Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gettin Groovey with Streaming Tunes

Grooveshark, passed along by reader Reed, is perhaps the best music streaming site in the whole damn town. I am a long time advocate of Pandora, but this site is on point.

You can search any band, album or song and play the selection on demand! There is a function to save favorite songs, add to lists etc.

The site offers the ability to embed tracks on Twitter, your blog, FB etc. You can even design a playlist and embed that. Yes, that will be happening on LTME very soon, just don't have time or bandwidth to really explore this thing at work.

In the brief time I have played with it I have been immensly impressed with the bredth of material available, namely live shows, alternate recordings, compilations etc. (all found under one search for Fleet Foxes). I even found Veckatimest (Grizzly Bear), so it appears that the site has the ability to grab unreleased material as well.

All in all a great find. Thanks Reed.

You kids explore and post repsonses.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stuff that's worth watching

From Reader McConnell; Department of Eagles video for "No One Does It Like You"

One of the most surprising commercials I've seen in a while; Guitar Hero with Roy, Coach K, Petrino and Coach Knight...oh and some band named Alcholica, or something.

Trailer to the upcoming film from Spike Jonze, "Where the Wild Things Are", clip features an acoustic clip of Arcade Fire's Wake Up.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Elvis Lives, Speaks with NPR

Check out the Elvis Perkins NPR Morning Edition interview called Elvis Perkins: Out of the 'Dirge'

Stream the songs from his new album as well.

*thanks www.subterraneanblog.com/.../elvis_perkins.JPG for the pic

In the Words of Love

Track passed on from avid LTME enthusiast and rockin babe (Janine).
Check out Lalita from The Love Language, a band from Raleigh, NC.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Voice from the Hills

Invitation Songs - The Cave Singers

Droplets form, hold and fall through the dew of the daybreak. They start from the brow, curve past the eye and run quick down the bone to the beard. The taste is sour and salty like the ocean to the far east. The air is no longer frozen and the sweat reminds him of days that have been and the work to come. The lord has blessed these hills he walks and his good will brings hope of a strong season and crop.

The thicket has grown and tangled upon itself, passing through has grown unbearable as it pokes, grabs and tears. The thorns dig and pull drops of blood. The whiskey to his breath sends shivers down his mind, numb. A branch takes hold and punctures the black, soaked wool overcoat. Footing gives way and the moist of the soil leaves no bearing.

Torn now and tattered he’ll pry to break free of the thorns and the guilt. “Lord, save me from this and lead me away from these troubled hills, for too many memories haunt me here. I cannot be freed of them, rid of their ways.”

Exhaustion is setting in. Heart races, the seat flows stronger.

On his back in the muck he closes his eyes once more to focus. His hair falls about his face, wet, dirty and clumping. It slows his breathing. A tear breaks free.

Those hills know a secret, a darkness. The night has been long and he has only to cross over to the open to walk anew. He must forever escape their knowing eyes.

Clarity. A strength given to him and he rises to his feet. Slashing his arms he breaches the tangle and emerges; a free man.

The socks cling to the cold feet and the boots turned brown, soiled with clay and splattered with blood stand mighty in the soil of his forefathers.

Sounds of a household at daybreak meanders across the field. Sun creeps to the heavens. A pluck of banjo and caw of a blackbird.

He pauses and looks upon his hands.

Wilted, blue of cold, battered, stained from the night and strong as ever.

Wiping the frays of hair to the side, he sees clearly now; as clearly as he ever has.

His heart aches for the duty but his mind steadies with purpose and righteousness.

The lord works in mysterious ways.

He is a Sheppard of the hills. A tiller of the earth. A brother to his fellow man. A disciple of his Lord. A father to his sons.

He sheds his burdensome coat to the ground, piled high to his calves. His shirt bears the wounds suffered the night prior by way of crimson, dampness and despair.

He raises his arms upwards, eyes sharp and bold, jaw brut, chest broad.

She brought this upon herself. She is the darkness. She is the sinner and the way of evil. She will forever remain in those hills.

He begins to sing aloud.


Friday, March 13, 2009


Where erie is a verb and dark is a proper noun.

Handsome Furs are the personification of dark love. They ooze with grim and grit and belts and whips. Modern lovers in a cold world. The ultimate paradox of the age old wonderment of man to express his emotions and the neo-evolution of the computer to dictate how man feels when he does so.

Plague Park, the handsome duo’s first crack at the formal release of full length album, they of course being Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and his saucy partner in crime, was an awe inspiring event for me. I couldn’t get enough of the metal sounds contradicting the heartfelt lyrics belted and breaking in grand fashion. The more epic and more moving the song the deeper I was sucked in. Sadly, many were not as shaken by the work as I. Handsome Furs seemed to be nothing more of a side project for Dan while the other focal point of Wolf Parade, Spencer Krug, continued to crank one revolutionary tale after another. Never one to be dismayed but lack of support in my own musical tastes, I grew even more the fan of the first album in spite of those that would want me to do otherwise.

