Posted tagged ‘these united states’

2008 Galore!, pt. Almost there: 20 -11

14 December 2008

So, another addition to my big list. I’ve already started listening to stuff from 2009 (hello Andrew Bird), and some albums that maybe could end up in the 2008-list if i’d made it next year, but right now, we’ll just keep on going.

20. Scary Mansion – Every Joke is Half The Truth (Zum Records)

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Sounds like: There can never be enough Early Cat Power-clones, if they are as good as this.

Scary Mansion is probably unknown to most of you, but that’s absolutely blasphemous of all of you (well, that’s not the right word here, but it gives my message more strength). Scary mansion is like a scary mansion, but warming and emotional at the same tmie. It’s one of those albums that you listen to a first time and think “god, this is not really special”, and then  a second time “wow, this is pretty good”, until you end up finding it better than the original. For everyone who doesn’t like Cat Power’s career change. A bit of PJ Harvey t0o sometimes.

Scary Mansion – Go To Hell

19.  These United States – A Picture Of The Three Of Us At The Gate to the Garden of Eden/Crimes (United Interests => Self-released)

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Sounds like: soothing folkpop that makes people feel warm in cold days.

There is something amazingly calming in the voice of These United States’ vocal parts. I’m too lazy to look up who the singer is, but his voice seems always in doubt, and that sounds kinda cool. A bit like the Shaky Hands debut album last year, although this is even better. At least the ” A Picture Of the Three…”-album. I haven’t listen enough to Crimes, which got released later this year.  Very Nice guys, and the fact that Paleo plays along, is just another Hooray for These united States extra

These United States – At First Sight

18.  She & Him – Vol. 1 (Merge Records)

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Sounds like: M. ward just adding a little magic to an already amazing album.

I know this album is mostly the effort of actress Zooey Deschanel (who looks amazingly cute in ‘A Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy’, that just as a male chauvinist pig sidenote). Anyway, She & Him is more she, and its incredibly warm songs make this album stand out from similar stuff that may got released over the years. That’s the M. Ward-production. (Is it obvious that i don’t have much to say about this album)

I’m not gonna give an mp3, cause you can fully stream the album here.

17. Mother Mother – Oh Mighty Heart ( Last Gang Records)

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Sounds Like: The Easy to Get Version of THe Fiery Furnaces

Mother Mother really isn’t the sort of music i normally listen to, but i get completely hooked by this jumpy indie rock where man and woman fight each other most of the time.  IT’s something that could be very famous in Indie world if it just gets enough attention by bloggers. So let’s start the hype. Mother Mother, go listen you hip indiecrowd. Goddamnit.

Mother Mother – Body Of Years

16.  Adam Green – Sixes And Sevens (Rough Trade)

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Sounds Like: The Childish Version of Frank Sinatra does it again.

I must admit: I’m kind of fond of the puberal wit of Adam Green. I used to when he was still in The Moldy Peaches, and I still do now that he’s this crooner with dirty songs. I know many people hate this guy, but he’s still the guy who gave the most entertaining show i’ve ever seen. (Gotta love his dance moves). Anyway, his previous album wasn’t that good, but on Sixes And Sevens he tries some other directions in some songs, and they all turn out great. The Panflute in “You Get So Lucky” is fucking awesome. (Never knew i would say that about a pan flute)

Adam Green – You Get So Lucky

15. Goldmund – The Malady of Elegance (Type Records)

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Sounds like: The piano sounds to a trip in a never ending forest

Goldmund is the pianoproject of the guy from Helios, and he beats other neo-classical piano hero Max Richter this year with his album ‘The Malady of Elegance’. Piano music is something you shouldn’t be talking about if you don’t know anything about it, but just listen and enjoy. From the Great Type Records.

Goldmund – in A Notebook

14. Miss Autopsy – The Hill  (Lens Records)

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Sounds like: people should really start taking my advice about this eerie nihilist singer-songwriter.

I’ve written about Miss Autopsy before on my blog, i’ve written a review about him in Gonzo Circus, i’ve told people to buy them on daMusic, and i’ll put them on the number 14-spot in my 2008 list. No, The Guy hasn’t given me any money to promote his music, but this is just a very underappreciated album. Maybe i should start to spread it on blogs and hope all those people listening to it will eventually buy it. Anyway, miss autopsy, you better go and listen now.  (also a great experiment to see how i can start a hype).

Miss Autopsy – The Doctor

Miss Autopsy – The Telephone Song

13. Chauchat – Upon Thousands (Yer Bird Records)

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Sounds like: Your nineties indie gloom, good for the holidays and to beat hte financial crisis

Chauchat is the dark version of nineties bands like Built To Spill and Pedro The Lion. The guitars are sad (and loud at times),  and is really really underappreciated. They have released some albums for free on last.fm (downloadable too) and with what seems to be their first proper release on a label, they should be getting praise from all of you. But no, you just shut up and listen to all those daft bands. (yes, i’m in a very judging mood). So, beg for forgiveness and listen to the amazing songs from these indie-retro band. Sadcore.

Chauchat –  Fight Obscurity

12. David Karsten Daniels – Fear of Flying (Fat Cat Records)

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Sounds like: Your average bible Belt-singersongwriter

Whether David Karsten DAniels believes in God or not, is not sure, but he at least struggles with faith. That was obvious in his previous album, and is so in this album too. He does that with a similar grandeur of Sufjan Stevens, although his songs are less all over the place (more like seven swans). He was in my list last year too, so this seems to be someone who’ll stay put in my musical favourites.

