Tuesday, August 15, 2006

golden bear

it's not that often nowadays that i approach an album without any preconceptions or expectations of what i'm about to hear, either based upon the band's previous work or upon an avalanche of hype touting a band as the "next big thing" to come out of nowhere. perhaps that's what has made the debut record from austin's golden bear* such a pleasant surprise for me. after reading kaleb's rave review at sctas.com, i got the impression this was something special but was still sort of clueless about what i should expect to hear. once i popped it in the decks, there was no stopping the infection. each song made me love them more and more. it has quickly become one of my favorite records to be released in 2006. so i think the best way to leave it out there for you is to not give you any more to think about other than that. just take the next step and give it a shot. trust me. you will be rewarded.
you can download these songs below - which are available on the c-side records website - and listen to them, of course. but the best way to do it would be to drop the measly tenner and order the cd. when it shows up on your doorstep, you can listen to the whole album properly - in order, in its entirety, while lovingly gazing into the beautifully painted cover art.

MP3: "a reason to be proud"
MP3: "santa rosa"
from the album: golden bear
release date: 08/01/06
label: c-side
myspace: make like friends

*(not to be confused with the brooklyn-based grizzly bear, who are in and of themselves a whole 'nother fantastic species of musical ursidae)

Buy it at Insound!


dirty, rubbery, laserbeam guitar riffs always equal fun, if you ask me.
but no matter how many different ways you slice and dice it, no matter which angle you take to go about solving the equation, the solution you always end up at is that ratatat are frickin' cool as all get-out. after a promising debut and this highly enjoyable sophomore outing, these boys now officially reside in the portion of my heart that daft punk once occupied and then vacated years ago.

a friend of mine recently commented that "anyone who can put a sample of a wildcat in one of their songs and make it work is amazing."


MP3: "montanita"
MP3: "wildcat"
from the album: classics
release date: 08/15/06
label: xl recordings
myspace: make like friends

Buy it at Insound!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


"zookeeper is the name chris simpson has chosen for whatever new musical endeavors he is undertaking. chris simpson used to be that guy in mineral and the gloria record. chris simpson might have considered using his own name for his new music, but there is already a pretty amazing christian r&b guy using the moniker. chris simpson, the christian r&b guy's records can be found at pretty much any internet music site. zookeeper currently doesn't have any records, but please enjoy these works in progress. thank you for your time."
- from zookeeper's myspace page (2017 friends and counting)

MP3: "trumpets"
MP3: "snow in berlin"
MP3: "empty graves (live)"
myspace: make like friends

Buy it at Insound!

Monday, June 26, 2006


charlotte, north carolina's experimental eight-piece pyramid have had their music featured in two david gordon green films, all the real girls and undertow. soon they can add the foot fist way - directed by dgg pal jody hill and starring danny mcbride (bust-ass from all the real girls) - to their list of soundtrack credits. the film was well-received at the 2006 sundance film festival, earning itself international distribution rights and possibly domestic rights in the near future.

film threat has this to say about the foot fist way:
"mix some bad santa, with a splash of napoleon dynamite and shake it up with a whole lot of whoop ass and you've got one of the funniest martial arts movies since they call me bruce?"

i'm curious to hear how pyramid's songs fit in with the comedic tone of the foot fist way, seeing as how the films in which their music has been featured previously were much more serious and introspective and had much more in common with their songs. it'll be interested to say the least.

a smattering of names that have been dropped in various reviews: jeff tweedy, sonic youth, jim o'rourke, john zorn, nick cave, a silver mt. zion, slint, sparklehorse, bright eyes, sixteen horsepower, tom waits, will oldham, mogwai...you should get the point by now.

though they've been together for roughly five years, the first american is the band's first album. definitely check this band out.

MP3: "monster in the canyon"
MP3: "umbrellas"
MP3: "the engineer"
from the album: the first american
release date: summer 2005
label: n/a
myspace: add as friend


Sunday, June 25, 2006


"balún are three kids from the caribbean island of puerto rico. they are named angélica, josé and andrés. they like to make dreamy electro-acoustic melodies for imaginary films. they play several electronic and acoustic instruments such as melodica, violin, guitar and accordion. their music is inspired by little people called "balunes" that only appear at night."

here are 6 steps to beginning a wonderful love life with balún:

1. before meeting, do some research and get to know who you're dealing with. read this interview with balún over at motel de moka.

2. become myspace friends with them and ask them out for a nice evening. maybe a stop in a cutesy art gallery followed by an ice cream cone.

3. cheap date idea: get to know them better by heading over to the observatory to download their entire while sleeping e.p. (for free). end the evening with a long hug and a soft kiss on the cheek.

4. time to step it up and really turn on the charm. get dressed up and take them to a fancy restaurant. i highly recommend an e.p. collection, which compiles all three of balún's e.p.'s into one 19-song cd, for only *10 bucks*!

5. think about the possibility of a future together. there's a brand new full-length, something comes our way, coming out this month on brilliante records. maybe buy them some roses and jewelry to celebrate the occasion. it may be time to commit.

6. seal the deal. stay the night and on sunday morning, snuggle under the sheets with them and don't get out of bed until noon while listening to these whimsical tunes:

MP3: "la bicicleta de cristal"
MP3: "senecio"
MP3: "hay una piscina en la nube"
from the album: an e.p. collection
release date: 2006
label: brilliante
myspace: add as friend