Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pajammy Jam of the Day | The Young Romans - Tiger Child

The Young Romans don't play country music, but I do hear some pretty guitar picking on today's PJOTD, and it resembles early solo Ryan Adams. And that's basically a surefire way to keep me from switching to the next song. So, congrats to these Young Romans -- they killed me with simplicity and a familiar sound that I happen to love.

Go ahead and meet Brad Hooks and Sari Mellafe, the new duo on the block. Their music is built more for autumn than summer, but we don't pick the timing here at SIC. We just let in the tunes that knock the loudest.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jam of the Day | The Mynabirds - Body of Work

On Today's Jam of the Day, "Body of Work," the second single from The Mynabirds' upcoming album, GENERALS, percussion is a main character, taking center stage again after its original work in the lead single, "Generals." However, while the latter is a drumming battle cry, this new track contains a steady global beat that's as optimistic as the song's lyrics.

Vocalist Laura Burhenn explains that the track represents our ability to constantly remodel our lives into anything we want, regardless of what the past holds: “We are living things, bodies of work to edit.”

"You are a body of work... You are electric... You are not a dead end... You are a living thing."

The Mynabirds - Body of Work  

Catch The Mynabirds live in Saint Louis at The Firebird on July 1st. Tickets are available here.

The new album, GENERALS, is out June 5th on Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jam of the Day | Sister Crayon - Arcane

Apparently, growing up in the rougher neighborhoods of Sacramento not only makes you tough as nails, but it also preps you for the day you decide to start making music. For Terra Lopez, a little quiet isolation in the LBC, and a long night of drankin', apparently doesn't hurt as well - since after boozing it up, Lopez wrote a letter to a close friend and upon awaking the next morning, she noticed that she had inexplicably signed the letter “Sister Crayon."

Listen to our Jam of the Day below. And make sure you see their live show at Hopsctoch this year if you're around the Raleigh area. Supposedly, it's quite different than their records...but in a good way.

Video | GIVERS - That Was Your Mother (Paul Simon)

Just a wild prediction here, but Paul Simon's Graceland will most likely influence bands and artists for many years to come. Personally, I would be hard pressed to name 25 or 30 better albums, and Simon's not even necessarily one of my favorite musicians. It's just that Graceland is almost a perfect work of art.

For Louisiana's GIVERS, it's already made its mark.

"Our connection to Graceland is the fact that most of us grew up with that album in our household," explains vocalist and guitarist Taylor Guarisco. "It's probably made its way into our subconscious and it's influenced the way we play as a band."

Here's Guarisco and his fellow GIVERS, along with Dickie Landry and the Lost Bayou Ramblers, covering Simon's "That Was Your Mother." It's their contribution to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Graceland, which will be released as a special CD/DVD/LP box set on June 5th.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Festival Preview | Wakarusa Music + Camping Festival

In less than a week, festival goers including this SIC writer will be making their way into the heart of Arkansas' Ozark National Forest, towards Mulberry Mountain, for the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. This four day extravaganza features a wide array of musical genres from bluegrass, funk, and folk rock, to hip hop and dance music. While the festival boasts such bonus features as yoga, hiking, and disc golf, let's face it, most of us will be braving the Arkansas heat for the varied blend of aural entertainment, which will pulse deep into the morning hours on some stages. Here are some of the artists SIC will be checking out next weekend:

Pretty Lights

Colorado born Derek Vincent Smith, aka Pretty Lights, is an electronic dance music producer who throws down action packed sets filled with his own original compositions and samples from today's pop and hip hop stars.  With his unique blend of EDM, coupled with a stunning visual array of... pretty lights (hey-yo), Pretty Lights is sure to keep the late night kids dancing and happy.

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes

Touring in support of the release of their new record Here (out 5/29), Alex, Jade, and company will fill Mulberry Mountain with their eclectic brand of love-in style folk-pop.  The "straight outta Laurel Canyon" collective, who have a penchant for magnificent live shows, will surely drop the near ubiquitous mega hit "Home" along with newer jams "Man on Fire" and "That's What's Up."

