New Music: NHL Playoffs Quarter-Finals Edition

So it’s fairly obvious that there’s been a massive drop-off this month in posts. I cannot promise you that this is going to change any time in the foreseeable future. The Buffalo Sabres are in the hunt for the Cup that bears lord Stanley’s name, and I’m LOVING this post-season. I go in to work early so I can leave early so I can watch the games. We have expat WNY friends come over for the game. We make it a party. Even my wife, who has gone so far as to say that she actually does not like hockey, has gotten caught up in it. She pays more attention. She knows the stakes are higher. This is it, folks; it’s do or die time! And the Sabres aren’t dying!

Most of the time when I post, it’s after I get home from work, have dinner and relax for the evening. With the playoffs being played every other night, it gets tough to make the time to post. I can’t promise that I’ll get back to the “post a day” pace, but I’m sure gonna try!

Meanwhile, took some time to head over to Graywhale yesterday and chat with Kyle about what it takes to get an in-store performance for an artist. I had a purpose in mind, though to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if it could be pulled off. It’d be great, but I don’t know what time constraints the artist has, I don’t know if this artist is even interested in doing a performance … but ya never know if you don’t ask, right? So I’ll throw it out there for consideration and see what happens!

And of course, I took some time to pick up some new CDs. Can’t let that chance slip by, right? What a great haul. As always, it was a grab-‘n’-go day: pick up a bunch of CDs and hope they’re good, though like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only been let down once. Picked up what looks to be a Family Crest-style CD, a CD in the vein of Alele Diane and Samantha Crain, some Wilco-style stuff … overall, a great haul! Here’s the list.

  • Langhorne Slim – When the Sun’s Gone Down
  • Langhorne Slim – Be Set Free
  • The Spinto Band – Moonwink
  • Jessica Lea Mayfield – Tell Me
  • Tiny Vipers – Life on Earth (LOVING this CD! It’s more mellow than a couch with a good book on a dark, stormy, rainy day. This CD makes Suzanne Vega look like a metal-head. Seriously that mellow.)
  • Smoosh – Free to Stay
  • Snowpony – The Sl0w-Motion World of Snowpony
  • Setting Sun – Fantasurreal
  • Mary Larson and Saint Low – Tricks for Dawn
  • Good for Cows – Audumla
  • Rahim – Ideal Lives
  • Norfolk & Western – The Unsung Colony
  • Holopaw  – Quit +/ or Fighting

I have Holopaw’s self-titled CD, so I was familiar with their stuff, but still good stuff. The Langhorne Slim material is a luck-out since I’m not familiar with his works but we’re seeing him with Samantha Crain. It’d help to know what he sings, right?

Snow Pony, Good for Cows and the Spinto Band are

Happy National Record Store Day

I wish I had thought to post this earlier in the day. Today is National Record Store day. Tragically, I didn’t even make it out of the house. However, in honor of the day, I have been listening to some great music on and off all day. All of the music I listened to was purchased at Graywhale, our best local record store by a long shot. Here are some my favorite CDs purchased from them so far:

  • Underwater Cinematographers
  • Danielle Howle and the Tantrums – Do a Two Sable
  • Nina Nastasia – The Blackened Air
  • The Early November – For All of This
  • The Apples in Stereo – Pretty much everything of theirs
  • Orenda Fink – Invisible Ones
  • Scout Niblett – This Fool Can Die Now
  • The Raveonettes – Whip It Up
  • The Caribbean – Plastic Explosives
  • 1090 Club – Shipwrecked
  • Land of Talk – Applause Cheer Boo Hiss
  • Samantha Crain – Songs in the Night
  • Alela Diane – To Be Still
  • Death by Chocolate – Death by Chocolate
  • The Dears – Gang of Losers
  • Beep Beep – Business Casual
  • Beak – Beak>
  • Plasticines – LP1

Independent music stores are definitely the way to go. I can’t stand places like FYE or whatever because they’re ridiculously expensive AND they’re practically useless when it comes to asking questions. My boys Kyle and Jon at the U of U Graywhale know their music inside and out in just about every genre. It’s great talking with them and picking their brains for new music. You just don’t get that at national chain music stores. “Hey, I’m looking for the latest CD by Beth Orton. Do you have it?”

“Uhhhhhh …. whuuuuuu … buuuuuuuh ….”

“Right. Thanks. Tell ya what: I’ll bring you a bottle of formula if you can just tell me if you have it.”

“da ba ma ma ma ma baaaaaaaa ……”


At least that’s been my experience with those kinds of stores. Not at Graywhale. They know what they’re talking about!

Support your local music shops! They’re where the real action is.


New Music: Tuesday Edition

I had to go to the hospital for a complication that arose after the surgery. Nothing major … just some excruciating pain where no man (there’s a subtle hint as to the location …) should feel anything of the like. This was like nothing I had ever experienced before, and I better *not* have to go through this ever again. Knock on wood. And pardon the horrible pun.

