Monday, August 31, 2009

Checking In With Drink Up Buttercup

While I was up in Brooklyn this weekend for After The Jump Fest I had the pleasure to chat with Philly's own Drink Up Buttercup. These four gents have come quite a way in the last few months, amassing their energy, talent, passion and dollah dollah bills to make a running leap into the wider world of indie music. Beyond increasing their number of shows this has mainly meant going into the studio to record their first album. According to Ben [bass, general chaos] there wasn't one way they went about trying to capture their unmistakable live sound, there were many ways. Depending on the song they adapted their recording style. At times parsing each member's contribution and laying them down separately at others all four of them piling into the studio together. Not surprisingly, James [guitar, vocals, ring leader] admitted, the exactness of the click track didn't really mesh with DUB's heavily improve nature. So, more often than not, they ended up scraping convention and tearing it up in the studio. Those tracks are now in the finishing stages before the public gets a little taste of what is to come with the release of their first single this fall.

Catching their gig this weekend the was, once again, a noticeable improvement of their delivery. For those of you who are unfamiliar with DUB's raucous shows, they make their music with garbage cans, tool boxes and an assortment of other odds and ends, as well as, the usual suspects (bass, guitar, drums). When there is that much involved there is a fairly good chance that what will come out is unformed, aimless noise. Not in the hands of these fellas though. Their outrageous energy is tamed by a clear vision of where they are taking their audience and shaped by adept musical skill across the board. Watching them over the last few months I have seen them become much more comfortable on stage which has served to fully round out their sound. Taking this show on the road will, no doubt, build up Drink Up Buttercup's following. Rippling out from their tight Philly base to claim members in each stop along the way.

Despite the growing momentum, and crazy tour schedule staring them down, they all remain relatively unphased by what is to come. They're winding down their day jobs, planning the video games arsenal to be packed and spending a little quality time with their Philly crew in preparation for the road. And, in a few weeks they will throw their garbage cans, beat up tool box, toys and the rest of their instruments into a van and head out for an indefinite tour of the east coast. And, while I'm sure they'll miss all that home has to offer and have to partake in some shmoozing that is counter to their antisocial ways it is clear the minor impediments are no threat to need they have to make their music.

Be sure to get yourself out to see them now while their playing the small venues that truly complement their offerings. It will be a night to remember.

Gods & Gentlemen

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New To Know: Fitz & The Tantrums + The Drums + We Were Promised Jet Packs

I'm feeling a little retro with this week's NTK picks.
Fitz & The Tantrums - Breakin The Chains Of Love

I have been hoping someone would champion the return of good Motown soul sound so when this gem was delivered to my in box I'll admit I was as giddy as a school girl. There is a lot to enjoy in Fitz's sound. There are danceable melodies and easy lyrics to sing along to and it all leaves you feeling that much happier. Fitz's vocals are smooth and truly reflect the feeling of the era he is trying to replicate. I cannot wait to see this act live and hear what else they have to offer.

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing

This video when I first saw it struck me as a nice trip back to the halcyon days of The Beach Boys and beach blanket boogies. Now, I'm not saying The Drums are of Beach Boys quality but there is certainly promise there and they can really create a wholly enjoyable and smart aural experience. As a project by a couple of best friends it is pretty easy to understand where they draw the "fun" that is undeniable in their music. They will be releasing their Summertime EP on September 15th with a full album dropping sometime early next year.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Ships With Holes Will SinkThese boys don't really fall in my retro theme but anyone who has been reading TWIAPC for a while knows I have a total weakness for Scottish bands. I had heard WWPJ a little last year but it wasn't until I gave a good bit of ear time to These Four Walls, their most recent album, that I realized they wickedly talented. Much like Frightened Rabbit they are capable of building a song from an initial balladish melody into jangly epic pulse racer. Their drummer provides a strong slightly frenetic beat to which loud but tight guitar riffs are added and subtracted to fit the phrase of the song. They are addictive and I'm really looking forward to seeing them in October when they pass through town. Download These Four Walls and listen to the full thing. Its all good. **photo courtesy of Neil Thomas Douglas

Monday, August 24, 2009

After The Jump Festival: Philly Representing

Have you been looking for an excuse to get up to New York before summer officially turns into fall? Look no further. After The Jump Fest is this weekend and Saturday they will be featuring two of Philly's newest buzz bands Drink Up Buttercup & Free Energy. One day tickets are only $10 and you will be supporting Philly music on NY turf.TWIAPC favs, Dinosaur Feathers, Holiday Shores, Das Racist & Suckers will also be performing. I can't imagine a better reason to swing up NY way.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Swoon: An Assortment of Covers

We've had a string of lousy hot days lately. They drain you of all your energy, make you want to wear as little as legally possible and make a trip out for water ice/cold beer/gelato an essential part of your daily routine. During one of the few times I have totally succumbed to the humid beast and lounged about contemplatin life I assembled this list of love songs covers that are appropriate for such sweltering lazy summer days.

