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Posts Tagged ‘just click download I promise it’s ok’

So here it is, seemingly six months in the making, pots&pans+spoon’s homage to the late, great Voxtrot.  I have somehow found time in between March Madness games to find writing motivation, so here I am.

Frontman Ramesh Srivastava. So precious.

First, a little history.  Voxtrot came into being and was awesome from the start.  Some of their early stuff sounded a lot like Belle & Sebastian, which isn’t a bad thing.  Here’s an early demo of “The Start of Something“:

They quickly added a little edge to their sound and created the most perfect blend of indie pop and rock this world has ever known.  To this day there remains nothing as perfect as Ramesh’s blending of poignant coming-of-age lyrics and jangly pop hooks.

The band released 3 EP’s, all adored by critics and music listeners everywhere.  Here’s “Wrecking Force” from the Raised By Wolves EP:

Due to the hype surrounding the three EPs, Voxtrot’s first full length album was hotly anticipated by music fans everywhere.  As happens sometimes in this situation, the self-titled album wasn’t everything it was hyped up to be.  Reception was lukewarm at best, the album failing to live up to the extremely high standards set by the EPs.

I actually quite like the album, though I don’t love it as much as Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, & Wives or Raised By Wolves.  Most people don’t seem to agree with me though.  Here’s “Ghost” off the full-length:

Everyone’s slight disappointment turned to horror as 2 years after the albums release, Voxtrot released a new single, “Trepanation Party.”  I’m not going to post that here.  Not that it’s the worst song in the world, it’s just very far from the Voxtrot I know and love.

Another new single was soon released, thankfully sounding something more like the old Voxtrot.  This would be the last thing released from the band, as exactly one year after announcing the band was working on material for a second album, Ramesh posted on his blog that the band was breaking up after a short tour, citing extreme pressure and a songwriting rut.

Hearts were broken, tears were shed.  Fortunately the band left behind two of my favorite EPs ever, and some other freaking awesome stuff.  Ramesh manages to pack a novel’s worth of words into each song and deliver them with a poise and sweetness I’ll never get tired of.

The best ever

Ramesh’s blog is also a great read.  It’s always interesting to gain insight into artists’ thought processes, especially when they write as eloquently and interestingly as Ramesh does.  His post about the bands break up is especially interesting/sad.

Today is a landmark here at potspansspoon, as we are offering our first p&p+s Download Value Pack!  For the price of one download you will receive all 3 incredible EPs from Voxtrot (Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, & Wives, Raised By Wolves, and Your Biggest Fan), as well as their self-titled album and the L’Adieu a l’Été demo.  That’s an incredible download value if I ever did see one.

Download the p&p+s Voxtrot Download Value Pack

What a great value!  I have even more good news too!!  As I was gathering the link to Ramesh’s blog I noticed that he posted about a month ago linking to his new site and talking about some kind of new musical venture.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement, as I have struggled to finish writing this post without venturing over to the new site to check out the new stuff.

I’m glad I finally got around to writing this post, as Voxtrot is one of my favorites, plus I found that link to Ramesh’s new stuff, so that rules too.  Next time maybe I’ll have the new Strokes album , which I still haven’t gotten around to listening to.  Or maybe I’ll have some Youth On Fire stuff!  Or Maybe both!  It’s a mystery!  Pots!  Pans!  Spoon!

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If you’re an avid reader of p&p+s (as I’m sure you are) you’ll remember that I was quite excited for Bibio’s upcoming album Mind Bokeh due to this tantilizing album sampler that was released in January:

More labels/artists should make these little youtube videos, because this moved Mind Bokeh from “Mild Excitment” to “Insomnia-Inducing Fervor” on the p&p+s Album Anticipation Scale (PPSAAS) (haha pee pee ass).  The video definitely put this album on a lot of people’s radar, including mine.  Thankfully, Mind Bokeh leaked today, and I have been genuinely enjoying it from the first listen.

Even the album cover is awesome.