In need of some comfort after this traumatizing experience, I headed over to my local Graywhale store for some solace. I kept it relatively low-key for a multitude of reasons, the least of which was budget constraints, the greatest of which was the dire need to lie down and sleep … but not without my well-earned new stash of tuneage. Here’s the list:

  • From Leaf to Feather – Themes on an Imaginary Winter
  • Nina Nastasha – The Blackened Air
  • Amelia Curran – Hunter Hunter
  • Elizabeth and the Catapult – Taller Children
  • Erase Erata – Nightlife
  • French Kicks – One Time Bells
  • Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager

Lookin’ good, eh?! I’ve sampled all of them as they ripped to iTunes. As always, seriously good stuff. I’m most excited to listen to Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and Amelia Curran.

Anyway, that’s the new stuff for today. OH! I also got Florence + the Machine’s Lungs CD, but I picked that up from iTunes.

I’m gonna review these at some point. Hopefully, I can review one or two a day for the next few days. We’ll see …

New Music Friday. Literally

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written about the Friday pick-ups from Graywhale. Blame my lack of … something. One problem I’m running into is that I generally try to rip my new music either the day of or at least over that weekend. Well, ha ha ha … guess whose optical drive is in a non-functional state. Go ahead.

Okay, there’s generally no connection between the two. So really, I don’t know why I haven’t written about the additions. Allow me to make up for it today.

If you’re expecting a long list, you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you’re in to quality music and new releases from semi-/established artists, you’re going to LOVE this week’s list.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jesca Hoop’s “new” CD was actually released internationally in November of last year. That does not at all take away from the fact that her new CD is just as sonically inspiring and vocally lulling. Hunting My Dress was released domestically this past Tuesday in quality music stores (effectively ruling out Walmart, Blockbuster, Target, etc … not that those are quailty places to get ANYthing, but whatever), such as Graywhale.  

So here’s the list for today:

  • Jesca Hoop – Hunting My Dress
  • Samantha Crain – You (Understood)
  • Sera Cahoone – Only As the Day Is Long
  • The Ms – Future Women
  • Interpol – Our Love To Admire
  • The Reverend Horton Heat – Smoke ’em If you Got ’em
  • Reverend Horton Heat – Revival

Sometimes, it’s all about quality vs. quantity.

My man Kyle hooked me up with Windham Hill Chill Vols. 1 and 2 as well for the cost of nothing. Thanks, Kyle! He also threw me a free movie pass for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” The screening in a bit of a drive from my house, but it’d be worth it, right? Free movie? Just need popcorn. Yah. Pretty cool.

I’m stoked that Samantha Crain has a new CD out. Surprised, too. I didn’t see anything about it anywhere! Now that I check her site, it’s all over the place (of course).

Jesca Hoop Day

In honor of Jesca’s new CD coming out tomorrow, I’m listening to Kismet, an awesome release that snuck under many a radar in late 2007. Oddly, her new CD tomorrow isn’t exactly new new; it was released in the UK back in October 2009. Someone please explain to me how a California-native artist releases a new CD overseas 8 or so months before its initial release in the US. how does THAT happen?
Anyway, if you have the Hunting My Dress import, then this new release probably won’t rattle your sonisphere too much. To be noted though … Amazon is selling the new CD with an additional EP. Not sure what all is included on the bonus CD, but hey … that alone my be reason enough to pick up the US version … IF you don’t already have the UK import.
The thing I like about her music is that it’s completely accessible from multiple angles. For one, there’s the genre-shattering sound. At once a glancing nod to an air of country with respect to some of the harmonics, a mix of alt-folk electronica … a strong influence of free-verse poetry with accompanying acoustic guitars (even as I type, “Enemy” plays on iTunes) … her music is definitely not to be missed. Enjoyable by anyone with an ear for haunting melodies and and voice. I love how there’s a slight sound of Joana Newsom to some of her vocals.
I’m sure that Graywhale will have a copy of the new CD tomorrow. Hopefully, it’ll have the new EP along with it.

Back in the Saddle

It has been a wicked crazy week and some. Work has exploded. I think I mentioned that my boss retired a couple of Mondays ago. From the frying pan and into the fire, as it were.

Yah, yah … excuses excuses. Make the time, right? So here it is.

While I’m thinking of it, for all you fat fin fans, GW has a Facebook page that’s not to be missed. Please add them and support local music shops!

