Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Muse is streaming...

Black Holes and Revelations is streaming over at myspace, check it out.

It doesn't sound like Supermassive Black Hole, I promise.

Donavon Frankenreiter: Move By Yourself

I, like most people, made a huge mistake when Donavon Frankenreiter released his self-titled debut album in 2004. Luckily, I didn’t make the same mistake twice.

Donavon’s first CD was dismissed by most critics and ignored by the general public for obvious reasons - his main claims to fame were being a surfing buddy with Jack Johnson and having a song in a car commercial - not exactly the ways to gain critical acclaim. His second album, Move By Yourself, all but eliminates any comparison to Jack Johnson’s acoustic guitar focused work, instead delving into the world of 70’s funk.

The album opens up with the uber-funky title track, which is clearly one of the strongest tracks Donavon has recorded. Where his first album sounded like a solo effort, this song sets the tone that it’s not just about Donavon anymore - this is a band and these boys can play. The Way It Is follows next, a slowed down funk song more in the style of Marvin Gaye. If you’re expecting a slowed down acoustic song at this point in the album you’ll be sorely disappointed - Beautiful Day is the only track that lands in this genre, so you’ll need to wait for the closer.

The rest of the album basically follows the first two tracks - you’re either going to funk that will make you move or slowed down soul songs. There’s not really a song to skip on this album - the song writing is strong and each song flows into the next very well, especially with the last half of the album. Let It Go, All Around Us and Girl Like You are certainly the highlights outside of the first two tracks. The only song you may be checking your watch on is Fool, a sprawling 6 minute jam that brings Ray Charles to mind.

Move By Yourself is certainly a departure from Donavon’s first album. If you’re looking for more Jack Johnson infused acoustic surfer hymns than you best look to Dispatch - you won’t find it here. This album is all about the funk - very rare in this day and age - and I will say that this is the absolute must-have album of the summer. It’s that good.

Overall rating: 4/5

[mp3] Move By Yourself
[mp3] Let It Go

Visit Donavon's website.
Buy Move By Yourself (Amazon) (iTunes).

Monday, June 26, 2006

Yearning for more Yorn?

God knows I am.

Thanks to Stu's tip I was able to get yet another song from the upcoming Pete Yorn release, Nightcrawler. It sounds like it's going to be a rockin' good time. This one reminds me of Undercover...

[mp3] Go With It

Visit Pete's website.
Buy some Pete Yorn.

Thanks to Stu for being such an avid myspace searcher!!

The June problem is fixed.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Weekly 6 Pack

As promised, it's time for your weekly 6 pack.

[mp3] Wolfmother: White Unicorn

I'm not quite sure why I haven't posted anything about Wolfmother. Looking back, it's really a crime that I haven't yet. These guys just flat out rock - old school style. If you haven't heard them, now's your chance. Watch out for the huge-ass drum fill at 4:08, I usually rewind that 4 or so times before finishing the song...

Visit their website.
Buy some Wolfmother.

[mp3] Flickerstick: Blue

Although Flickerstick has only released 2 proper albums, they've probably had as much effect on me as any band. Their unique blend of pop hooks, psychadelic guitar licks and killer drumming opened my eyes to a world of new sonic possibilities. Looking back at their debut now seems a little weak but they've certainly shown themselves with Tarantula and To Madagascar and Back, the EP that this little ditty is featured on.

Visit their website.
Buy some Flickerstick.

[mp3] Paul McCartney: Monkberry Moon Delight

This has one of Paul's best screams ever recorded. Sure, "Maybe I'm Amazed" is great but I just love it when Paul goes crazy.

Visit Paul's website.
Buy his albums.

[mp3] Silvercrush: Frightened

I'm sure some of you will be turned off by the "I wish I was Eddie Vedder" vocals but these guys are hometown heroes of sorts. Silvercrush is one of only 2 bands from Utah that has signed with a major label. Though their rock 'n roll life was cut short, their debut album, Stand, is a great post-grunge album. If you're into 7 Mary 3, you'll love these guys.

Buy some Silvercrush.

