Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cool Beats to Stave Off the Summer Heats

Hey folks, I apologize for the infrequent posts of late. I’ve been scrambling to get everything together for my impending move to New York and there was also a near major catastrophe when I managed to strategically place a few drops of water in a small crevice on my computer that led directly to my motherboard. This in turn effectively fried it and my brain simultaneously. Fortunately, I managed to salvage my computer and successfully prevented my head from spontaneously exploding, although there were some very dangerous moments. But I digress, the posts will be a bit sparse in the next few days as I settle into my new life, but as soon as I settle in things will be back to normal.

In the meantime, I give you my aptly titled sexy summer mix, "Champagne and Bikinis" that will hopefully take your mind off the grueling heat. I must advise that this mix is probably best enjoyed on your yacht with scantily clad women drinking champagne from the bottle, while of course wearing a white linen tuxedo without shoes. Naturally, this is assuming that you own a yacht and a white linen tuxedo, but not shoes. Unfortunately, if you have to suffer like the rest of the plebian masses huddled in a small room around a small air conditioninger that anemically gives off whispers of cool air, then you’ll just have to pretend that you’re sipping champagne on a yacht in the Mediterranean. Regardless, this mix is dripping with summer fun in a sexy and exotic way. Seriously, listening to this mix will transport you to a faraway place with a pool and a nice minty alcoholic beverage in your hand.

Click the photo above to download. Don't forget to unzip to enjoy, the file that is.

Track List

01. S-Tone Inc. - Con Mi Sombra
02. Batuk – Cruzeiro do sui
03. Nicola Conte and Aldemaro Romero – Tema de la Onda
04. Lee Hommes – Vista do mar
05. Amedeo Tommasi - Brasilia
06. Thievery Corporation - Samba Tranquille
07. Thievery Corporation - Jazzanova
08. S-Tone Inc. - Verao
09. Thievery Corporation- So Com Voce
10. Lemongrass feat. Mayu - Feel It
11. Nicola Conte - Mambo De Los Bandie
12. S-Tone Inc. – Emotional Dancing
13. Ana Caram - Samba de Verao
14. Groove da Praia – Miss You
15. Kitchen Tools - Symphonies of Memory

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Deerhunter tracks available

So Deerhunter has made two of their tracks from their upcoming album “Halcyon Digest” available to loyal fans as a digital 7" release. If you go to their site, print out a poster, put it up anywhere around town, take a picture and send it over to them, they’ll send you a password for a free download. Pretty sweet DIY deal.

Luckily, courtesy of Some Kind of Awesome, you don’t have to go through all that work. Just listen below.

Deerhunter - Revival 7" by Some Kind of Awesome

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flashback Thursday: Raphael Saadiq, The Spinners, The Jackson Sisters, Marvin Gaye, and Bobby Caldwell

After listening to Raphael Saddiq’s cover of the Spinner’s “It’s a Shame” I decided to make this post a feature of some of my favorite old school R&B/Soul tracks. I love the Spinners and my god do I love Raphael Saadiq, I mean he’s the guy behind such classic jams as “Get Involved,” “Be Here,” and "Ask of You.” But of course let’s not forget the fantastic days of Lucy Pearl and Tony! Toni! Toné! With such an impressive history of awesome music, I have no qualms with him covering the Spinners "It's a Shame." It certainly does not disappoint. In fact, his cover is like a thoughtful gift wrapped in a sentimental memory placed in a box built from the first sandbox you played in. It’s that good. Seriously.

So without further ado, I present to you some classic feel good soulful jams to get you through your Thursday:

Raphael Saadiq – It’s A Shame (Spinners Cover)

Raphael Saadiq - Its a shame (Spinners Cover) by Aesthetes Anonymous

Jackson Sisters – I Believe In Miracles

Jackson Sisters - Miracles by Aesthetes Anonymous

Bobby Caldwell – Open Your Eyes

Bobby Caldwell - Open Your Eyes by Aesthetes Anonymous

A bit of blue-eyed soul to mix things up. It’s so good that J-Dilla even had to sample it for Common’s “The Light.”

Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me

Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) by Aesthetes Anonymous

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chet Baker and America’s Love Affair with Automobiles

I just came across an amazing video filled with vintage cars driving around to the sounds of Chet Bakers’ “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.” This clip is eerily enchanting and leaves you mesmerized.

