31 January 2009

Covers and compilations galore

I went out to Starbucks this morning for some much-needed caffeine and to pick up, Sweetheart '09, which came out yesterday. It's good, even though there are a couple I could do without.
1 Death Cab For Cutie - "Love Song" (Cure cover) [deleted mp3]
2 Katy Perry - "Black And Gold" (Sam Sparro cover)
3 DeVotchKa - "Hot Burrito #1 (I'm Your Toy)" (Flying Burrito Brothers cover)
4 Department Of Eagles - "Love Me" (Elvis Presley cover)
5 Jessica Lea Mayfield - "Words Of Love" (Buddy Holly cover)
6 Ben Bridwell - "Your Love Is Forever" (George Harrison cover)
7 Kate Tucker - "I'm On Fire" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
8 Rogue Wave - "Maps" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
9 A.C. Newman - "Take On Me" (a-ha cover)
10 Jem - "Yellow" (Coldplay cover)
11 Richard Hawley - "Early Morning Rain" (Gordon Lightfoot cover)
12 Daniel Martin Moore - "I Hear Music" (Billie Holiday cover)
13 She & Him - "I Put A Spell On You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins cover)
14 Lila Downs - "My One And Only Love" (Frank Sinatra cover)

As you all may know by now, Dark Was the Night comes out on the 17th in the US. Another compilation with an impressive track listing by some great artists.
1 Knotty Pine – Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2 Cello Song (Nick Drake) – The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3 Train Song (Vashti Bunyan recorded, written by Alasdair Clayre) – Feist + Ben Gibbard [deleted mp3]
4 Brackett, WI – Bon Iver
5 Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
6 So Far Around the Bend – The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
7 Tightrope – Yeasayer
8 Feeling Good (popularized by Nina Simone) – My Brightest Diamond
9 Dark Was the Night (Blind Willie Johnson) – Kronos Quartet
10 I Was Young When I Left Home (Bob Dylan) – Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 Big Red Machine – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 Sleepless – The Decemberists
13 Stolen Houses (Die) – Iron and Wine
14 Service Bell – Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 You Are The Blood – Sufjan Stevens

1 Well-Alright – Spoon
2 Lenin – Arcade Fire
3 Mimizan – Beirut
4 El Caporal – My Morning Jacket
5 Inspiration Information (Shuggie Otis) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6 With A Girl Like You (The Troggs) – Dave Sitek
7 Blood Pt 2 (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) – Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8 Hey, Snow White (Destroyer) – The New Pornographers
9 Gentle Hour (Snapper) – Yo La Tengo
10 Another Saturday (traditional song) – Stuart Murdoch
11 Happiness – Riceboy Sleeps
12 Amazing Grace (traditional song) – Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 The Giant Of Illinois (Handsome Family) – Andrew Bird
14 Lua – Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 When the Road Runs Out – Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 Love vs. Porn – Kevin Drew

And coming out on the 24th in the US, is War Child: Heroes Vol. 1.
1 Beck (Bob Dylan - “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”)
2 The Kooks (The Kinks – “Victoria”)
3 The Hold Steady (Bruce Springsteen – “Atlantic City”)
4 Hot Chip (Joy Division – “Transmission”)
5 Lily Allen feat. Mick Jones (The Clash – “Straight To Hell”)
6 Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The Ramones – “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”)
7 Franz Ferdinand (Blondie – “Call Me”)
8 Duffy (Paul McCartney – “Live And Let Die”)
9 Estelle (Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”)
10 Rufus Wainwright (Brian Wilson –“ Wonderful & Song For Children”)
11 Scissor Sisters (Roxy Music – “Do The Strand”)
12 Peaches (Iggy Pop – “Search And Destroy”)
13 Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen – “Take This Waltz”)
14 Elbow (U2 – “Running To Stand Still”) [deleted mp3]
15 The Like (Elvis Costello – “You Belong To Me”)
16 TV On The Radio (David Bowie – “Heroes”)

28 January 2009

May I present...

