New Franz Ferdinand :: "Katherine Kiss Me"

A number of things happened at this year's Glastonbury and most of them were complete garbage. The tickets didn't sell. No shit. And then Jay-Z opened his headlining set with a completely tone deaf cover of Oasis. The kids went crazy. I imagine, Liam had a drink.

Most importantly, Franz Ferdinand gave us a little window into their new record and football video games. Ripping through a live version of "Katherine Kiss Me," the lead single off their coming album, Franz also showed us the song that will be dominating the Madden 2009 soundtrack. I remember back in Madden 2005, thinking that Mooney Suzuki was a good band (whoops) because their song was stuffed down my throat a million separate times. Imagine what a big, tight rock outfit like Franz Ferdinand can do with the same platform. The chorus has a huge hook and if you're not singing, "oh no, you don't ever go" by this Fall, you'll have missed the best dance-rock song of the year.


Late To The Party :: I Was A Cub Scout

As a new running feature, we're debuting Late To The Party to spotlight an artist that is already fairly well-known that we either previously refused to like or simply didn't know. When it comes to this band, this isn't like being late to a party. It's like showing up for a June wedding in November. It's not just that this band is already sort-of-famous in the UK - they actually don't exist anymore. On June 6, it was announced that I Was A Cub Scout will cease to be. They'll be honoring their tour dates and a few festival gigs but after that, they'll only exist as the zeros and ones you download. So maybe this is less being late to a party and more like trying to write a feature article on someone who's dead. The spotlight becomes a eulogy.

I Was A Cub Scout reminds me of a British Death Cab For Cutie (no coincidence, they're opening for the band later this summer). But the songs are both more and less cloying than Ben Gibbard's all-star, major-label shit-show. No ones soul is meeting anyone elses body. But, it's got the same level of emotional frankness (and childishness) that makes Gibbard, at the very least, a compelling and polarizing figure. There's a little bit of The Black Kids rip-off Cure synths and some of the esoteric electronics of MGMT. That's three major label name-drops in one paragraph. Columbia and Atlantic! I can't breathe! The walls are closing in!

Important: the choruses wait but they're worth it. These songs unpack themselves fast and slow. They are immediately satisfying but you'll find yourself coming back. "Pink Squares" might be the best song I've heard in a long, long time. We're bringing you a few songs and a video. Enjoy it and pour some out for your fallen indie-rock homeboys.

Listen ::

I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares
I Was A Cub Scout - We Were Made To Love You

Watch ::


Sound Of Arrows :: "Danger"

Sound Of Arrows possess an esoteric metaphor for a name and a sound that's a little bit like fighting in the shade. Recently signed to Sweden's heaviest-hitter Labrador Records, Sound Of Arrows is already running shit all over town. You've got catchy sampled loops, urgent synths, and percolating electronics - all carrying "Danger" from verse to chorus and back again. The band's name forecasts the split second before death and the song is an even bigger warning. Danger.

For me, this song made it's mercurial debut this March while bombing across the south of Spain in a rental car. As the final chorus builds it's way into your ears ("tonight is danger baby, I feel so dangerous") think of orange trees, Valencia, and sun that doesn't set as long as you drive west fast enough. As we pulled into Seville and battled maps and traffic and not-knowing-any-Spanish, "Danger" came back on. It was even better the second-time around. And not just anyone can say that. Danger.

Listen :: Sound of Arrows - Danger


Contact 32ft/sec

I now have an official blog email address: 32feet@gmail.com. This should be useful for the following purposes:

1) You read something you like. You like it so much, you would like to tell me how much you like it. I will write you back. We will be Internet friends.

2) You read something you hate. You think I am a fucking idiot. I don't know how to write and my musical taste is shit. Furthermore, you'd like me to know all of these things immediately. You write me. I will write you back. We will be Internet enemies.

3) You are a band/artist. You think, "hey, this isn't as good as what I make on my laptop/in my studio/in my brain." You think, "I'll write to this guy and see if he wants to post my music." Go ahead. Send me some mp3s or something. I'll write you back. We will be Internet friends. I can't promise I'll like your music, which may make us, in the end, Internet enemies.

4) You are a stalker. You already know my name and now you know my email address. This excites you. You are thinking about how my scalp would look as a hat. You are thinking your basement would be a nice place for me to live. You listen to INXS. You couldn't care less what music I post. I will put the lotion in the basket or I will get the hose. Jodie Foster will shoot you in the face. We will be Internet enemies.

