Cover Me With Care

Some random cover songs to share on a Monday morning.

Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins - Handle With Care
>>>>Don't know the original? Learn. Bonus points if you recognize any of the men singing with Ms Lewis.

Ted Leo - Since U Been Gone
>>>>Don't know the original? Lucky you.

Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats
>>>>Don't know the original? See last post.

Jose Gonzalez - Love Will Tear Us Apart
>>>>Don't know the original? Seriously? Turn off your computer, stop listening to music, and never come back.


Do You Hear What I Hear

Just a few of the songs that have been getting 'repeat' treatment from me over the last week.

The Knife - Heartbeats
Genre: electro-pop
>>>>The Knife are Swedish duo Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson. "Heartbeats" is the standout track from their 2004 album Deep Cuts. You can hear more songs from that album, and their soon to be released album Silent Shout on their MySpace page.

Fashionmagazine - The Cold
Genre: indie-pop, brit-pop
>>>>I (accidentally) stumbled across Fashionmagazine's first promo release Better Than Sumner the other day. Having never heard of them, I gave the 5 songs on the EP a few listens and was pleased. After doing some research, it turns out Fashionmagazine call thier Switzerland home and this promo is their first recorded release. Check out "The Cold" and a few other tracks on their MySpace page.

Birdmonster - All The Holes In The Walls
Genre: indie-rock
>>>>Birdmonster is a San Francisco based band that has the potential to break out huge this year. Having already drawn rave reviews for a 3 song EP released last year, and hyped up tours with indie rock darlings The National and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Birdmonster recently started recording their first LP. Read all about it in their Studio Blog while listening to "All The Holes In The Walls" or the rest of the EP.

Joseph Arthur - In The Sun
Genre: rock, singer/songwriter
>>>>I first discovered Joseph Arthur about 3 years ago, and every few months or so I break out his records and become obsessed all over again. Well, thanks to it's perfect appearance in last week's Scrubs episode I've once again been obsessing over "In The Sun" and the rest of his Come to Where I'm From album. If you've never heard of Joseph Arthur, check out his official site to hear more.


The End Is The Beginning Is The End

I've always been a fan of well crafted albums and one thing that can really influence my view of an album as a whole is the song sequencing. In my opinion it is one of the most important decisions an artist can make, and when i'm listening to an album I find it easy to tell who does, and doesn't care about the order in which they present their music. Well planned sequencing is what distinguishes an album from a collection of songs.

With that on my mind, i've decided to do a themed post today. Below I'm sharing several of my favourite closing tracks of the last year or so. All of these songs come from great albums, and their placement was well planned. In the future I think i'll revisit this theme with some of my favorite albums of all time, but for now enjoy these.

Wolf Parade - This Heart's On Fire

>>>>Wolf Parade's debut album Apologies To The Queen Mary justifiably made them one of 2005's biggest buzz bands. There is not a weak track on the album, and the collection is closed off with the epic "This Heart's On Fire". It's the best Springsteen song that The Boss didn't write.

The Constantines - Windy Road

>>>>The Constantines are masters of contrasting their numerous styles through song sequencing. With "Windy Road", the closer to 2005's Tournament of Hearts, the band is heard at it's most delicate and wistful moment to date.

Iron & Wine/Calexico - Dead Man's Will

>>>>Last year Iron & Wine and Calexico proved that the sum truly is greater than it's parts. As much as I love both bands, I was not prepared for just how great the collaborate EP In The Reins would be. If not for being just 7 songs, it would have no doubt been my #1 album of the year. "Dead Man's Will" provides the perfect ending both musically and lyrically to what will hopefully be the first of many collaborative efforts from these artists.

Jack's Mannequin - La La Lie

>>>>Something Corporate singer Andrew McMahon had a busy 2005, before spending a large portion of the year beating Leukemia, he released a solo project under the monicker Jack's Mannequin. Leaving some of the angst of his other band behind, McMahon crafted a remarkably upbeat album of songs, ending with the anthemic "La La Lie". Some may consider this band to be a guilty pleasure, but there's no reason to feel guilty for enjoying fun pop music if it's good.

The Hold Steady - How A Resurrection Really Feels

>>>>It took me a long time to appreciate The Hold Steady's 2005 LP Seperation Sunday. The first few times I listened to the album I didn't even make it all the way through. It wasn't until I let myself get all the way to the album closer "How A Resurrection Really Feels". Not long after realizing that this was my favourite song title of the year, I found it was also one of my favourite songs of the year, and it helped me to go back and appreciate the rest of the album. Though they often come off sounding like the band that should be playing your local dive bar, the epic Jim Steinman-like instrumentation on this track shows just why they were one of 2005's most talked about indie bands.

Lydia - December

>>>>At times while listening to Lydia's debut album This December; It's One More and I'm Free it becomes hard to tell when one song ends and another begins. Though this is usually just the sign of a derivative band, Lydia manage to weave the lyrical and musical themes of the album in and out of songs in a way that keeps it interesting and engrossing. The album closer "December" does a good job of wrapping together all of these themes and giving the album a grand sense of finality.


Hype Hype Hooray!

With this post I've decided to share a couple of bands that are starting 2006 in different stages of the internet hype machine.

