Saturday, December 25, 2010

On repeat.

This cd has been on repeat in my house for a week straight.
Especially "Little Saint Nick." Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I need to hang out with Smith Westerns for a weekend.

Today Chicago youngins Smith Westerns released their music video for "Weekend," a song I've had on repeat since its release. I'm not sure if it was all the ying yang signs, chopping of the tree or mall adventures that did it for me, but this is a beautifully done video. They also do a shotgun in a bathroom, which I am a fan of. My conclusion? I need to hang out with them for a weekend.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mountain Man quiet a room with a cappella.

The sweet harmonizing voices of Mountain Man gathered on World Cafe today. The trio provided a much needed study break for me, and a relaxing one at that. The all-girl trio of Bennington, Vermont know how to hush a room with their tamed but powerful voices. Mally Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monning and Amelia Meath know how to perform a cappella the exactly the way it should be. I love that they started off covering Cindy Lauper.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nicki Minaj on Jimmy Kimmel.

Nicki Minaj sports a new wig as she performs "Right Thru Me" off her new album Pink Friday. I love this girl. She recently took part in a very telling documentary on MTVnews...I could not stop watching.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Smith Westerns' "Weekend" is a teaser.

"Do you think/is it normal/to go through life/oh so formal?"

Earlier this month, the Smith Westerns, a young garage band from Chicago, released the track "Weekend" off of their soon-to-be album Dye it Blonde.

I first saw the band when they were on tour with Girls last winter. They all seem to be the little brothers of Christopher Owens, with their cries of heartbreak and anecdotes about love. After all, their youth is what they've got going for them; their echoey childish voices coupled with their poppy beats are part of their magic.

The Smith Westerns were also featured on NPR's All Songs Considered. You'll have to wait until January to hear the album and I'll be dying of anticipation with you. It'll be just the kind of beach party I'll be needing come winter.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A dress, shoes and a voice.

I was watching SNL for the first time in a great while last night and Florence and the Machine really grabbed my attention. The way Florence commands the stage during "Dog Days" is just mesmerizing - that dress, those shoes and that voice! She truly is a free spirit and it's a privilege to watch her express herself.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Warpaint just keep getting better.

"Just to have it be earnest and always getting better and always pushing ourselves to do better, to play better, write better can't be bigger than that. That's huge in itself." - the women of warpaint

I love these girls! Watch their dreamy, riffy songs on YoursTruly. Warpaint is a new chick band from LA with attitude - which happens to be my new favorite genre. Watch this video for their song "Undertow." It encompasses what they can turn a guitar into and showcases their psychedelic vocal tones.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time to hear the Gulf Sounds.

In April, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had a devastating effect on pelicans and turtles, Gulf fishermen and locals, in addition to what once was considered the pure water and plant life of the Gulf.

I've been waiting for the opportunity to combine my passion for music with an environmental cause and I had to seize this one. I decided to pick three organizations who are providing aid to the Gulf, to cover three categories: environment, community and wildlife. The organizations are the Environmental Defense Fund, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation. We gave attendees the freedom to choose which cause they wanted to help and the results were over $500 in support to divide to the organizations. There are four different musicians who graced the stage at the Blue Fugue Wednesday.

First in the lineup was Davis Dunavin, who sang some pretty funky folk rock with his acoustic guitar. He was supposed to play his accordion, unfortunately it was in the shop. He's got a pretty cool video up on his facebook page.

Next was Kyle McDonald, a good friend of mine who started an independent music project called Old Skin. I would recommend taking a look at some of his lyrics. Kid's got a lot of heart and as he stood bravely on stage with his acoustic screaming those words, no one could take their eyes off him.

The third act was the High Street Cousins, originally named the High Street Nephews, but whose name was changed by the only girl in the band who demanded the change. These guys were entertaining for sure. They opened the set with the theme song from Ghostbusters, which everyone found hilarious. Before that they did a horn intro because there was a sax and a trumpet on stage, which was pretty cool. Later on they covered some Alman Brothers, which didn't hurt their performance.

And last, the Nacho Brothers took stage. They focused on bluegrass and played a bunch of Dylan and the Meters, which was all I needed to finish off the night. They don't have a site, but they were featured on this blog.

