Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ex-Lovers – Blowing Kisses

 Listen to the charming sounds of Ex-Lovers, a fantastic band from the UK.

Nothing mind-blowingly outrageous, instead Ex-Lovers chooses to amaze by keeping things simple and sweet with their amiable indie rock – the type of light hearted, lovesick, airy pop that once used to rule the radio waves. 

Watch the video for “Blowing Kisses,” which was released in March of this year on Rough Trade.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Highway Child – Love Love Love

Upon first listen, one would think Highway Child came from a time when sweaty acid-fueled parties were commonplace, music was going to change the world, and love was all we needed to make everything right. 

Calling upon the rock and roll gods of yore, these Danish lads channel Hendrix’s searing guitar, the plaintiff wail of AC/DC, the tripped-out psychedelics of The Doors, and the bluesy fire of the Stones in their early days. 

Listen to “Love Love Love (I’m Gonna Take It Out On You)” and step into a time machine that transports you 40 years into the past.

  Love Love Love (I'm Gonna Take It Out On You) by Highway Child

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Art of Arian Behzadi

Utterly amazing.

Have a look at a few of my favorites below, or click here to see the rest

Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Black Delta - Capsize

Big Black Delta is pure sparkly electronic disco sex for your ears. 

Dark lusty beats and gritty bass lines a la Justice mix with sultry vocals for the perfect dance floor bangers that are sure to get you hot and sweaty. 

Have a listen to “Capsize” from his forthcoming debut LP BBDLP1, which is due out on September 26th on Coming Home Records. 

Surprisingly Big Black Delta aka Jonathan Bates, the former front man of Mellowdrone, describes “Capsize” as a song that “sounds like being woozy on a ship full of reckless dicks." 

Although perhaps it’s not that surprising once you consider that his grandfather was good drinking buddies with Ernest Hemingway and “they'd get drunk and go fishing off the coast of Peru,” and that the song is an homage to those times.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps – Calliope

Check out “Calliope,” the latest song from Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps’ forthcoming album Little Wind.

This absurdly catchy tune is indie folk rock at its best. The track opens with an infectious acoustic guitar melody and Smith’s lone voice, but the two are quickly joined with an exuberant wave of pure awesomeness. Reminiscent of the joyful danceability of Thao Nguyen & The Get Down Stay Down at their best, the band’s latest track will undoubtedly be the best three minutes of your day, so hurry up and listen below. 

Also don’t forget to check out “Tanktop,” the lead track from their new album, below courtesy of PopMatters. 

Little Wind drops September 20th via United Interests.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lanie Lane – Ain’t Hungry

Remember Lanie Lane, the sultry Aussie songstress whose sound I was smitten by a while back, well Jack White’s Third Man Records is releasing her first U.S. 7” today. 

I’m particularly excited as “Ain’t Hungry” and the B-Side “My Man” were produced by Jack White, and we all know what he’s capable of in the studio.

The combination of these two together on one track is absolutely lethal.  White infuses Lane’s bluesy 50’s throwback style with raw rockabilly-fired adrenaline to really up the ante. 

Be sure to grab your copy of “Ain’t Hungry” today. In the meantime, have a listen to Lane’s “What Do I Do” below.

Monday, August 22, 2011

AA Loves: Kill It Kid

Boy, oh boy am I a happy camper today. I recently got a chance to listen to Kill it Kid’s forthcoming album Feet Fall Heavy and holy crap is it good. 

Searing blues rock immediately assaults your ear drums from the album’s opening lines. Drawing heavily from the tradition of delta blues, these rockers from the U.K. have clearly been soaking in Americana culture.

With hammering piano lines, a blistering guitar, a thrumming bass, and powerful drumming, this quartet has an ample sound that punishes your speakers, but what separates Kill It Kid from other blues rock outfits like the White Stripes, Black Keys, and U.S. Royalty are their vocals. Chris Turpin and Stephanie Ward duel it out with one another in a continually escalating series of vocal confrontations that leaves bystanders bathed in raw hellfire and diesel.

Listen to “Pray On Me” below and stay tuned for their album which will be released September 19th on One Little Indian. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Jelly Jells- B€/\UT!FU{_

Jelly Jells just destroyed my speakers.