The Avett Brothers

North Carolina brothers Scott and Seth Avett have be picking and strumming their way through the gentle waters of banjo tinged indie-folk since 2000.  The 2009 LP, I and Love and You, received critical acclaim and commercial success, hitting #16 on US charts. The follow up LP, with production from the legendary Rick Rubin, has been recorded but has yet to be released. Look for it later this year.

Girl Talk

Mash-up guru Greg Gillis is now well known for his rapid fire, multi-genre sampling DJ sets. With a stage likely filled with costumed and dancing festival-goers, Girl Talk will bring the ruckus to the Wakarusa Main Stage, from 1 to 2:30 in morning


Some of the music produced by Philly based DJ RJ Krohn, aka RJD2, has been featured prominently in advertising campaigns and, perhaps most notably, in the opening sequence for AMC's Mad Men. RJD2's diverse mix of electronic, hip-hop, and trip-hop beats will surely have the Wakarusa grounds thumping 'til the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Check out the official preview video below. Tickets are still available here. See you on the mountain.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jam Of The Day | Hollows - V Is For Vulture

Photo courtesy of the Hollows

As soon as the weather gets warm, I usually turn to my Phil Spektor box set in the car - something about those girl group harmonies and the walls of guitar sound just spells summer for me. This summer, though, I'm going to be turning to Hollows and their sophomore LP Vulture, a modern take on the Phil Spektor sound with plenty of garage pop grunge added in. The guitars and the haunting vocals just scream summer, driving with the windows down and the sun high in the sky.

Listen to "V is for Vulture" and buy Vulture from Chicago's Trouble In Mind here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jam of the Day | Wilco - Misunderstood

Things are moving rather fast today. So, I'm gonna take it back old school. Old school for me, anyway.

This was the first track on a mix tape that my cousin Peri made for me back in 2001. You could say this song made me believe that there were other artists/bands out there not named Neil Young. It certainly was the tune that made me believe in Wilco.

What does this song mean to you? Do you get chills when you hear these lines?

Short on long term goals
There's a party there that we ought to go to
If you still love rock and roll
You still love rock and roll?

'Cause I still do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pajammy Jam of the Day | Lemolo - On Again, Off Again

Photo by Genevieve Pierson

Lemolo, named after Lemolo Shore Drive where the lovely ladies of this dream-pop duo used to teach kayaking lessons, is making waves in Seattle right now. Pun intended. In fact, I first heard about the buzzy Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox via another Seattle band who rocked the boat hard enough in its native Northwest to create a tidal wave of devotion 'round the world. The Head and the Heart. Yeah, you might have heard of them.

I've long made public my adoration for the six indie folksters of Seatown, so when they say, "Stomp your feet and clap your hands," I say, "How spastically?" And when they say, "Listen to this band," I say, "Okie dokie."

So, that's how I met Lemolo.

The Pajammy Jam of the Day is the first single off their forthcoming debut album, The Kaleidoscope. "On Again, Off Again" contains chanting lyrics that lend themselves well to the song's overall eerie quality. You can download it for free via Lemolo's Bandcamp page.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jam of the Day | Wowser Bowser - Winter Child

Atlanta based Wowser Bowser recently bleeped on the official Speakers in Code radar, via a little reconnaissance work our secret agents were doing on Raleigh's Hopscotch Music Festival lineup. From what we know thus far, they give high energy performances, their music contains complex layers of instruments, and the diversity of musical genres they feature is enough to make the world at peace once again.

Put these claims to the test below. We think you'll be more than pleased to get to know these guys at such an early stage in their promising career.

Album Review | Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow

I've never made an album. Never written a song, or even attempted to write a lyric that would make a potential ladyfriend swoon. But there is one piece of knowledge that I share with those who have, and it comes from listening to countless albums, as a whole, instead of individual tracks downloaded piecemeal due to their accessibility. And in a day and age when said piecemeal is the norm, refreshingly, Admiral Fallow seems to have a bone-crushing grasp on the fact that, while the lion's share of their creative time could be spent crafting the world's most perfect pop song, that's not the goal, as proven by the trip they take us on over the course of Tree Bursts In Snow.

From the first word uttered by Sara Hayes, those who were lucky enough to share in Admiral Fallow's massively under-hyped first album, Boots Met My Face, will be ushered softly back to the moment that album ended. Quietly, as Louis Abbott begins to weave and build upon the collective elements that almost appear unknowingly, it's apparent that not one ounce of effort was spent attempting to create something that even closely resembles the band's heavily-woodwinded debut LP.

