This is just a quick heads up that Wilco has posted a new song on their website. It's a Woody Guthrie cover, a song called "The Jolly Banker." Not really sure how I feel about it yet really, but it's free so go check it out.
"Highly Suspicious", the third track of of My Morning Jacket's latest release, Evil Urges, has become notorious for it's frightening 80's feel, James' overuse of falsetto, and the band's infamous back-up vocals, not to mention the repetitive use of the lyrical line "peanut butter pudding surprise".
But now, thanks to Stereogum, we can give you this remix by VHS Or Beta, and it is delicious, maybe even more so than a peanut butter pudding surprise. Enjoy!
Wilco's seventh studio album, set to be released June 30th, will be titled Wilco (The Album). I must admit, as a Wilco fan, I definitely have some preoccupations about this album. For a band that created some of the best albums of my lifetime, including Being There, Summerteeth, A Ghost Is Born, and especially Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, it seems now like they might be a little bored.2007's effort, Sky Blue Sky, had its moments for me but was generally lackluster. They seem to be giving off an aura of uncaringness, and that's fine by me, I'm not out to judge them, but I am a little disappointed because of the profound effect they've had on me as a music listener. Either way, I'll be sure to give it a few listens before I cast judgement upon it, but it's hard for me to imagine that Wilco (The Album) could ever be cool as their previous efforts. Below is one of my favorite songs off their 2001 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and the prototypical Wilco song in my opinion.
One guy from Vampire Weekend and one guy from Ra Ra Riot have a band. The band is called Discovery. Right now they've only got two songs. Thing is, these two songs are spreading like wildfire across the internet. The information age of hyper-awareness is hard at work. Take a listen to "Osaka Look Line," and enjoy the ultra-pop shimmer of Discovery.
Thanks to one of our readers, Mindy, for the heads up on this one. In response to my post about us Guilfordians having connections to Justin Vernon, Mindy so kindly let us know about some pictures and a video over at VolumeOne of Vernon's performance with his old high school jazz band. I must say that the flute solo in "Lump Sum" melts my soul. There's a reason this band is in the Essentially Ellington finals, and I wish them the best of luck.
These eighteen albums have made a lasting impression on me in one way or another since I began exploring the music collection of my parents years ago. They're in no particular order, just a collection of albums that, from start to finish, never get old. You can click on the images in order to see an enlarged version.
Albums of the Past (from top left to bottom right)
These nine are albums that I listened to as a kid; most of them were played for me by my parents. And man, nothing reminds me of middle school more than Weezer.
The Allman Brothers - A Decade of Hits The Beatles - Abbey Road The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five Eric Clapton - Unplugged Hootie & The Blowfish - Cracked Rear View Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill Led Zeppelin - House Of The Holy A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)
Albums of the Present (from top left to bottom right)
Although they're not necessarily very current, these are albums that I've been playing recently. Most of them are my favorite artists of the moment.
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes Nick Drake - Pink Moon Panda Bear - Person Pitch The Postal Service - Give Up Radiohead - In Rainbows Wilco - A Ghost Is Born The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I
Much like Hoge's previous post, I'm feelin' summer creepin' up with this good weather, and that means the windows have to go down and the bass has to go up. At least for me. And for that, I figured King Geedorah could provide us exactly what we need. Something about MF DOOM makes rap ok: Gettin' paid like a biker with the best crank, sprayed like a high ranked sniper in the West Bank. King Geedorah- Anti-Matter (ft. MF DOOM & Mr. Fantastik) iTunes / amazon MF DOOM's MySpace
Emotional indie problem child, Sufjan Stevens, has a weird name. I'm pretty positive that it's pronounced "Soof-yawn," but I've heard variations from "Suff-jan" to "Sue-gen." Growing up with a name like that, you'd think the kid would've done anything to have a different name. Well, it turns out that he once had the chance to change it! Huh? Weird. According to Pitchfork, Sufjan recently wrote a little blog post to accompany the release of an unheard track, "Sofia's Song." Topics include his name, his childhood, and songs about days of the week. He gets a little sappy, and there are a few parts of the post that seem tounge-in-cheek, but then again we are talking about Sufjan Stevens.
