Thursday, August 31, 2006

City traffic puzzle...all points lead to The Hush Sound

I first head about Chicago band The Hush Sound through my good friend and fellow blog contributor, Kozma, and I have to say that I must remember to thank him for introducing me to this exceptional band. Their style is hard to pinpoint, as it ranges from alt rock to pop to folksy bluesy stuff but take it from me, it's all very, very good. Their songs are full of catchy guitar riffs, bliss inducing piano melodies and beautifully layered male/female vocals. The Hush Sound is truly a breath of fresh air in todays over-saturated music scene full of your run-of-the-mill Fall Out Boys and talentless Jessica Simpsons, but don't just take my word for it, take a listen and find out for yourself.

The Hush Sound - Crawling Towards the Sun - If you don't find this song incredibly catchy and enjoyable, you must be dead inside and, in turn, are now dead to me.

The Hush Sound - Momentum - Stop being difficult and just download it, one of my favorite tracks off of their 2005 debut album, So Sudden.

The Hush Sound Official Site & Their MySpace for more well-crafted pop-rock.

Monday, August 28, 2006


While checking out some street art online today I managed to stumble upon a great music video by Malajube, you havent heard of them because there from France. Their half live action half animation concept works surprisingly well, and inspired me to feed you with some other gems out there, and so we begin...

Malajube - Montreal -40C The video is fun, its in French, and makes you want to find a source to steal the bands album.
Kenna - Hellbent Ive loved this video since it first reached my hands a few years ago, my apathy disallowed my searching and listening to more of their music. Im sure theres a life message in this video, try and find it.
Genesis - Land of Confusion Ok, arguably, theres no animation in this video, but theres puppets, and they're really fuckin creepy. If you're five years old, your going to have nightmares.
Beck - Girl This is sort of a continuation of the Genesis theme, Not really animation, but its got some great effects, supposedly inspired by the Mad Magazine fold in.
Tool - Sober This video gets wierd somewhere around 00:07, buts its not until about 04:45 that your treated to your bizarre animated creatures.
Radiohead - Paranoid Android Its fun, its wierd, its radiohead, and American media felt it necessary to be censored. Enjoy.

BONUS FUN!! Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006!! This is absolutely amazing, and if you dont like it, I hate you. If the planets align soon enough, it will be turned into a video game or movie of some sort.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I just wanna dance...

As the title may already imply, this post is going to consist solely of songs that I consider to be so infectious that even your fat cousin Bertha and your 89 year old Grandmother Ethel would get off of their inactive asses and proceed to shake it like they've never shook it before. Now anyone who knows may will probably find this post odd, because, well, I don't dance. Ever. But if I did, these would be the tracks that would get me on my feet.

Ok Go - Here It Goes Again - ok, I'm sure most of you will recognize this song by the amazing choreography displyed in the ingeniously crafted video. Apart from the obvious pull that the aforementioned video has in the selection process, the song is catchy as hell and can stand alone on its own merit.
Head Automatica - Beating Heart Baby - Head Automatica is a power pop (which the perfect way to descirbe their blend of block rockin' beats) band founded by the lead singer of heavy metal musics Glassjaw. Go figure.
M83 - Don't Save Us From The Flames - M83 was originally an electronic pop duo from France consisting of Nicolas Fromageau & Anthony Gonzalez. After Gonzalez went Splittsville, Fromageau went on to record Before the Dawn Heals Us, which, in my opinion, is superior to previous two albums. This song is about a car crash, but the swirling synthesizers and the crashing guitars make for one pretty epic, catchy tune.
Daft Punk - Robot Rock - there are just so many Daft Punk songs that I wanted to include on this little mix. I'm going to cheat a little and let you grab these Electro-pop classics like Digital Love, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, and finally, Technologic.
Gnarls Barkley - Smiley Faces - Gnarls Barkley, was originally written off as a one hit wonder with their smash hit Crazy, but in my opinion, the real rump shaker on the album is Smiley Faces. It's catchy as all hell and the video features Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell.
Bloc Party - Banquet - Bloc Party is one of my favorite bands, so their inclusion on this mix is a biased. However, Bloc Party's blend of indie rock coupled with incredibly infectious beats makes this one completely worthy.
Cansei de ser Sexy - Let's Make Love & Listen to Death From Above - Given the fact that so many of you love my previous post of CSS's Music is My Hot, Hot Sex, I just had to include this little boogie down gem.
MSTRKRFT - Work On You - MSTRKRFT (or MasterKraft, for those of you who aren't hip) is an electronic music group started by Jesse F. Keeler, formerly of Death From Above 1979. The song inself sounds like it features vocals by one of the Transformers or the supercomputer HAL from Kubrick's 2001 (well, not really, but I wanted to throw at least one obscure reference out there before I end this post).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Beneath the broken branches of twigless trees lies a spacious hole for you to crawl in and die...

