September 28, 2006

Equator Music

One of the newest labels in Canadian indie music is Equator Records. A fledgling, a rookie, the new kid on the block, all these are apt, but what isn't apparent is the already blockbuster roster they boast (well, unless you are familiar with the label). Buzz bands such as Metric, The Lovely Feathers, Islands, Teitur, and Metric frontwoman Emily Haines. To get a great idea of where this label is coming from, you can stream the first two albums by Metric and The Lovely Feathers, the debut by Islands, and a track by Micheal Brook... and all of that in the player you can find right here.

Find more Islands at the Hype Machine.
Find more The Lovely Feathers at the Hype Machine.
Find more Metric at the Hype Machine.

You will find Islands and The Lovely Feathers on eMusic. Here's the skinny on eMusic's FREE offer of 25 mp3 downloads.

Tech Tags:

September 27, 2006

My Latest Novel + What's New at eMusic + "Hands in My Pocket"

I've been listening to an album by Scottish band, My Latest Novel (pictured left). Already released in Europe, it'll find it's way to North American streets on October 31st. Yeah, Halloween, and it's called Wolves. This is one album (another one) that eludes pigeonholing, the songs often possess an epic grandeur in scope, but are more intimate in tone with the band banging and sawing away at an array of acoustic instruments (violin, xylophone, mandolin, guitars). One thing is certain; this album will engage you in some way. You cannot anticipate the shifts and turns that wind their way through the record, this isn't an album to fall asleep to—not for me at least, I need something familiar and predictable (Nick Drake's Way To Blue being a favourite slumber inducer).

Here's something from the record, Wolves
+ sister sneaker, sister soul
+ the hope edition

* * * * * *

Now eMusic has some interesting new and old stuff showing up on site. Check out their Free offer of 25 MP3 Downloads.

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars - Living Like A Regugee
The Blow – Paper Television
Joseph Arthur – Nuclear Daydream
Ratatat – Classics
M Ward – Post-War
Richard Buckner – Meadow
Xiu Xiu – The Air Force
Dan The Automator - Hip-Hop
Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio

* * * * *

And finally, I got a request for that Jim Guthrie song, the one on the Capital One commercial, so here it is.
+ hands in my pocket

Tech Tags:

September 25, 2006

Under the Indie Covers

The magazine, The Believer, put out a great compilation CD in the summer last year, a comp that came with the summer issue of the magazine. Containing covers and nothing but, you were treated to Devendra Banhart covering Antony and the Johnsons "Fistfull of Love", the Mountain Goats version of Silver Jews "Pet Politics", and Canadian Jim Guthrie (Mr "Hands in My Pocket" himself) doing The Constantines "Nighttime/Anytime (it’s alright)". There's lots of great stuff here and I'd recommend The Mountain Goats cover of Silver Jews "Pet Politics" and The Shins doing "We Will Become Silhouettes" by the Postal Service. But covers are a strange thing, some are smitten by the idea and charge headfirst in pursuit of rare and unimaginable covers, somehow finding the idea of a band reinterpreting another's song beautiful and wondrous. I'm not in that group (if one even does exist outside my imagination), I'm a pessimist and I think to adore covers you've got to be a musical optimist. The pessimism comes from way back, way back before many of you were born. I heard a song and liked it. I liked it a lot. The very next chance I got I scoured the bins of the local record shop for this band and found a record of theirs. I carried it to the counter and paid with pennies and lint pried from beneath the seat cushion of my Dad's recliner. I ran home, or biked, imagining I was someone in a movie or a book, or a TV show (I did a lot of fantasizing when I was a kid), and slapped that vinyl onto the hi-fi. HUH? What the h is this? This doesn't sound like that song. Lift the arm and drop the stylus on track 2... the same result. And again ... and again. This little game was played out once more in my youth and it reulted in my musical pessimism when it comes to covers. You know, I had the wool 'cover' pulled over my eyes once too often. The problem for me being that I liked the band doing someone else's song, but I didn't like the songs they wrote themselves. But now, with years of experience, I know many of the bands and artists beforehand and go in with my eyes, and ears, wide open. I guess I show a little optimism.

As I said there is some great stuff here, people showing their love for other's music by re-interpreting it themselves. So give a listen, I just hope that I don't turn you into a musical pessimist, when it comes to covers.

The Decemberists: "Bridges Balloons" Original by Joanna Newsom
The Constantines: "Why I Didn’t Like August 93" Original by Elevator to Hell
CocoRosie: "Ohio" Original by Damien Jurado
The Mountain Goats: "Pet Politics" Original by Silver Jews
The Shins: "We Will Become Silhouettes" Original by the Postal Service
Josephine Foster: "The Golden Window" Original by the Cherry Blossoms
Jim Guthrie: "Nighttime/Anytime (it’s alright)" Original by the Constantines
Two Gallants: "Anna’s Sweater" Original by Blear
Vetiver: "Be Kind to Me" Original by Michael Hurley
Ida: "My Fair, My Dark" Original by David Schickele
Mount Eerie: "Waterfalls" Original by Thanksgiving
Devendra Banhart: "Fistful of Love" Original by Antony & The Johnsons
Wolf Parade: "Claxxon’s Lament" Original by Frog Eyes

