Friday, January 30, 2009

Coachella 2009 Lineup Revealed


First of all, Amy Winehouse still performs? Anyway, the headliners here are decent. The Cure and My Bloody Valentine should put on fantastic shows, but the greatness is hidden in the smaller font bands. fork/knife favorites Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes will make an appearance, along with quality acts like TV on The Radio, Beirut, Silversun Pickups, Hercules and Love Affair, and much more. Don't count on coverage of Coachella, but plan on extensive coverage of Lollapalooza, which we're all dying to see the lineup for.

-Chandler

Song o' the Week #8

I'm still not getting blown away by any releases recently, so this week I'm just going to throw a couple songs out there and hopefully you'll find one you like. The first one is from Soko, a French solo artist. Most of her material is pretty terrible, but this one song got stuck in my head and it won't get out. It's simple ukulele pop, and it sounds like it came straight from the "Juno" soundtrack, or like it could be eaten up by some company to be thrown into a commercial (*cough, Apple). But I still enjoy it quite a bit. It takes a while to get into it, so give it a chance. Visit her website here if you feel she's worthy.

Soko- I Will Never Love You More

The next is a song that gets the kids dancing and the head movin' from side to side, and it's a good cause. Heroes of the Dancefloor is a collection of artists that put out albums where ALL the money go to charities. It's a funky little song, so check out their website to stream more and help out a good cause.

Heroes of the Dancefloor- Ricky
Buy Song: iTunes

Finally, I wanted to reiterate how great this is. Donovan and I just can't get enough. Have you tried doing the scream he does? Impossible.



-Chandler

Thursday, January 29, 2009

No One Does It Like Dept. of Eagles

Department of Eagles is a band that formed as a side project for the singer of the renowned indie band, Grizzly Bear. While Grizzly Bear is fantastic, and personally one of my favorite bands at the moment, Department of Eagles is a special band. To me, they sound spacey, genuine, woodsy, and crisp all at once. They've got great harmonies, a deep sound, and catchy melodies. No song exemplifies all these great qualities as well as the track "No One Does It Like You." And hey! Guess what! It's right here for you to listen to. Enjoy.

Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You
Buy Album: iTunes

Department of Eagles MySpace Page

-Chris

Pecknold In Terrible Accident Involving Kanye and a Lawnmower

Okay, so he wasn't really, but in a recent post on the Fleet Foxes' myspace page where Mr. Pecknold smothered major record labels - saying the Fleet Foxes will never sign with one, and that they're "anti-music" - he also slipped in a tidbit about cutting "all of [his] hair off." Now this is big news, almost as big as Jim James cutting off his beard, and I'll be sure to follow-up on this breaking news with a picture as soon as one is released. But, for now, we'll just have to trust Robin.

-Bishop

The Beatbox Cook

Just thought I'd share one of my favorite YouTube videos. Make sure you watch to the end, it's worth it.



-Chris

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andrew Bird Stops By Letterman

Last night Mr. Bird performed "Fitz And Dizzyspells" for Mr. Letterman. Enjoy!



-Bishop

Snow Day!

I still get giddy when I get a day off from school due to snow, and I thought I'd share the excitement. After this I'll build snowmen and forts, battle the other side of North in a snowball fight, and partake in other fun snow-related activities despite the fact that I'm in college. But now, I thought I'd post a snow song so everyone can share my joy. I was skeptical when first listening to Regina Spektor, and some of her songs are still hit or miss for me. But after searching for "snow" in my iTunes, this seemed like the best song to post. Donovan says this demo version, as opposed to the one featured on Begin to Hope, possesses piano that is "ballin,'" which I think is a good thing. So enjoy your day off if you got one. And if you didn't, well, I hope Regina can lift your spirits a little.

Regina Spektor-20 Years of Snow
Buy Song: iTunes

-Chandler

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pop Music Never Hurt Anybody.

Here at f/k, we tend to talk about new indie music. Every once and a while though, there's an artist that deserves to be recognized (even if they are popular). Cause hey, pop music is called pop music for a reason. Last year, Adele, the nineteen-year-old soul sensation, blazed through MTV with her hit single, "Chasing Pavements," a song that was admittedly catchy and heartfelt and all that. With some encouragement from my girlfriend, I've recently been listening to the rest of her album, which is called 19. It's got a great sound, Adele is like a louder, stronger, and healthier version of Amy Winehouse, with a little less retro vibe. I think it's really great. Here's my favorite song from the album, a track called "Right As Rain." All I can say is that I hope this girl makes another album soon. If she can do this at age nineteen, imagine what she'll do with some more experience! Enjoy.

Adele - Right As Rain
Buy Album: iTunes

Adele's MySpace Page

-Chris

Monday, January 26, 2009

Music Movies Monday #2

I almost forgot I started this segment, but luckily I didn't because the videos this week are great ones. My favorite video of '08 from one of my favorite artists around today is the video for "Stress" by Justice. It's basically a bunch of hoodlums traveling in a gang beating people up and causing havoc, but "Stress" seems to fit it so well. Other than that I have no reason to like it, I just find it so bad ass. And damn, I would give anything for one of those jackets (I checked, they don't make them).


Buy artist: iTunes

Next up I decided to post this video of probably my favorite song from Animal Collective's sixth studio album Feels. I absolutely adore this song, especially this version because it's so stripped down compared to the studio version. It's rough the first time through, but give it some time and you should be able to realize the genius of it. It's just Avey Tare and his wife Kria Brekkan (a.k.a. Doctess, who who used to play in the recently mentioned band múm). Anyway, I should warn you that this isn't for everyone, but I've been watching it so much recently I thought I should share. MP3's and videos of the performance can be found here.



Buy Artist: iTunes

Finally, my dad introduced me to The Jam's Compact Snap! a while ago, and I gotta say I was diggin' it. I stumbled upon this and decided I need to post it because it's freakin' awesome. I love the bass in a lot of their songs, and this one doesn't disappoint either. Enjoy The Jam covering Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up."



