Friday, October 26, 2007

Going to the RIGHT COAST

Hey everybody!

I will be in the Philly area over the weekend visiting Krazy Dave and was wondering if anyone in that area knew of a good show I could catch while there. Please email me with venues or anything like that I should check out.


Monday, October 22, 2007

As Promised on Episode #91 - Nada Surf Releases Free MP3 from upcoming album!!!

Nada Surf have been busy in the studio these past few months, preparing their fifth record, Lucky, set for release February 5th, 2008. The record is filled with songs of restlessness, longing and the elusiveness of love, yet the band beautifully counterbalances its signature lyrical wistfulness with its singular musical buoyancy. A free MP3 download of the new track see these bones is available here, or check out their MySpace page for this and other goodies.

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Episode #91 Playlist (10.22.2007)

1.Radiohead - Bodysnatchers
2.Band of Horses - Ode to LRC
3.Nada Surf - See These Bones
4.Clem Snide - Lose Big
5.Phosphorescent - Wolves
6.Beirut - Guyamas Sonora
7.Celebration - Heartbreak
8.Middle Distance Runners - The Sun and the Earth
9.Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With
10.Radiohead - Reckoner
11.Springwater - I Will Return

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Listen to Dallas Does Indie Episode #91

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Maritime: Heresy and the Hotel Choir

Released this past tuesday, Maritime's latest record Heresy and the Hotel Choir is hot out of the gates and already heralding tremendous praise. But instead of sitting around basking in their good reviews, the band is hitting the road. Maritime is currently treking across the west coast with Jimmy Eat World and starting early November, the band will be bringing their infectious pop anthems to the east coast.

Maritime - Love Has Given Up (Download)
Maritime - Are We Renegade (Download)

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Wanna hear it before it plays? I completely understand. Here is an .mp3 to tide you over until Episode #91 arrives Monday.

This Band is one of my new favorites, especially this song, which I will be playing Monday. I love their sound. It's a band called Black Kids and the song we've got on repeat around the Swords home is called I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you off of their Wizard of Ahhhhs Ep.

Maybe it's just because I love the tone or maybe it's because I'm finally ready to stop teaching others how to dance with their boyfriends. Whatever it is, Black Kids remind me of a time when all anyone had were their big brothers Joy Division records and ten minutes to listen before big brother found out. Totally worth the listen.

Black Kids - I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you (Download)

Black Kids Myspace Page -

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Everyone's Talking About Radiohead and their online release of In Rainbows. Check out Episode #91 coming this monday for a little taste

Radiohead's In Rainbows: Fan Reactions

Story by Tyler Grisham | taken from |

Over the past fortnight, Radiohead have managed to ignite the kind of buzz that bands and labels typically spend months-- or years-- attempting to stoke. By announcing their seventh studio album a mere 10 days in advance of its release, Thom Yorke and his cohorts unleashed a barrage of blog posts, major media investigative pieces, and countless message board threads that quickly grew to unwieldy lengths. The release has prompted no small amount of controversy as well, not least of which because it is being digitally released at a bitrate lower than that of typical high-end mp3s, causing audiophiles and music geeks to cry foul.

Now that In Rainbows has finally seen its initial digital release, reports are starting to file in, and although we've finally made time to give our official thoughts on the album, some of our readers were even quicker to the draw, and so we present you with the Pitchfork Readers' First Impressions of Rainbows:


Speeding Up to Stop, a blog that apparently shares our passion for Radiohead. The blogger, known only as "iamthegamer" stayed up till the wee hours of the morning on October 10, in order to compile what may have been the first track-by-track review.

1. 15 Step - Surprisingly languid. Vibrant. Vitalizing. A restrained Aphex Twin bass with sick guitar hook. I may be crazy because it's 3 AM, but I think this is what The Mars Volta would sound like on an Electronica (and anti-depressant) binge. The perfect opener after Hail to the Thief.

2. Bodysnatchers - If 15 Step didn't send the message, Bodysnatchers mails it personally to your skull. It just fucking rocks, more so than anything of Hail to the Thief....and just about anything else this year. "Idioteque" comes close, but I think this is Radiohead's first actual....DANCE TRACK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Spins off the rails into glorious oblivion near the end.