Of course, went to Graywhale for a quickie. So to speak. Hmm. ANYway, didn’t really peruse much as time was limited due to some geotagging test driving. Brought my camera along for the drive, randomly taking pictures at stop lights and other various locations. So, I have this app called GeoLogTag. It’s supposed to tag pics from ANY camera. After doing some poking around, I can understand why they make the claim: all the app does is “waypoint” your location at X intervals. I have mine set to continual. I believe it waymarks a location every 5 seconds, which is SUPER great for geotagging with accuracy. Anyway, after I take a bunch of pics, I import them into Geosetter. This program takes the images and bats them up a .gpx file that has all the waymarks listed. The program accesses this set of waymarks a couple of different ways: 1) you can email it to yourself, or (my favorite method) 2) it turns your phone into a virtual server, replete with a temp IP address for connecting and downloading the file to a specific location. Nifty, eh? Anyway, once the .gpx file is on your machine, you open it in Geosetter. It compares the time the waymarks were logged to the time the pictures were taken, and it adds the geotagging metadata to the image so you can view your image in geo-social picture sites like Flickr or Panoramio. Anyway, the bulk of my lunch was spent driving around and doing that.

The remaineder, of course, was spent acquiring more great music. Maybe it’s the loyal Western New Yorker in me, but today kind of had a theme. First off, I owned no Ani DiFranco. I now own 4 CDs. I owned no Natalie Merchant CDs. I now own 3. Still no 10000 Maniacs though. That’s bad. Didn’t even think to check for that. Oh well … something to hunt for next week, right? 🙂

So here’s the list of what I got today.

  • Faceless Wolverines – Pardon Me, Are Those Your Claws on my Back?
  • Ani DiFranco – Evolve
  • Ani DiFranco – Dilate
  • Ani DiFranco – Out of Range
  • Ani DiFranco – Imperfectly
  • Natalie Merchant – Leave Your Sleep
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • Natalie Merchant – Motherland

New Music Friday. Soon To Be Followed by New Music Saturday.

Another Friday, another trip to Graywhale. The things I learn from going there …

For example, tomorrow is Record Store Day. At Gray Whale, all used CDs are buy 2, get one free. WHAT?! WHAT!? Yah. My morning was going to be about getting ready for game 2 of the Sabres/Bruins series (hockey, for all you who are not “in the know”). That has changed. Since I own a Killer Whale card–a must for anyone within 50 miles of a Graywhale store–I get in at 9. An hour or so of perusing, cavorting, etc, then home for the game. That’s the order of the day.

So here’s the new list of what I picked up today.

  • The Juilana Theory – Love
  • The Juliana Theory – Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat
  • Evangelista – Hello, Voyager
  • DulceSky – Media Luna EP
  • Blue Bird
  • Coughs – Secret Passage
  • Colour Revolt
  • From Bubblegum to Sky – Nothing Sadder than Lonely Queen
  • Lois – Bet the Sky
  • Lois – Butterfly Kiss
  • Scout Niblett – I am
  • Bettie Serveert – Log 22
  • Cat on Form – Structure and Fear
  • Cantinero – Championship Boxing
  • Breaking Pangea – Cannon to a Whisper
  • !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Me and Guiliani down by the School Yard

I have other stuff by some of these bands, but not many. I already have Bettie Serveert’s “Log 22,” but only in mp3s. I’m familiar with Scout Niblett’s work, so I’m glad to have found that CD. I’ve heard a few snippets of some Juliana Theory material and I’m familiar with their history, but I don’t have any of their stuff. Well, okay … NOW I do, but I didn’t. That’s my point.

The Breaking Pangea CD interests me on name alone. I’m listening to the Juliana Theory’s Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat at the moment. It’s a shame these guys broke up after making this CD.

Dulcesky is a local band. In fact, they’re playing tonight at the Woodshed in downtown Salt Lake. Wish I had known that earlier today.

Anyway, more tomorrow. Probably.

Feeding the Addiction: New Music Friday

I love it when I go to Graywhale and the guys start playing stuff they think I’d be interested in. That’s just awesome. Thanks!!

By that, I mean the new Scout Niblett CD that came out in January, Calcination of Scout Niblett. It sounded like new Joanna Newsom, but nothing I recognized. “No, man. This is Scout Niblett.” So she’s on my radar of things to watch out for.

Kyle also recommended Songs: Ohia’s last/Magnolia Electric Co.’s first CD, Magnolia Electric Co. He has pretty impeccable taste in music, so I just ordered it on Amazon.

Anyway, here’s today’s list.

  • HIM – Sworn Eyes (this is not to be confused with H.I.M.)
  • The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
  • The Standard – Albatross
  • Spiral Beach –  Ball
  • Nedelle – From the Lion’s Mouth
  • Julie Doiron – Heart and Crime
  • Freakwater – Old Paint
  • Moonraker – Peeg Vater
  • Endochine – Day Two
  • Morcheeba – The Antidote
  • Morcheeba – Charango

I’ve heard some of Morcheeba’s stuff, but that was mostly from the mid-90s, circa Who Can You Trust and  Big Calm. Very Tricky/Sneaker Pimps type stuff.

Anyway, I’m feeling way under the weather today, so I’m leaving this post as-is for now and going to try to rest. I have some other stuff to discuss, but that’ll probably be later this afternoon or tomorrow. 5 words: the return of the king. And no–I don’t mean the movie (which is fantastic, and now out on blu-ray, but I’ll wait until the extended edition is released before I buy the set).

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.

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