Jul 28, 2006

Riding The Fader

On October 10th Matador will be releasing Better Days Will Haunt You, a two-CD/one-DVD compilation of everything recorded by criminally underrated '90's band Chavez. Led by Matt Sweeney (later of Zwan and Superwolf with Will Oldham), Chavez put out two fantastic albums in the last decade (Gone Glimmering and Ride The Fader) along with several singles and compilation tracks. All of this will be compiled on the new reissue, color me stoked.

Disc 1:
1. Repeat the Ending
2. Hack the Sides Away
3. Nailed to the Blank Spot
4. Break Up Your Band
5. Laugh Track
6. The Ghost by the Sea
7. Pentagram Ring
8. Peeled Out Too Late
9. The Flaming Gong
10. Wakeman's Air
11. Relaxed Fit
12. The Nerve
13. You Faded
14. Little 12 Toes

Disc 2:
1. Top Pocket Man
2. The Guard Attacks
3. Unreal Is Here
4. New Room
5. Tight Around the Jaws
6. Lions
7. Our Boys Will Shine Tonight
8. Memorize This Face
9. Cold Joys
10. Flight '96
11. Ever Overpsyched
12. You Must Be Stopped
13. Theme From 'For Russ'
14. White Jeans

1. Break Up Your Band
2. Unreal Is Here
3. Boys Making Music... Music Making Men (Documentary)

If you've never heard this band, check back later and I'll toss up a couple tracks well worth the hard drive space.

Jul 27, 2006

Like A Hipster In The Sun

Where's the place to be in Chicago this weekend? Union Park, that's where. I, along with several thousand other sweaty indie rock nerds, will be sweating it out to two full days of great music. Mission of Burma, Yo La Tengo, Art Brut, Destroyer, Liars, Band of Horses, Silver Jews, Devendra Banhart, The Futureheads, Ted Leo, The Walkmen, Spoon, Os Mutantes - how can this festival not satisfy?

A couple new reviews I've written are now up at Static - check out my thoughts on Matt Costa, the latest Sufjan Stevens, and a live show featuring one half of Phish.

Jul 24, 2006

I Don't Want The World To Blow

So I am way late to the game when it comes to The Coup, somehow I totally let this group slide right on by without giving them a listen. I first heard about them thanks to the controversy over the original cover for the band's 2001 album Party Music, but they kept popping up thereafter with heaps of praise. By all right I should have checked them out sooner, as every description made them sound totally up my alley. But for some odd reason I just never got around to it. Luckily I was able to rectify this situation thanks to checking out their set at Wicker Park Summer Fest over the weekend. Boots Riley and his live band brought the funk hardcore, bobbing and educating heads at the same time. My favorite moment, however, belonged soley to guest Silk E as she ran through a smooth R&B jam with quite possibly the greatest reason to get your freak on I've heard in the '06. Click below and check it out for yourself. This is, admittedly, a fairly atypical song for The Coup so do yourself a favor and scope out the entirety of Pick A Bigger Weapon, the band's latest disc.

The Coup f. Silk E - "BabyLet'sHaveABabyBeforeBushDoSomethin'Crazy"

Jul 20, 2006

Emo Kids On A Plane!

212% scarier than snakes! So everyone's favorite not-yet-released cult classic now has a theme song courtesy of Cobra Starship, an emo "supergroup" of sorts. Comprised of members of Midtown, The Academy Is..., and the really hot girl from The Sounds; this song is a completely over the top anthem for the Samuel L. Jackson vehicle due out in August. Click on the link below to revel in the awesomeness for your self...

Cobra Starship - "Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)"

Jul 18, 2006

"When You Were Young"

That's right, a new Killers track has been unveiled and well, pardon the lame expression, but it's pretty killer. Brandon Flowers and the boys are still taking their cues from larger-than-life 1980's arena rock, but this song is much more Bruce Springsteen than Duran Duran. In fact, this is really, really Springsteen... total homage to "Born To Run", right down to the huge break and all. But really, I like it... and it leaves me quite excited for Sam's Town when it drops on October 3rd. Click below for a WinMedia stream from the label:

The Killers - "When You Were Young"

Oh and while I've got your attention, cruise on over to Static and read what I had to say about recent albums by Dabrye and Willy Mason (one I liked a lot, the other... not quite so much).

