[video] Neon Indian - "Should Have Taken Acid With You"

Neon Indian - "Should Have Taken Acid With You" - Live at Great Scott from Extraneous Noise on Vimeo.

I’ve mentioned this once or twice, but unlike most I wasn’t enamored with Neon Indian’s 2009 debut Psychic Chasms. Although there were a couple of cool songs and the talent and potential were obvious, I found the overall sound a bit on the thin side and a few of the songs less than compelling. So far in 2010, it’s a completely different story. First there was the Fallon performance where they basically tore the roof off the place. Next there was the surprise free single “Sleep Paralysist”, which still stands as one of the new year’s best songs. Now, here’s a full band live video of “Should Have Taken Acid With You” courtesy of Extraneous Noise recorded in Allston, MA back in early February. Further proof that this band just keeps getting better. Neon Indian 2010 > Neon Indian 2009.

MP3 :: Sleep Paralysist
(free single through Green Label Sound. Info here)

PHW's April Mix

MP3 :: The Mermaid Parade / Phosphorescent
MP3 :: Youth / Beach Fossils
MP3 :: You Only Like Me / PENS
MP3 :: Zebra (UK Radio Edit) / Beach House
MP3 :: Lately (Troisieme) / Memoryhouse
MP3 :: Isbjörnskatten / The Deer Tracks
MP3 :: Relief / Sam Amidon
MP3 :: Afraid Of Everyone / The National
MP3 :: Twenty Miles / Deer Tick
MP3 :: Come Talk To Me / Bon Iver (Peter Gabriel cover)
MP3 :: Invisibility: Nonexistent / Kurt Vile
MP3 :: Blue Thunder / Galaxie 500

[mp3] Phosphorescent - "The Mermaid Parade"

Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade is an annual event held to mark the start of summer in one of Brooklyn‘s oldest and most famed neighborhoods. It’s basically a Mardi Gras-like environment, with large groups of diverse people walking around in costume and making merry. Keeping with the spirit of real mermaids (think more Daryl Hannah than Ariel), a rather large amount of women choose to march topless. So that’s cool about it. It’s a festive environment, and not necessarily one that you’d think of making a setting for a beautiful country weeper. But here you go.

Today Stereogum premiered “The Mermaid Parade” from the forthcoming Phosphorescent album Here’s To Taking It Easy (Dead Oceans, 5/11), and it seems like songwriter Matthew Houck has taken his experience covering Willie Nelson to heart. This is the second song from the new album (after the rollicking, horn-fueled It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)) to possess a more straight-country feel than the haunting, night-sky folk of 2007’s brilliant Pride. The new sound is working just fine for me - this one’s as pretty as a song gets, with some great specific lyrics (“Now New York this morning’, it was 8 A.M. L.A. time”; “Yeah I found a new friend too and yeah she‘s pretty and small, but goddamnit Amanda, oh goddamn it all”) and a fitting bed of pedal steel guitar and piano. There are a bunch of new albums coming from big named indie-artists in the next few weeks. I’d bet money Here’s To Taking It Easy has them all beat.

MP3 :: The Mermaid Parade
(from Here’s To Taking It Easy. Info here)

[mp3] The Deer Tracks - "Isbjörnskatten"

Swedish electro-pop duo The Deer Tracks usually write songs in English, but this new one, from their Eggegrund EP, is in their native tongue. And like most of those Northern European/Scandinavian languages, when you hear it sung well, it comes across as both strikingly beautiful and completely alien (see Sigur Rós). The calming, hypnotic “Isbjörnskatten” fits that description, and is based on a traditional folk tale about a cat that wants to be a polar bear. Hm. You should have a listen:

MP3 :: Isbjörnskatten
(from Eggegrund. Buy here)

[mp3] Memory Tapes - "Bicycle" (Little Loud Remix)

Memory Tapes' web-hit "Bicycle" gets the remix treatment here from Little Loud. Seek Magic will be recieving a 2nd pressing from Acephole Records, who have commissioned a series of just such remixes that will be released for free over the coming weeks. Love how this one kind of explodes with joy about half way through.
(originally from Seek Magic. Buy here)

[mp3] Memoryhouse - "Lately (Troisieme)"

A gorgeous, elegant song from Memoryhouse to have on repeat as I wind down for the evening and give in to my exhaustion. Via Gorilla vs. Bear.

