Friday, June 04, 2010


Another band that I've been listening to for quite a while. Great stuff, interesting instrumentation, great melodic content, lyrics, etc. Check it out if you like Radiohead, or Coldplay (hate to make that reference,) I think Elbow is better than either, even if they're not terribly well known in the US.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Arcade Fire

I know everyone has heard of this band by now, and I wasn't that big of a fan, but today I saw their performance for the video blog Blogotheque, and I have to say it gave me tingles. If you're not familiar, it's sort of indie chamber music, if that makes sense!

Really great stuff:

Arcade Fire on

Monday, December 18, 2006

Parts & Labor

Parts & Labor is one of the newer bands that I've been listening to a lot lately. If you're not familiar with the recent trend towards 'circuit-bending', you might have missed these guys. Basically, it's a bit lo-fi, with some really interesting use of effects and tweaked digital sound sources, mixed with the melodic awareness of Guided By Voices. Throw in an old-fashioned punk rythm section, and you have one of the most interesting and exciting bands I've heard in a while. Listen to A Great Divide and see if you can argue. Amazing.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Konono No. 1

Konono No. 1 is a semi-traditional Bazombo trance music group, but amplified through home-made equipment, which gives the music an urgency and presence that I don't hear in most 'world music', which is often recorded in that pristine 'naturalist' manner. The thumb piano sounds amazing, almost like some sort of old Casio played through your home stereo way louder than god intended. This is almost like electronica, but without the precision. It reminds me a little of Philip Glass, if he'd been born in the 3rd world! Check out their site, and mp3s here: Konono No 1.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


The Ex-Models are a group (sort of) from Brooklyn, NY. They are noisy, mathy, weird and a lot of fun. They have evolved over the years, but they are consistently inventive and over-the-top. Some of my favorites are from their "Other Mathematics" release, but it's all pretty damn good. Check out Girlfriend is Worse, and their myspace page has some of their latest loopy craziness...

Friday, June 02, 2006


If you enjoy loudish, dense, heavy music, but prefer it devoid of screaming, or other vocal embellishment, Pelican is the band for you. Their early releases bordered more on Melvins-style sludge metal, and their most recent release is somewhere in the realm of Mogwai, but they travel in between frequently. Here's an mp3 of a track from their debut ep: Mammoth.mp3 Listen to it loud, for maximum effect...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


If you're like me, you love finding a new band with an interesting take on things. Deerhoof combines wildly creative "rock" music with often hilarious lyrics and vocals that would ordinarily be found in Japanese pop music. While they can be occasionally grating, I find the twists and turns invigorating, and the melodic inventiveness is amazing. Be forewarned, if you have a low tolerance for very high-pitched singing, Deerhoof may not be for you! Check out The Great Car Tomb and Gore In Rut. Also, there are a ton of links on their site:

Friday, December 09, 2005

Star Pimp

Star Pimp was one of those early 90's bands that was well ahead of its time, and very under-appreciated. I saw them at Hollywood Alley, and I remember thinking how odd they were, with the weird high pitched guitar parts, and the sort of sloppy drumming, with the geeky singer girl. It would be very hip right now, but in '94, it was just very strange! Of course, I became an immediate fan, and have been one ever since, even though they broke up years ago. Anyway, having said all that, check out this track from their final album, on KillRockStars: Blood On The Mountain. In my opinion, Seraphim 280Z was their best album, oddly it was there middle release! Also, check out Kill Rock Stars, they have lots fo really cool stuff...

I know, it's crazy, but you can get their stuff on, of all places, Amazon! Star Pimp on Or download it: Star Pimp - Seraphim280Z on iTunes

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead is one of those great bands that is able to blend terrific musicianship with interesting and creative song structure, yet still write music that is catchy and fun. Check out the music section of their site: Blonde Redhead. I've seen them live a couple of times, and they are an amazing band. See them in a small venue if possible, as some of their more intricate work seems to get lost in big rooms.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Arab on Radar

If you like dissonant, slightly chaotic music, Arab on Radar is a band you should check out. Somewhere between the noisey guitar driven Jesus Lizard and straight up 'art rock', they are a really fun band to listen to. It may take a little getting used to, but once you get past the abrasiveness of it all, there are some really interesting things going, especially if you're a musician. Check out their myspace page to get a feel:Arab on Radar. Also check out the other bands on Skin Graft Records.

Order a CD or ten here: Arab on Radar on

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Jesus Lizard

The Jesus Lizard was one of those Chicago bands that made wild, loud music that had a pounding rhythm, but with a certain swagger. Their best stuff was recorded by Steve Albini, and released on Touch and Go Records during the early '90s. I remember seeing them live for the first time and being stunned at the crazy drunken rage of David Yow. You halfway expected him to collapse at any moment. You can check out a few of their songs here:Touch And Go Records. While you're their be sure to check out The Shipping News, June of '44, and the other great Touch and Go artists.

