Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mixtape of the Dead: the IBNH Halloween Mix, Vol. 1

So Kozma and I were toying with different ideas for a mixtape when I told him that I wanted to do a Halloween themed one, for well, Halloween. I told him that I wanted to stray away from corny or well known Halloween staples (Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London comes to mind) and concentrate on including some really creepy tunes that would genuinely make your skin crawl. Needless to say, Kozma was immediately intrigued and we set about coming up with some really creep-tastic songs. I got so excited about the prospect of posting some of these songs that I told Kozma I didn't care if we had the songlist completed or not, I had to start posting them. So, here is the first installment of the Insert Brand Name Here Halloween Mega-Mix.

1. M83 - Car Chase Terror - the inclusion of this song on this mix is a no-brainer, if you've never heard this song before do yourself a favor and download it, then shut off all the lights, and listen to it at an obnoxiously high volume. I guarantee you'll be running for the light switch in no time.
2. The Knife - Silent Shout - The Knife is just bizarrely creepy no matter what, and this title track from their newest album is no exception. The distorted vocals and ominous rythmic beats and jarring electronic pulses make this tune not only scary, but instantly enjoyable as well. Here's the very strange video as well.
3. Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr. - I was debating as to whether or not I should include this song on the mix, partly because I don't know if it strays too far from the theme, partly because Kozma thinks he's a no talent hack. Needless to say, I decided to include it because this song is about John Wayne Gacy, the guy who entertained kids as a clown by day and chopped them up by night. This is one of those songs where your mom hears it in passing and says "Oh, I like that song", having no idea as to how utterly disturbing it is.
4. Talkdemonic - Manhattan 81 - this song has a instantly catchy hook, but beyond the playfullness of the song, there is an inherently unsettling quality to it that just begged to be put on this mix.
5. Q. Lazzarus - Goodbye Horses - anyone who has seen Silence of the Lambs will recognize this little ditty as the one that Buffalo Bill does his little penis-tucking I-wish-I-was-a-woman demento gay dance to. As if that wasn't enough to creep you out, the song is actually pretty chilling all by itself.
6. Radiohead - Kid A - this song features a very strange music box type thing leading the intro, as well as some seriously distorted vocals, and the unforgettable line "We've go heads on sticks", all of which culminates into one incredibly creepy song.
7. Tool - Schism - I can remember the first time I heard this song, I can remember being a little put off by it, generally because of the video that accompanied it. And those little claymation things that are buried deep inside the pale flesh of those other equally disturbing looking creatures sure are freaky.

That's all for this installment of the first annual Insert Brand Name Here Halloween Mega-Mix, make sure you check back in the coming weeks to snag all of the other creepy songs we'll be posting. As a bonus for today, I wanted to post two songs that easily could've been included on the mix, however I felt that they were either too obvious or sort of hokey in the sense that it didn't really fit in with the theme of the mix. Anyway, enjoy these parting tracks.

Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper (pretty much your standard Halloween song, but I still feel that more cowbell would've been plus)
The Jim Carroll Band - People Who Died (for a song that's as morbid as this one, it's still catchy and a lot of fun)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

VH1's You Oughta Know Artist is...just kidding

So I was watching VH1 the other day, possibly Flavor of Love or something equally trashy, and as the credits are rolling, this little side bar pop-up thingy appears under the headline, VH1's You Oughta Know: Artists on the Rise, and they're profiling Snow Patrol. Snow Patrol. Like they're some new hip band you better watch out for. As I'm watching I can't help but ask myself, "Hasn't Snow Patrol been around, oh gee, I don't know, like eight years!" Now don't get me wrong, I love Snow Patrol, but I couldn't help but think that the programming director/music advisor or whoever the fuck works there has to be moderately retarded. Now I have to worry about whether or not Zach Braff is going to include them on the soundtrack to his next installment of his Emo McHipster saga where he plays a charming, but afflicted, 20-something that is trying to "figure out what it all means" while falling for some girl who is a "slightly out-of-the-box" type because she does wacky things like sing in the rain or some equally annoying bullshit. Anyway, all of this culminated in me writing this post with the sole purpose of introducing you all to a band that actually is (well in my opinion anyway) an artist on the rise that hasn't been around for almost a decade and who we all haven't heard of yet. Introducing Surface.