[mp3] Toadies: Possum Kingdom

Another blast from the past. The Toadies were a little different from the rest of the post-grunge scene, Rubberneck is really worth a listen or a dust off if you've forgotten about it.

Buy some Toadies.

[mp3] Starsailor: Good Souls

All that talk of Starsailor earlier made take another listen to Love is Here. I know this was the single, and it's lame to like the single but hey - this song is just plain amazing.

Visit their website.
Buy some Starsailor.

The Damnwells: Air Stereo

I almost missed out on this since I was away from he blogging world for a few days. It looks like The Damnwells are going to be releasing their latest album, Air Stereo on August 15th (looks like August is shaping up to be pretty sweet!). You all can thank Lizzy over at Come Pick Me Up for the good news. Check out her blog, it rocks.

They've posted a few tracks up on their myspace page. Streams bug me so I've got them in a friendlier format below.

[mp3] I've Got You
[mp3] Golden Days

Visit The Damnwells website.
Buy their albums.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Starsailor: On The Outside

It looks like Starsailor is finally going to hit up the US with their latest album, On The Outside, in August. You can read a little more about here from Alternative Addiction. I'm not sure if it will live up to the hype - I've been a little disappointed since Love Is Here.

I've managed to snag a song from the import version, let me know what you think.

[mp3] This Time

EDITED 6/21/06: Sorry, I forgot this one was actually on Silence Is Easy, though this mix is a little different. Still, enjoy the Starsailor. Thanks for the catch Todd and Stu!

[mp3] Four or The Floor

Visit Starsailor's website.
Buy their albums.

iTunes Single of the Week: Landon Pigg

It seems as if the iTunes Music Store decides to put up something acceptable every other week as their free single. This week it's Landon Pigg. It's certainly not earth-shattering, but it's worth the free download. It's a slower number, brings early Coldplay to mind.

[iTunes] Landon Pigg: Sailed On

Visit Landon's official website, pre-order the album there as well.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mason Jennings: Boneclouds

Over the past five years Mason Jennings has slowly built a large following due to his honest, down to earth lyrics and constant touring. His ability to mix politics, spirituality and earnest feeling while painting vivid imagery in the mind of the listener has proven that Mason is one of the strongest songwriters of the 21st century. Boneclouds marks Mason’s first release on a major label, Isaac Brock’s (Modest Mouse) Glacial Pace Records, a division of Sony’s Epic Records. While the record stays true to Mason’s roots through most of the journey, parts are certainly influenced by his newfound label - with mixed results.

The album opens up on a familiar note with “Be Here Now”, also the first single from the album. “Be Here Now” stays in the same vein as “Sorry Signs on Cash Machines” from 2002’s Century Spring, relying mainly on the piano and a catchy hook. The song is certainly more realized than those on previous releases, but this heavier production yields positive results. The second track, “Gentlest Hammer” follows a similar pattern, using laid back guitars and another strong hook to keep the album moving in a positive direction.

The next two tracks epitomize everything that Mason does so well. The third track, “If You Ain’t Got Love” is the first on the album that really utilizes Mason’s storytelling to his full potential. “...Love” features the strongest lyrical content off the album and is certainly one of the highlights of the album. “Some Say I’m Not” draws from Mason’s spiritual side, while also channeling Zeppelin to create the strongest track on the album - and one of his best to date.

After the first four tracks the album tends to drop off in to mediocrity. “Moon Sailing Over Water” is good, but forgettable. “If You Need a Reason” and “Which Way Your Heart Will Go” also feature good song-writing, but Mason is certainly capable of more. “Jackson Square” is the only real stand-out track off the last half of the album, combining vivid lyrics and a the catchy vocal lines we’ve come to expect.

The last two tracks are best described as mistakes. “Where The Sun Has Gone” is the worst song I’ve ever heard from Mason. With a few misses on past releases (Godless, Duluth), it’s not shocking to find one here - though I didn’t think I’d find one that would miss THIS much. The track feels like a throwaway from some Modest Mouse sessions, featuring no guitars, replaced instead by synths and delayed vocals. If you’re familiar with Mason, you know his vocals just aren’t suited for this genre. “Jesus, Are You Real?” wraps the album up in a rather anti-climactic way. Although the lyrical content is good, again mixing in spiritual elements, the recording does the song no justice.

