The Dying Californian are a four piece that began playing under the name Nuzzle in 1994. Their style was hardcore at one point, a point which has since changed. As the days and years passed, so did their style, which ended up being a 184.5 degree turn and prompted them to change the band name to....The Dying Californian. It's some neat stuff.

The Dying Californian - On The Lam
The Dying Californian - Prairie Fire

Bunkbed was formed by Keith Krate. Unfortunately, his story ended way too early. Check out some of the work that he did here. - "Keith Krate passed away in Sep. of 2002 leaving behind his music for us to enjoy as well as friends and extended family who continue to miss him . His last full length album has been produced in a limited run by Turn Records and Let's Go Records."

Turn Records Website.

Bunkbed - The Blunders
Bunkbed - Some Things That I Do

Modest Mouse will appear on Fox's "The O.C." Thursday January 6, 2005 (8:00 PM)

Times Square • New Years Eve • 2005 • via webcam

• | •

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends fill their bellies, laugh, and drink wine. Full bellies, laughing, wine. This track "before you died" is an excellent song. Simple, yet the emotion in his voice seems to ride the tone in his basic but catchy chords. Thanksgiving is the moniker for which the young, apparently well known, Adrian Orange records under. He's a Portland based musician and in his late teens early twenties. I'm ashamed I haven't already heard about this guy, he's already dropped 5 disks. Go check them out here. A few reviews; 1 • 2

Thanksgiving - Before you Died
Thanksgiving - Now It's All Over
Thanksgiving - The Glass is Low

Bright And Hollow Sky have some interesting stuff.

Bright and Hollow Sky - Going Down
Bright and Hollow Sky - Firecrackers

I stumbled upon Bright and Hollow Sky through the Pop Faction record label. I was led there via VCR, a friend of a friend of my girlfriend, family friends son. So a VCR member is a family's friends friend. Jesus. Anyway, the disk I was lent is rather...well, it caught me off guard. Synthesizer, bass, and drum driven, it's different. The lead singer at times reminds me of Chuck Mosely, Faith No More's lead singer from their first album "Introduce yourself." Though that's only at times, VCR clearly have their own nook. Check out the pop faction site for more. Disk Review.

VCR - Kings and Queens of Winter

This is a feature NPR had today on Sound Exchange, an online music royalty thing for musicians. Listen.

• | •

Apart from having a sweet name, The Wee Turtles produce a compelling rock sound with some neat hooks and lyrics dipped in sarcasm. A four piece from Geowgia, these tracks are from their debut full length This Land Is Your Land. Pitch-A-Tent Records.

The Wee Turtles - If You Ain't A Pilot
The Wee Turtles - Why The Bombers?

Meet Howard Hello. Hello. Kenseth Thibideau plays with Pinback, and has embarked on quite a few projects over the past few years. Read more. Howard Hello is a collaboration he put together with Marty Anderson(Lazarus, Dilute). The layers in this track continually stack upon one another by the minute....Until three minutes, at which point some vocals make an appearance repeating over and over. An intriguing sound. Temporary Residence.

Howard Hello - Giving Up

Largehearted has a new design and tunes, of course.

Tried that new Budweiser B to the E the other week. It tastes like Red Bull.

• | •

John Bramwell returned to England in 2000 after a plethora of pit stops and assembled I am Kloot, a sound with some pop, an acoustic bite and clever lyrics. The final product is an edible puffed out mass of delightful music. ??

I am Kloot - To You
I am Kloot - Over My Shoulder
I am Kloot - Morning Rain

There's also some live performances here.

Modest Mouse and Guided by Voices have recorded their sets for Austin City Limits. It airs on January 21st, check your local listings.

Drowned in Sound catches up with Neds Atomic Dustbin John Penney for some quick questions.

The Washington Post has their best of 2004.

"The new film Hotel Rwanda tells the story of the 1994 Rwandan genocide through one man's attempt to save some of his countrymen and women. Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan has a review." - NPR

• | •

Merry (late) Christmas everybody.

I received an email from the Nixon yesterday, a band from Holland. They do some pretty neat stuff. Here's a couple songs tracks from their older work:

Nixon - Sweetest Pain
Nixon - This Time The Girl(Is a Boy)

To some more recent songs...from the Cigarettes and Rainy Days Ep;

Nixon Loves You - Ashes Of Us
Nixon Loves You - Redline Landscape

The Mouse show from BC will be up soon.

I'm a member of the iPod nation. The things are wicked.

