Saturday, January 31, 2009

In Concert: Andrew Bird

Last night, I saw Andrew Bird with opening act Loney, Dear @the Orpheum in Boston.

First a few words on the Swedish band Loney (note: not lonely), Dear. Going into the show I had never heard of them- in fact, I had no idea they were even opening the show until they came on stage. For a few minutes, I won't deny thinking to myself, "Wow, Andrew Bird looks, sounds, and acts way differently on his CD's than he does in concert." (It was dark, alright?) That's not to say I didn't like them; I actually thought their sound was really enjoyable. The lead singer, Emil Svanängen, has a great vocal range, which sounded best when layered with a number of instruments behind him (at one point, he sang without any accompaniment- probably the lowest point of the performance). His vocals kind of reminded me of Jonsi from Sigur Ros, but I couldn't compare the rest of the band and the overall sound in the same way- for one, they sing in English (though they do also try to speak in choppy English phrases they clearly picked up on right before the show). Check them out and draw your own conclusion; I'm only just starting to listen to them and really can't say much else.

Alright, so… Andrew Bird. For those of you who may not know his work, try to imagine the sound a classically trained violinist playing alongside the best whistler you know (perhaps the zip-a-dee-doo-da guy...or is that just me?). Then, add in a guitar and a xylophone. Finally, get a multi-track system to use for looping all of the aforementioned instruments, and there you've got what Andrew Bird sounds like. Strange, right? Trust me, the what results is one of the most unique sounds I've heard in a while. In fact, his uniqueness has gotten a good deal of attention lately- for one, he was recently on Letterman.

For those who are familiar with his work, you know how complicated the sound is. It's layered to the point where some instruments get lost in the mix- and that's what was so great about seeing him in concert. You had the opportunity witness firsthand an artist doing exactly what he does in the studio, adding whatever twist he felt like at any particular time. At one point, he recorded the cheering of the Bostonian crowd and began creating a song around it. I guess that means that I can say that I've been incorporated into an Andrew Bird track. Awesome.

I was unfamiliar with the majority of the stuff off of his latest, Noble Beast. It didn't really matter, though. I was far too preoccupied watching him create the song in front of me to care about singing along. However, he admitted to the audience that he knew we were waiting for tracks like "Imitosis"- playing that one perfectly (after about four attempts at getting the looping of the finger-plucking just right). My personal favorite track of his is "Tables and Chairs" off of his 2005 release The Mysterious Production of Eggs, so hearing that live was awesome, considering he spiced the song up a bit. Finally, as an expected encore he played fan-favorite "Fake Palindromes" (also off of Eggs), which sounded, well, just like it does on the CD.

Andrew Bird is just starting this tour, so even though there may have been a number of kinks in the show (Seriously, Ray Davies was there!..I wish..), the next few months look promising for him. He's going pretty much everywhere, so catch him if you can. Be sure to get a good seat- your going to want to watch his every move.

Here's Fitz & Dizzyspells off of Noble Beast.

Buy Noble Beast here

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fading Glory : Independent Music Stores

There is nothing more exciting to someone who hates Best Buy (and all the other bulk music stores like it) than a trip to either an independent music store or a thrift music store. Both however are fading fast, which makes the music lovers sell out and go to Best Buy and such.

Schoolkids records in Chapel Hill went out of business, and so did BB's in Greensboro. So the only independent record store in the area isn't even a record store. Its Edward McKay's used books and more. And as far as I can tell, they are doing pretty damn well for themselves. Going to Edward McKay's is like going to the Used/Sale rack at any independent record store...therefore it's always a hunt, and its always cheap. Box sets for under 30 dollars, rare CD's that haven't been opened, and CD's from the three local college radio stations are all found among the shelves.
My buddy just bought his first record player and LP's are flooding our college dorm room. LP's even made a jump in sales this year! Best Buy is picking up on it and is selling new LP's of Radiohead and Guns N Roses...
Over the past year and a half I have been in Greensboro I have found many awesome finds at Edward Mckay's but it still isnt an Independent music store. Independent music stores are endangered, if not near extinction. Now the only way to find new music is to surf around the blogs, like hype machine. However, the RIAA prevents people from listening to and downloading some songs. Also, people who are not blog savvy, which is most of the US population, are truely missing out on new music. Music that is NOT force fed to us is rapidly decreasing, radio hits dominate the market, and new artist seem to barely break the surface every year.

What ever happened to music as an art, not a business...

Support your local music and support your independent music stores.

