Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Walkmen, take III

Last night we were in attendance at The Beachland Ballroom to see The Walkmen as well as Philly's own Mazarin and Rockwell. We cannot neglect to mention Rockwell's memorable and somewhat disturbing performance -- it can't even be put into words how bizarre it was, but we will just say that his set involved a bullwhip, an ipod, and a whole lot of personality (um, yeah). For some great pictures and the skinny on the show go here to get goodhodgkin's recap or for irockcleveland's perspective go here.

As for us, it was our 3rd time seeing The Walkmen and feel it was definitely the most solid they have sounded thus far. Their new material sounds exceptional live, especially Louisiana, where the trumpet solo sounded just as good as it does on the record. During their set, Jose had a huge epiphany that Hamilton Leithauser's vocals are eerily similar to those of Mr. Rod Stewart -- much more so than Bob Dylan's, where he has gained several comparisons. Lastly, as far as memories of The Walkmen's past performances, we will not soon forget last summer's at Lollapalooza and the vision of Hamilton rocking the shades and white khaki's (pictured above) like the bad ass indie/prep rocker that he is.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Top Five Songs of the Week!

Warm weather has returned to Cleveland this weekend, which is why this post is being done so late. We have been sitting by the pool all day soaking up the rays and sipping on margaritas.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

5. (mp3) Victor Scott - Want U Need You - this Brit is making waves in the UK, check out his glitch pop

4. (mp3) Sono Oto - Norman Rockwell - twinkling lo-fi electronics backed by touching vocal harmonies from Brooklyn by way of Cbus

3. (mp3) Brown Bird - Monkey or Engineer - Kelly related to this, see Sean @ said the gramaphone for a full explanation

2. (mp3) Explosions in The Sky - Your Hand in Mine - from the demos from the score for the film Friday Night Lights

1. (mp3) Phantom Planet - Our House - check out their great take on this classic CSN&Y track

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Science of Sleep

Now that we have crossed Brick off of our list of upcoming movies, we are now anticipating the release of The Science of Sleep directed by Michel Gondry. Providing us with movies like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind and with videos for the likes of The White Stripes, Bjork, and The Chemical Brothers (among many others), Michel Gondry is most definitely one of our favorite directors. The Science of Sleep stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a man who his being held hostage by the people in his dreams where he is trying to wake himself and regain control of his life. Somehow Gael is fortunate enough to do quality projects, but these projects are just as fortunate to have him, as he has quickly become one of our favorite actors for his supreme talent. He has been in such films as: Dot The i, Y tu mamá también, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Amores Perros.

Check out this visually pleasing site for the company that is producing the film.

Also, check out this short film that Michel Gondry wrote, directed, and starred in with David Cross.

Below is a clip from The Science of Sleep, due out this fall:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dork or Daredevil?

This past Saturday, May 20th marked the return of Cleveland's own, Guinness World Record holder of longest full body burn without oxygen, Ted Batchelor. The appearance was a true reinactment of Ted's days spent jumping into the Chagrin Falls as far back as 1977.

You can view the awe-inspiring video of Ted jumping into the Falls here.

Read a recount of the event here.

Seeing this footage brings to mind a video from our youth:

Wax - California

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Slack Republic

The Slack Republic
based out of Atlanta are comprised of the duo: Mec (who hails from Brooklyn, NY) and Pierre (who is from Jackson Miss). This up and coming rock band will be touring the Eastern part of the U.S. this summer and even will be playing a few dates on The Warped Tour. You probably were like me and had not heard much about this band either, I expect that all to change very soon. I first learned of this band last month when they burst onto the NYC scene @ The Gothamist sponsored party Moveable Hype 7.0 @ The Knitting Factory where they shared the bill with Stars of Track and Field, Land of Talk and The Cloud Cult. This show was part of torrid tour dubbed "The Slack Tax Tour" in which they played 6 shows in 7 nights through the Eastern coast of the United States. The band currently has a 6 song sampler which you can buy from the aforementioned tour or on their myspace page for $6.

The band varies it's style from song to song and you can't just pigeonhole them. As far as being pigeonholed, Mec has this to say: "We've been labeled everything from grunge, to hip hop and most recently, afro-punk. Fortunately for us, we don't exactly fit these pre-fab ideals of what a band should look or sound like. Our musical tastes and disciplines are just too diverse to accept that we have to make a specific kind of music to be successful."

