Saturday, September 12, 2009

Snob's Music

Snob's Music

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The Good Graces: "Bring On The Tambourines!" EP review

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 08:37 AM PDT

wallscenery demos: "check this!" album review

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 06:31 AM PDT

Quick Hits: Lynhurst, Keegan Dewitt

Posted: 11 Sep 2009 10:32 PM PDT

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Hopen – The Shark’s Wife (Automation Records)

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 12:33 AM PDT

Imagine Black Dice have just played at their own house party. Everybody has spent the night dancing around in a happy, disjointed euphoria. It’s now about an hour before dawn, and most people have gone home. But the music continues. There’s a loneliness now creeping in, a seriousness that falls once the escapist absurdity has ended. Now there’s more of an element of dread. Welcome to Hopen’s The Shark’s Wife.

Random samples loop on themselves, answering to no-one, answering not even to other samples. While rhythms jump or fade in and out, none feel the need to stay in tempo with any of the others. The odd humourous breakbeat tries to make headway, but is always cut off by treacly bottom end blurs, darkness forever winning over. Some C-grade film dialogue samples add to the unease, always seemingly trying to escape the dread, but always cut off by a shifting drum pattern or flattened on a pulsing drone loop.

Hopen has been putting out netlabel releases for a number of years now (which are also highly recommended), but The Shark’s Wife sees the Swiss based Frenchman on cassette for the first time via Seattle’s Automation Records (there’s also a digital download available if you are thus inclined). The cassette adds to the mood of impending collapse – the analogue tape never quite feeling sturdy and stable (at least not on my beloved old Akai walkman). It makes for half an hour of listening that keeps you constantly on your toes, draws you into its world and leaves you very satisfied.

Adrian Elmer

Boxcutter – Arecibo Message (Planet Mu/Inertia)

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 12:33 AM PDT

Boxcutter – A.K.A. Barry Lynn – has generally been pigeonholed into dubstep over his career, but it’s not entirely accurate. The first problem with such a definition is that to build a successful album, a string of tracks with only one thing going for them is not going to work. But Arecibo Message clearly does work and it’s the manner in which Lynn ventures outwards from his dubstep bass that carries the album.

Roots in drum’n'bass are obvious from the outset. ‘Sidetrak’ layers sped up breakbeats under booming bass blobs, wavering synths and Metalheadz via Burial processed vocal snippets. The nods to drum’n'bass are constant, with tracks often flitting into step time rather than a reliance on dubstep’s half time. Then there are real tangents like ‘SPACEBASS’ which would sit very comfortably in a skwee set, strutting along around the 110bpm mark with squelches flying in every direction. He is also happy to shift moods – it’s not all dark corners and airlessness. ‘Otherside Remix (Earth Is My Spaceship)’ uses a more traditional dub bassline with plenty of airy, delayed melodica, ‘Lamp Post Funk’ is twittering 8-bit disco, with the odd half-time breakdown to keep it in tune with the set and ‘A Cosmic Parent’ is laidback electronic P-Funk.

The prevailing structure of the tracks on Arecibo Message is dubstep, and Lynn certainly knows his way around a build up and a bass drop. But the album works as an album precisely because nothing is ever left to just be good enough. Every track is tweaked with painstaking attention to detail to provide continuous interest. He’s proud of his drum’n'bass and acid roots as well, happy to give these space to shine. But, most importantly for this type of music, he never lets the cerebral nature of the work, which is undoubtedly important, take precedence over the ability for it to move you physically.

Adrian Elmer

Top Hits Musik Entertainment

Top Hits Musik Entertainment

Sean Kingston - Tomorrow [Released September 22, 2009]

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 04:57 PM PDT

Tomorrow (Sean Kingston album)
Tomorrow is the second studio album by reggae singer Sean Kingston. According to Sean Kingston, as he posted on a MySpace video, the album is set to be released on September 22, 2009. Currently, seven singles have been released from the album. :: Product Description
Exclusive First Edition - FREE 3D Poster & 3D Glasses Plus Bring Lil' SEAN to Life Using Your Computer and Sing w/Him in Your Very Own Karaoke Session **Internet connection & webcam required**