Nothing Matters When We're Dancing (Magnetic Fields) - The Antlers
The Antlers have been getting a lot of murmuring as of late and this cover of indie darlings Magnetic Fields is a excellent example of their skills. Its slow and beautiful, respecting the original's ethereal-ness. If you like this listen to their own stuff its fantastic too.

Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol) - Natasha Bedingfield
Snow Patrol's original is fantastic love song but when Natasha Bedingfield wraps her superb vocals around it new depths are discovered. The sparse accompaniment counters her delivery quite nicely.

To Love Somebody (The Bee Gees)- Damien Rice & Ray LaMontagne
The brothers Gibb don't get enough credit from our generation. Beyond their work on Saturday Night Fever they produced some notable singles. This track is amongst the best and when in the care of Damien Rice & Ray LaMontagne it becomes sigh inducing.

Whole Wide World (Wreckless Eric) - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Fans of the movie Stranger Than Fiction [the scene with the flours is one of the best romance scenes in the last ten years] and the television show How I Met Your Mother know the soundtrack moment perfection this song is capable of delivering. Elvis Costello's live delivery is almost as good as Will Ferrels version in the movie but it suffices.

Pain In My Heart (Otis Redding) - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Grace Potter has pipes and that's what it takes even attempt Otis. While this may not be your typical love song that doesn't mean it isn't the love song some people needed to hear this summer. Ms. Potter puts a masterful bit of soul into this version the does anyone's heartache justice.

Into The Mystic (VanMorrison) - The Swell Season
To close things out I give you an Irishman covering a fellow Irishman. I'm anxiously waiting the Swell Seasons new album (due out this fall) and find myself resorting to relistening to everything of theirs I have. Hansard puts his all into his take and you get the sense he has been covering this song for a long while.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Remix Rehash: Skinny Friedman + CJ Milli +Wallpaper+ Architecture In Helsinki

It has been a chaotic few days around these parts. I have moved my sister into her 6th floor NY walk up, moved myself into my new 5th floor Philly walk up, hit two major deadlines at work, had a pretty unexpected element of a project I'm working on fall apart at the v. last minute and finally I have been knocked into a wonderful new world of bloggerness with all the #replyall
shenanigans. Finally, things are unpacked (mostly), project is on the mend, and new forums and groups are being formed and my mind is coming together. But, I hope you can understand that this week my remix preferences leaned towards more chill tracks. And these were the best of what I discovered...

Skinny Friedman one half of Philadelphyinz sent me this retake on Bon Iver's Blood Bank. Its bass heavy and even more spare and hollow than the original. Scaling back when it comes to remixing takes real skill and Skinny Friedman de-liv-ers.
Blood Bank (Bon Iver)- Skinny Friedman DJ Edit

The Very Best is an international outfit (hailing from London and Malawi) that combines the "catchy" of quality afro pop with the smarts of indie music. Their newest single features Ezra Koenig (he of Vampire Weekend fame) and this remix by Architecture in Helsinki tosses in a marching band feel that just tickled me.
Warm Heart Of Africa - Architecture In Helsinki Remix

Mason Proper is playing the remix game by releasing a whole EP of remixes of their stuff. This one by Wallpaper has a mid-90's tasty candy shell. It made me want to do the Carlton dance and toss in a bit-o-disco to fully appreciate everything this has to offer.

Safe For The Time Being (Mason Proper) - Wallpaper Remix

CJ Milli came back at me after my last post of her skills with this CeCe Peniston vs FACT (Mstrkrft remix) and it so screams of summer that I used what little energy this stupid hot weather hadn't sucked from my body.

Finally, Los Angeles - CJ Milli Remix

And now that I've set you up with some delectable soundtrack fodder for your evening I'm going to enjoy the deck of my new place...

Free Energy Video- A Little Something For Everyone

Free Energy dropped the first video for the song Free Energy. There is so much to love in this video. For some of you Philly folks you'll recognize the No Libs locations and perhaps some of your favorite locals rocking out. For my fellow '04ish Carls there's a lot to enjoy as well (ahem Evan grooving). And for those of you who simply dig Free Energy its a really fun video that nails the vibe of the group on the head.

I pass a iron clad Well Done! To the folks over a M ss ng P eces for a job well done.