The year was 2005. The place was Montreal, the birthplace of Surface (okay, I'm going to stop trying to type this up all melodramatic like). Taken directly from the bands website, "Surface was conceived as an outlet for musical experimentation." And it goes on and on. All you really need to know is that these guys create some heartfelt melodies, packed together with some very creative and ambitious sounds in order to create some very catchy tunes. If you lack imagination I suppose you can say that they're a cross bewteen Coldplay and Mogwai/Sigur Ros. Presently they've only released two EP's, however with the amount of critical acclaim that these guys are currently basking in, a major record deal and a full length album can't be far off.

Surface - Going Under

Surface - A Long Way Down the Landslide

Surface - Hide (highly recommended)

Since I'm feeling a little bad because even though Snow Patrol is a great band that has been around for years, I realize that some people may still be unfortunate enough to have never heard them. Although you should be ashamed, I offer a peace offering with these tracks from Snow Patrol. Enjoy.

Snow Patrol - Run / Snow Patrol - Hands Open / Snow Patrol - Same

And I have to end this post by posting yet another mp3, however this one differs from the rest due to the fact that it has nothing to do with any of the aforementioned bands. Or Zach Braff (thank God). This is a b-side to one of the singles off of Oasis' newest release Don't Believe the Truth, and it is really, really cool, so i would download it now, you wanna be indie hipster.

Oasis - I Can See It Now

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Regina Spektor

So many of you are probably already familiar with Regina Spektor, but for those of you who are not so well acquainted, here's a brief run down. Born in 1980, she is originally from Moscow, however she moved to New York with her family in '89. When she moved she was bombarded with the likes of the Beatles, Queen, Joni Mitchell and the Moody Blues. Luckily for us, from there she branched off into her own musical explorations and became what we refer to as today as a "singer-songwriter". Her first major break came in 2003 when she opened for The Strokes, and recorded the song, Post Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men. Since then she has recorded two full length albums that have received much critical acclaim. in short, she's a less whiny Fiona Apple, which means she's really fucking cool. Oh by the way, Koz and I are going to be seeing her tonight at Toad's Place, check back tomorrow (or possibly the day after, it all depends on how much school work I get buried under) for pictures from the show. Until then, download these tracks by Regina Spektor.

Regina Spektor - Fidelity
Regina Spektor - Ghost of Corporate Future
Regina Spektor - On the Radio

Sunday, September 17, 2006

If you're as cheap as me...

I heard of this website a long time ago, but, as it always does, apathy and laziness got the better of me. Fortunately I made the effort to go online and create an account with I'm going to go ahead and make the assumption that anyone visiting this website has no internal morality issues with downloading free music on the internet. With that being said, I can also conclude that you are cheap. The beauty of this website is that you can legally download music off this Russian based website and pay by the file size. The average full length CD in 192 Kbps costs roughly $1.50. And if your stateside, its an easy and cheap way to get your hands on discs that have yet to be released.

In other news, you can now hear the original version of The Marshalls Are Dead by Bloc Party that was cut off of their debut, Silent Alarm. It is by and far much better then the version that had been floating around the internet for quite some time, but thats just my opinion, check it out here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Artist Spotlight: The Kooks

The Kooks are a four piece band from Brighton, England (furthering my belief that 90% of all good music originates from either England or New York). The band takes their name from a song off of David Bowie's Hunky Dory. Their garage rock sound is reminiscent of The Strokes and The Libertines, however The Kooks' overall sound is a bit more playful. They craft some really catchy tunes that will definitely have you tapping your foot along with the beat in no time. Their sound has a certain honesty to it which makes it all the more appealing. The songs themselves are almost like little mini-anthems. They all exhibit a kind of sing-a-long quality to them, which is a good thing, since they never outstay their welcome. I was quickly won over by these four guys from Brighton and I'm sure you will be to, however these few mp3's are going to have to hold you over until their debut album is released stateside in (hopefully) October. Until then, salivate over these musical gems.

