Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Halfway There | Best Songs of 2010

Artwork credit: Alyssa Shapkoff

So, it's that time of year again, time for racking our brains (and maybe hitting our heads against the wall) to come up with a relatively short and sweet list of our favorite music of 2010 (so far). Forced to reflect on the last six months, it's so very easy to see that we've been spoiled with nothing short of an assload (that's a scientific measurement) of amazing tunes. We predict that come December, we'll have a few bruises on our noggins as we sort it all out.

Until then, enjoy our list of favorite songs of 2010, sure to evolve over the coming months. Stream them all, download what you like. We're halfway there!

Admiral Radley - I Heart California
April Smith and The Great Picture Show - Colors
A Weather - No Big Hope
Band of Horses - Compliments [listen]
Beach House - Used To Be [listen]
Broken Social Scene – Texico Bitches [listen]
Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore - Something, Somewhere, Sometime
Chris McGarry - Brooklyn Bound
Cold War Kids - Audience
Cowboy Junkies - Renmin Park [listen]
David Ford - Nothing At All
Delorean - Stay Close [listen]
Dr. Dog - Shadow People
Electric President - Safe and Sound [listen]
Freelance Whales - Generator ^ First Floor
Frightened Rabbit - Yes, I Would [listen]
Future Islands - Tin Man
Gaslight Anthem - Bring It On [listen]
Harlem - Gay Human Bones
Kanye West - Power [download]
Kele - Tenderoni
LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean
Local Natives - Sun Hands [listen]
MGMT - I Found a Whistle [listen]
Patty Griffin - Coming Home To Me [listen]
Sally Seltmann - Harmony To My Heartbeat
Sam Quinn - Late The Other Night
Sarah Jaffe - Clementine [listen]
Sleigh Bells - Rill, Rill
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way
Tame Impala – Alter Ego
The Black Keys - Everlasting Light [listen]
The Morning Pages - My Name Is Lion
The Mynabirds - Numbers Don't Lie
The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio
The New Pornographers - A Bite Out Of My Bed [listen]
The Tallest Man On Earth - King Of Spain
Tift Merritt - Engine To Turn [listen]
Tokyo Police Club - Favourite Colour
Wild Nothing - Chinatown
Wolf Parade - Palm Road [listen]
Yeasayer - O.N.E.

We feel a little hesitant asking this, but...what did we miss?

Jam of the Day | Griffin House - River City Lights

A couple weeks ago, Katie interviewed Griffin House for Speakers in Code, and we learned a little bit about House's new album, The Learner. It's a fine album, probably House's best to date; it rocks, it sways, and it relaxes in all the right places.

There's more than one song that stands out for me, but today's JOTD does a little bit of everything. "River City Lights" takes me back to the innocent days when there were no plans, no bills to pay, and no thoughts of fixed mortgages. Of course, those days still had girls, the kind that are hard to find, the kind that steal your mind for weeks. The kind that just slip in and out of your memory, and eventually, out of your life.

The kind you still think about today.

Like House sings, "That's just the way it goes sometimes."

Griffin House - River City Lights

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jill Andrews Covers Lennon's "Instant Karma"

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of seeing Jill Andrews twice at Bonnaroo – once with her full band, once performing as a duo with the multi-talented Josh Oliver. In my humble opinion, you’re not going to find many songwriters out there like Jill – she’s as real as they come, and she’s one of the nicest gals you’ll ever meet. Everywhere I go, I talk about her music, because it simply means that much to me.

Jill will be releasing her first full-length this November. As you may know, this comes on the heels of her fabulous debut EP, which you can buy here. If you want a taste of what the new album will sound like, check out “A Little Less,” a fantastic new song she recorded for our friends at HearYa.

At Bonnaroo, Jill told me about her experience on the Lennon Bus, and how much fun she had recording on it. Luckily for us, a video has surfaced of Jill performing Lennon’s “Instant Karma,” and it’s a keeper. Enjoy!


Pajammy Jam of the Day | Carl Broemel - Heaven Knows

Carl Broemel, guitarist for My Morning Jacket, is set to release his debut solo album, All Birds Say, on ATO Records on August 31st. The album is an intimate and honest collection of musings on life, a distinct departure from what MMJ does, at least sound-wise. Some would even describe it as "zen-like."