Local music is a really important part of the Columbia community and I'm extremely grateful that these musicians helped the cause. We could not have done it without them! If you missed the concert, there's still a way to donate! Visit Sustain Mizzou's website for more information. For more of an update on the process behind Gulf Sounds, visit Sustain Mizzou's blog, Footprint.

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Love is All."

I tend to take everything the Tallest Man on Earth says quite literally, and that includes his song "Love is All" from his album The Wild Hunt. Matsson uses ambiguous clips of what seems to be people having a great time somewhere in Europe, throughout the song. My favorite kind of movies are home movies, so this was a treat.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Broken Dreams Club.

Girls' new LP Broken Dreams Club is in the works and they released a track this week. I'm antsy for more Girls!! The LP will come out Nov. 22, but for now you can hear "Heartbreaker" on gorillavsbear.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jordan's getting married!

So the lovely lady glancing at you in this picture is my good friend Jordan Rogers, soon to be Mrs.Jordan Coffey. It will be offical in a few days and I want to dedicate this song to the beautiful bride:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

First Aid Kit is pretty.

First Aid Kit from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.

I haven't really been that into First Aid Kit, except for listening to their Daytrotter session a couple of times. I can safely say after this chilling Black Cab Session, I'm going to be listening to them a lot more. They remind me of a couple of modern day Jonie Mitchells, and I like that.

These Sweedish sisters got their start by goofing around in the woods and posting this youtube video covering fleet foxes.
"If you've got visions of the past, let them follow you down. They'll come back to you someday."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Local Natives and Love Language in CoMo.

Looking at their website, you can tell Local Natives is a band that plays music as purely artistic expression. Their photo blog is another testament to that. I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Blue Note in Columbia Sunday and there was not a dull moment.

I knew they were Talking Heads fans because they cover "Warning Sign" on their album, but seeing them play live just reenforced it. You wouldn't think that Gorilla Manor is their only album at this point, but it seems like more than enough for them to experiment with. There were always two drummers and every band member can sing. It's amazing how one person can lead a song and then another can take over and they compliment each other so well. The whole show was one carefully crafted harmonizing session after another. When they came out for an encore and played "Sun Hands," the crowd went crazy. Local Natives managed to fill the Blue Note with jumping, screaming fans and I'm sure they'll be back again. My favorites were "Warning Sign," "Airplanes" and "World News."

Love Language was the opener, and they were a perfect component to Local Natives. Stuart McLamb and his electric guitar took the stage and sang their love songs. I LOVE them. Please listen to "Stars," "Lalita" and "Brittany's Back."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Exclusive Morning Benders video.

Blogotheque captured the Morning Benders playing a song they've never performed before called "Virgins." Chris Chu's emotion is so raw you feel like you're there. It's videos like these that make Morning Benders my modern Beach Boys. Watch it twice...the second time I watched it the words "speak up" really got to me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I really want to be your friend forever.

It must be pretty video week. A smart filmmaker by the name of Ryan McGinley posted a video today of Smith Westerns and their mentors Girls.

The video has scraps from this years Pitchfork Music Festival and takes you through the performer-audience relationship that both bands harness so well. My favorite part is during Girls' Laura when the camera keeps coming back to this one kid in the audience with a red bandana who is singing along with Owens word for word. It reminds me that I need to see them in concert because that's exactly how you feel - connected by every lyric that comes out of Christopher Owens' mouth.

"Reach out/ touch me I'm right here/and I don't want to fight anymore/I really want to be your friend forever/friend until the end of it all."

McGinley talks to Girls and here's how it happened.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shadow People.

Whether it was intentional or not, Dr. Dog's "Shadow People" video transported me to a very distinct place in my childhood: Skateland. My friends and I used to have birthday party after birthday party there and we would just skate all night. I can't say we had as fancy costumes, but boy did we skate - like the people in this video! The shadow people.

OK Go, the videographers.

OK Go just came out with a new music video for their song "White Knuckles." I can honestly say I don't listen to OK Go very often, but I always make sure I watch their videos when they come out. Their "Here it Goes Again" video first gave them YouTube stardom, then their "WTF" video followed. This time, instead of using treadmills or making screen effects, DOGS were their prop of choice. It is phenomenal.