Along with the 19th installment of Song o' the Week comes a really great LOL moment. The song o' the week has been a brief hiatus, but I'm glad to say it's back. Until I run out of material. Anyway, this is a Radiohead-themed post, so I hope that's not a problem. Donovan and I had the pleasure of seeing Marissa Nadler a while back, and her voice is just as haunting live as it is in studio. Which fits "No Surprises" perfectly.
Now to the real reason for the post. Donovan pointed out that when Conan started in 1993, his musical guest the first night was none other than Radiohead. What makes this great is not only young Conan, but check out the hair on Thom.
Happy 30th birthday to Dave Portner, better known as Avey Tare from the eclectic and dynamic Animal Collective. Avey's lead vocals are truly gorgeous, in a freak folk kind of way, and I personally enjoyed seeing him and his bros. live in New York this past January (although we'll never hear the end of Bishop not enjoying the show in Brussels this March...) We here at fork/knife are happy that the band has been receiving some much deserved publicity of late, and are sure they'll continue to prosper in the future. Below is a video of one of Avey's finest moments.
So I've raved about Ryan Lott's solo project, Son Lux, a few times here on f/k, but this time I have a thumpin' mp3 to go along with the claims.
For some reason J.C. Penny sponsored a CD of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" covers. The original, which was written for the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club, was performed by the Scottish new wave band Simple Minds. It has appeared on many Television shows, in many movies, and has been covered my many bands, but this version done by Son Lux, is by far my favorite.
Whatever you do, don't quit before 1:15! Oh, and feel free to crank it up!
We've made it to 300 posts! It's not that exciting, but it's between 100 and 500 so I thought I'd point it out. I don't think we'll stop any time soon, and to celebrate I thought the song "Don't Stop Now" was fitting, along with a random Streets song that has frequented my iPod of late.
William Fitzsimmons, who, for some reason, reminds me of Brian Posehn, is a budding folk singer/songwriter with an interesting past. His latest record, The Sparrow And The Crow, follows his own divorce, and has, coincidentally, pushed him to new heights in the music world.
You can check out a few songs off his new record here. I have also included an mp3 below, which you all should check out.
I bought the self-titled debut album from Women on a total whim, with no idea what to expect. I'm still not sure what I got. It was released in October of 2008, but I can easily imagine it as a lost gem from an earlier time. Women sounds like 60's pop, with punk and psychedelia influences galore. I can tell you virtually nothing about the band, except that it's made up of four guys and no women. That's okay though, it only adds to the hazy mystery that makes this album so appealing.
Well it turns out all the rumor were true, and Lolla actually has Depeche Mode, Tool, The Killers, and Jane's Addiction listed as headliners, which is unfortunate because the rest of festival has some amazing bands playing. Here's the poster for it, and if you don't want to try and read that small font head to the website for a legible list.
It's doubtful whether you will be getting f/k coverage of Lolla this year, especially considering I made a vow to myself to not be in the same state as Asher Roth. Here's a little tune from one of the bands you can't read.
Michael Angelakos, Lead Singer of Passion Pit Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Weinberg
Passion Pit busted onto the scene in '08with their infectious EP,Chunk of Change. Now in 2009, they've got a full-length album coming in May and a whole bunch of attention. Here's what keyboardist Ian Hultquist had to say about the new album, Wilco, and the Top 40.
f/k: How'd you come to be a member of Passion Pit? What's your role in the band?
Ian: I had known and played in several bands with Michael for a couple of years before he started writing as Passion Pit. He did a show that was just him singing along to tracks on his laptop. To be honest, I wasn't very impressed with the performance, but I had already grown really fond of the music. I confronted him and asked if he would want to take these songs to a live band setting. We eventually got some friends together and started from there.
I am the guardian angel/ parent of the band. Haha! Just kidding...well, half. On stage I play keyboards and guitar, but off stage the rest of the band calls me "mom" or "dad" because of my absurd inclination to responsibility.
f/k: In an earlier time, pre-internet, Passion Pit may never have gotten as big as you guys have become. On the other hand, it seems like relentless attention from the masses could really drive someone nuts. What's it like to be the center of so much hype?
Ian: It's amazing to see our names mentioned in such important and influential places like Pitchfork or BBC, but we are all extremely aware of how short-lived and fragile something like this is. I think that we all do a good job of appreciating it, but not reading too much into any of it. I've seen too many movies where the fame just goes to someone's head, and then everything goes to shit. I don't want to be in that movie.
f/k: Your new album, entitled Manners is due out May 19th. What can you tell us about it? And how does it feel to be waiting for the album to come out?