Artist.......: Sean Kingston
Title........: Tomorrow
Label........: Sony Music
Release.Type.: Album
Genre........: Dance Hall
Source.......: CDDA
Encoder......: LAME v3.97
Quality......: 197 kbps avg
Street.Date..: 2009-00-00
Rip.Date.....: 2009-09-07
Year.........: 2009
Tracks.......: 14
Playtime.....: 0h 44min Total
Size.........: 64.53 MB

Track List:
01. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Welcome To Tomorrow".
02. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "War".
03. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Fire Burning".
04. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "My Girlfriend".
05. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Face Drop".
06. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Magical".
07. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Island Queen".
08. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Tomorrow".
09. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Twist Ya Around".
10. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Wrap U Around Me".
11. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Shoulda Let U Go" Ft. Good Charlotte
12. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Over".
13. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Ice Cream Girl Ft. Wyclef Jean".
14. Sean Kingston Title Hits Song "Why U Wanna Go".
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Nelly Furtado - Mi Plan [Released September 11, 2009]

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 04:37 PM PDT

Mi Plan
Mi Plan (Spanish for "My Plan") is the first full-length Spanish album by Portuguese Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado, and her fourth studio album overall. It will be released September 15, 2009. : Product Description
After the huge success of her critically acclaimed album "Loose" which allowed her to be the number 1 artist in global sales in 2007, Nelly decides to do her musical dream of making her first full Spanish language album.

She had done many successful collaborations with artists all over the world in all different genres, but the collaborations with the Latin artists left her with this huge desire of expressing herself in this language, and that is how this new album was born.

"Mi Plan" (My plan) is Nelly's 4th studio album which reflects once again her artistry, diversity and the uniqueness of everything which she writes. The album, as all her albums, is written and co-produced by her in collaboration with top writers and producers, as well as young new talent she believes in. She doesn't feel this is a "Latin Album", she says that this is just her soul speaking in Spanish, as all her albums "just music for the world". Music is a universal language and in this album she has brought the world together, working with musicians, writers and producers from all over the globe.

The album is filled with fresh, enthusiastic, fun, freeing, unique, strong and passionate songs that reflect the great moment that Nelly is currently experiencing.

The first single of this album, "Manos al Aire" (Hands in the air or I surrender), is a mid-tempo song that brings you in faster than you can understand to what she is trying to tell her loved one. The tip of an iceberg that will outlive the barrier of language, culture and time!

1. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Manos Al Aire".
2. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Más".
3. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Mi Plan".
4. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Sueños".
5. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Bajo Otra Luz".
6. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Vacación".
7. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Suficiente Tiempo".
8. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Fuerte".
9. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Silencio".
10. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Como Lluvia".
11. Nelly Furtado Title Hits Song "Feliz Cumpleaño".
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Muse - The Resistance (Full Album 2009)

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 04:14 PM PDT

The Resistance (album)
The Resistance is the fifth studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, scheduled to be released on 14 September 2009. The album was produced by the band and mixed by Mark Stent.

The album's first single, "Uprising", was released on 7 September 2009. : Product Description
Following seven years of near solid touring, Muse escalated from being the biggest band in Teignmouth in 1997 to one of the biggest bands in Europe by 2004. With each successive album, they pushed the musical envelope with a fusion of progressive rock, electronica, and Radiohead-influenced experimentation, creating an emotive, passionate sound. Muse's reputation as one of the best live rock bands in the world is well deserved with their exhilirating live performances drewing critical acclaim, industry buzz, and a loyal and rabid fan base.

Tracklist :
01. Muse Title Hits Song "Uprising" – 5:06
02. Muse Title Hits Song "Resistance" – 5:46
03. Muse Title Hits Song "Undisclosed Desires" – 3:56
04. Muse Title Hits Song "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)" – 5:47
05. Muse Title Hits Song "Guiding Light" – 4:13
06. Muse Title Hits Song "Unnatural Selection" – 6:54
07. Muse Title Hits Song "MK Ultra" – 4:06
08. Muse Title Hits Song "I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S'ouvre à ta Voix)" – 5:21
09. Muse Title Hits Song "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)" – 4:18
10. Muse Title Hits Song "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-Pollination)" – 3:56
11. Muse Title Hits Song "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)" – 4:37
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popwreckoning updates

popwreckoning updates

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Bumbershoot: Monday, Day 3 @ Seattle Center, Seattle WA

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 09:30 AM PDT

Monday of Bumbershoot: I would have been completely happy with two days, but no – Seattle handed me a third to enjoy. All the music, the rain, the moshing, and everything else that came with the biggest gathering of music in Seattle over Labor Day weekend could not have been the same without the thousands of people there to enjoy it all. DSCN1603

Monday started quite differently than the previous two days. I couldn't find parking anywhere, but determined as I was, I drove around a 12-block radius for 20 minutes searching for parking before I found a lot for $15 at 2:15. Just in time to make it to Say Hi.