Jul 14, 2006

The First Ever via//chicago Mix
It's supposed to top out around 97 or 98 degrees here in Chicago this weekend, reason enough to stay inside and listen to some great music - right? Even if you aren't trying to escape the heat, I'm proud to present you with the first ever via//chicago mix. Just shy of 80 minutes of great recent music, just enough to fill up a CD or to make a great iPod playlist. Click on the link just below to download the mix, and remember to support these artists (click on the artist name for more info + the album title to purchase).

via//chicago mix 01: july 2006

01. "Love Me or Hate Me" - Lady Sovereign (taken from the forthcoming Public Warning)
02. "We Will Vacation, You Can Be My Parasol" - Be Your Own Pet (taken from Be Your Own Pet)
03. "Cheated Hearts" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (taken from Show Your Bones)
04. "New Years" - Asobi Seksu (taken from Citrus)
05. "The Great Salt Lake" - Band of Horses (taken from Everything All The Time)
06. "Pittsfield" - Sufjan Stevens (taken from The Avalanche)
07. "Boy Soprano" - Xiu Xiu (taken from the forthcoming The Air Force)
08. "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me" - The Pipettes (taken from The Pipettes)
09. "Future Foe Scenario" - Silversun Pickups (taken from the forthcoming Carnavas)
10. "Pink Steam" - Sonic Youth (taken from Rather Ripped)
11. "Lex" - Ratatat (taken from the forthcoming Classics)
12. "Game Over (f. Jay Dee + Phat Kat)" - Dabrye (taken from Two/Three)
13. "Love Like Winter" - A.F.I. (taken from Decemberunderground)
14. "Beanbag Chair" - Yo La Tengo (taken from the forthcoming I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass)
15. "Lost In Boston" - The Walkmen (taken from A Hundred Miles Off)
16. "Love's Been Good To Me" - Johnny Cash (taken from American V: A Hundred Highways)
17. "The Signifying Wolf" - Bonnie "Prince" Billy (taken from Cursed Sleep)
18. "So Far We Are" - French Kicks (taken from Two Thousand)
19. "Around the Gills" - What Made Milwaukee Famous (taken from Trying To Never Catch Up)
20. "Build Me Up (f. O.D.B.)" - Rhymefest (taken from Blue Collar)

Jul 13, 2006

iPod Baker's Dozen Shuffled

1. "Only" - Nine Inch Nails
The only NIN song I have on my iPod right now, mostly because it's a great track for a workout mix. For, you know, those times when I actually work out.

2. "Big River" - Johnny Cash
Oh man, I love this Johnny song. I'm also a big fan of the live Grateful Dead versions.

3. "Eros' Entropic Tundra" - Of Montreal
I finally went back and picked up Satanic Panic In The Attic, what a great frickin' record. I think maybe I just need to work my way backwards through this band's catalog.

4. "Dead Queen" - Espers
The most beautiful song on a beautiful album, one of this year's most pleasant surprises.

5. "Jah Didn't Kill Johnny" - Sage Francis
Not only did I get a Johnny Cash song, but a song about Johnny Cash too. Awesome.

6. "Last Day of Winter" - Pelican
I love this band so much, but it makes for an interesting transition from Sage.

7. "Fall of Another Year" - Can
I really haven't spent enough time with the Can reissues yet, as evidenced by me totally not recognizing this song. It's pretty good though.

8. "Late Night Scamerica" - Psycho and the Birds
Yet another Bob Pollard side project. Not as good as the Keene Brothers, but still a decent tune.