Monday, September 13, 2010

the Taylor and Kanye episode.

Everyone remembers Kanye's night of interruption at last year's VMAs.

This year, no one really knew what to expect from Taylor or Kanye after the incident. Was Kanye going to diss her again? Was Taylor going to punch him in the face? Either way, the anticipation was building.

Neither of those things happened. Taylor Swift sang her new song "Innocent," which I thought was a really sincere look at the whole situation. She basically made the song all about Kanye, not her. Swift repeated the lyrics "You are not not what you did" were repeated throughout the song and it added a lot of character. There was some criticisim about the song because it might have been a little bit of a yawner for some, but I really liked the message. Good for you Taylor Swift.

Kanye managed to get the last slot of the show, which was epic if you ask me. He's got an ego the size of a spaceship, but he did a good job going outside of himself to find this song. As Kanye stood in the middle of a white stage while three ballerinas pranced around him, he rapped, sang and played with his soundboard all in the name of regret. It may be a stretch, but I think he was expressing some amount of remorse for last year, along with a little bit of pride? There's pride in everything Kanye does.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

free Wavves show!

The brilliant student government at SLU somehow managed to get Nathan
Williams to come to the Billikin Club tomorrow night, so that's where I'll be.
After listening to King on the Beach this summer on repeat, it'll be nice to see
Wavves live!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


The Moring Benders, at it again. If only they weren't on tour in Europe...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

real estate!!

Real Estate are the perfect guys to hang out with in the summertime. Their beach riffs and relaxed chill waves can make you forget all your cares, in the best way possible. Yours Truly put together this beautiful video and as summer comes to a close, you'll want to get all you can out of Real Estate.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Grace Weber's got soul.

My friend Grace Weber just came out with a new music video for her song
"Sparrows" off her new EP. I just blogged about her on 88Nine's Soundboard, so check her out!

"Sparrows" Official Music Video - Grace Weber from Grace Weber on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(500) Days of Weezy.

So this brilliant guy who goes by the moniker My Sick Uncle came up with this idea to take all the tracks from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack and run Lil Wayne tracks over them. It's proven itself to be sheer brilliance. The mashup is called (500) Days of Weezy. The best tracks are "Us" (Regina Spektor's "Us" and Weezy's "Lady Cop"), "Please, Hustler, Please" (The Smiths' "Please, Please, Please") and "Fear Forever." It's obvious people are missing Weezy while he's in the slammer. Download it asap!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Suburbs are here.

Win Butler and his other Canadian pals have spent a some time working on this little gem called The Suburbs. After their 2007 release, Neon Bible, Arcade Fire is back with a similarly epic record. I use the word epic because it's as if every song is constantly building and up to something greater, outside itself. Arcade fire's songs always climaxes at the most opportune moment for me, and I feel like that's why I keep returning to them. They just keep getting better and better. There's just something about Butler's haunting voice gives me goosebumps. Also try not to let the crazy good instrumentals distract you from the tortured yet hopeful lyrics; messages about life in the suburbs and the nostalgia that goes along with it. This record has the potential to resonate with a lot of people. My favorite tracks are "Modern Man," "City With No Children," "We Used to Wait" and "Half Light I. "Listen to the album stream on NPR.

Also revisit this video I posted a while back!

Friday, July 30, 2010

an eventful night.

Wednesday night, Blitzen Trapper played a show in Milwaukee and I previewed it for 88nine. I was lucky enough to sit in on the three-song pre-show performance in the Radio Milwaukee studios and meet the band. They were all pretty down to business and straight-faced guys, but nonetheless extremely down to earth. As Eric Earley fiddled with his harmonica, Marty Marquis took sips out of his boxed water and Drew Laughery danced along with his apple shaker. Although only three of the six members were christening the new intimate recording studio at 88nine, they proved that a little can go a long way for Blitzen Trapper. They played "Evening Star," "Dragon's Song" and "The Tree" and they were all stunningly beautiful. Needless to say, their performance at Turner Hall Ballroom was an extension of that.