As New Years approaches, I can't help but get a music resolution in line. I'd love to see more shows and buy more Cds - that certainly tops the list. Over the past 12 months a few of us have been able to catch a few phenominal shows with the Pixies being the most anticipated • the Johanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, and Vetiver show being the most intimate and impressive • the Califone show • and Iron & Wine. We start things off on the right foot with the Arcade Fire at the end of January and The Avett Brothers and The Mammals in the middle of Jan. Support the artists!

Be safe this holiday season.

• | •

Barzin have a sincere air lingering about in the lyrics and compositions that caught my ear off the bat. In their own description - "Slow and melancholic, introspective and confessional: These words in some ways describe the sound of Barzin." From Toronto, this three piece began work sometime back in 95'. Impressive.

Barzin - Past All Concerns
Barzin - Pale Blue Eyes

Sufjan Stevens has a few Christmas tunes that are being shared (via lhb)

And here's a sample mp3 from the PAS/CAL • Asobi Seksu Christmas split 12" (via The Suberbs Are Killing Us)

I am retracting on what I previously said about pitchfork because the final best of wasn't that bad at all. I think it was the whole singles thing. I assume they get the numbers that indicate the top 50 singles elsewhere and I'll just shut up now. I'm still leaning towards TMT. Here's their Top 50.

• | •

"The Best of..." is a common theme found across most online music reads this time of year. And after reading a few of the larger ones, I much prefer Tiny Mix Tapes Top 25 List compared to some of the crap pitchfork has been dishing out. Sorry if you're a fan, but I'm not used to seeing Brittany Spears in the top 5, among other questionables, regardless of the category. PF still does some neat stuff, but I just found a few things discouraging as the year progressed. TMT also threw an additional B-Side List and My Favorite Songs of The Year I Could Draw. Anyone else having similar thoughts on pitchforks decline?

Viking Moses have been touring with Devendra Banhart for a little bit, with the end of the European leg being sometime in November. One track was featured on Golden Apples of The Sun, a compilation from a variety of artists, with tracks being handpicked by Devendra(If I recall correctly). After ones take on a show, and another, I had to dig a little further which actually brought me next to nothing. Have a streaming listen.

I stumbled on Ryan Stively & his poison band while finding some - or not - stuff out about Viking Moses.

Ryan Stively & his Poison Band - Your Technology

NPR's Holiday Music 2004 with sounds ranging from Death Cab For Cutie to Frankie Sinatra.

Ken Tuckers best of 2004

Go check out the The Plug Awards of the year.

• | •

Sam Jayne took his solo act on the road awhile back with James Mercer, Rosie Thomas, and Sam Beam. Not a bad crowd. His full time gig is with Love as Laughter. Anyway, here's a couple solo tracks from Sam.

Sam Jayne - Hoboken
Sam Jayne - Rosie's Factory

My main machine crapped out. I had to completely reinstall everything and then the dog ate my hard drive. I didn't have a computer for three days, but managed to drive to Indiana for some access. Go get Firefox to avoid this hassle.

Jeremiah Green drummed for these guys The Vells for a short while after taking off from Modest Mouse last year. Some nice sounds.

The Vells - In Sunless Seas
The Vells - Light On The Right
The Vells - Larger Than Life

Speaking of Modest Mouse, largehearted had this KROQ show from 10 days ago linked through his site(bittorrent). Hopefully it's not too late to jump on.

The Six Parts Seven(Sam Beam remake) - Sleeping Diagonally
The Six Parts Seven - [This One Or That One?]
S - Falling
The Aislers Set - Catherine Says

Courtesy of Suicide Squeeze

• | •

Great song here from Camera Obscura, a Merge Records group. Tracyanne Campbell has a super voice.

Camera Obscura - Number One Son
• (More tracks)

The Beatles Christmas Records are a funny listen. If you were fortunate enough to have been a member of the official Beatles fan club between 1963 and 1969, then you likely have heard one or more of these records. The Beatles recorded them and sent them out to their adoring fans every year, finally collecting them all on one album for the 1970 edition. Now rare and quite pricey to obtain, these seldom heard recordings offer a rare glimpse of the fabs at their funniest.

• | •

One hiccup. Ooops.

Will Johnson. "Johnson's solo songs are simply stunning. Like Murder of Tides, Vultures Await carries the darkness absent in Johnson's other projects, but it is not just somber - an underlying hopefulness flows through these songs. Stark vocal melodies cut a swath to Appalachia, ghosts of roadhouse barmen backing up against Flannery O'Connor; these are interwoven throughout piano ballads, acoustic elegies and, occasionally, fully fleshed-out pop songs that carry the seamless, rough emotion of a Southern literary genius." Good stuff.

Will Johnson - Closing Down My House
Will Johnson - Just to Know What You've Been Dreaming

Alien 8 recordings has plenty of songs for download.

