Posts Tagged ‘Feist’

compilation #24, now on Mixpod…..


Florence + The Machine “Shake It Out”: unabashedly bombastic! Big ups for bringing it to my attention to my cousin Amber Caparas, a talented singer/songwriter in her own right (click HERE)

All Mankind “Simple Desire”: U2-influenced and lovely

Founds “Gypsy Horse”; Brisbane Australia sextet evokes Siouxsie And The Banshees by way of Taken By Trees

mailman john “Stop This Song”: just when the creepy tale get’s interesting, they “Stop This Song!!”

Mates of State “Maracas”: this band has gotten very slick in the 5 years since I first heard them….why it’s called “Maracas,” IDK…

Fallulah “Only Human”: yet another Scandinavian chanteuse, this one from Denmark. Has that hiccup that calls to mind Martha Davis of The Motels

Wild Flag “Romance”: a female indie supergroup, representing Sleater-Kinney, the Minders and Helium. 80’s-ish garage.

St. Vincent “Cruel”: much bouncier and more lively that her trippy “Surgeon,” which I also loved.

Remi Nicole “Rock N Roll”: an old one, from 2007, cuz it hit me just the right way…..

French Films “Convict”: quintet from Finland puts “French” in their name and sounds like California surf music.

Matt & Kim (w/ Soulja Boy and Andrew WK) “I’m a Goner”: you had me at Matt & Kim; now I have a fave Soulja Boy song and a favorite Andrew WK song!

ZakeE “Snakes”: he’s a DJ, so he “remixed” the ‘ish out of his own track. Give it a try or two.

Blitzen Trapper “Astronaut”: people think I’ve lost my mind; I didn’t like this 70’s country rock in the 70’s, but this Portland, OR six-piece soars.

Birdy “People Help The People”: a cover of a song I didn’t know with an angelic vocal by an unknown 15 year old. not unknown for long.

Gotye w/ Kimbra “Somebody That I used To Know”: this song tells a story like a movie, and now I want to see the movie! Kimbra triples an already great song.

Feist “How Come You Never Go There”: Feist. ’nuff said.

Ryan Adams “Chains of Love”: the most prolific recording artist of our time revisits his alt-folk/country origins…..

Cameras “Defeatist”: Joy Division -> Interpol -> Editors -> Cameras (from Australia)

Long Lost Sun “Right Light”: yet another boy/girl electronic duo, this one from South England. She sounds like Ellie Goulding, not a bad thing….


Feist “Metals” out 10/4/11; Ryan Adams “Ashes & Fire” out 10/11/11

Sometimes nice, quiet, gentle music is what hits the spot, and this month offers two terrific new CDs chock full of it.

Ryan Adams

Back around 1980, I remember saying “I like all kinds of music, except country and Irish.” Then Elvis Costello released “Different Finger” (and later the “Almost Blue” LP) and I could no longer rule out country music with a blanket decree (The Pogues soon did the same for Irish). Granted, any country you’ll find on my iPod is of the “alt-” category, like Brett Dennen or Ryan Adams. Adams originally won me over with “III/IV”, the massive set of only slightly country-flavored rock and roll he put out last year with his band The Cardinals. Only then did I go back and check out his awesome “New York, New York” which I had somehow missed during the 9/11 aftermath, when, I understand, it played in a fairly nonstop loop on MTV and VH1. That that song received a Grammy nomination in the rock category shows just how “country” he was, but he countrys it up a few notches on the soon to be released “Ashes & Fire.”

It’s a quiet, rainy day kind of album, appropriately starting with “Dirty Rain,” a melancholy tale of gunfire, broken glass and gasoline-fueled fire that somehow is still a pretty love ballad. I’ve read elsewhere that you’d think going home at night to Mandy Moore would cheer a guy up, but Ryan seems to focusing on the melancholy with “Come Home”, “Rocks”, and “Do I Wait”, all gorgeous tales of missing the one you love, supporting the one you love, and waiting for the one you love, respectively. There’s a generally sad but beautiful tone in all of them, even while their messages are pretty happy (though she’s “never coming back” by the end of “Do I Wait,” but he seems content to wait forever…then again, he may be rethinking that in the melancholy “Save Me” with “….by the morning, I will be gone.”) “Come Home” and “Save Me” feature background vocals by Norah Jones.

