5 Acts: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

new video: Elephant Parade - Goodbye

Check out the new video from Elelphant Parade, possibly the cutest duo ever! Watch it here or here.
"Can't figure out if he brings me luck or if he's trying to tear me down."
John Vanderslice - Up Above The Sea

"It's far when you don't have a place to go."
Sugar - Explode And Make Up

"This is the worst part - waiting to see when you'll let me down."
Jen Wood - Ride

"The difference in the two of us comes down to the way you rise over things I just put down."
Grant Lee Buffalo - Happiness

"Smiling through denial, my specialty..."
Lou Barlow - Legendary

Friday, March 30, 2007

My Dad Vs. Yours

Ottawa, ON

I recommend the hell out of My Dad Vs. Yours if you love bands like Explosions In The Sky and Maserati. Their latest offering, After Winter Must Come Spring, is available now and these Canadians will be doing a bit of touring in the Ontario region starting in about a month.

"In My Arms We Shall Begin"

My Dad Vs. Yours on MySpace

Land Of Talk

Montreal, QC

And my love of great Canadian acts continues with Land Of Talk. I first wrote about them back in August of last year when I started this blog and I've been loving this band since my friends at woxy.com introduced me to them well over a year ago. I didn't really rank my favorite EPs from 2006, but if I had, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss would be at the very top. I have the great fortune of getting to see them open up for Menomena tomorrow night here in DC at The Rock & Roll Hotel. I can't wait! You can also find a live version of the song I'm featuring (along with an new, unreleased track) over at the most excellent new woxy.com blog, The Futurist.


Land Of Talk on MySpace


Brooklyn, NY

Here's another band that I've posted about before, but I feel they're still just not getting the attention they deserve. Please check out Arizona today on woxy.com for their Lounge Act session at 3pm ET. Here's my favorite track from Welcome Back Dear Children.

"Thru The Soot"

Arizona on MySpace


Brooklyn, NY

Will Georgantas is the backbone of Thunderegg and he gets musical assistance from friends in New York and Connecticut. I suggest checking these guys out if you like your tunes earnest and melodic.

"If You Were Paper"

Thunderegg on MySpace

Patrick Park

Los Angeles, CA

Maybe you're just destined to be a great solo musician if you're named Patrick. Or maybe not. Nonetheless, my theory would be correct with Patrick Park. "Life Is A Song" was the final song to ever be heard on The OC. Patrick will be performing not too far away from me at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA on April 5.

"Life Is A Song"

Patrick Park on MySpace

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Lawrence, KS

Yep, that's right - Conner is a quartet, not just a one-man operation. Here's the first track from Hello Graphic Missile, available now through Sonic Boom Recordings.

"Silent Film Score"

Conner on MySpace

Meho Plaza

Los Angeles, CA

Looks like we're finally going to get a full-length from Meho Plaza sometime soon this year! This track is from their 2006 EP.

"Your Future Looks Bright"

Meho Plaza on MySpace

Roman Numerals

Kansas City, MO

Pick up the self-titled release from Roman Numerals through Anodyne Records.


Roman Numerals on MySpace

Screaming Tea Party

London, England

From the name of the band, you may think that all of the music from Screaming Tea Party would be spastic and out of control. However, this team offers up quite a diverse selection of tunes. Here's a more mellow one.

"Death Egg"

Screaming Tea Party on MySpace

The Capstan Shafts

Lyndonville, VT

The Capstan Shafts comes highly recommended if you enjoy bands like Guided By Voices. The songs are even super short like GBV! This little gem here clocks in at just over one minute.

"The Big Perpetual"

The Capstan Shafts on MySpace

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

All India Radio

Melbourne, Australia

Yet another delight from the team at Minty Fresh

"Four Three"

All India Radio on MySpace

Utah Carol

Chicago, IL

Utah Carol is a duo comprised of Grant Birkenbeuel and JinJa Davis. You can purchase their new disc, Rodeo Queen, through Carrot Top Records.

"Kimberly Smiles"

Utah Carol on MySpace

Melanie Horsnell

Sydney, Australia

Melanie Horsnell is touring the hell out of her homeland for the next month and a half. I really love the name of her band - The Inflatable Girlfriends.

Maximo Park

Newcastle, England

Our Earthly Pleasures is out on Tuesday from Warp Records as an import. If you want to get it here in the U.S. you'll have to wait til May 8.

"Books From Boxes"

Maximo Park on MySpace

Mason Dixon

Brooklyn, NY

Here's a nice breeze of Americana Folk Rock from the Brooklyn bunch Mason Dixon.

"Hurry Through The Night"

Mason Dixon on MySpace

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mason Proper: Lounge Act

Make sure to tune in to woxy.com today at 3pm EST when my buddies in Mason Proper drop by for their second Lounge Act performance. There Is A Moth In Your Chest was my #2 album for 2006 and the guys have just re-released it with new packaging through Dovecote Records. Also, you can check out their first Lounge Act session by going here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

RJD2: Why The DJ Sings

Here's a quick and interesting Q&A RJD2 did with MTV's URGE that focuses on his role shifting from producer to songwriter on his latest album, The Third Hand.