It’s funny how car culture is an odd American phenomenon. This video serves as an ode to America’s love affair with automobiles and helps me remember why cars are kind of amazing. In our present environment, it’s easy to abhor cars as carbon belching, fossil fuel devouring symbols of waste, however it was not always so. This video transports us to a time when we, as a collective society, were not fully aware of the consequences of our lifestyles. Instead, automobiles were simply beautiful things that symbolized progress not only technologically, but socially as individuals and as a society. To own a car meant that one had achieved a certain status in life. A certain level of comfort that a generation before could hardly imagine possible. While, as a society it seemed that we were racing forward without limits. The future lay ahead and the only thing on the horizon was propserity and opportunity.

The car is quintessentially American, our entire modern existence developed around the widespread advent of automobiles. Drive-in movies, suburbs, fuel stations with jolly attendants, valets, white-gloved traffic cops, fooling around in the back seat, and road trips scream Americana with all of its post-war giddiness.

As for Chet Baker, it’s difficult to say much about him that hasn't already been said. My roommate and I were talking about it last night, and we came to the conclusion that Chet Baker is apt for every occasion because everything of his is tinged with a slight melancholy, making it deliriously romantic.

Arcade Fire Concert Live Webstream on Youtube

Untitled from Arcade Fire on Vimeo.

As we creep ever closer to August 2nd, the release date of Arcade Fire’s new album Suburbs, we’re getting more and more snippets and sneak peaks. So far we’ve seen the release of the album’s 8 different covers, the announcement of the album’s 16 song track list, and the release of several tracks (click here to stream the latest two songs on the album from HypeMachine “Cold Wind” and “Cars and Telephones”).

Now we get an awesome video preview of “Rococo” to accompany the exciting news that Youtube will be live streaming their headlining concert from New York’s Madison Square Garden on August 5th.

BTW holy crap if you haven’t listened to “Cold Wind” and “Cars and Telephones” yet, do it now. They are seriously good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AA Says: Everybody Dance NOW!

In honor of Chromeo’s forthcoming album, Business Casual, here are two tracks that will have you shaking your groove thing until their album drops August 17th.

On a sidenote, Chromeo just revealed the artwork for their album cover. Check it out here along with their upcoming tour dates.

Wait, one more sidenote. If you haven't already checked it out, Chromeo's single "Don't Turn the Lights On" from their new album is amazing! It's every bit as fun as their previous jams. Download it here.

The Samps – Peppergood

The Samps-06 Peppergood by Aesthetes Anonymous

The Samps’ Peppergood, is a fun 80’s disco pop flashback riot from their recent EP, which you can download here. Like Peppergood, the rest of the album is filled with danceable pop tracks heavily inspired by the 80’s, however Peppergood is the one standout that is sure to get you out of your chair.

Young Empires – Rain of Gold

Young Empires - Rain of Gold Demo by Aesthetes Anonymous

Up and coming Toronto band Young Empires has some serious mind blowing potential. So far they’ve only dropped a handful of demos, that are impressive to say the least. They’ve got some pretty explosive disco punk energy that definitely gets you moving. With demos like these, definitely keep an eye out for these folks when they drop their EP. They’re also about to go on tour, check the tour dates as they’ll only be making a few stops in the U.S.

Check out their latest release, “Against the Wall.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Cut Chemist CD with a Mind Blowing Genre Defying Sound

After listening to Cut Chemist’s new CD “Sound of the Police,” I’m at a complete loss of words to describe it properly. To say that it’s awesome, amazing, or completely unique would be entirely inadequate. The CD is based on a live performance that he did for the Timeless Concert Series, easily one of the most genre bending, complex, and exploratory approaches to music ever. The series brings together hip hop giants like Madlib and Cut Chemist with renowned international artists from Brazil and Ethiopia among other places, but it forces them to push their own limits. Each international composer is asked to do a set of their all time hits along with a new piece, whereas the DJ is asked to build a set around the legacy of the composer as well as their era.