Buy Artist: Amazon

-Chandler

Crystal Skulls, Minus Harrison Ford

While many of you may have seen the lackluster Indiana Jones movie involving the legend of the crystal skulls, I assure that this band has none of the poor acting or extraterrestrial beings that oozed from that film. In fact, Crystal Skulls is a band that has been around since way before the movie. They've got two full length albums, the most recent and best of which is called Outgoing Behavior. I guess I'd classify it as pop music at it's core, but with some really distinctive vocals and some extra shimmer. Here's a standout track from the album, a song called "Baby Boy." It's wonderful.

Crystal Skulls - Baby Boy
Buy Album: iTunes

Crystal Skulls MySpace Page

-Chris

Speechless...

So I'm not entirely speechless, but I was initially. I don't even have to make fun of Lil' Wayne anymore, because apparently he's finally doing it himself. After his best attempt at destroying rap, he's now trying his hardest to undermine another genre. This is the first track the worldwide interweb has seen from his upcoming "rock" album, and to say it sucks is really an understatement, and is mocking the world of "suck." Imagine Nickelback, Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli, Relient K, and Lifehouse all produced even worse songs than before, and then by some miracle all that material met up with excruciating amounts of Autotune in an unholy world of terrible music, then all formed into one giant crap custard that was force-fed to us. That's what this song is. Feel free to come up with your own comparison by leaving a comment, I'm open to suggestions. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: "Prom Queen."



-Chandler

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Band To Watch: Drink Up Buttercup

This Philly band has been together for just about a year now and they are already making their name known by producing some great music. People have used many different adjectives, nouns, adverbs, predicates and band comparisons to describe their music. Almack's Dance Hall said that they're like "The Beatles in a blender", but I think my favorite review was done by NYC's Ultragrrrl when they simply said "they're so fucking good."

For me, it took a few listens to become accustomed to their style and mannerisms, but now I fully support their music and will continue to as they rise up in the rankings. The band consists of four lads from Philadelphia, but I'll let the band tell you about themselves. "Drink Up Buttercup consists of an ex-opera scholar who refused to exchange sexual favors for solos, a comic book kid who still uses a discman to play music in the car, and two teens who are engaged in an epic battle of side projects for myspace plays."

Drink Up Buttercup is getting ready to release their debut album within the next few months, and everybody out there should make it a point to stop by his/her local record store and buy the album, not only to support the band, but also your local record store. But for now I leave you with two fabulous songs by this fabulous band. Drink Up!

Drink Up Buttercup - Young Ladies
Drink Up Buttercup - Gods And Gentleman
Buy Single: iTunes

-Bishop

Cruisin' Song of the Week #6

This week's cruising song keeps the theme of "head pounding bass." In fact, just hours ago this was blasted loudly in my place of residence, and the floor shook beneath me. Although I can't really vouch for the album First Impressions of Earth as a whole, I can certainly vouch for the grooviness of this particular song. Make sure your car speakers have a good bass.


The Strokes - Juicebox
Buy Song: iTunes

-Donovan

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Album Review: Vacilando Territory Blues



While most people (my self included) just know Joshua Tillman as the drummer of Fleet Foxes, apparently this is actually his fifth full length release. Needless to say, I really wanted to like this album, considering how fantastic Fleet Foxes' debut was. Unfortunately, it boils down to a couple songs that stand out, while most of them blend together to form a sort of folk-ier Ray LaMontagne tribute cd. Throughout most of the album I couldn't help but think of LaMontagne's voice being channeled through Tillman, or that it shuffled to Trouble without me knowing.

The standout track for me on the album is "New Imperial Grand Blues," which is the only song that doesn't seem to drag on and monotonously wallow in sadness. With jangling guitars and piercing cymbals, it shakes you out of the acoustic coma, before you get to slip into another one for the end of the album. But the last 45 seconds of "Barter Blues," the song preceding it, is what I find the most intriguing part of the album. Honestly, after the first half of hush acoustic noodling, the explosive end scared the petootie out of me. It sounds great, with wailing guitars drifting overhead, but then just fades into "New Imperial Grand Blues." Why not take out the first seven minutes of the song, which is reminiscent of the rest of the album, and extend that fantastic ending? Anyway, all of the songs are filled with pretty good lyrics, saving it from being more of a disappointment. However, it does contain many "Is this country?" moments, which always scare me when listening to something.

This isn't to say those who like Fleet Foxes won't enjoy this album. They are vastly different due to the absence of Pecknold's voice and their vocal harmonies. But I'm sure there are those will eat this up, perhaps even at fork/knife, and will enjoy it's quiet and sentimental mood. I'm just not one of them. Sorry.

Chandler's Rating- 6.0
Chris's Rating- 7.7

J. Tillman- New Imperial Grand Blues

-Chandler

I have to disagree with Chandler here, I think Tillman sounds like the male version of Cat Power, but he's still definitely trying to figure out what he wants his music to sound like. Overall, this album is above average.
- Chris

Friday, January 23, 2009

Remix 7

This remix comes from an album called Do You Trust Your Friends? from the Canadian group called Stars. Stars has several full length albums, most notably their 2005 album Set Yourself On Fire. Do You Trust Your Friends? is an album with a remix of each song from this album, from a variety of groups. One of the best is the remix of the song "Sleep Tonight" remixed by an electronic group called Junior Boys. While the original is a fantastic song, Junior Boys somehow manage to take the song and make it completely electronic. It's pure bliss. I highly recommend both Set Yourself On Fire and Do You Trust Your Friends? They are wonderful albums.


Stars - Sleep Tonight (Junior Boys Remix)
Buy Album: iTunes

Stars MySpace Page



-Chris

How is Beirut so good?

It should come as no surprise to any reader of this that I and my fellow fork/knifers are huge fans of Beirut. I am particularly a fan of their first album, Gulag Orkestar, which really offers the listener a wide array of sounds and displays breathtaking musical proficiency. My second favorite track off the album is a short but beautiful song called "Scenic World." (Number one is obviously "Postcards from Italy") I was, therefore, blown away by this live version of "Scenic World" that I found a little while ago. They convert all the electronic parts from the original to violin, and I have to say that it works magnificently. I therefore have posted the video from this beautiful performance for all to see and enjoy.



