Posts Tagged ‘recommended listening’

Skins has some awesome music (Yes I watch Skins, deal with it).  They’ve used way too many good songs to list on here, so I’ll just say that they had “live” performances from Crystal Castles and Born Ruffians on the show in past seasons.  An interesting mix for sure, but awesome nonetheless.

A reason to watch Skins. One negative: she's an Arsenal fan.

The finale of the fifth series (in the UK they are too cool to say “season”) was this past thursday , and in a now nearly weekly ritual, I run to google to check the name of a song that was used in the episode.  This week it was Dog is Dead’s “Glockenspiel Song.”  Hooray for original titles!

This is certainly much closer to Born Ruffians than Crystal Castles.  With lyrics like “We are a mess/We are failures/And we love it” it’s certainly a perfect match for the show.  It’s also perfect in other ways, such as the killer sax solo at the end.

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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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I really thought I had,  but I just looked back and it looks like I haven’t.  Even if this is a double post, it’s worth watching again and again and again and again because the Black Keys are the coolest people in the world.

Aw crud embedding is disabled because WMG sucks.  Click through anyway though cause it’s mad awesome.

Uh well the first time I tried to play it on-site it wouldn’t play and made me watch it on youtube, but now it plays.  So I don’t know what’s going on.  JUST PRESS PLAY AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

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One new (free) logic board later and my laptop is alive and well.  So I do get to post Mine Is Yours after all.  I’ve been listening to it more and more, and it continues to grow on me.  There are definitely still some tracks better off skipped, but overall I think it’s a solid album.  There’s some very catchy parts, but also some parts that are boring as heck.  It’s definitely worth a download and few listens though.  Here’s “Bulldozer”:

I can definitely see myself listening to this a good bit in the near future.  Though it’s decidedly poppier than the Kids’ previous efforts, it maintains enough of their edge to be very listenable.  There’s still some of that signature CWC guitar to be heard, but what will keep me coming back is Nathan Willett’s voice, because it’s awesome.

Download Mine Is Yours

I also just found this, which is interesting.

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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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For whatever reason, La Blogothèqe doesn’t have their videos of Voxtrot on their youtube page.  Fortunately I stumbled upon them this morning somehow.

I’ve never tried to embed something that isn’t a youtube video or mp3 before, so let’s hope that works.  Another video of Ramesh and one other of another member of Voxtrot here.  It really is too bad that they broke up.  After seeing a ton of videos and reading all his blog posts, I have come to the conclusion that Ramesh is a totally rad dude.  I sure hope he gets back into music.

Someday I will give Voxtrot the full write-up that they deserve.  For now, you get this:

Voxtrot – Wrecking Force

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This isn’t New Junk.  I haven’t really found anything super new that I am overwhelmed by and must write about, though Kanye’s new album may change that in a couple of weeks.  Instead, today I have some older things, newness ranging from 8 months to 9 years.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been listening to more and more electronic music, a lot of which comes in the form of remixes of songs by other artists.  I often fall in love with a remix of a song, only to check out the original song and artist and find that I hate it.  Thankfully, sometimes it works the other way around.  Two Door Cinema Club had been popping up in various places around the music world, having been remixed by The Twelves and remixing Phoenix to name a couple of places.

An audience enjoying Tudor Cinema

The band’s strange name comes from one of the band member’s misconception of their local (in Northern Ireland) Tudor Cinema.  That picture is not actually of people at the Tudor Cinema, but I couldn’t find one that actually was, and I thought these people looked really rad in their glasses.  Their debut album Tourist History is deliciously poppy and a very easy listen.  It’s always been strange to me how English and Irish people can speak so differently from Americans, but both sound the same when singing.  Ellie Goulding being the cutest exception of course.  Here’s “Something Good Can Work”:

Whenever I put this album on, I end up putting this song on repeat a few times before letting the rest of the album play.  It’s hard not to feel happy after giving it all a good listen.

Download Tourist History

File these next two releases under Artists I Wished Released More Than One Album.  See: Philippians, Mumm-Ra.


One member of the band

The Avalalanches’ Since I Left You was apparently crafted from more thank 3,500 vinyl samples.  If you weren’t aware, that’s a lot.  This certainly lends itself to an interesting album that’s full of lyrical non-sequiturs.  Despite taking thousands of things and making them into one, the album flows remarkably from one song to the next.  The Avalanches’ sadly solitary album spans enough genres that I don’t know what to call it, though wikipedia tells me that it’s “Electronic Dance Music.”  It’s certainly worth a listen, if only to see how well 3,500 different samples can create one piece of work.  This is “Since I Left You”:

Download Since I Left You


One of the most terrifying pictures I have ever seen.

Seeing certain musicians for the first time can be really strange.  After listening to their music for a while, you kind of get an idea of how they should look and act, but sometimes that perception couldn’t be further from reality.  I have been listening to A Lily’s Wake:Sleep for probably about 4 years now, and today is the first time I have gotten a look at the man behind the music.  I am terrified.  This is a beautiful, slow, ambient record.  I imagined some plain looking kid with a computer in his bedroom.  Instead I got an insane grinning half-bearded man with a cigar.  Whatever works I guess.

Wake:Sleep is my favorite electronic/ambient album.  It’s perfect for doing homework or working on things, but also stands up well to a critical listen through.  Chock full of my favorite beeps and boops, it’s one of my go-to albums when I actually need to get things done.  Listen to “I Am To You”:

It was a close call between “I Am To You” and “Leanna Is A Quiet Meow”.  I’m surprised who won out with a song title like that.  The album closes with the 34-minute droning “Shipwreck”.  It really doesn’t seem that long though.  At least not when you’re working.

Download Wake:Sleep

No matter how long I’m away from P&P+S, procrastination always brings me back.  If I find myself not wanting to study in the next couple weeks, I’ll probably be here with Kanye’s newest and hopefully greatest.  I really want to put together a new mix either here or for someone, but I haven’t found the time.  Oh well, hopefully someday.

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