Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gruff Rhys Hotel Shampoo Review

My review of Gruff Rhys's latest album Hotel Shampoo is now up over at Donnybrook.

Here's just a quick take on the album:
"Beginning with “Shark Ridden Waters,” the listener is immediately swept into a world of espionage and intrigue as if they were in a sexy, retro spy thriller. A smooth ’60s-era melody cycles hypnotically in the background as Rhys gently coos shadowy lyrics like, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but lately I’ve been feeling like I’m truly… at the end.”

From there, the album quickly pivots from song to song in a quirky, schizophrenic journey that somehow manages to make sense. The tracks range from glum ballads like “Sophie Softly” to the upbeat and frenetic piano of “Sensations In The Dark” and the ’90s alternative rock throwback of “Patterns Of Power” with its Weezer-esque guitar riffs. Throughout each of these stylistic transformations, Rhys’s light falsetto is always present, imbuing each track with slight tinges of misery."
Head over to Donnybrook to read the rest or check out the video to "Shark Ridden Waters" below.

[Stream] Arctic Monkeys – Suck It and See

Domino Records recently made the latest Arctic Monkey’s album Suck It and See available for digital stream.

Listen below or head over to their website to have a peak at this fantastic new album.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Navy – Zimbabwe

I’m so happy that I recently discovered New Navy while surfing along the interwebs.

From the opening guitar riffs, “Zimbabwe” instantly sears itself into your brain with its bright 60’s indie pop stylings, the intricate guitar melody, and the catchy hook.

Based in Sydney, Australia, these indie rockers have made quite a name for themselves already hitting the stage with the likes of Wolfmother and Miami Horror.

Listen to “Zimbabwe” below for an extra kick in your step today.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Apollo 17 Moon Mission

I recently came across this great collection of hi-res photos from the Apollo 17 manned moon mission on A Time To Get.

Some pretty amazing shots, especially given the fact that they’re on the moon! Yea, I always wanted to be an astronaut as kid.

Check out the full gallery here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

AA Loves: Dutch Uncles

Everyone needs a little Dutch Uncles in their life right now.

Back with their second full length LP Cadenza, which just dropped late last month on Memphis Industries, the band’s unique sound has been steadily streaming from my speakers for the past several weeks.

Described as “math soul,” these indie rockers from Manchester mix atypical time signatures, interesting rhythms, and flamboyant guitar riffs to make some contagiously danceable jams.

Listen to these incredibly talented chaps below.

Dutch Uncles by Dutch Uncles

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

AA Loves – Boy Mandeville

Boy Mandeville has entered my life at the perfect time. Their light hearted sun-drenched indie pop is ideal for the summer.  

These British lads sound a bit like Vampire Weekend as they draw on African and Caribbean inspired beats as well, but Boy Mandeville is decidedly jollier and oh so unmistakably British.

Listen to their soon to be released single “Gorilla” below. It will simply melt your ears with its danceable calypso beats and good times vibe.

“Gorilla” will be out digitally on May 30th on The Dial Records.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Heartbreaks – Jealous, Don’t You Know

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Smiths lately, so I suppose it’s no surprise that I’m in love with “Jealous, Don’t You Know,” the latest from The Heartbreaks.

More upbeat than the Smiths, but still with plenty of melancholy their track gets you in all the right ways especially with the Johnny Marr-esque guitar riffs.

Fun and unmistakably British, watch the video for “Jealous, Don’t You Know” below.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Art of Boneface

Check out the amazing artwork of Boneface.

Gritty and violent yet with a proper dose of pop art and vibrant colors, his illustrations of bloodied comic book superhero are mighty powerful.

His latest pieces seem to be inspired by the work of Klaus Janson, the man who brought to life Frank Miller's grim epic The Dark Knight Returns.

Check out a few of his latest works below and be sure to head to his website to see more of this bloody gloriousness.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Teens – O’Lay

Here’s some lo-fi fuzzy garage rock from Idaho based Teens for you alls today.

Recorded in an “underground Cold War era bomb shelter,” these kids have captured the best of the buzz filled lo-fi indie rock sound that is all the rage these days. Feel free to file them away right next to Yuck and Smith Westerns.

Check out “O’Lay,” which is every bit as fun as it sounds, and head to their bandcamp to download it for free.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Wild Mercury Sound - Hope There's Someone

I was fortunate to get an email the other day from The Wild Mercury Sound, one of my favorite up and coming indie bands from London, with their cover of Anthony and Johnson’s “Hope There’s Someone.”

