Graves – Summr Bummr

GRAVES is Greg Olin from Portland, Oregon. His latest record “Summr Bummr” from St. Ives is a fifteen track journey through a lofty jazz-folk universe unlike anything we’ve heard all year. Continue reading “Graves – Summr Bummr”

Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread

Releasing his first record on the Drag City imprint, TY SEGALL unleashes what is officially his fifth full length album to the masses. Now at this point we can only hope he keeps doing what he does best, which means we don’t have anything to worry about. Continue reading “Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread”

Song of the Day #15: Mavis the Dog

Recently discovered Philly bro Scott Olsen fronts the solo bedroom project MAVIS THE DOG. Olsen just released his second album, cleverly titled “The Second Album” on a series of 100 red cassette tapes, released entirely by himself. There isn’t a spot to buy this release physically, but you can just as easily download it for free by checking the Mavis the Dog blogspot. Olsen primarily enlists help from his guitar, a drumset and his own voice, occasionally branching out with some piano, harmonica and bass for good measure. These two songs below sound equally breezy and easy-going, encapsulating what the rest of the album might sound like to the listener. “Not All Things Must Past” sways along for a solid two minutes before breaking off into a quivering and carnivalesque guitar lead, while “End of Our Day” is a free-flowing and optimistic jam dominated by joyous pianos.

End of Our Day –

Not All Things Must Pass –

Mavis the Dog on Blogspot

Get it here: Free Download on Mediafire
Genre/ Tags: Lo-Fi, Bedroom Pop, Singer-Songwriter

Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo

Philadelphia’s constant hitmaker KURT VILE has another batch of hits ready for the world, and it’s due out on March 8th via Matador Records. We figured we might as well get on this one early before everybody else does, so here goes nothin’. Continue reading “Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo”

Mon Insomnie – Barbed Wires 7″

Hailing from somewhere out of the Czech Republic comes Mon Insomnie. Mon Insomnie is the name of a one-man bedroom pop outfit, and that’s about as far as I could get when it came to finding some information on the band. I couldn’t even figure out the lead singers name, but I did figure out the record label – Monster Heart Records. While they don’t quite have any physical releases to buy just yet, they seem to be in the process of getting that ready for us.

Going by the Mon Insomnie Bandcamp page, there is only a handful of music to listen to, with some of that being from their first 7″ record. The 7″ is three songs long, and it’s definitely worth a quick listen. The songs all evoke a longing feeling whether you like it or not – like you’re trying to reach out to something you just can’t grasp. The first two tracks, “Barbed Wires” and “Keep Love” definitely fall into the same vein, but the last track “They Left Me Here Where No One’s Around” is somewhat haunting, and more of an instrumental piano track that’s bound to paint a picture in your head. For some reason it reminds me of playing Resident Evil or something like that. But you should listen to these songs – head on over to the Bandcamp page so you can download them too!

Barbed Wires –

Keep Love –

They Left Me Here… –

My Rating: 6/10
Genre/ Tags: Lo-Fi, Singer/Songwriter, Bedroom Pop
Barbed Wires 7″: Tracklist:
1.) Barbed Wires
2.) Keep Love
3.) They Left Me Here Where No One’s Around

Mon Insomnie on Myspace
Mon Insomnie on Tumblr
Download the 7″ from the Mon Insomnie Bandcamp page

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 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

Joe Jackson – Look Sharp!

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: New Wave, Punk Rock/Ska, Singer-Songwriter

Okay, so if you don’t think you know who Joe Jackson is before reading this post, then go to YouTube and listen to THIS song for a second. Yeah, that’s Joe Jackson, and personally, I hate that song. You may even know another Joe Jackson song thanks to the folks over at Taco Bell, because I’ve recently seen a Taco Bell commercial featuring THIS song. I know what you’re thinking. A Joe Jackson song is being used for a Taco Bell commercial? Yeah, very weird. At least that’s what I thought. But moving on…

