Thursday, September 30, 2010

hey gang. so, i'm going to europe this afternoon. i'll be back on october 12.

far nearer

one of the xx gang. air france meets burial. here.

tallest man on earth : my journey to the sky (sister rosetta tharpe cover)

The Tallest Man on Earth from High/Low Film on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

phoenix : making of...(3 of 9)

band comments above.
producer comments below.

kanye west : lost in the world

the much buzzed about bon iver/justin vernon/kanye west collabo is here. and i'm not all that impressed. it's not bad. i just don't think it's that great. i'm glad j. vern got a free trip to hawaii and i smile at the prospect of the original song ("woods") getting some nice exposure to new audiences. but i'm just not really feeling this. maybe the album version will be better.

sometimes my worlds collide. other times they just graze each other. listen here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

morning benders : virgins

broken social scene : not at my best

new jam from bss done just for zach galifianakis. listen here.

plus a really nice little instrumental at the bottom.

phoenix : making of... (2 of 9)

band commentary above.
producer commentary below.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

kings of leon. come around sundown. 10.12.10.

Friday, September 24, 2010

jessie baylin : hurry, hurry (stream)

the shuffling drums and strings really make this quite nice.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

the walkmen : juveniles (live)

The Walkmen || Juveniles [3 of 3] from Ray Concepcion on Vimeo.

british sea power : zeus

never been that big of a bsp fan, but sorta feeling this one. plus, my greekness compels me to post any song that has any sort of greek culture reference.

harry potter : deathly hallows pt. 1 (trailer)


thanks to k-man for the heads up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

look at what the lights did now (trailer)

a doc about the making of feist's phenomenal album the reminder. looks great. watch a trailer here.

animal collective : bluish (video)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

glasser : ring (album stream)

definitely worth your time. this is really something special. could end up being one of my top albums of the year.

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deerhunter : halcyon digest (album stream)

listen to the new deerhunter album here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

antony & the johnsons : fletta (ft. bjork)

lovely. stream it here.

UPDATE: i guess it's no longer there. but rest assured, it was lovely.

delorean : real love (video)

smith westerns : all die young

hear a snippet of a new (and awesome) smith westerns song here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

deerhunter : desire

Deerhunter - "Desire Lines" by Some Kind of Awesome

les sins

toro y moi has a "dance music" side project in the works called les sins. to me it sounds a bit like toro y moi sped up without chaz's vocals. which is to say it sounds like dance music. give a listen.

matt & kim. sidewalks. 11.2.10.

morning benders : ram on (mp3)

morning benders :: ram on (paul mccartney cover)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

toro y moi : daytrotter session

chaz steps away from the synths and samplers and pulls together some instruments (and presumably some people to play them). listen here.

north highlands

do you like thao nguyen's voice? wish her songs had a more elven feel? try this.

no age : everything in between (album trailer)

surprising myself by how excited i am for this album.

walkmen : lisbon b-sides

The Walkmen - Orange Sunday by Weallwantsomeone

gayngs : one more try (mp3)

the gayngs gang have got a real "whammy" on their hands with this one. get it? because it's a cover of a george michael song. and george michael was in wham. classic.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

thoughts on "radioactive"

much to my surprise, a few people have asked for an opinion/outburst/diatribe from me regarding the new kings of leon single, "radioactive." the only reason i could imagine there being any sort of demand for my opinions on the subject is because, at one time, early in the band's career, i was a very vocal fan and a patron of their art, and that after their last and unarguably most successful and publicly well-received album, i became a slight detractor. fair enough. my opinion on the song: i think it's okay.

i mean, it's better than okay. as far as radio singles go, "radioactive" is enjoyable and catchy. it also seems like it will have a little less staying power than "sex on fire" and "use somebody," which i think is a good thing (not because those two songs weren't great pop songs [because they were], but just because, you know, enough already with those two songs. there's something unsettling about seeing a mom in her car with her children singing along to a song that has a lyric about getting road head). so yes, "radioactive" is a bit better than okay.

but it isn't great. and i think the main reason this new single doesn't get me all hot under the sheets like almost all of kol's pre-only by the night musical output did is because, like most all of the songs on only by the night, it lacks the "formula" that i (and i think many others) found so appealing in the band to begin with. the formula, you ask? 1. caleb's nearly inaudible marble-in-mouth-and-occasionally-screamed vocals and often nonsensical lyrics. 2. jared's always inventive but never overpowering bass lines (which were not only the backbone of the songs, but essentially played the part of rhythm guitar). 3. matthew's competent and perfectly complimentary (but typically ornamental) lead guitar work. 4. nathan's propulsive and rhythmically complex drumming. the formula was perfect. and every kol song that contained those four key ingredients (allowing slight degrees of variation for artistic growth) was destined for greatness. on "radioactive" (and on much of obtn), however, the only ingredient that remains a constant is oldest brother nathan's drumming.