5) You are a label or a band. I have posted your song and I did not ask for your permission. You are aggravated. You write me a strongly worded email. You will sue me into submission. I accept this. We will declare an Internet truce.

Fair? Keep me updated.

Oxford Collapse :: "The Birthday Wars"

I'll cop to hating Oxford Collapse's last record. Maybe I wasn't ready for it or maybe I was listening to enough Built To Spill to be irritated by what is, certainly, an imitation. Most tragically, I couldn't figure out why Sub Pop had lent its good name to such a risky band. Sure, they play hard. But, was that all?

Oxford Collapse is back. And they don't care if anyone likes it or not. Their second record, Bits is due out on August 5 but until then, we've got a single, "The Birthday Wars" to burn over. Critically speaking, it's a perfection of the sound that Birdmonster bastardized three years ago. Backhanded compliment. More specifically: You can hear Doug Martsch draped all over everywhere but Oxford Collapse is more than just a Built To Spill wedding singer. This is fed with some inimitable intensity. The main guitar riff seems to keep eating itself throughout and the rhythm guitar thrashes over the top with drums that pound like that heated friend who can't keep from starting fights on 2nd Ave. It's short and it rips. It might just be good.

Listen :: Oxford Collapse - The Birthday Wars


The Verve :: "Love Is Noise"

After 11 years and one misguided solo record, Richard Ashcroft and The Verve are back with a new album, Forth and a new single, "Love Is Noise." In the 11 years they've been gone, The Verve have seen bands play with strings, churning drums, and huge arena guitars; all trying to find that sound that could fill a rock club, and hopefully a stadium. But, bands that try to sound like they can fill a stadium, rarely do. They make some of the right moves but something is always missing. The songs. They end up trying to blow the doors off a thousand little rock clubs waiting for their turn when, in truth, they couldn't sell out even a small arena if their lives depended on it (citation: Interpol, 2007, Madison Square , 7,000 empty seats).

And back comes The Verve: an arena band in a market sick of arena bands and dying for one at the same time. Ashcroft doesn't even sound like he's trying on "Love Is Noise." His voice rarely taps his upper register and he manages to keep himself in second and third gear until the final minute. And he still kills it. Just kills it. With lyrics that could apply to just about anyone or anything ("love is noise/love is pain/love is these blues/that I'm singing again"), and a sample in the background that sounds like something tribal being played backwards on a cookie sheet, the song thrusts itself forward like a stumbling drunk. But a drunk with a purpose. Throw in the requisite soaring keyboard chords hiding just at the back of the mix and you've got a certifiable burner. The Verve left nothing to chance. It is both propulsive and immaculate.

So after 11 years drifting in and out of relevance, on and off the horizon - they've returned to Ithaka. The music landscape is probably more cannibalistic than the one they left. But that's why, when you come back home, you lay waste to everyone first.

Listen ::
The Verve - Love Is Noise


The Winter Sounds :: "Windy City Nights"

The pop-punk impulse of the 1990s and the post-punk and synth-pop movements of the 1980s have always shared more than they were willing to admit: an aggressive and yet morose sense of male sexuality, a flair for the dramatic and metaphors heavy enough to crush a truck. Despite these similarities, modern punk bands have struggled to acknowledge just how close they might have been to being a New Order cover band. But then Blink 182 made their final studio album which was rich with post-punk and synth influences. And then the dude from Alkaline Trio goes and becomes Heavens for a minute and We Are Scientists release Brain Thrust Mastery which is as confusing a blend of punk, post-punk, and synth-rock as has ever existed. Could Duran Duran, The Smiths, and The Ramones co-exist on the same record? Essentially, why not? The lines between these genres got real blurry real fast.

With that, I leave you The Winter Sounds "Windy City Nights" which is a confused little song with an infected chorus and a desperate need of a recording budget. Sure, it sounds a little rough but they're recording their next record almost as we speak. Couldn't you see this going somewhere? It's not "Mr. Brightside" but you should hear some of those Killers' demos from way back. They sound like shit. Let's give The Winter Sounds a look.