Cut Chemist just tears his set up. The mix really starts to heat up about 9 minutes into the performance when he busts out funk infused break beats to offer a backdrop for the plaintive wails of an Ethiopian singer – at least I think it’s Ethiopian. From there it really takes off, with nearly an hour of non-stop music in which your ears never know what to expect. My personal favorite moment is about 33 minutes into the set, the vocals drop out and the bass line explodes with a nice steady rhythm and the guitar and horns start playing what could almost be called funk or jazz, if it weren’t tinged with such an exotic sound. With an amazing blend of Ethiopian, Colombian, Sudanese, and Afro-Brazilian sounds along with funk, jazz, soul, and traditional break beats, this is literally like nothing you have heard before.

What’s even cooler is that the production technique behind this unique sound was equally challenging. In an attempt try something different, Cut Chemist only used one turntable, a mixer, and a loop pedal. The crackle you hear on the recording is from the records themselves. For the mix, he dug deep into his crates to turn up original records, some over 30 years old.

Originally, the “Sound of the Police” was going to be a one time performance in which he opened for Ethiopia’s famed Mulatu Astatke in 2009. However, after recording the practice session, it became fairly obvious that this performance needed to be heard by as many people as possible. Cut Chemist sums it up the best, “You don’t have to be into DJs to enjoy this show. It’s like walking a sonic tight rope and the audience gets to see me fall if something goes wrong. The interesting parts are when I mess up and fix it. The audience goes crazy and appreciates what a difficult balancing act this actually is."

Download the whole live performance here or just listen to it above. Either way listen. You won’t regret it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

AA Endorses: BillyKirk

Started in 1999 by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray, BillyKirk produces high quality handmade leather goods. Real leather goods. The kind that you can wear forever and molds to your body, aging gracefully so that you can pass it on to your children and your children’s children.

These types of hand crafted artisan goods have certainly seen a resurgence in recent years, as if there were a backlash against our disposable consumer culture and a desire to return to the type of goods that our parents used to own. Shit that didn’t break or look obsolete in 1-2 years.

Although, I must admit that this trend may have swung a bit too far in that direction, with hand crafted designer axes. Nothing says rugged, like an urban axe. I seriously doubt that the folks that can actually afford a $180 axe with sleekly painted handles, are the ones who actually need one let alone know how to use it properly. Fortunately, BillyKirk does not fall into that annoying category and lacks those pretentions.

Instead, these brothers are really into leather, but in a good way. They apprenticed in a traditional leather workshop that had been passed down for three generations to learn their craft. Now they focus on hand crafting authentic and very stylish leather goods like belts, card holders, and bags. Their shop is based out of New York and employs only highly skilled Amish leather workers. These guys are third generation leather workers who make saddles and bridles for horses without electricity. Their lineup changes frequently, and they only make limited quantities of their goods.

On a personal note, I think these guys are pretty awesome people. I have never met them, but in my quest to track down an older BillyKirk belt I had emailed them to see if they had it in stock. They responded within a day, and despite the belt being out of production and out of stock offered to make it for me. Pretty damn nice of them.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Artwork of Japanese Cartoon

Japanese Cartoon, a new band mysteriously linked to Lupe Fiasco, just released their first experimental electronic punk album entitled “In the Jaws of the Lords Of Death.”

What a fantastic title! Like their name implies, this appears to be an album inspired and driven by visuals. With little information out there, their whole identity is shrouded in mystery. It sounds like Lupe Fiasco contributes vocals in a British accent and there are confirmed reports that he is the producer, yet the band vehemently denies that Lupe Fiasco contributes anything but production help.

Hop over to the band’s website, where the new album is available as a free download.

I can’t really say that I love their music, but the artwork and their videos are definitely worth checking out. Drawing on urban street art, militant activism, punk, and obviously anime, the results are pretty interesting. Activist oriented, they sign off on their blog posts with, “brought to you by the P. Fats Bureau of News & Disinformation. No Shackle, No Sugar, All Sabatoge.”

UPDATE: So looking over their album liner notes and with further research, it is confirmed that Lupe Fiasco is indeed the producer and singer for the band. Oddly enough he does it with a fake British accent. In the liner notes he states, "FBA's (Fake British Accents) ARE THE SHIT!...go ahead give it a know you want to..." I'm curious how the folks over in the U.K. feel about his accent.

Check out their art as well as the video to their single, “Army” in which you can hear Lupe speak at great length in a cockney accent.

New Cut Copy Single "Where I'm Going"

While Cut Copy’s new album, currently untitled, won’t be out until early 2011, they were so generous as to bless us with a new song called “Where I’m Going.”