"Heaven Knows," your Pajammy Jam of the Day is like a little haiku put to music. It is completely of the moment, without placing judgment on that moment. It is organic and light; I can close my eyes and very naturally imagine birds chirping amidst the precision whistling or a babbling brook flowing through its chorus. It is short and sweet, only (a very satisfying) two minutes and thirty seconds long.

And sorry to get sappy on you, but this song is perfect for anyone falling in love (or, at least having a noteworthy fling) this summer. So, find your boo, jump in a hammock (you might first need to make a pit stop at Home Depot to procure one), and press play on "Heaven Knows."

Carl Broemel - Heaven Knows

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jam of the Day | Washed Out - You And I

I'm dubbing today "Chillwave Monday" because next Monday is the most summery of all holidays, and if you're like me, you're going to be relaxing at the beach, playing bocce ball, and not thinking a damn bit about work.

So, what better to feature than the new single "You And I" from Washed Out to get us prepped? This one just so happens to also be the fourth release from the Kia Adult Swim Singles Program, which was packed with eight great releases in just eight weeks. Corporate America is seriously upping their indie game!

And judging by the sound, Washed Out is also stepping things up. The song features their trademark chillwave sound, but the production is tighter and far more polished. Caroline Polachek of Chairlift is also featured on the track, contributing to the backing vocals.

Ride the chillwave below.

Washed Out (feat. Caroline Polachek) - You and I

Friday, June 25, 2010

Get Out! Concert Schedule | Saint Louis + The Triangle

Here's this week's Speakers in Code endorsed live shows in St. Louis and The Triangle, from now until October!

Saint Louis
6/26 - Sleepy Kitty + The Blind Eyes + The LIVERS @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
6/27 - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
6/28 - The New Pornographers + The Dodos @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
7/4 - Joe Pug + Rayland Baxter @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
7/6 - Maps and Atlases + The Cults + The Globes @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
7/8 - Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
7/9 - Steel Phantoms + Active Child + Islands @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
7/9 - Common @ Live on the Levee [free show]
7/16 - Chamberlain + Tim Barry + The Gaslight Anthem @ Pop's [buy tickets]
7/17 - Morning Teleportation + Modest Mouse @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
7/18 - Drive-By Truckers + Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheater [buy tickets]
7/20 - Nathaniel Rateliff @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
7/22 - Fol Chen + Liars @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
7/26 - Art Majors + Jumbling Towers + Frog Eyes @ Luminary Center for the Arts [buy tickets]
7/30 - Harper Blynn + Greg Laswell/Cary Brothers @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
8/5 - Dead Conferderate + Deer Tick @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
8/8 - Roller Coaster Club + Pretty Little Empre + Mimicking Birds @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
8/9 - Two Door Cinema Club + Phoenix @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
8/13 - We Are Scientists @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
8/15 - Katie Herzig @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
[new] 8/15 William Elliot Whitmore @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
8/17 - Rosi Golan + William Fitzsimmons @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
8/27 - An Evening With The Black Crowes @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
8/28 - LOUfest in Forest Park [buy tickets]
8/29 - LOUfest in Forest Park [buy tickets]
9/9 - Jamie Lidell @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
9/14 - Male Bonding + Best Coast @ The Gargoyle [ticket info coming soon]
9/23 - Watson Twins + Laura Veirs and The Hall of Flames @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
[new] 9/24 - The Avett Brothers + Grace Potter and The Nocturnals @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
9/30 - Owen Pallett + The National @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
[new] 10/3 - The Very Best + Beach House + Vampire Weekend @ Chafeitz Arena [buy tickets]
10/11 - Menomena @ Luminary Center for the Arts [buy tickets]
[new] 10/20 - Japandroids + The Walkmen @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]

