Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bear Hands look for strong indie rock grip in 2010

For all the relief that 2010 will bring people, the fact that there is at least one new band bringing together the sounds of indie for, well, a nice sound of indie, is even more reassuring.

Bear Hands, hailing from New York, bring in a little BOAT, some Cold War Kids and a touch of Modest Mouse and combine it with some rock and roll pomp to form a taught show of low-key frustration that already sounds like it could be one of next year's best new offerings. 

The band is streaming the tracks "What A Drag" (which you can also grab off the site for free) and "Can't Stick 'Em" on their Web site - both of which demand repeated plays. Their debut EP, What A Drag, is due out in February and a full length will drop at some point after that.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, December 28, 2009

Future of the Left - "Lapsed Catholics"

Lapsed Catholics by Future Of The Left  
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12 Lapsed Catholics.mp3 (6313 KB)

Either I ignored reviews of Future of the Left's sophomore album Travels With Myself and Another or I managed to miss each and every single one of them, because it appears the album was received pretty well in all corners.

What it took for me to actually download and listen to the album - five times in five days, as it now stands - was for it to land on Against Me! lead singer Tom Gabel's best of 2009 list over at Punknews.org. I thought, this guy keeps putting out great records, maybe he's got decent taste. 

Travels With Myself and Another is, in fact, a pretty good record. It's got some stomping noise and a little obscene attitude not unlike the boys in Art Brut only it is completely unlike them. Everything is a bit cheeky on the album, and sometimes political. Also, I can understand the repeated references the singer makes to his balls - mine play a pretty significant role in my life too.

"Lapsed Catholics," not only the longest song on the album, but also the last song on the album, has stuck with me each time I listen to it. When it ends, I play it again. The casual delivery of story and sudden stab of rock and roll is a refreshing wake-up at whatever point my day is at. It's the acoustic guitar, and the ridiculous lyric, and the noisy climax, and resonates better, I think, than mid-album pleaser "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You."

With a name like Future of the Left, I thought I was about to get the second coming of Refused. To a certain extent, I'm disappointed that I didn't get exactly that. What's left, however, is more than enough to make me listen to the album again tomorrow. And I'll hear this song at least twice.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jemina Pearl - Band On The Run

Band On The Run by Jemina Pearl  
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04 Band On The Run.mp3 (4852 KB)

Jemina Pearl has this mix of danger and sex that Demi, Selena and Miley would be smart to find if they want to stick around past high school. Watching all three of them, I'd be surprised if they (or their stylists) aren't big fans, not that it matters for our purposes here.

There's a lot that I love about Pearl - the lyrics, the attitude, the knee-high boots and daisy dukes she sports on the cover of the album - but her voice is what seals the deal on her solo debut Break It Up. She sings like a pop princess, or at least like she might have it in her to be one, only with a sneer that's probably followed by a broken nose if you look at her the wrong way.

This and more amounts to a win for the former frontwoman of Nashville punk band Be Your Own Pet, which imploded last year while the band was on tour. Being hailed as the new cool kids by none other than that ultimate source of everything cool, Thurston Moore, must have been a lot to handle.

Make no mistake, this is the same Jemina Pearl who was singing about stabbing girls after class with BYOP. She's just added some accessibility to the middle finger she's waving in your face.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's the difference between the Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan? Three band members, and quality control.

Holy shit Billy Corgan. The 1998 version of yourself would kick your ass if he could see you today.

Maybe you've forgotten that the Smashing Pumpkins put out three great, great records in the 90s: Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Then you decided to try to imitate some of what was going on in other areas of music and put out the decent, and underrated, Adore. After that, you totally lost the plot.

Sure, you wrote most of what ended up being on the albums, but if you think D'arcy, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin were just role players you're out of your damn mind. They were quality control. They added their own flavor to the songs you mostly wrote, which made those songs better. Go check and see for yourself.

Have you heard that new song you posted on your Web site? Look, I dig the whole posting-a-lot-songs-for-free gig. It's cool for fans and allows you to spread out and try some stuff. If the songs get better. Otherwise, I've got better things to do.

In "Song For A Son," I hear some interesting influence of Stairway (To Heaven, that is), I swear to God you're imitating the late-90s guitar sound of Metallica a little at points, and the lyrical egotism that made those first three albums great is still there. The problem is that the song really isn't very good. I only listened to it as much as I have because I want to warn people.

Please, stop trying to be the Smashing Pumpkins all by yourself. That 's' on the end, that makes it plural. Pick up the phone and humble yourself, even if only for a second. The world will thank you and maybe, just maybe, someone will enjoy what you're doing instead of just thanking you for continuing to work and giving away your music. 

Listen at the Smashing Pumpkin Web site and decide for yourself. I'm curious to hear if I'm the only one who is thoroughly disappointed.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fools & Critters - Fools, Critters & Whatnot

Fools, Critters & Whatnot by Fools & Critters  
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03 Fools, Critters & WhatNot.mp3 (3374 KB)

At Halloween, I posted what I think is the best Charlie Brown sample ever. This here is more of an intro to the song, but it comes from one of South Florida's most underrated local bands to have entered a studio: Fools & Critters.

The mock & roll band, as they called themselves then and now, sang mostly about bullshit, taking the piss out of nearly anything they could think of. That I know of, the band released two albums, the studio classic Flingin' Powdered Doughnuts and a live tape called Does This Look Infected To You?

Of course, here's the song that anybody in South Florida who listened to WKPX in the mid-90s will know, "Spaceman Spiff". Once I discovered the song, we brought the band into the station for at least one interview and they sent us all sorts of exclusive studio stuff that I'm sure nobody else has.