Released: Sept 26th

Here are this week's new releases at

09/26/06 Adem Love and Other Planets Domino

09/26/06 Akron/Family Meek Warrior Young God

09/26/06 Botch Unifying Themes Redux Hydra Head

09/26/06 Cale Parks Illuminated Manuscript Polyvinyl

09/26/06 Emily Haines Knives Don't Have Your Back Last Gang

09/26/06 Feathers Synchromy EP Hometapes

09/26/06 Four Tet Remixes Domino

09/26/06 Justin Sconza Paint By Numbers EP Brilliante

09/26/06 Ladyfinger (ne) Heavy Hands Saddle Creek

09/26/06 Lemonheads The Lemonheads Vagrant

09/26/06 Lucero Rebels, Rogues, & Sworn Brothers Liberty & Lament

09/26/06 My Morning Jacket Okonokos: Double Live Album ATO/RCA

09/26/06 New Lou Reeds Top Billin' Exit Stencil

09/26/06 Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

09/26/06 Sparklehorse Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain Astralwerks

09/26/06 Teddybears Soft Machine Big Beat

09/26/06 Wolf Eyes Human Animal Sub Pop

September 24, 2006

Old Love: Matthew Sweet: "Girlfriend"

Girlfriend 1991Do you remember when I did that little post on The Shins song, "Kissing The Lipless"? That was about a song I knew, but when I heard it again, after a long period, realized how great it was. This time around it's a little different… I hadn't heard this Matthew Sweet song in quite a while, but I had always, and still do, think it's great. So, here's that post about "Girlfriend".

When you listen to the live radio version and the partially acoustic version of Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" you can easily hear the swingy, bluesy roots of the blistering and chugging version that Sweet cut for his album of the same name, 1991's Girlfriend. This song has long been a favourite of mine and I can still remember how surprised I was when I learned that Richard Lloyd, Tom Verlaine's compadre on guitar in the seminal New York band, Television, was the man behind the calloused fingers on the guitar neck. Pleasantly surprised, as Television is the band I would eventually list as my all-time favourite when pressed to do so (I dislike, intensely, having to choose a favourite anything, just as I dislike making 'Best Of' lists), but this one would likely be my pick. So, yeah, Lloyd is the prime motivator of this track coming ahead of (I think) Ric Menck's drumming, but just by a nose. I know of no other song that could inspire me, drunk or otherwise, to play air guitar and air drums… at the same time.

Matthew SweetSo, you're listening and by some strange happenstance you have never heard this song, or Matthew Sweet. Oh, so young and so sheltered, you must go out and find this album. If you are struck with dumb luck you may find it in your local used CD shop, although it is without a doubt worth purchasing new (you can't miss the electric fuzz and scrap of guitars and bashing drums of "I've Been Waiting"). On the cover is a photo of fifties actress, Tuesday Weld, and within are songs by Sweet doing his damndest to find a girlfriend through the power of song. Did he succeed? I'm not sure; the answer may be on the follow-up release to Girlfriend, Altered Beast (1993). Sweet is known as a twisted pop-smith, but one who shapes his songs in studio, he's capable of playing the studio as well, or better than, the guitar he holds in his hands. He reminds me of Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, in that regard, minus the flagrant aural neuroticism of course. Here are three, make that four, versions (including the demo) of Sweet's song, "Girlfriend"… I love this song.

+ girlfriend (album version)
+ girlfriend (live radio session – KBCO)
+ girlfriend (alternate take w/acoustic guitar)
+ good friend (demo of "Girlfriend")

Sweet has a new record coming soon entitled, Rock Bottom. You can hear brief glimpses of it on his myspace page here.

Matthew Sweet Discography
Inside (1986, Columbia/Legacy)
Earth (1989, A&M)
Girlfriend (1991, Zoo)
Altered Beast (1993, Zoo)
Son Of Altered Beast (1994, Zoo)
100% Fun (1995, Zoo)
Blue Sky On Mars (1997, Zoo)
In Reverse (1999, Volcano)
Living Things (2004, RCAM)
Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu (2004, RCAM)
Time Capsule: The Best of Matthew Sweet (2000, Volcano)
To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet (2002, Hip-O)

September 21, 2006

Benefit for Ailing Rogue Wave Drummer

Hey everybody, take the time to read this and then follow the link to donate, please.

* * * * * *

"On September 30th 2006, San Francisco band Rogue Wave will host a benefit concert to raise money for their drummer Pat Spurgeon, who is in desperate need of a kidney transplant.

The benefit concert will feature performances by Rogue Wave, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie,) Matthew Caws (Nada Surf,) Ryan Miller (Guster,) John Vanderslice, and other special guests. Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snickett) will MC the event.

Pat was born with one kidney and it failed. He had his first transplant in 1993, which served him well until now. After 13 years, it has started to deteriorate. He has been on dialysis since April and is hoping desperately to find a donor. Some of their friends have gotten tested to see if they are a match, but Pat has yet to hear good news. Provided he finds a donor, there will be an enormous amount of costs that both Pat and his donor will incur.