The Triangle
6/26 - Math The Band + MC Lars + MC Chris @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
6/27 - Matthew Ryan @ The Pour House [buy tickets]
6/30 - Athlete @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/1 - Phish @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
7/2 - Steel Phantoms + Islands @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/5 - Delta Spirit @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/6 - PO PO + Nerve City + Sleigh Bells @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/9 - Peter Wolf Crier + The Builders And The Butchers + Heartless Bastards @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/11 - Ringo Starr @ DPAC [buy tickets]
7/13 - Rasputina @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/13 - Twin Tigers @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/16 - We Are Each Other + Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/16 - Future Islands @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/17 - The Love Language CD Release Party@ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/18 - Mic Harrison (ex-Superdrag) @ Sidlacks [buy tickets]
7/22 - John Hiatt @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/23 - Tegan and Sara @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
7/27 - Chairlift @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/29 - Matt Kearney @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/29 - Ariel Pink @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/31 - Ben Kweller + Barenaked Ladies @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
8/2 - Boris @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
8/4 - The National @ Memorial Auditorium [buy tickets]
8/7 - Beach Fossils + Here We Go Magic @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
8/8 - Janelle Monae @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
8/8 - Norah Jones @ DPAC [buy tickets]
8/10 - Citizen Cope @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
8/13- Mission of Burma @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
8/19 - Miniature Tigers @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
8/29 - Jim Avett @ The Pour House [buy tickets]
8/29 - KISS @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
9/9 - Hopscotch Festival @ City Plaza [buy tickets]
9/10 - Hopscotch Festival @ City Plaza [buy tickets]
9/11 - Hopscotch Festival @ City Plaza [buy tickets]
9/13 - The Black Keys + Kings of Leon @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
9/14 - Strange Boys + Those Darlins @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
9/17 - The Black Crowes @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
9/18 - ZZ Top + Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
9/18 - Billy Bragg @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
9/18 - The Watson Twins + Laura Veirs @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
9/19 - Lady Gaga @ RBC Center [buy tickets]
[new] 9/23 - Jenny and Johnny @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
9/25 - Carolina Chocolate Drops @ Duke University [buy tickets]
9/29 - Electric Six @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
9/30 - Tobacco @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
[new] 10/1 - Stars @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
10/7 - Suckers + Menomena @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
10/8 - The Avett Brothers @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
[new] 10/10 - Built To Spill @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
[new] 10/19 - School of Seven Bells @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
10/20 - Matt & Kim @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
10/26 - Muse @ RBC Center [buy tickets]

Jam of the Day | Stars - We Don't Want Your Body

I saw Stars in concert several years ago in a cramped basement venue that reeked of B.O. It was a weird show; the ethereal quality of the band's indie pop battled against the dark underground, the small space, the unpleasant smell. But when it played its breakthrough hit "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" (huge at the time, thanks to its appearance on The O.C.), Stars literally shined through the darkness. The band soon followed that with a cover of Springsteen's "Hungry Heart," and all was right in the world.

Now, the Canadian outfit is back with its sixth LP, The Five Ghosts, out now on Vagrant Records. The first single off the album, "Fixed," sounds like vintage Stars. The Jam of the Day? Not so much. It's more Passion Pit or Yeasayer. I mean, you can dance to it!

It might not fit with the rest of the album, but I don't think it's meant to be taken that seriously. Sometimes relationship mourners and lost souls just need a break.

Listen to "We Don't Want Your Body":

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Justin Townes Earle Announces Release Date for 'Harlem River Blues'

Following up the 2009's critically acclaimed Midnight at the Movies, Justin Townes Earle is set to release his next LP, Harlem River Blues, out September 14th on Bloodshot Records. The album features guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Bryn Davies and Calexico’s Paul Niehaus is a more mature, increasingly nuanced effort. Yet, it promises further standout tracks like last year's "Mama's Eyes" (definitely one of my favorites of 2009).

In addition to making new music for us to enjoy, Townes has kept plenty busy with other pursuits. He recently appeared on HBO's Treme with his dad, Steve Earle. GQ named him one of the 25 best dressed men in the world in 2010. He was also crowned with the Best New and Emerging Artist honor at the 2009 Americana Music Awards.

Looking forward to hearing that first single.

Jam of the Day | Oberhofer - o0O0o0O0o EP

Talented young people piss me off. I already broke down in creepy old-man tears at an Avi Buffalo show earlier this year. And now, we have a dude who's 19 and insanely good. Great. Someone find my cane.

This time we find youngster Brad Oberhofer, who seems far too confident and sounds way too good to be 19, crafting songs as Oberhofer. Originally from the Seattle area, Oberhofer made the move to musical mecca of Brooklyn and now attends school at NYU. So yes - he's still in beeping college.

At this point, he's still unsigned and giving away his o0O0o0O0o EP for FREE! So today's Jam of the Day is actually a fully realized 7 song EP. Score!

Download and enjoy here! I promise you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Netherfriends (The Interview)


Shawn Rosenblatt, the wizard behind Chicago band, Netherfriends, recently hit the road to complete what's he's calling the "50 Songs/50 States" project. He literally gave up his home to travel across the entire country, bunking up with charitable neighbors and recording a new song in each state. Read what The Onion has to say about why he should succeed where others have failed.