Mark Herndon, the band's lead singer, also DJ-ed my brother's Bar Mitzvah - which must've been a frightening experience for him.

I'm not sure where they land in the lore of the SoFla local scene but I know I'm still talking about them, though I'm not really sure what that's worth.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, December 7, 2009

Operation Ivy - Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again by Operation Ivy  
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21 Here We Go Again.mp3 (2443 KB)

Does anybody still listen to Operation Ivy? It's one of the automatic albums I put back on my iPod any time I erase it. I should probably be over it by now, right?

Sometime in 8th grade, Steve Marsh put the Op Ivy album Energy on the other side of my tape that already had Bad Religion's Stranger Than Fiction on it. The album was five or six years old then, and is 20 years old now, yet everything about it is still fresh, and emotive, and appropriate for probably everyone's life.

Most of the lyrics to the variety of skate-punk and sped up ska on the album focus on thinking for oneself and resisting the pull of becoming just another asshole. 

There's very little chance of Op Ivy getting back together to play Energy around the country. I don't hear the classic rock station playing anything off this album either. So I'm taking it upon myself to get this back out there for those who never discovered it. Every song on this album is essential. Every. Single. Song. 

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blakroc - What You Do To Me (feat. Billy Danze, Jim Jones and Nicole Wray)

What You Do To Me (Feat. Billy Danze, Jim Jones & Nicole Wray) by Blakroc  
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10 What You Do To Me (feat. Billy Danze, Jim Jones & Nicole Wray).mp3 (9870 KB)

I've been listening to the Blakroc album for two weeks now. Obviously, "Coochie," the track featuring ODB and Ludacris is one of the best first album tracks of the decade. "Coochie," however good, is not what keeps bringing me back to the album. That would be the interplay between the almost minimalist usage of the Black Keys, and specifically whatever tracks feature Nicole Wray.

Frankly, I'd give this whole thing back (maybe not "Coochie") to hear what Nicole Wray could do on a full album with the Black Keys. She is almost certainly the highlight of the Blackroc album, appearing on four tracks, one of which features only her.

This, of course, is the same Nicole who was discovered by Timbaland and Missy Elliot, who scored a few hits of her own and helped along those of a few other stars, Elliot included. From her Wikipedia entry, it sounds like she's almost been a casualty of the record industry. I say, let her do an album with the Black Keys, or White Stripes, or whoever - she sounds great with live drums and guitars behind her.

Whatever Damon Dash did to bring this album together is good. He's using the riffs and beats of one of the best garage blues bands out there as a heavy bottom for MCs that run the gamut, from Raekwon and RZA to Q-Tip and Pharoahe Monch. The album is cohesive, has flow and is of a length that when it's over you not only want to start it again, but actually do.

Of the four tracks featuring Wray, I posted "What You Do To Me" because it's got the whole package: you've got vocals from the Keys themselves, killer verses from Billy Danze of M.O.P. and Jim Jones, and Wray bringing it home between and behind choruses and verses throughout the song.

For more, check these out, including Wray's solo appearance on the Blakroc album:

Blakroc (Official Site)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hey Cold War Kids, I'll behave if this next album is more like your first one.

The first Cold War Kids album was good. It had feeling, and good songs. If this teaser is any indication, the band's new EP, Behave Yourself, will be better. I guess we'll find out on January 19 when the four-song EP is released.


Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sort of old and very new: The Steal broke up in October, Guinea Kids are just out of high school

If there is something totally different about the way people find music, it's that you can find stuff that would never get into your local record store.

Like, for example, when a UK hardcore band in the vein of Kid Dynamite with a little CIV or something thrown in for good balance (I don't care if that makes no sense, it's what I heard when I was writing this), breaks up and figures it doesn't matter if people are paying for their music any more. Go download the full discography of The Steal. 

It's a shame I didn't find them until two weeks after they broke up. I've been denied my chance to bitch about them not touring Florida, but have been gifted some really great records.

Based on the last of the posts on their blog, the members of The Steal got distracted by life. While much of that life is interesting in its own right, this was a great band. They finished their run by playing shows with Paint It Black and Dillinger 4, which means they played to quality, appreciative crowds. Download their albums here. (Yes, I linked it twice. I'm that impressed with these guys.)

But wait, as one band bites the dust, another is made up of members that have been alive for less time than you've been reading this post. Enter: Guinea Kid.

To keep it short and simple, these are four not-really-kids from Indiana that absolutely tear apart the hardcore skatepunk thing. We're talking early-80s-style, Minor Threat-meets-The Circle Jerks or something like that. Fashionable Activism (who went with an Adolescents reference instead of mine, and is pretty dead-on with it) found the tape and uploaded both sides. 

So, listen to Side A below, and download the whole thing here. It's worth the extra clicks if this is your sound. They band's members are just out of high school, so hopefully they'll do a real tour and put out some more records. Hopefully. 

Otherwise, we'll wait and see if Guinea Kid is as generous as The Steal.

The Steal on MySpace
Guinea Kid on MySpace
Fashionable Activism is a great punk blog - read it.

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01 Side A.m4a (6305 KB)

World Wide World by The Steal  
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03 World Wide World.mp3 (2579 KB)

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Mix-Zip goes for the jugular: Doors, Pixies, Spoon, Vultures, ODB and more.

Now this is the kind of list I need mid-week, so I'm going to assume that everybody else could use it too - a bit of the revelatory, soul-freeing rock and roll. (ODB was as rock and roll as they come. Taking the limo to get your welfare check, with MTV in tow, is the same as making the world think you just pulled out your thing on stage. Sort of.)