-Donovan

Your LOL Moment of The Week

This isn't the start of a new segment, but if you see it again I wouldn't be surprised. It should be stated that a few of us here at fork/knife play a good deal of video games, most of the time being Halo 3. But while looking through IGN's upcoming releases of '09, I found myself with raised eyebrows and astonished look at this screenshot...

Yup, that's 50 Cent holding a fully automatic SAW or something of that nature in....you guessed it: the Middle East. Being released in late February, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand will have you running around as members of G-Unit or some shenanigans like that. I think it's safe to say the gaming world has found it's turd target for the year. I can take a lot of bad games. But come on...50 Cent in the Middle East? IGN also says it will feature "a number of songs that 50 Cent hasn't released anywhere else." Yippee! I'd post a song by 50 Cent if I had one, or if you actually wanted to hear it.

-Chandler

The Whigs Will Rock Your Socks

In today's music scene, there are few groups that straight up rock. There are even fewer groups that pull it off. One such group is The Whigs, who released the second album last January. It's called Mission Control, a Tour de Force of straight-ahead and modest power pop. There's no glam, no gimmicks, just pure rock. My favorite song from the album is called "Right Hand On My Heart," which starts out with a heavy drum beat and explodes into a cathartic anthem that's catchy to boot. Singer Parker Gispert has a voice that's both sweet and powerful, and he often lets it loose for some raw emotion. All in all, The Whigs are a straightforward rock group that deserve a listen. Give these guys a chance and you may find that they fill a spot in your iTunes that you didn't know you were missing. I hope you enjoy.

The Whigs - Right Hand On My Heart
Buy Album: iTunes Amazon

The Whigs MySpace Page

-Chris

Song o' the Week #7


So while most of us are going through an Animal Collective/Panda Bear phase right now, I found time to be going through a múm phase as well. múm is an Icelandic group (yep, there are others besides Sigur Rós) whose sound can't be described well with words, but I'm going to give it my best. They sound like if Explosions in the Sky were electronic and toned down a little. Multiple small electronic sounds fit together beautifully and rise and fall to create a lush, and at times rigid atmosphere. They've also transitioned a great deal from where they started, adding additional instruments and even lyrics. I first heard them when their latest LP Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy came out in '07, which I didn't really listen to except the fantastic "They Made Frogs Smoke 'Til They Exploded." I recently stumbled upon them again through shuffle on my iTunes and discovered their 2000 debut Yesterday was Dramatic - Today is OK. It is really an achievement and I strongly suggest buying it, for it's one of those albums that needs to be listened to all the way through. This week's song is from Remixed, which, as you might have guessed, is an album that features a bunch of múm songs remixed. The song doesn't really reflect what they sound like, but I enjoy it too much not to post it. In addition, since we're such nice guys, I'm going to throw in one of my favorite early Animal Collective songs for those who don't really know where they started from. Because, like I said, it's also an Animal Collective phase. Enjoy.

múm- The Ballad of Broken Birdie Records (Ruxpin Remix II)
Buy Artist: iTunes

Animal Collective- Essplode
Buy Song: iTunes

-Chandler

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't You Forget About Me

A while ago I posted about Son Lux being the only person to be able to remix Radiohead and make it better, and I just ran across a fabulous cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" on his myspace page. It is, well, there are no words. Oh, and don't think that this guy is all covers because in my opinion his album At War With Walls & Mystics was one of the best of 2008, so while you're at his myspace page be sure to check out his originals because he knows what he's doing when it comes to music.

-Bishop

Sufjan Gone Electronic/Classical

Sufjan fans must have well placed sources within Dark Was The Night because his new song that he's contributing to the super-compilation has leaked a week early!

After listening to this track it seems as though Mr. Stevens has found some new influences, from Radiohead to Beethoven. Every second of this song will leave you guessing, whether you like it or not. Oh, and he's able to keep you guessing for a long time as the track clocks in at a solid 10:14.

Be sure to check out Dark Was The Night everyday as they'll be releasing a new song everyday until the release of their compilation on February 17th.

Sufjan Stevens - You Are The Blood


-Bishop

Music Sounds Better With You

The best kind of music is music that makes you get on your feet and dance. (Also see: "cut a rug" or "foot it" or "trip the light fantastic"). Well for all of you out there in Funkytown, have I got a song for you. It's called "Music Sounds Better With You," an infectious house song. The group is called Stardust, a project that one of the two members of Daft Punk worked on. The song has all the dance hall requirements: A steady thumping bass drum, filtered keyboard, a shiny string loop, and blissful lyrics. I hope this song gets you to dust off the old boogie shoes. I think it will.

Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You
Buy Song: iTunes

-Chris

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Animal Collective @ Grand Ballroom: 1/20/09


So we're going to be honest here, these picture were taken from Brooklyn Vegan. We had our own pictures, and they were quite good because of our proximity to the stage, but we were using a disposable and apparently light got into it and destroyed them. So, that's basically what it looked like.

That being said, I thought this performance was amazing. They opened with "In the Flowers," a song none of us expected, and meandered into their fabulous new song that has been given the name "Blue Sky." "Guys Eyes" is when the concert really took off, as the bass was turned up enough to shake your rib cage. From there, they played an incredible extended version of "Fireworks," with Panda Bear delivering fantastic percussion through all 13 minutes.

"Brother Sport" closed the show, with the audience jumping to the beat so much we thought the ground would collapse beneath us. The encore was decent, featuring a slowed-down version of "Banshee Beat"from Feels and a crowd favorite "Slippi" off Here Comes the Indian. All in all, I was blown away by this show, and strongly encourage anyone who is liking MPP to go see it, especially because the setlist was basically the album tracklist. Enjoy the live version of "Daily Routine" from the show.