I would assume that at this point, anyone who visits this site with any sort of regularity must know that I like to comprise collections of songs based upon some kind of theme that ties them all together. Today is no different. Some of you may be confused with the title of today's post, yes it seems dark and twisted, but it perfectly conveys the mood of today's collection of excellent music. I love music that has meaning. Something that I can listen to that will evoke a certain emotion in me is one of the most incredible connections any fan could have with their favorite artist(s). Some of the most powerful songs, in my opinion, are the ones that can make you feel the pain that the artist felt at the time of writing whatever song you're listening to. So without further rambling, I'll just move on to some of the most depressing songs I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. (P.S. - the title to this post is from a poem I wrote and subsequently ended up just cannibalizing the good parts for use in other things, such as this post)
Radiohead - How To Disappear Completely - this song is probably one of the most haunting songs I have ever heard in my entire life. On a cold night, plug those awful ipod earbuds dangerously close to your ear drum, go outside and stare out at a lone streetlight or something, press play when the clickwheel rolls to this tune and don't be afraid to cry.
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - this song chronicles the story of a man who is trying desperately to hang onto the woman that he loves. he imagines them growing old together and dying in only a way that Jeff Magnum can. His lyrics quickly become very cryptic, however the emotion that is layered beautifully throughout the song remains intact.
Cat Power - The Greatest - this title track off Chan Marshal's brilliant latest release is crafted with such an intense sense of remorse and regret that Chan Marshal's incredible voice is really just icing on the cake.
Radiohead - Exit Music (For a Film) - Thom and company wrote this song after seeing the last half hour of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Thom stated that the end of the film made him cry, and the end result is an incredibly sad song. (On a side note, as you can probably already tell, Radiohead will be featured prominently in this post)
Sigur Ros - Untitled #4 - in all seriousness, I could include virtually any song by Sigur Ros, but this track off of their album ( ) (or two sausages kissing, as I like to refer to it as) is an epic, sweeping experience, from the low, moaning guitars and Jonsi's almost extraterrestrial vocals. I wouldn't be surprised if I heard this album being played in a funeral home.
Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone With You - yeah, I know. Sufjan Stevens is overhyped, yada yada yada. Believe me, I heard great protest from Kozma about the inclusion of this song, but I stand by my choice. And yes I know that this song is about God, but just pretend it's about some unrequited love and it instantly transforms into a very sad, depressing song.
Sia - Breathe Me - Sia has one of the most beautiful voices I've had the pleasure of hearing in a long time, and this song features her amazing vocals reciting some of the most heart wrenching lyrics in recent memory.
The Album Leaf - Over the Pond - this song captures a truly ethereal feeling, it embodies a unique "dream" quality, if that makes any sense to you. Jonsi from Sigur Ros is featured on vocals so it;s got that going for it. It almost sounds like he's saying "as soon as I look at you, I sigh" but I know that that's probably not entirely accurate considering he's singing in Icelandic.
Johnny Cash - Hurt - this cover of a Nine Inch Nails classic is absolutely devastating. The song is unbelievably powerful from the opening line, "I hurt myself today/to see if I still feel". I'm not going to lie, the first time I saw the video to this song, I cried. Literally jaw dropping.

That's all for today, I'm almost positive that Vol. 2 of this little collection will be hitting this site soon, so be sure to check back. As a bonus, I'm throwing in what could be one of the best hip-hop tracks I've heard in the past year...hopefully it will have the infectious beats necessary to lift you out of the "I hate myself and want to die" mood I've put you all in after the string of songs I've just posted, so hear it is, your uplifting track, Epic Man - More Is Enough (feat. Plan B)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Special Sauce Soundtracks, Vol. 2

After posting the first slew of Special Sauce Soundtracks I realized that I left out a few movies that have exceptional soundtracks. I was debting whether or not I should even mention them, however it's fairly obvious that I came to the conclusion that these soundtracks were worthy enough to validate a post. Anyway, here they are, Special Sauce Soundtracks, Vol. 2