Two of my favorite tracks are "wait for me" and "how easy." On the track "wait for me," Mec's vocals makes me think of the 50's girl groups while being backed nicely by ska chords. The nice change in this song comes near the end when there is a nice little reggae breakdown.

On the rocker "how easy" it feels like it would be at home in the background of a teen drama. It even comes complete with an answering machine soundbite of Mec professing her love. This track has been stuck in my head for a while. I am looking forward to the opportunity this summer to see them, with dates in Erie, Pa and Pittsburgh, Pa. I plan to check them out and you should too.

Lastly, if you have not heard their cover of Eurythmics "sweet dreams" (posted a few months ago in our weekly top 5) go their myspace page and check it out. With what this demo has shown me, I expect great things in the very near future from this band.

(mp3) The Slack Republic - Wait For Me

(mp3) The Slack Republic - How Easy

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fig Vodka?

Yesterday Erin, Kelly and I went to a sushi dinner @ Paws. It was a pretty good deal $25 for all the sushi and sake you can consume. After the meal had concluded they were passing out samples of feig ling a German fig flavored vodka now being imported here in the states. It went down very smooth and I could see how one could get sloppy in a short time from too much of it.

The website on the cap of bottle was not working but I did find many sites where you can buy it as well as this site giving a review of it. It goes for about $16-20 for 750 ml's depending upon where you purchase it from. This is not ordinarily my cup of tea, but I think this stuff is great. So try it if you get the chance.

Time to root for The Heat!!

On Sunday after the Cavs ( congrats to them for a great season can't wait till next year) were eliminated from the playoffs by The Pistons I became a fan of the Miami Heat. Ordinarly I really have no problem with this team except for Shaq (not a fan) but I never actually root for them. Tonight though I will be rooting for them against the Pistons and hoping for The Heat to win game 1 on their way to a series victory in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Another reason I am rooting for "the heat" is that here in c-town this May has been rather chilly (10 degrees cooler than normal) ,but this weekend that is all going to change we are suppose to get into the 80's, so bring on "the heat". Also the Indians have come out of their slump and have won 5 of their 6 (albeit against weak competition) and they too are ready to start heating up.

On to more interesting things, You may recall when we posted about Serena Maneesh a few months ago, well they have a free remix of their track "Sapphire Eyes" available for download on their site now (thanks to Chromewaves for the heads up). And If you live on mars (or you just don't care) maybe you didn't realize that the new The Walkmen record "A Hundred Miles Off" comes out today. I can't wait to go see them next week with Marazin @ The Beachland.

(mp3 ) The Walkmen - Wake Up ( live)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Lowdown

Yesterday we were witness to the best movie of 2006 *so far*, Brick (their website much like Donnie Darko's adds valuable insight to the film), plus a great impromptu show at the Beachland Tavern given by Frog Eyes and Sunset Rubdown -- definitely check out how Ryan captured the show's essence here.

[Mp3] Sunset Rubdown - They Took a Vote and Said No

As mentioned in Friday's post, The Blood Arm is playing at Cleveland's House of Blues opening for The Charlatans UK tonight. And we were fortunate to score some free tickets, special thanks to Kelly's sister Erin :)

Also, here is our obligatory Cavs mention -- we don't even need to explain what is going on...Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals is going down at 3:30pm in Detroit, GO CAVS!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Top Five Songs of the Week!

Finally the sun returned and flowers are appearing after days and days of excessive rain. Fortunately the weather won't be a deterent from venturing out of the house and enjoying our weekend. This afternoon will be spent finally seeing Brick as well as Sunset Rubdown and Frog Eyes playing an impromptu show at the Beachland Tavern.

For now, here are this week's favorite songs:

5. [Mp3] Jolie Holland - Springtime Can Kill You Very appropriately titled the way weather treated us last week...

4. [Mp3] Brinca Means Jump - Hero Complex Jose's solid pick

3. [Mp3] Bitter:Sweet - Dirty Laundry I checked out this band upon iGiF's recommendation, and really enjoy their swanky, loungy sound

2. [Mp3] The Age of Rockets - Petales Peaceful, pretty & Death Cab-esque

1. [Mp3] The Pipettes - I Think We're Alone Now Absolutely looove this song, period

Friday, May 19, 2006

Do I have your attention?