Say Hi (formerly Say Hi To Your Mom), was one of the main bands I put on my checklist when the lineup was first released months ago only after hearing all of 2009's "Oohs and Aahs." Soon after arriving home from Bumbershoot, I searched for all of their music. Eric Elbogen, the brainchild of all that is Say Hi, made it clear at one point that he wasn't used to touring with the current lineup, but it didn't show nearly as much as I would have guessed. At one point he asked the bassist, I think his name was Andy, to ask him something.

"Why did you change your name?" Andy asked.

"A question that doesn't put me on the spot?"

"Oh, well now you're kind of putting me on the spot." DSCN1598

"Two gigs with you and you've already screwed up."

They were very musically in tune, playing off each other's vibe, with the help of the energetic drummer. They weren't nearly as united as say, from Sunday, but individually, they all supplied their own energy for the crowd to feed off of. I especially liked the short comments between songs briefly explaining what the songs were about.

"This one's about vampires," Elbogen said, prefacing "Sweet Sweet Heartkiller" from 2006's Impeccable Blahs. That's the best part about Say Hi's live performance, deciphering the great lyrics, while keeping a low-key danceable beat underneath. It's just the right about of energy for 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

After a 45 minute search for a few friends I wasn't aware were going to show up, I trotted back to the Broad Street Stage, past the Purrrfect Pals booth with their adorable kittens, to see . She – again – was on my original checklist of performers to see. I know I said in previous articles that I dig concerts where I can dance. is one of those exceptions. The way you're supposed to listen to her music is the exact opposite of someone like Natalie Portman's Shaved Head. You're just supposed to experience it, organically, with the violin, the clarinet, the sitar-looking thing, and 's beautiful vocal instrument. It's almost magical how someone with such a seemingly small voice can captivate such a large and muddy lawn. I missed maybe the first ten minutes of her set, so I don't know if she played "La Familia," which is kind of disappointing, but for the most part, 's set was really low-key. The one exception was her last song, "The Garden," which she explained as the song the Portland High School drill team used in one of their  DSCN1613competitions.

"Because they wanted to win!" And everyone cheered.

and her band of strings and woodwinds were a very nice change from the energy-draining past two days, and a good chill session before Franz Ferdinand on the main stage that night.

Speaking of Franz Ferdinand, my sister and I got in line pretty early for the main stage, listening to Janelle Monae on the Fisher Green while we waited. From what I heard, she was pretty wicked, and according to multiple recommendations from different people, apparently I missed out not catching her full set. But I was waiting for Franz Ferdinand.

I'll admit it – I tend to be a fangirl when it comes to my favorite bands – Franz Ferdinand being one of them. I saw them almost five years ago at the "Deck the Hall Ball" put on by Seattle's Original Alternative radio station 107.7 The End. They were a part of a great lineup all those years ago – including Keane, the Shins, Snow Patrol, The Killers, and , ironically, since was playing on the main stage right after Franz. But when I left there, Franz Ferdinand was the band that blew we away. And five years later, I was ready to be blown away yet again.

I was, quite literally.