In the midst of this cross-country journey, Netherfriends digitally released its new album, Barry and Sherry (named after Rosenblatt's parents) and will play at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival. Ever intrigued by his passion and purpose, I was thrilled to ask Rosenblatt about the concept behind the new album...even if he didn't get many of my '80s, John Hughesian references.

Check out Netherfriends' Daytrotter session, and be sure to follow Rosenblatt's travels on his blog.

Netherfriends - Bret Easton Ellis Novel

1. As I was reading a bunch of press releases on Netherfriends, one line really stuck out to me: "We all try to defy our parents. Listen to different music, wear different clothes, do drugs, move/run away to a big city, meet someone your parents approve of, get a real job, get married, buy a house in the suburbs, have a kid, get divorced, get remarried, get cancer, die." It sounds so Breakfast Club, those kids dying to escape the inevitable fate of becoming their parents. How does this concept come across in the songs on Barry and Sherry?

I never got into The Breakfast Club. I guess the songs on Barry and Sherry all represent me in different points of my life: past, present, and future. In my opinion, the future is scarier than dying. I avoid it at all costs. I figure music is what makes me happy because I am creating it right now. Everyone should give up a few things they can live without: coffee, cigarettes, booze, drugs, etc. and do something they really love. We are all going to die in 2012 anyway... Well, maybe not.

2. I've been following your 50 Songs/50 States progress on your blog. I hear New England sucks! What states are you most looking forward to visiting? 

I am super excited for Alaska. I am going in mid-September during the Northern Lights, and I hear they are incredible! Playing states like North and South Dakota and Wyoming should be interesting, as well.

3. You've been without a home since April because of the 50/50 project. What are the pros and cons of being a nomad?

Pros: I don't pay rent, bills, [or for] food (I have food stamps), and I have met so many amazing people who were kind enough to let me sleep on their couches and drink their beer.
Cons: I can't think of any.

4. Does this project connect in any way to the thematic concept of Barry and Sherry? Shawn, are you without home to further delay your move to the suburbs?

Ha, yes. I have a feeling that after this year long project ends, I am going to start the 50/50 project again. I just wanted to do something unique and do the recording and touring at the same time. I meet and play with a lot of musicians that always have this dream of being famous or rich. I can't say that I ever daydream. Dreams are what happen at night, and I can never remember any of them. This project allows me to not worry about life and just focus on art. It's hard to balance the two, but working super hard on music prevents me from thinking about suburban family life.

5. Last question...hopefully you've seen The Breakfast Club. Which kid are you: the Jock, the Criminal, the Princess, the Brain, or the Kook?

I just asked my girlfriend, and she said I am like the criminal because I am grumpy.

Jam of the Day | Ann Atomic - Fifteen Cadillacs

Things are looking up for Ann McNamee these days. She's wrapped up a spot on the 2010 Lilith Fair tour, performing alongside the likes of Serena Ryder, Tegan and Sara, and Cat Power, to name a few. Pretty good for a gal who just ten years ago retired as a Professor of Music Theory at Swarthmore College.

McNamee performs as part of Ann Atomic, a bay-area band also featuring Eric McFadden, Jon Evans, Curt Bisquera, and Roger Love. She's written over 200 songs, and today, we give you one of her best, "Fifteen Cadillacs." Get down and enjoy!

Ann Atomic - Fifteen Cadillacs

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jam of the Day | Ray LaMontagne - Beg, Steal, or Borrow

Earlier this month, our friends at TwentyFourBit gave us the good word that Ray LaMontagne's upcoming fourth LP had a title, release date, and all that other jazz that makes us act the fool where new music is concerned. For this effort, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise (God, I love that saying), LaMontagne decided to roll solo without the help of longtime producer-buddy, Ethan Johns.

Recorded in the Massachusetts woods, with the help of his backing band (now with the official name, Pariah Dogs), good ol' Ray brings us the Jam of the Day, "Beg Steal Or Borrow," the first track available to stream off the forthcoming album.

"Beg Steal Or Borrow" shows off LaMontagne's storytelling chops, which is an avenue I would love for him to explore more. His singer-songwriter roots are ripe for spinning smalltown tales of joy and tragedy.

God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise comes out August 17th on RCA.

Jenny and Johnny Reveal First Song + Tour Dates

Jenny and Johnny, the new project that features Jenny Lewis and her boyfriend Johnathan Rice has now taken a tangible form, and what we're hearing at this point sounds like it will not disappoint - thank the Lord.