Nothing ironic or especially hip here. This is purely a list of tracks the Gentleman can't stop spinning right this minute. Classics old and new, including a remix and a cover. If your drive to work isn't long enough to hear it all, circle the building until the list plays through.

Zipping the mix, mid-November-style, it's time to go balls to the wall people. Make it happen. Here's your soundtrack, at least for this week.

The Doors - Five to One (Live in New York, 1/17/70)
The Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven (Live)
Spoon - Don't You Evah (Ted Leo's I Want It Hot Mix)
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - Strength Through Shopping
Beat Beat Beat - Psycho
Them Crooked Vultures - Scumbag Blues
Arctic Monkeys - Fright Lined Dining Room
The Bravery - The Spectator
Blackroc - Coochie (feat. Ludacris & Ol' Dirty Bastard)
Julian Casablancas - I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Hold Steady - Cattle And The Creeping Things

Cattle And The Creeping Things by The Hold Steady  
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02 Cattle And The Creeping Things.mp3 (5978 KB)

All the End of the Decade lists are pointing to either Almost Killed Me or Boys and Girls in America as The Hold Steady's contribution of their albums to the last 10 years. I say that Separation Sunday was head and shoulders better, even if all you've got is the first three tracks ("Hornets! Hornets!," "Cattle and The Creeping Things," and "Your Little Hoodrat Friend.").

Boys and Girls in America was what Hold Steady frontman and songwriter Craig Finn had seen and felt, as the crowds coming to his shows got huge and the record was buzzed massively. It's a real feeling. But Separation Sunday was balls to the wall, everything he had, everything we've all seen down in the dirt. It's the ups and downs of life to a soundtrack that thoroughly kicks the listeners ass (a sentiment that, to be fair, is true of every one of the albums from The Hold Steady).

Somewhere along the way, people started making Springsteen comparisons. Maybe because the Hold Steady jams the way they say the E Street Band used to. Aside from that - which may or may not be true - I don't see the comparison because where Springsteen is putting it on for whatever the common man is supposed to be, Finn is singing about the underbelly of the teen years and early 20s and probably beyond. You know, the ones that everybody pines for. The ones that so-called adults like to act like they've forgotten about, even as they try desperately to reclaim them.

I dug the The Hold Steady at half Finn's age because he sings ironically about smoking pot and soaking up rock and roll and weaves bible stories into modern tales of suburban growing up. "I always like the guy at door," Finn sings, "cause he always knows what you came to his house for." Separation Sunday is full of wordy anthems with lines like that from start to finish. Words that everyone from the 70s on know about. Yeah, Finn "can't stand it when the banging stops," and neither can we.

But by the time The Hold Steady got to Boys and Girls in America, one of the best albums of the decade for sure, for a couple years he'd been watching 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds that hate each other now get down together to jams about stuff one is living and one used to live but doesn't remember how to get back to. Boys and Girls in America is about both of them. Separation Sunday, among other things, is about the times that both love and hate and never want to give up, and that alone makes it a better album.

(In reality, all the band's albums do this. My preference has more to do with bitterness that Separation Sunday is getting no attention due either to these bloggers "their first album was the best" or "thier biggest album is the best" sentiments. In reality, YOU should download all of them.)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eels give away new single, prepare for End Times.

Eels are back in January with End Times, the follow-up to 2009's Hombre Lobo. Yesterday, E posted the lead single, "Little Wing," to the band's Web site. For all the bands who sing about being depressed and how cold the world can be, Eels are the saddest sounding band that everybody should be listening to.
From the sound of "Little Wing," a song of missing love that finds E singing to a bird about his broken heart, this one could be a real downer. Hope there's a "Prize-Fighter" or "Dog-Faced Boy" or something on the album to break up the tears.
The 14-track End Times is out January 19, 2010. Download "Little Wing" at the link below in exchange for an email address. As always, it's worth it.

Eels on YouTube

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bad Religion - Supersonic

Supersonic by Bad Religion  
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01 Supersonic.mp3 (2085 KB)

Despite the song posted above, I've had one of the verses from "Materialist" in my head for several weeks now.* Not sure why - I do occasionally think about concepts bigger than I - but it made me pull out BR's 12th, The Process Of Belief. Or, as I like to call it, their comeback album.

Decent as the preceding two albums may be (No Substance and The New America), drummer Bobby Schayer's career-ending shoulder injury is one of two things that contributes to The Process of Belief working as well as it does. New drummer Brooks Wakerman returned the speed and pounding to the original melodic hardcore punk rockers, and brought a sense of youth to a clearly greying but no less intense rhythm and vocal section.

The other is the full reunion of the Greg Graffin-Brett Gurewitz writing team. Graffin did more than well on the hugely underrated The Gray Race, but two albums that followed made one wonder if the band was on its last legs.

Previous albums, and I do mean all of them, balance a mix of introspection and worldly vague political discourse. Sometimes this was something a little more direct, as on "Operation Rescue," "American Jesus," "Fertile Crescent," or even this album's "Kyoto Now," but mostly the scientific and societal statements could stand separate from current events. Almost entirely, though, The Process of Belief is very much a band taking a look at itself.

Both Graffin and Gurewitz spend the album lyrically examining themselves from a religious standpoint, or under the guise of self-perceived failure, or even from age, as I'm pretty sure Graffin is doing on "Supersonic." 

The song finds Graffin opening the album wondering if the world is passing him by, and that the solution is to simply speed up. For me then, at 20, as it does now, the "Supersonic" is a mantra. To a certain extent, I am a careerist workaholic and always have been. I have long had some sort of direction and, when I'm at my best, speed forward with a smooth burn.

Interestingly, the song kicks off an album proving the same to be true of Bad Religion. 