In a logical world, medical insurance would cover his donor's and his expenses after the procedure, but it does not; so he and his family must carry the financial burden. The expenses can be huge. We are trying to raise money for costs like: donor's travel, care, bills, lost work wages, etc., as well as Pat's expenses, care, bills, etc. while he is in recovery."

* * * * * *

PLEASE Donate! Every little bit helps. Thanks.

September 20, 2006

SXSW 2007 is Coming! Apply Now!

If you're hoping, or dreaming about, playing at SXSW, you better get yer ass in gear. Go here to fill out a band application and then sit on pins and needles for a while. That wait'll be worth the tiny holes in your butt... if you make it.

Here's some free mp3s from some of last year's performers...

The Twilight Singers + Teenage Wristband
Get more at The Hype Machine

The Organ + Memorize the City
Get more at The Hype Machine

The Changes + When I Sleep
Get more at The Hype Machine

The Boy Least Likely To + Be Gentle With Me
Get more at The Hype Machine

The Golden Dogs + Birdsong
Get more Golden Dogs at The Hype Machine

The Brakes + Lifes Work
Get more Brakes at The Hype Machine

The Capitol Years + Juicers
Get more Capitol Years at The Hype Machine

The Heavy Blinkers + Try Telling That To My Baby
Get more Heavy Blinkers at The Hype Machine

The Rakes + Retreat
Get more Rakes at The Hype Machine

The Sharp Things +She Left With The Sun
Get more Sharp Things at The Hype Machine

The Southland + Shadow
Get more Southland at The Hype Machine

The Spinto Band + Oh Mandy
Get more Spinto Band at The Hype Machine

Tim Fite + No Good Here
Get more Tim Fite at The Hype Machine

Washington Social Club + Backed to the Future
Get more WSC at The Hype Machine

Tech Tags:


"These boys throw a little skiffle and shuffle into the pot, dressing very tight, yet sweet, pop nuggets with a sixties sheen"

yetiYeti are five lads from London, UK, and they do have a Brit sound, but not what you'd expect. This is not the Arctic Monkeys, or Franz Ferdinand, or Bloc Party. These boys throw a little skiffle and shuffle into the pot, dressing very tight, yet sweet, pop nuggets with a sixties sheen. What suprises more than the stellar singing and playing is the economy of the music... nothing is overdone... which is suprising for a young unsigned band. As far as I know they have released two singles on Moshi Moshi Records, but the band will release an EP titled, One Eye On The Banquet, on October 30th. Band members are, John Hassall-vocals/guitar (formerly of The Libertines), Harmony Williams-vocals/guitar, Brendan Kersey-bass, Graham Blacow-drums, and Andrew Déian-lead guitar/backing vocals.

never lose your sense of wonder
+ merry go round
flesh and bone

These last two are myspace links and can only be streamed on their myspace page.
+ midnight flight
+ carpet road

*Get more YETI at the HYPE MACHINE

Tech Tags:

George Byrne

::by Jenn Rogers::

If there has to be a musical genre I'm a sucker for, it's male singer-songwriters. You get a boy with a guitar and I swoon. You add a few country sounding beats and emotion that could only be the result of a little too much alcohol, and you can generally find my wallet out and the artist supported.

George Byrne does deserve the comparisons he gets to Ryan Adams. After all, you can tell so much about an artist by their myspace top eight, but the country induced melodies and melting voice give this music a strength of its own. Personally for me, a comparison as apt is Beck's Sea Change, a quiet and yet devastating album that gets beneath your skin. When it comes down to it, it's each individual song of an artist that counts and there are a thousand reasons a song can be popular. It can get you in the mood for a night out, or in the case of George Byrne, it can settle you for a night in and a little heartbreak.

His debut album Foreign Water follows his EP Iron Skies and the development between the two recordings is obvious. Too often, citing country influences has become a code for blindly emotional songs, that rely too heavily on harmonica and sometimes annoying finger picking on the guitar. This is the exact opposite of George's music. While the music is still vaguely reminiscent of a lazy Sunday morning, this is an artist in charge of their own influences. Each song tells a story, speaks of too much emotions below the surface and never surrenders. For me, the highlight of this album is the New York style love song "On My Mind" and it clearly demonstrates the ability of this music to tell a story. At once, this album represents an attachment to the world that only comes with experience and yet, each song seems to contain an element of hope. Tomorrow could be better and even when the morning comes and the whiskey from the night before is still in your blood stream, Byrne represents an artist who has captured that moment so completely that it's a little harder to feel alone.

If you live in the UK, George is due to be there at the end of September, supporting another Australian artist, Lior. Check out Lior's website here, for the details.

+ Foreign Water [mp3]
+ On My Mind [mp3]
+ Everybody Hides [mp3]

BUY Foreign Water.

*Find more George Byrne at the Hype Machine.

George Byrne's myspace.