When asked about the album title, Stephen Wilkinson, the lone man behind the sound, had this to say:

Bokeh is the out of focus region of a photograph. It’s not a quantifiable thing, but photographers and lens manufacturers are obsessed with it. In Japanese it means “haze,” “blur” or even “dementia.” I called the album Mind Bokeh because I’m interested in the effect of defocussing your mind, whether through meditation, chemicals or whatever — it’s a state of mind quite alien to Westerners.

It’s always cool to hear artists’ reasons for titles and lyrics for things, even if you don’t like being categorized as a high-strung Westerner.

This is the 7th Google Images result for Stephen Wilkinson. I can only assume that Bibio drives this car.

Bibio’s last album Ambivalence Avenue was hailed as a great album by pretty much everyone, so as with any follow-up to a great album fans were wary of disappointment (The King of Limbs anyone?).  Mind Bokeh is better than Ambivalence Avenue.  I can’t say there’s a song that I don’t enjoy.  Maybe this is a side effect of the album sampler, as I find that I tend to like things that sound a little familiar.

That being said, if you think this album is going to sound like the album sampler repeated 10 times, you’d be extremely wrong.  Wilkinson always manages to blend electronic and folk and I don’t even know what else to make his extremely unique sound.  Listen to “Saint Christopher“:

This was the song from the sampler that I was most eager to hear.  Since the sampler only contained a few seconds of each song, it made me really excited to hear the rest of the ones I liked.  So, pretty much all of them.  If you can’t tell already, I kind of loved this sampler thing.  I probably listened to it 50 times or so.

I think the sampler really worked for this album because it’s a very cohesive piece of music.  I don’t think it would work for an album comprised of a few good songs and a bunch of filler tracks, because inevitably you’d be left with a large percentage of shitty song clips.

So, yes, I love this a lot already.  And gauging from other reactions I’ve read around the interwebs it’s going to be on a lot of Best of 2011 lists.  So listen, love, buy, and let your mind defocus.

Download Mind Bokeh

Also, a bonus music video:

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The Low Keys were a rock sensation hailing from Abington, Pennsylvania.  Their popularity peaked at Abington High School’s 2007 Battle of the Bands, in which they received first prize and were subsequently featured on AMPTV, shown on millions of TV’s all over the Delaware Valley.

The Low Keys, 2007 Abington High School Battle of the Bands Champions

As with many great musical acts, their career was much too short.  As college came and band members were separated, they moved on to new musical projects.

Youth On Fire is comprised of two monkeys.

Isaac Clark and Andrew Hankin have recently formed Youth On Fire, now based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Now in their third band together, the duo has moved onto a more electronically-influenced sound.  Clark plays neato guitar things and sings while Hankin uses his 8 monkey arms to play both drums and synthesizer at the same time, giving the band a much more full sound than other duos.  I guess you would call it electronic pop rock or something.  Whatever it is, it will make you want to shake your groove-thang.  Give them a listen, you won’t regret it.  I promise one of the catchy synth parts or guitar riffs will be stuck in your head later.  I’m going to try this fancy embeded player thing so I don’t really know what’s going to happen in the space below:

I told it to have “Hotel Chelsea” on there, because that’s my favorite, but who knows what’s really going to happen.  Also check them out on ReverbNation, Facebook, and now even Twitter.  Their first demo is entitled “Oh, Hi” and they’re sure to be playing shows in the Ann Arbor area soon, so keep your eyes and ears open for big things.

The bass from The Low Keys, Brett Schupack, has also moved in a more electronic direction, though in a much different way.  He is now a well-known DJ almost statewide.  Currently hailing from Pittsburgh, DJ brett SCHUPACK has released a legitimate mixtape and DJ’s legitimate places.

You can call him DJ Breezy Fresh, Brizzmaster Flex, DJ Big Brett, DJ Shoe Pack, DJ Breezy Fly, or Boom Boom Brizzy.