Mixing dance, reggae, and hip hop with some blissed out synths, the production on B€/\UT!FU{_is simply on another level. 

To use his words, the track is "a lil disco, a lil Prince, a lil indie but ALL of my soul"

Listen and download below. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I’m a bit late on the BRAIDS bandwagon, but I suppose it’s better late than never.

Filled with the quiet murmurs of babbling streams, enigmatic echoes, and an air of mystery, BRAIDS is like some primordial spirit that emerged when the first trees sprang to life. Lush harmonious layers and driving beats with a subtly uplifting undercurrent, (think Young Galaxy or Land of Talk) provide the perfect complement to Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s magical elfin voice.

With twinges of shoegaze, BRAIDS sounds a bit like a dreamier version of Broken Social Scene’s art rock in that each song is packed with a deluge of ideas and melodic lines that pull you in several directions.

Check out “Lemonade” and “Plath Heart” from their debut album Native Speaker released earlier this year on Flemish Eye.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hunter S. Thompson - Hell's Angels

"With the throttle screwed on, there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right… and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are the wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it… howling through a turn to the right, then to the left, and down the long hill to Pacifica… letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge… The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others- the living- are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it’s In. The association of motorcycles with LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means to an end, to the place of definitions."

-Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Division – Opium

As a huge fan of 80s acts like The Cure, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode, I suppose it’s not much of a surprise then that I’m absolutely enamored with New Division

Drawing heavily from the New Wave revivalist tradition, these lads from California drench every song with the moodiness of The Cure while simultaneously throwing in plenty of danceable synths. Imagine the electronic exuberance of Cut Copy mixed with the dark atmospherics of Interpol.

Listen to “Opium,” my personal favorite from their debut LP Shadow, which is out now and available for download from their bandcamp.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Love Inks – E.S.P

I just got a chance to listen to the Love Inks’ debut album E.S.P. 

Full of enchantingly beautiful vocals, sparse beats, and direct lyrics, their minimal sound is pure pop genius. Stripping out all extraneous elements, this trio from Austin pares down their music so that only the catchiest mind-invading essentials remain.

Check out “Blackeye” below, an unadorned yet charming ditty about a friend with a black eye. 

Their album is available now via City Slang.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Art of Bankrputcy

I recently stumbled across Phillip Toledano’s series of photographs on bankruptcy.

Taken in 2001 at the beginning of America’s long slide into recession and the first collective realization that the age of the Internet was not a utopian rocketship, Toledano documents the most visible scars of the economy: abandoned office buildings.

With his amazing aesthetic eye, Toledano captures the capriciousness of time; the disposability of consumer culture; the faux sentimentality of office culture; the transparently empty displays of corporate teamwork, caring, and other vapid slogans.

Above all there is an unnerving emptiness to these photos with its eerie sense of fresh decay with its whispers of a previous life filled with small talk, bureaucracy, and semi-permanence.

Toledano puts it best when he writes, “There was something very strange about walking into a recently abandoned office. The heavy, Pompeii-like stillness…A coat-hanger waiting patiently for a coat. A limp happy-birthday balloon on the floor…Everywhere, there were signs of life, interrupted.”

Have a look at a few of my favorites below or head to his site to view more from this series.

Also, be sure to check out his other works as well. In particular “A New Kind of Beauty” and “Phonesex” are fascinating photographic sets with great intellectual depth behind them grappling with how technology and modernity affects love, self-esteem, beauty, sex, and other pertinent issues. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Arrange – Plantation

While August isn’t usually the time for quiet and moody tunes, Plantation, the debut LP from Arrange will certainly make you think twice. 

Arrange (aka 18 year old South Florida based Malcolm Lacey) churns out hauntingly lovesick piano driven songs that are backed by dark electronic beats and a mournful voice. 

Listen to “Tiny Little Boy” below or head over to Bandcamp to download your copy. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Tiger My Timing - Endless Summer

Released earlier this month, My Tiger My Timing’s single “Endless Summer” is the perfect ode to summer with its youthful playfulness a la Cyndi Lauper.  

