sand is overrated

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

instrumental instrumentals

jake shimabukuro

i've been doing a lot of work lately that requires a lot of concentration, and since i can't function without some good tunes in my head, that means i've been listening to a lot of instrumental music.

m. ward : "transfiguration #1" mp3
from the lp transfiguration of vincent (merge records, 2003)
i couldn't have a post on instrumentals and not include m. ward, so might as well start with him. he's still one of the most amazing guitarists i've ever seen.

rodrigo y gabriela : "ixtapa" mp3
from the lp rodrigo y gabriela (ato records, 2006)
from one amazing guitarist to two more, these two absolutely stole the show at kcrw's a sounds eclectic evening. they did not politely ask for it, they took it like it belonged to them. and rightly so.

jake shimabukuro : "while my guitar gently weeps" mp3
from the lp gently weeps (hitchhike records, 2006)
from guitar virtuosos to a ukulele virtuoso (you heard me right), jake is someone i was introduced to only recently. it's amazing what some people can do.


robert glasper : "maiden voyage/everything in its right place" mp3
from the lp in my element (blue note records, 2007)
another virtuoso, glasper is a jazz pianist with an ear and appreciation for hip-hip, rock, gospel, you name it. he's collaborated with the likes of mos def, q-tip, and bilal, but here he takes a herbie hancock tune with a radiohead tune and makes them his own.

christopher o'riley : "paranoid android" mp3
from the lp hold me to this: christopher o'riley plays radiohead (sony, 2005)
speaking of radiohead, o'riley is a classical pianist and obsessed radiohead fan who has made two recordings of his own arrangements of radiohead songs. sort of an attempt to expose classical music listeners to radiohead and vice versa, and it works wonderfully.

eluvium : "prelude for time feelers"
mp3
from the lp copia (temporary residence, 2007)
under the moniker eluvium, matthew cooper makes pure, gorgeous, ambient melodies. sometimes ominous, sometimes soothing, he manages to elicit a range of emotions without saying a single word.

explosions in the sky : "welcome, ghosts" mp3
from the lp all of a sudden i miss everyone (temporary residence, 2007)
whereas eluvium tends to be quiet and introspective, eits come hard and loud, brandishing their guitars like six shooters to the tune of pounding--absolutely pummeled to oblivion--drums.

the six parts seven : "stolen moments" mp3
from the lp casually smashed to pieces (suicide squeeze, 2007)
one of many bands that has come recommended by charles at heartache with hard work, the six parts seven lies somewhere in between eluvium and explosions in the sky. the music is driven by subdued drums with electric guitars and bass creating atmospheric layers of sound that gradually build and eventually fall.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

the shins on leno and a sounds eclectic evening

last night the shins made their latest (last?) appearance on the late night circuit in support of wincing the night away, appearing on the tonight show while in town for the kcrw a sounds eclectic evening show happening tonight. they played "australia" this time, thankfully resisting the temptation/demand to play the same song on each late night appearance. that they can play so many different songs off the album speaks to how complete an effort it is, and how great it is to see them getting some well-deserved recognition.

as for the kcrw show, the shins are headlining along with lily allen (hopefully), rodrigo y gabriela, cold war kids, and bitter:sweet. there are always surprise guests, but for the first time in years i don't have a clue who they might be. but based on just these videos and songs, it looks to be another unforgettable evening no matter who else shows up (although frankly i wasn't impressed with lily allen's performance, which is why i never posted that back in february).

the shins : "australia (live on the tonight show)" mp3
from the the tonight show with jay leno (april 13, 2007)
also from the lp wincing the night away (subpop, 2007)


lily allen : "smile (live on late night with conan o'brien)" mp3
from late night with conan o'brien (february 13, 2007)
also from the lp alright, still (capitol records, 2007)


rodrigo y gabriela : "diablo rojo (live on the tonight show)" mp3
from the tonight show with jay leno (january 26, 2007)
also from the lp rodrigo y gabriela (ato records, 2006)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

andrew bird is the word

andrew bird is outrageously talented.

his march release, armchair apocrypha, is easily one of my two or three favorite albums so far this year. except for a few songs, it's not an album that immediately grabbed me and refused to let me go. but that has nothing to do with the album's quality--rather, it is just so dense, so elaborate, and so intricate that you could not possibly hear everything there is to hear in one listen. so you listen to it twice and are amazed by the lyrical complexities ("turnstiles on mezzanine / jet ways and dramamine fiends / and x-ray machines / you were hurling through space / g-forces twisting your face"). and then you listen to it a third and a fourth time, and you hear the exquisite violin, guitar and glockenspiel. and soon you begin to develop a craving for a song that you don't even know the name of, so you turn the album on again and end up listening to the whole thing again. and then you see him live on the late show, and you remember everything about seeing him live--the artistry and flair; the instrumental virtuosity and the whistling--my god the whistling; and most of all, that outrageous talent.

andrew bird : "plasticities (live on the late show)" mp3
from the late show with david letterman (april 10, 2007)
from the lp armchair apocrypha (fat possum records, 2007)

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

conan o'brien clapped his hands and said yeah

clap your hands say yeah were on late night with conan o'brien last week, and i recorded it but forgot to put it up. until now. i don't believe i'd ever even seen pictures of these guys until this performance, so it was interesting to see what they looked like. actually pretty different than what i'd imagined. i don't know why. anyway, i don't know what else to say. everything about cyhsy is in this performance, i'd say--the eccentricities, the undeniable melody, the grating voice. which is to say, it is just fantastic.

clap your hands say yeah : "satan said dance (live on late night with conan o'brien)" mp3
from late night with conan o'brien (april 4, 2007)
from the lp some loud thunder (self-released, 2007)

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

whisper, don't cry

somehow camera obscura just doesn't write songs that i don't like. they must be going on about 60 songs by now, and i have yet to hear a single one that i don't like. i'm sure it has a lot to do with the purity in tracyanne campbell's voice. anyway, "tears for affairs" is the fourth single from my favorite album of last year, let's get out of this country, and the b-sides again do not disappoint. the cd version has a previously unreleased song called "the last song", as well as an alternate video for "lloyd, i'm ready to be heartbroken"; and the vinyl 7" has another cover song, this time abba's "super trouper". no downloads again today--buy them when they are released on april 16th.

camera obscura : "the last song"
(stream)
from the single tears for affairs (elefant records, 2007)

camera obscura : "super trouper" (stream)
from the single 7" tears for affairs (elefant records, 2007)

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

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