9. "Daughter In the House of Fools" - Enon
I always, always, forget about Enon being on my iPod. I don't know why, they are such a great band.

10. "Head Held High (Live @ Bonnaroo)" - My Morning Jacket
This whole set is phenomenal - the best active American live act in rock? Probably.

11. "The Neutral" - Sonic Youth
A decent Kim song from the new album, not one of my favorites on the disc though.

12. "Talking In Code" - Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
Another of 2006's pleasant surprises... a heartbreaking tune off an excellent album. I think it's safe to say that I'm in love with this song.

13. "The List of Dorms" - Pavement
From the reissued Slanted and Enchanted, which only reminds me how great it will be when the Wowee Zowee reissue hits late 2006/early 2007. That's my favorite Pavement record ever, so bloated and glorious.
A Piece of that Devil's Pie

Since there's still no word on the official release date for Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liqour, we'll have to settle for another rising Chicago rap star in the meantime. Tuesday saw the release of the hotly anticipated Blue Collar, by Kanye collaborator Rhymefest. It's a solid album that I need to spend a little more time with, but there were two tracks that jumped out at me immediately (click on the song titles to hear them for yourself):

"Stick" - The typical misogyny in the lyrics is a little much, but the minimal snap-hop beat mashed with Licensed to Ill era Beastie guitars makes for a fun listen.

"Devil's Pie" - This is the one that you may have heard mentioned on other blogs, the one in which a digitally modified sample of The Strokes' "Someday" forms the track's backbone. Another fun track that props up the second half of Blue Collar.

Jul 12, 2006

Threes is the Magic Number

It looks like the fall of 2006 is shaping up to be a good time to be a fan of either of the splintered halves of At the Drive-In, as both Sparta (October) and The Mars Volta (August 22nd) will each be releasing their third album. Considering how bloated and messy Frances The Mute could be at times, I think I may be more excited at the prospect of a new Sparta disc (something I never thought I would say). Here's the tracklisting for both, along with the cover for TMV's release - seems they are reaching even further back to '70s prog with the ugly album art.

The Mars Volta - Amputechture

1. Vicarious Atonement
2. Tetragrammaton
3. Vermicide
4. Meccamputechture
5. Asilos Magdalena
6. Viscera Eyes
7. Day of the Baphomets
8. El Ciervo Vulnerado

Sparta - Threes

1. Untreatable Disease
2. Crawl
3. Unstitch Your Mouth
4. Taking Back Control
5. Erase It Again
6. Atlas
7. The Most Vicious Crime
8. False Start
9. Weather the Storm
10. Red.Right.Return (Straight In Our Hands)
11. Without A Sound
12. Translations

Visit Sparta's MySpace page to stream "Taking Back Control".

Jul 11, 2006

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Sad news today, as I've just learned that founding member of Pink Floyd and legendary musician Syd Barrett has passed away at age 60. Although he was only around for the very beginning of the band's career and only had a hand in the first couple of albums - Syd's influence on all sorts of music, not just British psych-rock, is immeasurable. I've heard him (half-jokingly) described as the godfather of indie rock, which while maybe not entirely accurate does contain an element of truth. Judging by recent reports, it seems that Syd had recently made peace with a lot of the demons that had haunted him over the years - so let's hope that his was a peaceful passing and that he has no more reason to suffer.

Jul 10, 2006

Sailing The Seas of Smooth

If you haven't yet fallen for this wonderfully random and hilarious web show, do yourself a favor and head over to Channel 101 to watch and/or download all ten episodes. I can't decide which one is my favorite - either the Warren G episode (#7) or the Steely Dan/Eagles feud one (#10). It was time this unfairly overlooked piece of musical history got its due. If you happen to live in the Chicago area, you can take this all one step further - by heading to the Empty Bottle tonight for a viewing of the entire series with director/writer JD Ryznar. Smooth soundtrack to be provided by the Soft As Fuck DJs. Man, I still can't get over that "Skunk" Baxter moustache.

Jul 9, 2006

Girls Aloud To Split?