*The verse in my head: "The process of belief is an elixir when you're weak/I must confess at times I indulge it on the sneak/But generally my outlook's not so bleak." 

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Saturday, November 14, 2009

David Bowie - Lady Stardust

Lady Stardust by David Bowie  
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06 Lady Stardust.mp3 (3917 KB)

Wednesday morning, I went into surgery to have an infection drained - a somewhat solo mission if ever there has been one - a little freaked out but, thankfully, significantly drugged up. Heh, as if there's any other way to go into surgery.

When I woke up, after asking what is apparently a standard question - When do we get started? - the band in my head slammed into "Lady Stardust." I didn't hum it, or try to remember the words. I heard the song. 

"And he was all right/The band was altogether/Yes he was alright/The song went on forever/Yes, he was awful nice/Really quite out of sight..."

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust being the first Bowie album to obsess me, over and over, as I imagine it has millions of others, it's not surprising that the song popped into my head at all. 

The song is about Ziggy hitting the big time. This is when he hits the stage and the audience gets it, despite his outlandishness and own brand of art - his ascension. The music is a bit dreamy and comforting, a scene fit for the high, good times of that part of the album and for the high, weird times of coming out of surgery.

The night before, I had begged my wife to bring my iPod to the hospital when she came by. I threw it on the nightstand and didn't touch it, at least partially because I assumed I'd need a full charge on it the next day. I also had a feeling that something would pop into my head because it always does.

When I came out of surgery, after the line of visitors ended and the nurses gave me the strongest of painkillers I'd have during my stay, when I knew I wouldn't pass out, I lunged for the iPod and spun immediately to Bowie's name, that album and "Lady Stardust." I listened to it twice - it was the first sound I wanted to pump through the headphones into my drug-rocked brain - and then again when I listened through to the entire album.

Whatever my body needed that brought that song to me, in a moment of being swirlingly lost, it must have found it. I've listened to the song at least a dozen more times since Wednesday trying to figure it out and what I keep coming back to is that there is something to be said for stepping out from behind the curtain and getting (back) on stage.

I'm pretty sure I can live with that. 

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Dead Weather - So Far From Your Weapon

So Far From Your Weapon by The Dead Weather  
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04 So Far From Your Weapon.mp3 (3445 KB)

By now, everybody has heard of The Dead Weather: Jack White, Alison Mosshart from The Kills, Jack Lawrence from The Raconteurs and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age. 

The album is great and hasn't left my iPod since it leaked. But sitting in the car, outside a store, watching trees and bushes whip around, something about this sinister movie-soundtrack-sounding track caught me. 

The fact is, there's not much menace in any of White's other bands. There's lots of other things, but little if any menace. The heavy menace of "So Far From Your Weapon" has had this song on repeat for me for days now.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kid Koala - Scratch Happy Land (Side A)

Scratch Happy Land (Part 1) by Kid Koala  
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01 Scratch Happy Land (part 1).mp3 (8621 KB)

Tuesday night marked the annual airing of "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." While it may not have been the first time it was used, I am confident that Kid Koala's sampling of the holiday special on his world-shaking debut Scratchcratchratchatch is the best.

Released in 1996 as a very limited edition "promo" tape because of the impossibility of clearing any of the samples, Scratchcratchratchatch established Kid Koala as at the forefront of the turntablism movement in the mid-90s. The idea was to use the turntable as a musical instrument, scratching just about sound to create a beat, bassline or melody. 

Koala's Scratchcratchratchatch was mixed down to a shorter 10" release, Scratch Happy Land, side A of which you find here. Basically, it's the first four tracks of the album as one seven-minute mix. 

About four and a half minutes in, we get to the the last track of Side A of Scratchcratchratchatch, "Trick or Treat." The Peanuts kids are reviewing their Halloween hauls, and we all know what Charlie Brown gets. Kid Koala takes his misery to brilliantly new levels in the midst of blowing our vinyl-loving minds.

"I-I-I-I ga-got ta Ra-ra-rock." I piss my pants all over just thinking about it.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alice Cooper - Frankenstein

Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper  
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Alice_Copper_-_Feed_my_Frankenstein.mp3 (3917 KB)

It dawned on me last night that I haven't done a single Halloween-related post anywhere. I woke up this morning with this song running through my head. 

"Frankenstein," from the first "Wayne's World" movie, is probably long forgotten. Really, it's significance in the film is just so that Wayne and Garth can a - worship a rock star; and more importantly, b - get information about how to fix Cassandra's career. Point being, it's a good song that plays a minor role in the story line.

Cooper gets all sorts of Halloween credit. This song, "Frankenstein," as performed in "Wayne's World," is perfect. Everybody knows "School's Out" and "Eighteen," but those have nothing to do with death, horror or creep. Cheeky necrophelia, though? Now we're talking.

So, in the movie, Cooper busts out of a skeleton in a concert scene and sings alternately about eating your flesh and molesting your bones. Sure, it sounds like the 80s and Alice Cooper has never denied that his career is all shock schtick. (Which is cool with me, by the way.) But Halloween is half cheese anyway, so enjoy it.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, October 26, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures - New Fang

New Fang by Them Crooked Vultures  
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New fang.mp3 (8875 KB)

What a way to open the week - and I'd like to thank Europe for being literally hours ahead of us. Them Crooked Vultures, the most super of supergroups to emerge since, what, The Traveling Wilbury's (Monsters of Folk may share a sound, but TCV share star power), let out their first single today, "New Fang."

Josh Homme, John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl have been slaying audiences around the world since late summer, raising expectations for their studio debut Never Deserved The Future with each passing second. Last week brought two announcements: the single is out today and the album is out in early November.