Setlist:
In The Flowers
Leaf House
"Blue Sky"
Guys Eyes
Summertime Clothes
Daily Routine
Lion in a Coma
Lablakely Dress/Fireworks
My Girls
Brother Sport
Banshee Beat
Slippi

Animal Collective- Daily Routine (live @ Grand Ballroom 1/20/09)
Buy album: iTunes

-Chandler


Coming into this show, I'd heard a lot about Animal Collective's live act, both positive and negative things. They have a reputation for being unpredictable, mixing songs together and morphing songs so that they are hardly recognizable. With this is mind, I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a face-full of awesome. I believe that Merriweather Post Pavillion is an album full of songs that explode live. "Guys Eyes" and "Daily Routine" sounded fantastically full with the addition of thumping bass. The show was so loud that my brain rattled around in my head and the hair stood up on my arms. As a huge fan of the material they played, I couldn't have asked for a better night. I look forward to seeing these guys again as soon as possible.

-Chris

I have to say, I was really taken aback by the cleanliness of the show. Animal Collective is an act not always known for their accessibility or their predictability, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they sounded very crisp. Right from the start of the show, they showed about as much emotion as you could hope for and seemed to be very tuned in to the performance. One slight disappointment was the lack of audience interaction. Although I didn't expect any, I wish they would, because I feel it's an element of live performance that could definitely enhance the overall experience. But this is only a small complaint, they are a really great live show, and apparently they've come a long way from humble beginnings in that regard. And "Daily Routine" was insane. Seriously, listen to the song located in this post. It's mind blowing.

-Donovan

FOTC Live at Amoeba



I just came across this video of Flight of The Conchords performing at Amoeba Records in California. It's long, but trust me, it is worth the time. Oh, and the soundcheck contains Bret doing a nice little Flaming Lips cover. Hope you enjoy.


-Bishop

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Album Review: Noble Beast



Andrew Bird's most anticipated release of his career has landed. With Noble Beast, Bird is trying to make it three great albums in a row. His previous two albums, 2005's The Mysterious Production of Eggs and 2007's Armchair Apocrypha, have been critical acclaimed, leaving music critics and lovers anxious to hear his newest release. The Onion (A.V. Club) stated that "he collides substances that shouldn't mix to create a sound that not only survives the impact, but thrives in the aftermath."

With all the anticipation and pressure, I would have to say that Bird did a pretty good job at following up his previous albums. With this being said, I do not feel that this tops Armchair Apocrypha, but it is difficult to compare the two because both albums have their own, unique sound. His newest album takes the listener on a ride of sonic entropy, from the prototypical Bird songs like "Nomenclature", and "Natural Disaster" to the gallant endeavors of "Not a Ghost, But a Robot".

Bird's signature sound - violin, guitar, glockenshpeil, and whistling combining to make one deliciously juicy music sandwich - gets a bit lost at times with busy drumming of Martin Dosh, but when done right, Dosh's drumming adds a whole other element to Bird's already timeless sound. Another attribute of Bird's music that has set him apart from the crowd are his lyrics that sometimes require a Master's Degree in English in order to decipher. At times this makes the music somewhat inaccessible, but usually Bird's lyrics are so gloriously jumbled that you could pop the album in and be entertained just by listening to his quirky yet ingenious way of looking and writing about the world. In "Tenuousness" Bird starts of the song with this verse:

"Tenuous at best was all he had to say when pressed about the rest of it the world that is from proto-Sanskrit Minoans to porto-centric Lisboans Greek Cypriots and harbor sorts who hang around in ports a lot
"

Point proven.

Overall, Bird has produced an above average album, but if you are looking to buy just one of his albums, I still suggest Armchair Apocrypha.

Standout Tracks: Oh No, Effigy, Nomenclature, Not a Ghost, But a Robot and Anonanimal

Bishop's Rating - 7.2

Stream the Entire Album on NPR.
Buy Album: iTunes


-Bishop

Fleet Foxes Play SNL

This past weekend, the wonderful Fleet Foxes played two songs on SNL. Fleet Foxes are a personal favorite of mine and one of our favorite artists here at fork/knife. To boot, they played two fantastic songs, "Mykonos" and "Blue Ridge Mountains" and played them fantastically.





More proof that Fleet Foxes are one of the best live acts in music. Buy their album. Go see them.

-Chris

Album Review: The Crying Light



If you listened to last year's fantastic single 'Blind,' then you know what the voice of Antony Hegarty sounds like, and this is basically showcasing that voice for an entire album. Now, when I first listened to this all the way through, I really didn't think much of it. It seemed like the songs blended together too frequently, and Antony's deep voice became too repetitive to listen to for a whole album. Yet, more listens have given me a much deeper appreciation for it, and chances are the same thing will happen for you. This is not for everyone, and it's more likely that you'll give it a listen and turn it off than stay for the whole thing. But it really is beautiful when you give it a chance.
The main attraction is 'Another World,' a somber, piano-driven ballad that is exactly the soapbox Antony needs to belt out that haunting voice of his. My favorite track, however, would be 'Daylight and the Sun.' Also focusing on piano, this six minute epic also features some powerful strings as well, and some chilling vocals and lyrics to boot. There are some other quality songs on the album, yet some of the weaker ones still seem to drift in and out of relevance when put up against the stronger ones. All of the lyrics focus on Antony's mortality and are quite moving, and that aspect combined with his voice gives you a sucker-punch of emotion throughout.
This is an album to listen to through headphones while watching the sun rise or set, contemplating your existence and path through life. Deep, right? I know. But in all honesty, this is a somewhat fleeting, yet beautiful glimpse into a man's search for answer and reason. Breath-taking at times and monotonous at others, it takes a while to get adjusted to the sound and style of this album. But once you do, it's an album that deserves the attention it's getting.

Chandler's Rating- 7.9

Antony and the Johnsons- Daylight and the Sun
Buy Song: iTunes
Stream the entire album at Spinner, where the fantastic Merriweather Post Pavilion is also streaming in it's entirety!

-Chandler

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jay-Z + Radiohead = Jaydiohead

Yes, it's true. A DJ that calls himself Minty Fresh Beats has created the ultimate mashup album. It's called Jaydiohead, a collection of songs in which he lays Jay-Z vocals over Radiohead songs. My good friend Pat Martucci had me listen to it this afternoon and I'm hooked. The best part is that the album is totally free. You can download it right here in a variety of formats. For those of you that are all about instant gratification, I've posted the song, "Dirt Off Your Android" below. It's incredible how well these mashups work; Minty Fresh Beats splices and dices the original audio to create the perfect marriage of rap and rock. Enjoy.