According to News of the World, one of my favorite female pop groups of the past couple years may soon be no more. Here's a snippit from the article linked above:

But now the most successful female band since the SPICE GIRLS will release their last album — a Greatest Hits compilation.
The source said: "They will split next year.
"They've decided to go their separate ways because things have got so bad between them. They keep trying to outdo each other and it's got ridiculous."

Well, at least that Greatest Hits compilation will be fantastic - it's just a shame that the Girls never had a chance to break over here in the States. I'm not exactly sure how valid the source is, however, so you may want to take this with a grain of salt.
2006//Top 20 Albums @ The Half-Way Point
During my month-long absence from updating this site, the half-way point of 2006 came and went, so it is beyond time to look back on some of my favorite albums of the last six months. 2006 has been an interesting year for music, in that while there has been quite a few good-to-great discs released; there has yet to be anything stunning enough to warrant bucketloads of hype or praise. Below is a list of twenty albums that I've spent a lot of time with this year and have a good chance at staying in high rotation for the next six months as well.

20. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming (Absolutely Kosher)
Check Out: "Stadiums and Shrines II", "Shut Up I Am Draming of Places Where Lovers Have Wings", "Snakes Got A Leg III"

19. Hot Chip - The Warning (DFA/Astralwerks)
Check Out: "Over and Over", "(Just Like We) Breakdown", "And I Was A Boy From School"

18. AFI - Decemberunderground (Interscope)
Check Out: "Miss Murder", "Love Like Winter", "The Killing Lights"

17. Mogwai - Mr. Beast (Matador)
Check Out: "Glasgow Mega-Snake", "We're No Here", "Travel Is Dangerous"

16. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - The Dust of Retreat (Artemis)
Check Out: "On A Freezing Chicago Street", "Skeleton Key", "Dress Me Like A Clown"

15. Mission of Burma - The Obliterati (Matador)
Check Out: "1001 Pleasant Dreams", "Donna Sumeria", "Nancy Reagan's Head"

14. Robert Pollard - From A Compound Eye (Merge)
Check Out: "Dancing Girls and Dancing Men", "Love Is Stronger Than Witchcraft", "I'm A Widow"

13. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam (J Records)
Check Out: "Come Back", "Marker In The Sand", "Life Wasted"

12. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Domino)
Check Out: "A Certain Romance", "When The Sun Goes Down", "Fake Tales of San Francisco"

11. The Sword - Age of Winters (Kemado)
Check Out: "Winter's Wolves", "The Horned Goddess", "Iron Swan"

10. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche (Asthmatic Kitty)
Check Out: "Dear Mr. Supercomputer", "Saul Bellow", "Adlai Stevenson"

9. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (Geffen)
Check Out: "Pink Steam", "Do You Believe In Rapture?", "Jams Run Free"

8. Comets On Fire - Avatar (Sub Pop)
Check Out: "Jaybird", "Lucifer's Memory", "Sour Smoke"

7. Liars - Drum's Not Dead (Mute)
Check Out: "It Fit When I Was A Kid", "The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack", "Hold You, Drum"

6. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale (Def Jam)
Check Out: "9 Milli Bros", "Back Like That", "Kilo"

5. Boris - Pink (Southern Lord)
Check Out: "Pink", "Woman On The Screen", "Just Abandoned My-Self"

4. Silversun Pickups - Carnavas (Dangerbird)
Check Out: "Future Foe Scenario", "Dream At Tempo 119", "Lazy Eye"

3. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies (Merge)
Check Out: "European Oils", "A Dangerous Woman Up To A Point", "Painter In Your Pocket"

2. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (Downtown)
Check Out: "Crazy", "Smiley Faces", "Gone Daddy Gone"

1. Be Your Own Pet - Be Your Own Pet (Ecstatic Peace/Universal)
Check Out: "Adventure", "We Will Vacation, You Can Be My Parasol", "Love Your Shotgun"