laura cantrell - 14th street
hands down, laura cantrell has one of the most beautiful voices i've ever heard. it seems like every year, there's at least one fairly traditional country album that i really get into. this year its laura's "humming by the flowered vine" (released on june 14th via matador records). the album features a bunch of guest musicians including john convertino and paul niehaus of calexico. even if you're not a fan of country music, i promise this will not disappoint. recommended if you like: lucinda williams, emmylou harris, caitlin cary.
click here to download: laura cantrell - 14th street
wolf parade - you are a runner and i am my father's son
considering all the hype they recieved last year, wolf parade have the potential to put out one of the most acclaimed albums of the year. recently they signed with sub pop and spent some time on the road with modest mouse. on september 27th, the band will be releasing their first full length entitled "apologies to the queen mary". as a teaser for the album, they will also be putting out a 4 song ep on july 12th. the first two songs will be on the full length (this includes the track i posted) and the other two are exclusive to the ep. recommended if you like: the arcade fire, david bowie, spoon.
click here to download: wolf parade - you are a runner and i am my father's son
clap your hands say yeah - in this home on ice
every now and then a band comes straight out of left field and sends all the critics into a frenzy. well i think they've found their newest darlings. with their self titled debut, brooklyn based clap your hands say yeah, have managed to create one of the most intriguing albums i've heard in 2005. the band merges a ton of influences and still manages to make it come out sounding original and fun. seriously i just grin from ear to ear the whole time this album plays. the soundtrack to my summer so far. recommended if you like: neutral milk hotel, the cure, talking heads.
click here to download: clap your hands say yeah - in this home on ice
benzos - glass souls
so i guess i'm a little late on the benzos bandwagon. there's been some talk about them lately by bloggers and i think it was their name that kept me away. but i guess i should never judge a book by it's cover because these guys know how to write a damn fine rock song. they recently released their debut album "morning stanzas" with stinky records (another terrible name). their sound is epic space rock with a vocalist that is not afraid to show off his jeff buckley-esque falsetto. i'm really glad i stumbled across this band and finally gave them a chance. recommended if you like: muse, radiohead, cave in.
click here to download: benzos - glass souls
televise - if i told you
former slowdive drummer simon scott is back with his latest project, televise. this time simon has taken the spotlight, playing guitar and doing vocals. recently the band released their debut 3 song single "outside out" on the ac30 label. the band sounds pretty much what you'd expect from an ex-slowdive member except they tend to rock a little more than other dream-pop/shoegazer bands. the band's website states that they are currently recording the score to an untitled australian film about aliens or something. should be interesting. recommended if you like: swervedriver, nada surf, ride.
click here to download: televise - if i told you
brian jonestown massacre - straight up and down
having recently seen dig!, i had to post something about the brian jonestown massacre. i highly suggest the movie to everyone if just for the antics of their frontman, anton newcombe. the man is a musical genius but he's totally insane. their sound is retro as hell but it still manages to sound brand new. last year, teepee records released a two-disc retrospective entitled "tepid peppermint wonderland." i could go on about this band but really just go rent the movie and you'll learn all about them and their friends/rivals, the dandy warhols. this is some of the most unique music i've heard lately. recommended if you like: the velvet underground, the dandy warhols, the warlocks.
click here to download: brian jonestown massacre - straight up and down
paul westerberg - as far as i know
simply put, paul westerberg is a legend. former frontman of the replacements, he still manages to blow me away time and time again. recently the kind folks over at rhino compiled a best of cd, "besterberg: the best of paul westerberg." the cd collects his best solo work and a few rare songs as well. the man practically invented grunge music. the track i posted comes from his latest album of new material entitled "folker" which was released last year on vagrant records. i saw paul live a little over a month ago and he hasn't lost his touch one bit. truly one of the best songwriters of recent generations. recommended if you like: the replacements, ryan adams, the rolling stones.
click here to download: paul westerberg - as far as i know
the court and spark - suffolk down upon the night
i'd like to think that normally i'm pretty up to date when it comes to new music but i totally blew it when it came to the court and spark. for whatever reason i avoided reading reviews about the band or listening to them until last week. i'm glad to say that i finally gave them a chance because they're all i've been listening to since then. last year they released an ep "dead diamond river" and a full length "witch season" on absolutely kosher records. their songs are very atmospheric alt-country tunes with tons of bells and whistles (not literally). anyways..really good porch music. recommended if you like: whiskeytown, beachwood sparks, wilco.
click here to download: the court and spark - suffolk down upon the night
the starvations - corner of my eye
with the band's third full length, "gravity's a bitch" (to be released on june 21st via gold standard labs), the starvations have returned with their blues/rock/punk sound. the quintent is based out of los angeles and feature a member from pleasure forever. i've been waiting patiently since their last album "get well soon" for these guys to put out something new and this track has set my hopes quite high. this is the way rock and roll should always be played...fast and dirty. recommended if you like: the gun club, x, the birthday party.
click here to download: the starvations - corner of my eye
autolux - here comes everybody
autolux is a three piece rock band from california and feature a former member of failure. their sound is similar to the pre-grunge bands from the early 90's before seattle exploded. the bands full length debut "future perfect" was put out last year on dmz records (a label ran by the coen brothers). the album was slept on all last year and it didn't receive nearly as much attention as i felt it deserved. recommended if you like: sonic youth, smashing pumpkins, beauty pill.
click here to download: autolux - here comes everybody
from monument to masses - to z (repeat)
from monument to masses is a political band but not in the typical sense. most political bands get their points across with their lyrics but these guys hardly ever use their voices. they get their message across by using sound bites of politicians, newscasters, and other government related broadcasts. their most recent album was released in 2003 by dim mak records and it's called "the impossible leap in one hundred simple steps." i really like the album because it's not preachy and it allows you to make your own interpretations of the content. the band is presently collecting remixes by other artists of songs from the album to be on a alternate version they plan on releasing some time soon. recommended if you like: fugazi, explosions in the sky, godspeed you black emperor.
click here to download: from monument to masses - to z (repeat)