Jaydiohead - Dirt Off Your Android

Minty Fresh Beats MySpace Page


Download Jaydiohead Album Free



-Chris




Why Microsoft!? Why!?

Some of you may or may not have heard of Microsoft's newest program, Songsmith, but if you have you know what a terrible idea it is. The program allows a person to sing something and it will create a background for it with chord changes and all. This just goes to show how lazy and uncreative people are getting. Now, no longer will Brittney Spears will no longer need to hire people to write her songs, all she needs is Songsmith (although she'll probably need someone to sing into the computer still). The last time I checked, music is in existence so people can express themselves in their own, unique way. It is also a timely process that requires a lot of talent to make things come together, have the outcome be something worthwhile. But now Songsmith has come along and it is killing any creative spirits that are left. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for technological advance, but Microsoft has stepped into territory that they shouldn't have.

Now, this first video is a legitimate add for this new program, it's so bad that at first I thought it was a parody, but no, it is not. Brace Yourself!


Although this is a sub-par, and over-played Radiohead song, this is what Songsmith came up for as a background when Yorke's vocals were played into it. I also put up the mp3 of the original Creep at the bottom, so you can compare notes. Again, brace yourself.


Go ahead, give it a whirl.

Radiohead - Creep
Buy Song: iTunes

-Bishop

Music Movies Monday #1

Much like Bishop's "Bands to Watch" segment, I'm adding a new series of weekly posts to fork/knife. And be honest, how cool is that title? Besides the fact that it's drenched in alliteration, which is always awesome, it also means every Monday I'm going to give you a great music video from the past or present. The idea came to me a while back, when I was driving home listening to music and the trees and mailboxes seemed to be coming into sight in rhythm to the music, much like the Chemical Brothers' "Star Guitar" music video. And so, the first 'music movie' must be this, and gee golly is it good. Directed by Michel Gondry, it's just simply amazing how well the music syncs up with the background, and you can watch it numerous times and discover new segments each time. Enjoy the first of many!




(You can also view it in high quality at the url at YouTube)

The Chemical Bros. website and MySpace

-Chandler

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cruisin' Song of the Week #5

While not as badass as last week's entry to the series, this week's definitely brings the funk a lot more. Off the indescribably monumental album The Moon & Antarctica, this track jumps off as being the grooviest. With lyrics involving punching people in the glasses and hell freezing over, this song is quite a thrill ride, and one of Modest Mouse's best.

Modest Mouse - Tiny Cities Made of Ashes
Buy Song: iTunes

-Donovan

Happy Birthday!

Happy 27th birthday to fork/knife's favorite harpist, Joanna Newsom! Recently featured in the fork/knife article "Defending Joanna," the singer/songwriter/harpist has already seen an incredible amount of success for her young age. She hasn't released any new material in a while now, so hopefully we'll see something in either '09 or '10. If you haven't checked her out, you have to give her a try, although she comes with the disclaimer that she is not for everyone.

Joanna Newsom - Bridges and Balloons
Buy Song: iTunes

-Donovan

Band To Watch: Local Natives

This is a new feature here on fork/knife. Every week I will be posting about a band that is short on myspace hits, but big on musical ability. So with that being said, I cordially welcome you to the first installment of 'Bands To Watch'.


Okay, so I posted about this band, Local Natives, on Christmas because I liked them so much that I felt like revealing them to the world (yes, the world) was my gift to the human race. The Local Natives are a band from southern California that spent half of 2008 recording their debut album, Gorilla Manor, in a two bedroom house (aka Gorilla Manor) that they also lived in. Upon finishing the album the band set off on their first tour. On Friday night they played a show at TT the Bears in Boston, but before setting up camp there for the night the boys decided to stop by and do a Flophouse Session for Band in Boston. This is the first time that we have been able to listen to decent recordings of songs other than the ones the band itself had released, and let me tell you, I like what I hear.

Since I previously posted about the band I will keep this one short and sweet. All you have to know about the Local Natives is that when you listen to them you will notice three things - though there is much more:
(1) They execute the three part harmony exquisitely,
(2) their melodies are catchy as hell, and
(3) you will be singing along.

With that I leave you with a live video and mp3 of their single 'Airplanes'.


Watch it in high quality by following the previous link and then clicking "watch in high quality" in the lower right-hand corner of the video.

Local Natives - Airplanes


-Bishop

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Him and A Little Bit Of She


M. Ward has released a single from his new album, Hold Time, that's due on February 17, and it features a familiar face, Miss Zooey Deschanel (and soon to be Mrs. Ben Gibbard). Many of you may recall that last year these two teamed up to create She & Him, and they wrote an album that was one of f/k's Honorable Mentions for album of the year, and even came in as high as number one on a few lists.


M. Ward - Never Had Nobody Like You (Featuring Zooey Deschanel)
Visit M. Ward's webpage.


-Bishop

Friday, January 16, 2009

Defending Joanna


In the last "Song O' the Week" feature, from dear fellow fork/knifer Chandler, I couldn't help but notice a slight against the unendingly fabulous Joanna Newsom. I will begin this post by stating that she is the only artist I can think of off the top of my head that sings and plays the harp as the primary focus of her live act. Her performances are essentially unique in today's world of music. Building on top of that, her song structures are extremely layered and complicated. I have yet to listen to a song from her most recent and polished album, Ys (pronounced "ease"), and not discover another element of musical sophistication somewhere in each song. As for her voice, I will admit that it is an acquired taste, but that once the taste has been acquired, you will hardly find anyone will more erudition in his/her musical inventiveness. I'm not alone in this proclamation, her album got a 9.4 from esteemed peers Pitchfork. I'm posting her current magnum opus, "Emily", the leading track from Ys, despite its excessive length, because I feel it is the best showcase for her talents.

Joanna Newsom - Emily
Buy Song: iTunes

-Donovan

Song o' the Week #6

First of all, let me apologize for not posting the last couple of days, but I was stuck in Death Valley overnight after getting two flat tires. Long story. Anywho, I'm back to bring you another song of the week.