The Kooks - Naive (super-highly recommended)
The Kooks - She Moves In Her Own Way (highly recommended)
The Kooks - Sofa Song
The Kooks - Eddie's Gun
The Kooks - Jackie Big Tits
The Kooks - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Artist Spotlight: Tonight I'm watching TV on the Radio Return From Cookie Mountain

TV on the Radio is a band that hails from New York City. Unfortunately I can't really elaborate on what exactly they sound like, which is a truly refeshing thing to say. TV on the Radio is unlike anything I've heard before. they manage to capture the essence of so many genres of music, interpret those distinctions in their own way, toss it all into a blender, and pick out bits to craft their songs. Their diverse sound has earned them the label of an indie/experimental band, which in some circles translates into premature death, however one listen and you'll instant know that TV on the Radio is not a gimmick, and it certainly isn't some pimple-faced High School freshman sitting at home on a Saturday night screwing around with his Casio keyboard that he doesn't even know how to play. TV on the Radio is the real deal. There are five core members in the band, however they constaly record and play live witha vast circle of friends including Katrina Ford of Celebration and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. David Bowie has cited TV on the Radio as one of his favorite bands and even recorded back-up vocals for "Province" a track off of their newest release Return to Cookie Mountain. TV on the Radio's slowly-evolving tunes coupled with the instrumentation dynamics that they employ, along with solid lyrics make TV on the Radio certainly one to watch. Now some MP3's so you can see(hear) exactly just what I'm talking about.

TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me - this track is my own personal favorite track off of the new album. I highly suggest you check it out.
TV on the Radio - Dry Drunk Emperor - this song was recorded after Hurricane Katrina and is a jab at President Bush. It was made available free online at their website.
TV on the Radio - Modern Romance (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
TV on the Radio - Staring at the Sun
TV on the Radio - Dreams
TV on the Radio feat. David Bowie - Province
TV on the Radio - I Was a Lover
TV on the Radio - Blues From Down Here
TV on the Radio - Dirtywhirl

Today is 9/11 as I'm sure you all know. What transpired in New York five years ago was truly a horrendous act that affected the world. So, while enjoying the songs of New York band TV on the Radio, keep in mind those who lost their lives five years ago today. And if you're feeling generous, something to help you find the legit charities out there.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thats Hot! ...?

If your a Paris Hilton fan, you've somehow managed to direct yourself to the wrong website. On that note, if your not a Banksy fan, you may just become one very soon. His latest "guerilla art" attack was on Paris's new CD. You can check out a video of the disaster unleashed here.

Now that you've been educated on Banksy, its time for you to discover both Little Miss Sunshine and DeVotchKa, a four piece band from Denver. Should I post a slew of music from the band, yea, probably, but I'm not going to, You can preview them for free by sneaking into the theatre and Catching Little Miss Sunshine, because they provided the majority of the soundtrack. Youll recognize this song, How It Ends Real quick.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The artists licensing their music for financial gain mixtape!

We've all been in this situation before, you're sitting watching your favorite television show, maybe it's House, maybe it's Lost. Whatever it may be, if you're watching without that magical pixie we call Tivo, then you're sitting through obnoxious 4 1/2 minute plus commercial breaks. Every so often during these commercials, the advertisers employ a catchy tune in order to help sell their product. At this point your ears may perk up and at the close of the thirty second spot you're left wondering who it was you just heard. Well, today is your lucky day. I have compiled a mixtape in which I have included some of my favorite songs that have been featured in commercial spots. Most are relatively new, while some you might recognize from ad campaigns from a few years ago. Either way, it's all gravy, baby.