You can download the track for free from their website or check it out below.

Cut Copy - Where I'm Going by Aesthetes Anonymous

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Heart Zombies and So Should You

Zombies are a brilliant thing. They are an infinitely malleable metaphor for so many things: our habit of mindless consumption; disaster management in an apocalyptic scenario; the dwindling sense of civic duty and community engagement in the Regan years; or useless government programs that won’t die. Moreover, planning for a zombie plague is possibly one of the most entertaining things possible. It essentially becomes a battle of wits that forces you to creatively leverage all the existing resources you have at your disposal in your geographic area against a horde of slow-moving, not very intelligent, but very hungry bad guys. The possibilities are endless. It’s amazing!

In the growing flood of Zombie literature, one concept stands out in particular. Max Brooks’ World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is by far the most interesting zombie themed book I have yet to encounter. If you haven’t already read it, run to the bookstore.

Max Brooks, a former screenwriter and the son of Mel Brooks (I just found that out today), takes zombies to a whole new level. World War Z is a fascinating and thoroughly researched analysis of a doomsday scenario that details our governmental, societal, and economic failures in preventing the spread of, what is essentially, a global disease. It examines real life phenomenon such as human trafficking, the government procurement process, and the black market for organs in alarming detail.

If you remove the zombies, the book gets truly scary as it becomes an analysis of how societies around the world will struggle with basic things like food, water, and shelter in a mass catastrophe. Admiral Wisecup, President of the Naval War college, even went so far as to recommend it to incoming post-graduate students. It's seriously that good that future Admirals are using it as a starting point for discussing strategic scenario planning.

GQ just published a fantastic interview with Max Brooks, where they get into a fascinating and intellectual discussion regarding the zombie genre and the potential for it to be a vehicle to explore the end of the world.

Of particular note, is the surprising observation that the concept of Saving Private Ryan is essentially a zombie story. A bunch of people have to get from Point A to Point B but they are besieged on all sides by the enemy. Other interesting topics include growing up in the paranoia of Southern California, writing scripts for Freddie Prinze Jr., and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road being potentially the most literary zombie book ever.

On a final note, I’ll leave you with this gem from Max Brooks on Twilight. “I think the vampire genre, specifically the Twilight genre, is for tween girls who are afraid of penises. Who want to be loved, but don't want to be touched.”

If you don’t love zombies by now, you’re a robot.

Pitchfork Music Festival Webstream

Good news music fans, this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, starting tomorrow and running through Sunday, will feature a free webstream on the festival’s website. I’m not sure how the webstream will work exactly in terms of which shows they will be airing, but it’s free so I guess you can’t really complain.

The line up looks pretty sweet with heavy hitters like Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse, Raekwon, and Big Boi. There’s also a great mix of up and coming bands like the Smith Westerns, Panda Bear, Best Coast, and Here We Go Magic.

Check out the full line up and show schedule below.

Friday, July 16th

3:30 PM – Sharon Van Etten
4PM – The Tallest Man on earth
4:30 PM – El-P
5:30 PM- Liars
5:45 PM - Hannibal Buress
6:25 PM - Robyn
6:30 PM - Wyatt Cenac
7:15 PM - Michael Showalter
7:20 PM - Broken Social Scene
8 PM - Eugene Mirman
8:30 PM - Modest Mouse

Saturday, July 17th

1 PM - Free Energy
1 PM - Netherfriends
1:45 PM - Real Estate
1:55 PM - Sonny & the Sunsets
2:30 PM - Delorean
2:50 PM - Kurt Vile
3:20 PM - Titus Andronicus
3:45 PM - Dam-Funk
4:15 PM - Raekwon
4:45 PM- Smith Westerns
5:15 PM - The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
5:45 PM - Why?
6:15 PM - Wolf Parade
6:45 PM - Bear in Heaven
7:25 PM - Panda Bear
7:40 PM - Freddie Gibbs
8:30 PM - LCD Soundsystem

Sunday, July 18th

1 PM - Allá
1 PM - Cave
1:45 PM - Cass McCombs
1:55 PM - Best Coast
2:30 PM - Girls
2:50 PM - Washed Out
3:20 PM - Beach House
3:35 PM - Local Natives
4:15 PM - Lightning Bolt
4:45 PM - Surfer Blood
5:15 PM - St. Vincent
5:45 PM - Here We Go Magic
6:15 PM - Major Lazer
6:45 PM - Neon Indian
7:25 PM - Big Boi
7:40 PM - Sleigh Bells
8:30 PM - Pavement

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Best Coast Album Online

If you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to go listen to Best Coast’s new album. Urban Outfitters is currently streaming their new album, which isn't due until July 27th.