3. Nude - THIS is the evolution Kid A promised. Chopped and screwed string section combined a slinky bass line and Thom "I just don't seem to give a fuck anymore" Yorke. It's majestic. Home-like. Comfortable. Warm. Graceful. Strings remind me of a Disney movie. Guitar reminds me of rainy Saturday afternoons. Just fantastic.

4. Weird Fishes/Arpeggii - Run away guitar, with Phil Selway locked fully into "better-than-drum-machine" sync. Blooms with synths and strings into a glorious harmony. This is the track Bjork always promised she'd make (and never bothered to).

5. All I Need - Very simple. Feels like "A Punchup at a Wedding" in Kid A's universe, sans the underlying anger. A good breather after all this quick footed awesome. I think I hear Thom beating boxing here. Cute. Piano, strings, and drums sail this one off into the night. Cacophony of beauty.

6. Faust Arp - Thom starts off with hushed runaway vocals, splendidly arranged strings intertwinging with a lightly plucked acoustic. "I love you, but our love is enough. There's no real reason." Or something close to that. Very short, very poignant.

7. Reckoner - Delightful bass line mixed with a very alive rhythm section. Makes me want to dance in the rain. Breaks down a good way through, with soothing oohs and strings ushering it back into consciousness. Feels like home...AGAIN. Radiohead haven't sound so genuine in years.

8. House of Cards - "I don't wanna be your friend. I just want to be your lover." says it all. Thom is actually back to singing about fucking PEOPLE again! It's been so many albums of figurative language and subtle meanings, he's actually writing like he did during The Bends. Again, wonderful string arrangements. This is a "Saturday night after the Party's over" track. So comfortable, in a "sit around the campfire" kind of way. Life in slow motion.

9. Jigsaw Falling into Place - Acoustic, bass, drums.....Rock song? "Mhmmmmm" says Thom. "All blurring into one / this place is on a mission". A driving track if there ever was one, with pronounced guitars propelling the song forwards. Strings up the game higher, almost as if they're contending with Thom for the highest octave.

10. Videotape - The end. Radiohead's known for absolutely drop dead finale to their records. Here, a piano plunks it way as Thom sings of "Pearly Gates" and having it all in "Red. Blue. Green.". Drums stutter in. "ooohhhs" slide in. "This is more than about saying good bye / cuz I can't do it face-to-face". "Today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen." The song threatens to explode. I up the volume on my mp3 higher than my ears will allows. It picks up speed. It just reverbs back at me. So beautiful. A somber end to such a triumphant record.

So I'm done. There are no immediately poor tracks, ergo, this is their best album since Kid A. Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief both faltered on the first listen. In Rainbows holds up, and strongly at that. It's perhaps their least abrasive, most beautiful record they've (yet to) put to acetate. In that sense, it is much closer to OK Computer than anything else. It's unnervingly alive, much unlike HttF, which at times fell into place too easily, too uncomfortably. This isn't entirely genre-redefining work, but god damnit, it's fucking amazing nonetheless. Simply gorgeous.

Well worth:
The Fallout
The Hype
The Wait
The Time
The Money
Living for.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to pass out.

We do, too, Mr. Gamer. The most concise response we recieved came from reader Jason Schupper, a blogger at One For the Good Days, who exclaimed to us via email that:

"In short the album exceeds fan expectations by finally meeting them."

Well said, Jason.


Finally, probably the most unique aspect of In Rainbows' release-- it's name-your-own-price download-- has got internet pollsters all in a tizzy trying to predict whether this new model will save the music industry, or put the last nails in its coffin. The folks over at have sent us a sampling of the responses they've gotten on their poll so far.

(The following is just a random sample of a few comments and prices chosen from thousands of survey submissions since the survey was launched last Wednesday 3 October )

£5.00 (United States)
1 for loyalty to my favorite band
1 for taking a shot at record companies
1 for respecting the consumer
1 for resisting the status quo
1 for splendid music

£40.00 (United Kingdom)
Discbox. I've never come across a Radiohead album that i didn't like so i don't think i'm taking much of a risk paying full whack. I think other artists who think they've got a massive fanbase (50 cent for one) still wouldn't have the balls to do something like this, besides it's not really about the money with Radiohead and that's what i respect about them. I've bought many albums this year which i regret, paying about a tenner for 3 good singles and umpteen shoddy/rushed/lazy 'filler' tracks is a joke.

