Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Pornographers - Challengers

Emotionally touching and visually interesting video for The New Pornographers' new single, the title track off Challengers. Neko Case is singing lead on this one and as usual her voice is just magnificent.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bruce Springsteen with Win Butler
and Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire

See, this is the kind of thing I LOVE. Sunday night in Ottawa, not normally one of the hippest towns in Canada, the folks at Bruce's show got real lucky when Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, the married couple at the core of that little local act called the Arcade Fire, took the stage and did a killer version of Bruce's State Trooper followed by their own Keep the Car Running. Win and Régine look very relaxed playing with Bruce and the E-Street Band and the crowd is completely amazed they're getting to see this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pitchfork reviews Radiohead's In Rainbows

Very cute, you must click on the review to see what they did. You need to have visited the In Rainbows download page to get the joke...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Radiohead - In Rainbows is here

And it's ridiculously good. Won't be listening to anything else today, that's for sure. Don't even know how to pick out just a couple tracks, but here's Tim's favorite (Nude), Liese's (15 Step) and mine (Jigsaw). Other really good ones: perhaps their first true dance track, Bodysnatchers, and the stunning All I Need.

Radiohead have made it a very special day by essentially leaking this album themselves, thus ensuring that everyone is hearing a record for the first time at the same time since Napster burst on the scene in 2000 and made leaking possible. Folks younger than I stayed up all night to grab it when it first became available in the wee hours of the morning.

Radiohead are so cool. And happy birthday Thom! He was 39 this week.

MP3 Radiohead - Nude (used to be called Big Ideas)
MP3 Radiohead - 15 Step
MP3 Radiohead - Jigsaw falling into place (used to be called Open Pick)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Beirut - A Sunday Smile

21-year-old Zach Condon's follow-up to last year's magnificent debut, The Gulag Orkestar, is The Flying Club Cup, just released today to an 8.0 from Pitchfork and many other good reviews. Zach is a high school dropout from Santa Fe (now living in Brooklyn, natch) who plays beautiful trumpet as well as French horn, mandolin, piano, accordion, glockenspiel and ukulele. It's not exactly rock. Here's one of the lovely waltzes from the album.

MP3 Beirut - A Sunday Smile

Monday, October 8, 2007

Flight of the Conchords - Business Time

Absolutely hilarious. They're comedians from New Zealand using music as their medium.

MP3 Flight of the Conchords - Business Time

Arcade Fire in NYC - Neighborhood #3
(Power Out) & Rebellion (Lies)

I know, I know, two AF posts in a row? But here are the last two songs they played in the regular set Saturday night. Witness the back-to-back knockout punch of these fan faves from their beloved debut. It looks like people thought it was over after Power Out; they go crazy when they realize the noise afterward is turning into Lies, one of the band's best sing-a-longs.

Last AF show in the city for a while, Will says so...ah well, they deserve a rest. They played nine shows in NY this year and I'm very happy I got to see the one at Radio City in May (with The National).

MP3 Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) - from Funeral
MP3 Rebellion (Lies) - from Funeral

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Arcade Fire in NYC - Wake Up and Kiss Off

Arcade Fire's first encore last night at Randall's Island, NYC, Wake Up

MP3 Arcade Fire - Wake Up (from 2004's Funeral)
Second encore, in the crowd, a cover of the Violent Femmes' Kiss Off

MP3 Violent Femmes - Kiss Off
(from their eponymous 1982 debut album)

Music Snobbery was there and has a great review with excellent photos.

The Frames - Falling Slowly

Very pretty song from the Irish band's latest.

MP3 The Frames - Falling Slowly (from 2006's The Cost)

Tony Bennett and Judy Garland -
I Left My Heart in San Francisco

TB was on Colbert last week and he was great as usual. This is from Judy's TV show, 1963.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The National cover Bruce's Mansion on the Hill

Here are The National performing Mansion on the Hill as part of the Nebraska Project, an event celebrating the album held last year as part of the NY Guitar Festival. As I mentioned last month, this cover is the B-side of their new single Apartment Story.

MP3 Bruce Springsteen - Mansion on the Hill (from 1982's Nebraska)

Sigur Rós - Heima trailer

After a couple years of near-constant touring, Sigur Rós felt like going home to Iceland. There they played fifteen free concerts at various outdoor locations in their ultra-scenic country, and the movie Heima ("At Home") is the result. The trailer is mind-boggling. The song is Hoppípolla from 2005's Takk (Thanks).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel -
last live performance

I just downloaded (from eMusic, where I get most of my tunes) the last-ever live performance by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, an essentially solo show he did in New Zealand in 2001, and the last time anyone has ever heard him sing his beautiful songs. I am just blown away by this set. He is a such a great songwriter and an extremely evocative singer. If you like Mountain Goats, Okkervil River or Beirut (and you should!), listen to NMH to hear where they got a lot of their ideas...

MP3 In the aeroplane, over the sea (live in New Zealand, 2001)
MP3 In the aeroplane, over the sea (title song from 1998 album, one of Pitchfork's rare 10.0s and deservedly so, features gorgeous brass and musical saw)
MP3 Holland, 1945 (from In the aeroplane, over the sea)

It's a concept album about Anne Frank. It's gorgeous. Guy only made two records, this was the second. Then he had some kind of breakdown and since then, nothing...but he lives in NY and sometimes appears onstage to sing a song with old Elephant 6 friends like Elf Power and Olivia Tremor Control.

Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

REM's Automatic for the People re-imagined

Stereogum has done it again, re-creating a modern classic with interesting covers by talented artists. Last time it was Radiohead's OK Computer. This time it's my beloved Automatic for the People, REM's 1992 masterpiece. Download the whole thing here and read notes by the cover artists as well as the loquacious Mike Mills. And whose idea was it to have Nightswimming done by the Wrens? Brilliant.

MP3 The Wrens - Nightswimming (REM cover)
MP3 The Wrens - Ex-Girl Collection (from 2003's The Meadowlands)

Monday, October 1, 2007

New Radiohead album In Rainbows October 10th!

There is no bigger music news for this girl than word of a new Radiohead album. Without a record company, they managed to keep In Rainbows under wraps and announce its release only 10 days in advance. Register at the site to get a download code and here's the beauty part--you can pay whatever you like for the record! This is a real test--does a band used to debuting at #1 or #2 need a record label?

I am so in love with Radiohead and I'm not the only one. Read people's ecstatic comments on stereogum and brooklynvegan. This story has also been picked up by all the major media (click here and here). It's a whole new paradigm and everybody agrees Radiohead are the band to pull it off. Here's an especially good take on the big news.

MP3 Jigsaw Falling Into Place (then called Open Pick, live at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia, June 2006)