Ian: When Michael started writing the songs for Manners, I felt like his songwriting had matured at least five years. I was very impressed by it. I think the record will show that we are capable of more than electro-pop. That's actually a big reason I'm really anticipating it being released. As much as I love MGMT & Hot Chip, I think that the comparison we get to a lot of those bands will fall by the wayside.
f/k: The band has plans to tour pretty extensively in support of Manners. What's a Passion Pit show like?
Ian: Well, they vary. In the UK a Passion Pit show consisted of somehow finding a way to squeeze all of our gear on to a small stage as fast as possible (except for KoKo, that place was enormous), only to have the power go out on stage. Some of the US shows have been known to be pretty similar, some go smoother than others. To be honest though, some of the ones that are rushed like that end up being the best shows.
f/k: As a band, you guys are very, very young. How have you grown as a band during your existence? Any growing pains?
Ian: I'd like to think that we've grown as a band. I think the biggest thing is that we've grown as people, and have become extremely close with one another.
The growing pains have come in the form of decisions we've had to make. This current line up of Passion Pit is not the original, and that was not an easy thing to achieve.
f/k: Passion Pit has deep roots in the pop music genre. What are some personal influences? Have any favorites that are playing on the Top 40 stations?
Ian: I think Wilco will always remain as my favorite band. Between Jeff Tweedy's songwriting and Nels Cline's guitar playing, they've had a huge influence on me as a musician.
As far as top 40 goes: Beyonce
f/k: What's something no one knows about Passion Pit?
Ian: Ayad, Michael & I are all actually guitar players. We didn't really start learning how to play keyboards until we joined the band. Passion Pit on MySpace
As much as I hate to admit it, the first time I'd ever seen a Quentin Tarantino movie was this past December, when my most marvelous mate, Chandler, showed me Reservoir Dogs. Ever since, I have been hooked.
Just the other day, as I was walking to the nearest dining establishment on campus, I overheard the most famous song from the most famous scene in that movie, "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel. And just because of that, I have decided to share this brilliant song with everybody.
We grow amazingly close to Record Store Day, a day for all to honor record players and the "good ol' days." However, there are actually some pretty amazing releases coming tomorrow. Among the artists releasing brand new live CDs are My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Cold War Kids, Grizzly Bear, Pavement, Iron and Wine and Rivers Cuomo, among many more. Akron/Family, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Modest Mouse, and the Decemberists. Finally, Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be releasing their new album tomorrow on LP, and it's from what we hear, it's a real return to form from them. More importantly, this is a chance for everybody to honor their local record stores by going out and purchasing some great new music made available to you by artists who really care about the record business. I urge everybody to go out and buy something, and if you don't have a record player, then buy that on Record Store Day, and it can be the greatest Record Store Day of all.
If you haven't heard of The Helio Sequence, consider this an introduction. They're a duo; one guy sings and plays guitar, while the other drums and triggers electronic samples. Sound futuristic? While some might place them on the edges of "space-rock," I think it's easier to think of them as a satisfying mix of electronic and rock music. Here's a song from their latest album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, one of my favorite albums of 2008.
If you haven't watched any Eastbound and Down, you should boot up the ol' HBO on demand or find a friend that has it, because it's definitely worth watching. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it's fantastic for the right audience. Having finally seen the finale I can officially recommend it, and I can also say I'm very glad that it managed to get picked up for a second season. In addition to it's rather adult comedy, it features some great toonage to the sounds of the Black Keys, Junior Senior, The Animals, and Shawn Lee. Anyway, I thought I'd give a short little plug for the show, and take the opportunity to post a couple of the songs, which oddly enough both contain the word "sky".
You might remember these goofy looking dudes for making that song, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl." JET, the Australian rock band, is back. They've got a new album coming out, and judging from their site, it looks like they're headed towards a sound with even more rock. The band has posted a song from the upcoming album on their site, check it out and see what you think.
For the past three years, I have only heard good things about This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin, but it wasn't until recently that I finally got around to reading this smashing book.
I probably should have waited to write about this after I finished the book, but I am half-way through and I am loving it, so I couldn't wait! Levitin takes you through the different stages you go through in hearing, interpreting, and analyzing music. He explains how composers exploit the way our brains make sense of the world, why we emotionally attach to music we listen to as teenagers, why numerous hours of practice - not talent - makes virtuosos and how songs get stuck in our heads.