The actual sound of the band should not be all that foreign what with the live clips and teasers that have trickled out since the Vultures acknowledged their own existence in the first place. Homme brings the regular vocal- and solo-shredding swagger that fans of Queens of the Stone Age have come to expect. And it's no shock that JPJ plays his bass like a guitar and Grohl is, well, an animal.

Three quotes from the October 29 issue of Rolling Stone:

"It's cool to see people's reactions, because their expectations are so high, but they don't know what the fuck to expect," says Grohl. "I've never been in a band like that."

"I've never even heard of a band like that," says Homme."

"We're beginning to phrase alike now," Jones says. "We're doing fills and stuff in the same places. That's what it was like with Bonzo [yes, he referred to John Bonham when talking about Grohl]. We're coming up with the same chemistry within a rhythm section that makes a band great."

Those quotes are from Austin City Limits a few weeks ago, just before the band hit the stage. All three quotes are true. JPJ knows what he's got. And now those of us who haven't seen the band live know too.

The barreling, aggressive, bad ass "New Fang" lives up to a massive expectation built up over months of secrecy. This song now raises the stakes even higher for the rest of the album. 

Posted via email from One's posterous

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Those sneaky Vultures cop to album.

Them Crooked Vultures - once again, that is Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) - will finally release their self-titled full length debut November 17.

The first single, "New Fang," is out October 26. Holy shit. That's Monday.

The full track list for the album is below.

“No One Loves Me & Neither Do I”
“Mind Eraser, No Chaser”
“New Fang”
“Dead End Friends”
“Scumbag Blues”
“Interlude With Ludes”
“Warsaw or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up”
“Spinning In Daffodils”

Check out some of their actual, live music on YouTube.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Atari Teenage Riot - Paranoid (7" Remix)

Paranoid (7" Remix) by Atari Teenage Riot  
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03 Paranoid (7_ Remix).mp3 (3654 KB)

This week RCRD LBL posted a new track from Alec Empire called "1000 Eyes," and compared it to Lou Reed, among other things. I can sort of see it, what with the pseudo-poetic delivery. I'm a lot more afraid of Empire than Reed - for different reasons than I used to be though.

This, remember, is the guy sliced his arms open on stage and left a trail of blood as he walked passed roadies and other people offstage who claimed they could hear the meat of his arm sloshing. Left a trail of blood, as his arm meat sloshed loud enough for people to hear. That, friends, is hardcore.

While I don't think he's softened, the abrasive noise that so marked most of Empire's career from his own solo work, to Atari Teenage Riot, to just about everything he signed to Digital Hardcore Recordings left far deeper cleat holes in your face.

Not that he can't still get his noise on, but the new stuff is a little more nuanced. He's more menacing this way. I remember when he got together with friends and tried to make us go deaf though. Yeah, those were the days. 

(More on Alec Empire)

Posted via email from One's posterous

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bosstones give away new single for free. Heh, I'm giving it away too.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are giving away their new single for free. The song comes from their new album, Pin Points & Gin Joints, which is due out at some point. Yeah, there's no date. 

Is that a bong I hear in the middle of the song? It's cool, as long as Snoop doesn't show up for a verse.

There's nothing like a great new song from the Bosstones though. I, for one, am glad they got back together. Seeing Dicky Barrett on Jimmy Kimmel every night is great, but seeing him with his band is way better.

Graffiti Worth Reading  
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Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Graffiti Worth Reading.mp3 (2563 KB)

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Julian Casablancas - River of Brakelights

River Of Brakelights by Julian Casablancas  
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Julian_Casablancas_-_River_of_brakelights.mp3 (8099 KB)

There are those who thought the Strokes first album was a fluke, second album was an attempt at repeating it and third album was an abortion nailed to the wall as art. I disagree on all three. 

Is This It was the sound of a band using everything they loved about music to make it their own. Maybe it's because I so fully fell in love with it, but that album is still great in every way. Prior to September 11, there was a detachment that those of us who came of age in the late 90s had used as a way of life. Cynicism, boredom and waiting. Example: the ridiculously unexplained chaos of Woodstock '99, which fittingly closed a decade that, while great for America in charging forward, went quickly from sincere-in-everything to rape-everything-for-cash somewhere around, oh, I don't know, 1997. Or maybe it's just always been that way and I was just too young to notice until now.

Room On Fire took a few steps forward, but pretty clearly existed in a similar space because while we said that everything changed after September 11, we all kept doing the same bull shit once the shock faded. "The room is on fire, and she's fixing her hair," Casablancas sang on "Reptilia." Everybody hated the album because it was a reflection of themselves, and nobody really cared or did anything about it. 

By the time First Impressions of Earth hit, most were over The Strokes because critics, many of whom nailed the band for not remaking themselves the way The White Stripes did with every album (ahem, they didn't, and stayed brilliant for it), ignored the record. That third album was the sound of a band stretching a bit, and sounding ready for a break, because despite the howls for them to do something new, nobody really wanted them to. First Impressions of Earth was also criminally underrated - again, mostly because nobody cared by the time it was released.

The rest of the band has been releasing efforts vaguely similar to the Strokes and Casablancas has pretty much faded from sight. Though he has occasionally teased about a new Strokes album (supposedly in early progress with recording due to begin early in 2010), he's also said there was a solo effort on the way. I didn't believe him until about an hour ago.

At this point, I can't remember the first single from Casablancas' forthcoming solo album. I know I downloaded it. I know I listened to it several times and probably enjoyed it. But it is no longer in my iTunes and I'm not even in the mood to look for it online. I just stumbled upon the glitchy, soaring, loud-guitars-and-drum-n-bass leak of the second single "River of Brakelights." The familiar drawl is there, but he is "getting the hang of it." There is an urgency here. One that can be found buried in each of the Strokes first three albums but which plays front and center here and works really, really well.