DJ brettsliceme has exceptional taste in house music, and it shows in his mixtape entitled “FIRST”.  It’s the first one he’s released.  I haven’t been a huge fan of house music for too too long, but I know enough about it to tell you that this mixtape is really really awesome.  Even if you’re not into house, give it a listen.  You’ll probably want to go back for another soon after.  More fancy embedding I hope:

If you’re in Pittsburgh, be sure to find him and worship his beats.  I know I would.  Here’s a P&P+S exclusive tracklisting from the man himself, DJ B.S.:

The Island (Steve Angello Remix) – Pendulum
Dance the Way I Feel (Armand Van Helden Remix) – Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
Fire In Your New Shoes (Interpartysystem Mix) – Kaskade
Teenage Dream (Kaskade Remix) – Katy Pery
Silvia to Ibiza (Myndset Mashup) Swedish House Mafia vs. Miike Snow
Bumby Ride (Sebastian Ingrosso Remix) – Mohombi
Leave the World Behind – Axwell
Who Wants to Be Alone (Phillip D REmix) – Tiesto
Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode) – Adrian Lux

So there you have it.  A band splits at the height of their fame, only to spawn two even more promising musical ventures.  Don’t be surprised when they’re all famous in a few years and you can tell all your friends that you were a fan way back when.  I for one am hoping Youth On Fire and DJ Beep Boop both make it big, only to reunite later and create some crazy club bangers filled with intimate lyrics.  As DJ Brizz Brizz says: Listen to it loud. Listen to it often.

Other Junk:

Well blog, I did it.  A real post.  I’d be lying if I said I’ve been too busy to post, as I did pretty much nothing over my winter break.  I’m going to chalk up the lack of posts to the fact that I didn’t really get to listen to too much music over the last month or so and lacked writing inspiration.  Now that I’m back at school and need to procrastinate from doing actual work, real posts should come with more frequency.

I had planned to do a best of 2010, and maybe I will at some point.  Maybe not, who knows.  I think I would have posted most of the fantastic things on here anyway, as this blog has been around since last March or something like that.  2011 is sure to bring some awesome things as well.  The Strokes will finally release a new record in March, and watch this:

I’ve never seen an album sampler thing like this before an album is released, but I think it’s a great idea.  It’s gotten me super excited for Mind Bokeh, a new album from Bibio, also slated for a March release.  It seems like March has been a good month for music.  More need to do these album sampler videos.

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The dirty version of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy leaked yesterday.  I’ve heard a lot of the songs before, as a lot of them were in that 35 minute video for “Runaway”, but as a whole it sounds good.  I’m only about halfway through, but I can see this sitting pretty high on my list of favorite Kanye albums.  I’d say it’s about what I expected, though that probably comes from hearing a lot of the songs before.  It’s certainly a departure from 808’s and Heartbreaks (and I liked that a lot more than most people).  Favorites so far are “All of the Lights”, “So Appalled”, and “Devil in a New Dress.”  There’s sure to be some eventual Kanye classics on here.

Download My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Also of note is that there are 5 alternate covers for the album, including this:

Kanye doing a bird lady

Kanye doing a bird lady.

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I know.  You’re sad.  I’ve been busy finishing up summer semester and beginning fall semester, and you miss me.  Don’t worry though, I have just the thing for times like these.

Me consoling you.

Ida, out of New York City, has been around since 1992, making music that I find hard to describe.  I will let their official website do the talking:

Although Ida has often been identified with labels like “slowcore” and “quietcore”, they have always played songs that could be described as “kind of fast”, “mid tempo”, “kind of loud”, and “super loud

Yeah, I think that about sums it up.  18 years is certainly a lot of time to explore different styles and tempos, which Ida has done at length.  With this longevity comes 7 studio albums and a bunch of EP’s and singles.  I really could never get into most of their stuff, but I always manage to find a reason to listen to 1996’s I Know About You.

