Sunday, September 30, 2007

The National at the Madison Theater

Last Sunday, I stepped out on the town for a night of indie rock goodness supplied by The National. These guys made their second stop in the Cincinnati area in the last two months, playing a show at the 20th Century Theater back in June. Since I had to miss that get together, I made it a priority not to make the same mistake twice.

The Madison Theater's website described The National as melancholy rock. This assessment isn't entirely off base as The National does deliver the mellow, laid back rock AT TIMES. However, these guys can also ROCK in the parlance of rock music, whatever that means. On some of their songs, such as Mistaken For Strangers, Abel, Mr November, the ROCK translates to their albums. The great thing about seeing these guys live is that they ROCK on lots of their songs, often extending songs past their studio points. We're not talking hippy extension with a boatload of musical masterbation. Instead, we're talking short, intense bursts of music that give the songs more bite than you might get on the CD. For me, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the opening Start A War that played mellow but ended with an extended rock outro that got the crowd hyped. I really didn't expect to head bang at a National show, but there I was, doing just that within the first few minutes.

The show continued this way as The National navigated through a variety of songs from their last two albums, Alligator and Boxer. Below is the setlist and be sure to check out Abel, one of the songs that does rock on their 2005 release, Alligator and Start A War, from 2007's Boxer:

Start A War
Mistaken For Strangers
Secret Meeting
Baby, We'll Be Fine
Slow Show
Squalor Victoria
All the Wine
Racing Like A Pro
Apartment Story
Daughters of the Soho Riots
Fake Empire
About Today

Green Gloves
Mr. November


Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Evening at Home

This fine relaxing evening has been brought to you by Busch Light and a couple of fine singer-songwriters.

Here's four songs. Enjoy.

Elliott Smith - New Disaster: My favorite off the New Moon album.
Elliott Smith - A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to be Free: Political. This is a different ES song. In my opinion, it shows his versatility.

Buy these here and here.

Devendra Banhart - Tit Smoking in the Temple of Artesan Mimicry: The hippy Elliott Smith
Devendra Banhart - This is the Way

You can get this album here.

So, I'm just now discovering Devendra. I heard about him forever ago but figured it wasn't my deal (i have no excuse for thinking that, but for some reason I did). I had no idea where to start so I downloaded the Rejoicing in the Hands album. I've thoroughly enjoyed this one so far. For any Devendra fans out there, what do you recommend next? If you've got any input let me know. For those out there that haven't checked him out...quite wasting time and remember....When in rome....


Friday, September 28, 2007

The American League Playoff Picture

Holy Crap!!! October is in like two days. Seriously!! You know what that means?? Playoff baseball!! Thank goodness its finally here. Now I shall admit, the failure on my beloved St. Louis Cardinals to qualify for postseason action will put something of a damper on this years festivities, but I shall enjoy it nonetheless. I'm ready to sit back with a beer and watch a whole lotta games. Nothing else goes together quite as well as Postseason Baseball and Sam Adams Octoberfest. Bring on the goodness.

So, in order to get each of us in the mood for the playoffs, I figured I'd indulge in a bit of shallow analysis of the teams involved. What you shall find below is the teams involved, my opinion on how they got here and their chances moving forward, and (since this is a music blog) one song that characterizes my thoughts on the team's chances of winning the World Series, or just my thoughts on the team in general.

We shall start with the American League today, since the four teams involved have already been determined. I shall return sometime after this weekend with a National League edition.

Probable AL East Winner - Boston Red Sox

Band of Horses - The End's Not Near

With a 2 game lead and only three games to play, its looking more and more likely that the Red Sox will hold off the surging Yankees for the top spot in the east for the first time since like 1995, and as the title of the song suggests, I think they've got quite a bit of baseball left to play. I think they are the most complete team in the playoffs with a steady lineup (Manny really makes the difference) and top rotation (Beckett, Schill, Dice-K, with Wake thrown in for good measure) and a great bullpen (Jima and Paps). The Sox are my second favorite team and they're also my pick to represent the AL in the Series.

AL Central Winner - Cleveland Indians

Dashboard Confessional - Bend and Not Break

Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez, and Joe Borowski.....bwuaah?? Yes, Joe Borowski is a horrible closer. He of the 5.23 ERA isn't striking fear into the heart of anyone come the ninth inning. The Tigers proved last year you can make it to the World Series without having a good closer, but once in the WS, that terrible closer begins throwing the ball all over the infield. He's managed to get the job done 43 different times this season applying his 'bend and not break' method, but there's been quite a few rough patches. I suppose its not a long shot to say he'll screw up a very important situation at one point in the playoffs, but then again, i did say this analysis would be shallow. So there you have it.

