New Music: Saturday and Mail Edition

So I took my daughter to Graywhale on Saturday. What a joke that day was. I tried finding ONE copy of “Princess and the Frog” for my kids. I ended up buying it 4 times, two of which were the 3-disc blu-ray version. One of the single-disc versions which went back to a store, the return on which I actually made $10. Don’t ask how … I’m not even what happened. All I know is that I got back $10 more than I paid. It was really weird.

Anyway, the reason for going to Graywhale was an attempt to return one of the blu-ray3-disc copies. I definitely did not need two, so I figured I’d just take it back. Unbeknownst to me, they have a no-cash-return policy, and offer in-store credit. So I figured, “Well, I might as well peruse their CDs while I’m here.” Yah. Try that with a 4-year old hyper child.

I managed to escape with some good stuff though.

  • Sigur Ros – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
  • Sigur Ros  – (  )
  • Dioramic – Technicolor
  • Silversun Pickups  – Carnavas

Not a bad haul. Then in the mail, I got some more!

  • Foma – Phobos
  • Foma – Ice Caves
  • Great Northern – Trading Twilight for Daylight

There’s more coming in the mail.

So, here’s what happens. I go to … wherever. I get new music. I bring it home, listen to it, and if it’s *really* good, I’ll hop on Amazon and see who has what. Sure enough, most artists have a whole catalog of stuff, most of which can be had for pennies plus shipping.

Such is the case with artists like Great Northern. I picked up their “Sleepy Eepee” at Gray Whale a few weeks back. The guy at the counter kept raving about them, so I figured they’d have to be worth a shot.

Come to find out, they’re really awesome. Solon Bixler, former 30 Seconds to Mars guitarist, is the band’s male vocal frontman. Rachel Stolte is the female singer. The two of them together create some really ethereal, atmostpheric vocals that really mixes with with the strings, drums, guitar and piano. Rachel’s voice is vaguely similar to Scarlett Johannson’s.

Anyway, highly recommend them. Much goodness is to be had.

New Music Friday … on FRIDAY

HOLY haul. I swear, I don’t get how more people aren’t raiding Graywhale. Such an amazing collection of music. What is the matter with you people?!

So I was on the second floor, raiding the indie section, as often I am wont to do on my Friday lunch break. Over the in-house stereo, I hear this voice that sounds like the chick from Bat for Lashes. I ask the guy at the counter who it is. “Yah … umm, this is Portishead.” Now … granted it’s been a while since I’ve listened to them, and I do enjoy Beth Gibbon’s voice, but … really? It didn’t sound like anything of theirs that I have. “Is this their new CD?”

“No, it’s like their second or something.”

“Really! I have most of their stuff, but this doesn’t sound familiar.”

“Yah … you should check it out.”

So I grab my stack and head down stairs to pay. As always, the guy at the counter and I banter about what CDs I’m getting. Invariably, he’s heard of and listened to almost all of them. Luckyyyy (it’s hard to impersonate a “Napoleon” voice while typing, ya know?). Anyway, he was ecstatic that I picked up Saharah Hotnight’s Jennie Bomb CD. “Dude. These guys totally owned when they opened for the Hives. You’ll love ’em.” Sure enough, very cool Swedish chick band. That’s hard to not like. Not to mention they have  a vibe very reminiscent of Juliette and the Licks. Again, hard not to like, right?

Upstairs guy comes down and says, “Hey, do you want that Portishead CD?”

“Sure. Why not?”

So he goes and gets it. Sure enough, it is indeed “3,” which they released in 2008. Downstairs behind the counter guy says that he heard that they’re working on new music, too. Much awesome-sauce! According to some articles, we can expect new P music in the last part of 2010. *Happy dance*

So here’s the list for today.