Psychics

This is perhaps the most emotional album I’ve ever heard.  I think if I listened to this in 1996 I would have pooped my pants.  6 year old me would not be able to process the raw heartbreak contained in the albums’ 12 songs.  It’s my go-to sad album for sure.  Slow and pensive, packed with absurdly relevant lyrics and beautiful vocal harmonies, it’s perfect for any sad situation you may find yourself in.  From losing a childhood pet to running out of your favorite ice cream flavor, just put this on and cry your brains out.  Here’s “Requator”:

I had a hard time choosing what songs to put on here, because they’re all incredibly awesome.  Each listen through makes me think that I have a new favorite.  Here’s “Treasure Chest”:

If you just had an awesome day, don’t come home and listen to this.  You’ll just be confused.

Download I Know About You

Hopefully I wont have such long breaks in between my posts now that the fall semester is fully underway.  Next up is probably Voxtrot (who I have been unable to turn off lately) and some kind of mix possibly maybe.

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Those were the words uttered from one D.A. Wallach, lead singer of Chester French, and the host of Get Right Radio – Summer ’09 Edition.  The mixtape, assembled by DJ Benzi, was one of my favorite things to listen to last summer.  That being said, the aforementioned host was awful.  I guess he’s Benzi’s friend or something, but that’s still not a good enough reason to tarnish an otherwise perfect mixtape with some hipster white kid demanding the DJ play his latest “smash single.”  Not only does it stick out horribly from the rest of the mix, it’s not even good.  I’m not quite sure how D.A. came to the conclusion that this was a smash single, because it sucks.  You be the judge:

You may note that D.A. (on the left) looks like a spoiled rich kid from Harvard.  Because he is.  Thus I am perplexed why exactly he chose to tell Benzi to “drop that shit,” as I’m sure he doesn’t speak that way normally.  I can only assume that he is aware that he doesn’t fit with the rest of the mix and is trying to sound more like the rest of the artists that are featured.  Now, I am a big fan of Ironic White Boy Humor, but as far as I can tell, D.A. wasn’t being ironic, and was instead being a waste of my time as I hit the “Next” button.

That being said, the mixtape was perfect for summer and garnered many plays during my drives between State College and home.  I have been waiting patiently for this summer’s edition, as summer is already more than half over.  My prayers have finally been answered.  Thank you, God.  It has arrived.

This year’s host is thankfully LMFAO.  No more non sequiturs that wreck the flow of the tape.  Hallelujah!  This year’s mix features more Mike Posner (a friend of Benzi’s), including an interesting edit of “Cooler Than Me” which I think is pretty rad.   When I put the mixtape into iTunes, the genre was listed as “Club.”  I was puzzled at this because that is not the Benzi I know, but this tape much more dance oriented than the 2009 version, which had more hip hop than dance music.  Benzi also included a couple Chiddy Bang songs/remixes.  It’s certainly good to see them get more exposure, as they definitely deserve it.  Better yet, he’s used their “Under the Sheets” remix!  That scores major points from me, as that still gets nearly daily rotation around here.

Benzi also gets points for his choice of cover art

I’m liking that Benzi’s gone in a very different direction than last year.  The 2009 tape was mostly popular songs, or remixes of popular songs.  Don’t get me wrong, it was great and I loved every second of it (except when D.A. spoke/sang), but there wasn’t much that was really new.  The dance element was still there, but it was more about hip hop than anything.  This year you’re sure to still recognize some songs, but much more of it will be new.  You will want to shake your behind more than before as well.

You can get the free mixtape either by poking around Benzi’s site (features a full tracklist), or you can download it directly.  I recommend the 2009 edition as well, as it still is a great listen (apart from the Chester French bits).

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Look out!

I am celebrating this stupidly stuffy late-June night by sitting in my air conditioning on my computer.  This is the best idea I’ve ever had.  Today I’ve got two of my favorite albums ever.  Usually I’m not keen on having favorite things, but as other albums have come and gone, I never go more than a week or two without listening to Neon Golden and Goodnite Life.