AL West winner: Los California Angels of Anaheim Angeles

Sufjan Stevens - All Good Naysayers, Speak up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!

I'm now officially the 189,344th person to make a "the Angels have a stupid name" joke.
Here's the thing about the Angels. No one ever talks about them. Be it they play on the West Coast, don't hit a lot of home runs, or don't hear much about them. But I'll tell you what, they scare me. Probably more so than any of the other teams on this list. Here's why: Good starting pitching?? Check (Lackey and Escobar) Star hitting power?? Check (Vlad) Good bullpen?? Check (Shields and K-Rod). So, tell me a reason they can't win the whole damn thing? There isn't one. They don't hit many home runs, but who cares. They're solid, they hit a ton of doubles and play good defense. I really wouldn't want to play them, but I suppose you can say that for any of the AL teams. Good luck NL.

Wild Card: New York Yankees

Whiskeytown - What the Devil Wanted

If I'm not mistaken, the New York Yankees were something like 12 games out of first place at one point this season, and yet here they are back in the playoffs for like the 59th straight time. It was clearly what the devil wanted, and it appears he got his way. There can be no other explanation to their inclusion in this postseason. We can all take solace, however, in the fact that the Yanks pitching sucks. Their hitting?? Awesome. Pitching?? Not so much. You've never heard the phrase, "Hitting Wins Championships" and there's a reason for that. That being said, I wouldn't want to play them. Here's hoping Choke-Rod continues his choke-foolerly, and that Clemens continues his douchebaggery.

So, that's what I've got for the AL. The NL is too close to call in every division, so i'll be back Monday or Tuesday with a look at the NL playoff teams. Holla back now


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Costa Rica, Part II

Volcano Poas smells like sulfur

As promised, I'm back for round dos of the Costa Rica-inspired music. Interestingly, this next group came out of Brazil in 1966, where they speak Portuguese, not Spanish. Though, during the trip I also had a Spaniard tell me that Costa Ricans don't speak Spanish either. Go figure. Different dialect, I suppose. Anyway, up next we have Os Mutantes (The Mutants) cranking out their psychedelic, tropicalia rock. These guys worked together from 1966 to 1978, later influencing the likes of Kurt Cobain, Beck, and Talking Heads. In 2006 they got back together and played a few shows with the Flaming Lips and in 2007 they cut a few more tracks. Here are a few tracks off their best of disc, Everything Is Possible (1999).

Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina
Os Mutantes - Bat Macumba

Buy Os Mutantes here!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Caution!! Potential Best Album of 2007 Ahead

Back in August, I posted an mp3 from a band that I thought put out one of the best albums of 2006. That band was Band of Horses and that album was Everything All the Time. If you don't have it yet, drop everything you're doing and go buy it. Actually, just break out the credit card, go here, and just order it. You won't regret it. I promise. You can listen to a few of their songs from that album on their myspace page.

The reason I bring this up is that they have a new album coming out October 9 entitled Cease to Begin, and if this album is remotely as good as the last, then it'll challenge for tops of the year. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about it and you should be too. You can already preorder it at or you could just wait like I probably will.

So, just to get you in the mood, here's the first single off the upcoming album called Is There A Ghost. Its a quick little ditty that easily could've ended up on the last album. Also, I'll throw out one of the older ones. Hope you like them.

Band of Horses - Is There A Ghost
Band of Horses - Part One


Costa Rica, Part I

The beautiful coffee fields of Costa Rica (only drink coffee grown above 1000 meters on the side of volcanoes)

I, also, have no excuse for my lack of posts, except that I was on hiatus in Costa Rica in the middle of lush tropical cloud forests that have millions of unique flora and fauna species, yet no wireless internet. Normally, after coming back from a trip like this I might put together a webcast, describing to you in my own voice in one hour's time what songs remind me of Central and South America. While this would be my preferred medium, this might takes weeks to put together. So, I'm going to opt for the direct-while-you-wait method my compadres seem to have mastered and highlight a couple bands in several posts over an unrestricted amount of time. So, here goes it. Artist number uno es:

Hailing from Brazil he brings his characteristic fusion of samba, funk, and rock that any fine Costa Rican could dance to (I, on the other hand, had my meager dancing skills put to shame by these gyrating Central Americans).

