Archive for the 'Acoustic (or nearly so)' Category

Vacationing People – Foreign Born

So about a month or so ago, I decided to make a fairly short list of bands whose names I kept hearing/reading, whether it be from friends, or on Pitchfork, or whatever. I have a Rhapsody subscription, so the plan was to start listening to those bands to see if there was stuff out there that I was missing. I still have a few to get to, but the list includes things like Dirty Projectors, Phoenix, Passion Pit, etc.

So far, the band that scores the highest on the “how much I like them vs. how much buzz I’ve heard” scale is Foreign Born (note that I also love Phoenix and Dirty Projectors, but they get a lot more pub). This is the third track off their latest album Person to Person. They’re like a more musically polished version of the Broken West, who I’ve discussed here before. So far this is my favorite song off this album. Unfortunately, this is the best version of this song on Youtube, but I’d suggest going to their myspace page and checking out the studio version as well, which is excellent.

Checking In, Checking Out – The High Llamas

Sean O’Hagan has been a large, yet somewhat unsung part of two of my favorite bands. He’s done a lot of work with both Stereolab and the Super Furry Animals. In fact, if his best work with SFA (“Frequency”, from the album Love Kraft) was available on Youtube, I’d be posting that instead, but such is life.

So having heard his name over and over, I decided to check out the High Llamas a few years ago. And while it’s taking time to get myself sold on the whole catalog, the first song I ever checked out was this one from a collection of b-sides and rarities. And since being all “Beach Boys-esque” is really cool these days, I figured this was a good time to post a Sean O’Hagan song.

But seriously, search for and listen to “Frequency” by SFA. It’s probably my favorite SFA song, and the strings are a huge part of that. Or, in the alternative, if Pinko will let me send him the track to do the plug-in thing, I can do that too.

Skullcrusher Mountain – Jonathan Coulton

Somehow this seemed like a song 3B inmates ought to be aware of. In fact, just about any song which includes the line “Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?” probably falls in that category.

Music for a Found Harmonium – Penguin Cafe Orchestra

This has been used a number of times in movies and movie trailers, but, as far as I’m aware, the first use was in a 1986 Australian comedy called Malcolm, about a reclusive, tram-obsessed inventor who ends up with a couple of bank robbers as boarders. It’s sort of like a cross between A Fish Called Wanda and The Wrong Trousers.

For those who aren’t familiar with the film (and for all I know everyone here already is), it’s one that I expect most 3B readers would enjoy. (And it’s been too long since I’ve seen it. I also can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned in any other blog discussions.) It’s charming, low-key, and contains probably the most unusual heist scene ever filmed — with possibly (but only possibly) the exception of The Wrong Trousers. It’s also the sort of movie that seems like the less you know before seeing it, the better. I’ll provide a couple of links, but, really, you should just go see it without any preview.

The American trailer is on YouTube, but it’s kind of annoying and reveals a couple of the best lines. There’s also a clip of one of the good scenes (dubbed in Spanish though) — this is a little better as it at least shows things in context.

Bonus Penguin Cafe Orchestra track: “Telephone and Rubber Band” which has also been used in movies (including Malcolm) and ads and such and was sampled by a 90s indy band. According to Wikipedia: “The tape loop was recorded when [PCO founder Simon] Jeffes was making a phone call, and discovered that he was hearing a combination of a ring tone and an engaged signal at the same time, due to a fault in the system. He recorded it on an answering machine.”

The Ghost Of You Lingers – Spoon

I post this song from the stellar Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga album for two reasons: First of all, I don’t think this song is getting the same radio play that Don’t Make Me A Target and You Got Yr Cherry Bomb are getting, whereas it is equally stunning. The intensity of the piano chords gives the music a creepy and pulsating feeling. The video captures that well.

Most importantly, this is a massive FU to every one of you haterz that has ripped on Supertramp now or ever. Well, just eat it. This is the demonic and supreme reincarnation of the Supertramp sound and it reigns on your feeble souls. There.

Lil’ King Kong/Serotonin – Simple Kid

Earlier this year I made the mistake of skipping the opening act at the Shins show, and I’ve been kicking myself for it ever since. So yesterday, I finally decided peruse the internets (or the Rhapsodys) and see what I could find from Simple Kid, who opened for BRMC at the Metro last night (not their best performance, in my opinion, but I digress). Sounded decent, got to the show on time, and was figuratively blown away.

Ciaran McFeely is Simple Kid, sort of an Irish version of Beck with a Mac and and Banjo, and not so much the Scientology. Armed with videos, personality, and killer hooks, he plays the live stuff over the recorded stuff, and simply put, rocks the house. I’ve now listened to Lil’ King Kong about a million times in the last two days, and the rest of the album (his second, the appropriately titled ‘2’, which is available on emusic) is rapidly growing on me. Other standout tracks are Serotonin (vid below), Self Help Book, the Ballad of Elton John, and Mommy and Daddy, which was accompanied by videos of deceased professional wrestler Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree. He also performed a video duet on “It’s Not Easy Being Green” with Kermit the Frog. It’s on Youtube if you do some exploring. I’d also suggest checking the live version of “Average Man”.

Don’t be lazy and go straight to the video. Click the darn audio link.

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Why She Swallows Bullets And Stones – Esmerine

Post rock chamber music — akin to Rachel’s. Esmerine is one of the horde of side projects by members of Godspeed You Black Emperor.

Get your piano/cello minimalist (somewhat brooding) bliss out on.

(Note: video not work safe, though the song is)