Wednesday, January 28, 2009

M83 on Conan O'Brien 1/27/09

Efterklang touring the US w/ Peter Broderick!!


05.03 - Seattle, WA / Nectar Lounge / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
06.03 - Vancouver, BC / Media Club / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
07.03 - Portland, OR / Doug Fir / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
08.03 - San Francisco, CA / Bottom Of The Hill / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
09.03 - Visalia, CA / Cellar Door / w. Peter Broderick
10.03 - Los Angeles, CA / Spaceland / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
11.03 - Tucson, AZ / Plush / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
13.03 - Salt Lake City, UT / Urban Lounge / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
14.03 - Denver, CO / Larimer Lounge / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
16.03 - Norman, OK / Opolis / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
17.03 - Denton, TX / Hailey's / w. Peter Broderick & Human Highway / tickets
18.03 - Austin, TX / SXSW
19.03 - Austin, TX / SXSW
20.03 - Austin, TX / SXSW
21.03 - Austin, TX / SXSW
23.03 - Tallahassee, FL / The Engine Room / w. Canon Blue
24.03 - Atlanta, GA / Earl / w. Canon Blue / tickets
25.03 - Chapel Hill, NC / Local 506 / w. Canon Blue / tickets
26.03 - Washington, DC / DC 9 / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
27.03 - Philadelphia, PA / The First Unitarian Church / w. Peter Broderick
28.03 - New York, NY / Mercury Lounge / w. Peter Broderick
30.03 - Boston, MA / TT the Bears / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
31.03 - Montreal, PQ / TBA / w. Peter Broderick
01.04 - Toronto, ONT / El Mocambo / w. Peter Broderick
02.04 - Pittsburgh, PA / Garfield Artwork / w. Peter Broderick
03.04 - Cleveland, OH / Grog Shop / w. Peter Broderick / tickets
04.04 - Chicago, IL / Schubas / w. Peter Broderick / tickets

This is gonna be eargasmic.

REVIEW: The Dandy Warhols - Dandys Rule, OK?

5 out of 10

The Dandy Warhols are a pop punk band if they'd been raised on Velvet Underground and psychedelia. If you love 90's pop via Greenday, but also love psychedelic this is the perfect meeting ground for you. Most of the Songs have a Velvet Underground simple-ness to them (they even have a song called "Lou Weed") and others are jammy; lasting fifteen plus minutes (It's A Fast-Driving Rave-Up With..).

It's good music to play in the background of a party, or drive to. The major failure of this record is it doesn't pull you in like it should. The songs aren't always memorable, and certainly not as catchy as they could be, but I like the idea of pop-psychedelia. I definitely wouldn't mind hearing them on the radio, which is what they were aiming for. If you've never heard the Dandy's, let me tell you, you've heard the Dandy's. Look up their soundtrack credits, it's crazy. Also if you've never seen they're acclaimed documentary "Dig!", I highly recommended it. If the Dandy's will be remembered for that film.

Standout Tracks: Lou Weed, Ride, The Coffee And Tea Wrecks, Finale: It's A Fast-Driving Rave-Up With The Dandy Warhols Sixteen Minutes

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cool Video Fun Time #5 - White Ink

Deerhunter - White Ink from justin gaar on Vimeo.

R.I.P. Charlie Cooper (Telefon Tel Aviv)



Charlie Cooper, better know as one half of Telefon Tel Aviv, passed away from an "unspecified" cause on Thursday, January 22. He was only 31. This is horrible. Their latest album, "Immolate Yourself" was released just two days before the event. This is the "suck" of the year I'm sure of it...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cool Video Fun Time #4 - My Girls

REVIEW: Jóhann Jóhannsson - Fordlandia

8 out of 10

This is more than just an album, it's (in every sense of the word) a journey. A perfectly scored soundtrack to a movie that (although is based on actual events) exists only in our heads. This album has a theme yet according to Jóhannsson himself, "it's loose and open to interpretation".