Check out:

Jorge Ben - Camisa 10 de Gavea (Africa Brazil, 1976)
Jorge Ben - Taj Mahal (Africa Brazil, 1976)

Buy it [here].


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Heart XM Radio

Seeing Kendall's Ryan Adams post reminded me of something I downloaded last week that I've been meaning to post here. So, XM Satellite Radio is the shit. And by that I mean that I really like it. Music's great, plus its got baseball, which is double-great. One of the music channels is called The XM Loft and its more acousticky-singer/songwriter stuff. They constantly have musicians (some famous, some not) come and play live in studio.

Well, apparently a couple years ago, Ryan Adams visited the studio with his band The Cardinals and played a gig. This came out right before the Cold Roses album, which is a most excellent album, and most of the songs from this performance come from that album, but not all (check the version of New York, New York found here).

So, for some reason this very excellent blog, the Aquarium Drunkard, that I make a habit of reading decided to post the performance on their site, so here I am bringing the goods to you. I hope you enjoy.

1. Intro
2. Magnolia Mountain
3. What Sin
4. Cold Roses
5. Bird Song
6. Talk 1
7. Beautiful Sorta
8. Talk 2
9. A Kiss Before I Go
10. Talk 3
11. When Will You Come Back Home
12. Games
13. To Be Young
14. Mockingbird
15. Peaceful Valley
16. Talk 4
17. NY, NY
18. I See Monsters
19. Let it Ride
20. Harder Now That It's Over
21. Outro

There you have it. The whole thing, talking and everything. My favorite is probably the slowed down version of Let it Ride. Enjoy.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shot IN The Arm

Thank you to Mr Rutledge for the shot in the arm. Laziness and football have mostly distracted me from providing you with fantastic tunes. Like Rutledge said, it's not that I haven't been listening to music. In fact, as this six pack will show, I've listened to some older favorites, some new bands, and some not so old favorites.

Ryan Adams -- New York New York from Gold :: I meant to post this on Sept. 11, but see above. Bad excuse, I know, but still good music from the wayback machine that deserves to be played.
[Buy Gold here]

moe. -- New York City from Dither :: See above. This is a good song for a hippy band.
[Buy Dither here]

Earlimart -- Answers & Questions from Mentor Tormentor :: I don't know shit about these guys (and girl) but I love this album. I actually got this through an Itunes recommendation and came away pleasantly surprised. This is pop music, but I don't mind.
[Buy Mentor Tormentor here]

Magnolia Electric Company -- Hammer Down from Sojourner :: From the Nashville Moon disc of MEC's box set, Sojourner, the prolific Jason Molina (think Ryan Adams prolific) gives us some stripped down versions of previous released songs. These guys are good, I just never realized how good until this album.
[Buy Sojourner here]

Teenage Fanclub -- Ain't That Enough from Songs From Northern Britain :: Power pop at its finest from these three Scots. These guys can rock grungy (Cobain was a fan) but also sing the harmonies with the best of them. This song falls in the latter.
[Buy Songs From Northern Britain here]

The National -- Karen from Alligator :: I've been pimping these guys for a while thanks to their newest release, Boxer. The above is from their 2005 record, Alligator. Also, I'm finally seeing them this SUnday in Covington, so I've been spinning this alot. They know how to write songs with female names as titles (see Ada from Boxer).
[Buy Alligator here]



Monday, September 17, 2007

Knock Knock......Who's There?.......Not RadioKGB

So, we've been a little sluggish here at KGB for some time now. Its not that we've haven't been listening to music, but we sure have been less likely to distribute our tastes to the masses. Well, its time for us to wake the eff up here, myself, most definitely included. I'm going to get this shiz started by introducing a couple new bands to the KGB community (can I call is that?). Oddly enough (its actually not that odd, but still) most, if not all, of these bands albums can be found on eMusic. I love that website and a big shout out to Kendall for introducing it back in the day. Let's get started.

A caribou.....which lends itself a healthy segway to our first band.

Caribou - Eli
Caribou - Melody Day

Here's an argument for Gerdon that people today can write Beatles songs just as good as anything the Beatles could have written *dodges bolt of lightning*. Whereas that might not be exactly true, the new album Andorra by Caribou (mainly one dude named
Dan Snaith) sounds extremely Beatles-esque. And if you disagree with the Beatles comparison it definitely has a 60's ring to it. There's not too much else out there like this. I've really enjoyed it so far.

Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
Blitzen Trapper - Sci-Fi Kid

Hmm, coincidence that a band named after a reindeer comes immediately after a band named after the North American equivalent of a reindeer????? I think not. Actually, Kendall might have already mentioned this band a while back. Typical modern day indie album, its got a little bit of everything in it. Both of these are off their album of the same name of the first song I posted. Some sound a little country-ish. The second one here sounds like Wilco to me. Overall, I guess I'd catagorize this a good new old-fashioned country-indie-rock. Pretty much sums it up I think.

Okkervil River - Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
Okkervil River - A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene

So, remember that band Bishop Allen I told yall about. Well, close your eyes, forget about them, and listen to Okkervil River.....they're good aren't they? Yeah, I think they sound similar. That's not a bad thing...just a thing, ya know? The second one actually makes me want to go to a damn sock hop......kinda.

Hmm, time for another semi-related picture....

Its an all animal themed day here at KGB.

Panda Bear - Bros

This one's long, so get ready. Panda Bear is one of the dudes from the band Animal Collective. Apparently, he's the one that likes electronic musics.......actually scratch that. Let's not say electronic.....we'll manufactured sounds. He sounds like Brian Wilson. You know...the Beach Boys guy? Actually, he sounds like what Brian Wilson would sound like had he taken acid. Wait, what's that? You think Brian Wilson took acid, but still didn't sound like this?? Hmm, you make a good point.

Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today
Port O'Brien - My Eyes Won't Shut

Garr, steve. So, apparently this, at times Modest Mouse-like, dude is an Alaskan fisherman by day.....or something like that. If its anything like that show The Deadliest Catch, then I'd quit, like today. I guess he's always got his band to fall back on.

Oh, let's about one more:

White Light Riot - In a Shotgun Whirlwind
White Light Riot - Atomism

Oh, if only The O.C. were still around. I guess I would've found out about this band like two weeks earlier if it had still be on the air, due to their sly attempt to highlight every band in the world you had never heard of. Some were winners, some were clearly not. I think White Light Riot would've been a winner.

Whew. Are you tired? That was a lot, i realize. But we've got some making up to do, so i figured I might as well get it started. Enjoy. Oh, you can buy every album here at eMusic. You should.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11

Hey there KGB readers. So, if you hadn't noticed, or thought to look at a calendar, or listened to the radio, or watched is September 11. Its really hard to believe that its been 6 years now since the unthinkable happened. But it has, and it makes just as much sense today as it did that tragic day. Honestly, it'll never make sense. That's just the way senseless acts go.

Its kinda unfortunate that we have to make a point to remember 9/11. But its true. The event was so long ago, that often times our ADHD minds push it to the back. Its not that we necessarily forget about what happened that day....because that's impossible. Everyone will always remember where they were, what they did, and how the day played out. In that sense, it is our generation's Kennedy assassination. I, personally, was a junior in college at Kentucky Wesleyan. Classes were canceled (all except for mothereffing Organic Chemistry lab) and the day was spent watching the television scared out of my mind. But today, we just don't think about what happened that day nearly as much as we should. And by we, I am clearly speaking about myself....but I have a feeling this can be applied across the board.

So, I raise my glass to a day completely dedicated to remembering those who died and the others that were affected by a few peoples horrific actions. I then raise a second glass to always remembering these people and never forgetting what they were forced to give up.

With that I'll post the song that always makes me think of that day. I think I can remember Kendall posting a Bob Marley song in a similar vein earlier. Well, this is a solo Dave Matthews performance from that Concert to Benefit 9/11 thing (or whatever it was called) that was broadcast all over the television shortly after the event:

Dave Matthews - Everyday

Still gets me.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Bandwidth exceeded...

Doh! Due to some excessive downloading, I have officially run out of bandwidth, which means I can't host your favorite mp3s for the next couple of days. I figured this would be a great time to stroll over to YouTube and see what kinds of great music videos they are hiding over there. Here is some great stuff that I've been listening to lately in a form that will satisfy you both audibly and visually.

Teenage Fanclub -- Ain't That Enough :: Power pop, led by these guys, Guided By Voices, Buffalo Tom, and many others, have been high on my list for the last few weeks. Check out the ringing guitars (although a bit mellowed here), lush harmonies, and engaging hooks of Teenage Fanclub.

Spoon -- The Underdog :: Seriously, bands make music videos still? I suppose they just make them to post on You Tube. I enjoy Spoon's new album immensely and this is one of my favorite tracks off the disc.

