Trials + Tribulations

The End
December 30, 2005, 11:39 pm
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Well, 2005 is just about over. I think this is going to be my last post in 2005 because of partying and everything tomorrow. It’s been a great year for this blog. Started in May and readership has only gone up. Thanks for reading and commenting and linking to me everyone! I really appreciate it and can’t thank you enough.

Now, if you’ve got nothing else to do, Indie for Dummies has put up the top 100 albums of the year as decided by dozens upon dozens of bloggers. Chek it out, and I’ll see you in ’06.

The song that started it all:
Belle and Sebastian-Judy and the Dream of Horses

Fashion Abel
December 30, 2005, 6:55 pm
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I’ve said it before that my local town is pretty barren of music. The only thing that’s come from Tyler it seems is Eisley. The band is all siblings, for those of you that don’t know. Their parents own a church/coffee shop that they used to play at a lot. The first and only time I ever saw them they were playing there, and a couple bands opened for them, namely Ester Drang and fellow locals The Connotations. Now I think Eisley is a pretty sleepy bunch and didn’t enjoy them too much. Ester Drang was along the same lines.

The Connotations, in my opinion, should have been the band to blow up. Their songs were pop-perfect and everyone in the band have the nicest personalities. The band was still in high school at the time, and when college time came I think they started to break apart. Most of them went to UT at Austin and they made a few songs and broke up. I am glad to hear, though, that their lead singer is still making music and actually was just signed to a label.

His name is Taylor Muse and he goes by the name Quiet Company. He was signed to Northern Records and is releasing an album, Shine Honestly, in spring of 2006.

Quiet Company-Fashion Cain, Fashion Abel

Check out more Quiet Company at his MySpace.

Second Band/SXSW
December 30, 2005, 5:21 pm
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I got an e-mail concerning an outstanding band from, you guessed it, Sweden this morning! I sure am glad I did. The band is The Second Band. They’ve released an EP and have some demos to shop around with, plus an upcoming EP in 2006. The track I got is from that EP. The song, “Wild is the Wind,” is all piano and handclaps. The singer’s voice sort of reminds me of James Mercer of the shins. Anyway, the song is really great, so I checked out more they had on their website and everythng there seems to be amazing too. Please check them out, and I’m sure you will unless you’re burnt-out on Swedes. Which is bad because I’m sure there are loads more that deserve your attention!

Wild is the Wind
What’s Up Tiger Lily?
Coffee Kills (and French Summer)

Check out quite a few mp3s at their website.

Also, if you didn’t know, SXSW is comin’ at you from Austin, TX March 15-19. Invited guests (they may not all show up at the fest) include, Annie, Arctic Monkeys, Belle and Sebastian, Boy Least Likely To, Neko Case, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Cribs, The Duke Spirit, Editors, Jose Gonzalez, The Go! Team,the list goes on and on and on. Check out the full list of invitees here.

Also! Not to be missed are the music panels and speakers. Neil Young is the keynote speaker this year, and other speakers include Sam Moore, the Pretenders, and Billy Bragg. Some of the panels would be great for independent bands to attend, with topics like touring, distribution, and there is even going to be one about music blogging. It is all not to be missed!

Two Lonely Girls Go on The Run
December 30, 2005, 7:53 am
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I’ve talked about the Long Blondes before, but they just released a killer new single in the UK called “Separated by Motorways.” They’re a very catchy band and they’ve released a few singles. I can’t understand how they haven’t been signed yet. I don’t know, but hopefully it’ll be soon. You can download “Separated by Motorways” over at Green Pea-ness.

And you can download this catchy tune here!
Autonomy Boy

In the Reins
December 30, 2005, 6:44 am
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It seems like a really long time ago that it was released, but Iron and Wine’s collaborative EP with Calexico, In the Reins, is still making waves. The bands will appear on Late Night with Craig Ferguson next Friday (Wolf Parade will be on the same show Tuesday) and Big O Magazine graciously put this live recording of the bands’ performance at the Triple Door in Seattle.

I think these tracks have made the rounds before, but it’s nice to have a trusty server hosting them all. Anyway, go here to download the show.