Fordlandia is part two of a trilogy roughly based on technology and iconic American brand names. Part one was 2006's IBM 1401 A Users' manual, which guided you through the assembly and operation of a piece of 80's machinery, constructed, operated on, tinkered with, mentally dissected and finally destroyed by his own music. The last track called 'The Suns Gone Dim' is his most recognizable single as of yet.

Enter, Fordlandia. This time around, the jungles of Amazon are the setting, the time set back in the Roaring 20's and chronicles the failure of Henry Ford's synthetic rubber plantation. His vision of domesticating a piece of the Brazilian rainforest into a white-picket Utopia ended in riots and bloodshed, and by going into it with all that in mind, you can practically play out each and every scene in song. From the very idea of it coming to fruition, until the last falling brick, this album neatly wraps up the birth of the situation and ultimately, it's death. But it doesn't stop there. It follows up with mournful, yet respectfully-in-remembrance songs with undertones of courage and bravery that hold your hand all the way through the grieving process.

For example, track nine entitled "The Great God Pan Is Dead" crescendos it's way to a full and epic chorus that captures the entire span of conflict and resolution of a situation (another fun track open to interpretation), but then holds you in a satin blanket of a soft stringed melody for just a moment, just it's way of saying that everything is going to be okay.

Five out of the eleven tracks (Melodia I-V) are different but gorgeous variations of roughly the same melody, which is a great nod to his first album, 2002's "Englabörn" and it's sixteen variations of "Odi Et Amo". (by far my favorite). Also very much worth a listen is his 2004 opus, "Virðulegu Forsetar".

To sum up this concept album, the first (fourteen minute long) track is called "Fordlandia". The last (fifteen minute long) track is called "How We Left Fordlandia". So good/intelligent, you could almost file this under literature. In addition to co-founding "Apparat Organ Quartet" as well as "Kitchen Motors" in Reykjavic, he keeps himself very busy by turning everything he touches into awesomeness.

Standout Tracks: Fordlandia, The Great God Pan Is Dead, & How We Left Fordlandia

Sunday, January 25, 2009

REVIEW(s): Amp - Astralmoonbeamprojections / Amp - Stenorette

7.75 out of 10

8.5 out of 10

Find it here.

I may be just now getting into Amp, but I can already tell you that they're blooming rather quickly into an obsessive-compulsive/coma-inducing "must own every album by this project" kind of the band. Amp is Bowery Electric mixed with a Lovesliescrushing kind of drone/experimentation. Drone is definitely the key term when it comes to describing Amp, but not the only.

Amp is drenched in reverb drone, flanged guitars, thick synths, "modern" electronic drum loops, plucked piano keys, throbbing "dub-like" bass lines, and of course Karine Charff's indie-grunge-pop vocals which beg for attention underneath all of these pleasing ear treats. Amp sounds like "psychedelic-grunge-dream-pop".

Normally I would only want to review one album at a time, but I got both of these on the same day and it's been pretty hard to take them away from my ears ever since. I can't help but listening to one after the other every time.

Astralmoonbeamprojections is more drug-inducing psychedelic drone, a very good fit for the Kranky label. I'm pretty sure this album could make you feel as if your brain is melting under certain mind altering dealy's(drugs). This almost reminds me of Spectrum at some points.

Stenorette is little more "poppy". Take Astral... add a dose of Cyann and Ben, a more classical piano approach, and more drums, voila! This seriously sounds like a missing Bowery Electric album had they produced just one more.

It's hard to say which of these releases is my favorite. But I would have to say Stenorette has more of "classical-poppy" approach so that one may be more well suited choice if you are just planning on checking these guys out for the first time. Listen to the song "Tomorrow" or "Sunflower" off of Stenorette. Hopefully that'll catch your attention.

Amp is one of my favorite Kranky band's of the moment. I look forward to checking out the rest of their releases. Your mind may like what it gets to ponder when Amp is your soundtrack.

Standout Tracks: Onehopesinuncertainty, Transmigration, Stellata, Polemic, Celestial Return

Standout Tracks: Tomorrow, You Are Here, Songe, Zoe, Tango Non, Sun Flower, Just-Ice

Andrew Broder (Fog) releases a solo album..