Magistrates :: "The Inbetweens" and "Colour Coordination"

First things first: these recordings are rough as hell. To the point where you can't be sure if they were trying to make them sound bad or if we're dealing with a Black Kids 2007 thing where the songs are good but the record sounds like shit. But, inside of that debate is undeniable promise. Magistrates, with an awfully colonial name, play sort-of a coked-out, spastic brand of indie-rock. It's keyboard driven and it runs until it's out of breath. It's a little bit of a freak-out. There are choruses inside the verses and hooks in the hooks. Now imagine a big-name producer and a (relatively) blank check recording budget. Imagine what happened from the MGMT demo stage to what the Columbia Records-funded MGMT final cut ended up sounding like. So for Magistrates: It's new, rough and it might end up being really big.


Magistrates - The Inbetweens
Magistrates - Colour Coordination


On The List :: The Futureheads at Pianos [6.18.08]

The Futureheads charged through the crowd at just about 10:30pm last night. Every member of the band must be at least eight-feet tall. These are the things you come to a small venue to find out. When a band brushes past you on the way to stage, just what does it look like? Imposing. Maybe a little gregarious as they thanked the people they bumped into but there was no mistaking who was playing the show. No mistaking who the rock band was. These aren't skinny hipsters who evaporate and blend into the crowd when they're done playing the 9pm slot at Lit. This is a chunky, big-ass rock band. Don't mistake that for a second.

Before we knew it, they were ripping through "Beginning of the Twist," arguably the best song off their latest release, This Is Not The World. The drummer, looking every bit of American Idol's David Cook, either screwed up the set intro or was, as some suggested, really drunk. His inability or unwillingness to come in at the right times became a running joke for the night. Before the final few songs of the set, he held his drum stick in the air like half-baked conductor holding an orchestra hostage. If there was more on the line, this would have been annoying. But they knew what we knew: everyone came here to have fun. If you were one of the lucky people in the door, you sure as hell weren't going to get down on the drummer for being drunk. The beer was free and the band was big. What else do you need?

The biggest case of mistaken identity occurred halfway through the set, when The Futureheads bassist realized a guy in the crowd looked stunningly like their lead-guitarist. There were laughs exchanged and then later on, the lead-guitarist came back to his doppelganger to mention that they both look a little like "that fucker from The Decemberists." Somewhere in downtown Portland, Colin Meloy rolled over in bed and scratched his leg at the idea he was being name-checked by The Futureheads in downtown New York. The indie-rock spit circle has begun to eat itself.

But back on Ludlow, The Futureheads were crushing it. In the middle of their set, they hit another level of frenetic when they rolled through "Radio Heart," "Area," (the biggest song of the night) and "Decent Days and Nights" in direct succession. Two songs later we were in a protracted intro for "Hounds of Love" and Pianos was barely still standing. The band closed with "Carnival Kids" and the explosive "Man Ray." As they walked by us to the back of the room, we slapped sweaty backs and exchanged high-fives. They might even have gotten taller while on stage.

Even with a drummer who looks like an American Idol and a guitarist who looks like Colin Meloy (or some guy in the crowd), The Futureheads together look like a rock band. A real, shut-your-fucking-face rock band. That may seem over-simplified or not terribly descriptive. But sometimes it's important to look like what you do. Sometimes you don't want to be mistaken for anything else.

[Photo by EGrossman 2008]


Tonight, Tonight: The Futureheads @ Pianos [6.18.08]

(The Futureheads playing on the street in London)

In the summer of 2004 in Providence, RI, I saw The Killers play a bar called The Call with about 150 other people. Tickets were six-dollars. "Brightside" was still months and months away from radio and the band had only sold a tiny fraction of the six million albums they would go on to sell. Think what you will about The Killers (I insist they are important and good), but the experience of seeing them up close, in a tiny little room was untouchable. We were all converts. Forever. Of course, all bands go through playing the bar or small club scene before they move up to the Webster Halls and MSGs. But, if you miss those early shows you rarely get another crack at seeing a band somewhere small. Fact is, they don't need you anymore

Unless something weird happens. Unless George Clinton's bus gets lost on the way to a show and he ends up playing the best college party in history at The Pit in PCU. Unless Arcade Fire decide to play outside Union Square at 2am. Unless The Futureheads get dropped from their label because their second album didn't sell very well. So they come back to New York promoting their third, This Is Not The World and they play a secret gig at Pianos. All this information comes out yesterday and tonight The Futureheads will be on stage in a room that has a fire code less than 80. So, if you're in the lucky group of people that have tickets or guest-list spots, great work. Come say hello. We'll buy you a free beer. If you're out of luck, check back tomorrow for some pictures, words, and some overblown analysis of how important the experience was (see paragraph one).