£2.50 (United States)
I payed 2.50, but I'm still undecided about getting the discbox. If I don't, I'll pay them more. If the album's especially awesome, I'll pay them even more. I love the concept of 'tipping' a band, being able to show support in a more intimate way, even for a band as big as Radiohead.

£2.00 (United Kingdom)
the price they would receive through standard distribution of their record after the appropriate deductions, plus a litte bit more (i think)

£0.00 (United Kingdom)
I'm not even sure I like Radiohead, I found OK Computer really hard going. So I'm taking a (free) punt and seeing what it's like, either I'll become a new fan or continue on my way.

£7.00 (United States)
pay up. this means more than just a price of a cd.

£3.00 (United Kingdom)
Seems like a fair price with low overhead of distribution. They're happy, I'm happy, we're all happy.

£0.01 (United Kingdom)
I'm going to get the box set later in the year, so I don't feel guilty at all paying 1p for it.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Interview with Sam Beam of Iron and Wine which I alluded to in Episode #90

| Interview by Joe Tangari |

Iron & Wine's Sam Beam made his name with a couple sparely recorded albums of haunting acoustic folk. His new album, The Shepherd's Dog, takes him to new territory, with a full band and a fair amount of studio wizardry, some of it courtesy producer Brian Deck.

Beam is also a man of multifarious talents-he's directed his own videos in the past and did the artwork for his new album himself. We caught up with him a week before the release of The Shepherd's Dog as he was preparing to embark on a tour of the Eastern U.S. and the UK.

Pitchfork: I imagine things must be pretty crazy for you right now, getting ready to release an album and go on tour.

Sam Beam: Well, it's busier than normal, but it's not too bad.

Pitchfork: You were in Britain earlier this year for one gig. Have you found audiences in Britain different from American audiences?

SB: They're not really that different. There are good places to play and bad places but you could say that about America, too. But this will be good. We haven't toured there in a while.

Pitchfork: Are you touring with a full band?

SB: It's like an eight-piece band now. There's Chad Taylor [Chicago Underground/Sea & Cake]. He's playing drums. Benny [Massarella] from Califone, who's playing percussion, Matt Lux [Isotope 217] on bass, Leroy Bach [formerly of Wilco] is gonna play keys and some guitar, Paul Niehaus is playing pedal steel, Patty [McKinney], who's been playing with me ever since I started playing with a band on guitar, and my sister's [Sarah Beam] coming. I think that's everybody.

Pitchfork: The new record is very different from your others, and I was struck by the seeming ease of the transition from the old, spare recordings to the fuller sound. Did you track all the songs with a full band or if you started with something more basic.

SB: I demo everything, just because I like to. But these were a bit less fleshed out than the others, because I knew I wanted to make a bit more complex record. I also knew I wanted to bring some other people in to do stuff that I couldn't do. So I left quite a bit of it open to leave room for surprises.

Pitchfork: Do you feel like having all the percussion around you frees you up as a guitarist at all?

SB: No, not really. It's all just kind of an intuitive thing. I don't really have much of a plan. The seeds of the song are still just me, the guitar, and a notebook. Sometimes the guitar line changes a bit, but not usually. Oftentimes, it's either putting percussion on it that stays out of the way of the guitar or purposely steps on it. It depends on the song, really.

Pitchfork: I know you've said you listen to a lot of African music in the past. Did that inform the way this record came out?

SB: Definitely. There's one song, "House by the Sea", which is almost straight-up highlife music.

Pitchfork: Yeah, it does sound West African, kind of like a King Sunny Ade thing.

SB: Yeah. You know, you start piling on arrangements-- usually, we take stuff back out. On that one, we kind of left it all in, like a big collage. I love that music.

Pitchfork: What other African stuff have you heard and liked.

SB: I really like Ali Farka Toure, some of the women singers, but a lot of it's field recording stuff. The newer stuff I can't get into so much. I don't know what it is, but... it's probably nothing that surprising, it's just kind of whatever we get over here.

Pitchfork: You have a cinematography background and you've directed your own videos in the past. Do you have any in mind for any songs off The Shepherd's Dog?