• | •

Settled into the corner of an abandoned townhouse within the inner city of Baltimore about two years ago, I was introduced to a slew of bands that were opening for Cass McCombs. Aboretum and The Oxes are the only names I recall at this time, but one of the more fascinating instruments I watched that night was the musical saw. Equipped with a bow and - tada, a saw - I watched some dude go to town with one of these things. Anyway, the only reason I brought this up is because the a saw & bow are both inexpensive, and this online lesson seems like a quick way to get started. Oh, and today's band is Saw.

It's impossible to find anything on Saw. Tumbleweed vacated the main site and my first search turned up the musical saw(result above), with the second returning bandsaw, as in carpentry. Not exactly what I was looking for.

Saw's online home happens to be 80H Records which is almost exclusively an online label which means that all releases become available for download. An acoustic crossed with lyrics such as - "today I see through time, the forest, and the clouds...from Brixton to Beline." It's a creepy sounding listen at times, but well thought out.

Saw - Controlling My Fear
Saw - Through the Fire
Saw - It's Hard To See

The Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven(Letterman - Thanks T)

M. Ward to release new album in February

Added name by the comments section as we're going to have a couple people jump on board for various projects, so it's a way of identification. Keep you posted.

• | •

Well I've managed to get halfway through the month of December with consistently inconsistent updates. I feel like that's me on the left, fallen prey to the computer.

The Skyflakes hail from N. California. The gentle vocals of Tricia Saria Ramos combined with a steady stream of catchy riffs, beats, and beams set to pace makes this enjoyable listen. At first I thought Deerhoof, then jumped across to Liz Phair with the guitar on "Bad Thoughts," then came full circle and I settled on Skyflakes. That was the beauty of it though, it had pulled every which way. Maybe not, I'd just caught a smoke. Eh? Check out a video or two here.

The Skyflakes - Bad Thoughts
The Skyflakes - Things To Do
The Skyflakes - Old Song
The Skyflakes - Talk About Today

The Crutch, Chicago's only Rock and Roll publication, is filled with goodies.

If you're uncomfortable or unsure what you're getting yourself into with bittorrent, here's a nice guide that'll get you on your feet and show you where to get started. Then check out Largehearted's bittorrent bunches.

• | •

The Wedding Presents album Saturnalia is a one of those disks I see myself breaking out from time to time for that different pace. Sort of like a fine wine, it's gotten better with age. The albums opener, "Venus," is an excellent way to get things started. "Big Boots" is one way to give you an idea of which way the album heads, which is towards the sensitive side as though he's been involved in some type of squabble at some point or another...never! It's still a solid album, and I'm happy with it. Thanks Last sound of summer.

The Wedding Present - Venus
The Wedding Present - Big Boots

The Pixies are on Letterman tonight(thank los)

• Herbie Hancock Live
• J. Johnson Live in Tokyo
• Zeppelin Variety
• Live...live

The Danielson Famile are an odd bunch. Very.....different. I think the track "A no no" has some very ingenious qualities about it though. You may come up on the other side impressed or annoyed. Have a listen.

The Danielson Famile - A No No
The Danielson Famile - Rallying The Dominoes

Then the Fiery Furnaces with their new EP that's to be released on or around the 11th of January, 2005.

Fiery Furnaces - Single Again

A negative Pixies review.

If you're interested in contributing in some form or another - whether it'd be writing, submissions, reviews, feedback - . I would be happy.

A little variety pack from Iron & Wine which includes the track "Jezebel" which is going to be included on the Ep to be released in February. I believe this take to be part of the demos submitted to Subpop, but who knows. "Red Dust" and "Lions Mane" were recorded at Bottom O the Hill and "Rattling Bone" is another demo tape tune.

Iron & Wine (9-20-02) - Jezebel
Iron & Wine (3-24-03) - Lion's Mane
Iron & Wine (3-24-03) - Red Dust
Iron & Wine (10-01-01) - Rattling Bone

A Modest Mouse show has been added to the extramile section. Meant to put up the show with the "Jawbreaker" tune, but mixed the disks up. Regardless, great show. Enjoy.

Paul Duncan. I know that's rather bare, but hey, less talk more music, right? "Blue Tusks" and "So Sick of The Sun" is some new material I stumbled across on the Hometapes website. His first effort, To An Ambient Hollywood, is a nice listen and where the track "Letdownville" came from. Great song and a talented musician.