From Andrew Broder:
Hello Everyone,
Attached is a link to download a new solo album by Andrew Broder called

"I Must Fix All The Problems".

It is two pieces for improvised guitar, turntables and 4-track, the first side is called "I Must Fix" and the second side is called "All The Problems". This record is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of self-released solo material and reflects the sound I have been developing in the last year or so. Something that strives for beauty and terror.

It's very different from Fog stuff, so if you are more of a songy person, and less of a soundscapey person, you might not be feeling it.

Forewarned. After you download successfully, please feel free to share the music with anyone and everyone you like. I don't give a shit.


PS. I'd also like to use this as an opportunity to announce the release of "Un", the third full-length from HeatdeatH, which is myself on guitar and Tim Glenn on electronics/ drums. It is now available from the good people at Conspiracy Records, and you can check out samples and order it here: http://www. conspiracyrecords. com/store/store_detail. php?id=7322


Saturday, January 24, 2009

REVIEW: The Shaggs - Philosophy Of The World

2 out of 10

I'm sure there is some poor bastard in the world who listens to The Shaggs on a regular basis. And it takes a "special" kind of bastard to listen and love the sound of tweens that can't play their instruments. There is not one instance where ANYTHING is played in time. It's such a mess of an album, but still surprisingly listenable. Frank Zappa listed this as his third favorite album of all time. I don't know what the other two are, but it's hard to imagine anyone loving this album. I keep it around because I like playing weird music for estranged people.

The Story is that a working class father bought his daughters instruments to keep them busy, and then decided to record them "when they were fresh." The original pressing was very small, maybe a thousand, which was sold from their car or sent into radio stations. Years and years later a copy falls into Frank Zappa's lap, and he hypes it like crazy. Rolling Stone eventually listed it on their '"Top 100 Most Influential Alternative Albums" list. Pretentious bastards.

Every song is pretty much the same, a guitar that is kind of strummed. Drum beats that are all over the place, and mixed down vocals about dogs and tall people. And yet much like Daniel Johnston, it does have a kind of charm to it. It's not “un-listenable”, in-fact I'd rather listen to The Shaggs than Puddle Of Mudd. But anyone that pronounces it genius should re-think their opinion.

It is what it is, and what it is, is children noodling on instruments. Deerhoof did a bizarre cover of "My Pal Foot Foot" that’s worth checking out. The album is short, and if you find it cheap, it's worth listening to once. Just for novelty's sake.

Bottom Line: WEIRD.

Standout Tracks: My Pal Foot Foot can oddly enough get stuck in your head.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cool Video Fun Time #3 - All Is Full Of Love

REVIEW: Lemonade - Lemonade

7.5 out of 10
Find it here.

Mix Liars with !!!, Liquid Liquid, add a dash of 90's acid-house techno, and a hint of middle eastern chants. You've got what's destined to be one of the best albums of 2009. Lemonade's self-title debut ep is next to perfect when it comes to the dance-punk genre, which I though had been long dead by now. But they do more than just your standard dance-punk artist would. They breathe life back into a stale art from by infusing it with more of an acid drenched dancey-ness.

Lemonade have somewhat of a tropical/jangly rhythm section that is usually derived from spontaneity and improv. The same can be said about the pulsating bass lines, well placed synths/samples, 4 count kicks, and melodic and Arabic/Latin vocal stylings. This is the type of jam session many musicians dream about being a part of during practice.

To put it simply Lemonade are just too damn catchy and dancey to pass up. I can see "Blissout" being on a lot of people's "Top Tracks of The Year" lists's..I expect good things from Lemonade in the future. Pour me another glass please!

Stand out Tracks: Big Weekend, Unreal, Blissout

REVIEW: White Gold And The Calcium Twins - The Best I Can Give Is 2%

6 out of 10

Put on some goggles, your about to get some awesome in your eye. What do you get when you mix an overly cocky hair metal guitar god with musically inclined twins who can also sing their asses off and make their band 'milk' themed? Ladies and gentlemen, ready you empty glass for "White Gold And The Calcium Twins".