Hypnotic synths, zinging guitars, and alluring vocals make for another impeccable summer jam so roll up your sleeves, bust out the ice cold beers, and hit the sun-drenched beach.

Have a look at the fantastically fun video below. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Journey Through the Golden State

I think it’s no surprise that the humid confines of New York have been suffocating me of late, so in a last minute move I hastily booked a trip out to beautiful California and decided to quench my thirst for the open road with a meandering road trip down the coast and through the heart of the Golden State. 

Unfortunately, I was on my own so naturally documenting the various views that I drove through – misty forests, arid valleys, the fog shrouded cliffs, and rocky canyons – was a bit difficult, but I did manage to snap a few as I dodged cars on various interstates. 

Pressed for time on my way back, I will forever regret not stopping and taking a picture on that stretch of desolate highway where I passed a scene straight from a Cormac McCarthy novel – rolling golden hills opened on to a valley where a bull sat proudly under the shade of a solitary oak tree while he kept watch over his harem of cows which were lazily drinking at a watering hole.

Despite missing that one picturesque photo, I still managed to catch a few good snapshots. Have a look below at some of my favorites. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Morning Benders – Last Nite (Cover)

Check out the latest Morning Benders' track, a cover of “Last Nite” by The Strokes.

In a departure from their usual sound, the Morning Benders opted to abandon their guitar driven melodies for electronic beats and dreamy synths to give “Last Nite” a totally different feel.

For fans of The Morning Benders and The Strokes this is bound to make your day.

More please!

Friday, August 5, 2011

AA Loves: The Ross Sea Party

I finally got a chance to listen to The Ross Sea Party’s EP Plains of Id and must say their sound lives up to its esoteric namesake

Their jaunty indie folk-rock is monumental in that it invades your brain and leaves little room for anything else. Mixing dark lyrics with driving beats and catchy melodies, the LA based band has a deeply textured sound full of intricacies that slowly emerges with each repeated listen.

The Ross Sea Party is certainly one of the more unique bands that I’ve heard of late and unquestionably deserve your attention. 

Stream the EP below or head over to their bandcamp to grab your free copy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lilac – So Young

There’s always room for dreamy garage rock on my summer playlist, so naturally Lilac is a welcome addition.

These San Francisco based garage rockers make delectable pop songs filled with a mix of psychedelic swirls, lo-fi fuzz, and some good ol’ fashioned rock and roll.

Their self-titled debut EP was released digitally on June 7th on Omega Records and the vinyl will be out starting on July 19th.

Listen to “So Young” and “Days” below or head over to We All Want Someone To Shout For to download grab a copy of their single “Cathedral.”

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Rosebuds - Loud Planes Fly Low Review

My review of The Rosebuds' latest album Loud Planes Fly Low recently got published over at Donnybrook. It came out a little while ago, but I've been so busy of late that I didn't get a chance to post it until now.

Anyhow, here's a quick excerpt from the review:
Listeners are immediately struck by the dark and abstract sound that permeates the album, but after considering that Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp–the husband and wife duo behind the band–split up three years ago and have fought to come to terms with each other, the album’s mood is not all that surprising.
Channeling their personal experiences into the album, Howard and Crisp have churned out some of their best written songs yet. Roiling with emotions beneath its smooth surface, Loud Planes Fly Low will pull you under and violently drown you in its tempestuous vortex.
...Despite its driving beat and catchy synths, even the album’s most upbeat song, “Woods,” fails to escape the gravitational pull of their moodiness as Howard moans dark lyrics like “No don’t you wait for me / No you can’t burn what is already on fire” and “There’s nowhere to hide / Everyone out here is so high / Oh good God.”
Head over to Donnybrook to read the rest or watch the video for "Woods" below.

AA’s Frivolous Wants: Playbutton

Check out The Playbutton which is basically the ultimate band accessory – half pin, half mp3 player.

Now you can now rock out to your favorite bands like The XX, Javelin, and Memory Tapes while repping them at the same time.

Perhaps the most exciting thing though is the possibility of creating custom orders in which you design your own pin and music.

Head over to their site to read more or to pick up your own.