Things That I Know
December 29, 2005, 7:25 pm
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I finally did that whole eMusic 50 free mp3’s thing. Gotta say, it was pretty nice. I laid to wast the 50 free songs pretty quickly. I finally got the Dirty Projectors’ The Getty Address, Y.A.C.H.T.’s Super Warren MMIV, Bobby Birdman’s Heart Caves EP, the Liars and Oneida split Atheists Reconsider, and The Blow’s Poor Aim: Love Songs.

I’m really really enjoying the last one. I had The Blow‘s album Bonus Album but didn’t pay much attention. What caught my attention about her (because the band is essentially Khaela Maricich) was the similar one-woman show thing she has going that Wynne Greenwood of Tracy + the Plastics also had. I think they both even have similar voices and both use video when performing.

Anyway, the album was actually produced by Jona Bechtolt, aka Y.A.C.H.T., which explains why their beats sound very similar. He also is in a music video for the song I’m putting up here.

Knowing the Things That I Know

New Nellie
December 27, 2005, 8:11 pm
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Nellie McKay has been up to quite a lot. She left her label, Columbia, and is releasing her sophomore album Pretty Little Head all on her own. She’s also going to be on Broadway in 2006 in The Threepenny Opera with Alan Cumming.

According to this Billboard article, the dispute has something to do with Sony wanting to cut out seven songs from the album, although I’m sure there are more reasons. There was a live DVD slated to come out the same day as the record too, I guess. McKay is planning on releasing the new album on the Internet in January and on disc in February.

Anyway, here is a track from the album, a duet with Cyndi Lauper.
Bee Charmer (ft. Cyndi Lauper)

December 27, 2005, 7:35 pm
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I love Touch and Go Records. They are a very wonderful label who loves giving away mp3s. And I love that. Case in point: the new Quasi record. Quasi is, for those of you that don’t know, the drummer from Sleater-Kinney Janet Weiss and bandmate Sam Coomes. They’ve released a couple albums to great acclaim, and are prepping their new effort, When the Going Gets Dark which will see the light of day March 21st in 2006. The album was mixed by Dave Fridmann, who has worked with the likes of the Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse, and worked on DOH’s 2005 favorite album, Sleater-Kinney’s The Woods. This makes me excited. Anyway here’s a new mp3 from the new Quasi album.

Merry X-Mas

They’ve got two dates this week!

December 29 Showbox – Seattle, WA
December 30 Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
both dates are with Sleater-Kinney and Stepehen Malkmus + the Jicks

Chosen Darkness
December 27, 2005, 6:15 pm
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It’s been awhile since anyone’s heard anything about Austin, TX band with a mouthful-of-a-name, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. They released a self-titled EP, produced by Spoon‘s Britt Daniel. They’re finally releasing their long-awaited debut album, which is being released March 2006 and is called Fear is on Our Side. They’re also releasing a 12″ single for the song “According to Plan,” which sounds very New Order if I do say so. Here’s an mp3 of that song courtesy of the band’s label, Secretly Canadian, and an mp3 from their EP.

According to Plan
When You Go Out

They’ve got one tour date coming up:
February 2 – Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa w/ Spoon

Boxing Day
December 26, 2005, 6:15 pm
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Today seems like it’s gonna be a pretty boring. No real news to speak of it seems, since everyone’s in holiday mode. Still a good day to put up a couple mp3s, right?

Well awhile back, there was a lot of hulabaloo as to whether or not the Decemberists would be participating in an Elliott Smith tribute full of Portland bands (and even titled To: Elliott, From: Portland). Well Colin Meloy said no, they weren’t participating. And now the promo for the comp has been sent out and, yes, the Decemberists are on it. They contributed a cover of “Clementine” and you can download it at Each Note Secure.

Also, the other night a friend of mine was driving me back home. She’s a great girl and has a great taste in music. She’s been trying to get me to listen to Magnolia Electric Co./Songs: Ohia for quite some time but I never really gave in. Well she played Magnolia’s new album What Comes After the Blues and I have to say it’s a great album. It was really really foggy out, and it was surreal to be driving through it hearing this song, the first single off the album.

Hard to Love a Man

I hope you all have a good day returning unwante purchases or lounging around free of work!