The best part about the book, is although Levitin discusses a fair about of neuroscience and music theory, he makes it accessible to everyone. I could go on and on about all the amazing things he discusses and how many times he has mind-fucked me, but I'll let you guys experience that for yourself when you pick up a copy...which you should.
Epic. Nothing describes the following song better than epic. And that fact is, why wouldn't you want your cruise to be epic? You wouldn't, would you? This song is the longest cruisin' song to this point, but it's basically impossible to tire of it. And we all know the greatness that is Yo La Tengo. If you don't, shame on you. It gets the head a'rockin' all through the song.
"a stunning achievement filled with beautifully convoluted, yet highly orchestrated sounds and textures"
As I was listening to this album today knowing that a review was imminent, I began panicking, simply because I don't know how to describe this. It's electronic music, sure. But beyond that it's open to interpretation. Here's how I would describe it: It's like the soundtrack to a film of a child's birthday party, but sped up like action scenes in old movies, and accompanied by a large array of instruments struggling to keep up with the tempo. If I've turned you off by this description, it's not my intention. The point is: this is one of those times where you listen to something and you don't know what to make of it because you haven't heard something quite like it before. When in the split second between songs you think "What the h did I just listen to?" and before you can answer, another song, equally as complex, starts to take off. After listening to the album opener "Build Voice," you should be able to tell if you will love the album or not, because the energy in it never really stops throughout the album's entirety. Standout track for me: "Snookered." This song is pretty much 8 minutes of bliss, and if someone offered me the chance to make the second half of the song my background music for the rest of my life, I might have to take it. Deacon's voice is altered and used in unconventional ways throughout the whole album, but on "Snookered" it really shines to create something magical.
There isn't really a bad song on here, so bottom line: get this album. It's headphone music, walking music, and dancing music all rolled into one giant ball of energy and fantastic chaos. It's a little rough around the edges and at times can seem a bit abrasive, but give it some time and it should sink in. It most certainly has for me.
Today in St. Paul Minnesota, the temperature is 61 degrees. Holy crap. After a winter of demoralizing length and frigidity, this beautiful weather feels even more amazing. The sun is finally warm and all of my winter layers can be left in the closet. With thoughts of summer, I've decided to post two of my favorite hip-hop songs in my library. They're from the independent Los Angeles rap-duo , People Under the Stairs. These guys are true old-school. They construct their beats using strictly old records, and never keyboards. Even better, they rap almost exclusively about enjoying life with family and friends, a refreshing message. Check out their newest album here. Take a drive in the sun, take a listen to these songs.
This song is a song that I've been listening to pretty consistently since about junior year of high school. It's technically by Handsome Boy Modeling School, but Cat Power (above) provides the buttery vocals that make this track great. Everything about this song is smoky and relaxed; the drums and bass are woven together so well that you start to wonder if they'll ever be able to stop. If the song doesn't hit the spot the first time, keep it around. I bet there'll be a time when it does. It makes me miss the days when Cat Power actually had a voice and wasn't forty years old. Sigh.
I've been listening to a bunch of Sonic Youth lately, so I just wanted to make sure you all know about their upcoming release The Eternal set to drop June 9th. You can pre-order the album here starting in a couple weeks, upon which you will apparently get an instant stream of the album. It seems like it's going to a great effort, and an LP will get you a nice big version of the cover art.
You can preview a couple of the songs here. I must say, it sounds pretty good. As a side note, they put on a great show, so go see them the next chance you get.
Although the world has seen more and more indie music leaking into commercials nowadays, I have to admit I was pretty surprised to see "Sprout and the Bean" as the background to a commercial for push-up bras. Victoria's Secret may be debuting their softest push-up ever, but I think they're probably also debuting their best background music ever as well. This coming on the heels on the news that Joanna debuted over two hours of new material, and it's official that Joanna's mini hiatus is over. Who knows when we'll get to see that new material? '09? We can only hope. As for the commercial, I actually think the song works? I'm not sure... Video from Stereogum.