Before Blitzen Trapper went on though, Avi Buffalo took his turn. I've listened to Avi for a while now, but became more involved once I saw the band open for Modest Mouse at Summerfest. THEY WERE SO GOOD.

Right around the time Blitzen Trapper was doing their encore, my friend spotted Avi over by the bar. He was wandering aimlessly by himself in a cute pair of overalls and looked lost. So I went over to him and tried to put him at ease by telling him how insanely talented he is. I started talking about how the band's sound reminds me of my favorite band, Wilco, particularly their insanely talented guitarist, Nels Cline. His jaw dropped and he told me that Nels is basically his hero, which does not surprise me. Then he asked me how old I was. I told him I am 19. "Me too!" he exclaimed. From there, we talked about what music we've been into lately, him losing a band member recently and the fact that it's been a long tour for him and he's ready to go home and write some music. We said our goodbyes when a tiny fan club ran up to him with t-shirts and sharpies. He told me it was nice meeting me and if I ever get to Long Beach that I should get a hold of him. Avi Buffalo, you are a nice guy.

Here's a video of one of my favorite Avi Buffalo songs, "Remember Last Time." It's definitely Wilco-esque to me and each riff is just gorgeous. Don't you agree?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Daytrotter the movie!

Forget about the Facebook movie, a much more important film is coming out about Daytrotter, a website that promotes artists through its one-of-a-kind live recordings.Daytrotter has been a staple bookmark page for me for a growing number of reasons. The artists' recordings are in their rawest form and each artist is drawn a completely original piece of artwork to fit their personality. Daytrotter has been a refuge for artists who may not receieve as much attention as they should - a place for them to flourish. Enough of me talking about it though, watch this trailer and then go download the latest recordings from the site...for free.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

girls, girls, girls.

Last fall I went through a Girls phase. As soon as I was introduced to them I was hooked. There's something so mesmerizing about the carefully crafted painful lyrics Christopher Owens cries paired with the dreamy California guitar riffs. As usual, time went on and my band ADD kicked in...shafting Girls to the bottom of my playlist. I was reunited with them last weekend at Pitchfork and it was blissful, to say the least. Pitchfork posted this video of him trying out some country for once, which was not a mistake. Beautiful!

Also this Yours Truly video of "Laura" couldn't have come at a better time.

Yours Truly Presents: Girls "Laura" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

88nine's SoundBoard.

Here's another one of my posts for 88nine's Soundboard. I talk about Best Coast and her awesomeness.

Dr. Dog has the blues.

Philly folk blues rockers Dr. Dog talk about their album , particularly the song "I only wear blue."
(Which happens to be my favorite song.)
Lead man Scott "Taxi" McMicken glasses definitely fit his personality.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

sue me.

So I cheated on my blog...with Radio Milwaukee.

paper mache is back.

So the talented Kid Cudi, Best Coast's lo-fi lady Bethany Cosentino and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij collaborated in a big way to show the world they love Converse. The song is called "All Summer." It makes you just want to go eat a bowl of cereal and then maybe do some vacuuming.

Monday, July 12, 2010

She&Him transcend time again.

Zooey Deschanel and M. ward have decided to transcend time yet again. In their new video "Thieves" you can hardly tell what era they're in. Partially because they are kids throughout the video too, disguising their age to keep the mystery alive. Honestly that is my favorite part of She&Him - the ambiguity. This video encompasses them as artists, as critics continually try to peg their indie genre and continually fail. Congratulations She&Him, you're still timeless.

She & Him - Thieves from Merge Records on Vimeo.


Some vimeo user by the moniker of "Theo Anthony" made this brilliant video
along to Best Coast's "Boyfriend." It made my day so hopefully it makes yours.

BOYFRIEND://best_coast from Theo Anthony on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The Morning Benders decided to produce 32 minutes of pure happiness for the sake of summer.
All while on tour in Europe! Frontman Chris Chu did the album art too. I swear these people are
not human.It's called EchoMix1 and you can download it on

Here's the track list:
1. Steve Martin & Bernadette Peters “Tonight You Belong To Me“
2. Xavier Cugat “Perfidia (Instrumental)“
3. The Avalanches “Since I Left You“
4. The Radio Dept “Where Damage Isn’t Already Done“
5. The Walkmen “There Goes My Baby (The Drifters Cover)“
6. Bibio “Lovers’ Carvings“
7. The Morning Benders “Have One On Me (Joanna Newsom / J Dilla Cover)“
8. Twin Sister “Lady Daydream (Cassette Version)“
9. Arthur Russell “Lucky Cloud“
10. Blur “Caravan“
11. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles “Ooo Baby Baby”
I think it pretty much speaks for itself. Screams for itself.