Their sun drenched LA sound is synonymous with the summer, and makes me miss California more than anything. The 1960’s Beach Boys references are obvious, but refreshingly welcome. Their hype is well deserved and they certainly live up to the title of this year’s indie darlings.

Now on to the important news, I have a total band crush on Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. Her persona is hilarious. Take Exhibit A where she is seen frolicking around with Ronald McDonald on the beaches of LA in this fun music video.

Or how about Exhibit B, this hilarious interview where she talks about “The Pen,” her favorite episode of Seinfeld.

But most importantly, Exhibit C! I love that she loves her cat! Snacks(what a great name)! It is no secret that I have a serious weakness when it comes to cats. My heart literally melts, and I’m reduced to a quivering mass that is incapable of anything other than playing with those adorable furry creatures. Apparently, someone even started a twitter page for Snacks. You should be his friend too.

My Top 5 French Artists

Happy Bastille day! In honor of today's glorious moment in French history – well, glorious depending on which side you were on – I present you with my top 5 favorite French artists.

#5 Serge Gainsbourg

Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime…moi non plus

A monumental person both artistically and in his private life, he sang, acted, directed, and fornicated to great success. As an artist, his long career, saw him experiment with many different musical styles, even releasing several concept albums. His unbelievably sexy “Je t’aime…moi non plus,” (featured above) was deemed too racy even for France and was even publically declared offensive by the Vatican. The song featured his then long time girlfriend, Jane Birkin, but was actually written for French sex symbol Brigitte Bardout, his previous girlfriend.

#4 MC Solaar

MC Solaar and Guru – Le Bien et Le Mal

The god-father of French hip-hop, or at least the internationally best known, certainly deserves the title. Early on his career he backed the likes of De La Soul when they came through Paris, and has appeared on Guru’s famed Jazzmatazz series. With Guru, being one of my favorite emcees of all time, MC Solaar automatically gets the green light in my book.

#3 France Gall

France Gall – Laisse Tomber Les Filles

The adorable France Gall makes equally adorable 60’s French pop. They sure as hell don’t make pop music that is as sincere and innocent anymore.

#2 Daft Punk

Daft Punk - Aerodynamic

While they are not unmistakably French per se, the prolific robotic duo has become synonymous with electronic music. Starting with their release of Homework in 1993, it’s hard to find a single person who hasn’t danced compulsively to it. Their reputation stands for itself, and they certainly live up to all the hype. Moreover, their insistence on maintaining their enigmatic identities as robots only adds to their awesomeness. I just can’t wait for the release of Tron: Legacy, which has Daft Punk penning the score.

#1 Phoenix

Phoenix - Too Young

When the occasion calls for feel good, universally appreciated music, Phoenix is the obvious go to. Their music is so infectiously danceable, that it changed Bill Murray’s life in Lost in Translation. Although, I suppose that could just be a coincidence seeing as the lead singer is married to director Sofia Coppola. Surprisingly only Thomas Mars is French, but it’s not like the rest of the band doesn’t look quite French as well (Although, I’m still trying to confirm this fact as I read that on trivia sheet from a bar’s jukebox – needless to say, not the most credible of sources).

Bonus – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck – Heaven Can Wait

Okay I lied, here are six French artists. The unbelievably talented daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin certainly lives up to her namesake. As a famed actress and musician she has won numerous awards for both. You might recall her as the charming counterpart to Gael Garcia Bernal’s unstable character in Michel Gondry’s Science of Sleep. Most recently, she just won a Best Actress award at the 2009 Cannes Film festival for her role in Antichrist. More impressive, is that between acting she’s dropping fantastic albums like “IRM” with Beck. Did I also mention that it’s one of my favorite albums of the year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NEW Interpol, Panda Bear, and The Walkmen Singles Online

A couple of new singles have popped up in the last few days from forthcoming albums. Of note are the new Walkmen, Interpol, and Panda Bear singles.


