Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
the SPINTO BAND
THE BAND: The Spinto story started back in 1996 when Nick Krill found some songs in the attic penned on the back of Cracker Jack boxes by his grandfather, guitar player Roy Spinto. Those lyrics inspired Nick and 6 of his high school friends to form The Spinto Band penning their own songs that the Philadelphia Weekly calls "...unlikely beauties somewhere between Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the Flaming Lips."
THE SOUND: I have read that the Spinto Band sounds like a more talented Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to a early Architecture in Helsinki (both bands profiled here earlier). While I can hear the lead singer doing the David Byrne thing and the overall variety in instruments and vocals sounding like AinH, the Spinto Band sond like freshly produced pop music that the O.C. or any other teenage drama has lined up for their next soundtrack. "Oh Mandy" even name checks the WB just ASKING for some air time. "Oh Mandy" is a sweet ballad that dreamily moves along as the singer gushes about his Mandy while "Crack the Whip" rocks like a Strokes track with more Beach Boy harmonizing and xylophone. If the college kids catch on (as well as the bloggers) and get the word of mouth pumping, these guys will take off. BUY their latest, Nice and Nicely Done
MP3 - Oh Mandy EXPIRED
MP3 - Crack the Whip EXPIRED
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
WORLD LEADER PRETEND
THE BAND: Having a lead singer that is friends with Thom Yorke of Radiohead and sounding like the next Coldplay, you can hear a lot of influences in WLP's sound: pounding drums and piano's that fill a space with drama and intrigue, yet also honesty and soul. World Leader Pretend hail from New Orleans, a city known for its culture and music. While recognizing their roots, they are a sound all their own: "Our competition (in New Orleans) was washboard zydeco bands and men in suits with trombones. There wasn't a scene, let alone a race to make it to the top," said Arthur Mintz, drummer and former puppeteer. After faking some drama to the local press to get some eyes and ears in their direction, WLP cashed out on what they owned and flew to NYC and Harlem to record. "Punches is essentially a pop record, but its aesthetics were unexpectedly shaped by the soul music they had come to adore over the previous year at home. .....We had time and freedom - freedom to take things at our own pace and do whatever we wanted, which in our case was to make something beautiful and artful." From vh1.com
THE SOUND: While friend of the Test Pilot (FOTP) disagreed with my admiration of them, telling me they threw the CD out of the window after only having a good first song (Bang Theory), WLP is one of the few bands I felt I had to go get the album. The sound is like the lead singer of New Radicals backed by how good Coldplay could be. Piano ballads, power ballads, all rocking out. My biggest complaint is the heavy, HEAVY use of sleigh bells in what seems to be 90% of their songs. It seems like a Christmas album. Other FOTP have listened to it and liked the start and not the end of the album (especially the random Artic Monkeys-like track, B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M. that sticks out like a sore thumb), I would definitely give them a shot and see where you land. BUY Punches
MP3 - Bang Theory
MP3 - Tit for Tat
MP3 - Lovey Dovey
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
the O.C.: MIX 5
Yeah - it's been out for a week, maybe two already.
Yeah - it's a compilation of a lot of stuff you have already heard or owned.