According to 'Jenn is awesome dot com',' a very cool kid' and also 'the #1 nyc antifolk musician 2002'. Apparently, Jenn Rogers has been making a lot of international flights from her home town of Sydney, Australia and has been far busier than she ever realised.

September 19, 2006

John Vanderslice European Tour Dates

Vanderslice heads back to Europe with his 'oh so tight' band. You can see the dates above, but don't fret if you're stuck in the 'new' country, JV and the boys will tour North America (well, some of it) in the spring.

Also, word is out that JV's award winning analog recording studio in San Francisco, Tiny Telephone, has it's own myspace page now (here). Go and add them... they'll be your friend. You just never know when you'll need a Microtech-Gefell UM70, or a Wurlitzer 200A, or an Ampex ATR-102 1/2".

JV - MP3s
exodus damage (alias remix)

john vanderslice: live at the independent, nov. 5 2005
22 hi-res mp3s

pixel revolt>
exodus damage
trance manual

cellar door>
pale horse
they won't let me run


September 18, 2006

Released: Sept. 19th

This weeks upcoming releases at If you know of any new rekeases missing from this list, don't hesitate to leave a comment.

And if you haven't subscribed to the feed yet, well, what the h*ll are ya waiting for? That pesky little orange RSS icon is all over the page!

09/19/06 ¡Forward, Russia! Give Me A Wall Mute

09/19/06 Bad Brains Live at CBGB 1982 MVD Visual

09/19/06 Big Sleep Son of the Tiger Frenchkiss

09/19/06 Bonnie "Prince" Billy Then The Letting Go Drag City

09/19/06 Cardigans Super Extra Gravity Nettwerk

09/19/06 Corrina Repp The Absent and the Distant Caldo Verde

09/19/06 Dani Siciliano Slappers !K7

09/19/06 Darkel S/T Astralwerks

09/19/06 Ensemble Disown, Delete FatCat
+ summerstorm [mp3]

09/19/06 Hidden Cameras Awoo Arts and Crafts

09/19/06 Langhorne Slim Engine EP V2

09/19/06 Mohair Small Talk Grunion

09/19/06 Mos Def Tru3 Magic Geffin

09/19/06 Pere Ubu Why I Hate Women Smog Veil

09/19/06 Timonium In Ives Hall Pehr

September 13, 2006

New Link: AOL Music Indie Blog

I've just added a new link to the *Sixeyes blogroll. The AOL Music Indie Blog has the indie music news you need and they say 'after the jump' a lot.

So, check it out... after the jump.

AOL Music Indie Blog

MP3 downloads at eMusic

Emusic's free trial offer of 25 mp3 downloads is still available. And this is some of what you could get.

Angela Desveaux Wandering Eyes
Page France Hello, Dear Wind
Electrelane Singles, B-sides & Live
Ratatat Classics
El Perro Del Mar El Perro Del Mar
Portastatic Sour Shores
Sufjan Stevens Seven Swans
The Capitol Years Dance Away The Terror
Nels Cline New Monastery - A View into the Music of Andrew Hill

September 12, 2006

Rap Roundup: by Sean U'Ren

Three albums full of rap jams in this roundup - each very different and mostly real good. Instead of putting on sweaters for the coming seasonal change, keep the windows rolled down and bump some of the following:

GLUE - Catch as Catch Can.

Three men, Adeem, DJDQ and Maker, all on a mission to save your ass from top 40 pain. Instead of suffering through another Lil Jon/E40/Yun Joc hoedown, play this and feel those brain blockages created by current rap radio melt away. What drives this record is good beats and scratches that feel like Z-Trip, Coldcut and Beat Junkies in a phone conference with Cut Chemist, along with a vocal insistence that reminds me of an angry Chuck D. The lyrics are more than just 'we rock this hard' and 'I can make your girl do that' - Adeem, two time winner of a major freestyle title, has super-clean vocals and a more than a few interesting things to say - he doesn't really waste time with useless boasts and stuff. Mostly, he runs alongside the beats, jumping into syncopation and finding a Slug / Chali Tuna / Ozomatli flip-flop flow that, despite comparisons, is more an original sound than a sum of parts. The outfit has toured with J5, Atmosphere and even Matisyahu - hopefully, you can catch them as they roll through this September.

Play this: when you're late for work.

* * * * * * * * * *

SPANK ROCK - Yoyoyoyoyo.

For every good r'n'b jam that begs to be played while you're putting on the Drakaar Noir for a big night out, there are 12 that should be played when you actually get your lady back to the pad. These are probably not those 12 songs, although in a perfect world, they would be. From the first 'Yeah, yeah' to the last trippy track, this is funky electro-blippy rap shit that will own your sexy ass in a way that nothing else can. Super silky lyrics play up against casio warbling and jerky beats that sound like Chromeo dry-humping Peaches on a three-day bender, with Amon Tobin-style sampling and some bristly electro-samples dropped off by Squarepusher after Midnight Vultures. Upon rereading what I just wrote, it SOUNDS like something I'd hate. Really. I typically hate crossover electro-rap crap. Who doesn't? [Besides those cheesy 40oz sipping hipster chicks, typically] Please - just go to myspace, listen to it and then go buy it - and you will no longer understand how you woke up each day without 'Rick Rubin', 'Touch Me' or 'Coke and Wet' playing in the background. Brought to you by band members who hail from the city of Baltimore, which, coincidentally, also brought you, "Ass and Titties".