Win Butler chats about the new record.

Win Butler went on camera to talk about The Suburbs, Arcade Fire's upcoming album. I cannot wait.
Although this one wasn't recorded in an old church like Neon Bible, I'm sure there will still be a lot of eccentricity to it.
They know what they're doing.

"I think that in life in general you want to understand where you came from and where you are...
part of writing is to understanding where you are. It's kind of like putting old photos in a book." -Win Butler

Monday, July 5, 2010

King of the Beach!

"You're never going to stop KING OF THE BEACH!!"
Although their album isn't due out until August 3, I've given the new Wavves album a listen and it makes me want to drive around windows down blasting it, stomp on the sand dance crazy to it and shake my best friends silly to it.
Nathan Williams and his San Diego entourage virtually transport you to the West Coast with their new catchy (slightly more flirty) album King of the Beach.
Yours Truly put together a stellar video describing their approach to the album and what it really meant to them. It's obvious they were going for a different aesthetic than their 2008 self-titled release. Don't worry, the noise pop and low-fi jams are still prominent in the best way possible. But this time around the boys added a more dynamic sound, playing with sha-la's and wee oooh's a lot more.
Key tracks: When Will You Come, Baby Say Goodbye, King of the Beach, Mickey Mouse...heck, they're all freaking awesome.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Morning Benders on World Cafe.

Two of my favorite things joined forces today: the Morning Benders and NPR's World Cafe.
Chris Chu explains details about the band and its philosophies. A truly beautiful session.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jay Z's epic performance at Bonnaroo.

Last night my friends and I decided to pretend that we were at Bonnaroo this year from a living room in Columbia, Missouri. You may think this sounds lame, but it ended up being a pretty unforgettable sequence of events. Thank God YouTube chose to broadcast the festival live all weekend, otherwise we may not have experienced Jay Z's unbelievable magic. I think we watched for about an hour and a half. Although it was Jay's first time at the festival, it would be difficult to tell.

Beyond the truth of his raw talent and deserved praise, I didn't really realize how down-to-earth Jay actually is. At the end of his performance (after he played a medley of favorites like Big Pimpin, Dirt of Your Shoulders, Hard Knock Life, Bonnie and Clyde, Empire State of Mind and Encore) he pulled a girl on stage to wish her happy birthday. Before that, he had called out random people in the audience to connect with those lucky enough to witness the adrenaline rush on stage that night.

Here's a clip of my favorite song of the night: Forever Young.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

She & Him grace Milwaukee.

Last night Milwaukee put on the first annual Verge Music Festival, an alternative to Summerfest. Local bands like The Championship showed up and tonight Weezer, The Cold War Kids and Rogue Wave will play.

I need to talk about Zooey Deschanel and M. ward for now though. As soon as they came on stage, they both had the audience captivated. Or starstruck. Perhaps because of M.ward's success with Post-War, Hold Time or other impressive productions. Perhaps because Zooey has won the hearts of those who have seen Elf or Almost Famous. To me, though, it was much more than that. It was the collaboration of two extremely talented individuals preserving a unique type of music for our time. As cute Zooey serenaded the crowd in her vintage sundress, Matt commanded his bass with class as usual. Even the back-up singers were stunning!

I talked about She&Him's Volume Two giving me the summer itch earlier this spring, and it finally came when I saw these two play. They played some of my favorite tracks from Volume One like "Black Hole,"This is not a Test" and "Change is Hard," which were acoustically close to perfect. Then they got through most of the Volume Two with tracks like "Thieves," "In the Sun" and "Don't Look Back." Zooey Deschanel's vocals are a rarity that I can honestly say are timeless (even two albums in!) precisely because she respects sounds from the past.