MP3 :: Lately (Troisieme)
(from a forthcoming single on Inflated Records)

You can download a free version of Memoryhouse’s The Years EP here.

[mp3] Beach Fossils - "Youth"

If you pay attention around here you may be familiar with Beach Fossil’s “Time”, which was released late last year as a 7” single by Woodsist and was featured on my December mix. Captured Tracks is now prepping the band’s official self-titled full length debut, out May 25th. “Youth” (as well as a batch of other new songs streaming at their myspace) continues the breezy beach-pop/garage rock that caught my attention back in the dead of winter and seems perfectly timed for the long hot summer days and nights ahead.

MP3 :: Youth
(from Beach Fossils. Info via I Guess I’m Floating)

John Prine live album/tribute album on the way

For those in the know, the song catalog of John Prine is an absolute treasure. Possessing the rare gift of being able to use humor as effectively as heartfelt emotion, Prine released his classic debut way back in 1971 and has been consistent pretty much ever since. In fact, two of my very favorite Prine songs, 1995’s “Lake Marie” from Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings, and 1999’s “In Spite of Ourselves” from the album of the same name, were released 25 to nearly 30 years after his debut, which I think says a lot for the man’s lasting brilliance with a pen and a guitar. Catch a live version of “In Spite Of Ourselves” from Sessions At West 54th here.

So it’s nice tonight to be able to share two news bits regarding upcoming Prine related releases. First of all, a new live album is in the works - In Person & On Stage collects an assortment of performances from over the past few years. Featuring guest spots from Iris Dement, Emmylou Harris, Josh Ritter, among others, the album will draw on songs from throughout his career, from his debut through 2005’s Fair & Square. You can download “Long Monday” below and “She Is My Everything” for the price of an email right here.

Also, get this. A tribute album is due from Oh Boy Records on June 22. Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows will feature contributions from such indie-folk/rock mainstays as Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket, Josh Ritter, Lambchop, Justin Townes Earle, The Avett Brother, Drive-By Truckers, and Deer Tick. Sounds promising. More info on that one when it becomes available. Until then:

MP3 :: Long Monday (live)
(from In Person & On Stage. Info here)

[stream] The National - High Violet

Apparently a low quality version of The National’s upcoming High Violet is out there on the interweb for those of you leak-savvy types. For the honest citizens among you (raise your hands…anyone?) the band has decided to stream the new album in high audio quality over at the New York Times website starting this coming Friday, April 23. Sorry to get your immediate-gratification hopes up. Get in line here. Until then you can still hear two new songs via the free and legal downloads the band has already graciously provided.

MP3 :: Bloodbuzz Ohio
MP3 :: Afraid of Everyone
(from High Violet. Info here)

[video] LCD Soundsystem - "Drunk Girls"

Here’s the batshit-crazy official video for the hilariously shallow, Velvet Underground-referencing “Drunk Girls” from LCD Soundsystem’s forthcoming This Is Happening (May 18). Oh (drunk girls) it tickle me down to my toes, oh (drunk girls) I said now goodness knows.