Julian Julian Julian. I don't know if anybody will get it this time man, but I'm right there with you. You're pushing forward while many others stay glued to the ground. "Timing is everything," indeed.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Go to a Less Than Jake show, see a movie too.

On the next leg of Less Than Jake's neverending tour, they'll be taking three bands with them - Fishbone, The Casualties, The Swellers and Cage - so opening band will depend on where and when you see them.

The more interesting part is that they'll screen a 40-minute edited version of the Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Celebration Movie due out in March 2010.

Here's the trailer:


And here's the dates:

w/ The Casualties 
13 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade

w/ The Casualties, The Dangerous Summer
14 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head

w/The Swellers, The Casualties
15 Philadelphia, PA - TLA 
16 Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony 
18 Boston, MA - Paradise 
19 New York, NY - Nokia 
20 Hartford, CT - Webster Theater 
21 Montreal, QC - Medley 
22 Toronto, ON - Sound Academy 
23 Detroit, MI - St. Andrews
24 Chicago, IL - Metro
25 Minneapolis, MN - Station 4 
27 Denver, CO - Gothic 
28 Salt Lake City, UT - Murray Theater

w/ Cage, The Swellers
30 Seattle, WA Showbox

Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
Chico, CA - Senator Theater

w/ Fishbone, Cage, The Swellers
San Francisco, CA - Grand Ballroom
Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues
Pomona, CA - Glasshouse
San Diego, CA - House of Blues

w/ Cage, The Swellers
Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theater
Dallas, TX - Grenada
10 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
11 Orlando, FL - House of Blues
12 Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
13 - Tampa, FL - Ritz

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fugazi - Merchandise

Merchandise by Fugazi  
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04 Merchandise.mp3 (4396 KB)

I've been all over Fugazi for a few weeks now. Kind of a random picking back up of a band. 

"Merchandise" is an anthem. I like to own stuff, but this is still an anthem. 

You are not what you own. You ain't nothing. You have no control. 

Bad Religion used those last four words to talk about the universe. Fugazi uses them to talk about life, and in the Great Recession they are more true than ever - despite being written 20 years ago.

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I'd like to punch the snuggie off Rivers Cuomo right now.

I'm Your Daddy by Weezer  
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Weezer - I'm Your Daddy (2009).mp3 (6022 KB)

Another new Weezer song leaked. It's becoming glaringly clear that Rivers Cuomo has decided to rape the 80s with the help of a few superproducers. 

My problem with "I'm Your Daddy," like "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" before it, is that I really really want to hate it. But I keep listening to it. And nodding my head to it. Which I'll probably do two or three more times before the end of the day. 

DAMN IT! This is the same way I feel about that Miley Cyrus song. Ugh. After that last sentence I'm going to have find a hardcore band to post about. Quickly.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just to be thorough - it's Biggie v Miley

Biggie vs. Miley. Brilliant. Nobody should miss this, if you don't want to download that whole zip file...


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Biggie, Waits and Royce - oh my!

Been a busy week, which is why this is a full day late. The first track on here though - that would be the Biggie remix - should make it all forgiven.

That revelation leads into a big week with tracks from two bands on Paper and Plastick (that's two awesome labels that Vinnie from Less Than Jake is responsible for), lots of moody goodness and it all ends up with a banger from Royce and Busta. You'll probably hear raves over the Tom Waits album before you hear Royce on the radio - which kind of makes sense and kind of doesn't.

Notorious B.I.G. - "Party and Bullshit (In The USA mix)"

These songs were made for each other. I don't know if Biggie and Miley are talking about the same party, but in my head I see Miley with her hat turned sideways nodding to Biggie's rhymes and the two of them swaying in unison on a park bench during the chorus. All we need now is a plot and this is a ready-made summer Disney movie.

The Riot Before - "Threat Level Midnight"

It could be all the Fugazi I've been listening to lately, and my continued love of Against Me! - a comparison the label itself made - but this track off the free acoustic EP on from The Riot Before grabbed my attention. I would suggest grabbing the acoustic EP and checking out the electric versions on their MySpace because they're both worth it.

Dead Leaf Echo - "Half Truth"

Heavy and atmospheric, Dead Leaf Echo reminds me of My Bloody Valentine (the obvious reference) and Prosaics (who disappeared after one EP and are probably remembered by nobody). There's four more songs on their Web site that remind me of the same thing and are just as thick, heavy and epic. I'm out of metaphors so hopefully everybody gets the whole Wall of Sound meets 80s feedback filled pseudo-goth rock references.

Spanish Gamble - "Science Can't Explain Magic"

Gainesville-based punk rock leaning toward Face to Face-style melody and speed. Nothing challenging here - just sit back and enjoy. I'm willing to bet they really rev up a live crowd too, though I've got nothing but, um, my headphones to base that on. This comes from the free two-song EP available at Paper + Plastick.

I have no excuse for not getting into Charlotte Gainsbourg before now, but with Beck producing her new album, I'm interested now. "IRM" is the title track from the album, inspired, she says, by MRIs she had after a brain hemorrhage two years ago. She has been telling the media the buzzing of the machine made her feel like she was tripping, especially the rhythmic noise of this mesmerizing song which she has compared to the noise of the MRI machine in interviews. 

Tom Waits - "Get Behind The Mule (live)"

Tom Waits needs no introduction. He is one of America's greatest and most distinctive singers AND songwriters. If you've never heard him before, you're in for something way, way out there. He has an 18-track live album, Glitter & Doom, out November 24 on Anti- records. A seven-track preview is available at his Web site. This, obviously, is one of those tracks.