But while we could spend a few hours walking through the songs, dissecting them individually and picking an album standout that shouldn't be missed, regardless of how little money you have resting in your iTunes account, we should spend our time focusing on the ability to craft a record that is alive, and pulls us along its path, rather than sitting us down and holding us captive.

And as we are led by hand through Tree Bursts In Snow, it becomes apparent the path we're on is not flat; there are inclines and declines, peaks and valleys, ebbs and flows. Repeating bell-shaped curves act as a musical concierge of sorts. As if on rails, album opener "Tree Bursts" slowly assists us uphill, plateauing briefly to conjure the musical equivalent of a rolling meadow. Then quickly, we continue our ascent, gaining steam - locomotive style - via "The Paper Trench," before evening out for an enjoyable look out across the ground that's amazingly been covered in just a few short tracks, backed by "Guest of the Government."

The album clocks on, increasingly becoming a well-rounded journey, all the while, never leaving the confines of the rails it set out upon. Landscapes vary: "Old Fools" breaks our heart briefly, only to have "Isn't This World Enough" pick us up and dust us off via clapping hand and stomping foot. "Brother" gives us the energy to start upon the line home, where "Oh, Oscar" waits patiently to open the door and help us into a favorite chair.

Tree Bursts In Snow succeeds at every level, but not because it gives the slightest inkling that it's trying to do so. The masterful song ordering is no doubt something Admiral Fallow toiled over for hours on end, and ultimately, becomes what sets this album upon a pedestal. What they've done is take themselves out of the studio. Away from the mics, and knobs, even the pen and the page; they've proven they haven't lost sight of what it's like to be on the receiving end of a record. And that - beyond the myriad of reasons to love this album as a collection of individual songs, makes this it a masterful example of the power of the LP.

Pick up Tree Bursts In Snow here - it's out today.  And while you're at it, pick up Boots Met My Face as well. You'll thank yourself profusely later.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jam of the Day | Twin Shadow - Five Seconds

Twin Shadow (AKA George Lewis Jr.) has announced the upcoming arrival of his sophomore LP, Confess, with a bang. "Five Seconds," the new record's lead single, features Twin Shadow's signature synth-driven rock and is as sharp as George's perfectly styled hair.  Sweeping synth swaths and steady racing drums serve as the backdrop for interjections of guitar riffs evocative of the new wave and post punk movements.  In the same way that made Twin Shadow's 2010 debut LP Forget pure magic, the 1980's based sonic palate is familiar, but there is something about George's delivery that is uniquely his own... and uniquely rad.

Grab Confess on July 10th at 4AD.  Listen to and download "Five Seconds" below for free.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jam of the Day | Cory Branan - Bad Man

Photo by Joshua Wilkins Black

Cory Branan's Bloodshot Records debut, Mutt, has been a long time coming -- a long time in terms of years since he self-released his first record, 12 Songs, not months or weeks. But Branan has spent those years on the road, touring and writing and revising a lot of these songs, to the point where if you've seen him, they'll feel like old friends, and if you've never seen him, they'll feel like old friends anyway, because he has an eye for the nature of the human condition. This song might be about one girl, one time, in one place, but it's a feeling that all of us have had at some point in our lives.

"Bad Man" is a rocking piano ballad that sounds like the edges of summer coming in. It's the sort of song that goes with your summer decisions, the things you might regret in October but that, in June, seem like the right thing, right then. When he sings, "They say I'm a bad man, well, okay, I'm a bad man, baby/ but I think a bad man would do you good," the drive of the drums and Branan's plaintive voice can convince you that he's exactly right. If you're looking at the summer and thinking that it's about time to get into trouble, this is your theme song.

Download "Bad Man" for free below and pre-order Mutt here.

Cory Branan - Bad Man

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jam of the Day | Sarah Jaffe - When You Rest

Where you gonna rest your head?
Where you gonna rest those long legs?