BUT...amid the quality tracks from LCD Soundsystem (Daft Punk is Playing at my House), Rogue Wave (Publish my Love), Gorillaz (Kids with Guns) and Stars (Your Ex-Lover is Dead) is this Imogen Heap song, Hide and Seek that you need to hear. I love it. Call me gey gey gey, I don't care. Also, the elusive and acoustic O.C. theme song, California 2005. BUY the O.C.: Mix 5
MP3 - Phantom Planet-California 2005 EXPIRED
MP3 - Imogen Heap-Hide and Seek EXPIRED
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
THE BAND: Brooklyn's Animal Collective started when "...core members Avey Tare and Panda Bear came together in 2000 with the intention of moving pop music in a direction that would place heavy emphasis on sonic experience. Soon after this, they began operating as Animal Collective, an umbrella name now used for a grouping of four people: Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist and Deaken, who play together under different names and in different configurations (anything between 1 to 4 people)." (from their label, Fat Cat UK)
THE SOUND: It is hard to describe the sound of Animal Collective. Imagine the Muppets matured, smoked a lot of hasish and dropped a lot of acid, went to Ibiza to study music, then off on a mind trip to visit the boys from Radiohead with some rabbits and sprites...or something like that. The music is organic, loose and improvised, yet seems to have form with hooks and beats. Good description from their label "...beautifully skewed pop ballads to fiercely ruptured noise-squalls to tribal rhythmic work-outs to simple folk songs, to who knows where; from fully orchestrated group freak-outs to a the intimacy of an acoustic duo." BUY their latest release, Feels
MP3 - Did You See The Words EXPIRED
MP3 - Grass EXPIRED
MP3 - Slippi EXPIRED
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Let me tell you Little Testpilots... it is NOT EASY being a Cardigans fan. They are switching things up on you left and right. I speak completely from experience here. I was one of the many who first heard them on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack way back in 1997 and really got into their catchy song, "Lovefool". I was however, one of the few who pursued them beyond that. For some reason, this Test Pilot here went nuts for these Swedes, buying old albums from them and album after new album! Here is a great story regarding my affinity for the Cardigans and the pain I underwent, as told/laughed at me numerous times by Test Pilot Fletcher:
On the eve of the release of their 4th album, Gran Turismo, Test Pilot Fletcher expressed interest in going to a midnight release party on Ohio State's campus. I am not sure what CD he was going for (most likely Dave Matthews at that time) but I knew the Cardigans were not very mainstream and I wasn't sure if they would have the CD or not. I called the shop up to ask if they would have some that night and the sales clerk said, "Yeah. I think I saw a box of them in the back." GREAT - all aboard the Cardigans Expressway! So I head out there with Fletcher and wait in line, in the cold no less. The door opens up and we go inside to wait in line. As we are waiting, sales clerks are asking you what you want and bringing it to you to expedite the process. Well, every time I told them I was waiting for the Cardigans, I just got wierd looks and was told I could get it up front. I get to the cash register and ask for my Cardigans CD and time seemed to stop, the music died andit seemed like everyone in there turned to look at me. "Oh, you're that one guy who called earlier. I think you are the only person here for this..." Great. After every took a good laugh at me and I paid, I took my purchase that night and went off to listen to some odd techno album those wacky Swedes put together, pretty much ending the relationship we had.
Fast forward to today. Well, not just today YET. After Gran Turismo, which took the Cardigans in a completely different, techo direciton, the love affair ended. I was digging on the kitschy 60's/70's pop they working quite well and was looking for them to get back to it. 2 years ago I heard, after some long time off with everyone in the band going in different directions, the Cardigans regrouped and put together a new album. Being the fan I was, I had to see what they had come up with after this hiatus. SURPRISINGLY, it was really friggin' GOOD. The album, Long Gone Before Daylight, was one of my best of 2003 and also one of the best the Cardigans have produced. A quiet, somber acoustic series of tracks about (stuff I love!) getting old, looking for lost love, getting abused by love, etc., turned out to be wonderful.
NOW, fast forward to today. After that last great album, I had hoped for more of the same. HOWEVER, bubkis. AGAIN(!), the Cardigans have come up with a different sound than any of their past albums and not to great success I think. Their new album, Super Extra Gravity, is a mish mash of styles: guitar driven rock, folk melodies, and who knows what. While they explored their dark side on LGBD, that was more of a "I'm sad, come hug me" dark side. With SEG, the dark side explored is wearing dark makeup and hanging out in a alleyway ready to kick your ass. Wierd stuff.
But be it with most Cardigans CDs, I think it has room to grow on the die hards. As of 3 spins of the CD, there are some really good tracks and a handful of horrible ones I will skip from here on out. I prefer most of the slow ones though one is called "Don't Blame Your Daughter" and veers too close to that Lindsay Lohan song out now, "Daughter to Father". I am posting a mix of both for you to listen and decide for yourself. If you are a old Cardigans fan, give them another shot. If you aren't a Cardigans fan, check out LGBD and then come back to SEG.
BUY Super Extra Gravity
ALSO, check out their site the Cardigans. As a graphic designer, I really like the bold type, mix of color and black and white photography against bright colors, etc. NICE DESIGN.
THE GOOD TRACKS:
MP3 - In The Round EXPIRED
MP3 - Losing A Friend EXPIRED
MP3 - Give Me Your Eyes EXPIRED
THE BAD TRACKS:
MP3 - Don't Blame Your Daughter EXPIRED
MP3 - Godspell EXPIRED