URGE: The Third Hand marks a major change in your music. Talk a little about your evolution from longtime track producer into more of a songwriter.

RJD2: Before I first began working on [2002's] Dead Ringer, I realized I was going to take a stab at doing a solo record, just as a producer. Even then, the concept that I wanted to achieve was to take the tools I was working with -- the MPC, loops and samples off of records, the same nuts and bolts that you use to make a beat for a rapper -- and apply them to things from the music world, like having a bridge or a chorus, or having a section of the song that's not the same chord progression. I felt like there had to be at least two chord progressions. Anything that I released as a solo artist [had to work with] these ideas. So the process is still essentially the same, but what I'm using has changed.

URGE: For instance, you are now playing your own instruments?

RJD2: Yeah, this album is recorded live: keyboards (Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond M3, Casio CZ1000, Yamaha CS40), a couple of guitars and a couple of amps. All of the drums are still done on the MPC. I've been working on engineering and miking drums before this album, the science and the knowledge behind recording a drum kit. It is a complicated thing to do right, but I haven't gotten to that point. That was the reason I decided to use an MPC: The tones and engineering that you can get from a drum break, I haven't achieved that yet [with live drums]. But I just learn as I go along. The best learning experience you can have is screwing up.

URGE: The indie hip-hop community that has been your main audience is known for being pretty insular and not embracing change. What kind of feedback on The Third Hand have you received rom them

RJD2: A kid wrote me a MySpace message last week that said, "Dude what happened to your music? You used to make music that was all mellow. What happened to songs like, 'To All of You' and 'Since We Last Spoke'? What happened to you?" And that was just a relief to get, it made me feel so good.

URGE: Why?

RJD2: Because it was funny and weird that he would pick a song like "To All of You," which was a tangent on the record it was on. But it illustrated that people are going to pick up on different things. When you dabble [with a lot of styles], what you do is not always so clean-cut and defined. And I just thought it was interesting that somebody came in to listening to my records on a second album, several years [into my career], and picked up on this very mellow song that I felt like was very unlike anything I've ever done before. And that's what he wanted me to go back to.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ra Ra Riot

Syracuse, NY

I made no hesitation in delcaring Ra Ra Riot the best live act I saw in 2006. Now they're back with a new self-released EP - it's just as hot as the demo tracks I fell in love with last year and even features a couple of re-recorded songs from those demo sessions. Tonight they come back to DC to open up for The Spinto Band at Black Cat, and I'm sure they'll still have the same amount of high energy and outstanding stage presence that amazed me before.

P.S. I'm hoping to again hear their impressive cover of Kate Bush's "Hounds Of Love" - listen to it here, as it was part of their woxy.com Lounge Act performance.

"Each Year"

Ra Ra Riot on MySpace


Copenhagen, Denmark

I'm still riding high after seeing Mew the other night, so I'm more than happy to have discovered Slaraffenland (sluh-raf-in-luhnd; meaning the land of milk and honey), another excellent band from Denmark. This is powerful rock with an added sense of horny brass.


Slaraffenland on MySpace


Oxford, MS

20 year-old Caleb Boddicker is one of the nicest discoveries for me in 2007. He recorded his stunning debut record with production guru Brian Deck, who has produced albums for bands like Califone, Fruit Bats, Modest Mouse, and Iron And Wine. Big Lionhearted And The Gallant Man is out from Banter Records on April 24th, and I highly recommend this one if you love bands like Modest Mouse.

"Pretty Baby (Part 1)"

Boddicker on MySpace

Central Services

Seattle, WA

Central Services has been featured on national radio stations like their hometown KEXP since they released a 4-song EP back in December '05. Now they're showing us all that they're keeping true to that melodic indie-pop sound on the new self-titled full-length.

"Song '89"

Central Services on MySpace

The Old Ceremony

Chapel Hill, NC

Our One Mistake by The Old Ceremony was featured on Paste Magazine's list for top albums of 2006. It's delicate and charming, and the band makes great use of instruments that sometimes don't necessarily stand out on a recording. I'm loving the vibes on this song!

"Poison Pen"

The Old Ceremony on MySpace

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


San Francisco, CA

LoveLikeFire - another band I'm smitten over with the word love in their name. Listen to their Lounge Act from woxy.com by going here.

"Radio Nurse"

LoveLikeFire on MySpace

Great Northern

Los Angeles, CA

Something about Great Northern reminds me a lot of the now defunct band The Delgados. Trading Twilight For Daylight will be in stores May 15 from Eenie Meenie Records.

"Telling Lies"

Great Northern on MySpace


London, England

No word on whether or not this disc from Apartment will get a proper U.S. release or not. You can get The Dreamer Evasive now as an import, and it's definitely worth the extra pocket change!