Now, everyone is drooling over Karin Dreijer's (a.k.a the chick from The Knife) self-titled debut album under the name Fever Ray. I, however, am not. Therefore, her new single "If I had a Heart" is not the song of the week, because it sucks. So, uninspired by the new music lately, I've decided to give you a song that I listened to yesterday as I slipped in and out of sleep in the front seat of our Jeep. Donovan told me this was Modest Mouse's best song a while ago, and after listening to their earlier stuff, I would have to agree with him. It's the first song from their debut album "This Is a Long Drive For Someone With Nothing to Talk About" released in '96, and it's great. It just goes to show Donovan usually knows what he's talking about when it comes to music, except Joanna Newsom.

Modest Mouse- Dramamine
Buy song: iTunes

-Chandler

Sneak Peak At Hazards of Love

I'll make this short and sweet and just say that The Decemberists have released the opening track off their new album, 'The Rake's Song'. I'll let expert, Donovan, add his input if he feels its necessary.

The Decemberists - The Rake's Song

Visit their website


-Bishop

Edit: The above song is actually the tenth song from the upcoming album. Addressing the actual track, I loved it when I heard the live version, and I love this version even more. The background singers when he declares "All right" are chilling. The lyrics are absolutely disturbing as well.

-Donovan

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chad VanGaalen: Banjo Like It's Nobody's Business

The first time I heard Chad VanGaalen was at my friend Brian's radio show. VanGaalen had sent his new album, Soft Airplane, to our school's station for some publicity, and Brian played it on a whim. I'm quite glad he did. This song, the first song on the album, is called "Willow Tree". It's a sweet song, with deceptively dark lyrics. Much like the album, "Willow Tree" has a great aesthetic, it's laid back instrumentation underneath VanGaalen's waivery vocals. At times, he sounds so frail that he might just keel over right then and there, but I think it's an endearing quality. Soft Airplane is a good record that deserves a listen to. I hope you enjoy.

Chad VanGaalen - Willow Tree
Buy On: Amazon

Chad VanGaalen's MySpace Page

-Chris

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dear John

An album that we forgot about in our enormous '09 post was Dear John by Loney, Dear, the Swedish artist Emil Svanängen. Loney, Dear's previous album Loney, Noir, originally self-released in '05 until it was re-issued by Sup Pop in '07, was the breakthrough for him into the indie scene. Judging from the couple of songs I've heard of Dear John, I think it will be worth at least a once-through. To give you a taste of what he sounds like, I'm posting the song "I am John." I should warn you that this song finds ways of getting stuck in your head because it's just down right infectious. In fact, last semester I had this song stuck in my head for about two weeks, walking to and from classes with just this playing on my iPod. It can get that bad.


Loney, Dear - I am John
Buy Song: iTunes

-Chandler

fork/knife Gets a Facelift!

So as you can probably tell by now, fork/knife has gotten a new look. Apart from the new layout, we've also added a New Media Player that will make everyone's life easier. You'll notice now that next to the songs we post, there's now a play button so you can listen to the songs on the spot. You can also download them by right clicking on the song name. You'll also see that we're now posting direct links to iTunes, where you can buy the songs in order to support the bands, because this is what we're all about. All of this basically adds up to the fact that fork/knife is moving up the ladder. We hope you enjoy the new look and again, thanks for reading.

Here's a great song about movin' on up that will give you guys an example of the new system:

Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Buy Song: iTunes

-Chris

New Beirut Song!!


This is a brand new song called "My Night With A Prostitute From Marseille". The group is Beirut. They are awesome. The song is from one of their two upcoming EP's, both scheduled for release on February 16th. Thanks to my friend Kevin for showing me this song!

In my opinion, Beirut is one of the most unique and entertaining groups in music today. Led by Zach Condon, they've released two full length albums of brilliant material. They sound like a pop band from the 1800's roaming the streets of Italy or France that's been thrown into the modern world. Every time I put on a Beirut record I'm struck by the gorgeous quality of Condon's voice. He's a 23 year old from Santa Fe, and his beautiful baritone vocals lead Beirut's songs with an undeniable strength. Below, I've posted an mp3 of the video above, as well as one of my favorite songs from Beirut, "Nantes". I hope you enjoy!




-Chris

Monday, January 12, 2009

"What We're Listening To"

I'd like to introduce you to a new feature on fork/knife, something that will hopefully enhance the experience. On the right hand side of our blog, we've added a little place where we put up little pictures that let you know what we're listening to at the moment. The pictures are album covers from albums that we're digging or just favorites that are in rotation. Hopefully this feature can help you get to know where we're coming from musically, as well as possibly introducing you to new stuff. Click on the covers, which are linked directly to the band's respective MySpace pages. We hope you like it. Again, thanks for reading and supporting fork/knife.

-f/k

Chris, Chandler, Bishop, and Donovan

Great Collaborations


I think it's always great when two established artists come together and collaborate on a project, whether it be an entire group, an album, or just a song. The "What's Mine Is Yours" principle usually shines through, and we see a finished product that represents the strengths of both artists. Some famous past collaborations are Bob Dylan and The Band, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello of darlings the Postal Service. Perhaps my favorite collaboration of 2008 came from Ben Folds' mediocre album, Way To Normal. While the album was not anything spectacular, he further showed the "What's Mine Is Yours" principle on the fourth track, a knockout duet with Regina Spektor. It should be known that Regina is my favorite solo artist out there today, and she is stunningly brilliant all on her own, but she is certainly willing to help out a fellow indie friend on this song.

Ben Folds & Regina Spektor - You Don't Know Me

-Donovan

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Congrats to Ledger

Not all of our time is spent listening to music, and we need to give credit where credit is due. When it was rumored that Heath Ledger's performance was great in The Dark Knight before it came out, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I went to see it. Needless to say, if you've seen it, you know he owns every scene he's in, and because of it has posthumously won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a motion picture tonight. Director Christopher Nolan accepted the award and summed up our emotions better than I can: "After Heath passed, you saw a hole ripped in the future of cinema...he will be eternally missed. But he will never be forgotten."