Oh. And their new record is pretty good. So you can go grab that.


Moonbabies :: "Sun AM" and "Take Me To The Ballroom"

It seems like Sweden has cornered the pop-market going all the way back to ABBA. More recently they gave us The Shout Out Louds (best record of last year), Lykke Li (this year's Fiest), and literally countless others. Like those fucks who wrote "Young Folks" and ruined indie music forever. Don't hold that against the Swedish. Other than the expensive currency and overwhelming height, their track record is pretty good.

So here's another. They call themselves Moonbabies and sound like Ivy playing Mates of States songs. How's that for a comparison? That shit will blow your mind when you hear it. "Sun AM" finds itself with a modulated chorus that slides under the radar and into your brain. "Take Me To The Ballroom" is their latest single and the better song. When the drums start double-tapping your heart at the 1.25 mark, you know you're totally and completely in love with this track. When the same piano chord crashes over the top of the mix and a male voice appears out of nowhere like an uninvited, yet extremely attractive wedding guest, you know you'll be spinning this for hours. Looking for something to soundtrack your triumph? Looking for a song that sounds like personal elevation? This. is. it.

Rhetoric: out of hand.
Music: still quite good.

Moonbabies - Sun AM
Moonbabies - Take Me To The Ballroom


Happy Bullets :: "The Vice and Virtue Ministry"

From Monday to Friday we do one thing. We are all, largely, responsible. We don't drink on the job. We manage our bad habits with stunning success. This is not Half-Nelson. We are not American Pyschos.

The Royal We is non-specific and not useful. And Happy Bullets are ready to take it on. Somewhere on our way to the aristocracy, we decided to lose our fucking minds. We have manners but largely ignore them. We do unto others as we would never ever do to ourselves. If we don't have anything nice to say, we start a blog. We are a troubling combination of impulse and control. We are trained and bred and chosen. We couldn't give a shit. We are not polite.

Happy Bullets are a band out of Texas with a name about celebratory gunfire. They played last night at Union Hall and we missed it. And when we're sailing into the chorus and the singer is saying "articles from Tennyson and Keats" we can think about taking off.

Listen :: Happy Bullets - "Vice and Virtue Ministry"
Learn :: Myspace


On The List: Airborne Toxic Event @ Pianos [6.12.08]

Within about three seconds you can tell if a band is ready to blow your doors off or if they're just going to hang around and play some tunes. Airborne Toxic Event opened with "Papillon," maybe one of their less good songs, and it was still obvious they were ready to explode Pianos. Did they sound a little like The Hives? Sure. If The Hives were playing 1950s rock songs and had a working knowledge of the British post-punk scene of the 1980s. It's a profoundly post-modern pastiche of influence and it is fucking awesome.

Airborne Toxic Event play an eight-song set list which the drummer privately confides before the show, "we haven't used a set list in three years but we've got this really nice tour manager ..." before trailing off. The tour manager does look really nice and brings the band water. These are the marks of a band just trying out being bigger and bigger; you've got a publicist and you've got a tour manager and you're 3,000 miles from home with a room full of relative strangers. This can be difficult.

Most of the songs deal with disillusionment and heartbreak. The seminal and explosive "This Is Nowhere" is about the troubled and mercurial Silverlake scene in East Los Angeles. The lead-singer jokes, "you have one of those here too, right? One of those music scenes with a bunch of people completely mortgaging their futures - yeah, I heard that." He tells us that the band is "their life" and you have to believe him.

The band closes with "Innocence," after a fairly pumped up version of "Wishing Well." The song ends with a propulsive, thrashing conclusion. Even though it's not even 9pm and even though Pianos runs very much on time, the crowd stops the band from packing up with sustained applause. The sound tech is moved enough to let the band play one more song. This is relevant because New York crowds rarely work for anything and sound guys rarely give a shit. Perhaps, we just need a band with enough energy and earnesty to cut through the cynicism. Or maybe they were just that good. The band will open for The Fratellis the following evening and things will move on and become bigger and bigger. If there's one rock band to see on tour this summer, it's The Airborne Toxic Event. It means a lot to them and last night, it meant a lot to us.