"Everyone Says I'm Paranoid"

Apartment on MySpace

The Earlies

United Kingdom

Half the guys in The Earlies are from Manchester and the other half are from Texas. How diverse! The Enemy Chorus is available through Secretly Canadian.

"Bas Is As Bad Does"

The Earlies on MySpace


Edinburgh, Scotland

This Idelwild post is dedicated to Dan, who I didn't see last night because he was too busy with his canoodlefest. It's already out in the UK, but Make Another World will be available here in the States on April 3.

"No Emotion"

Idlewild on MySpace

Monday, March 19, 2007

Volunteer Pioneer

San Francisco, CA

The debut EP from Volunteer Pioneer is one of my very favorites right now. It comes highly recommended if you like bands like Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or Wolf Parade. The lineup includes Jason Byers, Kyle Williams, and the late Sabrina Duim (who had also performed with other bands like Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley). I know life isn't supposed to always add up, but sometimes it just really doesn't make sense at all. Read here and here about the unexpected loss of such an amazingly talented artist.

Update: Click here and here to listen to live sets/interviews with the band.

"Separate Planes"

Volunteer Pioneer on MySpace

Love Of Diagrams

Melbroune, Victoria

There's no other way to say it - I love love love Love Of Diagrams. Love them! They've just recently signed to Matador Records and they'll be opening up for Ted Leo at 9:30 Club here in DC on March 29.

"Pace Or The Patience"

Love Of Diagrams on MySpace

The Swimmers

Philadelphia, PA

The Swimmers are starting a nice little tour that includes a residency at Piano's in NYC. I highly recommend checking these Philadelphians out if you love stuff like The New Pornographers.

"St. Cecilia"

The Swimmers on MySpace

Tracey Thorn

London, England

Sometimes it's tough for a musician to gain credability as a solo artist after being part of a successful team. However, that's not the case with Tracey Thorn. It's been twenty-five years since her first solo record, and this EBTG songstress has truly amazed me on her second one, entitled Out Of The Woods. Already available in the UK, this one is out tomorrow here in the States.


Tracey Thorn on MySpace


Miami, FL

The debut album from Cassette was originally released as only thirty copies back in 2005 on Atomisk Records, a label run by two of the band members. Over a year later, they get a formal release from Honor Roll Inc. Highly recommended for fans of Electric President or Casiotone For The Painfully Alone.


Cassette on MySpace

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

a trip down m(emo)ry lane

From the very first and the very best Rainer Maria record...
Rainer Maria - Tinfoil

Here's probably my favorite Karate track of all time.
Karate - New Martini

Braid's Frame & Canvas is one of my all-time favorite albums.
Braid - Milwaukee Sky Rocket

I think this track from Compound Red is one of my favorite songs ever.
Compound Red - Color Of Contrast

"Between one June and September you're all I remember."
The Promise Ring - Forget Me

So I just realized I used the word favorite a lot in this post. Sorry, but I'm not really sure of another great word to describe how I felt about this music (and still do actually). Hope it brings back some nice memories for others out there too!

Friday, March 16, 2007


Goteborg, Sweden

Irene is highly recommended for those of you who like bands like The Magnetic Fields. Who could resist an octet/nonet anyway? Is nonet really a word? Ok, so I'm not sure how many people are actually in the band, but they're adorable and they're Swedish.

"To Be With You"

Irene on MySpace

The Wombats

Liverpool, England

This song from The Wombats makes me feel good all over! Better catch 'em at SXSW before they fly back across the pond. You can celebrate Saint Patty's Day with them tomorrow at Latitude 30 or Apple Bar in Austin.

"Moving To New York"

The Wombats on MySpace


London, England

Aqualung is Matt Hales and I have never been captivated by his music like so many others. What I had heard prior to his new album was tiptoeing on the tightrope of adult contemporary, which just isn't my thing. However, I've discovered a lot of pleasing tracks on Memory Man. I think you'll especially like this first single if you're a fan of Radiohead of Thom Yorke.

"Pressure Suit"

Aqualung on MySpace


Philadelphia, PA

Even though it's gotten lukewarm reviews, I've found quite a bit that I like on the latest disc from RJD2. If you're in DC, definitely check him out at 9:30 Club on March 23. Openers will be Happy Chichester and Busdriver - what a lineup!

"Sweet Piece"

RJD2 on MySpace

The Rinse

Brooklyn, NY

The Rinse is self-proclaimed brazen pop, cheeky Baroque, rude love. They only have one date listed as of now, but keep your eyes open - I would imagine they'll be dancing through a town near you sometime in the near future.

"Out Of Her Mind"

The Rinse on MySpace

Thursday, March 15, 2007


The Ruling Class

Steve Adey


Land Shark

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Twilight Sad


Laura Veirs


Ruby Isle

Athens, GA / Minneapolis, MN

"Atom Bomb"

Ruby Isle on MySpace

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

some remixes...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Overnight Lows

Empty Rooms

Monsters Are Waiting