These two songs I have already mentioned above come from Joe Jackson’s debut album, titled “Look Sharp!”. This album came out back in 1979, and it features one of Joe Jackson’s best known tracks, called “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”. As I already mentioned, I don’t really like this song, but the rest of the album is surely worth your time. Most of the albums lyrics are about love, break-ups, and women, but I assure you, it’s still a good album. For example, the 2nd track “Sunday Papers” is undeniably catchy, with it’s ever-changing bassline. “Happy Loving Couples” is another solid track, and I like how Jackson continues to say “You ain’t no friends of mine” at the end until he is cut off by some dude that says, “Alright that’s enough!”. Moving onto the titled track “Look Sharp!”, this track switches back and forth from a punk rock song to a reggae song, and then it takes another unexpected turn around 1:40 when the piano comes in to break things down. The next track “Fool’s in Love” is definitely a reggae/ ska song in itself, while the guitar in the next track “(Do the) Instant Mash” makes it a rock song before anything else. If any song from the album is going to get stuck in your head, it’s the next track called “Pretty Girls”. Thanks to the spastic bass line and Jackson’s “doo doo wopa doo doo wopa” chant, I can guarantee you this song will get stuck in your head. Find out for yourself right now, the track is just below. Be sure to also listen to the albums closing track “Got the Time” with its fast paced, upbeat action and the funky bass solo. Don’t forget to give the bonus tracks some lovin’ too. Hey, that’s all for today! Thanks for reading, and check back yet again tomorrow!

Joe Jackson – “Pretty Girls”

Look Sharp! – Tracklist
1. “One More Time” – 3:15
2. “Sunday Papers” – 4:22
3. “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” – 3:33
4. “Happy Loving Couples” – 3:08
5. “Throw it Away” – 2:49
6. “Baby Stick Around” – 2:36
7. “Look Sharp!” – 3:23
8. “Fools in Love” – 4:23
9. “(Do the) Instant Mash” – 3:12
10. “Pretty Girls” – 2:55
11. “Got the Time” – 2:55
12. “Don’t Ask Me” – 2:44 (bonus)
13. “You Got the Fever” – 3:37 (bonus)

Joe Jackson – Official Website
Look Sharp! – BUY

Syd Barrett – Barrett

Perhaps one of the most interesting and reclusive figures in musical history, Syd Barrett (January 6th, 1946 – July 7th, 2006) was the original driving force behind the band we all already know as PINK FLOYD. Syd Barrett was present in Pink Floyd from their very beginnings, but he only lasted in the band for a short time. The band began to form back in England in 1964, which is when Syd Barrett would be considered the leader of the band. After a few line-up changes and a few band name adjustments (Syd gets credit for coming up with the name “Pink Floyd”), the band was ready to release their first album, which was titled “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”. This album came out back in 1967, and it was the only Pink Floyd album to be made fully under the leadership of Syd Barrett. In the midst of all the commotion surrounding Pink Floyd after their first release, Syd Barrett had been continually experimenting with drugs like LSD. This led to a very unpredictable and frightening Syd Barrett, who would eventually be replaced in the band by the guitarist David Gilmour. Before finally “leaving” the band, Syd also helped out on their second release in 1968, entitled “A Saucerful of Secrets”.

After leaving Pink Floyd, Syd was certainly not finished with his musical career, and he had much more up his sleeve for us. His solo career began in 1968, with his first solo album release being in 1970. This first album was called “The Madcap Laughs”, featuring many wonderful tracks like “Terrapin”, “Octopus”, “Golden Hair”, and “Dark Globe”. The second and final solo studio album we would get from Syd Barrett is the one I have for you today. This album came out originally back in 1970, and sadly was the last studio album we would get. The album starts off with a bluesy guitar intro on the track “Baby Lemonade”, which soon escalates into a delightful song, with Syd begging for some lemonade. Skipping ahead to the extremely drone-y and almost-haunting track titled “Dominoes”, this is certainly one of the tracks worth hearing from the album. The track ends with an all too appropriate keyboard solo from Pink Floyd member Richard Wright (July 28th, 1943 – September 15th, 2008), which is probably why it sounds so familiar. A few other highlights from the album include “Gigolo Aunt” with its funky basslines, “Effervescing Elephant” which is great to sing along with, the somewhat creepy sounding “Maisie”, “Waving My Arms in the Air”, “Rats”, and “Wined and Dined”. Happy belated birthday Syd, and also: Rest in Peace Syd Barrett and Richard Wright!

Barrett: Tracklist
1. “Baby Lemonade” – 4:10
2. “Love Song” – 3:03
3. “Dominoes” – 4:08
4. “It Is Obvious” – 2:59
5. “Rats” – 3:00
6. “Maisie” – 2:51
7. “Gigolo Aunt” – 5:46
8. “Waving My Arms In The Air” – 2:09
9. “I Never Lied To You” – 1:50
10. “Wined And Dined” – 2:58
11. “Wolfpack” – 3:41
12. “Effervescing Elephant” – 1:52

Syd Barrett: Official Website
Barrett: BUY