I heard in an interview once that Zooey doesn't listen to anything from our generation because it isn't appealing. That could be the smartest thing she's ever said, and it appears in her songs. It's no secret that she focuses on musicians like Neil Young and Patsy Cline or takes cues from old musicals. As M. ward compliments her with his guitar stylings, it's hard to tell what era you're in...and that's a good thing. It's obvious that She & Him are only getting better as time goes on; as they send us back in time.

As the concert went on, Zooey would skip over to the piano and then grab a tambourine. I found myself constantly screaming to my friend next to me, "She's SO talented!" Although she can act, boy can she sing. Whenever M.ward had the chance to do a guitar solo, it was such a treat. When they played the song "Magic Trick" from Post-War, Zooey was a sweet addition.

To me, a band that can be sentimental and intimate, energetic and flirty, vintage and modern deserves a listen.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

LCD Soundsystem gets drunk.

LCD Soundsystem is nuts. Check out their brave new video "Drunk Girls." I can't stop watching it. Are they actually drunk? Either way, I need to get into this album asap.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Okay, what?

Here's what U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan have resorted to...Lady GaGa. I wish I had a better comment but honestly I don't know what to say.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the xx always wears black.

The xx just released a video for "Islands," which embodies them as a band. The whole video is a repetition of the same choreography, but slowly starts to change parts of it as the video goes on. You can't look away. Of course, they're dressed in all black. I love it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Deer Tick is hard not to like.

Deer Tick is one of those bands that is difficult to describe. Not just their sound, but their personalities too. I had the opportunity to see the band from Providence, Rhode Island a couple weeks back in Columbia and it was unforgettable. In fact, it ended with silly string.
Lead singer and guitarist John McCauley is the instigator of their unique vibe, starting with his scratchy vocals and ending with his eccentric outfits. This is a picture of him (right) playing at Coachella, sporting a sundress and sparkly green hat--only to prove that he can do whatever he wants.
However, there's a bigger reason I'm writing about Deer Tick. They're getting ready to release their third album, the Black Dirt Sessions, which will be brilliant I'm sure. In the meantime, they released this track entitled "Twenty Miles" to keep you occupied: [mp3] Deer Tick - "Twenty Miles"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Tallest Man on Earth is back.

Since his 2008 album, Shallow Grave, fans of the Kristian Matsson, who goes by the moniker Tallest Man on Earth, have been anxiously awaiting his sophomore album release.

The Swedish folk singer is also often associated with Dylan because of his unique raspy croon, guitar stylings and specialized folk repertoire. He even references “Boots of Spanish Leather” in his song “King of Spain,” which shows off Matsson’s quick-finger guitar skills.

The Wild Hunt takes listeners through the Tallest Man’s complex mind as his scratchy voice sings songs about the meaning of the past, present and future. His guitar sometimes whispers and sometimes screams melodies, which makes for a interesting ride through his lyrics as well. The range of the elements combined creates an album that showcases Matsson’s versatility as an artist.

For instance, on the track “Love is All” the Tallest Man cries lyrics like “Here come the tears, but like always I let them go,” and a reflective sensitive man appears. Then he becomes more self-assured on “A Lion’s Heart,” with a softer voice and more wise perspective on things.

It will take a couple of listens to wrap your head around some of his mysterious lyrics, but it’s worth the trouble because what the Tallest Man on Earth has to say is quite profound.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


"I can't help think but we've grown up too fast." THE MORNING BENDERS' new video for
"Promises" from their new album Big Echo is proof of that. Check it out!


the morning benders | MySpace Music Videos

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sorry, not exactly Congratulations.

MGMT is a pretty creative duo. Their 2007 album, Oracular Spectacular, was extremely well received with tracks like "Time to Pretend" and "Electric Feel" that kept made their fans happy and made their fans dance.

However, their sophomore release, Congratulations, pretty much goes against everything they stand for. Not exactly congratulations to them, but more like better luck next time?

I understand the concept of trying to expand and experiment, but this album will confuse you as a listener. If you liked from Oracular Spectacular like I did, these songs are not what you're looking for.

Goldwasser and VanWyngarden claim that they were trying to be themselves more by getting to their roots, but it gets lost in translation. They defend the album to skeptics by referring to influences like the Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin.