Mason’s major label debut shows flashes of brilliance during the first four songs and solid song-writing right up until the end. If Boneclouds shows us anything, it shows that Isaac Brock shouldn’t be allowed in the studio with Mason - otherwise you get “Where The Sun Has Gone”.

Overall rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

[mp3] Some Say I'm Not
[mp3] Jackson Square

Visit Mason's website.
Buy some Mason Jennings.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Weekly 6 Pack

Now that I've had some time to get my feet wet in the blogging world I think it's high time that I do this in a more organized fashion. I don't have the time to update this daily but I'll strive to post a number of different features each week. I'll try to get at least one album review up each week, a new/unsigned band feature and a 6 Pack of random songs that you should have. I'm sure I'll be able to manage more, but that's the minimum you should come to expect each week. Now, onto the first "6 Pack".

I'm posting my first "6 Pack" feature today. Each week I'll pick out 6 songs that I've been listening to a lot. There's not really a rhyme or reason to this, some will be new releases, some will be classic and others will just be from recent memory. If you haven't heard of the bands I'm posting and you generally like what I post, check 'em out!

[mp3] Soft - You Make Me Wanna Die

Soft has been hidden on my iPod for the past year and I've just recently rediscovered them. Don't be deceived by their name - they're anything but soft. The band provides a rich blend of heavy guitars, keyboards and psychedelic effects to please any lover of alternative rock from the past 15 years. I highly recommend these guys.

Visit their website (purchase their album there as well).

[mp3] Spoon - Paper Tiger

So, I uploaded this song yesterday, but I forgot to link it up. Thus, my six pack is completed now.

This one comes from Kill The Moonlight, an excellent CD to pick up if you haven't already. The song itself feels very different from the rest of the album - very trippy, excellent to listen to in headphones. It's one of those songs that you just sit in your car and finish listening to after you've already gotten to your destination - even if you're late.

Visit their website.
Buy some Spoon.

[mp3] Muse - Exo=Politics

Here's another track off the upcoming Muse album. This one has helped me regain my trust in the band. It feels like Muse again.

Sorry for the delay on this one my file server wouldn't let me upload for a few hours...

Visit their website.
Buy some Muse.

[mp3] Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop

If you don't have this song, you should. One of Zepp's finer moments off of one of their finer albums.

Buy some Zeppelin.

[mp3] Superdrag - Who Sucked Out The Feeling?

This is a rather obscure track from the 90's that I stumbled across in my local indie shop a few years back. Although Superdrag often was written off for just being another Nirvana rip off, they do it well enough to warrant a listen. If you're into The Vines, check these guys out.

Buy some Superdrag.

[mp3] BRMC - In Like The Rose

Although I prefer the more recent release, HOWL, their second album was still full of strong material. This song made me a believer in the band, definitely worth a listen if you listen to any indie rock whatsoever.

Visit their website.
Buy some BRMC.

Howie Day: Live and Solo

If you would have asked me to name off my favorite bands 3 years ago, Howie would have been #2. With the release of his second album and the explosion of Collide he's managed to not only drop in the rankings, but he's also been nearly exterminated from my iPod as a result.

Since I've been doing some spring cleaning on my iPod (only 3MB available) I was about to delete these Howie live cuts, but thankfully I decided to listen to them first.

Let me preface this by saying yes, I know that Howie has all but sold out now. I know that Collide sucks, I know. Believe me - if anyone knows these things, I do. I was looking forward to seeing him play in SLC last year as if The Beatles were coming. After the show I wanted to burn the Howie Day shirt I had purchased - that's how much it killed me to see his transformation into the mainstream.

I just can't get past his former greatness. He was at his best when it was just him with his looping pedals. If you've only heard Collide, listen to these tracks. It should give you some respect for the man.