The 4 guys that make up The Muscle Club formed in 2008 in Cardiff, South Wales, and not to be assumed as all that similar to Los Campesinos!. Give 'em a listen. This first track is a great one.
Damn These Circumstances by The Muscle Club [deleted mp3]
Making Bets With Strangers by The Muscle Club [deleted mp3]
last.fm| Facebook

Spinning Wheels out of Portland, Oregon have an album coming out soon on Aviation Records. According to Nicholas, these guys have very few common musical influences and they would like for folks to donate socks when coming to their shows. I really have no idea what that's about...
Moonshine by Spinning Wheels [deleted mp3]
Allergy Season by Spinning Wheels [deleted mp3]

Last one for today is an indie pop duo coming from NYC. Gladshot is the band I mentioned the other day that appeared in a video for Adbusters, which you can see here. Made up of Debbie Andrews and Mike Blaxill, their latest release, Burn Up and Shine came out in October 2008.
All I Want is You by Gladshot from Burn Up and Shine [deleted mp3]
He Was Gone by Gladshot from Burn Up and Shine [deleted mp3]
website| iTunes| Amazon| last.fm

26 January 2009

Is it Friday yet?

I'm ready for a do-over of the weekend. This is what happens when I stay up till 3 in the morning thinking and reading, have a bad day at work, then have to rush home to take a test and submit a paper for my online classes. Oy.
I chose the image above after I got a submission from a band that was featured in an Adbusters video. If you've ever heard of the Buy Nothing Day campaign that happens every Black Friday in the US, then you've heard of Adbusters. I'm one of those that don't believe in amassing material possessions. Heck, I still have guilt for having an iPod and a cell phone. It can seem to contradict being a member of DSA. But at least I can say that I'm over 30 and still have my stubborn ideals.
I won't politic anyone to death, and I know I have some posts to do on a few great bands. I will get to that very soon, but it won't be tonight. And since my brain is almost to the mush point, I'll just share a couple songs from one of the better albums that came out in 2008, Midnight Organ Fight, which I was listening to practically all day at work today. I come from a family that is very proud of the Scottish roots, but that really has nothing to do with these guys getting themselves on my list of favorite bands. But I would really love to see them do a show...in Scotland.
If you don't have this album yet, I highly suggest you go get/download it. There's a song on there for everyone, and the lyrics will tug at you and get stuck in your head for days.

Old Old Fashioned by Frightened Rabbit from Midnight Organ Fight [deleted mp3]
Backwards Walk by Frightened Rabbit from Midnight Organ Fight [deleted mp3]

25 January 2009

Here we go again

I'm not sure what's going on over at Boxstr, but once again, uploading to them is just not happening for the second time this week. It's frustrating to say the least. If I had the know-how I'd set up a FTP, but alas, it's like a foreign language to me.
The links to mp3's below is the best I can do for now.
I really should get working on a paper I have to start writing, but in the mean time some good artists gettin' some attention.

Throw Me the Statue on the Secretly Canadian label (yes, the same one that brough you Antony and the Johnsons) has a new album, Purpleface, coming out on 2/17/09. This adds to their first full-length album Moonbeams and the About To Walk EP.
Lolita by Throw Me the Statue from Moonbeams [deleted mp3]

The Small Cities out of Minneapolis released a 4 song self-titled EP back in May. No word yet on when a full-length will be coming out, but the EP is a great listen in the meantime.
Trust Me, I'm Not a Stalker by The Small Cities [deleted mp3]

Seattle natives, Grand Archives released their first self-titled album back in May off the Sub Pop label.
Torn Blue Foam Couch by Grand Archives [deleted mp3]

Butch Walker, already a seasoned artist, released Sycamore Meadows late last year, after the masters of other recorded songs were destroyed in a home fire. You can keep up with what's going on with Butch via his blog.
The Weight of Her by Butch Walker from Sycamore Meadows [deleted mp3]
Ships In A Bottle by Butch Walker from Sycamore Meadows [deleted mp3]