The Cavs have the whole basketball world's attention right now with their play this playoffs. Wednesday they pulled of thrilling 86-84 victory in Detroit to take a 3-2 lead in the series.Tonight the whole city is gearing up for what we hope is a celebration tonight after we watch The Cavs here in town @ the Q dispatch of the Detroit Pistons and advance to Eastern Conference Finals to face the Miami Heat. It just last week @ this time that The Cavs were trailing 0-2 in this series, amazing how much things in change in one week. Regardless of what happens tonight The Cavs will be playing someone (better not be Detroit) Sunday afternoon @ 2pm. Later that day if you are looking for a show here in town, The Charltans UK are playing @ The House of Blues with The Blood Arm opening. I have been a fan of The Blood Arm since I first heard their catchy single "do I have your attention" back in 04.

The Blood Arm are a foursome who hail from L.A. they first popped up back in 04 when Alex Kapronos of Franz Ferdinand started to sing their praises. He liked them so much he had them open for Franz Ferdinand on few of their dates on that tour. Since then they have toured with Maximo Park, We Are Scientists, Sons and Daughters and The Hot Hot Heat. They put out one record Bomb Romantics and their second album is due this year. I think their sound definitely brings to mind the early strokes. While NME says that " they're essentially James Brown fronting Talking Heads and singing The Fall songs".

(mp3 ) The Blood Arm - Do I have your attention? sooo catchy

(mp3) The Blood Arm - Can I unwind?

Check out their video for "Say Yes".... Fame anyone?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

TONIGHT It is going to be a WAR!

Tonight we are going to The Grog Shop to check out the Film School show with locals To Be A High Powered Executive and Blazer opening. You may recall that we posted about this show a few weeks ago when we thought Islands would be on the bill as well. Unfortunately it was not in the stars they are playing tommorow and we can't go because we are going out for Kelly's sister Erin's birthday.

Also of note, The Cavs take on the Pistons tonight in game 5 of their series @ 7pm. I expect this to be not a battle but a war on the floor and would not be surprised if their was some bled let on the court. In their last game on Monday which I was lucky enough to be able to attend, it was a physical low scoring contest in which the cavs managed to eek out a dramatic 74-72 win. You know that tonight the Pistons will be looking to bring on their home court to put all the naysayers to bed but I know the Cavs will be brining their a-game too. Sadly I will be at work till 9pm but hopefullyl I can see most of the second half. GO CAVS!!

On lighter note if you have not seen the Sony Bravia commerical featuring Jose Gonazlez's version of heartbeats then check it out below.

Then check out the spoof by the British soft drink company Tango

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Watch out for Bears !!

The twee pop explosion is growing exponentially daily (in fact, Sweden has so many twee pop bands it seems that there must be in the water!). This is reflective in the recent popularity of bands such as Camera Obscura, Acid House Kings, and Boy Least Likely To. Often Cleveland tends to lag behind when it comes to such trends. Lucky for us, in Chagrin Falls no less, Bears (you may recall us mentioning them in a post last week) were conceived.

Bears consists of Craig Ramsey (also of The Lovekill and Kiddo) and Charlie McArthur (formerly of Ache:Emelie). During the recording process, they were a two-piece but now they have been able to acquire additional members (including Rachel Hart from Plasma for Guns) allowing them to perform live.

It's not easy to categorize Bears in any way other than fun. However, it is clear where their influences stem from: The Beatles, Radio Dept., Belle & Sebastian, The Lucksmiths, and Elliott Smith. As for their first effort, the album is solid across the board, chock full of handclaps, tambourines, bells, and lush harmonies. Although, Jose knows Charlie we are not being biased -- it's just a great record. Released last month, the album will provide an excellent soundtrack for your summer. You can purchase it here, where all the eye catching artwork was done by Kate Pugsley (see below for a sample, and go to her website to check out more of her work).

We had a very difficult time choosing just two songs from their album, but here you go --

Jose's choice: [Mp3] Bears - Never Have to Guess A strong opening number

Kelly's choice: [Mp3] Bears - Stay A Shins-esque track

[Additional tracks can be streamed on their Myspace Profile]

**Go see Bears at The Beachland Ballroom's Tavern on Sunday, June 11th! Although Band of Horses is that same night, we are making an effort to see them before we head to The Grog and you should too!


While we're on the topic of Bears, here is another nice slice of twee pop...

[Mp3] Tigerella - These Bears

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Booze makes a victory all the more sweet

While watching The Cavs finally showing some promise in Game 3 (as Jose puts it, "for the first time the Cavs aren't laying over and playing like b*tches") it was necessary to calm our nerves with a little vino.

