Friday, August 31, 2007

New Band of Horses Album/Songs

When I saw Band of Horses back in May at the Scala here in London the boys tested out a few songs from their soon to be released new album. At that time, no one in the venue knew the upcoming album name or song titles, but the audience's reception of the new material was enthusiastic, to say the least.

Turns out that the one new song that got everyone talking after the gig was 'Is There a Ghost'. This super-catchy little ditty was released on the band's myspace a few days ago and it will be the first track (and maybe the first single) on the new album.

'Ode to LRC' was also extremely well-received; check out this clip from a show in June (ignore the video - the sound quality is decent):

This new song is a bit more upbeat than the average BoH tune, and I found myself humming if for days afterwards:

The Horses declared that recording and production for the new album had wrapped at the end of June, and more recently revealed its title (Cease to Begin), cover art (see above), release date (October 9th) and tracklist:
01 Is There a Ghost
02 Ode to LRC
03 No One's Gonna Love You
04 Detlef Schrempf
05 The General Specific
06 Lamb on the Lam (in the city)
07 Islands on the Coast
08 Marry Song
09 Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
10 Window Blues

- a.m.p.m.

Band of Horses - Is There a Ghost

Rising to the Challenge

The first single from The New Pornographers' recently released Challengers is so good it bears posting again; I've thrown in a few other solid tracks from the new album to sweeten the deal.

The new album isn't as instantly catchy as 2005 release Twin Cinema - this one's a grower and somewhat understated. It's much more subtle, and aside from single 'My Rights, Versus Yours', offers little of the in-your-face hooks that defined previous efforts from the band. However, Challengers' songs blossom and grow with each listen. The album took me a while to get into, but now I can't get it out of my head.

- a.m.p.m.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

from one modern day icon to the next.

part of my new job is to peruse music blogs. it's pretty rad.

i found this little gem from i guess i'm floating out of nowhere, rhode island. the blog itself is quickly becoming one of my favourites.

the track is from a BBC Radio 1 live studio session august 16th with the foo fighters. They pulled out a very respectable rendition of arcade fire's "keep the car running", which left the host of the show excreting lubrication in excessive amounts.

the foo's have a new record, echoes, silence, patience & grace, due out september 25th. the first single, "the pretender", is available for download below.

Foo Fighters - Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire cover) (YSI)
Foo Fighters - the Pretender (YSI)

- bbbykmbrly.

Tokyo Police Club; friends of You Say Party! We Say Die!

I don't know how I didn't hear about this before today, but...

Tokyo Police Club joined by YSP!WSD! covering an old personal favourite, the Rentals' "Friends of P".

The original music video of "Friends of P" is posted below. Listening to this song more than 10 years later, I think it's easy to hypothesize why weezer's creative output shit the bed the second Matt Sharp left to focus on the Rentals full-time.

Also on the topic - Youtube just keeps hitting them out of the proverbial park. Check out this one - the Rentals joined by Damon Albarn (circa blur's hay day), performing the track on some random French talk show.

- bbbykmbrly.

Reading Videos Available Online

For those of you interested in seeing just what went on at Reading this year, the BBC is offering video coverage from the majority of the big-name acts online here. Entire sets from Klaxons, Albert Hammond Jr, Interpol, CSS, Arcade Fire, Gossip, Bloc Party, LCD Soundsystem, Patrick Wolf and many others are available, as are individual acoustic tracks including the Hold Steady's rollicking 'Chips Ahoy' and Peter Bjorn and John's iconic 'Young Folks'.

You can also check out photos of the festival site and crowds, 360 degree pictures and crowd reaction video interviews here.

Hurry, though; they're only available for viewing online until September 3rd.

- a.m.p.m.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spiral Spinning Round

Considering Dan Snaith's previous work as Manitoba and under current moniker Caribou, his new album Andorra feels logical in terms of musical progression, albeit while sounding more free-spirited than ever before. I thought The Milk of Human Kindness was a great album because Snaith balanced hip hop influenced rhythms ("Lord Leopard") and progressive Beck-like sounds ("Yeti"), while constantly reverting to psych-tinged 60's production and guitar ("Bees"). The percussive elements would shuffle, but the mood created on "Bees" was the constant that felt like a spine great ideas would stem from and branch out. The variety is less apparent on Andorra, but it seems as though he used that song as a jumping off point for this new effort.

