Archive for March, 2009


Capable of Dismembering…

The Dismemberment Plan was always included in those threads where we try and list band names that never fit their overall sound. And with a name like theirs, you’d think Gwar or something dark, maybe even thrash metal-like? As forward thinking and genre bending as this act was, not as many D-Plan fans caught on to the former lead singer’s solo act. Regardless of what people were saying, I was always willing to give Travis Morrison, the man behind the spastic monster Emergency & I a chance; their follow-up, Change, in 2001, was a more mature and introspective album, which I’d claim as their most consistent record. Travis, as a solo artist, has shown hints of brilliance and even more consistency since the D-Plan’s demise. His third LP seems to be slowly developing…

Two new numbers on Travis’ MySpace.

If you’ve yet to experience Change, a record not offering the immediacy of its predecessor, but one where when it hooks you –and it will – has the sound you will still appreciate in 10, even 20 years from now. A classic, truly. One of 11 timeless numbers below…

The Dismemberment Plan :: Following Through


Pins and Needles!

Project Jenny, Project Jan, outta Brooklyn, got together with the funky fab four: Fujiya & Miyagi. Their output, “Pins and Needles” is glorious. It’s laced with Fujiya’s usual back and forth bounce and stomp. Catch the single on Project’s Color EP next month. Realistically, this appeared on Lightbulbs, didn’t it? No, but it damn well could have. Jenny and Pat sure know how to invigorate F&M – the energy here is live-like.

Dial your speakers right for this and then commence to shake it…


One (Wo)man Jam Part II


Credit must be given when credit is due.  The other day, I was passed a link from a friend who respectfully introduced me to the best saki bomb Chicago has to offer.  I haphazardly clicked the link at the end of the work day and listened while I gathered my things.  I was quickly hooked when I looked up at the screen to see these unbelievable sounds being created by one person. A female version of the one man jam?

Theresa Andersson was born in Sweden but moved to New Orleans at age 18 in 1990.  Primarily a skilled violinist, Andersson bounced around as a session/touring musician with local southern U.S. bands before recording her first solo album in 1994.  She began to experiment with various instruments, and in the process, discovered the magic of working with loop pedals as a way to play each instrument in a given recording by herself.  The result captures an unending talent of musicianship and showmanship as she strums, drums, claps, and sings her way through a song with the tap of her foot to a pedal.

After having met fellow Swedish artist Tobias Froberg, Andersson sent him a video demo she recorded in the kitchen of her house.  Froberg was so taken with what he heard, he flew to the U.S. and encouraged her to record the full length with the same set up – in the comforts of her kitchen.  The demos found their way onto youtube last year where Theresa Andersson became somewhat of an overnight internet sensation.

These songs are featured on her most recent album, Hummingbird Go! Although she was forced to move out of Louisiana and into Texas as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the LP is a direct reflection of the influence brought forth from living in New Orleans.  It’s easy to get lost in the magic that’s created when one person is responsible for each instrument heard on a recording, especially in a live setting.  But, perhaps ironically,  the instrument that truly rises above all others is her voice.  She multitasks with it as she does with the other instruments, whether keeping a beat or harmonizing.  But she also let’s it fly on occasion, sounding like a cardinal overheard at dawn on an early morning walk in the spring.  Did I just write that?  My apologies for any douche-chills induced…

Catch her on the road, if you can, where she stays true to her talents and performs by herself just as she does in the videos below.  I assume she keeps the fridge at home though.


Because Pharrell Can…

He’s in the BBC. He was behind this. Let the man do as he pleases….

On a connecting flight home from Malaysia, Pharrell and camp stopped in Paris. At 6am, tried to get McDonalds to open up early.


Thinking About The Army?

ben-folds-a-cappella-album-art1It takes skills to sing without a beat behind you – a capella is no joke. But with vocal talent, some enthusiasm, and a desire to concoct harmonious barbershop quartet-like jams with 11 of your closest pals, the boys of the University of Rochester make it appear effortless. Stereogum is reporting a 16 track – all a capella – tribute to Ben Folds. Below, we are graced with “Army”, from funky college kids studying and perfecting something that is recession proof – an ability to rock the quad with nothing but a smooth delivery. Nicely done, boys….


Love Vs Money…

So if R. Kelly, while trapped in a closet, sung some hooks over Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colours, one might have an idea of what The Dream’s Love Vs Money bangs like. The R&B mastermind layers his synths meticulously; his incorporation of harmonies and hooks are flawless; and the hint of Prince and Timbaland elements are sparse, yet used in a manner to further ingrain these mini-operatic tracks in your dome. This isn’t something I’d usually rock – but that’s exactly what’s been happening: I’ve been “Rockin’ That Shit”right. It makes me lean, walk with a lil’ swagger – and put a bounce in my two-step.  This album is a smooth and shiny R&B record, on the definite pop tip. When was the last time you had an album’s worth of potential singles (13) that could burn up the charts with sweet simplicity? 1982?

Step out of your element, and press play on your summer soundtrack…

The Dream :: Love Vs Money

The lead single – Rockin’ That Thang (Shit)


Cause You Gotta Have Faith…


It’s been awhile since I went on a mad posting rampage on behalf of one artist. Today’s or more appropriately, this past month’s flavor has been the playful duo The Boy Least Likely To.

The breakdown of my coverage

Don’t get me wrong, they’re great. I miss this Peter Pan-like exuberance. But with all this special treatment for these U.K. popsters, you’d think I already picked my  number one LP. Not exactly. But I found yet another reason to post about them….

On their b-side collection for The Law of the Playground, Peter and Jof cover George Michael’s “Faith”. It is just what you expected – and that is…pure gay. But gay, like, lighthearted and carefree, of course…

The Boy Least Likely To :: Faith


Now, I’m Officially in Love!

Bat For Lashes’ Two Suns is a gorgeous album. It’s haunting and full of ideas that jump out at me with each new listen. And now, with her current single “Daniel”, an obvious head nod to the one and only, this Pakistani pretty solidified she can do a whole lot more than ride a bike. Put your speakers out of commission with this one…

Bat for Lashes :: Daniel (in video form)


Not At My House! At Your House!


Don a robotic looking head, work on your French, and tap some letters, to become Daft Punk! Yes, instead of Austin’s house, they can play at yours. I put the latest LP from Phoenix on hold to unleash my inner beat making self. And it was damn worth it…



Lemonade and Sing Alongs!


Who doesn’t dig bubbles? Pair those de-stressors with upbeat, happy-go-lucky vibes and you get The Law of the Playground, from The Boy Least Likely To. The type of record you put on when the sun is shining, or an LP capable of scaring away the clouds and dark days with its light-hearted pop sensibilities. Besides rising you up outta the doldrums, all these numbers provide ample opportunities to put smiles on people’s faces – but more importantly, children’s.

Awhile back, I taught elementary school, and on Fridays, for reading fluency practice, I shared some of my music, with lyrics provided. I’d like to think they cherished it; in reality though, I’m sure my grin was larger than theirs. Nothing like a group of two classes rockin’ out to sElf’s “Stay Home”. Thanks to this happy duo, I discovered another potential sing along number…

The Boy Least Likely To :: When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade

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March 2009