You can hear more samples and order CDs here: Jesus Lizard on

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Jawbreaker/Jets to Brazil

Jawbreaker was one of my favorite bands of the early 90's. After they signed with Geffen, though, they broke up, and their major label debut was shelved. It is soon to be available again, on Blackball Records, which is run by Adam Pfahler, formerly of Jawbreaker. Check out the samples on this page, and you can get a feel for their stuff. You can hear a few more here:
While Jawbreaker broke up in '96, Blake (the singer/guitarist) went on to form another great band, Jets to Brazil. While I think some of their stuff is a tad derivative, it's still well made and fun to listen to: You're Having The Time Of My Life. Of course, the intro sounds just like the Eurythmics, but hey, after that it's pretty good! Not quite as raw as Jawbreaker, though...

Check out more Jawbreaker here: Jawbreaker on

And Jets to Brazil here: Jets To Brazil on

Lightning Bolt

Another one of those crazy noise bands, these guys are interesting, and have oddly been the sweethearts of the indie scene lately. My friend Larry first told me about them, and I must say, they are addictive, if you like your rock raw, and slightly schizophrenic! Here's a song to give a taste: Dracula Mountain. And another: 13 Monsters. Be sure to listen to the whole thing, or you'll miss the best parts! Check out their site at :

More of their fancy noise: Lightning Bolt on

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Poster Children/Salaryman

One band that I've been a big fan of for years and years is Poster Children. They've been together almost 20 years (though not without a few personnel changes.) Their sound is loud, but with definite pop overtones, sometimes edgier, sometimes bordering on techno (check out their side project Salaryman for more on the techno front) but always interesting. You can hear one of my all time favorite tracks "If You See Kay" along with samples of the other songs from their "breakout" album "Daisy Chain Reaction" here. Fun stuff, another band that is really great to see live...

Check out more tracks here: Poster Children on

Friday, September 09, 2005


While I am trying to avoid things which are completely obvious and well-known, I often come across people who are inexplicably unaware of Steve Albini and Shellac. Albini is of course the man behind Electrical Audio, one of Chicago's premier recording facilities. He's also the guy behind so many great albums it's impossible to list them all here. Anyway, if you like noisy, inventive music with a dark sense of humor, check out
Watch Song. And here's a live in the studio rendition of The End of Radio.

You can order all sorts of Shellac stuff here: Shellac on

Built To Spill

Built To Spill is another great band I listen to periodically. They have a strong back catalogue, and are currently touring. You can hear one song here. They are a great live band (although the last time I saw them they played 3 Clash covers, all of which were pretty weak), and often play very long sets with amazing jams and extended versions. Joyride is an old tune, but it's funny, and gives a little vision into the band's early years. Here's one more: Alarmed. And this one's a solo track by Doug Martsch: Offer.

You can hear more of their stuff and see their fancy cover art here: Built To Spill on

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Sea And Cake

I've been listening lately to "The Fawn", by The Sea and Cake. This band has been around for over a decade, and has consistently put out great stuff. Very mellow, but interesting and surprisingly high-energy, for the overall chilled-out vibe. This track from their album "Oui" gives a good taste: Afternoon Speaker. They are currently planning to record a new album this winter. You can hear more of their stuff and order CDs here: Sea and Cake on

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jeff Mangum/Neutral Milk Hotel

Nuetral Milk Hotel is one of those "bands" that seems to get more well known every year, even though they haven't released anything in several years. Great melodies, funky surreal lyrics with more rhymes than Green Eggs and Ham, it's some of the best 'lo-fi' out there. Jeff Mangum, the singer/guitarist/writer is also one of the men behind the Elephant6 Collective, which has put out lots of other cool stuff over the years. If you haven't heard them yet, check out this page, lots of live tracks, including one of my favorites, My Dream Girl Don't Exist.

Check out more of their stuff here: Neutral Milk Hotel on

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Point Line Plane

Point Line Plane is a band that I first heard at Emerald Lounge one night, when I was with my friend Larry. We walked in and heard this cacophony of sound coming from the stage (which is sort of around the corner from the bar.)
We walked back and found this insane noise was coming from just two guys, one playing a traditional drumset, the other a synth with a goodly amount of distortion. They are from Portland, and released their most recent album on Skin Graft Records. They added a second synth player, which you can hear on the newer material. Check out D.R.U.G., from their latest release.

According to their MySpace page, the second synth player left, hopefully we'll be hearing more from them soon!

You can check out more of their stuff here: Point Line Plane on

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Red House Painters

The last few days I've been listening to Red House Painters, which is a band whose last record was released by SubPop Records. I first heard them a couple years ago, when their song "Cruiser" was being played regularly on SubPop Radio. Then a few weeks ago, I was listening to the Garden State soundtrack, which is quite nice background music for painting (walls, not art.) Anyway, while listening to that, I became interested in the track "Such Great Heights," by Iron and Wine. So that led me to SubPop, where I re-encountered Red House Painters. After a quick trip to iTunes, I was downloading their album "Songs for a Blue Guitar" (released on Universal/Island), which is great painting and driving music. Mellow, sort of Mazzy Star meets the quieter Elliot Smith.

So anyway, you can hear samples of the album here: Red House Painters on Amazon.comand Mark Kozelek's current band, Sun Kil Moon, as well: Sun Kil Moon on