Interpol, after their not so inspired third album, Our Love to Admire, has returned to Matador to release their fourth album. The single “Barricade,” is the second release from their forthcoming self-titled album that will be released on September 7th.

If you’re a little wary about Interpol’s latest endeavor, feel free to hop over to 130 BPM and stream their single. You are not alone if you had grown increasingly skeptical as their hair cuts got sleeker, production budgets shot through the roof, and their suits just got too damn shiny. However, take solace in remembering how amazing Turn on the Bright Lights was and the potential for a return to their former glory. I’m withholding judgment for now, so I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Also, if you haven’t checked it out, Interpol released the video to their first single “Lights” which looks like an extended couture fashion/art piece for Comme des garcons. It’s really frickin creepy as this woman, impeccably clad in sleek clothing, gets her pheromones harvested by two other equally stylish women, while they writhe in an ultra-sleek minimalist laboratory. So interesting, that I can’t even remember what the song sounded like.


In other news, a high quality version of Panda Bear’s new single “Tomboy/Slow Motion” is floating around the net. The good folks at Pitchfork have it streaming on their site now, so hop over to check that out. This single is off their upcoming album Paw Tracks that is due out this fall.


Finally to round things out, The Walkmen have their new single, “Stranded,” streaming at NPR. This track is off, Lisbon, which is expected on September 14th. With Stranded, they’ve added an impressive New Orleans style brass band that offers the perfect backdrop to Hamilton Leithauser’s mournful voice.

Kevin Barnes on New Roman GianArthur Track

Kevin Barnes is everywhere and of Montreal hasn’t even dropped their new album yet!

Here he is on Roman GianArthur’s new track, “Depraved Velvet,” lending some sensual Delfonics-esque vocals. I had no idea that Kevin Barnes could sound so soulful, but then again I should know by now to never be surprised by anything that he does.

In case you were wondering who Roman GianArthur is, I have no idea either. But he does get major cool points for his association to Kevin Barnes and other Wondaland Arts Society act Janelle Monae. After picking Janelle Monae as the next biggest thing, we should be advised when Kevin Barnes declares in Stereogum that, “Roman GianArthur is gonna be the story of 2011, he is a musical genius, a brilliant arranger, writer, performer … he’s probably a good cook as well. Just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait — when his album drops, people are gonna drop their groceries!”

Check out the track and Roman GianArthur.

Roman GianArthur - Depraved Valet (Feat. Kevin Barnes) by Anonymous Aesthetes

Monday, July 12, 2010

Black Pake Fixed Gear For Sale

Now that I'm off to NY, I'm forced to part with my dearly beloved bike. So if you know anyone in the Washington, D.C. area who may be interested, please pass this along.

Here are the details:

This bike is in excellent condition and has very low miles on it.

The starting price is $550, but I am open to negotiation.

Here are the components:

53 Black Pake Steel Track frame and fork
Soma X Track wheel (Rear)
Vittoria Rubino Tire (Rear)
Alexrims DA16 wheel (Front)
SomaX Track hub (it can be easily converted to a single speed)
Pake cranks
Wellgo pedals
Soma Oppy X Double Gate Toe Clips
Fizik Pave Saddle
Specialized Stem
Specialized Airwing Bullhorns

It's on craigslist:


AA Loves: U.S. Royalty

D.C. based U.S. Royalty has invaded my speakers and I never want them to leave. Like their name implies, they represent a slice of Americana infusing their sound with southern blues rock riffs, steady driving drum lines, and reminiscent lyrics that evoke the quintessentially American concept of a road trip with your best friends. But their sound is more complex than that with distinguishable continental influences. I’d say they are somewhere in between Creedence Clearwater Revival  and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew.

However, I suppose it’s this Americana sound that resulted in their overly sleek first music video for "Every Summer” that admittedly looks like a hipster Abercrombie and Fitch commercial. Although, they really do have a fantastic sense of style. The band that is, not Abercrombie.

Frontman John Thornley was actually the inspiration for director Jake Davis, who shot their first video, and his Test Shots series, where he seeks to showcase an individual’s style rather than simply capturing an outfit with a photo. The results are certainly interesting, artfully abstract, and of course beautifully filmed.