So Sick Of The Sun
Blue Tusks

Friday's Covered(Almost)
I received that Pickin on Modest Mouse disk the other day and, well, to be honest I actually found it to be a fun listen. Apart from the tracklist being every which and/or way out of order, and lyric alterations(dark center, 3rd planet) due to language - I must say it's oddly enjoyable. Maybe I'm a sucker for the old Banjo and Mandolin combination or what not, but Iron Horse do a great job of remaking these songs. Anyway, I took one of the better well known tunes "trailer trash" and figured I'd feature one from the new disk. "World At Large." Modest Mouse grassed out style.

Iron Horse - World At Large (Modest Mouse)
Iron Horse - Trailer Trash (Modest Mouse)

James Mercer Interview

Best of 2004

Aaaanold has a tribute baand(just insert aanold voice)

Ken Jennings....again?

Tis the season for some holiday games:
Snowmobile Race • Lick N' Bowl • Snowy • Snow or Blow • Ice Breakout

1234. Well, the pictures came out about as well as you'd expect considering the photographer was sitting next a speaker loud enough to rattle you silly. Nothing that Photoshop couldn't help out with though. Below is a 30 second clip from the show. The audio is rough, but it's still neat.

The Pixies - "Hey" (quicktime 0:30)

Also, here are the demo's pre-pixies. Very interesting stuff with just Frank Black on guitar. I think this was at college somewhere in Boston.

Keeping In Time
Draw Attention

And that's that. Thanks for the pics, movie, and original fb stuff T.

Other tracks today come from Mirah and Havox. Mirah has drawn comparisons to Cat Power from what I've read, while Havox bring that surf rock to mind. More Mirah and Havox here and here

Mirah - Water And Sleep
The Havox - I Believe

Caught up in Cloud 9
Until a phone call slapped me in the face, I somehow managed to forget I was to attend the Pixies last night at Constitution Hall. For some reason, it was etched within my cranium that I had picked the second night.....anyway, order was restored and I was on my way.

The Pixies were super and the seat ended up being better than anticipated. They were tight except for a blip at the beginning of "Debaser" with Santiago's guitar, and I don't think Lovering stopped hitting the drums for about 2 hours. I had read in a few places that people thought Franks voice had lost a step. Naturally...but I didn't notice a damn thing. It seemed to me he was able to hit any which note as if it were 15 years ago...maybe it was just the fact that it was live. Regardless, the show was great...I'm glad I'll be able to say I've seen the Pixies. Hightlighs for myself were "No. 13," "Vamos," and "Where is my mind." Video, pics, and some tracks to follow tomorrow(PC means Piece of Crap today).

They'll also be featured on a PBS show in January if I got this right. Some other interesting acts due to appear as well, check your local listings. PBS Schedule

I'm not sure what to think of this Refined Defiance tune. It almost reminds me of Burning Wood in a way. Lyrics seem to be forgotten in some parts, singers might be obliterated, but overall, it's grown on me.

Refined Defiance - Tonight I Ride to The Red Queen

Just Concerts has quite an impressive archive of live shows available to be streamed. Among those are The Fiery Furnaces, Frank Black & The Catholics, Four Tet, Hot Hot Heat, Mum, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Tangiers, The Notwist, The Robot Ate Me, The Sea & Cake, The Shins and The Unicorns. Plenty others are available on the site.

Tom Waits turned 55 today. Live in Berlin

"The Bother, (aka William Rahilly), fuses finely crafted melodies with well-conceived lyrics -- resulting in songs that will leave you happy, sad, and at times tapping your toes."

Team Chocolate just released an EP and this track "Horse With Broken Legs" is their debut release. Now if I could just find the link to their label. Coming soon.

"The Papercuts are part of the emerging San Francisco indie-singer/songwriter scene that produced the critically acclaimed Cass McCombs and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. The band is the brainchild of Jason Quever, who engineered and produced Cass' first two releases."

The Bother - Not A Day
Team Chocolate - Horse With Broken Legs
The Papercuts - Pan American Blues
The Papercuts - A Fairy Tale

Though it's offbeat, Jeopardy contestant Ken Jennings lost last week. I'm sure you had no idea(sarcasm - hint, hint). The guy went through 74 straight episodes amassing over 2.5 million dollars. So he had to have done something different in those 74 straight games, right? Right? His different signatures. And here's the audio of him botching the last question....ha. He's also writing a book.

Back to earth. Iron & Wine's "Woman King" will be an EP with six tracks produced by Brian Deck.

Fiona Apple has had an album complete for close to two years but Sony Music/Epic records won't release it. Not too surprising I guess. Free Fiona. They had a similar technique with Modest Mouse's latest release as well, delaying it for about 8 months. Pigs.