The National -- Mistaken For Strangers :: I think this is the video for a song I've posted on here before. I can't get enough of The National and their latest release, Boxer. This song, along with Ada, battle it out for my favorite on this disc.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Per Your Request

The mighty Radio KGB readership have spoken, and they are unanimous.....I'm an idiot. The only thing worse than not posting songs (a problem I've had for the better part of three weeks, i'm sorry) is posting songs, and then removing them.

For this I apologize. Here, at your request, is a song that I previously posted, but then removed to post other stuff. Hope you all enjoy it, again.

Elliott Smith - Miss Misery (piano version)

And while I'm at it, here's another Elliott Smith song I've been digging on A LOT recently. Its depressing, but to a completely different tune!!

Elliott Smith - Between the Bars

Google Images definitely has the best pictures out
there....and by 'best' I clearly mean 'most ridiculous'.

So, I saw BK posted his Working Man songs in honor of Labor Day.....Well, you know what's worse than not getting Labor Day off.....well, nothing. Not getting Labor Day off sucks. But, fortunately, there's no better place to vent than here at KGB. So, I'll vent about coming to work on a damn National Holiday here by posting a couple songs. To steal a smarter man's idea, let's call it the Working Man's 4-pack.

1. Iron and Wine - Boy With a Coin: This one's going to be on I&W's new album, The Shepherd's Dog. I can't remember if its been posted here yet or not, but here you go anyways. (It doesn't come out until Sept. 25, but you can preorder the album here, I recommend doing so, its gonna be a good one.)

2. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah - Over and Over Again (And Lost and Found): I still don't have their newest one. This one's super duper. But I'm ready to get the next one. (Here's the old one.)

3. Arcade Fire - Intervention: The Arcade Fire have an interesting flair for the dramatic that is quite evident on this song. I'm picturing a GIANT pipe organ in an ancient church, not like a Neil Young in concert sized pipe organ, but like a Handel's Messiah Hallelujah Chorus size pipe organ. You can't really go wrong with pipe organs...they're rarely used to ill-effect. (Arcade Fire can be purchased here).

4. Bryan Scary and the Shedding Tears - Desdemona's Leaving Town: Well, I'm lazy and for that I also apologize. I've been meaning to feature Mr. Scary as well as a few others in a long overdue Webcast. But Gerdon's the only one that seems to find the energy to do one. I'll just post this song here, its my favorite of his. Maybe someday if I ever do that Cast I'll hit you up with some more. I hope you like this one.

So, i just realized I need some new music. Either just new CDs put on my computer or I actually need to go purchase something. Either way its something that needs to be done. If you've got any good recs, let me hear them. But until then, there you go. Keeping you cool like a 4-pack of Samuel Smith's Taddy Porters.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Working man music!

A miner enjoying a tall cold one after a hard day of work.

This week's Six Pack will pay homage to the working man. At KGB, with our obvious ties to everything communism (well, not really), the working man holds a special place in our hearts. It's only a matter of time before the proletariat rises up and crushes the capitalists. You'll see, any day now, those two dudes, ya know Marx and Engels, will be vindicated. Until their mighty revolution occurs (any day now I predict), here is some good music to pass the time.

The Grateful Dead -- Cumberland Blues from June 7, 1970 :: Taken from the Live Archive's Dead section, you have to include a song from Workingman's Dead.
[Buy Workingman's Dead here]

Dwight Yoakam -- Miner's Prayer from Dwight's Used Records :: Let's stick with miners and the hard work they do. Dwight is from eastern Kentucky, he knows about what he sings.
[Buy Dwight's Used Records here]

REM -- Finest Worksong from The Best of the IRS Years :: Not overtly about blue collar working, but I like the song and it somewhat relates thus, it stays.
[Buy IRS here]

Drag The River -- Tired & Fired from It's Crazy :: Hard work makes you tired and without your best woman, it's a kick in the nuts, that's for sure. Drag The River says so in the country stylings I love.
[Buy It's Crazy here]

The Drive-By Truckers -- Puttin' People On The Moon from The Dirty South :: The last two are more political tunes. In the first, Patterson Hood sounds off on the hardships of a small town factory worker, the turn he takes to support his family, and the absurdity of it all in light of the bundles of money being spent on NASA rockets.
[Buy The Dirty South here]

Lucinda Williams -- American Dreams from Live At The Fillmore :: Lucinda's story of a factory man and the difficulties he's had reaching the American dream.
[Buy Live At The Fillmore here]

Enjoy your day off. Watch out for commies.