White Lies, which I'm sure most of us have heard about by now are getting a lot of love and not so much love from various sites. IMO there's an unwarranted comparison to Joy Division, and while it has a good pop feel to it, it tends to lack lyric-wise. Their first album, To Lose My Life was just released in the UK.
Unfinished Business by White Lies [deleted mp3]

24 January 2009

Hometown: The D

4 down, 22 more to go. I'm trying to keep these as diverse as I can without just posting every single indie/alternative/singer-songwriter/etc. I have in iTunes.
Short on words, long on tuneage. There's writing and reading to get done for class.
Caskets by Damien Jurardo from Caught in the Trees [deleted mp3]
Northern Soul by Darker My Love from 2 [deleted mp3]
What in the World by David Bowie from Low [deleted mp3]
The One I Love by David Gray from Life In Slow Motion [deleted mp3]
Song For The Road by David Ford from Songs for the Road [deleted mp3]
All Is Full of Love by Death Cab for Cutie from The Stability EP [deleted mp3]
The Crane Wife 3 by The Decemberists from The Crane Wife [deleted mp3]
No One Does It Like You by Department of Eagles from In Ear Park [deleted mp3]
Red and Purple by The Dodos from Visiter [deleted mp3]
Iron Mask by The Domino State from Iron Mask EP [deleted mp3]
Words by Doves from The Last Broadcast [deleted mp3]

image from here

23 January 2009

Get Guilty

I haven't been downloading the range of albums released this past Tuesday. Just one. And I love it.
A.C. Newman's Get Guilty is everything I hoped it would be when I got a first listen of "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve". The New Pornographers it's not, but why should it be?
No sophomore slump here.

There are Maybe Ten or Twelve... by A.C. Newman from Get Guilty [deleted mp3]
Submarines of Stockholm by A.C. Newman from Get Guilty [deleted mp3]

Official site| Amazon| iTunes

image from last.fm

Blind Pilot

Blind Pilot are an indie pop band out of Portland, Oregon made up of Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski, et al. They released their first album, 3 Rounds and a Sound in August 2008. These guys recently went on tour along the west coast...by bicycle. No, really, they did, hauling everything on their bikes with them. And their album certainly has the same energy and consistency. There's nothing lacking here and I suspect we will be hearing a lot more from this band.

Oviedo by Blind Pilot from 3 Rounds and a Sound [deleted mp3]
I Buried a Bone by Blind Pilot from 3 Rounds and a Sound [deleted mp3]

Wordpress| myspace| Facebook

20 January 2009

It's been a long, a long time coming

Pre-released text of his excellent inaugural address here
So, today we celebrate and remember where we were when history was made.
Tomorrow, we roll our sleeves up and, as historian Mike Davis put it, "take a break from patriotic celebrations and incantations of 'hope' and return to rescuing the survivors from the wreckage of the Bush era." We have a long and hard road ahead of us.
A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke [deleted mp3]

19 January 2009

Much-needed day off

For those of you, like me, who got today off, congrats! Whew, I needed it. I have a bad habit of procrastinating, especially when it comes to writing papers about bs I really don't want to write about. I realize somewhere down the line it might help me, but that still doesn't mean I have to like it in the here and now.

So it's been just a little over 3 months since I started Eldur og Ís with the intention of giving some more attention to the underdog, so to speak. Yeah, I have a thing for the underdog. Blame it on my blue-collar roots and my Detroit inferiority complex, eh. Kidding...sort of.

On with the tuneage...
Back in November, Stelios of Popsense.com did a review of A Little Bit of Both, the debut EP from Johanna Samuels, and he was kind enough to share it with me. After 2 or 3 listens all the way through, I have to say that Ms. Samuels voice and her songwriting are both outstanding. This is some good indie pop/folk. Unfortunately, you won't find this album available at Amazon or iTunes (yet), but if you visit her website, you can get the 10-song EP for $5. You can't beat that nowadays.
While you're at it, give Popsense.com a look-see, as well. Trust me, it's good reading and good tunes. I wouldn't link it here if it wasn't.

