Archive for February, 2009

volume 14 is up!

Allrighty! We’re trying something new, as musicwebtown is no longer a free service.

To the upper right of the page should be the ‘widget’. You should be able to play and download from there, and I’ll leave it there until volume 15 comes out.

Most of these tunes should be familiar from recent posts. A quick recap/rehash:

New Girl may, indeed, be a pseudonym of sorts. If you Google the title and artist, you find! I heard it on Passport Approved, which is the only (other) place to hear it, to my knowledge! “Grinding Halt” is on the excellent new Cure tribute, Perfect As Cats. PSAPP sounds like a Sesame Street band, but they’ve been on Grey’s Anatomy (I don’t watch; I heard them on internet radio). “My Love” is, thankfully, NOT a Paul McCartney cover, but a song I read about in the Boston Globe g section last month (the band gave me permission to post the song)! Frank Turner is huge on BBC6, and rightly so. Cut Off Your Hands should have been on volume 13….I forgot! Fight Like Apes ROCKS!, and they were really nice to me via email. Ida Maria, a Passport Approved favorite, is worth investing in her whole CD. CSS is a band I should have been listening to long ago, and I’m trying to make up for lost time. The Ettes: been around since 2004 and true to their mission…pure raw garage, female style. Animal Collective is audio acid, like Fleet Foxes, only good. “Trash” by The Whip: write this down: “the song of the summer!” (I can always edit that out if I’m wrong) Johnny Foreigner sounds totally different that that title would lead you to believe. Thank you Indie 103.1! Morrissey has a new CD out, but you don’t need me to blog about that; instead enjoy this Moz sound-alike, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Oh, and Lily Allen’s BACK!!!!!

Well, that’s not what I meant, butt…..

Matt and Kim are another Passport Approved find. My friend Charlie inspired me to unearth the Santogold(it’s over a year old) which somehow I’d passed over while posting “Say Aha” and “Shove It”. Ra Ra Riot, a five-piece featuring a cello and a violin will stick in your head (read their history on Wikipedia) ….and the M.I.A., which is from Slumdog Millionaire, has been in my head since seeing that terrific film some months back. The Music For Animals CD won’t be out for a month or so, so I hope i don’t get in trouble for leaking it. My lovely wife says the Calvin Harris jam sounds like Flight Of The Conchords. I think she means that as a dis, but I really like FOTC! And be honest, you readers that are friends of mine never heard of Peter Bjorn And John till I put “Young Folks” on volume 8 in January 2007, months before Boston radio (or TV commercials) picked it up.

Anyway, that’s the “short” story on volume 14. Enjoy, and comment, please!

Oh, BTW, we’re now on…..


Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Iran, Soft Pack, Portasound, Dinosaur Pile-Up

2009 seems to be taking off at a quick pace for new sounds.  I already feel like I’m playing catch up to pass along some recent finds.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart are definitely getting some attention.  This Brooklyn band has been most reasonably labeled as shoegaze, with My Bloody Valentine references aplenty.  Though I was never a huge Smiths, or more accurately Morrisey fan, their vocal phrasings remind me of his; and they work against the Pains’ hurried, fuzzier-than-Johnny Marr backdrop.  Everything With You being the most evident of this description…

iran1Staying in Brooklyn, I Can See the Future (download it here) by Iran has me keen to hear more.  The band’s controlling force appears to be Aaron Aites, but its most recognizable member is guitarist Kyp Malone, vocalist/guitarist from TV on the Radio which makes the song I Already Know You’re Wrong sound very familiar.

softpack11Moving to San Diego, the Soft Pack (previously known as The Muslims until very recently) put out an eponymous album last year under their old moniker.   I have no idea why I make this reference, but I think these guys are what I was hoping Vampire Weekend would be:  clever, edgy, somewhat educated sounding garage rock.  VW let me down by being a little too educated (?) and a little less edgy/garagy.  Soft Pack seem to hit that mark for me.  Pick any song on their MySpace page and enjoy.