[Photo credit: EGrossman 2008]


Unknown :: "The Importance of Being"

While I was posting the Bikini track yesterday I thought I had the best comparison when I name-checked Oppenheimer. I was fantastically incorrect. Oppenheimer is electro-pop to be sure and it is definitely sweet enough to be a yearbook message. But. Oppenheimer is sonically a little different than the Bikini-sound. The comparison I was looking for references a track that still is unclaimed by an artist and was long thought to a Postal Service demo/leak. The story:

Back in 2006, blogs began forecasting a second Postal Service record. We hadn't heard from the band since 2003 and it seemed. about. time. The following song , "The Importance of Being" was posted as either "the first single" or a leak off the yet-to-be-titled album. There were problems. One, the vocals sounded nothing like Ben Gibbard. People managed to convince themselves that it was Postal Service partner-in-crime Jimmy "Dntel" Tamborello on vocals. The second issue was Sup Pop quickly trotting out their legal team and saying, matter of factly, that the track has nothing to do with The Postal Service and that no album is in the works. Cue our disappointment.

But this still left "The Importance of Being" unclaimed and unaccounted for. MTV News did a story on it. And still nothing. It's a bouncy, chimey little cut that, yes yes, sounds a lot like the Postal Service's pattern of instrumentation and arrangement. No one knows who it is. It'll download into your iTunes and tell you it's by The Postal Service because this little package of zeros and ones is a liar. Obviously, if you have the answer or the culprit, let us know. Or maybe don't. As indie-rock mysteries go, this is right up there with who killed Elliot Smith.

Listen :: Unknown - The Importance of Being


Bikini :: "Remember Being Young"

The most memorable band with "Bikini" in their name is the early-90s riotgrrl, punk band Bikini Kill. Of course, Kathleen Hannah was more interested in murdering the trappings of subservient feminine sexuality than embracing any aspect of it. You want us to wear bikinis? We'll kill you. By comparison, Montreal's Bikini court that delicate, playful innocence that Hannah abhorred. "Remember Being Young" is cute and adorable and young. It almost begs forgiveness.

Bikini play a brand of electro-pop that would remind you of a sedated iteration of Oppenheimer. In fact, the last time I listened to something this sweet, it was 2005 and Oppenhiemer's demo for "Breakfast in NYC" was sticking to the roof of my mouth. Not coincidentally both songs are nostalgic as hell. As keyboards chime back-and-forth, singers Aaron Aujla and Johnny Penn reflect about remembering everything and how nice it was when "everyone could sing." He really means, "the time before sarcasm and judgement and irony." Before blogs wrote mean things about people they didn't know. You were five and you were included. "I Remember Being Young" will stick in your ears and demand to be played three-times in a row. No promises after that.

Listen :: Bikini - "I Remember Being Young"
Learn :: Myspace

Sam Sparro :: "Black and Gold"

Math problem: Sebastian Tellier leaves Paris on a 10am TGV traveling 250km/h east. At the same time, Hercules and Love Affair board a high-speed train in Berlin traveling west at 275km/h. Where do they meet and when? More importantly, what the fuck happens? Because the second after impact, this isn't about them anymore.

Solution: Somewhere in the contested Alsace-Lorraine region, the two trains collide in an explosion of keyboards, multi-colored aesthetics, and absurd sunglasses. As accident investigators examine the wreckage, pulsing, seething synths begin to emerge from the flames. The horrified on-lookers slowly engage an emerging figure in a hoodie and sunglasses - the product of destruction. If you smash together two great 80s-leaning synth acts and sex up the vocals until you want to hook up with yourself, you have Sam Sparro. Tellier plus Love Affair equals Sparro. And from that original rainbow of cross-dressing and synths comes something else and everything looks "Black and Gold." It's sexed-out dance music with lyrics about evolution. And you can't fuck with that.

Listen :: Sam Sparro - "Black and Gold"
Learn :: Myspace


Team Waterpolo :: "Letting Go"

Well folks, facts being facts and truths being true, this is the song of the summer. Team Waterpolo's "Letting Go" is going to challenge every song in your iTunes to a fight over the next three months and, I suspect, it's going to win. This is the sound of sunshine and driving too fast and slugging tequila, triple-sec, and lime. Although margaritas and speeding actually sounds like a 1995 Jetta trying to jump the Grand Canyon. Say I won't.