Additionally, it appears they've charted their first ever U.S. tour, which kicks off in California on September 1st and heads east including a show at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, as well as two dates opening for Pavement in Boston and Brooklyn. Tickets for the U.S. dates go on sale starting Friday, June 25th via multiple outlets depending on where you see them.

So download “Scissor Runner” below for the petty price of an email address, and if you like what you hear, you can order their debut LP I'm Having Fun Now in pretty much every format imaginable from their official website.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lissie Announces U.S. Release Date for 'Catching a Tiger'

We love our Lissie Marus 'round these parts. Hardcore. But, not in a dirty way.

Ever since I heard her critically acclaimed EP, Why You Runnin', I started drooling over the possibility of her debut full-length coming out in 2010. Her soulful, whiskey-soaked voice shook me to my core, especially on the track, "Everywhere I Go." Two words: cold chills.

So, my waiting began. Lissie's friggin' amazing covers of songs like Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness" that came out this year simultaneously satisifed and teased. Just last week, I heard rumors somewhere on the Interwebs that she hoped (yes, only hoped) Catching a Tiger would be out by the end of the year in the U.S. even though a release date in the U.K. had already been set. That is when I took out an online ad to find a new British friend to buy the album for me. I'm kidding. Maybe.

Well, I don't have to worry my pretty little head any longer. Just got word that we have an official release date for Catching a Tiger: August 17, 2010 on Fat Possum Records. You can preorder the album now via the label's website. Hot damn!

The Illinois native's Catching a Tiger was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina. The girl's gonna hit up the major festivals this summer including Glastonbury, Lillith Fair, and Austin City Limits with more touring information to come soon (fingers crossed).

Tracklist:
Record Collector
When I'm Alone
In Sleep
Bully
Little Lovin'
Stranger
Loosen The Knot
Cuckoo
Everywhere I Go
Worried About
Look Away
Oh Mississippi

Watch live video of two new songs off Catching a Tiger: "In Sleep" and "Bully."

The Perfect Mixtape | Speakers + Summer 2010


It's been awhile since the three of us at Speakers in Code have offered up a perfect mixtape for you. But, there's really no better reason to bestow our favorite readers with a collection of sun-soaked tunes than the official first day of summer. Hurrah for plum pudding! Seriously, no sarcasm: we. are. pumped.

These fifteen songs bring to mind shady trees and warm breezes, sharp blades of grass prickling bare feet, and back porch beers on a humid day. Stream each song individually and download what you like. Or, download the entire mix as a ZIP file.

Happy summer, one and all.

One Wolf - Backyard
Cary Brothers - Break Off The Bough
Jeremy Messersmith - Violet!
Admiral Radley - I Heart California
Phosphorescent - Mermaid Parade
The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio
Harlem - Gay Human Bones
Katie Herzig - Sweeter Than This
The Wailing Wall - Bones Become Rainbows
Cotton Jones - Glorylight and Christie
Sally Seltmann - On The Borderline
The Love Language - Heart to Tell
Future Islands - Tin Man
Sunshine Collective - You Know
Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang, I'm a Burnout

Jam of the Day | Delta Spirit - Bushwick Blues

Dwelling on losses is a big waste of time, but we should recognize how our losses make all that remains so much more meaningful. It shapes us more than we know – rounding off and enhancing the joys that are still present, or that are yet to be made. But we do lose, sometimes without gain, just with pain and heartache.

But Long Beach, California's Delta Spirit offers us a helping hand. making music that seems to soften our losses. And the eleven songs that comprise the new LP, History From Below seem to mend these pain points at every turn.

On our Jam of the Day, “Bushwick Blues,” lead singer Matt Vazquez exemplifies the core of the album perfectly by singing, “My love is strong, but my heart is weak,” with a drawn-out pause, before finishing with the words, “after all.”

The strength of our hearts is indeed weakened by the losses that they will be forced to endure. But we find endurance - and music like this, the common thread that connects us all, does indeed help.

Delta Spirit – Bushwick Blues (via Brooklyn Vegan)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Get Out! Concert Schedule | St. Louis + The Triangle

Here's this week's Speakers in Code endorsed live shows in St. Louis and The Triangle, from now until October!