We Are Scientists walk the same indie-rock-dance-punk line that has made bands like The Killers, Bloc Party, and Franz Ferdinand international stars.

The New York trio released their first major label LP in the UK last fall. Taking full advantage of the months of hype that was built by early rave reviews, last week they released the album, "With Love and Squalor", in North America. With an album chalked full of catchy radio-ready singles, We Are Scientists are likely to come out of 2006 with legions of fans, legions of haters, and a guest spot on The O.C.

Check out their official site for additional music.

We Are Scientists - Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt (first single)
We Are Scientists - Inaction (gets my vote for second single)


The hype around the oddly named Eagle*Seagull has just begun. Their story and music has recently begun popping up in several of the more influential MP3 Blogs and the great praise has made them early front runners for 2006's first "Next Big Thing". The surprising part? They're not from Montreal!

Of course this hasn't stopped people from comparing them to Montreal's favorite sons The Arcade Fire. Though the comparison may be setting the bar a little high too early, there are definatly musical similarities that warrent relating Eagle*Seagull to previous "next big thing" champions like TAF and Wolf Parade.

The 3 songs below are available for download from their official web site and you can hear more over at their MySpace page

Eagle*Seagull - Photograph
Eagle*Seagull - Your Beauty Is A Knife I Turn On My Throat
Eagle*Seagull - Death Could Be at The Door


The Band Most Likely To...

The Boy Least Likely To make some of the happiest music that could ever be considered indie rock. Brilliant songwriting surrounded by unique, often childlike instrumentation and lyrics brings to mind the youthful energy of early Beatles singles.

Though their debut album The Best Party Ever stands as a great recording on its own, I think the best is yet to come from this group...as long as they don't get lost in the hype along the way.

In addition to the songs below, you can hear more of The Boy Least Likely To at their official site or their MySpace page.

The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me
The Boy Least Likely To - Monsters
The Boy Least Likely To - I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon To Your Star


The Only Magic Number is 6

The Magic Numbers eponymous debut album, which was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize, is one of the most unexpectedly comforting mix of styles i've come across in a long time.

The Numbers are a little brit-pop, a little 60's pop, a little blue-eyed soul, a little folk, and have a penchant for writing intoxicating harmonies for singing siblings Romeo and Michele Stodart.

Switching easily between folk-pop harmonies akin to the Mamas & the Papas to Leonard Cohen-esque dirges from song to song (and sometimes within the same song) leave the album with nearly no time stamp that would date it to 2005.

Check out these two songs below, and visit the band's Official Site to hear clips from the rest of the album.

The Magic Numbers - Mornings Eleven
The Magic Numbers - I See You, You See Me


Somewhere There's A Drink With My Name On It

Sunday night is the most depressing night.

Depressing nights require alcohol.

Depressing nights and alcohol require a fitting soundtrack.

The Replacements - If Only You Were Lonely
Paul Kelly - Every Fucking City (live)
John Lee Hooker - Hittin The Bottle Again

And since I can't get it out of my head:

Ben Folds w/ Rufus Wainwright - Careless Whisper (live)


Come On! Feel The Illinoise

Since I haven't found anything new and interesting this week I'll post some songs from another of 2005's best albums. In 2003, Sufjan Stevens announced that he was going to release an album inspired by each state in America. He then released the first installment Greetings From Michigan The Great Lake State.

Perhaps nobody told Sufjan that there were 50 states because it took him 2 years to release the second installment, Come On Feel The Illinoise. As it turns out, it was worth the wait. Just about every knowledgeable "Best of 2005" list had this album at or near the top, including Pitchfork who ranked it #1.

Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel The Illinoise! Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition / Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
>>>> I just wish this song had a more descriptive title.

Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
>>>> Because sometimes we all feel like a homicidal maniac.

Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhhh!
>>>> I always wondered what it would sound like if Zombie Cheerleaders rose from the dead and rocked out to a kick ass bass line.


He’s The Thrill of the Abecedarian

Far and away my favourite album of 2005, Okkervil River's - Black Sheep Boy. An album so good that it warrented it's own Appendix EP. A true "album", Black Sheep Boy is best listened to from start to finish without any interruptions.

Click here to read lead singer/songwriter Will Sheff's explanation of how the entire album was thematically inspired by a Tim Hardin folk song.

>>>> Okkervil River - For Real
>>>> Okkervil River - Black

Visit the Okkervil River website for older MP3s

On A Friday Found On A Thursday

Looks like i'm a few days behind on this but some very old, and (formerly) very rare, Radiohead demo's from 1988 have popped up across the net recently.

For those that don't know, the band went by the name On A Friday in those days. Far from the Radiohead of today, these songs are still enjoyable and "To Be A Brilliant Light" offers some glimpses into the sound and style of Pablo Honey.

>>>> On A Friday - Happy Song
>>>> On A Friday - To Be A Brilliant Light
>>>> On A Friday - Sinking Ship

Why? Because I'm Bored, That's Why...

...and all the cool kids are doing it.

Those perfectly valid reasons aside, i'm actually starting this so that when I come across music that I am obsessively compulsed to share, I no longer have to individually send it to 1,2...5...10 people, etc.

Don't like the music?
Don't like MP3 Blogs?
Don't like me?
Never underestimate, how little I care.

All complaints handled by Milky McCarton.