"Letting Go" is based on a simple hook and the rhetorical question: "do you wanna?" For whatever reason, asking of rhetorical questions makes for big pop music. Are you gonna be my girl? How soon is now? Don't you want me, baby? Lola, will the world save me and you? Where are your friends tonight? Presenting questions with no accessible answers seems to be a rather unstoppable formula for a hit pop song. You're engaged and yet not compelled to provide a solution. You're interested but not culpable. Well, are you going to be his girl? And how soon is now (and this entirely depends on how you define "now")? And where the hell are your friends tonight? For the purposes of this summer, Team Waterpolo is asking if you "wanna?" And the answer is yes.

Letting Go - Team Waterpolo


The Uglysuit :: "Chicago"

With a name that sounds more than a little emo and a title that evokes the Midwest, modernist architecture and Sufjan Stevens, The Uglysuit have found something entirely different in their first single, "Chicago." The lyrics are delivered with slurred-specificity and the piano and crystalline guitar would seem more comfortable on a b-side by The Fray. The easiest comparison is Semisonic but in their young years when Dan Wilson was a pop genius and "Closing Time" hadn't driven everyone completely crazy.

The Uglysuit will be on tour with Iron and Wine this summer and will then head back to Oklahoma City to plan their next move. And by "plan their next move" I really mean, "wait for the licensing money to roll in." You can't help but find a cinematic quality in "Chicago" that begs for a call from Zach Braff, Grey's Anatomy, or whatever becomes the new OC after Gossip Girl burns itself up like a book of gasoline-soaked matches. Your episode is ending and everyone is looking super-pensive and, frankly, some pretty intense shit has gone down. What else do you want to soundtrack the next 15-seconds of your life? The Uglysuit will take you to "Chicago," the closing credits and stay tuned for previews from next week's all-new ...

Listen :: The Uglysuit - "Chicago"

Learn :: Media page via Touch and Go Records


Sunny Day Sets Fire :: "Brainless"

Last spring, a friend of mine sent me Sunny Day Sets Fire with an email that said basically, "what do you think?" It was fresh, sunny, and completely effervescent. But, it was just a quick little song off a quick little EP. Now, the band has ready a full-length and frankly, it sounds a lot like George Harrison. It's shimmering, jangly, and as light as a zero-gravity eating disorder.

"Brainless" could be exactly what the title indicates. It demands little but offers a guilt-free, thoughtless ride. Horns move up and down like an inspired bit from Oompa Loompas and the chorus is always in the process of taking-off. All this from a band with a name that seems to evoke a fatal flaw in our greatest strength. If a sunny day can set itself on fire, a rainy day can surely drown itself and the winter will probably freeze to death. It's self-reflexive and maybe more complex than you'll give it credit for. Or maybe, like the chorus says, we just "don't want to be brainless." It doesn't mean we want to be brilliant. Just not fantastically empty.

Listen :: Sunny Day Sets Fire - "Brainless"


Action Painters :: "Supermarket"

Action Painters have a name that references an explosively creative style of painting and a website that calls them "Brooklyn's Newest Hitmakers." You can reconcile those two things on your own. Until then, we're proud to bring you, "Supermarket," the first single off their yet-to-be-named second album.

"Supermarket" bounces off the ground like a 25-cent grocery store superball. Running exactly three-minutes, it opens with the kind of synth-blips that made Maritime's "Tearing Up The Oxygen" one of the best songs of 2006. But, Action Painters aren't looking for the sterile perfection of Maritime. They're looking to lift not level. And that's exactly what happens. The track builds to a chorus that has all the soaring synths of a great new-wave track. The difference being: the aesthetic here is more cheeky than the over-the-top seriousness of new-new-wave. This song isn't living on the same block as Mr. Brightside but Action Painters just might be jumping in his bushes on the weekends for fun. Mr. Brightside is not amused.

The same blips from the beginning revisit us in the chorus and lyrics, synths, and tight garage-y guitars collide into a cocktail that tastes like whiskey, coke, and your head hitting the ceiling as you try to jump out of the room. Take this with you and spin it until your inner ear is begging for mercy - "Supermarket" is one of the best songs of 2008.

Listen :: Action Painters - "Supermarket"

Buy ::http://www.actionpaintersband.com/start.html


Dear US Copyright Law, gofuckyourselfokay?