Whether or not Sarah Jaffe's new album, The Body Wins, is a risk is really not my call. Certainly, it's a dynamic shift from songs like "Clementine" and "Before You Go" from her previous full-length. The Body Wins is not as gentle or forthcoming; it develops as a story, one that you need to play through without skipping from track to track to recognize its quirks, and eventually fall in love with them. Give it your full attention, and there's a good chance you will.

Today's Jam of the Day, "When You Rest," is the closing song on The Body Wins; stream it below.

Sarah Jaffe - When You Rest

Concert Review | Deer Tick at The Firebird in Saint Louis

Photo by Jason Gonulsen

I knew a kid once in high school, his name was Bob. Bob liked to order fries from the cafeteria and stuff them in his pants pocket, perhaps to store a few away for fifth hour when he got hungry. Sometimes, you would be talking to Bob and he would just casually pull one out, like he was fishing for a stick of gum, and chow down. Bob did whatever he wanted to do.

Bob would have liked Deer Tick.

Deer Tick fans are an interesting, sometimes unruly bunch. When the floor cleared last night after the band's final song, a triumphant and rowdy "Let's All Go To The Bar," where they were joined by the opening band, Turbo Fruits, the Firebird was left in a state of filth -- you probably could have slid across the beer-soaked tile and had yourself a grand time with the PBR and Busch cans that remained. This came just after a cover of The Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)," and the 400 or so in attendance, including St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long, certainly did just that.

Oddly enough, aside from all the drinking and partying that went down, still, Deer Tick's prettiest song, "Dirty Dishes," is the song that gets called out the most. They played it near the end of the main set, stripping it down as a four-part harmony heartbreaker, barely touching any strings to make any unnecessary sound: their voices were enough. "And I cried all night. You made a stream and it flows forever," they sang together.

I'm probably dramatizing this just a bit, because most of the night was not as pretty. Apologies, or any kind of conceit of defeat, are not exactly what defines this band from Rhode Island. Honesty is, though, and it oozed from the opening "The Bump," where John McCauley took the lead to broadcast, "We're four grown men, and we act like kids. We'll face the music next time we roll in."

And now's probably the time to discuss McCauley's voice. If you're looking for a trained singer, or a sustainable voice (there is no way this guy can keep screaming like that and not face inevitable damage), McCauley isn't your cat. But, he's able to sing just about anything, including a cover of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," a song written by McCauley's "favorite songwriter." The sound that comes from McCauley is just a little less polarizing than, say, Tom Waits, but it's amazing what he can sound like when he really tries, especially later on in the set when he comfortably sang the low-key "Chevy Express." The grit was absent, but his spirit remained.

When McCauley is focused, he proves to be versatile. When he's not, which is also absolutely fine, he reverts back to the guy who wrote "Let's All Go To The Bar," a man who is content with his friends puking in his car, and taking the party back to his place, where his fridge is stocked and fucks to give have flown the coop.

And really, that's what a Deer Tick show is: a 90-minute break from reality to use the floor as your trashcan. And maybe pull a few fries from your pocket while no one's looking.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Contest | Win Tickets to Katie Herzig at the Old Rock House

I imagine the perfect Katie Herzig show would be one of those rare occurrences where you could hear every word coming from the singer's mouth. You know, the stuff live-music dreams are made of. Lyrics and voice are crucial to Herzig's songs; here's proof.

That's "Closest I Get" from Herzig's 2011 release, The Waking Sleep. Her music isn't always that serious; most of the time, it's rather fun. So, we want you to come out and have some fun on a Friday night.

We have a pair of tickets to give away to Herzig's show at the Old Rock House. To enter, please do one of the following:

1. Simply copy and paste this into a tweet: I entered to win 2 tickets to see @katieherzig on 5/18 @oldrockhousestl on @speakersincode! You can, too - just tweet this to enter!

2. Send an e-mail to Just say you want the tickets. Takes 10 seconds.

3. Leave us a comment on our Facebook page. You can say anything. Really.

The contest will run through May 17th at noon, and we'll randomly pick and e-mail the winner later on that night (if you enter through FB, we'll announce your name on our FB page). Good luck!