This is one of the reasons why I started this blog,

To introduce people to new music, that celebrates the love, art, and diversity of music.

Here is a lil something from
Michael Franti - Everyone Deserves Music
buy Michael Franti

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why 1/27 was the best day of my life.

So, I've been volunteering for the past two summers working with Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic. During this time, I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with Brian Concannon, the director for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (please, visit for more information- it's such a great cause and is worth checking out).

This evening, Mr. Concannon was part of a panel consisting of world renowned humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer, whose work is extensively written about by Tracy Kidder in the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, as well as the second Massachusetts elected official of Hatian decent Linda Dorcena Forry, actor Matt Damon, and was moderated by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman (
. If your interested, the whole panel discussion will be put into the JFK library online archives, available for free streaming to the public.

Anyways, at the event I got to personally meet and get an autograph from Dr. Paul Farmer (whose pretty much my hero) and sort of kind of meet Matt Damon (whose not so much my hero but is still awesome)- making today, January 27th, the best day of my life.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Introducing "Back Tracking"

LastFM has to be one of the coolest sites out there right now. It's got a ton of great features- free music, artist bios, etc. The best thing about it, however, is its music tracking applet. Basically, it keeps track of what you've listened to digitally, and makes neat little charts with the info. So, every week I'm going to put that information up here. Enjoy!

Backtracks for 1/17 - 1/25

1 Animal Collective 58
2 The Kinks 51
3 Spiritualized 15
3 Girl Talk 15
5 Bob Dylan 14
6 Eels 13
7 Radiohead 8
8 Bon Iver 8
9 Sigur Rós 8
10 Kanye West 6

Of Note: 
So yeah, I dig the new Animal Collective, a lot. For me, Merriweather Post Pavillion has already topped everything from last year, and the numbers above might have suggested. If the 9.6 that P4k betrothed upon the CD wasn't enough to convince you, take it from me, a reputable contributor to a budding blog- check it out. 

Sunday Shuffle Strikes Back!

Sunday Shuffle Strikes Again!!
(for those of you who don't know what the Sunday shuffle is)
I Click Random, And post the song that comes up, no matter what.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January Junk

So it's the end of January,

This month I have found some amazing stuff that I think all music fans should definitely check out.

First things first,
I am currently listening to Seu Jorge's Life Aquatic Sessions, and you should to. If you have seen Life Aquatic you probably know that Seu Jorge sings all of the cover's of David Bowie's songs. On this album Jorge sound is soothing and awesome to just chill out to.

Seu Jorge - Starman (Bowie Cover)
buy The Life Aquatic Sessions

Ok now...
here is some things that will make your life awesome.

1. pwnyoutube- is soo cool. Have you ever watched an awesome concert on youtube and been like man I would really like to have this, or put this on my ipod. Now you can. pwnyoutube allows you to save any youtube video in either two formats. All you have to do is type "pwn" before youtube in your web address for the video you are watching. for more info go to

2. Loop labs-
Do you want free online music mixing software? Who doesn't. Loop labs is easy to use and its got a ton of awards. Check it out.

3. Lyrics Fly-
Lyrics Fly is for people who need lyrics and cant find them, way better than just typing the song and then lyrics into google.

4. Switch
If you own a mac and you want to import your .wma files to your itunes but cant, Switch can help you do that. Switch is a FREE and amazing file converter that is extremely easy to use.

Now here is some new Animal Collective

Animal Collective-Brothersport

buy Merriweather Post Pavilion

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Shuffle Returns!

This is the second post of the new Sunday phenomenon, so everyone get up off of their seats and do the Sunday Shuffle.

This weeks post:
Believe - Chemical Brothers
From the album : Push the Button
Buy Push the Button

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Sunday Shuffle!

The Sunday Shuffle!!
Ok, so in another attempt to make sure this blog stays fresh, every Sunday I will post a random track that appeared in my itunes. In other words, this track is going to be a free for all, completely random track. It could be rock, rap, indie, childrens music, jazz, funk...anything! So this Sundays Shuffle track is...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Welcoming Myself

To our probably nonexistant fanbase, I would like to officially introduce myself to this blog. Eli and I's long-spanning friendship began in an aquatic atmosphere- him teaching me swimming when I was about thirteen years old on the beautiful shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. For the record, I hated every second of it. The highlight of the experience was having an asthma attack while doing Eli's "Hold your breath underwater to expand your lungs capabilities" excercise. It didn't work.