Stream :: This Is Happening

The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt

It’s rare to see a songwriter like Kristian Matsson get the attention and respect he deserves from a larger section of the online press than simply the die-hard folkies, as the recent “Best New Music” nod from Pitchfork, as well as all the recent posts from blogs usually reserved for music much more “now” sounding than this, attests. As The Tallest Man On Earth, Matsson writes and performs songs that are hardly ever arranged beyond their most basic elements - often just violently strummed or delicately-picked acoustic guitar and the kind of voice that will get a room to stand in rapt attention. No chill-wave sound effects, no raging electric guitars, and no looped beats to be found. Songs with little flash beyond the bare sounds and the often striking words. I may have gotten into 2008’s Shallow Grave a few months late, but it left such a mark that I’ve been anticipating its follow up since it was first announced.

His latest, The Wild Hunt, has already produced a pair of appetite-whetting early singles, “King of Spain” and “Burden of Tomorrow”. Both are representative of what to expect from the new material, and fans of Shallow Grave will not at all be disappointed. There are a few surprises to be found though - “Love Is All”, perhaps a reference to his fellow Swedes in the band sharing the same name, has a unique and refreshing chorus melody, and “You’re Going Back” sounds downright angry in a way that I don’t remember hearing before in Matsson’s songs. Perhaps most disarming is album closer “Kids On The Run”, a piano ballad/anthem that may have it’s inspiration in last year’s Daytrotter version of Shallow Grave’s “I Won’t Be Found”. Simply put, it’s one of the best songs I‘ve heard all year. If you’re going to invite the “early Dylan” comparisons (not to mention those of early blues-men like Dock Boggs, Mississippi John Hurt, and Leadbelly) as obviously as Matsson does you better have the songs to back it up - and he has them in spades. Simple arrangements and all, The Wild Hunt is one of the year’s freshest albums. It’s also one of the best.

MP3 :: King Of Spain
MP3 :: Burden of Tomorrow
(from The Wild Hunt. Buy here)

[mp3] PENS - "You Only Like Me"

Add London’s PENS to the growing list of noteworthy female bands inspired in equal measure by garage, punk, Phil Spector and recording on the cheap. “You Only Like Me”, from a recent 7” released by De Stijl Records, is 3 minutes of fuzzy spirit and glistening melodies.

MP3 :: You Only Like Me
(from the ‘Love Rules’ b/w ‘You Only Like Me’ 7”. Buy here)

J. Tillman does Daytrotter

After releasing two of my favorite albums of 2009, my gut tells me J. Tillman looks to have a quiet 2010 on the solo front. That’s just speculation of course, I could be (and hope I am) wrong, but I expect that Tillman has been and is still hard at work contributing to the rumored/promised sophomore album from Fleet Foxes (Tillman’s the drummer/backing vocalist) rather than working on his own material. To help tide those of us who prefer his solo work over, Tillman recently brought his band into the Daytrotter studio for another session (there was one last year). Have a listen to three full band songs - one each from his last three solo efforts. There’s “Though I Have Wronged You” from Cancer and Delirium, “Firstborn” from Vacilando Territory Blues, and “Crosswinds” from Year In The Kingdom. [EDIT - whoops, "Though I Have Wronged You" is also from Year In The Kingdom. C + D is not represented this time]

MP3 :: Though I Have Wronged You/Firstborn/Crosswinds
(from Daytrotter)

[mp3] Kurt Vile - "Invisibility: Nonexistent"

Today Matador announced the upcoming release of a new EP from PHW favorite Kurt Vile. The Square Shells EP will drop on May 25. Have a listen to the long strange trip that is “Invisibility: Nonexistent”.

MP3 :: Invisibilty: Nonexistent
(from Square Shells EP. Info here)

[mp3] Beach House - "Zebra" (UK Radio Edit)

From a new limited edition 12” that Sub Pop and Beach House will release on Record Store Day, here’s a new take on Teen Dream’s gorgeous opener. Head right here to stream a previously unheard song from the release called “The Arrangement”. And get yourself to a record store on April 17.
MP3 :: Zebra (UK Radio Edit)
(from Record Store Day 12”. Info here)

[mp3] The National - "Afraid of Everyone"