Concert Photos | Sugar + the Hi-Lows

All photos by Agatha Donkar

Sugar + the Hi-Lows are reinventing the kind '60s pop that The Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly made, if the Everlys had come of age playing in Seattle garage rock bands and Buddy Holly was a country songwriter from Nashville. They're built around Nashville singer-songwriters, Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup, and they play the kind of music that sticks in your head and makes you want to dance. They're out on tour right now, so don't miss them.

Check out the rest of Aggie's photos from the show on her Flickr stream.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jam of the Day | Balam Acab - Video Games (Remix)

Continuing our weekly Jam of the Day post featuring an artist that will be playing this year's Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, we are are pleased to bring you Balam Acab's remix of Lana Del Rey's breakout single,"Video Games."

As if "Video Games" wasn't already heartbreaking and addicting enough, Balam Acab, in a genius move, adds some of Sigur Rós' bleeps and bloops, as well as what sounds like bubbles popping near the end of the song. The resulting remix takes Del Rey's original to a new level, transforming it from a quivering ballad to something ethereal and electronic.

Check it out below and get those feet ready to Hopscotch! Tickets can still be purchased here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Contest | Win Tickets to Deer Tick at The Firebird on 5/16

Photo by Scott Alario

While I've only been to one Deer Tick show in my life, the fact that they opened the show with "Sleep Walk" makes me think that these rough dudes from Rhode Island care about me and my love for the movie La Bamba. Which, of course, is far from the truth; John McCauley and Co. care more about drinking out of a dusty bottle of Wild Turkey, if I had to guess.

I would also suspect that they'll be ready to throw down some rock on Wednesday at The Firebird. Here's hoping they play "Born at Zero," off their latest EP, Tim, or "Main Street," off their 2011 release, Divine Providence.

We have a pair of tickets to give away to Deer Tick's show at The Firebird. To enter, please do one of the following:

1. Simply copy and paste this into a tweet: I entered to win 2 tickets to see @deertickmusic on 5/16 @firebirdstl on @speakersincode! You can, too - just tweet this to enter!

2. Send an e-mail to Just say you want the tickets. Takes 10 seconds.

3. Leave us a comment on our Facebook page. You can say anything. Really.

The contest will run through May 15th at 10 AM (central), and we'll randomly pick and e-mail the winner later on that night (if you enter through FB, we'll announce your name on our FB page). Good luck!

Jam of the Day | Mister Lies - I Walk

Mister Lies is the moniker of Chicago (via Connecticut) electronic producer Nick Zanca.  A philosophy student at Columbia College, the 19 year-old Zanca creates lush, bass driven electronic compositions.  Chasing the release of his debut EP, Hidden Neighbors, Mister Lies has offered up the new single "I Walk."  The chilled out track blends deep bass, swirling synths, and the stunningly tranquil vocals of Jessica Blanchet, to concoct a pleasantly ethereal aural environs. Keep an eye on young Mister Lies, who will hopefully drop his debut LP later this summer (Lefse).

Listen to "I Walk" below. Download it here, for free. Buy Hidden Neighbors here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jam of the Day | Field Report - Taking Alcatraz

The idea of the slow burn isn't appealing to everyone. Especially today in an age where everything is immediately obtainable. But with music, and specifically song craft, slowly sinking your hooks into someone's soul is something that is oft-tried, but rarely as effective as the artist had intended.

In attempting the slow burn, many artists have unintentionally created boredom. Some show their hand too quickly, because hitting that pivotal point in which a listener releases a mental "ahhhh" is fucking hard to do. But with our Jam of the Day, and apparently everything currently available by Field Report, the slow burn is a specialty.

Another band from Wisconsin poised to blow up this year, they join a growing list of musicians making the Badger State look pretty damn respectable here of late.

Listen below and if you're in the Triangle, check them out at this year's Hopscotch Music Festival. They will be on our official track for sure.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Concert Photos | Grace Potter & The Nocturnals at The Blue Note in Columbia, MO

All photos by Chris Lay

A couple weeks ago, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals made a stop at The Blue Note in Columbia, playing a show before the release of their upcoming album, The Lion The Beast The Beat. Our friend Chris Lay was there to capture the rising band from Vermont.

Pajammy Jam of the Day | kindlewood - Give & Take

Some songs are meant for certain moments, and "Give & Take" from kindlewood might just need your full attention. Not sure. I've tried it in the car, at home on the stereo, and at work with headphones. The car usually wins in my world; in this case, I'd recommend your best phones, sitting in a quiet room with a view. And you might want to open that window.