Play this: when you're late for your second date.

+Spank Rock on tour throughout the remainder of the year+

* * * * * * * * * *

GYM CLASS HEROES - As Cruel As Schoolchildren.

A bunch of recently post-high school kids making rap with live instruments backing. Ranging from great Living Colour tribute to mildly Keane cheesy, these guys aren't content to slide into the typical jazz/soul riffs that are so popular among the live music rap types. The entire album is a good concept - laid out in class hours, from 1st period to after school detention - and the lead man, Travis, has the vocal skills to put most MCs in their place. The production is great but left me wanting something unexpected. And what may seem like arch observations to these guys comes across as less interesting as the album rolls on. Still, they're young. Plenty of time and the parts are all there. I look forward to hearing them grow as their album count does [they've already had six].

Play this: when you want to piss off your lab partner who's loving his Evanescence.

Sean U'Ren is a tall writer living in Los Angeles. He is currently complaining about the weather and maintains a column of his past and future mistakes at his Gaper's Block column, Chicago to LA .

Blood Meridian: Kick Up The Dust: *Sixeyes Review

Blood Meridian
Kick Up The Dust
[V2 Records - Sept 12th 2006]
*Sixeyes Score: 8.1 out of 10

Review by Alan Williamson

From the sounds of it, Blood Meridian would have you believe that their home, western coastal city, Vancouver, is all dusty brown and blood. With band leader, Matt Camarind (who also does time along with drummer, Joshua Wells, in Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops), singing like his own blood doesn't course through his body, it sifts, a fine cadmium red powder drifting in a 98.6° F breeze... hanging in the air like living cigarette smoke, I wonder if Johnny Cash and Nick Cave are guiding his righteous hand. Are the songs on Kick Up The Dust murder ballads without the fatal blow? Their characters mired in the bloody shadows of a simmering fever... forever under the knife, but never released. Or are these ghost songs? "In The Forest, Under The Moon" sounds like a ghost song to me, as does the track which follows, "Good Lover". "In The Forest..." opening with Camarind in spooky falsetto mode, his long drawn out "Ohhhhh..." a blue soughing wind in the moonlit trees.

Blood Meridian (J. Wells - drums, Shira Blustein - organ/pianos, Kevin Grant - bass, and Jeff Lee - guitar, along with Camirand) exist somewhere between murder ballads and ghost songs... they're tattooed spectres shrouded in suburban dust, punk power thrown off it's horse. They're dusty punks looking hard into their aging reflections, tracing the ghosts of wrinkles with music and melody... with Camarind writing the epitaphs of life's blue bruises and making a mark for himself and the band. Blood Meridian have pumped new blood into country blues, a genre which has been resurrected countless times, and they've got it fallin' hard, lovin' hard, and breakin' hard. They've done it right... buy this one.

BUY Blood Meridian

+ kick up the dust

Get more Blood Meridian at the Hype Machine.

Alan Williamson does not have 'six eyes'... no matter what you've heard.

Released: Sept. 12th

Today's releases at

09/12 Album Leaf Into The Blue Again
09/12 Angela Desveaux Wandering Eyes
09/12 Basement Jaxx Crazy Itch Radio
09/12 Black Keys Magic Potion
09/12 Blood Meridian Kick Up The Dust
09/12 Capitol Years Dance Away The Terror
09/12 Cat Power The Greatest [Re-Release]
09/12 Catfish Haven Tell Me
09/12 Coach Fingers No Flies On Frank
09/12 Dead Moon Echoes of the Past

September 11, 2006

Isobel Campbell: New Record and MP3

Isobel Campbell, formerly of Belle and Sebastian, and half of the team responsible for the Mercury Prize short-listed album, Ballad of The Broken Seas, had plans to release two albums this year, and will meet her goal on November 6th with the release of Milkwhite Sheets on V2 Records.

This one may be a sleeper in the true sense of the word. You may find yourself with the need to lie down as Miss Campbell has in the above picture. That is unless you yearn for the tranquil sounds of traditional folk music. Here's a sample of the album which I found on Pitchfork...

+ o love is teasin' [mp3]

01 O Love Is Teasin'
02 Willow's Song
03 Yearning
04 James
05 Hori Horo
06 Reynardine
07 Milkwhite Sheets
08 Cachel Wood
09 Beggar, Wiseman or Thief
10 Loving Hannah
11 Are You Going to Leave Me?
12 Over the Wheat & the Barley
13 Thursday's Child
14 Bird in the Wood (CD hidden track)

Richard Buckner: MP3s and Tour Dates

Richard Buckner has a most distinctive vocal style. At times when he stretches out on a word, a dark, wavering vibrato skitters over the syllable he's singing. It may sound foreign to your ear, but give it a chance, he has a fantastic voice and the songs have the depth which requires a number of listens before they begin to settle in you. His baritone has a rich timbre, and for me it evokes the feel of unfinished wood... wood rich with grain and flecked with knots. If these songs, offered as mp3s below, draw you in, you're in luck, as Buckner has a number of recordings worth your time and money.
Buckner is that all too common occurrence--the unsung singer/songwriter--and that all too uncommon artist, one whose music, like good art, stays with you as you move through the years. His most recent release, Meadow [September 12, 2006], is on Merge Records.