After waiting in the mosh pit for 15 minutes or so, Alex, Nick, Bob and Paul walked on stage and the entire stadium squealed with delight. They started off the night with "No You Girls," their current hit, then going directly into an older song, "Dark of the Matinee" (which just so happens to be my favorite of theirs). It was a perfect mix of the old and new stuff. Alex introduced the rest of the band for us to cheer for individually, and they matched the energy with their musicianship. Not only did they pump us up, they sounded great. As the set went on, the crowd got closer and closer together, to the point where the security guards all sprayed us with hoses to get people to chill out. It didn't work very well, because halfway through the set, after mega hits "Take Me Out" and "Ulysses," Alex and the gang broke out into "This Fire," another of their hits from the first record. This got the crowd jumping all together; I couldn't even get a good photo of anything. I was too into it. Then as people got tired of jumping, I felt a sharp thwack on the back of my head and then could barely make out a floating body above my head as I grabbed my throbbing skull, and tried to dodge the rest of the crowd surfers making their way towards the stage. Immediately, I wanted to get out of the mosh pit, but this was Franz Ferdinand – the one band I had come to see. So I toughed it out for awhile. I shunned the pain and danced along with everyone else, but then it got too crazy for my head to take. I had to get out of there. DSCN1660

And let me tell you – I was heartbroken that I had to leave the mosh pit. I wanted to stay there for the rest of the set, as Alex traipsed around the stage, singing the undeniably infectious lyrics with his seductive Scottish drawl. But I found my way out of the sweaty mosh pit and cooled down for a bit and had some water, and found my friends, as I'd been the only one to venture into the mosh pit. But even far away from the stage, Franz Ferdinand shined across the entire stadium. It was mesmerizing. Especially in the finale, when they played a drawn out version of "Lucid Dreams," which already includes a long, electronic outro, but this live version made the wide-open area I was dancing in feel like a rave – and I've never even been to a rave.

But, it also could have been the contact high.

Whether you were in the line of fire in the mosh pit or secluded out in the middle of the stadium, away from the mayhem, Franz Ferdinand lived up to my expectations, then surpassed them. They were so good, I didn't even care that I couldn't stay for (my sister's 17, and she still had school in the morning, and I was driving her home).

Now that was the way to end Bumbershoot.

Bumbershoot: website | day 1 | day 2

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Wussy – Wussy

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 09:00 AM PDT

’s self-titled has been available for awhile, but that hasn’t stopped people from telling me that I’m a music failure if I don’t immediately check it out. I finally set awussyside some time to check this group out and after listening to them, I must also tell you dear reader that you’re a music failure if you don’t immediately check out.

The vocal power houses behind , Chuck Cleaver and appear to be polar opposites, but I wouldn’t have one without the other.

Cleaver has a rough folksy sound that sounds familiar, but difficult to nail down to one comparison. On “Little Paper Birds,” Counting Crows or Modest Mouse would almost be comparable, but by the end, he conjures more of an early Manchester Orchestra sound. Later, Cleaver even reminded me of Noah and the Whale. The groups almost share a similar lyrical style, too, making this one of the more fitting comparisons. “Some call this living, I call this living a lie,” sings Cleaver in “Dreadful Sorry.” Perhaps the two bands had a writing party together to come up with depressing lyrics juxtaposed with happy, jangly musical riffs.

In stark contrast to Cleaver, Walker’s voice acts as a smooth elixir to Cleaver’s more abrasive tone. This concept of the rough voice countered by the smooth voice is even mimicked at times by the instruments like the guitars in “Muscle Cars.” While one guitar harshly strums a “bum, bum, bum” pattern, the other’s finger-plucked legato runs fill in the gaps. I often found myself searching out the songs with Walker more in control because of her sweet voice. Walker is in the spotlight in “Gone Missing,” and here she brings a classic sound to the album similar to that of Camera Obscura. She’s also highlighted in “All the Bugs Growing,” a piece that soon became my favorite on the album for its pretty and crisp sound and smart lyrics.

’s self-titled is their third release, so do yourself a favor and pick up at least one of their albums. Whether it is the instrumentals, the lyrics, Cleaver or Walker, you’re bound to find something to love. As for me, I love the whole package.

is available now on Shake It Records.

01. Little Paper Birds
02. Gone Missing
03. Happiness Bleeds
04. Muscle Cars
05. Scream & Scream Again
06. All The Bugs Are Growing
07. Dreadful Sorry
08. Magic Words
09. This Will Not End Well
10. Maglite
11. Death By Misadventure
12. Las Vegas

: website | myspace

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Music in the Blood

Music in the Blood

Top 10 Metal Albums by

Posted: 12 Sep 2009 02:35 AM PDT

#1. Metallica - Master of Puppets#2. Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast #3. Metallica - Ride the Lightning #4. AC/DC - Back in Black#5....

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