Here is another Free Energy bit for you to enjoy

Dream City

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy #musicbloggerday

Yesterday I received an email from a DJ named The Kids Are Radioactive promoting his new tracks. I gave them a listen and actually pulled one for this weeks Remix Rehash (coming tomorrow). Then a few hours later I noticed original email had grown a little tail of replies. You see, TKAR had failed to BCC the massive list bloggers he had sent his stuff to and the astute bunch of smart ass music nerds we be had picked up on this and had begun bantering. It began with talk of the weather at our various international locations but quickly became a crazy thread of pretty cool dialogue. Soon it spread to twitter, tinychat, spreadsheets and a facebook group (of course). Now August 18th has been declared Music Blogger Day. The play by play of today's epic email thread has been reported really well by a number of the folks on the list Sheenabeaston and The Music Ninja are two worth checking out. Clearly TKAR didn't anticipate this kind of ripple effect when he mistakenly hit cc instead of bcc but after today's insanely fun rush of blogger bonding I can't help but tip my hat to him. So, I give you his tracks and hope you go give them each a little Hypem love.

Ra Ra Riot - Can You Tell (The Kids Are Radioactive Remix)

I think this is going to be the beginning of some interesting new music blogging adventures...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Odds & Ends

The Swell Season did an exceptional session on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series last week . Featuring both old and new music. If you've been waiting to here more from them like I have check it out here

did a little session action as well performing off of their up coming album Eskimo Snow for the Bay Bridge sessions. They're coming to the Church on October 2nd, FYI. Listen to it here

There have a major influx of awesome videos lately which I think are worth sharing with the masses.

To kick it of Netherfriends, who are about to kick off a little midwest tour made this fabulous bit of film for their track Nunya (beeswax)

Nunya (Beeswax) from Dan Scotti on Vimeo.

Fitz and The Tantrums
, one of my favorite new discoveries released this video for their song Winds Of Change. Its pretty spectacular. They are touring with Flogging Molly this fall.

Modest Mouse also released the video for King rat which was directed by Heath Ledger. I have a thing for animated videos and this is a grand example of why.

Modest Mouse - King Rat

Speaking of awesome animation Here We Go Magic has this most delightful video for Fangela. They too will be passing through Philly making a stop at the TLA on September 23rd.

And last but not least is this haunting/ WTF ? video from Mason Proper for Safe For The Time Being. Watch it. Enjoy it. Question it.

Mason Proper - Safe For The Time Being Official Music Video from Dovecote Records on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Dinosaur Feathers Track

Dinosaur Feathers are pushing out a brand spankin new EP on the 18th but for you eager fans I have a track you can get at RIGHT NOW! They're playing in Brooklyn tonight at Public Assembly and in Philly on September 9th at Danger Danger gallery.

Here ya be....

Don't Fear The Vegabonds

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BOOM! You Need To Get Your Dance On Now

I received this mix from Primate King an indie artist out of the Bay area yesterday and it blew my socks off. It is 58 minutes of smacktacular danceyness and it is sure to cure whatever ails ya this Wednesday morning.
Electro Pusher Deux

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Remix Rehash: Mr Vega + Borracho + Don Diablo + RQM

There is a lot of goodness tucked into this Remix Rehash. A track to jam to while cruisin with your windows down, a little 80's sounding trancey synth

In need of a little workout music? then you should check out the offerings of Borracho. A Canadian duo dedicated to setting the perfect get your groove on dance party atmosphere. They know their way around pacing a mix so you just. keep. wanting. more.
100% Puerto Rico (Big Pun)- Borracho Remix

In honor of the group Little Man Tate's decision to hang up their hats Don Diablo offers up this remix of their song I Am Alive. Its a feel good bit you won't be able to resist hitting replay (over and over again). Clearly Mr Diablo has nothing but love for the guys on LMT.
I Am Alive (Little Man Tate) - Don Diablo Remix

This one comes from RQM's new EP. Fresh off the OMG! presses this will appeal to anyone who likes their electro to have a hint of 80's set to a nice synthy beat. Kindly offered up is this take of Barely Evil it should tug at ya enough to go check out the rest of RQM's offerings
Barely Evil - RQM Remix

And finally a little somethin somethin for your cruisin needs. Its a little bit playful and a lot a bit head boppin. Perfect to toss on when you just want to chill back and relax. Enjoy!
We Won't Break (Zoot Women)- Mr Vega

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Bad Veins @ North Star Bar

Bad Veins are two guys from Cincinnati and a reel-to-reel deck named Irene. They don’t pay much attention to the common curiosity about the origins of their band name, how their lady friend came to be known as Irene nor are they much bothered with buying into what is expected of an indie band trying to make it either (you won’t see them moving to Brooklyn any time soon). And that is perhaps why they may be some of the coolest fellas touring their asses off right now.