Unfortunately, this band has only released an EP and a handful of tracks that I have searched far and wide to find. Fortunately for you, I’ve already done the legwork. Now go forth and listen!

Download their EP here

Listen to their new releases, “Louisiana Spell” and “My Dearest Friend,” here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Coral Album Out Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, British band, The Coral, will release their fifth full length album entitled Butterfly House. The first single, “1000 Years,” was released last month, and if the album is anything like this single it’s going to be amazing. Their trademark 60’s-esque psychedelic folk rock sound is intact and seems sharp as ever.

The band has been hard at work for the past two years writing new material and road testing it before finally going in to the studio to record. The album is produced by John Leckie, who also did Radioheads’ The Bends. Unfortunately, this will be the band’s first record without guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones, who permanently left the band in 2008 citing personal reasons.

Check out the video and be sure to grab their album when it drops tomorrow.

On a side note, this video is insane! It reminds me of a cross between Daft Punk’s Electroma and Jodorowsky’s El Topo.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

AA Endorses: Warby Parker Glasses

Myopic people of the world now have something to cheer about. Warby Parker has revolutionized how we buy glasses. The tyranny of those damned optical boutiques is over!

Started by four friends, Warby Parker utilizes a Net Flix-esque model to hawk its beautiful boutique quality frames at a fraction of the cost. To find the perfect pair, the folks at Warby Parker will ship you five frames to try without any obligation to buy. After settling on the right ones, send them back, and within a few days you’ll receive a shiny new pair of glasses.

The best part is, all of their frames cost $95. As if that weren’t good enough, your glasses will even touch you in a sensitive moral place. For every pair of glasses you purchase, Warby Parker will donate a pair to someone in need.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up their stylish monocle. You’ll be the envy of all the lads, reading the morning paper with your one bespectacled eye.

Friday, July 9, 2010

AA Loves: The Wild Mercury Sound

I just had the good fortune to be blessed by the music of The Wild Mercury Sound.

This band has some serious potential and it's startling to find out how young they are. They’ve already developed a complex sound that most bands still strive to find.

I suggest you keep a close eye on them, as they are working on their first EP.

Download “Chemistry” here, courtesy of the kind folks at Fucking Dance.

The Kooks Tears for Fears Cover

While the Kooks are at work on their third studio album, they still managed to release this fun cover of Tears for Fears’ Head over Heels. Luke Pritchard is spot on as always, and it’s nice to see them in this casual acoustic setting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The New Twilight Soundtrack WTF? + of Montreal announces tour with Janelle Monae

I suppose I’m a little late on this one, but surprisingly I don’t keep up with the latest developments in Twilight Universe. I recently received an email from the Metric newsletter detailing their new release "Eclipse (All Yours).” Excited, I listened to the song, not knowing that it was written expressly for the new Twilight movie. Needless to say I was shocked by the terrible lyrics and the shoddiness of…well everything.

I love Emily Haines, but it sounded like it was written by some emo suburban teenager writing poetry in her diary. “Tear me down they can't take you out of my thoughts/Under every scar there’s a battle I’ve lost/Will they stop when they see us again?” Come on! Really?!

A little perturbed, I decided to further investigate this. To my surprise, the folks behind Twilight managed to get some serious talent on board for the soundtrack. The list of quality bands that contributed new material is pretty astounding:

The Black Keys
The Dead Weather
Florence and the Machine
Vampire Weekend
Band of Horses

I suppose my biggest problem with this is that these bands have suddenly opened the floodgates to pre-pubescent Justin Bieber crazed teens. Call me a snob, but I don’t really want to see any Justin Bieber tweens at a Metric concert or a Dead Weather concert. Again, not to be snobby, but I will be, I’m not sure how much the average Twilight fan actually appreciates the magnitude of creative abilities that went into this soundtrack.

Well, I suppose I have to be honest now. All of this venting is really just to hide the fact that I think this soundtrack has the potential to kick some serious ass and I’ve already ordered my copy, watched all the videos online, and am in the process of purchasing the previous two soundtracks.

of Montreal Announces Tour with Janelle Monae

On to more exciting and less embarrassing news, of Montreal has just announced their joint tour with rising songstress Janelle Monae. At first the combination sounded a bit odd, but it’s actually quite logical. Of Montreal has always had a flair for the visual, and she is essentially the female version of Andre 3000. Just check out how stylish the concept is for her music video for, Tightrope.