That tone is also evident in LP closer “I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say,” the title of which is a lie, since the lyrics more than say it profoundly. I predict this will be a favorite wedding “first dance” song throughout most of America’s heartland. “Invisible Riverside” would also make a fine choice in that regard, with lines like “I wanna lay my head forever on your shoulder, stay with me my love now and when we’re older, standing on the ocean we got nothing now but time.” “Kindness” (also featuring backing vocals by Jones) seems simultaneously an open letter to society (“If you’re so strong can you shelter the weak?”) and intimate love letter (“When it goes wrong, days come and gone, and it’s been said and been done, I will shelter you with my love and my forgiveness.”)
It’s nice to get an occasional break from serenades and soul searching, and the upbeat title track (in tone and tempo if not message) more than obliges, with honky-tonk piano and gee-tar twang. “Chains of Love” (no, it’s not an Erasure cover) is my favorite track and it’s pure pop, with lush strings and sparse piano notes. The lead single “Lucky Now”, released this summer, quickly becomes a breezy, strummy mid-tempo pleaser as well.


Leslie Feist may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was a fan from the instant I heard her, which I’m sad to say was well into her career with 2007’s “The Reminder” (she had me at “one….”) Her newest,”Metals,” never gets as peppy as her biggest singles, but there are some gems in there along with plenty of that quiet, pensive stuff. “The Bad in Each Other” starts the LP off with kick drum and hand claps, and buzzes with minor-key drone that borders on creepy. Somehow it’s very pleasant nonetheless. “Graveyard” is, simply enough, an ode to cemeteries, and it’s surprisingly cheery, with “Dirt and grass, a shadow heart; the moon sails past” leading to “Whoa-ah-ah-ah ah-ah, bring ’em all back to life.” “Caught a Long Wind” is another pretty tune, with Feist evoking the freedom of a soaring bird. “How Come You Never Go There,” leaked this summer, is classic Feist: a smiley, peppy reading of a sad story: “The room is full of eyes and empty like your letters never sent me; words like a lasso, you’re an instrumental tune.” It’s my favorite track of the set.

“A Commotion” sounds like an action movie soundtrack, which makes it somewhat out of place with the rest of the LP. Still, the pounding chorus guarantees that it will find its way to indie radio playlists. She channels Kate Bush beautifully in “The Circle Married The Line,” the track you’ll want to put on repeat when you first listen. Aptly titled “Bittersweet Melodies” satisfies as well, with a beautiful multi-tracked harmony and a neo-Burt Bacharach quality. Don’t ask me what Feist is selling in “Anti-Pioneer” with “Start with colours, they always get away with attitude but they’ll try to convince you of your mood. What you want they’ll give it to you but it’s only therapy; that’s all they do” and “When the flag changes colours the language knows; when the month changes numbers it’s time to go” but I’m buying it. This twangy dirge of a song would not be out of place in a David Lynch film, and that’s high praise as I see it. She’s been performing it in concert for years (see below, Vancouver 2007) but this is it’s first studio version. I’m hoping my yoga instructor adds it to her mix.

“Undiscovered First” starts out tentative, almost as if it’s a take they should have tossed, but it chugs along to become like a New Orleans funeral march with tambourine that’s actually played, not just shaken. “Cicadas and Gulls” is a lovely ode to two of the most annoying creatures on earth if you ask me! A simply plucked lone guitar and the multi-layered, much reverbed vocal combine beautifully. “Comfort Me” starts with a haiku, then deviates as soon as she calls attention to that fact. Still, it’s poetic and melodic in a Regina Spektor-ish way. LP closer “Get It Wrong, Get It Right” leaves you wanting more with its sparse but polished beauty. “Wind on the fields blowing your hair weaving gold…hand to hold.” Another one for the yoga mix I hope!

