Listen To This

listen to this March 19, 2012

North Highlands, “Wild One”

My breakdown (rendered inaccurately!):

75% addictive, 20% brilliant, 4.5% 10,000 Maniacs, 0.5% Lavender  Diamond. Been listening to this all week. Favorite song is “Salty”: This weather feels / just like better days.

Buy Album Listen on Spotify.

listen to this March 9, 2012

People Get Ready EP

85% really good, 10% Annie Lennox, 5% Dirty Projectors, 0% boring.

Get the four-song EP here.

listen to this April 12, 2011

Thanks Amazon

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Download “Cet Air Là” (link up only for a short while)

listen to this February 22, 2011

Audio: Tune-Yards A Cappella

Ecstatic Music Festival continued at Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Center, this past Saturday with a cappella group, Roomful of Teeth. They performed pieces by William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, and —  our favorite — Merrill Garbus a.k.a Tune-Yards. Merrill joined them on stage for “Hatari” — which she’d promised to perform in NYC only after finishing her sophomore album — and “Doorstep”, a new track off that sophomore album, coming out April 19.

Here are the four Tune-Yards performances recorded from that event, in the order they were played in:

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Download “Ansa Ya
Download “Hatari
Download “Doorstep
Download “Quizassa

Few more photos after the jump.

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listen to this June 9, 2010

New Wavves song sounds just like a forgettable MTV band

Press photo merged with press photo because the smirk was too much to bear

It starts out with a variation on the opening of “Walk like an Egyptian” set to hyperactive mode. Then it evolves into Blink 182, or a number of similar bands of that era with names with numbers in them (Sum 41?). The blistering, hop-hop beat only ever slows down for the pestering chorus that insists, “That I’m just having fun, that I’m just having fun, that I’m just having fun, with youuuuuu-uuu-uuuu, with youuuuu-uuuu-uuuu, with youuuu-uuuu-uuuuu” (well, clearly), and the bridge that goes, “Huuhhh-huhhh-huhhaaa-huhhhh”. If rebellion to intellectualism is your thing, this song is a champion of low brow. Embrace it.

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Download “Post Acid” by Wavves (if you must)

listen to this April 29, 2010

Wow, new Phosphorescent song is terrible

I was never a huge fan, yet I’m really surprised at Phosphorescent’s new song “The Mermaid Parade”. The voice is pretty as usual (great for singing forlornly about wolves), but this entire song is one boring melody repeated incessantly, with lyrics that attempt to invoke the salty smell of a sultry evening (I guess?) but fail to capture anything at all: the emotion is really flat (for being a sentimental song), and there’s not even an imagery or a rhyme that claims a territory in your brain. Did I mention there’s way too much bluesy guitar? That’s probably why The Tripwire thinks it’s “an American classic”, and that’s the only reason I’m terrified. Listen to it, what do you think?

PS. Just listened to it again. The ending is just horrendous.

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Download “The Mermaid Parade

Photo above: Original by Sebastian Mlynarski. I just put my picture of a naked dancing “mermaid” on top it.

listen to this April 19, 2010

Who the hell is this? Broken Social Scene?

Paavo Hanninen and I sat on the internet, pretending to be in a Victorian room. The walls were a deep green, owing to the vintage wallpaper, and the armchairs were oversized and maroon. It was raining outside, so Paavo brought out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

I said, “I don’t know if you’ve heard of Yellow Fever, but I was listening to them on my iTunes, and a song I’d never heard before, by a band I couldn’t recognize, came on. It was dreamy pop with jingly guitar floating in space. I thought, How do I not know who this is? Sounds like someone relatively famous.”

Paavo put his glass down and leaned in, “Who was it?”

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listen to this April 12, 2010

Club 8’s “Western Hospitality”

Club 8′s new album The People’s Record, coming out on May 12, is a treat for the oncoming summer. Take it with you for the lying about in the park watching kites! The band is Swedish, comprising of Karolina Komstedt & Johan Angergård. I actually like the rest of the album better, but here’s “Western Hospitality”. Before I looked them up I thought they were Brazilian, and if I paid no attention to the lyrics, which is in English, I’d think this song was a vintage Disco number from a 70’s Bollywood movie. Not kidding, check out disco songs from 70’s Bollywood movies.

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listen to this March 30, 2010

Is The Living Sisters just a hunk of estrogen?

It’s true, The Living Sisters is a hunk of estrogen; not because it’s a female “super group” consisting, at the moment, of Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond), Eleni Mandell, and Alex Lilly (Obi Best); not even because they look exactly like hot young mothers that all little boys (but their own) are blindly fascinated by; but because there is an undefinable yet easily recognizable embodiment of sisterhood in this band. Maybe it’s the flawless harmonies between three female voices on top of matching clothes and soothing songs, or the fact that each of these women is very woman-woman; I want to say, breast-baring-fertility-symbols-like women in their womanhood. Personally, I love Becky Stark. She’s pretty wacky in her love-and-peace hippie world: “A Harmony can never fail because even when it’s wrong, it’s hilarious.” Going by a few snippets I heard of their recording, it seems like they’re much more enjoyable live, for about 30 minutes; because, after all, lullabies, no matter how charming, put you to sleep.

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They opened for She & Him at Bowery Ballroom last night, and being that the set was about 30 minutes long, it was pretty pleasant. Owing to the harmony, my favorite was “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down”, but the track that’s internet-approved seems to be “How Are You Doing?” My pictures of them and She & Him are up on Brooklyn Vegan.

listen to this March 2, 2010

Refreshing song from North Highlands: “Sugar Lips”

I don’t think North Highlands intended to channel Mongolia when they came up with that band name, but the intro to “Sugar Lips” sure evokes the highlands of that region. Apparently the band was born on “a lazy summer afternoon in Brooklyn”, the implied directionless of which, despite the obvious talent sitting about, seems pretty romantic to me; and the mood of that implication is definitely captured in this song.

I’m about to listen to the EP, which came out December last year, but so far the song “Sugar Lips” sounds like a refreshing break at a time when new music is beginning to get dull and formulaic. Also, singer Brenda Malvini’s voice is one of my favorite female voice types: it doesn’t’ scream “Hey, listen to me! Listen to me!”. It just says, “Hey, singing is kinda fun”.

Photo: Lena Hawkins

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Download “Sugar Lips” by North Highlands


  • Aqua: Love TEEN. Man they can sing. Cool. Different.
  • Suraj Joshee: Sarahana, Loved the video. You captured the simple raw essence of the music and band really really...
  • Kevination: I love infectious songs.
  • Jipes: Another great post, I love the voice of this artist. Every time I come here I’m surprised which is...
  • Jipes: Not at all, I’m really sorry if my comment seems odd but compare to people like Tallest Man on Earth,...