Royce Da 5'9" - "Dinner Time (feat. Busta Rhymes)"

I think Royce is chronically underrated, and I wish he'd get half the spins that 50 Cent gets. Granted, I think 50 Cent is probably the most overrated rapper aside from Ja Rule, so I might be offering a biased opinion here. Everything about this track is perfect, from Busta as hype man to Royce's literally nonstop flow to the dripping funk of a sample. If anyone knows what it is, let me know. Hopefully the rest of Street Hop, due out October 20, will live up to this.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kyp Malone contemplates modern life and art.

As Kyp Malone (TV On The Radio, Rain Machine) tells Fader, there is a big difference between Dylan on a t-shirt and TVOTR on a t-shirt. He's half-wrong, but only half because he's talking about legends. 

At least the irony of him wondering what it would be like without Facebook and cell phones and the Internet right after he checks his Blackberry is thankfully not lost on him.

At the end of the day, it's just about creative outlet for him. I dig that, partially because it explains why his art is so different and so good.


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Rancid still "Up To No Good."

Rancid put out the solid but largely ignored Let The Dominoes Fall earlier this year. It's as though the band unaged itself, because they sound like they're still at their prime in the mid-90s. 

Fact: "Up to No Good" would have been a huge single if it were on And Out Come The Wolves. Faux-ska was one of Operation Ivy's greatest strengths, and it remains one of Rancid's greatest strengths.


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Monday, October 12, 2009

Move over rover, let Lupe take over.

Since I have relatively little say over what I listen to in the car (if you've been following you know the CD player doesn't work), everything I listen to is being run through a constant filter of commercial rock and pop radio - the results of which are starting to worry me a little.

There are only three or four tracks from Jimi Hendrix that get actual, repeated airplay: "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," "Foxey Lady," and, the reason for this post, "Fire."

I have no complaints about any of those songs, especially "Fire." It's a simple call-out to the hot chick, with a solo that is just long enough to convince that Hendrix could kill you without ever touching you, and Mitch Mitchell pounding out the fast and funky. 

Hearing "Fire" once or twice a day on the radio, it doesn't get old - it gets better. (And the BBC version linked below gives the gift of not one, but two big solos. Man, it sounds like Jimi enjoyed this day in the studio.)

Lupe Fiasco must've had the same idea. I'd like to believe he can afford to rig his car radio in some way to avoid the scourge of centralized DJ programming, but if you catch "Fire" between starting the car and starting the iPod, you've got to stop and hear the rest.

I don't know who DJ Marbil is, but his production with Fiasco on this version of "Fire" is a faithful recut that uses the entire chorus and a lot of the melody to great effect. With Fiasco exalting his skills over it, I could listen to nothing but Hendrix and Fiasco, ones records playing over the other, all day.

When Fiasco says his "mind was a sponge, but now it's shamwow/I'll never throw in the towel, so just wipe me down," he makes me feel guilty for not having his discography readily available on mp3. I will by the end of the day. I give him that much credit and more for using such a garbage product in a good rhyme and a solid track.

Lupe Fiasco on MySpace

Fire by Lupe Fiasco  
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01 Fire.mp3 (4502 KB)

Fire by The Jimi Hendrix Experience  
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1-08 Fire.mp3 (3164 KB)

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Two videos for the morning: The Music Machine and Times New Viking.

Lou Barlow is the guest editor over at Magnet Magazine this week, likely in honor of the release of his new solo album (as opposed to simply due to the fact that he is awesome).

Yesterday, he posted an explanation of his favorite band of the 60s being the Music Machine. After seeing them in action - the video is below - I am blown away. The whole "one black glove" thing freaks me out a little though. 


While Lou can't really be blamed for Times New Viking, at least not that I know of, I figured this was a good time to also post their first video video ever. It's for the band's new single, "No Time, No Hope."


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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two covers and some solid rock: the zip-mix hits week 6.

There's no reason that I put two covers at the beginning of this other than they are damn good. Really, I didn't even sequence it this week - this is the order I added them in iTunes. Makes for a nice hop all over the place.

Mike Doughty - "Casper The Friendly Ghost"

For whatever reason, Doughty decided to do this classic Daniel Johnston track on his latest solo slab, Sad Man Happy Man. It sounds more innocent than the original, but that's probably because every time I hear the original all I can think of is Casper raping Jenny at the end of "Kids." 

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "The Hardest Button to Button (live)"

I don't know what this is all about, but I like it. BRMC never got enough attention for being a solid, feedbacky rock band. That's always the case though. There's some other stuff to download here. Big ups to the White Stripes for writing great songs too.

Horse The Band - "The Failure of All Things"

It started with the video for "Shapeshift." Then I started reading the obnoxious bullshit they write about themselves on the Internet. Now I can't get enough of their ugly faces. This is noise-metal at it's best. They scream, they sing, they've got electronics and they bash the hell out of their instruments. When I play Your Life Choices Catch Up With You while sitting at my desk in the office, people stay away and I get work done. Maybe if I play it in the car I-95 will part like the Red Sea.

Spiral Stairs - "True Love"

This is a band I can listen to on repeat at any point in the day. But then, I would have expected no less from Pavement co-founder Scott Kannberg. That should tell you all you need to know.

Sloan - "Take It Upon Yourself"

I struggled over whether to include this or not. It's another great song from Canada's most melodically consistently toe-tappingly pleasant sometimes Beatles-like rock band. But they're giving it away for free at their Web site in exchange for your email address. Which means if you're not already a fan you'll never hear it... so here it is. They sound a little like Spoon this time out but hot damn is this band always happy and good. 