Say The Word by Johanna Samuels from A Little Bit of Both [deleted mp3]
I Want to Write a Love Song by Johanna Samuels from A Little Bit of Both [deleted mp3]

myspace |Facebook

17 January 2009

Cold, cold, cold

It's still very cold out, and it's snowing again. As it does every time this year. But most of us still continue to complain about it as if there's anything to be done about it. Just comes with the territory...literally. It's going to be around for a while still, and when it's over we can proceed to complain about the heat and humidity. Might as well make the best of it, somehow. Like staying in and enjoying some good tuneage.
She's The One by Caribou [deleted mp3]
Ride by Cary Brothers [deleted mp3]
Is This Love? (Live at Lollapalooza 2007 by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah [deleted mp3]
Hang Me Up To Dry by Cold War Kids [deleted mp3]
The Scientist by Coldplay [deleted mp3]
Brimful Of Asha by Cornershop [deleted mp3]
The Sinking by Crystal Stilts [deleted mp3]
Expectations by Cut Off Your Hands [deleted mp3]
Pictures Of You by The Cure [deleted mp3]

image from Brian Germain

16 January 2009

David Ford

Meet David Ford. I'd never heard of him till yesterday after checking my inbox (thanks, btw), but after listening to 4 or 5 songs, I was blown away. That's saying a lot coming from me. This guy really hasn't been getting the attention he should be here in the US. There could be a comparison to David Gray in here, but Ford's songs are much more brutally honest. "State of the Union" from 2007's I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble That I've Caused will no doubt leave most Americans thinking he wrote this song about our Bush years, but there's much more to it than that. Even maybe a rallying cry, perhaps? Either way, I think it's brilliant.
2008 saw the release of Songs for the Road. With songs like "I'm Alright Now" that Ford says has a character he can relate to in going through the ups and downs in life - minus the part about drug addiction. "Go To Hell" is a song just about all of us can relate to, about having that one person in our lives who just won't go away, no matter how many times you tell them to...go to hell. "Song for the Road" I have to say is one of my favorites on a personal level. Whether you prefer the guitar version as seen on YouTube during an appearance on Carson Daly or the piano in the album version, if you've ever had to spend a significant amount of time away from the one you love, then you'll get the point.
There's certainly no covering up or sugar-coating on any of Ford's songs, and you can certainly tell from the lyrics that this guy doesn't write a song with hopes of topping any charts. He just writes them, which makes listening to them all that much better.

State of the Union by David Ford from I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble That I've Caused [deleted mp3]
Go To Hell by David Ford from Songs for the Road [deleted mp3]
I'm Alright Now by David Ford from Songs for the Road [deleted mp3]

Official website| iTunes| Amazon| last.fm

13 January 2009

Right Away, Great Captain!

Right Away, Great Captain! is a side project of Manchester Orchestra's frontman, Andy Hull. The Evenutally Home, the second album in a planned trilogy was released back in November 2008. The first installment, The Bitter End, was released in 2006.
Hull plays the role of narrator in telling the tale of a 17th century sailor who catches his wife in a compromising situation with his brother (ouch!), contemplating revenge with growing madness, while finding his way back home.
Keep in mind, this is not MO Part 2. RAGC! has been getting a lot of comparisons to Conor Oberst and is much more acoustic and lo-fi than MO. If anything, these recordings bring out Hull's amazing songwriting talent

The second full-length album by Manchester Orchestra, Mean Everything To Nothing, is due out in the spring.

I'm Not Ready To Forgive You by Right Away, Great Captain! from The Bitter End [deleted mp3]
Devil Dressed In Blue by Right Away, Great Captain! from The Eventually Home [deleted mp3]

myspace|itunes|favorite gentlemen label|last.fm

12 January 2009

Filligar: Near or Far

Three brothers (Teddy, Pete, and Johnny) and their friend (Casey) make up the indie band, Filligar. These Chicago natives currently in college in New Hampshire and New York already have 4 albums under their belts; their most recent, Near or Far, released in late 2008.
Casey describes their sound as "a little like MGMT meets Wilco meets The Rolling Stones." Can't go wrong there, eh?
A quick search on the internets, and it's easy to see these guys have a good-sized loyal following. Listening to their previous work, you can hear a nice progression and maturity in their sound and lyrics. There's no lack of musicianship or energy here.
Some stand-out tracks off Near or Far, "No I Won't" and "Lot Six" being my favorites:
No I Won't by Filligar [deleted mp3]
Nightfall by Filligar [deleted mp3]
The Willows by Filligar [deleted mp3]
Lot Six by Filligar [deleted mp3]