Richard Buckner is currently on tour and Merge has been posting his tour diary entries on their new blog... go here for the first post.

Bloomed [Dejadics] 1994
Devotion + Doubt [MCA] 1997
Since [MCA] 1998
The Hill [Overcoat] 2000
Richard Buckner [Overcoat] 2000
Impasse [Overcoat] 2002
Dents and Shells [Merge] 2004
Meadow [Merge] 2006

+ town from Meadow [2006]
+ a chance counsel from Dents and Shells
+ goner w/souvenir from Since
+ rainsquall from Bloomed
+ settled down from Bloomed
+ dogwood from Merge Comp Old Enough To Know Better

See all tour date listings here.

September 10, 2006

Mogwai: Free MP3s

mogwai: FREE MP3s10 year-old Scottish band, Mogwai, released their fifth studio album, Mr. Beast, on March 7, 2006. I feel a kinship with Scottish things, my paternal grandfather used to tell how our family is descended from the Vikings who conquered and reigned over northern parts of Scotland centuries ago and, so, I also feel a strange connection to Vikings as well. But it's the Scottish element we are concerned with here. Mogwai's music stirs up images, flashes of things I have not seen outside of film and video: open spaces, barren rocky landscapes--the greens, browns, and greys of foreign lands--images ingrained upon my DNA. Like an evocative film soundtrack it links up with your cerebral projector, syncing with your heart it runs at 72 frames per second. This moody orchestral post rock can burrow deeply into you like an engrossing book.

Band members are: Stuart Braithwaite [guitar/vocals], Dominic Aitchinson [bass], Martin Bulloch [drums], Barry Burns [guitar/keyboards/flute], and John Cummings [guitar].

*The bands myspace page*


+ drum machine - Rock Action outtake
+ hunted by a freak from Happy Songs for Happy People
+ miracle - Mogwai remix of track from Craig Armstrong's 'As If To Nothing' album.
+ bill is dead - Released on Lost Dog Recordings in 2002 and featuring Stuart Braithwaite & Aidan Moffat.
+ lower - Mogwai's long deleted first single on Rock Action Records.
+ moses - Demo recording of "Moses I Amn't" from Happy Songs for Happy People
+ 2 rights make 1 wrong - ATP version
+ ratts of the capital - live Tokyo 2003


*There are some videos and video interview segments to be seen at Matador Records, all in Real format.*

Stream Go here to steam a handful of Mogwai tracks courtesy of

*Download Mogwai's albums EPs, and singles on Matador and Jetset Records at eMusic* - look into eMusic's Free Trial of 25 MP3 Downloads.


Summer at Shatter Creek (a one man band from Michigan) took the first three songs from Mogwai's EP +2 and adding lyrics recorded the results...

+ christmas song
+ burn girl prom queen

If you're really into videos, you've got to check out this new site called Telemusicvision. Lots of cool stuff to see and it's high quality, but the best part is it's free.

This is what they say about themselves:

"We’re good for viewers and artists alike. Our DVD quality video feed will always remain free to watch, and we work hard to encourage viewers to support independent artists. We’re here to get people excited about independent music!"

Visit telemusicvision.

September 08, 2006

Wons Phreely

wons phreelyBy Jenn Rogers

I have to confess. I was reminded that I've been meaning to write this review when Wons commented my myspace, after I asked him if he'd sleep with a 96 year old for 10 – 15 million. Because he said yes, I might be a little biased.

But some background, first.

One of the greatest musical arguments taking place right now in Australia is the strength of the Perth music scene. While Sydney has been obsessing over Wolfmother and The Presets, Perth appears to be consistently producing some often strange, sometimes quirky and nearly always very good indie music. Sure, it's been a few years since Wons packed up, went solo and moved to Sydney, but it's hard to ignore the music press and their cries of how everyone good is from Perth lately.

It might just be true.

Phreely himself takes the quirky indie pop route. Talking to him, it became clear the comparison to Ben Kweller is one he's heard many times before, but it's an apt one, right down to the almost clichéd beat up Converse sneakers and the strangely fitting sweaters. Admittedly, it's a little hard to talk about Wons as a solo outfit, at least in regards to his recording. His debut EP "To Begin With" was released in 2004 and while the samples work only to make the songs stronger, added together the music does suffer from sometimes being too busy. This is a thing of the past now, his debut LP due out on indie label Boundary Sounds (think Cobrasnake, if they suddenly found a recording side) is a strictly solo effort.