The Notwist: slanty musicians are the best musicians.

The Notwist has been around for 21 years, changing their sound from heavy metal, indie rock, electronica, and whatever lies in between.  While I’m not at all a fan of heavy metal, I do love indie and electronica, a combination of which has been dubbed “indietronica.”  People are so creative nowadays.  I guess both of the albums that I’m showcasing today fall under the “indietronica” label, with Neon Golden sitting near the middle of the two genres, and Goodnite Life straying to the electronica side of things.

After experimenting with electronic music while making Neon Golden, The Notwist released The Devil, You + Me 5 years later, removing the electronic beeps and boops from their sound that I love so much.  I was pretty disappointed by TDYAM, but that’s only because I had extremely high expectations because I love Neon Golden so much.  It’s a decent album, but Neon Golden blows it away.  I just gotta have those beeps and boops.

That being said, my favorite song on the album is probably the rockiest.  Then again, that’s what I love so much about this album, it combines different kinds of songs together in a way where they all compliment each other perfectly.  Have a listen to “One With the Freaks:”

“Consequence,” probably the most well-known of the lot, is the perfect closer for this album.  Though there’s some instrumental bonus tracks, “Consequence” marks the real end of the album, and it couldn’t be better:

Whenever I write about something on here, I put on whatever album or artist I’m writing about.  As I listen to “Consequence” right now, all I want to do is hop in my car and drive somewhere.  Windows down, warm weather, dark sky.  Though that sounds wonderful, gas is $3 a gallon, and the a/c is on here.  I can’t let that go to waste.

I know I’ve written before about my affinity for poppy music during summer, which I don’t think is uncommon, but I think summer nights call for more relaxed music, which can be accessed with the link below.

Download Neon Golden

Electrical Engineering is the coolest!

This album cover ranks as one of my all-time favorites.  It not only has resistors, but capacitors too!  Also, I’m not certain, but I think i see a little transistor action on the bottom too.  Not only that but they wrote their name in WIRE!  As an Electrical Engineering major, these things excite me more than they should.  Fortunately for you, the cover is not the reason that I love this album so much, though it is insanely incredible.

Philippians is a duo out of some place in California.  Sadly, this is their only release.  No EP’s, no singles, just this.  At one point, even finding any information about the band was hard, as it just didn’t exist on the internet.  The band actually has two myspace accounts, for reasons unknown to me, but they both seemingly have gone dark as of March 2007.  Of course, a band releases one of my favorite albums of all time and then promptly falls off the earth.

As I said before, this is much more electronic than Neon Golden, but for some reason I think they are kind of related in some way that probably only exists in my mind.  Goodnite Life is absolutely chock-full of beeps and boops.  I just can’t get enough.

"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."

The album as a whole is one of the most complete albums I’ve ever heard.  The songs fit perfectly together, even more so than in Neon Golden, and that’s saying a lot.  When I think about a great album I rarely think about individual songs, and more about how they fit together to form the full LP.  Each of the songs on Goodnite Life is great, but there is one that sticks out from the rest.  Listen to “100 Knives:”

That’s actually a “remix” of a song by Mirah.  I use the quotes because it sounds nothing like the original and has been made 163 times better.  Though one thing that is great from the original is the lyrics.

I had a hard time picking the second song that I wanted to put here because they are all so good, but eventually I settled on “Heart Machine.”  I think it’s a good representation of the album as a whole, some songs being more beat driven with others more melodic.  The moment when the strings come in is one of my favorites on the whole album.

Download Goodnite Life

So there you have it.  Possibly my two favorite albums ever.  They don’t nearly represent the full spectrum of my musical tastes, but whatever.  Maybe it’s just the beeps and boops that keep me coming back.  Here’s some stuff that I’ve been listening to a lot lately:

Discovery – “Osaka Loop Line”

Klaxons – “It’s Not Over Yet”

Kid Cudi – “Up Up & Away”

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”


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