The instrumentation on Andorra shifts pretty effortlessly between classic sounding string parts and digital melodies provided by keys and synths. The product could be placed somewhere between Sufjan Stevens and Miracle Fortress in terms of style, meaning that layers are at the forefront though the songs themselves are earnest and straightforward. There are a few electronic departures, the most obvious being the last two songs "Irene" and "Niobe". However, the prevalent sound is brightly coloured pop relying on flutes, bells, chimes, and various vocal effects. That sensibility is the selling point, from opener and single "Melody Day" to the fluttering "Eli". There comes a point in the latter when a strong saxophone part creeps into the wall of sound, making the song burst at its seams. Where Milk might have suddenly changed direction on a song like this, Andorra pursues its target, building steadily to a peak never before reached on a Caribou record.

Andorra's one of the stronger Canadian releases of '07, pick it up if you get a chance.

Caribou - Melody Day
Caribou - Eli

- brad

Foals Gold

I'd heard a couple of tracks from British band Foals but wasn't sure what to expect when a friend recommended I check out their set at Reading on Saturday afternoon. Well, I was mighty impressed. Tagged as 'dance-punk', the Oxford five-piece bring to mind the Rapture and Goose mixed with Hot Hot Heat (back when they were good). The band's Mathletics single dropped a couple of weeks ago and their first full-length album is due to be released in the UK this fall on Transgressive Records. All signs point to awesome.

- a.m.p.m.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Join the Club

What a weekend. This was Reading at its best: perfect weather, amazing bands, and more epic performances than you can shake a stick at. Highlights included Arcade Fire playing into a dazzling sunset on the main stage Saturday night, Crystal Castles drawing a crowd approximately twice the capacity of the Dance Arena, and the CSS/LCD Soundsystem/Klaxons triple play festival closer they blew everyone's fucking minds. And as would be expected with any music festival of this calibre, I discovered a whole bunch of new favourite bands that I didn't even know existed. I'll be sure to share them with you in the weeks to come, but for now it's time to talk about the band that opened the festival, and opened my eyes to how many amazing British bands are coming out of the woodwork this year.

I'd heard of Bombay Bicycle Club before - hell, the restaurant they're named after is just down the road from me and they've been legends in Camden for almost a year - but seeing them live sealed the deal. I could go on and on about these guys, but it's best if you just go here and here and check out the songs below.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Open House
Bombay Bicycle Club - Sixteen
Bombay Bicycle Club - Cancel On Me

- a.m.p.m.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Well kids, I'm off to Reading tonight to take in as many amazing bands as possible over the next few days. Upon my return next week I'll let y'all know how the shows I've been anticipating all summer panned out, and will likely have a list of hot new groups to share as well.
The festival's final lineup is absolutely unreal - check it out here.

For now, I'll leave you with a couple tracks and a video from Ghosthustler.

Ghosthustler - Parking Lot Nights
Ghosthustler - Busy Busy Busy

- a.m.p.m.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"You don't need tricks, you don't need treats, you don't need Halloween"

Last night, I was finally able to catch Vancouver based Mother Mother at a free open air show in the heart of downtown Victoria. They offered their talents for the kick-off party of the Victoria Fringe Festival, which celebrates music, theatre, and art. For those unfamiliar with the group, the band is essentially a unique three piece, which I dare to describe as indie-folk rock, whose sound is brought to its fullest by the vocals and harmonics of the two female members, Molly Guldemond, sister to guitarist Ryan, and Debra-Jean Creelman. Their performance in no way fell short of what we have come to expect from other members of the Last Gang Records family. Beginning with Touch Up's opening track, 'Dirty Town', they quickly moved into some of the best material from their debut album: 'Polynesia' and 'Verbatim'. It was clear that with the immediate release of their catchiest and most well known tracks to the audience, the band had something up their sleeve. This, of course, consisted of a slew of new material. Songs like 'Ghostin' are some of the best I have yet heard from this band and demonstrate an evolution in their original sound as they build more upon the particular bits of goodness that worked for them in their previous album. Mother Mother's follow-up album, which seems imminent soon after their current touring schedule, is something I will definitely be looking forward to. And me without my camera! Sorry bad.

Matty B.

Mother Mother - Polynesia
Mother Mother - Verbatim
Mother Mother - Legs Away
Mother Mother - Dirty Town

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Devendra Banhart Wants To Be A Seahorse

And who wouldn't, really? Swimming around all day, looking like a cross between a horse and a crustacean, eating whatever it is that seahorses eat, all without a care in the world.
'Seahorse', Devendra Banhart's first release from upcoming new album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, is actually several compositions rolled into one, all of them good. Comparisons to Dave Brubeck are astute; a gentle folk intro builds up to a shuffling jazz beat, overlapping wistful vocals working in and out and ultimately giving way to an epic Zepplinesque rock-out at the 5:20 mark. Despite all this, Banhart himself tags his new sound as "space reggae". Mmm-kay. Here's hoping the rest of the album is this glorious.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Remix Sunday - The Enemy vs. The Teenagers

For this week's Remix Sunday, UK indie pop kids The Enemy get a minor touch-up from The Teenagers. The Teenagers are remixers extra-ordinaire; former Parisiens now residing here in London, the XL trio are all over material from Air, Simian Mobile Disco, Black Ghosts, New Young Pony Club and Goodbooks, among others. Check out their remixes page here.