Their cover infuses the original with a bit of a folk feel beginning quietly with mournful vocals and a single guitar strumming softly, but the track builds quite nicely as the rest of the band joins in with some great backing vocals and even a bit of experimental rock thrown in at the end.

In particular, the song’s ending really showcases the band’s impressive vocal range and ability to harmonize.

Have a look below and definitely keep these lads on your radar.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thao & Mirah Review

My review for Thao & Mirah’s debut album just got posted over at Donnybrook yesterday.

Here’s a brief snippet:

“Not quite as fun, energetic, or whimsical as Thao with the Get down Stay Down and not quite as poignant as Mirah’s carefully composed folk, their joint effort lands somewhat awkwardly in the middle. That said, the album still has many bright moments and is impressive in their bold exploration of new territory, blending charm with disorder.

Pushing each other musically, Thao & Mirah have broken ground that they likely would not have been comfortable approaching on their own. Beginning with the jarring beats and amelodic sounds of the album’s opening track “Eleven,” it is readily apparent that they do things a bit diferently. Deftly juxtaposing chaos and beauty, “Eleven” vaguely resembles MIA with its electronic beats, dominating drums, and the chaotic swirl of noise (although the song distinguishes itself from any MIA effort as it has significantly better vocals).”
Head over to Donnybrook to read the rest.

Listen to “Little Cup” below.

AA Loves: The Belligerents

Keep an eye out for The Belligerents because these Aussies have penchant for making people dance.

They describe themselves as “dance/disco/punk band,” but I think the title of their debut EP sums up their sound best “Less Arty More Party.”

Combining intricate Explosions in the Sky-esque guitar melodies with catchy vocals and danceable beats, this quintet from Brisbane will have you shaking your groove thang and listening closely to their lyrics.

Now that the spring thaw is finally here and we’re starting to get some warm sunny days, this is the perfect backdrop for the weekend.

Be sure to check out my personal favorite “These Hands” below as well as “Such A Crime.”


Such A Crime by The Belligerents

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quiet Lights – Bar Matchless 5/13 Concert Review

I spent the better part of my Friday night enveloped in the deafening shoe gaze din of Quiet Lights, who played at Brooklyn’s Bar Matchless.

The small venue was perfect as their sound literally consumed the entire space leaving me wrapped in the middle of their miasmic swirl of guitar effects.

The band took to the stage as the culmination of an evening filled with shoe-gaze acts replete with impressive array of guitar pedals, effects, and colored lights.

With minimal banter, the band dived straight into their set powering through each song in an inward looking fashion that let their music set the tone. With their amps set on high, the band’s spiraling crescendos literally overpowered your body, flooding it with aural vibrations that left you somewhat stunned as your ears continued to ring pleasantly.

Their breathy vocals are even more beautiful in person and the hushed whispers serve as a great juxtaposition to the frequent sonic explorations and meandering guitar lines. With a thickly layered and lush dreamy sound, their performance packed an impressive emotional punch.

Featuring new songs from their forthcoming EP Big Fear as well as their previous releases like “No More Canyons,” the night proved to be hypnotizingly delightful.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the Big Fear EP which is due out June 28th on Old Flame Records.

In the meantime head over to their Bandcamp to listen to their previous releases.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Miami Horror

I’ve just found the perfect soundtrack for my summer. I have a sneaking suspicion that Miami Horror’s sunny electro-disco jams will be the only thing blasting from my speakers for the next several months.

Hailing from Melbourne, I suppose it’s no surprise that they resemble fellow Aussies Cut Copy a bit.

Insanely catchy beats, bouncing synth filled melodies, and blissed out vocals – need I say more.

Listen to a few stellar jams from “Moon Theory,” the band’s debut album, below.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Damn. That’s all I can say about this Oakland dance crew via France. It’s some of the rawest shit I’ve seen in a long time.

Yak Films.

Prepare to be blown away.

Side note: I miss the bay.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

[Introducing] Extra Arms

Check out Extra Arms, the latest band to emerge from Brooklyn’s indie rock scene.

Their debut single “Race to Sleep” has generated plenty of attention for the band and for good reason.

Extra Arms has a truly unique style blending the sounds of Interpol with Radiohead-esque melancholy. Dark atmospherics collide with intricate guitar lines and abstract vocals like “The sky’s lit up like the clouds were on fire/A high white note dying on the way up/With no way to come down.”