  • Portishead – Third
  • Cordero –  En Este Momento (really excited to listen to this one)
  • All Smiles – Ten Readings of a Warning
  • The Appleseed Cast – Two Conversations
  • Saint Etienne – Finisterre
  • Sahara Hotnights – Jennie Bomb
  • CIAM – Anonymous
  • Beep Beep – Business Casual
  • Bettie Serveert – Dust Bunnies
  • Blue-Eyed Son – West of Lincoln
  • Books about UFOs – Let the Bridges Ignite (local Utah band!)
  • The Beautiful Confusion
  • Land of Talk – Applause Cheer Boo Hiss
  • Layton – Grand Design (no, not a Utah band)
  • Heloise and the Savoir Faire – Trash, Rats and Microphones
  • Heather Duby – Post to Wire

See what I mean? AMAZING list. I also picked up the new “The Princess and the Frog” blu-ray for my girls, which has most excellent music by Randy Newman.

So there ya go. Can’t wait to dive into this stuff. I have a lot of Bettie Serveert already, so I’m sure that’ll be cool.

Funny Work Place Convo

So, my buddy Howard and I were chatting over our inter-office chat doohickey. Noticing the time, I realized how much I still have to get done (yet here I am, taking time to post a new blog entry).


Chris: okay,  i *must* get this crap done

Chris: refocusing …

Howard: k

Howard: gl

Chris: yah … thanks.  i’m going to need it

Chris:   🙂

Howard: np mp glot

Chris: dude

Chris: that looks like a sigur ros song

Poor guy had no clue what I meant. 

It looks like Sigur Ros “lyrics” to me, anyway.

New Music Friday, Bought on Saturday, Ripped Sunday, for Monday …

Yah. That title even confuses me.

So I got some new stuff on Saturday. EXCELLENT stuff, too. I’m telling you … my methods are fool-proof. Check out the list.

  • Audrye Sessions – Self-titled
  • Apollo Sunshine – Shall Noise Upon
  • Clinic – Walking With Thee
  • The Dead Trees – King of Rosa
  • Dizmas – On a Search in America
  • Division Day – BearTrap Island
  • The Rocking Horse Winner – Horizon
  • Pronto – All Is Golden
  • Pony Up – Make Love to the Judges with Your Eyes
  • Persephone’s Bees – Notes from the Underworld
  • Neva Dinova – The Hate Yourself Change
  • Van She – EP
  • Straylight Run – Straylight Run
  • Earlimart – Hymns and Hers
  • The Elected – Sun Sun Sun
  • Goldspot – Tall of the Yes Men
  • Dragonette – Galore

Count ’em … 18 CDs for about $60. And this stuff rocks. This stuff all got ripped and loaded Sunday morning before we went to my sister in law’s house for her birthday. My wife commented on the Audrye Sessions CD, which, for being on random, got a lot of airplay. Weird. She liked everything she heard of theirs though, which is awesome.

Far and away, the most interesting cover was the Dragonette CD. Glossy pink and black. It looked like a vinyl purse, for all intents and purposes. And I mean *glossy*. It’s like someone took shellack to the jewel case insert. The two songs of theirs I sampled while ripping were cool. Kind of electronica with a twist of angry female pop. Not bad.

More later. Just thought I’d share the good news.


There are some bands that you just never out-grow. They stay with you for life. Regardless of what others may think, you stay true to your bands for whatever reason.

So it is with a-ha and me. One of the first tapes I bought was their Hunting High and Low release from 1985. Really, I only bought it for “The Sun Always Shines on TV,” but I quickly started listening to the whole thing.

Because I enjoyed their first offering so much, when Scoundrel Days was released in 1986, I figured it had to be pretty good, so why not give it a shot. On the strength of HHaL and their first single from SD (“Cry Wolf”), I went to my local music store and bought it. Same style of typical 80s synth-pop, but SD seemed to have a different feel to it. I don’t know … maybe “meloncholy” is the right word. It’s a great listen.

Time marched on, I started listening to different music, like Van Halen, The Cult, Rush, Led Zeppelin … stuff like that. Meanwhile, Norway’s best-kept musical offering kept marching on. They released Stay on These Road, East of the Sun West of the Moon, and Memorial Beach between 1988 and 1993. I had known about SoTR, but I never picked it up. Not even recording the newest Bond film title track (“The Living Daylights”) got me to purchase it.