The voice you'll be hearing belongs to Kelci Smith, one third of kindlewood, and the center in its circle -- the point where things are "so close and so far away from eveyrthing." Give and take, just like the title of the song.

Video | Explosions In The Sky - Postcard From 1952

Explosions in the Sky often provides instant cinema with its instrumental compositions. Case in point, the new video for Take Care, Take Care, Take Care's "Postcard From 1952," which is as beautiful as anything you'll see this year. Directed by Annie Gunn and Peter Simonite, each moment is impossibly detailed, from a burning cigarette to a floating bubble. I'm very much in awe.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jam of the Day | Gossip - Move In the Right Direction

As a new mama trying to lose the baby weight, this song by Gossip was meant for me. And to quote Jewel, I was meant Or, it's the opposite of calorie burning, as it sort of reminds me of something a Mexican DJ would play at one of the Acapulco clubs my college friends and I visited during our senior spring break. It's hard to lose weight on the dance floor when you're downing tequila slammers every ten minutes. Yeah, we were cool back then.

But whether you're a caught-up-in-south-of-the-border-ridiculousness youngin' or a, "Move In The Right Direction" will make you shake your ass. And, regardless of our differences, booty bumping can bridge the divide. It's for young and old. And those somewhere in the middle.

A Joyful Noise is out May 22nd. You can stream the whole thing now at Gossip's website.

10 to Spin | Jenny Owen Youngs

I knew very little about Jenny Owen Youngs until I heard this song a few weeks ago. And that was when I woke up. Let's have a listen. (And yes, the ending is brilliant.)

That piece of goodness is off Youngs' latest album, An Unwavering Band of Light, which is a must-listen for those of you who enjoy songwriting that's intelligent and undeniably honest. It's mostly filled with upbeat songs that you'll want on your next summer road trip, wherever that may be.

Or, maybe you're in Saint Louis and you want to hear them tonight at Off Broadway, where Youngs will be performing solo, opening for Tim Barry ($12, 8 PM).  We recently asked her to take part in our 10 to Spin series, and true to form, she delivered with one of the best playlists we've seen.

These are ten songs that I find to be otherworldly and transportative, in their lyrics, instrumentation, performance, or some combination thereof. -- Jenny Owen Youngs

01. Sigur Ros: Svefn-g-englar

I first heard this song in a dark room lit only by white Christmas tree lights and thought, "Holy smokes, I am totally transcending"... or something. Upon later listens I realized that no matter where you are, this song seems to have a dark room with white Christmas tree lights just built INTO it. Meditative and beautiful.

02. Gregory & the Hawk: For the Best

Recently someone said to me that when it comes to music, a groove is good and a rut is bad, and any groove runs the risk of turning into a rut if you stay in it too long. This song is my exception to that rule. Sometimes I listen to it twenty times in a row.

03. Tom Waits: Down, Down, Down
Tom Waits takes you to Hell (as usual)!!!!

04. Kate Bush: Hounds Of Love

For me, Kate Bush and Tom Waits occupy two sides of the same coin. Tom wants you in the gutter and Kate wants you in the clouds. I love the simple phrase "two steps on the water," and the idea of love hunting you (in dog form) so that it might rip you to shreds. YES.

05. Fanfarlo: I'm A Pilot

Listening to this song always makes me think of the pilot in The Little Prince. (I'm sure that has nothing to do with Fanfarlo's intent, but that's fine with me.) I love when the writer of a song leaves enough room to fit the listener inside, along with any free-association ideas they might be trailing.

06. Joanna Newsom: Peach, Plum, Pear

Follow her through the woods, down the valley path, to... Rivendell?

07. Deerhunter: Desire Lines


08. Chris Garneau: Fireflies

A spooky, jumpy song with a really perfect combination of disparate timbres. Comes paired with a gorgeous video that will delight no one as much as Legend of Zelda fans.

09. Built To Spill: Cortez the Killer (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)

That rare cover that equals (or perhaps exceeds) the original, which is its own kind of magic. Also its own kind of magic: Doug Martsch's guitar tone.