Listen to their debut single “Race to Sleep” as well as the B-Side “Best Disguise Is No Disguise” below, and for those of you in NYC head over to Cameo Gallery in Williamsburg on May 21st for the release party.

01 - Race To Sleep by Extra Arms

02 - Best Disguise Is No Disguise by Extra Arms

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

AA Blog Crush: Yvynl

Currently in love with the amazing concert photography over at Yvynl, a Philly based music and art Tumblr.

Have a look at a few of my recent favorites and head over to the blog to see more.

Monday, May 9, 2011

AA Loves: Land of Talk

It seems like I’ve been living under a rock and completely missed the train on Land of Talk, but they’ve dominated my playlists for the past few days and I just had to share.

This trio of Canadian indie rockers blends progressive rock, a spot of punk here and there, and a tint of folk to make some amazing tunes. Think of them as the love child of Reverie Sound Revue, Bon Iver, and Broken Social Scene.

Lead singer and guitarist Elizabeth Powell writes some great abstract lyrics like “We’ve seen how sick winds blow/but I’ve got your bovine eyes/and I love you like I love you/then I’ll die.” But to avoid sounding precious, Powell throws in enough edge on her vocals while also maintaining the clarity and tenderness of a folk songstress.

Joyful, poppy, and fun this band is perfect for the increasingly beautiful weather outside.

Have a listen to “Quarry Hymms," “Cloak and Cipher,” and "Some are Lakes" below.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Kills – Blood Pressure Review

My review of The Kill’s latest album Blood Pressures just got published over at Donnybrook.

Here’s a snippet of my take on the album:
“Showing incredible growth, Blood Pressures exhibits the band’s increasingly complex and textured sound. No longer just malevolence and brashness, the band deftly manipulates our emotions by vacillating between slow boiling sensuousness and wicked guitar driven snarls, even managing to infuse it all with tinges of nostalgia and wistful longing…

In particular, “Baby Says” stands out as evidence of the band’s expressive new sound. Opening with a “Gimme Shelter”-esque riff, the track is more melodic and lovesick than anything I’ve heard from The Kills to date. Instead of bludgeoning you with his abundant talent, Hince chooses to quietly display it with a smooth perpetually rolling riff that ebbs and flows perfectly with the essence of the song. Meanwhile Mosshart’s vocals are breathier and more passionate than ever, as she coos wistfully over a steady driving beat. Other songs that deserve repeated listens include the smoldering sexuality of “DNA,” the hypnotic “Heart Is A Beating Drum,” and the southern twang of “Pots and Pans.””
Head over to Donnybrook to read the rest.

Movie Bar Codes


The average movie has roughly 180,000 still frames. In an interesting move, a mysterious artist on Tumblr has taken every single frame from a movie and mashed them together side by side to create a unique bar code.

It’s interesting to see the predominance of certain colors in movies. In particular looking at movies that I’m familiar with you can actually pick out various scenes based on the color coordination.

Have a look at some of my favorites below and head over to the Tumblr to see more.

Prints are also available.

Into The Wild

Fight Club

Singing In The Rain

There Will Be Blood
Speed Racer

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Delay Trees – About Brothers

Check out the video for Finnish indie band Delay Trees’ “About Brothers.”

Directed by Teemu Eramma, the heartwarming and fanciful video is about Teemu’s brother Tomi, who likes to draw pictures of robots all day and write stories about them. Teemu makes his brother’s creations come alive as they galavante through the gorgeous Finnish countryside.

Mellow and tinted with the soft hue of a summer sunset, the track is the perfect backdrop for lazy days spent basking in the sun’s glorious rays and daydreaming .

The band’s debut self-titled record is due out on Friendly Fire Recordings on May 10.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Your Favorite Album As a Book

What if your favorite album was actually adapted from a book?

That is basically the premise for Christophe Gowans’s series of book covers where he reimagines popular records like Aracde Fire’s The Suburbs, Blood On The Tracks by Bob Dylan, and the Chili Peppers’ Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik as well worn books.

Below are a few of my favorites, but be sure to head over to his flickr to see the rest.

I love how he imagines Purple Rain as a science fiction novel from the 80s and while I haven’t been the biggest fan of The Killers album, I love how he used the lyrics from Mr. Brightside as a great tagline for a murder mystery.

His collection has also been published as a set titled The Record Books: Volume 1, which you can find here.