Cruel Intentions - In my opinion, this movie isn't the greatest, but it's entertaining, which means that it's better than most of the drivel Hollywood tends to put out these days. The movie itself is just evil, rich kids manipulating each other, lots of sex, and a coked up Sarah Michelle Gellar as the puppetmaster, you really can't ask for much more, other than an awesome soundtrack, which this movie has.
Blur - Coffee & TV / Placebo - Every You, Every Me / Counting Crows - Colorblind / The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Clueless - I don't care who you are, you like this movie. it's okay, you don't have to be ashamed to admit it. It's funny and there's nothing wrong with that. And it features a pre-eating disorder Brittany Murphy. Oh, and it's got a killer soundtrack.
Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees / The Muffs - Kids In America
Office Space - Possibly one of the funniest movies ever made. if you haven't seen it, go rent it, it's worth it. But is the soundtrack really that great? Well, when a movie features a supporting character named Michael Bolton who loves gangsta rap, the soundtrack is awesome by default.
Geto Boys - Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta
American Psycho - Don't get me wrong, the book is infinitely better than the film, however the film is awesome in it's own right. If you haven't seen it (or read the book), it's about a wealthy yuppie (played by a very convincing Christian Bale), who does a lot of coke and murders people in a very brutal fashion. As for the soundtrack, it consists of Christian Bale's character, Patrick Bateman's personal collection. And anyone who plays Huey Lewis and the News while hacking away at Jared Leto with an axe is cool in my book.
Robert Palmer - Simply Irresistable
All of Wes Anderson's movies - I love all of Wes Anderson's movies and they are always full of top notch songs, so instead of picking just one of his movies I decided to lump them all together and give you a little sampling. Enjoy.
David Bowie - Queen Bitch / Seu Jorge - Life on Mars / Elliot Smith - Needle in the Hay / Sigur Ros - Staralfur / The Beatles - Hey Jude

Friday, August 11, 2006

This picture has nothing to do with this post

It sounds inhuman, but seriously anyone who starts hitting explosive devices with a sledgehammer deserves to blown up. If your sensitive enough to get at all up in arms about that, your probably another fat and lazy American who complains all the time, and will eventually be using one of these, if your not already. Keeping with the topic of stupid people, Mel Gibsons new movie Apocalypto has been reportedly dropped by Disney and is currently looking for a new distributor, for some reason Disney doesn't want to be aligned with bigots.

And now for some music you haven't heard or are about to hear again. Well start off with the a nice random track by The Pixies - Hey, because their awesome. The next two songs come from a band you should have heard of, but probably haven't. The Division group consists of Ben Kenney (Incubus, The Roots) and Neal Evans (Soulive) and Ashley Mendel. If your not already impressed with the idea of Kenney and Evans playing together, check out And How Are You and Finding Happiness Within Impending Doom. You might find a lack of production that you would otherwise be expecting from such a group of musicians, but they recorded it themselves in Kenney's kitchen, supposedly, so how much can you really expect.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Special Sauce Soundtracks

The purpose of todays post is to give some recognition to films that possess exceptional soundtracks. Now we all know that soundtracks have the ability to heighten the viewing experience by evoking certain emotions that are relevant to the scene. The process of carefully choosing songs that will fit and flow throughout a certain scene is a painstaking one. So to pay a little homage to great soundtracks, I've compiled a list of some of the greatest soundtracks of recent memory (complete with MP3's, because I know that's the only reason you bother to stop by). Disclaimer: I fully understand that some of you may not have seen some of these films, thus you may not be able to fully appreciate the songs in relation to the film in which they appear, but it's your own fault for not seeing them, not mine. So go take your cheap ass to Blockbuster.

1. Romeo + Juliet - The film itself, is a breathtaking piece of cinema in it's own right. leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes have an undeniable chemistry and the sheer uniqueness of the film is mindblowing. The cinematography is sharp, making the sun drenched beaches of Verona seem incredible. With this being said the best part about this film hands down was the music. But I'll let you decide for yourself.
Radiohead - Talk Show Host / Garbage - #1 Crush
2. Vanilla Sky - A surreal movie that was made by Cameron Crowe. So you don't need me to tell you that the soundtrack kicks ass.
Radiohead - Everything In It's Right Place
Sigur Ros - Untitled #4 (aka njosnavelin/the nothing song)
3. Donnie Darko - Donnie Darko is not only a great movie that everyone should see (#100 on IMDB's top 250), but it proves to us all that the 80's does have an awesome catalog of music.
Tears for Fears - Head Over Heels / Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart / Gary Jules - Mad World / Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
4. Trainspotting - Trainspotting is one of the few films that I dare to say is superior to the book (mostly because the book is near impossible to read) and the soundtrack that Danny Boyle and co. put together is stellar.
New Order - Temptation / Pulp - Mile End / Blur - Sing / Damon Albarn - Closet Romantic
5. Snatch - Guy Ritchie's superior follow-up to Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels is not only an adrenaline pumping ride that entertains to the very end, but has some great music as well.
Oasis - Fuckin' In The Bushes / The Stranglers - Golden Brown / Massive Attack - Angel / Huey "Piano" Smith - Don't You Just Know It
6. Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels - Guy Ritchie's debut film. Guy Ritchie is called the "British Tarantino" for two good reasons. One: Ritchie, like Tarantino, makes good flicks. Two: Ritchie, like Tarantino, has awesome music in the aforementioned flicks.
The Stone Roses - Fools Gold / The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog / James Brown - The Payback