I honestly know next to nothing about this band. Not that I'm lazy or anything, I just cant find much about them. I instantly got hooked on this clever, but odd gimmick. Judging from the "Got Milk?" slogan proudly displayed on their website I'm not sure how serious they take themselves. But they're a high dose of fun and crazy antics none-the-less. The Calcium Twins consist of Skimberly on the drums and Wholena on the bass (heavy sigh, face in palm). And helming this milky odessey is White Gold himself. With the attitude of King Kong Crew, the voice of Dick Valentine (Electric Six) but a little sexier, and the shredding capabilities of an 80's funk metal virtuoso... I mean c'mon. What more can you ask for?

Their album releases on April 7th on CMPB Records. There's nothing else I can say to prepare you, just take the time to watch both videos below. Your Welcome.

Standout Tracks: Is It Me, Or Do You Love My Hair, One Gallon Axe, Pour The Milk Sister (PMS)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

REVIEW: Bon Iver - Blood Bank

8.25 out of 10

Last spring Bon Iver offered us an icy-folkloric quilt to sooth and relax our souls. This winter he offers us a new patch, or addition to said quilt. Only this time with a promise of warmth. "Blood Bank" is only Bon Iver's second release, and although it is a short ep, it still packs the same punch that "For Emma.." did, maybe more? The future for this artist can go one of two ways; either he will continue to explore "newer" territories as he has done with this latest ep, OR, he will become a mediocre indie-folk act in-vein of The Shins. My money is on the first half.

More than just a "folk" album, this is an atmospheric mood enhancer. Track 1 and 2, "Blood Bank/Beach Baby", would fit rather nicely on "For Emma..". Track 3, "Baby's", has an astonishing piano swell that just seems to get thicker and thicker as the song progresses. Track 4, "Woods"', oh my god, track 4.."Woods". Thank you Bon Iver for investing in an Auto-tuner, though I've never been a fan of Eiffel 65, Cher, Lil Wayne, etc. you have shown me the light. No instruments on this track, just layers, get ready.

I got this album today, I've already listened to it at least 4 times. I love it so much I pretty much only listened to Bon Iver today. I had to go back to "For Emma.." after listening to this. Give Bon Iver a go, listen to them for free online somewhere, then, assuming you like it, go out and buy both of the releases. You will not regret it. Very soothing.

Standout Tracks: They're all good, but the last track "Woods", is honestly one of the best acapella tracks I've ever heard.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

REVIEW: Labradford - Prazision LP

8.75 out of 10

My lungs are expanding and contracting, my lungs are expanding and contracting..

I've only been listening to Labradford for a few years now, but within those years I have become obsessed enough to go out and buy the entire Labradford collection. This is Labradford's first album, as well as "THE Droney/Ambient/Post-Rock/Avant-Garde/Etc. Label of ALL Label's", Kranky's, first official release. Prazision set the standard for what many indie rock acts have been attempting to do for years now. And over 15 years later no one has even come close.

Prazision begins with a twitchy guitar loop melting over frozen dead ambience. When listening to this album you may feel slightly claustrophobic. You are now stuck in Labradford's world. Which at times can be stunning and gorgeous, but at other times can be sad, dismal, post-apocalyptic, and cumbersome. Track 2, "Accelerating On A Smoother Road", gives you a good idea of what kind of Slow-Core vocals you can expect from Labradford. Their a one-note/chord kind of band, with some simple strumming, "clunky" machine-noises, synths, and altered guitar loops. But it's the layers underneath that you need to focus on with this band. Some of the synths/drones are familiar to other Kranky releases, check out Pan American (which is actually a Labradford member doing his own thing) for a decent example, but some are unique in their own right. "Gratitude" is the best idea EVER for giving thank you's. And possibly one of the crowning achievements of this record.