So here I am years later, posting on his blog. Of course, through various other instances of torture (i.e. getting locked in an office by Eli and evil-sidekick Duncan's brilliant use of a knife to jam the door shut), him and I have become friends to the point where he has dropped his sentiment of hatred towards me, and has invited me to help him get this thing up and running again. My how the tables have turned..

Few Things- First off, as if my birthday wasn't bad enough last year (fighting with parents/getting kicked out of my house), it was on that day which Eli decided to cease writing on this blog. Point being that my birthday is coming up soon! Also, a comment on the RHCP's cover of "Love Rollercoaster" (posted below). According to urban myth, the original version of the song as performed by the Ohio Players includes at 1:27 the "sound of a woman being murdered in the recording studio." Highly unlikely, but the recorded shriek is pretty creepy. Check it out.

Anyways, I'm very excited about this. I love music and the like, and can't wait to publish more on here. Until that time, I bid all (one) of you ado.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First post of 2009

So as the first post on this blog in almost a year I feel like I need to have some sort of a comeback,
for those of you that do not know what I have been doing, I am currently DJing a Weekly Radio show.
you can visit the site at, you can find downloads and playlists from the shows I do.

Now what do I do about new material here?

I do not know if this blog is going to have a resurgence or not, I do love music and I love sharing music with the masses. I feel like if this blog were to succeed I would need another blogger willing to pitch in and do some writing and posting. If you are interested please contact me via email:

I would like to welcome Conor to this blog, he will help with the writing and hopefully it will help this blog stay alive. We will compile a list of the top ten albums of 2008, which will be posted here shortly.

So without further ado here is the FIRST POST in a long time,
this post will be filled with rarities, covers,
all filled with info, downloads and links to buy of course.

Wilco - Venus Stop the Train
This piano driven gem has all of the soul that embodies Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This song is actually found off of a bootleg that I got of the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot's Demo's. If you have never given Wilco a listen, you should now. To my knowledge you can't buy this album, but do a couple of search's online and see if you can, its worth it.
Buy Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Demo's

Sublime - Zimbabwe
This song is off of the deluxe version of Sublime's self-titled album (Which was the last album to be made with Bradley before he died). This take reminds me of a clean recording of some of Sublime's acoustic stuff. Bradley Nowell at his finest.
Like Sublime?
Check out the remaining band members new band : The Long Beach Dub All-Stars
buy Sublime Deluxe Version

John Mayer - Message In A Bottle Live and Acoustic
This cover of Message in A Bottle is from a concert of John Mayer's before his fame. This was recorded live between 1995-98. The album that this comes from was just titled as acoustic in a record store in NYC around 2003ish. This version is in my opinion superior than his version on As/Is.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Love Rollercoaster
This song is a great cover of the Ohio Players version, incorporating the funky side of the Chili Peppers... think Freaky Styley with the "poppy"ness of their later albums. This song is found off of the movie soundtrack for Beavis and Butt-head Do America. There are other great songs off of this soundtrack including another cover, search and destroy, done by the Chili Peppers.
buy Beavis and Butthead Do America OST

Wailing Souls - Casey Jones
This reggae cover of the Grateful Dead's cocaine lovin' song is great. This cover is the best cover I have found in a long time, I was surprised to find it in a bargain bin at a yard sale. This song is off of the cover album Fire On The Mountain: A Reggae Tribute to the Grateful Dead. Check this out.
Buy Fire On The Mountain: A Reggae Tribute to the Grateful Dead.

Pink Floyd - Embryo
This gentle, trance-like song used to be a frequent part of the Pink Floyd Shows, however it hasn't been played since 1971. This studio recording was never released but on an American compilation called Works. I also think it was put out in a bootleg in the 1970's. Embryo may have possibly been the younger counterpart to Sheep. Nevertheless, its cool and you should listen.
Buy Works

Jimi Hendrix - Somewhere (Over the Rainbow)
This song is off of the bootleg titled : Unsurpassed Studio Takes. I don't know much about these songs other than they were probably recorded around 1968. Really good album, for upload purposes I had to load one that was under 7 mins long. Still its really good, well worth the listen.
buy Unsurpassed Studio Takes

Beach Boys - Satisfaction #1

This song is off of the bootleg titled Unsurpassed Masters Volume Vol. 10 - the 'Alternate Beach Boys Party'. this is a huge set of songs and material that wasn't used for the Party Album. Satisfaction is their rendition of the hit made famous by the Rolling Stones. Check it out.
Buy Unsurpassed Masters Volume Vol. 10 - the 'Alternate Beach Boys Party

Hopefully you will Enjoy these,

feel free to comment or send me stuff


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