Well, I've taken a little more than a week off from blogging, and most likely my posts will be few and far between until this semester is over. To compensate, I thought I'd just do a bunch of quick posts that don't take much time, just so our faithful readers don't think I'm abandoning them. I haven't been listening to anything new lately, just a lot of Person Pitch. So it's not like you're missing out on anything. Anyway, I thought I'd start my series of quick posts with this Tom Waits song, because it just sounds too cool to pass up, and I feel like it should be played over opening credits to a movie as action happens in slow-mo. Maybe not though.
UPDATE: Thanks to one of our readers, it has come to my attention that the song actually is in the opening credits of a movie already: "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead." Having not seen the movie, I cannot comment on it's validity or it's use of slow-mo. I guess I'll have to find another song to play over the slow motion opening credits in my movie, which currently doesn't exist.
This week's cruisin' song is one of the most soulful of the bunch. It is the epic album opener for Black Mountain's album In the Future, which is a ballin' rockfest. Although it has its moments of heartfelt balladry, the riff is just too skull crushing to be denied for cruisin' song. Another one of the bunch where there is significant real life cruisin' experience on my part. Head-banging is also mandatory whilst the riff is in progress.
As Friday swiftly approached, I was constantly reminded by my fellow peers that I should check out a concert happening at Castaways. With no other plans, I decided to take their advice to go see Revision, a local Ithacan band.
A few of my friends who are from Ithaca had been raving about Revision, but in the back of my mind I was thinking to myself, "How good can they really be?" Well ladies and gentlemen, I can honestly say that that concert was one of the best I have ever seen in my life, and I have seen greats such as Radiohead and My Morning Jacket.
Revision is made up of three Ithaca College graduates, so they know what they are doing when it comes to writing and performing music. Their music weaves in and out of a plethora of genres, making it accessible to any and every listener. I feel bad summing up this band's creative work in just a few sentences, but due to time and space constraints, I must. Revision has built up a library that showcases their innate ability to make complex rhythms, melodies and chord progressions into something that not only is listenable, but outright danceable (and genius, if I must say so myself). As soon as they have you convinced that a song is going in a certain direction they instantly change it, but it is always for the better. With all that being said, the greatest part of their music is how well they know each other as musicians, and how flawless their live jams are; once they break out into a full-blown jam, the music transcends anything else you've heard and their god-like on-stage presence is immediately felt.
In short, you must see this band live. Must! I'll leave you with a few links and an mp3, but please support this band, they deserve it! They have also just released their newest album, Jekyll And Hyde, which can be previewed and bought by clicking on the "Revision Store" link below.
There are few artists today who have amassed as prolific a body of work as Tori Amos. She will be releasing her tenth studio album on May 19, entitled Abnormally Attracted to Sin. She apparently put on a great set at SXSW a few days ago and her musical drive shows no signs of slowing down as time passes. She's certainly a technically proficient singer and an inventive songwriter, but I personally feel as if her songs might slightly be losing the edge she may have had as a younger musician. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, as edgy and old don't always mix fantastically. I just feel there might be a part of the woman who sang "I believe in peace, bitch" that's missing nowadays. Anyways, this track is fairly lively, and Tori is still putting out albums better than 90% of musicians do.
Remix #12 is a song from the band Why? The remix was done by Dntel, one of my favorite beat scientists out there, you can read more about my love for him here. In the meantime, check out this song. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, the lead singer of Why? has a laid back, drone-like voice that reminds me vaguely of that dude from Cake. Dntel adds subtle drums and washed-out keyboard to give this track much more momentum and texture than the original. See what you think!
Amy Winehouse is a disaster. The drugged-up singer famous for singing about rehab was diagnosed with emphysema last year, which means that her singing career will probably be short lived. Despite everything, Amy is apparently working hard on a new album that may possibly be released in '09. She gets a lot of flack, but I think Winehouse is severely underrated. A walking mess? Yes. Headed towards an early death? Likely. She's still got an amazing voice.
I have no idea what I am going to post about, I just realized that the fork/knifers have been very lazy this past week. Since I have recently rekindled my love for Bon Iver, I will post my favorite Take Away Show of his! Enjoy!
Everyone here at fork/knife absolutely loves music, and we hope that you do too. If there's a particular artist that you're liking, then we recommend you support them and go buy their music and/or go see them in concert.
If you're an artist or you represent an artist and you wish for any of your songs to be taken down, email us at the email above and we'll be more than happy to comply and remove it.