You might listen to this band and think to yourself this is good ambience, but I've heard it before. But what you need to remember is they were doing this 15 years ago. Ahh, to be a wee lad growing up in Richmond VA. circa 1994...This release may not be for everyone out there. But for anyone interested in a band who started one of the most interesting era's in independent music history this should be on the top of their priority's list. This is a good soundtrack to a walk down a dirty beach covered in "futuristic" debris. File this under "Indie-Drone-Ambient Slow-Core".

Standout Tracks: Accelerating On A Smoother Road, Splash Down, Disremembering, C. Of People, New Listeing, Gratitude

Sunday, January 18, 2009

REVIEW: Tommorowland - Sequence Of The Negative Space Changes

7.5 out of 10

Hello from Drone Rock City. Tommorowland were never the premiere drone rock act, but they certainly were a great one. Released over ten years ago in 1998, "..Space Changes" sounds just as good today as it did back then.

Demanding to played as loud as possible, the track "Sunbeam" challenges my speakers; I have to adjust the equalizer. The songs are a slow changing sustained hums of bliss with the real melody happening underneath. This music expands and fills the room, and easily sucks you away. Like many of their Kranky label mates, Tommorowland knows how to use ambiance. Swirling, chirping, and purring- the filtered guitars phase in and out of each other. Sometimes sounding organic and often very robotic. "Dustbot" stands out with a lot of robotic beeps and buzzes, which makes the description: "two robots singing back to each other" very justifiable.

Great in the background, even better on headphones. If you want something to shut your eyes and dream to, this is the album.

Bottom Line: A minimally sustaining murmur of a lush expanding star field.

Standout Tracks: Synapse, Dustbot, Sequence, Sunbeam, Mantric

Speaking of Gregor Samsa...

I like this song. It centers me.

Gregor Samsa Live!

Gregor Samsa - Over Air
Live set recorded at Amsterdam's VPRO radio (May 2008)


REVIEW: Onra - Chinoiseries

8 out of 10

Had I listened to Chinoiseries in time it would have made my top albums of 2008 list. Think DJ Shadow meets RJD2 meets Dabrye meets Monkey (Gorillas side-project).

"I started this project in August 2006, when I got back from a trip to Vietnam, the land of my grandparents. As a vinyl junky, I really couldn't come back to France without bringing back some wax. After hours spent riding on a motorbike in Saigon streets, a taxi finally helped me find some old Asian records. I was feeling like an explorer discovering a forgotten treasure. I bought almost 30 vinyl's, most of them in poor condition, went back to the crib, and started making beats with some material that I wasn't used to.."
Amaud Bernard (Onra)

That being said this album is one the best DJ sampled hip-hop albums I've heard since DJ Shadow's first opus "Endtroducing". Chinoiseries is great Soul music infused with obscure dusty/vintage Vietnamese records. Each song flows and crashes into the next. The songs are no longer than two minutes, but that's ok because there's 32 of them! This is the old-school. This is what you, the DJ in you, has been looking for. This is Onra (who is French) mastering the ancient art form that is TRUE hip-hop sampling.

Pop in Mortal Kombat, light it up, sit back, and get ready for Onra. This is the sunny side of California rolled up in a 1960's Kung-Fu sushi roll.

Standout Tracks: The Anthem, Relax In Mui Ne, I Wanna Go Back, Lesson With The Master, Phuoc Dat(Interlude), Take A Ride, One Day, They Got Breaks Too, Hope

New Odawas album!

"The Blue Depths"
Odawas third full length album, comes out on February 18th.

The first single "
Harmless Love Discourse", which is FREE for download, you hear Odawas putting a twist on their Neil Young-experimental-synth-folk with terrific new elements. Think 80's pop, spacey synths, more drum machines, and of course the normal ethereal bliss Odawas bring. They haven't gone the full M83 here, you can still hear the acoustic guitars in the undertow, but overall the era shift is a good fit.

Here are a couple up and coming shows:
January 30 - KEXP live on air, for info go
here, Berkeley, CA
February 27 - Noise Pop Festival, Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA

New Junior Boys Album!