10. Young Buffalo: Anthems For A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl

All the king's reverb. Another of my favorite covers, of one of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jam of the Day | 2:54 - Creeping

Sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow named themselves after a very specific moment, 2:54 to be exact, in their favorite song, "A History of Bad Men," by the Melvins. And if that's not reason enough to give them a nod as best new band of the moment, let me present Exhibit B - the newly reworked single "Creeping."

Moody, hypnotic, and heavily distorted, our Jam of the Day is driven by enough fuzzy guitar action to make you think Jonny Greenwood had a baby with Thurston Moore, and said offspring plays on this record. Which, now that I've mentioned it, would actually be one nice looking kid!

Listen below, and pick up 2:54's eponymous LP via Fat Possum, on May 28th.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jam of the Day | Tanlines - Brothers

BKNY based synth-rock duo Tanlines (Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm) released their debut LP Mixed Emotions a little earlier this spring (True Panther). "Brothers," the opening offering and lead single of the LP, is a steady smoldering track. Eric's resonant vocals and Jesse's steadfast, minimalist percussion play off of one another to create an abiding rhythm that is pleasantly hypnotic. "Brothers" serves as an excellently measured jump off for Mixed Emotions, an inspired debut record that paints a shimmering electro-pop soundscape.

Listen to "Brothers" below and scope all 360 degrees of the unique vid. Buy Mixed Emotions here.

Concert Photos | M83 at The Pageant in Saint Louis, MO

All photos by Chris Lay

Last year, we ranked M83's album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming as our 40th favorite album of 2011. So, needless to say, we're big fans.

The shoegazing outfit, fronted by Anthony Gonzalez (and complete with the creepy dude on the cover of "Midnight City"), hit up The Pageant last week and blew the crowd away. Our friend, Chris Lay, was there to document the show.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jam of the Day | Catcall - Satellites

Goddamn the pop song and its immediate likability. Why does it make me forgo all musical snobbery and wish for longer hair, simply to whip it back and forth? Why do I wake up singing it, even after hearing it only once, then continue singing it in the shower, car, office, meetings, bathroom, car again, and then at the gym?

Today, the pop song is "Satellites" by Australia's Catcall, who is apparently as beautiful as she is skilled at penning annoyingly catchy records. Work that shit, girl...

Get hooked on it, too. Listen below and if you likey, pick up her album, The Warmest Place, from her site here.

Video | Union Tree Review Performs a New Song, "Skeletons," for Show Me Shows

Photo by Jarred Gastreich

For a band that is considered very diverse (judging by their appearance), Union Tree Review is releasing some very consistent good work. The Cherokee Street natives have a new song called Skeletons that they performed for us in the Firebird parking lot. To set the mood, this was the night before they took off on a tour with Indianapolis locals Slothpop and Grandkids - what an almighty lineup that tour was.

The video was shot in the back of a friend's van with two car's headlights pointed at the back providing the light. The song is a staple of the bands songwriting, which mainly comes from lead singer Tawaine Noah, but admittedly it is a collaborative process between many of the members. The lyrics seem more fit for a singer-songwriter, yet when put in front of a full six-piece band the angst, sorrow and longing that the lyrics are filled with become forgotten and the band dynamics become the main attraction. Their live performances are something not to be missed. There is no telling which song Noah will explode on - meaning the occasional high pitched scream, the standing on drums, guitar throwing, or crowd walking - it's always an expected surprise.

Your next chance to catch them live is also a great opportunity to check out a wonderful touring band from New York: The Spring Standards. The two bands played together at an unforgettable show last year, and this year is guaranteed to be even better because of the amazing new material each band has in store.

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Video: Jarred Gastreich
Audio: R&R Music Labs
Writer: Jarred Gastreich

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Concert Photos | The Deep Dark Woods at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC

All photos by Agatha Donkar

Last Sunday, our resident east coast photog, Agatha Donkar, caught The Deep Dark Woods at Local 506. Aggie notes that their new album sounds more like The Band than anyone else making music today. For those of you still reeling from the death of Levon Helm, well, there you go.

Check out more of Aggie's work at her website and get the rest of the Deep Dark Woods photos at her Flickr stream.