" make me nod my head and blush at the same time! Their song Trick for Treat is absurdly absurd and very, very fun. She got me dreaming like a Michigan boy in Hollywoood...

Neon Neon, "Trick For Treat"

And to wrap it up, everyone's favorite sons of a Methodist preacherman, Kings of Leon, have a new single off their album due in September "By the Night." If that wasn't good enough on its own, they named the song after one of the joke band names that I've continuously come up with for the various bands I've been in in my life. Yes, they actually named the song "Sex on Fire." The lead singer of KOL recently did an interview in which he said that there has always been an element of sex in the band's music. On this record, he wanted to put all the sex into one song, and then be done with sex for the rest of the record. And with that, I offer you a deliriously fun (if slightly raunchy) Friday music selection:

Kings Of Leon, "Sex On Fire"

Ow, my virgin ears-Ralph Wiggum

As always, let me know what you think.


Friday, August 1, 2008


Plants and Animals are a little 3 piece from Montreal who specialize in BLOWING MY MIND.

Their songs range from quaint to epic to quaintepic and they make a sound much larger than the 3 parts of which they are comprised.

I would like to share a song called "New Kind of Love." It's a beautiful song for me because it is both introspective and momentous: introspection projected outward (to the moon, approximately.)

It also has one of my favorite phrases of all time: "Like a child, we get hungry and restless and wicked and wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiild!"

And they went out looking for a new kind of love...

Plants And Animals, "New Kind Of Love"


Friday, July 18, 2008


Back in Medieval Times before Peter Gabriel was your Sledgehammer and Phil Collins was the arsehole behind "Sussudio" and "In the Air Tonight" both men were in a ridiculously ridiculous prog rock band called Genesis.

Brimming with bombast, unparalleled in its grandiosity, and bordering on stupid, this music has a time and a place.

That time is a Friday Morning. That place is your cubicle.

Enjoy "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight"

Genesis, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight"

Lots of love (and let me know what you think),