"Begone Dull Care"
Junior Boys third full length album, comes out on April 7th.

The title is a reference to a short film by the pioneering Oscar-winning Scottish-Canadian animator and electronic composer, Norman McLaren, who was a big influence on the conception and creation of this album.

Starting March 28 in Toronto, Junior Boys will tour the U.S. and Canada, and they'll bring along Domino label mate Max Tundra as their opener.

Friday, January 16, 2009

REVIEW: Mike Oldfield - The Songs Of Distant Earth

4 out of 10

I bought this album because it was cheap and got great reviews on Amazon. Seems like I buy a lot of albums in this fashion, a system that rarely fails. But did this time. This album was made for weepy forty-two year old Enya fans. This ablum was made for my mother. Now this isn't the worst album in the world, far from it, but it's pretty boring and "feel-good" New Age-y. It has some decent parts. Some of the guitar parts are pretty cool, but when the bag pipes start rolling in you just want to break the nearest Manheim Steamroller record.

Most of the songs start to build only to start another song and then go back into another similar guitar break. I don't know if Oldfield was just trying to give the album harmony or if he just really liked soloing his guitar. Most of the melodies remind me of the "Truman Show" soundtrack.

The samples couldn't be anymore cheesy with "One small step..." and other spaceage favorites. There is just not enough ideas on this record to make it great or interesting really. It's like there are four versions of three songs, and then a couple in-between. If your Mom or Dad really likes New Age music, and you find it for cheap, go ahead and pick it up for them. But I doubt you'll be adding this to your personal collection anytime soon.

Bottomline: Leave this one on the shelf, way to boring.

Standout Tracks: None.

REVIEW: Goldmund - The Malady Of Elegance

8 out of 10

I file this artist as another who has yet to let me down. If you are as big a fan of piano as I am, then I'm confident you will sink into this one rather quick. Clean, simple, comforting... I could go on and on about this album which is the second gorgeous milieu from Boston-based composer, Keith Kenniff. Some of you may also know him as Helios.

Goldmund's previous atmospheric beauty, 2005's "Corduroy Road", was a tad better than this one. But if I didn't feel like splitting hairs, I'd tell you without hesitation that they are, for the most part, equally beautiful in my eyes. And I call it a template for a reason. You should never underestimate the power of a good "headphone album", you know the kind. That great album that cannot be appreciated until you've immersed yourself completely in it by way of headphones. This album consists of piano, just piano. And the simplicity of it allows you to add your own ambiance.

For example, the first time I really soaked in Corduroy Road, I was waiting to get my taxes done. And just behind each stunningly heart-stopping note was a thin layer of pure classical Americana. The accompaniment of random indistinguishable voices, squeaky chairs, cash registers, office printers and the bell they hung just over the front door made the music just that much more epic in it's own subtle way. I greatly look forward to head-phoning "The Malady of Elegance" in a crowded subway or a bustling grocery store.

With or without said garnish, Goldmund evokes the very calm we all long for at the end of the day.

Standout Tracks: All of them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

REVIEW: Home Video - It Will Be OK

7.25 out of 10

Friends, family, fellow audiophiles I have asked you many times by now.. You NEED to hear Home Video. For those of you that have, you know what I am talking about. Mix Thom Yorke, with Sinner DC, Woven, Colder and maybe a little bit of Deftones .. yeah I know, sounds great doesn't it? This futuristic rock band should in-theory capture your "ear-heart" within first listen.

Today I received a bulletin notice from Home Video telling me of a new EP release. And guess what? IT'S FREE!!! That's right! All you have to do is join their mailing list and they will send you the appropriate link to download "It Will Be Ok". Seriously, why wouldn't you want 4 tracks of ear-gasmic quality FOR FREE?