Here is what we chose for the evening: Duck Pond Pinot Gris

This crisp white wine, grown in Oregon's Willamette Valley (mentioned in this previous post), has an unusually high alcohol content of 14% for its varietal ;) Even so, the wine maintains its balance and compliments the excellent Port Salut cheese and white grapes we're enjoying nicely. Even better, you can purchase it for $12.99 at your local store.


In the end, The Cavs were victorious 86-77 over the Pistons:

Top Five Songs of the Week!

Although this afternoon's weather was rainy, cold and dreary, it was perfect for staying inside and watching a movie. I chose an old favorite, Vanilla Sky, that not only is impressive in a visual sense, but in a musical sense as well. Thanks to Cameron Crowe, this movie has probably one of the most eclectic and solid soundtracks of the past 10 years (and, yes, that is quite the statement). Being reminded of just how much I love the songs played throughout Vanilla Sky, I included a couple in this Week's Top Five Songs:

5. [Mp3] Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill Inspires such nostalgia...

4. [Mp3] Badly Drawn Boy - The Shining (Avalanches Remix) Another one good for the sake of nostalgia, but with a more uplifting essence

3. [Mp3] Familiar Trees - Migration Should be on one of those Chillout compilations that I'm such a sucker for!

2. [Mp3] Radiohead - Everything in its Right Place Never gets old, despite the fact that the same five words (make that twenty-five words, thanks Ryan) are sung throughout the song's entirety

1. [Mp3] Sambassaduer - Marie Gotta love that shoejangle ;)

Bonus: [Mp3] Neko Case - Buckets of Rain (Bob Dylan cover)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Assembly Now!!

If you have not checked out the up and coming London foursome Assembly Now before you should. I would best describe their sound as British indie-pop. Their ep the Apollo Control Demo, is hands down one of my favorite releases this year. You might recall a few weeks ago we posted their track "out on 24's" on our top 5 list for that week. They are really starting to make some real noise on the other side of the ocean, receiving air play on radio and a live write up in NME this week. If you are like me and have been hungry for some more great music from these chaps you are in luck.They have two new demos available for download from their site so go check em out.

(mp3) Assembly Now - Tenement (new demo)

(mp3) Assembly Now - Roman Promises (new demo)

These Playoffs are killing me!

Tonight the Cavs lost again to the Pistons 97-91. The have now fallen behind 2-0. This is clearly not the end of the world but I would just like for them to stop playing scared. I know the Pistons are the best team in the league and this is the playoffs. However the cavs are giving up too much ground,they are showing too much respect. The cavs are playing like b*tches,they need to get angry and bring it,hopefully that is the case Saturday when the series comes back to Cleveland for Game 3. Right now is hard to be a Cleveland sports period (when isn't it?). The Indians choked again and lost to the Royals (the worst team in baseball) for the second night in a row.

On to lighter subjects, tonight Kelly and I were talking about things from the 80's and I mentioned how I thought that She-Ra must be the most successful spin off of another cartoon show and she said didn't agree with me. There must have been others,but for the life of us we can't think of any.Does anyone know of any others? Please let us know.

(mp3) she-ra theme song - (for the sake of nostalgia)

(mp3) He-man theme song (instrumental)

Monday, May 08, 2006

What is a Daytrotter?

This morning in our gmail's inbox we got an message asking us to check out Daytrotter. I had no idea what that hell that was. However, upon checking out the link I would highly recommend that you all check out the site as well. Daytrotter is a site that has been started by Sean Moeller, the music critic for the Quad-City Times, and a writer for DIW, Rockpile, Filter, Punk Planet, Playback St. Louis, The Salt Lake Weekly, and many other publications. Daytrotter is an online music magazine with reviews, interviews and show reviews like other similiar sites do.

Where they differ is that each week they feature a band that has stopped by their studios in the Quad-Cities to do an instudio performance. In these sessions the bands peform unreleased, older, or alternate versions of their songs, then they are posted for download.
Some of the bands they have featured so far are: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Impossible Shapes, Jason Forrest, among others. In the next few weeks they have some particularly exciting sessions planned with: Ben Kweller, The Smoking Popes, Tape 'N Tapes, Two Gallants, and Casey Dienel.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I am sitting here still disapointed in the Cavs showing this afternoon.If you did not watch the game then you made a much more constructive use of your time and energy then I did.The Cavs were dismantled and run over by the Pistons losing 113-86.The game was not even as close as the score would indicate it was worse.The only positives if any for the cavs in this game were that Z was able to score in double figures and that the Cavs finally scored more 80 in a game @ Detroit which they did not manage to do in the regular season.Game 2 is Tuesday a different Cavs team better show up then or else this will be a short series.