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yoga, So hot right now

Yoga, we've all heard of it, only few of us have been dumb enough to try it, I am one of them. I admit, I felt surprisingly refreshed and healthy after my 90 minute session, but I was stretching in a 110 degree room for an hour and a half. Unless your a sucker like myself, save your money and spring for a 20 minute hot shower, youll get the same effect.

In case you havent been offended today, let me present you with this interesting little film: Gay Niggers From Outer Space. If your not yet offended, be prepared for some great dialogue from "Capt. B. Dick" and his son, "Arm In Ass."

Moving away from film, if you have wanted to see bloc party but were too lame to ever do it, you can be slightly redeemed by going here and downloading some live shows. Or if you wanna listen to some music youve never heard before, you can check out Pelagia. Self described as machine rock, whatever the fuck that means, there worth a listen.

Finally, Ill leave all you potheads with some encouraging news, German scientists have been testing their new Anti-Stupidity Pill to cure short term memory loss.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Swedes Please!

This post is going to consist solely of music from artists who call Sweden their home. I figured it was appropriate considering the fact that Koz and I are planning on going to Sweden in the spring. Now let me first just say that Sweden is home to a lot of good bands, The Knife, Jose Gonzalez, The Hives to name a few. The purpose of this post is to introduce these artists and many more. Although Sweden has had its share of worthy exports, its also home to a lot of downright awful music (death metal anyone?). The following MP3's offer a sampling of both the good, and the bad.

The Good:
1. The Knife - Heartbeats - The Knife is beyond words. They're a brother and sister duo who create beautiful electonic soundscapes. Their newest release Silent Shout has been compared to Radiohead's Kid A.
2. Jose Gonzalez - Crosses - Jose Gonzalez is a singer-songwriter who released his debut album Veneer in 2003 (2005 for me and the rest of my American brethren). He relies on nothing but an acoustic guitar and his often haunting voice to create memorable melodies. This song was featured on the season 2 finale of The O.C.
Bonus: Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats (The Knife cover featured in that Sony Bravia commercial) & Jose Gonzalez - Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
3. The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk - The Hives are basically the Swedish Strokes so you won't be disappointed. Bonus: The Hives - Here We Go Again
4. The (International) Noise Conspiracy - Capitalism Stole My Virginity - TNIC is loud, infectious rock & roll. True, they do have very Karl Marx-ish political views but it's not so overbearing that it makes them annoying.
Bonus: The (International) Noise Conspiracy - Only Lovers Left Alive
5. The Cardigans - My Favourite Game - Most people have probably written The Cardigans off as a one hit wonder when they released Lovefool, a pop song fluffier than a Nordic lamb. In reality however they are still around and have had a string of hit songs in Europe. Lucky for us The Cardigans have shed their cutesy 60's influenced retrokitsch pop and taken up bliss-inducing blend of rock and trip-hop.
Bonus: The Cardigans - I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to be Nicer
6. The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Big Time - I'm not all that familiar with Soundtrack of Our Lives. the only thing I really know about them is that they're from Sweden and they toured with Oasis in 2005. I will say that Soundtrack sounds a lot like 60's and 70's rock, The Who, to be more precise.

The Bad (or embarassingly good guilty pleasures, I don't judge):
ABBA - Gimme Gimme Gimme
Europe - The Final Countdown
Ace of Base - I Saw the Sign
A*Teens - Dancing Queen
Robyn - Who's that Girl? (some might disagree with Robyn being on the shit end of the stick so to speak, what with her latest outing being produced by The Knife and all but this song is just plain old nauseating)
and finally my personal favorite out of this mind-numbing collection of god-awful music...
Basshunter - Boten Anna and the video to this insanely idiotic piece of euro-dance trash. Watch the video if you want to laugh.