Track one, "I Can Make You Feel It", moves and relaxes you like your standard HV song would. Great/simple drumbeats, 80's inspired guitar strumming, arrepeggiated synths in the background, and of course Collin Ruffino's amazing vocal talent on top of it all. Track two, "Maybe What You Need", adds a touch of poppy piano to the mix. Track three, "Every Love That Ever Was", has a jumpy bass line, four-count claps, and epic/spacey/almost M83-like synth loops. Track four, "You Will Know What To Do", adds the same poppy piano that track two had with deep/looming synths, four-count kicks, and low end bass sounds.

Come on, just get the album, IT'S FREE! And, it's terrific. You will, in no-doubt, play this over and over again if you like your rock/pop with an electronic twist. Please, if this will be your first Home Video album and you like it, check out the rest. After getting this today, I had to immediately go back and listen to the rest of their work. THANX Home Video!

Standout Tracks: I Can Make You Feel It, Every Love That Ever Was

REVIEW: Fever Ray - Fever Ray

7.25 out of 10

For those of you living under a rock there was a lil' known release, "Silent Shout(Pitchforkmedia's #1 album of 2006)" by a band called The Knife. Some people dubbed it as "Haunted House Techno", some just labeled it as awesome. But no one labeled it as bad. Sweden's The Knife are unique, in the sense of frightening, bizarre, and head-bobbing all in one. I mention Sweden because they are known for there amazingly catchy indie-pop artists. I.E.; Tough Alliance, Lo-Fi-Fnk, El Perro Del Mar, Jens Lekman, The Radio Dept., etc. The Knife are no exception to this list.

Enter 2009. The Knife's lead singstress decides to release her first solo album under the alias "Fever Ray". Karin Dreijer Andersson has an interesting technique behind her voice that many women might stray away from. Her voice, though melodic, and sometimes pretty can be somewhat disturbing. She manages to mix herself with other lower-pitched layers of her own voice quite fantastically. Creating a blanket of "warm eerie-ness" I haven't honestly heard anywhere else.

Fever Ray is not a far cry from "Silent Shout", but it does bring something a little different to the table. More "popiness" less "freight". To me this album sounds like Silent Shout as if it were reproduced by 80's New Wave artist Japan. "Breezy-synths", tropical/man-made beats that sneak up on you, bizarre samples, and a slightly more refurbished Karin Dreijer Andersson.

Fever Ray is at times a little more laid back than The Knife. But If you like the Knife, don't wait on this purchase. It will fill the void until they release there next opus, which is an opera based on Darwin's "Theory Of Evolution". Fever Ray will for sure be on a lot of peoples, maybe mine??, TOP LISTS of 2009. This is a perfect soundtrack to a lonesome, ear-phoned filled journey through the streets of a futuristic city.

Standout Tracks: Seven, Triangle Walks, Concrete Walls, Now's The Only Time I Know, I'm Not Done, Keep The Streets Empty For Me, Coconut

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cool Video Fun Time #1! - Monkey Drummer

REVIEW: Banjo Or Freakout - Mr No/Someone Great

6.75 out of 10

Let's face it Animal Collective are great. Possibly one of the greatest/most unique acts out there today, maybe ever? I am most-definitely a huge fan too. Ever since "Sung Tongs" came out I couldn't get enough. Whenever I hear of an artist paying homage or even trying to rip off Animal Collective's sound my ears perk up like a dog learning he is about to go on a car ride. That being said Banjo Or Freakout is the closest thing I've heard to them. Maybe more Panda Bear than anything, but still in that vein.

This is Banjo Or Freakout's first album, and it's only a 7" single, but I felt it was important to spread the word on what's sure to be one of the more promising acts of 2009. The first track "Mr No" starts off with strumming, a mechanized drum loop, and the Panda Bear style vocals I keep mentioning. Seriously, I really can't stress how much this guy sounds like Panda Bear. Saturated synths, reverberated vocals, and nearly all the "freaky" sounds you'd expect on a standard Animal Collective release. I would believe someone if they told me this was a B-side to the up and coming "Merriweather Post Pavillion". Track 2 "Someone Great" is an LCD Soundsystem cover from the Sound Of Silver record. This can be a tricky thing, covering an already great song, but the man pulls it off with style. It's more of a folk-tinged/acid-y version, kind of reminiscent of Benoit Pioulard, but an interesting take none-the-less.