Here it is for those of you who have already seen this in two dozen other places but were kindly waiting for me to link to it. I appreciate your patience. The ridiculously anticipated new album from The National, High Violet, is now less than a month (May 11, 4AD) from its birthday. Including their late night performance on Jimmy Fallon last month and the already released “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, this is third new one to get out there in proper audio fidelity. Enjoy:

MP3 :: Afraid of Everyone (via Pitchfork)
(from High Violet. Info here)

Introducing: One Wolf

I don’t know much about One Wolf at this point, other than that it is the songwriting vehicle of a Texan named Daniel Markham. After linking to the new song from Deer Tick yesterday the band’s promo people quickly sent along this one from their sophomore album, One Wolf II: Secret of the Wolf. Turns out they are playing some shows with DT this week and thought I might want to share some music with y‘all. And I do. “Backyard” is somewhat similar to Deer Tick, not because it shares the jangly garage-folk sound of “Twenty Miles”, but because its hints of melodic folk-rock are mixed with an almost dirty/grungy guitar sound - similar to what Deer Tick go for on occasion when they are actually getting away from what they do best. As far as One Wolf goes though, they pull this sound off with aplomb.

MP3 :: Backyard
(from One Wolf II: Secret of the Wolf. Buy here)

[mp3] Deer Tick - "Twenty Miles"

Deer Tick will release their third album, The Black Dirt Sessions, on June 8 through Partisan Records. "Twenty Miles" is the type of laid-back garage/folk gem that is clearly this band's strong point and made their 2007 debut, War Elephant, so promising.
MP3 :: Twenty Miles (via Stereogum)
(from The Black Dirt Sessions. Info here)

[video] Wakey! Wakey! - "Light Outside"

Wakey!Wakey! - Light Outside from VsTheBrain on Vimeo.

“Light Outside” is from Wakey! Wakey!’s debut full length Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You. That beautifully filmed video that’s playing up there was directed by its stars, Andrew & Carissa Gallo. Check out PHW’s recent interview with Wakey’s Mike Grubbs here.

Wakey! Wakey! are bringing their ever-impressive live show to The Bowery Ballroom on May 20 for a headlining show, so keep your eye out for ticket info on that (UPDATE - here ya go). Also, the band recently tackled Yeasayer’s “Ambling Alp” for a video feature over at Brooklyn Vegan. Check that out here.

Stream :: Various Everything I Wish I’d Said… tracks

[mp3] Sam Amidon - "Relief"

Back in January we got our first listen to a track from I See The Sign, Sam Amidon’s brand new recording of mostly very old songs from the public domain. The moody “How Come That Blood” pulsed as if it was shooting through your veins, perfectly meshing the song’s old time feel with a contemporary arrangement. Earlier this evening Stereogum premiered a second song from the record, one that does quite the opposite. “Relief” is an R. Kelly cover of all things, but Amidon strips the song down from a soulful bit of modern R&B to its spiritual core. It works beautifully, and sounds as though it will fit right in with songs written/performed by the likes of Bessie Jones and Sonny Rollins on the new album. Which, by the way, you can now stream or purchase in its entirety over at Bedroom Community’s Bandcamp site.

MP3 :: Relief (via Stereogum)
MP3 :: How Come That Blood
(from I See The Sign. Buy here)

[mp3] The Futureheads - "Struck Dumb"

Here’s a spirited new one from The Futureheads’ upcoming album The Chaos, due in the U.S. June 1 through Dovecote Records.