What excites me more is how excited Kevin Barnes is. According to the good folks over at Pitchfork, Kevin Barnes wants to “marry the two shows together, in a way. It doesn't feel like you go see a band, and there's a pause, and there's another pause, and then it's over. We want to control the environment from right when the doors open, and have performance art and video performances and so many different levels of artistic stimulation that would go on throughout the whole night, so there's never a moment where there's house music or boring lighting. We want to transform the venues each night, so it becomes this exceptional experience for everyone."

How they plan to “marry” their two very different styles together is beyond me, but I am dying to find out.

Perhaps a combination of


Although, this might violate Kevin Barnes' golden rule of not wearing pants on stage.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Une Soiree De Poche avec Vampire Weekend

I was snooping around La Blagotheque last night and came across a Vampire Weekend concert that they had hosted. Now, I must admit that I had written off Vampire Weekend as a simplistic, non-substantive band with music that couldn’t stand up to repeated listening and reveal further depth, like say Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene.

However, to compare them to a heady Arcade Fire-esque band is to misunderstand them entirely. This performance helped me realize that their appeal lies in their infectiously charming and simply danceable music. They are not complex, nor do they try to be. They embrace that they are just a fantastically fun band that wants you to dance with them. Seeing the joy on their faces as they perform, and the sheer dancability of it all -- my god! I have a new found appreciation for them, and this show of theirs is how they ought to be enjoyed.

Considerable credit must also be given to the folks at Blagotheque. They have the uncanny ability to peel back the theatrics of strobe lights, skirt the abstract separation of a stage that obscures music, and change the act of listening to music to an experience.

They do a particularly good job with this show. It makes me think of some high school band class where everyone is involved and it’s not so much a performance as it is just a group of friends playing music for some other friends. There are no pretenses or an attempt to be rock stars. The aura of openess and sheer enjoyment is readily palpable.

The band’s interaction with the audience is amazing. During the second song, Ezra Koenig beckons them to all stand up and dance, and by the fourth song he's mingling and dancing with the crowd. By the time they get to their finale, if you’re not smiling and dancing too you’re a heartless robot.

Watch the damn thing. It may be the best 23 minutes that you can spend.

BTW is it just me or does the lead singer look like Emilio Estevez in the Breakfast Club?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Of Montreal Single

Of Montreal has just relesased their new single, Coquet Coquette, from their forthcoming album False Priest.

A damn good single replete with Kevin Barne's airy vocals, driving bass lines, and abstract lyrics. Although this time around they've got some great heavy guitar riffs that complement their electro-pop sound.

They were even so kind as to release it for free on their website.

Click here to download it from their website now


Tuesday's Finds

For my inaugural post, I figured I would celebrate my forced entry into the cavernous expanses of the interwebs by adding to the growing cacophony of frivolous blogs and sharing two things that I am currently obsessing over:

Ziggy Stardust Lightning Bolt Pendant

While the Ziggy Stardust lightning bolt has been co-opted by nearly everyone from Marilyn Manson to the omni-present gyrating hips of Lady Gaga, we can still find hipster-cred in returning to the original.

So it seems that there were only 500 of these pendants ever made for a promotion by Mirabelle magazine in 1974. Designed by David Bowie himself, these pendants are a rare find and I am on a quest to obtain one. Apparently, the lightning bolt was partly inspired by one of Bowie’s influences, Elvis Presley, who had a massive ring that featured a lightning bolt atop the words Taking Care of Business

The Lucksmiths - There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (Cover)

I love the Smiths and I love a good cover, so I suppose this comes as a bonus.

The Lucksmiths, a fantastic Australian band that recently broke up, have done the best cover of the Smiths’ There Is a Light That Never Goes Out that I have heard. Taking a fresh approach to it, these folks have turned it into a beautifully morbid duet. I know that for many Smiths fans nothing can live up to the original, and for the most part I’m right there with you. When utterly terrible bands attempt to gain some semblance of credibility by covering a great band the results are often disastrous. One need not look further than the tragic attempt by Death Cab for Cutie to cover This Charming Man. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for creative re-imaginings of great classics and fortunately for your ears this Lucksmiths cover just happens to fall into that category.