DAvid Karsten DAniels – Oh, Heaven Isn’t Real

11. Ghost Bees – Tasseomancy  (Youth Club)

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Sounds like: Alela Diane & Mariee Sioux & Other neofolk female singers , Joanna Newsom

The Songs on ‘Tasseomancy’ have the grandeur of the songs on Joanna Newsom’s Ys. They Really have. It’s a bit musical-storylike telling. And because all of you voted that album to the number one spot in 2006, you should all be finding this amazing. folk, 2 girls, a lot of instrumentation. Wonderful.

Ghost Bees – Erl King

So, still ten to go.

Exciting!

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2008 galore!, part 2: The Most Beautiful album covers of 2008

16 November 2008

I must admit i don’t spend that much time in selecting my album covers of 2008 as i spend time finishing the list of lists. Therefore, i sometimes end up selecting album covers that may not deserve to end up in this list, because there are way better looking artwork cd’s out there. Then again, if there is one thing about lists that is certain, that is that they are temporary, useless, and futile.

So, bearing that in mind, i present to you: the nicest album covers of 2008.

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10.  Ass – My Get Up And Go Just Got Up And Went

I’m craving obsessions, and lately i’ve been developing this obsession for old picture book pictures. This cover seems to fulfill this need. Whilst reading a journal, Mr. Theodore Contagious heard someone ringing at the door. He thought: ‘ it must be my brother’, but when opened the door, he saw it was the devil in person. – and there is this whole story about how a simple peasant tricks Satan. In combination with the funny title it even gets better.

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9. Grand Salvo – Death

There used to be this show on television where animals were cut out of paper, and then they played shadow performances with it. I never watched it though, and i only saw it during one of my many zap rounds. But it’s nice how just the contours (is that even english?) of an object/animal can give us an idea of what we’re looking at. This one on number 9 to honour the great art of silhouettism let’s say. (I’m positive that silhouettism is definitely not a real world)

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8.  PWRFL Power – PWRFL Power (EP)

I don’t think many people will agree with this, but they haven’t seen the album in reality. It’s been standing on top of my cd shelves for over six months now (its size to big to put inbetween the other cd’s), and it’s really intriguing. Mine has got a green background intstead of this pink one though. There is something about that look in his eyes that fascinates me. I can show you it in real-time; then you’ll know what i mean. You can give me a call.

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7. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-partying through tornados)

Franktly, this one could’ve been with my worst album covers as well. It’s real kitsch, but it fascinates me, and in the end i realized that i enjoy watching it. I’m not sure why.

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6. James Yorkston – When The Haar Rolls in

Another one to fit my child book pictures fetisj. (That fetisj is made up just for the purpose of explaining why this picture is in my top 10). Pictures that contain stories, they are my favourite. Well, i could blab on about this one forever, but i won’t bother you with that.

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5. Human Highway – Moody Motorcycle

If you like retro, you have been treated amazingly well this year. Albums that seem to come straight out of the sixties or seventies, it seemed to be a trend. And that means the album covers got this old look again as well. This one was one of the most succesful, but the best retro cover will come a little bit later.

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4. Mumford And Sons–  Mumford And Sons

As in now…. this is pur sang retro, and an album cover that would look really amazing on poster format on your wall. I want it.

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3. Matt Bauer – The Island moved in the Storm

This album cover tells a story as well. A story I haven’t had the time to listen to up until now, so i have no idea whether it’s a good album, but the cover looks just too great not to include into my list.

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2. Women – Women

Woohoo! Chinese Communists! And they are doing morning gymnastics! This is not only a great album (how great? just wait and see), it’s also a great cover. Old pictures, nostalgia, etc. (god ,i have no idea what to say, maybe i just have to let the cover tell its story)

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1. These United States – A Picture of the Tree Of Us at The Gates of The Garden of Eden

Is that your number one? It’s boring! Yes, it is. but, if you just know what the title of the album is (and you know, cause it’s right above this text!) then this is definitely my number one. Simple, to the point and the perfect correlation with the rest of the album. Hallelujah.

Feel Free to use the comments to tell the rest of the world which album covers mesmerized you!

Travelin’ round in a cruel indieworld: Paleo

28 October 2008

Who? Paleo aka David Andrew Strackany

What? 365 songs in a year’s time, with a great mind of honesty

Sounds Like? A mixture of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Bob Dylan & other indie-fucking-greatness like Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, Frog Eyes (acoustic version), The Robot Ate Me, Peter and the wolf, ..

Paleo was a man with a plan. On the 16th April 2006 he started with his 365 days project. While touring in the US, he forced himself to record a song EACH day, with at the end of each week a song called Sunday Prayer (which according to his website, he still is recording eveyr week).

The best part? All these songs are available to download for free. You can also order them on a mp3-cd (like I did, really nice card you get with it by the way, and a sampler of some songs). I must admit that i haven’t listened to nearly a 10th of all the songs, just because it’s so much. But every time i hear some songs, i really get all psyched by the high quality.

Before this project, Paleo also released an amazing album called Misery, Missouri which is out of print. If i’d be a record lable, i’d rerelease it immediately, but unfortunately i’m not. I eventually found it on Soulseek or Torrents, and it’s really worth downloading. More produced, with amazingly good songs. The song Ninety Two is of this album. The other links are from his 365 Days project. Can’t Wait to hear another of his studio albums. By the way, he is now member of These United States, an amazing indie folk band. Check Them out! (or wait for my 2008-list? 😉 )

Paleo – 19 Ninety Two

Paleo – Boring Together

Paleo – The Best Years Of My Life

Paleo – Hide And Seek A Bottle Of American Red

You can listen to all his songs (and download them) on his website.