Overall I'm pretty excited to follow this bright young star to his sure-to-be promising future. And I would definitely recommend this release to anyone interested in the indie/electronic genre. And once again, if you like Animal Collective, you can just go buy this now. Hurry up and release a full length please!

Standout Tracks: Well, there's only 2 of them, so both:)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

REVIEW: Echo And The Bunnymen - Ocean Rain

7.25 out of 10

I discovered Echo and the Bunnymen the same way alot of people under twenty five discovered them: "Killing Moon" playing at the beginning of Donnie Darko. After downloading it to my computer, I played that song a million times. I got sick of it of course but not until after buying their album. Echo has alot of great albums; it's hard to pick a favorite. This was my first one however, and it happens to be particularly awesome. During their prime, Echo represented alot of things. The return of psychedelia, great night-time make out music, a backlash against the "synthesizer takeover", essentially a guitar-based band that wasn't U2.

With All the "jangly" guitar and lush orchestration, "Ocean Rain" almost comes off like a Psychedelic musical. It's not a concept album, but if it was, it would be one of the most successful ones. If there is one word I could use to describe their music it'd be "theatrical". You can really sit back and imagine the whole thing play out. Damn to think they produced it themselves. To bad it's only a half an hour long, it really could be longer. Ian McCulloch isn't really a dynamic singer, but he definitely fits the music well. The more I listen to it, the more I'm glad I found these guys in my youth.

Bottom Line: "Dark-er" Scott Walker meets Post-Punk-Psychedelic 80's love. They certainly bring a lot to the table. Classic album.

Standout Tracks: Killing Moon, Ocean Rain, Crystal Days, Silver, My Kingdom

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

EIC'S10Q'S w/Miko

Everything Is Chemical is very proud and pleased to announce 10Q's w/:

Miko is a Japanese female singer/ songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the outskirts of Tokyo. Being influenced by various rock/alternative bands in 90's, she began making music around 2000 using an electric guitar and 8 track MTR. After she got a Macbook PC in 2005, she started recording using her voice and instruments around her daily life such as electric & acoustic guitars, piano, synthesizers and samplers. She does recording and mixing all by herself. Her first album "
Parade" was released by PLOP in 2008.

Hello. How are you?
Pretty good, thanks.

What are you currently listening to?
Eiko Ishibashi's new album (Japanese female artist).

How long have you been writing music?
I think it's about 7-8 years. but at first, those were more simple songs, with only guitars and vocals. It's only been a few years since I started recording using various instruments or electronics.

I used to live in Yokohama, I miss it. Do you ever visit the area by Yokohama International School?
Really? I've been living in Yokohama nearly 20 years, but never heard of that school... sorry! I hope you enjoyed yourself in Yokohama. My place is closer to Tokyo, but Yokohama is my hometown and I love it there.

Who are your main influences?
I can't exactly tell who are my influences....there are so many. But I think I should name some artists here. I've always loved guitar bands such as Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Galaxie 500, Palace, etc. I also love Lou Reed, Nico, Tara Jane O'Neil, Animal Collective, etc....but I think I was more influenced by Japanese artists. I love Cornelius, Tsujiko Noriko, Yuming, Rei Harakami, Spitz, and more.

Whats the music scene like in Tokyo?
Tokyo has many musicians doing good experimental music. But it's really an underground scene and just a few people pay attention. It's a shame.

Should we expect a US tour anytime soon?
Maybe not soon, but I really hope I can tour US and Europe in 2009.

Best tour story?
I did show in Japanese temple this summer. I sang in front of the Buddha statue! It was an amazing experience. I make music by myself, but last year I did tour with some supporting musicians. It was really fun to play with a band.

Whats next for you?
I'll keep writing songs and hope I can release a new album this year.
Are you living your dream?

Miko is currently hard at work on her follow up to "Parade". As well as planning a tour:)