On a positive note I want to congratulate Bob Wickman on becoming the all time saves leader for the Indians this afternoon.Bob came on in 9th inning and in true Wickman fashion he put two runners on, but then he got a double play to end the game and earned his 130th career save for the Tribe!

Lastly Nouvelle Vague have just posted two tracks off their upcoming new album Band A Part.Check out their take on the killing moon here.

Sunday Morning Videos

Last week I was having lunch with Charlie @ Chipotle so we could discuss his band's debut record.Charlie is in a band called Bears.They are a twee pop band from c-town and they are have their first show coming up next month June 11th @ The Beachland Ballroom.I am going to be posting a review of their great record very shortly,for now check out their myspace page and the track that Matt @ YANP posted the other day.

While I was having lunch with Charlie we were aslso dicussing the great video of Drew's ( who is one of our high school classmates) band Wintergreen.Check out their video for "When I wake up" especially if you like Atari. The video was directed by Keith Schofield who also directed the beautiful video for the Death Cab For Cutie song "Jealousy Rides With Me" and in that video if you watch closely enough for a few seconds you will see the lead singer of Wintergreen Drew and his girlfriend.This video can be seen here it is a bonus track on the Death Cab for Cutie dvd "Directions" which can be bought here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

About Time!

I know that some of you are like me and having been waiting for someone to post a link to the single Reconnect by the new Irish band, Director. Well, you are all in luck now thanks to Six Eyes -- so here you go! (updated link)

Top 5 songs of the week,Congrats to Erin!

Kelly is back in Oxford this weekend to attend the graduation of her sister Erin from Miami University.Congrats Erin Welcome to The Real World!!

5.(mp3) Tilly and The Wall - Black and Blue from their new album Bottoms of Barrels, Can't wait to see them on tour next month.

4.(mp3) The Double - Idiocy, reminds me of the French Kicks on Tour next month with We Are Scientists and Aurevoir Simone.should be a great tour.

3.(mp3) Everybody Loves Irene - Hands Open some great downtempo from Indonesia.vocals similiar to that of Beth Gibbons of Portishead.

2.(mp3) Devotchka - How it Ends This Denver bands makes beautiful dark folk music in the vein of Andrew Bird, they just had a new ep come out this week

1.(mp3) The Horror The Horror - This is a Love Song this Swedish band introduced to us by Ryan (Thanx) they are a nice combination of late 70's art rock and 90's brit pop. Debut album coming out next month

And last but certaintly not least ,congrats to The Cavs for eliminating the Wizards last night and advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time since 1993!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Citrus on the Horizon

Asobi Seksu have just put up a jukebox on their site so you can preview tracks from their new album "Citrus" before it comes out on May 30th.

If you have never seen their video for their song "walk on the moon" check it out.I love the vivid use of color in this video.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I Want to Reconnect with You

A few weeks ago when I was first exposed to the great track "Reconnect" by the new Irish band, Director, I checked out their video for this single and it made me like them even more. While watching the video, it made me think of another video that was somewhat similiar: "New Noise" by the awesome post hardcore band Refused. Check out the two videos so you can judge for yourself.

The YouTube verison of the Director's "Reconnect" video was not so great, so just go here to view a better quality version.

Refused - New Noise:

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nouvelle Vague @ Irving Plaza

Upon my trip to NYC a week ago, I was very excited to learn that Nouvelle Vague had booked a show for one of the evenings of my stay -- especially since I somehow knew they weren't stopping in Cleveland anytime soon. . .

Although I had fairly high expectations, I must say that this French band really blew me away -- they had excellent stage presence and sounded even better than on their album. Not to mention, they played nearly every song they've recorded (granted, that is only like 14 songs, but still!) and a few "new" songs (Nouvelle Vague II Tracklist).

Some highlights included their renditions of Love Will Tear Us Apart (of course), Dancing With Myself, and Too Drunk To F*ck. A definite bonus was the fact that Irving Plaza was celebrating Earth Day, handing out all kinds of randomly great free gifts (ie - basil seeds, arty shoulder bags, condoms, etc).

The crowd for the show was great (lots 'o Euros), but for the sake of being polite, I only took the two pics above