The Dodos – Live from Akropolis, Prague

Here is a band I know I haven’t heard much about lately. I think the last time I heard anything about the Dodos was when they released their third album “Time to Die” and that they had added a third band member to play the vibraphone. The album came out back on September 15th, so yeah, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve heard from the Dodos. Which makes this brand new live album all the more special. Upon first discovering they had a live album, it was pretty exciting, because the Dodos put on a hell of a live show, and it would be great to capture their intensity and give everybody the chance to hear them live. Long freaking out on his guitar, Kroeber never missing a beat on his drum set…seeing the Dodos should be high up on your list of priorities.

Now when it didn’t look like things could get any better, they still did. The album is 10 full tracks long, clocking in at just under an hour of time, and every last track comes from their epic, freak-out packed sophomore album “Visiter”. The live album features all of the greats from “Visiter”, including freak-folk jam outs like “Joe’s Waltz”, “Paint the Rust”, and “Jodi”, and then a few of the more laid back tracks from the record, such as the opener “Walking”, the 2008 single “Fools”, “Ashley”, and “Winter”. If you can’t wait any longer, you should swing on over to THIS website so you can download you’re copy of the live album – you just need to give them an e-mail address. It’s that simple. If you’re still not sure, why not check out the few songs I have uploaded for you below? And if that’s not enough, you should definitely check out the Dodos while they’re on tour with the New Pornographers (they’re coming to Philadelphia on June 21st). You can check out their tour dates on their Myspace.

Fools –

Paint the Rust –

Jodi –

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Folk Rock, Freak Folk, Pop, Live
Live from Akropolis, Prague: Tracklist
1.) Walking
2.) Red and Purple / Eyelids
3.) Fools
4.) Joe’s Waltz
5.) Winter
6.) It’s That Time Again
7.) Paint the Rust
8.) Jodi
9.) Ashley
10.) The Season

The Dodos on Myspace
Download your copy of the brand new live album HERE

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The Band in Heaven – Demos

The Band is Heaven is a two piece band hailing from the beautiful West Palm Beach, Florida. On their Myspace they already have two incredibly accurate descriptions of their music, making this very difficult for me to do myself. I feel like any way I go about this is going to look like a cookie-cutter description of the band, and to be honest, I’m at a loss for words today. All I can think about is the Flyers game tonight. But when I downloaded the Demo file from the Band in Heavens Bandcamp page the other day, I immediately opened it up, and for whatever reason the first song I chose to play was “High Low”. This was a wonderful unintentional decision on my part.

“High Low” is a beautiful, murky mess of a dream pop song, dominated by fuzzy bass lines and gorgeous background organs. They put the extra icing on the cake right before the two minute mark as the guitar solo works it’s way into the mix. By that point you’ve probably already made the decision that you’re going to play this song again, because if you were ever desperately searching for a specific sound when it comes to gritty dream pop/shoegaze music, this is it right here. The moody, spaced out vocals drip through the song, and they’re enough to sing you to sleep while the guitars, drums, and bass twang, buzz, and crash their way right on through in this picture-perfect pop song. Ladies and gentlemen, this is textbook shoegaze right here. You can download it entirely for free at their Bandcamp page, too! Included in the file is a fantastic cover of the Cranberries song “Dreams”, along with a few other “rough” demos that when polished up should be just as buzzworthy as the song “High Low”. The demo track “A Tunnel into Your Dreams” has that extra layer of haze, along with more wonderful background organ that’s bound to bring you back for a second and third helping of The Band in Heaven. People, this is your chance to know about this band before everybody else does, because it’s bound to happen sooner or later. So please enjoy it!

High Low –

A Tunnel into Your Dreams –

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/Tags: Dream Pop, Shoegaze, Pop
Demos: Tracklist
1.) Dreams (Cranberries cover)
2.) A Tunnel into Your Dreams (demo)
3.) Summer Bummer (rough)
4.) High Low
5.) Coal

the Band in Heaven on Myspace
the Band in Heaven on Bandcamp – You can download all the demos here.

Titus Andronicus – “Feats of Strength”

Earlier this year, Titus Andronicus released their sophomore effort “The Monitor”. Since then, the band has been touring the country pretty much non-stop, and they’re about to continue the touring-madness again on May 15th when they head out to Utrecht in the Netherlands. They’ll be making stops all throughout Europe on this short leg of their tour, and they’ll be touring straight on through until May 27th, only taking one day out (on the 26th) to take a break from it all. This definitely can’t be an easy thing to do.