And a couple of tidbits…
Fun Song of the Moment: The Wrong Parade by Portasound.  Song #1 here.  If you like it, you can download it here for free… after signing up/logging in.

Rock-Out Song of the Moment: My Rock N Roll by Dinosaur Pile-Up.  While you’re there, definitely check out Love is a Boat and We’re Sinking… shows they may have more than one dimension.  I’m keeping my eye on these guys.

The Whip, Johnny Foreigner, PSAPP, The Ettes, Animal Collective…..

How the heck have I missed The Whip?

I’m reminded that what drove me to internet radio and ultimately to my own blog was how lame and retrospective Boston radio has become (hello FNX….how much Pearl Jam do you think we need to hear??). Anyway, I was listening to Indie 103.1 yesterday, which was non-stop and commercial free (holiday weekend? I’m guessing). The first few songs I heard were, in fact, retrospective, but not lamely so (some Pixies “Bam Thwok” to break up the inevitable U2 and Pumpkins). When the “new” stuff played, I wasn’t sure it was new, or maybe some great chestnut I had missed (due, again, to our lame radio stations).  Before I knew it, I was continually running upstairs to read the song/artist display on my Roku. I kick myself to discover that “Trash” has been out at least since the summer.  The Whip’s MySpace page labels them as “Electronica / Pop / Disco House “, which describes many of the tracks, but not “Trash”, which rocks as hard as anything I’ve heard out of Manchester. Listen; enjoy; discuss.

Danny, Lil Fee, Nathan and Bruce

The Whip are Danny, Lil Fee, Nathan and Bruce

When I read the artist/title “Johnny Foreigner: Salt Peppa and Spinderella”, I thought it might be a malfunction, as there were no audible hip-hop references, but a quick Music ID check with my Crackberry confirmed it.

Johnny Foreigner, from Birmingham, UK

Johnny Foreigner, from Birmingham, UK

Listen to the “Salt Peppa…” song on the MySpace page…I’m sure you won’t be at all surprised it’s my cup of tea…really, predictably so…then at about 2:16 in, it goes for the all out finish, like someone remembered to plug in the guitars. That makes me look forward to more stuff from them.

I’m not sure how to take PSAPP. Their MySpace page looks like something a crazy cat lady designed, and the songs on the player seem like they’re geared to Sesame Street-aged kids. That said, the cut I heard, “The Monster Song” is perfect for quirky, poppy, female-vocaled, oddball indie. You’ve got to get a ways into the crudely animated video before it’s apparant that it’s not, after all, for children, featuring cameo performances of animated skulls, nipples and blood. Watch anyway:

They’re just a duo, as so many cool bands are these days, and from the London area, and I do like the simply childish songs on the MySpace page too. Oh, and Psapp is pronounced “psapp”.

Psapp is Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann

Psapp is Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann

The Ettes have been around a while, though never on; while ther’s no shortage of retro-soul female vocals out there right now, retro 60s garage female vocals – or what The Ettes call ” beat-punk” is a bit rare. They’ve been doing it since 2004, and their latest CD, “Look At Life Again Soon”, out now, promises more beauties.

Poni, Coco, and Jem

The Ettes: Poni, Coco, and Jem

I love every song on the MySpace Page, including “You Can’t Do That To Me”, “I Get Mine”, and “Marathon”, but the one that grabbed me on Indie 103.1 was “Crown of Age”, for which I could only find the video:

There’s too much to Animal Collective for me to even begin a blog post. If you’re not already familiar with them, check out the MySpace page and listen to the new song from their forthcoming CD, due March 23rd, “My Girls” (come to think of it, go listen even if you ARE familiar with them); then, if you want the whole, strange story, go read it on Wikipedia. Strange pseudonums, animal references, and virtuoso melody combine in a nicely wired way. If Fleet Foxes sounded more like this, I’d like them.

Animal Collective

Animal Collective

Here’s the video, in case you’re lazy: