December 31, 2008

Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping

Attention, sexual beings of the future: your anthem as arrived. Of Montreal's fifteenth album, Skeletal Lamping, is a world where sex rules, and love is just a lubricant. This world, pictured on the album cover, is full of naked, uninhibited bodies swimming in a swirling, blooming bowl. The predominant figure points to the teeth-like thorns that surround the bodies, the only threat to their lustful libations. This threat, it becomes clear, is tradition: "Georgie said romantic love is flat/(Georgie said that)/Only for people with no real ambition in their life (no life)" croons Barnes in "For Our Elegant Caste."

Georgie Fruit is taking love, dyeing it purple and adding sparkle. Does it matter that Georgie Fruit, who on stage is a hot mess of drag, latex and Bowie-like make-up, is the pseudonym for OM frontman Kevin Barnes, a white heterosexual family man? Not in the least. This is about blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, people. The wild charade and orgy of sounds, though, is not just about fun- it is the band's way of addressing some of today's serious issues. When not all are free to love, how better to rebel than to let it all hang out (which, by the way, Barnes has been known to do at shows)? The surreal sexual scape of Skeletal Lamping is ultimately an idealist's answer to the crushing conservatism of our time. "We function on the lowest human level/Yet somehow keep living," Barnes laments in "St. Exquisite's Confessions." So what better than suspension of belief? Why not let apples be apples, and let Barnes be Fruit?

Barnes' call for libido liberation is fitting for the sexually ambiguous indie-rockers who make up much of the Of Montreal fan base. These kids are Obama-oogling, Prop. 8-negating, pants-off-dance-off ravers who aren't afraid to pop the pill and shift their shapes (have you seen pictures of Girl Talk's November Terminal 5 concert in NYC?). The question of the Of Montrealers is, and will remain: Why not get down with our bad selves? And I can't think of a good reason why not.

December 13, 2008

10 Best Albums of 2008

Everyone seems to be coming up with their lists, so here's mine...

Emma's Top 10 Albums of 2008

1. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago (yes, the name helps)
2. Cut Copy- In Ghost Colours
3. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
4. TV on the Radio- Dear Science
5. Of Montreal- Skeletal Lamping
6. Gnarls Barkley- The Odd Couple
7. Santogold- Santogold
8. Beck- Modern Guilt
9. Coldplay- Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
10. Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend

December 8, 2008

Playlist for 12/7

The Spinto Band- Summer Grof
The Welcome Wagon- Sold! To the Nice Rich Man
Bear Hands- Golden
Friendly Fires- Paris (remix)
Rafter- Sweat
The New Deal- Receiver
The Twelves- When You Talk
TV on the Radio- Golden Age
The Presets- If I Know You
Passion Pit- Cuddle Fuddle
Digitalism- Pogo
Takka Takka- Silence
Ghostland Observatory- Silver City
Foals- Olympic Airwaves
Department of Eagles- No One Does It Like You
Human Highway- The Sound
Of Montreal- Gallery Piece
Department of Eagles- Sailing By Night
The Whitest Boy Alive- Burning
Kanye West- Say You Will
Sia- Buttons (CSS remix)
Tokyo Police Club- Juno (remix)
Passion Pit- Sleepyhead (remix)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Satan Said Dance
Mark Ronson- The Only One I Know
Mark Ronson ft. Santogold- Pretty Green
Depeche Mode- Never Let Me Down Again
The Rosebuds- Bow to the Middle
Vampire Weekend- Ottoman
Grampall Jookabox- Ghost (Nobody remix)
The White Stripes- Walking With a Ghost
Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal (remix)
Jose Gonzalez- Heartbeats
TV on the Radio- Love Dog
Kanye West- Bad News
El Ten Eleven- Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
Daedelus- Sundown
Fujiya & Miyagi- Collarbone
The Presets- Girl and the Sea

November 24, 2008

Playlist for 11/23 Show!

Devendra Banhart- Carmencita
The Black Keys- So He Won’t Break
Team B- On My Mind
Cut Copy- Nobody Lost, Nobody Found
Rafter- Salt
Vampire Weekend- Ottoman
Fredrik- Black Fur
Deer Tick- Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin)
Chromeo- Fancy Footwork
Of Montreal- Women’s Studies Victims
Matt and Kim- Daylight
Sea Wolf- You’re a Wolf
Chromeo- Outta Sight
The Knife- We Share Our Mother’s Health (Ratatat remix)
Fujiya & Miyagi- Dishwasher
Chromeo- Bonified Lovin’
The Black Keys- Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be
Coldplay/Jay-Z- The Reverse Fix
Datarock- Computer Camp Love
Deer Tick- Beautiful Girls (Sean Kingston cover)
Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal (remix)
Melpo Mene- Hello Benjamin
Foals- Olympic Airways
Does It Offend You, Yeah?- Being Bad Feels Pretty Good
Black Kids- Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo)
Bumblebeez- Rio
Starfucker- German Love
Rafter- Juicy
Grampall Jookabox- Ghost (Nobody remix)
Glasser- Apply
Gorillaz- 5/4
BATTLE- Tendency
Ladytron- Seventeen
M.I.A.- Jimmy
Beck- Heaven Hammer (Missing) [Air remix]
Fires of Rome- Set in Stone (remix)
Beck- Broken Drum (remix by Boards of Canada)
Hercules and Love Affair- Blind
The Knife- Heartbeats
M.I.A.- 20 Dollar
Digitalism- Pogo
Passion Pit- Sleepyhead
Santogold- Creator
Elefant- Misfit

November 5, 2008

Playlist for 11/2

Friendly Fires- Jump in the Pool
Yeasayer- 2080
Lemonade- Real Slime First Bounce
School of Seven Bells- Connjur
Starfucker- German Love
Lykke Li- I’m Good I’m Gone (Black Kids remix)
The Cool Kids- Delivery Man
Starfucker- Florida
Phosphorescent- A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise
Yeasayer- Sunrise
MIA & Jay-Z- Boys (remix)
Pattern is Movement- Right Away
Fanfarlo- You Are One of the Few Outsiders That Understand Us
Tapes N Tapes- The Dirty Dirty (AmpLive remix)
Cut Copy- Hearts on Fire
Rolling Stones- Gimme Shelter (Stereolab remix)
Shout Out Out Out Out- Nobody Calls Me Unless They Want Something
Yeasayer- Forgiveness
School of Seven Bells- Chain
Eagle*Seagull- Photo
Pretty & Nice- Tora Tora Tora
Bloc Party- Ares
Grampall Jookabox- Ghost (Nobody remix)
Air- Mer du Japon (Teenagers remix)
Foals- Olympic Airways
Bloc Party- Biko
Matt & Kim- Daylight
Lemonade- Big Weekend
Department of Eagles- No One Does It Like You
Does It Offend You, Yeah?- Dawn of the Dead
Human Highway- The Sound
The Spinto Band- Summer Grof
Takka Takka- Silence
Ghostland Observatory- Silver City
Cut Copy- Nobody Lost, Nobody Found
Fujiya & Miyagi- Dishwasher
Glasser- Apply
Grampall Jookabox- Air Penance
King Khan & the Shrines- Outta Harm’s Way
Land of Talk- Some are Lakes
Los Campesinos- Death to Los Campesinos!
MGMT- Kids (Soulwax remix)
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson- Woodfriend
Passion Pit- Sleepyhead

October 19, 2008

10/19 Show Playlist

Damien Jurado- Gillian Was a Horse
Fleet Foxes- Ragged Wood
Lykke Li- Breaking It Up
Arctic Monkeys- 505
Deerhoof- Offend Maggie
Digitalism- Pogo
Hot Chip- And I Was a Boy From School
Devendra Banhart- Lover
Dr. Dog- Hang On
Shake the Baron- Others Like Me
Clues- Perfect Fit
Yellow Fever- Joe Brown
Kirsten Ketsjer- Ernie and the Sea
Kings of Leon- Revelry
Beach House- Gila
Beirut- My Family’s Role in the World Revolution
TV on the Radio- Golden Age
Yellow Fever- Culver City
Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal
Jeff Hanson- If Only I Knew
Ghostland Observatory- Silver City
Department of Eagles- No One Does It Like You
Foals- Olympic Airwaves
Does it Offend You, Yeah?- Dawn of the Dead
Yeasayer- Sunrise
Human Highway- The Sound
The Spinto Band- Summer Grof
Takka Takka- Silence
Air- Mer du Japon (Teenagers remix)
MIA- Bamboo Banga
Santogold- Creator
Kings of Leon- Be Somebody
Kings of Leon- Sex on Fire
Chromeo- Call Me Up
Beck- Orphans
Beck- Gamma Ray
Moving Units- Pink Thoughts
Ratatat- Kennedy
Radiohead- Weird Fishez (AmpLive remix)
Fujiya & Miyagi- Dishwasher
Bumblebeez- Rio
Land of Talk- Some Are Lakes
Gorillaz- Kids With Guns (Hot Chip remix)
Cut Copy- Hearts on Fire

October 16, 2008

Kings of Leon- Only By the Night (released 9/22/08)

Everyone remembers the first time they heard Kings of Leon. For me, it was in my friend Julia’s car, summer of 2005, fleeing a party that reeked of hipster hair gel and cigarettes. The song: “King of the Rodeo.” My reaction: “What IS this?” It was everything I needed. It was fresh and unafraid, as is the whole album. From the heartbreaking “Milk” to the unabashed “Soft,” ‘Aha Shake Hearbreak’ is a punch in the stomach to any indie rocker who thinks they know it all. And the fans have come to expect this from the three brothers and cousin from Tennessee. They know who they are and what they do, and they rock it.

While “Because of the Times” was unfairly brushed over by most, it failed to match up to the band’s first two releases (Aha Shake Heartbreak, Youth & Young Manhood). There are some good songs, most notably “Fans” and “The Runner,” but all in all the album seems unsure of itself. Now with the release of “Only By the Night,” we see “Because of the Times” for what it truly is: a transition from the sincere beginnings of the band to their newer, more forced direction.

The album opens with “Closer,” a ballad about a lovesick vampire which lets the audience know loud and clear that KoL is no small-town band. This isn’t the ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’ Kings of Leon. This is a new sound, reminiscent of The Killers and other mainstream arena-rock bands, and it spits in the face of the true fans. Every band, when producing a new album, is faced with the daunting project of progress; it is the artist’s burden to always one-up the last. What is so disappointing is when this attempt to improve leads to an alignment with the mainstream. “Facing the door, I wanna be somebody,” Followill croons in "Be Somebody." The problem is that in trying to be somebody, they lost who they already were.

All in all, “Only By the Night” is good music. There are good songs (“Sex On Fire,” “17,” “Revelry”) that leave the listener happy. But to the Kings of Leon fan, good is not good enough. We want quirk. We want razz. And this is all we get?

September 28, 2008

Playlist for 9/28 show

Blitzen Trapper- Furr
CSS- Music is My Hot, Hot Sex
Bumblebeez- Rio
Calvin Harris- Disco Heat
Datarock- Fa-Fa-Fa
Free Blood- Quick & Painful
Ghostland Observatory- Sad Sad City
Glasser- Apply
Grampall Jookabox- Air Penance
The Broken West- Auctioneer
Islands- Rough Gem
Land of Talk- Some Are Lakes
Of Montreal- Nonpareil of Favor
Passion Pit- Sleepyhead
Peter Bjorn & John- Inland Empire
The Phenomenal Handclap Band- Testimony
Takka Takka- Silence
The Spinto Band- Summer Grof
The Ting Tings- Great DJ
Tokyo Police Club- Juno [Ra Ra Riot/Andrew Maury Remix]
The Tough Alliance- Neo Violence
TV on the Radio- Dancing Choose
The Unicorns- Sea Ghost
Human Highway- The Sound
Interpol- Wrecking Ball
Does It Offend You, Yeah?- Dawn of the Dead
Foals- Olympic Airways
Fujiya & Miyagi- Dishwasher
Ghostland Observatory- Silver City
Hot Chip- Over and Over
MGMT- Kids (remix)
Beirut- Elephant Gun
Chad VanGaalen- Bones of Man
The Whitest Boy Alive- Burning
The Whitest Boy Alive- Golden Cage
Wolf Parade- Fine Young Cannibals
The Rosebuds- Life Like
School of Seven Bells- Half Asleep
Shitdisco- Reactor Party
Throw Me the Statue- Lolita
Department of Eagles- No One Does It Like You
Albert Hammond, Jr.- GfC
Department of Eagles- Sailing By Night
Of Montreal- An Eluardian Instance

March 28, 2008

Not only can Andrew Bird rock...

... but he can write, too! The Chicago-based singer/songwriter has started contributing to the New York Times Blog 'Measure for Measure.' In his posts, he talks about his creative process and his new album. Check it out- he's a talented dude.

March 27, 2008

Battle of the Music Mutineers

Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, in the words of Eliot Van Buskirk, have been "taking turns giving the music industry the finger." Both bands have recently been making waves by establishing new precedents for music distribution, from label-ditching to free downloads, and now the two rebels are goin' head-to-head.

Check out the beef in Wired's new article.

New Flight of the Conchords Album & Single!

This is a pretty sweet picture. Also- new album and single!

February 26, 2008

Radiohead Remix Album

Amplive's remix album has been released and is free to all!
Featured artists include Del the Funky Homosapien, Too $hort, MC Zumbi of Zion I, Codany Holiday & Chali 2NA of Jurassic 5.

Check out Brooklyn Vegan for the download.

New Atmosphere Album & 2008 Tour Dates

"Following a string of Sad Clown releases, Slug & Ant return with their 6th official studio album, 'When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Sh*t Gold'"

Atmosphere - 2008 Tour Dates
04.22 Chicago, IL The Metro
04.23 Chicago, IL The Metro
04.24 Toronto, ON Opera House
04.26 Boston, MA The Roxy
04.27 New York, NY Webster Hall
04.29 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
05.02 Austin, TX Emo's
05.03 Austin, TX Emo's
05.05 Phoenix, AZ Marquee Theater
05.06 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theatre
05.07 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theatre
05.08 San Francisco, CA Grand Ballroom at The Regency
05.09 San Francisco, CA Grand Ballroom at The Regency
05.12 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
05.13 Seattle, WA Showbox
05.14 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
05.16 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
05.17 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
05.18 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre

Bloc Party is back!

Fear not, BP fans- all is not lost! After the disappointing 'A Weekend in the City,' Kele and the boys are back with a new single that is spot-on. Download 'Flux' on iTunes now! Let's hope the whole new album is this good!

See the official music video here.
(They may have lost their minds, but at least they're making good music again)

January 26, 2008

New Cat Power!

Jukebox is officially out! Check out Chan's second collection of covers.

Stars-In Our Bedroom After the War

While this album has been out for months, the band’s tour is just kicking off. The album, quite simply, does not disappoint; Stars continues to shine with its eloquent originality. At times, however, 'In Our Bedroom After the War' strays from the cleverness that keeps the band fresh and on the cusp of the indie scene. Throughout, Amy Millan maintains her quiet, striking grace while in tracks like 'Life 2: The Unhappy Ending' and 'Barricade' Torquil Campbell borders on Broadway bravado that makes the album seem like its trying too hard. While gusto can be fantastic (Rufus Wainwright), Campbell’s enthusiasm comes off as desperate. This actor/singer is undoubtedly at his best when subdued. Perhaps this gusto is just misplaced on Arts & Crafts, the major Canadian indie label. Highlight tracks include the latest single ‘The Night Starts Here’ and the endearing ‘My Favourite Book.’ While ‘In Our Bedroom After the War’ mainly serves Stars fans exactly what they have come to expect from this Toronto-based band, tracks like ‘The Ghost of Genova Heights’ prove that there is more to be seen from Stars. Let’s just hope that Campbell finds an outlet for his stage calling before the next album.

Tour dates are:

Jan 26- Aberdeen @ Moshulu
Jan 27- Glasgow @ Oran Mor
Jan 28- Birmingham @ Barfly
Jan 29- London @KOKO
Jan 30- Bristol @ Thekla Social
Jan 31- Machester @ Academy 3
Feb 2- Nottingham @ Rescue Room
Feb 3- Sheffield @ Leadmill
Feb 4- Brighton @ Concorde 2
Feb 6- Amsterdam @ Maxx at Melkweg
Feb 7- Hamburg @ Knust
Feb 8- Brussels @ AB Box
Feb 9- Paris @ La Maroquinerie
Feb 10- Frankfurt @ Mousonturm
Feb 11- Kilin @ Gloria
Feb 12- Berlin @ Kesselhaus
Feb 13- Vienna @ Flex
Feb 23- Adelaide @ Laneway Festival
Feb 24- Melbourne @ Laneway Festival
Feb 26,27- Sydney @ Spectrum
Feb 28- Melbourne @ The East Brunswick Club
Feb 29- Brisbane @ The Zoo
Mar 1- Brisbane @ Laneway Festival
Mar 2- Sydney @ Laneway Festival
Mar 5- Osaka @ Club Quattro
Mar 6- Tokyo @ Liquid Room
Mar 7- Tokyo @ Club Quattro
Mar 19- Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
Mar 20- Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
Mar 21- Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
Mar 22- Athens, GE @ Georgia Theatre
Mar 24- Birmingham, AL @ Workplay
Mar 25- Nashville, TN @ The Belcourt
Mar 26- Louisville, KY @ Bomhard Theatre
Mar 27- Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
Mar 28- Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
Mar 29- Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
Mar 30- Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls
Mar 31- Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Apr 1- Buffalo, NY @ The Traif