Monday, February 25, 2008

Beach House

The new "dream-pop" is the old "shoegazing" which was the old "dream-pop". Two member Baltimore band Beach House are the current/ great example of dreamy, ethereal, intelligent pop music. Their new album, "Devotion", is released tomorrow... though maybe not in Canada. And that sucks because this is damn, damn fine stuff! One shouldn't concern themselves too much with the fact that singer Victoria resembles "Oh Sherrie" era Steve Perry in this video. I'm sure its just the strange lighting effects!

Video :: You Came To Me by Beach House

Song :: Gila by Beach House
Song :: Master of None by Beach House (from their self-titled debut... warning: awesome!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Video Overload

New music from Vampire Weekend, Black Kids, Band of Horses, The Mountain Goats and a old one from Sufjan Stevens (contest entrant):

The Drumming...
Video :: A-Punk by Vampire Weekend

Song :: The Kids Don't Stand A Chance by Vampire Weekend

The "Next Great Band"...
Video :: I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids

Song :: I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You by Black Kids
Song :: Love Me Already by Black Kids

The Pillow Thief...
Video :: Is There A Ghost by Band of Horses

Song :: Is There A Ghost by Band of Horses

The Literary...
Video :: Sax Rohmer #1 by The Mountain Goats

The Homemade...
Video :: Decatur by Sufjan Stevens

From the "lost bands of the 80’s" files...

Final obscure boxing references of the week... the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy’s “Best Way” contains the Greatest. Sample. Ever. I memorized and subsequently quoted this sample approximately 742 times in my life and I never tire of it. How could you? It’s philosophical, witty and just a darn pleasing/ pretty mantra to base your life on!!???!!

”Just keep punching, that's the thing to do.
Remember the words of the philosopher Ken Morgester, who once said:
"Failure is not falling down, failure is staying down".
And that's a good thought for this day, or any day.
Say, did you ever grab a wishbone and wish that the chicken you had just served had been tastier? Well that won't happen with Waybest chicken. Waybest is so superb you serve it with no regrets, no apologies. When you take a Waybest chicken from the oven golden-brown and mouth-watering to look at, you know it will delight everybody at the table.”

I can, however, be somewhat objective with my quotation love affairs. For example, if I can’t even find one reference to “Ken Morgester” online, just how much should I be listening to this “philosopher”. Also, I once met the Jazz Butcher himself, Pat Fish, and asked him if he ever grew weary of all the Lloyd Cole comparisons. He said no and then laid into Lloyd a bit by saying, bizarrely and incorrectly, that “Eva Marie Saint wasn’t even in “On The Waterfront”” (as referenced in LC and The Commotions' "Rattlesnakes"). On the Waterfront being a movie, of course, about falling down… but not staying down!

Rattlesnakes by Lloyd Cole and The Commotions

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Boxing Clever(er) - This is Teh Kid

Thirty-odd years ago I was the proud recipient of my Grandpa’s plaid housecoat. Though not at all shiny (or made of lame), I considered it the ultimate boxing accessory, immediately emblazoned it with “The Kid”, and commenced shadow-boxing and sneering my way throughout the house. But instead of my older brother quivering with fear, as I had naively anticipated, he just laughed at me. He pointed out that my little masking-tape job had inadvertently spelled out “Teh Kid” and, poof, my dream of boxing superiority vanished in an instant… quickly replaced by year upon year of fraternal “Tehkid”-based mockery.

But who’s laughing now I say? Because in addition to being a commonly misspelled word (by 10 year olds and adults alike!), “teh” (in place of “the”) appears to be gaining rapid modern-day slang momentum as it makes its way through the urbane lexicon. And here are a few examples to support my claim:

As slang, grammatical usage of the word teh is somewhat fluid. Besides being an alternate spelling of the, teh also has grammatical properties not generally applied to the; in general, it is used somewhat like an intensified “the”.

Furthermore, teh is sometimes used in front of a verb in a novel form of gerund. The best-known example of this is the word suck. Thus, the phrase "this sucks" can be converted into "this is teh suck."

And… in the techie world of elitist internet boards, “the frequent and consistent misspelling of the word “teh” has become both conventionalized and intentional”.

Video :: Boxers by Morrissey

Losing in your home town
Hell is the bell
That will not ring again
You will return one day
Because of all the things that you see
When your eyes close

Monday, February 18, 2008

Boxing Clever

One AM Radio is the work of Los Angeleno Hrishikesh Hirway. Though not particularly well known throughout the Globe (just yet) Hirway already has had one of his songs featured in a car commercial. I don’t think car commercials are the mark of selling-out they once were as, after all, one needs to somehow fund all those gadgets and equipment when you're out on your own. Also, it’s a Pontiac.