And it's then the strength of the music really emerges and that's the songs themselves. Pump It Up, a song that takes on the world of music in a few minutes has become the personal soundtrack to the make up ritual for many nights out, the perfect song to scream at the top of your lungs when you really have to hope no one else is listening. There's something self referential about this music, intelligent and yet emotional all at once. The combination is an intimate one, with each listening drawing you closer to the artist. In too many cases, this is not a balance artists are able to find, with alternating songs leaning too far to one extreme, but Wons has the ability to cover all the grounds of slacker, vaguely postmodern song writer and heart on his sleeve modern crooner in short succession in the ever popular presence of acoustic guitars.

+ radio song
+ replacement


According to 'Jenn is awesome dot com',' a very cool kid' and also 'the #1 nyc antifolk musician 2002'. Apparently, Jenn Rogers has been making a lot of international flights from her home town of Sydney, Australia and has been far busier than she ever realised.

September 06, 2006

Beach House + Over The Atlantic: Tour Dates

Baltimore's Beach House and New Zealand duo, Over The Atlantic (left), have announced a joint North American Fall tour beginning October 26th. *Sixeyes wrote up Carpark Records artists, Beach House right here, but fellow Carpark band, Over The Atlantic, have yet to be featured. Sooo, their sound has a bottom heavy sadness supporting airy vocals. Let's call them... 'Death Cab from Down Under' caught over the mid-Atlantic in a hot air balloon.

Over The Atlantic + starsign
Go to their myspace to listen to more songs.
Beach House + master of none
Listen to more at Beach House's myspace.

Find more by Beach House and Over The Atlantic at the Hype Machine.

Beach House & Over The Atlantic TOUR DATES
Oct 26th Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brendas
Oct 28th Baltimore, MD H and H Building (Floristree Space)
Nov 1st New York, NY Cake Shop (Carpark / Paw-Tracks CMJ Showcase w/ First Nation, Peppermints, Lexie Mountain Boys, and WZT Hearts)
Nov 2nd Cambridge, MA The Lily Pad
Nov 3rd Montreal, QC TBA
Nov 4th Toronto, ONT Tanzac
Nov 5th Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Art Works
Nov 6th Chicago, IL TBA
Nov 7th Minneapolis, MN Big V’s
Nov 8th Fargo, ND Aquarium
Nov 11th Vancouver, BC Pat’s Pub
Nov 12th Portland, OR Towne Lounge
Nov 14th San Francisco, CA Hemlock Tavern
Nov 16th Los Angeles, CA The Echo (w/ Daedelus)
Nov 18th Dallas, TX TBA
Nov 19th Austin, TX Emo’s
Nov 20th Houston, TX The Proletariat
Nov 21st New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
Nov 22nd Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn
Nov 24rd Chapel Hill, NC Nightlight
Nov 25th Washington, DC The Red and the Black
Nov 26th New York, NY Tonic (w/ Avey Tare and Kria Brekken)

Bob Dylan: "Hurricane": MP3

It was long ago, in a place far, far away, when I first heard Bob Dylan's "Hurricane". At the time I was into Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2, (especially "Watching the River Flow") but when I heard the gypsy violin of Scarlet Rivera (which stars alongside Dylan's vocal phrasing), I fell in love with this song. And, of course, this is Dylan after all, the lyrics are the true star. And although he, along with co-writer, Jacques Levy, spins the tale of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter with economical power, this song loses favour in some eyes since it lacks the famous mystery which inhabits much of his work. The enduring Dylan mystery being 'what does it all mean?' That doesn't enter into this work. The only mystery being did Carter commit the murders he was accused and convicted of? The courts said yes and Dylan (years later), in the musical verses of "Hurricane", said no. This was Dylan's first protest song in ten years and it raised it's fair share of controversy. Which I find was a little heavy handed, with some heavyweight critics taking Dylan to task, acting as if the song and lyrics were tantamount to his testimony in a court of law. Come on, it's just a song offering one man's opinion.
Carter's guilt, or innocence, and Dylan's playing fast and loose with the facts (it's called poetic license), take a back seat to the established fact that Dylan, one of our greatest songwriters, was inspired to pen an epic that still holds power today.

I still own a vinyl copy of this album, but I seem to recall running out and buying a '45' of this song, as well. And if I did, that little piece of vinyl is long gone. Have a listen to this song, it truly is an epic, literally... it's over eight minutes long.

From Desire 1976
+ hurricane [mp3]

Get more Dylan MP3s here.

September 04, 2006

The Mountain Goats: John Darnielle :: Interview

MOUNTAINGOATS_locker interview

John Darnielle, leader of The Mountain Goats and a very generous man, has given a bit of his time to answer a handful of questions posed by *Sixeyes MP3 Blog. And, not surprisingly, he has made those said questions appear so much better, simply by answering them. Darnielle is a man whose passions can lean towards the aggressive (i.e. heavy metal and boxing), but his music doesn't readily exhibit these qualities... the music does not, but the lyrics can and do. This is a man whose mind and pen can shape words into hooks, crosses, and jabs, or into brush and paint. He unveils images and takes no prisoners. His art is suspense, you don't know what will happen next, but you feel the tingle of anticipation.

John Darnielle answered my questions via email.