Saint Louis
6/21 - The Moondoggies + Blitzen Trapper @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
6/23 - Brahms + Tokyo Police Club + Passion Pit @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
6/26 - Sleep Kitty + The Blind Eyes + The LIVERS @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
6/27 - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
6/28 - The Dodos + The New Pornographers @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
7/4 - Rayland Baxter + Joe Pug @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
7/6 - The Cults + The Globes + Maps and Atlases @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
7/8 - Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
7/9 - Steel Phantoms + Active Child + Islands @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
7/9 - Common @ Live on the Levee [free show]
7/16 - Chamberlain + Tim Barry + The Gaslight Anthem @ Pop's [buy tickets]
7/17 - Morning Teleportation + Modest Mouse @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
7/18 - Drive-By Truckers + Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheater [buy tickets]
7/20 - Nathaniel Rateliff @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
7/22 - Fol Chen + Liars @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
[new] 7/26 - Art Majors + Jumbling Towers + Frog Eyes @ Luminary Center for the Arts [buy tickets]
7/30 - Harper Blynn + Greg Laswell/Cary Brothers @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
8/5 - Deer Tick @ Off Broadway [buy tickets]
[new] 8/8 - Roller Coaster Club + Pretty Little Empre + Mimicking Birds @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
8/9 - Two Door Cinema Club + Phoenix @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
[new] 8/13 - We Are Scientists @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
8/15 - Katie Herzig @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
[new] 8/17 - Rosi Golan + William Fitzsimmons @ The Firebird [buy tickets]
8/27 - An Evening With The Black Crowes @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
8/28 - LOUfest in Forest Park [buy tickets]
8/29 - LOUfest in Forest Park [buy tickets]
9/9 - Jamie Lidell @ The Old Rock House [buy tickets]
[new] 9/14 - Male Bonding + Best Coast @ The Gargoyle [ticket info coming soon]
9/23 - Watson Twins + Laura Veirs and The Hall of Flames @ [buy tickets]
9/30 - Owen Pallett + The National @ The Pageant [buy tickets]
10/11 - Menomena @ Luminary Center for the Arts [buy tickets]

The Triangle
6/20 - Silversun Pickups @ Disco Rodeo [buy tickets]
6/21 - B. Dolan + Free Moral Agents + Sage Francis @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
6/23 - Bowerbirds @ Duke Gardens [buy tickets]
6/25 - Sara Watkins + Dar Williams @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
6/25 - Dutchess & The Duke + Dodos + New Pornographers @ Memorial Hall [buy tickets]
6/26 - Math The Band + MC Lars + MC Chris @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
6/27 - Matthew Ryan @ The Pour House [buy tickets]
6/30 - Athlete @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/1 - Phish @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
7/2 - Steel Phantoms + Islands @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/5 - Delta Spirit @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/6 - PO PO + Nerve City + Sleigh Bells @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/9 - Peter Wolf Crier + The Builders And The Butchers + Heartless Bastards @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/11 - Ringo Starr @ DPAC [buy tickets]
7/13 - Rasputina @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/13 - Twin Tigers @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/16 - We Are Each Other + Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/16 - Future Islands @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/17 - The Love Language CD Release Party@ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/18 - Mic Harrison (ex-Superdrag) @ Sidlacks [buy tickets]
7/22 - John Hiatt @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/23 - Tegan and Sara @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
7/27 - Chairlift @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/29 - Matt Kearney @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
7/29 - Ariel Pink @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
7/31 - Ben Kweller + Barenaked Ladies @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
8/2 - Boris @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
8/4 - The National @ Memorial Auditorium [buy tickets]
8/7 - Beach Fossils + Here We Go Magic @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
8/8 - Janelle Monae @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
8/8 - Norah Jones @ DPAC [buy tickets]
8/10 - Citizen Cope @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
8/13- Mission of Burma @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
8/19 - Miniature Tigers @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
8/29 - Jim Avett @ The Pour House [buy tickets]
8/29 - KISS @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
9/9 - Hopscotch Festival @ City Plaza [buy tickets]
9/10 - Hopscotch Festival @ City Plaza [buy tickets]
9/11 - Hopscotch Festival @ City Plaza [buy tickets]
9/13 - The Black Keys + Kings of Leon @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
9/14 - Strange Boys + Those Darlins @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
9/17 - The Black Crowes @ Boutique Amphitheater [buy tickets]
9/18 - ZZ Top + Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
9/18 - Billy Bragg @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
9/18 - The Watson Twins + Laura Veirs @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
9/19 - Lady Gaga @ RBC Center [buy tickets]
9/25 - Carolina Chocolate Drops @ Duke University [buy tickets]
9/29 - Electric Six @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
9/30 - Tobacco @ Local 506 [buy tickets]
10/7 - Suckers + Menomena @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
10/8 - The Avett Brothers @ Walnut Creek [buy tickets]
[new] 10/20 - Matt & Kim @ Cat's Cradle [buy tickets]
10/26 - Muse @ RBC Center [buy tickets]

Watch William Fitzsimmons' Very Personal Documentary, 'Finding Home'


Here's a Friday treat for all you Speakers in Code followers - a movie to watch at work!