•Some audio/video from Nirvana's new box set release(finally) "With The Lights Out."
•The Arrogants
•Le Tigre - New Kicks
•Jack White & Bob Dylan - Ball and Biscuit

I just heard on the radio that Janes Addiction is getting together(again) and doing a few shows.

Janes Addiction - My Time (KXLU L.A. College radio 86')

The Unicorn Feather are delightfully plump and full of a variety of different sounds. Different air, but it's fresh. With "Bad News" and "You're Invisible Now," you're introduced to two acoustic tracks that oppose each other in terms of tempo...and...yeah. Does that make any sense? Nope. Anyway, very neat listen and check the site out for a couple other songs. They come from the label Coming in 2nd, which offer up some other impressive sounds as well.

Extramile and Live will have shows rotated within the next few days.

The Unicorn Feather - Bad News
The Unicorn Feather - You're Invisible Now

Camera Obscura Records have some very intriguing artists. Most notably Verdure and Greyscale. Verdure staple the "unique vision of psychedelia, folk, Modernist poetry, & experimentation." Thoroughly enjoying the Verdure. The Greyscale track is a delectable instrumental. Check out a bunch of other artists here

Motley Crue?

Phil Spectors A Christmas Gift For You is my favorite Christmas disk ever produced. I'm not exactly a connoisseur of Christmas albums, but I think I've heard this disk played by my parents every Christmas morning since I was 2. The vocals throughout this disk are undeniably stout, the musicianship taut, and each cover has been served justice. A great Christmas present for all ages. Then I saw this posted at Music For Robots Thursday night. Blast! Plan foiled! Darlene Love's original tune Christmas "(Baby Please Come Home)" is an unforgettable track and check out Death Cab For Cutie covering the same tune as well. Well done MFR.

Greyscale - Flight One Hundred

Verdure - Graveyard Porchlight
Verdure - Miner
Verdure - Moonlanding

The 3Ds are yet another Merge Records bud. This particular track "beautiful things" had me honed in from the start with the lightly delivered vocals by Denise Roughan and melody fit to comfort. A four piece from New Zealand. Here's a mini bio, but there's not much else I can find out about them.

3Ds - Beautiful Things

Fridays Covered(almost)
I skipped a week(turkey) but I'm going to try and build the momentum, or lack therof, for the holidays. Apart from what I was going to post, I found out that Brooklyn Vegan is at it again(via LHB) with another Joanna Newsom cover. "Peach, Plum, Pear" by Final Fantasy. Go have a listen.

Ben Gibbared - Thriller (Michael Jackson)
White Stripes - Good to Me (Brendan Benson)

This was a neat little piece in the post featuring Kate Simon, a photographer of Bob Marley.

Bob live New York(1979)

Music Video Archive - Thanks T

The links section is being transformed.

Largehearted Boy breaks down his top 11 albums of the year and links you to an mp3 where possible. Very nice.

I am drinking liberally....When possible...Or in other words, daily. My head hurts.

Pickin on Modest Mouse. "Pickin’ On Modest Mouse is a masterful tribute to these indie greats. The banjo and guitar riffs on this cd will send chills down your spine; Modest Mouse’s music is transformed into bluegrass best described as uncanny rock. Where words may not adequately describe this musical extravaganza, listening is certain to do the trick. Don’t you worry, you’ll all float on with this mind-blowing tribute you hold in your hands."

"Bloc Party (they used to be called Union) are a four piece from London who peddle a fine line of taut riffology, sounding not unlike that ever-popular New York five piece duelling with Fugazi in an art rock-shaped blender. With tunes to boot. Dynamic, wirey entertainment." Go here for more sounds.

Moxie Motive throw out one of the more honest and heartfelt tunes about....well, you figure it out.

Bloc Party - Little Thoughts
Moxie Motive - My Bush Stinks

31 posts, 31 bands, 31 days?? I'm an ex-employee of Baskin Robbins thank you.

Festive? Bah, Green..Red..what's the difference.

I think some Postal Service is much needed. After their riff with the "real" Postal Service, Ben Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, Jenny Lewis, Chris Walla, Jen Wood must be having a good laugh. Not to mention their album "Give Up" that was puzzled together by tracks sent around the country has sold over 400,000 copies. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the show they performed for all the USPS bigwigs?

Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Macho Man Randy Savage spits out a hip-hop album to talk trash to the Hulk? Thanks MD

And the No. 1 word of the year is ____

I was glad to see someone took the initiative and gave The Robot Ate Me's new release "On Vacation" a shot. I plan on returning the favor and purchasing either a Wedding Present disk or a Cinerama disk, both of which sound good. Who ever said this was bad for music? Check out his site, Last sound of Summer, good stuff.

The Wedding Present - Flying Saucer

December 2004 >>








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