But, it isn’t what makes their music so fucking pausing. That is directly related to the great deal of intent and musical intelligence that goes into the creation and presentation of each song.

What started as the solo tinkerings of Ben has now grown to involve the classy presence of Irene and the frenetic talents of Sebastien. Ultimately creating a trio so obvious and wickedly tight they melt away and leave their music to do their talking. Considering they do trend towards the leaner side when compared to the bands consisting of small armies that seem to be so popular right now but their sound, man, their sound is powerful.

Their album was recorded largely in Ben’s home studio where he and Sebastien masterfully built layers of bass, rhythm, loops and even strings then passed them on to Irene. When you listen to their record it is impossible to miss the assortment of elements that are pulled together to achieve their greatness. Some parts are surprisingly simple, like the fuzzed out bass lines on Falling Tide others are unexpected, for example the strings on The Lie. While they aren't members of the every album needs to read as a whole camp the entirety of their debut album shares a thread of epic potential that ties it together nicely. They reach for realms most small groups wouldn't even begin to fathom and not only do they achieve a thoroughly developed sound but they stretch their skills over enough territory that you are left wanting more, much, much more.

Seeing them live is one way to scratch that "more" itch and I'm happy to say the same amount of musical smarts go into their live show. Both Sebastien and Ben recognize the importance of putting on an entertaining live show. To Sebastien this means giving the audience plenty to watch and move to for Ben it means blowing them away with compact and constantly engaging sets. They create quite the homey little set up on stage drum kit to the left, bunches of homemade noise makers to the right and Irene holding court in the middle. It looks like an arrangement devised by the Cohen brothers especially when the buys take the stage in their military button downs.

The amount of sound they blew through the speakers on Wednesday night was astonishing. It was probably a good thing they keep their sets on the shorter side because it was a lot to take in. Sebastien is a whir of energy which plays nicely with Ben's emotional delivery. Both are clearly investing a great deal of themselves in their performances and it creates yet another layer to their sound. The vocals are moody and sincere and the presence of the live drummer are what keep the electronic components from becoming static. This is an act that doesn't really need improvement yet I have a feeling will present itself in a number of different forms as the group continues to play and experiment.

For all of you who missed Wednesday's show you're lucky. Bad Veins will be returning to Philly's North Star Bar on September 20th. For the rest of you non Philly readers. They are going to be all over these United States over the next few months so be sure to check out their tour schedule.

Be sure to get their album but here is a nibble for your needs

Gold & Warm

Monday, August 3, 2009

New To Know:Mando Diao + River City Extension + Mark Mallman

Mando Diao
I have quickly become addicted to this posse of Swedish lads. They create a punchy pop sound that over the course of their existence have smartened up and acquired a wee hint of Motown rhythm countered with a skotch of southern edge. There are quite a few delectable tracks , The Wildfire or You Can't Steal My Love. Its the kind of music you put on when you have some intense ya-ya's needing to be danced out. You can hear bits of their next album, Give Me Fire, on here but the Gloria, employs some early wall of soundesque lady background vocal. I Wanna Dance With Somebody makes you want to do just that. Go acquire any and all Mando Diao you can get your hands on and try to spread the love so that they may stray in their extensive European touring to come state side.

River City Extension
This is another group that immediately left a big impression on me. I wrote about them briefly a few weeks ago after their lead singer played a moving solo set with Dinosaur Feathers. Then... I listened to their album Nautical Sabbatical. This entire album is a pleasure to listen to. They cover some good genre ground from the soundtrack friendly Its No Ha Ha to the banjo picking awesomeness of Clever & Quickness its layer upon layer of rollicking good music. There are a whole slew of folks who contribute their skills to build RCE's layers, which means there are more opportunities than usual for things to get messy; however, it stays within the lines to push its way into your heart and keep yers feets a stompin. I'm beyond anxious to take in their live show, which of course I'll report back to you diligently.

Mark Mallman

When I first saw Mark Mallman live I was a sophomore in college and he was insane. He screams he is in your face and at times I thought I was witnessing a breakdown. I saw him many more times over the course of my college career (he is a Twin Cities artist and they love to play the Cave) and after a while I realized there was definite method to his madness and my fandom was cemented. He popped into the main stream when his side project Ruby Isle released their full length album last year to wide praise. But his solo work deserves as much, if not more attention. He has an album coming out so he will be doing a whole bunch of touring [including PHILLY!!!! on Sept. 22nd] it is now your duty to go out and experience the whirl wind that is Mark Mallman. For your enjoyment here is the video for Invincible Criminal,a single of his new album, as well as one of my fav. older tracks Knockout on 22nd