-Chandler

Vegas Post

So I'm in fabulous Las Vegas for the next couple of days, but that doesn't mean I'm going to forget about our loyal readers. I was going to write about Neutral Milk Hotel because I listened to On Avery Island all the way through on the plane (yup, all of "Pree-Sisters" Donovan). But instead, I decided to post about something else that caught my attention on the plane.
I was on shuffle and stumbled upon a fantastic little ditty that found it's way onto my iPod that couldn't wait until Friday for the next Song O' The Week. A song by Mumford & Sons came on and then was played a couple more times as I basked in how good it was. Mumford & Sons is not currently signed to a record label, and like fork/knife favorites The Rural Alberta Advantage, I can't see why. I did some research and found that Guardian describes their sound perfectly when they said "...[these] folky Americana sound like Coldplay reincarnated as hillbillies." It's pretty bluegrass at times, but there's also flashes of modern music, which is pretty refreshing for such a young act. After forming in '07 and releasing two EP's, word is that they're looking to drop their full length debut or another EP in '09, so keep an eye out for it. I'm still on the fence about whether they're too country for me, but only time will tell. "Hold on to What You Believe" was the song that tickled my fancy on the plane, but I'm also including 'White Blank Page" to give you more of a glimpse of what they're capable of. Head over to their MySpace page to stream more songs and/or find out more about them.

Mumford & Sons- Hold on to What You Believe

Mumford & Sons- While Blank Page

-Chandler

Cruisin' Song of the Week #4

This week's entry into the series may be the most badass yet. This song is so crusin', don't be surprised if you get pulled over for playing it. Originally from the album British Steel, the song is exactly as you might expect, as subtlety was not one of Judas Priest's finer qualities. So this week, unbuckle your seatbelts, take out your cellphones, and put the petal to the metal as you turn your speakers all the way up.

Breaking the Law - Judas Priest

-Donovan

Stream Bird's Noble Beast on NPR

Andrew Bird's newest album, Noble Beast, which will be released on January 20th can now be streamed in its entirety thanks to NPR. So give it a listen and look out for fork/knife's official review.





-Bishop

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Remix 5

Continuing with the approximately-weekly remix post, I bring you yet another fantastic Feist remix. Chances are that you've heard "Mushaboom", the popular single from her older album called Let It Die. If not, don't fret. I've posted it for you. Also posted is the perfect remix done by -you guessed it- The Postal Service. Can these guys do anything wrong? I don't think so. The remix is bumpin'; it sounds like it would've fit perfectly on The Postal Service's album Give Up. I hope you like it. And I'm sorry I said bumpin'.

Mushaboom - Feist: mp3
Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix) - Feist: mp3

Feist MySpace Page


The Postal Service MySpace Page


-Chris

Make Jim Guthrie Famous!

I first stumbled upon Jim Guthrie after reading the iTunes Celebrity Playlist of Michael Cera. In this playlist, Cera says: "Please help me make this man famous." Intrigued, I gave Guthrie a listen, and I was instantly impressed. Jim Guthrie is a musician from Toronto that fills a special niche within indie music. His songs are calculated and clean; it's clear that he puts a lot of effort into the orchestration and production of his music. His vocal delivery is quiet and assured, but never emotional or pouty. All the pieces fall into place on Guthrie's album, Now, More Than Ever. I've posted two songs from it below. The first, "Now, More Than Ever" is the title track, an instrumental track that rumbles along with undeniable force, building up to become a wonderful wave of sound. The other, "Broken Chair" is classic Guthrie, understated indie pop. Give it a listen and help Michael Cera and me in our undying quest to bring Jim Guthrie fame and fortune. I hope you enjoy.

Now, More Than Ever - Jim Guthrie: mp3
Broken Chair - Jim Guthrie: mp3

Jim Guthrie MySpace Page

-Chris

Happy Birthday!

Happy 35th birthday to our second favorite conchord, Jemaine! Known for his illustrious work with the New Zealand's 4th most popular folk parody duo, he and band mate Bret came to the forefront of fork/knife's attention with the hit HBO series Flight of the Conchords. In all seriousness, this is one of the funniest shows I've ever seen, and anyone who hasn't seen it should jump through as many hoops as necessary to see it. The second season is about one week from its debut, we've already posted the first episode which you can see here http://forkknifeblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/stream-fotc-premiere.html. I wholeheartedly hope you make the effort to check out the first season before watching, however. I present unto you a fan favorite from the show, which features Jemaine quite prominently.


The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) - Flight of the Conchords

-Donovan

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bell Orchestre Annouces Release Date for Sophomore Album


The great Bell Orchestre have announced the release date for their sophomore album. If you have yet to hear of this spectacular band you may recognize a few of the members from Arcade Fire, a fork/knife favorite. Their sophomore effort is titled As Seen Through Windows.

It's out on March 10, 2009 and will include:

1. Stripes
2. Elephants
3. Icicles/Bicycles
4. Water/Light/Shifts
5. Bucephalus Bouncing Ball
6. As Seen Through Windows
7. The Gaze
8. Dark Lights
9. Air Lines/Land Lines

Visit the band's webpage here.

Bell Orchestre - Throw It On A Fire


-Bishop

Song o' the Week #5

Once again I find myself wanting to post a song from Merriweather, but I think I might be walking on thin ice with copyright infringement due to three songs being taken down, so I think I probably shouldn't. I just wanted to drive home how good that album is.



So this week's song is one that I actually forgot when doing my top songs of '08 list, and I think it belongs in there. Air France is a Swedish duo that's only released two EP's, this song coming from the latest one released in '08, No Way Down. I had to listen to this a few times before I started to like it, but now I think I love it. From the makeshift lyrics to the fantastic song title, it's simply a treat. It sounds kind of like The Field in some parts, which is to say it's more of a laid back ambient electronic music instead of rave in-your-face electronic. You'll understand once you listen. And I know it's cliché to end this like I'm going to, but it has to be done. Sorta like a dream? No. Better.