*Sixeyes: Get Lonely is such a quiet record (or quieter, with respect to The Sunset Tree), in no small part a result of your soft upper register singing on many of the tracks. I was wondering if producer, Scott Solter, had a hand in deciding to record live in the studio? Was the overall softer tone a by-product of your recording method, or was it preconceived?

John Darnielle: It was kind of unexpected, but kind of not - going into the studio is always a combination of executing plans & finding out stuff you didn't know. I had all these songs and they seemed pretty quiet, but they were all in demo form, and there's a lot of ways you can sing a song - but when we started playing them together, they really seemed like they called for really understated, natural vocals. It seemed like trying to force them or put them across too forcefully would have killed the mood, and the more we worked, the more this sort of slow-burning dark shadowy mood asserted itself.

*Sixeyes: You'll be 'on the road again', in support of Get Lonely (4AD), late summer and early fall. Do you feel, at all, empathy towards Willie Nelson's song, "On the Road Again"? 'On the road again, I just can't wait to be on the road again…' Could you ever sing that line and mean it?

John Darnielle: This song is totally underrated! People only know the first line and stuff, but Willie Nelson is one of the best singers & songwriters around - the song is very direct and honest in a way that makes (mainly very young) people uncomfortable, but if people will just stop trying to be hard-assed for a minute, how can one not feel a line like "the life I love is making music with my friends"? Too "corny"? Whatever - playing music with people is pretty much the most fun you can have, right? At the same time the part about being on the road...I mean, playing music is great, touring kinda isn't great except for the playing-music part. But the Willie Nelson song is mainly about the communal feel of touring, about how when you play music with people night after night you achieve a sort of intimacy you can't get elsewhere - what musician couldn't relate to that?

*Sixeyes: I was hoping you could compare the studio demeanour and methods of Scott Solter and the producer of 2005's, The Sunset Tree, John Vanderslice. How do these two, who have spent hours together in the studio, differ? And what do you feel each brings out in you when you're recording?

John Darnielle: Well, they worked together on the preceding two records, so the difference is one of degree: JV brings a very excited pop energy to producing, he's a big Bowie fan so he's always got his eye on that Scary Monsters balance between pop and arty y'know. Scott, he's a dub fiend and a huge PiL fan, when you hear those big resonant bass notes or some reverb'd-to-oblivion vibraphone you know you're hearing Scott's vision, which is kind of ECM to JV's Mainman.

*Sixeyes: A little off topic, when you read, do you gravitate towards fiction, or non-fiction? And in the same area, are there any magazines you're a fan of?

John Darnielle: I read mainly fiction. I always feel like I should read more history, so I try to, but I like novels and poetry. I read magazines constantly because I'm always on planes: Frets, The Ring, Boxing Digest, Harper's, Vintage Guitar.

*Sixeyes: How is the rest of this year and 2007 shaping up for The Mountain Goats? Should Europe and Australia expect to see you, as North America will?

John Darnielle: I don't know if Europe's in the cards, but Australia in the new year for sure, like January. I just put up a load of new tour dates at - we'll be running around like headless chickens through November.

* * * * * * * *

Mountain Goats MP3s:
From Get Lonely
+ woke up new
+ wild sage
BUY Get Lonely via ampcamp or insound.
Download Get Lonely through eMusic and their free trial offer of 25 MP3 downloads.

+ palmcorder yajna

Mountain Goats Live at Amoeba Music on 2006-08-22 (August 22, 2006)
More live performance mp3s found here.
Go here for a large number of mp3s.
There are some mp3s on this page.

Mountain Goats Lyrics.

* * * * * * * *

Here are the latest Mountain Goats tour dates (I'll be at the Toronto show):

All 'First Fall Tour' shows with the amazing Christine Fellows.
From Christine Fellows latest album, Paper Anniversary + migrations

First Fall Tour
14 - Minneapolis, MN, Triple Rock Social Club
15 - Ames, IA, The Maintenance Shop
16 - Chicago, IL, The Empty Bottle
18 - Kalamazoo, MI, Kraftbrau Brewery
19 - Toronto, ON, Lee's Palace
20 - Pittsburgh, PA, The Andy Warhol Museum
21 - Athens, OH, The Union
23 - Ithaca, NY, Appel Commons at Cornell University
24 - Northhampton, MA, Pearl Street
26 - - Cambridge, MA, The Middle East
28 - - Washington, DC, The Black Cat
30 - - New York, NY, The Bowery Ballroom
1 - - New York, NY, The Bowery Ballroom

Second Fall Tour
20 - Durham, NC, Troika Music Festival
23 - St. Louis, MO, Washington University
24 - Springfield, MO, Randy Bacon Gallery
26 - Norman, OK, the Opolis
27 - Lubbock, TX, Jake's Back Room
28 - Denton, TX, Rubber Gloves
29 - Austin, TX, the Parish
31 - Baton Rouge, LA, Spanish Moon
1 - Birmingham, AL, the Bottle Tree
3 - Atlanta, GA, the Earl
4 - St Augustine, FL, Cafe Eleven
6 - Tallahassee, FL, Club Downunder

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