Expectations were among the highest I’ve had for a follow up album when I let the opening pop of Face Control unleash itself. Enter the paradox once again. Now, settled and stronger in their sound, Handsome Furs have made a complete and well written and produced album. It delivers on many levels and brings with it the ability to appeal to more of a base, more dance, more pop, more current indie. I see it as a venture lost.

Where are the epic cries and the dark misery of lonesomeness? Why are they so in love that they never see dark? Yes, the guitar work is strong and the beats move a crowd now, but songs that clock in at 1:50 to 3:20 are a far shadow to the master works of the last album.

Sad am I indeed. Expectations and paradoxical letdowns aside, this is a quality album. I regard many of the aspects that the band have grown to excel at. The lyrics are as bold and thorny as ever, just not sung with the desperation that I so yearn for in Boekner’s voice. The album is sexier, but in a more direct way. I’ll have to give this more time, but for now my face is far from controlled.


The Dark Lovers embrace...I'd probably write songs with her as well.

I'm Confused - Handsome Furs, from Face Control:

Go Tell It On the Mountain...you Bastard


Simple is more direct. Cleaner is more pure. Louder is more rocking.

Heartless Bastards hide nothing in the way that they are a pure and essential rock act. They understand the fundamentals and would rather you note where their inspiration comes from than comment on the production quality of the albums they put out. This is both a positive and a detriment to the band. In many regards their nonchalance makes them one of the ‘toughest’ acts around. They never hesitate to rip a sweltering riff or fuzz out a crescendo to add to the power and might of their sound. The problem comes when you have all that raw energy and you record it as if you were a garage band trying to make do until the day comes that you can afford to spend the time and money on a proper album.

The Mountain once again finds Heartless Bastards practicing their now perfected art of rock n’ roll. It is refreshing to hear bands that refuse to give into the hype or try to fit the mold of a movement, imitating what other bands do well rather than finding the songs and sounds on their own. Bastards are on the Fat Possum label, which instantly gives them the denotation as a southern, swampy sounding rock outfit. Which is correct. But where they differ from the likes of say North Mississippi Allstars is in their ability to write concise 3min rock tracks that do not waver, jam or rely on solos to fill the void in inability of craftsmanship, a more southern Black Keys if you will. This album reunites fans with the band the way they have always felt, just with some more growth in instrumentation. Banjos, slide guitars, mandolin etc. It gives a robust feel to the songs, an extra layer added that washes the sounds and curves the listener to note the shifts in the songs rather than hear the whiteness of production quality.

In all, this band is one of many that rests its fate on the vocal abilities of their lead. Erika Wennerstrom’s voice makes everything possible for this ensemble. Her voice is mesmerizing. I often steer clear of direct correlations when reviewing albums as I am of the belief that to describe something it most successfully is to do so in its own regards, not in reference to comparables. But fuck it, I’ve been wanting to toss out these comps since I first spun this album.

Think of this if you want to know what Heartless Bastards the Mountain sounds like:

Fiona Apple + Billy Holiday x Black Mountain(Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks + Sleater Kinney) ^ Led Zeppelin

If that doesn’t make you give this album a shot, I simply do not know what will.

Standout tracks: Be So Happy, Nothing Seems the Same and Sway.

Out At Sea - Hearless Bastards, from The Mountain:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Copyright what?

I stole all of the below from NPR. Take that you liberal jerks!*

From 'Fresh Air' on NPR

Shepard Fairey: Inspiration Or Infringement?

The Associated Press is alleging copyright infringement against Shepard Fairey for his use of Mannie Garcia's photo (left) in creating his "Hope" poster (right). AP


Fresh Air from WHYY, February 26, 2009 · The Associated Press has threatened to sue the artist who created the iconic "Hope" poster of Barack Obama for copyright infringement, but Shepard Fairey says his work is protected under the principle of "Fair Use," which exempts artists and others from some copyright restrictions, under certain circumstances.
Fairey based his poster on an April 2006 photo of Obama taken by AP photographer Mannie Garcia. Last month, the AP contacted Fairey threatening him with a lawsuit for using the image without permission, seeking payment for using it, and asking to share in the profits from it.
Pre-empting the suit, the Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project filed a lawsuit on behalf of Fairey stating that his work is protected under Fair Use.
Fairey is the founder of Studio Number One, a Los Angeles-based design company; he's created album covers for several bands, including the Black Eyed Peas and the Smashing Pumpkins.
He joins Fresh Air to talk about the image, the dispute, and why he thinks his poster qualifies as a protected work under Fair Use provisions.
NPR March 5th, 2009 - Photo by Jewel Samad
*I'm kidding, I love NPR and would be lost without those hippies