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"