MP3 :: Struck Dumb
(from The Chaos. More info here)

[live/bootleg] Wilco - Live @ The Fillmore, San Francisco - 5/10-97

Hearing all the great old Wilco songs the other night led me to busting out this bootleg today, which comes from the tour supporting Being There and is reminiscent of this past weekend’s marathon performance in how it pulls out all the stops the band was capable of at the time. Special note to the run of covers during part 2 from The Kinks’ “Oklahoma USA” to Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”. For the ideal front door into Wilco’s early years, there aren’t many better introductions out there than 5/10/97 at the Fillmore. The sound quality and performance are damn near perfect, except that the last couple of tracks from Part 2 are a bit fuzzy. That’s the fault of the old CDRs I burned these from, not the original tapes. If anyone has a better recording and wants to pass them along it would be much appreciated…


(part 1)
1. Intro
2. Misunderstood
3. Red-Eyed And Blue/I Got You (at the end of the century)
4. Someone Else’s Song
5. Why Would You Wanna Live
6. Forget the Flowers
7. That’s Not the Issue
8. Someday Soon
9. New Madrid
10. What’s The World Got In Store
11. Was I (In Your Dreams)
12. Shouldn’t Be Ashamed
13. I Must Be High
14. Passenger Side
15. Hotel Arizona
16. Monday
17. Dreamer In My Dreams

(part 2)
1. Kingpin
2. Outtasite (outtamind)
3. Lonely 1
4. Sunken Treasure
5. Gun
6. Oklahoma USA
7. Henry And The H-Bombs
8. Color Me Impressed
9. I Wanna Be Sedated
10. Paranoid
11. Ziggy Stardust
12. Boxful of Letters
13. Casino Queen/We’ve Been Had

(Live Review) Wilco @ The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair NJ

Caught Wilco this past Saturday night out in N.J., and as always the band did not disappoint. It was billed as “An Evening With Wilco” and from reports over the past few weeks, that meant a 3 hour performance. Which is exactly what we got. Some highlights and thoughts:

1. I didn’t have a ticket, but drove all the way out to Montclair to meet a buddy and find someone with an extra. The first guy I asked sold me his extra for $40, which I think was less than face value. Score.

2. They opened with a beautiful “Ashes of American Flags” that wasted little time establishing Nels Cline’s presence on guitar.

3. The first hour proceeded somewhat as expected for anyone who‘s seen the band over the past year or so. I missed not hearing “Handshake Drugs”, but “A Shot In The Arm”, “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”, and "One Wing” were great starters. The new “band intros” during “Wilco (the Song)” were unexpected and pretty funny.

4. The first surprises came with “Summerteeth”, which I kind of missed because it came right after “Bathroom Break”, er, “Deeper Down”, and an early “Misunderstood”. From there “California Stars”, “Impossible Germany”, and “Poor Places” all hit the spot and led beautifully into the....

5. The mid-show acoustic set was something I noticed on setlists recently, and was really pleasantly surprised at how well this segment came off. The whole band moved up to the front of the stage, they had some ambient lights set up, and they played for about 45 minutes in a much quieter, more intimate manner.

6. “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” is normally a warhorse live, but as a stripped down acoustic song it’s really freakin’ pretty. Could be Tweedy's finest lyrics. And that was my first “Not For The Season” (will not call it “Laminated Cat”) since 2002.

7. Lots and lots of Summerteeth songs the other night, and they were really great to hear live. After the acoustic set they played “I’m Always In Love”, “Candy Floss”, and, later, “Can’t Stand It”.

8. From the reaction of the crowd at large, people love “Hate It Here” and “Walken”. I don’t get it at all. For me, after hearing all these great old songs like “Box Full Of Letters”, “Airline To Heaven”, etc., they were complete duds and sucked some energy out of the later portion of the show for me. “I’m The Man Who Loves You” quickly brought it back.

9. The two Big Star covers were really fantastic. It was really cool to hear John and Pat, who must be such huge Chilton fans, sing lead.

10. Lots of energy to close out the show with “Casino Queen”, “Outasite (Outamind)”, and “Hoodoo Voodoo”.

11. Wilco is at a point in their career where a marathon show such as Saturday night’s comes off so well - they’ve learned how to incorporate all the different aspects of what has made them great from throughout their career into one performance. They covered the early, folk rock/bar-band era, their artistic, challenging mid period, and the more “mature”, fan friendly later period. It’s like a Springsteen show, with something for everyone and an incredible range of music played. You need to see them if you never have.

