Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dark Of The Matinee

Today's band to highlight is The Cinematics from Scotland. They released their first album A Strange Education in 2007 while signed to TVT Records. The record company later ran into financial troubles but the band managed to maintain their contract. They have enjoyed some moderate success in the US and Europe. On their first CD they covered Beck's song "Sunday Sun" from his CD Sea Change. They released their second album Love and Terror in 2009 which was followed by the Silent Scream EP in 2010. The EP was recorded live while on tour and as with Love and Terror self produced by the band. Currently they are working on their follow up album. It's a trick of the light:

"Break" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Chase" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Keep Forgetting" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Human" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Sunday Sun" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Love and Terror" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"New Mexico" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Hospital Bills" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Falls On Deaf Ears

Mutemath are from New Orleans and formed in 2001. They were originally a 2 piece called Earthsuit then recruited additional members before settling on Mutemath. Their first self titled CD was held up by troubles with Warner Bros. Records so they released it themselves under Teleprompt Records. Their initial success came from spreading their music through social mediums like Myspace. After settling with Warner their album was released in 2006 properly. Their first video for "Typical" was filmed backwards so the band had to learn how to play the song from the end to the beginning. The video garnered a lot of attention for the band and they even performed a taped version of the video on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Next the band released the Spotlight EP which was featured in the movie "Twilight". Not stopping there the band went back to writing and recording their sophomore CD Armistice which was released in 2009. They are currently at work at their 3rd album. They have a unique sound that falls between rock with electronic flourishes to psychedelic at points. Mind the gap:

"Typical" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Control" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Stare At The Sun" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Spotlight" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Backfire" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flying High

People In Planes started as Robots In The Sky then Tetra Splendour before finally settling on their current name due to their love of flying. Formed in Cardiff, Wales the band didn't gain any real attention until 2005 even though they started in 1998. Their music video for "If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)" was directed by Joaquin Phoenix and they released their debut album As Far As The Eye Can See in 2006. After touring the US in support of the album they went back into the studio to record their follow up. It was until 2008 that they released a teaser track as a free download from their website with the album Beyond The Horizon following later that year. They have been recording their 3rd album and road tested several songs on tour but no news of any release date as of yet. All systems go:

"If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Falling By The Wayside" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Moth" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Narcoleptic" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Pretty Buildings" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Mayday (M'Aidez)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Vampire" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Know By Now" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Evil With You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Reminder Of Simpler Things

The final band in the trip hop series is Zero 7. Some may argue that they do not fit in this genre but it definitely is as close as you can get if they didn't. Formed by Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker in the UK and started by remixing several bands including Radiohead, Sneaker Pimps to name a few. They released Simple Things in 2001 to massive critical acclaim and were even nominated for the Mercury Prize. The album featured collaborations with vocalists Mozez, Sia Furler, and Sophie Barker. When touring the band took the original 3 guest vocalists along with several other musicians. In 2004 they released When It Falls then followed in 2006 with The Garden. Binns made his singing debut on The Garden and would again contribute vocals to 2009's Yeah Ghost. Long time collaborator Sia Furler did not contribute to Yeah Ghost but has appeared on ever other release. Listen from the inside:

"Destiny" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"In The Waiting Line" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"I Have Seen" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Home" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Sommersault" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"You're My Flame" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Futures" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Throw It All Away" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Medicine Man" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

And so concludes the trip hop series. I will continue to do series sporadically so remember to keep tuned.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Smoke 'Em If You Got "Em

Today's band is Morcheeba from London, England. Although they did experience some moderate success in the run of the mid 90's they weren't as successful as their contemporaries. Originally formed by the Godfrey brothers, they managed to find Skye Edwards to fill the vocal duties. They first album Who Can You Trust? was released in 1996 followed by Big Calm in 1998 which spawned "The Sea" that went onto become a big hit for the band. In 2000 they released their 3rd album Fragments of Freedom then Charango in 2002 which featured Kurt Wagner of Lambchop more prominently than Edwards leading to the Godfrey brothers letting Skye Edwards go in 2003. In 2005 the band released The Antidote with new singer Daisy Martey who was then replaced by Jody Sternberg but both singer's stints in the band were very brief. Dive Deep was released in 2008 and then finally it was announced that Edwards would rejoin the band in 2010 with the band releasing Blood Like Lemonade shortly after. Definitely a band made for the relaxing times and always good to lull you into the haze. The name Morcheeba is derived from "the way of the cannabis" if that's any indication of how you should be listening to their music. Exhale and switch on:

"Trigger Hippie" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Tape Loop" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"The Sea" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Blindfold" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Rome Wasn't Built In A Day" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Be Yourself" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Otherwise" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Undress Me Now" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Lighten Up" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Enjoy The Ride" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Even Though" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dream In Dreams