- a.m.p.m.

Take Me To The Riot

It's easy to be pround of the Canadian indie music scene when groups like Crystal Castles, Feist, Wolf Parade, the New Pornographers and Tokyo Police Club are busy cranking out amazing new albums like it ain't no thing. And it won't be long until Montreal darlings Stars will be prime candidates for inclusion in the Canuck indie rock hall of fame as their upcoming release In Our Bedroom After The War drops on September 25th.

"But I can't wait until September 25th", you whine. "I want it now." No problem. Stars have opted to beat the pre-release illegal filesharing scramble in favour of making their album available by digital download just days after they wrapped up production. I picked the album up way back on July 10th, and you can grab it now from arts & crafts.

For the time being, check out these two glorious tracks:
Stars - The Night Starts Here

- a.m.p.m.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Spoon's Greatest Hits

A few weeks ago I learned that Spoon's only show here in London (on August 16th) was sold out. Apparently it had sold out in roughly 3.7 seconds and I'd missed the chance to see one of my favourite bands playing tracks from one of my favourite albums of 2007. So imagine my extreme joy when it was subsequently announced that the band had agreed to a second London gig at The Borderline the following night. Needless to say, I'll be attending that second sold out show tonight. In honour of this good fortune I present to you Spoon's Greatest Hits.

Spoon - Lines in the Suit
Spoon - Don't Let It Get You Down
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
Spoon - I Summon You
Spoon - The Underdog

Spoon - Tasty Fish

Grab a couple more Ga Ga Ga Ga tracks here.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Human After All?

Working at a summer camp hasn't allowed me a great deal of time to write about or seek out much new music. However, last week my girlfriend and I got a couple days off to go to Montreal to see Daft Punk. I'd read all about it on the internet ever since Coachella 2006, but I can now fully support the hype and state that their live set is indeed mindblowing - both visually and sonically. Despite the fact that their set was essentially the same as the Coachella bootleg, nothing could stop the crowd from going bat shit crazy over two guys in robot costumes and an incredible light show. I don't think my words would do the creativity and synchronization of the lights and music any justice; that is something that must be witnessed. The red Tron suits for the encore were unreal.

The Rapture opened the show with a healthy collection of old and new, and according to the bill Kavinsky and SebastiAn were there but all I noticed was a mixtape of good tunes being played in between The Rapture and Daft Punk. We didn't make it to the 'official afterparty' but the show will be one to remember. Enjoy some blurry photos and a video, and check out this One More Time/Aerodynamic remix from Coachella (listen to the crowd as Aerodynamic's unmistakable guitar solo is mixed in):

Daft Punk - One More Time (Aerodynamic Remix) [from Coachella set]

- Stay fly


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do It For The Mookie

Bridging the Atlantic favourites dropped an exclusive jam from Australians Acid Jacks a couple days ago called 'Mookie', tagging it as "one scary electrodriven monster of a track". A very apt description indeed.

Acid Jacks - Mookie

- a.m.p.m.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Scot Rocks

Why the hiatus, you ask? A couple of weekends ago I got out of London and embarked on an ambitious road trip around southern and central Scotland. Although I've been to Scotland (and Edinburgh) a few times already the scenery, people, and culture of this truly amazing country never cease to amaze me. And for a small place (under 80,000 square kilometres and just over 5 million people) it sure cranks out a ton of good music.
Here are some of the songs that made up my Scotland Summer Soundtrack while speeding through the idyllic countryside, drinking pints in village pubs, exploring abandoned castles and taking in the Edinburgh festival:

Mylo - Otto's Journey
Beta Band - Needles in My Eyes
Mogwai - Friend of the Night
Camera Obscura - Country Mile

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Drop the Plot

A while back BTA bestowed praise on Canadian indie pop/rock superhero Gregory Pepper and promised y'all a few of his new tracks as they became available, and it's high time we followed through with some mp3s. So here they are. Hooktastic 'Drop The Plot' has been bouncing around inside my head almost non-stop for weeks now and '7ths & 3rds' also refuses to vacate my cerebellum. Remember when Weezer used to be good? Well, '7ths & 3rds' is like that, but better. And hey, these tracks aren't even album cuts.

Mr. Pepper's 2006/2007 albums Gregory Pepper & His Problems and Gregory Pepper Spends an Evening at Home can be streamed in their entirety on his myspace page as well as through his new neat-o website.

- a.m.p.m.