What I have here for you guys today is a brand new, unofficial fan-made collection of demos, b-sides, and live tracks from Titus Andronicus – all pre-2010 stuff. So unless it’s the original version of “To Old Friends and New”, you’re not going to find anything to do with their most recent release “The Monitor”. This is all “Airing of Grievances” era material, and it’s a significant amount of tracks, ranging from the version of “Albert Camus” from the “Library of Congress” days, all the way up until 2009. Some of the track names on the list they have are titled incorrectly, for example “Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ” did not come from the Camus 7″. It came on a 7″ that originally came from Shake Appeal Records. That song should instead be titled “Upon Viewing Brueghel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”. Except for this tiny flaw, this compilation is quite a good one. Well worth it for any Titus Andronicus fan out there, especially if you’re a fan of their earlier recordings, meaning that this is mostly the ‘lo-fi’ stuff. Included on the comp is an acoustic version of frontman Patrick Stickles playing “No Future Part 1”, which was a very pleasant surprise. You can listen to that one down below, along with a few other tracks.

Whoever came up with the name of this comp did an excellent job by the way, because “Feats of Strength” is almost too perfect. This is a comp of all of the earlier material Titus Andronicus had to offer, and it just goes to show you that these guys having been doing it right since day one. It’s almost like saying these “feats of strength” were only foreshadowing what Titus Andronicus will do for us shortly down the road. With that being said, it’s no question these guys are out touring non-stop right now.

Be sure to head on over to the fansite Titusandronic.us to download the entire compilation yourself!

Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ (EP/ 7″ Version) –

Albert Camus (Library of Congress/ Seizing Elian version) –

No Future: Part 1 (Acoustic) –

Genre/ Tags: Punk, Lo-Fi, Shoegaze
“Feats of Strength” Tracklist:
1.) Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ (Titus Andronicus EP)
2.) Titus Andronicus (Titus Andronicus EP)
3.) Talking Oral Fixation Blues (Titus Andronicus EP)
4.) Arms Against Atrophy (Titus Andronicus EP)
5.) To Old Friends and New (Titus Andronicus EP)
6.) Albert Camus (Camus 7-inch)
7.) Upon Viewing Brueghel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (Camus 7-inch)
8.) Albert Camus (Seizing Elian)
9.) Every Time I See The Light Part One (Titus Andronicus b-side)
10.) Every Time I See The Light Part Two (Titus Andronicus b-side)
11.) Landscape with the Fall of Icarus – (2006-06-28)
12.) Christmas Calculator (VCR cover, 2007-01-31)
13.) Say it Ain’t So (Weezer cover, 2007-10-20)
14.) Titus Andronicus Forever (2008-06-21)
15.) Roadrunner (Modern Lovers cover, 2009-02-23)
16.) No Future (Patrick solo, 2009-05)

DOWNLOAD Titus Andronicus – “Feats of Strength”

Check it out more in-depth right here at Titusandronic.us
The Library of Congress previously posted on the Styrofoam Drone
Titus Andronicus live w/ the Babies previously on the Drone
Titus Andronicus live at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ
Titus Andronicus – The Innocents Abroad: First post on the Styrofoam Drone

My Bloody Valentine – Loom (Live in Vancouver)

My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Live, Shoegaze, Alternative

The other day on the discussion board in our Last.fm group, a user who goes by the name of “perturbantecoi” suggested that some material from the catalog of My Bloody Valentine be put up on the blog. With much consideration, I came across quite a tremendous live recording of My Bloody Valentine from back in their days after releasing the LP we all know and cherish, “Loveless”. This recording took place on July 4th, 1992 in the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. I think I speak for us all when I say “Damn, I wish I was there.” This recording is phenomenal, and it’s loaded with tracks from various releases by the band, but most notably their already mentioned album “Loveless”. Three tracks from their first LP “Isn’t Anything” are included in the show, as well as a few tracks from their extensive collection of EP’s. Whether you’re the most avid My Bloody Valentine fan (which probably means you already have this), or you’re just looking for some new MBV material, look no further. The final track of the show, “You Made Me Realise”, would be worth downloading all on it’s own. It’s over 17 minutes long, and it starts as you would expect, but about two minutes in they stop everything and let the instruments feedback for over 10 minutes, before suddenly coming back to life to finish off the remaining two minutes of the song. Oh. So. Super.

It’s a long download, but you’ll be glad you waited. You should head on over to the Last.fm group and join up in the meantime, and maybe do some chatting! You could even put up another suggestion for posting here on the blog, because that’s what today’s entry was. A suggestion! So please, suggest away! Thanks!

Loom (Live in Vancouver) Tracklist:
1.) When You Sleep
2.) I Only Said
3.) Only Shallow
4.) Slow
5.) Nothing Much to Lose
6.) [noise]
7.) You Never Should
8.) Feed Me With Your Kiss
9.) Soon
10.) To Here Knows When
11.) Honey Power
12.) You Made Me Realise

Loom (Live in Vancouver): TRY
MBV on Myspace
MBV Official Website (Who the hell is pretending to be Bilinda Butcher?)