SB: I've kind of turned it over this time to a girl named Lauri Faggioni. Not because I didn't want to do them-- I really did. I just don't have the time these days, unfortunately. Hopefully in the future I'll be doing more.

Pitchfork: The video for "Southern Anthem" is interesting. Am I reading too much into it to say that it's a metaphor for racial reconciliation?

SB: No, it definitely is. It's not an essay, though-- it's more like a poem. It's not a math problem where there's a right answer, but definitely when you have a white guy and a black girl making out it's hard to skirt around the issue.

Pitchfork: Especially when the song is called "Southern Anthem".

SB: Right.

Pitchfork: A lot of people have kind of tried to set you up as this "Southern artist"-- is that video in any way a reaction to that?

SB: It wasn't really a reaction. Like you said, the song is called "Southern Anthem", so when I do a video I try to do something...It's fun to be able to revisit a song and do something that doesn't really illustrate the song but works tangentially or runs parallel to the song in some way.

But as far as people pegging me one way or the other, I don't think much about it, honestly. I mean, I do recognize that the context that I work in is the Southeast, because that's where I grew up and that's where I'm most familiar with. I want to write something that seems true in a certain way, and that's what I understand. But at the same time, I try to write human songs or human experience things that hopefully people who live elsewhere can understand. But the context is definitely kind of specific, usually.

Pitchfork: It's like cinematography plays into your lyrics in a way, because a lot of it is very visual, like on "Boy With a Coin," which is three images. On that note, I was actually curious whether "Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car" had anything to do with the Bush Administration.

SB: [laughs] Well, you could say that, I guess. You could read it that way, but you could read it a lot of ways. It specifically came from the idea of planes in the sky, but you can read it however you want to.

Pitchfork: I think it was something about the "righteous drunk fumbling for the royal keys" that led me there.

SB: [laughs] You could apply it to that, but you could apply it to some Shakespearean kind of thing too. I like writing in an illustrative, descriptive way. I prefer describing to rather than explaining. One, I rarely have anything to say. It's much more interesting for me to discover some meaning that you didn't know that you could create.

I'm sure my studies in screenwriting helped me do it, but I think it actually goes back before that. It's one of the reasons that I was drawn to film in the first place. I'm kind of interested in visual communication. For me it's more about suggesting than arguing a point. That way, it creates a rejuvenative entertainment value.

In some songs, like propaganda songs-and don't get me wrong, I love some propaganda songs. They're some of my favorite songs in the world. It's just that I don't enjoy writing it. The song succeeds or fails just based on whether you argue your point successfully. I like throwing images together, which create meaning if you listen to it one time, but if you listen to it another time you might get a different meaning.

Pitchfork: You have this unique way of recording your voice-my friend calls it a whisper falsetto. Did you sing like that before you started recording yourself? Is that just how it came out?

SB: It's hard to say. I mean, I didn't take notes while I was developing. [laughs] But part of it is just the limitations of my voice. But also a lot of the stuff when I was starting out, a lot of the subject matter that I was singing about didn't really call for someone to be screaming. I mean, you could do that, as a point of contrast, but it didn't seem quite right. A lot of it was love letters of a kind, so it led to the way I did it.

Pitchfork: On the new album, it's kind of on another level, with lots of effects on your voice.

SB: Nothing was really sacred when we were tracking. Like, we'd run it through a Leslie on "Carousel". It wasn't that we were trying to be kooky or anything, I just thought it was fun. On that song, the guitar and piano working together sounded like water, so I thought it would be fun to make it sound like he was underwater. It's just kind of an intuitive thing in the end. There's no right or wrong.

Episode #90 Playlist (10.04.2007)

Featuring Tim Williams!

Bishop Allen Ticket Giveaway Contest!

1.Kevin Drew - Backed Out On The
2.Iron & Wine - The Devil Never Sleeps
3.Tim Williams - Tape your Head
4.Pinback - From Nothing To Nowhere
5.The Weakerthans - Virtue The Cat Explains Her Departure
6.Pants Yell! - Magenta and Green
7.Ravens and Chimes - January
9.Tim Williams - Freewheel (Duke Special Cover) -MP3 Download
10.The Kinks - So Long

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Listen to Dallas Does Indie Episode #90


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