This website Worry About You came across my desk this morning and, frankly, I can't believe it. The concept is similar enough to sites like Hype Machine and Elbo.ws but it is devoid of any editorial content, connection to blogs, or vague appearance of being on the level. It's just stealing. Discretely done. Just read the "Rules and Disclaimer" page. Really. Go read it. It feels like you're about to be asked to be a drug mule. Is this the never-before-seen, secret ending to Maria Full of Grace? Was that movie actually about a young girl asked to swallow 15 million mp3s to sneak over the border, only to be caught by the RIAA? And since when did file sharing sites get so ... Guantanamo Bay? Did you get to the part about "I will not testify to what I saw on this page?" Well, that sounds like the final clause in a Nazi doctor/Bush cabinet contract negotiation. Secrets, secrets, WorryAboutYou.

If the RIAA has handled itself poorly in prosecuting grandmothers and teens for file-sharing, this is certainly where the revolution takes on characteristics of the empire. To paraphrase Devil's Advocate: "when you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." Or, "you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." I guess now we play a more philosophical game of right, wrong, property, and art. If mp3s are stolen in a forest and no one is around to see it, did it really happen? We'll let the authorities figure this one out but, for the time being, you can "legally" download an absolute freight train of music. Which I guess suits the title, Worry About You.

Could this be the start of something?

The Lodger is a pop band out of Leeds in the UK who share their name with a 1927 Hitchcock movie about a serial killer. The Lodger is less concerned with systematic homicide and more concerned with building a solid catalogue of records. Their debut LP Grown-Ups was good, if unmemorable, but they've raised their level on their most recent record, Life Is Sweet. The album came out in May and lead single, "The Good Old Days" is both nostalgic and propulsive. So you can forgive them for awkwardly paraphrasing Voxtrot with "could this be the start of something?" It seems to hope for something larger. It's the anticipation of a turn-around. And with tight, sunny guitar chords and a strum-pattern that makes you want to kick out your windows, it just might be. This won't be the song of your summer but it could easily be one of them. Check it up or check it down.

Listen ::
The Lodger - "The Good Old Days"
The Lodger - "The Conversation"

Buy :: http://www.slumberlandrecords.com/catalog/list_by_artist/53


Coldplay "Viva La Vida" on MTV Movie Awards

The new Coldplay record, Viva La Vida, is set for release in just about two weeks. Last night, as part of the to-the-hilt publicity blitz, the band made a triumphant return to American television on the MTV Movie Awards.

Let's start back a little bit. There are always those transcendent performances that tell you everything is going to be alright. In the weeks leading up to the release of Kanye's last record, he performed "Stronger" on Jimmy Kimmel and straight up destroyed everyone. The show's closing credits rolled as he went right into "The Good Life," screaming "I, I go for mine/I've got to shine/Now throw your hands up in the sky." The crowd lost their collective minds as the show cut off and went to whatever your local ABC affiliate decided to play at 12.30 in the morning. So as the cold-intro to Home Improvement ran, all you could think was, "holy shit, this album is going to level everyone." Kanye had this great, inverted dramatic irony. He knew something we didn't. He knew he had a great record and in one great, completely live moment, he lifted up the curtain and gave us a preview. It was like saying, "You guys thought that first song was good? Wait 'til you hear the rest of this thing." Cue Tim Allen.

Coldplay had a similar moment last night playing "Viva La Vida" for the first time live. The song is completely absurd: strings, bells, and lyrics about revolutions. But it functions. It's actually kind of epic. Coldplay outfitted their drummer with a war drum and a timpani and a bell. And not a concert bell either. A bell like the smaller and more intact cousin of the Liberty Bell. Chris Martin was magnanimous and perfect. If you close your eyes you realize how much he owes to (and is on his way to becoming) Bono. This is the moment everyone waited for on Coldplay's last record. This is the heir-apparent. In 2005 it just never happened. We waited for something transcendent and we got "Speed of Sound." "Viva La Vida" is a directional shift and it's perfectly huge.

The performance on last night's Movie Awards had the scent of an acceptance speech or a victory rally. Martin was spilling around the stage as confetti exploded around him in fits of red and white. More importantly, the crowd felt like it was going to lift off the ground. Even when Ed Norton was doing his packaged intro, the crowd started to buzz and by the time Martin was yelling unintelligible words near the end of the song, everyone had completely bought in. You could make out Martin say, "everybody ok?" and the crowd yelled back. As all the band members sung the "ohs" in the last movement, you realized you were seeing something special. We closed with a "thank you" and a feeling that this band is definitely, certifiably back. Sometimes a band knows something you don't. And in this case, Coldplay knows they have a great record and they can't wait to lift the curtain.

And like Kanye, what came on after Coldplay? What was the next thing on our televisions? The Coldplay iPod commercial.