caleb is now straight-up singing for entire songs. i miss his mumbling-to-yelling-to-singing-to-screaming method. it was reminiscent of isaac brock and kurt cobain, two of my favorite rock singers. and although caleb's newfound fondness for full-on american idol-style emotive delivery is not inherently a bad thing, in practice, it usually ends up being a pretty bad thing, mostly because you can finally understand his lyrics, which have taken a sharp turn for the worse in recent years (regarding a young lady's fellatio encounter with a well-endowed gentlemen: "a choke and a gag, she spit up and came back for more"...whoof).

youngest brother jared's bass work, once a cornerstone of the band's song structures, has become laughable. and he's such an inventive bassist, one of my favorite making music right now. so it breaks my heart to hear him play bass all mark hoppus/blink-182-like. the bass in all of kol's big singles thus far ("sex on fire", "use somebody" and now "radioactive") is just single-note strumming and if i'm this bored just listening to these riffs, it makes me wonder what joy a bassist as talented as jared could possibly get from playing them.

for kol's first two albums (and to a certain degree on lp3), cousin matthew has always been extremely adept at peppering songs with perfect and subtle guitar licks in just the right spots, giving the tunes their mood and tone. but now he sort of only seems to have one setting: edge. constantly trying to get that arena-level u2 feel out of his fretwork. and, like some of the other stylistic transitions the band has made, matthew's movie to big spacey guitar licks is not inherently a bad thing. but i do think that that change, maybe more than any of the others, has been the driving force behind the band's new sound. and it saddens me to see a band that had managed to find their very own voice so early in their career, a feat many bands spend close to a decade trying to accomplish, make the move to something so derivative.

and don't get me wrong, i like "radioactive." i like it more than almost all of the songs on only by the night. and i'm very hopeful that the new album will be full of stuff like this. but i'm still bothered by the fact that i can almost hear the skeleton of an aha shake heartbreak song in "radioactive" (in fact, the band said that this is one of the first songs they wrote post-aha, pre-because of the times). i can imagine multiple mumbled verses, some more intricate bass lines, some pulled back guitar work, some little yelps and screams. and when i imagine these things, i can hear a new favorite kings of leon song. a "king of the rodeo" pt. 2. but back in the real world, i hear a kings of leon song i like instead of a kings of leon song i love.

all that being said, i've listened to "radioactive" five or six times while writing this. and i'm liking it a bit more each time. also, i've always found a lot of value in listening to songs in the context of the entire album. so perhaps, in it's proper place, this song will make even more sense to me. but for now, i sort of feel like i'm left listening to a ghost. it's comforting to know that there's something there, but in the end it's really just a reminder of what used to be.
do you guys/gals remember this? i feel like grade school-era brown cub used to mope about unrequited crushes to this jam. a perfect pop song.

Friday, September 10, 2010

how to dress well : ready for the world (video)

i don't know about y'all, but i'm vibing so hard to everything i'm hearing from these cats. almost like a slightly less ominous/less clubby burial.

How To Dress Well - "Ready for the World" (video) from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

marnie stern : transparency is the new mystery (mp3)

marnie stern was always a powerhouse as far as technicality was concerned. looks like she's working her way towards the songwriting side of the spectrum. this song is great. feels like early metric, high school angst.

kings of leon : radioactive (video)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the tallest man on earth : like a wheel

the tallest man on earth :: like a wheel
the tallest man on earth. sometimes the blues is just a passing bird ep. 11.9.10. (out now digitally).

interpol : interpol (album stream)

listen over at the band's myspace.

i feel bad for this band. their debut was incredible. the follow-up good. our love... had its moments. this new one seems to have no moments. no real redeeming qualities or songs. i hear a band trying entirely too hard to write songs that aren't all that enjoyable.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

between two ferns : sean penn

chris martin : wedding bells

the get up and get down

just real excited about this site. focused on the individual, pouring his heart over and into the creations of his own two hands. a combination of things made, where to buy them, and (sometimes) how to make them. really cool.

this one is definitely on my to do list.

morning benders : all day day light (video)