Today's band in this week's trip hop focus is Bowery Electric. Formed in New York City by Lawrence Chandler and Martha Schwendener with drummer Michael Johngren completing the trio, the band was one of the first to use laptops, mixers and samplers onstage alongside drums, bass and guitars. In 1995 they released their self titled album then Beat in 1996 followed by Vertigo in 1997 and finally Lushlife in 2000. They broke up in 2000 with Lawrence Chandler going on to form Metrotech and Martha Schwendener forming Echostar. A soothing sound that is always good for chilling out to. Trip along to:

"Slow Thrills" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Deep Sky Objects" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Fear of Flying" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Beat" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Freedom Fighter" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Soul City" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Shook Ones" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"After Landing" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sleep Tight

This week's focus is going to be on trip hop. For those of who don't know what that is well it's a blend of mellow electronica with hip hop. Bands that you may have heard from the trip hop genre like Portishead, Tricky and Massive Attack to name a few all generated out of Bristol, England. The bands I am going to talk about are bands not as well known. The first band is Bows formed by Luke Sutherland formerly of Long Fin Killie. A multi-instrumentalist who joined up with Danish singer Signe Høirup Wille-Jørgensen to complete Bows lineup. Sutherland also plays frequently with Mogwai as a live violinist. They released Blush in 1999 to some critical acclaim and then Cassidy in 2001 but have released nothing after. A very lush sound with orchestral parts being the main focus, their sound definitely falls in with the trip hop genre in it's very easy going tempo. Breathe in:

"Big Wings" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Britannica" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Girls Lips Glitter" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Wonderland" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Saturday, November 6, 2010

London's Mine

A great band that caught my ear a while ago is White Rose Movement hailing from London, England. Named after White Rose which was a German anti-Nazi resistance, the band formed due to all the members being childhood friends and later recruited keyboardist Taxxi. They ran a club in London called The Dazzle for a while which was formerly a disco and started off as Arturo. They released their one and only album so far Kick in 2006 which saw them garner a large amount of attention in the UK. Kick was never released anywhere else but the UK and still the band managed to tour and play festivals to large crowds. The album managed to make it's way through the Internet and made the band known overseas. They recorded their second album which has been finished but due to troubles with trying to self finance and release it the band split up. Hopefully the CD will see some sort of release as it would be a shame for this talented, underrated band's music to not see the light of day. Jump on in:

"Love Is A Number" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Girls In The Back" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"London's Mine" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Alsation" http://www.videosurf.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

A sad end to a promising start...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And It's So Hard

A band that has been largely without the recognition they deserve but had brief glimpses of the spotlight is ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. They are from a very rich music scene in Austin, TX that boasts bands such as The Black Angels, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. Formed by childhood friends Conrad Keely and Jason Reece as a duo they expanded to 2 more members. They released their first self titled album in 1998 and then Madonna in 1999. In 2002 they unleashed their best album to date Source Tags & Codes which was lauded by critics everywhere as a masterpiece. 2005 saw them release World's Apart followed by So Divided in 2006. There were reports of inter-band struggles over the last couple of albums but the band persevered and released The Century Of Self in 2009. A great band that defies being pigeon-holed into any specific music category. Their live shows are often chaotic and energized with Keely and Reece switching vocal and drumming duties. Conrad Keely has also done the artwork on all of the albums and sells select pieces at live shows. You will smile again:

"Mistakes & Regrets" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Another Morning Stoner" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Relative Ways" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"All Saints Day" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"The Rest Will Follow" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Will You Smile Again" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Naked Sun" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Segue Sunken Dreams & Sunken Dreams" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Isis Unveiled" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

Their music offers something for everybody so listen and as always spread the good word (and by good word I mean music) to those you know who may like it...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In The Darkness I See A Light

Today I am focusing on another UK band by the name of the Editors. Easily dismissed as a Joy Division rip off band upon initial release of their first album. The band has grown and shown that they are more than the sum of their past. Comparing the band to Interpol is just a lazy way for reviewers to pass off actually listening to what they have to offer. The band started as Pilot then changed to The Pride and then Snowfield before finally going with Editors after being signed. The songs they recorded as Snowfield would eventually become Editors songs down the road. Their first album The Back Room in 2005 to critical acclaim and later a Mercury prize nomination. Their second album An End Has A Start was released in 2007 and single "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" was their highest charting single to date. For their 3rd album the band went with producer Flood who has recorded U2, Depeche Mode, The Killers & NIN to name a few. The album titled In This Light And On This Evening was a definite change in their sound with synthesizers becoming more prominent. Definitely a band that has surpassed it's comparisons and broken free of the shackles. Step inside the eye of your mind:

"Munich" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Bullets" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"All Sparks" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"The Racing Rats" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Push Your Head Toward The Air" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c

"Papillon" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1nC-uyhg1c