Finding Home
is a documentary short that follows former psychotherapist turned indie folk sensation, William Fitzsimmons, as he explores his childhood with two blind parents, his parents' divorce, and ultimately, the demise of his own marriage. With his European tour as the visual backdrop and his music as the score, William discusses the commonalities in our humanity and explores the importance of love, relationships, and commitment and how they fit in our current short attention span culture.

Enjoy the full film below.

Sally Seltmann (The Interview)

You might not know the "name" Sally Seltmann. There is a reason for this.

For starters, Seltmann recorded under the moniker "New Buffalo" for years, and gained plenty of fans doing so. As a result, this makes her new album, Heart That's Pounding, her first project under her real name. Sally who, right?

Or maybe you know her without realizing it. Seltmann wrote (ok, "co-wrote") Feist's hit, "1234," which was actually originally titled, "Sally's Song." Yeah, you know the rest.

But what about her own material? What about her own voice? And what about her own name?

Well, Seltmann's new album should be one of the soundtracks to your summer. Songs like "On The Borderline," Dream About Changing," and "Heart That's Pounding" will make you want to get out of bed and get into the sun. Seltmann's really blossomed as a songwriter, and this album proves her worth among great female musicians beside her.

Just have a listen to "Harmony To My Heartbeat" below:


Now, if that didn't make you smile and fall in love...

Sally recently took some time to answer a few questions for Speakers in Code.

1. “Harmony To My Heartbeat,” off your new album, Heart That’s Pounding, is the happiest song I’ve heard all year. Tell us a little bit about what that song means to you. Are you really that happy?

I was really happy when I wrote that song, actually more content and filled with anticipation, than just plain old happy. I had a baby a year and a half ago, and I wrote that song when I found out I was pregnant.

2. You’ve mentioned that for this album you wanted to “create songs with a classic radio sing-a-long feel.” Can you tell us how you went about doing that? Any surprises along the way?

Yeah, I was more interested in writing songs that were quite classically structured, with lyrics that were less 'I feel really sorry for myself,' and more inclusive, as opposed to excluding people. In terms of the production, the producer (Franc Tetaz) and I really worked hard at capturing a relatively 'Up' feeling in most songs. I never thought "Dream About Changing" would make it on to the album, but when we got into the studio and got the drum track / hand clap / bum slapping section going, it became more of an exciting song, and I think helped with giving it more of a 'sing-a-long' feel.

3. You’re now based in Sydney, Australia. What’s the music scene like there? If I went to Sydney for a weekend, where would you take me?

The music scene is really great in Sydney, and I especially like the local independent radio station, FBI.

If you came to Sydney for a weekend I'd take you to:

The Eveleigh Farmers Market in the morning, for some good coffee, and so you could buy some local produce.

Then I'd take you to Bronte beach for a swim.

I'd take you to Nielsen Park, (which is a harbour side beach) for a picnic.

Then I would take you to the Opera House to see a play by the Sydney Theatre Company (Cate Blanchett and her husband are the directors of the company).

4. You were largely responsible for writing “1234,” which turned out to be Feist’s biggest hit. When you were writing that, did you have any idea what you had on your hands? Did you ever think about keeping that one for yourself?

I didn't think much of "1234" when I wrote it. But, I did like it as a song. I never thought I would record it because I thought it sounded like a Feist song. But I never really over thought the whole thing, I just asked Feist if she might like to sing it and had no idea she would go on to record it...etc.

5. Finally, what was the last great concert you went to as a fan, and what did you take away from it?

I saw an Australian band called The Middle East play a live show in Melbourne last year, and I loved it! They are so emotional and their music feels very true and soulful.