Beastie Boys - "Peanut Butter and Jelly"

Yesterday I posted two tracks from disc 2 of the Hello Nasty reissue. Today, I figured why not throw one more out there. "Peanut Butter and Jelly" was the b-side on the "Intergalactic" 7-inch. It's a jazzy little Beasties ditty with some talking over it, and is as quality now as it was in 1998. Take that for what whatever you want - I never stopped listening to it.

There's a lot of good punk happening in New Jersey these days, which is where this three-piece is from. Hard-charging, spitty and full of attitude, this track is from their album Power Move. 

Built to Spill - "Plantin' Seeds"

Never been a huge Built to Spill fan, this album is growing on me though. I may even have enough thoughts on it to write a longer review later in the week. This song in particular is a bit of Tom Petty, if he were a soft-spoken indie introvert who can play guitar, of course. That was my first thought on this song. Not sure if I still believe it, but I'm telling everybody, so I must on some level.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Forget the game, what can I pay for the DJ Hero tracklist?

DJ Hero tracklist announced in full


New remixes and ridiculous mashups? Lots of classics that nobody even talks about any more? Hello, Bell Biv Devoe, where have you been? (You're not gonna dog "Poison," are you?)

Seriously, I don't care about the game. Just send me a zip file with the music, hit my bank account and I'll be happy.

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Thom Yorke has a band. And it's not Radiohead.

Radiohead has been hailed as the saviors of music pretty regularly for the last decade. If they were an armed force, Thom Yorke would be their general or something. He recently decided to add a second army to his command. No, I have no idea what I'm talking about. And yes, I realize I've taken a really bad metaphor far beyond its usefulness.

Point being, Yorke is amazing and he got a superstar band together that includes Flea, Nigel Godrich, superdrummer Joey Waronker (Beck and others) and percussionist Mauro Refosco to play his solo stuff. They played L.A., and I was not there. But a lot of people have posted video and audio from the show - and it is effing great.

He played four new/unreleased songs, a couple of Radiohead songs and most of The Eraser.

You Ain't No Picasso has the four previously unreleased/unheard Radiohead (but not played by Radiohead) tracks for download: http://bit.ly/Htg71

Kingblind collected video of nearly every track played: http://bit.ly/JYAVd

And here are some more statements about the show:

Rolling Stone: http://bit.ly/4pcWoU
Stereogum: http://bit.ly/FITzt

You can also buy the new Thom Yorke EP from Amazon here: http://bit.ly/zJL9I

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, October 5, 2009

Woo Hello Nasty reissue. Am I excited enough?

The Beastie Boys complete their remaster project this month with the repackage of 1998's Hello Nasty.

The album is still good: "Intergalactic," "Negotiation Limerick File," "Remote Control," "Just A Test," and everything else, including the mellow vocal and non-vocal tracks. This was the move away from the double-shot style of Check Your Head and Ill Communication. Mix Master Mike injected a new sense of adventurism to the Boys at a time when organic was going out and bleepy, sampled exploration was coming in.

With the remastered album is a second disc of remixes, b-sides and unreleased selections. Really, it's as though they've thrown back in the jazz and instrumental stuff they recorded during this period and sequenced it with some of the album's best remixes and studio chatting and fuckery. Aside from a few though selections, though, it's mostly stuff that could have been left on the shelf.

Look, there's got to be better stuff that they're holding back. It just feels, well, nonessential. Or maybe that's just me hoping that when I turn 60 and they're, um, way older, there will a huge box set of mp3s that just, like, "remember when these guys were really, really sick. Here's some stuff they never let you have."

Your need for this new version of Hello Nasty probably depends on the level of love you've got for the Beasties. Which kind of makes it essential anyway now that I think about it.

The Move by Beastie Boys  
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1-02 The Move.mp3 (5215 KB)

Piano Jam by Beastie Boys  
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2-11 Piano Jam.mp3 (2531 KB)

The Negotiation Limerick File (The 41 Small Star Remix) by Beastie Boys  
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2-13 The Negotiation Limerick File (The 41 Small Star Remix).mp3 (3636 KB)

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Rob Zombie chewing on some new songs.

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Sick Bubblegum.mp3 (3440 KB)

I hear "Living Dead Girl" on the radio at least once a day. The new Rob Zombie song - "Sick Bubblegum" - is way, way better, even if the whole bubblegum thing is completely stupid. This being the lead single from "Hellbilly Deluxe II," I hope it bodes well for the album.

The chorus to the song is "rot mother f*cker/rot mother f*cker/rot mother f*cker/ yeah." John 5's guitars sound like they are screaming from the depths of hell. Zombie sounds mean on here for the first time in, what, a decade? It's relatively vapid, but everything about this song is a step up.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Roots have something for you to watch.

I can't get enough of The Roots. The new album, How I Got Over, is due out this month. Here's the video for first single and title track "How I Got Over."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Air makes Love 2 your ears again.

Everything in France is about atmosphere, except for Daft Punk and a select few others who also want you to dance, in good atmosphere.

Air has always been looking to set the atmosphere for different parts of life - mostly ones involving love. Until now when, despite the name of this album, it sounds like many, diverse settings for love - from surfing, to the old west, to, yes, your bedsheets still soaked from last night's lovemaking. Naturally, the 80's are also among them, a decade which I'm pretty sure never ended in France. All that said, they're moving a little harder and faster this time out. Oooh, is it good, too.

This duo keeps the quality up with another essential album. Here's two pieces of proof.

So Light Is Her Footfall by Air  
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03 So Light Is Her Footfall.mp3 (4604 KB)

Eat My Beat by Air  
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10 Eat My Beat.mp3 (3899 KB)

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