Galaxie 500 Catalog Reissued

Over the short lifespan of just three albums in three years (Today, 1988; On Fire, 1989; This Is Our Music,1990), Boston's Galaxie 500 crafted some of the most beautiful and lasting music of the late 80's. On Fire is generally viewed as their infallible classic, and deservedly so, but all three have recently received the reissue treatment from Domino Records (along with Badabing and 20/20/20). Listening to On Fire for the first time in a few years only reinforces the slow-churned majesty that Dean Wareham and co. were able to conjure at their best. This is continually gorgeous, era-defining music. Songs like "Blue Thunder", "Snowstorm", and "Decomposing Trees" ride waves of reverb and slow-building guitar heroics to blissed-out climaxes, laying the foundation for the hundreds of like-minded dream-pop bands that followed. From the On Fire liner notes, written by Richard King and perfectly capturing this album's allure: "On Fire moves at an almost erotic pace, aglow in its strange and visionary world. A perfect, liquid equilibrium. Listen, and lose yourself, in the heat of this alchemical masterpiece."

The revelation for me at this point though is their debut, Today. Before this week I hadn't heard it, and have been pleasantly surprised that it is the near equal of its more widely regarded follow up. I guess On Fire's reputation always placed the other two albums in its shadow, causing me to wrongfully overlook them. I'm still yet to listen to This Is Our Music for the first time, but am looking forward to giving it numerous spins over the next few days. It's an exciting place to be in right now - sort of like when you run into someone who has never seen Lost but wants to borrow your DVDs and play catch up - yeah, they've been missing out for a long time, but I'm always jealous that they get to experience something so great for the first time. These reissues are available now, and come with an assortment of (previously released) extras, including a fantastic Peel Session (On Fire), the live album Copenhagen (This Is Our Music), and the odds and ends compilation Uncollected (Today).

MP3 :: Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste
(from Today. Buy here)

MP3 :: Blue Thunder
(from On Fire. Buy here)

[video] The Black Keys - "Tighten Up"

With all the various side projects the guys from The Black Keys have been busy with over the past year (Dan Auerbach's solo album, the Blakrok collaboration, and drummer Patrick Carney's debut album with Drummer), it's a welcome surprise that a new album from the Denton duo arrives so soon. Brothers, the follow up to 2008's excellent Attack & Release, will be released through Nonesuch Records on May 18.

The Black Keys have never struck me as a band with much of a sense of humor, but I stand corrected after viewing the hilarious video for this new Danger Mouse-produced track, "Tighten Up". I'm assuming this video was made with a budget of zero dollars, and it's worth every penny. Frank the Funkasaurus Rex has better dance moves than any other puppet I can name, and the song is typically kick-ass as well. If you pre-order Brothers you can immediately download "Tighten Up" and "Next Girl", both from the album, or better yet, if you buy a ticket to see the band live this summer through their own website you'll receive a copy of the album on release day.


[video] Harlem - "Gay Human Bones"

Pitchfork premiered the video today for Harlem's "Gay Human Bones" from their upcoming album Hippies, which is still streaming in its entirety over at their myspace.

MP3 :: Gay Human Bones
(from Hippies. Info here)

[mp3] Band of Horses - "Compliments"

Band of Horses return May 18 with Infinite Arms, their third album and first for new label Fat Possum. This, of course, is old news at this point. What's not old is the first song to be released for public consumption, "Compliments", a typically melodic indie-rock anthem that's engaging, if not quite as transcendent as "The Funeral" or "Is There A Ghost?". The song is available for free a long as you are the owner of an email address, and there's a video out there for your viewing pleasure if watching natural images rapidly blur in and out of focus for 3 minutes is your idea of fun:
(from Infinite Arms. Info here)