Howie Day, live in Boston, MA 4/28/2002

Disc 1
[mp3]Sorry, So Sorry
[mp3]She Says>One
[mp3]Ghost>Beams of Light*
[mp3]Morning After
[mp3]After You*
[mp3]The Drugs Don't Work

Disc 2
[mp3]Slow Down
[mp3]More You Understand
[mp3]Encore Break

See Howie's official website.
Buy some Howie Day.
If you want a lossless version of this show just check out the Live Music Archive.

*HIGHLY recommended.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

New Muse

Have you heard the new Muse yet?

I did. I didn't really like it either. I decided I'd leave it up to you. I've heard a few live cuts of other new tracks that I'll put up next week, hopefully the album sticks to THOSE guns.

[mp3] Supermassive Black Hole

Visit their official website.
Buy some Muse.

Friday, June 09, 2006

SLC Bands Part IV: Seve vs. Evan

It's been quite awhile since I have posted in my SLC Bands feature. This time I bring you an eclectic band, Seve vs. Evan.

I first saw these guys open up for some other forgettable band in Salt Lake. I didn't quite know what to think - I was used to waiting 30 minutes between bands and they were set up within 10 minutes. Why so quick? Well, it's just 2 guys - a keyboardist/vocalist and a drummer.

They play what most have dubbed "Nintendo-rock". The MIDI sounds should be familiar to any child of the 80's or 90's, but everything comes together a little differently in a 2-man setting.

[mp3] Angry Unicorn Queen
[mp3] Mega Bomberman

Visit their Myspace here.

Here's my previous features in case you missed them:

SLC Bands Part I: Tolchock Trio
SLC Bands Part II: The Brobecks
SLC Bands Part III: Palomino

Thursday, June 08, 2006

iTunes Single of the Week: Office

Remember when I said that I'd keep you updated on good iTunes singles of the week? Well, there's finally a good one up.

This one is by a band called "Office". It's power-pop, so if you're into Matthew Sweet or Brendan Benson, this should be right up your alley.

[iTunes] Office - Wound Up

Buy their album here from iTunes.
Visit the official website here.

5 Picks

Here's 5 songs that have been in my rotation pretty heavily over the past few days. Some are new, some aren't.

I never really liked The Beatles until I heard this song. This one's off The Anthologies so it's a bit rougher - still good.

[mp3] I've Got a Feeling (Beatles, Anthologies)

Buy some Beatles here.

I've been listening to this song quite a bit lately. I know, it's poppy but I like it. I haven't really gotten into his other stuff but this song is great.

[mp3] Nothing Left To Lose (Mat Kearney)

Buy some Mat Kearney here.

I'd never heard of Spirit until last spring. Since then I've started to really appreciate this forgotten band of the 70's. If you're into Zeppelin you'd like these guys.

[mp3] Apple Orchard (Spirit)

Buy some Spirit here.

It's hard for me to get into Gnarles Barkley since I'm so attuned to rock. Ray makes it easier on me.

[mp3] Crazy (Ray Lamontagne, Gnarles Barkley cover)

Buy some Ray Lamontagne here.

This one was one of my favorites back in the mid 90's when it came out. I still love it, I think the summertime always warms me up to this one.

[mp3] In The Meantime (Spacehog)

Buy some Spacehog here.

I've got a bunch of reviews written up for the albums I've purchased over the past few weeks, so watch for those the next few days.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


While roaming the "blog-scene" this past week I've come across 2 lists that have really pissed me off. The lists are below, the first of which is a list of the 100 greatest living songwriters. The list below it are the "10 Greatest Albums of All Time" according to some dumb Brits.