John K. Samson – Live at CBC Studios


My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Acoustic, Live, Singer-Songwriter

Hello! How are we all today? Hopefully better than ever. Today I have something that I hope everyone will enjoy. It’s a live session featuring John K. Samson, the lead singer and guitarist from The Weakerthans, and also a former member of the band Propagandhi. He was an active member in Propagandhi from 1991 to 1997, and shortly thereafter, he went on to form The Weakerthans. The Weakerthans then formed in 1997, and have been continuing to rock since, releasing their most recent album entitled “Reunion Tour” in 2007.

Aside from working with The Weakerthans, John has released some material as a solo artist. His first release came back in 1993 when he was still a member of Propagandhi, and it was a cassette tape featuring 15 songs that was called “Slips and Tangles”. Two years later in 1995, six of those songs from the “Slips and Tangles” release were re-released on a new EP, titled “Little Pictures”. This would be Johns last solo release until recently in October 2009, when he put out his second EP “City Route 85”. According to the info on the Anti- Records page, “Samson’s solo record entitled City Route 85 will be the first in a series of recordings exploring the atmospheric streets and highways surrounding the musician’s home in Winnipeg, Canada.” Interesting! Music that explores the streets and highways of Canada? I am beyond interested. But if this City Route 85 wasn’t good enough for you, you’re in luck, because they plan to release at least three of these new singles. I have yet to hear this new single, but I will, very, very soon. In the meantime, check out this awesome live session from John at CBC Studios, and be sure to check back regularly, because I love John K. Samson and the Weakerthans way too much (just check my Last.fm charts) to not post anymore of their material. I promise. The man just has such a way with words; it’s amazing. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe this quote from The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, who straight up admitted that John K. Samson “is the lyricist that I can say, without hesitation, is better than I am.” I rest my case. Enjoy your day.

John K. Samson Live @ CBC Studios: Tracklist
1.) Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call
2.) One Great City
3.) Reconstruction Site
4.) Utilities

The Weakerthans on Myspace
John K. Samson Live @ CBC Studios: TRY
John K. Samson Stuff: BUY

Pavement – Stray Slack

Back in September, some very exciting news was announced that many people had been waiting to hear for nearly 10 years. This exciting news was the confirmation that the band PAVEMENT would reunite in 2010 to play their first shows together in over 10 years. Woo! Since the big announcement, they have booked shows all across the globe, in places like Australia and Japan, they are headlining a few (1, 2) different festivals in 2010, and now they have even announced a new “Best-Of” compilation that will simultaneously be released with some of the first shows on the Pavement world tour (March 9th to be exact). Along with the “Best-Of” compilation, which is cleverly titled “Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement”, the record label Matador is holding a contest to see if anybody can correctly guess the track listing for the new compilation. More details on that contest and the compilation right here.

So 2010 is definitely looking to be the year of Pavement…but putting all of this reunion stuff aside for a second…

Today I have an album for you that could be considered a bootleg before anything else. It’s a mostly-live album from Pavement that probably came out sometime back in 1993 before “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” was ever released. This bootleg rules, and the best part is I found it for a $1.00 at the Punk Rock Flea Market in Philadelphia. The album contains 22 songs, with most of them being from the “Slanted and Enchanted” days of Pavement, but songs from other earlier releases are found on this bootleg as well. Don’t waste any more time…check it out right here!

While you wait for the album to download, please take a minute to view the new “Band of the Week” feature here at the Styrofoam Drone. Each day of the week, I will add a new song from the said band, so be sure to check back daily!

Stray Slack: Tracklist
1.) Conduit For Sale
2.) Fame Throwa
3.) Home
4.) Perfume – V
5.) Summer Babe
6.) Frontwards
7.) Angel Carver Blues / Mellow Jazz Docent
8.) Two States
9.) No Life Singed Her
10.) So Stark, You’re A Skyscraper
11.) Box Elder
12.) Baby, Yeah
13.) In the Mouth A Desert
14.) Greenlander
15.) Here
16.) Trigger Cut
17.) Black Walls
18.) Texas Never Whispers
19.) Teenage Piss Party
20.) Zurich Is Stained
21.) Kentucky Cocktail
22.) Feed Them to the Lions

Pavement: Official Website
Stray Slack: TRY
Stray Slack: Can’t really find a place to buy this one. Here is an auction for the album on vinyl > BUY

Shlohmo – Hot Boxing the Cockpit

Hello! I don’t have much time to post today, so I only have a song for you. This song comes from a 19-year old producer named Henry Laufer, who many of you may know better as Shlohmo. Hailing from Los Angeles/San Francisco, California, this young producer mixes a wide range of sounds, creating a lo-fi, abstract type of instrumental hip hop that’s a tinge on the psychedelic side. When listening, it brought names like Madlib and Flying Lotus to mind. The name of the song I have here today is entitled “Hot Boxing the Cockpit”. The very beginning starts off with birds chirping, which kind of leaves your wondering what this is going to sound like. You should check it out for yourself though, because if anything is true, it’s the fact that I would totally hot box any cockpit to this track. Check back for more tomorrow and more Shlohmo in the near future. Enjoy!

Shlohmo – Hot Boxing the Cockpit