Friday, November 30, 2007

"Love me just enough..."

Today is my parent's anniversary!

In honor of them:

Raul Esparza - Marry Me a Little (Live at Barnes & Noble)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Locked up with all of my people..."

The second song that was played on the radio was The Presets' "My People."

After hearing "Are You the One?" on So You Think You Can Dance this past season, I was beyond intrigued. The group's sound fell right into a spectrum of bands I enjoy.

I tend to group them in with Interpol, She Wants Revenge, and The Faint. They are the most similar to the Faint, I believe, because the music has an edge and anger that contributes to its immense danceability. But the vocals are in between Interpol but not quite She Wants Revenge (I suppose this might just be a roundabout way of referring to the staccato deep voiced delivery of lyrics known to Paul Banks and Justin Warfield. Yeah, the Presets fall in line with that). The Presets are a little less post-punk, a lot more electronic, so if that's your scene, then these Australian guys are for you.

When "My People" came on the other night, it felt like it was in direct opposition to Modest Mouse, but both were such distinct entities that the combination of the two by way of intelligent callers really caught my attention.

The Presets - My People

And here's the clip from So You Think You Can Dance that introduced me to the Presets. I'm surprised I hadn't heard them earlier, but oh well. Much like the dance, the band brings the fight.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Well, we know we had the good things but those never seem to last..."

I was driving home from a pre-Thanksgiving Mongolian barbecue dinner with some friends when I flipped on the radio to a request hour broadcasting from a local NJ rock station. I don't know who had called in, but two listeners back-to-back made excellent choices. Listener 1 asked for Modest Mouse, and listener 2 requested The Presets.

Modest Mouse, while not at all high on my personal lists of favorite groups, remains a band close to my heart. Ocean Breathes Salty helped me cope with the passing of my grandmother 2 years ago, and I respect the direction that they take both lyrically and melodically. Despite being pegged as band to watch by dozens of major media outlets (MTV, Rolling Stone, etc) in the past years, they have held on to the sound and quirks that are unique to them. They do not let others dictate their image yet still manage to evolve in a positive direction. The song that was played on the radio is a smooth and graceful, yet distinctly Modest Mouse tune. However, with the addition of The Shins lead singer on backing vocals, a listener can distinctly discover the influences of the Shins not only on the lyrics, but in the way the song continues instrumentally and atmospherically towards the end of the song.

Anyway, here's the Modest Mouse selection that was on the airwaves earlier tonight.

Modest Mouse - Missed the Boat from We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

And just for kicks:
Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Oh, darling, I need you to forget everything..."

I think I'm partial to bands from New Zealand. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, considering the fact that I can currently only think of two: The Flight of the Conchords, and Cut Off Your Hands. I bet there are other folks I cannot recall.

Anyway, Cut Off Your Hands have gotten the opportunity to support touring acts that I really enjoy (Bloc Party, We Are Scientists, etc) and for good reason. Their sound meshes right in with some of these greats, bringing in an energetic vibrancy that would invariably pump a crowd up in just the right way for an overall enthusiastic musical experience.

The melody and guitarwork reminds me a bit of The Strokes, but the singing stands alone. And randomly, if I were to compare them to a candy, they would be Skittles.

Cut Off Your Hands - Still Fond

Cut Off Your Hands - Expectations

Also, this marching band earns my respect:

Friday, November 16, 2007

"The negative sex is power for a life time..."

I went out to the I Am X concert with Chris and Aaron and had an amazing time. Aaron was handed Chris Corner's sweat rag, Chris got the drummer's broken drumstick, and Chris Corner grabbed my hand.

The music was powerful and electrifying, and our dancing was out of control. I can safely say that the three of us masterminded screaming "Bring Me Back a Dog" to try and get the band to play it for the encore, and I Am X heard us and complied! The fans were lively and friendly, and since the show wasn't sold out this time around, we had the room to explore the atmosphere that the concert created.

I Am X - The Negative Sex from The Alternative

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Your paranoia casts aspersions on the truths you know..."

I lasted a whole 1.5 posts with that theme!

I'm done with stuff from my not-sunshiney playlist. What's the point in highlighting angst or sadness thematically? That's no fun, right?

Anyway, for the Calvin Harris (well, Calvin Harris Lite) crowd, here's some Just Jack. Just Jack makes use of an entertaining (aka sitcommy) band name along with some basic old school electronic beats. The song that's been around for a while, "Starz in Their Eyes" is 90's Daria background music-esque combined with a looping measure that's almost Daft Punkish in nature. This is in addition to their sing songy spoken word lyrics. I don't know how the combination of three very different components creates such an infectious song, but it works. The hip-hop/dance/Brit sound may take a bit to grow on you, but surely enough, you will enjoy this song. I've noticed more radio stations have begun to play this lately, so I decided to put it up here in case, like me, people heard something they liked and wanted to know where to find it.

Just Jack - Starz in Their Eyes from Overtones

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"And we're changing our ways, taking different roads. Then love, love will tear us apart again..."

Joy Division is one of my favorite 80's bands. Anton Corbijn is my favorite photographer.

Put those two together, and you have what will undoubtedly be an upcoming unforgettable film experience in Control. I think I've mentioned this film before, but I really cannot wait to see it.

The song that they are most famous for has always been very fascinating to me. The idea that love can tear things apart, that something so positive can create a negative? Well, it's very paradoxical is all. Or something intelligent along those lines which I currently cannot use my brain power to expand upon.

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart from Substance

And what I've always thought was the direct opposition to Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart:" Captain and Tenille's "Love Will Keep Us Together."

So where do I side in the directly contradictory arguments between the Captain and Ian Curtis? I'm not really sure, haha. But they sure are fun to listen to.

Monday, November 5, 2007

"And this is my mind, and although you try to infringe, you cannot confine..."

So, I think I'm going to do a theme for a while!

I really enjoy themes and such, so the upcoming posts of songs (until I post about changing it), are all from a particular playlist that I use when I don't feel my sunshiniest. I feel they are of the extremes in the emotional spectra, either really sad, or incredibly feisty. But that's what works for me. Until I unearth my mp3s, here are some videos of the songs from the list. Maybe I'll toss in some of the lyrics sometimes, I'm a sucker for a good line.

Kate Nash - Mouthwash

Ben Folds and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra - Smoke

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"Strike. Match. Light. Fire..."

Boston was so much fun!

I loved being there in an ever charming town and visiting my friends, whom I miss. Amongst a plethora of memories that I will enjoy and cherish, partying at Bruce and Dani's reminded me so much of 51, quality dinner and chat time with Dani was valued mucho, and staying up super late with Bryn was incredibly entertaining.

"No make left!"

Here's some M.I.A as a shout out to those kids.

M.I.A - Bamboo Banga from Kala

M.I.A - Bird Flu

Oh, also! Thank you readers for 11,000 hits! You guys are awesome! :-D