Telekinesis, A.C. Newman, Coconot and more…….

telekinesisWhen I defend my distaste for Top 40 popular music, I might often site a negativity towards the predictability of formulaic songs and production.  But I have to admit sometimes formulas work.  For example, Seattle’s Telekinesis (primarily a one-man show from Michael Benjamin Lerner)  has a perfectly formulated pop-rock gem with Coast of Carolina.  Nice melody with simple acoustic guitar intro, then punch in with some catchy electric guitar and drums at the 30 second mark and never look back.  The other demos found on their MySpace page also offer high hopes for this album, due out in April on Merge Records.

Stretching for a segue… Merge was founded and run by Mac McCaughan who fronted the legendary Superchunk.  Their drummer, Jon Wurster, plays on a majority of songs on…

tnp-acbeltsA.C. Newman’s new release Get Guilty is another solid outing from the primary New PornographerThere are Maybe Ten or Twelve is the song featured on his site, and it is a good one.  But digging deeper into the album, Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer is my immediate favorite.  It follows a percussive march like many of his songs, but with a little more exaggerated phrasing, and a fun drum fill from Wurster.

If you like his sound, and haven’t heard his 2004 release, don’t miss Miracle Drug (weirdly listed as Hello There) on his MySpace player.


Changing gears, I’m still trying to figure out exactly why I’m going to talk about Coconot.  Spanish alt-tropicalia-pop (is there such a thing, or does it need to be Brazilian to be considered tropicalia at all?) isn’t generally in my wheel-house, but something about this band has caught my interest.  My self-analysis provides the following possible reasons for mentioning them:

  1. As a service to the readers of this blog, who might be more ‘worldly’ than I am.
  2. I’m currently reading Roberto Bolano’s Savage Detectives, which is about a group of Mexican poets in the 70’s.  This kind of fits the mood… not to mention some of the book takes place in Barcelona, where Coconot is from.
  3. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities.
  4. I’m playing catch-up.  Last year I kept running across El Guincho reviews, but never followed up.  El Guincho is the solo project from Coconot leader Pablo Díaz-Reixa.
  5. It sets a tone for my upcoming trip to the Caribbean.  Okay, it isn’t Caribbean music, and I’m going to Jamaica so I should really be focusing on reggae or ska.  Guilty as charged… so here’s a quick ska link, The Night Doctors.
  6. They just sound pretty cool.  I suggest starting with the song Tao.

Finally, nothing new, but in the interest of ironic covers the Constantines, who showed up on my Cream of Eight comp paired up last year with Feist (who I’m sure could be found an old eddieo volume) to do Islands in the Stream.

man, those Apple commercials rock!

It’s no secret that Apple has great taste in music. Over the (4) years I’ve been making my indie rock compilations, Apple commercials have been the source of a number of discoveries. The Caesars’ “Jerk It Out”, Wolfmother’s “Love Train”, and Rhinocerose’s “Cubicle” all found their way onto compilations (numbers 3, 6, and 6, respectively, all here on the site, below….way below) after I heard them first on iPod commercials. More recently Yael Naim’s “New Soul” and MJB’s “Work That” got onto SXM 2008 the same way. Occasionally, I’ve been a bit ahead of Apple. Jet, The Vines, and Feist were on compilations before (maybe just days before) I ever heard them on a commercial.

The latest iPod commercial features The Ting Tings, which are featured on volume 11 with “Great DJ”, but Apple snagged the better song, “Shut Up And Let Me Go”

The Ting Tings

Katie White and Jules De Martino, who make up The Ting Tings, seem likely candidates for major US rotation when their CD breaks May 20th (MTV is currently streaming it free at The Leak, HERE). Is it rock, is it pop, is it dance? Who cares; just enjoy!

Some other faves from previous Apple ads:

Daft Punk – Technologic

Brendan Benson – What I’m Looking For

Propellerheads – Take California

Summer 2007 volume 9

I never wanted to stop listening to volume 8 (see previous post). While packing for August vacation, I slapped this together, no longer worrying about not repeating an artist or using a song that’s already on the radio. This turns out to be wifey’s and Alina’s favorite (some people like things to be familiar). I was happy to have a place to put some Albert Hammond Jr., whose CD came to my attention right after I burned volume 8.

Here’s a different track from his CD. It’s called “In Transit (Obstinate):

click HERE for a different player which also allows download.

Or, just right-click HERE for the player to play all of volume 9 (open in a new tab or new window) which will also allow you to download.