1. The Bravery - Unconditional - this song is off The Bravery's debut disc (and only disc thusfar) and it's catchy as all hell, which is probably while Saturn (the car maker) used it in its ads a few months ago.
2. The Caesars - Jerk It Out - if you've never heard this song, you've either been living under a rock for the past two years or so, or you're just a fucking retard. Anyway, this song was used for one of those Ipod shuffle commercials.
3. Razorlight - Golden Touch - Razorlight has been one of my favorites as of late. I really like their style and I can't really help it because their songs are just so damn fun. This song was featured on a Pontiac G6 commercial a little while ago.
4. Spoon - I Turn My Camera On - Spoon is one of my favorite bands, and this song was used for a Jaguar commercial relatively recently (it seems as if a lot of car companies are secretly run by obnoxious pseudo-hipsters in disguise).
5. Ben Lee - Catch My Disease - this laid back little ditty by Ben Lee (who bears a striking resemblance to E.T.) is featured in a currently running ad for Dell.
6. The 5, 6, 7, 8's - Woo Hoo - I assume that most people are familiar with this song, if not, then refer to my write up on #2 on the mixtape. This song is featured in those clever Vonage commercials as well as Kill Bill Vol. 1.
7. The Kinks - Picturebook - I know this one is old, like three years or so, but it's such a great song and it was used in such an ingenious ad campaign for Hewlett Packard's line of digital cameras and accessories that it just has to be included on this mix.
8. The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You - not only is this one of my favorite songs of all time, but it was also featured extensively in a bunch of General Motors commercials over the years (what exactly is this song doing in a General Motors commercial is beyond me). Apparently General Motors works at a local coffee shop (Common Grounds for the readers that are in my general vicinity), eats tofu burgers, drives a run down '78 Chevy Nova, and is currently "working on his music".
9. Grandaddy - The Nature Anthem - I'm sorry but unfortunately I lack the ability to post an mp3 of this song that was used for a Honda commercial, however, I dot have the very entertaining video for you!
10. The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize? - this song was in every commercial from 2002 - 2003. Literally. I don't remember which ad campaign used it the most ( although I want to say that it was a phone company, like AT&T).
11. Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon - this song is featured on most of FX's Rescue Me promos, which stars one of the coolest motherfuckers on the planet, Denis Leary. Oh, and it's a really good song.
12. Bloc Party - So Here We Are - I've said it before, Bloc Party is hands down, the best band to come out in the last few years. This song is featured in another Saturn commercial, but don't let the lameness of Saturn ruin this awesome tune.
13. Oasis - All Around the World - I don't know how much AT&T paid for this song, but the fact that all they use it for is the "all around the world" lyric at the very end of their commercials, leads me to believe that they're squandering a truly awesome song.

There you have it folks! Any complaints, praises, whatever, be sure to leave a comment. Until next time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Anti-Anti Artist Spotlight: Snowden

Those of you who were lucky enough to obtain a copy of my two-disc Christmas mixtape last year may recognize today's featured band, Snowden from Atlanta. They've been getting some press lately, due to the fact that they've finally released their debut album Anti-Anti. Having been familiar with this band for almost a year now I can easily rattle off a bunch of bands that they kind of sound like, Joy Division, Interpol, Editors, to name a few. However Snowden differs from these bands in the sense that they create an almost ethereal ambience to their expertly crafted songs. Everything here is swirling in heavy reverb that comes across as omnious at points. The somewhat off-key vocals at first seem gimmicky and disposable, however after a few listens it quickly takes on an irresistable charm. The complex rhythms and catchy bass hooks all lend to Snowden's immediate appeal. Snowden sounds like some sort of whacked out, LSD-inspired lullaby, and they lend themselves to becoming one of the greatest night-driving bands of all time. Snowden is definitely one to watch. And now, since you've patiently waded through my incessant ramblings, some MP3s to download, because I know that's what you're really here for.