Sally Seltmann Tour Dates
6/18/10 – Toronto, ON @ Supermarket
6/21/10 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s
6/24/10 – Seattle, WA @ The High Dive
6/26/10 – Portland, OR @ The Woods
6/28/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Shop
6/30/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour

Jam of the Day | EELS - "Looking Up"

Excitedly, we announced last month that EELS had announced the third album in its recent bout of prolificacy and a world tour beginning in the fall. Titled Tomorrow Morning, this effort completes the trilogy (following Hombre Lobo and End Times) that "finishes the story on a high note." This is EELS' ninth LP in fourteen years, and it finds the band creating its most uplifting music yet. I mean, look at frontman Mark Oliver Everett up there in that picture, just boxing the pain away. Blue skies, baby.

With playful lyrics, fierce handclaps, and beatific tambourine, it's clear that E's disposition has done a 180. This song borders on blue eyed soul in a way that makes me want to jump out of my chair and dance. Dance, I said!

Oh, what a change is here! And it's a welcome one, at that.

Download "Looking Up" from Tomorrow Morning:

Tomorrow Morning Tracklisting:
01 in gratitude for this magnificent day
02 i'm a hummingbird
03 the morning
04 baby loves me
05 spectacular girl
06 what i have to offer
07 this is where it gets good
08 after the earthquake
09 oh so lovely
10 the man
11 looking up
12 that's not her way
13 i like the way this is going
14 mystery of life

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bonnaroo 2010: Above The City Noise

This town moves so fast, baby
Beyond my window glass
And inside my friends
And some get lost and don't come back again
But in my head
Are my father's words
And my mother's voice
And they're loud and clear above this city noise.
--Jill Andrews, "City Noise"

The month of June has taken me all over the great state of Tennessee for live music. A couple weeks ago, I ventured to the historic Ryman Auditorium to see my favorite artist, Neil Young, deliver a legendary solo performance. It blew me away. I could have easily not seen another minute of live music for months and have been satisfied.

But, that's not how I live. Because I live for live music.

So, I decided to go to Bonnaroo 2010 about three or four weeks ago. It seemed like a perfectly crazy thing for me to do: go there alone, see what I want, eat what I want, drink what I want, etc. I was a bit nervous for maybe thirty minutes when I set up my tent in the dark. The rest of my time at Bonnaroo was pure joy.

But, let me explain how it works.

Do not go to Bonnaroo if you hate traffic; you will be sitting in it for hours trying to get into the grounds. There is maybe a 2% chance you'll get lucky and avoid it. Good luck.

Do not go to Bonnaroo if you can't stand the heat and humidity. Honestly, I can put up with pretty much anything when I have something to look forward to. And I used to play three 90-minute soccer games a day in the blazing sun. The heat doesn't bother me much.

Do not go to Bonnaroo if you think you will see every band on the bill. It won't happen. Your feet hurt, you get hungry, there are lines for bathrooms, you get stuck at a show longer than expected because it's so freaking good. There are no plans at Bonnaroo.

Do not go to Bonnaroo if you're not willing to wake up at 7:45 every morning in a pool of sweat (that is, if you're camping). If you have an RV or go the hotel route, then you're in better shape. But really, survival is a part of Bonnaroo, so I'd recommend the camping route, at least once.

DO go to Bonnaroo if you're willing to accept that weird stuff will happen. I broke one of my sandals trying to dance. Big deal. I got some sort of rash on my legs. So did almost everyone else. I had to walk 25 minutes from my campsite to enter the festival grounds. It turned out to be fun. Toilets overflowed, there was mud, there was some rain, there were bugs, there were drugs. I do not do drugs. So what -- they are everywhere at Bonnaroo. You just keep walking. Most everyone you meet is nice and more than welcome to talk to you.

Jessie Baylin & Courtney Jaye (Click for video)

Over the course of the four-day festival, in some cases bits and pieces, I saw Jessie Baylin, Jill Andrews, The National, Stevie Wonder (for 10 minutes!), Jay-Z, Margaret Cho, Joshua James, Lissie, The Gossip, The Avett Brothers, She & Him, Tori Amos, Brandi Carlile, Calexico, Regina Spektor, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Langhorne Slim, Norah Jones, Weezer, Jeff Beck, John Prine, Ozomatli, Mumford & Sons, Dan Deacon, GWAR, African Drum and Dance by Mawre & Company, Monte Montgomery, Ingrid Michaelson, Ween, and Phoenix.

I think I did pretty good.

See you next year, Bonnaroo!


Jill Andrews (Click for video)

Ingrid Michaelson (Click for video)

She & Him (Click for video)

Tori Amos (Click for video)