100 Greatest Living Songwriters (Paste Magazine):

100 T-Bone Burnett
99 Outkast
98 Jay Farrar
97 Josh Ritter
96 Jimmy Cliff
95 Patti Smith
94 Sam Phillips
93 Joseph Arthur
92 Alejandro Escovedo
91 Drive-By Truckers
90 Nick Cave
89 Victoria Williams
88 Parliament
87 Lyle Lovett
86 Sam Beam (Iron & Wine)
85 David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones)
84 They Might Be Giants
83 Fleetwood Mac (Buckingham, Nicks, McVie)
82 John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats)
81 The Flaming Lips
80 Pink Floyd
79 Stephen Malkmus (Pavement, Silver Jews)
78 Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices)
77 Bruce Cockburn
76 Will Oldham aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy
75 Ron Sexsmith
74 Over the Rhine
73 Julie Miller
72 Michael Jackson
71 Vic Chestnutt
70 Alex Chilton (Big Star, The Box Tops)
69 Merle Haggard
68 Allen Toussaint
67 Conor Oberst
66 Charles Thompson (aka Frank Black/Black Francis) (Pixies, The Catholics)
65 Bill Mallonee (Vigilantes of Love)
64 Andy Partridge (XTC)
63 Richard Thompson
62 Sting
61 John Hiatt
60 Jimmy Webb
59 Jack White
58 Sly Stone
57 Morrissey
56 James Brown
55 Dolly Parton
54 Aimee Mann
53 James Taylor
52 Paul Westerberg
51 Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
50 Public Enemy
49 Cat Stevens
48 Gillian Welch / David Rawlings
47 Sufjan Stevens
46 David Byrne
45 Jackson Browne
44 Al Green
43 Ryan Adams
42 Loretta Lynn
41 Ray Davies
40 Burt Bacharach & Hal David
39 Led Zeppelin
38 Kris Kristofferson
37 Smokey Robinson
36 Beck
35 Steve Earle
34 John Fogerty
33 Pete Townshend
32 Leiber & Stoller
31 Carole King
30 John Prine
29 Tom Petty
28 Robbie Robertson
27 Radiohead
26 REM
25 Chuck Berry
24 Jeff Tweedy
23 Elton John / Bernie Taupin
22 Lucinda Williams
21 Lou Reed
20 Van Morrison
19 Patty Griffin
18 U2
17 Holland - Dozier- Holland
16 David Bowie
15 Willie Nelson
14 Stevie Wonder
13 Paul Simon
12 The Rolling Stones (Jagger/Richards)
11 Randy Newman
10 Prince
9 Joni Mitchell
8 Elvis Costello
7 Brian Wilson
6 Leonard Cohen
5 Paul McCartney
4 Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan
3 Bruce Springsteen
2 Neil Young
1 Bob Dylan

This one pisses me off the most. Honestly, how can you put up a 100 greatest and leave off the best songwriters of Generation X (Pearl Jam). This is insane. No Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins or Oasis. I guess the 90's never happened. The other omissions that have me steamed are Mason Jennings, Ben Harper and Pete Yorn. I feel these guys write stonger material than Outkast (99), at the very least...

Here's a few reasons I DO agree with the Neil at #2 selection:

[mp3] Cortez The Killer
[mp3] Long May You Run

I'd rather listen to Neil than Bob, but I know Bob deserves the #1 spot.

10 Greatest Albums of All Time (

1. "Definitely Maybe," Oasis
2. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," The Beatles
3. "Revolver," The Beatles
4. "OK Computer," Radiohead
5. "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" Oasis
6. "Nevermind," Nirvana
7. "The Stone Roses," The Stone Roses
8. "Dark Side of the Moon," Pink Floyd
9. "The Queen Is Dead," The Smiths
10. "The Bends," Radiohead

Don't get me wrong - I love Oasis, but better than The Beatles? I don't think so.

Here's 2 convincing arguments for why The Beatles are better than Oasis:

[mp3] Taxman
[mp3] Getting Better

I feel that Revolver is the #1 album, but I KNOW it has to be The Beatles regardless of which one you pick.

Well, now you know my opinions, let's hear what you think.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Eraser

This is a first for me, and most likely a last. It's not really the blogger way to upload a whole album, but I'm really just another drop in the ocean at this point. I really think I'm the last living blogger to post this. It's pre-release, so just promise you'll buy it when it comes out.

Here it is, Thom Yorke's The Eraser in it's entirety. It sounds like Amnesiac to me, so if you're into that really weird Radiohead, you'll like this. Lots of blips and such.

[zip] The Eraser (Full Album)


Order The Eraser here.
Visit the official website here.