Band website|iTunes|Amazon|last.fm
image from last.fm

10 January 2009

Local indie finds

After The Money Is Gone are 3 guys from Berkley, Michigan.
Hours by After The Money Is Gone [deleted mp3]
Only Thing Here by After The Money Is Gone [deleted mp3]

The Darts are an indie rock band from Lansing, Michigan. One of their members just recently passed away over the holiday season after a long battle with cancer.
The Rose by The Darts [deleted mp3]
Inside(Outside) by The Darts [deleted mp3]
Dancy Number 19 by The Darts [deleted mp3]

Buried under snow

Nice (slightly out of focus) shot of the Luisenplatz in Berlin where my uncle just returned from after celebrating the new year in Deutschland. Ja, I'm jealous.
Now we move on to the B's. Last two songs are just 2 of my absolute favorites. I'm really looking forward to a new album from Basia Bulat, whenever that may be.
All Our Mothers and Fathers by Bell Etage from We Carried The Sunlight Down To The Day [deleted mp3]
Shiftee by Broken West from I Can't Go On, I'll Go On [deleted mp3]
I Need A Life by Born Ruffians from Red, Yellow & Blue [deleted mp3]
Fling by Built To Spill from There's Nothing Wrong With Love [deleted mp3]
No More by Black Flag from Damaged [deleted mp3]
Time Won't Let Me Go by The Bravery from The Sun And The Moon [deleted mp3]
Orphans by Beck from Modern Guilt [deleted mp3]
Nantes by Beirut from The Flying Club Cup [deleted mp3]
In The Night by Basia Bulat from Oh, My Darling [deleted mp3]

09 January 2009

Starting from the top

Thought I'd try something a little different here.
Anyone else who takes the time and effort to keep a blog that anything related to music knows how hard it can get to keep up with things. The majority of us aren't like Stereogum, Rock Sellout or The Music Slut. This is just something we do on the side because of our love/obsession/addiction to good music.
There aren't going to be any album or concert reviews or such here because, well, I suck at critiquing anything and very rarely will I go to a concert (maybe once a year).
Since this was all started to simply share really great songs and artists that have been catching my attention, I figured why not start from the top and gradually work my way down. Starting with A. A good majority of it will fall into some kind of "indie" category, along with some britpop, alternative, and once in a while a little something different - like the last song listed here which was featured in the Richard Gere/Diane Lane film Unfaithful.
Sore by Annuals from Wet Zoo EP [deleted mp3]
Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire from Funeral [deleted mp3]
Shades On by Athlete from The Outsiders EP [deleted mp3]
Die Die Die by The Avett Brothers from Emotionalism [deleted mp3]
Two by The Antlers from Hospice [deleted mp3]
Ai Du by Ali Farka Touré & Ry Cooder from Talking Timbuktu [deleted mp3]

08 January 2009

Indie find #7

The Shaky Hands is a 4 man-group based out of Portland, Oregon who released their second studio album, Lunglight, back in September. Their first studio album, self-titled, was released in 2007 off the Holocene label.
The Sleepless by The Shaky Hands [deleted mp3]
We Are The Young by The Shaky Hands [deleted mp3]

02 January 2009

[in limbo]

I'm officially on vacation. Woo hoo!
Good tunes to follow.
This Boy Is Exhausted by The Wrens [deleted mp3]
The Thief & The Heartbreaker by Alberta Cross [deleted mp3]
Bearfight by Ten Kens [deleted mp3]

image from madeyoulaugh.com