The One AM Radio/ Hirway songs seem simple enough on the surface but manage to evoke something quite a bit more (ala Loney, Dear). What I especially like about him are the captivating visual story-lines that accompany many of his songs and bring them to life. There is a video for “Witness” that is pretty interesting and features some late at night kick-ball action. And there is this one for “In The Time We've Got" that surrounds the world of female boxing, but of course is not actually about boxing (boxing is never really about boxing now is it?)...

Video :: In The Time We've Got by The One AM Radio

Song :: In The Time We've Got by The One AM Radio

"When night falls, there's an electricity in the air
on your bare arms that sings of what could be"


Saturday, February 16, 2008

We Missed You

I think members of Grandaddy, who folded last year, will be better off on their own. The stress of being really good but not ever "making it" was too much for their collective talents to handle.

The Beautiful South will be missed, though Paul Heaton is so talented, and he knows so many people who can back him, that his solo career is sure to thrive.

But some bands simply aren't allowed to call it a day. Like James. After James ended a remarkable 20 year run about seven years ago, singer Tim Booth did have a pretty decent solo venture. However, as a band they are truly magical - kings of the indie-pop anthem. And, thankfully, they have recognized this. New album release date: 04/07/08.

Video :: We're Going To Miss You by James

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moon Baby

Moonbabies, indie starlets from Malmö, have (surprisingly) had a bit of staying power with me... to the extent that I may just buy their CD one day! Their winning formula is their male/female vocal interplay and their ability to write a catchy tune - a product of the ten year union of Carina Johansson and Ola Frick.

Described as dream-pop, primarily I suppose because of their use of “moody” electronics and the way the vocals seem to hover on top of the “expansive” instrumentation, Moonbabies offer up some fairly straight forward tunes that seem to give off just enough quirk to make them intriguing.

"War on Sound" features solid drumming, some nifty bass and Grandaddy-type synths that pop up at the end. The video, complete with weightless ping-ponging and accidental floating in space (never a good thing), is as non-cheesy as a space-themed mini-flick-on-a-budget can be these days.

Video :: War on Sound by Moonbabies

Song :: War on Sound by Moonbabies
Song :: Sun A.M. by Moonbabies

Happy Valentine's Day

Video :: Valentine by Richard Hawley
Song :: Valentine by Richard Hawley

Song :: Valentine by The Replacements

"If you were a pill/ I'd take a handful at my will
And I'd knock you back with something sweet and strong
Plenty of times you wake up/ In February make-up
Like a fool and the morning star you're gone"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Geek Rock

Daedelus (of Fair Weather Friends fame) Live:

I wonder if he ever smashes his computer at the end of a set?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Re-issue, Re-package

Today is Morrissey CD Release Day. Yes, the Pope of Mope has released a Best Of album... during Valentine’s week!?! Yet another Best Of album that is. This one prominently features his "uninspired" years. Yet he remains a God - go figure?

So don't buy this (cause you already own all the songs). Celebrate the day, instead, with a former band member who still makes Relevant. Music. Shocking!?!

Modest Mouse, featuring ex-Smith Johnny Marr, make great videos and "Invisible" is a sure-fire keeper. And when the video's star, glistening-with-sweat boy, finally drops his little hacky sack... flabby-abed footie wannabes the world over punch their fists in the air with glee (like me!).

O.C. in the PNW

I'll never admit to getting into Death Cab For Cutie from watching The O.C... but damn that Seth knew his music!

Despite that I prefer Death Cab offshoot The Postal Service to Death Cab themselves, any link to this band can only be a good thing. Video filmed in Portland and Seattle, audio recorded in Vancouver and Victoria, this is Death Cab's Chris Walla (and friends) doing his best Steve Zissou impersonation in the straight forward single, "Sing Again"...

Video :: Sing Again by Chris Walla
Song :: Sing Again by Chris Walla

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hand in Glove

I've been lifting quotes from Mozzer for years... only for his words of supreme wisdom to perpetually fall on deaf ears.
Well hear you have it then... proof that "the sun shines out of our behinds". From no less an authority on the matter than them cheery green-vested fellers with the clipboards.

Song :: Hand in Glove by The Smiths

Sunshine Commercial

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

America: No igloos or R.O.U.S.'s

A vote for Mike Huckabee is a vote for preserving igloos...

Talking to Americans


Finally, I got to watch a Super Bowl south of the border. It is a Canadian's dream come true - getting to watch Super Bowl commercials (its a sheltered existence). Up here, the commercials are, for the most part, blacked out and replaced by more pedestrian (to say the least) offerings. Such as, no joke, this Hinterland Who's Who classic from my youth:

Video :: Beaver

Actually, the Beaver beats all those Go.Daddy dot com ads hands down.