Whether it’s their twelve-minute track “Siberian Breaks” or the obscure “I Found A Whistle,” you’ll be heart-pressed to find any meaning in their lyrics or melodies.

There are traces of the group’s previously impressive psychedelic styling in songs like “It’s Working,” but there’s no MGMT spunk attached. It’s more like a continuation one of those eerie songs you hear at a carnival on the merry-go-round that never ends.

Ironically, the only track I enjoyed on the entire album happens to be “Congratulations.” If I had to pick one song for MGMT to use as defense, that would be it. Other than that, I'm lost.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

She & Him sounds like summertime.

She & Him have done it again. She being the lovely Zooey Deschanel and him being the talented M. Ward. If you're in one of those "I wish it were summer already" moods like I am lately, listen to She & Him's Volume Two.
Just like their Volume One released in 2008, Deschanel and Ward collaborate to bring back vintage sounds in a rare way that makes you feel like a part of a variety of eras. It's refreshing to hear so many genres in one: hints of folk, pop, rock, country, jazz...pretty much anything you could find in your grandparents' vinyl collection.
Ward controls the strong guitar sounds while Deschanel pipes in with her flirty vocals and keyboard. Ward, who produced the album, occasionally jumps in to sing along.
Key tracks are "Thieves," "In the Sun," and "Lingering Still."
With such a versatile blend of upbeat poppy songs (the good kind) and slower more reflective tunes, you can't go wrong putting this album on repeat.
It's like Deschanel says in "Me and You," "You gotta be kind to yourself."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Real Estate is the perfect soundtrack to the beach.

Although their album came out in 2009, I have recently become engulfed in Real Estate's self-titled album because of one reason: the beach. When I was recently in Miami over break, I found myself repeatedly returning to the low-fi surf rock in the sun. They're from New Jersey and the album takes place in their nostalgia for their suburban teen years, free of responsibility. Go listen to "Suburban Beverage" to get a taste.

Listening to their long-winded jams and subtle vocals about life in sand and under sun while experiencing it myself quickly became addicting. It's the perfect soundtrack to the beach. (I knew I was missing something in Missouri!)

I have issues choosing which track is my favorite. All of the tracks have an overwhelmingly clean instrumental vibe accompanied by calm, faded vocals. I usually start with "Fake Blues" then go to "Beach Comber" and follow that with "Pool Swimmers." It's really a win/win. If you don't have access to a beach, it's just a matter of closing your eyes because Real Estate will get you there. It's just like lead singer/guitarist Martin Courtney says: "What you want is right outside your reach."

Thursday, March 25, 2010


the morning benders | MySpace Music Videos

Yours Truly captured this lovely recording of Chris Chu and THE MORNING BENDERS playing
the song "Excuses" from their new album Big Echo. The band is from Berkley, CA and you will
be seeing a lot more of them. Check out their 2008 album Talking through Tin Cans too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bon Iver's big plans.

Bon Iver, also known as Wisconsin native Justin Vernon, plans on opening up a new music venue in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. On South Barstow Street, Justin and his brother and tour manager Nate want to create a performance and cultural space, to welcome more indie bands into the area. Their plan has been approved by the city's Redevelopment Authority and they now have 120 days to finalize financing and other details. Now hopefully many fellow Wisconsinites can flock to Union College, which is what the brothers plan to name the venue, to hear quality music. It's first floor will be a live music space, while its second floor will audio and video production classes open to the public. Go Bon Iver!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vampire Weekend's Contra

Thank God Vampire Weekend's new album Contra is now streaming live on their myspace page:

Take the time to listen all the way through more than once--it's worth it. Frontman Ezra Koenig leads the New York-based indie pop band through a whirlwind of upbeat tracks. Definitely a solid start to 2010.

And don't forget to watch their video for their single "Cousins." Unbelievable videography to correlate with the roller coaster of a song.

Tweedy and Feist add to Beck's Record Club Series

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Leslie Feist cover Skip Spence's "Broken Heart" as part of Beck's ongoing project. The filming captures the duet's performance full of poise and passion. Stay tuned for more sessions in coming up.

Record Club: Skip Spence "Broken Heart" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.