My roommate in college and now brother in law has been into them for a number of  years. Through him, I actually discovered that they had 3 additional CDs between 2000 and 2005 –  Minor Earth Major Sky, Lifelines and Analogue respectively. I tried listening to all 3 of them. Not bad recordings … just not my cup of tea. My problem with them was that I wanted them to sound like 1985. That doesn’t work.

Until they released Foot of the Mountain last year. A full return to their original synth-pop roots. And it totally works. The first track on their newest CD, “The Bandstand,” has a great keyboard sound to it. Extremely catchy, easy to hum and remember. But in the background is layered some subtle bass lines that keep the track flowing nicely. There are also some strings that I’m sure are born of another midi keyboard, but whatever. The drums sound processed as well, if not programmed. Again, whatever.

The amazing thing to me is that Morton (lead singer), sounds the same now as he did 25 years ago. If you mixed tracks from HHaL with FotM, you’d be hard pressed to separate which tracks are from which CD without prior knowledge. It’s really impressive.

Saturday Morning Rip Session

So, I’m finally getting around to ripping all the music I bought 3 Fridays ago. I’ve sampled songs from The Happies, Inkwell, Josephine Foster, and Foma. Again, not a let-down amongst them.

A friend of mine was right about The Happies … they’re a great local band. Well, local to me, anyway. Used to be local to her. Anyway, as I typically do with music that I like, I tried finding more of their recordings. Either there are other bands with the same name, or they’re pretty diverse. Based on the fact that their label only has If I Were Really Here listed as their only CD, I’m guessing these guys are a completely different band. Interesting …

Anyway, on with the ripping!

Grooveshark … Yah.

One amongst us just became a HUGE fan of Grooveshark. So far, it’s found everything I’ve thrown at it: Rush, Tool, Samantha Crain, Joanna Newsom, Appleseed Cast, Lacuna Coil, Metric … and it’s not just pulling back studio-released material. There were live songs thrown in there as well. Wow. I’m … wow.

This is very cool. This beats the pants off of Pandora.

Today’s Playlist

So, again … Friday will have come and gone, and I won’t make it up to my favorite CD shop. Boo hoo for me.

Anyway, here’s what’s played on my iphone so far today, in reverse order (current to latest).

  • Metric – Wet Blanket
  • Over The Rhine – Jesus in New Orleans
  • Scarlett Johannson – Summertime (Sublime cover)
  • Animal Collective – Turn into Something
  • Nouvelle Vague – O Pamela
  • Metallica – Fade to Black
  • The Cult – Automatic Blues
  • Swans – Telepathy
  • Lunatica – World under Ice
  • Dido – Slide
  • Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johannson – Clean
  • Joanna Newsom – Does Not Sufice
  • Sigur Ros –  Myrkur
  • Hungry Lucy – Open Window (Chandeen mix)
  • Belle & Sebastian – Photo Jenny
  • Collide – Spaces In Between

Not a bad mix. Old school Metallica mixed with the new version of The Breeders in Metric.

Well, *I* think that Metric sounds like The Breeders.

I skipped ahead to She Wants Revenge’s “Sleep.” Justin Warfield has such a unique voice. Hard to mistake it. He has a lot of earlier projects that I want to check out too.

Utah Music Scene

Hey, so … if you live in Utah and want to know what’s going on with the latest concert information, this Facebook page is pretty good about getting out the info. Lots of amazing bands coming in the next month. Granted, it covers mostly Orem/Provo area, but they sometimes wander north of the Happy Valley border and touch upon the SLC/Davis/Weber county scene as well.

Local venues:

In the Venue

The Depot

The State Room

Murray Theater

Kilby Court (Appleseed Cast TOMORROW!!)

I’ll add to this as I remember or find other venues.

Keeping My Head Above Water …

So, no new music today. No review, no … nothin’. Life has been too hectic to actually enjoy any new music lately, so … this post is just to let all my valiant readers know that yes–I am alive. Thanks for caring!

I will say this about music … there are some days that certain songs hit you harder than others. Sometimes that “hit” is in a good way; other times, it feels like someone pulled out the rug from under you and kicked you while you were on your way down. During those “kicking” times, I tend to just listen to talk radio more simply so I don’t have the negative association.

I hope everyone is doing well. Enjoy your week!

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