Air France- Collapsing at Your Doorstep


-Chandler

Hype Machine Reveals Number Ones

If you haven't discovered the Hype Machine yet, you should really venture over there because it's a great site. It's a music blog aggregator which automatically collects mp3's from a large list of music blogs and puts it all in one place so you can see what songs or artists are getting attention in this fast pace world of ours. Anyway, every year they ask music bloggers to submit their favorite songs, albums, and artists of the previous year in the Music Blog Zeitgeist. Today they revealed the number ones in all the catagories, and it's nothing really surprising. I put the Top Ten Albums below if you're too lazy to go all the way over there, as well as their radio show where you can stream a song from each of the top ten albums, but you should bookmark the site and frequent it because it's fantastic.






Hype Machines's Music Blog Zeitgeist Top Ten Albums
10. The Hold Steady- Stay Positive
9. M83- Saturdays = Youth
8. Sigur Ros- Med Sud I Eryrum Vid Spilum Endalaus
7. Cut Copy- In Ghost Colours
6. Portishead- Third
5. MGMT- Oracular Spectacular
4. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
3. Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend
2. TV on the Radio- Dear Science
1. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes

The Hype Machine

-Chandler

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Phish Releases Reunion Tour Dates



Okay, so even though I am passed my Phish phase, but when I heard that they were getting back together I was jubilant. I must admit that I seldomly listen to them anymore, but whenever I do, I remember the genius that is Phish and I cannot wait to see them live. Back in October the band announced that they would headline a three night stand at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA March 6-8, 2009. More recently they have released more tour dates in June, so take a look and I strongly encourage you to buy tickets if this once-in-a-lifetime band comes near you. They are legends.

03/06 - Hampton, VA @ Hampton Coliseum
03/07 - Hampton, VA @ Hampton Coliseum
03/08 - Hampton, VA @ Hampton Coliseum
06/04 - Wantagh, NY @ Jones Beach
06/05 - Wantagh, NY @ Jones Beach
06/06 - Mansfield, MA @ Great Woods
06/07 - Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
06/09 - Asheville, NC @ Asheville Civic Center
06/16 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
06/18 - Burgettstown, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion
06/19 - Noblesville, IN @ Deer Creek Music Center
06/20 - East Troy, WI @ Alpine Valley
06/21 - East Troy, WI @ Alpine Valley


-Bishop

Land of Talk - Band to Watch

Land of Talk is a band from Montreal that I've learned to love since their album released last September. I really think they deserve more attention. Land of Talk is a three piece group, led by singer and guitarist Elizabeth Powell. Some Are Lakes is their latest LP, an effort that I liked so much I put it in my list of the top ten albums of 2008. It's a haunting record that rocks but also pulls the heart strings. The main reason why the album is such a success comes to the fact that Elizabeth Powell is one of those awesome female frontmen (frontwomen??). She's supported by a tight rhythm section that rumbles and rolls beneath her captivating vocals. This album has great songwriting, great musicianship, and a great aesthetic. All in all, Some Are Lakes is a great record that I highly suggest for some winter listenin'. I hope you enjoy.

-Chris

Death by Fire - Land of Talk: mp3

Land of Talk Official MySpace Page

Seven Worlds Collide

Neil Finn's all-star band has recently been recording in his home country of New Zealand, and the last three nights they played three shows at the Powerstation in Auckland, NZ. The band includes: the band members included Radiohead’s guitarist and drummer Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, legendary guitarist Johnny Marr, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, founder member of The Smiths and current member of US alternate rock innovators Modest Mouse, New York avant-garde group Soul Coughing’s bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lisa Germano, alongside Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (in the original group, but didn't contribute to the band's most recent effort) and members of the musically gifted Finn family -- Neil’s son Liam Finn and brother Tim Finn. If you would like to learn a bit more about this all-star band then visit their myspace page.

There are a few videos from the performances that I would like to share with you. The first one is Jeff Tweedy leading the band in a cover (if you can still call it that since 40% of Radiohead is playing) of 'Fake Plastic Trees'.



The next one is another Radiohead cover - 'Bodysnatchers' - with the same instrumentation as 'Fake Plastic Trees' minus Tweedy.



The Last Video I would like to share with you is a rare glimpse of Radiohead drummer Phil Selway fingerpicking his way through an acoustic number.



Don't worry, I'm aware the quality isn't top notch, but it does get the point across. Enjoy!


-Bishop

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Bird

So, 2009 begins, and I am genuinely looking forward to the of releases that bands have planned for us. One of the January releases that I am really looking forward to is Andrew Bird's album Noble Beast. If you have ever had the privilege of witnessing this master at work during one of his mesmerizing shows than I know you, too, are excited. The first few minutes of all his live songs involves him running around his set-up looping soothing strings, wondrous whistling, precious pizzicato, and gorgeous guitar into, one cohesive unit. Once you see this it is impossible not to appreciate what he is able to do.

After his critically acclaimed 2007 album, Armchair Apocrypha, people have been wondering if he could follow it up with another, equally great album. Today I leave you with two songs off his new album that will be released January 20th so you can judge for yourself.


Andrew Bird - Tenuousness


-Bishop

Album Review: Merriweather Post Pavilion



Every so often a band releases an album that showcases the unique sound of the artist perfectly, and makes great leaps for music in general. Albums like OK Computer, The Moon and Antarctica, Aeroplane Over the Sea, and Funeral are examples of such works that truly captivate the listener and propel the artist to unreachable heights. I believe you can add this album to that list.

This is Animal Collective at their very best and most accessible. While they change their sound almost every album, a steady upward curve in quality has produced this, the pinnacle of their music. I could go on and on about each song, taking up a great deal of space pointing out where I get chills, or where the lyrics are no less than brilliant and beautiful. But the fact is, this album will probably be different for every person, and each person can pick out a song that has that same effect on them. If you do want to read more, head over to the Pitchfork review, which does a great job of explaining why this is so great in detail.

The majority of this is pop music, but it's pop that you've never heard before and what no one else can produce. It comes out today on vinyl, but you'll have to wait until Jan 20th if you're not part of the vinyl revolution yet. In any event, find a way to buy this album, because it's an achievement of music, and should be heralded as such.

-Chandler