Snowden - Black Eyes
Snowden - Victim Card
Snowden - Anti-Anti
Snowden - Stop the Bleeding

Bonus! The Snowden track that appeared on my Christmas mixtape Vol. 2: White Christmas & one more that didn't make the cut: Christmas Time is Here

Monday, September 04, 2006

R.I.P. Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin

Today is a sad, sad day. Steve Irwin, the man who fearlessly confronted many dangerous animals while shouting "Crikey!" for our viewing enjoyment, has passed away. A stingray stabbed him in the heart while he was filming a television special off the coast of Austrailia. I think that this incident has solidified my belief that all stingrays are vicious, evil hellspawn that must be exterminated from this Earth with the same kind of stone cold vigilanty justice that resides in their black hearts. Today, in tribute to one of the most celebrated psuedo-celebrities, Kozma and I deliver to you, The Steve Irwin Tribute Mixtape complete with songs that reflect the love of nature and it's creatures that Steve possessed. We'll miss you Steve.

1. Radiohead - Packt like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box
2. Goldfrapp - Deer Stop
3. The Beatles - Blackbird
4. The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses
5. Alice In Chains - Rooster
6. Mogwai - Glasgow Megasnake
7. Grandaddy - Stray Dog & the Chocolate Shake
8. Rogue Wave - Bird on a Wire
9. Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog
10. The Beatles - Rocky Raccoon
11. Dave Matthews Band - Ants Marching

Saturday, September 02, 2006

This is for you Jefferson...I just wanna dance Vol. 2

Our good friend Jefferson, over at I Am A Real American (or maybe now it's Coming Soon to a Blog Near You, not too sure which one he's using nowadays), considered the fact that the first installment of the "I just wanna dance mixtape" lacked any Kylie Minogue (see above) was downright blasphemous, so in order to compensate I figured that instead of just posting some Kylie Minogue hotness, I'd come up with an entirely new mixtape. So all you faithful readers can thank him for this, and be sure to check out his little corner of the blog-o-sphere. Enjoy.

Kylie Minogue - In Your Eyes - this is the song that our old war buddy Jefferson originally requested however he incorrectly reffered to it as "Spinning Around". Surely Jeff, you jest, by requesting a song you don't even know the title to.
Bonus Kylie hotness: Can't Get You Outta My Head / Love At First Sight / Come Into My World / I Believe In You
Annie - Heartbeat - this song is incredibly catchy, it really is dance-pop bliss. I honestly can't get this song out of my head. Annie is a Norwegian pop princess for lack of a better phrase, and this song was included on her debut album Anniemal. Oh and it was one of the songs featured on my Singles Awareness (Valentines) Day mixtape, so you know it's a favorite of mine, which means that in the two seconds it will take you to download this song, it will become a favorite of yours as well.
Bonus Annie: Chewing Gum
Goldfrapp - Ohh La La - apparently Goldfrapp translates into "Our songs can sell anything" due to the fact that their catchy dance tunes are being used in every commercial from Coca-Cola to Verizon. Either way, there's no denying that these songs are fun and extremely danceable.
Bonus Goldfrapp: Lovely 2 C U / Number 1
Ratatat - Seventeen Years - anything put out by Ratatat is awesome, so I don't feel the need to rant on and on about why I believe they should be included in the mix. You should just know by now. Ratatat is awesome.
Bonus Ratatat: Lex / Cherry
Cascada - Everytime We Touch - for some reason I just felt the need to include this song. I don't think that it has an ounce of redeemability in all of it's mid-90s-esque techno "dance" beats that sound like they originated off of one of those programs like Fruityloops or something, so I can't really give you a good reason as to why it's here.
Scissor Sisters - Comfortably Numb - again, no idea why this is here. Totally unneccessary cover of a classic Pink Floyd tune, but I thought it was mildly amusing due to the fact that it kind of sounds like a cross between the BeeGees and ABBA.
Dirty Vegas - Days Go By - this song, in my opinion, isn't the greatest, but it has it's moments. Plus the video is so fucking cool.
Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice - this is another song that I chose mostly because of the video. If you don't already know it features Christopher Walken. So you know it's totally sweet. I won't ruin the video for you if you haven't already seen it, but you won't be disappointed.
Bonus Fatboy Slim: The Rockafella Skank / Praise You (& it's equally entertaining video)

Well, that's all for today because frankly I'm lazy and I don't really feel like sitting at my computer for much longer, so until next time (insert your own life-affirming prolific message here).